Inside The Bills

Goodwin listed on Sports Illustrated’s “Fittest 50”

Posted by buffalobills.com on May 27, 2016 – 2:53 pm

A recent pair of lists complied by Sports Illustrated, indicates the world’s 50 fittest male and female athletes. The ranking of each athlete was determined by a set of six criteria which includes, strength, speed, endurance and agility. Coming in at No. 18, is non-other than Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin.

goodwin-top-50

Alongside his position with the Bills, Goodwin excels in track and field. Recently, at the Meeting Region Guadeloupe, Goodwin posted a 2016 record in the long jump. In pursuit of joining the U.S. Olympic Team in Brazil this summer, Goodwin continues to prepare.

 

In addition to Goodwin, several other NFL players can be found on the list. Claiming the No.1 spot as the world’s fittest male athlete is decathlete, Ashton Eaton.


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Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Bills WRs coach breaks down OTA wideouts

Posted by Chris Brown on May 27, 2016 – 1:38 pm

There are some receivers who are completely familiar to Bills fans like Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins. Some of the new wideouts and those further down the depth chart aren’t quite as well known in terms of their skill set. Bills receivers coach Sanjay Lal provided some guidance in an appearance on the John Murphy Show.

Lal gave a brief thumbnail sketch on some of the lesser known Bills receivers.

On Greg Salas
“He is a smart, savvy, excellent route runner,” said Lal. “I don’t think we win the Jets game (in Week 17) without what he did on third down for us. So we’re really counting on him to come through and take another step and really be the guy that when all else fails Greg is going to be able to get open.”

On Jarrett Boykin
“He had 49 catches in Green Bay. I watched the film and he did some really nice stuff. Then he kind of got caught up in the numbers game there. I think we’re lucky to have him. He’s a big, physical target. He has 10 and a half inch hands so he catches really well and a good route runner. He’s picking everything up really well.”

On Leonard Hankerson
“He was Atlanta’s third receiver for the first part of last year. Leonard is really smooth. He’s one of our best route runners. He’s so smooth you enjoy watching him run routes. He has sneaky speed and is a 4.4 guy so I’m intrigued by him too.”

On Greg Little
“Greg is a former second-round pick by Cleveland. He’s a big, physical, tough specimen. He’s done a nice job separating from man to man in this camp.”

On Dezmin Lewis
“His learning curve was steep because he came from a small school and a spread offense. He’s done a great job of transforming his running style. He’s running lower to the ground now, which is hard for him because he’s 6-4. He’s staying in drive phase longer and of all the guys I know how much work he put in on his own this offseason and it’s really showing.”

On Walt Powell
“Walt’s biggest trait that you don’t see right now is his run after catch ability. His catch-run transition is one of the best on the team. If we can get the ball in his hands he can show his punt return skills on the field on offense.”

On Kolby Listenbee
“Today we did a change of direction drill that defeats 22-man and you can see how explosive he is. Even though we can’t let him run full speed yet, his half speed looks explosive, much like Marquise Goodwin’s did.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-27

Posted by Chris Brown on May 27, 2016 – 11:28 am

Week one of OTAs is in the books. Week 2 gets underway Tuesday. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Hi Chris

Thanks for all you do to keep us Bills fans informed! My question is about extending Gilmore and Tyrod. With Gilmore being under contract under the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, if he and the Bills were able to strike a long term deal this offseason, does that work like the franchise tag where his new deal would replace his current contract, or is this year’s salary set in stone and they can only negotiate an extension for next year and beyond?

If it is an extension that doesn’t impact his present salary for this season, how would that work with his signing bonus? Would a prorated portion count against the cap this year? Same thing with Tyrod, if the team signed him to an extension so they could keep him at his low salary for this season, if the extension were signed this offseason, would there be any impact on this season’s salary cap from his signing bonus if his salary doesn’t change? Thanks!

CB: New long term deals typically replace the existing one. The club usually does this to more effectively spread out the amortized portions of the contract (e.g. signing bonus). On occasion teams will tack on an extension to the current year, but it’s uncommon.

2 – Chris

Can you give us more insight into UDFA Justin Zimmer. He was the fastest/quickest/strongest tackle in this year’s draft with something like 86 tackles, 13 sacks, 26 tfl, and 4 ff’s.  This kid should have been drafted just based on his measurables alone.  44 Reps/4.85 40 with outstanding short shuttle and 3 cone times- Are you kidding me?  Mo Boehringer got drafted on pure potential and this kid is way more experienced than him, even at Ferris St.  Can Coach Blake morph this kid into the next Aaron Donald or Geno Atkins?  With Adolphus Washington we really strengthened the interior D.

John

CB: One reason why Zimmer went undrafted is because he has short arms. While this might sound ridiculous these are parts of the player measurables that carry weight especially when it comes to line play. If you can’t keep offensive linemen from getting into your chest then you’ll have problems making plays.

Now Zimmer to his credit was ultra-productive at the FCS level. He’s quick and agile and obviously powerful and he’s a hustler. To say he could be the next Aaron Donald or Geno Atkins is a stretch. That being said he’ll be interesting to watch when the pads go on in camp.
3 – Chris,

Last year’s defense was a disappointment. Veteran players could not fully adapt to this complicated front seven scheme then play at a high level. Also, expectations turned out to be unrealistically high.

Is there any way 3 rookies can leap to the NFL, play in this same defensive front, simplified or not, and have success? Or do we need to start managing expectations now to avoid more disappointment?

Thanks,
Ron
CB: First, I’m going to tell you that in this first week of OTAs the players admitted they assumed with an accomplished defensive coach coming in the door that they just expected to be just as good as they were the year before and did not put the required time in to master the defense. Just about every place Rex Ryan has been his players have never had a problem absorbing and implementing the defensive system he employs. They’ve never had a problem playing fast.

Buffalo’s players pretty much acknowledged that a lot of their shortcomings last season were on them because they didn’t buy into the system. That’s changed now, so I’d be interested to see how well they can play in this defense with the talent they have on hand.

Now will it be an adjustment for the three top draft choices? Probably, but their talent will help to carry them until they do have it all down pat. Additionally all three draft choices are workers and committed to being great. Those are all encouraging signs. As we all know the proof will be in the results on the field.

 

4 – Hey Chris ,
Do you think the Bills have any interest in trading for Sam Bradford ? Personally I think he has had a pretty raw deal since entering the league, his first three seasons the Rams had nobody really legit to play with on offense except for Danny Amendola , he tore his acl twice and the Eagles were a mess to begin with before he got there, Buffalo has a lot of good players on offense right now I would be really curious to see who would win the starting job between Taylor and Bradford, thank you.

Alexander, Toronto


CB:
I’d be surprised if the Bills pursue something like this if in fact Bradford is offered up again. The biggest question facing this team is whether or not they have a franchise quarterback. That won’t be answered if you add another QB to the mix. They should stick with Tyrod Taylor this season and see what kind of step forward he can make.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills Didn’t the Bills defense want to be the ‘85 bears last year?

Joe gnozzo @joegnozzo51

CB: I don’t think the bar was ever set that high. From a scheme perspective that wasn’t the plan either. Rex’s defense does have some 46 principles to it, but the biggest issue in terms of scheme in 2015 was Ryan’s attempt to blend some of the successful concepts of the team’s 2014 system that helped them finish fourth in the NFL with his own scheme.

The blend did not work by Ryan’s own admission by midseason and the unit never recovered when they tried to eliminate that in season.

This year they’re going to be more of a traditional 3-4 and play strictly Ryan’s defensiv


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex on Mario’s move to Miami

Posted by Chris Brown on May 27, 2016 – 10:20 am

He openly criticized Rex Ryan’s defense on multiple occasions to the media. He complained about being asked to drop into coverage a lot, when game film revealed he didn’t do it more than three or four times a game. That combined with his lofty cap figure got Mario Williams released by Buffalo. Now that he’s in Miami, Buffalo’s head coach isn’t about to wish him any success.

In an interview this week with MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas, Rex and Rob Ryan covered many topics including some of the personnel moves this offseason. Some of  those moves were done to help foster complete buy in for the defensive scheme in the locker room.

“Player-wise, sometimes the salary cap kind of influences you. Look, I like Leodis McKelvin, Nigel Bradham,” said Ryan. “Mario Williams? Yeah, but he is making $17 million dollars [in Miami]. Guess what, it wasn’t going to happen. Now look, with some of the comments [he made], do I wish him well? Not really. But, he’s on Miami. If he would have gone somewhere else, maybe. He’s a good kid, but I am used to some mean motherf—ers that play out there. The Terrell Suggs, Jarrett Johnsons of the world. I screwed them, too; I had them drop [into coverage], too. Not one of them bitched. Von Miller [dropped into coverage] in the Super Bowl. Why? Because that’s what’s asked of him; that’s what his job is. Your job is to play. Coaches spend a hell of a lot more time studying tape and everything else. They are trying to put the team in the best position to be successful, not an individual.”

Ryan then went on to point out that players who have played under him who were asked to do similar things were still highly recognized players in the league.

“Terrell Suggs, he has been the defensive Player of the Year in this league,” Ryan said. “Ed Reed has been. Ray Lewis has been. You can go right down the line. Trevor Pryce had 14 sacks as a defensive tackle. One of the most unselfish guys you’ve ever seen. That’s what it is about. I’ll never forget, I used to have Ray sell out for maybe the 11th guy on defense. Ray Lewis is going to be one of the greatest defensive players in the history of the game, if not the greatest. That’s when you’ve got something special, and that’s what we are trying to build here.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

No more scheme blending for the Ryans

Posted by Chris Brown on May 27, 2016 – 9:18 am

Bills head coach Rex Ryan admitted midway through his first season with Buffalo that he made an error in judgment. He tried to blend the successful defensive scheme of his predecessor, which helped the Bills rank fourth in defense in the NFL, with that of his own. Simply put it didn’t work. Meanwhile in New Orleans, his twin brother and current Assistant head coach Rob Ryan was asked to change the defensive scheme entirely from what he had run the past dozen years as a defensive coordinator in the league. The Saints defense finished last in the league. Suffice to say both have learned to trust their instincts and go with what has been successful for them year in and year out in the NFL. Their defensive scheme and their defensive scheme only.

In an interview with MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas, the Ryans explained how this year Buffalo’s defense will go exclusively to Rex Ryan’s traditional 3-4 scheme.

“We are going to see things one way, and we are going to do it our way. That’s what it takes to win,” said Rex Ryan. “There is a certain style of defense that wins, a certain style of play that wins in this league, and nobody understands that more than we do. Our family has been to six Super Bowls as coaches, and we know it takes a physical brand of football and it takes physical players.

“I said I was going to build a bully, it wasn’t the appropriate word, but I want to be physical. I think we are getting it right. We brought in Richie Incognito, all he does is go to the Pro Bowl. Doug Whaley and company did a great job in the draft. Shaq Lawson is a physical player. Reggie Ragland is the most physical linebacker in the draft. That was a Ryan defensive player, a linebacker, going back to the days of when our dad was coaching the Bears, and even before that.

“There are people that, I know for a fact, don’t believe in me; they don’t believe in the direction of the football team. That’s fine and dandy. I believe in it, and I am surrounding myself with people that believe in it also. People who are smart enough to believe in it. Because the Ryans are going to get it done.

“We never lost a fight in our life. Ever. And we ain’t losing this one. And that’s a true statement. Not just because we are bad a**es—because we are, individually—but collectively, it’s a lot different. To this day, no man is going to whip me. Why? Because I’ve got my brother with me. And I’ve got my brother, Dennis Thurman, with me. Ed Reed is here for a reason. These players are going to be like that, too. We want to fight like brothers. I don’t know if we have 100 percent buy-in from even the entire building. I don’t know yet. But the people directly with me, my coaching staff and the players, that’s where it starts. I don’t know all the business people yet; they should be “all in,” but I don’t know. There’s times when the doubt part, that can be driven through the media. But I’m going to surround myself with the very best, and I’m going to win.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Lal: Easley ahead of schedule

Posted by Chris Brown on May 26, 2016 – 2:12 pm

There’s no specific timetable for Marcus Easley to return from offseason surgery that he had back in January, but the signs at this point are encouraging.

That according to Bills receivers coach Sanjay Lal, who appeared on the John Murphy Show. Lal knew it was going to be a long rehabilitation for Easley, but is confident he’ll come through the extensive rehab successfully.

“If there’s anyone who can, and it was a devastating injury and he was here all winter,” said Lal of Easley. “I saw the rehab that he went through and you have to admire how hard he worked and the mentality he had because that was tough on him. He’s coming through it all ahead of projections.”

Easley dislocated his kneecap and then shattered his patella in three places in last season’s Week 16 game against Dallas.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

OT Glenn grateful to overcome obstacles

Posted by Chris Brown on May 25, 2016 – 1:33 pm

It was an unusual situation that Bills offensive tackle Cordy Glenn was in a couple of summers ago. Heading into the 2014 season it was made known that Glenn had an undisclosed medical condition and would miss an undetermined amount of time in training camp and the preseason. With those trials now in the rearview mirror and with a long term contract extension in hand, Glenn is grateful he’s still playing the game he loves.

“Yeah, I mean there was a lot of tough obstacles of course, you know what I’m saying,” said Glenn. “Having the kidney removed right before camp and really not having a chance to get in shape. I mean that was challenging, but the big thing for me is always trying to move forward and not trying to stay in the past.”

With no time to get in shape for the 2014 season because the procedure demanded rest and recovery, Glenn had what many felt was a down season that year. Now that the true reason for his performance that year, which was not up to typical Cordy Glenn standards, is out there, it explains a lot more about Glenn and his commitment to the team. Knowing he likely wouldn’t be at his best he still suited up for the good of the team.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: We’re loaded at safety

Posted by Chris Brown on May 25, 2016 – 8:24 am

The Bills chose not to re-sign safety Bacarri Rambo in the offseason. They signed free agents Robert Blanton and Colt Anderson instead. While it’s unlikely that either of them unseat incumbent starters Aaron Williams and Corey Graham, those two additions plus the presence of Jonathan Meeks and Duke Williams on the roster gives head coach Rex Ryan confidence that they have quality depth on hand.

“Right now we’re a much deeper football team at safety then we are at corner and I think when you look at it, we are loaded at safety right now and all these guys are getting a great feel for what they’re doing, the communication part,” said Ryan. “I love having Aaron Williams out there and Corey Graham again so again, a lot of positives.”

Ryan gave some unsolicited praise to Duke Williams and Meeks for their offseason dedication.

“There have been two guys I’ve been really impressed with and these two guys are in before coaches, after, it is crazy, and that’s (Jonathan) Meeks and Duke Williams,” said Ryan. “I think both those guys, they come in together, they live with D Lynn (defensive assistant D’Anton Lynn), they live with Ed Reed (in the meeting rooms). I mean they’re here all the darn time and you can see it in their play as well.”

Meeks and Williams know all too well how new additions at your position can siphon opportunities away from you in OTAs and minicamp when coaches are evaluating the consistency of your play. The two former Bills draft choices are no doubt hoping to outshine Blanton and Anderson, not only on defense, but special teams.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex won’t deny Goodwin once in lifetime chance

Posted by Chris Brown on May 24, 2016 – 3:55 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan is not expecting to have WR Marquise Goodwin in for voluntary offseason workouts or practices anytime soon. Mandatory minicamp might also prove difficult. With Goodwin training for the US Olympic track and field trials as a long jumper, Ryan understands the huge opportunity in front of the diminutive wideout.

“Well my understanding is he has the number one jump in the world I think at this point (this year),” said Ryan. “So that is one way to represent Buffalo, our community and our football team. But you know what this is a once in a lifetime shot for a young man to get an opportunity to represent our country in the Olympics, I am certainly not going to take that opportunity away from him.

“When he comes back with us we know that he is training specifically for the long jump and things and that is fine. But we will be excited to get him back here and on this thing and work on his football skills. I think for the young man yeah we are paying the bill and all that we get it, but you know what this is a great opportunity for him to represent our country and we are excited to see him go.”

The Olympics in Rio run the first two weeks of August, which is the same time as training camp. Goodwin has to make the U.S. Olympic team first.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore update

Posted by Chris Brown on May 24, 2016 – 3:31 pm

The Bills are determined to get a long term deal done with Stephon Gilmore, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Buffalo picked up his fifth-year option a year ago. Negotiating a long term agreement at a premium position like cornerback however is easier said than done.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportradio 550, Whaley admitted cornerback is a top flight position, but as an organization they have to be mindful of other contracts coming up for players they’d like to extend long term.

“For a Rex Ryan defense it’s an important position for how you want to run that defense,” he said. “Again you have a value. Where the juggling process come in, you always want to set a value on a guy, and that’s your first step. But how does your first step affect your next step? So if we put a value on Stephon, but it hinders us from something else down the road that’s when you have to adjust your value on a guy. So it’s going to be a complicated process, but the main thing we’re excited about is both sides want the goal to be for him to come back and sign a contract.”

Whaley remains optimistic that a deal can be struck.

“We’re excited to have Gilmore and we’re excited to have Darby,” said Whaley. “So we have two who we think are top tier corners in the league. Hopefully it’s going to be an exciting season to see them get out there and play 16 games and perform well. And we’ll see how it goes on the business side as well.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills not pursuing FAs Boldin or Freeney now

Posted by Chris Brown on May 24, 2016 – 1:23 pm

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Tuesday morning GM Doug Whaley addressed the prospect of pursuing a veteran free agent pass rusher or receiver in light of the recent offseason surgeries for Shaq Lawson and Sammy Watkins.

Whaley said at this point they haven’t made contact with those veteran free agents, though he wouldn’t rule anything out.

“We always keep our options open. We never say never,” said Whaley. “We haven’t reached out and contacted anybody right now. We’re looking at the development of the guys we have on the roster and some of the young guys. But we always keep our options open and our pro personnel department headed by Rob Hanrahan, those guys always keep me abreast of who is out there and we continually update what we call our short list.”

When asked specifically about Boldin, Whaley again reiterated that they want to see how some of the youth on their roster comes along during spring practices.

“We want to see what we have and the development of the guys on the roster in the OTAs,” he said. “Guys like that we look at as consummate professionals. They’re always going to be in shape and if the time comes where we think the guys aren’t progressing like we need them to that’s when you look at a guy like Anquan Boldin or a Dwight Freeney, but right now we want to develop some young guys with an eye on the future saying those guys are out there if for needs sake we need to pick them up.”

It’s clear that Whaley believes time is on his side before the need may arise to make a move of this nature. When you’re trying to develop young players you don’t want to steal reps from them with a vet and delay their improvement.

There is a report that Freeney had a workout scheduled with the Bengals today.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Join Eric Wood’s Dinner for a Difference

Posted by buffalobills.com on May 23, 2016 – 2:14 pm

Bills Pro Bowl center Eric Wood will be hosting his Dinner for a Difference on Wednesday, June 1. The second annual event, will begin at 6:30 p.m. and consist of a cocktail reception, dinner and live and silent auctions. Held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Buffalo, the evening will benefit The Eric Wood Foundation. Created in 2014, The Eric Wood Foundation seeks to assist children in need in the Buffalo and Louisville, Ky. communities.

A dynamic force both on and off the field, Wood takes great pride in giving back in a variety of ways. Attendees will enjoy a fun-filled night with Wood, as he and and his fellow Buffalo Bills partake in serving their meals.

eric-wood-image

For additional information on how to participate in Wood’s Dinner for a Difference, please click here.


Posted in Community, Inside the Bills

How Brady rehearing ask impacts Bills Wk 4 game

Posted by Chris Brown on May 23, 2016 – 1:10 pm

Patriots QB Tom Brady, through the NFLPA, is expected to file a petition today for a rehearing of his league-imposed four-game suspension or his role in the Deflategate scandal. Brady is going to be asking for a rehearing en banc, which means he’s asking for the entire panel of all the active judges of the Second Circuit to rehear the case, instead of just a three-judge panel, as was the case in the original hearing, which ruled against Brady 2-1.

There will be no timetable for the Second Circuit to decide whether to rehear the case. If they accept the petition and agree to rehear the case it would put an automatic stay on the NFL’s four-game suspension of Brady and that means he would almost certainly face the Bills in Week 4 at Foxborough. Rehearings take months so it would buy Brady more than enough time to play the 2016 season.

It should be noted that rehearings of such decisions are extremely rare.

If the rehearing petition is denied the four-game suspension would remain in place for the start of the regular season. At that point Brady’s only hope would be an appeal to the Supreme Court and ask for a stay of the Second Circuit decision. It’s considered a long shot for a stay to be granted by the highest court in the land.

Monday was the deadline for Brady to submit the petition.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jim Kelly to co-host HOF ‘Day out with Dad’

Posted by Chris Brown on May 23, 2016 – 10:10 am

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly will be co-hosting a special event at the Pro Football Hall of Fame next month.

Kelly along with fellow Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz will co-host the Hall’s ‘Day out with Dad’ event on June 25th in Canton. Kelly will be joined by his daughter Erin and alongside Muñoz will be his son Michael.

Pre-registration is encouraged as space may be limited for walk-up entries. Dads and children should pre-register at ProFootballHOF.com/dads-day. Cost for “Day Out with Dad” is just $35 and includes a father and up to four kids.

In addition to the exclusive character camp that is based off the Hall’s five core values learned from the Game – commitment, integrity, courage, respect and excellence – a ticket includes lunch vouchers from Chick-fil-A, admission into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and free parking.

The event includes a day of family fun centered around an official Hall of Fame Character Camp that will include football skills and drills. Fathers and their children can spend the day bonding while also getting up close and personal to two great Heroes of the Game.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Taylor: Everyone has something to prove

Posted by Chris Brown on May 21, 2016 – 9:58 am

Earlier this week a story claimed that Tyrod Taylor was one of two quarterbacks with the most to prove this coming season. Kirk Cousins was the other (anybody for Jared Goff or Carson Wentz?). In any event, when asked about that prevailing opinion, Taylor didn’t scoff at it. Instead he embraced it.

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show this week, Taylor said it’s always been his own personal belief that he has something to prove every time he steps on the field.

“Everyone has something to prove in this league and if you think you don’t something is wrong,” Taylor said. “That’s how I play. Every time you practice you should feel that way too. As far as the contract that will play out. I really haven’t put too much thought into it.

“My goal as I said from day one is to better myself and better the team too and ultimately prepare ourselves and get after everybody to make a Super Bowl run. We know it’s takes a one game at a time and one step at a time, but we’ve finished phase one and phase two of the offseason and we’re looking forward to getting into OTAs and we’re definitely excited about getting back out there making plays.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Who has looked good in absence of Sammy?

Posted by Chris Brown on May 20, 2016 – 1:58 pm

Sammy Watkins will be watching from the sidelines for the upcoming OTAs, mandatory minicamp and possibly the start of training camp. Ideally Watkins is on the field with his teammates sooner rather than later, but in his absence some receivers will have the chance to emerge. Tyrod Taylor has already seen some members of the receiving corps come in ready during offseason conditioning and shared some names on the John Murphy Show this week.

“Robert Woods coming back after having a season under his belt battling with an injury came back explosive,” said Tyrod Taylor of Buffalo’s number two wideout, who played with a torn groin for most of the 2015 season. “Guys that came on late in the season like Greg Salas and Leonard Hankerson have definitely come in strong.”

If there is one positive to draw from Watkins’ absence it’s that players like Salas, Hankerson and others will get more reps to show the coaching staff how they can contribute to this offense.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Tyrod on lack of field time with Sammy

Posted by Chris Brown on May 20, 2016 – 1:54 pm

With Sammy Watkins expected to spend the better part of the next 12 weeks on the sidelines rehabbing from foot surgery, starting QB Tyrod Taylor will be going through Buffalo’s offseason workouts without any reps on the field with his top receiver. Always even keeled, Taylor is not concerned with the absence of Watkins at this point.

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show, Taylor said the priority is for Watkins to get to full health. On field chemistry can come after.

“The main thing for Sammy is that he gets healthy,” said Taylor. “We know that he wants to be out there, but the main focus for him is to get healthy and be ready for training camp. We’ve been talking together and getting on the same page. We want on the field work obviously, but we’ll get that when the time comes. The main thing is that he gets healthy so he can play at the level that we know he’s capable of playing at.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-20

Posted by Chris Brown on May 20, 2016 – 12:18 pm

Bills OTAs get rolling on Monday. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Why haven’t Bills looked at Anquan Boldin as he seems to fit what they need a WR. Thanks!

BC72 @bchud1972

CB: I think there could be a number of issues at play here. First, Boldin, though productive last season (69 rec. 789 yds, 4 TDs) is 35-years old. Second, and probably more important is the Bills are probably in a position where they could only offer a veteran receiver the league minimum, and with Boldin a 10-plus year player he would cost $985K. As accomplished as Boldin is I don’t know if he would play a 14th NFL season for that.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills Bills have any interest in Dwight Freeney or Greg Hardy?

joseph tadak @jt9591

CB: I don’t see Greg Hardy as a realistic option due to his off the field issues. No one else seems all that interested either. I understand fans trying to connect the dots to a veteran to fill the potential void left by Shaq Lawson’s surgery, which will probably keep him out for a portion of the first half of the season.

I wonder how much of a commitment the Bills would want to make to a stop gap solution. If they were to sign Freeney and he was on the roster beyond Week 1 his contract would be guaranteed even if they released him once Lawson returned to the roster.

I don’t know if that’s a good call for someone who would be a part-time player (pass rush specialist).

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you see Gilmore or Taylor getting extended before season, during season, or after if at all?

Grayson Tumult @GraysonTumult

CB: I believe the likelihood of a new deal for Gilmore before/during the season is greater than Taylor. The reason why is the Bills probably want to see Taylor take the next step in his development during the season. Then if they have to back up the Brinks truck to keep him after the season is over, so be it.

The reason Gilmore’s deal will probably take a bit longer is because Washington threw the whole cornerback market out of whack with their contract for Josh Norman ($15M/yr.) after Carolina rescinded his franchise tag, making him a free agent.

With Norman at age 28 getting $15M per year and he’s largely a zone coverage corner, it makes it difficult for Buffalo to negotiate with Gilmore’s camp when he’s 27 and plays a more demanding role at corner as he’s often in man-to-man.

I think top 10 cornerback money is realistic for Gilmore. Top five money might be a different story, and if the Gilmore camp is looking for that it could make for a longer negotiation.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills Any real worries with Watkins foot? Similar to Dez foot injury that kept him out all year?

jason plunkett @j_plunk

CB: First, Dez Bryant did not miss the whole year. He injured the foot in Week 1 and missed the next six weeks. The Cowboys rushed him back and he struggled through the rest of the season, but suited up and played in eight of the last nine games.

I expect the Bills to go to school on how things played out with Bryant and Julian Edelman for that matter, who also needed a second surgery because he came back too soon in the playoffs.

I’m not a doctor, but based on what I’ve read, Watkins’ Jones fracture, a common injury for NFL wide receivers, usually takes longer to heal (8-12 weeks) than most fractures (six weeks) because the blood supply to that area of the foot isn’t as good as other parts of the body. That’s why the surgery has a screw inserted in that area to promote the healing of the bone.

The Cowboys tried to get Bryant back in six weeks and it was too soon. That’s why I think even though Sammy Watkins will be right around the 12-week mark at the start of training camp I would not expect to see him do much of anything on the field until the second full week of camp at the earliest.

And even then it will be a slow and steady process. Yes, reps with his quarterback are important, but most important is Watkins’ availability on Sundays in September. If the process is rushed risk of re-injury increases.

Being patient with a player of his caliber is difficult for fans, but the payoff is he’ll be less likely to run into future problems with the foot during the season.

 

5 – Chris,

Last year’s defense was a disappointment. Veteran players could not fully adapt to this complicated front seven scheme then play at a high level. Also, expectations turned out to be unrealistically high.

Is there any way 3 rookies can leap to the NFL, play in this same defensive front, simplified or not, and have success? Or do we need to start managing expectations now to avoid more disappointment?

Thanks,
Ron

CB: From what I have been able to gather Rex Ryan and Dennis Thurman have reduced the number of checks pre-snap on defensive play calls for this season knowing the problem it presented last season. Whether they’ve found the happy balance between remaining unpredictable while allowing their players to play fast remains to be seen, but the effort was made to make execution of the defensive system easier for the players.

As for the rookies, Adolphus Washington’s position doesn’t require as much pre-snap adjustment as Reggie Ragland or Shaq Lawson. Ragland doesn’t have to run the defense, that will be on Preston Brown, but as GM Doug Whaley mentioned the scheme Ragland ran at Alabama is very similar to that of Buffalo’s defense. Ragland has said there’s a lot of carryover that’s a plus.

Lawson might have the toughest time adjusting knowing he’s likely to miss the offseason practices and some time in the first half of the season. Not having those physical reps could make it hard on the top pick to assimilate himself into the defense.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Cowboys campaigning to host 2018 NFL draft

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2016 – 2:46 pm

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has given indication that the league intends to move the NFL draft out of Chicago after a two-year stint. Eager to step to the front of the line, though they won’t be ready for the 2017 draft are the Dallas Cowboys.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is campaigning to host the 2018 NFL draft. Jones is putting together a $1.5 billion complex in Frisco, Texas that includes a 16-story hotel, an event center, a members-only club, practice fields, restaurants and retail stores, office space and an underground parking garage. The Star also features a 12,000-seat indoor stadium that local high schools can use for football games.

That could also be the staging area for the 2018 NFL draft. The complex is not expected to be fully completed until the summer of 2017 as it will be completed in stages.

Denver, Canton, Ohio and Los Angeles have also reportedly expressed interest in hosting future NFL drafts.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Cardale looking for payback from Elliott

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2016 – 2:22 pm

Bills fourth-round pick Cardale Jones was apparently owed $5 by former Ohio State teammate Ezekiel Elliott. Now in the wake of Elliott signing his rookie contract Jones is hoping the former Buckeyes running back will pay up.

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Elliott has since followed up with a promise to pay and then some.

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Posted in Inside the Bills