Inside The Bills

Return to Action at Fisher – JMS 8/18

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 18, 2014 – 10:05 pm

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The John Murphy Show returned to the campus of St. John Fisher College for a night practice under the lights at Growney Stadium. We kicked off the show with an injury update from head coach Doug Marrone. Murph had all the calls and highlights throughout the night with sideline assistance from WGR Sports Radio’s Sal Cappacio. He gave his analysis along with providing us post practice sound from the field. You heard from C.J. Spiller, Chris Hogan, T.J. Graham, and Eric Wood.

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At the top of the first hour, 13WHAM and Fox Rochester Sports Director Mike Catalana stopped by. Catalana is also the sideline reporter for the Buffalo Bills preseason television broadcasts. He gave his thoughts on the preseason, EJ Manuel, and why he feels like the defense will carry the Bills this season.

 

“I just see talent and I think there’s depth too, which is such a key thing. They could be a force in the front seven and deep in the defensive backfield and I think this team’s going to rely on the defense, which is something we haven’t been able to say for a little while.

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To hear all the highlights of tonight’s practice click below to hear the entire John Murphy Show from Monday night.

 

 

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Arthur Moats “happy” in Pittsburgh – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 15, 2014 – 9:51 pm

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Rounding out the week and finishing up here in Pittsburgh on the eve of the Bills third preseason game, Saturday night against the Steelers. We began the show asking the listeners what position is the strongest and deepest unit on this year’s Bills team? We received a variety of responses from the running backs, to wide receivers, to the defensive line, and even the defensive backfield. We also heard plenty of discussion on what to look for in tomorrow night’s game.

 

Former Bills linebacker Arthur Moats joined us as our first guest. The always smiling and always happy Moats signed on with the Steelers in the offseason and said the move to Pittsburgh is “the best fit for me and my family.” Now, he is playing under well-respected defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and is slotted in at outside linebacker.

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Moats also looked back on his time here in Buffalo and discussed his strong commitment to the Buffalo community and said he looks to continue his community work now here in Pittsburgh.

 

At the top of the first hour, Bills defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson joined us in our hotel studio. Henderson talked about the benefits of practicing against another team with seeing different looks and routes. We went down the list of cornerbacks and safeties on the roster and he discussed what he liked from each, including Aaron Williams and Leodis McKelvin who had a breakout year in 2013.

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“The reason they got better last year is because they worked hard at it. Like I said to them this year, if you even want to achieve more, you’re going to have to work even harder. I think the biggest thing for them is going to be repetition and making sure they can see things before it happens. Last year they had to see it as it was happening. This year, with the experience, I hope they can see it before it happens.”

 

He had praise for rookie cornerback Ross Cockrell, adding that the Duke product was very instinctive and that he “is probably the most intelligent player I’ve ever coached.”

 

Finally, to round out the show, Bills QB Thad Lewis stopped by. Lewis discussed the recent joint practices with the Steelers and the playing time he’s received during this preseason. He explained how important it is to take advantage of his reps to show the coaching staff he can make an impact at the quarterback position. He also discussed his progress through the first few weeks of camp after what he described as a slow start.

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“When we were getting to camp, I just felt like I wasn’t myself and I had to get back to my old ways. That was just a minor adjustment here and there but right now I feel like I’m locked in and feel like everything is going good, especially having a good week going into the Panthers game and now having a good week this week. I’m thankful and grateful for the opportunity.”

 

Lewis talked about the quarterback competition to backup EJ Manuel and how Nathaniel Hackett’s offensive goal is to dictate the pace by including both a huddle and no-huddle offensive system.

 

To hear the complete John Murphy Show from Friday, click below:

 

 

 

 

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Spiller: “I’m more patient now” – JMS 8/14

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 14, 2014 – 10:18 pm

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Another night in Pittsburgh as the team wraps up their joint practice sessions with the Steelers in advance of their game Saturday night. We heard from Brandon Spikes to begin the show as he mentioned how he wants to see better play from the defense when it comes to stopping the run. We asked the listeners with the addition of Spikes, Keith Rivers, and the new defensive scheme under Jim Schwartz, will the Bills improve when it comes to their run defense?

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Towards the end of Thursday’s practice, Bills Insider Chris Brown called in to discuss his evaluations from field level. He pointed out a strong day by rookie cornerback Ross Cockrell and gave his assessment on quarterback EJ Manuel.

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After practice, Steelers special teams coordinator and former Bills coordinator Danny Smith joined us. Smith is in his second year with Pittsburgh, returning to his hometown. It’s his 20th year in the NFL and he explained his love for coaching special teams. He looked back at his time with the Bills, 3-years under then head coach Gregg Williams. He coached punter Brian Moorman who he said is “mentally tough” to have his current longevity in the league. Smith also weighed in on the preseason rule change to extend the length of extra points and how different the taller goal posts are.

 

At the top of the first hour we were joined by Pro Football Focus Analyst Pete Damilatis who recently released his 2014 Buffalo Bills season preview on the site. He broke it up into two parts, 5 reasons to be concerned and 5 reasons to be confident, which included the depth at wide receiver and the strength of the Bills defensive line. He also mentioned C.J. Spiller as having a breakout year.

 

Damilatis added that offensive tackle Cordy Glenn’s analytic grade increased significantly in his second year and said, if healthy, there’s reason to be confident in the Bills offense with Glenn rising to be great as anchor on the left side.

 

Speaking of the offense and C.J. Spiller, the running back joined us in the last half-hour. Spiller touched on the joint practices this week including the physical nature that was displayed on day one in Latrobe. He talked about the recent success of the running game and how the offense needs to build off of that heading into Saturday’s game with the Steelers. He also mentioned how he’s a better and more complete back entering his fifth year in the league.

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“I’m more patient now. If you go back and look at my rookie tape you’ll see the impatience. I always wanted to have that big homerun threat every time I got it but now having two great running back coaches in coach (Curtis) Modkins and now coach (Tyrone) Wheatley. A 3-yard run is a great run in this league and that’s how I’ve had to switch my mindset. If those big ones happen you have to take advantage of it and that’s what my offensive line, they do a great job, so when I get an open space I have to make sure I reward those guys.”

 

Spiller discussed the rest of the running back group and how there’s no issue at all with whoever is on the field. Spiller said “we all have faith in each other that whoever is out there will get the job done.” He also talked about how the fullbacks on the team will play a big role, adding “I just love seeing my fullback out there having success and beat some people’s heads in.”

 

To hear more from Spiller, click below to hear the complete John Murphy Show from Thursday.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

“Put it in the Sky” – JMS 8/13

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 13, 2014 – 10:36 pm

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Wednesday’s John Murphy Show from downtown Pittsburgh at the Wyndham Grand Hotel. The Bills and Steelers underway with their joint team practices at St. Vincent College over in Latrobe. The action got underway late Wednesday afternoon.

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We heard from Head Coach Doug Marrone, General Manager Doug Whaley on his return to Pittsburgh, and Aaron Williams thoughts on the sessions with the Steelers. We also got a complete practice recap from Bills Insider Chris Brown.

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After the team arrived back at the hotel, receiver Mike Williams was kind enough to swing by to discuss what happened on the field and how he thinks the practices will help better the team. He also talked about his quarterback EJ Manuel and how impressed he was from him on day one.

 

“He looked very confident. For him to go out there, going through all his reads, hitting a couple check-downs, hitting receivers down field. I liked how he looked versus the Steelers today. We know they probably didn’t give us all their looks but for what they gave us and for what we gave them, he looked good doing it.”

 

Williams also discussed his greatest asset of his game, going up and grabbing the football saying “those are the catches you’re going to see all year. Like I told EJ (Manuel), put it in the sky, I’m going to get it.”

 

We were also joined by Dr. David Chao, a former NFL team doctor and contributor to National Football Post. Chao weighs in on the medical side of the NFL. During the NFL season, he gives real time insight on different injuries throughout that week’s games on the Monday Morning MD.

 

Dr. Chao talked about his most recent article on how the Achilles tears are the new “ACL”. He also discussed the importance for concussion awareness.

 

To hear the complete John Murphy Show from Wednesday, click below.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Joint Practices will be “Pretty Intense” – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 12, 2014 – 9:43 pm

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As the Bills depart for their practice sessions and game with the Steelers, we caught up with a couple of offensive players who gave their opinions on the joint practices in Pittsburgh. We heard from wide receivers Robert Woods and Chris Hogan.

 

We also got some insight from center Eric Wood. Wood joined us at the bottom of the first hour to discuss his first time practicing against another team. He talked about what he anticipates from these upcoming sessions with the Steelers.

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“I’d imagine they’d be pretty intense. We have a lot that we’re fighting for as an offense and as a team but there’s also a lot of guys fighting to make this team and I’m sure those guys are really looking forward to the opportunity to go out and prove themselves tomorrow and Thursday out on the practice field as well as Saturday in the game. I’d imagine it’d be pretty intense.”

 

Wood weighed in on the progress of the offense saying “if we want to become a top offense in the league, we have a lot of work to do and it’s not going to happen overnight.” He said the work during training camp and preseason will hopefully bring out more ups than downs and the progress is already showing. Wood also mentioned the rest of his offensive linemen teammates and how they collectively welcome the challenge to increase production, specifically in the run game. You will hear how he embraces being a captain on the team as well.

 

At 8pm, Columnist for National Football Post Jack Bechta joined us. Bechta gave his reasons for why we should be watching preseason football and what the league could do to better the product. He mentioned including more joint controlled practices which could be televised with a “Hard Knocks” type production. He suggested increasing the regular season by stretching the schedule out by including 2 or 3 bye weeks.

 

Bechta, also an NFL agent, had an interesting take on how far a player should go during the preseason when it comes to their playing time on special teams. For some he tells them to try to avoid the extra wear and tear but for others, special teams could be their only way of making an NFL roster.

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Veteran Rochester sportscaster Scott Pitoniak came on during the last half hour to promote his new radio show on ESPN Rochester 95.7FM “The Radio Press Box,” which he will co-host with Dan Borrello will debut Wednesday night from 3-7pm. Pitoniak is excited to talk about what he called “Rochester’s hometown team” in the Bills, even though they are 75 miles away.

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“It’s almost like we’re a suburb of Buffalo in terms of Bills interest and how people feel about the team here. It’s clearly their team as well and it’s laid out in the ticket sales where you have 10, 15, 20-thousand people coming from this area for a Bills home game. I’m not surprised by the depth of knowledge because we have to keep feeding into that. The fans have become a lot more sophisticated and their passion is running deeper than ever.”

 

Pitoniak discussed the Bills preseason and why he’s encouraged with the Bills offense. He mentioned specifically the Bills running game which he thinks will help offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and quarterback EJ Manuel.

 

Throughout the night we asked listeners to give their thoughts on the structure of the preseason schedule. How many games should make up the preseason? Is the current four, in the Bills case five too many, especially considering the joint practices with the Steelers?

 

To hear those responses and the rest of Tuesday’s John Murphy Show, click below.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Yoga, Jujitsu, and the NFL – JMS 8/11

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 11, 2014 – 10:50 pm

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Back at One Bills Drive for tonight’s show. We started the program asking for the listeners thoughts on Friday night’s preseason game against the Panthers. We also asked about the running back situation and what you would do with a roster full of RB talent? We recapped the game with all the highlights courtesy of the Buffalo Bills Radio Network with the play-by-play calls by John Murphy himself.

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Our first guest continues to make plays on defense during the preseason. Bills defensive lineman Landon Cohen joined us at the bottom of the first hour. Cohen talked about recently joining the game and how he’s been able to make an immediate impact.

 

“I’m one of those guys, I never get too high or I never get too low. The only thing I’m doing is what I’m supposed to do. A defensive tackle in the NFL is supposed to make tackles. You’re supposed to be accountable to your teammates. It’s not anything extraordinary.”

 

Cohen discussed how he does Bikram Yoga to help keep his focus, which in turn helps on game days. He also partakes in Brazilian Jujitsu to help with leverage and the mind game that goes into football and playing against your opponent.

 

To some preseason football isn’t their style. They can’t wait until September hits and the regular season gets underway. Kenneth Arthur from Rolling Stone Magazine called in at the top of the hour to discuss why one should embrace preseason action because it involves all the drama that is currently being played out on today’s television shows. Arthur compares the NFL players fighting for a spot on the roster to the way a dramatic screenplay unfolds.

 

“There’s going to be some plays that make your jaw drop. I would definitely say that at least if it’s your favorite team, you’ve got to be tuning in every week. Get to know who these guys are so that when the regular season comes on, you’re informed, you can talk about them, and feel like the smartest guy in the room.”

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Finally, we heard from Chris Perkins, NFL Dolphins beat reporter for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He discussed the Dolphins recent signing of quarterback Brady Quinn leading to speculation of worry for backup QB Matt Moore. Ryan Tannehill continues to look impressive early in the preseason, especially in the offensive system under new coordinator Bill Lazor. Perkins also discussed the new-look offensive line Miami has put together and the suspensions of two defensive players, leaving the team shorthanded when the regular season begins.

 

To hear more from The John Murphy Show, click here.

 

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Mike Williams: “Throw it to the clouds”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 10, 2014 – 8:00 pm

After two preseason games, and three weeks of training camp, the chemistry between QB EJ Manuel and veteran WR Mike Williams is starting to develop.

In Friday’s preseason win in Carolina, the pair connected for a 28-yard pass play down the middle when Manuel threw it high and Williams went over DB Josh Norman to bring it in.

In Sunday’s after practice at training camp, Manuel and Williams were at it again. EJ found Williams in the end zone during red zone work in one of the early 11-on-11 sessions. And Williams was targeted several times in later red zone work as well.

Williams says he wants to be the quarterback’s go-to guy in the red zone, and he practically guarantees success when he’s thrown the ball.

“I always tell them there’s a 96-percent chance–the other 4-percent is their fault,” he laughed.  “I always tell them, throw it to the clouds, I’m going to find a way to bring it down.”

“It’s true,” Manuel says.  “He’s done it day and day out and he’s been very consistent as far as tracking the ball, whether it’s a fade or a deep ball or a post. I think a great example of that was how we did it in the game. The corner played off him a little bit and I just stuck it on him, he went up and made a great catch. Having that as a security blanked with a wide receiver is awesome for us. “

Williams says he focuses on making big impact catches, for touchdowns and first downs, instead of worrying about how many passes he catches in a game.

” My mom always said, ‘make them see you when they’re supposed to see you.’ That’s what she always said to me,” Williams said. “That’s like big first downs, touchdowns, those are the ones they see. They don’t see the first play of the game, slants or the second play of the game, curl route. As soon as you catch that third and 15 or game-tieing touchdowns, those are the ones they remember. It kinda seems like that’s how my career is going.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Competitive fire on display Sunday

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 10, 2014 – 7:04 pm

A long, hot practice in the sunshine at Bills camp made for some competitive, chippy play on Sunday.  And both the Bills offense and defense were not shy about letting the other side know when they made big plays.

Veteran wideout Mike Williams took an extra long bow to the crowd after catching a tough touchdown pass in traffic during red zone work.  And Williams curtain call resulted in DB Corey Graham throwing the ball at him after he started to return to the huddle.

“I had about six touchdowns today,” Williams said after practice. “It’s very competitive, we wanted to make it like that. We always want to make it competitive, we want them (defense) to compete, so we can be our best on Sundays.”

Safety Aaron Williams embraced the competitive, fiery nature of Sunday’s practice.

“It’s just one of the things we’re trying to do to get better,” he said. “We don’t want to take crap from anybody. When somebody jumps in your face we’re not going to let it go. We’re trying to be a different defense, more attitude, and just trying to have the attitude that we’re going to win and it has to happen on both sides.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Cory Mummery on the Launch of NFL Now

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 7, 2014 – 10:32 pm

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On the eve of preseason game number two, we take the show on the road. Live from WBT Radio in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. As the Bills prepare to take on the Panthers Friday night, we asked the listeners how long they think starting QB EJ Manuel should play in tomorrow night’s game. We also got feedback on what the fans want to see from the team overall.

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One player who has made an impact and is looking to continue his strong play is linebacker Nigel Bradham. Bradham is taking over for the injured Kiko Alonso on the weak side as he is tops on the depth chart. He discussed his skillset similarities to Alonso, coverage responsibilities, and rushing the passer. Bradham also talked about head coach Doug Marrone’s message and expectations for his team.

 

“We can go out there and dominate. That’s what we expect. We just have to follow his (Doug Marrone) plan. We believe in his plan. We just have to execute his plan and go out there and be a dominate team on defense, offense, and special teams, just dominate at once.”

 

Bradham made some big plays last week against the Giants and talked about the importance of winning in the preseason. He mentioned this upcoming game and the possibility of going up against Cam Newton as well.

 

At the top of the hour, Bills Digest Editor Mark Ludwiczak called in to discuss Bills training camp so far and what to expect here in the preseason. He gave his thoughts on what he’s seen from EJ Manuel. He feels that there’s not much to judge early in this preseason and wants the quarterback to get a full half in Friday night’s game, to see EJ make the right reads and get the offense in the endzone. He also talked about the abundance of talent on the roster.

 

“I think when you look especially at the skill positions of offense and then that defensive line. To me, on paper, this is probably the most talented Bills team we’ve seen on paper in maybe 10 years. They have players in place to make a difference. It’s so interesting to see how much of it falls on the quarterback because that’s just how the league is these days.”

 

We had another guest in the second hour. Cory Mummery, the GM of NFL Now joined us to discuss the recent launch of the app. NFL Now is video information for the biggest fan. One can pick their favorite team and/or players and then personalize the videos they want to see. This is all part of obtaining inside access from your favorite team throughout the season.

 

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“We take all those small video clips. We parse them up into exactly what the user is interested in. Let’s say they’re a Bills fan, let’s say they play fantasy football as well, they would get the video for their fantasy football players as well as the Buffalo Bills. They won’t have to wait when you’re watching a sports telecast and wait for that one segment that you’re most interested in. You get all those segments delivered straight to you.”

 

For more on NFL Now you can sign up at www.nfl.com/nowCam Newton

 

Finally, as we look ahead to Friday night’s game, we had on the color analyst and preseason play-by-play man for the Panthers Jim Szoke. Szoke talked about the departure of receiver Steve Smith and some other impact players that left in free agency. This year’s team is part of a transition to younger players taking a leadership role. Szoke talked about the potential for Kelvin Benjamin, who was drafted late in the first round, to possibly take Steve Smith’s place as the top wide-out. He also weighed-in on Cam Newton and the chances of the star QB making an appearance against the Bills and his next level of potential.

 

 

You can hear all we had to offer from Thursday by clicking below to listening to the entire John Murphy.

 

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Jeff Tuel on QB Competition – JMS 8/6

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 6, 2014 – 10:09 pm

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Last day of practice before the team departs for Carolina and their game against the Panthers Friday night. We began the show asking the viewers their pick for the most underrated player on the team. There was quite a variety of responses ranging from Robert Woods to Nickell Robey. We also heard from head coach Doug Marrone and quarterback EJ Manuel after today’s practice session.

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Our first guest was quarterback Jeff Tuel. Tuel had an impressive game Sunday night against the Giants, getting reps with the number two offense. Tuel hooked up with Robert Woods for the first and only touchdown of the game for the Bills. He talked about this past weekend and also looked ahead to the upcoming game in Carolina. He has put in the work during this offseason and in camp and now has a solid grasp of the offense. Tuel said he wants to know the system “better than coach Hackett” and work to better himself and at the same time help the other quarterbacks on the roster.

 

“Thad (Lewis) and I are going back and forth. I think it’s great for the room. I think it’s great for each other. I think it’s good for EJ (Manuel) as well. Any competition is good competition so work on all-for-one and one-for-all. I’m going to push Thad and Thad’s going to push me. We’re both going to push EJ. Whatever it is, I think it’s really healthy for the room and the team.”

 

Tuel discussed his new quarterback coach Todd Downing and how he’s helped the offense. He also touched on the receiving group and how it’s easy to “just cut it loose for those guys.”

 

At the top of the hour we were joined by Kevin Clark, the National NFL writer for the Wall Street Journal. Clark recently wrote an article about the future of defense in the NFL. He discussed specifically the hybrid safety role. He mentions specifically Rob Ryan’s defensive scheme in New Orleans using Kenny Vaccaro in an unconventional way lining up, at times, in the linebacker spot.

 

Clark also talked about the tablet technology that teams are utilizing. Coaches and players use their tablets to watch game film and gather information in a dependable and reliable way. Clark mentioned those teams that understand the up-to-date technology can be more efficient in their game planning.

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Finally, we were joined by NY Jets Team Insider Eric Allen. Allen discussed a variety of topics relating to the Jets, including the quarterback situation between Geno Smith and offseason acquisition Michael Vick. He weighed in on the other training camp battles as well. Allen also gave us the story lines for the team’s preseason debut, Thursday night against the Colts.

 

To hear more from Allen and the rest of Wednesday’s guests, click below to hear the entire John Murphy Show.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Murph and Kelso with the Call – JMS 8/5

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 5, 2014 – 10:02 pm

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The John Murphy Show returned to St. John Fisher College for a practice under the lights, up in the broadcast booth calling tonight’s action. All the play-by-play action including analysis from Mark Kelso who was alongside Murph.

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Plenty of highlights and viewer calls regarding the team’s latest preseason game this past weekend against the Giants. You’ll also hear from Head Coach Doug Marrone as he addresses the plan for playing time for his starting quarterback, EJ Manuel.

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To hear all the highlights from Tuesday night’s practice click below.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Hall of Fame Weekend Recap – JMS 8/4

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 4, 2014 – 9:37 pm

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The show returned to One Bills Drive Monday night after a weekend trip to Canton, Ohio for the Hall of Fame weekend. We looked back on Andre Reed’s enshrinement and played portions of his emotional speech. We also recapped last night’s preseason game against the Giants. Plenty of listener calls chiming in with their opinion of the game. We heard post game sound from Jeff Tuel, Robert Woods, and center Eric Wood on their preseason debut.

 

Bills Insider Chris Brown joined us in the second hour of the show. He and Murph discussed what they liked from last night’s game. Brown touched on the battle for the number two quarterback spot between Thad Lewis and Jeff Tuel. Tuel played well in Sunday’s game, hooking up with receiver Robert Woods for the team’s only touchdown but Brown said there was other areas of his game that impressed him.

 

“The one area where he looks really good is when he climbs the pocket. When that first read is not initially there, he keeps his eyes down field. He can sense the pressure and he climbs the pocket and then delivers the football…More often than not, I’m really encouraged with what I see there. That’s what an advanced quarterback in the NFL, one that’s been in the league four or five years. To start seeing that from him in his second year is pretty encouraging.”

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Brown talked about the offensive line and some of the younger players up front including 7th round pick Seantrel Henderson who had solid play at tackle.

 

To hear more from Chris Brown and Murph, click the full John Murphy Show link, below.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Making the Best of His Opportunity – JMS 8/1

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 1, 2014 – 10:40 pm

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It was the final practice before the team departs for Canton, Ohio for their first preseason game against the Giants. We asked listeners what they wanted to see from the team’s debut. We heard a wide variety of responses from quarterback play, to the defense stopping the run, to the young offensive linemen added to the roster in the offseason. It was a practice under the lights at Growney Stadium. Murph had all the calls and analysis throughout the night. We also heard from select players post-practice which included Sammy Watkins, C.J. Spiller, and Anthony “Boobie” Dixon.

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Ray GuyOn the eve of the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, punter Brian Moorman joined us to talk about Ray Guy who will get his bust Saturday night. He will be the first punter to enter the Hall. Moorman discussed why Guy getting the call is great for the position and how it can only help pave the way for other special teamers to get their chance. He mentioned specifically Steve Tasker. Guy was drafted in the first round by the Raiders and Moorman says “you won’t see that ever again.” He also added that Guy paved the way for the punter position and that’s the reason why it holds its level of importance in today’s game.

 

Moorman talked about his role on the team and how he works day in and day out to make sure he puts the defense in the best position possible.

 

We were also joined by wide receiver Chris Hogan. With stacked lineup at the wide-out position, Hogan has stuck out during the first two weeks of camp making numerous catches, including some highlight reel grabs. He has now worked his way into the slot role working with the one’s most recently. He talked about that and his chemistry with quarterback EJ Manuel.

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“It takes place everywhere. In the meetings talking about different routes, watching film together obviously, the beginning of practice routes, everything. It’s all timing that we’re doing and that timing is getting better and better every day.”

 

Hogan will be on the field Sunday when the team plays the Giants, the team he grew up watching as he hails from the New Jersey area.

 

 

To listen to the entire interviews from Friday night’s John Murphy Show, click below.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Andre Reed: “A joy to coach” – JMS 7/31

Posted by johnmurphyshow on July 31, 2014 – 10:02 pm

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Another training camp practice in the books as we inch closer to the Hall of Fame weekend in Canton, Ohio. We brought up Andre Reed, who is awaiting his enshrinement and we asked the listeners to call in with their favorite memory of the Bills Hall of Fame receiver. We also threw out the topic of who might be the most improved player on the team? Wide Receiver Chris Hogan was one predicted along with Aaron Williams and Nigel Bradham.

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Speaking of those players on the roster, Bills Director of Player Personnel Jim Monos joined us at the bottom of the first hour. Monos is heavily involved in assembling this year’s roster, putting together the high caliber of talent on both sides of the ball, whether it was free agency or through the draft.

 

“I think everyone gets excited when you look at this team but at the same time we want to finish product. We want the end result and that’s getting wins. We’re very excited and you and I were just going about it earlier, the secondary, the defensive line, receiving corps, running backs. You put that up against any team in the NFL right now.”

 

 

Monos went down the roster and touched on specific positions like the new linebacker additions and the offensive line which has changed in the last year, specifically when it comes to size.

 

 

At the top of the hour we were joined by Hall of Fame receiver and former Bills receiving coach Charlie Joiner who called in from the Hall of Fame festivities in Canton. Joiner coached Andre Reed for eight years and talked about his time coaching the Bills receiving great.

 

Andre Reed

“With Andre’s size at that time, I thought he was the best insider receiver in the league. He played in the slot and he played in the slot excellently…Andre can read the defense as good as anybody I’ve ever seen on a football field. I just enjoyed the way he played the game. He never got tired. He played hard and he just kept going and going. This guy was a joy to coach.”

 

 

Joiner called Reed the “truest of all professionals” and said he knew it was just a matter of time before Reed got the call to the HOF.

 

 

One of the reasons for the signs of improvement from QB EJ Manuel has come from the team’s new quarterback’s coach, Todd Downing. Downing joined us to round out the show to discuss just that. Downing says EJ Manuel has the tools and the skillset but most importantly the work ethic to be great.

 

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“He’s a very hungry kid. He wants to be great. That’s half the battle. A lot of times you run into guys that think they know it all or their way is the right way and EJ is just the sponge. He wants all the information you can give him. Any drill we can do to get him better, footwork wise, he’s all for it. It’s exciting to work with a guy that wants to be great and wants to do anything you ask him to do to get better.”

 

 

In addition, Downing talked about offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and why he’s on his way to being a “super-star” coach in the league. He also touched on the rest of the quarterbacks on the roster, specifically Thad Lewis and Jeff Tuel.

 

 

You hear the complete John Murphy Show from Thursday by clicking below.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

“Leap to Superstardom” – JMS 7/30

Posted by johnmurphyshow on July 30, 2014 – 10:20 pm

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The past two weeks of training camp saw a lot of national pundits make their way through St. John Fisher College. They all had a chance to view quarterback EJ Manuel and give their opinion on the second year QB. Back on Monday night, we had both Cris Collinsworth from NBC Sports and former NFL Head Coach Marty Shottenheimer on the show. They talked at length about what they saw from Manuel and both had positive reviews. We asked the listeners, with the credentials those two hold, do you trust their opinion of EJ Manuel and should we be critiquing the quarterback with so much detail this early in camp?

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Our first guest was Bills rookie linebacker Preston Brown. Brown is gearing up for his first NFL preseason game this coming Sunday. So far he’s shown the coaching staff that he can handle whatever has been thrown at him, specifically when it comes to learning all three linebacking positions. He’s concentrating on playing specifically in the middle and working on his strengths, tackling and stopping the run.

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“That’s one of the biggest keys of the game. You have to tackle the ball carrier and that’s why I try to be around the ball as much as much as possible.”

 

Brown also discussed the influence from his father and why he loves being a student of the game.

 

At the top of the first hour we were joined by Bleacher Report’s Nick Kostos. Kostos recently went through each position in the league and gave his choice for those that will be most improved in 2014. At cornerback, Kostos had Bills defensive back Stephon Gilmore.

 

“I expect Gilmore to be left out on an island quite frequently and I think he proved at the end of last season that he is up for the challenge. We saw his skills coming out of college. I think this is the year, now fully healthy, that Stephon Gilmore takes the leap to superstardom for the Buffalo Bills.”

 

Kostos projected Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill to improve drastically at the quarterback position given better play from the offensive line.

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Finally, former Vikings and Ravens offensive lineman Matt Birk called-in to the show. Birk has recently taken a new job as the NFL director of football development. He will be working with players and coaches to help advance the game. Birk weighed in on player safety and how the culture is changing when it comes to concussion awareness. He mentioned that the NFL is leading the way and the results are showing as such. He also discussed what he missed most from playing the league which includes the camaraderie with his teammates.

 

To hear more from Birk and the rest of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show guests, click below.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Schottenheimer: “Get behind this team”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on July 28, 2014 – 10:36 pm

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Weather turned what was going to be a quiet John Murphy Show into an exciting one as the team went under the lights for a night practice in Growney Stadium. Mark Kelso, Murph’s color analyst on the Bills broadcast joined him once again to help call the action and break down each play. We heard from Head Coach Doug Marrone, Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz, and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Andre Reed.

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We also had some unexpected special guests. Right off the top of the show, NBC Football Lead Analyst Cris Collinsworth joined us in our St. John Fisher College Studio to discuss what he’s witnessed from this year’s team. He will be part of the broadcast crew that will call the Bills preseason game against the Giants in the Hall of Fame Game Sunday night. Collinsworth talked at length about EJ Manuel, specifically when it comes to his progression. He noted that “you can see the development.”

 

Collinsworth gave his thoughts on Sammy Watkins and what he likes from the rookie receiver even going back to his evaluations when Watkins was at Clemson.

 

After practice, former Bills Linebacker and former NFL Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer made an appearance. As a footbschottenheimer picall evaluator for many years in the league, Schottenheimer gave his opinion on the Bills quarterback as well.

 

“I think if you’re a Bills fan, you’ve got to be very excited. Every time you look at a football team, the first thing people look at is the quarterback. I was so extremely impressed tonight with EJ (Manuel). I just thought he was terrific in accuracy and velocity. I think it’s an opportunity for these Bills fans to get behind this football team because I think they’re going to be very good.”

 

Schottenheimer also weighed in on the defense, what he misses most from coaching and playing in the NFL, and why he’s on a mission to seek out his favorite Buffalo food.

 

To hear that and the rest of The John Murphy Show, click below.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

“He makes the catch!” – JMS 7/25

Posted by johnmurphyshow on July 25, 2014 – 10:23 pm

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The John Murphy Show returned to St. John Fisher College as the team took part in a night practice under the lights at Growney Stadium. Joining Murph was Mark Kelso, his partner and color analyst on the Bills Broadcast. The two called highlights and gave in-depth analysis of the night’s practice session.

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We began the show by hearing from head coach Doug Marrone. He spoke on the return of defensive linemen Marcell Dareus and Alan Branch. Branch makes his return after passing his physical on Thursday. You’ll hear from him as well.

 

Afterwards, Bills Insider Chris Brown roamed the sidelines to get post-practice reaction. He caught up with rookie cornerback Ross Cockrell who made some impressive plays tonight.

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To hear all of that and the complete John Murphy Show from Friday, click below.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

“I can progress and get better” – JMS 7/24

Posted by johnmurphyshow on July 24, 2014 – 9:30 pm

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We’re back on home base for tonight’s John Murphy Show as we returned to One Bills Drive. Thursday’s news of the day was highlighted by Marcell Dareus passing his physical. Getting set for his fourth year in the league, we asked the listeners what their expectations are for the defensive lineman, especially coming off of his breakout year last season. Lowered or heightened?

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Our first guest was Bills receiver Robert Woods. Woods discussed the transition from year one to year two and how he’s more comfortable in the offense, which will translate to a more productive 2014. He also weighed in on his quarterback EJ Manuel, who he feels will also progress in year two and the signs are being shown so far in training camp.

 

“He’s definitely understands the offense a lot more. He’s more settled in the pocket. His throws are more accurate, with TD, coach (Todd) Downing helping back there at the quarterback position.” Woods said. “In this system now, you can see EJ’s head going through each progression and taking his time in the pocket and not just rushing things. Now he’s just taking his time, going through his reads and making plays.”

 

Woods also reflected on his rookie season and what he’s seen from his receiving teammates including Sammy Watkins, calling the rookie WR “explosive.”

 

At the top of the hour we were joined by Bills Insider Chris Brown. Brown has been in attendance for each training camp practice so far. He gave his thoughts on Marcell Dareus, what he’s seen from EJ Manuel, and what he likes from Sammy Watkins during this first week of camp.

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“He’s the most dynamic weapon in the offense right now and that includes a person like C.J. Spiller. In terms of turning plays in, practice in and practice out, he’s been the guy. That’s hard to do at a wide receiver than at running back where the ball is handed to you and you have to make something happen. He’s got to run a route, the quarterback’s got to find him, you have to beat the defender, and make a play. He’s made plays and not just one or two, he made about five or six plays each and every practice. I think he’s been head and shoulders above everyone else on the offensive side of the ball.”

 

Brown went down the rest of the offense, mentioning the running backs and Anthony Dixon and how impressive he’s been. He talked about Chris Hairston’s change from offensive tackle to guard. He also discussed the defense and what he’s seen from rookie LB Preston Brown.

 

Finally, we were joined by USA Football Master Trainer Ken Stoldt. Stoldt will be part of this weekend’s Buffalo Bills’ Moms Football Safety Clinic at St. John Fisher College. Stoldt will help the parents of those kids playing youth football to understand the safety push in the game, including concussion awareness. This is part of the Heads Up football initiative. Moms will be learning about proper tackling techniques and taking part in hands-on football drills, all to understand why their kids are being taught a certain way. For more information you can go to http://www.usafootball.com

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To listen to more of Thursday’s John Murphy Show, click below.

 

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

The Ratings Czar of Madden 15 – JMS 7/23

Posted by johnmurphyshow on July 23, 2014 – 10:20 pm

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It was another morning practice for the team on Wednesday. We went over all the highlights from this morning, which of course included a few reel-worthy plays by Sammy Watkins. With that said, we asked the listeners…Watkins could be the best wide receiver since whom? A lot of Andre Reed mentions along with Eric Moulds and Lee Evans.

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Joining us in our on-site camp studio was Bills Cornerback Leodis McKelvin. McKelvin is coming back to form after an injury suffered last season and said his goal is to remain healthy and continue to make plays. He has been mixed in along with Stephon Gilmore on covering Sammy Watkins. He discussed the physical battle throughout the first four days.

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“We just want to give him a little taste on how things are going to be further down the road when he plays against other guys that is in this league. They are going to do what they need to do, grab, tug, playing physical. We’re just trying to give him a good look at what he’s going to see later on down the line.”

 

McKelvin did say that the rookie receiver is “explosive.” He also touched on the other wide-outs on the roster and what he likes from the new players in the defensive backfield, including Corey Graham who he joked is the “uncle” on the team.

 

At the top of the hour we got a Hall of Fame preview from Bills Hall of Fame great James Lofton. Lofton was a teammate of Andre Reed, who will be enshrined next weekend.

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“I think it’s a well-deserved honor. It’s agonizing when somebody that you’re close to, a friend, you see them have to wait. He was kind of clumped in there with Cris Carter and with Tim Brown. You kind of waited every year to see which one of them was going to win. A couple of years none of the three went in and you’re thinking well Andre was a finalist a number of times and Cris Carter leap frogs over him. I think all of the people that follow the Buffalo Bills realize what a great player Andre was and this is an acknowledgement of that greatness.”

 

Lofton also reflected on his playing time in Buffalo, describing them as “the best four years” of his career. He also tells a great story about how he was almost a Philadelphia Eagle just before joining the Bills.

 

Finally, we were joined by Donny Moore, the EA Sport’s ratings czar for the upcoming Madden NFL 15. In their ratings release earlier this week, Sammy Watkins was placed in the top five in this year’s video game. Moore explained the rating process.

 

“We try to base it on real world data. We try to use 40-yard dashes. We try to use vertical jumps for things like jump ratings. We also use a lot of different opinions from either scouts or different NFL pundits. We try to cumulate all of that into one data point and that’s in Madden NFL 15.”

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The game is due in stores on August 26th.

 

To hear the complete John Murphy Show from Wednesday, click below.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Spikes: “The fans are die hard” – JMS 7/22

Posted by johnmurphyshow on July 22, 2014 – 10:25 pm

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It was an early morning practice for the team which was the first in pads, giving the offensive line a chance to block for a loaded backfield for the Bills. We discussed the top four backs for the team tonight, asking who will lead the Bills in rushing in 2014. The majority of the responses had C.J. Spiller leading that department.

 

Switching gears to the defensive side of the ball for our first guest. Brandon Spikes, the veteran linebacker joined us in our camp radio tent. He discussed his role on the defense, what he can bring to the team in terms of stopping the run, and what he thinks of the Bills fans that view him as an important part of the team.

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“It just feels good to be welcomed with open arms. I always embrace that and like I said, I want to come here and just let them know I’m here to be accountable and get the job done.”

 

With Spikes holding down the middle linebacking spot, he’s looking to prove that he can be a 3-down player including helping out in pass coverage.

 

“Every player has their strengths and weaknesses. Like I told you, I’m a perfectionist and I’m going to do whatever I have to do to get better at that and we’ll see. When we get out there on the field, you can be the judge yourself and see how I’m doing.”

 

Spikes also discussed the talent that surrounds him on the defensive side of the ball, specifically rookie LB Preston Brown, who Spikes sees a lot of similarities in, having shared the same college coach in Charlie Strong.

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At the top of the first hour we were joined by NFL Network’s Steve Wyche. He was on campus the past two days for training camp. Wyche said he was “blown away” by Sammy Watkins but feels the success of the team falls on the shoulders of quarterback EJ Manuel.

 

“Part of it is going to be Nathaniel Hackett designing an offense or at least a passing scheme that highlights his strengths. He has all the talent and the ability in the world. Now, he just has to put it together. They got him some weapons….but I think EJ Manuel could be a good quarterback but a lot of that is going to be up to him.”

 

Outside of Manuel and Watkins, Wyche likes the Bills other offensive additions, mainly the signing of running back Anthony Dixon. On defense he pointed to the defensive backfield, specifically mentioning Da’Norris Searcy. He also touched on the rest of the AFC East and discussed how the Jets and Dolphins are improving.

 

To hear more from Wyche and the rest of Tuesday’s John Murphy Show, click below.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills