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Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 2-10

Posted by Chris Brown on February 10, 2017 – 11:32 am

Into the offseason we go. Franchise and transition tag window opens next week with the NFL Combine and free agency on the horizon. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills rank the following in likelihood from high to low. Romo, tyrod, rookie qb, someone else not mentioned starting.

Jonathan Yedin
@jonyedi

CB: I’m going to put Tyrod first on this list only because he’s on the roster and under contract. Right now he’s the path of least resistance. He’s an asset that’s already here. A lot of national reporters are operating under the assumption that he’s as good as gone. I don’t subscribe to that contention. I believe it could go either way.

A rookie quarterback is a distinct possibility because regardless of what happens with Tyrod Taylor the team will have to add at the position. Obviously if the team moves on from Tyrod it would only increase the likelihood of that happening, and then this would move to the top of the list in terms of likelihood. But even if Taylor remains a Bill, EJ Manuel is a free agent. They’ll probably need another arm.

Romo is probably more likely to end up in Chicago, Houston or even Kansas City. At age 37 and with a long injury history it’s not an investment that looks all that attractive. There’s no denying his talent and his won-loss record, but at this point in his career the risk seems higher than the reward.


2 –
@ChrisBrownBills Tyrod unwilling to take a pay cut (don’t blame him), does that cement his dismissal?

Lyndsey D’Arcangelo
@darcangel21

CB: The reports that Tyrod is unwilling to restructure his deal with the Bills makes sense. First, despite the popular opinion that his contract is cost prohibitive, Taylor would be tied for 16th among starting quarterbacks in terms of average salary if the Bills pick up his option.

The past two seasons Taylor has finished seventh and ninth in Total QBR (ESPN metric).

Business-wise Taylor knows in a thin free agent quarterback market that he would be at the top of the free agent list if he was released by Buffalo, where he could potentially sign an even larger contract than the one he has with Buffalo.

Does it cement his dismissal?

I think that’s a strong way to paint the situation. While a lot of NFL business decisions are made because of money, I think the bigger factor in this particular decision is the collective opinion of the Bills front office in terms of whether they believe they can do better at the position than Taylor.

The front office has understandably been tight lipped on that subject.

That doesn’t mean money won’t be a factor. It’s probably 1A. But you have to be convinced that your product on the field can be more consistent and productive with someone besides Taylor. Then the next step is determining if that someone you have in mind is an asset you can realistically acquire.


3 –
@ChrisBrownBills You’re in charge on Draft Day. Do you take QB Trubisky or WR Williams?

Jimmy
@ItsjustJimmy

CB: This is a pretty easy decision to make based on what I think will happen in the draft. Of course as I’ve mentioned in this column before we’ve yet to see what’s acquired by the Bills in free agency. That could change their approach in the draft.

But in an effort to provide an answer I will say that this quarterback class does not appear to possess more than one prospect who is going to help a team on the field this year.

Trubisky is probably the closest thing and he’s a quarterback who couldn’t get on the field before this past season. All that being said I don’t think Trubisky falls out of the top three picks. Cleveland, San Francisco or Chicago all need quarterbacks, so one of them will take him off the board long before Buffalo is on the clock.

Going under the likely scenario that he’s off the board my preference in this particular draft is to wait on drafting a quarterback. None of the other QB prospects are NFL ready and that will continue to be a trend with the college game separating further and further from the NFL game (no huddling, no audibles, no calling plays). So that would leave me taking Mike Williams at 10 under your parameters.


4 –
@ChrisBrownBills Which RFA’s do you think the #bills will tender and at which comp. level?

Coach
@MoneyAce1984

CB: I think it’s a lock that they tender Mike Gillislee and Ryan Groy. Both had exceptional individual seasons for the Bills last year. In fact I think it wouldn’t be surprising if they tried to sign both players to long term deals to keep their cap figures more manageable.

Colton Schmidt had a bit of an up and down season last year. With a new coaching staff there’s always the chance that they could prefer someone else to Schmidt. Special teams coordinator Danny Crossman is still on the staff so that may help Schmidt’s cause.

The other thing to remember here is tendering Schmidt at the low level does nothing in the way of compensation protection. Schmidt was undrafted, so tendering him at the low level only gives you right of first refusal.

I’d be surprised if IK Enemkpali is tendered a qualifying offer.


5 –
@ChrisBrownBills any time frame on Kyle Williams’ decision on retirement?

Ian Campbell
@comedianian98

CB: When we spoke to Williams at the Pro Bowl it was clear he was still decompressing from the season. He did say he was encouraged by his initial conversations with new head coach Sean McDermott, and it’s clear his teammates are trying to get him to return.

I would anticipate that the club would ask that he make a definitive decision before free agency opens in March.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Enemkpali gets quality reps

Posted by Chris Brown on June 8, 2016 – 2:41 pm

Rex Ryan said last week he was unsure as to just where IK Enemkpali fit in terms of a role on Buffalo’s defense. On Wednesday Enemkpali was getting first team reps at outside linebacker.

Ryan admitted with Shaq Lawson sidelined indefinitely that the door is open for other candidates to fill roles at the position.

“Absolutely he could with Shaq on the shelf, no doubt,” said Ryan of Enemkpali. “Manny (Lawson) can be a catch all for this team, outside, inside you can always play him. But IK has done really well. I think we had him primarily with the ones today. We’re bumping guys around and stuff, but he’ll have a chance. You look at IK he’s a physical player. He’s doing a much better job. So I could definitely see him pushing for playing time.”

Still widely identified by most outside observers as the guy who punched Jets QB Geno Smith, Ryan has been impressed with how Enemkpali has personally put the low point of his career behind him.

“I think he did a really good job because that’s not easy,” said Ryan. “I think he certainly doesn’t want that mark on him. Everybody sees him as the guy that punched Geno or something like that. This guy is just a football player and it’s what he wants to be known as.”


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Enemkpali fighting for role

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2016 – 11:44 am

He’s somewhat of a hybrid player for Rex Ryan’s more traditional 3-4 defense. He doesn’t have the ideal height for an outside linebacker or the ideal thickness to play five-technique defensive end. But he’s determined to find a role for himself.

Head coach Rex Ryan isn’t quite sure where Enemkpali fits right now either.

“I’m not sure, but he’s pushing. He’s pushing hard,” said Ryan of Enemkpali. “He looks pretty good to me. He’s really improved from a mental standpoint. Sometimes you’re overwhelmed as a rookie, but I think he’s taken off. He’s a physical player. He knows exactly what he’s doing, and you’re seeing a better player on the field.”

Shaq Lawson’s shoulder surgery removes one chief competitor at a pass rushing position. Eventually he’ll be back, but Enemkpali will need to have a strong training camp to cement a spot on Buffalo’s roster.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

DE Enemkpali added to 53; RB Wood to I-R

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2015 – 1:24 pm

After serving his four-game league-imposed suspension the Bills added DE IK Enemkpali to their 53-man roster Monday. Enemkpali had been on the Reserve/Suspended list for the first four weeks of the season and then had a one week roster exemption this past week.

The defensive end was originally signed by Buffalo after his release by the Jets this past August. Enemkpali had been involved in a locker room altercation with Jets QB Geno Smith in which Smith sustained a broken jaw.

In four preseason game appearances for Buffalo, Enemkpali posted 11 tackles. He’s expected to serve as a rotational end to help keep starters Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes fresh and might have a role on special teams.

“I think he’ll fill in as a backup defensive end, and possibly contribute on special teams,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “He can be a backup pass rusher in sub(packages).”

To make room on the roster for Enemkpali the Bills placed RB Cierre Wood on injured reserve. Wood sustained an ACL knee injury in Sunday’s win at Tennessee and had to be carted to the locker room.


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Enemkpali gets 2nd team reps

Posted by Chris Brown on August 15, 2015 – 2:55 pm

No one even knew if he was going to suit up, but apparently DE/LB IK Enemkpali recalled enough of Rex Ryan’s defense to play Friday.

“He did pretty decent in there,” said Ryan. “We got him in there some. He had a couple of good rushes, but we lost the contain on the other side, which was unfortunate because I thought he could’ve made a couple of sacks for us. I know it’s a new system, but once you throw in something new a lot of stuff falls out. It wasn’t like he never retained the whole thing, but I thought he did a pretty decent job when he was in the there.”

Enemkpali took snaps from undrafted rookie Andrew Hudson, who wound up with the threes Friday.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Scouting report on Enemkpali the player

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2015 – 10:25 pm

While everyone is wholly familiar with LB IK Enemkpali’s major error in judgment on Tuesday in his fight with Jets QB Geno Smith, not many are familiar with the linebacker’s capabilities as a player. Here’s a thumbnail sketch of Enemkpali’s skill set from Bills GM Doug Whaley.

“In scouting terms, he reminds you a lot of James Harrison,” said Whaley. “Obviously, he hasn’t proven it yet, but he’s a real strong active player, a high motor guy. His game is predicated on power and just relentless effort.

“He’s a pass rusher and he can be stout against the run. The thing that holds him back a little bit is lack of height. But with that low center of gravity, you can see that he can get under people and play with leverage.”


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Whaley on his talk with Rex about Enemkpali

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2015 – 10:20 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan expressed appreciation for GM Doug Whaley’s willingness to trust his head coach’s judgment when it came to putting in a waiver claim on free agent LB IK Enemkpali. Whaley explained how the exchange between them resulted in giving the waiver claim the green light.

“We have an extensive background from our college scouts, so we knew about everything in his college days,” said Whaley of Enemkpali. “When Rex brought up the possibility and opportunity to claim him, I deferred to him. He’s been with him for a year. He said, ‘This is a good kid. We appreciated what he did for us. We’re going to judge him on what he did for us.’ (Enemkpali’s) motto, he told me, is the guy just shuts up and works. We’ll take guys like that who work hard and want to win.”

Enemkpali is expected to arrive in Buffalo on Thursday, take a physical and then report to training camp late in the day Thursday.


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