Price's familiarity should help line

Shawn Price isn't the answer to the Bills' defensive-line problems, but at least he represents part of a longer-term solution.

And it will be longer-term, because even he knows he isn't 100 per cent ready to play.

After the Bills' loss to Minnesota Friday night, as Price walked up the tunnel with his former and new teammates he still limped slightly after undergoing knee surgery last December.

He will be on the field at St. John Fisher Sunday, and possibly for Buffalo's final two exhibitions.

"You always have that question mark in the back of your head until you get the pads on," he admitted.

Clearly, help is needed. Multiple combinations of linemen have been used, and none of them has a sack in two games. After giving up 181 yards rushing against Cincinnati, the Bills surrendered 104 in just the first half against the Vikings.

"We've got to get better," said nose tackle Pat Williams. "It just ain't clicking."

Part of the problem, he indicated, is the revolving door of linemen. "They've had to try out this guy and this guy and this guy. It's a coach's decision, and they're my bosses too."

Williams also said the return of Price, a linemate during all of his five seasons in Buffalo, should help. "He's a veteran, and I know what Shawn does. It's not like I've got to learn this guy this week and the next week learn a new guy. I don't know what he can do, and he doesn't know what I can do."

Price knows what Williams can do, and he also knows what another possible veteran addition, defensive end Chidi Ahanotu, can do. "He was my teammate in Tampa my first two years in the league," Price said. "He's real strong on the run and a very physical player. He pushes the pocket good."

Thus far, Buffalo's D-line hasn't even dented opponents' pocket.

Tom Donahoe confirmed that the Bills have made an offer to Ahanotu. "We'll probably get a decision the early part of next week," the team president said. "He wanted a couple of days to think about it."

Any more than a couple of days might be too late for this team. 

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