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Five Takeaways From HC Sean McDermott at the 2017 Coaches Breakfast

Sean McDermott Sean McDermott via Democrat and Chronicle

Five Takeaways From HC Sean McDermott AT The 2017 Coaches Breakfast


The NFL owners meetings provide a great opportunity for football writers to talk directly to NFL head coaches. That opportunity is the coaches breakfast which was held in Phoenix Tuesday morning. New head coach Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills took on his first breakfast and answered several questions. Here are 5 takeaways from Sean McDermott at the coaches breakfast:

1. Reggie Ragland will be the starting middle linebacker

Questions have surrounded the Bills 2016 first round pick from Alabama due to a season ending injury during the offseason. Coach McDermott answered those questions with excitement and optimistic.

“Reggie had the setback last year. I know Reggie from tape in college and what he can do and just we’ll start at the middle linebacker position is really where we see him. And what innately comes with that position is the leadership skills. He possesses those leadership skills to get us lined up, be the antennae, so to speak, of the defense. I’m not out there and over the years, when you look at that position, in this system — guys like Luke Kuechly, guys like Jeramiah Trotter — that can check the defense, get us in and out of bad calls, bad defenses, set us up for success, that’s an important part of that position and Reggie, from what I can tell and what I’ve observed and been told about him, he has that DNA.”

Unless Ragland experiences a setback, expect him to be the Bills signal caller on the defense.

2. The Wide Receiving Group Should Be Exciting

The Bills knew they had to make some upgrades at wide receiver for the team to have a productive passing offense in 2017. Sammy Watkins and Coach McDermott had a productive meeting and he expects Watkins to be healthy and productive for the Bills. McDermott is also eager to see how newly signed Andre Holmes and Philly Brown can impact the offense.

“I had a chance to sit down with Sammy the other day. I was impressed. He’s on schedule with his rehab, no setbacks. He’s fired up about this season and what a dynamic receiver. And then you look at what we were able to do with free agency in adding players to that position group in Andre and the different guys there with Philly and Jeremy. That’s going to be a fun group to watch throughout really the offseason and preseason. And then the special-teams qualities and characteristics that those young men bring to the table. I love the toughness of that group and I look forward to watching Sammy when he gets back on the field.”

If Sammy Watkins can stay healthy in 2017 and get production from their core receivers the Bills might have a premier offense in the AFC East.

3. The Bills Will Be Aggressive on 4th Down

The Bills decided not to gamble a lot in 2016 but that might change in 2017. Head Coach Sean McDermott will allow the Bills to be aggressive on 4th down. That aggressiveness could be the difference in the Bills winning and losing close games.

“My personality is aggressive and I think calculated aggressiveness is huge when it comes to going for it. If we’re going down, we’re going down all guns blazing.”

McDermott’s mentality and passion should prove its dividends in 2017.

4. Kevon Seymour Will Compete For The Starting Corner Position

The Bills decided to let Stephon Gilmore walk in free agency. Coach McDermott might already have found his replacement ins second year corner Kevon Seymour.

“He wasn’t a guy, honestly, that I knew a lot of before entering the doors at One Bills Drive, but, man, what an athlete in terms of just the length. And that’s really the way the corner position is moving. When you look at Kevon, he played some inside, he played at the nickel position, he played outside, and yet he was physical. As a rookie, I thought, just watching the tape, he really handled himself well. And then the mental toughness part. There were plays where they call a ball, but he came back the next play and hit the re-set button and really fired on all cylinders. For a rookie to be able to do that, man, that was huge. That’s a nice foundation in year one.”

McDermott developed and helped Josh Norman become one the best corners in the game, is Kevon Seymour up next?

5. Trust The Process

McDermott believes there will be a new winning culture in Buffalo. Remember Rex Ryan made several promises about the Bills that he did not deliver. McDermott is being patient and has his own expectations of his team in 2017.

“We focus on ourselves and getting better. Thats it, which is a day to day process. Our focus is improving this football team in every way we can. That speaks to the communication Doug and I have, and everybody in the entire building. It whats were doing going forward, this is a new era and were excited about it”.

People expected the McDermott to change the culture in Buffalo and he might be well on his way.