Inside The Bills

Arians: Facing unknown coordinator a challenge

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2016 – 9:11 am

Arizona head coach Bruce Arians is 35-15 in his three-plus seasons at the helm with the Cardinals, including a 13-3 campaign last year. Known as a high-end play caller, Arians and his defensive coordinator James Bettcher likely have a good handle on Buffalo’s offensive scheme, but when it comes to Bills new OC Anthony Lynn’s play call preferences there’s no road map whatsoever.

“That’s the hardest part,” said Arians. “They have tremendous players, especially skill players, so you would think that they could not change a whole lot other than points of emphasis. You don’t have a bead on how he calls plays because there’s no résumé to look at. So it makes it a lot more difficult, but you know one thing, you’ve got to stop Shady. You’ve got to stop Sammy if he’s going. You surely have to contain Tyrod.”

Arizona had the fifth-ranked defense in the NFL last season and finished seventh in points allowed. They currently lead the league with seven takeaways through the first two weeks this season.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Salas the new add to injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2016 – 7:16 am

As much focus as there has been on Sammy Watkins foot injury he wasn’t the only receiver on Buffalo’s injury report Thursday.

Greg Salas was added Thursday with a groin injury.

“Yeah I don’t think it’s a major injury but yeah, it did happen in practice,” said head coach Rex Ryan.

Salas is a receiver that Tyrod Taylor has come to trust. His practice participation on Friday along with that of Sammy Watkins will go a long way in painting the picture as to just how much of Buffalo’s passing attack will be available for Sunday’s game.

Ryan said he’s hopeful that Watkins can play Sunday.

Player
Pos
Injury
Participation Wednesday
Participation Thursday
 
Sammy Watkins
WR
Foot
DNP
DNP
 
Cordy Glenn
T
Ankle
DNP
DNP
 
Charles Clay
TE
Knee
DNP
LP
 
Colt Anderson
S
Foot
LP
LP
 
Ronald Darby
CB
Hamstring
LP
LP
 
Cardale Jones
QB
Right shoulder
LP
LP
 
Greg Salas
WR
Groin
LP

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Respect for Lynn widespread in Bills locker room

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2016 – 3:24 pm

Right after appointing Anthony Lynn as his offensive coordinator, head coach Rex Ryan quickly made mention of the widespread respect Lynn has among his fellow coaches on staff and in the locker room. Some of the team’s most high profile players confirmed that respect and explained why.

LeSean McCoy, who has worked closely with Lynn while he served as running backs coach, said there’s a reason he’s respected.

“He’s a tough coach and demands a lot of respect,” said McCoy. “He’s really big on the small details. He wants to win. He’s one of those coaches that played the game, so he brings that attitude of urgency. You know you got to win, every possession matters. He can understand a lot of the players because he has played the game, especially a running back.

“In the running back room, he knows what we are looking for or what’s not going well. He can really relate. I think that’s major when a coach has played, and he’s a player. He can honestly understand what the players are going through, and that matters.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

John Fina to be Bills leader of the charge

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2016 – 11:05 am

Bills former first-round pick and offensive tackle John Fina will be Sunday’s leader of the charge when the Bills host the Arizona Cardinals Sunday.

Fina has ties to both teams. He was a Bills first-round pick in 1992, and played 10 seasons for Buffalo before finishing his career with the Arizona Cardinals in 2002.

Playing left tackle for Buffalo, Fina played in team’s last two Super Bowls against Dallas. Fina played his college ball at the University of Arizona and now lives with his family in Tucson, AZ.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fitzgerald, Mathieu limited, Mathis doesn’t practice

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2016 – 6:22 pm

Arizona has a couple of starters working through injuries this week, including their most recognizable player.

WR Larry Fitzgerald was limited in practice Wednesday with a knee injury. Fitzgerald hasn’t missed any time on the field through the first two weeks, but his practice reps have been monitored. S Tyrann Mathieu is coming off ACL surgery this past offseason, so his practice regimen has been scaled back. Meanwhile starting G Evan Mathis has been playing through a painful mid-foot sprain. Much like Buffalo’s Sammy Watkins, the veteran guard has been limiting his practice schedule to keep his foot fresh for games.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday
Kareem Martin LB Knee DNP
Evan Mathis G Foot/Toe DNP
Frostee Rucker DT Knee DNP
Justin Bethel CB Foot Limited
Larry Fitzgerald WR Knee Limited
Tyrann Mathieu S Knee Limited
Robert Nkemdiche DT Ankle Limited
Jared Veldheer T Fibula Limited
Kevin Minter LB Ankle Full
J.J. Nelson WR Shoulder Full

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Clay, Glenn, Watkins sit Wednesday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2016 – 6:17 pm

The Bills were without three offensive starters on the practice field Wednesday. And a key defensive starter was limited with a hamstring injury.

Cordy Glenn, Charles Clay and Sammy Watkins were all sidelined with injuries. Moving forward it appears Watkins will have a reduced practice workload for the rest of the season in an effort to keep his ailing foot as fresh as possible for game days.

“He’s practicing once a week and you can only do so much,” said new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn of Watkins in an appearance on the John Murphy Show Wednesday.

Head coach Rex Ryan said at the beginning of the week that they were hopeful Cordy Glenn could return from his ankle injury and play Sunday. The chances of that happening will be better determined based on Glenn’s level of practice participation Thursday.

Ronald Darby’s hamstring injury did not surface in the game on Sunday according to head coach Rex Ryan, but it was enough to keep Darby from doing much at all in practice Wednesday.

“He got through the game and finished the game,” said Ryan of Darby. “Hopefully it’s not a serious injury.”

If Darby can’t go on Sunday, veteran Corey White is expected to step in at cornerback.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday
Sammy Watkins WR Foot DNP
Cordy Glenn T Ankle DNP
Charles Clay TE Knee DNP
Colt Anderson S Foot LP
Ronald Darby CB Hamstring LP
Cardale Jones QB Right shoulder LP

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Taylor: It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2016 – 6:09 pm

Bills QB Tyrod Taylor will be the first to admit that an 0-2 start is nothing to be proud of, especially the way the offense has played as they rank last in the league in plays per game at 49 on average through the first two weeks. But Taylor believes with 14 games to change the conversation there’s still time to turn their season around.

“Every game is important in this league, whether you go 0-2, 0-3,” said Taylor when asked about the prospect of still being winless after Sunday. “Of course you never want to start off the season with losses, but it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish. We have to do whatever it takes from here on out to get back on the winning side, so every game is important.”

The Bills know converting on third down is job one on offense, where they currently rank 29th in the league.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills & ADPRO Sports HS Coach of the Week

Posted by Kelly Baker on September 21, 2016 – 2:31 pm

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The Buffalo Bills are once again proudly partnering with ADPRO Sports in 2016, to recognize some of the best high school football coaches Western New York has to offer through the High School Coach of the Week program.

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The Buffalo Region Coach of the Week for Week 3 is Eric Valley, head coach of the Medina Mustangs. The Mustangs hosted the Alden Bulldogs on Friday,  September 16 for an important conference contest. Medina, led by senior running back Jake Cotter, defeated Alden 42-28. Cotter, who put up 133 yards rushing and one touchdown helped solidify Medina’s first win over Alden since 2007. Medina’s next game will take place at home on Friday, September 23 against Rochester’s University Prep.

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The Rochester Region Coach of the Week for Week 3 is Josh Henninger, head coach of Red Jacket. Taking on Attica at home, on Saturday, September 17, Red Jacket secured a 30-27 victory to keep the team undefeated at 3-0. Leading the way for his team on the ground was running back Andy English. Compiling 123 yards rushing and two touchdowns, English put Red Jacket in a position to win the game. Red Jacket’s next matchup is scheduled for Saturday, September 24 against Lyons.

Check back on Buffalobills.com each week for the announcement of the Coach of the Week winners and tune in to the John Murphy show each Wednesday afternoon to hear the winners announced on the show. All Coach of the Week winners will receive $1,000 for their high school football program and will be recognized on-field prior to the Bills vs. Browns game on December 18. Good luck to all of the high school football coaches this season from the Buffalo Bills and ADPRO Sports!


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Posted in Community, Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Ryan: Talented Cards might be just what we need

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2016 – 2:51 pm

Rex Ryan was effusive in his praise of the Arizona Cardinals and how well rounded they are as a club. The defending NFC West champs are coming off a 40-7 shellacking of Tampa Bay. They’ll be a tough matchup to say the least, but Ryan thinks a team of this caliber often gets a team as focused as ever to execute.

“You know what this might be the exact team we need to play,” said Ryan. “It might be the best team in the league and maybe this is the exact team we need to play, and it’s back-to-back weeks by the way. You’ve got Bruce Arians this week and Belichick next week. There are probably a few more easier options than those two, but maybe this is exactly what we need.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins: Not just me who needs ball more

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2016 – 9:13 am

Bills WR Sammy Watkins was asked a question he’s been posed before. Does he need the ball more? The obvious answer would be based on his dynamic talent that yes he should get more opportunities to make plays for Buffalo’s offense. But Watkins believes that’s an oversimplification because there are other weapons in the Bills offense that need to be utilized. In fact there was one receiver in particular that he believes is winning on his routes a lot, but not getting the ball.

“I don’t want to be out to be selfish,” said Watkins. “As I got to film I think we need to go to Woods more. He’s open on every play. But as a wide receiver you want to get 10 targets and see what you can do and help your team out as much as you can. But that means Woods needs 10 targets too. Clay needs the ball too.

“So I can’t just say to myself, ‘I want the ball and need the ball.’ It’s not that type of situation. The flow of the game getting me the ball I think is critical. Keeping me live and engaged in the game is really critical.”

Woods has five catches for 30 yards through the first two games.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins on meeting with Pegulas

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2016 – 3:57 pm

Bills WR Sammy Watkins was asked if he was one of the players who met with the Pegulas in advance of the dismissal of now former offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Watkins confirmed he was, but gave indication that it’s relatively common with Buffalo’s ownership.

“I think it was just more so what we need as a team and I think it went well,” said Watkins of the nature of the meeting. “I wasn’t asked anything. It had nothing to do with anybody (specifically). It just had to do with the players and I think it went well.

“I’ve done met with them plenty of times. I don’t think it was an issue or a problem. I think they just wanted to see where my head was and the other leaders on the team where their heads were.”

As far as what his contributions were to the internal discussion, Watkins said he pointed to their play on the field first and foremost as the problem.

“I just told them it’s up to our play. We can’t blame anybody,” he said. “We have to play better as an offense and as a team and as an individual effort. That’s what it’s really about. We can do better and play better. Things that we need to fix, we talked about that and that’s what we have to fix on the field.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Wood dismisses reports of crisis at 1 Bills Dr.

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2016 – 3:03 pm

He spent the weekend sitting on his couch watching football on TV and various media reports about Friday’s events at One Bills Drive on his phone. Suffice to say that Eric Wood could only shake his head with the reports of what the atmosphere is like at the team’s facility in the wake of the Greg Roman firing.

Most of the headlines described the Bills as a team in crisis mode with a coordinator being fired after just two games. Wood dismissed that description Monday.

“I feel like when I read media reports it feels like a lot more crisis than we feel in the building,” he said. “I was sitting on the couch watching games (Sunday) and read eight different reports of what went down on Friday. Only we know the truth, but it didn’t feel nearly as hectic as everyone made it seem.”

When asked why it doesn’t feel chaotic Wood could only say that it simply didn’t.

“I don’t know how to answer that other than to say it doesn’t feel chaotic around here. We made a switch at OC. The switch came from within. It doesn’t feel chaotic,” he said. “We’re just moving on to business as usual and we’ve got an important game this week.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills make practice squad add

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2016 – 3:00 pm

The Bills made a move on their practice squad Monday. Buffalo signed OT William Poehls.

A 6-8, 334-pound Montana product, Poehls (pronounced Pales) originally entered the NFL in 2014 as an undrafted free agent with the Tennessee Titans. He has spent time on the Titans practice squad since entering the league. Poehls, 25, is a native of Chandler, Arizona.

To make room on the practice squad for Poehls the Bills released OT Chris Martin.

william-poehls-story

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills sign LB Albright to practice squad

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2016 – 5:50 pm

The Bills announced that the team has signed LB Bryson Albright to the team’s practice squad.

Albright rejoins the Bills after being released by the team on September 15. He made the 53-man roster coming out of the preseason, but was moved off the roster to make room for a shortage of players on the offensive line over the weekend when Gabe Ikard was promoted to the 53-man roster.

A 6-5, 225-pound Miami (OH) product, Albright played in 48 career games as a RedHawk, making 35 starts as a defensive end while recording 180 tackles, 19.0 sacks and 33.5 tackles for loss. Albright earned second-team All-MAC honors in 2015 after tallying 7.0 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss on the season. He is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Tyrod’s brief exit was call made by Hochuli

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2016 – 1:19 am

In the fourth quarter Tyrod Taylor was escorted off the field after he took a sandwich hit from a couple of Jets defenders on a tackle. Head referee Ed Hochuli walked Buffalo’s quarterback to the Bills sideline and he was promptly examined. The decision however, wasn’t made by any independent neurologist on site. It was made by Hochuli.

“It was a call he made,” said Rex Ryan of Hochuli. “Our quarterback took a shot and it was like, ‘Okay we get it,’ and EJ went in there. I certainly understand that and I’m all for that. They told me that he took a good shot and I certainly get that. This should be about protecting the players and Hochuli explained that to me and I certainly understood.”

Taylor missed two plays before he was declared safe to re-enter the game.

“It’s protocol because I got hit. He said he thought I was a little woozy on the ground,” said Taylor. “You never want to come out in the middle of a series especially in a close game, but I understand it’s protocol so I have to deal with it.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Why Rex chose not to pressure Fitz

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2016 – 1:14 am

Ryan Fitzpatrick gets the ball out about as fast as any quarterback in the league, so blitzing and pressuring the Jets QB isn’t always the best idea. But that’s not why Rex Ryan chose not to pressure him Thursday night.

“I was afraid to pressure because we weren’t holding up in man coverage so we played the whole game trying to stuff 15, quarters, deuce, we tried everything,” said Ryan. “To their credit it didn’t matter what we played they were the better team today.

“We thought we could cover them. We thought we had a chance. They have a great group of receivers with Decker and Brandon Marshall obviously, but the other guys, I thought 81 played his butt off against us 11, 89 everybody showed up. You’ve got to give them credit. They did a great job and we couldn’t do anything to disrupt them rhythm-wise.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins to play; Bills inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2016 – 6:49 pm

Bills WR Sammy Watkins will dress and play tonight as he stated on Monday. Here’s the list of Bills inactives for tonight’s game against the Jets.

K Jordan Gay
RB Jonathan Williams
OT Cordy Glenn
S Colt Anderson
LB Brandon Spikes
QB Cardale Jones
C Patrick Lewis


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Posted in Inside the Bills

What isn’t part of Matt Forte’s repertoire

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2016 – 6:04 pm

Jets RB Matt Forte didn’t look much different in Week 1 than he has over the last several seasons of his career, which was previously spent in Chicago. He had 155 total yards from scrimmage in the Jets one-point loss. As versatile as Forte is there is one part of the game that isn’t a strength according to Bills head coach Rex Ryan.

“One thing he can’t do is he can’t pass protect,” said Ryan. “He’s a great receiver and he’s an outstanding runner. So his protection? Let’s just say it’s not that good.”

Ryan, not surprisingly, had more favorable praise for Jets backup RB Bilal Powell, who Ryan coached when he was in New York.

“Bilal Powell is a different type of guy,” said Ryan. “Great in protection, decent runner and also a good receiver.”

Powell has been a third down back for the Jets for that very reason and that appears to still be the case now. In Week 1 on the Jets’ 14 third down opportunities Powell was on the field in place of Forte for 12 of them.

The only two he wasn’t was in a 3rd-and-goal at the two-yard line, and it appeared that Forte did not recognize the pass rusher coming off the left side of the Jets’ formation. Fitzpatrick got rid of the ball in time as he typically does. The other was the second to last play of the game when the Jets went empty backfield to put more receivers out on routes.

Expect to see more of the same tonight at New Era Field.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Can Fitz improve his numbers vs. Ryan?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2016 – 4:44 pm

Much has been made about Ryan Fitzpatrick’s lack of success against Rex Ryan’s defense, and that trend continued in the two meetings between the Bills and Jets in 2015.

Fitz and the Jets took two losses at the hands of the Bills last year, and Fitzpatrick’s numbers were not all that productive. Here’s a look at the combined numbers he put up in the two games against Buffalo last season.

Fitz was 31-71 passing (43.7%) for 374 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions. He averaged 5.3 yards per attempt, was sacked twice and had a passer rating of 49.9.

Ironically, he performed marginally better in his last two games for the Bills against Ryan’s Jets defense in 2012, Fitz was 30-58 passing (51.7%) for 420 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. He averaged 7.2 yards per attempt, wasn’t sacked and had a passer rating of 76.8.

So will those struggles for Fitz continue? Rex Ryan wouldn’t mind it.

“Gee I hope that trend continues,” Ryan said.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Ellicott Hotels awards season tickets to lucky fan

Posted by Kelly Baker on September 15, 2016 – 2:19 pm

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Ellicott Hotels presented Susan Sweeney with four 2016 season tickets in the Jim Kelly Club. Susan entered the Season Ticket Giveaway contest on buffalobills.com and was randomly selected out of tens of thousands of entries.

As a two-time lymphoma survivor Susan says she does everything she possibly can with her family. That includes Bills, Sabres and Bandits games as often as possible. She plans to invite her daughters, grandchildren and husband to attend games with her.

Like all Bills fans, Susan is looking forward to Thursday Night’s home opener against the Jets in primetime. “If I’m lucky, the Bills will be lucky.”

Susan received her tickets from Ellicott Development Chairman and founder, Carl Paladino on top of The Fairmont overlooking the Buffalo Skyline. The Fairmont had its grand opening in June and not only has the perfect backdrop but is ideally located in Downtown Buffalo, bordering the Waterfront and Cobblestone Districts. This $14.6 million renovation in cooperation with the New York State Historic Preservation Office restored this building that has adorned the Buffalo skyline since 1920.

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“The city is growing and improving every day thanks to people like the Pegulas and the Buffalo Bills organization,” said Caitlin Krumm, Director of Marketing for Ellicott Development.

“Ellicott Hotels a division of Ellicott Development is thrilled to be the official Hotel partner of the Buffalo Bills!”

To learn more about The Fairmont, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field