Saturday, June 1, 2013

Dickerson's work at tight end an opportunity


For most reserve and fringe players, proving versatility and absorbing as many reps as possible is the best way to stay on an NFL roster -- at least that seems to be Dorin Dickerson's plan.

The Buffalo Bills' utility man was in the process of transitioning into a wide receiver role when injuries to tight ends Mickey Shuler and Lee Smith left a hole in the team's depth chart.

With Scott Chandler already rehabbing, Dickerson jumped in to fill the void during the team's OTA workouts.

"Just going to try it out a little bit and see how it feels," Dickerson told Chris Brown of Tuesday. "We’re down a couple of guys so it’s good for me to be versatile and see what I got at tight end, too."

Coach Doug Marrone mentioned Friday that it was Dickerson who requested the shift, saying he feels the 25-year-old can "do a good job of playing both positions."

In the Bills' new world of cross-training and versatility, the move may have Dickerson sitting pretty come training camp. The 6-foot-2, 227-pounder was considered an H-back prior to his move to wideout, and he's also had some professional experience on special teams and worked at linebacker in college.

While it's Buffalo's new defensive scheme under Mike Pettine that's getting most of the attention in regards to creating confusion and mismatches, the same mentality holds true on the offensive side of the ball, as well. Dickerson's size, coupled with his strong hands and rushing ability, could make him a legit threat on third downs and in the red zone. 

The only question mark with the former Pitt standout is, like many of the team's offensive players, inexperience. Dickerson had nine receptions for 117 yards in 11 games for the Bills last season, his only offensive contributions in the NFL since being drafted in the seventh round by the Texans in 2010. But with all three injured tight ends likely to be present in training camp, Dickerson's time to prove that he's worth keeping around is now.

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