1 - Mortensen sees the potential in Josh AllenThe topic of quarterbacks will be a hot one in Buffalo for a while with the open quarterback competition starting soon when Nathan Peterman, A.J. McCarron and Josh Allen all hit the field together soon. Until then, the focus remains on Allen, the Bills first pick in this year's draft.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen joined One Bills Live last week to discuss what he has seen from Allen at the Manning Passing Academy.
The Manning Passing Academy claims that it is the "Premier Camp in the Country." Mortensen said it was a big deal then with how well Allen performed when he was a camper.
"On a Thursday, I think it was for about 90 minutes, there was a 22-mph crosswind that day," said Mortensen. "The second day was a beautiful day; the third day was rain. And I can tell you, with a lot of the top guys there – Sam Darnold and all of them there – everybody, and there was a lot of different people there and even the other quarterbacks, you were in awe of Josh Allen. I realize they're in T-shirts and shorts, but Eli and Peyton really challenge these guys with some of the things they were doing on the field."
For what made Allen so special, Mortensen could see it in how Allen threw the ball.
"When you see a guy who is as fluid as he is, and when I say fluid I mean he's fluid in his drops, and when the ball comes off somebody's hands and it's just different," said Mortensen. "You go, 'That's different.' And there were no accuracy issues."
Allen's journey to the NFL has not been one without adversity. Whether there are claims made on Allen's accuracy, or comments about tweets from his past, Allen is not someone Mortensen worries about taking on the adversity. If anything, with the ceiling Allen has, Mortensen believes the Bills coaching staff should already be preparing a plan to have Allen become one of the top QBs from this year's draft class.
"The mental toughness is there because he gets better each day as opposed to, 'Uh-oh, I just had a bad day, everybody's on me.' They kind of shrink. Josh doesn't shrink from criticism, or the negativity, or the down times," Mortensen said. "And we have a tendency to, well Bill Parcells said, 'We have a tendency to look at all the bad stuff.' Look at a guy's highlight tapes and tell your coaches, 'This is what he could be, it's your job to make sure he gets there.'"
2 - ESPN analyst pegs Edmunds for Defensive Rookie of the YearA little over two weeks ago, the Bills selected a 6-5, 250 lb. kid from Virginia Tech. Now, that he has officially signed his first NFL contract, Tremaine Edmunds is ready to try and earn his spot on the Bills roster.
Picked at 16th overall, Edmunds was the eighth defensive player off the board during the NFL draft, and the second linebacker. That said, senior NFL writer for ESPN Mike Sando has Edmunds as his early prediction for defensive rookie of the year.
Coach Sean McDermott seems to be able to develop players and feature them properly. The role Edmunds plays should give him ample opportunity to make some splash plays.
The newly acquired, newly 20-years-old Edmunds was already expected to be one of the main signal callers at the rookie minicamp, and hung back at one point for a lengthy conversation with Sean McDermott and linebacker coach Bob Babich. Edmunds will be competing for the middle linebacker position come OTAs this summer.
3 - Former Bills head coach Chuck Knox passes awaySunday on Twitter, Chuck Knox's granddaughter Lee Ann confirmed that her grandfather had passed away at 86-years-old. Knox had been battling dementia.
The Buffalo News released a story about Knox and his history, not only with the Bills, but within the entire NFL.
Knox, known as "Ground Chuck" for his team's emphasis on running the ball, compiled a 37-36 record with the Bills from 1978 to the strike-shortened 1982 season.
The Bills went 5-11 and 7-9 in his first two seasons before posting an 11-5 record in 1980 and losing to the Chargers in the divisional playoffs, 20-14. The next year, the Bills went 10-6 and beat the Jets in the wild card round 31-27 before falling to the Bengals 28-21 the following week.
The Bills released a statement on Twitter Sunday afternoon offering its condolences to Knox's family.
Our thoughts are with the Knox family after the passing of former Bills head coach Chuck Knox.
Knox was the first NFL coach to lead three separate NFL teams to the playoffs, and was a two-time coach of the year winner.
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