Big preseason game test coming up Saturday night. Eager to see more progress from all three phases. As always questions can be sent to (AskChris@bills.nfl.net). Let’s get going with this week’s edition.
1 – Hey Chris it kind of seems from a fans prospective so far that the bills staff intends to keep Levi brown as the 3rd option, is that the case or still a little early to say?
Frank (Bills fan in dolphin country) Miami, FL
CB: First, my condolences for having to live amongst Dol-Fans (man that’s a lame term isn’t it?). With respect to the quarterback contingent I believe that Levi Brown will be carried on the 53-man roster. I think there is too much potential there to risk putting him on the practice squad.
Bills GM Buddy Nix in a recent interview on the Shredd and Ragan show (103.3 The Edge) up here in Buffalo confirmed that they’re only keeping three. My feeling is that Brian Brohm and Ryan Fitzpatrick are likely the two QBs fighting for the one remaining spot. Brown will be the third QB, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be on the 53-man squad.
2 – Chris,
Since Jackson’s injury seems to be longer term than Lynch, if Lynch performs well do you think he may become the feature back again? He has looked great in TC I hear, and if he is back to his 2008 form he could be in for a good season. I know some coaches stick with what works and if he is getting it done why fix it if its not broke. Your thoughts??
CB: I think anything is possible with respect to the so called number one role in the offensive backfield. As Chan Gailey has said, he doesn’t care about hurting people’s feelings, he cares about scoring points. Yes, Lynch had a good camp prior to the injury, but so did Jackson. Jackson is still shooting to be back by the opener, and I don’t count that guy out on anything he puts his mind to.
Personally I think if Jackson does come back by Sept. 12 that he’ll be getting the lion’s share of the rushing work.
3 – Chris,
This is the first time I have ever wrote to you about the Bills, but I ( like many other Bills fans) am getting extremly frustrated with the organization and its decision making process. One question that has been bothering me is why wont the Bills trade Fred Jackson?
We have a crowded back field and some decision needs to be made. Jackson’s value is never going to be higher than it is right now! He’s almost 30, and the Bills got him for practically nothing, so their return on their investment would be amazing. I know he has had one season with over 1000 yards rushing, but Lynch has done it twice in 3 years. In my opinion he would have reached that mark last year if he wasn’t suspended. Lynch is a capable back that has been proven way before Jackson came along. I guess my point is…we could trade him to get more draft picks in the upcoming draft, since we are committed to turning this organization around through the draft. If need be trade Lynch as well to get more picks to solidify our lines! That’s where football games are won anyway. Please let me know your thoughts!
Elbert. Albany, NY
CB: Unfortunately you’re not the first person I’ve heard this line of logic from. While I completely respect the idea of dealing from a position of strength to fortify other areas of your team, the plan in 2010 is to lean very heavily on the running game. It’s shown great promise in the preseason and Chan Gailey has a history of success running the football.
Jackson can do everything well as evidenced by his season last year when he became the first player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards and accumulate 1,000 kick return yards in a season. He also LED THE LEAGUE in combined yards from scrimmage. More than Chris Johnson, more than Josh Cribbs, more than everybody. In fact it was the fourth highest combined yardage total in NFL HISTORY.
So if you want to get rid of that guy I think you’re nuts. I say keep all three in the fold and pound the rock in 2010.
4 – Chris, I’d be interested in knowing if you think any of these players will be on the 53 man roster opening day. Donovan Woods, John McCargo, Donald Jones, Ellis Lankster. Also, what is the status of Easley & Wang?
CB: I think Ed Wang is a lock despite his injury. Of the rest I believe Ellis Lankster has the best chance. Granted he didn’t have his best game against Indy in the preseason, but the fact is you can never have enough cornerbacks. If the Bills keep six corners, he’s the guy. Donovan Woods and Donald Jones are in the hunt. Marcus Easley’s season is over, he’s on I-R. As for John McCargo, he’s worked very hard to adjust to playing defensive end in a 3-4, but I think he’s caught in a numbers game at the position, and knowing the Bills are likely to keep just six defensive linemen, I think he could be on the outside looking in.
5 – Hi Chris,
After 2 pre-season games, the special teams performance has not been very good, particularly on kick/punt return coverage. The tackling has been poor and it has resulted in some decent return yards for the opposition. Do you think this is a reflection of the Bills trying out players who have not had experience playing special teams, a new scheme that the players are still learning under Bruce DeHaven or do you think this is a real cause for concern? Also, in practices, do you think special teams is getting enough reps?
CB: There’s no question that coverage on kicks and punts has been a bit suspect. I discussed this with head coach Chan Gailey in a one-on-one setting and here’s the answer straight from the head coach’s mouth.
“We have people in the wrong places,” said Gailey. “We’ve got to get people in the right places and staying disciplined in their lanes. Some of that is because guys haven’t done it since they were freshmen in college.
“Preseason is about teaching those guys how to play on special teams that haven’t played there before. And we’re looking at a lot of guys on special teams to find out if they can help us or not.
“So you really don’t have your starting special teams units on the field like you do on offense and defense early in the game because you don’t know how many punt returns or kickoffs you’re going to get so you have to get those guys out there early in the preseason games.”
I believe the new scheme and some turnover have been contributing factors as well, but I’m confident Bruce DeHaven will have things humming come the regular season.
Tags: Bruce DeHaven, Buddy Nix, Chan Gailey, Donald Jones, Donovan Woods, Ed Wang, Ellis Lankster, Fan Friday, Fred Jackson, John McCargo, Levi Brown, Marshawn Lynch, Special teams
Posted in Inside the Bills