The Buffalo Bills made some questionable trades before the start of the 2017 season, leading plenty of critics to believe they were were tanking the upcoming season to help their chances of landing one of the top prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Following their season opening win over the New York Jets, Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander joined The Jim Rome Show Friday and addressed all of the chatter surrounding his team’s alleged tanking.
“It’s nonsense. Obviously, you got a lot of great professionals on this team,” Alexander said on CBS Sports Radio. “Me being one of them, Kyle Williams, Eric Wood, Richie Incognito, guys that have been in this league a long time but have never won a championship. So the thought of taking or losing games purposely, it’s the furthest things from our mind.
“We have a lot of talent on this team, and I think people don’t really realize that being in Buffalo, but if you look at our roster, offense, defense, and special teams, we got guys that can go out there and make plays. Now we got to continue to prove it, continue to build and get better, because we are nowhere near what our potential is, but we are obviously off to the great start with the first win and now moving on to Carolina.”
The Bills indeed will be moving on to Carolina to face the Panthers and 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton. Alexander talked about how they need make Newton uncomfortable in the pocket without having to blitz much.
“I think we can do that with our front four,” Alexander said. “You look at Jerry, Shaq Lawson, you look at Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, myself. You got Ryan Davis that comes off the bench, Eddie Yarbrough, we have a committee of guys that can get after the passer, and that’s what we have to do.
“You don’t necessarily want to blitz him because if he breaks contain and then becomes backyard football to him and then he’s making big plays. So if we can handle him with our front four, get after him, hit him early and often, not allow him to get the rhythm since he hasn’t played a lot of football this year, we should be able to be successful against him this weekend.”
The veteran Pro Bowler chuckled when his teammate Richie Incognito was brought up in the discussion. Incognito was suspended by his then team, the Miami Dolphins, in 2013 over his treatment of teammate Jonathan Martin. Alexander admitted to having some preconceived notions of Incognito before playing with him last season.
“I think everybody thinks about the Miami thing when you mention his name, and to be honest, I was telling him this the other day while we were walking into the locker room, I was like ‘yeah, Rich I love you now man, but the first couple of weeks, I had my eye on you. I had to kind of check you out and see what kind of dude you were, because I wasn’t quite sure,'” Alexander said about Incognito.
“He was probably on my most hated list when playing against him in the years he was with the Rams, but he’s a great guy, great teammate, a guy who will go to war with you any day of the week and [I] would definitely want him on my team,” Alexander said. “Because he’s walking down a dark alley, and you got something bad about to happen, that’s definitely a guy you want to have your back.”