By Anthony Stampone
We hear it all the time from General Managers, Coaches, and reporters of the National Football League: Football is a war of attrition. With that said you can never have enough spare parts and reliable back up players on your team in case the unthinkable happens and one of your starting players in the form of suspension, injury or worse. The Buffalo Bills are no different and one thing Doug Whaley and his staff have been doing a great job is picking up discarded players from other teams, some having played for multiple teams and finding a place for them on the roster to add some much needed reliable organizational depth. One great example of this digging and signing by Whaley is new comer Landon Cohen. On the island of misfit toys that will be showcasing their talents at One Bills Drive, Cohen seems to have the biggest upside.
To call Landon Cohen a ‘journeyman’ since coming into the league with the Detroit Lions in 2008 as a 7th round pick is a huge understatement. The Bills are his 7th team since Cohen has joined the NFL after playing 4 seasons at the University of Ohio, and it has not been smooth sailing for the new Bills addition. Being cut and signed on an annual bases, sometime more than once, has become the road Landon has had to travel to finally land in Buffalo on July 21st, 2014. From what we have saw so far this preseason, he may have finally found a home here in Buffalo.
Although we only have a small sample, it has been pretty clear why Mr. Cohen keeps getting job opportunities. If you watched the Bills/Panthers game last Friday, it was hard to miss what Cohen brings to the table. Cohen was a very disruptive force against the Panthers rushing attack and even caused plenty of issues in their pass-blocking scheme against him during the game. Depth is what the Bills have been lacking and Landon Cohen may have finally found a home with the Bills as a fill in for Darieus and Kyle Williams while also providing significant depth at an extremely important position in Jim Schwartz’s new “Wide 9” 4-3 defense. In order for this defense to be effective the front four have to wreak havoc and disrupt the offense in the trenches in order for the linebackers to step in and clean up what leaks through. Cohen, in the early going, shows no signs of slowing down, as he tries to make the Bills a permanent residence for his career.
Yes, it is still to early to dub Landon Cohen the next Kyle Williams (late round pick with outstanding production in the NFL), but he is showing potential to be a fantastic addition to this team and add some much needed and welcomed depth. Cohen has a chance to be something special for this team and play a much bigger role than he has so far for any of the other seven teams he has signed with so far in his career. Cohen is 28, but he is a very young 28 since he has not saw a ton of playing time which means less wear and tear for a guy that has been in the league for what will be his seventh season. Much like Fred Jackson, he will not be a player who will “mail it in” and the Bills need more guys with non-stop motors willing to give their all for Buffalo.