Inside The Bills

Bills rank 2nd for likability

Posted by Chris Brown on July 27, 2016 – 10:23 am

USA Today’s ‘For the Win’ column put together a listing of all 32 NFL clubs with a likability ranking based on a number of factors including fans, uniforms, good ownership and a team that is at least fun to watch – interesting. The Buffalo Bills ranked very high on the list.

The Bills ranked second overall. Here’s what was written on Buffalo.

2. Buffalo Bills
The Bills made a solid claim to be number one on this list. The NFL’s lovable losers benefit from the unlikability of its divisional rivals (*cough cough* Patriots), and the team’s diehard fans are always good for a few hilarious videos a season.

For those Bills fans that are wondering, the Dolphins were a surprising third (huh?) and the Jets were 26th and the Patriots were 31st.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Boldin to sign with Lions

Posted by Chris Brown on July 26, 2016 – 2:05 pm

With their top veteran receiver Calvin Johnson now retired, the Detroit Lions looks like they’re finally ready to pull the trigger on a deal for veteran free agent WR Anquan Boldin.

That according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who reports that the two sides are finalizing a deal.

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Boldin, 36, had 69 catches last season for the 49ers.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills and RB Bush still talking

Posted by Chris Brown on July 26, 2016 – 1:43 pm

Whether the Bills and free agent RB Reggie Bush are able to consummate a deal remains to be seen, but the lines of communication between the two parties remain open.

Buffalobills.com has learned that the two sides are still talking. Bush seems content to bide his time at this point, no doubt waiting to see if a more favorable opportunity presents itself somewhere else in the league due to injury once training camps open this weekend.

The Bills currently have six running backs on the roster, but Karlos Williams will be lost for the first month of the season due to violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Ice Bucket Challenge to be held at RWS

Posted by Kelly Baker on July 26, 2016 – 10:51 am

This Sunday, July 31st, following the 2016 Buffalo Walk to Defeat ALS, Ralph Wilson Stadium will play host to a very special event. In an effort to raise awareness for the progressive disease, Shades of Greatness, Inc., the LeSean McCoy Foundation, will be sponsoring the ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter’s Guinness Book of World Records Ice Bucket Challenge.

Focused on finding a cure, an estimated 1,000 participants will work together to break the current Ice Bucket Challenge world record of 782. A cause that hits home for McCoy, whose grandmother passed away from ALS, his foundation will provide funding for the organization’s Care Services Program.

Looking to get involved? Please click here for more details.


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Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Tasker on his former coach Dennis Green

Posted by Chris Brown on July 26, 2016 – 10:36 am

The football world lost a revered coach in Dennis Green this past week. While most remember Green for his days as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals, Bills Wall of Famer Steve Tasker knew him long before then. He reflected on his time playing under Dennis Green when he was his head coach in college at Northwestern.

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show, Tasker talked about Green as a coach and how he expanded his knowledge of the game, which helped prepare him for a pro playing career.

“He was a really good football coach,” said Tasker of Green. “As an African-American guy getting a Big 10 coaching job it was big at the time, but I never looked at it that way. I knew he was a guy who could carry a room and was a really good football coach. And he went on to bigger and better things with the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals. I always thought he’d be a much better pro coach than a college coach after playing for him at Northwestern.”

What Tasker liked most about Green was his straightforward approach and deep understanding of the game.

“He was a passionate coach. He pulled no punches,” Tasker said. “He was very honest with his players. He would rip the whole team if we needed it, but he was really fair. He was down to earth and said things the way they were in a way that players could understand and trust.

“I saw a lot of really good things in him (as a young head coach). He was passionate about football and really loved to win and it rubbed off on all of us. I really learned a lot from him. It was the first time I was in a West Coast offense. He had been the receivers coach in San Francisco with Bill Walsh and I thought this guy really has it for the next level. He was running really sophisticated stuff that I had never seen before.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills to host free USA Football camp

Posted by Kelly Baker on July 25, 2016 – 5:43 pm

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This Saturday, July 30 the Buffalo Bills will be holding a free youth football camp at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The event, which opens at 9 a.m. and runs until 12 p.m., is one of six stops on USA Football’s 2016 Protection Tour. The camp will provide athletes and their parents with a fun and educational experience. This unique opportunity will engage participants with instruction on a variety of topics from USA Football’s Heads Up Football program, including healthy and safety.

Campers will also be joined by a special guest—Bills Hall of Fame wide receiver Andre Reed.

For registration details, click here.


Posted in Community, Inside the Bills, Off the Field

NFL & NFLPA enact new concussion protocol

Posted by Chris Brown on July 25, 2016 – 5:01 pm

The NFL and NFLPA announced an agreement to enforce the NFL Game Day Concussion Protocol and discipline clubs that violate it. Under the new policy, the NFL and NFLPA will follow a strict and fair process to investigate incidents and determine appropriate discipline, including club fines and possible forfeiture of draft picks. 

According to the policy, the NFL and NFLPA will each designate a representative to monitor the implementation of the protocol and investigate potential violations. The investigation will not reach medical conclusions; it will only determine whether the protocol was followed. 

Following the investigation, the NFL and NFLPA will review the findings to determine if a violation occurred and, if so, to recommend the proper disciplinary response. If the parties are unable to agree, the matter will be brought to a third party arbitrator. After conducting a thorough review, the arbitrator will issue a report to the Commissioner, NFLPA Executive Director and the involved parties.

As jointly agreed to by the NFL and NFLPA, the Commissioner retains absolute discretion in determining penalties for violations of the concussion protocol. 

Potential disciplinary action includes:

A first violation will require the club employees or medical team members involved to attend remedial education; and/or result in a maximum fine of $150,000 against the club.

Second and subsequent violations of the concussion protocol will result in a minimum fine of $100,000 against the club.

In the event the parties agree that a violation involved aggravating circumstances, the club shall be subject, in the first instance, to a fine no less than $50,000. The Commissioner shall determine appropriate discipline for subsequent violations involving aggravating circumstances.

In the event that the Commissioner determines that the club’s medical team failed to follow the protocol due to competitive considerations, the Commissioner may require the club to forfeit draft pick(s) and impose additional fines exceeding those amounts set forth above.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Not surprisingly, O-linemen, DBs flagged most

Posted by Chris Brown on July 25, 2016 – 12:00 pm

Over the 2014 and 2015 seasons PointAfter.com put together a comprehensive study of the penalties assessed in every game in the NFL. What they found certainly wasn’t surprising when it came to the position groups that committed the most infraction.

They found that over those two seasons, offensive linemen were flagged most often with more than 1,700 accepted. Defensive backs were second with almost 1,600. Linebackers and defensive linemen were the next position groups on the list, but had about half the assessed penalties that the O-linemen and DBs had over that span.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Gilmore says he’ll report to camp

Posted by Chris Brown on July 25, 2016 – 11:40 am

Stephon Gilmore may have hinted at possibly not being on hand at the start of Bills training camp, but at the end of minicamp, where he did not participate, Gilmore when asked if he’d sit out at training camp if he didn’t have a new deal indicated he wouldn’t.

“Probably not. I’m a competitor,” said Gilmore last month. “I’m going to go in and work like I do. Whatever happens, happens. I’m going to put it on film, put up what I do on film and it’ll speak for itself.”

On Monday Gilmore has apparently echoed those sentiments with ESPN’s Josina Anderson.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore & Taylor among top 25 2017 free agents

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2016 – 12:06 pm

Call it putting the cart before the horse, but it’s a relatively slow time on the NFL calendar with still a week before NFL training camps open. So ESPN Insider John Clayton ranked the top 25 NFL free agents for 2017 and not surprisingly, a pair of Bills made the list.

Stephon Gilmore and Tyrod Taylor, both of whom are entering the final year of their current contracts, made the top 25 list. Gilmore ranked 25th and Taylor ranked 16th. Here’s what Clayton wrote about each of them.

25. Stephon Gilmore, CB, Buffalo Bills: Gilmore has threatened to hold out of training camp because of his contract. He’s likely to get a big extension from Buffalo.

16. Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills: Taylor proved last season that he can be an above-average starting quarterback. With a big season in 2016, he could get a long-term deal in Buffalo or from another team on the open market.

While the Bills would certainly like to sign both players to long-term extensions, the skewing of the cornerback market by the $15M per year contract signed by Josh Norman complicates things concerning Gilmore. Taylor probably just needs to show progress, boost his production numbers – particularly on third down and in the red zone – and the Bills would be comfortable signing him long term.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 7-22

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2016 – 11:39 am

Only a week until training camp opens Bills fans. We’ll be covering it all for you here on Buffalobills.com. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

If the Bush ship sails, any chance that Rex gives Ray Rice his last chance?

@GraysonTumult

CB: I really can’t see that happening. With such a greater focus on domestic violence in the NFL these days, which includes a league wide ad campaign to raise awareness on the subject, I can’t see Buffalo taking that kind of step.

Last year’s training camp should serve as a perfect example on the likelihood of that happening. All five running backs on Buffalo’s training camp roster were all injured at the same time last summer and Ray Rice was not brought in. I don’t see that changing if Reggie Bush elects to sign and play elsewhere.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think the Bills pass on signing Gilmore if Kevon Seymour has a great preseason?

@ZWinterberg

CB: While I think your question is a valid one, I believe the likelihood of signing Gilmore to a long term extension has more to do with the market value of top flight cornerbacks than it does with how well Kevon Seymour comes along in the preseason.

I think they’d like to return Gilmore to the fold long term, but the state of the cornerback market might not allow it.

As I’ve stated more than once on this very page, the Josh Norman deal completely turned the market value at cornerback on its ear. Getting $15M per season from Washington after his franchise tag was rescinded by Carolina threw the cornerback market completely out of whack.

If a zone corner can get $15M/yr. then upcoming free agents like Stephon Gilmore who play almost exclusively man-to-man will likely see getting that much or probably more as fair market value. I’m confident the Bills are not going to enter the $15M/yr. territory.

Could I see the Bills going $12.5M/yr. like the Giants free agent deal for Janoris Jenkins this spring?

Yes.

Would that be enough for Gilmore?

I think it would need to have a lot more guaranteed money than Jenkins’ $28.8M has in his contract for it to happen.

The Norman deal unfortunately could push negotiations between the Bills and Gilmore into an area where Buffalo could potentially be fiscally irresponsible as it pertains to the rest of their roster. And the Bills probably won’t, and should not, do that.

I think if Seymour performs well in the preseason it only helps the Bills front office breathe a bit easier should they reach an impasse with the Gilmore camp on a new contract. At least then they would feel like they have a promising prospect in the pipeline to eventually replace Gilmore in 2017 if all hope is lost on a Gilmore extension.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

With suspensions and off field stuff at RB, do you anticipate McCoy being very limited through camp and preseason?

@rockydm92

CB: I think the plan all along was to limit LeSean McCoy’s workload through training camp and the preseason. It has less to do with the recent suspension of Karlos Williams and DUI arrest of Jonathan Williams, and more to do with what happened last summer at training camp.

After sustaining his hamstring injury, McCoy was not the same player for the 2015 season. He was still very good, but not the game breaking talent that has made him one of the most dynamic backs in the league.

The Bills want to ensure they have the game breaking McCoy in their offensive backfield come September, so the plan all along was to pace McCoy. Give him enough work where he’s ready for the regular season, but not so much that he runs the risk of injury or going into the season hobbled.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills would Donald Trump still be able to run for president if he succeeded in purchasing the team?

@JLasher10

CB: Based on what I’ve been able to uncover with respect to executive branch government employees and conflicts of interest, there are ethics rules that require them to divest themselves of stock or property only if they are appointed to their positions (e.g. Secretary of the Treasury). Trump however, would be holding an elected position so those rules would not apply to him.

So not having an expert background by any means on government employee bylaws it appears he can continue as CEO and President of his Trump organization while also serving as President of the United States were he elected.

So if his business holdings included ownership of an NFL team that would appear to be permissible as well.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

How was John Miller looking through OTAs?

@JustinWestfall

CB: Keeping in mind that Miller as an offensive lineman is not playing real football in the spring practices as it pertains to his playing duties (full contact blocking) it’s hard to provide you with a true picture of how he performed on the field. That being said I can tell you that Miller has benefitted from an offseason in an NFL strength and conditioning program as opposed to prepping for the NFL Combine and pre-draft workouts.

I just think he’s the kind of player that will make quality advances in his game as a second-year player based on the 12 games of experience he got last year. Keep in mind also that he played most of last season injured with a high-ankle sprain. Now that he’s healthy it’ll be interesting to see how he can perform when he’s 100 percent.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

RB Bush still weighing his options

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2016 – 9:51 am

Earlier this week Buffalobills.com confirmed that a contract offer had been extended to free agent RB Reggie Bush by the Bills. Bush, who is coming off an ACL knee injury last November, is training hard this offseason, but is still biding his time in terms of deciding where to play.

In an interview with USA Today, Bush made it clear that he does intend to continue his NFL career, but he has not reached a decision on where he will play.

“I know everybody’s been texting me and asking about Buffalo, but as of right now, I haven’t made a decision,” Bush told USA Today. “But if the opportunity is there, obviously, Buffalo is the most known one right now. But we’ll see. I’m still trying to figure out what’s going to be the best opportunity for me and my family.”

At age 31, sustaining an ACL injury led some to think that he might choose to end his NFL career. Instead Bush said it only inspired him more to come back.

“I think when you come off of an injury, you’re that much more motivated to bounce back and to prove that you can still be you,” he said. “And not only to people, but to yourself, as well. That’s my motivation: just to bounce back. And I don’t want to end a career — ever — on an injury. Not that I’m ready to hang it up, but I’m definitely on the back end of my career. I want to put together a solid couple years of really just playing healthy football.”

Bush sounds realistic about the state of his NFL career. He knows he’s on the back side of his playing days, and said when he feels he’s lost a step he’ll walk away from the game. But he’s convinced that time has not yet arrived.

“I know that right now, I’m not ready to shut it down yet,” he said. “I’ve got some good years left.”

Bush hasn’t jumped at Buffalo’s contract offer because for a running back in his situation it pays to wait. Once training camp opens across the league there will inevitably be injuries at the running back position, including some serious ones. That alone could present more favorable opportunities with other NFL clubs that offer more in the way of playing time than Buffalo can currently offer.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Felton wants 2016 to be best year of his career

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2016 – 9:21 am

He’s been known for some time now as one of the best blocking fullbacks in the NFL, but Jerome Felton was far from satisfied with his first season with the Bills in 2015. He blames no one but himself, and now is counting on himself to put together the best season of his nine-year NFL career.

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show, Felton publicly pledged to have his best season as a pro.

“Last year I felt I left more on the table,” he said. “That’s one of my personal motivations this year. I want to make sure that I give the Pegulas, the organization and the coaching staff their money’s worth. I’ve really challenged myself this offseason to come in and have my best season. Last year was a learning experience and I was happy to be here. But I’m challenging myself to have the best year I’ve had since I’ve been in the league. I’m just making sure that I’m 100 percent ready to contribute and be a great part of the offense this year.”

“One thing I worked on a lot this offseason is catching the ball. But whatever my role is I want to get up to camp and show what I can do. I’ve always said the better you can play and the more you can show the more opportunities you’ll get. Hopefully we’ll see it on display starting next week.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Sammy Watkins holds local ProCamp

Posted by Kelly Baker on July 21, 2016 – 3:43 pm

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Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who has spent a majority of his summer in Buffalo, hosted his third annual youth football ProCamp at Erie Community College on Tuesday, July 19 and Wednesday July 20. The camp featured a turnout of around 200 youngsters. Looking to advance their skills, the participants took part in several drills.

The fun and educational experience allowed the campers to learn football basics from Watkins and prep school and college coaches from the area. Each camper also received some special memorabilia to take home such as, an autographed item from Watkins and a camp team photo.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills ‘D’ strong in one area already

Posted by Chris Brown on July 21, 2016 – 12:38 pm

Buffalo’s defense certainly had its share of shortcomings in 2015, but there was one area where they were top 10 good.

ESPN Insider’s Aaron Schatz from Football Outsiders in previewing NFL defenses for 2016 looked at the sneaky strengths of the Bills defense in addition to the league’s other 31 clubs. Interestingly when it came to crunch time late in games, Buffalo’s defense was pretty darn good last season. Here was where they stood per Schatz.

Buffalo Bills

Although the Bills’ defense struggled overall (24th in DVOA), they improved to sixth in the league in the fourth quarter or overtime. This wasn’t just a case of opponents running out the clock in wins: The Bills had a better-than-average defense in the fourth quarter whether they were winning or losing the game.

That strong defense late in games helps explain why five of Buffalo’s eight losses last season were by eight points or less. Rex Ryan is obviously looking to get his defense in a place where they’re performing that well in more than just late in the fourth quarter in 2016.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Individual game tickets sold out for select 2016 games

Posted by Kelly Baker on July 20, 2016 – 1:25 pm

update-tickets

With tickets going fast for the 2016 season, here are some updates on what’s available.

Regular tickets are sold out for the Jets, Cardinals, 49ers, Patriots and Steelers games. Season tickets and club seats are still available.

Don’t miss out on the action! For more information, please click here.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills 2015 highlights to air on NFL Network

Posted by Kelly Baker on July 20, 2016 – 11:57 am

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Bills fans tune in to the NFL Network tonight, July 20, to see highlights from the 2015 season! Airing at 5:30 p.m., the show will give you access to some of the best moments from last year.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills pass rush to face best in pass pro

Posted by Chris Brown on July 20, 2016 – 10:28 am

In our Camp Countdown today (Wednesday) we examine whether the Bills will enjoy a sack resurgence after a franchise low 21 sacks in 2015. While the number figures to increase in some fashion, how much could be impacted by the fact that the Bills will be facing some of the best pass protection units in football this season.

Here’s a look at the league’s 2015 leaders in sacked percentage. Buffalo is facing four of the top six pass protection teams in the NFL from last season. Obviously rosters and offensive lines change from one year to the next, but knowing the Bills have nine games against teams that finished in the top half of the league in preventing sacks you realize that it’s going to be no easy task to make a giant leap in sack production in 2016.

There is a flip side as six of Buffalo’s games will be against teams that ranked 23rd or lower in sack percentage. The Bills can rack up sacks against the lesser protection teams, but timely quarterback takedowns are most valuable. Can Buffalo get them against the top teams?

Here’s a look at Buffalo’s opponents ranked by 2015 sacked percentage.

1 – Baltimore – 676 pass attempts – 24 sacks – 3.4%
2 – NY Jets – 604 pass attempts – 22 sacks – 3.5%
3 – LA Rams – 473 pass attempts – 18 sacks – 3.7%
6 – Arizona – 562 pass attempts – 27 sacks – 4.6%
10 – Oakland – 605 pass attempts – 35 sacks – 5.2%
11 – Pittsburgh – 590 pass attempts – 33 sacks – 5.3%
16 – New England – 629 pass attempts – 38 sacks – 5.7%
18 – Cincinnati – 505 pass atempts – 32 sacks – 6%
23 – Miami – 588 pass attempts – 45 sacks – 7.1%
25 – Jacksonville – 607 pass attempts – 51 sacks – 7.8%
26 – Cleveland – 609 pass attempts – 53 sacks – 8%
28 – Seattle – 489 pass attempts – 46 sacks – 8.6%
32 – San Francisco – 526 pass attempts – 53 sacks – 9.2%


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Bills interested in RB Reggie Bush

Posted by Chris Brown on July 18, 2016 – 11:22 am

There has been a lot of speculation that the Bills might be on the lookout for veteran RB help with Karlos Williams suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season following violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport first reported that Buffalo had a certain free agent running back they are interested in.

Buffalobills.com confirmed that the Bills have presented Bush with a contract offer.

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According to NFL.com the Bills have made a contract offer to Bush.

Bush is coming off an ACL injury in the 2015 season, suffered when he slipped at the Edwards Jones Dome in St. Louis last season after running out of bounds and slipping awkwardly on the concrete where the turf field ended.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Free agent RB Foster works out for Miami today

Posted by Chris Brown on July 18, 2016 – 10:23 am

Free agent RB Arian Foster is probably the best veteran ball carrier still on the market, and he’ll be working out for the Miami Dolphins today. ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported Miami’s interest along with another club.

The Detroit Lions will reportedly work out Foster later this week, provided the Dolphins don’t sign him first.


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