The Buffalo Bills were ranked 31st against the run in 2012. Poor linebacker play was a major reason.
Sheppard played in all 16 games last season and recorded 80 tackles and two sacks. But Sheppard and the rest of Buffalo’s front seven were often pushed around playing a 4-3 defense. The Bills hired defensive coordinator Mike Pettine from the New York Jets to install a 3-4 scheme that can stop the run.
Hughes is a former first-round pick and draft bust in Indianapolis. He has just five sacks in three seasons. But the Bills believe Hughes, 24, may have enough potential to develop into a more consistent outside rusher.