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Players Filled with Optimism and Hope for the 2019 Bills Season

The up and down 2018 season laid to rest

December 31, 2018 - 6:23 pm

BUFFALO (WBEN) - It can often be hard to gauge the feelings from a collective fan-base simply because of the drastic difference of opinions on everything.

Is Josh Allen the future? Is Sean McDermott the guy? Are we sold on Brandon Beane? Should we root for the Bills to lose for a higher draft pick, or hope to see them win and hope it instills confidence in a young team? Should the Bills draft offensive players in a dominant defensive class? What would be the best use for the roughly $90 million of cap space in the Bills possess in free agency?

The questions may seem endless, but there was nothing but positivity and hope for what 2019 will bring. Head Coach Sean McDermott is among those optimistic.

"You hear that talk around the league on the way the Buffalo Bills play, and that's another reason for my optimism going forward," said Head Coach Sean McDermott. "These guys play hard, and it means something to them to wear the colors of the Buffalo Bills."

He also mentioned that the personnel gained at key positions, specifically the young guns, has this organization in a completely different place than one year ago.

"I'm more concerned right now with the direction of the organization, with the direction of our football team. I'll let you guys grade on a curve or not grade on a curve, that's not for me to do," said McDermott. "For me, it's to look at our football team and say where were we a year ago, and I know where we were a year ago with respect to the record, where are we now, one year later, as it relates to where this organization and this team is headed. As you look at our young football players, namely Josh Allen and Tremaine Edmunds, I think down the stretch the games they had yesterday, a totally different complexion at those positions than what it was a year ago."

Speaking of Allen and his five-touchdown performance yesterday in Buffalo's 42-17 thrashing of the Miami Dolphins, the rookie quarterback wasn't too high or low on his overall performance in his first season.

"At the start of the year, I wasn't starting. It was my goal to to learn and grow as much as possible through the game of football," said Allen. "I thought I did a pretty good job with that, being allowed to be on the field with this team and learning from the coaches that I've learned from and the guys that have been in the quarterback room with me, I think I've grown a tremendous amount. I've learned about a different side of football, the preparation and how much it takes - the game in the NFL, it's a lot different. It's extremely tough, and I can look back on and say this is how my rookie year went, it wasn't great, it wasn't terrible, but I did enjoy it, and I love the game of football."

General Manager Brandon Beane discussed how Allen grew throughout the year.

"You don't want to force somebody out there, but there's no replication for playing live bullets," said Beane. "We saw the difference in evaluating preseason play versus evaluating live bullets where guys are blitzing and disguising and all those things. I think you even saw the difference in a lot of how Josh, things slowed down from Josh's first stint prior to the injury. When he came back, he was definitely more comfortable for the most part."

However, just because Allen and the offense played better in the second half of the season, Beane said it's still a focal point of upgrade and a work in progress.

"I've got to do a solid job this offseason to improve our offense," added Beane. "When Josh came, it started with Matt [Barkley's> game at the Jets, Josh was able to play Jacksonville and beyond, our offense definitely had improved from prior to Josh's injury, so that's what you like, but it doesn't mean that we've got it all fixed."

As for the defensive side of the ball, newcomer and pending free agent defensive tackle Jordan Phillips had nothing but praise for the organization that acquired him mid-season.

Hear more from Allen, Beane and McDermott below:




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