Here's the Bills news of note for Monday August 7th.
1 – Leslie Frazier inducted into Mississippi Sports Hall of FameBills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was honored in his native Mississippi as he was inducted in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Saturday. Frazier told Mississippi News Now how returning to the Magnolia State stirred up a lot of nostalgic feelings.
* *"Driving over to my hotel I was just reflecting on what it's like to come home," Frazier said. "This is where it all began for me. I've been able to achieve some things in my career. Being a player and winning a Super Bowl and being a coach and winning a Super Bowl. But just something about coming home, just stirs you up. It reminds me of what it takes to really work hard and be successful in life."
Frazier won a Super Bowl as a cornerback on the 1985 Chicago Bears. Unfortunately his career was cut short by a knee injury. He then won a Super Bowl as the Assistant head coach/defensive backs coach of the Indianapolis Colts under Tony Dungy in 2006.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott also made mention of Frazier's honor Sunday.
2 – Hughes happy with 4-3Jerry Hughes had two tough seasons under former-head coach Rex Ryan. The defense rarely saw time in the 4-3 system, which had been very successful for the Bills in the past. Instead, Hughes, who has made a living as a premiere pass rusher in the NFL, was asked to take on a myriad of roles at outside linebacker. Under Leslie Frazier, that is set to change, and Hughes is excited.
"I think all of us are a lot more comfortable with four guys on the line of scrimmage," said Hughes. "We can play off each. And it gives us an opportunity to breakdown our film and, if it's our hands, our eyes or our feet – we can sit there and breakdown each other individually. It's a great platform for us to continue to grow throughout the season."
Hughes isn't the first player in the Bills front four to express their excitement to be returning to a 4-3. Second-year defensive end Shaq Lawson has stated many times that he's more comfortable with his role in Fraizer's system. He can simply do what he does best – rush the passer.
That sentiment was matched by Hughes, who stated that he's excited to return to playing attacking football. After having 10 sacks his first two seasons with the Bills, Hughes only had 11 sacks the past two years under Ryan. With a return to a 4-3, the Bills could see the sack resurgence of Hughes also.
3 – Tolbert happy with roleMike Tolbert has been used in a wide range of roles on the Bills offense so far at training camp. The ten-year veteran has made a career out of playing both running back and fullback. Tolbert's size and bruising running style has made his one of the most effective short yardage backs in the NFL. After a week and a half of practices, the Bills have continued to deploy Tolbert in a multitude of roles, and that's fine by the veteran back.
"Running back, fullback, whatever they call for me to do, is what I'm going to do," said Tolbert. "I like to say I'm a running back trapped in a fullback's body. Whenever I get a chance to get my hands on the ball and make plays, it's fun."
The Bills have used Tolbert in varying ways throughout camp. The veteran has seen snaps at running back with the first team, and fullback with the second team. Many of Tolbert's reps at running back come during goal line drills, as he looks to be the Bills short yardage back. The Bills have also thrown to Tolbert out of the backfield regularly during camp. On simple swing passes, Tolbert has shown he has good hands, and is a force to take down when he starts running.
Tolbert has shown in the past that he can be a very effective playmaker in the NFL. He will certainly have an opportunity to show that in Buffalo this season.