Sean McDermott allowed himself just a moment Monday while addressing media to stop being the coach robot.
“I’ll be human for a second,” he joked. “It feels good to be 1-0. I’m extremely proud of the guys. It’s good for organization. What happened on field was result of a lot of hard work in this building, in every corner of building.”
That was about all the basking McDermott allowed himself one day after the Bills began 2017 with a 21-12 win over the Jets.
He did say how much it meant to receive a game ball from Kyle Williams and his players. Actually, there were two game balls. McDermott gave one to his parents and has the other one in his office.
“I know how important this win was to everyone,” he said. “There’s a lot of love in that locker room. It meant a lot to me to lead that team out on the field before the game. When you say the name ‘Kyle Williams’, people know what that means. Coming from Kyle, it means a lot.”
It didn’t take long for game two to come up. In fact, it was question one on Monday.
McDermott’s first road test is back in Carolina, where he was the defensive coordinator the last six years.
He said much was learned from the players and the staff during his time there. “I have a lot of respect for how they do things.”
McDermott said he’s been through plenty of these “coach coming home” games before. He admitted he has to be careful with the game plan.
“There’s a tendency to make an over-adjustment from time to time,” he said. “How you handle it is important. Our guys will be ones that are out there. What’s important is what they know, not what I know.”
One of the guys who wasn’t out there much against the Jets was Marcell Dareus. He played only 34 snaps, the least among any of the starting front four.
McDermott thought Dareus played well and freed up teammates to make tackles, as is the nature of being a defensive tackle. The lack of playing time was simply part of the game plan.
“I don’t know what happened in the past,” McDermott said. “Our system calls for a rotation. We want to have fresh guys out there.”
McDermott was happy to see the Bills’ completely re-tooled secondary play well, especially safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. McDermott noted Hyde and Poyer have never played together, never played with the corners (one a rookie) and never played in this defense.
Still, they made big interceptions at big times.
“We got two key takeaways in 4th quarter and were able to seal game,” McDermott said.
It wasn’t a perfect win. McDermott lamented missed opportunities to score early and penalties on special teams. He also would like the offense to finish off games by running the ball in a more “commanding” fashion.
It was about the only criticism of the run game. McDermott liked the split in carries between LeSean McCoy and Mike Tolbert. He’s not worried about the 27 touches McCoy had being too many.
“The combination with LeSean and Mike was healthy,” McDermott said. “LeSean made dynamic plays and gave us a spark.”
Cordy Glenn’s acclimation process after dealing with a foot injury is continuing. That’s why Dion Dawkins got a chunk of plays at left guard. McDermott said it was important that Glenn got through the game healthy. The only injury concern was defensive back E.J. Gaines. McDermott said his shoulder injury is just a contusion.
When it was noted that Hyde thought he had never seen a head coach be so calm in his first game, McDermott said there was nothing he was trying to show or to hide.
“I just want to be myself,” McDermott said. “I know there’s a lot of different styles. I’m going to be myself. I’m going to be Sean McDermott. I just want to do my 1/11th, as we like to say around here.”
McDermott had one other important dip into being a human. He began his press conference by noting the toll on this day 16 years ago for the victims of 9/11.
“They’re in our thoughts and prayers.”