Inside The Bills

Tackle tandems

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2009 – 9:00 am

As we chronicle on the home page (‘Trio of rookies to man O-line) here on game day, the Bills will be employing their fourth different tackle tandem in six games.

That kind of change is difficult enough when you’re a veteran laden group, but with three rookies (Levitre, Wood, Meredith) and a first-year starter (Bell) who after missing the Dolphins game due to a groin injury has fewer career starts than Levitre and Wood, combined with a veteran center that’s also new to the team you see the tremendous challenge facing Buffalo’s offensive line.

Injury has obviously played a big part in all the changes. But they don’t really have other options on the roster other than Chambers. They’ve got to hope for the best. Here is the week by week lineup from left to right across Buffalo’s front through the first five games along with the anticipated lineup today. 

Week 1 – Bell, Levitre, Hangartner, Wood, Butler
Week 2 – Bell, Levitre, Hangartner, Wood, Butler
Week 3 – Bell, Levitre, Hangartner, Wood, Scott
Week 4 – Scott, Levitre, Hangartner, Wood, Chambers
Week 5 – Bell, Levitre, Hangartner, Wood, Scott
Week 6 – Bell, Levitre, Hangartner, Wood, Meredith

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Meredith to be up this week?

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2009 – 2:38 pm

Bills rookie offensive tackle Jamon Meredith confirmed that he did take first team reps at right tackle in practice today, and he expects to get his first NFL start Sunday at that position when Buffalo heads to the Meadowlands to take on the Jets on Sunday if Jonathan Scott is unable to play due to his ankle injury.

Scott did not practice on Wednesday and his status for Sunday won’t be known for sure until Friday. If Scott can’t go, Meredith and Demetrius Bell will be Buffalo’s fourth different tackle tandem in six games this season.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 10-2

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2009 – 6:12 pm

Already at the quarter pole mark of the season. Gotta get a win this week and get off the AFC East schneid. Let’s get to your questions.

1. Dear Chris,

I’m wondering who’s available at the middle linebacker position to replace Paul Posluzny while he’s out for a few weeks? Marlon Greenwood and some other quality free agents are available or will the coaching staff allow Marcus Buggs to handle everything Poz was tasked with?

Michael T. Licata

CB: I don’t see the Bills going out and picking up another linebacker knowing they’ll get Poz back around midseason. But here’s a short list of guys that would make sense for the Bills should they decide to go in that direction in my opinion.
Derek Smith, Dontarrious Thomas, Rocky Boiman (versatility inside/outside)


2. Chris,

Do you think there would be a way that the All Access shows such as the ones with you and Tasker and the Thurman Thomas show could be put on the website for us that don’t live in the area to be able to watch??

I live in the Nashville, TN area now after being in WNY for 25+ years and would like to see these shows.
I know that the uploading/downloading would take a great deal of time, and maybe an impossibility, but it sure would be nice.
Thanks a lot and keep up the good work.

Tom Howes

CB: We do put them on the team website. Here’s the link where you can find them every week.

On the left side of the page is a listing of the different video programs we offer. Click on All Access for those shows and on the Thurman Thomas tab for that show. We break the show up into different segments so it does not take too long to load. Enjoy.


3. Hi Chris,
Since we know Fred Jackson is capable of handling a starting role, is there any chance the Bills trade Marshawn Lynch for a Tackle or draft pick?
Omon seems capable of handling a back up role plus the Bills are already talking to Free Agent RB’s. What do you think?

CB: I don’t see the Bills doing this. Most teams in the league like having two capable backs to share the workload. Dick Jauron is fiercely loyal to Lynch and with good reason. The guys always plays hard and doesn’t go down easy.
If you trade Lynch away you’re leaving yourself a bit vulnerable at running back in the event that Jackson goes down with an injury. Omon shows promise, but he’s not Lynch.


4. Chris – Buffalo’s signing of Jamom Meredith from the Green Bay practice squad prompted this question.  What are the rules for an NFL team signing a player from another team’s practice squad?  Was Buffalo required to give prior notice of its intent to Green Bay before making an offer to Meredith?  If so, did Green Bay then have an opportunity to keep Meredith, such as by moving him to its active roster, within some specified period of time?
– Bill

CB: Signing practice squad players are a lot like signing free agents. Teams that covet a practice squad player on another team contact the agent and begin negotiations to sign him to an NFL contract that puts him on an active roster (practice squad pay is considerably less).

Sometimes agents call the original team to give them an opportunity to promote them to their own 53-man roster, but in most cases the agent just completes the deal with the team interested in putting the player on their active roster. The original team is none the wiser until the signing is completed.


5. Hey Chris,
Since Fred is doing awesome and Marshawn is coming back do you see the Bills putting in any Wildcat plays to keep them both on the field? If both Fred and Marshawn are running to the same side on an option play who the heck would you cover as a defender! Maybe they develop the plays now and don’t show the Wildcat until they need to surprise a team in the playoffs.
What do you think?
Evergreen, CO

CB: I don’t think the Wildcat is necessary to keep both of them on the field. I anticipate seeing Fred Jackson split out wide more as a receiver, which they did a lot of during the spring. I also think in time we could see a split backfield with both of them back there giving the team a ton of options.

Buffalo, like all NFL teams, has a handful of Wildcat plays, and if you remember when they ran some of that last season Fred Jackson was the ball handler. I don’t know if he’s the guy this year because Roscoe in an option in that formation as well being a former high school quarterback.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Think the Pack might not be happy with Bills?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2009 – 3:45 pm

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter the Green Bay Packers will be without LT Chad Clifton until Week 6. Having the Bills sign OT Jamon Meredith off their practice squad Tuesday could not have made the Pack all that happy.

Not saying that Meredith was going to start at left tackle in place of Clifton this week. That honor will probably fall to LG Daryn Colledge or RT Allen Barbre. From a depth perspective however, you’ve got to believe they’d have at least considered moving Meredith up to the active roster as an emergency tackle.

But hey that’s the business.

Posted in Inside the Bills

My NFL Combine conversation with Jamon Meredith

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2009 – 2:34 pm

Buffalo’s newest offensive lineman Jamon Meredith was a draft prospect I had the opportunity to interview during the NFL Combine back in February. Here’s my Q&A with Buffalo’s newest offensive tackle. I’m calling him that since as you’ll see below it’s the position he prefers to play.

CB: Your senior year was a bit up and down, you had to move inside from tackle to guard. How do you think it played out for you?

JM: It was a big change. It’s a lot different playing guard than tackle. I was able to adjust, not as quickly as I would have liked, but I adjusted toward the end of the season and started playing a lot better.

CB: What made playing guard tough at the outset?

JM: The first couple games were a little shaky. I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing. It’s a lot different as far as techniques and responsibilities. The more I got used to it, the more I got better and the more I felt comfortable.

CB: Do you see the greatest benefit in playing there being that you showed NFL teams some versatility?

JM: Yeah I really think it was a blessing. At first I thought it was a demotion. But then my coach explained that it wasn’t a demotion. He needed me inside, and I wanted to do what’s best for the team. I’m not a selfish guy, so I wanted to do what’s best for the team. And come to find out, a lot of NFL teams like when you play more than one position. In the NFL you only have seven-eight guys traveling, so a lot of them double-train. So I guess it was a blessing.

CB: Why do you prefer the tackle position over guard? 

JM: I feel a lot more comfortable at tackle, on either side. I like the fact that I can play guard if I need to.

CB: Is there a part of playing tackle that you miss when you’re playing guard?

JM: At tackle you’ve got to show a lot more athleticism. In the middle you’ve got help from both sides so you’ve just to be stout and stay in there and hold your ground. On the outside, you’re in a lot of space. Make the wrong move and the quarterback is impaired.

CB: What do you think kept you from being mentioned with some of the elite tackle prospects?

JM: I think a lot had to do with my switching positions and not being as good as I would have liked to be starting the season. Most of the time you get graded early in the season. That’s everybody’s impression — what you do in the beginning of the season. I don’t want to say if I were playing tackle I’d be up there with them, but I’d have a lot better shot to be where they are.

CB: Do you prefer right or left tackle?

JM: Either one. It really doesn’t matter. I can play either. I can switch in the middle of the game if I need to. It’s a little bit easier to run block from right tackle, and it’s a little easier to pass block from left tackle.

CB: Do you believe that Coach Spurrier’s offense at South Carolina prepared you well for the NFL game?

JM: It helps me pass block a lot better. We pass the ball a lot and coach Spurrier runs a pro-style offense and do some balance run stuff too. So it helped a lot.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Meredith jersey number

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2009 – 1:15 pm

Jamon Meredith will be wearing jersey number 69 for those of you keeping score at home.

Meredith wore #77 in college but that number is taken. It belongs to Demetrius Bell.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Meredith a good young pickup

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2009 – 8:47 pm

Jamon Meredith was a good value pick for the Packers this past spring in the fifth round.

I interviewed Meredith at the NFL Combine back in February to ask him about his position switch. He had played two years at left and right tackle, but then his senior year moved inside to guard.

He admitted it was a bit of an adjustment for him, but felt he got better as the season went along. But he’s got long arms so playing tackle I think is something he’s capable of. Some experts had him tabbed as a third-round pick.

We know the Bills like players that are versatile and though Meredith makes them even younger, I think he’s a good acquisition. Smart and tough, I’ve talked to a couple of scouts about him before and after the draft.

Most think he could be a successful right tackle at this level, but some aren’t sure about left tackle in the NFL. But with his guard capabilities he’s a valuable reserve player. If he blossoms he could be much more than that.

I saw Brad Butler today leave the facility on crutches. Tough to see him like that, but he’s keeping a positive attitude. The right mindset always helps so I wished him luck with his forthcoming surgery and rehab.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Some bench press numbers

Posted by Chris Brown on February 21, 2009 – 3:49 am

By no means are these all the bench press numbers for the OL and TE positions, but here are some of the ones I’ve got courtesy of NFL Draft

Texas Tech guard Louis Vasquez had the high count of the day with 39 reps of 225. Other offensive linemen that fared well were Washington C Juan Garcia (34), BYU guard Travis Bright (34), UTEP C Robby Felix (33)Baylor OT Jason Smith (33), Penn State C A.Q Shipley (33), Ohio State OT Alex Boone (33) , South Carolina OT/G Jamon Meredith (31) and Oklahoma C Jon Cooper (31).

Ranked among the top centers Max Unger had 22 reps, one of the top tackles Eugene Monroe had 23 reps, Michael Oher had 21.

At tight end James Casey was impressive with 28 reps and was matched by Wisconsin’s Travis Beckum (28). WNY native and Maryland TE Dan Gronkowski had 26 reps. Cal’s Cameron Morrah (24), North Carolina’s Richard Quinn (24), South Carolina Jared Cook (23) and Brandon Pettigrew (22) all had respectable showings.

Perhaps the most impressive performance however, was that of USC kicker David Buehler. At 6’2″ and 219 pounds, Buehler put up 25 reps. Congrats fella.

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Posted in Inside the Bills
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