Top 6 ways newcomers have impacted the roster

It's still very early in the 2014 season, but the new talent that Buffalo's personnel department has brought to the roster this season has had significant impact in the team's first two games. Here's a closer look.

6. Tackle production

Brandon Spikes and Preston Brown were two players brought in to help the team's run defense. Through the first two weeks both have made plays in the run game. Brown has also been a factor in the nickel package and has been calling plays for the defense.

Through two weeks Brown leads the team in tackles with 20.

5. Pass breakups

It would be hard to argue with the difference veteran corner Corey Graham has made in Buffalo's secondary. Graham leads the team with six pass breakups including one for an interception, which led to a touchdown. Three of his six pass breakups so far this season have prevented touchdowns.

"I just wanted to lead," said Graham of signing with the Bills as a free agent. "I wanted to be as good of a leader as I possibly could. Help the guys in any way possible and try to help and show the guys what it takes to win."

4. Big yards

Big-bodied back Boobie Dixon showed early in offseason practices that he was more nimble than given credit for. He put that on display in Week 1 with a 47-yard run that is tied for the longest this season with C.J. Spiller. He's only had seven carries this season, but that big run has his yards per carry average at nine.

"I wanted to come in and show guys how to win on game day especially," he said. "I think that's what I was used to and that's what I know how to do. It's just going out there with that mentality of attacking and finishing your opponent and playing all four quarters and maybe a fifth quarter if we have to."

3. Flipping the field

Bills punter Colton Schmidt was signed just before the regular season, but has been solid in the first two games. Seven of his nine punts have been inside the opponent's 20-yard line and four of those nine have been fair catches. He's a large reason why over two games the Bills have allowed just six punt return yards.

He's also been a quick study as a holder for Dan Carpenter, who has not struggled despite the change right before the season.

"Just be as reliable as possible," said Schmidt. "When I'm out there I don't want them to have to worry about anything bad happening. It's about consistency."

Kickoff specialist Jordan Gay has also made an impact with 10 touchbacks on his 14 kickoffs.

2. Big blocks

Brandon Spikes has helped against the run, which was the main reason he was brought in as a free agent signed, but he's also been a factor on special teams. He along with Dixon have made their presence felt on Danny Crossman's units.

"I just wanted to earn and win the respect of my teammates and the coaching staff so they had faith that I was accountable and they could trust in me," said Spikes. "I just wanted them to know I had everybody's back. That was my main goal."

Spikes had a key block on C.J. Spiller's 102-yard kick return for a touchdown and Dixon had a blocked punt last Sunday his biggest play thus far.

Bills free agent guard Chris Williams has also fared well in the first two games, with his biggest play being the key seal block to provide a hole for Fred Jackson on his 38-yard run in overtime in Week 1.

1. Important receptions

Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams were acquired in the draft and by trade, but both have contributed at key moments over the first two weeks.

Williams had a key 20-yard catch on the game-winning field goal drive in overtime at Chicago.

"It was just showing these guys that I can play," Williams said. "If you show the guys you can play they accept you. It's about winning so if you show the guys you can help the team win they'll take you in. It's about proving yourself."

Sammy Watkins broke out in Week 2 with an eight-catch, 117-yard performance that included a touchdown.

"Just come in with great focus and learn from the veterans and spark the team," said Watkins of the impact he wanted to make. "Those big plays that we need I'm going to make them with all the balls that come to me. Be an all-around leader, a positive person in the huddle. Just follow the train. We've got what we need at running back, quarterback and receivers. The best part about it is I don't have to go out there all week and make all the plays. We've got a great group of guys."

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