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John Butler: The Road to Better Days for the DBs of the Buffalo Bills

by Janiya Croxie
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The Buffalo Bills defensive backfield endured its fair share of challenges last season, with injuries affecting the team and interfering with their defensive ability. However, the team’s Defensive Back Coordinator, John Butler, has been essential in managing the Bills secondary, overcoming challenges, and paving the way for a brighter future, with an emphasis on recovery, teamwork, and ongoing progress.

Overcoming Injuries

During the previous football season, the Bills defensive backfield suffered many injuries, outing their depth and endurance to the test. “When you sign up for the job, especially in the NFL, as competitive as it is, you go out there with whoever you have,” Butler said. Several key players, including Tre’Davious White and Micah Hyde, were injured at different stages throughout the season, leaving space and opportunity for those who typically aren’t in the spotlight to step up and play the game. Despite these setbacks, John Butler and the Bills defensive coaching staff’s commitment to player development and strategic adjustments were critical in overcoming these trying times.

The Road to Recovery: Damar Hamlin

One of the most inspiring stories in the Bills defensive back restoration is the recovery of Damar Hamlin. The young safety went into cardiac arrest back in January and had to be resuscitated on the field during the Buffalo Bills game against the Cincinnati Bengals on “Monday Night Football”. Hamlin is tackling the odds and beginning his journey to be back playing on the field. “It’s amazing that he is able to get out here and do what he’s been doing and be involved in all the meetings,” Butler explained. As Hamlin slowly returned to the field during OTAs, he is working hard to showcase his determination to be better as a player and his dedication to the team. “Based on where it’s going I think he’s definitely heading in the right direction,” Butler said.

The teamwork process: Striving for excellence

Teamwork had become the cornerstone of the Buffalo Bills under John Butler’s direction, as well as that of other defensive coaches. “You’re never out there by yourself,” Butler states. To maximize their collective potential, he promotes excellent communication and trust among players and coaches.

Butler’s coaching style emphasizes the importance of everyone being prepared because you never know what can happen. “Football is a violent game, that’s why we’re always trying to get everybody ready.” Butler has huge intentions for his group of DBs to come back stronger than ever by concentrating on technique development and recognizing individual talents.

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