Monday, August 9, 2010

Secondary Breakdown and Position Battles


Secondary Breakdown:

The Bills secondary was without a doubt the strength of the team in 2009. Jairus Byrd broke onto the scene with 9 interceptions in only 13 games. He finished tied for the most in the NFL and was the Bills only pro bowl selection. As a unit, the Bills finished 2nd in the league in pass yards allowed. They can be very thankful for how pathetic the Bills rushing defense was for than ranking though. Here is a look at the 2010 depth chart:

SS: Dante Whitner: Whitner was Marv’s first draft pick in 2006 at 8 overall and has not come close to meeting the expectations of a top 10 safety.

FS: Jairus Byrd: Byrd has a nose for the ball, no question about that. His tackling is suspect but according to the 2009 second round pick from Oregon, he has been focusing on that aspect of his game a great deal.

CB: Terrence McGee: McGee is the Bills number one cover corner. I would really like to see more INTs from him though as he only had 1 in 2009 and has only 8 in the past 3 years combined.

CB: Leodis McKelvin: Drayton Florence did a solid job stepping in for Leodis McKelvin after his early season injury last year but the play making McKelvin is looking to have a breakout year in 2010 and make Bills fans forget about the fumble.

Nickel Corner: Drayton Florence: Florence is the Bills most experienced corner and will look to build on his solid 2009 season.

Depth: Ashton Youboty, Reggie Corner

Fighting for a job: Ellis Lankster (who I can’t envision the Bills actually cutting), Lydell Sargeant

Position Battles

There are many interesting position battles going on at St. John Fisher and the most intense battle is for the number two receiver spot opposite Lee Evans. Every year, the excuse for Evans is that he has no one to take attention away from him and the story will be the same in 2010. As far as I am concerned, it is time for Evans to produce regardless of who is across from him. 44 catches for 612 yards is pathetic. The current front runner for the number two position is 2008 7th round pick Steve Johnson. Who would have thought that the 7th rounder from Kentucky would be the best receiver the Bills drafted that year after they took the giant James Hardy in the 2nd round (besides me)? Also in the mix for the number 2 spot is Hardy, Chad Jackson and rookie 4th round pick Marcus Easley. Hardy could be the odd man out as Chad Jackson, the former 2nd round pick of the Patriots, is looking to resurrect his career and is having a great camp. With Evans, Johnson, Jackson, Easley and slot receiver Roscoe Parrish, Hardy could be hoping to just land a job come opening day. Also standing in the way of Hardy making the team is rookie undrafted free agent David Nelson. Nelson has impressed in camp and with his great size (6’5”) could be a dark horse to make the team.

The battle for number two corner is also interesting. I look for McKelvin to reclaim the job come opening day and Florence to shift inside to the Nickel Corner spot. However, both players have been seeing action on the outside opposite McGee in camp and Florence won’t relinquish his position without a fight, I am sure.

Trend Edwards opened camp as the front runner at quarterback and has continued to take the majority of the snaps at camp. Barring an embarrassing pre season or really a stand out performance by either of the other two bums in Brohm and Fitz, the job is Edwards’ to lose. Too bad Trent hasn’t been impressive thus far in camp, but not impressive is better than terrible, I guess?

Starting outside linebacker is still in question. On the weak side, you would think the 11th overall pick who I officially coined a bust sometime early last season, Aaron Maybin, would be getting the nod. Not so fast, the job is definitely being won by Dolphin cast off Reggie Torbor. Torbor has a firm hold on the job as of right now and barring injury of some drastic onset of skill and size for Maybin, Torbor will line up on the strong side on September 12. Maybin will play mostly on obvious passing downs. Torbor is the 2nd linebacker from the Giants 2007 Super Bowl team to become a member of this linebacker core. Strong side linebacker will be manned by Chris Kelsay, but I hope to God someone can beat that bum out. Maybe former 3rd round pick Chris Ellis can find a niche there…we can only hope.

Finally, not like it really matters, but is Fred Jackson a shoe in at number 1 tail back? I can’t imagine that if Lynch is in shape and actually wants to play football that Chan will allow Jackson to have more carries. Spiller will get his share but will also get a lot of work in the slot. I am more of a proponent of one guy getting the majority of the carries (about 20 per game) and having the 2nd guy get sprinkled in for about 5-10. That is what I want to see from Lynch and Spiller this year. Jackson is a nice player but the upside for Lynch and Spiller is way higher.


  1. Is Whitner a shoe-in to start? Will Kawika Mitchell get a starting job back? Mallet, Locker, Luck, or Ponder?

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