Head Coach Sean McDermott

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TITANS VS BILLS
Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020

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Q. Just wanted to get your thoughts on penalties, field position, and turnovers. Did that pretty much spell it out for you in this one?

SEAN MCDERMOTT: Yeah, doing things that you can't do and expect to win a football game. That's what it boils down to. Preach that, penalties in particular, turning the ball over, and at the end of the day, not a high enough level of execution. So I'll give credit where credit's due. They were ready to go and we beat ourselves probably more than anything and that's something we can't do in this league.

Q. How surprised were you that it just appeared your team was so unready to play and that's just, that just isn't characteristic of Sean McDermott team. So have you been able to reconcile that, and if so, what are your thoughts on that?

SEAN MCDERMOTT: Yeah, I mean, look, at the end of the day, we got to be ready to go. And again, just uncharacteristic game for us, uncharacteristically poor fundamentals, poor pre-snap discipline, turning the ball over. You've been around this game a long time, you can't do that. There's only one opponent and that opponent's on the other sideline. You can't beat yourself.

Again, I give them credit. They were ready to go, and at the same time that we beat ourselves.

Q. And as a quick follow-up, he wasn't the only one, but Josh Allen, having a game very unlike any that he had played the last four, so what was your sense of his performance in that it looked like he was forcing throws. It looked like he was doing a lot of things, again, that we weren't seeing for the first four games.

SEAN MCDERMOTT: Yeah, I mean, there's some throws obviously he would like to have back. I thought he was patient. And then at times we may have pushed the ball into coverage there.

The first turnover right away changed the game and it was a dropped pass there and we can't do that. Tips and overthrows over the middle of the defense usually get intercepted and it did. So, again, a lot we can improve on from this game and we have got to get, we have got to learn from this tape and, each and everyone of us, starting with me. But the lack of fundamentals, the lack of execution, pre-snap penalties, again, taking care of the football. Hard to win in this league unless you do those things.

Q. Certainly this was quite the unusual week, filled and headlined by uncertainty. How much did that play a factor into tonight's performance?

SEAN MCDERMOTT: Yeah, we're not going to, we're not about excuses and explanations at this point. You know that. You know how we do things here. We get paid and expect to be ready to go and obviously we weren't ready to go. So, yeah, learn from this experience and grow from it. Got a good football team in the Chiefs coming into Buffalo, who will have an extra day's rest on their hands. So got to obviously do some things differently this week and it starts with looking at the film, getting that necessary feedback so we can see where everything went wrong.

Q. I know you have concern everywhere, but specifically to your defense, and kind of some of the trends we're seeing, can you diagnose that and maybe what carried into this game tonight and what you think needs to be fixed there?

SEAN MCDERMOTT: Well, I'll be anxious to look at the film on the way home, honestly. And I think I know what I'm going to see and it starts with, as we talk about all the time, being one of 11. Doing your job, being where you're supposed to be, taking away -- if it's coverage, taking away the leverage the defense is meant to take away and without trying to do too much. So it's a fine line there to balance. And there's always things we can do differently call-wise, and so we'll evaluate that as well. But overall, we have got to do a better job on defense on third downs, get into more third downs, affect the quarterback. I didn't think our four-man rush was good enough tonight. You got to be able to affect the quarterback with four. And I think the drive before half, the quarterback, I think it was that one when the quarterback scored, you know, using his legs there.

So just uncharacteristic of our defense to this point in terms of the start of our season. Poor field position. Then we get the penalty, we get the take away, we turned it over, we do a three and out and we get the penalty on the roughing of the passer.

So it wasn't our night. But again, we have got to be honest with ourselves and say why and make sure we can get this thing fixed here.

Q. Anything that possibly could have went wrong, obviously went wrong. And the Titans, rightfully so, capitalized off the mistakes that was made and, not establishing that field position early in the game, keeping you guys pinned and things of that nature. I kind of thought that it was really emotion versus consistency and, you know, Tennessee was riding on a lot of emotion tonight and that kind of outweighed things. Just what's to be learned from all of this, coach?

SEAN MCDERMOTT: Well, we got to look at ourselves first, as I said earlier. You asked the question, why? Why, is because we don't take care of the ball. When you don't take the ball away, when you have pre-snap penalties, the lack of discipline, things we talk about all the time. That's why it's disappointing. When we look at our run game, they're playing cover 2. We got to be able to run the football against cover 2 and get more than three yards.

And our defensive line, on the defensive side has got to be able to affect the quarterback more with our four-man rush. So we'll just start there. And I got to do a better job. And we'll look at the tape on the way home. I'll look at the tape on the way home, and I think I already know what I'm going to see. But we have got to make those corrections and get ready for a good Kansas City Chiefs team coming to Buffalo.

Q. You've been in this situation before. I mean, go ahead lick your wounds, get back to the drawing board, and get ready for this week.

SEAN MCDERMOTT: That's right. That's right, man.

Q. I'm just wondering, when did the injury to Tre'Davious White initially pop up and how close was he to actually giving it a go tonight?

SEAN MCDERMOTT: Yeah, during the week, I forget exactly what day, we had him on the injury report. He didn't practice. We were hoping obviously that he would get back. But at the end of the day, he couldn't make it. So some time during the week there.

Q. Are you hopeful that he'll be back next time around for the Chiefs game?

SEAN MCDERMOTT: Yeah, we'll see. I'll leave it up to the docs and tell me what they see and how he was doing. And we're obviously better with him than we are without him, but certainly appreciate Cam Lewis stepping in and playing hard.

Q. Just to clarify: He did work out in Tennessee with you guys today, right?

SEAN MCDERMOTT: I'm not sure if he worked out. I don't believe he worked out today.

Q. On the field? Okay. All right. Thanks.

SEAN MCDERMOTT: I don't believe he did.

Q. Obviously a weird week, probably unique for you as a coach. I'm curious how you felt about the way the league handled the situation over the weekend and kind of shuffling things around?

SEAN MCDERMOTT: Yeah, I've got no comment on that. I respect your question, I just I got no comment. We got to, there's no excuses, no explanations. We got beat tonight and that starts with us.

Q. As a coach, how did you kind of adjust and handle those extra days? What did you guys do over that time to kind of adjust your schedule and like I said something you haven't had to do before?

SEAN MCDERMOTT: Yeah, we tried to give the players, when we found out, we found out Thursday night around 6 o'clock around dinner time we tried to give the guys the next day off, the players, just to keep them fresh, so you don't get too stale. We tried to find that balance of rest and work, right? And then we went and had a couple days after that where we tried to get them back into a routine and get them ready to go.

Q. It seemed like once the once Derrick Henry manhandled Josh Norman on that running play the defense seemed to get that juice and started playing with more passion and more aggressiveness. There seems to be something with these stadiums being empty, but not only the Bills defense, but it seemed around the league that the defenses seem to be having trouble stopping the offensive teams this season.

SEAN MCDERMOTT: Yeah, I think that the numbers would support that overall. I'm not going to use that as an excuse for our defense. We played better defense than we have over the years than we have this year. So it's probably one of the factors, one of the variables among others, but that's no excuse for the way our defense has played at times this season. I expect more, I know they expect more from themselves.

Q. Because it seems like they, with the different, did Tennessee show them anything different do you think that they weren't ready for?

SEAN MCDERMOTT: No. No. They didn't show anything different. They did what we thought they were going to do, what we practiced and prepared for. We got to do a better job executing the defense and take away what the defense is meant to take away we got to get more pressure with our front four.

Q. Obviously you've been around the league for a long time, from your experience being on this side of a blowout like this, what can it do for a contending team moving forward? What's the commonality on how good teams respond to games like this?

SEAN MCDERMOTT: Yeah, there is adversity every year whether you lose by one or you lose by whatever we lost by tonight, there's adversity every year. You can learn from it and use it to build, continue to build your football team. That's what we plan on doing. I'm going to watch this tape on the plane home, I wish it was a six-hour plane ride so I could watch all three phases, to be honest with you, on the plane ride home. But we got to learn from this film and it starts by everyone looking at themselves in the mirror and that starts with me making sure the next time we're ready to go.

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