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Bills Camp Preview: Cornerbacks

The Bills Report

Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White (27) lines up against the Dallas Cowboys during an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

As the Bills get ready for training camp, we are previewing the 2020 team by position group. One group every day until camp begins in full July 28th. Today is the cornerbacks.

STRENGTH

Tre White

This is the golden age of cornerback play in the NFL and the Bills have one of the best.

Billsmafia will occasionally get baited into angst if White isn’t considered the elite of the elite somewhere on social media. The truth is there might be ten corners that could be reasonably thought of lock down erasers against any receiver.

White is absolutely in that group. He can play zone. He can man up. He tackles well enough. Last year, he finally got the interceptions and the recognition that goes with all those abilities.

Whether White has six interceptions again or ends up tied for the league lead again or is voted an all-pro again next year is irrelevant. Sean McDermott knows one side of the field will be handled every game and he’ll have a worthy adversary for every top receiver the Bills face.

That’s all you can ask.

WEAKNESS

Second Corner

This is not to say the second best corner on the Bills is “weak”. Likely, that won’t be the case.

E.J. Gaines has already proven himself fairly sufficient when healthy (I don’t have the font size or boldness level that would properly augment the word “when” in that statement). Levi Wallace is still young enough to be developing, but has already proven, at least, capable on the other side.

And then, there’s the third option…

X-FACTOR

Josh Norman

Under McDermott in Carolina, Norman was elite. His four years with the Panthers culminated with a Pro Bowl/All-Pro season in 2015 when Carolina went to the Super Bowl.

Norman cashed his free agent ticket in Washington the following year and promptly got bad. He was benched for multiple weeks in 2019 and deservedly so. Pro Football Focus had Norman outside the top 100 corners in the league.

If anyone can put the pieces of Norman’s game back together, it’s McDermott the DB whisperer. Norman turns 33 in December, so it’s hard to expect the All-Pro to come all the way back. If the Bills even get 75% of that, it will be a huge improvement and could make the secondary darn near impenetrable.

THINGS WERE SAID

McDermott thinks Norman may have learned a hard lesson in Washington. The hope is he now becomes the shining example of how much simply being a member of the Bills organization can help a player.

“The grass isn’t always greener from a system or scheme standpoint, and culture as well,” McDermott said. “That’s another potential example of people coming to Buffalo and regaining, in this case, a better version of oneself.”

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