NFL training camps have officially begun and with football back, everything seems right in the world again.
I thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at some of the current NFL players from Wyoming who are gearing up for the 2019 season and the stories that surround them.
Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen
Josh Allen made for a better running back than quarterback during his rookie season. After hearing many Cam Newton comparisons towards the end of last year, I pray Allen changes that perception this season with his arm.
The Bills’ offensive line was atrocious in 2018 and was the main culprit behind most of Allen’s 89 rush attempts. The key to Allen taking the next step forward as a franchise quarterback will be Buffalo’s offensive line. The team clearly upgraded the trenches through the offseason and four out of the five positions up front will see new faces — and we all know why that’s the case.
The Bills have stated that they hope to see more plays made using Allen’s arm this year. In a passing league like the NFL, the Bills desperately need a supporting cast around Allen. The former quarterback for the Wyoming Cowboys can and should make a leap this season, but it’s going to take more than just Allen’s effort to make that possible.
Houston Texans S Tashaun Gipson
Tashaun Gipson signed with the Houston Texans after Tyrann Mathieu bolted for the Kansas City Chiefs earlier in the offseason. Gipson, who started all of his games with the Jacksonville Jaguars, brings an added edge to the Texans’ defense.
Known for his outstanding coverage of tight ends, Gipson will have plenty of talented tight ends in the AFC South that will need attention this season. From Indianapolis Colts’ Eric Ebron to Tennessee Titans’ Delanie Walker, Gipson will play a huge role in shutting down rival passing attacks.
Gipson’s new relationship with the Texans will be exciting to watch seeing that he hasn’t really had a “home” in the NFL. He returns to Texas where he played his high school career.
Buffalo Bills DE Eddie Yarbrough
Among several former Wyoming Cowboys players fighting for an NFL roster this offseason, Eddie Yarbrough sticks out as one of the most notable players that might end up cut at the end of the day.
Yarbrough, who joined the Bills in 2017, struggled in his second year with Buffalo in 2018. With better defensive ends ahead of him such as Jerry Hughes and Trent Murphy, Yarbrough has his work cut out for him if he expects to make the Bills’ roster. I would argue that Yarbrough plays the second most important position in football and if you aren’t able to produce, making an NFL roster as a defensive end is extremely difficult.
UW Fall Sports Media Day
In one week the University of Wyoming will be hosting the 2019 Fall Sports Media Day in Laramie. Players and coaches will be available for interviews and photos from the various fall sports teams.
Our newest reporter, Sam Ferrara, and myself will be heading down for the festivities next Friday. There are a lot of topics to be covered this season and next Friday will provide a great way to begin coverage of the 2019 fall season.
With the community always in the front of my mind, I’d like to extend an invitation for you to submit your questions for players and coaches. Sam and I will take the best submissions and keep them in our back pockets as we travel to Laramie next week. You can submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to bringing you more Wyoming Cowboys content this upcoming season and allowing you to be a part of that process.
Brayden is a sports and community reporter for SweetwaterNOW. His column, Flack Friday, will be posted every Friday. You can submit comments, questions or ideas regarding the column to email@example.com.