Teague testy about center

Trey Teague said he signed with the Bills as a free agent because he was "just excited about their commitment to me, and the chance to be the left tackle."

 

But in this mini-camp, Teague has been working with the second offensive line while second-year man Marques Sullivan played with the first unit. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride talked about Teague or Sullivan as the starter at that position, and also indicated that Teague would be tried at center during the team's June mini-camp

The 27-year-old Teague has been somewhat defensive -- especially about the prospect of playing center, which he hasn't played since he was at the University of Tennessee.

"I'm looking forward to starting at left tackle. I'm prepared to compete for that position the best I can," he said. "At this time, I'm preparing the best I can to play tackle and learn the system here."

What about playing center? "I don't really want to get into that."

Most likely, the reason Sullivan has been with the first unit has been that the coaches want to evaluate him. His status even to stay with the team is far more tenuous than Teague's.

Last season, Teague's fourth in the NFL, was his first as a full-time starter. He went into the Broncos' 2001 training camp after missing part of the previous season because of a knee injury. "Several guys were there," he said, "and I won the job."

Again, he didn't want to draw parallels between his situation last year and this season. It's clear he feels the job in Buffalo is his.

Running back Travis Henry is looking forward to running behind Teague, as he did as a freshman at Tennessee. "Trey Teague is an outstanding guy," Henry said. "He always showed class. He tried to talk to the young guys he thought would be a big factor on the team. He showed good character. I think he can do the same thing here."

No matter what happens with Buffalo's offensive line, quarterback Drew Bledsoe said he thinks he'll be able to pass the ball without having to run for his life. "I'm confident they're going to put the right combination out there, and I'm going to step back and chuck it."

Bledsoe said Wednesday, "The most important thing you can have as a quarterback is to know you're protected on your blind side. There's no question that having Trey over there with some experience is important. He has been effective against NFL pass rushers."

That's just another indication that the starting offensive line on Sept. 8 will have Teague at left tackle and Jennings at center.


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