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WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

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What they're saying: Bills address the defensive play-caller and the challenges of playing in Minnesota

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1 - Lorenzo Alexander talks about defensive play-calling

Head coach Sean McDermott took over defensive play-calling duties in the second half of the Buffalo Bills’ Week 2 match-up with the Los Angeles Chargers. The change seemingly gave Buffalo’s defense new life, as they limited the Chargers to just three points in the second half after allowing 28 in the first two quarters.

Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander does not feel as though the team’s increase in energy can be attributed solely to the fact that there was a new play-caller. The veteran said that the team simply started to play as a unit in the second half.

“No, because most guys didn’t even realize it, that he was calling the plays,” Alexander said. “I think I have a good grasp of how Leslie Frazier calls it, and the calls weren’t much different. I think guys came out and we just executed, and that’s what it comes down to. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if Leslie is calling it, or if Sean is calling it, we have to execute, make plays in our one-on-one matchups, and that’s what we were able to do in the second half. I think players just stood up and that’s what we want to try to carry as we move forward especially going to this next game and start fast in Minnesota, because they’re a high-octane team and can whoop ‘em quick if you allow them.”

“It really doesn’t matter who calls the plays, we just have to, as the players, go out there and execute." CB Tre'Davious White

2 - Tre’Davious White says defensive play-caller ‘doesn’t matter’

Like Alexander, cornerback Tre’Davious White didn’t even notice that McDermott had taken over the play-calling duties. The 23-year-old feels as though the defensive unit came out with a new spark in the second half, propelling them to a stellar performance in which they limited the Chargers to just 65 net yards.

“I just think we just had a different energy in the second half,” White said. “It really doesn’t matter who calls the plays, we just have to, as the players, go out there and execute. I feel like we did a great job in the second half at just executing what we could.”

“[Who’s calling the defensive plays] is not going to matter at all,” White added. “We have the same calls, there’s no magical calls that are being called, it’s just us as the players have to execute the calls and in the second half, we did that. It’s just something that we can build off of, and I feel like we got great attention to detail coming in this week.”

3 - Micah Hyde thinks Bills’ second-half energy was ‘evident’

Safety Micah Hyde shares his fellow defensive backs’ feelings about a renewed energy in the second half. Hyde said that the switch in defensive play caller allowed the team to shore up defensively, as the team strung together a few consecutive stops in the third and fourth quarters.

“Well I think it was evident,” Hyde said. “We started off with a lot of energy, we did. We got a three-and-out the first drive. The place was rocking, it was going crazy, we felt good. Next couple of drives, couldn’t get off the field. Second half, we did a good job of getting off the field on third down, getting some pressure on the quarterback, and from there it was just a tale of two halves.”

4 - Josh Allen thinks playing tough defenses will aid in his development

Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier will collaborate when it comes to calling defensive plays in the team’s Week 3 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. McDermott, however, will also have to focus on the Vikings’ talented defense, a unit that was the league’s best in 2017. Rookie quarterback Josh Allen is excited to go up against Minnesota’s defense, as he knows that playing against talented opposition will only help him improve.

“[I’m being accustomed] through fire,” Allen said. “Being in there and actually experiencing it. It’s only going to get better with time. All of these trials and tribulations that I’m going to go through in my rookie year are only going to help in the long run. To get out there and actually have in-game reps with some really good defenses, like a team like we’re going to be facing this week, just experiencing all that they have to offer and trying to weather that storm and ultimately trying to learn and get better from that game.”

5 - Shaken-up Shady wants to play vs. Vikings

Running back LeSean McCoy suffered a rib injury in the third quarter of Buffalo’s loss to the Chargers. McCoy, who has been limited in practice throughout the week, is still questionable for this Sunday’s match-up. Despite the fact that the Bills are scheduled to go up against a strong Minnesota run defense that allowed an average of just 3.7 yards per carry last season, McCoy is eager to play.

“They’re a tough group. They’re a good group. It gets very loud there, and that type of atmosphere is pretty crazy. They’re a good team. It’s a challenge. If I’m good enough to go out there and compete, and if I’m out there I’m giving 110-percent. Just each day at a time, it’s only Wednesday, I’ll probably make that decision about Saturday, Friday, see if I should go out there and run full tilt, full speed with no pain. But there might be some pain that I have to deal with. It is what it is.”

6 - Harrison Phillips describes ‘breathtaking’ experience at home opener

After their home opener in Week 2, the Bills now find themselves on a two-game road trip. They won’t play another down at New Era Field until Week 5. One player who can’t wait to play in Buffalo again is rookie Harrison Phillips, who was in awe when he participated in his first home game.

“It was, I don’t know, kind of breathtaking,” Phillips said. “One of those moments you’ll always remember for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, didn’t get to experience a win and so I’m sure that will be obviously number one on cool things that I’m done. Regardless, to see all the guys come out and just all Bills Mafia being there, how loud the stadium got, it was crazy and fun to be a part of.”

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