When the Patriots visit the Bills in the season-opener on Sept. 8, it will be interesting to see if defensive end Mark Anderson is in the starting spot that Buffalo envisioned for him when signing him as a free agent last year. Anderson, who revived his career with the Patriots in 2011 before landing a four-year contract with the Bills that included $8 million in his first season (signing bonus plus salary), underwent two surgeries last season after injuring his knee in Week 5 and he still wasn’t at 100 percent in the team’s organized team activities that concluded last week. Perhaps with this in mind, the Bills traded for defensive end Jerry Hughes, a 2010 first-round pick of the Colts who didn’t meet expectations in Indianapolis, earlier this offseason. Hughes has been getting plenty of repetitions while Anderson works his way back into form, and the Bills hope a switch to Mike Pettine’shybrid scheme brings out the best in him.
If the Bills are going to compete with Tom Brady and the Patriots this coming season, they’re going to need both Mark Anderson and Mario Williams to stay healthy and make a big impact.