Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 11-30

Posted by Chris Brown on November 30, 2012 – 3:32 pm

A lot of home games down the stretch for the Bills starting with Jacksonville on Sunday. Here’s the latest edition of questions from and @ChrisBrownBills.


1 – Chris, 

Do you think our offense will become more in sync when T.J. Graham is regularly inserted into the fold? Also, do you think that a change at quarterback is necessary or do you think it is just a matter of a clean bill of health to the defense is needed to make it to the next level?

Thanks Chris! 
-Nick W
H’port, NY
CB: Graham was drafted to help stretch the field offensively, but you’re right his opportunities have been limited. I think if they can effectively make him a deep threat, it would help to open things up more underneath. A lot of opposing defenses have been squatting on Buffalo’s short routes and it’s hindered Buffalo’s attack.

Ryan Fitzpatrick by his own admission has stated that he has not performed up to even his own expectations. He also said this week that he knows he’s in a performance-based business and believes his status as the team’s starter could be affected if he does not improve his play down the stretch.

Chan Gailey re-committed himself to Fitzpatrick this week.


2 – Hey Chris ,
I have been wondering your take on a few questions that are all under the basic same heading. It has seemed to me that Coach Gailey has gone from the a coach dictating to our opponents what we want to do to letting our opponents push us into what they want us to do. It seems like we’ve added new talent to the roster this year(Graham, Dickerson, Easley), but we haven’t used it. On defense we don’t have any blitz packages. Please let me know what is the problem?

Thank you for your time !!

Mr.T from Nashville via Ft. Myers

CB:  I’ve asked Coach Gailey about dictating play to the opponent, whether it’s imposing their will with play calling or putting them on their heels with tempo changes. My most recent question concerned tempo change and jumping into no huddle when the offense is sputtering. Here was his response this week.

“We’ve done that some but it’s been more revolving around the pass game and we’re trying to make sure we get the running game going,” Gailey said. “When you do no-huddle, sometimes it revolves too much around the pass game and we don’t want to get into that. We want to keep our balance between our run and pass.”

 You’re not the first fan that has expressed an opinion that the team was more aggressive in dictating play the first two years in comparison to this year. I think that opinion only became more popular because of the Houston game where Buffalo saw Houston using regular defense against their three-wide package and chose to throw.

To me it’s a hard case to argue either way, but you cannot debate that New England has effectively dictated tempo and personnel changes against the Bills and it’s been effective for them. Not just against Buffalo, but just about anybody.


3 – Hey Chris,

I cannot recall if Buddy Nix is waiting till the off season to negotiate contracts with our impending free agents. Do you know if the brass is negotiating anything at the moment, and do you know the players disposition to resigning with the team? How much money do we have in the bank left to spend on signing our players? It would be a devastating lost to lose Byrd and Levitre to FA.

Stephen A. Naetzker

CB: Well the report did come out this week that negotiations are underway with Jairus Byrd, who is arguably the most important free agent to re-sign this offseason. Levitre is pretty important as well. It sounds like the wheels are in motion. I would also argue that the team should try to re-sign Leodis McKelvin knowing the relative lack of veteran presence at cornerback.

There are also a couple of important restricted free agents in David Nelson and Donald Jones. Kraig Urbik and Chad Rinehart are other unrestricted considerations. It could be a busy offseason just to keep some starters in the fold.


4 – Chris;

What do you think about Buddy’s statement about this being the year to try and find the future Franchise QB? Would Buddy be willing to Draft Two QB’s in the first Three rounds? With the rookie wage scale, it makes economic sense and also doubles our chances of hitting a Franchise guy. Bills nation doesn’t want to see more Linemen, LB’s or DB’s until the QB is addressed! This gives us three years to develop him, before we have to spend Big $$ to resign him. QB controversy won’t be a problem if he’s truly a Franchise guy, it wasn’t a problem with Jim Kelly and won’t be again, it’s only a problem with teams who don’t have the Franchise guy. Please tell Buddy not to bring in Vick, Cassel, or any of the other Journeymen who may be available.

Besides the Bills, what other teams do you feel will Draft QB’s?

I can see the Jets, Chiefs, Raiders, Browns, Cowboys, Eagles, Seahawks?

CB: I think Buddy was clear that he wants to add a franchise quarterback for the future. Here’s what he told us a few weeks ago.

“We want to bring in a guy that can be a franchise quarterback, I mean for the next 10 years,” Nix told “Starting maybe two years from now or whenever he’s ready. I’d like to have a guy in place. I’ve got to look past this Sunday and past the rest of this year and decisions have to be long term.”

As Nix and Gailey see it, a franchise quarterback is someone that they would acquire in the draft this coming spring and they’re likely to take one early (1st 3 rounds). Nix also made it clear that they’re willing to sacrifice other draft choices to position themselves to land such a quarterback.

What Nix did make clear was that even if they do draft a franchise type QB that Ryan Fitzpatrick is still going to be in the fold next season as the starter, barring some unforeseen lights out training camp performance by whomever they might draft for that position.

I’m not convinced they’ll draft two quarterbacks. Having two rookies can create more problems than solutions I think. But that decision isn’t up to me.

As for who you think might also be interested in a QB of the teams you’ve got listed the only ones I’d cross off your list are the Raiders (Palmer may have earned himself another season with his production) and the Seahawks (in light of how current rookie Russell Wilson is playing). I also don’t see the Eagles taking one early. They’ve got a lot of other problems.


5 – Chris,

With respect to the Reggie Wayne fumble at the end of the first half in the Colts game the photo is conclusive. Can the Bills send this and the luck spike to league office? Obviously won’t make difference now but seems as small market team without star player (aka tv ratings driver) they are on the short end of stick a lot. How can that play not be reviewed? Isn’t that the entire point of having things controlled upstairs in under 2 min scenario? Or is it just so nfl has control and can make sure questionable calls favor the teams they ideally would want to see do well?

CB: All I can tell you is the following. First, I agree it was a fumble. The only way it would not be is if a whistle blew for forward progress. That didn’t happen according to my videographer who was standing in that end zone. Just like it didn’t happen in overtime in Baltimore in 2010 when Shawn Nelson was stripped of the ball after his forward progress was stopped.

Ed Hochuli said there wasn’t a fumble, but never addressed forward progress. It’s the responsibility of the replay booth to review that play, but they did not. And the spike with no time left only made it worse, although the back judge, who keeps time on the field did immediately run to Hochuli signaling one second.

Buffalo routinely sends calls like this to the league, but beyond an ‘I’m sorry we screwed up’ there is not much that can be done to reverse it.


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