1. Defensive backs continue to force turnovers
In 2017, the Bills' defense ranked ninth in the NFL in total takeaways. Throughout camp, head coach Sean McDermott has continued to stress the importance of takeaways in the NFL. This message seems to have resonated with big-time defensive players such as Tre'Davious White, who forced a fumble in 11-on-11 team drills during Sunday's practice.
"That's what coach McDermott preaches," said White. "He just wants us to go after the ball whenever it is in the air."
Early in camp, the Bills' defense has executed McDermott's vision admirably, as they have continually put pressure on the offensive units. White also says that persistence is a big part of taking the ball away from the offense.
"If someone catches it, he wants us to continue going after the ball," said White. "That's what's most important. You can give up catches and yards, but if you take the ball away, it's a big deal."
With new playmakers added to the fray in 2018, the Bills will likely stay on their current track for takeaways on defense. Tre'Davious White is especially excited about the opportunity to play opposite of Vontae Davis at cornerback.
"Man, I love Vontae," he said. "He's like a blessing in disguise. I have been learning a lot of things from him."
With the focus on taking the ball away from opposing offenses, the Bills' defense appears poised for another outstanding season.
2. Robert Foster places emphasis on special teams contributions
As an undrafted free agent out of Alabama, Robert Foster has some familiarity with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. However, he understands that contributing on special teams may increase his chances at making the final 53-man roster.
"Coach Daboll is great," said Foster of his experience with Daboll at Alabama. "but I try not to dwell on the past too much. I am looking for ways to contribute to this team."
As any NFL hopeful will tell you, versatility matters just as much as anything else. Also, players must be willing to diversify their game and do what is asked of them on the football field. For Foster, this rings true.
"I will play wherever," he said. "I will play receiver, corner, or on special teams."
Early on in camp, Foster has seen time as a gunner with the first-team punt coverage unit. Many scouts and coaches have noted that Foster's speed is his finest asset, and that his athleticism allows him to differentiate himself from other players. Foster believes that special teams is extremely important at the NFL level.
"Special teams are probably the most important thing for me," he said. "I have to prove that I can play in this league."
Foster will certainly have an opportunity to impact the Bills in 2018, and he seems willing to contribute in any way possible.
3. Bleacher Report names Bills' quarterback the "talk of the offseason"
Recently, Bleacher Report assembled a list of one player from each team who has been the "talk of the offseason" for their respective group. Unsurprisingly, the publication chose Josh Allen as the talk of the Bills' offseason. After being selected seventh overall, excitement and hopefulness surrounds the Firebaugh, California native. Here is why Bleacher Report believes that Allen is the talk of the town for Buffalo fans and media alike.
The 6'5", 237-pounder has tremendous natural ability, a cannon attached to his right shoulder, a big body and enough athleticism to create when the pocket collapses.
Allen's natural passing ability will catch the eye of just about anyone, but the Bills are still determining a set plan for how to handle his introduction to the NFL. Here is what Bleacher Report thinks about the Bills quarterback situation.
Whether the Bills can slow-play this process with Allen depends on either of the team's "veteran" options, AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman. Neither has been a full-time starter in the NFL, but both are competing to keep the rookie on the bench.
Allen undoubtedly has a few obstacles to overcome on his way to becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL, but his positive attitude, willingness to listen, and his ability to adapt will be key.