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Buffalo Bills DT Adolphus Washington impressing coaches

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Bills’ brass has been impressed with Washington’s turnaround

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Adolphus Washington is making the most out of his playing time after the trade of former first-round draft pick Marcell Dareus.

Washington, a third-round draft pick out of Ohio State, played 15 snaps in the season-opening win over the New York Jets, making a pair of tackles. Since Week 1, Washington’s playing time has been trending upwards, culminating with earning the starts for Weeks 5, 8, and 9.

Leslie Frazier, Buffalo’s first-year defensive coordinator, has been impressed with the poise and maturity Washington has displayed this year.

“He’s improving, he’s a young player,” he said. “He’s gotten a couple of starts ... and [in] each one of those starts we’ve seen him get a little bit better, on each occasion. We’re going to need that to continue throughout the season.”

As a starter on the Bills’ interior line, Washington logged two tackles in the Week 5 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, and followed up with three tackles in the win over the Oakland Raiders.

He saved his best effort of the year for the Thursday Night Football loss to the Jets, recording a career-high five total tackles (three solo, two assisted) with two tackles for a loss and a pass defended.

In the last two weeks, Washington has played in 58 percent of Buffalo’s defensive snaps, a trend Frazier expects to continue as the season progresses.

“He’ll be a big part of the reason we’re able to play a good defense, if our nose tackle can really hold it down on the inside,” Frazier said. “We need him to really come along, both in the run game, as well as giving us some type of inside pass-rush as well. From what we’ve seen, he’s more than capable of getting it done.”

Washington has rebounded nicely since he found himself in hot water in July. Washington was arrested July 9 at a water park outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, after local police claimed Washington "reached for and displayed a gun while sitting inside his vehicle" without first informing police who were clearing out the park.

The arrest came as Washington was charged with a misdemeanor for improperly carrying a concealed firearm.

While Washington was eventually found not guilty of the charge on August 28, the second-year defensive tackle found himself buried on Buffalo’s depth chart. But with hard work and dedication, Washington has managed to put that mishap behind him and contribute to Buffalo’s defense.

The Bills (5-3) host the New Orleans Saints (6-2) at 1 p.m. Sunday at New Era Field.