Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 11-4

Posted by Chris Brown on November 4, 2011 – 1:04 pm

Big division game this week Bills fans. Got to be loud at the Ralph to make it tough on the Jets. On to your questions, which you can submit to

1 – Hi Chris,

How is Alex Carrington coming along? I thought he did well at the OLB position in preseason but now with Kelsey and Merriman being out I haven’t heard him mentioned as an option there. I know Kelsey’s almost back, but I thought he would’ve been perfect to fill in on that side, but it seemed like Batten was getting the majority of the reps. Thanks for hard work on the website. 

Chicopee, MA

CB: Carrington did initially get some work at OLB, but I think they came to the conclusion that he’s better as a defensive end in the 3-4 system. Now with Marcell Dareus manning the nose, Carrington is starting at left end in Dareus’ old position. Spencer Johnson is the defensive line seeing the most time at outside linebacker and has fared well. He’s rarely fooled on plays despite the fact that it’s a new position and requires more reads. Carrington has turned in some solid if not spectacular performances. I think the defensive staff is confident that his play will get more consistent and he’ll turn in more game-changing plays as the second half of the season moves along.


2 – Hi chris

The Bills considered Aaron Maybin a bust after two years, however he has been a productive player for the Jets this season. How and why did the Bills staff so seriously misjudge this player??

Go Bills
Richard, Boca Raton, FL 

CB: I think it’s difficult for you to say the Bills misjudged Maybin. You fault the Bills for cutting him loose after two years, but you’ve decided he’s a playmaker after a few games? What has happened is Maybin is a pass rush specialist. He comes in on passing downs only and usually pursues from the back side. With other more respect pass rushing talent on the field with him (Calvin Pace) along with a strong inside linebacking duo, less attention is paid to Maybin allowing him to run plays down from behind.

Personally I don’t think he’ll ever be more than a specialty player because he lacks football instincts. If he’s asked to read run-pass he struggles. In coverage he’s a liability. He tries hard and he hustles, but I still don’t think he’ll amount to much.


3 – Chris,

I enjoy your videos, blogs, and news items. Please keep up the good work!

Now that Shawne is on I/R I have two questions. I’m sure he has a lot of special wordage in his contract but:

Will the coaching staff require him to be on the sidelines at games to motivate and lead the entire team especially the “D” and the young linebackers and give the youngsters tips during the game or would the coaching consider him a distraction and let him hang out elsewhere?

During the work week will the coaching staff also ask him to be at practice to mentor the young LBs and to sit in the film sessions to again help the LBs or might Shawne say “ Hey, I can’t play so I’m going to the beach “. 

Thanks for your insight.

Bob – 45 years of being a Bills Fan


CB: To my knowledge Merriman has not been at One Bills Drive since he had surgery on his Achilles. From what I have heard he will be on crutches for two weeks and beyond that is anybody’s guess. Typically injured players are nowhere near the sideline during games. Mentoring young players takes place with veterans that are usually playing alongside them. Merriman is out of that mix. Players that are out for the year typically go home and rehab and come back to Buffalo to get checkups from the team physicians so they can accurately track his progress. That’s what Roscoe Parrish has done and I’d anticipate Merriman doing the same.

Thanks for the kind words.


4 – Hi Chris,

Great win this past week! Good to see the defense stepping up, even if Washington isn’t known as an offensive juggernaut it’s good to get some confidence on the back end before the Jets roll into town. Question about one of the plays against Washington. I noticed on one of the sack plays, Marcell Dareus was working against one of the offensive linemen one on one and it looked like both of them got their hands high into each other`s chin area and then Marcell reaches up and rips his own helmet off and keeps playing. What`s the NFL`s policy on purposefully removing your helmet during a live play? I would think that with all the concussion concerns something like that would be an automatic 15 yard flag. Obviously not complaining since the Bills got a sack on the play, but who knows what could have happened had Dareus ended up on the ground with his helmet off.

Ruben Jongstra

CB: I think that’s a difficult one to call because it’s pure judgment by the officials on a play when a helmet comes off. Most players by nature do not want their helmet off during live action. I didn’t notice that myself. I think an official would have to be completely convinced there was intent to remove it. Even then however, I’m not sure they could invoke the same unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that’s assessed when a player removes their helmet while still on the field. Usually those circumstances involve a player that’s upset about a call or something else and throws his helmet off in frustration.


5 – Hi, Chris.

As an upstate New Yorker now living in California, I love being able to access your coverage of the Bills. I haven’t seen the Bills play this year (except for their win against the Raiders), but I get the sense that few passes get thrown to the TEs–except in red zone situations. Is that because, outside the red zone, Buffalo is keeping the TE in to block? Are the offensive schemes designed to emphasize passing opportunities to Fred Jackson and the wide receivers and maximize pass protection?


CB: No, tight ends are not kept in to block a whole lot. Buffalo will go to a 3 WR 2 back look at times in which they have an H-back or TE positioned somewhere off the line and motion him. Most of the time the Bills are in a 4-by-1 set or 5 wide and Scott Chandler is often one of the four or five split wide. As Fitz said last week he just goes where the coverage takes him. He’s not afraid to throw it to any of his guys and that keeps the opponent from keying on specific wideouts in the Bills passing game.

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