Bills coach Chan Gailey recently expressed optimism that defensive end Shawne Merriman would rejuvenate his career in 2012. Merriman, 28, reportedly had a strong offseason and seemingly regained some of the explosiveness he’s lacked since 2007 — Merriman’s last season as an effective NFL player.
On Saturday, Merriman went so far as to suggest that he’s now the “best all-around player that he has ever been.”
“I’m a much smarter player and much more technical now,” Merriman told the Bills’ website. “I know a lot more about the game. When you don’t have those physical tools the last three years and being able to blow by a guy or great pass-rush ability, you start to learn more about the game and you get a little bit more technically sound.
“And that’s what happened. Now my body is ready to take that on again with the knowledge I’ve picked up over the last few years. It’s going to be good.”
Any logical observer should be extremely skeptical about Merriman after essentially a five-year layoff, but he’ll be an interesting player to watch this preseason. If Merriman has regained his off-the-ball burst, the Bills could field a dynamic pass-rushing trio along with Mario Williams and Mark Anderson.