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Buffalo Bills Take Steps to Improve Special Teams

March 16th, 2014 at 12:15 PM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101

The Buffalo Bills took perhaps the biggest steps in their first few days of free agency upgrading their special teams.

Buffalo's special teams ranked second-worst in the NFL last season, according to the latest Gosselin Rankings. So to upgrade their coverage units, they added depth with running back Anthony Dixon and cornerback Corey Graham.

'2012 Buffalo Bills Training Camp' photo (c) 2012, Doug Kerr - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Born and raised in Buffalo, Graham said he actually grew up idolizing one of the best special teams players of all-time:

"I also loved Steve Tasker. It's weird. Most people would be like, 'Why would you like Steve Tasker?' I just liked how hard he played and how hard he worked, things like that. I like to pride myself on working hard."

Graham's play in the backfield and on special teams helped the Baltimore Ravens win a Super Bowl two years ago. And Dixon got the San Francisco 49ers close the past two seasons thanks in part to his special teams play. He has played most every position on special teams, including kick returner, so he said he's ready for whatever the Bills need.

What's more, he's actually grown to love covering kicks:

"I definitely found a love of special teams in my years at San Francisco. Never had played it before I got to the league and I just got there and started watching more film, and that is part of who I am …  It don’t really matter where you put me, I’m going to execute."

Special teams is often a niche for players who might otherwise not be kept on an NFL roster. So to have players who actually enjoy that phase of the game is a welcome addition to the Bills, who could attribute at least two losses last season largely to special teams coverage. 

The Bills further shored up special teams this past week by re-signing kicker Dan Carpenter, who made 33 of 36 field goal attempts last season.

Tags: Anthony Dixon, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo, Buffalo Bills, Corey Graham, Dan Carpenter, Football, NFL, san francisco 49ers

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