Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Chandler out to prove he's 'the guy' for Bills' QBs


At 6-foot-7, 260 pounds, tight end Scott Chandler is as reliable (and as deadly) over the middle as any of the Buffalo Bills' receivers. Now he's just trying to prove it to a new signal-caller.

In 2011, 65 percent of his 389 receiving yards came in the center of the field, and in 2012, that rate was nearly identical with an increase in receptions and yards. (photo: Doug Kerr, Flickr)

That presence in the middle gave the not-so-reliable Ryan Fitzpatrick a sure-handed option he could count on; Fitz's numbers were dramatically better the past two years when he was throwing in Chandler's direction.

In fact, Chandler didn't have a single dropped pass in 2011, and he tallied only two in his final 10 games last year. In other words, the guy is pretty reliable.

But then came the knee injury in Week 16 of last season. And even though Chandler seems to have recovered remarkably fast from serious surgery, he's ready to wash away any possible inkling of doubt in the minds of the quarterback crew.

"You want to be the guy that those guys are able to rely on in any situation," he told Chris Brown of buffalobills.com Monday. "I want to get out there and show them that they can throw it up and I'm not going to let the defender get it. I'm going to go get it."

One thing Chandler did point to as a current hindrance since his surgery is his conditioning and endurance, which took a hit while he was rehabbing. The former Hawkeye has made that his No. 1 priority for the next month or so, and he told Brown he plans to go all out until the start of training camp to try to regain any steps that he may have lost since January.

"That’s what this next month and a half is for. It’s not vacation. It’s nothing like that," Chandler said. "I’m going to be working just as hard as I have been and I’m going to be ready to go."

Chandler's six touchdowns last season tied him with Stevie Johnson for the team lead, and he was second on the team in yards and receptions.

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