Bills coach Sean McDermott buoyed by offseason upgrades

BUFFALO, New York (AP) – Sean McDermott didn't mind being put on the spot when asked if Buffalo Bills has a list created to win now.

"You are beautiful, man," said McDermott, referring to a reporter during a videoconference on Thursday. “Throw the fastball high and inside. Chin music.

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And yet, he wasn't ready to step away from the media for the first time since the Bills improved their list at a free agency and acquired the Stefon Diggs receiver in a negotiation with Minnesota in March, before reinforcing the draft's secondary needs. of the NFL. last weekend.

McDermott would go so far in recognizing that the current list of Bills is the longest since he took office three years ago.

"Listen, we are definitely further away than where we were when I got here," he said. "And that's part of the goal, you want to be able to say that."

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The proof, however, is still months away, given the challenges he and the rest of the NFL are wondering when teams can start practicing because of the coronavirus pandemic. And there are still games to be played.

What is not at issue, at least on paper, is that the Bills finally resemble a candidate based on a variety of factors for a team to emerge from their second playoff appearance in three years.

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Buffalo's roster of players continues, with all but four players returning from last season. And whatever holes there may have been, they were reinforced through a series of off-season additions, including defensive end Mario Addison, striker Vernon Butler, striker A.J. Klein and cornerback Josh Norman.

It is enough for some to consider the Bills as the chic choice to supplant the New England Patriots at the top of the AFC East standings after Tom Brady left.

Diggs' acquisition alone was important because it has the potential to improve an offense led by Josh Allen who had difficulty scoring. Buffalo failed to reach 21 points 11 times last season, including a wild card playoff loss 21 to 18 for Houston, in which the Bills wasted a 16-0 lead in the third quarter.

"We need to score points, and that has been an emphasis and a topic that we have been talking about since the end of the season," he said of a team that has had 10 games decided by seven points or less.

"I would love to sit on the bench in the fourth quarter of one of those games and maybe eat a slice of orange or drink a Gatorade instead of making my heart go a million miles an hour," added McDermott.

The concerns are still many, with one of his biggest concerns involving the lack of training time to develop Buffalo's pass game.

McDermott said the attack spends about 70% of its spring practices working on passes, with a focus on the running attack, since players can wear chocks. He also wondered how long it would take Allen to build chemistry with Diggs.

"I am concerned about this, but I think I am not concerned at the moment," said McDermott, noting that all teams face their share of challenges. "What you do is try to adapt and adapt, and, as we said before, our theme in this off-season was: & # 39; Find a way & # 39; & # 39 ;.

McDermott has a history of overcoming adversity in Buffalo.

During its first season, Bills won a patchwork list in transition – Buffalo traded three beginners, receiver Sammy Watkins, striker Marcell Dareus and full-back Ronald Darby – to finish 9 to 7 and end a 17-year playoff drought . Last season, Bills made the playoffs, despite an offense that featured eight newcomers.

Although players are exercising remotely on their own, McDermott is reintroducing its annual off-season team-building sessions, again causing newcomers to introduce themselves by sharing their experiences during team sessions.

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