Huntley more of an ST than RB acquisition

At first glance, the Richard Huntley acquisition seems to make little sense, particularly because Buffalo is in real need of a proven under tackle and left end, and it already has two decent backup running backs in Sammy Morris and Shawn Bryson. But the more you look at it, the more it adds up. I just don't know if it adds up more than their need at under tackle and left end.

Anyway, let's analyze it. Or as Lary "The Professor" Bump says, "let's branalyze it, because we are the Bills' "Breaking News Analyzer." Get it? Branalyze?

First, Huntley isn't being brought in to replace Travis Henry. Certainly, Henry has much to prove this year – he needs to be a little more durable and a little more mature. But Huntley, having never been a No. 1 back heading into a season, is still going to be a role player in Buffalo. He'll be a specialized back – a third-down back – who will catch the ball and run it on occasion.

Now that sounds remarkably similar to Morris and Bryson, doesn't it?

Well, yes, but there is one exception. Huntley is a much better special teams player than Bryson. Morris, on the other hand, is a good special-teamer, having led the Bills with 28 tackles last year. Consequently, that's why Bryson is expendable as tradebait, sort of like how Jay Foreman became expendable when Buffalo acquired Eddie Robinson.

Right now Buffalo is primarily interested in Huntley's special teams prowess. Though he didn't record any special teams tackles last year in his only season with Carolina (probably because he didn't play many special teams due to being the Panthers' starting running back for nine games), he was second on the Steelers with 18 special teams tackles in 2000.

By adding Huntley, Buffalo is strengthening its coverage units. Currently, their top players there are Morris and linebackers Fred Jones (26 tackles last year) and DaShon Polk (also 26 tackles last year).

Suffice it to say, when you go predicting your roster, make sure those three players are on the list of players who make the team. They're not going anywhere. And Huntley only makes them better.

 


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