FINALLY! Bills get a good kick returner

The Bills' swap of weakside linebacker Jay Foreman for Houston returner Charlie Rogers is outstanding. Buffalo traded a linebacker it no longer wanted for a dedicated kick returner, which it really hasn't had since Kevin Williams. Foreman was a player who never really fit into Gregg Williams and Jerry Gray's defense. Rogers is a player who'll fit nicely in the return game.

Rogers, who is fast, is better than anything the Bills have had since Williams. Last year at Seattle – the Texans picked him up in the expansion draft – Rogers averaged 9.8 yards on 25 punts, with a long of 34. Of punt returners who had 25 or more returns, he ranked 12th in the league. He returned 50 kickoffs – tied for sixth in the NFL – and averaged 22.4 yards, with a long of 64 yards. Of kickoff returners who had more than 40 returns, that ranked 16th. Of course, you cannot forget his 81-yard kickoff return for a touchdown vs. Buffalo two years ago in the season finale.

Rogers is not the greatest kick returner of all time, but he's certainly above average, and for Buffalo to swap an expendable positional player for a player at a position it has needed since 1999, dude, c'mon that is so wise.

It was obvious the Bills didn't want Foreman from the beginning of the off-season because they spent considerable time trying to replace him. Before signing Eddie Robinson, they had also met with James Farrior and Mike Caldwell. Last training camp, Gregg Williams even told me that he wants to see more nastiness out of Foreman. While Foreman improved as the year went on, he's better suited in th3 3-4 defense that Dom Capers is instituting in Houston.

What concerns me about Rogers is his durability, due to his 5'9", 177-pound frame, and his penchant for fumbling. In the last three seasons, he's had 10 fumbles – though he cut down from 2000, when he had five, to 2001, when he had two.

Ironically, the only catch of his NFL career came vs. Buffalo last season when he grabbed a ball for a seven-yard gain.

Talk with Lary Bump and Mike Doser in the Shout! chat room during NFL Draft 2002 April 20-21. They'll be at Bills headquarters covering the activity.


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