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Bills Beat Blog

By Joe Buscaglia
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Bills camp primer: Defensive Tackle

For the next position on the training camp primer tour, the Buffalo Bills literally did nothing to the group besides adding a couple of undrafted free agents. Along their defense last year, the defensive tackles weren’t anywhere near the problem as to why they couldn’t perform consistently.

It starts with the two guys atop the depth chart, which also happen to be two of the best players on the Bills roster. Could we be in for any sudden surprises at training camp? The only real question might pertain to how many they end up keeping.

The Starters (2)
Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus
- You won’t find many defensive tackle duos around the league with as much skill level as Williams and Dareus. One is a grizzled veteran absolutely fed up with losing, the other a younger and supremely talented player that couldn’t keep himself out of the headlines this past offseason. When they’re on the field and working in unison though, it’s a fun thing to watch. Williams has the quickness off the snap and violent hands to work his way into the backfield. Dareus has a big body to lull offensive lineman in and then rip them down to the side with his strength. The biggest question will not be if they can be successful, but it’s simply about Dareus’ status at the beginning of the year and whether or not he’ll be available to the team.

The Depth (1)
Alan Branch
- After a successful first year with the Bills, the team elected to re-sign Branch to a multi-year contract extension. They view him as the perfect complementary option to the two starters on the team and can get valuable snaps in a rotational setting when everyone is both healthy and available to play. He’s one of those players that regardless of the scheme change, he fits everything. The former second-round pick has done quite well for himself after an inauspicious start to his career in Arizona.

The Bubble (2)
Corbin Bryant, Stefan Charles
- While Bryant hung around through camp last year, Charles was a mid-season addition that helped provide the Bills not only with depth, but with a player that has a fair bit of upside as well. There really isn’t much clarification as to whether or not Dareus will get suspended for his off-the-field transgressions and that could directly impact the job status of one of Bryant or Charles. Even if he isn’t suspended, there is still a completely plausible scenario of all five making the roster outright. However, if the Bills decide they only have room for four, it will be a battle between these two.

The Longshots (2)
Damien Jacobs, Colby Way
- The Bills rounded out their defensive tackles with two undrafted free agents that are each undersized. Jacobs (6-foot-3, 284-pounds) comes from the University of Florida and Way (6-foot-4, 293-pounds) has local ties to the University at Buffalo. With so many established players ahead of them on the depth chart, the better of the two will need a Dareus suspension and an injury to one of the other four defensive tackles at least for hopes of making the roster outright.

Previous Camp Primers:
July 7 - Defensive End
July 8 - Wide Receiver
July 9 - Linebacker
July 10 - Tight End

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo courtesy of the AP​

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Locations : ArizonaBuffaloFlorida
People : Alan BranchCorbin BryantDamien JacobsKyle WilliamsStefan Charles

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