The Bills three-day mandatory minicamp began on Tuesday. Almost all of the players were in attendance. It was a chance for us to get a complete look at this year’s team. With that, we posed the question to the listeners, outside of EJ Manuel who is most critical to the Bills success this year? We received a wide variety of responses.
One player could be linebacker Kiko Alonso. He joined us in studio at 7:30. After a couple minor offseason procedures, Alonso is gradually getting in more work on the field, which was the case at today’s minicamp session. That is key for the second year linebacker who is making the switch to the outside. Alonso had success last year manning the middle but says he was able to move around to blitz and drop into coverage. That will be similar to what he’ll be taking on with the switch to the outside.
“I don’t think there are a lot of differences. There are definitely a lot of similarities. In the end linebacker is linebacker. You’re going out there and covering and playing against the run. You just have to make plays.”
Alonso also discussed the defensive scheme the Bills will be in under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. The team may have a different look, but Alonso says there might not be as much change as one would think.
“We’re in a 4-3 this year, obviously but I don’t think it’s very different. I think it’s similar in the sense that we’re an attacking style defense and we want to get after the offense and dictate the game. We just want to go out there and make plays, get sacks, get interceptions, and have some fun.”
Late last week, Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll passed away. Noll coached the Pittsburgh Steelers for 22-years and won 4 Super Bowls. Ed Bouchette from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has covered the Steelers for close to 30 years. He called in at the top of the hour to reminisce about the coaching great, calling him the most interesting coach he has ever written about.
“He was so different from a head coach. All of these head coaches wanted to talk about football. Chuck, all he wanted to do is talk about anything but football. I walked with him many of times off the practice field at St. Vincent College not knowing what to talk about. We wound up talking about the winds that come in from San Diego. He knew all about those winds and why there was a climate effect. He once asked me when we were in Maui for the NFL meetings and I ran into him and his wife and they asked me to go snorkeling with them. I had some other stuff to do and I declined. Boy, I have regretted that ever since.”
Finally, Craig Henderberg joined the show. He’s a season ticket holder and a member of the Bills Fan Advisory Board. The committee had their latest and third meeting last Thursday to discuss a better game experience for fans attending Ralph Wilson Stadium. Henderberg says the meetings are productive and have been successful in implementing the various pitched ideas. These range from arranging a more efficient and faster way to get fans into the stadium to helping alleviate a fans obstructed view from those that stand in the first few rows.
You can hear the complete John Murphy Show from Tuesday by clicking below:
Posted in Inside the Bills