Assessing Oliver’s 2019 season
Coming into 2019 many Bills fans were expecting immediate results from Ed Oliver but it usually takes rookies a few weeks to get accustomed and the defensive tackle was no exception.
Lacking splash plays during his first five games, fans were getting a little restless despise Oliver showing flashes and holding his own.
Some people didn’t notice how dominant the talented defensive tackle was at times and this play was from his first game in the NFL is a perfect example:
Oliver just throws the guard out of the way and pressures the quarterback and the great talent he possesses shows up on tape.
The 2019 first rounder flashed his great motor all season and regularly you see him pursuing the ball carrier in open field which is rarely done with defensive tackles. Oliver’s first sack came as a result of his high motor:
Not the way I’m sure Oliver drew up to get his first sack, but he would take it to get the monkey off his back in his sixth game. He never gives up on the play and showed a proficiency to always play to the whistle.
McDermott prides his team in their effort they give each and every down. The young defensive tackle fits perfectly into the blue collar, grinding culture that the Buffalo Bills pride themselves on.
One of the most impressive plays Oliver made in 2019 wasn’t even a sack, against Tennessee he was pushed to the ground off the snap, immediately got up and chased down the NFL’s rushing leader Derrick Henry for a touchdown saving tackle:
Oliver at the time of the selection was occasionally regarded as a pick that wouldn’t fit the Bills culture, as he has had some run ins with coaches before because of attitude. That couldn’t be further from the truth, the Buffalo Bills staff obviously take off the field events seriously but pride themselves on drafting good football players that work hard, and Oliver is never short on effort.
From weeks 11-13, the rookie finally started to get some sack production, recording 4 sacks during that stretch. Oliver had a banner game versus the Dallas Cowboys in his home state, adding 2 sacks and a forced fumble on national television. Anyone who watched that game can see why the promising defensive tackle was a surefire Top 10 pick.
The most impressive sack by Oliver during his rookie season was against Denver on their quarterback Brandon Allen.
Using his strong hands and great burst, he’s able to push the guard aside and explode pass him for a near safety:
Oliver compiled 43 tackles, 5 sacks and 1 forced fumble on an impressive rookie season in Buffalo.