Inside The Bills

Tasker: “Defense will set the tone” – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 22, 2014 – 9:40 pm

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Back at One Bills Drive, all settled in and ready for the team to open their home portion of the schedule tomorrow night when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We heard from two Buffalo natives on the roster, Mike Williams and Jimmy Gaines as they talked about their return to Buffalo and playing in Ralph Wilson Stadium. We also asked the listeners what they are looking for in Saturday night’s game and who was the most valuable and most improved player during training camp.

 

We kicked things off by bringing in WGR’s Sal Capaccio who will be roaming the sidelines on game day as the sideline reporter for the Bills radio broadcast. Capaccio discussed his excitement for his new role and also touched on what he is looking for from the Bills tomorrow night. He specifically mentioned the wide receivers and the battle for the final roster spots, which may come on special teams.

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At the bottom of the first hour, we were joined by the Buffalo Bills Bill Walsh Minority Intern Chris McAlister, who was assisting defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson during training camp. Henderson was McAlister’s coach in Baltimore when he was a pro bowl cornerback for the Ravens. McAlister weighed in on why he wanted to get into coaching following his playing career. He talked about the experience and what he saw from a deep and talented Buffalo defensive backfield.

 

“After watching all of them this entire training camp and really having the chance to study them on tape, they’ve done a great job of coming together as a unit. I think with the leadership they have out there with Aaron (Williams) at the back and then Leodis (McKelvin) and (Stephon) Gilmore are both playing solid when they are both healthy…These guys can do something special. I think last year they had a great year but I think this year they will be a lot better.”

 

McAlister reflected on his career with the Ravens including winning a Super Bowl in 2000.

 

At the top of the hour we were joined by former Buffalo Bills special team ace Steve Tasker. Tasker will the color analyst Saturday night on the Buffalo Bills TV broadcast along with play-by-play man Ray Bentley. He has studied the team through the first few weeks of the preseason and gave his thoughts.

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“The defense is going to set the tone for the team. They are so talented and so deep across the board. I think the thing that struck me about this group, this year, on both sides of the ball and all over their roster is one, how big they are everywhere and two, how deep they are. Their offensive line seems to have enough guys plus it’s great when they’re saying we have to move some guys around to make sure we can get them on the field because there are so many good players out there. That’s something that hasn’t happened in Buffalo for a while.”

 

Tasker will return to his duties on Sunday with CBS, his 17th year broadcasting the games. He will be in the booth this year, part of a 3-man group with Steve Beuerlein and Andrew Catalon.

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Finally, now just one day away from fans getting their chance to see the new renovations to Ralph Wilson Stadium, we were joined in-studio by the Bills Vice President of Event Operations and Guest Experience Andy Major. Major talked about the different amenities that will be offered to fans this year, what has changed regarding entering the stadium and parking, which now will include the gates and lots that coincide. He discussed the fresh look with new signage and updated concessions inside the stadium.

 

To hear all of Friday’s John Murphy Show, click below.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-22

Posted by Chris Brown on August 22, 2014 – 12:53 pm

The preseason is winding down. Almost time for the real stuff. Let’s get to your latest round of questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – When are the Bills going to address Spiller’s contract?  Is he going to be another Bills 1st rounder they don’t sign and let them leave?

Thanks,
Steve Lehmann
Life-long Bills fan in Charlotte, NC

CB: The current issue concerning Spiller and opening discussions on a new contract is he is currently without representation. The Bills’ back does not have an agent right now and GM Doug Whaley stated recently that the club will wait until Spiller has secured proper representation before approaching him to negotiate a possible extension.

 

2 – Hey Chris,
Of course us Bills fans are constantly hearing a lot about EJ Manuel in training camp and his “ups and downs”.  The one term I hear used a lot is that he is patting the ball before he throws it.  I read that this can give the defender an extra step because when they see that they know he’s about to throw and it’s likely going to be in their lane. But I also read that it doesn’t always have a negative effect and in fact Drew Bledsoe was known to have a very quick release even though he pat the ball. I’ve also read that this is so the QB can make sure that the ball is secured in their hand before they throw it. Do you think this is something that EJ has to work on and do you think it is affecting his game in a negative way?

Also, a lot has been said about him not being able to read the field and get through his progressions.  Depending on who you listen to some say that’s something you have or you don’t.  But I think that he just needs more time and game time experience and maybe the experience will allow him to get used to the speed of the NFL.  I am interested in your thoughts.

Thanks always, Jillian

CB: There’s no denying that there have been times that EJ has patted the ball or hesitated to pull the trigger. I think all young quarterbacks go through that as part of their learning curve. I will say that Manuel is doing less of it now than he was at the start of training camp.

The patting of the ball is not the concern as much as does EJ trust what he’s seeing unfold around him? Over the past week or so the answer has been unequivocally yes. Now that doesn’t mean that EJ is going to start lighting it up every week on the field, but there is noticeable progress.

We’ll just have to wait and see how more time on the field in games brings his personal game along.

3 – Hello Chris,

Great coverage. I enjoy your analytical approach to our Buffalo Bills. Speaking of just that, I noticed that the Bills were #1 on fumbles last season at 32 according to NFL.com. The data that I saw had:

Combined Fumbles:
Spiller/Jackson at 10
E.J./Lewis/Tuel at 8
Goodwin/Graham/Johnson/Chandler at 6

I couldn’t account for the remainder so I am not terribly confident about the 32 fumbles. I don’t hear much conversation around that stat by reporters (if it’s correct). I would think that with the loss of Byrd and his take away ability that the coaches and media would make that a point of extreme emphasis in achieving a better giveaway/takeaway ratio, which is one of the keys in winning in the NFL.

Color me confused,
Alan from Northeastern NY

CB: To provide a clear picture of the fumble numbers from last season here are all the statistics. First, yes the Bills did have 32 fumbles in 2013 and that did lead the league. However, only 12 of those fumbles resulted in turnovers. That ranked sixth-most in the league.

Part of the reason there were so many fumbles was because the Bills had the most total rushes in the NFL (546). The more plays you have, in general the more fumbles you’re going to have.

Now all that being said the Bills still ranked first in the percentage of fumbles per touch (1.97%). There were only five other teams in the league with a percentage over 1.7 percent (Was., Oak., Sea., Ten., NYG).

So you’re right it is a legitimate concern. Really what it comes down to is ball security, having the proper points of pressure on the ball with your forearm, ribs and fingers and carrying it high and tight. When I get a chance I’ll see if coach Wheatley has any extra insight on it based on last season’s numbers.

 
4 – Chris,

As usual, thank you for the outstanding coverage from you and your staff, especially for those of us outside of NY State.

My question: The first 2 preseason games, I’ve noticed the offense has predominantly used the standard “huddle” before running plays. Gone is the no huddle or hurry up Offense that we’ve heard was going to be the norm. The Bills ran 64 total plays against the Giants 61 and 63 against Carolinas 69. A difference of -3 for both games. Will the Bills be scrapping the hurry up offense this year?  Thank you.

Steve
Pismo Beach, CA

CB: I have faith that the Bills will run their no huddle on offense this season. I don’t think you should expect it to be deployed on ever series of every game. Yes, they do want to go fast and I think there’s a good chance we see some of it on Saturday night against Tampa Bay, but Doug Marrone has said it will be slowed down or sped up based on game situations and on game plans for the particular opponent they’re facing that week.

Quite frankly that makes the most sense. For example, if you’re facing a club with a top five scoring offense, going fast for the whole game might not be the way to go knowing you run the risk of giving their top flight offense more possessions and the potential to score more points too.
5 – Hey Chris,

After the performance by Ron Brooks in the Carolina game, I’m wondering if the Bills are thinking of possibly moving Leodis. Brooks seems to have turned the corner, but he’d be corner #6 on the roster. Do you see him making the roster or getting unfortunately cut?

Thanks,
Tommy in the Pittsford branch of #Billsmafia!

CB: Brooks has had his best camp to date in his career with Buffalo. He was very consistent and got a lot of quality reps with Stephon Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin slow to return to the team portions of practice in camp coming off of hip surgeries.

Brooks is essentially running as the fourth cornerback behind Gilmore, McKelvin and Graham if you consider Nickell Robey strictly a slot corner. So right now he’s in the top five at cornerback with rookie Ross Cockrell the likely number 6. So I think Brooks is in great shape to make the roster at this point.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Schwartz glad to have Graham

Posted by Chris Brown on August 22, 2014 – 10:41 am

Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is pretty happy with a lot of the talent he has on his side of the ball this season. Having reliable players who execute consistently is something every coordinator covets. Schwartz believes he has that in a good number of his player, and confirmed recently that Corey Graham is one of them.

When asked what Graham has brought to the Bills defense Schwartz didn’t hold back.

“A lot. An awful lot. He’s a very good leader, he’s a student of the game,” Schwartz said. “He’s an excellent professional, meaning that he prepares every day. He’s competitive. He plays the ball down the field very well, he’s a good tackler. He’s very assignment sound. He gives coaches a lot of confidence in him. He’s been playing a lot of different positions for us. He’s been playing corner, he’s been playing nickel, he’s been playing dime. Even the last couple days he’s been playing some safety. I mean everything we’ve been giving him he’s done a good job with. I’m very happy to be working with him.”

After the injuries suffered by Leodis McKelvin and Stephon Gilmore last year Buffalo wanted to have another veteran corner that could play a lot and play well. McKelvin just suffered a groin injury earlier this week so Graham’s presence is comforting.

This Saturday however, Graham might be lining up at safety having been there in practice all week.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

RWS construction workers invited to games

Posted by Anna Stolzenburg on August 22, 2014 – 10:39 am

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Over the course of the massive offseason renovation project, hundreds of construction workers have spent countless hours building and perfecting the new look at Ralph Wilson Stadium. They’ve worked in rain and snow, and everything from a -22 degree wind chill to 92 degree heat. For all of their hard work and dedication to the project, the Bills have invited the hundreds of Ralph Wilson Stadium construction workers to the two home preseason games to sit back, relaex and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Manuel: “more confident with myself” – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 21, 2014 – 10:00 pm

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Our last show here in Pittsford as we depart from St. John Fisher College. The team broke camp early this afternoon. Post-practice, head coach Doug Marrone spoke to the media. We got his thoughts on the 5-week long camp. We also heard from our listeners who weighed in on tonight’s topic. What is the best thing the team got done in camp this year?

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We kicked things off with a visit from quarterback EJ Manuel. He broke camp with the rest of his teammates and is looking forward to settling back in at Orchard Park and surveying to new look Ralph Wilson Stadium. He also is focused on Saturday’s upcoming game against the Bucs, the team’s fourth preseason game in which he expects to get a heavy load of playing time. With the starting offense still looking for their first touchdown, he realizes the importance of getting that done this week.

 

 

“I’m excited to have another opportunity, especially knowing I’ll probably play a lot more in this game. We obviously want to go out there on our first drive and execute a touchdown but the more bats at get, the better we’ll be.”

 

 

Manuel talked about how beneficial his first true training camp has been in the NFL after being injured last summer and missing time. He discussed the importance of having quarterback coach Todd Downing on the staff and the chemistry with offseason acquisition, Mike Williams.

 

 

At the bottom of the hour Buffalo native, UB grad, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB/DE Steven Means called in. Means is entering his second year in the NFL and continues to play well up front on the line, especially in the team’s latest preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He now returns home to Buffalo and hopes to play in front of his hometown crowd and he’s looking forward to the reunion.

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“I think it’s going to be really emotional to step out there. It’s kind of like a homecoming for me. At the same time I have to stay focused. God presented that blessing for me to be able to play and I need to go out there and execute to the best of my ability. It’s going to be a great feeling stepping out on that field.”

 

 

 

At the top of the first hour, we were joined by former Bills linebacker and now NFL Analyst Takeo Spikes. Spikes was recently added to the roster of new analysts for NBC Sports Network’s Pro Football Talk.

 

 

“I’ve been prepping myself for this since my fourth year in the league when I was with Cincinnati. Anytime I had the opportunity to jump into the media world or even give an interview, I remember talking to you (John Murphy) back in the day. I did it because I knew one day this is what I wanted to be associated with. I knew I did not want to coach because it would acquire too much time and I had a daughter, a newborn at the time, but I knew that by me staying in the game with the media aspect, it was a good way for me to stay apart of the game but away from the game at the same time.”

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Spikes also talked about the praise he gave to his cousin and current Bills linebacker, Brandon Spikes on coming to Buffalo. Takeo talked at length about his love for the Bills fans and said they are “second to none.” He also said he thinks the Bills have more than a chance to compete with the Patriots for the division.

 

 

Finally, with less than two days until fans get to see the newly renovated Ralph Wilson Stadium, we were joined by Kelly Kerns, the principal at Populous who is leading the design work for the renovations. Kearns has been a part of improving the fan experience in numerous NFL stadiums. He said the makeover at the Ralph will be a “game changer for the fans.” He discussed the gates and entry way into the stadium which will be a cleaner and more efficient way of getting in and around the inside the stadium and plenty of other improvements that will be unveiled Saturday night.

 

 

To hear more from Kearns and the rest of Thursday’s John Murphy Show, click below.

 

 

 

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone: We’re close

Posted by Chris Brown on August 21, 2014 – 4:05 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone comes out of the team’s 2014 training camp believing that his team isn’t far off from contending for the postseason in 2014. He went so far as to say as much right after the final camp practice concluded.

“Here’s what I sense. We’re close. We are close,” he said. “What is it going to be to get over the top? It’s a matter of either you get over the top or you don’t and we’ve got to find a way to push ourselves over the top. There’s a lot less things I’m focused on from the year before. There’s a lot less this year. Now, this year is critical to get us over the top. I’m doing everything I possibly can to get us over the top and, if intensity is the answer, yeah I’m intense.”

Marrone has pushed the players hard through as he continues to help forge the team’s identity as a tough, physical team that is better conditioned than the other 31 in the league.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

EJ: Only steps forward

Posted by Chris Brown on August 21, 2014 – 4:00 pm

Bills QB EJ Manuel was happy with a lot of things that were accomplished in training camp by the offense. For him personally he was just pleased he got through it healthy after having his rookie training camp interrupted by a knee injury sustained in the Minnesota preseason game last summer. He felt being on the field every day made it easier for him to take positive steps toward the kind of quarterback he wants to be this fall.

“I think it’s gone well. Each day we’ve made progress. I don’t think there were any days where we took a step backwards. That was a big thing for myself. I didn’t want to have any days where I had a step or two back,” said Manuel. “Every day I worked on something whether it was the smallest thing that may not have been big to those watching our progress. But I’ve seen growth and development in myself. So I’m very happy about it.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills practice squad eligibility list

Posted by Chris Brown on August 21, 2014 – 3:56 pm

With the new rules expanding the Bills practice squad from eight to 10 players and allowing players with up to two accrued NFL seasons to serve on a practice squad here’s a breakdown of the players who are eligible from Buffalo’s roster.

The first list identifies what players are eligible under the original designation of practice squad player. These are the players who could make up the first eight spots.

QB – Dennis Dixon

RB – Ronnie Wingo

WR – Caleb Holley, Chris Summers, Sammy Watkins

TE – Dominique Jones

OL – Seantrel Henderson, Cyrus Kouandjio, Macky MacPherson, Antoine McClain, Cyril Richardson, J.J. ‘Unga, Jared Wheeler

DE – Ike Igbinosun, Bryan Johnson, Jacquies Smith

DT – Stefan Charles, Damien Jacobs

LBs – Xavius Boyd, Preston Brown, Jimmy Gaines, Randell Johnson, Ty Powell 

CBs – Ross Cockrell, Sam Miller, Bobby Felder, Kamaal McIlwain

 S – Derek Brim, Deon Broomfield, JaJuan Harley, Kenny Ladler, Jonathan Meeks

K/P – Jake Dombrowski, Dustin Hopkins

This second list is the group of players who could fill the two spots on the practice squad by having two accrued NFL seasons or being active for less than nine regular season games in any of their accrued NFL seasons.

QB – EJ Manuel, Jeff Tuel

RB/FB – Bryce Brown, Evan Rodriguez, Frank Summers

WR – Marquise Goodwin,  T.J. Graham, Chris Hogan, Naaman Roosevelt, Robert Woods

TE – Chris Gragg

OL – Cordy Glenn, Chris Hairston

 DT – Corbin Bryant

 LBs –  Kiko Alonso, Nigel Bradham

CBs – Ron Brooks, Stephon Gilmore, Nickell Robey

S – Duke Williams


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gameday Activities: Kids Day vs. Buccaneers

Posted by buffalobills.com on August 21, 2014 – 3:48 pm

Here’s a rundown of gameday activities for Saturday’s Kids Day game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Saturday, August 23, 2014
Kickoff: 4:30 p.m.
Gates open: 3:00 p.m.
Tailgate Parties: Kids Day Tailgate in Lot 4 features live entertainment, kids games and discounted concessions.

Giveaway
The first 30,000 children (14 and under) will receive a pair of Bills sunglasses courtesy of Independent Health

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Pregame
Player warm-ups: 3:35 p.m.
Stampede performance
Thank you fans ceremony
Color guard: Dunkirk High School JROTC
National anthem: Baylee Morrison

Halftime

USA Football / Heads Up Football scrimmage
August represents USA Football Month for the NFL and USA Football, with a special emphasis on the Heads Up Football initiative. Heads Up Football (HUF) is a comprehensive youth football membership program developed by USA Football and supported by the NFL to further strengthen youth player safety.

Tailgating Reminder: No open fires are permitted in the Bills parking lots or on stadium grounds. Fires in contained grills are permitted.  Please do not empty hot coals on the parking lot pavement. Thank you!

Security Process: Remember to arrive at the gates early to avoid missing any of the pregame activities.  Be sure to empty pockets in preparation for the metal detection screening process at gate entry.

Make Mom Proud: Follow the Bills fan code of conduct available here.

Designated Driver:  If you’re over 21, stop by any Guest Service Booth and pledge not to drink and make sure everyone in your group gets home safely.  Designated drives will receive a coupon good for one non-alcoholic beverage and will be entered into a raffle to win the Designated Driver of the Game prize and sweepstakes with a chance to win Pro Bowl or Super Bowl tickets. Sign up here.

Visa Deal of the Game: Spend $50 and get the Logo Bandz for FREE!

 

BAG POLICY REMINDER:

  1. Clear Bags smaller than 12” x 6” x 12” are permitted.
  2. One gallon clear plastic freezer bags are permitted.
  3. Small clutch bag approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap is

permitted.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

JMS on the Road at Shooters Bar & Grill 8/20

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 20, 2014 – 10:47 pm

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We took the show on the road for tonight’s show, right down the street to Shooters Sports Bar & Grill in Fairport. http://www.shootersny.com/ A good turnout gave us a chance to connect with the fans and get their opinions and questions for this year’s Bills team. We had plenty of visitors throughout the night.

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Our first guest was defensive end Jerry Hughes. Hughes had a breakout year last season, his first as a Bill after being traded from Indianapolis. He talked about how he’s been put in a position to make plays and “create havoc.” He said coming to Buffalo for him is not considered a fresh start.

Jerry Hughes

 

“I feel like it was a start, honestly. I really didn’t get an opportunity to get on the field as much as I would have liked to in Indy, but last year I felt like it was the start to be completely honest…I just really wanted to get on the field and I know they told me I was going to get the opportunity to do so. When I saw my opportunities, I have to make the most of them.

 

 

Hughes also talked about the success as a whole for the defensive. He gave a lot of credit to a young but talented defensive backfield who force quarterbacks to look down to their second and third reads, which in-turn gives players like Hughes and the rest of the defensive line more time to apply pressure on the QB.

 

 

At the top of the hour we were joined on-site by offensive line coach Pat Morris. There has been shuffling along the offensive front during training camp and with the season opener now just two weeks away, Morris is confident they will solidify the o-line when they travel to Chicago.

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“You want to go in and you want to feel confident that you have the best five guys that have worked and are competitors, that are tough, will go out there and protect the quarterback, and run the football. That’s the key, just because someone has been next to somebody and there’s a better guy on the bench, you can’t do that to yourself. It’s not fair to the team and I think that’s what we’re looking at.”

 

 

Morris also commented on the depth of the offensive line and mentioned specifically the added size they brought in during the offseason, including seventh round pick Seantrel Henderson who Morris said “has the desire and the love for football.”

 

 

Finally, with the Bills close to approaching their home debut we were joined on the line by Chief Marketing Officer Marc Honan. Honan talked about the recent renovations to Ralph Wilson Stadium. He mentioned the new concession stands and the “super gates” to allow quicker and more efficient entry into the stadium. One of the more noticeable projects taking place deals with the three new scoreboards, which will feature more information from around the league and plenty of highlights. He also mentioned the brand new Bills Store, which is the focal point as you enter Ralph Wilson Stadium.

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To hear more from Honan and the rest of The John Murphy Show, click below.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2014 – 8:13 pm

Here’s a rundown of where you can find Bills players and coaches on the local radio airwaves in Buffalo an Rochester.

WCMF, Break room 96.5 FM
o 7:20 am – Aaron Williams

Kiss 98.5, Janet and Nick
o 7:30 am – EJ Manuel

The Fan 1270, Rich Gaenzler
o 1:40 pm – Mike Williams


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jim Kelly health update

Posted by Anna Stolzenburg on August 20, 2014 – 4:11 pm

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The New York Head & Neck Institute at Lenox Hospital in Manhattan, the hospital spearheading Jim Kelly’s cancer treatments and evaluation, released this statement today:

Jim Kelly was evaluated yesterday at the New York Head & Neck Institute at Lenox Hospital in Manhattan, three months after having completed the radiation and chemotherapy protocol designed to treat his recurrent sinus cancer. Dr. Peter Constantino, Executive Director of the Institute, stated that, “The treatments so far have completely eliminated Mr. Kelly’s pain, and his level of function has essentially returned to normal. Further, on physical examination, there is no evidence of cancer.”

Over the coming week, a series of tests will be performed to determine if any further treatment will be necessary. Constantino added, “It is possible that no further treatment will be required, and the testing over the next week will define this issue.”


Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Chandler linking up with Manuel

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2014 – 1:41 pm

He missed a week of training camp action with a groin injury, but now back in the fold for almost two weeks TE Scott Chandler feels he and EJ Manuel are in sync and as ready for the regular season as they could be.

“I feel like these last two weeks have really been good for us just to be consistently out there together,” said Chandler. “We alternated knee injuries throughout our time together, but these last two weeks we’ve been able to get on the same page, look at a lot of film together and get some work in after practice.”

Chandler led the team in receptions and receiving yards last season and had four catches for 40 yards last Saturday at Pittsburgh.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills coaches have special teamers identified

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2014 – 1:09 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone was asked about the importance of the last two preseason games as it pertains to jobs on special teams. Marrone gave strong indication that the core special teamers for their squad have largely been selected.

“I think we have that group,” Marrone said. “We’ll just wait. Obviously we’re still in a process, but I feel very comfortable about the guys that we have identified right now. I think when the roster is set, and we get down to the final cuts, we’ll talk about that role for those players.”

Buffalo signed free agents like Boobie Dixon and Corey Graham to provide some veteran leadership on special teams this offseason.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Safety gives Corey Graham new perspective

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2014 – 9:29 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone hinted at it as early as the spring, not long after Corey Graham was signed by the club as a free agent. He and the defensive staff wanted to get a look at the seven-year cornerback at safety. That didn’t happen however, until the final week of training camp, and Graham had put the thought out of his mind.

“I was a little surprised just like you guys of the opportunity to play safety, but it’s fun,” said Graham. “It definitely is a different look. It would be a fun transition. I don’t know how much or how serious we’re going to be about it, but it’s good to start to learn it. I kind of learned it already in the past, but it’s good to finally get out there and play a little bit.”

When asked about Graham’s prospects at the safety position head coach Doug Marrone downplayed the significant of the move. He indicated it was done to make sure Graham could handle the role in an emergency situation if there were a rash of injuries at the position on game day.

“We’re just making sure that we’re training people for game day stuff,” said Marrone. “You know, how we want to do it. If we have four safeties out there then he can play safety, he can play corner, he can do a lot of different things for us. We had to cross train. We cross trained the backers too with Preston Brown and Ty Powell (in practice).”

In his two days lining up at safety Graham has found directing the traffic defensively pre-snap to be the most challenging aspect of the job.

“That’s probably the biggest thing, telling everybody what to do and get everybody lined up,” said Graham. “The mental part of it is probably the biggest thing. Playing it is a lot easier than corner.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone: Glenn, Henderson could be special duo

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2014 – 6:58 am

On Monday the Bills made a big time switch on their offensive line when Cordy Glenn was fully cleared for practice. Seantrel Henderson, who had been filling in at left tackle was flipped to right tackle where he played in college. Though head coach Doug Marrone has maintained all along that he’s still trying to find his best five linemen, he has no doubt that Glenn and Henderson are two of them.

Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 this morning on the Howard Simon show Marrone was asked about the two tackles who are currently lining up in starting roles on the left and right side. By the sound of Marrone’s responses the two tackles are likely to be fixtures at their positions.

Marrone was first asked about Cordy Glenn and how he’s looked in his return from a medical condition that kept him off the practice field for much of camp.

“He looks good, really good. I mean really good,” said Marrone. “He looks better than he did last year. He’s moving well, the term fresh legs is what people say out on the field. But he worked hard through that medical issue to make sure that his weight was down and that he was stronger. That takes a lot of discipline from his end not to blow up weight-wise and he looks good.”

When asked if he feels rookie seventh-round pick Seantrel Henderson is starting caliber in this league right now the Bills head coach didn’t hesitate.

“No doubt. No doubt. I think (I feel that way) because I’ve been around that position my whole entire life,” said Marrone. “He’s a heck of a football player. A heck of a football player. You have seen it on TV. What’s there not to like? He’s probably one of the biggest guys, he has the most muscle mass. He probably has the quickest feet along with Cordy Glenn.

“He’s a bright kid. He’s smart. His work ethic is outstanding. He’s been everything that people obviously didn’t say about him when he was coming out which is why we were able to get him in the seventh round. I think he understands that and there are periods in time when people can change and one of them is when you go from college into this league. He understands that. We have to do everything we can to not only keep him progressing on the field, but off the field. He is a very talented football player and there’s no telling how good he can be.”

The thought of Glenn and Henderson together as bookend tackles is something Marrone believes could be special for a long time.

“We have an opportunity now that if (Henderson) keeps coming the way he keeps coming to have maybe the best (tackle) tandem in the league.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on August 19, 2014 – 11:56 pm

Here’s a rundown of where you can find Bills players and coaches on the local and regional radio airwaves Wednesday morning.

  • WCMF, Break room
    • 6:30 am – Doug Marrone
    • 7:45 am – Doug Whaley
  • K-Rock CNY (Syracuse & Utica), The Show (on-site)
    • 7:00 am – Macky Macpherson
  • WGR 550, Howard Simon and Jeremy White
    • 6:15 am – Doug Marrone
    • 7:30 am – Doug Whaley
  • CBS Sports Radio, Tiki Barber
    • 7:25 am – Brandon Spikes

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Giving Fans Something to Shout About – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 19, 2014 – 10:01 pm

jms-middle-1280x720--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

 

At the bottom of the first hour, we were joined by tight end Lee Smith. Smith discussed the long training camp this year and how it’s helped build team chemistry and how they’ve become a “tight-knit” group because of it. He weighed in on the rest of the players in his unit and even though each of them plays the same position, he did say he’s ok with being labeled as the “blocking” tight end in the group.

 lee smith

“I’ve been dreaming of playing in this league since I was a little kid. To be labeled as the blocking tight end, I take pride in that. If I can be that sixth offensive lineman and get in there and grind with those big boys, that’s something I take a lot of pride in and I enjoy it. If I had to run around on a tennis court all day, I wouldn’t like it too much. Getting in there with the hogs and grinding, that’s a lot of fun.”

 

Smith also discussed his excitement for returning to Ralph Wilson Stadium after three straight road games.

 

“It’s going to feel different being back at the Ralph. They’ve done a lot of things over there and it’s going to be a great atmosphere. Playing in this league is awesome regardless of where you’re playing but there’s nothing like playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium. I tell people all the time, it’s the best place in the league to play and we’re fired up and we’re ready to give these fans something to shout about.”

fastest team

At the top of the hour, Grantland contributing writer Bill Barnwell joined us to talk about his recent article on the site regarding the fastest teams in the NFL. He had the Bills ranked fourth in the league. “need for speed” He worked with player 40-times when it comes to skill positions like wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends. Defensively, the majority were from the defensive backfield. Even though these teams are ranked atop when it comes to overall speed, they may not be the most productive.

 

“Those teams have some fast players. They have some good offensive players but they are not among the better offenses in football but meanwhile the older teams in the league and the slower teams in the league rated at some of the best offenses in football. New England, Chicago, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Denver, those are teams that rated out as pretty slow against the average.”

 

Finally, we were joined by the Executive Director of Independent Health Foundation, Carrie Meyer. Meyer joined the show to talk about the upcoming Kids Day at Ralph Wilson Stadium sponsored by Independent Health as the Bills open the home portion of their preseason schedule. Meyer discussed their sponsorship with the Bills when it comes to the Kids Fitness Challenge and the NFL Play60 initiative. Meyer explained Saturday at the stadium will feature games for those in attendance that will involve smart decision making when it comes to healthy choices. She also touched on the atmosphere they expect when the kids invade the Ralph and encourages parents to attend the game with their children.

centerpiece_kidsday

To hear more from Meyer and the rest of The John Murphy Show, click below.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

T.J. Graham assesses his progress

Posted by Chris Brown on August 19, 2014 – 7:55 pm

Coming back from offseason hip surgery has been a long and arduous process for T.J. Graham, but over the past week or so he’s demonstrated progress on both offense and on special teams. Still, it’s nowhere near where Graham believes his peak resides so he’s hoping to get there sooner rather than later.

Graham performed well on punt returns Saturday night in Pittsburgh averaging a respectable nine yards a return with a long of 23 yards. Any average that approaches the equivalent of an extra first down for the offense (10 yards) is considered pretty solid.

Graham was also targeted three times in the game and had one catch for 16 yards.

His past week he’s been a bigger factor in the passing game. The third-year wideout pulled no punches when it came time to assess his performance thus far in training camp.

“I’ve had some crappy days, but that’s just the growing pains from coming back from my rehab,” he said. “I’m trying to get better every day. This is the best I’ve been so far, but it’s not the best I can be.”

The N.C. State product is hopeful that there are enough opportunities left to make a full return to his optimum form.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin returns to 11-on-11

Posted by Chris Brown on August 18, 2014 – 11:21 pm

Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn wasn’t the only player who saw team work for the first time in a while Monday night. Leodis McKelvin, who was sprinkled in for team work late last week, but did not play in last Saturday’s preseason game was participating in team reps in both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11.

His best play was the pass breakup he had on a post route by Chris Hogan across the middle of the end zone. McKelvin appeared to be playing trail technique and reached his front arm out as the pass arrived to knock it away for an incompletion.

It was the first play McKelvin has made in a while, which explains why he let out a giant, ‘Owwwwoooh!!’ after making the play.

Hopefully it’s a sign of a lot more plays to come.


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Posted in Inside the Bills