Bills' Marrone: Right guard is up for grabs
The Buffalo Bills made a concerted effort in the offseason to upgrade the offensive line and now, only four days into training camp, it sounds as though they aren't done after addressing both the left guard and right tackle starting positions. The only other spot in question this offseason is now officially a competition. Kraig Urbik's hold on the starting right guard job is going to require him to tighten his grip a bit.
Head coach Doug Marrone once again explained the the backup quarterback job is an open competition well, and that opened up the questioning for other positions. At right guard, Urbik has been splitting first-team snaps with Chris Hairston, making many wonder if Urbik's job was in trouble.
Asked if right guard was "up for grabs," Marrone's answer was simple: Yes.
Hairston has been getting time as an interior offensive linemen through three of the first four days of camp (the lone exception was when Seantrel Henderson could not practice and Hairston played left tackle), as well as through the duration of the three-day mandatory minicamp in June. A former offensive tackle at Clemson and then later on with the Bills, the fourth-year player is making his first legitimate move to the inside.
Urbik, 28, is signed through the next three seasons and has cap hits of $3.375 million in 2014, $3.675 million in 2015 and then $4 million in 2016. He has served as the Bills starting right guard for each of the past three seasons, but lost a few snaps to the young J.J. 'Unga late in the season.
Hairston, on the other hand, is signed only through this year. He missed all of last season with an undisclosed illness and is attempting to make a comeback and secure a starting job.
The two will likely continue to get reps with the first unit as the team continues to try and determine a winner for the job. The team has a day off scheduled for Thursday and then resume practicing on Friday evening.
**Photo courtesy of the AP