Inside The Bills

Levi Jones finally has a home

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2009 – 6:55 pm

Free agent OT Levi Jones finally found work in the NFL after being released by the Bengals this past offseason.

Jones signed with the Redskins, whose offense is in need of some help. They’ve suffered a few injuries on their offensive line as well.


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Levi Jones works out for Packers

Posted by Chris Brown on September 29, 2009 – 3:37 pm

According to NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora, the Packers worked out free agent OT Levi Jones.

The workout happened on Monday as they need help at right tackle where Allen Barbre has struggled and LT Chad Clifton has been nicked up with injuries.

He has a list of some other free agents that have workouts scheduled today.


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Fan Friday 9-11

Posted by Chris Brown on September 11, 2009 – 10:31 pm

Couple of days before the opener. Monday night should be electric.

1. Hey Chris,
Since the release of Walker, have the bills attempted to contact Levi Jones?
Thanks, Ryan

CB: To my knowledge at this point (Friday afternoon) no there has not been contact with Levi Jones representatives. Jones has been a popular name among the Bills fan base. But he’s been sticking to an asking price that’s been considered far too high for any NFL team to stomach. Being an injury risk as well doesn’t help his cause.

 

2. What made Ryan Denney more valuable than Copeland Bryan to our team? I’m speaking for dozens of barber shop analysts and bloggers I’ve encountered throughout the offseason, who praised the play of Bryan, and incorrectly assumed he’d contributed more than enough last season and this pre-season to earn a role on the Bills.
Thanks, Grownmango

CB: I think the Copeland Bryan decision was the most difficult on the entire roster. Bryan at age 26 still has some upside and Buffalo has some veteran ends that they chose to keep. That’s never an easy call. The coaching staff obviously felt that Denney, who was coming off a career season in ’08, was a better option as a rotational defender in Buffalo’s scheme.

True, Bryan might be a better pass rusher than Denney, but Denney has the better overall game. He can defend the run, bat down passes and kick inside to tackle in passing situations. I think it was Denney’s versatility that made him the pick for the coaching staff over Bryan.

 

3. Hey Chris,
If the regular season is as exciting with production, as the preseason was with regard to changes, then we’re in for a quite a ride! It really appears that the coaches are gung-ho with this no-huddle offense, so it made perfect sense to replace Walker with a younger more athletic and fit.

Demetrius Bell should be able to keep up with a hurried pace, and who can pull on some sweeps and run various screens without calling for oxygen.

My question is Chris, how has this offensive line fared against our own defensive line in practice? And do you think the defensive coaches and players believe that the new kids can get the job done based on how they’ve performed against Stroud and company?
Die hard Bills fan,
AJ66

CB: Unfortunately during the regular season we’re not allowed to watch the team portions of practice so as to protect game plan formations and plays for that week’s opponent. So we don’t really have an opportunity to watch the newly assembled offensive line against the first team defense or the scout team for that matter. Usually during the regular season the offense goes against the scout team defense more than anything else to prepare for that week’s opponent.

 

4. Hey Chris,

I saw that Buffalo traded Ko Simpson last week to Detroit. What did Buffalo get in exchange for Simpson?
Thanks, Brad D. London, ON

CB: An undisclosed draft pick in 2010. We probably won’t find out what round that pick was in until the draft draws closer in April. Dick Jauron told me that depth at safety is what made Simpson expendable.

5. Why did the Bills release Langston Walker? Seems like a very bizarre move, no?
Matt S.

CB: I think the timing of the move was surprising, but it was complicated by Demetrius Bell’s back injury. This was a move the staff wanted to make a few weeks ago, but once Bell was injured it was put on hold until they knew he’d be ready for the opener.

Walker was released because he failed to meet expectations over on the left side. His less than gung-ho attitude about taking on the challenge of playing on the left side also was a factor in my opinion.


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Levi Jones won’t sign until after camps start

Posted by Chris Brown on July 21, 2009 – 11:14 am

Looks like free agent OT Levi Jones will not sign with an NFL team until after training camps are open.

That according to his agent per the Arizona Republic. Jones’ agent confirmed to that paper that the Cardinals are interested in Jones, but do not want to pay him starter money.

“They (the Cardinals) wanted to sign him a while ago but it’s not in his best interest unless the contract they gave him guarantees that he would be paid commensurate with how much he was going to play,” his agent Ken Zuckerman told the Arizona Republic.

The Jones camp believes he deserves starter money, since he’s probably good enough in their eyes to be a starter on several NFL teams.

But with no team ready to promise that, Jones has decided to bide his time and wait for a training camp injury at the tackle position when his value on the market will be significantly increased.


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Levi Jones still looking

Posted by Chris Brown on July 20, 2009 – 3:03 pm

This offseason there’s been a lot of Bills’ fan interest in Bengals cast off Levi Jones. But an NFC team still appears to be his most consistent pursuer.

The Arizona Cardinals have maintained a dialogue with Jones, according to ESPN’s Len Pasquarelli. The Cardinals have been mildly “interested” since April, when Jones stated he would like to play for Arizona.

The interest on Jones’ part makes sense. He played his college ball at Arizona State. But you have to believe if he was willing to play for the veteran minimum, or was willing to accept a reserve role if he was unable to win a starting job he would have signed by now.

All indications are his asking price is still too high and that he wants a starting gig. What teams are worried about are his knee problems the past three seasons which has made his availability on Sundays anything but consistent.

Don’t expect the Bills to consider him as an option unless there’s a major injury at the tackle position at camp, or if their original plans at tackle are not panning out the way they hope.


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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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OT Levi Jones cut

Posted by Chris Brown on May 6, 2009 – 5:12 pm

As expected the Bengals parted ways with veteran OT Levi Jones. The former first-round pick is 29-years old and has been beset with injuries each of the past three years. That’s why the Bengals did not get any takers when he was offered in a trade. But now the risk is reduced as any NFL team can make him what they feel is a suitable offer.

Personally I think it’s a worthwhile option for the Bills. At 29 he should have a few good years left in him. Obviously a full physical will have to confirm that for any NFL team. If he checks out though he’d be a solid veteran addition.


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