OTAs are almost over and then it’s three days of minicamp before the six week break. Hard to believe training camp is around the corner. On to your questions.
1. Hello Chris,
What are the chances the Bills trade Kelsay with or without Parrish to get Scheffler? Denver needs to improve their defense and we need to get a TE badly. We also have Maybin now… And shouldn’t we sign one of the remaining free agent linebackers? It seems like if we could be put this all together, the Bills could be a real competitor this year. What do you think?
CB: I don’t see it happening, mainly because Denver has recently come out and said how much they intend to make use of Scheffler in their offense. Some might see that as window dressing to move him, but knowing that Kyle Orton won’t be slinging it downfield nearly as much as Cutler did for Denver, makes Scheffler that much more valuable as an intermediate receiving threat. Minus Cutler Denver will need to hold onto all the offensive talent they’ve got and Scheffler is too valuable to part with.
What is the situation with Shawn Nelson?
How much are Xavier Omon and Marcus Smith being used in practice? Do they have a reasonable chance of making the 53 man roster? Do you see the team keeping a backup center, and if so, who? Do you think Chris Ellis is making much progress, I expected a little more from him last year (I know you can’t expect too much from rookies). Are any of the undrafted guys making much of an impression (maybe Ashlee Palmer?)
Thanks for the updates.
CB: Shawn Nelson was dealing with some personal issues this week according to head coach Dick Jauron. He’s expected back next week.
As for Xavier Omon and Marcus Smith, one is seeing more time than the other. Smith is being rotated in with the second team defense. He subs in for Spencer Johnson and has done okay. Again it’s hard to assess line play in the OTA setting because there isn’t live contact and hitting in the trenches. He’s an interesting prospect after he spent last year on the practice squad.
Omon’s reps have been limited with Lynch, Jackson and Rhodes ahead of him. In fact Bruce Hall, last year’s practice squad back has seen more reps than Omon this week. We’ll see if that continues, and if it does Omon has an uphill climb to make the roster.
Ellis is progressing. He’s working with the second team on defense and sharing reps with Copeland Bryan on the right side. Again line play is not something you can asses in the OTA setting. We’ll see how far he’s come when we get to training camp.
3. Hi Chris, just a question on who you believe will emerge as our starting strong side linebacker….is it possible that Mitchell will be moved to the strong side and a smaller linebacker will take over on the weak side…thanks again for all your insight…Ray
CB: I think that’s a tough one to answer. So everyone is clear Keith Ellison plays the strong side with Mitchell on the open or weak side. That’s been the same through OTAs. I think it’s Ellison’s position to lose. His greatest competition at the spot will be Alvin Bowen and rookie Nic Harris. Ellison is obviously the most experienced in the system and one of the smartest players on the team. That goes a long way with this staff. I think one of the other two candidates will have to show greater playmaking ability and equal smarts to take the spot away from him.
4. Hey Chris,
Following the Bills in the OTAs this year, I’m noticing Aaron Schobel was participating early on but now has been absent for a while. Is everything okay with him? I’m hoping he hasn’t re-injured his foot or that it wasn’t quite healed after all. Pease let us know.
CB: Schobel is fine. He was here for the first week of OTAs and has chosen to skip the remaining voluntary practice sessions which run through Monday. He’ll be here for the mandatory minicamp which begins on Tuesday. In the time he was here he said his foot felt good and that he was encouraged by how it responded to three straight days of work. Hopefully that continues through minicamp.
5. Chris, you’ve wrote a lot about “would be” sacks, and I was wondering how the offensive line is doing? Do you think that they show any early signs of meshing well together? I know that it takes time to get the cohesiveness down, but I feel this season’s success hinges on just that happening. On paper they have a team that can contend for a playoff berth, but I really think that it comes down to the o-line.
Thanks…Bryan – Canandaigua NY
CB: I agree with you that a lot of Buffalo’s offensive success will hinge on the offensive line’s ability to jell with five guys in five new positions up front. As for the pass pressure and ‘would be’ sacks a lot of them are coming on blitz calls, which at this point in time the offensive line isn’t always ready to handle and adjust to. That’s part of why it’s so important for the starting five, whoever they wind up being, spend as much time together as possible.
That being said I will say that Seth McKinney and Geoff Hangartner did a heck of a job picking up a blitz by Paul Posluszny and it enabled Trent to hit Lee Evans for a 65-yard touchdown play.
We’ll get a better assessment in training camp and the preseason.
Tags: Alvin Bowen, Chris Ellis, Chris Kelsay, Fan Friday, Geoff Hangartner, Keith Ellison, Marcus Smith, Nic Harris, Roscoe Parrish, Seth McKinney, Shawn Nelson, Xavier Omon
Posted in Inside the Bills