1 – @ChrisBrownBills
McDermott and Daboll seem like a good match. Any observations on them together and do you see any differences from the previous OC? Thanks Chris!
CB: I’ll begin by saying I think the big plus that Daboll brings is he is more relatable to the players than former OC Rick Dennison was. Dennison could interact with the players, but developing a relationship seemed a bit more difficult for him at times. That is not the case with Daboll and the players on offense as I outlined in my story on him last week.
But I’ll let coach McDermott explain the give and take he and coach Daboll have enjoyed thus far.
“We try and take the approach of ‘iron sharpens iron’ really where I’m learning from him, he’s learning from me I this case,” McDermott said. “Again, we’re all learning from one another, so if you just start there, you usually have the start of a pretty good recipe.
“He has an ability to think at a higher level and he understands trends in terms of what’s going on, what’s trending in and around the NFL. Obviously, there has been an adjustment because the system is different than the system we used last year. I believe the players are really buying into what we’re doing and what Brian is doing as well as the entire offensive staff for that matter.”
2 – @ChrisBrownBills
Many experts have the Bills taking a big step back this year in terms of wins. Is the reason totally due to the ?? at QB? To me the Bills roster appears much more solid and much deeper than last year, except possibly at WR, which can still change.
CB: I think because the quarterback position is an unknown, and there is a new offense going in, it does lead many national pundits to forecast struggle for the Bills. This is commonplace for national reporters, who don’t cover the team on a daily basis. They look at the team on paper, examine the player losses and if in their estimation they outweigh the additions, they often predict doom for that team.
With all the unanswered questions on offense, there is an inherent fear of the unknown by prognosticators. Now in their defense, it’s not like some of those concerns they harbor are unfounded.
There will need to be a good number of players that have to step into more prominent roles this season on the offensive line, defensive end, linebacker, quarterback and wide receiver.
That is a long list.
Couple that with a schedule that has the Bills on the road for five of their first seven games and you can see why the prediction people are down on Buffalo.
The defense will be much improved with the additions made there.
I think the key to Buffalo’s 2018 season will be finding a definitive answer at quarterback and how quickly the offense can get to a point where they’re executing the new scheme in a consistent fashion week to week.
3 – @ChrisBrownBills
Why is Allen working with the nobodys?
CB: Josh Allen is working with the third team offense because he’s playing catch up. AJ McCarron and Nate Peterman had a three-week head start on learning the new offensive scheme and running plays on the field.
All indications are that Allen is a quick study, but bringing him along steadily is clearly the plan that’s in place. This coaching staff will not rush him through just to line him up with the starting unit.
They will base their decisions on who he’ll line up with solely on Allen’s progress day by day.
When coach McDermott was asked if he’d consider giving Allen reps with the second team or first team in the mandatory minicamp, he wouldn’t rule it out, but it’s apparent they aren’t going to rush him through anything.
“It’s a fluid situation; it’s all part of doing what’s best for A, our football team and B, Josh’s development overall,” said McDermott in how they’re bringing him along. “I’m not going to say I’m not going to do it, it’s just what’s the right thing to do at the right time based on our plan.”
4 – Hey Chris,
I was wondering with guys like Zay Jones & Logan Thomas having surgery’s & not being able to participate in OTA’s do they still show up every day & do the class room stuff with their respective groups in order to further their knowledge of the in coming scheme seeing as there is a new OC & a new offense being installed ?
Thanks for your time !!
Mr. T from Nashville via Barker NY
CB: The answer is yes. They have to be on site anyway for rehabilitation assignments with the athletic training staff, and they do attend position meetings and offense and/or defense meetings. Logan Thomas is already walking around without any assistance, so that’s encouraging.
I just haven’t crossed paths with Zay in the building of late.
5 – Chris:
Great work during the draft and year round.
A couple questions:
1) With the new OC and the player acquisitions in Free Agency and the draft do you think the Bills are planning to go to more of a spread offense this year? This may help Josh Allen in reading Defenses and opening more running lanes by taking players out of the box.
2) I expect the Bills to play more of a 4-2-5 Defense. This means more use of Milano, Stanford and Vallejo. I also expect Siran Neal to be listed as a Safety but eventually (a year or two) gain enough size to play LB like Carolina Shaq Thompson. Your thoughts?
CB: Your first question is an interesting one. I remember when Chan Gailey was head coach he often used a four-wide, one-back set to spread the field to create easier reads for Ryan Fitzpatrick in the pass game, while also creating more natural rush lanes for the backs.
It worked very well for the most part.
It’s hard to determine now if Brian Daboll wants to lean in the spread direction, especially with a quarterback competition to evaluate. Not knowing who your No. 1 QB is makes it more challenging for an OC to put a singular identity on an offense.
As for the defense, the Bills are in a nickel defense close to two-thirds of the time based on the passing nature of the game these days. Coach McDermott often says your nickel corner is basically a starter on defense, based on how often they’re in nickel defense.
I expect the nickel LBs to be Edmunds and Milano this season. Stanford and Vallejo are good options in reserve as both can run and cover.
As for Neal, I can see him playing a hybrid LB role, but full-time LB is something I’m going to hold judgment on. I’d like to see how he can change his body composition next offseason before I’m convinced that’s a role he could take on.
Tags: 2018 season, Brian Daboll, Fan Friday, Josh Allen, Logan Thomas, Matt Milano, Sean McDermott, Siran Neal, spread offense, Tremaine Edmunds, Zay Jones
Posted in Inside the Bills
1 – @ChrisBrownBills
How are Zay and Tyrod connecting this week?
CB: They are connecting in practice all the time. What you see in practice however, is somewhat scripted by the scout team. What Zay Jones as a rookie receiver will see on Sunday will be much different and it will be happening much faster.
Jones needs time on the job to getting in better sync with Tyrod on game days. I believe it will happen in time. How much time is the question.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills
The Bills started moving the ball in the 2nd half when they spread it out. Do you think they have the personal to go 4 and 5 wide?
CB: I think spreading the field is a good idea to prevent eight-man boxes for Buffalo’s run game. If you go four wide with a single back in the backfield, the space and lanes are there because the defense has to cover all the options.
Chan Gailey made Buffalo’s offense productive that way, including C.J. Spiller, who had his most productive season in an offense that went predominantly with a four-wide, one back look.
When you’re facing cornerbacks the caliber of Chris Harris and Aqib Talib, rub routes can also be a solution. So having more receivers split out can facilitate that.
But I like the idea of a spread look to help the Bills move the ball more consistently. I especially like the spread look in the red zone to give Tyrod Taylor the necessary lanes to take off and run and reach the end zone if he has to tuck and take off.
3 – Hey Chris,
Ever since Charles Clay has been with the Bills there has always been talk of him having knee problems . Every year, including this one, as I was just reading how he is limited in practice due to knee soreness . Every year I wonder making the kind of cash this guy makes why doesn’t he get his knee fixed in the off season? What is the deal with his knee & again why doesn’t he do something about it especially seeing as he is one of the higher paid players on the team …
Thanks for all you do
GO BILLS !!
Mr. T from Fort Myers via Nashville
CB: I’m not a doctor so I’m not going to pretend to know what Clay’s exact knee affliction is. But you have to believe that if surgery of any kind could correct the condition of his knee it would’ve happened a long time ago.
His playing career is his livelihood, so if something could be done to reduce the need to take preventative measures with his knee, like staying off it an extra day every week, they would’ve taken those steps.
4 – @ChrisBrownBills
Will Rick Dennison ‘Rex Ryan’ our offense? Or will he start looking at what made us more successful last year and change strategies?
CB: I highly doubt that Buffalo’s offensive coordinator after an entire offseason of work is going to scrap the system he spent the last six months installing. It’s on the players to lock things down and execute more effectively.
The coaches have to get creative with the chess pieces they have and coach McDermott talked about moving some of the pieces around to be more unpredictable. But scrapping your offensive system after two games is not going to happen.
It’s the constant churn of coaches and front office people that’s responsible for the growing pains you’re witnessing now. I’m not going to run through the litany of coaching changes and front office changes since 2000.
All that change makes it difficult for a team to develop familiarity with schemes, have the personnel that perfectly fit the schemes and the consistency to execute the schemes.
The good news is the Pegulas look like they’ve hired the right head coach and the right general manager. So the hope is the vision that Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott have can gain traction and establish a foothold that can set a good foundation.
Then the team can continue to be built in that image with less and less player turnover from year to year. That should lead to a better product on the field.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills
How do you feel about Tyrod Taylor start to the season?
CB: I’ve expected much of what we’ve seen to this point. It’s an offense that is not yet on the same page, for a host of reasons. Two regular season games together, late offseason changes (Jordan Matthews trade, Anquan Boldin add and subtraction, Watkins trade, Streater injury), lost time on the field (Jordan Matthews injury, Tyrod Taylor injury).
Change, especially in the late stages of a preseason, never help the continuity an offense is trying to establish in year one of a new system.
Even the offensive line, which returns the same starting five (when Cordy Glenn is healthy), is undergoing a dramatic change in scheme, going to a zone blocking scheme.
I understand fans want a productive offense that scores points, especially after seeing the Bills rank 12th and 10th in points per game the last two years. That’s not going to happen right away in light of the aforementioned circumstances.
That doesn’t mean the players on offense aren’t doing everything they can to tighten things up and execute more effectively.
But just going on past experience with change here in Buffalo, this is going to take at least to the bye week before things start really humming.
Tags: Charles Clay, Fan Friday, Rick Dennison, spread offense, Tyrod Taylor, Zay Jones
Posted in Inside the Bills