Inside The Bills

Pro Bowl roster

Posted by Anna Stolzenburg on January 25, 2015 – 5:11 pm

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The 2015 Pro Bowl kicks off from Glendale, Arizona at 8 p.m. on ESPN. With Kyle Williams, Mario Williams and Marcell Dareus all on Team Carter, we know who you’ll be rooting for, but here’s the full roster of NFL all-stars.

Team Carter

Coach: John Harbaugh

Offense

QB Andrew Luck
QB Drew Brees
QB Andy Dalton
RB Jamaal Charles
RB Justin Forsett
RB Alfred Morris
FB John Kuhn
WR Antonio Brown
WR A.J. Green
WR T.Y. Hilton
WR Jordy Nelson
TE Martellus Bennett
TE Greg Olsen
OT Joe Staley
OT Duane Brown
OT Ryan Clady
OG Josh Sitton
OG Evan Mathis
OG Mike Pouncey
OC Maurkice Pouncey
OC Jason Kelce

Defense

DE J.J. Watt
DE Mario Williams
DE Calais Campbell
DT Marcell Dareus
DT Dontari Poe
DT Kyle Williams
OLB Justin Houston
OLB Connor Barwin
OLB Tamba Hali
ILB C.J. Mosley
ILB Lawrence Timmons
CB Patrick Peterson
CB Antonio Cromartie
CB Aqib Talib
CB Sam Shields
S Donte Whitner
S Glover Quin
S Antoine Bethea

Special teams

K Cody Parkey
P Pat McAfee
PR Devin Hester
ST Justin Bethel
LS Jon Dorenbos

Team Irvin

Coach: Jason Garrett

Offense

QB Tony Romo
QB Matthew Stafford
QB Matt Ryan
RB DeMarco Murray
RB Mark Ingram
RB C.J. Anderson
FB Marcel Reece
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
WR Randall Cobb
WR Emmanuel Sanders
WR Golden Tate
TE Jimmy Graham
TE Jason Witten
OT Tyron Smith
OT Joe Thomas
OT Trent Williams
OG Zach Martin
OG Marshal Yanda
OG Kyle Long
OC Travis Frederick
OC Nick Mangold

Defense

DE Cameron Wake
DE Robert Quinn
DE DeMarcus Ware
DT Aaron Donald
DT Geno Atkins
DT Sheldon Richardson
OLB Von Miller
OLB Clay Matthews
OLB Elvis Dumervil
ILB Luke Kuechley
ILB D’Qwell Jackson
CB Joe Haden
CB Vontae Davis
CB Brent Grimes
CB Chris Harris
S T.J. Ward
S Eric Weddle
S Mike Adams

Special teams

K Adam Vinatieri
P Kevin Huber
PR Darren Sproles
ST Darrell Stuckey
LS L.P. Ladouceurf


Posted in Inside the Bills

4 Bills make PFF all division team

Posted by Chris Brown on January 24, 2015 – 10:01 am

The film reviewers and stat crunchers at Pro Football Focus released their All Diviaion teams for the 2014 season. Four Bills made the squad. Two were expected, two others may have been a bit more under the radar.

Buffalo’s Mario Williams and Marcell Dareus both were named to the defensive line and Corey Graham and Dan Carpenter were the other two Bills honorees. Here’s what they wrote about Buffalo’s players and the seasons they had.

DEFENSE
Edge Defenders: Cameron Wake (MIA) and Mario Williams (BUF)
Just another season for Wake who continues to be one of the premier edge pass rushers in the entire league. Williams benefitted by Buffalo switching back to a 4-3 and allowing him to play with his hand on the ground once again. He clearly still has a knack for getting to the quarterback, but his play in run defense was arguably the best of his career.

Defensive Interior – Nose: Marcell Dareus (BUF)
Dareus continues to improve and has become more consistent on a week-to-week basis. His 10 sacks received the most attention, but his work in run defense is where he really flourished.

Cornerbacks: Darrelle Revis (NE), Corey Graham (BUF)
Unsurprisingly, Revis was again one of the best cornerbacks in football in his first year with the Patriots, making the PFF All-Pro team. Graham wasn’t even getting significant playing time in some games over the first half of the season, but he was easily the best in coverage for the Bills’ secondary. Opposing quarterbacks had a 57.0 QB Rating when targeting Graham, fifth-lowest among corners and only behind the likes of All-Pros Vontae Davis, Chris Harris Jr., and Richard Sherman.

Slot Cornerback: Kyle Arrington (NE)
Arrington shared duties in the slot, but was one of the best in the division. He allowed a reception once for every 12.6 snaps in coverage, the second-best rate in the division (Revis).

SPECIAL TEAMS
Kicker: Dan Carpenter (BUF)
Carpenter did not handle kickoff duties this year, but his work on field goals alone was enough to claim the spot. He hit on 34 of 38 field goals, including 6-of-8 from 50 and beyond.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whaley weighs in on where OL stands

Posted by Chris Brown on January 23, 2015 – 1:45 pm

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show this week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, Bills GM Doug Whaley was asked whether the interior of Buffalo’s offensive line was a priority to address this offseason.

Whaley has stated previously that they’re going to take a long look at their offensive line this offseason, but he also did not want to dismiss some of the talent they already have in house.

“Some would say that (it’s a priority), but we’re thinking when you get Chris Williams back from injury and another year with (Cyril) Richardson in there and get him more time in there and (Cyrus) Kouandjio played a little guard in there during the season in the practices,” Whaley said. “We think there are some guys there who can compete, but that’s not to say we won’t bring in other guys to add to the fold.”

With Erik Pears a free agent and youth on the roster in the form of Kouandjio and Richardson it wouldn’t be surprising if a veteran free agent guard was added to Buffalo’s ranks.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kyle familiar with DL coach Dunbar

Posted by Chris Brown on January 23, 2015 – 1:31 pm

Bills new defensive line coach Karl Dunbar might be new to many of Buffalo’s defensive linemen, but he’s not to Pro Bowl DT Kyle Williams.

Williams had Dunbar as his college position coach as a senior at LSU.

“Yeah I’m a little familiar with him,” Williams told Buffalobills.com while in Arizona for the Pro Bowl. “He recruited me to LSU when I was coming out of high school, left and took another job and then came back and was my D-line coach for my senior year. So I’m excited to have Dunbar again, it kind of feels like my career has come full circle. I’m excited about Rex Ryan and really excited about next year and what the possibilities are.”

Williams has always kept a casual eye on Dunbar wherever he’s coached and having worked with him in the past has a feel for the type of coach he is.

“I think if you look at him and his defensive career his defensive lines are technically sound,” said Williams. “They’re aggressive and they’re really, really hard to run the football against and those are things we can always use improvement on.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills rank 2nd in overall special teams

Posted by Chris Brown on January 23, 2015 – 1:24 pm

Long time Dallas Morning News columnist Rick Gosselin was the first to put together a comprehensive analysis of the league’s special teams units more than two decades ago. He’s still putting that rankings list together annually and special teams coordinators value it. Buffalo may have made the biggest single-season jump ever from last year to this past season.

In 2013 the Bills finished 31st in Gosselin’s special teams rankings. This past season they ranked second behind only Philadelphia. It makes the decision to retain Danny Crossman as special teams coordinator all the more encouraging. Here’s the list.

SPORTSDAY’S SPECIAL TEAM RANKINGS

The NFL’s 32 teams are ranked in 22 kicking­-game categories and assigned points according to their standing 

Rank  Team  Points
1  Philadelphia  201.5
2  Buffalo  227.5
 3  New England  233.5
 4  Atlanta  239.5
 5  Baltimore  264
 6  Cincinnati  272.5
 7  Indianapolis  273.5
 8  Kansas City  293.5
 9  St. Louis  308.5
 10  Minnesota  320.5
 11  Arizona  327
 12  Miami  363.5
 13  Dallas  389.5
 14  New Orleans  392.5
 15  Detroit  393
 15  Houston  393
 17  Cleveland  393.5
 17  Seattle 393.5
 19  Denver  401
 20  NY Jets  404
 21  Pittsburgh  410
22  Oakland  411
23  San Francisco  414
24  Tampa Bay  419
 25  NY Giants  423
 26  Chicago  423.5
 27  Jacksonville  428
 28  Tennessee  430
 29  San Diego  433
 30  Washington  444
 31  Carolina  445.5
 32  Green Bay  450


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-23

Posted by Chris Brown on January 23, 2015 – 1:11 pm

The new coaching staff is coming together. If you missed any of our Senior Bowl or Pro Bowl coverage check it out on Buffalobills.com. Now for your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

I don’t think Hughes, Urbik, Lawson, Spiller, Spikes or Rivers will return next year as the money will be spent in other areas. I think the Bills will soon extend the contracts of Dareus and Glenn.  Do you have any insight on this?

Thanks,
Joe

CB: I think the Bills will work hard to bring Hughes back into the fold. Spiller is expected to have other suitors. Urbik, Lawson and Rivers are all still under contract. Rex Ryan in a conference call this past season said Spikes was a player he liked because he has a grit and attitude to his game that appeals to him, for whatever that’s worth.

As for Dareus and Glenn, the Bills typically address free agents first before worrying about players that are still under contract, so while Dareus and Glenn are seen as long term building blocks for the franchise I don’t see them getting done in short order.

 

2 - Hi, Chris

Looking for help in understanding what has happened to the offensive line over the past three years.

Fact: Four of the current five starters were also starters on the O-Line in 2012.
Fact: The rushing game produced over 2200 yards in 2012; less than 1400 this year.
Fact: Now former coach Marrone has publicly stated that the problem with the run game is not Coach Hackett’s schematics.

So — if the line has basically the same players, with the same talent, with a couple years more experience, and the techniques and schematics are correct and being taught properly — why has there been such a marked regression in performance, culminating in last Sunday’s horrific 13 yards gained on 13 attempts?

You are close to the scene and obviously can sense better than we fans what is going on.  Please help.

Thanks much,
Jim D.

CB: There were a number of factors at work. First and foremost you had your top two running backs injured for a stretch of the season. Spiller missed seven games. I think anyone on the offensive line in 2014 would tell you that their play regressed from the year before.

In 2012 their offensive scheme ran out of a spread formation, which created bigger running lanes for the backs. That was not the case in 2014 as they chose to run between the tackles more often than not. I don’t know that the approach offensively always fit the backs they had carrying the ball. That combined with an offensive line that took a step back led to the lowest rushing total in team history in a 16-game season.

 

3 – Chris,

All Bills fans are disappointed, but so are the fans of the Ravens, Chiefs, Saints, Eagles, a few of them have $100 Million Quarterbacks !! There will be cries for EJ. You get better by practicing your skills, and proving in practice you’re ready to play. Do you feel EJ has shown he’s ready, how about Kouanjio and Richardson?
Jim in Florida

CB: I think the 12 weeks that Manuel had to focus on his personal game served him well over the last three quarters of the 2014 season. He also learned how to effectively prep yourself as a QB watching Kyle Orton get ready for games each week. From watching him the last month of the season in practice I felt his accuracy was improved. He was no longer thinking and concerned about throwing the perfect ball. He was just throwing.

I’m interested to see him as part of a competition for the starting job next year. Has he shown he’s ready? I don’t think we’ll know until we see him at training camp this summer.

As for Cyrus Kouandjio and Cyril Richardson they worked to make the most of their reps. It sounds like Kouandjio will be given real consideration at the guard position, even though it’s very new to him. I also believe competition will be brought in to battle the youngsters for roles on the roster.

 

4 - Hi Chris:  I understand that the Bills offense has been unbalanced between run and pass this past year.  What I’m unsure of is the major cause.  Could it be that the running backs were banged up this year?  Could it be that the offensive line never jelled?  Or could it be that most defenses dared us to throw by overloading the box and our pass game didn’t respond as well as hoped?  Like everything in life, there’s usually more than one reason.  But I was wondering if you could shed some light on what might be the most significant factor(s).

Warm wishes for the New Year!
Paul in Portland (Formerly Paul in Beijing)

CB: I hate to give a token answer, but I think it was all of the above. The running backs were banged up this year. There were times when defenses loaded up the box with extra defenders. The offensive line did struggle to jell at the start of the season due to Cordy Glenn’s undisclosed illness, which kept him out of the majority of the preseason. There was also a move by Erik Pears from tackle to guard, there was a rookie at right tackle and starting LG Chris Williams missed half the preseason due to a recurring back injury.

I also think at times the offensive approach moved away from the strengths of their skill position players in an effort to protect the football with more conservative play.

5 – Hello Chris,

First I’d like to say Happy New Year! Thank You for your news and blogs that us Bills fans love to get answers and info from.. your passion for the Bills is the same that we fans have, and you help us to believe.

My question is about the Offensive line.. I am sure most are wanting to know about the QB, but a big fix we need is on the O-line.

I am wondering what your thoughts(and i’ll get the fans thoughts in the comments section after) on

shifting around the line a bit. What about Buffalo using either their 2nd or 3rd round pick on one of the top 2-3 Centers in the 2015 Draft.. like Dismukes from Auburn, Grasu from Oregon, or Gallik from BC. We can then move Wood back to RG where he did well for us in his first 2 years before moving to Center.. he can still call the protections and he shows the ability to move around to run block very well and the aggression.

Then Chris Williams(we lost a lot when he got hurt) coming back to be the LG.. again, we hope he stays healthy. Glenn as the LT and putting the sophomore slump that seems to bite so many and bouncing back. And then Kouandjio and Henderson fighting for the RT position.

So.. LT Glenn, LG Williams, C Best avail in 2015 Draft, RG Wood, RT Henderson/Kouandjio

NE did something like this with a new Center this year in Stork and they seemed to find a good rhythm in the season… and we could even if need be bring in whomever is not the starter at RT out once in a while to line up next to the starter giving us a 6th Lineman as protection if need be.

Just looking for your thoughts.. as far as where instead of going out to get 2 new G’s in FA and maybe in the draft where a good Center can change it all up and be giving us depth also.

Thanks.. have a nice weekend watching the post season.

Brian Moss

CB: I think your thought about moving Eric Wood out to guard, where he began his NFL career is an interesting idea. However, I think the only way it happens is if the Bills bring in a veteran center, not a rookie by way of the draft. If they add an offensive lineman in the draft I would expect it to be more of a guard. But knowing they have a second-year guard in Cyril Richardson and possibly a second guard option in Cyrus Kouandjio they may elect to add a veteran guard as they did last year (Chris Williams).

I think Seantrel Henderson can only improve in his second season if he takes to good coaching with the new staff and his athleticism alone gives him a leg up on Kouandjio for the right tackle job.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jim Monos: “A game plan for the QB” – JMS 1/22

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 23, 2015 – 12:19 am

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Our final night here at the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. We wrapped up the week attending the final padded practice for both squads. Afterwards, we caught up with Pittsburgh offensive lineman TJ Clemmings. He has been climbing the ranks recently and is looking to solidify his stock in front of the pro personnel in attendance. Clemmings is an interesting prospect who made the switch from the defensive line to the offensive line and is embracing the attacking style of play.

Senior Bowl North Practice

“Really being able to move people and finish guys. That’s what I’ve prided myself on this past season at Pitt. I’ve done it fairly consistently throughout the season. Mauling somebody, I guess you can say I’ve done it a couple of times so if that’s what people are connecting me with then I’ll accept that.”

The Senior Bowl is considered to be the first connection to the NFL offseason and that holds true for the Bills Director of Player Personnel Jim Monos. He is here scouting for the draft but also is looking forward to bettering the roster through upcoming free agency and the trade market. Monos discussed the options he now has with the new ownership and coaching staff that brings confidence in quarterback EJ Manuel.

EJ Manuel

“He’s going to have different coaches again and learning a new system already. That’s not the traditional way of how you develop players but this is what the situation is and we’ve got to get it done.” Monos said “The offensive coordinator Greg Roman, he’s excited to do some stuff and he’s been creative enough with guys that aren’t traditional drop back passers. It’s exciting to know that these guys (David Lee and Greg Roman) have a game plan for the quarterback.”

At the top of the first hour we were joined on-set by Josh Norris, NFL Draft Analyst for NBC Sports and Rotoworld. He’s been studying this year’s Senior Bowl group. Norris talked about the offensive tackles in this year’s class and said that tackle La’el Collins from LSU is the best overall prospect here at the Senior Bowl. Switching to the other side of the ball, Norris weighed in on Danny Shelton, the defensive tackle from Washington. He also said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Quinten Rollins, the converted basketball star turned cornerback, becomes a first round pick. Norris went through the other options for the Bills including running backs and quarterbacks and mentioned Alabama’s Blake Sims as being the best quarterback during the team portion of this week’s practice.

Preston Smith, La'el Collins

In the final half-hour, we caught up with Bills Director of College Scouting, Doug Majeski. Majeski talked about the talent that can come out of the Senior Bowl and mentioned former participants and now Buffalo Bills starters LB Nigel Bradham and OT Cordy Glenn. He went through a few specific players from various position groups on this year’s roster and how the team’s scouts will break down what they’ve collected here this week.

Last but not least, we chatted with NFL Network Analyst Charles Davis who has been part of the network’s Senior Bowl coverage all week. He shared his thoughts on this group and who has stood out during the week. To hear more from Davis and the complete John Murphy Show from Thursday, click below.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Kiper: Pass rushers aplenty in 2015 draft

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2015 – 1:14 pm

ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper is already expressing opinions on the 2015 NFL draft class and he espoused on the deeper positions he sees in this year’s crop of talent.

“In terms of pass rushers there are a lot of them,” said Kiper. “That’s probably the strongest position in this draft, those combo guys who can get after the quarterback.”

That’s not necessarily a bad thing concerning the Bills. Sure they have linebacker talent and pass rushing talent, but one of those pass rushers is a free agent in Jerry Hughes. If Buffalo somehow can’t bring Hughes back into the fold, it sounds like there is good depth in the draft at that position.

“Early on you’ve got Randy Gregory (Nebraska) and Shane Ray (Missouri), but you also have some guys like Nate Orchard at Utah, who is more of a second or third rounder. Trey Flowers at Arkansas, Lorenzo Mauldin at Louisville is another who would fall into that category. Alvin “Bud” Dupree from Kentucky, who is a good pass rusher. So this is the kind of year if you want those types of players they’re out there in high numbers this season.”

Kiper also said the running back class is deep thanks in large part to the junior eligibles who declared for the draft.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whaley undaunted by no 1st rd. pick

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2015 – 1:10 pm

Bills GM Doug Whaley is well aware that there are fewer draft picks in his arsenal this spring for the 2015 NFL draft. With no first-round pick and no fourth-round pick, Buffalo has just six total (2 in the 5th). But Whaley and his scouting staff like the challenge of having to find players when they don’t have a premium pick.

“It’s exciting. It’s a challenging time and everybody that knows me knows I’m not afraid of a challenge,” Whaley told Buffalobills.com. “Our scouting staff feels the same way. Unfortunately we’ve been drafting high recently and that’s a little easier than drafting lower. We want to get to that point where we’re drafting low consistently so that for us is a challenge and we’re up for the challenge and excited about it.”

Buffalo gave their original fourth-round pick with their first rounder in the Sammy Watkins trade. They got a fourth back in the Stevie Johnson trade, but then shipped that to Philadelphia for Bryce Brown. They did acquire a second fifth-round pick from Tampa in a day three trade last year.

“We also look at it this way, we think Bryce Brown is worth a fourth-round pick,” Whaley said on the John Murphy Show. “Any back we get in the fourth round would be just like Bryce Brown. With Sammy Watkins people say we gave up two number ones. But to have a number one wide receiver for the next 10 years we would’ve have had to maybe draft two wide receivers to come up with that. So we think the value is there for both of those and we’re excited about what we can accomplish.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jets’ Mangold on Ryan

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2015 – 10:33 am

Buffalobills.com is on the scene at the Pro Bowl in Glendale, Arizona this week as Senior Producer Mike Adamek caught up with Jets C Nick Mangold, who was on the New York Jets roster for all six years of Rex Ryan’s tenure as head coach. He commented on Ryan’s style as a head coach.

“Coach Ryan is a passionate guy, a fiery guy, a ball of excitement on the field every Sunday,” said Mangold. “One of the best things he does is he’s got the confidence of every guy in the locker room and what you want to do as a player is prove him right. He remembers that football is a game and it’s fun.”

Knowing Ryan is still in the AFC East, Mangold doesn’t want his former head coach having a whole lot of success.

“I wish him all the best, but I hope he doesn’t do too well,” he said.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario meets up with Air Force

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2015 – 10:22 am

Three Bills Pro Bowl defensive linemen are already on site in Glendale, Arizona for Sunday’s game. They’re also participating in some community events this week. Mario Williams, who has a great affinity for the armed forces and law enforcement, spent some time with airmen from the US Air Force.

Williams took the time during the Airman for a Day event that was sponsored by USAA, the Official Military Appreciation Sponsor of the NFL. Pro Bowl players got to get up close and personal with an F-16, try an F-16 flight simulator, meet with military working dogs (K-9 bomb/attack dogs) and participate in Skype calls with military members overseas, with their families stateside at Luke AFB.

Mario pic

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Doug Whaley: Completing the Roster – JMS 1/21

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 21, 2015 – 11:28 pm

Senior Bowl

 

Our week continues in Mobile, Alabama, the site of the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Both the North and the South squads went through their second practice of the week leading up to Saturday’s game. Quarterback is a hot topic for the Bills and we caught up with Garrett Grayson, Colorado State’s signal caller. He’s one option for the Bills which led us to ask the listeners what’s the best way to bring in QB competition? Through the draft, free agency, or trade? Various responses on that topic.

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We had the chance to sit down with Bills General Manager Doug Whaley. Whaley, in attendance at the Senior Bowl, watching practices and interviewing the players to find out what “makes them tick.” He talked about creating competition on the roster and finding ways to do so without a first round pick. Whaley also talked about completing the quarterback picture before the team heads into OTAs and training camp.

 

“We’re exploring every option. Anything from the free agent market, to the trade market, to the draft, to unrestricted free agency. So, we’re going to explore every avenue possible. One, just out of sheer numbers. We have two guys on the roster now and we can’t go to camp with just two. We’re going to add two, maybe three. There’s nothing that we’re not going to explore.”

Garrett Grayson, Bryan Bennett

Whaley also weighed in and reflected on the coaching search and why he feels Rex Ryan is a perfect fit for Buffalo.

 

At the top of the hour we were joined by Ben Austro, the editor and founder of Football Zebras. Austro joined us to talk about last weekend’s under-inflation of footballs by the Patriots during their game with the Colts in the AFC Championship game. He talked about the possible advantage and what possible sanctions might be come out of it from the league.

Blake Sims

An old friend of the show, Greg Gabriel, former NFL scout and now contributor for National Football Post sat down on-set to share his opinions on this year’s Senior Bowl. He recapped the past two days of practice and shared his praise for defensive tackles Chris Davis from Iowa and Washington’s Danny Shelton. He also weighed in on the quarterbacks and how Alabama’s Blake Sims jumped out at him, saying “he’s probably the most sound mechanically.”

Finally, we circled back to the Bills front office as we caught up with the Director of College Scouting, Kelvin Fisher. Fisher went down the list of possible needs for the team and what players stuck out during the first couple days of practice here at the Senior Bowl. Fisher also talked about the underclassmen that have declared for this year’s draft and the scouting process on sorting through the added talent. Overall, Fisher said that the Bills are in a good position to “reload not rebuild.”

 

To hear more from Fisher and the rest of Wednesday’s guests, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Whaley on scouts meeting with Rex

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2015 – 10:30 pm

Bills new head coach Rex Ryan met with the Bills personnel department in Mobile Tuesday evening. On Wednesday GM Doug Whaley provided an update on how things went in an interview on the John Murphy Show live in Mobile.

Whaley wanted the head coach to meet his scouts to help explain the type of players he needs for his team to be the best it can be. But Ryan made it very easy for Buffalo’s college scouts.

“He just said, ‘Get me people that love football and that are playmakers,’” said Whaley. “So that opens up the whole board for us and gets us really excited so we don’t have restrictions on the type of guys that we’re looking for.”

Whaley said Ryan’s personality is infectious and had the scouting department fired up when the meeting was over.

“No doubt about it. It’s contagious,” said Whaley of Ryan’s demeanor. “He’s got a personality that people gravitate to and you want to work for him and want him to succeed. For him to succeed he lays out the ground work and they’re easy to work with, like I said before, guys that love football and guys that can make plays. He doesn’t want to say, ‘Hey I want a specific guy, a 6-5 guy that runs 4.6.’ He said, ‘That’s great everybody wants that guy, but find me good football players.’”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills personnel dept. on John Murphy Show

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2015 – 4:31 pm

It’ll be the big three from Buffalo’s personnel department on the John Murphy Show tonight on location in Mobile at the Senior Bowl.

John Murphy will sit down with GM Doug Whaley, Director of Player Personnel Jim Monos and Director of College Scouting Kelvin Fisher to talk about how their meeting with Rex Ryan went and how the Senior Bowl fits into their plans to solve the quarterback position.

It’s tonight from 7-9 pm live from Mobile on the John Murphy Show.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

New QB coach Lee had EJ on pre-draft visit

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2015 – 1:34 pm

Back during the pre-draft process of 2013, Bills quarterbacks coach David Lee was coaching quarterbacks in New York for the Jets under Rex Ryan. And when the Jets had EJ Manuel in for a pre-draft visit Lee put the Florida State product through the paces.

As Lee explained in an interview down in Mobile at the Senior Bowl with Buffalobills.com, he wanted to get a feel for Manuel’s ability to absorb information and retain it. He passed Lee’s test with flying colors.

“We flew him in before the draft and I gave him a test,” Lee said. “I gave him a pamphlet to study and told him I was going to test him the next morning. It was long and detailed and he aced it. He didn’t miss anything. No other quarterback that came in did that, but he did.”

Lee believes there’s upside with Manuel because of his work ethic and intelligence.

We’ve just got to cut him loose and let him go play,” Lee said.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Harbaugh commends Bills on Ryan hire

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2015 – 7:57 am

harbaugh

Former San Francisco 49ers head coach, and current University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is pretty active on his Twitter account. On Wednesday morning he commended three NFL teams for their head coaching hires. One was the Bills.

Harbaugh not only congratulated the Bills on their hire of Ryan, but their offensive coordinator as well.

Roman most recently worked with Harbaugh for four seasons in San Francisco as his offensive coordinator.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: “We want gym rat mentality guys” – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 20, 2015 – 11:26 pm

Ladd Peebles Stadium

It is day two on-site at the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. It was the first day of practice for the players Tuesday afternoon. Post-practice, we caught up with North team defensive tackle Carl Davis, who comes from Iowa. He weighed in on his first practice.

Rex Ryan Senior Bowl

The Bills staff was also on hand, including head coach Rex Ryan. Ryan sat down with us to discuss his first week on the job and run down the list of recently hired assistant coaches. He also talked about his first interaction with the team’s scouts and pro personnel. He opened up about what type of players he’s looking for as the team kicks off their first hands-on scouting process.

“We want gym rat mentality guys. We want guys that love the game. Those are the things we look for and certain style of play, you know, a physical player. I think that represents our football team and our community.”

Ryan also said he will adjust to what he does defensively to fit the personnel. “3-4, 4-3, that’s what we do. We’ll play anything that it takes to win. It doesn’t matter.”

ej pic

Newly hired quarterback coach David Lee, also in attendance, joined the show to talk about his return to Buffalo. Lee was on Chan Gailey’s staff a few years ago and coached Ryan Fitzpatrick. He talked about grooming current Bills quarterback EJ Manuel and the patience that goes along with bringing up young quarterbacks in the league, adding that “we just have to cut him loose and let him go play.”

The Senior Bowl pays off for some players and that holds true for Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham. He was on the South roster back in 2012 coming off of his senior year at Florida State. Bradham talked about performing in front of those representing the NFL and if players find it somewhat intimidating.

Nigel Bradham

“It depends on what kind of player you are and what kind of mindset you have. For me, I was the type of the guy it kind of motivated me because I had that hunger in me where I wanted to showcase that I was one of the top linebackers out there. I wanted to put my best out there so they could see what I could do to put me in the best situation in the future.”

Finally, fresh off his first Senior Bowl practice, Yale running back Tyler Varga joined us. Varga, primarily a running back has done some work at fullback as well and discussed his versatility. From Kitchener, Ontario, he said he’s been to a few Bills games growing up near the area and talked about the more memorable games he has attended. He went on to talk about playing at a smaller football program and is excited for the chance to show what he has against the nation’s top talent.

Tyler Varga, Jef Luc

“It’s all about chances. Having the opportunity to put yourself on display, that’s all I’m asking for. I’m trying to put my best foot forward and give it everything I have and just until the tank is empty every day.

Varga signed off his segment with an “Oh, Canada and Go Bills!” To hear the rest of that interview and the rest of the John Murphy Show from Tuesday, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Fewer underclassmen in 2015 draft pool

Posted by Chris Brown on January 20, 2015 – 3:01 pm

The numbers had been steadily rising when it came to the number of eligible underclassmen each year in the NFL draft, but after a giant increase last year to 98 the figure dropped for the first time in six years.

This year the number of eligible underclassmen for the 2015 draft is just 74, down two dozen from 2014. Here’s a look at the last several years and the number of underclassmen eligibles.

Yr Players Granted Special Eligibility   Yr Players Granted Special Eligibility
2015 74 2010 53
2014 98 2009 46
2013 73 2008 53
2012 65 2007 40
2011 56 2006 52

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Official eligible underclassmen for 2015 draft

Posted by Chris Brown on January 20, 2015 – 2:55 pm

Here is the official list of eligible underclassmen for the 2015 NFL draft, to be held in Chicago.

Player Pos.
1 Nelson Agholor WR Southern California
2 Jay Ajayi RB Boise State
3 Kwon Alexander LB Louisiana State
4 Javorius Allen RB Southern California
5 Arik Armstead DE Oregon
6 Malcom Brown DT Texas
7 Alex Carter DB Stanford
8 B.J. Catalon RB Texas Christian
9 Tevin Coleman RB Indiana
10 Jalen Collins DB Louisiana State
11 Landon Collins DB Alabama
12 Amari Cooper WR Alabama
13 Xavier Cooper DT Washington State
14 Christian Covington DT Rice
15 DaVaris Daniels WR Notre Dame
16 Ronald Darby DB Florida State
17 Mike Davis RB South Carolina
18 Stefon Diggs WR Maryland
19 Lorenzo Doss DB Tulane
20 Mario Edwards DE Florida State
21 Durell Eskridge DB Syracuse
22 George Farmer WR Southern California
23 Max Flores LB Northern Colorado
24 Ereck Flowers T Miami
25 Dante Fowler DE Florida
26 Devin Funchess WR Michigan
27 Jacoby Glenn DB Central Florida
28 Eddie Goldman DT Florida State
29 Melvin Gordon RB Wisconsin
30 Dorial Green-Beckham WR Missouri
31 Deontay Greenberry WR Houston
32 Randy Gregory DE Nebraska
33 Todd Gurley RB Georgia
34 Chris Hackett DB Texas Christian
35 Eli Harold DE Virginia
36 Chris Harper WR California
37 Braylon Heard RB Kentucky
38 Gerod Holliman DB Louisville
39 D.J. Humphries T Florida
40 Danielle Hunter DE Louisiana State
41 David Irving DT Iowa State
42 Jesse James TE Penn State
43 Duke Johnson RB Miami
44 Matt Jones RB Florida
45 Tyler Kroft TE Rutgers
46 Ellis McCarthy DT UCLA
47 Benardrick McKinney LB Mississippi State
48 Patrick Miller T Auburn
49 Tyler Moore G Florida
50 Rakeem Nunez-Roches DT Southern Mississippi
51 Andrus Peat T Stanford
52 Breshad Perriman WR Central Florida
53 Marcus Peters DB Washington
54 Jordan Phillips DT Oklahoma
55 Darius Philon DT Arkansas
56 Bradley Pinion P Clemson
57 Jaquel Pitts WR Trinity International
58 Jeremiah Poutasi T Utah
59 Darien Rankin LB North Carolina
60 Shane Ray DE Missouri
61 Josh Robinson RB Mississippi State
62 James Sample DB Louisville
63 Jean Sifrin TE Massachusetts
64 Jaelen Strong WR Arizona State
65 Shaq Thompson LB Washington
66 Max Valles LB Virginia
67 Easton Wahlstrom LS Arizona State
68 Trae Waynes DB Michigan State
69 Leonard Williams DE Southern California
70 Maxx Williams TE Minnesota
71 P.J. Williams DB Florida State
72 Trey Williams RB Texas A&M
73 Jameis Winston QB Florida State
74 T.J. Yeldon RB Alabama

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Auburn QB flipping to CB

Posted by Chris Brown on January 20, 2015 – 2:47 pm

Auburn QB Nick Marshall was invited to this week’s Senior Bowl to play… quarterback, but on Tuesday he announced that he has plans to make it in the NFL on the other side of the ball.

Marshall, who played cornerback earlier in his football career, apparently has interest from all 32 NFL clubs as a defensive back prospect. That according to Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage.

“It’s second nature,” Marshall told AL.com. “I’m a born natural athlete and it’s something that the Lord blessed me with. I’m blessed to have that and I’m going to take full advantage of it.”

Marshall was an 11th hour addition to the South team roster at the Senior Bowl as a quarterback. He was given the option to play at cornerback by Savage, but chose not to be thrown into the fire at such an important audition for NFL scouts this week.

Presumably Marshall in interviews this week will express his willingness to make it in the NFL as a DB. From there workouts will likely be scheduled with Marshall during the latter stages of the pre-draft process.


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Posted in Inside the Bills