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Special teams can swing roster battle

Sports

The last few Bills roster spots will likely be decided Friday in Detroit and next Thursday in Buffalo.

They could easily come down to who can play on special teams. 

Lorenzo Alexander made a living as a special teamer for a decade. In a league where everyone was a star in college, he sometimes reminds younger teammates to appreciate any chance they get to stay.

“You didn’t grow up saying I want to be a starting wide receiver, you said you want to be in the NFL,” Alexander said. “Don’t get caught up in what the role is. Enjoy the opportunity that’s been given and grasp the role thats been given to you.”

New Bills special teams coordinator Heath Farwell says, like the offense and defense, he would prefer his coverage and return units be set this week. It doesn’t always go that way.

“You never know with these next two preseason games who shows up. That’s why we’re playing them,” Farwell said. “You love the fact that guys can finish strong and reward those guys with a roster spot, those guys who finish strong these last two weeks.”

Despite changing to his style and philosophy this year, Farwell has been happy with the buy-in from Bills special teams hopefuls. 

“It’s been unbelievable. They care. They want to learn. Their effort has been unbelievable,” Farwell said. “Now, lack of reps from college to this level is different but encouraging them to want to play is not the factor here.”

That desire will be on display over the next seven days in the Bills’ final two preseason games.

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