There will be ample opportunities for young players to make a name for themselves on defense for the Buffalo Bills in the 2013 season.
When the team jettisoned veterans Nick Barnett, Kelvin Sheppard, George Wilson and Terrence McGee in the offseason, it lost its three leading tacklers from last season, along with 385 combined games of NFL experience.
If the inexperience of those taking their place is a concern among the team’s fans, it doesn’t seem to be one shared by new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. At least not publicly.
“It is a lot, and that was on purpose,” Pettine said of the workload he gave his players in spring practices. “I think as a coaching staff, we’re very optimistic with how this group learns. We’ve been able to handle a lot.
“What proves it even more is the up tempo. When an offense goes no-huddle, you don’t have those 15, 20 seconds in between plays to process and recall ‘what’s my job? What are my main coaching points here?’ You’ve got to know it, and I