Training camp is closing in. Be sure to stay close to Buffalobills.com as we address the most pressing questions facing the team as they get set for the 2013 season under new head coach Doug Marrone. Here is the latest edition of questions from you the Bills fan from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.
1 – Hi Chris:
There were several players still rehabbing during the minicamp. What is their prognosis for the start of training camp? Kyle Williams, Leodis, Chris Hairston come to mind. What was Chris Hairston’s injury? Also, how is Zebrie Sanders doing with his rehab and where is he being slotted along the line? Finally, are Erik Pears, Mark Anderson and Torell Troup 100% yet?
Gerald in Rochester
CB: The following players are expected to be full go that were not 100 percent recovered from offseason rehabs and surgeries.
Kyle Williams, Leodis McKelvin, Chris Hairston, Lee Smith, Erik Pears, Scott Chandler and Marcus Easley.
Obviously, a setback in preparations for training camp could change things. To our knowledge Hairston had a lower body injury.
Mark Anderson participated on a limited basis in the spring. It’s expected that his workload at training camp will be incrementally increased as camp wears on.
Zebrie Sanders and Erik Pears did participate on a limited basis in the spring practices. All signs point to them being full go for training camp as well. They’ve both lined up exclusively at offensive tackle.
Torell Troup was full go in the spring and worked mainly with the second team at defensive tackle.
2 – Hey Chris,
Looking at the situation with J. Byrd this year & going back as far as Jabari Greer, & even as recent as Andy Levitre situation , the Bills have seemed to almost drag their feet when it comes to re-signing their future star players. Sometimes waiting till their contracts are up (like Greer & Levitre) to try & re-sign them we wind up losing said players that would be corner stones of the team for years to come.Yet others they sign way to prematurely (?) Also if signed before, we may be able to get them at a better price rather than wait & let them test the market.
With all that being said, C.J. being the dynamic back that he is, also given the fact that everyone is thinking he will be even a bigger presence in the new offense, do you see the Bills possibly trying to extend him next year ? I think if we follow the same path taken in the past with other good players mentioned earlier, if he gets the chance to get anywhere near the FA market he’s gone for the big bucks !!
Thanks as always for your insight & keep up the great work we all appreciate you !
Mr. T from Ft. Myers via Nashville
CB: I think your point is an astute one. Of course said player has to be willing to negotiate a new deal and some players have agents that want to wait for the price tag to rise. Now while you’re right in mentioning the players that did get away, Buffalo has also taken a proactive approach in retaining some players long term by signing them to extensions sooner rather than later. Kyle Williams is one example. Kraig Urbik is another.
Your point with C.J. is well taken. I think another player that should merit this kind of ‘sign them early’ consideration is Alex Carrington. It’s clear that the defensive staff believes he could do big things in this defense, and he’s entering the final year of his rookie deal before he becomes unrestricted. Why not lock him up long term now before he performs like the Bills defensive coaches believe he will?
3 – Chris:
I was surprised that EJs contract was for 4 yrs instead of a 5-year contract that is permissable under the CBA terms. This means that his contract and Gilmores will expire the same year. Do you have a reason why the team did not sign EJ for 5 years, considering the confidence they appear to have in him? Conrad in Elma
CB: First of all, Gilmore signed a four-year rookie contract with the Bills and will be a free agent after the 2015 season. Manuel under his four-year deal will be a free agent after 2016.
Under the new collective bargaining agreement, all NFL first-round draft picks can have four-year contracts with a non-negotiable fifth-year option, although not all will receive it. Since the new CBA went into effect four-year contracts for first-round picks have been the rule, not the exception.
Proof of that comes in the fact that of the first-round picks signed to this point, only Ziggy Ansah, the fourth overall pick to the Lions has a five-year deal among them.
In the grand scheme of things if Manuel pans out as expected, he’ll be re-signed at least a year before his rookie contract expires.
4 – Hey Chris —
Very simple question…Who would win in a foot race between CJ, TJ and Marquise Goodwin?
CB: I think Goodwin has both of them beat.
CB: I’ll first let coach Marrone take a shot at answering this question since he addressed in a one-on-one interview with Buffalobills.com.
“As a coach the earlier it can get done the better,” Marrone said. “I’d be a fool to sit here and say otherwise. The earlier the better, but again if you make decisions early and no one can see those decisions with the team then you wind up hurting your football team. So I’m hoping the decision and the timeline really relies on the players that are in competition and they have to separate themselves. And when you give people enough reps they will separate. At what point? I don’t know.”
Personally first-year coaches know that’s a position where a starter needs to be entrenched at least a couple of weeks before the regular season. I believe by the close of the second preseason game, the third preseason game at the latest we’ll have an answer from Marrone and his staff.
Tags: Bills training camp, C.J. Spiller, Chris Hairston, Doug Marrone, EJ Manuel, Erik Pears, Fan Friday, Jeff Tuel, Kyle Williams, Leodis McKelvin, Mark Anderson, Marquise Goodwin, Stephon Gilmore, T.J. Graham, Torell Troup, Zebrie Sanders
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