Reggie Ragland was a bad fit in the Buffalo Bills' defense.
At 6-foot-2 and 252 pounds, he was built to be an inside linebacker who could fill gaps and make plays near the line of scrimmage in a 3-4 base defense -- the one the Bills were playing when they drafted him.
In the 4-3 base that Sean McDermott employs, Ragland was a bit out of his element, but Preston Brown wasn't. In fact, the 6-1, 251-pound Brown -- who has changed his diet and intensified his workouts to be in top condition -- has thrived through the preseason, showing the sort of quickness and athleticism that are perfect for the scheme.
And, according to McDermott, it was Brown's performance that did the most to convince the Bills to trade Ragland to the Kansas City Chiefs Monday for a fourth-round draft pick in 2019. The Chiefs employ a 3-4 base defense.
"I think it was more, in this case, what Preston Brown did," McDermott said Tuesday. "Preston Brown has had a great camp. He has proven himself as a starting middle linebacker for us. I like the way the defense is playing and so it’s more of what Preston did, rather than what Reggie didn’t do in this case."
The coach acknowledged that there was some thought put into the fact the Bills own the Chiefs' 2018 first-round pick, which they acquired last April in the trade to move down in the round to select cornerback Tre'Davious White, and could potentially cause the choice to be lower than it might have been otherwise.
"That’s a fair question," McDermott said. "That’s always the, as you evaluate a trade and where you come out on a positive or negative side, that’s always part of the computation, so to speak. You look at that (and) you have to look at it from every different angle. We did that.
"We just, again, felt like it was right for us at this time and right for Reggie at the same time."