By Tim Graham
What make the Buffalo Bills so easy for their fans to embrace are all those players who've overcome low expectations and a few pink slips to become significant contributors.
Last week, I tweeted tight end Scott Chandler was an underrated player. Some Bills fans were miffed at my statement, so I shared with them ESPN.com's fantasy rankings.
ESPN.com had rated 71 tight ends, and Chandler wasn't anywhere among them. It was an oversight, for sure, but being totally forgotten might be the most extreme form of underrated. The error was corrected recently. ESPN.com slotted Chandler 25th.
And how's this for being underrated?
When the Bills claimed Chandler off waivers at the end of the 2010 season, tight ends coach Bob Bicknell (switched to receivers coach this year) didn't know who Chandler was.
"When Scott Chandler got here, I didn't know anything about him," Bicknell said recently at St. John Fisher College. "It wasn't, 'Hey, we got Scott Chandler!' I was, like, 'Really? OK.' "
Bicknell added it didn't take long to figure out why the Bills grabbed the 6-foot-7 Chandler, who had zero starts and zero catches when he arrived.
Chandler, a San Diego Chargers fourth-round draft choice, was stuck behind Antonio Gates there and later behind Jason Witten with the Dallas Cowboys and Kevin Boss with the New York Giants.
"Sometimes you got two guys that are established and your opportunity isn't as good," Bicknell said. "That's the truth of the league. He was able to get himself in a position where the opportunity was good for him.
"Obviously, he's made the most of it. I mean, the kid catches the ball as well as anybody."