Every summer leading up to training camp Buffalobills.com asks 25 of the most pressing questions facing the team as they make their final preparations for the upcoming regular season. With a new regime and practices at St. John Fisher fast approaching, here is the latest installment as we closely examine some of the answers the Buffalo Bills have to come up with between July 28th and Sept. 12th.
Every year there are some surprise talents that emerge at Bills training camp. Some are easier to predict than others, but suffice to say there are some players that are far from household names now, that could impress over the next month. It is part of what makes training camp interesting to watch as successful sleepers can often change the look of a team and its fortunes.
Below Buffalobills.com provides you with some of the less recognizable names on the roster that will be scraping and clawing to make an impression and improve their chances of being a bigger factor in the success of the 2010 Bills than perhaps anyone thought at the outset.
Danny Batten –The rookie sixth-round pick is making a position switch to outside linebacker after playing mostly defensive end in college. With other veteran players making a similar transition, one edge that Batten appears to possess is speed as he has shown capable coverage skills. With a solid camp and preseason he could garner more consideration than some might think.
Cary Harris –The second-year safety didn't get his number called until Week 17 last season, but proved he was ready with a pair of interceptions in the season finale. Now more than a year into his transition from cornerback to safety, Harris saw time with the second unit at free safety in the spring. He's at a very deep position, but most of the vets are vying for the strong safety role.
Lonnie Harvey –A giant in the middle of the defense at 342 pounds, Harvey is a pure run stuffer at nose tackle. Still, Harvey has respectable athleticism for a man his size and a winning attitude. Depending on the number of true nose tackles that the coaching staff elects to keep, Harvey has a legitimate shot to make the 53-man roster.
Michael Matthews –He's got plenty of NFL time under his belt as well as a Super Bowl ring, but to Bills fans he's a virtual unknown. That could change in a short time. At a position that has lacked dependable depth in recent years, the hard blocking tight end that flashed as a capable pass catcher in the spring could land an important job in Chan Gailey's offense this fall.
Arthur Moats –Another rookie making a position switch from end to inside linebacker, Moats took to the new role well. Getting consistent second team reps with Kawika Mitchell limited in the spring, Moats with a strong camp could find himself playing more than just special teams in the fall.
Naaman Roosevelt –The University at Buffalo product is part of a talented undrafted rookie class and made his share of plays in the spring practices, displaying strong hands and good separation skills. How he performs in camp and the preseason when the pads go on will largely determine his fate with respect to the 53-man roster.
Lydell Sargeant –The former undrafted rookie had a promising spring last year, but it was cut short by an ACL injury. Though he's far from a household name Sargeant, with his compact build and quick change of direction skills, could be a legitimate factor in the nickel corner competition. He was still limited in the spring, but is expected to be full go for camp.
Chad Simpson –He joined a crowded offensive backfield, but there are not many backs that run harder than the 5'9" 216-pound Simpson. Low to the ground and quick through the hole, Simpson could prove even more effective when the pads go on next week in Pittsford. Add in his kick return abilities and he could very well land a role on the roster.