Well the Bills have their head coach. Now the staff needs to be assembled. Remember questions can be sent to AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Let’s get to this week’s queries.
1. How does Buffalo go about rebuilding or getting an explosive offensive line for next season? The line didn’t do anything the whole season.
CB: I think some of the pieces are already in place, particularly on the interior in Geoff Hangartner, Andy Levitre and Eric Wood, provided he’s ready to return by training camp. If they can re-sign Richie Incognito that a valuable guard/center talent as a swing player. Where they need to add talent is at tackle, and I believe the best place to address that is early in the draft.
With the free agent pool smaller due to the new free agency rules in an uncapped year, signing restricted players away from other teams will be harder with no cap. There’s no so called “poison pill” contract that another team can put together to keep a team from matching an offer sheet. Plus in most cases there is compensation as well based on the round in which the player was drafted. In my opinion Buffalo’s first pick should be an offensive tackle. That’s the best way to increase the chances of having another edge lineman that’s ready to play right away.
2. Hey Chris,
Was wondering what seems to be the problem with our defense and stopping the run? Is it our D-line or linebackers that are causing such awful results? Also which position do you think needs to be addressed in the draft to solve this dilemma we have witnessed since the release of Pat Williams?
CB: I do believe the defensive interior needs to be fortified with additional talent. The draft is very deep at defensive tackle this year, so even in the second or third round I think there should be some viable talent available. Marcus Stroud played hurt for most of the 2009 season and so his effectiveness as an interior defender was compromised. I thought Kyle Williams had his best season as a pro. Spencer Johnson also had a strong season in my opinion.
I think the run defense failures are due partly to the lack of consistency at linebacker. The linebacker position was one of the most ravaged by injury. In fact the starting three linebackers at the beginning of the season played all of a quarter and a half together the entire year. Poz was hurt in the opener, missed a month, came back, Kawika got hurt, landed on I-R, Ellison soon followed and the backups were inexperienced. So as much as I believe they need to address defensive tackle, I think acquiring another LB is important too so they don’t get caught so shorthanded again.
With regards to Schobel, why not try to trade him to a team closer to his home where he can compete for a title in the last couple years of his career? He has been too good to the Bills, so why not to give him a shot at a title? Add draft picks, give these loyal players a chance to win before they are done. Seems like a win-win situation. I would miss him greatly but respect him as well. Any rebuilding and legitimate title run will come after they have retired anyway.
CB: Mike, you make a valid point. Schobel’s consideration of retirement is based solely on his kids, all three of which will be in school come September. Splitting their school year between Buffalo and Texas is difficult and no doubt affects their learning curve. He’s got a few options as I see it.
He can leave his family in Texas during the season and perhaps will be able to arrange something with Chan Gailey where he can fly home on his off day during the season to see his family. If that doesn’t work then maybe trading him to a team closer to home is the answer. He’s still a productive player and I would think could command a pretty decent return. I don’t think that’s out of the realm of possibility.
4. hi chris
As much as I love Lynch and Jackson, I think one of them would be great trade bait (at this point I’d rather trade Lynch) for a defensive end or offensive tackle. Also it seems as though the Redskins are going to just let Campbell go after this season. He had a great year and would be a great upgrade from what we have at QB. Then we use or 1st draft pick to get either a defensive end or offensive tackle (whichever we don’t get with a Lynch trade). All majors holes will be filled right there. What are the chances of any of those things happening?
CB: I don’t think anything can be ruled out with players on the current roster knowing the new regime is not beholden to any players on it. It’s tough to say just what Lynch would fetch in the trade market, but he is young. As for Campbell he is a restricted free agent and would require draft pick compensation of a first-round pick, since that was the round in which he was drafted. I don’t see many teams giving that up for him. Of course if the Redskins do not tender him at all, he would become unrestricted, but I don’t see that happening.
I’m not high on Campbell as an answer at QB anyway. I’m not saying what you’re proposing won’t happen, but I think Campbell is unlikely. Lynch perhaps a little more likely especially with Chan Gailey’s mention of character at his press conference.
5. Hi Chris, would you say that Chan Gailey’s success hinges on who he hires as offensive/defensive coordinator? Do you see the Bills switching to a 3-4 on defense? Do you think that Chan Gailey is a step above Dick Jauron?
Tony Falzone, Daytona Beach, Fl
CB: I think Chan’s hire of a defensive coordinator will be critical to the team’s success. GM Buddy Nix even stated when he was named GM that who the head coach hires as his coordinators is even more important sometimes than the job done by the head coach. I think the offense is in good hands with Gailey. There’s a proven track record of point production and running the football. As for switching to the 3-4 I think it is a realistic possibility, but it’s going to be a major overhaul in terms of personnel. The defense will have to get bigger across the front with some holes to fill. And I think on record and results alone, Gailey’s track record shows he should be a more effective head coach than Dick Jauron.
Tags: Fan Friday
Posted in Inside the Bills