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what will be the Bills defensive identity?


appoo

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Sloppy out of the gate. 
Speed means nothing without accuracy. 
I hope Milano comes back close to form but that is another assumption that many seem to be taking as fact.

In the end, I expect them to fold like paper tigers in the biggest end of season game.

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Posted (edited)

McD is still here, identity pretty much the same....soft shell, stop the big play while giving away first downs underneath, offense on the sideline too long....will work against inconsistent qbs and will not against the good ones.

Bend until you finally break.

AKA The death of a thousand cuts

 

Edited by Turk71
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, appoo said:

This past off season, the bills lost 3 potential Wall level defenders.  They over turned a bunch of dline (though kept their starters there), and now have a new DC hired from within.   The season prior they let the QB of their defense leave in FA as they couldn’t afford to keep him.
 

For the past 4-5 seasons, the bills have had a reputation for a fundamentally sound, tough, but blue collar defense led by their safeties and a rotating cast of characters on the DLine.

 

What will the identity of the defense be this season? Aggressive? Sound? Playmaking? Who will be the leaders? 

 

Last year once McD was named the DC again and calling plays, I said I thought the Bills had the potential to lead the NFL in sacks under McD and with that roster.  Bills finished 3rd, only 3 sacks behind the first place team KC and that is with losing Milano and DaQuan in the same game early in the season and then losing Bernard for the last part of the season.  Not to mention the ghost of Von taking so many snaps and the early loss of Tre which also helps the D get sacks by playing better pass defense and having the QB hold the ball longer.  All in all, Bills likely do lead the NFL in sacks last year if even just one of those things Don't happen.

 

This year though, I am not as confident in exactly what this D will look like for obvious reasons.  Its a major overhaul from a personnel standpoint...out are Hyde (but might be back), Poyer, Tre, and Floyd...all guys who had big roles on this defense.  Then we have guys like Benford, Bernard, and Milano all coming off injuries and the concern with Bernard and Milano is that they are undersized, so will injuries be something they can avoid this year or not is a question.  

 

Major questions remain:

  1. Who will call the plays?  McD indicated we are not likely to see them make a decision on this until sometime in the preseason.  
  2. Who starts at CB opposite Rasul?  Will Benford be back from injury and hold that spot down, or will Elam finally be healthy and ready to win that battle and take over the starting role who has shown potential in spot starts in the past.  
  3. Who starts at Safety?  This is already a legit question before we know if Hyde comes back or not as it seems he will be back if he elects to play again rather than retire, which seems to be 100% medical decision by Hyde regarding risks with his neck.  Can Bishop win one of the starting Safety spots, he has 2 starting level veterans ahead of him as it is before knowing if Hyde is here.  Would Hyde start or be a reserve if he returns?  If I had to guess, this is one spot where the Bills can bring the young player along slowly if they choose, so I think Bishop will have to flat out win the job clearly to start week 1. 
  4. What are we to expect from our Edge rushers?  I think AJE flirts with double digits this year in an expanded role after back to back 6.5 sack seasons primarily as a rotational guy.  But what Groot are we getting?  The guy who put up 8 sacks in 2022 and looked poised to be a double digit guy in 2023, or the guy we actually got in 2023 who only put up 5 sacks?  Then there is how much does Von and Solomon bring to the pass rush and the edge rotation early?  

 

While I do remain somewhat optimistic about the defense this year, its more of a cautious optimism vs confidence that I had last year.  Lots of questions to be answered heading into camp about roles, starters, play callers, etc leave this a harder defense to project than we have had the past few seasons.  While as of now we are looking at 2 new safeties (Hyde still might come back), I am not too concerned either as I think our safety room is still pretty good with the vets and Bishop as it is.  I am concerned however on how thin we are at some positions like CB and as I mentioned Edge (at least until we see if Von or one of the young guys can bring anything to it).  

 

If I had to guess today, I still think McD wants to see this be an aggressive defense again this year.  I expect we will see a good dose of Cover1 and Cover3 again as well, and from a players perspective, I expect strong or big seasons from guys like Rasul, Oliver, Milano, Bernard, Taron, and DaQuan.  I think the deciding factor on how good this defense will be is going to come down to how effective our edge rushers are at getting to the QB, especially Groot and AJE who are the likely starters.  

Edited by Alphadawg7
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7 hours ago, appoo said:

This past off season, the bills lost 3 potential Wall level defenders.  They over turned a bunch of dline (though kept their starters there), and now have a new DC hired from within.   The season prior they let the QB of their defense leave in FA as they couldn’t afford to keep him.
 

For the past 4-5 seasons, the bills have had a reputation for a fundamentally sound, tough, but blue collar defense led by their safeties and a rotating cast of characters on the DLine.

 

What will the identity of the defense be this season? Aggressive? Sound? Playmaking? Who will be the leaders? 

I hope it will be unpredictable and tailored to the offense they are facing.

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It'll be the same as it always is. A lot of mental weakness with undisciplined play during critical situations. They'll beat the snot out of bad-mid QBs in the regular season and likely do decent against the good ones for a top 5-10 aggregate score. Then we'll all be shocked at how they give up the big plays in January.

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Literally going to be the same defense, and nothing wrong with that.

 

We were off to a great start, then injuries hit too many key pieces.  I actually think we have better depth coming into this season, and Bernard with a full offseason (not splitting snaps) at Mike.

 

McD gets a lot of hate around here, but he's a great defensive coach. People forget we finished top 5 in sacks, a few from the top spot, with Von basically a non factor and no Milano/Daquan for a good chunk.

 

People only remember the KC loss, but stubborn to the fact that we had a very beaten up squad on D, and missing our core (LBs).

 

But to answer the question....identity will be aggressive, sound football.  With LBs and nickle corners being very critical to our scheme.

 

Need to stay healthier this year to have a chance deep into playoffs

 

 

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8 hours ago, Gregg said:

I am hoping the Bills can get to the QB more consistently with their front four especially against the top QB's. It's a big reason why the Giants were able to take down the evil empire on the biggest stage twice.

I'd like to see blitzing on every play!

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I'd expect the same fundamentally sound, tough, blue collar Defense we've gotten used to that will have the propensity to collapse after the two minute warning.

 

Hopefully the injury bug avoids us this season.

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7 hours ago, boater said:

Josh Allen won't play in an offense anchored around one double-teamed Diggs.

 

Teams won't double any Bills receiver. Josh Allen will have multiple receiving options to throw to each play--one will become open.

 

Kincaid will be even better. James Cook's running game will be stout.

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On the one hand…

We have the thinnest defensive roster of recent memory, and they really can’t afford too many injuries on D. So, maybe we see some more cover 2, bend, don’t break? We’ve gotten younger at safety. It’s not too comfortable a feeling to be hanging our hats on Rasul Douglas, but he is going to need to stay healthy, along with Benford, and Taron.

 

On the other hand…

We have the weakest pass rush of recent memory, as well— especially in terms of rotation. And, quite frankly, I’m not expecting much of anything (other than an injury settlement) out of Von Miller. Sorry if that’s an unpopular opinion. And I just don't see our front four having much ability to get to the quarterback. So, maybe we see more blitzing this season?

 

Perhaps our defensive identity is going to be just trying to stay healthy enough to give the offense a shot?

 

I’ll say this also: I know a lot of people on this site, especially this time of year, downplay the importance of special teams. But, IMO, field position is going to matter more than ever. I would expect, and hope that the depth players are going to reflect that.

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Same as it has been

Pad stats against garbage QBs, blow late game leads, and maybe one game where they inexplicably can't stop the run at all(Saints/Pats). 

 

I'm going to go out on a limb because I don't know where to find the data. But I think McDermott the play caller used more 4-3 last year. Maybe I'm wrong and it just seemed that way. I think back and it seemed Taron was on the sideline more last year than in years past. If Milano is healthy and Williams can play under control, the 4-3 base can dial up some interesting pressures. 

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4 hours ago, Ethan in Cleveland said:

Same as it has been

Pad stats against garbage QBs, blow late game leads, and maybe one game where they inexplicably can't stop the run at all(Saints/Pats). 

 

I'm going to go out on a limb because I don't know where to find the data. But I think McDermott the play caller used more 4-3 last year. Maybe I'm wrong and it just seemed that way. I think back and it seemed Taron was on the sideline more last year than in years past. If Milano is healthy and Williams can play under control, the 4-3 base can dial up some interesting pressures. 

Milano is the key to whether this defense has any semblance of competing.  If he isn't 100%, we're done.  I have little or no faith in Von, AJE & Groot generating pressure while supporting our young and vulnerable secondary. 

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4 hours ago, LABILLBACKER said:

Milano is the key to whether this defense has any semblance of competing.  If he isn't 100%, we're done.  I have little or no faith in Von, AJE & Groot generating pressure while supporting our young and vulnerable secondary. 

I agree. Rousseau has been a disappointment.  He's not a bust but he gets injured every year and despite a heavy rotation seems to wear down and is less effective as the season wears on. I agree with picking up his extension to see if he can improve. 

 

My disdain for AJE is well documented.  Dumb idea to give him a second contract. 

 

No faith in Von is fair. From what we have seen since coming back from injury and his age that makes sense. I do think he played better in the playoffs than he did in regular season games so that might be a glimmer of hope.

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I don't know but I feel like they have a little more size this year and maybe less speed.  

 

I think the safeties are bigger and with rasul douglas the full time starter he is a bigger player or at least plays bigger.

 

I think they are going to be very good against the run and exceptionally good once milano is healthy and returns.  

 

I just am worried about this group getting pressure on quarterbacks.  It doesn't seem like they have anyone who is going to really be an issue for an offense to worry about going into games.  Hopefully that changes.

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A lot of cover one on 3rd down

 

With a mixture of disguised cover 3 and 2 looks on early downs 

 

With well timed and schemed overload blitzes or dual a gap pressures 

8 hours ago, MikePJ76 said:

I don't know but I feel like they have a little more size this year and maybe less speed.  

 

I think the safeties are bigger and with rasul douglas the full time starter he is a bigger player or at least plays bigger.

 

I think they are going to be very good against the run and exceptionally good once milano is healthy and returns.  

 

I just am worried about this group getting pressure on quarterbacks.  It doesn't seem like they have anyone who is going to really be an issue for an offense to worry about going into games.  Hopefully that changes.

Milano should be ready week 1

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