I can smell the season opener! Can’t wait for the Bills to try to exact some revenge on the Chiefs after that horrible overtime game last year. Final cuts are coming on Saturday. Let’s get to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.
1 - I was wondering how you see the defensive rotation going forward. I think both Dareus and Kyle Williams are going to get heavy exposure, but who will be manning the other side? Will that spot still be open comeptition? Where do you see Alex Carington fitting in, and do the coaches think he is ready for a more full-time role?
Ryan V, Rochester
CB: Carrington will have a bigger role this year, but it will be as more of a pass rushing linebacker in their nickel package, where he’s made some plays this preseason. He will also factor in on some subpackage duty at his more traditional defensive end role.
As far as that starting DE position on the right side, it’s Dwan Edwards’ spot to lose and fellow veteran Spencer Johnson has been pushing him with a strong preseason in his own right. I think Edwards and Johnson both did well this summer and it’ll be up to the coaches to decide who they feel should be the starter.
2 - Chris,
How are we in terms of offensive line depth? I’ve read that after the starters it’s a bit thin & even at least one of our tackles might be average at best. What’s your take?
CB: I can tell you that even Chan Gailey has said they have no depth, and that they need to develop it in the youth they have on their roster. I think the odds on favorite to be Buffalo’s swing tackle is fourth-round pick Chris Hairston.
He played both left and right tackle in the last preseason game against Jacksonville and did okay for his first game action, having missed the first two preseason games. He’s still got some work to do with his technique, but he’s got experience at left tackle having played there a couple of years in college and is a smart, heady player. The coaching staff clearly likes his potential, so it’ll be down to guys like him, Ed Wang and Cordaro Howard to represent the tackle depth on this roster.
3 - Assuming Byrd is starting at one safety spot, who is the front runner for the other spot? George Wilson? Also, what was the main reason the Bills did not re-sign Whitner? It seems that Searcy is a similar player to Whitner, does that explain his drafting and the letting go of Whit?
Seems as if Naaman is playing well in camp so far, does he have any chance of sneaking into a top 4 receiver spot?
CB: Lot of questions there. Yes, George Wilson is the starting SS and I don’t see that changing between now and the opener at KC. With Whitner it was a case of him asking for the moon in terms of money and secondly burning some bridges here with the organization. Cleaning out everything from his locker right after exit meetings did not go over well. He wasn’t even on hand for reporters for locker clean out day. I think the Bills already made their decision on him, which in part likely prompted the drafting of Da’Norris Searcy. Searcy however, is a much stouter player than Whitner as he goes about 223 pounds. Whitner was 206.
Roosevelt did have a solid camp before his ankle injury in the Denver game. I’m pretty confident he makes the roster.
4 – Hey Chris,
I am curious about Brad Smith and where he is lining up when he’s not at QB. Is he going to push for the 3rd or 4th Reciever role? or is he mainly a kick returner/ wildcat QB?
Frank from Jupiter, Florida
CB: I don’t believe that Brad Smith will be full time in any one position. I think he’ll be a slash role player just like Kordell Stewart was. He’ll line up at QB in short yardage situations and Wildcat formations and he’ll split out at WR on occasion and also take part in kickoffs, though this new kickoff rule might render that moot with all the touchbacks we’ve seen. Where do I see him lining up the most? At QB this season.
5 - Chris,
Thanks for the updates in camp. Who do you think will make the roster of the TE’s in camp? Chandler seems to be the favorite and has caught a lot of balls with the 1st team. Nelson is hurt again. The player that has looked good is Mike Caussin. He seems to maybe be a downfield TE. How many TE’s will make the roster? Will they keep a practice squad player or maybe have 4 TE on the roster.
CB: Glad you enjoyed our camp coverage. I see the Bills keeping three tight ends. Scott Chandler and veteran David Martin I think are safe bets, but after that it’s the coach’s call in terms of who they like better. Shawn Nelson’s injury hasn’t helped him and yes, Mike Caussin has performed well. Rookie Zack Pianalto has also turned in some nice play at times. Caussin and Pianalto are both practice squad eligible, but I think it’s going to be very close for that third spot.
Tags: Alex Carrington, Brad Smith, Chan Gailey, Chris Hairston, Fan Friday, George Wilson, Mike Caussin, Naaman Roosevelt, Scott Chandler, Shawn Nelson, Zack Pianalto
Posted in Inside the Bills