It was noticeable from the minute he set foot on the practice field his first day in training camp this summer. Second-year defensive lineman Alex Carrington was noticeably bigger. Twenty pounds bigger to be exact. After playing at 285 pounds as a rookie, Carrington muscled up with his reporting weight at camp at 306.
"He's about close to 20 pounds heavier and he can carry it," said Bills defensive line coach Giff Smith. "We knew when we drafted him he had the frame to get bigger without losing his athleticism and I've been real pleased with him."
Carrington has displayed a power and strength coming off the ball at defensive end that wasn't there as a rookie. The coaching staff has been impressed to the point where they've given him an added role as a subpackage pass rusher as a hybrid linebacker of sorts.
"Alex is one of those guys that's really long," said head coach Chan Gailey. "He's a tall guy that has long arms. He can press the guy and push him back in the pocket and he has enough speed and quickness to be able to get on the edge."
The Arkansas State product logged a sack in Monday's practice along with another quarterback pressure.
"Last year they had Spencer (Johnson) and Dwan (Edwards) out there at times over a tight end," said Carrington, who is currently working there with Johnson. "It's a little better matchup having that 300-pounder against that 260-pound tight end to get in there and stuff the run."
Carrington not only has a year of experience in Buffalo's 3-4 system he now has a prototype physique for the position. He's a prime example of the building blocks Buffalo is trying to add for their 3-4 scheme.
"We've got some real competition there and when you have that you get better as an entire defense not just as a defensive line," said Smith.
And Carrington's progress has provided him with an opportunity to push for more playing time even though he's currently running with the second unit at left defensive end.
"He has the length, he has good long arms and he's a powerful kid," said Smith. "That's why we took him. We knew it was going to take him a little time to progress and he's done that so we're excited about him."