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Breaking down Bills' defensive snaps

The Buffalo Bills' starters saw their most significant action of the preseason in Saturday's 19-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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

Defensive end

Mario Williams -- 21 of 56 (starter)

Jerry Hughes -- 21 of 56 (starter)

Manny Lawson -- 20 of 56 (entered in third quarter)

Jacquies Smith -- 20 of 56 (entered in third quarter)

Jarius Wynn -- 12 of 56 (entered in third quarter)

Ikponmwosa Igbinosun -- 9 of 56 (entered in fourth quarter)

Bryan Johnson -- 9 of 56 (entered in fourth quarter)

Quick-hit thoughts: Small tweak in the middle of the list, with Smith entering the game before Wynn. That was likely due to the Bills being in their sub package at the beginning of the second half. When the Steelers went back to their base personnel, Wynn came into the game. Smith is pushing for a roster spot but may be left on the outside.

Defensive tackle

Kyle Williams -- 19 of 56 (starter)

Marcell Dareus -- 21 of 56 (starter)

Corbin Bryant -- 23 of 56 (entered in second quarter)

Stefan Charles -- 15 of 56 (entered in third quarter)

Landon Cohen -- 16 of 56 (entered in third quarter)

Damien Jacobs -- 9 of 56 (entered in fourth quarter)

Alan Branch -- 9 of 56 (entered in fourth quarter)

Quick-hit thoughts: The red flags for Branch get bigger and brighter. He didn't enter the game until the fourth quarter, playing alongside three inexperienced players (Jacobs, Igbinosun, Johnson). If the Bills keep two reserve options behind Williams and Dareus, those spots could come down to Bryant, Charles, and Cohen.

Linebacker

Brandon Spikes -- 20 of 56 (starter)

Keith Rivers -- 11 of 56 (starter)

Nigel Bradham -- 15 of 56 (starter)

Preston Brown -- 29 of 56 (entered in second quarter)

Randell Johnson -- 19 of 56 (entered in third quarter)

Stevenson Sylvester -- 18 of 56 (entered in third quarter)

Jimmy Gaines -- 6 of 56 (entered in fourth quarter)

Xavius Boyd -- 4 of 56 (entered in fourth quarter)

Ty Powell -- 0 of 56 (medical/did not play)

Quick-hit thoughts: Seeing a separation between Sylvester, the fifth-year pro, and Gaines, an undrafted rookie. With Bradham suspended, the Bills have an extra roster spot to use in Week 1. It could go to Sylvester.

Cornerback

Stephon Gilmore -- 21 of 56 (starter)

Corey Graham -- 21 of 56 (starter)

Nickell Robey -- 17 of 56 (entered in first quarter)

Ron Brooks -- 18 of 56 (entered in third quarter)

Bobby Felder -- 11 of 56 (entered in third quarter)

Ross Cockrell -- 25 of 56 (entered in third quarter)

Mario Butler -- 10 of 56 (entered in third quarter)

Kamaal McIlwain -- 17 of 75 (entered in third quarter)

Sam Miller -- 14 of 56 (entered in fourth quarter)

Leodis McKelvin -- 0 of 56 (did not play)

Quick-hit thoughts: For three consecutive games, Cockrell has exclusively played in the slot. Felder and Brooks were the outside cornerbacks when he was on the field. In a sense, that could be a very good sign for Brooks' roster security. In the event of an injury to Gilmore, McKelvin, or Graham, he could get the nod over Cockrell.

Safety

Da'Norris Searcy -- 21 of 56 (starter)

Duke Williams -- 20 of 56 (starter)

Aaron Williams -- 18 of 56 (entered in third quarter)

JaJuan Harley -- 18 of 56 (entered in third quarter)

Deon Broomfield -- 16 of 56 (entered in third quarter)

Kenny Ladler -- 14 of 56 (entered in third quarter)

Derek Brim -- 9 of 56 (entered in fourth quarter)

Jonathan Meeks -- 0 of 56 (injured/did not play)

Quick-hit thoughts: Marrone reiterated after the game that Aaron Williams remains a starter. That means the team wanted to get film on Searcy and Duke Williams playing together against the Steelers' first-team defense.