|Bills: Kelsay Could Thrive In This D |
by Len Pasquarelli of Scout.com, June 1, 2012 at 5:49 pm ET
Chris Kelsay Profile
Defensive end Chris Kelsay has made 92 of his 116 starts in a 4-3 front during his nine seasons with the Buffalo Bills.
Only one of those starts, though, has been at right end. With the free agent addition of Mario Williams, who has requested to line up on the left, that could change some in '12, and the transformation probably started this week. When Buffalo commenced its OTA sessions, Kelsay lined up at the weak end spot in the 4-3 defense being installed by new coordinator Dave Wannstedt.
Part of that may have been because oft-injured Shawne Merriman, who is moving from linebacker to end in the revamped defense, is still rehabilitating from his latest Achilles surgery. While Mark Anderson, the "other" of the Bills' high-profile free agent additions, and Merriman are expected to provide most of the pass-rush pressure from the right side, Buffalo coaches feel Kelsay will benefit as well, even if he plays only as a part-timer at right end, and perhaps bump his sack total.
"He had a little more 'jump,' it seemed," said one assistant coach in characterizing Kelsay's performance in the OTA sessions.
Kelsay, 32, has been a warrior for the Bills, but has never rung up more than the 5.5 sacks he recorded in 2006. But for most of his career, Kelsay has been an undersized left end, asked to principally anchor versus the run, despite weighing only 260-265 pounds.
The past two seasons, Kelsay struggled some as a strong-side linebacker in the 3-4 defense favored by former coordinator George Edwards. There has long been a suspicion that Kelsay possesses rush abilities that were a little better than his sack totals suggest and, while opportunities on third down might be limited in 2012 by the presence of Anderson and Merriman, this could be the season he confirms that