Inside The Bills


Posted by Chris Brown on August 11, 2012 – 5:58 pm

Here are tonight’s non-participants.

Justin Rogers
Josh Nesbitt
Kevin Brock

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Rogers closer to return

Posted by Chris Brown on August 11, 2012 – 5:41 pm

CB Justin Rogers is still not practicing tonight as he’s still recovering from a pulled hamstring. But he’s closer to a return.

Rogers is working on the side with trainers while his teammates practice.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Rogers is lead kick returner

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2012 – 1:30 pm

The team’s first official depth chart is out and there’s an interesting pecking order on kick return.

Second-year cornerback Justin Rogers is listed as the team’s top kick returner with Leodis McKelvin second and Brad Smith third on the depth chart. While it may be surprising to some knowing part of the reason Smith was signed as a free agent in 2011 was for his kick return abilities, the bottom line is Rogers outperformed Smith last season when he was inserted into the role late in the season.

Rogers averaged an impressive 28.7 yards a return with 13 total on the season and a long of 57 yards.

Smith on 15 returns averaged 18.8 yards with a long of 28.

C.J. Spiller averaged 23.8 yards a return, but only had 6 attempts all season. Leodis McKelvin averaged 21.5 yards a return on just two attempts.

Rogers was an accomplished return man in college at the University of Richmond. As a freshman he served in a return role ranking third in the nation in kick return average (30.4). As a senior he led the Colonial Athletic Association conference in punt return average (12.4) and set the CAA record for kick return yards in a career, most notably passing Brian Westbrook on the all-time list.

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Rogers to be out 4 to 5 days

Posted by Chris Brown on July 29, 2012 – 8:20 pm

CB Justin Rogers had to be pulled out of practice early on Sunday night. Head coach Chan Gailey explained why.

“He tweaked a hamstring. Let me get an evaluation on that,” said Gailey. :I’ll have some more information later, but it’s going to be probably a four or five day deal.”

Rogers tweaked the hamstring during one-on-one WR-vs.-CB drills while defending a route. As a result he missed all the team portions of practice.

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Rogers done for night

Posted by Chris Brown on July 29, 2012 – 7:00 pm

CB Justin Rogers is done for the night with an undisclosed ailment.

Rogers came to the sideline early in practice during 1-on-1 drills and has not done anything since.

We’ll get an update after practice.

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Rogers off to good start

Posted by Chris Brown on May 29, 2012 – 4:30 pm

Bills CB Justin Rogers was one of a handful of standouts at Day 1 of OTAs.

Rogers was active in the secondary during teamwork drills. He had 2 of the better pass breakups on the day. His best came on a pass intended for Derek Hagan.

Even though Hagan crisply broke off his route to create separation Rogers was able to close the space and knock the ball away.

Rogers saw time as the first team nickel Tuesday, but also worked outside with the 2nd unit.

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Top 10 Honorable Mentions

Posted by Chris Brown on February 21, 2012 – 8:19 am

With our Top 10 Performances of 2011 series coming to a close today, we thought it would only be appropriate to list some of the performances from this past season that received honorable mention status and narrowly missed being a part of the series.

2011 Honorable Mention Performances
Brian Moorman Wk 4 at Cin (8 punts 413 yds, 51.6 gross, 40.5 net, 2 inside 20, long 65)
Bryan Scott Wk 1 at KC (8 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 1 QB hit)
Fred Jackson Wk 2 vs. Oak (15-117, 2 TDs, 2 rec. 23 yds)
Fred Jackson Wk 6  at NYG (16-121-1 TD rush, 5-47 rec.)
Stevie Johnson Wk 2 vs. Oak (8-96, 1 TD)
Stevie Johnson Wk 3 vs. N.E. (8-94, 1 TD)
George Wilson Wk 3 vs. NE (10 tackles, 1 INT)
George Wilson Wk 4 at Cin (12 tackles, 1 INT)
George Wilson Wk 8 vs. Wash. (9 tackles, 1 INT)
Jairus Byrd Wk 3 vs. NE (12 tackles, 2 PBUs)
Nick Barnett Wk 8 vs. Wash. (10 tackles, ½ sack, 1 QB hit)
Terrence McGee Wk 6 at NYG (11 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 PBUs)
Ryan Fitzpatrick Wk 12 at NYJ (26-39 264, 3 TDs)
C.J. Spiller Wk 16 vs. Den (16-111-1 TD rush, 2-27 rec.)
Leodis McKelvin/Justin Rogers Wk 16 vs. Denver (McKelvin sets PR record, 80-yd TD, Rogers 33.7 KR avg.)

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Rogers best in league of late

Posted by Chris Brown on December 27, 2011 – 8:34 am

Justin Rogers has only been returning kicks for a few weeks, but measured over that time span he’s been the best in the NFL in terms of return average.

Rogers is now 1st in the NFL since Week 14 with a 30.1 KR average (min. 9 kick returns) ahead of St. Louis’ Jerrious Norwood (25.0) and Jacknsonville’s DuJuan Harris (21.8).

The rookie cornerback also got his first career interception last week in Buffalo’s win over Denver.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Rogers 2 wks of returns pretty good

Posted by Chris Brown on December 20, 2011 – 9:57 am

Justin Rogers has done a good job of providing a shot in the arm to Buffalo’s kick return game. Here’s a closer look at to just how good.

Since Week 14, Rogers’ 28.8 kickoff return average is second-best in the NFL (8-230) among kick returners with six or more attempts. Here are the top 3.

1 – Antonio Cromartie (NYJ) 6-174 yds, avg. 29.0
2 – Justin Rogers (BUF) 8-230 yds, avg. 28.8
3 – Jerrius Norwood (STL) 10-253, avg. 25.3

Posted in Inside the Bills

CB Williams back in lineup

Posted by Chris Brown on December 15, 2011 – 4:15 pm

CB Aaron Williams was limited in practice Wednesday, but was full go on Thursday.

Head coach Chan Gailey confirmed that Williams will also man one of the starting outside cornerback positions on Sunday now that he’s back to full participation.

“Aaron was full go so it looks like he’s going to be just fine,” said Gailey. “He’ll go back to starting.”

That means Leodis McKelvin will again be a reserve cornerback and possibly see work on special teams although Gailey did say he liked what he saw from Justin Rogers as a returner last week in San Diego.

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Rogers to stay on kick return

Posted by Chris Brown on December 12, 2011 – 5:06 pm

Justin Rogers saw full-time duty on kick returns Sunday against the Chargers, and according to head coach Chan Gailey that will continue this week against Miami.

When asked if Rogers would remain the team’s kick returner this week Gailey said that the rookie seventh-round pick would.

“Justin Rogers returning kickoffs was a positive,” said Gailey. “I thought that looked good for what he may bring us in the future.”

Rogers averaged 24 yards on four kick returns Sunday, four yards better than the team has averaged all season (20).

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Fan Friday 12-9

Posted by Chris Brown on December 9, 2011 – 11:30 am

Alright Bills fans, four games to go and playoffs are unfortunately looking to be off the table as I’ll explain below. The offseason questions I’ve been putting off the past month or so are now free to be submitted to since we’ll be dealing with those issues sooner than any of us had hoped.

1 – Hey Chris,

I’m just wondering if the Bills win some these games do you think they can get back in the hunt?


CB: Unfortunately it’s pretty unlikely. The AFC East division title is a lost cause with New England at 9-3. At 5-7 the Bills are not mathematically eliminated, but three teams ahead of them for the Wild Card, Jets (7-5), Titans (7-5) and Bengals (7-5) are all teams that beat the Bills in head-to-head matchups. So were they somehow able to pull even with any of those teams they would lose out on tiebreaker. It’s really a shame how this all unfolded after Week 8.


2 – Chris,

Can you break down Justin’s development during the season? People liked him in the draft and now he is starting to play. His size to be an issue, but in the long term could he ever start? McGee was also small. He has looked good in the nickel and has gotten time over Corner and Leodis. Could he “bulk” up and be a starting corner or is he boxed in being a situational DB.  


CB: Rogers is an athletic, speedy, quick cutting cornerback that is best suited for work in the slot. Ideally he’ll play at 190 pounds and retain that weight through the season, something he’s had trouble doing this season. All rookies struggle with that.

McGee isn’t tall, but he was thickly built (208 lbs), which enabled him to be physical with receivers and in run support. Rogers isn’t afraid to get in on the action, but he’s admitted he has to get stronger.

He’s a smart, heady player that anticipates well and recognizes time and score in games. Secondary coach George Catavolos thought he could be the surprise of the draft class. I think there’s another level or two for Rogers to reach. As he fills out and gets stronger in his first NFL offseason of training he’ll be better equipped to muscle up on receivers when necessary, but I hesitate to say he can be a full time boundary corner. I think we all need to see more.


3 – Hi Chris,
With Fred Jackson on IR what happens to his contract negotiations? Assuming he fully recovers from his injury, it would be good to go into next season with that issue settled.

Also, any update on Steve Johnson’s contract? I would think that his value may have dropped after the Jets game.

Again thanks.
Bob Hammond

CB: I suppose Jackson’s injury could impact contract negotiations in terms of length of a new deal. NFL clubs are always leery of handing a long term deal to running backs that are 30-years old or older. Fred is 30 now. The big money handed to Shaun Alexander in Seattle, only to see his production plummet gives every NFL team pause when it comes to re-signing a back to a long term deal. What seems to be understood is that Jackson has outperformed his contract and needs to be more properly compensated.

As for Stevie Johnson it sounds as if the two sides will address the issue in the offseason. I’m not so sure that the Jets game hurt his value. Yes, the touchdown antics were a sign of immaturity, but no other NFL receiver has scored a TD on Darrelle Revis and no other receiver has eight catches on him. 11 catches for 159 yards and a touchdown in two games on Darrelle Revis is production you’d like to have on your team knowing you’re facing the Jets twice a season. I don’t know who else on Buffalo’s roster or in the league for that matter is capable of doing that.


4 – With George out, Merriman, Kyle, Wood, Lindell & Freddy on IR, Who are the leaders in the locker room. It looks to me that it is Barnett on Defense and David Nelson on O

Steve in Corning

CB: On defense you’ve got it, it’s Barnett, but with George back he’ll certainly help in that area. On offense it’s Fitz all the way.


5 – Chris,

I think this season turned around 180 degrees after the first Jets game. Rex Ryan’s “D” seemed to provide the blueprint for defending the Bills timing-pass attack, and Buffalo has yet to rebound. My beef is this: the Jets had the benefit of the bye week to prepare for Buffalo.

Chris, divisional games are far too important for a division rival to have an extra week of preparation for us. Remember when the Patriots recently had a streak of 4 or 5 seasons where they had their bye to prepare for the Bills? That’s just not a level playing field. Is this something that the NFL Competition Committee could look at changing down the road? Have you ever heard of coaches or GMs agreeing with me on this? I just really feel that teams should not have their bye week scheduled before a divisional contest ( unless BOTH teams involved have the bye that week ).

CB: I think your point is very valid. Division games are too important to saddle one team with a bye week edge over the other. Knowing they cluster teams during a span of eight weeks they could certainly bye an entire division in a given week and then match the four of them up in a pair of division games coming off the bye. That would seem to be the simplest solution. Even if the schedule would not allow a pair of division matchups coming off the bye just make sure no one faces a division opponent off an extra week of rest.

I haven’t heard of coaches or GMs discussing it much, but I’ll bring it up to Buddy Nix and see what his thoughts are on it. Those games are too important and any coach would tell you the extra week of prep helps.

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Testing young DBs

Posted by Chris Brown on December 1, 2011 – 4:06 pm

The three rookies in the secondary that have seen a lot of playing time the past two games will be playing their first home game in the secondary together. Knowing that communication has been an issue between all of them Buffalo’s defensive staff is preparing them for the crowd noise Bills fans will be providing to disrupt the Titans offense.

Chan Gailey has had crowd noise blaring onto the practice field this week so the young players are forced to communicate either by shouting or hand signals to communicate pre-snap checks.

“We got it done,” said Gailey. “We got a good solid day in today with that and a lot of communication.”

Veteran George Wilson, who has been out of the lineup said film review of the Jets game showed more than 20 mental errors by the team with the secondary responsible for their share. That’s why Gailey was honest in his assessment of the communication on the back end the past couple of weeks.

“Average,” he said. “They’re not there yet. It’s hurt us big a few times the lack of communication. So that’s an area for improvement.”

Aaron Williams, Justin Rogers and Da’Norris Searcy are all likely to be on the field a great deal again this week vs. Tennessee.

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Where Rogers has improved most

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2011 – 1:02 pm

Justin Rogers has a bigger role on defense the rest of the way with the season-ending injury to Terrence McGee. The question is where does Rogers feel he’s improved the most since those early days of training camp.

“Definitely the playbook knowing my assignments inside and out,” Rogers told “When I first got here I was trying to grasp the whole playbook, but even when I knew what I was doing I was still thinking out there because I wasn’t 100 percent comfortable with it. Now it’s like second nature and I know the call, my assignment and I’m just reacting instead of thinking.”

Playing faster and more instinctively will be important against a Jets receiving corps that boasts some Pro Bowl level talent.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Williams to see slot work?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2011 – 1:02 pm

Head coach Chan Gailey confirmed that Aaron Williams will start at LCB in place of Terrence McGee who went on injured reserve Tuesday. The question is will he move into the slot just as McGee did when Buffalo goes to their nickel package?

When Terrence McGee was out of the lineup the first three games of the season, Aaron Williams filled his role in the slot on nickel packages, while Leodis McKelvin manned the LCB position. Now with McKelvin a bit lower on the depth chart Williams will start in McGee’s place at LCB. But will he move into the slot in nickel situations again?

Even Williams isn’t sure.

“I honestly don’t know,” Williams told “At the same time at the very beginning of the season I was Terrence’s backup. The first few games when I was playing when he was hurt I was in the slot.”

If called upon to play in the slot, Williams insists he’s ready.

“I’m not rusty at all being at nickel,” he said. “I got some playing time at corner. If I have to do both that’s fine. I love doing it. I’ve played multiple positions since high school.”

In all likelihood Williams starts at LCB and in nickel situations he’ll move into the slot and then either McKelvin or fellow rookie Justin Rogers comes on to play the boundary corner position.

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McKelvin’s role up in the air

Posted by Chris Brown on November 21, 2011 – 3:58 pm

Leodis McKelvin spent most of Sunday afternoon in Miami on the sidelines as rookies Aaron Williams and Justin Rogers went on the field defensively instead, even after the season-ending injury to Terrence McGee. Head coach Chan Gailey was asked Monday if McKelvin will remain at the back end of the depth chart.

“That remains to be seen,” said Gailey. “Obviously with the injury that changes things. We’ll see how that goes.”

McKelvin said last week that he’s determined to climb out of the slump that he’s been in, but whether he gets the opportunity to make good on the field this Sunday against the Jets looks like a wait and see situatoin.

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The inactive players

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2011 – 1:49 pm

Here’s the rundown of the players that will not suit up for tonight’s preseason game against the Broncos.

WR Roscoe Parrish
CB Justin Rogers
LB Kelvin Sheppard
LB Shawne Merriman
OL Chris Hairston
WR Craig Davis
TE Shawn Nelson
LB Chris White

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Posted by Chris Brown on August 10, 2011 – 6:55 pm

Here is the rundown of non-participants at practice tonight.

Justin Rogers
Antonio Coleman
Scott Chandler
Torell Troup

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Fan Friday running Q&A

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2011 – 7:07 pm

Good evening Bills fans. Glad you could join me. As promised I’m going to be answering your training camp questions here tonight. So you know you can still submit your questions to my email account at I’ll be submitting as many of those questions with answers as possible below, so keep refreshing this page as I’ll be adding answers as I move through them. Hopefully your question or one very similar to your question gets answered tonight, otherwise I’ll get to your question in a future Fan Friday post or answer it personally. Just understand training camp is my busiest time of year, so I’ll get back to you as best I can. Thanks for your participation. Let’s get to your questions.

1 – Chris, 

How will the CB battle shape up in camp? In there a set starter or is the position up for grabs. With Drayton back does that push Aaron Williams to 4th slot. I liked Justin Rogers alot when they drafted him. It would be a waste for him not to play or even get cut due to 4 guys ahead of him. How many will the Bills keep on the opening day roster. 
Jack S.
CB: I think right now the entrenched starters are Terrence McGee and Drayton Florence. McGee has looked like his old self and the defensive staff has even experimented with him in the slot. I believe the top three are pretty much locked down with McKelvin being the third man in right now. Aaron Williams would need to have an amazing preseason to dislodge one of those guys from the top spot and Reggie Corner is primarily a slot guy, but those are the top 5. Williams got off to a great start, but with more installation he’s fallen behind a bit on the execution end.
2 –What should be the expectation for Marcus Easley this season? He will be raw and coming off injury coming into the season but he looks like a future number 1 receiver with both size and speed. Given that he has missed a year and didn’t break out until his senior year, how much will he be on the field. Is he likely going to be inactive on game days or can he challenge for the 3-4 receiver role. Excited to watch him in camp. Thanks for the great reporting year round.

CB: Thanks for the kind words. I think it’s tough to peg right now. There’s no question he’s got talent and if he develops he could have a bright future. I’m not ready to go as far as to say number one receiver talent because we just haven’t seen enough of him. Unfortunately I think the coaching staff is in the same boat. They saw flashes last spring, but not much else because of his knee injury last year and now his hyperextended knee. He should be back in the next day or two and hopefully he can stay healthy to get his career off the ground.
 3 –Chris, 

Given the need for both OLB and ILB’s, how many total do you expect to make the opening day roster? It looks like Merriman, Kelsay, Barnett, and Davis will be the starters. With backups like Moats, Shep, Torbor. But what about the fringe players like Coleman, White, Maybin and Batten. Will they carry this many? Is there one guy on the outside? How will Chan mix in a large number of players to fit both the 3-4/4-3 hybrid? 
CB: For a 3-4 defense teams usually carry 8 linebackers with backups for each spot. You’re guess is pretty well on with Merriman, Kelsay, Barnett, Davis and Moats, Shep and Torbor. Guys like Coleman, White, Batten and Maybin will be fighting for one, possibly two spots if they choose to keep 9.
 4 – Dear Chris,
Thanks for all the constant updates for us fans.  I am wondering if the bills are interested in Jared Gaither.  He would be a big help to our tackle problems.  If not him are there any other free agent tackles worth looking at? Thanks again and go BILLSMike from Cheektowaga
CB: This is a name that’s come up an awful lot from fans over the past calendar year. I don’t debate that adding more talent at offensive tackle would be welcomed I’m just not convinced it’s going to happen before the season. Jared Gaither is a guy that was available for trade and no one went after him because he had some back issues. Back issues with linemen are nothing to sneeze at. It may explain why the market has been lukewarm for him. Only the Raiders were poised to sign him and it fell apart in the 11th hour. He’s talented, but Gailey and Nix want high character guys that have a passion for the game, and in NFL circles I don’t know how many people stamp Gaither as that kind of player.
 5 – Did the Bills make an attempt for Zach Miller? He would have been a great addition. A dominant TE is something the Bills have lacked for years. Any chance they go after Kevin Boss?
Josh T.
CB: To my knowledge they did not pursue him. Miller is definitely a talent, no question and yes, the Bills have not had a dominant pass catching tight end. Boss by the way signed with the Raiders today. I just think with Chan Gailey’s frequency of using 4-wide sets and the depth of the receiving corps right now the need for a mismatch type threat at tight end is greatly reduced.
I will say that Scott Chandler, who was picked up off waivers last year from Dallas, had a very good afternoon practice today. A couple of touchdowns and for a 6’7″ 272-pounder he runs well and gets good separation. An impressive showing for him for just his second day of work since re-signing as a restricted free agent.
6 – Hey Chris,
I was wondering a couple things.  What’s the status on the Bills contract with St. John Fisher?  Are they going to stay there or are they leaving?  The practice field situation definitely makes it tougher.  Also, every year the team has ALWAYS done 2 or 3 full team autograph sessions before practice.  They are usually announced before a night practice session and it’s a way for the fans to get whoever they wanted, including some of the players that are impossible to get.  I was wondering if they are going to do that this year?  And if not, why?  That’s a very popular thing and it draws lots of fans to camp for those night practices.  Plus it’s also a way to give back.  Thanks for the reply.

CB: I do know the Bills contract with St. John Fisher is in its last year, but the decisions that are made beyond that are way above my pay grade. I, like you, do not know what the future holds with respect to training camp here. As for giving back to the fans I do know that the next night practice on Saturday (8/6) will include a bunch of contests and giveaways as well as a fireworks show following practice. With respect to a full team autograph session I have not heard anything, but if there is news on that front I’ll pass it along.

7 – Chris,

 I know that Buddy has said in the past that he wants to build this team through the draft. But with the biggest free agency in years why weren’t we more aggressive in free agency? 
Joe from Webster
Season ticket holder (section 130)

CB: Joe, I think we’ve heard Buddy address this question before. The Bills plan for building this team into a consistent winner will be done primarily through the draft and any remaining holes will be filled by free agents that aren’t going to break the bank. Yes, they have a lot of cap room, but the amount of cap room the team has isn’t going to change Buddy’s approach.

I know a lot of fans complain to me all the time about why we’re not more aggressive in free agency. What you need to realize is there are teams in the league that have been very successful with the formula that Buddy is adhering to. Indy, Pittsburgh and San Diego draft well, re-sign their own and fill holes with affordable free agents. Two of those teams have won Super Bowls and all three are perennial playoff teams. It’s a proven way to build a perennial winner, the catch is that it takes time and Buddy said as much when he took the job.

8 – Chris,
How has Aaron Maybin looked in training camp thus far?  I read something saying that he weighed in under 230.  I also read something saying that Daryl Talley was giving him a lot of individual attention and answering his questions.  Is Maybin big enough to be seriously considered as an OLB?  Has Talley’s tutoring helped him make any plays in camp?  Based on some of the comments Gailey has made about Maybin in the past, and the fact that he wasn’t allowed to dress for so many games last year, I have to assume that Maybin needs to show something during the preseason this year if he hopes to stay on the team.  I really had high hopes for him when he got drafted.  Does he seem to be making any progress? 
-Brendan, Las Vegas

CB: Well Brendan you’re right about Maybin’s weight. His reporting weight at the start of camp was 228 pounds. It does make it harder for him to stand in and hold his ground on run plays or maintain leverage on an outside rush. As for what he needs to show in this camp I’ll leave it to coach Gailey who addressed that subject today after practice.

“Aaron (Maybin) tries hard every time he walks on the field,” said Gailey. “The key for him is being productive on the field. He has to become a consistent player against the run and a consistent pass rusher. He has work to do, he’s not there yet. So we will see how he continues to develop but he has a long way to go.”

9 – I’ve noticed that their appears to be an amazing family atmosphere among the players and coaches of the Bills. Guys really appear to want to work hard for the guy next to them and not necessarily for the big pay day that could ensue. What would you say the impetus behind that has been?
Josh D.

CB: I’d give coach Gailey the credit for that. I said last year that his toughest task in his first year as head coach was to eradicate the losing culture that had enveloped this team over the past decade. It took him more than half the season, but he vanquished it and got the players to rally around each other and pull for one another.

There’s a sign in the Bills team meeting room that coach Gailey put up on the front wall it reads, ‘The STAR of the team is the TEAM.’ Hopefully that explains the approach Gailey has demanded from these players.

10 – Chris – Greetings from Arizona – we survived the wildfires and looking forward to Bills football!!.

Offense is looking good. What do you think of the offensive line ( I am mostly concerned about left tackle) and any chance the Bills make a run at a TE (Bo Scaife was still there this morning).

Larry Kordosky, Hereford, AZ

CB: Glad you folks out west are alright. I think there are some real concerns about the offensive line particularly with respect to pass protection outside the organization on the part of fans and it’s hard to blame you. The line still has an awful lot to prove. I think Demetrius Bell and Erik Pears are certainly capable, but we’ll know a lot more about what they can do as a group when we get to the preseason games especially with some pass rushing talents like Julius Peppers and Elvis Dumervil in the first two preseason contests.

Update – Bo Scaife signed today with Cincinnati.

11 –Chris,

Do you expect the organization will renegotiate contracts with Fitz, Stevie, and any of the other guys before the season or do you think they will wait and sign them to deals with terms that begin next year?

CB: I do expect a new contract for Stevie for sure. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a bit more tricky a situation. I can’t predict a timetable for when either of them might re-sign. No one can predict how negotiations will unfold, but it’s clear that Johnson can be a premier weapon in the passing game for several years. With Fitz it’s not that easy. Fitz is the starter this year, no ifs, ands or buts. Beyond that it’s hard to know what the Bills are thinking. And so I believe they could take more of a wait and see approach with him. If Fitz is lighting it up in the first half of the season I believe it helps his cause.

12 – Chris,

Along with many of your fans…I really appreciate your insight on what’s happening with the Bills.  I’ve been a Bills fan for 40 years.  I like what Buddy and Chan are trying to do by building the Bills using the draft.   Having said that though, with all the cap room we have…is there still a possibility for a Tackle or Tight End pick up…with all the weapons at Fitz’s disposal…it would be great to see him have that ½ second more he needs to make this team productive. 

Thanks for your thoughtful reporting!  

Now living in South Florida Sunshine…but still a Buffalo Bills fan.

CB: As I mentioned earlier I don’t see the cap room changing the front office approach as to how they’re going to build this roster into a perennial playoff contender. I respect your point about better protection for Fitz. I just think if there was an offensive tackle they wanted bad enough they would’ve signed him. They did pursue Tyson Clabo, but Clabo really wanted to stay in Atlanta. And mismatch tight end as I said just isn’t a priority in Gailey’s style of offense.

13 – Chris,

Thanks for asking our questions, and for all of the work you do. I’ve been curious about the Brad Smith signing. Chan has made comparisons to Kordell and Brad Smith said he signed with Buffalo because he liked what The Bills had in mind for him. Is it possible that Gailey’s plan might be to have Smith be a possible QB in the future? Might we expect to see he and Thigpen battle for Fitzpatrick’s replacement maybe 2 years down the road?
Love the signing from a Special Teams, Wildcat, and Reciever prespective  but is there more to this?
Thanks Again,
CB: It’s tough to say whether there is more to this, but I think the long term commitments made by the Bills to both Thigpen (3 yrs) and Smith (4 yrs) could lead one to speculate that they’ve thought about the position beyond just 2011. What their plans are long term is anyone’s guess, but I believe your theory is not outlandish at all.
Thigpen looked very, very good today. His standing on the roster this year will be no higher than the #2 QB, Chan told him that when he called him as a free agent. Fitz is the starter this year and that’s final. I’ll have more on this in my Practice Notes write up tonight.
14 –  How do the late round picks and UDFA’s have any chance of really having a shot at making the roster, especially an offensive player ?  Because they don’t have the benefit of knowing the playbook at all.

Thanks, Tim H
Spencer, NY
CB: This might be the toughest year in football for an undrafted rookie to make a 53-man roster coming out of camp, and you’re right it’s due completely to the lack of OTAs and minicamps in the offseason. They came in cold when camp began and had to pick things up on the fly. Even coach Gailey admitted that veteran players are more entrenched in their roles than in perhaps any other preseason because the coaches are secure in their knowledge of what those players can and cannot do.
With the rookie free agents there isn’t enough of a base of knowledge on any of them because they didn’t see them through the spring. This creates more guess work with respect to the evaluations of those players on the part of coaches and coaches don’t want to guess, they want to know. So unless someone really, really shines, it’s going to be very, very tough for rookie free agents to make the squad. We’ll see.
15 – What do you think will become of Levi Brown with all of these new quarterbacks here? Do you think he will go back to be number 3, or do you think he has earned the number 2 position? I’m guess with Thigpens’ experience  he’ll go back to being 3. I personally would like to see him get a chance to play at some point.

Thanks Chris, Bills reporting is 2nd to none compared to all other football teams, (which I really need now that I moved to Atlanta) keep up the great work!
CB: Appreciate the compliments. With respect to Levi Brown, I think he’s in a bit of a tough spot. Like we mentioned long term commitments were made to both Thigpen and Smith and I get the feeling that coach Gailey likes having a 3rd quarterback that’s multi-dimensional that he can use on game day for more than holding a clipboard. Levi might be caught in a numbers game here, but there is one other option for the Bills with him and that’s the practice squad. We’ll see how he performs in the preseason.
Joseph DeLallo
16 – Chris,

Though I am sure someone else will probably ask…how is Michael Jasper fairing at DT?
Geoff from Hungary
CB: Wow wasn’t expecting a question from that part of the world. Jasper is currently running with the third team defense at nose tackle. He’s got uncommon athleticism for a 385-pound man. In 1-on-1 drills he’s won more battles than he’s lost as he effectively walks interior linemen back into the pocket. That being said he is a very raw talent. He has a lot of technique work to brush up on having not played defensive line for more than two years.
The true test of what he’s capable of will come in the preseason, but he’s an interesting prospect to watch no question. I’m just amazed at how a man that big can be proportioned as well as he is.

17 – Hi Chris:

How is Demetrius Bell looking so far in camp?  Also, should one of the offensive tackles go down, is there any indication at this early stage as to who may be the swing tackle?

Rick Shields

I would like to know who the ‘1’s are currently in practice. I know the depth chart is a fluid thing but reports are that the starting DL at least once was Dareus, Troup and Williams.  Would like to know if that was true?

Steve in Corning

CB: The defensive starters in the team’s base defense are as follows.

DL – Dareus, Williams, Edwards
LBs – Kelsay, Davis, Barnett, Merriman
DBs – McGee, Wilson, Byrd, Florence

Now there are several different subpackages where the personnel groupings are very different and the Bills run a lot of these during the practices, particularly nickel lineups with the offense going 3 wide so often. So that is where some of the misinformation is coming from. Even I made a mistake last week when I thought rookie Da’Norris Searcy was running with the second team defense for a few reps here and there. Actually he’s running with the second team nickel package. I’ll try to come up with an easy way to view the lineups. Maybe I’ll put that together tomorrow here on the blog.

Well folks, that’s all the time I’ve got. I’ve got to still put the Practice Notes together for tonight. Some good performances turned in by Chandler, Donald Jones, Terrence McGee and others. I’ll have it all to you in about an hour. Thanks for participating and hope to do it again real soon.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2011 – 5:16 pm

Here’s the injury update from Friday’s practice.

Justin Rogers, who left practice early sustained an ankle injury. Head coach Chan Gailey provided details.

“He had a little bit of an ankle,” said Gailey. “They took him in to make sure it was alright and wasn’t anything bad. They think it’s just fine.”

Gailey also confirmed that it was in fact a rest day for Shawne Merriman, who did not participate in practice Friday.

Top pick Marcell Dareus rotated in and out of the lineup a lot after turning an ankle in Thursday night’s practice. He got through the practice session Friday even though his ankle was probably not 100 percent.

“He practiced,” Gailey said. “You’re not healthy a lot of the time in this game.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills