When fans of the Buffalo Bills think of a player they are counting on to experience a bounce-back year in 2019, a few names come to mind, led by running back LeSean McCoy, LT Dion Dawkins, and DE Trent Murphy.
However, in a recent article published by ESPN (with analysis provided by Pro Football Focus) highlighting one player from every team that is looking to recover from an uncharacteristically disappointing season in 2018, the candidate selected from the Bills is a bit of a shocker: CB Tre’Davious White.
White, who burst onto the scene with a dynamic rookie season that saw him earn an outstanding coverage grade of 90.1 (according to PFF), was selected after PFF graded him as a 61.0, including just a 62.5 coverage grade with three sub-40.0 single-game coverage grades from the 2018 season.
The silver lining in White’s being tabbed as Buffalo’s bounce-back potential for this year? Among all qualifying cornerbacks, White leads them all in passer rating against when he’s in primary coverage on a receiver (69.1), and completion percentage (51.9 percent) since coming into the league in 2017.
Here’s what new ESPN Buffalo Bills’ reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques had to say about White’s bounce-back ability for this year:
“You either figure the league out or it figures you out -- and the league figured out White in his second season. The Bills’ top cornerback was still effective, with a pair of interceptions and eight passes defended as opponents shied away from him, but he committed 11 penalties in 2018 compared to only three in 2017. White and the Bills’ other cornerbacks have practiced while wearing oven mitts during training camp in an effort to offset the frequent defensive holding calls they were flagged for last season. If he can cut back on the penalties, White should return to or surpass his 2017 form.”
During his dynamic rookie season, White was in the running for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors after recording 69 tackles (three for a loss) to go with four interceptions, 18 pass breakups, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. White allowed just 41 receptions for 608 yards and three touchdowns on 84 targets.
Last year, White amassed 54 tackles (one for a loss) to go with two interceptions and eight pass breakups. He gave up only 33 receptions for 386 yards and two touchdowns while being targeted only 66 times on the year.