Starting a new week on The John Murphy Show…The Bills wrapped up their rookie mini-camp and there was plenty of news to get to from around the league. One of the items on the list came from the NFL Owners Meetings in Atlanta. Under discussion is the possibility of adding more playoff teams. We asked listeners, as a Bills fan, would you welcome the extended access to the post-season? Various opinions on the topic highlighted the debate.
As mentioned, the team finished up their three-day rookie mini-camp. The Bills second round draft pick, Cyrus Kouandjio joined the show to discuss his first week here in Buffalo. The offensive tackle from Alabama is just getting used to his new surroundings, but believes Buffalo is a good fit.
“I like the area. The thing I like the most is the people around here. I see a lot of humility. I see a lot of fans that are crazy about their football. The same as it was like for me back in Alabama. I can relate so I like that a lot.”
Kouandjio relies heavily on his religious beliefs and was upfront in telling us that he knew that he was destined to be here as a Buffalo Bill. God had a place for him to go and it was not going to be with a big city team. Kouandjio welcomes the surrounding environment.
“Knowing him, I thought I’m probably going to end up going to a place like Buffalo. I remember those exact words and I told this to my brother. He’s probably going to put me somewhere like Buffalo and behold, here I am. It’s just easy for me to stay focused around these type of guys, around this type of environment, around this coaching staff. I think this is a perfect place for me to come here and focus on football and master my craft.”
During the recent mini-camp, Kouandjio and the rest of the rookies got valuable one-on-one coaching and instruction from the Bills staff.
“That’s what mini-camp is for. They take us in and we’re in the film room and the meeting room a lot more than we’re out on the field so they’re teaching us new things. They are reloading things in our head, taking stuff out, and teaching us new things, tell us if we forgot something and we just have to learn it. That’s what this rookie mini-camp is for.”
Kouandjio also said he’s willing to do whatever it takes for the best of the team. He came here to work for a position and wherever that may be, he’s going to compete at the highest level.
At the top of the hour we were joined by Bleacher Report NFL Analyst and former NFL Quarterback Chris Simms. Recently, Simms broke down and graded each team’s draft class and gave the Bills a high marking with an A-.
“The first thing is that you got best offensive player in the NFL draft this year in Sammy Watkins. I think he’s an instant superstar from the second he walks on the field, an instant number one receiver…there’s a lot of positives about what you guys did in the draft and of course Buffalo’s done an amazing job with their roster the last two years through free agency as well. It’s on the up-and-up for you guys.”
Simms also weighed-in on the Bills offensive line selections in the draft. He thinks that Cyrus Kouandjio was the best NFL ready offensive tackle in the draft and likes Cyril Richardson’s ability in the run game. As for seventh round pick Seantrel Henderson, Simms believes it was worth the pick to get a possible starting tackle so late in the draft.
“He’s an extremely talented individual. I thought Seantrel Henderson was more talented than Ja’Wuan James who the Miami Dolphins took at pick number nineteen from the Tennessee Volunteers. That’s how highly thought of Seantrel Henderson is to me.”
Simms, a former quarterback in the league had some encouraging thoughts on offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and current Bills quarterback EJ Manuel.
“There was some good and there was some bad. Of course, I loved his (Manuel) size and athletic ability. If I did have questions, I do think he needs to improve on his throwing and when I say throwing I mean he has to continue to be a more aggressive, consistent thrower. He’s got to be able to throw the ball down the field with a little bit more power and precision to become an elite passer in the NFL. I do think that is something he needs to work on but at the end of the day he has some tools to work with now and that’s half the battle in the NFL.”
We also heard from Head Coach Doug Marrone and what he had to say about his first round draft pick, WR Sammy Watkins. Watkins also chimed in about his recent experience here at One Bills Drive and what he’s looking forward to when the OTAs roll around next week.
You can hear the full John Murphy Show from Monday, below:
(Kouandjio – 24:41, Simms – 41:10)
Posted in Inside the Bills