“‘This Guy’s Just Got It”


  • In the heat of all other offseason moves the Buffalo Bills also promoted Bobby Babich to defensive coordinator.
  • Linebacker Terrel Bernard stepped up in 2023, leading the team with 143 tackles.
  • With Milano back, the Bills could have a strong LB duo, contributing to a potentially competitive AFC team.

The Buffalo Bills have undergone some big changes this offseason, and one of the more notable moves made by the franchise was the promotion of linebackers coach Bobby Babich to defensive coordinator.

Since taking over the role, the team has been focused on re-calibrating the unit and coming together for a strong season in 2024. When discussing some of the players on the roster, the coordinator couldn’t help but gush over one of his stars in his old position group:

This guy’s just got it.’ The six-foot guy who’s not north of 230 pounds and is not what the prototypical linebacker looks like, but guy makes plays. It is what it is. The expectation that we set was he would be that type of player. He took it, ran with it.

Terrel Bernard stepped up in a major way for the Bills in 2023, as the team lost Tremaine Edmunds in free agency, then lost Matt Milano to injury just five games into the season. The second-year linebacker responded by leading the team with 143 tackles, but also contributed 10 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, three interceptions, and five pass deflections.

Now heading into year three, the linebacker is expected to continue contributing at a high level.


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Bernard’s Potential Impact in the Front Seven

With Milano back, the Bills could have a stellar LB duo.

Terrel Bernard LB Buffalo Bills
Jamie Germano/Democrat and Chronicle / USA TODAY NETWORK

In 2022, the Bills were believed to have one of the league’s strongest linebacker tandems in the league with Edmunds and Milano. But when both weren’t a part of the team for the majority of 2023, it forced others on the roster to step up.

Ultimately, the team got dependable play from Bernard and Tyrel Dodson. But only the former Baylor Bear will be back with the team in 2024. With Milano back and healthy, Buffalo should once again have one of the better linebacker units in the league.

Working behind a defensive line with pieces like Gregory Rousseau, Ed Oliver, DaQuon Jones, A.J. Epenesa, and maybe Von Miller; the job of cleaning up in the second level becomes easier.

The Bills found their groove to end last season on offense, but the defensive injuries piled up in 2023. If both units can stay healthy and play to the level they’re capable of, then the ball club could be in position to compete for the top seed in the AFC.

It’s easier said than done, but with the play Bernard has shown this offseason, it looks like they can count on him to perform.

Source: Kyle Silagyi

All statistics courtesy of Pro-Football Reference and all contracts courtesy of Spotrac unless otherwise stated.


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