One major issue the Buffalo Bills must still fix before training camp
The minicamp and offseason program phase of the offseason has passed which means training camps are right around the corner. Later this month, the Buffalo Bills will be getting their training camp underway.
Last season was a disappointing year for the Bills in Josh Allen’s rookie season. Buffalo finished with a 6-10 record which was second to last—only ahead of the New York Jets.
Their record may have been depressing but Allen performed at the highest level he possibly could with what he was given. The 6-foot-5 quarterback threw for 2,074 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.
Those numbers don’t jump off the page but his best option at receiver last year was Robert Foster (cue the Snoop Dogg “who” clip). This offseason, the Bills made it a priority to surround their franchise quarterback with more weapons.
As a result, Buffalo signed John Brown, Cole Beasley, Tyler Kroft, Frank Gore, and T.J. Yeldon. Along with those additions, the Bills also added Spencer Long, Cody Ford, and Mitch Morse to help protect their prized possession in Allen.
Besides those needs that the Bills, the team still has one issue that needs to be fixed before the beginning of training camp. That issue is replacing the void that is left with the retirement of Kyle Williams at defensive tackle.
In the draft, the Bills used their first-round selection to take Ed Oliver. Oliver has been compared to Aaron Donald which are some quite lofty expectations for a rookie. Nonetheless, Buffalo will need someone else to man the second defensive tackle spot on the defense.
Currently, Harrison Phillips figures to get the opportunity to replace Williams on the defensive line. Those are some huge shoes to fill as Williams gave his all to the organization for 13 seasons.
In those 13 seasons, Williams was an absolute tank in the middle of the defensive line. Over his entire career, the retired defensive tackle amassed 48.5 sacks, 611 tackles, and 103 tackles for loss. Not only did he put up respectable numbers but he was the definition of a run stopper.
Now, the Bills will be expected to find his replacement during training camp this offseason. If Phillips isn’t up for the task then Star Lotulelei could get his shot at starting for the Bills next to the rookie.
Lotulelei (say that five times fast) started in all 16 games for the Bills in 2018 but the team may lean towards the youth route in Phillips. Besides, Phillips looks a little like a young version of Kyle Williams anyways.
Although, Lotulelei will likely see the field a good bit due to his experience. Which will be needed due to having such a young defensive group. In the NFC East, you have to be able to stop the run.
The New England Patriots have a multitude of running backs that can do some damage in Sony Michel, James White, and Rex Burkhead. Then, the New York Jets added Le’Veon Bell in free agency.
Therefore, the Bills are going to need to solve their issue of replacing Kyle Williams before training camp. If not, Buffalo fans may be in for yet another long season in their franchise’s history.