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Inigo Montoya

5 Reasons the 2019 Bills defense could be historically good.

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1 hour ago, oldmanfan said:

Historical is not a term that should be used lightly.  The Steelers D of the 70's and Ravens around the turn of the century were historic.  Our D this year - I would take solid to very good.

And how could I forget the 85 Bears.  If this years D remotely resembles any of these we should all jump for joy

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8 minutes ago, Shaw66 said:

Well, that's what the coaches have said about him, but saying it and getting him to do it are two different things.   No one could teach CJ Spiller how to run in the NFL, even though he had all the talent anyone could ask for.   If Edmunds can play with intelligence and instinct, he can be great.   He can be dominant.   And he can make this a great defense.   But it's quite possible that he never will rise to that level.   

Going by how his improvements have occurred from college through his rookie year... I’m inclined to believe that we aren’t going to see a massive jump in Edmunds performance. Rather, he’ll just continue to never make the same mistakes he made before, and eventually we will all be trying to figure out how he got so good. 

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12 hours ago, freddyjj said:

Inigo, thanks for a good topic.  The above #s reflect TDs teams scored on us.  The Bills D did not score last year and were last in that stat.

 

also rarely flipped the field for the offense

 

not sure how the Bills were in the middle of sacks/ they were near the bottom

 

stout, yes except for three games, elite, not close.

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7 hours ago, akcash said:

I love Edmunds... I think he is a huge weapon in coverage and a sideline to sideline linebacker all day... if he played slb he would be maybe the best in the league... I think he has a long way to go between the tackles against the run and he could be the sole difference in the run defense IF he can apply the proper instincts and physicality between the tackles. I think the transition to MLB was a pretty overwhelming task for him against the run last year and I think our run defense at times suffered due to it... Also a major hit to the run defense was when Milano went down. (And Taron Johnson as a previous poster said.)

 

People have to remember that he was the youngest player in the entire league last year.  Even this year he's among the youngest.  He just turned 21 in May.  

 

I see Edmunds being among the best ever in two seasons.  We'll see.  

 

Starting LB-ing and Secondary (starting and depth) on our team are strong, otherwise, not so much.  

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I stopped at '85 Bears...only to bolster that by '15th" against the run.

 

Come on....

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"Historically good?" I doubt it. I've heard that before, and we had a better all around defense than the one we have now, yet never lived up to expectations.

However, all 5 points you make are solid. On paper, it definitely seems like our defense should improve, though there are reasons to think it may not improve quite as much as some may think.

Losing Kyle also means losing the heart of that locker room & a lot of leadership. We still have players that have strong voices, but replacing Kyle's passion and the respect his teammates had for him won't be easy.

Ed Oliver & Edmunds are still unproven. Oliver SHOULD be a solid player from day 1, but nothing is a given with rookies. It's safe to say Edmunds didn't live up to expectations last seasons, but he was also very young. Right now he's getting the benefit of the doubt based on where he was drafted and the "potential" argument, but on the field he hasn't been impressive with the exception of a few rare glimpses. If he plays like he did last year, that will be a huge problem.

 

Lastly, Lorenzo's age will catch up to him eventually. At his position, his age should already be affecting him quite a bit, but somehow he's managed to be one of the best pieces of our defense anyway. Aside from performance dropping off, he's at a higher risk for injury too. Losing him at any point will leave a pretty sizable hole in our defenses.


Anyway, your points are all still valid, and we very well could see a year over year improvement in all categories if all goes right. Our secondary is still top notch, as White & Johnson proved they only get better the more play time they get, and Hyde & Poyer are a fantastic duo, no doubts about their abilities whatsoever. It's just a matter if everything else will come together, and I certainly am optimistic they will. 

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1 hour ago, Inigo Montoya said:

 

Hey WEO,

 

I set the bar really high for the defense in this post for a purpose.  If I had written that post and said our defense has the chance to be "really, really good this year!" what does that get you?  Does anyone think our defense isn't pretty good already?  Where is the discussion about that opinion?

 

If I say they have a chance to be a historically good defense, ala the '85 Bears, now we have a discussion on our hands with some people saying there is a chance if things break right for the defense to really be special, others saying they will be really good but probably not at the level of '85 Bears, and some like yourself thinking that there is not a snowball's chance in hell we have the makings of that type of historic defense.

 

It's a message board.  I post stuff here to express my opinion, AND hopefully to give people something to chew on for a little bit.  I enjoy the give and take with people as long as its respectful.  If you read my post again I don't say they are going to be the next '85 Bears, I ask if it's possible. I lay out why I think this defense is primed to take another step forward this season.  It's a long way until we start playing football.  I'm just looking to talk some football until then.  What else is there to do but speculate a little bit in June about what may happen in December?  😊

 

Inigo

 

I encourage everyone to read up on the historic '85 Bears defense. It was absurd at how dominant that group was in all statistical aspects of the game. They tore through the playoffs and had only one bad game all year: against Marino's offense. They remain the gold standard for professional defenses after 99 NFL seasons. I see nothing wrong with trying to compare our current defense to the 1985 Bears defense. Our current DC was the starting CB on that unit. Our DB's and overall depth might even be better than that of the '85 Bears.

 

The difference lies with the front-7 and specifically the pass rush. There is clearly no Hampton, Dent, or Singletary currently on this roster. I can actually imagine Milano - Edmunds - Joseph emerging as a sort of modern version of Marshall - Singletary - Wilson, but not this season. The beauty of that Chicago LB corps, though, was that they contributed 20 or so sacks worth of pass rush in the 46 D system. I can't imagine our LB's doing that, even with Lorenzo Alexander's specialty Sam LB role. The Chicago DL was also good for about 40 easy sacks each year. Oliver will need to be the next Aaron Donald before this unit can begin to approach that level of pass-rushing ferocity. Hughes is very good at applying constant pressure, but he's over 30 and has never topped 10 sacks in a season. Murphy has never topped 9 sacks in a season. Lawson, Yarbrough, Harold, etc... are decent backups and nothing more. Find me 1 elite DE and another very good pass-rushing DE and we can talk about a historically great Buffalo Bills defense next year!

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9 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

Nice post.   It makes a lot of sense that the defense could be much better.  

 

I think Edmunds is a huge question mark.  I have a good deal of confidence in Allen making the big second-season jump in performance; not so much in Edmunds.   

 

As you note, if the offense gets better, that will help a lot.  Field position, time on the field, score all should be working more in the Bills' favor this year.

Oddly enough, I have a similar concern.

 

Against the run especially, Edmunds has never shown the physicality and playmaking ability that the NFL's best MLBs, even early in their careers, display regularly. He strikes me as more of a freak athlete who's pretty good at football, rather than a heckuva football player who happens to be a good athlete. 

9 hours ago, SoCal Deek said:

I agree Shaw. I’m dying to see if Edmunds put on any weight over the off season. I hope so. 

250 not heavy enough?

 

I agree he has the frame for more mass, but I've not heard his weight used against him, until now.

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21 hours ago, SoTier said:

Statistically, Bills defense was 18th in the league in scoring, which puts them in the bottom half of the league.  Plain and simple, too many times in 2018, the Bills defense gave up Red Zone TDs  rather than holding their opponents to FGs.   If the Bills are to be considered a great defense in 2019, they have to make it much harder for teams to score on them, especially in the Red Zone.

Said this in another thread a few months ago, but the scoring defense was skewed by a few bad games. The Bills gave up a total of 374 points, but we gave up 156 of those points in 4 games. The first game of the year Baltimore had 47, the Chargers scored 31, Colts had 37, and the Bears 41. In those games it seemed like once that train started rolling it was all downhill. You average out the points over the other 12 and we gave up 18.1 points per game which would have been good for 3rd in the league if not those handful of poor performances. I'm not saying that those 4 games don't matter, I'm just saying that sometimes the numbers aren't what they all seem to be. 

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    "  9 hours ago, Inigo Montoya said:

 

Hey WEO,

 

I set the bar really high for the defense in this post for a purpose.  If I had written that post and said our defense has the chance to be "really, really good this year!" what does that get you?  Does anyone think our defense isn't pretty good already?  Where is the discussion about that opinion?

 

If I say they have a chance to be a historically good defense, ala the '85 Bears, now we have a discussion on our hands with some people saying there is a chance if things break right for the defense to really be special, others saying they will be really good but probably not at the level of '85 Bears, and some like yourself thinking that there is not a snowball's chance in hell we have the makings of that type of historic defense.

 

It's a message board.  I post stuff here to express my opinion, AND hopefully to give people something to chew on for a little bit.  I enjoy the give and take with people as long as its respectful.  If you read my post again I don't say they are going to be the next '85 Bears, I ask if it's possible. I lay out why I think this defense is primed to take another step forward this season.  It's a long way until we start playing football.  I'm just looking to talk some football until then.  What else is there to do but speculate a little bit in June about what may happen in December?  😊

 

Inigo"

 

By your logic, any middle to upper third of the pack D has the chance to be "historically good".  This D wasn't a rookie Ed Oliver away for greatness.  And as for the AFCE, Leveon Bell is now in the division and the Bills D isn't good against the run.  Also, they will have to face Kareem Hunt this year.

 

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1 hour ago, H2o said:

Said this in another thread a few months ago, but the scoring defense was skewed by a few bad games. The Bills gave up a total of 374 points, but we gave up 156 of those points in 4 games. The first game of the year Baltimore had 47, the Chargers scored 31, Colts had 37, and the Bears 41. In those games it seemed like once that train started rolling it was all downhill. You average out the points over the other 12 and we gave up 18.1 points per game which would have been good for 3rd in the league if not those handful of poor performances. I'm not saying that those 4 games don't matter, I'm just saying that sometimes the numbers aren't what they all seem to be. 

 

If you checked the scores of all the games of the top ten scoring defense teams in 2018, I'm sure you would find a similar pattern where several bad games raise the teams' average points against.   The #1 Scoring Defense, the Bears, gave up 30, 31, and 38 points but still averaged 17.7 points a game.   The Ravens, Titans, Texans, and Jaguars, the other top 5 scoring defense teams, had 2 games each in which they gave up 30 or more points.  None of the top 5 scoring defenses gave up 40 or more points even once. Truly good defenses simply don't give up 30 or more points, much less 40+ points, in a quarter of their games.

 

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On 6/13/2019 at 6:48 AM, eball said:

I like your optimism, Montoya.  Even better, it is grounded in a good bit of factual reasoning rather than just "we should be great!"

 

I believe the defense will be significantly ahead of the offense the entire summer.  I predict much hand-wringing during training camp about how Josh is not "lighting it up" but the truth is that the Bills' defense is very good.  By the time the regular season hits, my hope is that the offense has been "sharpened" by practicing against their own defense and as a result, Josh will be prepared for whatever an opponent throws at him.

There is a lot to what you are saying. Iron sharpens iron!!

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2 hours ago, Mr. WEO said:

    "  9 hours ago, Inigo Montoya said:

 

Hey WEO,

 

I set the bar really high for the defense in this post for a purpose.  If I had written that post and said our defense has the chance to be "really, really good this year!" what does that get you?  Does anyone think our defense isn't pretty good already?  Where is the discussion about that opinion?

 

If I say they have a chance to be a historically good defense, ala the '85 Bears, now we have a discussion on our hands with some people saying there is a chance if things break right for the defense to really be special, others saying they will be really good but probably not at the level of '85 Bears, and some like yourself thinking that there is not a snowball's chance in hell we have the makings of that type of historic defense.

 

It's a message board.  I post stuff here to express my opinion, AND hopefully to give people something to chew on for a little bit.  I enjoy the give and take with people as long as its respectful.  If you read my post again I don't say they are going to be the next '85 Bears, I ask if it's possible. I lay out why I think this defense is primed to take another step forward this season.  It's a long way until we start playing football.  I'm just looking to talk some football until then.  What else is there to do but speculate a little bit in June about what may happen in December?  😊

 

Inigo"

 

By your logic, any middle to upper third of the pack D has the chance to be "historically good".  This D wasn't a rookie Ed Oliver away for greatness.  And as for the AFCE, Leveon Bell is now in the division and the Bills D isn't good against the run.  Also, they will have to face Kareem Hunt this year.

 

 

All fair points WEO.  

 

Bell might not find success as easy in the Jet's offense this season with a questionable offensive line and a less robust passing attack to pull defenders out of the box.  I'm curious to see how he does this year.  I'm a big Kareem Hunt fan.  He should be back Week 7, I think we play the Browns in Cleveland in Week 10.  That game will be a real test for our defense.  The Brown's offense looks stacked.  

 

Can't wait to see how it all plays out.  

 

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20 hours ago, akcash said:

I love Edmunds... I think he is a huge weapon in coverage and a sideline to sideline linebacker all day... if he played slb he would be maybe the best in the league... I think he has a long way to go between the tackles against the run and he could be the sole difference in the run defense IF he can apply the proper instincts and physicality between the tackles. I think the transition to MLB was a pretty overwhelming task for him against the run last year and I think our run defense at times suffered due to it... Also a major hit to the run defense was when Milano went down. (And Taron Johnson as a previous poster said.)

 

 

 

I actually think Edmunds might be the key this year for our defense to improve.  Last year he had flashes of greatness, also had games, notably versus the Pats where he was a liability.  belcihek ran right at him and/or had him faked  out constantly out of position mis-pursuing plays.

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18 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

Nice post.   It makes a lot of sense that the defense could be much better.  

 

I think Edmunds is a huge question mark.  I have a good deal of confidence in Allen making the big second-season jump in performance; not so much in Edmunds.   

 

As you note, if the offense gets better, that will help a lot.  Field position, time on the field, score all should be working more in the Bills' favor this year.

 

 

I think Edmunds is the key to the defense improving.  The reason the Pats ran so effectively versus the Bills in game 2 is because belichek devised his game plan at misdirecting Edmunds or running right at him.  

 

The one factor to remember is the kid is in fact a kid last year at age 20.

 

Here are some of his weaknesses identified before the draft and ALL of them were on display last year.

  • Instincts are average and relies on athletic gifts
  • Can be a step slow to diagnose
  • Lured by misdirection
  • Will take random downhill paths that trap him in the quagmire
  • Patience is lacking
  • Races ahead of plays and voids his leverage and run fits at times
  • Mental busts in man coverage hurt his team
  • Takes time to process moving pieces

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I don't believe we have enough ELITE talent to be a historically good defense. We have Tre White who could be counted as elite. That's about all. I know people argue that Jerry Hughes is elite, but I believe he doesn't have the sack production, regardless of pressures, to warrant that. I do think he is very good.

 

So yeah, we need one or more elite level guys. I'm hoping Oliver can be the next one.

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On 6/13/2019 at 5:56 AM, Inigo Montoya said:

Obviously, the rushing defense was our achilles heel.  We had three game last season where we gave up 200+ rushing yards.  

 

Week 7       At Indy            220 yards    Loss

Week 12    Home Jags    226 yards     Win

Week 16    At Pats            273 yards    Loss

 

It would be easy to think that the reason our defense's pass stats were so stout was because teams could just run the ball successfully against us and didn't have to pass, but I don't think that is the case.  Our run defense was still ranked in the top half of the league even with those three 200+ yard games. I think our secondary was simply playing at an elite level last year.

This will be the main question for the Bills' D this year--can they improve the run D?   

As I mentioned in the thread, I think Jordan Phillips can be a big part of improving the run D as he provides a much bigger body next to Star.  Then there's Edmunds with a year of experience to help as well.  We'll find out early in the season as they will face some of the top RBs in the league in the first several weeks.

 

The pass D should be even better for the reasons you mention.  

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