1. The four things that drew Mario Addison to the Bills
One of Buffalo's bigger free agent signings this offseason was DE Mario Addison. The former Carolina Panther, in his first interview with the Western New York media this week was asked what appealed to him about the Bills.
"I already kind of liked Buffalo from the get-go because we played against Buffalo last year in training camp," Addison said. "We had a joint practice and I saw the culture of those guys and it was very similar to the coach that we had in Carolina. Everybody played with each other. There were no exceptions on the team."
Addison also felt it would be easier to keep his game in top form facing Buffalo's offensive linemen in practice after what he experienced during the two days of joint practices in Spartanburg, South Carolina last summer.
"I liked playing against their o-line when we were in camp," he said. "Those guys were going hard. We were going hard and nobody got mad at each other. Everybody there knew they were there to work and that's what made the whole thing fun. So, in my mind, to be able to compete with those guys at practice every day I know it'll make me a better player, and I know I'll make those guys better."
Addison also liked the fact that the defensive scheme in Buffalo was essentially the same one in which he has posted 9.5 sacks or more in each of the last four seasons.
"The scheme man is what really made me choose there," he said. "It was Coach McDermott, and all the guys that I know, but the scheme, I fit the scheme. To have their leadership on the field and those guys coaching me will make everything much easier."
And the final factor in signing with Buffalo? Believe it or not, the team's color scheme.
"I love those colors. Dope colors man," Addison said. "I think I look good in that red and blue man for sure."
2. ESPN prognosticator tabs Bills as 2020 playoff team
ESPN's Mike Clay already has his NFL team prognostications out for the 2020 regular season. In it he has the Bills as the odds-on favorite to win the AFC East, which would obviously qualify them for the NFL playoffs for a second straight season and third time in four years under Sean McDermott.
Clay has the Bills with an estimated win total of 8.5, the lowest of all the projected division winners, which has Buffalo as the four seed in his projected AFC playoff picture.
The prognostication has the Chiefs as the top seed in the AFC and New England narrowly missing the seventh and final playoff spot with the Browns landing the new seven seed.
Perhaps the most interesting prediction for Buffalo is their point differential. Clay has Buffalo scoring 329 points in 2020, which would be up just slightly from the 314 points they scored last season. Even more eye-opening is his projected points allowed by Buffalo's defense, which he has pegged at 314, up sharply from last year's total of 259.
The Bills are scheduled to play six of the top 11 highest-scoring offenses in the league from last season on their 2020 slate, but they were second in the league in points allowed in 2019.
3. How B/R sees three Bills draft choices helping in 2020
The Bills, by most accounts, had a productive 2020 draft. Already the analysis has begun as to which rookies in Buffalo's most recent draft class have a chance to contribute right away this fall. Bleacher Report sees a pair of Buffalo draft picks serving as complementary pieces and one who could have a more significant role for a return to the playoffs in 2020. Here was their assessment.
The Buffalo Bills already had a playoff-caliber roster in 2019, and they addressed their biggest need by trading for Minnesota Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs. That deal left Buffalo without a first-round selection, but that's OK.
Buffalo's rookie class should be here to provide complementary pieces.
The Bills have a talented young team with few spots realistically up for grabs. This means guys like former Iowa pass-rusher A.J. Epenesa and former Central Florida wideout Gabriel Davis will largely be looking to supplement the current roster in rotational roles.
The one player who may claim a significant role out of the gate is former Utah running back Zack Moss. While second-year man Devin Singletary will remain the lead back, Moss can fill the power back role vacated by offseason departure Frank Gore.
Epenesa figures to be part of Buffalo's liberal defensive line rotation during games and Davis should have a good look at the fourth or fifth receiver role. But Zack Moss might have the greatest chance to be a shot in the arm for the Bills rushing attack.