Scott hopes versatility earns a return

He isn't the first name that rolls off the tongue of Bills fans when they express worry about what free agents their team could lose in the 2012 offseason. The fact that Bryan Scott isn't in the forefront of every fan's mind is a byproduct of the safety/linebacker hybrid letting his play do the talking above all else.

Scott finished the 2011 season fifth on the team in tackles (59) as he served as a nickel linebacker of sorts with coverage responsibilities. He also had two of the team's defensive touchdowns with an interception return for a score at Cincinnati and a sack and fumble recovery in the end zone at San Diego.

Tied for third on the team in pass breakups, third in number of interceptions and still a contributor on special teams coverage units, Scott's stat sheet is a direct indicator of the many different areas where he can contribute.

"I think just in life the more caps you can wear the more valuable you are," he said. "Whether it's on the back end as a safety or whether it's going to down in the nickel package as a linebacker whatever they ask me to do I'm just willing and ready to do."

Scott was a pretty important part of the team's nickel package from the very start of the season as a hybrid type linebacker. That role continued even when the club went to more of a 4-3 defensive look down the stretch this past season.

"In certain situations for the most part with Bryan Scott in there he was kind of an outside linebacker, nickel back," said newly appointed defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt. "And the league has changed a lot from the standpoint of what offenses are doing. I think we've got to be flexible that way and you have to be flexible enough to use your personnel to get the most out of them."

Buffalo did that with Scott, who covered tight ends and backs while also being asked to serve in the run front all while taking some snaps at traditional safety on occasion.

"He is a unique guy," said head coach Chan Gailey. "He's got defensive back skills and he has linebacker size. When you have that combination it gives you some latitude as to how you use the guy. He played inside at linebacker for us at times and then he'd go back and play deep for us at times. We're fortunate to have a guy like that and you'd like to have a few more that can be versatile like that and create some problems for the defense with speed as well as size."

Still feeling like a fit in Buffalo's defense despite many changes in his five seasons with the Bills, Scott's preference is to re-sign with the club.

"I want to be here," he said. "This is my home and I want to be here. Hopefully everything works out and you'll see me in a Bills uniform next year."

Chances seem to indicate that he will be. Scott's versatility is not only something that the Bills value. They also see the role that he has played the past two seasons as a trend.

"We had Bryan Scott playing linebacker a ton against the Patriots in that first game because of his range, which is better than a typical linebacker," said Gailey. "He can help cover the field better with speed from that position. I believe you'll see more players like that on the field in the future."

Scott is just hoping his future keeps him in Buffalo.

"I'm not exactly a spring chicken when it comes to free agency. I've been through this before," he said. "It's just time to sit back, be patient and wait and hopefully when the time comes you end up where you want to be."

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