Much has been made about the fact that there isn’t a lead pipe lock at the quarterback position in this year’s draft class, but NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock made a good point on a team’s confidence in developing quarterbacks.
On a national conference call Mayock was asked about both Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick, who both were second-round draft choices. Both have become solid starting quarterbacks even though they were not finished products or can’t miss franchise signal callers when they came out.
“They both became second round picks, they might have gone back‑to‑back in the draft, but what did people miss,” Mayock asked rhetorically. “Kaepernick, when he started taking off, I went back to my college notes on him, and I was like, ‘Look at all this I have written on this kid.’ What I had was big arm, wildly inconsistent, great athlete. Well you could see all that stuff.
“But I think Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers spent a year kind of getting that arm where it was a lot more consistent. Could you say the same thing about Geno Smith? Probably. Could you say the same thing about Mike Glennon? Yeah, big arm.
“I’m not talking about athletic ability with Glennon, but somebody could buy into a Geno Smith up high because they feel like there are flashes of everything there. However, he’s got to put it together on a more consistent basis.
“So a team that feels comfortable in their ability to evaluate and then develop quarterbacks are going to feel better about Geno Smith and Matt Barkley and Mike Glennon.”
Knowing Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who also is the team’s quarterbacks coach, was very successful in developing Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib, one wonders if the Bills have a similar faith to that of the 49ers in developing quarterback prospects that might not be finished NFL products at the time they are drafted.
Tags: 2013 NFL draft, Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick, Geno Smith, Mike Glennon, Mike Mayock, NFL Combine
Posted in Inside the Bills
While Buffalo’s offensive line has been great out of the gate ranking first in the league in sacks allowed per play, Buffalo’s defense is at the opposite end of the spectrum ranking 32nd in sacks per play as they have two on the season. However, as Kyle Williams explains facing a pair of top flight running teams followed by a quick throwing Tom Brady getting pressure on the quarterback hasn’t been the focus.
“We want to hit the guy and we want to disrupt the guy more,” said Williams. “I think some of it is you have to look at what we are doing defensively and you have to look at what they’re doing offensively. I’m not making excuses or anything like that, but the guy we just played (Tom Brady) he gets rid of the ball. If you look at the game he’s hitting a lot of crossing routes and different things like that. So, it’s a little bit above but it’s something we want to get more out of as we have opportunities to do it. When guys get one-on-one you have to win. You have to get pressure, hit the quarterback and disrupt his lanes.”
Againsts New England Buffalo rushed just three and four a lot committing more players to coverage while the down linemen clogged passing lanes in an effort to deflect passes, which worked (See: Marcell Dareus tip).
Facing Cincinnati rookie QB Andy Dalton this week could present more opportunities.
“I think with something like that you have to be able to give him different looks,” said Williams. “Maybe get him confused a little bit not knowing what he’s seeing. Maybe he holds the ball a half second longer and that’s lot of pass rush you know it’s holding the ball a half second longer where hits turn into the sacks, non pressure turns into pressure. But with them they are going to hang their hat on running the football. And if we can’t stop the run we aren’t going to be able to give him different looks and get after him throwing the ball.”
Tags: Andy Dalton, Kyle Williams, pass rush, Tom Brady
Posted in Inside the Bills
Less than two weeks until the draft. Let’s get to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.
1 - Ok I realize this is all new so we may not know, but hopefully you do. Typically the draft picks are flown to the team that drafted them (or at least the high picks) and given a tour, meet the media, etc. I know the draft will happen as scheduled but will the lock out stop the post draft trips by selected players? I love watching interviews with the guys we pick and if ALL Players are locked out, does that include the once we just drafted?
Steven J. Huber
CB: From what I have been told, top draft choices can be brought to a team facility for publicity purposes, so we do anticipate having the opportunity to interview them when they arrive and have it for you on Buffalobills.com. So we hope to bring you the kind of draft coverage you’ve come to expect from Buffalobills.com. However, if the current labor situation still exists post-draft they will fall into the same category as the veteran players.
2 - Chris ,
Looking at QB’s this year you don’t hear much conversation about TCU’s QB Dalton . The kid has done nothing but win every place he’s played . A article on BB.com says he is a great anticipator & that he was a 60 percent pass completion stat . If the Bills are looking for a QB of the future why wouldn’t someone with this type of background be more involved in these conversations? There has been some great talent come out of TCU , Schobel & LT both came from there didn’t they ? Given if he falls to the second round or later do you think he might be on Buddies radar any where ? He could be a great late round pick up!! Just seeing what you might think .
As always thanks & props for all you do
Mr. T from Ft. Myers Via Nashville
CB: Hopefully you’re referring to the story I wrote for Buffalobills.com earlier this month on Dalton. The guy is a winner. The reason he doesn’t get a ton of credit is because he played with the number one defense in the nation three years running. That and the fact that he doesn’t have an elite physical skill set. But he can play, he’s sharp as a tack, and he’s a winner. And he’s no late round pick. Most are figuring early second round. And thanks for the kind words.
3 - Hey Chris,
Kyle Williams is a consummate pro just not prototype 3-4 NT/space eater tying up 2 OL, anyway chance he could flex to 5 tech DE and draft a Phil Taylor/Kendrick Ellis type. Torell Troup isn’t that type either
Then get Martez Wilson or Kelvin Sheppard or what do u think of Nick Bellore from C.Mich later on? This would stop them from running on us
Ray in Kenmore.
CB: To answer your question about Kyle Williams I’m going to use a comment Buddy Nix made about him at the NFL combine when he was asked a question about whether the line is getting blurred with 3-4 defensive ends and if they don’t necessarily have to have measurables like being 6’5” or taller.
“A guy that’s 6’5” and can run a little bit, he can play out there for us,” said Nix. “You need range. There are always exceptions. I think you could take Kyle Williams and put him out there and he’d make plays for you. He would never be the pass rusher out there because of the huge tackles, but he’d make plays for you.”
I’ve asked Coach Gailey about possibly moving Williams outside to end as well and he made it clear that he feels that Williams is too much of a force inside that it outweighs the potential experimental value of putting him at end. Not saying you’ll never see it in small doses, but overall I’m not anticipating it.
I am a big fan of Phil Taylor after what I saw from him at the Senior Bowl. He was dominant. Kenrick Ellis has some off the field issues that teams will need to clear up having been kicked off the team at South Carolina. Taylor also had an off the field issue as a fraternity fight forced him from the Penn State program, but having put two solid seasons together since that incident while staying on the straight and narrow he’s been cleared by most NFL clubs.
I disagree with your assessment that Troup could not be a two gap nose tackle. He’s been busting his tail this offseason in the weight room and is up to a chiseled 325 pounds (up from 314 as a rookie). I believe he can play that role effectively for the Bills.
Martez Wilson is a versatile option at linebacker having played both inside and outside, while Kelvin Sheppard is a born leader type with tremendous instincts. Bellore is a better football player than he is an athlete. He doesn’t wow with measurables, but he does with his production.
Still he’s seen as a late round pick, so if the Bills take a flyer on him in the sixth or seventh I’m good with that.
4 – Chris
Thank you for the great job you do keeping us informed.
Question - Why would we take a QB in 1st 2 rounds when all analysts think there are no franchise QB’s this year and we have such a need for run defense? Why not take a big stud DL in first round and a big run stopper inside LB in the 2nd. Fitzpatrick is at least a good solid QB and the O line should be solid for the first time in years. Let’s build up the D
Ron from Greensboro
CB: Once again I’ll turn to head coach Chan Gailey’s comment to explain why quarterback is a consideration both at 3 and at 34th overall.
“The advantage that we have in this is a rookie quarterback does not have to play. We have a good quarterback,” said Gailey. “That’s the best thing about our situation. You hope that you don’t pick three again for a very long time. So if there’s a guy that is sitting there that you believe is a so called franchise quarterback if you pass it up at this point for the long term best interest of the franchise, that might not be the best decision to pass that guy up. The quick fix is to try to go fix the defense and we understand that and we need to try to get some more impact players on defense if we possibly can. That would help us in the more immediate future, but if you’re looking at the long term and you believe the guy is a franchise quarterback, you bring him in, you let him learn and sit behind Fitz.”
5 - Do you see the Bills trading down? With the Bengals suddenly in need of a QB, there are now at least 5 teams in the top 12 looking for a savior. I would think the third overall pick, ahead of the Bengals & Cards, would look inviting to teams like Washington, Minnesota and Tennessee. Even if the Bills drop to 12, Cam Jordan would still be there. Of course this is a mute point if they draft Newton or Gabbert. What do you think?
CB: You’re right the Bills could move down and still get a top flight defensive end with the depth at that position in this draft. In listening to Buddy Nix about this he said it’s not something they would close the door on, but if they did move down they’d like to stay in the top 10.
I think it is a possibility, but I think the Bills would have to be bowled over. Remember teams can only trade picks for picks unless there is a new CBA in place prior to the draft.
I will say that Nix is not a fan of hopping up and down the draft board. He generally likes to stay where he is and make his picks. I did a whole story on the merits of trading down with some very good insight from Nix on this subject.
Tags: 2011 NFL draft, Andy Dalton, Fan Friday, Kelvin Sheppard, Kenrick Ellis, Kyle Williams, Martez Wilson, Nick Bellore, Phil Taylor, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Torell Troup
Posted in Inside the Bills
Florida St. QB Christian Ponder, who Bills GM Buddy Nix confirmed will have a pre-draft visit with the Bills, is reportedly working out for another NFL team today, and TCU QB Andy Dalton is working out for another.
Ponder’s workout is taking place on campus in Tallahassee. Dalton and Ryan Mallett are also scheduled to meet with the Vikings per the Star-Tribune report.
Tags: 2011 NFL draft, Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder, Ryan Mallett
Posted in Inside the Bills
TCU QB Andy Dalton will reportedly have a pre-draft visit with the Vikings.
That according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Dalton is forecast to be a high second-round pick as part of that second tier of quarterbacks in this year’s class after Newton and Gabbert.
Some are even speculating that he could sneak into the bottom of the first round after his solid pro day earlier this month. The only knock on the very accurate and cerebral Dalton is arm strength.
Tags: 2011 NFL draft, Andy Dalton
Posted in Inside the Bills
TCU held its pro day Friday along with a few other big college programs and their lead pony QB Andy Dalton did not disappoint.
According to NFL.com’s Gil Brandt, Dalton lit it up in throwing drills making 50 passes, completing 49 of 52 according to some reports. He was forecast by most as a second round pick, but Brandt believes he’s solidified his stock as a second round prospect. In fact he could go in the top half of round two, despite what many consider average arm strength. But if you have a timing offense, he’s perfect because he’s a great anticipator.
Dalton has always been a winner going back to his high school days at Katy in Houston where he led his team to the state finals. What I like about Dalton is he meets the criteria once laid out by former NFL head coach and front office executive Bills Parcells.
Parcells would only take a QB if he was at least a three-year starter, had 30 or more starts in his college career and completed more than 60 percent of his passes among other lesser criteria.
Dalton was a four-year starter at TCU, and granted while being the beneficiary of having the nation’s number one defense the past three years, completed over 66 percent of his passes and went 42-7 as a starter. He also played in an offense where he often audibled at the line of scrimmage, something most college signal callers do not do. He’s about as NFL ready as they come.
That’s why it’s not surprising that a former Parcells assistant, Bill Belichick is having Dalton perform in a private workout for New England. Cleveland and Chicago are also conducting private workouts with the TCU QB according to Brandt.
Tags: 2011 NFL draft, Andy Dalton
Posted in Inside the Bills
Let’s get right to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.
1 - Chris,
The Bills have long neglected to upgrade the TE position. If Kyle Rudolph of Notre Dame is available in the second round, what do you think are the chances they would draft him? Rudolph is a rare combination of possessing solid blocking skill and a vertical threat as well. For a second round pick, Rudolph will probably be the most talented rookie available at that stage of the draft. Do you think Chan Gailey will finally address this weakness of the Bills? I realize that improving the defense is a priority, however picking Rudolph would improve the OL while providing Fitz with another target, he so desperately needs.
CB: While I agree that Kyle Rudolph is the best tight end talent in the draft, I’d be surprised if the Bills drafted him in round two. The positional holes on this team are much more pressing at defensive line, linebacker and quarterback. In fact I think cornerback is a position that is likely to be addressed prior to tight end.
I think when you look at the talent that emerged for the Bills at wide receiver last season, it reduced the need to add a difference maker at tight end. Rudolph also has injury questions to answer at his pro day in April.
2 - Hi Chris,
I read what you said about Dareus and Fairley. Is 3 too high for Kerrigan for Purdue? He seems like an Aaron Schobel type. The other 2
guys, although beasts, seem like 4-3 tackles, instead of 3-4 ends? Also, do we stick with Fitz or take like a Kaepernik or Ponder in the 3rd round. Really like both those guys in the Senior Bowl. Ponder go IT done and Kaepernick has a rocket! What are your thoughts?
CB: Three is too high for Kerrigan. There’s still some question as to whether he’s athletic enough to transition to a 3-4 OLB or if he’s strictly a 4-3 end. I tend to think he’s just just a 4-3 end. His game is similar to Schobel’s, but Schobel was a mid-second round pick.
Kerrigan will come off the board somewhere between 15 and 25.
Ponder did do well at the Senior Bowl. Some of the experts believe he’d work best in a west coast offense, which the Bills are not, but there is a relationship there with Gailey. Kapernick is more of a project because he operated out of the Pistol offense and did a lot of running (4,000 yards rushing in college). He’s got an arm, but it’s the decision making where he’s got a lot of work to do in terms of reading progressions and getting timing down delivering the ball when he hits the back of his drop in rhythm. There is talent there however.
3 - Hi Chris,
I highly doubt that Nick Fairley will be available when the Bills pick, so I wanted to get your thoughts on two other prospects that may be feasible options for them.
First is Da’Quan Bowers. Do you think he has the ability and stature to play end in a 3-4 front in the NFL? Might he be better suited to play Outside linebacker if he dropped a few pounds? Or do you only see him as end in a 4-3 front?
Second is Von Miller. I had the opportunity to watch the Senior Bowl, and although linebackers were not allowed to blitz (limiting his full potential), he still played a strong game, exhibiting much of the talent, intelligence and understanding he has for the game. He looks like he could be an excellent outside linebacker, but he seems a bit undersized for the position at the NFL level (238 lbs). Do you think his lack of size may be an issue at all?
Just wanted to get your thoughts on these two individuals and whether you think they would be an ideal fit for Buffalo’s present defensive scheme.
CB: The people in the know that I’ve talked to believe Bowers can handle an end role in a 3-4 as well as a 4-3. At 275 pounds with an upper body that is said to be freakishly strong most think he’s more likely to be a 3-4 end than a 3-4 OLB. Now I’m sure not all NFL teams will feel that way, and I suppose if he lost weight OLB in a 3-4 could be an option. But to me that’s a big ‘if’ with him.
As for Miller he’s impressive on tape. There’s no debating that. He did drop into coverage a bit more as a senior. At the Senior Bowl he showed me he’s more than capable of covering stuff in the flat and on wheel routes. That intermediate range might be a different story. He’s a pass rushing terror though and that’s why he’s going to be a top 5 pick.
The Bills need to improve their pass rush, there’s no question about that so he’s definitely a consideration for them at 3.
4 – Hey Chris. My question is in regards to the QB class this year. Knowing that Coach Gailey is moving forward with Fitz as the starter next season, what are your thoughts on Ponder? I love Fitz and expect more consistency from him this year and believe he could lead us to the playoffs. Onto Ponder, I see him as a great 2nd stringer to learn the system and grow due to Gailey and the coaching staff. In a year or two he could provide an answer for our offense if things do not go right with Fitz, or a good bargaining chip in the trade market. I have watched him his whole career and know he has a durability issue. His strengths are very good, however, and I can only see him get better in the NFL. Thanks and as always “GO BILLS!!!!”
CB: The thing I like most about Ponder is his natural leadership. Players just rally around that guy and he’s a fiery leader, one where you can see it out on the field. I think Bills fans would love that. NFL personnel people like that too because leadership can’t be taught.
I think his arm is good enough and coming from a pro style offense at Florida State is also a plus. He gets criticized for making some bad decisions late in games last year, but to me I saw most of them as a guy trying to make a play for his team. On occasion he may have been trying too hard, but I’d rather have a guy willing to take risk to win a game than no risk at all.
5 - Hey Chris,
I have noticed that the Bills are getting new uniforms for the 2011 season which is awesome. My question though is that I heard Nike has struck a deal with the NFL to revamp all the uniforms, at least I thought it was for the 2012 season. So does that mean these new uniforms will only be worn for one year or will the new nike ones come in a couple more years?
Garrett from Pa
CB: From what I have been told Reebok will be in charge of the new jersey design this year. Then Nike takes over in 2012, but changing the jersey would require formal application to the league, which can take up to 18 months. So as I understand it Nike will inherit the jersey design from Reebok and make no changes.
Bonus - Chris
You mention how the offensive line seems to have gained depth this year with much of it in the middle, and Eric Wood and Geoff Hangartner compete for the starting center role with Kraig Urbik the likely starter at right guard and you believe the odds on favorite to start at right tackle is Erik Pears. My question has to do with Chad Rinehart, he was a OLT in college projected to the right side in the pros. Does he have a chance at RT? or does Gailey and staff see him strictly in the middle? and why strictly in the middle ?
Thanks J.C. ( ex-NY upstate resident ) now living Katy, TX
CB: They see him mainly as a guard because of his feet. Rinehart is a grinder that’ll punch you in the mouth in the blink of an eye, but they feel he’s better suited inside as opposed to out on the edge where he has to cover more space. I liked what he gave the Bills at guard last year and he’ll likely be competing with Urbik for that right guard role if Wood in fact competes with Hangartner at center.
Tags: 2011 NFL draft, Andy Dalton, Chad Rinehart, Christian Ponder, Colin Kaepernick, Da'Quan Bowers, Fan Friday, Kyle Rudolph, Ryan Kerrigan, Von Miller
Posted in Inside the Bills
Though there are bigger headlines concerning the NFL right now, we dive into your Bills and draft related questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net here on Fan Friday.
1 – Chris
Do you think it’s possible that the Bills might go after Carson Palmer? It has been said that he has asked for a trade and will consider retirement if the team does not meet his wishes. Would Buffalo possibly show interest in acquiring him? With Fitz penciled in as starter as of right now I BILLieve he would be a great asset to the Bills organization, especially with the relationship that Fitz and Palmer share. If Buffalo decided not to pursue him are there any other veteran QBs out there that Buffalo might be interested in? With the #3 pick overall I just don’t see a QB at that spot being drafted when our D is the real soft spot, but there is no question we need a long term answer at our QB position and with Palmer being a former #1 pick he could be our guy. Love your blog thanks for keeping us Bills fans constantly informed.
CB: I’d be surprised if the Bills engaged in trade talks for Carson Palmer. It just doesn’t fit the Buddy Nix model of building a team, which is largely done through the draft. Nix and Chan Gailey are taking a methodical approach to building this team the right way. I don’t see Palmer being a part of that.
The only other free agent QB I thought made sense for them in a backup capacity to Fitz was Tyler Thigpen, who worked with Chan Gailey in Kansas City in 2008 and started games for the Chiefs. The two worked pretty well together despite a lack of talent around Thigpen at the time. Thigpen’s availability will ultimately be determined by what everyone is waiting for at the league level.
As for the pick at 3, I believe quarterback is a genuine consideration. The task for the Bills brass now is determining whether or not they believe one of the top quarterback prospects is truly a franchise QB. If so they’ll take one at 3, be it Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert. I don’t believe anyone else falls into the discussion this year.
Otherwise it will be defensive line. Thanks for the kind words.
2 - Hi Chris,
I’ve seen Cam Newton, Mallett, and others, but I just recently watched video on Colin Kaepernick and I’m REALLY impressed. How is he not getting as much talk as all the others? What do you think about him? If you have a chance, watch his very first start against Boise St., the #3 ranked defense. Also hear that he light it up at the Manning QB camp.
CB: The reason Kaepernick is not getting as much consideration is because he’s considered more of a developmental project in terms of molding him into a pro QB. Kaepernick rushed for over 4,000 yards in Nevada’s Pistol offense. Chan Gailey ran a version of the pistol offense in Kansas City when he had Tyler Thigpen scrambling around.
Kaepernick has an NFL arm and obviously mobility, and he’s insisted to me that he had progressions in his offensive scheme at Nevada, but I don’t know if NFL talent evaluators are buying it. They feel there’s a longer learning curve there with him than some of the others in this class that come from spread offenses (Newton, Gabbert) and I think part of it has to do with his throwing mechanics. He does have a long wind up, but the Bills have said throwing mechanics do not carry a lot of weight with them in comparison to throwing it to the right spot at the right time and getting it there with accuracy.
3 – Chris,
I noticed One Bills Dr. added quite a few O-linemen during the later half of the season, including Kraig Urbik 6’5″ 323lbs, Chad Rinehart 6’5″ 307lbs, Colin Brown, 6’7″ 335lbs, Erik Pears, 6’8″ 305lbs and Mansfield Wrotto, 6’3″ 320lbs. (Plus we already have Cordaro Howard and Hangartner).
If it comes to pass that Eric Wood gets moved to center during off season OTAs and training camp, who do you think has the best chance of becoming the starter at right Guard for the Bills? The Bills played so many different combinations to finish out the year I never got a good feel for who seemed to be the best right Guard candidate.
P.S. As a follow up, which of these players could be in the mix for right Tackle?
CB: The right guard in that scenario would be Kraig Urbik, and here’s why. Buddy Nix upon claiming Urbik off waivers stated that on their draft board in 2009, their three best guards were Eric Wood, Andy Levitre and Kraig Urbik. With a big smile Nix said, “Now we’ve got all three.”
So if Wood moves to center he’ll be flanked by Levitre and Urbik in my opinion, unless Urbik’s play drops off dramatically this year and I don’t see any reason why it would.
As for right tackle the odds on favorite there is Erik Pears. He outperformed Mansfield Wrotto earning playing time at the end of the season, and is a former two-year starter for the Broncos at tackle. With Wrotto expected to play more on the interior and compete for a guard spot, Pears has less competition barring the addition of a draft choice.
4 - Hey Chris,
I was wondering with coach Gailey being able to work with the South QBs and also him being a offensive guy would the Bills conseder getting a quaterback like Ponder or Dalton. Ponder might have improved his draft stock to a late second round but Dalton might be there in the 3rd. Just wondering if they would take a quaterback.
Thanks for the time,
CB: I think the Bills taking a QB at third overall is a distinct possibility provided they believe one of the top candidates is a franchise QB. If not then your scenario is more likely with a third round prospect a possibility. Ponder performed well at the Senior Bowl (MVP) and did well at the combine both on the field and in interviews from what I’ve been told. So he might not be there in the third. Some even believe Seattle is considering him at 25th overall.
5 - Hi Chris,
I like you believe that the Bills need Fairley and I think he would help this defense out tremendously, do you see the Bills just making a deal if Carolina is willing to move 2 spots that way there is no anticipation whether the team or 2 before us is going to grab him. Because over the last few draft classes I really believe that they should have made some better picks or at least tried to jump up in the draft.
Thanks for your time
CB: I do like Fairley’s game a lot, but I do believe Marcell Dareus is right there with him and just as good a pick. The Bills seem to believe Da’Quan Bowers is a multiple defense fit, but I don’t think he’s as versatile as those two, despite being a better pass rusher.
All that being said I’d be surprised if Buffalo moves up from pick 3. Sure there is the danger of missing out on somebody, but if a defensive lineman is what they’re after, there’s more than enough to choose from at three because even if two of the aforementioned players go first and second, there’s still one there to take. Also remember that Buddy Nix has said time and again he’s not a guy that likes to jump around the draft board. He likes to sit where he is and make his picks.
Tags: 2011 NFL draft, Andy Dalton, Buddy Nix, Carson Palmer, Chan Gailey, Christian Ponder, Colin Kaepernick, Da'Quan Bowers, Fan Friday, Marcell Dareus, Nick Fairley
Posted in Inside the Bills
The South team roster at the Senior Bowl has three quarterbacks and all of them are from the state of Texas. Two of them even played high school ball in the same district, making for a rare camaraderie here in Mobile.
Florida St. QB Christian Ponder grew up in Colleyville, Texas just outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Alabama’s Greg McElroy played at Carroll high school in Grapevine, Texas and won a Class 5A state title as a first-year starter setting a state record with 56 touchdown passes that season. The team that McElroy and his Carroll team beat was Katy, whose quarterback was TCU’s Andy Dalton out of the Houston area.
“We’ve been around each other for a long time,” said Dalton. “We all knew each other in high school. We went through recruiting and all that kind of stuff. It’s been fun to watch how each of us have grown up and learned how to play and now being back with one another.”
“It’s pretty cool and very unique,” said Ponder. “Greg and I worked out together back in high school and we know Andy as well. We’ve all crossed paths at some point. So we’ve kept up with each other throughout our whole careers in college. For us to be here is pretty unique. We’re having fun with it. We’re friends, but at the same time we’re both very competitive in what we’re doing.”
The three signal callers could be heard from the sideline all ribbing each other’s game during the course of practices this week.
“We kind of knock on each other,” said Ponder. “But we’re close friends.”
And though it may sound unusual to have three college QBs from Texas at one Senior Bowl, Ponder put the odds of that in the proper perspective.
“Our senior year the class of 2006 there were 26 quarterbacks signed to play Division I out of Texas,” he said. “Texas is definitely the best high school football out there.”
Tags: Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder, Greg McElroy, Senior Bowl
Posted in Inside the Bills
Be sure to check out our coverage from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama beginning on Tuesday next week. For now we answer your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.
1 – Chris,
There appears to be some very strong “Slash” type quarterbacks in the draft (Newton, Pryor, the VT QB). Given Coach Gailey’s success with “Slash” at Pittsburgh and Cam Newton’s talents what do you think about that as a QB direction for the Bills. I know they like Fitz (so do I) but as a trend, maybe a “Slash” QB can create mismatches that seem to propel teams.
CB: There are some multi-faceted prospects in the draft, although Terrelle Pryor is returning to Ohio State for his senior season. Newton is the best of that bunch. Personally I’m not sure if Tyrod Taylor (the VT QB) has the measurables to be a full-time QB.
He’s super athletic so he might be better fit as a Brad Smith or Josh Cribbs type that plays some wideout and returns kicks and dabbles at QB.
The guy I really want to look at closely is Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick. He’s the only QB in college history besides Tebow and Newton to rush for 20 TDs and pass for 20 TDs in the same season. He also orchestrated the huge upset win over Boise St. this year to ruin the Broncos perfect season. I think he’d be a realistic option for the Bills in the third round if he’s still on the board.
2 - Hey Chris,
Joe in Charlotte but long time Bills fan, Your opinion of Andy Dalton, possible 2nd or 3rd rd for the Bills?, I think he would really benefit from a year or 2 learning from Fitz. Has measureables, great attitude, and is a winner. Realize he comes from spread system but feel he is very adaptable. Your thoughts.
CB: He’s another QB I’m interested in getting a better look at during the practices at the Senior Bowl next week. TCU had a great season and though their defense gets most of the press, Dalton put a nice season together running that attack. I think 3rd round is realistic, but as I stated above Kaepernick is intriguing as well.
3 - Hey Chris,
Just wondering if you think the Bills might sign Vince Young to maybe be a backup? He’s a veteran and he could do some damage with Gailey. Also, Fitzpatrick could be trade-worthy and the Bills could draft a QB.
Tommy of Pittsford
CB: I don’t see that happening. Someone will take a chance on him, but seeing as how he undermined his head coach in Tennessee, I can’t see too many head coaches being in favor of bringing him on board even in a backup role.
4 - Hey Chris,
If Donte does not return, what are our options at Safety? Can we get a difference maker through Free Agency or Draft? Who are the big names out there? Secondly, what will become of all the WR’s we have, can we possibly keep all of them?
CB: First and foremost Bryan Scott is still under contract. Second, George Wilson, who is also a free agent could conceivably be had for far less money than what Donte Whitner is asking for at this point. Philadelphia S Quintin Mikell is set to become a free agent. He’s a bit older than Donte (30), but is a capable safety. Not necessarily a difference maker, but Buffalo needs difference makers in their front seven and they in turn will make the men on the back end better playmakers.
5 - Chris,
In 2008 the Bills played the AFC West. They Oakland at home and KC on the road. Please tell me why the Bills are playing Oakland home again and KC on the road again (4th straight year) in 2011? Shouldn’t that be reversed?
Grosse Ile, MI
CB: Under the guidelines of the normal rotational schedule it would be, but the league put in a scheduling stipulation that when another division plays the AFC West they would not play both west coast teams in the AFC West (San Diego and Oakland) on the road in the same season.
So although the Bills were slated to play San Diego and Oakland on the road in 2011, this stipulation switched the location of their matchups with Oakland and Kansas City. Thus the Bills will play Kansas City on the road again and Oakland at home.
Tags: 2011 NFL draft, 2011 opponents, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Donte Whitner, Fan Friday, Vince Young
Posted in Inside the Bills