In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Tuesday morning GM Doug Whaley addressed the prospect of pursuing a veteran free agent pass rusher or receiver in light of the recent offseason surgeries for Shaq Lawson and Sammy Watkins.
Whaley said at this point they haven’t made contact with those veteran free agents, though he wouldn’t rule anything out.
“We always keep our options open. We never say never,” said Whaley. “We haven’t reached out and contacted anybody right now. We’re looking at the development of the guys we have on the roster and some of the young guys. But we always keep our options open and our pro personnel department headed by Rob Hanrahan, those guys always keep me abreast of who is out there and we continually update what we call our short list.”
When asked specifically about Boldin, Whaley again reiterated that they want to see how some of the youth on their roster comes along during spring practices.
“We want to see what we have and the development of the guys on the roster in the OTAs,” he said. “Guys like that we look at as consummate professionals. They’re always going to be in shape and if the time comes where we think the guys aren’t progressing like we need them to that’s when you look at a guy like Anquan Boldin or a Dwight Freeney, but right now we want to develop some young guys with an eye on the future saying those guys are out there if for needs sake we need to pick them up.”
It’s clear that Whaley believes time is on his side before the need may arise to make a move of this nature. When you’re trying to develop young players you don’t want to steal reps from them with a vet and delay their improvement.
There is a report that Freeney had a workout scheduled with the Bengals today.
Tags: Anquan Boldin, Doug Whaley, Dwight Freeney, NFL free agency
Posted in Inside the Bills
1 – @ChrisBrownBills Why haven’t Bills looked at Anquan Boldin as he seems to fit what they need a WR. Thanks!
CB: I think there could be a number of issues at play here. First, Boldin, though productive last season (69 rec. 789 yds, 4 TDs) is 35-years old. Second, and probably more important is the Bills are probably in a position where they could only offer a veteran receiver the league minimum, and with Boldin a 10-plus year player he would cost $985K. As accomplished as Boldin is I don’t know if he would play a 14th NFL season for that.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills Bills have any interest in Dwight Freeney or Greg Hardy?
joseph tadak @jt9591
CB: I don’t see Greg Hardy as a realistic option due to his off the field issues. No one else seems all that interested either. I understand fans trying to connect the dots to a veteran to fill the potential void left by Shaq Lawson’s surgery, which will probably keep him out for a portion of the first half of the season.
I wonder how much of a commitment the Bills would want to make to a stop gap solution. If they were to sign Freeney and he was on the roster beyond Week 1 his contract would be guaranteed even if they released him once Lawson returned to the roster.
I don’t know if that’s a good call for someone who would be a part-time player (pass rush specialist).
3 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you see Gilmore or Taylor getting extended before season, during season, or after if at all?
Grayson Tumult @GraysonTumult
CB: I believe the likelihood of a new deal for Gilmore before/during the season is greater than Taylor. The reason why is the Bills probably want to see Taylor take the next step in his development during the season. Then if they have to back up the Brinks truck to keep him after the season is over, so be it.
The reason Gilmore’s deal will probably take a bit longer is because Washington threw the whole cornerback market out of whack with their contract for Josh Norman ($15M/yr.) after Carolina rescinded his franchise tag, making him a free agent.
With Norman at age 28 getting $15M per year and he’s largely a zone coverage corner, it makes it difficult for Buffalo to negotiate with Gilmore’s camp when he’s 27 and plays a more demanding role at corner as he’s often in man-to-man.
I think top 10 cornerback money is realistic for Gilmore. Top five money might be a different story, and if the Gilmore camp is looking for that it could make for a longer negotiation.
4 – @ChrisBrownBills Any real worries with Watkins foot? Similar to Dez foot injury that kept him out all year?
jason plunkett @j_plunk
CB: First, Dez Bryant did not miss the whole year. He injured the foot in Week 1 and missed the next six weeks. The Cowboys rushed him back and he struggled through the rest of the season, but suited up and played in eight of the last nine games.
I expect the Bills to go to school on how things played out with Bryant and Julian Edelman for that matter, who also needed a second surgery because he came back too soon in the playoffs.
I’m not a doctor, but based on what I’ve read, Watkins’ Jones fracture, a common injury for NFL wide receivers, usually takes longer to heal (8-12 weeks) than most fractures (six weeks) because the blood supply to that area of the foot isn’t as good as other parts of the body. That’s why the surgery has a screw inserted in that area to promote the healing of the bone.
The Cowboys tried to get Bryant back in six weeks and it was too soon. That’s why I think even though Sammy Watkins will be right around the 12-week mark at the start of training camp I would not expect to see him do much of anything on the field until the second full week of camp at the earliest.
And even then it will be a slow and steady process. Yes, reps with his quarterback are important, but most important is Watkins’ availability on Sundays in September. If the process is rushed risk of re-injury increases.
Being patient with a player of his caliber is difficult for fans, but the payoff is he’ll be less likely to run into future problems with the foot during the season.
5 – Chris,
Last year’s defense was a disappointment. Veteran players could not fully adapt to this complicated front seven scheme then play at a high level. Also, expectations turned out to be unrealistically high.
Is there any way 3 rookies can leap to the NFL, play in this same defensive front, simplified or not, and have success? Or do we need to start managing expectations now to avoid more disappointment?
CB: From what I have been able to gather Rex Ryan and Dennis Thurman have reduced the number of checks pre-snap on defensive play calls for this season knowing the problem it presented last season. Whether they’ve found the happy balance between remaining unpredictable while allowing their players to play fast remains to be seen, but the effort was made to make execution of the defensive system easier for the players.
As for the rookies, Adolphus Washington’s position doesn’t require as much pre-snap adjustment as Reggie Ragland or Shaq Lawson. Ragland doesn’t have to run the defense, that will be on Preston Brown, but as GM Doug Whaley mentioned the scheme Ragland ran at Alabama is very similar to that of Buffalo’s defense. Ragland has said there’s a lot of carryover that’s a plus.
Lawson might have the toughest time adjusting knowing he’s likely to miss the offseason practices and some time in the first half of the season. Not having those physical reps could make it hard on the top pick to assimilate himself into the defense.
Tags: Adolphus Washington, Anquan Boldin, Doug Whaley, Dwight Freeney, Fan Friday, NFL free agency, Reggie Ragland, Sammy Watkins, Shaw Lawson, Stephon Gilmore, Tyrod Taylor
Posted in Inside the Bills
Dwight Freeney has a good vibe about this year’s version of the Colts. So much so that he made a pretty strong comment regarding what he thinks this year’s Indianapolis squad can do.
In a conference call with the Buffalo media Wednesday, Freeney believes the 2009 Colts are better than the Colts squad that won the Super Bowl in 2006.
“I would say the Super Bowl year at this point, we have a better team this year than we had three years ago when we won the Super Bowl, ” said Freeney. “I just think collectively we’re playing better ball from the special teams, offense and defense. Obviously the record indicates that, for one.
“And two, I remember around this time when we won the Super Bowl the defense had given up some real heavy runs, 300 yards rushing (to Jacksonville), in a lot of games. This year we’re winning games on defense doing different things. I definitely think this team as of right now, and that’s just saying right now, we’re better. I know what the end result was in 2006. I don’t know if that will be the same here. Obviously that’s what we’re wishing will happen.”
Tags: Dwight Freeney
Posted in Inside the Bills
With an Associated Press report out now that Aaron Schobel may have a Lis Franc foot injury, I thought I’d provide a little info on just what that entails courtesy of footphysicians.com. It should be noted that the team has not and does not confirm the specific nature of player injuries including Schobel’s.
The Lisfranc joint is the point at which the long bones that lead up to the toes and the bones in the arch connect. The Lisfranc ligament is a tough band of tissue that joins two of these bones. It is important for maintaining proper alignment and strength of this joint.
Lisfranc injuries occur as a result of direct or indirect forces to the foot. A direct force often involves something heavy falling on the foot. Indirect force commonly involves twisting the foot. This can happen, for example, when the foot catches on a stirrup while falling from a horse.
Types of Lisfranc Injuries
There are three types of Lisfranc injuries, which sometimes occur together:
Sprains. The Lisfranc ligament, as well as other ligaments on the bottom of the midfoot, are stronger than the ligaments on the top of the midfoot. Therefore, when they are weakened through a sprain (a stretching of the ligament), patients experience instability of the joint in the middle of the foot.
Fractures. A break in a bone in the Lisfranc joint can be either an avulsion fracture (a small piece of bone is pulled off) or a break through the bone or bones of the midfoot.
Dislocations. The bones of the Lisfranc joint may be forced from their normal positions.
Treatment may include one or more of the following, depending on the type and severity of the Lisfranc injury:
Ice and elevation.
Surgery. Certain types of Lisfranc injuries require surgery. The foot and ankle surgeon will determine the type of procedure that is best suited to the individual patient. Some injuries of this type may require emergency surgery.
As far as how long it takes to recover from such an injury it often depends on the severity. Naturally if surgery is required it takes a lot longer, usually up to nine months before an NFL player is back on the field. The good news is that players don’t lose any speed or quickness coming off an injury of this nature as evidenced by Dwight Freeney’s recovery in Indy.
With Freeney, however, they knew right away it was a break and that it required surgery. He had surgery in mid-November last year and was back up to full speed by the middle of training camp this past summer.
Tags: Aaron Schobel, Dwight Freeney, lisfranc
Posted in Inside the Bills