Inside The Bills

Hangartner back

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2010 – 12:35 pm

Bills starting C Geoff Hangartner is back practicing with his teammates.

Hangartner missed practice Wednesday due to a minor ankle injury.


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Hangartner doesn’t practice

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2010 – 3:07 pm

Bills center Geoff Hangartner did not practice Wednesday due to an ankle injury.

Head coach Chan Gailey said it was purely a precaution. Hangartner did attend practice, but was a spectator. No word on his availability for Thursday’s practice, but it does not sound like a major issue.

Eric Wood took snaps at center with the first team offense in his place.


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Mon. radio appearances

Posted by Chris Brown on August 1, 2010 – 6:34 pm

A few Bills will be on the radio airwaves in Buffalo and Rochester Monday. Here’s the rundown.

Fred Jackson – Norton in the Morning – 97 Rock @ 8:20 AM (listen online)

Arthur Moats – The John DiTullio Show – WHTK 1280 AM @ 5:05 PM

Geoff Hangartner – The John DiTullio Show – WHTK 1280 AM @ 5:40 PM

The John DiTullio show will be hosting Moats and Hangartner live as the show is on campus Monday here at St. John Fisher.


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O-line identity explained

Posted by Chris Brown on July 30, 2010 – 1:29 pm

Training camp is where teams establish their identity, especially in year one under a new head coach, as is the case with the Bills. Bills center Geoff Hangartner provided a glimpse of that identity in the morning with his scrap with Aaron Maybin after the linebacker knocked the team’s leading rusher off his feet at the tail end of a run play.

“We’re trying to establish an identity on the O-line and taking care of our backs, and so it’s going to be physical and guys are going to have confrontations and that’s a part of football,” Hangartner said. “Any time you have a tussle or an altercation you always want your teammates to have your back. And if it was somebody else I would’ve jumped in there with them. I think it kind of builds team spirit.”

Maybin indicated that he knew what Hangartner’s reaction was all about.

“As teammates, you have no problem with something like that,” said Maybin. “Offensive players look out for each other, and exactly after it happened there were defensive guys that were sticking up for us. That’s just the nature of the game. You’re going to have guys stick up for each other but, truthfully, as a team that’s what you need. It’s never a positive thing to have a whole lot of fighting going on, but just the fact that there is camaraderie on the team and there is that willingness of guys to stick up for one another, that’s always a good thing.”

Hangartner reiterated that there are no hard feelings with Maybin and Maybin also said he wasn’t surprised how it escalated. Hangartner however, did admit to one mistake in deciding to take Maybin on.

“I picked kind of a bad time to do it though because it was the second play and I had six plays in a row and it really makes you winded so I was really tired for the next four plays,” he said chuckling.


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Hangartner protects

Posted by Chris Brown on July 30, 2010 – 10:52 am

Geoff Hangartner summed up his scrap with Maybin quite simply.

“You don’t hit our 1,000-yard rusher in the back when he’s not looking,” said Hangartner.

Maybin said he wasn’t surprised that the situation escalated.

“There’s never a dull moment and you knew sooner or later something was going to happen,” Maybin said.

The Bills center called the scrap with Maybin fun, and said there are no hard feelings afterwards.

“It’s over,” he said.


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1st scrap

Posted by Chris Brown on July 30, 2010 – 9:42 am

During run game drills Aaron Maybin knocked Fred Jackson to the ground at the tail end of a run play and Geoff Hangartner took umbrage.

The Bills center ran 15 yards across the field and grabbed Maybin throwing him to the ground and driving him backward.

There’s some fire here this morning. Players screaming at each other. Gotta love it.


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Bills that are still rehabbing

Posted by Chris Brown on May 25, 2010 – 10:57 am

There is a bunch of Bills players still unable to participate in voluntary OTAs, which begin today (Tues.) due to surgeries performed toward the end of last season for injuries or postseason surgeries. Here’s the rundown of players.

Will not participate because still rehabbing
OT Demetrius  Bell
LB Nic Harris
TE Derek Schouman 
OL Eric Wood

Limited because still rehabbing
FS Jairus Byrd
CB Terrence McGee 
LB Kawika Mitchell 
C Geoff Hangartner 
WR Roscoe Parrish 
DT Marcus Stroud


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Wed. player radio appearances

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2009 – 5:48 pm

Here’s the list of players on the local airwaves Wednesday morning.

Geoff Hangartner – Norton in the Morning, 97 Rock @ 7:15 AM

Chris Kelsay – Janet and Nick, Kiss 98.5 @ 7:10 AM


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Simmons expected to start

Posted by Chris Brown on November 29, 2009 – 7:51 am

Bills newly signed guard Kendall Simmons has spent all of five days with his new linemates, but it’s apparently enough to convince Buffalo’s offensive staff that he’s ready to start against the Dolphins today.

The seven-year veteran is expected to start at right guard in place of rookie Eric Wood, who suffered a season ending injury last week against Jacksonville when he broke both the tibia and fibula in his left leg in a horrific looking sequence that ultimately required surgery.

Simmons is eager to make his first start since Sept. 29, 2008.

“I’m as ready as I’m going to be,” Simmons told Buffalobills.com. “I really have to give credit to Kirk (Chambers) and Geoff (Hangartner). They’ve helped to direct me on any plays where I might be unsure pre-snap and that’s allowed me to play more and think less.”

Though a veteran player, Simmons is still translating all of the new terminology of Buffalo’s offensive scheme, but with two vets on either side of him, with Chambers expected to start at right tackle and Hangartner at center, Simmons believes he will be able to act and react instead of hesitate due to indecision.


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Bills line today short on starts

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2009 – 1:29 pm

Buffalo’s offensive line with three rookies and a first-year starter on it today in Demetrius Bell is very light on experience.

Veteran center Geoff Hangartner has 32 starts under his belt, with the other four linemen bring a total of 14 more starts to the table counting the games played thus far this season.

Jamon Meredith, who will start at right tackle is making his first career NFL start. Demetrius Bell has four starts, Levitre and Wood have five each.


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Injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2009 – 6:14 pm

Bills head coach Dick Jauron provided an update on the injured players on his roster this week.

WR Josh Reed, who did not practice at the outset Thursday, did do some work and was officially limited in practice. His injury was also mixed up with that of WR Roscoe Parrish on Wednesday. Parrish has a quad strain and Reed has an ankle injury. Parrish however, practiced fully.

C Geoff Hangartner (back) did practice, but also on a limited basis.

“That was a good progression,” said Jauron of Hangartner. “He worked in practice after doing nothing yesterday. He took a number of reps. Not as many as he normally would take, but he took a number of them.”

Buffalo’s two starting cornerbacks Leodis McKelvin (ankle/fibula) and Terrence McGee (ankle) were both limited Thursday.

“I would say that Leodis moved a little better than Terrence,” said Jauron. “They both were involved to some degree.”

Reggie Corner stepped in for McKelvin last week when he left with his ankle injury. If McGee can’t go Ashton Youboty would be his replacement.

Shawn Nelson was also limited.

DT John McCargo was added to the injury report Thursday with a strained calf. He practiced on a limited basis.


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Reed not practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2009 – 4:00 pm

Josh Reed is not practicing for the 2nd straight day.

Reed (quad) is doing some running on the side with the training staff.

Limited in practice is TE Shawn Nelson (shoulder).

C Geoff Hangartner (back) is participating after missing Wednesday’s practice.


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Injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2009 – 6:59 pm

Josh Reed and Geoff Hangartner were the new non-participants in practice Wednesday and there were four other players that were limited.

Reed is dealing with a strained quad while Hangartner sat out with a stiff back.

Limited in practice Wednesday were Terrence McGee, Leodis McKelvin, Shawn Nelson and Roscoe Parrish.


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Hangartner, Reed not practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2009 – 3:57 pm

Two starters are not participating in practice.

Geoff Hangartner and Josh Reed are not practicing. Head coach Dick Jauron will provide an update in his afternoon press conference scheduled for 2:30pm.


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Player radio appearances Monday

Posted by Chris Brown on July 27, 2009 – 2:36 am

On Monday the airwaves will be full of Bills players making appearances.

On Buffalo’s flagship 97 Rock, Gibran Hamdan will be on the air at 7:30am. He’ll be followed by Kawika Mitchell at 7:45 and Trent Edwards at 8am. You can listen live online.

On 103.3 the Edge in Buffalo, Terrell Owens will appear on the Shredd and Ragan show, but a specific time has not been set.

Rochester’s Brother Wease will be hosting Derek Fine at 7:30am and Geoff Hangartner at 7:45am on 95.1 the Fox.

And John DiTullio will have Bryan Scott on his late morning show on 1280AM in Rochester some time in the 10 o’clock hour.


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Fan Friday 6-5

Posted by Chris Brown on June 5, 2009 – 8:25 pm

OTAs are almost over and then it’s three days of minicamp before the six week break. Hard to believe training camp is around the corner. On to your questions.

1. Hello Chris,

What are the chances the Bills trade Kelsay with or without Parrish to get Scheffler? Denver needs to improve their defense and we need to get a TE badly. We also have Maybin now… And shouldn’t we sign one of the remaining free agent linebackers? It seems like if we could be put this all together, the Bills could be a real competitor this year. What do you think?

Thanks,

Preston

CB: I don’t see it happening, mainly because Denver has recently come out and said how much they intend to make use of Scheffler in their offense. Some might see that as window dressing to move him, but knowing that Kyle Orton won’t be slinging it downfield nearly as much as Cutler did for Denver, makes Scheffler that much more valuable as an intermediate receiving threat. Minus Cutler Denver will need to hold onto all the offensive talent they’ve got and Scheffler is too valuable to part with.

 

2. Chris,
What is the situation with Shawn Nelson?
How much are Xavier Omon and Marcus Smith being used in practice?  Do they have a reasonable chance of making the 53 man roster?  Do you see the team keeping a backup center, and if so, who?  Do you think Chris Ellis is making much progress, I expected a little more from him last year (I know you can’t expect too much from rookies).  Are any of the undrafted guys making much of an impression (maybe Ashlee Palmer?)
Thanks for the updates.
Chris

CB: Shawn Nelson was dealing with some personal issues this week according to head coach Dick Jauron. He’s expected back next week. 

As for Xavier Omon and Marcus Smith, one is seeing more time than the other. Smith is being rotated in with the second team defense. He subs in for Spencer Johnson and has done okay. Again it’s hard to assess line play in the OTA setting because there isn’t live contact and hitting in the trenches. He’s an interesting prospect after he spent last year on the practice squad.

Omon’s reps have been limited with Lynch, Jackson and Rhodes ahead of him. In fact Bruce Hall, last year’s practice squad back has seen more reps than Omon this week. We’ll see if that continues, and if it does Omon has an uphill climb to make the roster.

Ellis is progressing. He’s working with the second team on defense and sharing reps with Copeland Bryan on the right side. Again line play is not something you can asses in the OTA setting. We’ll see how far he’s come when we get to training camp.  

 

3. Hi Chris,  just a question on who you believe will emerge as our starting strong side linebacker….is it possible that Mitchell will be moved to the strong side and a smaller linebacker will take over on the weak side…thanks again for all your insight…Ray

CB: I think that’s a tough one to answer. So everyone is clear Keith Ellison plays the strong side with Mitchell on the open or weak side. That’s been the same through OTAs. I think it’s Ellison’s position to lose. His greatest competition at the spot will be Alvin Bowen and rookie Nic Harris. Ellison is obviously the most experienced in the system and one of the smartest players on the team. That goes a long way with this staff. I think one of the other two candidates will have to show greater playmaking ability and equal smarts to take the spot away from him.

 

4. Hey Chris,
Following the Bills in the OTAs this year, I’m noticing Aaron Schobel was participating early on but now has been absent for a while. Is everything okay with him? I’m hoping he hasn’t re-injured his foot or that it wasn’t quite healed after all. Pease let us know.
Cheers
Andy-Toronto

CB: Schobel is fine. He was here for the first week of OTAs and has chosen to skip the remaining voluntary practice sessions which run through Monday. He’ll be here for the mandatory minicamp which begins on Tuesday. In the time he was here he said his foot felt good and that he was encouraged by how it responded to three straight days of work. Hopefully that continues through minicamp.
5. Chris, you’ve wrote a lot about “would be” sacks, and I was wondering how the offensive line is doing? Do you think that they show any early signs of meshing well together? I know that it takes time to get the cohesiveness down, but I feel this season’s success hinges on just that happening. On paper they have a team that can contend for a playoff berth, but I really think that it comes down to the o-line.
 
Thanks…Bryan – Canandaigua NY

CB:  I agree with you that a lot of Buffalo’s offensive success will hinge on the offensive line’s ability to jell with five guys in five new positions up front. As for the pass pressure and ‘would be’ sacks a lot of them are coming on blitz calls, which at this point in time the offensive line isn’t always ready to handle and adjust to. That’s part of why it’s so important for the starting five, whoever they wind up being, spend as much time together as possible.

That being said I will say that Seth McKinney and Geoff Hangartner did a heck of a job picking up a blitz by Paul Posluszny and it enabled Trent to hit Lee Evans for a 65-yard touchdown play.

We’ll get a better assessment in training camp and the preseason.


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Fan Friday 4-24

Posted by Chris Brown on April 24, 2009 – 6:40 pm

On the eve of the draft we dispel some rumors and answer some final questions. If you had a question that did not get answered here, be sure to check the live chat we held at noon earlier today (Friday).

1. Chris, will the Bills make any overtures for Peppers??? Or would this be too much for the Bills’ to handle….or impractical??
D. Stratz

CB: Any overtures for Peppers are unrealistic for the Bills and a lot of other teams, and that includes the Patriots. The reason why is Peppers is reportedly looking for Albert Haynesworth type money. Most teams can fit that kind of contract into their budget. It’s going to be interesting to see what pans out on that front because the Panthers are really hamstrung by his situation.

 

2. What are your personal thoughts on Connor Barwin? Personally I like his high motor, versatility and passion for the game. Where, if at all, would Buffalo have him on the draft board?

Nick from Sodus, NY

CB: I like Barwin a lot. He’s extremely athletic and explosive. I see him as a defensive end for the Bills, though he’s probably capable of playing OLB as well on the strong side. To lead the Big East in sacks in his first year as a DE was impressive. As for where the Bills have him on their board, I don’t know, but I think he’s a safe bet to be a late first or early 2nd round pick. Bills may have a shot at him at 28.

 

3. Hi Chris.
With respect to your article on left guard I must say that I am still on the (Alex) Mack Truck Train! With Hangartner it would be a perfect match. If Mack isn’t ready, he could
start out at left guard. But with his smarts and low center of gravity, he might just start out as starting center. Now, how do we draft him? Well, we could take a TE with #11, or a pass rusher, and trade up to get Mack at the end of the first round. Or we could trade down in the first round. What is your take?
Pete

CB: Now armed with the 28th pick, Mack is a much more realistic possibility. Down there the Bills should be able to get the best interior linemen in the draft if they wanted. My feeling however, is that if they do get a pass rusher up at 11, they’re more likely to take a tackle at 28 (Eben Britton?) to fill the void left by Jason Peters. That way they could transition Demetrius Bell or Kirk Chambers inside at left guard.

 

4. Hello Chris,
 
Hope all is well!  Thanks for the in of this offseason so far!  Where do you think Pat Thomas fits in?  Seemed like an under the radar visit and signing.  I hope he is not looked at as a starter.
 
Also, how is Alvin Bowen doing?  Has he bulked up?  I saw he is listed at 222 lbs, would he maybe be better suited at SS.  Seems like he is built like Kerry Rhodes. 
 
Just wondering.
 
Thanks,
Greg Grzymala

CB: Pat Thomas is a reserve linebacker as I see it. I believe the Bills will look to fortify the SLB position in the draft this weekend. Thomas could help as a backup on the strong side or in the middle.

As for Alvin Bowen his rehab is going very well. He may be on the field for OTAs in mid-May. He’s added bulk to his frame and he’s a linebacker all the way.
5. Chris,
With Jason Peters traded, what are your thoughts of Demetrius Bell being groomed as his replacement at Left Tackle? Is there a decent chance of it? For some reason, I think he could turn out to be a better option for us than if we drafted say, Oher.
Thanks,
- Jeff

CB: I think the Bills are hopeful that Bell develops into a LT prospect. I don’t know if he’s there yet, but he has the potential and could be playing over there in a year or two if things go right. Right now I see Langston Walker as the LT, with either Bell, Kirk Chambers or a high draft pick on the right side. Oher I believe is an option though at 11.


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Fan Friday 4-17

Posted by Chris Brown on April 17, 2009 – 7:24 pm

Only one more Fan Friday after this prior to the draft, and Jason Peters trumps everything so we start there. I’m going to be in full scramble mode answering all your pre-draft questions this week. Let’s get started.

1. Chris,

ESPN is reporting that Peters was traded for a 1st(28th overall) and Philly’s 4th round pick this year as well as a undisclosed 2010 pick.  Now that this is a done deal which tackle do you see Buffalo taking at #11?

Tks,

Kevin Klump 

CB: First Kevin, nothing is done until either of the teams confirms it. But to entertain your question, should this trade indeed come to fruition I would say that the chances of Buffalo taking an offensive tackle increase somewhat, but not significantly. Here’s why.

I think the Bills will move Langston Walker to left tackle and plug Demetrius Bell in at right tackle. Bell came a long way in the past year and is very, very athletic. Asking him to step in at left tackle right now however, is too much to ask of a second-year player with no NFL starts on his resume. 

If you remember the Bills started Jason Peters on the right side when he first played tackle in a game filling in for an injured Mike Williams back in ‘05. I think doing the same with Bell is not out of the realm of possibility. If that’s the course they choose to take, then I think the Bills can still target a premier pass rusher, like Everette Brown at 11, who I have liked all along.

Then at 28 they could scoop up a top flight center like Alex Mack (Cal), OLB/DE Connor Barwin (Connor Barwin) or Larry English (No. Illinois) or tight end Brandon Pettigrew (OK State) if he happens to still be on the board. Personally I think Pettigrew will be gone by 25 to Atlanta or 26 to Baltimore.  

I’m not saying that an offensive tackle like Michael Oher (Ole Miss) isn’t a possibility at 11, but I don’t think it means they’re forced to take one there. Heck they could even get a solid right tackle prospect in Eben Britton (Arizona St.) at 28 if they wanted.  

But this organization has a lot of faith in Bell’s long term potential and after successfully developing Peters, who wasn’t an offensive tackle until Buffalo moved him, I believe they feel they can develop Bell into a dependable starter.

I guess we’ll all know better in about a week.

 

2. Hey Chris,

I know the Bills have all but announced Hangartner the center for next season, but could it be a smoke screen and could the Bills be eying up someone like Alex Mack in the draft?  Then moving Hangartner to guard?

CB: I wouldn’t rule anything out at this point, but Hangartner has said his best position is center and I get the sense the organization is committed to him playing in the pivot. You want to put the players in positions where they can best succeed, and for Hangartner that’s center, in his opinion and the opinion of the organization.

 

3. Chris, just about everyone in the Bills community including yourself keeps saying that the team’s greatest need going into 2009 is to improve its pass rush.  But isn’t it a fact that the Bills had the # 13 defense in the NFL last year against the pass?  If that’s true, isn’t improving the pass rush more of a luxury than a necessity, especially given the fact that the offense ranked near the bottom of the league in just about every important category?  Shouldn’t landing a first-rate TE and Center trump acquiring a situational pass rusher who plays mainly on third down?  Last year we insisted on getting “value” from our first round pick by drafting a CB and ended up not getting the kind of TE we desperately needed, when we could have traded down and drafted John Carlson.  I hope that doesn’t happen in 2009, leaving the offense shortchanged once again.

Dan, Rochester

CB: While I understand the point you’re trying to make, the ranking of the pass defense in 2008 (13th) is a bit misleading. The reason why is because teams still had fair to good success running the ball against Buffalo when all was said and done. The Bills finished 22nd against the run and surrendered over 120 yards per game on the ground. 

When teams run that well against you they don’t have to throw as much reducing the yards a defense gives up passing thereby improving the ranking against the pass.

Some might say that run defense figure means they should get another defensive tackle, but any hope of getting B.J. Raji at 11 is a pipe dream. He’ll be gone by the sixth pick.

As for the pass rush here’s why myself and the majority of fans I’ve spoken with feel the pass rush has to be addressed. Over the past two years Buffalo has a total of 50 sacks. Combining 2007 and 2008 that ranks 29th in the league, with only Cleveland, Cincinnati and Kansas City with lesser production over that span. The pass rush has to be addressed early if you wish to get a player that can help you right away. 

 

 

4. Chris,

Just read your blog on S. Carolina TE Cook. I can see where interest in this guy is growing and Nelson/Cook could be neck and neck. I don’t agree however with your assessment that with the addition of T.O. the Bills need for a TE is reduced. Personally I believe the addition of a real TE is of paramount importance. That along with improving the OL interior to me should be of primary importance to the Bills. I know you believe the Bills should go after a DE with their first pick to improve the pass rush, but I believe making the offense significantly better is the real key. Our struggles last season were offense related.

Your thoughts?

Bill Kubera

Cicero, NY

CB: Perhaps I didn’t state my opinion on the tight end well enough. When I said that the need for a playmaking tight end was reduced by the signing of Owens, I meant for 2009. This year, if you don’t have a playmaking tight end ready to make plays and have an instant impact on your offense you’re not dead in the water.

I still maintain that the pass rush is priority number one. I think tight end can be addressed in rounds two or three depending on what players the Bills covet most at that position. That player can come in as a rookie in 2009, get his feet wet without the pressure of making tons of plays. Then the following year when Owens is probably gone he and James Hardy can step up and fill the void in the passing game together.

I agree offensive line is a need area too. In my ideal draft Buffalo gets a premier pass rusher in the first (Brown?), a solid interior lineman in the second (Wood?) and a pass catching tight end in the third (Coffman?). If this reported Peters trade happens, then pass rusher first, OL bottom of first, pass catching TE in 2nd.

 

5. Hey Chris,
I wanted to get your opinion on Oregon OL Max Unger.  In doing some player research I have developed a man crush on Unger and would love to see him in a Bills uniform.  I love his versalitility as he can play center, guard, or tackle plus he brings top notch intangibles and experience to the table.  I think he would be a great add with our second round pick, if he lasts that long.  Anyways, your opinion would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You,
 
Brad

CB: I think Max Unger would be a good pick. Yes, he is versatile having played some tackle. Though he’s never played guard, I think he could handle it.  

Personally I prefer Alex Mack and Eric Wood to Unger. Mack and Wood have a little more nastiness and tenacity to their game, while Unger is more of a technician.

Don’t get me wrong I respect Unger’s game a lot and wouldn’t be upset if he wound up with the Bills. I just like Mack and Wood a bit better.


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Pack signs Preston

Posted by Chris Brown on March 27, 2009 – 11:57 am

Bills free agent center Duke Preston is now a Green Bay Packer. After making free agent visits with the Raiders and Packers, Preston decided to play in the NFC North. That according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

The Packers were looking to bulk up a bit in the pivot and add some athleticism according to Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy.

“He’s got a nice frame,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said earlier this week. “He’s more of an athlete. We see him as an athletic frame. Once again, he’s young, too. He has a lot of football in front of him.”

Buffalo is not expected to re-sign Melvin Fowler or Jason Whittle so the Bills in addition to Geoff Hangartner will presumably have a new backup center as well. Drafting an interior linemen is quickly becoming a must even if it is for depth purposes.


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Hangartner pulls wisecrack on media

Posted by Chris Brown on March 23, 2009 – 6:59 pm

Being that Geoff Hangartner was the first free agent signing of the Bills this offseason, he was asked if he was bothered being overshadowed by the subsequent signing of Terrell Owens. He had a fantastic answer.

“I’m pretty angry about it really,” said Hangartner dripping with sarcasm. “I figured all along that I’d be a big free agent signing.”

After the media laughter died down, Hangartner continued.

“I don’t care,” he said. “It’s fine. I can see why we were overshadowed and he’s obviously earned the right to be the lead dog. That’s fine with me I don’t really care.”

Frankly being an offensive linemen, Hangartner is probably used to being overshadowed. It comes with the position. So this was probably nothing different for him. Hangartner was on hand at One Bills Drive participating in the opening of the voluntary offseason conditioning program Monday.


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