Bills beat: Buffalo begins training, team addresses media regarding draft

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott (pictured above) fielded questions from the media on Monday April 15. McDermott is entering his third season as the Bills head coach (courtesy of Creative Commons).

The Buffalo Bills’ first official offseason workouts began Monday April 15. These workouts are voluntary and only focus on strength and conditioning, rather than skill training. These workouts represent the first opportunity for players to meet the team’s free agent signings and for the media to speak with players, coaching and management. 

Organizational members who received the most attention from the media were general manager

Brandon Beane, head coach Sean McDermott, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and quarterback Josh Allen.

Each provided a different perspective on the team’s current state of affairs and outlook this season.

Beane fielded many questions on the team’s current roster construction and strategy for the impending NFL draft on Thursday April 25. Beane gave insight into draft strategy by explaining that the team constructs their own mock drafts to prepare for multiple draft day scenarios. They do this by assigning scouts to specific teams and then going through the picks one by one.

He also explained the team will draft the best player available, despite what the media or anyone else thinks. Beane continued to say that he does not feel the team has any glaring needs, which will allow them to add a player who could come in and make an immediate impact. Beane did not reveal any groundbreaking information, but it is always interesting to get insight into the mind of the general manager in the days leading up to the draft.

Head coaches are not allowed on the field with their teams during the strength and conditioning portion of offseason workouts. McDermott still made his presence felt despite this policy by offering his feelings about the roster in the lead-up to the draft. 

Last season, Buffalo lost its longest tenured player, defensive tackle Kyle Williams, due to retirement and McDermott is now looking for young players in the locker room to step up and lead. He hopes both Allen and Edmunds will be the players to fill that void.

“The way they carry themselves and represent the Buffalo Bills, I think it means a lot not only to myself, but to our football team, to our organization and hopefully to our community,” McDermott said.

Regarding the draft, McDermott seems content to keep the ninth overall pick, going on to on to say that he felt talented players could be found at that spot.

The media also questioned both Allen and Edmunds on the opening day of workouts. For Allen, it is his first opportunity to meet and work with the newly signed free agents on the offensive side of the ball. This includes wide receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley and offensive linemen Mitch Morse and Ty Nsekhe, among others. Allen said he hopes to use this time to develop chemistry with these new players.

Edmunds, like Allen, is beginning his second NFL season. This season will differ for him in a lot of ways. With the departure of Williams, Edmunds will now be considered the face of Buffalo’s defense. His job will be to command the defense on and off the field and also produce at a high level.

“I’m young,” Williams said. “I’m ready for the challenge. I’m ready for the next step.”

It is officially the start of a new year for these Buffalo Bills. Fans are excited to see how the team progressed from last year and the organization is doing and saying all the right things so far. Big questions about the team’s future will be answered at the NFL draft next week, but for now all there is to decipher are the words from the management, coaches and players.