By Nick Richardson @NickSonofDave on June 25, 2014
Even though the Buffalo Bills don’t have any true superstars on their roster, they have a select few players who form the backbone of the team. The following five players are the most irreplaceable pieces on the 2014 Buffalo Bills.
Few people thought much of Kiko Alonso when the Bills took him in the second round of last year’s draft, but he quickly established himself as one of the NFL’s best young linebackers. Alonso’s burden should be lighter this year with the additions of Brandon Spikes and Keith Rivers, but that should allow him to make more big plays. Teams will try to avoid him, which will only help the rest of the Bills’ defense.
Mario Williams has received his share of criticism while in Buffalo, which comes with the territory of having such an enormous contract. However, he has not missed a start as a Bill, and he led the team with 13 sacks last year on his way to a Pro Bowl selection. The double teams Williams attracts benefit the other players on the defensive line.
Like much of Buffalo’s offensive line, Eric Wood has had injury issues ever since he entered the league. The former first-round pick overcame those issues last year, however, playing in every game for the first time in his career. Wood is the silent anchor on the Bills’ offensive line, and is a big reason why Buffalo consistently has one of the league’s best running games.
There is perhaps no defensive linemen in the NFL more underrated than Kyle Williams. After making his third Pro Bowl in four seasons last year, he may finally be starting to get the attention he deserves. Williams is one of the longest-tenured Bills on the roster, and his leadership and toughness serve as an example to the team’s younger players. Getting 10.5 sacks from the defensive tackle position doesn’t hurt either.
There are more naturally gifted running backs in the NFL, but few are as hardworking and dependable as Fred Jackson. He has struggled to stay on the field, and it shows in the Bills’ performance when he doesn’t play. Jackson is almost never tackled by the first man, and also acts as a safety valve in Buffalo’s passing game. Add in his natural leadership skills and a large chip on his shoulder, and no player means more to the Bills than Jackson.
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