Spencer Johnson Hanging Tight In Bills' 3-4 Defense

When the Buffalo Bills announced a year ago that the team would be transitioning to a 3-4 defense under George Edwards, many assumed that several Bills defensive linemen - including veteran Spencer Johnson - were not long for the roster. Though Johnson had signed a five-year, $17.5 million contract with the team just two years prior, at 6'3" and 286 pounds, Johnson met the bare minimum requirements, at best, for a five-technique defensive end.

Entering year two of the 3-4 in Buffalo, however, Johnson appears to have a firm grip on a roster spot as a rotational player, coming off a career year with the Bills in which he recorded 55 tackles and two sacks.

Bills GM Buddy Nix has now conducted two drafts with Buffalo. He's had a total of six picks within the Top 75 in those two years, and has used half of them on defensive linemen - Torell Troup, Alex Carrington and, most recently, Marcell Dareus. He also signed free agent Dwan Edwards last year. Kyle Williams' outstanding 2010 season ensured he'd be back, but Johnson has quietly - and adequately - hung onto a roster spot post-Dick Jauron era, as well.

Yes, it's helped that the team has used a lot of 4-3 looks as it transitions personnel. It may also be true that Johnson isn't part of the team's long-term plans. For now, however, he's a big - and surprising - part of the team's rock-solid defensive line depth, regardless of scheme.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Buffalo Rumblings

You must be a member of Buffalo Rumblings to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Buffalo Rumblings. You should read them.

Join Buffalo Rumblings

You must be a member of Buffalo Rumblings to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Buffalo Rumblings. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker