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NFL Blitz: Bills Have a New Look, Too

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New general manager, new coach, a shift to the 3-4 defense.

No, we're not talking about the Redskins right now. We're looking at the Buffalo Bills, who meet the Redskins Friday night at FedExField in the preseason opener for both.

Like the Redskins, the Bills are a much-changed franchise. Their struggles and eventual 6-10 record in 2009 cost Dick Jauron his job as head coach and his interim replacement, Perry Fewell, also did not survive the final purge. Jauron wound up as an assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles and Fewell is the New York Giants new defensive coordinator.

Buddy Nix is now the Bills' GM, Chan Gailey the coach. The Bills have not made the playoffs since 1999 and are once again in rebuilding mode with 27 new players on the roster.

"New coach, new swagger, new attitude, new everything. It's a good look," wide receiver Roscoe Parrish says.

Well, at least a different one.

The Bills added a breakaway threat in running back C.J. Spiller, their No. 1 pick.

They're still looking at quarterbacks, though incumbent Trent Edwards probably will hang on to his starting job.

New defensive coordinator George Edwards faces the challenge of getting players not only to buy in but to fit the 3-4.

"It's a little different for them but I think they're adjusting pretty good," Edwards says.

"It's been going great," agrees linebacker Kawika Mitchell. "Coach Edwards does a great job of teaching us, so he makes it real simple for us to pick up."

The Bills need to shore up a rushing defense that ranked 30th in the NFL last year and energize an offense that shared that 30th rank. Perhaps the 3-4 helps on the first count. Edwards must make a difference for the offense, which has seen too many quarterbacks (Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrck, Brian Brohm, J.P. Losman) fail to claim this job.

Wide receiver Lee Evans sees growth in Edwards, who begins his fourth season.

"He's definitely matured as a quarterback," Evans says. "He's definitely a lot more vocal this year in camp. I think it just goes to show how much more confident he is."

Confident, perhaps, but not satisfied.

"I'm still a perfectionist," says Edwards. "I'm not where I need to be. Am I going in the right direction? Yes, but I still have a long way to go."


Larry Weisman, an award-winning journalist during 25 years with USA TODAY, writes for Redskins.com and appears nightly on Redskins Nation on Comcast SportsNet. Read his Redskinsblitz blog at Redskinsrule.com and follow him on Twitter.com/LarryWeisman.

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