Following the Buffalo Bills’ 31-23 “home” victory over the Cleveland Browns at the Detroit Lions’ cozy den known as Ford Field, linebacker Matt Milano was a popular interview for the assembled media. While standing around to capture his thoughts on the Week 11 victory, defensive tackle Jordan Phillips took up the pulpit, banging the drum for his defensive teammate. Per Sal Capaccio of WGR 550, while interviewing Milano:
“(Phillips) chimed in from his locker next to Milano’s and said, ‘Defensive player of the year. Matt Milano. Make sure you all start saying that.’”
It’s hard to argue with Phillips in most any situation—he’s a mountain of a man, and his personality is even bigger than his physical presence. He bleeds Buffalo, and it shows in his attitude on and off the field. He also clearly understands when he’s witnessing great football players do their thing.
Milano has played lights-out football the entire season. His stats through nine games (he missed one due to injury): 55 total tackles (35 solo), 10 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 5 passes defended, 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown, and 1 fumble recovery. Milano continually shows up in key moments, providing game-changing plays to roaring approval from the crowd. Sunday was no different, when Milano was forced to play without the equally tremendous Tremaine Edmunds next to him. Without Edmunds, there was rampant fear about the Browns running wild on Buffalo, but Cleveland could muster only 80 yards on 26 carries. Milano’s play was a huge part of the reason for those dreadful numbers.
Capaccio would continue on, saying:
“I asked him to elaborate. Here’s what Phillips said about Milano: ‘He makes the big play. He doesn’t miss tackles. Interceptions. Touchdowns. You name it. You can’t tell me anybody’s that’s playing better defensive football than Matt Milano. He’s consistent. He’s a leader. You can count on him every week. Tell me who plays better?’”
Milano’s impact off the field is clearly as powerful as his play between the whistle. With Phillips stumping for Milano, you can be sure more who pay attention to the league are about to hear just how great of a player the Buffalo Bills have in Milano.