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

TE Barnidge to work out for Jags

Posted by Chris Brown on July 20, 2017 – 6:48 am

He’s been using his time waiting for what he feels could be an opportunity to start. Free agent TE Gary Barnidge apparently sees the Jacksonville Jaguars as a team where potentially starting is realistic. That’s why he’s working out for the Jags today. 

That according to First Coast News. Barnidge, who made a free agent visit with the Bills back in May, has been holding out for an opportunity to step into a starting role. 

That wouldn’t be the case in Buffalo with Charles Clay as the entrenched starter. But in Jacksonville after Julius Thomas was traded to Miami there is just a collection of largely unproven tight ends and an aging Marcedes Lewis on their roster. 

Barnidge won’t sign for peanuts so it will be interesting to see what the Jags are willing to commit to the veteran tight end after their busy offseason of free agent spending. 


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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

Free agent TE Barnidge doesn’t want to settle

Posted by Chris Brown on June 1, 2017 – 11:03 am

Free agent TE Gary Barnidge, who made a free agent visit to the Bills last month, is still waiting for the right fit. He’s received interest from Carolina, Denver and Jacksonville too, but it’s clear that none of these teams are ready to hand him a starting job. If they did he’d be under contract by now. But Barnidge doesn’t want to settle for just a roster spot.

In an interview with Patriots.com, he was adamant that he believes he can still contribute in a big way to an NFL offense in the passing game. He’s only two years removed from a 1,000-yard receiving season that included nine touchdowns and a Pro Bowl nod. Barnidge is 31-years old, but his time on the field early in his career was limited.

“My first seven years in the league, I didn’t play that much, so my legs are good to go,” he told Patriots.com. “I’ve still got good years left.”

Eric Wood, who knows Barnidge well, did his best to recruit Barnidge along with Richie Incognito, as they hung out at the Kentucky Derby shortly after his free agent visit to One Bills Drive. But in Buffalo it’s obvious that Charles Clay is the top tight end. Barnidge would likely be second on the depth chart, and with a strong workload anticipated in the passing game for Pro Bowl FB Pat DiMarco, opportunities in the Bills passing attack could be limited.

The situation might not be much better in Jacksonville (Marcedes Lewis, Mychal Rivera) or Carolina (Greg Olsen). And while Denver might present the best opportunity at his position, their quarterback situation is very unsettled knowing a competition is set to ensue. Barnidge already dealt with that last year in Cleveland.

“I’ve got to just sit and wait,” Barnidge said. “Wherever I can get an opportunity and contribute, that’s been the motto of my career. I didn’t expect to, but I’m waiting again to show what I can do.”


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Bills could have competition for Barnidge

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2017 – 8:26 am

The Bills hosted free agent TE Gary Barnidge on Wednesday, but there could be competition for the veteran tight end.

NFL Network’s Mike Garofalo is reporting that two other NFL clubs have interest in Barnidge as well.

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The Panthers have a history with Barnidge, since he spent the first four years of his career in Carolina. The Jaguars are a bit tight end needy after trading Julius Thomas to Miami, though they did sign Oakland free agent Mychal Rivera.


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