1. The Kurt Coleman-Sean McDermott connection runs deep
The announcement of veteran safety Rafael Bush’s retirement was immediately followed up by the news the Bills were signing Kurt Coleman to a one-year deal.
Coleman and head coach Sean McDermott have a lengthy history. Coleman was coached by McDermott his rookie year in Philadelphia and was a starting safety on McDermott’s defense in Carolina from 2015-16 where they went to the Super Bowl.
Coleman spoke highly of his coach during a Q&A with the Toronto Sun in 2017.
“With any good coach, you hate to see them go. He helped make me a better player,” Coleman said. “Sean really has taken my game to the next level. Not just in helping me see the game from a different perspective, but also understanding the game a lot more. Most importantly I’m happy for him and his family. I truly am.”
Coleman followed up with what makes McDermott a good coach.
“Finding the players and putting them in the position to make plays, and he’s really detail oriented. I think that’s the thing that I’ve enjoyed as a player. He’s going to be very detail-oriented. He’s going to demand that his team be very sound, on and off the field.”
If Coleman ends up on the 53-man roster then he would be slotted into a role like Bush backing up Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde.
Coleman’s best season came in 2016 under McDermott. He totaled a career-high 94 tackles while starting 15 games. For his career he’s played in 132 games, totaling 515 tackles and 21 interceptions. Last season he played in16 games for the Saints, starting in nine games.
2. GM Brandon Beane remains confident in McCoy
LeSean McCoy expects to be the “workhorse” in Buffalo’s backfield this season. The only problem, outsiders don’t think McCoy has what it takes to be that kind of running back anymore.
McCoy, 31, is coming off a down season where he was slowed by injury and with new competition in the backfield his carries might not come as often in years past. The Bills added Frank Gore, T.J. Yeldon and Devin Singletary to the roster this offseason. All should earn some carries this season based off of what was seen during spring workouts.
Still, McCoy averaged a career-low yards per carry last season but he was also behind the second-worst run blocking group according to Pro Football Focus. With a revamped offensive line this season and more competition driving the veteran, there’s reason to think McCoy can return to his perennial Pro Bowl self.
“I’m not concerned. I think LeSean still can play. If not, we would have made the decision to move on,” general manager Brandon Beane said. “He’s very confident, when you talk to him, that he still sees himself up here, and I don’t think you’re changing that. And I wouldn’t want him to think any different. But we’re focused on this year. That’s what we have him under contract for, and I definitely think he’s got enough left in the tank to help us in 2019.”
3. This NFL.com writer believes the Bills can “surprise” people
NFL.com writer Adam Rank feels like the Bills are getting close to breaking through to being a top team in the NFL. As part of his “State of the Franchise” series he broke down the Bills’ 2018 season and looked ahead to what could be in store for 2019.
One encouraging sign is the strength of the receiving corps.
The Bills’ receivers are pretty good. I already professed my love for John Brown. He’s the only guy on the roster who has posted 1,000 receiving yards in a season (he had 1,003 for the Cardinals in 2015). But the team signed slot ace Cole Beasley and veteran Andre Roberts. Zay Jones is back after leading the team in receiving last season. And the dude I’m probably the most infatuated with is Robert Foster. This guy should not have gone undrafted in 2018. Foster is the best receiver on this roster. And with some talent around him, he’s going to be able to flourish.
A better receiving group could be the difference for the Bills to make the playoffs this season. Not to mention the loads of talent the Bills added at every other position on offense except for quarterback. The defense has already set itself up as a top unit in the league and the improved offense could have the Bills as one of the six AFC playoff teams in 2019.
The AFC seemingly starts every year with 15 teams playing for five playoff spots. But the Bills have the talent to compete for one of those sports. None of their offseason moves were super high-profile like getting OBJ or something. But I really do believe the offensive additions were kind of low-key good and this team could surprise people.