Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 10-7

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2011 – 11:53 am

Big one at the Ralph on Sunday with the Eagles flying in. The only certainty is it’s going to be a very entertaining game. Now to your questions, which can always be submitted to

1 – Chris,

First of all, I think I speak for the entire Bills fan base when I say thanks for all you do with the website, continuously updating the fans with excellent Bills coverage throughout the week… 

My question is: Why isn’t David Nelson ever mentioned as a potential perimeter x or z receiver in the Bills’ system? With his 6’5″ 215 lb frame, I was surprised he was not more of a consideration after Marcus Easley went down, especially after the past few weeks’ performances and perhaps even prior to that. He is a big target with soft hands and good route running ability. Does he lack the speed necessary to get down the field? I believe he ran a high 4.4 to mid 4.5 40 time at the combine, isnt that considered somewhat average? On a side note, I think Kamar Aiken has a bright future ahead of him given the opportunity. I was worried he wouldn’t be signed to the practice squad, great signing. 

Best Regards,
Go Bills!

Rochester, NY
CB: Nelson’s best spot is in the slot. He’s a great mismatch inside because of his size. Outside you need a receiver that is faster and more physical, and Donald Jones has a skill set better suited for that. Nelson is a smooth route runner and knows how to find the holes underneath. He seems to benefit from having ‘two-way go’s’ as a slot receiver, which means he can break his route off inside or outside on the defender. Outside receivers don’t have that option lined up close to the sideline.

I do agree with your thoughts about Aiken. I think there is certainly potential there and he would be an outside receiver option down the line.


2 – Chris,

I was wondering about Troup and his timetable.  I know he has been limited in practice and that is good progress, but I wondering if there was an update.

Thanks again for all you do and has anyone ever told you that you ask really long questions?  Just an observation not a critique.


Andrew F. Browne
CB: Troup’s lower back situation is something he’s dealt with in the past unfortunately. He worked on his core strength relentlessly all offseason in an effort to lessen any strain on his back, but the stiffness resurfaced at the beginning of the year and is now back again.

I don’t know if there’s a solution to eradicating it, but Troup is doing everything he can to make it a non-issue as far as playing on Sundays. I don’t know if it’s going to be a chronic condition that plagues him the rest of his career, but it is concerning.

And yes, I am long winded. I try to cut questions shorter, but it never seems to happen. Not sure why I choose to give a preamble.


3 – Hi Chris,
I was just wondering if you can explain the captains’ C and the significance of the stars underneath – some are solid, some are not. 
Also, where has the pass rush been?  It doesn’t seem like they are getting much pressure on the QBs they faced so far this year. Can Dareus and Williams be that Suh-type player for us up the middle?  Can we get there with the blitz; we haven’t been doing it much this far?
Pat (Oakville, ON)

CB: The stars under the captain’s C represent how many years a player has been a team captain. Each year they are a captain is represented by the number of stars that are gold underneath the ‘C’. There are only four stars under the ‘C’ so if a player has been a captain for more than four years, like Brian Moorman, the ‘C’ is turned gold as well.

As for the pass rush, the Bills had a bit more success against the Bengals, but getting home with four hasn’t proven very fruitful. Part of the reason was the first two weeks against last year’s top two rushing offenses, the focus was the run game. Against Brady and the Patriots they chose to drop 7 into coverage and get hands in the passing lanes knowing getting to Brady rarely happens. But you’re right it has to be more productive moving forward.


4 – Hey Chris,    

Could you tell me what’s wrong with Easley? I was really hoping to see him play this year.     Also how is Merriman’s shoulder? 

Thanks ,   Dale  

CB: I actually saw Easley in the locker room on Thursday this week as he was in to pick up a few things. He spoke at length with Bryan Scott, and afterwards I asked him if he would mind talking about his condition, which forced him to go on injured reserve.

He said he’d prefer to keep his situation private, so I chose to respect that because it’s certainly his right. Whether he changes his mind down the road remains to be seen, but we’ll try to revisit it if Easley’s view on his situation changes.


5 – Hi Chris.

What happened to Bruce Hall, Jon Corto, Felton Huggins, and Ed Wang? The last time we saw Bruce Hall, he was carrying the ball over the goal line. Then he was placed on IR. Were these really season-ending injuries, and if not, why not just release them? Does anyone know what happened to these guys? What also happened to Robert Eddins, for example? Was it really a season ending injury or something that would likely nag him for a few weeks? 

CB: Corto, Hall, Huggins and Wang were all waived-injured when the final 53-man roster was assembled. They had injuries, but were not going to be on the 53-man roster so they were waived. Once they cleared waivers the reverted to Buffalo’s injured reserve list where they currently reside now.

Robert Eddins was in a similar situation, but if memory serves asked for a release from injured reserve, which was granted thereby making him a free agent.

Players with injuries that won’t last the season often do this to have an opportunity to latch on with another NFL club once healthy.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jones, Parrish unlikely to play

Posted by Chris Brown on August 30, 2011 – 4:55 pm

Bills WRs Donald Jones (concussion) and Roscoe Parrish (hamstring) are not looking good to suit up for Thursday night’s preseason finale.

“We probably will not play Roscoe or Donald Jones in this game,” said head coach Chan Gailey.

Knowing the starters are only going to get 6-10 snaps in the game, the staff obviously feels it’s not worth the risk to dress the two receivers. Felton Huggins will also miss the game after sustaining a concussion in practice Monday.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Huggins suffers concussion

Posted by Chris Brown on August 30, 2011 – 4:45 pm

Bills WR Felton Huggins was not on the practice field Tuesday after suffering a concussion in practice Monday.

That according to head coach Chan Gailey.

“He sustained a concussion on the practice field yesterday, so he’s out for a while,” said Gailey after Tuesday’s practice.

Huggins is the second Bills receiver to sustain a concussion in the past two weeks, joining Donald Jones, who suffered a concussion in the Denver preseason game.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills injuries not serious

Posted by Chris Brown on August 21, 2011 – 12:06 am

Bills head coach Chan Gailey got right to an update about the handful of injured Bills in Saturday night’s game, including Donald Jones who was knocked cold on an illegal hit along the sideline and Johnny White whose head was slammed into the turf on a tackle and had to be carted off strapped on a backboard.

“I know the injuries were of concern to everyone and the good news right now is there were no serious injuries,” said Gailey. “Guys will miss a while, but they’re going to eventually be fine.”

Johnny White was taken to the hospital for examination, but cleared and flew home with the team Saturday night. So did Jones.

Arthur Moats suffered a bruise to his leg and Naaman Roosevelt and Felton Huggins sustained undisclosed leg injuries.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

WR groupings post Evans

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2011 – 6:00 am

For those that missed it in Saturday’s preseason opener. Here were some of the more common receiver groupings with Lee Evans no longer a part of the equation.

In a regular pro set it was Donald Jones and Stevie Johnson.

In three wide it was Jones and Johnson with David Nelson in the slot. When Roscoe is healthy he’ll be the slot guy.

In four wide it was Jones, Johnson, Nelson and Roosevelt. When Roscoe is healthy he’ll be the third WR, with Nelson the fourth.

With the second unit it was mostly Marcus Easley and Craig Davis with Naaman Roosevelt in the slot.

When that group went four wide Felton Huggins was the fourth receiver. Paul Hubbard was rotated in with that group at times as well.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Huggins waived/injured

Posted by Chris Brown on August 11, 2010 – 9:10 am

The Bills announced today that WR Felton Huggins was placed on the waived/injured list.

Its a tough break for Huggins who has toiled on the Bills practice squad the past two years.

He was having a decent camp.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Huggins on hand

Posted by Chris Brown on August 11, 2010 – 8:52 am

WR Felton Huggins is out at practice with his arm in a sling.

Huggins suffered a severe shoulder injury Monday. We’ll see if there is an update or a prognosis after practice.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Huggins shoulder not good

Posted by Chris Brown on August 9, 2010 – 8:50 pm

The news was not good for Felton Huggins after landing awkwardly on his shoulder Monday morning while making a diving catch.

Head coach Chan Gailey was asked about Huggins’ condition as he was not on hand for the evening practice.

“Felton ended up hurting his shoulder pretty bad today, so we’ll have to see what that entails,” Gailey said.

When Gailey was asked if surgery was a possibility for Huggins, Gailey said he did not know at this point.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Huggins injured

Posted by Chris Brown on August 9, 2010 – 10:07 am

WR Felton Huggins is joining Corey McIntyre in the locker room.

Huggins made a diving catch in 7-on-7, but landed awkwardly on his left shoulder.

He got up, but could not move his shoulder well. He’s headed to the locker room.

Also walking there with him is OL Andre Ramsey. Whether he suffered an injury was unclear.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Scott back practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on August 18, 2009 – 6:32 pm

Safety Bryan Scott is back practicing this afternoon. He had missed Monday’s practice with the mild knee sprain he had suffered in Saturday’s game.

Also back practicing is WR Felton Huggins.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Not a whole lot at practice Friday

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2009 – 4:58 pm

The Friday practice before Saturday’s game was more walk through type stuff as the offense and defense worked against sets and looks they’re likely to see in their game against the Bears.

There was some team work, but it did not appear to be full speed. Ko Simpson was back practicing after missing Thursday night’s session. Felton Huggins was also back, so their chances of playing Saturday are somewhat improved.

LB Pat Thomas, LB Ashlee Palmer and WR Steve Johnson along with Terrell Owens are not expected to play.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Huggins and Hawthorne have a chance

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2009 – 3:24 pm

Of all the future free agents (2008 practice squad players) re-signed by the Bills, Felton Huggins and C.J. Hawthorne are two of the most promising as I see it.

Huggins and Hawthorne both have 4.4 speed and pretty reliable hands. Huggins is still young at the position, but came a long way last offseason and had his best training camp. If Steve Johnson wasn’t drafted last spring, I think Huggins would have made the squad.

Hawthorne is cat-quick and gets in and out of routes in a hurry. He’s that classic smurf receiver. Unfortunately NFL teams are always looking for more size at the position. But both are good players to have in reserve should injuries hit the receiver position. And if they can each take another step forward with their games this offseason they may be able to push people on the 53-man roster.

If Justin Jenkins is not tendered as a restricted free agent, one may even make the team.

As for the others, I think they’re going to take a long look at Marcus Smith. The defensive lineman offers some versatility similar to Spencer Johnson as he could kick out to end if need be, but appears to be more of a DT.

We haven’t had the luxury of watching him much in practice during the regular season, but I’ll be keeping my eye on him in OTAs this spring. The staff likes his potential. The Bills will be in the market for a fourth DT if they decide to part ways with John McCargo, but it’s unclear how that situation will play out right now.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

My picks for roster openings

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2008 – 2:56 pm

The Bills are soon to have two vacant roster spots on their 53-man roster with James Hardy expected to be placed on injured reserve shortly and Aaron Schobel’s roster spot still open.

Assuming the Bills pro personnel staff doesn’t see anything more appealing on the waiver wire or on the street, here are the two players I wouldn’t mind seeing on the 53-man roster for the final two games of the season.

1. WR Felton Huggins – Huggins had his strongest training camp this past summer. Still young at the receiver position, Huggins has come a long way with coverage recognition and route running. Blessed with height (6’2″) and speed (4.4 40-time) I wouldn’t mind seeing him get an opportunity the final two Sundays of the season.

I believe if it’s not Huggins it will be fellow WR C.J. Hawthorne who has been impressive in the practice setting.

2. DL Marcus Smith – At the time he was added to the practice squad in midseason, the Bills already had depth on the defensive line, but the personnel staff thought so much of Smith they wanted to get an extended look at him. I’d like to get more of a look myself. At 6’4″ and 295, Smith appears to be more of a defensive tackle. Buffalo has four DTs on their roster already as Corey Mace replaced the I-R’d John McCargo.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Smith switching off with Mace for 10-12 snaps a game the last couple of weeks to see what he has to offer. Of course that’s provided they can make the game day roster work that way.

It’s pretty clear the marriage between McCargo and the Bills will be over this offseason, so why not see if there’s a potential replacement sitting on your practice squad already. The organization seems to like Mace, but taking a look at Smith can’t hurt either.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Why Jefferson is on the practice squad

Posted by Chris Brown on November 26, 2008 – 10:10 pm

Three receivers on a practice squad is a little heavy, but I’ve figured out why he’s here. One of Buffalo’s practice squad receivers is hurt.

Felton Huggins has not practiced for over a week now and I believe they signed Jefferson so they have enough receivers to run scout team stuff of the 49ers for the starting defense.

With Huggins out of the mix the Bills would have to press more of their active roster receivers into action, so Jefferson helps to fill the bill there while Huggins is on the mend.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Practice squad add likely a ‘look see’

Posted by Chris Brown on November 26, 2008 – 4:00 pm

The addition of WR Mike Jefferson to the practice squad Wednesday was puzzling on the surface. Adding Jefferson means that more than a third of the eight-man units consists of receivers (37.5%).

It also means all but one of the practice squad roster spots is occupied by offensive players.

It’s not like there’s anything wrong with that, but typically practice squads are a bit more balanced. Of course Buffalo has had to draw from the defensive side of their practice squad more this season with the injuries at LB and DB.

I believe the addition of Mike Jefferson is simply to allow the Bills to take a look at him for a few weeks and see what he has to offer.

I know the organization likes Felton Huggins and C.J. Hawthorne, so unless Jefferson is remarkable in practice, I still see those guys as the most likely callups if there is a rash of injuries at the receiver position.

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Posted in Inside the Bills
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