Inside The Bills

What Rex has learned about QB competitions

Posted by Chris Brown on June 11, 2015 – 12:38 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan may have cut his teeth in the league on the defensive side of the ball, but he’s had more than enough experience dealing with big offensive decisions like who his starting quarterback will be. Having been through quarterback competitions before he knows how to handle his three-man competition with the Bills heading into mandatory minicamp.

Chief in the approach of weighing each of the quarterbacks against the other is not setting a drop dead date to make a decision.

“I don’t think you want to back yourself into it,” said Ryan. “If I give you a date and it comes back around to Week 2 and there’s no starting quarterback, I think I’ve learned you let that thing sit there. I think the appropriate time will be obvious to all of us if that happens.  It may not happen until the week of the Colts game, so we’ll see.”

We assessed the state of the Bills’ quarterback competition in our OTA Observations Wednesday.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

2 Bills assts. seen as head coaches in waiting

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

Bills head coach Rex Ryan has said a few times how he has an all-star coaching staff. He’s also mentioned how he has three men on his staff who he thinks will be head coaches soon. Monday Morning Quarterback put together their list of potential future head coaches and a couple of Buffalo assistants made the list.

MMQB had both Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman and Assistant head coach/running backs coach Anthony Lynn. Here are the reasons they believe Roman and Lynn could be NFL sideline bosses in the near future.

Greg Roman, Buffalo, offensive coordinator
Age:
42

College: John Carroll
Pro experience: 17 seasons, five as coordinator (San Francisco 2011-14)
Resumé: The fast-rising coordinator has almost two decades of pro experience under his belt (despite having never played in the league) and a monumental test ahead of him. Infamously instructed to “take a hike” by the daughter of Niners general manager Trent Baalke on Twitter, Roman is well-liked in league circles despite a disastrous 2014 season. He takes the Bills job under defensive-minded head coach Rex Ryan, with the challenge of competing in the AFC East, with either Matt Cassel or EJ Manuel as his starting quarterback.
M.O.: Arguably the best running game architect in football today. And he knows it. If that confidence and intelligence translates into strong leadership, he could be some team’s diamond in the rough.

Anthony Lynn, Buffalo, running backs, assistant head coach
Age:
46

College: Texas Tech
Pro experience: 15 seasons
Résumé: Forced to retire early due to neck injuries, Lynn began his coaching career in Denver as a special teams assistant. Three teams later, Lynn coached the Jets’ running backs for all six years of Rex Ryan’s tenure. When Ryan was hired in Buffalo, Lynn followed. Ryan preached ground-and-pound, and Lynn was at the heart of its execution.
M.O.: Running backs coaches aren’t typically considered for head-coaching positions, but his job title in Buffalo includes “assistant head coach” for a reason. He’s a teacher of the game who sticks up for his guys.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Chris Simms: Bold Predictions for the 2015 Bills

Posted by johnmurphyshow on June 10, 2015 – 9:27 pm

 

Another day on the field as the team winds down their offseason OTAs. Nine of ten sessions now in the books with their final OTA practice coming Thursday morning. Following today’s workout head coach Rex Ryan met with the media along with a handful of players. We heard from from the Coach Ryan as he updates the progress of the OTAs. We also asked the listeners for their “bold prediction” for the upcoming season. Plenty of out-of-the-box reactions to that topic throughout the night.

watkins picBills wide receiver Sammy Watkins has been limited with the on-field work as he rehabs from an offseason procedure. Watkins sat down with us in-studio at the bottom of the first hour to discuss his targeted return of Training Camp, to recap his rookie season, and to look ahead to what he expects out of a new look offense with added talent.

“We have a lot of guys now so I’m not looking to have crazy numbers. All I can do is fit myself in the offense. The coaches are going to get me the ball as everybody knows but we have Percy Harvin, (Robert) Woods, (Chris) Hogan, then we have a top tight end and a top running back. We can run the ball, it’s going to look a lot different. Everybody is going to have to play their role in the offense.”

Watkins said he’s learned a lot from new wide receiver coach Sanjay Lal, who has broken down his game with targeted areas to improve. He also promoted his upcoming Youth Football Camp. The two-day camp is open to boys and girls from grades 1-8 and runs July 27th & 28th. For more information and registration, head over to SammyWatkinsCamp.com

defenseGoing with tonight’s topic, which stems from a recent Bleacher Report video, Bills 2015 Bold Prediction: Buffalo Will Have Best Defense in the NFL. Behind that bold prediction is a familiar guest to the show, former NFL quarterback Chris Simms. Simms called in to discuss why he thinks Tyrod Taylor will be the team’s starting QB, why they will have the best defense in the league, and why he says the Bills will make the playoffs in 2015.

“I think between talent and the spark that Rex (Ryan) and the new coaching staff, the new ownership up there. All of that and I think it’s all starting to come together for you guys up there and really let’s be serious, you guys were very close last year. I think this team has improved greatly this offseason so that’s why I say it.”

To hear more from Simms and the rest of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Lawson a big help at 2nd level

Posted by Chris Brown on June 10, 2015 – 4:14 pm

As we covered earlier this week on Buffalobills.com, Manny Lawson stands a very good chance of making an impact on defense very similar to the season he had for the Bills in 2013, when he was the club’s third-leading tackler with a fair amount of splash plays. Where Lawson is helping the defense most right now however, is with his pre-snap communication.

“Manny is a huge asset on the field because of what he can do playing-wise and what he can do for our offense collectively as far as communication,” said Kyle Williams. “He knows his job, the job of the guys around him and the reason why we’re disguising that way. He does a lot of things for us that we’re really going to need him for and he’s going to be a big asset for us.”

“Just coming in and knowing not just his assignments but how the defense works and talking it out, making sure he’s pulling defensive linemen over in different fronts, talking to the backers.  He’s been really impressive that way,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “I remember now and it shouldn’t surprise me, I think his test score coming out was the second highest I can remember for a defensive player, next to Eric Smith, who’s one of our coaches now.  He’s really a sharp guy. And obviously he’s got the height and the length you look for. I’ve been really pleased with him.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Robey ready to be aggressive again

Posted by Chris Brown on June 10, 2015 – 4:08 pm

Bills nickel corner Nickell Robey saw a big change from his role as a rookie in 2013 as the team’s nickel corner to his role in 2014. Though his position on the field was the same, what he was asked to do was not. It left him wanting to do more. With Rex Ryan and DC Dennis Thurman bringing in a defensive scheme similar to the one Robey played in two years ago, the third-year corner will get his wish.

Robey, who was a frequent blitzer in Buffalo’s 2013 scheme, said he’ll get the chance to do that again this fall.

“Just scheme-wise doing a lot more blitzing,” he said. “I’m playing a lot more aggressive coverages, but most of all doing a lot more blitzing. I love it. Coming off of Mario or coming off or Hughes it’s a great switch up because they’re all going to be keyed on them and then I just slide underneath them. It’s like a giveaway. It’s real easy.”

While there may be similarities between Ryan and Thurman’s scheme to that of their former colleague Mike Pettine’s system played by the Bills in 2013, Ryan maintains there’s plenty that’s different too.

“You guys want to paint it as the same scheme, but it’s not,” Ryan said. “Some things are similar but it’s a new defense. There’s a lot of things that we ask. Ours is more of an audible defense than he’s been in in the past. He picks it up well.  He’s going to have a big impact. He’s a little man with a big impact on the game. I’m glad he’s our nickel.”

Robey sees some of those differences.

“It’s a lot more aggressive,” he said. “I feel like the coverage is more aggressive on the back end and the D-line is able to rush more aggressively so it helps out better. Last year I was more just coverage basically and softer coverage too. I didn’t get to do everything that I wanted to do as far as being aggressive and being able to play like I really wanted to play. This year Rex is allowing me to do that.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Brinson: “Nice to have ‘Fun Rex’ back in our lives”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on June 9, 2015 – 9:26 pm

 

The Bills back on the field this morning for another session of OTAs, now just a week away from the team’s mandatory minicamp. We began the show pitching tonight’s topic. How do you see the wide receiver group shaking out? What’s a realistic number of wide-outs the team can keep on the 53-man roster?

CM2_4849Right in the middle of that group is Bills wide receiver/return specialist Marcus Thigpen. Thigpen joined us to kick off tonight’s guest set as he looked back at his 2014 season where he joined the Bills late in the season. He talked about his play on special teams and his punt return for a touchdown in the win over the Packers. Hoping to stick with the Bills this season, Thigpen discussed the crowded field at wide receiver and how he wants to stand out by making plays on the field to “impress the coaches.” He opened up about being released numerous times over his career and how he almost called it quits before finally catching on here in Buffalo.

“Getting cut, there’s a lot that goes into it. People don’t really understand the sacrifices that we have to make from our families when we leave. I was at a point where I was ready to wrap it up and my wife told me to, ‘Give it one more try. You didn’t come this far for no reason.’ I decided to go with it and it’s working out well so far.”

A general overall wide angle view from the upper deck of the Edward Jones Dome during a NFL football game between the New York Giants and St. Louis Rams on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014 in St. Louis. The Giants won the game, 37-27. (AP Photo/G. Newman Lowrance)Next up, we dove into stadium talk with St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter David Hunn. Hunn has kept a close eye on the group designing plans for a stadium in St. Louis in hopes of keeping the Rams from possibly moving to Los Angeles. Hunn has also been out to Inglewood, California and gave an update on their plans to bring NFL back to Los Angeles, which is ironically being designed by current Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

“It’s maddening for some people. People really don’t like Stan Kroenke in St. Louis. If he didn’t talk before and that irritated him, now he’s moving the team without saying he’s moving the team. It’s just very frustrating for Ram lovers.”

rex ryanFinally, we reached out to Senior NFL writer at CBSSports, Will Brinson to get an overall look at the happenings around the NFL. He weighed in with his thoughts on the push to get a team in Los Angeles. Brinson went on to discuss Rex Ryan joining the Bills and how he enjoys having a confident Rex Ryan back in the NFL for the national media to cover.

“It’s so nice to have fun Rex back in our lives. The last two years, especially the last year in New York, it was kind of depressing to see Rex with a little swagger out of his system. To see him rejuvenated by ownership and management in Buffalo and been given the authority to swing his sword in the fashion he likes to swing it, it’s been fun to watch, I can’t lie.”

Brinson also talked about the mega deal for quarterback Cam Newton in Carolina and what that means for Russell Wilson over in Seattle. To hear that and the rest of Tuesday’s John Murphy Show, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Eric Wood supports children through foundation

Posted by Alexandra Vitale on June 9, 2015 – 5:36 pm

wood

During his seven years in Buffalo, Wood feels he has established himself enough to give back to the community. In 2014, he found a way to do so with the creation of “The Eric Wood Foundation.”

On Monday night he hosted a Dinner for a Difference fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Buffalo.

For one evening only, Wood and teammates traded uniforms and helmets for aprons as they help serve guests a three-course meal with fine wine and spirits. The night also featured an exciting live and silent auction. Proceeds benefitted his foundation.

For additional information on The Eric Wood Foundation visit the website at ericwoodfoundation.org.


Posted in Community, Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Darby has tutors in Bills vets

Posted by Chris Brown on June 9, 2015 – 4:19 pm

The team concept has been preached from the get-go by Rex Ryan’s coaching staff and the veterans on Buffalo’s roster are holding fast to it. Evidence of it is found in the willingness of veteran players to help the rookies get up to speed on the offensive or defensive scheme depending which side of the ball they’re on.

Bills top pick Ronald Darby has been one of the beneficiaries. When he’s had a question about how to play a call a certain way some of the veteran defensive backs have given him some of the best answers.

“The coaches also help,” Darby told Buffalobills.com. “But all of the vets are great. (Corey) Graham helped me a lot. (Nickell) Robey, (Stephon) Gilmore, (Baccari) Rambo, a lot of them. All of them really, Ron Brooks. Any question I have I can go to any one of them and they’ll give me the right answer.”

The influence of the vets has helped to shorten Darby’s learning curve giving him a better chance of contributing this season as a rookie.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kenny Ladler: Vying for Spot on the Roster-JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on June 8, 2015 – 9:17 pm

Ladler

Players returned to the field for OTAs this morning. Afterwards, we caught up with Bills safety Kenny Ladler. Ladler has been around the team for a year now and talked about his time on the practice squad, getting called up for his first NFL game against the Patriots last season, and the untimely injury that placed him on I-R for the majority of the season. Now, Ladler is healthy as he returns for an open opportunity to make a contribution in the defensive backfield.

“I’m definitely optimistic about the chance to play in this defense and contribute. It’s a long season and I understand that this game requires everyone to pull in the right direction. I’m confident in my game that I can help pull this defense in the right direction, being out there and making plays like I know I can do.”

On the other side of the ball, we sat down with Bills Senior Offensive Assistant Chris Palmer. Palmer went down the long list of his resume, including his time in Houston coaching the receivers, where he was on-staff during the Bills-Oilers “Comeback Game.” He went on to discuss his time coaching Drew Bledsoe in New England and rounded back to where he is now, overseeing the Bills offense. Palmer talked about the first few weeks of on-field work and his assessment of the situation here in Buffalo.

“Just talking with the players, they go bowling. There’s this chemistry built on the team and you can see that. I’m telling you, I’ve been very, very impressed with the players and how hard they’re working. DSC_4175Obviously, as a coach you’d like to be further along but realistically the players are doing a great job and I think the coaches are doing a great job of presenting new packages and the players are absorbing it very, very well.

Finally, a familiar name to Bills fans, former linebacker now sports broadcaster Kirk Morrison returned to the show. Morrison, living out on the west coast weighed in on the NBA Playoffs as the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers battle it out. He’s a huge Warriors fans and gave his pitch on why Golden State will claim this year’s NBA title. Morrison went on with his thoughts from around the NFL, mentioning his “bounce-back” players for the 2015 season.

Also tonight, plenty of reaction from the listeners as we asked them who the team’s most underrated player is. A wide variety of responses from both sides of the ball on that topic. To hear that and the complete John Murphy Show from Monday, click here.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Pats release Brandon Spikes

Posted by Chris Brown on June 8, 2015 – 10:18 am

Less than a month after signing a free agent contract with the club that made him a second round pick in 2010, Brandon Spikes is again a free agent.

That according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who is reporting that the New England Patriots have released the veteran linebacker.

ESPN is reporting there was an incident early Sunday morning involving Spikes and an abandoned car that is being characterized as a hit and run accident.

Spikes played for Buffalo in the 2014 season on a one-year contract.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Posted by johnmurphyshow on June 5, 2015 – 10:42 pm

jms-middle-1280x720--nfl_mezz_1280_1024The players were off on Friday to close out the first week in June. A slow end to a busy week of OTA’s here at One Bills Drive. In this addition of The John Murphy Show we were joined by some great guests to discuss a variety of intriguing topics ranging from NFL officiating to Hall of Fame inductions. Editor and Founder of footballzebras.com Ben Austro was first on the docket, ESPN Radio Host and SEC guru Paul Feinbaum was next at the top of the 8 o’clock hour and last but not least, a familiar name to Bills’ fans, former Bills’ Punter Brian Moorman rounded out the show.

In this Sept. 3, 2011 photo, Conference USA official Sarah Thomas looks downfield before an NCAA college football game between Central Florida and Charleston Southern in  Orlando, Fla. Thomas is on track to become the NFL’s first permanent female official, possibly as early as 2014, and is a finalist in the NFL’s scouting program. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

We caught up with Footballzebras.com’s Ben Austro to discuss all things surrounding NFL officiating. He offered some insight on the re-shaping process the NFL has been going through in the last few years regarding the officials. He touched on the new hires made by the league for the 2015 season including the hiring of the first female NFL official Sarah Thomas.

“We’re at 23 new hires in the last 2 seasons…When there’s a staff of 122, that’s a large percentage. That’s over 10%.” Austro said regarding the re-shaping of the NFL officiating group. He later spoke about the hiring of Sarah Thomas, “Yes, this is a big deal. We’ve been watching her as she’s progressed and yes, it will certainly be a big week 1 story.”

Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio (71) during the fourth quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh won 19-16.(AP Photo/Don Wright)

 

Next up, ESPN Radio Host and SEC specialist Paul Feinbaum joined the show to talk SEC. He discussed a number of SEC alumni that are currently on the Bills’ roster like Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Cyrus Kouandjio and Percy Harvin. Paul also spoke as to why the SEC is so good at producing professionals.

“Years ago players from Florida used to go to Michigan. You’d get players from Kentucky and Tennessee gravitating up north to Ohio State or guys going to Penn State from all over the country. They stopped doing it,” Feinbaum said. “I think some of it was when the SEC became a national brand about 20 years ago. It signed a contract with CBS for a weekly game.”

Buffalo Bills punter Brian Moorman (8) punts the ball during a preseason NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Saturday, August 23, 2014 in Orchard Park, NY. The Buccaneers won the game xx-xx. (AP Photo/Paul Jasienski)

 

 

Lastly, earlier this week former Bills’ Punter Brian Moorman was inducted in to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame and he came on the show to talk a little bit about what an honor it was to receive the phone call informing him of the news.

“It was quite a phone call to get…It’s very humbling and obviously it’s a credit to the people who have supported me along the way. My family, my friends, my teammates, my coaches, everyone that’s been a part of it, I can’t thank them enough because I couldn’t have done it without them.”

 

To hear more from Brian Moorman and the rest of Friday’s John Murphy Show, click here.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-5

Posted by Chris Brown on June 5, 2015 – 11:45 am

Another week of OTA practices in the books. Let’s get to your latest round of questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
Do you think we are getting these (young offensive tackles) ready to step up in case we don’t re-sign Glenn? Some big money contracts are coming.

JameShoup

CB: You’re right there are some big money contracts on the horizon (Dareus, Gilmore, Glenn, Bradham). They can wait a little on Gilmore after picking up his fifth-year option, but the others will need to be addressed.

Knowing the lack of offensive tackle depth on this roster however, I think re-signing Glenn is a must. The only other true tackles on the roster are Seantrel Henderson, Cyrus Kouandjio and undrafted rookie Tyson Chandler.

Yes, they want to get Henderson and Kouandjio as much experience as possible, but Glenn is a cornerstone player. So provided they can make things work under the cap he is an important piece to Buffalo’s offensive puzzle.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

What can fans expect with this new offense and all these weapons?

golden1ne

CB: In a word, variety. Greg Roman is going to take advantage of all the weapons on offense with a system based on multiplicity. Multiple formations, pre-snap shifts and motions as well as multiple personnel groupings. I believe LeSean McCoy will still be the engine of Buffalo’s offense this season, but there is talent that can also take the cover off a defense. Roman won’t ignore those options.

The only unknown and hope is that one of these quarterbacks steps up and separates himself from the other two and becomes a reliable trigger man for the passing game.


3 –
@ChrisBrownBills

Hey Chris, Rex seems to be building an AFC version of the Seahawks. Duke Williams is a hard hitting safety, has he looked good?

BlackArtVision

CB: Duke has held his own during these OTA sessions, but the physical part of his game is obviously not on display in this kind of setting. I think what Williams has to prove to the coaches if he wants to win the vacant strong safety job is that he can direct traffic with the back seven on defense pre-snap.

The defensive coaches need to have confidence that he can make the right pre-snap calls and dole out checks and adjustments correctly and quickly.

 

4 – Hello Chris,
I know that the team used iPad play books last year.
Was that trial considered a good addition and will the team continue using them?

Thanks for the great work you continue to do with Murph.  I appreciate the closeness to the team that you provide.

GO BILLS!
Pete Tokarczyk
“Born and raised in Buffalo but now living on a mountainside in Kentucky”,

CB: Yes, the I-Pads are back this year. In fact the use of digital devices has become pretty commonplace with NFL clubs the last couple of seasons. The main advantage is coaches are able to update film reviews of practice, the practice schedule and game plans all by uploading revised material that the players can access from their devices.

Players also have access to as much film as they want to review on their own time from the team’s video library.

 

5 – Hi Chris,

I am really excited about the team this year with the off-season moves so far. Like many people though, my concern is at the QB position. The coaches have stated that it will be an open competition. The way it looks, unless E.J. Manuel shows major improvement, Matt Cassel will probably start. While I think Matt has the ability to win now and lead us to the playoffs with the talent around him, I don’t think he is the long term answer the Bills need. So my question is, how truly open will the competition be?

P.S. Thank you for all your efforts to bring us a look inside the Buffalo Bills.

Paul M.
Rochester, NY

CB: Rex Ryan has maintained that the competition will provide equal opportunities for the top three QBs and to this point it’s looked that way in OTA practices. Running two offensive units simultaneously has made it possible.

And I don’t think that approach will change until either one quarterback begins to separate himself from the other two or one quarterback falters and can compete with the others. So the first step very well could be the three-man competition shrinking to a two-man race.

It will obviously be the most closely watch element of training camp this summer.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Henderson: Finding Comfort at Left Tackle – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on June 4, 2015 – 9:20 pm

 

The Bills wrapping up another week of OTAs on Thursday. Afterwards, assistant coaches met with the media. We heard from offensive line coach Aaron Kromer as he talked about the changes along the line. We began with that and updated the news of the day, which included the official announcement of the Bills/Browns joint practices at St. John Fisher College during Training Camp.

Buffalo Bills tackle Seantrel Henderson (66) blocks against the San Diego Chargers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

We finally were able to catch up with offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson, who called in to kick-off our guest set. Henderson talked about the ‘surprise’ he had in playing all 16-games last season. Throughout this year’s OTAs, he has been rotating from right to left tackle. After spending all of last season on the right side, he discussed the adjustment to playing on the other end and finding his comfort zone.

“I’m trying to get to get it down pat. I’m usually more comfortable on the right but it’s good to be versatile. I’m just trying to get my technique down as far as coming back comfortable on that side.” Henderson said. “It’s what I played all through college all the way up until now. I just played a little bit of left tackle last preseason. That was a little different for me, too but I like both sides so it’s fine with me.”

At the top of the second hour, we were joined by Bills assistant defensive backs coach Tim McDonald. McDonald discussed his coaching path so far, mentioning the college ranks and now the NFL. He cited the skill players he’s been associated with over the years, mentioning both Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. Now here in Buffalo, McDonald ran down the talent the Bills have in the defensive backfield, including the DSC_3989guys outside at corner, playing man-to-man coverage.

“Press allows us to do a lot of things away from the press side. You always hear about these shutdown corners. Those guys can control vertical throws on their side of the field. If we have a guy that can do that, it makes playing football a whole lot easier. There are a lot of other things you can do to get pressure on that quarterback.” McDonald said. “If you have a (Stephon) Gilmore and a (Leodis) McKelvin that was playing the way he was playing last year before he got hurt. You have those guys sitting over there, it’s going to be tough on the quarterback.”

Bemiller-Al-snappingWednesday, the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame announced their 25th anniversary class. Among them was Bills AFL member Al Bemiller, who was part of the back-to-back AFL Championship teams in the mid-1960’s. Bemiller, a standout offensive guard/center called in to round out the show and talk about his upcoming honor, his time at Syracuse winning a National Championship, and getting drafted by the Bills and the immediate impact he had on the offensive line.

“I don’t care if it’s the top or the bottom, I’m in there and it’s a great, great, great thing that I never thought would happen. I want to thank you (John Murphy) and whoever else is responsible because it’s a great thing for me.”

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


Posted in Inside the Bills

Roman: players are making chicken salad

Posted by Chris Brown on June 4, 2015 – 4:01 pm

Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman is known to experiment a lot this time of year when it comes to drawing up plays for his offense. It’s part of a process to see what works well and what doesn’t. In Thursday’s closed OTA session Roman did exactly that and was pleased with the way his players handled a large volume of material.

“Guys are working hard and we’re throwing a lot at them. Today we worked on a lot of things we may or may not use during the course of the season,” Roman said. “We still feel it’s important enough that it may come up at some point. I thought the guys did a great job of taking in a tremendous amount of information in a short amount of time, and going out and making chicken salad out of it.”

With a brand new roster to work with for the first time in five years, it’s understandable why Roman and his offensive staff see a need to experiment and see what their personnel can absorb, retain and effectively execute. Much like the players have to refine the offensive plays that are installed, the coaches have to refine their playbook in terms of what stays and what goes. That happens by testing things out on the practice field.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kromer: OTs have to be able to play both sides

Posted by Chris Brown on June 4, 2015 – 3:09 pm

Bills offensive line coach Aaron Kromer has done his fair share of experimentation moving his linemen around during spring OTA practices. It’s still not the kind of football where Kromer can make effective evaluations of his players because the pads are not on yet. What he is doing is cross training many of his linemen to play more than one position. With his offensive tackles he’s exposing them to play on both ends of the line.

One of those players is OT Seantrel Henderson, who has seen time both on the left side with the second unit and the right side with the first unit, the position he manned as a rookie in 2014.

“We’re moving a lot of guys and he’s one of them,” said Kromer of Henderson. “He has to play right and left and so do some other guys. We feel like when you get in a game it’s important that you have backups and starters that can move. If you train them in more than one spot you’re in a much better situation when you only dress seven linemen. That’s what we’re trying to do with him and a lot of guys. I think that will bode well in the end. Right now it’s hard on guys to do them both, but that’s the NFL, you have to be able to play both sides.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins up to speed despite being limited

Posted by Chris Brown on June 4, 2015 – 2:19 pm

Sammy Watkins is still limited coming off his offseason procedure, but he hasn’t lost a step when it’s come to getting a hold on the offensive scheme. Receivers coach Sanjay Lal said Watkins has done everything possible to stay immersed in the installation process.

“He’s keeping up mentally,” said Lal. “He comes to meet extra with me anytime there’s a special teams meeting because he’s not in special teams, and that’s legal to do so. Off to the side in practice he’s working on all his techniques, so when it comes time to running everything at full speed he’ll understand the technique. When he goes away for the summer he’ll know what to work on and work on it the right way so he’s ready when he comes back.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

QB Simms shares New Jersey bond with Hogan

Posted by Chris Brown on June 4, 2015 – 9:05 am

Bills newest QB Matt Simms has familiar faces on the coaching staff in Rex Ryan and quarterbacks coach David Lee, who he worked with in New York with the Jets. There’s also Percy Harvin, who was on the Jets roster last season. But there’s another fellow New Jersey native that he’s all too familiar with in Buffalo’s locker room.

Bills WR Chris Hogan grew up one town over from Simms, and the two have worked together in the offseason the last few years.

“He grew up in Wyckoff, New Jersey and I’m from Franklin Lakes and both those towns connect into the same high school,” said Simms. “I went to Don Bosco Prep and he went to Ramapo the public school. We’ve always been around each other training in the offseason together. It’s funny how this small world works as teammates up here now in Buffalo.”

“He’s got a really good arm and can make all the throws,” Hogan told Buffalobills.com. “I’ve worked with him a few times in the offseason and he can really spin it. He doesn’t mind bad weather, wind, it doesn’t matter with that arm he’s got.”


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Ryan on addition of Buchanan

Posted by Chris Brown on June 4, 2015 – 8:25 am

Bills newest DE Michael Buchanan got his first practice in on Wednesday with his new Buffalo teammates. He got some time with the second unit at defensive end as he begins to get a handle on the playbook. Head coach Rex Ryan explained why Buchanan was an appealing player for their defensive scheme.

“He’s a guy that’s got length, he’s got some pass rush ability,” said Ryan. “In our system he can be flexible. We’re looking for a guy who can compete to be the backup behind Jerry Hughes in particular. I think he has that. He has some pass rush ability and it’s kind of a—a guy has to have pass rush ability, drop ability, and length, and that’s hard to find—but he has those things.  The young man will be given an opportunity here.”


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Bills coaching staff getting props from players

Posted by Chris Brown on June 3, 2015 – 10:23 pm

When head coach Rex Ryan finished the assembly of his coaching staff he called it an all-star staff, with thanks to owners Terry and Kim Pegula for making it possible. Now just over a month has passed that the coaches have been around the players and the men on Buffalo’s roster are pretty pleased with the coach-player interaction and instruction.

RB LeSean McCoy was heaping praise on offensive coordinator Greg Roman, likening him to his former head coach Chip Kelly when it came to finding unique and creative ways to create opportunities for his players to make plays.

“The type of coach Greg Roman is there’s a bunch of different things,” said McCoy. “That sort of reminds me of Chip with the whole unique style of getting his backs in space, that genius type of thing. No matter what I feel like he’s a genius and Greg is similar. They find ways to trick the defense and get their backs in a lot of open space. Greg definitely has a similiarity for sure.”

WR Sammy Watkins is limited to just individual position drills in OTA practices as he’s still rehabbing from an offseason procedure, but he already feels like he and his fellow wideouts are better players because of new receivers coach Sanjay Lal.

“It’s been great. He’s a great coach,” said Watkins of Lal. “So far I haven’t been on the field much with him, but I feel my game has improved with just the little things and the details. You see every receiver right now becoming true receivers and he’s teaching us the way to play the game.”

Watkins feels last season the receiving corps was just an “okay” route running team. In early June he thinks they’re better now than they were at any point last season.

“We can run better routes now,” said Watkins. “Last year we were okay with routes, now we’re getting the real details of running routes and different routes and I think our placement and being in the same place every time is helping the QBs out.”

So while the Bills are a long way from playing their first game that counts, the early returns on the coaching staff from the players are glowing.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Schwab: Digital Stream “Big step for the NFL”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on June 3, 2015 – 9:18 pm

 

Bills players returning to the field after two days off for another session of OTAs. Head Coach Rex Ryan and running back LeSean McCoy addressed the media following today’s on-field practice. We began the show hearing from those two and also touched on the news of the day, including the NFL’s announcement of Yahoo!’s live digital stream of the Bills/Jaguars game in London.

BillsVsJags_LondonIt’s a first for the NFL, streaming a live game to a global audience but it will be the only way fans can catch the game outside of the Buffalo and Jacksonville areas. To discuss what could be a glimpse into the future, we called on Yahoo! NFL Sports Writer for Shutdown Corner Frank Schwab. Schwab talked about the significance of the event and why it’s a bold move for the NFL.

“It’s a big deal to go to a digital platform just to see how it goes, how people react to it. The world is changing. I’m a Milwaukee Brewers fan living in Denver. I watch a ton of Brewers games on my tablet. It’s just the way people consume media now in many ways and I think the NFL is smart to say ‘hey, let’s experiment with this and see how people react to it and maybe this is something we do.”

Michael McCann, a Legal Analyst for Sports Illustrated joined us to share his take on the Patriots Saga and give us the legal angle for Tom Brady’s upcoming appeal. McCann discussed that how Brady could actually benefit from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hearing the case and that if the suspension is not reduced, he could see Brady filing a lawsuit. McCann, who is also a legal professor at the University of New Hampshire, is also planning on teaching an undergraduate course next Fall titled “Deflategate.”

To hear that and the rest of Wednesday’s John Murphy Show, click here.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills