Kiko Alonso sounds like a future captain in Doug Marrone's view
Kiko Alonso has a knack for getting fans excited.
His coach is a huge fan, too.
Alonso isn't playing as torridly as in September, but when asked for a summation of the rookie linebacker's season, Bills coach Doug Marrone delivered some of the most praiseful comments we've heard from him.
"I think all of us could see the way he plays the game," Marrone said this afternoon at One Bills Drive. "What you don't see -- to give you a little inside -- he's one of the first guys here in the morning, one of the last guys to leave.
"He's probably, as a rookie, more in tuned with his body and getting it ready to play than, really, anyone I've been around. And I'm not exaggerating with that."
Although Marrone didn't use the phrase "future captain," the sentiment was detectable.
At a time when accountability is a paramount issue within the organization, Marrone suggested more players should behave the way Alonso has off the field.
"The thing about it is what you see with him is what we talk about: We say 'Don't confuse effort with results.' With him, you see effort, and you see results," Marrone said.
Alonso leads the Bills and is second in the NFL with 131 tackles. He's tied with Jairus Byrd for the team lead with four interceptions.
Almost all of Alonso's big plays came through his first four games, including all four interceptions, his lone forced fumble, one of his two sacks and one of his two recoveries.
Alonso's preparation, however, has continued to impress Marrone.
"You look at him here in the morning before we work out, here early, taking care of his body," Marrone said. "That's what sometimes we talk about, being a pro. A lot of times, 'Can I sleep a little bit later? Can I get out of here a little bit earlier?'
"Part of being a pro is being in tune with that, being able to take care of your body. Did a trainer tell you to come in early? No. Did a trainer tell you to stay after and take care of your body? No. Is it an injury? No. It's maintenance and knowing who you are.
"When you can get that out of someone that young, who has the ability to influence, and his leadership ability, obviously, will increase because of the way he plays on the field. We'll look towards that as we grow and move into the next step with him."