Inside The Bills

Clay, Glenn, Watkins sit Wednesday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2016 – 6:17 pm

The Bills were without three offensive starters on the practice field Wednesday. And a key defensive starter was limited with a hamstring injury.

Cordy Glenn, Charles Clay and Sammy Watkins were all sidelined with injuries. Moving forward it appears Watkins will have a reduced practice workload for the rest of the season in an effort to keep his ailing foot as fresh as possible for game days.

“He’s practicing once a week and you can only do so much,” said new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn of Watkins in an appearance on the John Murphy Show Wednesday.

Head coach Rex Ryan said at the beginning of the week that they were hopeful Cordy Glenn could return from his ankle injury and play Sunday. The chances of that happening will be better determined based on Glenn’s level of practice participation Thursday.

Ronald Darby’s hamstring injury did not surface in the game on Sunday according to head coach Rex Ryan, but it was enough to keep Darby from doing much at all in practice Wednesday.

“He got through the game and finished the game,” said Ryan of Darby. “Hopefully it’s not a serious injury.”

If Darby can’t go on Sunday, veteran Corey White is expected to step in at cornerback.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday
Sammy Watkins WR Foot DNP
Cordy Glenn T Ankle DNP
Charles Clay TE Knee DNP
Colt Anderson S Foot LP
Ronald Darby CB Hamstring LP
Cardale Jones QB Right shoulder LP

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Taylor: It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2016 – 6:09 pm

Bills QB Tyrod Taylor will be the first to admit that an 0-2 start is nothing to be proud of, especially the way the offense has played as they rank last in the league in plays per game at 49 on average through the first two weeks. But Taylor believes with 14 games to change the conversation there’s still time to turn their season around.

“Every game is important in this league, whether you go 0-2, 0-3,” said Taylor when asked about the prospect of still being winless after Sunday. “Of course you never want to start off the season with losses, but it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish. We have to do whatever it takes from here on out to get back on the winning side, so every game is important.”

The Bills know converting on third down is job one on offense, where they currently rank 29th in the league.


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Ryan: Talented Cards might be just what we need

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2016 – 2:51 pm

Rex Ryan was effusive in his praise of the Arizona Cardinals and how well rounded they are as a club. The defending NFC West champs are coming off a 40-7 shellacking of Tampa Bay. They’ll be a tough matchup to say the least, but Ryan thinks a team of this caliber often gets a team as focused as ever to execute.

“You know what this might be the exact team we need to play,” said Ryan. “It might be the best team in the league and maybe this is the exact team we need to play, and it’s back-to-back weeks by the way. You’ve got Bruce Arians this week and Belichick next week. There are probably a few more easier options than those two, but maybe this is exactly what we need.”


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Watkins: Not just me who needs ball more

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2016 – 9:13 am

Bills WR Sammy Watkins was asked a question he’s been posed before. Does he need the ball more? The obvious answer would be based on his dynamic talent that yes he should get more opportunities to make plays for Buffalo’s offense. But Watkins believes that’s an oversimplification because there are other weapons in the Bills offense that need to be utilized. In fact there was one receiver in particular that he believes is winning on his routes a lot, but not getting the ball.

“I don’t want to be out to be selfish,” said Watkins. “As I got to film I think we need to go to Woods more. He’s open on every play. But as a wide receiver you want to get 10 targets and see what you can do and help your team out as much as you can. But that means Woods needs 10 targets too. Clay needs the ball too.

“So I can’t just say to myself, ‘I want the ball and need the ball.’ It’s not that type of situation. The flow of the game getting me the ball I think is critical. Keeping me live and engaged in the game is really critical.”

Woods has five catches for 30 yards through the first two games.


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Watkins on meeting with Pegulas

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2016 – 3:57 pm

Bills WR Sammy Watkins was asked if he was one of the players who met with the Pegulas in advance of the dismissal of now former offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Watkins confirmed he was, but gave indication that it’s relatively common with Buffalo’s ownership.

“I think it was just more so what we need as a team and I think it went well,” said Watkins of the nature of the meeting. “I wasn’t asked anything. It had nothing to do with anybody (specifically). It just had to do with the players and I think it went well.

“I’ve done met with them plenty of times. I don’t think it was an issue or a problem. I think they just wanted to see where my head was and the other leaders on the team where their heads were.”

As far as what his contributions were to the internal discussion, Watkins said he pointed to their play on the field first and foremost as the problem.

“I just told them it’s up to our play. We can’t blame anybody,” he said. “We have to play better as an offense and as a team and as an individual effort. That’s what it’s really about. We can do better and play better. Things that we need to fix, we talked about that and that’s what we have to fix on the field.”


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Wood dismisses reports of crisis at 1 Bills Dr.

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2016 – 3:03 pm

He spent the weekend sitting on his couch watching football on TV and various media reports about Friday’s events at One Bills Drive on his phone. Suffice to say that Eric Wood could only shake his head with the reports of what the atmosphere is like at the team’s facility in the wake of the Greg Roman firing.

Most of the headlines described the Bills as a team in crisis mode with a coordinator being fired after just two games. Wood dismissed that description Monday.

“I feel like when I read media reports it feels like a lot more crisis than we feel in the building,” he said. “I was sitting on the couch watching games (Sunday) and read eight different reports of what went down on Friday. Only we know the truth, but it didn’t feel nearly as hectic as everyone made it seem.”

When asked why it doesn’t feel chaotic Wood could only say that it simply didn’t.

“I don’t know how to answer that other than to say it doesn’t feel chaotic around here. We made a switch at OC. The switch came from within. It doesn’t feel chaotic,” he said. “We’re just moving on to business as usual and we’ve got an important game this week.”


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Bills make practice squad add

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2016 – 3:00 pm

The Bills made a move on their practice squad Monday. Buffalo signed OT William Poehls.

A 6-8, 334-pound Montana product, Poehls (pronounced Pales) originally entered the NFL in 2014 as an undrafted free agent with the Tennessee Titans. He has spent time on the Titans practice squad since entering the league. Poehls, 25, is a native of Chandler, Arizona.

To make room on the practice squad for Poehls the Bills released OT Chris Martin.

william-poehls-story

 


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Bills sign LB Albright to practice squad

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2016 – 5:50 pm

The Bills announced that the team has signed LB Bryson Albright to the team’s practice squad.

Albright rejoins the Bills after being released by the team on September 15. He made the 53-man roster coming out of the preseason, but was moved off the roster to make room for a shortage of players on the offensive line over the weekend when Gabe Ikard was promoted to the 53-man roster.

A 6-5, 225-pound Miami (OH) product, Albright played in 48 career games as a RedHawk, making 35 starts as a defensive end while recording 180 tackles, 19.0 sacks and 33.5 tackles for loss. Albright earned second-team All-MAC honors in 2015 after tallying 7.0 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss on the season. He is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio.


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Tyrod’s brief exit was call made by Hochuli

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2016 – 1:19 am

In the fourth quarter Tyrod Taylor was escorted off the field after he took a sandwich hit from a couple of Jets defenders on a tackle. Head referee Ed Hochuli walked Buffalo’s quarterback to the Bills sideline and he was promptly examined. The decision however, wasn’t made by any independent neurologist on site. It was made by Hochuli.

“It was a call he made,” said Rex Ryan of Hochuli. “Our quarterback took a shot and it was like, ‘Okay we get it,’ and EJ went in there. I certainly understand that and I’m all for that. They told me that he took a good shot and I certainly get that. This should be about protecting the players and Hochuli explained that to me and I certainly understood.”

Taylor missed two plays before he was declared safe to re-enter the game.

“It’s protocol because I got hit. He said he thought I was a little woozy on the ground,” said Taylor. “You never want to come out in the middle of a series especially in a close game, but I understand it’s protocol so I have to deal with it.”


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Why Rex chose not to pressure Fitz

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2016 – 1:14 am

Ryan Fitzpatrick gets the ball out about as fast as any quarterback in the league, so blitzing and pressuring the Jets QB isn’t always the best idea. But that’s not why Rex Ryan chose not to pressure him Thursday night.

“I was afraid to pressure because we weren’t holding up in man coverage so we played the whole game trying to stuff 15, quarters, deuce, we tried everything,” said Ryan. “To their credit it didn’t matter what we played they were the better team today.

“We thought we could cover them. We thought we had a chance. They have a great group of receivers with Decker and Brandon Marshall obviously, but the other guys, I thought 81 played his butt off against us 11, 89 everybody showed up. You’ve got to give them credit. They did a great job and we couldn’t do anything to disrupt them rhythm-wise.”


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Watkins to play; Bills inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2016 – 6:49 pm

Bills WR Sammy Watkins will dress and play tonight as he stated on Monday. Here’s the list of Bills inactives for tonight’s game against the Jets.

K Jordan Gay
RB Jonathan Williams
OT Cordy Glenn
S Colt Anderson
LB Brandon Spikes
QB Cardale Jones
C Patrick Lewis


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What isn’t part of Matt Forte’s repertoire

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2016 – 6:04 pm

Jets RB Matt Forte didn’t look much different in Week 1 than he has over the last several seasons of his career, which was previously spent in Chicago. He had 155 total yards from scrimmage in the Jets one-point loss. As versatile as Forte is there is one part of the game that isn’t a strength according to Bills head coach Rex Ryan.

“One thing he can’t do is he can’t pass protect,” said Ryan. “He’s a great receiver and he’s an outstanding runner. So his protection? Let’s just say it’s not that good.”

Ryan, not surprisingly, had more favorable praise for Jets backup RB Bilal Powell, who Ryan coached when he was in New York.

“Bilal Powell is a different type of guy,” said Ryan. “Great in protection, decent runner and also a good receiver.”

Powell has been a third down back for the Jets for that very reason and that appears to still be the case now. In Week 1 on the Jets’ 14 third down opportunities Powell was on the field in place of Forte for 12 of them.

The only two he wasn’t was in a 3rd-and-goal at the two-yard line, and it appeared that Forte did not recognize the pass rusher coming off the left side of the Jets’ formation. Fitzpatrick got rid of the ball in time as he typically does. The other was the second to last play of the game when the Jets went empty backfield to put more receivers out on routes.

Expect to see more of the same tonight at New Era Field.


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Can Fitz improve his numbers vs. Ryan?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2016 – 4:44 pm

Much has been made about Ryan Fitzpatrick’s lack of success against Rex Ryan’s defense, and that trend continued in the two meetings between the Bills and Jets in 2015.

Fitz and the Jets took two losses at the hands of the Bills last year, and Fitzpatrick’s numbers were not all that productive. Here’s a look at the combined numbers he put up in the two games against Buffalo last season.

Fitz was 31-71 passing (43.7%) for 374 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions. He averaged 5.3 yards per attempt, was sacked twice and had a passer rating of 49.9.

Ironically, he performed marginally better in his last two games for the Bills against Ryan’s Jets defense in 2012, Fitz was 30-58 passing (51.7%) for 420 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. He averaged 7.2 yards per attempt, wasn’t sacked and had a passer rating of 76.8.

So will those struggles for Fitz continue? Rex Ryan wouldn’t mind it.

“Gee I hope that trend continues,” Ryan said.


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McCoy expecting better results

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2016 – 2:16 pm

In his words the Bills offense laid “a big egg” last Sunday. LeSean McCoy doesn’t expect that to happen again.

McCoy can’t see the offense struggling as much as it did in Week 1 the rest of the way. That’s why he’s not adopting the sky is falling attitude of some outside observers.

“We can’t panic. I feel like a lot of people are panicking, ‘Oh, we lost the first game.’ Eh, we lost the first game,” said McCoy. “The offense played bad. You’ve got to move on. It’s a long season and this is the type of league it is so we’ll come out here this week and if we have a great game, you won’t even talk about last week. That’s how it works, so we can’t look back, man. Always got to look forward.

“The second game we’ll play, I think we’ll have a lot more success. We look forward to it, guys are preparing hard. Myself, I expect to have a bigger game than last game, so I mean you can’t control what happened last week.”


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Fitz the fastest gunslinger in the NFL?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2016 – 12:24 pm

After one week of NFL action Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick ranks first in one area that has been the calling card for his career. Fitz doesn’t take many sacks because he gets rid of the ball so quickly. How quick? After last week’s game he had the quickest release in the NFL.

According to Pro Football Focus, Fitzpatrick led the league in fastest release time. The Jets QB got the ball out at an average of 2.11 seconds in Week 1.

That’s why hands in the passing lanes and disguising coverages will be critical for Buffalo’s defense Thursday night. When a quarterback gets the ball out that fast a defense is more likely to have more interceptions than sacks, and that’s what the Bills should bank on.


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Mental reps must translate to physical execution

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2016 – 3:40 pm

On a short week the Bills, and the Jets for that matter, have to switch their approach to mastering the game plan to the mental side. The players’ bodies have to recover after just playing on Sunday. Running around on a practice field in the three days between the games is unrealistic. Reduced to walk through sessions and a whole lot of work in the film room, mental reps must now translate to the field for the game tonight.

Tyrod Taylor admits that’s easier said than done.

“Just trying to get everybody to focus in and understanding that it may not be a physical week, but it definitely is a mental one,” said Taylor. “Keeping everybody on the same page. Sometimes you have to talk through routes, have to spend the extra time in the film (room) talking with coaches. Just trying to pick their brains and try to stay ahead. So I just try to relay to the coaches what we like and what we don’t like.”


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Jets Wilkerson, LBs Carter, Harris questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2016 – 1:21 pm

The Jets have a couple of question marks in their starting lineup for Thursday night’s game against the Bills, including their Pro Bowl defensive lineman.

DL Muhammad Wilkerson and starting LBs Bruce Carter and David Harris are all questionable. Wilkerson is dealing with an ankle/toe injury while Carter and Harris both have shoulder injuries. A third starting linebacker, rookie Jordan Jenkins is doubtful with a calf injury.

Reports out of New York indicate that Wilkerson and Harris are expected to play Thursday night.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday Game Status
Bryce Petty QB RIGHT SHOULDER DNP OUT
Jordan Jenkins LB CALF DNP DOUBTFUL
Darryl Roberts DB FOOT LP DOUBTFUL
Muhammad Wilkerson DL ANKLE/TOE LP QUESTIONABLE
Bruce Carter LB SHOULDER LP QUESTIONABLE
David Harris LB SHOULDER LP QUESTIONABLE
Quincy Enunwa WR RIBS FP  
Kellen Davis TE NECK/RIBS FP  
Jarvis Jenkins DL KNEE FP  
Brandon Marshall WR HIP FP  
Brian Winters OL HAND/GROIN FP  
Marcus Williams DB SHOULDER FP  
       

 

 


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Glenn out, Watkins questionable for Thursday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2016 – 12:36 pm

Bills LT Cordy Glenn will not dress for Thursday night’s home opener due to an ankle injury. Cyrus Kouandjio will start in Glenn’s place at left tackle. Special teams ace Colt Anderson is also out with a foot injury. Questionable is Sammy Watkins.

There were only walk through practices during this short week for the Bills, but if there had been a normal practice, Watkins was listed as a limited participant for Wednesday. The receiver said on Monday that he would “definitely be out there,” Thursday night to face the Jets.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday Game Status
Colt Anderson S Foot DNP OUT
Cordy Glenn T Ankle DNP OUT
Sammy Watkins WR Foot LP QUESTIONABLE
Jerel Worthy DT Knee LP QUESTIONABLE
Jim Dray TE Ankle LP QUESTIONABLE
Charles Clay TE Knee LP QUESTIONABLE
Kevon Seymour CB Hamstring LP QUESTIONABLE
Cardale Jones QB Right shoulder LP QUESTIONABLE

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Positive reviews for Preston Brown

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2016 – 3:56 pm

Coming out of the opener it looks like the bounce back year for Preston Brown is already underway.

The team’s mike linebacker took charge of the defense in the opener and performed admirably not only as a linebacker, but as the quarterback of the defense.

That according to head coach Rex Ryan, who was very pleased with Brown’s calls and his play.

“He did fantastic,” said Ryan. “He runs the whole show so he is literally the captain of the ship back there and he has taken to that role and you combine that with a guy who has a lot of physical talent that’s the guy we want running that defense.”

Brown is determined to make sure their defense is better than the defensive unit of the team they’re facing. He said that wasn’t the case last week. But he believes as long as all 11 guys understand the scheme they’ll continue to improve and succeed.

“The biggest thing is guys know what they’re doing,” said Brown. “I took the leadership role to make sure guys know what to do and communicate so it goes across the board. It’s been great to see.”


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Watkins, Glenn, Clay updates

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2016 – 2:32 pm

Both Sammy Watkins and Cordy Glenn were listed as non-participants on the team’s practice report Tuesday. Even though it’s a short week and the team is just performing walk throughs, the team by rule has to list the status of injured players for what would be a normal practice.

Glenn did not attend the walk through practice, but Watkins did, reinforcing his comments Monday that he’ll “definitely be out there playing,” come Thursday night.

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor also spoke with Watkins this week and sounds convinced that his top receiver will be playing against the Jets.

“From my conversation with him it seems like he’s ready to go mentally and physically,” said Taylor of Watkins. “It seems like he wants to go out there and continue to keep showing people what he can do. I’m looking forward to seeing him go out there and have a good game.”

Charles Clay was also on the field for walk throughs and was listed as a limited participant. Blocking TE Jim Dray may have a chance to play this week with him being list as a limited participant too.

DID NOT PRACTICE
S Colt Anderson – foot
OT Cordy Glenn – ankle
WR Sammy Watkins – foot
DL Jerel Worthy – knee

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
CB Kevon Seymour – hamstring
QB Cardale Jones – rt. shoulder
TE Jim Dray – ankle
TE Charles Clay – knee


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