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Draft Scout *Alan Branch News
07/23/14 - DT Alan Branch has yet to pass his conditioning test and is only able to do work on his own until he gets over that obstacle and is cleared.
07/17/14 - DT Alan Branch failed his physical and was declared active/non-football illness by the Bills July 16.
06/19/14 - DL Alan Branch and Manny Lawson made their first appearances of the offseason at the minicamp. Both players skipped all of the OTA workouts and stayed home.
Lawson explained his decision this way: "The season is long. When you have some years under your belt, you don't want it to be repetitive. You don't want to seem like you're going through the motions, the same thing over and over again. It was good to step away, spend time with the family, go visit your family. Relax -- still work out in my time off -- but step away from the game and come back to it and it's all new and fun again."
Coach Doug Marrone had nothing negative to say because, as he has repeatedly indicated, the OTAs are voluntary and the players don't have to be there.
With the switch in defensive schemes, both Lawson and Branch - who joined the Bills last year and played well in then-coordinator Mike Pettine's scheme - have some different duties. Branch played well as a 3-4 end, but now he'll be a 4-3 end, and likely will be a backup behind Jerry Hughes. Lawson was a linebacker last year and was third on the team with 73 tackles, but now he's being asked to play end, too, and will see his playing time cut.
"Probably the only thing that's going to change a lot for me now is I'm not going to drop as much," Lawson said. "I will have my hand in the dirt more, but other than that the Sam linebacker and defensive end are relatively the same position except at Sam linebacker you have to drop more in your man-to-man coverage. So I don't have to cover anybody man to man now, so it's see ball, go get ball."
04/02/13 - DL Alan Branch agreed to a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills that could be worth as much as $3.35 million.
Branch was a critical cog in the Seattle Seahawks' defense in 2012 and was considered a priority to bring back. Branch also visited the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he would've been reunited with first-year head coach Gus Bradley. Bradley was previously Seattle's defensive coordinator.
The Bills allowed 145.8 rushing yards per game last season, 31st in the NFL, but aren't without talent on the defensive line. Defensive tackles Kyle Williams, a Pro Bowl pick in 2011, and Marcell Dareus, the third overall pick in 2011, should benefit from having a third productive interior lineman in new coordinator Mike Pettine's hybrid defensive scheme.
Branch (6-6, 325) started 31 games in two seasons with the Seahawks and was the 33rd overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Arizona Cardinals. Branch has the size to be a nose tackle if the Bills, as expected, show more 3-4 looks under Pettine.
12/21/12 - DT Alan Branch (ankle) was a full participant in practice.