Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bills' cornerback corps 'not really a veteran group'


When 25-year-old Justin Rogers is one of the chaperones of a defensive unit, you know it's young.

As Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com noted Tuesday, the average age of the Bills' secondary is 23. So with Rogers and reserve Crezdon Butler the next-oldest cornerbacks to the 27-year-old Leodis McKelvin, Rogers has found himself pridefully helping along the rookies. (photo: Angelina Purpura, Flickr)

"It’s not a really veteran group we have," Rogers told Brown. "Leodis is the most experienced, but I do have a couple years so I try to help when I can.”

In addition to sharing whatever amount of wisdom he's acquired in his young career, Rogers is handling a bigger workload in spring practices thanks to Leodis McKelvin's recovering from groin surgery.

He's working more on the perimeter in McKelvin's absence, though 2012 first-round pick Stephon Gilmore is stationary at the No. 1 CB spot and McKelvin is the favorite at No. 2, which means Rogers will return to guarding the slot as the season approaches.

“It’s two different mindsets,” Rogers said. “In the slot it’s quicker guys and they’re off the line so you can’t really get your hands on them, and they’ve got a lot of space to operate with. On the outside you can take away more because they’re on one side of the field and they can only work so far."

Rogers will have to fight off the likes of Butler and second-year corner Ron Brooks for top nickel duties.

As for the secondary as a whole, Buffalo's clear-cut best player in the group is safety Jairus Byrd, who might prove to be the best player in the entire defense. Da'Norris Searcy and the recently-relocated Aaron Williams will try to fill the relatively large void George Wilson left.

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