Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 3-22

Posted by Chris Brown on March 22, 2013 – 12:02 pm

Here’s the latest edition of Fan Friday questions and answers from and @ChrisBrownBills. Just over a month until the draft.

1 – Hi Chris……

Why is it that teams are so afraid to trade a first round pick, or pay the first round tender for a star player?

An example that comes to mind is Victor Cruz. Word is that the Giants are going to place a first round tender on him if any team sign him. Is a player of that caliber not worth a first rounder? There are so many first round picks that don’t pan out, especially in Buffalo, I would think that trading for a proven producer would make sense, especially for a position of need that would be addressed in the draft.

L. Briggs

CB: The Giants front office did say that they actually anticipated there might be an offer sheet from a team or two for Cruz. Obviously teams with lower first-round picks might be more apt to do so than a team with a pick in the top half of round one.

His production is proven, but if you’re a team with a lot of needs at other positions, or you’re a team that doesn’t have a quarterback the caliber of Eli Manning you won’t get the same production out of Cruz thereby decreasing his value.

2 – Hey Chris,

The 3 spots that we expect to see the Bills targeting are LB WR and QB with that being said is there any way that the Bills could try to knock out either 1 or 2 of the needs in the FA period? If they could do that, that would allow them to go with the best player available approach and could wait to get a QB till round 2 or 3. 

Thanks Chris,
Josh, Syracuse NY

CB: They’ve addressed OLB with Manny Lawson as everyone knows, but an ILB is still an option along with WR and QB. Buddy Nix has said he thinks the WR position in the draft is deep, which leads me to believe that a WR won’t be added until the draft. Tight end is another position to be addressed so that too has to be targeted. The pickings have gotten slimmer in free agency. I think there is still good value at LB in free agency so I’d anticipate an ILB to be pursued and possibly a TE prior to the draft.


3 – Chris,

Much like you, I strongly believe that teams need to win games upfront on both side of the ball.   With that in mind I am throwing out this prediction as Nix seems to be somewhat predictable:

He will draft Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson at 8, then trade up and take a QB (Tyler Wilson?)

Just wondering your thoughts….

I prefer taking the meat and potatoes players because you can win with less than stellar QB play that way.    It seems like the Bills over the years are too worried about their skill position players (drafting a lot of 1st round RB’s, reaching for Graham, signing TO, etc)

CB: I would be surprised if they go with Patterson at 8. I think with the depth at wide receiver in this draft and the best value at that position being in rounds 2-4 Nix won’t go with a one-year wonder in round one. He typically prefers players with more of a college resume.

I see the Bills going for a receiver somewhere between rounds 2-4. Quarterback will be round 1 or 2. Trading down from eight I think is a realistic possibility to get better value at QB and there are teams I believe that will want to get up in the top 10 to take one of the top end offensive or defensive linemen there.

Trading back into the bottom of round one I believe is a harder ask because Buffalo wants to hold onto their picks only having six right now not parting with picks to move up.


4 – Chris,

What about some of our lesser talked about free agents like Kyle Moore? What’s the likelihood he gets signed to a longer deal with the Bills in the next couple of weeks? I feel like he’s a younger, raw type of athlete that can refine his game to be a decent contributor to the Defense… or at least a replacement for Kelsay. The Bills already have some veteran proven pass rushers on the defense, but I feel they could use a young guy with some upside… for the right price.   

Nate in Rochester
PS- Go Bills

CB: It’s difficult to say exactly how the front office feels about Moore. I’m not sure he’s a fit for a multiple front defense because he’s primarily a 4-3 end in terms of his fit. He’s not an OLB in a 3-4 and I don’t know that he has the bulk to line up as a five technique in a 3-4.

Bills GM Buddy Nix did speak to the Toronto Sun about Moore and he said the following.

“We have things we have to do, and things we have to plan to do to keep our own guys, which we will have some, that in the summer we’ll try to get done before the season, or early in the season. And we have to keep those things in mind.”

I don’t know what you take from that comment, but it doesn’t sound to me like the draft is the main focus right now along with filling other positional holes. I’d be surprised if something with Moore happened before then.

5 – Chris,
I am hearing at the combine many head coaches say that they reach out to the players college coaches as part of the evaluation process. Is coach Marrone and OC Hackett being interviewed about former Syracuse players? What if Nassib or another SU player is on the Bills radar? As the former college coach, is Marrone obligated to take the call?
Kevin from Cheektowaga

CB: I did a story on that very predicament that coach Marrone found himself in because he was getting peppered with questions about his Syracuse players by the friends he had in the NFL coaching ranks. Here’s the story on that very subject and how coach Marrone chose to handle it.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gailey encouraged about Kelsay

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2012 – 4:21 pm

Bills DE Chris Kelsay returned to practice on Monday after being almost two weeks with a neck injury, and though he only participated in individual drills, head coach Chan Gailey believes the veteran defensive end has a good shot to play Sunday in Indianapolis.

“Kelsay went through individual but didn’t do any team,” said Gailey after Monday’s practice. “It looked like it went well and we’ll find out what he can do Wednesday, but it looked promising.”

Gailey said if Kelsay comes through the week well and does dress to play Sunday that he’ll likely be eased back in and not given his typical snap count.

“We’ll have to wait and see how that works,” Gailey said. “Kelsay has been out a couple or three weeks now. I don’t know that we’ll throw him back in there full boat. We’ll have to talk about what the best way to handle all that will be.”

Kyle Moore and Shawne Merriman have seen the most work at right defensive end in Kelsay and Mark Anderson’s absence.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Moore in top 10 for pass rush productivity

Posted by Chris Brown on November 15, 2012 – 2:19 pm

It might sound surprising knowing Kyle Moore only began to get significant playing time after Mark Anderson went down with a knee injury five weeks ago, but based on a per snap basis, the stat crunchers and film reviewers at Pro Football Focus have Kyle Moore as a top 10 player when it comes to pass rush productivity.

Moore currently ranks ninth in the league in pass rush productivity among outside pass rushers. PFF made a separate listing of interior pass rushers. Here’s the top 10.

Rank Name Team Pass Rush Snaps Total Pressure PRP
1 Von Miller DEN 260 51 15.7
2  Justin Houston KC 155 30 15.6
3  Charles Johnson CAR 267 47 14.1
4  Cameron Wake MIA 339 56 13.2
5  DeMarcus Ware DAL 233 37 13.1
6  Lamarr Woodley PIT 138 22 12.5
7  Chris Long SL 304 48 12.3
8  Bruce Irvin SEA 189 27 11.9
9  Kyle Moore BUF 100 15 11.8
10  Clay Matthews GB 291 42 11.7

PFF calculates pass rush productivity by adding up sacks, hits and hurries (with hits and hurries worth three quarters of sacks) then they divide that figure by the number of pass rushes, multiply by 100 and that’s the PRP rating.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Spence to fill dual role?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 11, 2012 – 9:20 am

One of Spencer Johnson’s greatest attributes is his versatility as he’s able to play both defensive tackle and defensive end in Buffalo’s 4-3. With Chris Kelsay questionable and Shawne Merriman not 100 percent healthy, Johnson could be called upon to spend more time at defensive end against the Patriots today.

“The ace in the hole for us is Spencer Johnson,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “He’s been able to play defensive end. He played it last year. He can go out there and play there if we need him to. That’s kind of our ace in the hole for the defensive line and defensive end position specifically.”

If Kelsay can’t play, Buffalo would only have three defensive ends in Kyle Moore, Shawne Merriman and Mario Williams. Johnson would give them a fourth option to rotate.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Merriman questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on November 9, 2012 – 1:38 pm

Bills DE Shawne Merriman was listed as questionable for this Sunday’s game at New England after sustaining a chest injury in practice Thursday. Head coach Chan Gailey provided an update.

Gailey however, made it sound as though he’d be ready to play Sunday.

“He just got hit in practice,” said Gailey. “He got treatment so you’ve got to put him on the report. He was okay. He did most things at practice (Friday).”

Merriman may have to carry more of the load at defensive end along with Kyle Moore if Chris Kelsay can’t play Sunday after sustaining a neck injury in practice Thursday. Kelsay is listed as questionable as well.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Not looking good for Anderson

Posted by Chris Brown on October 31, 2012 – 1:34 pm

There was an outside chance that DE Mark Anderson might be ready to return for this week’s game against Houston, but at this point it does not look promising.

Head coach Chan Gailey said earlier in the week that if Anderson could get out on the practice field Thursday he’d have a legitimate chance to play Sunday in Houston. However, Gailey did not sound optimistic that Anderson would make it out for Thursday’s practice.

“Tomorrow will be the day and it’s looking less and less likely,” Gailey said.

Chris Kelsay and Kyle Moore have seen most of the reps that would normally go to Anderson during the past two games that Anderson has missed.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Moore showing well

Posted by Chris Brown on October 30, 2012 – 9:08 am

Kyle Moore has received more playing time the last two games with Mark Anderson out of the lineup with a knee injury. Against Arizona and Tennessee the rotational end has fared well.

Moore got 32 snaps against Arizona and logged a quarterback hit and six hurries according to Pro Football Focus. Then this past game against Tennessee, Moore got 22 snaps and had a QB hit and three hurries.

“Kyle has played well when he’s come in,” said Kyle Williams. “He’s gotten some pressure for us and done some good things. He’s one of the guys that when you look at it, he’s playing fast. When you play fast you tend to be around the ball, you tend to make plays and that’s what he’s been doing.” 

“I’m just starting to get the hang of things, starting to get more reps and just really gotta go out there and execute the amount of reps I get,” said Moore.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario: Anderson a sizable void

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2012 – 6:52 pm

Having lost Mark Anderson indefinitely to a knee injury that required surgery Wednesday, fellow DE Mario Williams believes it won’t be easy to replace his presence in the lineup.

“It is going to be a huge challenge,” said Williams. “Mark is a great player. Having him, his intensity, and his demeanor out on the field is definitely going to be a (challenge) for us. We have to be able to pick it up. Not just us needing to do it for ourselves, but to fill in his place and the injuries we have been faced with. Go out and play better.”

Kyle Moore is expected to be the main means of filling the pass rushing void.

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3 man race for 4th DE spot

Posted by Chris Brown on August 25, 2012 – 9:41 am

It’s a virtual dead heat for the fourth and likely final defensive end spot on Buffalo’s 53-man roster, and tonight’s game could tip things in favor of one of those players in the race.

“They’re all right in the mix,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “Gilbert is the one that made it a three-man race.”

Prior to Gilbert kicking outside to defensive end just over a week ago, Eddins and Moore were the primary candidates to land the fourth defensive end role. But Gilbert, who was playing defensive tackle didn’t look like a great fit inside. So defensive line coach Giff Smith moved him out to end where he played most of his college career, helping him earn WAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors at San Jose State.

“I guess end feels a little more natural,” Gilbert admitted. “I played it mostly through college and a little bit my rookie year. Both of them I feel comfortable with right now. I know all the plays in the base positions. We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I get a lot of snaps and get a chance to prove myself out there. We’ll see how it is on Saturday.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

John Murphy show lineup

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 21, 2012 – 6:11 pm

Here’s the lineup for the John Murphy Show tonight:

720pm-Bills Safety Jairus Byrd

8pm-Former Bills Safety Matt Bowen, now a columnist for the National Football Post.  We’ll get his comments on NFL topics including all the rookie QBs, Tim Tebow as the Jets Wildcat QB, and we’ll take your phone calls on the Bills and NFL issues

820pm-Bills DE Kyle Moore.  He’s got a real chance to play now, with Shawne Merriman released yesterday.

As always, your phone calls, tweets, and text messages are welcome.  We’re on the air at 7pm with The John Murphy Show on the flagship station of the Buffalo Bills–WGR Sports Radio 550.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Chan on DE Moore

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2012 – 10:12 am

Last week asked Chan Gailey for his thoughts on Kyle Moore thus far this preseason, as he had not only been getting regular reps with the second unit on defense, but was sprinkled in with the first team as well.

“He’s done a good job,” said Gailey last week. “He’s got to learn to play every aspect of the game. That’s his thing right now. Kyle can rush the passer. We’ve got to make sure everything else is in sync with the rest of our football team.”

Moore is the new odds on favorite to be the team’s fourth defensive end behind Mario Williams, Mark Anderson and Chris Kelsay following the release of Shawne Merriman Monday.

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Moore the beneficiary w/Merriman release

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2012 – 9:59 am

With the Bills releasing veteran Shawne Merriman Monday, the door swings open even wider for DE Kyle Moore.

Moore had already been getting more reps in the practice setting than Merriman with the second unit on defense, but it did not finally carry into game action until Friday night’s preseason game. He’s had his moments as a pass rusher, but is still rounding his game into form with respect to defending the run.

The fourth-year pass rusher appeared in four games for the Bills last year and ironically was elevated from the practice squad to the active roster after Merriman was placed on injured reserve.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-30

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2011 – 1:14 pm

Happy New Year Bills fans! As always I’ll be on the live blog here on during the Bills-Pats season finale, so join me during the game for observations, questions and comments. We’re up right before kickoff. Now to your questions from

1 – Chris,

I would like your thoughts on some of these concerns I find to be “holding” Buffalo back if you will. 

Second, with Dareus providing a nice push in the middle of the line, could that help sway our current 3-4 back to the 4-3? Our run “D” is still stale, and with the likes of Williams and Dareus in the middle, teams would very much struggle to establish an effective running attack on us.

Thanks again for all you do for the BILLS!!!!!! 
Dan, FL 

CB: I wouldn’t be surprised if it were up for debate this offseason by the coaching staff. The thought of Williams and Dareus alongside one another in a 4-3 front is intriguing. Of course without a proven pass rushing right defensive end on the roster it’s a hole that would absolutely need to be filled to pull it off.

I also think figuring out the linebacker situation would be next. Nick Barnett is more of a 3-4 inside linebacker, but in a 4-3 he’d presumably have to be outside (probably weak side) at 230 pounds. Problem there is if Merriman makes a successful return and from what I know the odds of that are better than most believe, then you take a strong run defender out of the equation there no matter who you sit down. Sheppard would likely be the MLB in that front and the strong side would again be a position to be filled, though Moats would at least have the size to play there at 252 pounds.

Buddy Nix said two years ago that you don’t want to be flipping back and forth. You want to commit to something eventually, and he indicated committing to the 3-4 was the plan. Plans can obviously change, but they’ve drafted the past two years with the 3-4 in mind. We’ll have to see if any of that changes moving forward.


2 – Hi Chris,

Thanks for taking our questions.

Since Spiller has been starting, I don’t understand why we give up on the run game so early. A good example would be the Miami game. Spiller had about 90 yards on only 12 carries. Early on in the game he had about 50 yards including 2 carries where he gained about 40 yards and scored  a TD. The Bills seem to give up on running the ball when the game was still in play, but after passing took over we had 3 INT’s and another Loss. I realize when you get way behind you need to go to the passing game but the Bills give up on the run way too early. What do you think?

Bob Hammond
Rochester, NY

CB: Chan has been asked about this more than once by the media and I think the answer is simple. Coach Gailey told me earlier in the year they’re a team that uses the pass to set up the run. Their most popular formation is the 4-by-1 set (4 WRs, 1 RB) though they’ve worked in more two tight end sets in the second half of the season.

That is what their identity is so when they fall behind by more than a touchdown on the scoreboard they have no qualms about airing it out.

I’m in favor of seeing more run game knowing how successful the O-line has been this year in opening holes for the backs this season. Combine that with the fact that Jackson was almost unstoppable this season and the emergence of C.J. down the stretch and you wonder if there might be some consideration for a change in offensive philosophy in 2012 though I wouldn’t count on it. I get the sense that the Gailey and his offensive staff feel the run game is so successful because the passing game sets it up. In talking to Gailey he seems to feel if they just get the passing game a bit more consistent they’ll really be rolling, much like they were early in the year.


3 – Chris,

Hi, thanks for keeping us all updated on everything Bills.  My question isn’t Bills related but just a general football question.  Why do they keep the stat of Yards Per Attempt instead of Yards Per Completion? 

Jimmy in Hamburg

CB: They do keep that statistic, it’s just not commonly listed on most quarterback stat lines. Here is the list of the top 10 QBs for yards per completion through Week 16 (prior to this weekend’s games).

1 – Matt Schaub – 13.93
2 – Tim Tebow – 13.91
3 – Eli Manning – 13.69
4 – Carson Palmer – 13.66
5 – Aaron Rodgers – 13.54
6 – Kevin Kolb – 13.39
7 – Cam Newton – 13.2
8 – Michael Vick – 12.96
9 – Tom Brady – 12.96
10 – Ben Roethlisberger – 12.81

For the record Fitz ranks 30th at 10.88 per completion, but because this is commonly not a statistic relied upon to determine QB effectiveness you often do not see it listed. An example of how it’s not an accurate factor in determining QB play is the fact that Drew Brees ranks 24th in this category.


4 – Chris, 

With the season winding down, will the Gailey put some of the untested players in as trial to see what they can do. Most of the drafted rookies have played well, but Aiken hasn’t seen any targets at WR. The team picked up Sam Young but he has been inactive most games. In terms of pass rush, Eddins looks fantastic in the preseason and with the release of Coleman, could he be elevated and given a chance? Same goes with Kyle Moore. Most Bills fans would like to see Jasper but he might still be raw.  

Josh – Los Angeles 
CB: As you probably saw this week, Mike Jasper was elevated to the active roster. I think if he sees time on the field it will probably be in goal line or field goal barring an injury at the guard position. Kamar Aiken could possibly see time with Brad Smith not expected to play this week, but Derek Hagan has been getting more reps of late.

Robert Eddins is still on the practice squad and unless there’s an injury at tackle I don’t anticipate seeing Sam Young either. Kyle Moore did get a lot more playing time last week.


5 – Chris

The team has made some interesting moves onto the roster and practice squad in the last few weeks. They’ve added several TE, a 3-4 DE and waived Coleman.

What do you think is the driving factor for Whaley & Nix behind these moves?  Are these driven by injuries/current needs or do you see these guys as players they want for next year?  If so – when do the contracts expire for these recent additions (will they be F/A this offseason)?

The DE move and waiving Coleman seemed odd – given we seem to have plenty of DL and no pass rushing OLB.  Are there no 3-4 OLB prospects on other team’s practice squads (like Pitt or GB)? 

Tim from Syracuse
CB: I think at this stage of the game the Bills are probably taking a look see at some players they had interest in and want to see what they can do in live games. I believe that was the motivation behind Kyle Moore getting more time on the field this past week. Most of the others have been precipitated by injury.

Most of the contracts of the recent additions expire after this season. However, a few of them are exclusive rights free agents, which make it rather easy for the Bills to re-sign them if they so choose. Some of the younger players can also be re-signed as future free agents, which is done in January to retain those player rights and add them to their offseason roster.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

A couple of roles for Moore

Posted by Chris Brown on November 16, 2011 – 12:55 pm

Buffalo’s newest DL Kyle Moore is not going to be exclusively a defensive lineman for the Bills.

Head coach Chan Gailey when asked if Moore might line up at outside linebacker or even defensive tackle in passing situations said yes to both positions.

“We’re playing the hybrid thing right now so he is going to be both,” said Gailey. “What we think he brings to us is he can run and he can be a special teams player and we think he can rush the passer from the outside. As soon as we get him incorporated into the system and watch him in practice for a couple of weeks we’ll see what he can bring to the team.”

Moore has been exclusively a defensive end in his NFL career with 4-3 defensive clubs Tampa Bay and Detroit.

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Posted in Inside the Bills
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