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Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 3-1

Posted by Chris Brown on March 1, 2013 – 12:42 pm

Free agency is coming up fast. Let’s get to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - Hey Chris,

I have a few questions for you. 

First, with reports of Brian Urlacher possibly hitting the Free Agent market, do you see him as someone the Bills would bring in to add veteran depth and leadership at ILB? Also, if the Bills were to add a WR in free agency, who would be most likely? 

Finally, could we possibly see a similar situation to that of Washington last offseason and take two QBs in the draft? In my opinion, the chances are in your favor in that situation. 

Thanks,
Korey
Kenmore, NY

CB: Urlacher is on the decline. Not the same player. So no I don’t see him here. WR is a position that has limited top flight talent, so the guys at the top will be looking for big money. I don’t know that they can commit more big $$ at the position after handing out a big contract to Stevie last offseason.

I think affordable options that fit the mold of the big outside receiver that Buddy Nix is looking for are Braylon Edwards and Jerome Simpson.

 

2 - Hi Chris,

There continues to be serious concern regarding new contract negotiations with Andy Levitre and Jairus Byrd. Could you please update me with whatever progress is being made and how realistic is it that those two players will be on the roster in the fall.
Go Bills,
Richard
Los Angeles

CB: I respect the concern. We know that Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon and Senior VP of Football Administration Jim Overdorf met with the agents for both Andy Levitre and Jairus Byrd.

We’re about a week and a half away from the opening of free agency. Plus the new rule this year allows other clubs to talk to the agents of free agents from other clubs beginning March 9th, to open a dialogue on a possible contract. Only the team that had the player on their roster the previous season could sign said player however, prior to March 12th. The franchise tag is no longer an option effective at 4 pm on Monday.

I like both Levitre and Byrd as players, but if Levitre is asking for the moon I don’t see him back in a Bills uniform. As for Byrd I think if necessary the Bills would make use of the franchise tag at $6.79M. We’ll know by Monday afternoon for sure.

 

3 - Chris,

Is there any possibility of the Bills looking at Ryan Mallett from the Patriots? Seems like he was highly rated coming into the draft and slipped to the Patriots, you would have to think he’s learned a thing or 2 from backing up Brady the last 2 years. Of course the Patriots would have to be willing to give him to an intra division rival, if they even look at the Bills as that!

-Dan G in West Palm Beach

CB: The only way I see this as a remote possibility is if Matt Cassel is released by the Chiefs and signs back with New England where he began his career. That would make Mallett expendable, but even then I can’t see New England sending a player with potential to a division rival particularly at the quarterback position.

 

 

4 - @ChrisBrownBills Think Bills would consider going LT (Johnson/Fisher) at #8 and move Cordy Glenn to LG if they lose Levitre?

MustangMike23

CB: I believe both of those offensive tackles are in the right area in terms of value. Lane Johnson is a rare athlete and Fisher has NFL feet and strength right now. Glenn did play some guard in college, but I think if a quarterback they like is off the board when they’re on the clock at eight that they’ll go with the best defensive player on the board.

 

5 - @ChrisBrownBills

Well now with Kelsay gone would we try to target a pass rusher? Jordan or Jones?

JackJablonski

CB: I think the two are mutually exclusive. Kelsay’s retirement I don’t think would’ve had much bearing on whether they feel they need to add a pass rusher at OLB. What does have a bearing on it is where they feel that Mark Anderson fits. Knowing Buffalo’s defense is going to be a multiple front scheme is he a DE and OLB or just a DE? I would think they see him as a stand-up rusher in a 3-4 look. Now they could probably use another one in light of their deficiency at the position in general.

And as I said in the above response if there isn’t a quarterback there at eight that they like I think they’ll go with the best defensive player on the board. That could very well be a pass rusher.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Ponder, Dalton working out

Posted by Chris Brown on March 29, 2011 – 11:30 am

Florida St. QB Christian Ponder, who Bills GM Buddy Nix confirmed will have a pre-draft visit with the Bills, is reportedly working out for another NFL team today, and TCU QB Andy Dalton is working out for another.

According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Ponder is working out for the Minnesota Vikings today (Tuesday). Meanwhile Dalton is reportedly scheduled to work out for the Indianapolis Colts.

Ponder’s workout is taking place on campus in Tallahassee. Dalton and Ryan Mallett are also scheduled to meet with the Vikings per the Star-Tribune report.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kirwan: Bills take CB, QB

Posted by Chris Brown on March 28, 2011 – 1:42 pm

NFL.com’s Pat Kirwan just put together his newest two-round mock draft and he’s got Buffalo taking a cornerback followed by a quarterback.

Kirwan has Buffalo taking LSU CB Patrick Peterson third overall after he has Marcell Dareus and Da’Quan Bowers going to Carolina and Denver. Here’s his line of reasoning for the pick.

Patrick has Charles Woodson-like qualities as well as terrific return skills. With Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, the Bills can afford to wait until the second round for a quarterback. With Tom Brady in the division, the Bills need a shutdown cornerback.

Then in round two he has Buffalo taking QB Ryan Mallett. This might be the first time I’ve seen Mallett predicted for the Bills in round two. Former Arkansas and Bills QB Joe Ferguson offered this comment on Ryan Mallett to Buffalobills.com.

“Ryan Mallett has got all the talent,” Ferguson said. “He’s 6’7” and weighs about 250 and has a very strong arm. His mobility is the negative that he may have, but there have been a lot of great quarterbacks that couldn’t run around very much and played the game a long time, like Dan Marino. He’s got that caliber arm. Depending on the team he goes to if they can help him with a good running game and a good defense I think he’ll be a good quarterback.”


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Mallett to workout for Miami

Posted by Chris Brown on March 25, 2011 – 11:17 am

According to DraftInsiders.net, Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett will be performing a private workout for the Miami Dolphins.

Mallett has had one other known workout thus far in the pre-draft process with Carolina. Whether the Dolphins should stay committed to Chad Henne as their starting quarterback has been heavily debated in south Florida this offseason, and by the sounds of GM Jeff Ireland at the combine it was anything but a lead pipe lock.

“Well, right now our starter is Chad Henne,” Ireland said last month. “Obviously, he’s been a player that’s on our football team. We don’t have a lot of depth right now. It’s obviously a position that we’re going to look hard at. No doubt about it.”

If the Dolphins did take Mallett, it’d once again present a scenario in which Mallett could be succeeding Henne, which he did initially at Michigan before transferring when Rich Rodriguez brought in his spread offense as the Wolverines new head coach. Mallett is projected as a second round pick.


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Mallett to workout for 3 clubs

Posted by Chris Brown on March 21, 2011 – 5:35 am

Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett has workouts lined up with three NFL clubs.

That according to the National Football Post. Mallett, who has already had a workout with Carolina, will reportedly also perform for Minnesota, Miami and Cincinnati.

All three clubs figure to be in the market for a quarterback, though Miami maintains they’re behind Chad Henne as their starter… for now.


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Kirwan’s 2 picks for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 13, 2011 – 9:08 pm

NFL.com’s Pat Kirwan put together a two-round mock draft and has the Bills going D-line first and QB second.

In round one he has the Bills taking Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers and in round two he has Buffalo selecting QB Ryan Mallett.

Personally, I’d be surprised if Mallett is the pick. His arm is unmatched, but there are a lot of other questions surrounding him. No doubt the Bills and 31 other teams are seeking answers to those questions on Mallett between now and draft day.


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Mallett pro day update

Posted by Chris Brown on March 8, 2011 – 1:23 pm

Here is NFL.com’s pro day update for Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett.

Mallett ran the 40, something he did not do at the NFL combine in late February and clocked in the 5.3s on most watches. He also had a 26-inch vertical, two inches better than he had in Indy. His broad jump was 8 feet 7 inches and change.


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Report: Mallett might run

Posted by Chris Brown on March 7, 2011 – 1:24 pm

According to DraftInsiders.net, Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett will throw at his pro day Tuesday and there’s a chance he will do more than that.

TonyPauline Sources have told us Ryan Mallett will throw tomorrow during the Arkansas pro-day of 3/8 and probably run the forty.

Mallett did nothing but throw at the NFL combine. No bench press, 40, vertical leap, shuttle run, broad jump. So NFL clubs will be looking for some additional measurable info at the Arkansas campus Tuesday.


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Mallett walks off lectern

Posted by Chris Brown on February 26, 2011 – 3:25 pm

The questions about allegations of drug use came up early for Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett as he took to the lectern in the media room at the NFL combine. And after seven and a half minutes, he promptly ended his press conference.

“I said I’m not going to talk about it here,” said Mallett several times as the media peppered him with questions about allegations raised by former Rams and Panthers personnel man Tony Softli that Mallett stayed out of the 2010 draft because of a drug addiction problem. “I’m going to talk to the teams about it.”

When the subject came up for the third time, Mallett again said he wasn’t going to discuss it with the media and said, “Thanks guys.” and walked from the lectern appearing a bit frustrated as to how things unfolded.

Mallett said he laughed when he heard the rumors put out there by Softli, and felt the timing in which they were made convinced him it was done for a reason. Either way it doesn’t help a quarterback prospect that already had his share of question marks with respect to his play in 2010.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Why Cam didn’t meet media

Posted by Chris Brown on February 26, 2011 – 9:30 am

Heisman trophy winner Cam Newton did not make his way to the interview room on Friday for a very good reason.

Buffalobills.com has learned that Newton, after the initial medical exams, had to go to the local hospital for extra films (either an additional x-ray or MRI). When prospects have to head to the hospital for follow up screenings the first thing to be pulled off their schedule are the media interview responsibilities.

This is a common occurrence at the combine for a lot of prospects and is likely why fellow QBs Colin Kaepernick and Ryan Mallett also did not make it to the media room Friday.

In all likelihood Newton, Kaepernick and Mallett will all make their way to the interview room Saturday (today).


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No Cam on Cam

Posted by Chris Brown on February 25, 2011 – 6:18 pm

Heisman trophy winner Cam Newton did not make his way to the media room here at the NFL combine on Friday.

Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers had their weigh ins and medical exams Friday and also make their way over to speak with the media at Lucas Oil Stadium. Newton didn’t make it over along with some other quarterback prospects like Colin Kaepernick and Ryan Mallett.

According to Draft Insiders Newton’s heavy interview schedule was “taking its toll,” but no formal interviews for signal callers take place until this evening. There were only informal discussions between quarterbacks and teams last night. If last night was taxing on Newton, he might be even more worn out come Saturday.

In all likelihood they’ll be in the media room on Saturday with defensive linemen and linebackers also making their way through.


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Fan Friday 12-3

Posted by Chris Brown on December 3, 2010 – 3:52 pm

Let’s get right to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Hi Chris,
I just wanted to know what you think about Ryan Fitz’s play and should the Bill really take a QB with now a guaranteed top 10 pick or could they take an OT with a 1st round pick.  Also is there any really OL men that have you have seen that they could take with a top 10 pick. And lastly, could the Bills take Adrian Clayborn DE or Cam Newton QB.

CB: There’s no question Fitz has made Buffalo’s offense remarkably more efficient (see third down percentage, red zone TD percentage) and more productive (points per game). I don’t think his play precludes the Bills taking a quarterback in the draft. The only one however, that I believe they would take at the top of the draft would be Andrew Luck. If he stays in school or is off the board, I believe they go in another direction.

That being said I’m not anticipating OT to be the play there. It’s not a strong year for offensive tackles. It’s much stronger at DE and OLB so I’d expect them to lean that way if Luck is not an option.

2 - Hey Chris,
With such a talented backfield (even with the trade of Marshawn Lynch), why aren’t we seeing more two back sets with Jackson and Spiller? I think that either split-backs or even Jackson at fullback would be extremely effective. Remember Fred-Ex’s pancake leading for Marshawn vs. San Diego last year?
-Leo
Boston, MA

CB: Obviously it hasn’t been part of the plan because Spiller has been hurt and I don’t anticipate it being part of the plan this season. Lynch and Jackson were a better fit for that because both are very capable blockers. Spiller never really was asked to block in college because they were too busy putting the ball in his hands, and understandably so.

So if Spiller is out there in a split backfield most defenses are expecting him to get the ball because it’s very unlikely that he acts as a lead blocker for Fred. Basically there’s less of an unknown for opposing defenses, which is why offenses employ that set to begin with.

I will say that as Spiller gets more accustomed to blocking in pass protection as his career moves along, that could be a more realistic option down the road for him.

3 - Hey Chris,
Can Roscoe Parrish , Marcus Easley , & others put on I.R. that are still under contract with the team , still go to the games & be on 
the sideline to root on their team mates , or is there a rule in the NFL that says they can’t participate in any game type activities once 
put on I.R. ?? I know i’ve seen them in some stories posted on BB.com about them doing things around town but was just wondering about game day ??? I would think they wouldn’t be able to do road games because of travel expenses but what about home games ??
Mr. T

CB: Typically I-R’d players watch games from the press box with the inactive players if they choose to do so. A lot of times not being able to play due to an I-R designation makes it too frustrating for players to watch in person, so in many instances they don’t go to the games at all.

I’m not aware of any kind of rule that says they cannot attend.

4 - Hello Chris,
I agree with you that Carolina is destined to get the number 1 pick in the draft ahead of the Bills.  The Bills may even leap frog another team or two and really fudge up the works for Luck.  My feeling on Luck is whoever picks ahead of the Bills is going to take him regardless of their current QB situation which leaves the Bills in a sticky situation.  My second choice for a QB would be Mallett but is he worth the money at that high of a pick?  I think the Bills look elsewhere (different position) if Luck is gone.  Your thoughts???
Jim (Skaneateles)

CB: I think Luck is really the only lead pipe lock in terms of quarterback prospects. Most of the others are giving NFL talent evaluators pause, at least ones that will be drafting in the top 10. Now a guy with Jake Locker’s physical tools may get someone to bite early. We always see quarterback value get inflated right before the draft. That’s also why quarterback is the position with the most first round misses in draft history.

I’d lean against Mallett being a top 10 pick. The lack of consistency is an issue for me.

5 – Chris,
 
Marcus Easley was put on IR for a knee injury prior to the start of the season. At the time Gailey gave no specifics on the injury, only that he did need surgery.
 
Do you have any information on what the injury was? How is he coming along?
 
I think if he can develop, then our WRs look good heading into next season with Evans and Johnson. 
 
Thanks,
Brian
Cleveland, Ohio Bills Fan

CB: I don’t know the exact nature of Marcus Easley’s knee injury, but I do know that they found more damage in there once they performed surgery than they had anticipated. Easley is coming along well, he’s running (straight line) and he’s doing low impact agility work with the trainers here at One Bills Drive.

The positive is he’s going to be full go for spring workouts when the offseason conditioning program begins provided there’s a new CBA agreement.

Knowing how well he performed in the spring camps earlier this year and the plays he turned in at camp before the injury, he’ll almost be like an extra draft pick, and I think he holds a lot of promise for this receiving corps which suddenly looks pretty deep.


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Fan Friday 11-5

Posted by Chris Brown on November 5, 2010 – 1:44 pm

I don’t know what it is, but there’s a good vibe going through this building this week. I’m not promising anything, but I feel good about the Bills getting off the schneid this week against the Bears. On to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Hey Chris ,

With things at One Bills Dr looking as though a corner may have been turned as far as the offense & all of the other changes that have taken place this year as far as — GM , schemes , personnel , & coaching philosophy , how are the players reacting to it all ?? I’ve always heard that in order for a team to be successful they need to buy into what the coach & staff is selling . Although it looks as though Coach Gailey is definitely doing a lot of good things to change the culture of our beloved Bills , how does it look on the inside ??? Do the players seem to recognize that the changes that are being made are for the better & buying what the coach is selling in spite of the teams record to this point ??

As usual thanks for all you do !!
Mr. T from Ft. Myers via Nashville

CB: I’ll just say that this locker room believes in Coach Gailey and his staff. He’s done a good job of maximizing the talents of individual players and units as well. One example individually is Roscoe Parrish and what he’s done as a receiver. A unit example is the offensive line and what they’ve done the past seven weeks in the run game, going from 87 yards rushing per game to over 114 and improving the yards per carry average from 3.6 to 4.5 in that time.

The players can see Gailey and his staff are making this team a better one week by week. And despite all the losing Ryan Fitzpatrick explained it best concerning Gailey’s ability to lead.

“He’s a guy that with us he’s always positive,” said Fitzpatrick. “He’s trying to get us going. He always talks about the talent in the room and what we’ve done this year and what we’ve done successfully. He’s been good. He’s been a guy who keeps us going and I think he’s done a really nice job of that.”

 
2 -  Hi Chris,   
Last season when the Eagles signed Michael Vick they said that there was 2 teams that were in talks with his agent and him.  Also on the program The OT with Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, Tony had said that he believed that Vick would sign with the Bills after the one year deal and the team option for a second yr at 5.2 million.

I guess my question to u is, do you believe that in this upcoming offseason that the Bills will try to sign Vick so that we have a proven QB that is only getting better as he is maturing at his position? I would also like to have a QB that is proven and only adds another threat for this team with his legs and he definitely has the arm to play in the conditions that Buffalo presents.
Thanks  
Jon in Tampa (former Lockportian)

CB: I don’t disagree that Vick would be an exciting addition, and you have a better idea of what you would be getting since he’s been playing the past two years, but I just don’t see it happening.

I don’t have any evidence to tell you why he wouldn’t be signed. I just can’t see the Bills bringing him in should be become a free agent. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me if the Eagles locked him up long term.

3 – Chris,
I know the Titans were the ones that were awarded Randy Moss, but they were the only team to put in a claim. Why not sign Moss and trade him? Is this something that theoretically would work?  My understanding is based on the way teams get dibs on someone like Moss being cut would be worst record first, and then best record last.  So for example if Pittsburgh wanted him it would be to their benefit to work out a deal w/ Buffalo and give them a 3rd round pick (or whatever he’s worth) to get him.  Most likely any other scenario wouldn’t allow Pittsburgh to get him … theoretically.

CB: Claiming Moss only to trade him would not work because the trade deadline passed in mid-October. I suppose had it been before the league’s trade deadline something like that could potentially happen, but I’m going to have to check to see if that’s even permitted by the NFL.

4 - Chris – Since the Bills picked up Shawne Merriman off waivers do they hold all the rights the Chargers previously did?  If he produces as hoped could the Bills control his destiny next year by placing the franchise tag or even the transition tag on him?
 
Thanks,
BuffaloStu2
Denver, CO

CB: Yes, they do hold all the rights to him. He’s Buffalo’s property now as long as he’s under contract. The Bills inherit his current contract which runs out after this season and pay the pro-rated portion of his salary ($1.7M).

I’m not sure about a franchise or transition tag however, because we don’t know what the rules will be concerning free agents until a new CBA is reached between the NFL and the Players Union. Under the old CBA, yes the franchise and transition tag would be options at Buffalo’s disposal, but that’s all up in the air now.

5 - 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’re getting way ahead of yourself. I know a lot of Bills fans already have their eyes on the draft for obvious reasons, but until we know who declares early in mid-January I think we’re all just wasting our breath on what the Bills should, would, could do.
That being said I too prefer Luck.

I’m watching Christian Ponder at Florida State more closely of late. I think his shoulder still isn’t right after a severe separation last season, but in time that arm will heal up and there is no questioning this kid’s toughness and leadership. Need to see more of him though.

One other thing, I love the Fairley kid from Auburn. The guy is a beast on that Tigers D-line.


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Posted in Inside the Bills