The season keeps getting closer and closer by the hour. It does not seem like it, but before you know it, we will be back into the rhythm of ‘Football Sunday.’ The day that is pretty much owned by the sport. The Buffalo Bills are apart of this day for 16 weeks every season, and even had the extra opportunity to compete again in the playoffs last season.

In this FPC Bills roundtable, Managing Editor Brandon Ray (@brandon_ray79) and contributing writer Scott Bryk (skotbrick1970), along with a special guest, Tony Finaldi give their input on questions that surround the Bills with under a month to go before the teams’ first preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on August 9th.

 

1.) Which Bills player from 2017 makes the biggest leap in 2018?

Ray: 

Based off last season, I believe that it will be linebacker Matt Milano who takes the biggest steps forward. I think it is safe to say that most Bills fans did not expect his type of production. He was not an all-star player, but he was a physical player who fits well into Sean McDermott‘s defense.

Milano has no where to go except up which is scary good for the Bills. With the defense being renovated, expect more defensive football in Buffalo and Milano should be apart of it.

 

Finaldi:

I think it’s Milano on the defense side. After moving into a starting role near the end of last year, he now knows the playbook better, and should be able to make even more plays, especially with Tremaine Edmunds in the middle. On the offensively side, I’ll go with Kelvin Benjamin. I think Brian Daboll will realize what an asset he is, and no matter who starts at QB, he should get a lot more passes thrown his way.

 

Bryk:

First instinct is spurting out Tre’Davious White. After all he was quite the ballhawk stud last season as a rookie. After further thinking it comes to me that he does no have enough room to improve over last season left on the table for sizable growth. I am not crying for a sophomore slump by any means. I just have such strong opinions on just how much he dominated last season…not as a rookie, but as an NFL player. I do not think I feel he will have a bad season. But no bumps and bruises and great support around him with the team not always playing from behind heavily impacts his decisions.

 

2.) Will the secondary continue its dominance up from last season?

Ray:

Even with defense making all sorts of adjustments from the trenches to centerfield with the ballhawks, the secondary has the best chance to remain as the teams’ best defensive unit. They keep their core of Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer and Tre’Davious White and also upgraded with the signing of Vontae Davis. An underestimated secondary that made offensive passing games pay the price last season, is now established and looking to pick up where they left off in 2017.

 

Finaldi: 

They should be able to. Vontae Davis makes it an even more complete unit, even if he just plays close to what is customary for him. Tre White should be even better, especially if he’s not forced to cover the opposition’s #1 every time. An improved defensive line should help too, assuming they can stop the run and force obvious passing situations.

 

Bryk:

I believe the secondary will be the teams strongest point. Will they have the bounces or luck for so many turnovers? I would not bet on it. But they have enough talent coming back and added some key players even in the linebacker core that directly can make or break the secondary.

 

3.) Will Chris Ivory play a crucial role for the Bills on 3rd down and in the red zone?

Ray: 

Expect nothing more than this type of role from Ivory. Unless the situation involving LeSean McCoy affects his season or if an injury occurs, Ivory will be used as the bruiser back  most of the time.

 

Finaldi: 

Hard to say what their plans are for him, although I think his primary purpose will be to spell Shady.

 

Bryk: 

He may play more of a role than anyone anticipated. He went from an experienced insurance relief type signing to the spotlight if LeSean McCoy ends up doing time or at least suspended. McCoy was loved here in Buffalo so many are hoping for the best for McCoy and hope that the situation involving him gets settled and that the story does not turn out to be true.

4.) Is there a chance that LeSean McCoy takes the rushing title this season?

Ray:

Before there was reports of the disturbing incident that was brought up involving McCoy and his ex-girlfriend, I thought McCoy would have had the chance to reclaim the rushing title that he won back in 2013. Now with the accusations he is facing, it’s a more important factor to take care of this situation and see how the outcome is presented.

 

Finaldi: 

Probably not, and that’s assuming he evades legal trouble. As good as he is, the offensively line is arguably weaker, and the passing game is a mystery for now.

 

Bryk:

I do not think so. He has so many distractions legally right now, just playing 16 games would be an all pro season. He still has the talent and has not taken a beating in his career because he is so elusive. That said, he turned 30 years old and in running back years that is never time to start planning MVP seasons. Staying healthy and rushing for 1000 yards contributing a handful of TDs would be right on target with my expectations if indeed does play this season. I also take into consideration as much lip service as we can handle has been rattled off to us by Mr. Beane. That does not compensate for Eric Wood, Richie Incognito and Cordy Glenn all not be starters anymore. All three of those linemen have been or are the caliber to be pro-bowlers annually.

5.) Will Josh Allen see the field at all this season?

Ray:

He’s supposedly the second coming of Jim Kelly, correct? The Bills traded up for him to select at #7 overall in this years’ draft, but why throw him into the woods right away? I believe that Allen may have his chance or two for some playing time, but only in the fourth quarter. I think the QB1 battle goes through AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman all season long while Allen quietly waits to take the reins for the future.

 

Finaldi:

I think it’s inevitable, although I don’t think he will start the year. Much will depend on the first half of the season, where the schedule is the toughest. If McCarron can get them through that, and playoffs remain viable, then they will stay with him. If they get to a point where playoffs are unlikely, the kid should get as many reps as possible.

 

Bryk: 

Absolutely…I said it weeks back. Week six…count on it. They do not want to crush him by giving him too much, too fast. That said, reps make you better. Not always watching while holding the clipboard. They invested a lot to get him. He is the future unless he just crashes and burns in the NFL.  He was not that successful in college against weak opponents some would say. That said he is still so very athletic, big and tall, smart, has a cannon for an arm, large hands, eager to learn, etc. A lot of very smart scouts and General Managers at all levels were blown away by his talent and potential. Others were scared off by the facts. I said it once and I will repeat it right now. Time will tell.

 

Brandon Ray is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage who covers the NFL and the Buffalo Bills. Follow him on Twitter at @brandon_ray79 and @FPC_Bills for Bills coverage. 

Scott Bryk is a contributing writer for Full Press Coverage who covers the Buffalo Bills. Follow him on Twitter at @skotbrick1970

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