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Nigel Bradham, Bills expect him to be a defensive playmaker

By Tim Graham

Among the highlights of the Buffalo Bills' pre-draft news conference Tuesday were General Manager Buddy Nix's remarks about linebacker Nigel Bradham.

Linebacker is considered a weakness for Buffalo. The position was disappointing as a whole last season, and then Buffalo cut leading tackler Nick Barnett.

Nix, however, claimed Buffalo's linebackers are underrated.

"We've got some talent there," Nix said, "and a lot more than people think."

Bradham, a fourth-round draft choice last year, played every game and started the final 11 at strong-side linebacker in Dave Wannstedt's 4-3 defense.

Bradham's numbers didn't stand out. He made 47 tackles, one for a loss. He had no interceptions, one pass breakup, no forced fumbles and one recovery. He was second on the team with 10 special-teams tackles.

But Nix is excited about how Bradham projects as a weak-side linebacker in new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's aggressive scheme. Nix called Bradham a three-down defender.

"I think he's a great fit for what we're doing because he can fly. He can run," Nix said. "He's a guy that the closer he gets to the ball, the faster he gets. He likes to play. He was an excellent special-teams guy.

"I would think that he'll have a good year."

Bradham also is bullish on his evolution as a defensive playmaker and emphasized Pettine's proclivity for "a lot more blitzing ... so it'll be a lot more fun."

"I see myself fitting in well," Bradham told reporters after Tuesday afternoon's voluntary workout. "I feel like the scheme is really good for me, as far as where I can use my speed, my ability to cover and pretty much be able to get some big plays and big hits on some guys this season."


2013 draft | Buddy Nix | Mike Pettine | Nick Barnett | Nigel Bradham
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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 |