Close knit Bills pulling for each other as season closes

Buffalo Bills
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The wins may not lead to any sort of playoff run, but the Bills are still reveling in them just the same. 

After knocking off the Lions Sunday, the team included linebacker Matt Milano via FaceTime in the locker room celebration. Milano is rehabbing a broken leg suffered last week. 

Sean McDermott thought it was a cool gesture. 

“The locker room has been built with high character guys and that was on display yesterday and, really, the entire season,” McDermott said. “These guys care about one another. It’s a good feeling.”

Even though the Bills are 5-9, there is a positive vibe about the team’s direction. McDermott reiterated Monday he feels the team is being built the right way. 

A big part of that good feeling is how some of the newer and younger players have performed. Josh Allen and Robert Foster stole most of the headlines Sunday, but undrafted free agents like Corey Thompson, Mike Love and Ike Boettger also had a handful of snaps each. 

McDermott thinks that will pay dividends in the spring when construction of the 2019 team begins. 

“It’s comforting to know we’ll have a good feel for who Robert is, who Corey is,” McDermott said. “We’re getting these young guys valuable playing time. For all of them, it’s a 2-3 week interview. We can see what we’ve got and we can build on top of it if we need to.”

McDermott added the Bills are a team that really roots for one another and praised the veterans who might find that difficult in other situations. 

“My hat goes off to our older players that some of these (young) guys are replacing at certain moments of the game because that’s not easy,” McDermott said. “They understand it. They understand this is life in the NFL. To their credit, they’re more focused on team success rather than their individual success.”

That includes Matt Barkley. The veteran backup quarterback was seen testing the upper reaches of his vertical to celebrate Allen’s game sealing QB sneak late in the fourth quarter. 

“He’s got a daily joy about him. An energy, a positive vibe where he roots for Josh,” McDermott said. “That says a lot about Matt and the way he was raised. He’s very unselfish in his approach. That’s how you build a football team.” 

Among the nuts and bolts from McDermott’s Monday media session… running back Marcus Murphy has a dislocated elbow. There was no indication on how long he may be out and McDermott had no details on any other injuries. 

McDermott curiously passed up a field goal try in two spots against the Lions. The first was on 4th and 18 at the Detroit 36 in the first half. The possible 54-yard kick is well within Stephen Hauschka’s normal range, but McDermott said he wanted Hausckha’s first try after the hip injury suffered against the Jets to be something closer. 

In the third quarter, McDermott went for it on 4th and two at the Lions’ 13 yard line instead of an easy field goal that would have cut the Detroit lead to 13-10. On that one, McDermott said simply, “We were going for the win.”

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