Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 2-16

Posted by Chris Brown on February 16, 2018 – 11:33 am

Lets’ get right to your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills and on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Hi Chris,

Many thanks for all the updates and info this past season. With all the focus on the upcoming draft is there any chance the Bills look to keep Tyrod with a new OC whose scheme may better fit Tyrod’s skill set? Then look to fill holes with all the draft picks they have acquired and/or hope one of the non-top 5 QB’s are still there at 21/22? I realize it is early in the process as GM Beane noted and a lot could change.

Thank you.
Bryon
Plattsburgh, NY

 

CB: You’re right that a lot can change between now and the week after the NFL draft. That being said, I think there is a real possibility that Tyrod Taylor remains the starter. There is a lot of uncertainty regarding the quarterback position in terms of what could be available in free agency and who is affordable in a way that doesn’t cripple a team’s cap situation.

As for new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, he certainly comes in with very recent experience working with a mobile quarterback in Alabama’s Jalen Hurts.

I’m sure there will be a lot of conversations among the offensive staff this offseason as to what, and with whom, their best approach would be to move the offense forward. The passing game was frankly substandard last season. Can Daboll help to improve it with Taylor in the lineup?

That’s the big question.

The next question is what other quarterback talent can the Bills realistically acquire in terms of price tag and/or draft capital.

There may not be defined answers on the draft capital question until a week or two before the draft. And with more demand than supply concerning free agent QBs, the price to acquire one is going up and some teams are likely going to overpay.

I get the sense that Bills GM Brandon Beane isn’t big on overpaying, even at QB.

 


2 –
Hi Chris,

Do you think the Bills will draft another wide receiver? Or do you believe that Kelvin Benjamin, Jordan Matthews, Zay Jones, Deonte Thompson, and Brandon Tate are sufficient?

Your thoughts,
Tony Falzone
Daytona Beach, FL

CB: Perhaps the most important factor about your question is 60 percent of the players you mentioned are impending free agents. Matthews, Thompson and Tate all have expiring contracts come March.

It’s hard to know what each of those players is thinking, although I do know that Thompson enjoyed playing in Buffalo this past year having spoken with him.

Matthews needs a high-volume passing attack to maximize his value. Over the last three years the Bills are dead last in the league in pass attempts at just over 29 per game. Unless there’s a dramatic shift planned by offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, or a significant change at QB, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jordan Matthews looks elsewhere.

Let’s not forget too that he’s coming off a pair of offseason surgeries, so he may have to sign a one-year prove it deal, and that would only increase his need to find a high-volume passing attack.

Thompson and Tate should be affordable options to bring back to the fold. Hopefully a full offseason helps Kelvin Benjamin blend into the passing game more effectively and Zay Jones takes a big step in season two of his career.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

What position do you see the Bills making their biggest-dollar signing at in free agency, presuming they look to make another Micah Hyde-level signing?

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: I don’t get the overwhelming sense that the Bills will be big spenders in free agency. GM Brandon Beane has made it clear he is still trying to get the Bills cap in a more flexible position and sees free agency as a means to set themselves up for the draft.

To me that means filling some positional holes with value-based signings, not big splash type moves.

If there were to be a signing the level of Micah Hyde this offseason I think it would be at linebacker, defensive tackle or cornerback. And to be clear, not all three, but rather at one of those three positions. That is where they are short on numbers when it comes to starting-caliber players.

It’s reasonable to believe Beane would like to have a starting-caliber player plugged in at one of those positions prior to the draft at the very least.

 

4@ChrisBrownBills

There are numerous reports out there that the Bills have been scouting Josh Rosen extensively, do you think the Bills perceived high interest in him is smoke and mirrors, or will do what’s necessary to go get him?

Michael McMasters
@kidmickey85

CB: To be truthful I’d be disappointed if the Bills didn’t scout Josh Rosen and every other top quarterback prospect extensively. Buffalo’s scouting department wouldn’t be doing their level best if they didn’t scout each QB prospect extensively. It’s par for the course.

To what lengths would the Bills go to land Rosen, or any other QB prospect that may be at the top of their board?

That’s tough to peg, only because I believe it will largely depend on how the top of the board unfolds.

I don’t see the Bills paying a king’s ransom to get to the top of the board. There are just too many other holes for the team to address. Solving the quarterback position for the long term is perhaps the most important hole to fill, but a dozen other teams are looking to do the same thing.

That drives up the cost of doing business to accomplish that.

I think GM Brandon Beane feels out the market both in free agency and the draft and then makes a judgment call on whether it’s worth paying the price to address the QB position in a way that would satisfy him and head coach Sean McDermott.

I realize that’s probably not a pinpoint answer, but it’s the best I can do at this point.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Any chance the Bills draft a 1st round QB AND seek a big name free agent like a Foles, Cousins, or Bridgewater?

Jason Carroll
@jasonlikesfun

CB: I would be surprised if they did both.

The reason why is, if you’re drafting a QB in round one, you’re pretty convinced he’s your long-term answer at the position going forward. If he’s not then you shouldn’t be drafting him in round one.

The thought process is much the same with the free agent QBs you mentioned. If you’re going to land a free agent like Cousins or Bridgewater (provided he’s ruled a free agent – NFL Management Council has to determine this) you’re going to be either be paying franchise QB type money or parting with assets for Foles (who is under contract) that indicates you believe him to be franchise caliber.

If you’re willing to do that in free agency I think you’re committing to that player long term at the position. So drafting a QB in round one as well seems counterintuitive, especially when there are plenty of other positional holes to be filled on the roster.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-19

Posted by Chris Brown on January 19, 2018 – 11:26 am

We’ll have full Senior Bowl practice coverage next week Bills fans, so keep it close to Buffalobills.com and the John Murphy Show! Now to your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think Rudolph could be a target pick for bills? Keep some draft capital get him at 21?

Brian
@Bhainsy

CB: Right now Rudolph is a bit off the pace as a QB prospect from the top four (Darnold, Rosen, Allen, Mayfield), due primarily to the fact that NFL clubs don’t know what his mental processing skills are on a football field. He has all the physical tools to be a pocket passer in the NFL, but he played in a very simple offense. So calling plays, diagnosing coverages, reading progressions, taking snaps under center are all unknowns. That’s why it’s unfortunate that Rudolph won’t be practicing this week at the Senior Bowl. He could’ve begun to answer some of those questions by putting his decision making during team periods of practice on display.

I think at this point it’s very realistic that he’ll be on the board for the Bills in the early 20’s. He’s currently projected as a late one, early two by some of the more respected draft prognosticators.


2 –
@ChrisBrownBills

Do you foresee Shady becoming more of a change of pace back/third down back to preserve his career a few more years? It would be nice to get a solid move the chains type bruiser for early downs…thoughts?

Alan C
@alancolic

CB: McCoy did not show any signs of slowing down whatsoever in 2017. That said, he’ll be 30-years old for 2018. I personally see him as one of the exceptions to the popular rule that running backs decline after their 28th birthday. The main reason being his running style doesn’t expose him to big time hits which cause the most wear and tear on the body.

I am however, in favor of getting a capable back who can reduce the workload on McCoy. The Bills did a good job managing his carries. He averaged 18 carries per game in 2017, which I think would still be manageable for McCoy going forward. But introducing a steady backup, who can get five to 10 carries per game would be advisable to prolong McCoy’s freshness through the latter stages of the season, especially if there are playoff games in January where the offense will naturally lean on him more.


3 –
@ChrisBrownBills

Chicken-egg situation: do the #Bills draft a QB with skill set that fits what Daboll wants to do? Or design offense around whatever QB they draft?

Tyler Moss
@TyLynnMoss

CB: While I believe there is some consideration to the style of offense the Bills would prefer to run in drafting a quarterback prospect, I don’t think it would preclude the Bills from taking the player they believe to be the best prospect at the position when they’re on the board.

It’s not the best example, but Cam Newton, a player who was drafted in Carolina when both Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott were there wasn’t an ideal fit for a pro-style offense. He was not a pure passer and he never played in a pro system, but he was far and away the best prospect at the position.

So, in general I think most NFL clubs tend to focus on drafting the best player at the position, then worry about how they’ll make use of his skill set.

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

What do you think Cordy Glenn’s future is with the Bills? If they move on, does he have trade value with that contract?

Josh McCarty
@Josh_McCarty28

CB: Step one for Glenn is to get back to full health following the latest procedure on his foot. By all accounts he is doing very well in his rehabilitation and is on track to be full go for the start of the offseason conditioning program in April.

I do understand why there is speculation about Glenn being a trade option for the Bills, knowing how well Dion Dawkins performed at left tackle in Glenn’s absence.

Taking that hypothetical situation a step further, it’s obvious that Glenn’s cap figure for 2018 ($14.45M) is second only to Tyrod Taylor ($18M) on Buffalo’s roster.

But to move Glenn via trade or outright release prior to June 1st would only give Buffalo a cap savings of $4.85M with $9.6M in dead money still on their books.

If the Bills moved him after June 1st, such a move becomes more fiscally responsible.

The cap savings would be more than $11M and the dead money would be cut by two-thirds ($3.2M). However, moving a player via trade that late in the offseason is rare, but quality left tackles with a proven track record and just 28-years old are not easy to find. So even that late in the game I think he absolutely has trade value.

Just knowing how much GM Brandon Beane wants to continue to clear dead money off the Bills cap so they have more flexibility in their spending going forward, I find it hard to fathom them trying to move Cordy Glenn prior to June 1st knowing the cap implications mentioned above.

NOTE: For those wondering if you can designate a player you intend to trade as a post-June 1st designation, it doesn’t appear that you can. When you designate a player as a post-June 1st cut, the contract is immediately terminated and the team no longer holds any rights to the player.

So it would appear to be impossible to designate a traded player as a post-June 1st trade, because the team technically would not have the rights to said player, and thus no commodity to trade. The actual trade, as mentioned above, would seemingly have to take place after June 1st for the aforementioned cap savings to be realized.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

If Bills lose Gaines to free agency, does corner become high draft priority?

Patrick Schrader
@Pjschrades16

CB: If you’re down a starting caliber corner and you don’t feel you have an adequate replacement on your roster, then yes it does become a priority. Knowing that Leonard Johnson is also a free agent could increase the positional need even more.

So if Gaines doesn’t return, I think positionally it becomes a priority, but I’m not ready to peg it a draft priority. Let’s see what free agency can bring the team first if necessary.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Nick Saban statement on Bills hire of Daboll

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2018 – 9:27 am

Six-time national champion head coach Nick Saban issued the following statement after the Bills announced the hire of his now former offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

“Brian did a tremendous job for us this past season at Alabama, and I know he will do a great job for the Buffalo Bills,” Saban said. “He is an outstanding coach and coordinator who put us in position to be successful each week. We appreciate all that he did in terms of his time and his dedication in contributing to the success we had this season. We wish Brian, his wife Beth, and their entire family all the best.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-3

Posted by Chris Brown on February 3, 2017 – 11:15 am

Fan Friday has been on a bit of a hiatus of late with Senior Bowl duties last week and the new head coaching announcement earlier last month. But we’re back. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Which position are the Bills most likely to double-dip on the draft? WR? S?

Dean Kindig
@TCBILLS_Astro

CB: I think this question is a little premature. The steps this team takes in free agency first will largely determine what positional need could get additional focus in the draft. Do the Bills re-sign two of their four free agent receivers? Do they pick up a safety in free agency like Arizona’s Tony Jefferson? When will Aaron Williams’ decision be finalized?

All of these will factor into Buffalo’s direction in the draft in late April.

That being said I will say that both wide receiver and safety are likely to be addressed in some capacity in the draft and free agency.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills will Tyrod be the QB now that all coaching staff is in place???

Craig McNair
@craigm5408

CB: I think the process has already begun on that front. Bills GM Doug Whaley told Buffalobills.com at the Senior Bowl last week that meetings would begin with the coaching staff once the college and pro personnel departments returned to Buffalo. How long a process that would be to lay out the direction and construction of the roster this offseason was not divulged, but it is underway. He described the meetings that took place this week as preliminary.
3 – @ChrisBrownBills does new WR coach really have any impact on drafting Zay Jones?

@K_Cleetus23

CB: Phil McGeoghan, Buffalo’s new receivers coach, coached East Carolina WR Zay Jones the last two seasons after he helped develop Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry from a rookie to a Pro Bowl caliber receiver as receivers coach with Miami.

What McGeoghan can provide more than anything is intimate knowledge on Jones that you can’t get by watching film. What his work ethic is day in and day out on the practice field. What his family life is like at home. What he’s like as a teammate. What drives him, motivates him. These are all things that NFL college scouting departments work to gather on prospects all year, and the Bills scouting department probably has a lot of that information on Jones already.

McGeoghan offers a knowledgeable sounding board to confirm and validate anything and everything on Jones, who I was impressed with last week at the Senior Bowl.
4 – @ChrisBrownBills Is 2017 a rebuild year or a try to make the playoffs year?

Jon Alhart
@JonAlhart

CB: Based on the feedback I’ve gotten from GM Doug Whaley it’s clear that the only thing this team is rebuilding is their philosophy on how to build a perennial contender. It’s clear that the front office didn’t believe the philosophy of the previous coaching regime was one that was designed to contend year in and year out. Sean McDermott’s coaching model is built to do that.

Now does that mean the team will be contending in 2017? I think we have to see how the roster takes shape through the course of the offseason to better ascertain the team’s immediate fortunes.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Is there a chance Daboll joins McDermott’s staff esp. with the W&M connection?

Vicious Sid
@vicious155

CB: While you are correct that Patriots TEs coach Brian Daboll did coach at William & Mary for one year when Sean McDermott was a player there, from the people I’ve spoken with in New England, Daboll’s intention is to stay put with the Patriots. All indications are he is the heir apparent as the offensive coordinator when Josh McDaniels leaves for his next head coaching job.

For those that don’t know Daboll is also an Orchard Park native, and played his high school ball at St. Francis. With the stability of his situation in New England, I’d expect him to bide his time and move into the OC role there when the time comes.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills