Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 8-16

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2013 – 12:30 pm

Preseason game number two tonight against the Vikings and a big night for Kevin Kolb. Here are some of your latest questions for this last edition of Fan Friday before the end of training camp. Keep the questions coming on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

I’m sure your sick of comments and questions about Jairus Byrd but my question I didn’t hear many talk about is this: did the Bills (or Byrd for that matter) consider that Byrd may have a tremendous year and increase his value even more next year leading to an even high price tag? If the Bills do what they are hoping he will do during his franchise year did they not cost themselves more money by not coming up a little higher to sign him this year? Or, if that was a consideration, does that not tell us there will be no attempt to sign Byrd long term after this season and this season is nothing more than a bridge to get one of the Williams’ ready?

Thanks,
Ron

CB: Bills GM Doug Whaley has gone on record saying they will still pursue a long term contract agreement with Jairus Byrd after the regular season concludes. At this point you have to take Whaley at his word as the team’s new GM. In my experience Whaley usually means what he says.

Now all that being said there is some merit to the argument of signing a player to an extension a year prior to their contract being up. If for example, the Bills are convinced that Alex Carrington is going to have a monster season in this the last year of his contract, they might opt to try to sign him before this season starts.

Is there a risk? Absolutely. He could have a down year or sustain a career-threatening injury. But there’s a risk in every decision an NFL GM makes. That’s why their salaries are where they are. When there’s a significant call to be made, they’re paid to make significantly more right decisions than wrong ones.
2 – Hi Chris,

I am a former season ticket holder (tunnel endzone) from the glory days of the late 80s and early 90s now living in SC.  Thanks for all you do to keep out of town Bills fans up to date.  I’m intrigued by the Bills corps of receivers.  I have heard about the speed of Graham and Goodwin.  Do you think either has the route running ability to be the next Victor Cruz inside?  I have heard about the route running ability of Woods.  Does he have the potential to be a Wes Welker inside bracketed between Stevie, Graham, and Chandler?  Da’ Rick is also interesting.  Where do you see him in this mix?

As far as team analysis I see our biggest areas of need as the O Line (need a tackle and two guards), an outside linebacker that can rush and compliment Mario, and a second corner to pair with Gilmore as I feel McKelvin is too small and better suited to slot defender. Your thoughts?

Thanks,
John in SC

CB: Woods is a polished route runner, but he’s not a Wes Welker. Welker’s quickness in and out of cuts is rare. Woods is a sharp route runner, but he wins more on hesitation, change of speed and shoulder fakes than pure quickness. Stevie Johnson is the primary slot receiver. Woods would be the number two.

To say one would have similar production to Victor Cruz has more to do with the quarterback throwing him the ball than their own exploits.

Da’Rick Rogers is strictly an outside receiver. Big and physical with soft hands, he needs more discipline with his route running, but when he gets it he could explode.

McKelvin right now is the best option to line up opposite Stephon Gilmore when healthy. At 5’10” 185 his size is adequate and his arms are long, which helps in coverage. Ron Brooks, Justin Rogers and Nickell Robey are considerably smaller in stature and better suited inside. McKelvin is probably best as a boundary corner.

 

3 - @ChrisBrownBills

What is up with Mario? How come he doesn’t interview after practice? Did they ever say what it was with his foot?
Thanks
jvsafy

CB: He does usually once a week during the regular season and occasionally during training camp. Last night he did not stop for an interview because he had to get treatment with the athletic trainers. Head coach Doug Marrone did not say it was his foot that needed treatment. During camp there is typically an assortment of bumps and bruises that players experience that needs attention, especially linemen who endure more physical contact than other players.

I’m not trying to be a Mario apologist here, but even if it was his foot that necessitated the treatment I’d at least take comfort in the fact that he’s trying to take care of what’s nagging at him.
4 – Chris,

I appreciate the work you do on the Bills site, nice job.

A few points – when it comes to Byrd I think the Bills want to let this season play out and let some of their young safeties get some game reps (I.e. Searcy, A Williams, D Williams, Meeks) and see where they stand at the end of the year. While I think Byrd is a very good all-around player, the one thing I think he lacks, is that he is not a particularly big hitter, and I think that can change a defense when their safeties will hit.

The O line position that I think is more important than left guard is right tackle. Who do you think the right tackle will be, and how good of play do you think the Bills will get from that position?

We hear so much about the Bills up tempo offense but to me, that is not really an offense. Conceptually, in terms of routes, blocking schemes and personnel groupings, what do you think the Bills offense will look like?

Do you think the Bills need a legitimate big back? Certainly, CJ is a supreme talent, but to me, he is a space player, and to me 20 touches a game would be ideal. To me, Fred is a good all-around player, a good pass protector, a good screen game back, and a runner who makes his yards on a combination of vision, balance and using his blocks. But I think the Bills would benefit from a legitimate big running back. I think such a player could help on the goal line, third and short, and be a good complement to CJ and Fred. What do you think?

Chris

CB: Okay a lot to cover here. First, I disagree with your assessment that Jairus Byrd is not a hitter. He absolutely is a hitter. Evidence of that comes from the fact that since the 2009 season, no other safety in the league has more forced fumbles than him. He’s got 10. That being said the bigger hitters of the current contingent are Da’Norris Searcy and Duke Williams.

Right now I think the right tackle will be Erik Pears, who finally appears recovered from groin and hip problems the past two seasons. He’s moving as well as I’ve seen him and he’s as tough as they come. Chris Hairston, who is still on PUP, may very well miss all of training camp as he has not been moved onto the active roster yet.

Couple that with the fact that Sam Young and Thomas Welch have been unable to unseat him and it looks like Pears’ job to lose.

Concerning the Bills offense yes it will be up tempo, but it is a unique system that no one else is running. So I’ll give you the details that won’t give up the brilliance behind it. The easy identification is that it’s fast, but it’s also multiple personnel, slightly more run than pass (probably 52% to 48%) with stretch the field components. It has West Coast system roots with a physical edge to it.

It won’t be complicated, just fast and multiple in terms of looks.

If Fred Jackson is not the kind of goal line back you want because you don’t think he’s big enough Kendall Gaskins is the only back in camp (who isn’t a fullback) that is bigger. He’s 6’1” 238 and he can lay the lumber. He’s had a nice camp, but whether he can unseat Tashard Choice remains to be seen.

5 - @ChrisBrownBills

how’s Carrington doing? Was projected as breakout player but haven’t heard much about him?

TerryBdattd

CB: If you haven’t heard or seen much you might be living under a rock. He’s been a routine component of our highlight reels on Bills Roundup every evening we cover the day that was in training camp. I’ll let defensive coordinator Mike Pettine give you the assessment of the kind of camp he’s had (high praise).

“He’s a guy that we have a saying where we talk about playing like Bill, tough, competitive, productive, relentless, all the traits that we’re looking for in our guys,” said Pettine. “You go right down the list and he’s every one of them. He’s a guy that loves football, wants to get better, wants to get coached hard, asks the tough questions and it just shows up in his play.

“He’s probably our most technically sound guy up front. We emphasize to our guys that we want to get knock back on the offensive line and he’s probably our most consistent guy doing that, but the position he’s in I don’t think he’s going to show up on the stat sheet as much from a scheme standpoint. But to me he’s going to be one of the more important pieces of our defense.”

 


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Bills injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2013 – 12:39 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone provided an injury update coming out of their preseason victory over the Colts Sunday.

“(Dorin) Dickerson came out of the game, but I think we’re going to be fine there with just a left ankle,” said Marrone. “Ron Brooks he was fine. He went in there on special teams, it’s just a tight left hamstring.

“(Thomas) Welch just had a facial laceration. A cut so it’s not anything like any (concussion) symptoms. That’s not what it is. (T.J.) Heath just had a right quad contusion. Just got a pop in the quad.

“We came out of that game really healthy so I’m really excited about that.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Glenn starts at LG, Welch at LT

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2013 – 9:10 am

Apparently Thomas Welch is staying at LT. It’s Cordy Glenn that’s the newest LG candidate.

Glenn was lined up at LG with the first unit while Welch was at LT.

Welch had been the LT with the 2nd unit, but has moved up with the starters with Glenn kicking inside.


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Thomas Welch newest 1st tm LT

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2013 – 8:38 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone talked about possibly adding another candidate to the left guard competition. That has apparently now come to pass with Cordy Glenn moving inside to guard and Thomas Welch lining up with the starters at left tackle.

Welch has primarily lined up at left tackle with the second unit during training camp.

More details on this development after practice.


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OL visitors not surprising

Posted by Chris Brown on June 4, 2013 – 3:34 pm

The Bills hosted a pair of free agent offensive linemen at the team facility today. After trying several options at the vacant starting left guard spot it appears as though Buffalo is trying to see if they can add some experience to the competition.

Through the spring practices the Bills have lined up Colin Brown, undrafted rookie Zach Chibane, Chris Scott, David Snow, Thomas Welch and Sam Young at guard at one time or another. Toward the end of the OTA practice sessions Welch lined up at guard for the first time in his tenure with Buffalo after playing exclusively at offensive tackle.

Both Tyronne Green and Doug Legursky, who visited Tuesday, have at least one year of starting experience under their belt. Green started 13 games in 2012 and Legursky 10 games in 2011. Combined the pair have 45 starts in their NFL careers. Here’s a look at the combined career starts and game appearances of the half dozen guard candidates currently on Buffalo’s roster.

Colin Brown – 12 games, 2 starts
Zach Chibane – 0 games, 0 starts
Chris Scott – 2 games, 0 starts
David Snow – 5 games, 2 starts
Thomas Welch – 11 games, 0 starts
Sam Young – 18 games, 4 starts
—————————————-
Totals – 48 games, 8 starts

Now these numbers do not mean that any of the players listed above are not capable. In fact Snow and Young availed themselves well on the interior when asked to step in for injured starters last season. But the fact is that NFL coaches rest a bit easier when they can start a guy that’s been there before and proven it on a consistent basis.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Butler and Welch jersey numbers

Posted by Chris Brown on November 7, 2012 – 10:09 am

The Bills signed CB Crezdon Butler and OT Thomas Welch Wednesday to fill out their roster. Here are their jersey numbers.

Butler will wear 29 and Welch will wear 66.

Welch was actually with the Bills briefly last season when he was signed to the practice squad Nov. 17th. Four days later he was signed off Buffalo’s practice squad by the Rams, where he appeared in five games. Butler has appeared in eight career games.


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