Plenty of Kyle Orton reaction on tonight’s John Murphy Show. We asked the listeners, now that the move has been made, what are your expectations for the offense and Kyle Orton? Our first guest spent a lot of time with the Bills QB. Ron Turner, head coach at Florida International University, was the offensive coordinator with the Bears from 2005-2009. He coached Orton during his tenure in Chicago and was excited to come on and talk about his former quarterback. Turner talked about Orton’s progression with the Bears, sighting his intelligence and how he made the players around him better. He also has followed his career since leaving Chicago and shared his thoughts on what he sees from Kyle Orton today.
“I still think he’s a good player. Every time he has had an opportunity to play, for the most part, he has gone in and done well. I think he has a lot left and I think he can bring a lot to the table. I know Buffalo has a very good team and I’m sure he’ll step right in and gain the respect of everyone there and be able to help the guys around him. I anticipate he’s going to go in and play really well.”
At the top of the hour, former Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas returned to the show. He talked about what he has seen from the team in the last couple weeks. He talked about the switch at QB and how he’s interested to see how different the offense will be under Kyle Orton. He also weighed what it might mean for EJ Manuel, now having to take a step back.
“You can’t just throw away what EJ has tried to do with what they have given him on the offensive side of the ball. I think you have to, as a team, you have to keep him focused and keep him on the sideline, keep him involved with the football game, and keep him involved in the game plan because you know in this league, one play you can be right back in there.”
Thurman added that the AFC East seems to be wide open and said a team could win the division with 8, 9, or 10 wins. He also thinks that the Bills should grab a win in Detroit this Sunday.
Finally, Lesley Visser, a pioneer among woman sports journalists, called in to discuss her new show “We Need to Talk” featuring an all-female rotating cast that includes national sports broadcasters and athletes. The hour long show will air on the CBS Sports Network Tuesday’s at 10 p.m. Visser described the uniqueness of her new show.
“It will be a panel of four or five guests or some weeks not a guest. We’re hoping the show is somewhere between The Sports Reporters and PTI where we have some issues and where we have some fun.”
To hear more from Visser and her memories of the Bills along with the rest of Tuesday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
A jam packed podcast edition of The John Murphy Show for Friday. We started things off by sharing the news of the day from One Bills Drive including an injury update. Plenty of reaction from the locker room as you’ll hear from EJ Manuel, C.J. Spiller, Eric Wood, and head coach Doug Marrone on rookie Cyril Richardson possibly filling in at guard. Marrone also sat down with Bills Insider Chris Brown for this week’s Coffee with the Coach segment.
Mark Kelso, a true student of the game, joined us once again to give us his in-depth preview of Sunday’s game in Houston. Kelso discussed the Bills run game going up against defenses that load the box and where they might have success doing so this weekend. He also weighed in on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and how he can catch defenses off guard to complete big plays down the field but says there are chances for the Bills defense to make plays against him.
“I think one of the things that get away from Ryan Fitzpatrick sometimes is his accuracy. He’s not afraid to throw it in there and he’s not pinpoint accurate and when you have those two things going then it’s an opportunity for the defense to come up with turnovers.”
Kelso also analyzed defensive end J.J. Watt and how he can be a force against opposing offenses, moving around the line of scrimmage and causing havoc with his pass rush. He talked about the difficulty for offensive lineman to attempt to keep Watt from using his hands.
Finally, Bills Multimedia Reporter Alexandra Vitale sat down to preview Friday night’s Intense Milk High School Rivalry Game of the Week, Clarence at Lancaster. To hear that and the rest of The John Murphy Podcast, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Our last live show before we hit the weekend and put Sunday’s game at Houston in eyesight. It was a one-hour show because of Thursday Night Football. We went Around the Locker Room as the team preps for the Texans. We also asked listeners, what’s the most important thing the Bills have to fix from last Sunday to beat Houston this week? We received various responses in our first segment.
Bills punter Colton Schmidt joined us in studio to talk about his recent success here in Buffalo. Schmidt talked about his path to the NFL, which included a few short stops along the way in Cleveland and two stops in San Francisco. He eventually made the 49ers training camp roster where he worked with veteran punter Andy Lee. Schmidt said he knew he was going to get cut but took full advantage of his opportunities and was able to put enough solid game play on tape which eventually led him to signing with the Bills.
“I thought it was a great opportunity for myself to show I could be one of the guys to play in this league and perform well enough to hold a spot for a long time. I packed a suitcase and flew out here and it was a, I may stay for stay here for six months or I may be here for 24-hours kind of thing. The funny part is, I got the call at 7:30 in the morning and my brother and my dad were at school and at work and I caught my mom as she was leaving and said hey I need a ride to the airport. I still haven’t been able to say goodbye to my dad or my brother. I had to just pick up and leave.”
Schmidt also said he doesn’t look much at the stats but measures his play kick-by-kick and tries to find ways to better about each kick.
To hear the rest of Thursday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
We returned to the airways for a live show on Wednesday. It was media day at One Bills drive as the team turned its attention to the Texans. Plenty of player reaction as we churned out another edition of Around the Locker Room and as we count down the days until Sunday’s game, we asked the listeners if this game is a must win, a should win, or just another game?
Our first guest is a familiar name to Bills fans. Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick called in at the bottom of the first hour. He was excited to be back on the show and talk about his love for Buffalo. He also weighed in on his situation in Houston with the changeover under new head coach Bill O’Brien and what went right for the offense after starting 2-0 and what might have went wrong last week against the Giants. As he turns his attention towards this weekend, Fitzpatrick weighed in on what it will be like to go up against his former teammates and his friends still on the Bills.
“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. It just adds to the competitive side of it. Even just the friendly banter on the text messages back and forth whether it’s Freddy (Jackson) or Eric Wood or Scott Chandler or Lee Smith today. It’s a lot of different guys I’ve enjoyed playing with. I don’t think it’s going to be a pleasant thing to have to go up against the defense with Kyle Williams and Mario (Williams) and Marcell (Dareus) but they weren’t allowed to hit me in practice, so we’ll see how that goes during the game.”
At the top of the hour, we were joined by Sports Illustrated’s NFL analyst for the MMQB Andy Benoit. Benoit has been breaking down game film from across the league and has dissected the past few Bills games. He talked about what he’s seen from the defense and how they are a good “tackling team with good enthusiasm.” He also pointed out the play of defensive back Corey Graham, who he noted has been “one of the best corners in the league.”
Benoit went on to breakdown the game of Ryan Fitzpatrick and why he should shave his infamous beard.
Finally, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus sat down with us in studio. Dareus gave his approach to being double-teamed and how that frees up the other 3 guys on the line to make plays. He also talked about the difference with this year’s defense under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, especially when it comes to stopping the run.
“We’re being more gap conscious, more gap sound to what we’re doing. Staying in your gap is real essential to the defense. If I’m in my gap, the linebacker got his gap, and everybody is lined up and they come down fast so we have to stay fundamentally sound, play inside defense, and make your plays inside the defense.”
Dareus also talked about going up against his former teammate, Ryan Fitzpatrick. He admits he’s excited and says it’s “going to be a lot of fun” but wants to get a sack on the team’s former QB.
To hear more from all of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show guests, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
A podcast edition of The John Murphy Show on Tuesday. We started with the news of the day from around the league. We also heard from safety Aaron Williams, running back C.J. Spiller, and head coach Doug Marrone.
Sam Monson, the Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus joined us to discuss his recent breakdown of this past Sunday’s game against the Chargers. He discussed the ratings that were given for players during the game, how they are concluded, and what that means for a players position. He specifically touched on the high grade for defensive tackle Kyle Williams.
“Games like this when he’s really at his best, he is as good as anybody. He was an absolute force against the run and the pass. He was making a total nuisance of himself controlling those interior San Diego guys, driving into gaps and generally disrupting what they wanted to do.”
Monson had praise for the players in the defensive backfield as well, especially for safety Aaron Williams and cornerback Corey Graham.
To listen to more from Monson and the rest of the Tuesday John Murphy Show podcast, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Our last show before we head into the weekend and Sunday’s game with the Chargers. We had plenty of preview material to get you ready. Our weekly installment of Coffee with the Coach as Bills Insider Chris Brown sat down with Doug Marrone to get his thoughts on his team and the Chargers. We went Around the Locker Room, hearing from a handful of Bills players. Of course, we also got a heavy dose of listeners chiming in with their thoughts, predictions, and concerns leading up to the game.
At the bottom of the first hour, former NFL QB Sage Rosenfels called in to weigh in on this year’s team. He dished out high praise for the Bills in a recent article on his new site www.footballbyfootball.com. He said the “Bills are for real and will compete in the AFC East.” As a former quarterback in the league he had some opinions on EJ Manuel and likes what he has seen from him in the first two games.
“He gets put in that mix of the athletic quarterback that probably counts on his legs too much. I think last year he did that more than this year. It seems like in the first two games he’s trying to become more of a pocket passer and I think he’s doing a pretty good job of it. He looks comfortable in the pocket. He throws nice seam balls that are real NFL throws. When they need to, they still run some of the zone read with him to take advantage of his athletic ability but I think he’s one of those quarterbacks that has understood that if he wants to play in this league for 10, 12, or 15 years, you have to be a pocket passer”
No one will break down a game like Murph’s partner on the radio broadcast, Mark Kelso. He joined us at the top of the first hour to give us his complete breakdown from both sides of the ball and from each team. He discussed Phillip Rivers and the QB’s connection with veteran tight end Antonio Gates, a tandem Kelso said the Bills should pay close attention to.
“There are times when he’s lined up in a flex position or if he’s lined up as a tight end. There are times when you want to sacrifice the defensive end on that side and get a collision on him and make it difficult for him to get off the football….You can also bring some pressure, so if Antonio Gates is on your defensive left side, you can bring some pressure from that side. What that will do is force Phillip Rivers to throw it to the other side and you can eliminate that pattern but you have to be extremely careful with Antonio Gates.”
Kelso then looked at the Bills offense against the Chargers defense, specifically when it comes to their defensive backfield and how EJ Manuel might have chances to go deep. He gave plenty more insight into Sunday’s game as well.
Finally, the Bills VP of Operations and Game Experience Andy Major swung by to discuss the recent development inside and outside of Ralph Wilson Stadium when it comes to stadium renovations. He talked about the how the recent updates have been utilized and have been affected through the first two regular season home games. He specifically mentioned entry into the stadium and the ways they are improving the process to get your seat. Major also addressed the fan behavior issues and touched on the effort to improve that with added security and the new ELERTS ‘See Something, Say Something’ app that gives fans a one-touch way to communicate with stadium officials when a problem arises.
You can hear more from Major and the rest of Friday’s John Murphy Show, by clicking below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
It was a shortened show on Thursday because of NFL Football. We began with the news of the day that included an injury update and a status on wide receiver Robert Woods. We also shelled out another edition of Around the Locker Room that included plenty of player reaction heading into this weekend’s game from Mike Williams on getting better red zone production to Eric Wood on the Chargers 3-4 defensive front.
Sunday’s game will be broadcast on CBS and part of the crew in Buffalo will include former Bills Special Teamer Steve Tasker. Tasker will be alongside Andrew Catalon and Steve Beuerlein. He talked about coming home to call games at Ralph Wilson Stadium and how much he has enjoyed the recent positive news surrounding the team. Tasker, a special teams ace, also discussed the Bills success through two games and the drastic improvement from their special teams.
“When you go out and block a punt and when you get a touchdown return, 102-yards on a kickoff return, and you’re nailing them down inside the 5-yard line twice. The field position against the Miami Dolphins was an enormous benefit for the defense and for the offense. Special teams can be a big game breaker when you do the big play like the blocked kick or the return for a touchdown but it’s also a grind where slowly but surely you just keep them on the long field and it just makes it really, really exhausting for their offense to put together a 13-play drive to get out of their own end. It’s been a huge boost for the Buffalo Bills this season.”
To hear the complete John Murphy Show from Thursday, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
We’re turning the corner on the week as we inch towards Sunday’s game against the Chargers. The team held their weekly media day on Wednesday. We heard from plenty of players and even head coach Doug Marrone as we installed another edition of Around the Locker Room. As far as the topic of the night, we brought up the Bills teams of the past to start the year off 2-0, so we asked the listeners, how long into this season will it take for you to believe that this year’s team is different and they are legitimate contenders?
Our first guest is a familiar name to those of Western New York. St. Francis grad and Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco called in to the show. He talked about returning to his hometown and how it’s nice to see family and friends but mentioned his main priority is to come in and get his team back-to-back wins. He then discussed all the Buffalo connections that are part of his Chargers staff including QB coach Nick Sirianni, tight ends coach Pete Metzelaars, and offensive coordinator Frank Reich.
“It’s not by accident. Those guys are really good at what they do. In terms of Frank and Pete, those are two guys that played for a Hall of Fame coach in Buffalo under Marv Levy and they coached under Tony Dungy in Indianapolis for a long time and hopefully Tony will make the Hall pretty soon. Those guys have great backgrounds and we’re really happy to have them.”
Telesco also talked about the heavy influence he received from Bill Polian and his son Chris Polian who is also a St. Francis grad.
At the top of the first hour we were joined by Bills safety Aaron Williams. He stopped by our studio to discuss Sunday’s game. He talked in depth about the offensive playmakers on the Chargers including how to defend against Antonio Gates. When it came to quarterback Phillip Rivers, he compared his style to that of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.
“You think he’s going to be sacked and go down but somehow, someway he finds a way to get out and extend the play. You have seen a few times when they replay, the ball almost comes out of his hands in the pocket but he has strong enough hands to hold onto the ball, escape the pressure and then just dink it off with an awkward balance throw but he makes it.”
Williams also talked about the crowd at Ralph Wilson Stadium as he believes they will be even louder on Sunday. He weighed in on the overall defense saying that they will be even better than they were last year but they want to generate more turnovers.
Finally, we caught up with former Bills wide receiver Lee Evans. Evans will be Leading the Charge as the Bills are introduced before Sunday’s game and said he’s excited to be part of the team’s introduction this weekend. Evans looked back at his career in Buffalo including his rookie year in 2004 when the Bills were one win away from making the playoffs which led him to discuss this year’s Bills team.
“Where they are right now, I know the excitement and I know the feeling around the city but even with that, hopefully they can just continue to build on it and finish a lot stronger than we did in years past.”
To hear more from Evans and the rest of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
The show returned to its regularly scheduled spot tonight as we continued to look back at the team’s latest win over the Dolphins. Our topic of discussion dealt with the offensive production thus far. They’ve put together three offensive touchdowns so far. We asked with that pace, is that enough to help win games and have a successful season? We received plenty of reaction siding with the need for more offensive production, especially in the red zone but most believe it’s all part of the growth process.
The team made a roster move on Tuesday bringing in linebacker Larry Dean. Dean was an undrafted free agent of the Minnesota Vikings and has appeared in 48-games during his three-year stint there. Dean joined us in studio to talk about the move and how he can assist within the linebacking group and on special teams. He discussed how he made his mark on special teams during his time in Minnesota.
“That was the role I’ve been coached to play and that was my role for the team at that time and that’s what I’ve embraced because that’s what they wanted me to do. I don’t consider myself just to be a special teams player, I am an outside linebacker who plays special teams. That was what the team wanted me to do and that’s what was best for the team at that time and I embraced the role to the fullest of my ability and I excelled at it.”
Dean touched on his relationship with Bills linebacking coach Fred Pagac who coached him in Minnesota. He also talked about his path to the NFL coming from a small division-II school in Georgia, Valdosta State. He discussed not getting his name called on draft day and having to wait through the lockout before finally hearing from the Vikings.
At the top of the hour we were joined by sports writer David Dorsey of The Fort Myers News-Press and author of the new book Fourth Down in Dunbar. The book deals with a historically segregated community of Fort Myers that’s brimming with NFL talent. Names like Deion Sanders, Jevon Kearse, and Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who graces the cover, avoided going down the path of drugs and trouble off the field to make a positive name for themselves in representing their hometown. Dorsey laid out the reputation and following that Sammy Watkins has back in his hometown.
“Right now he represents hope for the community…We’re very fortunate to have someone of his caliber representing the city on a bigger stage right now, on a national stage.”
The book can purchased on Amazon and is scheduled for release on September 23rd.
Finally, we were joined by the Pro Football Hall of Fame President and Executive Director David Baker. He came in to discuss this weekend’s Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence Presentation for Andre Reed. Reed will be part of the half time ceremony during Sunday’s Bills-Chargers game at Ralph Wilson Stadium. He talked about the importance of making sure that each player inducted gets their ring at the stadium they played in.
To hear more from all of the guests on Tuesday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
The countdown continues as we’re now just days away from the Bills home opener, Sunday against the Dolphins. We had a shortened version of The John Murphy Show tonight. We received an updated injury report and heard from head coach Doug Marrone and quarterback EJ Manuel.
In the first half-hour we caught up with Dolphins linebacker Jason Trusnik who called-in to discuss the upcoming game at the Ralph. Trusnik is part of a depleted Miami linebacking corp. He talked about the challenge of going up against the Bills offense including the “1-2 punch” of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Trusnik, a graduate of Division III Ohio Northern, also discussed climbing the ranks from a small school program, which he related to Bills RB Fred Jackson.
“The more we move forward with the recruiting process, D-III will get a better look. There have been some guys like London Fletcher and Fred Jackson who have made a big impact. To continue to follow along these footsteps and make an impact to show that D-III guys can make it and that there’s opportunities for them to make it in the NFL. It’s always something we’re pushing for.”
Bills cornerback Corey Graham joined us in-studio after Trusnik to talk about his homecoming of sorts. He’s a Buffalo native and talked about his excitement of playing in front of his family and friends at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Graham also weighed-in on the recent ownership news and mentioned how excited he is for the team and especially for the fans that do not have to worry about not having a team to root for on Sunday’s.
“It’s a special moment for the Buffalo Bills and the rest of Western New York. We have an opportunity now, hoping the franchise is going to be here no matter what, they’ll always have an opportunity to enjoy football.”
With that recent news and the anticipation of the home opener, Graham talked about how loud and crazy the fans will be come Sunday saying “we want them to be as loud as they can.” We finished the segment discussion the game itself. Graham focused on Miami’s two receivers, Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline.
To hear more from Graham and the rest of Thursday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Wednesday is the day the team turns its attention to the Miami Dolphins. Plenty of locker room sound including another edition of Around the Locker Room. We touched on Tuesday’s ownership news and the upcoming game against the Dolphins which led to tonight’s show topic. We asked the listeners, when was the last time there was this much hype heading into the home opener?
Our first guest was Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham. Bradham will be returning to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension. He talked about watching the Bears game alone on TV and how hard it was for him to do so. Bradham also talked about his excitement in returning to the field for the home opener at Ralph Wilson Stadium, especially with the recent news surrounding the team with the future ownership change.
“We’re all excited. We know it’s great for the community. We know it’s going to be exciting for the fans. They are already ecstatic on game day here. I know they’re even more excited now and then we’re 1-0 right now and this is a division game so there’s just so much for them and I know it’s going to be crazy loud. It’s definitely going to be appreciated for our defense come third down.”
Bradham also talked about the run game and stopping Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno. He weighed in on his Florida State teammate, EJ Manuel and how he’s progressing with the offense and his coaches.
At the top of the hour we were joined by author Joseph Valerio, who recently released his new book Second to None which chronicles the Bills Super Bowl years during 1991-1994. He conducted interviews with all the top players during that time including Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, and Thurman Thomas and even head coach Marv Levy and Bill Polian. He talked about why he chose to write about that era of Buffalo Bills football.
“The fact that they went to four straight Super Bowls. I consider that a remarkable feat and an accomplishment of resilience, determination, and perseverance. You always hear coaches say it’s so hard to get to the Super Bowl. It’s really hard to get to the Super Bowl but then you get there and you lose your first Super Bowl in the most heartbreaking way but you have the resolve to come back year after year after year and chase that dream. I really thought that was remarkable.”
Finally, Former NFL scout and National Football Post contributor Greg Gabriel made his return to the show to discuss his Introduction to Scouting Class. The class provides those interested in getting into football scouting a 5-week online tutorial to help improve one’s knowledge of the game and the fundamentals of scouting. The course goes over each position and what to look for in a certain player. Gabriel went on to talk about the difficulty of the job but said it certainly can fit someone with a real passion for the game.
“I think it’s the NFL. It’s part of the big game and the enterprise that the NFL is today. Everybody thinks they know about football and players and that it’s easy to scout but it really isn’t because let’s say you’re taking an offensive lineman, you’re starting off with his stance and going forward from there. What’s he look like in his stance, his first step coming out, his reaction to the snap, his steps to the block, his explosion through hips. You’re looking at a number of different things on each individual play and you have a checklist if he’s doing it right or if he’s doing it wrong…when you do that for every position there’s a lot to know and a lot to understand.”
To hear more from Gabriel and the rest of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
With Tuesday’s announcement that the Wilson trust has agreed to sell the team to Terry and Kim Pegula, we received plenty of reaction from fans sharing their excitement and emotions with the recent news of the future ownership change. John Murphy also shared his thoughts with an insightful and heartfelt message to begin the show.
One who is in close contact with Terry Pegula is former Buffalo Sabre and Sabres Alumni Relations Director Larry Playfair. Playfair called in to say “what a great time it is to be a Buffalonian” and his thoughts on why Terry Pegula will be a great fit as the owner of the Buffalo Bills. He gave specific examples from inside the Sabres organization and how it will translate to good things here with the Bills.
At the top of the hour we were joined by Penn State men’s hockey coach Guy Gadowsky. Gadowsky is entering his fourth year as the only coach the program has had. The push to create a Division I hockey team at the school was backed and heavily supported by Terry Pegula, a Penn State alumnus. Gadowsky discussed why Buffalo Bills fans should be excited.
“Obviously he loves Buffalo so you know the Bills are staying there. That’s one reason. The biggest reason from my standpoint is that he is such a quality person. He has a really unique ability that you know who he is but then after less than a minute he makes you forget who he is. You end up just talking to a really cool guy. That’s probably the best way I can explain it. He is a tremendous person and a great person to be associated with, that’s for sure.”
Finally, keeping with the news of the day, we were joined by Bills Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas. Thomas who called in from New York City at Joe Namath’s golf tournament and mentioned how a random Buffalo Bills fan came up to him and embraced him with a hug and told him to thank the Pegulas. Thomas talked about how the ownership is bringing everything together.
“This is the first time in a long time, being 1-0, coming back with a division rivalry. It means something not only for the players but for city, too. To have this news about Pegula coming out, I’ll tell you what, these players, if they ain’t fired up yet, I don’t know what’s going to get them fired up.”
To hear more of Tuesday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
A Football Monday John Murphy Show as we went on air for a morning edition of the show. Plenty of listener calls giving their thoughts on the Bills overtime win in Chicago. Post game reaction from the locker room with another edition of Around the Locker Room. We also heard all the highlights courtesy of the play-by-play voice, John Murphy and the Buffalo Bills Radio Network.
With his first career interception in the win over the Bears, defensive tackle Kyle Williams stopped by our studio to discuss just that. He broke down the play and how he read Jay Cutler’s eyes and knew he had a chance at the pick. Williams discussed the importance of getting turnovers, especially on the road against the high potent Bears offense.
“For us to get turnovers on the road like that is huge for us. Obviously, when we come home and we have the noise, we want to create miscommunication for their offense and help us be able to get turnovers at home but going on the road and getting turnovers and getting our offense the ball back is invaluable.”
Williams also talked about his excitement for coming home to Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday when the team hosts the Dolphins.
We were also joined by Bills Insider Chris Brown who joined us to break down the game. He talked about the Fred Jackson run in overtime that led to the game winning field goal. Brown also discussed his thoughts on EJ Manuel’s first game of 2014, special teams, and the defense including the solid play of cornerback Corey Graham who filled in for an injured Stephon Gilmore.
To hear all of that and more of Monday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Last show before we head to Chicago for the season opener against the Bears. We ran down the news of the day including the updated injury report. We heard from a couple defensive backs on going up against a strong Bears offense and EJ Manuel and Fred Jackson from the offensive side of the ball. We also asked the listeners their thoughts on the upcoming season. How will the Bills finish the year and what do you expect come Sunday in Chicago?
At the bottom of the first hour, Murph’s partner on the radio broadcast, Mark Kelso called in to discuss this upcoming game and breakdown the matchup when it comes to the Bills offense against the Bears defense, a defense that has some holes in it.
“They will have to control the game on the ground and I think that’s the first thing they’re going to have to do. I think there’s opportunities in the play action pass game too because the Bears like to defend the run on first down. Last year they (Bears) gave up a league worst 5.3-yards per rush against their opponents and they gave up over 160-yards per game on the ground. They were the league’s worst in a couple defensive categories.”
When it came to the Bills defense, Kelso says they may have their hands full when it comes to defending Jay Cutler and the rest of the Bears offense. He says cornerback Stephon Gilmore and the defensive backs will have to play a key role on Sunday going up against Brandon Marshall and the rest of Chicago’s wide receiver group.
“They have to find ways to defend them a little differently. If they’re going to play man, they better bring some serious pressure. I think they can roll up on those guys sometimes and play over the top and play a cover 2 and sometimes plays a cover 3 but roll everyone off and get some collisions. You have to have bodies on those guys and make it difficult coming off the line of scrimmage.”
At the top of the hour we were joined by NFL Network host Dan Hellie who will be the host of the new show on the network GameDay Live. The show will air every Sunday and will start at 1:00 PM ET and will go all the way through the afternoon games supplying analysis and highlights. Hellie will work with analysts Heath Evans, Brian Billick, LaDainian Tomlinson and Daniel Jeremiah to give their thoughts on the games including news/injury updates. He also weighed in with his thoughts on the Bills and why he’s hopeful that receiver Sammy Watkins will help elevate quarterback EJ Manuel.
Finally, Bills rookie linebacker Preston Brown stopped by our studio. Brown is gearing up for his first NFL start Sunday. He discussed replacing Nigel Bradham on the outside and defending the Bears high powered offense that includes running back Matt Forte.
He also talked about his relationship with his college coach at Louisville, Charlie Strong. Before Louisville, Strong coached at Florida where he was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Under him at Florida was Brown’s teammate Brandon Spikes. That’s where the two teammates share a common connection.
“He (Charlie Strong) would always talk about Spikes basically every day when we were at practice. He really had some great linebackers at Florida and he tried to bring that competition back to Louisville.”
Brown also discussed what coach Strong told him about Spikes.
“Just how physical and great player he was at the college level and he’s continued to do that now. He was just telling me how to read like him, how to come down hill and be physical against offensive lineman. We would watch a lot of the Florida games his first couple years there.”
To hear more from Brown and the rest of Friday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
A shortened version of the show tonight as the NFL kicks off the regular season. With that, we asked the listeners their picks for this year’s Super Bowl matchup and who will take it all. There were plenty responses choosing Seattle, New England, Denver, and even New Orleans.
As the Bills ready for their matchup with the Bears they met the media once again after today’s practice session. We put together another version of Around the Locker Room where we heard from a handful of players including Stephon Gilmore, Chris Williams, and Fred Jackson.
Later in the show, we were joined by former Bills punter and football commentator Paul Maguire. Maguire looked back on his playing career in Buffalo and on his broadcast career which spanned the NFL and college ranks. Maguire will be emceeing next weekend’s Bills Alumni V.I.P. Gala which will honor Ralph Wilson, Jr. He gave his thoughts on the Bills late owner.
“It was phenomenal what this guy did for Buffalo. The most important thing is what he said in his lifetime, as long as he owned the Buffalo Bills they will always be in Buffalo and John, you knew he could have sold this team and gone somewhere else. That was a man of his word to Buffalo and to everyone that knew him.”
For more information on next weekend’s festivities you can visit www.BuffaloBillsAlumni.com or call (716) 694-7867
To hear more from Maguire and the rest of Thursday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Back in-house at One Bills Drive for another John Murphy Show as inch our way towards the start of the 2014 NFL Season. We asked the viewers if they’re optimistic or pessimistic about this year’s Bills team and their chances this weekend in Chicago? We introduced a new segment to the show as we went Around the Locker Room. We heard from a handful of players including Sammy Watkins, EJ Manuel, Mario Williams, and even head coach Doug Marrone.
Our first guest is a Youngstown, NY native and Lewiston-Porter grad, Daryl “Moose” Johnston. Johnston will be the color analyst for Fox’s coverage of this weekend’s Bills game. He discussed the move from the playing field in the NFL to the broadcast booth and says he still gets excited for the NFL opener because he says he still remains a big fan of the game. As he readies for this Sunday’s game, he weighed in on EJ Manuel and what he hopes to see from the second year quarterback and what he believes is the strength of the team, the defense under Jim Schwartz.
“You saw what they did last year. You see the talent in that group. That’s going to be the key and I think people are going to enjoy Jim Schwartz’s style of defense…Jim brings a swagger. He brings a personality to the defensive side of the ball. He’s going to be very aggressive and you look at the talent that they have there. I think it meshes well with the style of defense and the tenacity that Jim requires and requests from his players. I think the big thing from a positive standpoint is the defense should be good.”
Johnston also talked about his relationship with Doug Marrone and how he acquired the nickname “Moose” during his rookie year in Dallas.
At the bottom of the second hour, Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas called in to the show. Thurman weighed in on the Bills preseason and his hopes come the regular season. With the Bills kicking things off on the road, Thurman said it might be better for the team to start away from home and hopefully pull out a win to build confidence.
“I’m optimistic about what lies ahead. I think this is a big test for them. Obviously, with having (Alshon) Jeffery and (Brandon) Marshall on the offense with Jay Cutler and (Matt) Forte, I think it’s huge for them. I think it’s huge for them to come out and try to steal a road victory. I’m very confident in the players. I’ve been talking to a lot of the players throughout training camp and will continue to talk to them until they leave to go to Chicago. I’m excited for the season. Yes, I’m excited for every football season, especially the Buffalo Bills because I keep saying to myself this is the year.”
Thurman also talked about C.J. Spiller returning kickoffs and said if you can give a talented player a chance to put the offense in good field position, then they should.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Taking the show on the road tonight. We set up shop at NOCO Express on N. French Road in Getzville. We were joined by Bills rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins who made an appearance for a special meet and greet with fans. We heard from Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso as he addressed his offseason injury for the first time, not ruling out a possible return, and his continued rehab here in Buffalo. We also got plenty of reaction from fans in attendance who gave their opinion on the team’s roster heading into Sunday’s season opener.
Watkins scratched out some time from poising with the fans to sit down with us to discuss his just that. He talked highly of the fans in Buffalo and how well received he has been since coming to Buffalo after being drafted in the first round. He compared the fan atmosphere from his days at a football program at Clemson that dominated the area to the site here in Buffalo.
“It’s on a whole other level. Clemson and being in college was crazy. It was fun and we had a great crowd but I sense that Buffalo is more involved and everybody cares about the team and so far we haven’t given them anything to care about. That’s one of the reasons why we need to start winning now and I think this team is available to do that.”
We also heard from newly signed quarterback Kyle Orton. Orton will be thrown into the mix to backup EJ Manuel and he said he feels comfortable with where he is at with learning the new offense system. He also had high praise for Manuel, his offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, and even QB coach Todd Downing.
Orton signed on after his departure from Dallas. He mentioned he was waiting for the right team and the right situation before getting back on the field. When Buffalo contacted him, he knew it was the right fit.
“We did the back-and-forth deal for a while but you just get that feeling. I can’t really sit here and say why it happened or what the deal is. This town, this organization even going back to my rookie year, Ruben Brown, I played with Ruben Brown for three years in Chicago. The guy raved about Buffalo. To be honest with you, when you cross paths with people throughout the league everybody loved it here so like I said I’m happy to be here.”
He also talked about his relationship with defensive tackle Kyle Williams and how the two are neighbors in New Orleans.
To hear the entire John Murphy Show from Tuesday, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
The Bills released 10-players this afternoon inching towards the final 53-man roster as the deadline comes on Saturday. With the season opener just over a week away, we asked the listeners to weigh in on the team’s possible final roster and their thoughts on today’s cuts.
As moves around the league trickle in, we decided to reach out to Sports Illustrated’s contributing writer to the MMQB Andrew Brandt. He recently wrote an article on the business side of putting together an NFL roster describing it as, The Most Wonderful Time of All. Brandt broke down the difference between the overall roster and the 46 that make it to the field on game day. He also discussed how finalizing your roster plays a big role on your salary cap and there’s more that goes into it than one would think.
“People think it’s just 53 players on your cap but it’s a lot more than that. It’s all the charges from players you cut, that you have given bonuses to that are pro-rated and stay on your cap. It’s all your injury settlements. It’s all your guys on I-R who could be big, big chunks of money like a Sam Bradford, 13 million dollars and it’s all your practice squad guys. You’re really accounting for close to 70 players by the time it’s over not 53 and as a cap manager, you have to think that way.”
Brandt talked about assembling the practice squad as well and how teams and scouts will be constantly evaluating their own team and others around the league.
Those that have been watching the preseason have been seeing a lot more yellow on the playing field with a major increase of penalty calls. Ben Austro, the editor and founder of Football Zebras called in to discuss just that. He admits that there’s a big point of emphasis with illegal contact and defensive holding. He mentioned that the VP of officiating Dean Blandino made a point of emphasis that the way they call the game in the preseason won’t change when the regular season comes around.
“These points of emphasis are essentially a seed planted in their head, so if they see this they’re going to call it because they (the officials) just went over it in the clinic. As the preseason progresses, you’re going to see those calls come out in real situations and they’re going to be evaluated on it. The grades don’t count for preseason but what they do is establish here’s what the head office is determining is a foul, is not a foul and so that four week preseason really helps the officials fine tune what came out of the clinic and in a practical life situation how they’re going to call it and how they’re going to rule it and then how are they going to grade it.”
We looked back on Thursday night’s preseason finale with highlights from Murph’s radio calls courtesy of the Buffalo Bills Radio Network. We also listened back to author Brad Schultz and his book “The NFL, Year One” which looks back on the 1970 season and the dawn of modern football. To hear that and the rest of Friday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
It’s the eve of the final preseason game for the Buffalo Bills, a game where certain players are fighting for a roster spot. We asked the listeners who is on the bubble, who is their bubble player to make the team or not make the team? We received some interesting scenarios on that. We also heard from quarterback EJ Manuel and head coach Doug Marrone who discussed the playing time for the starters tomorrow night, his quarterback, and the leadership coming from the team.
Our first guest was Jim Brandstatter, the radio color analyst for the Detroit Lions. Brandstatter gave us a preview of tomorrow night’s preseason game as the Lions come to Ralph Wilson Stadium. He talked about former Lions head coach and now Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and his time in Detroit and what led to his dismissal. He touched on quarterback Matthew Stafford who had a disappointing season last season and Stafford’s new tight end target, Eric Ebron. Ebron, the rookie out of North Carolina has been a big target in the preseason and is showing his potential value for the Lions.
“What the Lions thought he would be is what he has become. It’s a matchup problem for a defense. He can lineup as a fullback, as a wing like an H-back. He can become detached from the line of scrimmage, kind of like a flex tight end or wide receiver. He gives the defense a lot to look at and he’s got great size and decent speed, so if he gets a matchup against a linebacker or safety, he can beat them and I think that’s what the Lions were looking to add.”
Brandstatter discussed the defensive side of things for the Lions including their defensive front that includes Ndamukong Suh and the recent demotion of Nick Fairley.
As the weekend approaches and the deadline looms for roster cuts, we were joined by Western New York native Greg Gabriel who talked about the making of the 53-man roster. Gabriel is a former NFL team scout and that includes time with the Bills. His recent post on National Football Post discusses who makes the final call on the final roster, breaking down who will fit in each position, and if money is a factor for certain players. When making the call on a certain player, Gabriel says the importance of game play doesn’t always out-weigh what’s being showcased on the practice field. (10 min in)
“It’s part of the equation not the total equation. There’s practice every day. What you do in practice, what you do in the class room that counts. That counts sometimes even more than what happens in games. You can’t control what happens in a game time situation. You go into a preseason game and you want to get someone fifteen snaps but because of the flow of the game you just can’t do that, so you’re not able to evaluate that situation but you have been able to evaluate him every day in camp and on top of that you know what he’s doing in the class room, you know how he picks up your offense and defense, you know what his work habits are, you’ve worked with him every day. It’s really a two part equation and I’m going to say it’s more practice than the preseason games.”
Gabriel also touched on the importance of special teams and how those final roster decisions may rely on how a player can help on special teams.
To round out the show, we were re-joined by Bills VP of Operations and Guest Experience Andy Major. Major updated us on the renovations at the stadium and the feedback he received after the team’s first home game last Saturday. Major said the “wow-factor” for the fans has come from the new Bills Store that is a center stage visual. He also talked about the ease fans had getting into the stadium from the new entry gates. He answered various questions from listeners of the show and discussed what is ongoing with the renovations including various updated signage and how fans can give their feedback on their game day experience.
To hear more from Major and the rest of The John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
The Bills wrapped up another practice in preps for their final preseason game. Joining the team was Jordan Palmer, recently signed quarterback who was released by the Chicago Bears on Sunday. He spoke to the media following today’s session. We heard from Palmer and head coach Doug Marrone to begin tonight’s show. We also asked the listeners what they want out of a backup QB and if that guy is currently on the Bills roster.
At the bottom of the first hour, we were joined by defensive lineman Corbin Bryant. Bryant is entering his second year with the Bills. He discussed the success of the Bills defensive line and why the players that surround him have been so influential to him. He also talked about the approaching roster cuts. He reflected on his career path and the persistence he has to stick it out on an NFL roster.
“I’m always going to have the hunger, even when I was a rookie trying to make it when I was in Pittsburgh. You never want to be satisfied in this league because there are always guys coming in trying to take your place, so if you’re always hungry like you’re an undrafted free agent at the bottom of the totem pole, I think you’ll always have success.”
Bryant also discussed what he likes to do off the field, which includes reading and working out.
At the top of the hour, we were joined by Murph’s partner on the radio broadcast, color analyst Mark Kelso. Kelso has done his fair of studying this year’s Bills team and weighed in on plenty of topics and issues, including quarterback EJ Manuel.
“I don’t think he’s just letting it go and playing with just the freedom that he would if he wasn’t concentrating on all those things. I think when the regular season begins, he forgets about those things when game time shows up. When game time shows up you can’t think about your foot work. You can’t think about stepping in to every throw. You have to let it go. You have to believe what you see and I think that’s exactly what will happen. I think he’s made progress this offseason and certainly all the situations that occurred from an offensive perspective in the first half the other night (vs. Bucs) were just partly his fault.”
Kelso talked about the defensive side of the ball as well. He mentioned specifically Corbin Bryant who mentioned has “had a very fine preseason” and how the team has improved when it comes to defending the run. He also discussed how fans should watch the final preseason game and what to look for.
Finally, with many fantasy football enthusiasts gearing up to draft their team, we brought in CBS Sports Senior Fantasy Football Writer Jamey Eisenberg. Eisenberg talked about his breakout players to look for along with some possible busts. He took listener calls regarding the value for certain picks and who and when you should pick a player. When it came to the Bills, Eisenberg mentioned Fred Jackson as a value pick.
To hear more from all of Tuesday’s John Murphy Show guests, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills