Bills linebacker Terrel Bernard is in just his second year in the NFL but his maturity and dedication has already landed him a starting spot at the middle linebacker position.
Bernard joined Bills multimedia journalist Maddy Glab in the first episode of Inside the Charge, a brand-new Bills podcast and video series.
Inside the Charge takes you beyond the gridiron and behind-the-scenes with Bills players, influencers, national analysts, and more as we focus on the fun — from pop culture and fashion, to personal stories, you'll get to know the Bills and members of Bills Mafia like never before.
Bernard, a former third-round pick, has already had been a standout contributor on the defense six games in with two sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. His 57 tackles lead the Bills defense going into Week 7.
Being just 24 years old and calling a defense in the pros is no small task, and Bernard has benefited from spending hours in the film room and speaking with older players who have helped him adjust to life in the league.
Here are three takeaways from Maddy's conversation with the Bills linebacker.
1. Veteran leadership has paid dividends
Starting the first five games of the season next to 2022 All-Pro linebacker Matt Milano, Bernard had the chance to learn alongside one of the best linebackers in the game last season as a backup.
"It started last year with Matt. I was backing him up and learning the position and learning the defense as a whole," Bernard said on "Inside the Charge."
Led by coach Bobby Babich, the linebacker room has grown close over the course of the season. Tyrel Dodson competed with Bernard for the starting spot opposite Milano during training camp, and the two were able to bond throughout. Dodson, who is in his fourth season in Buffalo, has helped Bernard prepare for his starting role.
"Tyrel has been great helping me out, he's been here for a long time and really knows the system well," Bernard said. "And then obviously Bobby has been incredible. He's super detailed and does a really good job of breaking it down to where we can understand it."
2. Routine is everything
The average week in the life of a starting linebacker is jam-packed with meetings, lifts, film sessions, practices and, of course, games. In order to prepare for each week, Bernard meets with assistant strength and conditioning/performance development coach Will Greenberg to attack each week as efficiently as possible.
"I work with Will Greenberg a lot and he's helped me shape how I want to level my days and how I want to fix my mindset and really focus on how I want to get better every single day," Bernard said.
With no practice on Monday and Tuesday, Bernard maximizes any free time, spending it meeting with his coaches and teammates and watching film of the opposing offenses in preparation for the upcoming game.
Friday, which typically ends earlier than Wednesday and Thursday's practices, provides Bernard with another opportunity to grind film and mentally prepare for Sunday's defensive game plan.
Scroll to see photos from the Buffalo Bills Week 7 Practice as the team prepares to take on the New England Patriots.
3. Home away from home
As a proud Texan, Terrel Bernard has bonded with other players on the team who are from the Lone Star State, such as Ed Oliver and Von Miller.
"I'm a Texan through and through. I love Texas," Bernard said. "Just the people, the food, the culture, everything about it, I love it. Von and Ed, some of the other guys from Texas, we have a special bond. I know Von was making fun of me because I went to Baylor, but all of our guys from Texas, we have a special bond."
Bernard said he was initially surprised at how much Buffalo reminded him of home because of the friendly culture and respect people have for one another.
Growing up and going to college in Texas, it was a tough transition to leave his home state, but the people of Buffalo made Bernard feel at home from the beginning.
"Getting drafted, I didn't know really where I was going or what was going to happen," Bernard said. "I ended up coming to Buffalo, which, like I said, has been amazing. I couldn't be more thankful for the people and just how everybody treats me and how everybody's been since I've been here. It's been a blessing."
Check out the rest of Maddy's conversation with Bills starting linebacker Terrel Bernard in the first episode of "Inside the Charge".