AFC East: Marcus Bugg

Bills move Mitchell to the middle

October, 7, 2009
10/07/09
7:56
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham


Three games of Marcus Buggs at middle linebacker was enough to convince the Buffalo Bills to make a change.

The Bills are moving veteran Kawika Mitchell into the middle in an attempt to salvage a wayward defense. Undrafted rookie Ashlee Palmer will take Mitchell's spot at weak-side linebacker.

Buggs replaced captain Paul Posluszny, who broke his forearm in the first half on opening night. Buggs, an undrafted second-year pro out of Vanderbilt, wore the defensive headset and was responsible for making the calls.

"It's a hard position to play," Bills head coach Dick Jauron said. "You've got to make all the calls and make all of the adjustments. We put a lot of pressure on Marcus, and certainly not throwing the whole thing on his shoulders, there’s enough to go around and, as always, it starts with me. But Kawika has been around the game. He's got a nice feel and doesn't fluster. Think that might settle the thing down in there a little bit."

The Bills have yielded 472 rushing yards in their past two games, losses to the New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins. It's the most rushing yards they've allowed in consecutive games since 1979.

Mitchell, in his seventh year, hasn't played middle linebacker since he left the Kansas City Chiefs in 2006, but he sounded excited about the switch and is confident he can make a difference.

"You know, I want people to get off my back and get off my teammates backs and everyone else’s around here," Mitchell said. "So talking to the fans and stuff like that, I want nothing more than to win games for this city. I’ve been reminded time and time again that it’s been a long time. So it’s about time we change it, and we have a long time to go in this season, and hopefully we can do that."

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