Hope everyone had a great 4th with their families and working the grill. Now to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills as Bills training camp is just three weeks away.
CB: Coach Marrone said he’s “open to the idea” of carrying two kickers on his roster. I think the scenario you propose is what could to lead to the Bills carrying a pair of kickers. Lindell has unquestionably been the more accurate kicker through the spring practices. Hopkins had an approach problem on his field goal attempts during team segments and appeared to be over rotating his hips, which leads a kicker to hook a field goal wide left if he’s right-footed or wide right if he’s left-footed. All but one of Hopkins’ misses were hooked left (he’s right-footed).
Hopkins intends to correct that in the weeks leading up to camp. If he does that successfully it could quickly make him a major threat to Lindell because Hopkins clearly has more leg than the veteran kicker on kickoffs.
2 – Chris,
Do you expect the Bills to add a 4th QB to the roster just as an additional training camp arm?
Joe in Blasdell
CB: I would be surprised if the Bills added another arm in training camp at quarterback. Here’s why. First and foremost Buffalo’s coaching staff has to decide on a starter at the position. The more reps they can give Kevin Kolb and EJ Manuel the better position they’re in to make an accurate evaluation and decision.
Second, within that competition the most important thing that must happen is someone has to be ready to play come Week 1. Knowing it’s a brand new offense for all three quarterbacks, robbing reps no matter how few, from Manuel and Kolb with a fourth quarterback would be counterproductive.
If Kolb and Manuel need to rest their arms a bit more on certain practice days, Jeff Tuel can step in. They don’t need a fourth as I see it.
3 – Chris,
Looks like the Byrd contract could get messy the longer he holds out. It might be crazy, but any chance he gets traded for another quality player? The Bills did draft two safeties in the draft as well as having Aaron Williams switch to the position. And say they did… what position do you think they would trade for?
Dan in SoCal
CB: I don’t think we can rule out the potential of a sign and trade, but it should be noted that such an option does not exist as long as he has not signed his franchise tender. The Bills have traded a franchise-designated player before. They did it with Peerless Price when they shipped him to Atlanta in exchange for a first-round draft choice back in 2003.
I believe the Bills would prefer to keep Jairus Byrd on the roster long term. Keep in mind there are other options for both sides (e.g. sign one-year tender, wait until end of season to negotiate long term contract, etc.).
I don’t want to get too far into the hypotheticals, but in reference to your ‘what would they trade for’ scenario, a proven starting guard couldn’t hurt.
4 – Hi Chris Brown!!
Diehard fan in Spokane, WA. Thx for everything you do, without your reporting I would be lost out here! I was wondering how you think Manuel faired overall? Mainly from what I’ve seen is a deep ball here and there mixed in with a couple picks but do you see him as possibly the starting QB this year? How were all the throws we didn’t hear about? More bad or good? Is he picking it up quickly?
CB: First off Tony, thanks for the kind words. With respect to Manuel I think there was progress made with his game in the spring practices. I believe that while the myriad of defensive looks he experienced in practice from Mike Pettine’s defense lengthened the learning curve in terms of execution, he’ll benefit in the long run from it because it is a defense that accurately replicates game speed.
Where he had trouble was when he had to hurry and get off throws underneath. Sometimes his delivery did not have the proper touch because the throw was rushed. There were instances where the decision he made wasn’t necessarily the best one, but for the most part those were few and far between.
Manuel has a lot of good stuff between the ears and did not appear to make repeat mistakes. Again I think the speed and aggressiveness of the defensive scheme he faces every day in practice will be a help not a hindrance in the long run. His physical ability is unquestionable and his deep ball accuracy is impressive.
He also has an offensive coordinator that knows how to maximize Manuel’s strengths while minimizing some of his weaknesses due to inexperience. I believe he has a chance to be the starter, but it will largely come down to how much progress he can make in training camp and the preseason games.
5 – Chris –
Just a quick question…I thought new NFL coaches get an extra mini-camp in their first year?? Did I miss the extra camp or is that no longer a rule?
North Tonawanda, NY
CB: You are correct new head coaches do get an additional spring camp with their players. Coach Marrone held a voluntary veteran minicamp the week before the draft (April 15-18).
Tags: Dustin Hopkins, EJ Manuel, Fan Friday, Jairus Byrd, Rian Lindell, voluntary minicamp
Posted in Inside the Bills