by Don Wassall
The 2010 Buffalo Bills present a very strange roster demographically. They begin the new season with 8 White starters — well above the NFL average — but those 8 are pretty much the only White players on the 53 man roster. Of the other 45 players, the two backup QBs are White, along with one White backup o-lineman, and of course the placekicker, punter and long snapper. All other backups and starters are black, which does not portend well for White players in future editions of the Bills.
Stanford’s Trent Edwards won the quarterback battle, defeating Harvard’s Ryan Fitzpatrick and Louisville’s Brian Brohm. Edwards has ability but has had an up and down career, which can be traced in part to the feeble offensive talent often surrounding him.
Going into his senior season, Brohm was widely expected to be the first overall draft pick in the 2008 NFL draft, but fell into the second round and has yet to get much of an opportunity with either Green Bay or Buffalo.
The reconstructed offensive line features 3 White starters, down 1 from last year. Geoff Hangartner, in his sixth season out of Texas A&M, is the center, while the two guard spots are held down by Andy Levitre and Eric Wood, both second year men. Wood was a first round draft pick out of Louisville in ’09 but was injured his rookie season. Levitre was a second round pick.
Backup guard Kraig Urbick is the only other White o-lineman on the roster.
Jonathan Stupar, in his second season out of Virginia, begins the 2010 campaign as the starting tight end.
The Bills had as many as 5 White players starting on defense a couple of years ago along with some White backups, but are currently down to just 3 Whites. Kyle Williams is that extreme rarity in the NFL, a White starting nose tackle. Even though Whites continue to utterly dominate contests measuring strength and stamina, the NFL all but shuts them out at a position characterized by strength and power, choosing instead to fill the league with morbidly obese “space fillers.” A dozen defensive tackles were taken in the first three rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft, all of them black, and if recent history is any guide, most or all of them will be busts and “underachievers.” Defensive tackle has become almost as “verboten” for Whites as running back and cornerback, even though Williams and Kelly Gregg of Baltimore are annually among the most productive tackles in the league.
Chris Kelsay was moved during the offseason from end to outside linebacker. The Nebraska grad is now in his 8th season and is always productive.
Paul Posluszny is a terrific middle linebacker, but the tackling machine’s playing time was limited by broken arms in both 2008 and 2009, and he hurt his knee in the first game of 2010. Initial reports called it a mild sprain and that he might miss only two games.
Just 10 of the team’s 18 assistant coaches are White.
NUMBER OF WHITE STARTERS: 8
NUMBER OF WHITES ON 53 MAN ROSTER: 14