Buffalo’s new-look offensive line braces for Rams
Protecting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick could be an issue on
Sunday when the Buffalo Bills (5-7) host St. Louis’ strong pass
Buffalo’s offensive line is in patchwork mode after injuries to
center Eric Wood and tackle Chris Hairston. In fact, two players –
Sam Young and David Snow – will make their first NFL career starts
vs. the Rams (5-6-1).
”It’s insane how many guys we lose every year,” said Kraig
Urbik, who will start at center or right guard. ”It’s not like
guys are just wearing down. These are actual, physical
The Rams have the NFL’s fourth-best sack total (34) and those
numbers might spike up Sunday. St. Louis is paced by former
first-round picks Robert Quinn and Chris Long, who have registered
8 1/2 and seven sacks, respectively.
”They bring a lot of pressure,” said Snow, a 6-foot-4,
303-pound rookie out of Texas who can play center and guard. ”It’s
evident that they’re a very good defense. It’ll be fun to play
Snow, 23, saw his first NFL action against Jacksonville last
week. Young, 25, is a 6-foot-8, 316-pound tackle in his third
season out of Notre Dame who will line up vs. Long.
”It’s a great chance to compete against a great defensive
end,” Young said. ”He’s had a lot of production this year and
it’s a good opportunity for me to test where I’m at.”
The new crew has a lot to live up to. The Bills have allowed the
sixth-fewest sacks (20) in the NFL despite using five different
starters at right guard or right tackle.
Whatever the combination on Sunday, the Rams are just going to
have to wait to figure it out. Buffalo coach Chan Gailey is keeping
his alignment close to the vest, and likes it that way. Urbik or
Snow, after all, could play center or guard, or both.
”This might be overall as athletic of a defensive front as we
have played all season,” Gailey said. ”You look at all the guys
they rotate through there. They are playing extremely well right
now and it will be a challenge for (Young) and David (Snow).
The Bills practiced indoors Friday after spending Thursday
outdoors. Gailey said receiver Donald Jones will return to the
lineup and that Stevie Johnson (questionable) has improved. How
Johnson feels on Saturday, though, will be a key to Gailey’s
Gailey listed cornerback Aaron Williams as questionable.
”It’ll be close,” he said.
Leodis McKelvin is also questionable, as is Spencer Johnson,
Chris White and Justin Rogers. Defensive end Mark Anderson, like
Wood, is out.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and