Inside The Bills

Spiller update

Posted by Chris Brown on December 19, 2014 – 8:31 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone provided an update on C.J. Spiller as he has not yet been added to the active roster.

“I think he looks good. He really does,” said Marrone. “It’s just a matter of waiting until the end of the week and making a move there. The only concern I have is – it’s not really being in shape, but to be able to play and run plays in and out, in and out, in and out and to make sure his conditioning is right at that level. It seems to be okay. I think it will just get better. I know he looks explosive. He’s moving well.”

A roster decision on Spiller is likely to come later today (Friday).


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Raiders QB Carr update

Posted by Chris Brown on December 19, 2014 – 8:01 am

injury-report-header

 

 

 

 

After practicing on a limited basis on Wednesday due to a thumb injury on his throwing hand it looks like Raiders QB Derek Carr will be good to go on Sunday barring a setback.

Carr was a full participant in practice for Oakland on Thursday, and much the same is expected today (Friday).

Player Pos Injury Participation Thursday
Tarell Brown CB Foot Did not part.
Vincent Brown WR Groin Did not part.
Derek Carr QB Rt. Thumb Full
TJ Carrie CB Ankle Limited
Chimdi Chekwa CB Hamstring Did not part.
Brian Leonhardt TE Concussion Did not part.
Denarius Moore WR Knee/Ankle Did not part.
Menelik Watson T Foot/Ankle Did not part.
C.J. Wilson DL Knee Limited
DJ Hayden CB Back Limited

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Thigpen update

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2014 – 2:35 pm

injury-report-header

 

 

 

 

Buffalo’s primary punt returner was added to the injury report Thursday with a foot injury.

Head coach Doug Marrone said Thigpen experienced some swelling in his foot Thursday and could only practice on a limited basis. It’s not expected to impact his availability for Sunday’s game.

Player Pos Injury Participation Thursday
Marcus Thigpen WR Foot LP
Dan Carpenter K Right Groin LP
Jarius Wynn DE Knee LP
Chris Gragg TE Knee LP
Da’Norris Searcy S Hamstring LP
Stephon Gilmore CB Shoulder LP
Duke Williams S Concussion LP
Boobie Dixon RB Chest FP

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Raiders QB Carr limited

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2014 – 7:38 pm


Oakland starting QB Derek Carr could not practice fully on Wednesday.

The Raiders rookie QB has been battling a nagging thumb injury on his throwing hand. Head coach Tony Sparano said he’s not concerned about Carr’s playing status for Sunday’s game against the Bills.

DID NOT PRACTICE
CB Tarell Brown – Foot
WR Vincent Brown – Groin
CB Chimdi Chekwa – Hamstring
TE Brian Leonhardt – Concussion
WR Denarius Moore – Knee/Ankle
T Menelik Watson – Foot/Ankle
DL C.J. Wilson – Knee

LIMITED IN PRACTICE
QB Derek Carr – Rt. Thumb
CB TJ Carrie – Ankle


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C.J. has been hitting the weights

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2014 – 5:26 pm


Bills RB C.J. Spiller was back on the practice field for a third straight week, only now he’s fully cleared. He has not yet been added to the active roster off injured reserve yet. A  final decision is expected to come later in the week based on how he looks in practice. Spiller shared some of rehab regimen for his shoulder coming off surgery when he appeared on the John Murphy Show earlier this week.

“Just starting back lifting,” said Spiller in reference to weight work with his surgically repaired shoulder. “Getting the range of motion that’s the biggest thing. Just taking it day by day. The biggest thing for me was not rushing it. I think it was a blessing and a curse at the same time because it let me get a mental aspect of the game and a view on different things in life. I understand now what it takes on how to prepare and don’t take things for granted.”


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Gilmore, Duke, Spiller limited

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2014 – 2:51 pm

injury-report-header

 

 

 

 

The Bills had a player out with illness at practice Wednesday along with a handful of other players limited due to injury.

Scott Chandler missed Wednesday’s practice as he was sent home sick. A few of Buffalo’s defensive backs were also limited including Duke Williams, who is going through concussion protocol.

C.J. Spiller was limited in practice as well.

DID NOT PRACTICE
TE Scott Chandler – illness

LIMITED IN PRACTICE
K Dan Carpenter – groin
S Duke Williams – concussion
CB Stephon Gilmore – shoulder
S Da’Norris Searcy – hamstring
RB C.J. Spiller – shoulder
TE Chris Gragg – knee
DE Jarius Wynn – knee

FULL PRACTICE
RB Boobie Dixon – chest


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Spiller charged up to return to full practice

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2014 – 11:56 am

Bills RB C.J. Spiller has been participating in practice the last two weeks, but was not fully cleared for contact until Monday. Now able to practice fully Spiller is charged up to be back in the fold with his teammates.

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show Tuesday, Spiller made his excitement to begin the practice week on the field evident. He explained what he’ll be looking to get accomplished this week leading up to the game against the Raiders in Oakland Sunday.

“When you’ve been off for two months it’s just how your legs feel and getting back into a rhythm. I’ve been going through some thing the last couple of weeks to dust off some of the rust that I had. This will be a critical week for me to see how I do in the live practice and bump around a little bit. So I’m looking forward to it and I can’t wait.”

Spiller admitted he’ll have a bit of a mental hurdle to clear, but believes if he’s able to play in the game that after the first contact he’ll be fine.


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3 Bills get PFF Pro Bowl recognition

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2014 – 10:37 am

They weren’t named to their starting Pro Bowl positions, but Pro Football Focus named three Bills players as reserves on their Pro Bowl roster.

Nigel Bradham, Corey Graham and Marcell Dareus all earned reserve Pro Bowl spots on the PFF all-star roster. Here was their assessment of the Bills’ trio at their respective positions.

PFF PRO BOWL DEFENSE

Defensive Tackle
Starters: Aaron Donald (SL), Gerald McCoy (TB), Sheldon Richardson (NYJ) and Fletcher Cox (PHI)
Reserves: Ndamukong Suh (DET), Muhammad Wilkerson (NYJ), Calais Campbell (ARZ) and Marcell Dareus (BUF)

Breakdown: Again we’ve taken some of the guys balloted as defensive ends and slotted them here, given how they’re used as interior defenders. No big surprises — all of these guys make enough plays that it would be harder not to notice them.

Outside Linebacker
Starters: DeAndre Levy (DET) and Brandon Marshall (DEN)
Reserves: Thomas Davis (CAR) and Nigel Bradham (BUF)

Breakdown: Again we’ve changed things around so we’re looking at those traditional 4-3 outside linebackers. Levy was an easy pick with a superb season as the Detroit defense dominated. Marshall has rightly got plenty of credit with a breakout year.

Cornerback
Starters: Chris Harris Jr. (DEN), Vontae Davis (IND), Darrelle Revis (NE) and Richard Sherman (SEA)
Reserves: Orlando Scandrick (DAL), Sean Smith (KC), Desmond Trufant (ATL) and Corey Graham (BUF)

Breakdown: One of the more controversial positions. Harris and Davis have had wonderful years, while Revis and Sherman have in different ways dominated against quality opposition. The more up-and-down nature of years by others left room for players in smaller markets (Graham) to make quite the impression and get backup duties.


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Brandon: Marrone has changed culture

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2014 – 9:40 am

He made comments earlier this week at the Monday QB club luncheon, and on Wednesday morning Bills team president Russ Brandon reiterated his conviction that head coach Doug Marrone has effectively changed the culture of the team.

Making his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Brandon reinforced his commentary from earlier in the week that Marrone has the team on the right path for sustained success.

“Culture is a major thing and holding each other accountable and coach Marrone has done an incredible job over this past year,” said Brandon on the Howard Simon show Wednesday morning. “I think you need to look and reflect on some of the things that happened over this past year, which are major game changers.

“We had the death of an owner in March, a team in transition for the entire year from an ownership standpoint. We also, which gets lost in the shuffle, we had a major renovation of the stadium and our team was displaced for four months in OTAs and minicamps. We had a prolonged training camp because of the renovations. We had the sale of the franchise during the season, which is unprecedented, and we had a historic snowstorm where the team was displaced.

“Coach Marrone has done an unbelievable job of leading this franchise, keeping everyone together and holding people accountable. To be in the position we are today is a credit to him.”


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MMQB gives Bills ‘D’ MVP honor

Posted by Chris Brown on December 15, 2014 – 4:14 pm

Buffalo’s defense handed Aaron Rodgers the worst single game performance of his career. Their play also earned them an MVP nod from Monday Morning Quarterback from the early games on Sunday.

Here’s what MMQB’s Chris Burke wrote about the Buffalo performance.

MVP: The Buffalo defense

Not often does a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, with an offense as potent as Green Bay’s, look as out of sync as he did Sunday. Several times, Rodgers fired to … well, nobody in particular, with his receivers going anywhere but where thePackers’ quarterback expected. Even Jordy Nelson dropped a couple balls, including one that may have gone for a 94-yard touchdown.

Still, the majority of the credit here belongs to the Bills defense and coordinator Jim Schwartz. Buffalo sacked Rodgers just once, but they pressured him constantly and worked aggressive coverage downfield. The secondary came up with two interceptions, both by safety Bacarri Rambo, while the Packers’ receivers were left looking for flags repeatedly.

The final nail in Green Bay’s Week 15 coffin came courtesy of Mario Williams, who swung around the left side of the offensive line to swat the ball from Rodgers’ hand, forcing a safety.

“They really get after you with their four-man rush, which is the typical Jim Schwartz defense,” Rodgers said earlier this week. “He’s a very talented coach and always has some schemes that put pressure on the offense.”

Rodgers had thrown multiple interceptions in just one other game this season: a 44-23 loss in New Orleans. (He’s still yet to throw one at Lambeau Field.) He was just 8-of-24 for 70 yards in the first half, his quarterback rating dipping from 42.2 at the break to 34.3 when all was said and done. That’s the lowest mark of his career.

 


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Defense hasn’t allowed passing TD in a month

Posted by Chris Brown on December 15, 2014 – 8:55 am

While we made the handling of Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers a primary focus in our feature story coming off of Buffalo’s win over Green Bay Sunday. The two quarterbacks are just part of a string of signal callers that have not been able to manage a passing touchdown against Buffalo’s defense.

The Bills held Manning without a touchdown for the first time in 51 games, then held Rodgers, the league leader in touchdown passes to no scoring throws Sunday, but that’s been the case for Buffalo’s the defense the past four weeks now.

Buffalo did not allow Michael Vick or Geno Smith to throw a touchdown pass back in Week 12 and Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel could not reach the end zone through the air either, though Manziel had a rushing score. Ryan Tannehill is the last quarterback to throw a TD pass against the Bills back in Week 11.

In fact Tannehill’s two passing TDs in that Week 11 game are the only two passing touchdowns allowed by Buffalo since midseason. Opposing quarterback have not thrown a touchdown pass on the Bills in six of the last seven games.

That group of quarterbacks has however, throw a total of 11 interceptions to Buffalo defenders.


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Graham: We’ve set the standard now

Posted by Chris Brown on December 15, 2014 – 8:52 am

The Bills defense has played well all season long, but over the last two weeks holding both Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers without touchdown passes and picking off four passes has been downright unthinkable. We cover Buffalo’s defensive prowess in depth in our feature story on Buffalobills.com. But veteran CB Corey Graham, who always believed this kind of play on their side of the ball was possible now says they’ve set a standard they have to meet every week moving forward.

“We have to obviously continue to play like that but once we do that, now the mark is set,” said Graham. “Now you got to expect that every week from everybody and that’s what we got to do. We’ve got to make sure we’re locked in and ready to go every week.”


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Perfect by narrowest of margins vs. NFC North

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 6:35 pm

It probably wasn’t seen as a strong likelihood going into the season, but the Bills made it a clean sweep of the NFC North this season.

Buffalo won all four games against the four opponents from the inter-conference division they were scheduled to play based on the league’s rotational schedule. And they did it by the narrowest of margins in three of the four games.

They beat Chicago by three in overtime (23-20). They beat Detroit on a 58-yard field goal with four seconds remaining (17-14). They beat Minnesota by one point on a last second touchdown pass from Kyle Orton to Sammy Watkins (18-17).

Their finale against Green Bay was a comfortable eight-point win by comparison (21-13).

It’s the first time Buffalo went 4-0 against a division since 2004 when the Bills swept the NFC West. That year Buffalo finished 9-7.


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McCarthy blames himself for GB safety

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 6:00 pm

The Bills had only one sack of Aaron Rodgers in their big win over the Packers Sunday and it came at the end of the game. Mario Williams stripped Rodgers of the ball in the end zone and the fumble though recovered by Eddie Lacy in the end zone could not be advanced with less than two minutes in the game resulting in a safety for the Bills. After the game Packers head coach Mike McCarthy put the sack and subsequent safety on himself, citing a poor protection call with their backup right tackle in the game.

Packers starting RT Bryan Bulaga left the game with a concussion in the second half and did not return. It left second-year lineman and Akron, NY native JC Tretter to step in at right tackle to block Mario Williams. McCarthy in hindsight felt his play and protection call put Tretter in a bad spot going against one of the best pass rushers in the game.

“Yeah, that last call was my fault,” McCarthy said. “I had another play in mind and I should’ve went with it. The result would’ve been different. In that particular spot, I should’ve helped him on that play so that last fumble is my fault based on the protection call.”

Williams swooped in off the left side and dislodged the ball from Rodgers throwing hand forcing the fumble. The safety sealed the game for the Bills lifting them to 8-6 on the season.


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‘D’ hold Rodgers to lowest 1st half pass rating

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 2:55 pm

Buffalo’s fifth-ranked defense has done a solid job through the first two quarters of their game against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense. In fact Rodgers has his lowest passer rating in the first half all season.

In today’s game Rodgers first half passer rating is 42.4, clearly the lowest this season for the MVP candidate.

The previous low was Week 2 against the Jets (83.1).


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Packers inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 11:43 am

Here are the inactive players for the Packers today against the Bills.

QB Scott Tolzien
CB Davon House
LB Carl Bradford
C Garth Gerhart
TE Justin Perillo
WR Jeff Janis
DT Bruce Gaston


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Bills inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 11:38 am

Here are the inactives for the Bills for today’s game against Green Bay.

Da’Norris Searcy
Frank Summers
Randell Johnson
Cyrus Kouandjio
Deonte Thompson
Chris Gragg
Jarius Wynn


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Pack’s ‘O’ make you defend entire field

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 11:10 am

When looking at how incredibly precise, efficient and explosive Green Bay’s offense has been this season one wonders how even on the broken plays they’re still able to gain big chunks of yardage. A lot of it points back to Aaron Rodgers, but as head coach Doug Marrone sees it the Packers don’t allow defenses to cheat or shade to one side of the field or the other.

“It’s speaks for itself how good they are offensively,” Marrone said. “If you just had a quarterback and a running back, you wouldn’t be at the numbers that they are. If you just had a quarterback and one wide receiver, you wouldn’t be at the numbers they are. Their offensive line, you look across the board and those guys are five tough sons of a guns that get after it. They deserve a lot of the credit for the success that they’ve had.

“You have to defend the whole field. When you have to do that from a defensive standpoint, no matter who you’re playing against, it becomes difficult. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get the defense to defend the whole field because, when you get defense to do that, you can make bigger plays.

Marrone said the Packers force defenses to cover the whole field with their route patterns and their formations.


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Bills ‘D’ hoping for crowd noise

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 10:30 am

Bills fans haven’t let them down yet, which is why Buffalo’s defense is hoping to hear the 73-thousand plus loud and clear when they’re on the field today.

Knowing the efficiency with which Aaron Rodgers runs the Green Bay offense, the Bills defense, despite being a top five unit, knows any help they can get from the fans to disrupt communication and operation of the Packers attack is welcomed.

Coming off a win in their last home game, Kyle Williams sees this one as even more critical due to the ‘no margin for error’ importance on this game.

“I think that was a lot of that talk leading up to our last game with Cleveland—we hadn’t played particularly well at home, and we were able to do that there with Cleveland and win a big game,” he said. “We’ve got an even bigger game this week. With Aaron Rodgers and their offense coming in,  our crowd can play as a big a part in this game as they’ve played in any game this year. He relies a lot on different counts, different cadences, keep the pass rushers off their toes, keep the defense on their toes—crowd noise can be a big benefit for us this weekend.”


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Aggressive play the aim for offense

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 9:03 am

Robert Woods talked about it after the loss to Denver last week, more aggressive play right from the jump for Buffalo’s offense. Heading into Sunday’s game with Green Bay, he and his offensive teammates are hoping it happens.

“Attitude and just going after the defense,” said Woods when asked what he means by being more aggressive. “What we see and what they give us and what we feel like we can take in certain routes, certain runs, certain plays and just always attacking and keeping them on their heels. Just keep moving forward.”

Fred Jackson believes there will be opportunities in the air and on the ground against a Packer defense that surrenders points.

“Running the ball we feel like we can run the ball and we have to be able to run the ball and we feel like we can do it against them,” he said. “It’s about being aggressive and going after them. I think that’s what he wants to do. We all want to go after them, get some long scoring plays, get the crowd into the game and being loud for us and if we do that it gives us the best chance to win.”

And winning is a must because a loss essentially ends the Bills attempt to stay in playoff contention.

“It’s do or die,” said Woods. “We have to win so no reason to hold back.”

 


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