There were some promising new additions and a hold over who hadn’t shown much in his first two NFL seasons, but without Kiko Alonso, what the Bills were going to get from their linebacking corps in a new defensive system offered a bit of the unknown. The hope was just that the run defense would be better and someone would be able to fill the pass coverage role of Alonso on third downs. Through three quarters of the season Buffalo’s linebackers have exceeded expectations.
Preston Brown has been a highly productive rookie, Brandon Spikes has helped the run defense and Nigel Bradham has put together a breakout season.
“I really like our linebackers,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “Each one of them brings a lot to the table. Nigel Bradham is having an outstanding year. Preston is almost the equivalent to what we had with Kiko last year. A three down player that can do a lot. Brandon Spikes has brought leadership and toughness to our group. I’m happy with how we’re playing at that position.”
Marrone admitted this week that he wasn’t certain at the beginning of the season whether his linebacking corps would come together as well as it has in light of the new faces and scheme.
“I thought it would be a challenge,” he said. “I don’t think it’s like before when we were talking about Jairus Byrd. When you lose somebody like Kiko and the year he had you wonder where do we go and who do we have to replace him? And then all of a sudden Preston Brown really pops. Two years in a row we’ve popped the draft with two linebackers that are three down linebackers that are two outstanding football players. Along with Nigel Bradham really doing a 180 and turning around and playing lights out in comparison to what he did in the past.”
Tags: Brandon Spikes, Doug Marrone, Kiko Alonso, Nigel Bradham, Preston Brown
Posted in Inside the Bills