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Inside The Bills

Breaking: George Edwards released as DC

Posted by Chris Brown on January 2, 2012 – 3:34 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey has announced that defensive coordinator George Edwards has been relieved of his duties with the Bills.

Asst head coach Dave Wannstedt has been named as his replacement as defensive coordinator. More on this later on Buffalobills.com.


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Bills 3rd down ‘D’ improving

Posted by Chris Brown on December 26, 2011 – 11:40 am

The Bills don’t have the wins, and in many cases a low points allowed average to show for it, but their third down defense has been noticeably improved of late.

On Saturday Buffalo’s defense had their best third down defense of the season, holding Denver to just 2-of-13 conversions (15%) almost 25 percent better than their current season average.

George Edwards’ unit has now posted three of their five best single-game third down defensive efforts in December against the Titans (2-11, 18.2%) and Miami (3-13, 23%).

A month ago Buffalo was ranked 29th in the league in third down defense (42.9%) and after these three recent performances they’ve improved to 20th in the league (39%). Making that kind of jump late in the season is difficult to pull off.


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Wilson defends his def. coordinator

Posted by Chris Brown on November 30, 2011 – 3:10 pm

The Bills fan base has been less than pleased with the team’s performance on defense this season. If you ask George Wilson where the problem lies it’s not at the feet of Bills defensive coordinator George Edwards.

“George Edwards is certainly not the one out there executing the assignments,” said Wilson. “He makes the calls. Our 20-plus mental errors (last week) had nothing to do with the coaches. It had everything to do with the 11 guys that were out there on the field, getting aligned properly, making the right calls and executing their responsibilities. That has to fall on the players, not on the coaches.”

Wilson remains convinced that when they’re in sync defensively that they can stop opposing offenses.

“Coach Edwards has done a great job of staying even-keeled. He’s helped us to stay grounded. It works,” said Wilson. “When we’re all on the same page and communicating and everybody is doing what they’re supposed to be doing and not more than what’s asked of them we get off the field when we have the opportunity. So it doesn’t fall on Coach Edwards shoulders. We as players have to do a better job of consistently executing our assignments. Not just for the first quarter or the first half, but for 60 minutes of the ball game.”


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Scheming up pass rush

Posted by Chris Brown on October 27, 2011 – 8:28 am

With pass rush production not up to snuff to this point Buffalo’s defensive staff went about devising some new schematics to help aid their pass rushers in getting to the quarterback more often.

That was confirmed by Nick Barnett, who believes defensive coordinator George Edwards has drawn up some good new wrinkles to their approach defensively.

“We definitely have some schematic things to try to get to the quarterback,” he said. “We definitely have to get to the passer, that’s a must. So we’re going to work on that and try to get it fixed.”

Buffalo is last in the league in sacks with 4 in six games.


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Fan Friday 7-22

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2011 – 11:45 am

With everything else up in the air you can still count on Fan Friday. So here’s the latest installment and keep those questions coming at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 - Hi Chris,
I wanted to email you because a lot of mis-information at times permeates the message boards re: the Bills. With Coach Wannstedt on board, there is a contingent of Bills fans that feel he will be the de-facto Defensive Coodinator making Coach Edwards the DC in name only. I feel that Chan wouldn’t do something like that and would either fire coach Edwards or come out and say that Coach Wannstedt is the guy from day one.

Can you shed some light on this?
Thanks,
Rich in Pa
CB: As you know Chan Gailey is a straight shooter. His assistants are loyal to him for a reason because they trust him. Naturally every coach at the highest level of football has an ego of some size. I don’t know this, but it’s my belief that Coach Gailey would not have added Dave Wannstedt to his staff if he did not believe in the professionalism of both Wannstedt and defensive coordinator George Edwards.

I have to believe those two men met at length prior to the hiring of Wannstedt so Gailey could ensure that Wannstedt and Edwards would be able to work together in achieving the same goal, which is a much improved defense without letting job titles get in the way.

Wannstedt is the Assistant Head coach in addition to being the inside linebackers coach. Edwards is the defensive coordinator. It’s as simple as that.

Naturally those on the outside are going to speculate that Wannstedt will wield more power because his coaching history is more familiar to fans having been a head coach for two different NFL clubs.

Gailey, Edwards and Wannstedt do not look at it that way. Their commitment is to improving the performance of the team and getting more wins, not who has the best solutions in the meeting room. Gailey trusts that this can be a collaborative effort to make the defense better, but Edwards will be calling the plays on Sundays.

 

2 - Hey Chris,
Looking forward to the upcoming season!  2 questions for you:
1)  Not knowing the rules of free agency, it’s hard to know what QB’s will be available.   What are your thoughts on Tarvaris Jackson as a back-up/possible quarterback of the future?
2). Steve Johnson had quite the breakout year last year, and that caught most people off guard.   Do you have any thoughts on who may be this year’s breakout performers?
Thanks
Jim

CB: I think with Jackson having a strong background in the West Coast system that he’ll likely go to a team with that offensive system. Seattle is a likely destination for him since his former quarterbacks coach in Minnesota, Doug Bevell, is running the offense there now.

As for a breakout performer, I don’t know that anyone will have the kind of jump in production that we saw from Johnson last season, but players that I believe are on the rise this year for the Bills are Arthur Moats, David Nelson, Torell Troup and Kraig Urbik.

 

3 - Hey CB,

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions each week.  My question for you is: have the Bills announced a new color scheme for the end-zones after the new turf is installed?  I personally loved the red end-zones from the 90s.  I’m curious if they will change the color or not. 

 

Thanks a lot,

- Patrick

Sylvan Beach, NY

CB: For those of you that missed it this week, the end zones are royal blue with white lettering and red lining. Here’s a sample photo of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 - Hey Chris,

First, just wanted to thank you for doing a great job keeping the passionate Buffalo Bills fans constantly updated! I know its way too early to have predictions and start looking at power rankings, but with  the lockout just about over, I started looking at some opinions of some “experts” and none have the Bills even in the top twenty teams.

They often refer to how the Bills only one four games but I don’t think they realize how many games we COULD have won if we could just close a game.

I am very optimistic and have a ton of faith in Gailey and Fitz and truly believe next year we will make a gigantic leap and make the playoffs! Granted were in a very competitive division but I still think we can do it! What are your thoughts for next season?

CB: I’ve withheld judgment on the Bills because in this unusual offseason the roster has yet to take shape. There’s a lot of personnel stuff to be settled in a very short period of time.

The fact remains however, that they do play in a very competitive division. Granted the Jets roster could change dramatically in light of their cap situation and number of marquee free agents, but this uphill climb in the AFC East will be challenging.

In addition the Bills have a very difficult schedule with the NFC East on the slate as well as a much improved AFC West. I’m not trying to dodge you, but I need to see where players like C.J. Spiller, Marcell Dareus, Torell Troup and others are at once they get back in.

Young players that are expected to contribute more in year two or as top flight rookies have been the most affected by this offseason in terms of their development. They can greatly impact the success or lack of success of the club this year.

 

5 – Hey Chris,

With the whole spring workout schedule lost what changes is Chan Gailey going to have to make in preparing for the season?

Thanks,
Jeff
Webster, NY

CB: In talking to some of Buffalo’s assistant coaches earlier this offseason, they already had put plans in place to simplify the installation of the playbook in training camp. That likely means less volume, fewer plays etc.

I think it’s also possible that play installation could be tied to the framework of preliminary game plans for the first few games of the season. The coaches want to ensure that they can get sound play from their players in the games that count despite the shortened time frame with respect to reps on the field.

So repping those plays that they’re likely to run against the likes of Kansas City, Oakland, New England and Cincinnati in the first month of the season seems advisable. And the coaches have had plenty of time to scout those teams off last year’s film. Granted there will be some changes, but I could see that being a part of what’s different in terms of preparation.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills defensive staff loaded

Posted by Chris Brown on January 23, 2011 – 7:39 am

With the addition of Dave Wannstedt to Buffalo’s defensive staff, the Bills will not be short on having answers at the ready on game day.

Head coach Chan Gailey now has defensive coordinator George Edwards and two other assistants that have been defensive coordinators at the NFL level on that side of the ball as well in Wannstedt and outside linebackers coach Bob Sanders, who previously served as a DC in Green Bay.

Formulating weekly game plans, making adjustments during the course of a game are all things that should be that much better moving forward. Granted players are the ones that make plays, but there will be no shortage of brain power on the sidelines for Buffalo’s defensive players to tap into next season.


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Wannstedt a proven def. mind

Posted by Chris Brown on January 13, 2011 – 4:19 pm

Bills fans might not be crazy about Dave Wannstedt, knowing he met with Buffalo’s defensive staff at One Bills Drive Thursday, because he used to be the head coach of the hated Miami Dolphins, but you can’t deny his defensive pedigree.

In talking with Chan Gailey about Wannstedt’s visit I found it interesting that he stressed that he didn’t need to meet with him as much as the defensive staff needed to. Buffalo’s head coach made it clear that he’s sold on Wannstedt having worked with him in the past, but the key is making sure there’s a way that Wannstedt and the current defensive staff can effectively blend together.

While some outside the organization might see this as a threat to defensive coordinator George Edwards, that’s not what is at work here.

Gailey made it sound premature to specify just what Wannstedt’s role would be, but a coach with his level of experience presumably would entail more than just the inside linebackers coaching job. Perhaps Assistant head coach?

Buffalo took that approach in the past when Dick LeBeau joined Buffalo’s coaching staff in 2003.

We should also note that while Gailey’s previous working history with Wannstedt helps, Chargers head coach Norv Turner also reportedly is interested in bringing Wannstedt in to talk about his vacant defensive coordinator position. Turner also coached with Wannstedt in Dallas under Jimmy Johnson.


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Coleman, Torbor out for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 10, 2010 – 2:12 pm

LBs Antonio Coleman and Reggie Torbor were both declared out for Sunday’s home opener.

With Kawika Mitchell on I-R and newly signed Akin Ayodele to be inactive (per Chan Gailey) Buffalo will be down three linebackers Sunday (not counting Mitchell at this point).

Defensive coordinator George Edwards commented on the loss of Mitchell.

“It’s a tough loss for us,” he said. “Any time you’ve had a productive player, and as productive as he’s been here at our program, you lose a guy like that in the locker room. You lose him as far as consistency in his play – just calls and communication – those kinds of things.”

Edwards was glad to get a familiar face in the fold to fill the void left by Mitchell in Ayodele.

“We’re glad to get Akin in here. We got him up to speed this morning,” said Edwards. “It was great to get him in here and hopefully we look forward to progressing down the road with him.”

Chris Ellis is expected to spell Torbor in the starting lineup as he’ll handle base defense responsibilities with Aaron Maybin expected to play on that side in the nickel package.

 


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Where the coordinators will be

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2010 – 3:10 pm

We all know that head coach Chan Gailey will be on the sideline at kickoff in tonight’s preseason opener, but which coordinators will be up in the booth and which will be on the sidelines?

Offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins will be upstairs to be Gailey’s eyes in the sky for the offense. Defensive coordinator George Edwards however, wants to be down on the sidelines.

Gailey will be calling the plays for the offense, which he will relay to quarterbacks coach George Cortez, who will radio the play into the quarterbacks.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Players like Edwards’ approach

Posted by Chris Brown on August 8, 2010 – 3:22 pm

Bills defensive coordinator George Edwards has had a big challenge in front of him in taking a roster made up largely of players that have been accustomed to the 4-3 system and get them to adapt to a 3-4. Ten days into camp, his players are voicing their approval for his approach in getting that accomplished.

“I really like Coach Edwards and everything that he’s implemented in the defense, just as a person and as a coach,” said Jairus Byrd. “Just as he goes about it and his demeanor is really cool.”

Edwards can be heard raising his voice on the practice field, but of late there has been more praise than constructive criticism.

“Coach Edwards does a great job of teaching us, so he makes it real simple for us to pick up,” said Kawika Mitchell.

Early returns in camp have been promising as the defense has looked good fitting up the run and making plays in defending the pass including their fair share of takeaways.

“I think guys have really been working hard,” Edwards said. “We’ve installed a lot here at camp, technically and fundamentally. They’ve all been working hard. We’re just out here every day trying to improve, see what different guys bring to the table and see how we can adjust to situations.”


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Fan Friday 5-28

Posted by Chris Brown on May 28, 2010 – 1:30 pm

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone. Just take a minute to remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
First week of OTAs is in the books. Let’s get to your questions (AskChris@bills.nfl.net).

1 – Hi Chris:
 
    I was wondering if you think that Jamon Meredith has a shot at becoming the starting right tackle for the Bills this year?  I know his play was limited in 2009, and it looked to me like he struggled against Julius Peppers, but he also looked as though he might have potential based on what I saw in the other games he played in.
 
Thanks,

Rick

CB: Meredith is actually going to be pushing Demetrius Bell for the starting left tackle position. At least that’s how things are shaping up after the first week of OTAs. Meredith was working with the starting unit at left tackle with Bell still rehabbing from surgery.
Though your memory of Meredith’s play is struggling against Julius Peppers you need to know that his first three career starts were made in Buffalo uniform last season, without the benefit of a training camp or prior knowledge of the Bills offensive scheme. He had a month to prepare and then he was suddenly starting. So under the circumstances I thought he did pretty well. I thought his first career start against the Jets at the Meadowlands last season was a pretty good one.

Meredith also looks bigger and stronger through the shoulders and his upper body. We’ll see what kind of difference that makes and how much he’ll push Bell come training camp.

2 - Hey Chris,
My question to you is Buddy Nix in an interview said they were talking about moving up in the draft after selecting Spiller at #9. Did you ever find out from Buddy what player that they were targeting that he said was gone so they just stood still and never made a trade?
JON
Tampa, FL

CB: I don’t know for certain, but I strongly believe the only player they were considering other than Spiller was Russell Okung the offensive tackle from Oklahoma State. Had he still been on the board when the Raiders were on the clock at eight, I think they would’ve made a deal to move up and get him. But when he went to Seattle at six, that was obviously no longer an option.

3 - Hey chris,
 
The Bills have 3 safeties that can play in byrd, whitner and wilson. So who are the two that the Bills think can be the starters right away and is there a chance that one of those guys moves to CB? Also the linebacker corps need something too with another OLB do you think that Davis can be that guy or can Harris come into that spot?

CB: I think you’re forgetting about Bryan Scott, who is a more than capable safety as well. So that’s four right there, all with experience. Right now Whitner and Byrd are the starters in OTAs. Scott and Wilson are the reserves. It’s going to be an interesting competition. I don’t believe any of them are fit for moving to corner at the NFL level, and they have good depth at that position anyway.
As for OLB Davis is strictly an inside guy. Outside with the ones right now it’s Kelsay on the strong side with Maybin and Chris Ellis sharing first team reps on the other side.
4 – Chris,
In the past it seems as though we have given receivers a ‘cushion’ which allowed them to get 5-10 yards pretty much at will.  Do you see the new 3-4 defense coming with more press coverage?  I think Leodis and McGee can handle it particularly Leodis with his size.  I am tired of hearing about Revis island.
 
 
Regards,
Steven J. Huber

CB: I think you can bank on seeing a lot more press or man coverage in George Edwards defensive scheme. Players have already been commenting on how much more man coverage calls they’re getting in their 3-4 scheme. They’re excited about it, and it makes sense. With one of the deepest units on the roster it makes sense to ask the secondary to man up more.

5 - Hi Chris,
 
It seems as though most draftniks thought the Bills got very good value for just about all of their selections, with the exception of Torell Troup. It also seems that most of these people believed the Bills should have taken Mount Cody at that spot. I have more faith in the Bills’ organization than in these analysts, so I don’t have any problem with the pick, but can you touch on some of Troup’s qualities that made the team value him above players like Cody or Linval Joseph, who I know you were high on?
 
Thanks,
 
Brad

CB: What Troup offers that Cody does not is the ability to play all three downs. Cody is a two-down run defender and nothing more. Plus his weight issues and work ethic issues are going to make you wonder just what you’re going to get on every snap. The guy has also had conditioning issues.

You’ll never have to worry about what you’re going to get out of Troup. He’s more than capable athletically and has a work ethic that Cody does not come close too. He’s not going to be pushing the pocket for sacks, but he relishes the dirty work. As for Joseph I did like him as a prospect. I think his peak however is further away than Troup’s.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Defensive scheme more complex

Posted by Chris Brown on May 28, 2010 – 6:03 am

In speaking with a lot of the defensive players the past few days, to say that Buffalo’s new defensive scheme is more complex would be an understatement.

Coming from the Tampa 2 system to the new 3-4 under defensive coordinator George Edwards it’s pretty clear that the Bills will have a lot more to throw at their opponents this season and the players could not be happier.

“In the coverage it’s a lot of better,” said Donte Whitner. “We previously played the Tampa 2 and it’s just spot dropping and breaking on the football. Now everything that we do basically turns into man.

“No matter what coverage we’re playing, we don’t play regular cover two. There might be a spot here and there, but we’re doing so much now. We’ve put more in the last two days than we had in our playbook the entire season last year. We’re putting in about eight different defenses a day, so we’re up to 24 or 25 now before we return on Tuesday.” 

Whitner and his defensive teammates like what they’ve seen and heard from Edwards and believe they’ll have an opportunity to dictate play more to their opponent instead of reacting.

“Coach Edwards really understands what we have to do in terms of downs and situations and putting players in position to make plays and get teams in third and long so we can play with these teams and have some fun,” Whitner said. “That’s what we’ve been working on straight out the gate. He said he’s not going to slow down with his installs. We welcome it. It’s been fun so far. We’ll see where it goes.”

After the first week of OTAs it’s hard not to think that this year’s defense will be far more dynamic. Defensive backs have been making a ton of plays on the ball this first week and Donte believes it’s the byproduct of simply playing a lot more man coverage, something that the DBs on this team are more than capable of handling, but never had the chance to do much of in the past.


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Bills ‘D’ likely to be a mix

Posted by Chris Brown on May 13, 2010 – 8:38 pm

Knowing the difficulties in completely remaking a roster in one offseason to fit a scheme switch like the one the Bills are undergoing this offseason, it would almost be surprising if the Bills did not employ a hybrid defense of sorts in 2010.

Talking to Bills DC George Edwards, who was kind enough to carve out some time in his busy schedule, it’s clear his coaching background has prepared him well for adjusting to the strengths of the players he has at his disposal. Having been through scheme changes before like the one the Bills are about to undergo in just over a week’s time when OTAs begin, he sounds like he has a firm grasp of how to begin to implement the 3-4 scheme, but not at the cost of reducing the playmaking ability of some of the players at his disposal.

“It’s like coach (Gailey) said when we came in here,” Edwards told Buffalobills.com. “We’re going to implement the basic fundamentals of the 3-4, but we’re also going to do what the skill set of our players allows us to do.”

Translation, if alignments and assignments have to stray from the core principles of the 3-4 in order to maximize a player’s effectiveness we’re going to do it. It’s just encouraging to hear coaches being open to maximizing player strengths instead of pigeon-holing them into a system.


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Fan Friday 3-26

Posted by Chris Brown on March 26, 2010 – 11:22 am

Less than a month until the draft and we’ve got trade rumors and draft rumors galore floating around out there. I’d say believe about 10 percent of what you read this time of year, especially quotes from team executives. A lot of smoke and mirrors flying around. You can always email me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and you can get a running scroll of my blog entries here. Let’s get to your questions.

1 - Hey Chris,
As much as I see the need for help on the O-Line, especially with Butler’s shocking retirement, what if all the top O-Line prospects are gone before the Bills get to pick?
 
What if players like Derrick Morgan or Rolando McClain are there at pick 9, who do you select?
 
James

CB: That’s a great question. I personally believe that this has the potential to happen if the Lions pick an offensive tackle instead of one of the top two DTs in Suh or McCoy. That would start the run on tackles early and with Washington (#4), KC (#5), Seattle (#6) and Oakland (#8) all in need of tackle help Buffalo could be left holding the bag.

If that scenario were to play out I think pass rusher is the way that they’ll go. Now there is some debate as to whether Derrick Morgan is athletic enough (in reverse) to be a 3-4 outside linebacker. Some talent evaluators around the league are of the opinion that he is not good in drop and cover situations, something required of an OLB in a 3-4.

But if anyone knows what Morgan is and is not capable of it’s Chan Gailey and defensive line coach Giff Smith, who recruited Morgan to Georgia Tech and coached him on a daily basis. McClain would not be a bad pick, but with the free agent signing of Andra Davis, inside LB help isn’t as pressing a positional need.
2 - Hey Chris,
Do you think the potential of a 2011 lockout has any affect on how the team pursues this year’s draft? I think it would be a risk to draft a QB this year if indeed there is lockout. I’m not sure what team activities take place in a lockout year, but I have to believe it would affect the development of a young QB having a year off. 
Thanks, Mark

CB: I think that’s a valid point, but the bigger issue for all of the teams are contract payouts. Knowing this year is likely the last in which draft picks taken in round one will see mega-fat contracts before they even play a down, NFL clubs could be more willing to part with first-round picks knowing first rounders in all likelihood will be much more affordable come 2011. That could mean more trades.
3 - Chris,
 
I keep hearing people talk about how Kyle Williams doesn’t really fit into the 3-4 system.  I don’t see why he wouldn’t work out as a defensive end.  I realize he’s probably a little bulkier and not quite as fast as a prototypical 3-4 DE, but he made a lot of plays this season when the coaches gave him the freedom to try to penetrate the line instead of hold his ground.  I think that if we can sign a veteran NT or draft a Dan Williams or Mount Cody and put Marcus Stroud and Kyle Williams on the ends, that would be a pretty intimidating front line to run against.  And then our pass rush would come from the outside LB’s.  Your thoughts are always appreciated.
 
-Brendan, Las Vegas

CB: Truthfully I don’t think it matters where they put Kyle Williams, he’ll make plays. He’s more athletic than he is given credit for and I think he could handle the five technique position. In all likelihood he’s the nose tackle in obvious passing situations and might see some work at end as well. You don’t take good players off the field. You find a way to make them fit and that’s exactly what defensive coordinator George Edwards intends to do.
4 - Hey Chris,
I was just wondering… with free agency here, what are the chances that Buffalo would trade for Jared Gaither to fill one of the two slots for offensive tackle. Would he be a good fit for the Bills offensive line? Considering the Ravens only tendered him for a 1st round compensation and other high quality stars have been traded for multiple picks of lesser degree, I feel the two sides can come to terms. I say a combination of Buffalo swapping their 2nd round pick this year and a 3rd from next year to bring Gaither to the Bills would allow Buffalo to address other positions of need with their 9th overall pick (Dan Williams, NT; Jimmy Clausen, QB; Bryan Bulaga, RT). Thanks.

-Mike, Los Angeles

CB: If you could find a way to avoid giving up the Bills pick at 9, I’d be listening. Gaither is believed to have Pro Bowl potential and has only scratched the surface of what he can do as a left tackle. But I don’t see Baltimore being willing to negotiate anything less than a one.
5 -  Hey Chris,
I see Baltimore was interested in T.O but then I see they traded for Anquan Boldin and I see Derrick Mason is returning. Also in Cinncinati Chad’s lobbying to get T.O didn’t work. Is there any chance that we will re-sign T.O even though I saw that they weren’t gonna re-sign him? Do you think they will have a change of heart? I know T.O will want more money I say pay him! Have you talked to T.O lately, how is his attitude toward the Bills.Thanks.
 
Jon
Union City,Pa

CB: I do not see the Bills reversing their course on Terrell Owens. They said he will not be extended a contract offer and that’s the end of it. I have not spoken to Owens, but in speaking with people close to him it was never his intention to return to the Bills in 2010 anyway. So I think we can safely say it’s one and done in Buffalo for Owens.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Porter draws Bills interest

Posted by Chris Brown on March 8, 2010 – 9:27 am

With a tie to the Dolphins it’s not surprising that the Bills have reached out to former Miami LB Joey Porter.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported first that Porter has an interview set up with the Arizona Cardinals and may also interview with the Bills.

Schefter does indicate however, that with his family based in California and having a special needs child, Arizona offers more convenient travel to spend more time with his family.

Porter’s ties to the Bills comes from defensive coordinator George Edwards, who coached linebackers in Miami.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Not pigeon holing NT role

Posted by Chris Brown on February 13, 2010 – 10:45 am

Bills head coach Chan Gailey appearing on the Shredd and Ragan show late Friday afternoon on 103.3 FM The Edge did not sound as concerned as the men who were interviewing him when they mentioned that he does not have a proven mammoth defensive tackle to play nose tackle on his roster.

“Don’t think that the guy that plays nose has to be a 330 or 340 pound guy,” said Gailey. “We’re not going to take good football players and stand them over there beside me on game day. We’re going to put our best players on the field. If you have to put a smaller guy on the field to play there then you move him and do some different things with him. There are a lot of different ways to skin the cat and that’s what we’ll do. We’ll get our best football player on the field and let them play.”

Bills defensive coordinator George Edwards echoed those sentiments, saying ideally you’d like to have a big man in the middle, but that you can’t pigeon hole yourself into that line of thought.

“You have ideal size that you want at particular positions,” Edwards said. “That doesn’t mean you’re always going to have the ideal size at those positions so you have to play to the size and the strength of the people that you have on your roster.”

That would seem to indicate that they will work to find ways to get Kyle Williams on the field even though he might not look like a prototypical 3-4 nose tackle.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Fins cutting Porter

Posted by Chris Brown on February 12, 2010 – 3:43 pm

The Dolphins have cut LB Joey Porter today (Friday).

Glazer first made the report on his twitter account.

Jay_Glazer  joey porter is getting his wish. i’m reporting on foxsports.com that the fins are releasing him today.

The Dolphins have since made the announcement of Porter’s release official.

Don’t know how much Porter has left in the tank, but one person that would know for sure is Bills defensive coordinator George Edwards who coached Dolphins linebackers the past five seasons.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-5

Posted by Chris Brown on February 5, 2010 – 1:56 pm

Plenty of speculation out there about how the roster will be re-shaped this offseason at some key positions like QB and OT. Remember you can email me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Let’s get to this week’s edition.

1. Hey Chris,
 
Who are some players you think the bills should look at in free agency and the draft that you yourself are pretty high on?  Also are there any trade possibilites you can think of ?  And any chance some of the current bills players under contract get traded this offseason?  I think we need more picks in the draft do you?
 
Thank you.
Showtime 1239

CB: First, I don’t think the Bills are hurting for draft picks. They have nine total with an extra six and seven. I would not be surprised however, if they trade out of the ninth pick to move down in round one and scoop up an extra three.

I do think free agency in this uncapped year is going to restrict player movement to a certain degree, but there are still some big names out there like Karlos Dansby, Julius Peppers and Vince Wilfork, though I do see Wilfork getting franchised. Players I wouldn’t mind the Bills targeting would be New England DE Jarvis Green, San Fran NT Aubrayo Franklin or Baltimore DE Dwan Edwards.

Signing restricted free agents away from other teams will prove difficult. Poison pill offer sheets really won’t exist anymore for restricted free agents because there’s no cap.

I think trading for a QB might prove to be the best means of getting someone in here to either take hold of the starting job or compete for it. It’s going to depend a lot on who is made available by what teams and what they’re looking for in return.

As for players on this roster that could be traded, I believe with a new defensive system and a new coaching staff that almost any player is fair game.

2. Hi Chris,
 
Can you please give us an update on Keith Ellison’s recovery?  Do you think he will be back with the team next year?  Even with missing 1/2 the season he is 8th in tackles on the team? 
 
Thanks,
Scott

CB: To my knowledge Keith’s injury wasn’t one that was going to require a major offseason of rehabilitation. As to whether he’ll be back with the team next season, I believe it’s more in doubt now with the 3-4 defensive scheme being implemented by defensive coordinator George Edwards. I don’t see him as a fit in that scheme.
3. Hey Chris, 

Do you actually think that the Bills will take McClain at 9? I think it would be the best option for them, but as of right now they are projected to be taking a tackle in that spot.

I know we are in desperate need of a tackle, but is it worth taking the 4th best tackle at 9, when you can get the top LB, or one of them at that spot to help improve our run defense.
Tim

CB: I think a lot of fans believe it makes more sense now that the Bills are moving to a 3-4 defensive scheme. There’s no question that certain positions like RB or LB are spots where talented college prospects can make an instant impact for an NFL team as a rookie.

But I still stick to the philosophy of getting your big people early in the draft. The left tackle spot needs to be addressed with a player that is NFL ready. The players at the top of the draft have the best skill set and in many cases the greatest chance to succeed sooner rather than later (see: Michael Oher).

With the 3-4 being implemented NT is a bigger need now as well. I do like McClain, but I’m having a hard time overlooking the OT need of the Bills after last season’s struggles up front for Buffalo’s offense.

4. Hey Chris
 
 Who do you think the bills would draft if they moved up 1 or 2 or more picks in the draft?  Also do you think that they could trade aaron schobel to another team for maybe another draft pick and have two 1st round picks or two 2nd round picks?
Rollerbladz2009

CB: I don’t see the Bills moving up in round one. If anything I see them moving back a bit into the mid-teens. If they could find a willing trade partner close to Schobel’s Texas home like New Orleans or Houston I don’t see a 32-year old defensive end fetching a 1st or 2nd round pick. Believe a 3rd is more like it.
5. Hi Chris,

George Edwards seems like a good hire, but I’m curious about the 3-4 scheme. By my count, we don’t have a true nose tackle for a 3-4 defence and we’re already short on linebackers before adding another to the field.

Moving Maybin to LB means we have to get two new DEs to replace Schobel and Kelsay in a year or two, plus a true nose tackle, plus we still need another linebacker like we would have in a 4-3 — meanwhile it turns Stroud and Williams from playmakers into role players since neither of them really fits the nose tackle position.

That means instead of needing one DE and one LB to shore up the front seven in a 4-3 scheme, now we need two DEs, a NT and a LB for a 3-4 scheme.

Seems like we’re making life tough on ourselves from a personnel standpoint in the rebuilding process (I’m scared to think how we can rebuild the offence with all this to focus on already). Am I off base?
Thanks a lot,
Malcolm

CB: I’d agree that there will be more of a personnel focus on defense now with the new 3-4 alignment as I had suspected. I agree that Stroud is not a true nose, but could play it in a pinch. He’s better suited as a five-technique DE like a Richard Seymour.

I believe Chris Kelsay could bulk up to play end and I think Spencer Johnson is a perfect end in a 3-4 as well. Kyle Williams is athletic enough to play end in a 3-4 and on passing downs he can kick inside to the nose.

At LB I’d see Mitchell going inside alongside Poz, with Maybin at one OLB and depending on what they think of Nic Harris, maybe draft a 3-4 LB.

The biggest need though as you point out is a true NT, and they’re not easy to find. Fortunately it is a deep class of DTs this year. How many are capable of playing two gap in the NFL remains to be seen. OT and NT are the two biggest positional needs right now. Without an elite QB prospect I think OT and NT must be addressed early in the draft.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Maybin ready to roll

Posted by Chris Brown on February 4, 2010 – 4:32 pm

Sounds like Aaron Maybin is ready to get started in Buffalo’s 3-4 defensive front.

After hearing the news that George Edwards was hired as Buffalo’s new defensive coordinator with intentions to initially implement a 3-4 scheme, Maybin tweeted the following.

AaronMaybin58    Congrats to My New DC Coach George Edwards. Time to Get This 3-4 Poppin! LETS GO!!!

Maybin clearly realizes he’s likely to line up as an OLB, and said at the close of last season that he’d be willing to do whatever is asked of him by the coaches. He has since followed up with the following.

 
AaronMaybin58    If U look at the most Dynamic playmaking defenses in the NFL today, Most of them are 3-4 schemes (Ravens, Steelers, Cowboys,etc) with Coach Edwards Building ours into the Same mold the Bills Defense has the potential to be Just as Imposing. Im FIRED UP! LETS GO!


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Posted in Inside the Bills

What defensive change means

Posted by Chris Brown on February 4, 2010 – 2:04 pm

With Bills defensive coordinator George Edwards initially planning to change Buffalo’s defensive scheme to more of a 3-4 front, it means some roles on Buffalo’s defense will be changing also.

First and foremost it likely turns Aaron Maybin from a pass rushing defensive end to a pass rushing linebacker. Aaron Schobel, who is still contemplating retirement may also be a linebacker. Schobel went on record last month saying he might be a better fit for a 3-4 than a 4-3.

It also means Buffalo now has a greater need for a two-gap nose tackle. Marcus Stroud, who was coached as a freshman at Georgia by Edwards, believes he’d be able to handle the nose if called upon.

“I feel like as long as I can be healthy, I feel like I can do well in either system,” said Stroud. “If that’s the case and I have to move to nosetackle, then I’ll do it.”

But set to turn 32 in June, Stroud is going to need some reinforcements behind him. Right now there are no other capable two-gap nose tackles players on the roster. Kyle Williams and Spencer Johnson appear to be better fits as five-technique defensive ends in a 3-4.

Fortunately for the Bills the 2010 draft class is extremely deep at DT, so Buffalo should have an opportunity in round one or two to get a quality prospect that could help right away.

Another likely move is Kawika Mitchell moving inside to line up alongside Paul Posluszny as ILBs.


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Posted in Inside the Bills