Around the AFC East: Buffalo Bills

It's Friday, which means it's time to go around the AFC East. First up this week is Brian G from Buffalo Rumblings:

Phinsider: I saw that you've been examing Buffalo's camp battles. Which one are you most interested in and how do you see it playing out?

Buffalo Rumblings: That would definitely be middle linebacker. As maligned as London Fletcher-Baker was for being the middle linebacker on a pretty bad run defense, it's going to be difficult to replace his leadership and his playmaking ability. The inside position is perhaps the most important position in a Cover-2 defense (see Brian Urlacher in Chicago), so it's imperative that the Bills are above average at the position. Hence the drafting of Paul Posluszny - he's a bigger, stronger version of Fletcher with potential in pass coverage.

But throughout the off-season, the Bills have maintained that second-year man John DiGiorgio (an undrafted rookie out of Saginaw Valley State in 2006) was first on the depth chart. That continued through the beginning of the team's training camp, with DiGiorgio receiving the majority of first-team reps. DiGiorgio was very impressive throughout spring practices, showing a flair for the big play - but is it really feasible for an undrafted free agent to beat out a Penn State linebacking legend? Buffalo's coaching staff seems to think so. This one bears watching, and it's a battle that will probably go right down to the wire.

In the end, it's hard to imagine a scenario where Posluszny doesn't beat out DiGiorgio for the starting spot. His potential is too great to ignore, and he needs to establish himself as a stalwart in this scheme early. It's a virtual certainty that he wins the job; but every time I convince myself of that, DiGiorgio makes another play...

My take: Personally, I really like Paul Posluszny and think he'll be a good linebacker. I think that if he can get a firm grasp on Buffalo's system, he should be the starting middle linebacker. And like Brian said, I think that it's important that Posluszny establish himself as the leader of Buffalo's defense as soon as possible. Sitting behind an undrafted free agent isn't a good way to do that.

As always, you can head on over to Buffalo Rumblings to see my response to his question.

Back later with more...

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