Inside The Bills

Run ‘D’ has stymied opponents

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2014 – 1:31 am

It has been a perennial problem since 2005, Buffalo’s run defense. Enter defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who through three preseason games has his first team defense locking down consistently in the run game.

Through three preseason games Buffalo’s first team defense has allowed 30 rushing yards on 18 carries, not counting Landry Jones kneel down at the end of the half. That’s a yards per carry average of 1.66. On Saturday the Steelers power run game managed just 11 yards on seven carries against the Bills first unit.

“I credit a lot to the coaches and the players I really do. Jim (Schwartz) even when he came here and everyone was asking about that if you go back and look at the scheme they run they’ve always been very good against the run,” said Doug Marrone. “There’s another level where there’s three linebackers instead of two or sometimes one or whatever we’ve been in the past. People have been able to make some big plays on us, so we’ve done a good job of keeping that ball inside.

“The players have responded well to it and have done a nice job up front. I think that’s something that we need to continue to do and play well.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Branch knows it’s up to the coaches

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2014 – 1:30 am

Initially it was characterized by head coach Doug Marrone as getting veteran Alan Branch back into the swing of things after being on the non-football injury list. But after only seeing action late in each of the three preseason games, veteran Alan Branch doesn’t know what to make of his standing on Buffalo’s roster.

When asked to assess his performance thus far in training camp he decided to put it in the hands of the men who will ultimately make the call on his role on the team.

“You are going to have to ask coaches that,” he said.

Head coach Doug Marrone was asked by the media point blank if Branch is going to be cut from the roster. His response?

“I can’t stand up here and say that,” Marrone said. “I tell the players that we’re competing for the roster. You never know. You want the player going for it. He’s working for a spot. He’s played well before and I’ll be excited to see the tape. I saw him get a lot of push tonight at times. We’ll look at it and we’ve got some time left.”

Branch, who was re-signed by the club this past offseason, didn’t deny that he’s surprised by his lack of playing time.

“I was pretty surprised, but it was coach’s decision. It has nothing to do with me,” said Branch. “I just have to keep going out there and practicing, doing what I can to try to make the team.”

When asked if he’s worried about making the 53-man roster Branch was professional.

“I mean the concern would be the same if I was on the first squad,” he said. “Unfortunately, that’s the way that this league is. It’s all on the coaches.”

Branch has not logged a defensive statistic this preseason in his limited time on the field.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Legursky to start at LG

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2014 – 6:32 pm

The revolving door at guard has another participant who get time with the starting unit.

Doug Legursky is going to start at left guard in the absence of Chris Williams, who missed the whole week with a back injury.

Kraig Urbik is also supposed to see time at left guard with Cyril Richardson expected to play right guard with the starters when Urbik is not lined up there.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Steelers inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2014 – 6:27 pm

Here are the Steelers inactives for tonight’s preseason game against the Bills.

S Will Allen
CB Devin Smith
CB Shaquille Richardson
FB Will Johnson
LB Jordan Zumwalt
LS Greg Warren
TE Matt Spaeth
LB Jarvis Jones


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2014 – 6:00 pm

Here are the Bills inactives for tonight’s preseason game against the Steelers.

K Dustin Hopkins
CB Leodis McKelvin
S Jonathan Meeks
LB Ty Powell
G Chris Williams
OT Cordy Glenn
TE Tony Moeaki
WR Marquise Goodwin


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Little margin for error vs. proven QB

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2014 – 12:48 pm

Buffalo’s defense has played pretty well in the preseason, particularly the starting unit. Going against a proven QB like Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger is seen by Bills’ defenders as a good thing as they prepare for the regular season.

MLB Brandon Spikes likes facing top QBs because it forces a defensive unit to be on point with every detail of their scheme. If they’re not a signal caller like Roethlisberger will take advantage.

“I think you’ve just got to know that the margin of error is very small with a veteran guy like that who can bring it,” said Spikes. “If you make one little slight mistake he can bring it and it can go a long way. So you just want to execute the defense and stay on the same page and basically that’s all it is. It’s really simple. As long as we communicate I think we’ll be good.”

In the Hall of Fame game Buffalo’s defense fared well in keeping another two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback under wraps in the Giants’ Eli Manning.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Arthur Moats “happy” in Pittsburgh – JMS

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

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

 

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

 Arthur Moats

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-15

Posted by Chris Brown on August 15, 2014 – 5:07 pm

Ok fans an important week for the Bills is in the books. The passing game really took a step forward this week in Latrobe. Let’s hope it carries into the game Saturday night against the Steelers. In the meantime let’s get to your latest round of questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills

1 – Hi Chris,

Long time reader of your articles – including your Fan Friday.

I’ve noticed EJ and Woods are playing with visors in camp. Is this new and can we expect them to wear them in the regular season? To me, it makes a lot of sense for EJ – as it shadows the ability for the defence to see where he’s going to throw too or what he’s looking at. Is that the intention here? What scope do you have on this? Overall, I think they look fierce. But I highly doubt that’s the reasoning behind wearing them…

Thanks,
Mike Barwick

CB: Yes, they and a handful of other players wear visors. Some are shaded and some are clear. The shaded ones are designed to act like sunglasses in most cases. For receivers that’s important when they’re looking up for a ball, not unlike an outfielder in baseball. It helps keep them from losing a ball in the sun. Whether EJ’s primary purpose is the same I don’t know, but I’ll ask him. The other reason for the visors is to keep from getting poked in the eye, which is something that could happen to Manuel if a pass rusher is reaching out to block a pass, misses and connects with the helmet.
2 – Hey Chris,

I am very excited for the 2014 season, looking at the roster it seems a lot of the decisions made on the draft and free agency the last three years we’re really good ones. The depth is so good this year I haven’t heard too much about Ron Brooks.  I really like watching Ron Brooks I know he has had some injuries but where do you think he stands with the team? Do you think we will see him playing corner this season or just as a special teams player? Always appreciate your time.

Alexander Albanese
Toronto

CB: Brooks has had a pretty solid camp. He’s been afforded the opportunity of getting a ton of reps due to the limited participation of starting corners Leodis McKelvin and Stephon Gilmore who are both coming off offseason surgeries. He’s been running opposite Corey Graham in training camp at cornerback with the first team defense.

Brooks has performed well, but at times still has trouble with the bigger wideouts due mainly to his stature. He’s got great catch up speed and is sudden in his breaks on the ball. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz likes him so I anticipate him being one of the top five corners on the roster. How many they keep is the bigger question.
3 – Chris,

I couldn’t help notice the pass rush has been extremely productive in the spring and training camp. My question is do you feel that’s due to the talent of the DE’s or is it a product of inconsistency on the offensive line with Glenn being out and other shuffling that’s been going on. Appreciate the training camp coverage and can’t wait for the season. Also one more thing, is there a schedule that lists which practices are full contact?

Dan T.
Western MA

CB: It’s a bit of both. Jerry Hughes might be the most impressive of the front four when it comes to pass rush consistency. Of course that’s been helped by the fact that rookie Seantrel Henderson has been manning the starting left tackle role in Cordy Glenn’s absence. But make no mistake that group is pretty special.

Unfortunately no we don’t have a schedule for the public that lists full pads, shells or shorts and helmets. Typically once the preseason games start however, full pads practices are earlier in the week.

 

4 – Hey Chris,

Jerry Hughes had a tremendous season last year rushing the passer and it’s clear that Doug Whaley pioneered an amazing trade to get him when the Indianapolis Colts were looking to go in a different direction. And if Training Camp is any indication, it sounds like we can expect a similar season this year. Through listening to a lot of people on the radio and around town locally, it seems that Jerry Hughes will not be able to be re-signed if he has another great year– almost as if it’s a foregone conclusion that they cannot keep a stout DE since he’ll be too pricey.

In my opinion, if you run a base 4-3, having a Mario Williams AND Jerry Hughes-caliber player would be extremely important (SEE Freeney and Mathis, Strahan and Umenyiora). I think they should find a way to pay him if he’s anything like last year’s player. An annoying thing of being a Bills fan is seeing the Bills actually draft great talent, develop it, and watch it walk away. And in this case, the Bills didn’t even have to draft him to get it. What are your thoughts?

Also, have you tried a garbage plate since being in Rochester? It probably goes outside the exercise regimen, but you gotta treat yourself to the finer local delicacies.

-Nate in Rochester
PS- Go Bills!
CB: In a perfect world yes they would be able to keep Jerry Hughes long term, but it’s a question of balance. Obviously the Bills would love to keep Hughes, but you have to look at the money invested on the rest of the defensive line.

The three highest cap figures on the entire team are the other three defensive linemen that Hughes lines up with. Mario Williams ($18.8M), Marcell Dareus ($6.49M) and Kyle Williams ($6.25M).

In 2015 those cap numbers go to $19M (Mario), $8.06M (Dareus) and $5.85M (Kyle). That’s a total of $32M for three members of the defensive line. If Hughes has another 10-sack season or more he’s likely to be asking for top 15 perhaps top 10 defensive end money.

Top 15 would put him somewhere between $6.5-$8M per season while top 10 would have him north of $8.5M per season.

I’m not saying the Bills won’t try to do it. It’s not my decision as to how the Bills choose to spend their money. I just know that investing that much of your cap dollars in one facet of your team is not a common practice.

All that being said there have been reports citing sources close to the process of setting the salary cap for the NFL that the cap, which went up a surprising $10M this past year to $133M could move as high as $145M in 2015. Would that extra cap space be enough to make the fourth major investment in the team’s defensive line? I’m not sure it is.

With respect to your garbage plate suggestion, I’m familiar with it having gone to college at SUNY Geneseo. In fact I won a bet by eating two in one sitting. Almost didn’t hold them down, but got through it.
5 – Do you see a scenario where Spiller is traded this year?  I’ve heard rumors, and with the Jackson extension, Brown trade, Dixon signing, and no first round pick it seems like an possible and unfortunate rumor…am I crazy for thinking this or can they keep all four running backs?

Sean from So Cal
P.S. See you in Chicago week 1!

CB: I’m sure you saw GM Doug Whaley dispel those rumors this week. First, Whaley said that he has not been contacted by any team expressing interest in C.J. Spiller. He later followed that up with Channel 7’s Jeff Russo in an interview later in the week where he said he has not reached out to any other team himself about C.J. Spiller.

As Whaley said himself he understands with all the talent in the Bills backfield why people are trying to connect the dots. I just think with the team in ‘win now’ mode it would be highly unlikely that they would trade one of their best playmaking assets on offense in Spiller.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

NFL.com enhances fantasy football options

Posted by Dallas Miller on August 15, 2014 – 1:00 pm

The kickoff to the 2014 NFL regular season may be over a month away but fantasy football fanatics are already deep in draft preparation. NFL.com is here to provide fantasy football users with the best experience in 2014, with ample options for users to start their fantasy season and all the news, information, and resources to win a championship.

From NFL-Managed Leagues where users can compete for a trip to Super Bowl XLIX to fully customizable user-managed leagues, NFL.com Fantasy Football is the only platform to provide in-game video highlights, bringing the fans closer to the game they love.

Highlights of NFL.com’s fantasy football offerings for the 2014 season are the redesigned NFL Fantasy mobile application and the second year of NFL.com’s Fantasy Genius.

NFL Fantasy Mobile Application

The NFL Fantasy mobile application has been completely rebuilt and redesigned for the upcoming 2014 NFL season. This application functioning allows full-season play, including joining or creating a league, drafting on the go, setting a lineup or adding a player from free agency, all leading to a fantasy football championship.

The app allows users to draft their NFL.com fantasy football teams on-the-go with an intuitive interface, ensuring every user can draft from wherever they are. A new, innovative league feed displays everything happening in a user’s league, making it easy to post comments and keep the trash talk going all year long.

Features of the NFL Fantasy app include:

  • Live and Mock Drafts
  • In-Game Video Highlights
  • Live Scoring
  • Join and Create Leagues
  • Set Weekly Lineup
  • Add/Drop/Trade Players
  • News and Research
  • Up-to-the-Minute Player News
  • Receive NFL.com Fantasy Expert Advice and Analysis

The official fantasy football app of the NFL is compatible with: iPhone, iPad, Android phones & tablets, iPod Touch, Windows Surface, Windows 8, Windows Phone and Kindle Fire HD & HDX.

The NFL Fantasy app is available for free download at: NFL.com/FantasyApp

NFL.com Fantasy Football

NFL.com Fantasy Football puts the user in the front office and on the sidelines as General Manager and Coach of their team. Users select from a list of the best players in the NFL and these players compete on a weekly basis for the user’s team. Players’ on-field performance drives the fantasy point total and overall success of their team.

NFL.com Fantasy Football provides numerous, customizable options for users to start their fantasy season. This is the only platform with video game highlights bringing the fans game closer to the game they love.

Features of NFL.com Fantasy Football include:

  • Free Live Scoring with In-Game Video Highlights
  • Custom matchup previews and recaps
  • Access to teams on Xbox One, Xbox 360, DirecTV & Madden
  • Up-to-date player news and analysis
  • 200+ Custom League and Scoring Settings

In addition to the NFL.com Fantasy Football game, other games are returning for users to compete with each other.

  • NFL Perfect Challenge
    • Users select 8 Fantasy Players each week with the chance to win $1 Million if they choose the top scorers at each position.
  • NFL Weekly Pick’Em
    • Users predict the outcome of each NFL game.
  • Thursday Night Football Challenge
    • Users select 4 Fantasy Players for each Thursday Night Football
  • NFL Playoff Challenge
    • Users select 8 Fantasy Players for each round of the NFL Playoffs.

Two new games will be available this year.

  • NFL Fantasy Survivor
    • Users try to pick a winning NFL team each week. Win and live to pick the next week. Lose and you’re out. Try and survive the whole season.
  • NFL Record Breaker
    • Users select an all-time NFL record to break and then pick new players each week to earn statistics and streak towards a new record.

NFL.com Fantasy Genius

Launched prior to the start of the 2013 regular season and located at NFL.com/Genius, Fantasy Genius has quickly established itself as one of the most trusted resources of advice in the fantasy football marketplace. Users can seek advice for their most crucial fantasy decisions or answer their peers’ questions, ultimately earning a “Genius Rating” and the possibility to earn the title of a Fantasy Football Expert.

Since launching in July of 2013 on NFL.com, Fantasy Genius has produced the following metrics:

  • 2.0 Million fantasy football questions submitted
  • 19.1 Million answers provided by the community

Features of Fantasy Genius include:

  • Receive real-time advice
    • Ask key fantasy questions to help with your sit or start decisions, add or drop considerations, and trade analysis.
  • Prove your fantasy football knowledge
    • Users can provide instant analysis to questions posed by the Fantasy Genius
  • Fantasy Genius Rating
    • Participation earns points towards a “Genius Rating.” The higher your score, the more reliable your advice will be to other community members.
  • Leaderboards
    • See how your genius rating stacks up in the NFL.com fantasy community with leaderboards and data trends.

Tools for NFL.com Fantasy Football

Complimenting NFL.com’s fantasy football products and challenges are a number of tools to help players bring home a championship in 2014. Both the NFL Fantasy Cheat Sheet and SAP Player Comparison Tool provide users opportunities to enhance their overall fantasy football experience and gain an edge on their opponents in 2014.

NFL Fantasy Cheat Sheet allows players to easily track players who are drafted to see who’s available, customize the league scoring system, enhance their fantasy experience by reviewing projected points, and access to over 2,000 players (including individual defensive players).

SAP Player Comparison Tool is back for a second consecutive year. This is an innovative and free feature to help users with match-up guidance and help them analyze and review pending trades and free agent acquisitions. This tool is based on five important categories – Performance, Matchup, Consistency, Upside and Intangibles – which can be weighted differently based on each user’s preference.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Spikes collides with former teammate in hole

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2014 – 10:58 pm

Brandon Spikes was brought to Buffalo to primarily help sure up the run defense. The past two days in practices against the Steelers Spikes met a very familiar adversary in the hole during first down work in 11-on-11.

Pittsburgh ran LeGarrette Blount as their first team back in the joint practices. Blount rolled up a ton of rushing yards in the season finale last season, and had a few good runs Wednesday. Those runs were fewer and further between Thursday, but Spikes enjoyed going up against his former teammate.

“It was good. We were good friends up in New England,” said Spikes of Blount. “He’s still doing the same thing, physical back, coming downhill. He looks great.”

Blount rolled up 189 rushing yards and averaged 7.9 yards a carry against the Bills in the season finale at New England.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

spiller

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

 

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

 

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

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Mike Williams’ leadership via text

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2014 – 10:14 pm

Bills WR Mike Williams does things a little differently than most off the field, which is why it was no surprise to hear one of his unconventional methods of leadership for Buffalo’s offense.

After perhaps one of their best passing days this summer in practice Thursday, Williams confirmed that the competition of working with the Steelers brought out the best in them. He then elaborated on how he tries to keep his offensive teammates motivated leading up to practice.

“Being competitive, you want to win every down,” he said. “I send those guys a text, the receivers and quarterbacks, every day telling them we want to win every down. No matter what it is, we want to win. We want to win first down, we want to win second down, third down and if we go for it on fourth. We want to win. I think it’s about all of us being competitive. We want to win because the fans are out here and we want to show everybody that we’re a threat.”

Williams caught four passes in Thursday’s practice and was one of the top 3 playmakers from the session.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills seeking out tips from Steelers vets

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2014 – 2:34 pm

There are some pretty big names on Pittsburgh’s roster. Players who have been very successful for a long time on both a personal level and as a team with many of them the owners of a pair of Super Bowl rings. So for a young up and comer like Aaron Williams talking to a player the stature of Troy Polamalu is pretty valuable.

“Absolutely anytime you have guys like Troy Polamalu out there, just to see how he looks at the game differently,” said Williams. “Everybody looks at the game differently and you try to be around someone like that who has been successful in this league. That’s kind of a lesson for me where I can ask questions and get what he thinks of the game and how he’s become the player that he is.”

EJ Manuel has said he plans to do the same with Ben Roethlisberger and there are a handful of others.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

The 2 things Spikes wants from ‘D’ at practice

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2014 – 2:29 pm

Bills MLB Brandon Spikes felt his defense’s performance was ok on Wednesday against the Steelers, but is convinced it can be a whole lot better as the team gets set for a second go round with Pittsburgh. Here are the two areas where Spikes is going to be demanding better.

“Honestly I feel like the first day was good facing a different team, but it wasn’t good enough,” Spikes said. “Defensively we went over the corrections this morning and we’re going to go out there today and execute.”

The area where Spikes wants to see the most improvement is in pre-snap communication.

“That’s what I was a little disappointed in on Wednesday,” he said. “I figured we were all sound, but when you see different stuff and how they’re attacking with the motions and moving guys around we’ve got to stay on top of that. Hopefully we can improve on that and get the job done.”

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Urbik to be back at LG again

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2014 – 2:24 pm

Bills OL Kraig Urbik, who has played mostly left guard in his time with Buffalo was flipped to the left guard spot Wednesday due to the sidelined Chris Williams. It’s yet another lineup shuffle that will continue today, but the interior lineman isn’t too worried about the latest switch.

Urbik took the move in stride, but admits the move does create some differences.

“With Chris (Williams) being out this week so far it’s not as different, but it’s still different going from right to left for sure,” Urbik said.

Urbik confirmed that part of the reason he was moved to the left side was to create a measure of comfort for fifth-round pick Cyril Richardson on the right side.

“Yeah he said he definitely feels more comfortable on the right side so that’s why we’re keeping him there right now,” said Urbik.

Urbik confirmed he’ll be playing left guard again today at practice in Latrobe against the Steelers.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

EJ hoping to soak up QB knowledge from Big Ben

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2014 – 10:01 am

EJ Manuel spent part of his offseason working and training with San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick. He also spent time watching film of some other upper echelon quarterbacks in the league. Over these two days practicing with the Steelers Manuel is hoping some of Ben Roethlisberger’s way of doing things rubs off on him.

“For me personally, to see Big Ben in action and watch him and see how he prepares for every practice and how he goes in and out of each day is a huge opportunity for me,” said Manuel. “I’m just trying to take advantage of it.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of Big Ben. Growing up in Virginia, it’s not too far from Pittsburgh and obviously early in his career he took those guys to a Super Bowl, so  to get an opportunity to come out and practice with him is awesome. I’m very excited about coming back out (Thursday) and having another good day.”

The second joint practice between the Bills and Steelers starts at 5:30 pm.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2014 – 11:22 pm

Here’s where you can find Bills players on the radio airwaves Thursday morning.

TE Scott Chandler is scheduled to appear on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 at 7:35 am on the Howard Simon show.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone remembers Steelers camp as player

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2014 – 11:19 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone worked to scrape and claw his way onto an NFL roster several times before he got into coaching full time. The Pittsburgh Steelers were one of the rosters where he tried to earn a role. That’s why pulling up the road in Latrobe to St. Vincent college Wednesday for the Bills-Steelers joint practices brought back a few memories.

“I remember walking out we used to run down the hill before practice to get ready to go with Coach Noll,” said Marrone. “I remember – I don’t know if they still do – do they still wear the black jerseys without the numbers on them? Most of the guys in the room didn’t even realize that. I must be getting old. We had these black uniforms and it was hot. We used to call them burlap sacks on top. They were tough. I just remember we used to run with our pads on with Coach Noll. I just real quickly went through that in my mind when I saw the fields.”

Marrone also had one personal interaction with Coach Noll on the field during his time on the Steelers’ preseason roster.

“I was always intrigued about how intelligent he was about everything, not just the sport of football,” said Marrone of Noll. “Not being a very good football player and being on the look team, I’ll never forget Coach Noll used to jump in. I remember one practice he played the defensive end and I was playing the defensive tackle giving our offense a look during a walkthrough. I remember him explaining to me about a TE twist and an ET twist and how it came about and how the names were Exit and Texas. I just remember him explaining that to me.

“I thought it was pretty cool for him to talk to a guy that probably wasn’t going to make the roster and give me a bit of a history lesson. I just remember that when we used to leave here and go play in Pittsburgh they’d say, ‘Better get up before Coach Noll because if you pass him on the highway, he’s going take down your plate and he’s going to get after you for speeding.’ Those are just some things I remember.”


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McKelvin easing back in

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2014 – 10:55 pm

Bills CB Leodis McKelvin had not done any team work for the better part of the last two weeks. On Wednesday however, McKelvin did see a bit of team work.

McKelvin, who is coming off of offseason hip surgery got a few reps in 1-on-1 WR-vs.-DB drills. He also got a few reps in the team portions of practice Wednesday. The Bills are taking things very slow with McKelvin, but even the little work the veteran cornerback got in team segments at Latrobe Wednesday is an encouraging sign.


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Manuel assesses his play from Wednesday

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2014 – 10:50 pm

EJ Manuel was asked to rate his play from Wednesday’s first practice session with the Steelers. Buffalo’s quarterback wouldn’t call it perfect, but was pretty pleased with how things turned out in the team portions of practice.

“I thought it went well. There were a few balls that I wish I could have back, but besides that I thought we were very good on third down,” said Manuel. “We executed early in practice and we were rolling. I got a chance to go with the first and the second group, so that was very good. The more at-bats I get, the happier I’ll be. Just getting the chance to be better each play.”

In a live interview on the John Murphy Show tonight, WR Mike Williams, who caught a tipped pass for a touchdown Wednesday, said Manuel looked “very confident” on the field Wednesday.


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