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Bills Today: What McDermott said about Zimmer


1 - What McDermott said about Zimmer

Sean McDermott views Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer as a role model.

McDermott and Zimmer had similar paths to their respective head coaching positions. Zimmer entered the NFL as a defensive backs coach in 1994 before becoming a defensive coordinator in 2000, a position he would hold with a number of teams until 2013. The Vikings finally gave the veteran coach an opportunity to prove himself as a leader in 2014, and thus far, Zimmer hasn't disappointed.

Like Zimmer, McDermott has served as a complementary coach throughout the majority of his career. He joined the Philadelphia Eagles organization in 1999, becoming their defensive coordinator in 2009. McDermott served as the defensive coordinator of two teams from 2009-2016, getting his first head coaching gig in 2017.

McDermott feels as though he and Zimmer are cut from the same cloth.

"Respected, in charge, defensive head coach that's been on the journey that I feel like I'm embarking on," McDermott said. "He's had success, and like any head coach, he's had some moments where he's had to steady the ship. I admire that about Coach Zimmer."

McDermott and Zimmer share a mutual respect. The Vikings' coach said that McDermott sometimes calls him to talk about football among other topics.

"I've known Sean for quite a while when he was in Philadelphia and at Carolina," Zimmer said. "We used to sit down and talk defense, things like that. I would go to the Combine and he would call me. He called me this year before the season about some of those things. He's a good football coach."

2 - Sean McDermott talks numbers at cornerback

The Bills currently have just three healthy quarterbacks on their active roster

Tre'Davious White, Lafayette Pitts and Ryan Lewis currently make up the healthy part of Buffalo's cornerback corps. Taron Johnson and Philip Gaines, two defensive backs who have seen playing time this season, both find themselves on the injury report.

The Bills may have to enter their Week 3 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings with just three active cornerbacks if Gaines and Johnson can't recover in time. Sean McDermott is comfortable either way.

"I know whoever we put out there we've got confidence in," McDermott said. "That's what you want to be. Either way, we're going to go out there and put our best foot forward and have confidence and belief in the guy that we put out there."

Johnson and Gaines are both questionable for this Sunday's matchup. McDermott feels as though they've taken steps forward in their recovery this week

"They're kind of in the same boat with, we're still not sure," McDermott said. "All of them I thought took a step (Thursday), there are still some question marks and we're just going to have to see how this thing plays out throughout the end of the week here."

Ryan Lewis may make his NFL debut this weekend. McDermott has been impressed with the second-year player's progress in practice.

"He's done a nice job," McDermott said. "Very aware young man. Played at a good college program similar to some of the guys on this team. He's seemingly got some physical toughness to him although he's only been here a little over two weeks maybe. Had a chance to watch him on tape a little bit, watch him out here. Hard worker."


3 - Lafayette Pitts impressing with skill, work ethic

A few injuries and a mid-game retirement left the Bills with just two active cornerbacks in the second-half of their Week 2 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers. Playing opposite Tre'Davious White was the unproven Lafayette Pitts, a third-year defensive back who has played on special teams throughout the majority of his career.

Pitts played well in the second half, recording two tackles and helping Buffalo's defense shut the Chargers' aerial attack down. To fans, Pitts' strong performance was a bit of a surprise. Pitts' coaches and teammates, however, didn't expect anything less out of him.

"Pitts has put in the work this whole offseason," safety Micah Hyde said. "That's nothing new to us. He's been stepping in in practice and making some big plays and competing. That's all you can ask. The situation was kind of weird, not ideal, but at the same time, 'Worm' did a good job stepping in and balling out."

Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier praised Pitts' performance, crediting his work ethic.

"I thought he did a really good job, Frazier said. "I think we were all really pleased with how he played considering the amount of snaps that he got during the course of the week. He's not one of those guys that get a lot of reps. He's giving the scout team a look and he's kind of a down the line type of guy when it comes to getting reps in practice. For him to step in and play as much as he did and as well as he did, kudos to him. That means he was paying attention to the game plan, even though he wasn't getting reps in practice, and taking care of business like a pro. So, he did a really good job."

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