Win No. 1 is in the books and the Bills have a very winnable game Sunday against a reeling Cincinnati squad. Getting mixed feedback from fans on winning right now as some want to lock up the top pick with the worst NFL record. I don’t see that happening because Carolina is a far worse team and Buffalo has made strides the last month. They’re playing better football. Now to your questions from the AskChris@bills.nfl.net file.
1 – Hey Chris,
I know Ralph has said QB is the top priority this offseason and that really worries me that we will desperately take whoever is the best QB available at our pick in the draft,whether or not he is necessarily deserving of the pick. Personally I think Andrew Luck is the real deal and would take him first overall no question, but if he stays in school like he’s said he will then we take a QB just to take one? I think Mallett is a little inconsistent and have had character questions and that Locker is far too inaccurate and raw to cut it in the NFL. I would say to take a tackle but it doesn’t seem as though there’s an elite tackle at this point. If we can’t take Luck, do you think it would make more sense to take a defensive impact player such as Bowers from Clemson or Fairley from Auburn, maybe even Peterson on LSU, a tackle in the second and try to get Luck or someone like a Matt Barkley whenever they declare? Thanks.
CB: I think you can rest assured knowing that GM Buddy Nix is not going to desperately do anything. As I mentioned last week, we have to see which underclassmen declare in mid-January before we can really assess the landscape of what will be available to the Bills. At that point we’ll also know where Buffalo will be picking in the draft order.
Know this, Buddy Nix worked primarily under John Butler during his first stint with the Bills. Butler worked under Bill Polian, who openly stated that the top two positions on a football team in terms of importance were QB and a pass rushing DE or OLB depending on your defensive system.
I’ve seen a lot of Fairley and that kid is impressive. He jumps off the TV screen. I haven’t seen as much of Bowers, but of the tape I’ve watched it’s evident he’s a special talent. In fact, there’s one part of his game that resembles Bruce Smith. Bowers can drop his inside shoulder and his inside hip and flatten himself out at almost a 45 degree angle and still maintain his pass rush speed to get to the quarterback.
There are very few pass rushers that can do that. Marcellus Wiley told me when he tried to do some of the things that Bruce could do he would fall down. I’m not saying Bowers is Bruce Smith, but I am saying that on the surface it appears he has some similar athletic traits in his game to that of the Hall of Famer.
Just know that Nix is not going to have his hand forced with their top pick. I think he proved that last spring when he took Spiller despite glaring needs at other positions. If the individual talent at a position of need doesn’t fit their spot on the board he won’t reach to fill it.
2 – Hey Chris ,
I’ll make this quick – What do you think about Kellen Moore ?? All the kid does is win !!
Mr. T from Ft. Myers via Nashville
CB: Moore has shown the ability to perform in the clutch and you’re right he is no question a winner. His greatest strength is his knowledge of the game. A son of a football coach, Moore is a football nerd. As a kid he used allowance money to buy college game tape off the internet.
Since he was a sophomore his college staff was so impressed with his knowledge and scouting of opponents that they would often incorporate plays he liked into the game plan. To my knowledge they still do this.
What’s going to steer NFL GMs away from Moore are his physical limitations. He’s a 6’0” 187-pound pocket passer. He’s not all that mobile and his arm is adequate at best.
His football intelligence will get him drafted, but it will be hard for talent evaluators to overlook his physical deficiencies. I think he’ll be a mid to late round pick (4th to 6th), but I wouldn’t mind having him on my team as a backup. It should be noted that he is a junior, so he still has a year of college eligibility left.
He gets knocked for being a system quarterback, but I think he’s more than that personally.
3 – Chris:
It starting to look like Alex Carrington is falling into the potential bust category. How is it that a young Defensive Lineman can’t get on the field for this team that has major Defensive issues stopping the run and rushing the passer?
CB: I think you’re way off the mark here on Carrington. First of all Carrington is playing a position where there are experienced veterans in front of him (Johnson, Stroud, Edwards). That combined with the fact that in a 3-4 you really only need five defensive linemen active for a game and you see the numbers game where Carrington gets caught.
So I think to even attribute bust in the same sentence as Carrington is misguided at best. When you have proven veterans in front of you on the depth chart, that’s what is going to keep you off the field more than anything. It has less to do with his ability and more to do with the ability of the vets.
4 – Hi Chris,
Couple of questions for you. First, regarding free Agency this off-season, what notable players on the Bills roster have contracts that are expiring? Specifically, where do players like Whitner and Poz stand (I think theirs may be up soon) and do you foresee them being offered new contracts, or do you think Nix/Gailey may be looking to move in a different direction once the season is over?
Paul in Toronto
CB: Here are the names according to my records. I believe I have most of them. Paul Posluszny, Donte Whitner, George Wilson, Ashton Youboty, Keith Ellison, Brian Brohm, Drayton Florence, Jonathan Stupar and Garrison Sanborn.
I would think that Poz is a top priority with Whitner and Florence other notable considerations. I think keeping a quality long snapper is also important so I anticipate Sanborn will be back.
All that being said, with the labor uncertainty there’s no definition as to who is restricted or unrestricted based on accrued seasons before there is no CBA to go off of. A couple of these players are likely to be re-signed prior to a new CBA regardless of what the new rules become because the organization deems them important pieces for their future. But the absence of a CBA won’t make the process any easier.
5 – Chris,
One question about the Bills has really been bugging me: a couple of years ago Leodis McKelvin was a fantastic kickoff returner for Buffalo. C J Spiller seems awful tentative on kick returns. Why does McKelvin not return kickoffs? Does Coach Gailey not know that McKelvin is an electric return man? Maybe you could ask him that the next time you interview him.
CB: It looks like you’re going to get your wish Lee due to injury. Spiller is out Sunday against Cincinnati and McKelvin is slated to handle both kick and punt return. Personally I thought he was robbed last week on his 78-yard return on a very questionable holding call against Jon Corto. I thought Corto had him locked up legally and was driving his man down the field.
I do like that McKelvin is getting this opportunity. I think the Bills staff was so eager to get Spiller on the field, and knowing he’d be worked in slowly on the offensive side, returns were a way to get him extra touches. They also wanted McKelvin to focus more on defense because his consistency series to series had been an issue. In my opinion he played his best game of the season against Detroit last week.
Tags: Alex Carrington, Buddy Nix, C.J. Spiller, Donte Whitner, Fan Friday, Kellen Moore, Leodis McKelvin, Paul Posluszny, Ralph Wilson
Posted in Inside the Bills