Inside The Bills

Report: Bowers to only lift

Posted by Chris Brown on February 22, 2011 – 2:40 pm

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers will not be participating fully at the NFL combine.

Bowers, who reportedly had knee surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus at the end of the college season, is only doing the bench press per Schefter.

AdamSchefter Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers, projected as a top five picks, plans only to lift at this week’s scouting combine.

In reality it’s not much of a surprise in light of the surgery.


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Mayock on Bowers vs. Fairley

Posted by Chris Brown on February 17, 2011 – 4:43 pm

The three teams at the top of this year’s draft (Carolina, Denver, Buffalo) are faced with what many consider a good dilemma, should they have the choice. Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers or Auburn’s Nick Fairley to improve their defenses, which finished 26th (Car.), 28th (Buf) and 32nd (Den) in the league in points against. NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock provided his two cents in a national conference call Thursday, and added in a third name that he feels merits consideration with Bowers and Fairley.

“Two incredibly talented guys that each have boom or bust potential,” said Mayock of Bowers and Fairley. “Da’Quan Bowers is a one-year wonder, and it was a wonderful one year, but you better make sure that you’re getting what you hope you’re getting because he didn’t have much production prior to that.”

“As far as Nick Fairley is concerned I would also throw in Marcell Dareus’ name with Fairley. I think Nick Fairley might have a tiny bit more upside than Dareus, but Dareus has a higher floor. I think you know what you’re getting with Dareus.

“I would throw all three of those names in the hopper and grind the heck out of Da’Quan Bowers and Nick Fairley (tape and background) because they’re great football players with all kinds of upside, but you just better know what you’re getting after you hand that guy millions of dollars.”

Bowers had a 15 sack season in 2010, but had just four in the two seasons prior. Fairley was a part time starter as a sophomore before exploding onto the scene in 2010 with a nine sack season and 18 of his 31 tackles going for loss.

Dareus meanwhile has put together a pair of solid seasons including the one that helped Alabama win the national championship in 2010 when he most notably knocked Colt McCoy out of the title game.

On a pick where you can’t afford to miss one wonders if the concerns Mayock raises becomes an issue or if the questions still out there are answered at the NFL combine next week.


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Bowers to do drills or not?

Posted by Chris Brown on February 15, 2011 – 12:05 pm

With a little over a week to go before the NFL Combine begins, one of the prospects at the top of most draft boards is still a question mark as to whether he’ll participate in the workout drills or not.

Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers had arthroscopic surgery on his knee right after the Tigers bowl game in January. According to DraftInsiders.net, which first reported the surgery, Bowers played most of the season with a torn lateral meniscus.

He’s reportedly preparing for the combine post surgery, but whether he chooses to work out remains to be seen. If he chooses not to work out at the Combine, the Clemson pro day is when he’d likely do so next month.


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Fan Friday 2-11

Posted by Chris Brown on February 11, 2011 – 12:25 pm

Into the offseason we go. Let’s hope things get resolved in short order with regard to a new deal and the 2011 season. In the meantime to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – With Nick Fairley saying that he doesn’t want a cold weather team do you see the Bills staying away from him even if he is available. Also do you see DaQuan Bowers or Marcell Dareus fitting our scheme better. I also understand that Fitz is our starter next year, but if Locker is there in the second could we really pass him up?
Russell from Idaho

CB: I think in all fairness to Fairley, being from Mobile and playing his entire career in the south cold weather is just something he doesn’t know about. Besides he doesn’t get to choose where he goes anyway. The Bills won’t ever shy away from drafting someone just because they might not be a fan of the cold. As much as Fairley might not like cold, I think in the grand scheme of things it’s a minor issue.

As for Bowers, there’s a question as to where he fits in a 3-4 scheme, which the Bills play. His ideal fit is as a 4-3 end. To his credit he does play the run well and at 6’4” 275 pounds he has a freakishly strong upper body. It’ll be interesting to see if the Bills or any other 3-4 team believes he could handle end in a 3-4 scheme. I don’t know if playing OLB in a 3-4 is in the cards for him.

Dareus would be a fit in any system. He could be a DT in a 4-3 or a 3-4 and he could be an end in a 3-4 as I see it.

With respect to Jake Locker, I just don’t see it. Great physical tools, but consistency in his game is an issue.

2 – Do you think the Bills can get two quality ILB’s through the draft and free agency…then move Paul Posluszny to an OLB role? Were that to happen…how do you think he stacks up against someone like Clay Matthews..or Bryce Paup? At least capable of a 10 sack season..playing opposite Merriman?
 
CB: The draft unfortunately is a bit thin at inside linebacker, but Buddy Nix told me that they need to add two this offseason either via draft, free agency or some combination therein. Even if they do add two I still believe Posluszny stays inside. I don’t see them moving Poz, whose best fit in my opinion is at ILB. He’s good at rushing through the gaps inside. I don’t see him as a 10 sack guy at OLB and as you mentioned they don’t need to make Poz that with Merriman out there.

3 – All the talk about drafting a DT/DE with the 3rd pick makes me wonder, did Torell Troup and Alex Carrington not pan out as the staff had hoped? I haven’t heard much about them heading into the offseason. Any updates from 1 Bills Dr. regarding those two?
Josh
Buffalo, NY

CB: I’ll let GM Buddy Nix explain the Bills position on this in his own words.

“Obviously you’ve got to have a big nose tackle,” said Nix in reference to the 3-4 scheme. “We drafted one last year. We’re happy with Troup. We’re happy with Carrington, we just need a couple of more now.”

Buffalo does have enough of a veteran presence on the defensive line with Dwan Edwards and Spencer Johnson. Marcus Stroud is going into his 11th season and John McCargo is unlikely to be back as I see it. So there will need to be new blood on that defensive line this year.

4 – Hey Chris,
 
How come we never see any Bills head coach on ESPN or NFL Network with a post game speech.  It seems like we see every team but Buffalo.  Do the Bills not allow NFL Films or any other media sources in the locker room immediately after the game? 

D Fischer
Rochester, NY

CB: First, I believe NFL Films has the right to be in any postgame locker room by authority of the league. Second, the Bills haven’t had too many landmark wins that ESPN or NFL Network has felt are worthy to air. Once Gailey and his staff get this thing turned around there will hopefully be more notable victories that are worth publicizing on the major networks.

5 – Chris

The offensive line seems to have gained depth this year with much of it in the middle.  Any chance of one of the starters moving out to right tackle?  Also, Brad Butler has had a year to recover and rest.  Any signs that he may want to return to football?  Thanks.  

Mark in Prospect, KY

CB: The Bills have assembled some depth on the interior thanks in large part to Asst. GM Doug Whaley and his pro scouting staff. That’s why I think there’s a real chance that Eric Wood and Geoff Hangartner compete for the starting center role with Kraig Urbik the likely starter at right guard. At right tackle I believe the odds on favorite to start there is Erik Pears.

I haven’t spoken to Brad, but I did see him recently and all indications I’ve gotten from those close to him is that he’s happy with his decision to retire. I think he’s just got other irons in the fire so to speak.


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Fan Friday 2-4

Posted by Chris Brown on February 4, 2011 – 12:25 pm

Hall of Fame selection weekend. Best of luck to Andre Reed. Now to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Chris,
it seems that going to an 18-game schedule is a foregone conclusion, unfortunately. But I haven’t seen anywhere where those two extra games will come from.

In the Bills’ case, would it be two extra games against NFC teams, or two non-divisional AFC opponents? I’m assuming we wouldn’t play a third game against two divisional rivals, but I guess I shouldn’t rule that out. Has the NFL announced how it would work?
 
Thanks, and Go Bills!
Tom in Austin
 
CB: I don’t know if I’d call an 18-game regular season schedule a lock, despite what Bill Polian has gone on record saying regarding it being a “done deal.” To my knowledge determining the two extra opponents for each of the 32 teams would also prove to be no easy task for a couple of reasons. Two added games would obviously not be enough to play your division opponents a third time through.

My guess is they’d take a similar approach to what they do now with the last two games in which you play the teams in the two intra-conference divisions that you don’t face in the rotational schedule format that finished in the same place as you did the previous season.

So much like the Bills will face the last place finishers in the AFC South (Tennessee) and AFC North (Cincinnati), I would think the league would have teams square off against interconference division teams that also finished in the same place in their division.

For example, for Buffalo they play the NFC East next season, so to add two more regular season games my guess is they would add a pair of NFC opponents from two of the other three NFC divisions that also finished in last place in 2010 (Arizona, Carolina, Minnesota).
Even by adding two more interconference opponents, 12 of their 18 games would still be against the AFC (two-thirds).  

I have read that if the 18-game schedule goes through in a new CBA that it would not take effect until the 2012 season.

2 – Hi Chris,
My question is why do you think the Bills had such a hard time rushing this season? I know Fred did pretty good for not starting the season, but there were a lot of games that the average up the middle runs went for one or two yards. Fred had a monster season the year before and the line hadn’t changed that dramatically. Ironically their pass protection improved greatly, but I was under the impression run blocking was easier and more enjoyable for an offensive line.
 
Dan
Western MA

CB: Believe it or not the Bills rushing offense was not that bad up the middle as they averaged just over four yards per carry on 153 rushes (4.03 yards). As a team their average yards per carry ranked a respectable 13th in the league (4.3).

Blocking on the edges is where things proved difficult, though the averages wouldn’t suggest it. Part of that problem was due to Demetrius Bell’s compromised state of readiness for the season coming off of major offseason knee surgery. He also told me personally that one area of his game that needs the most improvement is his run blocking. Also the state of flux at right tackle throughout the season with a handful of players starting there in 2010.

The main reason the pass protection was better was due mainly to Fitzpatrick’s ability to get the ball out quickly or adjust the protection to fit the blitz or rush scheme coming at him. Chan Gailey’s play calling also helped. You likely saw the difference when Fitz was not in the lineup in the season finale.
3 – Chris,
I have a couple predictions for the Bills offseason moves.   I see them letting Donte Whitner and Drayton Florence go if reasonable deals can’t get done.  For that reason, I see Patrick Peterson being our pick at #3.  I hope Buffalo goes after front 7 help, buy if Fairley is off the board, I think Peterson is the next best talent.  (also, Buffalo has history of neglecting front seven help with their top pick)

I also felt the Bills were strong contenders to draft Tim Tebow last year.  Now that Denver has had changes in the front office and their coaching staff, how likely do u see Tebow being traded to Buffalo?? 

I get the impression Brohm/Brown aren’t the long term fix.   It makes sense to me (assuming Elway and Fox aren’t sold on Tebow).  Any thoughts?

Thanks
Jim Eimer

CB:  If Whitner and Florence are not in the fold come draft weekend, I think Peterson is a distinct possibility. With Terrence McGee 30-years old and Leodis McKelvin still trying to find consistency with his game and Ashton Youboty also a free agent it’s not unrealistic to see that happen. I do believe that Denver with the 2nd pick is also going to take a long look at Peterson themselves with Champ Bailey not expected back in 2011.

Even though there is talk straight from Team President John Elway that Kyle Orton could still start next year at QB  for the Broncos, I do not see Denver moving Tim Tebow, so to me he’s not an option. 

GM Buddy Nix mentioned at the Senior Bowl that they do intend to add a quarterback, but I’m not certain it will be in the draft. If there is some kind of free agent period prior to the draft because a new labor agreement is in place, then I think Miami free agent Tyler Thigpen is a possibility knowing his history with Chan Gailey in Kansas City.

I believe the Bills would prefer to go with a signal caller with some NFL experience rather than another young player knowing they already have that in Levi Brown.

4 – Chris,

1.   I heard that the Ravens DL Haloti Ngata, who was the guy the Bills should have picked when Levy took Donte Whitner in the 1st round, that he is a free agent this year. Do you think that the Bills could sign him? If so, that and if Buffalo could draft Nick Fairley this year, and with a healthy Lights Out Merriman playing LB, would improve the Bills defense 100%. They would get well in a hurry.
2.  If the Bills cant pick Fairley or Bowers with the 3rd pick in this years draft, what do you think they should do? Draft A J Green? Trade down and try to get extra picks? Or draft the best QB or offensive lineman available?
3.  C J Spiller was a disappointment this year. Both as a runner and as a kick returner. Made too many fair catches. It looks like the Bills made the wrong pick in the 1st round once again. Do you think Spiller could be a wide receiver? He seems to have good hands and speed.

regards
LeeD

CB: Ngata is expected to be given the franchise tag by the Ravens between Feb. 10th and the 24th when it can be used, so he won’t be available, unless the NFLPA’s argument that the tags can’t be used are upheld. Even if they can’t use the tags we’ve heard Buddy Nix say that going after high-priced free agents in not part of their plan to build this team back into a contender.

I’m not anticipating Nick Fairley to be available either. I think he’ll go first or second to Carolina or Denver. If he is there at three I’d take him in a second.

I’m not crazy about Bowers for Buffalo’s defense, but if he and Fairley are both gone, I’d entertain Patrick Peterson as a pick. There’s talk he could be the next Charles Woodson and Woodson went fourth overall. I’d also be inclined to take DL Marcel Dareus there too. There are no offensive linemen worthy of the number three pick and in my opinion I don’t believe there’s a QB worthy either.

As for C.J. I think you’re giving up on him way too early. Take a look at Jamaal Charles’ numbers his first NFL season. They’re very similar to C.J.’s and they have a similar skill set. Charles was second in the league in rushing this season, his third in the NFL. I think in due time Spiller will be the impact player the Bills believe he can be.

5 – Chris,
With the number of guard possibilities that we now have, has there been any thought to trying Andy Levitre at RT. He played some tackle in college.
 
Mark
Ashburn, Va

CB: While I don’t dismiss Andy’s ability to kick out to tackle in a pinch, I believe the Bills feel they have at least a short term solution at right tackle in Erik Pears, who was signed late in the season. Pears is a former two-year starter for the Denver Broncos and showed well in the time he got down the stretch in 2010. In my mind he’s the odds on favorite to start at right tackle in 2011, not only because of his steady play, but because he adds a valuable veteran presence to the line.


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Report: Bowers declares

Posted by Chris Brown on January 5, 2011 – 5:19 pm

According to ESPN college football Joe Schad, Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers has declared himself eligible for the 2011 NFL Draft.

schadjoe  Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers will enter the next NFL draft

Bowers (6’4″ 280) led the nation with 15.5 sacks in 2010 and ranked second with 26 tackles for loss. He won both the Nagurski and Ted Hendricks Awards as NCAA’s top defender and top defensive end. Mock drafts have him going second overall to the Broncos. Some draftniks wonder if he’s only a fit as a 4-3 DE as they are unsure if he can transition to a 3-4 OLB.


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