Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 6-8

Posted by Chris Brown on June 8, 2018 – 10:55 am

Just mandatory minicamp left after today. Here are your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

McDermott and Daboll seem like a good match. Any observations on them together and do you see any differences from the previous OC? Thanks Chris!

Timothy Filutze
@timothy_filutze

CB: I’ll begin by saying I think the big plus that Daboll brings is he is more relatable to the players than former OC Rick Dennison was. Dennison could interact with the players, but developing a relationship seemed a bit more difficult for him at times. That is not the case with Daboll and the players on offense as I outlined in my story on him last week.

But I’ll let coach McDermott explain the give and take he and coach Daboll have enjoyed thus far.

“We try and take the approach of ‘iron sharpens iron’ really where I’m learning from him, he’s learning from me I this case,” McDermott said. “Again, we’re all learning from one another, so if you just start there, you usually have the start of a pretty good recipe.

“He has an ability to think at a higher level and he understands trends in terms of what’s going on, what’s trending in and around the NFL. Obviously, there has been an adjustment because the system is different than the system we used last year. I believe the players are really buying into what we’re doing and what Brian is doing as well as the entire offensive staff for that matter.”

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Many experts have the Bills taking a big step back this year in terms of wins. Is the reason totally due to the ?? at QB? To me the Bills roster appears much more solid and much deeper than last year, except possibly at WR, which can still change.

Steve Noble
@SteveNo12471507

CB: I think because the quarterback position is an unknown, and there is a new offense going in, it does lead many national pundits to forecast struggle for the Bills. This is commonplace for national reporters, who don’t cover the team on a daily basis. They look at the team on paper, examine the player losses and if in their estimation they outweigh the additions, they often predict doom for that team.

With all the unanswered questions on offense, there is an inherent fear of the unknown by prognosticators. Now in their defense, it’s not like some of those concerns they harbor are unfounded.

There will need to be a good number of players that have to step into more prominent roles this season on the offensive line, defensive end, linebacker, quarterback and wide receiver.

That is a long list.

Couple that with a schedule that has the Bills on the road for five of their first seven games and you can see why the prediction people are down on Buffalo.

The defense will be much improved with the additions made there.

I think the key to Buffalo’s 2018 season will be finding a definitive answer at quarterback and how quickly the offense can get to a point where they’re executing the new scheme in a consistent fashion week to week.

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Why is Allen working with the nobodys?

Adam creery
@Adamcreery4

CB: Josh Allen is working with the third team offense because he’s playing catch up. AJ McCarron and Nate Peterman had a three-week head start on learning the new offensive scheme and running plays on the field.

All indications are that Allen is a quick study, but bringing him along steadily is clearly the plan that’s in place. This coaching staff will not rush him through just to line him up with the starting unit.

They will base their decisions on who he’ll line up with solely on Allen’s progress day by day.

When coach McDermott was asked if he’d consider giving Allen reps with the second team or first team in the mandatory minicamp, he wouldn’t rule it out, but it’s apparent they aren’t going to rush him through anything.

“It’s a fluid situation; it’s all part of doing what’s best for A, our football team and B, Josh’s development overall,” said McDermott in how they’re bringing him along. “I’m not going to say I’m not going to do it, it’s just what’s the right thing to do at the right time based on our plan.”

4 – Hey Chris,

I was wondering with guys like Zay Jones & Logan Thomas having surgery’s & not being able to participate in OTA’s do they still show up every day & do the class room stuff with their respective groups in order to further their knowledge of the in coming scheme seeing as there is a new OC & a new offense being installed ?

Thanks for your time !!

Mr. T from Nashville via Barker NY

CB: The answer is yes. They have to be on site anyway for rehabilitation assignments with the athletic training staff, and they do attend position meetings and offense and/or defense meetings. Logan Thomas is already walking around without any assistance, so that’s encouraging.

I just haven’t crossed paths with Zay in the building of late.

 

5 – Chris:

Great work during the draft and year round.

A couple questions:

1) With the new OC and the player acquisitions in Free Agency and the draft do you think the Bills are planning to go to more of a spread offense this year? This may help Josh Allen in reading Defenses and opening more running lanes by taking players out of the box.

2) I expect the Bills to play more of a 4-2-5 Defense. This means more use of Milano, Stanford and Vallejo. I also expect Siran Neal to be listed as a Safety but eventually (a year or two) gain enough size to play LB like Carolina Shaq Thompson. Your thoughts?

Joe
Blasdell

CB: Your first question is an interesting one. I remember when Chan Gailey was head coach he often used a four-wide, one-back set to spread the field to create easier reads for Ryan Fitzpatrick in the pass game, while also creating more natural rush lanes for the backs.

It worked very well for the most part.

It’s hard to determine now if Brian Daboll wants to lean in the spread direction, especially with a quarterback competition to evaluate. Not knowing who your No. 1 QB is makes it more challenging for an OC to put a singular identity on an offense.

As for the defense, the Bills are in a nickel defense close to two-thirds of the time based on the passing nature of the game these days. Coach McDermott often says your nickel corner is basically a starter on defense, based on how often they’re in nickel defense.

I expect the nickel LBs to be Edmunds and Milano this season. Stanford and Vallejo are good options in reserve as both can run and cover.

As for Neal, I can see him playing a hybrid LB role, but full-time LB is something I’m going to hold judgment on. I’d like to see how he can change his body composition next offseason before I’m convinced that’s a role he could take on.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-18

Posted by Chris Brown on May 18, 2018 – 1:01 pm

OTAs get rolling next week. Here are your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
Do you think that Josh Allen has a legitimate chance to start for the Bills this season? Additionally, do you think the Bills themselves hope it’s Mcarron for this season? #FanFriday

GJohnston
@Johnston_GB

CB: I think the fact that coach McDermott has called it an open competition makes it a possibility, but even coach and GM Brandon Beane have cautioned that Allen has some catching up to do.

I don’t think anyone can debate that Allen is the most physically gifted of Buffalo’s three quarterbacks, but at the NFL level that only takes you so far.

Allen comes across as a player that knows and can process the game, but it’s unquestionably a step up in competition that he hasn’t experienced before.

We all really need to see him execute in an NFL atmosphere on the field to see if he can make steady progress and perform consistently. If he can do those things then he legitimately has a chance.

As for your question about hoping McCarron plays this season, I think the only hope coach McDermott has is that who he starts at quarterback is a difficult decision because the competition is a tight one.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you feel they are done at addressing the WR position?

Paul Jeffrey III
@paulthegreat9

CB: As GM Brandon Beane said they’re always looking to upgrade their roster wherever they can and however they can. He did give indication that he anticipates some veterans could be out on the market later in the free agent period.

If that comes to pass I would anticipate the Bills kicking the tires on receiver prospects.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you see the two new receivers that we drafted making the way into starting lineup with (Benjamin, kerley, Jones). Josh Allen vs AJ McCarron? Who do we think can win more games?


Jacob Kurtz
@JacobbMarley

CB: Again, much like the quarterback position, who has a starting role at receiver will be predicated on who performs best at the position through the course of the spring, summer and preseason games. Coach McDermott has created a culture of competition up and down the roster because competition brings out the best in terms of what a player has to offer.

With respect to Allen and McCarron, none of us have seen enough of either of them at this level to be able to determine who is going to start, much less who would win more games.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

What’s behind stockpiling so many defensive linemen? Is it purely a “competition” at training camp thing?

Garnet Barnsdale
@gocashking

CB: I believe it is largely rooted in developing competition. Most of us could probably figure out who the top six defensive linemen are going to be who are going to be active on game days, but competition for the last one or two positions is how Buffalo found Eddie Yarbrough last season.

So it’s a healthy exercise and may the best man win.

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

What’s our starting offensive line looking like now? Any change on the right side?

Sexual Pancake
@KeeslerThe

CB: If the Bills had to play a game tomorrow, they’d go with what they know. They know that Ryan Groy can play guard or center and that Russell Bodine can play center. They also know Dion Dawkins can play left tackle, Vladimir Ducasse can play right guard and that Jordan Mills can play right tackle.

That’s probably your starting five if you had a game this weekend, but they don’t. So with the exception of Dion Dawkins, the other four positions are subject to change based on the competition that exists on the roster.

Marshall Newhouse, John Miller and Wyatt Teller probably represent the most noteworthy competition.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-4

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2018 – 12:16 pm

The Bills certainly made the 2018 NFL draft interesting, especially for round one. Here are your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chris, Now that the draft is over. What is your make of it? Thanks

John Supple
@JohnSupple2

CB: In taking a look at Buffalo’s 2018 draft class, I was impressed with what Brandon Beane was able to pull off in round one. Getting his future franchise QB and a top 10 non-QB talent in the class was masterful. I don’t think many of us anticipated that Buffalo would be making two picks in round one when all was said and done. They not only did that, but traded up twice and still made it happen. Remarkable.

I liked the Harrison Phillips pick a lot. Dude is stupid strong and depending on which stat service you reference had 100 tackles last year as a nose tackle at Stanford. An insane number for a player who was consistently lining up head up on the center in a zero or head up on a guard (two technique) in a 3-4 front.

Both Taron Johnson and Siran Neal flashed at the Senior Bowl. Neal might need a little time on the job making the jump from FCS ball, but Johnson looked like he belonged.

I think the sleeper pick is Wyatt Teller, who could compete for that vacant left guard spot.

I’m very interested to see where Ray-Ray McCloud lines up because Clemson moved him around a lot. I also want to see what kind of return ability he brings to the table.

Proehl as a route runner is as tight as I’ve seen in a seventh-round pick in a while.

What would I change? I don’t know that I’d change much. Buffalo was limited in what they could on day two after the two moves up in round one, and it’s hard to argue with the Phillips pick, since he was one of my favorite prospects in the entire class.

You could argue there was some better talent in terms of size at receiver on the board when they took McCloud, but it’s not a major issue as I see it.

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Has there been ANY evident interest shown to your knowledge in any of the remaining free agent receivers (Dez, Decker, etc…)?

Cole Parker
@Cpark9901

CB: I believe the Bills are going to wait for the right fit. While I don’t argue that the number of proven receivers on Buffalo’s roster is limited, that doesn’t mean you just sign a veteran free agent because he has experience. I doubt they sign Eric Decker because they had the chance to do so last offseason when he was a cap casualty and passed then.

Dez Bryant, as Brandon Beane said, is a player who can still help an NFL club, though not in the game breaking way that he used to. There was a great write up detailing his lack of separation on a Dallas-based site I read last week. I believe that is why interest for the veteran wideout has been limited across the league to say the least.

You need to remember where Buffalo is at with this build. Having young receivers on their roster they’ll want to get them reps to develop. A veteran on this roster, even for one season, can compromise that development because he’s then stealing those reps.

That’s not to say the Bills wouldn’t sign a veteran receiver, but it’s my belief they want to see their young receivers perform in OTAs before they ascertain whether they need to add a veteran presence.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

What is the consensus biggest hole left on roster at this point?

Bryan Watson
@RealBryanWatson

CB: I think the personnel department has done a credible job of plugging the biggest holes with capable talent. There is still a lack of proven talent at receiver and linebacker, which could cause some fans a bit of concern. Cornerback is another area where they might be a bit light on proven depth.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

When will we get to see Allen throw ?

Mike Reisch
@MReischMike

CB: That will happen next week when the Bills have their rookie minicamp with the first practice scheduled for Friday. Look for the video report – Bills Minute – on buffalobills.com to see clips of Allen throwing at practice.

 

5 – Chris,

David Culley is a QB coach with much more experience coaching WRs than QBs. Will the Bills bring in a QB consultant or specialist to groom our new franchise quarterback?

—Big Al
Rockford IL

CB: I asked GM Brandon Beane in a one-on-one interview, who would be spending the most time with Josh Allen to ensure he’s getting the one-on-one development time he needs to maximize his treasure trove of physical talent. Here was his answer.

“We understand all his strengths and he has a lot of them,” said Beane of Allen. “Like all these guys everybody has various flaws and Josh knows them and has been working on them. You could even see in the Senior Bowl he had cleaned up his footwork working with (his quarterback trainer) Jordan Palmer.

“It doesn’t mean he’s fixed and ready to go, but he’ll continue to do those things. (Offensive coordinator) Brian Daboll and (Quarterbacks coach) David Culley will work on all the fundamentals with him. Josh is going to come in here and he knows he’s got work to do physically, mentally to catch up on the playbook. He’s got a lot to do. We’ll do that on his timetable.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

2018 draft class jersey numbers

Posted by Chris Brown on April 30, 2018 – 2:45 pm

By now most Bills fans know that Josh Allen will be wearing jersey number 17. Here’s a look at the number choices for the reset of the Bills 2018 draft class.

QB Josh Allen – 17
LB Tremaine Edmunds – 49
DT Harrison Phillips – 99
CB Taron Johnson – 24
S Siran Neal – 29
OL Wyatt Teller – 75
WR Ray-Ray McCloud – 3
WR Austin Proehl – 87

Proehl is wearing the same jersey number that his father wore with the Carolina Panthers.


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Posted in Inside the Bills