Inside The Bills

Why Westerman is instant competition

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2013 – 4:16 pm

Bills recent signee LB Jamaal Westerman represents instant competition for the likes of Jamie Blatnick, Kourtnei Brown and Marcus Dowtin. Here’s why.

Even though he’s coming in with just a week of training camp left, Westerman spent his first three NFL seasons in Mike Pettine’s defensive scheme with the New York Jets. So picking up the defense will take all of a couple of days for him.

That means he could step right into the team segments of practice pretty soon and take reps away from a couple of the other upstart candidates trying to make this roster.

Though it’s unlikely we’ll find out if Westerman will dress for Friday night’s preseason game against Minnesota. Westerman will wear jersey 93.

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Blatnick working on side

Posted by Chris Brown on July 30, 2013 – 8:46 am

Bills DE/OLB Jamie Blatnick is in pads for practice, but doing work on the side.

Blatnick is working with the strength and conditioning staff on the side and is not wearing cleats. So it appears he won’t be participating in team work today.

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Whaley confident in pass rushing depth

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2013 – 3:47 pm

Just days before training camp the Bills released veteran DE Mark Anderson. It leaves the Bills with just one proven pass rusher in Mario Williams at the DE/OLB spot depending on exactly what Manny Lawson’s role will be in the defense. But GM Doug Whaley is very confident in the young talent he has on the roster to flourish now that they’ll have the opportunity to grow on the field.

“I feel pretty good about it,” Whaley said. “We think the competition will make people better and it makes people, let the cream rise to the crop and before Mario was in the league he didn’t have any sacks so this is going to give an opportunity for guys to show what they have and maybe become the next Mario.”

Bills head coach Doug Marrone echoed Whaley’s comments.

“We feel we have some good young players there. Jerry Hughes, (Jamie) Blatnick, (Kourtnei) Brown,” said Marrone. “We feel very comfortable about how that position is going to develop and we’re excited for all those guys.”

Blatnick was certainly a player that flashed ability in the spring camps. That will have to naturally continue with the pads on here at camp. Hughes however, is the player that the Bills are likely banking on the most knowing he’s had time on the field the last three seasons as a rotational reserve behind top flight pass rushers like Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.

“We’re very excited about Jerry,” said Whaley. “He was a high pick and we think that this fresh start will be good for him and actually be a bonus for us.”

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Sleeper Blatnick quick laterally

Posted by Chris Brown on July 11, 2013 – 10:52 am

Bills DE/OLB Jamie Blatnick is one of the featured players in our latest Top 25 questions until training camp feature, ‘Who are the training camp sleepers?’ Blatnick went undrafted when he was eligible for the 2012 NFL draft, but put together some productive practices in the spring. The biggest change in his game is the fact that he dropped 20 pounds off his frame from what it was a year ago, which has only enhanced one of his greatest physical attributes.

Blatnick considers himself a ” hard worker” and a “technique player.” That combination is often a good one for a player that might not be enormously gifted physically. There is however, one physical attribute where Blatnick does excel and that’s his ability to change direction in his pass rush.

Evidence of that came at the 2012 NFL Combine. Blatnick was an invite out of Oklahoma State. In the 20-yard shuttle, which is a good indicator for change of direction skills, Blatnick clocked a time of 4.2 seconds. That was good for the second-fastest time among defensive ends at the Combine that year and he did it at 263 pounds, 10 pounds heavier than he is currently.

Those change of direction skills have been seen more often than not as Blatnick was pretty disruptive lining up on the edge in Mike Pettine’s defense in the practices.

He also had the third-best bench press total among DEs with 28 reps and had a 4.81 40-time.

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Posted in Inside the Bills
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