When it comes to leadership for the Bills on defense, some of the first names that come to mind are Lorenzo Alexander and Kyle Williams but players say rookie middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds is emerging as one of those leaders.
"I think he's going to be a cornerstone defensive player for this franchise and not just his talent but because of how he works, the way he carries himself and the way that he plays," Kyle Williams said.
"Sometimes it's going to be vocal, sometimes it's going to be by example but at the end of the day I'm trying to lead and bring guys with me," Edmunds said.
Edmunds had his first career interception last week against the Jets, but another big moment happened off the field last week when Kyle Williams approached defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier about Edmunds running some of their meetings.
"Usually on a Thursday, he brings the entire defense in and they watch a segment of practice together and he leads it. He’s in control of it, he makes the calls, he talks to everybody about what they should be doing, what they shouldn’t be doing. It's players only, no coaches involved. He told me, “Coach, I want to talk to you for a minute,” he said. “Coach, today, I’m going to put Tremaine in charge of the defense in the meetings. I’m going to have him make all the calls, communicate the corrections talk to all the players about what they should or shouldn’t be doing and just see how he does.” I said, “I think that’s a great idea.” That’s going to speed up the maturation and also help him with his leadership," Leslie Frazier said on Monday.
And on offense, rookie quarterback Josh Allen has emerged into that guy as well.
"Josh is the leader. That’s a little bit different for a rookie to be the leader, but the position he plays and the way that he’s played and earned their respect, he’s the leader on the offense," head coach Sean McDermott said.
Even if Allen doesn't think he is quite the leader he wants to be yet.
"I still think there’s a lot to do, a lot to go through. I love this team. I appreciate Coach and what he said about me, but I’m just trying to win football games. When we get 53 guys that put their heads together and go in one direction, that’s going to be a good thing. I definitely think as a team right now, we’re extremely close. I think you can pick out plays in the season, if we make these plays, it might be a little bit of a different story," Allen explained.
With the Bills eliminated from the playoffs at 4-9, the focus is now the development of guys like Allen and Edmunds is huge over the last few games to close out the season both on the field and from that leadership aspect.