Niagara Gazette

Sports

September 24, 2012

Bills line saves the day

COMMENTARY

(Continued)

Gailey and GM Buddy Nix didn’t build this line from scratch. Center Eric Wood and left guard Andy Levitre, both high draft choices, were inherited building blocks, byproducts of the decision to trade stud tackle Jason Peters to Philadelphia. Starters Erik Pears (right tackle) and Kraig Urbik (right guard) and utility lineman Chad Rinehart were all claimed off waivers late in the 2010 season. After allowing incumbent left tackle Demetress Bell to walk in free agency and declining to sign a replacement, the Bills snapped up Cordy Glenn, a natural guard, in the second round and three the rookie into the fire.

You’ve barely noticed Glenn in his first three starts. That’s a good thing.

Five of the Bills’ top six linemen were drafted in the first three rounds (Pears went undrafted), but none of them have ever even sniffed a Pro Bowl nor are they among the highest-paid players at their position. The group is getting it done with toughness and technique, a credit to position coach Joe D’Alessandris and the chemistry the line has developed over the last few seasons.

“That helps a ton,” Wood said. “Offensive linemen need to play with each other. We all know our strengths and weaknesses. We know how to communicate well on the field together. We all trust each other.”

“Cordy has done a great job of hopping right in and jelling with the group,” Wood added. “He does a good job of just going to work each day and being a productive player for us.”

“It starts with Joe (D’Allessandris),” Gailey said earlier this week. “I think that’s the kind of guy he is. He’s a no-nonsense, hit-them-in-the-mouth kind of coach. I think we have players that have the same attitude and they take that into a ballgame.”

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