Inside The Bills

Ellis waived

Posted by Chris Brown on October 11, 2010 – 11:47 am

OLB Chris Ellis was waived on Monday to make room for TE Shawn Nelson on the 53-man roster. The move was not all that surprising as Ellis’ playing time decreased sharply on the defensive side of the ball the last few weeks.

Ellis, who started in week 1 for an injured Reggie Torbor recorded five tackles and a sack against the Dolphins. But he did not record any defensive statistics in the last four games as his playing time was limited.

The DE turned OLB worked hard to make the transition with the Bills moving to a 3-4 defensive front, but apparently the coaching staff found him expendable.


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3 other vets declared out

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2010 – 5:15 pm

It was believed that TE Derek Schouman would not play and that will be the case tonight in the preseason opener. Two defensive veterans will also not play tonight.

DE Spencer Johnson and LB Keith Ellison, who were both considered doubtful will not play tonight against the Redskins. OLB Chris Kelsay will also not play tonight. Though he returned to practice late last week from a shoulder injury it’s believed this is a precautionary measure for the veteran.

With Kelsay out, Chris Ellis will be afforded a big opportunity to see extensive playing time.


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Fan Friday 6-4

Posted by Chris Brown on June 4, 2010 – 2:33 pm

OTAs and minicamps are in full swing. Stay close to Buffalobills.com for exclusive highlights from the practice field. Let’s get to your questions (AskChris@bills.nfl.net).

1 - Chris,
How are the young group of linebackers looking? Does Aaron Maybin look to be a fit at outside linebacker?  How about Chris Ellis?  Going to the 3-4 makes our linebacker play crucial if we are going to have a good defense.
 
Thanks,
William J. Nason
Woodbridge, VA

CB: Maybin looks the part and I think he’s a lock to be out there in obvious passing situations to take advantage of his pass rushing prowess. I do however see him getting pushed for a role on first and second downs from Chris Ellis, who is stouter against the run.

I also would like to see more of rookie Antonio Coleman when the pads go on in camp. He has some good looking pass rushing moves and I’d like to see them on display in something closer to a game-like setting.

2 - What kind of offense do you see the Bills implementing this season? I hope it won’t be too complex. When trying to jell, simple is better.

Sam Corona

CB:
I think you can bank on there being a strong emphasis on the run game. It’s one of Chan Gailey’s trademarks. A lot of shifts and motions are also staples in his offenses in an effort to throw opposing defenses off, and he does have a lot of them.

The Bills defensive players have already commented on how much more challenging Gailey’s offense is to figure in practice because of all the pre-snap motion.

His offense however, will adapt and change as we move into training camp to fit the strengths of his players, so making a definitive call on what it will look like right now is premature.

3 – Chris,
Any chance we keep all 4 qbs on our active roster come opening day?
Thanks!
A Byrnes

CB: This is an excellent question that I’ve thought about myself. I highly doubt that all four quarterbacks will be kept on the roster.

I think Levi Brown is a lock as a developmental number three quarterback at worst. So the remaining two spots will go to two of the three that were on the roster last season.

In fact it wouldn’t shock me if before the close of training camp one that isn’t deemed an answer as a starter is moved via trade.

4 - Chris:
Am I off base with the thought that the Bills (after round #1) selected players that may not be currently the best at their positions coming out of the draft, but with NFL Coaching have the potential to be better than those players rated higher because of greater athletic upside, work ethic and intelligence?
 
Thanks
Joe
Blasdell

CB: I think part of what you’re saying is accurate. I believe the Bills newly configured personnel department put a greater emphasis on player work ethic because they’ve grown tired of having even one or two players on the roster where coaches wonder what they’re going to get out of them each and every Sunday. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to ignore supremely talented players that might not have an impeccable work ethic.

I think it’s only safe to say that player work ethic was a bit more of a factor this year, but it was not the end all, be all. You still need talent to win in this league.

As far as intelligence goes, that’s a prerequisite to play in this league and is always considered a major asset.

Since most Bills fans that took issue with Buffalo’s draft class had issues with picks 2, 3 and 4 I will state for the record that Torell Troup, Alex Carrington and Marcus Easley are extremely athletic based on what I’ve seen thus far in the spring camps.

I don’t think the Bills sacrificed anything in the way of pure athletic talent to take hard working players. I think the Bills college scouting and personnel departments were extremely astute in taking talented players that had a work ethic to match.

5 - Hey Chris
I would like to know your opinion on the chance that Stevie Johnson could play opposite Lee Evans as the number 2 receiver. He’s good at the slot position, but I think that Steve would be able to play any position for receiver whether it be slot or wideout.

Thanks,
Chris L.

CB: Johnson has received snaps opposite Lee Evans with the first unit as the flanker or boundary receiver in the OTAs and minicamp setting. He’s very much a part of that number 2 receiver competition. On the whole he’s performed relatively well.

James Hardy is currently his most ardent competitor for the role.
I also would not rule out rookie Marcus Easley who has made some impressive plays thus far this spring and has demonstrated a knack for making the big play.

We’ll see how this competition changes when the pads go on.


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Fan Friday 5-14

Posted by Chris Brown on May 14, 2010 – 1:32 pm

OTAs are fast approaching and you fans have some roster questions. As always AskChris@bills.nfl.net to submit questions. Let’s get to it.

1 - Chris:
 I think the switch to a 3-4 could be good w/ the bills personnel. I think Ellis and Maybin should be outside LBs in a 3-4. I think Kyle Williams, Spencer Johnson and John McCargo could be DE in this line up?
Your thoughts or what you’ve heard about these guys playing these spots.
Thanks
Steve

CB: Well Chris Ellis and Aaron Maybin both lined up at OLB in the rookie minicamp. I thought Ellis showed improvement as the practices wore on. Still it will be an adjustment for both of them. Come training camp though they should both have their bearings with the new responsibilities there.

Kyle Williams I see primarily as a nose tackle, but I could see them kicking him out to end in certain down and distance situations. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s used as a three technique DT in a 4-3 passing down look either. I anticipate the defense to be more of a hybrid 3-4 than a true 3-4.

Spencer Johnson will be primarily an end as will John McCargo. At least that’s the plan going in. I think Johnson is a good fit on the edge.

2 – Chris,
Many fans suspect that Brohm may become the starting QB and would like an update on his status?
Could you provide some insight into where Brohm currently fits in?
If the Qb competition is truly “open” then Brohm should no longer be considered the third string QB.
As always, many thanks for all your work!
Go Bills!
Brendan F. Walsh

CB: I think it is truly a level playing field for Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brohm. Chan Gailey even responded to my question about Levi Brown being in the mix as having a legitimate chance. Gailey doesn’t harbor any favoritism for any of these veteran signal callers because he inherited them. He didn’t choose them to be on this roster.

Therefore I think he can truly be open-minded and objective and let their performance make the decision for him and his staff. The QB that performs the most effectively and consistently will win the job. So although Edwards and Fitzpatrick might have more NFL experience than Brohm (1 career start), he will have every opportunity to compete.

In fact I anticipate that the reps will be pretty equal between those three with Brown likely seeing fewer reps, particularly with the first unit.

 

3 – Hi Chris,
What is the latest news on Eric Wood? If Brain Brohm manages to snag the starting QB job, does Wood move inside to Center because they played together in College?
Thanks,
Mike

CB: Eric is still not ready to participate in on field workouts, though there is an outside chance that he could do some work in late June. He will be full go for training camp, which is most important barring any setbacks.

Your question regarding his familiarity with Brohm is an interesting one. However, it appears as though they’d prefer to leave Wood at guard and Hangartner as the starting man in the pivot.

4 – Chris,

I was wondering what actually happened during the Bills voluntary workouts. More specific, did the QB’s workout like the draft prospects?

Thanks
Alan, A.K.A. BuffaloGeek; A.K.A. Hardcorebillsfan

CB: If you’re referring to the offseason conditioning workouts the quarterbacks have been participating on a pretty regular basis. Brohm, Edwards and Fitzpatrick were all here doing classroom work with the playbook, weight room work and on field conditioning. They also do walk through work with respect to the offense with teammates.

If you’re referring to the recent rookie minicamp, only first and second-year players could participate with the rookies as it was explained to me. Brohm is a second-year player, which is why he was allowed to practice. Edwards and Fitzpatrick were not eligible to participate.

 

 

5 – Chris,
What are the Bill’s plans with Chris Kelsay this year? I don’t see him getting on the field as a OLB.
I though his best move would have been to put on some weight and move to end in the 3-4.
He is one of the highest paid players on the team and not a top option at LB.
Ron

CB: You might not see Kelsay as a 3-4 OLB, but the Bills do. I anticipate he’ll be on the strong side when he lines up in OTAs. So you know Kelsay played some OLB in college at Nebraska, so it’s not something that’s completely foreign to him.

I don’t know if Kelsay is someone you want to write off before seeing him on the field first. There aren’t many players on Buffalo’s roster as focused and determined as that guy when it comes to a challenge like a position switch.


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Spencer’s sports festival a hit

Posted by Chris Brown on March 23, 2010 – 11:12 am

Bills DL Spencer Johnson held his 2nd annual Sports Festival in his hometown of Gilbertown, Alabama for 500 local students this past weekend and had some help from some of his Bills teammates.

Taking place at Johnson’s alma mater, Southern Choctaw high school, the focus of the free festival was to promote academic achievement, physical fitness, character development and a drug free lifestyle in area youth. Bills players Drayton Florence, John McCargo and Chris Ellis were among those on hand.

The two day Sports Festival kicked off on Friday evening with the Amazing Race Event, where the winning team of Chris Ellis (Bills) , Corey Mace (former Bill), Janaica Dailey & Pam Brown won the race in a time of  51:22 minutes (see photo below).

Saturday featured the free football and cheer camps, where area youngsters were provided the opportunity to learn from the experts and listen to Spencer talk about what it takes to be successful in school, sports and life. Here is Spencer addressing some of the kids attending the football clinic.


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Fan Friday 3-19

Posted by Chris Brown on March 19, 2010 – 1:15 pm

On the heels of some starting caliber free agent additions for Buffalo’s defense here is the latest installment of Fan Friday. As always questions can be sent at AskChris@bills.nfl.net. And you can review my blog scroll right here instead of just a post at a time if you’re playing offseason catch up. Let’s get going.

1- Hey Chris, I’m a grad student down at Penn State and have seen a lot of Jared Odrick, and he seems to be a really good player. I think that he would be worth a late 1st round, early second round pick. Do you think he would be a good NT? What do you think the odds are of the Bills being able to pick him up, whether they take him at rd 2, pick 9 or trade up/down for him?
-Chris

CB: I like Odrick’s game a lot. I don’t think there is anything about his game that an NFL head coach would be wondering about on Sunday. This guy gives maximum effort every snap. I think he’s capable of filling a role at nose tackle, but I don’t think he can be a full time NT. I think his ideal position is as a 3-4 defensive end.

Knowing that I think it’s unlikely that the Bills make a move for him whether it is up or down the board. That being said I think your range for him is dead on, late first, early second-round pick.

2 - Chris,
I thought the Bills did a pretty good job getting young linebackers like Harris and Palmer…they seem to me like they would have the athleticism to be good 4-3 linebackers…but I’m not sure where they fit in a 3-4. Do you think they might move Harris back to strong safety and in general what do you think the plan is with the linebackers?
-Chris

CB: A lot of Chris’ with questions this week. I thought that Harris moving back to safety could be a possibility until the team re-signed veteran Bryan Scott. With Scott and George Wilson tendered as a restricted free agent, I believe it’s less likely that it happens.

Nic Harris however, does have the frame to add some muscle mass in my opinion, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of plans the new staff has for Harris. As for Palmer he was released by the club and is better suited to a 4-3 system.

3 - Hey Chris,
I agree with you that the Bills should draft an Offensive Left Tackle in the first round. That said, what quarterbacks that are either Free Agents or could be acquired via trade, would you go after?
Bob

CB: Truthfully, I wasn’t impressed with most of what was out there and available. The Seahawks traded for Charlie Whitehurst who has barely played in the league. Cleveland acquired Jake Delhomme coming off a career worst season. It’s tough times if you need a QB.

That’s why it would not surprise me if the Bills spent most of their roster shaping efforts addressing their other positional deficiencies this year (OT, NT, LB, TE) and let this year play itself out at QB. Then based on the performance of whichever one of the QBs that plays make a wholehearted effort to address the position once and for all in 2011.

4 - Chris,
Do you think Rashaad Duncan or Lonnie Harvey are viable DT candidates in the 3-4, or are they still too raw? We haven’t hear much talk about John McCargo as a NT prospect in the 3-4 – where do you see him? What about Corey Mace as a DE? Do you see Chris Kelsay or Chris Ellis as OLB candidates in the 3-4, or would they not be fast enough off the edge?
Thanks, Mike, Pittsford

CB: I think Duncan and Harvey will both be given an opportunity through the offseason and in camp to show the new staff what they’ve got. With nose tackle currently a position that’s short on proven talent, it’s a good opportunity for both of those young men.

As for McCargo, I’m concerned about his future. He doesn’t look like a fit at all in this system and he has struggled mightily with his consistency. He has tools, he just doesn’t use them often enough. Mace was not re-signed. Kelsay and Ellis will be OLB candidates.

5 - Chris,
Not sure I thoroughly understand the thinking of those who feel we need to draft a quarterback in the first round of the upcoming draft. This is especially true in light of the fact that the two top rated QBs are injured and still have questions about their potential.

Also, what good it does us if we get a QB but cannot protect him as was the case last year. My thinking is that we need a solid offensive LT with our first pick followed by the best DT on the boards in Round 2.

We should then be looking to LB in Round 3. Build the nucleus first and then get a driver to run it hard and fast.

Also, any thoughts about trading a future pick to gain an extra pick this year, especially given we are moving to a 3-4 defensive alignment? As always appreciate the coverage your provide to us Bills fans outside the western New York area.

Jim Allentown, Pa.

CB: Jim, you’re speaking my language. OT first, provided one of the top 4 are there at 9 (worried a bit one might not be there now) and then best NT on the board in round two. I’m thinking the Bills have the same idea we do, which is spend this offseason filling the other holes and then go hard core after a QB or do whatever you have to next year to get to the top of the draft board to get Jake Locker. And because that could very well be their approach I think trading a 1st or 2nd round pick from 2011 is unlikely.


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Kennedy tight with Big Pat

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2010 – 1:03 pm

Having been his teammate for the past season and a half, Bills free agent visitor Jimmy Kennedy is very tight with Pat Williams.

Kennedy said when he told Williams he was coming to visit with the Bills that the former Bills DT couldn’t say enough good things about Buffalo.

“Pat loved this place,” said Kennedy. “I’m quite sure if he had an opportunity to come back here he would be here. He speaks highly of Buffalo and he loves the fans here. When I told him I was coming out here he told me to go up there and have fun and if you sign there good luck.”

Kennedy has a deep respect for Williams’ game and even indicated that he would wear Williams old number 93 if it was available and he signed here.

“If I come here and his old number is available I’ll consider changing to that number,” said Kennedy. “That’s how much respect I have for Pat. He’s like a father for the most part. Thirteen years at that nose guard spot, to get the recognition that he gets right now and to be 38 years old. He’s a beast and I love him to death.”

Number 93 however, is currently worn by Chris Ellis.


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Bills Inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on November 15, 2009 – 12:13 pm

Here are the Bills inactives.

Roscoe Parrish
Terrence McGee
Keith Ellison
Jonathan Scott
Chris Ellis
Kyle Williams
James Hardy


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Bills Inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on October 25, 2009 – 3:20 pm

Here are the inactives for today’s game.

Trent Edwards
Donte Whitner
Bryan Scott
Xavier Omon
Jonathan Scott
Shawn Nelson
Chris Ellis

So Kyle Williams is going to give it a go with his ailing shoulder today.


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Scott and Whitner out again

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2009 – 4:39 pm

Buffalo will again be without both of their starting safeties on Sunday. Bryan Scott and Donte Whitner were both declared out for Sunday’s game against the Browns by head coach Dick Jauron.

Chris Ellis and Paul Posluszny were also ruled out for Sunday’s game.


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Lankster not practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2009 – 3:07 pm

Bills fifth CB Ellis Lankster was not participating during the portion of practice that’s open to the media.

Bryan Scott, Donte Whitner, Paul Posluszny and Chris Ellis (absent) were also not participating.

We’ll have a full update from Coach Jauron after practice.


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Thurs. injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2009 – 6:00 pm

The players not practicing on Thursday were all on the defensive side of the ball for the Bills.

Donte Whitner (thumb), Bryan Scott (ankle), Paul Posluszny (forearm) and Chris Ellis (absent) did not practice.

Limited on Thursday were John McCargo (calf), Demetrius Bell (groin) and Jairus Byrd (hip).

Head coach Dick Jauron on the limited players.

“They were limited because they probably didn’t do as much as they normally do, but they did a good deal (of work),” said Jauron.

Considering that Thursday was a padded practice and Bell, Byrd and McCargo did a good deal of work, their chances of being available to play Sunday are probably pretty good. We’ll have their official injury status on Friday after practice.


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Ellis not expected back until the weekend

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2009 – 8:48 pm

Bills DE Chris Ellis is not likely to be active for Sunday’s game. Ellis is still in his native Virginia tending to funeral arrangements with his family after the sudden passing of his mother last weekend.

“We know that the services are Friday and I don’t expect him back before then,” said Dick Jauron. “It’s one of those situations where it’s in the hands of the player. A tragedy.”

Ellis is expected to return to the team either over the weekend or early the following week.


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Injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2009 – 8:46 pm

Demetrius Bell was back participating on the practice field Wednesday, but it was only on a limited basis. Bell told Buffalbills.com he felt good in the work that he did do and intends to put the pads on in practice Thursday.

Also limited in practice were John McCargo (calf) and rookie Jairus Byrd, who sustained a hip injury in last Sunday’s game.

Not practicing were Paul Posluszny (arm), Bryan Scott (ankle) and Donte Whitner (thumb). All three were in attendance at practice. Scott was doing some light walking with an ankle brace on.

Chris Ellis was absent from practice as he’s still tending to the family matters connected with the sudden passing of his mother last weekend.


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Bell practicing, Ellis absent

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2009 – 4:02 pm

Good news for the offensive line as Demetrius Bell is practicing.

Donte Whitner, Bryan Scott and Paul Posluszny are not practicing, but all three are in attendance.

Chris Ellis is absent presumably to still be with his family after the sudden passing of his mother.


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Ellis’ former Va Tech teammates showing support

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2009 – 5:42 pm

Bills DE Chris Ellis, who was forced to miss today’s game due to the sudden passing of his mother, is getting support from his former Virginia Tech teammates in the NFL.

The StarMax public relations firm that represents Ellis has asked for prayers for the Ellis family.

starmaxprez Please make sure you say a prayer for #93 of the Bills Chris Ellis for the loss of his mother

Ellis’ teammate and NY Jets WR David Clowney plans to honor his former college teammate with a decal according his twitter account.

starmaxprez @davidclowney will have a #93 on his helmet 2day as a tribute 2 his college teammate Chris Ellis of the Bills who lost his mother ystrday.

As members of the Bills family we too at Buffalobills.com extend our deepest sympathies to the Ellis family.


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Bills still have four ends

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2009 – 11:01 am

The undisclosed family emergency that has made Chris Ellis unavailable for Sunday’s game is not exactly leaving Buffalo shorthanded, at least at the DE position.

Buffalo has five DEs on the roster counting Ellis and all of them are healthy. Furthermore Ellis has not been active for the first three games this season.


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Fan Friday 8-21

Posted by Chris Brown on August 22, 2009 – 12:59 am

Another training camp is in the books, but preseason continues, and Aaron Maybin is in. Here’s some of your latest and greatest questions. Keep them coming.

1. Chris;
 
Every time I see Trent get ready to throw the ball, he keeps looking right at the receiver. Don’t you think,as I do,that the opponents see that and know exactly where to go? Shouldn’t he try to bluff a little?
 
Thanks.
Sonny, LF.

CB:  While I agree that looking off safeties before delivering the ball to the primary or secondary target is important, I do not agree that Trent does that every time he throws the ball. In fact I think he’s improved in this area a lot over this past offseason.

I’m not saying he’s perfected looking safeties off down in and down out, but I think he’s made significant strides in that area of his game. The only time I’ve seen him stare down a receiver so far this summer is on his interception in the Hall of Fame game. He did look at Lee for a bit on that play. Other than that he’s been much better.

2. Chris: With Marshawn Lynch sitting out the first three games of the year, do you think Fred Jackson and Dominic Rhodes can shoulder the load? Will teams respect the Bills’ running game, given that their primary weapon is not there?
 
With the changing of the offensive line, do you think the Bills’ will successfully protect Trent Edwards?
 
Tony Falzone, Daytona Beach, Fl

CB: I think the Bills running game won’t drop off much with Jackson and Rhodes, and one team that respects Jackson more than anyone is New England after he ran for over 100 against them in the season finale last year. With that ridiculous wind they knew he was going to run and they still could not stop him. I think Rhodes and Jackson are more than capable for three games.

As for the line protecting Trent I think it will be a work in progress. Even coach Jauron is expecting some growing pains. It’s a lot to pull together in one offseason, but if this no huddle can work effectively at top speed it could help mask some of those growing pains up front.
3. Hi Chris,
 
I was wondering, with all the talent at the WR position this season, how many WR’s do you see the Bills keeping and who do you think that it will be?

I mean Evans, T.O. and probably Reed are the obvious choices, but after that? What are the chances for Parrish, Hardy, Steve Johnson and the other WR’s currently on the roster.
 
Thanks for taking you time to answer the questions of the non-US fans and go Bills!
 
Niels Wester, Denmark

CB:It’s certainly going to be a tough set of decisions for that position. You’re right the top five right now are Evans, Owens, Reed, Parrish and Johnson. In two out of the three previous seasons under Jauron they’ve kept six receivers on the 53-man roster. In all likelihood the sixth receiver will be James Hardy.

Justin Jenkins I believe deserves an awful lot of consideration. He’s improved his route running a great deal and is one of the two best gunners on the special teams top ranked punt team.

Logicall it’s hard to see how a coaching staff as much as they would like, can keep seven receivers. They’d be pulling away from some other position. However, there is one way I could see them keeping seven receivers and that’s with the extra roster spot they’d have at their disposal due to the suspension of Marshawn Lynch.

Effective Sept. 5, the Bills could and probably will put Lynch on the reserve/suspended list and he would not count toward a roster spot when the roster is reduced to 53. With that extra spot at their disposal they could choose to use it on a seventh receiver.

Three weeks later when the Lynch’s suspension is over they’ll have to make a decision again to make room for Lynch on the roster. But who knows, there could be an injury at the receiver position over those first three weeks and suddenly they’re down to six receivers.

I know it’s probably unlikely, but with the Lynch suspension they’ll have an extra roster spot to play with. Maybe just maybe they keep seven WRs.
4. Hi Chris,

How is Alvin Bowen coming along? I know he had a good training camp last year but went down due to injury. Does he have any chance at starting over Ellison?

Thanks.
Kay

CB: Bowen is doing well. Since Ashlee Palmer suffered an ankle injury in the HOF game Bowen has moved up to the second unit at weak side LB behind Kawika Mitchell. However, I do not think he displaces Ellison as the starter. The most likely candidate to do that is rookie Nic Harris, who is having a solid preseason.

5. Hey Chris,
 
I’m reading an article from Pat Kirwan of nfl.com and it says that the Bills plan to implement some 3-4 defense this year. I was wondering if you had any idea how often that will happen, and what the line-up would be in such a formation?
 
I assume Stroud in the middle is a given, and on the outside Schobel and Kelsay? Or would they potentially mix in Spencer Johnson, for more of a typically large 3-4 DE?
 
What about the linebackers? Who becomes the second ILB with Poz? Would Maybin get some opportunities as a pass-rushing OLB?
 
Thanks Chris!
 
–Brad

CB: No information as to how often we might see it this season, and I haven’t seen it in the camp practices at all under the live team work setting. I think the main reason for considering it is Aaron Maybin. Much like you do I do foresee them sometimes using Maybin as a rush linebacker in a 3-4 kind of look. That would obviously only be in obvious passing situations, so that’s when I’d be on the lookout for it.

Since it would be a passing situation I’d also expect to see Schobel and possibly Chris Ellis at the ends.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

2009 training camp awards

Posted by Chris Brown on August 19, 2009 – 4:43 pm

With training camp coming to a close it’s time to hand out our 4th annual training camp awards.

Most entertaining player – Roscoe Parrish – T.O. certainly had his moments, but Parrish from start to finish in camp drew the most oohs and ahhs from the fans with the catches he made and the defenders he juked.

Most improved defensive player – Chris Ellis – As camp wore on Ellis’ confidence grew with the pinnacle coming in the Bears preseason game when he had a sack and forced fumble as well as a fumble recovery. Ellis has taken a big step forward from year one to year two.

Most changed player – Paul Posluszny – This guy’s demeanor on the field has changed significantly. He’s taken full command of the team’s defense and you can see it and hear it in his voice. In year three Buffalo’s MLB is a confident player that’s ready to lead as well as become a playmaker. Trent Edwards is a close second here for a lot of the same reasons.

Most improved offensive player – Demetrius Bell – the offensive tackle has begun to mesh his solid athletic ability with the techniques required to play effectively on the line. He may not start this season, but by mid-season he might look starting caliber.

Most impressive rookie – Ellis Lankster – Helped by the fact that he was a seventh-round pick, Lankster carried his strong spring in OTAs into training camp and did not disappoint. Constantly around the ball, Lankster was among the team leaders in interceptions and pass breakups in camp. Eric Wood was a close second here.

Most consistent veteran – Kyle Williams – The defensive tackle put in his typical solid camp and got consistent penetration during run game segments and fared well during one-on-ones and team work. Honorable mention to Lee Evans and Josh Reed.

Most surprising player – Ashlee Palmer – The undrafted rookie linebacker got a long look in the spring from the coaches and they liked what they saw as they had Palmer running with the second unit. We had him as a training camp sleeper and he made plays in the HOF game, but an ankle injury has unfortunately curtailed his progress. Jonathan Stupar gets an honorable mention here.

Most inspirational player – Marshawn Lynch – Whether he’s joking with an offensive teammate to remind them they have to make a play or trash talking the defense to get them to play harder, Lynch is his own way pulls the best out of his teammates on both sides of the ball. He’s doing it in a much different way, but it’s leadership.


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Ellis improving aggressiveness

Posted by Chris Brown on August 18, 2009 – 11:14 pm

Sure he’s 10 pounds leaner and he’s added lean muscle and is stronger than he was as a rookie, but the biggest difference in Chris Ellis is the aggressiveness with which he is now playing.

Head coach Dick Jauron was pushing him to be more physical in his game and he came through in the last preseason game against the Bears.

That sack when he tomahawked the ball away from Bears QB Caleb Hanie was an aggressive play, one that you didn’t see from him at all in his limited play last season. Ellis chalks it up to greater familiarity with the defensive system.

“It comes with the comfort level,” he said. “The more you feel comfortable, the better you can let things fly and you feel like more in your college mode. You can utilize your speed and play up to your expectations.”

Ellis has been the beneficiary of the absence of top pick Aaron Maybin, who does not appear like he’s going to participate in a training camp practice with camp wrapping up Wednesday morning. Ellis has been taking right defensive end reps with consistency with the second unit. Ellis was asked how he took the drafting of Maybin when it happened knowing he was drafted for the exact same position just a year earlier.

“It’s competition every year, so you’ve got to expect your job’s on the line every year whether you’re a starter or not,” said Ellis. “Like I said, I’m just trying to make the best out of all the opportunities I’m getting.”

So far, so good.


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