With the player shortage at defensive end proving to be a persistent problem for Buffalo's defense head coach Dick Jauron said they'd be trying some different options at the position in preparation for Sunday's season opener.
The first option they're considering is moving defensive tackle Jason Jefferson to end. And that experiment was put into action Monday.
"Yeah it was quite an experience out there," Jefferson told Buffalobills.com. "It's alright, it's not too bad."
The third-year defensive tackle admitted he was a bit taken aback when the defensive staff approached him with the new assignment.
"I was a little shocked," Jefferson said. "I was thinking wait a minute, end? But it's an opportunity so I'm going to give it a shot and see what's going on."
Defensive end Eric Powell and long snapper Ryan Neill are the only other healthy defensive ends besides starters Aaron Schobel and Chris Kelsay, and Jauron has made it clear he'd prefer to have Neill focus on snapping.
Powell has been talking to Jefferson about some of the differences playing outside as opposed to defensive tackle.
"I'm helping him and telling him how to play and what to look for," said Powell. "I've been telling him that he's free out there. He's not going to have a lot of contact on the first step. It's going to come on the third and fourth step."
"We've had meetings and I've been paying attention so I've picked up on some of the things," said Jefferson. "It's not really hard. I'll be picking the brain of some of the guys soon enough."
Jefferson has also been getting pointers from defensive line coach Bill Kollar.
"Just the basic things, what to read and how wide to be lining up, what kind of blocks to expect whether it's a down block or something else," he said.
Listed at 295 pounds Jefferson is not expected to be beat offensive tackles off the edge for sacks. If he does in fact factor into to Buffalo's defensive end rotation Sunday he'll likely give starting ends Aaron Schobel and Chris Kelsay a breather on run downs.
"It's something new, but he's taking it and rolling with it," said Powell. "I think he's nervous about it because he doesn't want to mess up. He'll probably play a lot tighter because he's not as quick as the rest of us, but I think he'll do some good things against the run."
If Jefferson does line up outside it will be the first time in his playing career he's played end.
"On the inside you're surrounded and on the outside there's the tackle and then there's all that space out there so it takes a bit of getting used to," he said.
Jefferson realizes that the move is purely an experiment by the staff and may not be put into action on Sunday. But if it is he knows it'll be a surprise to his family and friends who will be watching.
"It'd definitely shock them, but I'm going to wait and see if it happens first," said Jefferson.