Inside The Bills

Hairston at LT in place of Glenn now

Posted by Chris Brown on July 20, 2014 – 7:13 pm

Seantrel Henderson was slate to line up at left tackle in place of Cordy Glenn who is on the non-football illness list, but Henderson went to the locker room with a trainer before the team portion of practice.

Stepping in is Chris Hairston at left tackle next to Chris Williams on the led side in place of Glenn.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

New combo on left side of O-line

Posted by Chris Brown on June 5, 2014 – 11:29 am

With starting LG Chris Williams not on Han at voluntary OTAs the combination up front had a surprising change on Thursday.

Starting at left tackle is Chris Hairston and kicking inside to left guard is Cordy Glenn.

Head coach Doug Marrone briefly experimented with Glenn at guard early in training camp last year, but with Glenn clearly his best tackle in 2013 he left him on the blind side.

Hairston has a long way to go after being unable to practice, let alone play, for almost a full calendar year being on the reserve non-football illness list. But the current coaching staff, which inherited him, is at least interested to see why he can offer on the left side before considering the two rookie tackles they drafted in Cyrus Kouandjio and Seantrel Henderson.

We’ll see what develops from here on out.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-30

Posted by Chris Brown on May 30, 2014 – 1:01 pm

Week 1 of OTAs is in the books and here are some of your latest questions about the team from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

what role does Hairston have? He played well until his injury but is a holdover. I hope he gets a fair shot

homeslice5484

CB: Hairston right now is running mainly with the second team at left tackle. He hasn’t received a ton of reps in the team setting. We’re guessing it’s due in part to the fact that he hasn’t played any form of football on a field in almost a year after landing on the non-football illness list in 2013. He’s looked a bit rusty this week, which is understandable, but if he can regain the form that made him a very capable swing tackle two years ago, Buffalo’s line depth becomes that much better.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

With the resigning of Dan Carpenter, what does this mean for Dustin Hopkins, he was injured, but he is the real deal…..

Jay C@SWFLChiver

CB: Carpenter is coming off a career year and the second-most accurate season in Bills team history. Unless he has a complete meltdown in training camp or the preseason Carpenter will be the place kicker. The key for Hopkins will be to demonstrate he can be a dynamic weapon on kickoffs by booting everything through the back of the end zone for touchbacks. Coach Marrone has said he’s not opposed to keeping two kickers if they can both prove they would be of great value to the team.

The trouble for Hopkins is his groin injury was severe and took a long time to heal. As a result he’s rusty entering OTAs having been unable to kick. He has to get his swing back and he has to do it in short order to convince the coaches that he deserves a spot on the 53-man roster.

 

3 – Chris,
With the Bills not making a move during draft for a tight end, how do you think the position will shake out behind Chandler? Do you see the Bills keeping Lee Smith? I like Chris Gragg as development tight end with good speed. What do you think he chances are to make the final roster? Tony Moeaki still is a question mark to me, since he has hardly played in 2 years. Can Gragg stick and lineup as be juke type of TE? Or is too small to beat LB/DB?

CB: Right now Scott Chandler is not participating in team work after coming off of offseason knee surgery. So that has opened up more opportunities for the likes of Tony Moeaki and Chris Gragg when it comes to the passing game. Lee Smith is primarily a blocker though he can work the short areas. In the first week of OTAs Moeaki and Gragg have seen the most action.

Moeaki is the most athletic in the group. His transition from catch to turning up field is very, very smooth. Gragg has very good straight line speed for a man his size (6-3 244), but like some of the other tight ends is not sudden in his movements when it comes to route running. He’s long-limbed which always helps in the passing game, but I would put Moeaki ahead of him.

We’ll know more about both players once the pads go on at training camp, but from a pure playmaking perspective Moeaki is going to be pushing Chandler.

 

4 – Chris,

With Watkins and Williams in, Graham would seem to go down to 5th on depth chart. Given they need special teamers like Easley/Hogan. How do you think this will play out? Goodwin and Graham are just too similar. I liked Hogan more as slot/special teamer. Could they trade Graham? Or will he have to fight for a spot in camp?

CB: I think Graham will have to fight for a spot on this roster. There is suddenly a lot of depth at receiver and Marquise Goodwin has the added advantage of being a pick made by the current regime, not one that was inherited like T.J.. The problem is Graham is not participating in any team work due to an offseason procedure. He can offer return ability to special teams, but Leodis McKelvin handles punts and Goodwin handles kickoffs.

Making things tougher Chris Hogan has had a solid first week of OTA practices. So when Graham is again full go in the practice setting he’ll have to really turn it up.

 

5 – Chris,

There has been much talk about the defensive formation Jim Schwartz is going to deploy this year.  He has been successful with the Wide 9 approach but with the personnel moves we have made, it appears to me that we may see as much of the 4-3 Under deployed by Mike Pettine as we will of a pure Wide 9.  Bringing in Spikes and moving Alonso upgrade the two linebacker spots and Rivers provide competition for Lawson.  That and the lack of another “pure” defensive end leads me to believe our defense is going to as varied as we saw last year.  Just hope it stays as agressive.

Appreciate your thoughts on this and as always, very much appreciate your insights and reporting on the comings and going at OBD.

Regards,
Jim
Macungie, Pa.

CB: I don’t think you have to worry about the defense staying aggressive. Talking to some of the men up front this week (Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus) the defense is all about being aggressive and getting up field. They feel it will cater well to what their strengths are across the defensive line.

Now that being said Manny Lawson and Jerry Hughes have some big adjustments to make as they will be full-time defensive ends in Jim Schwartz’s system. Mario will presumably man the left side and Lawson and Hughes will split the job on the right side.

We’ll be able to ascertain how it’s all coming together when the pads go on in July.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-7

Posted by Chris Brown on March 7, 2014 – 11:50 am

Free agency negotiating opens Saturday, Tuesday afternoon deals can be signed. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

Can you give Bills’ fan an update about Chris Hairston? Is he injured? I would like to see him compete for right tackle. What do the coaches think of him? Do you see RT as a position of need?

CB: The Bills have not provided a medical update on Hairston to this point, however, when asked by a Bills fan as to whether he’ll be ready for spring workouts in April, Hairston said he would be (see below).

@C_Hairston75 Are you full go this spring? #Bills

— Bernie Lomax (@Welborn9) March 4, 2014

@Welborn9 yes

— Chris Hairston (@C_Hairston75) March 4, 2014

 

Hairston was on the non-football illness list last season, but he appeared to have a physical ailment in training camp. Whichever cost him his entire 2013 season is unclear. Even if he is cleared to resume his career in the spring I think the Bills will be a bit leery in counting on him and putting all their eggs in his basket as right tackle competition for Erik Pears.

So in the end I think they do look for offensive tackle help in free agency or the draft.

2 – Chris,

Why does it seem like everyone thinks we need  a WR and a TE ? What`s wrong with the core we have now? All our WRs except Stevie have 2 yrs. or less experience with room to grow. And Scott Chandler may not have the speed, but he can block, catch and find ways to get open. He may not be high profile, but he`s a guy that comes to work every play. If anything we need some run stuffing LBs.

Thank You!
Mike

CB: A lot of fans naturally gravitate to the playmaking positions so it’s not surprising that many of the Bills faithful are focused on a big WR or game breaking TE. Of course GM Doug Whaley has said more than once that a receiving talent that plays big would be a huge help to the passing game and EJ Manuel.

I don’t think that focus means fans don’t think some reinforcements need to be added at linebacker. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Bills add a linebacker in free agency and another in the draft.

3 – Chris,

With all the talent at the offensive tackle position this year in the draft, many draft analysts have the Bills selecting one with their first round pick.  In my opinion, this would be a mistake.  Offensive tackles are not nearly as valuable in the NFL as they were 20 years ago, and do not directly affect the outcome of a game like WRs, LBs or Safeties do.  With that said, I think the Bills need more game-changing playmakers (like WR/LB) of which many of the best are found in the first round of the draft.  So my question is do you think the Bills are better off with an offensive tackle round 1 or someone at a skill position like WR?

Thanks,
Eric from Hamburg

CB: I think both OT and WR are positions that need to be addressed by the Bills in the draft. Fortunately for Buffalo they are two of the deeper positions in the 2014 class.

In determining the better option at ninth overall, a lot will depend on what falls to them at nine. There’s only one, possibly two receivers worthy of the pick at nine. Clemson’s Sammy Watkins and some are now making a case for Texas A&M’s Mike Evans. I’m not certain the value is there for Evans as a top 10 talent, but he’s close.

If one of the top three offensive tackles is there for Buffalo at nine it’d be hard to pass up as I see it. Those players being Auburn’s Greg Robinson, Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews and Michigan’s Taylor Lewan.

I wouldn’t rule out Alabama’s Cyrus Kouandjio provided his knee checks out. I think he’s underrated.

I respectfully disagree with your assertion that offensive tackles aren’t nearly as valuable now as they used to be. I think they’re more valuable because offenses are passing more than ever and with offenses going to more spread formations offensive tackles need to be able to pass protect one-on-one more effectively than ever.

So I think it is a worthy pick at nine for Buffalo if the value is there with who is available.

 

4 – Hi Chris,

When the Browns raided the Bills coaching staff I was afraid we lost valuable pieces of the puzzle. Coach Marrone  not only found great replacements but quite possibly upgraded the staff not to diminish the wonderful job done by Mike Pettine. Does it show the respect Doug Marrone has garnered around the league that he’s able to bring in such quality coaches?  It must send a signal that Buffalo not the worst landing spot for coaches.  As a longtime fan I always remember the woeful staff Kay Stephenson put together back in the 80′s. Is it a telling story on how head coaches are able to put together his staffs?  Thanks for the good work……..
Wally in Fredericksburg , Va

CB: I think Marrone is a respected coach and I think the talent that’s on this roster helps sell the job of defensive coordinator as well.

Your point about the Stephenson staff is duly noted. Unfortunately that’s been repeated by other head coaches who came after him, most notably Gregg Williams and Dick Jauron. Both did not hire strong staffs and it hurt player development, which is perhaps more important than ever in the league now.

Marrone is a refreshing step forward in that respect.

5 – Hi Chris

I follow the bills everyday on the mobile app, diehard fan who grew up in Buffalo, but reside outside of Indianapolis, and watches every game via the Sunday Ticket.

My Question- I know we have a lot of young receivers on the roster, and this past year was a year of developing and see who we got. I remember Chris Hogan catching my eye in the pre-season and the broadcasters talking about how they call him 7-11 because he was always open, in which he was, and he seemed to be catching majority of what was thrown to him. That was the first game against colts. Then I didn’t see him much out there til later on in the season, and again, when he finally got a chance, they referenced him as 7-11, always open, and he would get open and catch the ball. Very curious to why they wouldn’t play him more and mix it up more if he is “always open”. I don’t remember him not contributing much when he did get to line up. Seems like any time his number was called, he truly did get open and caught balls. But his number barely got called.

Thanks, Dustin
Indianapolis

CB: Thanks very much for you insatiable interest in everything Bills. With respect to Hogan, the good news is he was just tendered by the Bills as an exclusive rights free agent, so once he signs his contract tender he’ll be back on the roster for 2014.

Hogan does have reliable hands and runs consistent routes. The fact of the matter is there are receivers ahead of him on the depth chart that have simply been blessed with more talent.

The 7-11 thing comes from a nickname he picked up while with the Dolphins in training camp when Miami was the featured team on the HBO series Hard Knocks.

A lot of times receivers get caught up in a numbers game at the position and often don’t make the 53-man roster. Then if they do finding consistent playing time is an even bigger hill to climb. This is where Hogan finds himself on Buffalo’s roster.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hairston still on PUP

Posted by Chris Brown on August 21, 2013 – 8:23 pm

When he was put on Active/PUP it was thought that eventually Chris Hairston would be taken off that list to practice before training camp concluded on Aug. 21st. But that hasn’t happened yet.

Head coach Doug Marrone was hopeful that Hairston would be closer to a return, but it sounds at this point like nothing is definitive on a return.

“We’re looking forward to him coming back,” said Marrone. “Obviously for me as a coach and a position I’ve been involved with before we want him to come back. We’re just waiting to see when he feels better and the doctors say, ‘Yes.’ That’s a tough question for me to answer. Inside I want to say yes and that’s it’s going to happen, but it hasn’t. So it’s really going to be up to the doctor. We need to get him back. He’s been a productive player on the field.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-16

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2013 – 12:30 pm

Preseason game number two tonight against the Vikings and a big night for Kevin Kolb. Here are some of your latest questions for this last edition of Fan Friday before the end of training camp. Keep the questions coming on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

I’m sure your sick of comments and questions about Jairus Byrd but my question I didn’t hear many talk about is this: did the Bills (or Byrd for that matter) consider that Byrd may have a tremendous year and increase his value even more next year leading to an even high price tag? If the Bills do what they are hoping he will do during his franchise year did they not cost themselves more money by not coming up a little higher to sign him this year? Or, if that was a consideration, does that not tell us there will be no attempt to sign Byrd long term after this season and this season is nothing more than a bridge to get one of the Williams’ ready?

Thanks,
Ron

CB: Bills GM Doug Whaley has gone on record saying they will still pursue a long term contract agreement with Jairus Byrd after the regular season concludes. At this point you have to take Whaley at his word as the team’s new GM. In my experience Whaley usually means what he says.

Now all that being said there is some merit to the argument of signing a player to an extension a year prior to their contract being up. If for example, the Bills are convinced that Alex Carrington is going to have a monster season in this the last year of his contract, they might opt to try to sign him before this season starts.

Is there a risk? Absolutely. He could have a down year or sustain a career-threatening injury. But there’s a risk in every decision an NFL GM makes. That’s why their salaries are where they are. When there’s a significant call to be made, they’re paid to make significantly more right decisions than wrong ones.
2 – Hi Chris,

I am a former season ticket holder (tunnel endzone) from the glory days of the late 80s and early 90s now living in SC.  Thanks for all you do to keep out of town Bills fans up to date.  I’m intrigued by the Bills corps of receivers.  I have heard about the speed of Graham and Goodwin.  Do you think either has the route running ability to be the next Victor Cruz inside?  I have heard about the route running ability of Woods.  Does he have the potential to be a Wes Welker inside bracketed between Stevie, Graham, and Chandler?  Da’ Rick is also interesting.  Where do you see him in this mix?

As far as team analysis I see our biggest areas of need as the O Line (need a tackle and two guards), an outside linebacker that can rush and compliment Mario, and a second corner to pair with Gilmore as I feel McKelvin is too small and better suited to slot defender. Your thoughts?

Thanks,
John in SC

CB: Woods is a polished route runner, but he’s not a Wes Welker. Welker’s quickness in and out of cuts is rare. Woods is a sharp route runner, but he wins more on hesitation, change of speed and shoulder fakes than pure quickness. Stevie Johnson is the primary slot receiver. Woods would be the number two.

To say one would have similar production to Victor Cruz has more to do with the quarterback throwing him the ball than their own exploits.

Da’Rick Rogers is strictly an outside receiver. Big and physical with soft hands, he needs more discipline with his route running, but when he gets it he could explode.

McKelvin right now is the best option to line up opposite Stephon Gilmore when healthy. At 5’10” 185 his size is adequate and his arms are long, which helps in coverage. Ron Brooks, Justin Rogers and Nickell Robey are considerably smaller in stature and better suited inside. McKelvin is probably best as a boundary corner.

 

3 - @ChrisBrownBills

What is up with Mario? How come he doesn’t interview after practice? Did they ever say what it was with his foot?
Thanks
jvsafy

CB: He does usually once a week during the regular season and occasionally during training camp. Last night he did not stop for an interview because he had to get treatment with the athletic trainers. Head coach Doug Marrone did not say it was his foot that needed treatment. During camp there is typically an assortment of bumps and bruises that players experience that needs attention, especially linemen who endure more physical contact than other players.

I’m not trying to be a Mario apologist here, but even if it was his foot that necessitated the treatment I’d at least take comfort in the fact that he’s trying to take care of what’s nagging at him.
4 – Chris,

I appreciate the work you do on the Bills site, nice job.

A few points – when it comes to Byrd I think the Bills want to let this season play out and let some of their young safeties get some game reps (I.e. Searcy, A Williams, D Williams, Meeks) and see where they stand at the end of the year. While I think Byrd is a very good all-around player, the one thing I think he lacks, is that he is not a particularly big hitter, and I think that can change a defense when their safeties will hit.

The O line position that I think is more important than left guard is right tackle. Who do you think the right tackle will be, and how good of play do you think the Bills will get from that position?

We hear so much about the Bills up tempo offense but to me, that is not really an offense. Conceptually, in terms of routes, blocking schemes and personnel groupings, what do you think the Bills offense will look like?

Do you think the Bills need a legitimate big back? Certainly, CJ is a supreme talent, but to me, he is a space player, and to me 20 touches a game would be ideal. To me, Fred is a good all-around player, a good pass protector, a good screen game back, and a runner who makes his yards on a combination of vision, balance and using his blocks. But I think the Bills would benefit from a legitimate big running back. I think such a player could help on the goal line, third and short, and be a good complement to CJ and Fred. What do you think?

Chris

CB: Okay a lot to cover here. First, I disagree with your assessment that Jairus Byrd is not a hitter. He absolutely is a hitter. Evidence of that comes from the fact that since the 2009 season, no other safety in the league has more forced fumbles than him. He’s got 10. That being said the bigger hitters of the current contingent are Da’Norris Searcy and Duke Williams.

Right now I think the right tackle will be Erik Pears, who finally appears recovered from groin and hip problems the past two seasons. He’s moving as well as I’ve seen him and he’s as tough as they come. Chris Hairston, who is still on PUP, may very well miss all of training camp as he has not been moved onto the active roster yet.

Couple that with the fact that Sam Young and Thomas Welch have been unable to unseat him and it looks like Pears’ job to lose.

Concerning the Bills offense yes it will be up tempo, but it is a unique system that no one else is running. So I’ll give you the details that won’t give up the brilliance behind it. The easy identification is that it’s fast, but it’s also multiple personnel, slightly more run than pass (probably 52% to 48%) with stretch the field components. It has West Coast system roots with a physical edge to it.

It won’t be complicated, just fast and multiple in terms of looks.

If Fred Jackson is not the kind of goal line back you want because you don’t think he’s big enough Kendall Gaskins is the only back in camp (who isn’t a fullback) that is bigger. He’s 6’1” 238 and he can lay the lumber. He’s had a nice camp, but whether he can unseat Tashard Choice remains to be seen.

5 - @ChrisBrownBills

how’s Carrington doing? Was projected as breakout player but haven’t heard much about him?

TerryBdattd

CB: If you haven’t heard or seen much you might be living under a rock. He’s been a routine component of our highlight reels on Bills Roundup every evening we cover the day that was in training camp. I’ll let defensive coordinator Mike Pettine give you the assessment of the kind of camp he’s had (high praise).

“He’s a guy that we have a saying where we talk about playing like Bill, tough, competitive, productive, relentless, all the traits that we’re looking for in our guys,” said Pettine. “You go right down the list and he’s every one of them. He’s a guy that loves football, wants to get better, wants to get coached hard, asks the tough questions and it just shows up in his play.

“He’s probably our most technically sound guy up front. We emphasize to our guys that we want to get knock back on the offensive line and he’s probably our most consistent guy doing that, but the position he’s in I don’t think he’s going to show up on the stat sheet as much from a scheme standpoint. But to me he’s going to be one of the more important pieces of our defense.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hairston update

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2013 – 8:10 pm

Bills OT Chris Hairston remains on Active PUP. Buffalobills.com asked head coach Doug Marrone for an update on the lineman’s status to see when he might be able to return to practice.

“We’re meeting with the doctors on it,” said Marrone. “It’s just a matter of when he feels good he’ll be out there. It’s a day by day and we’re looking forward to him coming back and I’m waiting for the doctors to say, ‘Hey put him on that field.’”

Hairston has been working with athletic trainers on the side at practice daily and he frequently walks laps around the practice field while his teammates work in between the lines.

All Hairston needs is medical clearance from the doctors for his undisclosed injury and he’ll be participating in practice.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone hopeful on Hairston

Posted by Chris Brown on July 27, 2013 – 1:42 pm

Bills OT Chris Hairston is the only player who will begin training camp on Active PUP. Being on Active PUP means the player can return to practice as soon as he’s medically cleared. Head coach Doug Marrone is hoping that’s sooner rather than later.

“I’m hoping that he comes back soon,” Marrone said. “I’m not a doctor, but I’m sitting there thinking to myself, my first question being can we pull that tag off at any time. As soon as the doctors feel comfortable with it we’ll get him out there and start working him in.”

Hairston missed a good portion of the OTAs and all of the three-day minicamp with an undisclosed lower body injury.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kyle Williams expected to practice

Posted by Chris Brown on July 26, 2013 – 8:11 pm

Bills DT Kyle Williams did not do any work in the spring practices, but that will change when training camp practices open later this weekend.

According to Bills GM Doug Whaley, Kyle Williams is set to practice after undergoing Achilles surgery to take care of a bone spur on his heel near the Achilles. It’s the same procedure he underwent on his left Achilles last year, though his right Achilles did not suffer the same damage as the left.

“As of now he’s full go,” Whaley said in a Friday appearance on the John Murphy Show. “I think they’re going to limit him in practice and ease him into it and not put too much on him right off the bat, but he is not going to be on PUP.”

Whaley also said he does not expect any other roster player to join Chris Hairston on Active PUP at the outset of training camp.

“As of now we do not expect anything or anyone else being placed on PUP, but you never know,” he said. “Someone might have tripped or had a pull coming into training camp so that’s why we have the physicals when they get here.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 7-12

Posted by Chris Brown on July 12, 2013 – 11:57 am

Training camp is closing in. Be sure to stay close to Buffalobills.com as we address the most pressing questions facing the team as they get set for the 2013 season under new head coach Doug Marrone. Here is the latest edition of questions from you the Bills fan from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - Hi Chris:

There were several players still rehabbing during the minicamp. What is their prognosis for the start of training camp? Kyle Williams, Leodis, Chris Hairston come to mind. What was Chris Hairston’s injury? Also, how is Zebrie Sanders doing with his rehab and where is he being slotted along the line? Finally, are Erik Pears, Mark Anderson and Torell Troup 100% yet?

Thanks,
Gerald in Rochester

CB: The following players are expected to be full go that were not 100 percent recovered from offseason rehabs and surgeries.

Kyle Williams, Leodis McKelvin, Chris Hairston, Lee Smith, Erik Pears, Scott Chandler and Marcus Easley.

Obviously, a setback in preparations for training camp could change things. To our knowledge Hairston had a lower body injury.

Mark Anderson participated on a limited basis in the spring. It’s expected that his workload at training camp will be incrementally increased as camp wears on.

Zebrie Sanders and Erik Pears did participate on a limited basis in the spring practices. All signs point to them being full go for training camp as well. They’ve both lined up exclusively at offensive tackle.

Torell Troup was full go in the spring and worked mainly with the second team at defensive tackle.

2 – Hey Chris,

Looking at the situation with J. Byrd this year & going back as far as Jabari Greer, & even as recent as Andy Levitre situation , the Bills have seemed to almost drag their feet when it comes to re-signing their future star players. Sometimes waiting till their contracts are up (like Greer & Levitre) to try & re-sign them we wind up losing said players that would be corner stones of the team for years to come.Yet others they sign way to prematurely (?)  Also if signed before, we may be able to get them at a better price rather than wait & let them test the market.

With all that being said, C.J. being the dynamic back that he is, also given the fact that everyone is thinking he will be even a bigger presence in the new offense, do you see the Bills possibly trying to extend him next year ? I think if we follow the same path taken in the past with other good players mentioned earlier, if he gets the chance to get anywhere near the FA market he’s gone for the big bucks !!

Thanks as always for your insight & keep up the great work we all appreciate you !

Mr. T from Ft. Myers via Nashville

CB: I think your point is an astute one. Of course said player has to be willing to negotiate a new deal and some players have agents that want to wait for the price tag to rise. Now while you’re right in mentioning the players that did get away, Buffalo has also taken a proactive approach in retaining some players long term by signing them to extensions sooner rather than later. Kyle Williams is one example. Kraig Urbik is another.

Your point with C.J. is well taken. I think another player that should merit this kind of ‘sign them early’ consideration is Alex Carrington. It’s clear that the defensive staff believes he could do big things in this defense, and he’s entering the final year of his rookie deal before he becomes unrestricted. Why not lock him up long term now before he performs like the Bills defensive coaches believe he will?

3 – Chris:

I was surprised that EJs contract was for 4 yrs instead of a 5-year contract that is permissable under the CBA terms. This means that his contract and Gilmores will expire the same year.  Do you have a reason why the team did not sign EJ for 5 years, considering the confidence they appear to have in him?   Conrad in Elma

CB: First of all, Gilmore signed a four-year rookie contract with the Bills and will be a free agent after the 2015 season. Manuel under his four-year deal will be a free agent after 2016.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, all NFL first-round draft picks can have four-year contracts with a non-negotiable fifth-year option, although not all will receive it. Since the new CBA went into effect four-year contracts for first-round picks have been the rule, not the exception.

Proof of that comes in the fact that of the first-round picks signed to this point, only Ziggy Ansah, the fourth overall pick to the Lions has a five-year deal among them.

In the grand scheme of things if Manuel pans out as expected, he’ll be re-signed at least a year before his rookie contract expires.

4 – Hey Chris –

Very simple question…Who would win in a foot race between CJ, TJ and Marquise Goodwin?

Thanks!
– James

CB: I think Goodwin has both of them beat.

5 – @ChrisBrownBills @buffalobills Do you expect a No1 Quarterback to be decided before the start of the season? #bills

CJAugarde

CB: I’ll first let coach Marrone take a shot at answering this question since he addressed in a one-on-one interview with Buffalobills.com.

“As a coach the earlier it can get done the better,” Marrone said. “I’d be a fool to sit here and say otherwise. The earlier the better, but again if you make decisions early and no one can see those decisions with the team then you wind up hurting your football team. So I’m hoping the decision and the timeline really relies on the players that are in competition and they have to separate themselves. And when you give people enough reps they will separate. At what point? I don’t know.”

Personally first-year coaches know that’s a position where a starter needs to be entrenched at least a couple of weeks before the regular season. I believe by the close of the second preseason game, the third preseason game at the latest we’ll have an answer from Marrone and his staff.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hairston likely headed to surgery

Posted by Chris Brown on December 6, 2012 – 4:31 pm

Bills OT Chris Hairston, who was placed on injured reserve Thursday, is likely headed to surgery for his ankle injury.

“It was one of those where they said it was a situation where he’s going to probably need surgery,” said head coach Chan Gailey of the decision to put Hairston on I-R. “They could’ve done something and maybe got him back for the last game, but it probably wouldn’t have happened that way.”

Gailey explained what Hairston needs repaired.

“It was an ankle. It was not ligament involved. It’s all bone,” he said. “Somehow there’s a loose body in there that they have to take care of.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills I-R total not that high

Posted by Chris Brown on December 6, 2012 – 9:59 am

The Bills over the last five years have averaged just over 15 players per season on injured reserve. Despite the fact that Buffalo added a pair of players to I-R over the past two days, including Chris Hairston today, their total this year fortunately falls short of the recent trend.

Counting Hairston, Buffalo now has nine players on injured reserve, and two of those players were designated for that list at the start of the year before any games were played in Zebrie Sanders and Torell Troup.

The hardest hit position has been offensive line with three tackles (counting Sanders) and a C/G (Colin Brown) all on I-R.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Wednesday’s non-participants

Posted by Chris Brown on December 5, 2012 – 2:05 pm

Here are the non-participants for Wednesday’s practice

Stevie Johnson
Eric Wood
Chris Hairston
Mark Anderson
Kyle Williams


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Chan: Hairston won’t make it this week

Posted by Chris Brown on December 5, 2012 – 12:09 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey said Wednesday that Chris Hairston is out for Sunday’s game against the Rams.

“Hairston won’t make it this week,” said Gailey. “They’re still doing tests on that foot. To be honest we’re hoping to have him for the last two games.”

That means Sam Young will start at right tackle.

That assessment also would indicate that Hairston’s foot injury could also keep him out for the Seattle game next week.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-9

Posted by Chris Brown on November 9, 2012 – 4:05 pm

Sorry for the delayed posting of Fan Friday. Got bogged down with some extra work this week and some Friday roster moves. Here is the latest edition of questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and @ChrisBrownBills on Twitter.

1 – Hey Chris,

I have three things that I am very curious about and am interested to see what you have to say.

First off I wonder every week why when the defense is struggling so badly why Chan has not approached Dave Wannstedt about being on the sidelines during games. It may seem like a small matter,but when you look around the league the top defenses seem to have their coaches very invested in the games as well. I mean isn’t it beneficial for the players to be able to come off the field, and sit there with Dave and say look this is what they’re doing?

Secondly, I don’t understand why Chan seems to not believe in the idea of putting Hairston on the right side when Cordy comes back. Hairston has done a fine job on the left side, and Pears play has been fairly poor. It just seems like it would really benefit the team to have five young guys in there playing together for the long term.

Thirdly, the offense seems to have trouble on third downs largely in part to the absence of Nelson. His big body was always a safe play for Fitz. So I wonder where is Marcus Easley at? He has the size and hands to be very helpful in the middle of the field. Donald Jones has done a nice job in the slot, but his small stature seems to make it a less viable option, and the team has struggled to convert those 3rd and 7,8 that Nelson would often convert.

Thanks for your time,
Colt in Sacramento

CB: A lot of stuff there. I don’t know that moving Wannstedt’s location is going to make him call a game any differently.

With respect to Hairston he’s at right tackle right now. In Erik Pears’ defense he had been playing at less than 100 percent from the beginning of the season and only got worse physically as the season wore on. I feel it affected the consistency of his play this year. Hairston is a great option at right tackle moving forward.

There’s no question that the offense needed an adjustment period without Nelson. The guy was the second leading receiver on the team last year. Easley got called up to the active roster this week so you’ve got your wish.

2 – Hey Chris,

Have you talked to Chan about more opportunities for Dorin Dickerson & T.J. Graham? Dorin could be utilized in two tight end and would be a match up nightmare for a linebacker or safety. T.J. could be employed on end arounds & quick slants, as well as the deep ball to strech defenses. Even if not completed, at least it could back the safeties up for the run game as well as for Stevie & the boys. What are your thoughts on this. Thanks,

Tommy P. Buffalo Bills fan 4 life

CB: As a matter of fact I have asked Coach Gailey about both players. So here are his answers for you.

First on Dickerson and why he hasn’t been a bigger part of the game plans.

“It’s been a matter of the teams we’ve played and the defenses that we’ve played and what we’re trying to get done offensively,” Gailey said. “He’s not done anything wrong and he’s not done anything bad. It just hasn’t fit to this point. We’re hoping as the season goes on it does fit.”

On Graham
“The one thing you can’t do is force things. I go back to the analogy I used earlier in the season. C.J. was in the same spot, lots of talent, just hadn’t quite learned all the nuances of the game yet,” said Gailey. “You try to put him in there too much then you’re putting him in a bad situation. With the passing game it’s even more so because now not only are you putting him in a bad situation, but if the understanding isn’t there you’re putting Fitz in a bad situation. You’re trying to get the ball here and T.J. doesn’t understand what you’re trying to get done with a route or a concept and it doesn’t come out right. You want to involve him and we want to keep trying to work with him, but we’ve got a ways to go.”

“He’s very talented, he’s going to be a very good player, but he’s not there yet. We’ll continue to work with him.”

3 - Hi Chris,

As a long time Bills fan, I knew (just like most Bills fans) that the Titans were going to score. WHY didn’t Gailey call time out and save 40 seconds of clock?  That would have made a big difference and given Fitz a chance to methodically move down the field.  Has anyone asked him about that decision?  We also need to start blitzing more, and Chan need to say that Wannstedt.

Go Bills,

Kevin

CB: Chan was in a tough spot, calling timeout saves time for the opponent that’s trying to score. As a coach you’re hoping your defense gets a stop, knowing they need a touchdown to win and can’t settle for a field goal. In that spot you’re up six and you’re using the clock almost as an added means of pressure.

4 – Chris,

A lot of Bills fans have been excited about Marcus Easley since he was drafted.  Now that he’s on the 53 man roster will he dress for games, let alone have a role on offense?  If they found a way to get him involved he would be a tough player to defend with his measurables.  We need a player like him that can go up and get it. 

Thank you,
Ryan from Colorado

CB: I think the thing with Marcus Easley was he has build up speed and is very fast and can get behind defenders deep, but with this offense predicated on short timing routes they need receivers to get open and create separation quickly. That’s not the greatest asset in Easley’s skill set. I think that’s ultimately why he didn’t make the 53-man roster at the start of the season.

Obviously he’s improved in that area to the point where the Bills want to give him a shot in games now that he’s on the roster, but I would expect his role to be rather limited down the stretch.

5 – Hey Chris,
Any chance that Matt Flynn will be available this season or next? And if he is would the Bills be interested?

CB: I don’t really see that as a match for the Bills. He certainly could be available with the way Russell Wilson has been playing. There’s a chance they may not want a backup that’s pulling down over $5M in base salary with a cap hit of $7.25M. The problem here is unless someone wants Flynn as a starter, and I’m not sure anyone does in light of how lukewarm the free agent market was when he was a free agent last offseason, moving that contract off their books to another team won’t be easy.

I think Seattle may see if they can renegotiate his deal first. If he won’t take a pay cut they’re probably going to have to release him outright. If he were to become a free agent I still don’t see the Bills being interested. GM Buddy Nix has said the plan is to add a future franchise quarterback in the draft.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Pears update

Posted by Chris Brown on November 5, 2012 – 5:43 pm

Last week, Erik Pears was downgraded to out after seeing a specialist for his ailing hip. The team is waiting to see how Pears’ hip responds to some treatment performed by the specialist before they lay out a timetable and allow him to practice.

“They’re telling us from a few days to a couple of weeks is what we’ll need to figure that out and exactly where he is and what he’ll be able to do for the rest of the year basically,” said head coach Chan Gailey.

Gailey said he doesn’t expect Pears to practice this week, but that a definitive prognosis could be determined by week’s end on Pears. So it’s a virtual lock that Chris Hairston will make his second straight start at right tackle Sunday in New England.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Pears downgraded to out

Posted by Chris Brown on November 3, 2012 – 1:08 pm

Bills starting RT Erik Pears has been downgraded from doubtful to out for Sunday’s game.

Pears did not travel with the team to Houston due to a hip injury that kept him out of practice all week

Chris Hairston will start at right tackle for tomorrow’s game against the Texans.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Glenn looking good for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 1, 2012 – 12:51 pm

Bills starting left tackle Cordy Glenn was a limited participant in practice Wednesday, but was a full participant Thursday making it likely that he starts on Sunday for the first time in three games.

“It went very well,” said Gailey following Thursday’s practice. “He did everything today.”

Glenn was pleased that his ankle responded positively when he woke up Thursday morning after putting it through the paces Wednesday at practice.

“I’m very encouraged by it,” Glenn told Buffalobills.com.

Glenn appears to be returning to the starting lineup just in time knowing Chris Hairston may have to start at right tackle if Erik Pears (hip) is unable to play Sunday.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Wednesday’s John Murphy Show

Posted by johnmurphyshow on October 3, 2012 – 5:29 pm

The Bills have put New England behind them.  It’s all about the Niners now, and we’ll talk about the first day of the practice week tonight on The John Murphy Show.

We’ll have the news from the locker room right off the top at 7pm, including Mario Williams talking about his wrist injury, the Bills talking about mental toughness, and Kyle Williams thoughts on his $15,000 fine.

Former Bills Head Coach Marv Levy joins us live at 7:20pm.  We’ll get Marv’s thoughts on the upcoming induction of Bill Polian to the Bills Wall of Fame, and other NFL issues.

At 8pm, Kimberly Jones of NFL.com and the NFL Network joins us to give us her view of San Francisco’s blowout win over the Jets last Sunday.  Kimberly says Rex Ryan’s Jets are in complete disarray, and we’ll talk to her about that.

And at 820pm, Bills OT Chris Hairston joins us in studio.  He’s got to step into the starting lineup at left tackle for at least the next couple of games, with Cordy Glenn on the sidelines.

As usual, we’re ready for your questions and comments.

The John Murphy Show airs weeknights from 7pm-9pm on the flagship station of the Buffalo Bills, WGR Sports Radio 550.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills