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Inside The Bills

Bowen lands with Skins

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2009 – 7:53 pm

Recently released LB Alvin Bowen has landed with the Washington Redskins.

Released by Buffalo’s practice squad earlier this week, Bowen, a former fifth-round pick was signed to Washington’s practice squad according to the National Football Post. The Redskins moved Darell Young off their practice squad to make room for Bowen.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-21

Posted by Chris Brown on August 22, 2009 – 12:59 am

Another training camp is in the books, but preseason continues, and Aaron Maybin is in. Here’s some of your latest and greatest questions. Keep them coming.

1. Chris;
 
Every time I see Trent get ready to throw the ball, he keeps looking right at the receiver. Don’t you think,as I do,that the opponents see that and know exactly where to go? Shouldn’t he try to bluff a little?
 
Thanks.
Sonny, LF.

CB:  While I agree that looking off safeties before delivering the ball to the primary or secondary target is important, I do not agree that Trent does that every time he throws the ball. In fact I think he’s improved in this area a lot over this past offseason.

I’m not saying he’s perfected looking safeties off down in and down out, but I think he’s made significant strides in that area of his game. The only time I’ve seen him stare down a receiver so far this summer is on his interception in the Hall of Fame game. He did look at Lee for a bit on that play. Other than that he’s been much better.

2. Chris: With Marshawn Lynch sitting out the first three games of the year, do you think Fred Jackson and Dominic Rhodes can shoulder the load? Will teams respect the Bills’ running game, given that their primary weapon is not there?
 
With the changing of the offensive line, do you think the Bills’ will successfully protect Trent Edwards?
 
Tony Falzone, Daytona Beach, Fl

CB: I think the Bills running game won’t drop off much with Jackson and Rhodes, and one team that respects Jackson more than anyone is New England after he ran for over 100 against them in the season finale last year. With that ridiculous wind they knew he was going to run and they still could not stop him. I think Rhodes and Jackson are more than capable for three games.

As for the line protecting Trent I think it will be a work in progress. Even coach Jauron is expecting some growing pains. It’s a lot to pull together in one offseason, but if this no huddle can work effectively at top speed it could help mask some of those growing pains up front.
3. Hi Chris,
 
I was wondering, with all the talent at the WR position this season, how many WR’s do you see the Bills keeping and who do you think that it will be?

I mean Evans, T.O. and probably Reed are the obvious choices, but after that? What are the chances for Parrish, Hardy, Steve Johnson and the other WR’s currently on the roster.
 
Thanks for taking you time to answer the questions of the non-US fans and go Bills!
 
Niels Wester, Denmark

CB:It’s certainly going to be a tough set of decisions for that position. You’re right the top five right now are Evans, Owens, Reed, Parrish and Johnson. In two out of the three previous seasons under Jauron they’ve kept six receivers on the 53-man roster. In all likelihood the sixth receiver will be James Hardy.

Justin Jenkins I believe deserves an awful lot of consideration. He’s improved his route running a great deal and is one of the two best gunners on the special teams top ranked punt team.

Logicall it’s hard to see how a coaching staff as much as they would like, can keep seven receivers. They’d be pulling away from some other position. However, there is one way I could see them keeping seven receivers and that’s with the extra roster spot they’d have at their disposal due to the suspension of Marshawn Lynch.

Effective Sept. 5, the Bills could and probably will put Lynch on the reserve/suspended list and he would not count toward a roster spot when the roster is reduced to 53. With that extra spot at their disposal they could choose to use it on a seventh receiver.

Three weeks later when the Lynch’s suspension is over they’ll have to make a decision again to make room for Lynch on the roster. But who knows, there could be an injury at the receiver position over those first three weeks and suddenly they’re down to six receivers.

I know it’s probably unlikely, but with the Lynch suspension they’ll have an extra roster spot to play with. Maybe just maybe they keep seven WRs.
4. Hi Chris,

How is Alvin Bowen coming along? I know he had a good training camp last year but went down due to injury. Does he have any chance at starting over Ellison?

Thanks.
Kay

CB: Bowen is doing well. Since Ashlee Palmer suffered an ankle injury in the HOF game Bowen has moved up to the second unit at weak side LB behind Kawika Mitchell. However, I do not think he displaces Ellison as the starter. The most likely candidate to do that is rookie Nic Harris, who is having a solid preseason.

5. Hey Chris,
 
I’m reading an article from Pat Kirwan of nfl.com and it says that the Bills plan to implement some 3-4 defense this year. I was wondering if you had any idea how often that will happen, and what the line-up would be in such a formation?
 
I assume Stroud in the middle is a given, and on the outside Schobel and Kelsay? Or would they potentially mix in Spencer Johnson, for more of a typically large 3-4 DE?
 
What about the linebackers? Who becomes the second ILB with Poz? Would Maybin get some opportunities as a pass-rushing OLB?
 
Thanks Chris!
 
–Brad

CB: No information as to how often we might see it this season, and I haven’t seen it in the camp practices at all under the live team work setting. I think the main reason for considering it is Aaron Maybin. Much like you do I do foresee them sometimes using Maybin as a rush linebacker in a 3-4 kind of look. That would obviously only be in obvious passing situations, so that’s when I’d be on the lookout for it.

Since it would be a passing situation I’d also expect to see Schobel and possibly Chris Ellis at the ends.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hard to see SLB not being Ellison

Posted by Chris Brown on July 7, 2009 – 1:19 am

With the strong side linebacker job Keith Ellison’s to lose, and his best competition expected to be two players that do not have NFL experience (Bowen, Harris) it’s hard to see the four-year veteran being the starter come September and here’s why.

If you read our training camp question 19 on the home page it’s clear the coaching staff values playing experience at the NFL level. And in a season when making the playoffs is pretty much a must I’ve got to believe that the staff will feel more comfortable with a savvy vet like Ellison on the field.

The only thing that trumps that as I see it is a remarkable playmaking preseason by Bowen or Harris.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 7-3

Posted by Chris Brown on July 3, 2009 – 2:45 pm

Happy 4th of July weekend everybody, and thanks to our service men and women who keep us a free country so we can continue to celebrate that independence. Now onto your questions.

1. Chris,
Which safeties, free safeties and corners will make the 53 man roster? How will they impact Whitner’s play? Thanks
 
Carol

CB: I think the safeties that make the roster are Whitner, Scott, Byrd, Wilson and Wendling. Wilson and Wendling because of their value to special teams. If Byrd comes along quickly and has a monster camp he could start at FS which would move Whitner to full time SS. If Byrd takes longer to develop, Whitner will be the FS and Bryan Scott the SS.
As for cornerbacks I think at least five make the roster.

 

2. Hi Chris,
I’m concerned about the outside LB spot vacated by Angelo Crowell. Who’s going to start? It’s obvious that Keith Ellison can’t remain the starter. Are the Bills content and certain that Nic Harris is the answer?
Charles

CB: It’s Ellison’s job to lose. He’s clearly got the edge in experience and is a heady player to begin with. His main competition will be Alvin Bowen and Nic Harris. We’ll see what shakes loose in camp and the preseason.

 

3. Dear Chris,
Is Trent Edwards a leader of this team or not?
It is a question I don’t hear much asked but it is very important for the future of the team.
Is Trent Edwards a leader? Is he considered a team leader? Is he a leader in the locker room? Does he take command during games and lead? Does he have that Kellyesque field general mentality that we need. I’m starting to have my doubts.
What’s your take? If you could answer this question, I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you for your time.
 
Die Hard Bills Fan,
Jack Harmsen
Buzzards Bay, Ma

CB: I think Trent Edwards can be a leader for this team. By no means is he as in your face as Kelly was because he doesn’t have the same personality. What complicated his stepping into a leadership role last year was the presence of J.P. Losman. It’s very hard to step forward and lead when the guy that used to do that is standing behind you.

As a young starter I think Trent really wrestled with that last year. It’s also hard to lead when you haven’t accomplished a lot yet in your career. When you’ve been there and done that it’s easier to take charge. I think Trent will be a more demonstrative leader this year because Losman is gone and the coaching staff has given him a huge vote of confidence with the added offensive responsibilities he now has.

 

4. Hey Chris,
 
I just read about T.O. having some of the mini camp workouts being shot for a VH1 show.  With other things already causing a bit of a distraction (off the field issues) do you think this is something that could’ve been shut down?  Do you think it’ll affect the players and coaches focus as we try to rebuild with the new acquisitions?
 
Thanks,
Kyle

CB: First of all, to my knowledge the VH-1 cameras will not be allowed at One Bills Drive in any capacity during practices or the regular work day for the players. So affecting player focus doesn’t appear to be an issue. The show isn’t about football at all, but rather Owens’ off the field life. So the only person who could be distracted is Owens and I don’t see that happening as hard as he practices and plays. The game is too important to him.

 

5. With pretty talented depth at Cornerback, do you see McKelvin as an elite corner in the league now that he will be starting on the other side of McGee?

CB: I think Leodis McKelvin has the potential to be an elite cornerback in the league, yes. It is my contention that he will be a Pro Bowl cornerback in the near future. Probably not this year, but it will happen in the next 2 to 3 years in my opinion. I think he can be that good.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-19

Posted by Chris Brown on June 19, 2009 – 7:25 pm

We’re in the doldrums before training camp, but there are still some issues to discuss concerning the team. You can always submit questions to AskChris@bills.nfl.net.
1. Hi Chris-
Any truth to the reports that the K-Gun is returning to the Buffalo offense?
If so…what are your thoughts.
-Jeremy Reiner
CB: I think it’s safe to assume that some elements of the K-Gun offense are being incorporated into Buffalo’s offensive scheme with their no huddle package. But the K-Gun in its entirety I think is unrealistic.

I like that the Bills are turning to the no huddle more to make it more difficult for defenses to substitute and get set pre-snap. Of course the Bills offense has to prove it can sustain drives with consistency as well because if they can’t it puts a lot more pressure on the defense to stop people.

Knowing coach Jauron comes from a defensive background, I’m not sure you should expect to see an overwhelming amount of no huddle. I believe it will be used more, but if you’re looking for more than half a game of no huddle week in and week out I think you’re getting your hopes up.

 

2. Would it be a bad idea if Mr. Nelson got reps as fullback, not only to improve his blocking skills, but to add a fullback weapon ala ‘that guy from Lewiston.’
Sean

CB: I’m assuming you’re talking about Shawn Nelson. At 6’5” putting Nelson at fullback even on the move is a bad idea as I see it. First, blocking as a fullback is different than as a tight end. Linebackers are often coming at you with a head of steam as opposed to a defensive end butting heads with you at the line.

Second, the coaching staff has already made a point of keeping the information flow to Nelson at a manageable level as they have him focused primarily on route running within the offensive scheme, knowing that’s where he can help them the most as a rookie. The blocking will come later since they have two other tight ends to handle it.

And that guy from Lewiston, Moose Johnston and Nelson are two completely different players.

 
3. Has there been any thought given to asking Bruce Smith in to some of the camps to work with Maybin???  Given his skill set, Bruce has a lot to tech a guy with Maybin’s raw physical talents

Steve Ward
Miamisburg, OH

CB: That’s not a bad idea, but I just don’t see Bruce interested in coaching. I know Steve Tasker has volunteered his time to help Bobby April on occasion with special teams skills, but Bruce was such a great player. As Phil Hansen once explained to me, Bruce could contort his body in a way that no one else could in terms of bending the corner. He’d run upfield straight, while his upper torso was turned 90 degrees and hand fighting the offensive tackle.

Marcellus Wiley once told me he tried to do what Bruce did and just kept falling down. So what Bruce knows how to do I’m not sure can be effectively applied to most players on Buffalo’s roster today.

 
4. Chris,
 
Why isn’t Tom Modrak given more credit for the outstanding job he does on day two of the draft (ex. McGee, Ellison, Williams and Butler)?  By the way, this year’s 4th (TE-Nelson) is a home-run.
 
Guy Devitt

CB: I think the reason is pretty simple. The team hasn’t been successful in terms of winning records and playoff appearances. So as a result those associated with the team aren’t recognized outside of the walls of One Bills Drive for the good work that they do.

I think Modrak’s record as a talent evaluator speaks for itself, well beyond just what he’s done with the Bills. Everyone forgets how much heat he took as GM in Philadelphia when he took Donovan McNabb instead of Ricky Williams with the fifth overall pick. I think that has to be one of his best calls and for it to come with a top five pick was big.

 
5. Chris,

Who from last year’s draft class will have an impact this season?  I know everyone is counting on McKelvin and Hardy but I’m very interested in how Alvin Bowen and Chris Ellis will do coming off of injuries.
 
Thanks,
John

CB: I think that Derek Fine has a chance to make an impact with the starting tight end job up for grabs after the release of Robert Royal. I anticipate he and Derek Schouman to battle it out for the top job. But Fine has looked good in the passing game and has a good chemistry with Trent Edwards. Not that Schouman doesn’t, but I think Fine’s got a shot.

Ellis is flying under the radar with all the hype surrounding top pick Aaron Maybin. I’m really interested to see what Ellis can bring to the table in camp when the pads go on. I think Bowen is also capable of pushing veteran Keith Ellison for the starting outside linebacker job. So you’re on the mark with some guys to keep an eye on.

Reggie Corner could land the nickel job as well and Demetrius Bell could be the swing tackle behind Butler and Walker. Not a bad draft class huh? (See Modrak question 4).


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-12

Posted by Chris Brown on June 12, 2009 – 5:26 pm

Fan Friday 6-12
Well minicamp is wrapped up and now begins the six week hiatus until training camp. Something tells me it’s going to move quickly. Let’s get going with the latest installment. Thanks for your questions. Keep them coming at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.
1. Do you see the Bills extending the deals of any more players on their roster like they did with Stroud? Guys like McGee, Josh Reed, Denney, Whitner, Poz and a few others only have 1-2 years left on the deals. Getting a few of them locked up would be a good move.

CB: I believe that on the list of guys you have that McGee is top priority. He’s still in the prime of his career and has been an outstanding performer for the Bills from day one. He’s a model professional, plays hurt and keeps his nose clean.

That’s the kind of guy the Bills typically lock up long term (see Lee Evans) so I expect that to get done before the 2009 season is over.

As for Reed and Denney the situation is a little different. Reed has had back issues through the course of his career and to his credit he’s fought through them and performed. Knowing how much Trent relies on Reed it wouldn’t surprise me if he was extended, but with some promising young receivers on the rise (Hardy, Johnson), I’m not sure you can say he’s a lock to get an extension.

Denney is in a similar boat. A solid, steady performer, but with the team invested in Chris Ellis and Aaron Maybin I’m not sure he’s re-signed long term.

Whitner and Poz I anticipate will be taken care of eventually, but probably not this calendar year.

 

2. Do the Bills believe Bell is ready to step in and contribute at this time? Going to have to have the O-line do a lot of work to get them to work together for this year with all the new players….also, I wonder if Walker can hold up at left tackle for 16 games? Your thoughts????
Thanks,
Joseph

CB: I don’t think there’s any doubt that the biggest question mark entering the season will be how far the offensive line can come with all the new pieces.

As for Bell I don’t anticipate him challenging Walker or Butler to start, but I do think the staff believes he’s ready to handle the swing tackle role if he’s able to win that job over Kirk Chambers, who has held it the past two seasons.

Walker’s strength as a tackle is in pass protection, which might surprise some people looking at him. That’s a good thing knowing he’s going over to the left side, but he will be facing some top flight pass rushing talent with the schedule this season.

 

3. Chris,
Its my understanding that Aaron Maybin weighed about 250lbs. at Penn States pro day, at which he displayed consistant 4.6 speed.  Is it likely the Bills will have him continue his growth atleast 10 more pounds, and if so does his quickness remain the same?

CB: Talking to Aaron about this very subject you need to understand he just turned 21 in April so his frame is still just filling out. He said he’d like to be around 255 by his second NFL season, which I think is sufficient. He’s confident he can maintain his speed at that weight.

 

4. Hey Chris,
How are contract negotiations going with the rookies? I just saw that Sanchez got his contract and I was just wondering when our rookies are going to be signed. Thanks!

David Rieth
Rochester, NY

CB: Negotiations are just in the preliminary stages with some of Buffalo’s later round picks. I don’t see signings beginning for at least another week or so. However, with San Francisco (which picked ahead of the Bills in most rounds) setting the market by signing players right around Buffalo’s picks early it might grease the wheels a bit. We’ll see.

 

5. Hi Chris,
I was just curious if the Bills are looking to upgrade the outside linebacker position with what’s still left in the market or are they content with the youngsters they have on the roster.  I also am curious if you know the status of Derrick Brooks?  Is he still looking for work or did he decide to hang it up?  If he is still looking for a contract, do you think the Bills should take a 1 year chance on him until they can develop Nic Harris or Al Bowen?
 
Thanks,
Kevin

CB: I believe the club will stand pat at OLB heading into camp. Injury could change that, but I don’t see them pursuing Derrick Brooks, though it makes sense with his familiarity with the system. I think the coaching staff has a lot of faith that Alvin Bowen and Nic Harris can be legitimate competition for Keith Ellison and from what I’ve seen I would agree.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-5

Posted by Chris Brown on June 5, 2009 – 8:25 pm

OTAs are almost over and then it’s three days of minicamp before the six week break. Hard to believe training camp is around the corner. On to your questions.

1. Hello Chris,

What are the chances the Bills trade Kelsay with or without Parrish to get Scheffler? Denver needs to improve their defense and we need to get a TE badly. We also have Maybin now… And shouldn’t we sign one of the remaining free agent linebackers? It seems like if we could be put this all together, the Bills could be a real competitor this year. What do you think?

Thanks,

Preston

CB: I don’t see it happening, mainly because Denver has recently come out and said how much they intend to make use of Scheffler in their offense. Some might see that as window dressing to move him, but knowing that Kyle Orton won’t be slinging it downfield nearly as much as Cutler did for Denver, makes Scheffler that much more valuable as an intermediate receiving threat. Minus Cutler Denver will need to hold onto all the offensive talent they’ve got and Scheffler is too valuable to part with.

 

2. Chris,
What is the situation with Shawn Nelson?
How much are Xavier Omon and Marcus Smith being used in practice?  Do they have a reasonable chance of making the 53 man roster?  Do you see the team keeping a backup center, and if so, who?  Do you think Chris Ellis is making much progress, I expected a little more from him last year (I know you can’t expect too much from rookies).  Are any of the undrafted guys making much of an impression (maybe Ashlee Palmer?)
Thanks for the updates.
Chris

CB: Shawn Nelson was dealing with some personal issues this week according to head coach Dick Jauron. He’s expected back next week. 

As for Xavier Omon and Marcus Smith, one is seeing more time than the other. Smith is being rotated in with the second team defense. He subs in for Spencer Johnson and has done okay. Again it’s hard to assess line play in the OTA setting because there isn’t live contact and hitting in the trenches. He’s an interesting prospect after he spent last year on the practice squad.

Omon’s reps have been limited with Lynch, Jackson and Rhodes ahead of him. In fact Bruce Hall, last year’s practice squad back has seen more reps than Omon this week. We’ll see if that continues, and if it does Omon has an uphill climb to make the roster.

Ellis is progressing. He’s working with the second team on defense and sharing reps with Copeland Bryan on the right side. Again line play is not something you can asses in the OTA setting. We’ll see how far he’s come when we get to training camp.  

 

3. Hi Chris,  just a question on who you believe will emerge as our starting strong side linebacker….is it possible that Mitchell will be moved to the strong side and a smaller linebacker will take over on the weak side…thanks again for all your insight…Ray

CB: I think that’s a tough one to answer. So everyone is clear Keith Ellison plays the strong side with Mitchell on the open or weak side. That’s been the same through OTAs. I think it’s Ellison’s position to lose. His greatest competition at the spot will be Alvin Bowen and rookie Nic Harris. Ellison is obviously the most experienced in the system and one of the smartest players on the team. That goes a long way with this staff. I think one of the other two candidates will have to show greater playmaking ability and equal smarts to take the spot away from him.

 

4. Hey Chris,
Following the Bills in the OTAs this year, I’m noticing Aaron Schobel was participating early on but now has been absent for a while. Is everything okay with him? I’m hoping he hasn’t re-injured his foot or that it wasn’t quite healed after all. Pease let us know.
Cheers
Andy-Toronto

CB: Schobel is fine. He was here for the first week of OTAs and has chosen to skip the remaining voluntary practice sessions which run through Monday. He’ll be here for the mandatory minicamp which begins on Tuesday. In the time he was here he said his foot felt good and that he was encouraged by how it responded to three straight days of work. Hopefully that continues through minicamp.
5. Chris, you’ve wrote a lot about “would be” sacks, and I was wondering how the offensive line is doing? Do you think that they show any early signs of meshing well together? I know that it takes time to get the cohesiveness down, but I feel this season’s success hinges on just that happening. On paper they have a team that can contend for a playoff berth, but I really think that it comes down to the o-line.
 
Thanks…Bryan – Canandaigua NY

CB:  I agree with you that a lot of Buffalo’s offensive success will hinge on the offensive line’s ability to jell with five guys in five new positions up front. As for the pass pressure and ‘would be’ sacks a lot of them are coming on blitz calls, which at this point in time the offensive line isn’t always ready to handle and adjust to. That’s part of why it’s so important for the starting five, whoever they wind up being, spend as much time together as possible.

That being said I will say that Seth McKinney and Geoff Hangartner did a heck of a job picking up a blitz by Paul Posluszny and it enabled Trent to hit Lee Evans for a 65-yard touchdown play.

We’ll get a better assessment in training camp and the preseason.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-24

Posted by Chris Brown on April 24, 2009 – 6:40 pm

On the eve of the draft we dispel some rumors and answer some final questions. If you had a question that did not get answered here, be sure to check the live chat we held at noon earlier today (Friday).

1. Chris, will the Bills make any overtures for Peppers??? Or would this be too much for the Bills’ to handle….or impractical??
D. Stratz

CB: Any overtures for Peppers are unrealistic for the Bills and a lot of other teams, and that includes the Patriots. The reason why is Peppers is reportedly looking for Albert Haynesworth type money. Most teams can fit that kind of contract into their budget. It’s going to be interesting to see what pans out on that front because the Panthers are really hamstrung by his situation.

 

2. What are your personal thoughts on Connor Barwin? Personally I like his high motor, versatility and passion for the game. Where, if at all, would Buffalo have him on the draft board?

Nick from Sodus, NY

CB: I like Barwin a lot. He’s extremely athletic and explosive. I see him as a defensive end for the Bills, though he’s probably capable of playing OLB as well on the strong side. To lead the Big East in sacks in his first year as a DE was impressive. As for where the Bills have him on their board, I don’t know, but I think he’s a safe bet to be a late first or early 2nd round pick. Bills may have a shot at him at 28.

 

3. Hi Chris.
With respect to your article on left guard I must say that I am still on the (Alex) Mack Truck Train! With Hangartner it would be a perfect match. If Mack isn’t ready, he could
start out at left guard. But with his smarts and low center of gravity, he might just start out as starting center. Now, how do we draft him? Well, we could take a TE with #11, or a pass rusher, and trade up to get Mack at the end of the first round. Or we could trade down in the first round. What is your take?
Pete

CB: Now armed with the 28th pick, Mack is a much more realistic possibility. Down there the Bills should be able to get the best interior linemen in the draft if they wanted. My feeling however, is that if they do get a pass rusher up at 11, they’re more likely to take a tackle at 28 (Eben Britton?) to fill the void left by Jason Peters. That way they could transition Demetrius Bell or Kirk Chambers inside at left guard.

 

4. Hello Chris,
 
Hope all is well!  Thanks for the in of this offseason so far!  Where do you think Pat Thomas fits in?  Seemed like an under the radar visit and signing.  I hope he is not looked at as a starter.
 
Also, how is Alvin Bowen doing?  Has he bulked up?  I saw he is listed at 222 lbs, would he maybe be better suited at SS.  Seems like he is built like Kerry Rhodes. 
 
Just wondering.
 
Thanks,
Greg Grzymala

CB: Pat Thomas is a reserve linebacker as I see it. I believe the Bills will look to fortify the SLB position in the draft this weekend. Thomas could help as a backup on the strong side or in the middle.

As for Alvin Bowen his rehab is going very well. He may be on the field for OTAs in mid-May. He’s added bulk to his frame and he’s a linebacker all the way.
5. Chris,
With Jason Peters traded, what are your thoughts of Demetrius Bell being groomed as his replacement at Left Tackle? Is there a decent chance of it? For some reason, I think he could turn out to be a better option for us than if we drafted say, Oher.
Thanks,
- Jeff

CB: I think the Bills are hopeful that Bell develops into a LT prospect. I don’t know if he’s there yet, but he has the potential and could be playing over there in a year or two if things go right. Right now I see Langston Walker as the LT, with either Bell, Kirk Chambers or a high draft pick on the right side. Oher I believe is an option though at 11.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-6

Posted by Chris Brown on March 6, 2009 – 4:36 pm

Here’s the latest installment. Catch up with you next week.

1. Hay Chris,
I was just wondering what your thoughts were about Steve Johnson?
I have the same feeling about him that I had about Fred Jackson, 2 yrs ago when I saw Fred’s Yards Per Carry average in the preseason I thought this guy is money!! Then when he got a chance on the field he proved everything I was thinking. I feel the same way about Steve Johnson , from what I saw at the end of last year in games and also through out the season in practice film and all I can think this guy is money!! Besides at 6 ft 2 in 202 lbs his size is a welcome sight from the current corps that we have . Not knocking Lee , Roscoe or Josh but the extra inches may help ? Any way just wondering what you think ?
Tracy
So. Fla

CB: I think Steve Johnson has a bright future here, even though the Bills are clearly looking to augment the receiving the corps with a proven vet with the likes of Coles and Galloway coming through here.

It wouldn’t shock me if Johnson is one of the team’s top four receivers in 2009, especially if James Hardy needs more time to get completely right with his knee coming off ACL surgery. The coaching staff is high on him, so I think you’ll see more of him next season.
2. I have a thought for you Chris that you may disagree with but I am very interested to hear your answer.  A team like the Rams at pick number two is looking to Draft an OT with their first pick.  They however have a few older pieces and feel like maybe they could be a good team next year (Bulger, Jackson, Holt).  Would you consider trading Jason Peters to the Rams for the Second Overall pick?  The Bills don’t want to give him the big contract when he has years left, instead we can get a younger potentially equally talented OT in the first round (Oher at 11, Smith at 2, Trade down from two and pick up another first rounder or second rounder and have 4 picks in the first 2 rounds?)
Billy Rom

CB: I would not consider trading Jason Peters. I believe the Bills are planning to renegotiate his contract and resolve that issue. The bottom line is on a team that needs more talent, according to Mr. Wilson himself, you don’t strip the team of some of its best talent, namely Jason Peters. Finding a blind side Pro Bowl caliber left tackle that can play for you for the next 8 years is not something to be taken lightly. Those guys don’t just show up on your doorstep. It wasn’t long ago that the team had been searching for a left tackle. Even though there are some attractive OTs in the draft this year, to me it’s not worth it because they are unknown commodities at this level.

It’s the old bird in the hand or two in the bush deal. I’ve got Peters, I know what type of player he is and with a new contract I trust he’d return to his Pro Bowl form. I’m not trading that away. I wouldn’t mind acquiring Torry Holt however, but in all likelihood he’ll be released before March 17 when he’s due a roster bonus.
3. Hey Chris,
 
Do you have any updates on Alvin Bowen’s knee, Aaron Schobel’s foot, and Trent Edward’s shoulder? Also want to thank you for comments on OSU TE Brandon Pettigrew.
 
Jeremiah (Bills fan in FL)

CB: Hopefully you saw our story this week on Alvin Bowen on the home page. He’s hopeful that he’ll be ready for OTAs in the spring. As for Schobel, how much he’ll be allowed to do come the spring remains to be seen, but not needing surgery was a big plus. Edwards shoulder is fine. Just normal soreness after a season of wear and tear.
4. Hi Chris
 
Longtime Bills fan, in the Air Force and stationed in Cowboys country in New Mexico
 
Had a couple of questions about McCargo: 
–With the loss of Kollar and hiring of Sanders as DL coach – does that improve McCargo’s chances of sticking or is Fewell or Jauron as down on McCargo as Kollar was?
–Do the Bills have medical concerns on his back that may preclude him from playing again (or was it strictly the Colts having tougher standards)?
–he has a lot of talent – is it lack of hussle or lack of football intelligence and knowing his responsibilities in the D that has some of the coaches down on him?
 
Thanks
Tim

CB: John McCargo has been working very hard this offseason, coming into the facility at One Bills Drive almost every day to rehab the disc problem in his back. I don’t think there’s any question that Kollar and McCargo was not a good mix as far as the coach/player relationship goes.

I think Bob Sanders is a better fit for McCargo, which is why I have hope that he can still turn into a solid contributor for this team. I don’t get the sense that Perry Fewell or Dick Jauron are as down on him as some might think.

You’re right he has talent. Now he has to show it on the field on a consistent basis and he may just blossom into what the scouts believed he could be at this level from the outset.
5. Dear Chris,
1st of all keep up the blog. I think I check it around 4 times a day. 2nd I agree with the DE pick. I’ve been checking out some mock drafts and a lot have the TE going to the Bills but I see DE like you. Who are some TEs that could be available later to look at? anyone you like that is not getting talked about?

CB: Well they’ve been talked about, but I think some good second round options are Southern Miss’ Shawn Nelson and South Carolina’s Jared Cook. Both have good builds, athleticism and solid pass catching ability. They both need work on their blocking, but a weapon in the passing game is the higher priority. Wouldn’t mind seeing either of those players on this roster.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Nice to see

Posted by Chris Brown on December 3, 2008 – 5:49 pm

Out at practice, but working diligently on the sidelines today was Bills rookie LB Alvin Bowen. Bowen tore his ACL on a horrific looking play in training camp ending his rookie season before it began.

But now almost four months removed from the injury Bowen was doing footwork drills in and out of the ladder rope and moving well.

I’m no doctor, but that seems to be a lot of progress. I’ll try to catch up with him to see how he’s making out. Provided he comes back 100 percent I think he’ll be competing with Keith Ellison for that starting linebacker role barring a free agent addition or high draft pick.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 17, 2008 – 7:00 pm

Fan Friday

Here’s the latest installment. Don’t forget if you have a question just e-mail me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and I’ll do my best to get all your questions answered.

1. Chris,
I went to NW Missouri and grew up in Maryville, Mo. I’m not able to watch Bills games but try to follow Xavier’s progress.
What’s going on with him currently? Is he on any special teams or has not even seen the field yet this year? I truly think the Bills have a hidden talent in Omon that someday, given the chance, will bust out into a very productive back.
Thanks.
Roger Watson

CB: Xavier was active for the opener, but did not play. He’s been inactive every week since. It’s been tough for a lot of the rookies to see time on the field. To date it’s been just McKelvin, Hardy and Johnson. But the coaching staff likes what Omon has done in the practice setting and on the look squad to prepare the starters for the upcoming opponent. There’s no denying he has potential.

2. Hi Chris,
 
I was wondering about the Ashton Youboty’s contract. Drafted in 06′ how many years does he have left on his deal? He has obviously stepped up his play and one can argue that he has been the best defensive back on the field this year. What are the chances of he Bills possibly extending Youboty before his on the field  play continues to excel and warrants more money down the road?
 
Thanks and Go Bills!
 
Sean Lindstrom

CB: Ashton is signed through the 2009 season. He was signed to a four-year deal coming out of college in 2006. As for extending Youboty, I think he may have to wait in line. Just at his position alone, Jabari Greer is up after this season and like Ashton, Terrence McGee is also up after 2009. McGee might prove too expensive which may cater to the team extending Ashton.

3. Chris – Now that Evans’ contract is extended, and Peters is (presumably) next in line for an extension, who are the players the Bills will target for extensions in coming seasons?

Thanks
JZ

CB: As mentioned above, Jabari Greer is a free agent after the season and Terrence McGee and Ashton Youboty are free agents after ’09. So there will need to be some big decisions made with respect to the secondary. Duke Preston and Melvin Fowler are free agents at the end of this season so there will need to be some decisions as well with respect to the interior of the offensive line. John DiGiorgio and Keith Ellison will both be restricted free agents so linebacker is another position that will have to be examined. Angelo Crowell is a free agent after this season, but I don’t expect him to return.

4. When is the offensive line going to start making some holes for Marshawn Lynch.?
 
Carol

CB: This is a question that Dick Jauron has been asked several times over the past few weeks so I’ll let him answer it. He starts by disagreeing with the questioner who blamed it on the offensive line.
DJ: I wouldn’t say that. I would say it’s a combination of everybody. Marshawn and Fred would probably be the first to tell you they don’t hit every hole. They’ve missed some holes. The guys up front would be the first to tell you they’ve missed some blocks, too. We just have to get the whole thing put together and get better at it.

It was a focus of the team during the bye week so hopefully the production improves.

5. Chris,
 
I am a US Military Man serving in El Salvador and I have 2 quick questions for you. First what is Alvin Bowen’s status? I assumed when we brought in Spragan he was done for the year but Spragan was cut and I never read anything else about Bowen’s injury. What is the injury ACL/MCL?  is he out for his entire rookie season?

MA1(SW) Joseph A. Zaccagnino
Watch Supervisor/Command Career Counselor
FOL COMALAPA, EL SALVADOR

CB: Alvin Bowen has begun rehab following his ACL knee surgery earlier this season. The recovery time is generally pegged at 7-9 months which would put him at about April. He’s on injured reserve so his rookie season is over.


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Posted in Inside the Bills