We’re in the doldrums before training camp, but there are still some issues to discuss concerning the team. You can always submit questions to AskChris@bills.nfl.net.
1. Hi Chris-
Any truth to the reports that the K-Gun is returning to the Buffalo offense?
If so…what are your thoughts.
CB: I think it’s safe to assume that some elements of the K-Gun offense are being incorporated into Buffalo’s offensive scheme with their no huddle package. But the K-Gun in its entirety I think is unrealistic.
I like that the Bills are turning to the no huddle more to make it more difficult for defenses to substitute and get set pre-snap. Of course the Bills offense has to prove it can sustain drives with consistency as well because if they can’t it puts a lot more pressure on the defense to stop people.
Knowing coach Jauron comes from a defensive background, I’m not sure you should expect to see an overwhelming amount of no huddle. I believe it will be used more, but if you’re looking for more than half a game of no huddle week in and week out I think you’re getting your hopes up.
2. Would it be a bad idea if Mr. Nelson got reps as fullback, not only to improve his blocking skills, but to add a fullback weapon ala ‘that guy from Lewiston.’
CB: I’m assuming you’re talking about Shawn Nelson. At 6’5” putting Nelson at fullback even on the move is a bad idea as I see it. First, blocking as a fullback is different than as a tight end. Linebackers are often coming at you with a head of steam as opposed to a defensive end butting heads with you at the line.
Second, the coaching staff has already made a point of keeping the information flow to Nelson at a manageable level as they have him focused primarily on route running within the offensive scheme, knowing that’s where he can help them the most as a rookie. The blocking will come later since they have two other tight ends to handle it.
And that guy from Lewiston, Moose Johnston and Nelson are two completely different players.
3. Has there been any thought given to asking Bruce Smith in to some of the camps to work with Maybin??? Given his skill set, Bruce has a lot to tech a guy with Maybin’s raw physical talents
CB: That’s not a bad idea, but I just don’t see Bruce interested in coaching. I know Steve Tasker has volunteered his time to help Bobby April on occasion with special teams skills, but Bruce was such a great player. As Phil Hansen once explained to me, Bruce could contort his body in a way that no one else could in terms of bending the corner. He’d run upfield straight, while his upper torso was turned 90 degrees and hand fighting the offensive tackle.
Marcellus Wiley once told me he tried to do what Bruce did and just kept falling down. So what Bruce knows how to do I’m not sure can be effectively applied to most players on Buffalo’s roster today.
Why isn’t Tom Modrak given more credit for the outstanding job he does on day two of the draft (ex. McGee, Ellison, Williams and Butler)? By the way, this year’s 4th (TE-Nelson) is a home-run.
CB: I think the reason is pretty simple. The team hasn’t been successful in terms of winning records and playoff appearances. So as a result those associated with the team aren’t recognized outside of the walls of One Bills Drive for the good work that they do.
I think Modrak’s record as a talent evaluator speaks for itself, well beyond just what he’s done with the Bills. Everyone forgets how much heat he took as GM in Philadelphia when he took Donovan McNabb instead of Ricky Williams with the fifth overall pick. I think that has to be one of his best calls and for it to come with a top five pick was big.
Who from last year’s draft class will have an impact this season? I know everyone is counting on McKelvin and Hardy but I’m very interested in how Alvin Bowen and Chris Ellis will do coming off of injuries.
CB: I think that Derek Fine has a chance to make an impact with the starting tight end job up for grabs after the release of Robert Royal. I anticipate he and Derek Schouman to battle it out for the top job. But Fine has looked good in the passing game and has a good chemistry with Trent Edwards. Not that Schouman doesn’t, but I think Fine’s got a shot.
Ellis is flying under the radar with all the hype surrounding top pick Aaron Maybin. I’m really interested to see what Ellis can bring to the table in camp when the pads go on. I think Bowen is also capable of pushing veteran Keith Ellison for the starting outside linebacker job. So you’re on the mark with some guys to keep an eye on.
Reggie Corner could land the nickel job as well and Demetrius Bell could be the swing tackle behind Butler and Walker. Not a bad draft class huh? (See Modrak question 4).
Tags: Aaron Maybin, Alvin Bowen, Bruce Smith, Chris Ellis, Demetrius Bell, Derek Fine, Derek Schouman, Dick Jauron, Fan Friday, Marcellus Wiley, Phil Hansen, Reggie Corner, Shawn Nelson, Tom Modrak
Posted in Inside the Bills