Volatile Bills take another risk on offense

September, 8, 2009
9/08/09
4:47
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham


Langston Walker's preseason was even worse than originally believed.

The Buffalo Bills not only replaced the eight-year veteran at left tackle with a prospect who hasn't played a single NFL down. They also released him, choosing not to move him back to his old spot at right tackle or even keep him around for depth.
Walker
Bell
Demetrius Bell is expected to start at left tackle in Monday night's season opener against the New England Patriots. Bell recently returned to practice after missing two weeks with a back injury.

Think the Patriots smell blood?

The Bills on Friday fired offensive coordinator Turk Schonert and replaced him with quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt after the first-teamers failed to score a touchdown on 16 preseason possessions.

Now Patriots coach Bill Belichick gets to devise a game plan for the two neophytes who'll be protecting quarterback Trent Edwards' blindside. Bell, a seventh-round draft choice last year, was inactive for the first 15 games. He dressed for the season finale but didn't get on the field.

The left guard has been rookie Andy Levitre.

On Aug. 28, I reported the Bills' coaching staff was favoring Bell over Walker despite the disparity in experience at such an important spot, arguably the second most important position on offense. Those plans were expected to be delayed -- perhaps until the bye week -- because Bell's injury caused him to miss valuable reps and two preseason games.

But the Bills obviously wanted Walker gone in a bad way. Bell certainly comes at a cheaper price.

Buffalo moved Walker to left tackle after trading two-time Pro Bowler Jason Peters and declining to draft another tackle to replace him. Walker had started all 32 games at right tackle the past two seasons.

The Bills also announced they've re-signed depth tackle Kirk Chambers, who started at three line positions last year. They released him Saturday.

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