Each offseason, each NFL team focuses on at least one area in need of an upgrade. So what aspect of the Buffalo Bills is looking better these days?
Training camp begins later this month for all 32 NFL teams. So that means another preview series from End Zone Score. Dating back to early March, we have taken time to look at each club’s best offseason addition. We even dabbled into some pertinent and historical numbers and previewed an up-and-coming player for each franchise.
Contrary to popular opinions, no team in the league is perfect. That’s why there’s a constant search for talent when it comes to this game. Each club has done its best to bolster its roster. So in this instance, we are going to take a glance at each franchise and pinpoint the department in which it made the most strides this offseason. We’re going division by division this time around. We are starting with the AFC East and have already looked at the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. Next up are the Buffalo Bills.
First and foremost, the hiring of Sean McDermott as the newest head coach of the Buffalo Bills means a return to the 4-3 defense in Orchard Park. And with much of the personnel this team has at its disposal up front, it’s a perfect match. McDermott spent the last few years as the defensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers. You will also recall the success the Bills’ defense had in 2014 with Jim Schwartz at the helm of the unit.
With end Jerry Hughes and defensive tackles Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus still around, the front four remains a strength. Now add second-year defensive end Shaq Lawson to the mix and you could see the Bills challenge for the league’s sack lead once again.
With cornerback Stephon Gilmore moving onto the New England Patriots, the team drafted Tre’Davious White to fill the void. He’ll team with two-year pro Ronald Darby, while there’s a new safety combination in Micah Hyde (Green Bay Packers) and Jordan Poyer (Cleveland Browns).
But the real coup for McDermott’s squad this season will be having a healthy Reggie Ragland at middle linebacker. The former University of Alabama star missed his rookie campaign with a knee injury. He joins outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, who led the club with 12.5 sacks in ’16.
The Buffalo Bills have a lot of defensive sins to make up for from a year ago. Only three teams in the NFL allowed more rushing yards per game and this unit allowed 40 offensive touchdowns. The team upped its sack total from 21 in 2015 to 39 this past year. But they managed only nine quarterback traps came in the final seven games. But don’t be surprised to see a lot of this change for the better this season.