The bye week provides everyone with a break from a trying start to the season. Then it’s back to the grind with a roadie at Baltimore. Let’s get to your questions (AskChris@bills.nfl.net).
1 - Hi Chris, like Buddy Nix said during his interview, its going to take some time, and nothing can be done overnight. In your opinion, do you think the Bills will ever return to prominence? I think these guys (Nix and Gailey) are experienced, and they are obviously football guys, but will it be enough to help the Bills turn the corner?
Tony, Daytona Beach, Fl
CB: I think the Bills have the right people in place to assemble a roster of quality talent and ability that can make Buffalo a perennial playoff contender. Nix is dead on, it’s going to take time. There is talent on this roster, but also a ton of holes. Nix has worked at the elbow of John Butler and Buddy Nix, two former Bills personnel men that were largely responsible for assembling the majority of the talent pooled in Buffalo in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I’m confident it can happen again… in time. The draft is the key.
2 – Hi Chris,
My question is about Buddy Nix’s scouting staff. How big is the staff? What level of compensation does the average pro scout receive? Since scouting (i.e. hitting with your draft picks) is going to be so important to the Bills success I would like to see the Bills attract the best possible talent they can find to their scouting staff.
This will obviously require opening the purse strings to entice scouts to work for Buffalo. But, it seems like a great value proposition compared to the millions teams like the Redskins throw at free agent signings (with varying results).
I don’t how much it would cost, but I would think an extra million or two spent on hiring the best scouts would be the best investment the Bills could make.
CB: There are 15 people, counting Nix, Tom Modrak and Doug Whaley on the college scouting staff. The most recent addition was Darrell Moody, who was most recently with the Chargers and serves the Bills as a National Scout, which means he’s not tied to a specific region of the country to scout.
That is one of the largest college scouting contingents in the league. Most NFL clubs average between 8 to 12 scouts. Cleveland, by my count, came the closest to Buffalo with 13. Indianapolis has 12 counting Bill Polian. Cincinnati, meanwhile, has just one person that organizes the scouting department, but their scouts are the members of their coaching staff.
I honestly do not know what the average compensation level is for NFL college scouts, nor what it would take to lure scouts away from another club.
3 - Hey Chris,
With the Bills picking up a 4th rounder for Marshawn and the Pats trading Randy Moss, I was thinking about the 2011 draft. Are the Bills eligible to pick up a compensatory pick, most likely for losing T.O.? I know the process of awarding picks is pretty confusing, but it would be nice if we may have an extra pick coming up.
CB: It’s a valid question, and you’re right the exact formula for determining compensatory picks is better protected by the NFL than the gold at Fort Knox. But a team is not even eligible to qualify for compensatory picks unless it has a net loss of free agents (lost more than they signed). There is also a time period in which signings would qualify. I’m going to have to check to see if Owens late signing (after training camps opened) would fall into the category of a free agent loss.
As I see it in a quick glance at last year’s transactions Buffalo did not have a net loss of free agents. They signed Cornell Green, Andra Davis and Dwan Edwards. They “lost” Terrell Owens, Jonathan Scott and Richie Incognito. Josh Reed doesn’t count because he did not make the San Diego roster. So I don’t think the Bills would be part of the compensatory equation.
4 - Hey Chris,
I understand the Bills traded Lynch for a 2011 4th round draft pick and a conditional pick in the 2012 draft. Can you explain the conditional pick we could be getting? Is it going to be in one of the later rounds, or is there a chance that it could be a 3rd or 4th round pick if Lynch plays well for the Seahawks? Thanks.
Brendan – Las Vegas
CB: Conditional picks are based on certain… conditions. The pick has a base line established value, in this case a sixth-round pick. So at worst the Bills will be getting a 4th round pick in 2011 and a 6th round pick in 2012. However, with the 2012 pick being conditional it is tied to certain conditions agreed upon by the Bills and the Seahawks.
What those conditions are I do not know, but in most cases with a running back they’re tied to any or all of the following, games played, playing time (percentage of team’s offensive snaps), rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, division title, playoff berth, Pro Bowl berth etc.
So basically if Lynch has a monster season in 2011, the Bills 2012 sixth-round pick from Seattle is likely to improve to a fifth-round pick. Hope that helps.
5 - Hey Chris,
It seems as though the offense has had it’s jump start by putting Fitz in , putting Fred back where he belongs #1 and we at least look respectable in a lot of ways on offense , but the roles seem to be reversed this year . Last year it seemed like the D kept us within range to win games but the Offense couldn’t put up enough points to win , now that points are going on the board the D seems like it is
suspect . Last year with the same players we at least had one of the top 10 secondaries in the NFL , but the run game is still suffering .
So I was wondering your take is it that we need to upgrade our players , is the DC on the right track , or is it just the scheme & players don’t mesh ?? If you read the others Blogs like TBD of course some of the Bills fans have all the answers but I tend to lean more towards guys like you & others that know a bit more than the fans .
Go Bills !!
Mr. T from Ft. Myers via Nashville
CB: You’re right about the offense. As many of us thought Chan Gailey would make the offense a more productive point scoring unit. They still have their flaws, but they’re scoring with regularity.
The defense has been a big problem, with stopping the run topping the list. The lack of a proven pass rusher is also hurting and preventing the men in Buffalo’s secondary from making plays on the ball because no throws are being hurried with opposing QBs not being forced to make bad decisions due to pressure.
So the answer is yes, they need to upgrade their players, yes, not all the players fit the new scheme. The defensive staff and Chan Gailey made a commitment to the 3-4. They got some long terms pieces for that system in Troup and Carrington. They’ll acquire more this offseason. A can’t miss pass rusher is what they need the most in my opinion. They also need to get bigger on that side of the ball playing in a 3-4 across the front seven.
Tags: Buddy Nix, compensatory picks, conditional picks, Fan Friday, Fred Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, Ryan Fitzpatrick
Posted in Inside the Bills