Alright, Week 1 was a good one. Hopefully another ‘W’ Sunday for the home opener. Let’s get to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.
1 – Chris,
Buddy and Chan often use the phrase “get bigger” can you explain what they mean football wise. They have let smaller sized players go. All their TE and OL seem to be tall strong blocking types. Aaron Williams is a big corner. Does they view this on ever position? How does big translate onto the field. Have big guys doesn’t mean they are great athletes or even good football players. I understand the 3-4 needs players with more bulk. Can you explain the football philosophy on both offense and defense?
CB: There really isn’t a whole lot of football philosophy here. It’s more physics if you want to know the truth. Mass times acceleration equals power (my physics teacher would be proud). Buffalo’s offensive and defensive lines lacked mass and thus power. Both Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey saw their men in the trenches getting pushed around way too much last season and felt they had to get bigger. They are now. Eric Wood is 20 pounds heavier than the departed Geoff Hangartner. Scott Chandler is 272 pounds.
Marcell Dareus is 35 pounds heavier than Marcus Stroud. Alex Carrington added 23 pounds of muscle to his frame and Torell Troup added 10 pounds of muscle. Kellen Heard goes 340. The linebacking corps is bigger as well. It’s all about holding up against the run on that side of the ball and you need guys that are big enough and talented enough to stand their ground. That’s really all it is.
2 - Hi Chris, just wanted to know if you know what Donald Jones’ time was in the 40-yard dash? Lee Evans was a burner, and if the Bills are hoping to replace Evans, they better hope that one of those young receivers can at least be a speedy as Evans was. If the Bills lack a vertical threat, the opposing defenses will not respect our passing game as much. I will look forward to hearing your answer. Tony, Daytona Beach, FL
CB: Coming out of college, Jones was clocked at 4.49 in the 40. That’s above average speed and a player like that is capable of making plays downfield. Eric Moulds ran a 4.51 coming out of Mississippi State, and you remember the downfield plays he made in his career with Buffalo. Evans ran a 4.41.
3 - Hey Chris,
What’s the deal with Ruvell Martin making the team who had maybe a week of exposure to the offense and Naaman Rosevelt who has had several years of exposure? I think Bills fans would like to know more about the particulars in choosing Ruvell Martin over Naaman Rosevelt.
Stephen A. Naetzker from Rancho Cucamonga, Ca
CB: Truth be told, it was a bit of surprise to those of us that follow the team. Not because Ruvell isn’t capable, but because he had only been with the club a week. But head coach Chan Gailey said he was consistent in the time he was here, and sharp as a tack picking up the system. He’s also 6’4” and 212 pounds. So he does offer a bit more size than Naaman (6’0” 201).
Ultimately, I think what helped him most was his performance as a gunner on the punt coverage team. Yes, Naaman offers special teams ability as well, but mostly as a kick returner and Buffalo has kick returners in Brad Smith and C.J. Spiller. So Martin offers more on coverage teams, which is where they needed more help. I don’t know that it was the deciding factor, but it definitely played a role in the decision.
In any event Roosevelt is on the practice squad and I’d expect him to be a call up should there be a long term injury at receiver.
4 - Chris, How do some of the players with limited stats or star power like Robert Eddins, Donald Jones, Arthur Moats, Justin Rogers, David Nelson, Kamar Aiken, and Danny Batten hit the scouts radar screen. Only Nelson played at a big school. Since these guys don’t have high ceilings, combine stars but seem to be very motivated football players. Can you shed some light on how these guys separate themselves from “camp bodies” and how they are found.
CB: There are advance scouting services that NFL clubs participate in collectively like BLESTO. The scouts working for BLESTO (who also sometimes work for NFL clubs simultaneously), put together the initial work on the junior prospects the year before they enter their final collegiate season. The size of the school matters little. They scour the country and the big fish in the small ponds are found just as readily as the top talents at big programs. Once they’re on the radar it’s up to the individual NFL clubs to follow up and make their own assessments as to whether the prospect is worthy of draft consideration or consideration as an undrafted free agent signing.
5 - QB David Garrard has been released by the Jags. Is he a better option than Thigpen? Thanks, David W.
CB: I don’t see David Garrard interested in being a backup quarterback for an entire season. I think he’s looking to land somewhere, where the possibility of starting sooner rather than later is real, and Fitz is the entrenched starter in Buffalo.
Tags: David Garrard, Donald Jones, Fan Friday, Naaman Roosevelt, Ruvell Martin, Tyler Thigpen
Posted in Inside the Bills
Jaguars QB David Garrard commented on what proved to be the game-winning touchdown for Jacksonville in Sunday’s 18-15 win and explained how he felt the way the play is drawn up left the cornerback covering Mike Sims-Walker with little opportunity to succeed.
“My options there were start out on the front side, I think it was Marcedes (Lewis) and I think Ernest (Wilford) in the flats. That’s my first read, but I know if I have man coverage with Mike (Sims-Walker) running through a lot of guys, there’s going to be some pick action going on—not illegal picks, but just guys getting bumped off.
“With that I know there’s nobody over there so I can throw straight to him or I can do what I did and lob it up and give it some air because that DB sees him running the crossing route and he’s thinking, ‘If I undercut this, I have a chance to make a play on it.’ He doesn’t know I have the whole side of the field to work with, so however he plays it, it’s not a good situation for him.”
Reggie Corner was in coverage on the play and he did play underneath Sims-Walker, which is the right way to play it otherwise a TD pass is too easy. Forcing the lob is a harder throw, but Garrard was right, he had a lot of room to work with as there wasn’t another DB on that side of the field.
Sometimes opponents just call a better play than your defense does and you tip your hat. It was just tough to take at that point in the game.
Tags: David Garrard, Reggie Corner
Posted in Inside the Bills