Answer Man XVI

<b>Reporter:</b> A meaningless game is a meaningful time to talk a little bit about potential free agents, wouldn't you say? <br><b>Answer Man:</b> You said it - a little bit.

Reporter: I don't need much. I understand the parameters on Plaxico Burress, and I know Keydrick Vincent and Oliver Ross will probably walk, but I have no clue about Kendrell Bell. Do you?
AM: Well, let me just ask you what kind of attitude you think he'll have walking around next year with a third of what he's already turned down?
Reporter: A third? Talk to me.
AM: He was offered almost twice what James Farrior signed for, and he turned it down. Now he's worth a lot less. How do you think he's going to be in the locker room if he has to settle for a lot less than he turned down? I mean, he's already moody and pretty much withdrawn from everybody as it is. How would you feel if I offered you 200 bucks a story and you turned it down, and later ended up taking 60 bucks a story?
Reporter: I'd take it, but only until I found something better.
AM: Exactly. That's what you're looking at with this guy. Frankly, I don't think you can have him around next year.
Reporter: Good point. So what about these Buffalo Bills? Their stats are off the charts. Are they an emerging threat?
AM: I would temper it a little because of the teams they're playing, but they're doing what they've got to do and they're doing it impressively.
Reporter: How?
AM: Defense. I mean, their defense is playing well. They've got two good defensive ends in (Chris) Kelsay and (Aaron) Schobel. Their D-tackles are pretty good when they want to be, Sam Adams and Pat Williams. When they want to they can play. They're just not always there. The linebackers are good. (Jeff) Posey can rush the passer and play up. He's pretty good. London Fletcher's good. He's an instinctive guy but with his size he'll have trouble if you get on him. Takeo Spikes is pretty good. Corner-wise, Terrence McGee is up and down but he has the skills to be very good when he wants to play. Nate Clements is alright. He'll make some plays but he doesn't show up as much as you think he should, but he's an adequate starter. Lawyer Milloy's playing real well. Troy Vincent is just trying to feel his way back there at free safety because he's a converted corner. He's got to get used to the angles and stuff, but he does have some ball awareness and instincts in zone, and if you need him to he can play man.
Reporter: Vincent at safety. Is that where Chad Scott belongs?
AM: Ultimately. And I think their defensive coordinator does a great job. (Jerry Gray) is like (Dick) LeBeau in that he brings pressure from anywhere and everywhere and he's got a good scheme and those guys play it. Their defense is like Jacksonville's in that they'll fly around and play hard, come at you with a bunch of different looks. They're probably a little more complicated than Jacksonville because of their personnel. They can drop more guys and rush more guys. They have a lot of athletes. Jacksonville has the scheme but not the personnel. I'm very impressed with their D.
Reporter: Offensively, has Drew Bledsoe turned it around?
AM: He's streaky. He's not what he used to be but I think he's turned it around enough to where he's not hurting them. Before, he was hurting them by throwing interceptions and stuff. He's still not on the money like Bledsoe of old, but at least he's not making the big mistakes. Willis McGahee has probably helped him a lot, but he had (Travis) Henry last year and he had a bunch of yards. So their running game is pretty good. They're down to their third-string tight end because of injuries. The receivers are good, (Eric) Moulds and Lee Evans. You'll be talking about Lee Evans in three or four years the way you used to talk about Moulds, or are talking about Moulds now. Josh Reed is a poor man's Hines Ward. He's pretty good. He just doesn't have the speed, but he's a competitive guy who knows how to get open.
Reporter: Will they use 3-wides instead of the tight end?
AM: They still use their tight end. They'll use 3- and 4-wides on passing downs. And with (Mike) Mularkey, you'll see like last week the direct snap to Moulds. So you never know what you're going to get with this guy. And their offensive line is solid. You've got (Mike) Williams at right tackle, a big guy who's athletic. Even if his technique's off he's so big and athletic he's going to be productive. Chris Villarrial is a solid vet that's a technician. Trey Teague is solid at center. Ross Tucker is probably the weakest link there. He's stiff and not that good. And then Jonas Jennings is pretty solid at left tackle. So you've got a solid offensive line, a good running back, a quarterback who's not making mistakes and good receivers. This is a good team. Make no mistake about it, this is a good team, and if they get in they'll make some noise. Unfortunately, they got off to a bad start, but this team and Jacksonville, next year, I can see them being bona fide contenders.
Reporter: How good is this team compared to the other playoff teams?
AM: I'm more afraid of these guys than San Diego. Indy, if we use ball control and keep their offense off, we can get them. This team doesn't have a weak link. With Indy you've got the D. San Diego, their receiving corps, especially with (Keenan) McCardell out, isn't that great and the defense is getting the job done but I'm not really sold on their D-backs, their interior line and their linebackers. New England is New England. Denver is up and down so I'm not worried about them. These guys and Jacksonville and Baltimore are the teams that match up better with us.

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