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Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 12-23

Posted by Chris Brown on December 23, 2011 – 12:30 pm

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you Bills fans. Though what we’ve seen on the field of late has been disappointing hopefully you have family and good health to be thankful for. Let’s get to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 - Chris,

Happy Holidays and a great 2012 to you and yours!

I have concerns about the receiving corp next year. A playmaker opposite Stevie has got to emerge. Have the coaches seen enough to make them think Brad Smith could be that guy, or do you think we need to invest a 2nd or 3rd round pick on a potential no. 2 WR?

Also, you’ve stated that Gailey places a high value on Roscoe Parrish’s abilities, and that you expect Roscoe to stick. I, however, believe that David Nelson has truly earned the slot receiver spot. I’d hate to see David lose playing time, he will only get better. Will the coaches simply hand over the slot receiver role to a healthy Roscoe?

Thanks so much,
Kenny in Indiana 

CB: First, I believe that receiver considerations in the draft will be predicated on what happens, or doesn’t happen, with Stevie Johnson and a new contract. If he’s re-signed then they’re not using a pick that high on a receiver. I’m not sure Brad Smith is considered to be that guy though he has had some nice performances.

I think this organization still has faith in Marcus Easley as a future #2, but I’d be willing to bet they invest in some insurance be it the draft or with a second-tier free agent, again assuming Stevie is back with a new deal. 

As for the Parrish and Nelson debate I believe they’re mutually exclusive. The Bills most popular formation on offense is the 4-by-1 set. When everyone was healthy it was Nelson and Parrish as the two inside receivers. I think that’s an ideal pairing as Chan and the offensive staff see it. Their skill sets are dramatically different, but both are very effective. Having them both on the field makes the other one more dangerous.

So I see it not as a competition, but a combination that can be lethal.

 

2 – Hey Chris,

Why is it that coach Gailey is still calling plays for the offense? He stated in his press conference just after he was hired that he would take care of it for a while and then hire someone to call plays. Please remind him of his own comments so I can start watching the Bills again. 

Thank you. 
Lou Carey
CB: With all due respect Lou, I think you’re misconstruing what coach Gailey said at that press conference. In addressing his play calling duties at the press conference in which he was hired, Gailey said he would “eventually” hand those duties off to a coordinator (not a new hire by the way) and that would presumably be Curtis Modkins. However, in speaking to him about that very issue at the beginning of this season I got the sense from coach Gailey that he wants to turn the team into a playoff team first before discussing any personal duties he might be willing to relinquish.

Suffice to say that until he has this team in a position where he feels it’s suitable to delegate duties he won’t do it.

 

3 – Hi Chris,

I’ve seen some articles lately about Kyle Williams, Roscoe Parrish, and Marcus Easley as they work back from injuries. What is the lastest on Shawne Merriman? Is he making progress and can we expect to see him back in a Bills uniform next season? 

Thanks,
Jeff

CB: I just spoke off the record with Shawne this week. He’s hesitant to discuss his rehab because he doesn’t want to get everyone’s hopes up about his play until he’s actually producing on the field. He felt bad about how everything went down this season after he showed glimpses of what he can be for this team in the preseason only to have to shut it down midseason with little regular season production to show for his efforts. I respect that approach so we agreed to address his rehab sometime early next calendar year. 

Merriman, who is already jogging on a treadmill, had his Achilles repaired (it never ruptured) shortly after he went on I-R and was given a four-month rehab prognosis similar to that of Kyle Williams. He said that he would be good to go come spring workouts so we hope to catch up with him at that time.

I think a lot of fans have the misconception that Merriman won’t be back next season, but he’s still under contract number one, and number two he should be as healthy as he’s been in three years when he is back. Finally the Bills have no other proven pass rush options on their roster as they head into the offseason and rank last in the league in sacks.

4 – Chris,

It is VERY clear that we need a better pass rush.  Do you feel OBD believes that Shawne Merriman can return to form or because a healthy Merriman would make our D much better at every level.  If not our #1 pick has to be an OLB in my opinion.

Steve

CB: I think the Bills believe that Merriman has a good chance to return to form, but with Buffalo having the ability to address that position more heavily in this upcoming draft I expect them to fortify the position with youth as well. Merriman’s absence in the second half of the season showed just how much they are lacking at the OLB position in terms of a player that can provide a consistent pass rush. So I think they address that position with talent in the draft and perhaps a second tier free agent with a history of proven success.

 

5 – Chris,

Great job as always with you covering the Bills!
My question is: Will the Bills ever use Blue pants with their away jerseys? 

Thank You, 
Francis Novoa
Indian Rocks Beach, FL

CB: Thanks first for the kind words. With respect to Buffalo’s uniform I have heard nothing to indicate that the mythical blue pants that have seemingly enraptured the Bills faithful concerning the team’s uniform will come into existence for the 2012 season.

I realize there were prototypes out there in cyberspace and it wouldn’t shock me if they existed in the initial concepts of uniform design. But to my knowledge at this point we’re looking at white pants only moving forward. If for some reason that changes I’ll be sure to pass it along.


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