Bills LB Tyrel Dodson using lessons learned from former teammate

Nick Wojton
Bills Wire

Buffalo Bills linebacker Terrel Dodson is going to do his best A.J. Klein impression at training camp.

Earlier this offseason, Klein was released in a salary cap move by the Bills. But for the past two seasons, Klein and Dodson were teammates in Buffalo and without the veteran in the fold anymore, Dodson knows there’s an opportunity for him.

And the way he’s going to attack it is how Klein would.

“A.J. Klein was a perfect example,” Dodson told the Buffalo News. “The last two years, I’ve basically been watching A.J., watching everything he does, his preparation. Sometimes throughout the week he looked at Mike (position) one day. He looked at Will and Sam the other days. He really split them up well. He compartmentalized his preparation. I watched him like a hawk.”

Dodson, like Klein, has the skill set to potentially backup both Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano, Buffalo’s starting linebackers on defense. Without Klein in the fold, Dodson acknowledged it’s a chance for him to “step up.”

Bills linebacker Tyrel Dodson during practice.

However, there’s also Terrel Bernard to consider. The Bills’ third-round rookie, Bernard will also be in the linebacker room with Dodson.

The way things might work out is Dodson backing up Edmunds and getting on the field if the Bills decided to run a play with a third linebacker. Bernard might be better suited for the No. 2 spot behind Milano.

Why? After being drafted by Buffalo, Bernard admitted he modeled his game after Milano.

“You’ve seen a shift within the last few years of the NFL, the kind of run and chase style [of linebacker],” Bernard said in April. “...It’s been crazy being able to model my game after guys like Matt Milano, he’s probably one of my favorite players I’ve been studying.”

Still, the Bills aren’t just going to let anyone slide into a position without earning it. Possibly because of that, Buffalo defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said during minicamp that Dodson is going to be expected to know multiple linebacker positions.

“He’s going to have to do what A.J. Klein did for us the last couple years – be that guy who can back up all three positions,” Frazier said.

Fine by Dodson.

“You just have to stay ready so you don’t have to get ready,” Dodson said.