HS coaches get up-close look at Buffalo Bills OTA

What does the “process” look like, up close and personal, over the summer for Sean McDermott’s team? High school coaches from Western New York got an exclusive glimpse last week.

McDermott, approaching his second season as the Buffalo Bills’ head coach, invited Section 6 and Monsignor Martin High School Athletic Association coaches to watch his team’s organized team activity (OTA) session Thursday. So a group of more than 50 coaches, The Buffalo News reported, watched rookies like Josh Allen and Tremaine Edmunds practicing with a full team as the Bills geared up for training camp with an outdoor workout for in the second week of OTAs.

That group included Franklinville/Ellicottville’s Chad Bartoszek and Cattaraugus-Little Valley’s Tim Miller, and Salamanca assistant Jerry Parisi.

Preston Teague, senior director of community relations and youth football for the Bills, contacted Section 6 football federation chairman Ken Stoldt, who emailed all the section’s head coaches to extend the information to them or an assistant.

“Paul (Haley) couldn't make it because of work so I said, 'Sure, I'd love to go,'” Parisi said.

Parisi compared the session to attending Bills training camps and Jets training camps at Hofstra, growing up on Long Island, but the exclusivity of the OTA set this apart.

“It was a similar kind of experience to going to a training camp where you are able to watch practices from different vantage points,” he said, “but what was unique about this is OTAs, nobody else is allowed to go to these things. They only let the press in one day of the week of their three practices, so for them to take people who are not press people and allow us in was really kind of the unique experience behind it.”

The prep coaches saw a two-hour session including position breakdowns, special teams drill work, scrimmage sessions and offense and defense group work, according to Miller.

“The value I took from the session was seeing the obvious planning and organization a professional team puts into its practice time,” Miller said. “There was not a wasted minute in the two-hour session. Additionally, I got to pick up a few drills that would be applicable at any level of football.”