A big AFC conference game Sunday against the defending Super Bowl champs. Bills are really going to need their reserves to play big. Here are some of the more popular questions from you the fans this week. Keep the questions coming on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.
1 – Chris,
I’ve noticed so far that most of the Bills running plays appear to have the HB running into a brick wall of defenders out of passing formations with no lead blocking. Is this how it’s going to be all season with Hackett at the helm? I know CJ can’t go outside every play but he doesn’t seem suited for that. Seems like they rush to the line to hand off and have the HB just run into the D line on first and second down then pass on 3rd and 6. Seems too predictable to me and not playing to the strengths of CJ at all. They seem too quick to put the ball in CJs hands. The key is to get it in his hands in space. What are your thoughts on the running game in our new offense? Do you think things will open up more as EJ comes along?
CB: I think we honestly need a bigger sample size before we pass judgment on the Bills running game. Heading into the Baltimore game it’s still fifth in the league so they’re doing something right. They’re averaging 4.4 per carry, which is eighth best in the NFL.
In Week 2 we saw more effective control of the line of scrimmage by Buffalo’s offensive line and that was critical to the inside zone plays they run. If you don’t reset the line of scrimmage off the snap up front it doesn’t give much for the back to work with.
I don’t disagree with your argument to get C.J. the ball in space. The offense threw a lot of swing passes to C.J. and Fred in training camp, but we haven’t see a lot of those in the regular season to this point. Again it’s only been three games.
I think Coach Hackett’s running game for this offense will evolve as the season wears on.
2 – Chris,
What are the implications if the Bills could / would decide to put Jarius Byrd on IR? Not saying they want to but if he is unable to play because the pain in his feet is to great, then can they do it and if so, does that change his free agent status / obligations to the Bills. This might free up a position for a developing player or allow for more depth to be added in a position of need.
CB: The Bills are within their rights to place him on injured reserve if they deem it a condition that is not going to improve. For those that remember him, former Bills TE Ryan Neufeld had a very bad case of plantar fasciitis in both feet. I don’t know how he played with it because it looked like he was walking on nails with every step.
Eventually one of muscles, which run along the underside of the foot, in one of his feet tore. That ended his season. What the doctors did with his other affected foot, was they went in and snipped that muscle as well. From what Neufeld told me the doctors said the healing would be quicker that way.
I’m not suggesting that’s what Byrd should do. Neufeld was at the point of no return and Byrd appears to be making progress, albeit incremental. At some point however, with the secondary still short-handed due to injury this may need to be a stronger consideration.
3 – Chris,
I really like that locker room footage after Sunday’s win over Carolina. Do they only let camera crews in there so many times a year? I saw you did it last year but only for one game if I remember correctly. Keep up the good work! I live for Bills football and am constantly checking for updates on buffalobills.com.
CB: Thanks for your readership and viewership. Yes, we’re only allowed in the postgame locker room to shoot after victories, but it is exclusive coverage you can only get at Buffalobills.com.
4 – Hi Chris,
Thanks for all of your hard work!
It seems the Bills have incredible talent on the defensive line and Kiko Alonso has a ton of upside potential at LB. Why are the Bills continuing to have a tough time stopping the run? While it’s obvious the defense has made strides since last year, they are still ranked near the bottom of the league in run defense.
Preston, writing you from Medellin, Colombia
CB: Coach Marrone has liked the red zone defense, but not the run defense between the 20s. He simply said their tackling has to be better. He’s felt that too many rushers are getting second effort yards. There’s no debating that there’s capable talent on the defensive line and at linebacker, and the coaches drill tackling technique constantly at practice. It’s on the players to make it happen.
5 – Hey Chris,
I really like what I’ve been seeing from the Bills lately it’s starting to look like a good team. Can we expect Mario to play like he did in Week 2 more often and when Byrd and Gilmore return how much better do you expect them to be? Lastly, I want to ask what is your biggest concern with this team going forward?
CB: I don’t think there’s any question that when your defensive backfield is stronger it helps your pass rush, so when Gilmore returns and if Byrd returns to the lineup (there’s no predicting where Byrd’s plantar fasciitis is headed) it’s logical to think that their coverage abilities and anticipation skills could force quarterbacks to hold onto the ball longer at times.
As for concerns with the team they’re the same as they were in May. I’m worried about the depth at cornerback. There’s a lot of young talent there, but with McKelvin and Brooks injury history I’d like to have an extra corner in the stable if possible.
Tags: C.J. Spiller, Fan Friday, Jairus Byrd, Kiko Alonso, Mario Williams, Nathaniel Hackett, Stephon Gilmore
Posted in Inside the Bills