It’s another week of your questions. Let’s get right to them (AskChris@bills.nfl.net).
1 – Chris:
I know the trade deadline has passed, but wouldn’t now be the time to move veteran players (i.e. Lee Evans) to a team like the Chargers or even the Patriots IF the Bills could get multiple picks? By the time the Bills are ready to become competitive Lee Evans may be starting the downside of his career, and I believe the Bills expect (WR) Marcus Easley to become his replacement. Buddy Nix did say he would like to collect more picks to build this team and the only way to do that would be to move assets now that may not help the team when it is ready to win in the distant future.
CB: I don’t think moving Lee is a wise move, even this offseason, for a couple of reasons. First, I think because Evans has played on an unsuccessful unit, his value around the league would be depressed from what it should be and thus the Bills would likely be unable to get fair market value.
Second, if the Bills have a quarterback of the future on this roster next year that they drafted high, you’re going to want a veteran receiver on this roster that said QB can rely on. Don’t underestimate the value of that for a young signal caller, and it’d be hard to get a better receiver for a youngster to lean on than Evans.
2 - Reebok is no longer going to be the supplier of the NFL jerseys and Nike is taking over due to contract expiration. So what are the chances of the Bills getting new jerseys for the next season since most fans are in consensus that our current jerseys are ugly, most want either new jerseys, a modern version of the 90s jerseys, or the throwbacks full time.
Joe From Buffalo
CB: Nike will be taking over with jerseys, but not until the 2012 season, when the current deal with Reebok expires. New Era will also be taking over for hats.
Nike has promised to “dramatically change” the NFL uniform, but they’re referring more to the performance aspects of the jerseys (breathability, body cooling technology, etc).
Nike has no latitude to make any uniform modifications to any NFL jersey whatsoever, but I would anticipate that there will be some NFL teams that apply for jersey modifications in conjunction with Nike coming on board in 2012.
And that would need to be done sooner rather than later knowing that applying to the league for uniform modifications is a 12 to 18-month process. Whether the Bills are in that number remains to be seen.
3 – Chris,
We’re in a “hybrid” 4-3/3-4 which makes no sense at all. We have Kelsay running around in space trying to defend the pass, and we have Maybin bull rushing OT’s and getting buried. No pressure on QB’s, no solid run defense, and no ball hawking defensive backs (0 Int’s for defensive backs this year). This defense ensures that we’re terrible in every phase.
At what point are Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey going to hold our defensive coaches accountable the way they have held our personnel accountable?
CB: I think whenever a team undergoes a dramatic scheme change struggles have to be anticipated. The struggles were not expected to be this severe by anybody including the coaching staff, but there’s no getting around the deficiencies.
I think the heavier run front with four down linemen is a good idea. The only thing I wouldn’t mind seeing is lining up Kyle Williams at end and Marcus Stroud inside. Williams is the kind of player that could do just about anything you need a lineman to do. I’d be real interested to see what he could do on the edge in that look.
It starts with stopping the run and they’re looking for a way to shore that up. If they can then it will create more obvious passing situations, and defensive coordinator George Edwards can get more aggressive with blitz calls, which will lead to some hurried throws and more opportunities to make plays on the ball. Hopefully you see how it all fits together, but as Chan Gailey has said, if you can’t stop the run none of the other stuff even matters.
Once they can address that, they can address some of their other shortcomings.
4 - Chris, what happened with Danny Batten? He was another late round pick who was projected to play at OLB. I know he was injured early in training camp or OTAs, but is he still on the roster? If he is, is there any chance he makes it back into the fold this year?
CB: Danny Batten sustained a severe shoulder injury in training camp that required surgery and was put on injured reserve before the season even started.
The labrum in his shoulder was almost completely torn and he had a couple of ligaments that were damaged as well. One was almost completely torn and the other was partially torn. The head of his arm bone was also compromised (the part that fits into the shoulder socket).
But Batten has done very well in his rehab. Just this past week he began resistance training as he’s now allowed to lift light weights with his surgically repaired arm/shoulder.
He’s also been shifted to an inside linebacker position, which he is studying up on in the classroom. Batten is expected to be full go for the start of the team’s offseason conditioning program next March.
5 - Hello Chris,
I had a question for you, since Ralph Wilson has come out and said a QB is our first priority, is he ready to make the investment and pay the 50 to 75 million that it would take to sign a first round draft pick at QB? Why does Buddy need to go on the road, all we need to know is about three QB’s and I’ve been able to watch them from home every Saturday Arkansas, Washington and Stanford.
CB: First, it’s unclear what kind of salary commitment an NFL owner will have to make to a high draft pick because there is the possibility of a rookie cap being instituted as part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. So Sam Bradford’s deal this past summer, which included $50 million guaranteed may soon be a thing of the past.
With respect to Buddy Nix’s going out on the road to scout quarterbacks and prospects at other positions, it’s a necessary part of the scouting process. If you believe you learn all you need to know about a player by watching him play in games you’ll miss the mark far more than you think.
How they play is a big part of the evaluation process, granted, but knowing a prospect’s practice habits, what makes them tick, family background, leadership ability, etc. cannot be accurately gleaned off of game tape alone. As Nix says himself, you have to “smell their breath.”
And the only reason you believe there are just three worthy QB prospects in the draft is because the so called draft experts wrote as much. If you think Buddy Nix is going to take his cue as to who to scout from the media, then you don’t know Buddy Nix.
Tags: 3-4 defense, Buddy Nix, Danny Batten, Fan Friday, Lee Evans, Nike, Ralph Wilson, Reebok
Posted in Inside the Bills