ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 06: Alex Carrington #92 of the Buffalo Bills rushes in to sack Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 6, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
The Buffalo Bills head south this week to take on the Miami Dolphins. As they invade South Beach, the Bills bring with them a bunch of young, very talented players. When I spoke with Brian Galliford from Buffalo Rumblings, we talked about some of that young talent.
I pointed out that guys like C.J. Spiller, Marcell Dareus, and Kelvin Sheppard are names many of us know, and have at least flashed their potential at some point. Second year running back Spiller has been a disappointment so far in Buffalo, but has the potential to break out at any point. He's been relegated to the backup running back role, behind a dominating Fred Jackson. So far this year, Spiller has just 18 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown, along with 13 recpetions for 64 yards. He also has 8 punt returns and three kick off returns. Spiller has the ability to hit a home run every time he touched the ball, but it seems like the game hasn't slowed down for him yet.
However, rookie defensive tackle Marcell Dareus seems to have had no trouble adapting to the NFL. He currently has 3.5 sacks, along with 26 tackles. He's been able to hold down the middle of the defensive line, and is constantly generating pressue on opposing quarterbacks.
Fellow rookie, linebacker Kelvin Sheppard, is likewise performing at a high level. Serving as a starting middle linebacker, Sheppard has 22 tackles, and seems to be getting a firm grasp on his role within the Bills' defense.
Which led me to ask Galliford, who do we as Dolphins fans not know, but probably will after the game.
"The Bills are playing so poorly of late that it's tough to pick out a young guy that might flash. I'll go with second-year defensive end Alex Carrington, a 2010 third-round pick out of Arkansas State that seems to be coming into his own a bit of late. He's made some plays in the backfield in the last couple of weeks, including a sack on Mark Sanchez, and is a big, tough, physical kid with good athleticism. I'm not sure that he plays enough that Dolphins fans need to worry about him, though. In fact: Dolphins fans shouldn't worry about him."
Well, I guess that's a good thing. Carrington is listed as the starting left defensive end the Bills official website - but has only started 3 games this season - which means, even if we don't have to worry about him, the fact that he is going to be playing anywhere near the empty roster slot the Dolphins call Marc Colombo worries me. Carrington currently has 19 tackles, along with the sack of Mark Sanchez. He also has two passes defensed this season.
While, I would not be surprised if the Bills defense came alive, especially against the right side of the Dolphins offensive line, its seems like Galliford acknowledges, they aren't exactly playing good football. That, hopefully, will mean Miami has a lot of opportunity to take advantage of their play, and put some points on the board. I think they will need them, because, with the Dolphins' secondary as porous as it has been, Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick may be able to do the same to Miami.