ORCHARD PARK, NY
For someone who admitted to being torn leaving a Super Bowl champion and the bright lights of Los Angeles for Buffalo, Von Miller certainly looked at home wearing a Bills helmet in his practice debut on Tuesday.
Whether it’s grooving to the beat of the music on the sidelines, playfully posing for a photographer, giving advice to second-year defensive end Greg Rousseau, or getting out of line by forcing Josh Allen Coming out of the pocket, Miller’s presence was apparent during the second day of the Bills’ voluntary workouts.
“My first impression of him wearing the same jersey is exceptional and grateful,” left tackle Dion Dawkins said. “I’m grateful to have him.”
All it took to wow Dawkins was catching a glimpse of the 33-year-old Miller during the stretching portion of the workout.
“He’s like a gymnast, where he’s really fluid. Almost like water,” Dawkins added. “It’s the most impressive thing, that he can move his body in certain ways that I can’t for sure.”
Two months after leaving the Rams to sign a six-year contract with the two-time defending champions AFC East in free agency, the Von Miller Effect has officially taken hold on a talented Buffalo team with championship aspirations.
With Allen overseeing a powerful offense, Miller adds muscle to what had been the NFL’s top-ranked defense, albeit with an average pass rush last season. He’s a two-time Super Bowl champion and leads active players with 115 1/2 sacks, including 9 1/2 a year ago, plus four more in the playoffs.
Miller, who was not made available to reporters after practice, previously said he wouldn’t have left LA for any team other than Buffalo due to the collection of talent he’s brought together.
“When I was on the plane to fly here and sign my contract, I was like, ‘Bro, I’m coming here to tell them I’m going back to LA,’ he said with a laugh last month. “Then I got here and sat down with all the guys and, man, I felt at peace. I felt like this was the place.
It was then that Miller began to look forward to his first practice.
“I’m excited to go. I’m ready to win a Super Bowl for the Buffalo Bills,” he said.
The Bills spent the offseason strengthening their defensive front by signing freelance tackles Jordan Phillips, DaQuan Jones and Tim Settle.
Miller, meanwhile, immediately becomes the focal point of a young and developing group of passing passers made up of sophomores Rousseau and Boogie Basham, third-year player AJ Epenesa, as well as agent Shaq Lawson. free who returns. to Buffalo for a second stint.
Coach Sean McDermott on Tuesday focused on his young passing throwers to make a bigger impact.
“It’s going to be a big offseason for these guys,” McDermott said, referring specifically to Rousseau, Basham and Epenesa. “I mean, they’re in a position where we need them to really, really grow and develop and make a mark on our defense – and not just in a supporting role, but in a starring role.”
Rousseau, who had four sacks as a substitute last season, is the projected candidate to start against Miller. Although the players trained in shorts and without pads, the duo showed flashes of their disruptive potential by collapsing the pocket during a team drill.
“I feel like we’re going to learn a lot from him. We have already learned from him,” Rousseau said, of Miller taking him aside and providing pointers. “So I’m excited to go there every day and train with a Hall of Famer.”
Anyone who lines up opposite Miller should benefit from more one-on-one situations, with opposing offenses expected to focus their attention on blocking on the other side.
It’s something the Bills lacked last season and led them to not re-sign Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison, after combining for just nine sacks.
Buffalo finished tied for 11th in the NFL with 42 sacks, though 14 of those came in the final two weeks of the season in wins over Atlanta and the New York Jets.
“Whatever they want me to do, I’ll be able to do it,” Miller said, before brushing aside questions about his age at the start of his 12th season in the NFL.
“I’m 33, but honestly I don’t feel 33,” he said.
“It’s a six-year deal, so I’m looking forward to playing it all,” added Miller. “I’m really sick when you get to know me. My mindset is different.”
NOTES: McDermott acknowledged starting safety Jordan Poyer’s absence from the volunteer sessions is contract-bound saying “business is business right now.” Poyer is entering the final year of his contract and recently switched agents to Drew Rosenhaus. McDermott said he and Poyer had a brief chat while the player attended Micah Hyde’s charity softball tournament in Buffalo last week. … Without going into specifics, McDermott said offensive lineman Spencer Brown is sidelined after undergoing surgery, while tight end Dawson Knox is also struggling with an injury. Both should be ready for the start of training camp in July.
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