Bills’ Stefon Diggs explains why Sean McDermott had to calm him down against the Browns

Orchard Park, NY – Sean McDermott barely remembered the trade he had with wide receiver Stefon Diggs as the Buffalo Bills offense was struggling in the first half against the Cleveland Browns last week.

It happened in the heat of the moment for McDermott. Diggs, obviously frustrated as the offense only managed a couple of field goals on its first four possessions, approached the coach for perspective. After the two finished talking, Diggs took a deep breath, wiped the sweat from his forehead, and refocused.

On the ensuing drive, quarterback Josh Allen fired a shot to Diggs in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. Diggs said McDermott knew exactly what he needed to hear right now.

Approaching Diggs to help him overcome his frustration was only a small part of the training McDermott had last Sunday. Diggs said he knows his head coach has more than 50 players to coach each game day. But those 20 seconds helped put Diggs at ease for the rest of the game.

“I’m a very charismatic guy and full of energy. He knows sometimes I just need to catch my breath,” Diggs said. “I always expect excellence from myself. And I always want to be dominant. And I feel like I’m not dominant, sometimes I’m not doing my job He knows I’m a competitor and he kind of always comes full circle, like, you get the idea.

The Bills offense has fixed some issues over the past few games. Allen tried to work his way through an elbow injury, the running game was non-existent at times, and defenses forced Buffalo to run the ball over.

Allen had several nasty first-half shut-ins against the Browns and McDermott said he wanted to talk to Diggs because he knows he’s a team leader.

“I just wanted to offer a couple of words of encouragement and calm everyone down,” said McDermott. “I thought Stef did a great job of taking that message, carrying it forward and putting his signature on it. … You don’t want people to press and so you go to your captains or leaders, and not just the captains but just the guys who have influence in our dressing room over our team.

Buffalo’s offense has just two touchdowns in its last 17 possessions dating back to the second half of the Minnesota Vikings game. Allen said the Bills shot themselves in the foot with mistakes. Diggs said Allen is getting back into the flow of things and looking great.

“Keeping (Josh) in a good space is all that matters. That’s our boy and we ride with him,” Diggs said. “He’s playing well and he’s trying to continue. Keep that good thing flowing like the snowball effect. Once you go downhill the right way, more good things happen.

The frustration with Diggs and Bills’ offense came from how they started the season. Touchdowns were flowing during the first two weeks of the season as Buffalo scored eight total against the Los Angeles Rams and Tennessee Titans. Aside from a five-touchdown game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5, the Bills have not had more than three touchdowns in a game in any of their other seven games.

Diggs said it was frustrating at times, but dealing with those difficulties is part of the game.

“I feel like an offense, the opponent and the team you play, are nameless and faceless,” Diggs said. “It is more true that the matches we have lost have been more self-inflicted wounds. …But honing the fundamentals and getting everything right from your drive is what will breed success. So high ceiling always, forward thinking, that’s what separates the good from the great as far as the team is concerned because you want to be perfect. You always want to score 100 points. It’s not realistic, but I want to perform at a high level and I take it very seriously.”

Since McDermott arrived in 2017, even when the team was struggling to win as rebuilding was at its most difficult, he has found a way to connect with his players. Diggs said McDermott has a knack for always finding the words to keep him in the right mindset.

“As head coach, he’s our leader,” Diggs said. “I feel like he does an amazing job of keeping everyone in balance. He knows his players about him. Everyone needs to be guided in different ways.”

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