Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 12-18

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2010 – 2:39 pm

It’s Miami week and Chad Henne has lost his last six starts at SunLife Stadium. We’ll see if the Bills can make it seven. Now to your questions from
1 – Chris,

I am a diehard Bills fan, and though this season has been as tough as I can remember, I love to see how hard the players have fought for their victories as well as their narrow defeats.  What bothers me is that during every game, you can almost count the seconds until they have a costly fumble at an inopportune time.  This past week was full of them. I’ll let Fitzpatrick slide on the interceptions, because sometimes he’s just trying to make a tough play…but the fumbles are so easy to prevent.  It started with Nelson’s fumble against Baltimore, and has continued every week.  What is the coaching staff doing to teach better ball protection?  Sometimes, you just need to stop fighting for the extra yard, and hit the deck – as Mike Wallace did during the overtime period against Pittsburgh.  Get what you can, and get down before you get stripped.  If Nelson does this, we beat Baltimore and possibly gain the confidence to win a few more close games.  Nevertheless, Go Bills!  You’ve got a lot of fans who will support you through everything.

Syracuse, NY

CB: Ball security has been an issue no question. Buffalo is tied for third in fumbles through 13 games played with 26. Only Arizona (28) and Oakland (29) have more. More importantly the Bills are fifth in the league in fumbles lost with 12. On Carolina, Denver, the Giants and Tennessee have more.

I asked coach Gailey about this problem a couple of weeks ago. Here was his response.

“The ball has been out way too much the last few ball games. That’s something we harp on and talk about every week. So you just have to get back to it with these guys. You make them concentrate on it and work on drills each week. It’s not something that you ever take for granted. It’s something you work on and concentrate on each week.”

Truthfully, there’s only so much a coaching staff can do to keep guys from fumbling. In the end it’s the players on the field that have to remember proper ball security.

2 – Hey Chris,
I was wondering what a day in the typical work week looks like for players and coaches.  When do they all arrive, where do they go?  What do they do?  When do they leave?  Also, I assume for home games they are expected to arrive at the stadium by like 9:30 or 10:00, but for away games, when do they fly out?  Do they always fly, even if they are only going to, say, Cleveland?  Are they expected to bring anything they’ll want, or does the team have someone make sure they have 180 sweatbands and gloves?  I know this is not “on the field” stuff, but its stuff that I really wonder about. 

Thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions.
Jimmy (Fairport)

CB: Coaches work a lot more hours than players. Typically 15 to 16 hours a day. Their longest day is Tuesdays. That’s typically when they put the game plan together for the next game. They also lay out the practice schedule for the week in terms of play installs and situational football. For them it’s a seven-day work week.

For the players their day typically starts at 7am. Lighter days of work are usually Monday and Friday. On Mondays they review game film from the previous game and get treatment for injuries. Some may begin to watch tape of the next opponent. Tuesdays are their day off.

Wednesday is the beginning of prep for the next game with meetings (offense, defense) and positional meetings (DBs, LBs, QBs, etc.). Practice is in the afternoon and most watch film on their own Wed-Fri. after practices.

Saturday practice is typically situational football, before they leave to travel in early afternoon for away games. They always fly to away venues, even Cleveland. Equipment staff packs bags for players Friday. Players just bring an overnight bag on their own.

Players have choice of early bus, second bus or late bus to the stadium on game day. Last one usually arrives around 9:45 for a 1 pm game. After away games they’re on buses back to the airport and wheels up about 90 minutes after the game is over.

3 – Hey Chris,
I was wondering if we were going to see any of Brian Brohm or Levi Brown this year?  There are only 3 games left and the playoff picture has been painted so it seems that it would make sense to start evaluating talent for next year.  Would it not?  I think that we know what we have in Fitzpatrick and it would be interesting to see how Brohm and/or Levi would fair not that Gailey has effectively implemented his offensive scheme.  I look forward to your thoughts!
Eric from Rochester, NY

CB: Barring an injury to Fitz I would not expect to see either of them this season. Fitz has earned the right to finish the season and it’s my belief that Chan Gailey and his offensive staff feel they know everything they need to know about Brian Brohm and Levi Brown.
4 – If there is a lock out this offseason what happens with the draft? Will there be one this year and another next year with the same order?
Nicholas Flickinger

CB: The 2011 NFL draft will go on as scheduled. I’ve made a personal inquiry as to whether the date of the draft (April 28-30) might be moved up knowing the current CBA expires March 3. I was told by the league office that the draft date is set.

As for the 2012 NFL draft I’m not anticipating it will be affected because the labor issues should be solved by then.
5 – Chris,
What are the chances of seeing DT Kellen Heard on the field soon? What are the details on the length of his contract?
With the worst rushing defense in the league, it wouldn’t hurt to see him get some snaps, especially against a run-heavy Dolphins team.

CB: I think it’s a long shot to see him on the field. The Bills have made a point of bringing in a lot of talent off the waiver wire and other places to see if they are players that can help them from a depth perspective or perhaps more NEXT season. Here’s what Chan had to say about Heard to give you a better idea.

“We want him to learn,” said Gailey. “If we get an injury or two he may have to go in there and play at the end of the season here, but we really don’t have any expectations right now. We just want him to learn and see how he moves around and how he picks up things. He does have to be ready though just in case. He’s a guy we wanted a closer look at in the practice setting.”

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