Inside The Bills

More O-linemen down for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2012 – 11:29 pm

The list of injuries unfortunately grew after Buffalo’s latest loss to San Francisco, and it took place exactly where they can ill afford to have them, on their offensive line.

Just two series into Sunday’s game, Colin Brown, the right guard filling in for Chad Rinehart suffered a hamstring injury and was lost for the game and presumably their next game at Arizona. Rinehart stepped in and played most of the game, but re-aggravated his calf injury and had to exit as well.

That left reserve offensive tackle Sam Young to play right guard in the second half Sunday. With Kraig Urbik and Cordy Glenn not even making the trip west for the week in Phoenix neither are expected to be ready to return from their ankle injuries.

It leaves Buffalo with just Chris Hairston, Andy Levitre, Eric Wood and Erik Pears as their only healthy offensive linemen. They’re expected to call up at least two, possibly all three offensive linemen on their practice squad.

C/G David Snow is the most familiar with Buffalo’s offensive system. He was an undrafted signee back in May and went through all of training camp and preseason with the club. So he’s the most likely call up.

G/T Reggie Stephens and G/T Andrew Jackson were just signed by the club last week following the injuries to Glenn and Urbik as insurance. Unfortunately one or both might be pressed into action depending on the severity of Rinehart’s calf injury.

Presumably one of the newer call ups would be schooled up only on the game plan for this week’s matchup with Arizona. Of course the Cardinals defense will be no easy task. They were the third-stingiest defense in the league going into Week 5 in terms of points allowed per game. They were also third in the league in sacks per play prior to this week’s games.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rinehart not in attendance

Posted by Chris Brown on October 5, 2012 – 11:16 am

The Bills are already going to be without a pair of starters Sunday in San Francisco on their offensive line. Now one of their replacements is not at Friday’s practice.

Chad Rinehart was not in attendance during the media viewing portion of practice along with injured starters Cordy Glenn and Kraig Urbik.

Rinehart is supposed to be Urbik’s replacement at right guard this week, but in practice today it looks like it will be Colin Brown.

Spencer Johnson is the only other non-participant.


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Glenn, Urbik out “a while”

Posted by Chris Brown on September 30, 2012 – 5:32 pm

If the loss to New England wasn’t bad enough, the Bills look as though they’ll be without two of their starting offensive linemen for the foreseeable future.

LT Cordy Glenn and RG Kraig Urbik both left the game with ankle injuries. Head coach Chan Gailey broke the bad news.

“Cordy got an ankle and it’s going to be a while,” said Gailey. “So is Urbik. Urbik had an ankle too.”

If both are unable to go next week at San Francisco, Chris Hairston would start at left tackle and Chad Rinehart would start at right guard.


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Jasper update

Posted by Chris Brown on August 11, 2012 – 9:44 pm

Head coach Chan Gailey was asked for an update on how G Mike Jasper is faring in camp and the preseason. Here was his response.

“Michael is struggling,” said Gailey. “Michael has got to learn his assignments. He’s got to learn to play physical every snap. A big, strong guy that’s got a lot of talent as we all know, but he’s got to be more physical and he’s got to continue to push through on assignments.”

It’s certainly going to be an uphill battle for Jasper to make the roster. Chad Rinehart is the primary reserve guard. Then there’s second-year man Colin Brown, who plays guard and center, sixth-round pick Mark Asper who plays guard and center, but has had his ups and downs too. Keith Williams is another guard who spent time on the team’s practice squad as well. There’s a lot of competition there.


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Wood hopes unit sticks long term

Posted by Chris Brown on May 22, 2012 – 7:59 am

Bills center Eric Wood is one of the many on Buffalo’s offensive unit that was very happy to see both Chad Rinehart and Kraig Urbik re-sign with the club as restricted free agents. Now he’s just hoping that down the line both are extended with multi-year deals.

“We’d like to keep that group together as long as we can,” Wood told Buffalobills.com. “Hopefully in the future we can sign them to longer terms deals, but we’re happy they brought them back.”

Go to the home page at Buffalobills.com for more on the importance of Rinehart and Urbik being back in the fold up front.


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Fan Friday 4-13

Posted by Chris Brown on April 13, 2012 – 3:44 pm

Happy Friday the 13th everyone. More of your draft questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Let’s get to them.

1 - Hey Chris,

First off, I’d like to say hello from England and thanks for keeping me up to date on the Bills! It’s wonderful having such great coverage!

Anyway, my question is this: I was browsing the nfl website as I do when I came across a video of Sporting News writer Matt Hayes saying the Bills should really look into trading up to take QB Ryan Tannehill, a view apparently shared by the guys on the panel, due partly to Tannehill’s incredible talent and athleticism, but also partly due to Fitz’ 23 interceptions last year.

I was just wondering whether the Bills would consider something like this, or are they set on Fitz as their starter for the duration of the contract, also: can we expect Fitzpatrick’ interception total to drop in 2012?

Cheers from across the pond, Matt.

CB: Appreciate the kind sentiments. I think the Bills consider anything and everything, but Tannehill only had 20 starts in his college career at quarterback. To me that means he’ll need time to develop at the NFL level because he simply hasn’t had the time on the job in college to progress to the point to be ready for the NFL game.

The Bills made a long-term commitment to Ryan Fitzpatrick for a reason. They believe he can get them to the playoffs. That doesn’t remove them from drafting a quarterback. I’d just be surprised if they took one with their first pick at 10 in round one, which is the only place they’d have a chance at Tannehill.

 

2 - Hi Chris,

Great Job with all of the Mario Williams coverage, those were a nerve racking couple days. My question is about the receiver spot opposite Stevie, I am holding out hope Easley plays as well as I saw him in the one home preseason game he played in last year. That being said it doesn’t seem like something that is for certain and we really could still use that speed guy opposite Stevie. I haven’t heard anything of it but Lee Evans was released by Baltimore, his one really good quality was getting deep and catching the bomb. Is there any chance this would be something that could be explored to open the underneath stuff open more? 

Thanks, Go Bills!
John

CB: I think the receiver position will certainly be addressed, but it won’t be in the form of Lee Evans. Buffalo parted with him because although they appreciated his professionalism, they also felt his game was on the decline. The Bills ideally want to have a roster with a majority of players whose games are still on the ascent or peaking.

I have no doubt the Bills will draft a receiver, the question is when? In round one at 10, their best option will likely be Michael Floyd, assuming Justin Blackmon is gone. In round two there should be a host of options. I was hoping LSU’s Rueben Randle would be there for them at that point, but indications now are that some team might scoop him up late in the first. Fortunately the receiver depth is pretty deep this year in the draft and I think a capable player could still be had in round three (e.g. – A.J. Jenkins, Brian Quick).

 

3 - Hi Chris, 

After reading the scouting reports on Stephen Hill it seems that he has everything the Bills are looking for in their number 2 receiver position. If available after the first round do you think the Bills may target a receiver like Hill, or pass on him because he is more of a potential rather than production prospect and lacks the of body of work which Buddy prefers?   

Love your Work
Regards

Matt

CB: I think Hill could be a possibility, but I believe Buffalo’s scouting department typically likes to see a bit more body of work. There’s no questioning Hill’s athletic ability and speed, but playing in that triple option offense at Georgia Tech hurt him.

He didn’t get a chance to really develop his game and that forces scouts to project more, something they don’t love doing.

Hill could be an option in round two for Buffalo at pick 41, but all it takes is one team to fall in love with Hill’s speed. Either way I’d prefer a player with a bit more of a resume like a Rueben Randle or Mohamed Sanu.

 

4 - Chris,

Now that the Bills have their pass rushing DE Mario Williams – do you think that they might be interested in the top linebacker in the draft, Luke Kuechly, for the no. 10 pick in round# 1?

I understand that Kuechly is considered more of an inside linebacker, but I also read that he played outside linebacker originally in college.

I hear rumors that the Bills are going to take an offensive tackle in round# 1 -or a wideout, but it seems to me that they still need more help on defense. They re-signed Derek Hagan @ WR, who played well for Buffalo at the end of last season. Not to mention Marcus Easley, who is supposed to be healthy now. There is more need on defense.

Lee D 

CB: I don’t disagree with you. In fact I like Kuechly a lot at 10 because I believe he’s very fitting of the value at that pick. In my estimation he’s a plug and play type player for your defense. I think he would be in direct competition with Kirk Morrison at strong side LB, a position he is more than capable of playing. I think his skill set is perfect for Dave Wannstedt’s defense, and there are no question marks on him, which seems to be the case with a lot of the offensive tackles projected in that range.

I’d like to see them grab an offensive tackle in round 2. Of course the danger with that is on average five offensive tackles are taken in the first round because it’s such an important position. What you expect to be available in the second round often isn’t. So it’s a tough spot for Buffalo, but I can’t see how Kuechly isn’t in that 10-15th overall pick range on every team’s board. That’s why he makes sense to me.

5 - Hi Chris:

With the Mario Williams signing, and with Fred Jackson’s potential extension later this summer, will there be money to lock down next year’s free agents in advance?  I’m thinking about Byrd, Levitre, Urbik, and Rinehart in particular.  I’m wondering if the Bills are holding off on spending more now (for available free agent wide receivers, etc) in order to leave money for re-signing some or all of next year’s free agent crop prior to the end of next season. 

Best wishes,
Paul in Beijing

CB: Good to hear from Bills fans in China! Wow. Anyway, the Bills are always fiscally responsible when it comes to handing out contracts. Williams cap figure next year granted is almost $12M, but for players like Byrd and the three linemen you listed they don’t play at high-priced positions so their cap figures on long term deals should be manageable.

Fred Jackson’s extension I’m not expecting to be cost prohibitive concerning future contracts either.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Extensions for restricteds?

Posted by Chris Brown on January 30, 2012 – 10:23 am

Garrison Sanborn was the first of Buffalo’s three restricted free agents to re-up with the club. The question is will offensive linemen Chad Rinehart and Kraig Urbik also be extended something more than just a qualifying tender offer?

As restricted free agents, the club can hold onto your rights as a player by tendering a one-year qualifying offer. Upon signing that offer a player is tied to the club for at least one more season. Such was the case with TE Scott Chandler, who signed his one-year tender for the 2011 season last year.

Rinehart and Urbik both proved to be significant contributors on the interior of the offensive line solidifying the starting unit and providing valuable depth. It would not be shocking if Buffalo chose to get both linemen signed long term as well, though other offseason priorities could always play a factor in compromising that approach (e.g. Stevie Johnson, Fred Jackson, Scott Chandler, free agency, etc.).


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Rinehart likes how it panned out

Posted by Chris Brown on January 25, 2012 – 8:00 am

When Chad Rinehart was signed off the Jets practice squad by Buffalo midway through the 2010 season he wasn’t sure how long it was going to last with the Bills. Now a year and a half later he’s an interior linemen capable of starting and as a restricted free agent  feels he’s found a group of linemates and a team that feels like a fit.

“In 2010 not being with the team the first six games or so you’re wondering if you’ll be around long,” said Rinehart. “So a year later getting a chance to start I feel I’ve shown them what I’m capable of. At the same time I still think I can improve and get better.”

Rinehart is one of the three restricted free agents profiled on our home page at Buffalobills.com.


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Rinehart, Dareus earn Wk 14 props

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2011 – 2:37 pm

Bills RG Chad Rinehart and DL Marcell Dareus both earned recognition as members of the All-Pro Football Focus team for Week 14.

Here’s what the folks at PFF wrote about the two linemen and their individual performances in the Week 14 loss to San Diego.

Guards: Nate Livings, CIN (+3.8) and Chad Rineheart, BUF (+3.4)
Yes you read that right, Nate Livings on the Team of the Week. He did a number on Antonio Smith, something that is far easier said than done. Rineheart edges out Cooper Carlisle to continue his mostly impressive year.

Defensive Tackle: Brodrick Bunkley, DEN (+4.3) and Marcell Dareus, BUF (+4.1)
For all those GMs paying attention, I believe Bunkley is a free agent at the end of the year. If you don’t think he won’t make your run defense better, you’re just plain wrong. After weeks of doing nothing, Dareus returned with a sack, hit, and four-pressure display. Can we get some more of that?


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Rinehart just nicked

Posted by Chris Brown on December 9, 2011 – 12:45 pm

Starting RG Chad Rinehart did not practice on Friday, but it’s nothing that has Buffalo’s offensive staff overly concerned.

“Rinehart just tweaked something in his shoulder and we held him out,” said head coach Chan Gailey after Friday’s practice. “We don’t think it’ll be an issue at all on Sunday.”

Rinehart has manned the right guard spot ever since Kraig Urbik moved inside to center in Week 12. He’s listed as questionable. If Rinehart can’t go Sunday, Colin Brown would start in his place.


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Rinehart not on hand

Posted by Chris Brown on December 9, 2011 – 11:26 am

A new absence at practice Friday was starting right guard Chad Rinehart.

Rinehart had practiced all week leading up to today (Friday), but was not on the practice field during the media viewing portion of practice. He’s been starting at right guard in place of Kraig Urbik, who has moved to center and started there the past two games.

Replacing Rinehart in the starting lineup at practice was Colin Brown.


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Urbik upgraded

Posted by Chris Brown on September 30, 2011 – 11:52 am

After practicing on Friday the status of Bills OL Kraig Urbik has been upgraded.

Head coach Chan Gailey initially declared Urbik out for Sunday’s game in Cincinnati on Thursday, but on Friday after Urbik practice he was upgraded to doubtful. It’s still unlikely that he plays Sunday, meaning Chad Rinehart should start again for the Bills at right guard.

Urbik was limited in practice Friday.


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Urbik not going to make it

Posted by Chris Brown on September 29, 2011 – 3:21 pm

OL Kraig Urbik, who missed last week’s game with a knee injury, was hoping to practice this week, but that has yet to happen and head coach Chan Gailey has pretty much ruled him out for Sunday’s game at Cincinnati.

“No, he’s not going to make it this week,” said Gailey of Urbik. “We’ll have to wait one more week.”

That means Chad Rinehart will make his second straight start at right guard for Buffalo Sunday.


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Urbik targeting next week

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2011 – 1:38 pm

Bills starting right guard Kraig Urbik is out 2-4 weeks with a left knee injury, but he’s hoping to be on the short side of that prognosis.

“I’m looking to be back practicing by next week,” Urbik told Buffalobills.com. “My range of motion is coming along so hopefully it’ll be better next week.”

Naturally the team’s athletic training staff will have a lot to say about whether Urbik practices or not.

Urbik was injured in last Sunday’s game against Oakland. He was not on the practice field Wednesday. Chad Rinehart is expected to start at right guard in his place this Sunday against New England.


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Levitre to start

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2011 – 1:34 pm

Buffalobills.com has learned that Andy Levitre will get the start at left guard tonight against the Broncos, but he won’t be the only one working with the first unit.

Chad Rinehart will be rotated in to get some time with the first unit at left guard as well. The pair will also split time with the second unit.

Rinehart earned some time with the ones this past week in practice and he and Levitre have rotated all week leading up to the game. While Levitre is a superior guard on the move, Rinehart’s strength is muscling up inside with the bigger defensive tackles.

It seems like whoever can improve the lesser aspects of their game and be the best all-around guard will land the job.


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Levitre out to prove it

Posted by Chris Brown on August 19, 2011 – 10:20 am

Andy Levitre was caught off guard (pardon the pun) this week when Chad Rinehart began rotating with him at the starting left guard position. But one thing is for sure, Levitre is out to prove it should be his spot for a third straight season.

Levitre said as much on his twitter account.

LevitreAndy Headed to denver today. Gotta show them why i should be in the line-up this year. #abouttogoHAM
 
No word yet from the coaching staff as to who will start the game at left guard Saturday night against the Broncos.

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Levitre confirms LG rotation

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2011 – 1:19 pm

Bills LG Andy Levitre was back with the starting offensive line at Wednesday’s morning walk through, indicating that’s where he’ll be for the Bills night practice tonight. Head coach Chan Gailey hinted that a split of time at the starting left guard spot would be taking place between Levitre and Rinehart. Levitre confirmed that after the walk through.

“We’re just rotating,” Levitre said. “They wanted to see what both of us have to offer. We’re competing for a job. We’re going to be switching back and forth.”

Presumably Levitre and Rinehart will switch off every day to keep the reps as even as possible. Levitre, a two-year starter at left guard, admitted he was a bit surprised by the move Tuesday, but is committed to proving he deserves the starting role.

“I didn’t see it coming at all,” Levitre said of being bumped down to second team Tuesday. “It’s not the greatest feeling in the world but hopefully that will bring some more competition out of me and make us both better players. I know that Chad (Rinehart) is a good player so competition will be good for us in the long run.”

 


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Levitre back with 1′s

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2011 – 9:00 am

LG Andy Levitre is back lining up with the starting unit on Buffalo’s offensive line in this morning’s walk through.

He had been replaced by Chad Rinehart in the starting lineup in Tuesday’s practice.

Head coach Chan Gailey had said that Rinehart earned the right to compete for a starting job and at least split first team reps, which looks to be the case.


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Changes on the O-line

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2011 – 3:07 pm

Tuesday’s afternoon practice brought changes on Buffalo’s starting offensive line.

Second string LG Chad Rinehart is lining up with the starting unit while LG Andy Levitre is lining up with the second team.

We’ll get more answers on this change after practice.


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Right side of O-line review

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2011 – 12:59 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey was asked for his thoughts on the right side of Buffalo’s offensive line featuring newly appointed starters in Kraig Urbik at right guard and Erik Pears at right tackle.

“They’re pretty good communicators, but they’re not as comfortable as the guys on the other side communicating with each other,” said Gailey. “But they’re getting better every day. I think that as they continue to work with each other I think things will get better and better.”

Gailey then added how they intend to work some other players in on that side of the line, indicating that things are far from set in stone.

“(Chad) Rinehart is going to work over there some and if (Chris) Hairston continues to get better every day it’s going to be a fight on that side of the line over there,” he said.

Performance in preseason games are likely to be a major determining factor. Mansfield Wrotto is another candidate as well as Cordaro Howard when he comes off the PUP list.


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