BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – For many players, Monday was their first time in the Bills facility since the pandemic started and it’s a complete change from when they last left One Bills Drive.
“You can tell it’s night and day different,” Bills safety Jordan Poyer said on a zoom call with reporters.
That includes players having to take a COVID-19 test as soon as they get to the facility, wearing a tracking device on their wrist to tell people if they’re within six feet of someone else, every locker has an empty locker in between players, lunch and dinner tables spread apart outside, just to name a few of the changes.
Poyer said he thinks the Bills have done a good job laying out the blueprint for what players need to do as far as taking the proper safety precautions and following the protocols to stop the spread of coronavirus and keep everyone safe.
Head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane also mentioned leaning on their veteran leadership to stress the importance of making the right decisions when players aren’t at the facility. Poyer has become one of those leaders.
“I just want to continue to build guys up and hopefully when they see me down one day I can trust them to build me up because that’s what a hungry team, that’s what a good team does,” Poyer said.
Because of everything that’s going on, players had to make tough decisions as to whether or not to play this season. We’ve already seen many players throughout the league opt-out including two on the Bills, Star Lotulelei and E.J. Gaines. For players the are going to play, that includes having important conversations with family members.
“I believe as long as we’re taking the right precautions throughout the team and carrying that out to my family, you know my family understands the precautions that they need to take as well that everything will be all right,” Poyer explained.
“I love this game, I love my teammates, obviously I want to be here. I think this is a huge year for this organization and I want to be a part of it.”
Expectations are very high for the Bills this season. Between the landscape of the AFC East completely changing to the continuity Buffalo has this year, they look like serious contenders to finally win the Division again.
Poyer cites that consistency throughout the entire team for why this is a huge year as guys like Josh Allen and Tremaine Edmunds head into year three of their careers.
“It’s just a matter of us continuing to build off of what we’ve built the past two, three years. We obviously still have that bad taste in our mouths from the Houston game and that should be enough to fuel us coming into this season and to understand what we need to do to get over that hump,” Poyer said.
The Bills defense looks to once again finish as a top three unit for the third year in a row. And a big reason for that is one of the best safety duos in the league with Poyer and Micah Hyde. So what exactly do they have in store for year four with the Bills?
“That’s a secret I can’t just tell you what we added…Sam Darnold might be listening,” Poyer laughed.
But he did say…
“I think the sky’s gonna be the limit for our defense.”
“I love the pieces that we have, I love the additions that we brought in and we’re gonna continue to work to get over that hump,” Poyer said.
One of those new additions is cornerback Josh Norman who will compete for that starting spot opposite of Tre’Davious White with Levi Wallace.
Similar to what Josh Allen and the offense did in Florida, the defense had workouts in Virginia that Poyer says were very beneficial in getting to know guys on and off the field.
“It was like we didn’t miss a beat.”
And they’re hoping to carry that over into week one and throughout the season.
“Our ultimate goal is to bring a championship to Buffalo and it’s gonna take hard work and dedication and we have the right guys on this team to do that.”