Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 3-8

Posted by Chris Brown on March 8, 2013 – 1:21 pm

Pro days are underway and free agency is up next. Here’s the latest edition of your questions from and Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Dear Chris,

Many so-called experts are calling for a new middle linebacker to replace Kelvin Sheppard.  He seems to be an NFL talent.  If a new MLB is brought in, do you see Sheppard playing the weak side linebacker position or a second inside linebacker position if the Bills are in a 3-4 defense?  Thanks.

Neil from Jamestown, NY
CB: I would anticipate Sheppard to be a primary candidate to be one of the two inside backers in any 3-4 looks the Bills defense figures to employ. As for how things work in any 4-3 looks remains to be seen. I’m not sure Sheppard would stay on the field in nickel situations. He didn’t last year when it was Nick Barnett and Bryan Scott serving as the nickel LBs.

Linebackers with coverage ability are more coveted than ever in a league that leans more and more to the passing game. Buffalo will be looking for more of them both inside and outside at linebacker.


2 – Chris,

I was wondering what are the chances the Bills go after recently released Receiver Titus Young? I know usually we don’t take chances on players that may cause issues despite their talent, but Titus Young is still a young and very talented receiver with allot of upside. I think taking a chance is worth it, especially because it seems as if Doug Marrone is a player’s coach. We desperately need talent in our receiving core alongside Stevie. I personally don’t believe Donald Jones would make the roster of more than 3/4’s the NFL’s teams, let alone be the second option. Titus could really help as the number 2 man and fill a void that has needed to be filled. What do you think? Thanks,

Anthony Marasco

CB: Young is too much of a personality headache. For a new head coach trying to establish a program and approach to success, Doug Marrone doesn’t need a problem player like Young no matter how talented he is. Marrone and his staff are going to be presented enough challenges as a first-year staff, they don’t need to add to the pile with a player that bought himself a ticket off the Lions roster by being a horrible teammate.


3 – Chris,

Is Glennon or Wilson worth the 8th pick or do you see them taking a much needed LB and maybe one of the Top 5 QBs in the draft might be there in round two. Or do the Bills use the first 3 rounds to better the Defense and get a QB in free agency?

CB: I think it’s safe to say that the pickings are slim in free agency at QB so either their first or second round pick will need to address quarterback. I don’t see Glennon or Wilson as a top 10 pick, but I’m no scout. I believe both will be heavier considerations in round 2 or 3. I think if there’s a QB the Bills like at 8 they’ll take one, otherwise they’ll take the best defensive player available. If there isn’t a top defensive talent they believe is fitting of the eighth pick and the QB they like is gone I think they look to move back.

Improving the defense will be a focus, but I think they might try to reduce those needs in free agency to reduce the to-do list in the draft knowing they have just six picks.


4 – Chris,

I would like your perspective if Buddy should draft a WR or LB with the first pick and then trade back into the late Rd 1 to get a QB still on the board before teams like ARI, KC, PHI, NYJ can grab one. Also assuming that there might even be a possibility that R. Nassib could still be there.? Nix did say that what the Bengals did to get A.J Green and Dalton changed their franchise… Mainly would he be willing to trade back into Rd 1? 

Secondly, I think we need to lock up C.J. Spiller before he hits free agency and so we don’t have to use a franchise tag. Couldn’t the Bills be doing that already this offseason? Why do we need to wait another year when he is only going to get better and we are going to have to pay him more?
Thanks Chris!
Dan in CA

CB: I’m a little reluctant to take a WR in round one at 8, primarily because I think there are only a couple of first round worthy receivers in the entire draft, and one of them is a risk in Patterson due to a lack of a college resume (one year of production). If you’re picking a receiver eighth overall he should be able to help right away. I’m not sure Patterson is an immediate impact guy, which is what Buffalo needs.

Second, wide receiver has the highest miss rate in terms of position in round one. That according to ESPN NFL analyst Bill Polian who has done studies on it.

Buddy Nix only has a short draft history here in Buffalo, but he likes to let the draft board come to him rather than seek out trades and be active in moving up and down the board. However, this year I think one of two things could happen.

The Bills either move down from 8 (as I stated above) if a QB they like or a defensive player fitting of value at eight isn’t there anymore or they try to move into the bottom of round one from round two.

As for Nassib I think he’s going to be a late riser and find his way into the bottom of round one.

Finally Spiller still has two years left on his rookie deal. They can wait until this time next year to address an extension.


5 –  Chris, 

What is the bigger need inside or outside LB? How will the positions be used in the new hybrid system? Could prospects like Te’o and Ogletree play inside or outside?

CB: I’d tend to think the two spots are equally in need of additional talent. Sheppard is capable of playing one of the inside linebacker spots in a 3-4 front. Nigel Bradham is one of the few viable OLB candidates on the roster.

I think we’ve got to wait and see what defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has in mind with respect to the multiple scheme he plans to employ.

Te’o is strictly an inside linebacker. Ogletree is capable of playing both inside and outside.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Boise St. WR shaves down 40

Posted by Chris Brown on March 25, 2011 – 9:30 am

WR Titus Young had one last shot to prove he was faster than the disappointing 4.53 40-time he ran at the NFL combine last month. At Boise State’s pro day he did not disappoint.

Young, who has been training with former Olympic sprinter Maurice Greene in California, ran a 4.41 and a 4.42 at the pro day. That according to the Idaho Statesman. That would’ve been the fourth fastest 40 time at the combine. Young is seen as a late second or early third round pick. His teammate and fellow receiver, Austin Pettis just ran positional drills after doing everything at the combine.

Broncos RB Jeremy Avery, who wasn’t invited to the combine ran a 4.45 40 time, got 20 reps on the bench, had a broad jump of 10’5″ and a 38-inch vertical.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Titus, DeSean parallels

Posted by Chris Brown on February 22, 2011 – 8:28 am

Boise St. WR Titus Young models his game after DeSean Jackson for a reason. They’re built the same, have similar skill sets and top end speed. But Young is predicting he’ll run significantly faster than Jackson at this week’s NFL combine.

With his bold claim that he’ll run a 4.2, Young has a lot to live up to. He says his best time is 4.35, which is exactly what Jackson ran at the combine back in 2008. He also had an explosive 10 foot broad jump. He later had a 34 1/2 inch vertical and 6.82 second three cone drill at his Cal pro day.

Whether Young can eclipse those numbers remains to be seen. If he can perhaps Jackson’s success in the league can convince NFL clubs to take Young as early as the bottom of the first round in a receiver class that’s short on elite talent. Otherwise he’ll likely wind up coming off the board around where Jackson did, which was pick 49 overall in the middle of round 2.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Why Titus feels 4.2 possible

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2011 – 12:42 pm

As we mentioned in this space earlier this week, Boise State WR Titus Young intends to run a 4.2 40-time at the NFL combine next month. Now we understand why he believes it’s possible.

Young is training at Elite in Calabasas, California in preparation for the NFL Combine drills with a very well known U.S. Olympic sprinter.

“I’m training with Maurice Greene, a world class sprinter,” said Young. “I’ve got a lot of goals for the Combine coming up here in February and I feel like I can reach them.”

Young believes Greene has already helped him with his running technique and feels his assistance will help him shave time off his personal best of 4.35.

“Just with his coaching and his experience with his techniques I feel like he can cut my time down in the 40,” said Young. “So I’m very grateful to be able to train with him.”

When asked how much time can be cut off his best 40 time Young believes the sky is the limit.

“I don’t know how much he can help, but I believe he can help a lot,” said Young. “Hopefully we can cut off a lot of it, hopefully a whole tenth of a second. I’ve run a 4.35 for a fastest time, but that’s without technique or anything like that. Hopefully I can run a little bit faster.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Young to run a 4.2?

Posted by Chris Brown on January 27, 2011 – 10:02 am

Boise St. WR Titus Young has put together a good week here at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, but he has some big aspirations for his workout at the NFL Combine next month.

Young laid out his plans for the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis at the end of February when asked who his fastest 40-time is.

“My personal best is in the 4.3 range,” Young said. “I think my best time was a 4.35, but at the Combine I’m expecting to run a 4.2.”

Young measured in at just 5’11 1/4” here at the Senior Bowl and weighs 174 pounds. So there’s not a lot to move that fast. He says he has a lot of respect for fellow University high school (Los Angeles) grad DeSean Jackson, who has the same build. He did run track in high school, but shaving off .15 seconds from your 40 time is a lot. Guess we’ll all find out next month. Can’t hurt to have lofty goals I suppose.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

North practice performers

Posted by Chris Brown on January 25, 2011 – 1:10 pm

The North team’s practice came to a close before noon here in Mobile Tuesday and here’s who looked good in the morning session.

Cal DL Cameron Jordan had an impressive showing during 1-on-1 pass rush drills against offensive lineman. He consistently beat pass protectors with an array of inside and outside moves. He’s not lightning quick out of his stance, but he’s very strong and has long arms and did a good job of keeping offensive linemen from locking onto him.

He also had a would-be sack and QB pressure during 11-on-11 team work. He’s widely considered a first-round prospect. We’ll have more on Jordan in a feature story later today on

Also faring well was Nebraska TE Mike McNeill, who made some plays in the passing game. McNeill made a couple of good receptions down the seam in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11.

Boise St. WR Titus Young also made some plays in the pass game and showed some good separation skills on his routes.

The South Team, which is being coached by Chan Gailey and the Bills staff, will be on the practice field at 3:45 pm ET.

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