Originally written on Queen City Sports  |  Last updated 10/25/14
Buffalo-bills-minnesota
Photo Courtesy of BuffaloNews.com When the Buffalo Bills faced off against the Washington Redskins Thursday night to kick off their 2012-2013 campaign, Arthur Moats surprisingly earned the starting nod at outside linebacker over the veteran Kirk Morrison. Moats, a former sixth-round draft pick in 2010 out of James Madison was originally drafted with the hopes of him converting to an outside linebacker/pass rusher in the Bills’ transition to the 3-4 defensive front. The 2009 Buck Buchanon Award winner (given to the best FCS defensive player), was interestingly moved to inside linebacker quickly into his rookie training camp. While Moats is most remembered for his devastating blow that ended Brett Favre’s consecutive games played streak, he has been a productive role player for the team in his two seasons. In those years, Moats has racked up 66 tackles, five sacks, while forcing two fumbles. The versatile linebacker has admitted that all of the position changes haven’t been easy, but they do help him earn a roster spot.
“That’s helped me to understand just defense in general,” he says.  “Coming from college, and just having to play defensive end, I never had to understand coverages and just how everything worked.  Having to bounce around from position to position, it helped me understand how this worked and that works, and it helps the puzzle fit together.”
Since starting in Thursday’s loss to the Redskins, Moats and Morrison have been rotating reps, although Moats has been seeing the majority of time on the field. Morrison, on the other hand, is an eight-year veteran and at 30 years of age, has the respect and leadership you look for in a linebacker. He spent his first five seasons with the Oakland Raiders, recording at least 100 tackles in each of those seasons before moving to the Jacksonville Jaguars where he notched 89. Last year, he signed with the Bills to a one-year deal, however he was totally ineffective, recording just seven tackles and a sack in 14 games. Morrison chose to re-sign with the Bills during the offseason to another one year deal, and was instantly penciled in as the starting outside linebacker. Morrison appears to place the blame on 2011′s shortcomings on his lack of preseason activity.
“It was tough,” Morrison says.  “I got here late, got the opportunity to come here late in training camp and show them what I could do. But it was an accelerated pace and I was kinda playing catch up for the first part of the year.”
Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Dave Wannstedt had this to say about the battle:
“At the strong side position Arthur Moats and Kirk Morrison are in a battle. To be quite honest with you Arthur gets the nudge a little bit. They are going to split time in the game, but Arthur might have outperformed him a little bit at this point in training camp. So we have real competition right there and how it unfolds; the games will determine that.”
So, Bills fans, do you want the proven veteran who had an off season, or do you want a young, up-and-comer to take over? Personally, I’d take the latter. The post Buffalo Bills Training Camp Battles: Arthur Moats Vs. Kirk Morrison appeared first on Queen City Sports.
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