Now that the dust of the 2011 Draft has settled, it’s time to analyze the current state of Buffalo’s roster. We’ll be taking a look at one position at a time. Today: Special Teams. (Previous editions: QB, RB, FB, WR, TE, OT, G/C)
On previous editions in this series we’ve broken down the current state of Buffalo’s offensive roster. Before we head into the defense, we’ll make a quick stop to check in on Buffalo’s specialists.
Players Under Contract (2): Rian Lindell, Brian Moorman
Possibly Departing Free Agents: Garrison Sanborn
Kicker: Rian Lindell
2010: 16-21 FG (long 51), 31-32 XP
Lindell is what he is: a solid kicker who struggles a bit in clutch situations and doesn’t have a ton of range. I don’t think you can complain too much about him though. He’s more or less automatic from 40 yards and closer and can handle the tough weather in Buffalo. Even though his leg strength isn’t great, he can hit from 50-plus, albeit inconsistently.
Lindell is good enough and consistent enough that’s he’s probably not going to be challenged for his job anytime soon. However, Lindell is in his mid-30s and you have to wonder how much longer he has before his currently average leg strength becomes a liability. I’ll say he’s got a few more years in Buffalo though.
Punter: Brian Moorman
2010: 75 punts, 42.4 avg., 36.6 net, 17 inside the 20, 7 touchbacks
This kills me to say – Moorman is probably my all-time favorite Bill – but the Bills’ longtime punter didn’t have a great 2010. He had quite a few shanked punts and seemed to struggle with his placement on pooch kicks. Moorman’s 36.6-yard net average was his worst since his first year in Buffalo. (He usually hovers around 40.0.) Moorman also rarely got to flash the great trick play ability we all know and love.
I’ll give Moorman the benefit of the doubt and say he’s going to bounce back in 2011. He is 35 and clearly on the downside of his career, but he’s athletic enough that I think he has a few more years in him. I hope so, anyway. It will be a very sad day when Moorman leaves Buffalo for good.
Long Snapper: Garrison Sanborn
2010: no snapping mistakes, 8 tackles
I’m no long-snapping expert, but it seems to me Sanborn is doing a pretty good job. I don’t recall him ever having a bad snap during his two years in Buffalo, and he’s always managing to fly downfield on punts to make plays. Don’t think you can ask of much more from your long snapper.
Sanborn is (maybe) a free agent, but he was tendered an offer before the lockout. I don’t think he’s going anywhere. Which is a very good thing.