Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 9-30

Posted by Chris Brown on September 30, 2011 – 12:29 pm

3-0 looking to go 4-0 in Cincy. Let’s see if the boys can keep it rolling. Keep sending your questions to

1 – Chris, 

In looking at the changes in the roster since Chan has taken over it looks like almost every position player can either line up at different spots or play more than one position. Brad Smith can play QB,KR, and some WR. Every O-Lineman can swing around and most DB’s can play n the box or go deep into coverage. Who besides Fitz is locked into one position? Can you explain his thinking? Are they losing talent for versatility? How is he maximizing the roster?  


CB: Chan and his staff like players that are versatile because it affords the staff more flexibility and also provides better depth without tying up as many roster spots. Even at receiver, all of the wideouts are required to know all the positions. This enables them to line up anywhere in the formation on any given down making it harder for opposing defenses to match up.

With the possible exception of their offensive tackles, they also like having offensive linemen that can play two positions, knowing they only like to dress seven linemen for a game.

The only other players really locked into one position are probably Shawne Merriman and the tight ends, though the tight ends factor in on special teams. So versatility helps with game plan and depth. Pretty valuable.


2 – First I would just like to thank you for how you keep us updated on everything Bills.  My question is, have you heard anything about signing Fitzy long term and was Thigpen’s contract future starter money or normal backup money?

Thanks, Jimmy in Hamburg

CB: To my knowledge talks are ongoing with Ryan Fitzpatrick and the team. As for Thigpen he signed a three-year deal, but not for starter money.


3 – Hey Chris,

First, thanks for always keeping us fans well informed. I was watching the KC game and I saw one of their safeties blitzing Fitz, and I started wondering, with coaches being able to communicate with QBs during the game, are they able to speak to Fitz while the play is happening? Are they able to warn him mid play of a blitz? Or is the audio shut down once the huddle is broken?


CB: The communication is shut off with 15 seconds left on the play clock. It’s rare that a team breaks the huddle in time for a quarterback to get up to the line in time to be counseled by a coordinator through the radio headset.


4 – Chris thanks for all your great inside news for our Bills. I check your column several times a day even in the off season. The O-line didnt give up a sack. The one thing that bothers me is I dont see Fitz looking off the safeties. I haven’t seen any pump fakes, or rotating to the other side of the field. I know I cant see everything going on from tv, or even at the games, but it appears he commits to one side of the field on a given play. It doesn’t take away from the terrific job he is doing, and the success the Bills are having. Just something I have noticed. Please tell me the films prove different.

Thanks Gary

CB: Gary, I’m afraid watching the game on TV is betraying you. Fitz does a great job of looking off the safeties. Sometimes he does it so quickly off the snap that perhaps you don’t see it. TV viewing doesn’t cater very well to observing this trait in Fitz’s game, but he is very, very good at it. I would recommend you look up our Top 10 Performances from 2010 in the media center at and look for Fitz’s game against Baltimore or Cincinnati and you’ll see how he freezes the safeties in those games. Believe me he’s good at it.


5 – Chris,

Do you think it is time for the Bills to part ways with Roscoe Parrish?  I like him as a player, but he just cannot stay on the field.  I don’t think the Bills are losing anything by going with David Nelson full time in the slot.  What are your thoughts?

– Chris in Binghamton

CB: I’m not going to deny that he’s been battling injuries of late with his last two seasons finding him on injured reserve. He’s not a big body, but he is dynamic and pretty tough for an undersized player.

I agree that the team loses very little in terms of production in the slot with David Nelson in there because he’s just as big a mismatch as Roscoe, just in a different way.

I just know that Chan Gailey values Roscoe’s talents, so I’d be a bit surprised if they cut ties with him.

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