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Inside The Bills

Barnett on attacking Weeden

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2012 – 9:03 am

With only two games worth of film to go off of and some preseason games, the book is limited on Cleveland QB Brandon Weeden. Bills LB Nick Barnett, however, is not concerned about the relative newness of Weeden as an opponent.

“There’s film on him,” said Barnett. “But you just play against their scheme and their offense and what you’ve seen on the film. He’s played a lot of games in the preseason, so we’ve seen enough film study on him to know some of the tendencies and what he does.  But we’re just gonna  go out there and play our responsibilities, get 11-guys busting their butt and getting to the ball.”

Barnett maintains that Weeden’s lack of experience is not going to influence how the Bills approach the Browns offense in terms of game plan. 

“I think we’re gonna do what we do,” Barnett said. “Regardless of his experience or inexperience. We’ve got to play defense the way we play defense,  and cover the way we cover, and we’ve got to get to him. Obviously you want to disrupt any quarterback, and we definitely would like to get him uncomfortable back there and get him making bad decisions.”

Weeden threw four INTs in Week 1, but none in Week 2.


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Barnett injury nothing serious

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2012 – 4:28 pm

Nick Barnett missed practice on Thursday and is listed as having a knee injury, but the linebacker said it’s minor in nature.

“It’s nothing,” said Barnett. “Just one of those days. It’s nothing serious.”

Barnett assured he’ll be playing on Sunday in Cleveland. Head coach Chan Gailey reinforced Barnett’s assessment.

“We’re kind of precautionary he’ll be fine,” said Gailey. “He practiced yesterday, he’ll practiced tomorrow. We just left him rest a little bit.”


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Byrd practicing, Barnett not

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2012 – 2:10 pm

Jairus Byrd is practicing here on Thursday.

Byrd missed Wednesday’s practice with an ankle injury. We’ll get a report on his level of participation in practice from Coach Gailey after practice.

Meanwhile WLB Nick Barnett is not practicing. We’ll get details on the nature of his situation post practice.

Ruvell Martin and Fred Jackson are also not practicing.


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Stevie and Barnett on the air

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2012 – 10:01 am

Stevie Johnson and Nick Barnett will be making appearances on the radio and TV respectively. Here’s where you can find them.

Cybulski and Company – TSN Radio
Stevie Johnson – 4:15 PM 

NFL Network – Around the League Live
Nick Barnett – 4:30 pm


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-14

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2012 – 1:57 pm

Week 2 and the home opener for the Bills. Let’s hope the results are better than last week. On to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and @ChrisBrownBills

1 – Hey Chris,

Do you know if we will ever get a graphic on our scoreboard every time Mario Williams gets a sack like Houston used to do for him (check it out on youtube)? I’m not saying it’d have to be as elaborate, but it’d really get the fans pumped when he, or any of our staunch D-linemen get a sack. 

Thanks,
Nate in Rochester

CB: From what I understand there are some plans in the works for something like that, but I don’t know when it will be unveiled.

2 – Chris:

In seeing the success of (K) John Potter in the preseason, and the talent he has in being able to kick touch-backs consistently, I can’t say that I would disagree with Chan Gailey opting to make him a permanent fixture on the special teams for kick-offs.  We’ve all discussed the pro’s: less injuries, saving Rian Lindell from tackles/block action, no huge returns, field position…etc.  The pro’s greatly outweigh the discussed ‘con’ of giving up one of the 53-man roster spots.  However, in watching the preseason games, I feel like this will effect Rian Lindell more then people are discussing. Wouldn’t you think that kick-offs are a large part in allowing kickers to stay loose and confident for when the time comes in a game for a longer field goal?  I’m worried that Lindell might have a rougher go this season due to a change in his routine.  Do you think that is a valid concern?

Thanks & Go Bills!
Doug Glassman
Waltham, MA

CB: You might be over thinking it a bit. By not having to do kickoffs, which require a different technique (i.e. kick for hang time) he’s now only really kicking one way (for FGs). With Potter handling kickoffs it will save his leg, thereby making long range kicks more realistic and allow him to focus on kicking one way all the time.

3 – Chris,

Will the Bills use Dorin Dickerson as an extra receiver in the four wide receiver sets? What I saw of him on the training camp clips, he is a very valuable weapon in the passing game.
Tony
Ormond Beach, FL

CB: I think the Bills coaching staff sees him as a mismatch in the passing game. He’ll most likely be used as an H-back in Buffalo’s offense. However, I think his role in the game plan will be largely dependent upon the opponent each week. But yes, I would anticipate seeing him as a guy split wide at times, or motioning before the snap.

4 – Chris,
Who is the funniest player in the Bills locker room?? Or maybe give me the top two… Thanks for all you do!

-Displaced fan from Cali
Dan

CB: I don’t really witness a whole lot of joking around among the players, but I will say that Fred Jackson and Nick Barnett are notorious pranksters always pulling stuff on their teammates.

5 - Why do they call George Wilson ‘The Senator’?

Thanks,
Denise

CB: George Wilson got this nickname from the media, mainly because he is such a good quote. Journalists often look to reliable, quotable players to provide an accurate pulse of the team, a poignant comment on a teammate or a worthwhile perspective on any football topic. George does that. Sometimes his answers are long, but they’re worth it and at times his answers have a style that would fit in the political arena. I believe it was the Buffalo News’ Jerry Sullivan that first dubbed him ‘The Senator’ and it stuck.


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Barnett on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2012 – 2:49 pm

Bills LB Nick Barnett is going to be on national radio this afternoon. Here’s where you can find him.

Movin’ the Chains; Pat Kirwan & Jim Miller – SIRIUS NFL Radio
Nick Barnett – 4:15 PM


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Pluses for Bills ‘D’ from Pittsburgh game

Posted by Chris Brown on August 27, 2012 – 3:03 pm

Buffalo’s defense had some dominant looking plays in their Saturday night preseason game against Pittsburgh. The film reviewers and stat crunchers at Pro Football Focus broke down the play of Buffalo’s defensive line, linebackers and Cordy Glenn. Most of it was pretty positive.

Pro Football Focus liked the play of Kelvin Sheppard and Nick Barnett as well as Kyle Williams. They also commented favorably on the play of Cordy Glenn at left tackle.


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Merriman’s contribution

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2012 – 10:31 am

With the release of veteran Shawne Merriman Monday, most see that there was little that Merriman was able to do on the field in his time with the Bills, due to a chronic injury that never allowed him to return to form. However, there is a mark he did leave on the organization.

Merriman was able to successfully recruit veteran LB Nick Barnett to the Bills last summer as well as LB Kirk Morrison. Barnett went on to have a very productive 2011 for Buffalo, and likely would have been a Pro Bowl LB last season had it not been for Buffalo’s slide out of playoff contention.

Just bringing his name to the Bills roster, Merriman did help to make the team’s reputation on the free agent market a bit more respected.


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Barnett practices thru stitches

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2012 – 7:54 pm

Bills LB Nick Barnett suffered a small gash on his forearm in practice Saturday, but didn’t miss any of his assigned reps in practice Monday after requiring some stitches to close up the wound.

“Yeah, he got cut on his arm the other night and he had a couple of stitches in there,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “I do not think he missed a rep today. That was impressive.”

Barnett told Buffalobills.com that his forearm was cut open when it collided and scraped across a rivet on an offensive player’s helmet.


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Barnett preps at Beebe’s facility

Posted by Chris Brown on July 12, 2012 – 9:47 am

Bills LB Nick Barnett is back in Wisconsin for the next few weeks leading up to training camp. He’s not commiserating with former Packers teammates. Instead he’s at one of former Bills receiver Don Beebe’s House of Speed locations tuning up for the 2012 season.

According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Barnett trained there last offseason and wanted to make a return trip this summer after having his best statistical season in his first year with the Bills since 2007.

Barnett admitted he had extra motivation after the Packers released him and signed with the Bills.

“I was disappointed in the fact that I was released,” Barnett told the Press-Gazette. “I definitely wanted to go out and show them as well as show myself and anybody else who doubted me that I’m still who I am. I’m still here to play football. I still love to play the game. I’m still going to run to the ball, make plays and have fun.”

Barnett is working at the former Bills wide receiver’s House of Speed location in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin.


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Barnett: Bills ‘D’ could be best

Posted by Chris Brown on June 5, 2012 – 3:42 pm

Nick Barnett is a veteran linebacker. He knows you don’t prove anything in June, July or August, but what he’s seen of his defensive unit to this point has him very, very encouraged that the Bills defense could be one of, if not the best in the NFL.

“Well I think we could be as good as the best defense in the NFL if we do what we are supposed to do,” he said. “I definitely think that we have that potential, we’ve got great pass rushers, great interior linemen, and we’ve got young hungry linebackers. I mean I am getting a little long in the tooth, but I still consider myself young and we also have some good defensive backs that look good. So, we have a lot of potential to be one of the best defenses in the NFL.”

In addition to the pure talent the Bills have added defensively, Barnett also sees value in that talent having a wealth of experience with Mario Williams and Mark Anderson the two primary examples.

“It definitely helps that you have guys that know the game of football at this level,” he said. “Bring in free agent players, good players with good attitudes and good mindsets. I makes us mover faster along and help the younger guys to. When you have veterans in front of them it helps them improve and challenges them.”


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Fan Friday 3-30

Posted by Chris Brown on March 30, 2012 – 10:23 am

Hard to believe we’re 26 days away from the NFL draft! Get up to speed on the top 5 prospects at each position with our video position previews in the media center at Buffalobills.com where you hear from almost every one of the prospects profiled. Let’s get to your questions.

1 - Chris,
I like Nix’s stance on picking value over need, but since OLB is a definite need, if Terrell Manning from NC State is still available in the 3rd, do you think he’s what the Bills are looking for? He seems like a pretty quick, tough, instinctive player. Also, is there any chance TE Coby Fleener is going to be available for us in the 2nd round, & if so, would the Bills go for him? I know they’re high on Chandler, who had a good year, but you can’t deny Fleener’s ability/athleticism. Last, is there any chance the Bills trade out of the #10 pick? I just can’t see them taking a (right) tackle with Pears playing as well as he did & DE/OLB seems like a reach. Unless some fluke-ishness, a-la last year w/ the Locker-Gabbert-Ponder run,  happens in those 1st 9 picks & CB Claiborne is still available, I don’t see anyone being worth what we’d have to pay a #10 pick. I’d rather trade the pick altogether for a proven vet, Mike Wallace anyone? Thanks for all your work keeping us displaced Bills fans in the loop.

Mauricio Grossi
Chicago, Il

CB: A lot of questions here. First, Terrell Manning to me is a boom or bust player. Most believe he should’ve returned to N.C. State for the 2012 season and I’m one to agree. He just doesn’t make enough plays. He’ll flash here and there, but he doesn’t have great football instincts. Manning overruns a lot of plays in my opinion. He has pass rush ability, but I think the better overall player is his teammate Audie Cole. After Cole ran in the 4.6s at his pro day I felt better about him being a LB target in the 3rd or 4th round. He played mostly SLB, but was moved to MLB this past season for the Wolfpack.

He’s a smart, instinctive player with good physical ability. At 6’4” 246, he’s got prototype size for the strong side LB spot and would be a great young prospect to line up behind veteran Kirk Morrison. I met him at the Combine and liked what I heard. The dude’s hand swallowed mine (10 inch hands). I think he also could serve as a backup MLB.

Stanford’s Coby Fleener is now being talked about as a late first-round pick after his monster pro day last week. I don’t know that he’ll go that high, so you’re right about him probably being there for Buffalo in round two. I just don’t see tight end being a priority. Chandler I believe still has some potential to reach. Last year was his first year as a full-time starter. I think he can do even more this year.

As for trading out of the 10th overall pick. I think it is very realistic. If Buffalo doesn’t like what is on the board at offensive tackle in terms of the value matching up at pick 10, and they don’t believe WR Michael Floyd is right for the 10th pick either, I could see them making an effort to move back five to 10 spots and picking up an extra choice. Of course they need to find a trade partner to do that.

Your dream of getting Mike Wallace by the way are remote at best. All signs point to him being re-signed by Pittsburgh.

 

2 - Hey Chris,

I really appreciate all the work you do in keeping us informed on the Bills.  My question is about Memphis DT Dontari Poe.  Heard he blew people away at the combine with his athleticism for his size of 6-4 and 346 pounds.  I know we have Williams are Dareus in the middle, but Poe reminds a lot of people of another guy the Bills passed on Pro Bowler Haloti Ngata.  Curious if you think the Bills would give any consideration to drafting this guy or would they rather address a bigger need? 

Thank you,
Jeremy from San Antonio
CB: While Poe is an intriguing prospect and should be no worse than a mid-first round pick, I don’t see Buffalo going the DT route. The Bills have a lot of depth on the interior with Torell Troup on the road to recovery from back surgery, Kellen Heard and now Dwan Edwards as a likely DT in the new 4-3 scheme.

Buffalo’s positional demands at OT, WR, LB and CB trump DT.

And while I like Poe as a prospect, he’s not Haloti Ngata.

 

3 - Dear Chris,

Is it plausible the Bills would consider using one of their 4th round picks on Kellen Moore? I think he has potential be a great backup for Fitz. His accuracy would fit well into our offensive scheme. Many are casting doubts on his ability to perform at the next level, but it seems Buffalo has built a 1st class culture through acquiring players with a chip on their shoulder!  

Thanks for keeping us in the loop with your great coverage. 

Larry D
Fort Collins, CO  

CB: Being a guy of small stature myself I always root for the guys that aren’t blessed with the physical gifts that the elite prospects possess. But it’s even hard for me to look past Moore’s physical limitations. Being under six-feet tall wouldn’t be as much of an issue if he was on the higher end of the athleticism meter. Unfortunately he’s not. He lacks agility and escapability and that hurts him at the NFL level because at his height he’s going to need to move around a lot to find throwing lanes to throw through, much like Doug Flutie did. Moore can’t move like Flutie.

He’s super intelligent and anticipates throws really, really well. He puts good touch on the ball as well, but driving the ball downfield isn’t something he’s going to do. I suppose he could survive as a backup WCO QB, but I believe he’ll be a successful offensive coordinator in this league before he’s a successful quarterback. A sixth or seventh-round pick at best.

 

4 - Chris,

Love the offseason coverage. Can’t wait until draft day! Can you breakdown who is in the mix to fill the rush/SAM LB in the new defense? Who are the best 43 LB in the draft that could fill the void?  Hightower (Alabama) Lewis (Oklahoma). Where do players like Chris White and Robert Eddins (who looked great in preseason ) fit into the new LB scheme. The team needs depth at LB at all 3 positions.

Thanks
Josh

CB: As it stands now Morrison would be the starting SLB going into camp with Moats backing him up over there and last year’s sixth-round pick Chris White in that mix too. On the weak side it’s Nick Barnett and Robert Eddins, who is under contract and is a rush LB. I anticipate Shawne Merriman to be a pass rushing end on the open side (right side) so he’s out of the mix. I believe Bryan Scott could be part of competition as well knowing he played a hybrid LB role in the team’s nickel package last year.

As for draft prospects that fit the 4-3, Hightower to me is an ILB and probably a second-round prospect. Lewis is an interesting player because he’s got a lot of physical talent, but since the Oklahoma coaches never found a spot for him it’s hard to know what he is exactly. He also had some academic issues and it was recommended to him that he turn pro. Also said to have some maturity issues so he doesn’t sound like Bills draft material. North Carolina’s Zach Brown (WLB), Boise State’s Shea McClellin (SLB), Utah State’s Bobby Wagner and N.C. State’s Audie Cole (SLB) are all guys I feel better about.

 

5 - I’m puzzled about the status of Alex Carrington.  He played as a 4-3 defensive end in college and in the 3-4 this year they played him at linebacker, even though he is around 300 lbs.  He must have quickness to play linebacker and I heard he increased his strength dramatically coming into last season.  Therefore, why isn’t he mentioned as a candidate to be one of the starting defensive ends in the 4-3?  Thanks for being willing to answer our questions.

Tom O.

CB:  The reason why you don’t see him being mentioned as a DE in Buffalo’s new 4-3 defense is because he’s likely to be a defensive tackle. Carrington added lean muscle to his frame last year and came into camp at 305 pounds. He was miscast as an OLB, but he along with Spencer Johnson were the best answers they had in terms of setting the edge in the run front with Merriman out of the lineup. Now in the 4-3 Carrington is likely to be a wave player on the interior. I believe he’s capable of playing a LDE role in a 4-3, but there he would be a backup to Mario Williams.

The Bills are going to have some tough decisions to make on the defensive line this summer where they currently have 16 players.


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Barnett back in town

Posted by Chris Brown on March 20, 2012 – 11:23 am

Bills LB Nick Barnett was back at One Bills Drive Tuesday.

Barnett was back at the team facility getting a workout in. After talking to defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt yesterday it’s clear that Barnett will have a high impact role in the new defensive scheme.

Wannstedt sees Barnett as a good blitzer, so it sounds as if he’ll be utilized in that role from time to time. Hopefully if the front four gets the pressure most believe it will be able to generate on a down in, down out basis, Barnett will only be called upon 20 to 30 percent of the passing down snaps this coming season.


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Barnett: Unit has to jell and grow

Posted by Chris Brown on March 16, 2012 – 9:47 am

LB Nick Barnett was as excited as anyone else affiliated with the Bills about the signing of Mario Williams. At the same time however, he cautioned that the pass rusher shouldn’t be viewed as a savior.

“You can’t help but to be excited right now. That’s a big step up for us, but our work is nowhere near to being done,” said Barnett. “It’s definitely a step in the right direction and we’re excited about it.”

Barnett admits that the defensive unit looks really good on paper, but the veteran linebacker knows what’s required of each guy on that defensive unit to maximize the talent on that side of the ball.

“There is still the chemistry that we have to grow,” he said. “That comes in training camp. Obviously there is still depth that we need to get as far as offense. But you can’t be more excited about Mario Williams coming in to Buffalo. It’s going to be awesome.”


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Stevie pushing for VJax too

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2012 – 11:53 am

Not long after Shawne Merriman personally tweeted free agent WR to be Vincent Jackson, Stevie Johnson followed up with a bit more subtle approach.

Johnson proceeded to tweet his ideal WR lineup for the Bills for 2012, with a certain free agent WR’s name at the front of the line, along with the hash tag, Bills Do It.

Stevie Johnson ‏ VJax, Scoe, DNel, DJones, Nyce, Martin, Clowney, and SJ13! #Bills #DoIt

Johnson even referenced Merriman’s tweet inviting Jackson to get in touch with him as well.

Stevie Johnson Yea @VincentTJackson What @ShawneMerriman said… Hit Me Up Also. 4Real! Its Not About Signing wit BuffCity… (looks away tryna hold smile)

Remember Merriman successfully recruited free agents Nick Barnett and Kirk Morrison last offseason for the Bills.


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Burfict working with Nick Barnett

Posted by Chris Brown on February 26, 2012 – 1:45 pm

Arizona St. LB Vontaze Burfict has been much maligned with a reputation of being a hot-head on the field drawing a number of personal foul penalties and getting benched twice in his career for acting out on the field. In an effort to help him control his emotions more effectively he’s working with a veteran Bills LB leading up to the draft.

“I’ve been working with a guy named Nick Barnett who’s with my agency,” said Burfict. “He and I have been working on things I can do in the locker room and off the field because this is a business now and there are things you cannot do in business.”

Barnett has offered advice and worked with Burfict in the film room concerning the linebacker position. We hope to bring you more on this story on Buffalobills.com soon.


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Top 10 Honorable Mentions

Posted by Chris Brown on February 21, 2012 – 8:19 am

With our Top 10 Performances of 2011 series coming to a close today, we thought it would only be appropriate to list some of the performances from this past season that received honorable mention status and narrowly missed being a part of the series.

2011 Honorable Mention Performances
Brian Moorman Wk 4 at Cin (8 punts 413 yds, 51.6 gross, 40.5 net, 2 inside 20, long 65)
Bryan Scott Wk 1 at KC (8 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 1 QB hit)
Fred Jackson Wk 2 vs. Oak (15-117, 2 TDs, 2 rec. 23 yds)
Fred Jackson Wk 6  at NYG (16-121-1 TD rush, 5-47 rec.)
Stevie Johnson Wk 2 vs. Oak (8-96, 1 TD)
Stevie Johnson Wk 3 vs. N.E. (8-94, 1 TD)
George Wilson Wk 3 vs. NE (10 tackles, 1 INT)
George Wilson Wk 4 at Cin (12 tackles, 1 INT)
George Wilson Wk 8 vs. Wash. (9 tackles, 1 INT)
Jairus Byrd Wk 3 vs. NE (12 tackles, 2 PBUs)
Nick Barnett Wk 8 vs. Wash. (10 tackles, ½ sack, 1 QB hit)
Terrence McGee Wk 6 at NYG (11 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 PBUs)
Ryan Fitzpatrick Wk 12 at NYJ (26-39 264, 3 TDs)
C.J. Spiller Wk 16 vs. Den (16-111-1 TD rush, 2-27 rec.)
Leodis McKelvin/Justin Rogers Wk 16 vs. Denver (McKelvin sets PR record, 80-yd TD, Rogers 33.7 KR avg.)


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Barnett TV appearance

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2012 – 2:20 pm

Bills LB Nick Barnett will be appearing on NFL Network tonight.

Barnett will be a guest on the Total Access program, which begins at 7 pm ET. The veteran will likely talk about the team’s move to the 4-3 defensive front and playing under defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt, whom he had as a position coach last season.


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Barnett the focus of latest Top 10

Posted by Chris Brown on January 26, 2012 – 9:39 am

Bills LB Nick Barnett is the focus of the latest edition of the Top 10 Performances of 2011 and Buffalo’s new defensive coordinator breaks Barnett’s game down.

Dave Wannstedt was kind enough to spend some time with us to break down Barnett’s Week 13 performance against Tennessee when he had 11 tackles including three for loss. Check it out.


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5 Bills make PFF All-AFC East team

Posted by Chris Brown on January 17, 2012 – 11:15 am

Five Bills players have been named to the Pro Football Focus all-AFC East team.

PFF named Fred Jackson and Andy Levitre on the offensive side of the ball with Nick Barnett and safeties Jairus Byrd and George Wilson earning safety honors for the division. Here’s what they wrote about all of them.

Running Back: Fred Jackson, BUF
One of the best backs in the league, Jackson finally got his due for years of excellent display as the Bills caused some noise early in the season. A real shame his year ended prematurely, as his ability to elude tackles had him on course for a big season. Still, he finished second in our Elusive Rating for running backs.

Offensive Guards: Andy Levitre, BUF and Brian Waters, NE
What, no Logan Mankins? Well, the Patriots’ left guard may be as talented as any, but his performances this year have been largely average, being outshined by his aging teammate. Over in Buffalo, it was something of a travesty that Levitre had to play both center and tackle at times because of a spate of injuries. It disrupted the kind of year that was turning into something worthy of All-Pro consideration.

Linebackers: Jerod Mayo, NE, Karlos Dansby, MIA and Nick Barnett, BUF
Yes, the Jets are missing out here with Bart Scott not versatile enough and David Harris being too poor in run defense … yes, we said that and we’re sticking to it. Mayo has received some criticism in this, arguably his best year, where he seemed to excel in the Patriots new defense. While Nick Barnett hasn’t quite looked like the player he was in Green Bay, he’s still made plays, while Dansby was a key cog in the Dolphins second half of the season renaissance.

Safeties: Jairus Byrd, BUF and George Wilson, BUF
Byrd, our All-Pro Second Team Free Safety was always making this team as he put together his best season to date. He’s partnered by his Buffalo teammate Wilson, who never reached the levels of his breakout 2009, but did enough to hold off the challenge of … well, there wasn’t a serious challenge.


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