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Starters: Cordy Glenn, Andy Levitre, Eric Wood, Kraig Urbik, Erik Pears
Reserves: Chris Hairston, Michael Jasper, Colin Brown, Chad Rinehart, Sam Young
It seems as though the Bills are going to give second-rounder Cordy Glenn every opportunity to win the starting left tackle job. He’s been getting all the first-team reps in OTAs, and his development has reportedly been “steady.” Chris Hairston could still earn the job, but as of now, it looks like he’s ticketed for the primary backup spot.
Andy Levitre was having a superb season last year until he was forced to hopscotch all over the offensive line due to injuries. If things stay intact across the line in 2012 and he can stay in position, he could make a case for the Pro Bowl.
Meanwhile, the freakishly athletic Michael Jasper, who is down to 375 pounds after being 440 pounds just a year and half ago, could finally have a role with the Bills. Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News details Jasper’s journey, and while he’s still an underdog, both the Bills and their fans are excited to see what he can do. He could earn a backup guard spot.
At center, Eric Wood is coming off yet another injury (torn ACL), but he’s expected to be 100 percent for 2012, according to his own Twitter account. Because of his recent injury history, Wood needs a capable backup behind him. Rookie Mark Asper could land the No. 2 center gig, considering his versatility on the line. But the Bills will likely prefer Colin Brown’s experience out of the gate.
Kraig Urbik and Chad Rinehart are like the Olsen twins of the Bills. Their skill sets are extremely similar, they’re both at approximately the same point in their careers and they both signed restrictive free-agent contracts this offseason. It’s almost as if they’re interchangeable.
Urbik started 13 games in 2011 and actually fared pretty well when filling in for Wood at center. But Rinehart also started 12 games last season. This may actually be a position battle in camp to monitor, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rinehart sneak into the starting lineup.
Finally, at right tackle, Erik Pears will return as the starter after signing a contract extension in December of 2011. While Chris Hairston will likely be the swing tackle if he doesn’t start on the left side, it looks like journeyman Sam Young will be listed behind Pears. GM Buddy Nix had positive things to say about Young when the Bills acquired him last year.