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Bills Today: White up to the challenge when targeted

Posted Oct 19, 2017

Here’s the Bills news of note for Oct. 19th.

1 - White up to the challenge when targeted
All season teams have been relentlessly coming at rookie Tre’Davious White. The Bills first-round pick has stepped up to the plate and is having an impressive first-year campaign.

According to Pro Football Focus, White is one of six cornerbacks who’ve seen at least 20 targets into their coverage this season. He leads that group by allowing a reception just once per every 12.9 coverage snaps.

White has started all five games in Buffalo. He has tallied 22 tackles, 11 passes defended, one interception, and a fumble recovery that he took 52 yards for a touchdown. White’s tied for the most passes defended in the NFL.

If the season were to end today the 22-year-old would be at the top of the list for Defensive Rookie of the Year. The only rookie ranked higher than him is Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt. Here’s an excerpt of PFF’s analysis.

White maintains his second-place position on this list as the Bills come out of their Week Six bye. White has been exceptional so far this season at getting his hands on the ball to disrupt passes, his eight pass breakups rank second among cornerbacks and his 27.3 percent playmaker index leads the NFL.

White was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the month in September. He could very well retain that title in October if his strong play continues.

2 - McDermott encouraged by depth at offensive tackle
On Monday the Bills added offensive tackle, Seantrel Henderson, to their active roster. With Henderson rejoining the team after serving his 10-game suspension Buffalo now has five offensive tackles on their 53-man roster.

Head coach, Sean McDermott, doesn’t believe the team has too many tackles.

“To me that’s a good problem to have,” he said. “That’s a position of value across the league. Those guys are hard to find.”

The Bills tackles include: Dion Dawkins, Cordy Glenn, Seantrel Henderson, Conor McDermott, and Jordan Mills. At left tackle, the position that protects Tyrod Taylor’s blind side, there has been some inconsistency. Dawkins has started three games and Glenn has started just two as he has been dealing with an ankle injury. Mills has been stapled in as the starter on the right side through five games.

It will be interesting to see how coach McDermott will work in Henderson to the lineup if at all. In Wednesday’s media day he expressed his confidence in the quintet of tackles.

“I know those guys can play,” he said. “All five of those guys we have a tremendous amount of confidence in.”

It’s also possible that the depth at offensive tackle could afford the team an opportunity to strengthen their roster at another position via trade.

3 - Bottom of roster turnover part of philosophy
The Buffalo Bills, along with other NFL teams, frequently make transactions to bolster the bottom of their roster. One of the Bills latest examples was wide receiver Deonte Thompson. These moves are all a part of Sean McDermott’s and Brandon Beane’s efforts to upgrade the roster whenever possible.

“I think it’s really us evolving as a team. When you stop doing that, boy you better be really confident in what you’ve got,” McDermott said. “The good part about us is Brandon and his staff do a phenomenal job of scouring who is out there and who might be able to help us.”

Thompson, who was cut from the Chicago Bears and signed by the Bills on Tuesday, is a speed threat. He can take the top off a defense and can be used as a kick returner. In Thompson’s two seasons with the Bears he recorded over 60 returns for an average of 24 yards per return.

In Wednesday's press conference McDermott mentioned his mindset behind adding players to the bottom of the roster.

“You’re adding competition all the time, adding to your roster all the time trying to improve your overall football team,” he said. “I think that’s healthy just with the approach. Our philosophy is to do that.”

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