Inside The Bills

Bills look to end red zone slump

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2014 – 1:33 pm

The Bills had a good deal of success in the red zone in their first meeting with the Jets going 4-for-6 in their 20-point win back in Week 8. Since then however, Buffalo’s offense has gone 0-for-8 in the red zone since. Head coach Doug Marrone has been preaching a more aggressive approach inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, and the players are taking that message to heart.

Robert Woods explained what that means for him as a receiver.

“Be physical, run, be an open target at all times. Really just play fast,” said Woods. “When he says play aggressive it just means be ready for everything. Attack them when you come off the ball and make them back up and play everything, play honest.”

“We’re getting down there enough and moving the ball efficiently,” said Kyle Orton. “We had two drives in the first half last game and we had a 16-play drive and a 12-play drive. We had some issues early on on third down and we’ve done a better job with that.

“The red zone seems to be the last thing that comes. Everything is tighter down there. Everything is tougher down there. I think we’ve just got to keep working, keep pushing and when we finally break through we’ll do a good job.”

Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone plans on having Jackson Monday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 22, 2014 – 9:48 pm

He’s listed as questionable for Monday night’s game against the Jets, but RB Fred Jackson is fully expected to dress and play for the first time since Week 10.

Head coach Doug Marrone gave strong indication that Jackson will suit up and play Monday night.

“I know we listed him as questionable, but I think it’s more because of the type of injury that it is and that something could happen,” said Marrone of Jackson’s status. “We’ll plan on him to be ready to go. We just take the injury and that’s how we have to list it to protect ourselves. That’s truthful, it’s 50-50 if he falls down and gets hurt.”

Jackson after a second straight day of practice is feeling good about being ready.

“I felt good,” said Jackson. “It’s a process that we’ll continue to take one step at a time. We’ve still got one more day to get prepared, but I feel good and we’ll see what happens.”


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Brandon: Tues. is when we’ll make decisions

Posted by Chris Brown on November 22, 2014 – 7:05 pm

Bills team President Russ Brandon provided an update on the state of planning for next week’s home game against the Browns and whether they will conduct their normal practice schedule in what will be  another shortened week.

With Buffalo playing Monday night in Detroit, they’ll have one less day to prepare for the Browns, making it the third week their practice planning has been compressed. At this point in time however, it doesn’t appear as though they’ll need to incorporate travel into their practice schedule.

“It’s an hour by hour process,” said Brandon. “We’ll evaluate it as we go through it on Monday and see how the facility responds on Tuesday. We’ll probably have to make some decisions by then. Knock on wood so far everything is positive. We look forward to getting back to work at the AdPro Sports center on Tuesday and hopefully playing on Sunday. If everything goes as it has gone over the last 12 hours or so we don’t anticipate doing everything differently.”

Brandon said there is no indication that the practice facility was in a state that would prevent them from practicing at One Bills Drive.

Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Brandon: Plan remains to return to 1 Bills Dr.

Posted by Chris Brown on November 22, 2014 – 6:15 pm

The operations staff at One Bills Drive is hard at work clearing the snow from the stadium and surrounding campus as they work to get the facility ready for the Bills’ next home game at Ralph Wilson stadium in eight days against the Browns. At this point, Bills team President Russ Brandon says the plan to play at home next week is still in place.

“I’ve had reports throughout the course of the day. So far everything is progressing nicely,” said Brandon Saturday evening. “We haven’t had any speed bumps come along that we weren’t anticipating at this point. So our plan is to play on Monday, get on a plane, go back to Buffalo, start preparing on the short week for the Browns and hopefully play at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday.

“That’s our plan. We’ll always make contingency plans based on some unforeseen things that may or may not come up. But all the reports back from Andy Major and the operations staff is full go right now in trying to dig out and everyone is mobilized back at the stadium and working on that as we speak.”

Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Injured Jets probable across the board

Posted by Chris Brown on November 22, 2014 – 4:12 pm

The Jets have their share of nicked up players, but all indications are they’ll be able to suit up for their Monday night game with the Bills.

Coming off their bye week the Jets are still nursing some injuries, but head coach Rex Ryan was anticipating having everybody up for their rematch with the Bills.

Player Pos Injury Participation Saturday Game Status
Oday Aboushi OL Shoulder Full Probable
Antwan Barnes LB Knee Full Probable
Willie Colon OL Knee Full Probable
T.J. Graham WR Neck Full Probable
David Harris LB Shoulder Full Probable
Chris Ivory RB Shoulder Full Probable
Jaiquawn Jarrett DB Calf Full Probable
Chris Johnson RB Knee Full Probable
Nick Mangold OL Shoulder Full Probable
Trevor Reilly LB Knee Full Probable
Greg Salas WR Wrist Full Probable
Geno Smith QB Rt Shoulder Full Probable
Darrin Walls DB Calf Full Probable

Posted in Inside the Bills

Jackson questionable for Monday night

Posted by Chris Brown on November 22, 2014 – 4:09 pm







In this out of sorts week the Bills and Jets had to send in the injury report of their status for players for Monday night’s game at Ford Field today at 4 pm (Saturday). RB Fred Jackson headlines the list with a designation of questionable.

Jackson, who was inactive for the team’s Thursday night game against the Dolphins, was encouraged about how his recovering groin felt following practice on Friday evening.

“We’ll see how it goes. It felt good to get out there,” said Jackson Friday night. “I don’t feel like there were any setbacks. Hopefully I can continue to progress well and play well on Monday.”

The Bills are set to hit the practice field here on Saturday in less than an hour.

CB Ron Brooks, who was inactive against the Dolphins, was also listed as questionable. DE Jarius Wynn remains out with a knee injury. Everyone else is probable.

Jarius Wynn
Ron Brooks
Fred Jackson
Dan Carpenter
Right Groin
Manny Lawson
Kyle Orton
Kraig Urbik
Chris Hogan
Marquise Goodwin
Frank Summers
Sammy Watkins

Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills-Jets ticket update

Posted by Chris Brown on November 22, 2014 – 12:29 pm

Here’s an update on the Bills-Jets ticket availability for Monday night’s game at Ford Field.

Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Chandler on being snowmobiled to work

Posted by Chris Brown on November 22, 2014 – 12:22 am

With a lot of the roads in and around Orchard Park not passable for cars some Bills players had to take alternate measures to get to One Bills Drive for a bus that was departing for the airport to fly the team to Detroit so they could begin practicing at the Lions training facility Friday evening in advance of Monday night’s game against the Jets at Ford Field. TE Scott Chandler was one of a handful of players who got a lift on a snowmobile.

“Yeah that was pretty interesting,” said Chandler, who goes 6-7 and weighs 265 pounds. “There was a guy who just lived around the corner. We kind of flagged him down and he was willing to help us out. There were a lot of Bills fans out there who were willing to do that kind of thing. I know we had guys go in there and plow our streets so our wives if they need to can get out too. So there were a lot of good Samaritans around Buffalo. It’s part of what makes it such a great community.”

With another short work week, the Bills had a lot of pent up energy out on the practice field Friday night as most of them were cooped up in their house the last three days.

Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Jackson: rest may have been best

Posted by Chris Brown on November 22, 2014 – 12:15 am

Bills RB Fred Jackson missed the Dolphins game after he aggravated his groin injury in the Tuesday practice prior to the Thursday night game. The benefit was he would get two full weeks to recover before he would play in a game again. Not even practicing on Wednesday and Thursday may have only helped all the more.

While Jackson wasn’t happy to be away from the training staff to continue his rehab regimen, he admits the rest was beneficial.

“It’s just one of those things where nobody was able to get in,” said Jackson in reference to the snowy weather in and around the Bills’ Orchard Park training facility. “But I stayed in contact with them and asked them what they wanted me to do and for the most part it was giving it rest, put my feet up. Try to get ready and prepared to come out and practice. Other than that there wasn’t too much that I could do. I didn’t have the equipment that I needed. I felt good today (at practice) and hopefully it’ll continue to progress.”

Jackson elaborated saying he didn’t have any setbacks on the practice field Friday.

“Obviously you want to rest it, and with these two days off I was able to do that. But you want to be in the room with the trainers and go through some treatments and rehab and things like that and not being able to do that is something that could be a setback, but taking advantage of not doing anything is something that could help too. It felt good getting out there today. Hopefully I can continue to progress well and play well on Monday.”


Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-21

Posted by Chris Brown on November 21, 2014 – 9:01 pm

Despite some crazy logistics this week, here’s Fan Friday with questions from email at and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

Over the past couple of years here are moves that GM Doug Whaley really “hit on”;

(1) Trading ILB Kelvin Sheppard for DE Jerry Hughes = A+

(2) Drafting LB Kiko Alonso = A+

(3) Drafting WR Sammy Watkins = A+,  price was pretty steep, but gives the Bills a legit #1 WR in awhile

(4) Drafting LB Preston Brown + A,  this guy has been a very nice surprise on the defensive side of the ball

(5) Signing QB Kyle Orton = A+  ( I was writing to you back in July for the Bills to sign Orton, glad Coach Marrone finally switched Kyle Orton to #1 QB.  I thought he should have a week sooner, if the Bills had, Bills beat Texans in Houston)

(6) Signing of free agent kicker Dan Carpenter, he’s been clutch when kicks are needed the most.

Question:  Since the Bills do not have a #1 draft pick in 2015 and RB Spiller is not going to command a large contract to resign, can’t GM Doug Whaley take that $$$ and Resign DE Jerry Hughes and extend DT Marcel Dareus long-term ?

Bills really need to try and keep their defensive line together, they are the strength of the team.  I think it was a mistake years ago when the Bills let Pat Williams and Ted Washington depart.


South FL
CB: I had a blog post on this very subject earlier this week when GM Doug Whaley addressed the future of both Hughes and Dareus this week on Bills flagship station WGR this week. Here’s what Whaley said about Hughes and Dareus.

“Those guys are great players. We would love to have them, and those are the things we’ll discuss at the end of the season, which we do every year,” Whaley said. “We don’t negotiate in the media, but they’ve brought tremendous production to our defensive line and helped to make our defense one of the best in the league and we’re going to do whatever we can to keep them.”

I believe the Bills know the defensive line is the linchpin of their defense and with the unit much improved against the run this season they’ll make a strong effort to keep Hughes in the fold even though three of their highest paid players are their other three starting defensive linemen.


2 – Hi Chris,

Big Buffalo Bills fan here in Northern Ireland.  Great job you and John Murphy do in covering the bills.

Couple of questions, how is EJ getting on and what do you think the future is at the qb position the bills this season and beyond this season?

Many thanks

CB: Thanks for the compliments. EJ is doing well. Head coach Doug Marrone last week acknowledged that he is making progress with his personal game. We covered some of what he’s been working on since assuming the backup role.

As for the future at the position there are some moving parts there. Orton has a player option for next year in his deal with Buffalo. Manuel is obviously still under contract.

It’s my belief that the last six games will have a lot to do with the direction the team takes at that position. I realize that a good number of outside observers are of the opinion that EJ Manuel’s career is over with Buffalo. I don’t share that opinion.

He still has yet to have a full regular season worth of starts in his time with the Bills (14 starts) and it’s my contention that kicking dirt on him is premature regardless of what his statistics say.


3 – Hello Chris,
Thanks for all of the info and insight every week. I am a long time follower but this is my first time writing in. My question is in regards to Mike Williams and all of the Fan unrest in his lack of playing time. I too feel that he has been grossly underutilized. I think a good solution would be to give him reps at tight end in a two tight end formation. We have all witnessed his toughness and willingness to “bang heads” not to mention some good down field blocking.

This could create some real matchup nightmares with the opposition. It would force the defense to cover with a safety because a linebacker couldn’t cover him and it would open up Sammy and company as well. Do you think it could work or is he too”small” for TE? And has anyone at OBD tinkered with this? I would think they would want their big play makers on the field as much as possible. Just a thought. Thanks again!

Greg T.

CB: I believe there is merit to those fans who contend that Mike Williams is talented enough to help this offense, especially in the red zone where the team has struggled of late. Williams was targeted once in the Miami game in the red zone, but the pass was broken up.

Even if they favor receivers like Chris Hogan over Williams between the 20s to get them down the field, and Hogan performed well against Miami, you can certainly make the argument that Williams can help this team score touchdowns in the red zone. Eighteen of his 23 touchdowns scored with Tampa Bay early in his career were within 20 yards.

Hopefully what we saw in terms of his use against Miami only increases down the stretch. Making him a detached tight end is something I don’t think I’d anticipate.


4 – Chris,

Can you tell us why the Bills have covered some mid-field, low level seats at RWS?

Thanks for your insights,

Mike Riggie

CB: The reason the first few rows have been tarped is because from a seated position it’s impossible for fans to see over the players and coaches gathered on the sidelines and see the action on the field. As a result those fans in the past would stand, and that would force the fans behind them to stand creating a chain reaction. All the fans behind them would have to continually stand up to see the action every time the fans in the first few rows did so.

The solution was to cover those seats and not sell them to fans to eliminate the problem.


5 – Hey Chris ,

Just a quick hit . Seeing as the NFL is said to be a copycat league & the regime before this one at Buffalo & others in the NFL have some success with a 5 wide set how come this OC NEVER uses it ? Especially with the talent at the WR position …

Thanks Mr. T from Fort Myers via Nashville

CB: One of the most popular formations in the league right now is 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR). One of the reasons is it’s one of the more unpredictable formations pre-snap. You can run or pass out of this formation in a variety of ways and a lot of offensive coordinators like that, which is why it’s so prevalent.

It’s Buffalo’s most popular formation this season as well. Five wide basically says we’re throwing, unless you’ve got Michael Vick at QB and you’re running out of a spread set.

The most popular formation under the head coach that preceded Doug Marrone was four wide with one back.

Believe it or not the five wide look isn’t as popular as you might think. Four wide is more popular. What’s interesting is there were a couple of plays last week against the Dolphins where the Bills went five wide. I doubt it will increase in frequency in Buffalo’s offense, but we’ll see.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Dixon was getting cabin fever in OP

Posted by Chris Brown on November 21, 2014 – 8:13 pm

Back in Orchard Park, Bills RB Boobie Dixon was getting restless as Wednesday moved into Thursday with no practice at One Bills Drive due to the record-breaking snowfall from a lake effect snowstorm this week in Western New York. Dixon appreciated the time to rest his body, but that quickly turned to cabin fever.

“That was very tough. I’m a person that likes to get out and get around,” Dixon said. “It was tough, just sitting in the house. Watching TV and seeing all the drama shows that I hate to watch. It was cool, but it was just relaxing more than anything. I definitely wanted to be active.”

Dixon and his teammates are getting that opportunity now at the Lions’ practice facility this evening.

Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Critical Need for Blood Following Storm

Posted by on November 21, 2014 – 1:27 pm

Unyts urges WNY to donate blood for local patients in local hospitals

After being forced to cancel blood drives this week due to the storm, Unyts is urging the community to donate blood TODAY. Demand at our local hospitals has increased and a strong turnout by donors is critical to ensure we have blood available for patients in the WNY community. To make an appointment, call 512-7940 or visit and click on Give Blood.

Blood Drives TODAY, November 21st
Eastern Hills Mall Donation Center
4545 Transit Road
Williamsville, NY

Medlab, Inc.
600 Cayuga Rd
Cheektowaga, NY

Blood Drives TOMORROW, November 22nd
Eastern Hills Mall Donation Center
4545 Transit Road
Williamsville, NY

Erie County Auto Bureau
2122 George Urban Blvd.
Depew, NY

Tonawanda Donation Center
96 Niagara Street
Tonawanda, NY

Blood Drives Monday, November 24th
Eastern Hills Mall Donation Center
4545 Transit Road
Williamsville, NY 14221

Southgate Plaza Donation Center
1000 Union Road
West Seneca, NY 14224

Tonawanda Donation Center
96 Niagara Street
Tonawanda, NY 14150

Blood Drives Tuesday, November 25th

Tonawanda Donation Center
96 Niagara Street
Tonawanda, NY

Unyts Donation Center
110 Broadway
Buffalo, NY


There will also be a blood drive at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 2nd.  Click for details.15282247615937085079

Posted in Community, Corporate, Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Broadcast info for Monday’s Bills-Jets game

Posted by Anna Stolzenburg on November 21, 2014 – 11:51 am


The Bills-Jets game relocated to Ford Field in Detroit and rescheduled for Monday night at 7 p.m. will air locally on CBS in the following TV markets:

WRGB - Albany, NY
WBNG - Binghamton, NY
WIVB – Buffalo, NY
WENY - Elmira-Corning, NY
WCBS – New York, NY
WROC – Rochester, NY
WTVH – Syracuse, NY
WWNY – Watertown, NY
WSEE – Erie, PA

The game will also be available to NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers on DIRECTV.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills planning logistics for Browns week

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2014 – 7:47 pm

As the Bills juggle the options for this week’s game against the Jets to get some level of on field preparation done before they face their AFC East rivals, there is also advanced planning being done to prepare more effectively for the Browns game the following week if in fact the weather continues to be a hindrance in Orchard Park.

“That’s something that is also in play,” said Bills team President Russ Brandon. “Not only in preparation for this game and playing this game, but for next week there is a potential to go off site and practice somewhere if our facility is not operational. That goes in the same bucket of the layers of other things that are up in the air that we’re all trying to work through. It’s a constant evolution and a process so we’re really waiting to hear back from the league.”

Brandon said they hope to get the team on the practice field to their yet to be determined game location prior to the game against the Jets.

Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Jets injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2014 – 4:13 pm

Here’s a look at the Jets’ Thursday injury report update, with starting CB Darrin Walls the only change going from a limited participant Wednesday to a full participant Thursday.

Player Pos Injury Participation Thursday
Oday Aboushi OL Shoulder Full
Antwan Barnes LB Knee Full
Willie Colon OL Knee Full
T.J. Graham WR Neck Full
David Harris LB Shoulder Full
Chris Ivory RB Shoulder Full
Jaiquawn Jarrett DB Calf Limited
Chris Johnson RB Knee Full
Nick Mangold OL Shoulder Full
Trevor Reilly LB Knee Full
Greg Salas WR Wrist Full
Geno Smith QB Rt Shoulder Full
Darrin Walls DB Calf Full

Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills Thursday injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2014 – 4:11 pm

With the Bills not practicing for a second straight day due to the persistent lake effect snowstorm, which hit Orchard Park hard again Thursday, their injury report remains unchanged from Wednesday.

Player Pos Injury Participation Thursday
Jarius Wynn DE Knee DNP
Ron Brooks CB Groin LP
Dan Carpenter K Right Groin LP
Manny Lawson DE Ankle LP
Kyle Orton QB Toe LP
Kraig Urbik G Shoulder LP
Fred Jackson RB Groin LP
Chris Hogan WR Hip FP
Marquise Goodwin WR Ankle FP
Frank Summers FB Neck FP
Sammy Watkins WR Groin FP

Posted in Inside the Bills

Extra days have helped Jets vs. Bills before

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2014 – 3:59 pm

We noted in this very blog in the past about how the Jets have benefited from extra time and rest in advance of playing the Bills in the past. In both 2011 and 2013 the Jets faced the Bills with 10 days prep coming off a Thursday night game and two weeks prep off their bye week in those two seasons. This year the NFL may have done its best job yet of giving Buffalo a favorable schedule when it came to opponents coming off a short week or coming off their bye. This week was going to be somewhat of a wash between the two teams with the Bills having 10 days to prepare for the Jets coming off their Thursday night game while the Jets came off their bye. That all changed with the lake effect snowstorm this week that shattered all snowfall record totals in Orchard Park and neighboring suburbs as well as the city of Buffalo.

Now heading into Friday with the Bills yet to rep plays on a practice field the Jets clearly have an edge in terms of prep time heading into the game. And under Rex Ryan New York has fared well against the Bills in those situations.

In 2011 when the Jets came off their bye to face the Bills they beat Buffalo at Ralph Wilson Stadium 27-11. They also won coming off their Thursday night game at MetLife Stadium 28-24. New York avoided the series sweep in 2013 with the Jets again the beneficiaries of a bye prior to their meeting with Buffalo and a Thursday night game prior to their other meeting with the Bills.

Last year the Jets won coming off their Thursday night game at home 27-20, but the Bills, thanks mainly to four turnovers, throttled the Jets who were coming off their bye 37-14 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Still, Ryan has a 3-2 mark against Buffalo when coming off a bye or Thursday night game. This year the Bills beat the Jets with New York coming off their Thursday night game prior to their first meeting in 2014.

Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Jets healthy coming off bye

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2014 – 5:02 pm

The Jets are coming off their bye week and look pretty healthy judging by their injury report, which had a lot of full participants Wednesday.

CB Darrin Walls – calf
DB Jaiquawn Jarrett – calf

OL Oday Aboushi – Shoulder
LB Antwan Barnes – Knee
OL Willie Colon – Knee
WR T.J. Graham – Neck
LB David Harris – Shoulder
RB Chris Ivory – Shoulder
RB Chris Johnson – Knee
OL Nick Mangold – Shoulder
LB Trevor Reilly – Knee
WR Greg Salas – Wrist
QB Geno Smith – Rt Shoulder

Posted in Inside the Bills

6 new names on Bills injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2014 – 4:54 pm

The Bills didn’t practice Wednesday due to the bad weather that has prompted a travel ban, but a half a dozen new players appeared on the injury report this week.

Dan Carpenter (groin), Manny Lawson (ankle), Kyle Orton (toe), Kraig Urbik (shoulder), Chris Hogan (hip) and Frank Summers (neck) were all new additions Wednesday.

Carpenter, Lawson, Orton and Urbik were listed as would be limited participants. Hogan and Summers were both listed as full participants.

Fred Jackson was listed as a limited participant. Sammy Watkins a full participant.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Kiko Alonso’s unbelievable “recovery”

Posted by Dallas Miller on November 19, 2014 – 4:14 pm


The Legend of Kiko Alonso may have reached new heights.

After getting a quick workout in at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Wednesday, Alonso presumably: Went home, walked outside into sub-freezing temperatures, removed his shirt, and sat down in a snow bank. As if that weren’t enough, Alonso then covers his legs entirely with snow … and playfully calls for his dog.

This is what passes for “recovery” in the world of Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Check out the video, courtesy of Alonso’s Instagram.

Posted in Inside the Bills