AFC East: Frank Summers

Frank Summers among Bills' inactives

December, 8, 2013
TAMPA -- With their entire roster healthy, the Buffalo Bills had to sort through the bottom of their roster for their seven inactives Sunday.

Fullback Frank Summers did not make the cut. This will be the first game he will miss this season.

In his place, the Bills kept running back Ronnie Wingo active. With Tashard Choice released last week, Wingo will have an opportunity to play Sunday.

The Bills shuffled things at offensive line, where J.J. Unga is active in place of Mark Asper, and at linebacker, where Ty Powell is active in place of Jamaal Westerman.

Here's the full list of Bills inactives:

QB Jeff Tuel
RB Ronnie Wingo
FB Frank Summers
OL Mark Asper
OL Antoine McClain
LB Jamaal Westerman
CB Brandon Smith

Bills' Summers surprised by penalty

September, 15, 2013
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- About fifteen minutes after the Buffalo Bills came from behind to defeat the Carolina Panthers, 24-23, fullback Frank Summers sat deep in his locker, facing the room. He was dressed, but not quite ready to leave.

It was the sort of look you would expect from a player after a tough loss. After all, the Bills' close win came only after Summers committed a critical holding penalty on a fourth-and-18 punt in the third quarter, leading to a Panthers touchdown.

Though only scored as a 6-yard infraction, the flag came before the punt, giving the Panthers an automatic first down.

"The call ... it all surprised me," Summers said. "Real tough call. On [special] teams you're trying to hold up people."

A squat 5-foot-9, 248-pound bruiser, Summers has the prototypical fullback build. Pittsburgh drafted him in the fifth round in 2009, and he played in three games before a back injury ended his rookie season. After stints on the Steelers' and San Diego's practice squads the next two seasons, Summers spent last season out of football.

The Bills resurrected his career this offseason, and after not playing an offensive snap on opening day, Summers was a big part of the game plan Sunday.

"Going into the game, we watched the film and they gave out the game plan. I looked it over. There was a big '21' [two running backs, one tight end] package in," he said. "I was excited. Felt like I could make up from last week. Given the opportunities, I just wanted to take advantage of them."

Lining up on offense for the first time in four seasons, Summers made the most of his chance early, rumbling for 34 yards on a catch-and-run on the Bills' first play from scrimmage.

His second half, though, was rough. Summers' special-teams penalty led to Panthers points, and later in the third quarter he allowed Panthers safety Quintin Mikell to strip-sack quarterback EJ Manuel, with Carolina recovering the fumble deep in Bills' territory.

"It was a down time for me. Football is not a sprint, it's a marathon," Summers said. "You have to let that play go and go onto the next, just make sure you don't make the mistake again."

Locker Room Buzz: Buffalo Bills

September, 15, 2013
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Observed in the locker room after the Buffalo Bills' 24-23 win over the Carolina Panthers:

Marrone emotional: Head coach Doug Marrone was emotional after the game, speaking about the death of former Syracuse athletics administrator Rob Edson, who suffered a heart attack Saturday at age 45. "He would always come in after the game and cheer me up and pick me up. ... I know that Rob was watching. I couldn't stop thinking about him at the end," Marrone said, in tears. Edson was the athletic director at Onondaga Community College, and his wife, Sue, remains the assistant director of athletic communications at Syracuse, where Marrone coached and played.

Hackett celebrates: Immediately after the game ended, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett's victory celebration spilled out of the Bills' coaches box and into the press box, on his way to the locker room. Hackett, whom CEO Russ Brandon called "the Energizer bunny" in a radio interview last week, yelled "That's what I'm talking about! It's a new age, baby!" That sort of excitement, it seems, is par for the course for Hackett, at 33 the NFL's second-youngest offensive coordinator.

Winning atmosphere: After a close loss to the Patriots last week, there was a sense of redemption evident in the locker room following Sunday's win. "The character of our team is showing when faced with adversity," fullback Frank Summers said. "As long as there was time on the clock, we played. We all believed."

Halftime thoughts: Bills vs. Panthers

September, 15, 2013
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Sharing some halftime thoughts from Ralph Wilson Stadium, where the Buffalo Bills trail the Carolina Panthers 7-3:
  1. Winnable game: This is the sort of game that the Bills need to win this season. They're not playing well, but neither are the Panthers. At home against a quarterback, Cam Newton, who struggled until the final drive of the half, you need to come away with a win.
  2. Manuel not his sharpest: It's been an up-and-down game for EJ Manuel, who has made some nice plays, including a 19-yard completion to Robert Woods on a scramble late in the first half. A few plays later, though, Manuel underthrew T.J. Graham on what would have been a big gain. Some growing pains for the rookie quarterback.
  3. Different look on offense: After playing nearly their entire opener in three-receiver sets, the Bills have made heavy use of 248-pound fullback Frank Summers, who did not play an offensive snap last week. Summers has played well, rumbling for a 34-yard catch-and-run on the Bills' first offensive play of the game. He also came close to blocking a punt in the second quarter. More time for Summers has meant less time for Graham and Woods at receiver.
  4. Mario Williams a factor: After going without a sack in the opener, Williams has three today for the Bills. The first was a bit of a gift -- Newton tripped over his own player with Williams in pursuit -- but the pressure has been there from the Bills' highest-paid player. That's a positive for a defense that has held its own so far today, with some lapses on third down.
  5. Coverage units an issue: The Bills have allowed a pair of good kickoff returns from Ted Ginn (29 and 36 yards), as well as a punt return where Ginn eluded several defenders before being taken down by long-snapper Garrison Sanborn. Getting the feeling that Ginn is ready to break one open in the second half.

Buffalo Bills on the bubble: Offense

August, 22, 2013
The third preseason game typically serves as the final tune-up for any NFL team's starters. The few dozen players who are locks to make the 53-man roster figure to see action into the third quarter, before taking it easy in the preseason finale.

For those players still battling for roster spots, the extended action for starters leaves them with their last, limited opportunity to make an impression.

The Buffalo Bills play their third preseason game on Saturday against the Washington Redskins. That will lead into a hectic final week of August, with the 75-man cutdown (Aug. 27), preseason finale (Aug. 29) and 53-man cut-down (Aug. 31) rapidly approaching.

Here's a look at three players on offense for the Bills who are squarely on the roster bubble and may need a strong performance Saturday to survive final cuts. On Friday, we'll take a look at three defensive players in the same situation:

Marcus Easley
The fourth-year receiver led all Bills receivers with 43 snaps in last Friday's preseason win over the Minnesota Vikings. The top four receivers for the Bills are set, but Easley could still earn a joint role on offense and special teams. He did his part on special teams on Friday night, playing 12 snaps in that phase of the game. However, the Bills could still choose to go with Brad Smith (who projects to have a larger role on special teams) or Chris Hogan (who has shown good route running and catching ability), leaving Easley off the roster.

Dorin Dickerson
Dickerson is a bit of an enigma, having spent parts of his career as a wide receiver, H-back/fullback and tight end. The Bills' new coaches tried him at wide receiver this offseason, but he approached the staff with concerns about shedding weight to play that position. He later returned to tight end and has been in the mix for a roster spot. Dickerson's best hope for making the squad, though, is his versatility. A strong showing on Saturday could put him in line for a role as a "utility player" on offense.

Kendall Gaskins
An undrafted rookie from Richmond, Gaskins is a "tweener." At 238 pounds, he played fullback in college but has taken snaps at running back this preseason. He showed some burst last Friday against Minnesota, gaining 16 yards on just three carries. Similarly, he'll have to make the most of the few carries he'll likely see on Saturday. Gaskins is battling Frank Summers, who is a true blocking fullback, and Zach Brown for the final spot in the Bills' backfield. Getting involved on special teams on Saturday would help Gaskins' case to make the roster.