From the third week of training camp through Buffalo’s first preseason game, ‘One Bills Live’ has been there to document the Buffalo Bills journey.
‘One Bills Live’ with John Murphy and Steve Tasker airs weekdays from 12 noon to 3 pm on WGR 550 and MSG.
Here are five things you may have missed on the show this week:
1. BILLS DEFENSE DEVELOPING AN EDGE
In my training camp observations, the Bills defense looks dramatically improved from a year ago. And it’s not just due to the additions of standouts like defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, defensive end Trent Murphy, and rookie linebacker Tremaine Edmunds.
Veteran safety Micah Hyde told ‘One Bills Live’ the Bills defenders have a different attitude this season.
“I think everybody on this defense is motivated,” Hyde said. “Coach talks about all the time with guys having a chip on your shoulder. Guys on this defense and on this team have been overlooked. And the guys that we brought in kind of have that same message. So, like I said I’m excited for what those guys are going to do up front, I’m excited for us in the back end, and I’m excited for this team in general.”
2. HOW THE BILLS STACK UP IN THE AFC EAST
NFL Network reporter Kim Jones joined the show this week, and we put her to work handicapping the 2018 AFC East. She’s got the Bills a solid number two in the division.
“My guess would be having not seen the Dolphins that it’s between the Bills and Jets and ultimately it might depend on which defense plays better,” said Jones.
“I love your secondary. And oh, by the way, I’m in love with Tremaine Edmunds who I interviewed [Monday]. Lorenzo Alexander helping him – you love that dynamic right?! A giving veteran there who is willing to help a rookie. And a play-caller at age 20 in the league.”
3. HALL OF FAME PRAISE FOR BILLS ROOKIE LINEBACKER TREMAINE EDMUNDS
Just four days after his enshrinement to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher joined the show to talk about his career, and the start of Tremaine Edmunds’ NFL career. Urlacher was presented for induction by his former linebacker coach at the Bears, Bob Babich, now the Bills linebacker coach. And Urlacher has heard a lot about Edmunds, and seen quite a bit also, that he finds impressive.
“I like him,” Urlacher told us. “He's got a lot of talent and I’ve talked about him with coach Babich. He says his football IQ is way up there. Athletically, there's nothing he can't do. He’s 6’5, 235, runs as fast as he needs to and can jump.”
“But the thing you learn about the young guys, it's just a mental part of the game,” Urlacher continued. “From what I hear from Bob, he says this kid’s smart and he gets it. Not making a lot of mental errors in training camp which is great. He’s just a good kid overall. I was very happy to hear that. Bob just raves about the kid.”
4. URLACHER HAS PRAISE FOR BABICH ALSO
Linebackers coach Bob Babich is in his 16th year coaching in the NFL. Nine of those years were spent with the Bears, coaching Urlacher. That’s why the Hall of Famer chose Babich to present him for induction. Urlacher told the show Babich was much more than a coach to him.
“I loved playing for that dude,” Urlacher said. “He's more like my brother. He used to piss me off every day at practice. He used to get under my skin like nobody else. We were so competitive. He wanted to be better and he wanted to make me better. He challenged me every single day whether it was meetings, walk-throughs, or practice. I had to be on my toes all the time with coach because he was always challenging and that's why I appreciated it. He didn't let me get stagnant, he was always challenging me to get better.”
5. MENTORING COREY COLEMAN
The Bills started the week with a trade – acquiring former first round draft pick Corey Coleman from the Browns for a seventh round pick in 2020. Coleman is talented but has never lived up to the expectations the Browns had for him.
Coleman, a native of the Dallas area, had the benefit of a strong mentor during his formative years. Fourteen-year NFL veteran Ray Crockett, a two-time Super Bowl Champion in Denver, took Coleman under his wing years ago.
Crockett has kept in touch with Coleman over the years, and he told ‘One Bills Live’ the Cleveland set-up didn’t work for his guy.
“I knew Cleveland was going to be a difficult fit for him because of where they were,” he says. “I knew they weren't going to be good first and foremost and Corey is a guy who wants to win. He is a guy who wants to play with winners, and guys who are accustomed to winning. I knew it was going to difficult with that alone. But then once he broke his hand, then it really became tough because he’s not an injury guy.”
Crockett says the Bills will get the best from Coleman in the weeks and months ahead.