Inside The Bills

Newcomers now primary options at OLB/DE

Posted by Chris Brown on July 23, 2013 – 3:58 pm

With the release of Mark Anderson the pool of competition got smaller at the all important outside linebacker/defensive end position for the Bills. Yes, Mario Williams is the obvious starter for one of the roles, but suddenly it’s a position whose prime candidates to land the other starting job are newcomers.

Free agent signee Manny Lawson and Jerry Hughes, acquired in a trade with Indianapolis, are now the prime candidates competing for the role opposite Williams.

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine had this to say about each of the new acquisitions.

“Manny is a veteran player so we got a good chance to study him on tape. A lot of good reps on tape from when he was
at Cincinnati and also dating back to San Fran,” said Pettine. “He’s a professional and we’re looking forward to taking advantage of his skill set. He’s not just one of the smartest players on the team, but one of the smartest players in the NFL.”

“I think what’s helped him is a lot of their system has the same roots,” said Pettine of Hughes’ time with Indianapolis. “Chuck Pagano coming from Baltimore brought a system with him where a lot of the terminology that was similar so there was a lot of carry over. And he’s another one of those guys that’s been coachable. Coach O’Neil has done a nice job with him spending extra time studying tape and making sure he got in the playbook. I think he’s excited because he sees a role for himself on the team as do we.”

Another option who flashed at those edge positions was first-year player Jamie Blatnick,

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