Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix made his first extensive public comments about the state of his 4-12 football team on Tuesday at the 2011 Senior Bowl. We've already talked about his thoughts on the quarterback situation; many may find his commentary on the offensive line to be more intriguing.
Nix hinted that Eric Wood may be the team's starting center moving forward. Wood, if you recall, closed the 2010 season with four straight starts in the pivot, and played quite well there.
"We think Eric Wood was the best center in the draft coming out, and obviously he wasn't healthy [last season]," Nix said. "But when he gets healthy there's a good chance that's where he'll be."
Asked what that meant for Geoff Hangartner, who started the team's first 12 games at center and played well, Nix was noncommittal, saying that the team would play its best players. Hangartner has experience at guard, as well, so even if Wood does start at center, Hangartner will likely be in the conversation for a starting role with this team.
Nix had more to say about his offensive line; we'll cover it after the jump.
Wood isn't the only Bills lineman that Nix is bullish on, as the GM seems to be high on left tackle Demetrius Bell, as well.
"Listen, there's one thing about that guy that we know for sure, he won't bail out on you, because if he was going to he would have done it this year," Nix said. "He played hurt the whole year. ... He'll get stronger and be healthy and be a good player."
Buffalo made headway in addressing its depth along the O-Line during the 2010 season - not an easy feat to pull off - and Nix expressed confidence in players such as Kraig Urbik, Chad Rinehart, Mansfield Wrotto and Erik Pears.
"We picked up two third-rounders in Urbik and Rinehart, and Wrotto was a fourth-rounder. Then we got Pears who started at tackle for two years against us at Denver [when Nix was in San Diego]. We got bigger and we got better and we got younger."