Walker embraces new challenges with Bills

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- When the Philadelphia Eagles signed free
agent defensive tackle Montae Reagor last week, Darwin Walker knew he was on his way out.

Walker was happy to find himself a member of the Buffalo Bills
on Tuesday, a day after being part of a three-player trade that
sent disgruntled linebacker Takeo Spikes to the Eagles.

Darwin Walker Walker

"As far as I'm concerned, this is the best situation for me and
I'm looking forward to it," Walker said during a conference call.

Noting that he had asked to be traded, Walker said: "At this
point in my career, I think being able to come in to a young team
and try to help it any way I can will be beneficial to the team and

A seven-year NFL veteran, Walker is a penetrating tackle that
fits the mold of a Bills defensive front that is being asked to do
more than just stop the run.

He's coming off a solid season in which he had 36 tackles and
six sacks in 15 starts, and added two more sacks in a 27-24 loss to
New Orleans in an NFC second-round playoff game. Overall, the
former third-round draft pick out of Tennessee has at least 2
sacks in each of his past five seasons, including a career-high 7
in 2002.

As part of the trade, the Bills also acquired a conditional pick
in next year's draft, while dealing journeyman backup quarterback
Kelly Holcomb.

Walker, who has two years left on his contract, said he has no
bitter feelings toward the Eagles, noting the team attempted but
failed to negotiate an extension with him last year.

"I think I'm looking forward to my new situation now, and I
don't want to cry over spilled beans," he said.

Listed at 6 feet 3 and 294 pounds, Walker is expected to rotate
with fellow veteran starter Larry Tripplett. They'll play alongside
a group of young tackles; Kyle Williams, who's coming off a strong
rookie season, and John McCargo, the second of Buffalo's two
first-round picks last year. McCargo missed most of his rookie
season with a broken foot.

Walker provides Buffalo another pass-rushing threat to go along
with a trio of defensive ends that combined for 25 sacks last
season, led by Aaron Schobel's career-high 14.

The Bills hope the added sack presence will take the pressure
off a young defensive backfield, which started two rookies last
season, and will need to replace star cornerback Nate Clements, who
signed with San Francisco earlier this month.

Buffalo, however, still needs to address its run defense, which
finished 28th in yards allowed last season, and to compensate for a
suddenly depleted linebacking group that's lost two starters:
Spikes and London Fletcher, who has signed with Washington.

"I don't know a lot about what the Bills did last year,"
Walker said, referring to the team's run defense. "The only thing
I know is that I want to come in and make this team better."

Walker, who has appeared in 12 playoff games, also brings a
young team some valuable big-game experience.

"I just want to bring some of that success and let it rub off
for me in Buffalo," Walker said.