Inside The Bills

Will dramatic win be catalyst?

Posted by Chris Brown on October 21, 2014 – 9:30 am

After Sunday’s last second win over the Vikings head coach Doug Marrone said he hoped it could serve as a catalyst for his team. Here’s what the players thought about that prospect.

“I hope so,” said Eric Wood. “I hope we can get on a run. But the key is one game at a time.  And our focus turns to the Jets. It was a fun win, a big win.  But we have to move on, we have to be professional about this and not celebrate more than for what it is. That’s just one win.”

“It’s whatever we make it. Whatever we make it,” said Dareus. “It can be a turnaround factor for us, it can be whatever. We’ve got to go play every Sunday, it doesn’t even matter. Play in, play out, we gotta make it happen. It can be a turnaround, it could not.  We still gotta go out there and play and do the best we can.”

 


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Sammy’s bro hug

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2014 – 5:30 pm

While everyone reveled in Sammy Watkins’ game-winning touchdown Sunday to help lift Buffalo to a fortunate 17-16 victory over Minnesota, everyone forgot all about Watkins’ first touchdown in the game, and what he did after it.

Right after he pulled in a 26-yard pass for his first score of the game from Kyle Orton, Watkins spotted a Bills fan going nuts after his touchdown. Buffalo’s receiver went over to celebrate with the fan.

“I saw him screaming, being active in the game, going crazy,” said Watkins. “I was like, ‘I might as well go over there and give him a hug.’ That probably made his day. That was the first touchdown that I had in the game, so it was a big touchdown to tie the game up.”


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McKelvin earns defensive game ball

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2014 – 5:09 pm

Bills CB Leodis McKelvin had a pair of interceptions in Sunday’s win and did it on back-to-back plays. One of his interceptions led to a touchdown. His performance earned him some national recognition from ESPN writer John Clayton.

Clayton awarded McKelvin his defensive game ball of the week. Here’s what he wrote.

Defensive game ball – Leodis McKelvin
Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin intercepted Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on consecutive throws in the second quarter of Buffalo’s 17-16 victory.

 


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Dareus: Craziest game I’ve ever been a part of

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2014 – 4:59 pm

Bills DT Marcell Dareus had another solid outing Sunday with a two-sack performance in the win over Minnesota. Just like the fans however, Dareus watched from the sideline as the Bills offense tried to put together an 80-yard touchdown drive to win the game. It was every bit as nerve wracking for him as it was for the 73-thousand plus watching behind him.

“It kept us on the edge of our seats like the fans were,” said Dareus. “Caught a pass with one second left on the clock, and squib kicking—that’s the craziest game I’ve ever been a part of. I’m excited. Everybody else was as well.”

Dareus said the conversion on 4th-and-20 was a heart stopper for him.

“Scott Chandler caught a couple of passes, he dropped one and came back and caught another one for a big gain,” he said. “It’s big time, man, it was just so much going on on the sideline. We were so excited, we just couldn’t believe everything was going the way  it was.”


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Marrone on adding another RB – “Probably”

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2014 – 4:05 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone is down a pair of running backs for the foreseeable future. Without Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, Marrone has just Boobie Dixon and Bryce Brown healthy at running back. He also has FB Frank Summers. So when asked about the possibility of adding another back Marrone said the chances are good.

“Probably. I think we’ll probably do something,” he said. “I think a lot of it depends on where Fred is at, but yeah I would say yes we could bring somebody in. We’ll have to discuss those things.”


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What Brown & Dixon learned from Fred & C.J.

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2014 – 2:12 pm

Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are both out indefinitely after suffering injuries Sunday, but since Bryce Brown and Boobie Dixon were added to Buffalo’s roster in the offseason, the team’s top two backs made sure to help their two backups learn the offense and handle any and all assignments. Now all of the time they invested in Dixon and Brown needs to pay off. Both Brown and Dixon feel they’re ready due in large part to the efforts of Jackson and Spiller.

Both Brown and Dixon were asked what they’ve learned from Jackson and Spiller since they’ve been on Buffalo’s roster.

“I just learned the rhythm of the offense and the pace that I have to work at to hit the holes clean,” said Dixon. “They’ve been doing it for two years now and this is my first year so I’m still trying to get in rhythm with it. But I’m learning the tempo I have to have to hit the holes and keep the offense going.”

“Those guys have taken me under their wing and they’ve helped me out,” said Brown. “Watching C.J. and watching Fred, guys who have had success and played on a high level for many years, that benefits me. I know people say it’s frustrating (not playing), but I had an opportunity to watch these guys and learn from these guys. I told them (Sunday night) that I’m praying for their speedy recovery because those guys are the heart and soul of our team. Whether they’re on the field or not we can’t win without them so their presence is definitely needed.”

 


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Uncle Rico & Sammy Watkins win the internet

Posted by Dallas Miller on October 20, 2014 – 1:28 pm

ko-rico

We’ve been alluding to it for weeks, but the ties between Bills QB Kyle Orton and Napoleon Dynamite’s Uncle Rico grew a little stronger last night when Bills fan Breyon Harris (@bre_88 on Twitter) posted a looping video on social media of the mustachioed movie character tossing the game-winner to real-life Sammy Watkins.

In a (shocking? overdue? disappointing?) turn of events prior to the game however, it was revealed that Orton and his mustache have seemingly parted ways, ruining it for everyone.

Despite the fact that Orton no longer sports the defining look, a good thing never truly goes away. Don’t cry because it’s gone, Bills fans, smile because it happened.


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Jackson confident in Dixon & Brown

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2014 – 10:22 am

Bills RB Fred Jackson left Sunday’s game at the end of the first quarter with a groin injury. Making his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Jackson made it clear he has some rehabbing to do to recover from his groin injury, but also expressed his level of confidence in Bryce Brown and Boobie Dixon, who will have to pick up the slack in Buffalo’s rushing attack with both Jackson and Spiller out indefinitely.

When asked about Brown specifically, Jackson believes he can be a full-time feature back.

“He is an every down back,” said Jackson. “He can do it all. He’s a guy who can carry the ball 20-25 times. He’s a guy who can pass protect his butt off and run routes well out of the backfield. We won’t miss a beat with a guy like him. He’s a guy who is going to come out and can produce. We know what he’s capable of doing. I’m excited to see him get his opportunity. It comes at a time when we’ve lost a couple of guys who were valuable to the team, but that’s why we have Bryce and Boobie. They can step in and shoulder that weight and we don’t expect to miss a beat.”

One concern is who will be the chief third down back to handle pass protection, something Jackson did on a full-time basis. As Jackson sees it both Brown and Dixon are more than capable.

“They will (be able to handle it),” Jackson said. “It’s one of the things that we work on every day and they do a tremendous job working with us. It’s something I have a lot of pride in and I consider myself the best running back in the league when it comes to pass blocking. But those guys can do it and they will get the job done. We had a chance to go through it during training camp and I’m extremely excited about what they can do. It will be fun to watch them go out there and compete and make some plays for our team.”

Jackson intends to be around the team during his rehabilitation to assist Brown and Dixon in their preparations for the Jets this week.

“I’m going to be as involved as if I was playing,” said Jackson. “I want to be able to talk to those guys on the sideline and what I’m seeing when I watch the Jets and break them down and see what the tendencies are. So I’ll be around.”

 

 

 


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Marrone update on RB situation

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 7:37 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone didn’t reveal a whole lot about the injuries sustained by C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, but he sounds like he’s already planning to be without both of them come next Sunday against the Jets.

“Yeah, they’re out,” said Marrone. “C.J. [Spiller] will be out for an undetermined amount of time. I think that’s out there already, from what they told me. We’re going to look at Fred [Jackson]. We really don’t have any timetable on that. We have Boobie [Dixon] and then, obviously, we have Bryce [Brown]. It’s not like we have to go out on the street to get somebody to come in. I have no problem bringing up Bryce. We talked about him last week, which I hoped wasn’t a jinx.”

Spiller reportedly has a broken collar bone, while Jackson’s groin injury will be re-evaluated on Monday.


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Dixon ready to go in wake of Fred, CJ injuries

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 7:32 pm

Fred Jackson left the game in the first quarter with a bad looking groin injury. C.J. Spiller was carted off with what’s been reported as a broken collar bone. There’s a very good chance that the duties of the run game will fall squarely on the shoulders of Boobie Dixon and Bryce Brown. Dixon knows he was largely brought in to be the go-to guy if there were a rash of injuries at running back. After this week’s casualty list he assures that he’s ready for an increase in his workload.

Dixon has respect for Jackson and Spiller, as well as gratitude. The two backs have been schooling Dixon up on the protections knowing Dixon is new to their offensive scheme.

“Watching Fred and watching C.J. they got me ready,” said Dixon. “They’re talking to me all the time, letting me know what I need to do, what I need to be looking at. Where my eyes need to be. So when my time came, I was ready (Sunday). It’s a credit to them also.”

When asked if their potential absence from the lineup this coming week changes things, Dixon doesn’t see it that way.

“I don’t think it does,” he said. “We’re all pros. It’s the NFL. One guy goes down, another guy has to step up. We got me, we got Bryce. We got Frank.  And I think we’re ready to go.”

In Sunday’s game Dixon averaged 3.9  a carry as he rushed 13 times for 51 yards.


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McKelvin’s 2 INTs come on back-to-back plays

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 7:22 pm

It was rare enough for Leodis McKelvin that he notched a pair of interceptions in one game. The fact that his two picks came on back-to-back defensive plays made it a first in a long time in Bills history as well.

McKelvin’s first interception came on a 3rd-and-7 at the Bills’ 20-yard line, which he returned nine yards out to the 29. Buffalo’s offense wasn’t able to get points off that turnover, so after six plays they punted. On 1st-and-12 at the Vikings’ 12-yard line, Bridgewater threw a pass out to the right sideline for Adam Thielen, but McKelvin read the play and jumped the route.

“They did play action. It was like a comeback route or out route,” McKelvin said. “Speed turn into it. I saw the ball, when he got the ball, and I made sure I got my feet down. We work on things like that in practice. We work all the time on staying in bounds, throw us the ball and staying in bounds. I looked like a receiver. I may have to go catch a pass.”

So on back-to-back defensive plays for the Bills, McKelvin made a pair of INTs. A Bills player hasn’t done that since Kirby Jackson did it against Miami back on Oct. 29th, 1989 almost 25 years ago.

McKelvin’s four interceptions this season are already a career single-season best.


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Orton a calming presence on final drive

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 7:09 pm

Bills QB Kyle Orton did not have the best day when it came to protecting the football or in getting rid of it when the pocket broke down (sacked six times), but he did come through when the game was on the line. Almost as important as his play making on that final drive was his demeanor in the huddle when they got the ball back with 3:07 to play at their own 20-yard line.

By all accounts in the huddle on the last drive, Orton was upbeat, confident and most importantly relaxed.

“He was poised, he even came in there and cracked a smile at one time,” said Boobie Dixon. “He was like, ‘C’mon guys, we got this. It’s not as much pressure as it really is.’ He made us feel comfortable, he kind of relaxed us, he settled us down and got the job done.”

“Kyle did a great job keeping us under control,” said Chris Hogan. “His poise is pretty unbelievable in a high pressure situation like that. He helped us when we were in long situations, either at the end when we had to get everyone up there and clock it. He did a great job that whole drive.”

“He’s a leader,” said Sammy Watkins. “He knows what he’s doing with the ball. He puts us in the greatest situations. He knows how to help us out on the field, put us in different areas. That’s what we need in a veteran quarterback.”

On the final drive Orton was 8-12 passing for 105 (gross) yards and the game-tying touchdown pass to Watkins.


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Orton caught defense crossed up on 4th-&-20

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 6:11 pm

One of the bigger plays made on the 15-play 80-yard game-winning scoring drive by the Bills in the final minute of play was their conversion of a 4th-and-20 when Kyle Orton found Scott Chandler for a 24-yard pass play to keep the drive alive. Orton noticed something pre-snap and got the play off quicker than usual.

“It was two-man (coverage) and they actually had a little difficult time getting lined up so we kind of went fast and snapped the ball,” said Orton. “I saw the linebacker go to Chandler and I thought I had a good chance to put it around his head and threw a pretty good ball and he made a good catch.”

Vikings LB Chad Greenway, who was in coverage on the play, admitted they got a bit crossed up on defense prior to the play.

It was a hurry up situation.  We were trying to get the call relayed to everybody…getting lined up,” he said. “Looking back, hindsight, you as a player…would like to take care of that, but you reality happens. Never excuse anything away. Good throw and catch. My hand was right in the spot. You wish that play to get off the field and get the game over with. It is what it is.


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Vikings inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 11:46 am

Here are the inactives for the Vikings in today’s game against the Bills.

FB Zach Line
LB Gerald Hodges
LB Brandon Watts
G David Yankey
G Austin Wentworth
TE Kyle Rudolph
DE Corey Wooten


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Bills inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 11:39 am

Here are the inactives for the Bills in their game against Minnesota today.

CB Ross Cockrell
S Kenny Ladler
RB Bryce Brown
LB Ty Powell
OL Cyrus Kouandjio
WR Marcus Easley
WR Marquise Goodwin


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Hackett on using C.J. and Sammy

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 10:55 am

They are two of the most physically gifted players in the entire league, but in the eyes of some C.J. Spiller and Sammy Watkins haven’t been utilized enough in Buffalo’s offense. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett commented on the number of offensive plays run by the Bills the participation of Spiller and Watkins in those plays.

Through the first six games Spiller and Watkins have had the ball put in their hands on 28 percent of the offensive plays run, with 107 combined carries and receptions out of 382 plays run. When asked if they need to get more involved more often Hackett said that is always the plan.

“Of course. There are all kinds of things and those kinds of things need to be executed the right way,” Hackett said. “Sometimes it looks like they might not have been a priority, but they probably were and some circumstances changed that. I think whenever you have those guys on the field you always want to try to highlight them as much as you can.”

Hackett denied that Watkins was ignored in last week’s game against the Patriots because he was being covered by Darrelle Revis.

“No, I think we wanted to utilize him in certain situations,” said Hackett. “We wanted to let him work on him a little bit and then once we came out in the second half we targeted him and he started doing a good job so it’s one of those things where he’s young and we wanted him to get a feel for everything and then we start feeding him.”

Hackett also said they’d like to feed Spiller the ball as much as possible too, but he again came back to execution.

“(C.J. is) another guy we have to keep feeding him the ball and get him up field,” said Hackett. “When you get that opportunity to make a play the key is to take advantage of it. The thing with C.J. is he wants to sometimes do too much. We always say, ‘See three, get three.’ If he focuses on that he’ll hit his stride again.”


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Orton has shifted offensive focus

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 10:05 am

Whether it was intentional or not the presence of veteran QB Kyle Orton in the lineup has shifted the identity of the Bills offense a bit. They’re throwing more on first down, and overall as what was once a run heavy scheme has essentially flipped the past three games.

It began in EJ Manuel’s last start at Houston when they threw the ball 44 times, a departure from being a very run heavy club. Then when Orton entered the lineup the higher propensity to pass continued. The past three weeks the Bills have thrown the ball almost 65 percent of the time, while running it just over a shade of 35 percent (35.5%).

 

In his weekly Coffee with the Coach segment, presented by Tim Horton’s on Buffalobills.com, head coach Doug Marrone wasn’t the least bit shocked by the shift.

“I think whenever you put someone new in at that position your offensive identity is going to change,” said Marrone. “Your goals and how you want to be may not, but at the quarterback position, it’s like anything else, Kyle is not going to run around and make any plays with his feet. So you lose that, but you do gain an experienced guy in the pocket who has been playing really well for us.”

Working with Orton has been a process. After not getting any exposure or work with him through the offseason the coaches are learning as they go when it comes to what Orton likes and executes most effectively.

“For us as coaches we’re getting a better feel for him in practice,” Marrone said. “He hasn’t been here that long and he wasn’t here in training camp with us. So now after a few games we have a better feel for what he wants, where we need to go and where we can go with him.”

 


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Fitting scheme to what players do best

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 9:15 am

In their thorough analysis of what’s ailing the run game, the Bills offensive coaches, including head coach Doug Marrone, are most committed to doing what fits the talent they’re putting on the field the best. What that means for today’s game we won’t know exactly until the game unfolds. Rest assured Marrone and his assistants have looked under every schematic rock.

“Scheming the run whether it’s zone or gap schemes or pulling or tossing it outside there are a lot of things you can do,” said Marrone. “Whichever one we think our backs do well we have to get them out there and give them a good opportunity. But even when you do you still need that execution from everybody.

“Everyone has what they like to do. There are certain plays that I like to run, but in the same sense you’ve got to be able to change and take advantage of your talent. We’re not trying to pound that round peg into the square hole. So we have to make sure we put them in a good position and then they have to execute.”

Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was also preaching execution. Coaches can only do so much in calling plays, but it’s on the players to make it happen.

“The options are always wide open,” Hackett said. “Anything you want to do as a coach you always want to think of everything, but you always have to bring yourself back to reality. You have to understand what you can and can’t do. You don’t want to overthink it. That’s a problem that coaches have at times. They try to do too much or overreact. You have to maintain a steady flow and believe that everybody is going to start working together better.”


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Why Orton wears number 18

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2014 – 2:05 pm

He hasn’t worn 18 for his entire NFL career, but whenever the number has been available Kyle Orton has made sure that 18 is on his back. Here’s why.

Growing up Orton idolized Nebraska QB Brook Berringer, who stepped in for an injured Tommie Frazier back in 1995 and won eight straight games before the job was controversially handed back to Frazier. The Cornhuskers went on to win the national title that season in a 62-24 throttling of #2 Florida.

Tragically just days before the 1996 NFL draft, Berringer died when a small plane he was piloting crashed north of Lincoln, Nebraska. Berringer wore number 18, and Orton wore it as a fan of his since his high school days. He obviously still does now.

Tonight following Nebraska’s game against Northwestern, Berringer’s star-crossed college career and life will be covered in a documentary titled’Unbeaten.’ It’s scheduled to air at 10:30 pm ET. Orton was interviewed and makes a brief appearance in the documentary. Here’s a sneak peek at the program.


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Marrone has faced & beaten Bridgewater

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2014 – 11:51 am

In 2012 the Louisville Cardinals were 9-0 and ranked ninth in the country when they traveled to face an unranked Syracuse squad at the Carrier Dome coached by Doug Marrone. The Cardinals, led by QB Teddy Bridgewater, found the game tougher than perhaps they imagined.

Syracuse broke a 10-10 tie in the second quarter and never trailed again. The Cardinals had no answer for Orange WR Alec Lemon, who had 176 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. Jerome Smith and Princ-Tyson Gulley also combined for 242 rushing yards in the game and three touchdowns in what became a convincing 46-25 upset.

Bridgewater threw for 424 yards and three touchdowns, but most of his production came when the Cardinals were already trailing. The question now is how has Bridgewater morphed and changed under Minnesota offensive coordinator Norv Turner.

“You see a player that’s progressing from the college game to the pro game,” Marrone told Buffalobills.com in his weekly Coffee with the Coach segment presented by Tim Horton’s. “He has great weapons around him. Guys with a lot of speed who if they get the ball in open areas can cause serious problems. I think he’s progressing like most quarterbacks. Coach (Norv) Turner has always done a great job with young quarterbacks and has a history of it. They’re bringing him along and working on things that he’s good at and trying to create that foundation and make things a little more difficult for the opposing defenses.”


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