It’s been three years since the Buffalo Bills selected Alex Carrington out of Arkansas State in the draft. The defensive tackle thinks Year 4 will be the year he shows the league why.
Since his third-round selection in 2010, Carrington has been stout contributor to the team’s defensive line — when given the opportunity. Despite participating in only 37 percent of the regular season snaps, Carrington has amassed four sacks, six pass breakups and a forced fumble.
His proficiency hasn’t been lost on newly appointed defensive line coach Anthony Weaver, who’s seen solid form and untapped talent from the 26-year-old since his arrival.
“Loved him, loved him from the minute I put the tape on him,” he recently told Chris Brown of buffalobills.com. “I know he didn’t get a bunch of reps, but the reps he got he was doing work out there.
“Looking at his tape last year, he played with so much technique that it’s amazing that he wasn’t more productive. We plan on maximizing that work he’s put in this offeason and all the jobs he can play. He’s so flexible. He can play nose, he can play defensive tackle, he can play defensive end.
“That, in our system particularly, makes him so valuable.”
Carrington saw his playing time drop slightly last season, which was due in part to the premiere players ahead of him in the depth chart (Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams) and the lack of pass-rushing plays called by former defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt. According to the Buffalo News, the team was last in the league in blitzing the quarterback, blitzing on just 15 percent of passing plays.
Carrington’s seen an increase in reps this offseason, however, partly due to Williams rehabbing from Achilles surgery. Buffalo obviously likes what they’ve seen so far, and with a newly installed Mike Pettine defensive schematic, a system predicated on versatility and creating mismatches, Carrington believes his time to shine is right now.
“I think this will be a breakout season if things go the way I hope,” he said. “I’m definitely expecting more playing time. Obviously that’s not my call, but I’ve been getting a good number of reps and feeling good out there.
“I’ve got a lot of experience now. Going into Year 4, I know things are more clear to me now so I can just go out and play.”