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Inside The Bills

Calling plays something Rex still plans to do

Posted by Chris Brown on February 18, 2015 – 4:01 pm

Rex Ryan
Rex Ryan has held onto and relinquished some of his play calling duties over the years when it comes to running the defense on his clubs. In Buffalo it sounds like he’ll handle play calling for the most part on defense in 2015.

When asked about how much he will handle the play calling, Ryan gave strong indication that he’ll be sending most of the plays in on the defensive side of the ball.

“I do plan on calling the majority of the defense, but I think, I’ve never done it 100 percent, whether it’s Dennis Thurman, Mike Pettine, I’ve relied on a lot of guys and I’ll continue to do so, but there is maybe a little more challenge when you are a play caller,” he said. “It’s probably easier to observe other things if you’re not focused on calling the next series. But I can tell you I’m much more comfortable calling a defense and recognizing that there are some challenges that go with it as well.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Spiller update

Posted by Chris Brown on February 18, 2015 – 3:58 pm

The Bills have stated all along they’d like to return C.J. Spiller to their roster knowing he’s eligible to become a free agent next month. Head coach Rex Ryan reiterated those wishes at the NFL Combine Wednesday.

“We certainly would like to have him back and remain a Buffalo Bill,” said Ryan. “He’s a talented guy and I would think he would want to do that being in this kind of system, seeing the success that other backs have had in this kind of system. But we’ll see how it works out also recognizing that the NFL sometimes you’re not always able to keep the guys you really want.”

When asked if running back is a priority positional need this offseason Ryan said the level of priority would be impacted by how things play out with Spiller.

“If C.J. Spiller is on board then that need becomes a lot less,” said Ryan.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex on McCown

Posted by Chris Brown on February 18, 2015 – 12:15 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan is heading to the podium here at the NFL Combine in Indy shortly, but he already spoke with and addressed where things sit with free agent QB Josh McCown, who visited with the Bills on Monday.

“I think the big thing obviously we have an interest in Josh. He’s a veteran quarterback. He has been with several teams. We know his history obviously, but this gave us an opportunity to really sit down and visit with Josh and how he thought we would fit him and vice versa. You’re able to get medical stuff on him, information and all kinds of things. When it’s appropriate we’ll proceed however we’re going to proceed in finding a quarterback, but obviously we feel good about him. We think that we’re not the only team that’s interested in him, maybe in different roles.”

McCown is reportedly in Indianapolis to talk and meet with other NFL clubs to assess his full slate of options. The 35-year old was cut by Tampa Bay last week, less than a year after signing a two-year free agent deal with the Bucs.

For the entire one-on-one interview with Rex Ryan stay tuned to as we’ll have the interview up later in the day. Combine coverage is presented by NAPA Auto Parts.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

NFL Media’s Coverage of the NFL Combine

Posted by Dallas Miller on February 17, 2015 – 11:08 am

Rich Eisen, Mike Mayock
Live Coverage of Combine Drills Begins Friday, February 20 at 9:00 AM ET

Coverage of Combine Press Conferences Live at 2:00 PM ET on Wednesday & Thursday February 18-19

‘NFL Scouting Combine LIVE’ Streams on, NFL Now & NFL Mobile Friday, February 20 – Monday, February 23 at 9:00 AM ET

‘NFL AM’ & ‘NFL Total Access’ Live From Indianapolis

For the 11th year, NFL Media provides exclusive multi-platform coverage of the league’s next generation of talent with more than 45 hours of live coverage of the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine Presented by Under Armour. Beginning Wednesday, February  18, NFL Network,, NFL Now and NFL Mobile broadcast live from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, providing an up-close look at Heisman Trophy Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and the rest of the more than 330 NFL prospects looking to take the next step in their careers.

NFL Media features a 26-man roster of talent to cover the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine, including NFL Draft experts Mike Mayock, Charles Davis and Daniel Jeremiah. Additionally, former NFL head coaches Steve Mariucci and Brian Billick, and former NFL scout Bucky Brooks each lend their insight into the Combine process gained from several years of experience in the field.

This year for the first time, live coverage of on-field workouts will begin on Friday, February 20 with the offensive linemen and tight ends rather than Saturday as in years past. Live coverage continues with the running backs, quarterbacks and wide receivers on Saturday, February 21, linebackers and defensive linemen on Sunday, February 22 and defensive backs on Monday, February 23. Coverage of workouts begins each day at 9:00 AM ET.

Rich Eisen anchors NFL Network’s coverage of the on-field workouts, joined by Mayock and NFL Network’s team of analysts. Expert commentary includes Shaun O’Hara on offensive linemen (Friday), Kurt Warner on quarterbacks (Saturday), Michael Irvin on wide receivers (Saturday), Marshall Faulk on running backs (Saturday), Willie McGinest on linebackers (Sunday), and Deion Sanders on defensive backs (Monday). Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan joins NFL Network’s coverage of the offensive linemen drills Friday, February 20 and Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall joins on Monday, February 23 for coverage of the defensive back drills. Additionally, running back Chris Johnson joins NFL Network’s coverage on Saturday, February 21 via Skype before prospects aim to break his 40-yard dash record.

Throughout the week, Davis, Jeremiah, Mariucci, Billick and host Chris Rose provide further analysis, while NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network reporter Kimberly Jones are on the scene in Indianapolis with the latest news reports from around the league. Additionally, Rhett Lewis and LaVar Arrington provide live reports from Indianapolis for NFL AM on beginning Wednesday at 6:00 AM ET, and Dan Hellie and Brian Baldinger check in from Indianapolis for NFL Total Access Friday, February 20 – Sunday, February 22 at 7:00 PM ET.

Coverage of the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine begins Wednesday, February 18 and Thursday, February 19 at 2:00 PM ET with NFL Total Access Scouting Combine Press Conferences from Lucas Oil Stadium.

NFL Network’s live coverage of the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine can also be accessed on mobile phones and tablets exclusively through NFL Mobile From Verizon, as well as other digital platforms such as Watch NFL Network (tablet + PC), NFL on Xbox (Xbox One & Windows 8 devices) and

For the 11th year, the Combine will conclude with Rich Eisen’s annual 40-yard dash in his trademark suit and Under Armour shoes. This year, he will be looking to best his Personal Record of 5.98 seconds, which he clocked at last year’s Combine. Also, this year’s ‘Run Rich Run’ will benefit the NFL PLAY 60 relationship with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Fans can participate and show their support while flexing their own creativity by submitting videos of themselves running the 40-yard dash. Along with their submissions, fans will be encouraged to donate money to help support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, ensuring families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food, and can focus on what matters most – helping their child live.

To submit videos of themselves running the 40 and to support NFL PLAY’s collaboration 60 along with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, fans can visit: Fans can also submit ‘Run Rich Run’ videos via Twitter using the following hashtags: #RunRichRun #StJude.

NFL Network’s coverage of the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine features the following technological enhancements:

  • NFLN-Focus Camera Technology: A high-speed camera that allows moving targets to stay in the camera frame longer, highlighting the smallest details. It will have a tremendous presence in coverage of the 40-yard dash, both at the start and finish line, and will also be used in other events including the vertical and broad jumps, three-cone and position drills
  • Simulcam Camera Technology: For the seventh year at the NFL Scouting Combine, the Simulcam provides an unparalleled, in-depth comparison and analysis of the position, style, speed and trajectory of competitors through the use of background recognition and camera-matching technology. Simulcam will be a key contributor to NFL Network’s 40-yard dash coverage
  • Cablecam Technology: The Cablecam returns to offer a unique overhead view which gives viewers a new way of following each drill and a more intimate feeling that they are present in Indianapolis
  • New Comparative Analytics Technology: For the first in NFL history, viewers will be able to see how draft prospects measure up against established NFL players. With the help of Reality Check Systems (RCS), NFL Media’s coverage of the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine will feature cutting-edge graphics, transforming player attributes and performance data into comparative analytics graphics that illustrate which NFL players most closely resemble draft players – from physical characteristics to performance. Through a unique algorithm, NFL Media’s coverage of the Combine will generate the NFL player with the statistics that best match the prospect and then display the results as graphics

Located on NFL Media’s digital properties, fans can follow all of the action of NFL Scouting Combine LIVE on any of their connected devices. Each day, fans can get wall-to-wall coverage of NFL Scouting Combine LIVE on, NFL Now and NFL Mobile. NFL Scouting Combine LIVE features a single broadcast spread across three different desks. Matt “Money” Smith and Bucky Brooks provide coverage off all the drills and workouts, along with Akbar Gbajabiamila providing interviews with the players and more on-site analysis. Marc Istook, Solomon Wilcots and Lance Zierlein provide context of the top prospects with player comparisons, mock drafts and team needs. Molly Qerim rounds out the Combine with an eye on social media, providing the pulse of the Combine from participant tweets, current player reactions and fan commentary. NFL Scouting Combine LIVE streams Friday, February 20 – Monday, February 20 starting each day at 9:00 AM ET. and NFL Mobile’s coverage of the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine includes the following features:

  • Social Integration: will utilize real-time social monitoring, analysis and trending tools, offering fans the opportunity to be part of a social community by answering poll questions, following social media conversations and submit questions to NFL Media analysts
  • Updated VOD packages of top prospects: For the first time,’s Combine coverage features updated video-on-demand packages of the top prospects. From bench presses, to 40-yard dashes, to positional drills, will allow fans to instantly access updated workout summaries of the prospects they may have missed

NFL Now will also offer free live streams of every NFL head coach and general manager press conference from the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine starting Wednesday, February 18, as well as select prospect press conferences.

MOBILE APPLICATIONS: For fans on the go, NFL Digital Media has multiple mobile applications available, allowing fans to get all the latest 2015 NFL Scouting Combine coverage on their smartphone.

  • Live Streaming on NFL Mobile from Verizon:NFL Mobile from Verizon features the latest news, Combine participant profiles, results trackers and video on-demand. Verizon customers can access live, streaming video of NFL Network’s 2015 NFL Scouting Combine coverage on their smartphone. Verizon customers on the MORE Everything plan have access the NFL Network live stream at no extra charge. All other Verizon users can access live streaming video by upgrading to Premium for $5/month. For more information, visit Data usage applies for app download and use
  • NFL Mobile: Featuring live stats, news articles, tweets, photos and video highlights, NFL Mobile provides fans extensive coverage leading up to and during the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine. Available on iOS, Android, Windows 8 and Blackberry devices
  • Watch NFL Network: Live streaming of NFL Network’s coverage of the 2015 Scouting Combine is available on Watch NFL Network on tablets, PCs and the NFL on Xbox application. Go to for more information

NFL Network & 2015 NFL Scouting Combine Talent

LaVar Arrington (@LaVarArrington)               Analyst

Brian Baldinger                                               Analyst

Brian Billick (@CoachBillick)                          Analyst

Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks)                    Analyst

Charles Davis (@CFD22)                              Analyst

Rich Eisen (@RichEisen)                               Host

Marshall Faulk            (@MarshallFaulk)                  Analyst

Akbar Gbajabiamila (@Akbar_Gbaja)           Analyst

Dan Hellie (@DanHellie)                                Host

Michael Irvin (@MichaelIrvin88)                    Analyst

Marc Istook (@MarcIstookNFL)                    Host

Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks)             Analyst

Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports)             Reporter

Rhett Lewis (@RhettNFL)                              Host

Steve Mariucci (@SteveMariucci)                 Analyst

Mike Mayock                                                  Analyst

Willie McGinest (@WillieMcGinest)               Analyst

Shaun O’Hara (@ShaunOHara60)                Analyst

Molly Qerim (@MollyQerim)                          Host

Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet)                            NFL Media Insider

Chris Rose (@ChrisRose)                              Host

Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders)                  Analyst

Matt “Money” Smith (@MattMoneySmith)    Host

Kurt Warner (@Kurt13Warner)                      Analyst

Solomon Wilcots (@SolomonsWisdom_)      Analyst

Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein)                    Analyst

Following is the NFL Network and day-by-day Combine coverage schedule (all times listed in ET):

Wednesday, February 18

6:00 AM – NFL AM – LIVE

10:00 AM – NFL AM – Re-Air

12 Noon – NFL’s Top 10: Draft Steals

1:00 PM – NFL’s Top 10: Draft Classes

2:00 PM – NFL Total Access Scouting Combine Press Conferences LIVE COVERAGE

4:00 PM – NFL’s Top 10: Draft Classes

5:00 PM – A Football Life: Randall Cunningham

6:00 PM – A Football Life: Houston ‘93

7:00 PM – NFL Total Access – LIVE

8:00 PM – 2014 Super Bowl Champion Player Stunt

9:00 PM – Finding Giants: Episode #1

9:30 PM – Finding Giants: Episode #2

10:00 PM – Finding Giants: Episode #3

10:30 PM – Finding Giants: Episode #4

11:00 PM – NFL Total Access

12 Midnight – NFL’s Top 10: Draft Classes

1:00 PM – NFL’s Top 10: Draft Day Moments

Thursday, February 19

6:00 AM – NFL AM – LIVE

10:00 AM – NFL AM – Re-Air

12 Noon – NFL’s Top 10: Undrafted Players

1:00 PM – NFL’s Top 10: Draft Busts

2:00 PM – NFL Total Access Scouting Combine Press Conferences LIVE COVERAGE

4:00 PM – NFL’s Top 10: Heisman Winners in the NFL

5:00 PM – A Football Life: Bill Belichick – Part 1

6:00 PM – A Football Life: Bill Belichick – Part 2

7:00 PM – NFL Total Access – LIVE

8:00 PM – 2014 Super Bowl Champion Player Stunt

9:00 PM – Brady 6

10:00 PM – NFL’s Top 10: Draft Steals

11:00 PM – NFL Total Access

12 Midnight – Brady 6

1:00 AM – NFL’s Top 10: Draft Steals

Friday, February 20

6:00 AM – NFL AM – LIVE

9:00 AM – 2015 NFL Scouting Combine: Kickers, Offensive Linemen & Tight Ends LIVE COVERAGE

  • Encores with cut down versions at 4:00 PM, 8:00 PM & 12 Midnight ET

7:00 AM – NFL Total Access – LIVE

  • Encores at 11:00 PM ET

ALL DAY –  Exclusive daily video clips available

Saturday, February 21

9:00 AM – 2015 NFL Scouting Combine: Running Backs, Quarterbacks & Wide Receivers LIVE COVERAGE

  • Encores with cut down versions at 4:00 PM, 8:00 PM & 12 Midnight ET

7:00 PM – NFL Total Access – LIVE

  • Encores at 11:00 PM ET

ALL DAY –  Exclusive daily video clips available

Sunday, February 22

9:00 AM – 2015 NFL Scouting Combine: Defensive Linemen & Linebackers LIVE COVERAGE

  • Encores with cut down versions at 4:00 PM, 8:00 PM & 12 Midnight ET

7:00 PM – NFL Total Access – LIVE

  • Encores at 11:00 PM ET

ALL DAY –  Exclusive daily video clips available

Monday, February 23

6:00 AM – NFL AM – LIVE

9:00 AM – 2015 NFL Scouting Combine: Defensive Backs LIVE COVERAGE

  • Encores with cut down versions at 2:00 PM, 8:00 PM & 12 Midnight ET

7:00 PM – NFL Total Access – LIVE

  • Encores at 11:00 PM ET

ALL DAY –  Exclusive daily video clips available


Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, fans turn to NFL Network to receive information and insight straight from the field, team headquarters, league offices and everywhere the NFL is making news. Launched in 2003, NFL Network gives fans unprecedented year-round inside access to all NFL events, including the Super Bowl, Playoffs, regular season, preseason, Pro Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend, NFL Draft, NFL Scouting Combine, Senior Bowl, league meetings, minicamps and training camps.

Currently in more than 72 million homes, NFL Network has carriage agreements with each of the country’s largest television providers including Comcast, DirecTV, DISH Network, Cablevision, Cox, Charter, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse.

For fans on the go, all NFL Network programming can also be streamed live on the NFL Mobile from Verizon app (, the NFL app delivered on XBOX from Microsoft, and through Watch NFL Network (, with participating cable and satellite providers. For more information, log on to is the exclusive internet home of NFL Network.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Ryan’s first take on the NFL combine

Posted by Chris Brown on February 17, 2015 – 9:19 am

The NFL combine begins in earnest today at Lucas Oil stadium with offensive linemen, tight ends and kickers arriving in Indianapolis. Bills head coach Rex Ryan is scheduled to speak on Wednesday at 12:15 pm. We’ll have full coverage on Here was Ryan’s take on the combine and how it best serves him as a head coach.

“It’s your first opportunity as a coach to see the players and the interviews, we’ll have like 60 interviews, and we’ll learn things about them and who they are. We put on their tape and have them break down what they’re doing. You get a great understanding on what they’ve been taught and what they’ve retained.”

When asked what he wants in a college prospect Ryan mentioned inner drive first.

“You want guys who are so passionate about what they do who are like-minded. I want guys like me who are just more talented.” Combine coverage is presented by NAPA Auto Parts.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex on analytics

Posted by Chris Brown on February 14, 2015 – 9:11 am

Rex Ryan admits he’s a coach that goes on feel an awful lot when making a big coaching decision in a game. However, that doesn’t mean that he ignores what the advanced metrics say.

In an interview this week on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ryan was asked where he stands when it comes to analytics.

“I think sometimes it’ll paint a picture to you with being in the computer age I look at some of those things,” he said. “There are times where you can look at it and can it alter a game plan? Sometimes, absolutely. But I also think the feel of the game is an important thing. It’s not just played on computers it’s played by humans.”

Ryan, like many coaches, believes analytics has its place as a layer in putting together a formula for consistent winning. At the same time he knows that football is an emotional sport and that numbers can’t be applied in a vacuum. The Bills head coach even admits that he’ll play off the home crowd sometimes when his team is on defense.

“I’ll play off the fans,” he said. “Sometimes there’s that intensity in the building where we feel they can’t handle us. And our fans are behind us and we don’t just have 11 guys out there, especially on defense. When the fans are right there with you, you might say, ‘You know what we’re going to sell the farm here. He’s going to have to get rid of it quick and I don’t think he’s ready for it. You’ll play into the fact that they won’t be in sync with their snap count and all their checks, so sometimes you’ll play into the fans as well.”


Posted in Inside the Bills

Jim Monos: Getting to Know the Prospects – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 13, 2015 – 9:16 pm

We close out the week continuing our look into next week’s NFL Scouting Combine with a solid lineup dealing with just that. Before that, we reached out to the listeners and asked them to share their choice for the most-underrated player on the Bills roster. We received plenty of feedback on that topic from kicker Dan Carpenter to Nigel Bradham to special teams standout Marcus Easley.Chris Johnson, Preston Brown

Bills linebacker Preston Brown came by the studio to talk about his past rookie season, what the offseason has been like so far, and his thoughts on the new coaching staff. Brown also looked back at his experience at last year’s Combine and weighed-in on the pressure that was felt to produce in order to raise his draft stock.

“It’s crazy. You want to impress because that’s something you watch growing up. You turn on the Combine and see the guys running the forty, so that’s something you want to do but it’s the whole week with the interviews and the testing, it’s everything. You have to be prepared for the whole time they’re watching you.”

Brown said that he believes he improved his draft position with his performance at last year’s Combine.

monosAt the top of the hour we were joined by Bills Director of Player Personnel Jim Monos. Monos discussed upcoming free agency, the process of signing Richie Incognito, and what lies ahead of the staff at next week’s Combine. Monos said the team’s draft board is pretty much set as they’ve done their work on watching player film but now is the time to get to know the prospects first-hand before April’s draft approaches.

“This is the time to get to know them a little bit better as far as spending time with them, interviewing them, getting to know how much knowledge they have of football, spending time at their pro days, bringing them in for visits. Now, it’s about getting to know the player a little bit more.”fl-bommarito-training-camp-021412i

Finally, sticking with our Combine coverage, we reached out to Fitness Trainer Pete Bommarito who owns and runs Bommarito Performance Systems in South Florida. There, he has been training approximately 80-collegiate athletes who are getting ready for the intense mental and physical pull that the NFL Combine brings. Through his innovative regiments, Bommarito has helped players draft stock rise through their performance at both the Combine and their respected Pro-Days.

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

Posted in Inside the Bills

Ryan: With young QB patience a virtue

Posted by Chris Brown on February 13, 2015 – 2:50 pm

Rex Ryan knows what kind of quarterback situation he’s walking into here in Buffalo with the position very much up in the air. He also knows the most talented QB currently on the roster is very young and he’s learned from his experiences with young signal callers before.

“You always want to be patient with a young talented guy,” said Ryan in a radio interview this week on WBEN. “Obviously EJ was drafted in the first round for many reasons. It’s funny because probably 15 years ago everybody would be patient with a young quarterback and now you see these guys coming in and a rookie or two might step forward and do some good things. EJ did. He had some really good moments.”

Where Ryan believes Manuel needs to improve is with the consistency of his fundamental execution and Ryan intends to tab David Lee for that job.

“He’s got to improve fundamentally and I think that’s where it starts,” he said. “David Lee is here as our quarterbacks coach, we’re excited about that. EJ will certainly have that opportunity to be that quarterback. As far as who else is coming in I can honestly say there isn’t a person in our organization who knows that right now. We’re still in the evaluation stage.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-13

Posted by Chris Brown on February 13, 2015 – 12:44 pm

Don’t forget our NFL combine coverage begins in earnest over the weekend leading up to our coverage in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium Tuesday presented by Napa. Let’s get to your questions from email at and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris
Are there specific areas that EJ has improved in by watching Orton from the side lines? Also, how is his relationship with the other players now, compared to before he was replaced by Orton?


CB: He told me specifically that he learned about what’s most important to focus on during the week leading up to the game from a game plan and opponent study standpoint. Manuel said in the past there may have been some things he spent too much time on in his preparation that didn’t carry as high a priority as other aspects of his film study.

I also felt he became more accurate in the practice setting when it came to hitting his targets in rhythm and on time. I think we all recognize that it’s a different thing when it’s game speed, but those are two areas where he benefitted by being able to focus on his game for the last 12 weeks of the 2014 season.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Loved this guy coming out of college. What is your opinion of Hoyer? Do we get another journeyman QB or go for a big Trade?


CB: I don’t think a trade to acquire a quarterback can be ruled out, but the Bills have limited assets in the way of draft choices (no 1st or 4th). Hoyer is a limited NFL QB. I believe everybody recognizes that. I think the more likely scenario is picking up a veteran in free agency and then drafting one in the middle rounds.


3 – Chris,

Bills fan from Toronto here. Just having thoughts about our team here…

How much do you think Hughes/Spiller are asking for and how much do you think the bills are willing to give them? Also do the Bills still have their franchise tag and if so would they use it on Hughes?
Is adrian peterson an option if C.J. spiller takes his talents elsewhere (ny jets)?
What are they gonna do about their QB situation??? Are they gonna draft maybe Hundley in 2nd round, sign Mark Sanchez or maybe trade for Sam Bradford or Jay Cutler?

Thanks, MW

CB: It’s my belief that Jerry Hughes’ agent will be looking for pretty big money and here’s why.

Over the last two seasons Hughes is tied for the fourth-most sacks in the league (20) behind only J.J. Watt, Rams pass rusher Robert Quinn and Mario Williams. He’s tied with Cameron Wake and the Saints’ Cameron Jordan. Watt and Williams are the two highest paid defensive ends in the league in terms of average salary at $16.6M and $16M.

They’re followed by Quinn ($14.2/yr) and Carolina’s Charles Johnson ($12.6M). Wake signed his extension back in 2012 and it averages only $6.6M.

Now the Bills will probably argue that Hughes plays with three Pro Bowl players on Buffalo’s defensive line and is rarely seeing double teams. But it’s hard to knock a guy that’s producing, and doing it for more than one year.

I fear that the Hughes camp will be asking for around $10M a season in a long term deal. That could be a tough one to manage knowing that Mario and Kyle Williams are the top two salaries on the club in terms of average salary already with Dareus sixth on the roster.  We’ll see. I don’t think the franchise tag is a realistic option for Buffalo.

As for Spiller it will be interesting to see if there’s a difference of opinion on his true value between he and the Bills. Paying top dollar for Spiller is probably difficult to justify in light of his recent history of injuries.

There’s no debating his home-run talent and he’s a good teammate in the locker room, but with another new offensive system coming in you wonder how he’ll weigh that into his decision on where to play. There’s also no dismissing the fact that the coach who helped him enjoy his most productive season is the offensive coordinator in New York.

Adrian Peterson is a great fit for a power run game, but I’d be surprised if he moves on from Minnesota.

The QB situation for Buffalo is obviously up in the air. They have to see who actually makes it to the free agent market or if there are any trade opportunities that might surface. The draft is probably where they’ll add one too. How early is the question.


4- Hi Chris, I have two questions:

  1. Would the Bills draft an additional running back given the fact that Rex Ryan wants to ground and pound?

Two college prospects, Malcolm Brown and Matt Davis seem like good fits, plus they are projected to be drafted in the later rounds.

  1. Besides looking at Mark Sanchez, would the Bills look at Ryan Mallet? Or Christian Ponder? I think Ryan Mallet would be the best fit, because he is younger. Obviously, E.J. Manuel is an option, but he has to read defenses better.

In summary, Rex Ryan has quite a bit of talent to work with, but if the offense is dysfunctional, it will compromise the efforts of the defense. Even a great defense will fold if its on the field for long stretches of time.

Your thoughts,
Tony, Ormond Beach, Fl

CB: I think there’s a pretty good bet that the Bills draft a running back at some point in the draft. This year’s class is deep at that position, thanks in large part to the junior eligibles that have declared. Buffalo needs to add some youth there and a true pile pusher that preferably has some wiggle to his game and receiving ability.

With that in mind it’s hard to find the perfect prospect. I believe there are a few that fit all of the criteria well enough in this draft. I do like South Carolina’s Mike Davis. Great person and player in the Fred Jackson mold and carries a bit more power behind his pads. Does everything right and has NFL bloodlines with his older brother James Davis a former 6th-round pick of Cleveland in 2009.

You could do worse than guys like Boise State’s Jay Ajayi and Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon when it comes to a power run game. Unfortunately a good number of the true power backs coming out this year aren’t big in the receiving game.

At quarterback I don’t know if Mallett is a fit because his skill set is in stark contrast to that of Manuel. I’m not saying he’s off the table, but he’s a strict pocket guy while Manuel has movement ability. How much would the offense need to change from one to the other if there was an injury to the winner of the competition? I know Ryan said Sanchez is a consideration at his press conference, but I’m not sure of that.

I do know that there isn’t a whole lot of quality to choose from.

5 – Chris,

In the new defense, where do you see the linebackers position playing out? Kiko did play well in the 3-4 under Pettine. Preston and Nigel did well in the 4-3, how do they fit into a 3-4 scheme. Nigel isn’t a thumper/ pure pass rusher. Will Manny Lawson kick back outside as a pass rusher, same with Hughes (if he can stay?). Curious how this will unfold since this unit had a great 2014.

CB: This is an interesting question. I think we can expect to see Manny Lawson on the field more, particularly on run downs like we did in 2013, when Jerry Hughes rotated in on passing downs. I’d expect to see Kiko Alonso on the open side at OLB, then it’s probably Bradham and Brown in the middle in a 3-4 look.




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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills trade for a QB … today in 1998

Posted by Dallas Miller on February 13, 2015 – 12:17 pm

FEBRUARY 13, 1998

The Bills traded their first and fourth-round draft positions in the 1998 NFL Draft to the Jacksonville Jaguars for QB Rob Johnson. Head coach Wade Phillips said Johnson would be the No. 1 QB going into training camp.

Johnson played five seasons in Buffalo, where he battled fan-favorite Doug Flutie for playing time. He threw for 4,798 yards and 27 touchdowns with a 121.3 quarterback rating as a Bill.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Steve Almond: “Against Football” – JMS 2/12

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 12, 2015 – 9:39 pm

Winding down the week here at One Bills Drive. We began tonight’s’ show hearing from head coach Rex Ryan, who spoke this morning on WGR550 , discussing Richie Incognito, quarterback EJ Manuel, and what his keys are to a successful 2015 season. We asked the listeners for their opinion on free agency and what position groups should be targeted by the Bills as March 10th approaches.

Vertical JumpAs we gear up for next week’s NFL Scouting Combine, we reached out to the President of National Football Scouting Jeff Foster, who manages the combine in Indianapolis. Foster spoke on the growth of the event over the years and the process of how teams utilize it to scout the top prospects in the draft. He also addressed the setup of events and the balancing act that goes with servicing those teams and players.

“We feel like it’s one of our jobs to protect the integrity of the football event while the entire event continues to grow. Some of the circus aspects of it, we try to make sure happens in and around the football pieces. So, whether that’s after we’ve cut away from the field or when the players are moving to different aspects. As you know, the combine was created many, many years ago with the number one priority being the medical evaluations and that’s really still true today. From a team perspective, the medical evaluations and the interviews are as important if not more important than anything else that we do here.”

against football picSteve Almond, a longtime football fan, explores both the positives of loving the game that is the NFL and the dark side of the game in his book “Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto.” Almond joined us at the top of the hour to weigh-in on why he has gone against the grain in asking why there is so much support for a game that has so many issues surrounding it. He deals with the criticisms of the football and questions its importance in American culture, challenging himself and those that love the game.

“Why do we as fans feel that it is OK for us to consume this form of entertainment when one of the known by-products of it is that the guys who play, who we worship when they’re on the field, when they leave that field, many of them are going to wind up with brain damage. There’s also the question of the economics of it. I think it’s wrong that the NFL as a non-profit entity, the power that they hold, they use essentially to force politicians to publically fund stadiums.”

Rex RyanFinally, we were joined by Jeff Larsen, a segment producer for NFL Films. Larsen shared his thoughts on the recent passing of NFL Films founder Ed Sabol. He also talked about his recent project, supplying the sights and sounds of Super Bowl XLIX in the NFL Network series, Sound FX. Larsen discussed the final drive of the game and the emotions that were displayed after the Patriots won the Super Bowl. He then went on to talk about his time dealing with Rex Ryan when he was part of the group that put together the Emmy Award winning HBO’s Hard Knocks during the NY Jets 2010 training camp.

“When people come up to me and talk about Hard Knocks they usually remember Rex Ryan and his language but just the fun entertaining personality of that team and of that series.”

To hear the complete John Murphy Show, click here.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex on having faced EJ in games

Posted by Chris Brown on February 12, 2015 – 1:06 pm

EJ Manuel
Bills head coach Rex Ryan clearly remembers the two times he went against EJ Manuel when he was a rookie QB in 2013. The two games were a major contrast in performance on the part of the Bills quarterback.

In the first meeting on the road, Manuel’s first career road start, he was flustered and struggled to make plays. Buffalo fell behind and the pass pressure was unrelenting. Manuel finished 19-42 passing for 243 yards and a touchdown and a passer rating of 71.8.

“The first time we played him I think we overwhelmed him a little bit,” said Ryan in an interview this week on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550. “I think we sacked him eight or nine times. But he’s a young guy. Now the next time we came out he beat us so he made some improvements. You could see him getting better.”

Two months later Manuel started against the Jets in Week 11 at Ralph Wilson stadium and was a different quarterback. He completed 20-28 passes for 245 yards and a pair of touchdowns with a passer rating of 121.9 in a 37-14 Bills win.

Manuel had his share of scrambles and runs as a rookie with 53 carries in 2013, but in his four games last year he took off and ran just 16 times. Ryan would like to see that number increase.

“The one thing I think we need to embrace and he needs to embrace is he can move,” said Ryan. “Use your legs. Sometimes when it’s not there use your legs and know how to protect yourself and get out of bounds, sliding and things like that.

“You might recall with Mark Sanchez I actually brought in Joe Girardi about how to slide. Do something like that where he feels comfortable sliding. When you look at him early when he first started he was able to use his legs and he unfortunately got hurt running. So you’ve got to protect yourself running in this league too.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

17th annual Day of Hope and Prayer for Children

Posted by Dallas Miller on February 12, 2015 – 11:02 am

A fixture in Western New York, Jim Kelly’s Hunter’s Hope Foundation hosts its 17th annual Day of Hope and Prayer for Children from 1-4 p.m. on Feb. 14 at the ADPRO Sports Training Center.

Families and children of all ages are invited to enjoy music, games, face painting, food, and more – all at no charge. Those unable to attend the event are invited to join by participating in a virtual celebration on social media.

Hunter’s Hope Foundation was established to address the acute need for information and research with respect to Krabbe Disease and related Leukodystrophies. Since 1998, the Day of Hope and Prayer for Children seeks to unite families in a fun atmosphere with a prayer of appreciation to end the day.

For more information on Hunter’s Day of Hope and Prayer for Children, visit


Posted in Inside the Bills

Ryan knows why Hughes prefers Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 12, 2015 – 10:59 am

As we covered on Wednesday, Jerry Hughes is set to become a free agent after back-to-back 10 sacks seasons. On SiriusXM NFL Radio he said that the Bills are his first choice. His new head coach Rex Ryan isn’t the least bit surprised by Hughes preference for two very important reasons.

In an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ryan stated that between his successful defensive system and the talent Hughes plays with on Buffalo’s defensive line, it’s totally understandable why a player like Hughes would want to return to that situation.

“I think any defensive player always wants to play in this system, period,” Ryan said. “I’ve had a lot of great ones through the years. This is a young man who really stepped up and quite honestly his first year when he came here it was like, ‘Okay that’s the Jerry Hughes everybody was waiting for when he was a first-round pick of the Colts.’ Then he had the 10-sack year last year. But when you put him alongside Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Super Mario it’s an unbelievable group. Why would you want to leave that?”

Free agency officially opens on March 10th.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Wood: Incognito will bring element of toughness

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 11, 2015 – 9:43 pm


Back live on the air tonight. We began the show asking the listeners their thoughts on the upcoming free agency period and what the team should do with their own players who are ready to hit the market. On that note, we heard from Jerry Hughes who talked about his offseason options, why Buffalo would be his first choice to sign with, and if the franchise tag is a possible option.

Eric Wood

Our first guest was Bills center Eric Wood. Wood talked about his offseason, the anticipation of rejoining his teammates, and interacting with the new coaching staff. He also shared his thoughts on this week’s addition of guard Richie Incognito. Wood and Incognito were here together back in 2009 and he talked about their relationship and shared his opinion on his potential teammate.

“I think he will bring a lot to the line. He will bring an element of toughness. He’s always been known as a tough, aggressive player. His last true season with the Dolphins, before the whole mess that went on, he was a Pro Bowl guard. The coaches, the GM, everybody talked about wanting to bolster the offensive line and I think giving Richie a second chance gives us the opportunity to do that immediately.”

The QBAt the top of the hour, we were joined by FOX Sports College Football Analyst and author Bruce Feldman. Feldman came on to discuss his book, “The QB: The Making of Modern Quarterbacks.” In the book Feldman uncovers the difficulty teams have on finding the perfect quarterback and why most of the time those teams strike out on trying to develop their “guy.”

“The wiring that a Peyton Manning has is so unique and I think he’s been blessed with some of the preparation. These guys are just really rare. It’s the hardest position in the world and the most glamorous and a lot of people want to play it. Ultimately it gets weeded out. I’ll be honest, the quarterback that you see sometimes, you can say there are a lot of reasons to really like this guy and then all of a sudden you get into games and it’s not all together there.”

Finally, with the majority of talk tonight about free agency we dialed up Mike Ginnitti, the editor and founder of Spotrac a site that deals with player contracts, team salary caps, and yearly salaries. He came on to discuss just that and what that means for the Buffalo Bills and their needs. Ginnitti weighed in on where they stand in relation to the salary cap and where they rank in the league when it comes to free cap space.

Doug Whaley

“We’re able to say that the Bills are spotted to spend about three and a half million on their draft picks this coming May. When we’re including that and the current roster, the Bills have just under 30-million in estimated cap space heading into free agency here and that’s for the top 51-players on the roster which is all that matters between March and September. Right now they’re eighth (in the league). They are top ten and in good shape and I expect them to be busy here.”

To hear more from Ginnitti and the rest of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show, click here.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Bucs cut QB Josh McCown

Posted by Chris Brown on February 11, 2015 – 6:25 pm

Saints Buccaneers Football
One year after signing veteran free agent QB Josh McCown the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have cut ties with the signal caller making him a free agent. A new member of Buffalo’s coaching staff has some familiarity with McCown.

McCown spent three seasons in Chicago prior to signing a two-year free agent deal with Tampa last offseason, including one under former head coach Marc Trestman and former offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. McCown had the best season of his career under Kromer and Trestman in 2013 when he appeared in eight games in place of an injured Jay Cutler. He completed more than 66 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns against just one interception and a passer rating of 109.

Things did not go as well in Tampa this past season as an early thumb injury sidelined him in Week 4 and he missed six games. His numbers weren’t as good either behind a suspect offensive line that allowed the third-most sacks in the league in 2014 (52). It appears the Bucs are going young at QB with Mike Glennon still on the roster and the number one pick in the draft.

That being said McCown is known as a solid locker room guy with former Bears GM even calling him a “glue guy” (helps hold the room together). Here’s more on that.

The Bills are in the market for a veteran signal caller and may also draft a quarterback to add competition at the position to the roster.

If the Bills are in fact interested in McCown they’ll certainly be tapping into Kromer’s intimate knowledge of McCown’s game having worked with him closely just two seasons ago.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hughes: Bills would be my first choice

Posted by Chris Brown on February 11, 2015 – 1:43 pm

Bills DE Jerry Hughes is clearly one of the team’s top priorities this offseason as he’s eligible to become a free agent. With back-to-back 10-sack seasons Hughes is set to make big money in his second contract. In an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio Wednesday, Hughes was asked how he feels about returning to Buffalo on a new deal.

SiriusXM NFL posted Hughes’ response on their Twitter account.

Hughes additionally said that he would not be disappointed if the Bills made use of the franchise tag on him. Last year’s franchise tag for a defensive end was $13.1M. The new tag amount for 2015 will be released near the end of the month. That figure doesn’t seem like a realistic approach for Buffalo.

Hughes clearly appreciates the opportunity the Bills have afforded him the past two seasons to play a major role on the field. He also appreciates lining up alongside the three Pro Bowl players who have been his teammates on the Buffalo defensive line.

Money will obviously be a factor too and Buffalo is heavily invested in their defensive line already. An extension for Marcell Dareus is on the horizon as he enters the last year of his deal in 2015. GM Doug Whaley has maintained the club will do whatever they can to keep Hughes in the fold.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills 2014 draft earns best mark in AFC East

Posted by Chris Brown on February 10, 2015 – 4:40 pm

It’s common this time of year for national writers and pundits to re-assess the draft classes from the previous spring and’s Bucky Brooks did just that for the Bills and the rest of their division opponents.

Brooks gave the Bills the best grade in the division. Here’s what Brooks wrote about their draft class and their combine/draft outlook.

AFC East rookie grades: Buffalo Bills building a winner
The Bills boldly moved up a few spots in the 2014 NFL Draft to pluck Sammy Watkins with the fourth overall pick — and the rookie pass catcher didn’t disappoint, posting 982 receiving yards and six touchdowns as Buffalo’s designated playmaker. Although critics would suggest the team could’ve stayed at its original position (No. 9) and still landed a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver (see: Odell Beckham, who went to the Giants at No. 12), the fact that the Bills identified their guy and got positive results from him should earn them a solid review. They also received better than anticipated production from linebacker Preston Brown and offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson when they were pressed into action due to injuries and inconsistent play by those above them. Offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio is an unknown commodity at this point, but if he develops into a serviceable starter, this class could play a pivotal role in Buffalo’s re-emergence as a playoff participant under a new regime. Grade: B

Combine focus: The lack of a first-round pick in 2015 — it was surrendered to the Cleveland Browns in the deal that resulted in Watkins — prevents the Bills from addressing their quarterback situation in the draft. Still, the team can add a few pieces to enhance an offense that’s on the cusp of leading a playoff run. The offensive line needs some work along the interior, meaning Buffalo should take an extensive look at guys like Duke’s Laken Tomlinson, South Carolina’s A.J. Cann and Florida State’s Tre’ Jackson. Additionally, the Bills could explore the possibility of adding a dynamic tight end, like Minnesota’s Maxx Williams and Miami’s Clive Walford.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Lifetime achievement award for Jim Kelly

Posted by Dallas Miller on February 10, 2015 – 3:06 pm

Jim Kelly
The latest in a long line of great Western Pennsylvania quarterbacks, QB Jim Kelly will be honored with the Dapper Dan Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony at the at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh tonight.

The annual Dapper Dan dinner and sports auction is Pittsburgh’s original and most prestigious sports banquet. It honors the region’s greatest sports and celebrity figures and serves as fundraiser for community need.

In addition to Kelly, who hails from nearby East Brady, Pa., awards will also be presented to Neal Huntington (Pittsburgh Pirates, Dr. Freddie Fu Sports Leadership Award), Antonio Brown (Steelers, Sportsman of the Year), and Christa Harmotto Dietzen (Olympian, Sportswoman of the Year).

Posted in Inside the Bills

Incognito tweeting again

Posted by Chris Brown on February 10, 2015 – 9:45 am

He understandably hasn’t tweeted since March 27th of last year, but now that Richie Incognito has signed with the Bills and is back in the NFL he’s returned to the Twitter-sphere.

Incognito expressed his excitement after officially signing his contract with the Bills.

Incognito also made use of a photo from his three games with the Bills as his new avatar.

Posted in Inside the Bills