Well final cuts will be coming down in the next 24-36 hours as Buffalo’s 53-man roster will be set… at least for the time being. Below we get to some of your more pressing questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.
1 – Chris,
Pro scouts generally agree that E. J. Manuel has excellent athletic ability but concern about his judgement as a QB. Both Rob Johnson and J.P. Losman were good athletically but lacked judgment as a QB. While judgment is difficult to coach, how is the coaching staff doing it differently this time to ensure success?
With rookie coaching staff and the departure of some top players, what is the realistic expectation of the Bills record for this coming season? Recent statistics seems to indicate 3 to 5 wins for the season.
What is the target set forth by the Bills front office?
CB: Manuel is not going to be Rob Johnson or J.P. Losman. He already has demonstrated more poise and good decision making than both of them in two preseason games. What helps Manuel is his dedication to the game and to improve. Johnson and Losman did not possess the same work ethic. They both wanted to excel, but didn’t put the work in to make it happen.
Decision making is something that can be coached and improved and there are lessons that Manuel certainly still has to learn. But he’s way ahead of where those two quarterbacks were at this stage of their career.
As for the target set forth by the Bills front office it’s the playoffs and you typically need 10 wins to qualify.
2 – Chris,
If the other outside corners struggle that are stepping in for Gilmore, do you think it is at all likely the Bills will try Duke Williams as the other starting outside corner?
CB: While I wouldn’t rule it out as an option down the line, I don’t know if it’s the first option they would turn to. The coverage assignments I expect to see out there for Duke is on slot receivers and tight ends.
3 – Hi Chris
Thanks for all your hard work keeping all Bills fans updated on Bills news and information. I have a question about Kendall Gaskins. He looked real good from what I was able to see about his performance. My question is in regards to his position. He is listed as a RB, but he did pick up some blitzes pretty well. If he continues to distance himself and becomes a player that the coaches will want to keep, with a crowded RB position, do you see him being moved to a more blocking/power position like FB? Or do you see him in a returner/RB backup role? His height is in range of a prototypical FB, and at 238 can be a big obstacle in the way of the defense. Thanks
Larry in Tucson
CB: I think Gaskins has put together a nice camp and preseason, but the backfield is crowded as you said. Coach Marrone does want a back that offers a different style to that of C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson and Gaskins is more of a power back.
I think the roster decision comes down to Gaskins, Brown and Choice for the third RB role. If Gaskins doesn’t get it I see the Bills trying to get him or Brown on their practice squad.
4 – The receiver position is deep and we can’t keep them all. What is your best guess on how many receivers will be kept on both the 53 man roster and the practice squad? And who are those players?
I say 7
Thanks and Go Bills
Mike in Dallas, TX
CB: Unfortunately I think seven is not going to happen. Six is probably the number.
10, 11, 13 and 88 are locks. I think after that it’s down to 15, 16 and 81 for the remaining spot or two. My thinking is 15 and 81, especially after the injury to Brad Smith last night (ribs).
5 – Chris:
Please thank the crew for all the hard work they put in getting updates and stories for the fans.
I have 3 things I would like your input on:
1. Why are teams going to the trend of dressing only 7 Offensive Linemen for games? This is a dangerous practice, especially considering 5 play the entire game Offensively and some on Special Teams (if they stay healthy). The linemen make contact every play of every snap, the other players can’t say the same on Offense. Now with the Bills planning to snap the ball 75-80 times per game this increases the potential for injury. Isn’t that a concern and something to consider in the day of analytics?
2. How does coach Marrone feel about scrimmaging and practicing against other teams? Wouldn’t the coaches get a better evaluation on their own players in this situation?
3. With you being at practice every day watching and asking interview questions to Coach Hackett, doesn’t it seem as though he has many of the mannerisms of John Gruden? Is he as hands on and enthusiastic as Coach Gruden was on the field?
CB: The practice of dressing 7 linemen has been around for years. With the ability to only dress 46 players total and with there being far more rotation on the defensive side of the ball, they have to make seven work. More plays are solved by better conditioning the linemen though I don’t disagree every added play adds risk for injury.
I’ll have to ask coach Marrone about preseason scrimmaging. In year one however, his staff has so much to get in order and figure out that a scrimmage would complicate that process.
In terms of enthusiasm and being hands on, Hackett mirrors Gruden. But Hackett is always happy. Gruden is always ornery on the practice field.
Tags: Doug Marrone, Duke Williams, EJ Manuel, Fan Friday, Jeff Tuel, Jon Gruden, Kendall Gaskins, Nathaniel Hackett, Stephon Gilmore
Posted in Inside the Bills