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GroveDiesel

***Official Buffalo Bills Thread 2019 Version***

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I am extremely surprised that the Bills front office is overlooking these character issues. Try have been avoiding those types of players for years, and shipped them out if they became issues (McGahee, Lynch). Now they've abandoned that philosophy and targeted several players with character issues.The shift in philosophy is pretty extreme. Do they think they can keep these kids in check? Or are they more concerned with bringing in talent first and building chemistry and cohesiveness later?

I don't think marijuana and alcohol issues are necessarily all that bad. Lots of kids make stupid mistakes with those substances and eventually learn from them as they mature.

Unless I'm missing something, I didn't see any violent offenses.

Da'Rick Rogers had disorderly conduct and resisting arrest his freshman season followed by the drug suspensions that got him kicked out of Tennessee.

Kiko Alonso had a DUI that suspended him for all of 2010 followed by charges of Burglary, Criminal Trespass and Criminal Mischief in 2011, he was also drunk at the time.

Duke Williams had possession of alcohol by a minor and theft (suspension served during Hawaii Bowl) in 2009, assault (charges were never filed, but the incident is well documented, he was also drinking and was 19 at the time) in 2010, expired license, expired registration, driving without insurance, warrant for failure to appear in 2011.

I'm not saying they aren't salvagable, I went to college, I know how it's easy to get caught up in the moment and doing stupid things while partying. But the Bills have avoided these types of players, now they went out and got 3 guys this weekend. There isn't a lot to do in Buffalo, I hope they find other things to keep themselves occupied. The Bills might not have a lot of wins, but they also don't have a lot of players showing up in the police blotter. I think the last guy to get arrested was Donte Whitner in 2009.

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I am extremely surprised that the Bills front office is overlooking these character issues. Try have been avoiding those types of players for years, and shipped them out if they became issues (McGahee, Lynch). Now they've abandoned that philosophy and targeted several players with character issues.

The shift in philosophy is pretty extreme. Do they think they can keep these kids in check? Or are they more concerned with bringing in talent first and building chemistry and cohesiveness later?

I don't think marijuana and alcohol issues are necessarily all that bad. Lots of kids make stupid mistakes with those substances and eventually learn from them as they mature.

Unless I'm missing something, I didn't see any violent offenses.

Rogers got into a fight outside of a bar. Someone in the thread on Da'Rick said that there were people there that said that Rogers almost stomped some security guy to death. :scared: Hopefully that's just talk because that would be a lot bigger deal and character flaw than some substance issues.

Read about it http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/12778928/updated-calhouns-darick-rogers-arrested-in-knoxville-bar-fight

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Agreed. I hated seeing Levitre walk, and I won't be happy if we lose Byrd. Having said that, safeties and to a lesser extent guards are expendable. The front office seems to have its priorities straight on this one.

I really liked this draft overall, and I love the Rogers signing. In the long run the success of this draft will almost certainly hinge on how Manuel does, since the team put itself in a position where they absolutely had no choice but to draft a QB from a weak class, but it's hard to argue much with how things went after the first even if you weren't fond of that particular pick. (I'm okay with it).

I disagree- how did they have absolutely no choice but to draft a QB from this weak class? They could have gone with another need, like Jarvis Jones for instance, and stuck with Kolb for a year (besides drafting a QB much later obviously).

Also, I think Woods is the only pick that's hard to argue myself.

If they were just going to just stumble along with a placeholder at QB, then they might as well have kept Fitz.

This FO has absolutely refused to draft a QB, for whatever reason, the result being that they're bringing in a new staff with the cupboard completely bare at the most important position. And given that none of our staffs lasts longer than 3-4 years, it's just not reasoanble to ask them to muddle through for a year. Somewhere along the line the team simply has to start investing draft picks at QB and keep doing so until it gets one right. If Manuel doesn't work out, fine, we'll draft another. At least they're actually trying now.

Okay, but they still had a choice. If they didn't like the QBs in this class, it would be insanely foolish to spend a high pick on one "just because". There are plenty of other options.

The reason the FO refused to draft a QB was because they thought they had their guy in Fitzpatrick. It's part of what makes me uneasy about this draft, because now they are "all in" with Manuel. We don't even know how much he's going to play this season, but I wouldn't expect much of a difference in W/L's over Kolb, so it's probably going to be muddling through the year either way.

I agree with the end, which is why I wish they had taken Nassib in the 4th. They have to get it right, why not increase your chances for a relatively small price?

Who do you think has the higher upside, Manuel or Nassib?

The Panthers invested a fairly high draft pick on Jimmy Clausen and came right back and took Cam Newton. If the Bills are bad enough and Manuel looks to be a bust, hopefully the organization is smart enough to grab one of the top QBs in next year's draft.

I don't know to be honest, but upside is only one part of the equation, and the day before the draft you said Nassib could be elite, so you must think he has a lot of upside as well.

The Carolina comparison isn't that great- they used a mid-2nd on Clausen, not a mid-1st, and they had a HC change.

In any event, I think Nassib in the 4th would have been a great pick for a number of reasons.

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Buffalo Bills acquire Jerry Hughes from Colts; trade Kelvin Sheppard

By Brian Galliford on Apr 29 2013, 1:35p

The Buffalo Bills announced on Monday that they have traded linebacker Kelvin Sheppard to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for pass rusher Jerry Hughes.

Hughes, 24, is a former first-round draft pick (circa the 2010 NFL Draft) that has done very little with the Colts, registering 62 tackles and five sacks in three seasons - though he did emerge a bit in a 3-4 defense with four sacks in 2012. The 6'2", 254-pound edge rusher played collegiately at TCU and was highly-rated on Buffalo's draft board three years ago, when GM Buddy Nix was in his first year on the job. In his last two years at TCU, Hughes recorded 36 tackles for a loss and 26.5 sacks.

Sheppard, 25, was the Bills' third-round draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He has been a part-time starter at inside linebacker for the past two seasons, registering 150 tackles and two sacks in that time frame. The Bills drafted linebacker Kiko Alonso out of Oregon this past weekend, however, and Sheppard's limited ability in coverage lessened his utility in a hybrid defense like the one being installed by Mike Pettine.

On the surface, this looks like a sensible trade for Buffalo. They send Sheppard - a good young player - off to a team with a defense that better suits his skills, and they acquire a skilled pass rusher that they can try to develop a bit at a reasonable price.

Sheppard's departure does, however, create a bit of a hole at middle linebacker, where just this morning it looked like he and Alonso would be competing. Don't be surprised if the team's interest in free agent Karlos Dansby rekindles now that Sheppard is headed to Indy.

http://www.buffalorumblings.com/2013/4/29/4282594/buffalo-bills-acquire-jerry-hughes-from-colts-trade-kelvin-sheppard

Edited by BILLIEVE

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very interesting.

I'm glad to see Sheppard moved as he was very disappointing.

Seems like this means Bradham/Alonso/Lawson as the main LB group in a 4-3.

Then when they go to a 3-4, they can use Mario, Anderson, Hughes, Lawson at OLB with Bradham and Alonso on the inside.

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The depth with our OL, LBs and CBs is terrifying. We are setting ourselves up for another long, long season.

But hey, we've got great depth with our kickers and safeties!

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The depth with our OL, LBs and CBs is terrifying. We are setting ourselves up for another long, long season.

But hey, we've got great depth with our kickers and safeties!

Was thinking the same. Hoping they sign Karlos Dansby and start bringing in some other players for workouts here soon. They have completely ignored their offensive line, which is a little odd considering they lost Levitre and his backup. So either they know something that nobody else does and they have a gem on the bench (doubtful) or they're going to suffer through a swiss cheese offensive line again this year.

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The depth with our OL, LBs and CBs is terrifying. We are setting ourselves up for another long, long season.

But hey, we've got great depth with our kickers and safeties!

they can still sign guys in free agency. can't fix everything through the draft. is it really hard to find some depth bodies at those positions (other than CB)?

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I do think the one move the Bills really screwed up was letting Rinehart go. I think they were surprised that he was signed so quickly, but they shouldn't have been since their previous O-line coach is in SD where they needed help at G. Rinehart would have been a very adequate replacement for Levitre and would have been a cheap signing. Probably 4 years at $8M would have gotten the job done. What's out there at G right now is pretty bad. They're going to have to wait for some cuts to be made.

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But still, are they going to be depth or possible starters that we have to find? What does our starting O-line looking like at this point? LT - GlennLG - ?C - WoodRG - ?RT - Hairston?

Urbik at RG is just fine. The only problem position is really LG. Collin Brown is penciled in as the starter there now. At this point I'd figure he's in a camp battle with Williams for the starting LG spot. My guess is they ultimately bring in a veteran LG when cuts start to happen. I think they're fine at the other positions.And who knows, maybe Pears or Hairston get moved to LG.And I don't know that any of us know how good Brown or Williams may be. None of us saw them practice last year. They may be more serviceable than we think. I mean, who ever heard of Urbik or Peters or Hairston before any of them became starters? Edited by GroveDiesel

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Zebrie Sanders, last year's 4th round pick from Florida State, should be back from hip surgery, correct? At 6'6", 330 he might be ready to step in at LG.

From what I've read, they want him to strictly be an OT for now. Seems like a for at LG to me, but it sounds like that's not the plan for now anyway.

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But still, are they going to be depth or possible starters that we have to find? What does our starting O-line looking like at this point? LT - GlennLG - ?C - WoodRG - ?RT - Hairston?

Urbik at RG is just fine. The only problem position is really LG. Collin Brown is penciled in as the starter there now. At this point I'd figure he's in a camp battle with Williams for the starting LG spot. My guess is they ultimately bring in a veteran LG when cuts start to happen. I think they're fine at the other positions.And who knows, maybe Pears or Hairston get moved to LG.And I don't know that any of us know how good Brown or Williams may be. None of us saw them practice last year. They may be more serviceable than we think. I mean, who ever heard of Urbik or Peters or Hairston before any of them became starters?

This lack of investment in the OL is reminiscent of the early 2000s. Ya, that wasn't a :tfp: at all.

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But still, are they going to be depth or possible starters that we have to find? What does our starting O-line looking like at this point? LT - GlennLG - ?C - WoodRG - ?RT - Hairston?

Urbik at RG is just fine. The only problem position is really LG. Collin Brown is penciled in as the starter there now. At this point I'd figure he's in a camp battle with Williams for the starting LG spot. My guess is they ultimately bring in a veteran LG when cuts start to happen. I think they're fine at the other positions.And who knows, maybe Pears or Hairston get moved to LG.And I don't know that any of us know how good Brown or Williams may be. None of us saw them practice last year. They may be more serviceable than we think. I mean, who ever heard of Urbik or Peters or Hairston before any of them became starters?
This lack of investment in the OL is reminiscent of the early 2000s. Ya, that wasn't a :tfp: at all.
:confused:Their O-line was excellent last year even with a lot of injuries. The only guy they lost was Levitre. The offense should be a quick strike offense that helps out the O-line on pass blocking and lets the big linemen the Bills have steamroll opposing defenses. I seriously doubt the line will be a problem at all.

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Oh, and Ian Rappaport just tweeted that he just confirmed that another team drafting in the top 10 had Manuel as their top QB as well. So if Buffalo had tried to wait until the 2nd round, they probably wouldn't have gotten him.

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Oh, and Ian Rappaport just tweeted that he just confirmed that another team drafting in the top 10 had Manuel as their top QB as well. So if Buffalo had tried to wait until the 2nd round, they probably wouldn't have gotten him.

You're stretching quite a bit here.

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Oh, and Ian Rappaport just tweeted that he just confirmed that another team drafting in the top 10 had Manuel as their top QB as well. So if Buffalo had tried to wait until the 2nd round, they probably wouldn't have gotten him.

You're stretching quite a bit here.

How do you know that a team in the early 2nd that had him as their QB1 wouldn't have taken him prior to the Bills pick?

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Oh, and Ian Rappaport just tweeted that he just confirmed that another team drafting in the top 10 had Manuel as their top QB as well. So if Buffalo had tried to wait until the 2nd round, they probably wouldn't have gotten him.

You're stretching quite a bit here.

How do you know that a team in the early 2nd that had him as their QB1 wouldn't have taken him prior to the Bills pick?

I don't. How do you know that they probably would have?

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Oh, and Ian Rappaport just tweeted that he just confirmed that another team drafting in the top 10 had Manuel as their top QB as well. So if Buffalo had tried to wait until the 2nd round, they probably wouldn't have gotten him.

You're stretching quite a bit here.
How do you know that a team in the early 2nd that had him as their QB1 wouldn't have taken him prior to the Bills pick?
I don't. How do you know that they probably would have?
The fact that you don't know absolutely justifies Buffalo taking Manuel where they did IMO. They had him rated the #1 QB by quite a bit from all reports and believe he can be a franchise QB. Buffalo couldn't know if another team would take Manuel at the top of the 2nd either. And the fact that another team in the top 10 had him rated as their #1 QB as well indicates that it was a very real possibility he would have gone by their pick. If the Bills had Manuel rated a 90 out of 100 and their #2 a 78, then it doesn't seem like it would have been worth the risk to wait until their 2nd round pick.

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E.J. Manuel accepted an invitation from the NFL to attend the NFL Draft for the First Round, and accepted that invitation several weeks ago. He did this knowing that at least 2-3 teams were highly interested in picking him in the first round and were not just blowing smoke in his direction.

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Oh, and Ian Rappaport just tweeted that he just confirmed that another team drafting in the top 10 had Manuel as their top QB as well. So if Buffalo had tried to wait until the 2nd round, they probably wouldn't have gotten him.

You're stretching quite a bit here.
How do you know that a team in the early 2nd that had him as their QB1 wouldn't have taken him prior to the Bills pick?
I don't. How do you know that they probably would have?
The fact that you don't know absolutely justifies Buffalo taking Manuel where they did IMO. They had him rated the #1 QB by quite a bit from all reports and believe he can be a franchise QB. Buffalo couldn't know if another team would take Manuel at the top of the 2nd either. And the fact that another team in the top 10 had him rated as their #1 QB as well indicates that it was a very real possibility he would have gone by their pick. If the Bills had Manuel rated a 90 out of 100 and their #2 a 78, then it doesn't seem like it would have been worth the risk to wait until their 2nd round pick.

"A very real possibility he would have been gone" is quite different from "probably wouldn't have gotten him".

It's clear you're seeing this through rose colored glasses- yes, if...if...if...if, then it makes sense. While it's possible all of those "if's" were reality, it's also very possible that they weren't.

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It is all about risk management and opportunity cost.

In any analysis we need to make assumptions so lets assume two things.

1. The trade down was useful due to so many holes on the team.

2. They didnt want Geno Smith, Marrone beat him several times and wasnt impressed.

So if they go WR at 16, they get Hopkins or Patterson. Then there is the risk they cant get the QB they want in the second. What is that risk? 0%......100%......who knows.

Whatever the risk, if they dont want Geno who are they left with if they lose....Nassib or Barkley? These were 4th round picks, but if the Bills took them in the 2nd no one would be crying reach because they were "rated" as 1st rounders.

Garbage.

It is obvious that all 32 teams knew these were 4th round QBs. Do you really want your QB of the future being a 4th round talent? Sure it works out.....but how often?

Even if the Bills gauged that there was a 5 percent chance they woypuld lose on EJ, they made the right pick since the drop off in WR picks was not worth the risk of what they would be left with at QB.

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It is all about risk management and opportunity cost.In any analysis we need to make assumptions so lets assume two things.1. The trade down was useful due to so many holes on the team.2. They didnt want Geno Smith, Marrone beat him several times and wasnt impressed.So if they go WR at 16, they get Hopkins or Patterson. Then there is the risk they cant get the QB they want in the second. What is that risk? 0%......100%......who knows.Whatever the risk, if they dont want Geno who are they left with if they lose....Nassib or Barkley? These were 4th round picks, but if the Bills took them in the 2nd no one would be crying reach because they were "rated" as 1st rounders.Garbage.It is obvious that all 32 teams knew these were 4th round QBs. Do you really want your QB of the future being a 4th round talent? Sure it works out.....but how often?Even if the Bills gauged that there was a 5 percent chance they woypuld lose on EJ, they made the right pick since the drop off in WR picks was not worth the risk of what they would be left with at QB.

It didn't have to be WR at 16- Jarvis Jones was staring them in the face, and Grove earlier in this thread said he thought he was the best player in this draft.

Yes, those QBs ended up being 4th round picks. We don't know that Manuel wouldn't have also been a 4th round pick if the Bills hadn't selected him.

I've said it several times already, but I agree- if they were much higher on Manuel than all of the other QBs, then taking him at 16 makes sense. Fact is, we don't know how much higher they were on Manuel than the others (nevermind what other teams felt), but I guess if it makes people feel better, go ahead and assume they thought they were worlds apart and that most teams thought the same thing. Oh, and that they're going to be correct obviously.

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More tint for the glasses.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/dispelling-myths-buffalo-bills-quarterback-ej-manuel-183500304.html

The "slow eyes/read defense" thing is what it is. Without knowing exactly how the offense was run or what was expected of the QB at Florida State I think it's hard to say for sure one way or the other on that. FWIW, it seemed to me that the pre-snap read was more important than the post-snap read to me. Manuel seemed to know where he was going with the ball before the snap on a vast majority of passing plays. Now there's 2 possibilities for why that is. The first is that the Seminoles ran a very basic offense and Manuel simply threw to his primary receiver all the time. That would obviously be a bad thing. The other possibility is that the Seminoles ran a complex offense that required the QB to read the defense pre-snap to understand what they are doing and figure out which guy would be open based on what the defense was going to do. That's what guys like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady excel at. Brady has said he knows where the ball is going 90% of the time before the snap. That would obviously be a great thing. From the description in the link, it sounds more like the latter than the former to me.

If you have a smart QB that you trust and a versatile offense, you don't have a standard progression on plays. Rather than designating the WR#1 the primary target, TE1 the secondary, WR2 #3 and the RB#4 no matter what, the QB reads what the defense will do and re-orders his progression on every snap. So if the defense gives him one look, it's the progression above. If it's a different look, he switches it up and re-orders his progression.

Honestly, in this day and age, a progression that covers the entire field either means your QB can't read a defense pre-snap or there is tremendous coverage. If a QB reads the defense properly pre-snap, he should already know exactly where the open spots will be on the field.

As for the accuracy stuff, I think the numbers speak for themselves there. Yes, he does seem to have 2 or 3 balls a game that end up being WAY off target, but even with those his completion percentage and accuracy were the best in this draft class. I don't know how these draft experts came up with the idea that he has accuracy issues when all the numbers say otherwise.

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So, a Bills fan had him as the #5 QB pre-draft (behind 2 4th rounders and a guy who was taken late in the 7th round), but now that they drafted him has "seen the light" and thinks he's the best?

Sounds familiar. :P

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But still, are they going to be depth or possible starters that we have to find? What does our starting O-line looking like at this point? LT - GlennLG - ?C - WoodRG - ?RT - Hairston?

Urbik at RG is just fine. The only problem position is really LG. Collin Brown is penciled in as the starter there now. At this point I'd figure he's in a camp battle with Williams for the starting LG spot. My guess is they ultimately bring in a veteran LG when cuts start to happen. I think they're fine at the other positions.And who knows, maybe Pears or Hairston get moved to LG.And I don't know that any of us know how good Brown or Williams may be. None of us saw them practice last year. They may be more serviceable than we think. I mean, who ever heard of Urbik or Peters or Hairston before any of them became starters?
This lack of investment in the OL is reminiscent of the early 2000s. Ya, that wasn't a :tfp: at all.
:confused:Their O-line was excellent last year even with a lot of injuries. The only guy they lost was Levitre. The offense should be a quick strike offense that helps out the O-line on pass blocking and lets the big linemen the Bills have steamroll opposing defenses. I seriously doubt the line will be a problem at all.

They lost both of their top two players at LG and did not bring in anyone to bolster depth anywhere on the line. And don't forget that Levitre was the only dependable linemen we've had the last few years... both in terms of injuries and productivity.

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The depth with our OL, LBs and CBs is terrifying. We are setting ourselves up for another long, long season.

But hey, we've got great depth with our kickers and safeties!

Was thinking the same. Hoping they sign Karlos Dansby and start bringing in some other players for workouts here soon. They have completely ignored their offensive line, which is a little odd considering they lost Levitre and his backup. So either they know something that nobody else does and they have a gem on the bench (doubtful) or they're going to suffer through a swiss cheese offensive line again this year.

Swiss cheese? Seriously? You didn't watch this team.They were 6th in sacks allowed and 10th in total rushing yards last season. Choice ran for 100 yards when he had to step in and start! Levitre left but why would the Bills want to pay him RT money? Who replaces him is a good question and I don't know the answer but last seasons line play was something the rest of the team wasn't. Quality.

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The depth with our OL, LBs and CBs is terrifying. We are setting ourselves up for another long, long season.

But hey, we've got great depth with our kickers and safeties!

Was thinking the same. Hoping they sign Karlos Dansby and start bringing in some other players for workouts here soon. They have completely ignored their offensive line, which is a little odd considering they lost Levitre and his backup. So either they know something that nobody else does and they have a gem on the bench (doubtful) or they're going to suffer through a swiss cheese offensive line again this year.

Swiss cheese? Seriously? You didn't watch this team.They were 6th in sacks allowed and 10th in total rushing yards last season. Choice ran for 100 yards when he had to step in and start! Levitre left but why would the Bills want to pay him RT money? Who replaces him is a good question and I don't know the answer but last seasons line play was something the rest of the team wasn't. Quality.

The lack of sacks had much more to do with the offensive playcalling (short pass routes) and Fitzpatrick's quick delivery. Similarly, Spiller's long runs inflated those rushing yards significantly.

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The depth with our OL, LBs and CBs is terrifying. We are setting ourselves up for another long, long season. But hey, we've got great depth with our kickers and safeties!

Was thinking the same. Hoping they sign Karlos Dansby and start bringing in some other players for workouts here soon. They have completely ignored their offensive line, which is a little odd considering they lost Levitre and his backup. So either they know something that nobody else does and they have a gem on the bench (doubtful) or they're going to suffer through a swiss cheese offensive line again this year.
Swiss cheese? Seriously? You didn't watch this team.They were 6th in sacks allowed and 10th in total rushing yards last season. Choice ran for 100 yards when he had to step in and start! Levitre left but why would the Bills want to pay him RT money? Who replaces him is a good question and I don't know the answer but last seasons line play was something the rest of the team wasn't. Quality.
The lack of sacks had much more to do with the offensive playcalling (short pass routes) and Fitzpatrick's quick delivery. Similarly, Spiller's long runs inflated those rushing yards significantly.
Well, Spiller is still on the team and they're still going to throw a lot of quick developing routes. Oh, and Manuel has a faster release than Fitz. Looks like the Bills are golden.

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The depth with our OL, LBs and CBs is terrifying. We are setting ourselves up for another long, long season.

But hey, we've got great depth with our kickers and safeties!

Was thinking the same. Hoping they sign Karlos Dansby and start bringing in some other players for workouts here soon. They have completely ignored their offensive line, which is a little odd considering they lost Levitre and his backup. So either they know something that nobody else does and they have a gem on the bench (doubtful) or they're going to suffer through a swiss cheese offensive line again this year.

Swiss cheese? Seriously? You didn't watch this team.They were 6th in sacks allowed and 10th in total rushing yards last season. Choice ran for 100 yards when he had to step in and start! Levitre left but why would the Bills want to pay him RT money? Who replaces him is a good question and I don't know the answer but last seasons line play was something the rest of the team wasn't. Quality.

Yes I watched the team and I know what they did and didn't do. Their line was good last season, but how many seasons has it been solid? As soon as we seem to be on the right track, we lose a key player. I understand he was commanding huge money, and I'm glad they didn't take Warmack at 1.8 as it would be foolish to let your OG go only to draft the replacement in the 1st round, it doesn't improve the team.

You can take my comment however you like. But the fact is Buffalo has had a poor line for years and we have some serious question marks. With the amount of young talent on this team, it would make a lot of sense for teams to be much more aggressive defensively. That means our OL needs to be on top of their game, and at this point we have a huge question mark at LG.

Simmer

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Based on the games I watched Manuel play towards the end of the season, my impression of him is that he still has some ball protection issues that he needs to clean up and I don't just mean the interceptions. He's a guy with some good developmental tools and hopefully with good coaching, those mistakes can be cleaned up but I just can't endorse starting the season with him under center. This means that 2013 will still comedown to getting Kevin Kolb ready and hope that he's a significant upgrade over Fitz.

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Buffalo's O-line has been one of the top lines for the last 3 years.

Either way, this article pretty much sums up my feeling on the matter: http://www.wgr550.com/pages/16253105.php?contentType=4&contentId=12976863

Define top?

2010 rankings (ranked 20): http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol2010

2011 rankings (ranked 12): http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol2011

2012 rankings (ranked 8): http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol2012

2010 they were just outside the bottom 1/3

2011 they made strides, but were still not amongst the top 1/3

2012 was the first year they cracked the top 1/3 OLs

Curious if you were just posting your person opinions or some statement of fact

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Buffalo's O-line has been one of the top lines for the last 3 years.

Either way, this article pretty much sums up my feeling on the matter: http://www.wgr550.com/pages/16253105.php?contentType=4&contentId=12976863

Define top?

2010 rankings (ranked 20): http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol2010

2011 rankings (ranked 12): http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol2011

2012 rankings (ranked 8): http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol2012

2010 they were just outside the bottom 1/3

2011 they made strides, but were still not amongst the top 1/3

2012 was the first year they cracked the top 1/3 OLs

Curious if you were just posting your person opinions or some statement of fact

Little of both. Yeah, 2010 wasn't very good. I wasn't remembering that correctly. But clearly you can read all sorts of stats differently as ProFootballFocus ranked Buffalo 4th overall in 2011. I thought they performed much better than they got credit for in 2011.

And last year they were terrific until injuries hit.

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Buffalo's O-line has been one of the top lines for the last 3 years.

Either way, this article pretty much sums up my feeling on the matter: http://www.wgr550.com/pages/16253105.php?contentType=4&contentId=12976863

Define top?

2010 rankings (ranked 20): http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol2010

2011 rankings (ranked 12): http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol2011

2012 rankings (ranked 8): http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol2012

2010 they were just outside the bottom 1/3

2011 they made strides, but were still not amongst the top 1/3

2012 was the first year they cracked the top 1/3 OLs

Curious if you were just posting your person opinions or some statement of fact

Little of both. Yeah, 2010 wasn't very good. I wasn't remembering that correctly. But clearly you can read all sorts of stats differently as ProFootballFocus ranked Buffalo 4th overall in 2011. I thought they performed much better than they got credit for in 2011.

And last year they were terrific until injuries hit.

I agree. And we can't expect or depend on a healthy season for the entire OL. So if we make due with a stopgap player at LG and someone else goes down, our line is considerably worse than it was last season. After the Sheppard trade I'm hoping the front office is still looking for a guard type to start, and I assume that they are. With the amount of first round OL that went in this draft, you would think there would be plenty of guys available at some point.

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Looks more and more like Manuel at 16 wasn't the reach the media thought it was.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/blog/rob-rang/22203399/finding-the-fits-alonso-could-star-as-qb-of-bills-defense

Bills Banter (Other thoughts on the Bills' 2013 draft class): The days following the draft are especially enlightening because scouts are more willing to share their unbiased opinions on drafted players.

The selection of Manuel has been criticized and certainly surprised many (including me) who theorized head coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nate Hackett would stick with who they knew and draft Ryan Nassib, the passer they'd worked with at Syracuse.

The perception by many is that the Bills' selection of Manuel at No. 16 overall was a reach. Representatives from multiple teams have told me, however, that they saw the former Florida State star as the top quarterback in the 2013 draft class. One highly placed source for a team other than the Bills said Manuel was the best "by a wide margin."

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I here you BIllieve, just thought you were raggin on last years line a little hard with the swiss cheese comment. Manuel should be able to help the line some with his athletic ability once he is given a chance as well. As for the media and their opinion of the draft, seriously guys who cares?? These morons had us taking Nassib and Barkley at 8!! These are 4th round guys as far as the real NFL scouts are concerned so the media guys can take their evaluations and shove'em where the sun don't shine. The Bills traded down, picked up a 2nd and a 7th(you can say it's nothing but I could point to M.Colston as a 7th rd talent or just point out that special teamers are important parts to the team as well) and still got the top QB on their board. As bad as the D has been we NEEDED a QB to build around, it's a QB driven league and this is our guy. So for all you doubters, I hope your wrong, I'm on board, Go EJ. Put the SHOUT back into Bills games. If you ain't with me you're in the wrong thread, go check out the Miami or NYJs thread, this here is for Bills fans. LETS GO BUFFALO, HAY-AY-AY-AY the BILLS make me wanna SHOUT!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The Buffalo Bills did well to fill some holes on their roster in last weekend’s NFL Draft.

But as you might expect for a team that has gone 6-10 the past two seasons, there are still some positions that could use an upgrade – or at the very least added competition for the penciled-in starter.

General Manager Buddy Nix expressed an interest prior to the draft in continuing to explore the veteran free agent market.

“You know, I think it’s very likely,” he said. “We brought in Nick Barnett after camp started and he played two good years for us. So we’ll be in business up until we start the preseason. There’s still guys out there.”

Barnett was signed in 2011 two days after he was released by the Green Bay Packers.

“Players will be released. There’s still some cap work that needs to be done on a lot of teams so there will be good players popping up. You just have to be ready, and we track them,” said Tom Gibbons, the Bills’ director of pro personnel. “If there were to be a player come available, I don’t think there’d be any question that we’d sign him ... up until camp if we felt the player could help us.”

Should the Bills choose to go bargain hunting in the current market, here are a few players who fit positions of need.

Brandon Moore, left guard, New York Jets: Moore has started 137 consecutive games for New York since 2004, including every game the past eight seasons. Moore, who will be 33 in June, took over as a starter in New York while current Bills coach Doug Marrone was working as the Jets’ offensive line coach. Moore would immediately go to the top of the Bills’ depth chart at left guard, the position left void when Andy Levitre signed as a free agent with the Tennessee Titans. Moore has visited Miami and Detroit, while also drawing some interest from Chicago and Dallas. A report from NFL.com last month suggested Moore was looking for “starter money,” a possible reason he remains unsigned. A one-year contract in the range of $3 million could be a good match for both sides.

Sheldon Brown, cornerback, Cleveland Browns: Brown started 14 games for the Browns last season and had 60 tackles, three interceptions and 12 passes defensed. He played 903 snaps last season. Opposing quarterbacks had a rating of 85.1 when throwing against Brown, according to advanced statistics complied by the website profootballfocus.com. Brown, however, is 34, so age is working against him.

The Bills surprisingly did not select a cornerback last weekend – a position Nix has said he likes to take in every draft. However, the team believes fourth-round pick Duke Williams can be used in that role some. As it stands now with Aaron Williams being moved to safety, the Bills’ starters on the outside are Stephon Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin, with Rob Brooks and Justin Rogers in the slot, or nickel cornerback role. The Bills also have T.J. Heath and Crezdon Butler. They finished last season on the 53-man roster.

Karlos Dansby, inside linebacker, Miami Dolphins: The Bills hosted Dansby on a free agent visit prior to the draft, but as Nix put it: “I would just say it did not work out, to be honest.” However, that was before the Bills traded inside linebacker Kelvin Sheppard to the Indianapolis Colts. Nix did indicate that the Bills would keep dialogue open with Dansby, who had 134 tackles and started all 16 games last year for the Dolphins.

The Bills used a second-round pick on Oregon linebacker Kiko Alonso, who has the flexibility to play inside or outside. Alonso is penciled in as a starter next to second-year man Nigel Bradham. Dansby, 31, would seem to have some good years ahead of him. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder set a career high in tackles last season. He could play in the middle or on the weak side, and also serve as a mentor to the Bills’ promising younger players at the position.

Bart Scott, inside linebacker, New York Jets: Somewhat surprisingly, the Bills haven’t gone to the former Jets well in an effort to bring in players who could serve as “coaches on the field” for defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s scheme. Scott, who’s a week or two away from being fully recovered from offseason surgery on his toe, could fit in that role. He’ll be 33 in the upcoming season.

Dallas Clark, tight end, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: It’s very much uncertain that Scott Chandler will be ready by opening week after tearing the ACL in his left knee in December. The Bills added Chris Gragg in the seventh round of the draft, but have very little experience at the position, which has been picked over pretty well in free agency. Clark, who will be 34 at the start of the season, had 47 catches and four touchdowns last year. He should be capable of keeping the seat warm until Chandler is 100 percent.

The Bills successfully waited out the market for Alan Branch, and were able to add him on a one-year deal last month. Nix and Co. are taking a similar approach with other veteran options.

“We’ll keep looking, and if they fit we’ll be in the market,” Nix said.

http://www.buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130504/SPORTS/130509573/1082

Edited by BILLIEVE

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Buffalo Bills: How Will Rookie Additions Fit Doug Marrone’s Passing Offense?

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

One of numerous reasons the Buffalo Bills only went 6-10 last season was their lack of a consistent and explosive passing offense. They ranked 25th in the NFL in passing yards, 24th in passing yards per attempt, and was one of 11 teams to grade out negatively in passing offense last year by Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

Fortunately for the Bills, their passing offense is going to have a completely different look next season.

That all starts at the quarterback position, where the Bills are replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick, who they released after four underwhelming, interception-laden seasons as their starter. While it is yet unknown who will be starting under center in Week 1, 2013 first-round pick E.J. Manuel will be expected to take over the job sooner rather than later.

If Manuel is thrown into the fire immediately, the interception totals may not go down at all, but he has high upside as a developmental quarterback prospect, with physical tools Fitzpatrick simply does not have.

While Fitzpatrick is more of an intermediate passer and game manager, Manuel has the ability to create big plays with both his arm and legs. He has a strong arm and throws the ball with great velocity off a quick release, while he has the running ability to take off from the pocket and extend plays as a passer or gain yardage as a dual-threat runner.

The Bills’ brain trust decided that Manuel was the best fit among quarterbacks in the 2013 draft class to quarterback the offensive scheme that new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett will run under Doug Marrone. Although both came from Syracuse in the same roles, they chose Manuel over their collegiate quarterback, Ryan Nassib, who fell to the New York Giants in Round 4.

New Players + New Coaching = New Passing Offense in Buffalo

To consider how Manuel and the Bills’ other new additions could fit the new offense, let’s take a look back at the passing formations Marrone and Hackett ran at Syracuse last season. Although their system will likely evolve for the NFL, they already ran an adaptable, pro-style offense which features a wide variety of multiple sets.

Most frequently, Syracuse passed out of shotgun spread sets in which they lined up with two outside receivers, a slot receiver and a tight end, the latter often being flexed off the line of scrimmage.

While the Orange used more shotgun than dropbacks from under center last season, that trend may shift toward the other direction as they develop their offense for the next level. Fortunately for the Bills, Manuel has a good amount of experience both under center and in the gun. He has very good footwork in his drops, while he is good at bringing the field to him by rolling toward the sideline out of the shotgun to extend passing plays and create passing opportunities.

Manuel has many of the same assets that allowed Nassib to excel in Syracuse’s scheme: throwing velocity, arm strength, scrambling ability, clean footwork, quick release, sound mechanics, accurate short passing. However, for Manuel to excel in a pro-style NFL offense, he has to become quicker and smarter with his reads, and improve his touch and precision on downfield throws.

While the success of the Bills’ passing offense will depend greatly upon Manuel’s development, it will also depend on how well the team’s receiving weapons emerge.

At wide receiver, Stevie Johnson and T.J. Graham may be the only returners from last season’s roster. Johnson and Graham will face competition for their starting spots from second-round pick Robert Woods and third-round pick Marquise Goodwin, while undrafted free agents Da’Rick Rogers and Brandon Kaufman could be in competition for the fifth receiving spot along with returning veterans Marcus Easley and Brad Smith.

While the top four receivers should be Johnson, Graham, Woods and Goodwin in some order, what remains unclear is what roles they will play in the offense, as each player has the versatility to play both outside and as an inside slot receiver.

Although Graham may seem the most natural fit for the slot with his speed and quickness but limited size, the Bills used him primarily outside in his rookie season, while “X” receiver Johnson was used in the slot often down the stretch.

That could change in Marrone’s offense, especially with Woods having the talent and polish to immediately unseat Graham for a starting spot. That said, the most likely formation for the Bills in three-receiver sets is to have Woods and Graham lining up as the two receivers split outside, with Johnson being used inside in the slot given his big-play ability.

Goodwin, the fastest player at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine with a 4.27-second 40-yard dash, could also factor into three-receiver sets immediately, although he must become a more consistent catcher of the football and more developed in his route-running.

Scott Chandler should remain the starter and go-to option at tight end in three-receiver sets, but Marrone used two-tight end sets often at Syracuse as well, with one tight end often flexed away from the offensive tackle.

In situations where the Bills use similar packages, seventh-round pick Chris Gragg is a prime candidate, along with returning veteran Dorin Dickerson, to be used as a flex tight end. Like Dickerson, Gragg is undersized and a subpar blocker for an in-line tight end, but he is a dynamic athlete who can make plays as a receiver coming out of the backfield.

Marrone also utilized bunch packages often at Syracuse, which feature three receivers (two slots and a tight end or two tight ends and a slot) together in the formation, with one receiver split wide. Gragg would be a good fit in those packages as well, which could also be a way for the Bills to utilize Goodwin as both a playmaker and a decoy.

Two variables likely to evolve the Bills’ passing offense from what Marrone and Hackett deployed at Syracuse are increased athleticism at both the quarterback and running back positions.

Nassib showed some ability at Syracuse to run from the pocket when he had the option to do so, but it was not a regular or consistently effective part of the Orange offense. While Manuel is not a major running playmaker himself, he is a better athlete who could give the Bills more possibilities to incorporate zone read and option tactics into their offense.

Manuel is no Robert Griffin III or Colin Kaepernick, but as a runner and scrambler, he presents a similar skill set to Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. While certainly a pocket passer first whose running ability is a small complement to his game, Manuel’s size and speed give him the ability to gain yards going out to the sideline and be tough to bring down.

While Marrone and Hackett had numerous talented downfield receiving options in play at Syracuse, one element limited in their passing offense was the lack of a significant receiving playmaker out of the backfield. In Buffalo, expect Marrone and Hackett to evolve the system to take advantage of the many ways they can utilize the game-breaking speed, quickness and elusiveness of C.J. Spiller, including as a receiver out of the backfield.

Will Different Passing Offense = Better Passing Offense?

While the Buffalo Bills’ 2013 passing offense may only resemble the 2012 scheme in its key returning players, whether philosophical differences or player addition will lead to improved performance remains to be seen.

The Bills should become a more explosive downfield passing team. While they already had great speed in Spiller and big-play downfield receiving ability in Johnson, they didn’t have a quarterback like Manuel who can drive the ball deep downfield. Additionally, they add even more speed by drafting Goodwin as a deep threat, while Woods is another talented downfield receiver and Gragg can make them more dynamic from the tight end position.

But as aforementioned, the key to the Bills’ success as a passing offense will be how quickly Manuel can progress and develop into the starting-caliber quarterback he was drafted to be. Unless Manuel is starting and playing well, the Bills will continue to be among the league’s less prolific passing offenses, as Kevin Kolb offers little if any upgrade over Fitzpatrick.

http://www.buffalobillsdraft.com/2013/05/buffalo-bills-how-will-rookie-additions-fit-doug-marrones-passing-offense/

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Buffalo Bills Training Camp Battles Part Four: Left Guard

With the 2013 NFL draft over, we have a better vision of what the Buffalo Bills are looking to do on both offense and defense. However, while we have an idea of what the coaching staff has in place, there are several positions that are up for grabs. Over the next week or so, we’ll be previewing each and every position that will have a competition.

The Bills lost arguably the best offensive lineman on the roster in Andy Levitre via free agency, leaving a wide open competition at the left guard position. The Bills opted against selecting an offensive lineman in the draft, indicating that they have faith that one of the inexperienced backups can step into a starting role.

With this edition, we’ll be covering the left guard position.

Note: Players listed in alphabetical order, not by depth chart

LG Colin Brown

Currently listed No. 1 on the Bills’ official depth chart at left guard, Colin Brown has appeared in 12 total games with the team, serving as a left guard, center and right guard. At 6’7” 326 pounds, Brown’s size and strength could remind Coach Marrone of his former guards in New Orleans, mammoths Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans.

If anything was made clear by the Levitre departure, it was that the Bills were looking for a certain identity on the offensive line: big, strong, versatile linemen that can maul opposing defensive linemen.

LG Zack Chibane

Signed as an undrafted free agent, former Syracuse guard Zack Chibane was the only player coach Marrone brought from his former school to the Buffalo Bills. Chibane started all 38 of his games his three years with the Orange, paving the way for a 1,000 yard running back in each year. A bit undersized, Chibane could be a sleeper in training camp.

RT Keith Williams

Signed to the Bills’ practice squad in 2011 after being claimed off of waivers from the Pittsburgh Steelers, Keith Williams is another physically imposing lineman at 6’5” and weighing 330 pounds. He’s played two games for the Bills, both at right guard, but versatility has been stressed by the new coaching staff.

Wildcard: LT Zebrie Sanders

In my personal opinion, Zebrie Sanders is the ideal candidate to play left guard for the Buffalo Bills in 2013. The Bills selected the 6’6” 320 pounder out of Florida State University in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Strictly an offensive tackle in college, Sanders started all 37 games as a Seminole since arriving on campus as a true freshman. History has proven that most offensive tackles that transition to the guard position have been successful, and Sanders offers the quick footwork of a tackle, while displaying the power and agility needed to hold up against interior defensive linemen.

Projected Depth: Zebrie Sanders, Colin Brown, Zack Chibane, Keith Williams

http://billsmafia.com/2013/05/04/buffalo-bills-training-camp-battles-part-four-left-guard/

Edited by BILLIEVE

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profootballfocus has ranked 3 Bills in their top-25 so far.

25. Jairus Byrd, S, Buffalo Bills (72nd)

Is there a better deep safety in the league than Byrd right now? A legitimate playmaker that quarterbacks have to be mindful of on every down, Byrd comfortably finished the year our top ranked cover safety. Now, the way he’s used may not make him the most complete safety out there, but he’s so good at what he does you can’t help but appreciate the Bills’ franchise player.

Best Performance: Week 11 vs Miami, +5.3

Key Stat: Intercepted five passes and wasn’t beaten for a touchdown all year.

22. Kyle Williams, DT, Buffalo Bills (Unranked)

After missing nearly all of 2011 some wonder if Williams would take some time to find his best form. Outside of a couple of disappointing games, they needn’t have worried. Williams missed out on finishing second overall in our defensive tackle rankings only because of penalties, displaying the kind of every-down talent which he has for a long time. As is always the case, Williams was making plays at a relentless pace throughout the entire season.

Best Performance: Week 10 at New England, +6.8

Key Stat: His 65 combined hits, sacks, hurries and defensive run stops were third-most of all defensive tackles.

18. C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills (Unranked)

The only reason Spiller isn’t higher is because he didn’t get enough carries in 2012. When he did, he was something to behold. As explosive a player as there was in the league during the 2012 season, he made his blocking seem better by turning nothing into something, frequently. His 6.0 yards per carry average is amazing, while forcing 53 missed tackles on 207 rushes is astonishing. A real game-changer.

Best Performance: Week 10 at New England, +5.0

Key Stat: The most elusive back in all of football with a 94.6 Elusive Rating (22.6 points better than the next best).

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/05/03/pffs-top-101-of-2012-20-to-11/

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Not to beat a dead horse, but one more article about how Manuel may not have been a reach. At least 4 other teams ranked Manuel as their #1 QB.

http://www.nfl.com/draft/story/0ap1000000167678/article/draft-notes-ej-manuel-over-geno-smith-not-that-surprising

Can I borrow those glasses for a minute? Just using my eyes, your link doesn't say that at all.

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