Changing of the Guard
Who's starting where?
Who's starting where?

Posted Aug 20, 2004


Entering camp it looked like the Bills had one question on the offensive line. That question is who would end up replacing former All Pro left guard Ruben Brown, who was cut by the team earlier this off season. It looked to be a three horse race between Mike Pucillo, Ross Tucker and Marques Sullivan. After over two weeks into camp the line appears more jumbled then before.

After the first week in camp it looked as if Mike Pucillo had been awarded the starting job. He earned high praise from new head coach Mike Mularkey for his offseason work.

"He's the guy who has been given the job, and if he does well, he keeps it," said offensive line coach Jim McNally. "If he doesn't, we put the next guy in."

Wouldn't you know, Pucillo had a poor outing in the Bills preseason opener, including drawing a penalty in the Bills first offensive series. Which opened the door for free agent Lawrence Smith. Smith is in his third year, his first two with Baltimore, but has yet to play a down in an NFL game.

"We're trying another combination in there," said head coach Mike Mularkey. "Lawrence has played well and I've given him an opportunity to compete for that spot. I still feel like there's ample time to feel and a fair evaluation of him."

Yet yesterday Smith was seen on the sidelines because of an apparent foot injury which may open the door for Ross Tucker, who had been working at backup center. Meanwhile Sullivan has primary gotten reps at the tackle.

Foot injuries have also affected the right tackle position as Marcus Price and Mike Williams are both ailing from foot injuries. Williams with his arch and Price with his toe. As highlighted before Williams had lost his starting at the start of camp to Price but is now getting looks with the first team as Price's toe was injured against Denver. He is expected to be out at least a week and will miss the Bills next game, Friday against Tennessee.

Also missing time this week expected right guard starter Chris Villarial who's missed time because of injury and family problems. Ironically enough it was Villarial's injury that allowed the team to get their first real look at Smith to begin with.

Time will tell just who will end up where but if they struggle it will most definately because of a lack of cohesion that has yet to build.


Related Stories
Injury Bug slowly hitting the Bills
 -by BuffaloFootballReport.com  Aug 10, 2004
Mike Williams: The early story of training camp
 -by BuffaloFootballReport.com  Aug 3, 2004
Patriots - Bills: Saturday Final Injury Report
 -by PatriotsInsider.com  Nov 13, 2004

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