Bills signed Robert Blanton
The Bills are hosting free agent safety Robert Blanton today and he would be a solid pickup if the money is right. The former Viking played corner at Notre Dame but the Vikes converted him to safety.
Due to his experience as a corner and tackling ability he would be able to drop down into the slot in the Bills’ base defense.
Blanton is #36 in the following clips
He has solid range and tackling ability.
Blanton can drop into the box, something the Bills ask their safeties to do a lot.
While he excels in the box/slot against the opponents base offense he is even better as a deep safety. He is seen as a better zone defender than man cover guy which is why he is a decent deep safety option. A position that the Bills are looking to upgrade depth wise with the loss of Bacarri Rambo.
Blanton only played in 100 snaps in 2015 but he was able to rack up 21 tackles and 3 stops.
Blanton coming down, shedding the block and making the tackle.
The Vikings under Mike Zimmer are primarily a two deep safety team but they utilize a lot of the same coverages the Bills use. The safeties are asked to use read technique principles which is a skill that is honed by experience.
Blanton and Smith utilizing the read technique then making the tackle.
In limited snaps Blanton was only targeted 6 times and he allowed 5 receptions for 98 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions.
Blanton with the pass defense.
What is even more intriguing about Blanton, is the fact that he has played against Martellus Bennett, Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte while they were with the Bears. Forte and Marshall are now with the Jets.
Blanton vs. Marshall in the slot.
Bennett was just traded to the Pats and will be a threat in that offense.
Knowing those players strengths, tendencies and having seen them on film and the field is probably his biggest asset to the Bills.
Sheds the block and brings Forte down.
Blanton has the size and ball skills to compete with bigger receivers who are high point catchers. Bigger receivers won’t out muscle him off the line or at the catch point.
Bills fans are looking for the team to make some moves. The organization is up against the cap, so the signings have to be smart and economical. This could be classified as a smart and economical move. Blanton could be brought in against those former Bears as a third safety. The three safety personnel grouping will be a staple in 2016 and I believe that the Bills should sign this guy! This signing would be small on the surface but could pay dividends in the film room and on the field in 2016.