Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 9-28

Posted by Chris Brown on September 28, 2012 – 6:04 pm

Let’s get right to another week of your questions from and @ChrisBrownBills on twitter.

1 – Chris:

Since the Bills carried Dorin Dickerson as a depth player at FB/TE and he is more of an H-Back with good size and speed, why didn’t they put him in the slot to replace David Nelson instead of Donald Jones?
CB: I think from a blocking perspective the Bills could get what they want out of Dickerson in that slot role, but I think they’re looking for someone a bit more elusive from a route running standpoint in there. Jones also has an established chemistry with Ryan Fitzpatrick, and that slot role is key for third down conversions and helping to move the sticks. I just think Jones is a better fit there. That’s not to say Dickerson wouldn’t be able to fill the role in a pinch, but week in and week out Jones is the better option.
2 – Chris,
Why do da Bills always choose to kickoff? If we want to get off to a good start and put our offense and defense in good positions, it would
seem that we would want to strike first!This always boggled me,
Len in NYC

CB: Chan Gailey explained this to me last season. He said that research has shown that by deferring when a team wins the toss they more often than not get the last possession of the first half, and having deferred get the first possession of the second half. This is appealing to a lot of head coaches because using their two-minute offense, defenses typically resort to a different defensive style, giving up yards for time on clock in hope of it running out on the opponent. Very often teams can get easy points in such a situation.
At the start of the third quarter it’s the offense’s first opportunity to change the tone of the game with halftime adjustments. Back to back possessions is the other perk. With Buffalo’s stronger defense I would expect the Bills to defer almost every time they win the toss.
3 – chris,
Thanks for all you do. what is the situation with potter? He is not close to 100% missing a couple each game. He has 1 job…make it a touchback. It’s pretty clear. At what point is his roster spot in jeopardy or has Ryan just so out of kicking kickoffs now that Potter can continue missing 2 or 3 a game and keep his roster spot? Personally I would think he needs to be 100% to send a message and continue what buddy and chan are doing, but that Ryan factor of not kicking them anymore seems to be big to me.Raleigh Bills Fan,

CB: First, what you need to keep in mind is the league leader in touchback percentage last season was Denver kicker Matt Prater, who had a percentage of 70% and he kicked half his games in the thin air of Denver. Only one kicker north of the Mason Dixon line was over 50% last year and that was Chicago’s Robbie Gould. Bruce DeHaven told me Potter has to be over 50% to justify his roster spot.
4 – Chris,

This Brian Moorman move. I dont like it. Right before the big game with New England. Is Powell actually a better punter than Brian Moorman? If so, how come he didnt beat out Brian in training camp? Why do this now? It seems to me that Nix is hung up on size. The Bills got burned on that when Wade Phillips chose Rob Johnson over Doug Flutie.  And who is gonna hold for Ryan Lindell? The inexperience there could cause other problems.I bet Rian Lindell is next to go. The Bills dont care about their proven veterans.


CB: There was a lot more to the Brian Moorman release than meets the eye. Buddy Nix said after the release that they don’t just look at this week when making such roster decisions. Yes, it’s a risk that they chose to sign Powell just days before a big division game against New England for his NFL debut. But here was the situation. Yes, Moorman was the more consistent punter in the preseason and deserved his roster spot. But Powell kicked pretty well in the preseason too.
Here’s where the problem was. There were three NFL teams in need of a punter this past week, namely Detroit, Dallas and Philadelphia, due either to injury or poor performance. Buffalo had invested time and energy into Powell, and almost drafted him last spring. They envisioned him as their punter of the future and did not want another NFL club signing him away.
Brian Moorman was in the last year of his contract. With a lot of important younger players on this roster entering free agency next offseason (Byrd, Urbik, Rinehart, Nelson, Jones) there would not have been the money to re-sign Moorman this offseason. Powell likely would have been his replacement this offseason.
Unfortunately the needs of other clubs sped up the process of Powell taking over for Moorman as the team’s new punter because Buffalo would’ve lost him to one of those clubs. It’s unfortunate, but as Buddy said, he has to do what’s best for the team at all times. And being without a punter next year and beyond would’ve left them with another hole, when they had their long term answer at the position right under their nose.
5 – Chris,I had a friend who was on a vacation flight with a Bill’s lineman. He bought and took up 2 seats. Got me to thinking, do they have a special chartered plane to accommodate all the wide bodies? Also, do they fly to close games or bus (Cleveland this weekend or Pittsburgh or Toronto)? How big is the staff that makes travel arrangements?

As a long time subscriber to Bills Digest and a frequent visitor to the website, I appreciate your insights.


CB: The Bills charter a plane through United and for longer flights it’s a larger plane. With a travel party of only about 100-110 there is plenty of room on these big planes so often we sit every other seat. For shorter flights the planes are a bit smaller, but there’s usually enough room for players to sit every other seat. We do fly to Cleveland and Pittsburgh, but we bus to Toronto.

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