Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 11-14

Posted by Chris Brown on November 14, 2008 – 8:21 pm

1. Dear Chris,

During Trent Edwards’ first few games last season I was very impressed with his management of the game. Unlike his predecessors, he got rid of the ball quickly and moved the team down the field.  He looked sharp in his first 6 games (less Arizona) but there seems to have been a change recently. It seems that he is holding onto the ball much longer than usual, which is leading to mistakes. What is the cause of this change? Are there any new offensive schemes in the works to fix it? When will the running game finally start supporting the passing game? Thanks

-Joe Maciag

CB: Opponents are dropping seven and eight players into coverage and are flooding the passing lanes with defenders. As a result Edwards is forced to hold the ball longer hoping someone can gain separation, but protection usually breaks down by that time and he’s either sacked or has to make a hurried throw or take a chance with a pass attempt.

The lack of a running game hurts Trent because there is no play action option to work with and defenses can keep both safeties in coverage, because they can stop Buffalo’s run game with just seven defenders in the run front. And they can get pressure rushing just four in many cases.

Basically teams figured out they didn’t need eight in the box to stop Buffalo’s run, just seven and that has afforded opposing defenses more options in defending the pass, thereby making Edwards job more difficult.

Now Edwards has made some bad decisions, don’t get me wrong, but he’s not getting much help either. The guy carried this team when it had some of the same problems early in the season, and those problems have only gotten worse, not better and Edwards’ play has sagged with it.



2. Dear Mr. Brown,
In recent years the Bills have shown a commitment to locking up young talent on the team.  Do you see the team being proactive with Jabari Greer?  I feel that he is the most important FA to be on this team and securing his long-term future in Buffalo is critical. 
Thanks for your excellent work in covering the team!
Dan LaFauci

CB: I think Jabari Greer has certainly earned a contract extension as he will be a free agent this offseason. I believe if Leodis McKelvin doesn’t make significant strides in his defensive game in the second half of the season, the Bills will be more eager to get a deal done with Greer. Of course Greer will need to be interested in returning as well and not test the market. We’ll see.



3. Chris –

With both Schobel and Whitner injured I was curious if you have heard any rumblings around One Bills Drive about them bringing in KGB from Green Bay for a tryout?  I believe he cleared waivers.

David Clark
Melbourne, FL

CB: When a player with Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila’s name value is released it’s usually for good reason. Naturally the name is recognizable to most football fans and the first thought is his lightning quick first step and how it might help the Bills. The only problem is that step isn’t there anymore.

It’s why he was expendable to Green Bay in the first place. KGB’s career could very well be over as he has not been the same player for over a year. The Packers chose to give more playing time to their young ends instead of a proven veteran because the veteran couldn’t get the job done anymore.

It’s largely why KGB is still out there.



4. Chris,

First off, why isn’t Chris Ellis playing? With Schobel hurt he seems like a good enough fit, and was draft to be a pure pass rusher. I think blitzing more would help. We would probably give up more big plays from time to time, but I think we’d make a few ourselves.

Secondly, do you see the Bills throwing more screens and short passes to substitute for the lack of a run game? Also a sub-question here, will the run game get going? The same line from last year has to produce. Where will the changes be made?


CB: Chris Ellis played last week in New England and did not record any defensive statistics. He is not getting a lot of snaps yet, but I’m not opposed to giving him more. Blitzing more hasn’t really helped much. The opponent’s quick passing game usually has the ball out before the pressure arrives even when guys come clean it seems.

As for screens and short passes to sub for a run game, they’ve done with throwing to Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch in the flat. I don’t know if the run game will ever get going. I’d like to think it will be productive Monday night against a poor run defense and the following week against the league’s worst run defense in the Chiefs, but you never know. It has to show up soon though because the season will go down the drain in a hurry if it doesn’t improve.



5. Chris,
Is it just me or does Marshawn not look like the Marshawn of last year?  I know we are struggling in the running game but it looks as if he is trying to do too much.  This may be a direct result of our lack to establish any type of running attack but he just doesn’t look right to me.  Any word on why he is not talking to the media?  Anytime a player doesn’t want to talk to the media, for an entire season, to me raises a red flag.  Thanks.

CB: Marshawn at times has tried to do too much. I think he’s so desperate to deliver a big play in the run game that he has looked to hit a home run on occasion instead of just plowing ahead for 3 or 4 yards. He’s got to be frustrated at this point.

As for his not talking to the media, it’s a position he’s chosen to take, and he’s within his rights to do so. Media members have asked him periodically if he’d be interested in talking throughout the season and he’s declined. He doesn’t want to have to address his off the field incident from this past spring.

So instead of just addressing it one time and getting it out of the way and moving on, he’s chosen to avoid it altogether by not speaking at all.

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