Mike Rodak, ESPN Staff Writer 365d

Bills head coach: Sammy Watkins' success 'hard to watch' for fans

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Sammy Watkins' performance in the Los Angeles Rams' win Thursday night -- six catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns -- was a painful reminder of Watkins' abilities for Buffalo Bills fans still upset about the former No. 4 overall pick, who was traded in August.

Pausing as he took the podium Friday to watch a television showing highlights of the Rams' win, coach Sean McDermott later said he watched a part of the game and understands fans' frustrations about losing the Bills' former top receiver.

"Believe me, I get it," he said. "That’s hard to watch from a fan’s perspective, and at times from a coach’s perspective."

Combined, Watkins and Rams teammate Robert Woods -- who played four seasons (2013-16) with the Bills before departing as a free agent in March -- caught 12 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns in a 41-39 Los Angeles victory over San Francisco.

That is more than what the Bills' entire receiving corps has produced through two games. Buffalo's receivers have combined for 11 catches, 149 yards and one touchdown, which were the second-fewest receptions and third-fewest receiving yards of any team's group of receivers through Week 2.

Even so, McDermott on Friday backed his current group of pass-catchers.

"I’m extremely confident in the guys we have," he said. "You do things for a reason. I like Jordan Matthews, I like Zay Jones, Andre Holmes, Kaelin Clay and Brandon Tate. These are guys [who] are making plays, that are going to continue to make plays, continue to grow, and I’m confident in those guys."

Matthews, whom the Bills acquired in a trade from the Philadelphia Eagles the same day they dealt Watkins, said Wednesday that fans should withhold judgment on Buffalo's receivers, noting, "I don't think there's been any big, like, receiving games through the first two weeks of the season."

Watkins' big night to begin Week 3 certainly cuts against Matthews' argument.

"I’m happy for him; I’m really happy for him," McDermott said of Watkins. "You develop relationships with guys, and I’m happy for him. That said, I’m focused on our team, but I’m happy for Sammy and the other guys [who] went on to have big nights [on Thursday]."

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