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Bills Today: Milano makes the most of his first NFL start

Posted Oct 13, 2017

Here’s the Bills news of note for Oct. 13th.


1 - Milano makes most of his first NFL start
When Ramon Humber went down with an injury, the next man up was Matt Milano. The fifth-round pick had big shoes to fill in his first NFL start against the Cincinnati Bengals. Humber led the team in tackles prior to injuring his thumb in Week Four.

First-year head coach, Sean McDermott, has shown serious confidence in Milano. That stems off of McDermott drafting Milano to fit his defensive scheme. He was happy with what he saw from his rookie linebacker.

“I thought he did a good job,” McDermott said. “The first thing we look at is really the look in his eye and we talked about that. I’ve talked about that with coach [Bob] Babich, our linebackers coach, and he said he had the right look in his eye on the boundary and I thought he handled himself well. It wasn’t too big for him and now, knowing Matt, he’ll continue to improve. He puts a lot of time into his job and again, another young guy that was out there on the field and did a good job at times for us.”

Milano ended up playing in 62 percent of the Bills defensive snaps in the 20-16 loss to the Bengals. He contributed to a stout effort in the team’s run defense. Buffalo held Cincinnati to just 2.4 yards-per-carry.

Milano was given the second-highest grade on the team in the Week Five game, according to Pro Football Focus. The top-five included: Jerry Hughes (90.7), Milano (86.5), Micah Hyde (85.9), Jordan Poyer (82.1), and Lorenzo Alexander (81.2).

“Linebacker Matt Milano first saw playing time with the defense in Week Four, and followed that up with his first NFL start last week,” PFF said. “In that time, he’s had four run stops on 25 run snaps, giving him a 16.0 percent run-stop percentage. That is the fifth-best rate for all linebackers over the last two weeks.”

 2 - Buffalo has boosted Hauschka’s numbers
Buffalo Bills kicker, Stephen Hauschka, has put up some huge numbers in his first season with the team. He comes over from Seattle, where he spent six seasons with the Seahawks. Since making the trip east, Hauschka has been dynamite from deep.

The 10-year veteran has made his last 11 field goal attempts from 50-plus yards. From Weeks Three and Four, he became the first kicker in NFL history with consecutive games with multiple 53-plus yard field goals. Hauschka is a perfect four-for-four from beyond 50 yards this season.

Last season with the Seahawks he only hit one field goal from 50-plus yards. He surpassed that in one game with the Bills.

Hauschka has played a significant part in Buffalo’s 3-2 record. In Week’s Three and Four he was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Also in Week Four he became the most recent kicker to make two 55-plus yard field goals in a game.

The Bills will continue to lean on the leg of Hauschka when they return home on Oct. 22, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

3 - Bills center applauds his quarterback
Buffalo’s long time center, Eric Wood, has snapped the ball to many different quarterbacks. None of them have been quite like Tyrod Taylor. The tandem is entering their third year together, and it’s safe to say Taylor keeps Wood entertained.

“He’s like the smoothest dude ever… he is super athletic,” Wood said on ‘The Nickel Package’ with Mike Golic Jr.

Taylor’s ability to be a dual threat quarterback is no secret. Wood feels his quarterback doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.

“We’re a small market team up here in Buffalo. In a larger market I think Tyrod’s probably close to a star in this league,” he said. “He doesn’t turn the ball over, makes plays with his legs, and with his arm in the air.”

Taylor has led the Bills to a 3-2 record with the team on their bye week. It’s good enough for first place in the AFC East. Wood’s pleased with what his signal caller has achieved.

“He’s a great dude, super consistent guy. What you’re looking for in a quarterback. He’s that with a lot of turnover around him at the skill positions,” he said. “I give a lot of credit to him and I think he’s done a great job up here.”

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