1. Young leaders spearheading Bills virtual offseason efforts
Under head coach Sean McDermott and GM Brandon Beane, the Bills have been built into a team of hard-working, dedicated and tight-knit players who will go to every length possible to do right by their teammates. That dedication, however, has been challenged this offseason by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lacking the opportunity to connect on site at One Bills Drive during the offseason conditioning program, new additions to the roster might find it a bit tougher to assimilate and feel accepted.
A critical element in bridging that face-to-face contact have been the efforts of two young leaders on Buffalo's roster.
In an interview with MMQB’s Albert Breer, head coach Sean McDermott outlined how Josh Allen and Tremaine Edmunds have been instrumental in pulling new teammates in as well as making sure teammates are holding one another accountable despite being spread across the country due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
"Just the leadership, the buy-in to our offseason program, I think that, in and of itself, takes leadership, player-driven leadership on top of the coach-driven leadership in this case," said McDermott. "(Josh) and Tremaine Edmunds have both been big movers ahead, if you will, of the buy-in for our offseason virtual program."
McDermott stated that he was encouraged by the efforts of his players to successfully navigate what has become the most unusual of offseasons. As he often says, 'You need the right players on the bus.' Those that are smart, tough and dependable.
"We've got a lot of work to do, we really do," McDermott said. "And our players work hard, there's no doubt about that. I think that's the one thing that I can say: We embrace that we've got to earn things."
2. Josh Allen ranks third in young QB confidence rankings
It may be a bit of an arbitrary rankings list, but in examining the 17 quarterbacks drafted between 2018 and 2020, CBS Sports Jason LaCanfora ranks the group based on a few key factors.
For criteria for these rankings, he cites the cast of players around them, the team infrastructure, the coaching staffs and then assesses who he believes will overcome what will be a shortened on-field offseason and succeed in 2020.
LaCanfora has Bills QB Josh Allen ranked third on his 1-17 list.
3. Josh Allen
I have reservations about Allen ever being a top 10 QB in the typical manner in which we assess them. Accuracy and completion percentage will never be ideal. He has some warts. But he has already been to the playoffs, he has a strong cast on both sides of the ball, his legs are a tremendous asset and if he can just continue to tweak his decision making he will be a winning QB. I don't envision him as a top passer, but in totality he can be very effective.
The only two quarterbacks LaCanfora had ranked ahead of Allen were Baltimore's Lamar Jackson and Arizona's Kyler Murray. Buffalo will play at Arizona in Week 10 this coming season.
3. Competition bubbling over in Edmunds household
In this off-site kind of offseason there might be some NFL players finding it hard to grind the same way they do when they're with their teammates at a team facility, but that is not the case for Buffalo's Tremaine Edmunds.
That's because his two older brothers Trey and Terrell, who both play for the Pittsburgh Steelers, along with Tremaine are all living under the same roof with their parents in their native Danville, Virginia.
In a Zoom interview between the three brothers and Virginia Tech play-by-play announcer Jon Laaser, it was clear the competitive nature between the ‘E-Boyz’ is in full effect.
"It's a lot of grinding and working out," said Terrell, who was a first-round pick of the Steelers in 2018. "We're all upstairs together. It's like high school again. All together doing everything. Eating together, family time, movie time. It's been a good time."
And while they do push each other in a good way during workouts, battle lines are drawn when the board games come out during this COVID-19 pandemic with 'Stay at Home' orders.
"We're playing a lot of competitive games around the house," said Tremaine. "Games like Connect Four, Spades, Five-second rule, Monopoly."
"I don't think we can't get through a game without it being competitive," said Trey. "It's always competitive in everything we do. It's always in us and it's never going anywhere."
"We finished Monopoly in one sitting," said Terrell. "Most people don't finish in one sitting. That's how competitive it is."