Numerous analysts and NFL experts predicted that the Buffalo Bills would use their first-round pick to draft running back Travis Etienne, all of which became a non-factor after Jacksonville scooped up the Clemson star with their No. 25 overall pick.
However, what remains a factor, the comments Bills’ general manager Brandon Beane made while discussing Buffalo’s lackluster backfield.
Prior to the NFL Draft, Beane discussed what he was looking for in a new running back, mentioning how neither Devin Singletary nor Zack Moss are explosive players that the team could depend on to make big plays.
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“I don’t think either one of our backs are home run hitters, so is there an elite trait that this guy has and says, ‘Man, he’s got something we don’t have’” Beane said. “That’s probably the conversation, versus, ‘OK, are we going to take the same type of back as Devin, are we gonna take the same type of back as Zack? Because even those two guys have different skill sets.”
While Buffalo enjoyed a stellar season last year, it wasn’t because of their backfield’s performance. During the pivotal AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Bills were up 9-7 when Singletary dropped a wide-open pass, forcing team to punt the ball away. On the very next drive, the Chiefs took the lead and went on to the Super Bowl.
— Slightly Biased (@BiasedSlightly) January 25, 2021
Singletary, aka the “Motor,” isn’t afraid to discuss his fumbled play.
“You’ve got to play that!” Singletary told Go Long’s Tyler Dunne. “That hurt’s going to teach me not to keep my eyes off the ball. That hurt is only going to strengthen me. You can’t run from it. Of course, I think about it. But I grew from it. Because I can face it now. I can talk about it. The road that I’m on. That’s what it takes. It happened! S***. You’ve gotta face that.”
Singletary knows Beane’s comments aren’t without merit. Instead of getting mad, the 23-year-old former FBS star made it his mission to show Beane that he is a “home run hitter.”
“When the opportunity presents itself, I’m going to be ready for the opportunity,” Singletary said. “When you got that mindset, there’s nothing else that can knock you off your pivot. That’s the mindset to have. When you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. Big things are coming. That’s been my mindset.”
Singeltary Is ‘Fueled Up’ to Dominate this Season
Beane wasn’t the only person making slights about the Bills’ backfield. ESPN’s Todd McShay reported wrote, “The missing piece of this offense is an elite running back. Buffalo didn’t have a single player break 700 rushing yards last season, and its running backs found pay dirt just eight times on the ground.”
The “Motor” reads the comments:
There’s always going to be somebody who’s not happy. There’s always going to be somebody who’s not satisfied. And half of the time, the people who are talking about it wouldn’t stand a chance in my shoes. So, what it comes down to, is half of the things I’m doing is not to prove it to the doubters. A lot of these things I’m proving to myself. People talking all that nonsense, it comes with it. There’s no use giving any energy to that. Once upon a time, that would fuel me. But at this point? I’m already fueled up.
Singletary is also aware that of his 156 runs last season, only three went longer than 20 yards, and he’s been working with superstar running back trainer Nick Hicks to get in the best shape of his life.
“He has completely dominated the offseason,” Hicks said of Singletary. “He’s so much faster, so much more explosive. He’s got all the shakes. He’s got all the agilities. He’s got all of the jukes.”