Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 1-22

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2016 – 12:07 pm

Some coaching hires for the staff the last week or so. Here are your latest questions from email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills What’s the biggest lesson learned between Wk1 and Wk16 defensively with this team?


CB: I think the biggest lesson learned by the players was that if there was more accountability player to player on defense, there would’ve been unanimous buy in and the defense would’ve performed more consistently and been more effective in Ryan’s scheme. That didn’t happen until after the embarrassing defensive performance at Washington when the players that did buy in called out the players who didn’t. We saw improved collective play from the defensive unit after that.

I believe the biggest lesson learned by Rex and the coaches is just how multi-faceted a lot of their defensive talent is particularly some of their defensive linemen like Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes specifically. Dareus and Williams are athletic enough to play end in a 3-4 look and Hughes can be an end in a 4-3 look or an OLB in a 3-4. He’s that versatile.

There are other examples at LB and in the secondary, but Rex has expressed that a year with those players has provided him with a better grasp of everything that players like that can do, not just their primary strengths.


2 – Hey Chris,

Here is my concern. It seems to make more sense for a coach to change their scheme to fit the players than change the roster to fit the scheme. Why has Rex Ryan, the great defensive mastermind who was figured out and canned in NY, been reluctant to implement a scheme where our star defensive line can pass rush like they have proven they are good at doing and rely upon a better cover based defense? We consistently get beat while trying to change in and out of “complex” blitz packages that always seem to come up short while letting the QB find a quick under or hot route. What should we expect for the future I’m so desperately trying to not give up on? Suddenly find myself hoping for a Sean Payton and Jim Schwartz led team and I can’t stand the coaching turnovers.. But I have to admit Ryan’s defensive scheme is old news…

-Losing faith in OR

CB: Rex took steps to try and mold his defensive scheme to the talent of the personnel. As mentioned above Ryan admitted that he is in a much better position to coach to some of the players’ versatile strengths now that he knows the depth of their talents having worked with them for a year. I know that’s small consolation in light of how the defense underachieved, but I don’t think it’s something that should be taken lightly.

Rex referenced Jerry Hughes specifically saying he now realizes that Hughes is so much more than a hand in the dirt type, rush the passer player. That he can do a number of different things well. He also said the big difference he noticed at the end of the season was that players were finally giving him answers when he asked for their opinion.

It was his contention that his offer to the players from the very beginning of the season to give him feedback fell on deaf ears until the last two games. Rex in making in-game adjustments would ask for the opinion of the players. Until the Dallas game he said those appeals were not met with answers and he couldn’t understand why.

Once he got some more input from players we saw the difference. Buffalo’s last two games were their best back-to-back defensive performances of the season in terms of points allowed (6 and 17). And that was without a handful of defensive starters (Darby, Gilmore, A. Williams, K. Williams, Bradham). So Ryan is encouraged that the proper give and take now exists between the players and himself and the value of that should not be discounted.


3 – Happy New Year Chris:

Do you think the Bills organization will make a play for Miami Dolphins Olivier Vernon?

Thanks from a true Bills fan in NewportNews, Va.
Gary Truesdale

CB: I would be surprised if the Bills pursued Olivier Vernon only because he’s going to command a sizable price tag and GM Doug Whaley has made it clear that they’re going to be pursuing “dust settle” type free agents. The focus this offseason will be for the Bills to re-sign their own, chiefly Richie Incognito and Cordy Glenn.

Buffalo’s cap situation needs some restructuring this offseason before we reach free agency and Bills Senior VP of Football Administration, Jim Overdorf will be tasked with that as he has in the past. But knowing the priorities that Incognito and Glenn are combined with their cap situation I wouldn’t expect to see a top tier free agent like Vernon to be on the Bills radar.


4 – Chris,

Hypothetical of course.  Just what if, with all the defensive needs and offensive tackle needs, Laquon Treadwell and/or Connor Cook were available at pick 19?  How are we going to fill our need at receiver?  Not in free agency as per Whaley’s statement and later in the draft will not fill that need either.

Jim (Skaneateles)

CB: I do believe the Bills will make efforts to land a true No. 2 receiver that can draw attention away from Sammy Watkins. Robert Woods played more than half the season with a severe groin injury and might be best suited for the slot. Percy Harvin is a player the Bills would like to return to the fold, but has to get healthy first and is not a lock to return.
I know the Bills would like to add size to the position as evidenced by the reserve/future signings of Greg Little and Jarrett Boykin. But I don’t think they’re putting all their stock in those two wideouts.

Unfortunately this year’s receiver class doesn’t offer a lot of quality size. There are 6-1 and 6-2 guys aplenty, but the 6-4 and 6-5 targets of quality just don’t exist in this year’s class. I suppose there could be a prospect or two that could possess a ‘big receiver’ game because they play bigger than their listed size. I’ve still got homework to do on the 2016 draft class, but Treadwell would be a tempting option.

Personally I don’t think Connor Cook is worthy of a first-round pick. In a draft without a lot of elite QB talent I suppose it’s possible he’ll be moved up a lot of draft boards as the draft draws closer due to supply and demand, but Treadwell is a more worthy first-round pick to me than Cook. That being said I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills found better value at another position in round one.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills What are the fates of Mario Williams, Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes? Are they staying or leaving?


CB: I feel good about the playing futures of Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes in Buffalo. I’ll actually have more on Kyle Williams in a story on slated for Monday. Hughes is a cornerstone piece for this defense moving forward, which is why he was signed to the long term contract extension last offseason.

Mario Williams situation is a lot more precarious, chiefly due to his cost-prohibitive contract. I think it would be difficult for any defensive player to live up to a contract that has a cap figure of almost $20M for 2016 ($19.9M). With Buffalo’s cap situation in a restrictive position right now, addressing Mario’s contract will probably be pretty high on Jim Overdorf’s to-do list.

There are a few paths they can take with it as we all know. What kind of steps Mario and his agent are willing to take is the big question.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

A passing game rendezvous

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2016 – 9:32 am

At the close of the 2015 season Bills QB Tyrod Taylor and WR Sammy Watkins both gave strong indication that there would be plans for some of the men in Buffalo’s passing game to get together on their own in the offseason to work on their on field chemistry. Some more details on that came to light Friday.

Bills GM Doug Whaley, appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Friday spoke to Taylor and found out where and who would be working together in the near future.

“I’ve talked to Tyrod and he, Sammy and Charles Clay are going to be in Florida working out together,” said Whaley.

As Whaley sees it that will only benefit the efforts to develop better overall consistency within the framework of Buffalo’s offense.

“All of a sudden next thing you know when we’re in a two minute drill there may not even be any verbal communication,” Whaley said. “There might just be some hand signs or some head nods where everybody is on the same page and that’s where you start to see an offense or even a defense make strides and take off.”

Whaley acknowledged that being able to keep offensive coordinator Greg Roman on staff will also do wonders for the offense as they’ll all be able to progress together.

“Just like any relationship the longer you’re together the closer you’re going to get and it gets to the point where Tyrod will anticipate what G-Ro is thinking and vice versa,” said Whaley.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills open to a Harvin return

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2016 – 9:28 am

Percy Harvin’s first year with the Bills did not go how anyone had planned. A persistent hip injury compromised his weekly availability as the receiver appeared in just five games in 2015. He also has an automatic opt-out clause in his contract, which will make him a free agent against this offseason. Still, Buffalo’s front office remains interested in returning him to their receiving corps in 2016.

Bills GM Doug Whaley, appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Friday, indicated that the club would like to bring Harvin back once he’s got a clean bill of health.

“Absolutely. No doubt about it,” said Whaley. “Obviously the first thing for Percy is he’s got to get completely healthy. Once he’s healthy we’ll reach out to his guy and explain that we’d like to have him back. I think when he was on the field people took notice and he helped us when Sammy was out. So we would love to have him back.”

Knowing Buffalo’s tight cap situation, the Bills would probably only re-sign Harvin to a cost-conscious type contract.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whaley: Our cap situation is pretty restrictive

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2016 – 9:18 am

Senior Bowl week is currently on the front burner for the Bills personnel department, but prior to leaving for Mobile, Alabama, the front office had a personnel meeting to discuss their offseason priorities concerning their current roster with their own free agents the focus. Naturally Richie Incognito and Cordy Glenn remain at the top of the list with both set to become unrestricted free agents in less than two months. But Buffalo’s salary cap situation has to be rectified first.

Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, GM Doug Whaley outlined how at the outset heading into the new league year in March, the Bills have some financial maneuvers to make as they are currently over the projected salary cap for 2016.

“Right now it’s pretty restrictive. I believe we’re over the cap,” said Whaley. “So (Senior VP of Football Administration) Jim Overdorf is going to be working really hard and work his magic. We have confidence that we’ll be able to put our best foot forward and try to get this done (with Incognito and Glenn). When you have the number one rated rushing offense in the league you want to try to keep that as stable as possible. If we can get those five guys back and maintain the continuity up front that’s not only going to keep our running game strong, but it’ll help our quarterback improve as well.”

The 2016 salary cap is projected to be somewhere between $150 and $156 million. It was $143 million and change last season after making a $10M jump in one calendar year thanks to some new large television contracts the league had brokered. Per, Buffalo currently sits at almost $158M in contract commitments that count toward the cap.

Look for the Bills to make the necessary maneuvers to put themselves in a position to re-sign the left side of their offensive line and make a few other moves they deem essential to take the next step as a team in the offseason.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Senior Bowl rosters released

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2016 – 1:08 pm

The Reese’s Senior Bowl will begin practices next week and will be there to cover the goings on as the pre-draft season gets underway in Mobile. Officials released the North and South rosters Thursday.

Among the more notable names participating in Senior Bowl week and the game on Saturday are North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz and Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott. On defense some of the big names include Alabama LB Reggie Ragland, Ohio State LB Josh Perry and Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins.

The John Murphy Show will also be broadcasting live from the Senior Bowl next week.

Here’s a look at the North and South team rosters.

North Team roster

South Team roster

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Posted in Inside the Bills

How Ed Reed decided to coach with the Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2016 – 12:07 pm

One of Buffalo’s newest coaching hires will be making his first foray into the coaching profession in 2016. But just how did nine-time Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed come to make the decision to join Rex Ryan’s coaching staff? He shared his decision making process on an appearance on Inside the NFL.

Reed said he received a phone call from Ryan a couple of weeks ago as his former head coach was trying to gauge his interest in coaching.

“I was making some turkey nachos with my son and the phone was ringing and I saw that it was Rex Ryan,” Reed said on Inside the NFL. “And he said, ‘Eddie Reed!’ And he said, ‘How would you like to come coach?’ And I said, ‘I wouldn’t mind it coach I’ll think about that.’ We were talking some football talk and I told him I’d get back to him.

“I had to talk to my son and his mother about the transition if I was going to take that job and how it would affect the family and everything. So he said he’d call me on the weekend. But he called me two days later to ask me what I was thinking. My son he wasn’t for it at first. He’s actually a Patriots fan. I was like, ‘Coach we’ve got to sell my son a little bit more. We’ve got to get him some gear.’”

Eventually everything worked out and Reed agreed to join Ryan’s staff as assistant defensive backs coach. And though this is Reed’s first official foray into professional coaching, Reed feels he’s performed in a coaching type role for several years now.

“You just have to be able to relate to guys and relate to players,” he said. “I’ve been running my football camp for 14 years coaching kids and trying to help kids out. I’ve mentored players on every level whether it’s high school, college or pro. I think I’ve already been a coach for that matter.

“Yes, it’s going to take some learning to be a coach. That’s the head coach’s job is to coach the coaches to coach the players. So I’m looking forward to learning, but at the same time I won’t forget the things I learned as a player.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McCoy pulls out of Pro Bowl

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2016 – 10:09 am

Bills RB LeSean McCoy was Buffalo’s lone Pro Bowl representative, but he pulled out of the league’s all-star game this week.

McCoy missed the last two games of the regular season due to a knee injury, and after a season that was largely compromised by injury Buffalo’s feature back chose to bypass the game in Hawaii. He’ll be replaced by Jets RB Chris Ivory.

This is not the first time McCoy has chosen to skip the Pro Bowl. He bypassed the game last year as well due to injury.

Right now the Bills do not have a Pro Bowl representative scheduled to play in the game, though Richie Incognito, Eric Wood, Tyrod Taylor and Marcell Dareus are all Pro Bowl alternates.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

James Wilder more power than speed

Posted by Chris Brown on January 20, 2016 – 2:11 pm

James Wilder Jr. was one of the most highly touted high school athletes in the country when he committed to Florida State back in 2011. He won a national title with the Seminoles as well, but landing a starter’s role in Tallahassee proved difficult. The same has held true in his two-year NFL career as he spent his first two seasons on the Cincinnati practice squad. Now he’ll have a chance to crack a 53-man roster with the Bills.

Wilder had a solid NFL combine workout when he was coming out of college in the 2014 NFL draft, but his 40 time hurt him. He ran a 4.86. It unfortunately overshadowed his strong broad jump of 10-feet one-inch, his vertical leap of 35 inches, 6.92-second three-cone drill and his 18 reps on the bench press.

Those numbers reveal what kind of back Wilder is, which is a between the tackles power back, who can push the pile and not go down on initial contact. Wilder figures to push for a reserve role on the roster behind the likes of LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams and Mike Gillislee.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Shady on difference between Rex and Chip

Posted by Chris Brown on January 20, 2016 – 9:35 am

He’s now worked under both NFL head coaches. His parting with Chip Kelly and the Eagles shocked him, but it turned into a good situation for LeSean McCoy because he’s with a coach in Rex Ryan that runs his team the way McCoy believes it should be run.

In an appearance on NFL Network’s Total Access, McCoy outlined the differences in coaching styles between Rex Ryan and his former head coach Chip Kelly.

“Rex is a lot more laid back. He’s been with teams where the veterans kind of lead the team,” said McCoy. “He puts players in the position where the players are held more accountable. I think it should be like that. Andy Reid was like that. Guys have got to be accountable. This league, it’s a blessing to be in it and if you’re not accountable you won’t be here long.

“Chip Kelly is more of a coach that’s more hands on. There aren’t a lot of leaders on the team. He’s more of the leader. Then also his thing is how you approach the game. He has models for everything. With Rex for a big game he’ll just say you know how important this game is and I shouldn’t have to tell you to get in your playbook, to study. You shouldn’t be out late. You should be already mentally focused for this game. Chip would just be on you. He’d be telling you about the amount of sleep you need. They’re just different.”

For McCoy he believes that Ryan’s approach fosters more player leadership, which usually translates to players taking more ownership in how the team performs week to week. That finally began to take hold with the Bills heading into the final two games of the 2015 regular season.

“Rex definitely has that NFL approach. Let guys be veterans,” McCoy said. “He’s coached with guys like Ray Lewis and Bart Scott and Darrelle Revis who are guys that are leaders. So you let the veterans lead and you have your troops. Your soldiers will follow. I think Chip is kind of the opposite. He dictates how things are supposed to go and pushes the message like that.”

As for McCoy’s explanation as to why he was traded by Philadelphia, he has only a theory.

“I guess he thought that it’d be better if DeMarco (Murray) was there,” said McCoy of Kelly’s decision to trade him. “I can’t say how it came about, but that’s how it went down. Just being honest.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Anthony Lynn up for 49ers OC job

Posted by Chris Brown on January 20, 2016 – 9:28 am

Bills running backs coach Anthony Lynn interviewed for the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins head coaching jobs over the last few weeks. Despite having a head coach in place in Chip Kelly, the 49ers are calling him back to see if he’s interested in their offensive coordinator position.

That according to FOX Sports Alex Marvez.


Lynn has long been praised by Bills head coach Rex Ryan as one of the best position coaches in the NFL. He served this past season as Bills Assistant head coach/running backs. Also reported to be in the running for the job is Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin and Detroit assistant coach/run game coordinator Curtis Modkins, a former Bills assistant himself under Chan Gailey.

Bills current offensive coordinator Greg Roman did a similar thing last year. After not getting the nod for the Bills head coaching post he eventually took the offensive coordinator job with Buffalo under Rex Ryan.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

McCoy already excited about 2016 prospects

Posted by Chris Brown on January 20, 2016 – 9:04 am

LeSean McCoy doesn’t believe he had his best season in 2015 by a long shot. He blames his hamstring injury for compromising his effectiveness as a game breaking talent capable of leading an offense. But what he saw from Tyrod Taylor and knowing there will be another season with offensive coordinator Greg Roman calling the shots, Buffalo’s feature back is already getting amped up for the 2016 season.

“For the first year we played well,” said McCoy in an appearance on NFL Network’s Total Access show Tuesday night. “There were times when we played really, really well and times we didn’t. As a team we can do a lot better, especially myself.

“I think a lot of that has to do with me going out there and being healthy and putting it on the line for my teammates. This year I didn’t feel I played as well as I should have. The way Tyrod played he had a great year. That second year when he’s more confident and running the show for sure and another year with Greg Roman. I love his offense. With the pieces we have there we can get it together.”

McCoy is also confident that Buffalo’s defense will bounce back from a down season saying the coaches and players finally got things squared away at the end of last season.

“Rex Ryan he’s going to get control of the defense with him and his brother,” said McCoy.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Titans open to moving out of draft’s top spot

Posted by Chris Brown on January 19, 2016 – 9:56 am

The Tennessee Titans made it clear that they’re not married to the number one overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.

Titans new GM Jon Robinson made that claim at a press conference this week, as reported by Titans beat reporter Paul Kuharsky.

A move out of the top spot to gain more draft choices is an obvious play for Tennessee, which needs to increase it’s talent base and depth. Not in the market for a quarterback at the top of the draft with their wagon hitched to Marcus Mariota, the Titans figure to draw interest as draft season draws closer.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills special teams rank for 2015

Posted by Chris Brown on January 19, 2016 – 9:28 am

Buffalo’s special teams units had a banner year in 2014 finishing second in the league overall. This year their performance slipped due to a number of factors, but their ranking was still middle of the pack when all was said and done.

Longtime Dallas Morning News columnist Rick Gosselin recently released his 2015 NFL special teams rankings, which measures teams in 22 different categories and assigns points based on their ranking from 1 to 32. Buffalo finished 16th in 2015 with 357 points.

Topping the league were Baltimore, the New York Giants and Jacksonville as they compiled the lowest scores (low score wins). Here’s a look at Gosselin’s rankings list for 2015.

Rank Team Composite ranking
1 Baltimore 231
2 NY Giants 271.5
3 Jacksonville 295
4 Cowboys 310.5
5 Philadelphia 313
6 Pittsburgh 316.5
7 Denver 320
8 Cincinnati 331
9 Kansas City 332
10 Minnesota 333
11 New England 342
12 Chicago 349
13 Washington 350.5
14 Detroit 352
15 Miami 355.5
16 Buffalo 357
17 Green Bay 360.5
18 St. Louis 361
19 Cleveland 362
20 Indianapolis 369
21 New Orleans 372
22 Atlanta 374.5
23 Houston 389.5
24 Seattle 394
25 Oakland 399.5
26 Tampa Bay 406.5
27 San Francisco 411
28 Tennessee 429.5
29 Arizona 434
30 Carolina 447
31 NY Jets 456
32 San Diego 490.5

Posted in Inside the Bills

Kelly on next step for Tyrod

Posted by Chris Brown on January 18, 2016 – 9:07 am

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly said Tyrod Taylor had a good year in 2015. He also outlined one specific part of quarterbacking that he feels is a crucial next step for Taylor in the future. 

Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Kelly feels recognizing defenses more efficiently will help Taylor reach the next level of quarterback play. 

“For Tyrod he has to read defensive coverages quicker,” said Kelly. “I think there were times where he was a little confused with what he was seeing. So with more time on the job and going through it and seeing more he can get a handle each and every snap as to what defenses are throwing at him. But he did well for a guy who in many ways was a rookie.”

Kelly said he believes Taylor has the ability and work ethic to improve and is eager to see what steps he can take to advance his game in 2016. 

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Tyrod to be on NFL Network Saturday

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2016 – 5:42 pm

Bills QB Tyrod Taylor will be an in studio guest on NFL Network Saturday.

Taylor will join NFL Network’s NFL GameDay First in-studio Saturday at 10 am. Tyrod will join host Melissa Stark and analysts Shaun O’Hara, Michael Robinson and Brian Billick on the two-hour show. He’s slated to break down some of the Divisional playoff matchups. He played against both the Chiefs and Patriots.

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Boykin: Taylor would look for me in crunch time

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2016 – 12:26 pm

One of Buffalo’s newest wide receivers is Jarrett Boykin, who signed a reserve/future free agent this past week. He appeared on the John Murphy Show and talked about what he hopes to accomplish through the course of the 2016 offseason in the hopes of making the 53-man roster. He also spoke about his familiarity with Tyrod Taylor, who was a college teammate at Virginia Tech.

Boykin said that he and Taylor had a great on field chemistry at Tech, especially when the game is on the line.

“My and Ty were on the same page. He would look for me in crunch time situations,” said Boykin. “We just knew what we had to do. We all wanted to win as a team down there. Tyrod knows what he wants and will work as hard as he needs to in order to get what he wants. He deserves everything that’s coming to him now.

“I’m proud of the things he’s done up there in Buffalo. He proved a lot of things up there and that he’s a really good quarterback.”

Boykin, who was at One Bills Drive late in the regular season for a workout, caught up with Taylor, who watched the workout. He and Taylor intend to get some time together on the field this offseason.

“I talked to him when I went up for my workout and again when I signed and he congratulated me,” said Boykin. “And we haven’t been able to get together in the offseason, but we’ll definitely do that now.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-15

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2016 – 12:04 pm

A couple of adds to the coaching staff and the roster this week. Here are your latest questions from email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Chris, can u see the Bills being interested in D.Harrison or H.Ngata if available in FA? Both r NTs that know Rex system


CB: While there’s no debating that Harrison and Ngata know Ryan’s defense, I think interest in Ngata and Harrison depends solely on price. I don’t see the Bills investing heavily in their defensive line with so much money tied up there already. Even if Mario Williams isn’t on the roster next year they still have some fat contracts with Dareus, Hughes and Kyle.

So the play there is to go for the affordable options and use draft choices. That probably means Damon Harrison is a more likely option than Haloti Ngata, who even at age 31 would probably command a higher price tag than Harrison, who is a role player.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills to what extent do you foresee Rob Ryan playing a part in the defense next season? #Bills


CB: Here’s how I see the Rob Ryan hiring playing out. After both of them had a down season in terms of defensive ranking there is great motivation by both to redeem themselves and their family name as it pertains to putting together great defensive units.

Rex trusts his brother to do right by the principles of the defense and I think Rob will probably have a heavy hand in the defensive planning. That will allow Rex to take on more of a big picture role as a head coach where he can focus more on the all-encompassing duties that job demands.

I’m not sure Rex will relinquish play calling duties on game day to Rob or anybody else for that matter, but with his title being Assistant head coach/Defense, it’s safe to say Rob Ryan will play a major role in getting this defense back to a level more typically associated with the Ryan name.


3 – @ChrisBrownBills Will the Ryan brothers realize that Mario Williams was right?


CB: I think this is what you need to consider before you blindly accept Mario Williams comments as truth. When there is a scheme change via a new coaching staff coming in there has to be 100 percent buy in from the players. If there is not 100 percent commitment, especially in a scheme as intricate as Rex Ryan’s it simply does not work.

Did Mario Williams buy into Rex Ryan’s scheme 100 percent at any point this season? When his role in this defensive scheme wasn’t to his liking did he still play to the best of his ability every snap, every week?

I will let Preston Brown answer that question for you with some comments he made with just two games left in the season after the team was eliminated from playoff contention.

“Guys have got to buy into the system, especially on the defensive side,” said Brown. “We don’t really know how good we could’ve been because everybody wasn’t doing what they were supposed to do on each play. We can’t say it was the scheme. Mentally everybody wasn’t there.

“It’s something that we have to handle. We have to understand that everybody has to be working as one and we haven’t done that this year. Everybody has been kind of doing their own agenda on our side of the ball. So it’s something that we need to get covered and handle these last couple of games and years down the road.

“Everybody keeps saying last year we were a top four defense and everybody was still thinking about last year. We’ve got to get over that. It’s not last year and guys were still thinking, ‘Oh we did this last year.’ Well we’re not doing that this year. So we’ve got to understand that we’re doing a different scheme and a different system and it works if everybody does it the right way.”

As a side note I applaud Preston Brown for revealing just what the problems were this season. There were a couple of players that compromised the integrity and effectiveness of the scheme for the sake of their own self-interest. Fortunately a couple of young players stepped forward to lead this team and called out those players so a promising season doesn’t get submarined again.


4 – @ChrisBrownBills what’s the chances of the #Bills holding onto Mario Williams? Should they?


CB: What we do know is Mario Williams contract is cost prohibitive. His $19.9M cap figure is something that has to be re-worked through restructuring or eliminated by some other means. Buffalo has free agent priorities in Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito. Those contracts simply cannot get done without a giant contract like Williams’ being adjusted or taken care of in some other fashion.

I think most know that Mario Williams’ performance didn’t live up to his salary, and we know all too well why he feels he wasn’t effective in Rex Ryan’s scheme.

No matter which way you slice it his contract has to be addressed. I’m sure the Bills will exhaust every option to have it settled by the time they need to get Glenn and Incognito back under contract. Whether that means he’s here or not is another story.


5- @ChrisBrownBills Do you expect to see Buffalo run a more traditional 3-4 base defense this year, like we’ve seen from Rex in the past?


CB: I don’t think it’s any secret that Rex Ryan wants to run a purer version of what has traditionally been successful for him defensively than what he ran in Buffalo this past season. He himself admitted that trying to blend some of the concepts from the 2014 Bills defense just didn’t work and had to scrap it midseason.

How far he goes in running a more traditional 3-4 will hinge on the talent turnover defensively from now until next spring. If the proper pieces are in place then it’s probably full steam ahead. If not, it might have more of a hybrid look to it like we saw in 2013 under Mike Pettine.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whaley on biggest strides Taylor made

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2016 – 2:30 pm

He was a first-year starter in a new offensive system with 10 new teammates around him and he’d have to split reps three ways until the start of the regular season with two other quarterbacks. And while those factors may have slowed the progress of Tyrod Taylor it didn’t keep him from making significant strides in his game.

Bills GM Doug Whaley in a sitdown interview with outlined where he felt his quarterback made the most notable advances with his performance from start number one to start number 14 at the end of the season.

“I think the biggest strides were made with him in terms of being more comfortable in the pocket, command in the huddle and command with the offense in general,” said Whaley of Taylor. “In the first game you saw some very exciting things, but it was more out of just feel. He was like, ‘Okay let me be a football player. I’m not really that comfortable, but I think I can do this.’ To now where he was like, ‘I know what I’m doing. Let me do this. If it’s not there I know what my options are after that.’ So continued maturation with him as a quarterback. We’re excited about that. I know he’s excited about that and we think he’s just scratching the surface.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Taylor vs. other Bills 1st yr. starting QBs

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2016 – 11:15 am

With Tyrod Taylor’s first season as a starting QB with Buffalo now in the books we decided to take a look at how Taylor’s passing numbers stacked up with other Bills signal callers in their first year as starters for Buffalo.

With a tip of the hat to our media relations department, here’s a look at how Taylor ranks in the passing game.

The criteria was in their first season as starter they had to start in at least 10 games.

Taylor was one of only four quarterbacks to post a winning record (8-6). He leads all first-year Bills starters in yards per attempt (7.99), had the fewest interceptions (6) and the highest quarterback rating (99.4).

The rushing stats (2nd table below) Taylor’s numbers are even more impressive. He is the franchise single-season leader in rushing yards by a QB (568). And even though he does have the most rushing attempts he still leads first-year Bills starting QBs in yards per carry (5.5).

Bills Quarterbacks in first year as starter (min. 10 starts) – Passing

Dennis Shaw 1970 3-8-1 14 12 321 178 2507 55.5% 7.81 10 20 6.23% 65.3
Joe Ferguson 1973 9-5 14 14 164 73 939 44.5% 5.73 4 10 6.10% 45.8
Jim Kelly 1986 4-12 16 16 480 285 3593 59.4% 7.49 22 17 3.54% 83.3
Doug Flutie 1998 7-3 13 10 354 202 2711 57.1% 7.66 20 11 3.11% 87.4
Drew Bledsoe 2002 8-8 16 16 610 375 4359 61.5% 7.15 24 15 2.46% 86.0
EJ Manuel 2013 4-6 10 10 306 180 1972 58.8% 6.44 11 9 2.94% 77.7
Kyle Orton 2014 7-5 12 12 447 287 3018 64.2% 6.75 18 10 2.24% 87.8
Tyrod Taylor 2015 8-6 14 14 380 242 3035 63.7% 7.99 20 6 1.58% 99.4

Bills quarterbacks in their first year as starter – Rushing

Dennis Shaw 1970 3-8-1 14 12 39 210 5.4 0
Joe Ferguson 1973 9-5 14 14 48 147 3.1 2
Jim Kelly 1986 4-12 16 16 41 199 4.9 0
Doug Flutie 1998 7-3 13 10 48 248 5.2 1
Drew Bledsoe 2002 8-8 16 16 27 67 2.5 2
EJ Manuel 2013 4-6 10 10 53 186 3.5 0
Kyle Orton 2014 7-5 12 12 15 14 0.9 1
Tyrod Taylor 2015 8-6 14 14 104 568 5.5 4

Posted in Inside the Bills

Taylor formulating offseason workout plans

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2016 – 9:15 am

There aren’t many with a strong work ethic than Tyrod Taylor, who as we covered on today, did it all for Buffalo’s offense in 2015. Now that he’s entering 2016 as Buffalo’s incumbent starting quarterback, he’s more motivated than ever to come in as prepared and ready as possible for the 2016 campaign when players report in April.

Last offseason Taylor worked with two-time NFL MVP Kurt Warner for a brief time last offseason, but he’s unsure if he’ll work with a QB instructor one-on-one again this offseason.

“I haven’t really gotten a chance to reach back out to (Kurt Warner) and talk to him,” said Taylor. “I haven’t thought about that yet. At some point I will. I’ll talk to (quarterbacks) coach (David) Lee, talk to coach Roman, bounce ideas off them and see where we should go as far as that goes.”

The only thing Taylor plans to change about his routine this offseason is to make time to work with some of his offensive teammates, particularly the receivers.

“The only thing that changes is you get a chance to work with the guys you’re going to be playing with,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working with these guys once everyone gets healthy and has time to go back to spend time with their families. I’m looking forward to getting in there and working with these guys.”

Posted in Inside the Bills