The Buffalo Bills benched Ronald Darby last week in favor of Corey White. Who will start this week?
In the Bills’ last game against the Seattle Seahawks, sophomore cornerback Ronald Darby struggled in the game. The Bills brought in Corey White to replace him and White ended up getting 45 snaps to Darby’s 24 in the game. It opened up a debate about who would start this week against the Bengals.
Earlier in the week it looked like they were going to give Corey White the job. The team was serious about benching Darby who is not playing anywhere near the level he played last season. According to WKBW, Rex Ryan said:
"“Ronald Darby is an outstanding talent. We need Ronald Darby to play the way he’s capable of playing and what we think he’s capable of playing.”"
There is no doubt that Darby needs to play better but out of the Bills two starting cornerbacks many would argue that Gilmore has been the worse player. So why sit down Darby instead of Gilmore? Part of the reason might be due to height. As cited on the last slide, the Bengals main receiving threats are all over 6’2″. Both White and Gilmore stand two inches taller than Darby and the Bills might have been thinking that they want to go with more height in the secondary.
Darby has responded well to the wake-up call and even had his best practice of the season on Wednesday according to Rex Ryan. Defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman’s assessment dovetails with Ryan’s. According to the team’s own site, he said:
"“He’s responded well. You know, that’s what it’s all about. Everybody has a job to do. You’ve got to go out there and do your job. I mean to have competition is a good thing. You know, in this league, you don’t ever want to ever get comfortable. If you get comfortable, somebody’s looking to take your job. When you get comfortable, it’s not a good thing.”"
It really is an open competition at this point and could go either way. No matter who starts they are going to be on a short leash because Rex is tired of seeing his defense get burned over the top. Based on the positive quotes coming from the coaches about Darby, we’d put him to be the small favorite to start on Sunday.
That’s not it for all the secondary drama. Find out more about the Bills roster transactions at safety on the next slide.