Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 12-24

Posted by Chris Brown on December 24, 2010 – 12:51 pm

Merry Christmas Bills fans! Here are your questions this week from

1 – What about picking up McNabb as a back up?
Tony Smith

CB: I really don’t see this as a viable option for a number of reasons. First, the Redskins, if they do decide to move him, will want a mid-round draft choice in return. I don’t see the Bills parting with a fourth-round draft choice for someone that will serve as their backup QB.

Second, McNabb still believes fervently that he’s a starting caliber quarterback in this league and I would tend to agree.

There are some teams in worse situations at quarterback than the Bills that I believe will pay Washington’s asking price, within reason and make McNabb their starter. But backup does not appeal to McNabb and what you’d have to give up to make him a backup on your roster wouldn’t appeal to the Bills.

2 – Chris,
I was wondering if you could tell me how the NFL determines the draft order among teams with identical records. Is it some statistical category such as conference wins, etc, or do they just automatically do the coin flip?

If it is the coin flip, what do they do if there are 3 teams with the same record?

Thanks, Chris

CB: Ties based on record are broken via reverse strength of schedule. So if the Bills and 49ers are tied with 5-11 records at the end of the season, then the league would look at their strength of schedule (winning percentage of their opponents this year). Whichever team has the weaker strength of schedule picks first.

The reason this is done is because that team has what is deemed to be an easier schedule and still could win only five games, while the other team had a tougher schedule and won five games. Hope you can see the logic there.

If all the numbers come out equal then if head-to-head is applicable I believe that comes into play, but there have been instances where it has gone all the way to a coin flip. Rarely does it get past reverse strength of schedule with three teams. One almost always falls out of the tie.

3 – Hi Chris,
I am a huge Lee Evans fan and think he is a great WR.  With that said he is a #1 WR but has not been putting up #1 WR numbers. Other #1 WRs get doubles up on and still put up good numbers an catches but Lee’s numbers have dropped.  I am wondering if the team needs to trade Evans for a decent draft pick and try to move Steve Johnson to #1 and try to find another #2 again or draft another WR early. 

I know Evans is a smaller speedy WR which being 5’10” may be the reason he doesn’t get the ball as much in double coverage but I’d like to see the team with capable guys on both sidelines that can get the ball and put up the numbers.  What do you think the issue is there? 

And I’m liking what I see from Justin Blackmon, I think he’ll end up being something pretty special in the NFL, I know we have some capable guys at WR but this kid may be a superstar down the line, any chance we make a move to get him? I am missing the days of the 90s bills when even Steve Tasker was making plays for us and everyone could catch the ball…. but even more recent the moulds and price days as well.  I hope we get back to them soon.
Thanks – Showtime.

CB: For a guy that is a huge Lee Evans fan you have an interesting way of showing your loyalty. Yes, Evans had a down season prior to going on injured reserve with career lows in catches and yards. Moving a guy coming off a season with a downturn in production with a salary his size number one is difficult.

Second, to give up on Evans would be foolish. On a receiving corps that is still largely young you want a veteran presence that has made clutch plays. That’s Evans.

Yes, he has trouble at times with bump and run coverage, but if Johnson is your number one, Evans is a pretty darn good number two.

What confuses me is you talk up Justin Blackmon saying he be special in the NFL, and he may be, but the Bills have guys on their roster now that are making plays. Nelson, Jones and Roosevelt are only going to improve and showing that everyone can catch the ball, you know, like those days you’re for some reason longing for.

I’m not quite sure what you’ve been watching here in the second half of the season offensively, but receiver is going to be the least of Buffalo’s positional concerns this offseason.

4 – Hi Chris,
I am curious about what happens to players once they have been placed on season-ending injured reserve. Do they stay with the team, participate in meetings, workout at the Bills facilities? Or are they allowed to sit out the rest of the season at home if they choose?  I know you’ve probably gotten this question before, but I am particularly curious about Shawne Merriman – is he still even in town? Thanks.
Steve from Buffalo

CB: Players typically rehab at the team facility with the training staff during the season. Offseason rehab, some players go home and fly back up periodically for progress checkups and such. I’ve seen everyone here at One Bills Drive from Reggie Torbor to Andra Davis to Marcus Easley to Danny Batten. And yes I did see Shawne Merriman here at the facility last week. Some do still sit in on meetings, particularly young players.

So to my knowledge I-R’d players for the most part stay in town. I’m sure there are exceptions, but I haven’t seen many.

5 – It’s been a gut wrenching season but I think there is definitely progress being made. Credit has to be given to Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey and the staff for there diligence and hard work. It has been great to see so many good young players stepping up and that is partly because they have talent and partly because of good coaching.  
Having said that, could you please ask Fitz to shave the beard. Enough already!!!   Thanks Fitz for the good quarterback play.  Please don’t stop running the ball. It keeps defenses honest. 
It’s just my uneducated opinion but I want the Bills to keep Eric Wood at center. With two new offensive linemen and Wood at center the O-Line played great against Cleveland.  
Thanks, Dale  

CB: There’s no doubt that Coach Gailey has gone a long way in ridding the team of its losing culture, which we have said here many times was probably his most challenging task in year one. Nix and his personnel department have been astute in culling together some talent that holds some good promise through the course of the season (Urbik, Chandler, Rinehart).

With respect to Fitz’s beard you’ll be happy to know it’s going to be clipped after the season is over.

Wood at center is an intriguing option for the team moving forward. He had a solid game against Cleveland, but there were some mental mistakes against Miami in the run game. This week will likely be his last start at center because Hangartner figures to be back for the season finale.

I don’t know if three games is enough to convince the coaching staff that he’s a much better option at center than Hangartner, who knows his stuff. But at the very least it’s a great backup plan for Buffalo’s offensive line.

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