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Inside The Bills

Early reports positive on Bradford

Posted by Chris Brown on March 29, 2010 – 12:16 pm

Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford had his pro day Monday and early indiciations are it went very well for the player many think could be the top overall pick.

NFL.com’s Gil Brandt offered the following.

It was near flawless. I’m not saying he solidified his spot at the top of the draft, but he sure didn’t hurt himself. It was one of the best individual workouts I’ve seen in a long time. A real Picasso.

TFY Draft Insider, had the following synopsis.

Bradford was accurate from start to finish, nicely placing the ball in receiver’s hands. He threw several beautiful strikes downfield, hitting receivers in stride some forty yards from the line of scrimmage.  His deep outs, the money throw for any quarterback in these workouts, were also on the mark.

TFY did report that receivers did have to wait on some throws early in the workout, but Bradford was accurate with his passes on the move and though he did not show a “rifle arm” he did prove that he can make all the throws.


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Clausen to Bills in new mock

Posted by Chris Brown on March 22, 2010 – 12:00 pm

NFL.com’s Pat Kirwan has previously had Tennessee DT Dan Williams going to the Bills at nine, but that’s all changed in his mock 4.0 version.

Kirwan has Jimmy Clausen slipping to ninth overall and the Bills taking him. Here is his comment on why he has the Notre Dame QB going to Buffalo.

The Bills have lots of needs and QB is one of them. Clausen threw 28 touchdowns to just four picks last year and has escape skills that he will need in Buffalo. Chan Gailey is an excellent QB guy and will get him ready fairly quickly. Lots of fans don’t want to see another California QB in Buffalo, where the weather is a factor. (Previous pick: Dan Williams)

Though Kirwan makes a point about weather and the fact that Clausen is a California native, he proved he can play in poor weather by playing for three years in South Bend, Indiana, where a handful of his games saw snow.

There are California quarterbacks that have proven they can do play in poor weather in college before. One that comes to mind rather quickly is Tom Brady, who showed he could play in poor weather at Michigan in college before being drafted by New England.

Whether Buffalo would pull the trigger there is tough to gauge, but it’s clear the Bills believe it’s Bradford and Clausen and then everybody else. Here was Bills VP of College Scouting Tom Modrak’s assessment of the QB class this year in his interview with Buffalobills.com at the NFL combine late last month.

“There are a couple of people at the top that will get under the magnifying glass as much as they always do or more,” said Modrak. “Unfortunately there’s been some injuries that have slowed the process down for these players and for us, but that still has to play out. But there’s a couple at the top, but after that it’s not quite as deep as it had been.”

Modrak is obviously talking about Bradford and Clausen, who have both been set back by the pre-draft process due to injury (Bradford-shoulder, Clausen-toe).


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McShay has no 2nd rd QBs

Posted by Chris Brown on March 18, 2010 – 3:59 pm

The quarterback class in the 2010 has been described as “thin” by many so called draft experts. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay took that characterization a step further when asked what could be available in round two after Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen are off the board.

“First of all I have Bradford rated fifth overall and I have Clausen rated 36th on my board, which I understand is lower than most,” said McShay. “Even if you consider him a first rounder I don’t have another quarterback with a second round grade in this class. They’re the only two players, Bradford and Clausen, that I have with grades in the first two rounds.”

“I think Colt McCoy, as much as I love him and his competitiveness, I think he’s overrated. I think he’s going to have a big, big shock to the system when he gets to the next level. I don’t think Tebow is worth a second-round pick. I don’t think (Tony) Pike or anyone else in this class is worth a second-round pick.”

Now that’s only one analyst’s opinion, but “thin” has been used by more than one draft analyst when describing the QB class. That doesn’t mean there isn’t good value in rounds 3 or 4, but when it comes to what the Bills might do in rounds one and two, quarterback is looking less and less like it will be in the cards, unless Clausen is still on the board at nine.  

McShay went on to say that in rounds one and two you’re aim is to draft players that can start for you right away or at some point in their rookie season. That’s primarily why he doesn’t have Tebow as a worthwhile choice in the first two rounds. He believes he needs time to develop and would be a better value in rounds 3 or 4.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Browns seem set on drafting QB

Posted by Chris Brown on March 16, 2010 – 8:25 am

After all their wheeling and dealing at the quarterback position over the past week, the Browns appear by no means done at addressing that position as team President Mike Holmgren admitted he likes Sam Bradford a lot.

“I like Sam a lot; yeah, I like him a lot,” said Holmgren. “He’s a fine player.”

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Holmgren said he will consider taking a QB at seven overall or trade up if necessary, knowing St. Louis and Washington at 1st and 4th overall also need QB help.

“I believe that’s what it would take,” Holmgren said. “We’ll have to analyze what our needs are — how to make the team better right away. We have some areas that we have to address that are as crucial now immediately as the quarterback thing. This is probably the only year we have all of these draft picks, so we have to be wise in how we do that.”

The Browns have 12 picks, which Holmgren admitted is enough to pull of a blockbuster trade. With Jake Delhomme signed for two years and 35-years old and Seneca Wallace a career backup even Holmgren didn’t try to hide the team’s direction at the position.

“You can kind of paint the picture yourself of what we’re going to try to do,” he said.


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Bradford pro day pushed back

Posted by Chris Brown on March 13, 2010 – 10:59 am

Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford was to have his individual pro day to perform a full passing workout in front of NFL scouts and talent evaluators on March 25th, but that date has been pushed back.

Bradford will now throw on March 29th according to NFL.com, but his agent explained that it has nothing to do with Bradford’s throwing shoulder.

The date of Bradford’s workout was very close to the end of the owner’s meetings, which made travel plans complicated for NFL GMs among others. So Bradford elected to move the workout date back to accommodate league executives. The only other schools with pro days are Texas A&M Kingsville and Northwestern.


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QB Wonderlic scores

Posted by Chris Brown on March 10, 2010 – 1:18 pm

A few of the QB prospects scores on the Wonderlic test from the combine have leaked out.

Per Edgar Thompson of Scout.com, Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford did the best among the more notable signal callers.

Bradford scored a 36 out of 50.
Colt McCoy had a 25
Jimmy Clausen had a 23
Tim Tebow had a 22

None of those scores are considered to be in a range that would raise a red flag among NFL clubs.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bradford won’t be at OU pro day

Posted by Chris Brown on March 8, 2010 – 12:54 pm

Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford will not be in attendance at Oklahoma’s pro day on Tuesday.

That according to NFL.com’s Gil Brandt. Bradford has his own pro day scheduled for March 25th when he will throw for NFL talent evaluators, but it was uncertain as to whether he would at least be on hand to watch his fellow Sooners.

Bradford is working out in Pensacola, FL at API, which is right next door to the rehab facility of famed orthopedist Dr. James Andrews.


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Browns might trade up for QB

Posted by Chris Brown on March 1, 2010 – 11:39 am

In a time where very few NFL teams have an interest in trading into the top 10 due to the enormous money handed out to NFL prospects taken that high, the Cleveland Browns, a team already in the top 10 at seventh overall, have not ruled out the possibility of trading up if it means landing Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford.

That according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which quoted Browns GM Tom Heckert as saying the following.

“My job is to get good football players,” said Heckert. “If I think we can get a really good football player by moving up and if we have a chance to do that, we’ll do it.”

The Browns, much like the Bills, are likely to consider adding to their quarterback stable as they too have no clear cut proven starter currently on their roster. Cleveland reporters believe the Browns would trade up if it meant landing Sam Bradford.


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Bradford mum on team interviews

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2010 – 1:34 pm

Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford just addressed the media here at the NFL Combine and when asked which teams he interviewed with, the quarterback elected to go mum.

“I don’t think that needs to be out there,” said Bradford.

So although it was clear he had met with teams Friday night in personal interviews he wasn’t about to reveal the identity of those teams. A host of top 10 clubs, including the Rams with the first pick overall, are expected to sit down with Bradford here at the combine.


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Clausen’s toe not ready

Posted by Chris Brown on February 17, 2010 – 10:58 am

Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen had toe surgery at the close of his junior season shortly after declaring himself eligible for the 2010 NFL Draft. But that toe won’t allow him to work out at the Combine next week.

Clausen told Sirius NFL Radio the following.

“I’m planning on doing all the interviews and, obviously, being seen by the doctors so they can see my toe, but my toe isn’t ready to go right now.

That means the two quarterbacks widely considered the best in the 2010 class will not participate in workouts in Indianapolis. Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford is not recovered from shoulder surgery to work out, though he is hoping to work out for scouts in April prior to the draft.

It’s presumed that Clausen will do the same.


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Another mock OT pick for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 10, 2010 – 3:33 pm

The National Football Post is the latest to release an initial mock draft, and the results aren’t much different than a lot of other mock drafts we’ve seen lately as it pertains to the Bills.

NFP’s Wes Bunting has Buffalo taking Rutgers OT Anthony Davis. Davis as most of you know is said to be long on upside being a junior eligible.

Another note is in this NFP mock they have Bradford going first overall to the Rams, who do need a QB with Bulger on the way out and they have Clausen going fourth overall to Washington. If Bradford checks out medically look for this line of thinking to gain some major steam. Some are already speculating that Bradford to the Rams at one will happen.


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Report: Shanahan leaning toward QB

Posted by Chris Brown on February 9, 2010 – 1:45 pm

According to the Washington Post, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan is “eager to draft and develop a young quarterback.”

The Post cites a league source familiar with Shanahan’s line of thinking, which in my mind doesn’t hold a ton of water since it’s second hand. Obviously with Shanahan’s history, which includes drafting Jay Cutler, and his propensity for offense it’s not surprising that this speculative report exists.

What I find interesting is ESPN’s Todd McShay isn’t convinced that QB will be the pick at 4 for the Redskins, which obviously could have a big impact on how the top 10 picks play out, and affect the Bills who sit at ninth overall.

“Bradford is fighting to get in the top 10 and Washington seems like the best fit, but something tells me they’re going to wind up going with a different position,”  said McShay on a national conference call. “They can’t afford with the first pick of the new regime to make a mistake and Bradford has just enough red flags that they may pass.” 

McShay goes on to point out that he could see Shanahan taking an offensive tackle at four knowing veteran LT Chris Samuels is expected to retire after a neck injury.

“Shanahan might like (OT) Anthony Davis,” McShay said. “Each one of the elite first rounders has something you point to that you’re not wild about. I don’t think (Okla. OT) Trent Williams played real well this year. He was dinged up and moved from right to left tackle.  (Okla. St. OT) Okung is physical at times, but not always. Then with Davis there are some questions about his maturity and injuries. But I do think that Davis would fit what they would be looking to do in terms of athleticism and getting out and moving. I think we’re going to see Anthony Davis move up the board. There’s a really good chance he’s a top 10 pick.”

Number four overall however, seems high for Davis, as there isn’t a consensus among talent evaluators as to whether he’ll be NFL ready on day one. Perhaps Washington trades down to grab their tackle for better value. Either way just hearing the divergence of speculative reporting on the direction Washington will take confirms that probably no one knows what they’re going to do.

If Washington does pass on a QB, the only other teams that are likely to take one before the Bills pick at 9 would be Seattle (#6) and Cleveland (#7).


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Rams sound interested in Vick

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2010 – 8:25 am

Though the Rams can’t come out and say they’d like to trade for Vick or acquire him because he’s still under contract to the Eagles, it’s clear that Vick is in their thinking after head coach Steve Spagnuolo and GM Billy Devaney spoke to select St. Louis media this weekend.

With the Rams’ QB situation about as undetermined as that of the Bills, and with Spagnuolo’s prior coaching ties to Philadelphia, it’s been widely speculated that St. Louis would be prime players for Vick’s services via trade. Spagnuolo however, would only address Vick in generalities, but did make it clear he thinks a lot of him as a player.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Michael as a player,” Spagnuolo told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Everything I’ve heard out of Philadelphia is kind of good. We haven’t gone down that road in our process yet. I think he’s a terrific player.”

Spagnuolo told the Post-Dispatch that he really didn’t have a timetable for addressing the quarterback situation, but added, “That may direct itself depending on things that happen. And we know what we’re all talking about.”

He’s talking about trades or the draft, which apparently the Rams haven’t ruled out either when it comes to addressing their QB position even though they have the first pick in the draft. But GM Billy Devaney told the Post-Dispatch he believes there are a pair of first-round worthy QBs.

“Oh yeah, absolutely there are first-round guys,” Devaney said. “I think there’s a couple of them.”

Presumably those are Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen, but most would be shocked if one of them were taken first overall.


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Fan Friday 12-25

Posted by Chris Brown on December 25, 2009 – 12:00 pm

Merry Christmas Bills fans. Wish the team had more to put under your tree this year. We can only hope the New Year brings positive change. I have faith that it will. Let’s get to it.

1. Hey Chris,
Any chance Owens stays next year?
Thanks,
Daniel Diaz

CB: I think the chances of Terrell Owens re-signing with the Bills is pretty remote. Owens has said he wants to play two more years, and he no doubt wants to be a bigger part of the offense than he has been this season in Buffalo. With a rebuilding project set to begin in Buffalo this offseason and a lot unknowns with respect to the offensive system, quarterback, head coach, general manager, I believe Owens will look to land with a more stable situation elsewhere in the league.

Of course there has to be demand for his services too, which wasn’t the case this past offseason. We’ll see what the market looks like for him, but with his career winding down I think he’d like to still be productive. So he’s going to go to a team where he has the highest probability of doing that.

2. What’s the latest on the Bills search for a GM?  Is there a search going on or are they going to wait until the season ends and try to fill the GM/Coach with one person?

Thanks,
Bob

CB: I think Russ Brandon is playing things very close to the vest on purpose. After all the reports about the Shanahan meeting, I think he’d prefer to keep the process out of the public eye.

I believe the Bills will try to hire a proven coach with a recognizable name. If that happens then I believe the director of Football Operations will be a young football man on his way up from a proven NFL front office.
 
If they cannot land a big name head coach then I believe the Dir. of Football Ops would be a recognizable name and he will hire a promising coach.
 
I think the big name will be in one of those positions or the other, but not both. Just my opinion.

3. Hello Chris,
Well, I have already moved into the next draft.  If T.O. does not re-up and a top veteran QB is not signed, I have a hypothetical question for you.  If both of these players were available to the Bills, would they select Dez Bryant or Sam Bradford?
Jim
Skaneateles

CB: I don’t see them taking a receiver. Even though it’s not likely that Terrell Owens and possibly Josh Reed are not back with the team next season, I think receiver is not a top priority. The top position needs are quarterback, offensive tackle, linebacker and defensive tackle. I admire Bradford’s accuracy and command of an offense. He was super productive at Oklahoma his junior year.

But that throwing shoulder is going to have a lot of questions to answer coming off surgery and they might not be answered until right before the draft based on his prognosis. That’s a major, major concern when you’re investing a high draft pick. As great as that positional need is for Buffalo I just don’t know.

4. Chris,

After bringing back Buddy Nix earlier this year, do the Bills have any chance of landing a guy like Indy’s personnel director, Tom Telesco as GM? How about any other Bill Polian or John Butler/AJ Smith disciples? Have the bridges between the organization and those guys been completely burned?

Thanks for taking the time
Andy
Rome, NY

CB: No, I don’t think there are any burned bridges there. Bill Polian and Ralph Wilson are on much better terms than when Polian left the Bills organization. With respect to Tom Telesco I think he’d be a very good candidate. He’s been running the Colts pro and college scouting departments for years and he’s a Hamburg native.

I believe working for his hometown team is something he’d probably be interested in if offered a Director of Football Operations type role. Whether he’s on the Bills short list or not I do not know.

5. Hello Chris,
Have you heard anything concrete and/or rumoresque on the Bills search for a new coach?  Seems like that story went silent in a hurry. 
Thanks, Jim

CB: I think the situation now is the Bills cannot talk to any other coaching candidates they might be interested in because they are still working for other teams. By rule another team can’t speak to a coaching candidate currently working for another team until that team’s season is over and with permission from that team of course.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

QB Clausen in 2010 draft pool

Posted by Chris Brown on December 7, 2009 – 2:32 pm

Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen has made it official. The junior is entering the 2010 draft pool.

Clausen made the announcement at a 2:30pm press conference at the school. ESPN is reporting that Notre Dame WR Golden Tate is also declaring himself eligible for the draft.

Clausen is considered one of the top 3 QB prospects in this year’s draft class joining Washington’s Jake Locker and Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford. Bradford however, is more of a question mark as he will be rehabbing from shoulder surgery.


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Sooners QB to address future

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2009 – 7:00 pm

Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford will address the media about his football future on Wednesday.

According to the Tulsa World, Bradford, who has twice injured his throwing shoulder in this his senior season, will address what his plans are moving forward with respect to his football career.

There’s speculation that he may opt for surgery thereby ending his college career in an effort to be fully healthy in time for the 2010 NFL Draft. But we’ll know for sure Wednesday.


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