Preseason game number two this evening, and great news with Eric Wood and Erik Pears to play about 10 snaps tonight. Let’s get to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and @ChrisBrownBills on twitter.
1 – I haven’t heard any updates on David Clowney and how he’s performed in camp. Is there a chance he doesn’t make the roster? His size and speed is intriguing, but it seems like he hasn’t been able to put it all together for whatever reason with his former teams. Do you think Buffalo has the system that could allow him to utilize his talents? Or do you think he was brought in as an extra body for camp, and that the coaching staff is hoping his game finally fully clicks?
keep up the good work,
CB: Clowney has made some plays here and there, but has run strictly with the second team offense. He’s found it difficult to crack the first team lineup. Right now he’s the seventh or eighth receiver in terms of the reps he’s seen in practice.
Yes, he does have intriguing speed, but he’s been outperformed by the other speed receiver on the roster in rookie T.J. Graham. He’s definitely on the bubble and will have to turn in some plays in the preseason games that remain to improve his chances.
2 – Hi Chris:
I have heard it said that T.J. Graham is not a Roscoe Parish remake. But can you explain why he is not simply another Roscoe?
Rick, Portville N.Y.
CB: He’s not a Roscoe clone because he’s a bit bigger in stature at 5’11” and 188 pounds. He’s that wiry kind of strong and he’s capable of lining up outside and make plays on the boundary. Parrish was strictly a slot receiver.
I’ve been impressed with how Graham has progressed and shown an ability to get off press coverage, something I was admittedly worried about going into training camp when the pads went on. But he’s fared well and made plays. Roscoe relied purely on his speed to create separation because he wasn’t strong enough to get off of the jam. I don’t believe that will be the case with Graham.
There’s more to his game than that.
3 – Hello Chris,
After the draft a lot of the draft analyst was talking about Tank Carder and what a deal he was.. but after the draft I have not heard anything about him what’s the deal with him and is he a good player?
CB: Carder is currently running as the third-string middle linebacker in Buffalo’s defense. Head coach Chan Gailey characterized his training camp as ‘Okay.’ Gailey said where Carder has to improve is with mental errors. He’s not alone in the linebacking corps as there are a lot of young players at that position that are still trying to master the defense.
Coverage assignments seem to be the biggest hurdle for a lot of the young LBs.
4 – Hey Chris,
One thing that we have been getting better at and need improvement still is the frequency of penalties in critical downs. Do the coaches work on this, and is there more emphasis on this during training camp? I know the offensive line was pretty good last year at staying put until the ball was snapped and some of the offenders for holding are no longer with the team. Can you elaborate on this and the last few years stats on our improvement. What do we expect out of our rookies coming out of a college to a Pro regime?
Thanks again for your tight coverage of our Bills!
Jim In Tennessee
CB: The Bills were 5th best in the league last season for penalties assessed (fewest). Under Chan Gailey the team has been pretty good in this area. That’s due in part to the fact that Coach Gailey detests unforced errors like false starts. There were a few too many in the first preseason game, but I would expect it to get cleaned up by the time the regular season rolls around.
5 – Chris,
What can you tell us about Scott McKillop? We know that he played under Dave Wannstedt at Pitt where he was an All-American and selected as Big East Defensive Player of the Year. After being selected in the 5th round, of the 2009 draft, by the 49′ers he appears to have had some success at Middle Linebacker while backing up TKO and Patrick Willis before being injured and then released. Is he likely to make the final roster behind Shep?
CB: I can tell you he’s a very instinctive linebacker that has a strong knowledge of the game. He had an impressive first preseason game against Washington and was the team’s leading tackler. Even Coach Gailey said he’s making a strong run at making the squad. I feel the same way. I believe he’ll be the team’s backup MLB and a feature special teams player this season as long as he stays healthy.
Our own John Murphy did a Bills Focus story on McKillop this past week.
Tags: David Clowney, Fan Friday, penalties, Scott McKillop, T.J. Graham, Tank Carder
Posted in Inside the Bills
Here’s the special NFL Combine edition of Fan Friday with your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Sorry it took so long, but we’ve been a little busy out here at Lucas Oil Stadium. Let’s get going.
1 - Hi Chris,
If Riley Reiff drops in the draft or Jonathan Martin was available when the Bills pick at 10, Could you see the team addressing the left tackle spot instead of more pressing needs on defense?
I think the Bills would potentially have one of the best young O lines in the league when healthy if that was the case, and the infrastructure in place to build a strong offense. A common theme with this lost decade + of losing is the weak play of the offensive line.
Love your Work
CB: Thanks for the kind words. I think there is a distinct possibility that the Bills go offensive line in round one at offensive tackle. There could be a couple of options for them there at 10 and you’re on the money with Reiff and Martin.
I was particularly impressed with Martin after hearing him address the media Thursday here in Indy. He worked under a blue collar coaching staff (Harbaugh) that ran a pro-style offense at Stanford. He’s just so broad shouldered it looks like he’s wearing shoulder pads when he doesn’t have any on. He’s a solid pass protector and I like his finish.
The Bills are talking to Demetrius Bell, who I think they believe can handle the left tackle position, but his injury history is likely a concern. So I think tackle at 10 is realistic. Also I get the sense that the elite pass rusher the Bills would covet is not on their board at 10, meaning there isn’t someone of top 10 value at that need position in their opinion. That would only reinforce the possibility of an OT being taken there.
2 - Hi Chris
Big Bills fan from Dorset, England, love all the updates and news you provide us
People have been saying we need a speedster in the WR ranks, Im unsold on Clowney, if he hit FA would the Bills look to Desean Jackson at all?
Also what do you think of and where would you put Vinny Curry of Marshall, i think he could be a good pick for the Bills and maybe he could fall to the second round, if we got Couples at 10 and Curry in the 2nd round that would be solid wouldnt it?
CB: All indications from the Eagles are that DeSean Jackson would be franchised if a long term agreement can’t be reached. At age 25 they don’t want to lose him for nothing knowing he has value on the open market.
Either way I don’t see him as the type of receiver the Bills are targeting. Yes, they want a deep speed threat, but they also want that receiver to have some measure of physicality to him (a bit bigger than Jackson).
I think a sleeper free agent for that kind of role might be Robert Meacham the New Orleans free agent.
3 – Chris,
I know Stevie wants to stay in Buffalo and I know Nix wants him back, but what is the status of renewing his contract? Also, are the Bills aiming for Vincent Jackson? With him and Stevie, we could actually be a contender. How are Fred and C.J. going to share time? Is it going to be like the Saints’ backfield with a lot of good ‘backs who just switch every down? And finally my biggest concern- this season, the league was predominately run by QB’s and defense. The bills have a QB but no healthy defense. That being said, can the bills make a smart #10 first pick and take Upshaw or Coples and not take an OT. -andrew marshall.
CB: Rapid fire answers. There was progress on a new contract for Stevie made here in Indy on Friday. How close is it is tough to gauge right now. Wanting Vincent Jackson as well might be a lot to ask, but the latest is the Chargers aren’t going to franchise him. His the size, speed addition that could work, whether the dollars do is another story.
As for Fred and C.J., Chan Gailey said there will be instances where they’re on the field at the same time and C.J. and Fred will also split out wide in certain down and distance situations. The way Chan put it is he wants to keep them both fresh while also making full use of their talents.
With their #10 pick, I’m not convinced they’re going pass rusher there, you can read more about that on the home page Saturday, which could mean pursuing a free agent pass rusher.
4 – Chris,
The Bills need a SAM right now badly. As well as a rush DE. We didn’t see much of Morrison and all his 4-3 experience has been at MLB, do you think the Bills would consider he or even a FA like Stephen Tulloch at SAM. I was shocked Tulloch only got a 1 year deal but adding him to Shep and Barnett would be nice if he can transition to outside because it seems the coaches don’t think Sheppard can be anywhere but in the middle.
CB: The Bills have been in contact with Kirk Morrison about being an answer at SAM backer. It makes sense from the Bills perspective because he could also back up Shep in the middle. My guess is Morrison wants to consider other options on the open market, so I’m not certain he’ll just blindly return to the Bills after finding it hard to get on the field last season.
Tulloch is more of an ILB so I don’t know that playing SLB is necessarily a fit for him. He’s a little on the short side to play out there (5’11”).
5 - Chris,
As you know Marcus Easley has been dealt a rough hand since being drafted by the Bills. Has he fully recovered from his illness and will he have a shot at making the Bills No. 2 receiver? Or will he compete at all? At face value, he has at least the proto type body (6’4) of a big receiver that the Bills need in the red zone. Not only could he contribute to a much need depleted receiver core, if he secures one of the WR positions, they the Bills could devote their draft to other areas of need. So I am hoping Bills fans can see what potential Easley has a big receiver and we will have one less area to address with our draft picks.
William Aiken, Schenectady, NY
CB: Easley has been medically cleared to resume his football career. He’ll be back on the field this spring with no limitations as far as I understand it. Now the Bills aren’t counting on him despite the fact that they’re eager to see what he can bring to the offense. He is the prototype size, speed combo that they want opposite Stevie Johnson, but since the first two seasons of his career have been washouts it’s hard to count on him. That’s why they’ll seek other options to add to the competition pool.
Tags: 2012 NFL draft, Buddy Nix, C.J. Spiller, Chan Gailey, David Clowney, Demetrius Bell, DeSean Jackson, Fan Friday, Fred Jackson, Jonathan Martin, Kirk Morrison, Marcus Easley, Riley Reiff, Robert Meacham, Stephen Tulloch
Posted in Inside the Bills
One of Buffalo’s newest receivers, David Clowney, who is profiled on the home page at Buffalobills.com today, is going to be in Buffalo on a permanent basis starting next month. He’s hoping he can connect for some on the field time with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.
“I’m going to be here. I have to report here March 1st,” Clowney told Buffalobills.com. “Once I’m here hopefully Fitz will be up here and I’ll have the playbook all ready so I can get a jump on everything. Everybody else knows all the plays so hopefully Fitz will be up here and can help me out and make sure we’re on the same page for how he calls plays and so forth.”
Being a deep threat in the passing game, Clowney likes the fact that Fitzpatrick doesn’t hesitate to air it out.
“He’s not shy at all and I love it,” said Clowney.
Clowney is also encouraged by the fact that Buffalo’s most popular offensive set is the 4 WR, 1 back formation.
“For a receiver that’s heaven,” he said. “At the end of the day by the grace of God I’m going to be here and I’ll be doing everything possible to help myself and help the team. At the end of the day I want to win and when we win I want to be a part of it.”
Tags: David Clowney, Ryan Fitzpatrick
Posted in Inside the Bills
Obviously having spent three NFL seasons in New York with the Jets, new Bills WR David Clowney is very familiar with Brad Smith. In fact the two flip flopped roles in the Jets receiving corps during the regular season.
“He and I would always flip flop between number three and number four based on the game plan that particular week,” recalled Clowney. “Me and Brad have always been good friends from the day I got to New York. He’s a great guy and an even better friend. He knows I’m up here and I’m a competitor. We never had difficulties in New York.”
Smith’s role moving into the 2012 season is likey to be expanded as a Wildcat option, but what the future holds for him at receiver is unclear.
Tags: Brad Smith, David Clowney
Posted in Inside the Bills
The Jets will be without #2 WR Jerricho Cotchery on Sunday.
That according to the Newark Star-Ledger. Cotchery re-aggravated his hamstring injury on Monday night in the loss to the Dolphins and with the short week he has not practiced at all this week.
WR Brad Smith (quad) has also not practiced this week leaving his status for Sunday in doubt as well.
If both cannot go, WR David Clowney would start opposite Braylon Edwards, with TE Dustin Keller expected to line up as the third WR in their 3 wide sets.
Tags: Brad Smith, Braylon Edwards, David Clowney, Dustin Keller, Jerricho Cotchery, NY Jets
Posted in Inside the Bills
Despite acquiring Braylon Edwards last week, who by the way looked pretty good against the Dolphins Monday night, the Jets could be short handed at receiver this Sunday when they host the Bills.
Jerricho Cotchery was questionable going into the Miami game with a hamstring injury. According to Newsday’s Bob Glauber, Cotchery re-injured the hamstring in last night’s game.
With a short week for the Jets playing Monday night, Cotchery isn’t likely to be ready for Sunday’s game.
Cotchery played more than he was supposed to because QB/WR Brad Smith suffered a foot injury and left the game. David Clowney also had to leave the game, but just had severe leg cramps and should be okay for Sunday.
But aside from Edwards and Clowney the only other healthy receiver on New York’s roster right now is Wallace Wright.
Tags: Brad Smith, David Clowney, Jerricho Cotchery
Posted in Inside the Bills