Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 7-17

Posted by Chris Brown on July 17, 2009 – 4:15 pm

The last few days before training camp. Can hardly wait to get things rolling at St. John Fisher. All through camp you can send your questions to Let’s get to your questions for this week.

1.  Hey Chris,

I was wondering what are your thoughts on perhaps moving Bryan Scott to OLB in place of Ellison.  He’s already 220, is great at run support, and is fantastic at covering TEs (ex Gates).  I know the coaching staff really likes him at SS but if Bryd pans out what the use of having him on the bench???

Bill, New Rochelle

CB: I understand your affinity for Scott’s game. He really showed us something with his coverage abilities last season as you mentioned. As far as Scott playing linebacker, he did see reps there from time to time in the practice setting last season when injuries struck the linebacking corps hard.

He was considered an emergency option there in 2008, but with Alvin Bowen, Nic Harris, Marcus Buggs and Ashlee Palmer in the mix now at LB, I’m not so sure they’ll need Scott to be ready if a couple of guys go down at that position.

In all likelihood, he’ll be the starting SS at the start of the year with Whitner at FS, and then if Byrd really progresses, they’ll try to transition him into the lineup moving Whitner to SS, and then Scott might have to take on a reserve role.

2. Hi Chris,

The Bills had an extremely poor pass rush last season as compared to other teams. So when the reports from the OTA’s came out about how much pressure our defensive line is getting in practice, you take that as good news and I take it as horrible news. Who is right? I think we need to sign 2 more veteran offensive lineman – Levi Jones for a tackle spot and then a guard or center. Also why do we keep taking other teams back up linemen and making them starters on our unit? Melvin Fowler in the past and now Geoff Hangartner.

CB: While I understand your concern, I will tell you that in the spring and typically through the first couple of weeks of camp the defense is usually ahead of the offense in terms of execution. That’s because the offensive line has to work in unison at all times to be effective and that’s a process, especially with five new guys in all five positions up front.

In fact I think it may take longer than usual in light of the degree of change. I’m hopeful they can pull it all together by the opener and with an extra preseason game that can only help. But the truth is the Bills need a successful and consistent pass rush this season as much as they need good line play on offense to get where they want to get this season.

Is anyone going up on the Wall this year?

CB: No, there was no former player or coach that got enough votes to be named to the Wall of Fame this year. But fans will probably see a much better display at the home opener anyway when the 50th All-Time team is introduced.

4. My question concerns OL Demetrius Bell. I just wonder how is strength is now. I know one reason he dropped in the 2008 NFL Draft was because of his strength, being able to only do 10 reps of 225 lbs. at his pro day. This worries me more for an OG than an OT, where you can have quick feet to counteract a potential lack in upper body strength. So has the Bills Conditioning Staff improved his upper body strength?


CB: Bell has come a long way this offseason, to the point where I believe he has a legitimate chance to be the team’s swing tackle this season, with Kirk Chambers focused more on the guard position this year. Bell has great feet for playing on the edge and his  strength has improved a lot. Oftentimes coming from a small college program players don’t get the best strength training out there. Not a knock on Northwestern St., just kind of the way it is.

But Bell has worked hard to improve in that area and all indications from the coaches are that he has made very good strides there. He’ll be an interesting player to watch this preseason.

5. Hello Chris,

I have always been interested in what players have made the most drastic body compositional changes.  I am an amateur bodybuilder and love you’re previous mentions of how Fred Jackson and others significantly altered their bodies in order to earn more playing time.  When a players dedication is rewarded via a contract extension it justifies all the hard work they put in the weight room which most people don’t see.  I was just wondering who has impressed you most this off season in terms of improving their frame? 

Derek Tangredi
London Ontario Canada

CB: Derek Schouman, Steve Johnson and Reggie Corner are three guys that come to mind right away. That’s not to say that there aren’t a host of other guys that have dramatically improved, but those guys have sculpted themselves. Schouman maybe more than anyone else. His upper body is much broader and thicker and it’s likely due to the fact that he knows he’ll probably be playing more up on the line at TE this year.

Johnson just benefitted from being in an NFL setting this offseason as did Corner. Both have come a long way in improving their overall strength.

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