Q: This season was obviously a very successful one for your team. How does this season change the bar, or the expectations moving forward?
BB: Back to back seasons with the playoffs, which is good. That’s a start to what I refer to as sustained success. We won the AFC East so we’ll obviously be the hunted team in that division. I think people will refer to us, this team played in the AFC Championship. We’re gonna get people’s best, we know that. Next year is a new year though. Nothing we did will matter when we start this offseason or when we start camp. Every team’s built up with new players so we’ll have to hit the reset button. We’ve got a lot of work to do to try and get this thing going and build a team that can earn its way back to where we were and hopefully further.
Q: Josh Allen took a huge step obviously this season. What are your thoughts on potentially working on a long-term extension with him this offseason?
BB: You know I don’t get into contracts, but it’s a fair question since I’m very proud of Josh. What I would say about him is I know he’s his own worst critic. Even though he had a great year just like he did last year, he kind of led out exit meeting. He went through what he’s got to do and he knows. He’s so driven, we’ve got to get Josh to power down and just reset. But he’s gonna come back, using Sean’s words, humble and hungry. I’m very proud of him and he’s shown people what he can do in this league and I don’t think he’s reached his ceiling, I think there’s still growth for him.
Q: Going off of that with Josh, he said recently that he felt he proved that the Bills didn’t make a mistake in drafting him. What are some of your biggest takeaways from the steps and the growth this season? And what do you think he really proved this year?
BB: I think this year he really played well against various defenses. I think last year, some of the press-man (coverage) ... it wasn’t just him, some of our receivers didn’t necessarily get open, maybe he didn’t make the right reads, maybe he felt the pressure. I thought he really showed well against that. I thought also in most of the games, he had a couple games where he didn’t, but in most of the games when teams didn’t give him the deep ball — the home run ball that he does like to throw — he checked it down a lot and just took what they gave him and was willing just to hit that 10-, 11-, 12-play drive for points, and just understanding what the defense is giving us, how he’s being played, and understanding the game. You go back to that New England game from a year ago when he had all those turnovers, one of the big things we talked to Josh about was some games we don’t need you to score 30. Some are going to be a defensive struggle and we just want to possess the ball, play field position, let our defense get them backed up and get the ball on the plus-50 and then go get points. I think he learned it’s just another phase of complementary football. He did a lot of great things this year and we don’t have the success we had, not only as an offense but as a team without what number 17 did.
Q: We’ve heard players talk about how if you want to get to where you want to go as a team, you’ve got to beat the Chiefs. They’re the standard right now in your conference. How close do you think this team is to taking that next step and beating a team like Kansas City?
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RUNNING BACKS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
Aaron Jones, Packers 5-9 • 208 pounds • 27 years old A fifth-round steal in the 2017 draft out of UTEP, Jones is equally proficient in the running and passing games. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards the last two years, and caught 49 and 47 passes, respectively. He’s also a touchdown machine with 30 TDs the last two years (25 rushing and 5 receiving). The son of two career Army officers, he’s a tough, driven player and the kind of guy players want on their team.
THE RIGHT STUFF?
Keeping two important starters is a priority as the right side of the O-line hits free agency
QUARTERBACKS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
Dak Prescott, Cowboys 6-2 • 235 pounds • 27 years old A solid starter who has a nice TD-INT ratio over his first five seasons (104-40), Prescott is an accurate thrower and very mobile. However, he’s coming off a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle, so it remains to be seen if this will impact his game moving forward.
TIGHT ENDS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
Hunter Henry, Chargers 6-5 • 250 pounds • 29 years old A very talented player, Henry has had issues staying healthy, unable to complete an NFL season, including missing the entire 2018 season with a torn ACL. But when healthy, he’s a terrific all-around tight end who really connected with Justin Herbert in 2020 with 60 catches. Henry is very good at finding holes in zone coverage.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
Leonard Williams, Giants 6-5 • 255 pounds • 28 years old An athletic 300-pounder with quick feet, Williams amassed a career-high 11.5 sacks last season. Add that to him being a stout run defender, very durable and possessing great character, and he should be in high demand. He won NFC Defensive Player of the Week twice last year. $$$$$
What Bills Fans Are Saying
Bills Digest scanned the Bills’ Facebook page and other fan message board sites to gauge the hot topics Bills Nation is talking about. We chose some of the better posts, edited for brevity and clarity, and present them here, along with Bills Digest editor Mark Ludwiczak’s take on what’s being discussed.
Bills Digest BUZZ Box: Five hot topics Bills fans are talking about
Bills Digest editor Mark Ludwiczak and editor-at-large Chris Brown weigh in on a handful of the hottest subjects Bills fans have been sounding off about in e-mails to our offices, radio call-in shows and Internet message boards. Have an opinion? Feel free to send an email to Chris (AskChris@bills.nfl.net) or Mark (Mark@asmpublishing.com).
WIDE RECEIVERS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
Allen Robinson II, Bears 6-2 • 220 pounds • 27 years old Coming off a 102-catch season, Robinson is a big, physical receiver who can go up and get the rock. He excels at climbing the ladder to high-point the ball. Imagine what he can do with an elite QB after playing in Jacksonville and Chicago. Though he has been in the league since 2014, he’s still only 27.
GUARDS/CENTERS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
Brandon Scherff, Washington 6-5 • 315 pounds • 29 years old The fifth pick of the 2015 draft, Scherff certainly lived up to the hype. He’s got everything teams want in a guard — size, grit, great technique, power and the mobility to get to the second level. His massive hands (11 inches) are a huge asset for a guard to grab and clutch. He made the Pro Bowl four of his first five NFL seasons. $$$$$
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