Here's the Bills news of note for Aug. 17th.
1 – Hyde ready to lead defense
Possibly the Bills biggest free agent acquisition this offseason, Micah Hyde has thrived in the role of leading the defense. The Bills brought Hyde in to guide their young defensive backfield, and serve in a multitude of roles on the defense. On the John Murphy Show, Hyde said he's doing everything he can to be a great leader.
"It may be on the field, it may be off the field," said Hyde. "It might be something as simple as where to eat at while at away games. I try to help these guys, especially the young guys, like Tre' White. He's going to be playing a lot, so I wanted to let him know how it's going to be, and what he should expect. You know, just try to share my knowledge that way."
As camp comes to a close at St. John Fisher, the Bills defensive backfield has undergone quite a transformation. At the close of last season, the Bills were relying on the talents of Stephon Gilmore, Ronald Darby, Aaron Williams, and Corey Graham. All four of those players are no longer with the Bills. Williams played a big role on the back end, guiding the defense and organizing coverages.
Hyde was brought in to fill the role Williams' once commanded. Not only is Hyde responsible for organizing the defensive backfield, he's also acted as a veteran presence for some of the younger players on the Bills defense. Players like Tre'Davious White, and Jordan Poyer have bounds of potential, but lack experience in the NFL. For this reason, one of the most important roles Hyde will play this season is teaching and mentoring the young defensive backs on the Bills team.
2 – Eagles GM wrestled with losing Matthews
General manager of the Philadelphia Eagles, Howie Roseman, told NFL.com how tough it was to part with the talented Jordan Matthews. A blockbuster trade, the Bills dealt Ronald Darby, who was adapting to a zone coverage scheme. In return, they gained the productive receiver Matthews as well as a third-round pick. Roseman said the trade was certainly difficult to make.
"We had these conversations with Buffalo throughout training camp and as we went into the first preseason game and we found a match," Roseman said. "Hard trade to make.* *Jordan Matthews, extremely productive, historically productive as a Philadelphia Eagle wide receiver, and then you're giving up a third-round pick, too."
The trade was difficult for both sides. Darby was a second-round pick, and had a tremendous rookie season. Although he faltered last season, he showed that he has potential to thrive in the NFL. Matthews was also a second-round pick, and one of the most productive receivers the Eagles organization had ever seen.
In the end, the Eagles decided to part with Matthews, and a third-round pick in the hopes of bolstering their defense. The wide receiver depleted Eagles gave up one of the most productive wideouts in SEC history, and a player that totaled 2,637 yards and 19 touchdowns in three seasons.
3 – CBS broadcast pairings set for 2017 season
CBS will carry the majority of Bills games again this year. The network recently released the broadcast parings for 2017, and a schedule of the announcers for the first four weeks of the season. Bills fans will be treated to the announcing of Kevin Harlan, Greg Gumbel, and Spero Dedes through the first four weeks of the season. Here's the full breakdown.
The full parings for the Bills first four games are as follows: Week 1 against the Jets – Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, and Steve Tasker; Week 2 at Carolina – Kevin Harlan, and Rich Gannon; Week 3 vs. Denver – Spero Dedes, and Adam Archuleta; and Week 4 at Atlanta – Greg Gumbel, and Trent Green.
CBS made several changes to their broadcasting lineup for the 2017 season. The most notable is the addition of Tony Romo as a color analysts with the play-by-play of Jim Nantz. Other changes include James Lofton being added as a color analysts with the play-by-play of Andrew Catalon. Adam Archuleta has been added as a color analysts to team with Spero Dedes. Lastly, Beth Mowins, who previously worked for ESPN, will captain a new pairing with color analysis by Jay Feely.