1. Why John Brown is excited for the 2020 season
Bills receiver John Brown has had the opportunity in his career to be a teammate of future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald and be a team's number one target, as he was for Buffalo in 2019. That figures to change with the addition of Stefon Diggs to the team's receiving corps, but that addition and coordinator Brian Daboll's chameleon-like scheme has the veteran receiver pumped for the 2020 campaign.
"I'm real excited. I've never been this excited especially with the way Coach Daboll has put things together," Brown said. "We have so much that can look the same but confuse defenses. Even I get confused sometimes. I'm excited about that because there's enough in there for everybody to eat."
When asked why he believes that everyone in the offense will be able to see their share of opportunities to make plays with the ball, Brown purposely provided a less detailed answer.
"He's been real creative with that," said Brown. "I can't say much. You'll see when the time comes. He's doing a great job. I just feel that when your time comes you better be ready. We have so many weapons that teams will basically have to pick their poison."
And when it comes to Daboll himself, Brown says their offensive play caller is feeling good these days.
"He's real comfortable," he said. "You should see how he walks around that building it's funny. He's got a different swag to him right now."
2. Young talent earns national praise from ESPN
ESPN.com released its rankings of the top NFL teams with the most talent under 25 years of age heading into the 2020 season. As written in the article, These ratings consider not just talent under age 25, but also the value and length of those players' current contracts. This will push up the teams with productive players who have several years left on inexpensive rookie contracts and push down the teams that have already had to, or will soon have to, pay their experienced young talent.
Bills fans will pleased to see what ESPN.com and Football Outsiders think of the team's youthful talent as the team ranks fourth overall (the second-highest ranking of any AFC team). Here's what ESPN.com had to say about the Bills.
Defensive tackle Ed Oliver is the clear blue-chip player of that bunch. His five sacks were twice as many as any other rookie defensive tackle. But right tackle Cody Ford, running back Devin Singletary, and tight end Dawson Knox all contributed in their rookie seasons as well. Singletary even finished top five among backs with 150 or more touches with a 23.3% broken tackle rate. He and bigger third-round rookie Zack Moss have a complementary skill set that should spur one of the league's best rushing attacks in 2020.
Of course, it's dual-threat quarterback Josh Allen who pushes the Bills' rushing offense from good to great. But he'll still have to progress as a passer to elevate the team into perennial playoff contention. His improvement from a -35.9% passing DVOA as a rookie to -11.8% as a sophomore is encouraging, but it leaves him behind the schedule that recent successful young quarterbacks have followed in their first two seasons.
3. Coach McDermott taking a college approach to regular season
The most unusual training camp and preseason perhaps ever, due to the COVID pandemic, has forced players and coaching staff to make a bounty of adjustments in preparation for the 2020 regular season.
Chief among them for NFL coaching staffs is finding a way to have their players ready for real football despite the absence of a preseason in which they would have four games to rehearse and script plays for players to execute in a live game setting.
Head coach Sean McDermott, in a recent appearance on 'Good Morning Football,' explained how he's leaned on his former college coach and members of his coaching staff who have coached in college for the best way to have players ready for the games that count, knowing college football never has a preseason.
"It's unique for us this year in the NFL with that, but at the college level that's pretty much how it is every year," McDermott said. "One thing I did was reach out to my college coach Jimmye Laycock, my coach from William and Mary. I hold him in such high regard that I wanted to have a conversation with him. We have a lot of coaches who came from the college ranks recently. So we're trying to pull a page from their book, but also trying to make it as normal as possible for the veteran players on our team who are used to ramping up through the course of training camp with those preseason games."
Members of the Bills coaching staff, who had a recent stint in the college ranks include offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey and nickel coach James Salgado.