Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 6-17

Posted by Chris Brown on June 17, 2016 – 11:36 am

Spring practices have come to a close. Just six weeks until training camp. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Has Dez Lewis secured a place on the roster? And does he have any exp of kick/punt returning? #bills

Dave G@freshie1975

CB: We will have a feature story on Dez Lewis this Monday on how he has advanced his game entering his second season. I think if Lewis continues on his current path he will undoubtedly be on the 53-man roster. But what he did in the spring has to continue in training camp when the pads go on, especially for a 6-4 receiver like Lewis. In fact Lewis’ game should go up another notch knowing how he can assert his physicality on the field. Hopefully that proves to be the case. As I wrote today in ‘What we learned about the Bills in offseason practices’ he has the inside track on the No. 3 receiver role.

His punt/kick return experience is minimal. He had just two punt returns in college and no kick returns.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills how serious is Karlos’s weight issue. Have Gilislee and J Williams over taken him in terms of a roster spot#bills

Dave G@freshie1975

CB: There is no debating that Karlos has a formidable task in front of him. He has so much weight to lose that Rex Ryan said this week that getting him back to his playing weight by the start of training camp might be too much in too short a period of time.

His weight loss has to come in stages. So in late July when players report it’s unlikely that Williams will be at his playing weight of 230 pounds. Depending on what his report weight is Williams practice regimen could be limited to avoid the risk of injury. When you’re carrying excess weight, especially at a position like running back you’re risk of injury increases significantly, with hamstrings being the most susceptible to problems.

So I would expect a similar approach early in camp with Williams where he’s doing individual position drill work and then going to the side to work with the strength and conditioning staff to continue to shed weight.

As for the running back pecking order, it’s clear that the offensive staff is high on Jonathan Williams. In minicamp with LeSean McCoy’s ankle injury keeping him out of team work and Karlos Williams weight keeping him out of team work, Jonathan Williams was first in the rotation at the position followed by Mike Gillislee.

Jonathan Williams has a lot of the same physical skills of Karlos Williams. If Karlos Williams’ weight loss process last into the preseason I think it’s very possible that Jonathan Williams is your backup running back and Gillislee remains the third back as he was last season.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you think Kyle Williams will be more effective in a shared rotational role with Adolphus Washington?

i carn’t spel@NickTheCrowe

CB: I believe that Kyle Williams will still be a starter on this defensive line in 2016. Will he play as many snaps as Marcell Dareus or Adolphus Washington? Probably not. But I expect him to start at right defensive end next to Dareus and kick inside at times on obvious passing downs. Washington will man left defensive end with Dareus on the nose.

It’s my belief that Williams is still a very effective and productive player even at 33-years old. I suppose we won’t know for sure until we see how he looks in training camp in return from a bad knee injury that required surgery. But most seem to forget this guy is a four-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman. He’s a grinder. So I don’t see a rotational role for him unless that knee injury robbed him of his trademark explosiveness off the snap.

 

4 – Chris,

Does it concern you that Rex is simplifying his scheme to appease his players?  It concerns me that we won’t be running the same system that has such a long track record of success, because players aren’t smart enough to pick it up.  How did the Jets defense pick it up in the first year, but here we are in year two in Buffalo and they have to simplify the checks.  Not very encouraging.  Maybe this team needs to put a greater premium on intelligence, like Belichick does; you have to be a college graduate to be a Patriot.

Mike S.

CB: After talking to Preston Brown about that very thing I’m not concerned. I asked Brown directly as to whether the defensive scheme has been pared down. He said the only part of the defense that has been “altered slightly” (his words) is there aren’t quite as many pre-snap checks on certain down and distances. Otherwise Ryan’s defensive scheme is largely the same.

The key difference this year is Ryan is no longer blending elements of the old Jim Schwartz scheme from 2014. Rex tried to blend elements of Schwartz’s successful scheme in 2014 with his own as an olive branch to the defensive players who were successful and productive in that system. By midseason he knew it was a mistake.

So going into this season it’s Ryan’s more traditional 3-4 system that has a proven track record in this league for 15-plus years. What’s more the players have completely committed themselves to learning the scheme. So I would not be concerned about the effectiveness of Rex’s scheme. I think it will work with a lot more success this season for the reasons mentioned above.

 

5 – Dear Chris:

Thank you for all of your coverage that you do on the Bills day after day, hope you continue the game day chat box, very helpful.

My question is regarding Shaq Lawson; is there a timetable for his return as of yet? What for surgery/operation was done on his shoulder? Could he potentially miss the start of the regular season and most of training camp, as reports I have read so far have indicated, or could he potentially rehab his heart out in time to make the end of training camp, as shoulder injuries can take time to heal. This is very much concerning me as I have not much info on how long it could be until he gets back to full health.

Sincerely
John from Pennsylvania

CB: I think the most important thing is that Shaq’s surgery was successful. Now the rehab process begins, but rehabbing from this procedure is going to take time, typically four months or more knowing each case is different. So I believe it’s likely that Lawson misses training camp and the preseason. The team has stated he’s also likely to miss the early stages of the regular season.

What benefits the Bills coaching staff is they have time to adjust their plans for the loss of Lawson from their defensive lineup. It’s reasonable to believe he’ll be good to go for at least the second half of the season. At what point in the first half of the season he returns is a timetable that can’t be pinned down until he’s further along in the rehab process.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Update on Sammy, Henderson, Shaq

Posted by Chris Brown on June 14, 2016 – 3:55 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan provided an update on the rehab status of three players who won’t take part in mandatory minicamp. Sammy Watkins is coming off foot surgery, Shaq Lawson had shoulder surgery and Seantrel Henderson is coming off a pair of surgeries for his medical condition. Here’s where they stand.

“We’ll start with Sammy-he’s out of the boot and that’s good,” said Ryan. “He’s in here all the time. Every time you turn around there he is. He is working his tail off to get out there. Same thing with Shaq.  Seantrel’s is different-it wasn’t an injury, it’s a medical deal. We’ll see how it is. I can tell you this-he wants to get back on the field in the worst way and we’re all pulling for him.”

Watkins is not expected to do anything at the outset of training camp. Lawson probably won’t participate in training camp either. Henderson’s status doesn’t really have a timetable as the offensive tackle works to put weight back on his frame and get stronger.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dareus keeping rookies focused on ‘D’

Posted by Chris Brown on June 8, 2016 – 4:38 pm

Marcell Dareus has never been one to shy away from speaking up. Though he more often chooses to lead by example, he knows that with a pair of rookies likely to start on his side of the ball in Adolphus Washington and Reggie Ragland that they’ve got to be reminded that they shouldn’t assume they’ll end up with those roles come September.

“We talk to the guys all the time about extra film, knowing what you need to do,” Dareus said. “If you don’t know what you need to do you won’t be on the side of me. I don’t want to hurt myself and I want to do the best I can for the team. I want to be around. If you’re making mistakes you may hurt me on one of yours. So I talked to the guys about how important it is to stay in the playbook. Know what you need to do. Know your technique and be the best you can be. Be a pro.”

When Shaq Lawson returns from shoulder surgery he too is expected to enter the starting lineup on defense. Sixth-round pick Kevon Seymour could also see some time on defense as a rookie based on his encouraging play this spring.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Shaq misses being on the field

Posted by Chris Brown on June 6, 2016 – 4:23 pm

Bills first-round pick Shaq Lawson, who signed his rookie contract Monday, is in the early stages of rehab from shoulder surgery. And he already is not a fan of being sidelined.

“I miss it a lot,” Lawson told Buffalobills.com of not being on the practice field. “I think about it every moment. I miss being out there with those guys and getting better every day. It’s driving me to make my rehab much stronger and get better and get back out there as soon as possible.”

As for how his rehab is progressing, Lawson is encouraged.

“It’s going great,” he said. “I’m just taking it a day at a time—rehabbing. Our staff, the great training staff, they’ve got me doing great rehab on everything.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Vet Lawson likes rookie Lawson’s approach

Posted by Chris Brown on June 3, 2016 – 1:49 pm

They’ve only been together in position meetings for a couple of weeks, but 11-year vet Manny Lawson got a good first impression from rookie Shaq Lawson.

“I expect big things from him,” said Lawson of Buffalo’s top draft choice in a recent appearance on the John Murphy Show. “I like his mindset, he’s eager to come in and work. Even when we first met he was asking me questions and how I’ve remained in the league so long and things that he can do to better himself. So I expect big things out of him.”

As for what Manny told Shaq in terms of having career longevity in the NFL, the message was simple.

“Do what you’re told and know what your job is,” said Lawson. “Nothing is really given to you in this league. You have to understand that you have to work for everything, otherwise you can be removed rather easily.”

The two players who share the same surname not only play the same position, but both were also first round draft choices.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Lawson not offended by drafting of Lawson

Posted by Chris Brown on June 1, 2016 – 3:02 pm

Bills top draft choice Shaq Lawson is probably out until the team is a few weeks into the regular season following his recent shoulder surgery. But when he returns he’s expected to make an impact. He’s also likely to eat into Manny Lawson’s time on the field. The veteran Lawson however, isn’t bothered by the presence of a talented rookie like his namesake.

“I don’t take any offense, but it is competition,” said Lawson. “Everything out here is competition, no job is guaranteed. Every team wants to be the best and have the best players out there. And when you draft a guy that high you expect him to come out here and play. So all it is, is more incentive that has already been here step up and more incentive for him to earn a spot.”

Even if the rookie Lawson was healthy, head coach Rex Ryan indicated that Manny Lawson would still have a significant role in Buffalo’s defense.

“Manny was always going to have a big role for us,” said Ryan. “Albeit as a super sub, a sixth man if you will because he can back up all four linebacker spots.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Shaq and Reggie previously knew each other

Posted by Chris Brown on May 6, 2016 – 4:20 pm

Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland both acknowledged they knew each other prior to arriving at One Bills Drive for rookie minicamp.

“Reggie and I were already close friends,” said Lawson. “We met a while ago. We met at the Nagurski award banquet. We were both finalists for the Nagurski award so we met then. We’ve been friends since the college all-star games so we had a great relationship even before we got on the same team.”

“Yeah, it’s kind of like four flats on a Cadillac,” said Ragland smiling. “No, I got really close to Shaq through the process. At first, I thought he’s crazy, heard a couple stories of him, but for the most part, I got to know him and he’s a really good guy and he’s a great friend of mine. So, I’m glad to be here with him and he’s one of the players I wanted to play with if I had a chance to during the process.”

When asked why Ragland said his offensive teammates at Alabama were really impressed with his playing ability.

“He’s a good player no doubt. When we were getting ready to play him for the national championship all my teammates were talking about what a good player he was,” said Ragland. “Then to meet him as a person he’s has a great personality. He likes to crack around and joke just like I do, so that’s what drew me to him.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-6

Posted by Chris Brown on May 6, 2016 – 11:33 am

Time for post-draft analysis. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills with the drafting of Williams, can all 4 make the team? Or is he fighting Gillislee for a single spot?

Parasauralophus @lophus89

CB: I think all four could absolutely make the roster. I think Jonathan Williams is going to open some eyes very quickly at training camp. Talented kid with great feet for a downhill back.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills What Undrafted Free Agents do you see having the best chance of cracking the 53 man roster? Matt from England #Bills

Matt Swain @MSwain86

CB: I like LB Erik Striker’s athletic ability on the whole. Even though he’s making a position switch I think Rex and Rob Ryan find a way to find a role for him. Plus I think he can be a demon on special teams. I think G Jamison Lalk’s versatility could really help him. He’s played OT, G and C in his college career. I also like NT Justin Zimmer’s short area quickness, but we’ll see.

 

3 – Chris,

Thanks for all your efforts in keeping us diehard fans up to date.   My question is, with the issues Dan Carpenter had last year in missed extra points and field goals, do you foresee any change? It would be nice to have a player fill both roles for kick offs and field goals, extra points. Kickoffs surely are an important factor in keeping an opponent backed up and a whole field in front of them. But missing an extra point changes future decisions and you are usually down a point instead of tied.

Thanks for your insight.
Gary in Indianapolis

CB: While I understand your frustration with the extra point issues Carpenter had last year, if you look at his NFL track record I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills look at his 2015 season as an aberration. Now that being said the coaching staff isn’t turning a blind eye to what ailed Carpenter last season. Hopefully those days are behind him, but they did bring in an undrafted rookie free agent kicker in Georgia’s Marshall Morgan as competition.

We profiled Morgan’s college career earlier this week.

 

4 – Chris,
How do you feel about the Bills 1st round pick considering who was available? Nkemdiche for example. I feel like it was a bit of a homer pick considering Rex wore a Clemson helmet to a press conference. Do you think he was on the top of our board or was Rex being Rex?

Great work as always Chris!
Thanks!

GaynorGuarantee

CB: Having the privilege of being in the draft room I can assure you he was the top player available for them. As I covered in my Inside the Draft Room feature, the Bills thought he’d be gone in the first dozen picks. That’s how high they had him graded.

The Bills and just about every other team doesn’t let personal attachments affect draft grades. There’s too much investment involved to let that play a factor.


5 –
@ChrisBrownBills Thoughts on Slauson? Does he leave town? Lots of connections to Rex/Kromer. Can play across the line other than LT

Mavin @BillsFanNY

CB: I think the Bills would like to add him and they do have one open roster spot at this point. The money saved by signing Cordy Glenn to his big extension helps make that a greater possibility. Have to see what Slauson is willing to accept if he likes what his role would be, which at this point would be a backup. Not certain he’s ready to accept such a role.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills front 7 haul has 2 Players of the Yr.

Posted by Chris Brown on April 29, 2016 – 8:13 pm

The Buffalo Bills in two rounds have acquired two very accomplished players for their defense. Bills GM Doug Whaley was quick to outline their credentials as he approached the lectern following the pick of Reggie Ragland in round two.

“Well we started the draft with the ACC Player of the Year, so we decided to back it up with the SEC Defensive Player of the Year,” said Whaley. “We made a concerted effort to improve the defense and I think we did it. It’s that carbon copy phrase, best player on the board. We would’ve taken this guy at 19. That’s how high he was on our board.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

How Shaq provided assurance on his shoulder

Posted by Chris Brown on April 29, 2016 – 5:29 pm

There was one team, one team out of the 32 NFL clubs who flagged Shaq Lawson’s shoulder as a potential problem. It forced Lawson to return to Indianapolis for the combine medical re-check on April 15th, even though 31 other clubs had passed him.

All the other teams looked at his shoulder again in mid-April, but the consensus was he was good to go.

“At the time when I went to the Combine one team that had flagged me was Jacksonville, they had flagged me, everybody else had passed me,” Lawson said. “And when I went back to the re-check a lot of teams said my range of motion was great. Everything was great, I had improved.”

Lawson also went a step further to demonstrate the level of strength he had in the shoulder that was being re-checked. After not benching at the combine or his pro day he did so on video.

“I sent the video out Monday to all 32 teams of my bench press, and the whole full show of the workout,” said Lawson.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-29

Posted by Chris Brown on April 29, 2016 – 5:15 pm

Day two of the NFL draft. Right now the Bills hold the 49th and 80th picks. What do they do tonight? Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Hey Chris, who do you expect with be their at pick 49?

ryan marx 

CB: I think it’s hard to know what’s going to be left if the Bills stay put at 49 overall. If the value on defense keeps getting pushed down they could go on that side of the ball again. Players like Myles Jack, Reggie Ragland and Jarran Reed all figure to go early tonight in round two. But there’s still good talent after that like Kevin Dodd, A’Shawn Robinson and Kamalei Correa. On offense you’ve got Connor Cook, but he’ll probably go in the top two picks tonight.

I took a look at the best talent that’s on the board that might be a good fit for the Bills.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills any chance bills trade up to select a top remaining linebacker?

Zach @ZWinterberg

CB: I don’t think you can rule anything out with Doug Whaley at the wheel. He’s not afraid to make a deal if it makes sense for the team. Based on the old trade value chart the Bills would have to give up a third-round pick to get up to the top of round two tonight from their current spot at 49.

There’s also going to be competition to move up that high with reports that Dallas wants to get up there, probably to take a shot at Connor Cook. Myles Jack and Reggie Ragland would be great for Buffalo, but the price to go to the top of round two might be too much.

Perhaps they choose to wait to see how the first few picks unfold and if one of their top players is still on the board they make some calls.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills any chance Bills move Manny Lawson to MLB now that Shaq is starting OLB opposite Jerry Hughes?

Matt Dermod

CB: Since we saw that transpire late last season I think it’s an option. Manny Lawson is a player that is valued by Rex Ryan. He’s stated more than once that he’s one of the smartest players he’s ever coached. He can fill roles at OLB, DE and inside at LB. His versatility gives the Ryans options.

So while I don’t think it’s the most likely scenario, it’s possible. Personally I think Lawson takes on a jack of all trades role because mentally he’s more than capable of playing different roles week to week.

 

4 – Hey Chris,

Not much is mentioned about Robert Woods and his future with the Bills.  I know he is going into his contract year and has some to prove in 2016.  Do you think the Bills will want to get him under another contract?  I know he had a down year in 2015 due to a groin injury but I think Robert is a very underrated receiver and I would really hate to see him leave the team.  Thanks for all your insight.  Jillian

CB: It’s pretty clear to everyone that the contract extension priorities on the roster are Tyrod Taylor, Cordy Glenn and Stephon Gilmore. I like Robert Woods and I too believe he’s underrated. To his credit he played hurt last season and almost had a 50-catch season.

Unfortunately with the other players in front of him on the list for extensions it’s probably a wait and see situation for him.

 

5 – Chris,

With all the talk about Tyrod Taylor as the starting QB for the Bills and talk about the Bills drafting a QB this year, what has been going on with EJ Manuel?  I have been a big EJ fan since he came in the league and I would like to know what the Bills staff’s plans are for him and what are the chances he will be with the team after his contract is up next year?  What is really preventing him from Starting for the Bills?

CB: Manuel is expected to serve as the backup this season, the final under his rookie contract. What happens beyond that I believe is tied to the other quarterback the Bills acquire, presumably through the draft. If the hypothetical rookie makes a lot of progress and convinces the offensive staff he could handle a backup role in 2017 then Manuel probably is not re-signed. If the progress isn’t happening at a rate the staff feels comfortable with, perhaps EJ is brought back on a short term deal.

As for your last question on what is preventing him from starting for the Bills, it’s Tyrod Taylor. The seventh-highest rated quarterback in the league, a 3.33:1 touchdown to interception ratio and a solid deep passing game.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Lawson: Seth Ryan dropped hints

Posted by Chris Brown on April 29, 2016 – 1:17 am

Seth Ryan didn’t give away the store about how much the Bills liked DL Shaq Lawson when he sat in class next to his Clemson teammate. But there were enough hints dropped to give Lawson clear indication that if he was available at 19 he was very, very likely to be Buffalo’s pick in round one.

In an interview with Buffalobills.com, Lawson relayed some of the hints that head coach Rex Ryan’s son dropped on him.

“I felt like Seth Ryan had a good feeling I was going to end up here,” said Lawson. “He used to drop hints like, ‘Shaq you’d look good in Buffalo.’ He’d give me hints when I had class with him.”


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Lawson refutes Schefter report

Posted by Chris Brown on April 29, 2016 – 1:14 am

ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter reported that Bills first-round pick Shaq Lawson would need to undergo shoulder surgery for the right shoulder injury that forced him to return to Indianapolis for the combine medical re-check. The man who has lived through the shoulder injury refuted that report Thursday night after the Bills made him a first-round pick.

“No, there is no truth to Adam Schefter’s report,” said Lawson. “The report about me having surgery I don’t know where that comes from. I guess he just wanted to put something out there. If I didn’t have surgery my freshman year why would I need surgery now? I can still play ball.”

The Bills medical staff cleared Lawson, who said he’s never had surgery for the injury he suffered freshman year.

“I never had surgery on it,” said Lawson. “I don’t know why it is coming up in question I am ready to play football. Having surgery is not in my question right now.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Clemson’s 1st round run in Buffalo

Posted by Chris Brown on April 29, 2016 – 1:11 am

It started way back in 1975 with when a wide receiver was made the fifth overall pick in the draft by Buffalo. Then in 1982 another Clemson wideout was selected with the 19th overall pick (like Shaq Lawson). Since then three more of Buffalo’s first round picks have pulled talent out of the South Carolina football powerhouse in the last seven drafts.

Here’s a look at all of Buffalo’s first-round picks to come out of Clemson.

1974 – WR Jerry Butler – 5th overall
1982 – WR Perry Tuttle – 19th overall
2010 – RB C.J. Spiller – 9th overall
2014 – WR Sammy Watkins – 4th overall
2016 – DL Shaq Lawson – 19th overall


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-8

Posted by Chris Brown on April 8, 2016 – 11:50 am

The Bills were busy in free agency this week with a handful of signings and more visitors in today. Let’s get to your questions this week from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think that the defense’s transition back into a full 3-4 scheme will make them better this year?

Joe DeRosa 

CB: I’ve got to believe it’s going to help. Trying to merge the Bills’ 2014 scheme with Rex’s scheme last year was done in an effort to appease players who were successful in the old scheme. As Ryan himself admitted halfway through last season it didn’t work.

It convinced Rex to go back to what he knows works and that’s his scheme, which is a more traditional 3-4. Now that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to see multiple fronts from one week to the next and from one series to the next. The system is rooted in a traditional 3-4, but what makes Ryan’s scheme so confounding is the variety of fronts that he throws at offenses through the course of a game.

Buy in by the players is critical because his scheme demands complete understanding and mastery of it to execute it properly. Some players didn’t want to commit to that kind of study. One such player is no longer on the roster. Fortunately I think we saw the results of that player buy in over the last two games last season and what it can mean for the defense. Provided that buy in from the players continues and some key adds are made in the draft (couple of starters please?) I think the defense will be better.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills what are the chances bills trade up or down in the first round and why?

Matt 

CB: I think there is a greater likelihood that the Bills move back in round one than move up. First and foremost the Bills need capable and talented bodies for their roster. They not only need to land a starter or two in this draft (LB, DL), they need reinforcements for depth at a few positions too (CB, S, OL, WR, TE).

The two additional compensatory picks in rounds four and six were huge. It’s my belief that Doug Whaley would like to keep all eight of those picks in a perfect world. He’d have to part with some of those if he wants to move up.

The way that moving back in round one becomes a reality is if the Bills have a limited number of first round grades for this year’s class.

Let’s hypothetically say they have legitimate first round grades on just 16 players in this draft class. Perhaps they only have 16 prospects they deem as truly worthy of a first round draft choice. If the Bills are on the clock at 19 and all 16 of those prospects are already off the board, I think moving back becomes more likely.

Whaley and his staff likely have a few players they like that they believe will be there at 19, but if none of them are available why sit there and reach for a player that doesn’t match the value of your pick? Slide back a few slots add another draft choice somewhere on day two and match a prospect with the appropriate value.

 

3 – Dear Chris:
My question is on who the Bills will be looking for in this year’s draft. I know the Bills will be looking to re-tool the defense, and I assume they will be transitioning to a 3-4 with Rex. My question will they be looking for an inside linebacker like Reggie Ragland to put next to Preston Brown or a player with a body type like Nigel Bradham say Jaylon Smith?

Also at D-line will they draft a defensive end like DeForest Buckner/Shaq Lawson, or will they draft a defensive tackle like Jarran Reed or Austin Johnson, plus what do you think our top needs are overall?

Sincerely: John from PA.

CB: I think the key ingredient that needs to be added at linebacker in a prospect is speed. With the league in subpackage defense just about two-thirds of the time you need linebackers who can cover ground and handle coverage assignments with backs and athletic tight ends.

I wouldn’t mind Ragland as a prospect, but I’m not convinced he can cover the type of athletic tight ends and backs we see at the pro level every week. With that in mind I’d prefer a more athletic type linebacker like a Darron Lee.

Bradham was Buffalo’s fastest linebacker and he’s in Philadelphia now, so that speed at linebacker has to be replaced as I see it.

As far as defensive line goes I think both end and DT are both on the table. I don’t expect Buckner to be there at 19 and it’s unlikely that Lawson is either. Both are versatile guys you can position up and down a 3-4 front.

Jarran Reed has a chance to be there. His value isn’t as high because he doesn’t offer as much in terms of pass rush. But I wouldn’t have a problem lining him up at nose tackle and flanking him with Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams and let them win on the edge.

 
4 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you think the Bills will go about training camp differently this year? Due to the top players getting injured last yr..

@Jiillyy

CB: I’m not sure there’s much they can do differently. There are strict guidelines set out in the CBA as to how often players can practice during training camp, days off, etc.

What we witnessed last summer with all five running backs going down I believe was an anomaly. The receivers who went down with injuries late in camp was a domino effect. When you lose two receivers in one day it immediately puts more strain and demand on the bodies of the receivers who are left. It’s more reps for them.

Now to the coaches’ and athletic trainers’ credit they backed things off on the healthy players still practicing, and signed more players to help fill the void.

Training camp is a grind, and the Bills do everything in their power to keep players on the field and healthy. There is also a responsibility on the part of the players to do right by their body day in and day out so they can perform at their best. Their body is their livelihood.

Buffalo does make use of GPS technology to track the workload of players each day at camp, so they’re all closely monitored as a means of being proactive and backing players off when the analytics dictate it’s warranted to prevent injuries before they happen. But nothing is perfect.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills You think there’s a player in this year’s draft that could become Buffalo’s next QB in the event that they can’t keep Tyrod?

Jordan Hanson 

CB: I think that’s difficult for anyone to predict, even those with the trained eye, like NFL scouts, player personnel executives and general managers. I think what you need to keep in mind is Buffalo has every intention of keeping Tyrod Taylor for the long term provided he continues on his current trajectory of performance.

And there’s no reason to think that he won’t. People are wondering why a contract extension hasn’t happened yet for Tyrod. I personally think it benefits both parties to wait for a few reasons.

First, Buffalo’s cap situation for 2016 is not conducive to working out a long term extension for Taylor. The market value at his position alone makes such an undertaking difficult for year one of an extension, which would be in 2016.

Second, the Bills, understandably so, want to see more from Taylor before they make a sizable commitment to Taylor. There’s recent Buffalo history where they jumped the gun in handing out a long term deal to a QB (see: Ryan Fitzpatrick).

I think the Bills want to believe in Taylor as their starting quarterback, but one year of solid production isn’t enough to go on when you’re talking about the multi-million dollar commitment a quarterback contract demands.

Third, Taylor stands to get a much more lucrative contract from Buffalo if he can back up last year’s production with even more production and wins in 2016.

So while it’s true that Taylor’s agent can stand on the table and argue that his client is underpaid this year at $3-plus million for 2016, even he knows that waiting and letting his client perform and build more of a starting QB resume this fall will only benefit his negotiating duties in getting Taylor a lucrative long term contract.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Clemson’s Shaq Lawson to get medical re-check

Posted by Chris Brown on March 17, 2016 – 1:43 pm

Clemson DL Shaw Lawson had one of his shoulders flagged during the NFL Combine medical exams.

That according to NFL Network reporter Albert Breer.

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Other reports indicate that up to a dozen teams passed Lawson’s shoulder on their medical exams.

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But Lawson’s call back for the medical re-check in Indy in April was requested by a host of other teams. The request isn’t unusual. As we covered in the first installment of our ‘On the Clock’ series, medical re-checks are required for a lot of prospects who were not 100 percent recovered from a surgical procedure, like Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith.

Lawson is forecast as a first-round pick.


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Posted in Inside the Bills
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