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Buffalo Bills Position Battle Review: Defensive Tackle


In their pre-season opening loss to the Washington Redskins, Buffalo Bills defensive tackles Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus were in regular season form. That was also true again during Saturday night's training camp practice, where Dareus was excellent and Williams was nearly unblockable.

The expectations all along for that duo, however, have been through the roof. The depth situation behind the potential pair of Pro Bowlers is far less settled, and remains one of the most difficult-to-figure position battles remaining as camp draws to a close and the pre-season progresses.

Two veterans - Spencer Johnson and Dwan Edwards - are the clear front-runners at this point to make the team, but a shoulder injury for Johnson could leave the door open for some well-known young prospects to stake their claim to a roster spot.

Johnson will be the top interior reserve, and had a strong pre-season debut after mercifully being switched back to his natural defensive tackle position. He'll be on the team, but as he's currently hampered by a bad shoulder, Edwards has not been as noticeable as his veteran counterpart in terms of making plays, but he's consistent, which could give him a leg up during roster cut-downs.

Alex Carrington leads a group of younger players with an opportunity to impress enough to either unseat Edwards, or simply make the team as a fifth tackle (and therefore ninth and inactive lineman). The third-year player out of Arkansas State appears to be the front-runner out of that group of younger players, flashing strong interior rush ability against (reserve) guards in a camp setting. Torell Troup - who appears to be getting healthier - isn't out of the picture yet, nor is Kellen Heard, who made strides as a reserve during the 2011 season.

Johnson's injury paved the way for Carrington to take second-team reps at tackle during Saturday night's training camp practice, and he looked good prior to that in one-on-one rush drills. Troup and Heard took third-team reps.