Three Burning Questions
Did the Bills do enough to upgrade their offensive line in the offseason?
One of the major areas of concern for the Bills over the last few seasons has been the offensive line. Offensively, Buffalo finished 27th in the league in rushing last season, while allowing 47 sacks. The Bills were very aggressive addressing this need in the early stages of free agency with the additions of Derrick Dockery, Jason Whittle and Langston Walker. Dockery is a big road grader who has been somewhat inconsistent over his career but is an upgrade to the interior of the Bills' offensive line. Walker played on one of the worst offensive lines in the history of the NFL last season in Oakland. He is a massive tackle with above-average athletic skills who has struggled with consistent performance throughout his career. Whittle is a journeyman backup player with decent versatility. Again, offensive line coach Jim McNally will have his hands full in developing a consistent unit that creates run lanes and protects QB J.P. Losman.
The Bills were hit hard in the offseason with the loss of the core of their defense, losing linebackers London Fletcher and Takeo Spikes and cornerback Nate Clements. Clements is a major loss for the Bills' secondary that finished seventh in the NFL in pass defense last season. Last year's third-round pick, Ashton Youboty, and newly signed corner Jason Webster (Falcons) are expected to compete for the starting right cornerback position. Youboty has the potential to develop into a frontline player, while Webster lacks ideal size and is best suited as a No. 3 or No. 4 corner. If both players struggle in the preseason don't be surprised to see either Jabari Greer or Kiwaukee Thomas get an opportunity to compete. The middle and outside linebacker positions will be in transition. Second-round pick Paul Posluszny is expected to replace Fletcher, while second-year player Keith Ellison will replace Spikes. Ellison is an undersized linebacker who played well as a rookie. Posluszny has the intangibles but lacks experience playing in the NFL.