- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- The NFL has rapidly become a pass-heavy league. But the Buffalo Bills are taking an old-school approach to building a contender.
Last year, Buffalo drafted defensive tackle Marcell Dareus with the No. 3 overall pick. The Bills followed by drafting left tackle Cordy Glenn in the second round this year and signing defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson. That’s a lot of money and high draft picks dedicated to winning in the trenches.
The Bills certainly passed the eye test in our first look at the team during morning walk-throughs. Suddenly, the Bills look like a group you’d feel very safe taking with you in a dark alley.
"We needed to get bigger. We were a small team; our linebackers were small and we got knocked around a lot," Bills general manager Buddy Nix said Tuesday. "My philosophy is it's a big-man's game and you got to get bigger. You win and lose consistently with those guys up front. That's our thinking."
The Bills currently have 24 players listed over 300 pounds, although not all will make the team. Williams, Buffalo's best defensive player, checked in at 292 pounds.
Buffalo's strength in 2012 will be its defensive and offensive lines. The Bills should be great at running the ball, stopping the run and pressuring the quarterback.
Add the three together and you could have the makings of a team ready to take the next step and contend for the playoffs.
"Buddy and I both believe the game, a major part but not the whole part, is won in the trenches," coach Chan Gailey said. "It is won on both sides of the line and who can control that part of the game. It's hard to find those guys. So when you get the opportunity to get them, you take that opportunity."