Inside The Bills

Depth chart changes

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2013 – 2:00 pm

In the wake of the loss of Alex Carrington there have been a couple of shifts on the Bills depth chart. Here’s a look.

First, Alan Branch is now listed as the starting left defensive end, with Corbin Bryant as his backup. Truthfully I see Branch rotating in to spell Dareus and Kyle Williams more than playing the end position. As coach Marrone indicated Corbin Bryant figures to see the most work in what is now Carrington’s vacant role.

On kick return Marcus Easley is now listed as the official backup to Marquise Goodwin, who is still recovering from a broken hand in Week 1. Easley hasn’t had much of an opportunity to return with all the booming kickoffs the Bills have seen the first three games. In fact Easley has made more of an impact in kickoff coverage turning in big tackles each of the last two weeks.

Finally Jim Leonhard is now listed as the backup punt returner to Leodis McKelvin, a role in which he served last week after McKelvin left with a hamstring injury. Leonhard was a pretty accomplished punt returner in college.

Even if McKelvin is able to play this week, it’s likely that Leonhard gets punt return work as the Bills will probably try not to overextend McKelvin with added special teams duties.

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Depth chart moves slowed

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2011 – 8:30 am

In training camp the coaching staff will shift and move players up or down the depth chart based on performance. Usually they are made on the heels of a preseason game when coaches get an accurate look at what a player is or is not capable of. However, in an offseason where there is little for coaches to go on and more questions than answers with some players, Bills head coach Chan Gailey and his staff are more apt to wait a little longer this summer before making a depth chart move.

“The movement on the depth chart is slower now because you’re taking more of a wait and see attitude before you start moving people up and down the depth chart,” Gailey told “That’s due to mainly our lack of practice and preparation. The reason why is you don’t know at the outset if a player’s performance or consistency is due to a conditioning issue, they may not have the recall from last year, but they’re going to get it. With all of that stuff (in play) you’re just hesitant to move people up and down the depth chart too quickly right now.”

That’s why Gailey said going into camp that some returning veteran starters are more entrenched in their positions than perhaps in any other training camp. With so many added variables (conditioning, no spring workouts, less evaluation time) to the preparation process in this camp Gailey and his staff want as many sure fire answers as they can have in their starting lineups. So it’s going to take a special performance for a 2nd teamer to move up to the first unit, and it seems as though it will take a big time collapse through the preseason for a starter to get bumped down a peg.

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Posted in Inside the Bills