Jump to content

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


Recommended Posts

On 6/5/2021 at 1:34 PM, Shaw66 said:

Yeah, I actually agree with most of that.   It's just that we won't know any of it until the fall, and what Dawkins says about Epenesa in June is not convincing me that Epenesa is going to be the cause of the defensive improvement.  

 

I think McDermott, Frazier and the Dline coach have been scheming for months to create pass rush, to stop the run, and to make the defense stingier, and I have a lot of confidence that they will succeed.   Part of that scheming will include figuring out how the particular skills of Harrison, Oliver, Epenesa, Rousseau, and Basham are going to be utilized. 

 

Thats why you let his play on the field speak for itself, it was clear as day that AJE was coming on strong down the stretch last year and was also earning the trust of his coaches as his snaps dramatically increased.  

 

People keep forgetting AJE got 100% short changed as a rookie in camp and was also behind two veterans who have had very good careers in Hughes and Addison as well as some new FA additions too.  

 

Yet by the end of the year, he had battled his way into a regular rotation and was making plays.  

 

So yeah, talk at this time of year doesn't mean a whole lot, but how he developed last year certainly does and there is a ton of reasons to be optimistic about his sophomore year.

 

I picked AJE a while ago on this board for a breakout season and I still think that will be the case now.  He is one of those guys I am the most excited to see get on the field this year.  

  • Like (+1) 1
  • Agree 1
  • Awesome! (+1) 1
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.    

On 6/5/2021 at 7:44 PM, Miyagi-Do Karate said:


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:

 

 

I do see what you did there.

 

Also, completely unrelated, i'd be remiss if I didnt say . . . Boogie.

  • Haha (+1) 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Alphadawg7 said:

 

Thats why you let his play on the field speak for itself, it was clear as day that AJE was coming on strong down the stretch last year and was also earning the trust of his coaches as his snaps dramatically increased.  

 

People keep forgetting AJE got 100% short changed as a rookie in camp and was also behind two veterans who have had very good careers in Hughes and Addison as well as some new FA additions too.  

 

Yet by the end of the year, he had battled his way into a regular rotation and was making plays.  

 

So yeah, talk at this time of year doesn't mean a whole lot, but how he developed last year certainly does and there is a ton of reasons to be optimistic about his sophomore year.

 

I picked AJE a while ago on this board for a breakout season and I still think that will be the case now.  He is one of those guys I am the most excited to see get on the field this year.  

Thanks.  I'm not making any predictions, but I don't disagree with you. 

 

My daughter played basketball in college.  When she was a freshman, I asked the coach what it took to get playing time.   He said the player has to be show the ability to play defense the way I want.  That's when she'll get on the floor.   If she plays defense well with the minutes she gets, then we'll start to ask her to begin to be productive on offense. 

 

I think about that a lot as I watch rookies arrive on the McDermott Bills.   They have to work their way onto the field, and it isn't about physical talent.   It's about learning and executing your assignment, it's about being smart on the field, about recognizing what's happening and responding the way you're supposed to.   Easier perhaps for receivers, but for a DE, it's tough.  For Oliver, it's tough.  For Harrison, it was tough.   

 

I think the rookie year for these guys, Epenesa included, is just about learning what's expected of you, at OTAs, at camp, in preseason games and regular season games.   It's all about just understanding what you're supposed to do.   The second year, OTAs forward, is when you're expected to show that you belong.   So, yeah, if Epenesa is bringing the right stuff to the field, this is when we'll start to see it.  And year three - this is really the year for Oliver and Phillips.  

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/5/2021 at 10:59 AM, wakingfane said:

Article is misleading... Dion didn't bring up AJ, the reporter specifically asked him to comment on AJ... And my take on Dion's commentary left me more concerned than impressed... he said he no longer feels like a "feather" - okay concerning that he ever was a "feather"... and generally it sounded more like he's starting over with a new body... and feels more like playing a normal NFL player now...

I'm just going to wait until we're at least into October to really judge this. As of now, it's just the usual practice of selling the fans new hope. Happens every year and it's often much ado about nothing. I hope this time it really is true because we obviously need it to take that next step.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Stank_Nasty said:

i just got done reading this whole deal myself.... they state he got as low as 245. i think thats the the first time anyone has put a real number on exactly how low he got. and thats friggin LOW.

 

I think he really got screwed by being a rookie during the Pandemic and not being around trainers. He did exactly what they asked... he just worked too hard to do it. When I saw him for the 1st time on the field last year I had no clue who he was.

 

It's more than a distant possibility that he becomes a real force on the DL this year now that he's had a full offseason with trainers and had the opportunity to discover the speed rusher inside him.

  • Like (+1) 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, transplantbillsfan said:

 

I think he really got screwed by being a rookie during the Pandemic and not being around trainers. He did exactly what they asked... he just worked too hard to do it. When I saw him for the 1st time on the field last year I had no clue who he was.

 

It's more than a distant possibility that he becomes a real force on the DL this year now that he's had a full offseason with trainers and had the opportunity to discover the speed rusher inside him.

As a profession, I work with high school and college athletes. You’re making it way more deep than what it needs to be. It blows my mind that anyone paying attention to their body on a professional level could just accidentally lose 20 more pounds than they should over a summer. Whether he had access to a fitness pro or not. It’s a gradual process. It’s not like he just woke up one day and went “whoopsy! I just lost way too much weight last night!” 
 

With all the available resources, I’m having a hard time grasping how it happened. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I looked at aje The night he was drafted my first thought was that they needed to get him into an NFL weight room because honestly he looked a little soft

 

he was a mountain of a man of course but just looked to me like he didn’t have an NFL body yet

 

I think that not having access to NFL off-season conditioning hurt him in his first year because he was doing all of his training from home and he ended up losing too much weight
 

as someone who knows a little bit about this being around athletes as a coach whenever players either gain or lose a tremendous amount of weight their bodies have to adjust to that weight gain or weight loss affecting their dexterity balance coordination etc.

 

I am curious to see what he looks like in his second year

Edited by John from Riverside
Link to post
Share on other sites

Once you build a good team it should be very hard for rookies to step in and make an impact in their first year.  Yes, there are exceptions but overall this is the norm. 
 

In camp, Marv always said he was excited to see last years rookies. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Stank_Nasty said:

As a profession, I work with high school and college athletes. You’re making it way more deep than what it needs to be. It blows my mind that anyone paying attention to their body on a professional level could just accidentally lose 20 more pounds than they should over a summer. Whether he had access to a fitness pro or not. It’s a gradual process. It’s not like he just woke up one day and went “whoopsy! I just lost way too much weight last night!” 
 

With all the available resources, I’m having a hard time grasping how it happened. 

 

I'm not a professional working with HS and college athletes, so I don't want to dispute with experts.  It's a good point that no one wakes up and loses 20 lbs overnight.

 

On the other hand, seems to me they (Frazier?) mentioned asking AJ to "change his body composition".  Now I don't know how that usually goes, but one strategy a friend's pro athlete daughter was asked to try was to lose body fat while trying to gain muscle.  Since the latter is (I gather) a slower process than the former, the initial result for her was a fairly rapid weight loss followed by a slow weight gain. 

 

Frazier alluded to "he couldn't move the needle".  I can't imagine that the Bills trainers weren't working remotely with AJ last spring (that was allowed) so I would have to assume that they were aware of how much weight he was losing but just expected some other aspect of the process to go differently, like they expected him to build muscle on the program they gave him but he didn't?

 

Does that seem plausible?

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Stank_Nasty said:

As a profession, I work with high school and college athletes. You’re making it way more deep than what it needs to be. It blows my mind that anyone paying attention to their body on a professional level could just accidentally lose 20 more pounds than they should over a summer. Whether he had access to a fitness pro or not. It’s a gradual process. It’s not like he just woke up one day and went “whoopsy! I just lost way too much weight last night!” 
 

With all the available resources, I’m having a hard time grasping how it happened. 

I've wondered about how it happened.  My theory is that the Bills dropped the ball a bit.  That is, with COVID, they just lost track of him on the off season.   I think they told him they thought he would benefit by coming in lighter without giving him a target.  I think that they didn't understand how highly motivated he'd be, and he decided he'd lose every ounce he could.  

 

Whatever the reason it happened, I think it isnt happening this season.  It's one of the reasons people expect a jump. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mij yllek said:

 

Quote

Bills: A.J. Epenesa, DE 

 

A.J. Epenesa was arguably a first-round talent coming out of Iowa in 2020, but Buffalo was able to scoop him up in the second round. He appeared in 14 contests for the Bills during his rookie season, but played sparingly (27% of the defensive snaps). When given more of an opportunity in the later part of the season, however, Epenesa didn't disappoint. His lone start of the season came in Week 17, when he totaled a season-high three tackles for a loss along with a quarterback hit. The rookie also was a noticeable presence during the AFC Championship Game against the Chiefs. As he heads into his second season, coach Sean McDermott will likely give Epenesa even more opportunity to grow within this defense. As Buffalo looks to contend in the AFC in 2021, Epenesa could prove to be a key piece along that unit to compliment Josh Allen on the other side of the ball. 

 

 

1 minute ago, Shaw66 said:

I've wondered about how it happened.  My theory is that the Bills dropped the ball a bit.  That is, with COVID, they just lost track of him on the off season.   I think they told him they thought he would benefit by coming in lighter without giving him a target.  I think that they didn't understand how highly motivated he'd be, and he decided he'd lose every ounce he could.  

 

Whatever the reason it happened, I think it isnt happening this season.  It's one of the reasons people expect a jump. 

 

Both of those would be highly unprofessional on the part of the training staff, if true.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hapless Bills Fan said:

 

 

 

 

Both of those would be highly unprofessional on the part of the training staff, if true.

I agree, but I found the whole episode puzzling.   At the time it sounded to me like the staff was surprised when he showed up having dropped so much weight.   I expected McDermott to say explain in a press conference why thought he should drop that weight, but he never explained.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wondering if the Bills are changing their profile for what their future defensive ends are going to look like.

 

The OLD GUARD

...Addison....6-3.....260 pounds

...Hughes....6-2.....254  pounds

 

the NEW WAVE

...Espenesa....6-6....260 pounds

...Obada.........6-6....265 pounds

...Rosseau......6-6....266 pounds

 

the young  kick-inside on passing downs interior penetrating DE/DT

...Oliver..........6-1 ....289 pounds

...Basham......6-3.....281 pounds

.(Zimmer).....6-3......300 pounds)

 

Big Gollots to stuff the run on first down

....Butler......6-4....330 pounds

.....Star.......6-2.....315 pounds

...Phillips....6-3.....305 pounds

.Zimmer....6-3......300 pounds

 

I wonder if the Bills like the 6-6 guys because they get their hands up and take away passing alleys for the QB. ??

 

most nlf QB are usually 6' 2"  (https://bleacherreport.com/articles/147430-the-quarterback-position-does-size-matter)

 

Although arm length (vertical "standing reach") is different for people of the same height, on average we have the following standing reaches

(https://www.thehoopsgeek.com/standing-reach/)

6-0.....8'... 0.1"

6-2.....8'...2.8"

6-3....8'....4.1"

6-4....8'....5.5"

6-6....8"...8.1"

 

So, our 6-6 DE's will have their fingertips about 5.3" higher than a 6-2 QB.  Actually, their fingertips will be maybe 8-9" higher than the release point of a thrown football.  The the football is about 14" in thickest diameter and to deflect the ball they only have to touch the bottom of the football.   So, they might have their fingertips about 15" above the bottom of the thrown football. 

 

Mahone is 6-3 for your information

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by maryland-bills-fan
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, maryland-bills-fan said:

What would Hughes or Addison bring in a trade?  They are 32 and 33 years old.

 

There would be a dead cap hit, but money wold be saved to help pay for our QB.

 

The only way I see Addison cut/traded is if Efe Obada looks great in camp/preseason.

Beane is not going to get rid of Hughes on his last year.  He stays as the vet.

 

Maybe a team that took some injuries at DE would be interested in a trade for Addison.

He would carry a $5.4M cap hit so it would likely only be a 7th rounder.

I kind of hope something like this would happen.

IMO

  • Like (+1) 2
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...