Well Bills fans it was a heck of a draft, one that I think will serve the team very well based on their positional needs. Let’s get to the latest edition of your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.
1 – Hi Chris,
Thanks for your coverage of the NFL Draft this past weekend. But of course I have a question. I’ve been watching video on Jeff Tuel and I can’t for the life of me understand why or how this kid wasn’t drafted…I mean, I’m glad he wasn’t because that allowed Buffalo to pick him up. But this kid can make ALL the throws, throws that a lot of NFL QBs can’t. He has a GREAT arm, he’s really athletic, can thread the needle, throw on the run, and throw touch passes on the run. Just hope he gets a legit shot to compete and takes full advantage of it. What do you think?
CB: There’s no question that he has the physical tools to play in the league. What soured NFL clubs on Tuel was he had trouble with injuries. Personally I thought some of his injuries were related to the poor protection and poor talent around him. He does have a solid arm and as Bills scout Brad Forsyth described, “sneaky athleticism.”
The fact that he lost his starting job as a senior scared off NFL clubs. To me he was a victim of circumstance more than anything else. I’ve got no problem giving a prospect with his tool a chance. He just has to stay healthy.
2 – Hello Chris,
Nice call on the EJ pick in the first round…I have a question about Byrd and his agent…I have heard rumors that they are asking for $9 mil per year…That seems a bit steep…How do you think Buddy Nix would handle a holdout situation?
Jimmy from San Diego
CB: I appreciate the kudos. Thanks. Regarding Byrd, I think your figure is a bit off the mark. Buffalo has already franchised him and that figure is $6.9M. Though his agent is a guy that is very good at getting fair market value, $9M per is exorbitant, especially for a position like safety.
I think it’s going to be interesting to see where this leads between Byrd and the Bills, but as Buddy Nix has said the ball is in Byrd’s court seeing that he has yet to sign his franchise tender.
3 – Chris,
Thank you for you is in depth coverage leading up to the draft. I really enjoyed listening to you on WGR550.
There may be some merit to the idea of letting Manuel sit behind Kolb for a while as he develops, but there could be additional incentive to starting Kolb in 2013. Many people seem to be hopeful that Kolb will revitalize his career in Buffalo behind a much better O-line than what he had in Arizona. If Kolb starts most of the 2013 season and looks impressive, he could end up having very high trade value at the end of the year. Do you think the Bills staff would take something like that into consideration when making the decision? Am I thinking too far ahead?
CB: First, thanks for the kind words. All of us at Buffalobills.com bust our tail to bring you as much as we possibly can on the Bills and the draft during that three-day pick parade. I think your theory has some validity. Much of it however, will hinge on how fast Manuel comes along. If he is quick on the uptake and is playing consistent football in training camp and the preseason he could get the nod.
At the same time even the Bills brass has admitted that Manuel is not a finished product. So unless he’s outstanding in his first camp and preseason I do expect Kolb to start the season under center. Knowing New England is the first opponent it might make Kolb an even more likely starter. He beat the Patriots in New England last season while with the Cards. If Kolb plays well he’ll stay in, but I think you know as well as anybody else it all comes down to winning games.
4 – Chris,
Many thanks for keeping us in tune with what is happening with players/coaches and the draft. I am interested in the status of the proposed improvements to the Ralph. Will any be completed prior to the start of this season and if so how much?
Keep up the great work for the fans.
CB: The initial phase of plans deal mainly with the infrastructure or bones of the stadium. That will begin this fall, but much of it won’t be noticeable to fans attending games in the stadium. The more cosmetic improvements (new scoreboards at east end, west end pavilion) won’t begin until 2014.
5 – Hey Chris,
I was just wondering what your thoughts on the Alan Branch signing. We have seen the Bills try to do this before, last year they added Mario Williams to Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Chris Kelsay/Mark Anderson. That one took a few weeks before it looked like they defensive line we all thought we would have. Also before the 2008 season the Bills added Marcus Stroud to the D-Line that already had Aaron Shobel, Kyle Williams and Chris Kelsay/Ryan Denney. That one seemed to never workout and Stroud was gone by 2010. Why do you think the Bills organization thinks that this one could be the one that works?
Thanks for all you do,
CB: My feeling is with a defense that’s going to be attacking a lot they need a player that can command double team attention and fit well against the run. Marcell Dareus is one example of that. Torell Troup could be that, but is unproven. Alan Branch can line up in that edge defensive tackle position for Buffalo and hold the point effectively.
He might not make a ton of plays in that role, but he’ll allow players like Mario Williams and Kyle Williams and Dareus to make more of them.
Tags: Alan Branch, Brad Forsyth, EJ Manuel, Fan Friday, Jairus Byrd, Jeff Tuel, Kevin Kolb, Mike Pettine
Posted in Inside the Bills