OTAs are more than half over then a mandatory minicamp and it’s break time before training camp. Remember questions can be emailed to AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Now to your questions.
1 – Hi Chris,
I have a question about injured reserve. Players like Demetrius Bell and Eric Wood finished the year on the IR.
Are they technically still on IR? Can they stay on IR and NOT count against the 80 man roster until they are “activated” (or do IR exemptions only apply to the 53 man roster?) Do players on IR have to be activated by July 29th / start of training camp?
CB: After the Super Bowl is over there is a period of time in February where players are removed from the injured reserve list. At this point in time, provided they are still under contract with the club they count toward the team’s 80-man offseason roster limit. Leaving them on injured reserve is not an option.
If however, they are unable to pass a physical prior to the start of training camp they would be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list at which point they would count as a player on the roster unless they were designated as Reserve-PUP like James Hardy was last summer.
2 - Hi Chris, How do you see the 3-4 defense faring during the season? Do you think that Chris Kelsay and Aaron Schobel will make the most of their new roles as outside linebackers? Turning to offense: How do you see the Bills offense performing during the season barring injury? The addition of C. J. Spiller and Marcus Easley helps, but will it be enough? I will look forward to your answer.
Tony, Daytona Beach, Florida
CB: Well at this point it’s hard to determine what Chris Kelsay is capable of at his new position. I think we’ll get a better handle on that at training camp. Aaron Schobel is a big ‘if’ because he’s leaning toward retirement. That means players like Aaron Maybin, Chris Ellis, Reggie Torbor and Danny Batten will be the other candidates.
I like the way Batten has moved in space. He’s better than I thought he’d be at this point knowing he too is switching from a defensive end position. Ellis has some potential and Torbor is a veteran. Maybin I envision playing a big role on passing downs.
With respect to the offense I think Chan Gailey is going to need to be very creative to get chunk yardage plays this year. I believe we’ll see a heavy emphasis on running the ball because to this point no quarterback has definitively demonstrated that they deserve the starting job.
I believe Spiller and Easley will both contribute as rookies, Spiller more so right away, but Easley has been impressive in spring camps. We’ll see if that continues when the pads go on in late July.
3 – Hey Chris,
I’m confused about why the Bills don’t make more of an effort to get Gaither from the Ravens to put at LT and then sign Flozell Adams and have him play RT. I really think that would be a wise choice, because then we could see what our QB’s on the current roster really have to offer. So what if it is for 1yr at least next yr we would know what direction to go in the draft. If the guys on the current roster couldn’t produce with a that front unit then we would know we need to get new QB’s. But if they perform well then we would know we need to build up the line more in next yrs draft.
Garrett from PA.
CB: First of all no one really knows what kind of effort has been put together by the Bills to land a veteran left tackle via trade. Gaither has been the subject of trade talks according to reports and many suspect the Bills. Gaither however, has a history of not being the most dedicated player. It’s unclear if that is enough of a red flag to dissuade the Bills from pursuing him.
I understand your point of improving the tackles to gain a better assessment of the quarterbacks. It’s a valid argument. I just get the feeling that the Bills intend to build this thing steadily and not fill holes with quick fixes that may or may not work.
4 - I have noticed that Marcus McNeill has not signed his RFA tender yet. I have not seen any news out of SD with regard to this, is he not happy? I was wondering if it is worth Buffalo giving up a 1st and a 3rd next year for someone who is a ProBowl caliber OT who could fill the position for years to come with out the potential baggage that Baltimore’s Gauthier seems to have with work ethic and feet. What are your thoughts?
CB: As I blogged earlier this week McNeill and the Chargers are at a bit of standoff. McNeill believes his Pro Bowl resume makes him deserving of a long term contract. The problem is San Diego already has a handful of high-priced players and seemed to be inclined to bide their time in giving McNeill an extension, hoping he would sign his one-year restricted tender so they could buy another year before handing out the big money, especially with some labor uncertainty.
The Chargers have reportedly threatened to reduce his tender amount on June 15th, something they’re permitted to do under league rules by 110%. So his salary for 2010 would go from $2.4M to $583K. But word is McNeill is willing to hold out to get what he feels he deserves. San Diego has signed veteran tackle Tra Thomas in case McNeill stands firm in his position.
Whether they would trade a young, talented player I believe would depend on how contentious this stand off gets. The Bills could use a proven left tackle and not only is McNeill familiar with Buddy Nix from his time with the Chargers, but there are two former college teammates on the Bills roster in Spencer Johnson and Reggie Torbor. It’s a situation that bears watching no doubt.
5 - Chris,
Aaron Maybin appears to have the right work ethic to be successful with the Bills. I think he was a victim of coaches last year, that never gave him a chance. How do you see Maybin being utilize in the 3-4 defense and will he live up to his potential as 1st round pick?
William, Schenectady, NY
CB: Maybin himself has said he has some adjustments to make in the Bills new 3-4 scheme. His responsibilities are different and more varied in this system. I think it’s safe to expect him to have a more prominent role in terms of the pass rush. He’ll definitely be on the field on any passing downs, but this staff may choose to play stouter ends on run downs. It’s something that we’ll have to keep an eye on through the preseason games.
Tags: Aaron Maybin, C.J. Spiller, Chris Kelsay, Demetrius Bell, Eric Wood, Fan Friday, Jared Gaither, Marcus Easley, Marcus McNeill
Posted in Inside the Bills