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1. Bills provided these surprises for Lorenzo Alexander’s potentially final home game

Lorenzo Alexander isn’t done just yet, but Sunday marked his final home game in a Bills uniform.

“Yeah, obviously that was a decision I made before the season,” Alexander said. “You know at this point we still got to play Houston next week, so my mind hasn’t even processed transition yet. I’m still in this thing 100% and I think once you start thinking about life after, you take some of the focus away from the guys and what’s important.”

What’s important to Alexander is his family. The Bills surprised him by having his 11-year old daughter Zoie sing the national anthem prior to the game while Alexander was standing with his family.

“It’s one of the proudest moments as a father I’ve had,” Alexander said. “It was real emotional and I didn’t know she was singing it. It was a cool experience and I thought she did a great job.”

Alexander was even given a curtain call early on in the game. Head coach Sean McDermott used a timeout early on in the first quarter to bring more attention to the substitution.

“I don’t know how to explain to you how Lorenzo Alexander has changed a lot of people in this locker room, including myself,” Micah Hyde said. “It’s the way he carries himself off and on the field. He just flies around. He’s the oldest guy in the locker room and he plays like the youngest. He definitely is a role model.”

Zoie Alexander surprised @onemangang97 and sang the national anthem before today’s game.

That’s one proud dad.

2. Bills ready to prepare for playoff matchup with Houston

The Bills playoff matchup is set. Buffalo will play the Houston Texans. The game marks the third straight playoff opponent from the AFC South and the first time the Bill will have played a playoff game in Houston.

“It’s going to be a challenge for us, they have lots of weapons on both sides of the ball,” Micah Hyde said. “I haven’t really watched them too much throughout the season. They had a primetime game and they looked amazing, so I know it’s going to be a big challenge.”

It’s the second time the Bills have made the playoffs in three seasons, but they still lack a lot of experience with a younger roster. Key contributors this season like Jordan Phillips have never played in the postseason.

“It’s going to be a fun experience for everybody,” Phillips said. “It amps up a lot and every play is crucial and everybody is going out there and giving it all they got every play. It’s such a battle in there that you have to get your mind right so it’s not easy.”

Leading Houston this season has been their quarterback Deshaun Watson. The third-year signal caller rested in Week 17 but started every other game this season. He threw for 256 yards per game to go along with 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

“He can do everything,” Hyde said. “He beats you with your arms and legs. I don’t think he gets enough credit for how smart he is and how he can read coverages. Then when the play breaks down that’s when I feel like he makes his plays the most.”

Coach McDermott: “From this point on, it’s a one game season. Wins in the playoffs don’t come easy and we need to earn everything as a team.”

Isaiah McKenzie played wide receiver, kick returner, punt returner, and cornerback for the Bills on Sunday. McKenzie was only used at corner for a few snaps, but it was necessary after injuries and precaution.

“It looked like he did good so maybe we’ll evaluate that,” head coach Sean McDermott said. “He didn’t blink which is admirable at that point. Just trying to protect ourselves more than anything at that point.”

The Bills sat Tre’Davious White, Levi Wallace was taken out with an ankle injury, Kevin Johnson was taken out as precaution, leaving just Taron Johnson, Dean Marlowe, and Siran Neal at corner. Then Taron Johnson got hurt. McKenzie was the next man up.

“Aw man I thought he was like Deion Sanders out there,” Duke Williams said. “They did a run play and I was like ‘oh lord they’re going to Isaiah’s side’ but he set the edge and the defense got the stop.”

The Bills primarily used a lot of backups on Sunday since their playoff seeding was already determined. On defense, Corey Thompson had five tackles while Daryl Johnson and Julian Stanford each had four. Offensively, the leading receivers were Williams with 108 yards and tight end Tommy Sweeney with 76.

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The Bills are going to the playoffs, after clinching a spot against the Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Bills safety Micah Hyde is no stranger to the postseason. Last season is the only year of Hyde’s career in which he hasn’t gone to the postseason.

To chat about the win over the Steelers, the upcoming matchup with New England, and the season as a whole, Hyde joined Schopp & the Bulldog as part of Buffalo Bills Football Monday. Here’s some of the best from Hyde’s time with the guys.

On the team being healthy all season:

“Guys have their routines, hot tubs, massages, cold tubs. Coach later in the week & late in the year does a good job helping us stay healthy. Sean brought in a culture where he’s like ‘hey get your rehab, get in the training room’. How healthy we are starts with McDermott. As a professional you should be in the training room, getting your body right for the next game. It shouldn’t be looked at as ‘oh you’re soft’.”

On staying optimistic when down in games:

“Our mindset has been different. Ups & downs, we feel like we’re going to win the game. Even down a field goal, we felt like we were going to win.”

On a different routine for Sunday Night Football:

“It was a long day, not playing on Sunday night in a while. I woke up at the regular time, ate breakfast, watched film. Took a nap.”

On fans showing up to the airport:

“What’s amazing is it was a work day the next day for people. Players on other teams acknowledge Bills Mafia. It’s safe to say we’ve got the best fans in the NFL right now.”

You can hear Micah Hyde’s full segment with Schopp & the Bulldog below.

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Usually these analyses focus on a specific aspect of the team or player. To close the season I thought it would be fitting to look at, well, the close of the season. Not counting the punt, the Buffalo Bills had a ten-play drive in overtime that sealed their fate for the 2019-2020 season. We’ll use the coaches film to take a look at each of these ten plays (sorry Corey Bojorquez and Reid Ferguson) and ride the roller coaster one last time.

Play 1

No matter any other message I try to convey, there’s no avoiding at least some conjecture on what could have been. It’s easy to second guess plays when I have frame-by-frame at my side. Don’t think of this as finger pointing though. Think of this as an illustration of the razor’s edge on which many NFL plays live. With Quinton Spain’s man working inside, the lane behind Morse is also narrow and makes the resulting choice understandable.

Play 2

On second down the safer play may have been the wisest, but again we’re dabbling in what if. Brian Daboll and Josh Allen gamble on winning it all. Just like the Spanish Inquisition, nobody expects Patrick DiMarco to run a go route. The pass travels over 50 yards downfield and is perhaps a couple feet off. DiMarco’s brakes leave him open in what is one of the better performances tracking a deep ball all year. The razor’s edge will sometimes cut you.

Play 3

Josh Allen moves to his right to give himself the option of running or gunning. The Houston Texans have his number and eyes on Allen’s best target at this point, Dawson Knox. Both young players execute and keep the team alive.

Play 4

A lot of chatter this week has been how the Bills collapsed. That’s not entirely unfair. This play illustrates a strong counterpoint, though. The Texans came ready to play too. The same determination and execution the Bills used to gain a lead in the first place happened to be present on the other side of the ball too.

Play 5

Josh Allen’s best option is to throw it away. The Texans have again dialed up the right play at the right time.

Play 6

After the last few plays, it looks like Allen might have felt pressure that wasn’t there. Moving right leads to real pressure, which he navigates expertly, all while keeping his eyes open for a target. Devin Singletary understands the situation and gives Allen a target. One incredible throw later and the Bills are still in it.

Play 7

Brian Daboll calls a designed run for Allen and it’s a doozy. A small army of blockers have gotten well ahead of the Texans’ defense and a decent gain looks all but certain. One miss is all it takes sometimes.

Play 8

Plays like this fuel Allen’s critics and this, too, is not entirely unfair. I’ll defer to one of my old defenses of Tyrod Taylor. A quarterback can be a limiting factor in a team’s offense and hold them back. As a starter, Taylor led the Bills to respectable finishes in points for. The simple conclusion then is that if Taylor was the biggest limiting factor, he wasn’t an anchor.

Allen deserves some blame for this pass and other plays. And yes, Allen could still turn out to be the limiting factor. But as of right now, the Allen “anchor” helped force overtime in a playoff game and came up with great plays in this drive to keep it alive to this point.

Play 9

One thing that should not be questioned is the team’s heart. It’d be a tough challenge to find a play where they weren’t giving it their all. I froze at the end to show McDermott. Instead of opting for simple self preservation, he’s keeping his eyes on what’s happening, protecting his QB and possibly about to pick a fight with the refs. Culture starts at the top and is displayed in all the little moments that make up a game.

Play 10

The Texans have an easier play to defend than the one we won’t discuss going the opposite way. The Buffalo Bills play this fairly safe and cross their fingers. The Texans remain disciplined and only bite to Duke Williams’s side when it’s clear that Allen is throwing that way. Even if the ball was caught, or thrown to the other side of the field, this was resulting in a punt.

This didn’t end the game either. While a score was the desired outcome, the Bills did manage to flip the field and force the Texans to drive.

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Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Dion Dawkins took time out of his offseason to jump on The Players’ Tribune.

The outlet, made for and by professional athletes, allows players all across sports to touch on topics personal to them with a personal touch. What is near and dear to Dawkins? Bills Mafia.

Dawkins used the outlet to pen his thoughts on the season that was and that teammates that are special to him. But an overlying topic was Bills fans and he had two key thoughts.

First, if you’re in, you’re in. If you’re not, don’t try to become a bandwagon member of Bills Mafia.

“I have an important message for those people,” Dawkins explained. “DO NOT TRY THIS.”

“The bandwagon is full,” Dawkins added.

But Dawkins wasn’t just trying to warn outsiders, he was excited to thank the Day 1 members. The left tackle explained throughout his football career, folks only knew he was a football player because he was big. But not in Buffalo.

Dawkins writes:

In Buffalo, man, it’s crazy. It’s crazy! Y’all are crazy. And I mean that in the best way possible. I’ll be at Wegmans, just shopping around, minding my business — and it’s not, “Big man over there, I think he might play for the Bills??” It’s not even, “Oh yeah, that dude, he plays for the Bills.” It’s, “DION!” It’s, “Shnowman!” It’s, “You already shnow!” And maybe that sounds like a small thing….. but I have to tell you, it’s really big. Those interactions, those moments with fans, those quick little hellos where the whole thing just lodges in your brain, like, Wow, what I do matters to these people? And they don’t just know me….. they know ABOUT me?? No lie: I cherish those moments. I will forever.

Friday and no work? #[email protected] pic.twitter.com/XP8J8v45yO

— Sam-Jarvis Green-Carges (@carkeys33) January 10, 2020

For Dawkins’ full article in The Players’ Tribune, click here.

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1. Tre’Davious White earns All-Pro recognition from these media outlets

Tre’Davious White is having a career season in many ways with six interceptions and the league’s most targets in coverage without giving up a touchdown. Due to the success, White is receiving national praise landing on three All-Pro teams so far including NFL.com, Bleacher Report and Pro Football Talk

Bleacher Report

CB2: Tre’Davious White, Buffalo Bills (4 votes)

Scoring touchdowns is the entire point of football.

If a Buffalo Bills opponent wants to score six points, it shouldn’t target cornerback Tre’Davious White. According to Pro Football Focus, he recorded 599 coverage snaps without allowing a single touchdown.

NFL.com

Wesseling: Stephon Gilmore, New England Patriots; Tre’Davious White, Buffalo Bills. Gilmore finally allowed a touchdown in coverage on John Brown’s 53-yard bomb in Week 16, leaving White as the cornerback with the most targets (83) without surrendering a score, per NFL Research. It’s not every year that the interception leaderboard is headlined by the stingiest cover corners, but Gilmore and White sit atop the charts with six apiece while also ranking first (26) and second (23) in passes defensed, respectively. Gilmore ranked among the top three corners with an opposing passer rating of 47.4. Those numbers are all the more impressive considering New England’s secondary lines up in man-to-man coverage as frequently as any team in the league. Gilmore is the key chess piece on a defense that is only the third since 2002 to amass 25 or more interceptions while holding opposing passers to a rating under 63.0. Capable of taking over games by erasing No. 1 wideouts and forcing timely turnovers, White is perhaps the lone week-to-week difference-maker on a Bills squad that reached double-digit victories for the first time this century.

Pro Football Talk

CB: Tre’Davious White: As important as anyone to the Bills making the playoffs.

2. Tre’Davious White on Texans WRs: Those guys are explosive

Tre’Davious White and his teammates in the secondary will have their hands full with a few talented receivers in Houston including DeAndre Hopkins. When asked about the much anticipated matchup between he and Hopkins, White said he doesn’t see it as just a one-on-one matchup.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a one-on-one matchup because there are 11 guys on the field,” White said. “Whenever he aligns to the left side, I’ve got to be on my best game. When he aligns to the right side, Kevin [Johnson] has to be on his best game. It’s going to take all 11 of us to limit him because we know he is one of the best in the league. If we play team total defense and everybody runs to the ball, whenever he lines up to either side and we are on our A game, we will be fine.”

White understands it’s not just Hopkins, the defense needs to limit Kenny Stills and Will Fuller who will be a game-time decision.

“Those guys are explosive. It’s going to be tough, but I feel like with our preparation we will be fine.”

With how skilled Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson can be outside of the pocket, it will be important to keep him contained.

“He puts his team in a position to make plays,” White explained. “He has been explosive the last three years in the league. He has a big time arm, he’s accurate too. He can escape the pocket, so we have to have a little bit of luck going in there because that guy is tough.”

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell went into detail on how each NFL team left made it into the playoffs and what they need to do to keep winning. The list was organized by ESPN’s FPI to win the Super Bowl, which meant the Bills were No. 12. Barnwell explains it’s Buffalo’s defense that got them to the postseason.

How they got here: With a defense that won a few games outright and kept the team close in just about every other contest. The Bills allowed 24 points or fewer in 15 of 16 games, a figure no defense has topped since the Eagles went 16-for-16 in 2001. Over the past five years, teams that held their opponents below 25 points have won 74.2% of the time, which is roughly the pace of a 12-win season. Josh Allen and the offense have chipped in with four fourth-quarter comeback victories, tying the second-year quarterback for the league lead.

To keep the season alive, Barnwell says the Bills need to improve in the red zone.

Where they need to get hot in January: In the red zone on offense. Allen’s running ability gives the Bills a valuable weapon, but Buffalo is just above league average at 14th in red zone efficiency this season. That’s fine, but against the league’s best teams, they need to turn their goal-line opportunities into touchdowns, because they might get only two or three shots there per game.

Comparing the Bills to previous Super Bowl winners, ESPN thinks they are similar to the 2001 Patriots.

Past Super Bowl comp: 2001 Patriots. Bills fans might not be enthused about being compared to their archrivals, but that Patriots team was built around a strong defense that slowed down offenses in the red zone and a second-year quarterback whose job was mostly to avoid turnovers. Tom Brady didn’t have Allen’s rushing ability, and the Bills’ defense is better than that Patriots defense was by DVOA, but they win games with the same style of play.

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Heading into Sunday’s game against thew New York Jets, Buffalo Bills defensive end Trent Murphy had three sacks on the season. That would have been the lowest total since his rookie season, but the veteran had other ideas.

On Sunday, Murphy took down Jets quarterback Sam Darnold twice to raise his season sack total to five. That also earned Murphy a $350,000 bonus according to Tim Graham of The Athletic. This is an incentive built into his contract.

Murphy totaled four sacks in 2018.

It’s only the second two-sack day of his career and first as a member of the Bills. Murphy received extended playing time thanks to an injury to Shaq Lawson and extra rest given to Jerry Hughes. He played 72% of the defensive snaps, the third-highest percentage on the year.

While Murphy hasn’t reached the lofty expectations of Bills fans following his signing as a free agent, he’s been steady and a good “process” guy in the locker room and weight room. With Lawson hitting the free-agent market, it wouldn’t surprise us if Murphy is back next year even with a salary of $6 million and a cap hit approaching $9 million.

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The 2019 campaign for the Bills was dubbed ‘The Climb’ by head coach Sean McDermott, and the team made a number of positive strides through the course of the season. While their top-five defense continued to excel, Buffalo’s offense blended together as the season wore on and special teams found its footing in the return and coverage games. The results were the team’s first 10-win season this century and an AFC Wild Card playoff berth.

We take a look now at some of the team’s standouts, who were instrumental in making the season as successful as it was.

Offensive MVP: John Brown

Buffalo’s offense was in need of a jumpstart for their passing game after the 2018 season. Not many saw John Brown as a viable number one target, but he proved to be in every way for the Bills. Brown put together the team’s first 1,000-yard receiving season since 2015 (Sammy Watkins) and was tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns. Four of those six scores came in the fourth quarter including his Week 1 game winner against the Jets. He even threw a TD pass in the win at Dallas.

3 key takeaways from Sean McDermott’s season-ending press conference | Quick Hits

Defensive MVP: Tre’Davious White

Buffalo’s top cover man truly had a breakthrough season in 2019. Tied for the league lead in interceptions with six, White also had the league’s second-lowest passer rating allowed in coverage with a mark of 46.3. His 17 pass breakups on the season was almost twice that of the Bills next closest player in that category (9) and ranks fourth in the league.

Most Improved Player: Josh Allen

The Bills quarterback grew into his role in his second NFL season raising his completion percentage, his yards per attempt, his touchdown to interception ratio and his passer rating. He also reduced his average time to throw from a league high 3.22 seconds in 2018 to 2.86 seconds this season.

Allen also orchestrated four fourth-quarter comebacks in 2019 and led the league in rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with nine.

Breakout Player: Jordan Phillips

Phillips play in 2019 was nothing short of dominant. The defensive tackle led the AFC in sacks by a defensive tackle with 9.5. He finished second in the league to L.A. Rams DT Aaron Donald (12.5). Phillips was also second on the team in QB hits with 16. Stout in the Bills run front, Phillips helped lead Buffalo to a top 10 ranking against the run.

Hon. Mention: Shaq Lawson

Most Promising Player: Tremaine Edmunds

One of Buffalo’s two every-down linebackers, Edmunds led the team with 115 tackles on the season. He also ranked second in tackles for loss (10), tied for second in pass breakups (9) and contributed four QB hits, 1.5 sacks and an interception.

Hon. Mention: Matt Milano

Top Rookie: Devin Singletary

The ‘Motor’ really didn’t get revved up until just after midseason when he began to handle the majority of the rushing load, but Devin Singletary was very productive in his rookie season. He finished first in the league in yards per carry average for running backs with at least 150 carries (5.13). Singletary also finished the season strong with 100 yards or more from scrimmage in four of his last eight games.

Unsung Hero: Jordan Poyer

The Bills safety was one of three players with over 100 tackles, and one of two players with production in every single defensive category. The team leader in both forced fumbles (3) and fumble recoveries (3), Poyer also contributed a pair of interceptions to finish second to White in total takeaways (5).

Hon. Mention: Trent Murphy

Biggest X-Factor: Andre Roberts

Though he did not take a return the distance, Roberts was very consistent in providing quality field position for Buffalo’s offense. He was the main reason the Bills ranked first in the league in average drive start (27.6) and fifth in the league in kick return average with a personal return average of 26.6.

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Here are my hot reads from the Buffalo Bills’ 13-6 loss against the New York Jets Sunday at New Era Field.

Hottest topic
Now that the Bills have gotten their regular-season-finale/preseason game out of the way, they can turn their attention to what actually matters: The playoffs.

The Bills will face the Houston Texans next weekend at NRG Stadium. The Texans became the opponent once the other potential foe, the Kansas City Chiefs, scored a 31-21 victory against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday to lock Houston, which won the AFC South championship, into the fourth seed.

Conventional wisdom is that the Texans are the much better draw, because the Bills have a far better chance of beating them. The primary advantage to facing the Houston is the Bills avoid going against Chiefs dynamic quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

However, the Texans are expected to have dominant defensive end J.J. Watt back from injury. They also play a sound scheme, under veteran defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, that is rooted in the same concepts as those used by the New England Patriots, who formerly employed Crennel. Quarterback Josh Allen could have his hands full.

The Bills’ defense could have issues against Deshaun Watson and the rest of the Texans’ passing game with multiple injuries to the secondary suffered Sunday.

Well done
Allen exiting the field healthy Sunday after only two possessions, and Matt Barkley taking over the rest of the way.
Defensive end Trent Murphy had two sacks while receiving extensive action because fellow end Shaq Lawson was inactive with an injured hamstring.
The Bills making cornerback Tre’Davious White, receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley, running back Devin Singletary, and tight end Dawson Knox inactive for the game.
The Bills calling a timeout just before the snap of the Jets’ second offensive series to remove linebacker Lorenzo Alexander from the game and allow him to receive an ovation. Alexander is expected to retire after the season. His daughter, Zoie, sang the national anthem, and Alexander gave her a hug at midfield afterward.
Ice cold
The Bills losing cornerback Levi Wallace and offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe to what appear to be serious ankle injuries. Wallace was injured late in the first quarter while intercepting a Sam Darnold pass. His right foot looked to catch in the turf, causing him to bend his ankle awkwardly. Offensive guard Quinton Spain rolled up on Nsekhe’s right ankle, which Nsekhe had previously injured and subsequently missed the five games preceding the encounter against the Jets. As a precaution after Wallace’s injury, the Bills took third cornerback Kevin Johnson out of the game and replaced him with safety Dean Marlowe.
How desperate were the Bills for secondary help? After cornerback Taron Johnson left the game late in the fourth quarter after Jaquan Johnson stepped on his right foot/shin, receiver Isaiah McKenzie was inserted at corner.
Barkley threw two interceptions and lost one of two fumbles. He completed 15 of 28 passes for 165 yards and had a passer rating of 41.5.
Setting the table
The day and time of the Bills-Texans wild-card playoff game weren’t immediately revealed by the NFL. This marks the Bills’ second postseason appearance since 2017.

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Time for the weekly Friday mailbag. What a crazy Wild Card Weekend last week, and now we are heading into a Divisional Round. I think the weekend’s games should be excellent!

But first, mailbag questions. And don’t forget to holler at me on Twitter or Instagram if you have a question next week.

What is Josh Allen’s career floor/ceiling? Should the Bills be looking to move on? — @jdiz1617

This is Josh Allen: Josh Allen is a below replacement-level quarterback.

He’s started for two full seasons now, and the success rate of quarterbacks who’ve started their first two seasons under replacement and become even a solid starter in the last 20 years is narrow — basically, it’s Alex Smith.

Age may factor. The only QB of the last 20 years to develop into a solid starter despite below replacement years 1-2 was Alex Smith who also came into the league at 21.

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Allen is just good enough for the Bills to be competitive in most games, as they were against the Texans last weekend. But he’s not good enough for this offense to ever put away teams. He still misses on far too many easy throws, and while he’s not had many big games so far, he has come up short in many of them (like against the Patriots and Texans).

When you think of a franchise QB, you want someone who’s going to elevate your team when the stakes are highest, and his play doesn’t match that. I know what Bills fans will say to me: “Well, he improved so much this season.”

Yes, and most quarterbacks make their biggest jump between the first year starting and their second. Yet, Allen’s “jump” in the rankings still left him 24th in QBR, 27th by Football Outsiders, 22nd by PFF, 23rd in adjusted yards per attempt, and dead last in completion percentage. So, not ideal.

The Bills should not be looking to move on, though. They drafted Allen and will hope for the best next season as they add more weapons for him and continue to build the offense around him. However, the Bills entering 2020 feel like the Bears from last season and the Jaguars the season before that: great on defense, not so great at the quarterback position. I believe they will take a big step back next season.

The NFL sidelines are a closed circuit network with all the coaches plugged in and the interns running around with cables. The link between coach and QB’s helmet is over air waves. Could someone with a scanner app not hear that chatter? — @johnsms3

Good question. The play is radioed in from the headset of the playcaller to the QB’s helmet. And for those who don’t know, this happens on defense also. One player on defense gets to wear the “green dot helmet” so he’s able to get the call from the defensive playcaller.

So in theory, I guess someone could grab the chatter somehow. But, how useful would it be?

I think it would be extremely tough given the 40 seconds between plays to intercept the chatter and then decipher those calls in time to get them back into the players on the field. Remember, 15 seconds before the end of the play clock, the communication cuts off.

Also, I think it’s just an overload on the system to have all this information sometimes, especially if the information isn’t relayed properly. You have your offensive or defensive call, plus the opposing look on the field. You go through your pre-snap process and then boom, you get word of the opposing call. Is this call correct? How do I adjust? Where do I look?

It’s just so much. Then the ball is snapped and you’re just standing there thinking.

I’ve always been curious: What goes into gameday for players (say a noon kickoff)? When do you get to the stadium and what’s the process up until warmups? You said before you guys are creatures of habits, so what exactly goes on while all of us crazy people are partying in the parking lot? — @bburtonn

Awesome question. Let’s use a 1 p.m. ET game. Whether it’s a home game or an away game, you must be in the locker room two hours before the kickoff, so 11 a.m. Before every game, including home games, you stay at a hotel. There’s a wakeup call, normally around 8:30 a.m. for breakfast. I would wake up around 7:30 so I could eat and get to the stadium early, normally around 9:30.

At home, we drive and on the road, there are two buses. An early bus would normally arrive to the stadium by 10 a.m. and then a second arriving at 11 a.m. Once you’re in the locker room, there’s a schedule posted for warmups. If you want to go through warmup on your own, you’re free to get that done.

Before you head out for warmups, guys are getting taped, stretching, in the hot tub, and getting treatment. When it’s your position’s time to head out, then you go out for warmups. The linemen are the last ones out, normally around 12:20. You warm up for 15 minutes and then go back inside and get ready for the game.

My personal routine was this:

9:30: arrive
9:40: bathroom
9:50: get my ankle warmed up in the training room
10:30: I’d just lounge around, maybe go for a stroll on the field. Just relax
11:30: I’d get dressed, everything but my pads, and go outside for my warmup
11:50: back in the locker room to relax
12: get my pads on, followed by my hands taped
1: game time
I hope that answers your question!

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The Buffalo Bills felt that they drafted a centerpiece of their defense when they selected Tremaine Edmunds in the first round back in 2018. Thanks to the latest information from ESPN’s Field Yates, it is known that Edmunds has accomplished a first for an NFL player.

According to Yates, Edmunds became the first player in NFL history to record 100+ tackles in two seasons by the age of 21. He also notes that Edmunds did not miss a tackle through Week 16, and for good measure referred to Edmunds as a “complete stud.” Edmunds finished the 2019 season with 115 total tackles, and was named a first-alternate for the Pro Bowl. In addition to his impressive tackle numbers, Edmunds added 1.5 sacks, a safety and an interception while leading the Bills defense this season.

The 100-tackle feat has only been accomplished ten times by 21 year olds since the AFL-NFL merger. Hall of Famer Ray Lewis was the first in his 1996 rookie year and he achieved the mark in every season he played at least 13 games, a total of 13 times. Donte Whitner, a name familiar to Bills fans, was the next 21-year-old to record 100+ tackles, notching 106 in his rookie year of 2006. More recently, Luke Kuechley, Landon Collins, Keanu Neal, Jessie Bates, Roquan Smith, and Devin Bush have reached 100 tackles at the age of 21.

Edmunds was the youngest player taken in modern NFL Draft history when the Bills selected him with the 16th overall pick in 2018. He’s the only 20 year old to record 100 tackles since the merger.