The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY)

Diggs finds happiness in Buffalo

- By JOHN WAWROW

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. » Stefon Diggs was preparing for the start of practice Wednesday when Buffalo Bills offensive line coach Bobby Johnson approached and asked how the receiver was doing.

Diggs surprised even himself with his quick and genuine response.

“I’m like, ‘ I’m happy,’” Diggs said, recalling how a simple interactio­n grew into a personal revelation nine months into his first season in Buffalo.

“I said it with a smile because I’ve been busting my (rear) for a long time,” he said. “But mentally, being in the right place and pushing in the right direction: I’ve always been trying to be that guy, trying to have a positive energy. And I’m just happy to be where I am.”

Characteri­zed rightly or wrongly as one of the NFL’s many diva receivers for his several sideline outbursts during his first five seasons in Minnesota, Diggs has

put his mercurial past behind by warming up to his new surroundin­gs.

His production has certainly helped smooth the transition, with Diggs ranking second in the NFLwith 73 catches and 906 yards.

But the receiver stresses his upbeat mood goes beyond numbers and instead reflects a shift in approach he demanded from himself this offseason during a personal re- evaluation which occurred well before being traded to Buffalo in March.

“Whether I was staying or whether I was leaving, I feel like my process after

that year, I was going to handle things in a certain kind of way,” Diggs said, referring in part to last season, when he drew more than $200,000 in fines for skipping two days of team activities following a dispiritin­g loss at Chicago.

“I feel like I learned so much from my previous situation that I kind of carried it over in trying to turn

over a new leaf and try to handle things a lot differentl­y than I did before,” he said. “I went into this new year trying to be the best player, best teammate. And it’s been working out.”

The AFC East- leading Bills (7-3), who come out of their bye week off preparing to host the Chargers (37) on Sunday, have been the benefactor­s.

 ??  ?? In this Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, file photo Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) pulls in a touchdown pass as Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) defends during the second half of an NFL football game in Glendale, Ariz.
In this Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, file photo Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) pulls in a touchdown pass as Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) defends during the second half of an NFL football game in Glendale, Ariz.

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