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The three biggest questions facing the Buffalo Bills defense heading into 2018

von panxing18 | 391 Beiträge

We are now less than a week away from the Buffalo Bills’ 2018 Week 1 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. The roster is settled Youth Corey Bojorquez Jersey , official game preparation has begun, and all of the questions that have been asked for months on end this offseason will start to be answered on Sunday in Maryland.These are, in my opinion, the three biggest questions facing the Bills’ defense heading into the 2018 regular season.Can the secondary keep producing?The Bills were able to produce enough defensively, in their first year playing under Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier, based largely on the contributions of three of their starting defensive backs: cornerback Tre’Davious White, and safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. Those three players combined for 14 of the Bills’ 18 interceptions last season, as well as an additional three fumble recoveries and two touchdowns.They did this despite the fact that the team was unable to produce a consistent pass rush on a weekly basis, which we’ll talk a little bit more about below. Now, these three players form the strong point in a defense that has otherwise seen a pretty significant amount of personnel turnover in its front seven. While other pieces fall into place, the Bills will need White, Hyde, and Poyer to continue their play-making ways.How quickly can the new Mike assimilate?Nathan Peterman has afforded the Bills the luxury of (some) time in assimilating Josh Allen to the NFL Womens Tre'Davious White Jersey , but the team has no such luxury when it comes to their other 2018 first-round draft pick, middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. The 20-year-old has been tasked with helming the Bills’ defense as its primary signal-caller right away, and he’ll likely be an every-down player in his rookie season.Edmunds’ preseason was marked with ups and downs, which is about all that can be expected from a young player in such a giant role. The pressure is only going to ramp up from here. No one doubts Edmunds’ immense physical talents. When he “gets it,” which the Bills will hope happens sooner rather than later, he has an opportunity to be a star in the McDermott/Frazier defense.Will a consistent pass rush develop?Sacks are not the true measure of a consistent pass rush, but the Bills’ 2017 season total of 27 sacks was lacking. No individual player had more than 4.0 sacks a year ago, and the Bills haven’t had a defensive lineman record more than 6.0 sacks in a season since 2014, when the trio of Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus, and Jerry Hughes were in their heyday.It’s no wonder, then, that the Bills spent significant free agency dollars trying to improve their defensive line Womens Josh Allen Jersey , adding end Trent Murphy (three years, $22.5 million) and tackle Star Lotulelei (five years, $50 million). They also expect to feature third-round defensive tackle Harrison Phillips fairly prominently this year, as well. But Phillips won’t start, Murphy has struggled to stay healthy (and has never recorded a double-digit sack season), and Lotuleleihas not built his sterling reputation as a pass rusher.Hughes will spearhead the Bills’ pass-rushing efforts once again, and remains an underrated edge rusher despite mediocre sack totals (he has just 15 sacks in his last three seasons combined). The Bills are banking on a healthy Murphy, an improved Shaq Lawson, and a more seasoned Eddie Yarbrough helping them generate pressure more consistently, but there are no proven commodities here.While the Bills attempt to put together a competent offense again, they’re counting on big plays from their defense to keep them afloat. Without a better pass rush, that may be tough to come by.Buffalo Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman and throwing velocity on sideline passes As the Buffalo Bills begin regular season preparations for their week one opponent, Nathan Peterman will be the quarterback under center against the Baltimore Ravens. While it’s undeniable that Peterman consistently produced during the preseason Youth Shaq Lawson Jersey , many fans are still filled with trepidation. One oft-cited concern is the dreaded sideline pass.To demonstrate why this pass is so troublesome for Peterman, we turn to math and science, because that’s kind of my deal. But first, let’s find a sample play. Nathan Peterman throws this short pass to Logan Thomas,and Mike Jordan nearly has a pick-six. Yikes! This pass wasn’t even likely to have earned the Bills a first down even though it was a second-and-six scenario. The term “short pass” doesn’t lend itself to visions of high difficulty. Let’s lay some groundwork on what makes this pass so tough. We have a few things to juggle here. First and foremost, as most readers surely guessed, the idea of a “short pass” is actually somewhat misleading when we talk sideline throws. The first problem is that we’re used to seeing stats based on the amount of yards gained. In this case, assuming no yards after the catch by Logan Thomas, it’s a mere four-yard throw. Based on where Peterman’s hand is when he releases the ball, we’re already looking at ten air yards. That’s more than double what you’d see on the stat sheet. If you’ve heard of Pythagoras and his work with triangles, you likely already know the next step. If a picture is worth a thousand words, the GIF above just saved me more than 80,000 of them. Everything should be front and center Youth John Miller Jersey , giving us our approximate real distance of 60 feet, or 20 yards. It turns out that the air distance is actually five times greater than the yards gained. The camera angles the NFL uses makes it very difficult to grasp just how wide the field is (160 feet, or about 53 yards). Sideline throws ramp up the distance needed to deliver the ball much higher than the broadcast footage suggests. There’s one more thing that makes these throws so dangerous. The first thing to note with this illustration is the seemingly illogical distance comparison. This is how much the camera angle skews what we’re seeing. If thrown straight forward we’d be calling this a decent heave downfield. The angles also reveal another layer of the difficulty with a sideline throw. Pay very close attention to the cornerback. With the pass that’s thrown, the defender has easy access to read the quarterback the entire time. Mike Jordan is also in position to start driving forward quickly, as he’s breaking out of a backpedal rather than a sprint. Jordan is in prime position to cut around Thomas as well, due to the angle of attack. Now visualize a pass over the middle. The defensive back is likely shadowing the receiver and attempting to stay with him stride-for-stride. This creates a higher level of difficulty in reading the quarterback. It’s also much harder to change direction when sprinting than while backpedaling. The receiver should be more directly between the quarterback and defensive back, making it harder to jump the route. EDIT: One of the more frequently cited concerns with Nathan Peterman is a weaker arm, resulting in relatively low pass velocity. Sideline throws combine the worst of all worlds for a quarterback. Despite the often short gains, the travel distance is more like a mid-tier throw than a check down. Making matters worse, the positioning for defensive backs is rarely more advantageous. Many passes can be conceptualized as a race between the ball and the defensive back (with the receiver as the finish line). Sideline throws then give the defender a head start, making throwing velocity all the more important.

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