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Shaw66

Defense was lights out against Colts

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I'm not gonna get worked up about a preseason game against backups, but they definitely played with a certain physicality. Not sure if that means anything in the big picture, but that's what you want to see.

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Posted (edited)

There are a few reasons why the defense looks good (albeit preseason) and should be good this year (we all knows the things I'm about to mention, but I've been thinking about them a lot).

 

*First of all, our defensive minded head coach entering his 3rd year.

 

*Second, our former-head-coach/'85 Bear defensive coordinator, going into his 3rd year in Buffalo as well. We all know how important continuity is in football, and it finally seems like we have coaches in place that warrant continuity.

 

*Third, we have a GM that is very well in tune with the types of players McDermott wants and needs for his defense to have the best chance for success. The old Parcells quote about being the cook and picking the ingredients comes to mind. McDermott is the cook, and Beane and the scouting department are his shopping staff. White (credit to our former GM and scouts) and Edmunds look like major hits in the draft, and we all know too well how missing on 1st rounders can set a team back for years.

 

*Fourth, the Bills have done a good job of finding serviceable players on defense later in the draft. If they can land 1 late rounder that becomes a starter, especially early on, that's one less position to worry about next year, and on a cheap contract as well. And even if they cannot supplant certain starters right away, they may be in line to start when guys like Zo retire, or if guys like Hyde or Poyer get big bucks from other teams in free agency. Guys like Matt Milano (former GM/scouts) and Taron Johnson already have made names for themselves in this defense, and possibly guys like Siran Neal, Vosean Joseph, Jaquan Johnson, and Darryl Johnson could fill holes in the near future, but for now at least look like solid depth.

 

*Fifth, the Bills have 10 out of 11 starters returning this season...more continuity. KW is the only one not back this year, but the Bills happen to have the perfect replacement fall into their laps. And let's be honest, Kyle was still decent, but his best days were behind him by a year or two. Time will tell how good Oliver becomes, but for now, we at least know we'll have an intense player with fresh legs, who "cares" and fits the culture. Also, they added a couple guys to the secondary, one of which played well in this scheme 2 years ago (edit, looks like IR for Gaines), and the other was a former first rounder, who's coach in Houston is now in Buffalo as well.

 

Now maybe it was just preseason game #1, and some starters were out for both the Bills D and Colts O, but there were signs of encouragement with the starting unit. The run defense looked superb. Interior play was good. It looks like the game is slowing down for Edmunds. Lawson is very good at setting the edge, and perhaps not picking up the 5th year option may have lit a fire inside him. And the backups looked decent enough.

 

With all that said, one thing that I noticed that might be worth watching is Milano in passing situations. Obviously teams are going to try and find weak spots and exploit them, and there may have been a glimpse of that on Thursday. Don't get me wrong, I like Milano. He always seems to be around the ball, does a pretty good job of sifting and knifing into the backfield, and has a bit of a knack for turnovers due to his instincts and being in the right place. BUT, speaking stricly from a pass coverage standpoint, he looked like a liability in man coverage (shocker, I know). Obviously his size and speed aren't top notch for his position, but guys like Edmunds don't grow on trees. Milano is just fine for what the Bills like to do, and having a fast, rangey/lengthy guy like Edmunds next to him makes his job a bit easier, but it looked like the Colts were picking on him a bit in the passing game. Underneath drag routes were open with plenty of seperation (their first 1st down came on a crosser to Milano's assignment), and there was one play where he was manned up with the RB (I believe) who was motioned out wide. Maybe it's a small sample, but it's a league of matchups and finding weaknesses, and with as much talent as the Bills have elsewhere on defense this year, I think that could be a theme throughout the season.

 

Not trying to rain on the parade here...if that's our biggest or only noticeable weakness, we're good. I expect the defense to play similar to the 2017 unit; bend-don't-break, clamp down in the RZ and hold teams to FGs, DBs with eyes in the backfield and playing the ball/routes aggressively, and being opportunistic in creating turnovers. Sacks may be up, but I'm not sure to what extent. As long as the pressures are up, the back end should thrive. This defense seems to give up the underneath stuff willingly, whether it's a short crosser, or comeback routes on the boundary. They want to eliminate the deep pass first, and eventually "win" on enough plays to keep scores lower or take the ball away. If that means picking on Milano a bit, so be it. They'll get theirs, but we'll get ours, and our "ours" will be much more important in the grand scheme. I think that's the mentality, and it seemed to be that way in 2017.

Edited by Drunken Pygmy Goat
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2 hours ago, Peace Frog said:

Imagine if Jerry Hughes, LorAx, and Micah were playing too...

 

They all played the Colts last year...

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The D played very well, even without a couple of pieces not playing, yes it’s early still, but they do look good don’t they. 😎

 

Go Bills!!!

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I know the Bills were missing Hyde, Lorax, and Hughes.  The Colts were missing Luck, Hilton, their starting Center,  and starting LT.  

 

Bills D played well and I'll take that for the first preseason game.  Bills D could be scary good.

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4 hours ago, VW82 said:

We gave up a lot of points in 2018 but we were third in the league in yards allowed per play. Bet we finish top 5 in points against this year. So much talent and McD's a really good defensive coach.

THe only thing missing with this team is Pass Rush.  If they can get that consistently,  they will be unstoppable.

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2 minutes ago, ganesh said:

THe only thing missing with this team is Pass Rush.  If they can get that consistently,  they will be unstoppable.

 

I feel like we're going to be able to consistently generate pressure rushing four. Murphy looks healthy again. Lawson is a year older and playing for his job. Oliver looks like a menace, and Hughes might be the most underrated player in the league. Add in our stud pass rushing LB core in pressure situations and there are going to be a lot of opposing QBs running for their lives this year. I expect big things out of this unit and I don't think I'm going to be disappointed.    

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Bills D will be my starting D in FF every league.  I will overpay for them

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3 hours ago, njbuff said:

Another thread where we need to pump the brakes.

 

It is preseason and there was no Luck out there.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love the enthusiasm you guys bring, but we need a reality check here. I want the Bills to be the best team they can be, but they still have to PROVE they deserve the high praise you give them.

 

After all, they haven’t even played for real yet.

 

What are guys gonna say if Darnold lights this D up on opening day?

Darnold is a good young QB, and probably ahead of Josh Allen in some ways, but the Jets offensive line is below average.  That may give Buffalo the opportunity to do things that disrupt Darnold's game.

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2 hours ago, downunderbill said:

I'm sure the fact that Luck wasn't playing was not lost on anyone.

 

What about the fact almost every week 1 skill position starter on offense didn’t play for the Colts?

 

Pump the brakes. Preseason means absolutely nothing to assess team performance.

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Coaching continuity.  

Not switching out from 34 to 43 every other year

Players that believe in Team first and play to the whistle.

 

McDermott.

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4 hours ago, njbuff said:

Another thread where we need to pump the brakes.

 

It is preseason and there was no Luck out there.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love the enthusiasm you guys bring, but we need a reality check here. I want the Bills to be the best team they can be, but they still have to PROVE they deserve the high praise you give them.

 

After all, they haven’t even played for real yet.

 

What are guys gonna say if Darnold lights this D up on opening day?

 I don’t think either QB is going to be lighting the opposing defense up on opening day.  I could see a final score of like 10-6.

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This D will do their job. If we get 24 ppg from the offense this team will go to the playoffs that simple.

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6 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

I've gotta say, I've been holding my breath a bit about the defense.   The prevailing view around has been it should be as good or better than last year. 

 

Having now watched the first half of the Colts game, I gotta say there was nothing to worry about.  Great gap discipline - everyone was where he needed to be, every play.  They won their share of one on ones, held their ground on most, rarely got beaten badly one on one.  Two or three guys on every tackle.   Only tight windows for the Colts QBs.   It was stifling.

 

I also have to agree with those who have commented on Edmunds.  Quick, attacking, always in the right hole.  

 

THAT was good defense.

BREATHE MY GOOD FRIEND BREATHE!!!!. In fact catch your breath because you will be screaming for excitement this year.

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4 hours ago, njbuff said:

Another thread where we need to pump the brakes.

 

It is preseason and there was no Luck out there.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love the enthusiasm you guys bring, but we need a reality check here. I want the Bills to be the best team they can be, but they still have to PROVE they deserve the high praise you give them.

 

After all, they haven’t even played for real yet.

 

What are guys gonna say if Darnold lights this D up on opening day?

I didn't say anything about the future. I said the defense was very good against the Colts and gave my reasons

  Why do I have to pump my brakes about that?  

 

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1 hour ago, Shaw66 said:

I didn't say anything about the future. I said the defense was very good against the Colts and gave my reasons

  Why do I have to pump my brakes about that?  

 

 

It’s fine.

 

I am one that doesn’t put much stock in preseason performances, AT ALL, good or bad.

 

It’s all about.............. NO BIG INJURIES.

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11 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

It made me think of the Pat's defense.  They're never out of position and always gang tackle. That's what I saw against the Colts.  One is 43 and the other 34, bit both teams get after the ball.  

 

The Patriots are a hybrid. I think with Flores the played a bit more 34 in 2018 but in 16 and 17 with Patricia they were more of a 43. 

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6 hours ago, eanyills said:

 

What about the fact almost every week 1 skill position starter on offense didn’t play for the Colts?

 

Pump the brakes. Preseason means absolutely nothing to assess team performance.

 

The Bills were missing a few starters on defence as well. you can still make the argument that they are looking like a cohesive unit considering it's the first preseason game. There  are enough fence sitters and jilted lovers on the board to allow a few optimistic fans to get excited.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Drunken Pygmy Goat said:

There are a few reasons why the defense looks good (albeit preseason) and should be good this year (we all knows the things I'm about to mention, but I've been thinking about them a lot).

 

*First of all, our defensive minded head coach entering his 3rd year.

 

*Second, our former-head-coach/'85 Bear defensive coordinator, going into his 3rd year in Buffalo as well. We all know how important continuity is in football, and it finally seems like we have coaches in place that warrant continuity.

 

*Third, we have a GM that is very well in tune with the types of players McDermott wants and needs for his defense to have the best chance for success. The old Parcells quote about being the cook and picking the ingredients comes to mind. McDermott is the cook, and Beane and the scouting department are his shopping staff. White (credit to our former GM and scouts) and Edmunds look like major hits in the draft, and we all know too well how missing on 1st rounders can set a team back for years.

 

*Fourth, the Bills have done a good job of finding serviceable players on defense later in the draft. If they can land 1 late rounder that becomes a starter, especially early on, that's one less position to worry about next year, and on a cheap contract as well. And even if they cannot supplant certain starters right away, they may be in line to start when guys like Zo retire, or if guys like Hyde or Poyer get big bucks from other teams in free agency. Guys like Matt Milano (former GM/scouts) and Taron Johnson already have made names for themselves in this defense, and possibly guys like Siran Neal, Vosean Joseph, Jaquan Johnson, and Darryl Johnson could fill holes in the near future, but for now at least look like solid depth.

 

*Fifth, the Bills have 10 out of 11 starters returning this season...more continuity. KW is the only one not back this year, but the Bills happen to have the perfect replacement fall into their laps. And let's be honest, Kyle was still decent, but his best days were behind him by a year or two. Time will tell how good Oliver becomes, but for now, we at least know we'll have an intense player with fresh legs, who "cares" and fits the culture. Also, they added a couple guys to the secondary, one of which played well in this scheme 2 years ago (edit, looks like IR for Gaines), and the other was a former first rounder, who's coach in Houston is now in Buffalo as well.

 

Now maybe it was just preseason game #1, and some starters were out for both the Bills D and Colts O, but there were signs of encouragement with the starting unit. The run defense looked superb. Interior play was good. It looks like the game is slowing down for Edmunds. Lawson is very good at setting the edge, and perhaps not picking up the 5th year option may have lit a fire inside him. And the backups looked decent enough.

 

With all that said, one thing that I noticed that might be worth watching is Milano in passing situations. Obviously teams are going to try and find weak spots and exploit them, and there may have been a glimpse of that on Thursday. Don't get me wrong, I like Milano. He always seems to be around the ball, does a pretty good job of sifting and knifing into the backfield, and has a bit of a knack for turnovers due to his instincts and being in the right place. BUT, speaking stricly from a pass coverage standpoint, he looked like a liability in man coverage (shocker, I know). Obviously his size and speed aren't top notch for his position, but guys like Edmunds don't grow on trees. Milano is just fine for what the Bills like to do, and having a fast, rangey/lengthy guy like Edmunds next to him makes his job a bit easier, but it looked like the Colts were picking on him a bit in the passing game. Underneath drag routes were open with plenty of seperation (their first 1st down came on a crosser to Milano's assignment), and there was one play where he was manned up with the RB (I believe) who was motioned out wide. Maybe it's a small sample, but it's a league of matchups and finding weaknesses, and with as much talent as the Bills have elsewhere on defense this year, I think that could be a theme throughout the season.

 

Not trying to rain on the parade here...if that's our biggest or only noticeable weakness, we're good. I expect the defense to play similar to the 2017 unit; bend-don't-break, clamp down in the RZ and hold teams to FGs, DBs with eyes in the backfield and playing the ball/routes aggressively, and being opportunistic in creating turnovers. Sacks may be up, but I'm not sure to what extent. As long as the pressures are up, the back end should thrive. This defense seems to give up the underneath stuff willingly, whether it's a short crosser, or comeback routes on the boundary. They want to eliminate the deep pass first, and eventually "win" on enough plays to keep scores lower or take the ball away. If that means picking on Milano a bit, so be it. They'll get theirs, but we'll get ours, and our "ours" will be much more important in the grand scheme. I think that's the mentality, and it seemed to be that way in 2017.

 

Now that is thoughtful and informed analysis, good work Drunken!

Edited by CSBill
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I wonder if the people saying “pump the brakes, it’s only preseason” in this thread are also the ones saying “the offense is in trouble and Allen didn’t look good” elsewhere on the forum.

 

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22 hours ago, Shaw66 said:

I've gotta say, I've been holding my breath a bit about the defense.   The prevailing view around has been it should be as good or better than last year. 

 

Having now watched the first half of the Colts game, I gotta say there was nothing to worry about.  Great gap discipline - everyone was where he needed to be, every play.  They won their share of one on ones, held their ground on most, rarely got beaten badly one on one.  Two or three guys on every tackle.   Only tight windows for the Colts QBs.   It was stifling.

 

I also have to agree with those who have commented on Edmunds.  Quick, attacking, always in the right hole.  

 

THAT was good defense.

 

The Defense did look good but lets temper that a bit. The Colts did not have Luck and they ran the most vanilla offense posible.

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On 8/10/2019 at 4:11 PM, Shaw66 said:

I've gotta say, I've been holding my breath a bit about the defense.   The prevailing view around has been it should be as good or better than last year. 

 

Having now watched the first half of the Colts game, I gotta say there was nothing to worry about.  Great gap discipline - everyone was where he needed to be, every play.  They won their share of one on ones, held their ground on most, rarely got beaten badly one on one.  Two or three guys on every tackle.   Only tight windows for the Colts QBs.   It was stifling.

 

I also have to agree with those who have commented on Edmunds.  Quick, attacking, always in the right hole.  

 

THAT was good defense.

I agree but keep in no Luck.

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On August 10, 2019 at 6:36 PM, CaptnCoke11 said:

Preseason over reacting.. both teams had players out.  Jacoby Brisket is a bit easier to shut down than Luck.  

 

 

Briquette only played the 1st Q.  

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Posted (edited)

The thing about preseason is that YES, it's true: the games don't matter.

HOWEVER...

All things being equal, wouldn't you rather that the team look great in preseason than not? 

So they came out defensively and absolutely throttled a team with no Andrew Luck or TY Hilton (nevermind the fact that Buffalo had no Hughes, Hyde, or Alexander), you're saying "so what?"

Well, imagine if they looked really BAD against a Colts team with no Andrew Luck. Looked like they were all giving top effort, but got absolutely smoked by a team without their starting QB. How would you feel THEN? It could be like the Lions-Pats game, where the Lions got outgained in yardage 459 to 93, and outscored 31-3. How would you feel THEN?

All things being equal, I'll take the outcome that features  the Bills defense executing their scheme well, filling gaps, form tackling, dominating the opposition, and winning most of their individual positional matchups. Final score doesn't matter in the preseason, it's true, but performance on the field is what you want to see, and that's what we saw against Indy.

Edited by Logic
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It's funny that many say "pre-season doesn't matter" when anyone want to praise the team they root for (oh, the horror!)...but I am willing to bet if the team was completely incompetent in the pre-season that performance would suddenly be "admissible in court".  I guess pre-season only "matters" if it is negative against the team we all root for.

 

There are about 5 prominent  posters on this board that seem to actually hate the Bills but act as though they are just "speaking the truth".

 

Pretty disappointing.

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