The news just keeps on pouring in from One Bills Drive, as we have two new starters - one on each side of the ball - as well as some injury updates to fill you in on. (Thanks to applet68 for the initial breakage of this info in last post's comments section - props to you.)
First, the announcement that surprises nobody - Paul Posluszny will start at MLB. No shock there, as Poz was clearly the superior player at the position throughout training camp and the pre-season and had a lofty draft status to back him up as well. I'm excited to see Posluszny grow into his role on the inside, and he's excited as well:
The rookie linebacker is well aware of the responsibilities that are on his plate for Sunday's opener as the defense's chief signal caller before the snap.
"It's definitely a challenge, but it's something that the middle linebacker has to do in our defense," said Posluszny. "So I have to be able to handle it or else they'll find someone else that will. So I have to make all the checks and calls and be comfortable doing it."
In a move that did come as a slight surprise (to anyone outside of this little community, that is), the Bills named Brad Butler their starting right guard. Butler, who had a banged up shoulder through much of the pre-season, played in just one pre-season game but gets the nod over Duke Preston and Jason Whittle anyways. It's a gutsy call, to be sure; here's what Butler had to say about it:
Puh-lease, Brad. We know you're a hard worker, but don't pretend you're not stoked about this. Many Bills fans are, and you should be too.
This is a development that I actually predicted in July:
Does it count if, along the way, I changed my mind due to Brad's injuries? I guess the coaching staff really likes this guy, and I believe that they have good reason to.
We all know that defensive end is banged up with Ryan Denney, Anthony Hargrove and Al Wallace on the shelf. Add linebacker to that list, where Keith Ellison is out indefinitely with a high ankle sprain.
I don't mean to get all negative on Keith, because he's a heck of a smart football player, but I am very interested to see how Coy Wire performs in his weak side stead while Keith heals. Keith had a good training camp, but Wire is much more aggressive in run support and could end up being a better fit at that particular position than Ellison currently is. Stay tuned - if Wire performs well while Ellison heals up his ankle, Keith may be out of a starting job when he returns.