McDermott: 'We're off to a good start,' but we still need to improve the fundamentals

September 20, 2019 - 9:35 am

The Buffalo Bills are looking to go 3-0 to start the regular season for the first time since the 2011 season. They will attempt to do so in the home opener of the 2019 season against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday at New Era Field.

Despite the Bengals getting off to an 0-2 start to their season, the Bills will have to be careful of a team hungry for their first win of the season.

The Bengals also come into this game with some explosiveness on offense with the emergence of players like wide receiver John Ross III, who already has over 700 yards receiving in the first two games of the year. Cincinnati will also rely on quarterback Andy Dalton to move the ball down the field in the air, while running backs Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard try to get things going on the ground.

However, the Bills defense will be ready for the task with two solid performances against the New York Jets and New York Giants to open the season at MetLife Stadium.

As for the offense, they will hope to continually improve from the opening two games of the year under the direction of quarterback Josh Allen and company.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott took some time on Friday to join Howard Simon and Jeremy White for his regular appearance on Buffalo Bills Football Friday on WGR.

Here is some of what he had to say:

McDermott on the game day experience in Buffalo:

"I think the ride in for the visiting teams from the hotel is different than most other NFL cities, and I think that works to our advantage. The ride in for us as the home team here in Buffalo, and when you get to know this place is one of the more special rides in for a home game around the NFL just because of the community that's formed on Sundays."

"Campers have already been pulled in earlier in the week, and I drove out of the parking lot last night and I'm watching people playing cards in a tent in one of the camper sections there. I think that's the way it should be. It's a great vibe. People are spending time with people. You see friends coming together, families coming together. People that don't even know one another getting to know one another and becoming friends. To me, that just really typifies Buffalo."

McDermott on the status of tight end Tyler Kroft:

"We don't think [his ankle injury] is as severe as maybe we once thought. Again, it's kind of early right now, but he's worked so hard [to get back], and he's such a great young man, comes from a great family. That was hard to watch, and I think the team felt that. But we're going to rally around Tyler, rally around his family and become a stronger team because of it."

McDermott on the progress of the offense:

"We are off to a good start. We've moved the ball, we've spread the ball around. There's still work to be done with fundamentals, and that's always the case early in the season and that we continue to build. There's some sloppy football being played, and we've played some of it, to be honest with you. I don't think we finished the game in the second half [against the New York Giants] the right way, even though we put together that key drive, and then we had some penalties. So we have a lot of work to do offensively, and as a team. So that's where our focus is right now is that we continue to grow and build these fundamentals."

McDermott on the Bengals defense:

"The way that they're built, even before the new staff came in, they're an extremely talented team with their players that they have. They've got good length up front, they've got Geno Atkins, who's one of the better defensive tackles, three-techniques in the game. They can be disruptive up front. And then they press their corners between [Dre] Kirkpatrick and [William Jackson III], both long and very talented corners that can lock people down pretty good. And then they just allow their safeties and linebackers to roll and to roam, so this is a good defense, and I would say the same with the team. It's a good team."

McDermott on defending the Bengals offense:

"There are some unknowns, which leads to some extra hours at night and early mornings just trying to figure out what might be their next step... There is some of that, especially early in the year, and that's where it comes back to our fundamentals. We've got to make sure we block, tackle, catch the football, substitutions, things you take for granted. Our communication, that we've got to make sure we do the ordinary things well."

You can listen to the entire interview below:

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