Inside The Bills

Kelsay, LB Thomas not in attendance

Posted by Chris Brown on September 2, 2009 – 3:22 pm

Chris Kelsay and LB Pat thomas were not in attendance at practice Wednesday.

We hope to get an update from Dick Jauron after practice.

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Two linebackers return

Posted by Chris Brown on August 26, 2009 – 3:33 pm

After each missing more than a week of action linebackers Pat Thomas and Ashlee Palmer are back practicing.

We’ll have an update as to just how much they do later.

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Non-participants for practice

Posted by Chris Brown on August 19, 2009 – 2:07 pm

Here’s the rundown of non-participants in addition to Florence and Owens for practice.

Matt Baker
Travis McCall
Pat Thomas
Ashlee Palmer
Corey Mace
Marcus Smith

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Owens not at preseason game

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2009 – 3:40 am

Terrell Owens along with Buffalo’s other injured players LB Ashlee Palmer and LB Pat Thomas were not in attendance at the Bills preseason game Saturday night. Head coach Dick Jauron did not require that they be on hand for the preseason contest.

“No, with Terrell we encouraged him not to be here and stay off the foot,” said Dick Jauron. “It’s doing well. We didn’t think he needed to be here. We certainly didn’t want him on the sidelines nor any of our other injured players.” 

During the regular season injured players that are inactive for the game usually watch from the press box level so as not to risk further injury should a play spill over the sideline.

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Not a whole lot at practice Friday

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

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

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

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

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Owens not at AM practice

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2009 – 3:09 pm

Terrell Owens is not at morning practice here on Friday as he continues to get treatment for his sprained toe.

Also absent is Ashlee Palmer. Not participating are Steve Johnson and Pat Thomas.

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Fan Friday 8-14

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2009 – 1:25 pm

Training camp is winding down, with three days left at St. John Fisher after today. Still some time before the regular season however. Let’s see what you’ve got for me this week.

1. Hi Chris,
Do you think one of the reasons the Bills have been reluctant to deal with the strong outside linebacker spot is because they plan on using Maybin there (as well as DE)?
Mark (State College, PA)

CB: I don’t believe that’s the main reason why, but it could be a factor. The Bills defensive staff really likes what they’re getting out of Nic Harris so far in the preseason. I believe he’ll push Keith Ellison, but ultimately experience will win out there. But Maybin I believe will be used as a rush linebacker in addition to getting snaps at defensive end. I think where he lines up will depend a lot on down and distance.


2. Hey Chris,
I was lookin at your Q&A regarding safties.  You didn’t mention Ko Simpson.  So you think he will be cut this training camp?  I think
that would be a shocker, considering he is young and his experience.  But I guess I can see, with the addition of Byrd, they may not have
the room. Do you think the Bills may look at trading him?

Shawn Sieracki
Dallas, Texas

CB: I think Ko Simpson is a bubble guy in this camp due mainly to the presence of Byrd. Though he hasn’t set foot on the practice field yet, Byrd was taken in the second round for a reason, to get on the field sooner rather than later. Buffalo did not get a single INT from their safeties last season. That has to change. Byrd had 17 INTs in college in three seasons.

If he shows any kind of promise in the preseason games he plays in and doesn’t look lost, he could be a starter before this season is over. Either way he’s a lock to make the roster.

In all likelihood the team keeps five safeties. Right now here’s my list of who I think they keep. Whitner, Scott, Wilson, Byrd and Wendling. Wilson and Wendling make it because they’re more valuable special teams players than Simpson.


3. Chris,
Nice job on the site.  How do you see the O-line situation developing…the situation at guard has been often discussed, but a couple of situations I am interested in is (1) Demetrius Bell – probably not a starter this year, but from what I saw last year it seems like he might have the athletic ability to be a LT – do you see him starting in yr 3 or 4?  Also, what do you see happening at backup center, Brandon Rodd or have somebody like Seth McKinney cover backup at guard and center?

CB: With Bell I think they see him as the heir apparent to Langston Walker, who three years left on his deal counting this season. I believe Bell is left tackle caliber. He’s certainly athletic enough. I think he’ll be the team’s swing tackle this fall.
At center Brandon Rodd has done okay as the backup. You’re right Seth McKinney does have NFL experience there, but he has not seen reps in the pivot thus far. I think he would be an option though. I don’t anticipate them putting Eric Wood in there either, despite the fact that he played there in college.


4. Hey Chris, 
I’ve noticed in most of your articles dealing about the LB position, you always mention Ellison only having two players to battle with for the starting position, Bowen and Harris. Why isn’t Pat Thomas mentioned at all? Is Thomas battling for a back up position behind Kawika or Poz? If Thomas isn’t being considered to battle with Ellison, do you see him actually making the team?
Brian Craig (Walworth, NY)

CB: Pat Thomas is battling for the backup MLB role with Marcus Buggs. It’s been a heated competition with the two of them flip flopping back and forth in the backup role behind Poz. As for Ellison his greatest competition looks like it’s going to be Harris. Bowen has been largely on the weak side in camp.


5. Hi Chris,
The battle to land a spot on the roster at corner is one that I find most intriguting on the Bills this season. How many corners do you figure will make the roster? Which ones?

CB: I think the top four or five corners are easy to determine, but do they keep a sixth is the question. McGee, McKelvin, Florence, Youboty and Corner all make the roster as I see it. Then if they decide to keep a sixth I believe it’s Ellis Lankster. Cary Harris and Lydell Sargeant probably go to the practice squad.

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Practice non-participants

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2009 – 11:32 pm

Steve Johnson, Felton Huggins, Ko Simpson, Pàt Thomas,Ashlee Palmer, Terrell Owens are all not practicing.

Xavier Omon and Ashton Youboty are doing individual position drills. We’ll see if they do more as practice wears on.

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Manalac to play MLB

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2009 – 11:01 pm

Newly signed Ryan Manalac is going to line up at MLB. And that’s due primarily to an injured Pat Thomas who is not participating in practice tonight.

From what I understand the injury is minor for Thomas.

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Pat Thomas now playing for his all-time favorite team

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2009 – 3:43 pm

Bills LB Pat Thomas was not your typically happy free agent after signing in the offseason with the Bills. He was extremely pleased to be a part of the Bills organization.

The reason why is growing up (in Miami of all places!) he was a huge Bills fan, and admitted it was a big factor in deciding to sign with Buffalo.

“This was my favorite football team when I was growing up,” said Thomas. “I’m from Miami, but I grew up a Bills fan, always did, always loved the Bills. When I had the opportunity to become a player here I thought, ‘Hey I’ve got to take it.’”

Thomas, who is battling with Marcus Buggs for the backup MLB spot behind Paul Posluszny credits his father for his loyal following of the Bills.

“My dad rooted for all the New York teams, but I gravitated to the Bills,” he said.

Thomas grew up watching the early 90’s Bills, and despite being a linebacker his favorite player was not on the defensive side of the ball.

“My all-time favorite was Thurman Thomas. When I was younger I played running back also, plus the guy had the same last name as me. I mean c’mon how could I not be a fan of that guy. He was amazing.”

Thomas is well aware that the Hall of Fame running back drops by One Bills Drive sometimes and has a local television show in the Buffalo, The Thurman Thomas Show, that airs during the season.

“I’m hoping I do get the opportunity to meet him,” said Thomas. “A lot of good memories watching that guy play.”

Amen to that.

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New backup MLB candidates behind Poz

Posted by Chris Brown on July 25, 2009 – 6:09 pm

With John DiGiorgio’s 2009 season put on the backburner for now, Buffalo will need to find a viable backup candidate to play behind Paul Posluszny.

The top two candidates right now are Marcus Buggs and free agent signee Pat Thomas.

Buggs is an aggressive player that flies all over the field and loves contact. Thomas is a veteran that has experience in the middle after playing there for Kansas City last season.

In the first practice however, Buggs was lined up with the second unit at MLB, with Thomas running with the third team. We’ll see which player makes the most of an opportunity that would all but guarantee a spot on the 53-man roster.

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Lankster and other rookies arrive

Posted by Chris Brown on July 24, 2009 – 5:01 pm

7th round pick Ellis Lankster along with a few of the undrafteds are on campus.

Undrafteds Ashlee Palmer, Jermaine McGhee and Lydell sargeant just arrived.

Vet Pat Thomas as well.

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Nelson absent; Thomas practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on June 3, 2009 – 3:10 pm

4th round pick Shawn Nelson is absent again for Wednesday’s voluntary workout. LB Pat Thomas is back practicing off injury.

Leodis McKelvin and Terrence McGee are participating in individual drills. We’ll see how extensive their participation will be.

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Fan Friday 4-24

Posted by Chris Brown on April 24, 2009 – 6:40 pm

On the eve of the draft we dispel some rumors and answer some final questions. If you had a question that did not get answered here, be sure to check the live chat we held at noon earlier today (Friday).

1. Chris, will the Bills make any overtures for Peppers??? Or would this be too much for the Bills’ to handle….or impractical??
D. Stratz

CB: Any overtures for Peppers are unrealistic for the Bills and a lot of other teams, and that includes the Patriots. The reason why is Peppers is reportedly looking for Albert Haynesworth type money. Most teams can fit that kind of contract into their budget. It’s going to be interesting to see what pans out on that front because the Panthers are really hamstrung by his situation.


2. What are your personal thoughts on Connor Barwin? Personally I like his high motor, versatility and passion for the game. Where, if at all, would Buffalo have him on the draft board?

Nick from Sodus, NY

CB: I like Barwin a lot. He’s extremely athletic and explosive. I see him as a defensive end for the Bills, though he’s probably capable of playing OLB as well on the strong side. To lead the Big East in sacks in his first year as a DE was impressive. As for where the Bills have him on their board, I don’t know, but I think he’s a safe bet to be a late first or early 2nd round pick. Bills may have a shot at him at 28.


3. Hi Chris.
With respect to your article on left guard I must say that I am still on the (Alex) Mack Truck Train! With Hangartner it would be a perfect match. If Mack isn’t ready, he could
start out at left guard. But with his smarts and low center of gravity, he might just start out as starting center. Now, how do we draft him? Well, we could take a TE with #11, or a pass rusher, and trade up to get Mack at the end of the first round. Or we could trade down in the first round. What is your take?

CB: Now armed with the 28th pick, Mack is a much more realistic possibility. Down there the Bills should be able to get the best interior linemen in the draft if they wanted. My feeling however, is that if they do get a pass rusher up at 11, they’re more likely to take a tackle at 28 (Eben Britton?) to fill the void left by Jason Peters. That way they could transition Demetrius Bell or Kirk Chambers inside at left guard.


4. Hello Chris,
Hope all is well!  Thanks for the in of this offseason so far!  Where do you think Pat Thomas fits in?  Seemed like an under the radar visit and signing.  I hope he is not looked at as a starter.
Also, how is Alvin Bowen doing?  Has he bulked up?  I saw he is listed at 222 lbs, would he maybe be better suited at SS.  Seems like he is built like Kerry Rhodes. 
Just wondering.
Greg Grzymala

CB: Pat Thomas is a reserve linebacker as I see it. I believe the Bills will look to fortify the SLB position in the draft this weekend. Thomas could help as a backup on the strong side or in the middle.

As for Alvin Bowen his rehab is going very well. He may be on the field for OTAs in mid-May. He’s added bulk to his frame and he’s a linebacker all the way.
5. Chris,
With Jason Peters traded, what are your thoughts of Demetrius Bell being groomed as his replacement at Left Tackle? Is there a decent chance of it? For some reason, I think he could turn out to be a better option for us than if we drafted say, Oher.
– Jeff

CB: I think the Bills are hopeful that Bell develops into a LT prospect. I don’t know if he’s there yet, but he has the potential and could be playing over there in a year or two if things go right. Right now I see Langston Walker as the LT, with either Bell, Kirk Chambers or a high draft pick on the right side. Oher I believe is an option though at 11.

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