During the final week of OTAs, we heard from Bills quarterback AJ McCarron about how the team is coming together. Ringer NFL reporter Danny Kelly talked about why Zay Jones is in position to have a bounce back season in 2018. Plus linebacker Julian Stanford, guard Wyatt Teller and others discussed more Bills-related topics and more news around the NFL.
‘One Bills Live’ with John Murphy and Steve Tasker airs weekdays from 12 noon to 3 pm on WGR 550 and MSG.
Here’s six things you may have missed on the show this week.
1. WHAT IT MEANS TO BE ‘ONE HECK OF A TEAMMATE’
Head coach Sean McDermott had a lot of positive things to say about veteran quarterback AJ McCarron this week. “He’s one heck of a teammate, which is, to me, a great compliment as a player, and as a quarterback,” McDermott told the media.
What does being a good teammate mean to McCarron? We asked him on the show.
“We’re in the business of a team,” he answered. “Everybody has their individual position but it takes a team to win. And the individuals that play together as a team are the ones that end up winning the ultimate goal, and that's a Super Bowl.”
“I just try to treat everybody the way I want to be treated and be fair to everybody,” McCarron continued, “and know when to tell them the truth about something – whether it's something we want to hear or don’t want to hear. And I go through the same situations, and I have my guys on this offense that do that to me.”
McCarron spent four years in Cincinnati to start his NFL career. And after two months in Buffalo’s he’s already picked up some differences between the towns.
“I think the fact that Buffalo has a smaller town feel,” he said. “You can see, probably if you grow up here, everybody knows everybody. It’s just one of those places. It’s awesome.”
“And the passion that they have here. You know, they had passion in Cincinnati, but to me it ended up seeming like it was more of a baseball city. Here, it’s like Alabama to me. These fans are passionate about the Bills and the game and it’s awesome to be a part of it.”
2. ANOTHER PLAUDIT FOR TREMAINE EDMUNDS
Last week, it was veteran Lorenzo Alexander saying Bills first round pick Tremaine Edmunds will probably be an All-Pro performer in a couple of years.
This week, it’s rookie Wyatt Teller, Buffalo’s fifth round pick, who had words of praise for his fellow rookie. Teller and Edmunds were teammates at Virginia Tech, and Teller says he knew years ago that Edmunds was a special talent.
“I mean look at him,” Teller said on the show. “If you look at his habits, the way he performs, the way he acts. He’s a mature guy and you can tell that this is his life and this is his future.”
Teller says Edmunds’ family background in football made him a prized recruit for the Hokies a few years ago.
“He had his two older brothers and we thought he was a sure-shot,” Teller said. “He was coming to Virginia Tech and I remember just looking at him and being like, ‘Wow, I didn’t look like that on the defensive line or linebacker.’ But he’s a special guy and a great man as well.”
3. POSSIBLE BREAKOUT YEAR FOR ZAY JONES?
Bills wide receiver Zay Jones is on-the-shelf for a while, at least until training camp, as he recovers from knee surgery. But NFL writer Danny Kelly of ‘The Ringer’ says Jones just might bounce back to enjoy a breakout campaign in his second year in the league.
“It's just tough to know” Kelly told us. “Jones did flash at times (last year). Before he got hurt later in the year. He showed that he had some playmaking ability that made him that second round pick.”
“Obviously it’s been a tough offseason for him,” Kelly continued. “A couple surgeries. It just kind of throws a towel over what we can expect from him next year. But It wouldn’t be too surprising if Daboll came in and found a really good role for him and made him a focal point in the offense, and he could be a lot more successful than what we might expect this year.”
4. FREE AGENT GETS GOOD VIBES FROM THE BILLS LOCKER ROOM
Bills LB Julian Stanford has made his way around the NFL in recent years. Buffalo is his fifth team in seven years—Stanford has bounced around trying to find a home in the league.
But the special teams ace told ‘One Bills Live’ there’s a different feeling around the Bills than anything he’s seen in his previous NFL stops.
“You know from day one, I felt like the whole organization was welcoming with open arms,” Stanford said. “I felt the fan base was welcoming with open arms. You know, once I got into the building, met the players, got into the locker room I felt like the locker room was a very close-knit family type setting. They care a lot about you as a person as well as a player and I think those are big things and it makes you want to play for each other and do more for each other because it’s like a family.”
5. TOO LATE FOR AN “OPT-OUT” CLAUSE FOR AARON RODGERS
There’s a new contract in the works for Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. But he may not get the type of contract he was looking for.
NFL Network reported earlier this week that Rodgers wanted an “opt out” clause in his new deal so he could renegotiate in the future when he’s passed again on the quarterback salary list.
But an ‘opt out’ clause is not likely for Rodgers, according to former player agent Joel Corry, now with CBS Sports. Corry says among other things; the Packers have little incentive to grant that kind of a clause to Rodgers at age 34.
“He’s 34 now. He needed to do that in 2013 when he was 29.” Corry told the show. “He’s under contract through 2019 and they can stick an exclusive franchise tag, which I’m projecting to right around 29.5 million on him. And then the next year 20 percent more, you’re over 35 million in 2020, then he’s 38. He could have better played that game five years ago.”
6. A DIFFERENT APPROACH FOR BRADY IN FOXBORO?
There’s been plenty of recent offseason news from New England, but quarterback Tom Brady finally reported to the Patriots for his first offseason workouts this week. After leading the team in offseason dedication for years, Brady took the last few months off, not showing up for any of the Patriots voluntary workouts.
Does it mean anything?
Maybe, according to Albert Breer of SI.com and MMQB. He told the show the Patriots may not be able to point to Brady, their best player, as the shining example of ‘The Patriot Way.’
“They’ve always coached Brady hard,” Breer said. “They’ve always treated Brady like he’s anyone else on the roster. And if you can’t do that anymore – what happens when a young player is having a tough week, or tough month, or is coming off a tough game? Is he going to be engaged to the same level?”
“Brady’s always been such a model of what you want as far as that goes with the way Bill (Belichick) runs his program. If he’s not engaged to the same level I don’t know how it’s going to affect them in 2018, but I know what a great benefit it’s been to them in the last 18 years. You’d have to think there’s going to be fallout somewhere.”