Cover 1 Weekly Mailbag: High-Impact Rookies and a Running Back by Committee


Welcome to the Cover 1 Weekly Mailbag! Every Monday, I will be here to answer any questions you have about the NFL, college prospects, the Buffalo Bills, and more! I’m hoping that in these times, we can use mailbags as a way to discuss the sport we love and create an escape for a few moments.


 Q: How much of an improvement do you see in the interior defensive line for run game and pass rush?


A: There should be a marginal improvement in both categories in my estimation! With Oliver and Hughes, they had twitch and athleticism already roaming through that front-four. However, guys like Vernon Butler, Quinton Jefferson, and Mario Addison will give this line a whole rotation of people capable of pushing the pocket and harassing opposing offenses. Epenesa will play early and help fill the role that Shaq Lawson left open by heading to Miami. With Ed Oliver missing a few games, the hope is that the depth Beane created will make sure the defense doesn’t miss a beat. This defense will excel in the tough, physical, blue collar mold that Beane was deliberate in creating. 


Q: With the addition of talent on the defensive line, how will Leslie Frazier and Sean McDermott apply their weapons to get the most pressure without blitzing?


A. It is all about being multiple. The Bills have a twitched up defensive front, and they are all capable of winning pass rush matchups at the point of attack. With Milano, Klein, and Edmunds, they also have exceptional athletes at the second level. With that being said, they can move and slant their front-four while also disguising simulated pressures to create confusion in the offensive line’s blocking schemes. If they bring bodies to the line of scrimmage, the QB will have to set the protection to match defensive numbers and alignment. If there is confusion created by simulated pressures, one-on-one matchups between the DL and OL should prove advantageous when aiming to create pressure without bringing a blitz. 


Q: How would you predict the distribution of snaps between Singletary and Moss?


A. As of now, I see Singletary being the lead back in this offense who will excel in early downs. He had a productive rookie season, as he tallied 775 yards and two touchdowns. However, I do believe Moss will carve a significant role in this offense in short yardage situations and near the red zone. The beauty of this pairing remains that they complement each other exceptionally well, and this run game will open up big opportunities for Josh Allen in the play-action game. 


Q: What rookie do you see having the biggest impact in 2020?


A. While I do think Epenesa will be a foundational edge piece, Moss’s addition will mirror Frank Gore’s contributions last year, which were important to the overall outlook of the offense. Being on the older side, Gore lacked the juice that I feel Moss will bring over the course of the season. Moss will have high touchdown numbers, and he will be instrumental in wearing down the opposing defense. This duo in Buffalo is quite exciting, and this whole offense has a promising outlook in the new AFC East. 


Q: How do you evaluate the Bills’ talent at the TE position?


A. Overall, it is a solid room! As a rookie, Dawson Knox showed impressive glimpses and made some impact plays.


He is an athletic Y tight end who has room to grow in several areas, and that should truly excite Bills Mafia. Kroft and Smith may not offer as much upside as receiving threats, but they again accentuate the physical brand of football that Sean McDermott is aiming to put forth. The depth in this room complements Knox’s skill set quite well. It will be a productive room in 2020, and I believe they will be a key cog in why the offense excels. 


To submit questions to be answered in future mailbags, you can email me at, direct message me on twitter @NathanPapandrea, or look for my post on Fridays that will allow you to put your questions in the comments.