Inside The Bills

Maybin saying right things

Posted by Chris Brown on September 29, 2010 – 4:08 pm

Bills OLB Aaron Maybin may be a bit short on success on the field thus far this season, but it hasn’t affected his focus on what his goals are for his second NFL campaign.

Maybin knows as well as anybody that he needs to produce in the pass rushing department to help fill the void left by veteran Aaron Schobel. Being a former first-round pick, he knows high expectations come with that title, but he’s not worried about what first-round status signifies to outside observers.

“As this point, it’s not about first-round draft pick (status). It’s about winning football games,” said Maybin. “As far as winning football games and me being in a position to help the team the best way I can, I still have some work to do. I think that I’m man enough to admit that I can look myself in the mirror and say that, as well as a whole lot of other people.

“The point in time comes where you really have to put some of that onus on yourself and you have to go out there and you have to make the effort to get things turned around. It’s got to come from somewhere. Me, personally, I’m just trying to do everything, from a professional standpoint, to where anything that I can do to help myself and this defense get there, I’ll try.”

One thing that can’t be disputed is Maybin’s work ethic, which has been full speed ahead from the day he got here. He’s hoping that work pays off sooner rather than later.


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Assessing the pass rush

Posted by Chris Brown on September 29, 2010 – 2:19 pm

Through the first three games the Bills defense has logged four sacks. They know as well as anyone it’s not good enough.

“Well that’s the one thing that we’ve got to do a better job of is pressuring the passer and I think that we’ve got to do better when we rush four,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “We’ve got to do better when we rush five and six. It’s not just one thing that’s creating a lack of pass rush for us right now.”

When asked if he was satisfied with the team’s pass rush, DL Dwan Edwards said he was not.

“I don’t think you ever are, no matter how many times you get to the quarterback, you want to get to him more, get a few more shots on him, a few more hits and force some more bad throws to increase your chances of winning. It’s something we have to get better at,” he said. “You’ve got to get after every quarterback you play. That’s got to be the plan and where you start and to have success that’s what you’ve got to do.”

Entrusted with filling the void left by the retired Aaron Schobel, second-year OLB Aaron Maybin has been looked upon as the future linch pin of the team’s pass rush. He saw the most time on the field defensively last Sunday getting 38 plays. Gailey knows there’s still some progress that Maybin has to make.

“Aaron is one of the guys that has to continue to improve,” Gailey said. “He needs to be a pass rush threat for us. We’ve got to get him to stay strong the whole game. He rushed better in the first half than the second half. Hopefully he stays strong and rushes in the second half of games. You should be getting stronger as games go on.”


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Ryan knows Maybin well

Posted by Chris Brown on September 29, 2010 – 10:19 am

Jets head coach Rex Ryan knows Aaron Maybin a bit more than the average NFL head coach that doesn’t have him on their roster.

That’s because Ryan’s kids went to the same high school as Maybin in Baltimore when he was the Ravens’ defensive coordinator.

“When he came out of high school I thought he was the real deal,” said Ryan. “Even at Penn State I think he does have pass rush skills. He’s got an outstanding get-off, he can turn the edge on you. The production isn’t there initially, but you’ve got to be patient with the guy and Chan knows that. It’s probably just a matter of time before that kid turns the corner.

“Vernon Gholston has really turned the corner for us. A guy like Dwan Edwards, who I had in Baltimore struggled initially and then he became an outstanding player. I think you just have to patient. I think this young man will be an outstanding pass rusher. I just hope it’s not this week.”


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Gailey on Maybin

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2010 – 12:48 pm

Aaron Maybin has not seen a lot of time on the defensive side of the ball the first two weeks of the season. Head coach Chan Gailey made the situation plain as far as his outside linebacker is concerned.

“Obviously he’s got to get better versus the run,” said Gailey. “That’s the thing he is struggling the most with right now in terms of knowing every snap exactly where to play and how to play the run.
“He can be a good pass rusher for us, but if you’re only one-dimensional it hurts you sometimes. We have to be able to get him better versus the run. That’s what we’re working on and then I can see him getting a lot more playing time.”

Maybin has been working diligently to improve in the practice setting and in addition to the time he has seen on defense he’s also played on special teams.


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Maybin role defined

Posted by Chris Brown on September 1, 2010 – 7:51 am

A lot of Bills fans want to know just exactly what Aaron Maybin’s role will be this season. Head coach Chan Gailey made it pretty clear.

Appearing on Sirius NFL Radio with Peter King and Bob Papa, Gailey was asked about Maybin’s role and why he’s just playing in nickel and passing downs. Gailey described Maybin’s role as follows.

“He’s adjusting to the 3-4 down in and down out, first, second and third,” said Gailey. “We all know what an excellent pass rusher he is and he can be even better. If he’ll continue to work at it he can be a very, very good pass rusher. And he can be a third down and second and long presence for us on the field. That’s how I see him starting initially this season and then hopefully as time goes on he can continue to work himself into that outside backer mentality and size and everything to be able to play down in and down out.”

The follow up to that question was what players Gailey feel could be a handful for opponents, the kind of guys that create one-on-one matchup problems. Gailey went right back and referenced Maybin.

“I hope that in pass rush situations that Maybin becomes that guy. That’s what you hope,’ Gailey said. “He certainly has that kind of speed and quickness. But I don’t have that crystal ball to tell you that’s going to happen. He’s got some talent in that area and I think if he’ll continue to work at it he’ll have the chance to do that.”


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Maybin sees his game improving

Posted by Chris Brown on August 24, 2010 – 12:44 pm

Bills OLB Aaron Maybin believes he has made strides with his game in the team’s training camp.

“Without question,” he said. “Obviously, like I’ve been saying this whole time, I still feel like I have a long way to go. There’s still a lot I feel I have to improve on and all that kind of stuff. But as far as where I started at and where I’m at now, I feel great. I really think I’ve shown a lot of improvement.

“My coaches have said that they’ve been pleased with the improvement that I’ve shown and how much I’ve been able to learn. The key now is to keep building once we get back up to Buffalo.”

Maybin is still working on his counter moves to his speed rush and is still trying to shore up his coverage skills and run stopping skills to become more of an every down player.


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Fan Friday 8-13

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2010 – 12:57 pm

Fn Friday

My apologies for the two week hiatus on Fan Friday, but the demands of training camp made keeping up with your questions difficult. I hopefully answered a lot of your queries in my 90-minute live chat which can be found here. We hope to have another live chat before training camp concludes. As always you can send questions to me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Hey Chris – 

As important as Maybin’s development is to the function of the defense this year, I was wondering how he looked in summer workouts so far.  How is he adapting to OLB?  Does he appear more comfortable in his second year?

Best, 

David from Fairport
CB: Maybin’s speed rush has been very impressive. He’s bent the corner well and shown a good ability to dip his shoulder to get underneath opposing offensive tackles to put pressure on the quarterback. Where he needs to develop now is with a counter move that can keep opponents honest. A bull rush or a spin move are the kinds of counters that can work for a pass rusher his size. I’ve talked to him about developing those counters and he feels he’s on the right track.

2 – Chris,

One published report said that Chad Jackson ‘may have had the best off season’ of the skill positions.  From your reports, it seemed like several wide receivers looked just as good in the work outs.  And that doesn’t include Spiller, or Lynch or Jackson or any TE.  I realize we won’t know much about the rotation until the preseason games, but based on all reports, from you and other beat reporters,  other than the one saying Jackson was the “star” of the work outs, I have Jackson as the 6th WR if at all, behind Evans, Hardy, Johnson, Parrish, and Easley, at LEAST. At the moment I think a few of the Rookies, Roosavelt and Nelson for example, will be practice squad guys but MIGHT actually grab that 6th spot away from Jackson.  Do you agree? 

Regards,

Steve in Corning 

CB: Unfortunately when a reporter attends one or two practices and a receiver performs well it comes across like one guy is a superstar, when he may have just had a couple of good days. Head coach Chan Gailey has made no secret that a player has to put together several quality practice days together to impact the depth chart in addition to performance in the preseason.

Jackson has had some good days at training camp. Consistency and carrying that into the preseason games will be the key for him. Other receivers have been every bit as consistent as him if not more so.

Right now I would say Jackson is the fifth WR with Evans, Johnson, Parrish and rookie David Nelson ahead of him. And pushing him hard are rookies Donald Jones and Naaman Roosevelt. This thing is a long way from over though.

3 – I loved hearing Chan Gailey Mic’d. I am not the only one the whole Buffalo Bills Message board loved it. So I think you should have Gailey Mic’d up like once a week and put on buffalobills.com. I would love it and others would as well. I love hearing what Gailey brings to the table. He has a lot of intesity something Jauron never had and I am sure other want to hear more from Gailey also

Thanks for considering this idea.

Joe

CB: Glad you enjoyed it. We feel it helped paint a picture as to just what type of coach the Bills have. We hope to bring you more access like this. We’re fortunate that coach Gailey has been very accommodating in helping us provide special access to our fans at Buffalobills.com. We hope to do more of that, but in the regular season I believe things will be a bit tighter, which I think we can all understand, knowing games are on the line.

We’ll do what we can.

4 – Jairus started out great last year.  He kind of died off at the end 
of season, I guess  that is typical of rookies. Do we expect him to make a bigger impact this season?  How does he appear to be doing in Chan Gailey’s defense ?

Shawn Sieracki
Dallas Texas

CB: First, you’re being hard on Byrd in my opinion. The guy made just 11 starts and tied for the league lead in INTs with 9. The reason his play tailed off at the end of the season was because he was playing with a torn labrum in his hip which required offseason surgery and a five month rehabilitation.

By the looks of it he’s improving in the new defensive scheme. He’s blessed with natural instincts, now he’s working on blending those with the nuances of the new defensive system, which include more disguised coverages and interchangeable safeties.

5 – Hey Chris
 
 I just wanted to know what if you think that Aaron Schobel is the second best pass rusher in Bills history behind Bruce Smith and do you think the he has a shot on getting the Bills Wall of Fame?
 
Thanks for the time,
Josh Syracuse NY

CB: I think Schobel is the second best pass rusher in team history. He was blessed athletically, but simply played during arguably the worst decade in the team’s history as well. He rarely had comparable talent on the other side of the formation to draw attention away from him. He was the team’s pass rush for the last nine seasons and more often than not came through.

Factor in the fact that the Bills were often playing from behind and opponents were not forced to pass and his stats are even more respectable. As for the Wall of Fame I don’t know if he’s a slam dunk, but if I were voting, I would put him on the Wall of Fame.


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Maybin to see how he measures up

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2010 – 12:47 pm

For a lot of players the first preseason game is just about playing sound football and executing your assignments. The same holds true for Aaron Maybin, but he’s also anxious to see where his game measures up entering his second NFL season.

Maybin has worked diligently to improve his pass rush skills and wants to put them to the test Friday night.

“It’s definitely a measuring stick for us, definitely for me personally,” said Maybin of the preseason opener. “It’s one thing to gauge your performance against your teammates, but they see certain things and certain things are schemed in practice. In a game having a chance to go against another team you’re definitely going to get some looks that you haven’t seen before, go against some guys that don’t know your technique. It’s going to be good to gauge your performance against another team.”

Maybin will be going up against Washington top draft choice Trent Williams to start the game before facing some of the Redskins reserves at offensive tackle. A former number one pick himself, Maybin’s speed rush has looked impressive in the practice setting. He’s still working on some of his counter moves off of that and is generally pleased with his progress.

“I feel like I’m good. Me and my coaching staff we all feel comfortable,” he said. “We basically came into this season wanting to develop three or four small things and make sure those things I was executing to perfection. I think we’re getting to the point where I’m as comfortable as I’ve ever been with those things so I feel as though coming into this season that I’ve got a good arsenal to have under my belt.”


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Bills react to Schobel parting

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2010 – 12:48 pm

Some Bills players commented after practice this morning about the team’s decision to not have Aaron Schobel as a member of the roster in 2010.

DT Kyle Williams, one of Schobel’s two closest friends on the team understood it was a business decision by the club and admits he’ll miss him as a friend and teammate.

“Well, like Schobel’s always said, that’s the teams prerogative,” said Williams. “They wanted to move forward without him. He was OK with that. He saw that and he wanted to take his time with it, and they made their play. That’s what we’re going to work with and we’re going to play without him this year.

“I know this is a business and things tend to happen that you don’t expect. Like I said, we all know Schobel is a good player. There’s a lot of teams that would love to have him, but we don’t so we have to live with that.”

Meanwhile Aaron Maybin, who now carries the burden of picking up where Schobel left off as the linchpin on which the team’s pass rush hangs said he is ready to take on that responsibility, but realizes he has a long way to go to effectively fill those shoes.

“I believe that I am,” Maybin said. “Like I’ve been saying from day one, I have yet to prove myself in this league. I tell everybody that, and everybody on this team knows that and they know how hard I’m working and how bad I want this team to win and how bad I want to be a major contributor to that.

“So with this happening, it just means that it’s time for me to step it up and it’s time for me to really put myself in that position and that role for this team.”


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O-line identity explained

Posted by Chris Brown on July 30, 2010 – 1:29 pm

Training camp is where teams establish their identity, especially in year one under a new head coach, as is the case with the Bills. Bills center Geoff Hangartner provided a glimpse of that identity in the morning with his scrap with Aaron Maybin after the linebacker knocked the team’s leading rusher off his feet at the tail end of a run play.

“We’re trying to establish an identity on the O-line and taking care of our backs, and so it’s going to be physical and guys are going to have confrontations and that’s a part of football,” Hangartner said. “Any time you have a tussle or an altercation you always want your teammates to have your back. And if it was somebody else I would’ve jumped in there with them. I think it kind of builds team spirit.”

Maybin indicated that he knew what Hangartner’s reaction was all about.

“As teammates, you have no problem with something like that,” said Maybin. “Offensive players look out for each other, and exactly after it happened there were defensive guys that were sticking up for us. That’s just the nature of the game. You’re going to have guys stick up for each other but, truthfully, as a team that’s what you need. It’s never a positive thing to have a whole lot of fighting going on, but just the fact that there is camaraderie on the team and there is that willingness of guys to stick up for one another, that’s always a good thing.”

Hangartner reiterated that there are no hard feelings with Maybin and Maybin also said he wasn’t surprised how it escalated. Hangartner however, did admit to one mistake in deciding to take Maybin on.

“I picked kind of a bad time to do it though because it was the second play and I had six plays in a row and it really makes you winded so I was really tired for the next four plays,” he said chuckling.


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Hangartner protects

Posted by Chris Brown on July 30, 2010 – 10:52 am

Geoff Hangartner summed up his scrap with Maybin quite simply.

“You don’t hit our 1,000-yard rusher in the back when he’s not looking,” said Hangartner.

Maybin said he wasn’t surprised that the situation escalated.

“There’s never a dull moment and you knew sooner or later something was going to happen,” Maybin said.

The Bills center called the scrap with Maybin fun, and said there are no hard feelings afterwards.

“It’s over,” he said.


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1st scrap

Posted by Chris Brown on July 30, 2010 – 9:42 am

During run game drills Aaron Maybin knocked Fred Jackson to the ground at the tail end of a run play and Geoff Hangartner took umbrage.

The Bills center ran 15 yards across the field and grabbed Maybin throwing him to the ground and driving him backward.

There’s some fire here this morning. Players screaming at each other. Gotta love it.


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Fan Friday 7-23

Posted by Chris Brown on July 23, 2010 – 11:50 am

Just a few days until players report to training camp with practices getting started Thursday. Football is back Bills fans. On to your questions (AskChris@bills.nfl.net).

1 – I would feel much more comfortable if the Bills considered adding a veteran OT (Left Tackle) and an additional interior lineman prior to the start of the season. Last season was a nightmare for the line and we haven’t significantly added any talent. Bell is often hurt and still appears to be a project. Once again the Bills are in a rebuilding mode but the offense has to be able to run the ball and protect the QB plus sustain drives to keep the Defense off the field.

Paul

CB: I wouldn’t be on a veteran left tackle being added, unless there’s an injury or Bell is not recovered enough to get through camp. There has been no indication to this point that the latter will be the case. As for an interior reserve lineman, I think that’s more likely. Knowing beyond Kirk Chambers there is a combined four games of NFL experience for the other seven reserve guard/center candidates it wouldn’t surprise me if they sought some veteran presence that’s out on the market.

2 – Hi Chris,

First of all thanks for keeping me occupied during the off-season with great articles. Now my question is whether Chan Gailey will be as good as hyped up to be. It seems as though most fans are excited because he has a pretty good record as offensive coordinator. However he hasn’t actually been a coordinator in the NFL since 2001, (the Chiefs job doesn’t count in my mind) and the game has definitely changed since then, are we being to optimistic or do you think he will still be capable of putting players in the rights situations to score points?

Thanks,

John, Buffalo

CB: I don’t dispute that the league has changed and is more pass heavy than it’s ever been, but that doesn’t mean you can throw out Gailey’s ability to adjust. When in Kansas City they switched to Tyler Thigpen at QB and he completely changed the offense on the fly to a spread attack and scored points doing that. When he had non-premier QBs like Jay Fielder and a first-year starter in 25-year old Kordell Stewart he scored points. I’m optimistic the boring offensive games of the past will be history.

3 – Chris,

I have been watching the Bills for about 20 years now and I have learned one thing from our failures at succeeding.  We can’t keep a coach on the field for more than a couple years. I was not a particular fan of last year’s coaching but I really like Gailey’s confidence and his past abilities.  Do you see Chan staying here for the long haul or is this another temporary fix.  It seems like we don’t keep a coach on long enough to let their master plan grow, yet we always see one side of the field excel ie) Defense.  Where do you see our coaching staff in 5 years? It will clearly take a few years to notice a change.

Dave ~ O.Park, NY

CB: It’s my hope that Gailey is here for the long haul. It’s clear that he and Buddy Nix want to go about rebuilding this team the right way, through the draft, with reasonably priced free agent additions that can fill in holes. That takes time, so hopefully they’re both in place for a good while knowing how important continuity is to success in the NFL.

4 – Hey Chris,
With so much talent at cornerback (McGee, McKelvin, Florence, Corner, Youboty, Sargeant, Lankster), and only so many roster spots at that position, is there any interest in trading one of the corners so that they don’t have to simply release them in roster cuts?  Baltimore in particular is hurting at the cornerback position, which appears to be the only thing to keep them from being an elite team.  Do you know if the possibility of trading an extra corner for a medium-to-high round draft pick or anything has ever come up?
-Chris, PA

CB: I wouldn’t rule it out, but as the saying goes, ‘You can never have too many cornerbacks.’ The injury bug has bit them hard at that position the past few years, so I’m not sure if parting with any of them is in their plans.

I respect your idea of trying to improve another area of the team by parting with a player from a position of strength, but I don’t know what moving one would get in return of any great value. Obviously it would depend on who you’re offering up. My suspicion is if Buddy Nix were looking to make a trade this late in the offseason, he’d be doing it with the thought of getting something to add to his team right now in the form of a player rather than a draft choice.

Of course if someone came to him with some draft choices in exchange for a player from a position of strength that would be a different story.

5 – Hey Chris – 

As important as Maybin’s development is to the function of the defense this year, I was wondering how he looked during spring and summer workouts so far.  How is he adapting to OLB?  Does he appear more comfortable in his second year?

Best, 
David from Fairport

CB: Maybin looked confident in his new role, but he is still adjusting to the different reads in this scheme. I think we’ll be able to judge him more effectively when the pads are on in camp. But he certainly has the physical skill set to come off the edge and get in the offensive backfield.

I’m not sure they’re going to put much more on his plate than that, especially if Schobel does in fact retire. Part of the reason they acquired Reggie Torbor was to supplement Maybin’s abilities at that outside linebacker position.


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Schobel question part 2

Posted by Chris Brown on July 10, 2010 – 9:26 am

While we cover the main Schobel question in our Countdown to Camp on the home page of Buffalobills.com (19 – Will Schobel officially retire?) what also needs to be considered is how that would impact Buffalo’s defense if he did in fact call it a career.

Obviously it would put a lot more pressure on second-year OLB Aaron Maybin to be the lead pass rushing threat. And though Maybin has 16 NFL games under his belt, he has never lined up as an OLB in a 3-4 defensive scheme on an NFL field. Executing his assignments consistently at game speed will be the first hurdle to clear let alone being productive as a pass rusher.

Fortunately for Maybin the 3-4 is so much more difficult for opposing offenses to decipher pre-snap that he should be afforded enough opportunities to make big plays for Buffalo’s defense.


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Fan Friday 7-2

Posted by Chris Brown on July 2, 2010 – 12:47 pm

Hey Bills fans, we’re into the dead period before training camp, but that doesn’t mean that your questions aren’t welcome (AskChris@bills.nfl.net). Have a Happy 4th everybody.
1 – I was wondering with the changing of head coaches where last year there was a surplus of dbs, Do you see a surplus of wide receivers/tes this year with Gailey being offensive minded.
B. Joyce

CB: That’s an interesting question, though it should be mentioned that Chan Gailey’s predecessor, though he was a defensive-minded coach, two of his four years as head coach he kept six receivers. Most of the time he kept three tight ends.

I think under Gailey knowing his priority on running the ball will likely carry four tight ends with an emphasis on blocking ability. An extra tight end on the roster could mean one less receiver actually so there might be just five instead of six. Plus there are enough quality rookie wideouts on the roster right now that you could conceivably practice squad one or two and live with five on the active to start the season.

The roster decisions should be different this year though than years past.

2 – Hi Chris,

In light of injuries, don’t you think the Bills front office should think about more depth ? NT J’Vonne Parker is still available.   He played in Denver along with Andra Davis.  Mr. Davis is sure to have the skinny on him.    Although Ed Wang was not projected to be a starting LT, certainly there must be some concern by the staff considering this critical position.  Do you foresee any developments on the free agent front?

CB: The good news is Ed Wang will be fine for training camp though he did not make a return to the field before the end of mandatory minicamp. I think depth at nose tackle is not their greatest concern. I think where the depth could be an issue is at the interior offensive line positions.

Outside of veteran Kirk Chambers, who played mostly guard in the spring, there is a combined 3 games of NFL experience for the other seven candidates that play guard or center on the roster. To me that’s a scary thought. So if there are any additions made, I anticipate it to be made there.

3 – Hey Chris,

I know everyone has their questions about the new offense under Coach Gailey that is being implemented and I guess my question won’t be any different. However, mine is concerned with the WR position this fall.  With Lee Evans the obvious #1 and James Hardy emerging as the possible  #2, who do you see filling out the rest of the pecking order for this  position with all the talent we have at that position in guys like Parrish, Johnson, Easley, Roosevelt, Huggins, Jones and anyone else? 
Thanks for all the news as always.

Korey
Ashville, NY

CB: I don’t think Hardy has anything locked down by any means and even he would tell you that. He got off to a slow start in the spring coming off an injury and Steve Johnson had arguably the most consistent spring. Marcus Easley showed big play ability and the rookie free agents all showed they’re capable of playing on this level.

I think Roscoe is the top slot guy, but the #2 WR role is wide open going into camp. I personally would narrow it down to Hardy, Johnson and Easley, but Chan Gailey isn’t doing that.

4 – Chris
We have heard very little about Kyle Williams. Will he be our nose tackle? How is he doing? I know he is a great player but is he a fit at nose tackle and if not who is,and then where would Kyle play?

Ron from Greensboro , NC

CB: Kyle is the starting nose tackle. Defensive coordinator George Edwards realizes Williams does not have the prototypical size of a nose, so he’s going to adjust the scheme accordingly, though he won’t say what those adjustments will be. I believe that when all is said and done that Kyle will play about 75 percent of the snaps at the nose with Torell Troup playing 25 percent. Williams will be in for any and all passing down situations, with Troup giving him a break on some obvious run downs.

5 – Hey Chris
 
Just wanted to know what you think on the Torbor signing? Also do you think that he could start at OLB this year or will it be Kelsay and Maybin getting those posiitons? and if Kelsay and Maybin do take the OLBs will Mitchell get ILB with Poz or will Davis take that away?

CB: A lot of questions there. I like Torbor as veteran insurance. He’s a guy that knows the scheme and it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s used as a situational player on the outside, like on run downs with Maybin rotating in for passing situations. Kelsay, Ellis and Batten are the candidates for the strong side LB position.

Mitchell is facing stiff competition from Andra Davis. Mitchell is coming off a major injury and Davis has good working knowledge of the 3-4 system. It’ll be one of the best training camp battles this summer.


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Maybin and retired Bill teaming up

Posted by Chris Brown on July 2, 2010 – 9:41 am

Bills OLB Aaron Maybin and former Bills safety Keion Carpenter have merged their charitable endeavors to co-host the 2nd Annual Commitment for Change football camp in Baltimore, Maryland.

The six-day clinic teaches football and life lessons. The camp runs from July 5th to July 10th. Current Bills Lydell Sargeant and Lonnie Harvey will be joining Maybin and Carpenter as well as former Bills WR Peerless Price.

Here’s more information on the camp.


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Fan Friday 6-11

Posted by Chris Brown on June 11, 2010 – 11:56 am

OTAs are more than half over then a mandatory minicamp and it’s break time before training camp. Remember questions can be emailed to AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Now to your questions.

1 – Hi Chris,

I have a question about injured reserve. Players like Demetrius Bell and Eric Wood finished the year on the IR.

Are they technically still on IR? Can they stay on IR and NOT count against the 80 man roster until they are “activated” (or do IR exemptions only apply to the 53 man roster?) Do players on IR have to be activated by July 29th / start of training camp?

Sincerely,
Tim N.

CB: After the Super Bowl is over there is a period of time in February where players are removed from the injured reserve list. At this point in time, provided they are still under contract with the club they count toward the team’s 80-man offseason roster limit. Leaving them on injured reserve is not an option.

If however, they are unable to pass a physical prior to the start of training camp they would be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list at which point they would count as a player on the roster unless they were designated as Reserve-PUP like James Hardy was last summer.

2 – Hi Chris, How do you see the 3-4 defense faring during the season? Do you think that Chris Kelsay and Aaron Schobel will make the most of their new roles as outside linebackers? Turning to offense: How do you see the Bills offense performing during the season barring injury? The addition of C. J. Spiller and Marcus Easley helps, but will it be enough? I will look forward to your answer.
Tony, Daytona Beach, Florida

CB: Well at this point it’s hard to determine what Chris Kelsay is capable of at his new position. I think we’ll get a better handle on that at training camp. Aaron Schobel is a big ‘if’ because he’s leaning toward retirement. That means players like Aaron Maybin, Chris Ellis, Reggie Torbor and Danny Batten will be the other candidates.

I like the way Batten has moved in space. He’s better than I thought he’d be at this point knowing he too is switching from a defensive end position. Ellis has some potential and Torbor is a veteran. Maybin I envision playing a big role on passing downs.

With respect to the offense I think Chan Gailey is going to need to be very creative to get chunk yardage plays this year. I believe we’ll see a heavy emphasis on running the ball because to this point no quarterback has definitively demonstrated that they deserve the starting job.

I believe Spiller and Easley will both contribute as rookies, Spiller more so right away, but Easley has been impressive in spring camps. We’ll see if that continues when the pads go on in late July.

3 – Hey Chris,

  I’m confused about why the Bills don’t make more of an effort to get Gaither from the Ravens to put at LT and then sign Flozell Adams and have him play RT. I really think that would be a wise choice, because then we could see what our QB’s on the current roster really have to offer. So what if it is for 1yr at least next yr we would know what direction to go in the draft. If the guys on the current roster couldn’t produce with a that front unit then we would know we need to get new QB’s. But if they perform well then we would know we need to build up the line more in next yrs draft.

Garrett from PA.

CB: First of all no one really knows what kind of effort has been put together by the Bills to land a veteran left tackle via trade. Gaither has been the subject of trade talks according to reports and many suspect the Bills. Gaither however, has a history of not being the most dedicated player. It’s unclear if that is enough of a red flag to dissuade the Bills from pursuing him.
I understand your point of improving the tackles to gain a better assessment of the quarterbacks. It’s a valid argument. I just get the feeling that the Bills intend to build this thing steadily and not fill holes with quick fixes that may or may not work.

4 – I have noticed that Marcus McNeill has not signed his RFA tender yet.  I have not seen any news out of SD with regard to this, is he not happy?  I was wondering if it is worth Buffalo giving up a 1st and a 3rd next year for someone who is a ProBowl caliber OT who could fill the position for years to come with out the potential baggage that Baltimore’s Gauthier seems to have with work ethic and feet.  What are your thoughts?
James Bancroft

CB: As I blogged earlier this week McNeill and the Chargers are at a bit of standoff. McNeill believes his Pro Bowl resume makes him deserving of a long term contract. The problem is San Diego already has a handful of high-priced players and seemed to be inclined to bide their time in giving McNeill an extension, hoping he would sign his one-year restricted tender so they could buy another year before handing out the big money, especially with some labor uncertainty.

The Chargers have reportedly threatened to reduce his tender amount on June 15th, something they’re permitted to do under league rules by 110%. So his salary for 2010 would go from $2.4M to $583K. But word is McNeill is willing to hold out to get what he feels he deserves. San Diego has signed veteran tackle Tra Thomas in case McNeill stands firm in his position.

Whether they would trade a young, talented player I believe would depend on how contentious this stand off gets. The Bills could use a proven left tackle and not only is McNeill familiar with Buddy Nix from his time with the Chargers, but there are two former college teammates on the Bills roster in Spencer Johnson and Reggie Torbor. It’s a situation that bears watching no doubt.

5 – Chris,
Aaron Maybin appears to have the right work ethic to be successful with the Bills. I think he was a victim of coaches last year, that never gave him a chance. How do you see Maybin being utilize in the 3-4 defense and will he live up to his potential as 1st round pick?
 
GO BILLS!
William, Schenectady, NY
 
CB: Maybin himself has said he has some adjustments to make in the Bills new 3-4 scheme. His responsibilities are different and more varied in this system. I think it’s safe to expect him to have a more prominent role in terms of the pass rush. He’ll definitely be on the field on any passing downs, but this staff may choose to play stouter ends on run downs. It’s something that we’ll have to keep an eye on through the preseason games.


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Fan Friday 6-4

Posted by Chris Brown on June 4, 2010 – 2:33 pm

OTAs and minicamps are in full swing. Stay close to Buffalobills.com for exclusive highlights from the practice field. Let’s get to your questions (AskChris@bills.nfl.net).

1 – Chris,
How are the young group of linebackers looking? Does Aaron Maybin look to be a fit at outside linebacker?  How about Chris Ellis?  Going to the 3-4 makes our linebacker play crucial if we are going to have a good defense.
 
Thanks,
William J. Nason
Woodbridge, VA

CB: Maybin looks the part and I think he’s a lock to be out there in obvious passing situations to take advantage of his pass rushing prowess. I do however see him getting pushed for a role on first and second downs from Chris Ellis, who is stouter against the run.

I also would like to see more of rookie Antonio Coleman when the pads go on in camp. He has some good looking pass rushing moves and I’d like to see them on display in something closer to a game-like setting.

2 – What kind of offense do you see the Bills implementing this season? I hope it won’t be too complex. When trying to jell, simple is better.

Sam Corona

CB:
I think you can bank on there being a strong emphasis on the run game. It’s one of Chan Gailey’s trademarks. A lot of shifts and motions are also staples in his offenses in an effort to throw opposing defenses off, and he does have a lot of them.

The Bills defensive players have already commented on how much more challenging Gailey’s offense is to figure in practice because of all the pre-snap motion.

His offense however, will adapt and change as we move into training camp to fit the strengths of his players, so making a definitive call on what it will look like right now is premature.

3 – Chris,
Any chance we keep all 4 qbs on our active roster come opening day?
Thanks!
A Byrnes

CB: This is an excellent question that I’ve thought about myself. I highly doubt that all four quarterbacks will be kept on the roster.

I think Levi Brown is a lock as a developmental number three quarterback at worst. So the remaining two spots will go to two of the three that were on the roster last season.

In fact it wouldn’t shock me if before the close of training camp one that isn’t deemed an answer as a starter is moved via trade.

4 – Chris:
Am I off base with the thought that the Bills (after round #1) selected players that may not be currently the best at their positions coming out of the draft, but with NFL Coaching have the potential to be better than those players rated higher because of greater athletic upside, work ethic and intelligence?
 
Thanks
Joe
Blasdell

CB: I think part of what you’re saying is accurate. I believe the Bills newly configured personnel department put a greater emphasis on player work ethic because they’ve grown tired of having even one or two players on the roster where coaches wonder what they’re going to get out of them each and every Sunday. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to ignore supremely talented players that might not have an impeccable work ethic.

I think it’s only safe to say that player work ethic was a bit more of a factor this year, but it was not the end all, be all. You still need talent to win in this league.

As far as intelligence goes, that’s a prerequisite to play in this league and is always considered a major asset.

Since most Bills fans that took issue with Buffalo’s draft class had issues with picks 2, 3 and 4 I will state for the record that Torell Troup, Alex Carrington and Marcus Easley are extremely athletic based on what I’ve seen thus far in the spring camps.

I don’t think the Bills sacrificed anything in the way of pure athletic talent to take hard working players. I think the Bills college scouting and personnel departments were extremely astute in taking talented players that had a work ethic to match.

5 – Hey Chris
I would like to know your opinion on the chance that Stevie Johnson could play opposite Lee Evans as the number 2 receiver. He’s good at the slot position, but I think that Steve would be able to play any position for receiver whether it be slot or wideout.

Thanks,
Chris L.

CB: Johnson has received snaps opposite Lee Evans with the first unit as the flanker or boundary receiver in the OTAs and minicamp setting. He’s very much a part of that number 2 receiver competition. On the whole he’s performed relatively well.

James Hardy is currently his most ardent competitor for the role.
I also would not rule out rookie Marcus Easley who has made some impressive plays thus far this spring and has demonstrated a knack for making the big play.

We’ll see how this competition changes when the pads go on.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Wed. player radio appearances

Posted by Chris Brown on June 1, 2010 – 4:55 pm

Here’s the rundown of where you can find Bills players on the radio airwaves Wednesday morning.

Fred Jackson – Morning Show, Fan 590 Toronto @ 7:40 AM  (listen online)
Aaron Maybin – Morning Bull, 103.3 The Edge approx. 8 AM (listen online)
Ed Wang – Norton in the Morning, 97 Rock @ 8:30 AM (listen online)


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Player radio appearances

Posted by Chris Brown on May 26, 2010 – 3:59 pm

More Bills on the radio airwaves for Thursday. Here’s the rundown.

Ryan Fitzpatrick – Norton in the Morning, 97 Rock @ 8:00 AM (listen online)
CJ Spiller – Janet and Nick, Kiss 98.5 @ 8:00 AM
Aaron Maybin – Morning Bull, 103.3 The Edge after 8 AM (listen online)
Fred Jackson – Red Heat w/ Cam Stewart, Hardcore Sports Radio – SIRIUS NFL Radio @ 5:40 PM


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Posted in Inside the Bills