Happy Memorial Day weekend Bills fans. Don’t forget those servicemen and women that made the ultimate sacrifice. May they all rest in peace. Let’s press on with your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.
1 - Hey Chris,
I’m hoping you can give us some idea how our line plays out after Kyle, Mario, Anderson and Dareus. Do Kelsay and Merriman split time on the left end with Kelsay playing run downs and Merriman playing pass downs? I assume Dwan Edwards and Troup are tackles. Are Carrington and Spencer Johnson tackles or ends? Are Moats and Batten ends or linebackers? Do you think all of those players even make the team?
Thanks and Go Bills,
CB: From what I have heard Dwan Edwards is now a defensive tackle and to me that makes sense in a 4-3 scheme. Troup obviously is still a defensive tackle. Carrington and Spencer Johnson are both ends, with the ability to kick inside to defensive tackle on obvious passing downs should a rotation be needed. Moats and Batten are both outside linebackers. Kelsay would presumably be a run defending end with Merriman and Anderson pass rushing options on obvious passing downs.
Do all of them make the team? I’m not so sure they do.
2 – Chris,
With the upgrade to the pass rush, it is still to be determined how much better the Bills’ run defense will fair. Pass rush was an issues that needed to be fixed with Mario and Anderson. However, the last two years the Bills run defense has been last and 28th in the league. I feel this part is being ignored by the team in some degree. Even when the Bills were using the 4-3 they gave up lots of yards. How will the switch to the 4-3 contain the “big plays the team gave up. It is still a question how the 3 LB’s will shape up in new positions. Obvious a healthy Kyle is part but what else do they need to do since they appear in pass rush mode instead of stop the run.
CB: When they went to the 4-3 they were still giving up rushing yards because they didn’t have Kyle Williams, Torell Troup and Shawne Merriman (a very underrated run defender) in the lineup. The players they get back healthy this offseason is what will improve the run defense, more so than the scheme.
3 - Chris,
Short and simple.. how is our center doing? haven’t heard anything about Eric’s rehab. Wood love an update:)
Eric (displaced fan in AZ)
CB: Wood is progressing well, but won’t be doing any real on the field football-related stuff until training camp. That’s the timetable.
4 - Hey CB,
I was looking through the remaining free agents and I saw that there are still some decent free agent WR’s. Do you think there is any chance of the Bills still picking a receiver up? Or OT?
CB: I would never rule anything out. Buddy Nix always says you never know who might become available late in the free agent process, like Nick Barnett last year. That being said, Chan has said time and again that he likes his group of receivers on the roster already. I think an offensive tackle is added only if Hairston and Glenn struggle mightily.
5 - Hi, Chris,
Last pre-season, the Bills said that they had too many good receivers, so they traded Lee Evans. Roughly a year later, they say that a deep threat receiver (e.g. Lee Evans) is near the top of their needs list. What has changed? Have they re-evaluated those “too many good receivers” and decided that they are not so good after all?
Tom from Charlottesville, VA
CB: First, the Bills were trying to publicly show some respect for the years that Lee Evans gave them. They didn’t publicly say they felt he was a player in decline, but that was their opinion and ultimately why he was traded. That was the main impetus, not because of who they had. They did feel by moving Evans off the roster it would allow more of their young talent to blossom, chiefly Marcus Easley, who is a deep threat and a huge target. That was compromised however, when his medical condition ended his season before it began just days before Week 1.
They’ve added additional deep threats in T.J. Graham and David Clowney, so there’s some insurance this time around and Easley is medically cleared and ready to get his career off the ground.
Thanks for keeping BillsNation in the loop with your work. I’m curious if you could give us a sense of what the Bills main objectives are in OTA’s? Clearly assimilating new players from free agency and the draft is job 1, but what else do they view as important during OTA’s?
CB: I think getting the defensive players up to speed with the new defensive scheme under Dave Wannstedt is at the top of the priority list. Second, there are a lot of new pieces that have to get accustomed to playing with one another in that front seven. And third, there’s a very good chance that a second-year CB and rookie CB will be starting on the boundaries in Aaron Williams and Gilmore, so getting them ready will be huge.
On offense it’s finding a definitive answer at left tackle, being more consistent on third downs, getting Marcus Easley ready for the season, finding a true number two threat opposite Stevie Johnson and finding a way to get Jackson and Spiller on the field at the same time.
Tags: 4-3 defense, Alex Carrington, Bills OTAs, Chris Kelsay, Dwan Edwards, Eric Wood, Fan Friday, NFL free agency, Shawne Merriman, Spencer Johnson
Posted in Inside the Bills