1 - Chris,
The Bills are playing much more aggressive defense, and yes the sacks and interceptions are up. However, the Bills run defense is still vulnerable. In addition, even though the Bills offense is putting 20+ points up per game, the defense is giving up more.
Is the Bills D-Line overrated and in need of an upgrade to shutdown the run ?
Let’s GO Buffalo
CB: The run defense has not been up to snuff. Coaches and players have cited sound fundamental tackling as the main culprit for this. Arthur Moats had a good explanation for me this week. Here’s what he said.
“When we’re making that initial contact we have to continue to drive our feet,” said Moats. “That’s the technique part of it I was talking about and not letting those guys fall forward for extra yards, not letting them leak out after getting hit initially. I feel like once we start doing that more consistently we’ll definitely see better results.”
2 – Chris,
Thank you so much for the information that you provide, especially to us fans who aren’t in the Buffalo area. In regards to the Buffalo-Miami game. There were 4 sacks and a lot of qb hits. I can’t remember how many. I believe I read where you reported that during the week Coach Marrone spent extra time working with the Offensive Line. It seems to me that there were more sacks and hits in this game than in previous games. What more can be done to increase the protection?
Buffalo fan in Virginia
CB: I think the Bills will need to turn to a quick passing game more often as they face defensive units that can successfully rush the passer. They’re going to need to turn to three and five-step drops and deliver the football on timing patterns. Seven-step drops against teams like the Chiefs for example are a death wish.
I think short drop timing throws would be good go-to plays, especially for the inexperienced quarterbacks Buffalo has had to put in the lineup. Then when DBs start squatting on routes, work the middle of the field like they did last week and take a few deep shots.
3 – Hi Chris,
After looking at the statistics, it appears that among the linebackers, Kiko Alonso and Manny Lawson are making many tackles and that Nigel Bradham is not experiencing the production that Lawson and Alonso are. Is it because Bradham is not strong against the run? The Buffalo Bills defense is decidedly better than last year’s version in terms of making plays, but would they go after another linebacker in April’s draft? It seems that the defensive line is strong, and the secondary is strong, but maybe they need one more playmaking linebacker. Your thoughts?
Tony, Ormond Beach, FL
CB: Bradham’s lack of production is directly tied to his lack of playing time. Through the first eight games of the season Bradham has 104 snaps logged on defense. Lawson has 344 and Alonso 626. You can’t expect the same production from a guy playing one third or one sixth of the time.
As for drafting another linebacker I think that there’s a good chance they look to add another LB next April.
4 – Chris:
The Bills did not seem to be using Fred Jackson and CJ spiller in the game at the same time very much when they were both healthy this season. Do you think we will ever see them utilized in a pro set or veer formation? I just could see that as a great asset to utilize in a fast paced offence.
CB: Both haven’t been 100 percent healthy almost all season so the opportunity to run a split backfield has been limited. They did do it a bit earlier this season and it is contained in the Bills playbook. I just don’t think we’ll see much of it until both backs are fully recovered from their injuries.
Making use of that formation also depends on the caliber of opponent and what they do well.
5 - @ChrisBrownBills
Thanks for the updates this week on EJ. Can you tell me how EJ looked or did?
CB: EJ threw the ball very well, but his injured knee is not all the way back yet. His right knee is on his back leg on drop backs. Planting that leg firmly in the ground at the top of his drop cannot be enjoyable if he’s still experiencing pain in that knee where he had the LCL injury.
He hasn’t been cleared medically to play in a game and until that happens he’ll just be throwing in practice. EJ hasn’t really done any team work. Head coach Doug Marrone said that there’s an outside chance he plays in the Jets game in two weeks.
Tags: C.J. Spiller, Doug Marrone, EJ Manuel, Fan Friday, Fred Jackson, Nigel Bradham, run defense
Posted in Inside the Bills