Bills Today

Bills Today | New leaders emerging


1. New leaders emerging

Lorenzo Alexander's retirement left the Bills defense with a hole that would be tough to fill. Whether it's his leadership, his 24 sacks or his presence on defense, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said the team would fill Alexander's role by committee. Veteran defensive end Jerry Hughes has seen a couple players step up in his absence.

"It's a huge void just because of his senior leadership as far as football IQ," Hughes explained. "Just moving around on the field you see a lot of guys this offseason who have really stepped up their football IQ and understand our defense more, understand what the coaches are asking from us and for us to do on the field. You see a lot of guys like Tremaine [Edmunds], Matt Milano— those guys moving a lot faster this year, communicating things a lot quicker as we are going through our different phases. And it's making the game up front, for a lot of guys who are new on the team, it's helping us out tremendously."

Edmunds enters his third year in the system, while Milano begins his fourth season in the defense.

2. Quinton Spain: He's a warrior

Several players have commented on the growth they've seen in quarterback Josh Allen since last season. Many believe he is approaching this year with enhanced leadership skills and a new found confidence. Offensive lineman Quinton Spain sees the difference in Allen since getting back to One Bills Drive.

"I've seen Josh grow a lot," Spain said. "This year, the situation, I've seen him have all the receivers together throwing the ball, and in the different areas getting work in with the new receivers. The old players and people coming back from injury and stuff like that, that was great. And then Josh is just a worker himself, he's a warrior. I see it in the weight room, I see it when we are running, he's just a different guy and I'd go to war for that."

3. How Levi Wallace and Josh Norman are helping each other

The Bills have several position battles going on during this year's training camp. Head coach Sean McDermott has said several times, he loves competition because of what it brings out in a player. One of those position battles is at right corner, and last year's starter Levi Wallace says even though he and Josh Norman are competing, the two have formed a great relationship.

"Me and Josh's relationship took off from the beginning," Wallace said. "Great guy on and off the field. Just the things that he's already started doing Buffalo. It's not just learning on the field stuff, how he is as a man off the field and how he is driven and how he's so involved in the community. It's a great guy to learn from who's been around the block a couple times. He went to a smaller division school, and he's worked his way up. Similarly to how I have. A great teammate, we just compete."

Wallace explained the competition between all the corners on the roster brings out the best in each other.

"He pushes me," Wallace said about Josh Norman. "He's a starter, I'm a starter, Tre'Davious [White] is a starter. I mean there's starters in this room, even Dane Jackson and Ike Brown. Everyone can play at a high level, so the competition just brings out the best in everyone and we push each other. We ask questions, there's no egos in this room, so it's great to have them on the scene."

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