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Bills Today: Buffalo's nominee for NFL's Salute to Service Award

Posted Nov 11, 2017

Bills D-line coach Mike Waufle, a former Marine, is Buffalo's nominee for the NFL's Salute to Service Award.


1 - Buffalo’s nominee for the NFL’s National Salute to Service Award
Former United States Marine and current Bills defensive line coach, Mike Waufle, is the team’s 2017 nominee for the Salute to Service Award.

The award was created to acknowledge the exceptional efforts by members of the NFL community to honor U.S. service members, veterans, and their members. All 32 NFL teams had the opportunity to select one nominee. In addition to coach Waufle, some of the notable nominees include: Joe Thomas (Cleveland Browns), Ron Rivera (Carolina Panthers), and Tyler Eifert (Cincinnati Bengals).

Waufle served in the United States Marine Corps from 1972-1975. His four years in the corps taught him valuable life lessons. He applies what he learned in the service when coaching his defensive linemen.

“The biggest thing I try to teach our players is the Marine Corps Leadership Principles,” Waufle said. “The three biggest lessons are to be a man, to take care of your men, and to know your stuff. It’s pretty simple.”

Waufle’s in his first season coaching the Bills, though it marks his 20th year in the NFL. He’s had success with numerous organizations over the years. None as notable as 2007, when he was with the New York Giants. His defensive line sacked Tom Brady five times to help the Giants be crowned Super Bowl 42 champions.

Waufle’s Super Bowl ring is the greatest achievement for an NFL coach. In 2009, he received what he called the greatest Marine Corps honor. Waufle received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. General James T. Conway. He has found a close connection between being a Marine and an NFL player.

“Being a man is about discipline,” he said. “Discipline in the United States Marine Corps is the difference between life and death, discipline in the National Football League is the difference between victory and defeat.”

Over the course of his NFL career, Waufle and his wife Kathy have given back to the military community and organizations that support veterans. The Waufle family are avid supporters of the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund, Wounded Warriors, Disabled Veterans funds, and many more organizations.

On this Veterans Day, the Buffalo Bills are proud to have coach Mike Waufle as the team’s nominee for the Salute to Service Award.

2 - Top rookie cornerbacks set to square off Sunday
Two first-round picks from the 2017 NFL Draft will take the field on Sunday at New Era Field. Both picks were highly coveted cornerbacks and are battling for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

For the New Orleans Saints, they selected Marshon Lattimore with the 11th overall pick. He’s been locking down elite receivers throughout the first half of the season. Lattimore has tallied 31 tackles, eight passes defended, two interceptions, and a forced fumble through eight games.

Bills quarterback, Tyrod Taylor, showed some respect for the rookie during Wednesday’s press conference.

“[A] confident guy; doesn’t mind pressing, which is rare sometimes in rookies. Those guys on that side of the ball, the younger guys, are definitely playing well,” he said. “It’s more so about confidence, and they’ve made some plays, him in particular. [We] have to have the right plan going against him, and going out there, executing and challenging them.”

Lattimore was the first cornerback taken off the board in this year’s draft. A total of four corners were selected before Buffalo’s pick at 27. The Bills took Tre’Davious White and acquired a 2018 first-round pick in the process. White has accounted for 31 tackles, 12 passes defended, one forced fumble, and one interception in the first half of his rookie campaign.

Saints head coach, Sean Payton, mentioned White’s a player they had on their draft radar.

“He has good instincts and has had a good start to his season. The defense there is doing a very good job, he’ll play press, very quickly he’s acclimated himself to this league and fit it in with Sean [McDermott’s] scheme,” he said. “Tre’Davious is someone we liked a lot in the draft and I think they drafted a real good player. He is very comfortable up in press coverage and I think he understands exactly what they are doing scheme wise.”

Whichever rookie can help their team’s fortunes the most down the stretch will be an odds on favorite to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year honor. 

3 - Saints passing attack could mean more time for Milano
Rookie linebacker, Matt Milano, was a stud when filling in for Roman Humber during his injury. Milano’s snap count decreased in Week Nine due to Humber’s return. A prolific New Orleans Saints passing attack however, could result in more playing time for Milano in Week 10.

Drew Brees and the Saints passing game tries to exploit the underneath zones with speed. Bills linebacker, Lorenzo Alexander, doesn’t excel in that category at the age of 34. This could result in Milano spending time in pass coverage on Sunday to keep the linebackers fresh.

Head coach, Sean McDermott, mentioned on Friday that he’s confident in that whole group.

“Right, we’re comfortable and confident with Matt, and as well as Ramon, and Lorenzo [Alexander],” he said. “We’re going to put the best players out there that we think are going to give us a chance at being successful.

Milano only had 10 snaps in some subpackages against the New York Jets. Though, he did play 72-percent of the snaps on special teams. A phase of the game that McDermott doesn’t take lightly.

It’s possible we’ll see Milano on defense in spots on Sunday. Regardless, his coach is confident wherever he lines him up.

“Certainly, like I said, [I] have a lot of confidence in Matt,” McDermott said. “What he’s done to this point both special teams and defense, has been impressive.”

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