Inside The Bills

Bills pass rush to face best in pass pro

Posted by Chris Brown on July 20, 2016 – 10:28 am

In our Camp Countdown today (Wednesday) we examine whether the Bills will enjoy a sack resurgence after a franchise low 21 sacks in 2015. While the number figures to increase in some fashion, how much could be impacted by the fact that the Bills will be facing some of the best pass protection units in football this season.

Here’s a look at the league’s 2015 leaders in sacked percentage. Buffalo is facing four of the top six pass protection teams in the NFL from last season. Obviously rosters and offensive lines change from one year to the next, but knowing the Bills have nine games against teams that finished in the top half of the league in preventing sacks you realize that it’s going to be no easy task to make a giant leap in sack production in 2016.

There is a flip side as six of Buffalo’s games will be against teams that ranked 23rd or lower in sack percentage. The Bills can rack up sacks against the lesser protection teams, but timely quarterback takedowns are most valuable. Can Buffalo get them against the top teams?

Here’s a look at Buffalo’s opponents ranked by 2015 sacked percentage.

1 – Baltimore – 676 pass attempts – 24 sacks – 3.4%
2 – NY Jets – 604 pass attempts – 22 sacks – 3.5%
3 – LA Rams – 473 pass attempts – 18 sacks – 3.7%
6 – Arizona – 562 pass attempts – 27 sacks – 4.6%
10 – Oakland – 605 pass attempts – 35 sacks – 5.2%
11 – Pittsburgh – 590 pass attempts – 33 sacks – 5.3%
16 – New England – 629 pass attempts – 38 sacks – 5.7%
18 – Cincinnati – 505 pass atempts – 32 sacks – 6%
23 – Miami – 588 pass attempts – 45 sacks – 7.1%
25 – Jacksonville – 607 pass attempts – 51 sacks – 7.8%
26 – Cleveland – 609 pass attempts – 53 sacks – 8%
28 – Seattle – 489 pass attempts – 46 sacks – 8.6%
32 – San Francisco – 526 pass attempts – 53 sacks – 9.2%


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Bills interested in RB Reggie Bush

Posted by Chris Brown on July 18, 2016 – 11:22 am

There has been a lot of speculation that the Bills might be on the lookout for veteran RB help with Karlos Williams suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season following violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport first reported that Buffalo had a certain free agent running back they are interested in.

Buffalobills.com confirmed that the Bills have presented Bush with a contract offer.

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According to NFL.com the Bills have made a contract offer to Bush.

Bush is coming off an ACL injury in the 2015 season, suffered when he slipped at the Edwards Jones Dome in St. Louis last season after running out of bounds and slipping awkwardly on the concrete where the turf field ended.


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Free agent RB Foster works out for Miami today

Posted by Chris Brown on July 18, 2016 – 10:23 am

Free agent RB Arian Foster is probably the best veteran ball carrier still on the market, and he’ll be working out for the Miami Dolphins today. ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported Miami’s interest along with another club.

The Detroit Lions will reportedly work out Foster later this week, provided the Dolphins don’t sign him first.


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Brady not seeking stay of suspension

Posted by Chris Brown on July 15, 2016 – 1:41 pm

Patriots QB Tom Brady whose request for an en banc rehearing of his Deflategate case rejected by the US Court of Appeals 2nd Corcuit this week has decided to not seek a stay of the four game suspension. 

Brady however, along with the NFLPA has not ruled out petitioning the Supreme Court to hear his case. The NFLPA released the following statement on his behalf. 

After careful consideration and discussion with Tom Brady, the NFLPA will not be seeking a stay of the four game suspension with the 2nd Circuit. This decision was made in the interest of certainty and planning for Tom prior to the New England Patriots season. We will continue to review all of our options and we reserve our rights to petition for cert to the Supreme Court.

Brady’s current four-game suspension would render him in eligible for the Patriots Week 4 game against the Buffalo Bills. 
 


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Fan Friday 7-15

Posted by Chris Brown on July 15, 2016 – 12:03 pm

After a two week vacation Fan Friday returns. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills who is the starting RT, nickel corner, how far apart are gilmore and organization on new agreement?

@ZachDrohweder

CB: The favorite going into camp for the starting right tackle spot is Jordan Mills. Seantrel Henderson has to prove he’s healthy and capable of practicing day in and day out if he’s going to try to win the job back. Cyrus Kouandjio has an uphill battle in front of him to unseat one of them for a starting role.

Nickell Robey is the incumbent and favorite to keep the nickel job, but he’ll have big time competition from Sterling Moore. Corey White is another corner who may factor in there, but Moore will likely be his stiffest competition inside.

As for Gilmore there is no new developments at this point, but that doesn’t mean things can’t change in the next couple of weeks. As has been stated before, the deal Washington handed Josh Norman ($15M/yr) threw the entire cornerback market out of whack. It’s inflated the market beyond where it was expected to be right now and has NFL clubs with top corners concerned they won’t be able to keep them under contract due to where the market was set with the Norman deal.

Norman is largely a zone corner and got paid $15M per year. Players like Gilmore, a man-to-man corner arguably have a tougher job than Norman and are probably expecting at least that much. If Gilmore holds fast to a $15M/yr. contract demand there’s likely to be no new agreement anytime soon. I can’t see the Bills going that high.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills Does Jonathan Williams chances take a big hit because of his lapse in judgement? I am really disappointed.

@GraysonTumult

CB: I’m sure the Bills coaching staff is disappointed too after all the encouraging signs they saw from the rookie running back in minicamp. I felt he had a legitimate chance of being the team’s backup to LeSean McCoy. He’ll still be able to compete for that role at training camp, so I don’t know how big a hit this DUI charge will have in terms of where he ends up on the running back depth chart.

Williams’ DUI charges will now be handled in the courts. If he’s found guilty a first offense under the NFL’s revised policy (2014) for DUI will result in a two-game suspension. Based on informed NFL sources that suspension stands a good chance of being imposed at some point during the 2016 regular season.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills where do you think the Bills will rank defensively now that Rex has more guys who supposedly fit his system?

@BenLebo

CB: If everything goes according to plan with Ryan’s more traditional 3-4 scheme, the starting lineup stay relatively healthy and rookies like Reggie Ragland and Adolphus Washington contribute as expected and Shaq Lawson can be back in time to play more than half the season (10 games?) then I think this defense can flirt with being a top 10 unit again.

Granted those are a lot of variables I listed, but the key here is they feel they’ve greatly improved the coaching staff on that side of the ball with DL coach John Blake, Asst. secondary coach Ed Reed and Assistant head coach Rob Ryan. I think the players on defense also learned a very hard lesson last season when they did not fully buy into Rex’s system. So I believe the motivation will be there to redeem themselves after a down season.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills who’s your sleeper going into training camp to make a big impact, possibly start?

Paul catalano@pfc322

CB: I don’t know about sleepers that will start, but I think Dez Lewis could challenge for the No. 3 WR role. He’s really come on entering his second season and had a solid spring. I think Blake Annen is a tight end candidate who could be Charles Clay’s understudy from a pass catching perspective even though vet Jim Dray is the designated blocking TE. And I think with a strong camp rookie Kevon Seymour could be one of the first corners off the bench if there’s an injury to Gilmore or Darby during the season.

I outlined some top sleepers in our Camp Countdown this week.

 

5 – Chris,

Can you give an update on how Kolby Listenbee looks and his chances to make the roster? He has the straight line speed that no one on the roster has but is raw in his routes. I don’t expect him to win the 3rd WR job but is his long term potential and ability to stretch the field make him have more value than some others? Is he a special teams guy either as gunner/returner?

Josh

CB: Listenbee was very limited in the spring coming off double sports hernia surgery. That was followed by an inflamed pelvis. He’s been here at One Bills Drive since minicamp working to complete all his rehab and get medically cleared. At this point I’m not sure it’s going to happen by training camp. His rehab has had some peaks and valleys.

There’s no debating his playmaking potential knowing his straight line speed is world class, and he figures to be an option on kick returns. It all depends on whether he’s cleared medically to participate when training camp opens.

 


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Watkins in top 20 for fantasy players

Posted by Chris Brown on July 15, 2016 – 10:11 am

The NFL Network has been unveiling their top 50 Fantasy Players for 2016 as compiled by the NFL.com fantasy experts. Sammy Watkins was the latest Bills player to appear on the list after LeSean McCoy was ranked 26th overall earlier this week.

Watkins checked in at 20th overall in the latest portion of the list unveiled Thursday night. Here’s a look at the top 50 list thus far, with the top 10 to be unveiled tonight (Friday) on NFL Network at 8 pm EST.

50. Tyler Eifert – Cincinnati Bengals, TE
49. T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts, WR
48. Emmanuel Sanders – Denver Broncos, WR
47. Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers, TE
46. Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks, RB
45. Jay Ajayi – Miami Dolphins, RB
44. Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins, TE
43. Kelvin Benjamin – Carolina Panthers, WR
42. Latavius Murray – Oakland Raiders, RB
41. Ryan Matthews – Philadelphia Eagles, RB

40. Jeremy Maclin — Kansas City Chiefs, WR
39. Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks, QB
38. Jarvis Landry – Miami Dolphins, WR
37. Julian Edelman – New England Patriots, WR
36. Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers, RB
35. Keenan Allen – San Diego Chargers, WR
34. Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos, WR
33. Matt Forte – New York Jets, RB
32. Carlos Hyde – San Francisco 49ers, RB
31. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers, QB

30. C.J. Anderson – Denver Broncos, RB
29. Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders, WR
28. Brandin Cooks – New Orleans Saints, WR
27. Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers, QB
26. LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills, RB
25. Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints, RB
24. Eddie Lacy – Green Bay Packers, RB
23. Thomas Rawls – Seattle Seahawks, RB
22. Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WR
21. Brandon Marshall – New York Jets, WR

20. Sammy Watkins – Buffalo Bills, WR
19. Alshon Jeffrey – Chicago Bears, WR
18. Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers, WR
17. Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, RB
16. A.J. Green – Cincinnati Bengals, WR
15. Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons
14. Allen Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars, WR
13. Lamar Miller – Houston Texans, RB
12. Jamaal Charles – Washington Redskins, RB
11. Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys, WR


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Bills team statement on Jonathan Williams arrest

Posted by Chris Brown on July 14, 2016 – 10:55 am

Bills rookie RB Jonathan Williams was arrested early Thursday morning on suspicion of DUI in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Buffalo Bills have released the following statement in the wake of the incident.

“We are aware of the report and are in the process of gathering information. We have notified the league office of the report under the rules of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy.”

Williams was Buffalo’s fifth-round pick in last spring’s NFL draft.

 


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Dareus “hates” that Brady unlikely to play Wk 4

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

With the 2nd Circuit of the US Court of Appeals rejecting Tom Brady’s request for an en banc rehearing of his Deflategate case with the NFL, it makes it highly unlikely that the Patriots quarterback will play in the first month of the season. His four game suspension is likely to be served at the start of the 2016 season. That means he’ll miss the Patriots first game against the Bills in Week 4. One guy who is not happy about that is Bills DT Marcell Dareus.

“I hate that Brady’s not going to be there,” said Dareus in an appearance on NFL Total Access. “But when he comes back… it’s on.”

Buffalo’s second matchup with New England will be at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Week 8. If the Bills win the first meeting sans Brady, Dareus said he’ll take the victory, but it won’t feel the same.

“If we win, all right, we win. But I don’t feel like I really won until I beat the guy,” he said. “I love playing against Brady. I get up for him. I play against him every year, and he knows I’m coming. So for him not to be up there tears me up a little bit. But the second time I see him, I’m going to be excited to play against him. That’s the win we want.”


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Brady denied appeal, Deflategate suspension upheld

Posted by Chris Brown on July 13, 2016 – 11:14 am

Tom Brady’s appeal for an en banc hearing by the Second Circuit of the US Court of Appeals has been denied. The ruling by the Second Circuit’s 13 judges came down this morning. It all but ensures that Brady will miss the first four games of the 2016 season.

That includes New England’s Week 4 home game against the Bills, meaning that backup QB Jimmy Garappolo will be the anticipated starter against Buffalo, one of two division games during the course of Brady’s league imposed four-game Deflategate suspension (Miami is the other in Week 2).

His appeal to the Second Circuit was a long shot at best. According to the Boston Globe between 2000-2010 the Second Circuit has granted an en banc appeal to just eight of more than 27,000 cases over that 10-year span.

Brady can still petition the Supreme Court to hear his case and potentially overturn the Second Circuit panel’s 2-1 decision against him, but it’s considered ill advised by legal experts in light of the Second Circuit’s denial.

The NFL Players Association released a statement shortly after the 2nd Circuit denial and stated that they will review all of their options carefully on behalf of Tom Brady.

If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case (considered highly unlikely), according to the USA Today, Brady and the union could seek a stay that would allow him to play while the proceedings play out in court — a process that could take up to a couple of years.

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly, in an appearance on the Rich Eisen show, was hopeful that Buffalo could dethrone New England at the top of the AFC East this season.

“I hope we unseat that guy named Tom Brady sooner than later because I’ll tell you what, enough’s enough,” he said with a laugh. “You’ve already broken the records. You’re already the greatest quarterback ever to play the game. But I respect him. I like Tom, he’s a good friend of mine, but it’s time to change.”

Right now it appears that the Deflategate suspension will help in that regard.

 

 

 


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Worst flame-outs in sports history has Bills tie

Posted by Chris Brown on July 12, 2016 – 11:35 am

ESPN put together a top 25 list of worst flame-outs in sports history. Fortunately this is one list the Bills did not make, but there is a Buffalo tie to the holders of the top spot on this list.

Holding the number one slot for worst sports flame-out in sports history are the 1992 Houston Oilers, for their colossal collapse at the hands of the the defending AFC champion Bills. Here was the synopsis of Houston’s historic flame-out.

1. Houston Oilers, 1992 AFC wild-card game (Jan. 3, 1993)

Seemingly, Bubba McDowell had slammed the door on the Bills in Buffalo. When the Houston linebacker returned an interception for a touchdown in the third quarter, few observers could imagine the Bills rallying from a 35-3 deficit. But that’s exactly what happened, as the Oilers opened the door to the largest comeback in NFL postseason history with a litany of mistakes. Bills quarterback Frank Reich, filling in for the injured Jim Kelly, rebounded from the interception to throw four touchdown passes, including three to Andre Reed. Buffalo kicker Steve Christie kicked the winning field goal in overtime as the Bills outlasted the Oilers 41-38. Afterward, Oilers cornerback Cris Dishman didn’t mince words: “It was the biggest choke in history. … When we had them down, we should have cut their throats, but we let them breathe and gave them new life.”

 

 


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A closer look at Bills free agent bargains

Posted by Chris Brown on July 12, 2016 – 11:08 am

This offseason some NFL clubs threw a ton of money around. Philadelphia and Jacksonville were the most egregious examples ($543M & $357M). There were some interesting figures though concerning the Bills, who made a concerted effort to add free agent bargains who have a respectable amount of playing experience in the league.

Spotrac put together a look at the offseason spending of NFL clubs in 2016 and the Bills ranked 21st in total offseason spending. The contract extensions for Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito were largely responsible for Buffalo’s total spending figure as more than $75M of their $152M spending total went to in-house extensions (49%).

The Bills, despite signing the 11th highest number of free agents this offseason (12), they spent the least amount of money ponying up just over $10.5M.

Buffalo signed a handful of free agents to one-year deals with several agreeing to veteran exemption deals that provides additional cap relief to a team. Among some of the notables in that category were CB Corey White, S Robert Blanton, WR Leonard Hankerson and TE Jim Dray.

The front office did spend a good amount of money on players signed off waivers where they ranked fourth in total spending, committing more than $25M.


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Aaron: I want the respect of my peers

Posted by Chris Brown on July 12, 2016 – 8:36 am

Re-establishing his game after a neck injury allowed him to play in just three games in 2015, Aaron Williams is determined to prove to his teammates that they can count on him. As we covered in our Camp Countdown today Williams still has some hurdles to clear and some adjustments to make to his game coming off the neck injury, but it’s clear he wants to prove he can be relied upon just like he always has.

“I do whatever it takes for my team to win,” Williams said. “I’m giving it everything that I have in each game. I want the respect from my peers and let them know that if it does happen where the last game does happen for me, I want my peers to know that I gave everything I had each and every game. I never took a day off or slacked at any rep, I did it from the bottom of my heart for the love of this game, that I gave everything I have. That’s the respect I just want from my peers and from the fans.”

Williams has stated several times that he won’t know for sure what his future playing career holds until he makes that first hit later this summer, whether it’s in practice or the preseason.

The important thing is Williams has a clean bill of health.

“I passed all of the tests with flying colors. I had to go through the process with doctors and the trainers,” said Williams. “We went through it thoroughly and made sure that before I come back, make sure that everything is suitable for me to at least go out there and cover some guys here and there and that I’m not having trouble turning my neck or any source of that. Everything has been fine. Once again, I’ve been having a lot of fun being out there with my players and with the coaches.”

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills QB position ranks middle of pack

Posted by Chris Brown on July 11, 2016 – 1:31 pm

Buffalo had the most encouraging quarterback play from a new starter since the days of Drew Bledsoe in 2015. Tyrod Taylor won the three-man quarterback competition and impressed in his first year as a starter. That helped the Bills rank in the middle of the pack when it came to the 32 quarterback depth charts in the NFL.

Pro Football Focus ranked each of the quarterback situations in the league. Buffalo ranked 14th. Here was their assessment.

14. Buffalo Bills

Starter: Tyrod Taylor
Backup: E.J. Manuel, Cardale Jones

Key stat: Taylor gained 566 rushing yards last season, 405 of which came on QB scrambles.

Tyrod Taylor was a revelation last season for the Bills, who entered camp with a QB competition involving Matt Cassel and E.J. Manuel. Taylor was supposed to be an afterthought, but he won the job and was impressive during the regular season, making plays with his legs and hitting on some of the best passes thrown by any QB in the NFL. The question is whether that’s as good as he can get, or whether there is more development left in him after a year as a starter. If he can improve the intermediate efficiency of his game, Taylor can become an excellent QB, but there is no guarantee he can. Taylor is still too reliant on his legs for impact plays, with 566 rushing yards last season, 405 of which came from scrambles on passing plays. Those are obviously positive additions, but they illustrate a tendency to take off and a potential inability to make enough plays with his arm so far.


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Goodwin doesn’t qualify for US team

Posted by Chris Brown on July 3, 2016 – 10:34 pm

Marquise Goodwin made it to the finals for the long jump at the US Olympic trials, but did not finish in the top three Sunday night costing him a shot to represent the US team in Rio in August. 

Goodwin finished seventh overall with a best jump of just over 27 feet. The three qualifiers were Jeff Henderson, Jarrion Lawson and Marquise Dendy. 

Henderson’s winning jump was 28 feet 2 1/4 inches. Lawson went 28 feet and 1 7/8 inches. Dendy went 27 feet 7 1/2 inches. 

Though disappointed Goodwin tweeted that he was thankful to God for the opportunity and his victory was overcoming the fear of losing. 

This also means that Goodwin will report to Bills training camp on time after missing the entire series of OTA practices and minicamp this spring while training for the long jump. 

Goodwin will be part of a crowded field of receivers and returners at St. John Fisher this summer including a rookie receiver in Kolby Listenbee who can match his elite speed. 

Goodwin’s wife, Morgan Snow Goodwin, will compete in the women’s 100-meter hurdles event on Thursday.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Goodwin in long jump finals

Posted by Chris Brown on July 3, 2016 – 7:41 am

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin cut things awfully close, but he’s in the long jump finals at the US Track and Field Olympic Trials. 

Goodwin placed 12th, the last qualifying position to reach the finals for the long jump. 

Goodwin needs to place in the top three in the finals to make the Olympic team. The finals for the long jump take place at 7:45 ET (4:45 Pacific) in Eugene, Oregon. 


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Bills former personnel man Dwight Adams passes

Posted by Chris Brown on June 27, 2016 – 8:48 pm

Dwight Adams, a key personnel man for the Bills during the 90’s, passed away Sunday. 

Adams was a critical component of Buffalo’s strong draft record under former GM John Butler through the 90’s, when the Bills were one of the league’s winningest teams. He served primarily as Director of College Scouting. 

Adams was famous among Bills fans for turning a line when asked to describe a particular college prospect. 

He once said of Bills former first-round pick Antoine Winfield that – “He plays like his hair is on fire.”

When someone asked about Bills former draft choice Jamie Nails (one of the first behemoth offensive linemen to play for the Bills) losing 20 pounds Adams said it wasn’t a big deal.

“That’d be like throwing a deck chair off the Titanic,” said Adams. 

He was also one of the first to describe receiving prospects as a “7-11 receiver – he’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Adams. 

After John Butler was dismissed as Bills GM in 2001, Adams’ role was reduced under Tom Donahoe. 

Inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame just last year, Adams was a two-sports star at Henderson State, helped coach Clemson and Florida to conference titles in college in addition to his NFL scouting exploits. 

Adams was also inducted into the Henderson state Hall of honor in 2014. 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-24

Posted by Chris Brown on June 24, 2016 – 11:24 am

The offseason break for the players is underway. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

Thanks for your tireless work on covering the Bills! Here is my question. Will the Bills be able to carry Seantrel Henderson on the Non Football Injury list, while he is attempting to gain his strength, build his weight back up and determine if he can resume his football career? This will open a roster spot for the team through camp and maybe beyond.

CB: Yes, the non-football injury list is an option for Buffalo with Henderson should your scenario prove to be the case come training camp. Henderson was at 306 during minicamp when he was doing workouts in the weight room on his own in practices. He wants to get up to 325 to 330 pounds when he’s back playing again. We’ll know if the five and a half weeks between now and training camp proves to be enough time for him to accomplish that. If not, the NFI list would seem to be a distinct possibility.

 

2 – Chris,

I’m curious if you think P Colton Schmidt had trouble holding for K Dan Carpenter last season?  In his interview with Brian Moorman he mentioned how difficult it was for him to hold kicks, since he never did it in college.  Is it possible the chemistry wasn’t there between the FG kicker and the holder, and the unit suffered as a result?

Thanks,
Ed

CB:
I give Schmidt a lot of credit for being so honest. There were at least two misses for Carpenter last season that I recall which could’ve been attributed to a less than ideal hold by the Bills punter. One was because the snap was off line and there wasn’t enough to get the ball down and spin the laces out, though I can’t remember the game. On the whole though I felt Schmidt acquitted himself well on holds.

I felt the chemistry was pretty solid between the two with the operation of the kick. I expect it to be even better this year based on what I saw in the spring practices.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think that the defense can make it back to a top tier defense in the NFL?
Troy Davis

CB: This is one of the questions we intend to address during our Camp Countdown, which commences on July 4th. I think there are a host of reasons Buffalo’s defense has a chance to be a top 10 unit again. Much of the talent is still on this roster from the last two times they finished in the top 10 (2013, 2014).

They have upgraded their defensive coaching ranks with the addition of Rob Ryan, John Blake and Ed Reed.

Fixtures in the middle of their defense are healthy again (Aaron Williams, Kyle Williams). Rookie additions look poised to make an impact early (Ragland, Washington and eventually Lawson). And no longer is Ryan trying to blend his proven defensive scheme with elements of Jim Schwartz’s scheme that some players clung to in 2015.

 

4 – Chris,

Thanks for keeping those of us on the away team up on how our Bills are doing.

I haven’t heard anything about Nick O’Leary since the one game last year. What’s the story?

Thanks again for all you do.
Go Bills
Ken Remington

CB: O’Leary is a tight end who didn’t see quite as much action in the spring practices as other tight ends battling for the No. 2 job behind Charles Clay. Blake Annen, who we profiled on Buffalobills.com recently and Chris Gragg got the most work after Clay during the team periods of practice. Both run well and offer more size and athleticism than O’Leary. What O’Leary needs to do is highlight his versatility as much as possible when put in a move tight end role or H-back set.

With true fullbacks on the roster though that task may prove difficult. It’s clear the offensive staff was giving Annen and Gragg most of the reps after Clay. Jim Dray is the clear blocking tight end for this offense. So O’Leary has to have a strong camp to outperform one of the other tight ends and stick.

 

5 – Chris,

The Bills just signed another FA RB??  With the uncertainly at both the RG & RT positions, and almost NO depth to provide any real backup for either position, Whaley is worried about RB’s. Wait until there is a injury to the OL. The Bills need to get their act together in a hurry.  What say you??

Fan in TN

CB: After taking a breath you probably saw the main reason Boom Herron was signed as a free agent. Karlos Williams weight gain and lack of availability in the practice setting was the main reason. Without him taking reps, it would’ve put additional strain on the backs still healthy.

After watching five running backs go down to injury last summer at training camp at the same time, I think you could understand why they made the move.

Offensive line has some depth. Granted none of them are household names, but there’s a veteran C/G in Fernando Velasco, a backup guard in Ryan Groy. Cyril Richardson is still on the roster after serving on the practice squad last year.

I respect the concern for a lack of depth. Undrafted rookies usually aren’t the answer for depth in a win now type of season. I think early in camp if it’s obvious their young depth players aren’t coming along I expect they’ll address things up front.


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Dareus just happy to be in same defense

Posted by Chris Brown on June 22, 2016 – 2:19 pm

He’s been with the Bills since the team made him their third overall draft choice in 2011. Every year he’s been in a Bills uniform however, he’s been forced to learn a new defensive scheme. The 2016 season will mark the first time in his six-year career that he will be operating in the same defensive system.

Dareus, in an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio, talked about having a new defensive coordinator with a new defensive scheme each of his first five years with Buffalo. It made life difficult and kept Dareus from playing fast. Now entering year two in Rex Ryan’s scheme, Dareus feels comfortable and believes that’s also the case for his fellow defensive teammates.

“It feels good as a defensive lineman to be looking back at your defensive backs and they’re talking,” Dareus said. “They’re coming down and talking to us and having that camaraderie where we have that relationship now. It’s the second year we’re playing in the same defense, that’s the first time in my NFL career that’s happening. I don’t have to think as much. I don’t have to spend as much time trying to help this guy or them help me. We can just flow with each other. It gives you that comfort that you want.”


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Rob Ryan: CB Corey White is a gamer

Posted by Chris Brown on June 22, 2016 – 8:53 am

As we profiled on Buffalobills.com today, one of the main reasons Corey White was signed by the Bills was because of Assistant head coach Rob Ryan’s familiarity with the cornerback. He coached him in New Orleans for three seasons and says there’s a lot to like about the veteran DB.

In a recent appearance on the John Murphy Show, Ryan explained what he likes about White’s game and why he thinks White will like playing in Buffalo’s defense.

“Corey’s a very good football player and I think he’s going to love it here,” Ryan said. “He’s going to love the head coach, number one. This is a tough kid, he’s a hard-nosed kid, but he needs somebody to believe in him and he’s got that here in Buffalo.”


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NFL asks spec. teams coaches for kickoff input

Posted by Chris Brown on June 21, 2016 – 9:19 am

According to a report in USA Today, NFL head of officiating Dean Bladino held a conference call with all 32 NFL special teams coaches for an open forum on more potential rules changes for kickoff plays.

The league has already ratified the rule change that will bring touchbacks out to the 25-yard line in 2016 instead of the 20-yard line. The rule change was made in the hopes that fewer teams would attempt returns with a greater reward for a touchback. Many special teams coordinators however, believe the rule change will have the opposite effect.

A good number believe kickoff teams will attempt to kick short of the goal line in an attempt to pin the opposing return team deep in their territory and avoid the end zone altogether.

Either way it appears that the league is already exploring ways to further improve the safety for one of the most violent plays in the game.

“What I like is that Dean has created a process involving the special teams coaches that allows us to have a free forum of ideas to further discuss the play and potential for modification of the play in years to come,” said NFL Chairman of the Competition Committee Rich McKay. “And I’m optimistic that we’re going to get some creative ideas that will allow the play to continue and potentially make the play safer.”

Blandino reportedly asked for special teams coordinators to submit ideas to further reduce the high speed collisions that take place on kickoff plays. Among the suggestions were.

  • Starting the kickoff team from a stationary position at the 35-yard line, with no run-up;
  • Mandating eight players on the return team line up a set distance closer to the ball, such as in front of their own 40- or 35-yard line;
  • Outlawing all wedges;
  • Outlawing “attack” blocks;
  • Treating balls like punts if they hit the ground beyond the return team’s 40-yard line, so they could be downed by the kicking team, not recovered as live balls; and
  • Eliminating the “K” ball

These ideas could lead to more rule change proposals for kickoffs in 2017. Such proposals could be approved and ratified as soon as next March.


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