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Bills may search waiver cuts for a good corner

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Posted: Saturday, August 31, 2013 11:50 pm | Updated: 11:50 pm, Sat Aug 31, 2013.

So what do we make of the Bills’ cuts to get to the 53-man regular-season roster limit ... actually 50 right now?

Start with the reality that if Buffalo doesn’t snap up one or two veteran cornerbacks from the waiver wire — which they now have space to do —  new coach Doug Marrone’s team will have the league’s worst starters at that position.

Currently, there’s little choice.

The Bills’ corners are so bad, both starters from Thursday night’s game against the Lions — Crezdon Butler and T.J. Heath — were unceremoniously dumped on Friday.

So were rookies Kip Edwards and Jordan Dangerfield.

That leaves talented 2012 first-round draft choice Stephon Gilmore, out 6-to-8 weeks with a broken wrist, Leodis McKelvin, a disappointment in coverage after being a first-rounder in ‘08, young veterans Justin Rogers and Ron Brooks and rookie Nickell Robey, he of the two lost fumbles on punt returns.

Right now the starters are McKelvin and either Rogers or Brooks, the non-starter being the “nickel” back.

Good luck with that trio.

Hence the hope for waiver help.

BUT TWO other positions are also interesting.

Start with the defensive line, which still seems slightly overpopulated, especially compared to the small group at corner.

In all there are eight on the DL, three at end (Mario Williams, Alex Carrington and Jerry Hughes and five at tackle (Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, Jay Ross, Alan Branch and Corbin Bryant.

Meanwhile, there appears to be a shortage on the offensive line.

Besides the five starters — center Eric Wood, guards Kraig Urbik and Colin Brown and tackles Cordy Glenn and Erik Pears — there are two reserves, both tackles (Thomas Welch and Sam Young).

There are no back-ups who are either a center or guard by trade — it hasn’t yet been announced but former Steeler Doug Legursky seems IR-bound with a knee injury —  meaning anybody hurt at either of those spots would require a position switch.

THE OTHER units are more conventional numerically.

There are two quarterbacks, including first-round draft choice EJ Manuel, who could well start next Sunday against the Patriots at “The Ralph” presuming he’s recovered from “minor” knee surgery. Behind him is rookie free agent Jeff Tuel, who played well in preseason. Trade acquisition Thad Lewis, who played creditable Thursday against his former team, was cut, meaning the Bills are confident about Manuel’s recovery. However, don’t be surprised if Lewis is re-signed or ends up on the practice squad for which he’s still eligible.

There are four running backs, including fullback Frank Summers, three tight ends and six receivers: starters Stevie Johnson and T.J. Graham, rookie back-ups Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin and young veterans Marcus Easley and Chris Hogan, who both survived the toughest training camp battle.

On defense, besides the eight linemen and 10 in the secondary (five each corners and safeties), there are seven linebackers.

There are also the usual three special teamers: place-kicker, punter and long-snapper.

And despite the 25 roster moves, there weren’t many surprises.

Quarterback Kevin Kolb’s placement on injured reserve could be a career-ender to the concussion-prone veteran and wide receiver/kick returner Brad Smith (ribs) likely will see his Buffalo career end on IR.

The biggest name cut — though not surprising — was linebacker Bryan Scott who seemed destined to be traded or waived when he played in the fourth quarter against Detroit.

Torell Troup, a second-round pick in 2010, was also cut after battling injuries and failing to make an impression for a third straight camp.

FOR THE record, all seven draft choices made the squad. Eleven rookies are on the roster and 24 players have a year’s experience or less.

Incredibly, only three Bills have reached their 30th birthday: running back Fred Jackson (32), Pears (31) and Kyle Williams (30), the longest tenured Buffalo player with eight seasons.

(Chuck Pollock, the Times Herald sports editor, can be reached at cpollock@oleantimesherald.com)

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