Centers, Robinson became expendable

It's no surprise the Bills released weakside linebacker Eddie Robinson and fullback Larry Centers. Robinson, despite his assertion a few weeks ago that he was thinking too much on the field instead of just playing, really struggled last year. Centers is a finesse fullback – not the kind of bruising blocking fullback that Kevin Gilbride prefers.

Robinson, who will be 33 on April 13, was never really a part of next year's plan. Gregg Williams said he only talked to Robinson once at the end of the season and did not discuss with him the possibility that he could play another role for the team if Takeo Spikes came aboard.

But Robinson intends to play football this season, and he wants to start somewhere. He's not sitting on his butt in Florida, doing nothing. He's training and working out in preparation for another opportunity.

The problem is that, not only did he look in the twilight of his career for Buffalo, but it appeared that nightfall was very quickly approaching for him. I'm just not sure Robinson can play anymore.

Of course, the other stories you read about Robinson talked about his lack of big plays last season – which is true – but he was never a big play kind of guy in the first place. He was always the player in the right position for a tackle, and always in the right position in the defense. He wasn't a big fumble-forcer, interceptor, or fumble-recoverer. He didn't take many chances.

As for Centers, my, how quickly the cream-of-the-crop free agent pickup one year becomes just another cut. I remember watching mini-camp two years ago, when Centers, still unsigned, was visiting the Bills' fieldhouse practice. I think it was Gregg Williams who tossed a pen his way, sort of indicating to Centers to sign the contract and join the team that day. It didn't take much longer after that for Centers to become a Bill.

One time Centers remarked to my colleague Lary Bump that he trusted the Bills' coaches and management so much that he felt he could shoot craps with them over the telephone.

Now he's an ex-Bill – I wonder if his opinion of team management has changed.

Centers, who'll be 35 in June, can still catch, still has very reliable hands, and can still be a weapon – just not in the Gilbride offense.


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