Inside The Bills

Sargeant and M. Smith on I-R

Posted by Chris Brown on September 3, 2009 – 10:15 pm

Both CB Lydell Sargeant and DL Marcus Smith both cleared waivers and have been placed on Buffalo’s injured reserve list.

Sargeant and Smith were both waived-injured earlier this week in the roster reduction to 75.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills getting thin at DT

Posted by Chris Brown on July 29, 2009 – 5:32 pm

John McCargo and Ventrell Jenkins have another DT joining them as spectators at practice this afternoon.

Marcus Smith is not participating leaving just 4 healthy DTs.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-5

Posted by Chris Brown on June 5, 2009 – 8:25 pm

OTAs are almost over and then it’s three days of minicamp before the six week break. Hard to believe training camp is around the corner. On to your questions.

1. Hello Chris,

What are the chances the Bills trade Kelsay with or without Parrish to get Scheffler? Denver needs to improve their defense and we need to get a TE badly. We also have Maybin now… And shouldn’t we sign one of the remaining free agent linebackers? It seems like if we could be put this all together, the Bills could be a real competitor this year. What do you think?

Thanks,

Preston

CB: I don’t see it happening, mainly because Denver has recently come out and said how much they intend to make use of Scheffler in their offense. Some might see that as window dressing to move him, but knowing that Kyle Orton won’t be slinging it downfield nearly as much as Cutler did for Denver, makes Scheffler that much more valuable as an intermediate receiving threat. Minus Cutler Denver will need to hold onto all the offensive talent they’ve got and Scheffler is too valuable to part with.

 

2. Chris,
What is the situation with Shawn Nelson?
How much are Xavier Omon and Marcus Smith being used in practice?  Do they have a reasonable chance of making the 53 man roster?  Do you see the team keeping a backup center, and if so, who?  Do you think Chris Ellis is making much progress, I expected a little more from him last year (I know you can’t expect too much from rookies).  Are any of the undrafted guys making much of an impression (maybe Ashlee Palmer?)
Thanks for the updates.
Chris

CB: Shawn Nelson was dealing with some personal issues this week according to head coach Dick Jauron. He’s expected back next week. 

As for Xavier Omon and Marcus Smith, one is seeing more time than the other. Smith is being rotated in with the second team defense. He subs in for Spencer Johnson and has done okay. Again it’s hard to assess line play in the OTA setting because there isn’t live contact and hitting in the trenches. He’s an interesting prospect after he spent last year on the practice squad.

Omon’s reps have been limited with Lynch, Jackson and Rhodes ahead of him. In fact Bruce Hall, last year’s practice squad back has seen more reps than Omon this week. We’ll see if that continues, and if it does Omon has an uphill climb to make the roster.

Ellis is progressing. He’s working with the second team on defense and sharing reps with Copeland Bryan on the right side. Again line play is not something you can asses in the OTA setting. We’ll see how far he’s come when we get to training camp.  

 

3. Hi Chris,  just a question on who you believe will emerge as our starting strong side linebacker….is it possible that Mitchell will be moved to the strong side and a smaller linebacker will take over on the weak side…thanks again for all your insight…Ray

CB: I think that’s a tough one to answer. So everyone is clear Keith Ellison plays the strong side with Mitchell on the open or weak side. That’s been the same through OTAs. I think it’s Ellison’s position to lose. His greatest competition at the spot will be Alvin Bowen and rookie Nic Harris. Ellison is obviously the most experienced in the system and one of the smartest players on the team. That goes a long way with this staff. I think one of the other two candidates will have to show greater playmaking ability and equal smarts to take the spot away from him.

 

4. Hey Chris,
Following the Bills in the OTAs this year, I’m noticing Aaron Schobel was participating early on but now has been absent for a while. Is everything okay with him? I’m hoping he hasn’t re-injured his foot or that it wasn’t quite healed after all. Pease let us know.
Cheers
Andy-Toronto

CB: Schobel is fine. He was here for the first week of OTAs and has chosen to skip the remaining voluntary practice sessions which run through Monday. He’ll be here for the mandatory minicamp which begins on Tuesday. In the time he was here he said his foot felt good and that he was encouraged by how it responded to three straight days of work. Hopefully that continues through minicamp.
5. Chris, you’ve wrote a lot about “would be” sacks, and I was wondering how the offensive line is doing? Do you think that they show any early signs of meshing well together? I know that it takes time to get the cohesiveness down, but I feel this season’s success hinges on just that happening. On paper they have a team that can contend for a playoff berth, but I really think that it comes down to the o-line.
 
Thanks…Bryan – Canandaigua NY

CB:  I agree with you that a lot of Buffalo’s offensive success will hinge on the offensive line’s ability to jell with five guys in five new positions up front. As for the pass pressure and ‘would be’ sacks a lot of them are coming on blitz calls, which at this point in time the offensive line isn’t always ready to handle and adjust to. That’s part of why it’s so important for the starting five, whoever they wind up being, spend as much time together as possible.

That being said I will say that Seth McKinney and Geoff Hangartner did a heck of a job picking up a blitz by Paul Posluszny and it enabled Trent to hit Lee Evans for a 65-yard touchdown play.

We’ll get a better assessment in training camp and the preseason.


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Huggins and Hawthorne have a chance

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2009 – 3:24 pm

Of all the future free agents (2008 practice squad players) re-signed by the Bills, Felton Huggins and C.J. Hawthorne are two of the most promising as I see it.

Huggins and Hawthorne both have 4.4 speed and pretty reliable hands. Huggins is still young at the position, but came a long way last offseason and had his best training camp. If Steve Johnson wasn’t drafted last spring, I think Huggins would have made the squad.

Hawthorne is cat-quick and gets in and out of routes in a hurry. He’s that classic smurf receiver. Unfortunately NFL teams are always looking for more size at the position. But both are good players to have in reserve should injuries hit the receiver position. And if they can each take another step forward with their games this offseason they may be able to push people on the 53-man roster.

If Justin Jenkins is not tendered as a restricted free agent, one may even make the team.

As for the others, I think they’re going to take a long look at Marcus Smith. The defensive lineman offers some versatility similar to Spencer Johnson as he could kick out to end if need be, but appears to be more of a DT.

We haven’t had the luxury of watching him much in practice during the regular season, but I’ll be keeping my eye on him in OTAs this spring. The staff likes his potential. The Bills will be in the market for a fourth DT if they decide to part ways with John McCargo, but it’s unclear how that situation will play out right now.


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My picks for roster openings

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2008 – 2:56 pm

The Bills are soon to have two vacant roster spots on their 53-man roster with James Hardy expected to be placed on injured reserve shortly and Aaron Schobel’s roster spot still open.

Assuming the Bills pro personnel staff doesn’t see anything more appealing on the waiver wire or on the street, here are the two players I wouldn’t mind seeing on the 53-man roster for the final two games of the season.

1. WR Felton Huggins – Huggins had his strongest training camp this past summer. Still young at the receiver position, Huggins has come a long way with coverage recognition and route running. Blessed with height (6’2″) and speed (4.4 40-time) I wouldn’t mind seeing him get an opportunity the final two Sundays of the season.

I believe if it’s not Huggins it will be fellow WR C.J. Hawthorne who has been impressive in the practice setting.

2. DL Marcus Smith – At the time he was added to the practice squad in midseason, the Bills already had depth on the defensive line, but the personnel staff thought so much of Smith they wanted to get an extended look at him. I’d like to get more of a look myself. At 6’4″ and 295, Smith appears to be more of a defensive tackle. Buffalo has four DTs on their roster already as Corey Mace replaced the I-R’d John McCargo.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Smith switching off with Mace for 10-12 snaps a game the last couple of weeks to see what he has to offer. Of course that’s provided they can make the game day roster work that way.

It’s pretty clear the marriage between McCargo and the Bills will be over this offseason, so why not see if there’s a potential replacement sitting on your practice squad already. The organization seems to like Mace, but taking a look at Smith can’t hurt either.


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Posted in Inside the Bills