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Bills would consider shifting linebacker Kiko Alonso out of the middle


INDIANAPOLIS -- Kiko Alonso was a fixture at middle linebacker last year.

Alonso didn't miss a single play his entire rookie season.

But he might not be the Buffalo Bills' middle linebackers anymore. He could move to a different position if the front office finds more help for new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

Bills General Manager Doug Whaley spoke Friday about the 6-foot-3, 238-pound Alonso moving to weak-side linebacker.

"He would excel there, just like he excelled at middle linebacker," Whaley said at the NFL scouting combine. "I think he's got the skill set to excel at any of the three linebacker positions.

"One thing that will maybe help him, because of his frame, it would probably help him not being able to take on those offensive linemen as frequently. So he might be a little more productive.

"But either way -- middle linebacker, will or sam -- we think this guy's going to have a bright future."

Does Whaley have a preference where Alonso plays?

"I'd have to leave that up to the coaches," Whaley said. "I just prefer him on the field because I know if he's o the field he's going to make something happen."

Alonso was third in the NFL with 159 total tackles and a league-leading 72 assists. He recorded 10 tackles for losses, four interceptions, two sacks, a forced fumble and two recoveries.

As the Bills prepare to evaluate linebackers this weekend in Lucas Oil Stadium, Whaley said the Bills' haven't changed their how they view their prototype in terms of size, speed and the like with Schwartz running the defense.

"That's the one thing we liked about Schwartz in the interview process," Whaley said. "He says he'll fit the scheme to the players. He wants to put players in positions for them to be successful.

"So there is no prototype. He says, 'Get me good players, and we'll work around those guys.' That's something we, as scouts, take very appreciative."

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.