Inside The Bills

Biermann believes Bills are a fit

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2016 – 5:46 pm

After playing his entire NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons, OLB Kroy Biermann is with a new team in Buffalo. He made a free agent visit this past March early in the free agency period, but things didn’t materialize enough to talk contract at that time. But Biermann did come away with a good feeling about the coaching staff and locker room, should there be an opportunity down the line. That opportunity came on Monday.

“I feel like coaches here will shoot you straight,” Biermann said. “I think they’ll tell you how it is. I feel comfortable in this sort of system. I played a little bit, like I said. And I feel like I can be an athlete out there versus being a robot like I’ve kind of done in the past. It’s a very fun defense and it’s fast paced and athletic.”

Biermann said his former defensive coordinator in Atlanta, Mike Nolan, ran a similar system to that of Rex Ryan with a lot of similar concepts.


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Seymour’s knowledge base helping his game

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2016 – 4:55 pm

Bills sixth-round pick Kevon Seymour has been on the fast track since spring practices. That didn’t slow down on Tuesday as he was the replacement for the injured Nickell Robey-Coleman in the slot in the first team nickel package.

Seymour didn’t see a ton of action on Tuesday, but he was out there with the starters defending the red zone during team work and also saw time in 11-on-11 in the slot. The USC product played most of his college career on raw ability, but secondary coach Tim McDonald and assistant secondary coach Ed Reed are schooling him on the defensive concepts as a whole. It’s given Seymour the knowledge of how to play an opponent based on where his help in the defense lies.

“I’m doing a better job of knowing where my help is, like that helped a lot,” he said. “In college, I knew how to read splits and routes and things like that, but I just really wasn’t aware of where my help was. So now I’m getting better at that and I’m doing much better so it’s helping me play faster and better.”


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Don’t look for Lawson to play Saturday

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2016 – 3:52 pm

The Bills are slowly getting some healthy bodies back. Veteran OLB Manny Lawson practiced on a limited basis Tuesday, but he’s still not all the way back. That’s why head coach Rex Ryan does not believe Lawson will be suiting up for Saturday’s preseason game against the Giants.

“I don’t think he’ll play this week. I think it’s probably a little too early, you know, for him playing this week,” Ryan said. “What the future holds after that? I guess that’s a possibility. I’m encouraged by the fact that he’s out there right now.”

Lawson suffered a partially torn pectoral muscle just before training camp during a personal workout.


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Karlos hoping to get a shot Saturday

Posted by Chris Brown on August 15, 2016 – 3:57 pm

He was just activated on Monday off the Non-Football Illness list, and he’s had just one practice, but Karlos Williams is hoping he can get some carries in Buffalo’s next preseason game Saturday.

“Oh yeah. Most definitely. I want to play and that’s the goal for me,” said Williams of Saturday’s preseason game against the Giants. “It’s to prove to the coaches that I’m in shape and that I’m ready to play, I know the plays, I can line up, line assignment technique and I can perform at a high level, the way they want me to.”

Head coach Rex Ryan said he’s not ruling Williams out for Saturday’s preseason game, but likely wants to see how he makes it through the week first.


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WR snap counts from preseason opener

Posted by Chris Brown on August 15, 2016 – 9:39 am

The wide receiver position is one of the few that is being hotly contested on Buffalo’s roster. This isn’t a tell all by any means, but here’s a look at the snap counts for the receivers who are battling behind Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods, for the last three or four spots on the 53-man roster.

The offensive staff clearly wanted to get a long look at Greg Little, Leonard Hankerson and Jarrett Boykin. These three players would all bring size to Buffalo’s receiving corps. Whether they decide to keep one or two from that group is the question. Walt Powell turned in a strong game at wideout and on special teams, so the next couple of preseason games for all these players will obviously be critical.

Greg Little – 40 snaps
Leonard Hankerson – 38 snaps
Jarrett Boykin – 32 snaps
Walt Powell – 30 snaps
Kain Colter – 22 snaps
Marquise Goodwin – 13 snaps
Robert Woods – 13 snaps

Sammy Watkins and Dez Lewis were inactive.


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Rex encouraged by QB performances

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2016 – 2:00 am

Bills head coach Rex Ryan was quick to praise not only the performance of his three quarterbacks, but the state of their quarterback position with Tyrod Taylor, EJ Manuel and Cardale Jones.

“I loved the way our quarterbacks played,” said Ryan. “It might not be reflected in our quarterback rating because we had four or five drops. The quarterbacks can’t throw it and catch it. We protect our quarterbacks, we can throw it.

“We have a great quarterback situation. We have a proven starter, a proven backup and (Cardale Jones) is a young man who just keeps getting better and better. I liked the way EJ played also. If you take away the drops he’s probably still on the field rolling.

“We almost have an ideal situation. We know we’re not forced to play a rookie quarterback, but you’re giving him opportunities to get better and if his game grows then maybe you can give him more.”


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Inactives for Bills-Colts

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2016 – 6:54 pm

Here’s a look at the long list of inactive players for tonight’s preseason opener.

Buffalo – WR Greg Salas, WR Dez Lewis, WR Sammy Watkins, S Aaron Williams, CB Stephon Gilmore, RB Karlos Williams, LB Reggie Ragland, G Richie Incognito, OL Seantrel Henderson, OT Cordy Glenn, TE Jim Dray, OLB Shaq Lawson, OLB Manny Lawson, DT Kyle Williams.

Indianapolis – WR Marcus Leak, QB Andrew Luck, RB Frank Gore, S Clayton Geathers, S Winston Guy, CB D’Joun Smith, CB Jalil Brown, CB Tevin Mitchell, G Hugh Thornton, DE Kendall Langford, DL Henry Anderson, DL Arthur Jones, OLB Robert Mathis.


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Why the money won’t change Tyrod

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2016 – 4:37 pm

For those who wonder how big money might change Buffalo’s starting QB, there’s nothing to wonder about. As Taylor stated himself money isn’t why he plays football.

“My mindset has always been on football. Ever since I was little, I played the game because that’s what I love to do,” Taylor said. “God blessed me with a tremendous talent to play this game and I’m fortunate to be able to play this game for a living. So that’s what my mind has always been focusing on, just going out and having fun. And that the deal got done, which it eventually did, and like I said, from day one I’ll be happy, and I’m happy today. But there’s still football to be played and that’s where my mindset focus is.”

Taylor’s inherent passion to play the game keeps him motivated to strive to be better, and the Bills QB also pointed out another fact that keeps NFL players motivated in general.

“Every year you have something to prove,” he said. “This is a competition driven league, of course. It’s not like the NBA where everything is guaranteed, you can get cut at any given time.  Anytime you step on that field you have something to prove and that’s been my mindset. Every time I step on that practice, there something for me to prove. I’m going to continue to keep showing that every time I lace my cleats up.”


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Rex: Preseason games have value for coaches

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2016 – 10:52 am

Yes, NFL coaches want to avoid injury in the worst way regarding their players, but they also want to get an accurate evaluation of their talent from the top to the bottom of their roster. And preseason games help provide the situations needed to make those evaluations. That’s why Bills head coach Rex Ryan knows no matter how hard you may try to replicate game situations in training camp, it can’t match the atmosphere in preseason games.

“When you look at these preseason obviously they’re going to give you a greater tell of what your team looks like,” Ryan said. “The kind of competition you try to orchestrate on the practice field is that, however it seems like it always steps up a notch, especially when you play against somebody else. So I think preseason games are meaningful, but of course you want to stay injury free.”


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Tyrod: Players want to deliver for Bills fans

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2016 – 3:40 pm

He’s only been a Buffalo Bill for a little over a year, but Tyrod Taylor knows the franchise’s quarterback history. Since Jim Kelly, Drew Bledsoe has been the closest thing to a franchise QB. So we asked him now with a new contract extension in hand, the Bills believe he’s the guy to lead them long term success, so why does he believe he’s the guy to do it?

“I believe I’m that guy because of my dedication, my preparation, of course my character,” Taylor told Buffalobills.com. “I have a unique skill set. I believe that I can get this team, with of course help from the guys around me players as well as coaches, to come together. But I think we’re headed in the right direction. We showed flashes of what we can be moving forward. I’m excited about this team.

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity they’ve given me here. I’m looking forward to getting this organization back on the right foot. The Bills fans definitely deserve a winning team. They’ve waited a number of years for it. To witness four Super Bowl runs and not get a chance to get back to the playoffs for so long, the anticipation is there and as players we want to deliver that to them. And I’m looking to be a part of it.”

 


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Taylor built relationships along with his game

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2016 – 3:05 pm

Tyrod Taylor deservedly gets a ton of credit for building his game and becoming a starter who performed so well he went to the Pro Bowl in his first year as a starting quarterback. But in a very short amount of time, Taylor also built relationships with coaches and teammates that unquestionably has made him the leader of the team.

“Coming in this offseason he took the bull by the horns and took it up another step,” said GM Doug Whaley of Taylor’s leadership and ability to pull the team together. “He’s galvanized not only the offense, but the defense and the whole team. He’s undeniably the leader of the Buffalo Bills.

“It just shows you that once you have a leader in place and it’s your quarterback and everyone looks up to him, then he holds them accountable. And then those players want to play and study and do the best they can so they don’t let that guy down. That’s an important step to becoming a championship team.”

That’s why Buffalo made the commitment to Taylor in the form of a long-term contract extension Friday.

“Since I’ve walked into the Bills facility my relationship with the coaches and the players has gotten stronger each and every day,” Taylor told Buffalobills.com. “Me and G-Ro (OC Greg Roman) talk very often even through the offseason we’re in communication. Me and the quarterback coach (David Lee) and Rex. Just the players in general we have a lot of guys with the right mindset. We make it easy to be around each other. Coach Ryan does a good job of allowing us to be ourselves and to be who we want to be on the field and off the field. I think just day by day my relationship with the players and the coaches has gotten better.”


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When Tyrod knew a deal was close

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2016 – 2:54 pm

He said at the outset of training camp that he had not talked to his agent at all. He made the choice to focus only on football and let his agent handle the contract talks. So how and when did he find out a deal was close to being completed?

“Like I told people at the press conference on day two of training camp I had not been in contact with my agent throughout camp. I wanted to keep the contract talks away from my mindset and focus on football and getting better,” Taylor told Buffalobills.com. “But he shot me a text a couple of nights ago that we were really close. That’s basically all I told him to inform me, that when we were close to let me know.

“Up until then there’s no need for me to think about it. Am I happy that it got done? Very happy and now I can just truly focus on football.”

With the preseason opener a day away, Taylor had the good fortune of having his parents on hand to witness him signing his contract extension.


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Fan Friday 8-12

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2016 – 11:05 am

We’re on the cusp of preseason game number one for the Bills as they host the Colts Saturday night at 7 pm at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Here is the latest edition of your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Is Aaron Williams’ injury potentially serious? If so, how long would he miss?

@kevinwh1te3

CB: We do not yet know the severity of Williams’ injury sustained at practice Thursday night. He was being evaluated for a possible concussion. We hope to learn more soon, but I think this all but guarantees he will not see any action at safety Saturday night.


2 –
@ChrisBrownBills

How has Aaron Williams looked in camp so far?

@JaredBailey23

CB: Williams has admitted that he is taking the path back to full contact slowly coming off his neck surgery. Unfortunately Thursday night’s collision happened without him having any choice as to how involved he wanted to be.

He’s trying to be that leader in the secondary while also balancing the aggressiveness of his play on the field. It cannot be an easy task for him. So hopefully he comes out of the collision with Dez Lewis without suffering a major setback in his road back to full contact play.
3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you get tired of fans and media having a short rope with GMs and coaches?

@FitzCT

CB: I have been covering this team for the entire playoff drought and then some. I recognize and understand the frustration of Bills fans. They just want a winner, and they’re at the point where patience has run out and if they don’t think a GM or coach is capable of getting the team to the postseason they don’t want to wait around another year to see if the fortunes will change.

But in the NFL time and again it has been proven that continuity pays off more often than not. And constant change does not. Fortunately the Pegulas despite being young in the NFL ownership business understand this. So I anticipate them staying the course beyond this year.

Does that mean they’ll be satisfied if the team doesn’t reach the postseason in 2016? Absolutely not. They want to win, badly. And for that matter so does Doug Whaley and Rex Ryan.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

How confident are you in the safety depth behind A. Williams and C. Graham?

@Seeairuhyo

CB: While I am encouraged by what I’ve seen from Robert Blanton in the practice setting and improved play from Jonathan Meeks, whose career has been interrupted by injuries, I need to see more in the preseason before I can feel comfortable with what the Bills have behind the two incumbent starters at safety.

Things look good on the practice field, but I want to see it translate to the game field for some hard evidence that the Bills are going to be okay there beyond their starters.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Hey Chris, if the Bills are in fact able to extend Taylor, would you expect Gilmore to get tagged if no deal is done? #Bills

@Josh_McCarty28

CB: Under your hypothetical situation the Bills could make use of the tag if necessary. Really the franchise tag would only buy the Bills some time in keeping Gilmore on the roster. Common ground ultimately has to be reached if Gilmore is to stay here long term.

I think Buffalo will have to be very creative to make a long term deal palatable to Gilmore in light of where the cornerback market has gone this offseason. Hopefully the Darius Slay deal with Detroit helps stabilize the going rate a bit more.

 


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Opportunity at OLB

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2016 – 7:59 am

With Shaq Lawson on the shelf and Manny Lawson not likely to see the field until just before the season opener, there’s an opportunity at outside linebacker for those players who are healthy and on the field right now for Buffalo.

That was Rex Ryan’s assessment heading into Saturday’s preseason opener against Indianapolis. But if his feet were held to the fire in a game that counted, and he didn’t have either Lawson, he knows who he’d start at that vacant outside linebacker position opposite Jerry Hughes.

“I think the battle for outside linebacker is wide open,” Ryan said. “Obviously you don’t have Manny Lawson ready to go yet. But let’s see who steps forward. You know? Sometimes we put Striker in there. Sometimes we put IK out there. He’s been primarily the starter, but if we were going to start a game today, I’d start 57. I’d start Zo [Lorenzo Alexander] at that spot. I can’t tell you the last mistake he’s made. I think he’s made one or two the entire camp. Veteran player, but it wasn’t the role that I wanted for him, and I’m not going to put him there. I want some of these young guys to see if they can’t step up and do it. [Bryson] Albright is another guy that’s shown a little bit.”

All those candidates mentioned by Ryan will get plenty of playing time Saturday night.


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Bills release LB Kevin Reddick from reserve/injured list

Posted by buffalobills.com on August 11, 2016 – 4:29 pm

ORCHARD PARK, NY – The Buffalo Bills today announced that the team has released LB Kevin Reddick from the reserve/injured list with an injury settlement.

 


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Terry Pegula on running the Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on August 10, 2016 – 5:10 pm

Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula have been at the helm for almost two calendar years, and not a lot is known about how they like to run their professional sports franchises. Terry Pegula shed some light on that subject Wednesday on the John Murphy Show.

After denying the reports from last December that he issues and ultimatum to Doug Whaley and Rex Ryan to reach the playoffs or they were out (he was at his lake house in the Adirondacks at the time the report was made), he was asked on the John Murphy Show how he likes to operate his professional sports teams.

“Anybody who watches the way I work and the way I want the Bills to operate, we get into debates and there might be some stuff thrown around some time, but it’s all to get better,” said Pegula. “It’s not to threaten somebody and say, ‘Hey you’re on the outs.’ It’s all positive arguing, and there’s not much of that because we seem to be on a pretty good path of where we’re going.”

Pegula referenced top to bottom and bottom to top communication within his franchises as essential.

“I like when everyone is aware of what’s going on in the organization,” he said. “Offensive coaches know the defensive coaches, the physical side of it, the doctors, everybody is on the same team. The more we cross pollinate and the more knows what everybody else is doing the better off we’re all going to be because everyone is aware of things they may not be aware of if we had silence.”


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Report: Ragland to have surgery

Posted by Chris Brown on August 10, 2016 – 7:35 am

The Bills have been waiting for the swelling to go down in Reggie Ragland’s left knee, after he sustained a knee injury last Friday in practice, to accurately determine the extent of the damage. Now reports have surfaced that Ragland has a partially torn ACL and will need surgery.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that Ragland has a partially torn ACL, will need surgery and could wind up on injured reserve. If that proves to be the case he could miss part or all of the 2016 season.

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No word yet on whether Watkins dresses Sat.

Posted by Chris Brown on August 10, 2016 – 7:30 am

It is considered highly unlikely that Sammy Watkins will suit up for the Bills first preseason game Saturday against the Colts at Ralph Wilson Stadium. He’s participated in just one practice and was just cleared on Monday. But at this point head coach Rex Ryan has not made a decision on Watkins’ availability for Saturday.

When asked if he’s not expecting to play Watkins Saturday, Ryan explained how a call has not been made to this point on Watkins.

“Well I haven’t said that yet,” Ryan said. “We haven’t even really thought about the game guys. How long the starters are going to play? All this, who’s going to do what. We haven’t even discussed that yet. We will as the week goes on.”

When Watkins was asked about the prospect of playing Saturday he appeared a bit surprised at the thought.

“I don’t know. Being that it’s the first game I don’t know,” said Watkins. “You never know with the training staff or Rex. If they throw me out there I can probably play and compete. But I don’t have that answer.”

Knowing how slow the Bills are taking things with Watkins return from foot surgery it would be a major surprise if he dressed for Saturday’s preseason opener.


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Kouandjio only focused on getting better

Posted by Chris Brown on August 9, 2016 – 6:34 pm

With Cordy Glenn out for an undetermined amount of time it appears that Cyrus Kouandjio will be the team’s starting left tackle for the interim. Paired up with Ryan Groy and Fernando Velasco who rotated at Richie Incognito’s (sore ribs) starting left guard spot, Kouandjio is focused more on improving his personal game than where he’ll ultimately wind up on the depth chart.

“It’s fun working with the first unit because you get better and faster with them,” he said following Tuesday’s practice. “Everybody on that field is talented and you have a great time out there.”

When asked if his opportunity to work with the starting unit is a bit of an opportunity to reclaim some status he may have lost after he was a second-round pick.

“Me personally I’m out here to have fun,” he said. “I feel blessed because the Lord has allowed me to be out here and keep playing even though I have injuries that other people probably would’ve quit five years ago. I just stay in my Bible and I’m blessed and happy to be out here with the guys. I’m just having a good time.”

Kouandjio has dealt with some knee issues since his college days.

Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman has more of a direct outlook on the situation for Kouandjio.

“He’s got to take advantage of these opportunities with consistent play,” said Roman. “It’s that simple.”


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Bills depth chart has few surprises

Posted by Chris Brown on August 9, 2016 – 9:05 am

The Bills released their unofficial depth chart and there aren’t too many surprises in the listings with the team’s first preseason game just four days away. But here are a few that caught our eye.

At safety behind starter Aaron Williams, listed as the backup is Duke Williams followed by Jonathan Meeks. For most of the last week, Meeks has seen more and more time at the backup safety spot alongside Robert Blanton than Duke Williams. Whether that trend continues enough to alter the depth chart remains to be seen.

CBs Jonathan Dowling and Sammy Seamster have each been listed ahead of veteran free agent Sterling Moore. This is a bit tricky because Moore is seen as the primary nickel corner backup to Nickell Robey-Coleman and has seen a good deal of work in the slot. Perhaps because he’s viewed as a backup subpackage corner he’s listed further down on the depth chart.

Kevon Seymour is listed as the backup kick returner behind Reggie Bush. As we noted in this space earlier Seymour has emerged as a new kick return candidate this week as he took some kicks in practice Monday. He previously had not been part of the rotation, but is clearly a candidate now. Greg Salas is listed as the backup punt returner.

Beyond that there aren’t many surprises on Buffalo’s depth chart.


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