Preston Brown had a great rookie season in 2014 for the Buffalo Bills. He led the entire team with 109 tackles. He played in all 16 games and started in 14 of them. He also had 1 interception and a fumble recovery. His 109 tackles were second among all NFL rookies to C.J. Mosley’s 133 with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Buffalo Bills have a new head coach this year in Rex Ryan, known to be a defensive-minded coach. Ryan is already putting Brown in control of the defense. Not bad for a 22 year old.
”Oh, gawd, I didn’t realize he was 22. I’m a little nervous,” Ryan said. ”But no. He certainly has more of, I don’t know if mature is the right word. But he’s been around the game awhile.”
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This year, Brown is already pegged to set the front-seven alignments in the huddle as the Bills make the switch to Rex Ryan and new coordinator Dennis Thurman.
”He’s a smart guy, and you very seldom have to repeat things to him,” Thurman said. ”Usually a coach’s kid is going to have that mental aptitude because he’s been around the game for a long time. He’s taken to the call. He seems very comfortable in the huddle.”
The Bills placed so much stock in Brown’s ability that it eased their decision to trade Alonso to Philadelphia and acquire running back LeSean McCoy. Alonso, an NFL rookie defensive player of the year candidate in 2013, was expected to regain his starting role after missing all of last season with a knee injury.
”It’s been a whirlwind really of emotions and what’s going to happen next,” Brown said. ”But it shows the confidence they have in us right now that they believe we can go out there and play at a high level.”
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 251 pounds, Brown has the range to move laterally, and the willingness to take on blockers – two things he’ll have to adjust to in the new defensive scheme.
Having a command of the system and confidence to call plays shouldn’t be a problem after being a three-year starter at college.
”It’s fun. I’m a 22-year-old guy telling these old guys what to do,” Brown said.
Pretty awesome that their confidence in Brown led to the team acquiring LeSean McCoy. I mean, how big of a move was that for them?