Inside The Bills

Jets get better where they’re already good

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 30, 2015 – 11:35 pm

The Bills brain trust spent round one of the draft watching names come off the board, no doubt paying particular attention to the picks by their AFC East rivals.

And when it comes to the New York Jets, it looks like they got a major influx of talent to their already talented defensive line.

The Jets chose USC DE Leonard Williams with the 6th overall pick in the draft. Some draft experts regarded him as the “safest” pick in the draft, others thought he was one of the most talented player available.

Williams doesn’t even turn 21 for another couple of months. At 6-5, 302 pounds, Williams joins a big, physical Jets defensive line that already includes Muhammad Wilkerson, Damon Harrison, and Sheldon Richardson.  Wilkerson and Richardson were also first round picks by the Jets.

Bills GM Doug Whaley says the Bills thought highly of Leonard Williams and are sorry to see him land in the division.

“Good player. I wish he didn’t go to the Jets in the division,” Whaley said after round one ended. “Good for them.  He’s a heckuva player. We thought he was the best defensive player and probably the best player in the draft.”

Veteran Muhammad Wilkerson is entering the final year of his contract and the selection of Leonard Williams has ramped up speculation that New York might put Wilkerson on the market.

“”Right now, Muhammad is on our team,”  Jets GM Mike Maccagnan told NJ.com Thursday night.  “Again, I’m not going to speculate. We’re not actively trying to shop Muhammad. Right now, he’s part of us. Obviously, at some point in time, we’re going to talk to him and his agent, and kind of proceed forward.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins trade-one year later

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 30, 2015 – 10:52 pm

There’s still one more chip to be played by the Cleveland Browns, but for the most part, we know now  what the cost was when the Bills moved up to draft Sammy Watkins in the 2014 draft.

To recap, Buffalo sent its’ 2014 1st rounder (9th overall) to Cleveland, along with the Bills 2015 1st rounder (19th overall), and a 4th rounder this year. In exchange, the Bills moved up four spots in the first round last year and snagged Sammy Watkins.

The Browns used this year’s first rounder obtained from Buffalo to select Offensive Lineman Cameron Erving from FSU. He’s likely to be penciled in as a center for the Browns, probably backing up Alex Mack in his first year in Cleveland.  Erving is versatile-he played left tackle at FSU last year.

So if you add it up–it’s Cameron Erving this year, troubled CB Justin Gilbert last year, and a fourth rounder still to come. That’s what the cost was for the Bills to move up and pick Sammy Watkins.

With 65 catches and six touchdowns in his rookie year, and the promise of much more to come, it’s hard to imagine one of the players the Browns picked having nearly as much impact as Watkins.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills draft room plans for round one

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 30, 2015 – 7:15 pm

It’s not likely to be buzzing with activity, but the Bills draft room will be fully staffed and operational Thursday night, even though the Bills do not have a first round draft pick.

GM Doug Whaley says Buffalo’s draft room will not have the usual urgency, without a first rounder in play, but the Bills will be following the first round closely.

“We are approaching it the same way,” Whaley said in an appearance on The John Murphy Show. “We want to see how the board falls, who picks what.  We have friends throughout the league and we want to see who’s going to gain an advantage for their team. And it also sets the tone for us-let’s see who will possibly be there for us at fifty.”

The Bills first pick in the draft is scheduled to be the 50th overall pick, in the second round Friday night.

Whaley was asked if he anticipates a run on any position groups during tonight’s first round.

“Probably offensive tackle,” he said. “That’s usually a position where when one goes, the other ones start going.  And then in subsequent rounds, usually when one running back goes, the other ones start falling in line behind them.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whaley: “Bills would like to trade down”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 30, 2015 – 5:55 pm

It’s very likely the Bills will be little more than spectators tonight in the first round of the NFL Draft. And if GM Doug Whaley has his way, the team may wait even longer Friday night before making its’ first selection.

Whaley says the Bills would like to trade down from their spot in the second round (50th overall) and pick up some extra draft picks. And the Bills GM says  he’s already discussed the possibility with other potential trade partners.

“We would like to go down from fifty and gain some more picks,” Whaley said in an appearance on The John Murphy Show. “Going up would be really tough.  We don’t want you guys (media) sitting in this position next year and be bored.”

In his second draft as the Bills GM, Whaley says the Bills have reached out to other NFL clubs and let them know they are open for business.

“We’ll stack our board after tonight and we have a line where we say we can go down to this bar,” said. “We’ve contacted some teams already as part of the due diligence we do every year. We’ll get an idea of would they be willing to move up to where we are.  We have the framework of, not a deal, but a framework of ‘all right-they’ll listen and we can call them,'”

The entire interview with GM Doug Whaley will air tonight at 7pm on The John Murphy Show.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Woods: “Never back down from competition”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 29, 2015 – 9:21 pm

 

The eve of round one of the NFL Draft. We continued to preview the upcoming weekend and get you ready for the when Bills pick at fifty Friday night. The Bills players rolling on with their voluntary offseason workouts. Post-practice we caught up with head coach Rex Ryan, quarterback Matt Cassel, and cornerback Stephon Gilmore. You heard from them as well as from the listeners as they chimed in with their thoughts on the Draft.

robert woodsBills wide receiver Robert Woods was kind enough to etch out some time to sit down with us in-studio. Woods is entering his third year in the league and is coming off a successful 2014 campaign. He talked about the new addition of Percy Harvin and the development of teammate Sammy Watkins. Woods went on to discuss the competition across the board on the roster, including what he has seen from the battle at quarterback.

“You should never back down from competition. It always makes a player better. Seeing all these quarterbacks flying around, we’re just trying to do our job and stay connected to these quarterbacks. Right now, they’re all on key, throwing the ball on the money so it’s going to be a tough competition going into training camp.

We reached out to our friend at ESPN, Draft Analyst Kevin Weidl who re-joined the show to preview the Draft. Weidl talked about the top of the first round and what might happen at the number two pick, which belongs to Auburn Georgia Footballthe Tennessee Titans. He also weighed in with his thoughts on the number three quarterback after Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, why he feels Todd Gurley could be the first running back off the board in the first round, and the depth in this year’s wide receiver group.

Finally, sticking with the NFL Draft, Tony Villiotti from National Football Post called in to talk about his recent article on the site where he Ranks NFL Teams by Draft Class. Villiotti reviewed the draft class of each team from 2005 through 2012 and the Bills ranked fairly high in regards to their draft success.

“Of the eight drafts, they’re (The Bills) in the top ten four times, that’s half the time. Only one team, that being the Packers, did better than them.”

To hear more from Villiotti’s study and the rest of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

JMS from Duff’s Famous Wings-Orchard Park

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 28, 2015 – 10:49 pm

 

Live from Duff’s Famous Wings in Orchard Park for Tuesday night’s show. A rather large gathering of Bills fans taking part, asking questions and sharing their thoughts on the Bills and even the upcoming NFL Draft. Earlier in the day back at One Bills Drive, the players returned for the team’s voluntary minicamp. We caught up with head coach Rex Ryan who weighed in on the early quarterback competition.

rutkowski-wilson-reaction-storyWe were also joined in attendance by Buffalo Bills alumni Ed Rutkowski and Marlon Kerner. At the bottom of the first hour, Rutkowski sat down with us at our Duff’s setup. The former all-around offensive player played six-seasons in Buffalo and was part of the teams’ back-to-back AFL Championships. He discussed his time on the Bills offense, his role on the Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation, and his thoughts on the current players today.

“God bless them but they have to understand that what they’re getting today is predicated on the things we went through, the strikes we went through, all the benefits we would accrue and give to them. Truth be known, we would have paid Ralph Wilson to play for him. We played for the ring. There’s nothing greater than saying you were the best in the world at what you did and we were the best for two years in ’64 and ’65.”

kerner-storyKerner, the former cornerback for the Bills back in the mid-90’s, joined us to round out the show. With the Draft around the corner, Kerner looked back on his day getting selected by the Bills in the third round in 1995. He went on to talk about his teammates on defense and his coaches, including Wade Phillips and Dick Roach. Kerner has kept a close eye on this year’s Bills team and weighed in with his observations including his support for offensive guard Richie Incognito.

“I love what they’ve done so far on this roster. They’ve added some good pieces like LeSean McCoy, Percy Harvin, I like the Richie Incognito signing. I think that’s going to be something that’s going to prove to be very underrated. We don’t talk about it a lot but he’s somebody that we know can play football. He’s got that mean streak but he is somebody who made a mistake.” Kerner said “Everybody deserves a second chance and he didn’t play football at all last year so his body is well rested and that’s something to be said about an offensive lineman who has taken a year off. He’s been working out, he’ll be in great shape, and he has something to prove.”

2015DraftShow-Promo_BuffaloEmailWe also caught up with WKBW Channel 7 Bills Beat Reporter Joe Buscaglia. Buscaglia, who is known for his in-depth draft knowledge sat down with us to share his thoughts on this year’s class and what possible players could be a fit for the Bills. He discussed the offensive line class and see’s Duke guard Laken Tomlinson and Donovan Smith from Penn State as possibilities in the second round. On the defensive side of the ball, he mentioned pass rusher Eli Harold from Virginia as an option as well.

Joe was part of the 2015 Buffalo Bills Draft Special Presented by New Era which will air live in Buffalo on WKBW Wednesday night at 7:00pm. It will also be streamed live on www.buffalobills.com Thursday at noon.

To hear that and the rest of Tuesday’s John Murphy Show from Duff’s Famous Wings in Orchard Park, click here.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Colton Schmidt: “It’s my job to lose”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 27, 2015 – 9:20 pm

 

Back on the air as we kick off the week that is “NFL Draft week.” As it approaches, we threw out tonight’s topic; if you’re General Manager Doug Whaley, what are you looking to get out of this week’s Draft? Plenty of responses on that tonight from quarterback, to offensive line, to even defensive depth at cornerback.

Laken TomlinsonIt’s always interesting to get the national media’s perspective on the Draft and more specifically their thoughts on where the Bills could go this year. We reached out NFL Network’s Draft Analyst Daniel Jeremiah. Jeremiah talked about the top of the first round, including the differences between Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston. When it came to the Bills, Jeremiah brought up possibly targeting the offensive line, mainly a possible need for a plug-and-play interior lineman.

“Laken Tomlinson from Duke is somebody that was very good on tape and then took his game to a whole new level when he showed up at the Senior Bowl down in Mobile. I think he’s very smart, tough, and physical. You can plug-and-play him. Then you have Tre’ Jackson from Florida State who started a whole lot of football games for one of the best teams in the country over the last few years. He’s not going to ‘wow’ you with his athleticism but plenty of anchor and toughness to play inside at guard right away. Then, A.J. Cann from South Carolina gives you a little bit more athletic ability working up to the second level but another guy you can just plug-in day one. I think you have yourself a solid starter.”

Colton SchmidtBills players will return to action tomorrow when they begin their voluntary offseason minicamp. Punter Colton Schmidt will be there as he returns for his second season with the Bills. Schmidt called in during the second hour to discuss his first year in Buffalo and the ways he measures his success in punting. He went on to talk about his mindset heading into this offseason, which differs from last year when he was in midst of trying to stick with an NFL team.

“You gain a lot of insight on what it takes to play in the NFL and how the season operates. Now, you have to change your approach in to playing the whole season, finishing strong, and going deep into the playoffs, where before you were just worried about making a team. It’s gotten to the point where instead of winning the job now it’s your job to lose. It’s a whole mindset change you have.”

We also heard from NFL Network’s Mike Mayock who discussed the Titans quarterback situation, developing prospects with raw talent, and his thoughts on Oregon State QB Sean Mannion. To hear that and the rest of Monday’s John Murphy Show, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Kelvin Fisher: Reloading not Rebuilding – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 24, 2015 – 9:36 pm

 

Watching the clock tick away as we approach the 2015 NFL Draft. We relived the 2014 draft and asked the listeners if they would do it all over again…would you trade up to draft Sammy Watkins? Because of that trade, the Bills are without a first round pick this year. Therefore, the Bills brass gearing up for the challenge to “make a mark” with their choices this year.

Bills Director of College Scouting Kelvin Fisher sat down in-studio to discuss just that. Fisher went through the list of possible targeted position groups, the process of setting up their draft board, and why the team is in a great position to draft for depth not need.

“At this point when you’re just taking the best player, now you know you’re reloading your team not rebuilding. When you’re rebuilding you’re always trying to find needs because you have demands for those needs whereas when you’re reloading you’re basically getting your second team guys that should be starters maybe with any other team or even with your team but you’re reloading. So, every year if you lose a guy there’s no sweat of your back. You know that this guy is good enough to go in and start.”

At the top of the second hour we were joined by Bills defensive back Corey Graham. Graham just finished up his participation in this year’s NFL Franchising Boot Camp. Graham joined 22 other current and former players who are seeking advice to be successful off the field. The program provides a learning experience for players who are considering entering the business world when they leave the game of football.

tempCM2_3173--nfl_mezz_1280_1024“I’m in the stage of my career where I’m preparing myself for after football. Every year I’m going to be trying to do something to help myself out to make the transition after football a lot easier. I hear a lot of guys tell me about how tough it is after football so I don’t want to go through the same things as other guys go through.”

Graham also looked back to when he was drafted in the fifth round in 2007 by the Chicago Bears, saying being selected in the late rounds put a “chip on his shoulder” and is continuously trying to prove himself.

We rounded out the show by listening into ESPN Draft Analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. as he laid out his thoughts on this year’s Draft including the pressure for teams to find that “franchise” quarterback. To hear that and the rest of Friday’s John Murphy Show, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Bryan Scott: “One door closes, another opens”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 23, 2015 – 9:28 pm

 

As the Draft approaches, we brought in the Bills Director of Player Personnel Jim Monos to discuss the makeup of the current roster and what lies ahead. Monos went down the list of the offseason acquisitions and the role head coach Rex Ryan played in bringing in the added talent. He went on to talk about next week’s Draft and what possible position groups he thinks the team might target.

DSC_4762“Let’s stack it by best player and we’re going to take the best player at fifty, whether it’s a corner, safety, or even defensive end. Nobody thinks about us on defense buy why can’t you have more good players and more depth.”

Monos also discussed the possibility of trading up or down without a first round pick but added that they’ve been successful finding starting caliber players in the middle to late rounds of the draft.

At the top of the hour, former Bills LB/Safety Bryan Scott joined us to discuss his upcoming appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank, Friday night at 8pm. Scott is now co-owner of NEONE USA where he will be pitching his product, NEONE high tech shoe insoles to the “Shark” investors. Thinner than a dime, these insoles absorb shocks and evenly disperse excess energy when on your feet. Scott discussed this transition and supplied some advice for those looking to follow suit.

bryan-scott-resigns-story“When I was in the league I had some really good coaches and older guys that would always say ‘The NFL is more of a job, it’s not a career’ because it does not last very long. If you’re blessed to stay in it for a long time, one thing is for certain. If you’re a player now, one day you will become a former player. Don’t make it your life. Enjoy it, live in the moment but just understand that one day it will end and when it does other doors will open. One door closes, another opens.”

Finally, we rounded out the show with Jason Goodman, a member from the Bills Fan Advisory Board. The group held their latest meeting Thursday night and Goodman discussed the potential changes they may implement this upcoming season, including the effort to improve WIFI inside the stadium. Other items discussed were the wait time at the gates and prohibited items like tobacco products.

We also heard from ESPN’s Jon Gruden as he shared his thoughts on the Bills and the quarterback class in this year’s draft and even some jokes from President Obama as the Super Bowl champ Patriots were honored at the White House. To hear all of that and more from Thursday’s John Murphy Show, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Richardson: “I’d love to be a contributor” – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 17, 2015 – 9:30 pm

 

Wrapping up another week here at One Bills Drive. The players were off for the weekend as they finished their offseason workouts on Thursday. We caught up with a few players before they departed and got their opinions on their new teammates and the new system being put in place. We also brought in the new Bills beat reporter for WGR Sports Radio, Sal Capaccio who came on to talk about his new gig and the experience he will bring to the job.

Cyril RichardsonFirst up, Bills second year guard Cyril Richardson joined us in-studio. Richardson was thrown into the starting lineup last season when Chris Williams went down with an injury. He recapped his first year in the league and how that experience helped him hone in on what he needs to work on this upcoming season. Richardson was adamant about wanting to play a role along the offensive line 2015 and it starts now putting in the work.

“I would love to be a contributor in this offense and I’m going to put the work in to get there. Right now, it’s just putting in the hard, gritty work that’s needed and that’s really listening to the coaches and figuring out how we want to run this offense.”

Richardson candidly described his experience ten years ago when he was living in New Orleans and how Hurricane Katrina uprooted his family, destroying their home, and eventually forcing them out of the area. He talked about how he took the positives out of the situation which guided him to where he is today.

tempDSC_7034--nfl_mezz_1280_1024With Friday’s announcement that the 2015 NFL schedule will be released sometime next week, we reached out to UB professor Dr. Mark Karwan who is part of a group of researchers trying figure out a mathematical equation that might interest the NFL to help create more fairness in their scheduling. This comes after the public complaint from the Buffalo Bills during the 2013 season that saw the team facing more teams coming off a BYE week or with more rest than normal. It won’t be a factor this year but the hope is to be part of their equation in the near future. Dr. Karwan went on to discuss the findings from the study.

“From the 2002 to the 2014 seasons, looking at the data, you had teams like the Bengals and the Steelers with fourteen or fifteen games against rested opponents over those thirteen seasons and the Falcons and Bills with twenty eight and twenty nine games. So, it did not even out over a long period of time, which one might hope would be the case. In fact, the Bills had a terrible run over a few years in a row that help build from twenty to twenty nine in just about two to three years.”

The NFL Draft now just two weeks away. The Draft experts continue to share their opinions on this year’s class. We listened in to ESPN Draft Analyst Todd McShay to get his thoughts on the Marcus Mariota trade rumors, the possible run on offensive linemen late in the first round, and why RB David Cobb could be a value pick come the middle rounds.

To hear that and the complete John Murphy Show from Friday, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Percy Harvin: Ready to Show the World – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 16, 2015 – 9:30 pm

 

Players wrapping up the first two weeks of offseason workouts. They will depart until mini-camp starts in a couple of weeks. Before they took off we were able to catch up to a few players and coaches. We began the show hearing from outspoken head coach Rex Ryan. Running back Fred Jackson commented on the running back group and the offensive system of Greg Roman and defensive end Jerry Hughes on the new system in place on the defensive side of the ball.

harvinWe also were able to track down new wide receiver Percy Harvin. Harvin has spent these past couple weeks getting acclimated with his new teammates and the atmosphere here in Buffalo. He mentioned how the strength and conditioning program has been the “most competitive and most challenging” he’s ever been a part of. Harvin went on to talk about rejoining Rex Ryan and receivers coach Sanjay Lal and how those two coaches have sparked his ability to be a complete wide-out. He’s looking to build on his success last season in New York as an outside receiver and is ready to prove he can be an all-around threat.

“Coach Rex Ryan saw that I can be a receiver and that I can run routes. That’s the thing I like about Coach Sanjay (Lal). He said he worked on that with me and the results I was getting, if you turned on the film, I’m creating separation, I’m running posts, I’m running daggers, I’m running comebacks, and I don’t think people have given me credit for that. I feel like I can establish that here and show the world I can be an every down receiver but also add some of the gimmick stuff if that’s what the coach asks for.”

Harvin also talked about how he looks to continue his contributions in the return game on special teams and why Buffalo has become a destination for free agents, due in large part to his head coach Rex Ryan.

Speaking of Rex Ryan, he was featured on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated in an article with Jenny Vrentas. Vrentas called in at the top of the second hour to discuss her time at The Big Tree Inn where she conducted her interview alongside Bills Hall of Famers Thurman Thomas and Jim Kelly. She talked about Rex Ryan’s bravado and how Bills fans and the national media are feeding off of that, evidence of that when she showed up to do the story last week.

vrentas rex pic“We leave the stadium and Rex leaves in his Bills truck that everyone knows. I’m with the Bills head PR guy Scott Berchtold. We get there a couple minutes after Rex and his truck is parked right in the front of the Big Tree Inn lot so conspicuous to anyone who would drive by. The whole parking lot is full and I walk in and the place is awash with fans and I’m like ‘Oh, my gosh.’ This is supposed to be an interview off camera to the side and it wasn’t at all. He walks in and the fans are just mobbing Rex. I pull him aside and I say ‘Hey, I’m sorry I don’t mean for this to be stressed out or put you through a situation’ and he was like ‘No, I love it!’ and he really does. He really is just a regular dude. He’s comfortable hanging out in a sports bar. He likes the fans and he likes when they interact with him. He had no stress whatsoever.”

Finally, we reached out to Don Shonka, GM and National Scout for Ourlads.com. Shonka has been a part of player personnel work for over four decades and joined us to discuss his studies of this year’s draft class. He weighed in with thoughts on Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota who he compares to Aaron Rodgers. Shonka went on to discuss the Bills pick at number 50 and how the depth in this year’s draft is in the Bills favor, specifically when it comes to a versatile player along the offensive line.

To hear more from Shonka and the rest of Thursday’s John Murphy Show, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

EJ Manuel: “I’m licking my chops” – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 14, 2015 – 9:15 pm

 

We began tonight’s show with the news of the day, which included the news of a free agent visit from a familiar name to Bills fans, wide receiver Brad Smith. We also heard from defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman on the re-signing of Jerry Hughes, the linebacking group, and the depth along the defensive line. As the draft approaches we listened in to a conference call from former Bills General Manager and 2015 Hall of Fame Inductee Bill Polian, who shared his thoughts on some of the 2015 prospects.

DSC_4593It’s been a while since we heard from quarterback EJ Manuel. Manuel sat down with us in-studio to go in-depth about what he learned from his 2014 season sitting behind veteran Kyle Orton and what he was able to pick up running the scout team. He said he’s “licking his chops” to get the 2015 QB competition underway and show that he can be a playmaker in Greg Roman’s offense.

“I don’t like to necessarily like to say I’m a playmaker with the running game or I’m a playmaker with the pass game. I believe I can do both. Last year and the first two years, I feel like I did a little of that. I showed glitz and glares of what I can do but I want to do it on a consistent basis and I really think that starts with truly understanding our offense and truly mastering the offense and really being an

extension of coach Roman. I have to know the offense better or just as good as he does.” Manuel said “When I went into the offseason this year, I really just wanted to focus on the accuracy and just be on-point. I wanted to come into camp with confidence knowing that if there’s a ball in my hand, wherever I want to put this ball on the field, I can do it. That’s why I went and met with Steve (DeBerg) and he helped me get to that point.”

Former NFL QB Steve DeBerg worked with EJ Manuel during the offseason on his accuracy. DeBerg was a guest on the John Murphy Show Monday night.

Sticking with the offense, we caught up with offensive line coach Aaron Kromer. Kromer joins Rex Ryan’s staff after he was the offensive coordinator in Chicago. Kromer talked about his first impressions of Buffalo, why he feels it’s important to work close with Greg Roman to get a complete understanding of the offense, and his limited interaction with the players thus far. Kromer also shared his philosophy for building a strong offensive line group.

kromer-5-ol-open-story“What we try to stress is that guys help each other. It’s not me against you or I’m trying to beat you out. Yeah, there is competition to see who is playing but as they’re doing that, they’re helping the guy next to them get better. They’re helping the guy behind them, the guy in front of them to hone their skills because you never know who will end up playing or who is going to have to play if you get hurt or if you are the starter. So, what this has allowed us to do is have more success as a group because everybody is unselfishly working together. We find that we have more success and more guys make the Pro Bowl because of that thought process.”

To hear all of that and the rest of Tuesday’s John Murphy Show, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

DeBerg: “I expect really big things from EJ” – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 13, 2015 – 9:18 pm

 

Players return from their long weekend for another week of voluntary workouts. On Monday afternoon, the assistant coaches spoke with the media regarding their first few interactions with the players and how their systems are being implemented. We heard from both defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman and offensive coordinator Greg Roman, which led us to tonight’s topic of discussion. We asked the listeners, with the emphasis on a ground-and-pound approach, does that change with the playmaking additions of Percy Harvin and Charles Clay?

romanGreg Roman took some time afterwards to sit down in-studio and talk about his time so far here in Buffalo, his relationship with head coach Rex Ryan, and his unique approach he took to get to where he is now in the NFL. He also praised the offseason approach Doug Whaley and owners Kim and Terry Pegula took to supply his offense with added weapons.

“Gosh, our front office has done a great job of collecting great players at their respected positions and the challenge for us now is to get in-sync and to get that chemistry where everybody knows what to do and how to do it to build a really good working relationship. Percy (Harvin) is such a multi-dimensional threat. Charles (Clay) is the same thing, pretty versatile and LeSean (McCoy) is the same thing, a weapon out of the backfield either handing it off to him, throwing it to him. You’re talking about guys that can make some big plays anytime they touch the ball.”

manuel picAt the top of the first hour, we reached out to Steve DeBerg, the former NFL quarterback who is now spending his time coaching quarterbacks. Bills QB EJ Manuel spent part of his offseason working with DeBerg, specifically when it comes to his throwing motion. DeBerg spoke highly of the Bills third year QB and says he “seriously expects really big things from EJ this year.” He went on to discuss what they worked on the past few months down in Tampa, Florida.

“We worked on his throwing motion and then studied guys like Aaron Rodgers, some really unique passers from today and in the past and whatever they do and what makes them exceptional throwers. There are some areas that EJ can improve on to improve his ability to throw the football and to be honest, he has improved tremendously. I’m looking forward to him really having tremendous success.”

We also listened in the NFL Network’s pre-draft conference call with draft analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Charles Davis. To hear that and the rest of Monday’s John Murphy Show, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Chris Gragg: Comparing himself to Charles Clay

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 9, 2015 – 9:32 pm

 

The Bills wrapping up their first week of voluntary workouts. They will resume activities next Monday. We began the show hearing from LeSean McCoy and his first impressions of working out with his new teammates, getting a fresh start, and the added talent on the Bills roster. That led us to the topic of the night. We asked the listeners, who will have the most rushing touchdowns this season?

CM7_6840It’s a new look for the Bills tight end group with the departures of Scott Chandler and Lee Smith. The addition of Charles Clay along with the return of Marqueis Gray and Chris Gragg leaves the team with a pretty solid group. Gragg sat down with us in studio to discuss his return from injury, feeding off a fairly positive 2014 season, and his comparison to new teammate Charles Clay.

“I don’t feel there’s a difference. I feel like me and him do the same things. My short time in the league, I’ve been asked to play a lot of positions. I’ve played fullback, H-back, tight end, I’ve been split out a little bit and he’s done the same things down there in Miami. That’s one of the things Greg Roman wants us to know is that us at tight ends, he wants athletic tight ends and that we’re going to be moving all around.”

reich-chargersAt the top of the second hour we were joined by former Bills backup QB and now Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Reich is gearing up to host the annual Call to Courage Awards Breakfast which will go to this year’s recipient, former Bills tight end Scott Chandler. He went on to discuss the current situation in San Diego and the recent rumors that the team is looking to trade quarterback Phillip Rivers. Reich also discussed the team’s recent acquisition in Stevie Johnson and what he will add to the offense.

Finally, we reached out to founder and editor of NFLFemale.com, Liz Panucci. Panucci talked about starting the website from her fanhood of the NFL growing up a Miami Dolphins fan. The site has female correspondents for teams all over the league and Panucci talked about how the site has been a voice for a growing number of female football fans.

 

“This is really such a great platform for women to share what they have to say and not feel repressed in any way, shape, or form. They’re all loving it and we actually call it the sisterhood because the NFL has the brotherhood so we’re the sisterhood of the NFLFemale and we’re all sisters and it’s a lot of fun and some smart, smart ladies. ”

 

 

Bills head coach Rex Ryan throwing up the first pitch at the Bisons this afternoon and caught up with him after to get his comments. We also went over today’s release of the preseason schedule. To hear that and the rest of Thursday’s John Murphy Show, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills FB Knox: “I have to pinch myself” – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 8, 2015 – 9:27 pm

 

Quiet day around One Bills Drive as the team continues their offseason voluntary workouts. We began the show with the news around the NFL, which included the league announcing their nine new officials for 2015. On that list is Sarah Thomas, the league’s first full-time female official. We heard from Thomas via conference call she did this afternoon. We went on to our discussion of the night dealing with the quarterbacks. We asked the listeners, with EJ Manuel, Matt Cassel, Tyrod Taylor, and Jeff Tuel on the current roster, does the team need to find another QB in the draft? Various responses on that topic tonight.

KnoxWestern New York native and University at Buffalo grad Corey Knox joined the show at the bottom of the first hour. The fullback joined the Bills as a futures signing back in December. He’s here this week working out getting used to the NFL atmosphere. Knox grew up a Bills fan and admits he’s a fan of The John Murphy Show. He talked about being here and what it means to be on the same field with the players he grew up watching.

“A dream come true would probably be an understatement. I know I have a lot of work to do but every day when I get in I have to pinch myself and then I give myself a little slap in the face just to wake up and realize that it’s not a dream. It’s exciting to be able to be side-by-side with guys like Fred Jackson and Kyle Williams. It’s unbelievable. They’ve done such a fantastic job over their careers and it’s just an honor for me to be able to give them everything I have. Those guys are deserving of a championship and I’m going to give it everything I have for those guys and for this city.”

Next up, we returned to draft talk with a familiar name to the show, ESPN Draft Analyst Kevin Weidl. Weidl discussed the quarterback class beyond Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota and says that there isn’t a guy there worth taking that could be projected a future starter in the NFL. Weidl went on to talk about the Bills’ needs, specifically when it comes to the offensive line. He mentioned Laken Tomlinson from Duke and Tre’ Jackson from Florida State as players he likes to shore up the offensive line.

 

To hear more in-depth draft talk from Weidl and the rest of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Incognito: “My last bite at the apple” – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 8, 2015 – 8:38 am

 

Back on the air to kick off another week. Players in and around the building as offseason workouts roll on. We began the show with the news of the day which included a free agent visit from safety Dawan Landry. On Monday, players spoke to the media. We heard from both Richie Incognito and Percy Harvin for the first time since their signings. They both are looking to reestablish their careers in the NFL, which led us to tonight’s topic asking the listeners, how many chances should a player with a troubled past get?

Richie Incognito picSpeaking of Incognito, he sat down with us to kick off our guest list for the night. He talked about his time here in Buffalo back in 2009 and the events that followed down in Miami that led to his suspension. Incognito opened up about what he has learned since and why he feels this is his last chance to prove himself, his “last bite at the apple.” He went on to discuss what he will bring to the offensive line, especially in the run game, which he admits is the strength of his game.

“I’m a mauler in the run game. I get after people. I’m physical for four quarters. I bring a nasty disposition to the game and that’s what you have to have to run the football. You have to have an attitude. Running the football is all about mentality and I have the right mentality for it.”

S Carolina Florida FootballNext up, we were joined by NFLDraftScout.com’s NFL Draft Insider Rob Rang. Rang gave an overall analysis of this year’s draft class. He talked about the possible needs for Buffalo and what possible players he sees as a fit at 50th overall. One player mentioned, considering the depth of this year’s draft, was AJ Cann, offensive lineman from South Carolina, NFLDraftScout.com’s top-rated guard.

“His ability, in my opinion, could be a plug and play option. A guy, because he’s a four year starter, because he started all four seasons at left guard but also did a lot of work at right guard and at center during his pro day workout, teams are feeling increasingly comfortable with the possibility that he might be able to play any one of those three interior positions. At number fifty overall, I think you’re going with the best player available and AJ Cann, in my opinion, can be among those players if available.

We rounded out the show hearing from quarterback EJ Manuel. He talked about having a clean slate with the new coaching staff and what he’s been working on during the offseason. To hear that and the rest of Tuesday’s John Murphy Show, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

“I’ll be a Buffalo Bill–only” -Kyle Williams

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 7, 2015 – 4:15 pm

The offseason saw another contract restructuring for Bills DT Kyle Williams. And Williams doesn’t know how much longer he’ll play. But he’s sure that when he retires, he’ll retire as a Buffalo Bill.

“No matter what happens, if they run me out the door in a year, or two or three, or I’m done, this will be my last stop,” he said as the Bills voluntary conditioning program got started this week. “I’m excited about that. To be where I belong–I started here and to end here is going to be a special thing.”

“I’m not putting a cap on it. I’ve got three years left. Maybe it’s more than that. Either way, I’ll be a Buffalo Bill—only,” Williams said emphatically.

The veteran lineman says it’s not just the Bills, it’s the community that has made an impact on he and his family.

“It means everything to me,” Williams said. “I’ve had the opportunity to be here, to start my family here. I’ve got five kids now. It’s really a place that has a special place in my heart for me and my wife.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kyle: “You don’t go in expecting bad things from people”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 7, 2015 – 3:30 pm

The Bills got national attention in the last few months when they signed a couple of veteran free agents who’ve had trouble in the past. Guard Richie Incognito and WR Percy Harvin reportedly have had locker room issues and both have bounced around the league somewhat.

But Bills veteran Kyle Williams is certain there’s enough locker room leadership in Buffalo to prevent any problems from any new additions to the roster.

“We have a really good locker room,” Williams said this week at the start of the team’s voluntary offseason conditioning program. “A great mix of guys who are important to one another, guys that the game is important to them. Those guys coming in, they’ll see that.”

Williams has been selected a Bills team captain in each of the last four years. And he’s convinced Incognito and Harvin will not disrupt team chemistry.

“Richie was already here, he was a great teammate here,’ he said. “I haven’t been around Percy, but you talk to guys on the Jets last year and they say he was a great teammate there.”

“You don’t go in expecting bad things from people. You expect them to be great teammates and play hard and to care about what’s going on. They’ll get a vibe from the locker room and they’ll see what’s in that locker room. I’m excited to have them. They’re both great players and they’re going to help us win.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Some veteran guidance for EJ Manuel

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 7, 2015 – 2:45 pm

As he goes into his third year, Bills QB EJ Manuel has sought advice from a quarterback with one of the longest tenures at the position in recent NFL history.

Manuel revealed this week that he spent a considerable amount of offseason workout time with longtime vet Steve DeBerg. Based in the Tampa, Fla. area, DeBerg spent 21-seasons in the NFL with the Niners, Broncos, Bucs, Chiefs, Dolphins and Falcons. He led the Chiefs to two playoff appearances, and he remains in the top-20 all time in NFL history in passing attempts, completions, and yardage.

Since retiring from playing in 1998, DeBerg has been a quarterback coach with the Falcons and Giants. And he’s participated in a number of quarterback development camps.

EJ Manuel says he’s worked with DeBerg on improving his throwing motion.

“I don’t want to say I’ve changed my throwing motion but I’ve been working with Steve DeBerg pretty much since January,” Manuel said this week. “We’ve studied a bunch of the elite passers in the game. They all throw the ball, not necessarily the same exact way, but certain types of ways. I’ve been working on that since January. I think I have it down now.”

Manuel spent the last few weeks throwing with teammate Chris Hogan at a private facility in New Jersey. And he says Hogan has noticed how well EJ is throwing the ball.

“‘Hoag’  said he saw the difference,” according to Manuel. “Once we start getting out here in minicamps you guys will be able to see it as well. My confidence is extremely high and I want to keep it that way.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Silva: “These Guys Are Playmakers”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 2, 2015 – 10:47 pm

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As we approach Easter Weekend, excitement is slowly building around One Bills Drive.  Players return on monday for offseason workouts, and the draft is edging closer and closer.  We asked the listeners tonight what their biggest concerns going in to offseason workouts are.  As expected, the responses mainly surrounded the Quarterback and Offensive Line positions, but also included some concerns on the defensive side of the ball at safety and linebacker.

Although we are now in April, March Madness is far from over.  With the Blue Devils of Duke University in the final four, we reached out to proud Duke alumni and current Bills DB, Ross Cockrell.  We obviously spoke with him about the upcoming Duke basketball matchup against Michigan St. but in addition we spoke with him about his time at Duke, his continued pursuit of a Masters Degree and about his level of excitement regarding returning to Buffalo for offseason workouts this coming monday.

“I can’t wait.  I can’t wait to get back.  I’m excited.  I’m looking forward to it.  I know we have a great team and I’m excited to see what we’re going to do this year.”

As our next guest, we were joined by long time NFL reporter and current Sirius XM NFL show host Howard Balzer.  Howard discussed an array of topics including the biggest concerns for Bills fans in 2015, the free agency moves and spending thus far and even the hiring of Rex Ryan.  He has always been a fan of Coach Ryan and expects good things from him in

“I think that was an excellent hire by the Bills.  Is it his last job? Who knows. If he does a good job there and they start getting in to those playoff hunts consistently, he could be there for a long time.”

Rex RyanLastly, with the aforementioned draft seemingly right around the corner and continuing fan concerns with the QB and OL positions, we brought in Senior Football Editor for rotoworld.com, Evan Silva, to discuss the biggest draft needs for the Bills.  In a recent article on rotoworld.com, Silva outlined the Bills’ needs and listed quarterback as the No.1 need and offensive line at No. 2.  Throughout the rest of the interview, Silva was emphatic that the Bills have most of the pieces in place to be very successful in 2015.

“These guys are playmakers.  The supporting cast and the roster of talent is strong.  I think it’s quite a bit stronger than last year.  They tried to use a similar formula last year and it didn’t work, but I think they’re in a better position to make that formula work this year.”

To hear all of the above and the rest of thursday’s show, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills