Here's the Bills news of note for July 30th.
1 – Alexander to fill multiple roles
In a recent press conference head coach Sean McDermott was very complimentary of the play of veteran Lorenzo Alexander. The 34-year-old linebacker served in a multitude of roles for the Bills last year. Going into his eleventh season, McDermott stated the Bills will look to use Alexander as efficiently as possible. Here's what he had to say.
"We're going to use him, and put him, like the rest of the players, in positions of strength and one of those is attacking the quarterback coming off the football," said McDermott. "Once he gets comfortable with the system, the foundation of it, we'll get a little bit more creative from there. But he is a big part of what we do, from a leadership standpoint, one of the big leaders of the football team."
McDermott stated that Alexander exemplifies the unselfish culture he is trying to build in Buffalo. Alexander, despite being a productive player on defense, still plays tough snaps on special teams. McDermott stated that Alexander always puts the team first.
Alexander surprised many last year, as he proved he was more valuable than simply being a special teams ace. He led the Bills in sacks last season with 12.5 and his play earned him a Pro Bowl nod.
With the 34-year-old starting on both defense and special teams, the Bills will have to manage his snaps effectively so as not to over work him over the course of the season.
**2 - White quickly establishing himself
ESPN.com had some high praise for Tre'Davious White. They opine that he has shown that he has the talent to be the number one corner for the Bills this season. The rookie first-round pick excelled in spring practices and looks to have continued that into training camp. Here’s what ESPN.com had to say about White.
This year's first-round pick stood out to nearly everyone who watched practices this spring… He looks to have vaulted to the top of the depth chart at cornerback, and his progress this offseason seems to have the Bills very encouraged about his future potential
White certainly has performed well and looks to have a handle on one of the outside corner spots in the starting lineup. But Ronald Darby is a pretty solid corner himself.
Head coach Sean McDermott isn't handing anything to anybody, but likes White's work ethic a lot.
"Credit to Tre ['Davious White] and the way he's wired," said McDermott. "He does a phenomenal job and a lot of that happens off the field in his preparation and the work ethic and how important this game is to him."
It takes little observation to see the work ethic of White. He was the last Bill off the field after the second practice of training camp, as he participated in extra drills. With an undying drive to better his play, White could push to be the best cornerback on the roster by season's end.
3 - Battle at right tackle called the best at Bills Camp
Elliot Rooney, of ProFootball Focus, stated that the battle between rookie Dion Dawkins and Jordan Mills is the best battle at training camp. Having split snaps so far at camp, the battle seems to be even and far from a resolution. Here’s what Elliot had to say about the battle.
Right tackle appears to be the biggest position battle for the Buffalo Bills ahead of training camp. The current projected starter is Jordan Mills who started all 16 games there last season, but…His spot is under jeopardy after the Bills selected Temple T Dion Dawkins with the 63rd overall pick in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft.
The selection of Dawkins in the second round signified to many that the Bills were looking to improve the play at right tackle. Although Mills experienced early success in his career, he has struggled to string good performances together in Buffalo week after week.
Dawkins enters the NFL with a very high ceiling. He was ranked the 19th best tackle in the country during his senior year at Temple. He also had the third highest pass blocking efficiency of the 2017 draft class. This means he gave up very few quarterback pressures and sacks. According to Elliot, on 443 pass blocking snaps, Dawkins only surrendered two sacks and nine quarterback pressures.
Although Mills has shown that he can be a competent starter at right tackle, if Dawkins can reach his potential quickly, he could push for the starting spot.