Buffalo Bills Rookie LB Kiko Alonso Already a Fixture On Defense

By Matt Ploss
Scott Olmos-USA Today Sports

When the Buffalo Bills selected Kiko Alonso in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft, it was more or less assumed that he would be asked to step into a major role with the team right away. However, no one could have predicted just how immediate or major that role would be. Throughout OTA’s and minicamp, Alonso was featured almost exclusively on the Bills’ first-team defensive rotation, and seemed to always be on the field.

Thankfully, this decision wasn’t made simply out of defensive desperation. Alonso has earned his spot on the roster and then some. Kiko has continued to reinforce his reputation as a relentless, aggressive defender and has earned praise from every level of the organization. All-star defensive end Mario Williams had nothing but good things to say about Alonso in an interview on the John Murphy show back in late March, and even went as far as to compare the young standout to former defensive rookie of the year Brian Cushing.

It isn’t just the players who are impressed with Alonso either. First-year head coach Doug Marrone has also taken note of Alonso’s performance to date. In a recent sit-down interview with BuffaloBills.com, Marrone spoke very highly of the rookie linebacker, effectively justifying the apparent appointment of Kiko as the Bills’ new defensive anchor.

“Well, when we looked at him and we talked about him, we looked at him as a three-down back,” Marrone said. “There’s always certain things that you look for from players. Is it too fast for him? Is the playbook too much for him? When he’s on the field is it too big for him? And he’s really done a good job of coming in here and looking very comfortable at that position.”

The formidable play of Alonso thus far is great for Buffalo, and hopefully represents a sign of things to come. It’s worth noting that as a versatile, aggressive defender, Kiko represents the prototypical linebacker for Mike Pettine‘s system. If he continues his stellar, consistent play, it shouldn’t be long before Kiko Alonso is one of the more fearsome defenders in the AFC East.

Matt Ploss is a Buffalo Bills writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewPloss, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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