Photo courtesy of @buffalobills

Bills' McDermott had to stop practice

McDermott addresses the Hughes off the field issue

Paul Hamilton
August 14, 2017 - 12:50 pm

Pittsford, NY (WGR 550) - The Bills ended practice with some live goal-line plays and tempers boiled over. It all started early in practice. The offense was bumbling and stumbling around dropping easy passes and committing mindless penalties. For the first time this camp, McDermott stopped everything and had the players take a knee. He screamed at them and told them if they want to be winners, they have to act like winners.

That seemed to get the intensity up until it boiled over at the end. Of course, Jerry Hughes was in the middle of things trying to get at Tyrod Taylor who didn’t back down. Hughes said they needed McDermott wisdom and he wasn’t surprised, “No not at all, we started off kind of slow, some guys asked to have some plays repeated and he gave us a very important life lesson that whenever you put these pads on, there is no repeats. You’ve got to come out fast, you’ve got to come out ready and play in control.”

After Hughes and Taylor tried to get at each other, McDermott made the defensive end get off the field. After practice they had a long talk and Hughes said it had nothing to do with practice, “We were talking about something completely separate, an off the field issue, but it was goal-line period, pads flying, the offense wants to get touchdowns and the defense is doing our job not to let them get in.”

On Tuesday Sean McDermott addressed his conversation with Hughes, "I think first Jerry is having a heck of a camp and he's playing our style of football. He's comomg off the ball up front, he's playing relentless in his approach to the game every practice. He buckles it up and I love that."

"The other part of it was an off the field issue and I appreciate the communication there. It's been handled and the rest of it out of respect for the player, I will leave between us at this point."

Jordan Mills was in the middle of the wrestling around. He said he heard McDermott’s message to the team loud and clear, “It’s the little things that will make us great and when we mess up the little things that should come natural, it ticks him off. The coach brings the fire out of us, he came here with passion.”

You sometimes see fights as training camp goes on as players start to get tired of hitting the same guy day after day. Hughes said, “The offense is making us better and we’re doing the same for them, it’s football guys, it’s physical game.”

Taylor got into the middle of the war yapping at Hughes. Hughes said, “We exchanged words, but at the end of the day, we don’t want them to score. I was just more excited that they didn’t get into the end zone and I was firing up our second unit because they have to match that.”

“In goal line we don’t give up, we’re clawing and scratching every play.”

Since being in Buffalo, Hughes has had issues with his temper that has gotten the team 15-yard penalties. Hughes said, “You know you’ve got to play within the rules and use all that bottled up frustration to play between the whistles. Be a smart player, things are going to get chippy, but at the same time, play between the whistles.”

Before all this went on, Mills went after Shaq Lawson on consecutive plays. Mills said, “I get chippy sometimes, but I’ve got to be more mentally sound than that.”

“Coach talked to me after that I have to me more mentally sound than that and compose myself because in a game, I could get tossed or get a 15-yard penalty, so I have to be better with that.”

Mills is in those trenches every single day. He said, “We’re going to have days like that, there’s going to be passionate days, there’s going to be fights, there’s going to be bickering, us cursing going back and forth, but it’s all about the game.”

“We’re a day away from breaking camp, so it was going to happen sooner or later. It was a little hot today, it’s two weeks or 14-plus days, hitting the same person day in and day out it’s going to happen.”

As I mentioned earlier, Taylor got involved with Hughes. Mills liked what he saw, “It was exciting, we’ve got Tyrod’s back no matter what even if it’s us 11 against 100 people, we’re going to back him no matter what and to see the fight and passion he had not only for this game, but for us, to back his guys up and knowing that he’s not going to back down from anybody it shows the passion and the leadership that he has and he’s going to push us to be the best.”

The Bills have one more practice for breaking camp at St. John Fisher. It’s Tuesday morning at 8:45.

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