On this week’s Monday Musings, columnist Steve Mathes opines on how Head Coach Sean McDermott’s emphasis on mindsets, habits, and culture have impacted the Buffalo Bills.
“The McDermott Mindset”, “The McDermott Way”, “The Process”. Whatever label you want to give it, the message of Sean McDermott has been fully saturated within every square inch of One Bills Drive as the head coach enters his fourth season at the helm. After decades of ownership, coaching staff, and locker room instability, McDermott’s guidance is a welcome reprieve.
Here are six examples of McDermott’s grip on the locker room personified from the players themselves:
1 – Tre White Opts In
Tre White gave Bills fans a scare last week announcing that he was undecided about playing in 2020. He made an impassioned speech about being worried about the health and safety of his two young children at home. He later tweeted how his wife’s grandfather died from Covid-19. Ultimately, Tre White decided to play. One would be wise to assume the meticulous nature with which McDermott brings to game-planning is also applied to health and safety precautions. Multiple NFL Insiders have noted that people within the league are calling the Buffalo Bills to ask how they are approaching certain situations. McDermott has the trust and respect of Tre White, the locker room, and apparently all 31 other NFL Franchises.
100% believe the culture and climate built by McDermott and Beane led to Tre’s decision to play.— TheBillsGuys (@TheBillsGuys) August 6, 2020
Culture matters. This organization makes players feel respected, heard, and most importantly safe.
2 – Stefon Diggs Already Preaching Process
Stefon Diggs has been in Buffalo for less than a week. In his opening press conference, he mentioned his “love of the process” and that the players in this locker room would “run through a brick wall” for Sean McDermott.
3 – Josh Allen on Team’s Approach to Covid-19
Heading into this season, there is a cloud hanging over every NFL franchise’s head. Sean McDermott has conveyed his message to the locker room with this year’s mantra: “Find a way.” Josh Allen echoed his head coaches sentiments this past week. Good Morning Football‘s Nate Burlenson asked what message he has for his teammates. His response was “One through sixty -five. We are all going to have to know the same thing, have the same heartbeat, and be ready to roll when your name gets called.” One heartbeat. A McDermott-ism if I have ever heard one.
4 – Matt Milano Mirrors McDermott Exactly
In his opening press conference, Matt Milano emphasized that Buffalo is the place he wants to be long term. Lots of players say that in contract years, but one line from Milano stood out more than any other. “I’m just concentrating on being the best version of myself,” said Milano on where his focus is right now. Back at the combine, McDermott used the same line when describing how the Bills would approach free agency: “When you come to Buffalo, you become the best version of yourself,” McDermott told Good Morning Football. His message is getting through.
Sean McDermott at the Combine: “you come to Buffalo to become the best version of yourself”— TheBillsGuys (@TheBillsGuys) August 10, 2020
Matt Milano this week: “I’m just focused on becoming the best version of myself”
… oh yeah, the McDermott Mindset has been fully saturated within One Bills Drive
5 – Josh Norman Here To Win Championships
This week Josh Norman stated he is coming to Buffalo to win championships. When is the last time a player came here, said that, and genuinely meant it? When was the last time a player has said that, and we as fans genuinely believed them? There is a different mindset and belief at One Bills Drive under Sean McDermott.
#BillsMafia is gonna love Josh Norman.— Heather Prusak (@haprusak) August 6, 2020
“It’s just not about the numbers and money and all this other stuff we did all that. It’s about getting that championship, nothing more and nothing less is gonna suffice me. This is a team I feel like can do that.” @news4buffalo pic.twitter.com/ZILiRu6rsd
6 – Something To Be Said About Development
Quinton Spain signed a three-year contract extension this fall. He had every excuse to get lazy and complacent. Instead, he entered Bills camp this week in the best shape of his life. The Bills awarded him an iron man belt for his off-season prowess.
Had a great offseason can’t wait till i can put them pads back on pic.twitter.com/kvK8ItALH8— Mr. Undrafted (@quinton_spain) June 25, 2020
Levi Wallace is an afterthought for many fans after the signing of Josh Norman. He entered camp this week in the best shape in his life having packed on pounds of muscle. Like Spain, Wallace won a Bills off-season honor as well.
Levi Wallace posted this on his Instagram, two things…— Kurt Haumesser (@KurtHaumesser88) August 8, 2020
1, that is awesome that the team has awards like this. 2, Levi must have been putting in some WORK to get that award as a CB🏋️😤 #Bills pic.twitter.com/Z8VSVpS4LB
Isaiah McKenzie willingly chose to stay in Buffalo despite knowing the Bills were going to add competition that could push him off the roster. “Buffalo is going to make the best out of me. If I can make it in Buffalo, I can make it anywhere,” he told J Spence the King this week on the Code of Conduct Pod.
***New Pod Alert***— z – Jefe (@JSpenceTheKing) August 5, 2020
Bills fans!! This week, I talked with Carolina Panthers Beat Reporter @antwanstaley, AND Buffalo Bills WR Isaiah McKenzie. iMack talks his love for Buffalo and the competition that pushes him! @BuFFanatics @TheConductPod 👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾https://t.co/AnylczDN4f pic.twitter.com/a96tF8VvSb
Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott scraped and clawed to get where they are in this league. They both started as interns. They didn’t have connections. They earned it. They are both bringing that same mindset to Buffalo.
What are @BuffaloBills GM Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott most proud of? Find out 👇 on the latest @MoveTheSticks podcast with DJ & @BuckyBrooks.— NFL Podcasts (@NFL_Podcasts) August 5, 2020
FULL PODCAST: https://t.co/IhlNcxYH2j pic.twitter.com/3hJRXGH8Kb
The McDermott Mindset is elevating the Buffalo Bills to heights they haven’t reached in 30 years.