It was a wide-ranging, star-studded week of interviews and NFL discussion on ‘One Bills Live’ this week. The radio show hosted by Steve Tasker and John Murphy featured plenty of quarterback talk and some forecasts for the Bills 2019 prospects.
Here are some key observations from One Bills Live guests former Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams, Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly and ESPN NFL analyst Field Yates as the Bills’ finished their final week OTA practices and head into mandatory minicamp starting on Tuesday. Plus we hear from former first round quarterback E.J. Manuel about his transition from the playing field to the college football analyst role.
1. KYLE SEES DEFENSIVE LEADERSHIP EMERGING
Kyle Williams was back at One Bills Drive this week for a look at practice, and a visit to One Bills Live.
And after 13 seasons with the Bills, Williams knows the team has to replace him as a producing player, and as a leader. Williams has a teammate from last year in mind, as a potential leader on the defensive side of the ball.
“As far as emerging, someone who hasn’t been around, it would definitely be Tremaine (Edmunds). Because of the position he plays—he’s the quarterback of the defense. You tried to watch him grow and tried to bring him along last year as the season progressed. Now, he’s going to continue to get better,” Williams said.
And Williams says Edmunds, in his second year, will be more comfortable with what he sees on the field.
“The game’s going to get easier for him,” he says. “He’s going to see more. He’s going to see more things on the field. He’s going to know what’s happening. He’s going to break down situations and personnel groups. And it’s really, really going to be important for him to take that next step—not just as a player, but as the voice of the defense—the quarterback of the defense, so to speak.”
2. ESPN’S FIELD YATES – “BILLS ARE NFL’S MOST IMPROVED TEAM”
As the NFL offseason moves along, towards the five-week break between minicamp and training camp, there’s no shortage of opinion on which team has had a productive offseason.
ESPN Analyst Field Yates told One Bills Live the Bills get his vote for the most improved team in the league.
“In the NFL, it’s always important to have a plan,” Yates told the show. “And while we can generally speak about every team’s intentions, or their plan, not every team sticks to their plan or follows through with it. I think the Bills have done a unique job of identifying a plan and really following through with it. “
“The plan is pretty evident,” he said. “They want to draft and develop the nucleus of their roster. When the opportunity presents itself in free agency, they’re going to be aggressive in filling spots that are primary needs.”
Yates says almost regardless of how many games Buffalo wins this year, his assessment is they’re on the upswing.
“I don’t know if the Bills are going to win 10 games this season. I don’t know if they’re going to push the Patriots this year. But I’m not sure that’s the big question that needs to be answered by GM Brandon Beane or Head Coach Sean McDermott. Of course, it’s what they want. Of course, it’s what fans want. But I feel like they’ve clearly made progress this year and they look like a far more competitive team than were they were at this time last year.”
Click through to see the best photos from the third week of Buffalo Bills 2019 OTAs.
3. JIM KELLY ON JOSH ALLEN: “I LOVE WHAT I SEE”
Another trained eye has good things to say about Bills quarterback Josh Allen as he goes into his second year. Hall of Famer Jim Kelly says Allen’s athleticism and competitiveness are big pluses. But he has to exercise judgment as well, Kelly says.
“I’m excited in what I see. I love what I see from him, the athletic ability he has. I just hope he doesn’t get too confident in that ability he has to make the big play all the time. You have to know when you have to get down, when you have to go out of bounds. Is taking extra yards worth it right now? But I love what I see, especially with his arm.”
4. E.J. MANUEL MOVES INTO THE NEXT PHASE OF HIS CAREER
Another former Bills quarterback was a guest on the show this past week—2013 first round draft pick E.J. Manuel. On Wednesday, the new ACC Network announced that Manuel, a college standout at Florida State, will join the network as an in-studio analyst.
Manuel told One Bills Live he can’t wait to get to work on TV.
“I’m excited about it. Just like anything else, it’s going to be a grind and you have to work hard at it.”
Manuel’s work ethic was never in doubt in his five years in the NFL, four with the Bills and 2017 with the Raiders. He signed with Kansas City this past offseason and was looking at competing for a roster spot to back-up Pat Mahomes.