The burst is back
Healthy hamstring has Moulds surging
By ALLEN WILSON
News Sports Reporter
Eric Moulds came off the line of scrimmage, made a sharp cut and snatched a pass out of the air without breaking stride.
The injured groin that hindered Moulds last season is healthy again, and he couldn't be happier.
"Physically, I feel pretty good," Moulds said after Buffalo Bills minicamp, which resumes today. "This is probably the best I've felt (since the injury). I think the minicamp we had earlier I really wasn't 100 percent. But in between those little times off I think got healthy.
"And I feel healthy. (Middle linebacker) London Fletcher came to me and said he saw me on film and I looked like the Eric Moulds of old, so that made me feel good and feel pretty comfortable with the way the injury came along."
Moulds was a shell of his Pro Bowl self most of last season after slightly tearing his groin muscle in the Bills' Oct. 5 win over Cincinnati.
He still managed to lead the Bills with 64 catches and 780 yards despite missing three games, but he didn't have the same explosive burst off the snap or the moves to elude defenders.
Most of all, he wasn't the big-play threat the Bills' offense desperately needed.
"It was frustrating because I couldn't go out and do the things I was used to," Moulds said. "I think the most frustrating thing was I could only go one way, and that was straight ahead. Even when I turned a little bit you feel like it's going to pull again. It was a situation where I was thinking about it most of the time when I was playing, so it kind of took away from the way I played. Now that it's healed up, I can go out and play football like I used to."
The injury didn't require surgery. Much of his rehabilitation consisted of rest and ice treatments. He eventually was able to do exercises to strengthen the muscle, but it took time to get over concern about the injury.
"It was so tough to get up for things because when you work a muscle like that you still feel like it's going to pull," Moulds said. "It was frustrating from my standpoint and the trainers' because they didn't want to push me too fast and have a setback."
The real test was getting on the practice field. Would he have the same burst off the snap? Would he be able to make cuts without a hint of pain and discomfort?
The answer is in the way Moulds is running around and making plays in minicamp.
"Eric looks good," coach Mike Mularkey said. "He tested it the day we had the open practice for the fans, which I think he did purposely. Quit waiting. Let's find out where it is. We did some more follow-up medical checkups really to just confirm to him and us that he is healed and can start playing. I know a player has to have the confirmation, especially with an injury like that, that everything is OK."
Moulds didn't spend his entire offseason waiting for his leg to heal. Judging by the increased size of his arms and upper body, he spent an awful lot of time in the weight room.
Bigger doesn't necessarily mean better, but Moulds feels a stronger body will result in a healthier one as he enters his ninth season.
"I want to get back and get my body a lot stronger than it was in the past," he said. "It's hard to escape injury, but at the same time I'm going to try to limit it as much as I possibly can because I feel like I need to be on the field to help the team win. That's why I lifted a little more weight and got a little bit stronger so hopefully my body will hold up."
I know he's not exactly a sleeper but the production he can give you if he's indeed back, compared to where he'll be picked in a lot of drafts, is great value---we're looking at a possible Top 5 guy who could be had a good bit later.
Just hope he doesn't turn into a Mini-Boston with all the workout stuff