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Bills' first depth chart shows 4-3 D; EJ Manuel, Kevin Kolb at top

By Tim Graham

Six days before the Buffalo Bills open their exhibition schedule, they've posted their first depth chart of the preseason.

There aren't many surprises, other than a pecuiliar 4-3 defensive setup and the club fudging two of its most intriguing competitions by slotting players side by side.

EJ Manuel and Kevin Kolb are listed as the starting quarterbacks, with Kolb in parentheses because of his knee injury. Kolb will not participate in tonight's intrasquad scrimmage at St. John Fisher College because of a death in his family.

Colin Brown and Doug Legursky both are atop the left guard depth chart. Antoine Caldwell is listed third at right guard.

At receiver, Stevie Johnson is first for one group, while T.J. Graham is first at the other. Behind Johnson are Robert Woods, Brad Smith, Marcus Easley, Da'Rick Rogers and Brandon Kaufman. Behind Graham are Marquise Goodwin, Chris Hogan, Kevin Elliott, DeMarco Sampson and Terrell Sinkfield.

C.J. Spiller has honors over Fred Jackson at halfback.

The defense oddly is sketched out as a 4-3, with Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus at defensive tackle, Alex Carrington at left defensive end and Mario Williams at right defensive end.

The starting linebackers are Manny Lawson, Kiko Alonso and Nigel Bradham.

Leodis McKelvin is the top cornerback across from Stephon Gilmore.

The safety depth charts look funny, but new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine uses them interchangeably.

Jairus Byrd still is the starting free safety, but designated as a franchise player. Da'Norris Searcy and Duke Williams are below him.

Aaron Williams is listed as the starting strong safety.

Incumbents Rian Lindell and Shawn Powell are the starters at kicker and punter.

Punt returners are McKelvin, Graham and Woods. Kickoff returners are Smith, Graham and Goodwin.

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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 | tgraham@buffnews.com


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 | mgaughan@buffnews.com


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 | jskurski@buffnews.com

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