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Guardedly optimistic

When Eric Wood was pulled off the board by Buffalo near the end of round one the Bills felt fortunate. They were adding a proven interior lineman with some nasty to his game. A round later when they saw Andy Levitre was sliding they surrendered third and fourth-round selections to trade up and grab him as well. Forecast to play the same position, Wood and Levitre are working together to make sure they experience success in the NFL sooner rather than later.

The two guards for the Bills were on the phone not long after Levitre was taken late in round two.

"I've known Andy since the Senior Bowl and we became good friends there," said Wood. "Throughout the combine I really got a chance to know him and when I saw the Bills took him in the second round, I was fired up to work with a guy like him."

During the days and weeks they spent practicing and working out on the same fields in Mobile and Indianapolis, Wood and Levitre also recalled a time their college teams actually faced one another back in 2005.

"We both played against each other a few years ago and a lot of defensive linemen on my team respected him as a freshman," said Wood of Levitre, who was playing guard at that time. "So I'm excited to work with him and I've been pleased with what I saw out of him."

Wood got first crack at Buffalo's playbook as he was brought into town to meet the Western New York media on day two of the draft. Levitre was on the phone a short time later asking his new teammate about its contents.

"We just got an intro playbook for the rookie camp, but Eric told me it was about two or three inches thick," said Levitre.

Before the rookie camp began last Friday, the two guards worked their way through the playbook together.

"We were just trying to relate it to stuff we did in college," said Wood. "We're just both trying to come in here sharp because we both have similar goals for this team."

That goal obviously, is to earn starting roles on Buffalo's offensive line. They expect the competition to be strong, but both maintain it's not going to change their approach.

"I feel like I'm a technician and I know Eric loves to compete and we're both good competitors," said Levitre. "I think that right there alone is going to take us to a different level. We're hard working, big weight room guys. We love to spend time and work hard and compete and just want to get better and I think those are the things that are going to help out the offensive line."

Both Wood and Levitre admit that having a fellow rookie at the same position has already helped with their transition to the pro game. They know there won't be anyone to lean on except each other once the veterans return in just over a week's time for OTAs.
Nevertheless they hold fast to their goal of being a part of Buffalo's starting unit up front come September.

"We're getting along very well," said Levitre. "And I think both of us are going to contribute to this offensive line."

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