In the first of a series, for the second straight year, I will pick a player from each AFCE team. This is the player I think has a breakout year; a year that makes people take notice.
As usual we begin with the Buffalo Bills.
When Rex was hired as HC, life for the CBs was about to change. Yes, I know that two years ago this team’s DC was a Rex disciple, Mike Pettine. However, the two are far from a mirror image of one another. For example Pettine is a blitz happy coach, who couldn’t care less that teams actually run. Rex has not blitzed anywhere near as much since he let Pettine go. Rex is more of a scheme oriented, he will rely on his CBs to be in zero coverage, alone, on an island he hopes they master and protect.
Rex Ryan loves his CBs, and he likes for them to be like sticks of glue. Rex inherited Revis, but Rex’s style allowed Revis to bring out the best of his quality. It was Rex that created the island.
In Buffalo we find Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore is from Rock Hill, SC, and he did attend local South Carolina. In his fourth year, the 6’1”, 190 lbs Stephone is ready to shine.
He wears #24, and Rex will be looking at him as if he was Revis. Gilmore will be creating his own island under Rex.
Good at defending the run
Physical at the line
Inconsistent between plays
Gambles too often
When the year is all said and done, on a very good defense, Stephone will emerge as the clear star. Bills will have to be ready to lock the kid up longterm, CBs like this don’t come around often. This young man was made to play man to man!