Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 1-5

Posted by Chris Brown on January 5, 2018 – 12:24 pm

The wait is over Bills fans! Playoff football and your team is in the dance! Enjoy it! Now to your questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

If Shady doesn’t play, you think we still have a good shot at winning?

Took
@AnthonyBitting

CB: I think the task becomes a lot more difficult. McCoy is engine that runs the offense. He represents a third of the team’s total yards from scrimmage this season. Even coach McDermott admitted you cannot replace him. He’s one of the top five backs in the league.

Though I like what Marcus Murphy has brought to the table in his short time with the Bills and seeing offensive coordinator Rick Dennison use Mike Tolbert effectively last week (inside runs only), I believe they could make the run game functional.

Is that enough to win? Probably not. I think they would also need to win the turnover battle and finish a plus-two for a shot at a victory.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chris, is the RD5 pick from Jax a done deal?

Dean Kindig
@TCBILLS_Astro

CB: That is correct. The Bills conditional sixth-round pick that they acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars for Marcell Dareus has improved to a fifth-round selection in 2018 by virtue of the fact that the Jaguars advanced to the playoffs.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Win or Lose, what did this season mean for McDermott/Beane? I feel like just because of the playoff berth they are probably going to be in a solid place here for the next 5 years. (Of course, in exception to a total meltdown the next two years)

x-Dylan Nowak
@DylanNowakArt

CB: Making the playoffs obviously helps any coach-GM combination in the NFL. I don’t know if you can project five years of job security for them, but they’re certainly on firm footing. It’s clear that Terry and Kim Pegula believe in what coach McDermott has established in terms of how the team operates on a daily basis. It’s evident that McDermott is a coach that players will follow.

The way he was able to get the team to hang together after a three-game losing streak, that has sunk many Bills coaches in the past, is what convinced me that the mental toughness of this team, that has been so poor in the past, had changed. I didn’t know if that meant playoffs this year, but the culture of this team after falling into all the common pitfalls year after year has finally been given a solid foundation.

The playoff berth only helps that.

Beane in his first year has shown he’s not afraid to swing a trade, even if it’s not popular publicly. He and McDermott are in lock step as to how to build a team for the long haul and sustained success.

The Pegulas have the right people in place at the important decision-making positions. It’s onward and upward from here.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

1: How does KB13 match up against JAX corners? 2: What candy bar is the best candy bar?

Joshua Smith
@Yhosh

CB: Benjamin is a tough matchup for any corner, but Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are both going to the Pro Bowl for a reason. They’ve combined for 10 interceptions. Benjamin usually lines up as the Bills ‘Z’ receiver or flanker on the right side of the formation, which would pit him against Ramsey.

Ramsey is a long corner. He’s 6-1 with long arms. His ability to mirror his opponents routes is impressive. There is very little separation on most plays he defends. That being said, what Benjamin offers is a wide catch radius.

He’s also capable of shielding a defender from the ball with his giant frame. This should offer Tyrod Taylor opportunities to make plays even if Ramsey is blanketing Benjamin, which shouldn’t be difficult for Ramsey at all.

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Anyone else being brought up at RB?

Andrew Ten Eyck
@Andrewteneyck1

CB: If anyone is elevated to the active roster at running back due to LeSean McCoy’s availability with his ankle it would be Aaron Green, who they signed this week. Green is a quick and elusive back with good burst. I believe even if called up before the game he’d likely be used in an emergency situation only. The primary backups are Marcus Murphy and Mike Tolbert.

The Bills have until 4 pm on Saturday to call a player up from the practice squad to the active roster.

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-29

Posted by Chris Brown on December 29, 2017 – 10:46 am

It’s come down to Week 17 Bills fans. Let’s hope for a win and some help. Here is this week’s edition of questions and answers from Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Who is our left tackle next year? Any chance they can trade Glenn in draft for higher/additional pick?

CB: I think with the second half of the season that Dion Dawkins has put together it would be hard to see them changing that next season. That means Cordy Glenn, who has one of the highest cap figures on the roster could be a potential candidate for a trade.

The issue there however, is proving that he’s got a clean bill of health after all his foot and ankle problems. If they can do that then he could be a viable trade option.

If in fact such a scenario comes to pass it would not be a poor reflection on Glenn at all. He’s been a solid left tackle for the Bills in his time here and earned the contract he got.

But as the players know it’s a business in the end and if a club can find a more affordable way to fill an important position like left tackle without much difference in performance they would be wise to do so. Dawkins is on his rookie contract.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Would you rather slip into the playoffs this year or miss out and have a toe to toe battle with NE for the divison (and likely wildcard) next year?

Jesse Parrish
@jesse_parrish

CB: I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t have both. As coach McDermott said this week, every year is so different because the construct and development of your team changes so much from one year to the next.

So why not get into the playoffs this year and challenge the division champs next year? Bills fans don’t have to settle for one or the other.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Due to Baker Mayfield’s lack of measurables, do you feel Buffalo can stay where they are in regards to draft position and select him with their first 1st rd pick?

Michale McMasters
@kidmickey85

CB: Mayfield’s height will be the biggest bone of contention with Mayfield. There aren’t many six-footers who have excelled in the NFL. Drew Brees and Russell Wilson are the exceptions.

Mayfield has the bowl game coming up and the Senior Bowl in late January to impress the NFL scouting community one more time.

Many feel he will impress, make effective amends for some of his off the field issues and move up the board.

Unfortunately quarterbacks always rise up the board come draft night because they’re such a coveted commodity. So seeing Mayfield last into the late teens on draft night seems to be unlikely as I see it.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

What purpose does Colt Anderson serve? He’s super injury prone and you cut a decent young safety for no reason

Randolph Pope Jr.
Pope3949

CB: Colt Anderson is a core special teamer, who was re-signed this past offseason to serve primarily in that role.

Special teams coordinator Danny Crossman likes having veteran players he can trust on his units. Anderson is one such player.

I too believe Trae Elston is a player who has some promise, but they released him in another roster move earlier this season and were able to bring him back. I wouldn’t be surprised if they re-signed him as a future free agent in January.

 

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Draft a young quarterback in the first round or make a run at Kirk Cousins?

Andrew Madden
@Lexingtonagent

CB: if there is any chance that Kirk Cousins is realistically attainable you make the deal over drafting a QB. He’s a proven commodity. You don’t get that with whomever you might be able to draft.

Cousins is entering the prime of his career and has been in the top five in passing yards I believe each of the last three years, with his production this year perhaps his most impressive work with a severely reduced cast around him.

If you can get Cousins without paying through the nose you go get him.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-22

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2017 – 11:39 am

Merry Christmas and happy holidays Bills fans! Two games to go and still playing meaningful football. Don’t know if everyone expected that. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Besides a Bills win, what is the one thing we should be hoping for to help bills get into playoffs? I know there’s a bunch of scenarios but u get one choice.

David Ayotte
@Dhayotte75David

CB: Well if you’re going to pin me down like that I’d go with a Ravens loss to the Colts on Saturday. That not only gives Baltimore a seventh loss overall, but a key loss in the common games tiebreaker (should it come to that) with the Bills.

A Tennessee loss this week wouldn’t carry quite the same weight because they’re playing an NFC opponent (Rams). A Kansas City loss to Miami doesn’t carry as much importance for Buffalo either. And if the Bills win this week as you propose, it doesn’t matter what the Chargers do, so that’s my answer.

For more on who to root for this weekend, you can take a look at the full slate of games to keep an eye on right here.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Who gets the most snaps covering Gronk this week? White? Hyde? Milano?

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: I’m anticipating a mixed bag of coverage assignments for Gronkowski. I don’t think there’s any question that he is the main weapon Buffalo has to stop. I believe the primary players who will be assigned to him will be Hyde and Milano, but much like they did in the first meeting, they could sprinkle some coverages in with White on him.

It’s certainly a matchup to keep an eye on.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

What is your view on Preston Brown’s year?

JR Mauro
@mrsju007

CB: I think Brown has had a solid season. I never believed that the problems on defense last year with illegal substitutions and guys wondering what the play call was were Brown’s fault. This year’s execution on defense is validation of that belief as I see it. Coaching was largely to blame for the defensive struggles last season.

Brown is a solid middle linebacker, who can anticipate and diagnose offensive plays and will not make mistakes. Will he ever be a dominant, take-over-a-game type backer? Probably not, but he’s a reliable performer that you can win with.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Two questions: 1 – Estimate on snap % for Benjamin this week?

2 – What pop tart is the best pop tart?

Joshua Smith
@YhoshLM

CB: I think a safe bet is about 60 percent of the snaps on offense. That’s where he’s been each of the last two weeks. Even in the Colts game where he aggravated his knee again due to poor footing, he played 41 snaps (61%) and last week against Miami he played 37 snaps (59%).

Regarding your second question, I’ve never been a fan of Pop Tarts, but I can tell the winning flavor in my household is Brown Sugar Cinnamon.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Would you trade the 2 first round picks PLUS next year’s first to the browns for the first overall pick this year?

Darek
@drock252

CB: That’s a lot of draft capital to surrender. I’d be more willing to part with the two firsts and a second this year rather than three firsts. This of course is under the assumption that I’m convinced that the top QB on the board is as sure fire a franchise caliber QB as there is, not only in this year’s class, but next year’s as well. If I’m convinced I pull the trigger, even if I’ve got to throw in an extra fourth round pick or something.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-15

Posted by Chris Brown on December 15, 2017 – 11:55 am

Big division and conference game with the Dolphins this week. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

If the #Bills make the playoffs do you see Kyle Williams sticking it out for one more year?

Adventures with Dan
@DanHocieniec

CB: I don’t get the sense from Kyle that his decision on continuing his career is tied to the playoffs. Yes, he wants to play on a team that is successful, but I think it’s more about how his body feels. If he believes he can still perform at a level he is satisfied with and whether mentally he can get through the grind of another season.

I will tell you this. In talking to him about his physical health, he did tell me that having had both of his Achilles repaired after bone spurs were removed from his heels just a year apart from one another, he believes his “wheels” are a bit younger than that of most 34-year olds.

I believe he can still be a productive player going into next season, and if they can draft a bigger, sturdier defensive tackle who can command double team attention it should free Williams up more to make the plays we’re used to seeing from him. Fingers crossed.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

What do you think Tyrod has to do for the rest of the season to be a bill next year? Or do you think his fate as a buffalo bill is over?

Craig Renaud
@Renaud14C

CB: I believe if the Bills as an organization believe they can do better than Tyrod Taylor that they will move on from him. While I would certainly feel bad for Tyrod if that were to happen, knowing what a dedicated professional he has been in his three seasons here, that is just how the league works.

It’s a cut-throat league. A team is always looking to upgrade at all positions, but quarterback perhaps more than any other.

Last offseason, Buffalo did not feel they could do any better than Tyrod and he was retained, albeit at a reduced price. It was clear this season that coach McDermott wanted to see what Nate Peterman could offer the offense.

What it all comes down to is the staff’s evaluation of Taylor’s performance at the end of the season, and whether they feel they can advance the offense further with another option that’s realistically available.

 

3 –  @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think this is Jordan Matthews surgery is good for another team and not us?

Bills MR. E
@iamdmre

CB: I know what you’re getting at here. Jordan Matthews is going to be a free agent in March. Here’s the challenge in re-signing Matthews if the Bills are interested in doing so. Matthews’ value as a receiver has been hurt by two things. One, his injuries this season and two the lack of a productive passing game.

If I’m Jordan Matthews I need to know what a prospective team’s quarterback situation is before I sign. That’s obviously in the best interest of a receiver. There’s a good chance Buffalo’s quarterback situation may not have a definitive resolution by the time free agency opens in mid-March.

That could complicate the task of convincing Matthews to re-sign with the Bills.

Of course after an unproductive season and coming off knee and ankle surgery it’s hard to know if Matthews will have all that many suitors should he hit the market.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Are there significant injuries on the Dolphins?

Buffalo Fan
@rw952

CB: Starting DE Andre Branch, C Mike Pouncey and CB Cordrea Tankersley look like the biggest question marks for Miami this week in terms of regular contributors. Whether any of them are declared out later today is tough to peg right now. I’d expect all of them to at least be questionable for Sunday.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

As Gillislee has been a regular scratch for the Pats, do you see him being released in the offseason and if so, do the Bills try to resign him?

Troy Rossignol
@rozzimbt

CB: The Patriots are known as a cost-conscious club, but his cap figure actually goes down in 2018 to just $2.4M. Even for a backup running back that’s not a break-the-bank type contract at all. I suppose he could be a roster cut option since he would leave no dead money on New England’s cap next year, but he represents less than 1.5 percent of team’s cap.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-8

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2017 – 12:13 pm

It’s a gotta-have-it game on Sunday. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Is there any indication that Dennison Is on the hot seat?

Del Smith
@delsmithmusic

CB: I don’t get that sense right now. The performance and production of the offense will be reviewed and evaluated at the end of the season by head coach Sean McDermott. As I see it the key in the evaluation of the offense was whether it was held back by the play at quarterback or by the play calling of the coordinator. It could very well be a combination of both.

There are other factors as well. The constant churn at wide receiver due to in season additions and injuries. The offensive line having a hard time changing to a completely different blocking scheme from the one they had a lot of success in a year ago.

The future direction of the offense will hinge on where McDermott felt they came up short and why and what parties were most responsible for those shortcomings.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think Bills will make playoffs? Yes or No?

Charles Barber
@bubbabarber77

CB: The AFC playoff picture is too convoluted to give a yes or no answer. With four games to play, the Wild Card spots are a jumble at best. Three different teams could still win the AFC West. The Bills obviously want the Chargers to win the West, so they don’t have to worry about the head-to-head tiebreaker with that team, knowing they have head-to-head edges over Oakland and Kansas City in a Wild Card tiebreaker scenario.

I did see that Football Outsiders in the playoff simulations had the Bills with a 43 percent chance of making the playoffs if they finish 9-7 with their only loss coming at New England. If they finish 8-8 they reach the playoffs in less than one percent of their simulations.

I think that pretty much paints the picture right now. It’ll be an uphill battle, which is usually the case when you need help from other teams.

 

3 –  @ChrisBrownBills

With the addition of Benjamin will the Bills start throwing the ball more? That would help open McCoy

Why am I
@AlwaysN_Trouble

CB: I think assuming the Bills will throw more with Benjamin in the lineup is a bit of an oversimplification. This is a team that remains rooted in a run-first philosophy and understandably so. With Benjamin on the field there will be more opportunities for the Bills to make plays in the pass game because he’s capable of making a play even when he’s covered due to his length alone.

But his insertion into the lineup won’t dramatically change the run-pass tendencies. It just gives them a more reliable option. That could increase pass attempts to a degree, but I don’t see a sharp increase overall.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Any news on why Henderson isn’t playing? He has to be better than mills

Hayden Ricci
@haydenricci

CB: Well as for right now, Henderson had a setback this week with a back injury and may not even be available. When he was active and in the lineup as a sixth lineman or tackle eligible the last couple of weeks head coach Sean McDermott had this to say about Henderson.

“I think he’s done a good job,” said McDermott. “He’s obviously a big body that has some power and length to him. So he protects the quarterback well and can fire off the ball and move the line of scrimmage. He’s done a good job for us so far.”

I think Henderson’s five-game suspension really set him back in terms of consideration in unseating any starting tackle. He served as the swing tackle the last few weeks, but now with this back injury he’s got another setback to get through.

He’ll be an interesting decision for this coaching staff in the offseason. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent. He has uncommon athleticism for the position and great length and strength, but his opportunities have been limited.

I know one team that would scoop him up immediately in free agency and that’s Jacksonville. Henderson was a pick Marrone got to make at the end of the draft by former GM Doug Whaley back in 2014.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

With Charles Clay’s knee issues and contract size will the bills move on due to “availability issues”? And when would the best time to do so be?

Schmian Schmampbell
@comedianian98

CB: For an offense that doesn’t exactly have a bounty of consistent playmaking weapons it’d be hard to part with Charles Clay going forward. His cap figure actually holds steady for the remainder of his contract. It was $9M this year and will be the same next year and the year after that. Knowing the cap itself will likely go up $10-12M each of the next two years, his hit in terms of percentage of Buffalo’s cap is lessened each year.

While the new front office has made it clear they’re not shy about cutting what they feel are not good values on their roster, it’d be hard to say that about Clay, who even now despite missing three games, still leads the team in receiving yards. If your top tight end is still producing better than any receiver on your roster in a year where your pass game is struggling I think it only emphasizes his value all the more to your offense. That’s a reason to keep him as I see it.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-1

Posted by Chris Brown on December 1, 2017 – 12:37 pm

The first of two in a month against the Patriots coming up on Sunday. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
Which poison will the Bills pick on Sunday? Focus on stopping Gronk? Or focus on stopping Dion Lewis and the resurgent New England running game?

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: I think they’ll try to make the Patriots offense as one dimensional as possible. But that’s hard for a number of reasons. Brady is a big reason, but the other key reason is New England has very effectively diversified their offense. They no longer rely primarily on a short passing game. Brandin Cooks gives them a deep threat for the first time since Randy Moss was running go routes for them.

That only enhances their short pass game by creating more space underneath.

Couple that with two very multi-faceted backs in Burkhead and Lewis and you quickly see the problem. They have answers for whatever aspect of their offense you focus your attention on neutralizing.

Take away Gronk, they’ll go to Cooks over the top.

Keep Cooks in front of you and don’t give up anything deep, and they nickel and dime you to death with the backs out of the backfield and Amendola on short crossers.

The best plan for Buffalo is to slow their run game, since aside from their three-game slide, they’ve done an excellent job of that. Then do what you can to slow Brady.

Even pressuring Brady has its pitfalls. He’s the highest-rated passer in the league under pressure with a rating over 100.

2 – @ChrisBrownBills
Will Shaq Lawson finally be a key factor in this game?

James Henderson
@jchenderson84

CB: I respect the tone of frustration here. The guy is a first-round pick and a pass rusher by trade. He also has Jerry Hughes, a respected pass rusher on the other side. It’s certainly logical to think that Lawson should be capable of having a greater impact on games from a pass rushing perspective.

Fact is it’s going to be difficult for any pass rusher to have a major impact on the game. The Dolphins last week hit Tom Brady a lot. They had a fumble return for a touchdown and an interception and still lost by 17 to the Patriots giving up 35 points.

I believe Lawson will be able to generate pressure at times. Heck, his first career sack was of Tom Brady. But take over the game is just not something I think he’s capable of at this point in his career.

Reason being is Lawson is a power rusher, not a speed rusher. And until Lawson capably develops counter moves to some of his favorite initial rushes, he’s not going to be consistently effective series in and series out. And that’s on Lawson to perfect those counter moves to be the best pass rusher he can be.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills
Will Milano ever see more time on the field?

Drew
@swampnone710

CB: I think that is happening incrementally from one week to the next. Since Ramon Humber returned to the lineup he’s been playing a rotational role.

The best part of his game right now is his speed and penetration into the offensive backfield on run plays. He’s very aggressive.

At this point, there are still a time or two where he gets crossed up by the offense particularly when they show a different look. Knowing the Patriots are pros at targeting inexperienced players and isolating them, the Bills will need to be judicious with their usage of Milano.

His time is coming, but to expect to see him out there a ton might have to wait until next season. He needs more experience, which I realize you get by playing, but that is why they’re sprinkling him in without exposing his lack of experience at the cost of the defense.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills
Do you think 9-7 will be good enough to make the playoffs

Darek
@drock252

CB: This year in the AFC, I do think 9-7 will be good enough to get to the playoffs. The main reason being that you have three teams with five losses already and two of them hold playoff spots (KC, Balt.). There are also three teams with six losses, two of which are in the AFC West with the Chiefs in the Raiders and Chargers. Cincinnati is the other.

With five games to play and none of these teams playing great football right now, it’s hard to believe one or two of them is going to run the table the rest of the way. In fact, they’re all likely to lose one or two games at least. That would put a couple of these teams in a situation where they’ll be in contention for a playoff spot with seven losses.

The key for Buffalo is not to fall into a tie with either Cincinnati or Los Angeles for the obvious reason that they would lose out on the head-to-head tiebreaker to those clubs.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills
I’m sure neither would admit it publicly but do you think Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott now regret any of the players they either traded, cut or did not re-sign? Zach Brown and Robert Woods are two that come to mind.

Rick McGuire
@mclennon99

CB: I don’t believe in the positions that both Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott hold that you can ever have regret for the kind of calls they have to make unless they feel it was handled poorly. The actual move or in the two players you’ve referenced, non-move, is a decision they are willing to live with for all of its pluses and minuses.

With Woods, the issue there was the money he was going to command on the open market. The Bills were simply not going to pay $8M a season for Woods.

As for Zach Brown, there’s no debate he’s a wildly productive player, but it’s my understanding that in his sit-down with coach McDermott prior to free agency, when he was still under contract to the Bills, that they didn’t see eye to eye on a lot of things.

Brown is a bit of a loose cannon as a teammate. He also got into shouting matches with former head coach Rex Ryan after games. Last year’s Chiefs game in particular. Whether Brown was right or wrong with his argument with Ryan is immaterial. The fact that he did it in front of the rest of the team and undermined his coach’s authority is just something that would not fly with the new regime.

That’s what I admire about coach McDermott. He’s not afraid to part ways with a talented player if he doesn’t fit the mold of the player type he needs to win his way.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-24

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2017 – 1:40 pm

Getting close to do or die time for the Bills. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Why haven’t they played Henderson all season. It’s pretty clear that our OL needs change.

Tim Stefani
@tim_stefani

CB: I’m guessing that since you mentioned Henderson, you’re referencing the offensive tackle position primarily. Here is what I believe to be the main issues that are keeping Henderson from getting onto the field for games.

After playing in the preseason he served a five-game suspension, which put him behind in all aspects of the offense’s development in terms of on field instruction. Only now is he getting back into the swing of things. He’s appeared in each of the last two games, primarily on special teams plays. And he started last week’s game as a tackle eligible when the Bills came out in the jumbo package.

I don’t think anyone can debate that Jordan Mills had a tough day against Joey Bosa, but Bosa has made a lot of offensive tackles look bad this season. If it was just a case of being overmatched, the coaches can find solutions to give him more help with a tight end or a back.

I believe the offensive staff is monitoring how things are going on the edges and the interior very closely every week. If subpar play lasts more than a week or two, coach McDermott has shown a willingness to make a change if he believes it will lead to better results.

Whether Henderson is ever part of that change is difficult to say, but he’ll be the swing tackle on Sunday.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills
Is Rick Dennison on the hot seat? The offense has been anemic and I do not think it is for lack of personal.

Josh Stoeckl
@joshgsu00

CB: I don’t get the sense that’s the case. If anything the decision that coach McDermott made for the Chargers game provided indication that it’s the play on the field that is compromising the effectiveness and production of the offense.

I suppose after further review at the end of the season that viewpoint could change, but as now I don’t feel that is what is afoot. I know the availability of fired Denver coordinator Mike McCoy has prompted this line of thinking. I just don’t think that kind of thing is even on a head coach’s radar this time of year.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills
Do you think our lack of speed at LB is key reason for our poor run defense? Should we bring in someone similar to Brandon Spikes in 2014?

Sean joyce
@Seanjoy93765788

CB: If speed is what you’re looking for, a Brandon Spikes type is not the answer. Spikes coming out of college ran a five-flat 40 time and was strictly a run-down player. Buffalo’s linebacking corps does absolutely need more speed in this style of defense. It’s part of what worries me about this week’s game knowing the speed that the Chiefs can put on the field offensively.

That is going to have to wait until the offseason when the personnel department finds more players tailor made for this defense based on their physical skill set.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills
Do you get a sense that the players still believe in coach McDermott “process” or is there division in the locker room?

Kirky52
@Nick5225

CB: It’s pretty clear to me talking to players in the locker room that there remains a healthy amount of respect for coach McDermott.

McDermott did what he genuinely felt was best for the team in starting Peterman. He felt the rookie QB was ready to help the offense function with more consistency. It didn’t work.

The worst part is it cost them a game. Will it be the difference in reaching the playoffs? Too early to know that with six games to play.

What’s important here is McDermott proved he doesn’t have ulterior motives in going back to Taylor this week. He was up front about the Peterman decision being a calculated risk. If it worked who would benefit?

The team.

If it didn’t work who would it hurt most?

The head coach.

You have a head coach here who is not afraid to make uncomfortable decisions even at the risk of damaging his own credibility, if it could mean better for the team he coaches. It might be hard for some players to grasp that right now, but in time they’ll likely see what McDermott’s true motives were.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills
The Bills got two first rounders. I think they need to address the defense with those. What do you think?

Peter O’Brien
@MVPete360

CB: First, I think it’s premature to talk draft. I don’t disagree that the Bills need help on defense, particularly at defensive tackle and linebacker, but to arbitrarily decide you’re going to use both first-round picks on defense is a little foolhardy. In addition to deciding what the best value is wherever they draft in round one, Buffalo also has to assess what is still on the board when they’re on the clock.

There’s no way to just say we’re going defense with both picks.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-17

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2017 – 11:33 am

A two-game road swing coming up for the Bills. Buffalo has to stay ahead of the Wild Card pack. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you like the change at quarterback?

John Africano
@afman3333

CB: I think the lack of functionality on offense with Taylor prompted the need to see if Peterman can make the offense function more effectively. I think there’s a good chance it could happen with Peterman because his greatest asset is he’s a rhythm passer who gets the ball out on time. In a timing-based offense that’s crucial.

Getting the ball out in rhythm should take the pressure off the offensive line, which has struggled at times to provide a clean pocket for Taylor, who has a propensity to hold the ball longer. It should also at least keep a defense a bit more honest so they can’t completely gang up on the run game, which has been suffering without a consistent passing attack.

Buffalo’s offense had declined every single week in third down conversion percentage and last Sunday was the bottom at 18 percent. They simply needed better on that side of the ball.

 

2 – Chris,

Do you see the bills trying to add a tight end? I believe that Gary Barnidge is still available. Why haven’t we taken a look at him again, considering the interest we had during the offseason?!

CB: You’re right he is still available. I’m not sure what would stand in the way of him signing with a team if they reached out to him. That being said, with Peterman entering the lineup, I think Charles Clay stands to see an even greater uptick in production knowing that Peterman’s greatest strength is getting the ball out on time.


3 –
Chris,
I know Coach McDermott has been mentored by such head coaches as Andy Reid  and Ron Rivera. Can you tell me if Coach McDermott calls plays on either offense or defense? If so is it all plays, some plays, few plays? Or does he leave that work to his coordinators? Thanks for the great job you do.
Eric in Port Kent

CB: Coach McDermott leaves play calling up to his coordinators. He’s on the head set and like any head coach, weighs in when he needs to, but for the most part trusts his staff. As a first-year head coach he felt it was important for him to focus on all the decisions that a head coach has to make during a game and let his assistants handle calling plays.

I’m sure there have been instances where he might tell OC Rick Dennison when the offense is driving that he’s got two plays before a third down comes up, meaning they’ll go for it on fourth down if they don’t convert on third down. Or whether they’ll go for it on fourth and goal.

It’s also likely that he may offer a suggestion or two at halftime regarding adjustments. But beyond that his assistants run their respective sides of the ball.

 

4 – Chris,
Almost every time Zay Jones gets passed to it always an incomplete pass. What’s wrong with him, is he just off, or not confident. Like the touchdown he missed in Denver that Holmes caught… or the pass vs the Panthers that he could have caught. What’s up with him? He should be reliable.

Anthony

CB: I think Jones was struggling earlier in the season, but he’s made some strides with his game since then. Rookies battle everything from the NFL learning curve, to their own self-doubt. I think a lot of his issues earlier in the season were in his own head.

This guy caught almost 400 passes in his college career. He’ll be a contributor for this team for years to come. I think you’ll be much happier with the second half

 

5 – Chris,

Do you think we will see Kyle Williams, Lorenzo Alexander and Richie Incognito back in 2018? I know they are all old (for NFL players) but they are also consistently making big plays. If not, how do you think Brandon Beane will prioritize replacing them vs. drafting skill position players like WR, DB for next year’s draft?

Braden Lipman

CB: I think the future of all three are very much up in the air. Kyle has already once contemplated retirement. Alexander and Incognito will still be under contract, but I do expect the club to address the linebacker position in a big way in the offseason via the draft and possibly free agency as well.

Offensive line is an area that could use an influx of young talent, which began this season with Dion Dawkins, but there are a lot of position groups that need to be addressed this coming offseason.

This will be the first full offseason for Beane and McDermott as a tandem, so it’s a bit difficult to discern how they rank position importance.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-10

Posted by Chris Brown on November 10, 2017 – 12:02 pm

The second half of the season is upon us. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
Who should be feared more in Sunday’s game against the Saints: Drew Brees, Mark Ingram or Alvin Kamara?

Rick McGuire
@mclennon99

CB: It’s Brees. The way he manipulates defensive backs with his pump fakes, shoulder fakes and eyes only makes him more effective. I don’t know that I’ve seen a more consistently accurate QB than him ever. Kamara is a multi-dimensional weapon who needs to be accounted for, but it starts and ends with Brees.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills
Do u foresee the Bills trying to re-sign Wr J.Matthews and CB EJ Gaines? 2 players they traded for!

Mikey
@Mikeybeit

CB: I expect Jordan Matthews to be high on their priority list. Gaines’ future in Buffalo I believe will hinge on his availability the rest of the way this season. I like Gaines personally and think he’s an effective cornerback when healthy. The issue is his week to week availability has not been there and Sean McDermott does place a priority on that.

I’m not saying I know that will hurt his chances of returning, but it could be a factor in how high a priority they place on returning Gaines to the fold for 2018 and beyond.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills
Any chance Milano starts this week since it appears speedier linebackers will be needed to stop the strong screen game?

J Christensen-Sharpe
@Snowbird_Killer

CB: I don’t expect Milano to start, but it’s clear to me that he has something to offer the defense in coverage assignments underneath. That is an area of the field that the Saints look to exploit.

I think Humber is underrated in coverage, but Milano has some pass coverage instincts you just can’t teach, which likely stem from his time as safety early in his college career.

Last week against the Jets, Milano was used in some subpackages on obvious passing downs. He also got 10 snaps, but I’d expect that to continue.


4 –
@ChrisBrownBills
Should the Bills only draft a QB if they think that person would be better than Peterman? Fans loved Peterman preseason so will be interesting to see reactions comparing him to this years class if Bills dont take a top prospect

Bryan Watson
@RealBryanWatson

CB: My personal opinion is you should draft a QB every year. Knowing Chiefs head coach Andy Reid subscribed to that approach when he was in Philadelphia, I believe it’s possible we could see a quarterback drafted next spring by Buffalo.

The fact that Peterman is on the roster doesn’t carry a whole lot of weight in preventing them from drafting another one as I see it. The bigger question is whether they believe that a QB prospect that they could draft is an upgrade in comparison to Peterman, and I suppose Tyrod Taylor as well.

For Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott it’s about upgrading the roster. If a player is an upgrade, at any position, it’s a viable possibility in the draft or through any other means the club can add a player.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills
Who is going to leading the charge Sunday?

Stittlo
@stittlo

CB: It will be former Bills RB Antowain Smith.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 10-27

Posted by Chris Brown on October 27, 2017 – 12:21 pm

We’ll see if the Bills can remain undefeated at home against the Raiders Sunday. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

What’s the best deal we get for Boldin?

Todd Burger Brown
@AllTimeBodacity

CB: Here’s my thought on all this Boldin trade request stuff. First, the change of heart is pretty disappointing. He could’ve made a difference for this offense and he bails after being on Buffalo’s roster for a week. Now two months later he wants to play again? C’mon.

As for trade value for him, I think the market is extremely limited. If Boldin and his agent think they can get one of the three Florida teams to pony up a draft choice for a 35-year old receiver, who may retire again at season’s end, it’s a long shot at best.

I think they’re going to have to extend their search and cast a wider net. How far from his Florida home is he willing to play? Atlanta? New Orleans? Charlotte? All these teams have established passing weapons, much like Miami and Tampa Bay.

To answer your question though I expect the Bills to ask for a defined draft pick. Reason why is if it’s a conditional pick and Boldin doesn’t meet the conditions then the Bills get nothing in return. I can’t see GM Brandon Beane going for any kind of conditional compensation, especially if Miami, a division opponent, for some reason is interested.

Short of a major injury to an important receiver in a team’s offense, I can’t see a trade coming to fruition in the time frame laid out in the letter. So I’d say in all likelihood he doesn’t find a suitable trade partner and sits.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

What is the status on keeping Tyrod around for another season? If he wins this week are we looking at more Tyrod in the future?

Sumpy
@JBrind95

CB: I fully expect the Bills coaching staff and front office to let the season play out. It’s too early now to make an assessment as to what the powers that be at One Bills Drive will do concerning Taylor’s future. Right now Taylor is playing well for the most part, but I think the front office and the coaching staff will need to see where it all goes the rest of the way before determining Taylor’s future. He is under contract for 2018.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

How much Thompson will we see?

Mike
@Super_Strat

CB: Thompson got just 21 snaps last week and posted a 100-yard receiving day. I anticipate he’ll get a good deal more than the 31 percent of the offensive snaps he had last week against the Raiders. Rookie Zay Jones has been getting the most time on the field among the outside receivers, so it’s likely that Andre Holmes’ time on the field could take a hit if Thompson sees more action.

Head coach Sean McDermott said this week that it is a production business and Thompson produced, so I’d expect he gets closer to half the snaps depending on the game plan and whether offensive coordinator Rick Dennison has more two tight end sets as opposed to three wide.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

What’s the chances of the Bills trading for another WR before the trade deadline?

James Gresham
@Slrydaz21

CB: I think anything is possible for the right price. I know many are speculating with five offensive tackles on the roster that the Bills will deal from that surplus to address a shortage somewhere else on the roster. For me that position is cornerback. Of course I think the Bills would be hard pressed to find a club willing to part with a cornerback in midseason for an offensive tackle, unless they were in a supremely desperate situation.

The compensation for the Bills at this point in the year for any player they might part with is more likely to be a draft choice than it is a player of major substance who can help them right now.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do the successes of mobile QBs like Tyrod and Russell Wilson suggest that some teams like #GoBills and #Seahawks might be more interested in Lamar Jackson?

Dean Kindig
@TCBILLS_Astro

CB: That seems like a bit of a jump. Yes, Wilson has been successful in using his mobility, as has Taylor, but Wilson also has the second-highest career passer rating in league history (99.3) behind only Aaron Rodgers (104.1) according to Pro-Football-Reference. He’s also in the top 10 all-time in completion percentage (64.6%). So he’s a pretty darn good passer.

I don’t think Lamar Jackson has the passing accuracy right now to be on the same level as Wilson. If his accuracy is an issue in college, it will certainly be one in the NFL where the windows are a lot tighter. Though his completion percentage is better this year (60%), I don’t know that it’ll get where it needs to be to convince teams that he should be a high draft choice.

Fantastic athletic talent, and a rocket for an arm, but accuracy counts more than power and strength. He’s one of the more interesting cases, because he’s a dynamic college QB, but at the pro level it’s hard to see him having just as much success.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 10-20

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2017 – 12:18 pm

Coming off the bye, the Bills have three of their next four games at home. Time to roll up some ‘W’s. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

What are the chances McCoy breaks out Sunday?

Billscentral
@JonKyser

CB: The chances are very good as I see it. Tampa Bay is giving up over 400 yards a game. They have the 30th ranked third down defense. They’ve given up the fifth-most points in the red zone (101) and have played just five games. On the road they’re even worse giving up 500 yards per game. So I’m feeling good about a McCoy breakout Sunday.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

How many new special teamers are on the roster this year? Would love to see more Brandon Tate in the offense catching & scoring!!

Steph Go Bills!
@Steph49314851

CB: There’s a host of new players to the special teams units this year.

Andre Holmes, Taiwan Jones, Tanner Vallejo, Matt Milano, Joe Webb, Eddie Yarbrough, Ryan Davis, Deon Lacey, Shareece Wright, Shamarko Thomas, Trae Elston and Stephen Hauschka. That’s just off the top of my head.

It’ll be interesting to see what this week’s addition of Deonte Thompson means. Will he see more time on offense or special teams? Where he’s utilized figures to directly impact where Tate sees his playing time, though after a 40-yard punt return in Buffalo’s last game I anticipate seeing Tate on punt returns.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

All I’ve been hearing are positives about WR Deonte Thompson. Think he’ll make an impact?

Rick McGuire
@mclennon99

CB: His strengths are gaining consistent separation in his routes and blocking in the run game. I’ll maintain that an overlooked part of Buffalo’s rushing success last year was the job turned in by Buffalo’s receivers when it comes to blocking downfield. Thompson is an underrated player in this area.

I think that quality alone will get him on the field this Sunday against Tampa Bay.

 

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Why hasn’t Groy been given a shot at RG?

Brent Seybolt
@bseybolt11

CB: Coach McDermott was asked about Groy this week and he said that he’s in the mix for the right guard spot. But based on his answer my hunch is the coaching staff sees Groy as their backup center and swing guard in the event of an injury.

I think if Groy is a starter at guard, the staff is concerned that they’re exposing both their starting and backup center to injury. There really is no other guy on the roster that can handle the pivot spot as effectively as Wood and Groy. So it’s my belief that it’s a risk-reward thing.

If they don’t believe Groy is demonstrably better at guard than Miller or Ducasse, they likely see it better to have Groy as a healthy backup for center and at guard in an emergency.

 

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Did Bills offer Mabin a PS contract and go with Seamster when turned down? I thought Mabin had potential.

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: I know the Bills wanted to bring Mabin back by signing him to the practice squad. What you have to remember is when a player is released they’re a free agent and can make their own decisions. Mabin obviously decided San Francisco was a better option for him.

I don’t know that I agree with him. This defensive scheme is a good fit for him and with only four corners on the active roster he’s one injury away from being back on the 53. So his decision was peculiar to say the least.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 10-13

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2017 – 5:12 pm

Sorry for the delay Bills fans. We had a publishing glitch. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

What’s the status of Seantrel Henderson?

Vince Guarino
@VJGua817

CB: He’s been given a roster exemption this week, giving the team permission to carry 54 rostered players. Come Monday at 4 pm the team will have to make a roster move to add Henderson to the 53-man roster.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

How will the o-line look after the bye. Seantrel? Cordy?

Justin Crow
@jcrowrva

CB: Head coach Sean McDermott was asked point blank when Cordy Glenn is healthy again will he be the starter at left tackle and McDermott said that they would evaluate the position coming out of the bye week.

It’s clear to me that the coaching staff wants to get Dion Dawkins as much playing time as possible. At who’s expense could very well be Glenn. As frustrating as Glenn’s foot and ankle issues have been, when healthy he’s their best left tackle. It will be interesting to see what they decide.

Henderson has not played meaningful football since the middle of last season. He’s not a viable threat to start right away. If Jordan Mills falters at right tackle and they already have left tackle sorted out I suppose he could possibly be in the mix there, but in the foreseeable future he’s your fourth offensive tackle provided Glenn is back healthy.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Coach has put in rookies to see what they got and changed “starters” every game. Why does this not apply to qb?

David Ayotte
@Dhayotte75David

CB: This is a very logical question David, but quarterbacks are just different. The reason why is very often they’re the leaders of your team as is the case with Tyrod. The coaching staff has done nothing but support Taylor and sing his praises as a leader and hard worker.

If Taylor has done all the right things and is only two starts removed from his best performance of the season (win over Denver) and you’re still in first place in your division, how can you make a change there?

What we saw from Taylor in Cincinnati isn’t a foreign thing. We’ve seen it on occasion in each of the last two years. We all know what Taylor’s strengths are at this point, and we know where he’s going to struggle at times.

The bigger issue for me is the run game. Until that gets fixed no one is going to look very good on the offensive side of the ball. The run game is the identity of this offense, like it or not, and without it your quarterback is not going to look great no matter who it is.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you see us getting in the market for a WR via trade?

Terry Long
@TerryGoLong

CB: Sorry, but I don’t. I think if the right player becomes available on waivers they’ll put in a claim, but to think they’re going to part with future assets to help the passing game now I think is unrealistic. They’ve stockpiled these draft picks to build for 2018. They’re not going to compromise that for 2017.

Truthfully is one wide receiver via trade going to make a gigantic difference in a passing game that only throws the ball 20-25 times a game?

I know last week they had 37 pass attempts, but that was an exception because they couldn’t run the ball. I just don’t see a trade scenario coming up that, A-gives them a game-changing talent, B-allows them to acquire such talent without paying a king’s ransom.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

How has Zay looked in practice? These drops have to just be rookie nerves right? I was expecting a lot more from him

Patmerica
@PatTookAturn

CB: By all accounts and from what I’ve seen he’s done well at practice. I don’t think Bills fans have any idea how badly this guy wants to contribute and perform. For whatever reason he hasn’t been able to put it all together.

As I said last week, he just needs time on the job. I believe once he makes an important play things will fall into place after that. His confidence is being tested and he’s very hard on himself.

There should be more opportunities for him coming with Clay and Matthews out of the lineup for the foreseeable future.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 10-6

Posted by Chris Brown on October 6, 2017 – 11:33 am

A win at Cincinnati would not only make the Bills 4-1, but 3-0 in the AFC, which would be huge. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Have they attempted trading for a receiver?

Spence
@SirSpizzy

CB: To my knowledge there has been nothing concrete. I’m sure there are conversations all the time about players between general managers. The issue here is most teams do not want to part with any kind of receiver of value or one that has a long-term future unless you’re willing to pay a king’s ransom.

If some teams fall to 1-4 or 0-5 this week, that could prompt more specific discussions about players because those teams might more strongly consider selling assets for draft capital knowing a playoff season likely isn’t in the cards for 2017.

The thing with the Bills though is it seems pretty evident they’re trying to accumulate draft capital for the future. So parting with it to get a receiver now via trade might be deemed counterproductive outside of an unusual offer.

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Are we seeing the improvement resulting from a more disciplined coaching style (unlike Ryan’s) rather than a true talent upgrade on defense?

Greg Bernhard
@GregBernhard

CB: I believe what you’ve witnessed thus far is a more disciplined coaching style, an upgrade in the type of players the team has acquired (dedicated, passionate, committed players) like White, Hyde, Poyer, Gaines. Then the new scheme has helped to maximize the talent of players that have been here and flourished previously in a 4-3 scheme (Hughes, Brown, Williams, Lawson).

So it’s really a combination of more disciplined coaching, which has helped to cultivate one of the healthiest locker room cultures I’ve seen here in a while, good player acquisition and good scheme fit for the players that were here already.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Why bring in Philly Brown instead of bringing up Brandon Reilly from the PS? What have you heard about his progression?

Troy Rossignol
@rozzimbt

CB: I believe there are a couple of reasons this decision was made. Brown has a good deal more experience at the NFL level than Reilly first and foremost. On a roster that is already depending on a lot of rookies (White, Jones, Dawkins, Milano, Vallejo) adding another to the mix may have been seen as asking too much.

Philly Brown can play on offense and special teams and has 43 NFL games under his belt.

Head coach Sean McDermott has talked about developing talent. Reilly is a player who is likely on that list of development players. They see him practice every single day on the practice squad. If they felt as a staff that he was ready to make the jump, they would’ve done so.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

What do you think is missing for Zay to be a factor?

Eduardo Trindade
@emtrindade

CB: Time on the job. Zay Jones will be a good player for this team in time. If he’s guilty of anything it’s trying too hard to make things happen. He just has to let the game come to him. That being said, let’s not forget that there haven’t been many top receivers who have come in as a high draft pick and lit it up.

It took Eric Moulds until his third season to have a breakout year, and that was with Andre Reed on the other side. Peerless Price was another second-round pick who needed time on the job.

Lee Evans and Sammy Watkins are probably the only rookie receivers who were high picks (both top half of 1st round) that had solid rookie seasons and Evans got to play with Drew Bledsoe his rookie year. And even then his totals were 48 catches for 843 yards though his nine touchdowns were great.

Watkins had 65 catches for 982 yards and six touchdowns with a veteran QB throwing to him as well in Kyle Orton.

Time on the job is the biggest thing Jones needs. It’ll come.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will Seantrel Henderson be promoted to the roster when off suspension?

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: It’s technically not a promotion. He’d be lifted off the reserved/suspended list and added as an active player to the 53-man roster. It may not happen right at 4 pm on Monday if the Bills get a day or two roster exemption to carry him without taking up a roster spot immediately. Otherwise I do anticipate he’ll be added to the roster.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-29

Posted by Chris Brown on September 29, 2017 – 12:15 pm

A big test this week in Atlanta. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Can the secondary hang with Atlanta’s WRs?

Bills Fans Matter
@BillsFansmatt3r

CB: I think the Bills secondary can hold their own, but to think that they’re going to completely shut them down is foolhardy. No NFL secondary has been able to do that. What will go a long way in aiding Buffalo’s defensive backfield is pressure up front.

If Falcons starting right tackle Ryan Schraeder (concussion) can’t go again this week that would make for a good matchup at right tackle. Ty Sambrailo started in his place last week and struggled a great deal.

Of course Shaq Lawson is also a question mark Sunday, but pressure should have some success off Buffalo’s left side if Sambrailo starts.

I think the goal for the secondary is just to keep everything in front of them and make the Falcons earn points by being consistent for 10 to 12 plays. That will give the Bills more opportunities to make a play on a less than perfect offensive call by Matt Ryan.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Why have the Bills tried to replace RT Mills? He’s playing bad football right now.

Hook
@Teon_09

CB: I think we’ve come to see that Sean McDermott and his coaching staff are not afraid to make a change if they feel they can upgrade any position and improve overall performance. So your assessment and the assessment of the coaching staff regarding Jordan Mills’ play are obviously not the same.

What we also have to take into consideration here is the fact that the offense is still a work in progress in Tyrod Taylor’s own words. This new scheme has to settle in with every player on offense. Think of it like a bottle of wine. When you open it, you’ve got to let it breathe a little.

This offensive unit has to mold and shape itself to the scheme. Hasty changes like the one you’re suggesting can sometimes do more harm than good. And most new coaching staffs don’t know for sure what they have until they get into mid-October and early November.

So unless a player is really struggling and putting more bad plays than good ones on film, changes this early in the season are rare.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Is there even a 1% chance we can go into the house, of the best NFC team in the league, and come out with a “W”? #SoYourTellinMeTheresAChance

Dr. Dusty
@Dustypractor

CB: There is certainly a chance. I think as long as the Bills defense can hold them down early it will allow Buffalo’s offense the opportunity to let their run game to gain some traction without the issue of playing catch up on the scoreboard.

I believe there will be some rushing lanes to exploit against this Falcons defense. I’m not so sure Atlanta is as good all-around as they were last year. Their offense is still prolific, but their defense is beat up right now. I’m confident the Bills can keep it close. Cross your fingers.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think we will drop Walt Powell next week or will he be added to the roster? Is he an upgrade at all?

Bills, Mets, & Pens

@billsnmetsfan

CB: You’re right Walt Powell will have completed his four-game league-imposed suspension after this Sunday. It’s hard to predict what will happen. The receiving corps could sustain a season-ending injury in Sunday’s game and suddenly Walt Powell is needed on the active roster.

Beyond that though it’s difficult to know where they feel Powell would sit in the WR pecking order once he’s off suspension. But at best he’s the fourth or fifth receiver.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will he consider changing up the blocking scheme to better fit McCoy’s running style?

Bruce
@bma003

CB: I would not anticipate a change in the blocking scheme anytime soon. LeSean McCoy is one of the five best backs in the league. His ability fits any run scheme you can draw up. In fact McCoy had some of the most productive seasons of his career is the same exact scheme in Philadelphia.

At issue is getting all of the men involved in the blocking scheme to work seamlessly. That hasn’t happened consistently enough to this point. We’re still in the first month of the season. Most teams with new schemes don’t really get humming until mid to late October.

So let’s see where the run game goes between now and then.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-22

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2017 – 12:45 pm

A big AFC challenge this week with Denver. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

How are Zay and Tyrod connecting this week?

Beth fox@10Poobah

CB: They are connecting in practice all the time. What you see in practice however, is somewhat scripted by the scout team. What Zay Jones as a rookie receiver will see on Sunday will be much different and it will be happening much faster.

Jones needs time on the job to getting in better sync with Tyrod on game days. I believe it will happen in time. How much time is the question.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

The Bills started moving the ball in the 2nd half when they spread it out. Do you think they have the personal to go 4 and 5 wide?

Michael Kielma
@bubble_head716

CB: I think spreading the field is a good idea to prevent eight-man boxes for Buffalo’s run game. If you go four wide with a single back in the backfield, the space and lanes are there because the defense has to cover all the options.

Chan Gailey made Buffalo’s offense productive that way, including C.J. Spiller, who had his most productive season in an offense that went predominantly with a four-wide, one back look.

When you’re facing cornerbacks the caliber of Chris Harris and Aqib Talib, rub routes can also be a solution. So having more receivers split out can facilitate that.

But I like the idea of a spread look to help the Bills move the ball more consistently. I especially like the spread look in the red zone to give Tyrod Taylor the necessary lanes to take off and run and reach the end zone if he has to tuck and take off.

 

3 – Hey Chris,

Ever since Charles Clay has been with the Bills there has always been talk of him having knee problems . Every year, including this one, as I was just reading how he is limited in practice due to knee soreness . Every year I wonder making the kind of cash this guy makes why doesn’t he get his knee fixed in the off season? What is the deal with his knee & again why doesn’t he do something about it especially seeing as he is one of the higher paid players on the team …

Thanks for all you do
GO BILLS !!
Mr. T from Fort Myers via Nashville
CB: I’m not a doctor so I’m not going to pretend to know what Clay’s exact knee affliction is. But you have to believe that if surgery of any kind could correct the condition of his knee it would’ve happened a long time ago.

His playing career is his livelihood, so if something could be done to reduce the need to take preventative measures with his knee, like staying off it an extra day every week, they would’ve taken those steps.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will Rick Dennison ‘Rex Ryan’ our offense? Or will he start looking at what made us more successful last year and change strategies?

Ryan Appleby
@ApplebyRC

CB: I highly doubt that Buffalo’s offensive coordinator after an entire offseason of work is going to scrap the system he spent the last six months installing. It’s on the players to lock things down and execute more effectively.

The coaches have to get creative with the chess pieces they have and coach McDermott talked about moving some of the pieces around to be more unpredictable. But scrapping your offensive system after two games is not going to happen.

It’s the constant churn of coaches and front office people that’s responsible for the growing pains you’re witnessing now. I’m not going to run through the litany of coaching changes and front office changes since 2000.

All that change makes it difficult for a team to develop familiarity with schemes, have the personnel that perfectly fit the schemes and the consistency to execute the schemes.

The good news is the Pegulas look like they’ve hired the right head coach and the right general manager. So the hope is the vision that Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott have can gain traction and establish a foothold that can set a good foundation.

Then the team can continue to be built in that image with less and less player turnover from year to year. That should lead to a better product on the field.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

How do you feel about Tyrod Taylor start to the season?

Shane Boucher
@ShaneBoucher5

CB: I’ve expected much of what we’ve seen to this point. It’s an offense that is not yet on the same page, for a host of reasons. Two regular season games together, late offseason changes (Jordan Matthews trade, Anquan Boldin add and subtraction, Watkins trade, Streater injury), lost time on the field (Jordan Matthews injury, Tyrod Taylor injury).

Change, especially in the late stages of a preseason, never help the continuity an offense is trying to establish in year one of a new system.

Even the offensive line, which returns the same starting five (when Cordy Glenn is healthy), is undergoing a dramatic change in scheme, going to a zone blocking scheme.

I understand fans want a productive offense that scores points, especially after seeing the Bills rank 12th and 10th in points per game the last two years. That’s not going to happen right away in light of the aforementioned circumstances.

That doesn’t mean the players on offense aren’t doing everything they can to tighten things up and execute more effectively.

But just going on past experience with change here in Buffalo, this is going to take at least to the bye week before things start really humming.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-15

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2017 – 12:19 pm

Week 2 is a step up in competition with the Panthers on the road. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Are the Bills more prepared to play against mobile QBs like Cam due to practicing daily vs Tyrod Taylor?

Michael Kielma
@bubble_head716

CB: In training camp the defense went against Tyrod, but during the regular season they face a scout team quarterback. Fortunately for the Bills defense that scout team QB is Joe Webb. Not only is Webb wholly familiar with the Carolina offense, having run it the last couple of years, but he’s also extremely athletic and is a good mimic of Newton as a player.

So the defense should be well prepared for the real thing on Sunday.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Who, in your opinion, needs to “show up” in Carolina this week?

Bryan Metz
@BryanMetz11

CB: In a word everyone. I know the Panthers didn’t make the playoffs last year, but Newton couldn’t throw the last month and a half of the season before undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. This is a talented team that was a perennial playoff team with three division titles under their belt and an NFC title. So all 11/11ths need to be performing on Sunday for the Bills to have a shot at a win.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chris, been reading CAR trying to limit Newton leaving pocket. I get he’s the franchise & a lot of $$ is committed to him, but bad idea, no?

Andrew Farrell
@andrewj_farrell

CB: They’re trying to reduce the number of hits Newton takes and he’s free game the minute he declares himself as a runner. All those hits wore his body down and we witnessed the effects of those last season.

I don’t see Newton as anything close to an elite pocket passer. He’s never had a completion percentage above 60 percent in his career. Which is a shame because he has the physical stature to make plays with bodies hanging on him. That’s what makes this season so intriguing with him.

Can he transition to being a successful pocket passer as he gets close to the midway point of his career? He’s not going to have his legs forever.

 

4 – Chris,

Members of the Bills practice squad are free agents.  Can the Bills retain a player after another team claims them?

Steve O’Brien

CB: There are ways that a team tries to retain a practice squad player they’d like to develop. They can either, A, pay them more money on the practice squad or B, make room on their active roster to hold onto them. Often times players choose to stay with the club they’ve been with just because of scheme familiarity and the chance to play right away.

Going to a new team, especially within the season, can be a tougher transition to the field. But players do tend to go if they think there’s a better opportunity to get on the field and stay on an active roster long term.

 

5 – Chris,

Obviously the Jets win doesn’t prove much, but how good does Tyrod have to be to keep his job going in to next year? Is it playoffs or bust? Just imagine the weapons we could add in next years draft with all of our picks if we’re not using them to trade up for a QB.

Frank from Long Island

CB: With respect to Tyrod’s game, as long as he continues to make strides in working the middle of the field in the passing game, and is consistent with his ball location and timing in this offense, he could play the whole season. While his play is certainly tied to how strong a hold he has on the starting job, I don’t know if his play has any impact on the team’s plans at the position for the future.

This is shaping up to be one of the better quarterback draft classes in some time. So if the Bills believe they have to land one of them, they will do their level best to make that happen, regardless of who is on the roster now or how Taylor plays.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-8

Posted by Chris Brown on September 8, 2017 – 11:54 am

Kickoff weekend is here! Finally Bills regular season football. Let’s dial it up Bills fans with your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Can the D get back into the Top 10 or is the talent level too thin in year one of SM and BB?

Michael Kielma
@bubble_head716

CB: Depth is undoubtedly a concern, particularly at safety and linebacker. But if the Bills can stay relatively healthy, especially on the defensive line, they can flirt with being a top 10 defense. Sean McDermott’s defensive units typically rank high in sacks, run defense and takeaways, all critical elements in defenses that rank in the top 10.

Buffalo’s defensive line will be instrumental in all three of those defensive categories. As long as the front four can stay healthy they can contend for top 10 status.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Predictions on who leads the team in receptions? Dark horse of Charles Clay?

Kyle Yagielski
@DrMrPHD

CB: I don’t think Charles Clay is a dark horse at all. He had 87 targets last season to lead the team and led the team in receptions with 57. Granted that was due in part to the fact that Sammy Watkins played in just eight games, but in Rick Dennison offenses the tight end plays a large role in the passing game. The case will be much the same with Clay this season, especially with all the wide receiver turnover.

So I think Clay is the favorite to lead the team in receptions, with Jordan Matthews as his only real competition.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Shady o/u 100 yards Sunday?

Frank Propis
@Frankpropis

CB: The Jets run front is no joke, even with the trade of Sheldon Richardson. NT Steve McLendon was a nice pickup by New York last year from Pittsburgh. The key will be getting McCoy to the second level on Sunday.

McCoy barely played in the season finale against the Jets, which was kind of a lost game altogether. But in the Week 2 matchup, McCoy average 3.9 yards per carry and finished with 83 total yards from scrimmage.

I think he can do better than that because New York’s linebacking corps is a lot less proven than the group from a season ago. So if you’re asking total yards from scrimmage I say over 100, but over 100 yards rushing, I don’t know. That run front for the Jets is still pretty stout and they’ll be daring the Bills to throw in this game (eight in the box).

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

There is talk of “Tyrod not being a fit to Dennison’s system” , why would a coach have a system that does fit current roster? (ex. Rex)

Bryan Watson
@RealBryanWatson

CB: I find it funny how this has become the narrative for Tyrod in this scheme. Both head coach Sean McDermott and OC Rick Dennison have said on the record that Taylor is “a perfect fit” for this offense. Below is the direct quote I got from McDermott way back in March at the NFL combine.

“He absolutely fits what Rick wants to do,” said McDermott in reference to Taylor. “Having said that a lot of players fit what we want to do in our system. It’s a great system. That’s one of the reasons I hired Rick. We look forward to putting pieces together to build this team the right way.”

I think people are forgetting that what we saw offensively in the preseason is not at all what they’re likely to run come the regular season. So until we see that it’s premature at the least to say Tyrod isn’t a fit, especially when his coaches are telling us the exact opposite and with more emphatic language than usual.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

With the Bills only keeping 5 WR, do you think they have plans for someone like Logan Thomas to be a bigger part of the offense?

Adam Placzek
@iamFlowbee

CB: I do not expect Logan Thomas to be that guy. This is very much a developmental year for him and if he comes on ahead of the expected learning curve, I think he can make some contributions in the passing game in the second half of the season. I think both Charles Clay, as mentioned above, and Nick O’Leary along with Pat DiMarco and LeSean McCoy will be the ones getting extra targets in the passing game knowing Jordan Matthews, Zay Jones and Andre Holmes will be the top three receiving options at the WR position.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-4

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2017 – 11:15 am

We’re less than a week away from the first preseason game. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Bruce Ellington was just released by Niners. Any chance we pick him up or kick tires in him?

Jose Torres
@Sweetcubanito

CB: I don’t think you can rule anything out when it comes to GM Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott’s diligence in re-shaping and upgrading this roster. If they think there is even the slightest chance that a player like Ellington can upgrade their roster they’ll bring him in for a workout. And that could lead to a signing.

Ellington is on the smallish side at 5-9 and 197 pounds. A lot of writers out in San Francisco were expecting him to have a breakout season in 2016, but he tore his hamstring in the preseason and it cost him the entire season.

If the Bills have an interest there will be an extensive physical performed with that hamstring a major focus.

I did have the opportunity to watch a lot of Ellington in college at South Carolina, and he was a clutch player for the Gamecocks. I still remember his six-catch, 140-yard and two touchdown performance in the bowl game against Wisconsin in 2012.

The game of a successful college receiver doesn’t always translate to the NFL, but it’d be interesting to see what Ellington could offer. When you’re his size you have to be an exceptional athlete and Ellington is. He runs in the mid-4.4s, has almost a 40-inch vertical and has excellent change of direction skills.

He’s just 25-years old. So I’d be in favor of working him out and seeing how he looks. If he’s better than anyone I’ve got on the roster now why not take a look?

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Heard possible rumors of Bills trading Reggie Ragland. Also he hasn’t had that great of a camp so far. What’s the scoop with RR?

Beast of the East
@Luther4212

CB: This is obviously always subject to change, but as of Thursday I have it on good authority that not one call had been placed to the Bills inquiring about Reggie Ragland.

I think people have to realize that Ragland is coming off a major injury. No one has seen him on game film in two years. Why another NFL club would have interest in a player on which there is no game film since an ACL injury and who has no NFL experience is curious to me.

NFL personnel people usually want concrete evidence that a player is fully recovered and capable before they’re willing to part with any assets of their own.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Lots of talk about Streater in WR competition. Haven’t heard much on Holmes how’s he look? #bills

Fitz
@afitz54

 

CB: Streater, as we’ve covered in our Top 3 things to know at Bills Camp reports has had a strong first week. He’s been as involved in the passing game as any other receiver on the roster. That means two things, first, he’s getting consistent separation from defenders and the quarterbacks trust him.

Unfortunately Andre Holmes has not made plays through the first week when they’ve been there for him. He had a defender beat on a deep post and Taylor put the ball right over his shoulder and he couldn’t complete the play, which would’ve gone for a touchdown. There have been a couple of other plays he didn’t finish through the course of the first week.

There’s a lot of time left between now and the start of the regular season. They haven’t even played a preseason game yet and that’s where players can really help their case, but Holmes has to start making some plays in practice and carry it into the preseason games.

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

How many running backs and full backs will the Bills keep?

Greg Alongi
@galongi

CB: This is going to be a tricky one. My belief is they’ll keep five.

I think the locks right now are McCoy, J. Williams, DiMarco and Tolbert. Tolbert might be a 10-year vet, but the guy can still get to the corner when carrying the ball and should have a role as a short yardage and goal line back. He’s also better as a receiver out of the backfield than I initially thought.

So Joe Banyard, Taiwan Jones, Cedric O’Neal and Jordan Johnson will essentially be fighting for one roster spot as I see it. And special teams will have a hand in determining who it is.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Who will be the nickel cornerback in your opinion, and will Rambo move up the depth chart at safety?

zak Mendoza
@Zdozer

CB: It’s only a week of practice at camp so far, but Kevon Seymour may be making a move at nickel corner. He was sprinkled in for some first team nickel reps in the slot on Thursday, and Leonard Johnson got most of those through the course of the first week.

We’ll see if they continue to alternate first team nickel reps at Friday evening’s practice and over the weekend on Sunday. Right now it’s too close a race to call and again preseason game performance will have a lot to say about who winds up landing that role.

As for Rambo, he’s been rotating in with the second team at safety the last couple of days, but that’s been mainly due to the fact that Shamiel Gary has moved up to first team with Micah Hyde held out with his sore hip.

Rambo has to be assignment sound to convince the defensive staff that he can be trusted out there knowing he’s new to the system. This defense needs a player with his experience, so if he can be sharp on the field, he’ll wind up one of the backup safeties behind Hyde and Poyer. Again preseason game performance will be key.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 7-28

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2017 – 10:13 am

Camp is underway at St. John Fisher. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Hi Chris,
First off I just wanted to thank you for keeping me informed over the years being a displaced, and soon to be reunited, WNY Bills fan. I look for your stuff daily!

This is pertaining to Mike Tolbert. I see a lot of hype on Pat DiMarco, which is understandable. I see nothing on Tolbert. Will he even make the roster? Living in SD for the last 30 years I have followed the Chargers as well and really like Tolbert. I was wondering if you think he will make the cut, and if he does will be utilized at all?

Thank you
SD Bills fan
RH

CB: I think Tolbert is going to be given every opportunity to make this roster. He’s seen as a valuable locker room presence by Sean McDermott. Building the culture here is job one for McDermott and Tolbert could be one of his best allies in the locker room to cultivate that. Now he also has to be able to contribute on the field.

I believe he’s underrated as a receiver out of the backfield and can serve as a short yardage and goal line back. Add in his abilities on special teams and I do think there’s a way to have both Tolbert and DiMarco on the roster.


2 –
Dear Chris:
I’ve looked over our roster and have noticed a lack of depth particularly at DE and safety, and I’m not so sure about Will linebacker either. Are the Bills still looking to add guys? What are your thoughts?

Sincerely, John from Pennsylvania

CB: With respect to defensive end I tend to agree with you. The starters are solid with Lawson and Hughes, and Lorenzo Alexander could line up there on obvious passing downs. But Ryan Davis and Max Valles are the second teamers. Davis has NFL experience, but has been a role player for most of his career. Valles has never appeared in an NFL regular season game.

So it’s understandable to feel uneasy as a fan when there is no proven track record for the guys the team will be counting on behind the starters.

At safety they improved their depth this week with the signing of Bacarri Rambo, whose entering his fifth season in the league. But much like defensive end there is a lot of unproven talent there. I like what I’ve seen from Joe Powell, but again behind starters Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer there isn’t much NFL experience.

WILL linebacker is improved with the addition of Gerald Hodges in free agency and draft choices Matt Milano and Tanner Vallejo will likely be battling for second string roles.

The bottom line is with a new GM and personnel department and a new coaching staff the roster turnover on the back half of the roster will be particularly high as the decision makers try to shape the squad in the image they feel fits the team identity and demands the best.

You can’t fill every position with supreme depth in your first year on the job, but that won’t mean that Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott won’t be trying to do so.


3 –
@ChrisBrownBills

Moving the chains is so important in West Coast offense. Could we see Daikiel Shorts edge out guys like Powell and Lewis? Can Shorts be anything but slot?

Dean Kindig
@TCBILLS_Astro

CB: Shorts is a sleeper player for sure in this camp. He can play outside in my opinion. He’s 6-1, 202 and knows how to gain separation right before the catch point. The key here will be his ability to execute the route assignments consistently. This is a precision and timing offense, so if Shorts can be dependable for his quarterbacks and make plays in the process, he’ll have a shot. At the very least I see this kid landing on the practice squad.


4 –
@ChrisBrownBills

Any insight to the Stevie hoopla? Is this really a thing?

Geoff Harkins
@GeoffHarkins

CB: Everything I’m hearing about Stevie Johnson is he’s happy in retirement. John Murphy Show co-host Donald Jones, a former teammate of Stevie’s still talks to him a lot and there doesn’t appear to be any desire on Johnson’s part to try to resuscitate his NFL career. As much fun as it was to watch Johnson play, his offseason training regimen was basically playing basketball. His herky-jerky route running style was effective, but put an enormous amount of strain on his groin muscles and as he got older he missed time on the field with the 49ers and Chargers the last few seasons. Now 31, and with a lot of off the field interests, I see Stevie enjoying other pursuits rather than football.


5 –
Chris:
Cardale Jones is traded for a conditional pick. What does the mean exactly? Conditional on his making the team? Conditional on how many games he plays in? Making the practice squad count?

I read it was for a late round pick. Does that mean it can be 5th – 7th round?

Thanks very much
Tom
CB:
The team doesn’t confirm trade terms, but I’ve heard from my sources that it’s a conditional 7th round pick

What the terms are to improve the standing of that pick could be anything. It could be if he wins the backup job it improves to a sixth-round pick. It could be if he makes six starts it improves to a fifth-round pick. It could be any number of conditions that the Chargers and Bills came up with to make the trade suitable to both parties.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-8

Posted by Chris Brown on June 9, 2017 – 11:36 am

OTAs come to a conclusion today with mandatory minicamp to follow on Tuesday. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

What is the latest update on Jeremy Maclin? What percentage would you say Bills have of signing him?

Beast of the East
@Luther4212

CB: Maclin is going to take his time to make a decision in what appears to be a two-horse race between the Bills and Ravens. He wants to talk to his wife about where the best fit might be. Maclin has a wedding to go to this weekend, so I don’t get the sense that a decision is imminent.

Looking at both clubs, nationally people believe that the Ravens history of being a contender gives them an edge, but over the last three years the Ravens record is 23-25 and the Bills record is 24-24. You could certainly argue that there are more playmakers on offense in Buffalo than Baltimore.

As for percentages, I base this on gut feel, not any information I have on what Jeremy Maclin wants because only he knows what’s important to him. I just think what the Bills have to offer in terms of opportunity and team success with him as an addition is a bit better than the Ravens.

With that in mind I’d peg it at 60 percent.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

How does Sammy look? Hopefully he has a healthy season.

Brandon Gallagher
@bgallagher2610

CB: Watkins is clearly not pushing himself right now. He was operating at half to three quarter speed in practice this week. At this point in time there’s no sense in really putting a lot of torque on his surgically repaired foot.

What did encourage me was whenever Sammy was lined up for a rep, Tyrod Taylor made sure to step under center to throw to him in individual position drills even if he wasn’t up in the quarterback throwing rotation. Knowing snaps are scarce with Watkins, Taylor is making a point of getting every one he can to re-establish their chemistry.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Who is the sleeper UDFA that could make the team?

I Just Want To WIN@JKolba

CB: It’s still not real football here in the spring with no pads on and no thud type practice. All that being said I think punter Austin Rehkow will push Colton Schmidt for the punting job and is helped by the fact that he can also kick off and kick field goals in a pinch.

One of the tight end prospects (Jason Croom, Keith Towbridge) could have a chance just from a numbers standpoint and the lack of proven players at the position.

RB Jordan Johnson has flashed at times, but doesn’t get many snaps in practice. Brandon Reilly and Daikiel Shorts have both made plays too, but when the pads go on they’ll have to demonstrate an ability to get consistent separation when the corners can get more physical.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Are the Bills taking a win now or long term approach?

Jackson Mitchell
@Jacksonmitch816

CB: As head coach Sean McDermott said himself their decisions are split 50-50 between short term and long term. It’s evident to me that McDermott wants to be competitive and win games now, but there is an organizational eye also cast toward the future.

So I think you’ll see a mix of roster decisions to serve both of those ends moving forward.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you see the Bills making a play for Barnidge even if they sign Maclin? What about Decker if they miss on Maclin? #FanFriday

GJohnston
@Johnston_GB

CB: I think that could only happen if Barnidge took a veteran minimum deal, and that’s one reason why he’s still unemployed. He’s waiting on starter type money. I would anticipate Decker to do the same. His situation is a bit different because he’s coming off shoulder surgery, but still he’s going to command starter type salary and I don’t think the Bills can fit more than one of those onto their roster in a fiscally responsible way knowing Sammy Watkins is going to be a long term contract decision next offseason.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills