McDermott's focus is on the Falcons

September 27, 2017
Categories: 

The Buffalo Bills are back on the practice field, gearing up to face the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday from the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Falcons are just one of two remaining undefeated teams in the NFL after three weeks of regular season football. The fourth-ranked offense in the NFL will, arguably, be the first tough challenge for the sixth-ranked Bills defense. Through three games this season, 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan has completed 68-percent of his passes for four touchdowns and three interceptions.

Certainly the Falcons' offense will come out flying (no pun intended) against the Bills on Sunday, but Buffalo's defense has only allowed 37 points in their three games and has yet to give up a touchdown through the air.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott is very familiar with the Falcons, having been a defensive coordinator with the Carolina Panthers from 2011 to 2016. In his time with the Panthers, McDermott went 5-7 against Atlanta while averaging just 22 points against per-game.

On the injury front, the Bills did not have left tackle Cordy Glenn on the field as he continues to deal with a foot / ankle injury. Glenn did not play on Sunday in the Bills' 26-16 win over the Denver Broncos. One player who did not play on Sunday, but did return to practice is defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. Dareus has been dealing with an ankle injury since the Bills' Week 2 matchup with the Panthers, but was back to practice on a limited basis.

Defensive tackle Jerel Worthy was back with the Bills for practice for the first time since suffering a concussion in the preseason.

Both defensive tackle Kyle Williams and linebacker Lorenzo Alexander did not practice, but they were given rest days.

Here's more of what Sean McDermott said on Wednesday from One Bills Drive:

 

Update on Marcell Dareus:

"We are day-to-day right now (ankle). He put in a lot of time over the weekend and the last two days here, those being Monday and Tuesday. We feel like we are headed in the right direction but right now it remains day-to-day. "

 

Is Dareus mentally and emotionally on board?:

"I am. Like I said the other day, we have to continue to improve. That is true of our football team, we have to take that growth mindset approach to growing every day. That starts with myself and goes right through the entire team and Marcell being one of those guys. We have a lot of work to do, anxious to get back on the practice field today. This is a big challenge for us going down into their stadium and a new stadium. We look forward to that challenge. This is a team led by a very good football coach and Dan Quinn, with a dynamic offense and a defense that is playing extremely fast, and a special teams unit that is doing the same. This will be a big challenge for us, and one we look forward to."

 

On facing the dangerous Falcons offense:

"The weapons that they have on this offense, starting with the quarterback, with Matt Ryan and what he’s done over the course of his career. Being in the NFC South like I was, I had a chance to go up against, or coach against Matt, I should say, and watch his career really take off. That’s been fun to watch, a young player develop, certainly an elite quarterback. Then, with Julio the same way. Watching him come into the league, had some production early in his career, had a few injuries here and there, and then to really take off the last year or two, been very impressed by that. Now, with the weapons of [Devonta] Freeman, [Mohamed] Sanu, [Tevin] Coleman, all these guys, with [Taylor] Gabriel now, they have multiple weapons to defend. What we have to do is start at ground zero and make sure we are who we are, and that means a fundamentally sound defense in everything we do. We have to play extremely sound defense, team defense, and make sure we’re communicating. I don’t know if you’re ever going to take a player of that caliber away, but you have to know they’re going to make some plays and we have to make plays on our end as well."

 

More on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan:

"Matt’s had a lot of success over the course of his career. We’ve had some games where we had the upper hand, if you go back and look at those also. And we had some last year where he had the upper hand. I think it’s been a good battle over the years. He’s a highly competitive guy, as are we and our football team, and we would expect the same. They had an impressive performance last year in all that they did as a team, and what they did in their Super Bowl run. Like I said before, we have a big challenge in front of us, it’s one we look forward to."

 

On losing a Super Bowl:

"That’s what you work for. It’s what we work for. That’s the biggest game and the championship game for us in this business. Certainly disappointing. I’ve been in two and it’s what you work for. It takes time for that to go away but you try and learn from it, like we do [with] every situation, and try and come out better because of it, and that’s the growth mindset you have to have."

 

Running game struggles:

"It’s certainly something we have to continue to work on, like a long list of other things we do. We have to get better. We’ve got to go back to work on it, which is why we practice today in a few minutes here and I look forward to watching us improve. That’s one of the areas that we need to improve on, no doubt about it."

 

Hear all of McDermott's comments from his press conference on Wednesday: