Inside The Bills

Buffalobills.com & JMS in Mobile

Posted by Chris Brown on January 20, 2015 – 2:29 pm

Buffalobills.com and the John Murphy Show are again on location at the Senior Bowl this year in Mobile. Here’s some of the coverage you can expect Tuesday.

On camera interviews with new QBs coach David Lee and head coach Rex Ryan, who was taking in practice Tuesday in Mobile.

On the John Murphy Show tonight live from Mobile (7-9 pm), you’ll hear from head coach Rex Ryan as he discusses the value of being on hand for Senior Bowl practices and his plans for this evening as he meets Buffalo’s scouting department.

The aforementioned quarterbacks coach David Lee will also be stopping by as he talks EJ Manuel and Geno Smith from his previous coaching stop.

And Bills Roundup on all the action that took place with the North and South squads.

It’s all on Buffalobills.com this week and on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550.

 


Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Marrone hired by Jaguars

Posted by Chris Brown on January 20, 2015 – 12:02 pm

According to a Florida Times-Union report, the Jacksonville Jaguars have hired former Bills head coach Doug Marrone as an assistant.

That according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.

With Marrone reportedly coaching Jacksonville’s offensive line the Bills will be facing their former head coach. Marrone will have the task of preparing his players for his former defensive line, which includes three Pro Bowl players. This fall the Bills will face the Jaguars in London on Oct. 25th.


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Gailey to Jets not a done deal

Posted by Chris Brown on January 20, 2015 – 11:34 am

There were widespread reports that Bills former head coach Chan Gailey had been hired as offensive coordinator of the New York Jets. But at this point the move has yet to take place.

That according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who quoted Gailey and wrote the following on his Facebook account.

Jets’ deal with OC Chan Gailey has not gotten done, and there are questions as to whether it will, leaving Gailey and Jets’ futures uncertain. “Everybody made it seem like a done deal – everybody except me,” Gailey said Monday. Three other teams have talked to Gailey about joining their staff and he is contemplating whether to do it, he said. He only wants to coach with the right team in the right situation. But those reports of Gailey joining the Jets were premature and Gailey said the two sides are at a crossroads, “but nothing’s happened yet.”


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Making the case for Kent Hull

Posted by Chris Brown on January 20, 2015 – 11:03 am

He’s never been a Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist let along a finalist, but Bills Wall of Famer Kent Hull was a pretty important cog in Buffalo’s four consecutive AFC title teams. Respected columnist Rick Gosselin took a stab at making the case for late Kent Hull recently for more Hall of Fame consideration.

Part of his argument centered around how important he was in helping the K-Gun offense operate. While Jim Kelly called the plays, Hull set up the blocking schemes on the fly to help make the breakneck pace of the offense possible. He also was a pretty darn good player.

Gosselin is also realistic in describing how the teams that don’t win the Super Bowl often find it more difficult to see players get enshrined, even if they are deserving.

There’s a very strong likelihood that the best chance for Hull might be as a Senior Committee nominee several years down the road, much like this year’s Senior Committe nominee, Mick Tingelhoff, a center as well on a very successful Minnesota club that won 10 division titles in 11 seasons and also appeared in four Super Bowls, and lost all of them.


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Ryan: Want to work with EJ first

Posted by Chris Brown on January 20, 2015 – 9:20 am

Bills fans would like Buffalo’s quarterback situation finalized yesterday. But with a new coaching staff coming in there’s some ground work that needs to be laid. New head coach Rex Ryan said as much over the holiday weekend.

In an interview with FOX Sports, Ryan was asked if he believes EJ Manuel is a franchise quarterback. Though Ryan has coached against Manuel, he doesn’t really know him as a player. He believes he can make a more astute judgment after working with the young QB on a daily basis.

“I think it’s too early to tell right now. We’re still in the evaluating stages of looking at our quarterback situation. I thought of EJ a lot when he was coming out,” Ryan said. “We’ll see first-hand when we get a chance to coach him. I’m excited about him though, I’ll tell you that much. Will we explore possible veteran free agents or draft picks out there? Absolutely. We’re going to explore everything to add competition because that makes your whole team better.”


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex comments on Jerry Hughes

Posted by Chris Brown on January 20, 2015 – 9:16 am

Bills new head coach Rex Ryan hasn’t been shy at all about his excitement level for the defensive talent he inherits here in Buffalo. He also believes they’ll keep an important part of that defensive puzzle on the roster.

Impending free agent Jerry Hughes is a player that GM Doug Whaley has already said they want to keep in a Bills uniform for the foreseeable future. In an interview with FOX Sports, Ryan said he intends to see that plan come to fruition.

“I absolutely envision that,” said Ryan. “I think Jerry is an outstanding player. The last two years I’ve been against him and he’s tremendous. I hope he’s still a Buffalo Bill moving forward. Sometimes things happen where that might not be a possibility, but I believe he’s a great player and I hope he’s a Buffalo Bill for a long time.”

 


Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Kicking off Senior Bowl Week – JMS 1/19

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 19, 2015 – 11:00 pm

jms-middle-1280x720--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

 

On the road for the week as we touch down in Mobile, Alabama as practices are set to begin for this weekend’s Senior Bowl. Monday, players and NFL team personnel all congregated at the Renaissance Hotel and that includes Bills National Scout Chuck Cook. Cook sat down with us to talk about finding the right type of athlete that can fit into a team’s scheme. He discussed the importance of players responding to instruction from NFL coaches and NFL situations they will be put through during their time here.

IMG_1863

“We want to see the intangibles, obviously in the interview process but we want to see how they react when they step up and have to play better competition. It’s huge.” Cook said. “It’s another test. NFL coaches can throw stuff at them and see how they respond to it. Usually they do. Some smaller schools start a little slower but we’re looking for the improvement through the week.”

 

Cook went on to mention specific Bills players that stood out in the past at the Senior Bowl, specifically linebacker Nigel Bradham who had a breakout year in 2014 and offensive tackle Cordy Glenn.

 

At the top of the hour Dane Brugler, the Senior NFL Draft Analyst for CBS Sports, called into the show. He gave an overall analysis of the Senior Bowl. His recent articles on cbssports.com dealt with the top-10 offensive and defensive players whose stock could rise by their participation here in Mobile. He talked specifically about Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, who is looking to solidify his spot as the top Senior QB.

Bryce Petty

“To me, this is Bryce Petty’s week. A chance to show scouts what he can do outside of that spread, shotgun offensive attack. At Baylor it was so much pitch-and-catch. You watch him, he barely had to move his feet. Going down to Mobile this week, he will have a chance to show that he can go under center. He can process information, go through his progressions, use his vision, use his eyes. Does he have the pocket mobility? How does he handle himself under pressure? There are a lot of question marks with Bryce Petty but he has a chance to be that top senior quarterback. A big part of that evaluation will come this week.”

 

Speaking of Petty, he spoke to the media late Monday afternoon. We heard from him along with the Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage.

 

We also caught up with Bucky Brooks, the Bills second round pick in 1994 and former scout. Brooks is now an NFL Analyst on NFL.com. He talked about why the Senior Bowl is so important to scouts and other pro-personnel. Brooks also broke down some positional groups and weighed in on what he calls a strong defensive back group in this year’s draft.

 

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


Posted in Inside the Bills

Kim Pegula: The Process of Hiring Rex Ryan-JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 16, 2015 – 9:57 pm

We return to the airways to round up a busy week here at One Bills Drive. We began the show with a special guest, Bills owner Kim Pegula. Kim called in to go over a variety of topics, including the process in hiring new head coach Rex Ryan.

Terry Pegula, Kim Pegula

“Rex almost was a candidate because obviously his name was all around. We didn’t really give much thought to him. We interviewed a lot of people before him. He came in and we were pleasantly surprised at how down to earth he really was in person, his love of the game, and what he said he really wanted to do with life and where he wanted to help us being part of the team. That really resounded very well with Terry and I. It was a little bit of a surprise, I’m going to admit because he was not a candidate we really had on the top of our list.” said Pegula “He really came in and really elevated himself to that top position.”

 

It’s been three months since taking over ownership of the team and Kim discussed her and Terry’s impressions so far. She also talked about her role on the NFL Foundation Board

Erik Pears,Eric Wood

At the bottom of the first hour, Bills center Eric Wood joined us to share his thoughts on the Bills new hire. Wood talked about Coach Ryan’s love for the offensive line, his new offensive coordinator Greg Roman, and why he is more excited than he has ever been heading into the 2015 season.

 

“I’m excited to have Coach Ryan in the building. His enthusiasm, his passion, will be great for us. From a lot of guys I’ve spoken to, we’ll love playing for Rex Ryan and that fires me up.

 

At the top of the hour, former Bills cornerback Butch Byrd called in to discuss the 50th anniversary of the 1965 AFL All-Star Game, in which he and his African American teammates spearheaded the decision to not play in the All-Star Game and instead return home after they faced racial discrimination in the city of New Orleans. The boycott was also welcomed by many white players who believed a statement needed to be made. Byrd went on to talk about the impact of that day.

butch byrd

“I was really not aware of the significance of the boycott when it was taking place. I was playing in my first All-Star Game and I was excited about it and wanted to play. I was disappointed that we weren’t going to play. After the Houston game (The game was quickly moved to Houston), when we got back to Buffalo, I ran into Cookie (Gilchrist) and later Ernie (Warlick) and they were talking about the significance of the boycott. I started reading the papers about what we did. I believe it was the first time that any sports organization boycotted an event because of racism. That’s when I decided it was a big deal.”

CFL: SEP 07 Tiger-Cats at Alouettes

Finally, we were joined by Luke Tasker, the son of former Bills special teams ace Steve Tasker. Tasker, an All-Star wide receiver for the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger Cats, talked about the team’s back-to-back Grey Cup appearances and his thoughts on the rule in the CFL to review defensive pass interference calls. He weighed in with his thoughts on if that same rule could apply to the NFL.

 

To hear the complete John Murphy Show from Friday, including a visit from Monday Morning Quarterback Club Vice President Paul Peck, who joined us to talk about Monday’s Football Night in Buffalo, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-16

Posted by Chris Brown on January 16, 2015 – 12:24 pm

It was a historical week for the Bills franchise with the hiring of Rex Ryan as the 18th head coach in team history. Now for your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

With the coming to an end what positions do you think need more depth for the offseason besides QB? Offensive line or maybe tight end or defensive end in case Hughes leaves? Can you also explain to fans that the Bills would have taken Eric Ebron, and trading up for Sammy wasn’t as risky as many thought. This year’s list of WRs isn’t as deep.

CB: As for positional needs the guard spot is right up at the top. I think a big running back is another potential need for two reasons. First, it’s unclear as to whether C.J. Spiller will return to the team with the ability to become a free agent this offseason. Second, a power run game is going to need a big back comparable to Frank Gore or Eddie Lacy. Buffalo has a big back in Boobie Dixon, but he was relegated to backup duty under offensive coordinator Greg Roman in San Francisco. Fred Jackson and Bryce Brown are capable, but it might be time to draft a young back to add to the mix. An end/OLB would be a need if Hughes doesn’t return, but they can’t wait on that.

As for last year’s draft, it was my understanding that if the Bills stayed at nine that Eric Ebron was the most likely target, assuming the likes of Sammy Watkins was off the board.

 

2 – Hi Chris,
My name is Ben Cary, a dedicated bills fan from West Seneca studying at Miami University of Ohio. Are the Bills interested in pursuing Jay Cutler, now that the Bears might be shopping him? I think he could fix a lot of our quarterback issues. He has the raw talent to make the plays none of our recent QB’s have been able to. I also think he would find success in our run first offense because he wouldn’t be forced to throw the ball as much as Chicago made him. What are your thoughts?

Has Doug Whaley thought about this as well? I love the improvement we’ve made this year and can’t wait to see what the future of the franchise holds!

Thanks so much
Ben Cary

CB: If the Bills are interested in pursuing Jay Cutler in a trade scenario they certainly can’t state it publicly since he’s property of the Bears. That could open the team up to tampering charges. While there’s no debating that he is physically gifted as a quarterback there is a reason his second franchise is reportedly looking to move him.

I don’t dismiss your point that a run first approach on offense could decrease some of the ill-advised plays Cutler tries to make. While talent is a big asset to have as a quarterback, leadership is a close second and that’s where I think Cutler struggles as a player.

I can’t tell you what Doug Whaley is thinking, but it’s my belief that the Bills will look to add a veteran quarterback to the roster. Whether Cutler is under consideration remains to be seen.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills I see the two lineman the #bills have signed to futures deals are both under 300 lbs. Will this be the trend going forward? More athleticism at guard seems logical, right?

DanielBeaudoin1

CB: Greg Roman’s power run game is pretty multiple. That being said having guards who are capable of pulling is a plus. You also have to be able to push the pile so I don’t know that a trend can be taken from the two most recent OL signings.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills do u believe Whaley that he would take a QB in the 2nd or 3rd if the right one was available? Petty or Hundley. #bills

Srothenburgh

CB: I think Whaley in that radio interview this week was just trying to emphasize the fact that they do not rule anything out with every draft pick they hold. If a quarterback is the best player on the board, and there isn’t a pressing positional need with a prospect that is comparable in terms of grade to said quarterback, then they’ll take a QB. Knowing this is his approach he cannot rule out taking a QB. In reality I see the Bills adding a veteran quarterback this offseason.

 

5 – Hi Chris,

What is a typical NFL halftime like for a team? Does the head coach address the full team the entire time? Do position groups meet? Are the discussions strategic or motivational? Thanks

Sincerely,
Max

CB: At halftime there isn’t a whole lot of time. With the coaches from the booth taking an extra five minutes to get down to the locker room, there’s only about 7-8 minutes to go over things. The head coach will briefly huddle with the coordinators before making decisions on various adjustments for the second half. In most cases the teams breaks off into offensive and defensive groups with their coordinators. They address what has to be corrected and then what some of the adjustments will be. After plotting out strategy the head coach or a team captain might say a few inspirational words and it’s back out to the field.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills first PR director passes

Posted by Chris Brown on January 16, 2015 – 10:31 am

He was the first Public Relations Director of the Buffalo Bills franchise. From 1960-63 Chuck Burr served as the go between with the Buffalo media for the Bills before being promoted to assistant general manager in the mid-60’s. Burr passed away earlier this week in Getzville after a short illness.

Burr, a WWII veteran who earned a Bronze Star, was the Sports Information Director at UB before landing the PR job with the Bills in 1960. Later in his career he also served in the same capacity with the Buffalo Sabres.

The Buffalo Bills pass along their condolences to the Burr family. Burr was 91.


Tags:
Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills will try to bring Spiller back

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2015 – 2:50 pm

Bills new head coach Rex Ryan expressed a desire to get C.J. Spiller back in the fold, knowing he can become a free agent this offseason. On Thursday GM Doug Whaley echoed that sentiment.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Whaley was asked if he sees a place for Spiller in an offense that’s likely to be predicated on a power running game.

“We believe so and we’re going to try to do our darndest to get this guy in the fold and get him back,” said Whaley. “I’m sure he’s disappointed with how last year went with the injuries, but we want him to come back with us and get back to the form we know he can play at.”

In his one-on-one interview with Buffalobills.com, Ryan spoke of the friendship he’s developed with Spiller from their run-ins at Clemson, Spiller’s alma mater, where Ryan’s son currently plays football.

“I’ve met C.J. and obviously I have a great deal of respect for him having to try to stop him and things,” said Ryan. “One thing I think that he’s going to understand about me is I’m going to tell him what I believe to be the truth. All players seem to appreciate that.”


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Jerry Hughes update

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2015 – 2:37 pm

The Bills have an important impending free agent that they’d like to keep in the fold in DE Jerry Hughes. GM Doug Whaley in an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 confirmed that the club has opened talks with Hughes on a new contract.

Whaley didn’t have a lot of details, since he had been wrapped up in the intense two-week process of finding a head coach.

“We’ve been so consumed with this coaching search that I haven’t been able to talk to (Senior VP of Administration Jim Overdorf) to find out where we stand there and once Rex finishes his staff then we’ll turn our attention to that. But I know Jim has been in touch with his representatives and started the process.”

Whaley intends to get an update on where things stand soon, to see if it’s possible to re-sign him and not let him hit the free agent market.

“We’re excited and we want him back,” said Whaley of Hughes. “He’s a great part of our defense and hopefully we can get it done sooner rather than later.”

When asked if the hiring of Rex Ryan as head coach improves the chances of re-signing Hughes, Whaley could only be hopeful.

“You’d have to ask him,” said Whaley. “I hope he’d be just as excited as we are and the Bills fans are.”


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Whaley on what makes Roman’s ‘O’ effective

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2015 – 2:30 pm

He hasn’t watched a full season of 49er games, but he’s seen enough to be impressed with what Bills new offensive coordinator Greg Roman does to make his offensive unit productive.

In an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, GM Doug Whaley outlined some of the principles of Roman’s offense.

“A heavy emphasis on the run game, but he does it in so many different ways that you can’t get a bead on him,” Whaley said. “He’ll use three backs, he’ll use the pistol, he’ll off set his backs. He’s a multiple type attack running offense. That will give defenses fits. There are certain times if the back is off set to the right, 99 percent of the time he can only go to the left so he does some diversionary things with alignments and formations that makes it really intriguing and hard to get a bead on what he’s trying to accomplish.”

All those formations and pre-snap shifts and alignment changes might make it sound like a difficult offense to absorb and execute, but that’s not how Whaley sees it.

“You would think that, but a lot of it is just concept based,” Whaley said. “I haven’t gotten into the nitty gritty of his playbook, but I know this much, he’s not one of those guys who wants to be a mad scientist and make things so difficult that you have paralysis by analysis. It looks like to me when you watch the 49ers they don’t make a lot of mistakes and they play hard and fast and that’s a telling sign of guys being comfortable with what they’re being asked to do.”


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Whaley’s instant connection with Ryan

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2015 – 2:25 pm

Bills owner Terry Pegula mentioned it in Wednesday’s press conference. GM Doug Whaley cut his teeth in the league in the Pittsburgh organization, a club that identifies with strong, tough defense and a consistent, powerful run game. Rex Ryan comes from a similar mindset from the days of coaching under his father Buddy Ryan. It’s why Whaley felt an instant connection with Ryan during the interview process.

Appearing in an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Whaley explained how what Ryan laid out as his philosophy for successful football instantly appealed to him.

“It was just his philosophy about how to build a consistent team,” said Whaley. “A team that can consistently compete for championships. It’s just my philosophy as I’ve grown up in this business. It’s a philosophy of playing good defense, running the ball and being aggressive. And that helps everything especially your quarterback. That’s something that’s been a mainstay in his philosophy since he started going all the way back to his father. So right there we had an instant connection.”


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Kelly willing to provide input if wanted

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2015 – 1:58 pm

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly has a trained eye when it comes to offensive football. Knowing that side of the ball is in need of the most improvement in Buffalo, he’s willing to provide input if new head coach Rex Ryan wants it.

Kelly said as much following Ryan’s introductory press conference Wednesday, confirming that he’ll be meeting with owner Terry Pegula in the wake of his talk with Ryan Tuesday night.

“I’m not looking to do any coaching. I’m hopefully in a short time sitting down with Terry and talking with him,” said Kelly. “I’ve already talked to Rex about a few of my ideas. But right now he needs to settle in. He needs to understand who his staff is. Yeah I’d like to give my two cents where I feel it’s needed, whether it’s the quarterback position or the wide receiver position, two positions that I feel are my strong points.

“He’s putting his staff together, but I would love to sit down and say, ‘This is good, this is bad.’ I am an armchair quarterback, but I don’t look at the game like a typical fan does. I don’t follow the ball. I follow what receivers do if they’re being bumped. I follow what coverage it is. I follow when the linebackers are blitzing and rotating and where the quarterback should be looking. I look at the game completely different than your average fan. I look at it as a quarterback.

“If they want my input I’m here for them. But the bottom line Russ (Brandon) and Doug (Whaley) are doing a good job of getting this together. Then it comes down to how comfortable Rex feels.”


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Donnie Henderson to remain on staff

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2015 – 1:07 pm

The Bills named a handful of assistant coaches who will serve under new head coach Rex Ryan Thursday. They include defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, DL coach Karl Dunbar, LBs coach Bobby April III, DBs coach Tim McDonald, TEs coach Tony Sparano Jr., Asst. DL coach Jeff Weeks, special teams assistant Eric Smith and asst. strength and conditioning coach Jason Oszvart. Even though McDonald has the same title as incumbent DBs coach Donnie Henderson, Henderson will remain on the staff.

Head coach Rex Ryan made note of Henderson being retained in his introductory press conference Wednesday. Henderson, who coached with Ryan in Baltimore, will coach defensive backs with McDonald.

Special teams coordinator Danny Crossman was retained by Ryan as well, which was also announced Wednesday. An announcement about other holdover assistants from the previous coaching staff is forthcoming.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Pegulas felt veteran coach was best fit

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2015 – 7:56 pm

Terry and Kim Pegula along with GM Doug Whaley and team President Russ Brandon went on a barnstorming tour to find a head coach. As they made their way through a dozen candidates it became clear what they felt they needed in a head coach for their team at this time.

“When we went through this process, we went into it open-minded,” said Terry Pegula. “We interviewed some bright, young coaches and some veteran coaches and Doug and Russ obviously had been through this before a few years ago. Like I said, when we meet the right guy, you’ll know it. When we finally talked to Rex and looked at that staff that he put together, I really don’t think that the Buffalo Bills at 9-7, and I really believe two plays away from possibly being 11-5, needed to have a young coach standing in their locker room.

“I thought we needed to go to somebody who’d done it before and if you look at the record of almost every coach like Rex just mentioned it, new coaches fail generally in their first job and I’m not saying that all the new coaches that are going to get hired are going to fail, but it’s more happening in that direction than it is for them to be successful.

“We just felt that he was our guy and trust me, we had some pretty impressive people that we felt could the Bills coach, but we said, ‘Hey, let’s go after Rex.’ Russ told me, ‘Don’t let him out of the building.'”


Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Ryan’s pledge to Bills fans

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2015 – 7:47 pm

Rex Ryan talked about a lot of things at his introductory press conference on Wednesday. He also made some promises to Bills fans about the type of team they’ll be rooting for on his watch.

“I’m not going to let our fans down. I am not going to do that,” he said. “I know it’s been 15 years since the Bills made the playoffs.  Well get ready, man, we’re going. We are going. And the guarantee, hey, am I guaranteeing a Super Bowl and all that? I’ll tell you what I will do; I will guarantee the pursuit of it. There is no question about that.

“Through work, through hard work, through preparation, and all that, we’re going to see how many teams match our work ethic, and all that. Because, as we look at it, we represent our community. The Buffalo Bills represent this community of Buffalo. We’re going to be tough. We’re going to be as loyal to our fans as they are to us. We are going to earn that loyalty and that trust, and one thing you’re going to see, come September, this team will be ready, period. And that’s it. That’s going to be my statement, that’s going to be my guarantee.”


Tags:
Posted in Inside the Bills

Kelly: We have to find out about EJ

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2015 – 7:40 pm

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly is one that gives it to you straight. He’s also kept a keen eye on what goes on at One Bills Drive, particularly at the quarterback position. As we outlined on Buffalobills.com Rex Ryan understandably calls the QB picture unclear. With Kyle Orton retired other quarterback talent will be brought onto the roster to join EJ Manuel and Jeff Tuel. Regardless of who is brought in, Kelly said the team has to get clarity on just what Manuel can be for the franchise.

“We need to find out if EJ is going to be the guy,” said Kelly. “I don’t care who you are, Don Shula, Marv Levy, Vince Lombardi if you don’t have a guy behind the center you’re not going anywhere period. If you look at all the teams that are in the playoffs now, look who is behind the center.

“Do I think EJ has a chance? I don’t know because of what he has learned when he was on the sidelines. How much he got out of being on the sidelines. Watching Kyle (Orton’s) positives and negatives of how he played. It’s an opportunity everybody is going to have, but that’s a position they definitely have to get solidified and find out who that person is going to be.”


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills retain spec. teams coordinator Crossman

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2015 – 4:04 pm

The Bills made a change at offensive coordinator under new head coach Rex Ryan and terminated the contract of defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, but Ryan is going to keep special teams coordinator Danny Crossman in the fold for 2015.

The team made the announcement late Wednesday afternoon. Crossman’s special teams units made widespread improvements from 2013 to 2014, with key additions like Boobie Dixon and Corey Graham filling valuable veteran roles. Crossman also capably blended in a rookie punter and kickoff specialist to help improve the coverage units. Here’s a look at some categories where Buffalo’s special teams improved the most from 2013 to 2014.

SPECIAL TEAMS                        2013                                                   2014
Field position                                    26.8 – 25th                                            30.2 – 5th
Avg. drive start KO                          20.7 – 27th                                            22.5 – 10th
Kick return avg.                                20.4 – 29th                                            23.3 – 17th
Kickoffs – TB pct.                            41.5% – 24th                                         60.5% – 9th
Opponent KO avg. start                 22.7 – 23rd                                           20.7 – 5th
Punt return avg.                              6.2 – 29th                                              9.6 – 12th
FG Pct.                                              91.7% – 10th                                         89.5% – 6th
Net punting avg.                             36.6 – 30th                                            38.7 – 23rd
Punt coverage (opp. avg.)             10.6 – 25th                                            6.5 – 4th
Kick coverage (opp. avg.)             23.4 – 17th                                            20 – 3rd
FG Pct. Against                               86.1% -17th                                          81.1% – 9th
Opp. field position                         31.2 – 31st                                            26.9 – 11th


Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills