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 Post subject: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:29 am 
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Signed for one year 3 million. Good luck Branch!

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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:33 am 
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Kinda sorry to see him go, but it looks like we have it covered with the FA signings, some young kids up and coming and the draft just around the corner.

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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:35 am 
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Would have liked to have seen us match that. Oh well, can't get them all.


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:37 am 
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$3M makes it seem worth keeping him, but at least he went to a team in the other conference.


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:38 am 
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Rat wrote:
Would have liked to have seen us match that. Oh well, can't get them all.


Yeah, I echo this thought. It sucks, but doesn't sting.

The fact they didn't match leads me to believe maybe there's hopes for Howard. Pete "redshirted" Tate his rookie year too, pretty much. Maybe thats part of it? I know this regime thinks in advanced like that at times.


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:44 am 
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I guess I'm feeling ok with Branch leaving,...PC and JS could have signed him if they really wanted too and chose not to do so,...I'm good with their decision,...


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:50 am 
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Yes and not to the above. Sometimes players makes it personal. If they were offered $3million here and $3million with the Bills they may hold a grudge against an organization they played in for not valuing them higher etc

Not sure if that happened but I am also in the camp that are surprised that he didn't get signed for $3million especially when some of the talk is about drafting to help this position........


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:55 am 
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The Outfield wrote:
$3M makes it seem worth keeping him, but at least he went to a team in the other conference.


Agree with those who said perhaps he was willing to take less from another team because we wouldn't give him a multi year deal. He's a solid tackle, but I don't think he was in our long-term plans.


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:56 am 
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Well I guess he will just have to miss the party at the end of this season. I'm sure the Bills will have one too :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:58 am 
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mikeak wrote:
Yes and not to the above. Sometimes players makes it personal. If they were offered $3million here and $3million with the Bills they may hold a grudge against an organization they played in for not valuing them higher etc.

I could see that if it wasn't Buffalo. Nobody goes to Buffalo if there's an option to not go to Buffalo.

I would think he'd have received more playing time here than with the Bills anyway. I thought the Bills already had a few decent run-stuffers, although I know Marcel Dareus has been a disappointment so far.


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:58 am 
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Dan Quinn must not have been a fan.

Branch was a good player for us and helped make our D one of the best in the NFL. He's still young and was good insurance for Red Bryant too. Wish he was coming back, but oh well.

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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:04 am 
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I don't get all the Branch love. He was an ok player. But for a guy who specializes in run-stopping, he wasn't much of a factor when the run defense went down the tube the 2nd half of the year. Add to that he's completely worthless in terms of pass rushing. We certainly needed to find an upgrade for his spot. So I'm not sorry to see him go.


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:06 am 
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jlwaters1 wrote:
I don't get all the Branch love. He was an ok player. But for a guy who specializes in run-stopping, he wasn't much of a factor when the run defense went down the tube the 2nd half of the year. Add to that he's completely worthless in terms of pass rushing. We certainly needed to find an upgrade for his spot. So I'm not sorry to see him go.


That's a good point, maybe the FO discovered why exactly the run defense went down the tube and maybe Branch was a part of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:09 am 
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Wish him luck in Buffalo, was a good role player for us.

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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:14 am 
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jlwaters1 wrote:
I don't get all the Branch love. He was an ok player. But for a guy who specializes in run-stopping, he wasn't much of a factor when the run defense went down the tube the 2nd half of the year. Add to that he's completely worthless in terms of pass rushing. We certainly needed to find an upgrade for his spot. So I'm not sorry to see him go.

Nobody is saying he's some All-Pro or anything like that. He plays what appears to currently be our weakest position, and an "ok player" is much better than anything else that's out there right now, and most likely better (for next season anyway) than anything we could land in the mid-rounds of the draft.

Losing him is very unlikely to be the ultimate difference in how far this team goes next season, but with how our DT group currently looks, I think keeping him would have been much better than not.


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:16 am 
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I don't remember even noticing Branch until the Redskins? game. Maybe I'm not as perceptive as others but could his one strong game down the stretch be clouding everyone's judgment on the type of impact Branch had?


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:19 am 
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A player most of us would have liked to see retained for that price, but it also leads me to believe that with the FA moves on the DL made already that PC/JS have their eye on the draft to cover that spot at this point. With 10 or whatever picks, they'll probably draft a future pro-browler out of North West Oklahoma Pan Handle State University...

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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:31 am 
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Good luck to you Mr. Branch and thanks for the good times. :th2thumbs:

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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:34 am 
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Rat wrote:
jlwaters1 wrote:
I don't get all the Branch love. He was an ok player. But for a guy who specializes in run-stopping, he wasn't much of a factor when the run defense went down the tube the 2nd half of the year. Add to that he's completely worthless in terms of pass rushing. We certainly needed to find an upgrade for his spot. So I'm not sorry to see him go.

Nobody is saying he's some All-Pro or anything like that. He plays what appears to currently be our weakest position, and an "ok player" is much better than anything else that's out there right now, and most likely better (for next season anyway) than anything we could land in the mid-rounds of the draft.

Losing him is very unlikely to be the ultimate difference in how far this team goes next season, but with how our DT group currently looks, I think keeping him would have been much better than not.


I don't agree. you can find run stuffers in this year's draft. It's not exactly a rare skillset to find. I don't think his value to this team was equivalent to 3million + . Furthermore, looking ahead to this coming year, pass rushing will be more important than run stuffing, IMO . The reason I say this is, let's suppose that RW and the offense take a step forward from where it left off last year and hits the ground running to start the season.

Than there's a very good chance this defense will be playing with a lead in the majority of the games (as opposed to last year were most of the first 8 games where tight affairs.). Which in turn will force opponents to abandon (or severly limit) their running game to keep up. Therefore, we'll have more teams passing on us than ever before. So it behooves us to tool up for a robust pass rush, even if that means sacrificing a little against the run.


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:35 am 
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Couple of points here.

1) Branch had to fire his prior agent and sign an new one didn't he? Quite possibly his former agent was asking for considerably more from the Hawks and from everyone else and he just flat priced himself out of his market.
2) The Hawks moved on to what looks to be a combination of McDaniels/Bennett/Jaye Howard at the 3-tech position. Between those three we should be good. As noted above, I wouldn't sleep on Howard. Quinn had him at Florida and he may have been just "redshirting" last season as he built up strength and got familiar with the pro game.
3) Branch signing now for that price, looks to be a bit of desparation. His new agent probably told him he missed the market and now better get on board with someone.

Really, our weakest position on the D-Line, IMO, appears to be depth behind Mebane. I imagine McDonald will play that role, but I'd really like us to draft a young space eater DT to backup Mebane in the draft.

Moving On!


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:01 pm 
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Montori Hughes?


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:05 pm 
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"Really, our weakest position on the D-Line, IMO, appears to be depth behind Mebane. I imagine McDonald will play that role, but I'd really like us to draft a young space eater DT to backup Mebane in the draft. "

I agree it probably played out much like outlined. We are weak behind Mebane and that is a draft target I suspect.


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:26 pm 
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I have to agree with most of what everyone has said so far.

I'd like to have brought him back, but I always figured this team wanted/needed to get younger and cheaper along the defensive line.

I think not signing him to only a one year deal either means this is a pretty darn good defensive tackle draft class or that Jaye Howard has a shot to be the starter. Both possibilities are good things for the hawks.

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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:37 pm 
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Rat wrote:
mikeak wrote:
Yes and not to the above. Sometimes players makes it personal. If they were offered $3million here and $3million with the Bills they may hold a grudge against an organization they played in for not valuing them higher etc.

I could see that if it wasn't Buffalo. Nobody goes to Buffalo if there's an option to not go to Buffalo.
.


Very valid point I did ignore the fact that he is going to Buffalo. On the other hand it seems like every year they convince people that they are about to turn it around :)

I know Mario Williams went there purely for the chance to win a superbowl :D :sarcasm_off:


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:38 pm 
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I guess I'm still not seeing a great argument from anyone on what Branch brought to the table last year. Our run defense sucked in the 2nd half of the year, an he was a non-entity in the pass rush. $3 million is a lot to pay for "just a guy."


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:50 pm 
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Bummer... What was left of my off season free agent period wish list is pretty much now. Resign Branch and add Fed Davis. Too bad

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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:01 pm 
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Shit.

Pete and John must have a plan in the draft...

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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:04 pm 
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DavidSeven wrote:
I guess I'm still not seeing a great argument from anyone on what Branch brought to the table last year. Our run defense sucked in the 2nd half of the year, an he was a non-entity in the pass rush. $3 million is a lot to pay for "just a guy."


I agree


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:23 pm 
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Using the GB model, Brnach was one of those bottom 70% of the roster players that has to fit into 30% of the salary structure. 3million doesn't fit that, so its next man up.

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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
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jlwaters1 wrote:
I don't agree. you can find run stuffers in this year's draft. It's not exactly a rare skillset to find. I don't think his value to this team was equivalent to 3million + . Furthermore, looking ahead to this coming year, pass rushing will be more important than run stuffing, IMO . The reason I say this is, let's suppose that RW and the offense take a step forward from where it left off last year and hits the ground running to start the season.

Than there's a very good chance this defense will be playing with a lead in the majority of the games (as opposed to last year were most of the first 8 games where tight affairs.). Which in turn will force opponents to abandon (or severly limit) their running game to keep up. Therefore, we'll have more teams passing on us than ever before. So it behooves us to tool up for a robust pass rush, even if that means sacrificing a little against the run.

While I agree that someone like Branch is probably replaceable through the draft, I wouldn't sell short the need for an above-average run defense. A good test case is Green Bay, whose defense is in many ways built like Seattle's. Capers' base defense is basically nickel, which improves the pass defense while sacrificing the run. This worked well in 2010, because most of their playoff opponents were not good at running (the exception was Philadelphia, but they jumped out to an early lead and didn't get run on much). It didn't work as well this year (I'm skipping 2011 because even the pass defense was awful that year). First Peterson destroyed them in the last regular season game, costing them a 2-seed. Then Gore and especially Kaepernick obliterated them in the run game at SF.

My point is that although your theory that a great offense will neutralize the need to have a good run offense is true on average, and is probably enough to get a top-2 seed, it might not work against specific teams. SF is the most obvious one, and there's also Washington and NY.


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:30 pm 
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Branch was a middle of the pack run stuffing DT last year, but the year prior he was in the top quarter. With Red being reduced to a shell of himself last year thanks to the linsfranc fracture, opposing offensive linemen could devote considerably more attention with double teams etc. Branch's way. I think he is under valued by our community a little bit.

Is his loss going to mean our defense won't stop anyone next year? No, but his retention would have meant we stop more people, more often. One year 3 mil isn't too much for us to afford especially since the trade of Flynn. The only thing I can see as a financial hurdle is the suspected imminent signing of Kam to that long term deal. I don't know for sure, but I do know I would of love to have seen Branch hang around for another couple years

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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:36 pm 
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jlwaters brings up a good point.

Our offense was on all cylinders at the end of the year, and by adding Harvin, it looks to be one of the premier units in the league now.

I remember reading a stat on the Rams SB team with the Greatest show on Turf. Their defense was good, not elite, but they were the #1 defense against the run in the league that year. They didn't have a bunch of space eaters, and the theory was that after the 1st quarter, the other team was down by 21 points, so the opposing team abandoned the run and tried to pass to keep up.

Seems like they are tooling the defense up with that theory in mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:39 pm 
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The Yugoslavian wrote:
Branch was a middle of the pack run stuffing DT last year, but the year prior he was in the top quarter. With Red being reduced to a shell of himself last year thanks to the linsfranc fracture, opposing offensive linemen could devote considerably more attention with double teams etc. Branch's way. I think he is under valued by our community a little bit.

Is his loss going to mean our defense won't stop anyone next year? No, but his retention would have meant we stop more people, more often. One year 3 mil isn't too much for us to afford especially since the trade of Flynn. The only thing I can see as a financial hurdle is the suspected imminent signing of Kam to that long term deal. I don't know for sure, but I do know I would of love to have seen Branch hang around for another couple years


Sure feels that way, don't it? What McGruff said about the GB model probably rings pretty true about Branch. That and maybe they feel Howard is ready to step up and take the job, so $3m wasn't a worth while investment. Draft seems to have a lot of potential run stuffers too.

Either way, godspeed Alan Branch. You did alright by us. Good luck in Buffalo.

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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:40 pm 
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I'm telling ya all signs point to Bryant moving to DT

Although has anybody considered we may be considering a 3-4 Defense next year?
I haven't seen it explicitly ruled out, but Bryant and Bennett are ideally built as 3-4 DEs, Mebane as the NT, Avril and Clemons and Irvin as 3-4 LBs and KJ and Wagner as our MLBs.

No?


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:54 pm 
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Not sure how this thread isn't Seahawks related, but that's how it goes I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
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Rat wrote:
Not sure how this thread isn't Seahawks related, but that's how it goes I guess.


+1


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
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OrFan wrote:
Well I guess he will just have to miss the party at the end of this season. I'm sure the Bills will have one too :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


Well I'm sure the Bills could present him with a participation trophy after the season.

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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
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The Yugoslavian wrote:
Branch was a middle of the pack run stuffing DT last year, but the year prior he was in the top quarter. With Red being reduced to a shell of himself last year thanks to the linsfranc fracture, opposing offensive linemen could devote considerably more attention with double teams etc. Branch's way. I think he is under valued by our community a little bit.

Is his loss going to mean our defense won't stop anyone next year? No, but his retention would have meant we stop more people, more often. One year 3 mil isn't too much for us to afford especially since the trade of Flynn. The only thing I can see as a financial hurdle is the suspected imminent signing of Kam to that long term deal. I don't know for sure, but I do know I would of love to have seen Branch hang around for another couple years


Good stuff!


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:08 pm 
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themunn wrote:
I'm telling ya all signs point to Bryant moving to DT

Although has anybody considered we may be considering a 3-4 Defense next year?
I haven't seen it explicitly ruled out, but Bryant and Bennett are ideally built as 3-4 DEs, Mebane as the NT, Avril and Clemons and Irvin as 3-4 LBs and KJ and Wagner as our MLBs.

No?




No.

We already run a hybrid version of the 3-4, where our Leo is basically a LBer with his hand in the dirt and our other three D-Linemen run 300+ lbs. Bennett is closer to the ideal build for a 4-3 DE than he is for a 3-4 DE. He's tough against the run, but he's not big enough to hold up as a 3-4 DE.


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:59 pm 
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Although I'm sad to see Branch go, I don't think it's any cause for real worry.

If you had to replace:

1. A large (6-5+ 300+) DT that eats space, holds his ground at the line of scrimmage, and mainly focuses on stuffing the run.

vs.

2. An athletic (speed, quickness, nimble feet, explosive) DT that collapses the pocket, pressures the QB, breaks up plays in the backfield, runs sideline to sideline.

It would be much easier to find a player in the draft/FA to replace #1, than it would be to find a player in the draft/FA to replace #2.

Whereas most DTs like #2 would be gone in rounds 1-2, you can still find a lot of DTs like #1 in the later rounds.

Branch was a nice, consistent player, but it won't be too hard to replace him.

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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

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Now I have to change my Avatar!!!!!!

So long Alan, you'll be missed. :cry: :cry: :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:22 pm 
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jlwaters1 wrote:
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jlwaters1 wrote:
I don't get all the Branch love. He was an ok player. But for a guy who specializes in run-stopping, he wasn't much of a factor when the run defense went down the tube the 2nd half of the year. Add to that he's completely worthless in terms of pass rushing. We certainly needed to find an upgrade for his spot. So I'm not sorry to see him go.

Nobody is saying he's some All-Pro or anything like that. He plays what appears to currently be our weakest position, and an "ok player" is much better than anything else that's out there right now, and most likely better (for next season anyway) than anything we could land in the mid-rounds of the draft.

Losing him is very unlikely to be the ultimate difference in how far this team goes next season, but with how our DT group currently looks, I think keeping him would have been much better than not.


I don't agree. you can find run stuffers in this year's draft. It's not exactly a rare skillset to find. I don't think his value to this team was equivalent to 3million + . Furthermore, looking ahead to this coming year, pass rushing will be more important than run stuffing, IMO . The reason I say this is, let's suppose that RW and the offense take a step forward from where it left off last year and hits the ground running to start the season.

Than there's a very good chance this defense will be playing with a lead in the majority of the games (as opposed to last year were most of the first 8 games where tight affairs.). Which in turn will force opponents to abandon (or severly limit) their running game to keep up. Therefore, we'll have more teams passing on us than ever before. So it behooves us to tool up for a robust pass rush, even if that means sacrificing a little against the run.


Completely agree. Besides, I thought I heard Bennet was a stud run stuffer as well as pass rush. He could be seeing a lot of Branch's snaps as well as taking Jone's snaps.

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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:26 pm 
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I hate this. To me, Branch was a below-average starter who was getting ready for a big year. At times, especially early last year - he flashed dominance. Even in his pass rush! I think his best FB is ahead of him, and I am sorry that those years will not be with us.

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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:43 pm 
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Can't keep everyone, it's part of the NFL, turnover is gonna' happen. Of course, at 3 mil, it would have been nice to keep him. Oh well, they know what they're doing.

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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:13 am 
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No one seems to be mentioning the fact that Gus and the Jaguars also apparently passed on Branch at $3 million. Telling, especially since they have about a gajillion dollars of cap space.


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 Post subject: Re: Alan Branch signs with Bills
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:02 am 
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DavidSeven wrote:
No one seems to be mentioning the fact that Gus and the Jaguars also apparently passed on Branch at $3 million. Telling, especially since they have about a gajillion dollars of cap space.



Good point.

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