Inside The Bills

Gaither no longer at left tackle

Posted by Chris Brown on May 7, 2010 – 12:42 pm

The Baltimore Ravens have their first minicamp this week and Jared Gaither is no longer playing left tackle.

Gaither has switched positions with Michael Oher. Gaither is now at right tackle with Oher now at left per the Ravens official team site twitter account.

1 Winning Drive For starters, Oher at LT and Gaither at RT. Cousins is 2nd team LT.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

The difference a top OT can make

Posted by Chris Brown on April 20, 2010 – 12:30 pm

The debate can go on forever because there are equally good arguments on both sides of the QB vs. OT debate for the Bills at ninth overall. Many believe a QB can have a greater impact than an offensive tackle. With the ball in his hands on every play it’s hard to argue against that, but I’m going to take a shot at it.

The example I’ll use is Michael Oher. Taken 23rd overall last year, Oher had a huge impact on the offense’s effectiveness. Here’s a cross section of Baltimore’s improvement offensively with Oher added to their front line.

Oher played every snap (1,014 offensive plays) last season starting 11 games at right tackle and five at left tackle. His blocking helped the Ravens put up a franchise-record 22 rushing touchdowns (tied for most in the NFL) and Baltimore’s ground attack produced the fifth-most yards per game in the league (137.5).

The Ravens tied the franchise single-season record for points (391 in 1996) and set a team-record for touchdowns scored (47).  Baltimore was one of two teams to boast a 3,500-passer, a 1,300-yard rusher, and a 1,000-yard receiver and was one of three teams  to register over 20 passing and 20 rushing touchdowns on the year.  Oher, was also nominated for two Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week awards.

Now granted Oher’s team also had a solid defense, but offensively their best receiver was a veteran possession guy in Derrick Mason. Heck their leading receiver in terms of receptions was Ray Rice, so they weren’t having Joe Flacco chuck it down the field. Flacco went from 14 TDs and 12 INTs to 21 TDs and 12 INTs.

That’s not unlike the Bills situation with Lee Evans the only proven receiver and Fred Jackson capable of doing everything.

Oher wasn’t the only reason Baltimore’s offense was more productive, but he was a major factor.

I guess the way I look at it is a premier left tackle (if one is still there at 9) can do a lot to help an offense function better. And most Bills fans know the reason why Buffalo’s offense could not function was because blocking and protection on the edges were not up to snuff in 2009. Even the best QB in football would have trouble functioning behind a line that can’t consistently protect.

Still I respect the desire to take a QB at nine, if, and only if, you fully believe he is franchise caliber material.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Britton the only tackle value left

Posted by Chris Brown on April 25, 2009 – 10:40 pm

With Oher now off the board, Arizona’s Eben Britton is the only good tackle value left in round one. Whether he makes it to the Bills remains to be seen.

LB will also be a focus I believe. Clay Matthews and Connor Barwin are options.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-24

Posted by Chris Brown on April 24, 2009 – 6:40 pm

On the eve of the draft we dispel some rumors and answer some final questions. If you had a question that did not get answered here, be sure to check the live chat we held at noon earlier today (Friday).

1. Chris, will the Bills make any overtures for Peppers??? Or would this be too much for the Bills’ to handle….or impractical??
D. Stratz

CB: Any overtures for Peppers are unrealistic for the Bills and a lot of other teams, and that includes the Patriots. The reason why is Peppers is reportedly looking for Albert Haynesworth type money. Most teams can fit that kind of contract into their budget. It’s going to be interesting to see what pans out on that front because the Panthers are really hamstrung by his situation.

 

2. What are your personal thoughts on Connor Barwin? Personally I like his high motor, versatility and passion for the game. Where, if at all, would Buffalo have him on the draft board?

Nick from Sodus, NY

CB: I like Barwin a lot. He’s extremely athletic and explosive. I see him as a defensive end for the Bills, though he’s probably capable of playing OLB as well on the strong side. To lead the Big East in sacks in his first year as a DE was impressive. As for where the Bills have him on their board, I don’t know, but I think he’s a safe bet to be a late first or early 2nd round pick. Bills may have a shot at him at 28.

 

3. Hi Chris.
With respect to your article on left guard I must say that I am still on the (Alex) Mack Truck Train! With Hangartner it would be a perfect match. If Mack isn’t ready, he could
start out at left guard. But with his smarts and low center of gravity, he might just start out as starting center. Now, how do we draft him? Well, we could take a TE with #11, or a pass rusher, and trade up to get Mack at the end of the first round. Or we could trade down in the first round. What is your take?
Pete

CB: Now armed with the 28th pick, Mack is a much more realistic possibility. Down there the Bills should be able to get the best interior linemen in the draft if they wanted. My feeling however, is that if they do get a pass rusher up at 11, they’re more likely to take a tackle at 28 (Eben Britton?) to fill the void left by Jason Peters. That way they could transition Demetrius Bell or Kirk Chambers inside at left guard.

 

4. Hello Chris,
 
Hope all is well!  Thanks for the in of this offseason so far!  Where do you think Pat Thomas fits in?  Seemed like an under the radar visit and signing.  I hope he is not looked at as a starter.
 
Also, how is Alvin Bowen doing?  Has he bulked up?  I saw he is listed at 222 lbs, would he maybe be better suited at SS.  Seems like he is built like Kerry Rhodes. 
 
Just wondering.
 
Thanks,
Greg Grzymala

CB: Pat Thomas is a reserve linebacker as I see it. I believe the Bills will look to fortify the SLB position in the draft this weekend. Thomas could help as a backup on the strong side or in the middle.

As for Alvin Bowen his rehab is going very well. He may be on the field for OTAs in mid-May. He’s added bulk to his frame and he’s a linebacker all the way.
5. Chris,
With Jason Peters traded, what are your thoughts of Demetrius Bell being groomed as his replacement at Left Tackle? Is there a decent chance of it? For some reason, I think he could turn out to be a better option for us than if we drafted say, Oher.
Thanks,
– Jeff

CB: I think the Bills are hopeful that Bell develops into a LT prospect. I don’t know if he’s there yet, but he has the potential and could be playing over there in a year or two if things go right. Right now I see Langston Walker as the LT, with either Bell, Kirk Chambers or a high draft pick on the right side. Oher I believe is an option though at 11.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills: Cushing capable of a lot of things

Posted by Chris Brown on April 22, 2009 – 8:25 pm

With Buffalo’s scouting staff kind enough to take part of their lunch break to make themselves available to the media this week, just days before the draft I asked Bills scout Rashaan Curry if he thinks USC LB Brian Cushing could help a team as a pass rusher as well, seeing that he played some DE for the Trojans in his college career. Here’s the answer I got.

“I think he’s capable,” said Curry, “The guy has shown that he can do a lot of things on the field. Play coverage, play the run, help rush the passer, be a blitzer. You’re talking about a versatile player and an impact guy. The other thing with him playing defensive end, he played behind some pretty good players so they were trying to find a way to get him on the field. I wouldn’t discount what he was able to do at either position just because of where he played. It was the result of seeing the caliber of players that came before him that are now making an impact at our level.”

I followed up by asking him if he sees Cushing’s ideal position as a strong side LB. Curry wouldn’t bite on that.

“I think you think about him inside as well,” Curry said. “Obviously we have Poz and like a lot of things about him, so you wouldn’t move him. I think Cushing could do a lot of things for you.”

Suffice to say that Cushing is viewed as a versatile performer by the Bills and probably a lot of other teams. I’m not convinced that Buffalo is as high on Everette Brown as I am, so I’m trying to look at alternatives at 11.

Obviously Michael Oher would be a consideration with Peters now moved, but Cushing might be more instant impact and can do more. He just looks like a Bills type player.

I honestly don’t know which way they’re leaning or who their top considerations are at 11. Everything has been very hush-hush here at One Bills Drive. But I would not rule out Cushing.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-17

Posted by Chris Brown on April 17, 2009 – 7:24 pm

Only one more Fan Friday after this prior to the draft, and Jason Peters trumps everything so we start there. I’m going to be in full scramble mode answering all your pre-draft questions this week. Let’s get started.

1. Chris,

ESPN is reporting that Peters was traded for a 1st(28th overall) and Philly’s 4th round pick this year as well as a undisclosed 2010 pick.  Now that this is a done deal which tackle do you see Buffalo taking at #11?

Tks,

Kevin Klump 

CB: First Kevin, nothing is done until either of the teams confirms it. But to entertain your question, should this trade indeed come to fruition I would say that the chances of Buffalo taking an offensive tackle increase somewhat, but not significantly. Here’s why.

I think the Bills will move Langston Walker to left tackle and plug Demetrius Bell in at right tackle. Bell came a long way in the past year and is very, very athletic. Asking him to step in at left tackle right now however, is too much to ask of a second-year player with no NFL starts on his resume. 

If you remember the Bills started Jason Peters on the right side when he first played tackle in a game filling in for an injured Mike Williams back in ‘05. I think doing the same with Bell is not out of the realm of possibility. If that’s the course they choose to take, then I think the Bills can still target a premier pass rusher, like Everette Brown at 11, who I have liked all along.

Then at 28 they could scoop up a top flight center like Alex Mack (Cal), OLB/DE Connor Barwin (Connor Barwin) or Larry English (No. Illinois) or tight end Brandon Pettigrew (OK State) if he happens to still be on the board. Personally I think Pettigrew will be gone by 25 to Atlanta or 26 to Baltimore.  

I’m not saying that an offensive tackle like Michael Oher (Ole Miss) isn’t a possibility at 11, but I don’t think it means they’re forced to take one there. Heck they could even get a solid right tackle prospect in Eben Britton (Arizona St.) at 28 if they wanted.  

But this organization has a lot of faith in Bell’s long term potential and after successfully developing Peters, who wasn’t an offensive tackle until Buffalo moved him, I believe they feel they can develop Bell into a dependable starter.

I guess we’ll all know better in about a week.

 

2. Hey Chris,

I know the Bills have all but announced Hangartner the center for next season, but could it be a smoke screen and could the Bills be eying up someone like Alex Mack in the draft?  Then moving Hangartner to guard?

CB: I wouldn’t rule anything out at this point, but Hangartner has said his best position is center and I get the sense the organization is committed to him playing in the pivot. You want to put the players in positions where they can best succeed, and for Hangartner that’s center, in his opinion and the opinion of the organization.

 

3. Chris, just about everyone in the Bills community including yourself keeps saying that the team’s greatest need going into 2009 is to improve its pass rush.  But isn’t it a fact that the Bills had the # 13 defense in the NFL last year against the pass?  If that’s true, isn’t improving the pass rush more of a luxury than a necessity, especially given the fact that the offense ranked near the bottom of the league in just about every important category?  Shouldn’t landing a first-rate TE and Center trump acquiring a situational pass rusher who plays mainly on third down?  Last year we insisted on getting “value” from our first round pick by drafting a CB and ended up not getting the kind of TE we desperately needed, when we could have traded down and drafted John Carlson.  I hope that doesn’t happen in 2009, leaving the offense shortchanged once again.

Dan, Rochester

CB: While I understand the point you’re trying to make, the ranking of the pass defense in 2008 (13th) is a bit misleading. The reason why is because teams still had fair to good success running the ball against Buffalo when all was said and done. The Bills finished 22nd against the run and surrendered over 120 yards per game on the ground. 

When teams run that well against you they don’t have to throw as much reducing the yards a defense gives up passing thereby improving the ranking against the pass.

Some might say that run defense figure means they should get another defensive tackle, but any hope of getting B.J. Raji at 11 is a pipe dream. He’ll be gone by the sixth pick.

As for the pass rush here’s why myself and the majority of fans I’ve spoken with feel the pass rush has to be addressed. Over the past two years Buffalo has a total of 50 sacks. Combining 2007 and 2008 that ranks 29th in the league, with only Cleveland, Cincinnati and Kansas City with lesser production over that span. The pass rush has to be addressed early if you wish to get a player that can help you right away. 

 

 

4. Chris,

Just read your blog on S. Carolina TE Cook. I can see where interest in this guy is growing and Nelson/Cook could be neck and neck. I don’t agree however with your assessment that with the addition of T.O. the Bills need for a TE is reduced. Personally I believe the addition of a real TE is of paramount importance. That along with improving the OL interior to me should be of primary importance to the Bills. I know you believe the Bills should go after a DE with their first pick to improve the pass rush, but I believe making the offense significantly better is the real key. Our struggles last season were offense related.

Your thoughts?

Bill Kubera

Cicero, NY

CB: Perhaps I didn’t state my opinion on the tight end well enough. When I said that the need for a playmaking tight end was reduced by the signing of Owens, I meant for 2009. This year, if you don’t have a playmaking tight end ready to make plays and have an instant impact on your offense you’re not dead in the water.

I still maintain that the pass rush is priority number one. I think tight end can be addressed in rounds two or three depending on what players the Bills covet most at that position. That player can come in as a rookie in 2009, get his feet wet without the pressure of making tons of plays. Then the following year when Owens is probably gone he and James Hardy can step up and fill the void in the passing game together.

I agree offensive line is a need area too. In my ideal draft Buffalo gets a premier pass rusher in the first (Brown?), a solid interior lineman in the second (Wood?) and a pass catching tight end in the third (Coffman?). If this reported Peters trade happens, then pass rusher first, OL bottom of first, pass catching TE in 2nd.

 

5. Hey Chris,
I wanted to get your opinion on Oregon OL Max Unger.  In doing some player research I have developed a man crush on Unger and would love to see him in a Bills uniform.  I love his versalitility as he can play center, guard, or tackle plus he brings top notch intangibles and experience to the table.  I think he would be a great add with our second round pick, if he lasts that long.  Anyways, your opinion would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You,
 
Brad

CB: I think Max Unger would be a good pick. Yes, he is versatile having played some tackle. Though he’s never played guard, I think he could handle it.  

Personally I prefer Alex Mack and Eric Wood to Unger. Mack and Wood have a little more nastiness and tenacity to their game, while Unger is more of a technician.

Don’t get me wrong I respect Unger’s game a lot and wouldn’t be upset if he wound up with the Bills. I just like Mack and Wood a bit better.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

NFL.com’s Wyche has Bills taking DE Brown

Posted by Chris Brown on March 24, 2009 – 5:09 pm

Not exactly a surprise pick by NFL.com’s Steve Wyche in his latest updated mock draft as he has the Bills taking DE Everette Brown 11th overall.

Personally I’d be very happy with the pick. The only problem is way too many people are expecting Buffalo to take Brown at 11, which can only mean one thing. No way it’s going to happen.

I’ve liked Brown a lot and his numbers over the long haul are undeniable. I’m just getting concerned that with so many mocks pegging him as the Bills pick that it’ll prove too good to be true.

Alternatives with which I’d be happy if it’s not Brown at 11?

Boston College DT B.J. Raji, Penn State’s DE/LB Aaron Maybin, USC’s LB Brian Cushing, Ole Miss’ OT Michael Oher.

Beyond that I’m not crazy about too many other players at 11. I’m a believer in getting your big men early, so that’s why there’s a heavy OL/DL slant with the names above. Let me know who you like at 11 if it’s not Brown.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-20

Posted by Chris Brown on March 20, 2009 – 5:53 pm

The draft is only about a month away, but there are still some free agent questions out there from you the fan. In addition to answering some of the more popular questions here, I’ve also been responding (as much as possible) personally to your emails as well. I’m a bit behind on them, but plowing through them as best I can.

Remember you can always email me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net on anything Bills. Here we go.

1. Hello Mr.Brown,
 
I would like to know what you think about the Julius Peppers situation in Carolina! Do you think the Bills would be bold enough to sign him, if he is available? Also I was watching NFL network and Mayock said that the TE’s in this draft class are mostly good receiving TE’s not so much blocking classic TE’s, wouldn’t it be more advantageous to pick the best available Offensive Lineman? To help the run and also keeping Trent upright. Since Fine and Schouman, I feel performed okay when given the chance.
 
Regards,
Paul K.
Montreal,Q.C. Canada

CB: First, the Julius Peppers situation. I don’t see the Bills as a serious player because Peppers is likely to get upwards of $13-14 million dollars a year in a new contract. That’s too steep for a lot of teams including Buffalo.

I believe the Bills will address their pass rush in the draft.

As for the tight end position in the draft, Mayock is right, there are a lot more pass catchers than blockers at the tight end position. I think that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the Bills, who have rarely if ever had a dynamic pass catching threat at the position.

I think Schouman and Fine are both good all-around tight ends, but I think the team would like to add a game breaking threat in the passing game there. Of course the staff considered Royal their best blocking tight end last year, which is why he retained the starting role in 2008. So even if they take a pass catching threat at the position, they will likely still be looking for a true in-line blocking TE too.

I think that’s why so many mock drafters have Pettigrew going to the Bills because he fills both of those roles better than anyone else in the draft for Buffalo. But if Buffalo stays at 11, I’m not sure the value is right to take him there.

2. Chris,
My question to you is: What if the Bills are on the clock at 11 and Maybin, Brown and Orakpo along with Defensive Tackle B.J.Raji are gone and one of the top Left Tackles, Jason Smith out of Baylor for example, is available; could you see the Bills drafting him and trading Jason Peters for a 1st round draft pick to a team that may need one like Detroit (20th) and Philadelphia (21st or 28th)?  There is no doubt that Peters is a gifted athlete but with another off season of potential hold outs by him and his agent, do you think it would be beneficial to the team to stop these distractions and get down to business?

Sincerely,
Dan

CB: That’s a tricky scenario. Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe won’t be there, but I understand your point. Michael Oher and Andre Smith should be there at 11, and with the way things are going regarding an extension for Jason Peters, what you’re proposing is more realistic than some might think.

If the Jason Peters situation is still unresolved come draft weekend, I can see the team moving him for a first and middle round pick, maybe more, maybe less. Acquiring an additional first round pick should give the Bills the luxury of taking one of the top four offensive tackles in the draft at 11.

I’d prefer Michael Oher to Smith because Oher is arguably the most athletic tackle in the draft. His instincts still need to be developed, but his athleticism makes up for a lot of those shortcomings that should get better in time. Oher could play on the left side, Smith cannot at this level as I see it.

Now keep in mind that they could address another position at 11 like linebacker in this scenario and get one of the bet of the bunch, whoever they determine that to be and if they’re down in the early 20’s with their other first round pick as you suggest, they could grab Arizona State OT Eben Britton, but he is more of a right tackle at the NFL level according to most scouts.

Things could certainly get very interesting for the Bills on draft weekend.

3.  Hey Chris,
 
I have seen all your blogs and answers to Fan Friday Questions on Brown, Orakpo and Maybin. Just wondering what your thoughts were on 3 other pretty good prospects: Michael Johnson, Paul Kruger and Tyson Jackson. Are they all stretches at #11, or is it conceivable that one of them may still be available in Rd 2?
If they were, it is possible to go after Raji at #11, a DE in Rd2 and maybe trade up to get one of the top 3 TE’s, Coffman maybe? Talk about hypothetical!
 
Randy
NL, CAN

CB: I think that Johnson and Kruger will both be available in round 2, but Jackson will be gone before the Bills pick at 42. Jackson is more of a 3-4 end anyway.

Johnson has freakish physical ability, but is raw and inconsistent. As a result I don’t know if he’ll be able to handle a full time role as a rookie, so that keeps him out of the first round.

Kruger’s upside is a bit limited as I see it. He’s got great straight line speed, but I’m not certain that he’s strong enough right now to hold the point against the run in the NFL. He’s also not that elite explosive type end (ran a 4.79 and 4.83) so he is probably a late 2nd to early 3rd round prospect.

A guy I’d consider in the round two is Cincinnati’s Connor Barwin. He’s more of the quick-twitch athlete you’re looking for to boost a pass rush. I think he could come in right away and help on passing downs, which is what Buffalo needs.

4. Chris,

What are your thoughts on the restructuring of Jason Peters’ contract?  I believe that his holding out at the beginning of the year impacted the team in a negative way.  It seemed that it ruined the whole chemistry of the O-line.  As we all know, it wasn’t until the Monday night game when the run game started to get going.  I wasn’t impressed all season with the protection of Trent Edwards.  Honestly, I don’t know how Peters was elected to the Pro-Bowl.  Do you foresee a possible trade, renegotiation, no action, or something else? Thanks for your time. 
-Joe Maciag

CB: From what I understand the two sides have yet to close the gap on a new contract. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Bills still work to come to a resolution until the NFL draft, and if there is no progress my feeling is they may look into trading him prior to draft weekend. It’ll be unfortunate if it comes to that, but it takes two parties to make an agreement work and if the Bills can’t get some kind of compromise from the Peters camp it doesn’t leave them with too many other alternatives. And I don’t believe they’d be interested in dragging a contract renegotiation through another season.

5. Chris

I know DE is the considered the most pressing need but you and others
have mentioned how the top guys in the draft may not be able to stand
up to the run or are straight ahead rushers, etc.  I’m just another
hopeless Bills fan, but if BJ Raji is available at 11, I’d take him. 
(Full disclosure:  I’m a BC grad but that’s pure coincidence in this
case.) Raji looks like a safer bet and more of a sure-fire thing.  If
Stroud and Raji are pushing in, it might free up the current DE’s. 
I’ve gotten a little sensitive to how the Bills have used some earlier
picks.

Kelley Yost
Fairport

CB: I’ve got no problem with taking Raji at 11 if he’s there and a couple of the top speed rushers are already gone. In fact I think he’s the best secondary option to Everette Brown, though Aaron Maybin is tempting.

Your point about Raji and Stroud is valid, but I still think you could add talent at end in the second round with a Connor Barwin, for example if you took Raji at 11. So I’m not opposed to that approach at all. Heck I wanted Haloti Ngata back in 2006 (no offense Donte). I just believe in getting your big men early.

6. Chris,
Does JP Losman have any suitors or teams expressing interest?  I mean I always supported JP and was actually excited when he got a shot to play this past year but he did so awful.  Is it a possibility we might see JP in the CFL???
Thanks
RF

CB: From what I’ve heard the Denver Broncos were interested in J.P. as a backup, but Chris Simms signed with them before Losman’s agent could enter into any hard core negotiations with Denver. Other than that I’ve heard very little as to interest in him by other teams.

I think his physical ability will convince some team to bring him in as a backup.

You are right that his play last year didn’t do much to help his cause so I’m not confident he could be part of a competition somewhere for a starter’s job. I think he’s got to take a backup role somewhere and hope he gets a chance to step on the field to prove he’s capable.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

OT Oher to Bills in latest mock

Posted by Chris Brown on March 17, 2009 – 1:52 pm

The possibilities are endless as we all know, but ProFootballTalk has Ole Miss OT Michael Oher going to the Bills at 11 overall, as they predict a trade of Jason Peters on or before draft weekend.

If Peters is moved, Oher is a distinct possibility. The tackle made a lot of progress from his junior to senior season with his technique and executing assignments. He might be the most physically gifted tackle in the class. His game just has to continue to get more and more consistent to realize his full potential.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-27

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2009 – 7:35 pm

With free agency in full swing it’s time to fire up another Fan Friday. You can send your questions to me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Here we go.

1. Hey Chris,
I was just wondering, how are the contract talks going with Peters? Although it took him a couple of games to get into game shape, he is the Bills best lineman, shouldn’t they have locked him up already?
 
Thanks, Ryan

CB: As I understand the Bills told him they would address his contract after the season was over. With the salaries of Derrick Dockery and Robert Royal now off the books (minus the $5.3M acceleration on Dockery) they have more money to re-invest in Peters, which I anticipate will happen eventually.

However, I don’t see a deal being consummated quickly. This is one that will take some time I believe. But it’s a good sign and hopefully Peters is more motivated to play his best and participate in all offseason activities moving forward.

 

2. Chris- Just curious on the draft status of Pittsburgh Panther Derek Kinder number 81.  Is he draft elgible and what round would he go in?  He’s a local product out of Albion NY, he’s the guy who blocked two guys on a special teams play that sprung Derelle Revis for a touchdown.
                                                                             Thanks Travis

CB: I thought Kinder did a nice job coming back from a torn ACL, which forced him to miss his entire junior season. I think his size and speed (4.54) is good enough to get him into a training camp, but I fear he will go undrafted, unless he has a monster pro day at Pitt on March 17. I’ll keep my eye out to see how he fares.

 

3. Hey Chris,
 
Just wondering your thoughts on this. Do you think it could come to a situation on Draft day that sees the Eagles want to move up so badly that they would give away the 2 first rounders they have, to get into the Bills spot, which is ahead of their division rival in Washington?
Could the Bills get away with a great DE and a TE and spot 21 and 28?
Do you think C Mack is still available at #42?
Thanks for your time and insight.
Randy
NL, CAN

CB: I think the only way the Eagles do that is if there’s an early run on the OTs and they want one of the top four (J. Smith, Monroe, Oher, A. Smith). If not I see them sitting where they’re at and hoping one of the top 2 backs falls to them (Moreno, Wells) and then scoop up a value player at 28. That’s usually the way they operate. They covet quantity of picks and trading up to 11 would cost them.

 

4. Chris,
 
I do understand the Bills need for a top pass rusher, but watching TE Brandon Pettigrew from OSU, I don’t see how anyone could pass him up if he’s still there at # 11. He’s a beast. Not only can he catch anything thrown at him, but he’s a great blocking TE. I’m no expert but the guy looks like he can come right in and start as a rookie. And the Bills defense showed they are good enough to win. It was the offense that needed help. Have you followed Pettigrew? What do think?
 
Jerry (Bills fan in FL)

CB: With the release of Royal (not that he was a long term answer anyway), the thin free agent crop and the desperate need to add a playmaker to the offense, Pettigrew is the only option in the draft where you could start him next to Langston Walker and feel somewhat comfortable. Due to that fact I think he’s a possibility at 11.

I’d still prefer a pass rusher, believing you have to get your big people early, but Pettigrew who I saw and spoke to at the combine is very impressive. Comes across well and is athletic enough to make a difference. I just maintain that unless you know he’s going to be a Tony Gonzalez type player you don’t take a tight end that high.

 

5. Chris,
I understand that there has been a lot of talk on whether or not we should try to re-sign Greer or not. First I was wondering who you think is the better cover corner Greer or McGee? In some of the games I saw this year, although they were limited since I live in Cincinnati, Greer seemed to be the better cover corner. I know Greer is one year younger than McGee and he doesn’t get the recognition that McGee does because McGee is such a good return man. Given all that do you think it would be smarter to re-sign Greer, give Corner and McKelvin one more year to develop and then let Parrish, McKelvin and Jackson handle the return game? I think that Greer will be cheaper this year than McGee will be next. Let me know what you think.
Thanks,
Brendan

CB: Your question is a very good one. For the Bills I truly believe that it is an either-or proposition. They either still try to get Greer signed and let McGee go after next season, or let Greer go now and get McGee extended before next season is over.

I think based on how things played out leading up to free agency this week, they’ve chosen the latter. Still your point that the market will likely be higher when they get around to doing McGee is a valid one. Salaries usually go nowhere but up.

I like both of them, but I think McGee is a bit better than Greer. I think he’s a stronger tackler, has comparable footwork and plays hurt. It’s my belief that the team values McGee a bit more, and not because of the return ability, but his ability as a corner, which has gone overlooked for a while in this league.

Greer is looking for between $7-9M. It’s likely that McGee will be looking for the same in less than a year. We’ll have to just see where the market goes to see if one was the better play financially than the other.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

DE Ayers will also work out as a LB

Posted by Chris Brown on February 22, 2009 – 7:52 pm

Despite being 6’3 1/8″ and 272 pounds Tennessee DE Robert Ayers is going to work out as both a defensive lineman and linebacker during workouts here at the NFL Combine.

“From my understanding I’m going to be doing some 3-4 linebacker stuff and some position drills with the defensive linemen,” said Ayers. “A lot of teams are going to work me out that way. I’m just looking forward to it really.”

When asked what were the best offensive tackles he went against Ayers mentioned Andre Smith and Michael Oher.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Smith’s AWOL routine will hurt

Posted by Chris Brown on February 21, 2009 – 9:01 pm

With Alabama OT Andre Smith going AWOL this morning here at the Combine before being eventually found, it’s going to raise more red flags about him.

NFL teams were already questioning his passion for the game with him leaning against not working out. There were also unconfirmed reports that he admitted in an interview with one NFL team that he hasn’t done anything to prepare for the Combine over the past four or five weeks.

You better believe teams will be investigating that. And if passion for the game is even a question mark, this guy could plummet to the bottom third of the first round. There are three other comparable offensive tackles in Jason Smith, Michael Oher and Eugene Monroe that teams will now prefer in light of this event.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

C Wood runs pretty well

Posted by Chris Brown on February 21, 2009 – 4:59 pm

For offensive linemen the 40 is not the end all, be all by any means, but Louisville C Eric Wood ran a pair of 5.17s, which isn’t bad.

40 times do not exactly reveal athleticism. Michael Oher, considered one of the most athletic linemen in the draft ran a 5.37.


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Posted in Inside the Bills