Inside The Bills

How Mario & Jerry work off each other

Posted by Chris Brown on July 7, 2015 – 12:59 pm

Pro Football Focus has put together a wonderful in depth look at the effectiveness of Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes as a pass rushing tandem. Suffice to say the two work off one another extraordinarily well, not dismissing how much Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams assist in that effort too.

Here’s a look at some of the main points the PFF’s extensive analysis revealed.

1 – Hughes and Williams combined for no less than five QB pressures in all by three games last season.
2 – Both were more effective pass rushers in blitz situations last season with Hughes seeing close to a five percent increase in pass rush effectiveness.
3 – Mario was most effective on pass rushes in which the center slid away from Williams in the protection.
4 – Hughes was most effective on pass rushes in which the center stayed home in the protection.
5 – Hughes was at his best as a pass rusher on first and second down, while Williams was most effective on third down.

Williams-Hughes-Down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps most encouraging is knowing that Rex Ryan and Dennis Thurman will be blitzing a whole lot more than Jim Schwartz did last season, both Hughes and Williams figure to see their production increase even more when it comes to bringing the heat.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dareus among best turning pressure into sacks

Posted by Chris Brown on July 7, 2015 – 12:04 pm

Bills Pro Bowl DT Marcell Dareus does a lot of things exceptionally well on the football field. But analytic film breakdown site ProFootballFocus has found yet another area where Dareus is among the best in the league.

PFF decided to break down what defensive players most effectively converted a pass pressure into a sack. First in compiling a list from 2007 to the present, Dareus is among a slew of defensive ends ranking ninth in the league over the last eight seasons with a pressure to sack conversion percentage of 21.7%.

PFF 2007 pressure to sack

 

 

 

 

 

Being the only defensive tackle on that list it was not surprising to see Dareus at the top of the list for the highest QB pressure to sack conversion rate in the league since 2007 (21.7%) among interior defensive players. Dareus’ conversion percentage was even better than some of the league’s sack leaders like Houston’s J.J. Watt (18.6%).

pressure to sack dt


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Crossman: Jordan Gay has proven himself

Posted by Chris Brown on July 7, 2015 – 11:46 am

A good number of NFL observers still think it’s a luxury position, but more and more teams are putting stock in having a kickoff specialist to ensure touchbacks. Buffalo was one of the teams that carried a kickoff specialist last season in Jordan Gay. With a coaching change this offseason some are wondering if Gay is still held in high standing.

All Gay did last season was help improve Buffalo’s kickoff coverage from 17th in 2013 to 3rd in 2014. His touchback percentage (60.5%) was good for ninth in the league, and that doesn’t take into account some of the return men Buffalo faced last season who had free license to bring it out no matter how deep the kick was in the end zone (e.g. Percy Harvin – twice, Cordarelle Patterson).

With Rex Ryan the new head coach, there had been speculation as to where Ryan stood on the importance of having a reliable kickoff specialist. Buffalo’s contract extension for Gay this offseason was one indication that nothing has changed, and special teams coordinator Danny Crossman provided even more clarity as to how much the Bills value Gay’s contributions.

In a forthcoming one-on-one interview with Buffalobills.com, Crossman stated unequivocally that Gay proved his worth last season as deserving of a spot on Buffalo’s deep and talented roster.

“Without question,” said Crossman. “The year that Jordan had… and we think he’s going to be even better. It’s not as much of a luxury if you’re getting a super highly-productive player. I don’t care what it is. You may have a guy on your roster that only plays 15 plays a game, but in those 15 plays a game he gets a sack. Well that value is there. Everyone looks at each position differently. I think Jordan’s value – he showed what he was worth in terms of the depth of the kicks and hang time of the kicks he put us in great position to make a lot of plays.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Success of D-line rooted in camaraderie

Posted by Chris Brown on July 6, 2015 – 2:20 pm

 

Buffalo’s defensive line has been a big reason why the Bills have more sacks than any other team in the league over the last two seasons (111). That production can certainly be attributed to talent, but there’s something else that the players themselves believe helps them excel up front.

In a word, it’s camaraderie. Mario Williams said from the time the unit was first assembled there’s always been a group approach to their play on the field as well as hanging out off the field.

“We’re really good people persons. It’s not hard for us to say, ‘Hey, what are you doing? Let’s go do this, let’s hang out,” said Williams of their off the field time together. “That was day one, it didn’t take three years to do that.”

When asked if he had any individual or team goals heading into the 2015 campaign, Williams said he did not. He insists he and his teammates are only focused on being the best defense they can be each week come this fall.

“It was kind of funny because somebody asked Kyle that at the end of last year (about a sack total), and he was like, ‘You know what, that never even came up.’ We never even mentioned a number or anything like that. We don’t have any goals except to go out and try to be the best we can be out there.”

Many prognosticators believe Buffalo’s defense could wind up number one in the league this season and help catapult the team to the playoffs for the first time in 15 years.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 7-3

Posted by Chris Brown on July 3, 2015 – 12:04 pm

Happy 4th of July weekend everybody. Get your grill on! Here’s your latest round of questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
Any realistic chance that Buff can strike a deal for K. Cousins? I think he still has upside even though his value dropped.

killerbeekevin

CB: I’m not anticipating any moves at quarterback at this point. The Bills seem content to go into camp with the three quarterbacks they have battling for the job. Now if some QB of greater caliber than Cousins was available they’d get on the phone, but I don’t see the Bills giving something up for Cousins to add him to the fold.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills
Is Tyrod Taylor the next Bills QB?

Sportsworld716

CB: I think that’s a question that even the Bills coaches can’t answer at this point. Taylor clearly has the strongest arm of the three QBs in the competition. He’s got a pretty good head on his shoulders when it comes to processing information and reading things pre-snap. And we all know about his foot speed.

I think if he wants to be the Bills starting QB his ball location and overall accuracy will have to take a noticeable step forward. That’s not to say that Taylor hasn’t been accurate at times. I just think to separate himself from the other two it has to be more consistent than it was in the spring practices.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Since Greg Roman uses the Tight End so much.. Is there any chance that we carry 4?

CoreyCraig_

CB: I think there’s a very good chance the team carries four tight ends. There are just too many multiple tight end sets in Greg Roman’s offense to think they can get through a season with just three, even with a fullback expected to be on the roster as well.

 

4 – Hi Chris thanks for keeping us out of Staters informed.

My question is assuming our offense performs well and we make the playoffs, won’t we end up losing Greg Roman?

Then we go through establishing a new offense all over again. Is there an assistant who is an apprentice to him we can retain so we can keep some continuity, instead of constantly changing “the system”. That seems to be our biggest problem, we are constantly on a learning curve.

Thanks
Ron from North Carolina

CB:
Your point is a very valid one. The Bills have had extraordinary turnover at the coordinator position on offense. There’s little question that if the Bills reach the postseason for the first time in 15 years that Greg Roman will be a hot name when the head coaching vacancies open up next offseason.

I think the Bills are more focused on winning first. Then if they do, they’ll deal with the problems that come with winning later. I don’t think there’s a true apprentice on the roster now who is learning at the elbow of Roman.

They have a veteran offensive assistant in Chris Palmer and QBs coach David Lee has run offenses himself as well, but neither had a prior working history with Roman.

Roman is a valuable play caller and perhaps one of the best offensive coordinators they’ve had since Ted Marchibroda, but I get the sense that it’s a ‘we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it’ approach.

 

5 – Hey Chris,
Thanks for everything Bills related.

From what I’ve read it seems as if Cassel has struggled to this point and EJ has actually taken a step in the right direction. It seems as if the coaching staff loves Taylor so my question is, do you think that if Cassel continues to struggle and is truly out played he could be cut?
Thanks again
Frank

CB: I think the quarterback competition is just getting started and there’s a long way to go before any roster decisions are made. That being said I’m pretty confident that with as loaded as this roster is spots on the 53-man squad are going to be at a premium. So keeping three QBs on the roster is probably far from a lock. More and more teams are only carrying two QBs, so if that proves to be the case one of the three competing for the starting role will be the odd man out. But to say it’ll likely be Cassel is very premature.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

The balanced use of creativity & talent

Posted by Chris Brown on June 26, 2015 – 1:24 pm

Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman has a great deal of talent to make use of on offense. He also has an offensive playbook that contains a great deal of creativity and variety. But what will Roman lean on more in his first season as play caller for the Bills? His talent or his creativity.

Roman addressed that delicate balance in his sit down with Buffalobills.com.

“I think it’s going to come down to execution,” said Roman. “What can we execute effectively? There are a lot of teams with talent, but not all of them win. We’ve got to find our formula for winning and everybody has got to grab a shovel and start digging or grab an oar and start rowing. Here the hero of the team is going to be the team. It’s going to be every offensive lineman, receiver, tight end, quarterback, running back in the game doing their job and being a force multiplier for the guys around them.

“It takes all 11 guys taking care of their business, so I think we have tremendous potential to be a very prolific winning team here. We’ve got a lot of ground to make up, but training camp is here now so it’s time to get digging or start rowing to get to where we’re playing at a high level of efficiency. The creativity part I’m going to have to let you let everybody kind of wait and see on that.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Cocktails Scramble Series event

Posted by buffalobills.com on June 26, 2015 – 11:58 am

scramble-coctail-header

Join us for the final event of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Scramble Series. The Cocktail Scramble will take place on June 30 at the Conference & Events Center Niagara Falls from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

The Buffalo Bills are proud to be a series presenting sponsor.

The Scramble Series is a progressive networking opportunity that gives attendees the chance to make new business connections. This event is perfect for young professionals, mid-level managers and sales representatives.

Click here to read about Alexandra Vitale’s experience at a Scramble Series event. scramble-blog-footer


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-26

Posted by Chris Brown on June 26, 2015 – 11:32 am

Let’s not waste any time and get right to your latest round of questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

My first question is regarding Karlos Williams.. It is my perception that Buffalo seems overloaded at the Running Back position with quality backs on the bubble to make the team.. LeSean McCoy, Fred Jackson, Boobie Dixon, Karlos Williams, and Bryce Brown are all capable of carrying the football for this team.. Then there are the Fullbacks Felton and Connor carried as Running Backs.. I am not sure how many are going to be carried on the 53 man roster, but 7 is nuts.

I also know the Bills are moving a terrific Cornerback in Corey Graham to Safety, where I think his talents would be underutilized.. Duke Williams is the other option to start, but he seems like more of a reserve player than a starter from what I have seen on television. The question is why doesn’t the coaching staff try out Karlos Williams at Safety, a position he played for 3 years at Florida State before switching to Running Back?

He was a 5-star Safety recruit (2nd rated Safety behind Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in 2011) coming out of High School.. I would believe he would be qualified to go back to his old stomping grounds on defense and it would alleviate the dearth of talent at safety and reduce the number of Running Backs.. I am a FSU alum and watched every game to know Karlos is a freak athlete like Bo Jackson.. Really big, really fast and hits really hard.. I personally would love to see him make snot bubbles come out of defenders’ noses en route to a touchdown run, but for the sake of putting the best guys out on the field this makes sense to me.. Your thoughts?

Erik Kuhn

CB: I think while your thoughts of moving Karlos Williams to safety have merit based on his football history, I don’t know if that’s the kind of move you want an NFL rookie to undertake. In Buffalo’s multiple scheme with a lot of pre-snap adjustments putting that on a rookie’s plate who has not played the position in three years is asking a lot.

Not only that, but the safety position is about as deep as the running back position so he wouldn’t be added to a position in need of any more talent.

The Bills seem pretty happy with Williams at running back and he runs with real good body lean for a tall guy. I think they’re committed to keeping him at RB and he can contribute on special teams as a rookie.

I don’t think the team will keep seven backs. I’m anticipating 4 RBs and 1 FB. That’ll leave one RB and one FB on the outside looking in.

 

2 –  Chris,

Do you think it is a fair assumption that Cyrus K. may be a starter this year ???

Go bills…deep into the playoffs and then on the to the S. B.

Best
Richard B.

CB: I don’t think it’s an outlandish assumption to think that Cyrus Kouandjio could be a starter at right tackle. He’s done everything right in the spring practices. The caveat is we haven’t seen the new and improved Kouandjio in pads playing something closer to real football.

We’ll get a better idea when we get to camp just how capable Kouandjio is, but he’s worked his tail off this offseason.

 

3 – Hey Chris,

Always look forward to reading these on Friday. I am just recently a huge Buffalo Bills fan as of this season and it did not take long for me to be hooked on following Bills news and especially reading your questions! Last year I was not following the Bills news cycle but I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the QB battle this year.

My question for you is this, if you recall, how does Kyle Orton compare to the current QB battle underway? Has he seemed more of the same completion-wise or by TD/INT? I’m trying to see how any of the new QB’s or even EJ has compared to him.

Thank you so much!
-Brandon DuFrane
CB: This is a hard one to answer only because Kyle Orton did not have the benefit of any of these spring practices with the Bills that just concluded. He didn’t sign with the Bills until Aug. 30th last year, just eight days before the opener and after the preseason had concluded.

Orton felt his way in terms of absorbing the offense. Come season’s end he had 12 starts and finished with just over 3,000 yards passing with 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions with a passer rating of 87.8.

I think Taylor and Manuel have a better physical skill set than Orton, and Cassel is probably comparable in experience and diagnosing an opposing defense.

It’s also a vastly different offense this year’s QBs are running, but I think Orton would look a lot like Cassel if he were part of the competition in Cassel’s place.

 

4 – Hey Chris,

What ever happened to Cyril Richardson, the 6’5″ 343 pound linemen on the Bills? I haven’t heard anything coming out of camp about him and he had some promise this year after a good off season. What the latest with his development and chances?

Thanks,
Tony

CB: Richardson is still here on the roster. He’s been serving as a guard on the second unit. Most of his snaps have come with him on the right side. I think he’ll be more noticeable when the pads go on at camp and he’s able to exert his physical will on defensive linemen especially in the power run attack Greg Roman has drawn up.

 

5 –  @ChrisBrownBills
What’s the most likely scenario for amount of skill position roster spots…WR, RB, TE?

iamFlowbee

CB: I think as stated above, with a premium placed on tight ends in Greg Roman’s offense, there are likely to be four tight ends kept on the 53-man roster this year. I’d say probably five running backs and possibly just five WRs, though an argument can easily be made to keep six. Whether they have the room on the roster to do so is another question.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Goodwin finishes 4th at US track championships

Posted by Chris Brown on June 26, 2015 – 9:39 am

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin took a shot Thursday at qualifying for the US National track and field team for the World Championships in Beijing next month. He was trying to land a spot on the team as a long jumper.

Goodwin had to finish among the top three to make the team and appear in the World Championships. The Bills receiver finished fourth with a long jump best of 27-feet 5 1/2-inches.

“Back to football,” Goodwin told the Associated Press. “But words can’t even explain how happy I am right now.”

Goodwin admitted that had he qualified for the US team, balancing the World Championships in China and training camp, which overlapped would’ve been difficult. But that’s no longer a concern.

The Bills receiver qualified for the 2012 US Olympic team, but finished a disappointing 10th in the 2012 London games.

Goodwin didn’t rule out trying to qualify for the 2016 Olympic team which will compete in Rio next summer.

“We know what’s (coming up) next year. I expect big things,” Goodwin said. “But football is my main deal right now.”

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin leaps in the long jump at the U.S. track and field championships in Eugene, Ore., Thursday, June 25, 2015.  Goodwin is taking a break from football to return to the long jump. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

 (AP Photo/Don Ryan)


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Roman: Offense must be personality diverse

Posted by Chris Brown on June 26, 2015 – 7:19 am

Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman has been called many things in his time in the NFL. Creative, unique, old school. But if there’s one word he would prefer as a description for his offense it’s diverse.

In our exclusive one-on-one interview with Roman, Buffalo’s offensive play caller explained how he wants the Bills offense to be so diverse that it can morph and change from week to week.

“You want to maximize peoples’ strengths and minimize their weaknesses, while at the same time attacking the opponents weaknesses and minimizing their strengths,” Roman told Buffalobills.com. “You want to build a system that’s comprehensive enough that you can change personalities week to week if need be and that’s certainly something we’re going to do.”

Rest assured that Roman’s offense will be a vast departure from a lot of what has been run on the offensive side of the ball the last several years. In fact Fred Jackson, who is going into his 10th season with Buffalo, said the Bills new offensive playbook contains plays he’s never seen before in his football life.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Two Bills coordinators rank in top 20

Posted by Chris Brown on June 25, 2015 – 8:59 am

Knowing each NFL club has three coordinators each for the three phases of the game, there are 96 total. NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks ranked the top 20 and two of Buffalo’s play callers made the list. Here’s who and where they ranked.

Brooks ranked Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman 15th on the list with Buffalo defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman ranking 13th. Here’s his synopsis on the expertise of Buffalo’s two new schemers on offense and defense.

15) Greg Roman, offensive coordinator, Buffalo Bills: Despite a disappointing end to his tenure with theSan Francisco 49ers, Roman remains one of the top offensive tacticians in the game. He has the rare ability to blend creative personnel packages and odd formations into a smash-mouth attack that punishes opponents between the tackles. Considering his ability to also manage and develop young quarterbacks, it is hard to dispute his inclusion on this list.

13) Dennis Thurman, defensive coordinator, Buffalo Bills: Rex Ryan’s right-hand man doesn’t garner the headlines, but he is a key contributor to his boss’ defensive success as the pass-coverage specialist. Thurman masterfully builds coverage concepts to match Ryan’s exotic pressures, which is why the defensive scheme flusters even the most experienced NFL quarterbacks.

For the record not one special teams coordinator made the list. Danny Crossman had the league’s number two ranked special teams unit in Buffalo last season.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Another Bills player on NFL’s Top 100

Posted by Chris Brown on June 24, 2015 – 4:05 pm

Another Bills player will be making an appearance on tonight’s episode of the NFL’s Top 100 tonight (Wednesday) on NFL Network.

Tonight at 9 pm on NFL Network players ranked from No. 30-21 will be revealed, and a Bills player will be among them.

Four Bills players have already been named on the list with all four being members of Buffalo’s defensive line – Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Jerry Hughes.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Tip-top shape the goal for Bills on break

Posted by Chris Brown on June 24, 2015 – 12:07 pm

Bills players are enjoying their first week off from football. And though the advice from coaches is to step away from the mental grind for a few weeks, taking a break off from the physical regimen shouldn’t go more than a couple of weeks.

The expectation is to keep working at staying in top physical shape, so when they walk into training camp they’re ready for the four week grind leading up to the regular season.

“The best shape of their life really (is the expectation),” said offensive coordinator Greg Roman of players when they return for training camp. “I think they’ve worked a lot this offseason toward that. As a professional they’ve all got a lot of individual goals and we also have a lot of team goals. For them to show up in the best shape of their life and just keep doing what they’re doing. We’ve got a lot of guys who love the game of football.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

How life has changed for Reed as HOF’er

Posted by Chris Brown on June 24, 2015 – 8:17 am

It’s been almost a full calendar year since his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction, and life has has changed for Bills all-time leading receiver Andre Reed. He recently explained how things are a bit different.

“It’s changed a lot,” Reed said. “Those three letters (HOF) really do something and watching Thurman (Thomas) and all the guys who went in years before me. I always envisioned that it might happen to me some day. It’s almost a year now and it’s been a tremendous year. It isn’t just really what you did on the field. The Hall of Fame stands for more than that. It’s how you carry yourself and present the game. They say it’s the values of the game and preserving its history and that’s what the Hall of Fame is about. That’s probably the most important thing.”

Reed, who will be serving as a coaching intern with the Bills at training camp this summer, just had a park and street named after him in his hometown of Allentown, PA.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fred: I’ve got to compete for my spot

Posted by Chris Brown on June 23, 2015 – 1:00 pm

Back in the spring there was a lot of talk as to whether Fred Jackson’s roster spot could be in jeopardy at age 34. That speculation has cooled, but it’s done nothing to change Jackson’s vigilance in making sure he does everything in his power to convince another new coaching staff that he deserves a spot on the 53-man roster.

In an hour-long appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Tuesday morning, Jackson covered a bunch of topics including a discussion about the possibility of getting released and not making the roster.

“We’ll see what happens with me getting cut or not,” he said. “I’ll go out and do whatever I can to make sure that doesn’t happen. We’ve got to compete every year. This year is no different than any other year. I’ve got to go out and compete for my job.”

The acquisition of LeSean McCoy has many outsiders believing that Jackson’s time could be up in Buffalo, but in light of the way the past nine years have gone at the running back position, Jackson said McCoy’s presence on the roster is nothing new.

“I think every year you have to compete for your spot and that’s how I approach it,” said Jackson. “You draft a guy like Marshawn (Lynch) and you know he’s going to be the guy. So you go in and compete and you want to be on the field so you’ve got to go out and do that.

“Then you draft a guy like C.J. (Spiller) and nothing has changed. You go out and you compete and do whatever you can to make plays when you get the opportunity to do so. Then they bring in Shady (McCoy). It’s just the same book, different chapter for myself. Tremendous running backs, every one of them. It’s just another challenge for me to prove that I can still compete and make plays for this team. And when I do get opportunities make sure to do so.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jordan Gay a big deal in his small hometown

Posted by Chris Brown on June 23, 2015 – 10:23 am

Clay Jackson/cjackson@amnews.com Seventh-grader Trey Dawson takes a photo of him and Jordan Gay Tuesday at Bate Middle School.

Clay Jackson/cjackson@amnews.com
Seventh-grader Trey Dawson takes a photo of him and Jordan Gay Tuesday at Bate Middle School.

On Buffalobills.com we profiled how Bills kickoff specialist Jordan Gay helped some special ed math students learn how to graph as they used his kickoff statistics from the 2014 season. The students, who attend the same middle school that Gay went through in his hometown of Danville, Kentucky, also got a chance to meet Gay at the end of the season when he came in for a visit. Gay thought he was just meeting the one class, but it turned out to be much more than that.

Clay Jackson/cjackson@amnews.com Jordan Gay checks out a graph that the students created that charted the length of his kicks Tuesday at Bate Middle School.

Photo credit: Clay Jackson – Advocate Messenger

“I went there thinking it would just be that class, but it turned out to be the whole middle school,” said Gay. “I went to each classroom.”

Gay was received like a rock star at Bate middle school back in January. The special ed teacher Robin Moler, made a giant graph of Gay’s kickoff stats from ceiling to floor in the hallway outside her classroom near the gymnasium. Gay talked to the students out in the hall about his week to week performance.

Moler, the middle school teacher who came up with the idea to use Gay’s kickoff stats already has plans for next year.

“So we used his kicking to help teach the kids how to graph,” she said. “Next year what I’d like to do is do comparative graphs, so I’ll take last year’s statistics and his graphing and compare them to how he does this season. It’ll be a great little ongoing thing.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Goodwin to be in US track championships

Posted by Chris Brown on June 22, 2015 – 4:52 pm

United States' Marquise Goodwin makes an attempt during the mens long jump qualification at the athletics competition in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip )

United States’ Marquise Goodwin makes an attempt during the mens long jump qualification at the athletics competition in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip )

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin will be participating is the US track and field championships this weekend.

That’s according to multiple reports. Goodwin will not be a sprinter, but will be participating in the long jump competition, the same event that he qualified for in the 2012 Olympics in London.

Goodwin, who has a personal best of just a shade over 27 feet successfully petitioned the US track and field committee to be entered in this weekend’s qualifiers for the World Championships in Beijing, China from August 22-30. That according to an SI.com report. 

To do so he’d have to finish among the top three US qualifiers and meet the minimum required jump of 26.5 feet.

If he does the long jump competition is scheduled to take place in Beijing on Aug. 24th and 25th. Bills training camp runs July 31st to Aug. 25th.

Goodwin finished 10th in the long jump in the London Olympics in 2012.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

JMS From NOCO Express in Lancaster

Posted by johnmurphyshow on June 19, 2015 – 10:25 pm

 

Taking the show on the road tonight as we invade NOCO Express on Walden Avenue in Lancaster. Plenty of fans in attendance taking home giveaways and chiming in on the show with their questions and opinions for this year’s Bills team.

IMG_2479The fans also participated in a meet and greet with Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes, who made an appearance as well. Afterwards, Hughes sat down with us to discuss his interaction with the fans. He went on to talk about this week’s minicamp, his excitement for the upcoming season, and his expectations for this year’s defense.

“Try to be the best, in all categories. The work we’re putting in now, trying to understand the playbook and taking the time to break it down so we can communicate a lot faster on the field. That’s what we’re striving for. We’re striving to be the best defense in the NFL.”

Hughes also weighed in with his thoughts on the new coaching staff, including praise for head coach Rex Ryan.

At the top of the second hour, we were joined by Pro Football Focus Analyst pbrown picMichael Mountford. Mountford went around the NFL to seek out each team’s “Secret Superstar.” When it came to the Bills, using analytics from last season, he projects second year linebacker Preston Brown as having a breakout season in 2015. He went on to explain why.

“He’s actually a very good coverage linebacker. I know he struggled in the game against the Raiders but in general, when he’s focused and in his spot, he’s very quick to attack and he doesn’t miss tackles. I think our metrics in coverage, he was the third best linebacker with only allowing .57 yards per coverage snap, which is really high.”

Finally, we were joined by safety Jonathan Meeks. Meeks spent last season on injured reserve after fracturing a disc in his back. Now, fully healed, Meeks is back on meeksthe field and has been a full participant in the team’s offseason program. Meeks talked about his return and what he has accomplished over the past few weeks practicing with the team.

“I’ve been able to get back into the rhythm of playing football. It was a year off so it was a long time to wait. I’ve been able to play with the guys and put on for the new coaches and show them what I can do. It was just fun to be back out there again. I try not to take it for granted but when you go without it for so long you just enjoy it a lot more. I was able to get a feel for the game again, fly around again, and just enjoy playing again.”

To hear all of that and more, click here to listen to the entire John Murphy Show from Friday.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-19

Posted by Chris Brown on June 19, 2015 – 11:33 am

The mandatory minicamp is in the books. Six weeks until training camp at St. John Fisher. Let’s get to your latest round of questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,
Is there anybody that is already on the squad that might have torn up the practice fields that we haven’t heard about yet because they didn’t get much playing time?  In other words, is there anybody on the team already that you think is either in line to break out or will push a current starter for a job more than expected?

Thanks,
Tommy of Pittsford

CB: There were a few players who performed admirably in the spring practices that didn’t get much time on the field last year, but I caution that football in the spring is not real football, so take these names with a grain of salt.

Marquise Goodwin had a strong spring. He was turning in plays left and right in the passing game. Now keep in mind that’s without Stephon Gilmore, Leodis McKelvin or Aaron Williams running around in Buffalo’s secondary. And the pads aren’t on, which is when the game gets more physical and cornerbacks are jamming receivers a lot harder at the line of scrimmage. We’ll see what he can do at camp.

Cyrus Kouandjio, as we’ve covered on Buffalobills.com, has improved his footwork and balance a great deal. We’ll see how he does in camp, again, when the pads are on.

Two other players that I thought fared well, who could take a step forward this season are S Jonathan Meeks and TE Marqueis Gray. Both made plays in the spring practices and offer high caliber athleticism at their respective positions.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills
Is Harvin slated for both return spots or just punts?

SJHNatFan

CB: From what I witnessed at OTAs and minicamp Harvin is only being used on kick returns. The primary punt return candidates included Leodis McKelvin and Marcus Thigpen.

 

3 – Chris,

In light of the draft where they added 1 TE and one RB, how does this affect the final roster? Roman likes to dress/have 4 TE’s but they

currently have 5 running backs. Are Boobie/Bryce on the cut list to watch? I am not a fan of drafting a developmental running back with a history of violence against women, I don’t see the value in picking a back. Boobie plays special teams as well. Do you see O’Leary as lock to make this team too? Wondering how you might this these position groups look after the draft?

CB: Adding O’Leary and Karlos Williams just deepens the pool of talent at their positions. I like what I’ve seen from both players in the spring practices. O’Leary catches just about everything thrown to him. I agree that there will probably be four tight ends on the 53-man roster.

The tough call will be at running back where Williams has made a good case for himself. You’re also forgetting the fact that they’ll keep one fullback too who factors into the RB equation. So it’s likely they keep 4 RBs and 1 FB and 4 TEs. That could also mean the team only keeps five wide receivers. You’ve got to trim numbers somewhere else if Greg Roman’s offense needs numbers at TE.

 

4 – Chris,

Could you share your thoughts and insights on our offensive line expectations? Our two glaring weaknesses from last season was the inability to protect or provide the QB position ample time to develop consistency in a passing game and the lack of developing a foundation with a running game.

Many feel the offensive line play led to the lack of a better QB play although the argument could easily be spun both ways.  Yet going into this next season our offense is mostly a mystery of what to expect.

Despite the influx of talent brought in during F/A one could argue that we will be no better off than a year ago with the only hope that the new offense and scheme applied will either swing the pendulum one way or the other.  Many feel that controlling the trenches is where it all starts regardless of how skilled your skilled positions are.  Still another unsettling feeling deep in the souls of us Bills fans.

Thanks for you time and efforts.
VanScottM

CB: I’ll start by saying perhaps the two most important additions for the offensive line were coach Aaron Kromer and OC Greg Roman. Both know how to organize and coach line play. That’s where the two biggest improvements were made. Richie Incognito is a perfect fit for a power run game and John Miller has been widely lauded as Buffalo’s best pick in the 2015 draft and is expected to start at right guard.

With Cyrus Kouandjio showing an improved skill set and Cordy Glenn in the best shape of his life I believe the unit can take a sizable step forward this year and perhaps rebound from their 25th ranked rushing attack last season and get back into the top 10.

 

5 – Chris:

A couple of questions:

Whom do you think will take Dareus’ place in game #1?

Do you expect 90 players will be there the first day of training camp or will that number be reduced because of OTAs? Jeff Tuel was just released, but Matt Simms took his place.

Thanks very much.
Tom

CB: Right now the guy the Bills have penciled in to take Dareus’ spot in Week 1 is Corbin Bryant. Rex Ryan confirmed that when asked. Now will it be Bryant exclusively in that spot for the entire game? Probably not. Stefan Charles might rotate in there as well.

I do expect 90 players at training camp. Coaches like to have as many bodies as they can at camp. Knowing the Bills intend to run two team units simultaneously at camp when they go 11-on-11 in practice, having 90 players will be all the more necessary.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

TE Mulligan doesn’t mind journeyman label

Posted by Chris Brown on June 19, 2015 – 9:59 am

Bills newest TE Matthew Mulligan, who signed Thursday, has been with seven different NFL clubs in seven NFL seasons (practice squad year in Miami). He was with three teams last year alone, as he spent time with Arizona, Chicago and Tennessee. But if you ask Mulligan if he’s bothered by that he’s not. He doesn’t mind being called a journeyman.

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show Thursday night, Mulligan explained why he’s got no problem with a resume that has a lot of NFL clubs on it.

“It is a lot (of teams), but I’m thankful for it,” he said. “I think if it was only my second year you might think what’s going on, but in order to be a journeyman and be in your eighth year like me you have to actually have some quality play. I’m thankful for every spot I’ve been in. It’s molded and shaped me and I’m thankful to be here now.”

Mulligan believes a lot of of NFL teams in the early stages of the offseason look for tight ends that offer more “flash and dash” and can score points by making plays. Then as training camp draws closer they realize they need more of a blue collar mentality at tight end.

“Once teams gets to offseason practices or training camps teams seem to realize that they need somebody who can set the edge,” said Mulligan. “That’s what I’ve hung my hat on my entire career. Just being able to fight with those outside linebackers and those big defensive ends and I’ve been able to hold my own and I’m thankful for the opportunity.”

Mulligan, who spent his first three seasons in the league on the field under Rex Ryan, explained what it is about his personal game that he thinks appeals to Ryan.

“I think Rex Ryan just wants a guy who can get his hands dirty and be physical,” Mulligan said. “That’s one of Rex’s mantras. You better be physical and bring your lunch pail every day. The physicality of my game is one of the things that stood out for him.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills