Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 10-16

Posted by Chris Brown on October 16, 2009 – 1:47 pm

Fan Friday 10-16
We plow ahead into Week 6. The Bills might be struggling, but we press on with Fan Friday. Questions go to AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

 
1. Chris,
 
Quick question.  With the injury to Poz, who on the defense has the ‘headset’ in the helmet?  Is it Buggs, or is it Ellison?  Thanks.
 
-Paul
Lifelong Bills Fan, Ex-WNYer now living in Maryland

CB: Well when Poz first went out and was replaced by Marcus Buggs, Buggs had the radio helmet. When he was replaced by Kawika Mitchell, he had the radio helmet. And finally when Mitchell was hurt last week against Cleveland, Keith Ellison grabbed the radio helmet.

But with Poz expected to start this week (he’s probable), Poz will have the radio helmet with Ellison as the backup provided he plays. Catch all that?

 

2. Chris,
 
I was wondering why McGee hasn’t been taking kickoffs in place of McKelvin? In my opinion, McGee was one of the best kick returners we had in many years. Thanks!
 
Steve Barker
Fredericksburg, VA

CB: Truth be told Buffalo’s kick return average has improved from the first week McKelvin went out until now, albeit marginally (20th to 18th). That being said, you will get no arguments from me about putting McGee back there. He’s one of the best kick returners I have ever seen. However, he is nursing a sore knee so giving him extra work really isn’t an option this week.

 

3. Chris,
Has the NFL addressed the possible expansion of the 53 man roster due to all the injuries on every club,every year?
Al in Syracuse

CB: I don’t see it changing because more players means more payroll and less profit for NFL owners. I know coaches would like to see it, but unless the new CBA negotiations add games to the regular season schedule (18 game regular season) I can’t see the roster size increasing.

 

4. Chris;
 
Thanks for taking my question.  Do you think Coach Jauron has any thoughts on playing Jamon Meredith to see what he has?  I do not see the Bills doing much this year and with Butler on I-R.  At least get some game action with Meredith and see what he can do.  He can’t be any worse.
 
Also, why was Seth McKinney playing goal line defense in Miami?  Was it merely a case that McCargo was inactive and they needed an extra wide body?
 
Thanks,
Pete  

CB: Jamon Meredith is expected to start Sunday with Jonathan Scott out due to an ankle injury. So it seems they’re willing to try him there, but making your first NFL start on the road alongside another rookie is a precarious situation as I see it. Guess we’ll find out what he can do in a hurry.

As for McKinney, you’re correct. McCargo was inactive for the Miami game, so with just three defensive tackles active, they needed another wide body in there for goal line defense.

 

5. Hi Chris,
 
2 part question for you:
1. Wondering how James Hardy’s rehabilitation is going with his knee? I think I remember you writing that the Bills have the first 6 weeks of the season to decide whether or not to bring him to the active roster or to permanantly place him on IR for ’09. 
2. If they bring him back, which player comes off the roster at this point?
 
Thank you,
Anthony

CB: James is doing very well. What can happen after Monday Oct. 19 is he can become eligible to begin practicing with the team if they feel he is ready to do so. That would begin a 21-day practice period in which he can practice with the team, but he does not have to be added to the active roster during that time.

At the end of the three week practice period the team must decide at that time whether to add him to the active roster or put him on season-ending injured reserve. And yes another player would have to be waived to make room for him on the roster. Who that player is would be up to the coaching staff.

The staff does not have to begin practicing him this week. They could wait another week or two weeks to begin the 21-day practice windown period.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills on pace to rival ’07 I-R numbers

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2009 – 2:58 pm

With Kawika Mitchell and Marcus Buggs the next two players to be placed on injured reserve with season ending knee injuries, the Bills are on pace to rival the league-leading injured reserve tally the team had in 2007.

Two seasons ago there was an inordinate number of season ending injuries. Buffalo had 17 players on injured reserve by the end of that campaign.

With Mitchell and Buggs headed to that list the Bills will have 10 players on injured reserve heading into Week 6 of the regular season with 11 games left to play. There is no rhyme or reason to when injuries happen, but that’s a lot of season left in a sport as violent as football to suffer other serious injuries.

Here’s the list of Bills players currently on injured reserve, not counting Buggs and Mitchell.
RB Justise Hairston (ACL)
CB Leodis McKelvin (fibula)
CB Lydell Sargeant (ACL)
OL Brad Butler (ACL)
C Marvin Philip (knee)
DE Jermaine McGhee (unknown)
TE Derek Schouman (knee-torn meniscus)
DE Marcus Smith (unknown)


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Buggs, Mitchell out for year

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2009 – 12:53 pm

Buffalo is down 2 more LBs as Marcus Buggs and Kawika Mitchell both suffered season ending knee injuries.

Both will have surgery and be placed on season ending injured reserve as Dick Jauron said that they will sign players to fill their soon to be vacant roster spots.


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Postgame injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on October 11, 2009 – 7:05 pm

Head coach Dick Jauron confirmed that two of his linebackers have knee injuries coming out of the Cleveland game.

“Both Kawika (Mitchell) and Marcus (Buggs) are knees and we’ll know more obviously once they get checked either tonight or (Monday),” said Jauron.

As for Jonathan Scott, Jauron said he suffered an ankle injury.

Jauron also added that he was “not optimistic” about Buggs and Mitchell, which means the Bills are likely to be shopping for some reinforcements at the position this week with just four healthy linebackers on the roster in Keith Ellison, Nic Harris, Ashlee Palmer and Jon Corto.


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Brown’s Best Week 2

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2009 – 3:06 pm

Sorry for the delay this week, as this usually posts on Monday afternoons, but with all the news Monday we got a little behind. Here’s some of the best of the unnoticed from Sunday’s game.

BEST TONE SETTER: Kyle Williams – His tackle of Cadillac Williams for a five-yard loss on the second play from scrimmage, got Buffalo’s defense amped up for another strong day in terms of run defense. The Bucs managed just 57 yards on the ground.

BEST ADJUSTMENT: Trent Edwards – On 3rd-and-1 at the Tampa 32, Edwards checked out of a run play based on the Bucs’ defensive look and took advantage of the one-on-one matchup outside with Lee Evans, hitting the wideout with a well thrown ball for a 32-yard touchdown pass.

BEST PRESSURE: Kyle Williams – The Bills defensive tackle got enough heat on Byron Leftwich to force him to hurry a checkdown throw to Cadillac Williams, which was overthrown right to Donte Whitner for a 76-yard interception return for a TD. He had three QB hits in the game.

BEST DEFEAT OF A SCREEN: Terrence McGee – The Bills #1 CB slipped underneath a Bucs’ blocker and dropped Cadillac Williams for just a one-yard gain on what looked like a well executed screen play by Tampa at the outset.

BEST SHOESTRING: Bryan Scott – Scott was ‘johnny on the spot’ with his shoestring interception on a deflected pass off the body of Bucs WR Sammie Stroughter.

BEST GUTS: Dick Jauron – Electing to go for it on 4th-and-inches at his own 35-yard line while in control of the game (17-7) early was a gutsy call. It showed faith in his offensive line and they responded allowing Trent Edwards to get two yards on a sneak. Of course the Bucs added on to the yardage with a ridiculous facemask penalty when Edwards helmet was ripped off at the end of the play.

BEST OPEN FIELD TACKLE: Terrence McGee – His wrap up on Bucs RB Earnest Graham in the flat was important. There was just one defender behind McGee further up the sideline on that swing pass. McGee’s tackle held the play to a three-yard gain.

BEST HUSTLE: Roscoe Parrish – The Bills speedy wideout sprinted 72 yards to run Bucs safety Sabby Piscitelli down from behind after a turnover on a fumble by Buffalo.

BEST STOP: Marcus Buggs, Donte Whitner – The two defenders stoned Derrick Ward for a one-yard loss on a 4th-and-1 at the Bills 43 forcing a turnover on downs in what at the time was a six-point game.

BEST REDEMPTION: Terrell Owens – After letting a potential long touchdown pass slip through his hands in the first half, Owens made good on his second opportunity pulling in a 43-yard touchdown catch from Trent Edwards to put the game on ice in the fourth quarter (30-14).

BEST OMNIPRESENCE: Keith Ellison – For the second straight game, Ellison was the team’s leading tackler. After his 15-tackle performance in Week 1, he came back with another 10 in Week 2. He also had a sack wiped out be penalty and a QB hit.

BEST STAMINA: Fred Jackson – On a day in which Jackson had 35 touches and rolled up 197 all-purpose yards, it was impressive to see him bolt 43 yards late in the fourth on his second to last carry of the game.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Poz on Buggs performance

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2009 – 6:52 pm

Marcus Buggs got his first career start at middle linebacker Sunday and the man he replaced commented on how Buggs fared in his first defensive action.

“I thought he did a really good job of getting everything situated and getting guys lined up,” said Posluszny. “And Keith Ellison coming in and playing the nickel ‘mike’ spot, his reps are up and he’s making a lot of plays getting to the football. Our whole linebacking corps played really, really well. It was great to see them out there making plays for our team.”

Buggs finished the game with six tackles including a tackle for loss.


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Buggs at MLB is first option, but others exist

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2009 – 7:44 pm

With Paul Posluszny out (broken arm) for Sunday’s game, Bills defensive coordinator Perry Fewell confirmed that Marcus Buggs will be their guy at MLB Sunday when the Bills host the Bucs. But there is a plan ‘B’.

Plan ‘B’ is OLB Keith Ellison, who is responsible for knowing the MLB position as well.

“We’ll also put Keith Ellison in there,” said Fewell. “He’ll also assume that duty. We’ll try both those guys. We have a third plan also.”

Fewell chose not to reveal what that third plan is, but he did say if it’s necessary to move Ellison into the middle that the player taking Ellison’s spot on the strong side would be rookie Nic Harris. But going into Sunday’s game it’s going to be Buggs in the middle calling the defense.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-14

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2009 – 1:25 pm

Training camp is winding down, with three days left at St. John Fisher after today. Still some time before the regular season however. Let’s see what you’ve got for me this week.

1. Hi Chris,
Do you think one of the reasons the Bills have been reluctant to deal with the strong outside linebacker spot is because they plan on using Maybin there (as well as DE)?
Mark (State College, PA)

CB: I don’t believe that’s the main reason why, but it could be a factor. The Bills defensive staff really likes what they’re getting out of Nic Harris so far in the preseason. I believe he’ll push Keith Ellison, but ultimately experience will win out there. But Maybin I believe will be used as a rush linebacker in addition to getting snaps at defensive end. I think where he lines up will depend a lot on down and distance.

 

2. Hey Chris,
I was lookin at your Q&A regarding safties.  You didn’t mention Ko Simpson.  So you think he will be cut this training camp?  I think
that would be a shocker, considering he is young and his experience.  But I guess I can see, with the addition of Byrd, they may not have
the room. Do you think the Bills may look at trading him?

Shawn Sieracki
Dallas, Texas

CB: I think Ko Simpson is a bubble guy in this camp due mainly to the presence of Byrd. Though he hasn’t set foot on the practice field yet, Byrd was taken in the second round for a reason, to get on the field sooner rather than later. Buffalo did not get a single INT from their safeties last season. That has to change. Byrd had 17 INTs in college in three seasons.

If he shows any kind of promise in the preseason games he plays in and doesn’t look lost, he could be a starter before this season is over. Either way he’s a lock to make the roster.

In all likelihood the team keeps five safeties. Right now here’s my list of who I think they keep. Whitner, Scott, Wilson, Byrd and Wendling. Wilson and Wendling make it because they’re more valuable special teams players than Simpson.

 

3. Chris,
Nice job on the site.  How do you see the O-line situation developing…the situation at guard has been often discussed, but a couple of situations I am interested in is (1) Demetrius Bell – probably not a starter this year, but from what I saw last year it seems like he might have the athletic ability to be a LT – do you see him starting in yr 3 or 4?  Also, what do you see happening at backup center, Brandon Rodd or have somebody like Seth McKinney cover backup at guard and center?

CB: With Bell I think they see him as the heir apparent to Langston Walker, who three years left on his deal counting this season. I believe Bell is left tackle caliber. He’s certainly athletic enough. I think he’ll be the team’s swing tackle this fall.
At center Brandon Rodd has done okay as the backup. You’re right Seth McKinney does have NFL experience there, but he has not seen reps in the pivot thus far. I think he would be an option though. I don’t anticipate them putting Eric Wood in there either, despite the fact that he played there in college.

 

4. Hey Chris, 
 
I’ve noticed in most of your articles dealing about the LB position, you always mention Ellison only having two players to battle with for the starting position, Bowen and Harris. Why isn’t Pat Thomas mentioned at all? Is Thomas battling for a back up position behind Kawika or Poz? If Thomas isn’t being considered to battle with Ellison, do you see him actually making the team?
 
Thanks,
Brian Craig (Walworth, NY)

CB: Pat Thomas is battling for the backup MLB role with Marcus Buggs. It’s been a heated competition with the two of them flip flopping back and forth in the backup role behind Poz. As for Ellison his greatest competition looks like it’s going to be Harris. Bowen has been largely on the weak side in camp.

 

5. Hi Chris,
 
The battle to land a spot on the roster at corner is one that I find most intriguting on the Bills this season. How many corners do you figure will make the roster? Which ones?
 
Thanks,
Anthony

CB: I think the top four or five corners are easy to determine, but do they keep a sixth is the question. McGee, McKelvin, Florence, Youboty and Corner all make the roster as I see it. Then if they decide to keep a sixth I believe it’s Ellis Lankster. Cary Harris and Lydell Sargeant probably go to the practice squad.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

New backup MLB candidates behind Poz

Posted by Chris Brown on July 25, 2009 – 6:09 pm

With John DiGiorgio’s 2009 season put on the backburner for now, Buffalo will need to find a viable backup candidate to play behind Paul Posluszny.

The top two candidates right now are Marcus Buggs and free agent signee Pat Thomas.

Buggs is an aggressive player that flies all over the field and loves contact. Thomas is a veteran that has experience in the middle after playing there for Kansas City last season.

In the first practice however, Buggs was lined up with the second unit at MLB, with Thomas running with the third team. We’ll see which player makes the most of an opportunity that would all but guarantee a spot on the 53-man roster.


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George Wilson SportsFest in full swing

Posted by Chris Brown on June 16, 2009 – 4:21 pm

Bills safety George Wilson is on to day two of his annual SportsFest held in his native Paducah, Kentucky. On Monday Wilson held his charity bowling tournament and today he’s heading up his football/cheerleading camp at Paducah Tilghman high school.

Whether it’s in his hometown or locally here in WNY Wilson is a big proponent of physical fitness, life lessons and overcoming adversity with young people.

And while he strives to make a positive impact on every kid with whom he comes in contact, the kids from his hometown are the ones that inspire him the most to give back.

“I am blessed to be in a position where I can come back home and give back to a community that has given me so much,” said Wilson. “I recognize that it means a lot to the kids when I come home, but I walk away with something special knowing that I have helped someone have a better day makes the experience priceless.”

Wilson’s teammates, Marcus Stroud, Marcus Buggs and Leodis McKelvin are helping him out down in the Bluegrass state today.


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Buggs out for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2008 – 7:16 pm

LB Marcus Buggs is out for Sunday’s game. According to Dick Jauron it is a high ankle sprain that he suffered, so he might miss more than just this weekend’s game at Kansas City.

Jabari Greer, Aaron Schobel, Bryan Scott and Donte Whitner all did not practice Thursday.

Josh Reed was limited. We’ll have a full report on Reed’s prospects for Sunday on the home page later this afternoon.


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Reed practicing again

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2008 – 5:02 pm

Josh Reed is practicing for a second straight day here on Thursday and is moving well coming off his high ankle sprain.

Coming out and practicing again Thursday after first testing it Wednesday is a good sign.

Not practicing are Donte Whitner, Jabari Greer, Bryan Scott, Marcus Buggs and Aaron Schobel.

Greer, however, is lifting weights in the weight room.


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Short on corners?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 7, 2008 – 9:29 pm

With Ashton Youboty going to injured reserve, Buffalo has just four cornerbacks. I realize that when Whitner is healthy again he’s technically a fifth corner, but in the interim that’s taking a bit of risk.

I wonder if the Bills will make another roster move in the next week or so to get more depth for their secondary. To do that I’d anticipate them moving Marcus Buggs back onto their practice squad provided he clears waivers (which he should) to creat a roster spot.

Of course that’s provided they can find a cornerback out on the street that they feel can come in and help them. We’ll see.


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Fan Friday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 31, 2008 – 7:21 pm

Here’s our latest edition. Remember you can send your questions to me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Let’s get started.

1. Chris,

Our three starting DE’s – Schobel, Kelsay, and Denney – have ONE sack each.  Why is nobody talking about their lack of production after all we heard is how they are going to thrive with Stroud, who has been nothing but impressive thus far, and where is Chris Ellis? Why did we draft him if we are not going to give him
a shot?  Thanks

-Nick K.

CB: The main issue with the pass rush as I see it is the quick passing game they’re facing. Every team uses it now offensively and the last three weeks in particular opponents have been relying on it to neutralize Buffalo’s pass rush. So far it’s worked, I believe in part because there hasn’t been a lot of press coverage on the back end.

If you don’t have your cornerbacks press at the line, the quarterback can take three steps and throw it and get five yards. In Arizona in Week 5 Kurt Warner did that the whole game. When defensive ends were coming clean they still couldn’t get there in time. Until there’s more press coverage, teams are still going to take the underneath stuff and move methodically down the field.

The Bills can hope that the opposing QB will screw up at some point, but against veteran signal callers like Warner, Pennington it doesn’t happen often. Chances are greater this week, but Favre is another guy that knows how to throw on rhythm quickly.

 

2. Chris,
Can you do the fans a favor and talk to either O-line coach about the ‘scheme’ that they use?  There is debate (ongoing would be an understatement) about whether the Bills employ a “zone blocking” scheme or not.  Perhaps they could share their philosophy with you.
 
Hope you can fit this in.  Thanks.
 
John

CB: I talked to Dick Jauron about this and he told me that they make use of a few different blocking schemes including zone blocking. He wouldn’t divulge if they do one any more than the other.

I do know this. They tried zone blocking early last season and when it was not successful they moved away from it and the numbers got a bit better on the ground.

Zone blocking schemes are usually implemented for the lighter more athletic lines in football, but with all the twisting and stunting that defensive lines do these days, it’s almost necessary to incorporate some zone blocking into your scheme.

I’d rather see more plowing straight ahead than zone blocking. Then again when they do try to plow ahead in short yardage they haven’t been overwhelmingly successful there either.

But to answer the question they do some zone blocking, but it’s not their exclusive approach offensively.

 

3. Chris,
 
Do you think the Bills made a mistake with focusing so much on size at the receiver position that they ignored the awesome skills and speed of receivers DeSean Jackson and Eddie Royal which would have been a perfect fit for our offense? 
Coach 85

CB: I don’t think the skills of Jackson and Royal were ignored. The Bills scouting staff takes a look at the whole picture of the player. A mismatch in terms of size was essential for the Bills on the outside however. Jackson was not on the board when the Bills were on the clock in round two. He went to Philly in round one. Royal was on the board and went to Denver with the very next pick after Hardy. I know both of them have made an impact sooner than Hardy, but I’m going to encourage you to be patient. He’s coming along in practice. He should have a bigger role this week. We’ll see.

 

4. I have a question I hope you can answer for me. My question involves a game against the Jets I “Think” in 1995. It was in the 4th quarter with a couple minutes left when Jets were marching down the field. They threw a hail Mary into the end zone. And like all hail Marys everyone jumped for it. Well we were called for pass interference! It was a total BS call. Wade Phillips was HOT! Pete Carroll was the coach and Wade was so ticked off he called the team off the field and went into the locker room leaving time on the clock. Carroll proceeded to rack up points with no defense (Bills) on the field. My question is do you remember this game or can you find this  game for me? I’ve been a Bills fan for 20 years and actually live in California all my life. I have other fans here we watch the games with (Bills Backers) And they don’t remember the game I’m talking about (rookies!). Any help would be appreciated, Thanks Don.

CB: Well Don you’ve got the coaches right, but the Bills were playing the Patriots and it was 1998. This is the infamous “Just give it to them” game. Andre Reed had put the Bills ahead with six minutes left on a four-yard TD reception from Doug Flutie to make it 21-17 Buffalo.

Drew Bledsoe began a Patriots drive. Facing a 4th-and-9, Bledsoe threw a pass to Shawn Jefferson along the Bills sideline with six seconds remaining. Replays indicated that Jefferson not only failed to get two feet inbounds, but went over the sideline short of the first down marker.

The two officials on the sideline huddled to discuss the play and were within earshot of Andre Reed. After talking for about 30 seconds, Reed said he heard one official say to the other, “Just give it to them.”

So the Patriots were given the completion and the first down.

On the next play Bledsoe threw the Hail Mary pass to which you referred from the Bills 26-yard line which fell incomplete with no time left, but the officials called pass interference in the end zone on Henry Jones even though the ball was not catchable.

So the Patriots were given possession 1st-and-goal at the one-yard line and Bledsoe threw a play-action touchdown pass to Ben Coates for the winning points.

After the TD, Wade Phillips pulled his team off the field and the Patriots, with no defense facing them, had Adam Vinatieri run a two-point conversion in for a 25-21 final.

Believe it or not that game is the one that bothers me more than any other. More than ‘wide right’ more than ‘home-run throwback’ because it was the biggest robbery of a victory I have ever seen in my time covering this team.

 

5. What would be the consequences for local viewership/blackout if the Toronto game didn’t sell out?

To my understanding, the game is considered a sell-out because it was ‘sold’ to Rogers.

Could you please let us know the exact situation and nip any potential panic in the bud?
Thank you,

Michael

CB: The Bills-Miami game in Toronto is being treated like any other home game for the Bills with respect to blackout rules as it’s been explained to me.

The game must be sold out 72 hours before kickoff for it to be broadcast on television. Remember clubs and suites do not count toward a sellout, only general admission. So as long as the game is sold out you’ll be good to go on TV.

 

6. Regarding DiGiorgio’s injury, the linebacker situation and the signing of Buggs (and not Haggan) do you think in the unfortunate event that one of the Bills starting linebackers goes down with an injury that the team employs a 4-2-5 scheme where the DB’s consist of 3 safeties? I feel that with the size and play of Scott that the Bills could still be an effective run defense with a safety tandem of Whitner-Simpson-Scott in the game and only two linebackers.
 
Thanks!
 
Andrew Suppo

CB: I think the 4-2-5 is unlikely to be their regular base package if another LB goes down. However, your mention of Scott is very astute. Scott has been getting reps with the linebackers during individual position drills just so he’s familiar with the responsibilities at the outside linebacker position. He’s not all that different from Coy Wire in terms of body type, who was transitioned to linebacker in his final season in Buffalo.

So if there was another injury at the position, I would anticipate Scott to be the next player moving into the lineup at LB instead of Marcus Buggs, Jon Corto or Blake Costanzo. And it would be a move based purely on experience as Buggs, Corto and Costanzo have little to none on defense at the NFL level. 
7. What is the Bills best starting record (I know 5-1 is the best since 1995) but what is the all time best? When can we say this is the best start ever?
Thanks,
Tony

CB: The Bills best start ever was in 1964 when they went 9-0 before losing a game. That season they finished 12-2 and of course won the AFL title. Buffalo has gotten off to 5-2 starts eight other times in their history and made the playoffs five times (1980, 1989, 1992, 1995, 1996). In three of those five postseason appearances, the Bills lost in the first round.

 

8. Hey Chris,
The Bills have been giving up at least two sacks a game. Duke Preston steps in for Melvin Fowler and the Bills allow no sacks. Do you think they are better off with Duke Preston at center?
 
Thanks  Alex G.

CB: You’re right the Bills did not allow a sack against the Chargers when Duke was in there and he did have a good game against Jamal Williams. Of course the Chargers barely sent more than four pass rushers the entire game which helped as well. Duke might very well be a better fit, particularly against 3-4 defensive fronts when the nose tackles are bigger and stronger on the whole. Preston goes 326 pounds, with Fowler closer to 300. Just being able to stand in there is easier due to size for Preston.

Though Dick Jauron hasn’t come out to definitively say that Duke is ‘the guy’ moving forward, I think he will be in there for the foreseeable future even when Melvin is 100 percent healthy.

 

9. Can you discuss a bit more about Reggie Corner?  I thought you had said he looked good in pre-season and maybe would be ready to play before Leodis?
 
Thanks
Mark Teske

CB: At the time I made that comment on Corner, McKelvin was still unsigned in camp. I said if McKelvin misses much more training camp time, Corner could be on the field before him. I was anticipating that Corner had a decent shot at the nickel job, and knowing they had McKelvin focusing on outside corner almost exclusively that opinion made sense to me.

Of course Ashton Youboty then came out of nowhere to win the nickel job.

I still have faith that Reggie Corner will make an impact before the season is over at CB. I think his best position is the slot and with Youboty’s lingering foot injury not improving they made need him there at times sooner rather than later.

The defensive staff has a hard time putting a lot of faith in rookies knowing the negative consequences that can result (six points) and I totally understand that. But playing McGee last week against Miami instead of a healthy McKelvin might not have been the best idea.

When injuries force your hand you’ve got to put them out there and trust them. Not saying McKelvin or Corner won’t make mistakes, but sometimes the risk has to be taken. They made the roster because they can play. When you’re short handed you’ve got to use them.

But I think Corner can play and make plays on the ball. I still believe he’s going to be a good player for this team when he gets his opportunity.

 

10. Hey Chris,
I read your blog where you said you were surprised the Bills didn’t re-sign Mario Haggan. Isn’t he suspended for four games if/when a team signs him?
 
Maybe I made that up, but I thought that news came out over the offseason.
 
Also, why not Donnie Spragan at linebacker?
 
Thanks,
Brad

CB: Haggan has served his suspension. It covered the first four games of the season whether he was on an NFL roster or not. As of Week 5 he was clear to play for any NFL club that wanted him.

I just thought that with all the experience lost on the special teams coverage units in the offseason, that losing DiGiorgio was another loss of experience that had to be replaced. Haggan made sense to me in that fashion. The Bills thought otherwise.

As for Donnie Spragan, I think his best days are behind him, but in a pinch he could be serviceable. He’s just lacking a bit in space.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Buggs over Haggan

Posted by Chris Brown on October 22, 2008 – 3:04 pm

I’m going to start by saying that Marcus Buggs was one of my favorite undrafted free agent pickups after the draft in terms of the group that Buffalo assembled. I liked his aggressiveness and hitting ability and believe he can be an asset on special teams.

That being said, I’m surprised that Mario Haggan was not signed to replace John DiGiorgio on the roster. Buffalo’s coverage teams improved this past week against San Diego, but losing DiGiorgio hurts. It’s another veteran special teamer that will be replaced by a young player.

Haggan, who worked out for the Bills a few weeks ago, was available and ready to go and could slide seamlessly into all four of the spots manned by DiGiorgio on cover and punt and kickoff teams having played under Bobby April the past four years. More importantly he’d add a veteran presence and experience that’s still trying to be gained by a lot of the new special teamers.

In addition, during his time with the Bills he had snaps at MLB and could be a consideration there to fill the void left by DiGiorgio as well. Buggs is an outside linebacker at this level.

Since they chose not to go with Haggan, I thought it would be Kawika Mitchell that would serve as the backup MLB, a position he played with the Chiefs. But coach confirmed for me that it would be Keith Ellison.


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