As mini-camps draw to a close, NFL head coaches have the opportunity to evaluate their rosters top-to-bottom and make decisions for the future. If Doug Marrone‘s recent statements are any indication, then rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso‘s future with the Buffalo Bills will be bright. In a Thursday press conference that marked the end of the Bills’ mini-camps, Marrone had nothing but good things to say about Alonso.
“I think Kiko has done an outstanding job. He really has. It’s been a little bit of ups and downs, but I think that’s not a knock on him, I think that’s what happens with young players. But I’m extremely excited to see him perform when the pads come on. I’m looking forward to it. He’s done a very, very good job,” Marrone said, per BuffaloBills.com.
It sounds as though Alonso has lived up to, if not exceeded, the expectations placed on him by Bills’ fans and coaches alike. That’s saying something, given that he was the first defensive player off the board for a team with one of the NFL’s worst defenses last season.
The prospect of Kiko doing well should be exciting for Bills fans. In part because you can never have too many difference makers on defense, but also because he’s the prototypical LB for Mike Pettine‘s defense. He’s versatile, aggressive and can make plays all over the field.
With reports that Alonso already impresses his coaching staff, it’s hard not to imagine him as a future defensive anchor for the team. Kiko’s raw talent was evident throughout his time at Oregon, but the fact that he’s apparently adjusting well to the pro game can only mean good things for Buffalo.