1. Sean McDermott has this vision for the defense in 2019
While Sean McDermott wasn’t specific on what needs to improve on the defense, he sure was clear. The Bills defense ranked second in the NFL in yards allowed per game last season, but that wasn’t good enough for the third-year head coach.
“All of it,” McDermott said about what area of the defense can be improved. “We have to be better defensively. Last year’s defense was last year’s defense. This year’s defense is a new defense made up by different guys even though there has been a lot of continuity. I say this respectfully, we’ve got work to do on that side of the ball also.”
McDermott wants the Bills defense to be more physical and nasty, as he put it, than they were a year ago. There are new pieces to the defense and collectively they need to improve in areas such as takeaways.
“When we can put people behind the sticks and put us in favorable positions where it’s third and long, fourth and long, or second and long, usually when you can do that that’s putting pressure on the offense on the opponent and that’s where turnovers tend to happen,” McDermott said.
Coaches on the defensive side have stressed calling out “know the situation” during 11-on-11 drills throughout OTAs and now minicamp. McDermott feels if players know the situation you can anticipate not only what you’re going to do but what the opponent will do as well. If players are a step ahead, that’s where turnovers happen.
2. Micah Hyde has street named after him
Micah Hyde has tried to make an impact in every community he’s been in throughout his career and he certainly hasn’t forgotten his hometown of Fostoria, Ohio.
Hyde hosts his annual football camp at Fostoria High School where he played on offense, defense and special teams. He was a special player in high school and is still a special player to his community. During the camp the town unveiled the name of a new street that leads to his high school’s Memorial Stadium. The street is now known as Micah Hyde Drive.
“You can look at that sign and see Micah Hyde drive but there’s a lot more people that go into that than just myself,” Hyde told WTVG. “I’m always the first one to say that Fostoria as a community raised me. My mom did an awesome job being a single parent with me and my siblings. My friends and family always coming together and making sure we were doing the right things and that hasn’t changed today. Every time I come home the city shows me and my family love.”
Hyde’s ‘Imagine for Youth Foundation’ wants to support children who face financial hardships reach their potential by providing the necessary resources, supplies and equipment to allow them to excel athletically and academically.
Recently Hyde hosted his annual charity softball game at Sahlen Field in Buffalo with more than 60 teammates in attendance.
3. Bills player with most on the line at training camp according to B/R
Zay Jones has been the Bills’ most productive wide receiver over the last two years. Jones has caught 83 passes for 968 yards in his first two NFL seasons and showed a drastic improvement in year two under offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
The teams’ No. 1 wide receiver the past two seasons will have that role challenged this year says Bleacher Report.
"I want the guy that's going to put the team first and catch the ball and [who's] not looking to come here and say, 'I have to have these kinds of numbers,'" head coach Sean McDermott said at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Robert Foster came on strong during the second half of his rookie season and finished first overall in average depth of target, per Pro Football Focus. The Bills also signed a pair of veterans—John Brown and Cole Beasley—in free agency.
Even with more competition at wide receiver it could lead to Jones’ best season yet. Jones will hopefully face more single coverage with better talent surrounding him at wide receiver. The Bills lack a true No. 1 receiver, but it doesn’t mean they won’t have a competitive unit.