Inside The Bills

Battle for roles at DT getting tight

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2013 – 8:40 am

Buffalo’s starting defensive line is largely set with Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams doing the dirty work in the middle. Behind them on the depth chart a tight battle is brewing between a handful of reserve candidates.

Players like Torell Troup, Jay Ross, Alan Branch, Jarron Gilbert and Corbin Bryant has all seen time inside. Several of them have been rotated in with the first unit as well for an extended look at times during the first two-plus week of training camp. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine admitted that was by design.

“Sometimes we have those guys, you always want to get a look,” Pettine said. “You can sometimes get fooled if they’re going against twos and threes whether it’s your own team or in a preseason game so we like to rotate those guys up. But it’s pretty clear to us that we’re going to have some tough decision to make in that room. You know you’ve built some depth at a position when you look at the math and figure out there are probably some pretty good football players that we’re going to have to part ways with.”

Pettine has said more than once that versatility is the strength of his defensive scheme, with several players asked to know how to effectively play two positions. For defensive tackles however, the versatility isn’t as high a priority.

“Not as much,” said Pettine. “We’d like to have those guys know two positions so it’s either the end and the tackle or the tackle and the nose, but it’s not as critical as it is for the edge guys or the off the ball guys.”

Troup and Branch have fared well when it’s come to neutralizing a double team to let other defenders make plays. Ross, Bryant and Gilbert have been in the offensive backfield more as penetrators. The next two preseason games will likely determine who sticks knowing that most NFL clubs rarely carry more than four DTs.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

D-line positions of note

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2013 – 4:15 pm

depth-chart-bbcomThere really weren’t any surprises on Buffalo’s first unofficial depth chart of the preseason released by the team Monday afternoon, but there are a couple of non-starter roles that were worth noting.

Jarron Gilbert, who made the team’s practice squad last season, is listed as a second-team left DE. He’s been getting consistent reps with the second unit there and has even been sprinkled in for some first team reps.

Gilbert does have familiarity with Mike Pettine’s scheme, having played in it for the better part of two seasons from 2010 to 2011 as a member of the Jets practice squad and active roster as he yo-yo’ed up and down between the two during those years.

Torell Troup meanwhile is listed as a third-team DT even though he’s been used a good deal with the second unit. DT Jay Ross, who has seen reps with the starters due to the limited workload of Kyle Williams is a second team DT.

You can check it all out right here.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-2

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2013 – 4:55 pm

We’re about a week into training camp and there are a lot of developments to this point. The QBs are both looking good, the offense is coming around. The defense looks aggressive. But there are a lot of roles that have to figured out. Here are some of your more popular questions from email at and on  Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

I think the one player I’ve heard less of than Marcus Easley is Torell Troup. First of all, has he recovered successfully from his back surgery? Secondly, how has he been playing up till now? Finally, how does he fit in the new defensive scheme?

Edson Schaus
Delta Township, MI

CB: Troup is fully recovered and has come on in the early stages of camp after looking just okay in the spring practices. I attribute that to what equates to almost a two-year layoff from football. Now that’s he’s got a month of work on the field under his belt from the spring and is now in pads his game will only steadily improve.

He’s been running primarily with the second unit alongside Alan Branch on the defensive interior.

Coach Marrone had this to say about Troup just the other day.

“I see him better now than he was in OTAs and minicamp and doing a better job now and again when the physicality comes up that’s when more things go inside in terms of what they do up front with the line,” said Marrone. “I think he’s coming along well. There will be a point, there’s a process right now, but at a point you’ll see where there’s a window where the players says he feels good and then we as coaches will look for where the jump (in play) comes, and then we’ll look at that jump.”


2 – Chris,
Given Smith’s versatility, could you see him being kept on the roster as an option at running back, maybe in lieu of Tashard Choice, as a way to open up another spot for a different position.  Smith has run from the wildcat, been solid on special teams, and looks competent at receiver.  Adding running back capabilities does not seem like a stretch to me.

Appreciate your thoughts. Thanks as always for the great job reporting the goings on with the Bills

Jim from Allentown

CB: Thanks for the kind words. I think Smith is strictly a receiver. He recently took a significant pay cut, presumably to stay on the roster and try to earn a job. I think Smith has to truly shine in camp and the preseason games, though he does have special teams ability working for him in addition to his receiving talents.

I just don’t see this coaching staff interested in him operating out of the offensive backfield with the exception of an end around.


3 – @ChrisBrownBills

How is Aaron doing with the switch to safety? Your thoughts?


CB: Williams has fared well in his transition to safety. In the spring he was turning in plays on a daily basis. That hasn’t happened quite as much through the first five practices in camp. The true test will be the preseason games, but I think what is encouraging is Williams is playing with confidence and sounds eager to be a leader on that side of the ball knowing he has to help the ‘mike’ LB get the defense lined up pre-snap.


4 – Hi Chris,
Thank you for all your hard work all year round you do a tremendous job! A lot of the media around the NFL suggest that the Bills are in “Rebuilding Mode” and I have to disagree.

My thought is that the past 3 years have been very beneficial to this team as far as revamping the roster and that before the draft we had solid talent on both sides of the ball.

People also question the Bills abilities due to the fact that we don’t know who the QB is just yet.  My question is do you feel that the coaching staff may think the same way about this team?

Do you think they expect this season to be full of growing pains or like me that this team should progress through-out the season and build to be a different team in December than in September?

And what are your thoughts as well?  Last question do you know if the Bills away pants are going to be blue this season and beyond?  I happen to love them! Go Bills! #BillsMafia

Jillian Nelson

CB: The roster that Doug Marrone and his staff inherits is not a thin one. There is plenty of talent on hand. Doug Whaley has told me point blank that they’re not rebuilding. He said they’re reloading.

With all that being said history in this league has shown that when you undergo as much change as the Bills have this offseason (new GM, new head coach, new staff, new offense, new defense, new QB) it takes time to pull all of that newness together and have it work seamlessly to post victories.

I think with the amount of youth on this roster that there will be some hard lessons learned. I also think there will be some of the most exciting football we’ve seen in a while from this team.

I do believe this team will make progress as the season wears on, but I wonder if their won-loss record will accurately reflect that progress.

As for the blue pants I don’t think there’s any reason why they’d be going away. It wasn’t my understanding that they were a one year and done type thing, but I’ll try to confirm.


5 – Chris,

I’ve been a Bills fan all my life and in the Army the last 10 and have been everywhere from California to Afghanistan and I know I can always count on to keep me up to date with all the Bills news so thank you and your team for that. I was wondering when the coaches were going to release a depth chart so we could know who will be running with the 1’s during training camp.  Also barring any injuries are the bills content with their current roster? or are there any Free Agents that might be coming to OBD.  Thank you.

Thank you,
Derek at Fort Riley, KS

CB: Glad we can keep you connected to the team here at and thanks very much for your service.

As for the official depth chart, I think there’s a good chance we’ll see one in advance of the first preseason game sometime next week. Keep your eye out for it on

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 7-12

Posted by Chris Brown on July 12, 2013 – 11:57 am

Training camp is closing in. Be sure to stay close to as we address the most pressing questions facing the team as they get set for the 2013 season under new head coach Doug Marrone. Here is the latest edition of questions from you the Bills fan from and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Hi Chris:

There were several players still rehabbing during the minicamp. What is their prognosis for the start of training camp? Kyle Williams, Leodis, Chris Hairston come to mind. What was Chris Hairston’s injury? Also, how is Zebrie Sanders doing with his rehab and where is he being slotted along the line? Finally, are Erik Pears, Mark Anderson and Torell Troup 100% yet?

Gerald in Rochester

CB: The following players are expected to be full go that were not 100 percent recovered from offseason rehabs and surgeries.

Kyle Williams, Leodis McKelvin, Chris Hairston, Lee Smith, Erik Pears, Scott Chandler and Marcus Easley.

Obviously, a setback in preparations for training camp could change things. To our knowledge Hairston had a lower body injury.

Mark Anderson participated on a limited basis in the spring. It’s expected that his workload at training camp will be incrementally increased as camp wears on.

Zebrie Sanders and Erik Pears did participate on a limited basis in the spring practices. All signs point to them being full go for training camp as well. They’ve both lined up exclusively at offensive tackle.

Torell Troup was full go in the spring and worked mainly with the second team at defensive tackle.

2 – Hey Chris,

Looking at the situation with J. Byrd this year & going back as far as Jabari Greer, & even as recent as Andy Levitre situation , the Bills have seemed to almost drag their feet when it comes to re-signing their future star players. Sometimes waiting till their contracts are up (like Greer & Levitre) to try & re-sign them we wind up losing said players that would be corner stones of the team for years to come.Yet others they sign way to prematurely (?)  Also if signed before, we may be able to get them at a better price rather than wait & let them test the market.

With all that being said, C.J. being the dynamic back that he is, also given the fact that everyone is thinking he will be even a bigger presence in the new offense, do you see the Bills possibly trying to extend him next year ? I think if we follow the same path taken in the past with other good players mentioned earlier, if he gets the chance to get anywhere near the FA market he’s gone for the big bucks !!

Thanks as always for your insight & keep up the great work we all appreciate you !

Mr. T from Ft. Myers via Nashville

CB: I think your point is an astute one. Of course said player has to be willing to negotiate a new deal and some players have agents that want to wait for the price tag to rise. Now while you’re right in mentioning the players that did get away, Buffalo has also taken a proactive approach in retaining some players long term by signing them to extensions sooner rather than later. Kyle Williams is one example. Kraig Urbik is another.

Your point with C.J. is well taken. I think another player that should merit this kind of ‘sign them early’ consideration is Alex Carrington. It’s clear that the defensive staff believes he could do big things in this defense, and he’s entering the final year of his rookie deal before he becomes unrestricted. Why not lock him up long term now before he performs like the Bills defensive coaches believe he will?

3 – Chris:

I was surprised that EJs contract was for 4 yrs instead of a 5-year contract that is permissable under the CBA terms. This means that his contract and Gilmores will expire the same year.  Do you have a reason why the team did not sign EJ for 5 years, considering the confidence they appear to have in him?   Conrad in Elma

CB: First of all, Gilmore signed a four-year rookie contract with the Bills and will be a free agent after the 2015 season. Manuel under his four-year deal will be a free agent after 2016.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, all NFL first-round draft picks can have four-year contracts with a non-negotiable fifth-year option, although not all will receive it. Since the new CBA went into effect four-year contracts for first-round picks have been the rule, not the exception.

Proof of that comes in the fact that of the first-round picks signed to this point, only Ziggy Ansah, the fourth overall pick to the Lions has a five-year deal among them.

In the grand scheme of things if Manuel pans out as expected, he’ll be re-signed at least a year before his rookie contract expires.

4 – Hey Chris —

Very simple question…Who would win in a foot race between CJ, TJ and Marquise Goodwin?

— James

CB: I think Goodwin has both of them beat.

5 – @ChrisBrownBills @buffalobills Do you expect a No1 Quarterback to be decided before the start of the season? #bills


CB: I’ll first let coach Marrone take a shot at answering this question since he addressed in a one-on-one interview with

“As a coach the earlier it can get done the better,” Marrone said. “I’d be a fool to sit here and say otherwise. The earlier the better, but again if you make decisions early and no one can see those decisions with the team then you wind up hurting your football team. So I’m hoping the decision and the timeline really relies on the players that are in competition and they have to separate themselves. And when you give people enough reps they will separate. At what point? I don’t know.”

Personally first-year coaches know that’s a position where a starter needs to be entrenched at least a couple of weeks before the regular season. I believe by the close of the second preseason game, the third preseason game at the latest we’ll have an answer from Marrone and his staff.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Troup’s college coach at minicamp

Posted by Chris Brown on June 12, 2013 – 7:43 pm

University of Central Florida head coach George O’Leary was a spectator at Bills minicamp practice Wednesday. Bills head coach Doug Marrone coached as an assistant under O’Leary when he was the head coach at Georgia Tech. But O’Leary was keeping a watchful eye on a certain defensive lineman that he coached at Central Florida during practice.

“He’s got some ties to some of the guys that work here and they told me yesterday he was going to be up here,” said Troup. “He was talking to me about the same stuff. Run to the ball, keep working, stuff like that. You’ve got to take him with a grain of salt. He’s always got something for you to improve on no matter how good you think you are. It’s coaching all the time.”

O’Leary also asked about when Troup was finishing up his degree. The Bills defensive lineman will finish up his degree later this summer with a major in Interdisciplinary Studies and a minor in Communication.

“He had a good relationship with my mother and they still talk all the time,” said Troup. “He’s really a part of my family and known my family situation. He’s always checking in on us.”

O'Leary and Troup


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Troup putting up major weight

Posted by Chris Brown on March 15, 2013 – 3:12 pm

For those Bills fans that have been asking DT Torell Troup is as healthy as he’s been in two years and has the video to prove it.

Here’s his tweet of his workout where’s he putting up better than 700 pounds on the leg press going 30 reps at a time.

Posted in Inside the Bills

DT Troup says good to go for OTAs

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2013 – 9:47 am

It’s been a long and difficult road for DT Torell Troup to get his back right, but after fielding several dozen inquiries from Bills fans, Troup confirmed he’ll be ready for OTAs come May. provided an update on Troup in early February, but Troup confirmed his availability for spring workouts Tuesday morning. Troup hasn’t appeared in an NFL game for the Bills since Nov. 20, 2011.

It’s a big year for Troup as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Troup compares his back injury to Johnny Knox

Posted by Chris Brown on February 14, 2013 – 9:40 am

Bills DT Torell Troup is working his way back from a lengthy back rehab that’s lasted about a year. We brought you up to speed on his progress recently. But Troup shed some light on the severity of his back injury in the wake of former Bears WR Johnny Knox’s decision to retire after his back injury.

In an exclusive with the Chicago Sun-Times, Knox confirmed that he’s going to retire from football as he still has trouble walking without a limp. Running like an NFL wide receiver is just unrealistic after Knox suffered a spinal injury after a hit in the back from Anthony Hargrove at the end of the 2011 season.

Knox’s retirement announcement came as a surprise to Troup because as far as he knows he and Knox had the same back injury.

Knox had spinal fusion surgery after a disc was removed, but also suffered nerve damage and doctors are just hoping that the nerves will regenerate and Knox’s chronic pain with subside. Troup also had a herniated disc removed and suffered a fracture in his spine. The Bills defensive tackle is determined to continue his career, but he wants to speak to Knox and compare notes on their respective ordeals.

It should be noted that Troup is up and around and doing football related movements and he’s lifting in the weight room regularly, doing squat work along with a host of other activities. So while Troup might have had the same procedure as Knox he’s doing a lot better than the former Bears receiver right now.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-8

Posted by Chris Brown on February 8, 2013 – 1:41 pm

Here’s the latest edition of Fan Friday with your questions from and on Twitter at ChrisBrownBills as we touch on free agency, the draft and some Bills players rehabbing from surgeries and their progress.

1 – Hi Chris,

My question is about the Bills pick in the first round. Do you see the Bills taking T’eo, I think that T’eo would fit in with the Bills defense next season? Because we got a healthy Mark Anderson coming back, plus, Mario Williams if not do you think that the bills might go after Ryan Nassib from Syracuse? If not one of them then who do you think the bills might take in the first round?

Thanks for all the work you guys do
CB: I think a lot of the direction the Bills choose to take in the first round of the draft will hinge on what acquisitions are made in free agency. Te’o is an interesting case. He was a playmaker in college, but so was Paul Posluszny. That production and playmaking ability did not carry over to the NFL game. I’m no scout, but I wonder if Te’o is not the same kind of linebacker. Obviously how he times at the Combine will say a lot about whether he’d be a true sideline to sideline player at the NFL level. His lack of playmaking against Alabama was eye opening against top college talent. Knowing that he’ll be facing comparable and better talent in the league makes me wonder about his long range potential. And if there’s that kind of doubt among scouts I think he goes late first round, not top 10.

2 – Chris,

As free agency approaches it’s clear the Bills will want to retain Byrd and Levitre.  However, isn’t Spiller going to demand more if he stays the course, and wouldn’t it be in the Bills best interest to extend him now rather than later?  In addition, has Marrone made any indication on the status of Ryan Fitzpatrick, as I’m one of the few that would rather have him while prepping another quarterback.

Dave Faber

CB: Spiller still has two years left on his contract. I think in due time the Bills will make sure he’s extended to ensure his future with the club, but players like Byrd and Levitre are far more pressing in nature with them set to hit the market in just over a month if they’re not re-signed. So at the earliest I would expect Spiller to possibly be addressed next offseason.

3 – Good Day Chris,

I have not heard much from the Bills this season about the Tarvaris Jackson trade / signing.  Has anyone at One Bills Drive talked about his addition to the team in 2012 and what progress he might have made during the season?  If I understand correctly, he is a free agent soon and I wonder if the Bills have any plans to extend his contract?  Especially given the draft pick they needed to give up getting him.  It would be a shame to let him walk now with 1 less pick come the draft this year.  

Best Regards,
Fonthill, ON

CB: It’s hard to ascertain at this point whether there are plans to retain Jackson for 2013. You’re right he will be an unrestricted free agent. What is working in Jackson’s favor concerning the new coaching staff is prior to coming to the Bills this past season the only offensive system he knew was the West Coast offense, or some variation thereof.

Knowing Nathaniel Hackett’s offense is rooted with West Coast principles he is at least well versed in a lot of the concepts that Buffalo’s offense would presumably run.

Is that enough to interest Buffalo’s offensive staff in re-signing him to their roster? That remains to be seen.

4 – Chris,
Any news on how Torell Troup’s recovery is progressing?  I want to see him in our rotation next year.

John MacGaffick

CB: Hopefully you saw our write up on Troup’s Battle Back this week on Troup is finally back to normal and two arduous years of back problems. He’s still rehabbing now, but expected to be ready to roll for OTAs in the spring.

5 – Hi Chris,

Thank you for answering our questions. It’s very helpful. Can you please explain players who are signed as reserve/future players?

Bob Hammond

CB: Typically they’re players that served the previous season on the team’s practice squad. In order to retain those players NFL clubs have a week to sign them to a future free agent contract. Teams can also sign players from other practice squad units if they’re not re-signed by their former club, or a player that joined the team as a signee in the second half of the season (after 10th regular season game) with one accrued NFL season of credit or less can be signed as a future free agents.

It’s essentially a category for rookie or first-year players that clubs want to retain and see how they develop from their practice squads.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Troup would be eligible to come off I-R

Posted by Chris Brown on August 30, 2012 – 5:02 pm

One Bills fans sent me a question asking if Torell Troup would be eligible to come off of injured reserve with the new I-R rule that was passed in an agreement between the league and the NFLPA today. Here’s the answer.

Troup would be eligible. Here’s what the directive stated for players that were put on I-R prior to this rule change coming down today.

Since this rule is being adopted after the cutdown to 75 players, for 2012 only, the NFL and NFLPA have agreed to a transition procedure that permits clubs to return to their 53-player active list one player placed on Reserve/Injured since the start of preseason training camp.  This selection of that player must be made no later than 9:00 p.m. ET tomorrow, Friday, August 31.

The problem is if the Bills do that then they’ve used their one I-R exception up already for the entire season. Knowing there could very well be other players in the near future that sustain injuries that may be lengthy but not season ending,  I would not expect Troup to be given this designation. In addition Troup still has a good bit of rehab ahead of him and the Bills are not hurting for depth at defensive tackle right now.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gailey on Troup

Posted by Chris Brown on August 23, 2012 – 5:27 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey met one-on-one with Torell Troup and made the defensive tackle understand that his head coach respected the effort he put forth to get back healthy in time for the regular season before he went on I-R today.

“I told him today when we visited I was proud of him for the way he fought to get back, but he just couldn’t make it,” said Gailey. “We saw he wasn’t going to make it this year so we wanted to not let him worry about it anymore and go get well and we’ll give him a run next year.”

Gailey had a similar heart-to-heart with Troup last season in Week 13. That week with the Bills at the Jets, Troup was a game time decision as he tried to get game ready one last time that season. But his back wouldn’t cooperate. He left the field and returned to the locker room crestfallen that he couldn’t be out there with his teammates.

“The Jets game on the road was the point where I couldn’t take it anymore,” Troup told this past spring. “I fought through it the best I could all the way through the season up until that Jets game. Coach Gailey came up to me in the locker room and said, ‘Don’t worry about it. We know you’ve been fighting all year and we know you are resilient so if you can’t go we know there’s something wrong. You should stay back here and lay down and relax.’ It was definitely heartbreaking not being able to finish the season with my teammates was horrible.”

Troup was placed on injured reserve Thursday as he was unable to recover quickly enough from offseason back surgery.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

How I-R for Troup helps

Posted by Chris Brown on August 23, 2012 – 3:20 pm

Torell Troup legitimately had to go the route of injured reserve. He just wasn’t going to be able to help this defense in time coming off of back surgery. Troup’s removal from the roster equation also helps in another way.

It stashes a young, capable defensive tackle on their roster. Granted he has to prove he can make it all the way back, but knowing that Spencer Johnson is in the final year of his contract and Dwan Edwards is only signed through the 2013 season, there will be a need to get younger depth behind starters Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams. That figures to be Troup and Alex Carrington, who could be the fifth defensive tackle kept on the 53-man roster if the numbers fall right.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

I-R for Troup not a surprise

Posted by Chris Brown on August 23, 2012 – 3:16 pm

As valiant an effort as Torell Troup made to be ready for the 2012 regular season, there was no way he was going to be ready in time to make a contribution on defense in the 2012 season.

Though he was practicing on a daily basis, he could not go much faster than half speed on the practice field. He underwent back surgery last December in which he had a broken vertebrae in his lower spine repaired and a bulging disc removed. Rehab was long and painful in the early months, but he fought through it and dragged himself out onto the practice field almost every day in camp.

Luck has not been on Troup’s side. Since he appeared in 15 games as a rookie, Troup will now have played in only six in 2011-2012.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Troup gets team reps

Posted by Chris Brown on August 11, 2012 – 10:58 pm

Bills DT Torell Troup didn’t play in the preseason opener. His body isn’t fit to play at game speed yet coming off back surgery. However, he is making progress.

Troup took a couple of team reps in practice Saturday. He’s had a couple of reps here and there in team in a couple of other practices, but isn’t going full speed yet. Head coach Chan Gailey and his staff appear to understand it’s going to be a lengthy process.

“Slowly, not as fast as any of us would like including him,” said Gailey in reference to Troup’s progress. “It’s real slow. It’s two steps forward and one step back on him. That’s frustrating on everybody.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Defense healing up

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2012 – 2:08 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey said over the weekend that he expected to get some injured players back on the practice field. Buffalo’s defense got three back Monday.

Chris Kelsay, Torell Troup and Josh Nesbitt all returned to the fold Monday off injuries. We’ll keep you posted on their participation in practice.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Defense healing up

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2012 – 2:02 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey said over the weekend that he expected to get some injured players back on the practice field. Buffalo’s defense got three back Monday.

Chris Kelsay, Torell Troup and Josh Nesbitt all returned to the fold Monday off injuries. We’ll keep you posted on their participation in practice.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Troup improving?

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2012 – 9:39 am

Torell Troup missed Saturday’s practice altogether as he was not even out on the field as a spectator after working in individual position drills almost every practice prior to that. Head coach Chan Gailey said a bad day at practice last Friday prompted his absence Saturday as he battles his way back from back surgery. But Troup had an interesting tweet this morning.

Troup tweeted the following Monday morning.

TorellTroup Goin to be a good day

While that message isn’t specific by any means, one would think it improves his likelihood of being on the practice field in some capacity Monday afternoon. We’ll keep you posted.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Minor setback for Troup?

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2012 – 7:03 pm

Torell Troup has been fighting his way back from offseason back surgery and the progress for the defensive tackle has been incremental. On Friday he apparently had a small setback and wasn’t even out on the field Saturday.

“He was just… they kept him in,” said Chan Gailey after Saturday’s practice. “He had a bad day (Friday) and they kept him inside today.”

Gailey did not provide any other details. Troup had two vertebrae in his lower back fused as part of his surgery this offseason. He’s valiantly tried to power through the individual position drills in practice every day, but it doesn’t appear like his body is cooperating very much as he often was moving at half speed. Now it’s hard to know what lies ahead for the defensive tackle.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-3

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2012 – 2:00 pm

One week in the books for training camp. Two weeks to go, but first preseason game is six days away! We’re almost there Bills fans! Keep sending your questions in to or on twitter @ChrisBrownBills. Today we’ve got an update on Jim Leonhard in here along with how things might shake out at receiver in terms of alignment and formation assignments.

1 – Chris,
I was wondering if you could help me with a question I’ve had regarding the 3 or 4 WR sets that Bills have run a lot in the past.  Previously, we’ve had a lot of guys that worked primarily out of the slot, with Stevie and Donald Jones as the outside receivers.  However, this year it appears that Donald Jones has started to win the 2nd receiver spot, but also works out of the slot a lot.  I’ve assumed that David Nelson would be the 3rd receiver.  However, if Donald Jones moves into the slot, the 3rd receiver would then be an outside WR, instead of the primary slot receiver you normally see on other teams.  David Nelson has done a great job out of the slot, but he and Donald can’t both work out of the slot.  Do one of those two get pushed to the outside spot?  Do you see someone else winning that outside spot and relegating David to the 4th WR or lower, and only comes on for 4 and 5 WR formations?
-Chris, Penn State

CB: This is what I envision happening. I believe if Donald Jones wins the #2 WR job he will line up outside and David Nelson will fill the primary slot role in 3-wide sets. When the team goes 4-wide however, I believe Nelson and Jones will both line up inside with a fourth receiver coming on in the form of Derek Hagan, Marcus Easley, T.J. Graham or someone else to line up outside opposite Stevie.

If Donald Jones doesn’t win the #2 WR job then he’ll in essence be the team’s 4th wideout. So when the team again goes to 4-wide, he’ll come on the field and work out of the slot as well.


2 – If Stephon Gilmore locks in a one the two spots at corner is it safe to believe that either McGee or McKelvin are going to be released. I would say with the drafting of Brooks and the improvement of 2nd year player Rogers that it is kind of pointless wasting another year on either one. This could be a roster spot used on another MLB or one of the developmental TE’s we have. Thanks for all your great reporting on!

PS. Have Buddy thought of adding another Pass rushing DT if Troup can’t get healthy?
CB: With respect to the secondary I think with the proliferation of spread formations across the league you need at least five corners on your active roster and one or two on your practice squad or six on the roster and one on the practice squad.

You may as well mark Gilmore down in pen at the right cornerback spot unless he struggles in the preseason games, but I don’t see it happening. Terrence McGee is a player that is not 100 percent back yet. It’s going to take some time, but barring a major setback I think he’ll remain on the roster. McKelvin has been worked as the primary slot corner so he’ll be on board.

The truth is you only have Gilmore, A. Williams, McGee, McKelvin, Rogers and Brooks and that’s six right there. Prince Miller, who was on the practice squad last year and still has eligibility, has had a nice camp too.

I don’t see McGee or McKelvin getting clipped unless McGee can’t recover from patellar tendon surgery.

Concerning the DT position, the Bills have plenty of depth there with the depth chart shaking out like this right now – Dareus, Williams – Sp. Johnson, Edwards – Carrington, Heard (recovering from injuries) – Gilbert, Ross. There already is respectable depth there so even if Troup can’t recover they have enough capable players.


3 – SutterDrew Aug 2,  via Twitter

@ChrisBrownBills hey Chris how long before Leonhard can go full out if he was to sign.

CB: The feedback I was able to get concerning his workout with the Bills Friday morning is that he’s not all the way back yet from his surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon. The situation is much the same with Terrence McGee, who if you’ve been out to practice have seen him laboring through drills at times.

Leonhard is about three to four weeks behind McGee in recovery. So signing him really isn’t an option right now.

I myself was wondering if the Bills doctors felt his knee would be ready in a month, could the Bills sign him now and place him on Active/PUP. That unfortunately is not allowed under league rules. Only a player that was already on the roster, but did not report to camp on time could be placed on Active/PUP once training camp has already begun.


4 – DennisBoyev Aug 2, via Twitter

@ChrisBrownBills – How is Kevin Brock doing so far?

CB: Unfortunately the young tight end is not getting many reps in the team portions of the practice setting. There’s no debating he’s athletic, but there’s another prospect that the coaching staff might be more interested in. Fendi Onobun, who much like Brock came in late last season, is every bit as athletic. He has seen more reps than Brock thus far and has made some plays.

It’s early and they haven’t played a preseason game, so I believe there are still many turns in the road at that position behind the top two TEs on the roster in Scott Chandler and Lee Smith.


5 – Chris,

We don’t hear much about him in the cornerback role? Has he slipped that far down the depth chart?

CB: Leodis has been the primary slot cornerback in camp. They’ve put him there in part because it reduces the risk of him getting beat deep, which was a problem in his game last season. He had a decent day Thursday registering a couple of pass breakups. He’s a fantastic athlete, but there are more things one has to be ready for covering the slot where receivers have two-ways gos, so it’ll bear watching in the preseason to see how he fares.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Troup taking day-by-day approach

Posted by Chris Brown on July 26, 2012 – 7:40 pm

Torell Troup still isn’t his normal self as an NFL defensive tackle. Coming off of back surgery not many NFL players would. But Troup, though limited, was generally pleased with what he was able to do in practice Thursday despite doing only individual position drills.

“It is going to be a day by day thing,” Troup told Contributing Correspondent Jared Kracker. “Today I just did individual to see how I feel and tomorrow I am going to come out here and do the same thing. If I feel any better I will do more and if not I will just stay away from it. The main goal when I talk to Chan (Gailey) and I talk to Buddy (Nix) is to be ready for the season opener.”

Troup isn’t happy about his situation, but is trying to focus on his progress with the finish line to his rehab in sight.

“It is very frustrating, but compared to where I was before, I really can’t say anything negative,” he said. “I’ve come from not being able to walk and being in pain everyday to getting back on to the field and close to full health.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills
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