McDermott on roster building: “Culture, for me, trumps strategy”

Buffalo Bills

Sean McDermott openly admits he does not have much patience, and the Bills 1-3 start to 2018 has been anything but smooth.

“You’ve got to understand where we are in the build,” said McDermott before practice on Wednesday. “These moments, if you learn from them, these scars that we’re taking on, if you use them the right way, you’ll look back on them and say, ‘that was good for us. We got the right education early and the guys learned from it.'”

Those ‘scars’ continue to pile up as the season progresses. McDermott’s benched his opening day quarterback after a half. A starter on defense retired midgame the following week. Then the peak of upsetting one of the NFC’s top teams was followed up by the Bills first shutout loss in nearly a decade.

Though McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane are only in their second seasons in Buffalo, 43 members of the Bills 53-man roster are players added under their watch. With an underwhelming start to the season, McDermott was asked about building the roster.

Q: You talk about the build. Is part of that trying to figure out who can play and also when you need to cut that dead weight and, in that respect, how long is it before you make those decisions to move on from a certain player or players that aren’t [performing]?

A: Yeah, we’re trying to develop a culture here. The culture to me trumps strategy. That’s what I believe in whole heartedly. It doesn’t mean we have choir boys, it means we have guys that love football and do things the right way for the most part. I understand that. We’re trying to build something that does take time, but overall, guys have to be committed to the process. That means staying mentally tough in moments like this where we start a season 1-3 and it hasn’t always been easy. I’ve been through this before, I can tell them that. Those of us that have been around this league long enough have been through it before. If you do things the right way and continue to do things the right way, the long term success that you make the right decisions, those things will take care of themselves.

The Bills host the 3-1 Tennessee Titans on Sunday. The AFC South leaders are coming off an overtime win against the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.

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