Five reasons the Buffalo Bills will have Top 10 Defense in 2017

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Kyle Williams /
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Buffalo Bills will have Top 10 Defense
Buffalo Bills will have Top 10 Defense /

Rex and Rob Ryan were fired by the Bills last year. With the circus out of town, the teams’ defense will improve by getting back to the basics.

Bills new head coach Sean McDermott seems to be the polar opposite of Rex Ryan. McDermott is more low-key and measured than his predecessor. He believes in drilling fundamentals and practicing technique where Ryan seemed to focus more on coaching up complex schemes for the sake of confusion rather than technique.

The Bills had a lot of talented players on defense last season but some of them struggled at times and part of those struggles had to do with the complexity of the system which required the players to think too much and not act on their natural instincts and athletic ability.

For example, Jerry Hughes, who excels at getting after the quarterback, should be doing exactly that and attacking the signal caller nearly every play. He shouldn’t be used as a decoy for the sake of confusion.

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Ryan also seemed focused on trying to make players work within his scheme. By contrast, McDermott wants to scheme around his players rather than necessarily find players for his scheme. At the scouting combine, he was quoted by the Buffalo News as saying “I think that’s a critical part of being a great coach is adjusting and putting your players in a position to be successful.”

McDermott’s approach is the more sensible of the two. In the NFL it’s hard to get all the personnel you want to execute your defense with the salary cap and other constraints. The better approach is to have a vision of what you want but to be able to adapt and put your players in situations where their skill sets will allow them to succeed. That along with simpler concepts on defense will allow the Bills players to focus on what they do best which will help lead to a Bills defensive resurgence in 2017.

Click below for the second reason the Bills will be a Top 10 defense in 2017.