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Fitz on losing star center

Bills guard Andy Levitre gets thrown into the fire at center this week against a powerful and underrated nose tackle in Miami's Paul Soliai, a 6-foot-4,355-pounder. Miami is 10th in the league against the run.

Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick on the loss of center Eric Wood to a season-ending knee injury: "Yeah, that’s really tough. He’s the anchor up there, he’s the guy just in terms of the communication, the center’s the guy that gets everything going and again, for Andy to kind of have to move around, it’s tough on him but he’s done a great job with it. Our heart goes out to Eric, it’s a really tough situation for him just to have to go through that whole rehab process again. He was playing at such a high level and had really become a leader not only on that offensive line group but for the team and he’s a guy that we look at as a leader. So it’s hard to lose him but like we’ve done all year long you’ve got to move on from it and have the next guy step up and play."

Bills coach Chan Gailey on the O-line moving forward without Wood: “Eric is a great player. Anytime you lose a great player it hurts your football team. I think Andy (Levitre) is a very versatile and very good football player and I think he’ll do just fine at center. It’ll be his first game. A guy that has played as many snaps as Eric Wood has at center, it’s not going to be the same no matter what you say. (Andy) is going to do everything he can. I think he’ll play well and then we’ve got to have some other guys come on and play well. We’ve got to have those guys communicate and be on the same page and we have to keep it fairly simple for them so they can play as effectively as possible.”

Gailey on Levitre's challenge: “That’ll be the biggest thing is communication. Toughness won’t be an issue. Quickness won’t be an issue. Snapping won’t be an issue. It’ll strictly be communication and making sure they’re on the same page.”

---Mark Gaughan


 

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