Bills' Gilmore regrets snapping at teammate in loss to Pats
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore has a confession to make over what happened against New England last weekend.
And no, it has nothing to do with whether the he was responsible for covering Chris Hogan when the Patriots receiver beat him up the left sideline and scored on a 53-yard touchdown.
''I didn't get burned,'' Gilmore said Thursday, reiterating what he told reporters following the game. ''Busted coverage. It wasn't my fault.''
What Gilmore regrets is how he let loose his frustrations by snapping at safety Jonathan Meeks in the end zone immediately after Hogan scored in New England's 41-25 victory .
''I shouldn't have reacted that way,'' he said.
Gilmore said his outburst was a reflection of the competitor in him, and not an indication of whatever stress he might be feeling in attempting to prove he deserves to be counted among the NFL's elite cornerbacks.
It's an assertion the fifth-year player made several times this offseason. And it's one Gilmore repeated this week, when accepting how much focus is being placed on what he might be worth after his contract expires in March.
''I'm one of the best corners in the league, so I can take it,'' Gilmore said, in striking a defiant pose with both hands on his hips at his locker during an interview with The Associated Press.
The self-confidence Gilmore has isn't wavering, even while questions are being raised over his production halfway through the season, and with Buffalo (4-4) traveling to play Seattle (4-2-1) on Monday night.
He and the rest of the Bills defensive secondary was picked apart by Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had 374 yards passing and a touchdown in New York's 37-31 win on Sept. 15.
Gilmore also appeared to struggle in a 30-19 win at Los Angeles, when Tavon Austin beat him for a 31-yard gain up the left sideline.
And then there was last weekend, when Tom Brady had 315 yards passing and four touchdowns.
Overall, Gilmore has been credited with seven passes defensed and is tied for the team lead with two interceptions.
Football Outsiders has Gilmore rated 158th among NFL cornerbacks in having allowed 12.5 yards per reception. And yet, it's difficult to rate a cornerback's production because it doesn't take into account what his responsibilities were on each play.
Gilmore dismisses his critics.
''I don't really care about what people say on the outside, because when my coach comes in and says it wasn't my fault, then it wasn't my fault,'' he said. ''People on the outside don't mean nothing to me, so whatever.''
As for assessing the first half of the season, Gilmore calls it, ''pretty OK,'' with the only low point coming against the Jets.
Coach Rex Ryan had a different assessment, referring to Gilmore's season as being ''kind of up and down.''
Against New England, Ryan noted Gilmore was flagged twice for defensive holding and also bore some responsibility in allowing Hogan's touchdown.
''Whether it was communication or whatever the breakdown was, it wasn't a great performance on his part,'' Ryan said. ''I'm sure he'd like to have some plays back.''
Gilmore said he's motivated to improve his performance over the final half of the season and continue tuning out his doubters.
''Everybody wants to play from the stands and from the internet who don't know anything about football,'' Gilmore said. ''Do I want to give up no passes? I wish I was Superman, you know.''
NOTES: Ryan said he's leaning toward RB LeSean McCoy playing against Seattle after practicing for a second straight day. McCoy missed last week's game with a left hamstring injury. ... DT Marcell Dareus' status remains uncertain, though he practiced on a limited basis a day after being held out because of a groin injury. ... Ryan said he and several staff members traveled by rented bus to attend Game 7 of the World Series in Cleveland during the Bills day off Wednesday. Unfortunately, the group missed the final out of the Cubs' 8-7 10-inning victory because they left once a rain delay began around midnight.
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