Prior to the start of the 2017 season, Bills fans were unsure of what they might get out of Jordan Poyer at the safety position.
Poyer and fellow free agent acquisition, Micah Hyde, proved to be a dangerous tandem rather quickly; with Poyer posting five interceptions, two fumble recoveries, 95 total tackles, and 13 passes defensed.
Unfortunately, his performance in 2017 did not earn him a nod to the Pro Bowl.
"I feel like I always play as an underdog," said Poyer. "I always have that mindset. I am not upset about it; I realize that I've got a lot of work to do."
Poyer's underdog mentality likely stems from his early days in the NFL.
As a seventh-round pick by Philadelphia in 2013, he was released in Week 7 of that season.
After playing a significant, but not glamorous role in Cleveland for four seasons, Poyer signed a four-year deal in Buffalo on March 9th, 2017; reuniting him with assistant defensive backs coach, Bobby Babich.
Babich's relationship with Poyer is undoubtedly one of the biggest reasons for his success in Buffalo.
"Bobby Babich has been my coach for a long time, and he has high expectations for me, so I try to set the bar high" Poyer said.
One aspect of Poyer's life that cannot be understated, is the impact of his family's athletic bloodlines, and their moral compass as a whole.
His mother, Julie, played college volleyball at Eastern New Mexico University; and his grandfather played basketball at Poyer's alma mater, Oregon State.
Furthermore, his family has provided him with a sense of responsibility, both on and off of the field.
"I already have high expectations of myself," said Poyer. "One as a husband and a father, and another as a football player."
If I have two tackles and we win the game, or 10 tackles and we win the game, my focus is on winning. Safety Jordan Poyer
Poyer has shown a remarkable understanding of how precious life and the game of football are.
"I still think about being hurt in the middle of the 2016 season in Cleveland, and having the game taken away from me.
"I'm blessed to be here to play this game at a high level, and I have real high expectations of myself," said Poyer.
Defensive additions, especially those in the secondary, could provide Poyer with a supporting cast that could propel him to the Pro Bowl.
"Obviously the guys we've added on the defensive side of the ball are going to make playing in this scheme fun," said Poyer.
Although it would be tough for many people to keep their mind off of a snub in the previous season, Poyer maintains that team success takes precedent over his personal achievements.
"I'm not worried about my production," said Poyer. "I have my own goals, but I want to win football games.
"If I have two tackles and we win the game, or 10 tackles and we win the game, my focus is on winning."
It is important to note that a Pro Bowl appearance has not, and will not ever define Poyer as a man, or as a football player.
Conversely, a Pro Bowl appearance is a milestone that he is determined to achieve; and it will be extremely difficult to keep him out of the conversation in 2018.