By Nick Richardson @NickSonofDave on August 14, 2014
The Buffalo Bills will try to improve to 2-1 for the 2014 preseason when they face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers this Saturday. But more importantly, the Bills will try to answer some of their lingering personnel questions. Here are five things that bear watching in Pittsburgh.
Lewis was expected to be the leader heading into the season, but he has not looked very good through training camp and the first two preseason games. Tuel, on the other hand, has been fairly impressive and currently has the inside track on the backup QB spot. Whoever sees the field first will likely be coach Doug Marrone’s preferred choice as E.J. Manuel’s backup.
One of the biggest reasons why the Bills’ offense has struggled in the past is their inability to capitalize on their red zone opportunities. Those same struggles have been apparent to this point in the preseason as well. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and the rest of the offense need to be more unpredictable, and the preseason is the perfect place to practice that. They might as well take a few risks when they have the chance to do so.
Veteran center Eric Wood has been the Bills’ only reliable offensive lineman so far this preseason. The rest of the unit has suffered from either injury or poor play. Left tackle Cordy Glenn has missed most of training camp, so it is unclear how much playing time, if any, he sees against the Steelers. Both guard spots remain up for grabs. Erik Pears is the incumbent at right tackle for no other reason than rookie Cyrus Kouandjio isn't ready.
There is no doubt as to who is the No. 1 WR. Rookie Sammy Watkins has been among Buffalo’s best players in training camp and hasn’t looked too bad in preseason action either. The rest of the depth chart is a mystery. Robert Woods, the supposed No. 2, has seen his reps cut in favor of Mike Williams and Chris Hogan. This could be seen as a good problem to have, but Woods was supposed to be an important player for the Bills in 2014.
Even though it’s technically Week 2 of preseason around the NFL, the Bills are actually getting ready for their third game, having started off the preseason against the New York Giants in the Hall of Fame Game. With three more games still to play, Doug Marrone needs to decide how long he is going to let his starters play. An extra game provides more practice but also more opportunity for injury.
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