By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — In his first year as an NFL head coach, Sean McDermott has learned that the weeks go by quickly in the NFL. And so, what happened three weeks ago, no matter how significant it was at the time, won’t necessarily mean much in the present moment.
And so, when it comes to his players potentially seeking revenge on Rob Gronkowski this weekend for the Patriots tight end’s dirty hit on Tre’Davious White in Week 13, McDermott said his Bills players can’t focus on vengeance.
“We’ve got too much work to do,” McDermott said Monday. “And this is too good of an opponent to A, talk about it, or B, even think about it. The weeks go by too fast for us to do anything other than focus on what we’ve got to do and the New England Patriots.”
McDermott, who was mostly happy with the way his players controlled themselves after the Gronkowski hit three weeks ago, has a pretty clear message. But that didn’t stop his players from taking a pair of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties during their 24-16 win over the Dolphins on Sunday.
That’s something McDermott hopes to control going forward.
“There was [some lack of discipline]. I wasn’t happy about that. We’ve got to handle ourselves better in those situations,” McDermott said. “Discipline is a big part of being a good football team, a consistent football team, and I was not happy at all about what went on, and we need to do a better job of that.”
The Bills, at 8-6, are still alive in the hunt for a playoff spot. Even if they lose to New England on Sunday, a win in Week 17 in Miami would put them at 9-7 and could potentially still land them a wild-card spot.
Both White and Gronkowski have returned to form after the incident. White intercepted Jay Cutler to seal Buffalo’s win on Sunday, while Gronkowski had a career-best performance in the Patriots’ thrilling win in Pittsburgh.
The Bills as a franchise have not made the postseason since 1999, so that chance to reach the postseason combined with their need to be perfect in order to beat the Patriots in Foxboro will likely outweigh any plans for revenge.