Doug Legursky: The Buffalo Bills’ Answer at Left Guard?

Former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Doug Legursky will increase the competition for the Buffalo Bills at left guard. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The most wide-open competition on the Buffalo Bills’ roster is at left guard, where the team is replacing one of the league’s best guards, Andy Levitre, following his departure to the Tennessee Titans as an unrestricted free agent.

The Bills made a notable move to bolster that competition Wednesday by signing veteran offensive lineman Doug Legursky, formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Legursky appeared in 50 regular-season games in four seasons with the Steelers, including 17 starts. He has also made two postseason starts. The most notable moment of Legursky’s career to this point came in Super Bowl XLV, which he started at center filling in for injured starter Maurkice Pouncey.

Legursky has never been a full-time starter, but he has spot-starting experience at all three interior line positions. While he is best suited to play center, and could immediately become Eric Wood’s backup at that position, his chance to earn a starting job will come at left guard, where the Bills have no proven starter.

As staff writer Eric Samulski broke down in May, Bills could have up to five other contenders to start at left guard between Colin Brown, Sam Young, Chris Scott, Zebrie Sanders and Zack Chibane. Those five players, however, have only six career NFL starts between them (four by Young, two by Brown).

Legursky is not going to be viewed as a long-term starting option at left guard. In his past three seasons, Legursky’s combined Pro Football Focus grade (subscription required) for his 778 snaps at guard is a very unimpressive number at -19.7. His subpar play in his starts likely led to him being unsigned until June.

What Legursky does bring to the table that none of his competition can offer is significant starting experience, including in the biggest of games. If he can adjust quickly to playing left guard in Bills coach Doug Marrone’s offensive system, his experience could give him a leg up to be the short-term starting left guard for 2013.

The best-case scenario for the Bills would be for 2012 fifth-round pick Zebrie Sanders to bounce back strong and prove himself as a viable long-term option at left guard. Sanders is a physically-gifted offensive lineman with high upside, but he missed his entire rookie season due to labral tears in both hips.

Among the incumbent players, the favorite to start should be Colin Brown, an athletic, 6’7”, 326-pound offensive lineman entering his fourth season with the Bills.

But without any proven starter on the roster at left guard, and a new coaching staff in Buffalo, the competition at the position should be wide open. At the very least, Legursky can provide three-position depth at both center and guard, but he should receive immediate opportunities the rest of the offseason to compete for the starting left guard spot.

Tags: Doug Legursky, Left Guard

7 Responses to “Doug Legursky: The Buffalo Bills’ Answer at Left Guard?”

  1. Ryan Talbot says:

    Based upon the options, Legursky has a great shot of being Buffalo’s starter at LG. If he turns out to be a backup, that’s quality depth. Buffalo’s offensive line gets banged up yearly, and Eric Wood has not had any luck staying healthy.

  2. Duncan says:

    In my opinion, this was more a depth move than trying to find a full time starter. Wood gets injured every year, and there are bound to be a few injuries along the offensive line, so why not pick him up? Right now Legursky is even with all the other players, if he plays well enough to warrant starting, then good, but if he doesn’t there is no reason to start him over anyone else.

    • Ryan Talbot says:

      I think we’ll have a great idea about the signing come training camp. If he’s with the one’s at left guard, it’s his job to lose.

  3. Savrin says:

    Bronco is a tremendous pulling guard and does a great job flattening linebackers. If the QB can get the ball out on time then pass pro is more than acceptable.

    Also he can easily swing over to center when injuries occur.

    His signature play is the big Legursky formation with him at fullback at the goalline. I hope they add it to the playbook.

    Pittsburgh will be sorry when Pouncey goes down. He always does. Bills will be happy when Woods goes down.

    • MeanJim says:

      Have you ever watched him play? He is simply not an NFL caliber player. He gets shoved backwards on almost every play. I’ve never seen him “flatten” anyone. I’m thankful someone picked the guy up, so hopefully Steeler fans will never have to see him NOT protecting our QB or NOT opening any holes in the running game. Great riddance!

      • Savrin says:

        I stand by what I said. You are commenting on nothing that I said and your analysis is way off.

        1. He does flatten linebackers when pulling right in the run game. If you disagree take it to Tunch Ilkin, he’ll laugh in your face.

        2. He’ll give a QB 4 to 5 seconds to get the ball out. That doesn’t mean that he crushes defensive tackles and leaves them fetal. Lots of good guards give up ground on pass blocking. That’s part of the game.

        Legs is a great asset and a very good center. He’s an okay left guard and is an asset on the outside run game to the right. He’s hasn’t had the best luck at right guard drawing Ngata and Von Miller on their first game of the season and loaded for bear. Meeting later in the year when they are banged up I give him a better chance against them.

        I guess you just have an agenda against him.

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