McDermott explains why Preston Brown made an appearance during Sunday’s onside kick

By: Nick Wojton

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ORCHARD PARK – Following Sunday’s Buffalo Bills 24-16 win over the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo linebacker Preston Brown was helping defensive tackle DeAndre Coleman put his necklace on.

While fastening the chain behind Coleman’s head, Brown dropped it.

Those around him poked fun about how Brown was having a tough day with his hands. A few moments prior, Brown had stone hands on the field. Brown, a lighthearted and down to earth individual himself, laughed it off. Brown even did so on social media, tweeting out this gif:

But in the moment, things weren’t as laughable.

Late in the win, the Bills (8-6) made their fans do an all too familiar cringe. With 39 seconds left, Miami’s Cody Parkey converted a 26-yard field goal. The next play was a clear onside kick situation. If you thought Parkey was impressive at field goals, you should see him snipe his targets during an onside.

Wait, you did see that. Parkey’s kick went right to Brown, he muffed it, and just adding to the craziness, Miami’s punter. Yes, you read that right, their punter, Matt Haack, recovered it.

Down only a score, Miami had new life. That is, for 11 more seconds. Jay Cutler tossed his third interception of the day. This one, like the others, went directly to a Buffalo defender. Tre’Davious White held on to seal the deal. It made Brown’s fumble easier to swallow.

“I’ve been on the hands team all my life. I don’t know what’s going on, but I should’ve just picked it up and scored. It wasn’t a good showing (laughing),” Brown said to Nick Veronica of the Buffalo News.

It’s true, according to Brown. He’s been on the hands team for onside kicks in high school and in college at Louisville. But in both cases, he never actually took part in a live one.

“Yea, but we were always trash (in high school) so we never really had to use it. And at Louisville we blew people out, so I really haven’t had to do it until now,” Brown said.

Which begs the question, why was Brown even out there then? Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott explained that on Monday. As it turns out, Brown wasn’t out there for his hands. Brown’s duty was to block.

“A lot of the kicks we see go up in the air and we need a wall, so that’s really Preston’s role. That said though, he’s tasked with the responsibility also when the ball’s kicked, coming to field it. He came up a little bit short yesterday, but that’s something we’ll work on and look at moving forward,” McDermott said.

In fact, McDermott, after saying Brown is a good football player, added he’s OK with the way things turned out. Buffalo got an extra interception out of it.

“I know he wants that play back, and I’ve got a lot of confidence in Preston. We look at everything every week and I’m glad it turned out the way it did, that we got the interception at the end of the game to seal it,” McDermott said.

We’ll see exactly how it turns out in the end for Brown and his role on the hands team. Or maybe Buffalo just won’t face another onside kick this season. We’ll see.

The Bills have their usual Tuesday off before returning to the practice field on Wednesday to prepare for the New England Patriots (11-3).


Buffalo Bills linebacker Preston Brown — USA Today photo


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