Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 4-11

Posted by Chris Brown on April 11, 2014 – 12:53 pm

The Bills pre-draft visits were in full swing this week. Stay close to Buffalobills.com for more visit updates in the weeks to come. For now here are some of your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - Chris,
Thank you for keeping me informed for the last  decade. Before I only had the newspaper to go by and it was very slow and incomplete.

Three or more of these eleven  players Jake Mathews, Taylor Lewan, Greg Robinson, Sammy Watkins, Eric Ebron, Mike Evans, Kahlil Mack, Anthony Barr, C.J. Mosley, Justin Gilbert and Jadeveon Clowney will be avilable to the Bills for sure. If any of the top three QB’s are added to the mix then Buffalo can even be more selective.

I think the top 9 will go like this 1) QB/DE, 2) WR/DE, 3)&4) QBs, 5)QB/LB ,6) OT, 7) OT/LB,8)QB and Buffalo will choose Mack, Lewan, Watkins or Evans in that order depending on their availability.

I actually think the Bills will take an OT because it affects the most players. Players such as the RBs, the QB and the WR/TEs directly. No other position does this. I hope they get Lewan but if Mack is available I would go with him first because the defense wins FB games and Mack would push our “D” past Seattle in my modest opinion.

How do you see it at this point in time?

Thanks
Ken

CB: It’s hard to know exactly what will fall to the Bills at nine as the teams in front of them, for the most part, need a lot of different building blocks. That means they could go in a number of different directions with their top pick. Knowing the QB class is far from intriguing outside of Manziel the popular speculation now is that only two QBs will go in the top 8, with Teddy Bridgewater looked upon as the QB falling out of the top 10.

Jacksonville at three is one of those pivot type picks, where what they do could largely impact the teams right behind them. They’re now thought to be considering a QB in round two rather than round one and will look to add a difference maker at another position on offense (Sammy Watkins?) after loading up on defense in free agency. I still think they’re still considering a QB, especially if Bortles is still on the board.

Mack will not make it to nine, no way, no how. So cross him off your list. Cleveland is unpredictable as to what they might do as are the Raiders at five. Atlanta is expected to go OL or DL and it will depend on which player is ranked highest on their board among those two positions. Tampa Bay is a virtual lock to receiver and take Mike Evans. Minnesota is likely to take a QB knowing the mess they had at the position last year and it could be Manziel there.

So what should be there for Buffalo? Probably one of the top three OTs (presumably Lewan), Ebron and C.J. Mosley. I don’t see Justin Gilbert or Anthony Barr as part of the equation there. Whether the Bills have another player or two ranked as high is unclear.

The most talented of the three I mentioned (Lewan, Ebron, Mosley) is probably Ebron, who one could argue also has the most upside. Lewan and Mosley kind of are what they are. They’ll both be very solid pros and should be in an NFL starting lineup right away, but Ebron has a chance to be special and that could give him the edge there. We’re all guessing, but the most important factor is how things play out in front of Buffalo.

 

 

2 – Chris,

Pardon me, but my brain is working overtime on the Bills.  With Carpenter in the fold where does this leave Hopkins?  Thought he was supposed to be the new guy with the strong leg.

Jim (Skaneateles)


CB:
It puts Hopkins in a tough spot. First of all he’s trying to come back from a bad groin injury on his kicking leg side. Second, he’s competing with a veteran kicker who put up the second most accurate FG kicking season in team history. With the money invested in Carpenter by the Bills, Hopkins is going to need to have the training camp of his life to unseat Carpenter.

Now head coach Doug Marrone is not opposed to carrying a second kicker as a kickoff specialist, which is a role that Hopkins could most definitely fill. However, the roster numbers have to work out right to keep a second kicker for such a luxury. We’ll see how it plays out this summer.

 

 

3 – Hey Chris,

Huge fan of yours and the Bills obviously. Just wondering about the Corey Graham signing. Will he be competing for second cornerback position with Leodis?  And if not, how will that affect Nickel Robey’s playing time, if at all?  Do you think it was a big contract for a potentially 3rd string corner or will his special teams play make up for it?

Thanks,
Brendan

CB: As I’m sure you and most other fans have seen coach Marrone has said he intends to make Graham a part of the safety competition with Duke Williams, Jonathan Meeks and Da’Norris Searcy to fill the spot left by Jairus Byrd. He’ll also be the first guy in on the boundary at corner if McKelvin or Gilmore are sidelined by injury. As for Robey he will hold onto the role if Graham lands the safety spot next to Aaron Williams.

 

4 – Hey Chris,

I was just curious, if team a wanted to trade a player for a pick in the draft, and the traded player ended up failing the physical for team b, what would happen?  Would the player(s) selected with the traded pick pick(s) go to team b and the player that failed the physical would return to team a?  Or would something else happen?

Thanks,
Tommy

CB: Yes, if a player did not pass the physical for his new team the trade would be nullified and any and all assets exchanged in the deal would revert back to their original clubs. That’s what happened several years ago when the Bills tried to trade John McCargo to the Indianapolis Colts. He failed his physical with the Colts due to a back problem they cited and the trade was nullified.

 
5 – Hi Chris,

Just wondering what your thoughts are on the Bills seemingly not attempting to keep Carrington or Moats. There was so much talk last summer about how well Carrington was coming along and now they could seem to care less about keeping him. I wouldn’t imagine it’s because of competition from other teams as he hasn’t proven himself on the field for any stretch of time.

Also looking at Rivers career he hardly seems like an upgrade from Moats. They both seem to be in the same kind of position as fill in LB’s struggling to get more snaps. Also what is the deal with Chris Williams? NFL.com says he graded out terribly last season. To be honest I’m less than pleased with where the offensive line has gone under Marrone. In Gailey’s last season we had the fewest sacks and CJ’s yards per carry were through the roof. Marrone’s supposed to be a line guy and during his first year we were at the bottom of those stats and seem content to downgrade from Levitre to Williams at LG. Do you know anything we dont about where this might be going?

Dan

CB: I have it on very good authority that the Bills offered Carrington a contract extension before the 2013 season, but he and his agent (the same one as Jairus Byrd) turned it down. Three weeks later Carrington tore his quadriceps tendon and went on I-R in a contract year. Moats was presented with a contract offer this offseason and he chose not to take it thinking he could do better. Whether he did or not we may never know, but he signed a one-year veteran minimum deal with a $65K signing bonus.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Steelers to sign Moats to 1-yr deal

Posted by Chris Brown on March 24, 2014 – 2:15 pm

We mentioned the report over the weekend of Bills FA LB Arthur Moats making a free agent visit to Pittsburgh today (Monday). Now there are reports he’s agreed to a one-year deal with the AFC North club.

That according to Pro Football Talk, which is reporting it to be a one-year deal for Moats.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Moats to visit with Steelers

Posted by Chris Brown on March 23, 2014 – 3:46 pm

The Bills have signed a pair of free agent linebackers this month, but Arthur Moats is still out there and he’s drawn interest from an AFC North team.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review Moats will visit with the Steelers on Monday.

Moats reportedly drew some interest from Cleveland earlier in free agency.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Moats honored at Ed Block Award ceremony

Posted by Anna Stolzenburg on March 18, 2014 – 11:17 am

moats-ed-block-trophy

After being named the Bills 2013 Ed Block Courage Award recipient in December, Arthur Moats and his fellow award winners representing each NFL team were honored Monday night in Baltimore.

The Ed Block Courage Award is presented to a standout player who exemplifies a commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. The recipient symbolizes professionalism, great strength, dedication and serves as a community role model for others.

Moats recovered from sports hernia surgery in the 2013 offseason, and went on to start in a career-best 12 games in 2013 as an inside linebacker. Off-the-field, he is the consummate player philanthropist. He was named the 2013 Bills Walter Payton Man of the Year as well, for both his on- and off-the-field efforts.

Past Bills recipients of the Ed Block Courage Award are listed here.


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Posted in Community, Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Report: Moats reps talking with Browns

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 12:00 pm

NFL Network is reporting that Bills FA LB Arthur Moats has had talks with the Cleveland Browns.

The news isn’t surprising knowing Browns head coach Mike Pettine is looking for as many players as possible that know his defensive system walking in the door. The report indicated that they’ve made significant progress on a potential deal.

Cleveland is also reportedly negotiating with 49ers FA safety Donte Whitner, a Cleveland native.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

What happened on the kick returns

Posted by Chris Brown on December 29, 2013 – 10:57 pm

The Bills gave up a season-high 189 kick return yards on just four returns Sunday. Head coach Doug Marrone tried to explain what went wrong on the two returns by LeGarrette Blount that went for 83 and 62 yards right after Buffalo touchdown drives.

“The missed tackles are what happened,” said Marrone. “I think when you put the film on you’ll see going on there, one time we got collapsed and missed a tackle in a hole. A couple of problems of that one. Obviously if you get knocked out of your lane… on the second one there were three missed tackles by guys in position to make it. You have to make that play and we weren’t able to make it.”

“He bounced it, I want to say, on the back side,” said Arthur Moats. “We squeezed to flat. It was a good play by [LaGarrette Blount]. Initially they hadn’t shown any bounces all year with 29 back there. On the second one we had a guy in the hole he has to make the play.”

Marrone said it’s been difficult to get consistent core of special teams players assembled under special teams coordinator Danny Crossman.

“There are times we haven’t done things well enough, spotty play,” said Marrone. “I don’t disagree with that. I don’t think coach Crossman would disagree with you. But going forward one of the things we have to do is see the teams that have good special teams have good specialists back there returning. But you have to have a core and we really haven’t. That’s one of the things we need to improve on and one of the things we’ll address in the offseason.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Moats back working

Posted by Chris Brown on December 20, 2013 – 11:02 am

Arthur Moats is back practicing here on Friday.

The linebacker was excused from Thursday’s practice to handle a personal matter, but is back working on the field today.

He’s expected to play Sunday.


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Arthur Moats excused

Posted by Chris Brown on December 19, 2013 – 1:43 pm

Bills LB Arthur Moats was not in attendance at practice Thursday and head coach Doug Marrone explained why.

Marrone said Moats was excused for personal reasons. So the linebacker’s absence was non-injury related.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills not sleeping on poor Falcons record

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2013 – 12:41 pm

The Atlanta Falcons have lost eight of their last nine games including the last five in a row. They currently sit at 2-9 on the season and were the first NFC team eliminated from playoff contention. The Bills however, aren’t thinking they can just show up and win on Sunday.

“We know we’re going to get their best,” said Kraig Urbik. “They’re going to come out firing and they’re a good defense too. You look at the guys up front that they have and they have a really good talented defense so yeah their record might not be where they want it to be, but they’re going to come out firing when they come out to play us.”

“We have to approach like this team was in the NFC championship last year and they were in the game,” said Scott Chandler. “It was a good game, so they’re a very talented football team and we’ve got to approach it as they’re a good team.”

“If you look at their offense especially, because that’s what I can speak to, they’ve done  a lot of great things,” said Arthur Moats. “With Matt Ryan out there, he’s still making plays, even with them losing Julio and everything like that, Roddy, he’s still out there, you have to always account for him.  And their running game, between Steven Jackson and Jacquizz, that’s a really good one-two punch.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Moats fined

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2013 – 3:46 pm

Bills LB Arthur Moats has reportedly been fined for his facemask penalty on Patriots WR Julian Edelman last week.

According to the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin, Moats was docked $7,875 for the facemask penalty, which came on a punt return by Edelman in the first quarter. Moats was flagged for a 15-yard penalty on the play.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Moats gets quality snaps

Posted by Chris Brown on September 9, 2013 – 12:41 pm

Bills ILB Arthur Moats did not win a starting job out of training camp at one of the two inside linebacker positions. Those belonged to Nigel Bradham and Kiko Alonso. But in Sunday’s opener, Moats got more snaps than some may have anticipated.

It may have just been a byproduct of the defensive packages defensive coordinator Mike Pettine had in Sunday’s game plan, or the fact that New England’s offense was on the field for 89 plays, but Moats got 24 snaps to Bradham’s 19.

While the difference in playing time is negligible, it’s probably more playing time on defense than most expected for Moats heading into the season.

Moats had three total tackles, including one for loss. Bradham had one tackle and a pass defensed.

Both Moats and Bradham got 19 snaps on special teams.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bradham, Moats busy in preseason

Posted by Chris Brown on August 29, 2013 – 4:37 pm

Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham and Arthur Moats sit atop the snap count board for defensive players thus far this preseason. Here’s a look at the linebacking corps and the action they’ve seen through the first three preseason games.

LB defensive snap counts thru 3 games
Name                                    Snaps
Nigel Bradham                  102
Arthur Moats                     98
Jerry Hughes                      82
Marcus Dowtin                  70
Kiko Alonso (2 gm)            69
Manny Lawson                  63
Bryan Scott                         62
Brian Smith                         49
Jamaal Westerman            29
Keith Pough (2 gm)            19

LB special teams snap counts thru 3 games
Name                                    Snaps

Arthur Moats                     41
Bryan Scott                         33
Marcus Dowtin                 30
Nigel Bradham                  27
Brian Smith                         24
Jerry Hughes                      22
Manny Lawson                 14
Kiko Alonso (2 gm)           11
Keith Pough (2 gm)          5
Jamaal Westerman          2


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Playing time thru 2 for LBs

Posted by Chris Brown on August 24, 2013 – 2:44 pm

Linebackers can often make the roster if they’re not a starter with their play on special teams. Here’s a look at defensive snap counts and special teams snap counts for Buffalo’s linebackers through the first two preseason games.

LB defensive snap counts thru 2 games
Name                                    Snaps
Arthur Moats                     67
Nigel Bradham                  62
Jerry Hughes                      54
Chris White                         53
Bryan Scott                         49
Marcus Dowtin                   48
Brian Smith                         43
Manny Lawson                   41
Kiko Alonso (1 gm)          20

LB special teams snap counts thru 2 games
Name                                    Snaps
Chris White                         36
Arthur Moats                     25
Bryan Scott                         23
Brian Smith                         19
Nigel Bradham                  19
Marcus Dowtin                 19
Jerry Hughes                      17
Manny Lawson                   9
Kiko Alonso (1 gm)          4

Perhaps the most interesting figures belong to that of Chris White, who stands fourth in snaps on defense and first in snaps on special teams. If there is a candidate that fits the mold of a LB that could make because of his special teams play it’s him. He’s one of the five players we profiled in our Five Players to Watch this afternoon. Arthur Moats is another.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on June 9, 2013 – 8:06 am

Here’s where you can find a certain Bills linebacker Monday morning.

Arthur Moats will be on Kiss 98.5 with Janet and Nick Monday morning at 8:30 am.


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on May 14, 2013 – 7:16 am

The Bills are just firing up OTAs and players will be on the local airwaves to talk about it this morning.

Eric Wood will be on WGR 550 at 7:30 am this morning on the Howard Simon show.

Arthur Moats will be on WCMF 96.5 FM at 7:45.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Pettine’s defense puts premium on versatility

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 29, 2013 – 8:20 pm

The Bills pulled off a rare player-for-player trade Monday, sending third year LB Kelvin Sheppard to the Colts in exchange for fourth year LB Jerry Hughes.

And while both the Bills and Colts are willing to part with young defensive talent, the trade seems to be more a product of finding a right fit for the defense. At least that’s what Bills GM Buddy Nix said, in an appearance on The John Murphy Show.

Nix was asked if Sheppard was not a good fit in the new defensive scheme being installed by Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine.

“I think that’s part of it,” he said. “Kelvin is a true middle linebacker–a guy that’s going to play from C-gap to C-gap and he can do that downhill.”

“But Mike Pettine made this statement during the draft,” Nix told host John Murphy. “The days of the Mike linebacker and the strong safety have just about fallen by the wayside. Everything has moved over. You’ve taken the Mike now, and he’s moved over. You’ve moved Will to Mike. And now you walk up Bryan Scott as a nickel linebacker, and he’s now the Will. Those guys got to be able to run and cover.”

Nix says the Bills have stressed versatility in the linebacker moves they’ve made in recent months.

“We got Moats there in the middle-he can play two spots. We got Kiko Alonso in there–he can play two spots. Nigel Bradham can play Will or Mike. That is what we’re coming to.”

The entire interview with Bills GM Buddy Nix is available at Buffalobills.com\johnmurphyshow


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-12

Posted by Chris Brown on April 12, 2013 – 12:29 pm

The 2013 NFL draft is closing in. Pre-draft visits have wrapped up today. Let’s get to this week’s edition of questions from you the fan from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - CB,

Buddy had mentioned following the way the Bengals drafted AJ Green and Andy Dalton. Do you seen a scenario where the Bills go QB in round 1 and WR in round two? What do you think of the possibility of Geno Smith and Justin Hunter? I think these two are the might be the best players available when the Bills will pick in rounds 1 and 2. What are the scouts saying about Hunter, can he separate from DB’s at his size/speed?

CB: I’m at a point now where I getting the sense they don’t like any of the quarterbacks enough to take one at 8. I think that Buffalo doesn’t take a quarterback for sure at 8 if Geno Smith is off the board. So your scenario I believe is unlikely to transpire even though Buddy Nix did mention the desire to make those kinds of additions. I think a receiver is certainly a possibility in round two.

The value at the receiver position is very good between rounds two and four, so there’s also a window of opportunity there for Buffalo to wait on a receiver and address quarterback in round two and receiver in round 3. So what you’re proposing may happen, just in rounds 2 and 3 as opposed to 1 and 2.

As for Hunter specifically there’s no denying his deep speed, but he’s a straight-line speed guy. Having the combination of speed and quickness makes you a killer at wideout. He doesn’t possess both of those qualities, which is why he’s a second round prospect. He is a good route runner, which is what gets him separation. My only concern with him is his slight build. It makes me wonder if he’ll struggle early in his career with press coverage and the physical corners in the NFL. That also concerns me in terms of battling for the ball with DBs in the air.

 

2 – Chris,

Since Chris Kelsay has retired do you think Mario Williams will want his old number back? If so does the new Nike contracts require Mario to pay for all his unsold number 94 jerseys?  Or how does the process work for changing numbers?  Thanks for everything you do Chris!

-Fred M, Scotia NY

CB: It is my understanding that Mario is keeping number 94, but yes if Mario had changed to 90 he would’ve had to cover Nike for the outstanding inventory in terms of money.

 

3 – Chris,
Chris,
With Levitre will the Bills get draft picks this year or next year, from Tennessee, for guard Andy Levitre?
If so, what round picks?

Thanks,
Lee D

CB: The Bills will qualify for compensatory picks if they first and foremost have a net loss of free agents (sign fewer than they lose). That equation can prove difficult because some free agent signings and losses qualify, while others do not. I can say the size of Levitre’s contract would play in Buffalo’s favor, but again only if the Bills have a net loss of free agents or are even.

Determining the rounds is almost impossible at this point because the situations of the other 31 NFL clubs would have to be factored in.

 

4 – Chris,
Do you see the Bills taking Geno Smith or an OG over one of the very talented OLBs (Jarvis Jones or Dion Jordan) or one of the top tackles (Lane Johnson) with the 8th pick?  Just don’t see the value of taking a QB at 8 with the inconsistencies shown by the current candidates.  Also, what do you think of Nigel Bradham possibly moving inside?  Adding his athleticism and speed inside might add significant flexibility as the team moves to a Hybrid structure.

Thanks
Jim from Allentown Pa.

CB: I’m not convinced they like Geno Smith enough to take him at 8. I obviously do not have an expert opinion like the members of the Bills scouting department, but I do like Geno Smith a lot and would not have a problem with them taking him at 8 at all. I’m just doubting he’ll be there.

With that in mind I think the best defensive player on the board is the most likely outcome at 8.

Your assessment of Nigel Bradham is very astute. He has experience playing inside from his days at Florida State. So I would almost anticipate him moving there and being the three down linebacker.

 

5 – Chris,

With the new defensive coaching change, do you feel this will benefit A. Moats who lost his LB spot and then late season played some DE? What position do you see him competing for? Also, with Wilson and Levitre gone, any ideas for who’s going to be the next Show host? Do the fans have a say? Thanks again for all you do Chris!!

Dan in LA

CB: I anticipate Moats lining up in a couple of places, both OLB and ILB. Inside might be the best fit for him, but there is competition there. It’s a wait and see quite frankly.

As for our programming on Buffalobills.com concerning player involvement we’ve reached out to a couple of players, but feel free to provide suggestions. Obviously, participation in such a program is a commitment that a player has to make. We leave it up to them to decide if they want to do it, so please understand if your suggestion is not honored there’s usually a good reason why. Thanks for your viewership of our player programming on Buffalobills.com.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Moats reinforces importance of breakfast

Posted by Anna Stolzenburg on March 29, 2013 – 10:11 am

arthur-visits-school1

With his characteristic energy and positive attitude, Bills linebacker Arthur Moats went out in the community today to congratulate the kids at North Park Middle School in Lockport on their school-wide engagement in a Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative.

Local dairy farmers, through the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, awarded Moats’ visit for the school’s participation in the Breakfast in the Classroom program.

While at the school, he observed the program first hand and spoke to the students, reinforcing the importance of eating breakfast. He also met with teachers to commend them on being positive role models in helping their students work towards overall wellness and academic success.


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Easley and Moats both suffered injuries

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2012 – 11:15 am

In addition to the loss to the Seahawks Sunday, Buffalo also lost a couple of special teams players in the game.

Arthur Moats was carted off the field in the first half after a kickoff play. Marcus Easley was also injured on special teams. Head coach Chan Gailey provided an update in his weekly appearance on WGR Sportsradio 550.

“(Easley) got a hamstring yesterday and I don’t know how bad it is,” said Gailey. “(Moats) had an ankle and I don’t know how bad it is either.”

Moats did have the left ankle immobilized after the game Sunday night.

It’s expected that the Bills head coach will provide an update at his afternoon press conference at 3:30.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Moats will keep helping at DE

Posted by Chris Brown on December 6, 2012 – 10:20 am

Bills LB Arthur Moats has been getting snaps at defensive end the past two games and according to head coach Chan Gailey that will continue.

With Chris Kelsay going to injured reserve Wednesday, Buffalo has three true healthy defensive ends in Mario Williams, Kyle Moore and Shawne Merriman. Mark Anderson sounds as though he’s still a week away from returning to the lineup, so Moats remains in the mix.

“We’ve been a little thin at defensive end and we have to give those guys a blow,” said Gailey. “And to be honest the first time (Moats) went in there two weeks ago he pushed the tackle right back into the quarterback and we remember what he did do when he was playing (outside rush linebacker in 2010). It makes you remember those things. So he’s been a good change of pace to give us a little rest and give a little pressure to the quarterback.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills