Doing my Father’s Day morning read of the local papers, I was struck by a few quotes inside of Jay Skurki’s Buffalo News article on Tre’Davious White and how little he’s made “rookie mistakes” so far this offseason. Sean McDermott, in particular was pretty amazed at the lack of teachable moments he observed:
“Really, I’ve had to sit back in my office up there and ask myself why haven’t I noticed Tre’Davious, in terms of why am I not concerned about him?” McDermott said. “As a defensive coordinator I was a lot closer to the defense at times, so I’ve been asking myself is it because of that or is it because he’s just integrated himself so smoothly into the NFL and what we do? He’s mature beyond his years. Really, what we thought he was coming out of LSU.”
For White, as Jay mentions, this is quite the compliment. In addition, McDermott had this to say about White’s relationship with the former LSU staff and the current Buffalo one:
“Credit to the program at LSU,” McDermott said. “Coach Dave Aranda down there and, Gill Byrd and Bob Babich here. I think Leslie Frazier’s background certainly helps, being a corner himself in terms of Tre’Davious’ transition into the NFL.”
One of the biggest lessons learned in the Rex Ryan experience in Buffalo was something that should have been learned during the Chan Gailey era as well – having a head coach that abdicates the other side of the ball is a dangerous game. Both sets of quotes illustrate that not only is Sean McDermott not focusing exclusively on “his” defense, but that he was worried he had not given enough attention to that part of the team. As McDermott learns the ropes as a first-time head coach, it’s fascinating to watch McDermott’s process “develop”. It’s clear he wants to be the CEO style coach that has the program organized and trusts his staff to see out his vision, but to hear him give so definitive an example of that this early is encouraging.
I’m not looking for speeches or the Disney-themed speeches that precede a big win, I am looking for how the process fits in the head of the MMA fighter-turned-coach that runs the Bills. So far, I’m liking what I’ve seen. And I don’t want this to be a “Rex bashing session”, but let’s be honest – in the past six months we’ve seen more organization and less “look at me” grandstanding and that also has been a help to McDermott’s case. Rather than focus on winning press conferences and making fans feel confident via his bravado, McDermott has given me confidence in how I think he and his staff will do with his methodical approach.
Think back to the draft – instead of hearing a Jauron-esque “he can’t fit my defense” for players, the only thing that leaked was a penchant to omit character questions on his draft board. Since the replacement of the front office occurred, we haven’t seen any “last chance saloon” type players show up either. Again, this won’t make for a successful season on its own, but these little indicators to me add up.
I started this post chatting about Tre’Davious and how he McDermott quotes excited me. But as you see, it’s less about the player himself, but the process around his selection and the way he and the Bills players are being developed under this staff.
Questions/Comments/Criticisms/Queries? Let me know on Twitter (@rich_fann).