New look Bills hope to improve by leaps and bounds

Head Coach Chan Gailey has a simple plan for this upcoming season. Find as many good players as you can and let them battle it out for a position.  If you win, you play.

“We made some good additions to our football team. We said at the end of the season, our biggest challenge was to improve our pass rush, and that’s what we have done to this point. We haven’t done it on the field, but at least we’ve done it on paper. We’re excited about that. And when you help your football team in one area, you help your football team – there’s a ripple effect in a lot of different areas. So help your team in a lot of ways.” – Coach Chan Gailey on Buffalo upgrading its pass rush with free agents Mario Williams and Mark Anderson.

But the key for the year will be a defense that ranked the  third worst in the NFL giving up 27.1 points a game.

New Defensive Coordinator Dave Wannstedt is looking to switch the Buffalo Bills defensive scheme from 3-4 to 4-3 and, with the help of former Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly, they are keying in on and signing the right players.  That was evident when the team offered former Houston Texan Mario Williams a 6-year deal worth over $100 million.  Williams will most likely switch back to his natural DE position.

On the opposite of Williams will be Mark Anderson who also signed a long term deal.  The former Patriot had fantastic  2011 season and finished with 10 sacks on the year.   Both players are expected to make such an impact for the team that the Bills are already being proclaimed the “unofficial season champs.”

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Bills Release DL Marcus Stroud

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The released defensive lineman Marcus Stroud in a move on Wednesday that freed up salary and playing time for the team’s young and developing players.

Stroud’s departure was not considered a surprise after the 10-year NFL veteran struggled in making the transition in Buffalo’s switch to a 3-4 defensive scheme. Stroud was scheduled to make $10 million in base salary over the final two years of his contract, including $4.5 million next season.

Stroud also proved expendable after the Bills selected defensive linemen Torell Troup and Alex Carrington in the second and third rounds of the draft last year. Both are expected to compete for additional playing time next season.

The Bills had no comment aside from announcing Stroud’s release.

Stroud is a three-time Pro Bowl selection, who completed his third season in Buffalo after being acquired in a trade with Jacksonville in March 2008.

He showed up to training camp in July leaner in preparing to make the switch from defensive tackle to end in the Bills’ new scheme. However, he struggled along with an entire defense that finished 24th in the NFL in yards allowed and last in yards rushing. The Bills finished 4-12 and opened the season losing their first eight games.

Stroud finished last season with 49 tackles and three sacks — matching the most he had since 2007 — in 15 games, including 14 starts. In three seasons with Buffalo, he had 7½ sacks in 46 games.

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