Inside The Bills

Bonus Top 10 features Dareus

Posted by Chris Brown on February 21, 2012 – 10:16 am

We’ve provided Bills fans with a bonus edition of the Top 10 Performances of 2011. With the NFL Combine fast approaching we thought it only appropriate to bring you the performance of a player that was one of the top prospects at last year’s Combine.

Marcell Dareus’ Week 8 performance against the Washington Redskins is our final installment with defensive line coach Giff Smith lending expert insight as to why Dareus was so successful in dismantling Washington’s defensive interior in what was his first game at nose tackle for the Bills.

We hope you enjoyed this year’s series and would like to take this time to again thank Coach Gailey and his staff for providing their expert analysis to you the fans.


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Top 10 Honorable Mentions

Posted by Chris Brown on February 21, 2012 – 8:19 am

With our Top 10 Performances of 2011 series coming to a close today, we thought it would only be appropriate to list some of the performances from this past season that received honorable mention status and narrowly missed being a part of the series.

2011 Honorable Mention Performances
Brian Moorman Wk 4 at Cin (8 punts 413 yds, 51.6 gross, 40.5 net, 2 inside 20, long 65)
Bryan Scott Wk 1 at KC (8 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 1 QB hit)
Fred Jackson Wk 2 vs. Oak (15-117, 2 TDs, 2 rec. 23 yds)
Fred Jackson Wk 6  at NYG (16-121-1 TD rush, 5-47 rec.)
Stevie Johnson Wk 2 vs. Oak (8-96, 1 TD)
Stevie Johnson Wk 3 vs. N.E. (8-94, 1 TD)
George Wilson Wk 3 vs. NE (10 tackles, 1 INT)
George Wilson Wk 4 at Cin (12 tackles, 1 INT)
George Wilson Wk 8 vs. Wash. (9 tackles, 1 INT)
Jairus Byrd Wk 3 vs. NE (12 tackles, 2 PBUs)
Nick Barnett Wk 8 vs. Wash. (10 tackles, ½ sack, 1 QB hit)
Terrence McGee Wk 6 at NYG (11 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 PBUs)
Ryan Fitzpatrick Wk 12 at NYJ (26-39 264, 3 TDs)
C.J. Spiller Wk 16 vs. Den (16-111-1 TD rush, 2-27 rec.)
Leodis McKelvin/Justin Rogers Wk 16 vs. Denver (McKelvin sets PR record, 80-yd TD, Rogers 33.7 KR avg.)


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Fan Friday 2-17

Posted by Chris Brown on February 17, 2012 – 1:58 pm

Less than a week before the NFL Combine. Make sure you keep your laptop locked on Buffalobills.com for wall-to-wall coverage from Indy beginning on Thursday morning. Now to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 - Hey Chris,

My question is in regard to Kirk Morrison.  I thought he was an above average to good NFL linebacker in Oakland, then what happened?  That was only 2 years ago, he’s not even 30, and now he can’t sniff the field?  And if it was the Bills system more than his level of play, why has he not been talked about at all as an option in the new 4-3 defense that is expected to be installed more often next season?  I believe his contract is up, but I haven’t heard or read his name once. 

Thanks again,
Dan
Fredonia, NY
CB: Morrison had a tough time getting on the field for a couple of reasons. First, he was signed days before the season opener so he had some catch up work to do. By the time he was fully adjusted to the scheme Kelvin Sheppard had begun to emerge and locked down the ILB spot alongside veteran Nick Barnett.

What’s going to be interesting is with the defense switching to the 4-3 I think he’s going to be a consideration for the strong side linebacker position. Talking to Coach Wannstedt he did express a desire to get Morrison re-signed. I think he’s capable of backing up Sheppard in the middle while also competing for a starting role at SLB.

 

2 - Hi Chris, 
You do a good job covering the Bills.  I do want to ask why the management wants to change from a 3-4 back to a 4-3 when they have spent two seasons drafting the personal for the 3-4?  I do not see this as a step forward, but rather a waste of the investment in players they have taken the last two years.  Shawne Merriman did not work out, but could be an answer to the pass rush problem. 

As a coach I had to change my defense year to year because my players were not always  suited to what I did the year before the current season.  I made changes in how I played a defense to suit the players I had and schemed to make them more effective.  

The Bills right now have players that could play both even and odd front looks  effectively given the chance to develop and having all  the players able to play.  Maybe a more aggressive defense with

good  technique containing the outside ( setting the edge ) and new wrinkles, which should come with our new defensive coordinator, will make it all work without a mid rebuilding change of plan.

A suffering fan in Arizona,
Max F. Stolzenberg, Jr.

CB: I think to characterize the defensive change as a prompt to rebuild is misguided quite frankly. The Bills played with four down linemen a good deal of the time, but I’ll let Dave Wannstedt explain.

“We played last year about 65-percent of our snaps in nickel personnel, where we actually had four down (linemen) in the game with their hand in the ground. No matter if we had five defensive backs or six defensive backs it didn’t matter,” said Wannstedt. “The point was, if you looked at us, we were doing a lot of things that there’s carry-over within the 4-3 scheme.”

I think there are a lot of players that offer scheme versatility on Buffalo’s defense. Chief among them are Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, Shawne Merriman and Chris Kelsay. Williams and Kelsay have already played most of their careers in the 4-3 with the Bills. Merriman has never played in the 4-3 in the NFL, but might benefit from dropping into coverage less as a true rush end and is underrated as a run defender.

Torell Troup played defensive tackle in a 4-3 in college and Alex Carrington played defensive end in a 4-3 at the collegiate level. Spencer Johnson was signed in free agency by this team when they were still playing a 4-3 front under the previous coaching regime.

Sheppard played MLB in a 4-3 at LSU and Nick Barnett is more than capable of playing weakside LB in a 4-3. So I don’t really see a rebuilding plan here. I think most of the pieces are scheme versatile enough to hit the ground running with this scheme.

 

3 - Hey Chris,
I have a few questions about the 4-3 defense we may run under Wannstedt.  If your remember that last time we were a full 4-3/cover 2 defense Byrd had 9 interceptions, now I was wondering how a 4-3 defense differs from a 3-4 as far as secondary scheme goes because in 09 it seemed like we had way more interceptions then in ’10 and ’11.  Also i assume that we will target a nice pass rush DE in the draft and that Kelsay will move back to DE also but who will be the DT I also assume that it will be Dareus and Williams with Johnson and Troup that 3rd and 4th but where would guys like Carrington go?

Thanks Chris,
Josh Hubert, Syracuse NY

CB: I think most of your assumptions are right, although Dwan Edwards might be the other defensive tackle alongside Troup in the rotation. I think a guy like Carrington has to prove he can put pressure on the passer at the end position. He did that at Arkansas State as an end in a 4-3 front (21.5 sacks). As far as the secondary is concerned not a whole lot changes going from a 3-4 to a 4-3. The coverages are largely the same, though the means by which they disguise some looks might be different.

I don’t know that you can tie Byrd’s success as a rookie to the scheme. Personally I think Byrd’s best season was 2011. I felt his all-around game was as good as I’ve seen it. He’s not just a takeaway guy, he’s shown he can be more than that.

 

4 - Hey Chris,

I remember you mentioning that one of the best things the current Bills management has done is to build the front lines.  I was just wondering if the Bills found that the best player available in the first round was a DT like Devon Still from PSU, would they consider drafting him and moving Dareus to DE like Haloti Ngata has done at times for the Ravens?  Do you think they would draft the DT to continue getting depth at DT?  Or would they go to the next best player not at DT?
-Chris

CB: The way the Bills operate is they take the best player on the board when they’re on the clock. If there are a couple of players of comparable value and one is at a position of need then they’ll take the player at the position of need.

Devon Still by the way is trumped at the DT position by some underclassmen. Most scouts I’ve spoken with maintain that Michael Brockers from LSU, Jerel Worthy from Michigan State and Dontari Poe from Memphis are all superior to Still.

 

5 - Chris:

I always enjoy your interviews and film breakdown with the coaches in your top 10 series.  I was wondering if you see a time where Coach Gailey will turn over the play calling to Offensive Coordinator Curtis Modkins, and exactly how much is Coach Modkins involved with the game planning and game day decisions?  What are your thoughts on Coach Bicknell being on the radar for other teams as Offensive Coordinator and eventually getting interviews for Head Coaching Positions? I believe he may be on many teams short list soon.

Thanks 

Joe
Blasdell

CB: Thanks for the kind words on our Top 10 Performances of 2011 Series. We enjoyed bringing it to you and for the dedicated fan it’s a great way to get some film room insight from Buffalo’s coaching staff. Our last installment of the series will run this Tuesday.

As for play calling duties Chan Gailey when he was hired did say he would eventually hand off those responsibilities to Curtis Modkins, but I don’t think he’s there yet. I think once Gailey feels as though his offense is a smooth running machine week in and week out, only then might he turn over the reins.

With respect to coach Bicknell, it would not shock me if he started drawing interest around the league for OC positions. Knowing he was a successful offensive coordinator in NFL Europe it would not surprise me at all.


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Top 10 goes O-line

Posted by Chris Brown on February 16, 2012 – 10:21 am

Our latest edition of Top 10 Performances of 2011 features Buffalo’s offensive line with offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris providing the expertise on the blocking techniques.

The line blocked for a season-high 217 rushing yards against Oakland in Week 2. See some interesting insight on how the line works together on some of the bigger plays turned in by Buffalo’s front five.


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Nelson’s Wk 2 next in Top 10

Posted by Chris Brown on February 14, 2012 – 10:03 am

David Nelson’s big time performance in the Week 2 comeback win over the Raiders is next in our Top 10 Performances of 2011 series. We were fortunate to have the Bills head coach break down this one for us.

So for some interesting insight straight from the film room with Chan Gailey check out some of the better plays in Nelson’s 10-catch performance including the game-winning touchdown.


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Kelsay’s big day next on Top 10

Posted by Chris Brown on February 9, 2012 – 9:39 am

Chris Kelsay had a monster game in the Week 16 win over Denver and it’s our next installment in the Top 10 Performances of 2011.

Linebackers coach Bob Sanders walks us through some of Kelsay’s better plays from his 10 tackle, 3 sack performance against the Broncos, including the responsibility of flipping back and forth from OLB to DE through the course of the game.


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See where C.J. improved most

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2012 – 8:23 am

Here’s you chance to see where C.J. Spiller improved his game the most in 2011 with our latest installment of the Top 10 Performances of 2011.

Spiller’s Week 14 game against the Dolphins is the latest edition in our Top 10 Series and offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins is the one providing insight as we review film of the tailback’s 167 total yard performance that included a pair of touchdowns.


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Fitz’s win vs. N.E. next on Top 10

Posted by Chris Brown on February 2, 2012 – 9:54 am

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s Week 3 performance in the comeback win over New England is the latest installment of the Top 10 Performances of 2011 and we’ve got a special guest to break the film down for us.

Bills head coach Chan Gailey was kind enough to sit down with Buffalobills.com and provide insight on why Fitzpatrick was able to orchestrate a 21-point comeback effort and consistently beat the blitz of the Patriots in the thrilling 34-31 victory, one of just three defeats suffered by New England in the 2011 regular season.


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Stevie next in Top 10 Performances

Posted by Chris Brown on January 31, 2012 – 8:44 am

Don’t miss the latest installment of the Top 10 Performances of 2011.

This newest edition features Stevie Johnson’s Week 12 performance against Darrelle Revis and the New York Jets. Witness Johnson making the only touchdown catch against Revis in 2011, one of eight, as offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins helps us break down why Johnson was so successful against one of the best corners in the game.


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Barnett the focus of latest Top 10

Posted by Chris Brown on January 26, 2012 – 9:39 am

Bills LB Nick Barnett is the focus of the latest edition of the Top 10 Performances of 2011 and Buffalo’s new defensive coordinator breaks Barnett’s game down.

Dave Wannstedt was kind enough to spend some time with us to break down Barnett’s Week 13 performance against Tennessee when he had 11 tackles including three for loss. Check it out.


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Chandler next in Top 10 series

Posted by Chris Brown on January 24, 2012 – 8:52 am

Bills TE Scott Chandler is the focus of the latest edition of the Top 10 Performances of 2011.

Join tight ends coach Bob Bicknell in the film room for some of Chandler’s better plays in his two touchdown performance against Kansas City in Week 1.


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George next up in our Top 10

Posted by Chris Brown on January 19, 2012 – 8:16 am

George Wilson’s Week 5 performance against the Philadelphia Eagles is the latest installment in our Top 10 Performances of 2011.

The Bills strong safety had 11 tackles and 3 pass breakups including an interception in the Week 5 win for Buffalo. Listen and watch as secondary coach George Catavolos breaks down Wilson’s game tape with us on Buffalobills.com.

From now until the combine check back every Tuesday and Thursday for the next installment of the Top 10 Performances of this past season with expert insight from Buffalo’s coaching staff.


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