Most of the talk about the Bills’ underachieving defense has centered on the D-line, but the linebackers haven’t helped the cause. Dave Wannstedt and Chan Gailey made a change last week, putting rookie Nigel Bradham in as the starting "Sam" linebacker in place of a disappointing Arthur Moats. Bradham had three tackles and played 31 snaps vs. Arizona, while Moats played four defensive snaps.
“He did pretty well. He flew around. He made some mistakes,” Gailey told reporters Monday about Bradham’s first career start. Gailey went on to say that Bradham is a faster player than Moats.
“It was not like Arthur was playing bad. It is just we see a great upside with the size and speed of Nigel. We are going to allow him to play,” he said.
We heard the Bills wanted to use Moats as a starter because of his athleticism — he beat out veteran Kirk Morrison for the starting job — but they were aware that the coverage that came along with the position would be new for him.
Second-year MLB Kelvin Sheppard has yet to be the solution to the Bills’ run defense problems, as it ranks last in the league heading into Week Seven. The hope is that Bradham, who was ranked as the top strong-side linebacker in the draft in PFW's 2012 Draft Guide, can provide a spark. In PFW's 2012 Draft Preview, Nolan Nawrocki wrote that Bradham is a “rocked up, experienced, see-and-go hitter with a desirable football makeup.”