The McDermott Mindset Takes Center Stage

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.

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.

Stefon Diggs: “I Love The Process”

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The McDermott Mindset is elevating the Buffalo Bills to heights they haven’t reached in 30 years.

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