1 - Chris,
Thanks for the uploading of the video of EJ Manuel’s pregame speech on BB.com. I, for one, needed to see that. I was questioning whether EJ had the fire for the job, and now I know. It was great to see.
One question about the release of Tarvaris: could one of the reasons for it be that the Bills are impressed with Jeff Tuel, and want to develop him as a future no. 2?
Kenny in Indiana
CB: I think the main reason for Jackson’s release was to thin the competition for the starting quarterback job from three to two. The coaching staff quickly came to realize that conducting a three-man QB competition while also installing a new offensive system was not going to work. The reason why is as much as you want to make the competition a fair one, you also have to make sure that you have a candidate that’s ready to play come the start of the regular season.
With the reps split three ways and the system new to all of the QB candidates, there was a risk that wouldn’t be the case. So they pared the pool down from three to two. This way either Kolb or Manuel will have enough time executing the offense in a practice setting to effectively run it in game situations come the fall.
Now that doesn’t mean they don’t like what they have in Jeff Tuel. I think they do believe his talents can be further developed. Long range he very well could be a backup to Manuel.
2 - Hey Chris ,
I was wondering, with the youth movement at one Bills drive from top to bottom there are a couple of players that were brought in by the previous regime, one of those players IMHO has never really lived up to his contract although he did give us a boost in the WR corps when injuries came calling. This player that I am referring to is Brad Smith. Given the fact that we have increased the talent level at the WR position 2 fold & the potential of that group with Stevie, TJ, Woods, Da’Rick, Goodwin, & the possibility of Easley or another player, do you see the current coaching staff keeping Smith around ?
Given the upside of this group & the apparent future movement & then you throw in his contract I can’t see why they would want to keep him around. I read from time to time fans talking about Brad’s athletic talents but even though he may be just that I don’t think that we can afford to keep him when we have others with much more upside & at a much cheaper price. At the very least we could trade him back to Rex for a future draft pick .
Thanks you are greatly appreciated !!
Mr. T from Fort Myers via Nashville
CB: I think teams with new regimes always have these kinds of decisions to make. Weighing the value of a veteran player at a position where there’s a lot of promising youth, but inexperience as well. Brad Smith in the spring practices certainly showed he can bring a veteran presence to the receiving corps. Playing there full time now, he may also be able to deliver more than he has in the past under the previous staff when he had a more varied role.
What the Bills have to weigh is whether his value as a veteran receiver is needed for this roster and the passing game to flourish. The long term upside of several of the young wideouts might be superior to that of Smith, but right now Smith might be deemed an option they cannot do without, especially with the potential of a young quarterback running the offense at some point this season.
Smith has proven to be pretty reliable in the spring practices.
The other side of that coin is this. Young receivers like Woods and Goodwin are players you want to get reps so they can develop quicker. If Smith is out there getting reps, those are reps that the two draft choices are not getting.
So I believe if Woods and Goodwin flash early and often in training camp it could vault them up the depth chart and possibly convince the staff that they can be relied upon to play significant roles. If that proves to be the case then what you suggested is possible.
3 - Chris:
If Jairus Byrd refuses to sign with the Bills, could the Bills allow his agent to contact other teams in an attempt to workout a sign and trade deal for agreeable consideration? What impact (if any) would that have on the Franchise Tag?
CB: The Bills issued the non-exclusive franchise tender to Jairus Byrd. What that means is all this time his agent can talk to other NFL clubs to gauge his market value and see if there is a club willing to talk long term contract for Byrd.
Obviously the compensation under league rules would be a pair of first round picks. Of course a team interested in signing Byrd long term could come to the Bills and ask if they’d be willing to accept less than that.
If a sign and trade deal were to occur it would have no impact on the franchise tag for Buffalo. They could use it the following year.
4 – Chris,
Once again, hats off to you, Murph and Hannah for the great work you do for all of us Bills fans.
I recently started a thread for this topic and wanted to add your input. Who do you think were the best offensive linemen to wear a Bills uniform? What would be your “dream line”?
CB: I’m not going to pretend that I saw every Bills offensive lineman play, but based on history and what I have seen with my own eyes, my “dream line” for the Bills would be as follows.
LT – Will Wolford
LG – Joe DeLamielleure
C – Kent Hull
RG – Billy Shaw
RT – Howard Ballard
5 – Chris,
Assuming that the Patriots win the AFC East division again, as usual, and that the NY Jets, who seem to be a team in disarray, finish last, a battle between the Bills and Dolphins will be shaping up for 2nd place in the division. Miami seems to have really improved this off season, and the Bills also. Since the 2nd place team might have a shot at the playoffs, how do you think that the Bills and Dolphins compare?
CB: In light of the offseason setbacks the Patriots have faced this offseason I don’t know that you can hand them anything. Still, as defending division champs we’ll go along with your prognostication.
In comparing the Dolphins and Bills, the one edge Miami does have is they are in the second season of their respective offensive and defensive schemes. So there’s a familiarity with execution there, particularly at quarterback.
Their defense was seventh in points allowed last year and their special teams were very good particularly in the return game. Their offensive line is a question mark, and that will impact the skill position talent they’ve added, especially at receiver.
So while I believe Miami will have a decided edge just based on the fact that they’re in year two under their coaching staff, I think the potential exists for the Bills to pull even and perhaps even pass Miami as the season moves along.
Tags: AFC East, Brad Smith, EJ Manuel, Fan Friday, Jairus Byrd, Jeff Tuel, Kevin Kolb, QB competition
Posted in Inside the Bills