Bills converting Barnes to tackle

Ryan wants to give Barnes a shot at left tackle.

The Buffalo Bills signed T.J. Barnes in early December in what appeared to be a roster move for 2016. Rex Ryan was familiar with Barnes from his time on the Jets and Barnes looked like a traditional 3-4 nose tackle at 6'7" and 364 pounds. Early in OTAs, it appears that Ryan and the Bills have a new plan for Barnes. They're attempting to convert him to offensive tackle.

Ryan told the media on Tuesday that he came up with the plan to move Barnes to offensive tackle after seeing him in person.

"Well, when I saw him," Ryan said. "You've seen some conversions like that. Obviously in Buffalo you guys had it with the kid that's playing in Philly now, (Jason) Peters played tight end then you guys went to d-line and you just knew he was such a great athlete. This guy is such a big man, he's smart, a graduate of Georgia Tech so I was like, you know, let's give him a shot there. We can always move him back but let's give him a shot at o-line and see how he does. Obviously right now he looks a little lost to say the least but I'm confident. I think he's got the mental makeup for it, I think he's smart, I think he's got a great teacher, he's got two great coaches over there that are working with him on a daily basis, he's got a great room offensive line guys with Cordy Glenn, learning from a Cordy Glenn or a Richie Incognito and Eric Wood. These guys are going to try to take him under their wing as well and so we'll see how he develops."

Barnes' transition to offensive tackle will be interesting. Cordy Glenn recently signed a long-term extension with the team, but the backup job is wide open. Buffalo has Jordan Mills, Seantrel Henderson, and Cyrus Kouandjio competing at right tackle but one of the three players could be released if Barnes transitions smoothly to his new role. In addition to battling this trio for a roster spot, Barnes will also compete against undrafted free agents such as Keith Lumpkin and Marquis Lucas.

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