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Five Players to watch: Bills at Panthers

Posted Aug 8, 2014

Here’s a rundown of a handful of players to keep an eye on Friday night.

Just five days after the Bills’ preseason opener the team is back on the field to face the defending NFC South champion Carolina Panthers.

Bryce is the new Brown

The back acquired via trade from Philadelphia looked explosive in the second half last week. Bryce Brown showed elusiveness and used his speed to turn the corner on linebackers and safeties. It’ll be interesting to see if the coaches insert him into the game earlier to face Carolina’s second-ranked run defense from 2013.

Landon strip

Coming off a strong late game performance in the Hall of Fame game, DT Landon Cohen figures to get a longer look tonight against Carolina. Cohen has proven tough to handle in one-on-one situations. Now coaches want to evaluate how he fares against potential starters or second teamers.

Richardson repping out

G Cyril Richardson looks to be the guard who is in closest pursuit of incumbent starter Kraig Urbik, since Chris Hairston has been shifted back to tackle. The fifth-round pick has proven to be a good drive blocker. Handling nimble pass rushers and picking up twists and stunts will be where he has to show his awareness and technique.

The new Mr. Smith

Defensive end Jacquies Smith has had his moments getting to the quarterback during training camp practices. He’s even been sprinkled in for a handful of first team reps on defense at times. A good showing Friday night could enhance his chances of landing the fourth pass rushing role on the Bills defensive line.

Duke of the secondary

Williams stands a good chance of seeing a lot of playing time knowing Da’Norris Searcy missed the last two full-scale practices this week to tend to a family matter. Williams has proven himself more than capable in run support, but how he fares in pass coverage will be the real test.