ORCHARD PARK, NY – Two weeks ago the Buffalo Bills found themselves with a bit of an embarrassment of riches at wide receiver, having added 14-year veteran Anquan Boldin into the fold alongside Sammy Watkins and several other impactful players. But the wide receiving corps has become suddenly scarce after Buffalo traded Watkins to the Los Angeles Chargers 11 days ago and Boldin abruptly announced his retirement on Sunday night.
In the aftermath of these changes, Bills head coach Sean McDermott is sticking to his guns.
“That’s a fair question,” McDermott said, when asked whether or not the Bills would have traded Sammy Watkins if the team had any hint of Boldin’s sudden change of heart. “Those are two seperate entitites. Two separate decisions altogether.”
Whether there’s no correlation between the two or not, the Bills are left scrambling to sort out an unproven receiver room. A group now highlighted by unproven rookie Zay Jones, a currently injured Jordan Matthews and a so far inconsistent Andre Holmes. If McDermott is at all miffed by Boldin’s flip-flop, he’s keeping it to himself.
“I think the bottom line with Anquan Boldin’s situation as a football team is A: we respect his decision,” McDermott asserted. “That said, we adjust. That’s what we do. That’s what this league is about, adjusting on the field and adjusting off the field with our game plans. In this league – I’ve been in this league and around this league for over 20 years – I’ve learned not to be surprised by anything. And that’s really the core of it and as a football team we adapt.”
No one has to adjust and adapt more to these recent departures than quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who is still working on developing a rhythm with his ever changing arseal of weapons. Only two receivers currently on the roster – Brandon Tate and Walter Powell – have even caught a meaningful pass from the 28-year-old. Despite all the turnover, McDermott isn’t too worried about his quarterback’s psyche.
“Well Tyrod has been around this league a long time as well, so Tyrod knows that you have to adjust,” McDermott said. “Tyrod, just like the rest of our football team, is extremely resilient, he’s adapted over the course of his career and he really embraces those types of situations. That’s the Tyrod I know and I wouldn’t expect anything different in this case.”
McDermott also remains confident with the Bills current situation at receiver and expects other players to step up.
“I like the [wide receiver] room,” McDermott said. “I’ve said that before and I’ll say it again. The guys in the room know that there’s an opportunity for another guy to step up and that’s, again, what happens in this league. I really liked what I saw the other night from Brandon Reilly, and Daikiel Shorts and they continue as young players to show the ability to catcht he football, in traffic. We’re looking at this as an opportunity and I’m sure those guys are as well.”
Taylor himself shared similar sentiments, saying their goals are still very attainable with what they have.
“We’ve got a team full of playmakers still,” he said. “[Watkins and Boldin] would have just added to what we have. Just gotta keep chipping away one day at a time, and keeping our midset that everything that we have is still in front of us.
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