clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Buffalo Bills 2010s All-Decade team: Left guard

New, comments

Which of these Bills was the best?

While several positions for the Buffalo Bills featured upheaval and injuries, one position features an odd distinction from the last decade—seven seasons played by exactly three players, all of whom never missed a game during their careers with the team. So let’s talk about the iron men who played left guard for the Bills during the 2010s. Which one was the best?

Andy Levitre

Levitre began the trend of rock-solid left guards, as a man who started eight full consecutive seasons in his career, before finally missing three games in his ninth. The Bills chose him in the second round of the 2009 draft, and he played three seasons in the 2010s with the team. Not flashy but super consistent, Levitre never made a Pro Bowl in his career—but never drew any doubts about whether he deserved his starting role with the Bills. Especially when the early 2010s offensive lines were such a train wreck, it was nice to have one piece who never faltered.

After 2012, Levitre signed a major free-agent deal with the Tennessee Titans. After two years they soured on his cost-performance combination and traded him to the Atlanta Falcons, where he played four more seasons.

Richie Incognito

One of the most notorious players of this century, certainly among offensive linemen, Incognito packaged tremendous talent with a hotheaded, borderline-psychotic mentality. The Bills signed him for a rehabilitation gesture in 2015 after he spent a season out of the league in the wake of the Miami Dolphins’ bullying scandal. Impressively, the 32-year-old Incognito not only avoided causing trouble (an admirable effort as one of the Rex Ryan Bills), but thrived despite his age and time away from the game.

Incognito started three seasons for the Bills and was a Pro Bowl selection in each of them. Ahead of the 2018 season, Incognito retired (though there seemed to be some mutual bad feelings between him and the Bills, who had no interest in offering him a contract extension). His year away from football had its own tumultuous events, but he returned for another season with the Oakland Raiders in 2019.

Quinton Spain

There’s a third iron man who played left guard during this decade, though he only did it for a single season. Aside from Spain, the other noteworthy names at this position include Doug Legursky, Colin Brown, and Kraig Urbik. We’ll be talking about Urbik when we discuss right guard, since that position is the best fit for looking back on his career.

Spain joined the Bills on a one-year free-agent contract as part of their massive offensive line overhaul. He was a true “iron man” that year, who did not miss a single snap from a single one of Buffalo’s games. Spain was also not recorded as giving up a sack on any of those plays, though some of those near-misses could be considered a scorer’s choice. He was also an effective run blocker in combination with his teammates Dion Dawkins and Mitch Morse.

After the 2019 season, the Bills rewarded Spain with a new three-year contract.


Voting time: Which left guard was the best during the past decade of Bills football?

Poll

Buffalo Bills 2010s All-Decade team: Left guard

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Andy Levitre
    (385 votes)
  • 65%
    Richie Incognito
    (795 votes)
  • 2%
    Quinton Spain
    (30 votes)
1210 votes total Vote Now