Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 10-8

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2010 – 2:20 pm

Fan Friday

My apologies for missing Fan Friday last week. Got caught up in all the roster moves and it completely slipped my mind. Here’s this week’s five-pack. As always questions can go to AskChris@bills.nfl.net. And don’t forget the LIVE BLOG on game day, especially this week with the game blacked out.

1 - Hey Chris,
With Alex Carrington being deactivated as he was to make room for other positions. Could another team come in and sign him away from us on a week he was deacitivated?
 
Thanks,
Brandon
San Diego, CA

CB: I think you’re misunderstanding the inactive list. When a player is declared inactive for a game it means that he won’t dress on game day. Every team in the league can only dress 46 (counting a 3rd QB) from their 53-man roster for a game by NFL rule.

They’re still on the active roster however, and cannot be signed away by another club.

The only way a player can be signed away by another club is if they are on a team’s eight-man practice squad. Practice squad players can sign a contract with another team that wants to put them on their 53-man roster. The rule for the team that signs a practice squad player away from another team is that player must remain on their active roster for at least three weeks. An example this year would be RB Joique Bell, who was signed off Buffalo’s practice squad by Philadelphia.

I assure you Alex Carrington is under contract with the Bills.
2 –  Who is our dominant pass rusher? Like a Bruce Smith, or Clay Matthews! We don t have one. Brady sat back all day just enjoying himself, so did Sanchez. 0-4 I can live with that except that we have to have both or all units doing their job every game.
Tony

CB: Unfortunately I think you answered your own question. The Bills don’t have a proven pass rusher on the roster, which is why the defensive staff has given just about anyone on the roster at outside linebacker a shot. In Week 4, rookies Antonio Coleman and Arthur Moats got opportunities.

I think defensive coordinator George Edwards is in a tough spot. First, it’s rare that the Bills defense has their opponent in a long down and distance situation where they can dial up the blitz because they’re certain it’s a passing down. Second, without a proven pass rusher they have to get more aggressive and send at least five, perhaps six to get enough pressure. Now down cornerbacks for this week’s game getting aggressive might not be wise knowing the strain on the back end with coverage ability thinned.
3 - Does Buffalo need to go to 2 min drill for a whole game? Is this the only way they can win any football games?
Tony Smith

CB:
Seeing the Bills get their only touchdown last week, when it was still a game, at the end of the first half in their two-minute drill, I understand why you’d suggest that as a full-time offense. However, when you run a two-minute attack the entire game the opposing defense doesn’t play soft coverage and keep everything in front of them, the way they do at the end of the half or end of the game when they’re ahead on the scoreboard.

So while I understand why you think it would be a good idea, you have to realize that soft coverage is not what you’re going to see when you run two minute the whole game.

At the end of the first half in their two-minute drill, I understand why you’d suggest that as a full-time offense. However, when you run a two-minute attack the entire game the opposing defense doesn’t play soft coverage and keep everything in front of them, the way they do at the end of the half or end of the game when they’re ahead on the scoreboard.

So while I understand why you think it would be a good idea, you have to realize that soft coverage is not what you’re going to see when you run two minute the whole game.
4 – Hey Chris,

I cannot fathom that we gave Lynch up for a 4th round and an undisclosed draft pick. He was worth at least a second and an undisclosed draft pick. Poor choices like the one involving getting little to no value for Lynch is why our team is not doing well and our organization is burying itself in a deeper whole. I am very disappointed and we should have received a better value for Lynch. What say you?
Stephen Naetzker

CB: I say that the Bills fared pretty well. First, the value of running backs on the trade market has plummeted in the last two years. Trades like the Ricky Williams deal when he went from New Orleans to Miami for four picks including a pair of first rounders in 2002 are long gone. Even getting a couple of mid-round picks, like the Bills did in 2007 for Willis McGahee is a thing of the past. It’s primarily due to the fact that a lot of these teams that acquire the RB see they don’t get enough value in return.

Running backs today are viewed by NFL GMs as more expendable than ever. They run them into the ground for four or five years and then go get a new one. Once I saw Laurence Maroney go for a fourth-round pick a couple of weeks prior to the Lynch deal, it was easy to see that the Bills were going to be hard pressed to do better.

But they did. They got a fourth and a sixth that could become a fifth. Getting a mid-round pick and another potential mid-round pick for a player that is one strike away from being suspended for a year is a pretty good take in my opinion.
5 – Hey Chris,
I expect you’re disappointed like the rest of us, but was wondering if you have any insight to the lack of spine this team is showing? It seemed the defense is not hustling, Lee Evans was dropping passes, special teams was making mistakes. They were putting up more of a fight last season with a lot of the same players.

The secondary is supposed to be the strength of the team and no one can cover. Every time the Jets passed the Bills guys were near the receiver, but never bothered to look for the ball to make a play on it not to mention they were very close to pass interference on more plays than what they got called for. Are they losing on purpose to get the first pick of the draft? I think there are college teams that could beat them this year!
Dan

CB: I respect your frustration, I do. The secondary is giving up big plays because there’s no pass rush on the front end. What had you upset had Chan Gailey fuming after the game as well. The lapses in concentration on the field last week against the Jets was embarrassing and it led to poor execution.

As I have said before Chan Gailey has a double-edged task ahead of him in turning this team around. He has to improve the team’s performance, while also vanquishing the losing culture that has existed in that locker room for the better part of the last decade. When the lack of success has lasted that long, getting rid of that kind of culture is a monumental task.

I asked Bills GM Buddy Nix how hard it is, and if it’s a tough secondary task on top of improving the product on the field. Knowing he was a former head coach himself I thought I’d get a good response and I did. Here was his answer.

“I think that’s a great question and I’m not sure it’s a secondary task,” said Nix. “It’s probably the first and the hardest task. I don’t care whether you want to admit it or not, but losing gets to be a habit and it gets to be something you accept and we’re not going to do that. We’re going to demand that we get the proper attention to getting that addressed. To be honest with you it’s the hardest thing you have to do.”

Changing that losing culture is supremely difficult when losing, whether it’s consciously or subconsciously, becomes accepted. Nix believes it’s become accepted to a certain extent and he and Chan Gailey aim to get rid of it. Unfortunately that along with a lot of Buffalo’s other problems are going to take time to eliminate.


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