The spring practices are done, now the five week layoff before training camp 2010. We’ll be reporting from St. John Fisher before you know it. To your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.
1 - Hi Chris:
I was wondering if the Bills and in particular Gailey and Nix would be leaning towards one QB over the other. Also, is it true that Brown would get an equal shot at being the starter game 1? For Gailey, how would he improve this offense especially the QB play which has been less than spectacular since Drew Bledsoe left?
Bills fan from San Diego: Kevin
CB: If Gailey is leaning toward one quarterback over the others he’s not tipping his hand. Reps have been dead even among the three veteran signal callers. Rookie Levi Brown is a part of the competition according to Gailey, but has received fewer reps than the others. In fact on Day 1 of minicamp Brown got a total of three reps over two practices. The other three for the most part have rotated evenly. So it looks like a 3 man race for training camp.
2 - Hi Chris: What is your assessment of the Buffalo Bills wide receiver situation? They drafted Marcus Easley, who, in his last year in college, had 48 catches for 893 yards, before that he really did nothing. The Bills also signed Chad Jackson, who in his best year caught 13 balls. It seems to me that outside of Lee Evans, they lack a proven receiver (they have holdovers James Hardy and Steve Johnson, Johnson has a bigger upside than Hardy and more talent to boot). Letting Josh Reed go was a mistake, talent does not mean beans if it does not translate into production. Do you see the Bills going after a veteran receiver once again? Do you see any other way?
Tony, Daytona Beach
CB: I think there is no question that there is some talent at the position beyond Lee Evans. Steve Johnson has had a strong spring and if he can carry that into training camp I believe has a real good chance to be the number two wideout. But I think James Hardy and Marcus Easley will also be factors in that competition.
The rookie free agent receivers have also been impressive in Donald Jones, David Nelson and Naaman Roosevelt. The issue to be determined in training camp and the preseason is how well the young receivers can perform in the new offensive system. There are a lot of sight adjustments, option routes and such, and that’s a lot of responsibility to master, especially for a young receiver. Having to think, instead of knowing all those things via experience causes a young wideout to think more than play and that can affect performance.
So while I think the Bill have some talented young receivers, how well they handle and ultimately master the offensive system will largely determine what kind of production and consistency they can deliver.
3 - Hi Chris:
Have a question about the running back situation for this year. Jackson, Lynch and Spiller all are capable to be the starters this year. Who do you think will have the actual title of the “starting” running back? I’m sure all three will split time but after last season, Fred has to be the front runner. What do you think?
Thanks, Eric, AKA Bills backer from Downingtown PA
CB: I think in the end it will be Fred Jackson. I believe C.J. Spiller will see a lot of time on the field both in the backfield and out wide and on special teams. I think we’ll see more than one of them out there at times as well. But I think technically Jackson will be the lead dog, though Marshawn could give him a run.
4 - Hey Chris,
First of all GO BILLS!! My question is concerning practices. I have noticed you saying some weather forces the players inside to practice. Are there ever days when they practice in bad weather? If not, wouldn’t that be good to get guys prepared for games in those conditions? Thanks Chris.
North Tonawanda, NY
CB: In the spring playing on a wet field is an added hazard that the coaches and the training staff would prefer to avoid. Less than stable footing can make players more susceptible to injury so in the spring when you’re trying to keep people healthy for training camp you play where it’s safest and when the outdoor field is slick you move inside.
5 - Hi Chris,
Maybe I don’t understand football as well as I thought I did, but I see a lot of people predicting the Bills to be the worst team in the
league this year, and I just don’t understand the logic behind it. This is a team that won six games last year, was leading or tied in
the 4th quarter of five other games, and in a 12th game entered the 4th quarter down only three to the Saints.
The Bills didn’t have the splashiest offseason, but they did add some key players and outside of T.O. and Josh Reed (and maybe Schobel) really didn’t lose anyone. As critical as people want to be of the O-line and QB situation, we have the same players coming back that won six games last year who ideally will mature a bit and we added a little competition at those spots as well.
Do you think this season is in as much trouble as everyone is saying, or do we have some hope that the “experts” just aren’t seeing?
CB: I believe those predictions exist because there are a lot of unknowns for this team. A host of positions are open for competition including the most important (QB) and there is a new coaching staff with new offensive and defensive schemes being implemented.
All of those unanswered questions convince prognosticators on the outside that there aren’t any answers. With no answers they don’t have much hope for the Bills.
But answers will be provided in training camp and once we have more of those answers leading up to the season, we’ll all be able to make a better assessment as to just where this team belongs in the conversation of NFL rankings.
Tags: Buddy Nix, C.J. Spiller, Chad Jackson, Chan Gailey, Fan Friday, Fred Jackson, James Hardy, Marcus Easley, Marshawn Lynch, Steve Johnson
Posted in Inside the Bills