Sean McDermott reflects on breaking the drought

By: Nick Wojton

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The Buffalo Bills are going to the playoffs.

I read that sentence once, twice, and three times. There is no typo. The Bills (9-7) did it. Buffalo will open the postseason against former head coach Doug Marrone and the Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6) after beating the Miami Dolphins (6-10), 22-16 on Sunday.

Many wrote the Bills off before the season opener. Way before.

Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott should carry high head high. He traded star players, made questionable front office moves, among other things. The word “tank” was used for a now playoff team.

Go ahead Sean, brag a little.

Nope.

McDermott did a lot of thanking after his postgame interview and not one “I told you so.”

First, McDermott made sure to thank the real MVP of Sunday. The Cincinnati Bengals (7-9) who topped the Baltimore Ravens (9-7) 31-27 to make room for the Bills in the AFC playoffs.

“I’d like to thank the Cincinnati Bengals as well, and Marvin Lewis,” McDermott opened his press conference saying.

The coach continued:

“Really just all the sacrifice that goes into this. From the players that we have and everyone involved in the building in Buffalo. From all of our fans, the families we have and their sacrifices that have gone into this. I can’t thank everyone enough. Congratulations to everyone. It’s been a long time coming and the best part is, we’re building and I’m happy to be a part of it. Also I want to say congratulations to Kyle Williams. He’s worked, sweat, bled, he’s put his heart and soul into this city and this team. I couldn’t be prouder for him at this moment. Really to our players and our fans, congratulations and I’m happy to be a part of it,” McDermott said.

Following the game, Buffalo sprinted to the locker rooms and turned on the TV, literally, to tune into the end of the Ravens-Bengals. But first, McDermott discussed the task first handled by the Bills, the fish.

“ You’ve heard me say before. This is a mentally tough football team and that’s what you saw out there today. When guys went down, other guys were ready. Good job but coaching staff. Guys stepped up and did their job as well. The hard part was trying to close this football team out, that’s a good team in the other locker room,” McDermott said.

Then to the watching.

“We turned it on right away,” McDermott said. “We felt like it was the right thing to do, regardless of what happened, to give players a chance to watch it. A lot of guys praying, a lot of guys holding hands. It was just great to have everyone together, no way I’d rather end the season than together whether it was going to work out in our favor or not. To be able to celebrate, watch a lot of grown men in that room cry because of all of the hard work, blood sweat, and tears put into this thing.”

After a long week of prep, the first time in 17 years the Bills are preparing for the playoffs, Buffalo and Jacksonville will kick at 1 p.m. on Sunday from EverBank Field.

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Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott — Nick Wojton photo

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