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Inside The Bills

A look at another franchise QB’s 1st 6 starts

Posted by Chris Brown on November 11, 2013 – 12:17 pm

Cam Newton

The quarterback EJ Manuel is most often compared to from a physical standpoint is Carolina’s Cam Newton. Manuel had a tough day Sunday in Pittsburgh, but it’s not uncommon for rookie signal callers. Here’s a look at Newton’s first six NFL starts and how he fared and we line up Manuel’s figures from his first six starts.

Some of the similarities are notable, like the completion percentage, sacks and passer rating. The record was also comparable. Knowing that all six of Newton’s starts were uninterrupted serves as an added qualifier knowing that Manuel came off a one month layoff.

Cam Newton’s 1st six starts

Record Att Cmp Pct Yds Yd/A TD TD% Int Int% Lg Sk Lst Rate 1st 1st% 25+ YAC
1-5 229 134 58.5 1847 8.07 7 3.1 9 3.9 77t 10 60 78.3 78 34.1 16 779

EJ Manuel’s 1st six starts

Record Att Cmp Pct Yds Yd/A TD TD% Int Int% Lg Sk Lst Rate 1st 1st% 25+ YAC
2-4 189 107 56.6 1140 6.03 6 3.2 4 2.1 45 16 97 76.2 48 25.4 8 537

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Newton praises Manuel

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2013 – 5:04 pm

Carolina QB Cam Newton wasn’t happy about another close loss for the Panthers, but he had enough class to compliment Bills QB EJ Manuel after his performance Sunday.

“I just want to start off by first congratulating the Buffalo Bills, they played a hell of a game,” Newton said. “EJ Manuel had a strategic plan and executed it to a tee on that last drive. It just felt as if we didn’t make enough plays, we had our
opportunities, we didn’t make enough.”

Newton was also asked what he thought of Mario Williams’ performance.

“Like I said, I congratulated the whole team but it still comes down to us and what we have to do,” Newton said. “I think at times, him as well as Kyle Williams played an unbelievable game, with being very hard to block. Even with these type of games, you have to find a way. We didn’t and we had our opportunities. We made some plays but it just wasn’t enough.”


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Stevie tries hand at safety

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2013 – 12:44 pm

Stevie Johnson’s day wasn’t done on Sunday after he pulled in the game-tying touchdown pass with two seconds remaining.

After the ensuing kickoff Carolina had one second remaining for Cam Newton to chuck a desperation pass down the field. The Bills put their prevent defense out on the field with Stevie Johnson as one of the deep safeties in the right side of the end zone.

“I’m back there ready to get an interception on Cam Newton,” said Johnson. “I was ready to get a touchdown and an interception. I was ready it was a play that we practice. Just a simple prevent and I’m out there on the side just trying to sneak in there. I was hoping he was going to throw it. Kiko decided to ensure the win.”

Alonso ended the game with a sack of Newton to seal the win.


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Why Bills should expect some read option

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2013 – 10:13 am

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton is one of the better read option signal callers in the league. He only had a handful of carries last week against Seattle, but there’s a good chance he has more against the Bills today. Here’s why.

Recent evidence has likely shown Carolina offensive coaches that the read option can have success against Buffalo. The last two examples come from late last season and this past preseason.

Exhibit A is Seattle QB Russell Wilson. Facing the Bills in Toronto last season in Week 15, Wilson rushed for 92 yards on nine carres (9.2 per rush) and three touchdowns. They came from 14, 25 and four yards out in a 50-17 victory over Buffalo.

Then this past preseason, read option quarterback and fourth-stringer Pat White for the Washington Redskins had success running the read option against Buffalo. Though he only had three carries in the game they totaled 26 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown run (8.6 per carry).

Even though Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Schula is known as a conservative play caller, he’s expected to give Newton his opportunities with the read option against a Bills defense that has to prove they can stop it today.


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Spy Cam?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2013 – 10:20 am

With the running threat that Cam Newton can be the Bills will have to be mindful of the read option plays, something that Buffalo’s defense has had trouble with in the past.

Seattle’s Russell Wilson victimized the Bills in 2012 with the read option and Buffalo’s defense had a measure of trouble with the read option plays run by Pat White in the preseason game against Washington a few weeks ago. The question is whether or not to put a spy on Newton.

It appeared that the Seahawks used MLB Bobby Wagner as a spy at times in the Week 1 game between Seattle and Carolina. Newton had just five carries for 38 yards against a pretty athletic linebacking corps for Seattle.

We asked head coach Doug Marrone if spying Newton has been a popular tactic of Carolina’s previous opponents.

“Athletically anyone you put in there to spy on him you’re going to be in trouble,” said Marrone. “I think he can beat that matchup. Not to say that we won’t look at that and give away some plans. He’s a very, very good quarterback I don’t ever want to lose sight of that. But he’s also an outstanding athlete.”

 

 


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Lewis doing his best Cam Newton

Posted by Chris Brown on September 12, 2013 – 4:35 pm

Cam Newton is a unique quarterback. Not many signal callers that stand 6’5″ 245 pounds can move like he can, especially when he takes off to run. Buffalo has employed a pretty mobile quarterback on their roster to emulate the Panthers franchise QB.

Practice squad QB Thad Lewis, an athlete himself, has been imitating Newton on Buffalo’s scout team offense all week.

“That’s what you have to do to give the guys the looks,” Lewis told Buffalobills.com. “Basically running the option and giving them the best look possible. We’re trying to do everything he does so the defense can be ready for Sunday.”

Typically even the offensive players on Buffalo’s practice squad watch and study the defensive film of their upcoming opponent so they’re prepared in the event of an emergency call up that week. But Lewis found some additional Carolina film waiting for him on his I-Pad.

“When I went to look at Carolina defensive film on my I-Pad I saw that there was some Carolina offense in there too,” said Lewis. “So I watched Cam a little bit to get a feel for how he moves because you want to prepare the guys as best you can. So there was a little multi-tasking this week.”

Lewis knows right now being the best Cam Newton this week is the way he can make the best contribution to the team’s success on Sunday.

“It’s not hard. You read the cards and go,” he said. “Then just basically try to do all the little things right with the reads and the option so our defense is ready.”

 


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A bit of encouraging history for EJ

Posted by Chris Brown on September 9, 2013 – 9:13 am

EJ Manuel’s debut performance had far more ups and than downs despite the fact that Buffalo lost 23-21 to New England. The Wall Street Journal compared Manuel’s debut to that of other active quarterbacks in their first starts as rookies.

Manuel’s passer rating of 105.5 ranked fourth in NFL debuts for active signal callers in the league. The only three ahead of him were Robert Griffin (139.9), Matt Ryan (137) and the quarterback he squares off against Sunday, Cam Newton (110.4).

Here’s a more in depth look at the numbers.


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Vote for Marcell

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2011 – 1:36 pm

The NFL Players site has a touchdown dance contest going on right now between members of the 2011 draft class and Marcell Dareus was a part of it. Buffalo’s top pick needs your vote!

Dareus along with Patriots RB Shane Vereen, Panthers QB Cam Newton and Chargers RB Jordan Todman all performed touchdown dances on camera at the rookie premiere earlier this offseason. So make sure you vote for Marcell.

Personally I think Dareus’ touchdown dance is the most enthusiastic.


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Nix on Newton & Gabbert

Posted by Chris Brown on April 27, 2011 – 6:05 pm

Bills GM Buddy Nix was interviewed on 103.3 FM the Edge Wednesday afternoon on the Shredd and Ragan show and was naturally asked about the top two QB prospects in Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert. Nix was either pretty revealing or pretty deceiving just a day before the draft.

Nix was asked about the merits of taking a quarterback when you are up high in the draft order knowing you may not be up there again.

“I think there’s a lot of argument for that,” said Nix. “You can help your team in a lot of other ways a lot quicker, but you can also in the long run help your team more by getting a franchise quarterback. Now the key is this. Is there a franchise quarterback there that you feel very confident about?”

“I think about when we drafted Phillip Rivers in San Diego there wasn’t any question in our mind that he’s a guy you build your team around. If you feel that way about anybody in this draft then you should take him with the third pick if he’s there.”

Co-host Ted Shredd then appropriately asked, ‘Do you feel that way about anybody in this draft?’

“That’s a little different question,” said Nix. “We do think that Gabbert and Cam Newton have a better than average chance of being a franchise guy. There are obviously arguments both ways and you can make a case either way you want to go. But at some point you have to go with your gut feeling and take the guy and make it work.”

It’s tough to tell whether Nix is couching his true opinion so as not to tip Buffalo’s hand, whether he and his personnel dept. truly feel that the two signal callers have a better than average chance or if he’s just taking advantage of his last chance at pre-draft deception.

Nix did just say a few weeks ago that with pre-draft talk only 10 percent is truth, so take these comments for what they’re worth.

He did however go into greater detail about his take on Newton, which was as follows.

“I think the upside is unlimited with him,” said Nix of Newton. “The things you can do with him. We’ve sepnt an awful lot of time with the top quarterbacks. He’s a guy that can adjust to whatever you’re doing offensively.

“People say that at Auburn it was simple, well he learns whatever offense he’s in. He did at Florida. He went to Blinn junior college and learned what they do, and very quickly I might add, and he went to Auburn and learned what they do. It’s what they ask him to do and I think he can do that again.” 

Nix when asked about possible quarterbacks in round two referenced Andy Dalton and Christian Ponder as signal callers that they found appealing.


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Nix: Cam can learn a scheme

Posted by Chris Brown on April 26, 2011 – 12:19 pm

Bills GM Buddy Nix appeared in a live chat on Sportsnet.ca today (Tuesday) and was asked about his impressions of Cam Newton’s football I.Q.

In the wake of Newton’s appearance on ESPN with Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden and the simplistic approach of Auburn’s offense those on the outside wonder what Newton is capable of handling with respect to offensive scheme. Nix believe Newton is capable.

“Cam Newton is a guy that can learn whatever you want to teach him,” said Nix. “He’s done that all his life and he can do it again. Whatever offense you’re running if you give him time he can learn it and it doesn’t matter which one it is.”


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QB to Bills in Yahoo mock

Posted by Chris Brown on April 26, 2011 – 9:23 am

YahooSports has released its latest mock draft and they’ve got a quarterback going to Buffalo at three.

Surprisingly, the mock draft has Carolina taking Georgia WR A.J. Green first overall, which would be the first time a receiver was taken number one since Keyshawn Johnson was taken by the Jets in 1996. Then they have Marcell Dareus going to Denver at two, with the Bills taking Cam Newton at 3.

Buffalo’s brass has said time and again that when you’re drafting as high as they are this year, it’s hopefully a rare thing, and if the signal callers available are deemed to be franchise type players then you have to consider them. Whether they believe Newton is a franchise type player may never be known, but if he’s on the board Thursday night at three we’ll have the answer as far as what the Bills think.


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Chan compares Newton-Gabbert

Posted by Chris Brown on April 11, 2011 – 3:13 pm

Appearing on Sirius NFL Radio late Monday morning, Bills head coach Chan Gailey was asked to compare and contrast QB prospects Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert, by hosts Adam Schein and Rich Gannon. Here was his assessment.

“They’re both extremely talented,” said Gailey. “They’ve been in two different types of offenses. Neither of them have been in a pro-style offense. One of them was in a spread and ran the football out of the spread and was a little bit more throwing the ball one-on-one at times instead of reading a bunch of coverages. The other one was in the spread, four wides, five wides most of the time, in the gun the majority of the time and was reading a few more coverages, throwing a few more concept routes. You have concept routes in the NFL and a little bit more experience in that. They just come from different offenses. Both of them are going to have an adjustment period once they get to the NFL.”

Gabbert does have the advantage of throwing more of the intermediate routes in the 11-20 yard range in his offense, the kinds of throws that are very common in the pro-style offenses of the NFL. So if there is one area where Gabbert may have a leg up on Newton it’s there. But Gailey believes both will have learning curves to travel before being NFL ready so to speak.


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PFW mock has QB to Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on April 11, 2011 – 8:25 am

ProFootballWeekly has its latest mock draft out and they’ve got a number one overall pick I have yet to see in any other mock.

I guess you can give Nolan Nawrocki credit for being different, but if the Carolina Panthers take A.J. Green first overall as he predicts, it’ll be the first time since the Jets made Keyshawn Johnson the number one pick in 1996 that a team took a receiver first overall.

After sending Green to Carolina and Von Miller to Denver with the second pick, he has Buffalo taking Cam Newton with the following comments.

Newton showed he could carry a team on his back and won championships at Blinn College and Auburn, enough for Bills GM Buddy Nix to overlook concerns about the Heisman Trophy winner’s character. Although Newton might not provide a long-term solution, he is the one quarterback in this year’s draft who can change the complexion of the Bills’ franchise immediately and give the 71-year-old Nix and 92-year-old owner Ralph Wilson the best chance to win now.

Personally I’d be surprised if Green goes first overall. In a draft so immensely talented with defensive players and Ron Rivera a defensive-minded guy through and through I


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Moon: Panthers sold on Cam

Posted by Chris Brown on April 5, 2011 – 9:02 am

Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon, who is also a personal advisor for Cam Newton, is convinced that the Carolina Panthers are sold on the Heisman trophy winning signal caller.

In an interview with USA Today, Moon said he feels the Panthers, who hold the top overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft are going to take Newton first overall if they determine that offense is what has to be addressed first.

“I think they came away very impressed with the kid,” Moon said. “It’s just a matter of whether they want to go defense or offense. If they go quarterback, it’ll be Cam.

“I’ve heard from three different guys, head coaches and general managers that’s he’s one of a kind. Cam’s one of those you can’t pass up on him. Those are pretty strong comments when you consider all of the great quarterbacks who have come into this league for them to say he’s one of a kind.”

According to Newton’s agent, he’s meeting with the Panthers today (Tuesday) and Wednesday.


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Newton runs away with vote

Posted by Chris Brown on April 4, 2011 – 9:11 am

Bills fans have been choosing who they feel is the best fit for Buffalo at each and every position during our draft position preview series in the media center at buffalobills.com. Over the weekend they voted on which of the top five QB prospects they felt was the best for the Bills. Not surprisingly, the most polarizing prospect in the entire class ran away with the vote.

In the most one-sided voting thus far, Cam Newton got 50% of the vote among the five candidates. None of the other four candidates even received half as many votes. Fans are watching the position previews every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on buffalobills.com and then are texting in their votes for which prospect they like best for the Bills.

The defensive tackle position preview is up now and voting is open. Just follow the voting instructions at the end of the video package for details.


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Newton way ahead of Gabbert

Posted by Chris Brown on April 1, 2011 – 12:45 pm

In the M&T Bank Draft Day Challenge Bills fans are still of the belief that Cam Newton will be Buffalo’s pick at third overall in the 2011 NFL draft, as he is outpacing Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert, who is visiting One Bills Drive today (Friday).

Newton still leads all vote getters with 24% of votes by Bills fans trying to predict who Buffalo takes at 3. Gabbert has just one third of Newton’s vote total with 8% of the vote. You can sign up for the M&T Bank Draft Day Challenge anytime between now and April 25th and make your prediction.

You’ll have a chance to win a Bills Gameday Experience including pre-game sideline passes prior to a Bills home game and receive an official Bills helmet. So register now


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Fan Friday 4-1

Posted by Chris Brown on April 1, 2011 – 12:31 pm

No pre-draft smoke screens here, even on April Fool’s Day, though you’ve got to wonder if it’s a good idea for Da’Quan Bowers was wise to schedule his pro day on this date. Guess it’s better than Friday the 13th. Anyway on to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.
1 - Chris, 
Can you break down what the scouts think about the three best mobile QB in the draft, that being Newton, Locker, and Kaepernick. Judging on Chan’s desire for a guy that can move out of the pocket and what round they can be had (NEWTON 1) (LOCKER/Kaepernick 2-3), who makes the most sense for the Bills just on talent and ability to drop back to be a full time passer. I think Kaepernick seems like a great talent and has put up better numbers than most QB’s. Locker could also develop better. He’s got major arm and legs. How interested are the Bills in Locker and Kaepernick compared to the rumors of Cam?

Jack

CB: Most draft analysts have these three guys specifically ranked Newton, Locker and Kaepernick. Kaepernick has been criticized for having a long wind up, but he has worked to shorten his delivery. Locker timed the fastest at the combine running a 4.5 flat, but Kaepernick (4.53) and Newton (4.58) were right behind him.

Kaepernick and Newton are two of only three QBs (Tebow is the other) to pass for 20 and rush for 20 touchdowns in a single season.
Kaepernick has the longest track record being a four-year starter and was extremely consistent in terms of production. With Locker the same cannot be said, though he improved in some areas of his game each year. Newton had only one year of major college football as a starter, but it was a special year obviously taking what was largely an average team and leading them to a national title. He and Nick Fairley made an average team an elite team with their talent.

What is certain is all three are athletes. All have guns for arms and all three can run.

I’m a fan of Kaepernick having the chance to interview him at the Senior Bowl one-on-one. He just came across well. I did not have that chance with Locker or Newton, though I was on hand for their group interviews at the combine.

With all three of these guys there is going to be an adjustment period. Newton and Kaepernick come from spread offenses. Locker has two years in a pro-style offense under Sarkisian at Washington.

Newton played in a superior conference, which is partly why most see him at the top of the board because he got it done despite facing elite athletes. Locker and Kaepernick however are not far behind.

How interested the Bills might be in each of these guys is tough to peg because of the way NFL clubs tend to mislead as much as they tell the truth. Even Buddy said 10 percent is truth this time of year. So for me to tell you who they think fits them best would be just guess work on my part. We do know that Newton visited, something that Locker and Kapernick have not done to this point.

2 - Hi Chris,
I know the SS position is kind of up in the air right now with Whitner only being tendered, but not re-signed and the top free agents signing to other teams. What do you think the chances are of George Wilson becoming a starter? In my opinion the guy has done a tremendous job whenever he has filled in. Being a converted receiver one would think consistent playing time would only help him perfect his craft.
Dan
From Western, MA
 
CB: I think George Wilson could contend for the starting role at strong safety in 2011. Bryan Scott is still in the fold as well. So as things are currently constituted with respect to the roster, those two are the prime candidates.

3 - Hey Chris,
Just want to start by saying I’m a big fan of yours and I think you do a great job for the Bills and their fans.

I just have a few questions regarding the D Linemen in this years draft and their values. I understand the combine means a lot to coaches and scouts but does Marcell Dareus’ performance really put him ahead of Fairley? I wasn’t able to watch Dareus as much as I did Fairley due to Auburns success but from what I saw in the National Championship, he looked un-blockable. And my last question is whether Da”Quan Bowers fits into the Bills defensive scheme for next year. He is such an athletic guy and I personally would love to have him line up for us but do you think he’d be able to handle the DE position in both the 3-4 and the 4-3?
Thanks for your time,
Mark from New Jersey

CB: Thanks for the kind words. With respect to Dareus just watch his performance in the National Championship game against Texas in 2010. Not only unblockable, but how about a 319-pound man making an interception and running almost 30 yards for a touchdown? Oh and throw in a knockout shot on Colt McCoy. Dareus, much like Fairley was this past January, was the Defensive MVP.
Dareus in all likelihood is not going to have the sack numbers of Fairley at the NFL level, but he is a superior run stopper and does push the pocket with consistency, which prevents quarterbacks from stepping up to elude pressure from defensive ends. Both Dareus and Fairley are special talents.

Dareus has just done it for longer (2 years) than Fairley (1 year).

With respect to Bowers, I thought head coach Chan Gailey had an interesting response to a question he got earlier this week from a Bills season ticket holder in a Tele-Forum we conducted on Tuesday. He was asked if Bowers was a fit for Buffalo’s base 3-4 scheme. Here is coach Gailey’s answer.

“He is an explosive player. He really is. He can make things happen as a pass rusher coming off the edge. He plays the run better than people give him credit for. I think that if we ended up taking that guy we’d find a place for him. We’d make it work. You can’t take a guy that is that good of a player and not make him fit in to what you’re trying to get done defensively. We’re not going to pass up a very, very good football player just because he might not fit perfectly. We’ll adjust to get good football players on our team.”

Knowing the Bills have intentions of playing a hybrid defense that employs 3-4 and 4-3 looks, I don’t think they’re going to rule anyone out even if they’re pegged by some as one scheme only defensive ends as has been the case with Bowers. Bowers is largely viewed as a 4-3 left defensive end.

But back in February I talked to C.J. Spiller, his former college teammate, about him and he believes Bowers is strong enough to play end in a 3-4. He’s 6’4” and 275 pounds and freakishly strong in the upper body. But it seems clear that the Bills wouldn’t shy away from him provided there isn’t a talent they have rated higher on their board when they pick.

4 – Hi Chris,
It looks like we have a lot of holes to fill especially with the release of Marcus Stroud, and potential free agents Drayton Florence, and Donte Whitner. I cannot help but think that we do not have enough depth at our DB’s position and believe we have more depth at the DT position. I think Leodis Mckelvin has regressed, and Terrance McGee cannot stay healthy in order to finish a season strong. I believe this is very problematic but I have not seen this concerned expressed on the Bills site. Do we have other DB’s that can fill in?

In light of this and assuming that we do not address these needs in free agency, I think we should go with CB, DT, or DE with our 3rd pick, also our second pick should be DT, DE, or perhaps ILB. Also, I would think Kaepernick would be a better selection at our 34th pick than Cam Newton at our 3rd overall. I cannot help but think about the the pressure the coaching staff will face if they draft Cam Newton. If Fitz starts to fizzle, then I can see the fans cheering, “Start Cam now!” The last thing we need is this pressure and distraction.

What say you!?

Best,

Stephen from Rancho Cucamonga, Ca

CB: Your point about the cornerback contingent is well taken. I think the Bills staff still believes they can make Leodis a more consistent corner and I think McGee will be given every opportunity to prove he can stay healthy because when he’s healthy he’s a solid corner. Reggie Corner is still on the roster as well and would likely serve as the nickel. But they do need to add talent at cornerback. This year’s draft class has only three prospects considered first round material, possibly four. For the Bills that’s good news, because hopefully it leaves some quality prospects to choose from in the middle rounds where the value should be relatively good.

As big a talent as Patrick Peterson is I’m a proponent of helping your defense in the front seven first. As for Cam Newton the kid is a talent. Granted there are some questions there, but the Bills will have done their due diligence on him and anyone else that plays quarterback to determine if any of them are potential franchise type QBs.

5 - Looking at the current roster in seems they need to develop a future ILB that can play the 3-4 and a SS. Do you expect Buddy to meet these needs in the draft? Who are the top players in the draft they may target? It would seem likely for the Bills to draft a linebacker but I haven’t heard anything on safety after losing on Sanders.
Thanks
Sean

CB: Buddy has told me himself in an interview on Buffalobills.com from the Senior Bowl that he feels they need to add two inside linebackers this offseason. Absent free agency, they’re likely to come in the draft. Who they’d target is tough to say, but they’ve had LSU’s Kelvin Sheppard in for a visit and had him down at the Senior Bowl for a week. Buddy also went to North Carolina’s pro day to see their two inside linebackers Bruce Carter and Quan Sturdivant. Beyond that I really don’t have any other names for you.
With George Wilson back in the fold I don’t see safety as a pressing positional need for them.


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M&T Draft Challenge update

Posted by Chris Brown on March 31, 2011 – 9:56 am

The M&T Bank Draft Day Challenge runs until April 25th. It’s your chance to predict who the Bills will take with their first overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, and if you guess correctly you could win a Bills Gameday Experience. Here’s an update on some of the voting thus far.

Still out in front with the most votes is Auburn’s Cam Newton with 25% of the predictions for Buffalo’s first pick. His college teammate Nick Fairley, who is visiting One Bills Drive today (Thursday), has just 5% of the vote.

Be sure to enter for your chance to win a Bills game day experience package for two with all-inclusive M&T Bank Club tickets, pregame field passes and a Bills Alumni meet and greet opportunity, as well as a Bills helmet.


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SI.com mock has QB to Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 30, 2011 – 1:24 pm

SI.com’s Don Banks submitted his fourth mock draft installment and sees a quarterback in Buffalo’s future with the third overall pick.

He has Blaine Gabbert going first overall to Carolina, followed by Marcell Dareus to Denver at 2. Then he has Cam Newton to the Bills at three. Here’s his explanation for the pick.

Chan Gailey couldn’t have been any clearer in his answer to my question last week at the coaches’ media breakfast in New Orleans: He believes both Gabbert and Newton are ready to play now in the NFL, and they have the skill sets of franchise-level quarterbacks. I don’t think Gailey and Bills general manager Buddy Nix are doing much bluffing these days, because they’re pretty sure at least one of the draft’s top two passers will be waiting for them at No. 3.


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Newton exposure

Posted by Chris Brown on March 28, 2011 – 9:15 pm

Bills GM Buddy Nix and head coach Chan Gailey were peppered with questions about Cam Newton with his visit confirmed by the team’s front office Monday night at the State of the Bills event for premium seat holders in downtown Buffalo. In answering the questions they shared how much time they’ve spent with Cam Newton.

“We’ve met with him three or four times,” said Gailey.

When asked if they met with Newton at the combine Gailey answered in the affirmative. He also laid out how he approaches the one-on-one meetings he has with players like Newton when they come in for a pre-draft visit.

“I lay everything on the table with guys when they walk in here,” he said. “I try to get them to understand exactly who we are, what we’re about, where we’re going and how we plan to get there. And if we end up working together this is how they might fit into the scheme or the system.”

Nix stated firmly that he knows Cam Newton and that the Heisman trophy winner’s pre-draft visit will be an opportunity for his head coach to know him just as well. Whether or not they can gauge definitively that Newton can diagnose a defense in a matter of three seconds in a game setting at the NFL level however, is another story.

“I don’t know if you can find that out in a 15 minute talk,” Gailey said. “I don’t know if I can find that out in a day with a guy. But I think you’ll have a lot better idea once you’ve had a chance to sit down and talk football and watch some tape. I think you get a better feel.”


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