Cody Ford has always maintained that he has no preference when it comes to where he lines up on the offensive line.
“Nah,” Ford said. “I just want to win and play ball.”
Fortunately enough, both of those have come true for Ford. The Bills are off to one of their hottest starts in franchise history, with the offense producing at a record-setting pace. And Ford appears to have finally found a permanent home at left guard.
The decision has been a long time coming. At Oklahoma, Ford excelled at both left guard and right tackle. That prompted the Bills to select Ford 38th overall last year. With questions surrounding his ideal position at the NFL level, the Bills made the unusual move to use both Ford and veteran Ty Nsekhe at right tackle, often rotating by the series.
Ford expected to stay at right tackle upon returning to Buffalo for his second season, but instead found himself at left guard to open training camp. After starting right guard Jon Feliciano suffered a serious pectoral injury, the Bills used the remainder of the preseason and the first few weeks of the season to tinker with their lineup in an effort to find their best five. Ford was always expected to be in the mix — it was just a matter of where. Ford started Week 1 at right guard, before switching to left guard in Week 3.
After Brian Winters, now at right guard, suffered an injury in Buffalo’s Week 4 win over the Las Vegas Raiders, the Bills decided to keep Ford at left guard instead of moving him back to the right side. It now looks like that’s where he’s going to stay for good.
“I don’t like moving guys around all that much,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said. “It’s nice to have position flexibility, but at the end of the day you can hurt yourself if you move a guy around too much. He’s playing guard and that’s where we plan on keeping him at this point. I’ll tell you, he’s a tough sucker, man. He played through some things (against the Raiders) and (I have) a lot of respect for how he plays and how he’s able to push through things mentally.”
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RUNNING BACKS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
Aaron Jones, Packers 5-9 • 208 pounds • 27 years old A fifth-round steal in the 2017 draft out of UTEP, Jones is equally proficient in the running and passing games. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards the last two years, and caught 49 and 47 passes, respectively. He’s also a touchdown machine with 30 TDs the last two years (25 rushing and 5 receiving). The son of two career Army officers, he’s a tough, driven player and the kind of guy players want on their team.
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Dak Prescott, Cowboys 6-2 • 235 pounds • 27 years old A solid starter who has a nice TD-INT ratio over his first five seasons (104-40), Prescott is an accurate thrower and very mobile. However, he’s coming off a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle, so it remains to be seen if this will impact his game moving forward.
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Hunter Henry, Chargers 6-5 • 250 pounds • 29 years old A very talented player, Henry has had issues staying healthy, unable to complete an NFL season, including missing the entire 2018 season with a torn ACL. But when healthy, he’s a terrific all-around tight end who really connected with Justin Herbert in 2020 with 60 catches. Henry is very good at finding holes in zone coverage.
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Leonard Williams, Giants 6-5 • 255 pounds • 28 years old An athletic 300-pounder with quick feet, Williams amassed a career-high 11.5 sacks last season. Add that to him being a stout run defender, very durable and possessing great character, and he should be in high demand. He won NFC Defensive Player of the Week twice last year. $$$$$
What Bills Fans Are Saying
Bills Digest scanned the Bills’ Facebook page and other fan message board sites to gauge the hot topics Bills Nation is talking about. We chose some of the better posts, edited for brevity and clarity, and present them here, along with Bills Digest editor Mark Ludwiczak’s take on what’s being discussed.
Bills Digest BUZZ Box: Five hot topics Bills fans are talking about
Bills Digest editor Mark Ludwiczak and editor-at-large Chris Brown weigh in on a handful of the hottest subjects Bills fans have been sounding off about in e-mails to our offices, radio call-in shows and Internet message boards. Have an opinion? Feel free to send an email to Chris (AskChris@bills.nfl.net) or Mark (Mark@asmpublishing.com).
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Allen Robinson II, Bears 6-2 • 220 pounds • 27 years old Coming off a 102-catch season, Robinson is a big, physical receiver who can go up and get the rock. He excels at climbing the ladder to high-point the ball. Imagine what he can do with an elite QB after playing in Jacksonville and Chicago. Though he has been in the league since 2014, he’s still only 27.
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Brandon Scherff, Washington 6-5 • 315 pounds • 29 years old The fifth pick of the 2015 draft, Scherff certainly lived up to the hype. He’s got everything teams want in a guard — size, grit, great technique, power and the mobility to get to the second level. His massive hands (11 inches) are a huge asset for a guard to grab and clutch. He made the Pro Bowl four of his first five NFL seasons. $$$$$
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