Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan didn't mince words on Sunday when discussing his offensive line following the third training camp practice of the year: he's liking what he's seeing across the board, and he's comfortable enough with three veterans to name them starters.
Cordy Glenn, Richie Incognito, and Eric Wood were all expected to start at left tackle, left guard, and center, respectively, entering the new season, and Ryan went out of his way to note that all three will do exactly that barring injury. Rookie third-round pick John Miller is expected to start at right guard, though Ryan also has great things to say about his chief competitor, second-year pro Cyril Richardson.
"I don’t anticipate Eric Wood being replaced any time soon," Ryan said on Sunday. "I’ve been really happy with Richardson. He’s backing up Richie. One thing for sure is Richie’s a starter. He looks about as good as any of them. I mean, he really does. Cordy looks really good. So we’re set there. Those three are set. But then obviously you’ve got Miller, he’s being pushed by Richardson, and like I said, he looks absolutely terrific. That’s a great thing to have."
If anything is surprising out of that quote, it's that Ryan is so fervently backing Incognito, who hasn't played in the NFL since 2013 following a bullying-related suspension in Miami. Ryan explained why, exactly, he is so comfortable naming Incognito a starter this early in camp.
"I’ve been blown away by it," Ryan said of Incognito's spring and summer to date. "When we did our conditioning test, he’s 20, 30 yards ahead of everybody else. He is in great shape. He’s so hungry. He’s great in the meetings. Coachable. He’s everything we thought he’d be, but I think he’s probably along further than I even thought he’d be, as far as coming back in shape. It’s like he never missed any time."
Barring something major changing, then, it's looking like the only major question mark on the Bills' offensive line is at right tackle, where second-year pros Cyrus Kouandjio and Seantrel Henderson are duking it out for the starting job.