Y'all asked for it, so here it is: the return of the Buffalo Rumblings Mailbag, in which we answer questions from Buffalo Bills fans about whatever topics are en vogue.
This feature only exists as long as we have questions rolling in, so keep sending those over to firstname.lastname@example.org. Without further ado, here is this week's quartet of queries!
If Cordy Glenn is healthy and ready to play by the fourth preseason game, and Cyrus Kouandjio is still struggling at right tackle, could Seantrel Henderson get a shot at the starting right tackle job in that preseason game?
I can't imagine a scenario in which Doug Marrone would feel comfortable with Seantrel Henderson over Erik Pears on the right side, at least early in the season. The Bills are finalizing their roster in 17 days, and considering that Henderson has practiced exclusively on the left side in camp, it seems unlikely that the Bills would consider a rushed flip when they're comfortable enough with Pears.
Henderson did play right tackle at Miami, however, so it wouldn't be terribly surprising if he eventually took over that job. He is the most physically talented tackle on the roster, and assuming the usual off-field caveats are in place, he'll probably end up starting at some point. I just don't think it will happen very quickly now that Glenn is on his way back to the first-team left tackle spot.
Many dozens of you have posed this question over the last couple of weeks, but we'll credit Nick for submitting it to the ol' Inbox.
Do you think the Fred Jackson contract extension and trade for Bryce Brown were moves for leverage in the forthcoming C.J. Spiller negotiation?
This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I believe the Bills acquired two running backs because they thought they could use two more running backs, and that they gave Fred Jackson another one-year deal because he's still good enough to be in a window where he can conceivably end his career on his own terms.
But yes, the other three running backs, to varying degrees, give the Bills leverage in the Spiller negotiations. That strikes me as more of a byproduct of a larger-scale decision, in my opinion.
And while we're on the subject of the running back position, Bills fans: yes, four is a crowd at that spot, but it's also an enviable depth position to be in. The team doesn't need to trade Spiller, or release Jackson or Brown or Anthony Dixon, just to make things less confusing, or to appease the parties involved. They can, and probably will, use all four players this year, even if it's only two at a time. Embrace it. Having four quality running backs is not a problem.
Thanks for the question, Bills fan in NJ. Sorry about soapboxing on you there in that last paragraph.
Is there any chance the Bills could make Marcus Easley a safety, in the mold of George Wilson? He hasn't shown much as a receiver, so it would be great to get something more out of him if he's going to take up a roster spot for his special teams prowess.
Well, it isn't particularly likely this season, given that Easley is still playing at wide receiver. That's a move that needs to be made way back in May and June during OTAs, and carry through an entire training camp, to work. Maybe it happens down the line at some point - who knows? - but for now, his position is defined.
By the way, just as a point of clarification: special teams players already offer something highly valuable to a team with their special teams ability. Easley played 348 snaps on teams last season and was one of the league's best players in that phase; that's enough snaps to put him on par with, say, a rotational defensive lineman in terms of in-game utility. If he does the same thing this year, he'll be far more valuable on game days than, say, Henderson, a high-upside swing tackle who might not play a snap if Glenn and Pears are completely healthy like they were last season. Easley can be buried on the depth chart at any position he plays and still be a tremendous value player for the team, simply because he's great on teams.
Thanks for the question, Josh!
Will we see Kiko Alonso on the sidelines for the games this year, or will he be out of sight, out of mind while he rehabs?
My understanding - and for the life of me, I can't remember where I heard this, so please correct me if I'm wrong, commentariat (or confirm if I'm right) - is that Alonso will be returning to Orchard Park after training camp closes to begin his rehab. That will put him in the building with the rest of his teammates, but on the issue of his being on the sidelines, I have no idea. The nature of his injury may land him in a press box if he attends the games, but many players choose not to do that.
Thanks for the question, Jeff from Boston.