While the Buffalo Bills defense runs a significant amount of zone, when they do play man, Tre’Davious White is one of the best in the league.
This past year was a breakout season for Tre’Davious White. The Buffalo Bills cornerback earned his first Pro Bowl trip and first nomination to the first-team All-Pro after he had six interceptions, tied for the most in the league.
The Bills defense, led by Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier, spends a majority of time in nickel but also relies on zone coverages in their scheme. This is one of the reasons that White has been so successful during his time in the NFL.
However, that is not the only reason and White is a well-rounded corner that also excels in man coverage. Recently, Pro Football Focus put out their rankings of cornerbacks when playing man coverage and Tre’Davious White was ranked third.
"3. TRE’DAVIOUS WHITE, BUFFALO BILLSMan-coverage grade: 74.5White’s PFF grade might have fallen a bit short of his tremendous rookie season (90.1 coverage grade in 2017) over the last two years, but the way that he’s limited production points to the fact that he’s certainly in the mix for best cornerback in the NFL behind Gilmore. The Bills didn’t run as much man as teams like the Patriots and Ravens, but White was lights out when they did over the course of the regular season. He allowed just 13 of the 33 passes thrown his way to be completed with seven forced incompletions. It’s hard to get much better than that."
As Ben Lindsey notes, White didn’t have as many snaps in man coverage as some of the other cornerbacks on the list. However, when in man he only gave up 13 receptions on 33 passes attempts that were targeted at him.
There is no question that is impressive and White is a key part, possibly the most important player, on one of the top defenses in the league. The Bills secondary finished near the top of the league in passing yards allowed, giving up only 195.2 passing yards per game which was the fourth lowest total. They also allowed the second fewest passing touchdowns with only 15 all year.
Entering 2020, the expectations are high for Tre’Davious White as he will be expected to replicate his performance from 2019. When White is playing at a high level, it allowed the coaching staff to get creative knowing that essentially half the field is covered with Tre’Davious White on the field.