Jump to content

Dion Dawkins is latest to rave about Bills DE A.J. Epenesa


Recommended Posts

8 hours ago, Max Fischer said:

Why are you “concerned” over an improvement?

Because it makes it sound like he has way further to go in his improvement than I previously thought.  Let's just be honest,  he is not on the standard player development trajectory.  He went from too heavy,  to too light,  and now hopefully just right,  but he has to get used to it... it's not the straight and direct path you'd like to see... so it's concerning

  • Eyeroll 2
  • Dislike 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 96
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I’m really pumped to see AJ this year. If he comes into camp and starts the season on fire our defense could be very scary with the rookies we drafted on the DLine and Huges and Oliver…   ht

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Epenesa was starting to look pretty good the second half of the season.  My favorite thing watching him was his ability to get his hands up when the quarte

I think the kid is going to be a heck of a player and I actually liked what I saw from him late last season.    

10 hours ago, Royale with Cheese said:

I’ll admit that when I think of our ends, I keep forgetting about AJ due to the excitement of Boogie and Rousseau.  Fingers crossed he breaks out.

Lets not forget about Ed Oliver these four guys on 3rd downs could wreck a havoc going after QB’s 

31 minutes ago, wakingfane said:

Because it makes it sound like he has way further to go in his improvement than I previously thought.  Let's just be honest,  he is not on the standard player development trajectory.  He went from too heavy,  to too light,  and now hopefully just right,  but he has to get used to it... it's not the straight and direct path you'd like to see... so it's concerning

Don’t lose too much sleep over it 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, wppete said:

I’m really pumped to see AJ this year. If he comes into camp and starts the season on fire our defense could be very scary with the rookies we drafted on the DLine and Huges and Oliver…

 

https://billswire.usatoday.com/2021/06/05/dion-dawkins-rave-buffalo-bills-aj-epenesa-sean-mcdermott-leslie-frazier/
 

“First Sean McDermott, then Leslie Frazier, and now Dion Dawkins.

During OTA practices at this point in the offseason, we usually don’t see many head-turning things. But we’re starting to see one growing trend over the past two weeks.

No, not “trust the process.”

 

Head coach, defensive coordinator and franchise left tackle have all been sure to mention one name recently: Defensive end AJ Epenesa.

 

Epenesa, Buffalo’s top-overall pick in Round 2 of the 2020 NFL draft, had a slow start to his career. He turned it around, but early struggles were attributed to him losing too much weight last offseason and the altered summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic probably didn’t help, either.

 

But now it sounds like Epenesa has turned a page. After coaches had complimented the pass rusher, a player in Dawkins has now followed suit. On the field, the offensive lineman absolutely sees a difference.

 

“I speak to AJ every single day… and I compliment him every single day,” Dawkins saidvia video conference this week.

“I ask him how his body feels and he says, ‘Man, honestly, I like it,’ and I say, ‘Yup, we do, too,'” Dawkins added. “He’s taking reps against me, and I can physically feel the difference and he’s not a feather anymore and he’s growing really, really well. I’m very excited to see what AJ does next.”

 

Dawkins’ thoughts follow praise from McDermott and Frazier who both mentioned how much Epenesa has come along. Frazier specially said he sees a more “explosive” player now.

 

Epenesa himself has admitted to having struggles as a rookie, but also followed that with feeling better about himself now. That could be big news for the Bills defense.

 

After failing to sign free-agent JJ Watt, the Bills decided to select Greg Rousseau and Boogie Basham at the top of the 2021 NFL draft. Those two young guys, and now a confident Epenesa, will battle for playing time with each other and versus veterans Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison during training camp.

 

If that competition brings out the best of that group, the Bills could be poised to improve on their 38 total sacks as the team last season.”

 


I am with you. 
 

to Pat myself on the back, I feel like I started this AJ bandwagon before all the reports came out that he looked to be in top shape:

 

 

So, I would like to be at least the vice-president of his fan club. 

 

  • Awesome! (+1) 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought AJ was playing well toward the end of last season. I'm not sure what folks were expecting from a second round pick with no offseason and a fairly drastic conditioning program, but he's catching unnecessary heat. Let's see how he does on the field. He looks like he belongs at the moment, and hopefully he shows more. 

  • Like (+1) 3
  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

People seem to be taking a little bit of skepticism about Dawkins comments as being negative on Epenesa. 

 

I don't think anybody is giving up on Epenesa, simply that some nice comments during the OTAs are not very meaningful one way or the other.

 

We have heard it all before, though it is better than the alternative, i.e., player A (Robert Foster?) needs to put in a lot of work before training camp.

Edited by Billy Claude
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, costrovs said:

6'5 275lbs Epenesa, 6'7 265lbs Rousseau, 6'3 275lbs Basham. Those are some BIG Dlinemen. Bigger the better in the trenches. I like Epenesa and Rousseau a LOT more than both Oliver and Star. Yes I know, different positions, but Rousseau can play inside, and height is a huge advantage against opposing QB's.


I know it was public knowledge on the rookies in their measurements from the draft, but I haven’t read anything what Epenesa was playing at now in OTA’s.  In college he was at one point 280lbs.  He was powerful.  I understand the reference of a feather last year as 255lbs. Didn’t suit him.

 

Are you guessing or did you read he’s at 275lbs. somewhere?  My interest is simply his frame makes sense fir him to be 270-275lbs.

 

If you get a chance to reply or anyone else for that matter is it’s published where Epenesa is hovering these days.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

With Epenesa, Rousseau and Basham, if 2 of 3 end up being productive players, starting caliber edge guys (with versatility of kicking inside) the Bills have 2 value picks for the next few years. Edge rusher is great to have on rookie contracts for value. That is an example of the subtleties of the draft, roster building and cap management that Beane understands. 

 

Combined cap #s next 3 years:

'21: $4.4 million

'22: $5.6 million

'23: $6.5 million

 

If all 3 work out Beane hits a HR. 

Edited by jwhit34
  • Like (+1) 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Augie said:

 

Out with the (expensive) old, and in with the (cheap) new! 

 

Josh will keep the change....

I just said he was toast because that's what some people on the board were saying after the 2nd day of the draft. That he was now "on the roster bubble" and whatnot. :lol: I expect him to take a big step forward this year with a full offseason. 

Edited by H2o
  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, machine gun kelly said:


I know it was public knowledge on the rookies in their measurements from the draft, but I haven’t read anything what Epenesa was playing at now in OTA’s.  In college he was at one point 280lbs.  He was powerful.  I understand the reference of a feather last year as 255lbs. Didn’t suit him.

 

Are you guessing or did you read he’s at 275lbs. somewhere?  My interest is simply his frame makes sense fir him to be 270-275lbs.

 

If you get a chance to reply or anyone else for that matter is it’s published where Epenesa is hovering these days.

 

*****, thanks for reminding me. I totally forgot that they had him lose weight.

I grabbed it from https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/E/EpenAJ00.htm

 

I doubt its been updated since he's been drafted though. So your guess is as good as mine, but I would also like to know what he's weighing in at in OTA's.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Obviously there was and still is concern about him by the front office and coaching staff or you simply would not go back to back defensive ends. They of course are going to talk him up but if the guy puts in another year like last he won’t make it to year 3.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, machine gun kelly said:


I know it was public knowledge on the rookies in their measurements from the draft, but I haven’t read anything what Epenesa was playing at now in OTA’s.  In college he was at one point 280lbs.  He was powerful.  I understand the reference of a feather last year as 255lbs. Didn’t suit him.

 

Are you guessing or did you read he’s at 275lbs. somewhere?  My interest is simply his frame makes sense fir him to be 270-275lbs.

 

If you get a chance to reply or anyone else for that matter is it’s published where Epenesa is hovering these days.

Im reading it as last year he lost about 30 pds in the offseason.  By losing that much weight he also lost muscle to go with it.  The Bills want him in the 260 's. Being lean already this offseason he only needed to add 5 to 10 pds.  Imo gaining back the muscle mass he lost. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Mat it was reported last year he overshot the weight loss and was at in the summer 255.  I think he gained a little back in season.  My reasoning was simply when I was a wrestler I routinely lost up to 30 lbs. in season and it has a dramatic effect in power and energy.  He was a mauler in college at I think 275-285lbs.

 

I also was a powerlifter (20-34 years ago) and although I went in untested as well as tested meets as I was clean, and they back then would lie detector, and urine test you.  The us championships they hair tested, but it is very expensive.  I’m not trying to give a resume, just if you already are close to a norm or peak in power, it is a challenge to put on 10 lbs. of muscle.  It’s not as easy as some think.  He doesn’t come across to me as a bend quick twitch guy like Hughes who can outdo tackles at 255 lbs.  Epenesa reminds me a lot more of Phil Hansen who was a balance of power and, some speed and good hands.

 

Reaching to Epenesa’s strengths it would make a lot more sense for him at 265 at the lightest to 270lbs.  I know what McD wanted out of him last year, but his opinion of Epenesa may have changed and would want him for more power at 10lbs. Heavier.  Just my opinion.  
 

Im rooting for him and I don’t care that we have now drafted H. Phillips, Ed Oliver, Epenesa, Rousseau, and Basham under this regime. Addison 34, Hughes 33, and Star 32 aren’t getting any younger.  You can bet the last three will be gone by 2022.  I’m looking forward to seeing if Star is here and guessing he will, what Butler can do at 330lbs. in the 3 tech, vs.  the 1 tech last year.

 

I am really optimistic our defense will take a big step forward.  I know everyone is optimistic before camp, but I can see us ranked on defense in the top 10 this year.  To do that coupled with a top 3 offense is what it will take to get to the big dance in February.

 

Lastly, a thank you to both guys above for the quick reply.  I guess we’ll see in July.

 

Go Bills!

Edited by machine gun kelly
  • Like (+1) 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, ChronicAndKnuckles said:

 

I feel like AJ Epenesa is a dark horse among the breakout candidates this year. Personally, I don't see him becoming a super sack-master. I'm hoping he can become an all around, jack of all trades, solid starter. 8-10 sacks, strong in run support, and racking up lots of tackles for a lineman.

 

Agree. If he becomes a Phil Hansen, I'm happy with that. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 6/6/2021 at 12:58 AM, eball said:

 

Sloppy writing.  Who said they even tried?  All of the Watt-to-Buffalo talk was fan and media driven.

 

Anyway, I’m excited to see AJ in action and I love listening to Dawkins.  “He’s not a feather anymore…” — that’s gold.

 

 

It's perfectly reasonable writing. The most likely scenario was that they made an offer, but that it was quite a bit less than Arizona's.

 

"The Buffalo Bills ultimately ended up losing out on free agent J.J. Watt, who signed with the Arizona Cardinals. He would end up signing a two-year deal worth $31 million, with $23 million guaranteed.

 

"he expectation was that Watt would get a deal around $15 million, which he did, but it appears the Bills and general manager Brandon Beane didn’t plan to go that high. In one tweet from John Gambadoro, the Bills were the biggest competitor to the Cardinals. However, he followed that up with another tweet that said the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts actually offered Watt more with the Titans being comparable to the Cardinals deal.

 

"The fact that the Bills were not mentioned in the second tweet indicates that Brandon Beane was only willing to offer so much, which appears to not be as high as the $15 million. If J.J. Watt would have come to Buffalo, it would have been on a discount."

 

https://buffalowdown.com/2021/03/02/buffalo-bills-stayed-course-didnt-panic-j-j-watt/

 

 

On 6/6/2021 at 10:11 AM, eball said:

 

The Bills didn’t “fail” to sign Watt.  That’s the point.  The statement makes it seem as though Buffalo tried and failed — which is not what happened.  Minor point, but sloppy writing.

 

 

They absolutely did try. Making a lower offer and having it rejected for a higher offer can't be considered "not trying." Not trying is never making an offer or showing interest. They were in the last three teams in the running. That's trying. And since they didn't manage it, that's failing to sign him, which was the wording.

 

There were a number of reports that they were actually in the running, several that they were in the last group of three.

Edited by Thurman#1
  • Like (+1) 1
  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 6/6/2021 at 10:56 PM, Thurman#1 said:

 

 

It's perfectly reasonable writing. The most likely scenario was that they made an offer, but that it was quite a bit less than Arizona's.

 

"The Buffalo Bills ultimately ended up losing out on free agent J.J. Watt, who signed with the Arizona Cardinals. He would end up signing a two-year deal worth $31 million, with $23 million guaranteed.

 

"he expectation was that Watt would get a deal around $15 million, which he did, but it appears the Bills and general manager Brandon Beane didn’t plan to go that high. In one tweet from John Gambadoro, the Bills were the biggest competitor to the Cardinals. However, he followed that up with another tweet that said the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts actually offered Watt more with the Titans being comparable to the Cardinals deal.

 

"The fact that the Bills were not mentioned in the second tweet indicates that Brandon Beane was only willing to offer so much, which appears to not be as high as the $15 million. If J.J. Watt would have come to Buffalo, it would have been on a discount."

 

https://buffalowdown.com/2021/03/02/buffalo-bills-stayed-course-didnt-panic-j-j-watt/

 

 

 

 

They absolutely did try. Making a lower offer and having it rejected for a higher offer can't be considered "not trying." Not trying is never making an offer or showing interest. They were in the last three teams in the running. That's trying. And since they didn't manage it, that's failing to sign him, which was the wording.

 

There were a number of reports that they were actually in the running, several that they were in the last group of three.

 

Well said...I think people are still stuck in the old frame of mind of what failing to sign a free agent meant in the past.

 

As someone else mentioned, Bills were the top competitor to the Cardinals. They offered the least of all the named teams. This tells me Watt wanted to come to buffalo, and the bills decided that the value they placed on the position was better spent on rookie DEs high in the draft, which likely accounts for the gap between the contracts.

 

Yes, they literally failed to sign Watt...this is not the same as Gilmore or Woods not wanting to sign here being the cause for failing to sign someone. The bills controlled the outcome and it was their choice. Still they tried, just the non-monetary benefits didn't sound like they quite made up for the business side.

Edited by HardyBoy
Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, HardyBoy said:

 

Well said...I think people are still stuck in the old frame of mind of what failing to sign a free agent meant in the past.

 

As someone else mentioned, Bills were the top competitor to the Cardinals. They offered the least of all the named teams. This tells me Watt wanted to come to buffalo, and the bills decided that the value they placed on the position was better spent on rookie DEs high in the draft, which likely accounts for the gap between the contracts.

 

Yes, they literally failed to sign Watt...this is not the same as Gilmore or Woods not wanting to sign here being the cause for failing to sign someone. The bills controlled the outcome and it was their choice. Still they tried, just the non-monetary benefits didn't sound like they quite made up for the business side.

 

 

Yeah, exactly.

 

Beane seems to have a way he works, he figures out how much he's willing to pay,  he makes the offer and if the guy wants more, he resigns himself to not making the deal. He seems to be willing to be a bit flexible, especially if the guy is willing to change other parameters of the deal.

 

Yeah, I also think Watt wanted to come to the Bills but decided he wasn't willing to give up $6M a year for the privilege.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/5/2021 at 12:37 PM, 17islongenough said:

One of those edge guys have to hit.  Right?

 

With the way things have been going for this team they ALL will  :)

 

This isn't the Bills of 2000 to 2016 thankfully  :)

  • Like (+1) 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

well, anyone who followed mccoach in philly or carolina knows he likes his coverage to be sound and dependable, and his line to be deep, fresh, and agile mobile and hostile.  they have thrown the kitchen sink at the DL since they (he and bean) got here.  first pick of the last 3 drafts have been DL, and a few more above that, as well as some bigger FA contracts.  it will pay off at some point, I think by game 10 or so of the 2021 season.  one thing i think we can take to the bank, if we have a D like 2 years ago and an O like last year, the chip is ours to lose.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/5/2021 at 11:58 AM, eball said:

 

Sloppy writing.  Who said they even tried?  All of the Watt-to-Buffalo talk was fan and media driven.

 

Anyway, I’m excited to see AJ in action and I love listening to Dawkins.  “He’s not a feather anymore…” — that’s gold.

 

Yeah, if that guy's a feather then I'm a leaf.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...