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Bills Today: How Buffalo impressed recent free agent signee Spencer Long

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1 - How Buffalo impressed recent free agent signee Spencer Long

He made a free agent visit first and was encouraged by everything he heard from GM Brandon Beane, head coach Sean McDermott and new offensive line coach Bobby Johnson about what the Bills are building in Buffalo. But Spencer Long had the advantage of confirming all that he heard on his visit to One Bills Drive with a friend of his.

Long is a good friend of Bills OL Jeremiah Sirles, who re-signed with the Bills last month.

“He just told me general stuff about Buffalo,” said Long of his conversation with Sirles. “How the building is and how he likes working there. The quality of life. How everybody is aligned with how we think. He had nothing but good things to say. If you appreciate hard-working, smart football players then you appreciate Jeremiah Sirles. That was enough of a sale for me.”

Long, who appeared on ‘One Bills Live’ this week, had that conversation with Sirles face-to-face because he’s temporarily living with Sirles and his wife.

“I live with him in the offseason and we train together,” said Long. “I’m living with him for a couple of months. I take over his basement. He’s married. They have one kid on the way and I’m going to get the boot when that comes around.”

Long said he’s been told he’ll compete for the starting center role, presumably with veteran Russell Bodine, who made 10 starts at center for the Bills last season.

But Long also has a healthy dose of experience at guard, so he could be a swing option at both positions.

“I know I’m going to go in there and compete at center,” he said. “(Seeing time at guard is) up to the coaching staff. You control what you can control. I’m going to go in there and compete my a-- off and see what happens. It’s up to them to make the decision where they want me. I trust they’re going to make the best decision for the team. At this point in my career I’m good with that and can accept that. I just want to win football games.”

2 – Breaking down Tre'Davious White's impact on opposing quarterbacks

In his first two NFL seasons, Tre’Davious White has already earned a reputation as one of the most feared cornerbacks in the NFL. His rookie year saw him named the Defensive Rookie of the Year by Pro Football Focus and was ranked as the No. 21 player in their 2017 top-101 countdown.

This season, White saw a decrease in stats across the board, but for good reason. Quarterbacks refused to throw his way this season.

According to NFL Next Gen Stats, White was the fifth least targeted cornerback in the league at 12.9 percent. Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson led the way at 10.4 percent. White recorded 960 snaps this season only being targeted 124 times. He had eight passes defended and 54 tackles this season along with two interceptions.

With the contributions of White and the entire Bills defense, the Bills finished with the top overall past defense allowing only 179.2 yards per game through the air in 2018.

3 – Addressing the Bills top need according to the MMQB

In order to take full advantage of Josh Allen’s strengths as a mobile quarterback the Bills are going to need changes along the offensive line according to Andy Benoit of Sports Illustrated. The Bills signed center/guard Spencer Long on Tuesday to provide depth along the line, but Benoit does not expect that to be the last move the Bills will make this offseason.

Benoit says Buffalo should pursue a mobile guard or a mobile center to help utilize Allen’s strengths similarly to the way the Carolina Panthers utilize Cam Newton.

The Bills must use their big, strong, swift QB, Josh Allen, on designed runs behind man-to-man blocking (similar to the ways the Panthers deploy Cam Newton). Success there starts with a mobile guard. Buffalo must find one who can pull-block across the formation, lending dimension to power runs and counters, as well as to play-action passes—tactics that best benefit Allen

For Benoit, the best potential free agent signing Buffalo could make is former Kansas City Chief Mitch Morse.

While Morse might not be as flashy of a signing as a top wide receiver or edge rusher, adding a key piece to the Bills offensive line could pay huge dividends for the team in 2019.

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