1 – Chris,
Are we assuming Kyle williams will be his old self? Most players don’t return to form until 2nd yr after major injury…looked like good tackles in draft to go with dareus..what say u….
CB: What everyone needs to remember regarding Kyle and Shawne Merriman for that matter is they never ruptured their Achilles. When a player ruptures their Achilles (like Takeo Spikes) the rehab is a year. Williams and Merriman had their Achilles repaired, which required it being detached and then laid back down and re-attached again. That rehab is 4-5 months, less than half the time.
Both are already on the field practicing and seeing time in team work (11 on 11). Come training camp, barring any setbacks, they’ll be good to go. So I see Kyle Williams being back to his old self come Week 1 this year.
2 – Hi Chris,
Thanks for all of the offseason updates – it really helps give me my much needed Bills fix especially outside of the Buffalo market. I had a question for you about the HBO show Hard Knocks. Several teams declined. My question is, what do you think the chances are that the Bills would be open to participating in the program? I think it would be great for selling tickets and creating a buzz around the team. Wanted to see your thoughts.
Chris F. in Manhattan, NYC
CB: By now we all know that Miami will be the club on Hard Knocks this summer. As long as Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey are running things I think the chances of them appearing on Hard Knocks are zero. The two men are old school football men and if they can minimize any possible distractions they will. So as exciting as it might be for fans to get an inside look I don’t see the decision makers signing off on it. And as far as buzz around the team goes it hasn’t been this good in quite some time leading up to a season.
3 - Hi Chris,
My name is Deron and I corresponded with you regarding Willis McGahee’s return to Buffalo in 2007. I flew from Long Beach, CA to Buffalo to watch that game and boo in person.:-) I just wanted to know your perspective on the Bills’ potential win total this season. Las Vegas has them at 7 wins. I personally believe this is quite low. With the bolstering of the roster through another solid draft and free agent acquisitions, combined with stability and continuity in the same system, I see the Bills with 9 wins easily. I wouldn’t be surprised if they made the playoffs. They’re getting Kyle, Fred and Merriman back from injury and Mario will open things up tremendously for all of the other super talented linemen. This will create a chain reaction and the linebackers and defensive backs will benefit as well. The offense is primed and, if Glenn starts and plays effectively, they should be in the top half of the league in terms of production.
I just cannot see the Bills going 7-9 or worse. Even with the normal amount of injuries, the Bills are deep thanks to Buddy Nix. Just curious to know your thoughts since you’re so close to the pulse of the team. Keep up the great work and thank you.
Long Beach, CA
CB: I’m no betting man, but seven wins is conservative as I see it. I usually like to see this team in pads at training camp before making a true assessment of a team’s fortunes for the upcoming season, but seven does seem low. The team has vastly improved their talent on defense and they’ve got better depth at a lot of positions.
Depth at left tackle and middle linebacker are still concerns and those are two pretty important positions. After Stevie Johnson there is little in the way of proven talent at wide receiver. These are probably factors in the predictions that you’re seeing.
I certainly think nine wins is possible and perhaps even 10 with a little luck, but don’t hold me to that yet. I’m reserving judgment until August.
4 - Chris,
I hear the criticism of Fitz all the time that he can’t throw the long ball. I know we haven’t hit on a ton of them recently, but i’m not convinced it’s because of his inability to throw it. My recollection of the year when Terrel Owens was on the team, he hit a few of long balls that year. Given that you have greater access to the team, could you put together a breakdown of Fitz’s history throwing the deep ball vs. the league average at quarterback.
CB: Courtesy of ProFootballFocus’ Signature Stats last year Fitzpatrick ranked 18th in the league in deep passing, which PFF characterizes as passes attempted over 20 yards. The quarterbacks were ranked by completion percentage. Fitz completed 32.2% of his deep ball passes. Aaron Rodgers (60.7%), Tony Romo (54.1%) and Drew Brees (52.1%) were the three best in the league last year.
Bills new quarterbacks coach David Lee has already recognized Fitz’s deep ball accuracy as an area in need of improvement. He basically indicated that part of the problem for Fitz on these kinds of passes is that he will look off the safety a bit too long at times, thereby not giving himself enough time to re-focus and deliver the ball to his intended target on the other side of the field. So he’s working with Fitz on shortening his look-off ever so slightly to give him more time to judge his throw to his intended target.
He’s also working with Fitz to open up his left hip more on throws so he can put more of his core strength and right hip torque into his throws so they don’t fall short.
Here’s what’s most encouraging about how much Fitz can improve in this area. Lee is responsible for completely revamping Tony Romo’s throwing motion in terms of release point. He had a very low release point and he worked with Romo an entire offseason to fix it back when he was the Cowboys’ third quarterback. So to see that Romo ranked third in the league in deep ball accuracy is an encouraging sign as to where Fitz can take his game in that area with Lee assisting him.
5 - Chris
I remember the Bills putting Michael Jasper on the practice squad to transition him to O-line. How is his progress, and where on the line will he play? The roster on Bills.com has him listed as a guard, but with some guys pretty well entrenched at the LG, C, RG positions, is there any chance he could get outside at LT? I know they liked his athleticism when he was drafted, but I wondered if he was athletic enough to play LT.
Chris Sykes, Webster, NY
CB: Jasper has been running with the second unit at left guard in OTAs thus far. I think he’ll battle for a spot there. He still has practice squad eligibility so that’s always a secondary option if he can’t land a roster spot. I’m not Chan Gailey, but I’d be surprised if he’s seen as an offensive tackle option. He played guard in college and I think that’s where they see Jasper as a prospect.
Tags: 2012 season, Buddy Nix, Chan Gailey, Fan Friday, Kyle Williams, Michael Jasper, Ryan Fitzpatrick
Posted in Inside the Bills