The last Fan Friday before training camp begins at St. John Fisher. Crazy that it’s here already! Here are the last set of questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net prior to the team hitting the field for final preparations for the 2012 season.
1 - Hi Chris,
About Marcus Easley – I can see him being the “#2″ WR, if not to open the season, at least by the bye. However, I suspect that not many outside of Buffalo even know who he is. In fact, I think that Buffalo’s WR corps is underrated in general… if Easley solidifies the #2 spot, I think the Bills could blow up a lot of teams by running 3-wide or 4-wide.
My question is, in general, how long does it take other NFL teams to get a “book” on a WR, and do you think that Marcus has the game to adapt and succeed?
CB: I’m a big believer in Marcus Easley’s skill set. His work ethic is impeccable. He’s just been the victim of a knee injury and an unforeseen medical condition. I think his game is good enough to succeed at this level.
As for how long it takes an opponent to get a book on a receiver, it depends on their amount of time on the field. If Easley becomes a regular and wins the outside receiver job opposite Stevie most opponents would have a book on him by Week 4. If his playing time is more intermittent then it would take a bit longer because there would naturally be less film on him.
2 - Chris,
I am a little confused about NFL roster limits these days. As I understand it NFL teams can suit up 45 players each game day. That means there are 8 players on the 53 man roster who can’t play on Sundays. Now are these 8 players what is called the practice squad? Or is the practice squad another separate group of 8 players?
CB: NFL teams can dress 46 players on game day, leaving seven players from the active 53-man roster who are inactive for that particular game. In addition there are eight other players that make up the team’s practice squad. The practice squad is made up of players that are not on the active roster. They would need to be called up to the active roster to be eligible to dress and play in a game.
So in essence a team has 53 players on the active roster and an additional eight practice squad players for a total of 61.
3 - Hi, Chris,
First, I’d like to thank you for all the work you do to keep Bills fans informed. My question concerns the linebackers. I’ve seen some people ask you about how many WRs we’ll keep; I’m wondering about the LBs. How many do you see ending up on the roster? Has McKillop shown anything so far? Thank you for your time.
CB: I think with the team moving to a 4-3 defensive scheme that there will not be as many kept on the roster as last season. Buffalo kept 11 linebackers on the 53-man roster last year and 10 the year before. Knowing a couple of those spots have to go toward the defensive line with it being a four-man front I think the number could be trimmed to seven or eight this time around.
McKillop has proven to be a heady middle linebacker. I think his speed still isn’t what it once was coming off of a major knee surgery. We’ll see if he’s faster in camp. This is a fly to the football type defense so speed is a big key for the linebackers.
4 - Chris,
After watching Ryan Fitzpatrick through OTAs and mandatory mini-camp have you seen a marked improvement in his accuracy since he has been working with new QB coach David Lee? I believe this is the most important key to the Bills success in the incoming NFL season. Your comments will be appreciated.
Optimistic Bills Fan
CB: In our one-on-one interview with Fitz he affirmed that his accuracy numbers were as high as they have ever been through the spring workouts. David Lee said Fitz has bought in completely to what he’s teaching and because of that his accuracy has been ahead of schedule in terms of when he thought he would see a difference.
People forget that prior to taking a shot to his chest in the Washington game that Fitz’s completion percentage was 67.7%, which was among the league leaders. And even with a disappointing second half of the season he still had a completion percentage of 62% for the season. So knowing it’s very likely to go up from there should have you encouraged about Fitz’s prospects for 2012.
5 - Chris,
Thanks for all the updates on the Bills, it is appreciated very much! I know the Bills haven’t done any work in pads yet, but how does Alex Carrington look so far as a DT? Also, is there a timeframe for when Torell Troup is expected back? Thanks!
CB: Carrington is not foreign to playing defensive tackle as he played there some in passing situations over the past two seasons, albeit sparingly. In the spring practices he ran with the second unit at defensive tackle, and also saw time with the first and second nickel subpackages as an inside rusher.
What has to be remembered heading into camp was during the spring Torell Troup was not part of the equation since he was still recovering from back surgery. Troup is expected to get full clearance at training camp this week. Once he is back in the mix, he and Carrington could very well be competing for the same role in Buffalo’s defense.
Tags: Alex Carrington, Bills roster, David Lee, Fan Friday, Marcus Easley, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Scott McKillop
Posted in Inside the Bills