Bills Today

Bills Today: Rookies slated to play big roles in the home opener


1 - Harrison Phillips on Josh Allen's high self-standard

When Bills fans look under center on Sunday, they'll see their team's franchise quarterback making his first career start. When Harrison Phillips looks under center, he'll see a friend achieving a lifelong dream.

Phillips was selected 89 picks after Josh Allen in the 2018 draft. The two have bonded since joining the Bills organization, becoming close friends. When Allen found out that he would be starting for Buffalo in Week 2 of the 2018 season, he immediately told Phillips, holding back a smile. While Phillips knows that the former Wyoming Cowboy is excited, he thinks that he'll be able to contain his emotions on the field.

"I would say when he told me the news, there was like a grin in it, very steady but I can imagine the emotion that he had going on inside," Phillips said. "One of the things I respect most about our organization is the type of people we bring in, type of people that made our roster. Character, work ethic, humor, smart, the whole thing. Me and him have just really hit it off as like similar, cut from the same cloth type kids. As much as I respect him as a player, so much as a person, too."

On a personal level, Phillips is excited for Allen, as he knows just how hard the quarterback has worked for this opportunity. Phillips is confident in Allen on a professional level, as well, feeling as though Allen expects greatness out of himself each and every time he steps on the field. 

"I think he'll give off whatever face that he wants people to see of him, he's really good at doing that, but he's going to hold himself to a higher standard than anyone has." Phillips said. "Any media person, or any coach or whatever could have a standard for him, and his is going to be higher than that. If he shows that with his emotions on the field or not, that's just the type of person he is."

2 - Hyde thinks Edmunds is already becoming a leader

While solid outings are nice, consistent growth is the main thing that NFL teams want to see from their rookies.

In Week 1, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds showcased his growth with a strong performance.

The rookie recorded seven tackles, two pass deflections, and one sack in his NFL debut. These are pretty good numbers for a 20-year-old to total in his first professional game, right?

Bills safety Micah Hyde thinks that Edmunds is only getting started.

Hyde feels as though Edmunds is the total-package. He's a consistent playmaker who, according to Hyde, is embracing his role as a leader in Buffalo's talented defense. Consistent growth is something that Hyde has seen from Edmunds, and he feels this will help the linebacker succeed in Week 2 and beyond.

"That guy, he competes," Hyde said. "I think he has high standards for himself, which is the ultimate goal. He wants to compete, he wants to go out there and make plays. He's getting more vocal now because he's feeling more comfortable in the defense. He's making calls. Man, he's going to be a good football player in this league for a long time."

3 - Hughes knows Bills' rookies will bounce back vs. Chargers

The Bills focused on adding youth to their roster in the offseason. They made eight selections in the 2018 draft. Eight rookies made the team's initial 53-man roster. 

A number of Buffalo's rookies currently find themselves playing in key roles. Josh Allen is now the team's starting quarterback. Tremaine Edmunds is the quarterback of the defense. Harrison Phillips and Taron Johnson both saw significant playing time in Week 1.

Coming off of a disappointing Week 1 loss, Jerry Hughes feels it's important for the team's young players to bounce back. The veteran pass rusher feels as though it's crucial to remind rookies that the NFL season is not over after one loss. Hughes thinks that Buffalo's youth will learn from the Week 1 loss, gaining valuable knowledge that they can use in Week 2.

"We have a really young team, you really don't want guys dwelling too far on that," Hughes said. "I get with their college season, one game and your playoff chances are pretty much over. In the NFL, no, that's not how that works. You've got to learn from Week 1 and how can you grow, because, you know, we're going to see some of those same plays again on Sunday, how can we correct those, how can we continue to move forward and get stronger as a team?"

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