It didn’t take Anthony Lynn long Tuesday to expound on what he knows about Buffalo Bills running back Bryce Brown.
Mainly because the team’s running backs coach has barely gotten acquainted with him.
“I don’t know much about him at all,” Lynn said of Brown. “I’ve only met him once.”
Brown is currently away from the team tending to a personal matter. He did not participate in the recent voluntary veteran minicamp.
At least Lynn knows Brown’s name. That’s more than coach Rex Ryan pledged to know in March, saying he wouldn’t learn it until Brown fixed his issues with fumbling.
“Rex has a way of motivating guys and getting his point across,” Lynn said. “I think Bryce got the point. I met him once and we talked about it a little bit. I can’t wait to get him in here to work on some of those things. He’s got to get in the building first.”
Lynn said the time Brown is missing – even though it is strictly voluntary – will be difficult to make up.
“Bryce is doing what he has to do right now, taking care of his family in the offseason, but yes, it will set him back,” he said. “I mean, he’s five, six weeks behind everyone else. Once he gets here, it’s going to be hard to slow down and catch him up. That’s one of my biggest concerns, but, you know, he’s got the playbook. Hopefully he’s taking care of his business and hopefully he’ll come in in great shape and we’ll see what happens.”
When Lynn says Brown is behind “everyone else,” that’s a long line. The Bills, it seems, want all the running backs.
“You can never have enough backs,” offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Tuesday. “You just can’t.”
That explains why the team drafted Florida State’s Karlos Williams in the fifth round – adding him to a crowded room that already includes Brown and veterans LeSean McCoy, Fred Jackson and Boobie Dixon.
“We’ve got some really good ones, so that’ll make for some interesting formations in the preseason, for sure,” Roman said.
Depth at a position is one thing. Roman was asked, though, if that depth can ever go from being a good problem to just … a problem, given that there is only so much time that can be devoted to evaluating each player.
“That’s never a bad problem,” he said. “Good players: bring them. More. More. More. Keep bringing them and there’ll be plenty of opportunity for everybody.”
In fact, the Bills wouldn’t be opposed to adding another running back to the roster, although to do so would require a player to be released since the team is at the 90-man roster limit.
“You bring in the best competition that you can,” Lynn said. “I don’t think my room is any more crowded than I’ve had in recent years. We needed the numbers. We needed to get another back. Hell, we may even add another one.”
Lynn said the grind of training camp might require fresher legs.
“It’s a lot of reps, a lot of hits,” he said. “If you’re going to run the football, you can’t have enough good backs on a team, in my opinion.”
The Bills don’t seem to have a shortage of those, starting with McCoy.
“Run. Block. Catch. He’s one of the better combo guys in the league right now,” Lynn said, “ so we’re looking forward to seeing him play in our offense.”
McCoy has led the NFL with 626 carries over the past two years and will be 27 at the start of the season. Lynn, though, is confident he can handle a similar workload going forward.
“I think he’s got a lot of good years left in him at 27, going into his seventh season,” he said. “I talk to the guys all the time about Curtis Martin. This guy led the league in rushing his ninth year.”
“I’d love to see him get that many rushes. If he’s getting that many touches, that means that we’re winning ball games, we’re running the ball. We’re controlling time of possession. We’re setting up the play action. We’re doing some good things if he touches it that many times.”
While Lynn would like to see McCoy’s workload stay the same, he’d prefer if Jackson’s was scaled back. Jackson played 548 snaps last season, a number Lynn said he’d like to see cut in half.
“I think he wore down a little bit at the end of the season,” Lynn said. “If we could take half of that off his plate, I think you’re going to see a fresher Fred Jackson and a more explosive Fred Jackson.”
Lynn said he monitored Jackson’s career in Buffalo while in New York and his impression hasn’t changed since joining the Bills.
“Fred’s a pro,” he said. “There’s not too many guys who can do what he’s doing. … His intangibles, his preparation, his attitude … the way he approaches his job every day, it’s good for those young guys to see.”