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Buffalo Rumblinks, 6/3: DT Ed Oliver entering pivotal season

Plus, a still-rehabbing Von Miller is confident he’ll be ready to play by Week 1

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills selected defensive tackle Ed Oliver with the ninth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. While Oliver has all of the raw athletic talent in the world, he is coming off a season where his numbers declined across the board.

The dip potentially cost Oliver a shot at earning a long-term contract extension with the Bills, and in today’s edition of the Buffalo Rumblinks, we lead off by discussing why Oliver is heading into a pivotal 2023 NFL season.

DT Ed Oliver entering pivotal season

Once edge rusher Von Miller was lost for the season, there was a huge opportunity for Ed Oliver to step up his game and help carry a defensive line that sorely needed a big-time producer. Instead, Oliver battled a high ankle sprain that cost him three games, and he finished with 34 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 14 quarterback hits.

Oliver enters the season playing on the fifth-year option, for a hefty guaranteed salary of $10.753 million in 2023. According to defensive line coach Eric Washington, the Bills are hoping Oliver can learn to play football “from the neck up” — an indication the team wants Oliver to develop a mental approach to the game that matches his physical skills, including focusing more on the preparation that takes place off the field.

Von Miller is confident he’ll be ready to go for Week 1

Bills pass rusher Von Miller tore his ACL during a Thanksgiving Day win over the Detroit Lions, but the future Hall of Fame edge rusher is hoping to be back on the field and playing for the Bills in time for the team’s season opener against the New York Jets on September 11.

Even more Bills news and notes

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott once again ranked among Football Outsiders’ most aggressive coaches when it comes to his fourth-down decision making in 2022. Plus, get to know former first-round pick Shane Ray, who is “humbled” to have another chance at playing in the NFL, explore how changes to Buffalo’s wide receivers will impact the offense’s productivity, learn how you can watch Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony for Buffalo’s new stadium, and more!

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