TE coverage issues explained

Posted by Chris Brown on October 27, 2010 – 1:50 pm

The Bills have had their share of troubles covering tight ends this season in the passing game. Head coach Chan Gailey did his best to explain the problems they’ve faced in that area.

“Sometimes you pay so much attention to other people that you lose sight of a guy,” said Gailey. “Some of those guys are really good players and you hope to hold them down. You’re not going to stop them, but you hope to hold them down. We’ve faced some really good tight ends that have hurt a lot of people, not just us.

“You have to continually scheme ways to get that guy fomr making the big play. You don’t mind if they catch those four, five or six yarders, but it’s those 20, 30, 40 yarders that hurt you and we continue to try to keep those away from happening.”

Six of the 32 receptions caught by opposing tight ends against the Bills (19%) have gone for 20 yards or more and seven of the 32 receptions (22%) have gone for touchdowns. Six of those seven touchdowns have come in the last three games.

Safety Donte Whitner has been one of the defensive backs with tight end assignment responsibilities. To his credit he’s owned up to mistakes that he’s made in game thus far, but Gailey defended him saying they put a lot on Whitner’s plate defensively.

“We’re asking Donte to do a lot,” Gailey said. “He has a lot of responsibility because he’s a good player and when you ask a lot of a player sometimes it’s going to be good and sometimes it’s not going to be good. So we’re asking him to do quite a bit, so he gets out there in the open where it’s seen a lot more than maybe some other people.

“But to me he’s a really good football player and as they all continue to grow in the defense they’ll be less and less of isolated matchups. We’ll have more people around the ball and more people being involved in a play instead of it just being isolated on one guy.”

Gailey seems to indicate that the development and cohesiveness of the players within the scheme is as much an issue for this deficiency as anything else. But there still appear to be a good amount of isolated matchups out there. Here’s the official stat line for tight ends against the Bills through six games.

32 receptions, 420 yards (13.1 avg.) and 7 touchdowns.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Turnovers a difference maker

Posted by Chris Brown on October 26, 2010 – 9:29 am

The Bills were as close as they could be to a victory Sunday, but a turnover, no matter how controversial, wound up costing them in OT. And looking back on the team’s first six games giveaways have been a big part of the 0-6 start.

Buffalo wound up a minus-2 at Baltimore. It was the fourth time in six games that the Bills lost the turnover battle. The only games in which they did not turn the ball over was the opener against Miami (lost 15-10) and Week 5 vs. Jacksonville (lost 36-26).

The only time Buffalo has won the turnover battle was against Jacksonville, when they were a plus-3 against the team with the worst turnover margin in the league. The Jaguars are a minus-10 on the season.

Not helping Buffalo’s margin is a league low six takeaways in six games, which has been due to a combination of lack of pass pressure and inconsistent coverage.

“Pressure and coverage go together,” said Donte Whitner. “So you have to fix both aspects in order to be successful and until we do it, we’re not going to be successful. We have to fix our pressure and get more pressure on the quarterback and cover them better.”

But not turning the ball over themselves is step one, and Sunday they face a Chiefs team that has committed a league low four turnovers. Not surprisingly, they’re 4-2.

“We need to get rid of the turnovers,” said Fred Jackson. “We think that’s what’s hurting us the most. I think that’s what we’re focused on more than anything. We feel like we’re a good offense so we’ve got to stop shooting ourselves in the foot. Not making the turnovers, not making the penalties and things like that, and I think we’ll be alright.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whitner bothered

Posted by Chris Brown on October 24, 2010 – 8:21 pm

Donte Whitner was lamenting the missed opportunities defensively the Bills had to make game-changing plays, especially after a game that was so close down to the very end.

“Me personally had a chance to break the game open and I dropped the interception, which can’t happen,” said Whitner. “We had another one where Reggie (Corner) in the end zone had an opportunity to get an interception. And there was another in the red zone when (Flacco) beat me on a touchdown and Byrd was there and had the opportunity to run through him or get the interception, but we didn’t make those plays.

“Those are plays we have to make if we want to be a winning football team. Still with all that we had an opportunity to win the game in overtime. The only thing that matters in the NFL is ‘W’s and ‘L’s. You can throw everything out the window, when it comes down to ‘W’s and ‘L’s  we had an opportunity late in the game, we didn’t capitalize on it and we’re going home with an ‘L’.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

Ngata saw self as Bills pick

Posted by Chris Brown on October 21, 2010 – 9:05 am

Baltimore Pro Bowl DL Haloti Ngata is already being touted as an MVP candidate for the Ravens this season. The dominant defensive lineman was asked in a conference call with the Buffalo media if he ever wondered about being drafted by the Bills back in 2006.

“When the Bills passed up on me, I was like ‘OK, hopefully I’ll just get drafted,’” Ngata recalled. “I thought the Bills would draft me and they didn’t, so I just kind of looked down the line to see who else wanted me and fortunately Baltimore came and picked me up.”

Buffalo had the eighth pick in the 2006 draft and chose Donte Whitner. The Ravens scooped up Ngata with the 12th pick. Ngata admitted that he wanted to prove those that passed on him wrong and had the opportunity to do so against the Bills in the season finale of his rookie campaign in 2006. Ngata finished the game with a quarterback hit when he flushed J.P. Losman from the pocket and pursued him to the near sideline forcing him to throw the ball away.

“The first time we played them in my rookie year, that was more on my mind,” said Ngata. “When I was getting drafted people were saying there were a bunch of things wrong with me. I don’t hustle to the ball, I’m not a pass rusher. I kind of wanted to prove those guys wrong. Ever since I’ve been in the league, I wanted to show that I can run to the ball, I can make plays. Every year I felt like I’ve been able to improve and I want to keep improving.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whitner: don’t put it on coaches

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2010 – 11:23 pm

Donte Whitner made it loud and clear in the locker room after Sunday’s game that the scheme and the coaching staff shouldn’t be taking the heat for the team’s performance Sunday.

“I can honestly tell you that the coaching staff is doing a really great job of preparing us throughout the week,” said Whitner. “Now, us as players, we have to do an even better job of going out there and executing the game plan, understanding what they are going to do to us each play and not give up things that twe have practiced against. Things that are so simple in the football world.”

Most of the other players in the locker room also credited the coaches for trying to help put them in a position to succeed, but that they the players are not coming through. The Bills are going to need the bye week to right some of the wrongs that have plagued them the first five weeks of the season.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Anxious for a takeaway

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2010 – 8:51 am

The Bills finished the 2009 season ranked first in the AFC and tied for second in the league in interceptions with 28. Through the first quarter of the season Buffalo is still looking for their first INT and it’s not sitting well with the men in the locker room.

”We need turnovers,” said Jairus Byrd. “We have to go out and execute and play our game. We go in with the same mindset (each week), nothing really changes. We’ve just got to execute.”

Buffalo’s lone takeaway came in the New England game in Week 3 when Byrd recovered a fumble that was forced by Drayton Florence. Other than that it’s been slim pickings for the Bills defenders.

”We’re still the same guys, we still have the same guys in here,” said Donte Whitner. “I know there are a lot of people in panic mode and there’s not a reason to be in panic mode but if we change our mentality on the football field we’ll be a better football team.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hoping to answer questions

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2010 – 9:51 am

Donte Whitner is all too familiar with his team’s lack of success in beating the Patriots. They’ve come close the past few seasons, with last year’s Monday Night opener being the latest example. At 0-2 he knows the team has to show more convincing signs that they’re making progress and he believes the lack of success in beating New England only serves as added fuel for that fire.

“We are motivated to beat New England and I know coach won’t say it but I know he wants to be the first to go up there and stop this streak and show whose the master of the game and that he can beat him,” said Whitner. “And show that you are a good football coach, show that your team is moving in the right direction. Those are all the questions that will be answered if we go up there and get a win against New England.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

Whitner: Laughing must stop

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2010 – 3:17 pm

Bills strong safety Donte Whitner said the Green Bay Packers offensive players were laughing at the Bills in the fourth quarter of last week’s game. He also said there’s another AFC East opponent of theirs that has done the same in recent years.

“It happened last week,” said Whitner. “The Packers were laughing at us. Aaron Rodgers and a lot of those guys were laughing at us toward the end of the football game and that never feels good.”

When asked about the different kinds of losses at the hands of the Patriots over the years, Whitner said the New England players do the same thing.

“Yeah, by the end of the fourth quarter they’re laughing at us,” said Whitner of the Pats after last year’s Monday Night loss to New England. “It always happens. We can’t keep allowing that to happen. Guys go out there and they work too hard. When you don’t come out the way that you prepare all week and all offseason to come out then there’s obviously something wrong.”

As a follow up Whitner was asked if he thought playing sound football was what was most important in preventing that from happening again and turning the team’s fortunes around.

“We want to get things turned around, but at the same time it’s football teams with grown men laughing at other grown men on the football field,” he said. “That happened to us in the ball game last week and it happens every time we play New England. So we’ve got to stop that and we look forward to stopping that. We’re ready to beat New England and I know coach wants to go up there and beat New England. So we have an opportunity and what we do with that opportunity is up to us.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

Whitner having fun with T.O. and Ocho

Posted by Chris Brown on August 22, 2010 – 11:00 am

After being called out by Chad Ochocinco last week on twitter, Whitner has responded with a message for Ochocinco and his partner in crime in the Cincinnati receiving corps.

Whitner tweeted the following in anticipation of the Bills’ next preseason game against the Bengals at RWS on Saturday.

DonteWhitner    Hey @terrellowens and @OGOchoCinco did u guys watch our Indy Film yet? Hope so, have a great day guys!

I wouldn’t call it trash talking. Whitner is keeping it cordial, but it’s obvious that Whitner and Buffalo’s secondary is eager to face the self-proclaimed Batman and Robin duo. Especially after what he said when asked about the upcoming game after practice this morning.

“I’m looking forward to seeing T.O. and [Chad] Ochocinco,” he said. “He sent me a couple messages on Twitter. It’s all a lot of fun, but when we go out there on the football field we expect to go out there and have a great showing against those guys. We feel like we’re one of the top secondaries in the National Football League and we have to go out and show it each and every Sunday.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

OchoCinco calls out Whitner

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2010 – 9:20 pm

The Bills won’t see the Bengals until their third preseason game on Aug. 28, but Chad OchoCinco is already making things interesting calling out Donte Whitner in his latest twitter post.

OGOchoCinco    @DonteWhitner remember that year you knocked me out in Buffalo? Im not your friend still, its my turn really soon for revenge.

What exactly OchoCinco means by revenge is unclear, but the knockout shot by Whitner was impressive and by the way legal. Usually OchoCinco is just looking to score touchdowns when he makes these call outs to opponents.

The Bills will also face the Bengals in the regular season in Week 11 on Nov. 21 in Cincinnati, so if something occurs between OchoCinco and Whitner in the preseason game on the 28th, you can bet there will be carry over come Week 11.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gailey doesn’t believe in luck

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2010 – 9:15 pm

The Bills secondary were the beneficiaries of some fortuitous deflections in both the morning and evening practices Friday, but don’t tell Chan Gailey they were lucky plays.

In the morning practice, Jairus Byrd made his second interception of the day catching a deflected pass during red zone work in the end zone for an interception. In the night practice, Bryan Scott got his second takeaway when he ran headlong to pick off a deflected pass during a two-minute drill. But Gailey says while deflected passes may look like a lucky break, they’re anything but.

“I don’t believe in luck,” Gailey said. “Those guys hustle and if you’re hustling then you make big plays and you get those things and they’re good for you. To me that’s a mark of a hustling defense.”

All in all it was a heck of a day for the safeties with Byrd (2 INTs), Scott (1 INT, 1 FR) and Whitner (2 INTs) all recording a pair of takeaways on the day. The secondary is looking downright scary for opposing passing games.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Where Schobel money could go

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2010 – 2:42 pm

For now Aaron Schobel’s contract is still on the books, but once he either retires or is moved via trade, there will be a good chunk of change with which to help the team in terms of personnel.

I believe some of that money will go to some young veterans whose contracts are up after this season. Chief among them is Paul Posluszny. Others include Donte Whitner, Ashton Youboty, George Wilson, Trent Edwards, Brian Brohm and long snapper Garrison Sanborn.

Obviously, the quarterback situation will have to definitively be resolved before determining who might be re-signed long term. By no means am I saying all these guys are going to be re-signed, but those kinds of decisions will have to be made, and the money will be there to pay who they want to pay.

The point is that in rebuilding this roster a good portion of that money from the Schobel contract is likely to go into reinvesting in the young vets whose contracts are up.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whitner making his best Lebron pitch

Posted by Chris Brown on July 7, 2010 – 12:24 pm

Bills safety and Cleveland native Donte Whitner has apparently done his best to convince LeBron James to continue his NBA career in Cleveland.

In one of his latest twitter posts Whitner states that he’s spoken directly to James on more than one occasion.

DonteWhitner  I’ve had the opportunity to tell @kingjames twice in person to “Please stay in cle”..guys help me tell him again! Bronie please stay.

Whitner later tweeted that he believes James at his prime time press conference scheduled for Thursday evening will say he’s following his heart and staying in Cleveland. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-18

Posted by Chris Brown on June 18, 2010 – 10:29 am

Only a week left of spring practices and then the layoff before training camp. On to your questions (AskChris@bills.nfl.net).

1 – Chris,
I think James Hardy has a very good chance to become the 2nd receiver to Lee Evans. He has all the physical tools to succeed and with his tall, lanky frame is the only WR with those attributes. The question is can he put in the necessary work of running route and reading defenses? What do you think?

Schenectady, NY
CB: James Hardy is very much a part of the competition for the #2 WR position. He will get legitimate competition however, from draft classmate Steve Johnson and rookie fourth-round pick Marcus Easley. Easley has flashed a very strong set of hands and has a knack for turning in big plays through the spring practices. Hardy has made plays here and there as has Johnson. We’ll know more when the pads go on in training camp when the game gets more physical, but Easley is known as a physical wideout. His youth will not be the deficiency that some might think it would be in a competition like this.

2 – Chris,

Have the Bills examined the Idea of moving Eric Wood back to his natural position of Center? Especially coming off of his injury, it might be a faster way to get him back. It’s not like Hangartner was a Pro-Bowl caliber player last year and if my memory serves me correctly, Wood was Brohm’s Center at Louisville, so they already has chemistry. I’ve been waiting for a dominant center ever since we picked Mccargo instead of Mangold. 

Line would look like this…  Bell, Levitre, Wood, Green, Meredith….Thanks!

CB: I get the sense that the Bills offensive staff believes he can help them the most at guard. Plus they are heavily invested in Geoff Hangartner after signing him as a free agent in the 2009 offseason. Your Brohm chemistry point is valid, but to maintain continuity last year for an offensive line that had none of it last season, leaving him at right guard is probably the best move.

3 – Hey Chris, 

With all the talk of trading Lynch and how they won’t get good compensation for a pro bowl back, why not just trade jackson instead?   His value seems to be at an all time high coming off of a solid season in 09 and the speed/power combination of spiller and lynch should be something special.  Just a though as we could definitely use some more draft picks or a LT.
Brett in the hot and sunny AK

CB: I think trading Jackson is absolutely crazy. The man put up the sixth best all-purpose yardage season in NFL history last season with over 2,500 yards. On a team desperate for as much playmaking talent as possible it would be insane to move Jackson.

4 – Chris,

In reading Donte’s comment on the different type of training they are experiencing, and the much more rigorous work outs, do you believe they are on the right track? The last three years were unreal with all the injuries. I remember making a comment to you a couple seasons ago that I thought something had to be going on with their training methods to produce so many injuries. Your comment was that I may be on to something. The Bills have had a very good team as starters each year going in but were hampered regularly with replacement players. Do you think this will be a break out year even though they are rookied up.

Also do you think they can learn this system well enough by mid season to make a strong finishing run to the play offs?

Jim from Chattanooga TN
CB: I think Donte said it all. He said the difference between the training last year and this year is like night and day. Donte feels it will make them more physically resistant to injury. I think the greatest this strength and conditioning staff will have on this team is stamina and endurance. There were several games and leads that were lost in the fourth quarter last year because this team simply wasn’t fit enough. That will not be the case this year. The 2010 Bills will have a lot more left in the tank come the fourth quarter.

5 – Hi Chris,
I was thinking back to the last three years and I think one of our biggest problems was that the offence was too predictable and I realize last year the line was also a big factor (and I honestly expect them to be better this year because they will be used to playing together) on first and second downs we ran it and third down were shotgun plays and we didn’t utilize enough people I think they should use a highly rotational offence meaning using a bunch of different personal combinations like 1 play have lee evans, lynch, and james hardy then on the next play c.j. spiller, roscoe parish shawn nelson and klopfenstein and I was wondering what you thought of what you have seen from the offence so far in ota’s. thank you.

CB: The offense is really in its infancy here in the spring and with a quarterback competition going on as well, it doesn’t cater to developing continuity early. Despite that I think you can bank on Chan Gailey’s offense being extremely multiple. His offense doesn’t have a distinct approach to it and that’s on purpose. There are an endless number of pre-snap shifts and motions and personnel groupings change almost as much. I think for the first time in a long time the Bills coaching staff has one of the better offensive minds in the league.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whitner on spotting Lynch

Posted by Chris Brown on June 4, 2010 – 5:04 pm

Bills safety Donte Whitner addressed his comment on twitter from earlier this week that he saw Marshawn Lynch at the Bills training facility.

“I don’t know when to expect to see him,” Whitner said in regards to participating on the practice field. “I saw him two days ago. Other than that I really haven’t seen him.”

You can watch Donte’s comments right here. The team confirmed that Lynch was working out in the team’s weight room on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Some jawing at practice

Posted by Chris Brown on June 4, 2010 – 5:00 pm

The defense had the better of play on day one of minicamp Friday and it prompted them to challenge their offensive counterparts all the more with some talk.

Donte Whitner got things going when he anticipated a screen play and started yelling, “Screen, screen.”

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick hearing this changed the play and Whitner had a few more words for the offense indicating it was a good idea to change it.

From time to time offensive players told defensive players to simmer down and be quiet. But the defensive players kept egging the offensive players on, and it became all the easier with the number of plays they were making.

Reggie Corner however, made sure to point out that it’s all in the name of good competition.

“It makes it a lot more fun out there for everybody,” said Corner of the chatter back and forth. “Those that talk have to make plays, but it is respectful and it’s designed to get the guy going against you to go harder in practice.”

Practice has been spirited this week and the talking has been part of the reason for it.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Lynch to report Thursday

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2010 – 3:49 pm

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter Bills RB Marshawn Lynch is expected to report to OTAs on Thursday.

Here was Schefter’s twitter post to that effect.

Adam_Schefter  Bills RB Marshawn Lynch is in Buffalo, will be participating in the Bills’ OTAs, and is expected to attend Thursday’s OTA session.

Bills SS Donte Whitner also tweeted that Lynch was in the building at One Bills Drive Wednesday. Lynch however, was not in attendance at practice, so it’s likely that he visited with teammates after practice.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-28

Posted by Chris Brown on May 28, 2010 – 1:30 pm

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone. Just take a minute to remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
First week of OTAs is in the books. Let’s get to your questions (AskChris@bills.nfl.net).

1 – Hi Chris:
    I was wondering if you think that Jamon Meredith has a shot at becoming the starting right tackle for the Bills this year?  I know his play was limited in 2009, and it looked to me like he struggled against Julius Peppers, but he also looked as though he might have potential based on what I saw in the other games he played in.


CB: Meredith is actually going to be pushing Demetrius Bell for the starting left tackle position. At least that’s how things are shaping up after the first week of OTAs. Meredith was working with the starting unit at left tackle with Bell still rehabbing from surgery.
Though your memory of Meredith’s play is struggling against Julius Peppers you need to know that his first three career starts were made in Buffalo uniform last season, without the benefit of a training camp or prior knowledge of the Bills offensive scheme. He had a month to prepare and then he was suddenly starting. So under the circumstances I thought he did pretty well. I thought his first career start against the Jets at the Meadowlands last season was a pretty good one.

Meredith also looks bigger and stronger through the shoulders and his upper body. We’ll see what kind of difference that makes and how much he’ll push Bell come training camp.

2 – Hey Chris,
My question to you is Buddy Nix in an interview said they were talking about moving up in the draft after selecting Spiller at #9. Did you ever find out from Buddy what player that they were targeting that he said was gone so they just stood still and never made a trade?
Tampa, FL

CB: I don’t know for certain, but I strongly believe the only player they were considering other than Spiller was Russell Okung the offensive tackle from Oklahoma State. Had he still been on the board when the Raiders were on the clock at eight, I think they would’ve made a deal to move up and get him. But when he went to Seattle at six, that was obviously no longer an option.

3 – Hey chris,
The Bills have 3 safeties that can play in byrd, whitner and wilson. So who are the two that the Bills think can be the starters right away and is there a chance that one of those guys moves to CB? Also the linebacker corps need something too with another OLB do you think that Davis can be that guy or can Harris come into that spot?

CB: I think you’re forgetting about Bryan Scott, who is a more than capable safety as well. So that’s four right there, all with experience. Right now Whitner and Byrd are the starters in OTAs. Scott and Wilson are the reserves. It’s going to be an interesting competition. I don’t believe any of them are fit for moving to corner at the NFL level, and they have good depth at that position anyway.
As for OLB Davis is strictly an inside guy. Outside with the ones right now it’s Kelsay on the strong side with Maybin and Chris Ellis sharing first team reps on the other side.
4 – Chris,
In the past it seems as though we have given receivers a ‘cushion’ which allowed them to get 5-10 yards pretty much at will.  Do you see the new 3-4 defense coming with more press coverage?  I think Leodis and McGee can handle it particularly Leodis with his size.  I am tired of hearing about Revis island.
Steven J. Huber

CB: I think you can bank on seeing a lot more press or man coverage in George Edwards defensive scheme. Players have already been commenting on how much more man coverage calls they’re getting in their 3-4 scheme. They’re excited about it, and it makes sense. With one of the deepest units on the roster it makes sense to ask the secondary to man up more.

5 – Hi Chris,
It seems as though most draftniks thought the Bills got very good value for just about all of their selections, with the exception of Torell Troup. It also seems that most of these people believed the Bills should have taken Mount Cody at that spot. I have more faith in the Bills’ organization than in these analysts, so I don’t have any problem with the pick, but can you touch on some of Troup’s qualities that made the team value him above players like Cody or Linval Joseph, who I know you were high on?

CB: What Troup offers that Cody does not is the ability to play all three downs. Cody is a two-down run defender and nothing more. Plus his weight issues and work ethic issues are going to make you wonder just what you’re going to get on every snap. The guy has also had conditioning issues.

You’ll never have to worry about what you’re going to get out of Troup. He’s more than capable athletically and has a work ethic that Cody does not come close too. He’s not going to be pushing the pocket for sacks, but he relishes the dirty work. As for Joseph I did like him as a prospect. I think his peak however is further away than Troup’s.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whitner hears the chatter

Posted by Chris Brown on May 28, 2010 – 6:07 am

Donte Whitner had been traded close to a dozen times via media speculation this offseason. He’s read all of that and heard the negative feedback from fans. In the end though he’s glad he’s still a Bill.

Whitner said he’s taken all that negative energy and used it as motivation in preparing himself for what he hopes is his best NFL season.

“It affected me, but I think in a positive way,” said Whitner of all the talk about him. “I haven’t missed a day of offseason conditioning. Right now I think I’m in my best shape since my rookie year. I just have a chip on my shoulder. It’s not a negative thing it’s a positive.

“It’s not taking things for granted. It’s going out there and doing whatever I have to do whether it’s being first in every sprint from conditioning to lifting the most. That’s my mindset and my focus and it’s just a positive fuel thing. It’s nothing negative. I’m glad that it happened. I’m glad that I read some of those things, and I’m glad that I’m still here so we’ll see what happens this year.”

Whitner is currently running as the first team strong safety in Buffalo’s defense.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Defensive scheme more complex

Posted by Chris Brown on May 28, 2010 – 6:03 am

In speaking with a lot of the defensive players the past few days, to say that Buffalo’s new defensive scheme is more complex would be an understatement.

Coming from the Tampa 2 system to the new 3-4 under defensive coordinator George Edwards it’s pretty clear that the Bills will have a lot more to throw at their opponents this season and the players could not be happier.

“In the coverage it’s a lot of better,” said Donte Whitner. “We previously played the Tampa 2 and it’s just spot dropping and breaking on the football. Now everything that we do basically turns into man.

“No matter what coverage we’re playing, we don’t play regular cover two. There might be a spot here and there, but we’re doing so much now. We’ve put more in the last two days than we had in our playbook the entire season last year. We’re putting in about eight different defenses a day, so we’re up to 24 or 25 now before we return on Tuesday.” 

Whitner and his defensive teammates like what they’ve seen and heard from Edwards and believe they’ll have an opportunity to dictate play more to their opponent instead of reacting.

“Coach Edwards really understands what we have to do in terms of downs and situations and putting players in position to make plays and get teams in third and long so we can play with these teams and have some fun,” Whitner said. “That’s what we’ve been working on straight out the gate. He said he’s not going to slow down with his installs. We welcome it. It’s been fun so far. We’ll see where it goes.”

After the first week of OTAs it’s hard not to think that this year’s defense will be far more dynamic. Defensive backs have been making a ton of plays on the ball this first week and Donte believes it’s the byproduct of simply playing a lot more man coverage, something that the DBs on this team are more than capable of handling, but never had the chance to do much of in the past.

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Posted in Inside the Bills