Inside The Bills

QB Wentz: playing in Senior Bowl was no brainer

Posted by Chris Brown on January 29, 2016 – 9:10 am

The Senior Bowl will air on NFL Network Saturday at 1:30 pm. One of the headliners will be North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz. Coming from an FCS school the opportunity to play against the best in the senior class was something Wentz wanted to do as soon as the invite was made.

“From the day I got the invite, I knew I wanted to play in this game,” Wentz said. “I’m a competitor, and I wanted to come out here and compete and show what I was capable of doing. The only thing was making sure I was going to be healthy. With the wrist injury in the middle of the season, I had to make sure I was healthy. But it was a no brainer.”

Wentz also said at this point it’s his plan to throw at the NFL Combine next month in Indianapolis.

“That’s the plan. We’ll see what happens,” he said. “I’ll talk to some people and make some decisions. But knowing myself, I’m going to push to do everything.”

Wentz is forecast to come off the board in the top half of round one this spring.


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LeSean McCoy’s goals for 2016

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2016 – 4:23 pm

Bills Pro Bowl RB LeSean McCoy spent the day on the ESPN campus in Bristol, Connecticut on Thursday and perhaps his most interesting comments were those made about his team and personal goals for the upcoming 2016 season.

In an appearance on NFL Live, McCoy was asked about his goals for the Bills and himself for 2016. First and foremost McCoy said a big key is to keep everybody healthy.

“We’ve got big time players on our offense, but we were never all healthy at the same time,” said McCoy. “Charles Clay, Tyrod Taylor, myself, Sammy Watkins, we all missed games around the same time. So if all of us can get together and play together injury-free we can put numbers up and get wins. I think this coming year if we can just keep everybody healthy we’ll have a big chance.”

On a personal level McCoy wants to deliver the kind of production he expects from himself for the team. He felt the hamstring injury that lingered from training camp followed by the late season knee injury kept him from being the type of player that Bills fans expected when he was acquired from Philadelphia via trade.

“It was tough. I think just being hurt and injured, not going out there and competing and helping your team out or putting the type of numbers up and putting everything together,” he said. “There were times where I felt I played well and then I’d get hurt. So I couldn’t really perform like I wanted to. I’m sure all the fans from Buffalo getting a player like myself wanted to see what I was going to bring to the table and I fell short. There are times you wish you could rewind things and have them be different.”

Heading into 2016, aside from staying healthy, McCoy wants to step forward as a player that holds other accountable to make sure the commitment to winning is present in every single player, every single day.

“Just for the offense, we have our second year in Greg Roman’s offense. He’s an offensive genius, so I want to learn the offense better and also be a leader,” McCoy said. “In Philadelphia I was that leader for our offense and our team. This year it was a new team and things were different.

“Now I feel like I’ve settled in and I’m jelling with the team and the coaching staff. So this year I feel I need to be a better leader, so that’s something I look forward to doing.

“I’m just looking forward to winning this next year. Everything I have I owe to football. Let’s get this Buffalo thing rolling like it should be.”

 

 

 

Personal expectations fit how first year went

 


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Taylor: “I want to be the long term guy”

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2016 – 1:17 pm

His comment came as no surprise, but in an interview at the Pro Bowl with Around the NFL Wednesday night, Bills QB Tyrod Taylor said he’d love to be the long term answer for Buffalo at the most important position.

Of course I want to be the long-term guy,” Taylor said. “I love playing for the organization, I love playing for the coaches, I love being around the guys. Like I said, I want to be the long-term guy for them. Ultimately that’s up to them. I know I’m under contract for another year, but right now I’m out here just taking it all in.”

Taylor will be participating in Sunday’s Pro Bowl, as he’ll be replacing Cam Newton, who advanced with the Carolina Panthers to Super Bowl 50.

Bills GM Doug Whaley said on the John Murphy Show this week that he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of signing Taylor to a long-term contract extension before next season.

“Since we’ve got him under contract, he’s on the list, but a little way down because we want to get the guys who are unrestricted done first,” said Whaley when asked if getting a long term deal done with Taylor is on their priority list. “But it’s one of those things where I will say that if we come up with a deal that works for both parties we wouldn’t be opposed to doing it.”

Taylor has one year remaining on his current contract with Buffalo.


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Whaley: Aaron, Graham to return as safety combo

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2016 – 12:50 pm

The Bills finished the 2015 season not completely certain that Aaron Williams would be able to continue his playing career after he suffered a neck injury that cost him most of the 2015 season. But Bills GM Doug Whaley in an appearance on the John Murphy Show confirmed that Williams is good to go for the 2016 season.

“We’re leaning on the medical staff and we were assured by them that if we were in the playoff hunt (this past season) that Aaron would’ve been cleared to play,” said Whaley. “Medically he’s cleared and ready to go. Again those neck things are always tricky and we’d have to see once he gets out there and starts playing how he’s feeling. We do need some depth there, but I think this year another year of Corey Graham playing back there moving from corner to safety now he’s opening his eyes up to see the whole field so another year of learning that will help us too.”


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Henderson illness leaves RT spot in flux

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2016 – 11:50 am

The Bills drafted a pair of offensive tackles in the 2014 NFL draft hoping to address a shortage of talent at the position. The last two seasons Seantrel Henderson had manned the starting role at right tackle for Buffalo. Diagnosed with an undisclosed medical condition midway through the 2015 season, it’s unclear whether Henderson can effectively continue as Buffalo’s starter moving forward. It’s put Buffalo’s front office in the position of being proactive in case Henderson can’t manage his illness and be readily available each and every Sunday.

The Bills have Cyrus Kouandjio on the roster and Jordan Mills, who stepped in for Henderson for the last five games at right tackle, is a restricted free agent. Bills GM Doug Whaley in an appearance on the John Murphy Show, outlined their approach to the team’s right tackle position.

“We’ll have Jordan Mills who is a restricted free agent, and so we can tender him and have him,” said Whaley. “Between him and Kouandjio you’ll have two guys battling there. Then hopefully we’ll see what happens with the medical issue for Henderson, but we’re crossing our fingers and hoping he can come back to full strength and then we’ll have three and have some depth if he comes back.”

It’s also possible that the Bills draft an offensive tackle to further fortify the team’s depth in the event that Henderson can’t overcome his medical condition.


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Incognito’s goal: Come back & play in Buffalo

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2016 – 10:41 am

Bills Pro Bowl guard Richie Incognito has already been deemed a top offseason priority by GM Doug Whaley as they try to get him re-signed knowing he’s a key member of their offensive line. Set to become an unrestricted free agent in March, Incognito reiterated his desire to re-sign with the Bills.

Appearing on the John Murphy Show Wednesday night, Incognito talked about why it’s important for him to continue his career in Buffalo.

“I’m anxious. I’m anxious to see what happens,” said Incognito of his contract negotiations. “My goal is to come back and play in Buffalo. I love it there. I love my teammates and I love playing for coach Rex and Greg Roman. I really think that my personality and my hard work approach and physical nature really resembles the spirit of Buffalo. A blue collar town and a bunch of hard working people up there, and they just want to win. That’s my number one goal is just to win and restore the glory of Buffalo. I hope it all works out and I hope I’m back there real soon.”

The top 10 guard contracts in the NFL average about $7M per season. Where Incognito fits on the guard pay scale at age 32 remains to be seen.


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Where Stanford QB Hogan has an edge

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2016 – 10:15 am

Senior Bowl participant and former Stanford QB Kevin Hogan is seen by most as a mid to late round draft prospect, but there is one advantage he has en route to the NFL in the eyes of NFL talent evaluators.

Hogan has operated in a pro-style offense at Stanford for the last four years, which isn’t something most college quarterbacks can say.

“It’s definitely an advantage having played in that offense, the West Coast offense at Stanford,” said Hogan. “I’ve been in the huddle, I’ve called a play, I’ve gone up to the line of scrimmage and made checks at the line and it’s definitely helped me prepare.  I feel so much more comfortable out here doing it now.”

Hogan has an unusual throwing motion, which will be heavily scrutinized in the Senior Bowl practices this week, but he’s more focused on a different aspect of his personal game.

“Scouts have seen my tape and that’s who I am. There are definitely things in want to work on-I want to work on my lower half, my feet, my base, make sure I always have my feet on the ground and I’m ready to throw at any point,” he said. “Those are just the main things.”

Hogan has received favorable reviews from the high-ranking members of Buffalo’s personnel department.


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Bills 3 Pro Bowlers all on same squad

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2016 – 9:35 am

In the wake of the Pro Bowl draft all three representatives from the Bills were selected to the same squad.

Richie Incognito, Tyrod Taylor and Eric Wood were all selected by Team Rice on Wednesday night. By the looks of the lineup it appears that Incognito will start at left guard. Taylor and Wood will hit the field Sunday night as subs.

The other interesting aspect of the Pro Bowl is all of the quarterbacks will be mic’d up live for the game. So when Taylor gets in the game you’ll be able to hear him interacting with teammates in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage.

Here’s a look at the Team Rice roster, which includes Buffalo’s three Pro Bowl reps.

The Pro Bowl airs Sunday night at 7 pm on ESPN.


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Senior Bowl director on QB crop on hand

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2016 – 9:09 am

Senior Bowl director and former NFL GM Phil Savage brought in a larger quarterback contingent than normal for the North and South rosters at the Senior Bowl this week. In his opinion the class is deep, but with a variety of skill sets. Here’s Savage’s take on the eight signal callers in Mobile.

“We took eight quarterbacks this year which is something that’s never been done here before,” said Savage. “Part of the reason is we felt like there’s such a disparity between college and pro football and there’s so many differences at that position, we felt like this is such a deep class, that why not instead of six, let’s bring eight.

“I thought the clubs would really want to be in front of the players, find out what they know, how much did they run at the line of scrimmage, how much freedom did they have within their scheme. And not only evaluate them on the field, but off the field, so here we are. This year, we could have gone 10,11,12 deep in terms of trying to determine who would be here in Mobile.”

Bills GM Doug Whaley believes the senior class offers a deep group of quarterbacks that show the potential to develop, but few who are elite and ready to be impact players right away.


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Where the 2016 draft class is deepest

Posted by Chris Brown on January 27, 2016 – 2:53 pm

There will be a number of opinions on this year’s draft class between now and the end of April. Here’s where Buffalo’s chief personnel men believe the draft is deepest.

“Overall it’s deep on the defensive line,” said GM Doug Whaley. “It’s really deep on the defensive line. It’s deep at quarterback so we’re excited about that. Also at receiver, it’s not top heavy at receiver, but it’s deep there. So I think it’s going to be a really excellent draft for some of the areas where we could use some backups and help.”

At the Senior Bowl specifically, Bills Director of College Scouting Kelvin Fisher also likes the D-line and QB.

“I would say D-line, quarterback-this is probably best group of quarterbacks that has been at the Senior Bowl since I’ve been here,” Fisher said. “But the d-line is pretty deep and the offensive line is pretty deep.”

“I like this roster,” said Bills Director of Player Personnel Jim Monos. “It starts off with some good quarterbacks. Some good D-linemen, good O-linemen, some playmakers. A couple of linebackers are intriguing so I think it’s a good class.”


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If No. 2 WR can’t be added, Bills to go with mix

Posted by Chris Brown on January 27, 2016 – 9:04 am

For the Bills adding a true number two wideout opposite Sammy Watkins that has size and commands attention from opposing defenses would be ideal, but in a draft year where talent at receiver is good, but size isn’t the Bills may have to choose a different approach in addressing that role.

Bills GM Doug Whaley, who will appear on the John Murphy Show tonight from Mobile, commented on how they would fill the No. 2 WR role if a single player can’t be acquired to step into it.

“We’d love to (have a bona fide No. 2 receiver), but we think with the mix of guys we have we can generate a number two receiver, between (Marquise) Goodwin, (Robert) Woods, (Greg) Salas who we signed. Leonard Hankerson if we can get him back and then Greg Little that we signed. So we’ve got a mix of guys who might not be a bona fide number two, but we can use those guys in different roles and have a complementary number two just by mixing some guys in.”

Buffalo also signed Jarrett Boykin this month to try to improve the size at the position.


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Dialogue to begin with Bills free agents

Posted by Chris Brown on January 27, 2016 – 8:47 am

Bills GM Doug Whaley and Buffalo’s player personnel and college scouting staffs will be at the Senior Bowl in Mobile all week, but the organization will be getting started on preliminary talks with their upcoming free agents.

“Last week we had the year in review with the coaches and going over the roster,” said Whaley. “(Senior VP of Football Administration) Jim Overdorf is going to reach out and starting touching base with all the free agents. Not just the restricted free agents, but the unrestricted guys as well and touch base with their representatives and get the ball rolling.”

Among the top priorities are Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito, who are both scheduled to become unrestricted free agents. As is typically the case, the club just wants to reach a fair and equitable deal for both sides, especially with Glenn and Incognito knowing how important it is to get both back in the fold for 2016 and beyond.

Whaley was asked specifically about how quickly a deal could get done for Incognito, who is headed to the Pro Bowl this weekend.

“We’re always going to try to get a deal where both parties feel like they won and are happy,” said Whaley. “We want Richie and his representatives to walk away from a deal that we have and we’re both smiling and saying, ‘It was fair.’ That’s how we look and attack every negotiation.”

Buffalo’s restricted free agents are all relatively important names moving forward as well. How the Bills will pick and choose whom to tender from the list below will be interesting.

Bills RFAs
DT Corbin Bryant
DT Stefan Charles
TE MarQueis Gray
WR Chris Hogan
OT Jordan Mills
S Bacarri Rambo


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Talent level solid at this year’s Senior Bowl

Posted by Chris Brown on January 26, 2016 – 4:06 pm

The Senior Bowl practices are underway in Mobile and the level of talent on hand is impressive. Bills GM Doug Whaley believes the Senior Bowl just gets better and better with each passing year, despite the fact that the number of underclassmen declaring for the draft increases almost annually.

“I think it’s good,” Whaley told Buffalobills.com of the Senior Bowl talent. “There’s definitely depth here we didn’t have last year.  We’re excited about the guys we’re going to be able to see, not only on offense but on defense. It’s cyclical. Sometimes you’ll have some years where it’s top heavy and sometimes you’ll have some years where it’s depth here. I think there’s a lot of depth here at the Senior Bowl this year.”

Whaley said areas of depth in this year’s draft class include defensive line, quarterback and receiver.


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Whaley: Incognito reclaimed his name

Posted by Chris Brown on January 26, 2016 – 3:06 pm

Prior to signing with the Buffalo Bills, Richie Incognito was a former Pro Bowl guard who saw his contract terminated by his team (Miami) in the wake of a bullying scandal. Two years later, Incognito successfully reclaimed his status as a Pro Bowl caliber player and proved to be a model teammate and leader in Buffalo’s locker room.

Bills GM Doug Whaley told Buffalobills.com that seeing Incognito headed back to the Pro Bowl speaks volumes about how far the veteran lineman has come.

“That’s a testament to him. He put a lot of work into reclaiming his name, not only on the field but off the field,” said Whaley. “I tip my cap to him and a lot of due goes to him. When we talked to him, not only was he remorseful for what he did, but he had a plan in place to never go down that road again in his life. I’m really impressed with this guy.”

Whaley also said that the front office will get the ball rolling on preliminary discussions about a new contract for Incognito, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in March.


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Wood: Goal already set for O-line in 2016

Posted by Chris Brown on January 25, 2016 – 3:45 pm

Bills Pro Bowl center Eric Wood, who was named to the Pro Bowl roster officially on Monday as a replacement for Carolina C Ryan Kalil, talked about the parts of the offense that he felt helped his case as a Pro Bowl caliber player this season. He also shared a team goal that the offensive line already has on the docket for 2016.

Finishing tops in the league in rushing and having a quarterback with the seventh-highest passer rating in the NFL were both good reflections on Wood’s play as he saw it.

“Those are good indicators,” said Wood. “I think our film looked a lot better too. Guys that really dove into our film I think as a group we looked a lot better this year. We just look to improve on that going into next year. I think a really cool one would be if we can get LeSean (McCoy) the rushing title. That is definitely an honor. We took a little trip down to Key West to start the offseason and we talked about that a bunch. That’s a goal for us next year.”


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Taylor, Wood cramming for Pro Bowl

Posted by Chris Brown on January 25, 2016 – 1:51 pm

Eric Wood and Tyrod Taylor are both headed to the Pro Bowl as replacements for Carolina Panthers Ryan Kalil and Cam Newton as both of them are advancing to the Super Bowl. Wood and Taylor are all too happy to step in, but their travel schedule just got a lot more hectic this week.

Both Taylor and Wood are flying to Hawaii Tuesday morning and will begin preparations for the game not long after their land in Honolulu.

“I’ll get into Hawaii about 4 pm Hawaii time,” Wood told Buffalobills.com. “We have a players’ meeting that night at seven and we’ll get more of our schedule details from there. The good thing was I knew it was coming so I was prepared that if they won I’d be going. But I didn’t want to jinx anything and make any plans.”

The league informs the Pro Bowl alternates what has to occur in the NFL playoffs to get their opportunity to play in the Pro Bowl.

“I kind of knew all along as an alternate that I needed Carolina to go to the Super Bowl and then I’d be going,” said Wood. “I’ve been rooting pretty hard for Carolina throughout the playoffs. So when they won I knew I was in and someone from the league contacted me about 11:30 last night. I’ve been making travel arrangements. I’m on the way back from the University of Louisville now from a workout. I was trying to do a little crash course to get back in shape and get ready to play a game this weekend.”


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96 eligible underclassmen for 2016 NFL draft

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2016 – 2:11 pm

The NFL released their official list of eligible underclassmen for the 2016 NFL draft and the total number was 96. That’s just two shy of the record 98 set in 2014. Here’s a look at all of the prospects who hope to hear their name called sometime during the final weekend in April.

  Player Pos. College
1 Bralon Addison WR Oregon
2 Dominique Alexander LB Oklahoma
3 Mackensie Alexander DB Clemson
4 Eli Apple DB Ohio State
5 Demarcus Ayers WR Houston
6 Peyton Barber RB Auburn
7 Vonn Bell DB Ohio State
8 Caleb Benenoch T UCLA
9 Andrew Billings DT Baylor
10 Dariusz Bladek G Bethune-Cookman
11 Joey Bosa DE Ohio State
12 Tyler Boyd WR Pittsburgh
13 Daniel Braverman WR Western Michigan
14 Beniquez Brown LB Mississippi State
15 Artie Burns DB Miami
16 Kenny Clark DT UCLA
17 Corey Coleman WR Baylor
18 Trenton Coles DB Duquesne
19 Alex Collins RB Arkansas
20 Maliek Collins DT Nebraska
21 Jack Conklin T Michigan State
22 Pharoh Cooper WR South Carolina
23 Kamalei Correa DE Boise State
24 Su’a Cravens LB Southern California
25 Elijah Daniel DT Murray State
26 Terrell Davis LB British Columbia
27 Kevin Dodd DE Clemson
28 Thomas Duarte TE UCLA
29 Ezekiel Elliott RB Ohio State
30 Leonard Floyd LB Georgia
31 Kendall Fuller DB Virginia Tech
32 Will Fuller WR Notre Dame
33 Jared Goff QB California
34 T.J. Green DB Clemson
35 David Grinnage TE North Carolina State
36 Christian Hackenberg QB Penn State
37 Vernon Hargreaves DB Florida
38 Jerald Hawkins T Louisiana State
39 Derrick Henry RB Alabama
40 Hunter Henry TE Arkansas
41 Willie Henry DT Michigan
42 Rashard Higgins WR Colorado State
43 Austin Hooper TE Stanford
44 Jordan Howard RB Indiana
45 Xavien Howard DB Baylor
46 Germain Ifedi T Texas A&M
47 Myles Jack LB UCLA
48 Cardale Jones QB Ohio State
49 Cayleb Jones WR Arizona
50 Chris Jones DT Mississippi State
51 Jayron Kearse DB Clemson
52 Denver Kirkland T Arkansas
53 Darius Latham DT Indiana
54 Kenny Lawler WR California
55 Shaq Lawson DE Clemson
56 Darron Lee LB Ohio State
57 Roger Lewis WR Bowling Green
58 Steve Longa LB Rutgers
59 Paxton Lynch QB Memphis
60 Jalin Marshall WR Ohio State
61 Alex McCalister DE Florida
62 Brett McMakin LB Northern Iowa
63 Keanu Neal DB Florida
64 Yannick Ngakoue DE Maryland
65 Robert Nkemdiche DT Mississippi
66 Marquez North WR Tennessee
67 Emmanuel Ogbah DE Oklahoma State
68 Paul Perkins RB UCLA
69 Joe Powell DB Globe
70 C.J. Prosise RB Notre Dame
71 Jalen Ramsey DB Florida State
72 Alex Redmond G UCLA
73 Hassan Ridgeway DT Texas
74 A’Shawn Robinson DT Alabama
75 Demarcus Robinson WR Florida
76 Rashard Robinson DB Louisiana State
77 Aldrick Rosas K Southern Oregon
78 Zack Sanchez DB Oklahoma
79 Isaac Seumalo G Oregon State
80 Wendell Smallwood RB West Virginia
81 Jaylon Smith LB Notre Dame
82 Tyrell Smith T Massachusetts
83 Ronnie Stanley T Notre Dame
84 Kelvin Taylor RB Florida
85 Ron Thompson DE Syracuse
86 Laquon Treadwell WR Mississippi
87 Laremy Tunsil T Mississippi
88 Quinn van Gylswyk K British Columbia
89 Nick Vigil LB Utah State
90 Cleveland Wallace DB San Jose State
91 Dwayne Washington RB Washington
92 Stephen Weatherly LB Vanderbilt
93 De’Runnya Wilson WR Mississippi State
94 Daryl Worley DB West Virginia
95 Scooby Wright LB Arizona
96 Avery Young T Auburn

The following 11 players have in timely fashion under NFL rules officially notified the league office that they have fulfilled their degree requirements. So they too are eligible for selection in the 2016 NFL draft.

  Player Pos. College
1 Roberto Aguayo K Florida State
2 Travis Blanks LB Clemson
3 Zac Brooks RB Clemson
4 Eric Enderson P Delaware
5 Austin Johnson DT Penn State
6 Keith Marshall RB Georgia
7 Tyvis Powell DB Ohio State
8 Noah Spence DE Eastern Kentucky
9 Michael Thomas WR Ohio State
10 Corey Tindal DB Marshall
11 Vincent Valentine DT Nebraska

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Fan Friday 1-22

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2016 – 12:07 pm

Some coaching hires for the staff the last week or so. Here are your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills What’s the biggest lesson learned between Wk1 and Wk16 defensively with this team?

vapor311

CB: I think the biggest lesson learned by the players was that if there was more accountability player to player on defense, there would’ve been unanimous buy in and the defense would’ve performed more consistently and been more effective in Ryan’s scheme. That didn’t happen until after the embarrassing defensive performance at Washington when the players that did buy in called out the players who didn’t. We saw improved collective play from the defensive unit after that.

I believe the biggest lesson learned by Rex and the coaches is just how multi-faceted a lot of their defensive talent is particularly some of their defensive linemen like Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes specifically. Dareus and Williams are athletic enough to play end in a 3-4 look and Hughes can be an end in a 4-3 look or an OLB in a 3-4. He’s that versatile.

There are other examples at LB and in the secondary, but Rex has expressed that a year with those players has provided him with a better grasp of everything that players like that can do, not just their primary strengths.

 

2 – Hey Chris,

Here is my concern. It seems to make more sense for a coach to change their scheme to fit the players than change the roster to fit the scheme. Why has Rex Ryan, the great defensive mastermind who was figured out and canned in NY, been reluctant to implement a scheme where our star defensive line can pass rush like they have proven they are good at doing and rely upon a better cover based defense? We consistently get beat while trying to change in and out of “complex” blitz packages that always seem to come up short while letting the QB find a quick under or hot route. What should we expect for the future I’m so desperately trying to not give up on? Suddenly find myself hoping for a Sean Payton and Jim Schwartz led team and I can’t stand the coaching turnovers.. But I have to admit Ryan’s defensive scheme is old news…

-Losing faith in OR

CB: Rex took steps to try and mold his defensive scheme to the talent of the personnel. As mentioned above Ryan admitted that he is in a much better position to coach to some of the players’ versatile strengths now that he knows the depth of their talents having worked with them for a year. I know that’s small consolation in light of how the defense underachieved, but I don’t think it’s something that should be taken lightly.

Rex referenced Jerry Hughes specifically saying he now realizes that Hughes is so much more than a hand in the dirt type, rush the passer player. That he can do a number of different things well. He also said the big difference he noticed at the end of the season was that players were finally giving him answers when he asked for their opinion.

It was his contention that his offer to the players from the very beginning of the season to give him feedback fell on deaf ears until the last two games. Rex in making in-game adjustments would ask for the opinion of the players. Until the Dallas game he said those appeals were not met with answers and he couldn’t understand why.

Once he got some more input from players we saw the difference. Buffalo’s last two games were their best back-to-back defensive performances of the season in terms of points allowed (6 and 17). And that was without a handful of defensive starters (Darby, Gilmore, A. Williams, K. Williams, Bradham). So Ryan is encouraged that the proper give and take now exists between the players and himself and the value of that should not be discounted.

 

3 – Happy New Year Chris:

Do you think the Bills organization will make a play for Miami Dolphins Olivier Vernon?

Thanks from a true Bills fan in NewportNews, Va.
Gary Truesdale

CB: I would be surprised if the Bills pursued Olivier Vernon only because he’s going to command a sizable price tag and GM Doug Whaley has made it clear that they’re going to be pursuing “dust settle” type free agents. The focus this offseason will be for the Bills to re-sign their own, chiefly Richie Incognito and Cordy Glenn.

Buffalo’s cap situation needs some restructuring this offseason before we reach free agency and Bills Senior VP of Football Administration, Jim Overdorf will be tasked with that as he has in the past. But knowing the priorities that Incognito and Glenn are combined with their cap situation I wouldn’t expect to see a top tier free agent like Vernon to be on the Bills radar.

 

4 – Chris,

Hypothetical of course.  Just what if, with all the defensive needs and offensive tackle needs, Laquon Treadwell and/or Connor Cook were available at pick 19?  How are we going to fill our need at receiver?  Not in free agency as per Whaley’s statement and later in the draft will not fill that need either.

Jim (Skaneateles)

CB: I do believe the Bills will make efforts to land a true No. 2 receiver that can draw attention away from Sammy Watkins. Robert Woods played more than half the season with a severe groin injury and might be best suited for the slot. Percy Harvin is a player the Bills would like to return to the fold, but has to get healthy first and is not a lock to return.
I know the Bills would like to add size to the position as evidenced by the reserve/future signings of Greg Little and Jarrett Boykin. But I don’t think they’re putting all their stock in those two wideouts.

Unfortunately this year’s receiver class doesn’t offer a lot of quality size. There are 6-1 and 6-2 guys aplenty, but the 6-4 and 6-5 targets of quality just don’t exist in this year’s class. I suppose there could be a prospect or two that could possess a ‘big receiver’ game because they play bigger than their listed size. I’ve still got homework to do on the 2016 draft class, but Treadwell would be a tempting option.

Personally I don’t think Connor Cook is worthy of a first-round pick. In a draft without a lot of elite QB talent I suppose it’s possible he’ll be moved up a lot of draft boards as the draft draws closer due to supply and demand, but Treadwell is a more worthy first-round pick to me than Cook. That being said I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills found better value at another position in round one.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills What are the fates of Mario Williams, Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes? Are they staying or leaving?

TandAFootball

CB: I feel good about the playing futures of Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes in Buffalo. I’ll actually have more on Kyle Williams in a story on Buffalobills.com slated for Monday. Hughes is a cornerstone piece for this defense moving forward, which is why he was signed to the long term contract extension last offseason.

Mario Williams situation is a lot more precarious, chiefly due to his cost-prohibitive contract. I think it would be difficult for any defensive player to live up to a contract that has a cap figure of almost $20M for 2016 ($19.9M). With Buffalo’s cap situation in a restrictive position right now, addressing Mario’s contract will probably be pretty high on Jim Overdorf’s to-do list.

There are a few paths they can take with it as we all know. What kind of steps Mario and his agent are willing to take is the big question.


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A passing game rendezvous

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2016 – 9:32 am

At the close of the 2015 season Bills QB Tyrod Taylor and WR Sammy Watkins both gave strong indication that there would be plans for some of the men in Buffalo’s passing game to get together on their own in the offseason to work on their on field chemistry. Some more details on that came to light Friday.

Bills GM Doug Whaley, appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Friday spoke to Taylor and found out where and who would be working together in the near future.

“I’ve talked to Tyrod and he, Sammy and Charles Clay are going to be in Florida working out together,” said Whaley.

As Whaley sees it that will only benefit the efforts to develop better overall consistency within the framework of Buffalo’s offense.

“All of a sudden next thing you know when we’re in a two minute drill there may not even be any verbal communication,” Whaley said. “There might just be some hand signs or some head nods where everybody is on the same page and that’s where you start to see an offense or even a defense make strides and take off.”

Whaley acknowledged that being able to keep offensive coordinator Greg Roman on staff will also do wonders for the offense as they’ll all be able to progress together.

“Just like any relationship the longer you’re together the closer you’re going to get and it gets to the point where Tyrod will anticipate what G-Ro is thinking and vice versa,” said Whaley.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills open to a Harvin return

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2016 – 9:28 am

Percy Harvin’s first year with the Bills did not go how anyone had planned. A persistent hip injury compromised his weekly availability as the receiver appeared in just five games in 2015. He also has an automatic opt-out clause in his contract, which will make him a free agent against this offseason. Still, Buffalo’s front office remains interested in returning him to their receiving corps in 2016.

Bills GM Doug Whaley, appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Friday, indicated that the club would like to bring Harvin back once he’s got a clean bill of health.

“Absolutely. No doubt about it,” said Whaley. “Obviously the first thing for Percy is he’s got to get completely healthy. Once he’s healthy we’ll reach out to his guy and explain that we’d like to have him back. I think when he was on the field people took notice and he helped us when Sammy was out. So we would love to have him back.”

Knowing Buffalo’s tight cap situation, the Bills would probably only re-sign Harvin to a cost-conscious type contract.


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Posted in Inside the Bills