Here’s the latest installment of answers to your questions. Remember you can always send me anything you’re wondering about via e-mail at AskChris@bills.nfl.net. I try to answer every one I get either personally or here on the blog.
1. I don’t know where the Bills can go from here. Is it the players, coaches, confidence, desire, intelligence? Nobody on the field is a leader, and Trent looks lost. What do you suggest? If nothing changes (and fast) the Bills will find themselves 5-11 this offseason.
CB: I think the fans have a right to be concerned. Watching their team go from first place in the division to last in the span of a month is rare. I don’t know if any of us can put our finger on the crux of the problem here. But I think a kick in the pants is in order here and that’s got to come from the coordinators. Turk Schonert and Perry Fewell have the demeanor to demand better from their players.
To help Trent I think the offense needs to shorten the receiver routes to help him get back in a rhythm and get the ball out of his hand faster. On defense I think they’re been pretty effective. Fewell was more aggressive with his blitzes last week and I wouldn’t mind seeing that continue in light of how thin they are in the secondary. But firing these guys up is in order.
2. Hi Chris,
Kelsay and Denney over the last 4 weeks have combined for maybe 1 pressure. I don’t see why the coaches insist on keeping them in there when they clearly will not disrupt the pocket. Ellis and Bryan seem to at least mix things up when they are on the field and try a variety of pass rush moves. If they got more snaps they would get into a rhythm. And just to point out, Kelsay was the same even when Schobel was starting so its not as if his play had dropped off due to the loss of Schobel, he has been like this dating back to last season. Shouldn’t there be some accountability at some point?
CB: I understand your frustration with the lack of a consistent pass rush. Kelsay would be the first to tell you he’s not a premier edge pass rusher by trade, and I suspect Denney might say the same. But both are veteran players that defend the run well and go all out on every snap.
That being said I’m not opposed to mixing it up more with Bryan and Ellis to see if they can’t capture the edge a bit better on a pass rush. But Kelsay and Denney are two of the most accountable players on the roster. Believe me when I tell you they wish they were contributing more.
3. There was a three year contract extension reported for Dick Jauron. But it has not been reported on the website. Are these just rumors? Even Dick Jauron hasn’t talked about it. I’m a bit confused.
Matt from Toronto
CB: As it has been explained to me, it is team policy to not discuss or publicize contract details of coaches. Therefore I have not been able to report it on the team website.
I should also make clear that it has not been confirmed for me by anyone at One Bills Drive that coach Jauron has been extended, presumably for the reason I just mentioned above.
Just guessing, I believe a contract extension has been completed, but until coach Jauron shows up for the first free agent signing in March we won’t know for sure.
I want to know why there’s neither fire nor urgency nor passion in this team right now – and I’m not talking about post-game interviews. I’m talking about playing with heart on the field while it matters.
I can tell you the players aren’t playing with the urgency that every play matters.
This is the NFL, and if our entire sideline just goes out there on Sundays to either bend-but-don’t-break or get-into-field-goal-position, then we’re in for one rough second half.
Let’s get some passion back!
CB: I couldn’t agree with you more. The team looked lifeless in New England a couple of weeks ago. Some players get excited after plays, but this team is in the midst of a crisis and everyone is very methodical about getting back to winning football. It doesn’t just happen because you’re practicing hard, all professional teams do that.
Like I said in my first response, this team needs a kick in the pants from someone. If not they’re going to wake up too late to reclaim a playoff berth. Heck it might be too late already with the hole they’ve put themselves in with division record.
5. Hi Chris,
I have a few questions for you.
What does our coaching staff and team consider the best way to attack a defense that is dropping 7-8 into coverage?
Is Trent allowed to audible at the line of scrimmage? How many plays has he actually changed the play?
How many times have the Bills attempted play-action passes this year? Can you recall any instances since this streak of pathetic offensive play began. I know that it helps to have a running game that is working.
CB: The answer to your first question is run the ball. The Browns provided the latest example of this and Buffalo responded with a strong day running the football. That’s what forces defense to pull defenders out of coverage and into the run front. I’m all for sprinkling in draw plays too in those instances.
As for Trent, yes he is allowed to make audibles at the line of scrimmage. As for number of times he’s changed the play, I don’t have that figure. I would say it’s not much more than 3-4 times per game.
Again I don’t have a play action figure for you, but the Bills have done less play action than most teams, and I believe that’s been primarily due to the fact that they hadn’t been able to run the ball effectively up until the Cleveland game. When you run the ball well, it’s a legit threat that has to be respected. When you’re not, nobody is buying your run fake and that’s what the Bills were dealing with for a while, hence, no sense in going to play action if no one is biting on it.
Tags: Chris Ellis, Chris Kelsay, Copeland Bryan, Dick Jauron, Fan Friday, Perry Fewell, Ryan Denney, Trent Edwards, Turk Schonert
Posted in Inside the Bills