Buffalo Bills Training Camp: 5 things to watch

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January 23, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Buffalo Bills players Team Carter defensive tackle

Kyle Williams

(95), Team Carter defensive tackle

Marcell Dareus

(99), and Team Carter defensive end Mario Williams (94) during photo day at The Arizona Biltmore. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

5) Can this defense really be better than last year’s?

Fourth in yards per game allowed and points per game allowed. Tied for first in opposing third down conversion percentage. First in total sacks (a franchise record of 54). Numerically, it is a very tough defense to beat. But somehow, in 2015, there is an expectation for this team to be even better, and why not?

Jim Schwartz did a terrific job with the Bills defense in 2014, leading them to a feared status throughout the season and it was this reason that the Bills won most of their games last season. Now as Schwartz is out and Dennis Thurman steps in, the expectation is to be as good or even better, but it is not because Thurman was hired. It is because of the man who hired him, head coach Rex Ryan.

Ryan has been known throughout his career to be an aggressive coach that likes to throw exotic blitzes and coverages at opposing offenses, confusing them and creating pressure while doing so.

Schwartz’s scheme last season was aggressive, but plain. Man on the outsides with pressure from his line. That is where it all starts, the defensive line. The Bills do not need to bring extra pressure that often because of the fact they have one of the best, if not the best, defensive lines in the NFL.

Already confusing offenses, Ryan now has a better defensive line than he had in New York when he took that team to two straight AFC Championship Games. It will be very interesting to see what he has up his sleeve for already one of the best defenses in football.