Bills defensive end Greg Rousseau steps up efforts to boost Bills Year 2 | Buffalo Bills News | NFL

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Obviously Greg Rousseau has been working in the weight room this offseason.

Asked if his upper body looks bigger, the Buffalo Bills starting defensive end took it as a compliment.

“Yeah, I appreciate it,” Rousseau said after Tuesday’s spring training at Orchard Park.

Rousseau said he added 5-7 pounds of muscle since the end of the season. He weighed 266 pounds last season. That puts him in the 272 range, which is bigger than some defensive ends in Leslie Frazier’s 4-3 defensive system.

Veterans Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison had 254 and 260 points respectively last season. Rousseau, however, is much taller than these two, at 6ft 7in, and has a much taller frame to support the weight.

Still, Rousseau’s arms and shoulders are noticeably bigger than last season.

“You just have to keep getting stronger,” said Rousseau, the 30th overall pick in the 2021 draft. idea of ​​where you move best and we’re going to be more comfortable when it comes to liking how much weight you have over how fast you move – like that ratio.

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The offseason immediately following Year 1 of an NFL player’s career is always important. This is their first full offseason in an NFL strength and conditioning program, their first to take full advantage of an NFL weight room and conditioning staff.

Also, Rousseau just turned 22 in April, so he’s still maturing in his body.

“I would say I’ve definitely focused more on my diet this past offseason,” Rousseau said. “I was eating healthier. Not that I ate badly before, but I was certainly more attentive to the details of my diet. And also, of course, lifting, running, you know, the whole nine yards, just hard.

Jordan Phillips — who is back with the Bills after two years with the Arizona Cardinals — says he feels like he never left Buffalo.

Physical development is always a cause for optimism for first-round draft picks entering the second year of their careers. Some use it to take a big leap, some don’t. The opportunity for a jump is there for Rousseau after a rookie season in which he played 49% of snaps, made four sacks and generally did a good job giving a solid advantage against the run.

“It’s going to be a big offseason for these guys,” coach Sean McDermott said of the Bills’ young rushers – Rousseau, Boogie Basham and AJ Epenesa. “I mean, they’re in a position where they have to, we need them to really, really grow and develop and make a mark on our defense – and not just in a supporting role, but in a main role.”

Expectations will be higher for Rousseau.

“I’m ready for that, I would say. One hundred percent,” he said. “I feel like when it comes to expectations, you can’t be like, ‘Okay, we gotta win that many games’ or, ‘I gotta get that many sacks.’ I feel like you just have to come to work every day and know that you have to do your best, and you have to do your best and keep working, and you will be successful.

Like all second-year players, Rousseau doesn’t have to think so much about his assignments.

“It was cool just to, like know the games, know how everything goes, know how to train at that level,” he said. “And really now, instead of focusing on learning a defense, I can focus on improving myself and becoming a better player for the coming season.”

Asked what he wants to exhibit more this year, Rousseau replied:

“I can’t tell you guys too much because I don’t want to vent. But I would say like counters, you know, secondary hits. And I feel like I already have a good frame of mind. I crave effort and stuff, just having more moves to rely on and more moves to work on like late in games. So being able to put things in place at the start of the game, being able to come back to them at the critical moment, third, fourth quarter.

“I love Greg,” veteran defensive tackle Jordan Phillips said. “I won’t talk about anyone I haven’t played with because we don’t have pads. I watched his tape and what I see from his tape, I like. He’s big, he’s fast, he’s still young.

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