Inside The Bills

Goodell learned a lot from 90’s Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on June 6, 2016 – 3:26 pm

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was taking part in the Jim Kelly Celebrity Golf Classic for the first time on Monday. Goodell, who was born in Jamestown, NY, was happy to be back in Western New York and called Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly a good friend for many years. Goodell also said he learned something from Kelly and his 90’s Bills teammates when he was an NFL intern 25 years ago.

Back during Buffalo’s four straight Super Bowl appearances, Goodell was just starting off as an up and comer in the NFL offices. One of his assignments was the Pro Bowl, which back then was played after the Super Bowl. He was assigned the task of picking up Pro Bowl participants who had just played in the Super Bowl to take them to the airport to fly to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl the following week.

“I got to know a lot of these guys from the great years of Bills football teams,” Goodell said. “I’d have to pick them up the morning after the Super Bowl and drive them to the airport and we’d fly to Honolulu. I’d always say to Jim and the rest of the guys that I learned a lot from that. Here these guys the discipline that they had that Monday morning, they were all class acts, every single one of them. They obviously were disappointed (after losing), but professional, couldn’t have been better. That bus came at 4:30 or 5 in the morning and they were all there and jumped on the bus and we were off. I learned a lot from that.

“The fact of doing what it takes to be a professional. You may be disappointed with the outcome of a game and that’s hard to deal with, but they had another obligation which was to get to the Pro Bowl. And they got there on time to be on the bus and they were glad to be there. They treated everyone the same way they would’ve if they won I think. And one thing I’ll say about Jim and it’s one of the things I’ve loved about Jim is he treats me the same as he did when I was that young intern in the NFL as he does right now as Commissioner, which I appreciate.”


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Bills picked as a team to end playoff drought

Posted by Chris Brown on June 3, 2016 – 2:52 pm

The Buffalo Bills currently have the longest playoff drought in the NFL at 16 years. There are a host of other teams that haven’t sniffed the postseason in a while as well. Recently BleacherReport put together a list of teams most likely to vanquish their postseason demons in 2016 and Buffalo made the list.

Their report had Buffalo as one of six teams most likely to end their playoff futility. Here was BR’s assessment.

The Bills came close to earning a wild-card berth in head coach Rex Ryan’s first season at the helm until they suffered four close losses in the last seven weeks. A redeeming victory came against the divisional foe New York Jets in Week 17 to keep Gang Green from ending their own playoff drought. But the expectation is for this team to capitalize on having its best quarterback since Doug Flutie in Tyrod Taylor and to challenge the Patriots for the division.

Few teams have a more talented roster from top to bottom. A few question marks exist at wide receiver and along the offensive line (particularly in terms of depth), but the power-run offense and smashmouth defense are intimidating for opponents to prepare for. The Bills’ biggest foes last year were themselves, as they tied for the league lead in penalties committed with 143.   

Odds Shark has the Bills tied for second as favorites in the AFC East, which should put them in line to compete for a wild-card berth.

The five other teams picked in the report were Oakland, Jacksonville, NY Jets, NY Giants and Tampa Bay.


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Vet Lawson likes rookie Lawson’s approach

Posted by Chris Brown on June 3, 2016 – 1:49 pm

They’ve only been together in position meetings for a couple of weeks, but 11-year vet Manny Lawson got a good first impression from rookie Shaq Lawson.

“I expect big things from him,” said Lawson of Buffalo’s top draft choice in a recent appearance on the John Murphy Show. “I like his mindset, he’s eager to come in and work. Even when we first met he was asking me questions and how I’ve remained in the league so long and things that he can do to better himself. So I expect big things out of him.”

As for what Manny told Shaq in terms of having career longevity in the NFL, the message was simple.

“Do what you’re told and know what your job is,” said Lawson. “Nothing is really given to you in this league. You have to understand that you have to work for everything, otherwise you can be removed rather easily.”

The two players who share the same surname not only play the same position, but both were also first round draft choices.

 


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Fan Friday 6-3

Posted by Chris Brown on June 3, 2016 – 11:40 am

Two weeks of OTAs down, one to go. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Where has Lavar Edwards lined up? OLB or DE?

Brett Triplett @BrettsterBills

CB: Edwards has lined up exclusively at defensive end through the OTA practices. I think while Edwards has the ideal height to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 system at 6-4, it’s apparent that Buffalo’s defensive coaches believe they have other options with better coverage skills to play that position. Plus Edwards is built in such a way where he can hold the edge in the run game pretty effectively as I see it. So where they have him lined up makes sense to me at this stage.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills how big of a role will Jonathan Williams have year one?

Mark Sciubba @MarkSciubbaDoe

CB: As I mentioned in a blog post earlier this week, I think Jonathan Williams can give Karlos Williams a run for his money as the backup behind LeSean McCoy. Watching his game tape from Arkansas the thing that impresses me most is his contact balance. Just the way he bounces off that initial tackler almost every time and keeps his legs churning for extra yards. I think his thick build fools opponents into thinking he’s just a downhill runner.

He can do that, but he’s also got some elusiveness and speed to pull away from people. Now he’s probably not outrunning some of the faster safeties in the league should he reach the secondary on a play, but he knows angles and has a more diversified skill set than people realize.

The last thing about him is he’s a driven person. He handles adversity very well so I think the challenge of Greg Roman’s voluminous playbook won’t be much of a hurdle for him. That should lead to competent and consistent play and will enable him to push for a bigger role than some might be anticipating from him in 2016.


3 –
@ChrisBrownBills Which players are poised to become major team leaders this upcoming season?

Matt Williams @SportingGlasses

CB: I would put players like Preston Brown in that category as well as Sammy Watkins. Those two have embraced the added responsibility of leading not only by example, but vocally as well. In my mind Tyrod Taylor became a major leader last season.


4 –
@ChrisBrownBills Do you think the Bills will continue to move Sammy around like they did vs the Jets? Or do u think its game plan specific?

@Jiillyy

CB: While the opponent is always a factor in how offenses make use of their most dangerous weapons, I would anticipate moving Sammy Watkins around to continue. It makes him harder to track, thereby making it more difficult for opposing defensive coordinators to stick to a specific plan designed to neutralize him.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills where do you think eric striker fits on this defense if he makes the team?

Ser Davos Seaworth @matt_faso

CB: I think inside linebacker is the only place where he can line up in this scheme. He’s not tall enough to play out on the edge at outside linebacker. If he makes the 53-man roster, knowing how effective he was as a pass rusher I wouldn’t be surprised if he was utilized in some subpackages as an overload rusher off the edge in obvious passing situations.

But he’s going to make this roster because he’s an impact player on special teams, which I believe is certainly in the realm of possibility.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rookie RB Williams picked as sleeper

Posted by Chris Brown on June 3, 2016 – 8:40 am

Danny Shimon from the National Football Post made an appearance on the John Murphy Show this week and tabbed Buffalo’s fifth-round pick Jonathan Williams as his sleeper in his AFC East rundown.

“I like a lot about him,” said Shimon. “He’s 5-11 and 220 pounds, quick feet, loose hips, good vision, runs with balance. Can make defenders miss in the hole at the line or in the open field. He’s a tough, competitive runner. The first defender rarely brings him down. He lowers his shoulder to finish his runs. Another thing is in 436 touches he had just six fumbles, so he secures the ball. There’s a lot to like about him.”

I’m going to tell Bills fans now that they shouldn’t be surprised if he gives Karlos Williams a run for his money for the backup job behind LeSean McCoy in training camp and the preseason.


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Incognito relishing his 2nd chance with Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2016 – 5:38 pm

One could argue that Richie Incognito has had to re-make himself twice after an over aggressive style put him on the outs in St. Louis where he started his NFL career. But now a few years removed from the bullying scandal in Miami, there’s no place Incognito would rather be than Buffalo. 

In an in depth interview with SI.com’s Don Banks, Incognito talked at length about his new lease on life. Here’s an excerpt. 

“Going through all that and coming out on the other end, after learning a lot about myself and owning up to my actions, it made me a better person and a better teammate,” Incognito says. “I know this, this is the most solid, most stable ground I’ve been on in my entire life. That’s in life. It’s been a long process of just being comfortable in my own skin again.” 

Wherever his teammates are gathered, you can usually find Incognito in the middle of the group. Even his daily ping-pong battles in the locker room are now moments he cherishes.

“I’m like, this is awesome,” Incognito says, catching himself amid a recent game. “This is it. This is what I missed big time. I missed being around the guys. I’m a guy’s guy. I love hearing all the crazy stories, and telling my stories. That’s the fun part, and I’m going to just relish it all.”


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Gilmore tabbed as 1st-time Pro Bowler for 2016

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2016 – 1:15 pm

Bills CB Stephon Gilmore is entering a contract year though the club hopes to sign the talented cornerback to a long-term contract extension before next spring’s free agent period. If Gilmore has the season NFL.com predicts it could prove good for Gilmore and the Bills.

NFL.com put together a list of nine players they see performing so well in 2016 that it will vault them to their first career Pro Bowl nod. Gilmore made the list coming in at number six.

6. Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo Bills cornerback: Ronald Darby, Gilmore’s tag-team partner, is also a good candidate for his first Pro Bowl after finishing second in the Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. Still, it seems wrong for Darby to make it before his veteran teammate who also plays a physical style.


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Rex committed to pure Ryan defense in year 2

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2016 – 12:06 pm

He’s still extremely confident in his own abilities as a football coach and he still shoots players straight while also knowing how to have a little fun. But there are some ways that head coach Rex Ryan believes he has changed his approach as a coach after a disappointing 2015 season.

Ryan says that change in approach will be most evident on the defensive side of the ball where he admitted he made some concessions and compromises to his defense last season to appeal to players.

“I’ve changed a lot. I’m a guy that believes in myself a great deal and I believe in the guys that are around me,” said Ryan. “But the way that I grew up, my way of playing defense, in my opinion is the best way. And I think more than ever, it showed me that – and I’m not blaming anything else – I’m responsible for what was on the field last year, 100 percent. But I’ve also been responsible for every team that I’ve ever coached, 100 percent. So we’ll see how it goes, but I expect to be really good. I think we’ll be much improved from last year. And I guess time will tell.”

 


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Enemkpali fighting for role

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2016 – 11:44 am

He’s somewhat of a hybrid player for Rex Ryan’s more traditional 3-4 defense. He doesn’t have the ideal height for an outside linebacker or the ideal thickness to play five-technique defensive end. But he’s determined to find a role for himself.

Head coach Rex Ryan isn’t quite sure where Enemkpali fits right now either.

“I’m not sure, but he’s pushing. He’s pushing hard,” said Ryan of Enemkpali. “He looks pretty good to me. He’s really improved from a mental standpoint. Sometimes you’re overwhelmed as a rookie, but I think he’s taken off. He’s a physical player. He knows exactly what he’s doing, and you’re seeing a better player on the field.”

Shaq Lawson’s shoulder surgery removes one chief competitor at a pass rushing position. Eventually he’ll be back, but Enemkpali will need to have a strong training camp to cement a spot on Buffalo’s roster.


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Former Saints DL backs Rob Ryan’s claim

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2016 – 9:30 am

Last week in an interview with SI.com Bills Assistant head coach/Defense Rob Ryan said he was stripped of control in running the New Orleans defense where he served as defensive coordinator last season. Saints head coach Sean Payton denied the claim. Now a former Saints defensive lineman has come to the defense of Ryan, saying the Bills assistant absolutely had his decision making power on how the defense was to be run taken from him.

Chicago Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, who played for the Saints last season, told Chicago reporters this week that Rob Ryan was in fact stripped of decision making concerning the team’s defense.

“Not to talk about New Orleans for the rest of this interview, but as a player in that system, you can see when power is taken away from a guy,” Hicks said. “It was evident in that situation and you saw what the turnout was because of it.”

The Saints finished last in the league in defense in 2015.

“I’ll forever and always have a lot of love for Rob Ryan, just because there’s nobody that’s going to shoot you straighter,” Hicks told the Chicago media Wednesday. “He’s going to tell you how it is, he’s going to tell you how he feels, and you’re always going to understand his perspective on things, and I feel like that was taken away.”


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Confidence that Carpenter will bounce back

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2016 – 9:12 am

He missed just four field goal attempts last season, typically the average for NFL field goal kickers in a season. For Dan Carpenter the problem was the new distance for extra points last season. Though there were other kickers in the league who had their share of extra point misses, it was a surprise to see the normally reliable Carpenter miss six in 2015. However, a down year that was compromised by a preseason hamstring injury is seen as an exception by head coach Rex Ryan rather than the norm for Carpenter.

Ryan envisions a bounce back year for Buffalo’s place kicker, and draws on prior experience as to why.

“Sometimes when you’re coming off an injury, I remember we had a Pro Bowl kicker that kind of had an off year, Nick Folk was the guy,” said Ryan of his time with the Jets. “Made the Pro Bowl as a rookie kicker for Dallas then he kind of had an injury, had a not so good year and then he came back, kicked real well. We’re expecting (Carpenter) to bounce back.”

As for how he’s faring in spring OTAs, Ryan is encouraged.

“I think he looks good. There will be competition, there’s two guys competing (Jordan Gay, undrafted rookie Marshall Morgan), but we feel pretty good about him. Last year, he made just about every field goal. He’s obviously a proven kicker in this league, and I think coming back a year after the injury is really going to help him.”


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Bills O-line not resting on its laurels

Posted by Chris Brown on June 1, 2016 – 3:48 pm

Buffalo’s offensive line had a lot to hang their hat on last season. Number one in rushing, number one in rushing yards per attempt, among other accolades. But the men up front are in no way content with their performance knowing where the team’s record finished up in 2015.

Pro Bowl center Eric Wood confirmed that the team’s offensive linemen are determined to take another step forward in 2016.

“There is a lot to improve on we were far from perfect,” said Wood. “We didn’t start out the year great. I think we all got better as the year went on. We learned more what was expected of us day in and day out as far as the plays go and the walking schemes. We can get  a lot better, we can get a lot firmer on our protection. Make Tyrod [Taylor] feel as comfortable as we can. With that stable of running backs behind us they make us look good a lot of the time. We want to keep improving on our job.”

Wood is hosting his annual ‘Dinner for a Difference’ at the Hyatt downtown. It’s his foundation’s biggest fundraiser of the year. A lot of local celebrities and players will be out waiting tables and it is a fine dining event with a cocktail hour and a bunch of high end live auction items. The event helps to support sick and disabled children in the WNY community and their families.


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Lawson not offended by drafting of Lawson

Posted by Chris Brown on June 1, 2016 – 3:02 pm

Bills top draft choice Shaq Lawson is probably out until the team is a few weeks into the regular season following his recent shoulder surgery. But when he returns he’s expected to make an impact. He’s also likely to eat into Manny Lawson’s time on the field. The veteran Lawson however, isn’t bothered by the presence of a talented rookie like his namesake.

“I don’t take any offense, but it is competition,” said Lawson. “Everything out here is competition, no job is guaranteed. Every team wants to be the best and have the best players out there. And when you draft a guy that high you expect him to come out here and play. So all it is, is more incentive that has already been here step up and more incentive for him to earn a spot.”

Even if the rookie Lawson was healthy, head coach Rex Ryan indicated that Manny Lawson would still have a significant role in Buffalo’s defense.

“Manny was always going to have a big role for us,” said Ryan. “Albeit as a super sub, a sixth man if you will because he can back up all four linebacker spots.”


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Corey Graham to hold youth football camp

Posted by Kelly Baker on June 1, 2016 – 1:09 pm

Buffalo Bills safety Corey Graham will be holding a youth football camp during the month of June. For camp details, please see below.

COREY GRAHAM CAMP

Graham’s youth football camp will be held on Saturday, June 11 at All High Stadium at Bennett High School in Buffalo, N.Y. The event is free of cost and those in 5th-12th grade are encouraged to register. Participants will be divided into two separate age groups, and will enjoy an exciting day with Graham as they work to learn football fundamentals. Campers will also have the chance to win trophies and a free signed jersey.

For registration information, please click here.

 


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Pro Bowl moving to Orlando

Posted by Chris Brown on May 31, 2016 – 3:00 pm

The Pro Bowl has been moved from its traditional home of Honolulu, Hawaii’ at Aloha Stadium before. Now it appears the NFL’s all-star game will be moving again.

According to NFL.com, the 2017 Pro Bowl will be held in Orlando, Florida. It’s reportedly part of a multi-year deal to stay in central Florida. No word on whether there will be any format changes, with NFL legends Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin “drafting” their Pro Bowl squads.

Florida has hosted the Pro Bowl before, when it was held in Miami Gardens in 2009.


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Goodwin listed on Sports Illustrated’s “Fittest 50”

Posted by Kelly Baker on May 27, 2016 – 2:53 pm

A recent pair of lists complied by Sports Illustrated, indicates the world’s 50 fittest male and female athletes. The ranking of each athlete was determined by a set of six criteria which includes, strength, speed, endurance and agility. Coming in at No. 18, is non-other than Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin.

goodwin-top-50

Alongside his position with the Bills, Goodwin excels in track and field. Recently, at the Meeting Region Guadeloupe, Goodwin posted a 2016 record in the long jump. In pursuit of joining the U.S. Olympic Team in Brazil this summer, Goodwin continues to prepare.

 

In addition to Goodwin, several other NFL players can be found on the list. Claiming the No.1 spot as the world’s fittest male athlete is decathlete, Ashton Eaton.


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Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Bills WRs coach breaks down OTA wideouts

Posted by Chris Brown on May 27, 2016 – 1:38 pm

There are some receivers who are completely familiar to Bills fans like Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins. Some of the new wideouts and those further down the depth chart aren’t quite as well known in terms of their skill set. Bills receivers coach Sanjay Lal provided some guidance in an appearance on the John Murphy Show.

Lal gave a brief thumbnail sketch on some of the lesser known Bills receivers.

On Greg Salas
“He is a smart, savvy, excellent route runner,” said Lal. “I don’t think we win the Jets game (in Week 17) without what he did on third down for us. So we’re really counting on him to come through and take another step and really be the guy that when all else fails Greg is going to be able to get open.”

On Jarrett Boykin
“He had 49 catches in Green Bay. I watched the film and he did some really nice stuff. Then he kind of got caught up in the numbers game there. I think we’re lucky to have him. He’s a big, physical target. He has 10 and a half inch hands so he catches really well and a good route runner. He’s picking everything up really well.”

On Leonard Hankerson
“He was Atlanta’s third receiver for the first part of last year. Leonard is really smooth. He’s one of our best route runners. He’s so smooth you enjoy watching him run routes. He has sneaky speed and is a 4.4 guy so I’m intrigued by him too.”

On Greg Little
“Greg is a former second-round pick by Cleveland. He’s a big, physical, tough specimen. He’s done a nice job separating from man to man in this camp.”

On Dezmin Lewis
“His learning curve was steep because he came from a small school and a spread offense. He’s done a great job of transforming his running style. He’s running lower to the ground now, which is hard for him because he’s 6-4. He’s staying in drive phase longer and of all the guys I know how much work he put in on his own this offseason and it’s really showing.”

On Walt Powell
“Walt’s biggest trait that you don’t see right now is his run after catch ability. His catch-run transition is one of the best on the team. If we can get the ball in his hands he can show his punt return skills on the field on offense.”

On Kolby Listenbee
“Today we did a change of direction drill that defeats 22-man and you can see how explosive he is. Even though we can’t let him run full speed yet, his half speed looks explosive, much like Marquise Goodwin’s did.”

 


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Fan Friday 5-27

Posted by Chris Brown on May 27, 2016 – 11:28 am

Week one of OTAs is in the books. Week 2 gets underway Tuesday. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Hi Chris

Thanks for all you do to keep us Bills fans informed! My question is about extending Gilmore and Tyrod. With Gilmore being under contract under the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, if he and the Bills were able to strike a long term deal this offseason, does that work like the franchise tag where his new deal would replace his current contract, or is this year’s salary set in stone and they can only negotiate an extension for next year and beyond?

If it is an extension that doesn’t impact his present salary for this season, how would that work with his signing bonus? Would a prorated portion count against the cap this year? Same thing with Tyrod, if the team signed him to an extension so they could keep him at his low salary for this season, if the extension were signed this offseason, would there be any impact on this season’s salary cap from his signing bonus if his salary doesn’t change? Thanks!

CB: New long term deals typically replace the existing one. The club usually does this to more effectively spread out the amortized portions of the contract (e.g. signing bonus). On occasion teams will tack on an extension to the current year, but it’s uncommon.

2 – Chris

Can you give us more insight into UDFA Justin Zimmer. He was the fastest/quickest/strongest tackle in this year’s draft with something like 86 tackles, 13 sacks, 26 tfl, and 4 ff’s.  This kid should have been drafted just based on his measurables alone.  44 Reps/4.85 40 with outstanding short shuttle and 3 cone times- Are you kidding me?  Mo Boehringer got drafted on pure potential and this kid is way more experienced than him, even at Ferris St.  Can Coach Blake morph this kid into the next Aaron Donald or Geno Atkins?  With Adolphus Washington we really strengthened the interior D.

John

CB: One reason why Zimmer went undrafted is because he has short arms. While this might sound ridiculous these are parts of the player measurables that carry weight especially when it comes to line play. If you can’t keep offensive linemen from getting into your chest then you’ll have problems making plays.

Now Zimmer to his credit was ultra-productive at the FCS level. He’s quick and agile and obviously powerful and he’s a hustler. To say he could be the next Aaron Donald or Geno Atkins is a stretch. That being said he’ll be interesting to watch when the pads go on in camp.
3 – Chris,

Last year’s defense was a disappointment. Veteran players could not fully adapt to this complicated front seven scheme then play at a high level. Also, expectations turned out to be unrealistically high.

Is there any way 3 rookies can leap to the NFL, play in this same defensive front, simplified or not, and have success? Or do we need to start managing expectations now to avoid more disappointment?

Thanks,
Ron
CB: First, I’m going to tell you that in this first week of OTAs the players admitted they assumed with an accomplished defensive coach coming in the door that they just expected to be just as good as they were the year before and did not put the required time in to master the defense. Just about every place Rex Ryan has been his players have never had a problem absorbing and implementing the defensive system he employs. They’ve never had a problem playing fast.

Buffalo’s players pretty much acknowledged that a lot of their shortcomings last season were on them because they didn’t buy into the system. That’s changed now, so I’d be interested to see how well they can play in this defense with the talent they have on hand.

Now will it be an adjustment for the three top draft choices? Probably, but their talent will help to carry them until they do have it all down pat. Additionally all three draft choices are workers and committed to being great. Those are all encouraging signs. As we all know the proof will be in the results on the field.

 

4 – Hey Chris ,
Do you think the Bills have any interest in trading for Sam Bradford ? Personally I think he has had a pretty raw deal since entering the league, his first three seasons the Rams had nobody really legit to play with on offense except for Danny Amendola , he tore his acl twice and the Eagles were a mess to begin with before he got there, Buffalo has a lot of good players on offense right now I would be really curious to see who would win the starting job between Taylor and Bradford, thank you.

Alexander, Toronto


CB:
I’d be surprised if the Bills pursue something like this if in fact Bradford is offered up again. The biggest question facing this team is whether or not they have a franchise quarterback. That won’t be answered if you add another QB to the mix. They should stick with Tyrod Taylor this season and see what kind of step forward he can make.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills Didn’t the Bills defense want to be the ‘85 bears last year?

Joe gnozzo @joegnozzo51

CB: I don’t think the bar was ever set that high. From a scheme perspective that wasn’t the plan either. Rex’s defense does have some 46 principles to it, but the biggest issue in terms of scheme in 2015 was Ryan’s attempt to blend some of the successful concepts of the team’s 2014 system that helped them finish fourth in the NFL with his own scheme.

The blend did not work by Ryan’s own admission by midseason and the unit never recovered when they tried to eliminate that in season.

This year they’re going to be more of a traditional 3-4 and play strictly Ryan’s defensiv


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex on Mario’s move to Miami

Posted by Chris Brown on May 27, 2016 – 10:20 am

He openly criticized Rex Ryan’s defense on multiple occasions to the media. He complained about being asked to drop into coverage a lot, when game film revealed he didn’t do it more than three or four times a game. That combined with his lofty cap figure got Mario Williams released by Buffalo. Now that he’s in Miami, Buffalo’s head coach isn’t about to wish him any success.

In an interview this week with MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas, Rex and Rob Ryan covered many topics including some of the personnel moves this offseason. Some of  those moves were done to help foster complete buy in for the defensive scheme in the locker room.

“Player-wise, sometimes the salary cap kind of influences you. Look, I like Leodis McKelvin, Nigel Bradham,” said Ryan. “Mario Williams? Yeah, but he is making $17 million dollars [in Miami]. Guess what, it wasn’t going to happen. Now look, with some of the comments [he made], do I wish him well? Not really. But, he’s on Miami. If he would have gone somewhere else, maybe. He’s a good kid, but I am used to some mean motherf—ers that play out there. The Terrell Suggs, Jarrett Johnsons of the world. I screwed them, too; I had them drop [into coverage], too. Not one of them bitched. Von Miller [dropped into coverage] in the Super Bowl. Why? Because that’s what’s asked of him; that’s what his job is. Your job is to play. Coaches spend a hell of a lot more time studying tape and everything else. They are trying to put the team in the best position to be successful, not an individual.”

Ryan then went on to point out that players who have played under him who were asked to do similar things were still highly recognized players in the league.

“Terrell Suggs, he has been the defensive Player of the Year in this league,” Ryan said. “Ed Reed has been. Ray Lewis has been. You can go right down the line. Trevor Pryce had 14 sacks as a defensive tackle. One of the most unselfish guys you’ve ever seen. That’s what it is about. I’ll never forget, I used to have Ray sell out for maybe the 11th guy on defense. Ray Lewis is going to be one of the greatest defensive players in the history of the game, if not the greatest. That’s when you’ve got something special, and that’s what we are trying to build here.”


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No more scheme blending for the Ryans

Posted by Chris Brown on May 27, 2016 – 9:18 am

Bills head coach Rex Ryan admitted midway through his first season with Buffalo that he made an error in judgment. He tried to blend the successful defensive scheme of his predecessor, which helped the Bills rank fourth in defense in the NFL, with that of his own. Simply put it didn’t work. Meanwhile in New Orleans, his twin brother and current Assistant head coach Rob Ryan was asked to change the defensive scheme entirely from what he had run the past dozen years as a defensive coordinator in the league. The Saints defense finished last in the league. Suffice to say both have learned to trust their instincts and go with what has been successful for them year in and year out in the NFL. Their defensive scheme and their defensive scheme only.

In an interview with MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas, the Ryans explained how this year Buffalo’s defense will go exclusively to Rex Ryan’s traditional 3-4 scheme.

“We are going to see things one way, and we are going to do it our way. That’s what it takes to win,” said Rex Ryan. “There is a certain style of defense that wins, a certain style of play that wins in this league, and nobody understands that more than we do. Our family has been to six Super Bowls as coaches, and we know it takes a physical brand of football and it takes physical players.

“I said I was going to build a bully, it wasn’t the appropriate word, but I want to be physical. I think we are getting it right. We brought in Richie Incognito, all he does is go to the Pro Bowl. Doug Whaley and company did a great job in the draft. Shaq Lawson is a physical player. Reggie Ragland is the most physical linebacker in the draft. That was a Ryan defensive player, a linebacker, going back to the days of when our dad was coaching the Bears, and even before that.

“There are people that, I know for a fact, don’t believe in me; they don’t believe in the direction of the football team. That’s fine and dandy. I believe in it, and I am surrounding myself with people that believe in it also. People who are smart enough to believe in it. Because the Ryans are going to get it done.

“We never lost a fight in our life. Ever. And we ain’t losing this one. And that’s a true statement. Not just because we are bad a**es—because we are, individually—but collectively, it’s a lot different. To this day, no man is going to whip me. Why? Because I’ve got my brother with me. And I’ve got my brother, Dennis Thurman, with me. Ed Reed is here for a reason. These players are going to be like that, too. We want to fight like brothers. I don’t know if we have 100 percent buy-in from even the entire building. I don’t know yet. But the people directly with me, my coaching staff and the players, that’s where it starts. I don’t know all the business people yet; they should be “all in,” but I don’t know. There’s times when the doubt part, that can be driven through the media. But I’m going to surround myself with the very best, and I’m going to win.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills