Inside The Bills

Jets healthy coming off bye

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2014 – 5:02 pm

The Jets are coming off their bye week and look pretty healthy judging by their injury report, which had a lot of full participants Wednesday.

LIMITED
CB Darrin Walls – calf
DB Jaiquawn Jarrett – calf

FULL PRACTICE
OL Oday Aboushi – Shoulder
LB Antwan Barnes – Knee
OL Willie Colon – Knee
WR T.J. Graham – Neck
LB David Harris – Shoulder
RB Chris Ivory – Shoulder
RB Chris Johnson – Knee
OL Nick Mangold – Shoulder
LB Trevor Reilly – Knee
WR Greg Salas – Wrist
QB Geno Smith – Rt Shoulder


Posted in Inside the Bills

6 new names on Bills injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2014 – 4:54 pm

The Bills didn’t practice Wednesday due to the bad weather that has prompted a travel ban, but a half a dozen new players appeared on the injury report this week.

Dan Carpenter (groin), Manny Lawson (ankle), Kyle Orton (toe), Kraig Urbik (shoulder), Chris Hogan (hip) and Frank Summers (neck) were all new additions Wednesday.

Carpenter, Lawson, Orton and Urbik were listed as would be limited participants. Hogan and Summers were both listed as full participants.

Fred Jackson was listed as a limited participant. Sammy Watkins a full participant.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kiko Alonso’s unbelievable “recovery”

Posted by Dallas Miller on November 19, 2014 – 4:14 pm

kiko-recovery

The Legend of Kiko Alonso may have reached new heights.

After getting a quick workout in at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Wednesday, Alonso presumably: Went home, walked outside into sub-freezing temperatures, removed his shirt, and sat down in a snow bank. As if that weren’t enough, Alonso then covers his legs entirely with snow … and playfully calls for his dog.

This is what passes for “recovery” in the world of Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Check out the video, courtesy of Alonso’s Instagram.


Posted in Inside the Bills

How Bills dealing with snow & injured players

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2014 – 2:46 pm

The Bills’ preparations are already challenged for Sunday’s game against the Jets with no players able to reach One Bills Drive due to a travel ban in Orchard Park Wednesday. With four feet of snow on the ground in Orchard Park, and 2-3 more feet expected the big concern is for injured and nicked up players getting necessary treatment for their injuries so they’re ready to play Sunday. Here is what the Bills are doing to resolve that issue around the travel restrictions.

“I’ve talked to our medical staff and have been in constant communication with them,” said Bills head coach Doug Marrone, who did manage to get to One Bills Drive Tuesday and stayed there overnight. “I got off the phone with (Head athletic trainer) Bud Carpenter an hour ago making sure the players understand how to do the things they need to do to help themselves.

“One thing about professional players is they know how to take care of their bodies. I really believe that. We’re doing everything we can from a training staff and even the weight coaches and what they’re doing for the players. We’re doing everything we can from a proactive standpoint to give them all the information and have them in the best shape when the (travel) ban is lifted.”

Even though they’re not practicing Wednesday due to the weather the team has to submit an injury report with an estimate of how much injured players would or would not be able to participate if there were a practice. That report is expected later today.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jets focused on ball security

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2014 – 11:53 am

The New York Jets are still a minus-11 in turnover margin this season, but their last outing showed what Rex Ryan’s team is capable of when they protect the football.

The Jets beat one of the hottest offensive teams in football in Week 10 (Jets had a Week 11 bye) when they defeated Pittsburgh 20-13. They did in large part thanks to winning the turnover battle by a count of 4-0. New York scored 14 points off turnovers in the game and jumped out to a 17-3 lead and their defense was stout when it came to keeping the Steelers out of the end zone. Ben Roethlisberger threw for almost 350 yards, but had just one touchdown pass.

On his conference call with Buffalo media Wednesday Ryan was asked if he’s confident his team won’t have a repeat performance against the Bills when they turned it over six times and lost by 20 (43-23).

“We better not I’ll tell you that much,” said Ryan. “You’re not going to beat anybody when you turn the ball over the way we did. I think there were 11 possessions inside the 50-yard line. That can’t happen and that’s our priority going into the game is taking care of the football. It’s easier said than done, but we have to get that done for us to have an opportunity in this game.”

Ryan likes the way Michael Vick has protected the football for the offense since becoming the full-time starter following the loss to the Bills.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone, Carpenter are good neighbors

Posted by Dallas Miller on November 18, 2014 – 8:06 pm

carpenter-shovel

The City of Good Neighbors, indeed.

While a record snow storm batters the region, two Bills took the time to care for those around them while traversing  snowbound South Buffalo.

Head coach Doug Marrone and K Dan Carpenter were among those looking to lend a hand, per reports from The Buffalo News.

Marrone, on his way to Ralph Wilson Stadium to prepare for the Jets game this weekend, stopped to help push the vehicle of a stranded motorist, while Carpenter and his wife shoveled their way towards an elderly neighbor’s home to check in.


Posted in Inside the Bills

EJ production in practice encouraging

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2014 – 12:29 pm

A couple of weeks ago we provided an update on what EJ Manuel has been working on since he was replaced in the starting lineup by veteran QB Kyle Orton. On Tuesday in an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Bills GM Doug Whaley addressed where EJ Manuel’s development stands now serving in the backup QB role.

Whaley was asked specifically if he felt it was a lost season for Manuel having only appeared in the first four games.

“We believe it’s not. It goes back to our original plan,” said Whaley. “When we first drafted EJ we had the plan of having a veteran quarterback come in and mentor him until we thought he was ready. When Kevin Kolb went down with an injury it thrust him into the starting role quicker than we expected. Now since then we have re-set to the original plan.

“Since EJ has taken a step back everybody in the building has been impressed with his work ethic. We’ve seen an improvement in the way he attacks practice and his production in practice.”

Whaley also addressed the popular debate as to whether Manuel was ‘Buddy Nix’s pick’ or ‘Doug Whaley’s pick’ in the 2013 draft.

“We were all on board with the pick,” he said. “It’s one of those things when it’s Buddy it’s going to be attached to Buddy, just like Sammy (Watkins) is going to be tied to me. When you’re going through a scouting process especially with the guys in the top four to five rounds you’re going to have five to six opinions. What we do is we collectively come up with a Buffalo Bills opinion. So EJ Manuel is a Buffalo Bills pick and all of us were on board with it.”

When asked how the Bills will know when EJ Manuel is ready for prime time again, Whaley said you don’t for sure until they’re in a real game environment.

“That’s one of those things that you can never really gauge until the bright lights come on,” he said. “What you do have to see is progress and not repeating the same mistakes that he was doing before and improving on anything he needed to when he was in the starting role.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills GM on future of Dareus, Hughes

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2014 – 12:10 pm

Bills DE Jerry Hughes is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, while Marcell Dareus still has another year left on his contract, after the team picked up his fifth-year option. Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Bills GM Doug Whaley was asked if contract negotiations have been opened with Hughes.

Whaley as a matter of personal policy prefers not to have ongoing contract negotiations with players so as not to present a distraction. Buffalo’s GM addressed both Hughes and Dareus.

“Those guys are great players. We would love to have them, and those are the things we’ll discuss at the end of the season, which we do every year,” he said. “We don’t negotiate in the media, but they’ve brought tremendous production to our defensive line and helped to make our defense one of the best in the league and we’re going to do whatever we can to keep them.”

As for Dareus Whaley said it’s been good to see Dareus mature through the course of the year.

“We look at it this way. There’s a maturation process for a lot of players,” said Whaley. “He’s got a difficult situation with his support staff. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do this year. It’s a situation we’ll go over and review and set a plan going forward once the season is over with.”


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Whaley on Watkins

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2014 – 11:56 am

There has been a lot of debate in the media on the Sammy Watkins trade and whether it was worth the trade up that sent Buffalo’s 2015 first-round pick to the Cleveland Browns. Bills GM Doug Whaley was asked for his opinion in an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550.

Whaley was asked if it was necessary to trade up and get Watkins where they did, in light of the success of most of the first-round wide receivers this season, which includes Tampa’s Mike Evans, the Giant’s Odell Beckham Jr. and Carolina’s Kelvin Benjamin

“We look at it this way. We knew it was going to be a talented group, but we’re very excited and we felt that this guy would bring something to our team that we didn’t have,” said Whaley. “We thought he was the best player for our situation. I’m sure you’re trying to get out of me whether I thought the trade was worth what we gave up. I’ll say it like this. I can count at least three games where he was an integral part to us winning and I would hate to see our record if he was not on our team.”

Whaley is likely referring to the wins over Miami, Detroit and Minnesota. He was also pretty important to the win over the Jets, but the six takeaways played a bigger role in that win.

 


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Mario’s play earns national recognition

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2014 – 11:04 am

Bills DE Mario Williams is now tied for fourth in the NFL in sacks with 10, which also pulled him even with teammate Marcell Dareus for the team lead this season. His 3.5 sack performance last Thursday night earned him a couple of weekly honors from national outfits.

The first was Peter King’s MMQB column. It had Williams as one of their defensive players of the week and put together a nice comparison between his days in Houston and his time in Buffalo, where he’s been a more productive player. Here’s what King wrote.

Defensive Players of the Week
Mario Williams, defensive end, Buffalo. What a performance in the 22-9 loss to Miami on Thursday. It wasn’t just that Williams had 3.5 sacks (only once in 124 career games has he had more in a game) and exposed rookie right tackle Dallas Thomas in his starting debut. It’s how he did it. He speed-rushed Thomas for 1.5 of the sacks, beat a tight end on another, and bull-rushed Thomas all the way back into Ryan Tannehill for one of the most overpowering sacks you’ll ever see. He had another bull-rush on Thomas, driving him back into Tannehill in the fourth quarter and forcing a hurry that was nearly a Bills interception. But since the great performance came in a loss, Williams wasn’t too excited afterward. “No,” he said, “not at all.” Okay. Let the rest of us recognize it then. Remember when Williams signed that six-year, $96 million deal in March 2012? I thought the Bills overpaid for a guy who’d averaged 8.9 sacks a year in six Houston seasons. Now we’re nearly at the midpoint of the contract, and while the 29-year-old Williams hasn’t been Lawrence Taylor, he’s out-performed my expectations, and he’s a big reason why the Bills have the best defensive front in football right now … and he hasn’t missed a game since the day he signed. His numbers, with an assist from Pro Football Focus on the quarterback hits and significant pressures:
Year
Games-Starts
Sacks
QB Hits/Pressures
2012
16-16
10.5
45
2013
16-16
13.0
55
2014
10-10
10.0
29
TOTAL
42-42
33.5
129
  
Williams averaged .65 sacks per game in Houston. He’s averaging .80 sacks per game in Buffalo.
Williams was also recognized on Pro Football Focus’ Team of the Week for Week 11.

Edge Rushers: Carlos Dunlap, CIN (+6.6) and Mario Williams, BUF (+6.1)
Big days for both our edge rushers, with each registering plenty of pressure. Dunlap might not have sacked Drew Brees, but he came away with four hits and three hurries. Williams, on the other hand, had a big night on Thursday Night Football, with four sacks, a hit and five hurries.
 
Honorable Mentions: Everson Griffen, MIN and Trent Murphy, WAS

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Posted in Inside the Bills

An uptick for screen game?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2014 – 9:42 am

The Bills haven’t had a ton of success in the screen game on offense this season. In recent years the offense was pretty efficient on screens. This past week against Miami may be a sign that their getting back to executing it more effectively.

Buffalo ran a handful of screens in the Dolphins game, including the first bubble screen of the season to Sammy Watkins. The more traditional screen plays to backs was also called with Bryce Brown the primary ball carrier.

“It’s definitely something we’ve got to execute a bit better,” said Kraig Urbik. “Early in the season we were not doing a good enough job at that. We’ve got to when it’s not always an obvious screen down. If it’s 3rd-and-15 the screen isn’t always going to be as effective. We’ve been mixing it in on regular down and distance and doing a better job of that and guys have been paying more attention to executing on screens, because it’s been a huge part of our offense the last couple of years.”

Buffalo called screen plays last Thursday night on non-traditional down and distance situations. They called one on 1st-and-10 and Bryce Brown got five yards. They also called one on a 2nd-and-6 play and Brown picked up 16 yards.

“Bryce did a lot of good things and he’s a good running back,” said Urbik. “We have to get that part of our game amped up a little bit more.”

Knowing the fierce pass rushes the Bills have faced this season if they’re able to continue to improve in their screen game execution it could help to neutralize oncoming pass rushers, especially if Brown and/or Fred Jackson can really make them pay.


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DL Wilkerson, TE Amaro don’t practice for Jets

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2014 – 5:08 pm

The Jets, who are coming off their bye held a practice on Monday and an emerging weapon for them on offense as well as one of their most valuable players on defense were not at practice.

That according to ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini, who reported both their absences during the media viewing portion of practice. The absences have raised some red flags with the New York media knowing coming off the bye players that did not have a previous injury should be good to go. It has since been reported by Newsday Jets reporter Kim Martin that both players were ill Monday.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

What Bills get with Graham in for McKelvin

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2014 – 3:21 pm

Late last week we spelled out how with Leodis McKelvin out indefinitely that Corey Graham would be his replacement in the lineup. Now that it’s been announced that McKelvin is out for the season with his fractured ankle we compiled the numbers from their snaps at cornerback this season to see where Buffalo’s coverage would stand with Graham in the lineup. Here’s what we found.

Leodis McKelvin (551 snaps) leads the team with four interceptions, is currently the club’s third-leading tackler and is second on the team in pass breakups with eight. He also has allowed an opponent’s passer rating of just 79.2. Those are all very good figures. On the down side he did allow a pair of touchdowns, a catch percentage of 69 percent and 179 yards after the catch.

Corey Graham (316 snaps at CB) is the team’s fourth-leading tackler and is first on the team in pass breakups with nine. He has allowed an opponent’s passer rating of 56.1, which is fourth best in the NFL. He’s permitted a catch percentage of just 45.7 percent, good for fifth-best in the NFL. He’s allowed just 49 yards total after the catch.

So it doesn’t appear as though the Bills will be losing much at all at the left cornerback position with Graham now in the lineup full time. In fact they look to be making gains in some categories.


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Marrone sticking with Orton

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2014 – 2:02 pm

Even though Buffalo’s playoff hopes have been severely damaged with the last two losses it isn’t going to change head coach Doug Marrone’s plans at quarterback.

Ask Monday if he’s considering making a change again at QB, Marrone said he’s not.

“Right now I plan on sticking with Kyle, and I believe in every player, not just the quarterback player, who gives us the best chance to win,” he said. “That’s the way we’re headed this week.”

As for EJ Manuel, Marrone provided the following in terms of an update on Buffalo’s backup QB.

“He’s doing a nice job. He’s working,” said Marrone. “He’s doing everything we’re asking him to do.”


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Bills far from playing out the string

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2014 – 12:40 pm

Bills fans might be down in the dumps about Buffalo’s playoff chances with the team sitting at 5-5 and without may tiebreaker advantages in the AFC, but the players are far from a ‘playing-out-the-string’ approach when it comes to the last month and a half of the regular season. Their plan is to fight tooth and nail the rest of the way.

“We’ve still got six games left. We’re not going to come in here and just cash it in,” said Fred Jackson. “That’s what we can’t do. That’s what the guys in this locker room will not allow ourselves to do. Just to cash it in and prepare for next season. We’ve still got six games. Granted we’ve got some tough opponents in those six games, but we’re not going to show up in here and cash this season in and say that’s it’s over with now. We’ve lost to two good teams. We lost to Kansas City and now we’re 5-5. We’ve got to start over and re-boot and turn this thing around.”


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Jackson: I’m planning to play Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2014 – 9:25 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone said last week that if their Week 11 game was on Sunday instead of Thursday night, he felt Fred Jackson would’ve been able to play in the game. on Thursday night however, he was scratched after tweaking his injured groin in practice Tuesday. Now Jackson fully anticipates being ready to go this coming Sunday against the Jets.

In his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Jackson said he’s planning on being ready by the end of the week.

“Yeah. We’ll work myself into the process of getting back out there,” said Jackson. “I know with our training staff and doctors they’ll take every precaution we need to, but like coach Marrone said, if the game was yesterday there’s probably a pretty good chance that I would’ve played. So I’m planning on playing this Sunday and it’s just on me to go out there and take this week slowly and get back out there.”

Jackson said his groin injury is feeling better, but it’s still going to be a slow and steady process in his return to the practice field this week. The veteran running back also said the plan was to play in both the Chiefs and Dolphins games despite the quick turnaround of five days between them.

“The plan was to play both games, but on Tuesday at practice I had a little setback that wasn’t anticipated. Out at practice running around making a play and kind of tweaked it and it was setback that wasn’t foreseen.”

 


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Hogan: Players have to adjust to defenses

Posted by Chris Brown on November 15, 2014 – 12:51 pm

On more than one occasion Kyle Orton has tipped his hat to the opposing defense citing their ability to make a good play call to counteract what the Bills had planned in a crucial situation in each of the last two games, both losses. As Chris Hogan sees it they just have to be better and make adjustments on the fly to make it a successful play anyway.

“That’s part of the game. Those guys get paid too,” said Hogan of their opponents making plays against them, particularly in the red zone. “They do their homework and they do their scouting and everything. You got to expect that sometimes when you get down there they’re going to have the right plays called and the right defenses dialed up for the plays we want to run down there.  That’s just part of the game.  We just have to, as players, adjust to it.”

 


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Graham on fixing missed tackles

Posted by Chris Brown on November 15, 2014 – 9:48 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone called Thursday night’s defensive effort one that had the most missed tackles that he’s seen in one game and his players did not disagree. Veteran cornerback Corey Graham offered his thoughts on how to address that problem and get it corrected.

“You’ve just got to get back to the fundamentals,” he said. “You do tackling drills all the time. Sometimes you get too high in your technique and things like that and you get careless and that’s how you miss tackles. Some guys are just trying so hard and running so fast that it’s hard to stop (and break down), things like that. But you’ve just got to get back to the basics. You can’t miss tackles in this league and you’ve got to get the guy down when you have the opportunity. That’s what we have to work on and get better at.”


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Dissecting Bills at Dolphins – JMS 11/14

Posted by johnmurphyshow on November 14, 2014 – 9:24 pm

jms-middle-1280x720--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

 

Recapping Thursday night’s game in Miami. We began with an update from head coach Doug Marrone and defensive back Corey Graham who addressed the media earlier this morning. We looked back at it how it all went down as Murph delivered the highlights with another edition of Game Rewind courtesy of the play-by-play calls on Buffalo Bills Radio. Post game, we headed in the locker room where we caught up with the players and took a trip Around the Locker Room.

 

Bills Insider Chris Brown, as he always does following a game, joined us in studio to breakdown the game. He began by looking at the possible playoff scenario for the team as they stand with a 5-5 record and shared what the players had to say about their chances. Brown also discussed the ongoing offensive redzone issues as well as the 4th down argument that was brought up again, specifically when the Bills chose to punt the ball from the Miami 47-yard line early in the fourth quarter.

Doug Marrone

“We go back once again to the age old problem with analytics. You cannot look at the percentages and treat them like they are in a vacuum. They are not, especially in football with all the variables. Now, the devil’s advocate would say, with how the offense was struggling, don’t you try to take a chance and hold on to the football and see where you can get? Knowing how much Doug Marrone values field position and how his team has been very good in flipping the field this year and creating advantages in field position, I don’t know if you still don’t punt it anyway. I think you can make an argument for both sides based on the way the game was going but I don’t think it’s tipped so far in favor of one way or the other.”

 

Brown also looked at where the Dolphins had success against the Bills defense and how Corey Graham can be of help in the backend at cornerback now that Leodis McKelvin will be out a while with his fractured ankle.

 

All night we were taking your calls to get your thoughts and opinions on Thursday night’s game. To listen to that and the rest of Friday’s John Murphy Show, click here.

 

 

 

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone will spend weekend on red zone

Posted by Chris Brown on November 14, 2014 – 5:43 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone was quick to acknowledge there’s a lot that he, his coaches and his players have to fix in a short amount of time to get their season back on track. Afforded a weekend of time to dive into it, Marrone himself has one particular area of focus.

“I’m specifically going to utilize it by going back into the red zone. I’m not going to lie to you. I’m going to go back there and I’m going to take a good look at it,” Marrone said. “It’s my responsibility to answer those questions. I’m responsible for that. There’s no doubt about it. Yes, Nathaniel is the offensive coordinator and Jim [Schwartz] is the defensive coordinator. Defensively, we didn’t tackle well. We couldn’t get them into many third downs. There are things that we did in special teams we had an opportunity to pin them back there and we punt it and put it on the two, that when I say a team loss is a team loss.

“But I’m responsible for all of that. For me, the critical area right now for us is obviously the red zone. I’m going to take the majority of my time, outside of managing the team and doing the things I’m supposed to do, I’m going to spend any type of extra time I have in that phase.”

When asked what he thinks is missing from their play in the red zone on offense, which currently ranks last in the NFL, Marrone said on the surface the problem appears to be pretty evident.

“Execution and making plays really,” he said. “I think that some of the things we have to do, we have to look at it more. We’ve been struggling there. We’ve been trying different things. They haven’t been working. I think we’ve just got to keep going and figure out what is it going to be from a concept standpoint and a running game standpoint in terms of what works for us and we’ve got to get better at it.”


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