ORCHARD PARK NY - DECEMBER 12: Fred Jackson #22 of the Buffalo Bills runs against the Cleveland Browns at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 12 2010 in Orchard Park New York. Buffalo won 13-6. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
One of the biggest reasons that the Buffalo Bills got steamrolled by the Minnesota Vikings in Week 13 was the fact that they needed to fill in their patchwork offensive line in the middle of the game. Their line was still in a state of flux in yesterday's 13-6 win over the Cleveland Browns, as the team rotated right guards and had a brand new starter at center.
Eric Wood's transition from right guard to center, however, went about as smoothly as we could have reasonably expected - and his mistake-free day allowed the Bills to rush for 192 yards in victory, their highest team rushing total of the 2010 season. Despite his strong play, Wood isn't expecting to hold his current position for long.
“I felt good out there,” Wood said after the game. “Whenever Geoff comes back, I’ll be ready to hop out to guard and give him his spot back. But, for the time-being, it does feel pretty natural to be in there.”
Geoff Hangartner has been a steady performer at center for the Bills, but Wood will continue to get the nod at center while Hangartner is injured. Bills head coach Chan Gailey has expressed a desire to get bigger and more physical along the line of scrimmage, and with Wood such a natural fit at the pivot, Hangartner may be in the rare position of losing his starting job to injury, particularly if he can't return in the next three weeks. Center is where Wood belongs, and if he's able to lock down the job long-term, it will allow him to play his most natural position while giving Buffalo an opportunity to try to get bigger up front.