The Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers got a two-week head start to their offseason workouts.
Yesterday marked the beginning of the 2017-2018 season for the Buffalo Bills, who were allowed to start their offseason workouts a full two weeks earlier than other teams due to having a new coach. The Chargers also took advantage of this opportunity.
It’s important to note that new head coach Sean McDermott won’t be on the field with the team throughout these next two weeks, due to the CBA, but he will be doing a lot of work with the team in the classroom. As for the players, there won’t be any hitting or helmets and they will mostly be doing strength and conditioning exercises — or injury rehab.
Although there’s not a whole lot that we get to see from these workouts, it’s a huge opportunity for a new head coach to start getting to know his players off the field — but still in a football setting — as well as the players to get acquainted with each other.
It also gets the players active and prepared for when things start to pick up.
With day one of the workouts now complete, there are a few things we learned that could be vital to the Buffalo Bills‘ success down the road. Luckily, we have that all compiled right here.
Let’s get started.
Sean McDermott announced on Monday that he will be putting together a leadership council that will consist of players that show leadership in the locker room and share the same kind of mindset he is trying to install at One Bills Drive.
Although experience will be a factor, it won’t be the only thing being considered. McDermott wants these players to be the building blocks for installing the new culture and will likely be players that he wants to keep around for a while.
"“I think you look for a range of characteristics,” he said. “Age is one of them. Experience – but that doesn’t just limit it to the older crowd, so to speak. You want representation from, really, the cross-section of the team and really guys that represent the whole team, not just certain parts of the team. I’ve been around it at the two different spots that I’ve been at – both Philadelphia and Carolina – I’ve seen it work well.”"
The council hasn’t been named yet, but there are a few players that fit the script and will likely be of heavy consideration — Kyle Williams, Lorenzo Alexander, Micah Hyde, Eric Wood, Richie Incognito, Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy.
McCoy Only Non-Participant
Of all the active players on the Buffalo Bills‘ roster, LeSean McCoy was the only player to not show for day one of offseason workouts. The workouts aren’t mandatory, so the fact that there was only one player missing — known that it’s a proven veteran — shows you that this team is ready to put the work in this season.
It’s also encouraging to know that McDermott wasn’t angry over McCoy not showing and he even added that there have been several productive conversations between the two since his arrival in Buffalo.
Among the players ready to step up in a big way this season, most importantly with leadership, is Lorenzo Alexander. He knows the effect he has on the locker room and is going to be instrumental in not only getting this team where it needs to be, but keeping this team there.
He was also among the many players that we got to hear from on Monday.
"“I will exert myself a little bit more vocally. I’ll be more than a lead by example guy,” said Alexander. “Last year I did talk to guys and would take them to the side. This year I’ll kind of step to the forefront before games or in meetings and hold guys accountable when I see something go down, versus waiting and getting them after the meeting. Making sure it’s out in front and everybody knows about it. If I help one guy everybody else sees it and maybe everyone else will learn from that in the same way.”"
Another player that won’t be taking any excuses next season is Kyle Williams. Although he has never been the type to let people get away with things, this year it’s going to be taken to another level. With his days in the NFL running short, this could be his final chance at a playoff run.
He doesn’t want anything to stop him.
"“I’m not going to let feelings or anything like that get in the way and be a hurdle for us to be a winning football team,” Williams said. “I really never have. So I think collectively we can have more guys to kind of get in (that group) like Lorenzo who is more comfortable and Richie (Incognito) and Eric (Wood) and Tyrod (Taylor) and a lot of different guys kind of pulling the rope in the same direction, we’re going to be that much better for it.”"
Williams also added that McDermott was a strong reason for returning, although he didn’t have to be “lured or massaged” into it.
I also enjoyed this quote from Williams on Monday:
"“Blocking and tackling and working hard every day and competing. That’s not a one liner or a catch phrase. Those are solid, foundational truths about this game and winning football teams,” said Williams. “So if we have as many guys as we can (operating that way) – then the guys that resist it – the guys that are on that wagon will pull (the resisters) with them, and we’ll be a better team because of it.”"
Sean McDermott knows the importance of these offseason workouts, even though he’s not able to physically be on the field with the team. He sees this as an opportunity to skip everything on the field and get to know these players for their habits off the field.
Being in a classroom with his players will help bring a level of chemistry that didn’t exist before yesterday.
McDermott put it perfectly:
"“I can only do so much due to the limitations, so I’m not out there to watch the conditioning and lifting, but in the meetings, I can evaluate and that’s the teacher-student part of the equation,” he said."
"“It starts with their mindset, and they have the right mindset; they’re here to work and earn the right to win,” said McDermott. “We’re trying to build our chemistry and that means the right people in the right places doing the right things at the right time. That’s a big part of building a football team. I’m a big believer in doing things right off the field because that equates to winning on the field.”"
What are you most excited about now that the players are starting to hit the field? Leave your thoughts below!