Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 12-13

Posted by Chris Brown on December 13, 2013 – 2:31 pm

Down the stretch they come. Bills at Jags Sunday, but first your questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - Chris,

Two quick questions-  Kyle Williams had surgery on each of his Achilles tendons, and both procedures were successful as reported.  Why is he still constantly on the injury report with this problem and needing to be rested during the practice week.  Is it a long recovery thing or a permanent condition?

Also, during the Atlanta game, I noticed when E. J. Manual came up to the line of scrimmage he had his mouth guard stuck in his face mask about half the time.  With the increased focus on him avoiding injuries, how is it that the coaches or other players weren’t on him about that?  Maybe he has trouble talking with it in, but forgets to replace it before calling the signals.

Thanks.
DR

CB: Kyle Williams Achilles’ surgeries were not to repair ruptures. They were to repair fraying and to remove bone spurs that were rubbing on his Achilles. To repair it they had to detach each Achilles, remove the bone spurs, repair the tendons, and then re-attach them.

Rehab for those procedures are typically 4-5 months. Those Achilles in the line of work that Williams does get very sore and stiff after games. So the coaching staff affords Williams an extra day of rest to recover on Wednesdays.

Just think for a second about having double Achilles surgery and then grappling with 300-plus pound guys 60 times a game and you’re holding your ground and driving up field relying on those two Achilles to power your body forward.

That’s a lot of stress and wear on those tendons each week.

As for EJ’s mouthpiece, he takes it out at times when he needs to communicate with the O-line pre-snap. Sometimes it’s because it’s an option play that he wants to change from a run to a pass. Sometimes it’s to change a protection. But talking with that thing in your mouth is almost impossible for a QB.

 

2 – Hi Chris,

I saw a press conference recently that Doug Marrone conducted in the aftermath of Buffalo’s 34-31 loss to Atlanta. Based on that, It seems like he is still changing the losing culture in the locker room. Earlier this week, the Bills had signed Tony Moeaki. Just wondering if this was because of the turnover suffered by Scott Chandler?

It appears to me that whoever the player is, no matter how talented they are, if they are not committed to winning (or at least if he sees it that way), he will get rid of them. Now, I have no problem with that approach, but will he over time overturn the whole roster? He had a private meeting with Stevie Johnson, ( is Stevie Johnson not committed to winning?) Is this a sign of things to come?

I do believe the Bills are better than last year in terms of competitiveness, but they still do need a running back, two linebackers, and a receiver. I guess time will tell. I do believe that Doug Marrone is superior to Chan Gailey in terms of attitude, and holding players accountable. He is also wonderful with the press. Your thoughts,

Tony, Ormond Beach, Fl

CB: As I said on the radio earlier this week, there are roster changes on every NFL team every year, but I foresee changes here in Buffalo that will surprise some people in the offseason. This first year, Marrone has been very thorough in making assessments of the players on this roster and whether he can win with them his way.

If he feels he cannot they will not be here long term. And let me be clear in saying what can earn a player a ticket out of here sooner rather than later goes far beyond athletic ability. Work ethic, commitment to team and professionalism are all qualities that are coveted by Marrone and his staff too.

In fact in some cases lacking in one of those three areas might lead to a player dismissal (cut or traded) even if said player has the ability to help them win.

Da’Rick Rogers should’ve served as a prime example at the beginning of the season. A ton of ability, but no professionalism or commitment to team.

If players on this roster didn’t get that message then, they may end up learning the hard way.

 

3 – Chris

Thank you for your coverage for us Bills fans!!

I have very good thoughts about Wingo and his abilities and really see him as a possible replacement for Fred Jackson in time.  Hes got the talent to be a great offsetting tandum with Spiller…Now that we will get the chance to see how he performs I have a question about the future of the franchise.  The Bills are almost rebuilt, missing a few pieces to having a very competitive team.  If Wingo performs well the rest of the season can you see maybe the Bills trading away Fred Jackson and running with Wingo.  I love Freds leadership and still believe he has a few great seasons left in him.  But his age and injuries catching up faster and faster each year so why not get something for him to bring more youth and promise to the team?

CB: I believe you’re getting ahead of yourself here. Wingo’s playing time will not be sufficient enough to make that kind of assessment, unless Spiller or Jackson sustain a season-ending injury.

I think Wingo is a player of interest to the Bills, but this is a guy they need to develop through this coming offseason to help him improve. Unseating other players is just too premature right now.

 

4 – Hi Chris,

Thanks for your hard work to keep us fans up to date with the Bills. After watching this past game against the Bucs, I noticed that not 1 deep ball was attempted, and it seems like the bills offense has had success with it in the past. Coach Marrone said they may have to “scale” things back a bit for E.J Manuel. Could that be an indication that he just may not be ready yet to play in this league? This is a very young Football team and I was wondering if its just as simple as these Rookies and second year players having to “learn” how to win in the NFL?

Thanks Again, Eileen in Ontario

CB: I think the worst thing that happened to rookie QBs in the NFL was the rapid success of Andrew Luck, RG III and Russell Wilson. Due to the fact that three rookies succeeded in their first year as starters, it created the false premise that rookies QBs on the whole can succeed right away.

There are instances where that can happen, but more often than not it doesn’t. EJ Manuel has started just 10 games. In the words of Coach Marrone he has a lot to learn.

When he talked about scaling things back it was because since the second Jets game they have been increasing the amount of things on his plate to see how he would handle it. He didn’t handle it well in Tampa, so now they will cut back and simplify.

It’s the typical approach with a rookie QB. See how much they can handle and if it’s too much cut back.

 

5 – Chris,

I realize you want to create a winning culture with a young team with a new coaching staff but it’s clear this is not the team that can produce winning football. So I’m curious on what your outlook for the last three games is, I’ve been ready to settle for draft picks since the Pittsburgh game but many people may oppose tanking the rest of the year for picks.

Also I was wondering how you’d grade EJs performance this year, I personally like his attitude and demeanor  but he looks like a new born baby when he plays within the pocket it’s just painfully awkward to watch. He also just looks odd when he throws, consistently putting it over the heads of targets or in the dirt, I’m not sure why but do you think this is correctable through footwork?

Last question is about the draft we obviously need  a linebacker, guard and maybe another tackle but a big wideout seems to be a popular pick but where do they fit into our receiver room, seems that Stevie, TJ, and Robert are fixtures as the top three while we struggle to work in Goodwin. So who gets bumped out probably Marcus Easley but do we really draft a “big wideout” to be our fifth or sixth wideout? Or do you anticipate more fluctuation at this position in the offseason? As always keep up the great work covering our Buffalo Bills, and I look forward to your responses.

Will

CB: You have to win the remaining games as I see it. You’re never going to change the losing culture unless you win. If you can win these last three it helps in that effort.

EJ has had his ups and downs this season like any rookie quarterback. I think he has what it takes, but it’s going to take some time for him to put it all together. We all need to remember he’s made 10 starts.

As for team needs I agree with your linebacker and offensive line adds as well as a big receiver. I also think a big back would be prudent to groom as an eventual replacement for Fred Jackson.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-8

Posted by Chris Brown on November 8, 2013 – 12:51 pm

Sunday could be a game where the Steelers’ flaws match up well with the Bills’ strengths. We’ll see if Buffalo can end the Steelers’ six-game winning streak against the Bills in Pittsburgh. Here is your latest edition of questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

Thanks for all that you do for us Fans.

Can you enlighten me about a few of the recent hits the Bills have taken the past weeks? Thad (Lewis) got hit helmet to helmet against the Dolphins and popped his helmet off. Also, the Saints had a similar penalty as well.  Were there any fines accessed by the league?

I couldn’t find any info on these.

Secondly, what is the likelihood that Carpenter is kept on around next year vs Hopkins.

Gary in Indianapolis

CB: I do know that Miami LB Jelani Jenkins was fined for his hit to the tune of $15,750. I never did see if Saints S Chris White was fined. The fines are typically handed down by the league the Friday following the game. The NFL does this on purpose, figuring that the upcoming game carries greater priority and a fined hit from the previous week either A – won’t be asked about or B – will not get reported.

Most helmet to helmet hits on quarterbacks do draw fines even if incidental in nature.

 

2 – Chris,

I have been very happy with the direction the Bills have taken. The coaching staff, the trades, the free agents, the drafts… Even the trades and FAs they didn’t do. For example, as much as I love Andy Levitre as a player, we couldn’t pay him what Tennessee did.  The one move I question though was not trying to resign Rinehart.  Prior to him signing elsewhere I said to myself ‘I don’t like that we are losing Andy but at least we have Chad’.  He didn’t get a huge deal in SD, so it wasn’t money. Any input as to why they didn’t try to keep him?  Again, every other move they made makes total sense to me, except that one. As much as I loved Wilson he wasn’t worth him salary anymore. Fitz had to go, 8 mill for Andy was too much… But why not 2 mil for a guy who would be starting for us right now if he were here and healthy.

CB: I share your preference in trying to keep Chad Rinehart in the fold. It would not have taken big money to do it, but I have heard there was a desire on Rinehart’s part to follow now Bills former offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris. When D’Alessandris wound up on Mike McCoy’s coaching staff in San Diego it made the Chargers a top choice for Rinehart in free agency.

 

3 - Hey Chris,

Just out of curiosity, why isn’t Ronnie Wingo a wide receiver? Seems like he has more the measurables of a receiver at 6’3″ and 230 pounds than he does of a running back.

Thanks,
Tommy

CB: He was used as a fullback in college at Arkansas. His build looks more like that of a tailback than a receiver. He is not a long and lanky 6’3”. He’s thickly built, which is probably why coaches over the years stuck him in the offensive backfield.

 

4 – Chris,

Thanks for your updates for the Bills fans in here southern Nevada. With coach Marrone’s mantra of accountability and availability and making the assumption that the quarterback is the most valuable piece on the chess board, do you think it necessary for the team to draft a quarterback early in next years draft. Manuel’s health issues have to be a major concern for the organization.

Thanks, Hank

Boulder City, NV

CB: While I don’t think your point is without merit, I think it is a premature conversation at this time. The personnel department and the coaching staff need to evaluate Manuel over these last seven games and make a determination on a host of things with respect to his game, the state of the offense and what positions need to be addressed the soonest.

NFL personnel departments often review the entire body of work of each and every player, then the offensive unit is assessed and positional needs are determined thereafter. Manuel has seven more games and that’s about half a season. A lot can change.

 

5 – Hi Chris,

Just wondering why Coach Marrone says that EJ has to be 110 percent healthy when CJ, Fred, Stevie and others are out there battling through injuries? I know the QB position is obviously important but so are some of the Bills other positions that are banged up. Just wondering the thought process as to why he has to be (Perfectly) healthy when other players don’t. I’m sure he has his reasons as a head coach, and I’m not questioning his decision making, just curious how it works.

Thanks, Tim in Niagara Canada

CB: I think the location of the injury on the outside of the right knee was such that until he was all the way back healthy he would not be able to firmly plant that back leg in the ground and drive off it effectively to throw the football. If the knee injury was going to compromise his throwing mechanics it’s going to impact the consistency of the passing game. So I think that’s where the difference lies in needing him at 100 percent.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

When Wingo thought he’d play the first time

Posted by Chris Brown on October 27, 2013 – 8:15 am

Bills newly promoted RB Ronnie Wingo is expected to see action Sunday if Spiller is inactive for Sunday’s game. That looks to be likely with Spiller not practicing all week and listed as doubtful. Of course the first time Wingo thought he’d get the call a few weeks ago he thought that would be the case too.

When Spiller first injured his ankle in the game against the Ravens in Week 4, there was a short turnaround to their Week 5 game at Cleveland, which was on a Thursday night. It was really uncertain as to whether Spiller would be ready on such short rest.

Wingo, still on the practice squad, made the trip with the team, uncommon for practice squad players as a precaution.

“I was excited and had some nerves because you never know,” said Wingo of his Week 5 travel with the team. “But if you prepare the right way the game will come easy and you won’t be out there thinking too much. So that’s what I did and that’s the way I’ve prepared each week.”

Spiller was worked out in a park of all places the morning before the game and was deemed well enough to play. The team ultimately left Wingo on the practice squad and Spiller played delivering a touchdown run in the game.

“There was anxiety making the road trip and right before the game I found out C.J. was going to play and watching the game I was wishing I could play,” Wingo told Buffalobills.com. “Now I might get my chance.”

 


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A closer look at Wingo’s athleticism

Posted by Chris Brown on October 25, 2013 – 2:13 pm

Bills RB Ronnie Wingo, who was just called up from the practice squad to the active roster this afternoon, is a big, but athletic back. Here’s a look at his workout numbers from his Arkansas pro day from this past March.

Wingo ran two 40 times of 4.46 and 4.49.

He had a three cone drill time of 7.47.

He had a 33-inch vertical leap and a 9’9″ broad jump.

On the 225-pound bench press he put up 18 reps.

Wingo is likely to see action Sunday knowing Fred Jackson isn’t 100 percent either.


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Good sign for C.J.? Wingo still on prac. squad

Posted by Chris Brown on October 3, 2013 – 4:32 pm

The Bills brought practice squad RB Ronnie Wingo on the trip to Cleveland in case the status of C.J. Spiller, questionable with an ankle injury, did not improve enough to make him a viable option in tonight’s game against the Browns. But with the deadline to add Wingo to the roster now come and gone (4 pm) may  be seen as a positive sign for Spiller’s availability tonight.

Spiller was only able to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday as he worked on the side with the athletic training staff on Monday and Tuesday. He said if he was able to get back to 80-85 percent health he would play against the Browns.

The Bills inactive list will officially declare whether Spiller is available or not for tonight’s game.


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Bills practice squad RB on trip

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2013 – 8:57 pm

Bills RB C.J. Spiller is listed as questionable for Thursday night’s game and the team appears to be taking all necessary precautions in the event he can’t play.

Practice squad RB Ronnie Wingo tweeted that he’s on the trip.

He’s still on the practice squad as of now (Wednesday), but for Thursday night games teams have until 4 pm Thursday to make a roster move if they deem one necessary.

With Spiller questionable and Fred Jackson trying to return from an MCL sprain the course of the situation tomorrow could prompt them to make a move with Wingo.

Head coach Doug Marrone said earlier this week that he would be the call up if they needed another back.


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