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Training camp impressions of Buffalo Bills rookie linebacker Tremaine Edmunds

Impressions from my first live look at Tremaine Edmunds during the July 29th Training Camp

A beautiful Sunday morning was the perfect setting for the Buffalo Bills 2018 training camp, and with it, an opportunity to see the new star of the show live. No, not Josh Allen. This lover of defense was there to get a sneak peek at linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. It can be difficult to glean definitive information from one practice. If you’re into first impressions though, here’s what we’ve got.

If you’re heading out to camp yourself it’s not always easy picking out individual players in the small army of personnel on the field. If there’s a player you can’t miss though, it’s Tremaine Edmunds. At 6’5”, you might be inclined to compare him to offensive linemen who often hover in this range. On defense, the only player who stands taller is Trent Murphy. Every single other defender is shorter than Edmunds.

Edmunds wasn’t asked to crash the line much during this particular practice, but on the rare opportunity he was asked to demonstrate his strength it was impressive. Edmunds can become a fifth defensive lineman in a pinch. It seems almost unfair then to see him in space. When he picks a direction to run, he’s a noticeable upgrade sideline to sideline over Preston Brown. Getting hit by Edmunds projects to be a fairly unpleasant affair as a result of his rare combination of size and speed.

It’s not all good news however. On day four of practice, Tremaine Edmunds received a few lessons against veteran players. Most notably, Ryan Groy pancaked Edmunds on a snap that the rookie would likely want a do-over on. From my angle, it appeared that Edmunds overextended on a swim move. Hand fighting and finesse moves will be skills that Edmunds may need to work on, which is hardly unexpected for a player that just turned 20.

From a scheme standpoint, Tremaine Edmunds looks to be taking over mostly where Preston Brown left off. Rightly characterized as the “quarterback of the defense” Edmunds spent most of his time in 11-on-11 work hovering in the middle and reacting to plays as they developed. In this department, Edmunds is a bit of a downgrade from Brown. Edmunds was slower to diagnose and respond to plays than Brown. This also is to be expected from the first-year man.

Let’s end on a positive note. Like Brown, Edmunds is being asked to command the defense pre-snap. If anything, Edmunds is even more vocal than Brown and looked remarkably self-assured communicating. Overall, there’s a lot to like about Tremaine Edmunds. Growth in just a few areas he should naturally improve on will result in a monster to anchor the defense for the foreseeable future.