1 -A Buffalo Bill who made the ultimate sacrifice Today, the country comes together to honor those who have passed away while making the ultimate sacrifice of serving their country. SBNation reminds usthat former Bills offensive lineman and Wall of Fame member Bob Kalsu is someone we can honor today.
In one of the stories that can be found on SBNation, remembering Kalsu, his cousin spoke to how incredible a man Kalsu was.
"One thing I always do is make a copy of that article and share it with our fifth-grade boys and girls, and I tell them it's not about being a great football player, which he was - he wasn't drafted in the first round, but he was a great football player - but he was a good character man," [Bryan] Kalsu told me last week. "He was a good Christian man. He believed in hard work and working together as a team, and not putting himself first. That's what's great about him and his legacy. He was just a good character, value man that put others first and him second. I'm just very proud to have that name of Kalsu because of what he stood for."
Kalsu took that "work first, play second" mantra with him into adulthood, and gave up a promising career in the NFL for a spot on the ground in Vietnam. Named the Bills' rookie of the year in 1968, Kalsu was the heir apparent to future Hall of Fame guard Billy Shaw. That career was cut short by shrapnel at Fire Support Base Ripchord.
In 2000, the Bills inducted Kalsu onto the Bills Wall of Fame. In 2013, Kalsu's son, Robert Kalsu Jr. accepted a jacket on his father's behalf when the Bills honored all of their Wall of Fame members.
2 - Bills sophomore poised for breakout seasonMany would consider it a steal that the Bills grabbed Tre'Davious White at the end of the first round in the 2017 draft. The same could soon be said for Bills tackle, Dion Dawkins. After being drafted with the second-last pick in the second round, Dawkins joined the Bills as the back up to Cordy Glenn. From there, he became a huge piece for the team according to Pro Football Focus.
After a shaky start to the season, Dawkins turned the corner when awarded the luxury of continuity as the go-to starter at left tackle from Week 10 through the team's playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the span of nine games, Dawkins allowed 22 total pressures (20 hurries, two quarterback hits) across 331 pass-blocking snaps, which was good for the second-highest pass-blocking efficiency (95.0) among rookie offensive tackles with at least 130 pass-blocking snaps in that timeframe. He also finished the season with the 20th-ranked run-block grade among all qualifying offensive tackles in 2017.
Now that Dawkins as a clear path to the starting job, look for him become a nuisance for the best NFL defenses. No matter who ends up in the pocket behind him, Dawkins has what it takes to become a future star for the Bills.
*Dawkins still needs to develop his skill set this offseason to emerge as a top-10 tackle in this league, but if his rookie season was any indication, such status is within reach for the former Temple standout.
Check out photos of the Bills wide receivers.
3 - Streater back in the foldLast summer WR Rod Streater made a very strong case to be one of the team's top four receivers. He was putting together a monster training camp and a productive preseason, until a dislocated toe suffered against Philadelphia cost him the 2017 season.
He tried to return midway through the 2017 campaign, but things didn't work out, until the Bills called him to sign him as a reserve future free agent in January.
With a full offseason to ramp up for 2018, Streater put in extra work at nearby St. Francis high school with QB Nathan Peterman on their own before the offseason conditioning program even began in mid-April.
"Nate contacted me right before we reported for offseason workouts to do some things on our own and get the connection and get things going," Streater said.
With a wide receiver depth chart that is wide open behind Kelvin Benjamin, Streater is determined to redeem himself after the injury setback last summer.
"It's exciting. It gives you motivation to get out there and try to make this team," he said. "Every day we have to go out and prove ourselves regardless. You can wish and hope for whatever, but every day you've got to go out there and be consistent. It just comes down to making plays, when the plays come your way. Show the coaches you're accountable and you can be that guy for them."
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