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Oakland Raiders News: Q & A With Brian Galliford of Buffalo Rumblings

Brian Galliford of Buffalo Rumblings was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about the Bills.

1) You have two of my favorite College players on your team, Trent Edwards and Marshawn Lynch. Are the fans beginning to embrace them as much as they embraced the tandem of Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas? And, when you did draft them, what was the initial fan reaction?

I can emphatically report that yes, both Edwards and Lynch are swiftly becoming fan favorites - in fact, Lynch has been one of the team's most popular players since Week 1 of his rookie season.  Both of these young players are improving - particularly Edwards - and as a result, Buffalo's offense is (finally) becoming more viable.  We love Edwards' poise, accuracy and football intelligence.  We love Lynch's attitude, mean streak and the fact that he's talented enough to become an elite force in the league.

As far as initial reaction when they were drafted, I'd say folks were more in favor of the drafting of Lynch.  Buffalo had a serious hole at running back, and Lynch was an explosive player in college who filled a need.  He was popular from the outset, though I know that I personally preferred Patrick Willis in last year's draft.  (Needless to say, when the team picked up Paul Posluszny in the second round, my disappointment at not getting Willis dissipated.)  Edwards' selection, on the other hand, was a bit of a head-scratcher.  The team, at the time, already had the player that we viewed as the QB of the future in J.P. Losman, and with so many other holes on the team, it seemed borderline wasteful to draft a project quarterback.  Obviously, as hindsight is 20/20, we're now thrilled with the fact that the Bills picked up Edwards so late on Day 1 (he was drafted #92 overall).
 
2) I know that there was a TON of interest in the Bills signing Tommy Kelly last season. How has your run defense improved?

First of all, the "ton" of interest in Tommy Kelly was probably coming directly from me.  The Bills had a ton of interest in shoring up their interior defensive line, and Kelly was just one of many options that I explored while speculating about which players the Bills might target in free agency.  I can neither verify nor report encouragement that the Bills were ever, at any time, interested in Tommy Kelly.

Buffalo found a better player to shore up their run defense in former Jaguars DT Marcus Stroud.  He came into Buffalo with questions surrounding his surgically repaired ankle and whether or not he was on the downside of his career; he's had two monster games, Buffalo's defense had been borderline brilliant, and they're giving up less than 100 rushing yards per game.  That's huge improvement, and while other players (linebackers Kawika Mitchell and Paul Posluszny) have helped, Stroud is the biggest reason for our defensive turnaround.
 

3) If there is a glaring weakness on your team, what would that be and how could the Raiders exploit it?

I'm not sure this team has a glaring weakness, to be quite frank.  There are some places where they could tighten up their play, however, and exiting their Week 2 win over Jacksonville, that department is most definitely tackling.  In their win over the Jags, Buffalo had a difficult time wrapping up Jags runners, particularly Fred Taylor and quarterback David Garrard.  The result is that the Bills missed a whopping 12 easy tackles on the day, including 7 that would have come in the Jaguars' offensive backfield.

That definitely needs to stop with the likes of Darren McFadden and Michael Bush coming into town - if those guys aren't brought down quickly, they obviously have the talent to make you pay.  Especially in the case of McFadden, the Bills will also need to be a bit swifter in their lateral movements defensively - if McFadden gets the corner on any defense, it's bad business.  Buffalo's cornerbacks - good tacklers, but a bit undersized - and linebackers will need to be on their "A" game Sunday to stop a potent Raiders rushing attack.

Here is my response to his questions.