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Bills would prefer traditional 3-4 defense

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When the Buffalo Bills and head coach Chan Gailey announced the hiring of George Edwards as the team's new defensive coordinator, two facts were highlighted immediately. First and foremost, the team would be playing the 3-4 defense, and secondly, that Gailey and Edwards would tailor their defensive system to fit the personnel they end up with after this off-season is completed.

Switching from a Tampa 2 defense favored by previous head coach Dick Jauron and coordinator Perry Fewell, many fans and experts wondered aloud if the Bills would have the personnel to run the traditional two-gap system that the majority of NFL teams employ these days. Smaller, lighter 3-4 systems exist and are run exceptionally well, with the 3-4 Over scheme run by Dallas the most prominent example. Coming from a scheme that called for lighter, quicker players, many - including yours truly - speculated that the 3-4 Over could be an option for the team.

Speaking at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine this morning in Indianapolis, Gailey re-iterated that Edwards would fit his system to the players the Bills end up with. He also, however, told reporters what type of nose tackle he'd like to have in Buffalo. Pulling from the report filed by Joe Buscaglia at WGR 550:

When asked what he'd like his nose tackle to be Gailey said "Huge, big, fast, nasty... all those terms."

That sure sounds like a massive, two-gap hole plugger to us. Edwards comes to Buffalo via Miami, where they run a traditional two-gap system, and simply from that one sentence, it looks like that's Plan A in Buffalo as well.

That doesn't spell the end for defensive tackle Kyle Williams, however. Entering his fifth year out of LSU, many wondered whether Williams was a snug fit anywhere in a 3-4 defense. As ESPN's Tim Graham notes, Gailey spoke glowingly of Williams this afternoon, and sounded as if No. 95 was a significant part of the team's plans going forward. Williams could see time at end or at nose tackle (on passing downs) in the traditional two-gap system.