Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 1-5

Posted by Chris Brown on January 5, 2018 – 12:24 pm

The wait is over Bills fans! Playoff football and your team is in the dance! Enjoy it! Now to your questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

If Shady doesn’t play, you think we still have a good shot at winning?

Took
@AnthonyBitting

CB: I think the task becomes a lot more difficult. McCoy is engine that runs the offense. He represents a third of the team’s total yards from scrimmage this season. Even coach McDermott admitted you cannot replace him. He’s one of the top five backs in the league.

Though I like what Marcus Murphy has brought to the table in his short time with the Bills and seeing offensive coordinator Rick Dennison use Mike Tolbert effectively last week (inside runs only), I believe they could make the run game functional.

Is that enough to win? Probably not. I think they would also need to win the turnover battle and finish a plus-two for a shot at a victory.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chris, is the RD5 pick from Jax a done deal?

Dean Kindig
@TCBILLS_Astro

CB: That is correct. The Bills conditional sixth-round pick that they acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars for Marcell Dareus has improved to a fifth-round selection in 2018 by virtue of the fact that the Jaguars advanced to the playoffs.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Win or Lose, what did this season mean for McDermott/Beane? I feel like just because of the playoff berth they are probably going to be in a solid place here for the next 5 years. (Of course, in exception to a total meltdown the next two years)

x-Dylan Nowak
@DylanNowakArt

CB: Making the playoffs obviously helps any coach-GM combination in the NFL. I don’t know if you can project five years of job security for them, but they’re certainly on firm footing. It’s clear that Terry and Kim Pegula believe in what coach McDermott has established in terms of how the team operates on a daily basis. It’s evident that McDermott is a coach that players will follow.

The way he was able to get the team to hang together after a three-game losing streak, that has sunk many Bills coaches in the past, is what convinced me that the mental toughness of this team, that has been so poor in the past, had changed. I didn’t know if that meant playoffs this year, but the culture of this team after falling into all the common pitfalls year after year has finally been given a solid foundation.

The playoff berth only helps that.

Beane in his first year has shown he’s not afraid to swing a trade, even if it’s not popular publicly. He and McDermott are in lock step as to how to build a team for the long haul and sustained success.

The Pegulas have the right people in place at the important decision-making positions. It’s onward and upward from here.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

1: How does KB13 match up against JAX corners? 2: What candy bar is the best candy bar?

Joshua Smith
@Yhosh

CB: Benjamin is a tough matchup for any corner, but Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are both going to the Pro Bowl for a reason. They’ve combined for 10 interceptions. Benjamin usually lines up as the Bills ‘Z’ receiver or flanker on the right side of the formation, which would pit him against Ramsey.

Ramsey is a long corner. He’s 6-1 with long arms. His ability to mirror his opponents routes is impressive. There is very little separation on most plays he defends. That being said, what Benjamin offers is a wide catch radius.

He’s also capable of shielding a defender from the ball with his giant frame. This should offer Tyrod Taylor opportunities to make plays even if Ramsey is blanketing Benjamin, which shouldn’t be difficult for Ramsey at all.

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Anyone else being brought up at RB?

Andrew Ten Eyck
@Andrewteneyck1

CB: If anyone is elevated to the active roster at running back due to LeSean McCoy’s availability with his ankle it would be Aaron Green, who they signed this week. Green is a quick and elusive back with good burst. I believe even if called up before the game he’d likely be used in an emergency situation only. The primary backups are Marcus Murphy and Mike Tolbert.

The Bills have until 4 pm on Saturday to call a player up from the practice squad to the active roster.

 

 


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WR Lee, RB Yeldon don’t practice for Jags

Posted by Chris Brown on January 4, 2018 – 3:24 pm

For a second straight day, WR Marqise Lee has missed practice for the Jaguars, putting his status for Sunday’s game in question. Lee leads the team in receptions and is tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns.

Backup RB T.J. Yeldon also missed practice Thursday due to illness.

5 QB Blake Bortles Right Wrist FULL
74 OT Cam Robinson Abdomen FULL
95 DT Abry Jones Back FULL
52 LB Donald Payne Quadricep LIMITED
65 C Brandon Linder Shoulder LIMITED
89 TE Marcedes Lewis Ankle LIMITED
11 WR Marqise Lee Ankle DNP
24 RB T.J. Yeldon Illness DNP

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Mills, Thompson return to practice

Posted by Chris Brown on January 4, 2018 – 3:02 pm

RT Jordan Mills and WR Deonte Thompson were able to return to practice on Thursday after missing Wednesday’s session with ankle and shoulder injuries respectively.

Mills appeared to move around well, but head coach Sean McDermott was reserving judgment.

“He’s day to day. We’ll see. I just want to look at the practice tape and see how functional he was, but he’s headed in the right direction.”

LB Matt Milano however, was still sidelined with a hamstring injury.

“He didn’t practice. I wish he was able to get out there today, but he wasn’t able to do it,” McDermott said. “We’ll have to see on that one.”

 

 

DID NOT PRACTICE
RB LeSean McCoy (ankle)
LB Matt Milano (hamstring)
CB Shareece Wright (concussion)

LIMITED IN PRACTICE
WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
OT Jordan Mills (ankle)
WR Deonte Thompson (shoulder)
QB Joe Webb (ankle)
DT Kyle Williams (rest)


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Jags LT Robinson limited

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2018 – 3:11 pm

The Jaguars don’t have a long injury list, but starting LT Cam Robinson was limited on Wednesday. The rookie lineman is dealing with an abdominal injury that forced him to miss last week’s game at Tennessee.

Among the notables not practicing at all were WR Marqise Lee and TE Marcedes Lewis.

Here’s a look at the Jaguars full injury report.

5 QB Blake Bortles Right Wrist FULL
74 OT Cam Robinson Abdomen LIMITED
95 DT Abry Jones Back LIMITED
11 WR Marqise Lee Ankle DNP
52 LB Donald Payne Quadricep DNP
89 TE Marcedes Lewis Ankle DNP

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McCoy, Milano headline injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2018 – 3:07 pm

It was pretty good bet that LeSean McCoy wasn’t going to practice on Wednesday after suffering an ankle injury in last Sunday’s game and that proved to be the case. Another new addition to the Bills injury report was Matt Milano with a hamstring injury.

CB Shareece Wright also is still in the concussion protocol and didn’t practice. Here’s a look at the Bills full injury report.

 

 

DID NOT PRACTICE
LB Lorenzo Alexander (rest)
RB LeSean McCoy (ankle)
LB Matt Milano (hamstring)
OT Jordan Mills (ankle)
WR Deonte Thompson (shoulder)
DT Kyle Williams (rest)
CB Shareece Wright (concussion)

LIMITED IN PRACTICE
WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
QB Joe Webb (ankle)


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Bills add RB Green to practice squad

Posted by Chris Brown on January 2, 2018 – 5:36 pm

The Bills made a precautionary move on their practice squad in the event that LeSean McCoy’s ankle injury is slow to recover this week. 

Buffalo signed free agent RB Aaron Green to their practice squad Tuesday. Green (5-11, 201) was most recently on the Dallas practice squad and was originally signed as an undrafted rookie by the L.A. Rams. 

The TCU product has appeared in two career NFL games (2016). He rushed for more than 2,400 yards and 20 touchdowns in three seasons with the Horned Frogs. 

To make room on the practice squad for Green, the Bills released S L.J. McCray. 


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Report: Texans get permission to interview Bills Gaine

Posted by Chris Brown on January 2, 2018 – 11:09 am

The Houston Texans are looking for a general manager after Rick Smith took a leave of absence to help his wife through her battle with diagnosed breast cancer. Reports out of Houston say they have asked and received permission to interview Bills Vice President of Player Personnel, Brian Gaine.

That according to the Houston Chronicle. Gaine was hired away from the Texans by Bills GM Brandon Beane this past offseason after spending three years with the Texans as Director of Pro Personnel and Director of Player Personnel (2014-2016).

Gaine served as Smith’s right-hand man in the three seasons he was with Houston, so the request comes as no surprise.

Gaine, who interviewed for the Bills GM job before taking his current role with the Bills under Beane, partly came to the Bills so he and his wife, who are New York state natives could be closer to family. It will be interesting to see if the Texans can lure Gaine back to Houston.


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Williams TD celebration unrehearsed

Posted by Chris Brown on January 1, 2018 – 3:41 pm

There’s no question that Kyle Williams one-yard touchdown run was something special in the win over the Dolphins. His touchdown celebration may have been even better.

Williams pretended he had a bomb and tossed the football in the air and when it landed everyone fell down like they were in the blast zone. It looked very well rehearsed, but Williams said they did it on the fly.

“Believe it or not it was not (rehearsed),” he said. “So I did something different in practice this week, goofing around, then when we scored I said, ‘Hey here’s what we’re doing.’ And they were like, ‘Alright.’ It was kind of spur of the moment, which makes it even better.”

Richie Incognito confirmed that it was an unrehearsed celebration.

“I didn’t know until it went down,” said Incognito. “He just said this is what we’re doing and that was it.”

Apparently the one person who didn’t get the impromptu memo was Tyrod Taylor, who was not within earshot.

“I was a little surprised with the touchdown celebration,” he said. “I was the only one that wasn’t, I guess, aware of it because I didn’t fall down; but that was definitely big for him and big for our offense to punch it in and get a touchdown right there.”


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Andy Dalton getting love from Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on January 1, 2018 – 12:14 am

Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton’s comeback efforts in the last minute victory over Baltimore to help punch Buffalo’s ticket to the playoffs for the first time in 17 seasons has earned him a lot of admiration from the Bills and their fan base.

“Andy Dalton, you heard it here first, I love you man,” said Micah Hyde in the jubilant postgame locker room. “I love you.”

Hyde wasn’t alone. Perhaps the most appreciative Bills player for Dalton’s heroic efforts late in the game was his former college teammate at TCU, Jerry Hughes.

“Oh, he’s getting Edible Arrangements. If he wants some Budweiser, he’s getting that,” said Hughes. “Whatever he wants, I’m going to be his Secret Santa for the rest of this week.”


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One stat Bills hope to keep at zero

Posted by Chris Brown on December 31, 2017 – 2:38 pm

The Bills are going for a season sweep of the Dolphins today at Hard Rock Stadium. To do it they’d be wise to maintain a current streak that is an NFL best.

Buffalo hasn’t committed a single giveaway in seven straight games against the Dolphins. It marks the longest streak without a turnover against the same opponent since such statistics have been kept by the NFL beginning in 1950.

The Bills also owned a similar streak against the Jets, but it came to an end in 2015. They’d obviously like to push their current streak against the Dolphins into 2018.

Most Consecutive Games vs. Team w/ 0 Turnovers – Since 1950

Team               Opponent        Streak      Start             End       
Bills              vs. Dolphins    7         09/14/2014 – ACTIVE    
Steelers           vs. Browns       6         01/02/1994 – 09/12/1999
Chargers          vs. Bengals      5          09/19/1999 – 11/12/2006
Bills                 vs. Jets             5          09/22/2013 – 11/12/2015

 


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Why Miami struggles so much on 3rd down

Posted by Chris Brown on December 31, 2017 – 1:46 pm

The Dolphins offense is the worst in the league on third down converting at just a hair over 31 percent. The big reason why is they’re usually in long down and distance situations.

Through 16 games this season, Miami on average has the second-most yards to gain to keep a drive alive. The Dolphins typically need close to 8.5 yards to move the sticks on third down.

Only the Bears have averaged a greater figure to reach the yard to gain on third down.

The NFL’s bottom 5 in average yards to gain on third down

Seattle Seahawks            7.94 (1587/200)
Cleveland Browns            8.00 (1609/201)
Detroit Lions               8.01 (1577/197)
Miami Dolphins              8.28 (1565/189)
Chicago Bears               8.39 (1620/193)

NFL Average                 7.30


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Taylor & McCoy have been ones to keep drives going

Posted by Chris Brown on December 31, 2017 – 12:07 pm

No one is going to label Buffalo’s offense a juggernaut. Certainly not when their pass game is last in the league. Struggles aside, Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy have done everything they could this season to keep drives alive for the Bills come third and even fourth down.

Evidence of that comes in the fact that the two of them rank third and fourth in the league in clutch runs this season. In fact, Taylor and McCoy are the only two teammates in this category in the top 10.

And for those who assume Taylor ranks so high on this list because he’s too busy scrambling for a first down instead of throwing for one, the Bills QB ranks 11th in the league in clutch passing percentage on third or fourth down.

MOST CLUTCH RUNS, 2017

(clutch = any rush on 3rd or 4th down which results in TD or 1st down)

Cam Newton, Car                21
Carson Wentz, Phi              20
Tyrod Taylor, Buf              18
LeSean McCoy, Buf              16
Javorius Allen, Bal            14
Ezekiel Elliott, Dal           14
Devonta Freeman, Atl           14
DeShone Kizer, Cle             14
Melvin Gordon, LAC             13
Frank Gore, Ind                13


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Why McCoy needs the ball often and late

Posted by Chris Brown on December 31, 2017 – 10:05 am

There’s no debating that LeSean McCoy is the engine of Buffalo’s offense. The team leader in rushing yards and receptions, he’s done it all. Feeding him the ball is a no brainer, especially late in games.

To provide some context, should the Bills be ahead late in the game against the Dolphins today, getting McCoy the ball in the run game would be a good way to maintain possession. That’s because after carry 20in games, McCoy is one of the best in the league.

From carry number 21 on in games, McCoy has one of the highest yards per carry averages in the league. A perfect example would be his 48-yard touchdown run late in the win over the Raiders in Week 8.

McCoy has the third-highest yards per carry average (4.31) after carry 20 in the NFL this season.

MOST YARDS PER RUSH, CARRIES 21+, 2017

(minimum 1.25 rushes per team game)

Jordan Howard, Chi             5.82 (163/28)
Leonard Fournette, Jax         5.77 (179/31)
LeSean McCoy, Buf              4.31 (112/26)
Jay Ajayi, Mia-Phi             4.14 (91/22)
Todd Gurley II, LAR            4.00 (76/19)
Kareem Hunt, KC                3.87 (116/30)
Ezekiel Elliott, Dal           3.72 (171/46)
Adrian Peterson, NO-Ari        3.58 (86/24)
Le’Veon Bell, Pit              3.56 (228/64)
Frank Gore, Ind                3.33 (70/21)


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McCoy to be 5th Bill to top rushing, receptions

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2017 – 12:29 pm

It hasn’t happened all too often in Bills team history that a single player has led the team in rushing and receptions in the same season. But this season LeSean McCoy looks like he’s going to become just the fifth players in team annals to lead the team in both rushing yards and receptions in a single season.

McCoy has been the team’s top pass catcher almost all season, and that combined with his typical rushing exploits will make him the first Bills player since Fred Jackson in 2014 to lead in both categories. Charles Clay is 14 receptions behind him so there’s virtually no chance of anyone catching up to McCoy.

Bills, Leading Team in Rush Yards & Receptions – All-Time

Player                         Year                Rush Yds       Receptions

Keith Lincoln              1967                601                  41

Joe Cribbs                   1983                1,131               57

Greg Bell                    1985                883                  58

Fred Jackson               2014                525                  66

LeSean McCoy          2017                1,128               57

 

 


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Bills sign WR Bray to practice squad

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2017 – 9:00 am

The Bills made a change to their practice squad Saturday signing WR Quan Bray.

Bray (5-10, 185) was most recently with the Colts. He signed with them as an undrafted rookie in 2015 and made their practice squad.

He has appeared in 24 career games for the Colts including nine this season, but was released with an injury settlement this past Tuesday.

To make room on the practice squad for Bray, the Bills released CB Lorenzo Doss.


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Dolphins claim Trae Elston off waivers

Posted by Chris Brown on December 29, 2017 – 6:08 pm

The Dolphins were short at safety this week and claimed a player released by the Bills on Thursday. 

Miami claimed S Trae Elston off waivers Friday. He was released by Buffalo on Thursday to make room on the roster for veteran special teamer Colt Anderson. 

The Dolphins subsequently put S Michael Thomas on injured reserve. 


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Report: Fins may play backup QB Fales some Sun.

Posted by Chris Brown on December 29, 2017 – 3:13 pm

He’s unlikely to start the game, but there is a report out of Miami that the Dolphins in their effort to get an evaluation on third-year backup QB David Fales may get him on the field for some quality snaps in Sunday’s game against the Bills.

That according to the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero. Sources are telling him as part of the team’s recognition that they need a viable backup quarterback, the team wants a solid evaluation of Fales, who has only thrown five passes in his NFL career, while with Chicago, under Gase who was the offensive coordinator with the Bears at the time.

So although Jay Cutler will start the game and Gase still wants to beat the Bills, if the game goes a certain way, there appears to be a strong possibility that Fales could see time on the field.

All indications per Salguero are that Ryan Tannehill will remain the starter in 2018 for Miami, but they want a viable backup for the future. David Fales is an option that’s under their nose, but without time on the field, there’s not much for the club to go on. So if the Bills get up on the Dolphins early Fales could enter the game sooner rather than later.


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Tunsil doubtful, Wake questionable for Fins

Posted by Chris Brown on December 29, 2017 – 2:48 pm

The Dolphins could enter their final game of the regular season without either of their starting offensive tackles. Already playing backup Sam Young at right tackle the past few weeks, Miami may also be without LT Laremy Tunsil who has not practiced all week with an ankle injury.

Set to take his place would be Zach Sterup, a former undrafted rookie out of Nebraska. The only other tackle on the roster is rookie Eric Smith.

DE Cameron Wake is also questionable with an illness and didn’t practice on Friday.

DOUBTFUL
QB Matt Moore – Foot
RB Damien Williams – Shoulder
OT Laremy Tunsil – Ankle

QUESTIONABLE
TE MarQueis Gray  – Hip
DE Charles Harris – Thigh
LB Neville Hewitt – Hamstring
S T.J. McDonald – Shoulder
WR DeVante Parker – Ankle
S Michael Thomas – Not Injury Related
CB Alterraun Verner – Hamstring
DE Cameron Wake – Illness


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Wright out, Thompson a game time decision

Posted by Chris Brown on December 29, 2017 – 2:38 pm

CB Shareece Wright will not be available for Sunday’s game in Miami. The good news is E.J. Gaines will be back in the starting lineup after missing last week’s game with a knee injury. Lafayette Pitts will serve as the team’s fourth corner behind nickel corner Leonard Johnson.

WR Kelvin Benjamin, CB E.J. Gaines, DT Kyle Williams among the players who were removed from the injury report and will start Sunday.

Here’s a look at the rest of Buffalo’s injury report for Sunday’s game.

 

 

OUT
CB Shareece Wright – concussion

QUESTIONABLE
G Ryan Groy – illness
WR Deonte Thompson – shoulder/back


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Fan Friday 12-29

Posted by Chris Brown on December 29, 2017 – 10:46 am

It’s come down to Week 17 Bills fans. Let’s hope for a win and some help. Here is this week’s edition of questions and answers from Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Who is our left tackle next year? Any chance they can trade Glenn in draft for higher/additional pick?

CB: I think with the second half of the season that Dion Dawkins has put together it would be hard to see them changing that next season. That means Cordy Glenn, who has one of the highest cap figures on the roster could be a potential candidate for a trade.

The issue there however, is proving that he’s got a clean bill of health after all his foot and ankle problems. If they can do that then he could be a viable trade option.

If in fact such a scenario comes to pass it would not be a poor reflection on Glenn at all. He’s been a solid left tackle for the Bills in his time here and earned the contract he got.

But as the players know it’s a business in the end and if a club can find a more affordable way to fill an important position like left tackle without much difference in performance they would be wise to do so. Dawkins is on his rookie contract.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Would you rather slip into the playoffs this year or miss out and have a toe to toe battle with NE for the divison (and likely wildcard) next year?

Jesse Parrish
@jesse_parrish

CB: I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t have both. As coach McDermott said this week, every year is so different because the construct and development of your team changes so much from one year to the next.

So why not get into the playoffs this year and challenge the division champs next year? Bills fans don’t have to settle for one or the other.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Due to Baker Mayfield’s lack of measurables, do you feel Buffalo can stay where they are in regards to draft position and select him with their first 1st rd pick?

Michale McMasters
@kidmickey85

CB: Mayfield’s height will be the biggest bone of contention with Mayfield. There aren’t many six-footers who have excelled in the NFL. Drew Brees and Russell Wilson are the exceptions.

Mayfield has the bowl game coming up and the Senior Bowl in late January to impress the NFL scouting community one more time.

Many feel he will impress, make effective amends for some of his off the field issues and move up the board.

Unfortunately quarterbacks always rise up the board come draft night because they’re such a coveted commodity. So seeing Mayfield last into the late teens on draft night seems to be unlikely as I see it.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

What purpose does Colt Anderson serve? He’s super injury prone and you cut a decent young safety for no reason

Randolph Pope Jr.
Pope3949

CB: Colt Anderson is a core special teamer, who was re-signed this past offseason to serve primarily in that role.

Special teams coordinator Danny Crossman likes having veteran players he can trust on his units. Anderson is one such player.

I too believe Trae Elston is a player who has some promise, but they released him in another roster move earlier this season and were able to bring him back. I wouldn’t be surprised if they re-signed him as a future free agent in January.

 

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Draft a young quarterback in the first round or make a run at Kirk Cousins?

Andrew Madden
@Lexingtonagent

CB: if there is any chance that Kirk Cousins is realistically attainable you make the deal over drafting a QB. He’s a proven commodity. You don’t get that with whomever you might be able to draft.

Cousins is entering the prime of his career and has been in the top five in passing yards I believe each of the last three years, with his production this year perhaps his most impressive work with a severely reduced cast around him.

If you can get Cousins without paying through the nose you go get him.


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