Tonight the Buffalo Bills open their preseason schedule, taking on Donovan McNabb and the Washington Redskins at 7:30 pm EST. The game will showcase the Bills competition across the board, from quarterback, to wide receiver, to offensive line, and the front seven.
This slideshow will highlight the five aspects of Buffalo's game that you should keep an eye on as a preview to the season.
Arthur Moats was drafted in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft as a defensive end out of James Madison, but has made the transition to inside linebacker for George Edwards' new 3-4 defensive scheme.
With only four healthy inside linebackers slated to start in tonight's game, Moats is expected to get a ton of playing time. It will be interesting to watch how he has made the transition from pass rusher to run stopper.
Coach Chan Gailey has stated that Moats will be seeing time at both the "Will" and "Mike" inside linebacker spots.
Last year, the Buffalo Bills selected Aaron Maybin, the defensive end out of Penn State University in the first round. He was selected ahead of players like Brian Orakpo, Clay Matthews, and Brian Cushing, all of whom made an immediate impact as rookies. Maybin wasn't as lucky.
Now, with the Bills making the transition to the 3-4 defense, Maybin is being moved to an outside pass rushing role, where he is a more natural fit, and should flourish. Tonight will be Maybin's first game at the position, but he hasn't been able to beat out recently signed OLB Reggie Torbor, who was added after being cut from the Miami Dolphins.
Maybin really needs to step up, or the criticism will continue.
When the Bills selected the Central Florida standout nose tackle, Torrell Troup, over more notable names like Terrence Cody of Alabama or Cam Thomas of North Carolina, a lot of eyebrows raised.
Troup has reportedly had a great training camp, and coach Gailey thinks highly of him. Currently, Troup is splitting time with Kyle Williams at the nose tackle position. Troup certainly has a trip on his shoulder from the lack of attention before the draft, and will be motivated to compete and perform.
Trent Edwards is coming to the end of the rope in the minds of most Buffalo Bills fans, who hope to see Brian Brohm earn the starting job. However, Chan Gailey beleives that Edwards is the best quarterback on the roster, naming him No. 1 on the depth chart.
Edwards has been more vocal and exhibiting leadership skills that players aren't used to from the Stanford standout, and he needs to keep that up and fully take control of this offense in order to succeed.
Stevie Johnson, out of Kentucky, is currently the fan favorite to earn the No. 2 wide receiver role opposite of Lee Evans. The former wildcat has great speed and good hands, along with a fun personality that the fans love.
He is currently battling with 2008 second round pick, James Hardy, as well as Roscoe Parrish, Chad Jackson, and Marcus Easley for the second round spot.
If Johnson can perform and display his ability in the preseason, he could take that role over very soon.