Our final installment of Around the AFC East brings us to Buffalo. Brian G from Buffalo Rumblings discusses their defensive line.
The Bills recently acquired veteran tackles Marcus Stroud and Spencer Johnson. Kyle Williams seems to be embracing the competition. But, were these acquisitions a sign of "fixing" problems with the defensive line or were the Bills simply adding some needed depth to that position?
It's definitely intended to be both. Last year's starting tackle, Larry Tripplett, was released and his replacement will be Johnson - whose superior athleticism makes him a much better fit as a three-technique pass rusher in the Bills' Tampa 2 scheme. Stroud replaces no one - he was brought in to help shore up the team's run defense, and his presence adds not only to the talent pool, but to overall depth as well.
Add in Williams - a guy who can play either the one- or three-tech (but is more suited to one) and has a non-stop motor, and John McCargo, who was the team's most talented interior lineman last season, and it's clear that the Bills have gotten bigger, more athletic and deeper up the middle. They now have four very legitimate defensive tackles that they'll rotate frequently. That, ideally, will keep the group fresh and active throughout the lengthy NFL season. So I think it's both - they've fixed depth issues, and they've fixed talent issues.
This doesn't bode well for opponents's running games. Brian is fairly confident that the Bills can stay fresh and strong up the middle of their defense. This will make it tough for any offense to mount a consistent running attack unless teams can run no huddles for extended periods of time and keep those big guys on the field. Even that may not work if the DLs can hold up until someone else jumps in. This is good stuff for Buffalo.
Head on over to Brian's excellent Bills blog, Buffalo Rumblings , for my answers regarding the changes to our defense.