While you were busy getting over seeing Andy Levitre play elsewhere next year or daydreaming about Mike Wallace wearing royal blue, the Bills brought back two of their more eclectic if not marginal players: Bryan Scott and Dorin Dickerson.
While neither move is something that would alter anyone’s outlook of Buffalo’s 2013 prospects, both players share a quality that is central to trends hinted at by both the new Bills coaching staff and the NFL at large: multiplicity.
While the current NFL’s style of game is changing at it’s fastest rate in years, a simple truth holds: there are very rarely new ideas in football. Rather, traditional ideas are tweaked, disguised, and run out exotic looking formations. The more ability a coach has to change the way his offense or defense looks, the more ability they have to confuse the other side as to what kind of play will take hold after the snap. Doug Marrone, Nathaniel Hackett, and Mike Pettine seem to have implemented this notion heavily into their coaching philosophies.
By keeping Scott and Dickerson, the Bills ability to be multiple is increased. Bryan Scott is best described as a hybrid player. Rather than the usual hybrid DE/OLB, Scott is a hybrid LB/DB. Having played both positions in his career with the Bills, Scott understands the responsibilities of either. And with NFL offenses electing to spread the field much more often, having a player that can cover and play the run is of critical importance. Although not stellar at either, Scott can do both well enough to earn a spot for another year in Pettine’s defense. Pettine also like’s to bring his strong safety into the box quite frequently in run situations, so Scott could conceivably man some of those responsibilities as well.
What Dickerson lacks in Scott’s experience he makes up in athletic potential. Dickerson wasn’t particularly impressive last year, but he possesses a rare blend of length, speed, and strength that allows him to line as a H-Back, TE, and even flanker as the situation dictates. If Marrone’s offense follows Sean Payton’s tendencies at all, the Bills formations this year should include lots of movement to create mismatches. While Dickerson has a ways to go before he can be considered effective or reliable, he has the potential to be a match up nightmare for opposing defenses.
Either player could wind up being ineffective this year; we don’t know and neither do the Bills. However, both transactions should come as a clear indication that the Bills are looking to be much less predictable in how they line up this year.
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