The Buffalo Bills made some national news this week with one roster move and confused the hell of their local fan base with another. The Bills cut loose former first rounder and infamous draft bust Aaron Maybin on Monday to the delight of the majority of the Buffalo fan community. Maybin failed to total one sack in 27 career games and two seasons with the team, and wasn’t even deemed serviceable to dress for five games during the 2010 season. Maybin signed with the rival Jets yesterday and says being cut by the Bills will somehow magically give him motivation to become a performer for the Jets. Good riddance.
In another roster move along the offensive line, Coach Chan Gailey shocked onlookers as he demoted Andy Levitre to second unit duties at left guard while promoting Chad Rinehart to play with the starters. It was by no means surprising that Gailey would want to address consistency issues along the o-line but it seemed that, that switch should’ve been made at the right guard position where Kraig Urbik has been struggling. Urbik has been the weak point on the offensive line through the first few weeks of camp and had a terrible preseason opener last Saturday against the Bears. The third year pro and first year starter out of Wisconsin was blown back three yards deep in the backfield by Bears reserve defensive tackle Harry Melton who in turn dropped C.J. Spiller for a loss on the play on the team’s second offensive drive Saturday. On the same drive he whiffed on a block on Brian Urlacher who tackled Spiller inches short of a first down on a third and long play. The inconsistent play of Urbik should’ve opened the door for a player like Reinhart to garner some playing time but the demotion of Levitre in favor of Reinhart remains a mystery.
It should be noted that Levitre was back with the starters during practice on Wednesday but it seems as though Gailey plans to use a rotation at left guard for the time being.
The release of Aaron Maybin and the issues surrounding the offensive line aside, the Bills have a game to play on Saturday against the Denver Broncos. The team also disbands from St. John Fisher after a 2:00 PM practice today and returns to the friendly confines of Orchard Park next week. There are still a multitude of questions to answer and with the roster currently standing at 87 players and the first round of cuts right around the corner, it’s time to take notice of some individuals who have not only have a shot at making the team but playing major roles as well. Here’s a look at five players to keep your eye on as the Bills take on the Broncos Saturday.