Inching closer to the Bills and Chiefs this Sunday. We began the show with an update from practice including the injury status of both Sammy Watkins and Fred Jackson. The other big news of the day was the announcement that the Bills will take part in the NFL International Series in 2015. Buffalo will travel to Wembley stadium to play the Jaguars on October 25th.
Joining us to discuss just that was NFL Executive VP of International Mark Waller. Waller called in from London and added that it’s a great opportunity for the Bills to experience the increased fan base in the UK. He also talked about timing, specifically for the new owners of the Bills Terry and Kim Pegula.
“It’s a great opportunity for them to get a sense of what we’re really up to in the UK and to have to fan base we have here respond to NFL and the regular season games. It felt like the timing was good for the new ownership to experience London first hand.”
Waller said it’s been remarkable to see the growth of the sport in the UK and the knowledge of the fans. He added it’s a “great testament to the popularity of our sport.”
Next up was offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who made his return to the show following the bye week. It was a time for the coaching staff to evaluate their players and systems through the first half of the season. Hackett talked about the growth of his unit from the quarterback, to the offensive line, to the wide receivers. He said the growth and potential of the offense is “really exciting.” He also talked about this weekend’s matchup against the Chiefs, facing yet another top-10 defense.
“I swear every day I walk in to get the scouting report they’re telling me, ‘Oh, we got another top five defense.’ I’m like man, what’s going on? They are impressive. They have those two ends (Justin Houston and Tamba Hali) and they are special players. Those are guys we’re definitely going to have a plan for. They are stellar on third down. That’s a big challenge for us. I think we’ve presented to the guys and told them it’s a situational game because that’s where they really excel at in the redzone. It’s astounding. I don’t think they’ve given up a rushing touchdown. With their scheme by itself, they’re very, very unique. They give you a lot of different looks.”
Finally, it was the return of Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas. He weighed in on news that the Bills will play over in the UK and reminisced back to 1991 when he was part of the team that took on the Eagles in a preseason game in London. Thomas then talked about this weekend’s game with the Chiefs and why he thinks the Bills will come out on top.
“It’s going to be a tough game but I think the way the Bills run defense is playing and we can get the running game going it will keep Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense off the field. I’m going Bills. I think it might be close for a while but I think at the end the Bills will pull it out, maybe by 10 points.”
To hear more from Thurman Thomas and the rest of Thursday’s jam packed John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Podcast edition of the show on Wednesday. The team returned to the practice field in preps for their game against the Chiefs this Sunday. We gave a rundown on the news of the day including the situation with wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who left Wednesday’s practice early with a groin injury. Fred Jackson updated his status as he tries to return from a groin injury as well. We also caught up with the rest of the team as we served up another edition of Around the Locker Room.
Recently signed cornerback Jerome Couplin stopped by our studios following his first practice in a Bills uniform. Couplin was recently placed on waivers by the Lions but did not clear and was awarded to the Bills earlier this week. He talked about his possible role in the Bills defensive backfield and his involvement on special teams.
“Whatever they need me to do. It’s my job to learn and grab things as fast as I can and go from there. If a special teams role is where they want me to be then that’s what I’m going to do. If I’m going to get some reps on defense then so be it. I don’t know right now, I’m just clearing a new slate, go from there, and work hard every day.”
Couplin also addressed his route to the NFL as an undrafted rookie from William & Mary College and his growth in playing the safety position.
Former Bills defensive lineman Fred Smerlas also joined us. Smerlas is spearheading the cause to raise money for Kevin Nestor, a young man who is diagnosed with autism and mental retardation. Every two weeks the 26Shirts charity will release a new t-shirt design for purchase to benefit a family in need or a foundation. Smerlas’ design for Nestor will end this coming Sunday at midnight. $8 from each purchase will go towards benefiting the care for Kevin.
“They put out 26 shirts, each one for two weeks, which equals a year. You have an opportunity to buy the shirt and all the net proceeds go towards a charity and then goes off the table after two weeks, mine on Monday after I leave Buffalo. It’s a great opportunity. It’s a unique, different way to raise money for charity.”
For more information you can go to http://www.26shirts.com/ and check out the “Fred Nose Best” design. Smerlas will be promoting his effort and selling his t-shirts at the following events this upcoming weekend in the Western New York area:
Friday November 7th
6-8 p.m. appearing with WHAM Radio’s Bob Matthews
3010 Winton Road South
Saturday, November 8th
Seneca Niagara Casino (Hawk Room)
310 4th Street
Niagara Falls, NY
*Special appearance by Joe DeLamielleure
Sunday, November 9th
Prior to Kick Off vs. Chiefs
ADPRO Sports Training Center (Alumni booth)
To hear more from Smerlas and the rest of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show podcast, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
On the road for tonight’s show as we invaded Duff’s Famous Wings in the Eastern Hills Mall on Transit Road in Williamsville. Those in attendance joined us on set to discuss their thoughts and opinions on the team. Running back Boobie Dixon was the star of the night as he stopped by to sign autographs and take photos with the fans.
Dixon was able to break away from his plate of wings to put on the headset and talk to us for a few minutes. He discussed why he loves Bills fans, what he did during the bye week, and what he is looking forward to now that the second half of the season is about to get underway. Dixon has had increased reps in the offensive backfield due to recent injuries in the RB group and he’s embracing his increased role and is looking forward to what’s ahead.
“I feel like I’m just getting started. The first eight games kind of tell you who has a little talent and who can play a little bit but these last couple are going to show you who the real men are and who has championship aspirations. I look at this chance as an opportunity and I’m going to take advantage of it.”
Dixon also added what he likes about living in Buffalo and how close knit the running back group is.
Bills safety Aaron Williams was our guest at the bottom of the first hour. He talked about the defensive performance through the first half of the season, adding that it was a good start but that they are motivated to be a “top 3, top 5 defense in the league.” He also discussed the approach defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has and the workings of the current rotation in the defensive backfield.
“We feel like all the safeties we have are starting safeties. When I went down, another guy has to step up. I think the situation is that they don’t want to put too much pressure on my injuries and give Duke (Williams) a look at it and he was doing really well so why would you change something that’s working. That’s the way we went through the first half and I think we’re going to continue to rotate.”
Finally, we were joined by author and Hall of Fame sports journalist for The Newark Star-Ledger in New Jersey, Jerry Izenberg. He called in to discuss his latest work, a biography of Pete Rozelle, the former NFL commissioner who helped build the league into what it is today. “Rozelle: A Biography” chronicles the AFL and NFL merger and the birth of the Super Bowl all under the eye of Pete Rozelle who helped transform what the game is today, one if not the most successful sports leagues in the world.
To hear the complete interview from Izenberg and the rest of Tuesday’s John Murphy Show from Duff’s Famous Wings, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Back at it with another live show for Wednesday. A quiet day around One Bills Drive but we were able to gather up a jam-packed show. As the players look back at the first half of the season, we went Around the Locker Room to get their thoughts. We also asked the listeners to chime in with what might need to be fixed if the Bills want to make the playoffs? Plenty of reaction from play calling, to the offensive line, to the run game.
Quarterback Kyle Orton sat down with us before he departed for his time off. He joined us in studio to discuss his four games under center for the Bills and the team’s 3-1 record during that time. Orton talked about his progression in the offense, the balance with the play calling, his thoughts on rookie receiver Sammy Watkins, and how his experience ties in to his decision making on the field.
“Ninety percent of the position is to identify what the defense is trying to do, process that information and go to the right spot with the football and hopefully be able to do it in a couple of seconds. The more you play, the easier it gets. When people say the game slows down, I think that’s probably what they mean. That’s what it’s felt like for me the last three years I’ve played is that the information you can process so much faster that you just kind of play at the same speed over and over again and make good reads.”
At the top of the hour, we kicked off our coordinator segments. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was first up. He added to what Kyle Orton had to say about the offensive progression, then went on to discuss the changes from all groups on that side of the ball and importance of building the continuity with each one, including the offensive line. Hackett also explained the offensive balance when it comes to the run game, specifically last week against the Jets.
“We don’t want to turn the ball over. That’s our number one goal. To do that, typically it’s to run the ball. You want to be able to run the ball and tire a defense out. You don’t want them to have the ability to rush the passer. At the same point, you want them to commit to the run because if they commit to the run then you have one-on-one with a guy like Sammy Watkins or Robert Woods. When we started running the ball, they (the Jets) knew that right out of the gate and that’s what opened up a lot of those big plays. So, when we did that we wanted to be sure we protect the football and we’d be able to set up for some of those passes so, when we did take our shots and we did pass the ball those things would be efficient and the four touchdowns out of ten completions is pretty efficient from my book.”
We then switched gears to the defensive side of the ball and sat down with defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Schwartz weighed in on the first half of the season and the success of his defense, which has led the way towards the team’s 5-3 record, which he says has now “made the second half of the season relevant.” He also talked about the rotation on his defense from the backfield to the defensive line.
“You’re going to have contact on every single play when you’re a defensive lineman. We want to keep those guys fresh. We want to stay fresh over the course of a game but also keep these guys healthy over the course of a season. We look for productivity. We don’t sit down and have a clicker and decide how many snaps each guy has played. We also will rotate some guys in the secondary, too. We’ve gotten some really good contributions out of those guys. We’ve played a lot of different guys at linebacker so it’s not just unique to the defensive line. I think it surface well over the course of the season.”
To hear all of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Podcast edition of tonight’s show. The players were in and out on Tuesday as they depart for their bye week time off. Before that, we caught up with defensive back Corey Graham and his thoughts on the second half of the season. We also heard from offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett who touched on the run game and what Kyle Orton has brought to the offense.
Our guest was special teams coach Danny Crossman who sat down to discuss his unit’s play and their success through the first half of the season. He touched on the offseason emphasis on core special teams players, specifically Boobie Dixon and Corey Graham and the others who have filled in along the way. He also weighed in on the play of his kicker Dan Carpenter, who is on his way to having another solid year in the kicking game.
“Dan was outstanding in Miami and we were very fortunate that Dan was available and he has done nothing in his time here to discourage that at all. He had a great year a year ago and we were able to extend him and has picked right where he was a year ago and he’s been a true professional at what he does.”
Crossman moved on to touch on his new punter, Colton Schmidt and his analytical approach to each and every punt.
“If you talk to golfers, or even basketball players, or an individual guy, it’s all about the stroke and even if they’re missing the shot, a basketball play will tell you ‘hey, my stroke feels good and I know it’s going to come around.’ A golfer, ‘my swing feels good, I know I’m going to get results.’ He’s (Schmidt) very similar in that way with both his line and his drop. Even if he hits a bad ball or two, he knows fairly early on what’s going on and we’re able to communicate it and get it fixed because he has such good working knowledge of his own mechanics.”
Crossman also talked about kick-off specialist Jordan Gay and his approach to unique situations on special teams like the one his unit encountered against the Jets where TJ Graham laid down in the end zone in hopes of causing a possible distraction.
To hear all of that and the rest of Tuesday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Our last show before we hit the weekend and Sunday’s game against the Jets. We began the show with the news of the day which included Friday’s announcement that Sammy Watkins has been honored as the NFL Pepsi Rookie of the Week for his performance against the Vikings last Sunday.
We then asked the listeners to share their predictions for the game and what they want to see out of the Bills. As with every Friday, we checked in with Bills Insider Chris Brown, who sat down with head coach Doug Marrone for another edition of Coffee With the Coach. We also heard from running back Boobie Dixon, who is set to make his first start with the Bills this Sunday. He discussed his preparations and what he has learned from C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson.
At the bottom of the first hour, Bills cornerback and NFL leader in interceptions Leodis McKelvin joined us in-studio. He talked about his two picks against the Vikings and why turnovers are an important stat to a defensive back and why there’s an emphasis on that during practice.
“They always say DBs can’t catch and you know we always have to work on our hands. You have to make sure you’re prepared because turnovers are a very important point of emphasis for our defense to get turnovers and interceptions is another part of that.”
McKelvin also shared his mentality on returning punts and why he will get the bulk of the load on both punt and kick returns now that teammate C.J. Spiller won’t be playing. He then gave his thoughts on going up against Jets wide receivers Percy Harvin and Eric Decker.
At the top of the hour, our weekly visit from radio color analyst Mark Kelso, who once again gave an in-depth preview of Bills-Jets game. He shared his thoughts from both teams on both sides of the ball. With the two new running backs filling in this week, Kelso discussed the offensive matchup against the defensive front of the Jets.
“They will rush three and they did this a lot against Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. There’s no fooling you who they are going to rush. Now, sometimes they will play a quarter coverage so they will go four-under and four-deep and sometimes they will go five-under and three-deep but with those three guys they are getting pressure. That’s amazing to me and you talk about difference makers. (Muhammad) Wilkerson and (Sheldon) Richardson, those guys bring it and if you’re not ready for those guys they will hurt you.”
Kelso had plenty more to say as he dug deep into the game plan for both teams and mentioned how the Bills are going to have to play a “mistake free” game against, despite a 1-6 record, a “high quality” Jets team.
Finally, we were joined by former NFL official and now officiating consultant for CBS, Mike Carey. Carey discussed the recent emphasis on defensive holding and added that it will eventually help make the game better and that the officials this season are trying to be as consistent as possible, despite the recent criticism. He gave details of his role on the CBS Network, being an aid to help viewers decipher a good call from a bad call and what should or should not be called on the field.
To hear all of that and more from Friday’s John Murphy Show, listen below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
We stepped outside of our normal studio home and brought in visitors from Con-way Freight who took in tonight’s show as a live audience. Those in attendance asked questions and were able to meet and great Bills rookie linebacker Preston Brown. We also touched on the news of the day from One Bills Drive, including what the players had to say after practice as we went Around the Locker Room.
Brown took a time out from signing autographs to sit down with us and discuss his rookie season and the various roles he has played on the Bills linebacking unit. He also weighed in on why he was tabbed as the signal caller for the defense and why the coaches have confidence in the rookie linebacker to handle the job.
“That’s something I had to learn how to do. At Louisville, we all knew the calls and we got them from the sideline. Getting here, you actually have to know how to relay the call and know verbiage, so it’s been something I’ve had to work on with actually saying it in the huddle. It’s got easier and it’s just effortless now.”
Brown then previewed Sunday’s game at the Jets including what he knows about quarterback Geno Smith, who he played against in college and what he sees from the two running backs on their roster, Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson.
Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas rejoined the show to share his thoughts on the Bills next opponent and what he has seen from watching practice this week. He touched on the two running backs filling in this week, Boobie Dixon and Bryce Brown and what he thinks of their running styles. Thomas added that Sunday’s game will be physical on both sides of the ball but was upset when he heard that the Jets were favored on Sunday.
“To be 4-3 going up against a 1-6 team, that just really, really upset the players and I know the players don’t really look at the point spread or anything like that but you’re 4-3 and they are 1-6. That should really upset a lot of players that they are not favored going into this ball game. I expect the Bills to go out and play a physical football game and leave there 5-3.”
Finally, continuing our Bills-Jets game preview, we were joined by NFL and Jets Columnist for the New York Daily News, Manish Mehta. He has an opposite look at this game from what Thurman Thomas sees. He believes this is a must win for the Jets and has them coming out with the win on Sunday.
“The law of averages has to come into play here. They’ve lost six games. They were really only embarrassed in San Diego a few weeks ago but the rest of those games have been pretty competitive. They’ve played well at home. I don’t have a concrete reason other than a gut feeling that it will be ugly and I think it will be a tight game but ultimately I think they will snap their six game losing streak.”
To hear more from all of our guests and the complete John Murphy Show from Thursday, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Back in-house for tonight’s show. A Wednesday edition, meaning it’s the time when the Bills turn their attention to their next opponent, the NY Jets. We gave a rundown of the news of the day including an updated injury report and heard from the players post-practice with another edition of Around the Locker Room. We also heard from running back Bryce Brown who preps for his first game of the year. The listeners also chimed in on tonight’s topic, what is the path to the playoffs for the Buffalo Bills? Is it through winning the division title or through a wild card berth?
Our first guest was rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Watkins discussed last week’s final drive against the Vikings, including his game winning touchdown catch. He talked about his chemistry with quarterback Kyle Orton and how the offense is starting to “believe” in each other and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. He also talked about his own production, especially when it comes to route running and how he’s worked hard since being drafted to improve that part of his game.
“I’m now ten times better at route running. They (coaches) gave me a great philosophy of older receivers that use this method and I just follow with what I’ve struggled with during minicamp, training camp, and OTAs. I wasn’t feeling right, I wasn’t feeling like myself and I went home and started training the way they want me to run the routes and where they want to out the routes. So far, it’s been the best thing that I’ve transitioned to. It’s way easier, it’s smarter, and you’re going to be in a position that the quarterback wants you in when doing the right steps and the right revolutions when running routes.”
Watkins also discussed his recent nomination for NFL Rookie of the Week and what that means to him personally.
We were also joined by Hall of Fame selector and Talk of Fame Radio host, Clark Judge who called in to discuss the recently voted on contributor finalists for the 2015 Hall of Fame class. The Pro Football Hall of Fame established a nine-person committee to vote on and select two candidates from this category. The finalists for induction include two former general managers and one of them is former Bills GM Bill Polian, who helped guide the Bills to their 3-straight Super Bowls in the early 90’s.
“Everywhere he went, he sort of touched gold. What he did in Buffalo was remarkable and then he goes to Carolina and in the second year, they not only win their division, they go to the conference championship game. Then he goes on from there to Indianapolis and has a run of success there that was very impressive. I think that was very persuasive that he goes to three different teams and has that extraordinary run of success.”
To hear more from Judge and the rest of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
On location at NOCO Express on Walden Avenue in Lancaster. A jam packed store to take in tonight’s show to meet and grab an autograph from special guest Brandon Spikes. Plenty of fans stopped by our setup to ask questions about the team and share their Bills stories.
Spikes joined us at the top of the hour to discuss his signing session and why the fans mean so much to him. He joked about one specific autograph request that had him sign a New England Patriots helmet. Spikes also discussed the linebacking corp and how last week against the Vikings the group did not live up to their expectations in stopping the run, giving up their first 100-yard rusher of the season in Jerick McKinnon.
“I know we pride ourselves on making teams one dimensional and we were not able to get it done. It’s the first time this season and I’m glad it happened right now to put guys in the position to let them know that people are not scared of us. They’re going to come out and do what they do. It’s our job to stop them and be physical up front.”
Spikes also looked ahead to this upcoming game against the Jets and what their offense has to offer.
The team lost C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson last week, so on Tuesday they signed a running back to the roster, Phillip Tanner. Tanner joined us in studio to discuss his NFL experience, his path to the league and what he will bring to the Bills running back group. He discussed his relationship with quarterback Kyle Orton as the two played together in Dallas and how Orton’s football smarts are underestimated.
“What he knows and how he can get teams closer and evolve is truly unbelievable. He’s such a humble guy. Not only can he speak it but he leads by example. This is a Tuesday and everybody is off and he is one of the guys I saw when I walked in here this morning. He’s one of those guys that, a drafted guy, but has a free agent mentality that every day he is coming to work to prove himself.”
We were also joined by Grantland contributor Bill Barnwell who looked ahead to the NFL trade deadline next week and what moves he may see happening. He gave his week 7 wrap-up where he starts to see “The Mighty Start Falling”. Barnwell also gave his non-playoff team rankings and discusses where the Bills fit in the list of 20 teams.
To hear that and the complete John Murphy Show from Tuesday, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Podcast edition of The John Murphy Show. We checked in with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett after Friday’s practice session. Bills Insider Chris Brown sat down with head coach Doug Marrone for our weekly installment of Coffee with the Coach. We also gave a rundown on the news of the day from One Bills Drive and around the league including an updated injury report.
Bills radio color analyst and former Bills safety Mark Kelso rejoined the show as he sat down to give his game preview as we inch towards Sunday’s game against the Vikings. He discusses quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and what he likes from him along with their rookie running back Jerick McKinnon. As far as the defensive side of the ball, he touched on another rookie for Minnesota, first round pick, linebacker Anthony Barr.
“He’s a standout and a difference maker. He makes some exceptional plays. If that kid stays healthy, he is going to be an exceptional player for years to come in this league.”
Kelso goes more into depth on both sides of the ball and believes this is very winnable game adding, “On paper they are better than this team. It’s in your building and you have to win this game. If you don’t win this game then you have more serious problems than I suspect.”
Finally, VP of Operations and Guest Experience Andy Major sat down to discuss to the fans and the stadium experience as we head into the Bills fourth home game of the year. He weighed in on the Super Gates and how they have relieved the congestion of fans getting into the stadium and added that they had 95% of those entering the stadium last weekend against the Patriots in their seats prior to kick off. Major also updated the Bills Fan Advisory Board and what they will be focusing on at their meeting next week which will include the discussion of adding to the list of prohibited items.
To hear that and the rest of Friday’s John Murphy Show podcast, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
A shortened version of the show tonight, our last live show before we head into the weekend and Sunday’s game with the Vikings. The listeners chimed in with their thoughts on what they want to see from the team this week. We also heard from the players as we threw together another version of Around the Locker Room and the news of the day from the team and around the league.
Our guest tonight was defensive end Jerry Hughes who joined us in-studio. Hughes discussed his switch from outside linebacker to his current defensive end position and why he continues to have steady production. He gave his thoughts on last week’s game against the Patriots and then moved on to Sunday’s game against Minnesota. He talked about going up against Vikings tackle Matt Kalil and what he has seen from rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and how the defensive front can create pressure. Although Hughes is on pace for another season with double-digit sacks, he’s focused on getting wins first.
“We’re just trying to find ways to continue to win ball games and win our division. We really want to get a banner up in this building. An AFC East banner would be huge. That’s really our main focal point and our main goal is just find ways to continue to get better as the season goes on.”
Hughes gave praise to the defensive backs for sticking with their coverage to allow time for the defensive line to apply QB pressure. We finished our segment by asking Jerry about his favorite movies and what he has seen most recently.
We also heard from Hamburg High School head football coach, Pat Cauley who called in to discuss this week’s Intense Milk High School Rivalry of the week as Hamburg hosts cross-town rival Frontier, Friday night. To hear that and the rest of Thursday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Back at it for a full night show as the team turns their attention to this Sunday’s game against the Vikings. We began the show with a lowdown from today’s practice including an injury update and we heard from the players inside the locker room with another edition of Around the Locker Room.
Our first guest was Bills running back Boobie Dixon who sat down in-studio to discuss his game last week against the Patriots, where he saw increased reps. He also talked about the recent struggles in the run game and weighed in on if there is a major need to make changes or if it’s a work in progress.
“It’s a big emphasis on us sticking together and not letting the outside noise take us off of our goals and what we want to do this season. I feel like we’re going to be a great running team and we just have to stick together. It’s going to be tough. Every team is struggling with something and every team is going to have their bumps in the road but I think the winning teams, the championship teams, they stick together and they will keep on grinding and pushing and eventually things will happen for them.”
Dixon discussed why he loves to bark to his teammates and what he likes in response, adding “Just bark with me. Let me know you’re there. Let me know my dogs are with me.” He also talked about the leadership roles in the running back group and why he plays the wild card in that corp.
At the top of the hour, a familiar name to Bills fans called in. Former Bills linebacker Takeo Spikes joined the show to talk about this Sunday’s game, where he will be ‘Leading the Charge’ as the team is introduced through the tunnel.
“I want it to be all spontaneous when I get out there on the field. I might try to tap Brandon (Spikes) because you know Brandon wears the visor, so maybe I can get one or two more plays in if I can put the visor on. He’s the same jersey and everything so I can go out there and steal a few plays.”
Spikes continues to talk of the Bills as “we” and says he still has a special place in his heart for Buffalo. He added his thoughts on the Bills defense and their chances of taking over the AFC East and also talked about his current broadcasting career where he’s an analyst on NBC Sports Network’s “Pro Football Talk.”
Finally, we got some insight from Fox Sports sideline reporter Peter Schrager who will be on the sideline for Sunday’s game against the Vikings. He covered the Vikings game against the Lions last week and weighed in with his heading into this week, specifically the line of scrimmage where he sees the Bills having success against a struggling offensive line for Minnesota.
“I know you guys out in Buffalo have a dominate defensive line and I would be licking the chops if I were you guys because eight sacks last week. Ziggy Ansah had 2 ½ and the Lions, every time there was a passing play they seemed to be in Teddy Bridgewater’s face. He’s not a huge guy. He doesn’t tower over the offensive line. There have been a lot of deflections batted down at the line. Suh, Fairley, and those guys were in his face all day long. If I have Jerry Hughes, Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, and Marcell Dareus breathing down on him, you have to be worrying coach Mike Zimmer right now.”
To hear more from Schrager, Kim Pegula’s message to Takeo Spikes, and the complete John Murphy Show from Wednesday, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
What a day to end the week. Terry and Kim Pegula were officially introduced as the new owners of the Buffalo Bills. We heard from an emotional Terry Pegula as he addressed the local media and afterwards, John Murphy sat down and went one-on-one with the new owner. Listeners also called in with their reaction and thoughts on today’s news.
Of course, there is a game on Sunday, a divisional matchup with the Patriots. As we do every Friday, we check in with Bills Insider Chris Brown as he discussed the game with Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone. Following suit with the Friday tradition, Bills color analyst on the radio network Mark Kelso sat down in-studio with his broadcast partner to go over the game. Kelso broke down the game with much detail as he always does when it comes to the matchup on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. He also addressed Kyle Orton and if he can continue to grow in the Bills offense.
“If he can maintain that consistency for the rest of the year, I’d be pretty happy about it. A couple of times balls were arrant, the accuracy but I think that will come with time as he works with these receivers because he hasn’t had a lot of time with these guys. Obviously, last week he had the entire week but that was probably the extent of it. He was probably running a lot of scout team prior to that so maybe he had not thrown the ball to Sammy Watkins and doesn’t understand how he comes out of his break and needs to lead him a little bit more but if he can play at that level. He threw the beautiful deep ball to Marquise and I think the tight ends across the middle of the field could be a big opportunity this week as well. They (Patriots) don’t handle pre-snap movement and the cluster stuff very well because if they’re trying to play a lot of man, guys will get lost in there and I think if Kyle has the accuracy that he had last week, most of the time, Bills will be able to take advantage of the passing game.”
Kelso also weighed in with his reaction to today’s introduction of the Pegula Family.
Finally, we checked in at the Billieve event in Niagara Falls as they tied a ribbon across the Rainbow Bridge and capped it off by lighting the Falls pink. Bills place kicker Dan Carpenter’s wife Kaela called in to talk about the event, her second year taking part. To hear that and the rest of Friday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Podcast edition of tonight’s show. We began with a recap of Thursday’s practice at the stadium which included a Bills injury update and we shared the news of the day from around the NFL. We also shelled out another edition of Around the Locker Room as the team gets ready for their divisional matchup with the Patriots on Sunday.
Later, we were joined by Bills running back Fred Jackson who sat down with us to discuss the recent news of the Pegula family taking over ownership of the team. He also talked about the atmosphere that will be on hand Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium as the team welcomes their new owners and look to grab the top spot in the AFC East. Jackson went on to talk about the team’s run game and how that will be a factor in Sunday’s game.
“That’s something we have to do better as an offensive unit. To continue to win games long into the season we have to run the ball better and that’s something we will focus on this week. We have to keep advantage of keeping Tom Brady on the sideline and one of the best ways to do that is run the ball. It’s something we are well aware of as an offensive unit that we have to get better at. It’s just a job that we have to get done.”
Finally, Jackson discussed this weekend’s Billieve event in Niagara Falls as and his teammates will help spread awareness for breast cancer screening.
To hear more from Jackson and the complete John Murphy Show podcast from Thursday, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
A big day for the Buffalo Bills and the future of the team. We began the show with a visit from Bills Insider Chris Brown who called in from the NFL Owners Meeting in New York City, as the league unanimously approved the sale of the Bills to Kim and Terry Pegula. Brown laid out Wednesday’s process and how the vote went down. He also spoke with many of the owners to get their reaction to the sale and their impressions of the future owners of the Bills.
“I was struck by how every owner spoke of the Pegulas as first class people. These are people that have had limited interaction with the Pegulas. Obviously, they’ve learned of their background a little bit more, certainly their financial status, but it seems as though, on the surface, the ownership on the whole has taken them in with open arms here and welcomed them into the NFL partnership or NFL family. I think Terry and Kim Pegula have done a fantastic job of making a great first impression.”
Brown also discussed the next steps of approval before the Pegulas officially becoming full owners of the team.
At the top of the hour we took a break from the news of the day to bring in former Bills General Manager and now NFL Analyst Bill Polian. The former GM came on the show to discuss his new book, “The Game Plan: The Art of Building a Winning Football Team.” Polian mentions the book is not about him but his interactions with players, coaches, and other front office officials that helped him construct winning football programs, from the Buffalo Bills to the Indianapolis Colts and the challenges that went along with it.
“My children and Vic Carlucci convinced me that it would make sense if we used all of the lessons that I learned over the years from all of the great people that I worked with like Marv (Levy), Jim Kelly, Tony Dungy, Ralph Wilson, etc. It’s really not about me. No executive does anything. It’s the players and coaches that do it. We put the book together based on all of those anecdotes that I’ve learned throughout the years and it worked out pretty well.”
Polian did etch out some time to weigh in with his thoughts on the ownership changeover, adding that “it was the best outcome anyone could have ever hoped for.”
Finally, we welcomed back Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas, who keeps a close eye on the Buffalo Sports scene. He discussed his thoughts on the sale of the team and what it might mean not only for fans of the team but for the city as well. He also came on to preview Sunday’s game against the Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium. He broke down the issues with the run game and why he wants to see C.J. Spiller “get the ball in open space.” Thomas then went on to talk about the atmosphere he expects come Sunday.
“It is re-opening day. I was kind of glad to see the Patriots beat the Bengals like they did. Obviously, it gives them a little bit more confidence coming into this football game. I tell you what, it’s for first place. The first time the Pegulas will own the team and it’s their team and their first game and it should be just as exciting as it was for the Miami game. I know the fans are looking forward to it and a lot of the former players are looking forward to it.”
We didn’t forget to get the players thoughts on Sunday’s game. We dished up another edition of Around the Locker Room as the team turns its attention to the Patriots. To hear that and the rest of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
With the anticipated vote to accept the approval of Terry and Kim Pegula into NFL Ownership, we began tonight’s show asking the listeners, other than “thank you” what would say to or ask the Pegula’s as they begin to assume ownership? Plenty of responses from stadium issues to ticket prices were voiced. We also heard sound from head coach Doug Marrone on the success of kickoff specialist Jordan Gay this season.
John Breitenbach, from Pro Football Focus called in as our first guest to discuss his ReFo from the Bills game in Detroit. Breitenbach graded out some of the Bills individual performances, which included his high marks for defensive end Jerry Hughes and Sammy Watkins. He said in his years studying the NFL he hasn’t seen a catch like the dramatic bobble reception Watkins had on the game winning drive. He graded Watkins at a +3.2 and named him to the Pro Football Focus All-Pro team for week five. He also weighed in on the game Jerry Hughes had, who Breitenbach says stuck out as one of the stars of the game.
“With Mario Williams coming off the other edge, he’s (Hughes) is in a really good situation. He’s going to see a lot of one-on-one matchups and this was a game where he really took advantage especially with his power, which isn’t something you’d really expect. He really produced with his bullrush. He had a really, really outstanding game.”
At the top of the hour, we were joined by Jim Quirk, the Executive Director at the NFL Referees Association to discuss the recent criticism in the NFL when it comes to officiating. Quirk discussed some controversial calls and where this year specifically, there are some mixed signals between the league and officials on the field causing some confusion. He also talked about how those interested in officiating get involved and the climbing-the-ranks process it takes to get to the NFL.
Finally, Tom Quatroche, ECMC’s Sr. Vice President of Marketing, Planning, and Business Development called in to discuss the 9th Annual Billieve weekend which starts Friday night in Niagara Falls on the Rainbow Bridge. They will place a pink ribbon across the bridge and then light the Falls pink, all to raise awareness for breast cancer screening. ECMC will also sponsor Sunday’s game against the Patriots to show those in attendance the display of hope from survivors of breast cancer.
“It’s just really nice to see the Bills and the players are so engaged in this process to make sure folks understand the importance of this and really feel it. It’s one thing to talk about it, it’s another thing to actually, whether it’s the pink ribbon, the lighting of the Falls, or the survivors coming onto the field, to really understand what it means and we hope that people take this as an opportunity to understand they need to get screened…The whole weekend is just a really great effort by the Bills and the NFL to raise awareness for breast screening.”
For more information you can visit www.buffalobills.com/billieve
Bills multimedia reporter Alexandra Vitale also joined us from Duff’s Famous Wings in Orchard Park where she sat down with Bills fans to get their thoughts and questions on the team. To hear all of that and more from Tuesday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Podcast edition of Friday’s John Murphy Show. We began by hearing from defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who spoke to the media this afternoon. Schwartz is making his return to Detroit where he was the head coach for the previous five seasons. Bills Insider Chris Brown sat down with head coach Doug Marrone for this week’s edition of Coffee With the Coach.
As we get ready for Sunday, we turned to Murph’s color man on the radio broadcast, Mark Kelso who gave us details from his intense film study to preview the game against the Lions. He discussed both sides of the ball and touched on areas where the Bills might have some success. He started with the offense and the run game and how they can be efficient against certain defensive lineups.
Kelso then switched gears to discuss the offensive weapons the Lions have in receiver Calvin Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford and how to approach their skillset when defending.
To hear more from Kelso and the rest of Friday’s John Murphy Show podcast, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
A shortened John Murphy Show because of Thursday Night Football. We began the show discussing the news of the day which included an updated injury report. We heard from quarterback EJ Manuel for the first time since he was replaced by Kyle Orton as well as Jerry Hughes and Eric Wood. Bills Multimedia Reporter Alexandra Vitale called in from Williamsville South as the Blue Devils took on cross-town rival Williamsville East in this week’s Intense Milk High School Rivalry of the Week.
With a new quarterback thrown into the offense, we sat down with wide receiver Robert Woods to get his thoughts on Kyle Orton under center. Woods has spent the last two days practicing with Orton in with the first team and shared his thoughts on what he has seen from the veteran QB.
“He’s firing the ball and he’s letting us know when we should get the ball and how we should run our routes so when we see the turning coverage, we know we’re getting the ball and the ball is fired out already and it’s coming out quick. I read the thing on the Bills app with just his stats (INFOGRAPHIC: Kyle Orton by the Numbers) and what he’s done in different places, he’s definitely a true quarterback and he’s played in big games.”
Woods also shared his thoughts on EJ Manuel and how the team needs to avoid making errors in order to score touchdowns and beat Detroit this Sunday.
The listeners also chimed in with their predictions for this weekend’s game and the up-in-the-air AFC East and what it will take the capture the division. To hear that and the rest of Thursday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
Plenty of Kyle Orton reaction on tonight’s John Murphy Show. We asked the listeners, now that the move has been made, what are your expectations for the offense and Kyle Orton? Our first guest spent a lot of time with the Bills QB. Ron Turner, head coach at Florida International University, was the offensive coordinator with the Bears from 2005-2009. He coached Orton during his tenure in Chicago and was excited to come on and talk about his former quarterback. Turner talked about Orton’s progression with the Bears, sighting his intelligence and how he made the players around him better. He also has followed his career since leaving Chicago and shared his thoughts on what he sees from Kyle Orton today.
“I still think he’s a good player. Every time he has had an opportunity to play, for the most part, he has gone in and done well. I think he has a lot left and I think he can bring a lot to the table. I know Buffalo has a very good team and I’m sure he’ll step right in and gain the respect of everyone there and be able to help the guys around him. I anticipate he’s going to go in and play really well.”
At the top of the hour, former Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas returned to the show. He talked about what he has seen from the team in the last couple weeks. He talked about the switch at QB and how he’s interested to see how different the offense will be under Kyle Orton. He also weighed what it might mean for EJ Manuel, now having to take a step back.
“You can’t just throw away what EJ has tried to do with what they have given him on the offensive side of the ball. I think you have to, as a team, you have to keep him focused and keep him on the sideline, keep him involved with the football game, and keep him involved in the game plan because you know in this league, one play you can be right back in there.”
Thurman added that the AFC East seems to be wide open and said a team could win the division with 8, 9, or 10 wins. He also thinks that the Bills should grab a win in Detroit this Sunday.
Finally, Lesley Visser, a pioneer among woman sports journalists, called in to discuss her new show “We Need to Talk” featuring an all-female rotating cast that includes national sports broadcasters and athletes. The hour long show will air on the CBS Sports Network Tuesday’s at 10 p.m. Visser described the uniqueness of her new show.
“It will be a panel of four or five guests or some weeks not a guest. We’re hoping the show is somewhere between The Sports Reporters and PTI where we have some issues and where we have some fun.”
To hear more from Visser and her memories of the Bills along with the rest of Tuesday’s John Murphy Show, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills
A jam packed podcast edition of The John Murphy Show for Friday. We started things off by sharing the news of the day from One Bills Drive including an injury update. Plenty of reaction from the locker room as you’ll hear from EJ Manuel, C.J. Spiller, Eric Wood, and head coach Doug Marrone on rookie Cyril Richardson possibly filling in at guard. Marrone also sat down with Bills Insider Chris Brown for this week’s Coffee with the Coach segment.
Mark Kelso, a true student of the game, joined us once again to give us his in-depth preview of Sunday’s game in Houston. Kelso discussed the Bills run game going up against defenses that load the box and where they might have success doing so this weekend. He also weighed in on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and how he can catch defenses off guard to complete big plays down the field but says there are chances for the Bills defense to make plays against him.
“I think one of the things that get away from Ryan Fitzpatrick sometimes is his accuracy. He’s not afraid to throw it in there and he’s not pinpoint accurate and when you have those two things going then it’s an opportunity for the defense to come up with turnovers.”
Kelso also analyzed defensive end J.J. Watt and how he can be a force against opposing offenses, moving around the line of scrimmage and causing havoc with his pass rush. He talked about the difficulty for offensive lineman to attempt to keep Watt from using his hands.
Finally, Bills Multimedia Reporter Alexandra Vitale sat down to preview Friday night’s Intense Milk High School Rivalry Game of the Week, Clarence at Lancaster. To hear that and the rest of The John Murphy Podcast, click below.
Posted in Inside the Bills