1 - Lawson could make pass rush a three-headed monsterBills top draft choice Shaq Lawson will make his NFL debut today against the Dolphins. Though he has just four practices under his belt, head coach Rex Ryan said he looked like one of the best defensive players on the practice field this week. Veterans Jerry Hughes and Lorenzo Alexander have 12 of the team's 20 sacks, and have been effective in establishing a consistent pass rush. Adding Lawson to the rotation could make for a dangerous trio for opposing quarterbacks.
"Jerry has been here for a long time and 'Zo just got here, but those two guys are unstoppable," said Lawson. "Learning from those two guys is going to help make me a better player in the long run. Us three all together on the field. Add me with those guys… whew… it might be special."
"It's going to be a lot of fun," said Hughes. "We used to watch Shaq [Lawson] in college. The way he turns that corner, closing speed on the quarterback, non-stop, living motor, and chasing whoever has the ball – that's what we like. We want to go out there and want guys hunting whoever has the football."
Don't think that Rex Ryan hasn't thought of putting all three pass rushers on the field. With Lawson at 267 pounds and experience playing a true defensive lineman position in college, the rookie could conceivably line up as a pass rushing defensive lineman with both Hughes and Alexander outside on obvious passing downs.
Lawson, who has been in every team and positional meeting since his shoulder surgery, has spent a lot of time at the elbow of bot Hughes and Alexander to absorb as much knowledge about the NFL game and the Bills scheme as possible.
"I've got a great relationship with 'Zo," said Lawson. "Older guy who has been in the league longer than me. I hope he opens some sacks up for me with teams double teaming him. 'Zo is a great leader. He's played multiple positions. It's great to have an older guy to follow like 'Zo and Jerry (Hughes). Jerry was the first guy that texted me after I got drafted. I probably talk to him the most."
2 - Ryan and Lynn agree McCoy has to be 100 percentBoth head coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn had the opportunity to watch LeSean McCoy try to play through a hamstring injury last year with limited success. The two coaches admit it is a path they do not want to go down again with McCoy's current hamstring ailment.
"Well I don't want to do what we did last year," said Lynn. "I don't want him playing 85 percent, reinjuring the hamstring and then this thing lingers all year. So you just want to get him well, get him back on the field, but at this point in the season, nobody is 100 percent."
McCoy confirmed that his current hamstring problem is nothing like the one he dealt with last season, which is probably why he still has a chance to play today.
"It's not as bad, not nearly as bad at all. So that's a good thing," said McCoy Friday. ""The biggest thing is waiting to see how I feel Sunday."
"I'd like to play him," said Ryan. "If he's ready to go then we're going to play him without question. You say down the road. We're looking at this game only, but obviously we want him healthy. If you see him out there it's because we believe he's healthy."
"Last year, it was a week to week thing and I don't want to do that anymore," said Lynn. "I want him on the field healthy and ready to go. I want him to be LeSean."
We'll find out around 11:30 am ET when the inactive player list is announced.
3 - Bills 'D' knows Dolphins will try to get Ajayi going againAfter a 204-yard rushing performance that included a pair of touchdowns last week, the Dolphins offense is expected to turn to Jay Ajayi early and often in today's game against Buffalo. The Bills come into the game with the league's 15th ranked run defense giving up 103 yards per game on the ground. Their yards per carry average against ranks 10th in the NFL at 3.8 yards per rush.
Bills LB Preston Brown explains why he thinks Miami's run game, which even after Ajayi's breakout performance ranks 20th in the league, found success last week in the upset win over Pittsburgh.
"It was the first game they had their whole line back together, so they were running the ball well. He had 25 carries for a whole lot of yards," said Brown. "They were definitely running around the corner, getting that stretch play and making plays. It's definitely going to be a challenge for us, going against a running back who is playing so well, but we'll be up for it."
Miami starting offensive linemen, Laremy Tunsil, Branden Albert and Mike Pouncey had all missed time through the first five weeks of the season. Last Sunday they were all together and performed admirably. But Ajayi, a former fifth-round pick (2015), is a quality player in his own right.
"He's just a tough-nosed, downhill runner, really," said Hughes. "He's running through arm tackles and he's a very physical back. We understand that. We have to be able to go out there and hunt. It's going to be a home game for them, a division game for us, and there's a lot at stake."
"We've got to go out there and be tough with those guys cause they're a physically tough team, they've got a good O-line," Brown said. "They're going to try and pound the ball a lot."