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Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 12-30

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2011 – 1:14 pm

Happy New Year Bills fans! As always I’ll be on the live blog here on Buffalobills.com during the Bills-Pats season finale, so join me during the game for observations, questions and comments. We’re up right before kickoff. Now to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Chris,

I would like your thoughts on some of these concerns I find to be “holding” Buffalo back if you will. 

Second, with Dareus providing a nice push in the middle of the line, could that help sway our current 3-4 back to the 4-3? Our run “D” is still stale, and with the likes of Williams and Dareus in the middle, teams would very much struggle to establish an effective running attack on us.

Thanks again for all you do for the BILLS!!!!!! 
Dan, FL 

CB: I wouldn’t be surprised if it were up for debate this offseason by the coaching staff. The thought of Williams and Dareus alongside one another in a 4-3 front is intriguing. Of course without a proven pass rushing right defensive end on the roster it’s a hole that would absolutely need to be filled to pull it off.

I also think figuring out the linebacker situation would be next. Nick Barnett is more of a 3-4 inside linebacker, but in a 4-3 he’d presumably have to be outside (probably weak side) at 230 pounds. Problem there is if Merriman makes a successful return and from what I know the odds of that are better than most believe, then you take a strong run defender out of the equation there no matter who you sit down. Sheppard would likely be the MLB in that front and the strong side would again be a position to be filled, though Moats would at least have the size to play there at 252 pounds.

Buddy Nix said two years ago that you don’t want to be flipping back and forth. You want to commit to something eventually, and he indicated committing to the 3-4 was the plan. Plans can obviously change, but they’ve drafted the past two years with the 3-4 in mind. We’ll have to see if any of that changes moving forward.

 

2 - Hi Chris,

Thanks for taking our questions.

Since Spiller has been starting, I don’t understand why we give up on the run game so early. A good example would be the Miami game. Spiller had about 90 yards on only 12 carries. Early on in the game he had about 50 yards including 2 carries where he gained about 40 yards and scored  a TD. The Bills seem to give up on running the ball when the game was still in play, but after passing took over we had 3 INT’s and another Loss. I realize when you get way behind you need to go to the passing game but the Bills give up on the run way too early. What do you think?

Bob Hammond
Rochester, NY

CB: Chan has been asked about this more than once by the media and I think the answer is simple. Coach Gailey told me earlier in the year they’re a team that uses the pass to set up the run. Their most popular formation is the 4-by-1 set (4 WRs, 1 RB) though they’ve worked in more two tight end sets in the second half of the season.

That is what their identity is so when they fall behind by more than a touchdown on the scoreboard they have no qualms about airing it out.

I’m in favor of seeing more run game knowing how successful the O-line has been this year in opening holes for the backs this season. Combine that with the fact that Jackson was almost unstoppable this season and the emergence of C.J. down the stretch and you wonder if there might be some consideration for a change in offensive philosophy in 2012 though I wouldn’t count on it. I get the sense that the Gailey and his offensive staff feel the run game is so successful because the passing game sets it up. In talking to Gailey he seems to feel if they just get the passing game a bit more consistent they’ll really be rolling, much like they were early in the year.

 

3 – Chris,

Hi, thanks for keeping us all updated on everything Bills.  My question isn’t Bills related but just a general football question.  Why do they keep the stat of Yards Per Attempt instead of Yards Per Completion? 

Thanks,
Jimmy in Hamburg

CB: They do keep that statistic, it’s just not commonly listed on most quarterback stat lines. Here is the list of the top 10 QBs for yards per completion through Week 16 (prior to this weekend’s games).

1 – Matt Schaub – 13.93
2 – Tim Tebow – 13.91
3 – Eli Manning – 13.69
4 – Carson Palmer – 13.66
5 – Aaron Rodgers – 13.54
6 – Kevin Kolb – 13.39
7 – Cam Newton – 13.2
8 – Michael Vick – 12.96
9 – Tom Brady – 12.96
10 – Ben Roethlisberger – 12.81

For the record Fitz ranks 30th at 10.88 per completion, but because this is commonly not a statistic relied upon to determine QB effectiveness you often do not see it listed. An example of how it’s not an accurate factor in determining QB play is the fact that Drew Brees ranks 24th in this category.

 

4 – Chris, 

With the season winding down, will the Gailey put some of the untested players in as trial to see what they can do. Most of the drafted rookies have played well, but Aiken hasn’t seen any targets at WR. The team picked up Sam Young but he has been inactive most games. In terms of pass rush, Eddins looks fantastic in the preseason and with the release of Coleman, could he be elevated and given a chance? Same goes with Kyle Moore. Most Bills fans would like to see Jasper but he might still be raw.  

Thanks, 
Josh – Los Angeles 
CB: As you probably saw this week, Mike Jasper was elevated to the active roster. I think if he sees time on the field it will probably be in goal line or field goal barring an injury at the guard position. Kamar Aiken could possibly see time with Brad Smith not expected to play this week, but Derek Hagan has been getting more reps of late.

Robert Eddins is still on the practice squad and unless there’s an injury at tackle I don’t anticipate seeing Sam Young either. Kyle Moore did get a lot more playing time last week.

 

5 - Chris

The team has made some interesting moves onto the roster and practice squad in the last few weeks. They’ve added several TE, a 3-4 DE and waived Coleman.

What do you think is the driving factor for Whaley & Nix behind these moves?  Are these driven by injuries/current needs or do you see these guys as players they want for next year?  If so – when do the contracts expire for these recent additions (will they be F/A this offseason)?

The DE move and waiving Coleman seemed odd – given we seem to have plenty of DL and no pass rushing OLB.  Are there no 3-4 OLB prospects on other team’s practice squads (like Pitt or GB)? 

thanks
Tim from Syracuse
CB: I think at this stage of the game the Bills are probably taking a look see at some players they had interest in and want to see what they can do in live games. I believe that was the motivation behind Kyle Moore getting more time on the field this past week. Most of the others have been precipitated by injury.

Most of the contracts of the recent additions expire after this season. However, a few of them are exclusive rights free agents, which make it rather easy for the Bills to re-sign them if they so choose. Some of the younger players can also be re-signed as future free agents, which is done in January to retain those player rights and add them to their offseason roster.


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