Inside The Bills

Vikes defensive interior banged up

Posted by Chris Brown on October 15, 2014 – 4:18 pm

It’s getting to the point where every NFL club has some banged up players. For Minnesota both of their starting defensive tackles are nicked up and were unable to practice fully on Wednesday.

DT Sharrif Floyd and DT Linval Joseph were both limited Wednesday. Floyd has elbow and ankle injuries. Joseph has an ankle ailment. Here’s a look at the rest of the injury report for Minnesota.


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

Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on October 15, 2014 – 4:01 pm

The Bills had three players not participating in practice Wednesday, and one was not even due to injury. Head coach Doug Marrone excused Marcell Dareus for a personal matter. He said Dareus is expected back at practice Thursday. Here’s the rundown of injured Bills players in advance of Sunday’s game against Minnesota.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday
Marcus Easley WR Knee DNP
Ty Powell LB Ankle DNP
Marcell Dareus DT Not injury related DNP
Kyle Williams DT Knee LP
Garrison Sanborn LS Knee LP
Da’Norris Searcy S Knee LP
Brandon Spikes LB Ribs LP
Aaron Williams S Wrist/Neck LP

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Orton’s take on boosting offensive production

Posted by Chris Brown on October 15, 2014 – 10:55 am

Winning at the line of scrimmage has proven difficult for the Bills offense the last two games against a pair of top five defenses in Detroit and New England. It’s affected the production both on the ground and through the air. QB Kyle Orton provided his take on it and how they can increase their output.

“I think we’ve got to take a look at everything that we’re doing,” said Orton. “We have to find ways to start faster both in the run game and in the pass game. With the three backs we have we should be able to run the ball on guys and open up some play action and open up some stuff in the passing game. We’ll get back to work on it and see where we can improve.”

When asked if their offensive identity is their run game, Orton went in another direction.

“I think we’ve got a lot of playmakers,” he said. “There are a number of ways to get them the ball. I think our screen game is improving every week. We’ve got guys at the wide receiver position where we should get them the ball in space and give them room to run.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

Brandon: Continuity the No. 1 variable

Posted by Chris Brown on October 15, 2014 – 10:13 am

Bills President Russ Brandon made his weekly appearance on flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 and was asked about working in collaboration with new owners Kim and Terry Pegula moving forward. He was also asked about his take on what caters to team success over the long haul and reiterated some of his comments from when he was handed day-to-day control of the team back in 2013.

“Obviously with owners like Terry and Kim it can only be a major positive not only for our brand, but also in NFL circles. What they’ve done with the Sabres and the profile that they’ve added has been tremendous. We’ll look to add that here also,” said Brandon. “One of the ways you don’t in this league is since 1998 we’ve had seven head coaches, nine offensive coordinators, seven defensive coordinators and six general managers. That is not a formula for winning. Continuity is the number one variable when it comes to winning in this league and we need to have that as we move forward.”

When asked if he’s made that known to Pegulas, Brandon indicated he has been very transparent in communicating that stance.

“I’ve been very open about that,” he said. “I’ve said it many times publicly and privately. We’ve been to two playoffs games since 1998. We’ve had too many different schemes and coaches and you’re not going to win in this league by changing every couple of years. That’s my belief and feeling.  I’ve been very pleased with what’s happened here. We want to win more games, but if you look at our roster today and where it was a couple of years ago, Doug Whaley has done a very good job of building our roster to where it is today.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Doug Flutie – Football Life to air this week

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2014 – 2:16 pm

Former Bills QB Doug Flutie will be profiled on the NFL Network as part of their, ‘A Football Life’ series later this week.

Still regarded as one of the most beloved quarterbacks in football history the Heisman Trophy-winner first entered the spotlight when he completed a “Hail Mary” touchdown pass in a game against the University of Miami in 1984 – considered one of the greatest moments in college football history. Flutie then played 21 years in the CFL and NFL, including his Pro Bowl season of 1998 with the Bills.

NFL Network’s series A Football Life will document Flutie’s career Friday, October 17 at 9 p.m. ET. The one-hour, NFL Films-produced documentary focuses on Flutie’s football career, beginning in high school, through his time at Boston College and ending with his professional career in both the NFL and CFL. The show focuses on Flutie’s constant adversity due to his small stature and how he was able to overcome his height.Bills former Director of Pro Personnel A.J. Smith and former Bills head coach Wade Phillips are among those interviewed in the special.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone: Fixing run game the top priority

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2014 – 4:56 pm

By no means is it the only part of their game they’re looking to improve, but Buffalo’s ground game has found yards hard to come by the last three weeks. That’s why head coach Doug Marrone and his staff are going to do an in depth analysis as to just what is slowing down the identity of their offense.

“The major concern which was addressed in the team meeting, we talked about the run game. This is the third week in a row now, this isn’t the first time,” said Marrone in reference to the lack of production in the run game. “What happens is you start focusing and trying to make plays that aren’t there and that’s what we can’t do, from C.J. to Fred to (Boobie) Dixon. Up front, we’ve got to do a better job of finishing, getting on those players, not having a lot of color show where it’s showing.  And that means we’ve got to be quicker going to the second level and things like that.  Those things are correctable but we’ve got to put the work in to correct it.”

As Fred Jackson sees it, the miscues with turnovers and penalties kept them from running more, but he didn’t argue that their production was subpar.

“We’ve got to be better than that to win games and beat good teams,” said Jackson. “When you’re eliminating possessions that you have with turnovers and a lot of penalties and putting yourself behind the sticks that’s going to deter from what you can do in the run game. That’s something that we’ve got to get better at as an offensive unit. We can’t have penalties and fumble the ball and throw interceptions. It’s on us as an offense collectively and look at ourselves and be harsh critics and figure out what we have to get better at doing.”

Buffalo’s run game was ranked sixth in the league after Week 2 in rushing. This week on the heels of their loss to New England they’re ranked 22nd, with their average going from 153 yards per game to 101.

Marrone says it will be a group effort to get back to their typical level of production.

“It’s not one individual. It’s easy when it’s one individual, you just pull one out and put somebody else in,” He said. “But it’s up front, it’s hitting the holes, it’s believing and trusting in the scheme, the perimeter. We’ve got to go back and get this thing again.  You put so much emphasis on the other stuff, and you improve, and then it goes down.  That’s what you can’t have.  That’s what happens when you become inconsistent.

“Really we just have to go back, get ourselves on track and work hard from me to the coaches to the players.  That’s really what I spoke to them about today in the team meeting.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mike Williams says to chill

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2014 – 1:57 pm

In the wake of the reaction to the story about Mike Williams’ agent seeking permission from GM Doug Whaley to pursue compensation for a trade, the Bills receiver is telling the Twitterverse that he has no interest in being traded.

On his Twitter account Williams made it clear he wants to remain with the Bills, citing his Buffalo roots.

GM Doug Whaley said they have no interest in moving any player off their roster right now.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Spikes: We couldn’t back up our words

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2014 – 12:30 pm

All offseason the Bills worked their tails off to be a better opponent for the perennial AFC East champs, the New England Patriots. Brandon Spikes was among the most vocal Bills determined to dethrone the Patriots. It simply didn’t happen on Sunday however, and not being able to back up his words is what left Spikes most disappointed.

“Absolutely. I think I talked a lot of trash in the offseason and we weren’t able to back it up,” Spikes said. “That’s what hurts me the most. I pride myself on being a man of my word and we just let the city down. It was just unfortunate, it’s over with. We’ve got to put it in the past and learn from it and get better. We can’t make the same mistakes. It’s a long season. I think the best teams get over a few bumps in the road to get better. I don’t want to say we’re happy about a loss, but hopefully we learn from this, we’ve got a young team, and it motivates guys.”

Spikes is hopeful that in the second meeting in the season finale they can even the score and position themselves where the game means something.

“It is what it is. I’m here. I’m a Buffalo Bill and I’m proud to be here, but that’s the NFL any given Sunday. It’s a long season and it’s still early in the year and it’s just up to us what we want to do with it,” Spikes said. “We either go downhill or we get better, it’s just that simple. We can’t dwell on the past. We’ll see them again in December and hopefully we’re in the right position to make sure we’re able to get to the playoffs. That’s our whole goal here to get to the playoffs.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

1st down told the story

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2014 – 8:13 pm

Going into Sunday’s game between the Bills and Patriots, in our Scouting Report, the Number One Must listed for the Bills to have a chance against the Pats was 1st down efficiency on offense. While the turnovers and penalties certainly played a significant part in the loss to New England, Buffalo’s offensive efficiency on first down had a lot to say about the outcome as well.

Coming into the game Buffalo was averaging a healthy 5.66 yards on first down, good for 10th best in the league. Even better New England’s defense ranked 28th in yards allowed on first down (6.14). Unfortunately a combination of inconsistent execution by the Bills and some stout play by the Patriots defense added up to an unproductive day on first down for Buffalo’s attack. Here are the numbers.

Bills first down summary
27 plays, 66 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 2 fumbles lost, seven incompletions, four plays negative yardage
Avg. gain per first down play – 2.44 yards

Buffalo averaged less than half the yardage they had been gaining on first down through the first five games this season (5.66). Even worse all three of their turnovers came on first down plays as well. That led to long down and distance in many cases on second and third down. To Buffalo’s credit their third down conversion percentage was good considering the lack of positive yardage on first down (8-15, 53%). But first down has to be better, especially with a run first attack like Buffalo’s.

On the other side, New England’s offense didn’t have much more success than Buffalo’s in the first half. The Patriots first down summary through the first two quarters looked like this – 15 plays, 56 yards and a touchdown.

Come the second half however, things changed for New England’s offense – 16 plays, 128 yards, TD. All told here’s how New England’s offense performed for the entire game.

Patriots first down summary
31 plays, 184 yards, 2 TDs, four incompletions, four plays negative yardage
Avg. gain per first down play – 5.93 yards

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins on Revis matchup

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2014 – 7:13 pm

Bills WR Sammy Watkins wasn’t much of a factor in Sunday’s game, which left him a bit surprised, but he gave an insightful synopsis on his matchup with Darrelle Revis Sunday and learned a lot. He hopes to take better advantage of the matchup the second time around in the season finale.

“He was good off the press, but I thought I did great against the press,” said Watkins. “I beat him a couple of times off the press, I didn’t get the ball.  There are things we have to clear out on the field. Once we watch film and they figure out how I can play against them, and they feel the need to come to me, and then to come to me without worrying about interceptions or him stopping me. Next game that’s the way we’ll play.”

When asked what makes Revis so effective, Watkins had a pretty good assessment following his first game against him.

“The way he’s press coverage every play,” he said. “If you let him get his hands on you and be comfortable the whole game it can come out bad for you.  I think I changed him up in the second half. I read what he was doing and I beat him off the line and once again, there are things that we will watch on film for the next game, and for the next game I think they can see that they can come to me on the back side.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Orton: Got to get Sammy involved sooner

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2014 – 6:54 pm

Bills top wideout Sammy Watkins did not get targeted in Buffalo’s passing game until the third quarter. He was matched up in the game against Patriots CB Darrelle Revis, but even QB Kyle Orton admitted that they cannot go a full half of a game without trying to get Watkins more involved in the offense.

“He’s playing against a good corner, no doubt about it and 24 followed him around the whole game,” said Orton. “In the second half he ran some good routes on him and got more involved. He’s a special player and no matter who is covering him we’ve got to find a way to get him involved in the game plan.”

Watkins finished the game with two receptions for 27 yards and was targeted three times in the game. The receiver said he was open a good number of times, particularly in the second half. Orton wasn’t about to disagree.

“I’m sure he was,” Orton said. “There in the second half we had a lot of guys getting open. I don’t really pick guys to throw to. I just try to go through my reads and if they’re open I try to give them the ball. I think we’ve got five or six guys on offense that if we put the ball in their hands they can do a lot of good things with it. I know obviously as competitive Sammy he has going up against a corner like Revis, he wants the ball and show everybody what he can do.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Patriots inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2014 – 11:44 am

Here are the inactives for the Patriots for today’s game with the Bills.

RB James White
CB Brandon Browner
DB Nate Ebner
LB Dont’a Hightower
C Bryan Stork
OL Cameron Fleming
OL Dominique Easley

Posted in Inside the Bills

Spec. teams likely reason why Williams inactive

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2014 – 11:40 am

There was a surprise inactive today for the Bills in WR Mike Williams, who is a healthy scratch today. But here’s probably why the coaches made the decision to sit him this week.

With Aaron Williams inactive for today’s game, Corey Graham is expected to step in at Aaron’s free safety spot on defense. With all those snaps on defense, he’s likely to be pulled off of some special teams duties. That means other players in Mike Williams’ position group, who play on special teams, like receivers Marquise Goodwin and Chris Hogan carry a greater priority than Mike Williams, who does not play on special teams.

So it appears special teams needs could be the primary reason that the staff made the difficult decision to sit Mike Williams this week.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Kyle up; Aaron among Bills inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2014 – 11:39 am

Here are the Bills inactives for today’s game against the Patriots, with Kyle Williams active for today’s game against Buffalo. Aaron Williams however, is not active for today’s game and is expected to be replaced by Corey Graham in the defensive lineup. Here are the rest of the players who will not play today for Buffalo.

WR Marcus Easley
OT Cyrus Kouandjio
S Aaron Williams
WR Mike Williams
CB Ross Cockrell
RB Bryce Brown
LB Randell Johnson

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills aiming to keep Gronk under wraps

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2014 – 9:32 am

Their exact plan has been kept under wraps this week, but the Bills know they’ve got to limit Rob Gronkowski in New England’s passing game. Not only because he’s a favorite target of Tom Brady, but because he’s been a Bills killer over the years.

In his six games played against the Bills, he has 30 catches for 449 yards and nine touchdowns. Six of those touchdowns have come in his last four games played against Buffalo. He did not face the Bills last year due to injury.

His quarterback Tom Brady knows coming back to Buffalo to play his hometown team is a game that Gronk looks forward to.

“He’s done a great job for us since he’s got here,” said Brady. “Being from Buffalo, I know how much he always loved going up there to play, so hopefully he has a great game this weekend. He’s a big part of our offense. He’s fought through a lot of things over the last few years, but he’s excited, he loves being back out there with us, and it’s great to have him back.”

The Bills may use any of a number of players to cover Gronkowski between some of their more athletic linebackers and safeties.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Stephon Gilmore’s BOSE playlist

Posted by on October 12, 2014 – 9:00 am


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 #6, it’s Bills CB Stephon Gilmore.  Check out the songs Stephon will be listening to on Sunday to get him pumped up before he takes on the Patriots.

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Posted in Corporate, Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Marrone: Fans will be louder than Week 2

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2014 – 8:27 am

Back in Week 2 just after it had been announced that the Pegulas had the winning bid for the Bills franchise, Buffalo was hosting Miami in their home opener. The energy in the stadium was electric and the fans had an impact on the game as they forced the Dolphins into some penalties due to the crowd noise. This Sunday with the Pegulas now officially the owners of the team and a big division game against New England, head coach Doug Marrone expects the atmosphere to be even more amped up in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

“My expectation is it’s going to be an even greater atmosphere,” said Marrone in his weekly Coffee with the Coach segment on and presented by Tim Horton’s. “I think that our fans can play a big difference in this game. We’re focused on going out there and beating a divisional opponent, beating New England. And I think our fans will be able to play a big role in this game and help us.”

Patriots QB Tom Brady has played enough games in Ralph Wilson Stadium to know the din that Bills fans can manufacture on game day.

“It’s always a tough place to play. Communication is always an issue,” said Brady. “I’m sure it’s going to be rowdy. The fans are going to be into it. It’s a one o’clock game, everybody is going to get up and get rolling. It’s going to be a great atmosphere. If you love football, then one o’clock Sunday in Orchard Park is where you want to be.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Pats know that Bills ‘D’ funnels rushers inside

Posted by Chris Brown on October 11, 2014 – 12:05 pm

Buffalo’s run defense has been excellent thus far this season. Part of the reason is the ends line up wide, sometimes in a nine technique (outside shade of the tight end). While more is made out of the wide-9 formation defensively with respect to pass rush, it serves an important purpose against the run.

Essentially it funnels runners inside where the defense has more tacklers to bring the ball carrier down. Head coach Doug Marrone has commented that their ability to set the edge has been critical in the improvement in the run game. Lining up so wide helps set that edge in the run front, a trademark of Jim Schwartz defensive schemes.

“It’s the same thing that we saw [when Jim was the defensive coordinator] at Tennessee, same thing that we saw at Detroit with Jim [Schwartz], going back to [Kyle] Vanden Bosch,” said Bill Belichick. “Change the names, but it’s the same type of scheme and players. Yeah, they definitely do that. They like to play the ends out wide. Now, they’ll pinch them in to keep you honest. They don’t do it every play. But yeah, they get the ends out there wide and pinch them into those tackles and they have three guys inside, whether it’s three linebackers or when they’re in nickel sometimes it’s two linebackers and a safety. They definitely try to funnel that.

“They’re a really hard team to get outside on. They don’t give up many outside plays. Jim never has. It’s just hard to get outside those guys. They’re wide plus they’re big and they’re athletic. That’s definitely the foundation of that defense – set the edge with the ends and then like you said, force the ball inside. That’s definitely what they’re trying to do.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dareus has Belichick’s respect

Posted by Chris Brown on October 11, 2014 – 10:59 am

Bills DT Marcell Dareus, who justed earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors following his three-sack performance that included other tackles for no gain or loss, has impressed Patriots head coach Bill Belichick with is spike in production this season. Here was Belichick’s assessment of Dareus’ game this season.

“He’s a hard guy to block. He’s strong, quick, he’s got good instincts,” said Belichick. “He reads blocks well, does a good job attacking the leverage, does a good job in the pass rush of beating, based on how the guard or how he gets set. He had a big play against Detroit where the center slid to him and he split the double team. You don’t see that a lot. He’s got the quickness and the strength to do that.

“He runs (stunt/twist) games well. They run a lot of games. He does a good job with that, as does Kyle Williams. They have that penetrating quickness that makes those games effective and also the athleticism to come around and contain a quarterback if the end goes first or if they run an inside tackle game. Yeah, I agree. I think he’s been good and he’s been even more productive this year. He’s playing [at] a high level in the running game, too. He’s strong, uses his hands well, he reacts well to blocking schemes.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

One-on-One with Terry Pegula – JMS 10/10

Posted by johnmurphyshow on October 10, 2014 – 10:11 pm


What a day to end the week. Terry and Kim Pegula were officially introduced as the new owners of the Buffalo Bills. We heard from an emotional Terry Pegula as he addressed the local media and afterwards, John Murphy sat down and went one-on-one with the new owner. Listeners also called in with their reaction and thoughts on today’s news.

Of course, there is a game on Sunday, a divisional matchup with the Patriots. As we do every Friday, we check in with Bills Insider Chris Brown as he discussed the game with Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone. Following suit with the Friday tradition, Bills color analyst on the radio network Mark Kelso sat down in-studio with his broadcast partner to go over the game. Kelso broke down the game with much detail as he always does when it comes to the matchup on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. He also addressed Kyle Orton and if he can continue to grow in the Bills offense.

Kyle Orton

“If he can maintain that consistency for the rest of the year, I’d be pretty happy about it. A couple of times balls were arrant, the accuracy but I think that will come with time as he works with these receivers because he hasn’t had a lot of time with these guys. Obviously, last week he had the entire week but that was probably the extent of it. He was probably running a lot of scout team prior to that so maybe he had not thrown the ball to Sammy Watkins and doesn’t understand how he comes out of his break and needs to lead him a little bit more but if he can play at that level. He threw the beautiful deep ball to Marquise and I think the tight ends across the middle of the field could be a big opportunity this week as well. They (Patriots) don’t handle pre-snap movement and the cluster stuff very well because if they’re trying to play a lot of man, guys will get lost in there and I think if Kyle has the accuracy that he had last week, most of the time, Bills will be able to take advantage of the passing game.”


Kelso also weighed in with his reaction to today’s introduction of the Pegula Family.


Finally, we checked in at the Billieve event in Niagara Falls as they tied a ribbon across the Rainbow Bridge and capped it off by lighting the Falls pink. Bills place kicker Dan Carpenter’s wife Kaela called in to talk about the event, her second year taking part. To hear that and the rest of Friday’s John Murphy Show, click below.


Posted in Inside the Bills