Bills need to put an end to a three-game losing streak. A win over the Jets would be a good way to go into the bye. Here is your latest edition of questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.
1 – 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: Through the first 10 games I’ve got the Bills using their split back formation with Fred and C.J. on just four plays this season. They used it against the Jets in the first meeting in Week 3, so perhaps it’s rolled out again on Sunday.
As for a veer offense, coach Marrone has gone on record saying that’s not something they would do here in Buffalo.
2 – Hi Chris,
I love your articles! With analytics being the buzz did anyone at the bills analyze how how many times we ran the ball between the tackles this year and got less than 4 yards a carry? Not end sweeps.
45 year bills fan
CB: I can’t tell you how many rushes specifically went for less than four yards, but I can tell you after 10 games where the gains have been the most successful to this point this year.
Run direction Avg. gain NFL Rank Total rushes
Left end 5.9 11th 20
Left tackle 4.38 12th 37
Left guard 3.89 14th 54
Center 5.21 7th 103
Right guard 3.96 11th 52
Right tackle 3.61 21st 36
Right end 5.71 9th 14
3 – Hey Chris,
Thanks for everything you do keeping us fans informed! I wanted to ask
Depending on how EJ plays down the stretch, and depending on where the Bills are drafting next year, do you think there’s ANY chance the Bills consider taking a QB in the first round next year to compete with EJ? Or do you think EJ gets 2-3 years before another QB is considered? (I think it’s too early to tell what the Bills have in EJ yet, but there seem to be some really good QBs in college this year, and this team seems to have all the pieces in place except (possibly) QB to make a serious run next year)
Also, do you think the Bills will consider doing any retooling at the WR position during the bye week? They seem to have 3 talented WRs in Stevie, Woods, and Goodwin. But Stevie’s production seems to have gone down since moving to the slot and Graham hasn’t been impressive so far. Goodwin seems to be faster and have better hands.
CB: I’m going to let coach Marrone handle this one. Here’s what he said concerning their investment in EJ. Here’s what coach said about Manuel this week.
“He needs to be out there. The more he’s out there, the better he’s getting. Also, I want to make sure everyone understands, I truly believe in this quarterback.
“He’s shown that he can do it. He’s shown that he progresses during the course of the year, and during each and every play and each and every game. When I go back and look at it, I see him getting better as the game goes on. And I think that’s what you see with a young quarterback.
“If we want to sit here, and I say we, it’s all of us now, and we see this young guy, we’ve got to be able to say let’s let this guy develop and let’s go, and he’s going to get better each week.
“As far as his work ethic and how he goes about the game and all those other things, he’s outstanding. The respect that he has from his teammates is outstanding. When does it ever come to the point where you are that person, you are that guy, how long does it have to be? You’ve got to win. You’ve got to consistently win. A lot gets put on his plate for that, but a lot of the rest of us, including myself and the coaches, we’ve all got to do our part and we’ve all got to play well around him to be successful.”
4 – Chris,
I’ve noticed the Bills are lacking a big ‘go up and get it’ WR. Why has Easley seen so few offense snaps? I’ve seen him make great plays on special teams. Why don’t they try him more in the offense. He’s more physical than Graham and Goodwin. He’s still raw but they aren’t giving him the chance to see the field as WR.
CB: You’re right that Buffalo does not have a big-bodied, jump ball type of receiver, which is part of the reason they’ve had a problem in the red zone of late. They have Scott Chandler, who is a height mismatch, but need a receiver that can work the corners of the end zone on fades and jump balls.
Easley, even if he does not play much between the 20’s, could be part of the team’s red zone package knowing he’s a big 6’2” and 217 pounds. He should get some opportunities Sunday down there knowing Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods are out.
5 – I think Believe EJ Manuel would benefit greatly if the bills drafted a good young tight end prospect . Names Like Eric ebron North Carolina, Jace amaro Texas tech, and Austin seferian Jenkins of Washington come to mind. If the bills do not draft a te in the top half of the draft do they look elsewhere for a good te prospect such as a basketball player type . UB’s Javon McCrea who has soft hands and a huge frame comes to mind . Any Chance the bills are Looking at an option Like This ?
Dustin in Alden
CB: With all due respect I think you’re overlooking Chris Gragg, who finally got some measurable playing time on offense in Pittsburgh. I think he’ll also factor in on offense in the passing game this week with Woods and Johnson out.
Gragg is an athletic pass catcher, who just needs time on the job. He tore his ACL in college and still runs a 4.5 40-time. There’s potential there.
Tags: analytics, C.J. Spiller, Chris Gragg, Doug Marrone, EJ Manuel, Fan Friday, Fred Jackson, Marcus Easley, NFL Draft
Posted in Inside the Bills