1 - Raiders HC speaks highly of Bills players
Oakland Raiders head coach, Jack Del Rio, had some high praise for Buffalo's players when speaking to their media on Monday. Some of those guys suited up for Del Rio in Oakland. This week his team's preparing for a cross-country trip to face a pair of AFC East teams. A date with the Bills this Sunday will kick off that trip.
"Got a big East Coast swing right now with going to Buffalo and then stay on the East Coast and play the Dolphins, much like we did last [year]," Del Rio said. "Putting all that together, but the primary focus is on Buffalo."
Bills running back, LeSean McCoy, is heading into Week Eight after having arguably his best game of the season against Tampa Bay. He finished with 23 carries for 91 yards and added two touchdowns. Del Rio knows the threat McCoy presents out of the backfield.
"They're playing tough football," he said." But I think they have as good a back as there is in the league in Shady [LeSean McCoy]. I think he's really good."
The Bills have some former Raiders on their roster who have made big contributions. For starters, Lorenzo Alexander has the second-most sacks (14.5) in the AFC since coming to Buffalo in 2016. He played in Oakland during the 2015 season. Andre Holmes and Taiwan Jones were in Oakland last season. Holmes is tied for the most receiving touchdowns (2) on the team and Jones made a critical conversion on third down on Sunday. Both have been beneficial on special teams as well.
"They've got a couple of our guys over there. A couple of my favorites in terms of effort-filled, hard-nosed, good football players that give you everything they have. Really appreciated what they brought us and I know they're doing a nice job for them," Del Rio said. "Lorenzo [Alexander] is playing well on defense, Andre [Holmes] is doing a nice job in their offense and on special teams they're both contributing, and Taiwan [Jones] is over there. They've got some former Raiders on their team that are doing well for them."
2 - Dareus taking positive steps
Defensive tackle, Marcell Dareus, played more snaps on Sunday then we've been accustomed to this season. The defensive tackle appears to be taking strides in the right direction to return to old form.
Head coach, Sean McDermott, spoke about Dareus during Wednesday's press conference.
"The biggest thing is that he does his job. That's what I'm looking for him to do is do his job. Last week I thought he did that," McDermott said. "Now it's where we go from there and continue to grow and just like our team, improve."
McDermott has constantly mentioned the importance of having guys buy into the process. Dareus seems to be on board with what his coach is asking from him.
"Whatever they ask me to do I'm there," Dareus said. "If I have to wrap around I have to wrap around. If I have to push the pocket I have to push the pocket. If I'm stopping the run, take the double team to stop the run."
According to McDermott, Dareus had his best game of the season this past Sunday. He finished with five tackles and one resulting in a loss of yards. Buffalo's head coach is anxious to see his progress against the Oakland Raiders this Sunday.
"I am (seeing good things from him). His week of practice last week, when you develop habits during the week, more times than not you have a chance for those to show up in the game and I thought I saw that as well," McDermott said.
"We're moving in the right direction as far as that goes. I'm anxious to see how we do this week in that regard as well. I thought he played his best football last week."
3 - McDermott: "Every week someone new is stepping up"
Buffalo's players from both the offense and defense have referred to themselves as misfits. It's something this team has rallied around, and each week those unsung heroes are stepping up.
Week One Ramon Humber had 12 tackles. Week Two Jordan Poyer had 11 tackles and a sack. Week Three Dion Dawkins made his first NFL start and played 100-percent of the snaps. Week Four Micah Hyde had two interceptions. Week Five Nick O'Leary had a career-high five receptions for 54 yards when Charles Clay went down with injury. Then in Week Seven Deonte Thompson led the team in receiving after spending less than a week with the team.
Prior to coming to Buffalo many of those players were far from household names. Head coach, Sean McDermott, loves that. He's excited to see who will be the surprise performer against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
"The great part about it for us at this point where we are and what we've done and what this team, this group of players have done and these coaches," he said. "Every week someone new is stepping up and that's the great part about it. I'm excited to see who steps up this week."
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