Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 11-20

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2009 – 2:24 pm

Here we go entering the first week under interim head coach Perry Fewell. Let’s get right to the questions.

1. Is there any reason the NFL stopped putting stats on the pro bowl ballots?  I feel like this really hurts the chances of good young players like Jairus Byrd and just gives you a game of some of the over the hill guys who make it every year.  The NFL is trying to revamp the game, so shouldn’t they want the best players?  That being said what do you think Byrd and Moorman’s chances are, and are there any other guys with outside shots?  I know I was surprised to see Keith Ellison cracking the top 5 in tackles.
CB: I can’t speak to the stat question, but a lot of fans like yourself are irate that there’s no way for them to vote for Byrd because he does not appear on the ballots that were set up at the beginning of the season. Unfortunately only the players and coaches will have the opportunity to vote for Byrd for the Pro Bowl.

As for Moorman’s chances, he’s got a real good shot. He’s currently second in the AFC in net punting behind Oakland’s Shane Lechler, who is a four-time Pro Bowl punter including the last two seasons (2007, 2008).

I believe Marcus Stroud has a decent shot at it. He’s a recognized name, has three Pro Bowls in his career, and entering last week he was among the league leaders in tackles at his position.

Keith Ellison’s injury hasn’t helped his cause.
2. Do you think Fewell will run the wildcat with Jackson more than Jauron had been? Some say the wildcat is a fad but I believe its very effective when used in the right manner. I would say Buffalo could be effective running at least 5-6 plays a game with it. What do you think?
Thanks Wes

CB: I think we’ll just have to wait and see what happens this weekend. There was talk about the Wildcat portion of the playbook being expanded as the weeks move along. I have a story on it on the home page from this past Wednesday.

I think with as much as the offense struggles in a conventional set, putting the ball in Fred Jackson’s hands as much as possible is a good idea. You suggest 5-6 plays. I’d prefer 12-15 because the quarterback play has been subpar this season.
3. I always wanted the Bills to draft Brohm – how long until he gets on the field?
I know he hasn’t gelled in GB, but I think it was a bad fit for him there. Brohm looked and played like Jim Kelly in college.
Brendan, NYC

CB: Based on what I’m hearing from the coaching staff it’s unlikely that he’ll be on the field this season. They said they’ll try to get him up to speed as quickly as possible with the offensive system and if he’s a quick study there may be an outside chance he gets some time late in the year if the Bills are just playing out the string. But other than that you’ll likely have to wait until next year.
4. Hi Chris,
I, like quite a few people I would imagine, was shocked to learn that the Bills had not been practicing in pads in the Jauron era.  When Perry Fewell took over as Interim Head Coach he said that he was going to start having them practice in pads and I was kind of like – what were they doing before?  Two hand touch?  And then it got me thinking – how many other teams practice with pads?  I remember reading an article interviewing a player and he said that even when they wear pads in practice they don’t tackle their own guys.  Is this just the fine line each coach/team has to walk between getting players ready to play and not hurting your own guys?

CB : Dick Jauron typically had his team in pads on Thursdays. All Fewell did was put them in pads on Wednesday and then again Thursday. Jauron by most NFL coaching standards took it easy on his players with respect to contact in practice during the regular season.

As a result I think it takes away from preparing effectively. Once players take the pads off in practice, the speed has to slow down, the intensity slows down and very often focus wanes. Now there has to be a balance and coaches do have to recognize where their team is dragging or really beat up and back off, but Jauron did it regularly, particularly after the midway point of the season.

For comparison Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio told us after the midway point of the season he goes pads on Wednesday, shells (smaller version of pads) on Thursday and no pads on Friday. Earlier in the season he goes pads on Wednesday and Thursday.
5. Chris,
Honestly, what are the chances of landing a big time coach in Buffalo?  Especially when there could potentially be major market coaching positions open (with arguably more talent on their rosters), such as Dallas, Washington, Chicago, and St.  Louis.  Would Shanahan really consider joining a team like the Bills?

CB: That’s tough to say at this point. I believe Shanahan will listen to what the Bills have to offer. In my opinion Shanahan wants to put himself in the best situation to win right away, and you can’t do that where there is uncertainty at quarterback, which is the situation in Buffalo. So that is strike one against the Bills. That’s why if jobs like Chicago or Dallas open up Shanahan would undoubtedly prefer those jobs.

Believe it or not it’s less about the money and more about how quickly he or any other big name coach can succeed. Shanahan, Holmgren, Cowher have all the money they need. They’re more concerned with being successful in what would likely be the last head coaching stint of their careers.

Posted in Inside the Bills
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