Following Day 1 of Bills training camp on Wednesday, wide receiver Stefon Diggs took the podium and provided clarity on several pressing topics, namely his relationship with Josh Allen & the Bills coaching staff and his desire to remain a Buffalo Bill.
When asked point-blank if he still wants to stay in Buffalo for the remainder of his career, Diggs responded, "100%".
That was just one highlight of a roughly 20-minute press conference in which Diggs shed light on what he believes — and what his teammates believe — is an overblown story on the receiver's one-day absence from Mandatory Minicamp in June.
"It's more interesting to see how people run with the story and it's kind of unfortunate a little bit in my eyes," Diggs shared.
Diggs detailed that he and Sean McDermott had an "in-house" conversation leading up to minicamp and afterwards both sides felt it was best to take a break. McDermott shared that sentiment during his minicamp press conference in June.
"It was not Stef leaving unexcused, he was excused by me," McDermott said on June 14 about Diggs' one-day absence.
Diggs likened those conversations to that of a family with multiple sides talking things through and working to gain an understanding of each other.
"I don't know if anybody has a family here, everybody has family issues. Everybody has family problems in-house. I was here. I did have a conversation with Coach. And I like to keep things in-house, " he said.
Since then, Diggs, McDermott, Josh Allen and others on the team have said the situation has been fully resolved and a non-issue moving forward as the Bills begin Training Camp at St. John Fisher University.
"All is well now," Diggs stated. "Water under the bridge, now we're back at work."
Initial frustration from the WR early in the offseason stemmed from the team's postseason loss to the Bengals; the third year in a row the Bills have been stellar in the regular season then bounced from the playoffs without getting to a Super Bowl. After being so close to one of his career goals that many times in a row, Diggs said he wanted to have conversations during the offseason as to why his team had been unable to get over the hump.
"I mean everybody says they want a Super Bowl, but we've had legitimate chances at this thing. We've had the team. We've had the coaches. We've had everything that we needed. As far as us not getting over the hump, I feel like it's always asked for or cause for a conversation. And I always wanted to have a conversation. And we have an open-door policy. Coach (McDermott) will tell you he has an open-door policy," Diggs shared.
"And I've had those conversations. I try to keep a lot of things in-house. But regarding last year, obviously, the way we lost was just terrible in any regard. You don't want to lose any game. But we've lost for a couple of years at this point. We've been trying to get over the hump. And obviously it's cause for a lot of frustration."
Throughout those conversations, Bills GM Brandon Beane said he never had any concerns about Diggs' commitment to football or the team.
"Listen, sometimes you have to have honest conversations,' Beane said Wednesday. "You're arguing with your family or something, sometimes you've got to have a meeting, you sit down and talk through it… but if everyone's intentions and everyone's heart is in the right place, you can move forward. That was never in question."
Diggs also shot down speculation from local media members Wednesday that he was discontent with his role and wanted more say in the offense.
"Dude, that's insane," Diggs chimed to a reporter. "For me to just want more say in the offense is crazy because I play receiver. I don't care what play is called. I can't get up there and say call it. It's a lot of outlandish, obvious things that people were throwing out there or people were saying as far as my role."
As the day shifted from the podium to the practice field, the Allen-Diggs connection remained as strong as ever. The talented duo hooked up for a touchdown about halfway through practice during an 11-on-11 period in the red zone. Last season, Diggs set a career-high in touchdowns (10) and has recorded the sixth-most TD catches in the league (29) since joining the Bills in 2020.
"Yeah, that's my guy," Diggs said of his quarterback. "And me and him never did not get along. That's still been my guy. That's always going to be my guy."
Allen, too, was excited to have his top receiver back in the fold with the offense as the team ramps up for Year 2 under offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey. As he readies for his sixth NFL season, Allen stressed that the biggest thing he's learned this offseason is the importance of proper communication.
"Making sure that we're on the same page and have a clear understanding of what's being called when it's being called, when I'm looking his way," Allen said.
Diggs got a roaring ovation upon his entrance to the practice field and the cheers continued with each catch he made on the first day of camp. With the offseason saga in the rear-view, it's time to look forward to see what Diggs can do in his ninth NFL season.
"I feel like I'm in a great space, a great place, I'm loved and I'm appreciated. At the end of the day, that's all I want," Diggs said.
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