Jordan Mills proving he was worth the second chance

Oct 30, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Jordan Mills (79) against the New England Patriots at New Era Field. Patriots beat the Bills 41 to 25. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Jordan Mills (79) against the New England Patriots at New Era Field. Patriots beat the Bills 41 to 25. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /

According to the Buffalo Bills’ coaching staff and his teammates, Jordan Mills has been having quite the offseason.

When the 2016 season came to an end, pretty much everyone was sure that Jordan Mills would not be a member of the Buffalo Bills‘ offensive line anymore. Fast forward a couple of months and Mills is not only with the team, but the coaching staff likes what they see from him.

I would like to note that I was one of those that doubted his return and even when I heard the news of him being re-signed, I was pledging that it was as a backup — not a starter.

Once the Buffalo Bills drafted Dion Dawkins in the second round, I was sure we found our starting right tackle. Although it’s still uncertain where Dawkins will play Week 1, I feel confident it will be at RT.

I also knew that the competition added with Dawkins could be exactly what Jordan Mills needed to get back on track. In a piece I wrote several months ago, I outlined how Mills was getting a second chance to prove he could be a starter in Buffalo.

Looking at what his teammates and coaches have been saying about the young tackle, he has definitely been doing exactly that — making the most of this second opportunity.

Buffalo Bills‘ starting center Eric Wood, who is returning from a broken leg, was one of the players that spoke out about how much they like Jordan Mills. Wood recently explained how he put in a good word for Mills to the new coaching staff early in offseason:

"“I said, ‘You’re really going to like him,'” Wood said. “All coaches will like coaching Jordan Mills. He does exactly what he’s coached to do every single play. He’s very good with assignments, he’s very good in meetings, he takes everything serious, he’s here early.“He’s going to be tough for a rookie to beat out, because he’s going to do everything right. And someone’s going to have to truly outplay him to beat him out, because he’s just so dependable on a day-to-day basis. And that often is overlooked on Sundays. Ultimately, we’re only judged by what we do on Sundays, but on the day-to-day grind of a training camp, someone, to beat him out, is going to have to be on their stuff every day.”"

Another teammate, Richie Incognito, boasted about how much of a hard-worker Mills is — on and off the field.  Here’s what he had to say:

"“Jordan’s an extremely hard-working guy,” Pro Bowl guard Richie Incognito said. “He works hard in the weight room, he works hard on the practice field, he works hard in the class room. So it’s nice to see it all come together for him.”"

Hearing all of this is a breath of fresh air, especially for a Buffalo Bills‘ fan like me that doubted Jordan Mills from the start. It’s similar to the talk we heard about John Miller last offseason, following a rookie season that was less than spectacular.

That talk turned into a much improved 2016 season and further cementing himself as a starter on this offensive line.

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As for Jordan Mills, I’m still not sure he will be the starter Week 1 and think that spot will be given to rookie Dion Dawkins. He has been getting a lot of first-team reps at left tackle in Cordy Glenn’s absence.

With the offseason Mills has been having, however, I think he would make for the perfect backup right tackle and depending how well he is at left tackle, could be the perfect primary backup tackle. If he can prove he can step in on either side when needed, it would give the Buffalo Bills that much more comfortability in the case of an injury.

Either way, Jordan Mills is on his way to earning a lot of trust from both his teammates and coaches this offseason. Before Thursday’s practice, head coach Sean McDermott even chimed in. He kept it short and sweet, but the message was received:

"“Jordan Mills has had one heck of an offseason,” Sean McDermott declared Thursday."

Among all the other optimism surrounding the Buffalo Bills‘ squad this offseason, it’s awesome to see Jordan Mills being a part of it.

Let’s hope it continues!

Next: Coaches are also impressed by WR Andre Holmes

Where do you see Jordan Mills fitting on the roster come Week 1? Leave your thoughts below!