The Bills after an extensive look at a number of possibly quarterback replacements on the free agent market determined that Thad Lewis was their best option at starting quarterback. Head coach Doug Marrone shed some light on some of the other considerations.
Marrone confirmed that the club worked out free agents Pat White and Dennis Dixon. Then he confirmed that former Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman was an early consideration too.
“We had discussions, not only with his people but with other people,” said Marrone. “Granted, those reports were out there,
however they get out there, whatever sources and whatever it may be, but we talked to a couple of different people on that situation. No different than the punting situation, we talked to a couple of different people before we got the two down. When these situations come up, that’s always going to happen—we’re going to talk to a couple of people, now real it is? That one I really can’t tell you. I just say, ‘Hey, where are they and tell me when they’re coming in.’ That’s when I start thinking about it.”
Freeman chose to sign with the Vikings Monday.
Tags: Dennis Dixon, Doug Marrone, Josh Freeman, Pat White
Posted in Inside the Bills
1 - Hey Chris,
I really like what I’ve been seeing from the Bills lately. It’s starting to look like a great team. Can we expect Mario to play like he did against Carolina more often and when Byrd and Gilmore return how much better do you expect them to be? Lastly, I want to ask what is your biggest concern with this team going forward?
PS – I love what EJ has done but do you think he’s getting a bit overhyped it’s only been a few games, but man does it seem like this kid can keep his cool under pressure.
CB: I think Mario’s success is going to depend on the players around him up front. Provided they make plays when he draws the most attention from the opposing offensive line, it will force future opponents to pick their poison so to speak. Baltimore chose to double Kyle Williams and Mario most often in the game. As a result, Marcell Dareus saw a lot of one-on-one matchups and won more than his fair share with six tackles and a pair of sacks. As long as the guy that’s getting the one-on-one matchups is winning, the attention paid to the defensive linemen will vacillate back and forth sometimes week to week. We saw Mario get some opportunities last night even though he saw his fair share of double teams.
When Gilmore and Byrd are back in the lineup it’ll no doubt be a boost. The extent of Byrd’s role when he does return however, is up for debate. I expect him to be eased in playing in subpackages at first. Eventually he may be worked back in as a starter. Remember he hasn’t played an NFL regular season game in nine months, had no training camp and no preseason, and has only practiced Mike Pettine’s defense for a month.
As for a concern with the team, it’s the evolution of the offense. It’s going to be a process, but I think it has to be one that makes progress each week. Among the hurdles to be cleared are third down and red zone, two of the most important requirements to be a top offense in the league.
EJ has had his ups and downs, but overall he is making good progress. I think most people agree it’s a matter of when not if with Manuel.
2 – Chris,
Thank you for covering all the great news coming out of Buffalo. My question is in regards to the LG position. Colin Brown is certainly looking like he has had his share of problems in the first two games going against some pretty good and big DT’s in Star Lotulelei and Vince Wilfork. He also had trouble with Mizzou sensation and Rookie DT Sheldon Richardson. I have been wondering what his status is on the team? I have heard Coach say he is happy with who he has on the o-line so I doubt a change will be made. From watching the games and being there at One Bills Drive can you tell anything about Colin Brown and why he is having a hard time? Is it the competition he is going against or rooted in fundamentals and overall talent? For a man his size (6’7 325lbs) he has been a problem so far this year. Running to the left side for some nice gains would be welcoming.
Taylor – Greater St. Louis Area
CB: I think without question the Baltimore game was his best performance. In a more traditional offensive approach when they ask the offensive line to line up and smack and defensive front in the mouth, that’s what he does best. I think we do have to take into account the caliber of talent he’s been going against early this season. Wilfork – a perennial Pro Bowl player, Lotulelei – a top 10 pick, Richardson – another 1st round pick, Ngata – a perennial Pro Bowl player.
We have to remember he’s the new addition to the offensive line, so I thought before passing judgment it would be fair to give him the first month of the season to settle in. Let’s see where he takes his game from here.
3 – Hi Chris,
One of the few plays the Bills have run consistently the past couple years has been screens. It seems getting Mr. Spiller, Mr. Jackson and a few others some breathing space was highly effective. Unless I missed something grabbing a snack, I don’t recall the Bills running any screens these first two games. For an offensive staff that insists it adjusts to the player’s strengths, why does it appear they have abandoned screens?
Matt from Saratoga
CB: I think part of the reason screens haven’t been used as much is because they are trying to play to the players’ strengths, meaning the offensive line. The loss of Andy Levitre limited their athleticism on the offensive line. Eric Wood and Kraig Urbik are capable of getting out on screens, but I don’t know if that’s enough to convince the offensive staff that it could be a frequent weapon for them.
Now we did see a couple of screens last night that provided some measure of success so perhaps we’ll see more moving forward.
We have to remember that Nathaniel Hackett and Doug Marrone are still feeling out the roster and finding what plays work best with their personnel in their system. The coaches have to learn what works best as much as the players have to learn what they’re being asked to execute.
Next year at this time there won’t be those questions.
4 – Hey Chris
Wondering if you could give us a projected return date (or game) for the list of inured players? I think we’re getting close to when Gilmore might return, right? How about Goodwin? Brooks? Byrd has no timetable, right?
We sure would be a lot better off with all of those guys on the field!
CB: Here’s an idea as to where they’re at.
Stephon Gilmore – Cincinnati is the earliest possible return, but I think it might be a week after that.
Ron Brooks – He’s closer. He’s doing straight line running now, but not cutting yet.
Marquise Goodwin – Think he has a chance this coming week. Began catching passes this past week
Dustin Hopkins – Real close, good chance to be ready for Cincy game.
5 – Chris,
We should really look at getting him, if possible, to have another good QB on our roster no?
CB: Doug Marrone has maintained that promoting through the practice squad is the course they usually take. Thad Lewis knows the offense and is on the practice squad. Of course Doug Whaley has said if they ever have a chance to upgrade the roster they will look to do it.
That being said Josh Freeman is a player that has some off the field concerns that need to be investigated. If those check out and he’s not looking for giant money, which is possible, then I’ve got no problem with the Bills kicking the tires on him.
Tags: Colin Brown, Doug Marrone, Dustin Hopkins, Fan Friday, Jairus Byrd, Josh Freeman, Kraig Urbik, Mario Williams, Marquise Goodwin, Nathaniel Hackett, Ron Brooks, Stephon Gilmore
Posted in Inside the Bills
Georgia QB Matt Stafford said he’s not going to be throwing here at the combine. He’s also not going to do the bench press, but plans to do everything else.
USC QB Mark Sanchez and Kansas St. QB Josh Freeman both said they would be throwing.
“Throwing is one of my strengths so I’m going to show it,” said Freeman.
The one QB that probably can afford not to throw is Stafford. Sanchez and Freeman have a lot more to prove with less time on the job.
Tags: Josh Freeman, Mark Sanchez, Matt Stafford
Posted in Inside the Bills