Kurt Coleman made it clear Thursday that he only thinks it’s the media who say the Bills have nothing to play for Sunday against the Jets.
“People want to know how serious are we going to take this?” Coleman said. “This is our livelihood. No matter who’s in, what the call is, the expectation is still the same.
Even with no playoff ramifications on the line, the Bills still believe they have a lot they can accomplish this weekend. That includes trying hard to avoid injury by trying hard.
“I’ve never hurt myself trying to go 100 percent,” Coleman said. “I’ve hurt myself trying to not hurt myself. It sounds really weird, but you can’t play the game slow or you will be susceptible to injury.”
“This is a league where all these guys are too big, strong and fast to go out there and play to protect yourself,” Pat DiMarco added. “As soon as you do that, you are gonna get hurt. If you get your chance, you’re out there. This is a chance for a lot of guys who haven’t played so much to get some play time, too.”
The one teeny-tiny drawback to the Bills’ remarkable health this season is that backups at many offensive and defensive positions have not been on the field in those spots since August. This weekend is a chance to be a refresher.
“Some of the young guys are going to get more reps (Sunday),” Lorenzo Alexander said. Obviously, when you start playing postseason play. You start extending reps “on guys’ bodies. You never know when a guy is going to break down. If a guy hasn’t been in that situation since maybe preseason, it’s really hard for that guy to go out there and execute at a certain level. Just get their feet back wet playing offense and defense.”
“For us, it’ll be a great competitive environment, work a few kinks out here and there and get another few snaps under our belt,” Mitch Morse said. “It can be priceless if we view it the right way and I think we will.”
The only way Sean McDermott can prevent injuries Sunday is by taking guys off the field because when they’re out there to play they’re going to play.
“When I step out on that field, that’s my resume,” Coleman said. “I’m not going to put out bad film.”
The last four weeks have been huge in the playoff preparation process, providing the Bills some major opportunities.
“Playing at night, getting out of your routine, playing on a short week within one of those weeks and really playing three physical, elite teams back to back to back could really take a lot out of you, but I think it was a good test to see what we’re going to get when we enter the playoffs,” said Lorenzo Alexander.
The confidence these experiences have given the team is invaluable.
“Going into the playoffs, the way it generally goes for as long as I’ve been in the NFL is the hottest teams at the end of the year are the ones who make a run, so we definitely want to,” said DiMarco. “We’ve had a tough schedule the last few weeks, we’ve played some pretty good football so definitely continuing to build off that and have a good game going in and a big win would be great heading into playoffs.”
“If you view any game differently than what it is, which is a game in the National Football League against a competitive group, you get in trouble,” said Morse. “For us, we know it works, we have the same routine televised or not, home or away, so for us, it’s still implementing that.”