Wow. In a year where there weren't supposed to be a lot of surprise cuts, there were - you guessed it - a lot of surprise cuts made by the Bills as they trimmed their roster to 53 players. DE Anthony Hargrove was added to the Reserve/Suspended list as expected, while DE Al Wallace was placed on Injured Reserve. Thus, 20 cuts were made:
20 cuts, one IR and one Suspended leaves 53 players on the active roster. Without further ado, your current Buffalo Bills squad:
QB (2): J.P. Losman, Trent Edwards
RB (5): Marshawn Lynch, Anthony Thomas, Fred Jackson, Dwayne Wright, Josh Scobey
HB (1): Ryan Neufeld
WR (5): Lee Evans, Peerless Price, Josh Reed, Roscoe Parrish, Sam Aiken
TE (3): Robert Royal, Kevin Everett, Matt Murphy
OL (8): Jason Peters, Langston Walker, Derrick Dockery, Jason Whittle, Melvin Fowler, Duke Preston, Brad Butler, Kirk Chambers
DE (5): Aaron Schobel, Chris Kelsay, Ryan Denney, Eric Powell, Ryan Neill (Hargrove)
DT (5): Larry Tripplett, Kyle Williams, John McCargo, Tim Anderson, Jason Jefferson
OLB (5): Angelo Crowell, Keith Ellison, Coy Wire, Mario Haggan, Josh Stamer
ILB (2): Paul Posluszny, John DiGiorgio
CB (5): Terrence McGee, Jason Webster, Kiwaukee Thomas, Ashton Youboty, Jabari Greer
S (5): Donte Whitner, Ko Simpson, Jim Leonhard, John Wendling, George Wilson
SP (2): Rian Lindell, Brian Moorman
First of all, keeping five running backs and two quarterbacks is a very strange development. We have an unproven starter and a rookie backing him up - that doesn't exactly sound like a winning NFL formula, though I obviously love both of our quarterbacks. You have to feel for Nall - he plays relatively well in the pre-season, but just when he gets cut, he's competing with Byron Leftwich for a roster spot somewhere else.
Josh Scobey's presence on this team is perhaps the biggest shocker of all - especially since Fred Jackson made the roster as well. I have to believe that the Bills will be scouring the waiver wire over the next few days, and if they find a warm body to bolster depth elsewhere, Scobey is the first guy to go.
The Terrance Pennington cut is mind-boggling. This guy, as a rookie last season, was a steadying presence along our offensive line as a second-half starter. Now he's been shown the door for little-known veteran Kirk Chambers. Very odd indeed; it looks like Chambers will be the primary backup at both tackle positions unless depth is imported from somewhere else. Needless to say, I think the vast majority of Bills fans would have felt a bit more comfortable with Pennington on the edge than Chambers. Very curious indeed.
Other surprise non-cuts: DE Ryan Neill beats out LS Mike Schneck (a former Pro Bowler) likely because he's both good at long snapping and can help out at defensive end. Safety George Wilson surprised me as well - though I do think he can be a pretty good special teamer for this team.
What's Your Take?
Overall I'm a bit shocked by the team's moves. I'm nervous with only two quarterbacks on the roster; I get the feeling that a cheap quarterback may be added to either the roster itself or the practice squad in the immediate future. While you have to feel good for guys like Scobey, Neill, Wilson and Chambers, I sense that their names might be called if the waiver wire is buzzing over the next few days. And I think it will - this team can be improved over the next couple of days. Other than quarterback and perhaps the O-Line, it seems that the coaching staff has done a good job padding depth at key positions - even if they shocked their fan base in doing so.
Those are just my opinions. What are yours? Let's hear it!