Kyle Williams pegs Tremaine Edmunds as future leader of the Buffalo Bills
By Avery Duncan
Buffalo Bills great Kyle Williams dubs 21-year-old Tremaine Edmunds as the future defensive leader of the squad.
Despite announcing his retirement after the 2018 season, six-time Pro-Bowl defensive tackle Kyle Williams hasn’t shied away from keeping up with the Buffalo Bills. After watching last week’s OTAs, Williams joined One Bills Live to talk about the team, including who is going to take over his leadership role.
Williams pegged last year’s rookie middle-linebacker Tremaine Edmunds as his successor for team leader of the Bills. He noted that Edmunds’ position makes him a natural fit; as middle linebackers often have the responsibility of adjusting the defense and receiving the plays from the defensive coordinator. The former Bill said;
"As far as emerging, someone who hasn’t been around, it would definitely be Tremaine [Edmunds]. Because of the position he plays — he’s the quarterback of the defense. You tried to watch him grow and tried to bring him along last year as the season progressed. Now, he’s going to continue to get better."
Despite just turning 21 years old, Edmunds is solidified as a starter for the Bills for the foreseeable future. Though he got off to a slow start in his rookie year, the middle linebacker tallied a healthy 121 total tackles, two forced fumbles, five tackles for loss, 12 pass deflections, and a couple of interceptions.
More impressive than his box-score may be his progression throughout the season. Edmunds played his best ball in December, as he simply looked the part of a seasoned vet. For the month, he recorded 47 tackles, four pass deflections, and two picks. His efforts were recognized, as he earned the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Month award. In 2019, most expect him to pick up where he left off.
But he may need to do more than pick up where he left off. Included in his development of pass coverage and gap control, Edmunds will likely need to grow into that leadership role. With Williams no longer in place, and Lorenzo Alexander‘s retirement looming, that becomes truer. Luckily, as the former Bill noted, he’s already taking steps to do so. That’s impressive for someone that just turned old enough to drink.