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Zach Pianalto Claimed by Tampa Bay

Former UDFA Tight End Zach Pianalto was claimed off waivers by Tampa Bay yesterday. Pianalto, a former University of North Carolina TE was waived by the Buffalo Bills on Sunday after the Bills were awarded TE Lee Smith off of waivers. Pianalto was a heavily recruited high school player who showed significant receiveing skills at UNC. Unfortunately Pianalto was oft injured suffering two broken legs and a foot injury during his time at Chapel Hill. Pianalto was signed by the Bills as an UDFA prior to training camp and played well during the final two preseason games after suffering a hamstring injuury early in camp. Pianalto demonstrated field awareness and feel in the passing game as he consistently found open space and showed sure hands. Pianalto also proved himself an able and willing, if not powerful blocker. Pianalto was consisdered a surprise member of the Bills 53 man roster after saturdays cuts. Pianalto's time as a Bill ended just a day later as the Bills claimed Smith, a 5th round draft pick of New England, off the waiver wire. Smith is widely considered a better blocker who will better fit Chan Gailey's preferred TE role. Time will tell if this TE switch will benefit the Bills in the years to come. Pianalto showed rare poise and awareness in the passing game for a rookie who missed half of training camp. If Smith proves to be the highly skilled blocking TE his supporters claim him to be the Bills may have found there long missing replacement for Pete Metelaars.

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