Buffalo Bills: 4 players to watch in the first week of training camp practices

Star Lotulelei, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Star Lotulelei, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Buffalo Bills
Jun 15, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Star Lotulelei (98) looks on during minicamp at the ADPRO Sports Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

Star Lotulelei

At the top of the list is one of the few Buffalo Bills to opt-out of last season due to the pandemic and that is defensive tackle Star Lotulelei. The veteran tackle’s absence last year was certainly noticeable, even if he is a player that doesn’t rack up tackles or sacks.

Lotulelei is the anchor of this defensive line and is expected to take on multiple blockers on the interior of the line. The way he is able to engage and hold his spot allows other players to get to the ball and make the tackle.

The return of Lotulelei should also be a boost for players like Ed Oliver, who is expected to be the starting defensive tackle alongside Lotulelei. Oliver is more athletic and expected to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Now that Lotulelei is back, Oliver shouldn’t face as many double teams and can take advantage of one-on-one matchups.

The biggest question for Star Lotulelei will be how he looks as he tries to ramp back up to being in football shape. He is 31 years old and in the two seasons he played with the Bills (2018-2019), he played less than 50% of the defensive snaps. The defense will need at least that from Lotulelei this season and the coaching staff should get a good indication if that will be the case early in training camp.