Rashad Baker was named the Bills new starter. This comes as a slight surprise as many felt that veteran CB Troy Vincent might have been named to replace the ineffective incumbant Izell Reese. As Vincent had been practicing with the Bills' scout team as he trys to come back from a knee injury he suffered during the second week of the season. Head coach Mike Mularkey benched Reese in the first half of the Bills' 29-6 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday and replaced him with Baker.
Baker joined the Bills this as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Tennessee. He's been primarly as a nickel and dime back and any other obviously passing situations. Reese was signed as a free agent from Denver prior to last season, the seven-year veteran then moved into a starting role after Week 5. Ironically enough The Sporting News compared Baker to Reese in their annual look at the NFL Draft.
While time will tell if Baker keeps the starting spot from Vincent, if and when the veteran returns from his injury. We at Bills Report feel that if Vincent does return the team might keep him at the CB spot. As despite progressing Terrence McGee, week to week, still gets picked on by offenses each week and in letting Vincent start at CB it would allow McGee to play nickel back and primarly focus on returning kick offs, a position he has excelled in. Infact, while it's quite early to speculate the draft the Bills might want to consider taking a CB with their top pick in next years draft. As Vincent could be moved to FS full time in 2005. As starting CB Nate Clements and sometimes dime back Kevin Thomas are both due to be free agencts after the 2005 season.