Posts Tagged ‘Linebackers’

Sophomore Spotlight: What the Bills Defense Loses with Kiko Alonso Injury

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Kiko Alonso made a big impact in 2013. (Photo: Ron Schwane — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

Kiko Alonso had a brilliant rookie season. His efforts didn’t go unnoticed, as the Buffalo Bills linebacker was named Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America. However, the Bills won’t be getting an encore performance in 2014. Alonso tore his left ACL earlier this week while working out in Oregon, and he is likely out for the season.

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Kiko Alonso’s “Significant” Knee Injury Could Affect Entire Buffalo Bills Defense

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

After a phenomenal rookie year, Kiko Alonso is expected to miss the Bills’ entire 2014 season with a knee injury. (Photo: Melina Vastola — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

On the field for every Buffalo Bills defensive play in 2013, Kiko Alonso won’t see a single snap in 2014.

Bills general manager Doug Whaley announced Tuesday night that linebacker Kiko Alonso, the Pro Football Writers of America’s choice for Defensive Rookie of the Year last season, suffered a knee injury while working out in Oregon.

“We do not have the details at this point, but early indications are that it might be significant,” Whaley said of Alonso’s knee injury in his statement.

Both ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport have reported that Alonso has a torn ACL. Should that be the official diagnosis, Alonso will almost certainly be placed on season-ending injured reserve.

Literally an every-down player as Buffalo’s middle linebacker in 2013, Alonso was set to move to weakside linebacker this season as the Bills move to a 4-3 based defensive scheme under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. What almost certainly wasn’t going to change, however, was Alonso’s status as the star and leader of the Bills’ linebacker group.

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2015 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Denzel Perryman, LB, Miami

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Denzel Perryman has the upside to become an NFL starting linebacker, but he has to prove himself as a three-down prospect in his senior year. (Photo: Robert Mayer — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

Denzel Perryman, who has been at least a part-time starter in all three of his seasons on the Miami defense, took over a full-time role as the Hurricanes middle linebacker in 2013. Perryman relished that opportunity and ended up being the team’s defensive MVP and a first-team all-ACC selection. In his standout junior season, Perryman racked up 108 tackles and five tackles for loss. Across 34 career games with 24 total starts, Perryman has tallied 241 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception.

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Scouting the Veteran Additions: What Brandon Spikes Brings to the Buffalo Bills

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

Brandon Spikes could be a much-needed presence in the middle of a run defense that has consistently struggled. (Photo: Kim Klement — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

The Buffalo Bills have finished among the NFL’s bottom five in run defense in every season since 2009. As part of their effort to stop that trend, the Bills agreed to terms with former New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes, who has been rated by Pro Football Focus (subscription required) as the NFL’s No. 1 inside linebacker in run defense in each of the past two seasons, on a one-year deal.

A large factor in the Bills’ inability to stop the run has been their inconsistent play from the linebacker position. Spikes, along with Keith Rivers and two draft picks, were added this offseason to provide consistent play at a position group that has been lacking stability in recent years.

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Scouting the Veteran Additions: What Keith Rivers Brings to the Buffalo Bills

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Keith Rivers hasn’t lived up to expectations in the NFL, but he gives the Bills a solid starter at strongside linebacker. (Photo: Tim Heitman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

As part of an overhaul to the Buffalo Bills’ linebacker depth chart that included two free agent signings and two draft picks, Keith Rivers signed a two-year, $4 million contract to help improve a position at which the Bills have had very little consistency in recent years.

While Rivers has not lived up to the billing of his selection as a top-10 draft pick, he is a useful player who can bring stability to the defense on a modest contract.

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