Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 3-29

Posted by Chris Brown on March 29, 2013 – 11:32 am

The NFL draft is less than a month away so keep the questions coming at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills. Here’s the latest edition for you loyal Bills fans.

1 - Chris,

One guy that seemed to stick out to me while watching the combine is Mark Harrison.  Wondering what your thoughts are on him and where he is projected to go round wise.  Thanks for all you do!

Geoff

CB: Harrison is a great physical talent at 6’3” and 231 pounds. The fact that he runs a 4.37 40 will get him a look from teams, especially after bouncing back from a down junior year. His numbers this past season still weren’t quite as good as his sophomore season when there was a lot more receiving talent around him. Harrison is probably a day 3 pick based on his physical skills alone even though his hands looked more reliable in 2012 than in 2011.

 

2 – Chris,

It seems the Bills have preached that they’ve made progress over the last few years.   I am having trouble seeing that.  It looks as though the Bills needs are many:
G
QB
2 WR’s
TE
DE
ILB
OLB
2 CB’s
S depth
With all of these needs in mind and only 6 draft picks, do see the Bills being competitive in 2013?   
-Jim

CB: I don’t disagree that there are several holes to still fill. At the same time the quality of the talent on this roster is pretty good (think – D-line, safety, OT). Part of that is due to the people they chose to part ways with (Donald Jones, David Nelson) and older players that either retired or will not be retained for the future. You’re right with six picks Buffalo has to do some plugging in free agency.

I think they’ll do a bit more work in free agency prior to the draft and then post-draft they’ll see where some positional needs still lie and plug in some bargain free agents presumably on one and two-year contracts.

3 – Chris,

With the Bills having only 6 picks in this year’s NFL draft, and players who fit like Tyler Wilson, Ryan Nassib and Manti Teo most likely being available in the late 1st or early 2nd round, do you think that they might trade back in the 1st round with their #8 pick to gain extra draft picks? That would seem to make sense – if Buddy Nix is willing.

LeeD

CB: I think trading down is a realistic possibility only if their top graded quarterback is off the board. Bills GM Buddy Nix would like to have more than six picks. Moving down from eight is the only way to do that, but landing a quarterback of the future likely trumps everything.

 

4 – Hey Chris,

Just wondering, what’s up with Marcel Dareus? I understand that he plays through pain, both physical and emotional (considering his brother’s death), however I just can’t help but think that he has not lived up to expectations as a number three overall pick. Considering the bevy of talent that was available that year, it really baffles me that he isn’t living up to his draft spot or to his draft class. Your thoughts?

Mike in Buffalo

CB:
I think last year was a lost year for Dareus. He lost his brother after the first regular season game in a tragic act of violence. His brother was just 19. Even though Dareus lost his dad when he was 6, his grandmother at age 13, his high school coach at age 18, his mom at age 20 and his best friend from high school at 21, this latest loss may have topped them all. All that loss and just 23-years of age, I’m willing to give him a pass for the 2012 season.

I just don’t think his head was in the game and how could it be? Anyone that has to experience all that is probably wondering what he did to deserve all that hardship. Hopefully he can come back and re-focus under a new staff and be the upbeat guy he has always been despite a very difficult hand that’s been dealt to him concerning his family.

 

5 – Hi Chris  

Do you worry about Dion Jordan being another Aaron Maybin?  Also it’s great the Bills front office is upfront with fans about needing a quarterback but not at the expense of other teams knowing and using that against us.  How do you see Mike Pettine’s defense set up with our personnel?  Can we run a 3 -4?  We have a lot of D lineman.   

Thanks – Travis

CB: I understand the concern. Seeing him at the NFL Combine, he looks like a swingman for a basketball team. The difference is Jordan has more of a college resume than Maybin, who had one-year of starting experience and came out as a redshirt sophomore. Jordan’s body is more mature, though he is coming of a torn labrum in his shoulder. I also think the one thing Jordan has that Maybin did not was instinct. Maybin was a hard worker, but did not seem to have the football acumen to anticipate and diagnose plays. The word on Jordan is that he does, which is why he’s seen as a top 10 pick.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-8

Posted by Chris Brown on March 8, 2013 – 1:21 pm

Pro days are underway and free agency is up next. Here’s the latest edition of your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - Dear Chris,

Many so-called experts are calling for a new middle linebacker to replace Kelvin Sheppard.  He seems to be an NFL talent.  If a new MLB is brought in, do you see Sheppard playing the weak side linebacker position or a second inside linebacker position if the Bills are in a 3-4 defense?  Thanks.

Neil from Jamestown, NY
CB: I would anticipate Sheppard to be a primary candidate to be one of the two inside backers in any 3-4 looks the Bills defense figures to employ. As for how things work in any 4-3 looks remains to be seen. I’m not sure Sheppard would stay on the field in nickel situations. He didn’t last year when it was Nick Barnett and Bryan Scott serving as the nickel LBs.

Linebackers with coverage ability are more coveted than ever in a league that leans more and more to the passing game. Buffalo will be looking for more of them both inside and outside at linebacker.

 

2 – Chris,

I was wondering what are the chances the Bills go after recently released Receiver Titus Young? I know usually we don’t take chances on players that may cause issues despite their talent, but Titus Young is still a young and very talented receiver with allot of upside. I think taking a chance is worth it, especially because it seems as if Doug Marrone is a player’s coach. We desperately need talent in our receiving core alongside Stevie. I personally don’t believe Donald Jones would make the roster of more than 3/4′s the NFL’s teams, let alone be the second option. Titus could really help as the number 2 man and fill a void that has needed to be filled. What do you think? Thanks,

Anthony Marasco

CB: Young is too much of a personality headache. For a new head coach trying to establish a program and approach to success, Doug Marrone doesn’t need a problem player like Young no matter how talented he is. Marrone and his staff are going to be presented enough challenges as a first-year staff, they don’t need to add to the pile with a player that bought himself a ticket off the Lions roster by being a horrible teammate.

 

3 – Chris,

Is Glennon or Wilson worth the 8th pick or do you see them taking a much needed LB and maybe one of the Top 5 QBs in the draft might be there in round two. Or do the Bills use the first 3 rounds to better the Defense and get a QB in free agency?

CB: I think it’s safe to say that the pickings are slim in free agency at QB so either their first or second round pick will need to address quarterback. I don’t see Glennon or Wilson as a top 10 pick, but I’m no scout. I believe both will be heavier considerations in round 2 or 3. I think if there’s a QB the Bills like at 8 they’ll take one, otherwise they’ll take the best defensive player available. If there isn’t a top defensive talent they believe is fitting of the eighth pick and the QB they like is gone I think they look to move back.

Improving the defense will be a focus, but I think they might try to reduce those needs in free agency to reduce the to-do list in the draft knowing they have just six picks.

 

4 – Chris,

I would like your perspective if Buddy should draft a WR or LB with the first pick and then trade back into the late Rd 1 to get a QB still on the board before teams like ARI, KC, PHI, NYJ can grab one. Also assuming that there might even be a possibility that R. Nassib could still be there.? Nix did say that what the Bengals did to get A.J Green and Dalton changed their franchise… Mainly would he be willing to trade back into Rd 1? 

Secondly, I think we need to lock up C.J. Spiller before he hits free agency and so we don’t have to use a franchise tag. Couldn’t the Bills be doing that already this offseason? Why do we need to wait another year when he is only going to get better and we are going to have to pay him more?
 
Thanks Chris!
Dan in CA

CB: I’m a little reluctant to take a WR in round one at 8, primarily because I think there are only a couple of first round worthy receivers in the entire draft, and one of them is a risk in Patterson due to a lack of a college resume (one year of production). If you’re picking a receiver eighth overall he should be able to help right away. I’m not sure Patterson is an immediate impact guy, which is what Buffalo needs.

Second, wide receiver has the highest miss rate in terms of position in round one. That according to ESPN NFL analyst Bill Polian who has done studies on it.

Buddy Nix only has a short draft history here in Buffalo, but he likes to let the draft board come to him rather than seek out trades and be active in moving up and down the board. However, this year I think one of two things could happen.

The Bills either move down from 8 (as I stated above) if a QB they like or a defensive player fitting of value at eight isn’t there anymore or they try to move into the bottom of round one from round two.

As for Nassib I think he’s going to be a late riser and find his way into the bottom of round one.

Finally Spiller still has two years left on his rookie deal. They can wait until this time next year to address an extension.

 

5 -  Chris, 

What is the bigger need inside or outside LB? How will the positions be used in the new hybrid system? Could prospects like Te’o and Ogletree play inside or outside?

CB: I’d tend to think the two spots are equally in need of additional talent. Sheppard is capable of playing one of the inside linebacker spots in a 3-4 front. Nigel Bradham is one of the few viable OLB candidates on the roster.

I think we’ve got to wait and see what defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has in mind with respect to the multiple scheme he plans to employ.

Te’o is strictly an inside linebacker. Ogletree is capable of playing both inside and outside.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Te’o surprised he didn’t run 4.6

Posted by Chris Brown on February 26, 2013 – 2:08 pm

Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o was a polarizing figure at the NFL Combine, but he was not satisfied with his workout on the field Monday, particularly his 40 time.

“I was running near a 4.6, a 4.5,” Te’o told NFL Network after clocking a 4.82. “It was just a long, long day. I am just going to go and keep training and make sure when my pro day comes, I am running those numbers.”

When asked what to expect on Notre Dame’s pro day, Te’o sounded determined

“I want to run my 40, I want to get after it, be with my teammates,” he said. “I am going to have a lot of teammates over there competing as well. Yes, I will have energy going, it will be a family reunion thing. People can expect better numbers. I will be rested. One day you hit it hard and then you are done.”

Notre Dame’s pro day is set for March 26th.

 


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Best LB bench marks

Posted by Chris Brown on February 25, 2013 – 10:19 am

Here’s a rundown of the best bench press rep counts for the linebackers at the NFL Combine this morning.

OLB Cornelius Washington – Georgia – 36
OLB Sio Moore – UCONN – 29
ILB Michael Mauti - Penn State – 28
OLB Zaviar Gooden – Missouri – 27
OLB Jelani Jenkins – Florida – 27
ILB John Lotulelei – UNLV – 25
ILB Kevin Minter – LSU – 25
OLB Etienne Sabino – Ohio State – 24
ILB Kevin Reddick – North Carolina – 23
ILB Jonathan Bostic – Florida – 22
OLB Sam Barrington – So. Florida – 22
OLB Gerald Hodges – Penn State - 22
OLB Sean Porter – Texas A&M – 22

Georgia LB Alec Ogletree had 20 reps on the bench. Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o did not bench.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Barkley backing friend Te’o

Posted by Chris Brown on February 24, 2013 – 8:34 am

USC QB Matt Barkley’s Trojans fell to Manti Te’o’s Notre Dame squad late last season vaulting the Irish into the National Championship game as they completed an undefeated regular season. But a friendship that started before college has the quarterback fully backing the linebacker who has endured a firestorm of media scrutiny in the wake of his hoax online relationship.

“I’ve known Manti since high school. We’re good buddies,” said Barkley. “We’ve stayed in touch all the way through school. We’re were training together in Florida. He’s handled this whole situation, I think, better than anyone could’ve. I love him, and he’ll have a great career.”

Te’o effectively navigated a 15-minute question and answer session with the media Saturday and came across as a genuine person that was brought up on old school values and his trust and naivete led to an embarrassing situation.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Ogletree trying to move forward

Posted by Chris Brown on February 23, 2013 – 6:09 pm

Georgia LB Alec Ogletree is a consensus top 10 talent, but his off the field transgressions could have an impact on where he comes off the board. At the NFL Combine Saturday, Ogletree addressed his arrest for suspected DUI last month and his school-imposed four game drug suspension in 2011.

“I’m a good person at heart,” he said. “Everybody makes mistakes and I feel really bad about the situation, but I’m learning from it and I’m moving forward.”

When asked if he’s worried about how his off the field issues could affect his draft stock Ogletree wasn’t sure. 

“I don’t know what it’s going to do, but I feel bad about it,” he said. “I’m really sorry about it, but I just have to move forward and take whatever I get.”

Bills GM Buddy Nix addressed the issues facing Manti T’eo and Ogletree earlier this week.

“We’re evalutating them as football players first and if there’s something habitual and continuous with their conduct then we’d take it into consideration,” Nix said. “But at this point we don’t take anyone off our board.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Te’o ready to talk football, not scandal

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 23, 2013 – 4:20 pm

Since the internet scandal involving Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o exploded five weeks ago, all the Te’o talk has focused on the scandal–the revelation concerning an imaginary girlfriend who passed away last fall.

At the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Te’o is busy reminding teams that he can play well enough to be regarded a first round draft pick in April..

Te’o met the media at the combine Saturday afternoon for 15 minutes at Lucas Oil Stadium. And he said he’s got a lot to offer an NFL team that chooses him in two months.

“What I bring to the table is a lot of heart, a lot of energy and somebody who works hard,” Te’o said. “Somebody who hates to lose. I hate losing more than I love to win. The reason why I love to win, is that I don’t have to go to that feeling of losing.”

“For the teams, I always tell them you’ll get somebody who’s humble, works hard, doesn’t say much, and will do everything it takes to win,” he added.

Te’o says he’s been asked about the internet hoax by every team he’s interviewed with so far. And he understands why the teams would ask.

“They want to be able to trust the player,” he said. “You don’t want to invest in somebody you can’t trust. With everybody here, they’re just trying to get to know you, as a person and a football player. I understand where they’re coming from.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Nix on T’eo

Posted by Chris Brown on February 23, 2013 – 3:32 pm

Notre Dame LB Manti T’eo faced the music at the NFL Combine about his very embarrassing fictitious online relationship. As far as Bills GM Buddy Nix is concerned it won’t affect what they think about T’eo as a player.

“We evaluate that guy as a football player and that’s the way we’re going to do it,” said Nix. “That situation will probably be mentioned and we’ll let him explain it. But if he’s a good enough player, he made a mistake, it’s not like he’s a criminal. That wouldn’t affect us. He’s a good player. He’s a guy that can come in early and help you. He’s a three down player.” 

T’eo has been mocked to the Bills in a couple of draft prognostications with the eighth overall pick.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Te’o to talk with 20 teams at combine

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 23, 2013 – 3:22 pm

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o is trying to focus on football, as he makes his way through the NFL combine weekend. But Saturday afternoon, he spent 15-minutes answering questions from the media, about his controversial phony girlfriend, the internet hoax that he claimed victimized him last fall.

Te’o says he’s already met with the Packers and the Texans, with 18-more teams on his interview schedule this weekend in Indianapolis. He said the highly publicized hoax has been discussed with the teams.

“They all just want to hear from me what the truth was,” Te’o told the news conference. “They haven’t really said anything about it affecting me. Some guys just, we just briefly describe it for about thirty seconds, and the next 14-minutes is just all plays, and getting down to business. That’s how I prefer it to be.”

The Buffalo Bills have already said they’ve got Te’o on their list of 60-combine interviews this week in Indy.


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Buddy on players’ off the field issues

Posted by Chris Brown on February 21, 2013 – 2:08 pm

Linebacker is a position of need for the Bills this offseason, and a couple of the more highly regarded prospects have off the field concerns. Bills GM Buddy Nix was asked if such a player would be taken off of Buffalo’s board completely.

Appearing on WGR Sportsradio 550 Thursday morning by phone from Indianapolis, Nix said Manti T’eo and Alec Ogletree, who was arrested for suspected DUI last month, will not be taken off their draft board at this point.

“We’re still evaluating that process. We’re evaluating them as football players first and if there’s something habitual and continuous with their conduct then we’d take it into consideration,” said Nix. “But at this point we don’t take anyone off our board.”

Ogletree also served a school-imposed four-game drug suspension while at Georgia.


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T’eo talks with Combine approaching

Posted by Chris Brown on February 18, 2013 – 11:01 pm

He did his TV interview with Katie Couric, now with the NFL Combine just days away Notre Dame LB Manti T’eo spoke with USA Today about what his plans are for the workouts and more importantly the team interviews in Indianapolis.

“I have to just go out there and perform and all that other stuff is behind me,” he told USA TODAY Sports between workouts at IMG Academy Monday. “What I did on the field is what I did on the field. I don’t think what I did with this whole situation, I don’t understand how it takes away from what I did on the field.

“As far as my stock dropping or rising, that’s not up to me. The only thing I have to do is just do well, run fast, just be myself, be quick.”

ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper agrees. A fast 40 time would help solidify his stock in round one.

“I think how far he will drop depends upon what he runs,” said Kiper. “If he runs a great 40 time then he’s back in that top 10 to 12 discussion. I have him right now at 13 to Tampa Bay. The 40 time is the most important thing. Teams have said to me on numerous occasions it’s what he runs.

“Even though he had seven interceptions and he lost weight and increased his agility and coverage skills this year, what he runs is going to determine if he’s an every down linebacker. Whether he goes 13 to Tampa Bay or drops to the 20’s. Keep in mind Baltimore they have Ray Lewis retiring and have a hole at ILB. Plenty of other teams in the first will look at T’eo. I’ve got him mid-first round right now.”

T’eo has pledged to remain true to the person he has always been according to the USA Today piece and still trust people as he always has while being more cautious. He hopes that comes through in his interviews with NFL clubs later this week.

“I just want them to know, whoever picks me just let them know that you’re choosing someone who loves the game,” Te’o said. “I want to be the best at it. It’s because of my work ethic that I’ve come this far.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-8

Posted by Chris Brown on February 8, 2013 – 1:41 pm

Here’s the latest edition of Fan Friday with your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at ChrisBrownBills as we touch on free agency, the draft and some Bills players rehabbing from surgeries and their progress.

1 – Hi Chris,

My question is about the Bills pick in the first round. Do you see the Bills taking T’eo, I think that T’eo would fit in with the Bills defense next season? Because we got a healthy Mark Anderson coming back, plus, Mario Williams if not do you think that the bills might go after Ryan Nassib from Syracuse? If not one of them then who do you think the bills might take in the first round?

Thanks for all the work you guys do
Chris
CB: I think a lot of the direction the Bills choose to take in the first round of the draft will hinge on what acquisitions are made in free agency. Te’o is an interesting case. He was a playmaker in college, but so was Paul Posluszny. That production and playmaking ability did not carry over to the NFL game. I’m no scout, but I wonder if Te’o is not the same kind of linebacker. Obviously how he times at the Combine will say a lot about whether he’d be a true sideline to sideline player at the NFL level. His lack of playmaking against Alabama was eye opening against top college talent. Knowing that he’ll be facing comparable and better talent in the league makes me wonder about his long range potential. And if there’s that kind of doubt among scouts I think he goes late first round, not top 10.

2 – Chris,

As free agency approaches it’s clear the Bills will want to retain Byrd and Levitre.  However, isn’t Spiller going to demand more if he stays the course, and wouldn’t it be in the Bills best interest to extend him now rather than later?  In addition, has Marrone made any indication on the status of Ryan Fitzpatrick, as I’m one of the few that would rather have him while prepping another quarterback.

Thanks,
Dave Faber

CB: Spiller still has two years left on his contract. I think in due time the Bills will make sure he’s extended to ensure his future with the club, but players like Byrd and Levitre are far more pressing in nature with them set to hit the market in just over a month if they’re not re-signed. So at the earliest I would expect Spiller to possibly be addressed next offseason.

3 – Good Day Chris,

I have not heard much from the Bills this season about the Tarvaris Jackson trade / signing.  Has anyone at One Bills Drive talked about his addition to the team in 2012 and what progress he might have made during the season?  If I understand correctly, he is a free agent soon and I wonder if the Bills have any plans to extend his contract?  Especially given the draft pick they needed to give up getting him.  It would be a shame to let him walk now with 1 less pick come the draft this year.  

Best Regards,
Brad
Fonthill, ON

CB: It’s hard to ascertain at this point whether there are plans to retain Jackson for 2013. You’re right he will be an unrestricted free agent. What is working in Jackson’s favor concerning the new coaching staff is prior to coming to the Bills this past season the only offensive system he knew was the West Coast offense, or some variation thereof.

Knowing Nathaniel Hackett’s offense is rooted with West Coast principles he is at least well versed in a lot of the concepts that Buffalo’s offense would presumably run.

Is that enough to interest Buffalo’s offensive staff in re-signing him to their roster? That remains to be seen.

4 - Chris,
Any news on how Torell Troup’s recovery is progressing?  I want to see him in our rotation next year.

John MacGaffick

CB: Hopefully you saw our write up on Troup’s Battle Back this week on Buffalobills.com. Troup is finally back to normal and two arduous years of back problems. He’s still rehabbing now, but expected to be ready to roll for OTAs in the spring.

5 – Hi Chris,

Thank you for answering our questions. It’s very helpful. Can you please explain players who are signed as reserve/future players?

Bob Hammond

CB: Typically they’re players that served the previous season on the team’s practice squad. In order to retain those players NFL clubs have a week to sign them to a future free agent contract. Teams can also sign players from other practice squad units if they’re not re-signed by their former club, or a player that joined the team as a signee in the second half of the season (after 10th regular season game) with one accrued NFL season of credit or less can be signed as a future free agents.

It’s essentially a category for rookie or first-year players that clubs want to retain and see how they develop from their practice squads.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Te’o shuts down Twitter account

Posted by Chris Brown on February 6, 2013 – 2:04 pm

He reportedly did it at a time when no one was paying attention. According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o deleted his Twitter account on Super Bowl Sunday.

Per the report, Te’o made the decision to focus on his NFL draft preparation. A source told Rovell that Te’o will be off of Twitter for “an indefinite period of time.” Accounts on Twitter can be re-activated.

Te’o is still widely forecast as a first round pick for April’s draft. He’ll be at the NFL Combine where it’s expected he’ll meet with the media. Buffalobills.com will have full coverage of the NFL Combine beginning on Thursday, Feb. 21st.


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Bills’ Doug Whaley on Manti Te’O

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 24, 2013 – 9:30 am

teo-cp

While much of the football world, and much of America for that matter, is following the Manti Te’O situation with heightened anticipation, it seems like the Buffalo Bills are sitting back, waiting for the dust to settle, and then moving forward to evaluate Te’O as a football player first.

Bills Assistant GM Doug Whaley talked about the Notre Dame linebacker Wednesday night, during an appearance on The John Murphy Show from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Te’O is embroiled in a controversy regarding a non-existent girlfriend whom he talked about last fall, indicating that she had passed away.

But the Bills are first and foremost interested in learning more about Te’O as a player.

“We always say you grade the player as a football player,” Whaley told host John Murphy. “All the off field stuff, we’ll decide on that when we sit down with Russ and Buddy and see how that guy’s character would affect him being a Buffalo Bill. You don’t want to discount his talent because of his character, because if you do that, you start putting guys that are less talented above him. That’s why we want to make sure as a player we get him right.”

Whaley had high praise for Te’O as a player, despite his struggles in the BCS Championship game against Alabama earlier this month.

“I think he’s a productive guy that has made some plays to win some games,” Whaley said. “Everybody says he had a bad game against Alabama. It’s tough to play against that level. But against Southern Cal, to get them to the National Championship, that goal line stand, he was an integral part of that. The interception to win the game at Oklahoma, he made that play. Michigan State–another interception.”

“He’s a playmaker. We’d like to get his exact measurables, height, weight, etc. And I think another big thing for him will be his forty time at the combine.”

The entire interview with Doug Whaley is available on The John Murphy Show podcast on BuffaloBills.com, or by listening above.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-18

Posted by Chris Brown on January 19, 2013 – 5:11 pm

Hey Bills fans, sorry for the delay. We had a publishing failure for Fan Friday. Here is the latest edition of your questions straight from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and Twitter @ChrisBrownBills. Let’s get to them.

1 - Hi Chris,
Just wondering if you could address the Pro Bowl alternates rules and procedure. I know many players end up “making” the Pro Bowl as injured players bow out, but is there also a roster spot that the head coach gets to fill with whomever he chooses? (If so, wouldn’t you choose Byrd or Spiller with that? I would!)

Thanks,
Go Bills!
Greg Campbell

CB: To my knowledge alternates are selected based on who got the next most votes from players and coaches. So team coaches do not get to choose. For example, Calvin Johnson pulled out of the Pro Bowl and replacing him was 1st alternate Vincent Jackson. Jackson was next up because he got the next most votes.

FYI C.J. Spiller confirmed he’s a 1st alternate for the AFC on the John Murphy Show last week.
2 – Chris,

What are the early scouting reports saying about Tyler Wilson and E.J.Manuel? I think the Bills need an accurate quarterback above all else and these two might fit that mold. They may not have the biggest ceilings, but I like what I saw from them this season. Can they fit in any scheme?

Thanks,
Josh

CB: I think it’s safe to say that Wilson has the arm strength to fit in any scheme, and he has shown the ability to make good decisions on the fly in terms of manipulating the pocket to buy time, throwing a receiver open, etc. But only the guys that scout these QBs for a living know for sure.

With respect to Manuel there is no debating his physical tools, but his decision making is what pops up as a criticism among NFL scouts. Against the better defenses he faced Manuel struggled with his decision making.

Fortunately for Manuel he’ll be able to go against some of the best college competition next week at the Senior Bowl along with Wilson and you can draw your own conclusions.

3 – Chris, 

Thanks for all the latest info, I look forward to fan Friday every week.  My question has to do with our upcoming pick in the NFL draft. 

Have you had any indication that we are seriously considering Mike Glennon with the first round pick?  This guy is the real deal!  I might be jumping the gun a bit, but this guy looks like he has Tom Brady/Aaron Rodgers type potential.  Most draft scouts have him rated as a 2-3 round pick… But I really doubt any die hard bills fan will regret “reaching” and taking a chance on a potential franchise QB.  The time is now!

He doesn’t have Geno Smith type stats; however, he rarely got to experience much time in the pocket and when he did, the receivers would drop a large amount of catchable passes.  Even when they were perfect throws.

I’m hoping the Bills have been scouting this guy since last year and that is one of the reasons buddy was so comfortable taking TJ Graham so high in last year’s draft.

I’ve heard all the buddy nix interviews and he has expressed interest in getting a QB if he is there… I want to know what you think they will do? As you can tell, I’m pumped about this offseason.  Unfortunately, the offseason has been the best part of being a Bills fan for a long time.

Thanks again and keep up the great work.

Bills fan in Dallas TX,
-Bill O

CB: First of all if you think that Buddy Nix or any member of his personnel staff reveals their true leanings with respect to prospects in the draft you’re crazy. It’s full lockdown mode with the personnel department this time of year and you can understand why.

Glennon is highly touted in what is considered a down year for quarterbacks. He’s got a great arm and yes you’re right his offensive line was not great. Mobility is an issue, but he’s got experience in a pro system. Buddy Nix at the end of the season on his radio show didn’t deny he was a guy they’ve looked at.

Truthfully though they’ve looked at all the quarterback prospects that are worth their salt. So read into it what you want. The bottom line is Nix has said they’d like to draft a future franchise QB. The question is will the draft fall or the Bills make a move to ensure that happens?

4 –  Hey Chris,

I know it’s early I’m looking at the top end of the draft I’m not liking the quarterbacks or the idea of drafting another defensive lineman, would they draft another tackle and maybe put Cordy Glenn on the right side or is there a wide receiver worth taking?

I’m assuming Jarvis Jones won’t be around at 8 do you think Manti Te’o would be a good fit with the Bills? I know free agency will influence what direction they go in the draft, Buddy mentioned possibly a quarterback in free agency I looked at the list and unless Mike Vick is added to it I’m not convinced there is anybody available that is any better than Fitzpatrick I’m kind of hoping they either trade for someone or stay the course, what do you think of the quarterback situation and the top of the draft? Thanks for all you do!

Alexander Albanese
Toronto

CB: There have been a couple of wide receivers that are viewed as first round picks, but not true top 10 selections. I don’t see Buddy Nix as the type that would take a receiver that high.

Tennesee’s Cordarelle Patterson is an intriguing physical specimen, but there’s not much of a college track record there with just one year of FBS competition. I’d much prefer a guy with more of a resume of production like Baylor’s Terrance Williams or Cal’s Keenan Allen. All three though should come off the board in round one or early second round.

You’re probably right on Jarvis Jones. Most see him as a top 5, but his spinal stenosis might concern some and he could slip.

Te’o is a LB that has been projected to the Bills in mock drafts (see: Mel Kiper), but I want to see how he tests at the Combine in the drills. The whole Notre Dame defense played poorly in the National Championship game, but I’d imagine that Te’o’s performance might necessitate a good showing at the Combine to re-assure scouts. Still, he’s widely seen as a mid-first rounder at worst.

I think Alex Smith will be there in light of his contract situation, knowing his $7.5M salary is guaranteed if he’s still on the 49ers roster April 1st. I don’t know at this time whether the Bills see him as a viable option, mainly because they can’t comment on players still under contract with other clubs.

Nix has said they would like to draft one and get one in free agency, so there’s a good chance they add more than one.

The draft prospects aren’t top flight, elite talents like the ones that were in the draft pool last season, arguably the best QB draft since 1983. But guys like Geno Smith, Mike Glennon and Ryan Nassib could sneak into the first round knowing the premium placed on the position, provided a team needing a QB (KC, AZ, Buf) decides to make the move back into the first.

5 – Hi Chris, just wondering what you thought of the Buffalo Bills decision to hire Doug Marrone as their new head coach. Based on his record (25-25) at Syracuse, it seems to me that he may not do well in the pros. I saw that he does have some NFL coaching experience, but mainly as an offensive coordinator. What are your thoughts? I’m worried about him bringing his coaching staff from Syracuse as well. Now, if his understudies have little pro coaching experience, this could be a painful rebuilding process, one that may take years. I believe the Buffalo Bills do have talent right now, but will Marrone be able to coax wins out of this squad? Your thoughts,

Tony, Ormond Beach, Fl

CB: I think if you used Marrone’s record at Syracuse as a barometer to measure his future success in the NFL you’re making a big mistake. Syracuse was a wayward program when Marrone took over. They won just 10 games in the previous four years before Marrone took over. He won 12 in his first two seasons including an 8-5 campaign in 2010.

Marrone made very solid choices for his coordinators. Hopefully you saw our story on the website about their expertise. His understudies from Syracuse largely include assistants that have either coached or played in the NFL.

I think Marrone will quickly establish a rapport with the players and get more out of the talent that exists on this roster. There won’t be any rebuilding. This is a regrouping effort, and Marrone I think could prove to be one of the better hires for head coach for this franchise in quite some time.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kiper mock has LB to Bills at 8

Posted by Chris Brown on January 16, 2013 – 11:10 am

ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper has a linebacker going to the Bills with the eighth pick in the 2013 NFL draft.

Kiper has the Bills taking Notre Dame MLB Manti Te’o. Here’s what he wrote about his pick for Buffalo.

Manti Te’o
Buffalo Bills (6-10)
COLLEGE: Notre Dame
AGE: 21
HT: 6-2
WT: 255
POS: LB
Analysis: The Bills really need help at interior linebacker, where Kelvin Sheppard is a good player. Te’o doesn’t have elite athleticism, but he has elite instincts, elite intangibles and will become the leader of a defense by the end of training camp. He makes the Buffalo run defense better immediately, and very quietly was second in the nation in INTs, showing great awareness in his drops (and good hands) against the pass. He may not end up this high, but I’m sold on him as a high-level NFL middle linebacker.
 
Kiper doesn’t have a quarterback coming off the board in the first round in his initial mock draft.

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Posted in Inside the Bills