1. Why Senorise Perry wanted to be the first Bill to wear No 32 in more than 40 years
For the first time since 1977 the Bills have awarded a player the No. 32 jersey, which formerly belonged to Hall of Fame running back O.J. Simpson.
Perry signed with the Bills this past offseason and enters his sixth year in the NFL. Perry has previous stints with the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins. He’s spent the past two seasons in Miami where he’s found his niche as a special teams player.
Perry has returned 18 kicks the last two seasons for an average of 20.3 yards per return. He’s also recorded 22 tackles, two forced fumbles and recovered two fumbles in his career.
Simpson spent 1969-1977 with the Bills where he was a four-time rushing champ and in 1973 became the first back to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season.
“Something we did talk about when it was brought up by Perry that we know it is a number that was important to him and his family,” head coach Sean McDermott said. “So we felt like we would honor that request and we definitely vetted it out and talked about it.”
McDermott stated that if you polled Bills players the majority wouldn’t even know it was the first time the number has been given out in 42 years.
“I know the situation. I know that greatness comes with that number, playing in Buffalo. But I’m willing to take anything that comes my way," Perry told The Athletic. "I’m going into my sixth year, and I know what it takes to get in this league and stay here. With that number on my back, I know I’m doing well for my family.”
Perry wants to wear the number to honor his uncle. Tim Graham wrote the following about Perry.
Perry wanted to wear No. 32 because it’s a family tradition, especially at Chattooga High in Summerville, Ga. Perry idolized his Uncle Kibarah, and that’s where the lineage began.
“When I was young, I was going through some picture albums with my mother,” Kibarah London said. London’s dad and Perry’s grandfather “was a big football star in our hometown, and he wore 23. But he was always absent in our lives.
“I said, ‘I don’t want to be anything like my father. I want to be the total opposite as an athlete, as a man.’ So I flipped the number and wore it in every sport. It just went from there.”
2. Jerry Hughes is glad the organization believes in him
While holding his son in one arm, Jerry Hughes spoke about signing his new two-year deal with the Buffalo Bills. Hughes has been with the team since 2013 and is the longest tenured Bill on the roster. He was set to become a free agent next season but with his new contract all those worries are gone.
“Just happy to have this deal done so you really just get focused on football,” Hughes said. “Get with the guys and just focus on winning games and that's really always been my main focus really.”
Hughes no longer has questions about his future in Western New York. The defensive end will be entering his 10th year in the NFL and continues to serve as an integral part of the Bills defense.
“I mean, honestly, it’s good to have an organization, owner, a GM and a head coach who really believes in you,” Hughes said. “It's really exciting for me to be back here in this building with the team and with the guy so we can build this relationship early. That way come September, we're out there we're having fun we're pinning our ears back and we understand how to communicate, how to work on the field and I think that's a great testament to what they do up front but also what you need to build a championship winning team.”
Hughes has had a multitude of different coaches in his six years with the Bills but what’s different now is he will have the opportunity to play in the same essential defensive scheme for the third straight year. Hughes feels it will be great to be able to watch film the past two seasons and see where he can improve.
He’s excited about the help he’ll get on the pass rush with the addition of Ed Oliver.
“I was excited, I mean I've seen the kid in college take on triple teams and still be in the quarterback’s face,” Hughes said. “We can have it all game so I mean it was just excitement for me because up front we like those kind of guys.”
3. One burning question Bills still have to answer according to NFL.com
It’s always good to have depth at a position and the Bills may have four running backs able to shoulder the load this season. NFL.com writer Jeremy Bergman asks the question as to who will be the odd man out at the position?
The Bills have not been shy this offseason about improving the position, either. Buffalo axed Chris Ivory in favor of the eclectic mix of Frank Gore, T.J. Yeldon and rookie Devin Singletary, whose combined salary in 2019 is not even half that of Shady. It would be a bold strategy and patently unfair, as much as a veteran cut is unfair in this unforgiving business, to let McCoy go or phase him out just as the Bills are set to give Josh Allen and his remade arsenal a true chance at building something great. And it might not happen. But Brandon Beane's transactions this spring suggest that a changing of the guard, or at least the philosophy, in the backfield is afoot.
The Bills rotated running backs on the first day of camp with LeSean McCoy getting the majority of first-team reps. McCoy will have a new offensive line to help open up holes this season and should see a bounce back in his performance.