1. Look for more playing time for this Bills defensive end
Defensive end Trent Murphy made his Bills debut on Sunday, but he did so in a limited role.
Murphy, who signed a three-year deal with Buffalo in the offseason, missed the entire preseason after suffering a groin injury in August. In an effort to keep Murphy healthy, head coach Sean McDermott kept the 27-year-old on a rep count in the Bills’ season opener. McDermott’s primary objective was to keep Murphy healthy on Sunday, and he was able to achieve this goal.
“Let’s be honest, it was his first real game action, so we had him on a rep count, which is why you didn’t really see him as much late in the game,” McDermott said. “I thought overall we got through his first game in terms of coming out healthy, which was the number one goal.”
When he was on the field, Murphy was impactful, recording a sack and a tackle for loss.
Murphy showed McDermott that he’s back at full health on Sunday. The coach plans on rewarding Murphy with an increase in reps in practice. McDermott hopes that Murphy will be able to take on a larger role in Buffalo’s week two matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers.
“It’s something that he can build from and will build from,” McDermott said. “We look forward to increasing that this week through practice and next week’s game.”
2. Coaching staff impressed with Tremaine Edmunds in NFL debut
Cornerback Tre’Davious White once called him an “alpha male.” Panthers’ linebacker Luke Kuechly called him a “freakazoid.”
Bills head coach Sean McDermott calls him the quarterback of his defense.
Rookie middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds made his NFL debut on Sunday. Edmunds, whom the Bills selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2018 draft, made one impactful play after another. The 20-year-old finished the first game of his professional career with seven tackles, two pass deflections, one sack and one forced fumble.
In a game that got away from the team early, McDermott feels as though Edmunds remained composed. He praised the rookie’s performance on the field and in the huddle, applauding his ability to lead the defense before stating that there’s a reason to be excited for the future.
“He flashed,” McDermott said. “I thought throughout the game, really appreciated the way that he played in particular once things settled down. There was a lot going on [Sunday] earlier in the game, it snowballed a little bit as I mentioned after the game [Sunday], that’s hard to pull yourself out of, to calm everything down and play, in particular as a signal-caller on the defense, to get everybody lined up, communicate effectively and then play well yourself, and play fast. For a young player to do that, really bodes well for his future.”
3. Fred Jackson thinks Bills will learn from season opener
Running back Fred Jackson was a member of the Buffalo Bills for eight seasons. Of the eight season openers that he experienced with the team, the Bills dropped five of them.
Losing the first game of a new campaign is never ideal. However, the first game of the season is just one contest in a schedule of 16 grueling matchups. Rebounding from an opening week loss is perhaps more important than the result itself.
Although the Bills lost their 2018 season opener to the Ravens, Jackson feels as though there are positives that can be taken from the game. During an appearance on ‘One Bills Live,’ Jackson said that the team can use the game as a learning experience.
“It’s a hard one to swallow, but at the same time, it’s what those guys said, they have to come in and look at the film, which I’m sure they’re doing right now, and then they have to flush it, learn from their mistakes and move on,” Jackson said. “It was a good test for them, it was a good way to figure out that ‘we got to be better.’ And I think that’s what the team will do.”
A captain during his time with the Bills, Jackson feels it’s important for team leaders to speak up after a loss. The beloved running back is confident that Buffalo’s captains are already working to right the ship.
“You address it right away,” Jackson said. “You talk about it, you say it was an ugly game for us yesterday, but we’re not going to let that define who we want to be this season. That was one game of 16. It’s one of those things, you have to tell those guys, we’re going to move on and not focus on this game and not let it be the game that decides our season. I think that’s what guys are going to have to do, I know that’s what Kyle [Williams] is in there saying, Lorenzo [Alexander] , and even Shady [LeSean McCoy]. All those guys are in there preaching it.”