Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bills' O-line gets vote of confidence from coach, QB

Photo: Doug Kerr, Flickr 

With all the attention on the New York Jets' “secretive” Wildcat and the work done on their own revamped defensive front, not much has been said this week about the Buffalo Bills' offensive line and how it will handle the Gang Green attack.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick acknowledged the strengths of New York's pass rush on Wednesday but was sure to instill confidence in his line.

“You are going to take hits in this game,” Fitzpatrick told the media, according to the team's website. “I am always going to take hits, especially versus these guys … We think we know where we are going into this year. Now we have to go out and do it.

"I think those guys up front, they feel the urgency, the challenge that people have put on them to go out there and play well. We expect nothing less from them.”

The 2012 offseason hasn't been the smoothest for the Bills' line, with tackle Erik Pears's injury at the top of the list of hurdles. With Pears out, Chris Hairston was forced to move to the right side for extra reps, and rookie Cordy Glenn has since won the starting role at left tackle.

And though the squad now has some much-needed depth, outdoing their successes of a year ago will be a challenge. A challenge, though, coach Chan Gailey feels the line is up for.

“I have a lot of confidence in the line,” Gailey told reporters Wednesday. “Are there going to be some issues here and there that we are going to have to solve problems during the course of a game and the course of a season? Always are issues. But I have a lot of confidence in the guys that are going to walk on the field. We are not going to ask somebody to do something that they cannot do.

"... I’d be lying to you if I said that expectations are not higher. They are higher for the offensive line, they are higher for the defense and they are higher for the kicking game. Our expectations as a team are higher now, which is where you want to be.”

And as far as Pears goes, Gailey seemed upbeat about his appearance in Sunday's game, stating his progression has been positive.

“I fully expect him to play Sunday. I think that he has progressed well," Gailey said. "... He is a really good player. He was very good for us last year, did a lot of good things. You need your good players back. The more you can have experienced players on the field, the better you are as a football team — as long as he is good enough and he is.”

Buffalo's line held the Jets' defense to three sacks in their two meetings last year.

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