Bills' safeties banged up; McDermott emphasizes play at line of scrimmage again

October 3, 2018

The Buffalo Bills are banged up at safety to start the week as they prepare to face the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

Micah Hyde, who left last week’s game at Green Bay with a groin injury, and Rafael Bush, his primary backup, were both held out of practice Wednesday and were working off to the side with trainers. Head coach Sean McDermott termed Bush as “day-to-day” with a shoulder injury. He called Hyde “week-to-week” on Monday.

Tight end Charles Clay and defensive end Shaq Lawson were both limited while defensive tackle Kyle Williams and linebacker Lorenzo Alexander both had their usual weekly veteran rest day.

Once again, just as he did when he met the media Monday, McDermott emphasized the importance of winning at the line of scrimmage, and that his team hasn’t done a good enough job of that so far through the first four games.

“Win at the line of scrimmage,” he responded when asked what it will take to get the offense jump-started. “If you don’t win at the line of scrimmage in the run or the pass game you’ve got no chance. So we’ve got to establish the line of scrimmage on the offensive side of the ball, and the defensive side of the ball, for that matter. That’s a weekly thing. It’s not just new this week. That’s a football fundamental. 101. We have to win at the line of scrimmage.”

Through the first quarter of the season, the Bills (1-3) rank dead last in the league with only 5.31 yards per-play and second-to-last with only 220.8 yards a game. They are last in the NFL in passing yards per-game and per-play and 24th and 25th, respectively, in those categories running the football. 

McDermott also raised a few eyebrows with an interesting response to a question asking how long to stick with certain players as they go through the process of building a team.

"We're trying to build a culture here,” he said. “The culture, to me, trumps strategy. That's what I believe in wholeheartedly. It doesn't mean we have choir boys, it means we have guys who love football and do things the right way for the most part.”

Aside from the offensive line play needing to be better, with all the questions surrounding how to help the passing game and specifically avoid taking so many sacks, one of the areas McDermott and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has mentioned is quarterback Josh Allen getting rid of the ball quicker. During the portion of practice Wednesday the media was allowed to watch, which included individual position work, it appeared coaches were making it a point of emphasis to make sure Allen was throwing the ball before his wideouts made their breaks. Below are a couple video examples:

October 3, 2018  


— Sal Capaccio -- (@SalSports) October 3, 2018

Follow me on Twitter @SalSports