Alright Bills fans, the first Sunday of the regular season is finally here! Apologize for the delay today. Let’s get to your questions from Ask.Chris@bills.nfl.net and @ChrisBrownBills.
1 - Chris,
I have a few questions regarding the running back and defensive line rotations:
I remember a few years ago in Kansas City when they had Larry Johnson and Priest Holmes, they used a 2 on 1 off rotation. Meaning Holmes would go in for two series and then Johnson would spell him for one. As we all saw, this was pretty effective for them as they were both kept fresh and they both put up solid numbers. Can you see this strategy working with Freddie and CJ?
The second question I have is do you see us shifting Mario Williams inside on obvious passing downs like the Giants did early in Justin Tuck’s career? They have the same general body type to hold their own inside and they’re both freakish athletes. If we put Anderson and Merriman at the ends I think that it would be a pretty formidable pass rushing line even without including Dareus or Williams.
CB: I think your idea in having the Bills mimic what the Chiefs did isn’t a bad one, but right now I think the way in which they intend to get each of them what the staff believes are sufficient touches is by putting them on the field at the same time. I don’t believe they’ll be lined up in the backfield together all that often, but I think they will both be on the field an awful lot. Both of them are capable of splitting out wide or carrying the ball out of the backfield. So there are so many options that I think this approach can work more effectively and keep defenses more off balance.
As for Mario Williams I don’t see him moving inside all that much. It’d be one thing if you had some run stuffing pluggers at defensive tackle, but Marcell Dareus led the team in sacks last season and Kyle Williams led the team the year before. With Dareus and Williams so good at pushing the pocket from the middle on passing downs, I don’t see a need to move Mario inside.
2 – Hey Chris.
I was wondering if you could tell me who tailors the guys uniforms. I noticed that authentic jerseys one can purchase are different than what the players actually wear. I want to tailor my jersey sleeves like how Freddy has his. Thanks Chris.
CB: To my knowledge Nike cuts the player jerseys differently than the jerseys that appear on the store shelves. Nike has specific jersey cuts based on the position a player plays (e.g. wide receiver, longer, tighter torso cut). For the general public those jersey cuts don’t exist presumably because they have to appeal to a broad spectrum of sizes, so they don’t streamline cut them or enlarge them. They have one general cut for the store jerseys.
3 - Hey Chris,
I was wondering with Ron Brooks being the fastest DB, how come the Bills won’t give him a shot at kick return or even punt return? I think Donald Jones is good but I would rather see him in the slot and Easley at the 2nd spot, what do you think? Lastly if Terrence Mcgee comes back fully recovered do you think he will start the first game of the regular season?
CB: First, there are different kinds of speed and quickness. In fact an NFL scout will tell you that speed and quickness are two different things. Brooks has great short area quickness and change of direction skills. He’s also a pretty darn fast straight line runner. As for special teams though, his experience from college is as a gunner, which is where he would’ve lined up for the Bills on their punt team had he not broke his foot in practice a couple of weeks ago.
Buffalo has so many capable returners (McKelvin, Rogers, Spiller, Graham) that there’s no need to force Brooks, with very limited experience, into that role.
4 - Hi Chris,
Bryan Scott has always been a solid backup in the safety position. With his move to linebacker, he seems undersized and unlikely to get on the field as much, not to mention this takes away quite a bit of our safety depth. Why the move to linebacker and do you see the coaches putting him back at safety where he seems to be a more natural fit?
CB: Quite the contrary. Scott is a solid 220 pounds, which is just eight pounds lighter than Nick Barnett (228). And he is going to play more than Kelvin Sheppard in terms of total snaps this year. Scott is a first team nickel linebacker with Barnett and knowing what a passing league the NFL has become you can bet that Scott will be on the field for up to 65 percent of the plays on defense.
In this league of passing all over the yard, you need lighter and quicker linebackers that can help in coverage. Scott is the perfect hybrid for such a role. In fact he was used rather extensively in this role last year.
5 - Chris
Please explain the rules for PUP and PS eligibility and return to active squad. Could McGee or Troup have started the season on PUP and return later when healthy? Also, how many players can dress on game day and are there special provisions for the 3rd “emergency” QB. With Fitz and wildcat QB Smith dressed, will the primary backup also need to be part of the active game roster?
CB: The rules for PUP are pretty simple. If a player is physically unable to perform at the start of training camp a team can place him on Active/PUP, which means he still counts toward a roster spot. That was the case this summer with TE Mike Caussin.
Only players that start the preseason (camp) on Active/PUP are eligible to be transitioned to Reserve/PUP before the start of the regular season. Once Terrence McGee and Torell Troup took to the practice field at training camp PUP was no longer an option in any capacity.
Caussin however, was placed on Reserve/PUP. Under the rules, Caussin, if medically cleared, could begin practicing with the team after Week 6 and still not count toward a roster spot. From the day he begins practicing, which can happen anywhere between the end of Week 6 and Week 9, a 21-day window is open for the team to decide whether they want to add him to their active roster or put him on season-ending injured reserve.
A player can serve up to three years on a practice squad. What wipes out all practice squad eligibility however, is if a player appears in nine games or more in any one regular season of their career. Naaman Roosevelt was an example of this. He served parts of two seasons on the Bills practice squad. So he would’ve still had a year left this year had he not appeared in 10 regular season games in 2011.
Those 10 appearances wiped out his practice squad eligibility this year.
As for game day teams can now dress 46 players. It used to be 45 players and an emergency QB, but that rule was changed last year. So now it’s just 46 players. That’s what made Brad Smith so attractive to the Bills in free agency. His versatility would not be able to be used as an asset under the old rules on a game day because of the third quarterback restrictions, but now with those rules removed, Smith can enter a game anywhere at any time.
Tags: Bryan Scott, C.J. Spiller, Fan Friday, Fred Jackson, Mario Williams, Nike, practice squad, PUP, Ron Brooks
Posted in Inside the Bills