Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 1-17

Posted by Chris Brown on January 17, 2014 – 1:26 pm

Don’t forget to check in on our Senior Bowl coverage all next week on Here’s the latest edition of your questions on email at and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Hello Chris,

Well, another year like all years.  Just wait fans, we have something started here!!!  Marrone’s first mistake will be not letting Hackett go.  As I have said previously, loyalty is Marrone’s achilles heel.  He won’t know how to “can” Hackett so we are stuck with him.  What really stinks is that another year has slipped away and this team still has multiple problems to address.  Where do we even start with the next draft?  Please don’t draft another Alabama player!  We let players like Levitre sign elsewhere and then we say we need to address our weakness at offensive line.  Does this make any sense?  It is just one wasted draft choice after another on positions we could have fixed with players already selected.  When is this team going to address an age old problem at the tight end position?  Successful teams have tight ends who stretch the field.  When are the Bills joining the 21st century?  Sad leadership to say the least. I won’t even get started on the QB position.

Jim (Skaneateles)
CB: Jim, I respect the frustration. You fans have waited a while for a winner, but regarding your question on losing Levitre in free agency, keeping a player at a non-priority position at what would’ve been an exorbitant price ($8M plus a season) was unrealistic. Tennessee chose to spend big money on their offensive line and where did it get them?

They ranked 22nd in offense, 14th in rushing and 21st in passing. They were 19th in scoring. As coach Marrone said recently guard is position where you can develop a player into a competent to strong contributor. Offensive tackle and center are where you need the bona fide stars.

As for the tight end position, I think the new staff with GM Doug Whaley is looking to address the need for more athleticism at that spot. Tony Moeaki and Chris Gragg were the first steps in that direction. We’ll see where it goes this offseason.

Concerning your criticism of Hackett I think it’s misguided. Hackett had to curtail the variety and tempo of his offense to accommodate not one, but three “green” quarterbacks over the course of the year who were all spending their first year in his offensive system. Circumstances compromised his talent for calling plays. I’m confident the offense will expand and diversify considerably next season.


2 – Chris,

As always, thanks again for being a great source of Buffalo Bills information. We appreciate your feedback.

Can you explain the recent signings of 7 players to reserve/future contracts? The team moved quickly to sign these 7 right after the end of the regular season. What is this type of contract?

Bob Hammond

CB: Those contracts are typically reserved for players who were on a team’s practice squad during the regular season. If the team would like to keep those players on the roster through the offseason they must be signed to a reserve/future contract. If memory serves they have a week from when their season ends to sign their practice squad players otherwise they’re free to be signed away by other clubs.

Essentially players that the club believes can still be developed into something more are signed to these kinds of contracts, which are modest in nature.


3 – Chris,

With the release of WRs coach Ike Hilliard, would the Bills seriously consider bringing in Andre Reed to take over as WR coach ?  I think Reed would be a great choice. Andre had great work ethic in Buffalo and was as tough as they come running routes over the middle.

Randy C

CB: While I do not debate the qualities you described of Andre Reed’s game, it’s hard to say it’s a move that will be made. His coaching resume is very, very short though he is coaching in the NFLPA bowl on Saturday. I get the sense that coach Marrone wants someone with a more lengthy coaching background.


4 – Hi Chris,

I was looking at wide receiver free agents for this year, and I see that Eric Decker from the Broncos is a free agent after the playoffs. Would the Buffalo Bills pursue Decker and possibly make an offer?

Tony, Ormond Beach, Fl
CB: Yes, Decker is scheduled to become a free agent. I don’t think there’s any question that the Bills have already demonstrated a concerted effort to add size at the receiver position with the reserve/future signings of Ramses Barden (6’6”) and Chris Summers (6’4 ½”). But they need a proven answer with size at receiver. Decker is certainly a proven player, but I think they want the big receiver on their offense to also be a bona fide number one target. I don’t know that Decker can be that.

I feel that a lot of his production is a byproduct of the fact that opponents scheme to limit DeMaryius Thomas and Wes Welker and Decker becomes the beneficiary. Without a similar supporting cast, I’m not sure what you could count on with Decker in terms of production.


5 – Chris

When I see the names of Jason Peters and Karlos Dansby on the list for 2013, I think what if they were playing for the Bills now…… Two big problems solved…….Dansby is a run stopper as MLB, and Peters as T is one of the best.  Why don’t we as fans make the Bills FO accountable for their errors of poor decisions re. personnel choices……….And throw in there, their choice of ST coach……..Last season the FO thought Dansby as washed up… Hello, over the hill………..The Bills FO is on the clock in order to get their act together for 2014……………………

Tim in TN, Bills Fan
CB: While I understand your frustration in seeing talent flourish elsewhere instead of on Buffalo’s roster, your Bills history is a bit cloudy. The team wanted to keep Jason Peters and were willing to renegotiate his contract, which had two years left on it, but after he held out and then threatened to hold out again the next season it was clear that keeping Peters in Buffalo was going to be monumentally difficult.

So he was traded to Philadelphia for a first, fourth and sixth-round pick. When you have a player that doesn’t want to play for your team it’s hard to even make them happy with more money.

As for Karlos Dansby the Bills brought him in on a free agent visit so to indicate the front office thought he was washed up is just wrong. He chose to look elsewhere to sign essentially using Buffalo to drive up the market price for his services.

Both have been accomplished players, but if they don’t want to be here you’re not going to win with them on your roster.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Another FA visit for Bell?

Posted by Chris Brown on March 30, 2012 – 3:01 pm

Earlier in the day we passed along that Bills free agent OT Demetrius Bell was visiting with the Steelers Friday. That may not be the only free agent visit he makes in the state of Pennsylvania this weekend.

According to NBC 10 in Philadelphia’s Howard Eskin, Bell will visit with the Eagles as well.

Howard Eskin ‏I hear Eagles bringing in Bills FA left tackle demetrius Bell in this weekend. Top FA left tackle out there. Son of Karl Malone.

Philadelphia’s interest wouldn’t be the least bit surprising after the report earlier today that their starting left tackle Jason Peters suffered a ruptured achilles in offseason training. There’s no indication that a bidding war will ensue for Bell, who has already visited Arizona and Washington in addition to Pittsburgh today. But if multiple teams begin making offers, Pittsburgh will be out of the running quickly as they’re tight against the salary cap.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins to start for Eagles

Posted by Chris Brown on October 5, 2011 – 9:31 am

According to a Delaware News Journal report, the Eagles will be making a change at their starting right guard position, where they’ll be inserting their first-round pick into the lineup.

Eagles first-round draft choice, Danny Watkins, will reportedly make his first career start at right guard in place of Kyle DeVan. Watkins was working with the first unit for the Eagles all summer in training camp until DeVan was picked up off waivers by Philadelphia and stepped right into the starting lineup at the beginning of the season.

So the Eagles are likely to have two changes on their offensive line Sunday against the Bills. Watkins at right guard and King Dunlap at left tackle in place of the injured Jason Peters (hamstring).

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jason Peters injured

Posted by Chris Brown on October 3, 2011 – 11:41 am

Former Bills offensive lineman Jason Peters, who has played the last few seasons in Philadelphia at left tackle, sustained an injury Sunday against the 49ers, putting his status for Sunday’s game in Buffalo in the uncertain category.

According to Eagles head coach Andy Reid, Peters suffered a strained hamstring, which he called “fairly significant.”

So the Bills might not be the only team that could be without their left tackle Sunday.

King Dunlap, a four-year vet, who has appeared in 30 NFL games including five starts, is listed as Peters’ backup on the Eagles depth chart.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-18

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2010 – 4:16 pm

Our combine coverage is less than a week away. Draft process heating up. Your questions at Here is this week’s edition.

1 – Chris,

Reports are the Bills are in the market for a new franchise quarterback.  I was curious if the management would look into a QB like Tony Pike out of Cincinnati.  I seen a majority of the games he played in this year. Under Brian Kelly and New UB Coach Jeff Quinn, Pike managed many types of offense.  Not just the spread offense.  I am just curious where he would rank in a draft board.

CB: You’re right he has played in more than the spread, though it has mostly been spread for him. The concerns with Pike are durability and his competitive nature. He’s rail thin at 6’6” and 210 pounds so he’ll have to add some bulk, but I think he throws a nice ball.

There are some that think Pike is too laid back, but others maintain that he’s just a cool-headed signal caller. I suppose everyone has their own interpretation.

He has had some injury issues, but returned pretty quickly from a broken non-throwing arm in his final collegiate season. The so called experts have him no higher than the 3rd round.

2 – When it comes to the QB position I think Clausen is the only QB in the draft who might make it in the NFL, seriously. Bradford looks way too vulnerable to injury, Tebow has bad mechanics, no pro offense experience, and questionable vision, Pike – no body, mediocre arm, Hiller? Lefevour? McCoy – no arm strength, very spread offense oriented, or Snead coming off a pretty mediocre year, lots of interceptions, etc.?. A trade? For whom: Vick? Chris Redman? Russell? Thigpen? Rosenfels? Who’s out there who’d be worth a trade? It looks pretty bleak from here, thoughts?

CB: I do agree that filling the quarterback position won’t be easy, especially with what I believe is a far more restrictive free agent process. That’s why I think there’s a halfway decent chance Gailey has Trent Edwards as part of the competition at quarterback for 2010. I do believe in some way, shape or form they will add another QB to the mix on this roster to also compete for the starting job.

3 – Hello Chris,
Several draft sites have this pick as conditional.
The rumor when the trade was made was that it was a 6th rnd choice.
However, can you determine in view of Peters making the pro Bowl whether that pick could,  as conditional, be higher than the 6th rnd?

CB: From what I have been told it’s a straight 6th, no conditions. So all together the Bills have nine picks this year, with that extra 6th and an extra 7th from the Ko Simpson trade.

4 – With the defensive scheme still up in the air, can you imagine a draft scenario in which the Bills take Rolando McClain with their pick?
Pete Howell

CB: I don’t see them taking McClain unless there’s a run on OTs and one of their considerations is not there at 9 and both of the top QBs are also off the board. I like McClain, but you can argue that the Bills already have 2 starting ILBs in Mitchell and Poz.

5 – Hi Chris, Now that Brad Butler is retiring, do you see the Bills having a heavy draft emphasis on the offensive line? Also, with Julius Peppers probably leaving the Panthers, do you see the Bills making an effort to sign him? With the switch to the 3-4, having a marquee player of Peppers level would have a major impact. Your thoughts.
Tony, Daytona Beach

CB: I don’t think they have any choice. The only tackles on the roster under contract with playing experience are Demetrius Bell, Jamon Meredith and Kirk Chambers. They absolutely need to re-fortify the position with top flight talent. If they can’t find any in free agency, you can make the argument that they need to draft two offensive tackles, with one ready to start right away and that likely means with your first pick.

As for Peppers I think he’s a pipe dream. Yes, he wants to play in a 3-4, but he’s also going to be looking for upwards of $12-15M per season on a long term deal after playing last season at $16M and change.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Best Bills fan jersey

Posted by Chris Brown on August 9, 2009 – 1:15 am

We all know that Bills fans can be very creative. The Bills fan that just walked past me here at the Pro Football HOF has an altered jersey that takes the cake.

The Bills fan had a Jason Peters jersey and on the back white athletic tape covering the last name across the top.

Written over it in black marker was the word ‘Cheesesteak.’


Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills wanted Peters saga resolved before OTAs

Posted by Chris Brown on May 21, 2009 – 5:01 pm

Dick Jauron left little doubt that he and his staff did not want to go through another offseason of wondering if or when their left tackle was A – going to show up, B – participate or C – participate with effort. Buffalo’s head coach explained this week that latest point in which they wanted the Jason Peters situation resolved was just before OTAs opened this week.

“We all thought it was critically important and in fairness to Jason probably critically important to him to get on with things and move on,” said Jauron. “He kind of showed us what he thought a year ago and it was important for us to have our whole team together for communication reasons and for every reason that you can think of in terms of team building. I’m happy for Jason and I’m happy for us.”

Jauron was very diplomatic with his comment, but nevertheless was clear in stating that they did not want to be holding out hope for a player again that would only disappoint in terms of performance once he arrived. Peters play last season did little to make Buffalo better offensively, and to go down the same road again would have been folly.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

A new energy post-Peters?

Posted by Chris Brown on May 18, 2009 – 8:02 pm

Trent Edwards said he was “anxious” to get started, Terrell Owens used the word “pumped” for the season. And Kawika Mitchell sees a more talented and deeper defensive unit. But what Edwards said Monday makes you wonder if this team feels like a weight has been lifted since the departure of last year’s holdout Jason Peters.

“Everything’s going great, I’m excited,” said Edwards. “I’m just anxious, I can’t wait for the football season to get here and I’m happy for the way things are going and the guys and the turnout that we have here. We have everyone showing up and working and that’s really what we need.”

Edwards’ last comment said the most. The only no shows that weren’t restricted by a league rule (Jairus Byrd, Danny Urrego) from the Bills roster for the first voluntary workout Monday were Dominic Rhodes and Corey McIntyre.

Not having a major cog on your offense or defense holding out does a lot to remove distraction. There just seemed to be a breath of fresh air about this team when they showed up for OTAs Monday.

Did Edwards have Jason Peters in mind when he made that comment? Probably not, but it doesn’t change the fact that the team was held hostage by Peters last offseason, and it affected the team, and not positively, when he wasn’t the same player on the field in 2008.

If things went down the same path again this offseason, it would’ve been worse.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Moorman not alone on FOXSports all undrafted team

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2009 – 4:38 pm

Brian Moorman was named to the all-time undrafted team. Though a handful of other players are no longer with the Bills, they can  trace their undrafted roots back to Buffalo.

Also on that roster were former Bills undrafteds, Jason Peters, Jabari Greer and Pat Williams.

London Fletcher also made the team, though he wasn’t an undrafted signing by Buffalo. He signed with the Bills as a free agent in 2002.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Peters does have positive comments for Edwards

Posted by Chris Brown on April 20, 2009 – 8:07 pm

During Jason Peters’ interview on Sirius NFL Radio Monday, he did have some positive comments for Bills QB Trent Edwards.

First, he was asked by co-host Adam Schein if he believes Trent Edwards can be a great player in the NFL. Here was his answer.

Jason Peters:  “I believe so, if he gets time.  Any quarterback can be great if he gets time so whoever is getting stuck in my spot, I hope it works out great for Trent.  He’s a good friend of mine so I hope he does well.”

Then other co-host Jim Miller asked Peters if he believes Edwards has the mental fortitude to co-exist with Terrell Owens. 

Peters:  “I think so, because Trent is a listener.  He’s going to take it all in.  If T.O. decides to go to fussing, he’s not going to be that guy to fuss back and make a big thing.  He’s just going to take it all in and go from there.”

Nice to see that Peters has respect for Edwards game and leadership even though they’re not teammates anymore.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Peters on Sirius NFL Radio

Posted by Chris Brown on April 20, 2009 – 8:03 pm

New Philadelphia Eagles LT Jason Peters appeared on Sirius NFL Radio Monday and had some interesting comments, some which aren’t completely accurate.

Talking with co-hosts Adam Schein and Jim Miller, Peters was asked why a long term agreement couldn’t be worked out with the Bills.

Peters: “To be honest, I don’t know.  I wasn’t trying to get a whole lot of money.  I just wanted to get what I deserved and they couldn’t reach an agreement.”

My take: C’mon man, you were trying to get $11.5M per season out of Buffalo, and then you took less from Philly. Six years $60M. 

Schein then asked him about the five-year deal the Bills gave him after just nine starts at right tackle and if the Bills told him he had to play it out and then he’d get a new one. 

Peters:  “Somewhat.  When they gave me that deal it was for right tackle and then they moved me over which right there I was wanting a new deal because I was playing left tackle.  So I played two more years on that deal.  That was the whole big argument.  They gave me a deal based on right tackle and then when I moved to left tackle I played two seasons under the old contract so that was the big argument.”

My take: This is also inaccurate. The reason why is there were incentives built into that five-year contract, which accounted for his move from right to left tackle. Are we really supposed to think that his agent did not have language put in a long term deal that reflected a move to left tackle and financial compensation in the form of incentives as a result?

Schein later asked Peters if he had any regrets about holding out and if he was in top shape when he finally reported. 

Peters:  “No, no I wasn’t.  It took about three games, three, four weeks until I got to 100%.  I wasn’t 100% when I came back. No regrets though.  That was the only leverage I had, you know, to hold out.  That’s the only thing the player can do.  I can’t do no more besides holding out.  That was the only leverage I had.”

My take: Finally some truth. It was clear he was not in game shape when he came back. That’s why he had to get subbed out a handful of times in the Jacksonville game in Week 2, when Langston Walker nobly flipped back and forth between right and left tackle during a game with 102 degree heat.

As for holding out being his only leverage, he’s right it is the only way for a player to take a stand. But I think things could have played out a lot better for both sides had he not done so.

He alienated himself from his teammates that had big plans in 2008 and he could have been a big part of that, and he certainly didn’t do the coaching staff any favors.

Either way that drama is behind the Bills now, and with nine picks at their disposal they can re-load.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-17

Posted by Chris Brown on April 17, 2009 – 7:24 pm

Only one more Fan Friday after this prior to the draft, and Jason Peters trumps everything so we start there. I’m going to be in full scramble mode answering all your pre-draft questions this week. Let’s get started.

1. Chris,

ESPN is reporting that Peters was traded for a 1st(28th overall) and Philly’s 4th round pick this year as well as a undisclosed 2010 pick.  Now that this is a done deal which tackle do you see Buffalo taking at #11?


Kevin Klump 

CB: First Kevin, nothing is done until either of the teams confirms it. But to entertain your question, should this trade indeed come to fruition I would say that the chances of Buffalo taking an offensive tackle increase somewhat, but not significantly. Here’s why.

I think the Bills will move Langston Walker to left tackle and plug Demetrius Bell in at right tackle. Bell came a long way in the past year and is very, very athletic. Asking him to step in at left tackle right now however, is too much to ask of a second-year player with no NFL starts on his resume. 

If you remember the Bills started Jason Peters on the right side when he first played tackle in a game filling in for an injured Mike Williams back in ‘05. I think doing the same with Bell is not out of the realm of possibility. If that’s the course they choose to take, then I think the Bills can still target a premier pass rusher, like Everette Brown at 11, who I have liked all along.

Then at 28 they could scoop up a top flight center like Alex Mack (Cal), OLB/DE Connor Barwin (Connor Barwin) or Larry English (No. Illinois) or tight end Brandon Pettigrew (OK State) if he happens to still be on the board. Personally I think Pettigrew will be gone by 25 to Atlanta or 26 to Baltimore.  

I’m not saying that an offensive tackle like Michael Oher (Ole Miss) isn’t a possibility at 11, but I don’t think it means they’re forced to take one there. Heck they could even get a solid right tackle prospect in Eben Britton (Arizona St.) at 28 if they wanted.  

But this organization has a lot of faith in Bell’s long term potential and after successfully developing Peters, who wasn’t an offensive tackle until Buffalo moved him, I believe they feel they can develop Bell into a dependable starter.

I guess we’ll all know better in about a week.


2. Hey Chris,

I know the Bills have all but announced Hangartner the center for next season, but could it be a smoke screen and could the Bills be eying up someone like Alex Mack in the draft?  Then moving Hangartner to guard?

CB: I wouldn’t rule anything out at this point, but Hangartner has said his best position is center and I get the sense the organization is committed to him playing in the pivot. You want to put the players in positions where they can best succeed, and for Hangartner that’s center, in his opinion and the opinion of the organization.


3. Chris, just about everyone in the Bills community including yourself keeps saying that the team’s greatest need going into 2009 is to improve its pass rush.  But isn’t it a fact that the Bills had the # 13 defense in the NFL last year against the pass?  If that’s true, isn’t improving the pass rush more of a luxury than a necessity, especially given the fact that the offense ranked near the bottom of the league in just about every important category?  Shouldn’t landing a first-rate TE and Center trump acquiring a situational pass rusher who plays mainly on third down?  Last year we insisted on getting “value” from our first round pick by drafting a CB and ended up not getting the kind of TE we desperately needed, when we could have traded down and drafted John Carlson.  I hope that doesn’t happen in 2009, leaving the offense shortchanged once again.

Dan, Rochester

CB: While I understand the point you’re trying to make, the ranking of the pass defense in 2008 (13th) is a bit misleading. The reason why is because teams still had fair to good success running the ball against Buffalo when all was said and done. The Bills finished 22nd against the run and surrendered over 120 yards per game on the ground. 

When teams run that well against you they don’t have to throw as much reducing the yards a defense gives up passing thereby improving the ranking against the pass.

Some might say that run defense figure means they should get another defensive tackle, but any hope of getting B.J. Raji at 11 is a pipe dream. He’ll be gone by the sixth pick.

As for the pass rush here’s why myself and the majority of fans I’ve spoken with feel the pass rush has to be addressed. Over the past two years Buffalo has a total of 50 sacks. Combining 2007 and 2008 that ranks 29th in the league, with only Cleveland, Cincinnati and Kansas City with lesser production over that span. The pass rush has to be addressed early if you wish to get a player that can help you right away. 



4. Chris,

Just read your blog on S. Carolina TE Cook. I can see where interest in this guy is growing and Nelson/Cook could be neck and neck. I don’t agree however with your assessment that with the addition of T.O. the Bills need for a TE is reduced. Personally I believe the addition of a real TE is of paramount importance. That along with improving the OL interior to me should be of primary importance to the Bills. I know you believe the Bills should go after a DE with their first pick to improve the pass rush, but I believe making the offense significantly better is the real key. Our struggles last season were offense related.

Your thoughts?

Bill Kubera

Cicero, NY

CB: Perhaps I didn’t state my opinion on the tight end well enough. When I said that the need for a playmaking tight end was reduced by the signing of Owens, I meant for 2009. This year, if you don’t have a playmaking tight end ready to make plays and have an instant impact on your offense you’re not dead in the water.

I still maintain that the pass rush is priority number one. I think tight end can be addressed in rounds two or three depending on what players the Bills covet most at that position. That player can come in as a rookie in 2009, get his feet wet without the pressure of making tons of plays. Then the following year when Owens is probably gone he and James Hardy can step up and fill the void in the passing game together.

I agree offensive line is a need area too. In my ideal draft Buffalo gets a premier pass rusher in the first (Brown?), a solid interior lineman in the second (Wood?) and a pass catching tight end in the third (Coffman?). If this reported Peters trade happens, then pass rusher first, OL bottom of first, pass catching TE in 2nd.


5. Hey Chris,
I wanted to get your opinion on Oregon OL Max Unger.  In doing some player research I have developed a man crush on Unger and would love to see him in a Bills uniform.  I love his versalitility as he can play center, guard, or tackle plus he brings top notch intangibles and experience to the table.  I think he would be a great add with our second round pick, if he lasts that long.  Anyways, your opinion would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You,

CB: I think Max Unger would be a good pick. Yes, he is versatile having played some tackle. Though he’s never played guard, I think he could handle it.  

Personally I prefer Alex Mack and Eric Wood to Unger. Mack and Wood have a little more nastiness and tenacity to their game, while Unger is more of a technician.

Don’t get me wrong I respect Unger’s game a lot and wouldn’t be upset if he wound up with the Bills. I just like Mack and Wood a bit better.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Peters trade talks underway?

Posted by Chris Brown on April 17, 2009 – 5:34 pm

If the ESPN report is accurate, trade talks involving Jason Peters are picking up steam. According to the network’s John Clayton and Sal Paolantonio the Eagles and Bills are in the midst of working out a trade agreement involving the two-time Pro Bowl left tackle.

According to the report Peters is traveling to Philadelphia. It’s believed the reason is for a physical. No confirmation at this point from the Bills regarding this report.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Peters update

Posted by Chris Brown on April 15, 2009 – 4:07 pm

Bills COO/GM Russ Brandon addressed the Jason Peters contract situation at the team’s draft luncheon Wednesday. Here was his update on the team’s Pro Bowl left tackle.

“Obviously we’ve talked about this ad nauseam, but we value Jason greatly as a player,” said Brandon. “He’s a player that we developed and signed to a contract early in his career. Obviously Jason has done a great job and played very well. At the conclusion of the year we talked to Jason and we’d obviously like to have him on this team and will continue to work with his representatives to get something done.”

When asked if he needs to come to a resolution or definitive answer as to where things are headed with Peters in negotiations prior to the draft, he offered the following. 

“We’re going to see how the situation plays out with Jason,” said Brandon. “We value him. We want him on this football team. We expect him to be on this football team and we will continue to work with him and his representatives.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-3

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

Another Fan Friday as we inch closer to the NFL Draft. Got some interesting questions this week. Keep them coming at

1. Chris
In college Brad Butler played right tackle. Do you think the Bills would think about switching Brad Butler and Langston Walker. Brad is quicker and Langston would be a monster inside?


CB: I don’t see this change happening. Walker is best on the edge in my opinion and I felt had a very good season in 2008. Moving to left tackle for the opener in place of the ‘not ready’ Jason Peters, then back to right tackle was yeoman’s work.

Butler I believe is the type of player you want inside. A guy that likes to mix it up and get nasty. I don’t know that Brad is necessarily quicker than Walker. Just because Walker is 366 pounds, don’t assume the man can’t move. His feet are well above average for a man his size.

2. What’s happening with Chris Ellis? He was our 3rd rounder last year after all, his injury has set him back no doubt, but we haven’t heard any word on him lately? Is he healing well? Will he be the force we want him to be, allowing us to maybe go after one of the other needs that early at 11, like OL or TE where a lot of people are looking at players to fill gaps. Is Chris doing well enough for us to put DE at a second pick this year? If he’s not, than I sure hope we go DE -1st, and find some prospects to mold like we seem to do so well for our other positional needs.
-Jonathan Wyman

CB: I think the team still has a lot of faith in what Chris Ellis can do for the defense. He is healthy and he’s here participating in the offseason conditioning program. I believe he needs to get stronger physically to hold up better against the run. It could get him more snaps this year.

The bottom line however, is the jury is still out on him so adding more pass rush talent is necessary and early. They need a pass rusher that was dominant at the college level. Someone that can make an impact as a rookie. You only get those kinds of players at 11. Aaron Maybin, Everette Brown and Brian Cushing (a LB) are the three I would target.

If it’s Cushing in round one I probably wouldn’t address DE until round three knowing the team needs offensive line or tight end help. Cushing can help on the pass rush.

The unconfirmed reports about Cushing testing positive for steroids would end my preference for him as a player if they proved to be true.

3. Chris,
       Wondering if Derrick Brooks is a possiblilty to help us with the Cover-2 Tampa defense ?
    Todd Logan

CB: I think the Bills will see how they fare in the draft at the LB position before they entertain the possibility of adding a player like Brooks.

4. Any word on Schobel’s foot injury?  Will he be able to be the force he once was and help the pass rush?  He is the rock of that line.

CB: Schobel is recovering nicely. Surgery as we reported back in early February will not be necessary. Whether he can be the force he once was as a pass rusher is a question only Schobel can answer through his play. He can say he feels fine and that he’s back to normal, but his play will be the only ammunition he has and he knows that.

5. Chris,
            What are your thoughts and opinions on Larry English, and him fitting in as a Buffalo Bill?  Also do you think we could draft him in the 2nd round, or will he probably be scooped up by then?  With his size and athleticism I believe he is a Terrell Suggs type player where he could play LB or DE…….What do you think he will be more of? 
Thanks – Showtime.

CB: If the right team likes English he could be off the board at the bottom of round one. After running a 4.74 and 4.79 40-times at his pro day I think that’s a possibility. There are some teams that are concerned that he might not be strong enough to hold up as an every down DE in a 4-3 system. I believe he can.

For a DE it’s more about explosiveness and with a 36-inch vertical and a 1.59 10-yard dash I believe he has the burst to be productive off the edge. He’s a little short at 6’2”, which is why some teams consider him a 3-4 OLB.

He has a similar issue to that of Everette Brown. Brown gets more of the benefit of the doubt having played in the ACC. Playing in the MAC knocks English down a peg by some talent evaluators, right or wrong.

I think if the Bills don’t get a DE in round one, English is definitely an option in round two, provided he’s still on the board.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Walker talked to fellow tackle Peters

Posted by Chris Brown on March 23, 2009 – 4:12 pm

Bills OT Langston Walker, on hand for the start of Buffalo’s offseason conditioning program was asked about his fellow book end tackle Jason Peters, who is still trying to negotiate an extension on his contract with the club. Peters, who is very hard for even his teammates to get a hold of was in touch with Walker recently.

“I talked to him probably about a month ago, just back and forth,” said Walker. “It’s offseason, we’re not talking about football. I can’t wait for him to get here. He’s a great player.”


Peters was not on hand for the first day of the team’s voluntary offseason conditioning program.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-20

Posted by Chris Brown on March 20, 2009 – 5:53 pm

The draft is only about a month away, but there are still some free agent questions out there from you the fan. In addition to answering some of the more popular questions here, I’ve also been responding (as much as possible) personally to your emails as well. I’m a bit behind on them, but plowing through them as best I can.

Remember you can always email me at on anything Bills. Here we go.

1. Hello Mr.Brown,
I would like to know what you think about the Julius Peppers situation in Carolina! Do you think the Bills would be bold enough to sign him, if he is available? Also I was watching NFL network and Mayock said that the TE’s in this draft class are mostly good receiving TE’s not so much blocking classic TE’s, wouldn’t it be more advantageous to pick the best available Offensive Lineman? To help the run and also keeping Trent upright. Since Fine and Schouman, I feel performed okay when given the chance.
Paul K.
Montreal,Q.C. Canada

CB: First, the Julius Peppers situation. I don’t see the Bills as a serious player because Peppers is likely to get upwards of $13-14 million dollars a year in a new contract. That’s too steep for a lot of teams including Buffalo.

I believe the Bills will address their pass rush in the draft.

As for the tight end position in the draft, Mayock is right, there are a lot more pass catchers than blockers at the tight end position. I think that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the Bills, who have rarely if ever had a dynamic pass catching threat at the position.

I think Schouman and Fine are both good all-around tight ends, but I think the team would like to add a game breaking threat in the passing game there. Of course the staff considered Royal their best blocking tight end last year, which is why he retained the starting role in 2008. So even if they take a pass catching threat at the position, they will likely still be looking for a true in-line blocking TE too.

I think that’s why so many mock drafters have Pettigrew going to the Bills because he fills both of those roles better than anyone else in the draft for Buffalo. But if Buffalo stays at 11, I’m not sure the value is right to take him there.

2. Chris,
My question to you is: What if the Bills are on the clock at 11 and Maybin, Brown and Orakpo along with Defensive Tackle B.J.Raji are gone and one of the top Left Tackles, Jason Smith out of Baylor for example, is available; could you see the Bills drafting him and trading Jason Peters for a 1st round draft pick to a team that may need one like Detroit (20th) and Philadelphia (21st or 28th)?  There is no doubt that Peters is a gifted athlete but with another off season of potential hold outs by him and his agent, do you think it would be beneficial to the team to stop these distractions and get down to business?


CB: That’s a tricky scenario. Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe won’t be there, but I understand your point. Michael Oher and Andre Smith should be there at 11, and with the way things are going regarding an extension for Jason Peters, what you’re proposing is more realistic than some might think.

If the Jason Peters situation is still unresolved come draft weekend, I can see the team moving him for a first and middle round pick, maybe more, maybe less. Acquiring an additional first round pick should give the Bills the luxury of taking one of the top four offensive tackles in the draft at 11.

I’d prefer Michael Oher to Smith because Oher is arguably the most athletic tackle in the draft. His instincts still need to be developed, but his athleticism makes up for a lot of those shortcomings that should get better in time. Oher could play on the left side, Smith cannot at this level as I see it.

Now keep in mind that they could address another position at 11 like linebacker in this scenario and get one of the bet of the bunch, whoever they determine that to be and if they’re down in the early 20’s with their other first round pick as you suggest, they could grab Arizona State OT Eben Britton, but he is more of a right tackle at the NFL level according to most scouts.

Things could certainly get very interesting for the Bills on draft weekend.

3.  Hey Chris,
I have seen all your blogs and answers to Fan Friday Questions on Brown, Orakpo and Maybin. Just wondering what your thoughts were on 3 other pretty good prospects: Michael Johnson, Paul Kruger and Tyson Jackson. Are they all stretches at #11, or is it conceivable that one of them may still be available in Rd 2?
If they were, it is possible to go after Raji at #11, a DE in Rd2 and maybe trade up to get one of the top 3 TE’s, Coffman maybe? Talk about hypothetical!

CB: I think that Johnson and Kruger will both be available in round 2, but Jackson will be gone before the Bills pick at 42. Jackson is more of a 3-4 end anyway.

Johnson has freakish physical ability, but is raw and inconsistent. As a result I don’t know if he’ll be able to handle a full time role as a rookie, so that keeps him out of the first round.

Kruger’s upside is a bit limited as I see it. He’s got great straight line speed, but I’m not certain that he’s strong enough right now to hold the point against the run in the NFL. He’s also not that elite explosive type end (ran a 4.79 and 4.83) so he is probably a late 2nd to early 3rd round prospect.

A guy I’d consider in the round two is Cincinnati’s Connor Barwin. He’s more of the quick-twitch athlete you’re looking for to boost a pass rush. I think he could come in right away and help on passing downs, which is what Buffalo needs.

4. Chris,

What are your thoughts on the restructuring of Jason Peters’ contract?  I believe that his holding out at the beginning of the year impacted the team in a negative way.  It seemed that it ruined the whole chemistry of the O-line.  As we all know, it wasn’t until the Monday night game when the run game started to get going.  I wasn’t impressed all season with the protection of Trent Edwards.  Honestly, I don’t know how Peters was elected to the Pro-Bowl.  Do you foresee a possible trade, renegotiation, no action, or something else? Thanks for your time. 
-Joe Maciag

CB: From what I understand the two sides have yet to close the gap on a new contract. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Bills still work to come to a resolution until the NFL draft, and if there is no progress my feeling is they may look into trading him prior to draft weekend. It’ll be unfortunate if it comes to that, but it takes two parties to make an agreement work and if the Bills can’t get some kind of compromise from the Peters camp it doesn’t leave them with too many other alternatives. And I don’t believe they’d be interested in dragging a contract renegotiation through another season.

5. Chris

I know DE is the considered the most pressing need but you and others
have mentioned how the top guys in the draft may not be able to stand
up to the run or are straight ahead rushers, etc.  I’m just another
hopeless Bills fan, but if BJ Raji is available at 11, I’d take him. 
(Full disclosure:  I’m a BC grad but that’s pure coincidence in this
case.) Raji looks like a safer bet and more of a sure-fire thing.  If
Stroud and Raji are pushing in, it might free up the current DE’s. 
I’ve gotten a little sensitive to how the Bills have used some earlier

Kelley Yost

CB: I’ve got no problem with taking Raji at 11 if he’s there and a couple of the top speed rushers are already gone. In fact I think he’s the best secondary option to Everette Brown, though Aaron Maybin is tempting.

Your point about Raji and Stroud is valid, but I still think you could add talent at end in the second round with a Connor Barwin, for example if you took Raji at 11. So I’m not opposed to that approach at all. Heck I wanted Haloti Ngata back in 2006 (no offense Donte). I just believe in getting your big men early.

6. Chris,
Does JP Losman have any suitors or teams expressing interest?  I mean I always supported JP and was actually excited when he got a shot to play this past year but he did so awful.  Is it a possibility we might see JP in the CFL???

CB: From what I’ve heard the Denver Broncos were interested in J.P. as a backup, but Chris Simms signed with them before Losman’s agent could enter into any hard core negotiations with Denver. Other than that I’ve heard very little as to interest in him by other teams.

I think his physical ability will convince some team to bring him in as a backup.

You are right that his play last year didn’t do much to help his cause so I’m not confident he could be part of a competition somewhere for a starter’s job. I think he’s got to take a backup role somewhere and hope he gets a chance to step on the field to prove he’s capable.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-13

Posted by Chris Brown on March 13, 2009 – 3:52 pm

Here’s this week’s installment and to give you all a break I spared you Terrell Owens content. Believe it or not most Bills fans want to know about some of the unresolved issues facing the team like the offensive line situation involving the vacant left guard spot, Jason Peters and the draft. Let’s get started.

1. Hi Chris:
Two questions.  One, did you see the team having to make a choice between Greer and McGee this off-season, in that if we signed Greer we’d have had to let McGee go next year?  Second, what in your opinion will the Bills do to help their DE position?  With Schobel still a potential injury problem, Kelsey not providing a rush threat, and Ellis and Bryan not showing much yet doesn’t this position have to be addressed in free agency?  Thanks.

CB: I believe that Greer and McGee were part of one decision looking toward the future. I believe if the Bills re-signed Greer at $6M per season or more, it would’ve meant that McGee would have to find employment elsewhere after the 2009 season. Buffalo can’t invest heavily in three corners because it would pull investment money away from other positions.

I think knowing the Bills obviously didn’t offer Greer that kind of money, seeing that he signed in New Orleans for $4.6M per season, is an indication that they probably valued McGee more as a cornerback all along, and as much as I liked Greer, I tend to agree with that assessment.

I’d expect McGee to get an extension either right before the 2009 season starts or right after the season ends.

As for addressing the pass rush in free agency, the market was really thin at the position with respect to pure pass rushers. That’s why Houston overpaid for Antonio Smith. He’s not a premier pass rusher, but came close to getting paid like one.

I think the Bills and a lot of other teams see the draft as their best option for addressing the pass rush.


2. Hey Chris,
I know there is a lot of talk about the needs of tight end and defensive end to be taken care of in FA or the draft but I was wondering about the Bills options for center.
What about getting someone like Eric Ghiaciuc of the Bengals.  Could he be retained for say a two – four year deal? That would be an option in FA.
As for the draft I think with where the picks stand and the other pressing needs we have at other positions, we probably won’t get Alex Mack or Max Unger. But would the Bills go for someone like Antoine Caldwell from Alabama or Jonathan Luigs from Arkansas in the third?
I’d like to get your take on these options.  Thanks
Matt from Michigan

CB: With Geoff Hangartner on board, he’s the odds on favorite to start at center, but I think the Bills will draft some line depth. I like Alabama’s Antoine Caldwell too. Guy plays nasty and tries to bury people. Gotta love that. Luigs is more of a technician.

Think they’ll need a guard/center combo guy or maybe just a guard. I like LSU’s Herman “House” Johnson. Met him at the combine, has had some weight issues, but dropped 20 before the combine and is now at 364. Dude is huge. Probably a second or third rounder.

Wouldn’t mind adding a veteran guard in free agency.


3. Hi Chris,
Assuming Trent has a good/great year this year, when would he be offered a new contract?  He is in his last year of a three year contract, correct?  What would be the salary range be?
Whitney from Los Gatos

CB: Trent’s rookie contract doesn’t expire until after the 2010 season. I would think if Trent has a productive season and makes further progress in his game that they’ll look into signing him to an extension next offseason or perhaps sooner. The salary range will be dependent upon his statistics and how far the team goes in 2009. We’ll see.


4. Chris,

The Bills are obviously in need of a starting guard because we could not consistently run the football or protect the quarterback with Dockery.

I know the Bills have a few players that could fill in but I’m not excited about making any of them a starter.  There is just a handful of decent FA’s available and I don’t think one of them have visited Buffalo.

I heard a rumor we were interested in disgruntled guard Brian Waters from the Chiefs but he is older and would probably require a trade involving a draft pick.  Do you think there is any chance we would take Orlando Pace and make him a guard?  How do you think the Bills will fill this position?

Greg – Albany, NY

CB: I’ll actually have a story on the guard situation next week on, so stay tuned for that. But I believe both Kirk Chambers and Demetrius Bell will be given an opportunity to work at the left guard position through the spring OTAs.

I’m not saying they’re going to be the answer, but they’re both strong considerations in the minds of the offensive staff.

You’re right about Brian Waters. He’s a Pro Bowl guard, so he would come at a significant price in terms of a new contract and in terms of compensation (3rd round pick?). Orlando Pace is too tall to be a guard in my opinion.

The Bills just got rid of a player that was making too much money at guard. They need to invest in their left tackle, but if their LT, as reports have indicated, is asking for too much, then perhaps trying to acquire Waters becomes more realistic.

I also expect them to draft at least one interior lineman for depth, maybe two. Chicago just released Terrence Metcalf, who has been a career backup, so a vet might be signed for depth as well.

5. Chris,
What is the level, if any, of the progress being made between Peters and the FO for a new contract?  Do you believe it will be done by summer?

I’ve also heard rumors of a possible deal involving Peters to Philly, what’s the possibility and what is his value in such a deal?  I’m having a hard time believing there is a fair compensation for losing Peters, one of a handful of lockdown left tackles in this league currently.

I’ve seen failure after failure to draft such a talent in the first round and we have the cap room to pay the man what he is due at this point, I feel we should get the deal done, pick up one of the free agent linebackers and attack the draft at TE and DL/OL, what’s your take in the remainder of the offseason?

CB: Well according to reports the two sides still have some middle ground to cover. I’m hopeful it gets done prior to the draft. If not, the club MAY elect to move Peters. I don’t know that, but in all likelihood, the Bills would stand to get the most value for Peters at that time when teams are looking to fill positional needs.

Philadelphia is an obvious potential landing spot IF the Bills believe getting a new contract for Peters is a lost cause. The Eagles have a pair of first round picks and three fifth round picks. I don’t see why a 1st (21 overall) and a 5th (5th pick in 5th round) can’t be acquired for a two-time Pro Bowl left tackle. That seems reasonable. Heck maybe they can get more (1st and 4th).

Of course that would increase the likelihood of having to take an OT 11th overall to fill a huge need. In a perfect world I’d prefer to re-sign Peters to a long term deal and I have to believe the Bills would prefer that too. Bird in the hand is worth two in the bush and you know how good Peters can be. As promising as some of the premier OTs in the draft are, they are unknown commodities at the NFL level.

As for the rest of the offseason, I’d like to see a veteran linebacker added for the strong side and a veteran guard (even if it’s a backup) for depth. I think most of the remaining holes can be addressed in the draft.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Peters trying to guard against uncapped year

Posted by Chris Brown on March 13, 2009 – 3:12 pm

If the Buffalo News report on Jason Peters’ contract demands are accurate, there’s a logical explanation as to why he and his agent are taking that approach.

Peters and his agent realize that the 2010 season could be an uncapped year if there is no new CBA in place after the NFL owners opted out early in a vote last year.

Wanting to be the highest paid OT in the league now, increases his likelihood of still being in the top 5 highest paid OTs in the game even after next offseason should an uncapped year become a reality.

Knowing contracts for franchise left tackles could be through the roof in an uncapped year Peters doesn’t want to get stuck with another contract that falls way below market value.

That’s what happened to him the last time. He was stuck in a contract that was outdated with respect to current market value. But that’s not Buffalo’s fault. At the time Peters was nothing. He had played all of nine games at right tackle and Buffalo invested in him with a very generous contract for a former undrafted player that showed some promise.

And while it’s understandable that the Peters camp doesn’t want to get caught in a deal that is outdated in a year they can’t expect the Bills to give him a contract that’s supposed to predict the future.

The Bills have to negotiate in the here and now, and if the Buffalo News report is accurate, what Buffalo is offering is more than fair.

If Peters wants a new contract now, he’s going to have to accept the market conditions as they are now, not how they might be a year from now. Otherwise he should wait another year and see if there’s an uncapped year or not. But I’m pretty confident Peters does not want to do that.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-6

Posted by Chris Brown on March 6, 2009 – 4:36 pm

Here’s the latest installment. Catch up with you next week.

1. Hay Chris,
I was just wondering what your thoughts were about Steve Johnson?
I have the same feeling about him that I had about Fred Jackson, 2 yrs ago when I saw Fred’s Yards Per Carry average in the preseason I thought this guy is money!! Then when he got a chance on the field he proved everything I was thinking. I feel the same way about Steve Johnson , from what I saw at the end of last year in games and also through out the season in practice film and all I can think this guy is money!! Besides at 6 ft 2 in 202 lbs his size is a welcome sight from the current corps that we have . Not knocking Lee , Roscoe or Josh but the extra inches may help ? Any way just wondering what you think ?
So. Fla

CB: I think Steve Johnson has a bright future here, even though the Bills are clearly looking to augment the receiving the corps with a proven vet with the likes of Coles and Galloway coming through here.

It wouldn’t shock me if Johnson is one of the team’s top four receivers in 2009, especially if James Hardy needs more time to get completely right with his knee coming off ACL surgery. The coaching staff is high on him, so I think you’ll see more of him next season.
2. I have a thought for you Chris that you may disagree with but I am very interested to hear your answer.  A team like the Rams at pick number two is looking to Draft an OT with their first pick.  They however have a few older pieces and feel like maybe they could be a good team next year (Bulger, Jackson, Holt).  Would you consider trading Jason Peters to the Rams for the Second Overall pick?  The Bills don’t want to give him the big contract when he has years left, instead we can get a younger potentially equally talented OT in the first round (Oher at 11, Smith at 2, Trade down from two and pick up another first rounder or second rounder and have 4 picks in the first 2 rounds?)
Billy Rom

CB: I would not consider trading Jason Peters. I believe the Bills are planning to renegotiate his contract and resolve that issue. The bottom line is on a team that needs more talent, according to Mr. Wilson himself, you don’t strip the team of some of its best talent, namely Jason Peters. Finding a blind side Pro Bowl caliber left tackle that can play for you for the next 8 years is not something to be taken lightly. Those guys don’t just show up on your doorstep. It wasn’t long ago that the team had been searching for a left tackle. Even though there are some attractive OTs in the draft this year, to me it’s not worth it because they are unknown commodities at this level.

It’s the old bird in the hand or two in the bush deal. I’ve got Peters, I know what type of player he is and with a new contract I trust he’d return to his Pro Bowl form. I’m not trading that away. I wouldn’t mind acquiring Torry Holt however, but in all likelihood he’ll be released before March 17 when he’s due a roster bonus.
3. Hey Chris,
Do you have any updates on Alvin Bowen’s knee, Aaron Schobel’s foot, and Trent Edward’s shoulder? Also want to thank you for comments on OSU TE Brandon Pettigrew.
Jeremiah (Bills fan in FL)

CB: Hopefully you saw our story this week on Alvin Bowen on the home page. He’s hopeful that he’ll be ready for OTAs in the spring. As for Schobel, how much he’ll be allowed to do come the spring remains to be seen, but not needing surgery was a big plus. Edwards shoulder is fine. Just normal soreness after a season of wear and tear.
4. Hi Chris
Longtime Bills fan, in the Air Force and stationed in Cowboys country in New Mexico
Had a couple of questions about McCargo: 
–With the loss of Kollar and hiring of Sanders as DL coach – does that improve McCargo’s chances of sticking or is Fewell or Jauron as down on McCargo as Kollar was?
–Do the Bills have medical concerns on his back that may preclude him from playing again (or was it strictly the Colts having tougher standards)?
–he has a lot of talent – is it lack of hussle or lack of football intelligence and knowing his responsibilities in the D that has some of the coaches down on him?

CB: John McCargo has been working very hard this offseason, coming into the facility at One Bills Drive almost every day to rehab the disc problem in his back. I don’t think there’s any question that Kollar and McCargo was not a good mix as far as the coach/player relationship goes.

I think Bob Sanders is a better fit for McCargo, which is why I have hope that he can still turn into a solid contributor for this team. I don’t get the sense that Perry Fewell or Dick Jauron are as down on him as some might think.

You’re right he has talent. Now he has to show it on the field on a consistent basis and he may just blossom into what the scouts believed he could be at this level from the outset.
5. Dear Chris,
1st of all keep up the blog. I think I check it around 4 times a day. 2nd I agree with the DE pick. I’ve been checking out some mock drafts and a lot have the TE going to the Bills but I see DE like you. Who are some TEs that could be available later to look at? anyone you like that is not getting talked about?

CB: Well they’ve been talked about, but I think some good second round options are Southern Miss’ Shawn Nelson and South Carolina’s Jared Cook. Both have good builds, athleticism and solid pass catching ability. They both need work on their blocking, but a weapon in the passing game is the higher priority. Wouldn’t mind seeing either of those players on this roster.

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Posted in Inside the Bills
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