Good evening Bills fans. Glad you could join me. As promised I’m going to be answering your training camp questions here tonight. So you know you can still submit your questions to my email account at AskChris@bills.nfl.net. I’ll be submitting as many of those questions with answers as possible below, so keep refreshing this page as I’ll be adding answers as I move through them. Hopefully your question or one very similar to your question gets answered tonight, otherwise I’ll get to your question in a future Fan Friday post or answer it personally. Just understand training camp is my busiest time of year, so I’ll get back to you as best I can. Thanks for your participation. Let’s get to your questions.
1 – Chris,
Thanks for all the constant updates for us fans. I am wondering if the bills are interested in Jared Gaither. He would be a big help to our tackle problems. If not him are there any other free agent tackles worth looking at? Thanks again and go BILLSMike from Cheektowaga
CB: I do know the Bills contract with St. John Fisher is in its last year, but the decisions that are made beyond that are way above my pay grade. I, like you, do not know what the future holds with respect to training camp here. As for giving back to the fans I do know that the next night practice on Saturday (8/6) will include a bunch of contests and giveaways as well as a fireworks show following practice. With respect to a full team autograph session I have not heard anything, but if there is news on that front I’ll pass it along.
7 – Chris,
CB: Joe, I think we’ve heard Buddy address this question before. The Bills plan for building this team into a consistent winner will be done primarily through the draft and any remaining holes will be filled by free agents that aren’t going to break the bank. Yes, they have a lot of cap room, but the amount of cap room the team has isn’t going to change Buddy’s approach.
I know a lot of fans complain to me all the time about why we’re not more aggressive in free agency. What you need to realize is there are teams in the league that have been very successful with the formula that Buddy is adhering to. Indy, Pittsburgh and San Diego draft well, re-sign their own and fill holes with affordable free agents. Two of those teams have won Super Bowls and all three are perennial playoff teams. It’s a proven way to build a perennial winner, the catch is that it takes time and Buddy said as much when he took the job.
8 – Chris,
How has Aaron Maybin looked in training camp thus far? I read something saying that he weighed in under 230. I also read something saying that Daryl Talley was giving him a lot of individual attention and answering his questions. Is Maybin big enough to be seriously considered as an OLB? Has Talley’s tutoring helped him make any plays in camp? Based on some of the comments Gailey has made about Maybin in the past, and the fact that he wasn’t allowed to dress for so many games last year, I have to assume that Maybin needs to show something during the preseason this year if he hopes to stay on the team. I really had high hopes for him when he got drafted. Does he seem to be making any progress?
-Brendan, Las Vegas
CB: Well Brendan you’re right about Maybin’s weight. His reporting weight at the start of camp was 228 pounds. It does make it harder for him to stand in and hold his ground on run plays or maintain leverage on an outside rush. As for what he needs to show in this camp I’ll leave it to coach Gailey who addressed that subject today after practice.
“Aaron (Maybin) tries hard every time he walks on the field,” said Gailey. “The key for him is being productive on the field. He has to become a consistent player against the run and a consistent pass rusher. He has work to do, he’s not there yet. So we will see how he continues to develop but he has a long way to go.”
9 – I’ve noticed that their appears to be an amazing family atmosphere among the players and coaches of the Bills. Guys really appear to want to work hard for the guy next to them and not necessarily for the big pay day that could ensue. What would you say the impetus behind that has been?
CB: I’d give coach Gailey the credit for that. I said last year that his toughest task in his first year as head coach was to eradicate the losing culture that had enveloped this team over the past decade. It took him more than half the season, but he vanquished it and got the players to rally around each other and pull for one another.
There’s a sign in the Bills team meeting room that coach Gailey put up on the front wall it reads, ‘The STAR of the team is the TEAM.’ Hopefully that explains the approach Gailey has demanded from these players.
10 – Chris – Greetings from Arizona – we survived the wildfires and looking forward to Bills football!!.
Offense is looking good. What do you think of the offensive line ( I am mostly concerned about left tackle) and any chance the Bills make a run at a TE (Bo Scaife was still there this morning).
Larry Kordosky, Hereford, AZ
CB: Glad you folks out west are alright. I think there are some real concerns about the offensive line particularly with respect to pass protection outside the organization on the part of fans and it’s hard to blame you. The line still has an awful lot to prove. I think Demetrius Bell and Erik Pears are certainly capable, but we’ll know a lot more about what they can do as a group when we get to the preseason games especially with some pass rushing talents like Julius Peppers and Elvis Dumervil in the first two preseason contests.
Update – Bo Scaife signed today with Cincinnati.
Do you expect the organization will renegotiate contracts with Fitz, Stevie, and any of the other guys before the season or do you think they will wait and sign them to deals with terms that begin next year?
CB: I do expect a new contract for Stevie for sure. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a bit more tricky a situation. I can’t predict a timetable for when either of them might re-sign. No one can predict how negotiations will unfold, but it’s clear that Johnson can be a premier weapon in the passing game for several years. With Fitz it’s not that easy. Fitz is the starter this year, no ifs, ands or buts. Beyond that it’s hard to know what the Bills are thinking. And so I believe they could take more of a wait and see approach with him. If Fitz is lighting it up in the first half of the season I believe it helps his cause.
12 – Chris,
Along with many of your fans…I really appreciate your insight on what’s happening with the Bills. I’ve been a Bills fan for 40 years. I like what Buddy and Chan are trying to do by building the Bills using the draft. Having said that though, with all the cap room we have…is there still a possibility for a Tackle or Tight End pick up…with all the weapons at Fitz’s disposal…it would be great to see him have that ½ second more he needs to make this team productive.
Thanks for your thoughtful reporting!
Now living in South Florida Sunshine…but still a Buffalo Bills fan.
CB: As I mentioned earlier I don’t see the cap room changing the front office approach as to how they’re going to build this roster into a perennial playoff contender. I respect your point about better protection for Fitz. I just think if there was an offensive tackle they wanted bad enough they would’ve signed him. They did pursue Tyson Clabo, but Clabo really wanted to stay in Atlanta. And mismatch tight end as I said just isn’t a priority in Gailey’s style of offense.
13 – Chris,
17 – Hi Chris:
How is Demetrius Bell looking so far in camp? Also, should one of the offensive tackles go down, is there any indication at this early stage as to who may be the swing tackle?
I would like to know who the ‘1’s are currently in practice. I know the depth chart is a fluid thing but reports are that the starting DL at least once was Dareus, Troup and Williams. Would like to know if that was true?
Steve in Corning
CB: The defensive starters in the team’s base defense are as follows.
DL – Dareus, Williams, Edwards
LBs – Kelsay, Davis, Barnett, Merriman
DBs – McGee, Wilson, Byrd, Florence
Now there are several different subpackages where the personnel groupings are very different and the Bills run a lot of these during the practices, particularly nickel lineups with the offense going 3 wide so often. So that is where some of the misinformation is coming from. Even I made a mistake last week when I thought rookie Da’Norris Searcy was running with the second team defense for a few reps here and there. Actually he’s running with the second team nickel package. I’ll try to come up with an easy way to view the lineups. Maybe I’ll put that together tomorrow here on the blog.
Well folks, that’s all the time I’ve got. I’ve got to still put the Practice Notes together for tonight. Some good performances turned in by Chandler, Donald Jones, Terrence McGee and others. I’ll have it all to you in about an hour. Thanks for participating and hope to do it again real soon.
Tags: Aaron Maybin, Brad Smith, Buddy Nix, Chan Gailey, Demetrius Bell, Fan Friday, Jared Gaither, Justin Rogers, Levi Brown, Marcus Easley, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Scott Chandler, St. John Fisher, Stevie Johnson, Tyler Thigpen
Posted in Inside the Bills