After a 2010 campaign that was undermined with a porous run defense, the Buffalo Bills appear to be back on track this season. With a run defense that was ranked dead last in the NFL, the addition of a healthy Shawne Merriman has proven to energize the front seven. Merriman responded to the media earlier this week by stating, “I’m going to keep doing what I need to do in order for us to be better and that’s holding the run up front and setting a good edge out there so the rest of the guys don’t have to worry about who is out there doing their job.” That being said, the Bills defense has displayed their productivity with Merriman this preseason as he recorded six tackles and two sacks in just 16 plays this preseason. Merriman’s presence on the field will rejuvenate a depleted run defense and enable other players to taste success.
The million-dollar question that is being raised is the simple inquiry of whether or not Shawne Merriman is truly healthy. With 11 months of offseason rehab and a preseason that flashed the brilliance of Merriman, the common conclusion is yes. Although most experts will answer with hesitation, the only pure method to silence the critiques will be performance. With Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus battling in the trenches for the Bills, the new look defense will heavily rely upon the energy of Merriman. Shawne “Lights Out” Merriman brings an aggressive attitude to this defense that has been in search of a leader, and who better to lead the charge than an NFL seasoned veteran such as Merriman? The intensity that Merriman presents will rejuvenate a once futile defense and create a quick turn around that will produce instantaneous success. Heading into a weekend in which the Bills defense will face a potent ground game, expect to be hearing Merriman’s name often on Sunday afternoon.