Alright Bills fans, four games to go and playoffs are unfortunately looking to be off the table as I’ll explain below. The offseason questions I’ve been putting off the past month or so are now free to be submitted to AskChris@bills.nfl.net since we’ll be dealing with those issues sooner than any of us had hoped.
1 - Hey Chris,
I’m just wondering if the Bills win some these games do you think they can get back in the hunt?
CB: Unfortunately it’s pretty unlikely. The AFC East division title is a lost cause with New England at 9-3. At 5-7 the Bills are not mathematically eliminated, but three teams ahead of them for the Wild Card, Jets (7-5), Titans (7-5) and Bengals (7-5) are all teams that beat the Bills in head-to-head matchups. So were they somehow able to pull even with any of those teams they would lose out on tiebreaker. It’s really a shame how this all unfolded after Week 8.
2 - Chris,
Can you break down Justin’s development during the season? People liked him in the draft and now he is starting to play. His size to be an issue, but in the long term could he ever start? McGee was also small. He has looked good in the nickel and has gotten time over Corner and Leodis. Could he “bulk” up and be a starting corner or is he boxed in being a situational DB.
CB: Rogers is an athletic, speedy, quick cutting cornerback that is best suited for work in the slot. Ideally he’ll play at 190 pounds and retain that weight through the season, something he’s had trouble doing this season. All rookies struggle with that.
McGee isn’t tall, but he was thickly built (208 lbs), which enabled him to be physical with receivers and in run support. Rogers isn’t afraid to get in on the action, but he’s admitted he has to get stronger.
He’s a smart, heady player that anticipates well and recognizes time and score in games. Secondary coach George Catavolos thought he could be the surprise of the draft class. I think there’s another level or two for Rogers to reach. As he fills out and gets stronger in his first NFL offseason of training he’ll be better equipped to muscle up on receivers when necessary, but I hesitate to say he can be a full time boundary corner. I think we all need to see more.
3 - Hi Chris,
With Fred Jackson on IR what happens to his contract negotiations? Assuming he fully recovers from his injury, it would be good to go into next season with that issue settled.
Also, any update on Steve Johnson’s contract? I would think that his value may have dropped after the Jets game.
CB: I suppose Jackson’s injury could impact contract negotiations in terms of length of a new deal. NFL clubs are always leery of handing a long term deal to running backs that are 30-years old or older. Fred is 30 now. The big money handed to Shaun Alexander in Seattle, only to see his production plummet gives every NFL team pause when it comes to re-signing a back to a long term deal. What seems to be understood is that Jackson has outperformed his contract and needs to be more properly compensated.
As for Stevie Johnson it sounds as if the two sides will address the issue in the offseason. I’m not so sure that the Jets game hurt his value. Yes, the touchdown antics were a sign of immaturity, but no other NFL receiver has scored a TD on Darrelle Revis and no other receiver has eight catches on him. 11 catches for 159 yards and a touchdown in two games on Darrelle Revis is production you’d like to have on your team knowing you’re facing the Jets twice a season. I don’t know who else on Buffalo’s roster or in the league for that matter is capable of doing that.
4 - With George out, Merriman, Kyle, Wood, Lindell & Freddy on IR, Who are the leaders in the locker room. It looks to me that it is Barnett on Defense and David Nelson on O
Steve in Corning
CB: On defense you’ve got it, it’s Barnett, but with George back he’ll certainly help in that area. On offense it’s Fitz all the way.
5 - Chris,
I think this season turned around 180 degrees after the first Jets game. Rex Ryan’s “D” seemed to provide the blueprint for defending the Bills timing-pass attack, and Buffalo has yet to rebound. My beef is this: the Jets had the benefit of the bye week to prepare for Buffalo.
Chris, divisional games are far too important for a division rival to have an extra week of preparation for us. Remember when the Patriots recently had a streak of 4 or 5 seasons where they had their bye to prepare for the Bills? That’s just not a level playing field. Is this something that the NFL Competition Committee could look at changing down the road? Have you ever heard of coaches or GMs agreeing with me on this? I just really feel that teams should not have their bye week scheduled before a divisional contest ( unless BOTH teams involved have the bye that week ).
CB: I think your point is very valid. Division games are too important to saddle one team with a bye week edge over the other. Knowing they cluster teams during a span of eight weeks they could certainly bye an entire division in a given week and then match the four of them up in a pair of division games coming off the bye. That would seem to be the simplest solution. Even if the schedule would not allow a pair of division matchups coming off the bye just make sure no one faces a division opponent off an extra week of rest.
I haven’t heard of coaches or GMs discussing it much, but I’ll bring it up to Buddy Nix and see what his thoughts are on it. Those games are too important and any coach would tell you the extra week of prep helps.
Tags: bye weeks, Fan Friday, Fred Jackson, George Wilson, Justin Rogers, Nick Barnett, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Stevie Johnson
Posted in Inside the Bills