Buffalo Bills linebacker Matt Milano has been named AFC's Defensive Player of the Week for his work in the win over Cleveland - Milano's second time earning that honor.
But the Bills think something bigger should be in store.
Coach Sean McDermott had plenty of praise for the linebacker on Monday following Milano's defensive effort in the Bills' 31-23 win over the Browns on Sunday.
"As long as everyone around here appreciates him, I think that's the most important thing," McDermott said. "They can keep him underrated on the national scene and he'll just be our guy here."
"But you know, we appreciate what he brings to our team and to our defense in this case, for sure."
Milano recorded 12 tackles, including a sack, in the Bills win and made life difficult for the Browns offense.
“We felt him out there,” McDermott. “He showed up, made some plays, was physical.”
This doesn't come to a surprise to Bills fans or Milano's teammates, with defensive tackle Jordan Phillips beginning his postgame press conference on Sunday with a bold claim.
“First off, I want to start with saying Matt Milano, Defensive Player of the Year,” Phillips said.
However, one look at Milano's stats and there is a case to be made to consider him a dark horse for the award. Through nine games he has 55 total tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery and two interceptions - one of which was returned for a touchdown.
Milano might not ultimately take home the award, with Dallas Cowboys' linebacker Micah Parsons the overwhelming favorite to do so (oh, and get New England's Matthew Judon in there as well), but Milano continues to be a sort-of unsung hero for the Bills defense.
Votes for Defensive Player of the Year nationally? Buffalo can't control that. Respect for Milano in-house? He's earned it.
You can find Connor Zimmerlee on Twitter @Connorjz98
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