Inside The Bills

Fred: Would love to get back soon

Posted by Chris Brown on August 19, 2015 – 8:48 am

Bills RB Fred Jackson has been on the shelf for almost two weeks with a hamstring injury, but he was moving well in work on the side with the strength and conditioning staff Tuesday night. At this point however, he’s got to follow doctor’s orders.

“We’ve got to follow the protocol, but we want to get back out there,” said Jackson in reference to himself and Boobie Dixon. “Obviously we’re hurting, but the more numbers that we have that’s going to take a lot (of reps) off everybody’s plate. So we’ll try to get back out there as soon as we can.”

Jackson and Dixon also have the task of mastering the new offense, which usually comes with reps in practice and preseason games. Jackson knows the importance of that even with his experience.

“It’s one of those things we’re learning just like everybody else and we need the reps to get this offense down just like the young guys do,” said Jackson. “I mean it’s something on us as veterans we have to just get in the playbook and know what to expect when the play is called and know what kind of looks we’ll get and just be prepared mentally if we can’t do it physically.”

Rex Ryan said he hopes to have Jackson back in time to play in the Pittsburgh preseason game a week from Saturday.


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Dixon: Karlos will be alright

Posted by Chris Brown on August 18, 2015 – 11:56 pm

While Boobie Dixon didn’t speak directly to fellow running back Karlos Williams, who was admitted to the hospital for a surgical procedure Monday, he did say that the rookie will be fine in the long run.

“We had some of the guys talk to him and he said he was alright and he was doing good and we just praying for him,” said Dixon. “Just trying to be positive and keep our hopes up, keep our spirit up. It’s getting tough out here as you can see. You know we all just got to stay positive, we’re praying for him and he’ll be alright. He’ll be back soon.”

Head coach Rex Ryan said Williams would be out at least two weeks coming off the successful procedure.


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The one benefit for RB Ricky Seale

Posted by Chris Brown on August 18, 2015 – 10:48 pm

Bills RB Ricky Seale just signed on Tuesday, now he’ll likely be playing the entire second half of Thursday’s preseason game against Cleveland. There’s a reason Buffalo saw an advantage to signing him.

Seale has some measure of knowledge of Buffalo’s offensive scheme.

“Offensive coordinator (Greg Roman) was a coach at Stanford my freshman year, so some of the play jargon I already kind of know which is a good thing,” said Seale. “I know some of it, I don’t know all of it, so I’m looking forward to learning the rest.”

Seale said he’ll be cramming with running backs coach Anthony Lynn all night Tuesday, all day Wednesday and Thursday leading up to the game.


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RB Hill can’t believe how things have unfolded

Posted by Chris Brown on August 18, 2015 – 10:42 pm

When undrafted rookie RB Bronson Hill was signed by the Bills it was just Boobie Dixon that was injured. Fred Jackson soon followed with a hamstring injury and there’s been a domino effect at the running back position ever since. Five of Buffalo’s running backs are injured after Karlos Williams (surgical procedure), Bryce Brown (hamstring) and LeSean McCoy (hamstring) have all been sidelined in the last two days. It’s left Hill as the starting back heading into Thursday night’s game against the Browns.

“It’s quite the dream come true,” said Hill. “Two weeks ago I was just sitting on the couch waiting for a call and now I can possibly start an NFL game. It’s what I asked for so now it’s up to me to do something with it.”

Hill has been working hard to learn as much of the playbook as possible, but he still doesn’t know it all.

“The offense is pretty complex and two weeks is a very short time,” said Hill. “Karlos, he went through rookie minicamp and OTAs and things like that. I’m still far behind, but the coaches are working with me and making me understand it, so I should be alright.”


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Some insight on number of QBs for the 53

Posted by Chris Brown on August 18, 2015 – 8:55 am

Bills head coach Rex Ryan and his offensive staff have a lot of decisions to make in a couple of weeks as they will need to whittle the roster down to 75 and then 53 players. With a roster as deep as Buffalo’s there will be some tough calls, but when it comes to the number of quarterbacks Ryan envisions keeping he sees more than two.

In the first episode of Coffee with the Coach presented by Tim Horton’s, Ryan explained that in keeping the best 53 players on their roster he sees more than just two QBs on the regular season squad.

“No, we’re going to keep 53 really good players and I have a funny feeling that means three quarterbacks,” said Ryan.

Determining the starter at quarterback will be the first order of business, but if the team does keep three QBs all of the signal callers in the competition are expected to stick.


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Thigpen pulling double duty

Posted by Chris Brown on August 18, 2015 – 7:19 am

Bills WR/PR Marcus Thigpen has been pulling double duty here and there through the course of training camp and Monday he was called upon again. With the team down to two healthy running backs, Thigpen had to move from WR to RB where he had a handful of carries to keep the legs of LeSean McCoy and Bronson Hill from getting weary with too many reps. Thigpen has running back experience from his earlier playing days, but just jumping from one position to another in this very multiple and very varied offense is easier said than done.

“It’s something I’ve been doing for a while, playing running back,” Thigpen said. “I’ve just got to learn my plays and know what I’m doing to help out.  My protection—it’s not just runs and passes, but I’ve got to learn the protections as well. So that’s the biggest issue that I face now.”

Running routes coming out of the backfield is a bit easier, since he’s a receiver in this offense, but an adjustment nonetheless.

“It’s definitely different coming out of the backfield,” said Thigpen. “But playing a receiver, it definitely helped me out a lot to be able to run those routes.  I can be a little more crisp and make some of those linebackers miss so it definitely helped out—playing receiver.”

Whether Thigpen’s duties will continue in the Bills’ offensive backfield will depend solely on the health of Buffalo’s running backs. If Bryce Brown (hamstring) can return to practice that would help. Fred Jackson (hamstring) and Boobie Dixon (calf) are not expected back anytime soon. Karlos Williams’ condition is still unknown so a timetable for his return is not available. We hope to know more after Rex Ryan addresses the media following the team’s night practice with Cleveland.


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One Buffalo Unyts Blood Drive

Posted by buffalobills.com on August 17, 2015 – 5:52 pm

onebuffalo-drive-header

Join us for the One Buffalo Community Blood Drive for Unyts Wednesday, September 2nd 12:00 – 7:00 p.m. HarborCenter, 7th Level.

The first 600 people to make an appointment to donate and keep it will receive an exclusive One Buffalo winter hat!

One Buffalo (Skyline) (EMB) 140346[2]

Giveaways includes appointments made 8/31/15 – 9/5/15 at Unyts neighborhood donation centers.

Interactive activities, daily raffles, ticket giveaways, discounted coupons and much more available for all presenting donors.  A full list of the day’s activities can be found at www.unyts.org.

To make an appointment to donate, please call 512-7940 or visit www.unyts.org, click donate blood and use sponsor code 000224.  Walk-ins welcome!


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Posted in Community, Inside the Bills, Off the Field

WR Davis takes advantage of extra reps

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2015 – 4:22 pm

Bills undrafted rookie WR Andre Davis has put up some head turning plays the last couple of days. The beneficiary of additional reps Monday due to all the receivers pulling out of practice early, Davis had the catch of the day.

Davis pulled in a 35-yard touchdown pass from Matt Cassel. As the ball cleared his outside shoulder on the left sideline, Davis snared the ball with his left hand and pulled it in to his body as he reached the end zone behind the Cleveland cornerback.

“I had a go route. Cassel gave me a chance—great throw out there and I was able to put my hand on it and I grabbed it, brought it in,” said Davis.  “It definitely was the best day at camp I’ve had. I got a chance to come out here and compete. We’re down a couple of guys and coach gave me a chance to come out here and compete. With the Browns coming in, I came in here and had a great opportunity and that’s what I did. I competed.”

“He’s doing a great job competing for the ball and he goes up and obviously has ability down the field,” said Cassel. “When he goes up he’s got good ball skills down the field. He’s a guy that has to continue to compete for a job and when he can show up like he did today that’s going to make an impression on the coaching staff.”

Here’s a look at Davis’ big catch.

 


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Pettine on Whitner’s reception by Bills fans

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2015 – 3:43 pm

Former Bills first-round pick Donte Whitner, whose twitter battling, which has included knocks on his former team and the city of Buffalo was not well received on the St. John Fisher campus by Bills fans. Whitner was met with a good deal of booing by fans in attendance. Even Browns head coach Mike Pettine understood the reception.

“That’s his history here. I wasn’t here when he was here before. I wasn’t part of him leaving,” said Pettine. “I do know this: Bills fans are very passionate, very protective of their Bills, very protective of their city, as they should be. I feel it’s very similar fan bases, Cleveland and Buffalo.”

Whitner largely ignored the boos directed at him Monday.


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Karlos Williams sent to hospital this morning

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2015 – 1:26 pm

Bills RB Karlos Williams has had a heck of a training camp so far, but he was not on the field Monday after having to get checked into a local Rochester hospital.

Head coach Rex Ryan explained some of what occurred that forced Williams to be hospitalized.

Karlos Williams, we don’t know the extent of what his injury is yet but some of you know he went off to a hospital this morning,” said Ryan. “We don’t know. It was just, he woke up in the morning and felt a little something weightlifting in the afternoon but it wasn’t anything. Now obviously he had this thing where if you touch him, obviously he’s in a lot of pain.”

No word as to whether a surgical procedure was required to address the problem. We’ll bring you more information on Williams’ condition as it becomes available.


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Twitter chat with Takeo

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2015 – 10:23 pm

Two former Bills will be participating in a Twitter chat Monday.

Takeo Spikes and Troy Vincent will be holding a Twitter chat on Aug. 17th at 12 noon ET. Here are the details.

Knowing what a strong interview subject Takeo was when he was in Buffalo and still is today, it’s a chat you don’t want to miss.


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Bills coaches eager for sessions with Browns

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2015 – 5:48 pm

As much as the players might be looking forward to working against a different team in the training camp setting with the Cleveland Browns coming in for a couple of days of joint practices Monday and Tuesday, the coaches are just as eager to get started, knowing how much it can enhance the players’ preparation for the regular season.

“Yeah I think we’re going to work together on that and really try to get some quality stuff done,” said Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman of their collaboration on the practice plans with the Browns coaching staff. “Some stuff that’s scripted, some unscripted stuff, you know where it’s just put the ball down, it’s first and ten, let’s go. But I think we’re mapping that out right now. So it’ll be really good to get different styles of players, different, slightly different schemes and I think it’ll be great work for us. Really looking forward to it.”


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Ryan: Don’t read into QB reps at practice

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2015 – 4:57 pm

With the million dollar question at Bills training camp being who will be Buffalo’s starting quarterback, everyone is trying to gain insight on the decision making process. At Sunday’s practice EJ Manuel saw no time with starting unit players in practice. In fact for most of the session he took snaps with the third unit. That was largely the same role Manuel had in practice in the last full practice before Friday’s preseason game. When asked about the QB roles in practice Sunday, specifically Manuel being with the threes again, Ryan offered the following.

“It’s what I decided. This is what we did and again he’s going to get the majority of the game running with that group this second preseason game,” said Ryan of Manuel. “So that’s the reasoning behind it. Does that mean he won’t get the two reps? No, it doesn’t mean that at all. But this is what we wanted to do.

“Obviously we were going to put Tyrod in there (Thursday night) and mix in Matt (Cassel), but as the week goes on don’t be surprised if he does get some (time with the) twos. Again I know you guys want to look into everything, but I don’t think you need to. We’ve been working this thing for how long now, it’s been the same type of rotation for three weeks.”


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Rex: Can’t have drop off when pads are off

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2015 – 4:42 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan stepped to the lectern after Sunday’s practice and it was the first thing he mentioned. With the players understandably out of pads just two days removed from their first preseason game, Ryan was a bit disappointed that the intensity of practice fell off with the pads off as well.

“Today’s practice obviously when you take the pads off that intensity goes down a little bit,” said Ryan. “I understand it, but it’s still not acceptable because these days are running out so you’ve got to get better. Anytime you’ve got a chance to compete against each other you’ve got to do that. At the same time we’re trying to protect each other.”

Fortunately for Ryan and his coaching staff things will be dialed up over the next two days when the Cleveland Browns roll in for joint practices.


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Bills QB snaps in Carolina preseason game

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2015 – 3:30 pm

Rex Ryan and his offensive staff have made a concerted effort to keep snaps as even as possible throughout the offseason and training camp and the case was much the same in the team’s preseason opener.

Although EJ Manuel worked with the third unit and Tyrod Taylor with the second string, their snaps were almost equal. Here’s a look at the snap count for each of the three QBs from Friday’s game against Carolina.

Tyrod Taylor – 25
EJ Manuel – 24
Matt Cassel – 20

Matt Simms saw 12 snaps of work.


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Carpenter activated, practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2015 – 10:09 am

Bills K Dan Carpenter has been activated off the Non-Football injury list. 

Carpenter is back practicing with the team for the first time in training camp. He sustained a hamstring injury right before camp during individual training. He’s finally healthy enough to kick again. 


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Enemkpali gets 2nd team reps

Posted by Chris Brown on August 15, 2015 – 2:55 pm

No one even knew if he was going to suit up, but apparently DE/LB IK Enemkpali recalled enough of Rex Ryan’s defense to play Friday.

“He did pretty decent in there,” said Ryan. “We got him in there some. He had a couple of good rushes, but we lost the contain on the other side, which was unfortunate because I thought he could’ve made a couple of sacks for us. I know it’s a new system, but once you throw in something new a lot of stuff falls out. It wasn’t like he never retained the whole thing, but I thought he did a pretty decent job when he was in the there.”

Enemkpali took snaps from undrafted rookie Andrew Hudson, who wound up with the threes Friday.


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McCoy hard on his debut performance

Posted by Chris Brown on August 15, 2015 – 1:38 pm

His stat line wasn’t overly impressive, but that’s typically the case in the preseason for starters. LeSean McCoy looked sudden and explosive at times Friday against Carolina. But in his opinion he wasn’t all that impressed with his performance.

“I think the guys up front really, really played well,” he said. “The first run, the first play, I should have had a long gain. I should of had at least a 60 yarder. But it’s the preseason…You know, you roll with it, you learn mistakes, while the pressure is little, you lock it up. We will learn and get better with it.”

McCoy said he felt rusty and wasn’t as sharp with his reads as he usually is.

As far as Rex Ryan was concerned if in McCoy’s opinion he didn’t run well, he’d like to see what qualifies as good.

“I can’t want to see when he does play well,” Ryan said. “He looked pretty good to me.”

As disappointed as he was with his own performance McCoy did see the silver lining based on how the offensive line fared.

“The guys up front, they really opened it up,” he said. “A lot of the plays, you watch em over and over again, I feel like it is going to be a big year. Especially on the ground game with the guys up front.”

 


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Buffalo’s run ‘D’ impressive

Posted by Chris Brown on August 15, 2015 – 9:28 am

They didn’t have Kyle Williams, Alex Carrington or Stefan Charles available in Friday night’s lineup. It didn’t matter. Buffalo’s run defense was extraordinarily stout against the Carolina Panthers ground game. In fact two of their first three carries went for negative or no yardage.

Top RB, in the absence of Jonathan Stewart, Fozzy Whittaker had gains of one, zero and negative three yards on his first three carries. He finished the game with five carries for three yards. Those three rushing yards were all the Panthers could muster against what was largely Buffalo’s starting defense.

Conversely, Buffalo’s offense had 126 yards rushing at the half and 206 by game’s end.

“We had 206 yards rushing to their 73,” said Rex Ryan. “I think they had three (yards) at halftime, so when I said we outplayed them we did. There’s no denying that. So that was pretty good. I thought the execution went really well until the end there.”

“We did well,” said Preston Brown. “We shut down the run and that’s the thing we want to do.”


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Rex on Darby: We threw him to the wolves

Posted by Chris Brown on August 15, 2015 – 8:20 am

The Carolina Panthers targeted him early and often in Friday’s preseason game. Welcome to the NFL Ronald Darby. The Bills top pick, who has been playing some quality football in training camp was matched up a good deal of the night with the likes of 6-5, 245-pound WR Kelvin Benjamin and 6-4, 225-pound Devin Funchess. It was a difficult welcome to the NFL and his head coach knew it.

At the same time Rex Ryan and his defensive staff put Darby on an island an awful lot in an effort to get him accustomed to playing the big-bodied receivers.

“What we did was we fed him to the wolves,” said Ryan. “We flat played… if anything we put coverage away from him. So we put him out there by himself and let him learn. That’s why (Darby) played into the third quarter. We’ve got to get him ready.”

With the real prospect of not having Leodis McKelvin ready for the season opener and the league’s best passing attack from 2014 coming to town in the form of the Colts, Ryan and his defensive staff know they have to expose Darby to as much adversity as possible knowing he’s likely to get picked on and tested early in his career.

“You know it’s going to happen,” said Ryan. “I was hoping he’d respond. He had decent coverage, some of these guys, when you’re going against a big receiver, a lot of times you don’t put him in those situations, but tonight we did.”He never played as well as I was hoping. I think he’ll learn from it.”

 


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