The Bills are gearing up for their matchup with the Detroit Lions. Earlier this week head coach Sean McDermott said rookie QB Josh Allen has emerged as a leader. The team's other first round pick is also coming along nicely at the ripe old age of 20 — Tremaine Edmunds.
"He's a hell of player. He's a hell of an athlete," said safety Jordan Poyer.
That's only half the battle playing middle linebacker in the NFL and it's truly been a transition.
"I remember the first time he got into OTAs, they threw him in the fire and they put him in the huddle," said safety Micah Hyde. "Man, he was tongue tied trying to get the play calls out and we were just all laughing saying 'Slow down. Just calm down.'"
"That's usually what happens," Edmunds said. You know, I was new in the system coming in. As I put in time now, those guys I lean on them. I get advice from them. Just seeing what they see out there and I'm feeling a whole lot better now."
Play calls are not the only thing Edmunds becoming more comfortable with, but also assuming that leadership role in the middle of the Bills defense.
"There's different ways people can lead," Edmunds said. "I think I was a natural born leader, but 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 along with me."
For more than a decade, the Bills defense has been led by Kyle Williams, but the 35-year-old won't play forever, which is what makes what Williams did last week a somewhat symbolic passing of the torch to Edmunds — having the rookie run a defensive meeting.
"I've done it a long time," Williams said. "On Thursday's we watch our 9-on-7 together. You have a rookie like Tremaine who, like I told you guys earlier, I think is going to be a cornerstone defensive player for this franchise because not just his talent, because of how he works, how he carries himself, how he plays and I want him to be as good, in his mind, he wants to be. So I saw it as an opportunity to help him to grow and to continue on the upward tick the last few weeks of the season."
"I definitely do because it's a guy that trusts me," Edmunds said. "I feel like if he didn't trust me he wouldn't have done it at the time he did it. I'm a guy who doesn't like to let my teammates down so I'm going to make sure I'm on top of my game for sure. But like I said, it meant a lot coming from a guy like that and I'm going to make sure I do what I got to do."
The true words of a leader. Bills host the Lions on Sunday at 1 p.m.