After four games, the Buffalo Bills were having an historically
bad time with penalties.
They were on track to commit the second-most in club
history for the most yards and first downs granted.
At the 2013 midpoint, the Bills have curbed their malfeasance
a bit. Although the Bills still are awarding gift first downs at a record
rate, they're on pace to finish with the 10th-most penalties and the
eighth-most yards lost.
Things got pretty heated between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs during their last meeting, which came in Week Two of the 2012 season.
The Bills accused Chiefs pass rusher Tamba Hali of attempting to injure former Bills guard Andy Levitre and left tackle Cordy Glenn on consecutive plays late in the first half of what ended up being a 35-17 victory. Levitre said after the game that Hali tried twisting his neck in an attempt to injure him. Then on the next play, the Bills said Hali tried to twist Glenn's arm out of its socket.
"You get a team down, and like I said, they're going to take some shots at you. That's why we weren't taking our foot off their throats at the end," Bills center Eric Wood said at the time. "That stuff rubs you pretty wrong."
Offensive tackle Chris Hairston, who was expected to compete for the starting job on the right side of the Buffalo Bills' offensive line this season, will not get that chance.
Hairston's season is over after the Bills moved him to their reserve/non-football injury list this afternoon.
Hairston did not practice at all during training camp while on the team's active/physically unable to perform list. His activity was limited to slow walks around the practice field at St. John Fisher College.
The move means Erik Pears is the likely starter on the right side, with Thomas Welch serving as the team's "swing tackle," the primary backup to both Pears and starting left tackle Cordy Glenn.
The Bills' active roster now sits at 75 players, meeting the maximum that will be allowed at the 4 p.m. deadline Tuesday. Safety Jairus Byrd has a two-week exemption from counting against that number.
Additionally, the Bills reached an injury settlement with guard Keith Williams and released him from injured reserve.
PITTSFORD -- Cordy Glenn was drafted to be the Buffalo
Bills' franchise left tackle, among the three most important positions on the
This morning, Bills coach Doug Marrone had Glenn playing left
guard and Thomas Welch at left tackle, but stressed we should read
nothing into that. Marrone said he's merely investigating who the team's top
swing lineman should be.
Which made me wonder: How many franchise left tackles around
the NFL get work at left guard?
The Buffalo Bills' defense ended the second minicamp practice of the week in all-out piranha mode Wednesday.
It was a feeding frenzy of sacks as the Bills' first-string offense under quarterback Kevin Kolb tried to move downfield in a two-minute drill in need of a touchdown.
Kolb managed to elude a rush and improvise a quick-thinking throw over the middle to Fred Jackson for a gain of about 25 yards on a third-down play.
After that, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine dialed up four straight blitzes and ended the series with four straight sacks.
"I'm glad Coach Pettine's on our team, that's for sure,
and all those guys they have out there," said offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. "Any time you have a defense like we're
facing, every single day it's going to be a roller-coaster of emotions. I mean,
they're bringing everybody from every place and you have to do your best to try
to get a foundation and make things happen.
"There's some things that do good
and other things that you're just putting your hand on top of your head and
just trying to get to the next play."
In the three years Buddy Nix was general manager, the Buffalo
Bills significantly enhanced their depth at almost every position.
The club didn't scrimp on backups as much. Gone were a bunch
of special-teamers who couldn't play a regular position.
The results, though, didn't reflect the added talent.
Under new guidance, the Bills have decided to start over
while trying to focus on young talent that could turn into something later.
They've gotten rid of veteran starters and are willing to take a chance on
inexperienced players hopefully on the make.
Look up and down the roster, and you will see a lot of
positions that are dependant on emerging youth.
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.
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.
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.