The Buffalo Bills have their sights on the Super Bowl in 2023, but what this NFL team learned in 2022 is that life is greater than football.
In watching their teammate Damar Hamlin suffer a cardiac arrest on the field during Monday Night Football just over 8 months ago the Bills and athletes throughout all sports took a moment to recognize what’s most important…the value of life.
Making his way back on the field, Hamlin is not only grateful to be alive, he is feeling blessed to be able to continue his journey in football. In returning to the practice field for the first time since that game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Bills safety couldn’t hold back the emotion and feeling of taking part in football activities again.
"“It feels amazing,” Hamlin said during a news conference last week. “It’s a roller coaster of emotions. I was kind of all over the place, just kind of being back for the first time. But God don’t make no mistakes. I’m on God’s timing. As much as the NFL is on schedule and camp starts this day, this is all God’s timing.”"
While the Bills couldn’t get it done for Hamlin during their playoff run last season, his return on the field should motivate the team to complete their mission in 2023. A return of veteran edge rusher Von Miller on the defensive side of the ball will help that along with the emergence of another young player on the defensive side of the football.
Buffalo Bills young defender primed to breakout in 2023
Coming off an 8-sack season, third-year defensive end Gregory Rousseau is expected to breakout in 2023.
As one of the players highlighted by Bleacher Report as an NFL edge defender primed to breakout as only an ankle injury got in the way of him fully breaking out in 2022. The Bills young defensive end should lead a very solid group of pass rushers in Buffalo, including Miller who should be back and ready for the 2023 NFL season.
B/R writer David Kenyon notes:
"“Rousseau still tallied eight sacks and 18 pressures in those 13 appearances and—perhaps more notably—just 463 snaps. He finished among the most efficient pass-rushers in the league.One legitimate obstacle is the amount of depth the Buffalo Bills have accumulated at the position. Rousseau and Von Miller are the starters, but Leonard Floyd, Shaq Lawson, A.J. Epenesa and Boogie Basham could all land regular snaps.”"
That depth should also keep Rousseau fresh for the team’s late season run when he’s talent getting to the quarterback will really be needed. With the Bills expected to have to hold off offenses in their own division, a force like Rousseau can play a major impact in how far the Bills will go.
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And if Rousseau and Miller emerge as a two-headed force on the defensive side, all pressure rests on the arm of Josh Allen and the happiness of their star receiver.
NFL rumors: Bills GM hasn’t received calls on a trade for Stefon Diggs
A happy Stefon Diggs is a very dangerous Stefon Diggs.
After pouting off the field during the team’s playoff exit in 2022, rumors have been surfacing regarding the status of the star receiver all offseason. According to Bills general manager Brandon Beane,no NFL team has called attempting to trade for Diggs.
In an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show this week, Beane squashed any trade rumors.
"“No. No one called on Diggs. I think people know that he’s ours,” Beane said. “He was never asking (for a trade).”"
While it would be very unlikely the Bills ever entertain a trade for Diggs, the player can dictate how things goes like he did with the Minnesota Vikings. But Diggs is in a prime spot with a team contending for a Super Bowl and catching the ball from a talent like Allen.
If the Bills underachieve to start the season, an unhappy Diggs could become a problem.
But, it sounds like #BillsMafia has nothing to worry about.