Here's the Bills news of note for Sept. 30th.
1 - Hughes loves the scrappiness in the secondary
Entering his fifth season with the Buffalo Bills, defensive end Jerry Hughes is stoked with how the secondary is stepping up. Their success in the back end wouldn't happen without the strong play of the defensive line. Hughes, who's tied for the team lead in sacks (2), couldn't be happier with how his new cornerbacks and safeties are playing.
"I love it. Those guys come down and they are not afraid to jump in the box and get their heads dirty. They are scraping in the run game with us, I have nothing but respect for safeties, corners, and anybody on the football field who is willing to just throw it out there on the line," Hughes said.
Every Sunday so far the secondary has been flying around the field. In each game they're getting involved and filling the stat sheet with tackles. On average, the secondary accounts for over 22 tackles per game.
Tre'Davious White, who was the Defensive Rookie of the Month for September, had a career-high seven tackles last week. He's not afraid to run up and stick his nose in plays.
"You've got to let them know that you're there too," White said. "I feel like the guys we've got on the defensive backfield have a great attitude about coming down and hitting, and we take pride in that."
2 - White's been waiting to face Jones
The Bills first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Tre'Davious White, has made the most of his first three games in the league. He's already racking up awards and is number one in the league in passes defended (7).
In Week Four the biggest matchup for White awaits. He'll see some time against Julio Jones, arguably the league's best wide receiver. For White, it's a moment he's been anticipating.
"Julio's a guy I watched when I was in high school, so to be able to go against him, it's going to be a big-time deal and something that I've waited for," he said.
Jones is the Atlanta Falcons biggest threat on offense. But for a team that was NFC Champions a season ago, their offense is stacked. It starts with Matt Ryan, who's coming off a season where he was crowned MVP. The ground game is dangerous for the Falcons too. Running back Devonta Freeman is a force out of the backfield. He eclipsed 1,000 yards last season.
The Bills defense has met every challenge so far this season. White recorded his first career interception last week against the Denver Broncos. It's hard for the rookie to impress any more than he has already, but a win in Atlanta will only raise his profile more.
"We've got a tough challenge ahead of us this week, man. It's an exciting offense," he said. "I feel like, as a team, we're going to be ready for it, we're going to compete."
3 - Matthews has high praise for his running back**
Bills first-year wide receiver, Jordan Matthews, was more than familiar with LeSean McCoy before his arrival in Buffalo. The two spent the 2014 season together playing for the Philadelphia Eagles.
It was Matthews' rookie season in Philly that he spent with McCoy. The tandem put together solid stats with the Eagles that year. Matthews reeled in 67 catches for 872 yards and added eight touchdowns in his rookie season. McCoy also had a productive season in 2014. He rushed for 1,319 yards and found the end zone five times.
The two now are in Buffalo and are essential parts of the offense. McCoy's stats in the running game have been lower than usual the past two weeks. Matthews is more than familiar with the threat McCoy is to opposing defenses.
"If you are a defensive coach, let's just be really honest, you are going in there and you are saying, 'We have to make sure we stop the run. It's just no secret,'" Matthews said.
Buffalo is fortunate to have McCoy in the backfield. His NFL honors include: five Pro Bowls, two First-Team All-Pro nods, and the 2013 NFL rushing title.
"You are talking about one of the best running backs, probably ever," Matthews said. "If you see any kid running around with no ball security, Shady is probably his role model."
SOCIAL MEDIA POST OF THE DAY
Spectrum News sports reporter Jon Scott profiles Bills CB Leonard Johnson and his love of cooking.