Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 3-28

Posted by Chris Brown on March 28, 2014 – 11:45 am

Pre-draft visits will begin next week. We’ll have you covered here at Buffalobills.com as the draft is just over a month away. Now we turn to some of your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - Hey CB,

Why are more people not talking about Martavis Bryant?  I saw his combine numbers and at 6 foot 5 I though they were quite impressive.  He was projected by some to go in the late 2nd or 3rd round and I was just thinking.  Wouldn’t that be a steal to get him in the 3rd round?  The bills need a tall receiver that can be a red zone threat.  Thank You

Morgan

CB: There’s no question that Bryant is an athlete after clocking a 4.42 at the NFL combine along with a 10’4” broad jump and a 39-inch vertical. His linear speed is unquestioned, but dropping his weight and getting in and out of breaks is still a bit of a question mark for him. He’s also considered a raw prospect, who wasn’t asked to run a full route tree at Clemson.

My biggest issue with him is his playing strength. Even though he had an impressive 16 reps on the bench it’s difficult to find that strength off the line or in traffic on the playing field in his game. He needs to add muscle to his frame as he goes just 211 pounds and has a slight build. Against the physical cornerbacks of the NFL he’s going to get knocked around. He’s probably a late second or early to mid-third round pick in a deep receiver class.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you believe his lack of “body of work” will lower the #Bills interest in Mike Evans? He just started playing ball.

rockydm92

CB: I think what intrigues most NFL clubs with Mike Evans is his amazing production despite still being young in football. As most talent evaluators see it there is a very high ceiling there knowing when he does gain more experience his production could be even better at the NFL level.

And the reason teams are happy to wait on that potential is because right now even in the NFL he’s a size mismatch and he should be able to produce just off his measurables to start. Then as he hones his game he’ll be an even greater asset to a team’s passing attack.

 

3 –  Chris,

With Jairus Byrd now in New Orleans, do you anticipate the Bills are happy with their current S depth with: Aaron Williams, Searcy, Meeks, Duke Williams?

Also a random question, do you know why the NFL football is nicknamed “the Duke”??

-Jim

CB: As you probably saw this week with our coverage of the league meetings in Orlando, led by our own John Murphy, head coach Doug Marrone is considering lining Corey Graham up at safety as part of the competition. It sounds like he’ll compete for a role there, in addition to cornerback, with Duke Williams, Jonathan Meeks and Da’Norris Searcy. Aaron Williams is a lock at one of the safety spots already.

As we outlined in our story on this development this week, Graham isn’t completely foreign to safety.

As for your question about NFL footballs being nicknamed ‘The Duke,’ here’s the history behind it courtesy of the Wilson Sporting goods website.

In honor of the late New York Giants owner, Wellington Mara, one of the most beloved and respected figures in professional sports history, the Official Football of the NFL is called “The Duke”.

Wellington Mara, who spent 81 years with the New York Giants and made numerous contributions to the NFL, was named Wellington by his father, Tim Mara, after the Duke of Wellington. He was given the nickname “The Duke” as a youngster by Giants players.

The NFL first used a ball in honor of Wellington Mara called “The Duke” in 1941 at the suggestion of George Halas, as Tim Mara (Wellington’s father) had helped him arrange for Wilson Sporting Goods Co. to become the league’s official supplier of game balls.

“The Duke” ball was used through 1969 but was discontinued prior to the 1970 season, the first to be played post NFL-AFL merger. The NFL and AFL continued using a Wilson football, but with a new design and no official name. In 2006, the NFL returned the name of “The Duke” to the ball after Mara’s passing in October, 2005.

 

4 – Chris,

I think the two best prospects the Bills should consider are Khalil Mack and Sammy Watkins. Which do you think fits the team better? They would bit the best player available. What chances to you think they might make it to 9? How should the Bills protect a team jumping up to 7 or 8th pick if they find a player they love?

Josh

CB: I don’t disagree that Mack and Watkins are two of the best prospects in the class, but I’d be surprised if either are available at nine. If either one gets past the fifth pick I think a few teams will be making efforts to move up to six or seven to grab them. If both are still on the board when Tampa Bay is on the clock at 7, I think it’d be very tempting for Buffalo to swap spots with Minnesota at 8 to ensure they would get at least one of them. Still, parting with picks is not what the Bills typically do. Then again it’s Doug Whaley’s first draft and we don’t have a track record to work with concerning his approach in a fluid draft situation.

 

5 – Hi, Chris!

What criteria did the Bills and New York Giants, and the rest of the NFL teams qualify to be the selected matchup for the annual NFL HOF Game? Does both the PFHOF in Canton, OH, and the NFL decide which teams to play, is the selection if teams always announced in February, especially after the Super Bowl? Thanks. Llewellyn.

CB:  The league doesn’t have a specific criteria, but the fact that both NFL franchises have some of their most popular all-time players being inducted in this year’s Hall of Fame class in Andre Reed and Michael Strahan does play a factor. The NFL also takes into account the likelihood of fans from the respective teams traveling to the game. Knowing that fans of the Bills and Giants will already be on hand for the induction ceremony, there’s a strong likelihood that many of them will make a full weekend of it and take in the Hall of Fame game Sunday as well.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone: Graham to get a look at safety

Posted by Chris Brown on March 25, 2014 – 9:42 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone appearing at the NFL league meetings coaches breakfast Tuesday morning revealed that free agent signee Corey Graham could be a candidate for one of the starting safety roles in Buffalo’s defensive backfield.

A cornerback since he entered the league, Graham is seen as a candidate to replace Jairus Byrd. That according to the voice of the Bills John Murphy, who is attending the league meetings in Orlando.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Byrd’s new contract figures

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 10:04 pm

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter it looks as though Jairus Byrd in signing with the Saints, got a contract that will average $9M a season.

Schefter is reporting the deal to be a six-year pact worth $54 million with more than half of it guaranteed.

Byrd capped a wild day one of free agency for free agent safeties as a half dozen signed with new clubs on Monday (Louis Delmas) and Tuesday.


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Saints announce six-year deal with Byrd

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 9:32 pm

The New Orleans Saints have announced they’ve reached a six-year deal with Jairus Byrd.

The NFC South club announced it on their Twitter account.

The photo here depicts Saints GM Mickey Loomis with Byrd in Loomis’ office.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Byrd return to Bills still possible

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 1:44 pm

While there have been multiple reports that there will be interest in Bills free agent safety Jairus Byrd, the latest report is that in no way have the Bills been ruled out of the running for the Pro Bowl safety’s services.

That according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport.

Neither Byrd nor the Bills have closed the door on potentially reuniting.


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Report: Byrd’s suitors said to number 3

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2014 – 1:58 pm

Despite conflicting reports the Associated Press is citing a source saying that there are three NFL clubs which have expressed an interest in free safety Jairus Byrd, who officially becomes a free agent Tuesday at 4 pm.

The AP report cites Cleveland, Miami and St. Louis as the three clubs interested in acquiring Byrd’s services.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Aaron ready to step up at safety

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2014 – 1:19 pm

Bills safety Aaron Williams, who was just signed to a contract extension last week, appeared on NFL AM Monday morning and was asked if he’s prepared to be the team’s number one safety if free agent Jairus Byrd signs elsewhere. Here was his response.

I’m prepared to be the guy if he’s gone,” said Williams. “I wasn’t able to be with him the first six games of the year with his foot injury and didn’t have the chance to be with him during training camp with his negotiations of trying to get a long-term [contract] last year. So if they need me to fill in for his role, we have guys behind us that are ready to step in and be productive for our team.”

Bills GM Doug Whaley was asked that same question, if Byrd signs elsewhere does he think Aaron Williams could be a number one safety. Whaley had a one word answer.

“Absolutely,” he said.


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Report: Miami interest in Byrd refuted

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2014 – 12:58 pm

Over the weekend there was a report by NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport that Miami was expressing interest in impending free agent safety Jairus Byrd. Now there is a report refuting that claim.

Miami Herald Dolphins beat reporter Adam Beasley is reporting that the Dolphins interest in Byrd is a bunch of hooey.

This report is anything but surprising. This is the time of year when agents will do whatever is necessary to drive the price up on their client’s value. Knowing Peter King in his Monday Morning QB column stated that he can’t figure who in the NFL would pay Jairus Byrd his $9M asking price, you can understand why creating the illusion of multiple suitors is important.


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Report: Browns, Redskins have Byrd on radar

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2014 – 12:50 pm

Over the weekend it was reported that Miami and St. Louis were two teams initially expressing interest in impending free agent safety Jairus Byrd.

According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport, there are two new teams expressing interest.

The Browns interest is anything but surprising. Byrd knows Pettine’s defensive system and could step right into the starting lineup with Cleveland starting safety T.J. Ward a free agent. Washington needs a ton of help defensively so them being interested in any top level defender is easy to understand.


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King unsure who will give Byrd $9M per yr.

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2014 – 10:27 am

Monday Morning Quarterback columnist Peter King provided his free agency primer on his site Monday morning. He commented on Jairus Byrd’s impending foray into free agency effective Tuesday at 4 pm. However, he doesn’t see how any NFL club would fork over the reported $9M per season Byrd is seeking in a new deal.

Here’s what King briefly wrote in his MMQB column on Byrd.

5. Jairus Byrd’s landing spot? A secret. He wants $9 million a year, and I can’t figure out who will pay a safety that much.

All it takes is one team to meet his asking price. Then again there are a good number of teams that deem other positions on defense like defensive end and cornerback as more critical to a unit’s success than safety. Only time will tell if Byrd gets what he wants.


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Report: Miami expressing interest in Byrd

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2014 – 9:15 am

The Miami Dolphins were big spenders in free agency last offseason. Apparently they’re willing to unload the Brinks truck again.

According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport the Miami Dolphins are expressing an interest in Bills free agent safety Jairus Byrd.

Another team reportedly expressing interest in Byrd is the St. Louis Rams.


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Report: Rams inquired about Byrd

Posted by Chris Brown on March 9, 2014 – 1:40 pm

With it looking like a virtual lock that Jairus Byrd will hit the free agent market, there are reportedly other NFL clubs inquiring about the Pro Bowl safety.

According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport the St. Louis Rams were one team that showed exploratory interest in Byrd this weekend.

What makes the reported inquiry by the Rams interesting is the fact that Byrd grew up in Missouri. So in a way if St. Louis came to the table with a bona fide offer it would be an opportunity for him to return home.

Beginning at noon on Saturday NFL teams were allowed to contact agents of prospective free agents players. Contracts with new clubs however, cannot be signed until after 4 pm on Tuesday.


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Aaron still hoping Byrd is back

Posted by Chris Brown on March 7, 2014 – 11:06 am

The ball is pretty much in Jairus Byrd’s court at this point as the Bills have put forth their best offer. It’s evident that Byrd wants to see how what Buffalo is offering compares to the interest he draws in the free agent market. Aaron Williams, who just signed a contract extension to play for the Bills long term, is still hoping Byrd returns to the Buffalo defensive backfield.

In an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio he talked about how he believes Byrd would like to be back with the Bills, but wasn’t up to speed on all the business between the two parties.

“I know that they’re still negotiating. I don’t want to speak on their situation because I have no say nor do I  know the full story on it. I know that Jairus wants to come back and be part of something special,” said Williams. “Jairus and I have a great friendship and we communicate non-stop. I actually had a chance to talk to him last night and I wished him the best whether he stays or he doesn’t. We’re always going to have a great relationship and we’re always going to keep in touch. But he knows we have a great chemistry on the field and he knows that we’re probably one of the best safety duos in the league.

“They want to keep him, but the business side is so difficult and so hard to understand from the outside. So you’ve got to let them handle the business. But if he does go we’ve got guys like Da’Norris Searcy, Duke Williams and Jonathan Meeks who can step in right away and get the job done. As long as those guys know mentally what they’re doing on the field we have no problem. But at the same time I would love to have Jairus back, but we do trust the guys behind us. It is business though and it will take care of itself.”


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Aaron Williams on Jairus Byrd future

Posted by Chris Brown on March 5, 2014 – 1:22 pm

At the end of the 2013 season, Aaron Williams left a message written in magic marker on one of his own game jerseys in the locker of Jairus Byrd. In part it said he enjoyed playing with him and hoped he could continue to do so. After signing his contract extension Wednesday Williams was asked for his thoughts on Jairus Byrd’s current situation just day from hitting the free agent market.

“The whole thing about Jairus Byrd, people ask me every day if we’re going to sign Jairus back,” said Williams. “To be completely honest, that’s none of my business to even talk about. I’m going to let Russ (Brandon), Doug (Whaley) and Jim (Overdorf) handle that. If Jairus does come back that would be the greatest thing ever because our chemistry is unbelievable. I said it at the end of last season that we can look at each other and not even talk and know what we are talking about.

“If he doesn’t come back, good luck to him. We’re always going to be best friends. The business side is never going to change our relationship outside of football. We just have to move on and find another piece to try to replace his role and whatever we’ve got to do I know Russ and the office upstairs is going to have a game plan for that to happen.”


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Byrd wants to see what’s out there

Posted by Chris Brown on March 4, 2014 – 3:21 pm

After playing under the franchise tag last year Jairus Byrd was hopeful that he would be able to see what his worth was on the open market. Buffalo in presenting what they felt was a substantial contract offer has also given him the opportunity to test the market by not placing the tag on him. Byrd in an interview on ESPN expressed his gratitude to the Bills organization and still sees them in the mix for his future services.

Byrd was asked if he was surprised that the Bills did not place the franchise tag on him again. He said he was not surprised.

“They knew what was stance was based off of what happened last year,” said Byrd. “Ultimately they’re the ones that make the decisions so my reaction to it has nothing to do with how they decided to treat it. I’m thankful for the turnout for what has taken place and I have nothing but respect for the organization and the guys that are running it.”

Byrd and his agent obviously know with 31 other teams in the mix the chance to drive Byrd’s price higher is enhanced, but they’re not burning any bridges. The safety even commented on the quality pieces in place that he believes the Bills have on the defensive side of the ball.

“I’m keeping the options open and the door open for anything. The door is not closed for Buffalo at all,” he said. “I’m just seeing what’s out there and there are no hard feelings on either side for me to them and likewise. I think they’re set up in a good position with EJ and at those speaking positions. Speaking on the secondary I know there is a lot of talent with Leodis McKelvin, Stephon Gilmore and Aaron Williams. That’s a talented secondary and Kiko (Alonso) and our D-line everyone knows about Mario and Kyle and Marcell. So it’s really good.”

Of course in the same interview Byrd provided the following answer when asked about the relationships he could be leaving behind in the Buffalo locker room.

“It’s bittersweet leaving a lot of friendships that I made with a lot of guys on the team,” said Byrd. “Spending five years together and coming in a lot of them you grew up with coming up as a rookie. With free agency it can be a good thing or a bad thing you never know. This is all new to me and I’m just trying to take it in stride and let my agent handle it and see what happens.

“I just want the situation where I can be a piece to the puzzle and get a team going and help them win some games and be in a good position to further my career and leave a legacy. You only have a certain amount of time in this game and I just want to try to put my stamp on it while I can.”


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How Whaley values safety position

Posted by Chris Brown on March 3, 2014 – 5:08 pm

Bills GM Doug Whaley provided an idea as to where the organization ranks safety in the defensive hierarchy by position Monday after they chose not to make use of the franchise tag on Jairus Byrd. When asked for the value he puts on the safety position, Buffalo’s personnel boss was clear that the type of scheme can play a role.

“It’s important. I think depending on scheme, in this scheme talking to coach Schwartz safety is going to be important a lot because of the communication and how he sets the back end of the defense and gets all the checks and balances from the sidelines,” said Whaley. “It’s an important part, but would it be the top rated piece I would start the defense? No, but it’s in the mix.  I think you’d have to go defensive end and corner before you go safety.”

More interesting was the question that soon followed. When Whaley was asked if Jairus Byrd is unable to be re-signed and is not back if he felt that Aaron Williams could handle the number one safety role. Whaley had a one word answer.

“Absolutely,” he said.

Williams was the one who actually made most of the calls in Buffalo’s defense last year when he was lined up at safety. In fact after the victory over the Jets last season when Jairus Byrd had two interceptions, he credited Williams with giving him an alert prior to the snap which put him in position to make one of his two INTs.


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Polian on franchise tag: “If it makes sense, use it”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 24, 2014 – 9:01 pm

One of the most astute General Managers in recent NFL history says he would have no problem, if he ran the Buffalo Bills, using the franchise tag for a second year on Safety Jairus Byrd.

Bill Polian there’s no stigma about re-tagging a player for a second year. He made the comments Monday night, in an appearance on The John Murphy Show.

“I think that’s perfectly OK,” Polian said. “If you’ve looked at your situation from a personnel standpoint and you looked at it from a cap standpoint and you looked at it from a cash standpoint and it makes sense, go ahead and do it. That’s what we bargained for in the collective bargaining agreement. It’s there to be used. There’s no prohibition against it. There ought not to be a stigma about it. That’s the way it is.”

Polian is a strong proponent of setting specific priorities for a team’s personnel when it comes to spending in free agency. And the value, he believes, is largely a factor of what position is involved.

“It depends entirely upon what your construct is—who are the critical people in your system offensively and defensively,” Polian told host John Murphy. “Unless the player is an absolute world beater—let’s just say Troy Polamalu, even if that wasn’t a critical position for you, you’d pay him because he’s a difference maker. I don’t necessarily put Byrd in that category.”

Prioritization is critical in setting a team salary structure, Polian says. He’s a six-time winner of the NFL’s Executive of the Year Award. Without setting a pecking order for paying different positions, he says team’s could eventually not be able to pay their most important players.

“You do have to put your resources against the people who make a difference in your system,” he says. “Otherwise, you don’t have the money when the young ones come along at those positions, or you’re able to get someone in free agency and you don’t have the money to sign him.”

The entire interview with Bill Polian is available here


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Marrone on Byrd: “I love him”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 20, 2014 – 3:15 pm

With two and a half weeks to go before the start of NFL Free Agency, there’s no doubt about where the Buffalo Bills stand with their most prominent unrestricted free agent.

Head Coach Doug Marrone told reporters at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis today he hopes the Bills can keep Jairus Byrd on the roster and avoid losing him to another team, and he said as much to the veteran safety.

“I told Jairus I have nothing but great things to say, nothing but great things to recommend,” Marrone said, referring back to his end of the season exit interviews with Bills players. The Head Coach says the personnel department knows his feelings about Byrd.

“Now that goes to Doug Whaley and it goes to management and they try to come up with something and see what’s best for both parties,” Marrone said.

“I love him, I really do. He did an outstanding job for us.”

The Bills used the franchise tag on Byrd last season and have the option to do the same again this year.


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Fan Friday 2-7

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2014 – 2:06 pm

Buffalo’s coaching staff is now complete with the hiring of Rob Moore as receivers coach. Now preparations for the NFL Combine will ensue. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - @ChrisBrownBills

With some mock drafts saying TE Eric Ebron for us that would be a huge upgrade and the big addition the offense needs. Can Buffalo afford Byrd and LT Albert?

JamesKnapp

CB: I think Branden Albert is unlikely based on what Bills GM Doug Whaley said on the John Murphy Show last week. He indicated that they will continue to take a measured approach to free agency and not break the bank on high-priced free agents. Albert would certainly fit into the high-price category.

Here’s what Whaley said at the Senior Bowl a couple of weeks ago.

“We were extremely happy (with our free agents last year),” Whaley said. “I think we’re going to stay that course, value picks, guys that can come in and contribute and we get a real good return on our investment. They’re not going to be big splash guys.”

That being said I do believe they will make every effort to re-sign Jairus Byrd to a long term contract extension.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills Thoughts on Rob Moore ? Cuse guy!

Mikefromplayers

CB: I know Rob Moore’s coaching experience is not lengthy on paper, but having met him here at One Bills Drive and being very familiar with his playing career from the time he was in high school I believe he has a lot to offer Buffalo’s receiving corps. He has an interesting approach that I think will cater well to both the youth and the proven vet in Stevie Johnson in the receivers room.

For those that don’t know his playing career all that well he was a two-time Pro Bowl receiver in his 10-year career and was 1st Team All-Pro in 1997 when he led the league in receiving with 1,584 yards on 97 catches and eight touchdowns.

I anticipate his transition to this staff will be seamless having worked with Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett in the past.

 

3 – Hi Chris,
Thanks for your continued hard work into the offseason. My Question is in regards to this upcoming draft. Buddy Nix always had the take the “best player on the board” Mentality. Do you see anything changing now with Whaley, and maybe start drafting more with the mentality of positional need??

I think the Bills are a lot closer to being a legit playoff team and its only a few “holes” that need to be addressed, And not just take a player just because they are a good football player.

Thanks, Tim in St.Catharines Ont.

CB: I don’t think GM Doug Whaley would debate that they still have a few positions in need of a upgrade. The difference now compared to a few years ago is they don’t have a dire need to plug a hole at almost any position.

Could they use a top flight size WR, a game breaking TE or a young offensive tackle? Absolutely, but they won’t be in deep trouble if they don’t. And with that in mind I think now more than ever they can truly go for the best player on the board.

I think if they’re in a situation where player grades between the top two or three players on the board is negligible they’ll address what they feel is a position of need, but beyond that Whaley seems to believe now more than ever they can go best player on the board regardless of position.

 

4 – Hi Chris,
Thanks for all your info you translate to us fans! My question is, why did we not see what Moeaki or really what Gragg had to offer this season near the end?  Why do teams sign players and never play them? It’s not as though Moeaki was a practice squad player. I really thought the Bills would have liked to see him get on the field and show what he can bring! Your thoughts??
Eileen in Niagara Ont.

CB: I think the offensive staff did want to make more game day use of the two tight ends, but game situations and circumstances compromised those plans. I can say that both players will be in the fold all offseason, which should afford the coaching staff more than enough time to gauge where both should appear on the depth chart as well as the roles they might play.

Also remember that even though the fans didn’t see much of them, the staff saw Gragg every day in practice for all of 2013 and got a month-long look at Moeaki in the practice setting to make some judgments on him. So while the book on those two for fans might be short, it’s not for the coaches. They’ll have a plan for both of them.

 

5 – Hey Chris,

A quick question about Stephon Gilmore. I’ve wondered why he has been so inconsistent and the game against the Steelers indicated to me some of his problems. In a game against a smaller receiver like Antonio Brown, Gilmore seemed overwhelmed and slow. I think his problem is that he plays like a smaller player when he should be using his size as an advantage over smaller receivers by jamming them at the line. Why doesn’t Gilmore play more like Revis? The talent, in my opinion is there, but I feel Gilmore is being used incorrectly.

Thanks,
Tommy in Pittsford


CB:
I think you’re missing the obvious here. Gilmore’s broken wrist, which required surgery prevented him from using the greatest strength of his game. His ability to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage and steer and muscle them around is 75-80 percent of his game. The guy played with one arm and one hand for essentially 10 games last season. He had pins in his wrist.

Essentially he had to play cornerback completely different than he had ever done before, which is why in your words he played like a smaller corner than he looked. When he finally was fully healed you began to see the Gilmore everyone expected. Unfortunately the injury made 2013 somewhat of a lost year for him.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Eagles looking to FA for safety help

Posted by Chris Brown on February 5, 2014 – 10:33 am

The Philadelphia Eagles biggest offseason positional need is widely considered to be safety. With a host of free agents on their roster at that position and none of them spectacular, Eagles GM Howie Roseman confirmed in a radio interview this week that they’ll be looking at free agent talent.

Appearing on WIP radio in Philly with host and CSN columnist Reuben Frank, Roseman said they’d look at available veterans on the market.

“We talk about every position and wanting to get better,” Roseman said. “But certainly you look at that position and the free agents we have, and naturally there’s going to be some change over there.

“We want to be careful of going into the draft and just having a big hole there, and I think there are things you can do at any position that are short-term stopgaps to get you through the moment if you had to, if you didn’t find someone in the draft.”

Naturally Jairus Byrd and Cleveland’s T.J. Ward were mentioned as top flight options, and the Eagles apparently have the cap room to land a big fish. But CSN Philly anticipates that the Eagles won’t break the bank on the safety position. It leads them to believe they’ll target middle market options like Miami’s Chris Clemons, Carolina’s Mike Mitchell or Indianapolis’ Antoine Bethea.


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