Found July 17, 2013 on Queen City Sports:
Buffalo Bills fans, are you ready? Training camp is right around the corner and that means one thing: Football is back! When the Bills begin training camp we’ll get a glimpse at the quarterback competition, young wide receiver corps and how the defense looks under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. All of the following topics excite me, but what I look forward to most is watching bubble players, the guys who are fighting for a roster spot. This year, there are some very notable names. Here are five Buffalo Bills with the most to lose to training camp! Torell Troup Troup has had some awful luck with back injuries. Since being drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft, Troup has played in 21 total games, starting only two times. Now Troup says he’s fully healthy and looks the part, but a roster spot is not a given. Buffalo is pretty deep at defensive tackle with Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Alex Carrington and Alan Branch. The first three names are all locks for making the roster, and Branch’s odds are also very high. If Buffalo keeps five defensive tackles, Troup will have to compete with Jay Ross, Jarron Gilbert and others. Brad Smith Let’s get this out there: Smith is most likely safe. Buffalo’s first five wide receivers are likely to be Stevie Johnson, Robert Woods, T.J. Graham, Marquise Goodwin and Da’Rick Rogers. That’s a lot of youth behind Johnson so another veteran wouldn’t hurt. Smith also brings value as a Wildcat quarterback, although I’m not sure the Wildcat will be used in 2013. His special teams play is what will most likely put Smith over the top. However, Smith will be pushed by Kevin Elliott, Brandon Kaufman and dare I say Marcus Easley? Smith should feel confident about keeping a roster spot, but nothing is guaranteed. Erik Pears Pears isn’t fighting for a starting job this year, he’s fighting for a roster spot. Pears is still a solid player, but the Bills are going to give the starting right tackle job to Chris Hairston. Talent-wise, Pears should be next in line for playing time but his cap hit for 2013 is a bit much at $2.8 million. Pears’ roster spot may depend on who wins the right guard spot. Sam Young, an OT/OG is in the running to replace Andy Levitre. If that happens, Pears’ spot may be safer as it’s less competition for Pears as backup tackle. Zebrie Sanders’ play and Chris Scott’s play will also help Buffalo determine if they can cut ties with Pears. If Pears makes the roster in 2013, it’s almost guaranteed that this will be his final season in Buffalo. In 2014, Pears’ cap hit is $3.45 million.  Rian Lindell Lindell outplayed rookie Dustin Hopkins during OTAs, but I still think Buffalo wants Hopkins to win the kicker job. Hopkins, a sixth round pick, was my top rated kicker in the draft. Hopkins has a big leg, almost a must in Buffalo but didn’t show the same accuracy as Lindell. Buffalo seems to be in the midst of a youth movement, so Lindell will have to prove he can still make all of the kicks at age 36. Lindell has done a great job since arriving in Buffalo in 2003, but he’ll have to thoroughly out-kick Hopkins to save his roster spot.  Justin Rogers Rogers was atrocious in 2012. He played pretty well in 2011, so the extreme drop-off caught me off guard when watching him play. Cornerback isn’t exactly a position of strength for Buffalo so Rogers is likely to make the squad, but he’s fighting for his spot on the depth chart. On the outside, Stephon Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin will be the team’s starters. In the slot, Ron Brooks has a great chance of earning the nod. Don’t sleep on Nickell Robey in the slot either. Rogers also needs to worry about Crezdon Butler, someone to keep an eye on in 2013. Bills fans, which players do you think have the most to lose at training camp? Leave your choices in the comment section!   The post 5 Buffalo Bills with the Most to Lose at Training Camp appeared first on Queen City Sports.
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