1. Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs delivers a motivational message
Olympic wrestling gold medalist Jordan Burroughs was at One Bills Drive on Thursday. Burroughs is a New Jersey native but has ties to the Buffalo Bills. The gold medalist is Bills Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas’ nephew by marriage. Burroughs joined One Bills Live to talk about his involvement in the area with youth wrestling and shared his thoughts on what mindset the Bills should adopt coming out of the bye week.
“Just stay hungry,” Burroughs explained. “I think it’s easy at this particular juncture of the season that you’re 4-1, you’re rolling, have a lot of momentum, you’re like man we can settle here because we are doing really well. I think still at this point in the season you still have a lot left to do, a lot of tough games. Guys are going to start giving you their best shot weekly because of the position of prominence that you’re in. Just staying hungry, staying motivated, knowing we’ve got bigger fish to fry than just being 4-1.”
After practice Burroughs talked to the team about staying hungry and motivated.
2. The Bills defense ranks close to the top through Week 6’s PFF rankings
PFF ranked every NFL team’s defense through six weeks and the Bills are No. 3. The Bills defense ranks top five statistically in several categories including total defense (No. 3), points allowed (No. 4), opponents average passing yards per game (No. 3) and more.
The Bills are off to a hot 4-1 start, and it’s thanks largely to their lock-down defense through the first five games. Tremaine Edmunds has taken a big step forward in the middle of the Bills defense in Year 2, and the signs were there last season when he finished with a 70.5 overall grade post-Week 10 compared to 47.0 over the first eight games of the season. This season, Edmunds is carrying an overall grade of 72.6 (16th among qualifying linebackers). Both Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer grade out among the top 15 safeties in the NFL, and it shows in the success that opposing quarterbacks have had targeting Buffalo deep. The Bills have allowed just four completions on passes 20 or more yards downfield all season, and they are the only team in the NFL that is yet to allow a touchdown on such passes.
Having great stats on paper hasn’t stopped this defense from leveling out. The group is hungry to keep climbing up the ranks in Week 7.
3. Lorenzo Alexander: There are no egos on this defense
Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander was on The Jim Rome Show this week to share his thoughts on Buffalo’s talented defense. Alexander thinks the sky is the limit for how much the group can grow, one reason is due to the selflessness.
“There are no egos on this defense,” Alexander said. “There’s no guys that have to be the one to get the sack or have to be the one to make all the tackles.”
As a 13-year vet, Alexander has been a part of plenty of defenses. What he likes about this group is the depth.
“We have great depth,” Alexander said. “I mean we have a guy like Taron Johnson go out who is a great nickel for us and we have guys like Siran Neal, Dean Marlowe, Kevin Johnson kind of fill that role by committee. We have other examples at other positions as well, but that is really our calling card is just having great depth, great versatility. Guys can come in no matter who it is and get the job done.”
The Miami Dolphins announced Wednesday that Ryan Fitzpatrick would start at quarterback, but the Bills will be ready to see Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen.
“At the end of the day you prepare for what their offensive scheme is, obviously each one has their own strengths," Alexander explained. “With Rosen right now they are doing a lot of RPOs, getting the ball out of his hands quickly to build that confidence and get some positive yards. When you talk about Fitzpatrick who is a veteran in this league and has been around a long time, he has a great command of the offense already and they’re willing to do a little bit more drop back. Obviously he has something about him when he has his mojo dust about him where he can extend plays, make things happen, guys rally around him.”