Buffalo Bills: Ty Powell Finally in a Position to Contribute


Buffalo Bills: Ty Powell Finally in a Position to Contribute

More from Buffalo Bills

As the Buffalo Bills enter training camp, Ty Powell could be forgiven for suffering from an identity crisis. The 27-year old has never enjoyed any stability, when it comes to knowing where he’s going to line up.

Going back to his college days, Powell has played at various positions, including cornerback, free safety and defensive end. Heck, he even used to be a high school quarterback.

Finally though, the 2013 seventh round draft pick may have found a home in Rex Ryan’s defense. The turning point came when the Bills head coach decided to work Powell out at middle linebacker, during offseason workouts.

The early indications are that the move appears to be justified. The former Seattle Seahawk thrived during OTAs, as he snagged four interceptions.

Nov 17, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills linebacker Ty Powell (57) against the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 37 to 14. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, there are no guarantees in respect of how this will all pan out, but it represents a victory for perseverance and an ability to adapt. As Powell told Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News: “I’ve proven that through all my years in football and all my years in the league.

“I can be put in any situation possible, whether that’s being on the field for three downs or I could pass rush if they need someone to pass rush. I could cover. I could tackle the ball. I could bring a lot to the defense.”

The Marina, California native will be aiming to contribute consistently in Ryan’s new 3-4 scheme.  (The Bills played a 4-3 last season.) He even has a shot – albeit remote – to challenge Nigel Bradham and Preston Brown for a starting spot.

For now though, Powell is just grateful for the opportunity to contribute to something potentially special, after years of uncertainty: “I’ve been with so many coaches, so you’ve got to be able to talk their language.

More from Tip of the Tower

“And you have to re-code your brain to think, ‘OK, this is what this means,’ and you have to get what you used to know out.”

Powell was renowned for his sheer brute strength at Harding University. In the weight room, he recorded hang cleans of well over 750 lbs.

Now, combine this strength with a committed work ethic, and you’ve got someone primed to blossom: “You can’t just go out there and think, ‘Oh, I’m going to make plays’. The preparation to it is the big aspect itself.”

Last season, the Bills defense ranked fourth in the NFL, both in terms of yardage and points allowed. They enjoyed tremendous success against some of the game’s best quarterbacks, including Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers.

Overall, Powell sees no reason why Buffalo can’t achieve similar results during the 2015 campaign. As he said to Dunne: “We can do whatever we want, and most of the time, what we’re doing is disguised.

“So most people don’t know what we’re in or what we’re doing. And if they do, we have people who are some of the best in the league – so they still have to stop them from doing what they do best.”

Next: Leodis McKelvin defends his corner on and off the field