McKelvin Gets A New Role

The changes the Buffalo Bills are making to their roster and their strategy are beginning to pay off. One of those changes affects firmer first round defender Leodis McKelvin. So what does he think of everything going on in Buffalo these days?

McKelvin embraces his reduced role

   --Cornerback Leodis McKelvin has endured a disappointing season, losing his starting job on defense and falling down the depth chart far enough to not even be a factor in nickel and dime situations. However, he has taken to his new duties as a punt returner like a true pro, and against the Broncos, he set a team record for punt-return yards in a game with 135. The big chunk came on his 80-yard touchdown, Buffalo's first punt-return TD since Sept. 7, 2008. That was the day Roscoe Parrish had 120 punt-return yards, setting the single-game record that McKelvin broke.

   "You guys know all the things that have been going on with me this season," McKelvin said. "Being able to bounce back, being able to go out there and not keep my head down and just go out there, play my part and play my position and do the best that I can do in the game. It's giving the best field position for the offense or even score, that's my job."

   --Injuries continued to decimate the Bills in the Denver game, as they lost four more players, three of whom will not play in the season finale against New England. Left tackle Demetrius Bell, center Kraig Urbik and tight end Mike Caussin all suffered knee injuries, while wide receiver Kamar Aiken hurt his arm, though he was able to play late in the game, so he may be able to dress against the Patriots.

   Rookie Chris Hairston will take over for Bell. Colin Brown -- who struggled early with shotgun snaps when he came in at center for Urbik -- is probably going to get the call against the Patriots, and newcomer Fendi Onobun will probably get Caussin's reps, though the Bills figure to have Scott Chandler on the field more than they did against Denver as his ankle injury improves.

   --The Bills offensive line had another solid game against the Broncos, allowing only one sack, that by Elvis Dumervil. Denver rookie Von Miller, who came into the game with 11.5 sacks, wasn't a factor and finished with one assisted tackle. The Bills still lead the league in fewest sacks allowed, and what was impressive against Denver is that two starters were hurt during the game -- Bell and Urbik (who is normally a right guard but has been playing center for injured Eric Wood). Both Hairston and Brown came in and did well, as the Bills also rushed for 160 yards.

   --Linebacker Chris Kelsay played one of the best game of his nine-year career against the Broncos. He recorded two sacks, defended a pass and was in on a team-high nine tackles, including seven solo stops. "It was a lot of fun today," Kelsay said Saturday after the Bills' 40-14 victory. "Passing the ball hasn't been their forte, statistics-speaking, so we felt that if we could make them throw the ball, that'd play into our hand."

   Kelsay and cornerback Terrence McGee are the longest-tenured position players on the team, and they have never played in a playoff game.

   "It's frustrating when you lose," Kelsay said. "It wears on you. The coaching staff, all the players, we put in a lot of time. This game, this team means a ton to us, so when you aren't rewarded for that, it's easy to get down. But the character of this team is the exact opposite of that."

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