Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 1-4

Posted by Chris Brown on January 4, 2013 – 3:03 pm

It’s been a heck of a week here at One Bills Drive, with more big news to come once the Bills find their new head coach. Stay tuned to all offseason for updates. Also keep sending your questions to and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,
What do you think of the idea of drafting two of the best QBs available in this year’s draft?  Last year the Redskins did and I think it’s working for them, don’t you?  What do we have to lose?  It’s quite evident we’re lacking in even (1) good QB on this team, right? As long as we have the right people making the calls on the draft, this could work. If we land one good QB, the best man would win out in training camp and then we have out second stringer in place.


CB: I thought it interesting that GM Buddy Nix this week reiterated how they intend to draft a quarterback and then added in that they might acquire another in free agency. Last year I think the opportunity to draft two quarterbacks was more realistic. The pool was much deeper. This year the pool of talent at QB is much thinner by all indications. So I think making use of two draft picks on quarterbacks might not provide the desired results this time around.
2 – Hi Chris,

I appreciate all the work you and your colleagues do to bring us inside Bills videos, statistics, and interviews that provide some insight into OBD.

What’s my hope as Joe Ticket Buyer for next season?  We’re going to have the AFC North and NFC South on the schedule, which are both very difficult divisions. What will be different? Can you give me any hope as a 29-year old that hasn’t seen his team in the playoffs since he was a sophomore in high school?

Finally, would you agree that finding a young quarterback to groom (or play) has to be priority #1 in the offseason?  Sure, more linebackers and a wide receiver would be nice, but without a quarterback that can make all of the throws in the NFL accurately and often, aren’t we still just spinning our wheels?

Thanks again, and please keep up the great work.
Jeff Locke

CB: First, thanks for the compliments. Our staff appreciates it. With a new head coach coming in with a new staff and undoubtedly new ideas for the roster I think it’s safe to say a lot will be different for the 2013 Bills. No question those divisions on Buffalo’s slate won’t be easy, but let’s see what unfolds this offseason as far as the Bills are concerned before we make our assessments.

I agree quarterback is a big issue for this team. As I mentioned in the above response it is a position that the personnel department plans to address this offseason.
3 – Hey Chris,
After Urbik re-signed, do think that helps the chances of Levitre re-signing?  He has been our most durable lineman and I would view him to be our top priority?  Also what do think the chances are that the franchise tag is put on Byrd? I believe the tag amount on safeties is just above kicker and punter?  Also, since D Jones and Nelson were undrafted can’t the bills give them 1st or 2nd rd tender offers as opposed to the low qualifying tender offers? (2nd making the most sense)  Also what do think about a trade to the Jets? Brad Smith for Tebow and a draft pick?

Grosse Ile, MI

CB: I don’t believe that one re-signing necessarily impacts another. The re-signing of Urbik is certainly good news for the Bills. Re-signing Levitre figures to be a bit more complicated. Levitre has been the most durable lineman on the roster having never missed a game in four years and is a heck of an interior lineman. I believe negotiations once they begin will take some time. Levitre has stated an interest in returning.

As for Byrd I get the sense in my conversations with him that he wants to test the free agent market. I worry that the Bills may have to make use of the franchise tag to keep him. The projected tag amount for safeties in 2013 is $6.4M.

Yes, you’re right with both Jones and Nelson undrafted there is not compensation due the Bills should they be tendered at the low level by Buffalo and another club signs them to an offer sheet and the Bills choose not to match. It’s likely that one, possibly both will be tendered at a middle tender, which would offer compensation to the Bills in the form of a second-round pick. I’d expect the new head coach would have a good deal of input on that.

Finally, no on your trade suggestion.
4 – Chris,

Thanks for your time and great work covering the Bills.  Question is about the defense in light of the coaching change and it not being a setback.  I agree, only if they stay in the 4-3.  If it were a switch to the 3-4 then an overhaul of personal will be a setback.  I don’t want to hear Mario as a OLB.  He likes putting his hand down, rushing the blocker.  So head coach that does whatever with our offense weapons and defense that stays a 4-3 and we can still compete for the playoffs next year.  Do you agree?   Switch to the 3-4 a setback?  

Bills fan in Raleigh,

CB: I think it’s safe to say that moving to a 3-4 defensively would be a major challenge moving forward if the defense is to improve on their substandard rankings this past year. The new defensive scheme can’t be a major change schematically. If it is a whole new learning curve will ensue and that will keep the players vets and young players alike from playing fast. I’d imagine the coach search committee is making it clear the 4-3 is something they’d prefer to keep intact.
5 – Chris,
I’m not interested in recycling a recently-fired head coach as Bills’ head man, but I am interested in putting pieces in place that can help the franchise.  Many fired head coaches return to action as a coordinator (Del Rio in Denver, for example).  Guys that don’t have a job right now are prime candidates for those jobs. 
I like the idea of getting a young, innovative head coach (Doug Marrone, Mike McCoy, etc.) but surround him with experienced coordinators.  My selections would be Ken Whisenhunt as OC and Lovie Smith – he says he wants to come to Buffalo! – as my DC.  Above all, we need a guy at the top who can evaluate and develop a young QB.  (The knock on Whisenhunt is that he failed to develop Kolb, Skelton, Lindley (?) in AZ.)
What do you think about that? 
Interesting comment on WGR yesterday about looking at Special Teams coaches (Harbaugh, Levy) as Head Coaches because they use the entire roster in putting teams together, thus they have a knack for working with – and getting the most out of – the entire roster. 
Intriguing thought, but I think it still comes down to getting the guy with the “right stuff”.  Can he manage the game day decisions, delegate the game plan development to his coordinators, motivate the team to play, get the most out of his talent?  Then sign him up!
Your thoughts?
Thanks for your time.  Let’s hope the Bills get it right this time.

CB: The Bills have made it clear that they’re not discriminating and exploring all options. I think the candidate pool which reportedly varies from Doug Marrone to Lovie Smith reflects that. As for your proposed HC, OC, DC combination that trio would cost upwards of $15M a year just for those three. Don’t know that it’s realistic.

That being said I do agree with your coaching point on developing a young QB knowing Buddy Nix intends to draft a signal caller. I also agree with a head coach being a head coach on Sundays and delegating all play calling to the coordinators. I’m a big fan of that approach. We’ll see what happens.


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