Inside The Bills

Mr. Wilson nominated for Salute to Service

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2012 – 1:11 pm

The NFL and USAA, the NFL’s Official Military Appreciation Sponsor, announced nominees for the second annual NFL Salute to Service Award and Bills owner Ralph Wilson is the nominee for the Bills.

2012 SALUTE TO SERVICE TEAM NOMINEES

TEAM NOMINEE
Atlanta Falcons Mike Smith, Head Coach
Baltimore Ravens John Harbaugh, Head Coach
Buffalo Bills Ralph C. Wilson, Owner and President
Carolina Panthers Ron Rivera, Head Coach
Chicago Bears Charles Tillman, DB
Cincinnati Bengals Paul Brondhaver, Game Day Volunteer
Cleveland Browns Joe Thomas, OT
Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
Denver Broncos Denver Broncos Cheerleaders
Houston Texans Gary Kubiak, Head Coach
Indianapolis Colts Pat McAfee, P
Jacksonville Jaguars Mike Mularkey, Head Coach
Kansas City Chiefs Robert Alberino, VP Media/Marketing
Minnesota Vikings Jared Allen, DE
New Orleans Saints Joe Vitt, Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers
New York Giants Tom Coughlin, Head Coach
New York Jets Ben Kotwica, Assistant Special Teams Coach
Philadelphia Eagles DeSean Jackson, WR
Pittsburgh Steelers Troy Polamalu, S
Seattle Seahawks Mike Flood, VP Community Relations
St. Louis Rams Jeff Fisher, Head Coach
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mark Dominik, GM
Washington Redskins Darrel Young, FB

Mr. Wilson served in the Navy in World War II and has supported numerous Veteran causes.

Teams from around the league nominated NFL players, alumni, and personnel who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community. USAA is a leading provider of insurance and other services to members of the U.S. military and their families.

Fans can visit www.millionfansalute.com to view videos of NFL team’s supporting their local military units, download and share photos, and offer a salute to the military on behalf of their favorite team.  NFL cities with the most salutes will earn rewards for their local military community from USAA.

To read each team’s Salute to Service nomination, visit www.nfl.com/salute.


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Chan: Mr. Wilson upset with losing

Posted by Chris Brown on November 5, 2012 – 4:34 pm

Bills owner Ralph Wilson speaks with GM Buddy Nix every day and he speaks with head coach Chan Gailey once a week. Gailey says Mr. Wilson is as unhappy as anyone else with the lack of success in the first half of the 2012 season.

“He’s upset we’re losing,” said Gailey. “Would you expect anything less? He’s upset we’re losing. That’s made very clear, which I understand. I am too. We’ve got to win and our weekly conversations will go better.”


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Mr. Wilson on passing of Art Modell

Posted by Chris Brown on September 6, 2012 – 12:12 pm

Bills owner Ralph Wilson issued the following statement on behalf of the Bills organization on the passing of former Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell.

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Art Modell.  Art and I were good friends and while we remained competitive in respect to our teams, we shared many laughs over the years. He was an influential figure in our league and was respected tremendously within the NFL ownership group. Art was a loving family man and he and Pat made a great team. I want to extend my deepest sympathies to his sons David and John and the entire Modell family and all of his friends.”

Modell passed of natural causes at age 87 with his family at his bed side.


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Mr. Wilson home from hospital

Posted by Chris Brown on September 5, 2012 – 12:23 pm

There was good news Wednesday concerning Bills Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson, who was hospitalized in Michigan last week.

The team reports that Mr. Wilson is home from the hospital and doing well. He got home from the hospital Tuesday according to head coach Chan Gailey.

“We talked before he went in the hospital and I haven’t talked to him since he got home yesterday,” said Gailey Wednesday. “I’m sure we’ll talk some time soon though.”


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Mr. Wilson in good condition

Posted by Chris Brown on August 30, 2012 – 6:26 pm

The reports that Bills owner Ralph Wilson has been hospitalized are accurate, but Mr. Wilson is in good condition. If there are any other developments to pass along we will do so.


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Dedication at HOF this morning

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2012 – 9:40 am

Bills owner Ralph Wilson was on hand this morning in Canton for the dedication of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s new Ralph Wilson, Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

The 10,000-square-foot Center is named in honor of Wilson, a member of the Hall of Fame and founder of the Buffalo Bills, whose gift of $2.5 million dollars made the state-of-the-art facility possible.

 The Ralph Wilson, Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center will house and preserve the more than 20 million document pages and 3 million photographic images in the Hall of Fame’s collection. 

 The addition of the new Center also allows the Hall of Fame to renovate the space that previously housed the document collection and the three-dimensional artifact collection. The retrofitted space will then exclusively accommodate the ever-growing artifact collection.

 “Ralph Wilson’s outstanding contributions to pro football over many decades are legendary,” stated Steve Perry, president/executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “His generous gift has greatly enhanced our ability to preserve the Hall of Fame’s rapidly growing collection of historic documents and artifacts.”

Stay tuned to Buffalobills.com for more on this story including video footage of the dedication.


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Neiman painted Bills game

Posted by Chris Brown on June 21, 2012 – 11:52 am

Famed American artist LeRoy Neiman passed away Wednesday evening at age 91. A popular painter of sports action scenes (including 5 Olympiads and countless Super Bowls), Bills owner Ralph Wilson commissioned Neiman to paint one of the first Bills home games the year Ralph Wilson Stadium opened in 1973.

The painting was of the Oct. 29, 1973 home game for the Bills against the Chiefs. O.J. Simpson is depicted in the piece as the ball carrier (see below). Also making an appearance in the painting is Mr. Wilson himself along the far sideline on the left side of the piece (see 2nd photo). The Bills won the game 23-14.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Vincent: Mr. Wilson excited for ’12

Posted by Chris Brown on June 19, 2012 – 9:59 am

Former Bills DB Troy Vincent, who still talks to Bills owner Ralph Wilson twice a month, relayed some of Mr. Wilson’s optimism for the 2012 season in an appearance on Bills flagship WGR Sportsradio 550 this week.

Vincent even attempted an impression of Mr. Wilson in passing along some of the thoughts of the Bills owner.

“He’s very excited about the season,” said Vincent of Mr. Wilson. “He said, ‘I think we have a chance to win. We’ve got some players up front that remind me of the Kelly era. We’ve got a chance.’”

Vincent currently serves in the NFL office as Vice President of Player Engagement.

 


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Buddy presser today

Posted by Chris Brown on January 9, 2012 – 7:00 am

Bills GM Buddy Nix will be holding his season wrap up press conference today (Monday) at 11 am. We’ll have full coverage here on Buffalobills.com.

Nix and Bills CEO Russ Brandon met with Mr. Wilson in Detroit late last week for their assessment of the 2011 season and plans for the 2012 offseason.


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Game ball to Mr. Wilson

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2011 – 4:56 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey made sure that the game ball went to Mr. Wilson, who could not be in attendance for his first home opener ever.

“Chan was giving this game ball to Mr. Wilson,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick. “It was the first time he’s missed an opener in a long time. We’re sorry that he couldn’t be here, but hopefully he’s proud of what we did on the field today.”

Mr. Wilson broke his hip this past June and is still recovering at his Michigan home.


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Nix refutes claim of Bills not spending

Posted by Chris Brown on September 6, 2011 – 8:38 pm

It’s been written and said more than once, that the Bills are more interested in saving money than being successful on the field. Apparently Bills GM Buddy Nix has had enough of it. Appearing on the Shredd and Ragan show on 103.3 The Edge, Nix set the record straight.

“Any move that we make we take the information that we have at the time and we try to do things that will make our team better,” said Nix. “It is never about money.  It’s never about when a guy was drafted.  The business I am in, the only way I will stay in this job with the Bills and our coaching staff will survive is if we win games.  It has nothing to do with what the budget is. 

“This business of playing our guys or playing high draft choices, it is really kind of amusing when you think about it.  The only way we are going to survive and be successful is to win games.  So, every move we make is for that reason.  Money has never been mentioned since I have been here.  I know what the cap is and we can spend it all.”

When asked if owner Ralph Wilson has told him specifically to save money, again Nix refuted the notion.

“I am not going to get into this, but I will try to clear that up,” he said. “It’s the other way around; I talk him out of going after high-dollar guys that you see on TV and ESPN.  That has happened more than once. It’s me talking him out of it.”


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Mr. Wilson misses football

Posted by Chris Brown on May 16, 2011 – 10:50 am

Bills Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson spoke with the NY Daily News over the weekend, and like most fans of the game, just wants football back.

“I hope the sides come to an agreement,” Wilson told the Daily News. “I hope they can. I miss football like millions of other people.”

Mr. Wilson was also asked about being one of the two votes against the previous CBA extension in 2006, and how he and Bengals owner Mike Brown look now.


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Mr. Wilson honored war vet

Posted by Chris Brown on March 22, 2011 – 8:47 am

Bills Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson and four other NFL owners were recipients of the American Spirit Award by the National World War II museum last night in New Orleans.

Mr. Wilson was honored along with Saints owner Tom Benson, Titans owner Bud Adams, Lions owner William Clay Ford and Chargers owner Alex Spanos, who are all WWII veterans. Mr. Wilson served in the Navy.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune the museum is kicking off an initiative to tell the story of the role that football and the NFL played in the war effort. According to the museum, the NFL sold millions in war bonds, donated revenues from exhibition games to service charities and in some cases merged teams so that the game would go on, boosting the country’s morale


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Mr. Wilson on Cam Newton

Posted by Chris Brown on February 17, 2011 – 12:43 pm

In an interview with Fanhouse.com, Bills Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson is asked if the Bills would take Cam Newton third overall. Here was his response.

“Well, he’s very athletic,” Wilson said. “But it’s the intangibles. We’ve had a number of quarterbacks that could throw the ball 100 yards and right into your stomach. But then they got into games and threw it 100 yards into the other team’s stomach. There’s time. We’ll learn more about him. Just like with this labor agreement, you just can’t predict.”

It’s clear that Wilson and the Bills need to be convinced that Newton has the mental makeup to not only diagnose the NFL game, but make the split-second decisions consistently enough to be an NFL success.


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Mr. Wilson on labor & Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 17, 2011 – 12:40 pm

Bills Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson had an interview with Fanhouse.com in which he discussed the pursuit of a new CBA between the players and owners and the future of his team including their top pick at third overall.

Mr. Wilson believes a new accord will be reached, but feels it will “take a lot of work.” He also outlined why he was one of two owners against the 2006 CBA extension, which the rest of the NFL ownership chose to opt out of two years later.

“They passed out a sheet that contained financial information,” Wilson told Fanhouse of the owners meeting in March 2006. “It was not what I thought we were supposed to get. I thought there would be more discussion. I voted against it because I didn’t understand the financial figures put out. And what I did understand, I didn’t like.”

Wilson maintains that all he wants is a “fair agreement” for everyone involved.

As for his team Wilson points only to himself for the club’s shortcomings on the field over the past decade.

“I’ve made a lot of mistakes with my team in the last 10 years,” Wilson told Fanhouse. “I think I’m rectifying that. We’ll see. We almost won some games last year against teams that were certainly more talented than us. Buddy, the scouts, the coaches, they are working. I know it’s not going to be an instant turnaround. I think it will take two or three years to have a playoff team — and that’s if we get a quarterback.”

That prompted the question on whether the Bills would take Cam Newton third overall.


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Chan talks to Mr. Wilson

Posted by Chris Brown on January 10, 2011 – 2:16 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey stated that he’d be speaking with owner Ralph Wilson about the last game and the state of the team after year one on the job. The first discussion has already taken place.

Appearing on WHTK radio in Rochester last week, Gailey confirmed that he had spoken to Mr. Wilson.

“We talk every week,” Gailey said. “He and I visit every week. We talk about the game. I tell him what was good and what was bad. This last one we did the same thing and we talked about having a season-ending overall evaluation about where we are and where we’re headed.”

Gailey went on to say that the year one team evaluation meeting will happen in the next few weeks.


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Mr. Wilson on hand and smiling

Posted by Chris Brown on December 19, 2010 – 9:46 pm

Just like any self-respecting Bills fan, owner Ralph Wilson was smiling ear to ear in Buffalo’s locker room after his team beat the hated Dolphins 17-14 Sunday. The pride he has for his hard working team and head coach was evident after the game.

“This team amazes me,” said Wilson. “I guess it’s because they play so hard. A lot of them were overlooked in the draft and a lot of them were cut by other teams because they didn’t have enough patience with them and all those things play into it.

“We pick a guy up in the middle of the week and he starts for us on Sunday. We were in three games with three great teams (Baltimore, Kansas City, Pittsburgh). Buddy and Chan have done a wonderful job and the players have played hard. We should be much, much better next year.”

For the first time that I can remember, Mr. Wilson also made an appearance in the post game interview room to listen to Chan Gailey address the media, and that ear to ear smile was still there. Looks like Mr. Wilson got one of the things he wanted for Christmas, a win over Miami.


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Fan Friday 11-19

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2010 – 1:33 pm

Win No. 1 is in the books and the Bills have a very winnable game Sunday against a reeling Cincinnati squad. Getting mixed feedback from fans on winning right now as some want to lock up the top pick with the worst NFL record. I don’t see that happening because Carolina is a far worse team and Buffalo has made strides the last month. They’re playing better football. Now to your questions from the AskChris@bills.nfl.net file.

1 - Hey Chris,
I know Ralph has said QB is the top priority this offseason and that really worries me that we will desperately take whoever is the best QB available at our pick in the draft,whether or not he is necessarily deserving of the pick. Personally I think Andrew Luck is the real deal and would take him first overall no question, but if he stays in school like he’s said he will then we take a QB just to take one? I think Mallett is a little inconsistent and have had character questions and that Locker is far too inaccurate and raw to cut it in the NFL. I would say to take a tackle but it doesn’t seem as though there’s an elite tackle at this point. If we can’t take Luck, do you think it would make more sense to take a defensive impact player such as Bowers from Clemson or Fairley from Auburn, maybe even Peterson on LSU, a tackle in the second and try to get Luck or someone like a Matt Barkley whenever they declare? Thanks.
 
From,
Tom

CB: I think you can rest assured knowing that GM Buddy Nix is not going to desperately do anything. As I mentioned last week, we have to see which underclassmen declare in mid-January before we can really assess the landscape of what will be available to the Bills. At that point we’ll also know where Buffalo will be picking in the draft order.

Know this, Buddy Nix worked primarily under John Butler during his first stint with the Bills. Butler worked under Bill Polian, who openly stated that the top two positions on a football team in terms of importance were QB and a pass rushing DE or OLB depending on your defensive system.

I’ve seen a lot of Fairley and that kid is impressive. He jumps off the TV screen. I haven’t seen as much of Bowers, but of the tape I’ve watched it’s evident he’s a special talent. In fact, there’s one part of his game that resembles Bruce Smith. Bowers can drop his inside shoulder and his inside hip and flatten himself out at almost a 45 degree angle and still maintain his pass rush speed to get to the quarterback.

There are very few pass rushers that can do that. Marcellus Wiley told me when he tried to do some of the things that Bruce could do he would fall down. I’m not saying Bowers is Bruce Smith, but I am saying that on the surface it appears he has some similar athletic traits in his game to that of the Hall of Famer.

Just know that Nix is not going to have his hand forced with their top pick. I think he proved that last spring when he took Spiller despite glaring needs at other positions. If the individual talent at a position of need doesn’t fit their spot on the board he won’t reach to fill it.

2 - Hey Chris ,
I’ll make this quick – What do you think about Kellen Moore ?? All the kid does is win !!

Mr. T from Ft. Myers via Nashville

CB: Moore has shown the ability to perform in the clutch and you’re right he is no question a winner. His greatest strength is his knowledge of the game. A son of a football coach, Moore is a football nerd. As a kid he used allowance money to buy college game tape off the internet.

Since he was a sophomore his college staff was so impressed with his knowledge and scouting of opponents that they would often incorporate plays he liked into the game plan. To my knowledge they still do this.

What’s going to steer NFL GMs away from Moore are his physical limitations. He’s a 6’0” 187-pound pocket passer. He’s not all that mobile and his arm is adequate at best.

His football intelligence will get him drafted, but it will be hard for talent evaluators to overlook his physical deficiencies. I think he’ll be a mid to late round pick (4th to 6th), but I wouldn’t mind having him on my team as a backup. It should be noted that he is a junior, so he still has a year of college eligibility left.

He gets knocked for being a system quarterback, but I think he’s more than that personally.

3 - Chris:
It starting to look like Alex Carrington is falling into the potential bust category. How is it that a young Defensive Lineman can’t get on the field for this team that has major Defensive issues stopping the run and rushing the passer?
 
Thanks
Joe Badaszewski
Blasdell

CB: I think you’re way off the mark here on Carrington. First of all Carrington is playing a position where there are experienced veterans in front of him (Johnson, Stroud, Edwards). That combined with the fact that in a 3-4 you really only need five defensive linemen active for a game and you see the numbers game where Carrington gets caught.

So I think to even attribute bust in the same sentence as Carrington is misguided at best. When you have proven veterans in front of you on the depth chart, that’s what is going to keep you off the field more than anything. It has less to do with his ability and more to do with the ability of the vets.
4 – Hi Chris,
 
Couple of questions for you. First, regarding free Agency this off-season, what notable players on the Bills roster have contracts that are expiring? Specifically, where do players like Whitner and Poz stand (I think theirs may be up soon) and do you foresee them being offered new contracts, or do you think Nix/Gailey may be looking to move in a different direction once the season is over?

Paul in Toronto

CB: Here are the names according to my records. I believe I have most of them. Paul Posluszny, Donte Whitner, George Wilson, Ashton Youboty, Keith Ellison, Brian Brohm, Drayton Florence, Jonathan Stupar and Garrison Sanborn.

I would think that Poz is a top priority with Whitner and Florence other notable considerations. I think keeping a quality long snapper is also important so I anticipate Sanborn will be back.

All that being said, with the labor uncertainty there’s no definition as to who is restricted or unrestricted based on accrued seasons before there is no CBA to go off of. A couple of these players are likely to be re-signed prior to a new CBA regardless of what the new rules become because the organization deems them important pieces for their future. But the absence of a CBA won’t make the process any easier.
5 – Chris,

One question about the Bills has really been bugging me: a couple of years ago Leodis McKelvin was a fantastic kickoff returner for Buffalo. C J Spiller seems awful tentative on kick returns. Why does McKelvin not return kickoffs? Does Coach Gailey not know that McKelvin is an electric return man? Maybe you could ask him that the next time you interview him.

Lee D.

CB: It looks like you’re going to get your wish Lee due to injury. Spiller is out Sunday against Cincinnati and McKelvin is slated to handle both kick and punt return. Personally I thought he was robbed last week on his 78-yard return on a very questionable holding call against Jon Corto. I thought Corto had him locked up legally and was driving his man down the field.

I do like that McKelvin is getting this opportunity. I think the Bills staff was so eager to get Spiller on the field, and knowing he’d be worked in slowly on the offensive side, returns were a way to get him extra touches. They also wanted McKelvin to focus more on defense because his consistency series to series had been an issue. In my opinion he played his best game of the season against Detroit last week.


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Fan Friday 10-29

Posted by Chris Brown on October 29, 2010 – 12:45 pm

Bills offense exploded last week. Gotta hope for more of the same against a Chiefs weak pass defense. Could be another shootout this week. Keep your questions coming at AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Now to your questions for this week.

1 – Hey Chris,
I was writing in regards to the comments made by Ralph Wilson about persuing a QB next year. Do you think that was a shot at Fitz? I think Fitz is doing an excellent job of hanging in there and making some plays when everyone else is falling apart. I think the number one priority definitely needs to be defense. This is the second straight year they can’t even come close to stopping the run. I mean Fitz has been putting up points and enough to win if your defense is anywhere near respectable.

What do you think we need to focus on in terms of personel for next year? I know Fitz probably won’t be the guy for the next ten years but I see much bigger holes to fill that even Tom Brady couldn’t win with.
Dan

CB: There’s no question that the defense has more holes to fill than the offense, but I believe that two of the top three most important positions on a football team are quarterback and left tackle along with a top flight pass rusher. All three remain holes for this team to fill.

Yes, Fitz has been on a tear and he’s remarkably effective in organizing the protections while also surveying the coverage pre-snap. After the Baltimore game some are tabbing him the future QB. I say let’s let the last 10 games play out before anyone passes judgment as to what the plan should be at QB.

The bottom line though is I remain convinced that QB, pass rushing OLB and LT all need to be addressed in this draft first and foremost.

2 – How’s Ed Wang doing? You hardly ever hear about him, is he working with the team? He sounds big enough to keep some of those people off our QB.In Fla we hear nothing about the Bills. So I go to Buffalo on the computer. I haven’t heard anything about Ed. Hope he is helping out???
Thanks,
Bill

CB: Ed Wang has been practicing with the team since the start of the regular season coming off of thumb surgery after suffering the injury early in camp. He missed the entire preseason and had to practice with a giant club on his hand.

In the last two weeks he’s shed the club and is practicing normally with the thumb. All that being said, Wang had been working for about a month at guard and this week was transitioned back to tackle. Head coach Chan Gailey has told me they’re cross training him to see where he might fit best.

However, I don’t expect to see him on the field on Sundays this season. He’s got an awful lot to learn and missed an inordinate amount of time (the whole preseason) due to thumb surgery. This will be a learning year for him and little more unless there’s a rash of injuries on the offensive line.

3 -  Chris,
 
I cannot understand how Reggie Corner’s interception at the end of the first half against the Ravens wasn’t awarded to the Bills.  Did the NFL ever issue a statement explaining the call?  I understand that only one of Corner’s feet touched the ground and the other one landed on Boldin’s shin, then he basically landed in Boldin’s lap and rolled out of bounds.  But if Boldin is in the field of play, shouldn’t his body also be considered part of the field of play?  If the rule states that a defender’s body isn’t part of the field of play, then, hypothetically, when a receiver jumps to make a catch, a defender could catch the defender while he’s in the air and carry him out of bounds.  Couldn’t he?  Is there anything in the rule book that would prevent this from occurring?  Any clarification you could give would be greatly appreciated. 
 
-Brendan, Las Vegas

CB: You hypothetical situation is correct. The force out rule, which was amended prior to the 2009 season allows a defender to carry a player out of bounds preventing the receiver from getting two feet down in bounds and is an incomplete pass.

With respect to Reggie’s INT play in the end zone against the Ravens, the NFL rule book states the following under Rule 3, Section 6, Article 7 under Interception/Recover
Note 3: If a player would have caught, intercepted, or recovered a ball inbounds, but is
carried out of bounds, player possession will be granted (8-1-3 item 6).

In referencing Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3 – item 6 as stated in parentheses it states the following.
Item 6: Carried Out of Bounds. If a player, who is in possession of the ball, is held
up and carried out of bounds by an opponent before both feet or any part of his body
other than his hands touches the ground inbounds, it is a completed or intercepted
pass.

In reading the first note one might think that Corner was deserving of an interception since he was rolled out of bounds by Anquan Boldin before he could get both feet down. However, in reading Item 6: Carried out of Bounds, it seems that Corner would have to be held up and carried out of bounds to be awarded the interception.

Corner was rolled out of bounds as part of a regular football tackle. So unfortunately it becomes a matter of interpretation by the official. Nowhere in these two sections is anything mentioned about a tackler being an extension of the field. That issue only seems to come up when there is a loose ball.

In talking to Chan Gailey about this play he told me he did not have an issue with not being awarded an interception. He said he argued with the official about offensive pass interference. Gailey said Boldin was grabbing Corner’s right arm before the ball arrived, forcing Corner to catch it with one hand, which he did. Hope this helps.

4 - Hey Chris,
I read your article Chiefs Plan Encouraging for Bills Future and it strengthened my opinion that the Bills just haven’t been bad enough the past decade to really get better. They have had a slew of seasons where they won 6-8 games, never quite giving them that big-time draft pick. The Chiefs seem to be ahead of our Bills on getting their team turned around, mainly because they were worse sooner (and they seem to have done a better job adding talent).Picking in the top ten of the draft for 4 years helps. What are your thoughts that if the Bills hit bottom sooner, they may be better today?
 
Thanks a lot,
 
~Brenning Greenfield
Crozet, VA; Richmond, VA; Canisteo, NY

CB: I do believe at this day and age of the NFL it’s easier to get better if you simply bottom out. The Chiefs, as I mentioned in my story on Buffalobills.com, are an example of this as are the St. Louis Rams. After going 1-15 and 2-14 the past two seasons they’re on the way back up with premier young talent.

If the Bills in fact bottom out this season it makes climbing back up the mountain easier in my opinion because the players you’ll have in your arsenal will be the best in their class.
5 – Chris,
The individual draft choices of the Buffalo Bills since the last time the Bills were in the playoffs – what has been their fate? Have they been traded (if so to whom), been let go, where they kept, injured and retired, etc. Thanks,
Geoff Greene

CB: Well we’ve got to start with the 2000 NFL draft and I’m not going to list pick by pick each year. Here are the Bills first-round draft choices and what became of them.
2000 – Erik Flowers – washed out after just two seasons and played a few seasons as a reserve for the St. Louis Rams.
2001 – Nate Clements – was the team’s leader in interceptions each of his five seasons in a Bills uniform, but signed a gigantic free agent deal with San Francisco that Clements has been unable to live up to.
2002 – Mike Williams – Bills held onto him for four seasons. He had ability, but just did not have the passion to play football. Made a brief comeback with the Washington Redskins last season.
2003 – Willis McGahee – Could not play his rookie year due to his catastrophic knee injury in the National Championship game in college, but ran for 1,100 yards in his first NFL season. Grew disenchanted with Buffalo as a city and was traded to Baltimore for a pair of third-round picks and a seventh-round pick.
2004 – Lee Evans, J.P. Losman – Evans has been the team’s number one receiver for the past five years. Losman was appointed the starter in 2005, but never nailed down the job for good and was eventually allowed to depart as a free agent after the 2008 season.
2005 – No first-round pick – as part of the trade up to get Losman in 2004. Roscoe Parrish was the team’s first pick in round 2.
2006 – Donte Whitner, John McCargo – Whitner has been a starter at strong safety for almost his entire career with Buffalo. McCargo has one career start with the Bills.
2007 – Marshawn Lynch – Had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, made the Pro Bowl, but was traded after three seasons to Seattle.
2008 – Leodis McKelvin – One of the team’s top three cornerbacks. Currently starting in place of an injured Terrence McGee.
2009 – Aaron Maybin – Struggling to get on the field right now. Does not have an NFL start on his resume to this point.
2010 – C.J. Spiller – Has a 95-yard kick return for a touchdown and is playing a complementary role on offense to Fred Jackson in the offensive backfield.

BONUS - Do you think Fitz has a chance to solidify the role of the long term number two, similar to what Frank Reich was in the glory days, with a chance to start for a year or two while the long term QB we hopefully draft next year develops in the practice setting and adjusts to the NFL?  I think this would be the smartest thing to do in my opinion if Fitz continues to play well this year.  That way we can build our talent in the trenches so our long term QB doesn’t get Trent Edwards syndrome.

Mike Smith

CB: I think this is a very prudent and realistic approach after this season is over. Fitz is the perfect guy to have especially if you don’t believe a highly touted draft pick is ready to be thrown into the fire right away. Having them sink or swim right away or having them watch and learn for a year has worked in the NFL (example for each would be Elway, Rodgers).

Often the mental toughness and character makeup of a player will let a coach know if a rookie QB can handle or persevere through an NFL schedule. So it would ultimately depend on the rookie signal caller they would bring in, but I’m not opposed to that type of arrangement at all, if Chan Gailey believes the young quarterback is better off in the long run.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 10-22

Posted by Chris Brown on October 22, 2010 – 12:58 pm

It’s another week of your questions. Let’s get right to them (AskChris@bills.nfl.net).

1 – Chris:
I know the trade deadline has passed, but wouldn’t now be the time to move veteran players (i.e. Lee Evans) to a team like the Chargers or even the Patriots IF the Bills could get multiple picks?  By the time the Bills are ready to become competitive Lee Evans may be starting the downside of his career, and I believe the Bills expect (WR) Marcus Easley to become his replacement.  Buddy Nix did say he would like to collect more picks to build this team and the only way to do that would be to move assets now that may not help the team when it is ready to win in the distant future.
 
Joe Badaszewski
Blasdell

CB: I don’t think moving Lee is a wise move, even this offseason, for a couple of reasons. First, I think because Evans has played on an unsuccessful unit, his value around the league would be depressed from what it should be and thus the Bills would likely be unable to get fair market value.

Second, if the Bills have a quarterback of the future on this roster next year that they drafted high, you’re going to want a veteran receiver on this roster that said QB can rely on. Don’t underestimate the value of that for a young signal caller, and it’d be hard to get a better receiver for a youngster to lean on than Evans.

2 - Reebok is no longer going to be the supplier of the NFL jerseys and Nike is taking over due to contract expiration. So what are the chances of the Bills getting new jerseys for the next season since most fans are in consensus that our current jerseys are ugly, most want either new jerseys, a modern version of the 90s jerseys, or the throwbacks full time.

Joe From Buffalo

CB: Nike will be taking over with jerseys, but not until the 2012 season, when the current deal with Reebok expires. New Era will also be taking over for hats.

Nike has promised to “dramatically change” the NFL uniform, but they’re referring more to the performance aspects of the jerseys (breathability, body cooling technology, etc).

Nike has no latitude to make any uniform modifications to any NFL jersey whatsoever, but I would anticipate that there will be some NFL teams that apply for jersey modifications in conjunction with Nike coming on board in 2012.

And that would need to be done sooner rather than later knowing that applying to the league for uniform modifications is a 12 to 18-month process. Whether the Bills are in that number remains to be seen.

3 – Chris,
We’re in a “hybrid” 4-3/3-4 which makes no sense at all. We have Kelsay running around in space trying to defend the pass, and we have Maybin bull rushing OT’s and getting buried. No pressure on QB’s, no solid run defense, and no ball hawking defensive backs (0 Int’s for defensive backs this year). This defense ensures that we’re terrible in every phase.
 
At what point are Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey going to hold our defensive coaches accountable the way they have held our personnel accountable?
 
Joe

CB: I think whenever a team undergoes a dramatic scheme change struggles have to be anticipated. The struggles were not expected to be this severe by anybody including the coaching staff, but there’s no getting around the deficiencies.

I think the heavier run front with four down linemen is a good idea. The only thing I wouldn’t mind seeing is lining up Kyle Williams at end and Marcus Stroud inside. Williams is the kind of player that could do just about anything you need a lineman to do. I’d be real interested to see what he could do on the edge in that look.

It starts with stopping the run and they’re looking for a way to shore that up. If they can then it will create more obvious passing situations, and defensive coordinator George Edwards can get more aggressive with blitz calls, which will lead to some hurried throws and more opportunities to make plays on the ball. Hopefully you see how it all fits together, but as Chan Gailey has said, if you can’t stop the run none of the other stuff even matters.

Once they can address that, they can address some of their other shortcomings.
4 - Chris, what happened with Danny Batten?  He was another late round pick who was projected to play at OLB.  I know he was injured early in training camp or OTAs, but is he still on the roster?  If he is, is there any chance he makes it back into the fold this year?

John
Youngstown, NY

CB: Danny Batten sustained a severe shoulder injury in training camp that required surgery and was put on injured reserve before the season even started.

The labrum in his shoulder was almost completely torn and he had a couple of ligaments that were damaged as well. One was almost completely torn and the other was partially torn. The head of his arm bone was also compromised (the part that fits into the shoulder socket).

But Batten has done very well in his rehab. Just this past week he began resistance training as he’s now allowed to lift light weights with his surgically repaired arm/shoulder.

He’s also been shifted to an inside linebacker position, which he is studying up on in the classroom. Batten is expected to be full go for the start of the team’s offseason conditioning program next March.
5 - Hello Chris,
I had a question for you, since Ralph Wilson has come out and said a QB is our first priority, is he ready to make the investment and pay the 50 to 75 million that it would take to sign a first round draft pick at QB? Why does Buddy need to go on the road, all we need to know is about three QB’s and I’ve been able to watch them from home every Saturday Arkansas, Washington and Stanford.
 
Thanks,
Michael

CB: First, it’s unclear what kind of salary commitment an NFL owner will have to make to a high draft pick because there is the possibility of a rookie cap being instituted as part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. So Sam Bradford’s deal this past summer, which included $50 million guaranteed may soon be a thing of the past.

With respect to Buddy Nix’s going out on the road to scout quarterbacks and prospects at other positions, it’s a necessary part of the scouting process. If you believe you learn all you need to know about a player by watching him play in games you’ll miss the mark far more than you think.

How they play is a big part of the evaluation process, granted, but knowing a prospect’s practice habits, what makes them tick, family background, leadership ability, etc. cannot be accurately gleaned off of game tape alone. As Nix says himself, you have to “smell their breath.”

And the only reason you believe there are just three worthy QB prospects in the draft is because the so called draft experts wrote as much. If you think Buddy Nix is going to take his cue as to who to scout from the media, then you don’t know Buddy Nix.


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Posted in Inside the Bills