Niagara Gazette

Sports

September 24, 2012

Bills line saves the day

COMMENTARY

(Continued)

Wood also praised the players on the edges who help make the line look good.

“A lot of things contribute to offensive line play and the numbers that get attributed to us,” he said. “We’ve got receivers that are willing to block. That helps us a ton. We have a quarterback that does a great job of not hanging us out to dry.”

Wood’s injury woes and instability at left tackle have been the biggest issues holding the line back the last two seasons. We’ll see if Wood can manage to stay healthy for a full season, which will also allow him to participate fully in the offseason weightlifting program. If that happens, he’ll soon be regarded as one of the game’s top centers, and the Bills will have to pay him accordingly when his contract comes up in a year.

First, the Bills must decide what to do with Levitre, who may not be quite as stout and talented as Wood, but is more reliable and versatile enough to play tackle and center (as long as it’s not raining). The prevailing logic is to not pay top dollar for guards, and Rinehart is a capable reserve. Urbik is up for an extension, too. But Levitre is too good for the Bills to be too cheap in dealing with.

For now, however, the Bills possess one of the game’s premier offensive lines, a luxury that masks weakness at other positions.

That’s indispensable.

 

 

Contact sports editor Jonah Bronstein at scoreboard@niagara-gazette.com.

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