Breaking down Bills' defensive snaps

August, 24, 2014
Aug 24
6:15
PM ET
The Buffalo Bills' starters saw their most significant action of the preseason in Saturday's 27-14 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Here is a breakdown of the defensive snaps, grouped by the order in which players entered the game on defense:

Defensive end
Mario Williams -- 34 of 68 (starter)
Jerry Hughes -- 33 of 68 (starter)
Manny Lawson -- 31 of 68 (entered in first quarter)
Jarius Wynn -- 16 of 68 (entered in first quarter)
Jacquies Smith -- 17 of 68 (entered in third quarter)
Ikponmwosa Igbinosun -- 3 of 68 (entered in fourth quarter)
Bryan Johnson -- 3 of 68 (entered in fourth quarter)

Quick-hit thoughts: It was interesting to see Lawson play deep into the fourth quarter, although I don't think it means his roster spot is in jeopardy. This is one of the deeper groups on the roster, especially with Lawson, and could even go five deep. I wouldn't count out Smith's chances for a roster spot just yet.

Defensive tackle
Marcell Dareus -- 16 of 68 (starter)
Corbin Bryant -- 51 of 68 (starter)
Stefan Charles -- 41 of 68 (entered in second quarter)
Landon Cohen -- 27 of 68 (entered in second quarter)
Damien Jacobs -- 3 of 68 (entered in fourth quarter)
Kyle Williams -- 0 of 68 (injured/did not play)
Alan Branch -- 0 of 68 (did not play)

Quick-hit thoughts: Without Williams, the Bills gave a heavy load of snaps to Bryant. He fared very well. Charles and Cohen quickly subbed in for Dareus, who had relatively light lifting Saturday. This group appears set.

Linebacker
Brandon Spikes -- 37 of 68 (starter)
Nigel Bradham -- 34 of 68 (starter)
Keith Rivers -- 30 of 68 (entered in first quarter)
Preston Brown -- 37 of 68 (entered in first quarter)
Randell Johnson -- 20 of 68 (entered in third quarter)
Ty Powell -- 19 of 68 (entered in third quarter)
Jimmy Gaines -- 6 of 68 (entered in fourth quarter)
Xavius Boyd -- 0 of 68 (special teams only)

Quick-hit thoughts: The Bills opened in a nickel look, so Rivers stayed on the bench. We saw Brown on the weak side for some snaps, a spot where he's likely to start in Week 1. Johnson and Powell round out the depth chart. Not much intrigue at this position.

Cornerback
Stephon Gilmore -- 43 of 68 (starter)
Leodis McKelvin -- 22 of 68 (starter)
Nickell Robey -- 17 of 68 (starter)
Ron Brooks -- 24 of 68 (entered in second quarter)
Ross Cockrell -- 21 of 68 (entered in third quarter)
Kamaal McIlwain -- 20 of 68 (entered in third quarter)
Sam MillerBobby Felder -- 0 of 68 (injured/did not play)
Mario Butler -- 0 of 68 (injured/did not play)

Quick-hit thoughts: I was surprised to see McKelvin play after he missed time later in the week with a groin injury. The Bills limited his workload and replaced him with Brooks in the second quarter. For the first time this preseason, Cockrell saw time at cornerback (as opposed to nickel back), but that might have been the result of injuries to Felder and Butler.

Safety
Aaron Williams -- 31 of 68 (starter)
Da'Norris Searcy -- 19 of 68 (starter)
Corey Graham -- 21 of 68 (entered in first quarter)
Duke Williams -- 20 of 68 (entered in first quarter)
Jajuan Harley -- 5 of 68 (entered in third quarter)
Deon Broomfield -- 18 of 68 (entered in third quarter)
Kenny Ladler -- 17 of 68 (entered in third quarter)
Derek Brim -- 8 of 68 (entered in third quarter)
Jonathan Meeks -- 0 of 68 (injured/did not play)

Quick-hit thoughts: Plenty of rotation at these spots in both halves. Searcy and Aaron Williams were the first pairing but then sat in favor of Duke Williams and Corey Graham for a drive in the first quarter. The starting duo returned in the second quarter. We've seen this throughout the preseason -- the Bills testing different combinations on their back-end and evaluating them for regular-season usage. The same held true in the second half, when the four less experienced players (Harley, Broomfield, Ladler, and Brim) mixed and matched.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


Insider