Inside The Bills

Uncle Rico & Sammy Watkins win the internet

Posted by Dallas Miller on October 20, 2014 – 1:28 pm

ko-rico

We’ve been alluding to it for weeks, but the ties between Bills QB Kyle Orton and Napoleon Dynamite’s Uncle Rico grew a little stronger last night when Bills fan Breyon Harris (@bre_88 on Twitter) posted a looping video on social media of the mustachioed movie character tossing the game-winner to real-life Sammy Watkins.

In a (shocking? overdue? disappointing?) turn of events prior to the game however, it was revealed that Orton and his mustache have seemingly parted ways, ruining it for everyone.

Despite the fact that Orton no longer sports the defining look, a good thing never truly goes away. Don’t cry because it’s gone, Bills fans, smile because it happened.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Jackson confident in Dixon & Brown

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2014 – 10:22 am

Bills RB Fred Jackson left Sunday’s game at the end of the first quarter with a groin injury. Making his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Jackson made it clear he has some rehabbing to do to recover from his groin injury, but also expressed his level of confidence in Bryce Brown and Boobie Dixon, who will have to pick up the slack in Buffalo’s rushing attack with both Jackson and Spiller out indefinitely.

When asked about Brown specifically, Jackson believes he can be a full-time feature back.

“He is an every down back,” said Jackson. “He can do it all. He’s a guy who can carry the ball 20-25 times. He’s a guy who can pass protect his butt off and run routes well out of the backfield. We won’t miss a beat with a guy like him. He’s a guy who is going to come out and can produce. We know what he’s capable of doing. I’m excited to see him get his opportunity. It comes at a time when we’ve lost a couple of guys who were valuable to the team, but that’s why we have Bryce and Boobie. They can step in and shoulder that weight and we don’t expect to miss a beat.”

One concern is who will be the chief third down back to handle pass protection, something Jackson did on a full-time basis. As Jackson sees it both Brown and Dixon are more than capable.

“They will (be able to handle it),” Jackson said. “It’s one of the things that we work on every day and they do a tremendous job working with us. It’s something I have a lot of pride in and I consider myself the best running back in the league when it comes to pass blocking. But those guys can do it and they will get the job done. We had a chance to go through it during training camp and I’m extremely excited about what they can do. It will be fun to watch them go out there and compete and make some plays for our team.”

Jackson intends to be around the team during his rehabilitation to assist Brown and Dixon in their preparations for the Jets this week.

“I’m going to be as involved as if I was playing,” said Jackson. “I want to be able to talk to those guys on the sideline and what I’m seeing when I watch the Jets and break them down and see what the tendencies are. So I’ll be around.”

 

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone update on RB situation

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 7:37 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone didn’t reveal a whole lot about the injuries sustained by C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, but he sounds like he’s already planning to be without both of them come next Sunday against the Jets.

“Yeah, they’re out,” said Marrone. “C.J. [Spiller] will be out for an undetermined amount of time. I think that’s out there already, from what they told me. We’re going to look at Fred [Jackson]. We really don’t have any timetable on that. We have Boobie [Dixon] and then, obviously, we have Bryce [Brown]. It’s not like we have to go out on the street to get somebody to come in. I have no problem bringing up Bryce. We talked about him last week, which I hoped wasn’t a jinx.”

Spiller reportedly has a broken collar bone, while Jackson’s groin injury will be re-evaluated on Monday.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dixon ready to go in wake of Fred, CJ injuries

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 7:32 pm

Fred Jackson left the game in the first quarter with a bad looking groin injury. C.J. Spiller was carted off with what’s been reported as a broken collar bone. There’s a very good chance that the duties of the run game will fall squarely on the shoulders of Boobie Dixon and Bryce Brown. Dixon knows he was largely brought in to be the go-to guy if there were a rash of injuries at running back. After this week’s casualty list he assures that he’s ready for an increase in his workload.

Dixon has respect for Jackson and Spiller, as well as gratitude. The two backs have been schooling Dixon up on the protections knowing Dixon is new to their offensive scheme.

“Watching Fred and watching C.J. they got me ready,” said Dixon. “They’re talking to me all the time, letting me know what I need to do, what I need to be looking at. Where my eyes need to be. So when my time came, I was ready (Sunday). It’s a credit to them also.”

When asked if their potential absence from the lineup this coming week changes things, Dixon doesn’t see it that way.

“I don’t think it does,” he said. “We’re all pros. It’s the NFL. One guy goes down, another guy has to step up. We got me, we got Bryce. We got Frank.  And I think we’re ready to go.”

In Sunday’s game Dixon averaged 3.9  a carry as he rushed 13 times for 51 yards.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin’s 2 INTs come on back-to-back plays

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 7:22 pm

It was rare enough for Leodis McKelvin that he notched a pair of interceptions in one game. The fact that his two picks came on back-to-back defensive plays made it a first in a long time in Bills history as well.

McKelvin’s first interception came on a 3rd-and-7 at the Bills’ 20-yard line, which he returned nine yards out to the 29. Buffalo’s offense wasn’t able to get points off that turnover, so after six plays they punted. On 1st-and-12 at the Vikings’ 12-yard line, Bridgewater threw a pass out to the right sideline for Adam Thielen, but McKelvin read the play and jumped the route.

“They did play action. It was like a comeback route or out route,” McKelvin said. “Speed turn into it. I saw the ball, when he got the ball, and I made sure I got my feet down. We work on things like that in practice. We work all the time on staying in bounds, throw us the ball and staying in bounds. I looked like a receiver. I may have to go catch a pass.”

So on back-to-back defensive plays for the Bills, McKelvin made a pair of INTs. A Bills player hasn’t done that since Kirby Jackson did it against Miami back on Oct. 29th, 1989 almost 25 years ago.

McKelvin’s four interceptions this season are already a career single-season best.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Orton a calming presence on final drive

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 7:09 pm

Bills QB Kyle Orton did not have the best day when it came to protecting the football or in getting rid of it when the pocket broke down (sacked six times), but he did come through when the game was on the line. Almost as important as his play making on that final drive was his demeanor in the huddle when they got the ball back with 3:07 to play at their own 20-yard line.

By all accounts in the huddle on the last drive, Orton was upbeat, confident and most importantly relaxed.

“He was poised, he even came in there and cracked a smile at one time,” said Boobie Dixon. “He was like, ‘C’mon guys, we got this. It’s not as much pressure as it really is.’ He made us feel comfortable, he kind of relaxed us, he settled us down and got the job done.”

“Kyle did a great job keeping us under control,” said Chris Hogan. “His poise is pretty unbelievable in a high pressure situation like that. He helped us when we were in long situations, either at the end when we had to get everyone up there and clock it. He did a great job that whole drive.”

“He’s a leader,” said Sammy Watkins. “He knows what he’s doing with the ball. He puts us in the greatest situations. He knows how to help us out on the field, put us in different areas. That’s what we need in a veteran quarterback.”

On the final drive Orton was 8-12 passing for 105 (gross) yards and the game-tying touchdown pass to Watkins.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Orton caught defense crossed up on 4th-&-20

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 6:11 pm

One of the bigger plays made on the 15-play 80-yard game-winning scoring drive by the Bills in the final minute of play was their conversion of a 4th-and-20 when Kyle Orton found Scott Chandler for a 24-yard pass play to keep the drive alive. Orton noticed something pre-snap and got the play off quicker than usual.

“It was two-man (coverage) and they actually had a little difficult time getting lined up so we kind of went fast and snapped the ball,” said Orton. “I saw the linebacker go to Chandler and I thought I had a good chance to put it around his head and threw a pretty good ball and he made a good catch.”

Vikings LB Chad Greenway, who was in coverage on the play, admitted they got a bit crossed up on defense prior to the play.

It was a hurry up situation.  We were trying to get the call relayed to everybody…getting lined up,” he said. “Looking back, hindsight, you as a player…would like to take care of that, but you reality happens. Never excuse anything away. Good throw and catch. My hand was right in the spot. You wish that play to get off the field and get the game over with. It is what it is.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Vikings inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 11:46 am

Here are the inactives for the Vikings in today’s game against the Bills.

FB Zach Line
LB Gerald Hodges
LB Brandon Watts
G David Yankey
G Austin Wentworth
TE Kyle Rudolph
DE Corey Wooten


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 11:39 am

Here are the inactives for the Bills in their game against Minnesota today.

CB Ross Cockrell
S Kenny Ladler
RB Bryce Brown
LB Ty Powell
OL Cyrus Kouandjio
WR Marcus Easley
WR Marquise Goodwin


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hackett on using C.J. and Sammy

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 10:55 am

They are two of the most physically gifted players in the entire league, but in the eyes of some C.J. Spiller and Sammy Watkins haven’t been utilized enough in Buffalo’s offense. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett commented on the number of offensive plays run by the Bills the participation of Spiller and Watkins in those plays.

Through the first six games Spiller and Watkins have had the ball put in their hands on 28 percent of the offensive plays run, with 107 combined carries and receptions out of 382 plays run. When asked if they need to get more involved more often Hackett said that is always the plan.

“Of course. There are all kinds of things and those kinds of things need to be executed the right way,” Hackett said. “Sometimes it looks like they might not have been a priority, but they probably were and some circumstances changed that. I think whenever you have those guys on the field you always want to try to highlight them as much as you can.”

Hackett denied that Watkins was ignored in last week’s game against the Patriots because he was being covered by Darrelle Revis.

“No, I think we wanted to utilize him in certain situations,” said Hackett. “We wanted to let him work on him a little bit and then once we came out in the second half we targeted him and he started doing a good job so it’s one of those things where he’s young and we wanted him to get a feel for everything and then we start feeding him.”

Hackett also said they’d like to feed Spiller the ball as much as possible too, but he again came back to execution.

“(C.J. is) another guy we have to keep feeding him the ball and get him up field,” said Hackett. “When you get that opportunity to make a play the key is to take advantage of it. The thing with C.J. is he wants to sometimes do too much. We always say, ‘See three, get three.’ If he focuses on that he’ll hit his stride again.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Orton has shifted offensive focus

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 10:05 am

Whether it was intentional or not the presence of veteran QB Kyle Orton in the lineup has shifted the identity of the Bills offense a bit. They’re throwing more on first down, and overall as what was once a run heavy scheme has essentially flipped the past three games.

It began in EJ Manuel’s last start at Houston when they threw the ball 44 times, a departure from being a very run heavy club. Then when Orton entered the lineup the higher propensity to pass continued. The past three weeks the Bills have thrown the ball almost 65 percent of the time, while running it just over a shade of 35 percent (35.5%).

 

In his weekly Coffee with the Coach segment, presented by Tim Horton’s on Buffalobills.com, head coach Doug Marrone wasn’t the least bit shocked by the shift.

“I think whenever you put someone new in at that position your offensive identity is going to change,” said Marrone. “Your goals and how you want to be may not, but at the quarterback position, it’s like anything else, Kyle is not going to run around and make any plays with his feet. So you lose that, but you do gain an experienced guy in the pocket who has been playing really well for us.”

Working with Orton has been a process. After not getting any exposure or work with him through the offseason the coaches are learning as they go when it comes to what Orton likes and executes most effectively.

“For us as coaches we’re getting a better feel for him in practice,” Marrone said. “He hasn’t been here that long and he wasn’t here in training camp with us. So now after a few games we have a better feel for what he wants, where we need to go and where we can go with him.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fitting scheme to what players do best

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 9:15 am

In their thorough analysis of what’s ailing the run game, the Bills offensive coaches, including head coach Doug Marrone, are most committed to doing what fits the talent they’re putting on the field the best. What that means for today’s game we won’t know exactly until the game unfolds. Rest assured Marrone and his assistants have looked under every schematic rock.

“Scheming the run whether it’s zone or gap schemes or pulling or tossing it outside there are a lot of things you can do,” said Marrone. “Whichever one we think our backs do well we have to get them out there and give them a good opportunity. But even when you do you still need that execution from everybody.

“Everyone has what they like to do. There are certain plays that I like to run, but in the same sense you’ve got to be able to change and take advantage of your talent. We’re not trying to pound that round peg into the square hole. So we have to make sure we put them in a good position and then they have to execute.”

Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was also preaching execution. Coaches can only do so much in calling plays, but it’s on the players to make it happen.

“The options are always wide open,” Hackett said. “Anything you want to do as a coach you always want to think of everything, but you always have to bring yourself back to reality. You have to understand what you can and can’t do. You don’t want to overthink it. That’s a problem that coaches have at times. They try to do too much or overreact. You have to maintain a steady flow and believe that everybody is going to start working together better.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Why Orton wears number 18

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2014 – 2:05 pm

He hasn’t worn 18 for his entire NFL career, but whenever the number has been available Kyle Orton has made sure that 18 is on his back. Here’s why.

Growing up Orton idolized Nebraska QB Brook Berringer, who stepped in for an injured Tommie Frazier back in 1995 and won eight straight games before the job was controversially handed back to Frazier. The Cornhuskers went on to win the national title that season in a 62-24 throttling of #2 Florida.

Tragically just days before the 1996 NFL draft, Berringer died when a small plane he was piloting crashed north of Lincoln, Nebraska. Berringer wore number 18, and Orton wore it as a fan of his since his high school days. He obviously still does now.

Tonight following Nebraska’s game against Northwestern, Berringer’s star-crossed college career and life will be covered in a documentary titled’Unbeaten.’ It’s scheduled to air at 10:30 pm ET. Orton was interviewed and makes a brief appearance in the documentary. Here’s a sneak peek at the program.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone has faced & beaten Bridgewater

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2014 – 11:51 am

In 2012 the Louisville Cardinals were 9-0 and ranked ninth in the country when they traveled to face an unranked Syracuse squad at the Carrier Dome coached by Doug Marrone. The Cardinals, led by QB Teddy Bridgewater, found the game tougher than perhaps they imagined.

Syracuse broke a 10-10 tie in the second quarter and never trailed again. The Cardinals had no answer for Orange WR Alec Lemon, who had 176 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. Jerome Smith and Princ-Tyson Gulley also combined for 242 rushing yards in the game and three touchdowns in what became a convincing 46-25 upset.

Bridgewater threw for 424 yards and three touchdowns, but most of his production came when the Cardinals were already trailing. The question now is how has Bridgewater morphed and changed under Minnesota offensive coordinator Norv Turner.

“You see a player that’s progressing from the college game to the pro game,” Marrone told Buffalobills.com in his weekly Coffee with the Coach segment presented by Tim Horton’s. “He has great weapons around him. Guys with a lot of speed who if they get the ball in open areas can cause serious problems. I think he’s progressing like most quarterbacks. Coach (Norv) Turner has always done a great job with young quarterbacks and has a history of it. They’re bringing him along and working on things that he’s good at and trying to create that foundation and make things a little more difficult for the opposing defenses.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Robert Woods’ BOSE playlist

Posted by buffalobills.com on October 18, 2014 – 10:30 am

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This year BOSE, the Official Sound of the Bills, is going to bring insider access to fans by showing fans what songs Bills players listen to on game day.  For 12 weeks during the 2014 season, a different Bills player will be featured in the Player Playlist, presented by BOSE.  For week #7, it’s Bills WR Robert Woods.  Check out the songs Robert will be listening to on Sunday to get him pumped up before he takes on Minnesota.


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Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field, Corporate

Reed to be honored at alma mater

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2014 – 10:05 am

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Bills Hall of Famer Andre Reed will be receiving a pretty important honor today at his alma mater, Kutztown State.

Kutztown University’s stadium, currently known as University Field, will be named in honor of the Golden Bear alumnus in a ceremony prior to the team’s 1 p.m. game today.

The Kutztown University Council of Trustees approved the name Andre Reed Stadium at a meeting last month.

“Andre Reed is one of the best players ever to play the game of pro football, and his induction into the Hall of Fame is a testament to that,” said KU Acting President Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto.  “We are truly honored to name our stadium after a Golden Bear legend.”

Reed will be on hand for the festivities prior to the game.

“Andre is truly is the most decorated athletic alumnus in the history of our university,” said Greg Bamberger, KU Director of Athletics.  “He is the only Pro Football Hall of Famer ever in the long and storied history of the PSAC, and we are proud to call him a Golden Bear.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kelso: “You have to win this game” – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on October 17, 2014 – 5:09 pm

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Podcast edition of The John Murphy Show. We checked in with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett after Friday’s practice session. Bills Insider Chris Brown sat down with head coach Doug Marrone for our weekly installment of Coffee with the Coach. We also gave a rundown on the news of the day from One Bills Drive and around the league including an updated injury report.

Anthony Barr, Matt Ryan

Bills radio color analyst and former Bills safety Mark Kelso rejoined the show as he sat down to give his game preview as we inch towards Sunday’s game against the Vikings. He discusses quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and what he likes from him along with their rookie running back Jerick McKinnon. As far as the defensive side of the ball, he touched on another rookie for Minnesota, first round pick, linebacker Anthony Barr.

 

“He’s a standout and a difference maker. He makes some exceptional plays. If that kid stays healthy, he is going to be an exceptional player for years to come in this league.”

 

Kelso goes more into depth on both sides of the ball and believes this is very winnable game adding, “On paper they are better than this team. It’s in your building and you have to win this game. If you don’t win this game then you have more serious problems than I suspect.”

 

Finally, VP of Operations and Guest Experience Andy Major sat down to discuss to the fans and the stadium experience as we head into the Bills fourth home game of the year. He weighed in on the Super Gates and how they have relieved the congestion of fans getting into the stadium and added that they had 95% of those entering the stadium last weekend against the Patriots in their seats prior to kick off. Major also updated the Bills Fan Advisory Board and what they will be focusing on at their meeting next week which will include the discussion of adding to the list of prohibited items.

Patriots Bills Football

 

To hear that and the rest of Friday’s John Murphy Show podcast, click below.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Kim Pegula: “Our Heart is in Buffalo”

Posted by Anna Stolzenburg on October 17, 2014 – 2:27 pm

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In her first interview since becoming a co-owner of the Bills, Kim Pegula was a guest on KISS 98.5 on Friday morning with Janet Snyder and Nicholas Pickolas.

She spoke on a number of topics, but frequently brought up her family’s love for Buffalo, its people, and of course, its sports teams.

“Timing is everything,” she said. “Just the way everything fell into place really worked out in our favor and now we get to own the team. It’s something you talk about and maybe you don’t quite think it’s going to happen but now our whole family is so excited about it all.”

Kim said her husband, co-owner and CEO of the Bills Terry Pegula, will handle “players and development and things like that” while she focuses on the organization and its business side including fan engagement. And when asked if she sees any difficulty in owning both of the major sports teams in one town, she said she doesn’t perceive it as a challenge.

“It’s very natural,” she said. “It’s like having kids. The needs are different among each one and things change all the time, so it’s just a matter of doing what needs to be done at that time. We talk about it between the two of us.”

Kim also touched on the One Buffalo campaign, launched as the Pegulas took the field before last Sunday’s game, which signifies the unity and the singular goal of the teams, the community and the city, or as Kim called it, “a celebration of all things Buffalo.”

“Our heart is in Buffalo,” she said. “It’s the people and fans that really endear us to Buffalo and to the whole the region and we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Listen to the full interview here.


Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Vikes DT Floyd questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on October 17, 2014 – 2:03 pm

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The Minnesota Vikings have their share of injury issues on offense with TE Kyle Rudolph out again this week, but they could also be without DT Sharrif Floyd, who is questionable.

Floyd was again limited in practice on Friday and is 50-50 going into Sunday’s game. Also questionable is starting LB Chad Greenway, who is trying to return from a three game absence thanks to three broken ribs.

Player Pos Injury Participation Friday Game Status
Kyle Rudolph TE Abdomen/ Did Not Part. OUT
Groin
Gerald Hodges LB Hamstring Did Not Part. OUT
Jabari Price CB Hamstring Full Part. PROBABLE
Corey Wooten DE Low Back Did Not Part. OUT
Sharrif Floyd DT Elbow/Ankle Limited Part. QUESTIONABLE
Linval Joseph DT Ankle Full Part. PROBABLE
Chad Greenway LB Hand/Rib Full Part. QUESTIONABLE
Cordarrelle Patterson WR Hip Full Part. PROBABLE
Chase Ford TE Foot Full Part. PROBABLE
Harrison Smith S Ankle Full Part. PROBABLE
Michael Mauti LB Illness Full Part. PROBABLE

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills injury status for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 17, 2014 – 1:04 pm

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WR Marquise Goodwin, who suffered a hamstring injury in practice Thursday, is out for Sunday’s game against the Vikings. With Marcus Easley also out Buffalo has just four healthy receivers. Here’s a look at the rest of the final injury report for the Bills heading into Sunday’s game.

OUT
WR Marcus Easley – knee
WR Marquise Goodwin – hamstring
LB Ty Powell – ankle

PROBABLE
LS Garrison Sanborn – knee
S Da’Norris Searcy – knee
LB Brandon Spikes – ribs
S Aaron Williams – wrist
DT Kyle Williams – knee


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Posted in Inside the Bills