by Bob Gaughan, Buffalo Sports Page

The Saturday release of Lesean McCoy solidified the Bills roster heading into next Sunday’s season opener.  Bob Gaughan breaks down the decisions.

Quarterback

Bills decide to go with two quarterbacks and this is no shock. Tyree Jackson had no chance of playing this year. The Bills will bring in a third quarterback for the practice squad and Tyree has a chance to land there. I just couldn’t see Tyree ever playing this year. Even if Josh Allen and Matt Barkley got hurt I feel they would bring Derek Anderson back for a spot start if necessary.

Running Back

The decision to let Shady go makes sense. Brandon Beane must not have found any trade partners for McCoy. McCoy was going to be here for only one more year anyway. Devin Singletary showed he is the future for the Bills. Frank Gore amazingly still has something left to give. Gore never seems to lose any yards. TJ Yeldon came on towards the end of camp. He is an asset catching the ball out of the backfield. In four years with the Bills McCoy rushed for 3,824 yards and had 1,334 receiving yards. He scored 30 TD’s. Bills fans should have only fond memories of his years. Last year was a disaster but that wasn’t his fault. McCoy moves on back with his old coach Andy Reid in Kansas City. Wish him only the best.

Wide Receiver

The Bills decide to go with six and Isaiah McKenzie beats out Ray Ray McCloud and Duke Williams for the final spot. This was the best battle in all camp. McCloud and Williams both had very good camps. Williams had the best case for making the team since he gave you something the others guys didn’t, a tall receiver for the redzone. End result is the Bills will have a different look this year led by John Brown and Cole Beasley. Robert Foster and Zay Jones will have different roles this year. Bills fan base have a short fuse for both Jones and Foster. Wouldn’t be surprised if this were both guys last year in Buffalo.

Offensive Line

Brandon Beane should get some award for getting draft picks for two guys he was going to cut in Russel Bodine and Wyatt Teller. Shocked the Bills kept 10 guys. The 10th guy being Ike Boettger. Teams sometimes play around as the year goes on with the last few roster spots. New England does thing more than anyone. Wouldn’t be surprised if Boettger isn’t here the whole year depending on injuries.

Still a question of where Cody Ford plays. Best line in my eyes is with Ty Nsekhe at tackle and Ford at guard.

Tight End

Biggest positive sign is that Tyler Kroft didn’t go on the PUP list. This is a sign that he might be progressing and will be able to play sooner rather than later. Jason Croom was a shock for me to make the roster. He’s another guy that maybe here for a short time. When Kroft is ready to play I could see the Bills letting Croom walk. (or placing him on short-term IR as reports indicate)

Defensive End

Daryl Johnson was the most pleasant surprise of camp. He showed enough pass rush moves to easily beat out Eddie Yarborough. When Mike Love got injured this was a no-brainer. This is a huge year for Shaq Lawson. Johnson could take his job next year if the Bills decide to move-on and no re-sign Shaq.

Defensive Tackle

This was also a no-brainer. Ed Oliver, Star Lotulelei, Harrison Phillips and Jordan Phillips were the four guys holding down spots from day one. This should be the strength of the team. Bills fans love all four of these guys.

Linebacker

The injury to fifth round pick Vosean Joseph saved him from being cut. He showed little to nothing all pre-season. Julian Sanford, Corey Thompson and Maurice Alexander back up the starters. These three had the best camps and will play roles on special teams.

Cornerback

Another position that seemed to be in the bag all camp. White, Wallace, Kevin Johnson and Taron Johson are your top four. Siran Neal beat out Lafayette Pitts. Bills like Neal’s versatility to play the big nickel. This should be another strength for the team. Wallace seems like he still will start over Kevin Johnson. The nature of the position is that I expect to see all these guys play throughout the year.

Safety

Biggest shock was letting Kurt Coleman go. Report then come out immediately that Coleman will be back in no time. Hyde and Poyer are solid starters and with a veteran like Coleman backing them up, the Bills are solid here. I like the playmaking ability of rookie Jaquan Johnson. Glad he made the team.

Specialist

Stephen Hauschka contract extension this week made the job his to keep. Hopefully he can return to form of two years ago. He is one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history. The punting job is still up in the air with Corey Bojorquez having the job today. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills like last year bring in a punter that was cut form another team.

**Update:  As of Sunday afternoon, the Bills have made no waiver claims and have not made any adjustments to the roster.

Bob Gaughan

Bob Gaughan has worked in Buffalo media for over 25 years. He spent 15 of those years as a staple on WGR radio as a talk show host and sports director. Currently, Bob works for UB Athletics on the radio broadcast of football and women’s basketball. Off the air, he has been an adjunct professor for over 20 years at Buffalo State College where he developed and has taught a class on how to be a talk show host.

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