A day in the life of the Bills equipment staff
Craig Melvin and the TODAY Show stopped by One Bills Drive and caught up with the Bills equipment staff to learn more about their daily duties. Whether it's a game or practice, everything that the players, coaches, and staff are wearing comes from the equipment room.
Jeff Mazurek, who started out as a ball boy with the team, now leads the equipment staff as the director of equipment operations. He oversaw the 16,000 pounds of gear that was shipped from Buffalo to Los Angeles for the season opener against the Rams and made sure three trucks that were filled with 100 helmets, 100 pairs of shoulder pads, 200 pairs of cleats, and 700 pairs of receiver gloves made it to SoFi Stadium.
Now leading up to game day, the equipment staff divides and conquers to make sure that the team is never without gear. Their essential tasks include fixing helmets, stretching out jerseys over pads, and breaking in footballs for quarterback Josh Allen.
"You can't just have a ball out of the box," Allen said. "It's gotta be put through the wringer and tested."
The team appreciates the staff's dedication to ensure their equipment is ready to go. While most of their work is done leading up to kickoff, the equipment team is always on the sidelines during games in case of an equipment emergency.
"We're the crew that when you're watching the game and you're like, 'How does that stuff all get there?'," Mazurek said. "It just doesn't magically appear."
Peter King's take on Von Miller and Buffalo's pass-rush
The first week of the NFL season is almost complete and NBC Sports’ Peter King named edge rusher Von Miller as one of his defensive players of the week.
"In his emotional return to SoFi Stadium — Miller won a Super Bowl there seven months ago — Miller had two sacks and four pressures on his friend Matthew Stafford in a dominating 31-10 Buffalo win over the Rams. That was pretty clutch," King wrote in his weekly column.
Miller contributed to the defensive line's strong pass-rush game which King views as a huge factor in the Bills' victory over the Rams. The "very scary Buffalo pass-rush," as described by King, sacked Stafford seven times and pressured him all night. According to Next Gen Stats (NGS), seven Bills had multiple pressure/sacks in the game including Miller, A.J. Epenesa, Greg Rousseau, Jordan Phillips, and Boogie Basham.
"As NGS reported, Buffalo never blitzed in the game, a rarity even in the Bills' disciplined style that counts on the front three or four to provide enough heat on the quarterback," King said.
NGS tracked how long it took the shoulder pads of the Bills' rushers to cross the line of scrimmage after the snap of the ball. King shared that the best rushers combine snap anticipation and acceleration at the snap, and the quickest players average about .8 seconds. With 34 seconds left in the first half, Miller (.62 seconds), Epenesa (.62 seconds), Daquon Jones (.92 seconds), and Phillips (1.02 seconds) completed one of the seven sacks of the game.
"Collectively, that's very strong. On the edge, it's absolutely superior. The Rams needed every bit of their two blockers to neutralize the speed of Miller on the offensive right. On the left, the quick get-off of Epenesa worked well; he ducked inside the block of (Joseph) Noteboom while Phillips ran an outside stunt around Noteboom. Jones bullrushed Allen. All three rushers met at Stafford, enveloping him for a nine-yard sack," King wrote.
King also shared that Buffalo's eight leading defensive linemen/edge players played between 17 and 46 snaps against the Rams. Miller, who averaged 49.5 snaps in 19 games played last year, played 35 snaps on Thursday night.
"Miller might be able to for a long season if the Bills keep him to that number," King said. "Overall, the platooning is a way to keep players fresh, or to try to, for 17 games."
View the Best 30 Photos from the Week 1 game between the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium.