Inside The Bills

Barnett ready to tutor rooks

Posted by Chris Brown on July 31, 2011 – 6:10 pm

Nick Barnett is entering his ninth year in the league and much like 10-year vet Andra Davis he’s open to showing the rookies the ropes, especially now that he’s officially signed. That’s huge knowing Buffalo has second-year man Arthur Moats learning the ILB position along with a pair of draft choices in Kelvin Sheppard and Chris White.

“Anything you can provide young guys growing up in this game is experience and giving them wisdom,” Barnett told “Youth is no excuse, that’s what we’d say over in Green Bay we were a young team there. I think it’s better sometimes to have that young team their eyes are wide open and they’re ready to play, ready to go, so I look forward to getting those guys out there and start hitting people.”

Sounds like the young players will be well schooled. It also sounds like there’s going to be some attitude on the defensive side of the ball this season.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Moats, Batten update

Posted by Chris Brown on July 30, 2011 – 11:15 am

In the morning walk through, Arthur Moats, as Chan Gailey indicated was lining up at inside linebacker with the second unit. Alongside him was a rookie.

Sixth-round pick Chris White lined up next to Moats on the inside. They were flanked by Aaron Maybin and Antonio Coleman. Coleman rotated with Danny Batten who is back at his more natural outside linebacker spot. Late last season Batten was studying up to be an inside linebacker, but after Kelvin Sheppard and White were drafted Batten was moved back outside.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-6

Posted by Chris Brown on May 6, 2011 – 11:24 am

Our first post-draft Fan Friday after a two week hiatus. There was just no way for me to turn around a Fan Friday on draft weekend with all the information we had to get out to you fans. So let’s get going with your questions from

1 – Hey Chris,

Thanks for all the great draft coverage, as always. Kelvin Sheppard seems like a great pick in the third round, but I was a bit surprised we didn’t take Martez Wilson, who everyone seemed to think we were going to draft back with the 34th pick. Couldn’t believe he was still there in the third. You appeared to be thrilled with the Sheppard pick as well but had been high on Wilson leading up to the draft. Can you compare the two, why you think Buddy went for Sheppard, and if/why you think that was the right call?

Thanks again,
Robert (Seattle)
CB: Wilson is more of a hybrid type linebacker. He has great length and is athletic, but he’s not a stuff the run type linebacker that Buffalo needed in the middle of their defense. He’s long and lanky with a lot of straight line speed. In fact the Saints are saying they’re going to use him as an OLB, which makes sense.

The Bills needed an interior run stuffer and Sheppard fits that profile better. I was very impressed with what I saw from Sheppard at the Senior Bowl. He’s got a better college resume than Wilson and better intangibles than him as well (leadership, instincts).

2 – Chris,
Leading up to the draft Jerry Jones claimed that 2 NFL teams have contacted him about trading up for the Cowboys #9 first round pick in this years draft.
Did you heard anything about teams interested in trading for the Bills #3 first round pick in this years draft?

It seems to me that the Bills need extra high draft picks to become a contender. Like the Patriots get every year. It might be to Buffalo’s advantage to trade the #3 pick for extra draft choices.

Lee D

CB: I understand your point and there were phone calls made to the Bills prior to the opening of the draft and during the early stages of the draft in round one. I’ll provide you with Buddy Nix’s description of it.

“We probably got 15 calls every round people wanting to move up or move back and offering picks,” said Nix. “I don’t say this is always the case because I don’t want to ever say never. Normally you won’t see us move back or swap picks just to be churning stuff. We kind of sit there and let what falls to us and take them and normally it’s worked out best. I’m not saying we wouldn’t ever do it. We might, but we’re not going to be big in that.”

Really what it comes down to is different philosophies. The Patriots love to move up and down the draft board and acquire picks for the future. This is admirable, but I also believe New England passes up some good opportunities and this year would be a good example.

They desperately needed a pass rusher. Their third down defense was worst in the league, and they had a chance with all their high picks to get an impact performer. They chose not instead trading away their 28th overall pick to New Orleans and their 60th overall pick to Houston. It can work for you and against you. I think this year it worked against the Patriots.

Sometimes less really is more and the Bills may have proven that in being one of nine NFL clubs that did not make a single trade in the 2011 NFL draft.

3 – Hi Chris,

I’d like to know what you think about the potential QBs in next year’s draft vs this year’s draft.  Any franchise material in that one?  Do the Bills look ahead to the seniors and possible juniors of the future or do they only focus on the current drafts prospects?  I’ve also seen a good idea about trading pick #34 for a 1st rounder next year to help us secure a franchise QB in that draft if one we like is there such as Luck, or another guy I like is Kirk Cousins from MSU.  Your thoughts please.

Thanks -Showtime.

CB: I’m not going to pretend to know any of these QB prospects for 2012, but here are some of the more highly-touted QBs for 2012. Andrew Luck (duh), USC’s Matt Barkley, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, Arizona’s Nick Foles and your guy Kirk Cousins from Michigan State.

4 – Chris,

Could you give us a list of the prospects that have visited One Bills Drive?  I know you have been posting them as they come, but its hard to keep track of that, especially for those of us who simply cannot get to every day.


Jimmy (Fairport)

CB: I know the draft is over, but here’s the list of publicized names. I’ve been told there were a handful of others that were not made public.

Gabe Carimi
Von Miller
Kelvin Sheppard
Cam Newton
Marcell Dareus
Ryan Kerrigan
Christian Ponder
Justin Houston
Nick Fairley
Brooks Reed
Christian Ballard
Blaine Gabbert
Quan Sturdivant
Bruce Carter
Robert Quinn
Cameron Jordan
J.J. Watt
Da’Quan Bowers


5 – Hello Mr. Brown,
   What is the deal with Danny Batten? I know he was on I-R all last season, but does he have a shot at making the cut or even starting?

CB: The most recent comments from Coach Gailey are that there is a strong likelihood that Batten moves back to outside linebacker. That’s where he started in training camp before his torn rotator cuff injury required surgery.

He was still in the all the meetings while he rehabbed late in the season, and the coaching staff shifted him to inside linebacker to learn that position instead.

Now with the acquisition of Kelvin Sheppard and Chris White in the draft, Gailey sounds like he’s leaning toward putting him back outside.

I think it’d be a good move for Batten. He spent the majority of his college career as an edge rusher so he’ll likely feel comfortable out there.

As for a role on the team, there’s a lot more competition now with Shawne Merriman in the fold and fellow draft classmate Arthur Moats emerging in the second half of the season. He’s essentially a rookie having not played last year so we’ll see.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Chris White a throwback

Posted by Chris Brown on May 1, 2011 – 12:06 pm

Bills sixth-round pick Chris White is a throwback football player, something Bills scout Shawn Heinlen quickly realized after sitting down with him at the Senior Bowl.

Heinlen asked him if he put all of the linebackers at the Senior Bowl in one room, who would be the one guy coming out?

White’s answer?

“It would be me… definitely.”

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Batten could be on move

Posted by Chris Brown on May 1, 2011 – 10:09 am

Bills LB Danny Batten, who missed the 2010 season due to shoulder surgery was shifted from outside linebacker to inside linebacker while he learned the scheme in the meeting rooms last year. After Buffalo’s most recent additions in this year’s draft it’s possible that he’ll be on the move again.

Head coach Chan Gailey said nothing is set in stone, but did admit it’s possible that with the additions of third round pick Kelvin Sheppard and sixth round pick Chris White, both inside linebackers, that Batten could be shifting back outside again.

“That’s something to be determined as time goes on,” said Gailey. “There’s going to have to be some movement yes, but don’t know which way it’s going to go right now. But that’s one of the things that we are considering at this point.”

In all likelihood Batten would have no problem with such a move as he spent the majority of his college career rushing off the edge anyway.

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White was taking a swim

Posted by Chris Brown on April 30, 2011 – 3:01 pm

Bills sixth-round pick Chris White was watching the draft pretty closely on TV all weekend, until he decided to take a break from it.

“I’ve really been watching the draft, but actually I just jumped in the swimming pool and about 30 seconds later my phone rang and my grandma handed me the phone and it was a number I didn’t know and I was like, ‘Thank God.'”

The stuff that makes draft weekend unique.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills take another LB

Posted by Chris Brown on April 30, 2011 – 2:38 pm

Buffalo just took another player they had at the Senior Bowl in Mississippi State ILB Chris White.

White played for Chan Gailey’s South Team at the Senior Bowl. He was a junior college transfer from Mississippi Gulf Coast CC.

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