Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Special teams to decide Bills' wideout battle


The Buffalo Bills injected a lot of youth and ambition into their wide receiver corps this offseason. In training camp, they're letting it sort itself out.

After veteran Stevie Johnson, the remaining spots on the receiver depth chart are mostly wide open.

Young speeders T.J. Graham and Marquise Goodwin are jockeying for position alongside Robert Woods and Da'Rick Rogers. Add in returners Marcus Easley, Chris Hogan and Brad Smith, and the Bills' Week 1 lineup could take on many different looks.

"I think that’s what comes down to at the end: who’s playing well on special teams?" Bills coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday. "Right now, there’s a lot of good things going on with that group, and there are going to be a lot of tough decisions. So how does someone separate themselves? Probably how they are going to contribute to the team outside of being a wide receiver."

The former track star Goodwin certainly helped his stock in that regard in the team's preseason opener, returning a kickoff 107 yards for a touchdown and another for 53 yards.

Graham, a third round pick in 2012, is currently listed as the starter opposite Johnson on the receiver depth chart. He's also on the kick return list with Smith and Goodwin. At punt return, Buffalo lists cornerback Leodis McKelvin, Graham and Woods.

Those aren't the only special teams positions available, either. Being able to pursuit and tackle can be an extremely valuable in making a team via the third unit.

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