Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 2-16

Posted by Chris Brown on February 16, 2018 – 11:33 am

Lets’ get right to your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills and on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Hi Chris,

Many thanks for all the updates and info this past season. With all the focus on the upcoming draft is there any chance the Bills look to keep Tyrod with a new OC whose scheme may better fit Tyrod’s skill set? Then look to fill holes with all the draft picks they have acquired and/or hope one of the non-top 5 QB’s are still there at 21/22? I realize it is early in the process as GM Beane noted and a lot could change.

Thank you.
Bryon
Plattsburgh, NY

 

CB: You’re right that a lot can change between now and the week after the NFL draft. That being said, I think there is a real possibility that Tyrod Taylor remains the starter. There is a lot of uncertainty regarding the quarterback position in terms of what could be available in free agency and who is affordable in a way that doesn’t cripple a team’s cap situation.

As for new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, he certainly comes in with very recent experience working with a mobile quarterback in Alabama’s Jalen Hurts.

I’m sure there will be a lot of conversations among the offensive staff this offseason as to what, and with whom, their best approach would be to move the offense forward. The passing game was frankly substandard last season. Can Daboll help to improve it with Taylor in the lineup?

That’s the big question.

The next question is what other quarterback talent can the Bills realistically acquire in terms of price tag and/or draft capital.

There may not be defined answers on the draft capital question until a week or two before the draft. And with more demand than supply concerning free agent QBs, the price to acquire one is going up and some teams are likely going to overpay.

I get the sense that Bills GM Brandon Beane isn’t big on overpaying, even at QB.

 


2 –
Hi Chris,

Do you think the Bills will draft another wide receiver? Or do you believe that Kelvin Benjamin, Jordan Matthews, Zay Jones, Deonte Thompson, and Brandon Tate are sufficient?

Your thoughts,
Tony Falzone
Daytona Beach, FL

CB: Perhaps the most important factor about your question is 60 percent of the players you mentioned are impending free agents. Matthews, Thompson and Tate all have expiring contracts come March.

It’s hard to know what each of those players is thinking, although I do know that Thompson enjoyed playing in Buffalo this past year having spoken with him.

Matthews needs a high-volume passing attack to maximize his value. Over the last three years the Bills are dead last in the league in pass attempts at just over 29 per game. Unless there’s a dramatic shift planned by offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, or a significant change at QB, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jordan Matthews looks elsewhere.

Let’s not forget too that he’s coming off a pair of offseason surgeries, so he may have to sign a one-year prove it deal, and that would only increase his need to find a high-volume passing attack.

Thompson and Tate should be affordable options to bring back to the fold. Hopefully a full offseason helps Kelvin Benjamin blend into the passing game more effectively and Zay Jones takes a big step in season two of his career.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

What position do you see the Bills making their biggest-dollar signing at in free agency, presuming they look to make another Micah Hyde-level signing?

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: I don’t get the overwhelming sense that the Bills will be big spenders in free agency. GM Brandon Beane has made it clear he is still trying to get the Bills cap in a more flexible position and sees free agency as a means to set themselves up for the draft.

To me that means filling some positional holes with value-based signings, not big splash type moves.

If there were to be a signing the level of Micah Hyde this offseason I think it would be at linebacker, defensive tackle or cornerback. And to be clear, not all three, but rather at one of those three positions. That is where they are short on numbers when it comes to starting-caliber players.

It’s reasonable to believe Beane would like to have a starting-caliber player plugged in at one of those positions prior to the draft at the very least.

 

4@ChrisBrownBills

There are numerous reports out there that the Bills have been scouting Josh Rosen extensively, do you think the Bills perceived high interest in him is smoke and mirrors, or will do what’s necessary to go get him?

Michael McMasters
@kidmickey85

CB: To be truthful I’d be disappointed if the Bills didn’t scout Josh Rosen and every other top quarterback prospect extensively. Buffalo’s scouting department wouldn’t be doing their level best if they didn’t scout each QB prospect extensively. It’s par for the course.

To what lengths would the Bills go to land Rosen, or any other QB prospect that may be at the top of their board?

That’s tough to peg, only because I believe it will largely depend on how the top of the board unfolds.

I don’t see the Bills paying a king’s ransom to get to the top of the board. There are just too many other holes for the team to address. Solving the quarterback position for the long term is perhaps the most important hole to fill, but a dozen other teams are looking to do the same thing.

That drives up the cost of doing business to accomplish that.

I think GM Brandon Beane feels out the market both in free agency and the draft and then makes a judgment call on whether it’s worth paying the price to address the QB position in a way that would satisfy him and head coach Sean McDermott.

I realize that’s probably not a pinpoint answer, but it’s the best I can do at this point.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Any chance the Bills draft a 1st round QB AND seek a big name free agent like a Foles, Cousins, or Bridgewater?

Jason Carroll
@jasonlikesfun

CB: I would be surprised if they did both.

The reason why is, if you’re drafting a QB in round one, you’re pretty convinced he’s your long-term answer at the position going forward. If he’s not then you shouldn’t be drafting him in round one.

The thought process is much the same with the free agent QBs you mentioned. If you’re going to land a free agent like Cousins or Bridgewater (provided he’s ruled a free agent – NFL Management Council has to determine this) you’re going to be either be paying franchise QB type money or parting with assets for Foles (who is under contract) that indicates you believe him to be franchise caliber.

If you’re willing to do that in free agency I think you’re committing to that player long term at the position. So drafting a QB in round one as well seems counterintuitive, especially when there are plenty of other positional holes to be filled on the roster.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-9

Posted by Chris Brown on February 9, 2018 – 11:44 am

The 2018 offseason is in full swing now with the Super Bowl behind us. Lets’ get to your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
IMO their biggest hole, besides QB is at LB. Do you feel they will address this in FA or the draft? I believe we need a experienced MLB.

Tim Feathers
@tbill538

CB: Linebacker is unquestionably a hole because of who they could potentially lose to free agency. Preston Brown and Ramon Humber are both free agents. That’s two starting caliber players. Obviously, they could re-sign one or both, but it will be interesting to see if Brown wants to test the market, knowing a player’s second contract is usually the big money one.

Also the Bills would undoubtedly like to get faster at the linebacker position. I believe the team’s decision on Brown will ultimately determine their course of action at linebacker. If he’s back I see them supplementing the position primarily with the draft. If not, it’s likely to be a mix of free agency and the draft.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will Bills look to replace Brian Gaine? I really liked their front office acquisitions last off-season and hope they try and maintain multiple quality personnel and GM types
BC72
@bchud1972

CB: I think that’s to be determined. With Lake Dawson also up for the Panthers GM job, Buffalo could lose two members of their scouting department. I think when GM Brandon Beane knows whether Dawson is back or not he’ll then assess the duties of those men and decide if they need to replace either by promoting from within and hiring from the outside.

You are right though, Beane assembled a heck of a staff in year one, and the pursuit of some of his hires is a strong validation of that.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

With the money that Smith and Jimmy G got, so the Bills a) pickup TT option and draft a guy to sit behind him for a year similar to Smith or b) pickup his option and trade him as it would still, at $18 million, be cheaper than signing some of the higher end FA right now?

Ryan Cox
@RyanACox34

CB: Getting Tyrod to renegotiate his deal last offseason was an astute move by the Bills. Though some still see the $18M cap hit as tough to swallow, it’s a very reasonable deal. And the chance of them going another season with Tyrod at QB while drafting a QB to groom is possible.

It’s hard to predict which way it will turn, knowing there will be quarterback options in free agency, potentially by trade if the Eagles are willing to listen to offers for Nick Foles and in the draft.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills
Would you personally trade the #Bills’ 21, 22, and RD3 to Denver for the fifth-overall pick if Rosen and Darnold are off the board?

Dean Kindig
@TCBILLS_Astro

CB: I personally wouldn’t. I think those two are by far the top two QB prospects from all the scouting people I’ve talked to around the league over the last few months. Unless you feel players like Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph are right there with them and still on the board I don’t make that deal.

I think you only give that draft capital up for one of the best QBs in the draft, not QB three or four, especially since I feel there is a drop off that’s more sizable than pick 2 to pick 5.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills
What are the chances they re-sign Gaines?

Zach Kozoduj
@koz9130

CB: I think there’s a legitimate chance they’ll make an effort to re-sign him. It all depends on the supply and demand in free agency. The market will have some decent talent available if players don’t re-sign with their current clubs (e.g. Malcolm Butler, Rashaan Melvin, Trumaine Johnson), but I don’t think the Bills want to pay giant money.

Gaines durability issues (he’s missed 26 games over last 3 seasons) figure to make him a more affordable option, plus he’s just 26-years old. So his affordability makes him a realistic re-sign candidate. The only thing that changes that is if they can find a more durable player without having to pay significantly more.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-2

Posted by Chris Brown on February 2, 2018 – 3:45 pm

Happy groundhog day Bills fans! The offseason begins in earnest after Super Bowl weekend. Let’s get prepared with your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will the #Bills go after Kirk Cousins?

Jon-Erik
@jonerik0619

CB: I think it’s difficult to provide a straight answer to this question. The reason why is this is a very unique situation. I can’t remember the last time a quarterback of this caliber, without an injury issue (See: P. Manning, Brees) had a strong chance of hitting the free agent market.

While I think it would be only natural for the Bills to be interested in a player who over the last three seasons ranks third in completion percentage (67%) fourth in passing yards (13,176), eighth in touchdowns (81) and is tied for first in pass plays of 25 yards or more (113), the first question is does he make it to the free agent market?

There’s a good chance that one of the many teams interested in Cousins will blink and try to orchestrate a trade with Washington for Cousins to avoid competing with the other clubs for his services in free agency.

Having not seen the Beane-McDermott duo in action for a full offseason it will be interesting to see what they value more.

If they do in fact have a strong interest in Cousins, are they more willing to give up draft capital to land the QB via trade?

Or are they more willing to compromise cap space by outbidding competitors for Cousins should he hit the free agent market and hold onto their draft assets?

Knowing the Bills have a lot of holes to fill, their draft assets would appear to be a priority, but the chance to land a QB with franchise-caliber numbers (whether you believe in Cousins or not) could trump that.

That’s what makes the Cousins sweepstakes so compelling. What are teams that need a proven producer like Cousins at QB willing to give up to get him?

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chances they trade up w/#Broncos if Denver gets Cousins? Also, opinion on Lamar Jackson’s NFL projection?

Lars Lewis
@larslewis12

CB: Again a major hypothetical. The price to move into the top 10 this year might require more than most years because of the demand to get into prime quarterback territory this year. The price is likely to be too steep to get into the top 10. I believe if a QB slips for whatever reason down to 10 or 11, then I believe a trade up is more likely,  but the Bills won’t be alone in that kind of pursuit.

As for Lamar Jackson, I’m in the Bill Polian camp on the Louisville QB. He’s a ridiculous and rare athlete with the ball in his hands. But I don’t think Jackson is a quarterback in the NFL. His accuracy still isn’t consistent enough to keep drives alive in the NFL.

I do think he can be a Pro Bowl caliber wide receiver.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

A recent mock draft had the Bills drafting back-to-back DTs in the first round and addressing QB in the 2nd round. Do you think there’s any chance of that happening?

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: The draft is so far off and so many things can happen between now and then that just about anything is possible. Right now the Bills have only Adolphus Washington and Ricky Hatley under contract at DT. If Kyle Williams chooses to continue playing then I think back-to-back DTs become unlikely. But if not, there is a gaping hole in the middle of the defensive interior. So it’s not outlandish to think that could happen.

QB in the second round is also possible if they can’t get up the board to prime QB territory. There are so many variables with trades and free agency that you can’t narrow down the possibilities at this point.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you see Ryan Groy taking over the starting Center position or do the Bills need to add one in the draft?

Coach
@MoneyAce1984

CB: As we addressed in our filling the void story on Buffalobills.com this week, I believe Groy is the odds on favorite to take over the starting center role. Drafting a center isn’t a common occurrence unless there’s a stud in round one or a good value on day two (See Minnesota’s: Pat Elflein).

I do expect the Bills to address the depth of their offensive line both at tackle and on the interior. A versatile player who can duplicate what Groy did as a backup center and swing guard would be a good add.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills.

What do u think will happen with Cordy Glenn? #GoBills

People Over Profit 🏽️@Jiillyy

CB: The first thing that has to happen is he has to get healthy after undergoing a procedure on his foot. All indications are he is doing well in his rehabilitation and will be ready for the start of the offseason conditioning program in April.

He has proven that he’s a solid starting left tackle in this league. If the Bills are committed to clearing more cap space, Cordy Glenn would be a logical option knowing his cap figure is the second-highest on the team for 2018 next to Tyrod Taylor.

There are always teams looking for quality pass protectors, so if that proves to be the plan moving forward it would not be difficult to find interested parties.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Mayfield “meets extensively” with Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on January 26, 2018 – 3:30 pm

By no means were the Bills the only team who spent time with Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield at the Senior Bowl, but according to SI.com Robert Klemko, Buffalo was one of four teams he met with extensively.

Two of the other teams he met with at length were in Buffalo’s division, the Jets and Dolphins, who both pick ahead of the Bills in round one. Here was Klemko’s reference to Mayfield’s meetings in Mobile.

Mayfield is here to meet with teams that might actually draft him, and he’s had extensive meetings with four of them; the Saints, Bills, Jets and Dolphins. And they put him through the ringer, teaching him some of their offensive concepts and asking him to recall them an hour later.

“That’s the only upside for me [being here],” Mayfield says of the meetings with teams. “I’m confident I can show exactly what I’m about, how much I care about football and how I’d do anything to win. And not just that. Put me on a board and let me show you how much I know about the game. Let me show that I can pick information up, take it and run with it. Getting in front of these people was so important, even bigger than the three years of film I put together.”

Mayfield likely won’t be the only quarterback prospect with whom the Bills meet between now and late April. In fact Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph confirmed he had a meeting scheduled with the Bills in Mobile this week. It’s part of their due diligence, and their extensive time with Mayfield only helps to complete the evaluation.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-19

Posted by Chris Brown on January 19, 2018 – 11:26 am

We’ll have full Senior Bowl practice coverage next week Bills fans, so keep it close to Buffalobills.com and the John Murphy Show! Now to your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think Rudolph could be a target pick for bills? Keep some draft capital get him at 21?

Brian
@Bhainsy

CB: Right now Rudolph is a bit off the pace as a QB prospect from the top four (Darnold, Rosen, Allen, Mayfield), due primarily to the fact that NFL clubs don’t know what his mental processing skills are on a football field. He has all the physical tools to be a pocket passer in the NFL, but he played in a very simple offense. So calling plays, diagnosing coverages, reading progressions, taking snaps under center are all unknowns. That’s why it’s unfortunate that Rudolph won’t be practicing this week at the Senior Bowl. He could’ve begun to answer some of those questions by putting his decision making during team periods of practice on display.

I think at this point it’s very realistic that he’ll be on the board for the Bills in the early 20’s. He’s currently projected as a late one, early two by some of the more respected draft prognosticators.


2 –
@ChrisBrownBills

Do you foresee Shady becoming more of a change of pace back/third down back to preserve his career a few more years? It would be nice to get a solid move the chains type bruiser for early downs…thoughts?

Alan C
@alancolic

CB: McCoy did not show any signs of slowing down whatsoever in 2017. That said, he’ll be 30-years old for 2018. I personally see him as one of the exceptions to the popular rule that running backs decline after their 28th birthday. The main reason being his running style doesn’t expose him to big time hits which cause the most wear and tear on the body.

I am however, in favor of getting a capable back who can reduce the workload on McCoy. The Bills did a good job managing his carries. He averaged 18 carries per game in 2017, which I think would still be manageable for McCoy going forward. But introducing a steady backup, who can get five to 10 carries per game would be advisable to prolong McCoy’s freshness through the latter stages of the season, especially if there are playoff games in January where the offense will naturally lean on him more.


3 –
@ChrisBrownBills

Chicken-egg situation: do the #Bills draft a QB with skill set that fits what Daboll wants to do? Or design offense around whatever QB they draft?

Tyler Moss
@TyLynnMoss

CB: While I believe there is some consideration to the style of offense the Bills would prefer to run in drafting a quarterback prospect, I don’t think it would preclude the Bills from taking the player they believe to be the best prospect at the position when they’re on the board.

It’s not the best example, but Cam Newton, a player who was drafted in Carolina when both Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott were there wasn’t an ideal fit for a pro-style offense. He was not a pure passer and he never played in a pro system, but he was far and away the best prospect at the position.

So, in general I think most NFL clubs tend to focus on drafting the best player at the position, then worry about how they’ll make use of his skill set.

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

What do you think Cordy Glenn’s future is with the Bills? If they move on, does he have trade value with that contract?

Josh McCarty
@Josh_McCarty28

CB: Step one for Glenn is to get back to full health following the latest procedure on his foot. By all accounts he is doing very well in his rehabilitation and is on track to be full go for the start of the offseason conditioning program in April.

I do understand why there is speculation about Glenn being a trade option for the Bills, knowing how well Dion Dawkins performed at left tackle in Glenn’s absence.

Taking that hypothetical situation a step further, it’s obvious that Glenn’s cap figure for 2018 ($14.45M) is second only to Tyrod Taylor ($18M) on Buffalo’s roster.

But to move Glenn via trade or outright release prior to June 1st would only give Buffalo a cap savings of $4.85M with $9.6M in dead money still on their books.

If the Bills moved him after June 1st, such a move becomes more fiscally responsible.

The cap savings would be more than $11M and the dead money would be cut by two-thirds ($3.2M). However, moving a player via trade that late in the offseason is rare, but quality left tackles with a proven track record and just 28-years old are not easy to find. So even that late in the game I think he absolutely has trade value.

Just knowing how much GM Brandon Beane wants to continue to clear dead money off the Bills cap so they have more flexibility in their spending going forward, I find it hard to fathom them trying to move Cordy Glenn prior to June 1st knowing the cap implications mentioned above.

NOTE: For those wondering if you can designate a player you intend to trade as a post-June 1st designation, it doesn’t appear that you can. When you designate a player as a post-June 1st cut, the contract is immediately terminated and the team no longer holds any rights to the player.

So it would appear to be impossible to designate a traded player as a post-June 1st trade, because the team technically would not have the rights to said player, and thus no commodity to trade. The actual trade, as mentioned above, would seemingly have to take place after June 1st for the aforementioned cap savings to be realized.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

If Bills lose Gaines to free agency, does corner become high draft priority?

Patrick Schrader
@Pjschrades16

CB: If you’re down a starting caliber corner and you don’t feel you have an adequate replacement on your roster, then yes it does become a priority. Knowing that Leonard Johnson is also a free agent could increase the positional need even more.

So if Gaines doesn’t return, I think positionally it becomes a priority, but I’m not ready to peg it a draft priority. Let’s see what free agency can bring the team first if necessary.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills 2018 picks, where & from whom

Posted by Chris Brown on January 10, 2018 – 11:45 am

By now most Bills fans are aware that the Bills have a total of eight picks in the 2018 draft. But with all the trades some may not know whether it’s Buffalo’s original pick in a certain round or a pick acquired from a trade with another club. Here’s the rundown of which round and where the picks came from.

1st round – No. 21 (own) and No. 22 (from KC)
2nd round – Bills pick and Rams pick (from Watkins trade)
3rd round – Eagles pick (from Matthews trade)
4th round – Bills pick
5th round – Bills pick and Jaguars pick (from Dareus trade)

Buffalo has no picks in rounds six or seven.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-5

Posted by Chris Brown on January 5, 2018 – 12:24 pm

The wait is over Bills fans! Playoff football and your team is in the dance! Enjoy it! Now to your questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

If Shady doesn’t play, you think we still have a good shot at winning?

Took
@AnthonyBitting

CB: I think the task becomes a lot more difficult. McCoy is engine that runs the offense. He represents a third of the team’s total yards from scrimmage this season. Even coach McDermott admitted you cannot replace him. He’s one of the top five backs in the league.

Though I like what Marcus Murphy has brought to the table in his short time with the Bills and seeing offensive coordinator Rick Dennison use Mike Tolbert effectively last week (inside runs only), I believe they could make the run game functional.

Is that enough to win? Probably not. I think they would also need to win the turnover battle and finish a plus-two for a shot at a victory.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chris, is the RD5 pick from Jax a done deal?

Dean Kindig
@TCBILLS_Astro

CB: That is correct. The Bills conditional sixth-round pick that they acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars for Marcell Dareus has improved to a fifth-round selection in 2018 by virtue of the fact that the Jaguars advanced to the playoffs.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Win or Lose, what did this season mean for McDermott/Beane? I feel like just because of the playoff berth they are probably going to be in a solid place here for the next 5 years. (Of course, in exception to a total meltdown the next two years)

x-Dylan Nowak
@DylanNowakArt

CB: Making the playoffs obviously helps any coach-GM combination in the NFL. I don’t know if you can project five years of job security for them, but they’re certainly on firm footing. It’s clear that Terry and Kim Pegula believe in what coach McDermott has established in terms of how the team operates on a daily basis. It’s evident that McDermott is a coach that players will follow.

The way he was able to get the team to hang together after a three-game losing streak, that has sunk many Bills coaches in the past, is what convinced me that the mental toughness of this team, that has been so poor in the past, had changed. I didn’t know if that meant playoffs this year, but the culture of this team after falling into all the common pitfalls year after year has finally been given a solid foundation.

The playoff berth only helps that.

Beane in his first year has shown he’s not afraid to swing a trade, even if it’s not popular publicly. He and McDermott are in lock step as to how to build a team for the long haul and sustained success.

The Pegulas have the right people in place at the important decision-making positions. It’s onward and upward from here.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

1: How does KB13 match up against JAX corners? 2: What candy bar is the best candy bar?

Joshua Smith
@Yhosh

CB: Benjamin is a tough matchup for any corner, but Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are both going to the Pro Bowl for a reason. They’ve combined for 10 interceptions. Benjamin usually lines up as the Bills ‘Z’ receiver or flanker on the right side of the formation, which would pit him against Ramsey.

Ramsey is a long corner. He’s 6-1 with long arms. His ability to mirror his opponents routes is impressive. There is very little separation on most plays he defends. That being said, what Benjamin offers is a wide catch radius.

He’s also capable of shielding a defender from the ball with his giant frame. This should offer Tyrod Taylor opportunities to make plays even if Ramsey is blanketing Benjamin, which shouldn’t be difficult for Ramsey at all.

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Anyone else being brought up at RB?

Andrew Ten Eyck
@Andrewteneyck1

CB: If anyone is elevated to the active roster at running back due to LeSean McCoy’s availability with his ankle it would be Aaron Green, who they signed this week. Green is a quick and elusive back with good burst. I believe even if called up before the game he’d likely be used in an emergency situation only. The primary backups are Marcus Murphy and Mike Tolbert.

The Bills have until 4 pm on Saturday to call a player up from the practice squad to the active roster.

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-22

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2017 – 11:39 am

Merry Christmas and happy holidays Bills fans! Two games to go and still playing meaningful football. Don’t know if everyone expected that. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Besides a Bills win, what is the one thing we should be hoping for to help bills get into playoffs? I know there’s a bunch of scenarios but u get one choice.

David Ayotte
@Dhayotte75David

CB: Well if you’re going to pin me down like that I’d go with a Ravens loss to the Colts on Saturday. That not only gives Baltimore a seventh loss overall, but a key loss in the common games tiebreaker (should it come to that) with the Bills.

A Tennessee loss this week wouldn’t carry quite the same weight because they’re playing an NFC opponent (Rams). A Kansas City loss to Miami doesn’t carry as much importance for Buffalo either. And if the Bills win this week as you propose, it doesn’t matter what the Chargers do, so that’s my answer.

For more on who to root for this weekend, you can take a look at the full slate of games to keep an eye on right here.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Who gets the most snaps covering Gronk this week? White? Hyde? Milano?

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: I’m anticipating a mixed bag of coverage assignments for Gronkowski. I don’t think there’s any question that he is the main weapon Buffalo has to stop. I believe the primary players who will be assigned to him will be Hyde and Milano, but much like they did in the first meeting, they could sprinkle some coverages in with White on him.

It’s certainly a matchup to keep an eye on.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

What is your view on Preston Brown’s year?

JR Mauro
@mrsju007

CB: I think Brown has had a solid season. I never believed that the problems on defense last year with illegal substitutions and guys wondering what the play call was were Brown’s fault. This year’s execution on defense is validation of that belief as I see it. Coaching was largely to blame for the defensive struggles last season.

Brown is a solid middle linebacker, who can anticipate and diagnose offensive plays and will not make mistakes. Will he ever be a dominant, take-over-a-game type backer? Probably not, but he’s a reliable performer that you can win with.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Two questions: 1 – Estimate on snap % for Benjamin this week?

2 – What pop tart is the best pop tart?

Joshua Smith
@YhoshLM

CB: I think a safe bet is about 60 percent of the snaps on offense. That’s where he’s been each of the last two weeks. Even in the Colts game where he aggravated his knee again due to poor footing, he played 41 snaps (61%) and last week against Miami he played 37 snaps (59%).

Regarding your second question, I’ve never been a fan of Pop Tarts, but I can tell the winning flavor in my household is Brown Sugar Cinnamon.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Would you trade the 2 first round picks PLUS next year’s first to the browns for the first overall pick this year?

Darek
@drock252

CB: That’s a lot of draft capital to surrender. I’d be more willing to part with the two firsts and a second this year rather than three firsts. This of course is under the assumption that I’m convinced that the top QB on the board is as sure fire a franchise caliber QB as there is, not only in this year’s class, but next year’s as well. If I’m convinced I pull the trigger, even if I’ve got to throw in an extra fourth round pick or something.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-24

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2017 – 1:40 pm

Getting close to do or die time for the Bills. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Why haven’t they played Henderson all season. It’s pretty clear that our OL needs change.

Tim Stefani
@tim_stefani

CB: I’m guessing that since you mentioned Henderson, you’re referencing the offensive tackle position primarily. Here is what I believe to be the main issues that are keeping Henderson from getting onto the field for games.

After playing in the preseason he served a five-game suspension, which put him behind in all aspects of the offense’s development in terms of on field instruction. Only now is he getting back into the swing of things. He’s appeared in each of the last two games, primarily on special teams plays. And he started last week’s game as a tackle eligible when the Bills came out in the jumbo package.

I don’t think anyone can debate that Jordan Mills had a tough day against Joey Bosa, but Bosa has made a lot of offensive tackles look bad this season. If it was just a case of being overmatched, the coaches can find solutions to give him more help with a tight end or a back.

I believe the offensive staff is monitoring how things are going on the edges and the interior very closely every week. If subpar play lasts more than a week or two, coach McDermott has shown a willingness to make a change if he believes it will lead to better results.

Whether Henderson is ever part of that change is difficult to say, but he’ll be the swing tackle on Sunday.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills
Is Rick Dennison on the hot seat? The offense has been anemic and I do not think it is for lack of personal.

Josh Stoeckl
@joshgsu00

CB: I don’t get the sense that’s the case. If anything the decision that coach McDermott made for the Chargers game provided indication that it’s the play on the field that is compromising the effectiveness and production of the offense.

I suppose after further review at the end of the season that viewpoint could change, but as now I don’t feel that is what is afoot. I know the availability of fired Denver coordinator Mike McCoy has prompted this line of thinking. I just don’t think that kind of thing is even on a head coach’s radar this time of year.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills
Do you think our lack of speed at LB is key reason for our poor run defense? Should we bring in someone similar to Brandon Spikes in 2014?

Sean joyce
@Seanjoy93765788

CB: If speed is what you’re looking for, a Brandon Spikes type is not the answer. Spikes coming out of college ran a five-flat 40 time and was strictly a run-down player. Buffalo’s linebacking corps does absolutely need more speed in this style of defense. It’s part of what worries me about this week’s game knowing the speed that the Chiefs can put on the field offensively.

That is going to have to wait until the offseason when the personnel department finds more players tailor made for this defense based on their physical skill set.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills
Do you get a sense that the players still believe in coach McDermott “process” or is there division in the locker room?

Kirky52
@Nick5225

CB: It’s pretty clear to me talking to players in the locker room that there remains a healthy amount of respect for coach McDermott.

McDermott did what he genuinely felt was best for the team in starting Peterman. He felt the rookie QB was ready to help the offense function with more consistency. It didn’t work.

The worst part is it cost them a game. Will it be the difference in reaching the playoffs? Too early to know that with six games to play.

What’s important here is McDermott proved he doesn’t have ulterior motives in going back to Taylor this week. He was up front about the Peterman decision being a calculated risk. If it worked who would benefit?

The team.

If it didn’t work who would it hurt most?

The head coach.

You have a head coach here who is not afraid to make uncomfortable decisions even at the risk of damaging his own credibility, if it could mean better for the team he coaches. It might be hard for some players to grasp that right now, but in time they’ll likely see what McDermott’s true motives were.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills
The Bills got two first rounders. I think they need to address the defense with those. What do you think?

Peter O’Brien
@MVPete360

CB: First, I think it’s premature to talk draft. I don’t disagree that the Bills need help on defense, particularly at defensive tackle and linebacker, but to arbitrarily decide you’re going to use both first-round picks on defense is a little foolhardy. In addition to deciding what the best value is wherever they draft in round one, Buffalo also has to assess what is still on the board when they’re on the clock.

There’s no way to just say we’re going defense with both picks.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-10

Posted by Chris Brown on November 10, 2017 – 12:02 pm

The second half of the season is upon us. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
Who should be feared more in Sunday’s game against the Saints: Drew Brees, Mark Ingram or Alvin Kamara?

Rick McGuire
@mclennon99

CB: It’s Brees. The way he manipulates defensive backs with his pump fakes, shoulder fakes and eyes only makes him more effective. I don’t know that I’ve seen a more consistently accurate QB than him ever. Kamara is a multi-dimensional weapon who needs to be accounted for, but it starts and ends with Brees.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills
Do u foresee the Bills trying to re-sign Wr J.Matthews and CB EJ Gaines? 2 players they traded for!

Mikey
@Mikeybeit

CB: I expect Jordan Matthews to be high on their priority list. Gaines’ future in Buffalo I believe will hinge on his availability the rest of the way this season. I like Gaines personally and think he’s an effective cornerback when healthy. The issue is his week to week availability has not been there and Sean McDermott does place a priority on that.

I’m not saying I know that will hurt his chances of returning, but it could be a factor in how high a priority they place on returning Gaines to the fold for 2018 and beyond.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills
Any chance Milano starts this week since it appears speedier linebackers will be needed to stop the strong screen game?

J Christensen-Sharpe
@Snowbird_Killer

CB: I don’t expect Milano to start, but it’s clear to me that he has something to offer the defense in coverage assignments underneath. That is an area of the field that the Saints look to exploit.

I think Humber is underrated in coverage, but Milano has some pass coverage instincts you just can’t teach, which likely stem from his time as safety early in his college career.

Last week against the Jets, Milano was used in some subpackages on obvious passing downs. He also got 10 snaps, but I’d expect that to continue.


4 –
@ChrisBrownBills
Should the Bills only draft a QB if they think that person would be better than Peterman? Fans loved Peterman preseason so will be interesting to see reactions comparing him to this years class if Bills dont take a top prospect

Bryan Watson
@RealBryanWatson

CB: My personal opinion is you should draft a QB every year. Knowing Chiefs head coach Andy Reid subscribed to that approach when he was in Philadelphia, I believe it’s possible we could see a quarterback drafted next spring by Buffalo.

The fact that Peterman is on the roster doesn’t carry a whole lot of weight in preventing them from drafting another one as I see it. The bigger question is whether they believe that a QB prospect that they could draft is an upgrade in comparison to Peterman, and I suppose Tyrod Taylor as well.

For Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott it’s about upgrading the roster. If a player is an upgrade, at any position, it’s a viable possibility in the draft or through any other means the club can add a player.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills
Who is going to leading the charge Sunday?

Stittlo
@stittlo

CB: It will be former Bills RB Antowain Smith.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-5

Posted by Chris Brown on May 5, 2017 – 11:45 am

The NFL draft is now in the rear view mirror, and there a GM search underway. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chris, do u see the Bills possibly reaching out to Eliot Wolf, Scot McCloughan or Louis Riddick about the GM opening?

Mikey
@Mikeybeit

CB: I believe the Bills initially cast out a wide net, but it will probably be whittled down quickly to a handful of candidates whose philosophy on building and sustaining a roster lines up as parallel as possible to that of head coach Sean McDermott.

As for Eliot Wolf, Scot McCloughan and Louis Riddick it’s hard to know what will appeal most to the Pegulas. Knowing they went with a young, energetic and driven head coach in Sean McDermott, could they be looking for a similar type in a GM? Or do they go in the opposite direction and find a roster builder with a ton of experience.

Wolf has that even though he’s just 35-years old.

McCloughan, who also cut his teeth in the Green Bay organization in the personnel department under Wolf’s dad, Hall of Famer Ron Wolf, was just pushed out of the Washington organization after personal problems reportedly surfaced for the second time in his career. I don’t know that he’d be a consideration.
Riddick would appear to be a natural consideration having worked with McDermott before in Philadelphia. He was a scout with the Eagles and rose to the position of Director of Pro Personnel there in the span of two years. They worked together for three years there.

Brandon Beane has already interviewed.

It’s certainly no one’s call but the Pegulas, but a strong football guy would be good so coach McDermott doesn’t get spread too thin between coaching and personnel. Someone that can capably run the college and pro scouting departments.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Well now that they not picking up Sammy 5th yr option, do you think he’s really gonna play hard or no?

Kia
@Bufbillsfan4lif

CB: I think you might be missing the whole point of why the Bills did not pick up the fifth-year option on Watkins. It’s a question of being healthy, not respect for his talent.

I know that coach McDermott made it clear to Watkins in his talks with him that they value him and want him to be a part of this team for the long term, but they can’t risk guaranteeing $13.2M knowing if his injury re-occurs, the one he has yet to fully recover from a year later, that they’re on the hook for that money next year whether he plays or not.

If they didn’t have to make this decision until mid-September, they might have a better idea of what to expect from Watkins health-wise. But he’s not even cleared for football related activities, so there’s no way to know now. It would be a fiscally aggressive risk to put up that kind of money not knowing how fast and how effectively his foot is going to come through his second rehabilitation after surgery.

And if he is healthy and plays all 16 games and has a monster season, you sign him to a big long term deal or the franchise tag is there if necessary and he remains in the fold.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Out of the recent draft picks, who will have the biggest impact this upcoming season?

Cierra Livecchi
@Seeairuhyo

CB: My pick is Zay Jones. I was in Mobile and watched him all week at the Senior Bowl and while he wasn’t the only player who impressed me, what stood out to me was how complete his game seemed to be. I didn’t witness a drop by him all week, his route running was sharp for the most part. The only part of his game that was hard to get a handle on in the practice setting was his blocking.

Interviewing him down there and at the NFL Combine it’s evident to me that he’s got his head on straight. His dad was an NFL player, so his biggest influence is someone who knew what it took to be a professional. It has to give the Bills confidence that Zay will know how to carry himself as a professional too.

Also in terms of opportunity the No. 2 receiver role is going to be up for grabs. Andre Holmes and Philly Brown are probably his stiffest competition. Jones is just so consistent I think he has a real shot at that job and if he lands it I think he has the biggest impact.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will Ragland start? Or will it be Preston B. In the middle with Humber and Alexander on the outside?

korey kennedy
@koreykennedy3

CB: We’re a long way from determining starting roles, primarily because Ragland still isn’t fully cleared to participate in the offseason conditioning field work, let alone football related activities. We’ll see what happens in a couple of weeks when OTAs start.

Here’s the thing that I believe a lot of people are overlooking. Many simply assume that whoever is not the MLB between Brown and Ragland will be on the bench.

I’d be very surprised if that proves to be the case.

I believe that whoever loses out in the battle for the starting MLB job will be the team’s starting strong side linebacker. Brown played there some in college at Louisville. And Ragland was used as a blitzer at Alabama so he’s been on the edge as well.

From what I’ve heard Alexander will be a jack-of-all-trades linebacker in this defense. His role will be largely determined by the opponent that week, down and distance and game plan. ‘Zo could sub in more on the strong side or the weak side depending on the week.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills

With that extra 1st rd pk in next yrs draft. Do u feel they will use it as ammo to move up (if needed) to get a QB?

CHRISTian McCaffrey
@BroJackson_

CB: I think we have to pump the brakes on expecting to get a quarterback. First, we have to see what Tyrod does this season.

Second, and probably more important, most of the top quarterbacks in college do not have to declare for the draft. USC’s Sam Darnold, perceived to be the most highly touted, will be a redshirt sophomore next year. He could easily go back to school and come out in 2019.

Rosen will only be a junior, Allen a junior and both of them after two years have started in 19 and 16 games each.

Knowing the perceived best talents could stay in school, I think you focus on what the extra first round pick gives you, which is options. That’s what counts here.

If there are top flight QB prospects in the draft class and you want to move up the board to get one, the Bills should be able to do it.

If they’re not in the class, the Bills will still have the ammo to move up or down the board as they see fit. Having options means power. To have that in round one can help you upgrade your roster in a hurry.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Way too early 2018 mock draft picks QB for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on May 2, 2017 – 8:55 am

The 2017 NFL draft is barely in the rear view mirror and there are already some 2018 mock drafts circulating. Buffalo will have two picks in the first round next year via their trade in this year’s draft with Kansas City. FOXSports.com’s 2018 mock has the Bills taking a quarterback with the first of their two first-round selections.

The bad news is the mock has Buffalo picking seventh overall, which would mean another year without a playoff berth, but looking past that, the mock has USC QB Sam Darnold first off the board to the Jets with the number one pick.

They then have Cleveland, the Rams and the 49ers all taking defensive players before Chicago takes an offensive tackle at five and Washington at six takes Wyoming QB Josh Allen. At pick 7 here is FOXSports.com’s mock selection for Buffalo.

7 – Bills: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
The Bills move on from Tyrod Taylor and go with Rosen, who showed flashes of greatness when he was healthy at UCLA.

Rosen, who was a sophomore last season, played in only six games last season. Poor pass protection kept him under fire and eventually led to a season-ending throwing shoulder injury. Suffice to say Rosen, and his throwing shoulder will be closely monitored this fall.

Another QB to watch that not many are talking about is Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham. The transfer from Baylor is expected to start for the Tigers this year, and many believe he’ll have great success and become a top prospect.

With Buffalo’s second first-round pick, the mock has the Bills taking a top end running back.

19 – Bills (From Chiefs): Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Shady McCoy’s replacement — Guice is the game breaker the Bills will make the focal point of their offense in 2018.


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Posted in Inside the Bills