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Inside The Bills

3 man race for 4th DE spot

Posted by Chris Brown on August 25, 2012 – 9:41 am

It’s a virtual dead heat for the fourth and likely final defensive end spot on Buffalo’s 53-man roster, and tonight’s game could tip things in favor of one of those players in the race.

“They’re all right in the mix,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “Gilbert is the one that made it a three-man race.”

Prior to Gilbert kicking outside to defensive end just over a week ago, Eddins and Moore were the primary candidates to land the fourth defensive end role. But Gilbert, who was playing defensive tackle didn’t look like a great fit inside. So defensive line coach Giff Smith moved him out to end where he played most of his college career, helping him earn WAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors at San Jose State.

“I guess end feels a little more natural,” Gilbert admitted. “I played it mostly through college and a little bit my rookie year. Both of them I feel comfortable with right now. I know all the plays in the base positions. We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I get a lot of snaps and get a chance to prove myself out there. We’ll see how it is on Saturday.”

 


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Don’t sleep on Eddins

Posted by Chris Brown on August 21, 2012 – 10:02 am

In our front page story on Buffalobills.com this morning we profile the opportunity sitting in front of DEs Kyle Moore and Jarron Gilbert following the release of Shawne Merriman. But there’s one other candidate that should not be overlooked.

Robert Eddins has been running mostly with the third team defense in camp and the preseason, but Buffalo’s coaching staff thought enough of him that he made the opening day 53-man roster in 2011.

He was moved off the roster in Week 2 last season when the team needed to add cornerback depth following the Week 1 hamstring injury suffered by Terrence McGee.

Eddins hasn’t flashed as much this summer as he did last summer, prompting this observer to speculate as to whether Eddins is better suited as an OLB in a 3-4 system than a DE in 4-3.


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Tues. non-participants

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2012 – 5:41 pm

Here are the non-participants for the final night practice of camp.

Justin Rogers
Josh Nesbitt
Robert Eddins
Kevin Brock


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Skirmish at practice

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2012 – 4:09 pm

The heat may have played a role in a small skirmish at today’s practice.

Robert Eddins and Mike Jasper squared off at the end of the play with Jasper knocking Eddins helmet clean off his head. After the helmet flew things calmed down quickly.


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Fan Friday 3-30

Posted by Chris Brown on March 30, 2012 – 10:23 am

Hard to believe we’re 26 days away from the NFL draft! Get up to speed on the top 5 prospects at each position with our video position previews in the media center at Buffalobills.com where you hear from almost every one of the prospects profiled. Let’s get to your questions.

1 - Chris,
I like Nix’s stance on picking value over need, but since OLB is a definite need, if Terrell Manning from NC State is still available in the 3rd, do you think he’s what the Bills are looking for? He seems like a pretty quick, tough, instinctive player. Also, is there any chance TE Coby Fleener is going to be available for us in the 2nd round, & if so, would the Bills go for him? I know they’re high on Chandler, who had a good year, but you can’t deny Fleener’s ability/athleticism. Last, is there any chance the Bills trade out of the #10 pick? I just can’t see them taking a (right) tackle with Pears playing as well as he did & DE/OLB seems like a reach. Unless some fluke-ishness, a-la last year w/ the Locker-Gabbert-Ponder run,  happens in those 1st 9 picks & CB Claiborne is still available, I don’t see anyone being worth what we’d have to pay a #10 pick. I’d rather trade the pick altogether for a proven vet, Mike Wallace anyone? Thanks for all your work keeping us displaced Bills fans in the loop.

Mauricio Grossi
Chicago, Il

CB: A lot of questions here. First, Terrell Manning to me is a boom or bust player. Most believe he should’ve returned to N.C. State for the 2012 season and I’m one to agree. He just doesn’t make enough plays. He’ll flash here and there, but he doesn’t have great football instincts. Manning overruns a lot of plays in my opinion. He has pass rush ability, but I think the better overall player is his teammate Audie Cole. After Cole ran in the 4.6s at his pro day I felt better about him being a LB target in the 3rd or 4th round. He played mostly SLB, but was moved to MLB this past season for the Wolfpack.

He’s a smart, instinctive player with good physical ability. At 6’4” 246, he’s got prototype size for the strong side LB spot and would be a great young prospect to line up behind veteran Kirk Morrison. I met him at the Combine and liked what I heard. The dude’s hand swallowed mine (10 inch hands). I think he also could serve as a backup MLB.

Stanford’s Coby Fleener is now being talked about as a late first-round pick after his monster pro day last week. I don’t know that he’ll go that high, so you’re right about him probably being there for Buffalo in round two. I just don’t see tight end being a priority. Chandler I believe still has some potential to reach. Last year was his first year as a full-time starter. I think he can do even more this year.

As for trading out of the 10th overall pick. I think it is very realistic. If Buffalo doesn’t like what is on the board at offensive tackle in terms of the value matching up at pick 10, and they don’t believe WR Michael Floyd is right for the 10th pick either, I could see them making an effort to move back five to 10 spots and picking up an extra choice. Of course they need to find a trade partner to do that.

Your dream of getting Mike Wallace by the way are remote at best. All signs point to him being re-signed by Pittsburgh.

 

2 - Hey Chris,

I really appreciate all the work you do in keeping us informed on the Bills.  My question is about Memphis DT Dontari Poe.  Heard he blew people away at the combine with his athleticism for his size of 6-4 and 346 pounds.  I know we have Williams are Dareus in the middle, but Poe reminds a lot of people of another guy the Bills passed on Pro Bowler Haloti Ngata.  Curious if you think the Bills would give any consideration to drafting this guy or would they rather address a bigger need? 

Thank you,
Jeremy from San Antonio
CB: While Poe is an intriguing prospect and should be no worse than a mid-first round pick, I don’t see Buffalo going the DT route. The Bills have a lot of depth on the interior with Torell Troup on the road to recovery from back surgery, Kellen Heard and now Dwan Edwards as a likely DT in the new 4-3 scheme.

Buffalo’s positional demands at OT, WR, LB and CB trump DT.

And while I like Poe as a prospect, he’s not Haloti Ngata.

 

3 - Dear Chris,

Is it plausible the Bills would consider using one of their 4th round picks on Kellen Moore? I think he has potential be a great backup for Fitz. His accuracy would fit well into our offensive scheme. Many are casting doubts on his ability to perform at the next level, but it seems Buffalo has built a 1st class culture through acquiring players with a chip on their shoulder!  

Thanks for keeping us in the loop with your great coverage. 

Larry D
Fort Collins, CO  

CB: Being a guy of small stature myself I always root for the guys that aren’t blessed with the physical gifts that the elite prospects possess. But it’s even hard for me to look past Moore’s physical limitations. Being under six-feet tall wouldn’t be as much of an issue if he was on the higher end of the athleticism meter. Unfortunately he’s not. He lacks agility and escapability and that hurts him at the NFL level because at his height he’s going to need to move around a lot to find throwing lanes to throw through, much like Doug Flutie did. Moore can’t move like Flutie.

He’s super intelligent and anticipates throws really, really well. He puts good touch on the ball as well, but driving the ball downfield isn’t something he’s going to do. I suppose he could survive as a backup WCO QB, but I believe he’ll be a successful offensive coordinator in this league before he’s a successful quarterback. A sixth or seventh-round pick at best.

 

4 - Chris,

Love the offseason coverage. Can’t wait until draft day! Can you breakdown who is in the mix to fill the rush/SAM LB in the new defense? Who are the best 43 LB in the draft that could fill the void?  Hightower (Alabama) Lewis (Oklahoma). Where do players like Chris White and Robert Eddins (who looked great in preseason ) fit into the new LB scheme. The team needs depth at LB at all 3 positions.

Thanks
Josh

CB: As it stands now Morrison would be the starting SLB going into camp with Moats backing him up over there and last year’s sixth-round pick Chris White in that mix too. On the weak side it’s Nick Barnett and Robert Eddins, who is under contract and is a rush LB. I anticipate Shawne Merriman to be a pass rushing end on the open side (right side) so he’s out of the mix. I believe Bryan Scott could be part of competition as well knowing he played a hybrid LB role in the team’s nickel package last year.

As for draft prospects that fit the 4-3, Hightower to me is an ILB and probably a second-round prospect. Lewis is an interesting player because he’s got a lot of physical talent, but since the Oklahoma coaches never found a spot for him it’s hard to know what he is exactly. He also had some academic issues and it was recommended to him that he turn pro. Also said to have some maturity issues so he doesn’t sound like Bills draft material. North Carolina’s Zach Brown (WLB), Boise State’s Shea McClellin (SLB), Utah State’s Bobby Wagner and N.C. State’s Audie Cole (SLB) are all guys I feel better about.

 

5 - I’m puzzled about the status of Alex Carrington.  He played as a 4-3 defensive end in college and in the 3-4 this year they played him at linebacker, even though he is around 300 lbs.  He must have quickness to play linebacker and I heard he increased his strength dramatically coming into last season.  Therefore, why isn’t he mentioned as a candidate to be one of the starting defensive ends in the 4-3?  Thanks for being willing to answer our questions.

Tom O.

CB:  The reason why you don’t see him being mentioned as a DE in Buffalo’s new 4-3 defense is because he’s likely to be a defensive tackle. Carrington added lean muscle to his frame last year and came into camp at 305 pounds. He was miscast as an OLB, but he along with Spencer Johnson were the best answers they had in terms of setting the edge in the run front with Merriman out of the lineup. Now in the 4-3 Carrington is likely to be a wave player on the interior. I believe he’s capable of playing a LDE role in a 4-3, but there he would be a backup to Mario Williams.

The Bills are going to have some tough decisions to make on the defensive line this summer where they currently have 16 players.


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Fan Friday 12-30

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2011 – 1:14 pm

Happy New Year Bills fans! As always I’ll be on the live blog here on Buffalobills.com during the Bills-Pats season finale, so join me during the game for observations, questions and comments. We’re up right before kickoff. Now to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Chris,

I would like your thoughts on some of these concerns I find to be “holding” Buffalo back if you will. 

Second, with Dareus providing a nice push in the middle of the line, could that help sway our current 3-4 back to the 4-3? Our run “D” is still stale, and with the likes of Williams and Dareus in the middle, teams would very much struggle to establish an effective running attack on us.

Thanks again for all you do for the BILLS!!!!!! 
Dan, FL 

CB: I wouldn’t be surprised if it were up for debate this offseason by the coaching staff. The thought of Williams and Dareus alongside one another in a 4-3 front is intriguing. Of course without a proven pass rushing right defensive end on the roster it’s a hole that would absolutely need to be filled to pull it off.

I also think figuring out the linebacker situation would be next. Nick Barnett is more of a 3-4 inside linebacker, but in a 4-3 he’d presumably have to be outside (probably weak side) at 230 pounds. Problem there is if Merriman makes a successful return and from what I know the odds of that are better than most believe, then you take a strong run defender out of the equation there no matter who you sit down. Sheppard would likely be the MLB in that front and the strong side would again be a position to be filled, though Moats would at least have the size to play there at 252 pounds.

Buddy Nix said two years ago that you don’t want to be flipping back and forth. You want to commit to something eventually, and he indicated committing to the 3-4 was the plan. Plans can obviously change, but they’ve drafted the past two years with the 3-4 in mind. We’ll have to see if any of that changes moving forward.

 

2 - Hi Chris,

Thanks for taking our questions.

Since Spiller has been starting, I don’t understand why we give up on the run game so early. A good example would be the Miami game. Spiller had about 90 yards on only 12 carries. Early on in the game he had about 50 yards including 2 carries where he gained about 40 yards and scored  a TD. The Bills seem to give up on running the ball when the game was still in play, but after passing took over we had 3 INT’s and another Loss. I realize when you get way behind you need to go to the passing game but the Bills give up on the run way too early. What do you think?

Bob Hammond
Rochester, NY

CB: Chan has been asked about this more than once by the media and I think the answer is simple. Coach Gailey told me earlier in the year they’re a team that uses the pass to set up the run. Their most popular formation is the 4-by-1 set (4 WRs, 1 RB) though they’ve worked in more two tight end sets in the second half of the season.

That is what their identity is so when they fall behind by more than a touchdown on the scoreboard they have no qualms about airing it out.

I’m in favor of seeing more run game knowing how successful the O-line has been this year in opening holes for the backs this season. Combine that with the fact that Jackson was almost unstoppable this season and the emergence of C.J. down the stretch and you wonder if there might be some consideration for a change in offensive philosophy in 2012 though I wouldn’t count on it. I get the sense that the Gailey and his offensive staff feel the run game is so successful because the passing game sets it up. In talking to Gailey he seems to feel if they just get the passing game a bit more consistent they’ll really be rolling, much like they were early in the year.

 

3 – Chris,

Hi, thanks for keeping us all updated on everything Bills.  My question isn’t Bills related but just a general football question.  Why do they keep the stat of Yards Per Attempt instead of Yards Per Completion? 

Thanks,
Jimmy in Hamburg

CB: They do keep that statistic, it’s just not commonly listed on most quarterback stat lines. Here is the list of the top 10 QBs for yards per completion through Week 16 (prior to this weekend’s games).

1 – Matt Schaub – 13.93
2 – Tim Tebow – 13.91
3 – Eli Manning – 13.69
4 – Carson Palmer – 13.66
5 – Aaron Rodgers – 13.54
6 – Kevin Kolb – 13.39
7 – Cam Newton – 13.2
8 – Michael Vick – 12.96
9 – Tom Brady – 12.96
10 – Ben Roethlisberger – 12.81

For the record Fitz ranks 30th at 10.88 per completion, but because this is commonly not a statistic relied upon to determine QB effectiveness you often do not see it listed. An example of how it’s not an accurate factor in determining QB play is the fact that Drew Brees ranks 24th in this category.

 

4 – Chris, 

With the season winding down, will the Gailey put some of the untested players in as trial to see what they can do. Most of the drafted rookies have played well, but Aiken hasn’t seen any targets at WR. The team picked up Sam Young but he has been inactive most games. In terms of pass rush, Eddins looks fantastic in the preseason and with the release of Coleman, could he be elevated and given a chance? Same goes with Kyle Moore. Most Bills fans would like to see Jasper but he might still be raw.  

Thanks, 
Josh – Los Angeles 
CB: As you probably saw this week, Mike Jasper was elevated to the active roster. I think if he sees time on the field it will probably be in goal line or field goal barring an injury at the guard position. Kamar Aiken could possibly see time with Brad Smith not expected to play this week, but Derek Hagan has been getting more reps of late.

Robert Eddins is still on the practice squad and unless there’s an injury at tackle I don’t anticipate seeing Sam Young either. Kyle Moore did get a lot more playing time last week.

 

5 - Chris

The team has made some interesting moves onto the roster and practice squad in the last few weeks. They’ve added several TE, a 3-4 DE and waived Coleman.

What do you think is the driving factor for Whaley & Nix behind these moves?  Are these driven by injuries/current needs or do you see these guys as players they want for next year?  If so – when do the contracts expire for these recent additions (will they be F/A this offseason)?

The DE move and waiving Coleman seemed odd – given we seem to have plenty of DL and no pass rushing OLB.  Are there no 3-4 OLB prospects on other team’s practice squads (like Pitt or GB)? 

thanks
Tim from Syracuse
CB: I think at this stage of the game the Bills are probably taking a look see at some players they had interest in and want to see what they can do in live games. I believe that was the motivation behind Kyle Moore getting more time on the field this past week. Most of the others have been precipitated by injury.

Most of the contracts of the recent additions expire after this season. However, a few of them are exclusive rights free agents, which make it rather easy for the Bills to re-sign them if they so choose. Some of the younger players can also be re-signed as future free agents, which is done in January to retain those player rights and add them to their offseason roster.


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Jersey #s for Dotson and Eddins

Posted by Chris Brown on November 30, 2011 – 10:50 am

With Lionel Dotson now on the active roster and Robert Eddins on the practice squad here are their jersey number assignments.

Dotson will wear 97 and Eddins will wear 48.


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LB Eddins released from I-R

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2011 – 2:35 pm

Bills LB Robert Eddins, who landed on injured reserve following Week 1 with an undisclosed injury, has been released from the team’s I-R list.

Eddins reached an injury settlement with the Bills, which likely means his injury is one he feels from which he can return before the 2011 season is over. By league rule, once he can pass a physical, Eddins is eligible to sign with any other NFL club. However, he cannot by rule come back to the Bills this season.

This rule is in place to keep teams from using injured reserve as a protected clearing house to hold onto players and bring them back to the active roster when healthy.


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2 undrafteds make it

Posted by Chris Brown on September 3, 2011 – 4:52 pm

For the eighth time in the last 10 years an undrafted rookie free agent has made Buffalo’s 53-man roster. Two such players did it this year.

OLB Robert Eddins and TE Zack Pianalto both made the 53-man roster today for Buffalo.

“Eddins showed up a lot,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “He did a great job.  He showed up on defense, in games, in practice and on special teams, he did a lot of things very well.  We were encouraged by what he may be able to develop into at some point in time. 

“Zack is the same way.  Zack Pianalto showed some flashes.  He nursed that hamstring for a long time. But we saw enough glimpses and flashes and got a feel for his demeanor towards the game that we thought he would be a positive force in the future.”

Eddins had a strong training camp and preseason, which included two sacks, which he logged against Denver and Jacksonville. Pianalto had six catches for 59 yards in the preseason and joins fellow UNC alums Da’Norris Searcy and Johnny White on the opening day roster.


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Camp honorable mentions

Posted by Chris Brown on August 19, 2011 – 9:23 am

Our sixth annual training camp awards are up on the home page, but there were some other players that largely flew under the radar that we thought should be recognized in our honorable mention section.

CB Leodis McKelvin has not been seen making many plays defending the pass game. That’s because rarely have Buffalo’s quarterbacks thrown to his side of the field, which is an indication of his coverage ability. McKelvin may have had his most consistent camp this summer.

Undrafted rookies are really up against it in terms of trying to make the roster with the finite amount of time available before roster decisions have to be made. But here is a short list of some undrafteds that turned in noticeable plays in camp.

CB Doyle Miller
OLB Robert Eddins
WR Kamar Aiken

Of the three Eddins did the most in the practice setting.

WR Paul Hubbard had a solid camp, making more plays in three weeks than he did in the practice setting all last season. His game has noticeably improved.

CB Reggie Corner was around the ball an awful lot in this camp, perhaps more than any other cornerback on the roster. He didn’t have a lot of picks, but he likely led the secondary in pass breakups in this camp.


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Posted in Inside the Bills