ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – For a while the Bills relied on their defense to win them games. That was their recipe for success, the defense played lights out while the offense did just enough to get by.
Of course back then when we asked defensive players about how tough that is or if it’s frustrating, they weren’t going to say so. But now that it seems the Bills offense should produce, Micah Hyde admits it was challenging.
“From the 17, 18 to last year to now kind of the process of the evolution of the Bills offense has came a long way. I’d be lying to you guys, I would have never admitted this back then but it was frustrating some of those years to go out there and defense possibly playing well or get some takeaways and get some turnovers from the offense and then our offense went out there struggling. It was frustrating but now we know we’re at the point where we’re just as excited for this offense as they are,” Hyde said on a zoom call with reporters.
The model of relying solely on the defense can’t happen this season and shouldn’t given the amount of talent they have on that side of the ball.
There’s a bunch of weapons, they get after us in practice. There’s some times where they have a quick two minute drive on us, we get back to the sideline and we’re like dang what just happened, they got four or five big plays on us and then we’re off the field and we’re like what is going on so they’re gonna be pretty good,” Hyde explained.
The biggest weapon of course being Stefon Diggs. The level of competition and high energy he brings is apparent even just watching in practice.
“He’s been a very good receiver, the type of guy that reads a defense really well, he’s able to find the holes in the defense. 1-on-1 he can expose anybody who’s guarding him. I’ve played him in the past plenty of games to know what type of football player he was. When I was in Green Bay we were at Minnesota when they opened up the stadium and he went off, he went off that game. We knew what he was capable of doing but we just couldn’t stop him,” Hyde said.
“Coming into this year knowing that we have a receiver like that that’s able to make big plays for your offense and then compete against him in practice. I understand what he’s gonna do to help this football team and help the offense so I’m excited. We’ve gone against him, he’s kind of one of those guys that he makes a lot of plays and he lets you know he’s making plays which is good.”
Because of the continuity on defense and the weapons on offense, expectations for the Bills are the highest they’ve been in decades. General manager Brandon Beane said he won’t consider the franchise back on track until they’ve won the AFC East. And that mentality is throughout the entire team.
“There’s a sense of urgency since we got into training camp to know that this isn’t one of those, it’s not 2017 where kind of everything’s unknown, it’s now 2018 where we’re trying to figure out the pieces still, trying to get a quarterback, trying to establish a bunch of different positions. Last year we kind of got a little streak, got a little momentum so obviously this year we’re trying to build off that,” Hyde said.
“No one’s clueless, everyone understands the type of urgency you gotta have to go into this season but we’re taking it one game at a time honestly. We’re going into the season, we’re trying to win number one, that’s all we care about. It’s gonna be unique with the pandemic going on and no crowd and all that type of stuff, it’s gonna be unique but we gotta figure out a way.”