Inside The Bills

Whaley comments on EJ, Cassel

Posted by Chris Brown on May 23, 2015 – 8:32 am

Bills GM Doug Whaley made an appearance on the Jim Rome Show this week and naturally was asked about the quarterback competition, which will ramp up again when OTAs start on Tuesday.

First, Whaley was asked about the speculative story that Manuel was potentially on the outs with the club this season absent improvement or if he’s unable to win the starting job. Much like offensive coordinator Greg Roman, Whaley dismissed that notion.

“I look at it this way, in this business controversy sells,” Whaley said. “The more controversy that you can drum up then the more interesting people are going to be with whoever brought this idea to the lexicon of thinking. So for us we’re excited about the future of all three of those guys. It’s going to be a great competition. And we can keep three quarterbacks. So I dismiss that as just someone trying to get something stirred during this down time and lack of media stories for the NFL.”

As for his expectations for Manuel heading into the throes of the competition as more of the work moves to the field this spring, Whaley is only anticipating Manuel’s best.

“I look for him to come in and compete and try to take the job,” he said. “Everybody has got an equal footing. It’s a clean slate for all four of our quarterbacks. We’re not tied to anybody. We just want the best man to start. It’s exciting for us.”

Whaley also had good things to say about how Cassel has transitioned to Buffalo following the offseason trade from Minnesota.

“He’s been exactly what we expected,” said Whaley of Cassel. “A veteran force who can galvanize the team and he can teach the young guys the intricate things that quarterbacks do that doesn’t take place on the field. Bringing receivers in and talking about preferences and what he’s seeing. Basically a lot of the things that people on the outside don’t see. He’s done that and he’s not afraid of the challenge. He’s ready to compete.”

Whaley also confirmed that the quarterback competition is more than just a two horse race between Manuel and veteran Matt Cassel, mentioning both Tyrod Taylor and Jeff Tuel. Head coach Rex Ryan has made sure to mention Taylor when asked about the competition as well.

“The way they’re structuring practices everyone is getting a run with the ones,” said Whaley. “So it’s a fair shake. In this system that we’re trying to figure out who is going to be the number one it’s all about competition. That’s why everybody involved is excited about it.”


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Report: Bills hope to lock up Dareus by camp

Posted by Chris Brown on May 22, 2015 – 12:29 pm

While the biggest news concerning Marcell Dareus right now was the one-game suspension handed down by the league Thursday for his off the field incident last year in his native Alabama, the Bills intend to provide much better news concerning the Pro Bowl defensive tackle’s future with the club.

That according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who said the club would like to have Dareus signed to a contract extension before training camp.

Dareus is entering the fifth-year of his rookie contract. Buffalo picked up his fifth-year option last year. Absent a contract extension Dareus would become an unrestricted free agent.

Bills GM Doug Whaley in the wake of their free agent acquisitions this spring stated that getting Dareus signed to a long-term extension was the team’s top priority. With the 2015 draft class under contract, it’s likely that the focus shifts almost solely to getting the Pro Bowl defensive tackle locked up for years to come.

Negotiating a new deal is going to be complicated in the wake of the giant free agent deal signed by Ndamukong Suh with Miami that reportedly totaled $114M over seven years.


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Fan Friday 5-22

Posted by Chris Brown on May 22, 2015 – 11:05 am

Alright Bills fans. OTAs start next week after the holiday, but let’s all be sure to take a moment to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we’re privileged to have in this country. Here is the latest edition of questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
Hey Chris does this mean that he will not appeal the decision?

JameShoup

CB: All indications at this point are that he will serve the one-game suspension handed down by the league for his synthetic marijuana possession traffic stop in Alabama last year. So I do not anticipate an appeal.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Why the NFL moving the extra point Attempt back 15 yards?

johnwhodey

CB: The NFL maintains that the old extra point has become too easy to convert and has become a boring part of the game. In an effort to demand more skill from the kickers and liven the play up they’ve made the extra point a 33-yard attempt instead of 20-yard kick. They’ve also now allowed for the defense to score on the conversion play whether it’s a one-point try to two-point try. So if t’s turned over by the defense they can return it for two points of their own.

As we covered on Buffalobills.com with K Dan Carpenter this week, it will be an adjustment for everyone, coaches, kickers and special teamers.

 

3 – Hi Chris

Thank you for keeping all of us up to date with the greatest NFL team.

The true concern about the Bills is the LB position on the defence. Bradham and Brown bring awesome passion and skill to the team, but it seems like we are missing a legitimate starter at MLB to anchor the unit.  Considering the defensive unit went from 10th to 4th (28th to 11th in rushing), and our lack of overall depth at the position I was surprised at the seeming lack of interest in bringing back Spikes, considering he and Brown were the only major plug-ins on D last season. Am I missing something in this regard?

I thought Spikes had stated publicly how much he likes the Buffalo organization.  Was this a management decision that wants players with greater role versatility, was he not happy being relegated to a 2 down role, was his asking price too rich for the team, or was there some behind the scene discord?  Any thoughts, or updates in this regard would be greatly appreciated.

James Bancroft

CB: With respect to linebacker I agree that depth is still an issue at the position. I think with the unit expected to play a lot of 3-4 veteran Manny Lawson is the natural fit at SAM linebacker, which was the role he played in 2013 in a similar defense under Mike Pettine. So you pick up a LB there.

Preston Brown is the milddle linebacker this season, with Ty Powell backing him up.

There was an interest in bringing back Brandon Spikes, but it was as a depth player. The Bills also had a set price they were willing to pay Spikes, which presumably was the veteran minimum. Spikes chose to wait to see if a better opportunity came up to get on the field more regularly.

He felt that opportunity existed where a couple of their starting linebackers will not be ready to go at the start of the season and he stands a good chance of playing at least early in the year.

There wasn’t any discord. It was just business.

 

4 – Hey Chris!!

Die hard Bills fan here from Toronto!!! Love all u do to keep #billsmafia updated!!!
So here’s my question. I love all the moves we made so far, I think we still have a hole at safety, why don’t we go sign a vet? Bernard Pollard?!?!?
Thx
Drew Martin
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!

 

CB: I think the Bills would respectfully disagree that they have a hole at safety. There is a vacancy with the departure of Da’Norris Searcy, but I think they feel good about the young talent they have in the pipeline and a veteran option that they have in their back pocket.

First, Duke Williams is the odds on favorite to land the job. For those that might not be aware, Williams had almost 600 snaps at safety last season as he almost split the work with Searcy 50-50. Williams is better in coverage than Searcy was and is a more physical player.

His main competition will be Bacarri Rambo and Jonathan Meeks. Two athletic players who have a bit more to prove than Williams. A dark horse in that competition will be second-year S Kenny Ladler a former undrafted rookie signee, who made the practice squad last year before suffering an elbow injury that landed him on I-R.

In Buffalo’s back pocket as a safety option is CB Corey Graham. He’s capable of playing safety and Rex Ryan clearly has that option on his radar as well. Personally I think it’s Duke Williams’ job to lose.

So that’s a long way of saying they don’t need Bernard Pollard.

 

5 – Chris,
Thanks for your outstanding buffalo bills coverage! You are the king!

Do you think that the return of Stevie Johnson would have been a realistic option Doug Whaley would have considered had Harvin signed elsewhere?

Thanks again!
Frank

CB: I never got the sense that a Stevie Johnson reunion was ever on the radar. I do know that Stevie enjoyed being back on the west coast near his native San Francisco. So I think his preference was to stay out west, which he was able to do in signing with San Diego.

I know Stevie had his detractors and his supporters here in Buffalo. Sometimes a second go round isn’t always the best idea. I think that applies in the case of Stevie Johnson.

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Carpenter could be valuable with new PAT rules

Posted by Chris Brown on May 21, 2015 – 10:43 am

As we covered in our interview with Bills kicker Dan Carpenter Wednesday, the new extra point rules will be an adjustment for all players in 2015. Naturally it will be harder to maintain the same success rate on extra points from 33 yards away than just 20. But for the Bills the potential loss of points is among the lowest in the league thanks to their kicker’s accuracy.

Value Penguin did a study whereby they assessed if the new PAT rule had been in place in 2014, the greater difficulty of the try (and the inevitable misses) would have cost the average NFL team five points for the season. But the Bills would have only lost one point because Carpenter, based on his career results from 30 to 39 yards (94.5 percent) and from the former PAT distance (99), would have only experienced a 4.5 percent drop-off, the second lowest mark in the league.

Graph of Pct Differences

The number of points that a team can lose on the PAT is dependent, obviously, on the number of touchdowns that its offense scores. (The extra point occurs only after a touchdown, whereas a field goal is its own separate scoring play.) Because of this, the percentage difference (above) is a more reliable statistic when evaluating a particular kicker’s value to his team.


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Bills player on NFL’s Top 100 tonight

Posted by Chris Brown on May 20, 2015 – 9:16 am

NFL Network’s The Top 100 Players of 2015 continues tonight (Wednesday) at 9pm. During the show, a Bills player will be revealed ranked between No. 80 – 71.

This Bill will be a defensive player who is making his 2nd career appearance on the list. He’ll also be the first Bills player to be revealed so far. Here are players ranked No. 100 – 81 which have already been revealed.

100. Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers, WR
99. Calais Campbell – Arizona Cardinals, DE
98. Adam Vinatieri – Indianapolis Colts, K
97. Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens, QB
96. Jurrell Casey – Tennessee Titans, DE
95. Emmanuel Sanders – Denver Broncos, WR
94. C.J. Mosley – Baltimore Ravens, LB
93. Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys, TE
92. Aaron Donald – St. Louis Rams, DT
91. Julian Edelman – New England Patriots, WR/PR
90. Michael Bennett – Seattle Seahawks, DE
89. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers, TE
88. Glover Quin – Detroit Lions, S
87. DeMarcus Ware – Denver Broncos, OLB
86. Eric Weddle – San Diego Chargers, S
85. Golden Tate – Detroit Lions, WR
84. Terrell Suggs – Baltimore Ravens, LB
83. Maurkice Pouncey – Pittsburgh Steelers, C
82. Haloti Ngata – Detroit Lions, DT
81. Darren Sproles – Philadelphia Eagles, RB/RS


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Extra points moved back to 15 yd line

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2015 – 7:27 pm

The extra point rule rule changes proposed by the league’s Competition committee were passed by a vote of 30-2 by NFL owners. Here are the details. 

The extra point try will be moved back to the 15-yard line. Two-point conversion attempts will stay at the two-yard line. 

The other big change is the defense has a chance to score on a blocked extra point or intercepted two-point pass or two-point fumble recovery. If successfully returned it would be two points as well. 

More details on the change can be found here. 


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Lynn: taking load off Fred means a better Fred

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2015 – 3:12 pm

Bills RB Fred Jackson has been willing to step into any role in his time with the club. Kick returner, punt returner, running back, third down back, whatever it is Jackson has been up to the task. Over the last few seasons with C.J. Spiller missing time here and there with injuries, it’s forced Jackson to pick up more of the slack and the load. Now at age 34, it’s the Bills looking to avoid a heavy load for Jackson so they can get the best Fred Jackson possible on the field from start to finish this season.

“Fred had over 500 snaps last year and I think he wore down a bit at the end of the season,” said Bills assistant head coach/running backs coach Anthony Lynn. “If we can take half of that off his plate I think you’ll see a fresher Fred Jackson and a more explosive Fred Jackson.”

Lynn also mentioned that he had no problem with LeSean McCoy logging 300 carries this season if it came to it, claiming it means they’re running the ball successfully and winning games.


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3rd down back requirements take shape

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2015 – 3:03 pm

Bills assistant head coach/running backs coach Anthony Lynn is eager to get to OTAs where more true on field evaluation can begin for his tailbacks and fullbacks. Those begin next week. On Tuesday he laid out what he’s looking for in terms of a skill set for his third down back, and the number one skill they must possess.

“It depends on the personnel that you have. Number one you have to be able to protect the passer,” said Lynn. “It’s not like the old days where you can have a guy back there who can run routes and catch the ball and create mismatches with a linebacker. He’s got to stay in the pocket and block 250-pound linebackers. So the guy that can do that and get out of the backfield and catch the ball and run after the catch that’s the guy that we’re going to be looking for in training camp.”

Most believe that would give Fred Jackson the edge, knowing how adept he is in pass protection, but Lynn was quick to mention that LeSean McCoy is also pretty solid in that area.

“I think he’s done a good job in that role,” said Lynn of Jackson. “I don’t know if that gives him an advantage. LeSean has been pretty good in that role too. So we’ll see how it plays out in training camp.”


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Roman dismisses speculation on EJ

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2015 – 2:59 pm

Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman has heard the widespread speculation, which was soon taken as fact in cyberspace Monday, that EJ Manuel isn’t long for Buffalo’s roster if he doesn’t show marked improvement this season. Roman dismissed the contention as just that, speculation.

“Speculation is the key word there. I don’t ever remember saying that,” said Roman. “And that’s the furthest thing from the truth. He’s busting his hump every day and doing a very good job. There’s a lot of clay to mold there. Whatever people are talking about, I don’t know where that’s coming from.  The answer is no. He’s doing a good job.”

Roman maintained that the quarterback competition will be a three-man race between Manuel, Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor.


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Rookie G Miller angling for starting role

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2015 – 10:46 am

Last week we mentioned how Rex Ryan confirmed that rookie third-round pick John Miller has been seeing work with the first unit during the team’s on field practice sessions without any opposition, which is the rule this time of year for field work. In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ryan took his outlook for the rookie guard a step further.

When asked if Miller stands a chance of being a starting guard when training camp opens, Ryan confirmed it’s a strong possibility.

“He might be the opening guy there,” said Ryan. “He’s been very impressive. I think right now that’s the most important thing just because we’re not going up against anybody. But this guy has a big, wide, square body and we are hitting bags and his technique is pretty good. He has really been impressive. For a kid you just took out of college, he jumps right in and he doesn’t make mistakes. So I think that’s going to give him an opportunity to showcase what he can do physically and I think he has the right makeup to be an outstanding player.”


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How QB competition is progressing

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2015 – 9:43 am

The Bills have a quarterback competition that has already begun in earnest even though the team’s first set of OTA practices is still more than a week away. Here’s how things have been working in their sessions on the field knowing that the offense cannot have any opposition working against them.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ryan explained how they’re running two offenses at the same time at opposite ends of the field and how Matt Cassel, EJ Manuel and Tyrod Taylor are all rotating through with the first team offense.

“How we run things, we have a two spot drill going on at all times, so we’ve got two offenses going,” said Ryan. “What we do, because in this phase two you can’t have any type of opposition, we actually put lines on the field, like a big ‘V’ showing the defensive line and the linebackers and all that. And we get our plays in and we move it from the hash to the middle, left hash, right hash, all the way down the field. It is sharp with guys communicating and things like that. So there you can definitely get a feel for who these guys are and I’ve been impressed by all the quarterbacks. As far as the true evaluating that’s going to come in training camp and snapping the ball for real.”

With respect to the competition, Ryan insists it’s a legitimate three-way battle.

“Three guys for sure will be getting shots with the ones,” he said. “We’ve been doing it each day. Let’s say the first offense is running out there and it’s Matt Cassel the first day, then it’s EJ, then it’s Tyrod. All three are getting opportunities to lead and to be with that first group. It’s not like we’re going to just throw Matt Cassel in there every day or EJ every day. Tyrod is getting as many shots with the ones as the other two.”


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Owner’s meetings preview

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2015 – 8:40 am

While most hard core NFL fans will be focused on the potential face-to-face meeting between New England owner Robert Kraft and commissioner Roger Goodell, there are some interesting things to be discussed at this week’s owners’ meetings in San Francisco.

First, there is likely to be a bit more clarity on a timetable for the three potential relocation teams (Oakland, St. Louis, San Diego). Owners will be given updates on how likely it is that two franchises will be moving to Los Angeles by as early as the 2016 season. The two stadium sites are in Inglewood and Carson, California. Rams owner Stan Kroenke is building in Inglewood.

Second, the decision on the new extra-point play is expected to reach a conclusion. The Competition Committee endorsed the change whereby the extra-point kick would be attempted from the 15-yard line, for what in essence is a 25-yard try.

The interesting second part of amendment is if the extra-point kick is blocked or mis-hit the defending team would be able to return the failed kick for a point of their own. Same for a two-point try. If there’s a fumble on the play or the ball is intercepted it could be returned for two points for the defending team.

Head coach Rex Ryan likes the idea of the defense being able to score. He commented on the anticipated changes coming down in an interview this morning on Bills flagship WGR Sportsradio 550.

“The defense should be able to score too,” said Ryan. “If they picked the ball off or return a fumble for 100 yards they should be able to get something. Hell they ought to get three for that. So hopefully you’ll see the defense able to score as well. Hopefully that’ll work out. In the college game the ball is on the three-yard line. Here we’ve got it on the two-yard line.”

There will also be a set procedure laid down to prevent any more Deflategate controversies. Most in the know are indicating that no team equipment staff will be anywhere near game footballs following official pre-game inspection.


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Jim Kelly talks Bills QBs

Posted by Chris Brown on May 18, 2015 – 9:38 pm

In an appearance on NFL Network Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly was asked about EJ Manuel’s future and the quarterback situation heading into OTAs. 

When asked specifically about Manuel’s future he’s optimistic for Manuel, but knows it’s put up time

“I think that with the new offensive system Greg Roman brings from San Francisco, I think it might be something that EJ needs,” said Kelly. “He’s a good kid. I’ve heard him talk to the players, I’ve heard what type of leader he is. He has it all. But he knows he has to get it done on the field. 


“Now he has competition with Matt Cassel coming in who has a very, very strong arm. It’s a new system for both of them, it’s a learning experience for both of them. We’ll see what happens. But that is one key position. I don’t care if you’re Vince Lombardi, Don Shula, whoever it may be, if you don’t have a guy under center that can get the job done week in and week out, you’re not going anywhere. So I wish one of those two step up and rise and be the quarterback we need them to be.”


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Rex on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on May 18, 2015 – 6:09 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan will be on the WNY airwaves Tuesday morning. Here’s where you can find him and when. 

7 am – WCMF

7:15 am – WGR 550

7:30 am – 103.3 The Edge

 

 


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Report: LB Spikes signs with Patriots

Posted by Chris Brown on May 18, 2015 – 10:35 am

Bills free agent LB Brandon Spikes has chosen to sign with the team that drafted him.

According to ESPN Patriots reporter Field Yates, Spikes has signed a one-year deal with New England.

Spikes made a free agent visit with the Patriots last week. Buffalo was interested in bringing Spikes back at the right price, but GM Doug Whaley made it clear it would not be as a starter. Spikes is not likely to be a starter in New England either, but with the two starters in front of him coming off of injuries (Jerod Mayo – patellar tendon, Dont’a Hightower – labrum) Spikes stands a better chance of being on the field in New England.

Spikes was a second-round pick of the Patriots back in 2010.


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Henderson: Miller looks the part

Posted by Chris Brown on May 15, 2015 – 2:03 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan volunteered the information earlier this week. During their on the field walk through sessions the offensive staff lined up rookie John Miller at one of the starting guard positions. Though it was far from real football Ryan said Miller didn’t miss anything and look like he belonged. His teammate Seantrel Henderson felt the same way.

“He’s ready,” said Henderson of Miller. “I feel like he’s a little more ready than I was last year and he’s been picking up on things ASAP. I’m excited to see him play.”

Out of Buffalo’s draft class Miller likely has the best chance to compete for a starting role.


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Fan Friday 5-15

Posted by Chris Brown on May 15, 2015 – 11:41 am

Sorry for the one week hiatus. A lot of news going down last week. OTAs are less than two weeks away. Let’s get right to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 –  @ChrisBrownBills

just curious why Bills have Felton and Conner?

nschirra8

CB: Doug Whaley has stated many times that any time they have a chance to make an upgrade they’re going to do so. The John Conner signing this week is an example of that. While I don’t deny that it’s unusual to have two proven fullbacks on one roster, I think Whaley and Rex Ryan subscribe to the philosophy of creating as much competition as possible in the training camp setting.

Conner will push Jerome Felton and that makes both players better. Ultimately Felton is going to be this team’s starting fullback, but if there’s an injury Conner is a fantastic fall back option. Can Conner convince the coaches to make an exception and keep two fullbacks? With the depth of this roster that’s going to be difficult, but you can’t fault a team for trying to get better everywhere and driving up the level of competition.

 

2 – Hey Chris,

Thanks for your continued pursuit of giving a small market team, big time exposure.

I know the McCoy/Alonso deal has been discussed ad nauseum and much like most Bills fans, I found myself conflicted and constantly flip-flopping on how to feel.  At the end of the day, the organization is making an aggressive play to enhance the offense, which is definitely something I support.  Having said that, seeing that the Bills were willing to commit heavy resources to a running back I’m uncertain of what to feel hypothesizing that we could have signed Demarco Murray for less money and still retained Kiko (whether to keep or to use as a potential trade asset).  Both backs are elite and I don’t wish to jibber-jabber over which one is better, but how can a cogent argument be made that McCoy > Demarco + Kiko?

Keep up the great work.
Best,
Robert F.

CB: While I think most would acknowledge that DeMarco Murray + Kiko Alonso is better than just LeSean McCoy, you’re operating under the assumption that Murray would be interested in signing with Buffalo.

It’s possible he may have been willing to sign with the Bills. We’ll probably never know, but Murray is a year older than McCoy. Unlike McCoy, who avoids the kill shots of defensive linemen, linebackers and safeties, Murray takes big hits. I think one could argue that the cumulative wear and tear on Murray is greater than on McCoy.

Now that doesn’t dismiss your argument that Murray + Alonso would be better than just McCoy, but I’m not convinced Murray would’ve signed here.

 

3 – Hi Chris, thank you to you and your team for all the off season coverage.
I have to think Suh signing this contract hurts us in two ways. 1, he bolsters the Dolphins defense and we have to go up against him twice a year. 2, did he set the market for Marcell Dareus as a free agent? Dareus was considered the best tackle against the run last year, and had more tackles and sacks than Suh. If Marcell doesn’t drop off this year wouldn’t he command the same contract as Suh? We saw what happens without Marcell in the lineup, just look at the Oakland game before and after his injury.  Do you think the Bills can afford to re-sign him, and if so, is that at the expense of asking Mario Williams to restructure his contract or full on releasing him?
Thanks
Paddy

CB: The Bills maintain that their cap structure will allow for a long term contract extension for Dareus. He’s the linchpin of the defensive interior for the long term future.

You’re right the Suh deal did set the market. I think in an ideal world the Bills have Dareus signed to a long term deal before the 2015 season commences. The more he performs on the field the more his price goes up, so it would behoove the Bills to seal a deal before September. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

 

4 – Hi Chris
Do the Bills have any definite plans for Marcus Thigpen? Is he still on the roster? Percy Harvin is arguably a better all-around player, but in all the mentions of Buffalo “weapons” I’ve not once heard Thigpen’s name.

Just curious
@GregTheBillsFan

CB: Thigpen is still on the roster yes. Harvin is clearly a better all-around player. Thigpen was a punt return specialist on this team last season after Leodis McKelvin broke his ankle. And while he did do a good job this roster became even harder for him to make with the offseason additions, Harvin chief among them. With McKelvin expected to be ready by training camp, the team’s primary punt returner will be back in the fold. So Thigpen, though very capable, may get caught up in a numbers game at the receiver position.

 

5 – Chris,
With the addition of Harvin, how do you expected the formations to look like? How does it change the role of Robert Woods, who had a great 2nd half of the season. Harvin might cut into Watkin’s targets, I like to see Watkin’s used more creatively.

Is Goodwin on the bubble to make the roster? I’d like to see a coach that will throw him the ball.

Sean

CB: I think the Greg Roman offense is going to be as multiple as possible with a myriad of pre-snap formations and shifts. So to give you an answer about formations would be like trying to hit a moving target. I expect Harvin to line up outside opposite Watkins, with Woods working more in the slot in this offense. Hogan would work the other slot in four-wide looks.

Based on Rex Ryan’s comments it sounds like Goodwin will get a far better opportunity to prove that he belongs on this roster than he did from the previous staff. I wouldn’t call him a bubble player, but from a pure numbers standpoint he’s going to have a challenge on his hands.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Join Eric Wood and his linemates

Posted by Chris Brown on May 15, 2015 – 8:44 am

Bills C Eric Wood has a charity event coming up that looks like it would be an evening of fun for any Bills fan. Here are the details.

Wood, who announced the official launch of the Eric Wood Foundation, is kicking things off with a Dinner for a Difference fundraiser that he’s hosting June 8 at Hyatt Regency in downtown Buffalo.

For one evening only, Wood and teammates will trade uniforms and helmets for aprons as they help serve guests three courses of favorites with fine wine and spirits. The night will also feature an exciting live and silent auction. Proceeds will benefit the foundation.

General admission tickets are $200. Guests can choose to purchase a $300 ticket to include a signature series football for autographs by celebrities. No outside memorabilia will be allowed at the event, but additional signature series footballs will be for sale for $150. Tickets and sponsorship packages are available at ericwoodfoundation.org.

Wood dinner

The primary focus of The Eric Wood Foundation is to provide seriously ill, special needs and physically challenged children throughout Greater Buffalo, NY with daily encouragement and life-changing experiences.

The Eric Wood Foundation hopes to impact the lives of more than 150,000 children by the end of 2017.

“Eric has a very compelling story,” says Mr. Yohana Hill, executive director of the foundation. “He’s had personal experience with the struggles that chronic and critical illness of a child can present a family. This is something he’s personally passionate about, and that’s why it will succeed.”


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WR group has stiffest competition in a while

Posted by Chris Brown on May 14, 2015 – 1:12 pm

The first OTA practice for the Bills is just under two weeks away, but it’s readily apparent that the competition at wide receiver might be the stiffest that’s been seen at One Bills Drive since the early 90’s clubs. Head coach Rex Ryan was asked to assess how he and his offensive assistants will whittle the candidate list from its current number of 13 down to five or six.

“We have a deep group of talented guys,” said Ryan. “Percy Harvin, I’m not willing to say there’s something that he can’t do that someone else can. I’m not so sure that’s possible.

“Robert Woods, Sammy Watkins those guys are pretty decent. (Chris) Hogan, he’s a talented guy, good athlete, catches the football, smart, productive, so it is going to be tough to make this team, there is no question about it.”

When asked if he will try to mix and match skill sets to cover all possible needs at the receiver position, Ryan maintained that keeping the best players is the best way to go.

“Different roles for things, yeah possibly, but I don’t want to limit anybody and say this guy is strictly a slot receiver,” he said. “Let’s have it work out and in the end if that’s the case then so be it. I just want to see it with open eyes and believe what I see.”


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Seantrel lining up at left and right tackle

Posted by Chris Brown on May 13, 2015 – 3:35 pm

Bills new offensive line coach Aaron Kromer said he was going to be experimenting big time with his offensive linemen this time of year and into the OTAs and mandatory minicamp. He’s been true to his word as even in the walk through sessions on the field, and Seantrel Henderson has been working both edges each day.

Henderson said Kromer has lined him up at both tackle spots quite frequently.

“I’ve been playing right tackle this day, left tackle this day,” Henderson said. “That’s fine with me. I need more reps on both sides anyways just so I can get comfortable again.”

Henderson was almost exclusively a right tackle in college at Miami, which is where he wound up for the Bills as a rookie last season. But not before he lined up at left tackle in place of Cordy Glenn, who was not medically cleared to practice in training camp and part of the preseason last summer.

Henderson believes he can play left tackle.

“(You’re) just kicking with that opposite leg,” he said. “I’m more comfortable kicking with my right leg just because I’ve been playing right tackle since my freshman year in college. The more reps I take on the left side the more comfortable I’ll get playing both sides.”

Like just about every other offensive lineman on the roster, Henderson has taken quickly to coach Kromer. He along with several other linemen on the roster like Kromer as a teacher.

“He’s just good at teaching techniques as far as staying low and getting your hands on guys as soon as possible,” said Henderson. “As far as just how to kick and what angles to take you know he’s been teaching us all of that right now so we are going to be well-prepared.”


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