Buffalo Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
What will Kelvin Benjamin bring to the offense and how much will he play?
"We're going to monitor throughout the week. Right now it looks like he'll be ready to go. He's done a good job of getting himself up to speed to this point."
What have you seen out of the Saints offense so far this season?
"Probably very similar to what I've seen since Coach (Sean) Payton has been there. They're giving people fits on defense. They do a great job with their personnel groupings and of course they have a quarterback that you guys very well know as one of the best to have ever played the game."
Does the offense look any different at all this year from when you were in Carolina the past several years?
"They have a bunch a new weapons with (number) 41, (Alvin) Kamara has (had) a nice year start to his career. They use him in everything so they're doing a really good job in some of those areas, their screen game and they're playing at a high level."
Why do you think their screen game has been so effective?
"I don't know. That's probably more of a question for them. It's well timed. I think (Sean) Payton does a good job of timing it out and well-executed. So usually when you combine those two, you have a pretty good chance of successful play."
What does having somebody like Kamara do in terms of forcing the defense to make tough decisions matching up?
"I think you hit the nail on the head. You can put him in the backfield. He's a receiver in that regard. They're multi-dimensional in that regard."
As someone who had LeSean McCoy in Philly, what are some of the qualities that have made him a special player able to sustain his performance all these years?
"He has a very high level of drive in terms of being very driven to be successful at whatever he does. He's highly competitive and it's important to him. It's been fun to watch him evolve over the years we have been apart and now to come back together and watch. He has gotten older and matured and to watch his level of professionalism grow, he way he's grown as a person has been fun to watch."
What has Tre'Davious White been bringing to the defense for you guys this year?
"Well for a rookie to have that type of contribution, especially in the cornerback position is somewhat unique. I know (Marshon) Lattimore has had similar success down there with the Saints. Two good college players that have stepped up and made impacts in a short amount of time at this level with their respective teams."
What did you like about White coming out and has anything surprised you since you've had him?
"Not really. I hate to say it or not because that is really always the case with the draft. I know Coach Dave Aranda down there and so I felt like we had a really good feel for Tre as a person and player and we have seen that up to the halfway point of the season so far."
What do you think been the difference for the Saints defense this season?
"I think they're well-coached and their staff does a good job. And then they've gotten some new personnel as well. You've mention Lattimore earlier and then A.J. Klein. He is a guy that I'm partial to. I know A.J. We drafted him at Carolina and we know what he brings to the table in terms of his play and how he's effective over on defense. You look at the other guys that they've been able to (add) so that always helps."
You mentioned you were partial to A.J. What is it about the way A.J. plays?
"You start with what he does off the field. He works hard. He puts a lot of time in the film room and then you see what he's doing calling things out. He's a very intelligent player. He's physical, tough. I thought it was a good pickup for them."
How glad were you to see him have this expanded opportunity?
"I was happy for him. Selfishly I'd like him on my team. But outside of that when he got picked up, it doesn't surprise me. He has been waiting for an opportunity like this. When he started in Carolina at different parts of his career where he was a starter or other points when he started because Luke (Kuechly) was out, he always did a great job. So I would expect nothing but that. That's what I've seen so far this year."
Do you ever call him Luke or was that just a fan thing?
"You guys know that story? That was a running joke in the linebacker room."
Do you consider trying to bring him to Buffalo?
"Well you always look at every player. You always look at every player, making sure you understand the situation and whether he fits or not. He's a good player. We're always looking to have good players. In this case New Orleans came in pretty quickly there and got him."
From the film, have you been able to get a sense of how he's playing and what he's contributing to the defensive resurgence?
"You're talking about A.J. again? He looks like he's playing well, like the A.J. I know. He lines up on the line of scrimmage. He's lines up off the line of scrimmage. He's had a good year so far. I'm happy for him. It seems like he's found a good spot for himself."
As another defensive mind, what's been your impression of Dennis Allen and the way he orchestrates this defense?
"This is Dennis' third year back? It is only a matter of time. Dennis is a good defensive coach. He is well-established as a coach around the league so I just felt like it was only a matter of time before he found the consistency probably that Coach Payton was looking for."
It seems like the Saints have been playing pretty well in the second half, obviously it helps when you have a lead. Can you tell what's made them good later in games?
"I think obviously it goes through the quarterback. I hate to say it sometimes in this league everything goes through the quarterback. Staying on the field offensively, play-calling offensively, quarterback play, being able to run the ball. Then their defense, like you guys mentioned playing with leads that certainly helps them pin their ears back right, when the offense becomes a one-dimensional offense. I would say in that regards probably what I've seen so far."
On Tyrod (Taylor), how important do you think his ability to protect the ball has been for your offense this year?
"It's been big for our team. Whether it's Tyrod or anybody else. Our backs have done a really good job so far in terms of taking care of the ball. That's a big stat in terms of correlation to winning or losing. We've done a good job to this point and continue to move forward."