Buffalo Bills rookie tight end Tommy Sweeney has exceeded expectations that came with him being a seventh round pick in the NFL Draft.
The Bills took Sweeney at the 2019 NFL Draft with the 228th overall pick out of Boston College. In his four years with the Golden Eagles, Sweeney was able to bring in 99 catches for 1,281 yards and 10 touchdowns.
With injuries plaguing fellow tight ends Tyler Kroft, Jason Croom and fellow rookie Dawson Knox, Sweeney has seen an increase in reps with the first-team offense through training camp and in the two preseason games that the Bills have played so far.
Sweeney has made quite the impression with Bills players, coaching staff, and fans thus far. He first got on Bills fans’ radar when he made a great catch during this year’s "The Return of the Blue and Red" practice in front of thousands of Bills fans at New Era Field.
Sweeney maybe made his biggest mark in last week’s bout with the Carolina Panthers, where he totaled two catches for 47 yards with the first-team unit.
Sweeney joined the Howard and Jeremy Show on Wednesday and remained even-keeled when asked about his time in the NFL thus far.
"I think it's going well," Sweeney said. "You know, there's ups and downs. It's just a matter of staying consistent, doing your job, and be willing to get out there no matter what."
Although Sweeney has been on the end of a big break with injuries that have plagued the tight end corps, he empathized for the players who got hurt, but has gotten comfortable playing with the first team as a result.
“It’s helped a lot,” Sweeney said. “You don’t want anybody to get hurt, but whatever reps you just got to go out and do them. With the ones it’s really sped it [my growth] up. I’ve gotten used to the NFL speed and being out there with the ones, being out there with the line, and Josh, and the other receivers and stuff like that, but I’m still in the process of learning and playing at this level.”
Part of playing with the first-team is catching passes from second-year quarterback Josh Allen. He’s coming off a season with 18 total touchdowns and 2,074 passing yards in 12 games in 2018. Sweeney didn’t make much of the adjustment that comes with playing under a new quarterback.
“It’s football,” Sweeney said. “So, you’ve got to build trust in the sense that you know what you’re doing, you’re going to get open, you’re not going to do something crazy or anything like that, and that you can go catch a ball."
Sweeney credited his development thus far to tight end coach Rob Boras and some veterans in the tight end room like the newly signed Kroft and especially Lee Smith, who’s on embarking on his second stint with the Bills as he starts his ninth season in the NFL.
“Coach Rob Boras, our tight ends coach, is phenomenal,” Sweeney said. “He’s been doing this for a long time in this league, he’s a great coach. He’s really smart, knows all the ins and outs, so he’s been great. Then you look at the older guys like Tyler Kroft…and especially Lee Smith, who’s just been every step of the way has just been absolutely just amazing. He’s been one of the best in the league for a very long time at a lot of different things. He just has so much knowledge and has really just been imparting it on these guys. You just try internalize it as much as you can because there’s just so much at you day-to-day…he’s been great.”
You can listen to the entire interview below: