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NFL Source - Elam Benched Tonight


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On 12/2/2022 at 3:10 AM, Einstein said:

 

 

9 hours ago, Einstein said:

 

If I were to guess, the Bills would trade Elam for a couple of those names right now.

 

This is a really weird list and I don't think the Bills would.

 

Christian Watson has 22 total catches.  He has a high of 4 catches in a game and 3 games with 1 catch.  On a team with nobody else to take targets away.

 

George Pickens has character concerns and has already been thrown out of a game this year.  He's had some highlight grabs and is probably the best player on this list but again those character concerns lead me to believe he wasn't and wouldn't be on the Bills radar.

 

Alec Pierce started strong but has 4 catches in his last 4 games including 2 games with 0 receptions.

 

Skyy moore has 17 catches on the year. 10 in the last 2 weeks so 7 catches in the previous 10 weeks including 2 games each with 0 and 1 target.

 

Strange list that doesn't prove a point unless you think they should have drafted a wr no matter what.

 

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This is very troubling. A 7th round pick, a 30+ veteran in decline and a guy recovering from a serious knee injury suit up while the guy they traded up for in the first round sits. Benford was having a better rookie season too. Not good, but hopefully he can turn it around. There's still time.

 
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I’m not concerned at all - at least not yet. McD has a history of this sort of thing, and if usually works out fine. (Example: Mitch Morse was a healthy scratch once, back in around 2019 or so.)

 

Very plausible that this was either a reward to Rhodes for great practice performance, or an attempt to light a fire under Elam, or a bit of both. And it (hopefully) reinforces a key message to the team: the best players will play, regardless of draft position or pay. Coaches pay lip service to that all day, but people won’t take that seriously unless their words match their actions. 
 

And for the record, I think Elam was only inactive because he doesn’t play much special teams. I don’t think the coaches are willing to dress backup DBs who aren’t heavily on teams. 

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I think Elam would do better on a team that runs more man. He obviously is having trouble feeling comfortable in zone. He's not planting and attacking the ball like he needs to. I think he prefers to be running with the receiver rather than waiting and reacting 

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34 minutes ago, section122 said:

 

 

This is a really weird list and I don't think the Bills would.

 

Christian Watson has 22 total catches.  He has a high of 4 catches in a game and 3 games with 1 catch.  On a team with nobody else to take targets away.

 

George Pickens has character concerns and has already been thrown out of a game this year.  He's had some highlight grabs and is probably the best player on this list but again those character concerns lead me to believe he wasn't and wouldn't be on the Bills radar.

 

Alec Pierce started strong but has 4 catches in his last 4 games including 2 games with 0 receptions.

 

Skyy moore has 17 catches on the year. 10 in the last 2 weeks so 7 catches in the previous 10 weeks including 2 games each with 0 and 1 target.

 

Strange list that doesn't prove a point unless you think they should have drafted a wr no matter what.

 


Agreed, the receiver stuff is silly. I think with the way the O line has played, an argument could be made that Tyler Linderbaum or Tyler Smith should have been the pick there. Knowing what we know now about our safeties, I probably would have stayed put/traded down and taken Jalen Pitre or Jaquan Brisker. 

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On 12/2/2022 at 5:03 AM, BarleyNY said:

Since it’s not illness or injury it has to be discipline or play - and I can’t see how his play could be the reason he’s made inactive. Someone else starting over him, sure. But not inactive. Has to be a disciplinary move. 

Others have just posted some data that suggest why he isn’t playing. That or it’s a hunch to go with a vet. Elam has a bright future with the Bills. It’s a long season he will be needed and contribute at key times. Just not that big a deal. 

3 hours ago, section122 said:

 

 

This is a really weird list and I don't think the Bills would.

 

Christian Watson has 22 total catches.  He has a high of 4 catches in a game and 3 games with 1 catch.  On a team with nobody else to take targets away.

 

George Pickens has character concerns and has already been thrown out of a game this year.  He's had some highlight grabs and is probably the best player on this list but again those character concerns lead me to believe he wasn't and wouldn't be on the Bills radar.

 

Alec Pierce started strong but has 4 catches in his last 4 games including 2 games with 0 receptions.

 

Skyy moore has 17 catches on the year. 10 in the last 2 weeks so 7 catches in the previous 10 weeks including 2 games each with 0 and 1 target.

 

Strange list that doesn't prove a point unless you think they should have drafted a wr no matter what.

 

Well we had a much bigger need at CB. Pickens is the only guy on the list that would have potentially been a better option. And he had some issues  in college. Elam will be fine the Bills do this often. 

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On 12/1/2022 at 11:10 PM, Einstein said:

 

You’re right, i’m sure McD is happy to have to sit his 1st round CB in the home stretch of the season when the secondary is hobbled.

Well he’s so worried about his draft status that he didn’t play him. The Pats scored 10 points. He is sitting for any number of reasons. One of which is TW is back in the mix. Elam is a really good player that is valued. I’m sure we will see him contribute soon. 

5 minutes ago, Straight Hucklebuck said:

Another strange McDermott decision.

 

Benching your first round rookie corner who hasn’t been bad, so you can take a look at 9+ year veteran?

 

Like you have no tape on Rhodes to look at. 

Bad decision as Bills give up a whopping 10 points. Elam is important to this team. He will be back. 

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2 hours ago, KDIGGZ said:

I think Elam would do better on a team that runs more man. He obviously is having trouble feeling comfortable in zone. He's not planting and attacking the ball like he needs to. I think he prefers to be running with the receiver rather than waiting and reacting 

The Bills do play man coverage. Apparently that wasn’t the plan Thursday night. But Elam fits just fine with their scheme or they would not have traded up for him in the first round. Let’s see this play out. I don’t know the exact reasons that he was inactive, but they are invested in him so more to come. 

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19 minutes ago, Straight Hucklebuck said:

Another strange McDermott decision.

 

Benching your first round rookie corner who hasn’t been bad, so you can take a look at 9+ year veteran?

 

Like you have no tape on Rhodes to look at. 

 

McD has no direct experience of Rhodes in his exact system communicating with his guys.  But I don't think McD wanted to "see what Rhodes can do".  I think the plan was to play 100% nickel, in 100% or near 100% zone coverage, against a strong running team.   I've been putting up the first Christmas decorations and dipping into the whiskey, so my recall is fuzzy, but I would expect them to have disguised coverage a lot as well to slow Mac Jones processing.

 

Essentially, the Bills wanted to play PhD Zone with a run thumper CB, and Rhodes was a better fit because Elam's zone abilities are "progressing".  Add in, likely they did want to give Elam 2+ weeks rest to put his ankle closer to right, Bonus.

Edited by Beck Water
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3 minutes ago, Doc Brown said:

Any possibility the Bills flubbed the final injury report and Elam couldn't go because of injury?

Unlikely.  It is possible he is FP but still having pain/not 100%.  Frazier said as much during a recent interview.

 

This coupled with potentially needing some break (mentally/physically as a rookie) and going against a weak Pats passing attack. 

 

Alot of ppl overthinking this and making ridiculous hindsight comments about alternative players to draft.  This is the same player who made a critical INT against Chiefs, and has played solid as a rookie thus far.  We will need him down the stretch.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Straight Hucklebuck said:

Another strange McDermott decision.

 

Benching your first round rookie corner who hasn’t been bad, so you can take a look at 9+ year veteran?

 

Like you have no tape on Rhodes to look at. 

I agree. What did Elam do that was so poorly to be benched? I don't think he's been great nor horrible. He's been ok and is still learning on the job. Overall, a slight disappointment perhaps thus far. I mean what is Rhodes really going to give you besides some experience. His good days are long gone. There has to be more to this then we know. Coach McD response just doesn't pass the sniff test. 

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19 minutes ago, MasterStrategist said:

Unlikely.  It is possible he is FP but still having pain/not 100%.  Frazier said as much during a recent interview.

 

This coupled with potentially needing some break (mentally/physically as a rookie) and going against a weak Pats passing attack. 

If McD said that after the game though they could be in trouble with the league though.  Correct?  I'm not buying the find out more about our 32 year old cb we signed midseason.

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1 hour ago, YoloinOhio said:

The Bills do play man coverage. Apparently that wasn’t the plan Thursday night. But Elam fits just fine with their scheme or they would not have traded up for him in the first round. Let’s see this play out. I don’t know the exact reasons that he was inactive, but they are invested in him so more to come. 

Agree. This is a nothing Burger with blue cheese dressing on it.

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1 hour ago, Beck Water said:

 

McD has no direct experience of Rhodes in his exact system communicating with his guys.  But I don't think McD wanted to "see what Rhodes can do".  I think the plan was to play 100% nickel, in 100% or near 100% zone coverage, against a strong running team.   I've been putting up the first Christmas decorations and dipping into the whiskey, so my recall is fuzzy, but I would expect them to have disguised coverage a lot as well to slow Mac Jones processing.

 

Essentially, the Bills wanted to play PhD Zone with a run thumper CB, and Rhodes was a better fit because Elam's zone abilities are "progressing".  Add in, likely they did want to give Elam 2+ weeks rest to put his ankle closer to right, Bonus.

Winner winner chicken dinner, at least in my opinion.  We all know McD is particularly tough on the rookies, and keeps them on a VERY short leash, almost to a point of frustration for me. IMO, as soon as one of the rookies makes a mistake, he's getting yanked.  Not saying this is the case every single time, but I've seen in more than a couple occasions a rook making a mistake/mental error and get pulled darn near immediately and not see the game the rest of the day.  Now I don't know if this is the reason for Elam being a healthy scratch, but it wouldn't be a surprise if it was.  I agree with you 100% that perhaps McD/Frazier wanted to run nickel exclusively, and felt like Rhodes was particularly stronger in run support, AND/OR wanted to give Elam a little extra rest to continue healing up.  

 

I think Elam is going to be just fine. I am more than pleased with the progress he's made this year, love both his attitude AND his work ethic.  It really, really spoke volumes to me when he was benched in favor of Benford to start the regular season.  Being the teams first rounder, also knowing they traded up for him, could've been damaging to his ego/psyche, yet he didn't complain, didn't let it affect his game when he finally did go back in the game.  Matter of fact all he did was play harder with the opportunities he was given.  Loved seeing that from our first round CB.  

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8 hours ago, QLBillsFan said:

Others have just posted some data that suggest why he isn’t playing. That or it’s a hunch to go with a vet. Elam has a bright future with the Bills. It’s a long season he will be needed and contribute at key times. Just not that big a deal. 

 

I agree that it’s not that big a deal at this point. But I didn’t see any post with a plausible explanation other than discipline or that he’s struggling. The former makes more sense and is lot less concerning than the latter IMO. It’s one thing to not start Elam, but it’s another to bring your other 6 CBs to the game and leave him inactive. Maybe he struggled with the game plan and in practices and they’re sending a message. That would be a lot less significant than him oversleeping and missing a meeting or something like that. 

 

People are coming up with some funny stuff to explain it away though. My favorites:

- We were going to be playing a lot of zone and running a ton of Nickel. Lol. We always run a ton of Nickel and we’ve played a lot of zone so far this year.

- Matchup. Lol again. Against Mac Jones and that group of receivers Elam is the 7th best option? SMH

- Injury. Nope. Full participation in practices the last two weeks. Also McD would have just told the media he was injured when asked why he was inactive.

- Just wanted to see what Rhodes could do. This is probably the funniest one. I think they have a good idea of what the former first round, 32 year old, 9 year vet can do. Also doing so wouldn’t push Elam down to the 7th CB spot and off the actives list. 

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8 hours ago, MasterStrategist said:

This coupled with potentially needing some break (mentally/physically as a rookie) and going against a weak Pats passing attack. 

 

^^^ This.  100%, I feel McDermott has indicated in the past that most rookies "hit a wall" during the season, and likely they learned from that and afforded him a chance to take a breather and reset.

 

I do think it is that simple.

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1 hour ago, IndyMark said:

^^^ This.  100%, I feel McDermott has indicated in the past that most rookies "hit a wall" during the season, and likely they learned from that and afforded him a chance to take a breather and reset.

 

I do think it is that simple.


Probably right.  Not a concern unless he sits again against the Jets and Dolphins.

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Elam will be fine.  Both Elam and Benford looked good at the beginning of the season.  By mid season we had a majority of back ups and rookies playing out there and the lack of starters in the system probably affected the rookies production.  Going forward I would imagine throwing one rookie in with White and Poyer for support probably fares better than 2 rookies at CB and 2 back up safeties with no Edmunds and a depleeted D line.  Physically there are so many pluses with our rookies they just need time in the system and mentoring with our guys who have been doing it.

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