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Inside The Bills

Brohm, Stupar not tendered

Posted by Chris Brown on March 1, 2011 – 1:48 pm

While Scott Chandler, Paul Posluszny and Donte Whitner were tendered qualifying offers by the Bills as potential restricted free agents, there were a few such players that were not tendered from Buffalo’s roster.

The five-year players that were not tendered like Whitner (a five-year player) were Keith Ellison, John McCargo and Ashton Youboty.

The three-year players that are almost certain to be restricted free agents under a new labor agreement that were not tendered were Brian Brohm and Quinton Ganther. Jonathan Stupar with two accrued seasons also was not tendered.

Those not tendered could still sign with the Bills at a later time.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jets had answer for empty

Posted by Chris Brown on January 2, 2011 – 5:27 pm

Whenever the Bills went with an empty backfield early the Jets had an answer.

New York would sent six pass rushers when they saw Buffalo go five wide and more often than not they got to Brian Brohm forcing a pair of turnovers.

“It was something we noticed early was any time we went to empty they were going to bring the extra guy that we couldn’t block,” said Fred Jackson. “We had to be aware of where the hot was and try to get it to him and we weren’t successful at that today. You’ve got to give them credit they made the plays.”

Brian Brohm faulted himself for not getting the ball out quick enough as in one such instance his throwing arm was hit as he tried to pass sending the ball straight up in the air before it was intercepted and returned for a touchdown.

“They’re a good team,” said Brohm. “Obviously they’re going to the playoffs, but it also falls on us to get the job done, get the guys blocked, get the ball out of my hand and make sure it doesn’t happen.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

What Brohm has to show

Posted by Chris Brown on January 2, 2011 – 12:33 pm

Brian Brohm makes his second career start today against the Jets and first under Chan Gailey. Suffice to say his head coach will be looking for progress from Brohm from his preseason play.

“I hope so,” said Gailey when asked if he expects progress from his backup quarterback. “I don’t know if that’s unrealistic or not. He hasn’t had a rep in a game. It’s hard to say, ‘Yeah I expect to see a huge amount of progress.’ I hope to see progress. I hope to see how much he has been able to get via osmosis of standing there, sitting in the meetings, taking some reps in practice. It’ll be interesting to see.

“That’s the question mark that everybody has right now. I’m not sure anybody knows. He’s got a good arm. He’s got a good head on his shoulders. He’s made some good throws in practice, but I think we’re all waiting to see what it’s like in a game and can he go out (and do it). He’s had practice all week so that’s been a plus for him.”

If Brohm can put a solid game together it figures to go a long way in determining his future with the Bills as his contract is up after this season. With no new CBA in place, it’s uncertain, but he’ll most likely be a restricted free agent this offseason.

When asked about his future, Brohm chose to worry only about the Jets.

“I’m really not thinking about next year,” he said. “I’m just thinking about this game.”


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Brohm to start

Posted by Chris Brown on January 2, 2011 – 11:50 am

Brian Brohm will start at QB for the Bills today against the Jets.

Its his second career start with the Bills. Ryan Fitzpatrick is serving as the emergency third QB meaning Levi Brown is the backup.


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QBs out for warmups

Posted by Chris Brown on January 2, 2011 – 11:00 am

With the full roster now at the stadium and in the locker room players are starting to make their way to the field for early warm ups.

The quarterbacks are out warming up, but at this point it’s just Brian Brohm throwing, with Levi Brown close by. No sign of Ryan Fitzpatrick, who warmed up earlier.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-31

Posted by Chris Brown on December 31, 2010 – 2:47 pm

Happy New Year Bills fans! One game to go and the Bills will be entering their game with the Jets with a skeleton crew due to injury. As a reminder Fan Friday will continue into the offseason so keep your questions coming at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 - Chris,
 
You mentioned in a previous post that Marcus Easley was doing straight line running, which makes it sound like his injury was an ACL. I know with ACLs the time frame is running in a straight line after 4 months or so. Can you ask him what the injury was?
 
Thanks,
Brian

CB: Hopefully you saw our story on Marcus’ progress on Buffalobills.com this week. I did ask him specifically about the nature of the injury and he said there was a lot of loose and damaged cartilage that had to be cleaned out. Technically his surgery was a scope, but it was a significant procedure in terms of what they had to clean up. I did ask him specifically if there was anything wrong with his ACL and he said, ‘No.’ Knowing he’s only four months removed from the injury and already 100 percent the ACL clearly wasn’t an issue.

2 - Hi Chris,
I know it’s early but I was wondering if Andrew Luck is gone come the bills draft pick, do you think the bills would trade back to add some early picks to move along the building of this team since we still have needs on both sides of the ball.  I was thinking if they end up with a top 5-10 pick and move back a few spots and pick up another 2nd or 3rd round pick that we could still end up with a stud defensive player and add to other positions as well such as TE,LB tackle, and maybe a QB to groom for the future behind Fitz like Locker who is really talented but needs to show up all the time rather than sometimes.  I think adding an all around TE one that can catch and block would really help this team as well, it’s a weapon we’ve been missing since Jay Riemersma.  Your thoughts?
 
Thanks -Showtime.

CB: First of all, Luck even declaring for the draft is still very much up in the air with most reports out west indicating that he’s returning for his senior season. Obviously if his head coach heads to the NFL that could change things. That being said I wouldn’t rule out the Bills trading down, but the bottom line is they need top tier talent that they can put on the field right away and those are usually found in the top 10.

They also needs to fill a lot of holes at a lot of positions, so trading back to acquire more picks has its merit. I think a lot could depend on how the picks in front of them fall and how enamored they might be with prospects that could be available when it’s their turn to pick.

3 - Hi Chris, I have to say I am really proud of the Bills for coming back and playing the way they have played for the second half of the season. Assuming there is football next year, do you see the Bills vying for a playoff spot next year? I mean they might need an infusion of one more draft, but I am impressed with what they have done over the last six games(except for the Minnesota game). What are your thoughts?
 
Tony, Daytona Beach, Fl

CB: It’s really hard to say what this team is going to look like in year two under Gailey and Nix. They’ve got a lot of draft picks to work with and a lot of holes to fill, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. If Nix and his personnel department hit a home run in the draft they could very well be a playoff contender. I just think season two is more likely to be closer to a .500 season. That’s how I see it now. If they get some prime time players in the draft, success could be coming to the Bills sooner rather than later.

4 - Hi Chris,
My question with reagards to Fitz’s relationship with the other 2 quarterbacks. Has Fitz been acting as a mentor towards both Brohm and Brown? Do the other 2 quarterbacks watch film together with Fitz when he’s watching film with the receivers?
 
Rich from Rochacha.

CB: Here’s Ryan’s answer to that very question from this week knowing that Brohm took all the practice reps. He was asked if he’s helped Brian through the week on the practice field and in the film room.

“There’s been a lot of conversation throughout the week and a lot of it has been the same dialogue. He’s had a little bit more of a voice this week because he’s been the one out there taking the snaps in practice. We bounce stuff off each other all week and I try to help him whenever I can.”

5 – Chris,

First of all happy holidays to you and yours. My first question is have you heard anything about Merriman and Nix having any extension talks? I heard he is still attending games (which is not required for IR players) and has even been seen pulling Moats aside to give him tips. That would make a fan such as myself billieve that he is personally interested in Moats’ future or maybe the future of the Bills. Also, many fans see Lee Evans as trade-able with the emergence of Stevie and the group of undrafted free agents, also with Easley and Parrish coming back from IR. So with the size of his contract and the previously mentioned emerging WRs do you think it will/could happen? If so what do you think we could get?
Thank you,
Joe from C.Sq.

CB: Thanks for the well wishes. Haven’t heard anything regarding Merriman and Nix, and my thinking is no one intends to talk to Merriman until they know he’s healthy and can pass a physical, which is not the case right now after he re-injured his Achilles. I saw him last week and his foot was still in a boot.

As for Lee Evans, while fans see him as expendable, I don’t believe the Bills organization feels that way at all. While the young receivers have done a nice job stepping in to fill the void left by Evans and Parrish, I think Evans is a respected receiver by opposing defenses and would afford Johnson more opportunities with teams forced to respect Evans deep speed. None of the young wideouts have Evans’ deep speed.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Brohm’s done this before

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2010 – 3:56 pm

With Brian Brohm taking first team reps the past two days of practice and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s status truly up in the air, Brohm could once again be making a late season start for the Bills on Sunday.

Brohm started in Week 16 last season at Atlanta in a much different offensive system than that of Chan Gailey. Brohm went 17-29 for 146 yards and a pair of INTs in a 31-3 loss.

If he in fact starts on Sunday it will be interesting to see what he can do in Gailey’s offensive system after a consistent if not spectacular preseason this past summer.


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Fan Friday 12-18

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2010 – 2:39 pm

It’s Miami week and Chad Henne has lost his last six starts at SunLife Stadium. We’ll see if the Bills can make it seven. Now to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.
1 - Chris,

I am a diehard Bills fan, and though this season has been as tough as I can remember, I love to see how hard the players have fought for their victories as well as their narrow defeats.  What bothers me is that during every game, you can almost count the seconds until they have a costly fumble at an inopportune time.  This past week was full of them. I’ll let Fitzpatrick slide on the interceptions, because sometimes he’s just trying to make a tough play…but the fumbles are so easy to prevent.  It started with Nelson’s fumble against Baltimore, and has continued every week.  What is the coaching staff doing to teach better ball protection?  Sometimes, you just need to stop fighting for the extra yard, and hit the deck – as Mike Wallace did during the overtime period against Pittsburgh.  Get what you can, and get down before you get stripped.  If Nelson does this, we beat Baltimore and possibly gain the confidence to win a few more close games.  Nevertheless, Go Bills!  You’ve got a lot of fans who will support you through everything.

Rob
Syracuse, NY

CB: Ball security has been an issue no question. Buffalo is tied for third in fumbles through 13 games played with 26. Only Arizona (28) and Oakland (29) have more. More importantly the Bills are fifth in the league in fumbles lost with 12. On Carolina, Denver, the Giants and Tennessee have more.

I asked coach Gailey about this problem a couple of weeks ago. Here was his response.

“The ball has been out way too much the last few ball games. That’s something we harp on and talk about every week. So you just have to get back to it with these guys. You make them concentrate on it and work on drills each week. It’s not something that you ever take for granted. It’s something you work on and concentrate on each week.”

Truthfully, there’s only so much a coaching staff can do to keep guys from fumbling. In the end it’s the players on the field that have to remember proper ball security.

2 - Hey Chris,
 
I was wondering what a day in the typical work week looks like for players and coaches.  When do they all arrive, where do they go?  What do they do?  When do they leave?  Also, I assume for home games they are expected to arrive at the stadium by like 9:30 or 10:00, but for away games, when do they fly out?  Do they always fly, even if they are only going to, say, Cleveland?  Are they expected to bring anything they’ll want, or does the team have someone make sure they have 180 sweatbands and gloves?  I know this is not “on the field” stuff, but its stuff that I really wonder about. 

Thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions.
 
Jimmy (Fairport)

CB: Coaches work a lot more hours than players. Typically 15 to 16 hours a day. Their longest day is Tuesdays. That’s typically when they put the game plan together for the next game. They also lay out the practice schedule for the week in terms of play installs and situational football. For them it’s a seven-day work week.

For the players their day typically starts at 7am. Lighter days of work are usually Monday and Friday. On Mondays they review game film from the previous game and get treatment for injuries. Some may begin to watch tape of the next opponent. Tuesdays are their day off.

Wednesday is the beginning of prep for the next game with meetings (offense, defense) and positional meetings (DBs, LBs, QBs, etc.). Practice is in the afternoon and most watch film on their own Wed-Fri. after practices.

Saturday practice is typically situational football, before they leave to travel in early afternoon for away games. They always fly to away venues, even Cleveland. Equipment staff packs bags for players Friday. Players just bring an overnight bag on their own.

Players have choice of early bus, second bus or late bus to the stadium on game day. Last one usually arrives around 9:45 for a 1 pm game. After away games they’re on buses back to the airport and wheels up about 90 minutes after the game is over.

3 - Hey Chris,
I was wondering if we were going to see any of Brian Brohm or Levi Brown this year?  There are only 3 games left and the playoff picture has been painted so it seems that it would make sense to start evaluating talent for next year.  Would it not?  I think that we know what we have in Fitzpatrick and it would be interesting to see how Brohm and/or Levi would fair not that Gailey has effectively implemented his offensive scheme.  I look forward to your thoughts!
 
Regards
Eric from Rochester, NY

CB: Barring an injury to Fitz I would not expect to see either of them this season. Fitz has earned the right to finish the season and it’s my belief that Chan Gailey and his offensive staff feel they know everything they need to know about Brian Brohm and Levi Brown.
4 - If there is a lock out this offseason what happens with the draft? Will there be one this year and another next year with the same order?
Nicholas Flickinger

CB: The 2011 NFL draft will go on as scheduled. I’ve made a personal inquiry as to whether the date of the draft (April 28-30) might be moved up knowing the current CBA expires March 3. I was told by the league office that the draft date is set.

As for the 2012 NFL draft I’m not anticipating it will be affected because the labor issues should be solved by then.
5 – Chris,
 
What are the chances of seeing DT Kellen Heard on the field soon? What are the details on the length of his contract?
 
With the worst rushing defense in the league, it wouldn’t hurt to see him get some snaps, especially against a run-heavy Dolphins team.
 
Thanks,
Brian

CB: I think it’s a long shot to see him on the field. The Bills have made a point of bringing in a lot of talent off the waiver wire and other places to see if they are players that can help them from a depth perspective or perhaps more NEXT season. Here’s what Chan had to say about Heard to give you a better idea.

“We want him to learn,” said Gailey. “If we get an injury or two he may have to go in there and play at the end of the season here, but we really don’t have any expectations right now. We just want him to learn and see how he moves around and how he picks up things. He does have to be ready though just in case. He’s a guy we wanted a closer look at in the practice setting.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-10

Posted by Chris Brown on December 10, 2010 – 2:09 pm

Could be a winter weather mess on Sunday for Bills-Browns. In the meantime we answer your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 - Chris,
With everyone buzzing about Andrew Luck being the Bills quarterback of the future, I have two questions.  My first question is, how are Levi Brown and Brian Brohm looking?  My understanding is that the Bills released Trent Edwards to give more snaps to these young guys and see what they are capable of.  So before start saving up for my Andrew Luck jersey, do you think Brown or Brohm have a chance at stepping up into the role of “the future”?  Second question, As well as Fitz has played, I don’t believe he is the long term solution.  BUT, Do you think he is good enough that the Bills will not draft a QB in the first round?  Instead draft a defensive stud like Marcell Dareus (Alabama) to help in the 3-4?
Thanks,
Bob in Jacksonville, FL
(Rochester native)

CB: I think you can count on GM Buddy Nix not pigeon-holing himself into taking a QB no matter what with Buffalo’s top pick. Luck is the pick if he’s on the board. He’s about as sure a thing to come along since Peyton Manning in terms of NFL success. Not saying he’s going to be him, but Peyton had similar sure fire success written all over him when he came out.

Trent Edwards was not cut to give Brohm and Brown more opportunities. He was cut because he wasn’t the answer. Just because he is not doesn’t mean that Brohm and Brown necessarily are. They have to prove that on the field in practice.

I think there’s some upside to Brown, who still has a lot to learn. Brohm I think showed he’s capable in the preseason. But I don’t know that either of them are the future long term starter for this team.

Fitz has done well for himself this season and could help this team in that role again next season (he’s signed through 2011), but adding a top flight quarterback prospect is still a priority for this franchise in the short term.

Again that doesn’t guarantee that the Bills will take one early. That will depend on how the board falls and who they feel is worth an investment that high in the draft. Luck may prove to be the only worthy candidate in that situation, especially knowing Buffalo has several other positional needs (pass rushing LB, OT, ILB, etc.)

2 - Chris,
Watched the Steelers game and was impressed by Alex Carrington’s play.  Looked like he got a good push off the edge, worked well on containment and pretty much held up his end, especially given the amount of playing time he has had.  Do you see the same things and do you see him getting more playing time during the rest of the season?
As always, appreciate your insights.
Jim
Macungie, Pa.

CB: As Chan Gailey has said from the start, Carrington is a bit further along as a rookie against the pass because sacking the quarterback was something he did particularly well at Arkansas State. This is the first time he’s playing in a 3-4, so that’s been an adjustment for him.
Gailey feels he needs to improve against the run a bit, and with Dwan Edwards now lost for the season he’s going to get a lot of valuable experience on the field. I really liked him coming out and I think this kid can be an anchor at end for this team for a long time.

3 - Chris,
I am an avid Bills fan from West Virginia!! (originally from Buffalo). You have been a very big supporter of Lee Evans, and I agree with you that he is a talent!  Would you agree that he may be similar to Trent Edwards in that he demonstrates his physical talent in practice and disappears on game day?  I don’t like that they pay him elite money, and he doesn’t produce as you’d expect.  

With the emergence of Steve Johnson, Donald Jones, and with Roscoe Parrish and youngster Marcus Easley returning next year, do you see any chance that they unload Evans for a low round draft choice just to free up future cap space to reinvest in our front 7 or o-line?  
Thank you and I look forward to hearing your responses!
Jim Eimer

CB: Jim you raise an interesting point. Stevie Johnson’s emergence has unfortunately shed a new light on Lee Evans’ production. He does have trouble getting consistent separation against bump and run coverage and opponents know this. What was once a position of perceived weakness is rounding into a pretty deep group.

As you astutely point out, Easley will return next year and was turning heads in the spring and early in training camp. However, unloading Evans at his current contract level (near $9M per season) would be supremely difficult.
4 – Chris,

Is the NFL Competition Committee going to look at this ridiculous “icing the kicker” stunt, that is employed by NFL coaches, after the season? Time out is called for no other reason than to make the field goal kicker kick the ball a second time -in the hope that he will miss.
  
It is really not fair to call time out after the kicker has gone through his motion and the ball is in the air. Something needs to be done about this!

LeeD
 
CB: I supposed it’s possible that it will be looked at a bit closer now that more coaches are making use of the timeout prior to the snap of the ball. But I’ve talked to Rian Lindell at length about this and he maintains it’s a non-issue for kickers. Here’s what he said about opposing coaches forcing you to kick it a second time with the timeout call.

“It really is a little like golf if you get to re-tee it after the first shot,” said Lindell. “I would think the second shot would probably be better. You get to see how the ball travels if the wind is blowing and if it’s carrying well. And there’s enough time there to go to the sideline and then come back on.

“I think fans believe that we’re obsessing over the kick through the whole timeout, but really I’ve been thinking about that kick since the offense got the ball. It’s not just all of a sudden I’m spending extra time thinking about it. So an extra 30 seconds is not a big deal.”

Lindell has said that other kickers in the league feel the same way. If you remember the only reason he missed that second 53-yarder against Kansas City was because his foot hit the ground before the ball and catching all that dirt slowed the momentum of his follow through. And that kick still hit the upright.

Personally I don’t like it. It cheapens the game, but if kickers don’t mind it, I don’t think it’s going away.

5 - Hi Chris,

I am curious about the nature of football players like Shawn Nelson and Percy Harvin having migraines. Is this football related or genetics? It would be great if you could shed some light on this. Thanks!
Much appreciated.

Stephen A. Naetzker

CB: Being a migraine sufferer myself (2-4 a year), which is not even close to those that Harvin or Nelson experience, I know a little bit about migraines. First of all, research has shown that migraine headaches are often hereditary and affect three times as many women as men.

If one parent has these severe headaches, children have a 50 percent chance of also having them. If both parents have migraines, the chance for a child to be predisposed to migraines goes up 75 percent. Even if a distant relative has migraine headaches, a 20 percent chance exists that any offspring will be prone to migraine headaches.

In talking with Shawn I know his mother suffered from migraine headaches so he was at increased risk to have them as well.

But there are a lot of triggers for migraines as well , such as stress , change in the weather, changes in air pressure (flying in planes), bright sunlight, flickering light from TVs or computers, odors or fumes and eating habits.

As you see there’s a wide range of triggers and migraines themselves range widely in severity. Just know that migraines are now classified as a chronic illness, not a headache. They’re not fun and they can be extremely debilitating. Hope that helps.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

The plan for Brohm

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2010 – 10:46 am

When Trent Edwards was released on Monday head coach Chan Gailey said that he and his offensive staff wanted to work with Brian Brohm more. He elaborated on that point with Buffalobills.com to explain exactly what he meant.

“Fitz is our starter and whoever is third you don’t get to work with the offense,” said Gailey. “They don’t take reps in practice. They don’t get to throw to the receivers during practice hardly at all. I want to see what Brian Brohm can do getting some reps with the offense (in the practice setting).

“Trying to develop him more and making him better is the goal. It’s to see how we can develop another young player that we don’t know a lot about. He did some good things in the preseason, but we’re trying to find out who can step into roles for us, not only this year, but in the future.”

With Brian Brohm’s contract up after this season, Gailey and his staff want to gather more knowledge on just what Brohm can give this team should he be pressed into action.


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Brown back in fold

Posted by Chris Brown on September 28, 2010 – 1:45 pm

With Levi Brown back on the roster Buffalo now has a couple of quarterbacks they can develop further.

Head coach Chan Gailey made it clear on Monday following the release of Trent Edwards that they want to continue  to work with Brian Brohm, who will now be the backup behind Ryan Fitzpatrick. But Brown was a player they clearly liked coming out and although his final preseason game had some ups and downs with accuracy, it’s obvious there’s some quality raw talent to be cultivated in the Troy State product.

Knowing Gailey’s history of getting the most out of young signal caller’s talents, it’ll be interesting to see how far Brown can come in his time under Gailey and quarterbacks coach George Cortez.


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Fan Friday 9-24

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2010 – 12:35 pm

New week, new QB in Fitzpatrick, new #2 WR in Parrish and RB by committee. We’ll see what happens. On to your questions, which as always can be sent to AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 - Hey Chris,
With our lackluster performance so far on offense, do you think it was wise to take C.J Spiller instead of a top left tackle? Brian Bulaga was still on the board when Buffalo picked 9th, and most of our problems on offense seem to stem from our O-line. Not trying to take anything away from Spiller but why draft an explosive running back if there’s no one to block for him?
Chris
Manchester, CT

CB: I understand and respect your frustration. As the Bills explained on draft weekend, they were not going to fill a positional need with a guy that they did not believe fit the value of where they were picking.

In their eyes there was not a tackle they felt was worthy of the 9th overall pick when they were on the clock. I believe if Okung or Trent Williams was still there there’s a good chance they would’ve taken them, but they weren’t.

They chose to take the best player on the board. Taking the best player on the board might not look as good when a team has as many holes as the Bills do, but as Buddy Nix said you can’t fill them all in one year.

In fact the Bills might not be able to fill them all by this time next year. And I realize that seeing Bryan Bulaga start at left tackle this week for Green Bay won’t make it any easier.

But I believe that the team’s GM and head coach know football and know how to put a winning program together. The most difficult thing for fans to face is that it will take time to fix the shape the roster is in right now from past mistakes.

2 - Do you see Buffalo going after Vick in this upcoming off season because with this team they are lucky if they win 2 games. I know that this team is high on character guys but they don’t get the job done. Last year Tony Dungy believed that Vick would wind up in buffalo after the one year deal that Philly gave him.

I was just wondering what your thoughts were as far as Vick goes because to me he looks pretty damn good even better than when he was in Atlanta. I believe that he would be a major upgrade to what we have now but of course for the Bills would have to actually spend some cash and not waste it on other players. I believe Vick has paid his dues and then some just wondering what you thought.                      
Thanks
Jon
Tampa,FL   (former Lockportian, NY)

CB: While I believe there is value in having a mobile quarterback that can improvise when you’re trying to re-construct an offensive line into a consistent pass protecting unit, I’m not sure Vick is the kind of player that would be in their plans. I suppose anything is possible, but I believe that Buddy Nix will address positional holes through the draft.

3 – Chris,
 
I’m pretty sure every Bills fan is as frustrated as I am.  When is the team going to stop giving generic answers to questions held in press conferences and start correcting the problems we have?  The offensive line is 80% of our problem.  It has been blatantly obvious through the first 2 games.  I can’t even blame Trent anymore.  He literally has NO time to throw the ball.  Other teams get pressure on us even when they only rush 3 or 4 players.  Do you see us making a major move to get help in this area?  Is there anyone available?   

Thanks,
Jason

CB: There’s nothing on the open market at this stage of the game that would represent an upgrade on the offensive line. Granted, pass protection has been a major issue for this team’s offense for some time now. I believe one of the major reasons Chan Gailey made the switch to Ryan Fitzpatrick this week is because Fitz is more mobile and can get away from trouble and is good at improvising when a play breaks down. Hopefully the line comes together in the coming weeks.

4 – Hey Chris, I was wondering what the deal is with Alex Carrington I thought he was doing well in camp and I noticed he hasn’t even been active. Do you think he will play later in the season or is he turning out to be a bust?

Dan from western MA

CB: I actually asked coach Gailey what Carrington needs to do in the practice setting to get on the field more for his Bills Digest Q&A. Here was his answer.

He’s earned the right to contribute on Sundays. You’ve just got to deactivate seven players each week and the numbers get you because of special teams. The last two weeks we played teams that have us using nickel packages more and our outside backers are pass rushers and we don’t need as many down linemen.

Now against the Jets this week that may change because they’re more of a two back running team. It’s more of a week to week thing. He’s earned the right to play. It’s just the numbers catch us and we’ve got some more experienced players in those positions.

 

5 – Chris:

Do you think the Bills will make a trade before the trade deadline to get a quarterback, linebacker or offensive lineman?  I remember when the Bills made the blockbuster trade for Cornelius Bennet prior to the trade deadline.  That trade made a huge, long-term impact on the team.  We have Lynch, draft choices and probably most players (other than Spiller) that we could trade.  I believe that the Bills need to make a major move to give the fans hope, or this will be a very, very long season which will have devastatingly long term effects on the fan base.

John VonLangen
Anchorage, AK 

CB: I don’t see a quarterback coming in at this stage of the game. Brian Brohm is a perfect example of why it’s hard to bring a quarterback on board once the season is already underway. They not only are foreign to the offensive system, but they’ve never repped it in the practice setting. Brohm has talked about how difficult it was for him to catch up and feel comfortable with the Bills offensive system when he was signed to the Bills roster in Week 3 last year.

Even though he started at Atlanta in Week 16 last year he still had a reduced game plan because even at that point in time he had not yet mastered the offensive playbook, and should not have been expected to quite frankly.

As for a linebacker or an offensive lineman, there aren’t too many teams willing to part with capable starting caliber players unless you’re willing to offer one in return. You mentioned Lynch, but I believe he’s here for the duration of the season.

I think the front office is going to build this team methodically year to year and not with quick fixes once the season is underway unless there’s a rash of injuries at one position.


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QB pecking order

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2010 – 3:06 pm

Ryan Fitzpatrick is starting at quarterback, but Trent Edwards will still play a role.

Chan Gailey confirmed that Edwards will serve as the team’s backup quarterback. That means that Brian Brohm will remain the team’s 3rd signal caller.


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Aaron Rodgers on Brohm

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2010 – 9:19 am

This Sunday will mark the first trip back to Green Bay for Brian Brohm since he was signed off the Packers practice squad by Buffalo early last season. Packers starting QB Aaron Rodgers was asked for his thoughts on Brohm having spent a couple of preseasons with him.

“I think Brian is a very smart kid and he understands the game,” said Rodgers. “He’s been around the game his entire life with his brother being a player and coach. He really got a great opportunity to grow around football and is a student of the game.”


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The Bills #2 QB

Posted by Chris Brown on September 6, 2010 – 2:55 pm

Chan Gailey confirmed who the number two quarterback is for his team heading into the season.

When asked who his backup signal caller is, the Bills head coach gave a one word answer.

“Fitz,” he said.

So Ryan Fitzpatrick will go into Sunday’s game as the number two, with Brohm the emergency third QB.


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Brohm feels he did his best

Posted by Chris Brown on September 3, 2010 – 6:23 am

Brian Brohm got his last chance to make a final impression on the coaching staff and convince them that if he can’t be the starter that he should be the backup.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, who played more in the third preseason game looked sharp going 6-9 for 77 yards and a touchdown in his final outing. Brohm finished Thursday night 7-15 for 78 yards and an INT leading the team on a pair of field goal drives.

He finished the preseason 21-37 passing (56%) for 203 yards leading the offense to three field goals on 13 possessions.

“I like to think I did my best,” said Brohm. “Each and every play I went out there and tried to do the right thing. I felt like most of the time I made the right reads. There were a couple of throws I wish I could’ve made better. Other than that I think all the film is going to speak for itself right now and the coaches are going to make the decisions on what they feel is best for the team.”

“He did some good things and some bad things,” said Gailey. “I think I’m going to need to go and watch the film to get a truer evaluation of that. But he did some nice things. He scrambled great. It’s sort of sad when your quarterback is your leading rusher. He did a great job of scrambling and getting out of junk.”

Gailey criticized his second offensive line’s lack of effectiveness in blocking.


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QB rotation update

Posted by Chris Brown on September 2, 2010 – 11:25 am

After Trent Edwards’ time on the field is done with the starters in tonight’s preseason game against the Lions, here’s how things are expected to go at the quarterback position.

Brian Brohm will be the next quarterback on the field and he’s expected to get two quarters of action. Brohm barely got any playing time in the last preseason game against Cincinnati last weekend. He got on the field with 4:40 left in the game and attempted just one pass.

Buffalobills.com has learned that Ryan Fitzpatrick will not play in tonight’s preseason finale. Fitzpatrick got the majority of the playing time last week against the Bengals where he went 6-9 for 77 yards and a touchdown along with a 130 passer rating. At this point one has to think that the Bills know what they have in Fitzpatrick, which is why he won’t see any time on the field tonight.

Levi Brown will come on after Brohm has had his time on the field.


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More time for Brohm Thurs.

Posted by Chris Brown on August 30, 2010 – 3:41 pm

After Brian Brohm saw the least amount of playing time of the three QBs that played Saturday against the Bengals, the Bills coaching staff intends to get him some more against the Lions in the preseason finale.

“We were trying to get him in there and they kept the ball for a little bit longer than we thought they might,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “So we’re going to try to make sure this week we get his numbers up in this ball game.”

Brohm entered Saturday’s game with 4:40 left in the game and got a total of just eight plays. He made just one pass attempt, which fell incomplete.


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Nix on number of QBs to be kept

Posted by Chris Brown on August 26, 2010 – 12:05 pm

During an appearance on the Shredd and Ragan show on 103.3 The Edge this week, Bills GM Buddy Nix was asked how many quarterbacks will be kept on the final roster. Nix gave the following response.

We’ve got four and we’ll take three,” said Nix.

Of course Nix did not divulge what three would be kept, but it seems clear that Trent Edwards will be on the roster and seventh-round pick Levi Brown is a player that the team wants to develop. Placing him on the team’s practice squad could be risky as any other NFL club could sign him off Buffalo’s practice squad to their active roster if they so choose.

If the Bills brass determines that Brown must be on the active roster for safekeeping, then it will mean that Brian Brohm and Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the two men fighting for one roster spot.


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Fan Friday 8-20

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2010 – 2:31 pm

Here’s the latest edition.

On the heels of the preseason win over the Colts wanted to get to some of your most recent questions as well as some I’ve been meaning to get to. (AskChris@bills.nfl.net).

1 - Hey Chris,
Wondering how Marcus Stroud is feeling about sliding to end this year? I hear that he is slimmed down a bit.  I personally think he is going to be a beast out wide and am really excited to see what he can do this season playing in a 3-4.  Your thoughts?
Go Bills!
Adam (Los Angeles)

CB: Stroud is the fittest he’s ever been in his career. He’s hovering just under 300 right now, which works for where he’s going to be lining up this season. He’s excited about playing the five-technique or DE spot in the 3-4. Had a good showing against Indy with a tackle for loss. What we all have to remember is those spots up on the line in the 3-4 are not the glamor positions at all. They are often asked to stand there and grind with the linemen while the linebackers clean up behind them and make plays. That being said, I believe that him along with Kyle Williams and Dwan Edwards is a good front three in year one of a new scheme.

2 - It seems that the battle is between Edwards and Brohm. I think Brohm gives them the best chance to air the ball out due to Edwards being reluctant to go deep. Do you think this will sway Gailey’s decision? Do you think he would go with him if he believes Brohm will take more chances? Thanks again for your coverage.

Wes

Only Bills Fan in KY

CB: I respectfully disagree. Edwards has been more willing to push the ball downfield in the practice setting in training camp and followed through in the second preseason game against Indy. I think Brohm isn’t shy about going downfield either, but Edwards I believe is no longer under the shroud of conservative play that was pressed upon him by the previous coaching regime. And as for the only Bills in Kentucky signature, I think George Wilson, a Paducah native with family in the Bluegrass State would respectfully disagree with you.

3 - Hi Chris,

Thanks for all the great updates. Quick question, I didn’t see Shawn Nelson on the field last night versus the Colts.  Is he injured?

Thanks

Jon

CB: You’re right he did not play in the Indy game, but as you know by now he was suspended by the league for the first four games of the regular season. He can still play and practice in the preseason. We’ll have to ask Chan on Saturday at camp why he did not even play.

4 – Chris, 

With Coach Gailey’s reputation for working with the talent he has, I was wondering how long it takes him to determine his players strengths and tailor his offense for them?   I imagine a lot of the ground work can be laid during practice, but I assume there is an amount of live game snaps to finally decide on strengths and weaknesses, probably a trial and error situation until he is finally comfortable with the type of play selection that will be used. 

Thanks,

Phil

CB: He’s told me that he and his staff use the preseason games to make final determinations. In fact with the three-headed monster in the offensive backfield, it was his intention to determine specific roles for Jackson, Lynch and Spiller based on how they performed and executed certain plays. That of course has been delayed by the Jackson and Lynch injuries, but that’s how he approaches it with every position. And if you think about it, do you really know until you see a player try and execute in live game conditions? His approach makes sense to me.

5 – Chris,

I know it’s still early in the preseason, but I see a long season.  But did you think there were any stand-outs in the games?  Do you think the Bills will go to free agency or trades to help the team or will they go with what they have and season them? 

John Supple

Lancaster, CA

CB:  I think you have to take into account a few things with respect to this season. First and foremost when NFL teams implement new schemes on offense, defense and special teams, no matter how much you rep it in practice it’s still not the same as in the games. Making those adjustments at game speed takes some getting used to, which is why most teams under a new coach are not wildly successful.

As Buddy Nix has stated, he is not a proponent of quick fixes in free agency unless it can make the team dramatically better. He believes in building through the draft. So I think despite the fact that there is a lot of talent on this team there are still holes. And those holes will be filled in a methodical fashion, not a quick fix fashion. I know patience is the last thing Bills fans have after 10 years of no playoffs, but rebuilding a team is a process, not a snap of the fingers.


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