It’s only three days into OTA’s and already a new tone, tempo and attitude is being implemented at the Buffalo Bills practice facility. The extent of this approach has certainly been evident on the offensive side of the ball, but it seems as though speed and aggressiveness will be just as important on defense next year. Throughout practice on Tuesday, the Bills new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine emphasized a varied, up-tempo attack.
The defensive scheme on display was notable thanks to an abundance of blitz packages, but also due to the variation and speed with which the defense was asked to perform. “I’m impressed by how much they have in the defensive package at this fairly early stage —obviously indicative of how many different looks this defense wants to give opponents. It’s clear that Mike Pettine plans on putting a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks,” John Murphy of BuffaloBills.com reports.
So far, the players have been asked to retain a lot of information in order to be prepared for this new, constantly-shifting scheme. But as a unit, they appear ready to accept the challenge. Defensive lineman Mario Williams said: “We’re going to be aggressive, but we’re going to cover too … It’s a lot to take in, but we’ve got a bunch of smart guys on our side so I’m pretty sure we’ll take care of it.”
If one thing is clear, it’s that the new Bills defense will feature a much more aggressive approach than in recent years. With fast, disruptive play calling, it looks as though Pettine intends to pressure the opposing offense into making quick decisions and potentially costly mistakes. In a division where Tom Brady is king, that’s probably not a bad idea.