Inside The Bills

Carolina OL Hangartner to visit Bills?

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2009 – 6:46 am

Carolina FA OL Geoff Hangartner is going to visit the Bills on Friday according to NFL Network’s Adam Schefter. With Brad Butler the only returning interior lineman under contract, following the release of Derrick Dockery, Buffalo has to address the guard and center position.

Hangartner served the Panthers as a backup center and guard in 2008 and has appeared in all 16 games for Carolina each of the past three years. Due to injuries last season he made eight starts. Buffalo would presumably represent a better opportunity to start as Ryan Kalil is locked in at the pivot for the Panthers.

Indy’s Jeff Saturday re-signed hours before the deadline agreeing to a three-year deal, while Baltimore FA Jason Brown is reportedly headed to St. Louis for his first FA visit.

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C Saturday open to playing for Steelers

Posted by Chris Brown on February 25, 2009 – 2:23 pm

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Colts FA C Jeff Saturday, who turns 34 in June, is open to playing for the Steelers even if it means playing guard.

Truthfully what free agent wouldn’t want to play for the Steelers right now.

Saturday is not expected to re-sign with the Colts who are not long on cap space. The Steelers are expected to have a hole at guard if FA Chris Kemoeatu makes it to free agency, which is anticipated to be the case at this point.

I think Saturday is a legitimate option for the Bills in the pivot especially if Matt Birk moves closer and closer to re-signing with the Vikings.

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Fan Friday 12-12

Posted by Chris Brown on December 12, 2008 – 6:29 pm

Fan Friday 12-12

For any questions you might have on the Bills feel free to email me at I try to answer every email I get either personally or here in my blog. Let’s get to it.

1. Hey Chris,
Saw that Dick Jauron will have Jabari Greer be the starter when he comes back from injury, instead of letting McKelvin continue to play. Is there a reason why Jauron continues to have other corners who aren’t a hundred percent play instead of starting McKelvin?  Case in point, having Terrence McGee play at Miami where he was burned by Ted Ginn Jr. for 175 yards.  Thanks.
Matt Bills fan from Michigan

CB: First of all, Jauron said when Jabari is healthy he will start. I don’t think he’ll have Jabari start unless he is 100 percent. This week for example, Jabari is not 100 percent healthy and he’s been ruled out for the game. I wouldn’t anticipate him starting over McKelvin until he’s full go.

McKelvin has shown he can handle a starting role, but that being said Jabari has had a solid season.



2. Hey Chris,

Just wondering what the chances are of Gibran getting the start for the Bills this Sunday? With the way the offensive has been running as of late (0 touchdowns in the last 2 games) what have we got to loose? Does he not at least deserve a shot?

CB: I don’t think it will happen this week. I actually asked this question of Dick Jauron when I spoke to him for Bills Digest on Thursday. If the Bills lose on Sunday and Trent is still not healthy to play he indicated that there could be a scenario in which Gibran sees time on the field. But I think the Bills have to lose big and J.P. has to play as bad as he did last week for this to possibly happen. Losman has a 111.1 passer rating in his career against the Jets. But with as bad as this offense needs a spark, I’m all for it.



3. I was wondering, why do the Bills have such a tough time against the 3-4 defenses.  It seems more like bad play calling to me personally against the Dolphins(example: the fade route to Evans in the end zone) but still we could not get our ground game going.  I think this is a serious issue for our offense because all teams in our division use it and we need to play them multiple times.  I love what Turk Schonert did with the offense, but do you see him staying in as offensive coordinator seeing as he has trouble against this kind of defense?
Thank you,

CB: I think it starts in the middle at nose tackle. All three division opponents have superior nose tackles. Kris Jenkins may be the NFL defensive MVP this year. Vince Wilfork is a man child and Jason Ferguson has played well for an aging vet. All three teams have been in the top half of the league in run defense.

Buffalo needs to acquire a center that can better handle these monstrous nose tackles, because they’re so disruptive to the run game and in pushing the pocket in the pass game. Your six most important games of the year are against these teams, so this issue has to be addressed. The problem is the free agent center class isn’t overly appealing.

Matt Birk is 32-years old and Jeff Saturday is 33. Both have also played their entire careers in Minnesota and Indy so prying them away will require overpaying. Baltimore’s Jason Brown is not a world beater and other than those two vets there aren’t many other center candidates that jump out at me.

Still I think it’s worth plugging that hole with a good veteran and hoping you can acquire a promising young center/guard type in the draft this spring. It’s a position that’s more important to Buffalo than perhaps any other team in the league because of the 3-4 prominence in their division.

Second is the 3-4 scheme is one that can better disguise blitzes causing more confusing situations up front. Making it even tougher is all three teams in the division have big OLBs (Matt Roth, Adalius Thomas, Calvin Pace) that are mismatches for backs in blitz situations and can even overpower tight ends.

Ironically, these teams didn’t have to blitz much as committing 7 and 8 to coverage was just as effective against Trent Edwards. I’d like to see the Bills spread these teams out with a total spread package most of the time. They’ve got to change something. Buffalo is 5-1 against the 4-3 and 1-6 this season against the 3-4 heading into the Jets game. Something has to be done to fix that.



4. Chris,
                Can you possibly tell me why the Bills get away from their running game when they are inside the 5 or 10 yard line?  We have an exceptional back in Lynch, who rarely gets less than 1 yard.  We, instead , choose to throw the ball.  I have watched this over and over again & simply cannot figure it out.  It was particularly frustrating to watch the interception in the end zone with the attempted pass to Evans from Losman.  Once again, a pass instead of a couple of runs?  And also, a timing pass play with our now backup QB?
                With all due respect to the coaches, can’t they see this?  We have a talented bunch of guys on this team, but the play calling does not allow them to do what they were recruited to do.

CB: I agree Lynch runs as hard as anyone in the league and hasn’t seen much action inside the 10-yard line. Buffalo had nine plays inside the 10-yard line against San Francisco and Lynch got the ball once. In the fourth quarter of the that game he had one carry. It is mind boggling.

I think with your backup QB in the game you should lean on your feature back all the more. I’d like to believe the coaches do recognize this. Whether it changes remains to be seen.



5. Chris,
Where has Melvin Fowler been? I have not heard any discussions about him being hurt. Duke has really hurt us the last couple of weeks in key situations. When is Melvin going to be back or was he benched in favor of Duke, which I would not understand !!!

CB: He has been benched in favor of Duke Preston. I thought Duke had a few good games in the middle of the season, but he’s had his share of problems. I don’t think he’ll be coming out any time soon. He’s bigger than Fowler by about 25-30 pounds and against the 3-4 fronts of the Jets and Pats coming up I anticipate he’ll stay in there. Fowler is quicker and more mobile, but had his problems holding his ground against the likes of Jenkins and Wilfork.

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