Buffalo Bills: Wings Of The Week – Matt Milano

August 3, 2022

These wings of the week are going to someone who doesn’t get enough credit, Buffalo Bills linebacker, Matt Milano. He’s been an anchor of the defense since midway through his rookie season in 2017. Getting his opportunity after Ramon Humber had an injury, Milano made a good impression early in his first few games having a pass break-up and interception. When Humber returned the two players platooned the rest of the year until Milano suffered an injury that ended his season.

Hot Wings With Blue Cheese, Please

Since he was being drafted in the fifth round, Milano has quietly turned into one of the premier linebackers in the NFL, especially in coverage. When it comes to pass coverage among linebackers Milano is among the top ten in almost all categories. He and the organization have been patient throughout the process and the production is starting to show its dividends.

Milano is quite often asked to cover the opposing tight end in Leslie Frazier’s defense, with that responsibility he’s covered the likes of Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Darren Waller among others. The Bills’ usage of Matt Milano is somewhat of a cheat code when it comes to coverage, he may be slightly undersized but what he lacks in height and weight he makes up for in effort and intelligence. He’s been a pleasant surprise since coming out of Boston College and an absolute asset to the defense.

Hometown Discount

After the 2020 season, Matt Milano not being under contract was one of if not the biggest worries among media and Bills Mafia alike. I personally remember when legal tampering opened that year and all I could think was “please don’t let him go, please.” Then when the news popped up, he had re-signed for a very team-friendly four-year, $44 million deal. Everything was right in the world for just a moment. Milano could’ve walked and more likely than not been paid much more than what he accepted to stay in Buffalo, but again that shows the bond and partnership McDermott has built in the locker room.

With the Matt Milano contract done, maybe that sheds light on the Tremaine Edmunds contract. If Milano could’ve walked for more money, then maybe his running mate would be willing to do the same. There’s something to having the familiarity of playing in tandem with someone for as long as those two have together. Hopefully, the two realize that if the ultimate goal of a Super Bowl isn’t accomplished this year and they want this to continue, they’ll have to work with the team, and money-wise to retain as many pieces as possible.

Playoff Cloud

Many people will look back at last season and remember Milano “getting burned” by Tyreek Hill on a late game touchdown or Travis Kelce’s game-winning touchdown in the divisional round of the playoffs. Let’s put a cork in that by saying that game would’ve looked completely different if Tre White was there, just think back to the smack down the Bills laid earlier in the season on the Chiefs. Kelce is going to go down as one of the top tight ends of all time, no one should be asked to cover him one on one.

In 2020, Matt Milano had an injury-riddled year missing six entire games while platooning with Tyrell Dodson and AJ Klein for much of the end of the year. Milano went on to start all three games in the playoffs, having 25 total tackles and two pass breakups. Again, not the playoff performance the Bills were hoping to see out of their young up-and-coming linebacker. Still, through the slumps in the playoffs and the injuries, Buffalo has remained loyal to Matt Milano and him in return.

The quiet one

A lot of the talk the last two years has been about Tremaine Edmunds and whether he will reach his potential. Milano has been steady as can be making the splash plays in pass coverage while Edmunds’ nose for the ball allows him to play downhill. Milano hasn’t made a Pro-Bowl or All-Pro team like Tremaine Edmunds, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t respect to be given his way. Maybe if Matt Milano stays under the radar but produces at a consistently high level, Buffalo may be able to retain him at a team deal as they did previously.

So from Bills Mafia to Matt Milano, please continue to remain a quiet star outside of Buffalo. Around these parts, we like to keep our success a secret. He’s never been one to make a lot of noise in the media or have a major social media presence, but boy does he shine on the field whether it’s rushing the quarterback or dropping back into coverage. We can’t thank you enough for all you continue to do for the team and community in Buffalo through your play and charity, we thank you and hope you enjoy your wings.

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