1 – Lines of communication open on DT Jordan Phillips
On locker clean out day at the conclusion of the 2018 season, DT Jordan Phillips expressed his interest in re-signing with the Bills after joining the team midseason. He liked the culture in the locker room and what GM Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott are trying to build.
Two months later, Phillips sits on the cusp of free agency.
Beane addressed where things sit with Phillips at the NFL combine in Indianapolis on Thursday and said the lines of communication with Phillips remain open.
“Definitely. We had a good conversation with Jordan at the end of the year. We’ve talked to his representatives a couple of times. They’re here,” said Beane. “We have not met with them yet, but we’d definitely be interested in bringing Jordan back. We liked the energy he brought to our team in midseason when we acquired him.”
Phillips could be a candidate to fill the void left by the retired Kyle Williams on Buffalo’s defensive front.
2 – Bills will explore all avenues to improve O-line
It’s readily apparent to the Bills and to outside observers that there’s some work to be done to improve their offensive line. With three players that started on Buffalo’s offensive line set to become free agents, there is the potential for significant turnover.
Bills GM Brandon Beane didn’t rule out re-signing players like Ryan Groy, John Miller and Jordan Mills, but he did confirm they will use all their available means to improve the performance of their offensive line for 2019.
“We’ve got some guys who are free agents that we could bring back, but if all of them left we could have two to three holes,” Beane said. “We’ve done our homework and we’ll see what happens in free agency. We’ll try and make sure we add a couple of those back if it’s not those same guys, it’ll be guys coming from other teams. Then the draft.”
Beane confirmed they’ve been hard at work assessing the pool of offensive line talent in this year’s class.
3 – Role of Football Strategy hire will be diverse
A day after coach McDermott confirmed the hiring of Director of Football Research and Strategy, Dennis Lock, GM Brandon Beane shed some light on where Lock will provide the most help.
Beane explained that Lock’s focus will shift and change based on the NFL calendar year.
“He had a role in Miami where he was very tied into the coaching staff and what he was doing, but also some personnel stuff,” said Beane. “This time of year, he’ll be more personnel driven in bringing us analytical models and putting together a lot of data in terms of grades and testing numbers. It’s another set of checks and balances.”
Come the regular season Lock will be working more on the football side of the house.
“During the season he’ll work less with personnel and more with coaches and the game-planning process,” said Beane. “He’ll look at game management, so he’ll touch a lot of different areas along with (Director of Analytics and Application) Luis (Guilamo). We just look at it as adding another piece and try and grow what we’ve already started in analytics.”