Bills defensive end Eddie Yarbrough has been a bright spot along Buffalo’s front line so far in 2017. The pre-season standout earned a spot on the defense and has responded with nine tackles, one sack and one pass defended through four games. Along with making plays, Yarbrough has also made some interesting observations in his short time playing under new Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott.
Speaking with WGR 550’s Sal Capaccio in the locker room after the Bills 23-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday, the defensive end said “I don’t think there is a team in the NFL that has practiced as many situations as we have with Coach (McDermott).”
“There could be a situation from Mars and we would be ready for it,” Eddie Yarbrough continued.
That’s certainly refreshing to hear and quite a difference from a year ago when Rex and Rob Ryan were calling the shots. It also immediately reminded us of the Dark Side AKA Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, as I’m sure they would take exception to Eddie’s first quote.
Belichick is infamous for drilling every possible scenario all the time in practice. The media loves to talk about it, too. This Boston Globe piece touches on his obsession to detail and provides a gem of a quote in reference to a play in 2016 where Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garappolo completed a batted pass to himself: “We went over that the day before the game,” Garappolo said.
“He (Belichick) said, ‘If it goes up in the air and you’ve got a chance to catch and run, catch and run. If not, just slap it down.’ I swear to God, after the play I thought about it. I know, it’s crazy,” said Garappolo.
It may sound crazy however when football is your job and attention to detail can make all the difference, it’s sensible. McDermott already answers hard-pressing questions with a careful and coy demeanor, similar to the style Bill has mastered. He also preaches every single player doing their job at all times which is a sentiment we’ve heard ‘The Hoodie’ mutter numerous times before as well. But most importantly, the first-year head coach is all about putting in the proper preparation.
And that involves paying extremely close attention to detail and practicing every football scenario in the world, over and over and over again until it becomes habit. We’ve seen it payoff in the win over the Denver Broncos when the punt unit ran a fake but was stopped by a heads up Bills defensive line. And also when McDermott decided to kickoff short against Atlanta after Buffalo’s offense scored and drew a penalty, almost recovering a Falcons fumble which would have blown open the game. A smart risk with high upside.
The NFL is all about situational football these days and a quarter of the way through the 2017 season, Eddie Yarbrough and the Buffalo Bills seem ready for anything under Sean McDermott.