Casual Buffalo Bills fans may yet know his name, but linebacker Marcus Dowtin may be a player they soon become fondly acquainted with.
Unheralded entering the league last year and after bouncing around two previous organizations, it seems Dowtin has earned himself a legitimate opportunity to carve out a name for himself in Buffalo, which starts with netting a roster spot.
By all accounts Dowtin has looked impressive this spring during organized team activities and at Sunday night’s first practice of training camp in front of a fervent crowd, stood out with his play.
One media member who Dowtin has clearly the attention of is WGR’s Joe Buscaglia. Following last night’s practice, Buscaglia went as far to give Dowtin opening night MVP honors in his post-practice recap.
On Dowtin following practice, Buscaglia wrote:
“The opening day Most Valuable Player honors goes to Marcus Dowtin, who fans will get very acclimated with this season. With the way he’s been used throughout the spring and through the first day, the Bills have a very versatile role for him lined up. Dowtin lined up at both outside and inside linebacker during different 11-on-11 drills Sunday, constantly finding himself around the play. He tore Hutch Eckerson to shreds in 1-on-1′s and had the play of the day during team drills as well. A deflected Kevin Kolb pass looked like it was out of reach for everyone, but Dowtin tracked it down and made a diving grab along the sidelines for an interception. He may not start and he might not be the first defender you think of with this group, but fans will see plenty of Marcus Dowtin if the past few months have been any indication.”
In college Dowtin spent three years at Georgia before transferring to North Alabama, where he played his senior season. For his career he started 18 of 47 games and racked up 246 tackles, 7.5 sacks and two interceptions.
He went unselected in the 2012 draft and signed as a free agent with the New York Jets. That didn’t last long as he was among the final roster cuts, but was immediately brought back to the practice squad. He was eventually promoted to the active roster but cut in late November.
Dowtin found work on the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad when he signed last Christmas Eve. He was cut by the Eagles on April 10 and the Bills claimed and were awarded him off waivers one day later, clearly showing the organization saw something they liked.
While Dowtin’s spot on the roster is hardly secure following spring sessions in shorts and all of one training camp practice, his exciting start and not elite competition at linebacker make him a strong candidate to make the final 53-man roster.
As things stand Dowtin is in a showdown with Jamie Blatnick, Keith Pough and Kourtnei Brown for what appears to be one or two roster spots.
Based on what we’re seeing—Dowtin is looking like a pretty good bet to stick around.