BY DAN BEGNOCHE
With names like Mario and Kyle Williams on the defensive line and big-name acquisitions in the linebacking corps, the Buffalo Bills' front seven has stolen the majority of the attention on the defensive side of the ball so far this season.
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, however, is most excited about the group that's been quietly working out of the spotlight--the secondary.
It's not as if things have been totally silent in the Bills' defensive backfield. The team lost three-time Pro Bowler Jairus Byrd to a big contract in New Orleans, which in turn will yield a playoff for the second starting safety position. General manager Doug Whaley brought in veteran Corey Graham to help bolster his depth at cornerback.
"The secondary is where I've been the most impressed," Schwartz said this week, via buffalobills.com. "You don't really see those guys out there because a lot of guys aren't fully participating or are doing some individual here and there. I think we've got some depth at corner, at nickel, and we've got a really good, young player--we lost Jairus Byrd--but we were able to keep an exciting young player in Aaron Williams.
"I'm excited to work with all three levels of the defense, but probably more so the secondary than anything else."
Looking into that nickel depth Schwartz mentioned, it's hard to not single out corner Nickell Robey. Robey spent ample time in the opposing backfield last season, tallying three sacks and forcing 11 QB hurries, according to ProFootballFocus. Given he was brought in as an undrafted free agent, Robey's production was enormous, particularly given his small stature.
"If you measure heart, if you measure things like that, he's 6-foot-10," Schwartz said. "He's very unique in some of the quickness that he has, he's got great anticipation, sees the game really well.
"He's certainly going to have a role. He's been one of our best players through our OTAs so far."
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