Defensive tackle Ed Oliver and wide receiver John Brown spoke with the media on Monday addressing things like Oliver's dropped charges from an arrest in May, thoughts on new pieces on both sides of the ball and more. Here's what we learned from the two.
1. Lessons learned from arrest
Defensive tackle Ed Oliver was arrested in Montgomery County, Texas on May 16 for an alleged DWI and unlawfully carrying a weapon. Oliver said he blew a 0.00 breathalyzer test when he was pulled over. But the officer still thought Oliver was intoxicated, which led to Oliver's arrest. A tweet posted on July 22 explained the charges had been dropped once the blood results came back negative with no drugs in his system. The weapons charge was cleared because it's legal to carry in Montgomery County if you are not intoxicated or have not been charged with another criminal act. Oliver said it was a long process, which was frustrating at times, but it's one he learned a lot from.
"I just learned that I was a resilient human," Oliver said. "You go through stuff, and I just knew in the back of my mind that it wasn't going to last forever, you just got to go through it. You can get through whatever. Another thing I learned about myself, just because you're having a bad day or whatever, there's always going to be a light at the end of the tunnel. My mom was telling me, 'You live through 100% of your worst days. So your worst day, you have already been through that. There isn't any reason to sit and ponder on that, you've already been through that.'"
The DT was arrested around the time when George Floyd was murdered by Minnesota police officers. Oliver said it was a tough realization knowing he could have been Floyd.
"It was right around the same time that George Floyd and all of that was happening," Oliver explained. "So, it really puts things into perspective like that could have been me if I didn't say, 'Yes sir. No, sir.' And just comply. All it took was for me to move the wrong way or do something the wrong way and that could have been me, so it was a it was tough.
"But after that it still worked out and everything, but it just put it into perspective. You have to slow down, you have to watch your surroundings and stuff like that. Try to keep yourself out of a situation like that because life is real, life comes at you fast. I was on my way to the house, I didn't expect to get arrested. You never know, you could be doing anything and then life could just hits you. You just have to be careful."
Oliver hopes the officer's didn't treat him any differently due to his skin color.
"The law in Montgomery County, I would hope to believe that whatever color you are, you're going to jail," Oliver said. "I believe, I would hope it's that way and it's straight like that across the board—white, black, brown, green, blue. If they feel like you're intoxicated, no refusal law, you have to go to jail."
2. How rookie year will help Oliver this season
Heading into his second season, Oliver wants to take his game one step further come Week 1. The defensive tackle said his success that started mid-season came from experience and learning from others around him. Oliver wants year two to be a continuation of how he finished his rookie campaign.
"I learned a lot from my first year, especially how they block guys like me and stuff," Oliver said. "I really learned a lot towards the end of last year. I'm just expecting to start off where I left off last year. If I can do that, I'll be in great shape. We really have tremendous coaching, so just learning as much as I can right now so I can go apply that to the field."
Totaling five sacks in his rookie year, Oliver said he had to let go of the old ways in which he played to see progress in his production.
"You have a veteran presence like Jordan Phillips come in and kind of show you how to do it, then you imitate it," Oliver explained. "Having somebody older than you to kind of guide you a little bit because I was coming from playing the zero, nose to playing the three-technique. I still had some old, I wouldn't say bad habits, but some habits that were not productive for a three-technique. Just getting those all out of my system and actually starting to play the position the right way."
3. Oliver: With great guys around, everybody rises
The defensive line welcomed plenty of new faces to their room this offseason—Mario Addison, Quinton Jefferson, Vernon Butler, A.J. Epenesa, Bryan Cox Jr. Oliver thinks these new faces can help the group be more productive in 2020.
"Mario's [Addison] a seasoned vet, he's a guy I can learn a lot from," Oliver explained. "Q [Jefferson] is a great pass rusher. I think he was like Top 5 or something for d-tackles versus win percentage or something like that. He's a great pass rusher, and I can definitely learn from him. And Big Butler, he's just a great veteran presence too. I can learn from all of those guys, all of those guys are good players, good pickups."
The young defensive tackle believes these new additions also add to the leadership and veteran presence on the team.
"They're great talents," Oliver said. "I'm honored to play with them, to be honest. With great guys around you, everybody rises. I'm just excited to play to be honest. We have a great veteran presence. Not like we didn't have it, we have Jerry Hughes, we have Mario Addison, we have Butler. We just have a lot of older guys in the room, and we have great coaches, so it should be fun. It is fun already and we haven't even put the pads on."
4. Brown: He's a big piece to the puzzle
After training with Stefon Diggs in Florida and working with Diggs through two weeks of walk-throughs, John Brown thinks the former Viking is exactly what the Bills needed this season.
"Nothing doesn't surprise me about him," Brown said. "I always knew he was a dude that had game. He most definitely can come in and help us. He's a big piece to the puzzle that we've been missing. So with him in there, it's just going to be hard for defenses to figure out what we're going to do."
With the addition of Diggs and how offensive coordinator Brian Daboll runs the offense, Brown thinks there's room for everyone to shine.
"I'm really excited," Brown explained. "I have never been this excited especially with the way coach Daboll has put things together."
5. Why Allen will have better control in 2020
In addition to having confidence in Diggs, Brown is certain his quarterback Josh Allen will have a new type of command of the offense in 2020.
"I definitely now see Josh taking control of the offense," Brown explained. "You can tell that he has grown from the end of the season till now. I'm really excited for Josh, he definitely will be able to control games the way that he should."
Brown also added he thinks Allen's leadership will translate into more success on the field.
6. How the rookie wide receivers are helping the vets
The Bills drafted two wide receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft — Gabriel Davis in the fourth round and Isaiah Hodgins in the sixth round. Brown's first impressions of the rookies are unlike any he has come across in his six years in the NFL.
"Those two rookies, they are the two best that I've seen so far since I've been in the league," Brown explained. "Those guys know the playbook better than any other veterans right now. Gabe Davis, he plays different positions. He knows every spot, every alert, every hot read. He's going to be a big help to the puzzle. With those guys it's amazing because they're even out there to help me."
Usually rookies lean on the veterans during their first season, especially in their first camp. But according to Brown, the give and take between this group seems equal from veteran to rookie.
"They are helping us," Brown added with a smile. "They have this stuff down pat like I've never seen before. They have it down pat. We are asking them all the questions. They know everything, these kids are smart. They came in and the first week they got the playbook they knew the playbook and it amazes me how fast they're moving."