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Quick Hits: McDermott says offense must be better


It was a stern tone that Bills head coach Sean McDermott delivered late Monday afternoon. After he reviewed the game tape from Sunday's shutout loss, it was clear he was dissatisfied with what he witnessed from his offensive unit.

"Overall offensively it wasn't good enough at all," he said. "Bottom line. Running game, passing game, hits on the quarterback, there are a lot of hands in that jar as it goes to hits on the quarterback. Just not good enough. Not solid football. We've got to get better."

Sunday's offensive effort at Green Bay was a struggle. Buffalo went three-and-out on seven of their 12 possessions. They converted just three of their 16 third down opportunities and committed three turnovers. What stood out most to McDermott it seemed was the battle at the line of scrimmage. A battle he felt his side did not win nearly enough in the game.

"We had an opportunity early in the game to establish the line of scrimmage two plays in a row," McDermott said. "It was 2nd-and-3 and third down and short and we didn't get the job done. We'll start there. You have to establish the line of scrimmage if you want to be a good offense.

"We have to come up with a better plan than what we had Sunday, putting the players in position to be successful. That's where it starts, and it goes right down to fundamentals and techniques. Winning one-on-ones, guys doing their job and establishing a line of scrimmage."

Buffalo's passing game, which is averaging just over 132 yards per game, is also not up to snuff as McDermott sees it.

"I've got a lot of concerns with that type of number. It's not good enough," he said. "Moving the ball, moving the chains. You can't go three and out. Where do we want to start? So we've got a lot of work to do."

McDermott believes there's enough talent on the roster to make progress and be decidedly better on the field, but playing as a cohesive group on offense is what's missing right now.

"When we all work together and play as a team, as an offensive group, as a unit and when we run the ball and do things off that running game, whether it's drop back or play action, when it all comes together the right way you can play good complementary football," he said. "That's what we've got to get back to doing."

Hyde week to week with groin injury

Micah Hyde has been a valuable leader on the back end with fellow safety Jordan Poyer. His absence from most of Sunday's game was mitigated by the preparedness of Rafael Bush, who filled in admirably. But Hyde will be out of the lineup indefinitely.

"Micah Hyde is going to be week to week with the groin injury," said McDermott. "He's a good football player. One of the leaders of our secondary. I thought it was unfortunate that going back to Green Bay he wasn't able to play. Overall, I thought the guys that stepped in were ready to go and prepared whether it was Siran (Neal) or Rafael (Bush). So I thought collectively we held it together back there for the most part."

Bush, and to a lesser extent Neal, will need to fill the void in working with Poyer to disguise coverages pre-snap and make plays. Bush had one of the strongest training camps on the roster and he's carried that into the regular season to earn playing time. He'll get a whole lot more time on the field moving forward.

Protection must come with patience for Allen's development

Josh Allen's day proved to be a difficult one on Sunday, but it's part of the ups and downs that come with having a rookie quarterback learn on the job.

"The patience with the growth and the development (has to be there)," McDermott said. "You're going to go through some of this with young players. You're going to go through some of this with a young quarterback. Josh will learn from this as will our other young players."

Allen seemed hesitant at times against the Packers as Green Bay defensive coordinator Mike Pettine threw a lot of exotic looks at Buffalo's young signal caller. The protections were also compromised a good amount of the time.

McDermott believes that there's a fix for those issues that must be at the top of the priority list.

"I think knowing where his answers are pre-snap will be important for him moving forward as he continues to grow," McDermott said of Allen. "If he takes what the defense gives him then you can move the chains and I thought that was key Sunday. We didn't get that done."

Those steps need to be taken as the year moves along. There will still be steps back here and there, but ultimately coming out ahead in Allen's development is a key goal for the 2018 season. That only happens if they can reduce the hits that Allen is taking, knowing he's been sacked 18 times in three and a half games.

"I think one of the goals out of this year, number one is to win games, but it's also to develop these players. Josh is a big part of that," he said. "When we get to the end of the season we want to say he's exponentially better because of the reps he's gotten. The only way you're going to get reps is if you're healthy.

"So we have to start every game plan with that in mind. How do we protect the quarterback first and foremost? Everything after that falls in line. This is a quarterback-driven league and in order for this young man to play, he has to be healthy. In order to be healthy, he can't stand back there taking hits. Some of that falls on him as well. It's timing and the offense and continuity in the offense. That's what we go back to work on today to try to get this thing going in the right direction."

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