Ronald Darby Makes Good First Impression with Buffalo Bills


Ronald Darby Makes Good First Impression with Buffalo Bills

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The Buffalo Bills are expecting big things from Ronald Darby. The second round draft pick has been brought in to provide depth to a pass defense which is already ranked third-best in the NFL, at least based on last season’s statistics.

Certainly, Darby comes with an excellent reputation, which saw he rated as a four-star recruit and the number two cornerback prospect in the country out of high school. He went on to enjoy a standout college career at Florida State, and was targeted once every 10.1 snaps – the lowest rate of anyone at his position in this year’s draft.

No one is denying the 21-year old’s physical skill set. It also helps that he has world class speed, as evidenced by winning medals at the 2011 World Youth Championships.

Head coach Rex Ryan spoke to the media about Darby on Friday, including Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News: “His movement is outstanding. He can run with probably anybody in this league, so that’s no surprise.

“With his speed, he’s got that kind of thing where if they throw a deep ball, that ought to be ours. That’s how we have to think.”

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For his part, Darby appreciates that his quickness will help him: “I’m blessed with some speed myself.”

However, he also realises there are a lot more technical aspects he still needs to grasp: “The way routes break down, the way receivers cut, things like that. The more film you watch, the easier everything will be.”

Ryan is optimistic about the cornerback figuring it all out: “We’ll see how things get in. It looked like he grasped things pretty quickly.”

One thing that will help, is learning from defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson, who Ryan considers as one of the best teachers in the NFL: “I think Donnie Henderson does it better than anyone (else).

“it’s one of the hardest things to do as a DB. Having a guy that can mentor him, I think, is going to be a great plus for him.”

Feb 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive back Ronald Darby speaks to the media at the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The early indications are that Darby has embraced Henderson’s techniques: “Sometimes I was asking him questions or telling him why I did certain things.

“He’s not that type of coach to just sit sack and let you do whatever you want to and try to talk to you later. He wants to fix it right there on the spot and give you a lot of details.”

One of the biggest challenges for Darby will be learning a new scheme. As Ryan said: “You’re (got) much more multiple coverages in the pro game.”

Another major obstacle will be trying to overcome the difference in certain rules between college football and the NFL. In particular, the pro game does not allow contact once you pass five yards from the line of scrimmage.

Ryan touched on this with Skurski and the rest of the media: “You have to get your contact early. You can’t get it downfield.

“Double moves, things like that, a lot of times guys are taught that after he sticks it and goes back up, you hit him. You can hit him in college and you can’t do that here. It’s a penalty. That’s a big transition.”

Overall, Darby is optimistic and just happy to have the chance to compete: “Just being out there, people as hungry as me went out fighting for a spot and a place here in Buffalo. (It) was a lot of fun.”

Next: Charles Clay excited about Bills offense