The Bills have been busy this week. Next week free agency opens when more additions figure to be made. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.
1 – @ChrisBrownBills
Any chance Trent Cole wants to join Shady in Buffalo? Any shot Bills go for that?
CB: If you’re thinking of signing Cole to replace Jerry Hughes I don’t know that you’re getting comparable value. So if saving money is the aim you could sign Cole, who will be 33 in October and he could serve the team in a rotational role as a pass rusher, perhaps platooning with Manny Lawson much like Hughes and Lawson did in 2013. Cole still has gas left in the tank, but a full-time role might be a lot to ask.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills
What about Hughes???
CB: The Bills would still like to get Hughes locked up long term, but it’s my belief that after Justin Houston was franchised in Kansas City and Jason Pierre-Paul was franchised in New York that the Hughes camp looked at the free agent market and likely felt they had an opportunity to be the most coveted pass rusher on the market.
Hughes doesn’t have the off the field issues of Greg Hardy and he doesn’t have the injury history of Brian Orakpo. There isn’t a free agent pass rusher with more sacks over the past two seasons than Hughes’ 20.
So once Houston and Pierre-Paul were franchised it wouldn’t surprise me if Hughes’ asking price suddenly increased. If getting the most money he can possibly get trumps the best possible fit for him to maximize his abilities on the field (Buffalo) that’s his prerogative. We’ll see where it goes between now and March 10th.
3 – Chris:
With most of the NFL Teams going to the lighter/quicker defenses because the NFL is more of a passing league, do you think that Rex’s “ground and pound” could give the Bills Offense an advantage if they shore up the OL.
I also feel with this philosophy EJ Manuel will be an improved QB. He will have more windows to throw into once defenses start cheating in the box by playing the run. There were parts of EJ’s game that were good. Two of which were the 2 min offense and the ability to keep plays alive in the pocket when he didn’t have restrictions put on him. Your thoughts?
CB: I think your point is an astute one. San Francisco took that approach under Jim Harbaugh and Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman back in 2011. As most teams were building lighter and faster lines in the trenches the 49ers bulked up and punched everybody in the teeth. It’s a big reason why their run game was so successful.
I do believe such an approach can work again because the trend in the league is still gravitating toward passing. But if you don’t know what you have at quarterback the ground and pound approach knowing you have a good defense is the best route to take.
4 – Chris,
Love your work in keeping a long time Bills fan (50 yrs plus) in touch.
My ? Is..is there a scout assigned to any good players in Canada? Like the
Grey Cup QB’s? Just wondering.
Thanks for keeping us retired folks
Ft. Myers, Fl.
CB: The Bills absolutely scout the CFL. In fact they were one of the first teams in pursuit of former CFL’er Cameron Wake, but he chose to sign with Miami. Buffalo covers any and all avenues where potential NFL talent can be uncovered.
5 – Chris,
Thank you for providing continuous coverage of the Buffalo Bills throughout the offseason as it helps us remain interested in the team for 365 days a year!
My question has to do with a recent comment made by Commissioner Roger Goodell. While I am aware of the uncertainty that comes with Ralph Wilson Stadium and its future, his comment puzzled me to an extent. Mr. Goodell mentioned that while the Ralph is loved (by him and by many including myself), the stadium cannot compete with the newer parks.
Please feel free to correct me, but to my knowledge the Ralph is one of the bigger stadiums in the league, we, for the most part, have not had problems selling out the tickets, and we have made recent upgrades such as video boards, concession stands, and the likes.
I understand many newer stadiums and sports economics are designed to cater more towards corporations and the use of Personal Seat Licenses. I’m not sure if the market of Western New York can be said to support the same modern marketing formula as many major cities utilize in the US at this day. WNY is a unique and rock solid fan base quite capable of supporting the Bills and the Sabres on our own. Not suggesting that we wouldn’t benefit from a new park, but what did Mr. Goodell mean?
What other “challenges” or shortcomings does the Ralph have in respect to competing with the newer stadiums (that are sometimes smaller than ours and perhaps features not considered in the recent upgrades)? This is where I am a bit lost and hopefully you can shed some light into this confusion.
Thank you and Go Bills!
Ryan from Arizona State University
CB: You’re not wrong that Ralph Wilson Stadium is one of the larger ones in the league, but regular ticket sales no longer provide the kind of revenue that carry a team’s profits comfortably into the black. It’s the luxury suites and premium seat sales that drive the ticket sales revenue streams.
To maximize a stadium’s ability to provide additional revenues NFL owners want more of a focus on the premium seating and luxury suites, which cost more to boost ticket sales revenues ever higher.
A few years ago I would agree that Buffalo’s corporate tax base would not be able to sufficiently fill such premium seating, but with the surge in construction downtown, new businesses coming to Buffalo and the new medical campus coming together in the city there could be the corporate base required to support such an endeavor right around the time when the team and the city make a final determination as to what’s best concerning a future home for the Bills.
Tags: CFL, Fan Friday, Greg Roman, Jerry Hughes, NFL free agency, Ralph Wilson Stadium, Rex Ryan, Trent Cole
Posted in Inside the Bills
The CFL is taking the lead big time when it comes to testing for performance enhancing drugs. Unless some other major pro sports league leapfrogs them in the next six months, they’ll be the first to institute testing for human growth hormone (HGH).
The move was part of the league’s new four-year labor agreement with its players earlier this week and was reportedly three years in the making per the Toronto Globe and Mail. There will be blood and urine testing year round with only 24 hours notice.
No other pro sports league tests for HGH. Major League Baseball has it listed as an illegal substance, but it doesn’t test for it, partly because there is dispute as to the veracity of some testing.
The big question is whether or not the NFL can get HGH testing included in their new labor agreement with the NFLPA. It’s tough to say whether the CFL’s success in implementing the policy will help the NFL in getting a similar policy, but at least there will be a policy to reference. Got to tip the cap to the CFL and its players on this one.
Tags: CFL, HGH
Posted in Inside the Bills