Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 8-28

Posted by Chris Brown on August 28, 2009 – 11:34 pm

Here’s the latest installment. Answered a bonus question this week. Slowly but surely catching up on your email here. Askchris@bills.nfl.net.

1. Chris,
we all know that Trent is very good at passing the ball in the intermediate range (15-25 yards) and that bring in T.O. means Buffalo wants to stretch the field.
Do you feel that Trent is ready (in terms of arm strength and nuances like looking off the safteies) to make the deep pass a potent weapon in their attack?
I truly believe that making defenses defend the whole field will give Trent and Buffalo a legitimate chance at winning many more games and having a better season than anyone thought they could.
 
Trent Johnson Rochester’s #1 Bills Fan

CB: This is the number one question regarding Trent’s game. He knows how to run an offense, knows how to make checks at the line of scrimmage and can make all the throws. But does he have the confidence in his own abilities to take more risk downfield?
It’s a step he has to take in his game this year. I think sometimes Trent’s intelligence fights his physical ability. He’s almost too smart and realizes what is and what is not a high percentage throw.

I’m not saying Trent has to be reckless in going downfield. I think it’s fine to play the percentages, but there are good risks that quarterbacks have to take. With receivers like Lee and T.O. that fight for the ball there should be more opportunities to take good risk this season. I’m confident Trent will take more risks this season.

 

2. There’s a chicken/egg debate going on among Bills fans about Roscoe Parrish and his lack of production as an NFL WR.  Some feel he could excel if the coaching staff gave him more opportunities, while others feel they would certainly give him more opportunities if he showed them he could handle it.
Where do you stand on Parrish as a WR?
Josh/ St. Louis, Mo.

CB:  I’m optimistic he will get more opportunities on offense. I think there is enough support on the offensive staff to put together a package of plays in which to take advantage of his best assets. I think this is a good idea. I think used the right way he could be a bigger offensive asset.

 

3. Chris
Will the blue throwbacks be worn at all this season?
 
Pat
(St. Catharines, ON)

CB: Yes, they’ll be worn for the home game against Miami on Nov. 29. The white throwbacks will be worn in the opener at New England and at Tennessee on Nov. 15.

 

4. Hi Chris,
 
Coming out of college as a cornerback, Ko Simpson was regarded as a “ball hawk”. Is there any way the Bills would work him out as a corner if he fails to make it on the team as a safety?
 
Chuck from
Williamsville

CB: I don’t see this happening. The team is pretty deep at cornerback. Simpson is one of those veterans that’s hearing footsteps with Jairus Byrd nipping at his heels. The Bills will likely keep four or five safeties at most. George Wilson and John Wendling are more valuable special teamers. Simpson is a good player, but could be in trouble with respect to the 53-man roster.

 

5. Chris, if the Bills wanted to change to the throwbacks on a full time basis. What is the process the NFL requires to do that???
Thanks Scott, East Syracuse, NY

CB: From what I have been told it involved a league application process that can take up to 18 months. That is what they went through when the created the new uniforms which were unveiled in 2002. I have been told there are no plans to make the retro jerseys their permanent ones. I do agree that the throwbacks are superior in look to the current jerseys. They are really, really sharp.

 

6. Hey Chris,
I was wondering about John Stupar? Where did he come from, I saw that he’s Jeff Hostletler’s nephew, and he seems to be making the high light reel? Is he a potential of making the 53 man roster?

Thank You,
Yasin Gunay
CB: I think he does have a chance. New England signed him as an undrafted rookie. He was on the Bills practice squad last season. He’s been productive in the preseason as an underneath pass catcher and has shown good hands.

With no fullback being used in the no huddle attack, I think that Corey McIntyre’s role is difficult to define offensively and thus could cost him a roster spot. If there’s one less back on the roster it could create an additional opportunity for Stupar to make the 53.

Under Dick Jauron the club has kept only 3 tight ends each of the past 3 years. But if they keep four this season, Stupar will make it.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-14

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2009 – 1:25 pm

Training camp is winding down, with three days left at St. John Fisher after today. Still some time before the regular season however. Let’s see what you’ve got for me this week.

1. Hi Chris,
Do you think one of the reasons the Bills have been reluctant to deal with the strong outside linebacker spot is because they plan on using Maybin there (as well as DE)?
Mark (State College, PA)

CB: I don’t believe that’s the main reason why, but it could be a factor. The Bills defensive staff really likes what they’re getting out of Nic Harris so far in the preseason. I believe he’ll push Keith Ellison, but ultimately experience will win out there. But Maybin I believe will be used as a rush linebacker in addition to getting snaps at defensive end. I think where he lines up will depend a lot on down and distance.

 

2. Hey Chris,
I was lookin at your Q&A regarding safties.  You didn’t mention Ko Simpson.  So you think he will be cut this training camp?  I think
that would be a shocker, considering he is young and his experience.  But I guess I can see, with the addition of Byrd, they may not have
the room. Do you think the Bills may look at trading him?

Shawn Sieracki
Dallas, Texas

CB: I think Ko Simpson is a bubble guy in this camp due mainly to the presence of Byrd. Though he hasn’t set foot on the practice field yet, Byrd was taken in the second round for a reason, to get on the field sooner rather than later. Buffalo did not get a single INT from their safeties last season. That has to change. Byrd had 17 INTs in college in three seasons.

If he shows any kind of promise in the preseason games he plays in and doesn’t look lost, he could be a starter before this season is over. Either way he’s a lock to make the roster.

In all likelihood the team keeps five safeties. Right now here’s my list of who I think they keep. Whitner, Scott, Wilson, Byrd and Wendling. Wilson and Wendling make it because they’re more valuable special teams players than Simpson.

 

3. Chris,
Nice job on the site.  How do you see the O-line situation developing…the situation at guard has been often discussed, but a couple of situations I am interested in is (1) Demetrius Bell – probably not a starter this year, but from what I saw last year it seems like he might have the athletic ability to be a LT – do you see him starting in yr 3 or 4?  Also, what do you see happening at backup center, Brandon Rodd or have somebody like Seth McKinney cover backup at guard and center?

CB: With Bell I think they see him as the heir apparent to Langston Walker, who three years left on his deal counting this season. I believe Bell is left tackle caliber. He’s certainly athletic enough. I think he’ll be the team’s swing tackle this fall.
At center Brandon Rodd has done okay as the backup. You’re right Seth McKinney does have NFL experience there, but he has not seen reps in the pivot thus far. I think he would be an option though. I don’t anticipate them putting Eric Wood in there either, despite the fact that he played there in college.

 

4. Hey Chris, 
 
I’ve noticed in most of your articles dealing about the LB position, you always mention Ellison only having two players to battle with for the starting position, Bowen and Harris. Why isn’t Pat Thomas mentioned at all? Is Thomas battling for a back up position behind Kawika or Poz? If Thomas isn’t being considered to battle with Ellison, do you see him actually making the team?
 
Thanks,
Brian Craig (Walworth, NY)

CB: Pat Thomas is battling for the backup MLB role with Marcus Buggs. It’s been a heated competition with the two of them flip flopping back and forth in the backup role behind Poz. As for Ellison his greatest competition looks like it’s going to be Harris. Bowen has been largely on the weak side in camp.

 

5. Hi Chris,
 
The battle to land a spot on the roster at corner is one that I find most intriguting on the Bills this season. How many corners do you figure will make the roster? Which ones?
 
Thanks,
Anthony

CB: I think the top four or five corners are easy to determine, but do they keep a sixth is the question. McGee, McKelvin, Florence, Youboty and Corner all make the roster as I see it. Then if they decide to keep a sixth I believe it’s Ellis Lankster. Cary Harris and Lydell Sargeant probably go to the practice squad.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Poz has pulled in

Posted by Chris Brown on July 24, 2009 – 7:35 pm

Paul Posluszny is on campus as he just pulled up here on report day, and he had some interesting comments.

“I’m looking to play a lot better than I did last year,” said Poz. “Just a lot faster, a lot more aggressive, make more plays. Going back and reviewing the season I was too tentative at times. So I just want to build on last year and continue to progress.”

Poz knows he has to be a big play guy for Buffalo’s defense so its nice to hear he recognizes that and is eager to deliver.

Also rolling in at the same time were Bryan Scott and John Wendling.


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Fan Friday 7-3

Posted by Chris Brown on July 3, 2009 – 2:45 pm

Happy 4th of July weekend everybody, and thanks to our service men and women who keep us a free country so we can continue to celebrate that independence. Now onto your questions.

1. Chris,
Which safeties, free safeties and corners will make the 53 man roster? How will they impact Whitner’s play? Thanks
 
Carol

CB: I think the safeties that make the roster are Whitner, Scott, Byrd, Wilson and Wendling. Wilson and Wendling because of their value to special teams. If Byrd comes along quickly and has a monster camp he could start at FS which would move Whitner to full time SS. If Byrd takes longer to develop, Whitner will be the FS and Bryan Scott the SS.
As for cornerbacks I think at least five make the roster.

 

2. Hi Chris,
I’m concerned about the outside LB spot vacated by Angelo Crowell. Who’s going to start? It’s obvious that Keith Ellison can’t remain the starter. Are the Bills content and certain that Nic Harris is the answer?
Charles

CB: It’s Ellison’s job to lose. He’s clearly got the edge in experience and is a heady player to begin with. His main competition will be Alvin Bowen and Nic Harris. We’ll see what shakes loose in camp and the preseason.

 

3. Dear Chris,
Is Trent Edwards a leader of this team or not?
It is a question I don’t hear much asked but it is very important for the future of the team.
Is Trent Edwards a leader? Is he considered a team leader? Is he a leader in the locker room? Does he take command during games and lead? Does he have that Kellyesque field general mentality that we need. I’m starting to have my doubts.
What’s your take? If you could answer this question, I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you for your time.
 
Die Hard Bills Fan,
Jack Harmsen
Buzzards Bay, Ma

CB: I think Trent Edwards can be a leader for this team. By no means is he as in your face as Kelly was because he doesn’t have the same personality. What complicated his stepping into a leadership role last year was the presence of J.P. Losman. It’s very hard to step forward and lead when the guy that used to do that is standing behind you.

As a young starter I think Trent really wrestled with that last year. It’s also hard to lead when you haven’t accomplished a lot yet in your career. When you’ve been there and done that it’s easier to take charge. I think Trent will be a more demonstrative leader this year because Losman is gone and the coaching staff has given him a huge vote of confidence with the added offensive responsibilities he now has.

 

4. Hey Chris,
 
I just read about T.O. having some of the mini camp workouts being shot for a VH1 show.  With other things already causing a bit of a distraction (off the field issues) do you think this is something that could’ve been shut down?  Do you think it’ll affect the players and coaches focus as we try to rebuild with the new acquisitions?
 
Thanks,
Kyle

CB: First of all, to my knowledge the VH-1 cameras will not be allowed at One Bills Drive in any capacity during practices or the regular work day for the players. So affecting player focus doesn’t appear to be an issue. The show isn’t about football at all, but rather Owens’ off the field life. So the only person who could be distracted is Owens and I don’t see that happening as hard as he practices and plays. The game is too important to him.

 

5. With pretty talented depth at Cornerback, do you see McKelvin as an elite corner in the league now that he will be starting on the other side of McGee?

CB: I think Leodis McKelvin has the potential to be an elite cornerback in the league, yes. It is my contention that he will be a Pro Bowl cornerback in the near future. Probably not this year, but it will happen in the next 2 to 3 years in my opinion. I think he can be that good.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Pics from Moorman triathlon

Posted by Chris Brown on June 10, 2009 – 8:22 pm

Here are some photos courtesy of Johna Lindell of some of the Bills players who took part in the Town of Pittsford spring triathlon last Sunday to benefit Brian Moorman’s PUNT Foundation, which works to help kids with life threatening illnesses. For more information go to Moorman’s website.

Kyle Williams had the best swim split of the group.

Kyle Williams tri09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brian Moorman making swim to bike transition.

Brian Moorman tri09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Wendling after his swim and tagging his wife to do the bike and run.

John Wendling tri09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rian Lindell wrapping up his bike leg with only the run to go.

Rian Lindell tri09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moorman finishing with fellow PUNT Team member Andy Simpson. Moorman had best time of the group as his stagger start was behind almost everyone else.

Moorman tri09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bobby April bettering his 2008 time by 9 minutes at the finish.

Bobby April tri09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The specialists.

group tri09


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Just finished Pittsford triathlon

Posted by Chris Brown on June 7, 2009 – 2:58 pm

As part of Brian Moorman’s PUNT Team a bunch of Bills players participated in a sprint triathlon in the town of Pittsford this morning. Here’s the order of finish for the Team for those that did the swim, bike and run.

Brian Moorman 1:25:16
Andy Simpson 1:28:17
Rian Lindell 1:32:54
Chris Brown 1:37:54
Marty Battaglia 1:38:14
Preston Teague 1:38:18
Mick Morog 1:41:41
Tracie Brown 1:43:02
Bobby April 1:59:52

Team Wendling 1:32:53
Team Williams 1:39:57
Team Moorman 1:59:40

Special props to my wife Tracie who was the only female member of the team to do all three legs.

I’ll try to get some photos up on Monday courtesy of Johna Lindell.


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Fan Friday 5-15

Posted by Chris Brown on May 15, 2009 – 6:35 pm

Jumping right in with another batch of your questions with OTAs set to start on Monday. Let’s get going.

1. Hi Chris,
 
Hope all is well.  Two questions:
 
1. I thought Left Guard was an important position on the line or more important than Right Guard.  When we went out and signed Dockery to play LG I thought I read a few things saying that was more important than RG.  If that is true then wouldn’t it seem like the two rookies Wood and Levitre should be flipped with Wood playing LG and Levitre playing RG?
Neville

CB: I think the Bills in an ideal world the coaching staff would like to see Brad Butler at right tackle and Wood at right guard. Both play with a nasty demeanor and it’s my belief that Buffalo would like to run behind those two an awful lot this season if that combo pans out as they hope.

On the left side if Levitre can beat out the veteran competition his playing style should mesh well with Langston Walker at left tackle. Both are technicians by trade. So I think in an effort to get the chemistry on the right track quickly in light of all the new faces in new places, that’s the approach.
2. Hi Chris,
How do you think the Bills see John Wendling? He seems like a pretty athletic guy with decent speed and size. Do you see him cracking the starting line up or, at least getting more playing time? Or, is he destined to be a career special teams guy like Josh Stamer or Mario Hagan? He reminds me of Coy Wire. It is a shame not to find a way to get such a talented guy on the field. It seems like the Bills never really found a landing spot for Coy Wire. I hope that doesn’t happen to Wendling.
Thanks,
Mike

CB: There’s no question that Wendling is a talented player and solid teammate, but there’s some talent ahead of him at safety. Donte Whitner and veteran Bryan Scott both performed admirably at strong safety last year. Scott’s contract is up after this season so I suppose Wendling could inherit the backup role behind Whitner in 2010.

Other than that he’ll continue to be a solid special teams player and fill in on defense should injury strike.
3. Chris,
 
Have the Bills made any hint that they are looking at Levi Jones, or any other tackles in free agency?  They are always talking about evaluating free agent talent if they think they can upgrade a position.  Do you know what kind of deal Levi Jones camp is looking for?  Also, any word about Piso Tinoisamoa, the linebacker from the Rams?  How are the talks going?  Are they continuing?
 
Tim
Rochester

CB: Levi Jones is an interesting option to consider. He’s 29, but he hasn’t played a full season each of the last three years due to injury problems. That’s always a concern for a lineman where durability and availability are hugely important. I think he’s still a good player, but if he’s asking for big money it won’t happen.

He was in the middle of a 6-year $40M dollar deal, and I imagine if he’s looking for comparable money the Bills probably wouldn’t fork it over. I think he’s worth considering, but at the right price.

As for Tinoisamoa it doesn’t sound as if anything is imminent.

 

4. Hi Chris,
 
I was wondering…Nelson is going to have to be stronger to be an effective blocker.  Will he be able to stay as flexible to be able to make some of the catches he is able to make now?
 
Thanks from Salvatore Prezioso.

CB: According to the Bills staff they see him eventually at about 250 pounds, which would only add 10 pounds to his frame. Looking at him in the rookie camp I think he could add that weight (muscle) and still be an effective receiver in the passing game. He’s long and lean and needs to add muscle if he’s going to effectively block on the line. But Nelson and Buffalo’s staff have told me they don’t think he’d sacrifice any speed playing at 250. His catching radius is so expansive that bending and reaching for throws comes naturally to him.

 

5. Hi Chris, just a couple of quick questions…Is Chris Ellis ever being considered for a move to outside linebacker and is he healthy for this upcoming season?  And is the Samoan linebacker from the Rams being seriously considered?  Thanks for all your time and great updates..Ray

CB: I don’t see Chris Ellis as a LB option. I think they want to continue to develop him as a defensive end in their system. He is healthy. He just had a high ankle sprain at season’s end and since he wasn’t going to be healthy before the end of the season they just put him on injured reserve so they had another roster spot to use for a healthy player.

As for Tinoisamoa they are interested and had him in for a visit Thursday. The visit went well by all indications, but nothing ne


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Wendling number change

Posted by Chris Brown on May 14, 2009 – 5:14 pm

Buffalobills.com has learned that Bills safety John Wendling will be changing his number after veteran free agent signee expressed an interest in wearing number 29, which he wore back when he played some of his best ball with the Chargers.

Wendling agreed to give Florence number 29, which he wore for his first two seasons with the Bills. Wendling will now wear 21.

The Bills safety wasn’t exactly married to 29 anyway. He was number 23 in college at Wyoming.


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Simpson on the block?

Posted by Chris Brown on April 22, 2009 – 12:19 pm

According to the National Football Post, the Bills are dropping Ko Simpson’s name in trade discussions with other NFL clubs leading up to the draft.

With Donte Whitner expected to man the starting free safety position this coming season and Bryan Scott at strong safety, it would not be overly surprising if this report proved accurate. Buffalo has capable backups for both positions as well in George Wilson and John Wendling.


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Player radio appearances

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2008 – 9:32 pm

Locally Pro Bowl LT Jason Peters will be on Kiss 98.5 FM on Friday morning at 7:15am.

And John Wendling will be on Mile High Sports Radio 1510 AM in Denver at 5:30pm ET or 3:30pm MT.


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Lehman should dress today

Posted by Chris Brown on November 9, 2008 – 3:15 pm

Bills newly signed linebacker Teddy Lehman should be dressed for today’s game. He made the trip to New England with the team after signing Friday, and has prior knowledge of Buffalo’s defensive system, having played in a similar scheme in Detroit under Dick Jauron.

Kawika Mitchell should play today despite being questionable with an ankle injury. But the limited depth at linebacker, in terms of players with game experience, will likely have Lehman dressed for the game.

Dressing seven linebackers might seem unlikely, but I would expect Lehman to take the active game day roster spot usually occupied by Donte Whitner. Buffalo will still have four active safeties (Scott, Simpson, Wendling, Whitner), who are all active most Sundays anyway, so plugging Lehman into Whitner’s game day roster spot doesn’t take away from any of the other positions.


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Injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on October 30, 2008 – 6:23 pm

Brad Butler, Josh Reed and Aaron Schobel did not practice Thursday for the second straight day putting their chances of playing in doubt.

Everyone else on the injury report practiced fully. Trent Edwards was added to the injury report as a matter of policy.

Since his limp was brought up and addressed by head coach Dick Jauron on Wednesday he had to be added to the report Thursday, but he participated fully for the second straight day despite a minor ankle sprain.

Marshawn Lynch was back from his excused absence for family reasons.

John Wendling, Jason Whittle and Ashton Youboty all practiced fully.


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Injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on October 29, 2008 – 6:49 pm

Officially listed as not practicing were Brad Butler, Josh Reed and Aaron Schobel.

Limited on Wednesday was John Wendling who had a little ankle issue late in practice.

Jason Whittle and Ashton Youboty practiced fully on Wednesday as did Terrence McGee.


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