Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 8-15

Posted by Chris Brown on August 15, 2014 – 5:07 pm

Ok fans an important week for the Bills is in the books. The passing game really took a step forward this week in Latrobe. Let’s hope it carries into the game Saturday night against the Steelers. In the meantime let’s get to your latest round of questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills

1 – Hi Chris,

Long time reader of your articles – including your Fan Friday.

I’ve noticed EJ and Woods are playing with visors in camp. Is this new and can we expect them to wear them in the regular season? To me, it makes a lot of sense for EJ – as it shadows the ability for the defence to see where he’s going to throw too or what he’s looking at. Is that the intention here? What scope do you have on this? Overall, I think they look fierce. But I highly doubt that’s the reasoning behind wearing them…

Thanks,
Mike Barwick

CB: Yes, they and a handful of other players wear visors. Some are shaded and some are clear. The shaded ones are designed to act like sunglasses in most cases. For receivers that’s important when they’re looking up for a ball, not unlike an outfielder in baseball. It helps keep them from losing a ball in the sun. Whether EJ’s primary purpose is the same I don’t know, but I’ll ask him. The other reason for the visors is to keep from getting poked in the eye, which is something that could happen to Manuel if a pass rusher is reaching out to block a pass, misses and connects with the helmet.
2 – Hey Chris,

I am very excited for the 2014 season, looking at the roster it seems a lot of the decisions made on the draft and free agency the last three years we’re really good ones. The depth is so good this year I haven’t heard too much about Ron Brooks.  I really like watching Ron Brooks I know he has had some injuries but where do you think he stands with the team? Do you think we will see him playing corner this season or just as a special teams player? Always appreciate your time.

Alexander Albanese
Toronto

CB: Brooks has had a pretty solid camp. He’s been afforded the opportunity of getting a ton of reps due to the limited participation of starting corners Leodis McKelvin and Stephon Gilmore who are both coming off offseason surgeries. He’s been running opposite Corey Graham in training camp at cornerback with the first team defense.

Brooks has performed well, but at times still has trouble with the bigger wideouts due mainly to his stature. He’s got great catch up speed and is sudden in his breaks on the ball. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz likes him so I anticipate him being one of the top five corners on the roster. How many they keep is the bigger question.
3 – Chris,

I couldn’t help notice the pass rush has been extremely productive in the spring and training camp. My question is do you feel that’s due to the talent of the DE’s or is it a product of inconsistency on the offensive line with Glenn being out and other shuffling that’s been going on. Appreciate the training camp coverage and can’t wait for the season. Also one more thing, is there a schedule that lists which practices are full contact?

Dan T.
Western MA

CB: It’s a bit of both. Jerry Hughes might be the most impressive of the front four when it comes to pass rush consistency. Of course that’s been helped by the fact that rookie Seantrel Henderson has been manning the starting left tackle role in Cordy Glenn’s absence. But make no mistake that group is pretty special.

Unfortunately no we don’t have a schedule for the public that lists full pads, shells or shorts and helmets. Typically once the preseason games start however, full pads practices are earlier in the week.

 

4 – Hey Chris,

Jerry Hughes had a tremendous season last year rushing the passer and it’s clear that Doug Whaley pioneered an amazing trade to get him when the Indianapolis Colts were looking to go in a different direction. And if Training Camp is any indication, it sounds like we can expect a similar season this year. Through listening to a lot of people on the radio and around town locally, it seems that Jerry Hughes will not be able to be re-signed if he has another great year– almost as if it’s a foregone conclusion that they cannot keep a stout DE since he’ll be too pricey.

In my opinion, if you run a base 4-3, having a Mario Williams AND Jerry Hughes-caliber player would be extremely important (SEE Freeney and Mathis, Strahan and Umenyiora). I think they should find a way to pay him if he’s anything like last year’s player. An annoying thing of being a Bills fan is seeing the Bills actually draft great talent, develop it, and watch it walk away. And in this case, the Bills didn’t even have to draft him to get it. What are your thoughts?

Also, have you tried a garbage plate since being in Rochester? It probably goes outside the exercise regimen, but you gotta treat yourself to the finer local delicacies.

-Nate in Rochester
PS- Go Bills!
CB: In a perfect world yes they would be able to keep Jerry Hughes long term, but it’s a question of balance. Obviously the Bills would love to keep Hughes, but you have to look at the money invested on the rest of the defensive line.

The three highest cap figures on the entire team are the other three defensive linemen that Hughes lines up with. Mario Williams ($18.8M), Marcell Dareus ($6.49M) and Kyle Williams ($6.25M).

In 2015 those cap numbers go to $19M (Mario), $8.06M (Dareus) and $5.85M (Kyle). That’s a total of $32M for three members of the defensive line. If Hughes has another 10-sack season or more he’s likely to be asking for top 15 perhaps top 10 defensive end money.

Top 15 would put him somewhere between $6.5-$8M per season while top 10 would have him north of $8.5M per season.

I’m not saying the Bills won’t try to do it. It’s not my decision as to how the Bills choose to spend their money. I just know that investing that much of your cap dollars in one facet of your team is not a common practice.

All that being said there have been reports citing sources close to the process of setting the salary cap for the NFL that the cap, which went up a surprising $10M this past year to $133M could move as high as $145M in 2015. Would that extra cap space be enough to make the fourth major investment in the team’s defensive line? I’m not sure it is.

With respect to your garbage plate suggestion, I’m familiar with it having gone to college at SUNY Geneseo. In fact I won a bet by eating two in one sitting. Almost didn’t hold them down, but got through it.
5 – Do you see a scenario where Spiller is traded this year?  I’ve heard rumors, and with the Jackson extension, Brown trade, Dixon signing, and no first round pick it seems like an possible and unfortunate rumor…am I crazy for thinking this or can they keep all four running backs?

Sean from So Cal
P.S. See you in Chicago week 1!

CB: I’m sure you saw GM Doug Whaley dispel those rumors this week. First, Whaley said that he has not been contacted by any team expressing interest in C.J. Spiller. He later followed that up with Channel 7’s Jeff Russo in an interview later in the week where he said he has not reached out to any other team himself about C.J. Spiller.

As Whaley said himself he understands with all the talent in the Bills backfield why people are trying to connect the dots. I just think with the team in ‘win now’ mode it would be highly unlikely that they would trade one of their best playmaking assets on offense in Spiller.


Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

CB Brooks playing consistent ball

Posted by Chris Brown on August 9, 2014 – 8:30 pm

Bills CB Ron Brooks has been putting together perhaps his best training camp this summer. Health has had a lot to do with it. Each of the last two years Brooks broke his foot costing him valuable regular season time and upon his return he’s had to play catch up. As a young player that proved difficult at times. Thus far Brooks has put a pair of good preseason performances together and has fared well in the practice setting.

“Ron’s having a good camp. Not just one game, I think he’s put a couple good games together and a lot of good practices,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “It’s the same thing you see on the field. Ron’s been practicing well and normally when you practice well, you’ll go ahead and play well. He’s done a nice job.”

Brooks missed Saturday’s practice with a thigh injury suffered in Friday night’s win at Carolina. No word on a timetable for his return to practice.


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Punt coverage on point

Posted by Chris Brown on August 9, 2014 – 12:57 am

The Bills punt coverage unit had a solid night as the three punts they sent at the Panthers resulted in no return yards for Carolina in the game.

Brian Moorman’s first punt was downed by Nigel Bradham at the Carolina 12-yard line and not returned. His second was fielded by Kenjon Barner, but Ron Brooks dropped him for no gain. Then in the second half Chris Hogan and Jacquies Smith teamed up to stop Barner again after a long punt by rookie Jake Dombrowski. Head coach Doug Marrone was pretty pleased with the effort.

“Our special teams have done a very good job of tackling,” said Marrone. “Obviously we had the missed play on the ball with Nickell, but I think special teams-wise Nickell had a nice play earlier that he made. T.J. Graham had a return. We don’t even have the first team returners out there, but we’re tackling well which is a good sign.”


Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Robey had ankle tweak, but good to go

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2013 – 2:58 pm

On Monday and Tuesday in practice this week, Ron Brooks was seeing the majority of the work at slot corner with the starting defense. On Wednesday we found out why.

Nickell Robey had a minor ankle injury last week prior to the team leaving on a four day weekend for the bye.

“He had an ankle, he rolled it really during the last practice (last week) on Tuesday or Wednesday. I’m not even sure,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “All I know is he didn’t miss any time. We limited him one day, but he’s been out there the whole time he’s been 100 percent.”

Robey was back with the first unit in practice Wednesday full time, so it appears he’s all systems go. Brooks told Buffalobills.com he’s ready to step back into the role he used to man before his broken foot knocked him from the starting lineup if needed.

“It’s something that I’ve always done, went through a similar situation last year,” said Brooks. “It’s just part of the game, you learn to deal with it and learn to get back into the swing of things so I really haven’t missed a beat.”

It’s nice to see some depth in the secondary this late in the season.

 

 


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Aaron at safety a possibility

Posted by Chris Brown on October 23, 2013 – 5:23 pm

Bills DB Aaron Williams has been serving admirably in a cornerback role for the better part of the last four-plus games. This week may be the week that he slides back to the position Mike Pettine and the defensive staff wanted him manning all along.

Williams said playing safety Sunday against the Saints could happen, but is not a definite.

“It could be a possibility that I could go back to safety, but at the same time I’m still preparing myself to be a corner,” Williams told Buffalobills.com. “Right now I’m working both just in case of emergency situations, see how Stephon (Gilmore) is with his hand and Ron (Brooks) with his foot and everything. We’ll see where it goes, but right now I’m working on both.”

The signs look to be good for Williams to return to safety this week. Gilmore appears to be playing with a smaller protective club on his surgically repaired left wrist and Brooks appeared in the game this past Sunday, the first since breaking his foot in Week 1. He got seven snaps.

Both players were not listed on the team’s Wednesday injury report as both players were full participants. Provided both can play more this Sunday it affords the defensive staff the freedom to move Williams back to safety because Gilmore and Brooks could split the workload at cornerback if necessary.


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

CB Brooks active

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2013 – 12:41 pm

Bills CB Ron Brooks is active for the first time sine Week 1 today.

Brooks broke a bone in his foot in Week 1 that require surgery. It was very similar to the for injury he suffered at the beginning of last season.

We’ll see if he plays a role in defensive subpackages. At the start of TE season he was the team’s top nickel corner, but that role has been spangly filled by Nickell Robey in Brooks’ absence.


Tags:
Posted in Inside the Bills

EJ out, everyone else probable

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2013 – 12:31 pm

The Bills are getting healthier by the week. Even though EJ Manuel is out for Sunday’s game and several after that, the rest of the players on Buffalo’s injured list are all probable for Sunday’s game.

That according to head coach Doug Marrone following Friday’s practice. Here’s a look at the probable players on Buffalo’s injury list.

OUT
QB EJ Manuel – knee

PROBABLE
RB C.J. Spiller – ankle
DT Kyle Williams – illness/achilles
CB Ron Brooks – foot
WR Stevie Johnson – low back
LB Manny Lawson – hamstring
DE Mario Williams – hip
QB Thad Lewis – foot

The most encouraging of the probable players are Brooks and Spiller. Brooks hasn’t played since Week 1, but has a chance to be at least active for Sunday’s game. Spiller has been listed as questionable the last two games, but this week is probable, a sign that his ankle injury is improving despite playing on it each week.

That’s consistent with what Spiller told us on Wednesday this week.

“I think it’ll be something that’ll be healed up before the bye week,” said Spiller. “I don’t think it’s going to be something that’s going to linger into November. It’s getting better and better each week and as long as it continues to do that I’ll be fine. There are a couple of more hurdles that I have to get over, but I can definitely see the finish line of me getting back to 100 percent quickly.”


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Lawson practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on October 16, 2013 – 11:47 am

Bills LB Manny Lawson left last Sunday’s game early with a hamstring injury, but he’s out on the practice field here on Wednesday.

On Monday head coach Doug Marone said that Lawson was fine no problems.

That appears to be the case now, but we’ll wait to see his official injury status post practice.


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

CB Brooks out for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 11, 2013 – 12:59 pm

While Stevie Johnson and Stephon Gilmore grabbed the injury status headlines as game time decisions and questionable for Sunday’s game, the Bills are going to be without CB Ron Brooks another week in his return from a broken foot.

Brooks is one of two active players listed as out for Sunday’s game along with QB EJ Manuel. Here’s the full injury report for Sunday’s game against Cincinnati.

OUT
CB Ron Brooks – foot
QB EJ Manuel – knee

QUESTIONABLE
WR Stevie Johnson – lower back
CB Stephon Gilmore – wrist
RB C.J. Spiller – ankle

PROBABLE
WR Marquise Goodwin – hand
S Jairus Byrd – foot
DT Kyle Williams – Achilles
WR Marcus Easley – ribs


Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

CB Brooks has workout today

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2013 – 8:31 am

Bills CB Ron Brooks has a workout with athletic trainers today, which will ultimately determine whether he’s medically cleared.

Brooks is returning from a broken foot, essentially the same injury that landed him I-R – designated to return as a rookie. He was injured in the Week 1 loss to New England. Brooks is already thinking beyond being medically cleared. He wants to be doing 11-on-11 work before the practice week is out.

“Hopefully I’ll get in to team work,” Brooks told Buffalobills.com. “That’s what I’m hoping for. It feels good right now.”

When asked if he’ll be eased into the practice setting provided he’s cleared, Brooks was looking to speed things up instead of slowing things down.

“Yeah. I’m going to push it as far as I can go. Just push it and see what I can do and what I can’t do,” he said. “It will determine whether I put myself in a game situation. I don’t want rush myself back and hurt my team in the process.”

Having been through a similar rehab and recovery last year, Brooks knows what to expect and when.

“Each injury is different, but it’s pretty much been the same,” said Brooks. “The recovery process this one has actually been a little bit faster than the last one.”


Tags:
Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 10-4

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2013 – 1:13 pm

Fresh off the Thursday night game here are your latest questions. Keep them coming on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - Hey Chris,

I really like what I’ve been seeing from the Bills lately. It’s starting to look like a great team. Can we expect Mario to play like he did against Carolina more often and when Byrd and Gilmore return how much better do you expect them to be? Lastly, I want to ask what is your biggest concern with this team going forward?

PS – I love what EJ has done but do you think he’s getting a bit overhyped it’s only been a few games, but man does it seem like this kid can keep his cool under pressure.

CB: I think Mario’s success is going to depend on the players around him up front. Provided they make plays when he draws the most attention from the opposing offensive line, it will force future opponents to pick their poison so to speak. Baltimore chose to double Kyle Williams and Mario most often in the game. As a result, Marcell Dareus saw a lot of one-on-one matchups and won more than his fair share with six tackles and a pair of sacks. As long as the guy that’s getting the one-on-one matchups is winning, the attention paid to the defensive linemen will vacillate back and forth sometimes week to week. We saw Mario get some opportunities last night even though he saw his fair share of double teams.

When Gilmore and Byrd are back in the lineup it’ll no doubt be a boost. The extent of Byrd’s role when he does return however, is up for debate. I expect him to be eased in playing in subpackages at first. Eventually he may be worked back in as a starter. Remember he hasn’t played an NFL regular season game in nine months, had no training camp and no preseason, and has only practiced Mike Pettine’s defense for a month.

As for a concern with the team, it’s the evolution of the offense. It’s going to be a process, but I think it has to be one that makes progress each week. Among the hurdles to be cleared are third down and red zone, two of the most important requirements to be a top offense in the league.

EJ has had his ups and downs, but overall he is making good progress. I think most people agree it’s a matter of when not if with Manuel.

 

2 – Chris,

Thank you for covering all the great news coming out of Buffalo. My question is in regards to the LG position. Colin Brown is certainly looking like he has had his share of problems in the first two games going against some pretty good and big DT’s in Star Lotulelei and Vince Wilfork. He also had trouble with Mizzou sensation and Rookie DT Sheldon Richardson. I have been wondering what his status is on the team? I have heard Coach say he is happy with who he has on the o-line so I doubt a change will be made. From watching the games and being there at One Bills Drive can you tell anything about Colin Brown and why he is having a hard time? Is it the competition he is going against or rooted in fundamentals and overall talent? For a man his size (6’7 325lbs) he has been a problem so far this year. Running to the left side for some nice gains would be welcoming.

Thanks
Taylor – Greater St. Louis Area

CB: I think without question the Baltimore game was his best performance. In a more traditional offensive approach when they ask the offensive line to line up and smack and defensive front in the mouth, that’s what he does best. I think we do have to take into account the caliber of talent he’s been going against early this season. Wilfork – a perennial Pro Bowl player, Lotulelei – a top 10 pick, Richardson – another 1st round pick, Ngata – a perennial Pro Bowl player.

We have to remember he’s the new addition to the offensive line, so I thought before passing judgment it would be fair to give him the first month of the season to settle in. Let’s see where he takes his game from here.

 

3 – Hi Chris,

One of the few plays the Bills have run consistently the past couple years has been screens.  It seems getting Mr. Spiller, Mr. Jackson and a few others some breathing space was highly effective.  Unless I missed something grabbing a snack, I don’t recall the Bills running any screens these first two games.  For an offensive staff that insists it adjusts to the player’s strengths, why does it appear they have abandoned screens?

Thanks,
Matt from Saratoga

CB: I think part of the reason screens haven’t been used as much is because they are trying to play to the players’ strengths, meaning the offensive line. The loss of Andy Levitre limited their athleticism on the offensive line. Eric Wood and Kraig Urbik are capable of getting out on screens, but I don’t know if that’s enough to convince the offensive staff that it could be a frequent weapon for them.

Now we did see a couple of screens last night that provided some measure of success so perhaps we’ll see more moving forward.

We have to remember that Nathaniel Hackett and Doug Marrone are still feeling out the roster and finding what plays work best with their personnel in their system. The coaches have to learn what works best as much as the players have to learn what they’re being asked to execute.

Next year at this time there won’t be those questions.

 

4 – Hey Chris
Wondering if you could give us a projected return date (or game) for the list of inured players? I think we’re getting close to when Gilmore might return, right? How about Goodwin? Brooks? Byrd has no timetable, right?

Stephon Gilmore
Ron Brooks
Marquise Goodwin
Dustin Hopkins

We sure would be a lot better off with all of those guys on the field!
Thanks
Greg

CB: Here’s an idea as to where they’re at.

Stephon Gilmore – Cincinnati is the earliest possible return, but I think it might be a week after that.
Ron Brooks – He’s closer. He’s doing straight line running now, but not cutting yet.
Marquise Goodwin – Think he has a chance this coming week. Began catching passes this past week
Dustin Hopkins – Real close, good chance to be ready for Cincy game.

5 – Chris,

We should really look at getting him, if possible, to have another good QB on our roster no?

Scott Young

CB: Doug Marrone has maintained that promoting through the practice squad is the course they usually take. Thad Lewis knows the offense and is on the practice squad. Of course Doug Whaley has said if they ever have a chance to upgrade the roster they will look to do it.

That being said Josh Freeman is a player that has some off the field concerns that need to be investigated. If those check out and he’s not looking for giant money, which is possible, then I’ve got no problem with the Bills kicking the tires on him.

 

 


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Secondary update

Posted by Chris Brown on October 1, 2013 – 5:03 pm

With injuries again prevailing in Buffalo’s secondary, here’s what was observed during the media viewing portion of practice.

Aaron Williams (low back) didn’t do much during individual and worked on the side with the athletic training staff for a while.

Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) was moving well in individual position drills, but ran scout team reps during defensive sets prior to team work.

Jairus Byrd (foot) was running with the scout team as well during defensive set reps.

Stephon Gilmore (wrist) and Ron Brooks (foot) worked with athletic trainers to maintain their conditioning level and are not part of practice.

Head coach Doug Marrone will provide an official participation level for each of the injured defensive backs following practice.


Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Loss of CBs has altered defensive approach

Posted by Chris Brown on September 27, 2013 – 9:16 am

Losing Stephon Gilmore at the tail end of the preseason, followed shortly thereafter by Ron Brooks, the team’s top nickel back and now potentially Leodis McKelvin this week, Buffalo defensive coordinator Mike Pettine had no choice but to alter some of his more aggressive plans for the Bills defense here in the early going of 2013.

Bills head coach Doug Marrone confirmed as much in his weekly appearance on the Howard Simon show on the Bills Radio Network.

“Absolutely. Anytime something happens whether it be injury and you start moving people (around) everybody has strengths and weaknesses. You do have to start making adjustments and it becomes a chain reaction,” said Marrone.

“The philosophy is to go out there and play, but to be smart. We’re not just going to leave those guys out there all the time. We’ve got to mix it up. In this league if you put yourself in one situation they’re going to find it and take advantage of it. You try to make sure you can disguise it and do the things you’re doing so you can be aggressive and do what you need to do to win.”

Leaving cornerbacks out on islands less is one of the more likely measures being taken moving forward.


Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Ravens injuries at WR could be helpful

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2013 – 9:55 am

Already without WR Jacoby Jones (knee) this week, the Ravens also have another receiver upon whom they’ve relied the first three weeks of the season dealing with an injury.

Marlon Brown, who has lined up opposite Torrey Smith, missed practice Wednesday with a neck injury. The origin of the injury is unknown since he played the whole game for Baltimore last week. If Brown can’t play it would leave the Ravens without two of their top three receivers.

In addition reserve WR Deonte Thompson was limited in practice Wednesday with a foot injury.

Absences at receiver for Baltimore would be a welcome sight for the Bills, who could be without each of their top three corners on their depth chart if Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) can’t play. Stephon Gilmore and Ron Brooks are not expected to play Sunday.


Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Carrington to I-R

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2013 – 3:45 pm

It was pretty much a foregone conclusion once it was learned that Alex Carrington’s torn quadriceps tendon effectively finished his season and would require surgery, but the Bills defensive lineman was put on injured reserve Monday afternoon.

The move opens up a roster spot for Buffalo, which could be used to address the seemingly ever shorthanded cornerback position. Buffalo may or may not have Leodis McKelvin for Sunday’s game against Baltimore after he left last Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury.

Head coach Doug Marrone said he wants to see how McKelvin improves between now and Wednesday before passing judgment on his chances of playing this weekend. Buffalo is already without top corner Stephon Gilmore and top nickel corner Ron Brooks due to long term injuries.


Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

When we’ll know more on McKelvin

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2013 – 3:04 pm

Leodis McKelvin left Sunday’s game in the first half with a hamstring injury. Head coach Doug Marrone is unsure as to whether he’ll be ready for the Ravens game.

“I don’t want to miscommunicate that one,” said Marrone Monday. “That’s the only one I’m not sure about. It’s a rest, see how you feel when you come back on Wednesday. How do you feel? Is it better? There’s a lot that goes into that. I don’t want to miscommunicate if he’s out for sure. If he was it’d be easy. I’d be like, hey he’s out. I’d tell you, but I really don’t know.”

The exact nature of McKelvin’s hamstring injury is not known, but if he has a chance to come back this weekend, it can’t be a serious muscle pull. It’s more likely a strain. Stay close to Buffalobills.com for practice reports later this week.

If McKelvin cannot play on Sunday Buffalo will be without their top three cornerbacks in Stephon Gilmore, McKelvin and top nickel corner Ron Brooks.


Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-13

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2013 – 11:31 am

Week 2 on tap and a win is pretty much a must. Here are some of the more popular questions from you the fans this week. Keep the questions coming on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - @ChrisBrownBills

What are the chances Gilmore is back by the Thursday night game in Cleveland?

BarrieWinegard

CB: Gilmore has made good progress since his surgery on Aug. 26th for his fractured wrist. The cast is off and he’s just wearing an immobilizer brace at this point. But the pins are still in his wrist and there is a lot of rehabilitation in front of him. Head coach Doug Marrone said he felt Gilmore was on the short end of the six to eight week timetable provided from the outset. If he is then, six weeks would put him at Oct. 7th, with a return to practice probably taking place in Week 6 in advance of the Oct. 13th game against Cincinnati.

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

You can only use the IR-Return once, on one player. Correct?

AaronTheH

CB: Yes, that is correct. The I-R designated to return can only be used once a season. At this point in the season if a player goes on injured reserve and the club wants to make him their designated to return player, it has to be declared as soon as he’s placed on I-R.

I thought the Bills might make use of the DTR tag on Ron Brooks this week, knowing he was the DTR player last season when he broke the same foot. But head coach Doug Marrone said they don’t believe his situation or that of Marquise Goodwin necessitates the use of the I-R DTR.

3 – Hi Chris,

Always like reading your material & watching your short videos. Keep ‘em coming. As a transplanted Buffalo guy living in Reno, I can’t help but be curious about Duke Williams. He’s either been below the radar, or not showing much in preseason. Any observations/thoughts? I watched him play a bunch at Nevada, and was hoping he’d be able to make a go of it at the next level…

Hope the weather in WNY is treating you well. The only time I get nostalgic about it is the fall–leaves changing, and football.

Thanks,
Dan Matteson

CB: Duke has done well throughout the course of the offseason and typically ran with the second unit defense through the preseason. He got four snaps on defense in Week 1, but is going to be spending most of his time on special teams. He played 15 snaps there last week.

Moving forward he’s likely to see more time on defense in certain subpackages as the season wears on.

Say hi to the folks at Black Bear Diner in Reno. Best milkshake I’ve ever had! Thanks for the compliments.

4 – Chris

Thanks for all of the fine coverage of the Bills. From the outside looking in, the whole attitude of the team seemed the change when J. Byrd showed up, is he a poison in the locker room?

Going with the assumption that the quarterback is the most valuable piece on the chess board, do you believe it was a critical error for our former GM to not draft a quarterback somewhere in the first three rounds every year. If you hit on a few, more value at the most important position.

Lastly, even if Manuel plays well, should the Bills draft a quarterback in the 1st round in the upcoming draft.

Thanks for everything from Bills fans in Nevada.

Hank
Las Vegas

CB: I think your characterization of the locker room is a bit off the mark concerning Jairus Byrd’s arrival.

With respect to the philosophy of drafting a quarterback every year, I’m not opposed to it if you are a team with good quality depth at most positions where you can afford to spend a draft choice on a QB prospect every year. The Eagles have traditionally made a habit of this and have shrewdly traded some of those QBs for future draft choices in return (See: A.J. Feeley trade).

If Manuel pans out as most in the organization expect him to, I don’t believe drafting a quarterback in round one will happen. Not only because the team will already have their franchise signal caller, but also because they’re very pleased with who they have behind him in Jeff Tuel.

I don’t think you could completely rule it out, but I would say highly unlikely if Manuel’s career track shows good progress through the course of this season.

5 – Hi Chris,

It was noted that Jamal Westermann made the roster, however i know very little about this athlete. Can you provide a bit of information as to how he made the team.
Thanks & regards
from
Richard in Los Angeles
CB: He’s a fourth-year player that is wholly familiar with coach Pettine’s defensive scheme having played for him with the Jets in New York from 2009-2011. He’s an OLB by trade. Here’s a bit more on him when he initially signed in mid-August.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone usually fills position holes in house

Posted by Chris Brown on September 9, 2013 – 3:09 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone was asked if they’d be making a roster move to sign another free agent cornerback with Ron Brooks out indefinitely with a broken foot that requires surgery. Marrone laid out his philosophy when it comes to filling holes on their roster at a specific position.

“I believe if you have players on your practice squad you bring them up and then you go out and find players for your practice squad,” said Marrone. “Unless you don’t have those players in the building then you go out and look for them. When you lose players for an amount of time you have to have a little vision to see who the teams are that are coming up to see if you’re going to need more players at that position and make that decision.”

Buffalo has Brandon Burton, who they just signed last week, as well as rookie CB Johnny Adams on the practice squad. Marrone said he’ll meet with his coordinators to determine a course of action.


Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

CB Brooks out indefinitely

Posted by Chris Brown on September 9, 2013 – 2:17 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone announced on Monday that CB Ron Brooks suffered a foot injury and will be out indefinitely.

Brooks was injured in Sunday’s game and lined up for just 10 snaps against the Patriots. He’s scheduled to have surgery on Tuesday. It’s the same foot he broke right before the regular season in 2012.

Marrone said he does not believe the injury is season ending. More details on this story here.


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on September 8, 2013 – 6:49 pm

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin and CB Ron Brooks were the only players to leave Sunday’s game with injuries. Head coach Doug Marrone provided an update postgame.

“Goodwin was a hand (injury),” said Marrone. “I didn’t get the report on that. The foot came back on Brooks, but that was it.”

Both players will be re-evaluated on Monday.

Da’Norris Searcy left the game with cramps, but returned.


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills