With most pre-training camp discussions focusing on the Buffalo Bills' 2013 starting lineup, there are several backups that should see significant playing time this season. Here at Buffalo Rumblings, we've decided to take a look at some of those players and determine which ones could be expected to take on a prominent role for the Bills.
Bryan Scott is a hybrid safety/linebacker that re-signed with the team on a one-year deal following the end of the 2012 season. Scott, while 32 years old, still has the instincts and versatility that new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine seems to covet.
Pettine has been focusing on the terms "versatility" and "multiplicity," two things Scott brings to the table.
Last year, Scott played 605 defensive snaps, accounting for 54.3 percent of the defense's total. Despite the limited playing time, Scott still managed to accumulate 66 tackles, four interceptions, eight pass deflections and forced two fumbles.
Scott played everywhere from weakside linebacker to inside linebacker as well as strong safety. This versatility will almost certainly ensure that he sees substantial playing time in 2013.
During off-season OTAs, BuffaloBills.com reported that Scott was working with the first team inside linebacker unit. This is noteworthy due to the fact that Pettine stated that the team would primarily be operating out of a nickel personnel package, meaning the team could put an emphasis on pass coverage, an aspect of the game where Scott has advantages over some teammates.
Defending the run isn't an area of strength for Scott, which was evident in last year's week four 52-28 drubbing by the New England Patriots. Former defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt apparently came into the week with expectations of the Patriots spreading the field and throwing the ball. This led him to use Bryan Scott as the middle linebacker in the Bills' nickel package, but the Patriots pounded the ball, rushing for 247 yards on 40 carries.
However, as Nigel Bradham is transitioning to inside linebacker, coupled with the addition of rookie Kiko Alonso, Scott should be a more-than-adequate reserve at the position in obvious passing situations where the nickel package would be utilized as a base.
While Scott is an aging veteran and playing on a one-year deal, his presence both on the field and in the classroom should serve as an asset to the younger players on the team, and his versatility should allow Pettine to maximize his abilities.