ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – When players go down, we always hear the Bills preach that “next man up” mentality and while it sounds cliché, it came through for them in Sunday’s 40-0 win over the Texans.
Jordan Poyer missed his first game in 60 regular season starts as he was dealing with an ankle injury all week so Jaquan Johnson had to step in. And he made the most of his first NFL start with his first career interception plus two tackles and a pass breakup against Houston.
“Quan since day one coming into this organization has worked his ass off. There was no doubt in my mind that he was gonna go out there and ball out,” Bills safety Micah Hyde said after the game.
And his teammates went nuts after the pick.
“It’s everything. You go out and work week in and week out with the guys, you know blood, sweat and tears out there on the practice field and for them to be so happy for me when I make a play it just shows I put in a lot of work and the guys are starting to respect me,” Johnson said.
Tre’Davious White made sure to give the ball to Johnson so he can take it home.
And that support not only goes a long way mentally but also when it comes to the game itself. A prime example is how Poyer helped Johnson get prepared.
“He took me under his wing all offseason, this entire week he’s been nothing but helpful,” Johnson said. “He’s been a tremendous help like a coach, I love Po for that.”
Even after the game Poyer was hyping him up.
“He told me I had a good game and he was proud of me,” Johnson said.
“Year three for Quan and normally a special teams player for us and love his unselfish nature and then now when his number was called he was ready to go,” Sean McDermott explained.
It also helps not only to have a guy like Poyer but also actually on the field to be out there with Hyde.
“He kept me even keel out there, communicating the whole time we were out there on the field so I just take my hat off to those guys. You don’t find this type of leadership everywhere,” Johnson explained.
Johnson wasn’t the only player in the Bills secondary that had to step up in this game. UB football alum, Cam Lewis also started against the Texans at nickel for Taron Johnson who was out with a groin injury.
“Cam we call him Buffalo Cam, we say he’s from here, just he’s been working his ass off too,” Hyde said.
Lewis also made some big plays with five tackles, one for loss, a pass breakup and a forced fumble. The Bills called him up from the practice squad on Saturday and he made sure to take advantage of the playing time.
“Our safeties coach joked around the other day that we have a farm system here, kind of feels like college you know, you’ve got the seniors and you’ve got the guys underneath us that are just working and can’t wait for their opportunities and today was one of them,” Hyde said.
“Can’t say enough about Quan and Cam. These guys are the Buffalo Bills through and through, they put their head down and work and come out when it’s your opportunity and ball out.”