1. Difference in the Bills from 2017 to 2020
Bills safety Micah Hyde is a wise veteran, who knows how championship-caliber teams are built and run. He sees that the Bills are creating something special here in Buffalo and is ready to put in the work. Hyde said that tasting championships and ultimately winning championships is the number one goal.
"We had some down years around here, mostly in 2018," Hyde explained. "I think last year we moved in the right direction but looking around this locker room now, Tre'Davious and I counted how many guys were here with us in 2017. If you count the drafted guys and the guys that signed that year, it's like seven or eight guys that are still in the building."
"We had to go through the process together," Hyde said "looking around and seeing the fresh faces, and fresh bodies, knowing that we have a shot. We have a shot," obviously it's going to be a lot of hard work you got to do to get there. I'm not saying that it's going to come easy, there's going to be some adversity during the season, not to mention everyone going through this pandemic stuff right now. I know that the guys in the locker room, I'm not trying to go out there for anybody else. We're going to go out there and fight and it starts with #17 on offense, he's always willing to compete no matter what it is. Then defensively, we got some dogs over there."
2. New-look defensive line has a chance to be special
The Bills defense is coming off of a great year led by Sean McDermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. The Bills had the number two defense in the league and totaled 44 sacks and 14 interceptions with first-time All-Pro Tre'Davious White leading the way with six picks. This defense lost some starters along the defensive line in free agency, but also added some new names that have a familiarity with McDermott's system. As the 2020 season is inching closer and closer there is always room for improvement in every level of this defense. Coach McDermott is looking for his guys to step up and take advantage of every opportunity they get on the field.
"It's a mentality more than anything," McDermott explained. "you get what you coach, and you get what you emphasize we say as coaches. So, it's a mentality that coach [Eric] Washington has put into place here and a mindset that with our guys we have to stop the run, but also, we have to be able to affect the quarterback. It's not always about sacks but affecting the quarterback and we had opportunities last year where we were in that position, but we didn't finish. Those can be difference-making type plays, so we have to continue to find six inches on every play and that starts up front and it's the ability to affect that quarterback."
One of the free agent acquisitions that the Bills brought in was former Carolina Panther, Mario Addison. The defensive end was very excited to come and compete with this talented group of linemen. Addison spoke very positively about the depth and the talent of this Bills defensive line.
"One thing about this defensive line is that we have depth," Addison said. "The ones are good, the twos are good, the threes are good. The coaches are doing a great job mixing everybody up with each other, the ones with the twos, two with the threes, threes with the ones. We won't have to rely on four pass rushers, everybody is a pass rusher on this D-line. So, I'm already feeling at home already with the guys that I've been working with, and I'm happy to roll with everybody so far, and everybody's rolling."
3. Who starts at cornerback opposite Tre'Davious White?
Pro Football Focus released its 2020 starting lineup predictions for every team, and for the Bills, 17 out of 22 starters are returning from last year. This is just one of the reasons why PFF picked the Bills to win the division. One of the biggest question marks that the team has to answer in training camp is who will start at cornerback opposite of TreDavious White? PFF predicted in their projected starting lineup that Josh Norman would win the job. After sustaining a hamstring injury in practice last week, it is still undetermined how long he will be sidelined. PFF touched on why they penciled Norman in for the starting spot, but also why that spot is up in the air.
Starting spot up in the air: CB Josh Norman
Norman may be penciled in as the starter at the moment, but Levi Wallace isn't going quietly into the night. According to Joe Buscaglia and Matthew Fairburn of The Athletic, "Wallace returned from injury on Tuesday and immediately showed off his competitiveness, instincts and new physique." The piece notes that the competition with Norman is far from over — and for good reason. Wallace has played well in his first two NFL seasons as an undrafted free agent out of Alabama. His 78.0 PFF coverage grade over those two seasons ranks tied for 17th among the 102 cornerbacks with 500 or more coverage snaps since 2018. ...