Inside The Bills

Jackson defying what NFL history says

Posted by Chris Brown on December 24, 2013 – 10:48 am

Bills RB Fred Jackson is 32-years old. Most NFL executives and personnel men cast a wary eye upon any NFL back that’s on the wrong side of 28. That’s because history has shown a significant drop-off in production for backs once they pass their 28th birthday. There have been few exceptions, but Fred Jackson looks to be one of them.

On the advanced metrics site NumberFire, Jackson’s 2013 season was broken down to reveal he’s putting up production as good as almost any back in the league, several of whom are several years younger than Jackson.

Most significant however, is where Jackson’s production stands in NFL history among running backs 31-years old or older.

NumberFire listed all of the backs in league history who at age 31 or older had at least 800 rushing yards AND 300 receiving yards in a season. The grand total was nine… in NFL history! Walter Payton was responsible for two of those seasons, so there have been 10 such seasons by players 31 or older.

Jackson is now the 11th player after surpassing the 800-yard plateau last Sunday (now 836) with a game to play.

The list of players is obviously short, and it’s worth noting that it includes three Hall of Famers (Payton, Dorsett, Little) and a likely future Hall of Famer in LaDainian Tomlinson.

Here’s the chart courtesy of, and it should be noted that Jackson and “Sweetness” were the only two to pull this off at age 32.

Player                   Year       Age        Team                     Rush yards          Rec. yards
Tiki Barber           2006         31             NYG                            1,662                     465
Walter Payton      1985         31             CHI                              1,551                     483
Walter Payton      1986         32            CHI                              1,333                     382
Tony Dorsett        1985         31             DAL                             1,307                     449
Ricky Watters      2000        31             SEA                             1,242                     613
James Brooks      1989         31             CIN                              1,239                     306
James Stewart    2002         31             DET                             1,021                     333
Floyd Little          1973         31             DEN                             979                         423
Garrison Hearst 2002        31             SF                                 972                         317
L. Tomlinson       2010        31             NYJ                              914                         368
Fred Jackson   2013         32           BUF                          836                       334


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Hard to believe

Posted by Chris Brown on October 30, 2009 – 3:33 pm

It’s hard to believe that Chicago Bears Hall of Famer Walter Payton has been gone 10 years, but Sunday will mark the 10th anniversary of his passing.

The Bears are honoring his memory at halftime of their game with Cleveland this weekend.

Payton was my all-time favorite player growing up. The guy wasn’t the fastest, but he could do everything and he never gave up on any yard he thought he could gain. The guy lowered his head for every inch.

That’s why he was the league’s all-time leading rusher for 15 years before Emmitt Smith came along. Just a special player that you felt privileged to watch.

Here’s a shot of me at the Hall of Fame with ‘Sweetness’ (that was his nickname for those that don’t know). Well sort of.
Me and Sweetness


Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 7-10

Posted by Chris Brown on July 10, 2009 – 8:00 pm

Only a couple of more weeks until camp opens at St. John Fisher. Trying to really whittle down my inbox at before camp knowing the questions will really be flying then. Let’s get started.
1. Chris,
Do you expect the Bills to keep six safeties?
Pete Howell

CB: No, I don’t see how they justify keeping six. They kept five last season and that sounds right to me. I think provided no one suffers a season-ending injury in the preseason the five safeties will be Whitner, Scott, Wilson, Wendling and Byrd. Wilson and Wendling primarily because of their value to special teams.


2. Chris:
With the addition of Maybin and the need at linebacker do you see the Bills trying either Copeland Bryan or Chris Ellis at linebacker this season?  I know Ellis was considered a tweener in last year’s draft and Bryan is small for a DE.
Gregg in Atlanta

CB: I highly doubt we’ll see Copeland Bryan at LB. I suppose Ellis is a possibility, but I don’t see it happening. However, I think Maybin could line up at LB in passing situations. In an effort to get Maybin on the field as much as possible on passing downs, I think Perry Fewell will make use of him not only as an end, but a rush LB. We’ll see.

3. Chris,  During spring practices Trent Edwards said they were practicing a lot of dink and dunk plays. Over the past few years I have been getting sick and tired of these plays. Do you think with the addition of T.O. the Bills will finally take shots downfield? 
Thanks,       Eric, Hamburg

CB: I think you may have misheard Trent. If memory serves we were asking him about getting blitzed a lot, which was the case in one particular practice. He said he doesn’t like it dinking and dunking as much as he had to, but sometimes it’s necessary when the blitz is coming as much as it was in that particular practice.

Perry Fewell really let the dogs loose and the O-line was still in the midst of developing chemistry.

I do believe that with Owens and Evans outside that the Bills will try to go downfield more often, but we have to remember that early in the season the line may not be able to hold up effectively while still jelling and so deep passes downfield may not happen as often as you would like. The reason why is the result of taking that approach when the line is still coming together could be an injured QB.



4. Chris, you’ve wrote alot about “would be” sacks, and I was wondering how the offensive line is doing? Do you think that they show any early signs of meshing well together? I know that it takes time to get the cohesiveness down, but I feel this season’s sucsess hinges on just that happening. On paper they have a team that can contend for a playoff birth, but I really think that it comes down to the o-line.
 Thanks…Bryan – Canandaigua NY

CB: As far as terminology and assignments, the linemen, particularly new guys (McKinney, Hangartner, Levitre, Wood) handled things well. They also did well with the up tempo pace. The blocking assignments and team work where the real chemistry is developed will have to wait until training camp and the preseason when the pads are on.

I’m hopeful there’s enough time for the starting five (when chosen) to pull it all together in time for the opener. You’re right that the success of the offense will hinge on that because if they can’t give Trent enough time, it doesn’t matter who is out there running routes.

At least they’ve got an extra preseason game to work, with the HOF game. But with five guys in five new positions it’s going to take some time. It doesn’t just happen.


5.  I was wondering if the bills were thinking about using Roscoe Parrish in the Wildcat. I don’t think he’s gonna get a lot of catches this year and if he can use that quickness we see when he returns punts he could be pretty effective in the Wildcat.
thanks Andy-buffalo

CB: I think it’s possible, but unlikely. The only reason why is if he has to tuck and run he could get crushed. In principle it’s a good idea because the Wildcat works best when you have someone running it that is a threat to pass as well as run. Roscoe was a former high school quarterback and throws a heck of a ball. But his stature I think might rule him out among the coaches.

The perfect Wildcat guy would have been Walter Payton. My favorite player growing up, Payton could do it all. Threw I think for 8 career touchdowns. L.T. is another guy that’s a good fit. Miami’s Pat White is a bit scary to think about too.

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