The Bills are in a new era under Sean McDermott and they are looking to get back to business. The team was a laughing stock under Rex Ryan for the past two seasons, with undisciplined play and losing many games that should have been won. With the arrival of McDermott, we should see some changes that will benefit the team.
Most players that excelled in the 2014 season regressed in 2015 and 2016. For some it was just pure laziness or it was the kind of scheme that was put on them. The defense went from a dominant 4-3 to a less productive 3-4. Injuries also got in the way, which caused stress to the team and fans.
It’s never a guarantee that players will remain healthy throughout the season, but coaches can make sure that productivity will increase and players will play with full intensity. Sean McDermott is showing signs that players who have regressed the past two years will come back and get back to their playing level.
It’s clear that someone like Sammy Watkins needs to have a breakout year, but it doesn’t mean he will. The only way I see him having the best comeback season is if he stays healthy, which he hasn’t since entering the league. The player that will have the greatest comeback season is defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.
Dareus has had a rough two years, with suspensions and injuries in his path. Beforehand, he was one of the top defensive players in the league. In 2014 he recorded double digit sacks and helped the defense become top 5 in the league. When Rex Ryan took control, the defensive scheme went from a 4-3 to a 3-4, which messed up his play. He only had 5.5 sacks and 90 tackles the last two years.
With the defense going back to a 4-3, we are more likely to see Dareus get back to his regular self and dominate. Plus, the addition of Mike Waufle, who was hired this past January as the Bills defensive line coach. He is a disciplinarian just like McDermott.
Waufle was with the Rams before and he helped the arguably best defensive tackle in the league, Aaron Donald, make the Pro Bowl three years in a row. In his 5 seasons with the Rams, Waufle was able to help the Rams’ defensive line record 217 sacks. The Bills getting Waufle is a major steal for them and he should be beneficial.
Players who didn’t play well the last two seasons should improve their game, but Dareus should improve the most. He’ll be in the right scheme and he has coaches that are looking for results. Don’t be shocked when Dareus is getting in the backfield every game this season because he is in a great position to be a quarterbacks’ nightmare once again.
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