Covering the Bills historic season amidst a pandemic

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(WETM) – The Buffalo Bills are amidst a historic season as they get ready for this weekends playoff tilt against the Baltimore Ravens.

Our 18 News reporter Matt Paddock spoke with WROC Sports Director Thad Brown to talk about what has made this year’s team so special, as well as what its been like covering professional sports during a worldwide pandemic.

Thad Brown has been covering the Buffalo Bills since 2000′ and he says that the narrative, especially from 2011-2015 was always the same. That is until the arrival of Sean McDermott.

“It feels like all of a sudden Sean McDermott arrived and boom…the Bills are starting to do good”.

The Buffalo Bills lighting the world on fire in 2020 and Brown says it was week 2 against the Miami Dolphins that he knew this years team was something special.

“It was 3rd and 6 and the Bills were down 3…I said look, this is a spot where Josh Allen’s gonna throw a touchdown… this is the difference between good, okay, you know competitive, and elite. Low and behold Josh Allen steps back, rolls a little bit, and throws a ball that Gabriel Davis dives and catches for a go-ahead touchdown and it really felt like from there, you know, in my mind, this Bills offense specifically in general were totally different” says, Brown.

Different, a word that echoed throughout the interview, and Brown says covering this teams historic season has been different from his 20 years prior.

“It’s incredibly different, this is the first time during a Bills season where I’ve never been in the locker room” says, Brown.

But Thad says that the biggest change came on Sunday’s.

No stadium access, no on-field access are some of the biggest changes, and then obviously you know like anything else we’re wearing masks the whole time. Social distancing everything that everybody else is doing. So a lot of Sundays have been very different this year.

In years past, the Bills would allow a handful of local photographers to stand on the sideline, myself being one of them. Spent most of last year on the sideline for every game. This year, there’s one pooled photographer for all the TV stations and they aren’t even on the sideline, they’re in the stands” says, Brown.

“This year we are sequestered, I guess is the best word in the press box to watch games, and you know again because we’re doing everything on zoom, there’s not as much need to move around anyway you just bring a laptop or two and, you know, watch the game type of your stories do your interviews and call it a day” says Brown.

The Bills kickoff Saturday night at 8:15 right here on WETM-TV.

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