Buffalo Bills Offensive Line Will Be A Bust In 2013
Say what you want about Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he knew how to get the ball out quickly after the snap. Even with his quick release, Fitzpatrick was sacked 30 times in 2012, which made him tied for 14th most along with Ben Roethlisberger and Robert Griffin III.
The argument for this season is that EJ Manuel is more athletic than Fitzpatrick and will be able to maneuver away from pass rushers, but that actually only makes the sack totals higher. Those above Fitzpatrick in sacks last season are typically known as running quarterbacks (i.e. Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Christian Ponder).
The Buffalo Bills have also seen their top lineman, Andy Levitre, leave the team this offseason. It’s going to be tough for Buffalo to replace that talent, especially since they didn’t address their offensive line needs in the 2013 NFL Draft.
What the Bills do have is left guard Chris Scott who was a fifth-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010. Scott played two games before being cut in 2011 and signed with the Bills in December 2012. Right tackle Chris Hairston will get a chance to start this season after spending last season on the bench. Hairston is the Bills’ fourth-round selection from the 2011 NFL Draft and will finally get to see a lot more playing time.
Unfortunately for the Bills, these two new additions into the starting offensive line do not exactly scream out “permanent solution.” Also, we still don’t know how the returning linemen will adapt to Doug Marrone’s new offensive scheme. Keep in mind that Marrone is a rookie NFL head coach, so there’s a learning curve set in for him there as well. Along with the rookie head coach is rookie quarterback Manuel who, as we mentioned earlier, is statistically more likely to get sacked and also doesn’t have the quick release that Fitzpatrick had.
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