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Bills DT Alan Branch hopes to help Mario 'get some food on his plate'

Newly signed defensive lineman Alan Branch speaks at One Bills Drive on Tuesday. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

By Mark Gaughan

Defensive lineman Alan Branch looked around at the players on the Buffalo Bills' defensive front and decided he has the chance to look good this season in their uniform.

Branch became a new piece of the Bills' defensive puzzle by signing a one-year contract today. Branch started the past two seasons for Seattle. He's a 324-pound run stopper who adds to the Bills' ability to play a 3-4 front.

Now the Bills can put Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Branch on the defensive line, flanked by Mario Williams and Manny Lawson at outside linebacker. Fourth-year man Alex Carrington can push Branch for time. If fourth-year man Torell Troup comes back from back surgery, all the better.

Branch on joining the Bills' D-line talent: "It intrigued me a lot because they're such good players. Bringing me into that aspect, my aggressive style is similar to theirs, as well. I think we all will mesh together really well."

On playing with Mario Williams: "My goal is to try to get them to double team me so he can go ahead and get some food on his plate to eat, too. Hopefully all of us eat, all of us go out there and play ball."

Branch spent his first four seasons as a backup with Arizona. He had an outstanding season in 2011 for Seattle. He was not quite as impactful last season, which may be why he lingered on the free-agent market.

"I fit every single spot on the defensive front," Branch said. "I have experience playing every single spot they have on this team. I've played defensive end, nose and the 3-technique. So wherever they want me to be, basically I'll be there."

Branch played about 55 percent of the snaps in Seattle. In the four-man line on passing situations he can spell Dareus or Kyle Williams. Mark Anderson and Mario Williams figure to be the first line outside rushers in passing situations.

Branch entered the NFL as the 33rd overall pick in the 2007 draft out of Michigan.

Branch on playing in Buffalo: "They say it’s a lot like Michigan, and it kind of is similar to Ann Arbor, more like kind of a college town. In Buffalo they love their football here, so its going to be crazy wild in the stands. The opportunity to play with this defense, and the scheme that they’re planning on putting in is pretty exciting as well."


2013 free agency | Alan Branch | Alex Carrington | Kyle Williams | Manny Lawson | Marcell Dareus | Mario Williams | Torell Troup
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |