Taking the show on the road tonight as we invade NOCO Express on Walden Avenue in Lancaster. Plenty of fans in attendance taking home giveaways and chiming in on the show with their questions and opinions for this year’s Bills team.
The fans also participated in a meet and greet with Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes, who made an appearance as well. Afterwards, Hughes sat down with us to discuss his interaction with the fans. He went on to talk about this week’s minicamp, his excitement for the upcoming season, and his expectations for this year’s defense.
“Try to be the best, in all categories. The work we’re putting in now, trying to understand the playbook and taking the time to break it down so we can communicate a lot faster on the field. That’s what we’re striving for. We’re striving to be the best defense in the NFL.”
Hughes also weighed in with his thoughts on the new coaching staff, including praise for head coach Rex Ryan.
At the top of the second hour, we were joined by Pro Football Focus Analyst Michael Mountford. Mountford went around the NFL to seek out each team’s “Secret Superstar.” When it came to the Bills, using analytics from last season, he projects second year linebacker Preston Brown as having a breakout season in 2015. He went on to explain why.
“He’s actually a very good coverage linebacker. I know he struggled in the game against the Raiders but in general, when he’s focused and in his spot, he’s very quick to attack and he doesn’t miss tackles. I think our metrics in coverage, he was the third best linebacker with only allowing .57 yards per coverage snap, which is really high.”
Finally, we were joined by safety Jonathan Meeks. Meeks spent last season on injured reserve after fracturing a disc in his back. Now, fully healed, Meeks is back on the field and has been a full participant in the team’s offseason program. Meeks talked about his return and what he has accomplished over the past few weeks practicing with the team.
“I’ve been able to get back into the rhythm of playing football. It was a year off so it was a long time to wait. I’ve been able to play with the guys and put on for the new coaches and show them what I can do. It was just fun to be back out there again. I try not to take it for granted but when you go without it for so long you just enjoy it a lot more. I was able to get a feel for the game again, fly around again, and just enjoy playing again.”
To hear all of that and more, click here to listen to the entire John Murphy Show from Friday.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Stop by the NOCO Express Store at Walden/Pavement in Lancaster this Friday, June 19 from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. for a meet and greet with Buffalo Bills player Jerry Hughes!
You can also hear the John Murphy Show live and on location from 7 – 9 p.m. John will be talking about this week’s minicamp, taking guests and giving away prizes!
Posted in Inside the Bills
Day two of the Bills mandatory minicamp in the books with just one more session to go before the team breaks for five weeks leading up to Training Camp. We began the show hearing from head coach Rex Ryan, running back LeSean McCoy, and receiver Sammy Watkins as he updates his status. We also asked the listeners their thoughts on the quarterback competition and if its impact matters with the setup the team has offensively. There was plenty of reaction to that tonight.
Newly signed defensive tackle Andre Fluellen sat down in-studio with us. Fluellen talked about his time in Detroit, his current offseason where he took part in boxing to stay in shape, and his fit here in Buffalo along the defensive line. He mentioned why the coaches brought him in and what their expectations are for the veteran defensive lineman.
“They want me to be me. I’m not 330-pounds and I never will be. They don’t ask me to be that but they like my quickness and explosiveness, the way I move. They said ‘we want you to be you. Find a spot for you to be you and don’t try to do anything more than what your body can do.’ I’m really appreciative of that and to give me that opportunity to not be somebody else but to be Andre Fluellen.”
Next up, we checked in down in Dallas at Cowboys Camp. Drew Davison from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram called in to discuss the Cowboys unique approach to practice film study by utilizing drones and even virtual reality. Davison talked about the cutting edge way the team is trying to improve the on-field play.
“This is just another tool they will be able to use to try to help their development and game plain strategy against opposing teams.”
Davison did say he expects teams around the league to implement this style of game/practice study to keep up with the advances around the NFL.
Finally, another national impression of the team from Yahoo! Sports Senior NFL Reporter Charles Robinson. Robinson, in attendance on Tuesday to take in today’s on-field work. He talked about what he saw at the quarterback position and the talent surrounding that unit. Although, he was extremely impressed with what he saw on the defensive side of the ball.
“To me this looks like this is probably going to end up being the best defense in the league. That really pops to me and it was interesting when I was discussing story lines with my boss, although the scheme is not the same, this defense reminds me of the Bears defense in 2006 that took them to the Super Bowl. It’s the kind of defense that’s going to turn it over a lot. It could be a scoring type of defense. It should do a lot of damage.”
Robinson went on to discuss his findings from the other stops around the league. To hear that and the rest of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills
We’re back to kick off another week as minicamp looms around the corner. Players returned to the building for check-ins this afternoon with the mandatory on-field sessions getting underway Tuesday morning. We began the show with the news of the day, which included the team setting the franchise record for ticket sales. We asked the season ticket holders to call in to share their favorite part of coming to Ralph Wilson Stadium on a continuous basis during the season.
Bills President Russ Brandon sat down in-studio to discuss today’s news. He gave credit to the offseason additions and aggressive nature of the team’s front office and coaching staff for the spike in sales. The fans, of course, play a big part in setting the mark and Brandon mentioned the importance of “loyalty and commitment” from those that attend the games. When it came to the main reason, he alluded to the franchise stability implemented when Terry and Kim Pegula took over ownership.
“I think it’s the number one reason and everything else a part of the process. I think the foundation of why we’re sitting here today talking about this is because of Terry and Kim Pegula, the stability of the franchise, and the continuity of the franchise for decades to come. I know we’ve talked about this before but that collective anvil we have been carrying around that we threw in the bottom of Lake Erie on October 8th is no longer.”
A little after the top of the hour, we were joined by Monday Quarterback Club President Paul Peck. Peck, a former sportscaster in the area turned business professional, talked about the goal of the MQC, which allows for the business type to connect with the Bills on a personal level. He went on to mention the upcoming seven evening events for the upcoming season, first of which on the road at Training Camp in Pittsford, NY in early August. For more information on the Monday Quarterback Club, including membership info, check out http://mondayqbc.com/index.php
Finally, Senior Writer for Silver and Black Illustrated Michael Wagaman called in to round out the show. Wagaman talked about the Raiders and their possible move back to Los Angeles, which hinges on the need for a new stadium. He went on to discuss where the support may or may not come from in the Oakland area and recognized the league’s stance on the importance of having an NFL franchise in Los Angeles. Wagaman said he expects to hear in the next coming weeks that “Oakland will be one of the teams moving back down to LA.”
To hear more from Wagaman and the rest of Monday’s John Murphy Show, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Another day on the field as the team winds down their offseason OTAs. Nine of ten sessions now in the books with their final OTA practice coming Thursday morning. Following today’s workout head coach Rex Ryan met with the media along with a handful of players. We heard from from the Coach Ryan as he updates the progress of the OTAs. We also asked the listeners for their “bold prediction” for the upcoming season. Plenty of out-of-the-box reactions to that topic throughout the night.
Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins has been limited with the on-field work as he rehabs from an offseason procedure. Watkins sat down with us in-studio at the bottom of the first hour to discuss his targeted return of Training Camp, to recap his rookie season, and to look ahead to what he expects out of a new look offense with added talent.
“We have a lot of guys now so I’m not looking to have crazy numbers. All I can do is fit myself in the offense. The coaches are going to get me the ball as everybody knows but we have Percy Harvin, (Robert) Woods, (Chris) Hogan, then we have a top tight end and a top running back. We can run the ball, it’s going to look a lot different. Everybody is going to have to play their role in the offense.”
Watkins said he’s learned a lot from new wide receiver coach Sanjay Lal, who has broken down his game with targeted areas to improve. He also promoted his upcoming Youth Football Camp. The two-day camp is open to boys and girls from grades 1-8 and runs July 27th & 28th. For more information and registration, head over to SammyWatkinsCamp.com
Going with tonight’s topic, which stems from a recent Bleacher Report video, Bills 2015 Bold Prediction: Buffalo Will Have Best Defense in the NFL. Behind that bold prediction is a familiar guest to the show, former NFL quarterback Chris Simms. Simms called in to discuss why he thinks Tyrod Taylor will be the team’s starting QB, why they will have the best defense in the league, and why he says the Bills will make the playoffs in 2015.
“I think between talent and the spark that Rex (Ryan) and the new coaching staff, the new ownership up there. All of that and I think it’s all starting to come together for you guys up there and really let’s be serious, you guys were very close last year. I think this team has improved greatly this offseason so that’s why I say it.”
To hear more from Simms and the rest of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills
The Bills back on the field this morning for another session of OTAs, now just a week away from the team’s mandatory minicamp. We began the show pitching tonight’s topic. How do you see the wide receiver group shaking out? What’s a realistic number of wide-outs the team can keep on the 53-man roster?
Right in the middle of that group is Bills wide receiver/return specialist Marcus Thigpen. Thigpen joined us to kick off tonight’s guest set as he looked back at his 2014 season where he joined the Bills late in the season. He talked about his play on special teams and his punt return for a touchdown in the win over the Packers. Hoping to stick with the Bills this season, Thigpen discussed the crowded field at wide receiver and how he wants to stand out by making plays on the field to “impress the coaches.” He opened up about being released numerous times over his career and how he almost called it quits before finally catching on here in Buffalo.
“Getting cut, there’s a lot that goes into it. People don’t really understand the sacrifices that we have to make from our families when we leave. I was at a point where I was ready to wrap it up and my wife told me to, ‘Give it one more try. You didn’t come this far for no reason.’ I decided to go with it and it’s working out well so far.”
Next up, we dove into stadium talk with St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter David Hunn. Hunn has kept a close eye on the group designing plans for a stadium in St. Louis in hopes of keeping the Rams from possibly moving to Los Angeles. Hunn has also been out to Inglewood, California and gave an update on their plans to bring NFL back to Los Angeles, which is ironically being designed by current Rams owner Stan Kroenke.
“It’s maddening for some people. People really don’t like Stan Kroenke in St. Louis. If he didn’t talk before and that irritated him, now he’s moving the team without saying he’s moving the team. It’s just very frustrating for Ram lovers.”
Finally, we reached out to Senior NFL writer at CBSSports, Will Brinson to get an overall look at the happenings around the NFL. He weighed in with his thoughts on the push to get a team in Los Angeles. Brinson went on to discuss Rex Ryan joining the Bills and how he enjoys having a confident Rex Ryan back in the NFL for the national media to cover.
“It’s so nice to have fun Rex back in our lives. The last two years, especially the last year in New York, it was kind of depressing to see Rex with a little swagger out of his system. To see him rejuvenated by ownership and management in Buffalo and been given the authority to swing his sword in the fashion he likes to swing it, it’s been fun to watch, I can’t lie.”
Brinson also talked about the mega deal for quarterback Cam Newton in Carolina and what that means for Russell Wilson over in Seattle. To hear that and the rest of Tuesday’s John Murphy Show, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Players returned to the field for OTAs this morning. Afterwards, we caught up with Bills safety Kenny Ladler. Ladler has been around the team for a year now and talked about his time on the practice squad, getting called up for his first NFL game against the Patriots last season, and the untimely injury that placed him on I-R for the majority of the season. Now, Ladler is healthy as he returns for an open opportunity to make a contribution in the defensive backfield.
“I’m definitely optimistic about the chance to play in this defense and contribute. It’s a long season and I understand that this game requires everyone to pull in the right direction. I’m confident in my game that I can help pull this defense in the right direction, being out there and making plays like I know I can do.”
On the other side of the ball, we sat down with Bills Senior Offensive Assistant Chris Palmer. Palmer went down the long list of his resume, including his time in Houston coaching the receivers, where he was on-staff during the Bills-Oilers “Comeback Game.” He went on to discuss his time coaching Drew Bledsoe in New England and rounded back to where he is now, overseeing the Bills offense. Palmer talked about the first few weeks of on-field work and his assessment of the situation here in Buffalo.
“Just talking with the players, they go bowling. There’s this chemistry built on the team and you can see that. I’m telling you, I’ve been very, very impressed with the players and how hard they’re working. Obviously, as a coach you’d like to be further along but realistically the players are doing a great job and I think the coaches are doing a great job of presenting new packages and the players are absorbing it very, very well.
Finally, a familiar name to Bills fans, former linebacker now sports broadcaster Kirk Morrison returned to the show. Morrison, living out on the west coast weighed in on the NBA Playoffs as the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers battle it out. He’s a huge Warriors fans and gave his pitch on why Golden State will claim this year’s NBA title. Morrison went on with his thoughts from around the NFL, mentioning his “bounce-back” players for the 2015 season.
Also tonight, plenty of reaction from the listeners as we asked them who the team’s most underrated player is. A wide variety of responses from both sides of the ball on that topic. To hear that and the complete John Murphy Show from Monday, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills
The players were off on Friday to close out the first week in June. A slow end to a busy week of OTA’s here at One Bills Drive. In this addition of The John Murphy Show we were joined by some great guests to discuss a variety of intriguing topics ranging from NFL officiating to Hall of Fame inductions. Editor and Founder of footballzebras.com Ben Austro was first on the docket, ESPN Radio Host and SEC guru Paul Feinbaum was next at the top of the 8 o’clock hour and last but not least, a familiar name to Bills’ fans, former Bills’ Punter Brian Moorman rounded out the show.
We caught up with Footballzebras.com’s Ben Austro to discuss all things surrounding NFL officiating. He offered some insight on the re-shaping process the NFL has been going through in the last few years regarding the officials. He touched on the new hires made by the league for the 2015 season including the hiring of the first female NFL official Sarah Thomas.
“We’re at 23 new hires in the last 2 seasons…When there’s a staff of 122, that’s a large percentage. That’s over 10%.” Austro said regarding the re-shaping of the NFL officiating group. He later spoke about the hiring of Sarah Thomas, “Yes, this is a big deal. We’ve been watching her as she’s progressed and yes, it will certainly be a big week 1 story.”
Next up, ESPN Radio Host and SEC specialist Paul Feinbaum joined the show to talk SEC. He discussed a number of SEC alumni that are currently on the Bills’ roster like Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Cyrus Kouandjio and Percy Harvin. Paul also spoke as to why the SEC is so good at producing professionals.
“Years ago players from Florida used to go to Michigan. You’d get players from Kentucky and Tennessee gravitating up north to Ohio State or guys going to Penn State from all over the country. They stopped doing it,” Feinbaum said. “I think some of it was when the SEC became a national brand about 20 years ago. It signed a contract with CBS for a weekly game.”
Lastly, earlier this week former Bills’ Punter Brian Moorman was inducted in to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame and he came on the show to talk a little bit about what an honor it was to receive the phone call informing him of the news.
“It was quite a phone call to get…It’s very humbling and obviously it’s a credit to the people who have supported me along the way. My family, my friends, my teammates, my coaches, everyone that’s been a part of it, I can’t thank them enough because I couldn’t have done it without them.”
To hear more from Brian Moorman and the rest of Friday’s John Murphy Show, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills
The Bills wrapping up another week of OTAs on Thursday. Afterwards, assistant coaches met with the media. We heard from offensive line coach Aaron Kromer as he talked about the changes along the line. We began with that and updated the news of the day, which included the official announcement of the Bills/Browns joint practices at St. John Fisher College during Training Camp.
We finally were able to catch up with offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson, who called in to kick-off our guest set. Henderson talked about the ‘surprise’ he had in playing all 16-games last season. Throughout this year’s OTAs, he has been rotating from right to left tackle. After spending all of last season on the right side, he discussed the adjustment to playing on the other end and finding his comfort zone.
“I’m trying to get to get it down pat. I’m usually more comfortable on the right but it’s good to be versatile. I’m just trying to get my technique down as far as coming back comfortable on that side.” Henderson said. “It’s what I played all through college all the way up until now. I just played a little bit of left tackle last preseason. That was a little different for me, too but I like both sides so it’s fine with me.”
At the top of the second hour, we were joined by Bills assistant defensive backs coach Tim McDonald. McDonald discussed his coaching path so far, mentioning the college ranks and now the NFL. He cited the skill players he’s been associated with over the years, mentioning both Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. Now here in Buffalo, McDonald ran down the talent the Bills have in the defensive backfield, including the guys outside at corner, playing man-to-man coverage.
“Press allows us to do a lot of things away from the press side. You always hear about these shutdown corners. Those guys can control vertical throws on their side of the field. If we have a guy that can do that, it makes playing football a whole lot easier. There are a lot of other things you can do to get pressure on that quarterback.” McDonald said. “If you have a (Stephon) Gilmore and a (Leodis) McKelvin that was playing the way he was playing last year before he got hurt. You have those guys sitting over there, it’s going to be tough on the quarterback.”
Wednesday, the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame announced their 25th anniversary class. Among them was Bills AFL member Al Bemiller, who was part of the back-to-back AFL Championship teams in the mid-1960’s. Bemiller, a standout offensive guard/center called in to round out the show and talk about his upcoming honor, his time at Syracuse winning a National Championship, and getting drafted by the Bills and the immediate impact he had on the offensive line.
“I don’t care if it’s the top or the bottom, I’m in there and it’s a great, great, great thing that I never thought would happen. I want to thank you (John Murphy) and whoever else is responsible because it’s a great thing for me.”
To hear more from Bemiller and the rest of Thursday’s John Murphy Show, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Bills players returning to the field after two days off for another session of OTAs. Head Coach Rex Ryan and running back LeSean McCoy addressed the media following today’s on-field practice. We began the show hearing from those two and also touched on the news of the day, including the NFL’s announcement of Yahoo!’s live digital stream of the Bills/Jaguars game in London.
It’s a first for the NFL, streaming a live game to a global audience but it will be the only way fans can catch the game outside of the Buffalo and Jacksonville areas. To discuss what could be a glimpse into the future, we called on Yahoo! NFL Sports Writer for Shutdown Corner Frank Schwab. Schwab talked about the significance of the event and why it’s a bold move for the NFL.
“It’s a big deal to go to a digital platform just to see how it goes, how people react to it. The world is changing. I’m a Milwaukee Brewers fan living in Denver. I watch a ton of Brewers games on my tablet. It’s just the way people consume media now in many ways and I think the NFL is smart to say ‘hey, let’s experiment with this and see how people react to it and maybe this is something we do.”
Michael McCann, a Legal Analyst for Sports Illustrated joined us to share his take on the Patriots Saga and give us the legal angle for Tom Brady’s upcoming appeal. McCann discussed that how Brady could actually benefit from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hearing the case and that if the suspension is not reduced, he could see Brady filing a lawsuit. McCann, who is also a legal professor at the University of New Hampshire, is also planning on teaching an undergraduate course next Fall titled “Deflategate.”
To hear that and the rest of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Back on the air to begin another week here at One Bills Drive. For the players, it was a day off from on-field work as Rex Ryan bussed his team down the thruway to attend Jim Kelly’s Celebrity Golf Tournament. We heard from Kelly, the team’s head coach, and various players who shared their experience on Monday supporting a great cause.
New Bills quarterback Matt Simms joined us at the bottom of the first hour. Simms discussed the process of ending up here in Buffalo after his request for a release in New York. He talked about his time with the Jets and touched on some highlights from his time on the field, including throwing his first touchdown pass in the league against the Bills back in 2013. Simms went on about his path to the NFL, starting off at Louisville, then to Junior College, before ending up at Tennessee, a journeyman during his college career.
“Those experiences and those tough times have really shaped me into the man I am today. I’m quite thankful for those experiences during those tough times. Although, the fans can’t really appreciate my career because they couldn’t follow me, like they would a Johnny Manziel, where they saw all these great games that he’s had but nonetheless, I’m still here fighting the good fight, still enjoying the game for what it is and truly blessed for that.”
We were also joined in-studio by the Bills Assistant Head Coach and running backs coach Anthony Lynn. The offseason brought in plenty of talent in the backfield for Lynn to employ, as he mentioned the possibilities for the players on the roster. Lynn went on to talk about his playing and coaching career and the influence Rex Ryan has had on him. Now, here in Buffalo, he takes on a new offensive philosophy under Greg Roman, utilizing the theme of ‘ground and pound.’
“Ground and pound is just winning football games. It just means you’re committed to running the football. It doesn’t mean you’re going to run the ball fifty times a game. You’re just committed to running the football for four quarters. That’s how we were in Denver. We won more football games in six years than any team in NFL history. It was the ‘ground and pound’ mentality because we were committed to running the football but we would throw the football to beat you. If you want to take the run away, we’ll take that but we’re going to be committed to running it and I think when you play in the northeast, you have to be.”
To hear more from Lynn and the complete John Murphy Show from Monday, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills
The Bills returned to the field to round out the week of organized team activities. To begin the show tonight, we continued with the ongoing discussion of the quarterback competition. We heard from Matt Cassel and EJ Manuel as they wrapped up another week of on-field work. We also updated the news of the day, which included the waiver claim of QB Matt Simms, the release of Jeff Tuel, and the free agent visit of former New England Patriot, linebacker Michael Buchanan.
As of late, no one has been mentioned more on the show than quarterback Tyrod Taylor, from both the listeners and those checking in on social media. We decided to sit Taylor down in-studio to discuss the current battle at the quarterback spot and where he has fit in during the first few days OTAs. Taylor discussed why he has been “preparing and training like a starter” and how the QB group has been pushing each other. He went on to talk about his skillset and why he’s been tabbed as an all-around quarterback who can run and throw.
“At the end of the day you have to move the chains. That’s a good thing and a guy like Aaron Rodgers does. People don’t know him for his athletic ability but he’s very athletic. He can move the chains whenever he needs to. Some games you’re going to have to run for a couple of first downs and some games you’re going to have to throw for a bunch of touchdowns. You have to be able to do whatever the game dictates and I’m ready to do that.”
Bills President Russ Brandon joined us to discuss the recent release of this year’s Training Camp Schedule and the team’s return to St. John Fisher College. Brandon talked about why he believes “this will be the best camp yet” and the impressions of the setup from head coach Rex Ryan and his staff. Brandon also mentioned the record setting season ticket sales and the increasing support from the fans.
“The most important thing is that when we line up here for all eight home games and our preseason games, that we have a full house and I have a pretty good feeling this place will be rocking” Brandon said. “We had very good season ticket sales last year and the number one factor when we do all the research, is direction of the franchise and I think people felt pretty good about where we were heading last year and then some of the free agent moves, with coach Ryan, and then obviously with the Pegulas. To me, that’s number one, to know that this franchise is on solid footing for generations to come and that they (the fans) feel good about where our franchise is.”
Finally, NFL.com Media Analyst Bucky Brooks called in to the show. The former Bills draft pick talked about his recent articles on the site, where he has gave high praise for the level of talent on the Bills roster. Brooks ranked the NFL’s Scariest Position Groups and his pick for NFL’s Most Talented Rosters. The Bills placed fairly high in both those rankings. Brooks talked about what he likes from this year’s Bills team.
“I was looking at the Buffalo Bills. They have a lot of talent and a lot of players entering their prime of their career playing at a high level. Because of that, when I measured them against some of the other teams, I felt like behind Seattle, I don’t know if there’s a more talented team in the National Football League when you consider Buffalo.”
Brooks also talked about the Bills defensive line and the players in the defensive backfield including Stephon Gilmore. To hear that and the rest of Friday’s John Murphy Show, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Day two of OTAs here at One Bills Drive. Players headed back outside for practice in the rain. Afterwards, Marcell Dareus speaking for the first time since the announcement of his one game suspension. Corey Graham gave an update on his reps at the safety position. Head Coach Rex Ryan shared his thoughts to all of the above and more. We began the show with that.
Part of the group out there this morning was linebacker Manny Lawson, who makes his return to the facilities for this week’s OTAs. Lawson joined us at the top of the second hour. He talked about being back in Buffalo and gearing up for his 10th season in the NFL. Lawson also discussed the new defensive scheme under Dennis Thurman and Rex Ryan and where he fits in, returning to the outside linebacker spot. A position he had success manning back in 2013.
“Now, instead of always rushing, I have to drop back and pass and play man-to-man a couple of times. This is my home and this is what I like to do, to just create chaos in the backfield, disrupt passes, and disrupt routes and that’s what I do best.”
Lawson, along with teammate Fred Jackson will be heading to the nation’s capital this weekend as part of Honor Flight Buffalo, which will feature World War II veterans flying to Washington, D.C. to visit the WWII Memorial that was built in their honor. For more information on Honor Flight Buffalo, click here.
The national media also in attendance on Wednesday. NFL Network’s Albert Breer taking in today’s session. He sat down with us in-studio to share his thoughts on the team and why he thinks Rex Ryan has a chance to succeed here in Buffalo. Breer noted past fired coaches who went on to have successful coaching careers on their next go-around. He also gave his impression on the new-look offense under offensive coordinator Greg Roman and discussed the Patriots saga in New England with an update on Tom Brady’s arbitration.
To round out the show, we dialed up Paul Lukas, ESPN columnist and blogger at www.uni-watch.com. Lukas recently posted his NFL Uniform Power Rankings at ESPN.com, where he rates the best and worst uniforms in the NFL. He currently has the Bills at number 7 on the list. Lukas went on to explain why he thinks the Bills “have one of the best in the league.”
Click here to hear Lukas’ reasoning and the rest of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show.
Posted in Inside the Bills
We return to live radio after the long weekend break. The Bills kicked off OTAs this morning as they enter in another phase of offseason training. We began with a rundown from what we saw out of today’s session and looked ahead to the rest of the week.
First up, Head Coach Rex Ryan joined us to discuss day one of the OTAs. He talked about what he liked and disliked from the players out on the field. He weighed in with his thoughts on the new defensive scheme and his impressions from some “scary” talent he has on that side of the ball. Ryan went on to update the quarterback competition, putting no timetable on the outcome, saying it may run two to three weeks into training camp. He also shared some high praise for QB Tyrod Taylor.
“I’ve been very impressed with him as far as his ability to pick things up. He’s been very impressive that way. The thing about him is that he’s short but he’s not small. This is a guy that’s slapped together pretty good. You think of Russell Wilson. I’m not saying he’s Russell Wilson but I’m not saying that he isn’t either. This is a guy that’s put together. Probably the fastest quarterback in the league, runs about a 4.4. I think he has those traits and he has a heck of an arm. We’ll see if he can put it all together.”
At the top of the second hour, we were joined by Hall of Famer Andre Reed. Reed will be working as an intern during training camp as part of the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship. He will be working closely with receivers coach Sanjay Lal. Reed called in to talk about his upcoming opportunity coming back to assist with the team he had so much success with.
“I’m very serious about this. This is great talented group of guys that the Bills have there at that position. To be a part of it and to add my expertise and be there as a mentor for anything that they need, from a football standpoint and from any standpoint, I feel like I can give that to them. That’s really what the whole thing is about.”
Finally, an interesting look into quarterback training from Stanford football coach Derek Belch, the founder, along with former Bills quarterback Trent Edwards, of STRIVR Labs. Belch and his team have developed a virtual reality sports trainer, which puts players right into the film they are watching to then participate in the play as it unfolds. Belch talked about the reasoning behind it and how it can be a game changer in the way players and coaches prepare for game days.
To hear the complete interview with Belch and the rest of Tuesday’s The John Murphy Show, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills
We began tonight’s show with the news of the day, which included the league handing down a one game suspension for Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. Bills head coach Rex Ryan announced that Hall of Famer Andre Reed will be assisting the coaching staff at this year’s training camp, as a member of the Bill Walsh Fellowship Coaches program. Reed will work as an intern under receivers coach Sanjay Lal. We also discussed Rex Ryan’s team-bonding exercise, as he took his entire team bowling Thursday morning.
Before the players depart for the long weekend, we brought in undrafted free agent defensive end Cedric Reed. Reed has been participating in the team’s offseason workouts and has been picking the brains of the veterans that surround him, including defensive end Mario Williams, who Reed grew up watching down in Texas. Reed discussed his time here so far, going undrafted, and a knee injury that affected him during his senior year. Despite that, he started 32-straight games to end his career at Texas.
“I never missed a game. That was one of my goals going into college is to not be one of those injured guys. One of those guys that was on and off the field, always hurt, and always in the training room. I didn’t want that on my shoulders, so I made that a goal.”
Reed and the rest of the Bills players will return for next week’s OTAs.
ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando joined us at the top of the second hour to discuss his recent piece on the site, grading each team on their offseason. When it came to the Bills, Sando, along with a few other contributors gave Buffalo a ‘B+’ with their offseason free agent and draft pick acquisitions. He also went down the rest of the league, including why he gave high marks to AFC East rival, the New York Jets and his low marks for teams like the San Francisco 49ers.
And finally, with Memorial Day around the corner, we decided to look back at the unfortunate death of former Bills offensive lineman Bob Kalsu, who in 1970 was killed in action while fighting in Vietnam. Todd Tobias from the website Tales From the American Football League joined us to round out the show. The website, as Tobais calls it, is to “edutain” (educate + entertain) with stories regarding the AFL. Tobias looked back at Kalsu, the Bills draft pick who decided to enter the Army and fight in the Vietnam War and discussed the sacrifice he made.
To hear that and the rest of Thursday’s John Murphy Show, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills
All quiet here as Bills players continue their offseason workouts, gearing up for next week’s OTAs. We began the show with updates from the league meetings in San Francisco, as Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the media. We also got into more detail over the upcoming change to extra points and how the scoring change will impact the NFL next season. Plenty of reaction to that from the listeners.
With that being said, we decided to reach out to Bills placekicker Dan Carpenter to get his opinion on the PAT modifications. Carpenter was open about his dislike for the change. He talked about what adjustments need to be made and why he feels it brings up unnecessary situations that normally wouldn’t occur.
“Your team is going in to score and it’s 3rd & 1 from the one-yard line and if they don’t get it, you go on and kick a 19-yard field goal. Now, if they score a touchdown, you back up and kick a 33-yard field goal for one point. Another scenario is that a team is driving or just started a drive and you’re on your own twenty and a running back, LeSean, breaks out and houses one for 80-yards, now I have to jump off the bench, cold that I have been sitting on for fifteen minutes and run out and kick a 33-yard field goal instead of a 20-yard extra point. It’s stuff like that no one thinks about but us thirty-two guys that have to do it for a living.”
Carpenter also stated that it may cause a delay in the game while officials are setting up for either the extra point or a two-point try.
Staying inside the building, we brought in-studio Bills linebackers coach Bobby April, III. April, whose name is familiar to Bills fans because his father coached special teams here from 2004-2009. He talked about the influence his father had on his coaching career. Now, April is with his second team under Rex Ryan and spoke about why coach’s sons are favored with the Bills head coach.
“Coach’s sons are really loyal and I think he sees that and loyal to whomever they’re working with. Most guys have been around players their entire lives. For myself, I’ve been around NFL players since I was nine-years-old. It’s not too big for me. I know these guys. I’ve had lunch at their house and they’ve come to my parents’ house, so I wasn’t star struck at all.”
April even discussed a unique story in Philadelphia and how he got his start in the league under, then head coach, Andy Reid.
Finally, we caught up with Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin. The third year wide-out is looking to get back on track after a tough 2014 season, sharing his thoughts on his second year in the league. He discussed his interaction with new receivers coach Sanjay Lal and shared his view on the new-look WR group.
“We got that fire in the room. We got a lot of heat in there and a lot of speed. A lot of guys that are willing to put it all out on the line, willing to work every day, work together, and not really compete against each other, in the sense of not trying to tear each other down. We do compete with each other. We’re making each other better and I couldn’t ask for a better room.”
To hear more from Goodwin, including what he thinks of the talent in the return game and the rest of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills
The Bills finalizing the singing of their six draft picks today, inking second round selection, cornerback Ronald Darby. You heard from Darby to start the show along with offensive coordinator Greg Roman and head coach Rex Ryan as they praised their third round pick, guard John Miller. The Patriots making news, yet again. Team Owner Robert Kraft coming out Tuesday afternoon to confirm that the team will not appeal the discipline the league has handed down for the deflation of footballs. Also, the change in extra points for 2015. A jam packed show Tuesday night.
Bills tight end coach Tony Sparano, Jr. joined the show at the bottom of the first hour. Sparano talked about his influence from his father, former Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano and how he’s helped shape his NFL coaching career so far. Sparano discussed his impressions of Buffalo and how he can’t wait to be part of the passion that surrounds the team. Sparano is now “thrilled” to call Buffalo home. He went on to discuss his tight end group, which includes free agent addition Charles Clay and sixth round draft pick Nick O’Leary.
“This guy (O’Leary) is a much better athlete than he’s been given credit for by a lot of people. He’s big, he moves around, and the thing you love about him, that I certainly love about him, is that this guy is just a tremendous football player. He’s a good football player. He does a lot of things really well. You turn on the tape and this guy really competes. He competes every single play, play-in and play-out. It doesn’t matter what the job is he’s asked to do. This guy rolls his sleeves up and whatever it takes to get the job done, this guy wants to do it.”
At the top of the second hour, we got a national perspective on the team as we brought in NFL Network Analyst and former NFL fullback Heath Evans. Evans recently gave his bold prediction for the Bills in 2015, having them finish at 12-4 and overtaking the Patriots for tops in the AFC East. Evans discussed his rationale behind the projection, calling this year’s Bills team “scary.”
“You look at the collective talent. You look at what Rex (Ryan) brings to a ball club. You look at what his philosophy is and how he wants to manage the offensive side of the ball. Then Greg Roman’s creative ability to diagnose and design plays to put his talented players in position to succeed and I think Matt Cassel is the prime candidate to make this offense exactly what it needs to be, to let this team thrive on defense.” Evans went on to say he’s “excited to watch a hard-nose ball club.”
Evans is also the co-owner and founder of Generositrend. He’s got a promotion right now given to any subscriber of Generositrend who simply tweets @HeathEvans44 using specific hashtags listed on the website, https://generositrend.com/index.html
Just a day after the Dolphins signed their franchise quarterback, Ryan Tannehill to a long-term deal, we decided to get some background into the contract extension from Dolphins writer for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Chris Perkins. Perkins called the contract a “no more excuses” agreement and that he expects him to have the Dolphins at least compete for a Super Bowl appearance.
To hear more from Perkins and the rest of Tuesday’s John Murphy Show, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Back for another week here at One Bills Drive. We began with the news of the day, which included the Bills signing 6th round pick, Tony Steward. You heard from the former Clemson LB moments after he signed. Around the NFL, Brandon Spikes heads back to New England and the Dolphins locking up quarterback Ryan Tannehill, which brought up to tonight’s topic. We asked the listeners to rank the quarterbacks in the AFC East? Plenty of reaction to that tonight.
Linebacker Ty Powell joined us to kick off our guest list. Powell discussed his new role in the LB group and how he’s fitting in under Rex Ryan’s new defensive scheme, even sharing his thoughts on the recent praise from his head coach. He discussed his goal heading into the 2015 season, eying a starting spot on the Bills defense.
“I want to be on the team. I want to be on the field. I want to be a contributor to this team and make it to that Super Bowl and I think we have a really great chance.”
At the top of the second hour, we reached out to 13 WHAM-TV Sports Director and Bills Television Network sideline reporter Mike Catalana. Catalana weighed in with his thoughts on the AFC East quarterback rankings and the Dolphins extension of Ryan Tannehill. He also touched on the Bills current quarterback situation and the competition within.
Finally, we went back in the team’s locker room and brought out undrafted rookie wide receiver Andre Davis. Davis talked his approach to signing on with a team after he went undrafted, his college career at South Florida, and how his size might benefit the wide receiving corps. Davis discussed his college career of making big impactful plays in the air.
“I feel like that’s what I do best. I have great ball skills and I love the deep ball. I love going up and making plays.” Davis said. “I know how to use my body, I know how to contort myself in the air. I have great body control and I have had that for a long time. My dad taught me how to go up and catch the ball. I have great hand-eye coordination, so that’s my game.”
Davis also touched on his participation in the team’s rookie minicamp a couple of weeks ago and what tips he has picked up from receivers coach Sanjay Lal. To hear that and the rest of Monday’s John Murphy Show, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Another week of offseason activity wrapping up at One Bills Drive. The rookies had a busy day Friday, taking the annual Rookie Tour of Buffalo and the surrounding areas. One of them, sixth round pick Tony Steward was along for the ride. The linebacker out of Clemson joined us to kick-off the show. He talked about his first impressions of Western New York, taking in Niagara Falls, New Era Cap, and even a special visit to Women’s & Children’s Hospital. Steward went on to talk about his first two weeks in Orchard Park and where he has been fitting in during the on-field sessions.
At the top of the second hour we reached out to ESPN Insider KC Joyner. In his latest article on ESPN.com, Joyner predicts the Bills will make the playoffs in 2015 and put the reason behind it on new head coach Rex Ryan, comparing Ryan’s charisma to former Yankees Manager Billy Martin. He believes Ryan can help improve an already top defense and his creativity across the board will push the team into the post season.
Finally, John Turney, a member of the Professional Football Researchers Association joined us to discuss the 2014 class of the “Hall of Very Good.” The Hall recognizes players and coaches that had outstanding careers but are not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Turney also shared some insight on Bruce Smith’s sack numbers as well.
To hear the entire interview with Turney and the rest of Friday’s John Murphy Show, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills
We began the show with the news of the day, which included the Bills signing two of their 2015 Draft Picks, third rounder John Miller and fifth round selection, RB Karlos Williams. We heard from both of them to kick off the show.
Bills quarterback Matt Cassel joined us at the bottom of the first hour. Cassel opened up and shared a few thoughts on the recent criticism regarding the Patriots deflation of game balls and his relationship with Tom Brady. He went on to talk about his time living in Buffalo, his continued love for the “shout” song, and the competition at the quarterback spot.
“You’re always out there competing, no matter what. There’s definitely a sense of a quarterback competition here. Obviously, when the head coach says there’s a quarterback competition and there’s no defined starter, you’re in a competition. Now, from your approach as a quarterback, because I’ve been through it a lot, you can’t worry about the other guy and what they’re doing. All you can worry about is how you can make yourself the best player you can be and at the same time show the coaching staff that you know the offense, you’re going to be accountable, and you’re going to be able to go out there and win ball games for them.”
Cassel also discussed adapting to Greg Roman’s offense and the working relationship the quarterback group has with QB Coach David Lee.
At the top of the second hour, we were rejoined by the Bills VP of Operations and Guest Experience Andy Major. Major updated the latest issues and agendas tabled by the Fan Advisory Board during their latest meeting. He discussed improving the fan experience when it comes to entry into Ralph Wilson Stadium, updating the list of prohibited items, and even ideas to better utilize the ADPRO Sports Training Center on Sunday’s. Major also addressed the improvement of fan behavior on game days.
“I would thank the fans. They care about their game day experience and so do we. The support from our fans and from our season ticket members especially, to say ‘thank you, we notice additional uniformed sheriff. We’ve seen your staff be proactive and taking care of issues, thank you.’ That goes a long way and we share that with our staff because sometimes they feel like they’re not making a difference but when we’re able to share some of those experiences and that feedback with our staff, it makes them feel good that they are making a difference and they do see a change and we do have numbers that support things are changing in Buffalo for Bills games for the better.”
Major went on to talk about the upcoming summer concerts coming to the Ralph and the increase of Bills season ticket holders.
Finally, we reached out to John Breech of CBSSports.com to discuss next week’s NFL League Meetings, specifically when it comes to potential rule changes and the tabled proposals for changing extra points.
To hear that interview and the complete John Murphy Show from Thursday, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills