1 - Hi Chris,
I enjoy your column and follow it virtually every week. Thank you for the good work. The Bills tend to steal defeat from the opponents during the last minute of the game. What is the strategy to address this issue from the new coaching staff?
CB: Well the first step has been an ultra-competitive and demanding offseason conditioning program. To a man, every player has said the program has been extremely challenging. It’s designed to have the players properly conditioned for fast-paced play and to have some gas left in the tank come the waning minutes of the fourth quarter.
I think the personnel department made a point of adding players that not only had talent, but a track record of toughness in an effort to add some grit to the roster. These are initial steps, but they will help the team’s fortunes late in games.
2 – Chris:
Thanks for all the great insight you provide. I have a few questions for you:
1) I know the Bills released John Potter last year. Can you tell me if he signed with anyone, and why didn’t the Bills entertain bringing him back for kicking competition at camp?
2) I feel Robert Woods is a great addition to this team and he reminds me of former # 1 draft pick in 1979, Jerry Butler. In your opinion, are there similarities between them?
3) In a recent radio interview Bills (DE) Mark Anderson sounded as if he is still having knee issues, and he didn’t sound too comfortable moving to the linebacker spot. I know the Bills are building this roster with the idea of players contributing in multiple position on defense. Will the Bills keep him around just to be a specialty rusher, or could he be released before or during training camp?
CB: Potter to my knowledge is not in the league right now. The main reason he wasn’t brought back was because he was a kickoff specialist only. He wasn’t an especially accurate field goal kicker. Then add in the fact that Buffalo drafted Dustin Hopkins in round six, who is an accomplished field goal kicker and a solid kickoff man and Potter would not be a realistic part of a competition with Hopkins and Lindell. He’d just be taking reps away from the other two. Not practical.
The Bills, much like you, are excited about Woods too because he’s a polished, NFL ready wideout. He should be able to contribute right away in this offense. I don’t know if he’s quite as explosive as Jerry Butler when he came out, but he’s a talent in his own right and has above average speed.
Mark Anderson’s troublesome knee is going to become a concern if it does not allow him to do what makes him an effective player on the field. He had two surgeries through the course of last season, which ultimately landed him on injured reserve. We’ll try to get an accurate update on his situation when OTAs start up here next week. If he’s healthy and available I would expect Mike Pettine will find a role for him.
3 – Chris,
Love the work that you do on buffalobills.com. I got a question for you, as I’m sure most people do when they email you. Now that Chris Kelsay has retired, is Mario Williams going to be taking up jersey number 90? I remember Kelsey wouldn’t give it up last year, but obviously that problem is no longer there.
Thanks for the hard work,
CB: Thanks for the kind words. As it has been explained to me Mario has chosen to keep jersey number 94, which I’m sure has every Bills fan with a Mario jersey breathing a sigh of relief.
4 – Hey Chris ,
I was just wondering if Kyle Williams has decided to or has gotten surgery on his other foot . Toward the end of last season i remembering that there where reports of his foot giving him some trouble & that he was going to wait until after the pro bowl so he could get the surgery done . To this point I haven’t read anywhere if he has had that done. If after the surgery he had last year he felt a 100 times better & if he had both feet done he may be even more of a force than he has been.
Well thanks again for all you do for the fans !!
Mr. T from Fort Myers via Nashville
CB: Yes, Kyle Williams did have surgery on his other Achilles in mid-February. He’s still not cleared to participate in any way at this time just three months removed from surgery. So it’s clear, much like his surgery last year it was not a ruptured Achilles that can take up to a year to heal. Instead it was a frayed Achilles. In such an instance doctors detach the Achilles, repair and strengthen, then lay it back down and re-attach it. Rehab last year was about five months.
When Kyle is ready to discuss it we’ll have the details on his outlook for you.
5 – Chris,
Thanks for the excellent coverage on the 2013 NFL draft. Now that it’s over, could you explain exactly how the Bills work their “Board” with photos or diagrams. You can use fictitious names but I’d like to follow how the have the players ranked and then how they work the board as the draft is proceeding. Is it set up in columns by position and in rows by ranking? I have a hard time visualizing how it’s set up. I would appreciate a detailed explanation or if you could create an article for it that would be even better.
CB: Actually you’ve got a good handle on it. Positions run across the top of the board from left to right with players grouped by position vertically in columns underneath those position headings. Then the draft grades run down the left side of the board in order 1-7. So a player at the top of the board will have a first-round grade all the way across no matter the position. And so on down the board.
The Bills also have a priority free agent board by position so they can effectively target the best of the undrafted prospects too.
Tags: Fan Friday, Kyle Williams, Mario Williams, Mark Anderson, John Potter, Robert Woods, draft board
Posted in Inside the Bills