Buffalo Bills General Manager Buddy Nix thinks the team is all set at outside linebacker.
Nix spoke to the Monday Morning Quarterback Club yesterday, a group of businessmen that support the team and get special insight in return, including pre- and post-draft talks by the decision makers in the organization. When asked about pass rusher Shawne Merriman yesterday, Nix expressed confidence in the injury-prone linebacker.
"I know he is the answer," Nix said. "All he's got to do is get well."
That's a pretty big 'if.' As Brian noted last week, the team bypassed a pass rusher in the draft with the hopes that Merriman could get over the injury that forced him onto injured reserve early in his tenure with the team. But Nix isn't worried, saying Merriman is ahead of schedule in his recovery.
"He's ahead of where he should be. Listen, we can't go draft one or find one like him," noted Nix. "To think he's getting old - he's 26 years old. He came out as a junior, he was 20 when [San Diego] drafted him. We've got an outside 'backer if he can get back to where he was."
Merriman will turn 27 two weeks from today. He signed a lucrative two-year contract extension in January.