Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 12-18

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2009 – 2:51 pm

Since next week’s Fan Friday won’t be up until the afternoon, Merry Christmas everyone. Here’s this week’s edition.
1. Chris,
Just wanted to get your input on what the Bills are doing right now. I think it’s great that they are going after some veteran players to fill the gaps, but I always thought that should of been done b4 or in the beginning of the season. Maybe we wouldn’t be where we are at in the standings. What do you think?
Thanks,
Edward

CB: I too like the recent pursuit of veteran players like Kendall Simmons and this week Richie Incognito. The Bills on the whole still have a very young roster, especially on the offensive line, so sprinkling in some vets that can step right in after a few days of practice is valuable. I think you can definitely make the argument that had more veteran talent been acquired earlier in the season or the offseason to fill the void left by some of the departures, the success on offense might have been better this season.
2. Chris,
 
With a regime change on the horizon, how difficult a transition would it be for the defense to switch to a 3-4. At first glance, it wouldn’t seem to be that difficult (play Kyle Williams on the nose, switch Maybin to OLB and draft McClain or Spikes) but I know there’s more to it than that.  Can it be done without limiting their ability to address other needs?
 
Pete Howell
Fairport

CB: To change to a 3-4 would push back the rebuilding project from 2-3 years to more like 3-4 years. The reason that’s the case is because you’d have to completely overhaul the roster, which is largely made up of smaller, faster players on defense.

Then you have the task of finding enough talent suitable to the 3-4, which is now harder than ever. The reason why is because 13 teams already employ the 3-4 scheme so the competition for players to fit that scheme is greater than ever in both free agency and the draft.

There are too few true two gap nose tackles out there to begin with and when you’re competing with 13 other NFL clubs for that small crop of difference makers, and you’re starting from scratch I think you have to seriously question whether it is the best course to take.
3. Can you give us an update on Eric Wood? I know they say his surgery was a success. But I want to know if, in addition to breaking his Tibia and Fibula, did he sustain any ligament damage? What are his chances of being ready for next season?
Bob

CB: The Bills have yet to provide a prognosis on Wood. I’ve asked, but I’ve been told it’s too soon to determine a concrete prognosis just three weeks after surgery. I saw him here at the facility earlier this week. He’s still in a wheelchair due to the injury, but he told me he’s doing well. He’s already begun the recovery work. I hope to have more on him in the near future so stay tuned.
4. Hi Chris, thanks for taking fan e-mail. Any word on on the Bills’ opponents for next season? Has the NFL addressed that yet?
Thanks,
Suzanne in Austin TX
CB: Yes, the Bills will be playing against their division opponents twice obviously (N.E., NYJ, Miami) as well as the AFC North and the NFC North. Their two intraconference games will be against the AFC South team and the AFC West team that finishes in the same position in their division as the Bills do in the East.

So if the Bills finish fourth in the division, they’ll play the fourth place finisher in the AFC South and AFC West, which right now is a tie between the Texans and Titans and in the West is the Chiefs.

Here’s how it shapes up home and away for 2010.

HOME – Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Detroit, (Houston or Tenn.), N.E., NYJ, Miami
AWAY – Baltimore, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Minnesota, (KC right now), N.E., NYJ, Miami

The schedule as to when they play these opponents will be released in mid-April.
5. Chris:

If you’ve checked the boards lately, you’d know how split the fans are on Tim Tebow. I personally believe the guy’s a playmaker and is something this franchise desperately needs.

What’s your opinion on him and do you think we could see Tebow in a Bills
uniform?

Thanks,

Eric W.
Rochester, NY

CB: I don’t think there’s any debate that Tim Tebow is a winner. His leadership and other intangibles are off the charts. But with the expert scouts I’ve talked to the past year or so, most believe he is not a full time QB at the NFL level. Many believe that his entire throwing mechanics would have to be rebuilt from the ground up.

Furthermore I’m not confident his arm strength is sufficient to succeed in the wind that exists in Buffalo late in the season. I’d love to have Tim Tebow on my team. I’m just not certain I’d want him at QB.


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Incognito all but a lock to start

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2009 – 9:51 am

With Kendall Simmons becoming the 16th player to go on I-R today, it’s a virtual lock that recently acquired Richie Incognito will start at right guard for the Bills on Sunday.

Incognito got all the first team reps at right guard Thursday, his first day of practice with the club, while Simmons watched practice as a non-participant. Now a day later his season is over paving the way for the fifth-year cast off of the Rams to take the field with his new teammates Sunday.

“It’s not going to be hard getting up for the Patriots,” Incognito told Buffalobills.com Thursday. “I also heard it’s a good crowd up here. I’m excited.”

Incognito’s presence in the starting lineup, should it come to pass Sunday will give Buffalo’s it’s eighth different starting offensive line combination this season.


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Owens absent

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2009 – 12:11 pm

Bills WR Terrell Owens was not at practice Thursday during the media viewing portion of the workout.

Interim head coach Perry Fewell is expected to address Owens’ absence after practice is over.

In attendance, but not practicing were G Kendall Simmons and OT Jonathan Scott. WR Justin Jenkins appeared to be limited.


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Practice update

Posted by Chris Brown on December 16, 2009 – 12:07 pm

The Bills roster looks relatively healthy, but once again there are some offensive linemen that were not participating in practice Wednesday.

Jonathan Scott and Kendall Simmons are not practicing today. We’ll have a full update following practice from interim head coach Perry Fewell when he addresses the media in his weekly press conference.


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Simmons expected to start

Posted by Chris Brown on November 29, 2009 – 7:51 am

Bills newly signed guard Kendall Simmons has spent all of five days with his new linemates, but it’s apparently enough to convince Buffalo’s offensive staff that he’s ready to start against the Dolphins today.

The seven-year veteran is expected to start at right guard in place of rookie Eric Wood, who suffered a season ending injury last week against Jacksonville when he broke both the tibia and fibula in his left leg in a horrific looking sequence that ultimately required surgery.

Simmons is eager to make his first start since Sept. 29, 2008.

“I’m as ready as I’m going to be,” Simmons told Buffalobills.com. “I really have to give credit to Kirk (Chambers) and Geoff (Hangartner). They’ve helped to direct me on any plays where I might be unsure pre-snap and that’s allowed me to play more and think less.”

Though a veteran player, Simmons is still translating all of the new terminology of Buffalo’s offensive scheme, but with two vets on either side of him, with Chambers expected to start at right tackle and Hangartner at center, Simmons believes he will be able to act and react instead of hesitate due to indecision.


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Simmons jersey number

Posted by Chris Brown on November 25, 2009 – 11:52 am

Kendall Simmons is wearing jersey number 71.

Practice squad DT Lonnie Harvey is 98 and OT Jason Watkins is 66.


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G Simmons a welcome addition

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2009 – 12:36 pm

With the Bills supremely shorthanded at the guard position signing Kendall Simmons Tuesday might have been the best they could possibly do to re-fortify the position.

Simmons has 80 starts under his belt in his eight-year career and a veteran is far more ready to step in if needed and play effectively.

In all likelihood the starting guards this week will be Levitre at LG and Kirk Chambers at RG. Whether Simmons factors in as a possible starter in the weeks to come remains to be seen.

Talking to him yesterday, I asked him about his Achilles injury from just over a year ago and he said he’s completely recovered as evidenced by his passing the team’s physical on Tuesday.


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Thumbnail sketch on G Simmons

Posted by Chris Brown on March 3, 2009 – 2:49 pm

With all the player visits over the weekend the one that got lost in the shuffle was guard Kendall Simmons. Coming off successful Achilles surgery after suffering the injury in the first month of last season, Simmons is definitely on track to participate in training camp. As for spring workouts that’s something that likely would be determined through examination.

The report I got on him from a couple of people in the know in Pittsburgh is that he’s a solid player, good teammate, great human being and his name will never show up in the police blotter. He’s not an all-world player, but he’s a dependable guard that gets the job done.

Some of those I spoke with in Pittsburgh even think he was overpaid in his last contract, which was about $5M per season. Coming off Achilles surgery, provided he proves he’s healthy, I’d think the Bills could get him for less than that. Especially since his former teammate Chris Kemoeatu only got $4M per season.


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G Kemoeatu sets market for guards

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2009 – 9:49 pm

With Pittsburgh FA G Chris Kemoeatu re-signing with the Steelers (5yrs, $20M) he’s effectively set the market for guards in free agency. Kemoeatu was considered by some to be the best guard in the free agent pool, so other guards may not get much more than that, which is good news for the Bills.

Jets FA G Brandon Moore could conceivably be had for around $4M per season, which is considerably less than what Dockery’s average annual payout was, at least on the cap ($7M).

It also means that Kendall Simmons chances of going back to Pittsburgh are that much less likely.


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Four FAs scheduled to visit today

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2009 – 2:57 pm

Bills COO Russ Brandon said on 97 Rock (radio) this morning that four free agents are scheduled to visit One Bills Drive today. NY Jets WR Laveranues Coles, Cincinnati QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Carolina G/C Geoff Hangartner and Pittsburgh G Kendall Simmons.

As you all know free agent plans can change in a moment so stay tuned to the home page of Buffalobills.com as we will confirm the visits as they happen.

Simmons is the only player coming off a major injury. He ruptured his Achilles tendon in Week 4 last season and was put on injured reserve. If he does in fact make it out to One Bills Drive today, we’ll get an update on his health provided he’s made available for an interview.


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