Bills bump Cyrus Kouandjio to top unit in offensive line shuffle


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills' offensive line was a mess last season.

Analytics website ProFootballFocus.com ranked the unit 30th in the NFL, including a league-worst grade in run blocking. A pair of players -- right guard Erik Pears and right tackle Seantrel Henderson -- scored as poorly as any players at their position.

This offseason, the Bills allowed Pears to depart in free agency, signed veteran Richie Incognito, had former starting left guard Kraig Urbik take a pay cut and drafted Louisville's John Miller in the third round.

Now they're continuing the shuffle along their offensive line, using several different first-team combinations in Wednesday's organized team activity open to reporters.

Henderson, a seventh-round pick last season, saw most of his reps with the second team at left tackle, with last year's second-round pick, Cyrus Kouandjio (pictured), taking over with the first team at right tackle. It's unclear if that will stick for the remainder of OTAs or if it was simply an experiment by offensive line coach Aaron Kromer.

Henderson saw a handful of first-team reps at left tackle in place of Cordy Glenn, while Darryl Johnson -- who was on the practice squad last season -- got a brief look at right tackle.

The Bills rotated their personnel at guard in Wednesday's practice, using Incognito, Miller and 2014 fifth-round pick Cyril Richardson with the first team.

Absent from OTAs and a potential addition to the guard race is Chris Williams, who underwent back surgery last season and hasn't been at the facility for offseason workouts.

"I haven't met Chris. This is voluntary, though," Bills head coach Rex Ryan said Wednesday. "So guys don't have to be here. I'm confident, I'm sure he's doing whatever he can to physically be ready to go and things like that. But I've never met Chris and I'd like him here, but I recognize that this is voluntary."

If Williams can't win a starting job this summer -- with Miller the most likely candidate to slide into a full-time role in Williams' place -- he becomes an appealing candidate to be released for salary-cap purposes. The Bills would save nearly $2 million off their 2015 cap by releasing Williams, space they could then carry over to help alleviate their tight 2016 cap situation.