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Bills Today: McDermott expects a lot from Milano


1 - McDermott expects a lot from Milano

After bursting onto the scene as a rookie in 2017, Matt Milano has set the bar high. Head coach Sean McDermott is a firm believer in Milano and thinks that he can have a significant impact on this year's team.

"I've been impressed with Matt," he said. "I'm impressed with his focus and the way he handled the offseason."

Milano started just five games last year, but he appears to be a near lock to start adjacent to Tremaine Edmunds in 2018. His athleticism will allow for him to be effective as an instinctual run stopper, and as a coverage linebacker. Milano had some hamstring issues leading into this year's training camp, but coach McDermott saw that he was properly caring for the injury.

"Matt had some trouble with his hamstring," he said. "Even then, how he handled that by sticking around Buffalo during the break to get himself right and to get ready for training camp. That was a big sign of his maturity."

Milano has shown that same maturity from the first time he took the field wearing the red, white, and blue. In his first season, he worked silently as he sat behind Ramon Humber on the depth chart, until his number was called. McDermott noted that Milano is serious when it comes to his responsibilities.

"He's very serious about his job, and what we are trying to do as a football team," he said. "I certainly appreciate that."

Milano is expected to play a big role for the Bills in 2018, and the Bills' coaching staff is very comfortable having him in that role.

2 - Peterman views competition as learning opportunity
Entering training camp in 2018, Nathan Peterman knew that he would have to compete with veteran quarterback AJ McCarron, and first-round pick Josh Allen. For Peterman, he believes that the competition is not against those two, but rather with them.

"Every day is just such a great opportunity," said Peterman. "I get to go up against two great guys [Peterman, McCarron]."

Peterman understands the importance of the quarterback battle, but that has not stopped him from praising the wide receiver group.

"We have so many guys," he said. "We have guys that are great in the slot, guys who have a little wiggle to them, and guys that just go up and make plays."

As a fifth-round pick, Peterman appreciates having the opportunity to compete for a starting job in the NFL. Last season, it was almost a foregone conclusion that Tyrod Taylor would be the opening day starter, and Peterman is grateful for a new kind of opportunity.

"I am extremely thankful to even have the opportunity to go out and compete every day," he said. "There are only 32 of these jobs in the world."

As he enters his second NFL season, many are hoping that Peterman can put a rough 2017 campaign behind him. It appears as if he has done just that, and Bills fans can expect that he will put his best foot forward in 2018.

3 - Rookie DT Harrison Phillips eager to leave his mark
Harrison Phillips has impressed almost everybody throughout OTA's, rookie minicamp, and now in training camp. As training camp began, Phillips said that he was excited to put the pads on after a few pad-free practices.

"It is still football, but it isn't football football," said Phillips with a chuckle. "It is always a test of your physicality."

After playing under a great football mind in David Shaw at Stanford, Phillips understands that the mental and physical aspects of the game go hand in hand.

"You can be a physical player, but you have to be in the right spot when you do it," said Phillips.

Another benefit of Phillips' Stanford background is his ability to learn and play multiple positions early on. As a likely rotational player, filling in for both Kyle Williams and Star Lotulelei will require Phillips to play both one-technique and three-technique on defense. Phillips is ready for the challenge of essentially learning two positions in his rookie year.

"I am totally fine with that, I am happy with it," said Phillips. "You might call it versatility, but really it is the same thing. The only difference is that when you are a nose guard, things happen a little quicker."

At just 22 years old, Phillips is one of the youngest Bills players on the roster, but his mental acuity could easily make people think that he is a seasoned NFL veteran. With a solid head on his shoulders, and a 307 lb. frame, Phillips is going to be a lot to handle for opposing offensive lineman in 2018.

Photos from Day 6 of 2018 Bills Training Camp, presented by Connors and Ferris.

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