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Wannstedt enthusiastically installs defense

Dave Wannstedt can only hope his defense stays in better shape than he's in at the moment.

Wannstedt is currently outfitted with a neck brace following surgery, but he expects to be 100 percent in a few weeks.

That's just about the time the Buffalo Bills and their new defensive coordinator will break minicamp and head home for some rest and relaxation before reporting to Pittsford in July for training camp.

Wannstedt spoke Friday on the progress the team has made in implementing his new 4-3 scheme during the first week of organized team activities.

"Every day we're putting in something different. Every day it's a different coverage, it's a different front. It might be a different blitz and we've got it organized pretty good," Wannstedt said. "I think when we get to about Day 11, 12 [of spring practice] we'll be about ready to play a game, really. -- And then the key will be to come back in training camp and start over again."

Wannstedt also opened up on the philosophy of his defense.

"It's going to be a defensive-line friendly scheme, and by that I mean we'll be as good as our guys up front play," he said. "The guys up front, it all starts there. If we can get a good rotation going, keep some guys healthy, you know that kind of sets the foundation for what we're trying to get done here."

The Bills invested heavily in that front four with the free-agent additions of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson. They also have a potentially dominant tackles tandem of Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus.

"It's obvious that we've added talent, that's no secret," Wannstedt said. "The thing that excites me as much as anything is the talented guys that we brought in are good people that want to win and are willing to work."

Kyle Williams has been working in individual drills during OTAs following surgery to remove bone spurs that were rubbing against his Achilles tendon. He expects to be 100 percent for training camp.

"Kyle Williams might be the beneficiary of this scheme in a positive way as much as anybody because he's not a 320-pounder, but he is as athletic as anybody we have on the defensive line and I'm excited to see him once we get going," Wannstedt said. "I think that he's going to have the chance to make some plays."

Wannstedt was enthusiastic in speaking with reporters for about 10 minutes after practice. That enthusiasm is felt by the team.

"Dave's a high-energy guy. He lets you know what's expected of you," safety George Wilson said. "You don't have to wonder what Dave's thinking."

Other topics addressed by Wannstedt on Friday included:

*The signing of Anderson: "He's got the quickest feet of any defensive lineman we've got. I mean the guy's got extremely quick feet. I think as an edge rusher, we'll see how it unfolds, but he's had a good first week."

*His initial impressions of first-round pick Stephon Gilmore: "He doesn't appear, [when] you watch him warm up in drills, to be as fast as he is but nobody runs by him. I think playing quarterback [in high school], he's got a little bit more savvy than some corners might and obviously he's a size guy. He's got size and he can run."

email: jskurski@buffnews.com