Inside The Bills

Report: Moats reps talking with Browns

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 12:00 pm

NFL Network is reporting that Bills FA LB Arthur Moats has had talks with the Cleveland Browns.

The news isn’t surprising knowing Browns head coach Mike Pettine is looking for as many players as possible that know his defensive system walking in the door. The report indicated that they’ve made significant progress on a potential deal.

Cleveland is also reportedly negotiating with 49ers FA safety Donte Whitner, a Cleveland native.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whitner on Bills running backs

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2012 – 5:44 pm

Donte Whitner may not have known just what he called Fred Jackson when he used the term, but it certainly wasn’t complementary. And he seems to think that C.J. Spiller is not an inside runner.

Here was Whitner’s description of Jackson as a back, which was inaccurate and a bit insulting.

“Fred Jackson he’s a guy that played in every football league imaginable,” said Whitner. “Arena football, Canadian football, any type of football he played. He’s a journeyman type guy. He’s a guy that came in and was on the practice squad, played a little bit, started, started making plays and he’s arguably one of the best players on their offense.”

So while in one breath he complements Jackson as being one of the team’s best offensive players, calling him a journeyman is an insult and he did not play in the CFL.

Whitner’s comment concerning C.J. Spiller however, is unmistakable.

“C.J. Spiller he’s a speed guy,” said Whitner. “He doesn’t really want to go between the tackles and the middle of a defense. He wants to bounce outside and use his speed.”

Spiller has a team-leading 41 carries this season and Buffalo has run the ball up the middle more than in any other direction this season (37 plays) and they’ve gained 7.19 yards per carry up the middle, which ranks second in the NFL. Hopefully Spiller has an opportunity to run it up the gut and meet Whitner one-on-one in the secondary.

More on Whitner’s comments tonight on the John Murphy Show from 7-9 pm on WGR Sportsradio 550.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whitner’s short term memory

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2012 – 5:33 pm

Former Bills first-round pick and current San Francisco safety Donte Whitner was asked about some of his former teammates on offense as the 49ers media felt he would have a good handle on them having practiced against them on a daily basis. Apparently Whitner forgets a lot real quick.

When asked about Stevie Johnson as a receiver Whitner said Buffalo’s top wideout began his Bills career on the practice squad, which is completely inaccurate.

“He’s a guy that was there when I was there. He’s a guy that rose up through the practice squad and worked his way into the player he is today,” said Whitner. “He’s going to be a guy where we have to know where he is each and every play.”

So while he credits Johnson for what he has become as a player he seems to forget how the receiver rose up the depth chart on the 53-man roster.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whitner feels George “got robbed”

Posted by Chris Brown on December 28, 2011 – 1:02 pm

Pro Bowl snubs are a popular topic this time of year and there are cases to be made for more than just a handful of players on Buffalo’s roster. But the opinion of an NFL player that plays the same position feeling a Bills player got robbed for Pro Bowl recognition carries a bit more weight.

Former Bills safety Donte Whitner felt that George Wilson was snubbed for AFC Pro Bowl honors at the strong safety position.

DonteWhitner I also wanna say that I feel for my brothers in Buffalo..I kno they have the heart and resolve to have a great season next yr..GW got robbed

 
Whitner, who routinely watches tape from around the league and not just that of his own team has an opinion that is far from unfounded. Leading the team in interceptions (4) and total takeaways (5) while also standing third on the team in tackles (94) Wilson has been a stalwart on the defensive side of the ball for the Bills.

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The eye-opening Wilson stat

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2011 – 9:46 am

We had it in our front page story on George Wilson’s emergence in his first full year as the team’s starting strong safety, but it bears repeating here.

Wilson’s production in fewer than half the starts of his predecessor Donte Whitner has already outperformed him in several big play categories. Most notably interceptions.

In 31 career starts Wilson has 11 INTs. That’s almost double the interceptions that Whitner has (6) in his 70 career starts.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills free agent list

Posted by Chris Brown on July 25, 2011 – 6:15 pm

Here is the list of Bills free agents including unrestricted and restricted.

Unrestricted free agents
ILB Akin Ayodele
OLB Keith Ellison              
CB Drayton Florence
DL John McCargo
ILB Paul Posluszny
SS Donte Whitner
CB Ashton Youboty

Restricted free agents
QB Brian Brohm                not tendered
TE Scott Chandler            tendered
RB Quinton Ganther       not tendered

Exclusive rights free agents
LS Garrison Sanborn       tendered
TE Jonathan Stupar         not tendered

Restricted free agent TE Scott Chandler was tendered a qualifying offer by the Bills as was exclusive rights free agent LS Garrison Sanborn prior to the lockout.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whitner, Byrd stand out

Posted by Chris Brown on May 18, 2011 – 11:03 am

In the 2010 season Donte Whitner and Jairus Byrd were among the surest tacklers at the safety position in the NFL.

That according to the stat gurus at Pro Football Focus, who calculated the ratio of missed tackles to attempts for every safety that set foot on the field last season. Whitner finished seventh in the league with just five missed tackles, which gave him a ratio of one miss per 27.2 attempts. Only one full-time starting safety was ahead of him on the list (Denver’s Renaldo Hill).

Jairus Byrd was right behind Whitner at eighth overall. He had just three missed tackles, but factoring that against a lower number of tackle attempts his ratio was slightly lower than Whitner’s at one miss for every 26.67 attempts.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-21

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2011 – 12:28 pm

Be sure to check out our coverage from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama beginning on Tuesday next week. For now we answer your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Chris,

There appears to be some very strong “Slash” type quarterbacks in the draft (Newton, Pryor, the VT QB).  Given Coach Gailey’s success with “Slash” at Pittsburgh and Cam Newton’s talents what do you think about that as a QB direction for the Bills.  I know they like Fitz (so do I) but as a trend, maybe a “Slash” QB can create mismatches that seem to propel teams.
Thanks

Dave
Gobills!

CB: There are some multi-faceted prospects in the draft, although Terrelle Pryor is returning to Ohio State for his senior season. Newton is the best of that bunch. Personally I’m not sure if Tyrod Taylor (the VT QB) has the measurables to be a full-time QB.
He’s super athletic so he might be better fit as a Brad Smith or Josh Cribbs type that plays some wideout and returns kicks and dabbles at QB.

The guy I really want to look at closely is Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick. He’s the only QB in college history besides Tebow and Newton to rush for 20 TDs and pass for 20 TDs in the same season. He also orchestrated the huge upset win over Boise St. this year to ruin the Broncos perfect season. I think he’d be a realistic option for the Bills in the third round if he’s still on the board.

2 - Hey Chris,
Joe in Charlotte but long time Bills fan, Your opinion of Andy Dalton, possible 2nd or 3rd rd for the Bills?, I think he would really benefit from a year or 2 learning from Fitz.  Has measureables, great attitude, and is a winner.  Realize he comes from spread system but feel he is very adaptable.  Your thoughts.

CB: He’s another QB I’m interested in getting a better look at during the practices at the Senior Bowl next week. TCU had a great season and though their defense gets most of the press, Dalton put a nice season together running that attack. I think 3rd round is realistic, but as I stated above Kaepernick is intriguing as well.

3 - Hey Chris,

Just wondering if you think the Bills might sign Vince Young to maybe be a backup?  He’s a veteran and he could do some damage with Gailey. Also, Fitzpatrick could be trade-worthy and the Bills could draft a QB.

Thanks,
Tommy of Pittsford

CB: I don’t see that happening. Someone will take a chance on him, but seeing as how he undermined his head coach in Tennessee, I can’t see too many head coaches being in favor of bringing him on board even in a backup role.
4 - Hey Chris,
If Donte does not return, what are our options at Safety? Can we get a difference maker through Free Agency or Draft? Who are the big names out there? Secondly, what will become of all the WR’s we have, can we possibly keep all of them?
 
Take Care,
 
Randy

CB: First and foremost Bryan Scott is still under contract. Second, George Wilson, who is also a free agent could conceivably be had for far less money than what Donte Whitner is asking for at this point. Philadelphia S Quintin Mikell is set to become a free agent. He’s a bit older than Donte (30), but is a capable safety. Not necessarily a difference maker, but Buffalo needs difference makers in their front seven and they in turn will make the men on the back end better playmakers.
5 - Chris, 

In 2008 the Bills played the AFC West.  They Oakland at home and KC on the road. Please tell me why the Bills are playing Oakland home again and KC on the road again (4th straight year) in 2011?  Shouldn’t that be reversed?

Bryan
Grosse Ile, MI

CB: Under the guidelines of the normal rotational schedule it would be, but the league put in a scheduling stipulation that when another division plays the AFC West they would not play both west coast teams in the AFC West (San Diego and Oakland) on the road in the same season.

So although the Bills were slated to play San Diego and Oakland on the road in 2011, this stipulation switched the location of their matchups with Oakland and Kansas City. Thus the Bills will play Kansas City on the road again and Oakland at home.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whitner’s exit

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2011 – 4:01 pm

Bills free agent safety to be Donte Whitner was nowhere to be found during locker clean out at One Bills Drive Monday. The former first-round pick looked to be long gone with his locker completely bare including his name plate at the top, which was disappointing to see as far as his head coach was concerned.

“Tenuous would be a word you could use there,” said Chan Gailey when asked about Whitner’s future with the organization. “I didn’t realize that until I was told that a few minutes ago that that had happened. He’s a really good player. You’d love to have him on your football team, but we’re in a business where that doesn’t happen every time. We’ll wait and see what happens.”

When asked Whitner’s apparent intentions to exit quickly Gailey said the following.

“You don’t what kind of advice these guys get,” he said.

Here was Whitner’s bare locker late this morning. It’s the one on the left.


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Whitner emotional

Posted by Chris Brown on January 2, 2011 – 10:50 pm

Bills SS Donte Whitner was emotional after the season finale Sunday. The loss was bad enough, but the uncertainty of his playing future was already affecting him.

“It was really emotional even before we got to the stadium,” said Whitner. “I love these guys in this locker room, and I love this staff.  This is the only place I’ve ever been.  I’ve spent more time with these guys than I have with my actual family, so it makes it tough.  It all comes down to the emotional side of the game. We don’t know where were going, but like I said, I would like to be back here.  Now it is the off season, so we will see what happens.”

Whitner is a player that is passionate about the game and wears his heart on his sleeve. It was evident to those that interviewed him after Sunday’s season ending loss.


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Whitner blitzed for tickets

Posted by Chris Brown on December 10, 2010 – 9:35 am

Donte Whitner is a Cleveland native, so for this weekend’s Bills-Browns game, he’s been hit up by his hometown friends and family for tickets big time.

Whitner provided a head count for how many tickets he picked up for Sunday’s game.

DonteWhitner By the way I had to get 90 tixs this week…4 friends n fam…

Sunday’s game is blacked out in Western New York.


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McGee, Whitner update

Posted by Chris Brown on December 9, 2010 – 3:33 pm

Both Terrence McGee and Donte Whitner were limited again Thursday, but did considerably more in practice.

“They had good practices today,” said Gailey. “We’ll still put them down as limited, but they had really good practices.”

Gailey isn’t ready to make any promises on McGee’s status for Sunday, knowing the cornerback’s nerve problem had a relapse once before. That’s why he wouldn’t fully commit to saying that McGee has turned a corner.

“This is after the second full day, then tomorrow will be the third day and then maybe so,” said Gailey. “I’m encouraged for him. It’s been so frustrating for him. I’m happy that he’s going to get an opportunity to play because he’s such a competitor. He wants to play. It’s been killing him.”


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McGee, Whitner limited

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2010 – 5:41 pm

On the Bills official injury report, Terrence McGee and Donte Whitner were both listed as limited.

Whitner has a knee injury, which was sustained in last Sunday’s game. Head coach Chan Gailey had said on Monday that Whitner might miss some practice time this week, but should be fine for this week’s game against Cleveland.

McGee is still touch and go.


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Whitner on re-signing

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2010 – 4:47 pm

Bills S Donte Whitner was asked by CBSSports.com about the possibility of him re-signing with the Bills. Here was some of what he said.

Whitner told CBSSports.com that he’s “pretty confident” he will come to terms on a new deal with Buffalo. “They’ve expressed a lot of interest… and have been talking for some time.”

Whitner’s rookie contract is up after this season.


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Bills calling on 12th man

Posted by Chris Brown on November 28, 2010 – 7:57 am

The Bills players are asking for a big day from Bills fans in attendance at Ralph Wilson Stadium today.

Safety Donte Whitner is hoping the 12th Man shows up for them in a tough matchup against the Steelers today per his latest twitter post.

DonteWhitner 12th man we need you guys today!

The 12th Man could really be tested today because there is going to be more than a smattering of Steelers fans at this game in Orchard Park today. Several thousand Pittsburgh fans have purchased tickets to make the short 3 hour drive up the I-90 to suppor their team on the road.


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Fan Friday 11-19

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2010 – 1:33 pm

Win No. 1 is in the books and the Bills have a very winnable game Sunday against a reeling Cincinnati squad. Getting mixed feedback from fans on winning right now as some want to lock up the top pick with the worst NFL record. I don’t see that happening because Carolina is a far worse team and Buffalo has made strides the last month. They’re playing better football. Now to your questions from the AskChris@bills.nfl.net file.

1 - Hey Chris,
I know Ralph has said QB is the top priority this offseason and that really worries me that we will desperately take whoever is the best QB available at our pick in the draft,whether or not he is necessarily deserving of the pick. Personally I think Andrew Luck is the real deal and would take him first overall no question, but if he stays in school like he’s said he will then we take a QB just to take one? I think Mallett is a little inconsistent and have had character questions and that Locker is far too inaccurate and raw to cut it in the NFL. I would say to take a tackle but it doesn’t seem as though there’s an elite tackle at this point. If we can’t take Luck, do you think it would make more sense to take a defensive impact player such as Bowers from Clemson or Fairley from Auburn, maybe even Peterson on LSU, a tackle in the second and try to get Luck or someone like a Matt Barkley whenever they declare? Thanks.
 
From,
Tom

CB: I think you can rest assured knowing that GM Buddy Nix is not going to desperately do anything. As I mentioned last week, we have to see which underclassmen declare in mid-January before we can really assess the landscape of what will be available to the Bills. At that point we’ll also know where Buffalo will be picking in the draft order.

Know this, Buddy Nix worked primarily under John Butler during his first stint with the Bills. Butler worked under Bill Polian, who openly stated that the top two positions on a football team in terms of importance were QB and a pass rushing DE or OLB depending on your defensive system.

I’ve seen a lot of Fairley and that kid is impressive. He jumps off the TV screen. I haven’t seen as much of Bowers, but of the tape I’ve watched it’s evident he’s a special talent. In fact, there’s one part of his game that resembles Bruce Smith. Bowers can drop his inside shoulder and his inside hip and flatten himself out at almost a 45 degree angle and still maintain his pass rush speed to get to the quarterback.

There are very few pass rushers that can do that. Marcellus Wiley told me when he tried to do some of the things that Bruce could do he would fall down. I’m not saying Bowers is Bruce Smith, but I am saying that on the surface it appears he has some similar athletic traits in his game to that of the Hall of Famer.

Just know that Nix is not going to have his hand forced with their top pick. I think he proved that last spring when he took Spiller despite glaring needs at other positions. If the individual talent at a position of need doesn’t fit their spot on the board he won’t reach to fill it.

2 - Hey Chris ,
I’ll make this quick – What do you think about Kellen Moore ?? All the kid does is win !!

Mr. T from Ft. Myers via Nashville

CB: Moore has shown the ability to perform in the clutch and you’re right he is no question a winner. His greatest strength is his knowledge of the game. A son of a football coach, Moore is a football nerd. As a kid he used allowance money to buy college game tape off the internet.

Since he was a sophomore his college staff was so impressed with his knowledge and scouting of opponents that they would often incorporate plays he liked into the game plan. To my knowledge they still do this.

What’s going to steer NFL GMs away from Moore are his physical limitations. He’s a 6’0” 187-pound pocket passer. He’s not all that mobile and his arm is adequate at best.

His football intelligence will get him drafted, but it will be hard for talent evaluators to overlook his physical deficiencies. I think he’ll be a mid to late round pick (4th to 6th), but I wouldn’t mind having him on my team as a backup. It should be noted that he is a junior, so he still has a year of college eligibility left.

He gets knocked for being a system quarterback, but I think he’s more than that personally.

3 - Chris:
It starting to look like Alex Carrington is falling into the potential bust category. How is it that a young Defensive Lineman can’t get on the field for this team that has major Defensive issues stopping the run and rushing the passer?
 
Thanks
Joe Badaszewski
Blasdell

CB: I think you’re way off the mark here on Carrington. First of all Carrington is playing a position where there are experienced veterans in front of him (Johnson, Stroud, Edwards). That combined with the fact that in a 3-4 you really only need five defensive linemen active for a game and you see the numbers game where Carrington gets caught.

So I think to even attribute bust in the same sentence as Carrington is misguided at best. When you have proven veterans in front of you on the depth chart, that’s what is going to keep you off the field more than anything. It has less to do with his ability and more to do with the ability of the vets.
4 – Hi Chris,
 
Couple of questions for you. First, regarding free Agency this off-season, what notable players on the Bills roster have contracts that are expiring? Specifically, where do players like Whitner and Poz stand (I think theirs may be up soon) and do you foresee them being offered new contracts, or do you think Nix/Gailey may be looking to move in a different direction once the season is over?

Paul in Toronto

CB: Here are the names according to my records. I believe I have most of them. Paul Posluszny, Donte Whitner, George Wilson, Ashton Youboty, Keith Ellison, Brian Brohm, Drayton Florence, Jonathan Stupar and Garrison Sanborn.

I would think that Poz is a top priority with Whitner and Florence other notable considerations. I think keeping a quality long snapper is also important so I anticipate Sanborn will be back.

All that being said, with the labor uncertainty there’s no definition as to who is restricted or unrestricted based on accrued seasons before there is no CBA to go off of. A couple of these players are likely to be re-signed prior to a new CBA regardless of what the new rules become because the organization deems them important pieces for their future. But the absence of a CBA won’t make the process any easier.
5 – Chris,

One question about the Bills has really been bugging me: a couple of years ago Leodis McKelvin was a fantastic kickoff returner for Buffalo. C J Spiller seems awful tentative on kick returns. Why does McKelvin not return kickoffs? Does Coach Gailey not know that McKelvin is an electric return man? Maybe you could ask him that the next time you interview him.

Lee D.

CB: It looks like you’re going to get your wish Lee due to injury. Spiller is out Sunday against Cincinnati and McKelvin is slated to handle both kick and punt return. Personally I thought he was robbed last week on his 78-yard return on a very questionable holding call against Jon Corto. I thought Corto had him locked up legally and was driving his man down the field.

I do like that McKelvin is getting this opportunity. I think the Bills staff was so eager to get Spiller on the field, and knowing he’d be worked in slowly on the offensive side, returns were a way to get him extra touches. They also wanted McKelvin to focus more on defense because his consistency series to series had been an issue. In my opinion he played his best game of the season against Detroit last week.


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Whitner chat recap

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2010 – 9:38 am

For those that could not partake in the Donte Whitner live chat Thursday, here’s where you can listen back.

Whitner commented on facing T.O. this week as well as the team’s first win against Detroit and who he thinks is the heart and soul of the defense. Check it out.


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Live chat with Donte

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2010 – 9:58 pm

Bills safety Donte Whitner will be hosting a live chat on Thursday.

The chat starts at noon so submit your questions and watch the live chat.


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TE coverage issues explained

Posted by Chris Brown on October 27, 2010 – 1:50 pm

The Bills have had their share of troubles covering tight ends this season in the passing game. Head coach Chan Gailey did his best to explain the problems they’ve faced in that area.

“Sometimes you pay so much attention to other people that you lose sight of a guy,” said Gailey. “Some of those guys are really good players and you hope to hold them down. You’re not going to stop them, but you hope to hold them down. We’ve faced some really good tight ends that have hurt a lot of people, not just us.

“You have to continually scheme ways to get that guy fomr making the big play. You don’t mind if they catch those four, five or six yarders, but it’s those 20, 30, 40 yarders that hurt you and we continue to try to keep those away from happening.”

Six of the 32 receptions caught by opposing tight ends against the Bills (19%) have gone for 20 yards or more and seven of the 32 receptions (22%) have gone for touchdowns. Six of those seven touchdowns have come in the last three games.

Safety Donte Whitner has been one of the defensive backs with tight end assignment responsibilities. To his credit he’s owned up to mistakes that he’s made in game thus far, but Gailey defended him saying they put a lot on Whitner’s plate defensively.

“We’re asking Donte to do a lot,” Gailey said. “He has a lot of responsibility because he’s a good player and when you ask a lot of a player sometimes it’s going to be good and sometimes it’s not going to be good. So we’re asking him to do quite a bit, so he gets out there in the open where it’s seen a lot more than maybe some other people.

“But to me he’s a really good football player and as they all continue to grow in the defense they’ll be less and less of isolated matchups. We’ll have more people around the ball and more people being involved in a play instead of it just being isolated on one guy.”

Gailey seems to indicate that the development and cohesiveness of the players within the scheme is as much an issue for this deficiency as anything else. But there still appear to be a good amount of isolated matchups out there. Here’s the official stat line for tight ends against the Bills through six games.

32 receptions, 420 yards (13.1 avg.) and 7 touchdowns.


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Posted in Inside the Bills