The Countdown to Camp is on. Be sure to check the home page of Buffalobills.com daily as we answer a lot of the pressing questions fans have concerning the team and the 2010 prospects. As always questions can be sent to me at AskChris@bills.nfl.net. Let’s get to this week’s edition.
1 – Hey Chris
It seemed that Marcus Easley’s name was getting mentioned quite a bit in the voluntary camps ‘big plays’. Do you see him as someone who may be able to come in and contribute right away on offense, or is he most likely going to start out sparingly?
Thanks. Chris in Toronto Ontario
CB: Next to QB and offensive line, I think receiver is the next toughest position to master at the NFL level as a rookie. With sight adjusts, recognizing the defense while you’re running a route, knowing when you’re ‘hot’ to break off your route and help your QB, there’s a lot of learning. Add in the fact that receivers coach Stan Hixon wants all his wideouts to learn all of the receiver positions and the responsibilities are numerous.
That being said, Easley’s talent cannot be denied. He comes across as a sharp kid, has a knack for getting behind defenses and has a very strong set of hands, where he can fight and make catches in traffic and win the ball.
I do see Easley as part of the number two receiver competition in camp, and no matter how that turns out I anticipate him making contributions by midseason at the latest.
2 – What are the chances of the Bills trading Aaron to a team like the Texans, they seem to be on the cusp of the playoffs, he’d be playing for an ex coach (Kollar) and he’d be playing across from an all pro DE in Mario Williams? As a die hard Bills fan I think it would make sense for the player and the franchise.
Travis, Poughkeepsie NY
CB: I think if it were as easy as it sounds it might have happened already. Here’s the problem. Logically it makes perfect sense for both sides. Houston is a team pushing hard to make the playoffs and might just need that one veteran piece to get over the hump.
Buffalo has a player that wants more time during the work week to spend with his family in Texas. Houston is still an hour from Schobel’s home base in Columbus, Texas, so I’d assume he’d get some kind of driver to take him back and forth to his home if such a scenario were to happen.
But the NFL season means long days for players and leaving the office at 6 or 7 pm and getting home at 8 only to get up all the earlier the next day to drive an hour in doesn’t seem like something that would appeal to Schobel, though I could be wrong.
Schobel’s price tag is also steep, and another NFL team may not want to be on the hook for big time money and inherit a contract that still has three years on it after 2010 wondering if Schobel is going to retire.
An additional issue that makes trading Schobel difficult, if it’s even something the team is entertaining, is the uncertain labor situation. With a contract that runs through the 2013 season at big money I can’t see another team taking that contract on and provide proper compensation for what Schobel in a normal situation would be worth. His talk of retirement also devalues him.
3 – Chris:
Bill Polian has a philosophy of not trading players early in the Spring because a star for another team will eventually go down (with a long term injury) during camp or preseason and you then have better trade leverage. Could this be the position Buddy Nix is taking with Lynch (and maybe Schobel) since it seems neither player wants to be here? I feel Schobel is tired of losing and realizes when the Bills are ready to contend he will be well into the down side of his career, so it would be better to play for a winner (closer to home) or retire.
CB: I think with no track record to go off of since Buddy has never been in a decision making position such as he is now makes it difficult to ascertain whether that will be his approach in any kind of trade. However, he is a part of the Bill Polian personnel tree so I wouldn’t rule it out.
Basically trade leverage is at its highest at two times of the year, during the draft, when a team that may have missed on a position player they coveted is desperate or in the preseason, when a team has lost a player to a season-ending injury.
4 – Aloha Chris,
Do you think Trent Edwards will benefit from having to compete with three other QB’s for the starting gig? He’s never really had to face any competition for the job in the last two seasons, and I’m sure the coaching staff feels he still has plenty of potential but needs to prove himself as a leader. If you go back to 2006, J.P. Losman had his best season as a Bills QB in large part due to the fact that he had to win the starting spot in training camp over Kelly Holcomb and Craig Nall.
Wesley, Maui HI
CB: In 2008 he competed with Losman for the starting job and got off to a great start before the concussion in Arizona derailed his season. As Buddy Nix says, “Competition makes everyone better.” So being pushed and competing with Fitz and Brohm every day in camp will hopefully make him a more consistent player than he showed last season.
And by the way, say hey to the folks at Moose McGillicuddy’s for me.
5 – Hi Chris, Why in the world would the Buffalo Bills let Josh Reed go? He was a decent slot receiver, although he only had 27 catches last year, he still was a viable option for the quarterback. What was the thinking by the coaching staff? I will look forward to your answer.
Tony, Daytona Beach, Florida
CB: They didn’t release him. His contract was up and they chose not to extend him a contract offer. The Bills front office made the decision to see what the younger receivers could do. They signed Roscoe Parrish to an extension a year or so ago, but he’s not had an opportunity to make that investment worthwhile on offense. He’ll have that chance now. And James Hardy was a second-round pick and the Bills want to give him more of an opportunity to hopefully get a greater return on that investment.
Tags: Aaron Schobel, Buddy Nix, Fan Friday, Josh Reed, Marcus Easley, Trent Edwards
Posted in Inside the Bills