Sean McDermott didn't foster much goodwill after his team's loss to the New England Patriots on Monday night.
The Bills head coach first tried to downplay Bill Belichick's role in the Patriots' 14-10 victory, an odd move after Belichick's team defeated Buffalo despite attempting the fewest passes in an NFL game since the 1970s.
McDermott's comments about Belichick weren't what rubbed Isaiah McKenzie the wrong way, however. The Bills wide receiver/return specialist was inactive for Monday's night's game, and when asked about the team's decision not to have McKenzie on the active roster, McDermott suggested he didn't trust his return man to handle punts and kicks with strong winds in the forecast.
"The same reason they turned it over on their punt return team -- I didn’t want to do that," McDermott said, referencing N'Keal Harry's muffed punt that led to Buffalo's lone touchdown.
"I wanted to put a guy back there that I trusted and was going to make good decisions with the ball."
When McKenzie was made aware of McDermott's comments late Monday night, he wasn't too happy.
McDermott didn't mention McKenzie or fellow return man Marquez Stevenson by name, so this wasn't a direct call-out. But considering McKenzie and Stevenson fumbled punts in back-to-back games leading up to Week 13, the implication was clear: McDermott doesn't trust his punt returners.
While McDermott obviously isn't the first head coach to hold his players accountable for their mistakes, McKenzie probably wishes his boss made those comments to him privately instead of airing him out publicly.
Still, McKenzie's reaction was tame compared to those of Buffalo safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, who took serious issue with a reporter asking them if they were "embarrassed" by their defense allowing 222 rushing yards on 46 carries.
Things don't get any easier next week for the Bills, who travel to Tampa Bay to face Tom Brady and the 9-3 Buccaneers.