In Defense of Jerry Hughes.....

Buffalomafia has a story in today's links above Jerry (race car) Hughes that is mostly positive but has some holes and misconceptions....

The truth.... Jerry Hughes made most of his positive plays from a hand in the dirt, defensive end position.

The truth.... Jerry Hughes was overwhelmingly matched-up vs. the opponents best blocker; the left OT through-out the season.

A lot of defensive ends play two gaps. The outside gap of the OT and the inside gap between the OT and guard. It is true, You have to be pretty big to do this.... The truth....Jerry Hughes will never be asked to do this.

This is part of Jim Schwartz's aggressive defense.... Allow the pass rusher to pass rush.

His responsibility will be only the outside shoulder of the left OT (unless the offense has a TE on the left. This is less than 50% of the time, but Jerry will either take the OT-TE gap or the outside gap (just one gap) on those occurrences) The point is, a lot of players Jerry's size play the outside gap with containment responsibilities (He will share contain with Gilmore and Kiko and the safety depending on the defensive call and offensive play). All 3-4 teams have an OLB about his size play the edge for instance. Jerry is plenty strong and quick and fast enough to do this on most occasions. (Like, he is not going to beat CJ spiller to the edge, he has to deny him the lane to the edge which is hard to do. And that's why they drafted CJ high.)

The thing to be aware of is that players who can beat NFL left OTs in a pass rush are very rare. The number one quality that the RDE (In this case, Jerry) has to have is in this defense is pass rush ability. The Bills are very lucky to have a guy who can do this and do it well. Some teams simply don't have that special guy.

IMHO, The big concern with Jerry is the number of snaps. He can play run downs (although if you can get him outta there on third and one it'd be a good idea to do so. : ) ) but having to play against the left OT and pass rush is exhausting for any player but a little extra for someone smaller who has to take on all that strength and weight play after play. Jerry Hughes needs a quality back up to make sure he doesn't play tapped-out. Playing too tired is when a left OT might run him over. I think the odds of injury go way up when a player is physically exhausted as well.

The bottom line is Jerry Hughes is going to really excel this year. With his snap count raised from the 50% he had last year to say...75% (sounds about right depending on TOP) all his stats should rise around 25%. I think his stats are going to even raise higher because of two things. Jerry improved a great deal over last season, he really grew up during the season. He starts out as a better player this year.

And two, he is playing on an undoubtedly better team which will give him more chances to pin his ears back. : )

Can't wait for the season! (Training camp at least, I guess, anyway)

Go Bills!

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of

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