ORCHARD PARK NY - OCTOBER 03: Brad Smith #16 of the New York Jets runs around Alex Carrington #92 of the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 3 2010 in Orchard Park New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix spent about 15 minutes talking with media on Thursday - you can catch the full audio at The Buffalo News - and in doing so, made a lot of very plain statements about his team's perceived needs defensively.
Stating that the health of Shawne Merriman will impact what they do at outside linebacker, Nix listed defensive end, inside linebacker, cornerback and safety as immediate need areas.
On defensive end: "We actually could use two more. You'd like to have five of those guys, and we will. We'll get them somewhere." (Buffalo already has three ends on the roster in Dwan Edwards, Spencer Johnson and Alex Carrington.)
On inside linebacker:"We've got to have two linebackers somewhere." (Nix also stated that the team likes Paul Posluszny, and Chan Gailey had already confirmed earlier Thursday that the team was interested in re-signing him.)
Nix was also asked about cornerback, where he echoed some of Gailey's sentiments regarding Leodis McKelvin, said that Terrence McGee was aging, and noted that the team needed to add a corner at some point. The same is true of the safety position.
Tallying everything up, Nix would like to add two defensive ends, two inside linebackers, a cornerback, a safety, and possibly an outside linebacker this off-season. Maybe Gailey's assertion that the team is thinnest defensively really was a team-wide opinion, and not his own.
Nix also expanded on what he's looking for, and what types of players he believes can succeed, at the five-technique defensive end position.
"We say we want to get bigger and stronger, which we do. But you can also get by with a defensive end that weighs 280 if he's got some punch... You need range," Nix said.
"There's exceptions, always," Nix continued. "I think you could take Kyle Williams and put him out there, and he'd make plays for you, because he plays on that side of the ball. He's disruptive. He would never be the pass-rusher out there, because of the huge tackles. But he'd make plays for you."