Frazier: 'Oliver is beginning to come alive with pads on'

The Bills defensive coordinator spoke about the rookie defensive tackle and much more before Tuesday's practice

Jon Simon
July 30, 2019 - 6:07 pm

Photo: Mark Konezny - USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier spoke with the media at St. John Fisher College before a wet and physical practice on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s practice was a bit different than the four previous so far this training camp. It was not only the first impacted by rain, but it was also the first in which a good old-fashioned skirmish broke out following a few big hits.

Another difference at camp on Tuesday was that retired defensive tackle Kyle Williams was back on the field with the Bills, the team he spent his entire 13-year career with. Along with catching up with former teammates and coaches, the six-time Pro Bowler was seen working with rookie defensive tackle Ed Oliver.

Following practice, Williams praised the Bills’ 2019 first round pick, saying he’s “explosive, a great athlete, and a strong powerful guy,” and that he’s willing to work with Oliver on anything.

Frazier also shared the same sentiments as Williams when it came to the rookie defensive tackle.

“Up to this point, you really see him begin to come alive with the pads on,” Frazier said. “It’s hard for the defensive lineman to practice without pads. It really limits them from what they can do. Ed’s game is about his explosion, his power and his quickness and we saw some of that the first day we put pads on. It’s a little bit of an adjustment for him coming from a scheme where he was pretty much lined up directly over the center. Now we have more to guard so there are some intricacies and some thing’s he’ll have to learn but it was good to see him be able to do what he’s capable of doing and that’s being able to explode off the football and use his quickness and his power which he hadn’t been able to do prior in the past.”

As high as expectations are for Oliver to become an impact player, the Bills don’t feel the need to rush him. There could be some pressure on the rookie’s shoulders, having to live up to the "first round pick hype" and fill the shoes of the aforementioned Williams. However, Frazier feels this defense and team is a perfect fit for Oliver and he can take time to develop.

“I think it’s a really good situation that Ed has come into where the pressure isn’t all on him to come in day one after you are drafted and have to be a starter,” Frazier stated. “It’s tough in this league, especially for defensive linemen. So for him to go through and learn some of the lock and schemes that’s he’s going to get and understand our defense, I think is a plus for him without question.”

While there is a lot of focus on Oliver and his individual progress, coaches have noticed already what type of presence he brings to the defense as a whole. Despite having just a handful of professional practices under his belt, Oliver is already showing what type of affect he has on the line and what he can do for his defensive teammates.

“Well one of the reasons why we were so excited about drafting Ed and when we were scouting him as well was we saw the potential for him to be able to win against guards one on one,” Frazier admitted. “What that does, when people try to slide the line maybe to Ed on the inside, and you know how we feel about Jerry [Hughes]. He’s one of the premier pass rushers in our league and we can take some of those chips and double teams and slides away from Jerry and that gives us the opportunity to give one of the best edge rushes in a one-on-one situation against offensive tackles. We are hoping that Ed can give us that interior push that we need and if it happens, that’s going to open up some things for Jerry for sure.”

Frazier spoke about a number of other things during his press conference, including the reputations around the league of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, having a meaner defense, Matt Milano’s progress towards returning from injury, and more.

You can listen to his entire press conference below: 

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