Inside The Bills

Phase 2 of offseason conditioning begins today

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2016 – 10:33 am

Bills players have been on site for the last few weeks doing weight training and conditioning work on the field without coaches, and classroom work with coaches. But today (Monday) begins phase two of the offseason program.

Under CBA rules, over the next three weeks of the program players can participate in on-field workouts that may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

Buffalo’s OTA practices begin in two weeks on Monday May 23rd.


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Ragland listed as one of draft’s best fits

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2016 – 9:19 am

Former Bills safety Matt Bowen, now an NFL analyst for ESPN.com, has broken down what he feels are the best NFL draft fits for the teams who selected them. Bills second-round pick Reggie Ragland was on his short list.

Bowen sees Ragland as a versatile, but perfect fit for Rex Ryan’s 3-4 defense. Here was his analysis.

Reggie Ragland, LB, Buffalo Bills

In Rex Ryan’s 3-4 front, Ragland is the big boy at the second-level, that linebacker with downhill power to eat up the run game: Stack and shed, fill the hole and put the running back on the ground. This guy is a tackling machine. But don’t peg Ragland as just a base defender who has to come off the field on third downs. He has enough juice in his legs to drop in zone coverage, close on the ball and be used as a matchup weapon in the blitz packages. Ragland versus a running back in protection? I’m taking the linebacker in that one — and broken chinstraps. This is an immediate upgrade for Ryan’s defense, an ideal fit for the 3-4 scheme and an absolute steal for the Bills in the second-round. It was a smart move to trade up with Ragland still on the board.

 


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PFF ranks Darby & Watkins in their top 100

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2016 – 8:47 am

The NFL Network apparently isn’t the only outlet doing a top 100 NFL player list. Pro Football Focus is doing their based on their film review from the 2016. Their findings have Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby ranked in the first release of ranked players from 100-76.

Watkins was ranked 95th overall while Darby checked in with a ranking of 82. Here was their breakdown as to why each Bills player wound up where they did.

95. Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills (unranked)

There may have been more impressive raw statistical performances from wide receivers out there, but Watkins posted an impressive receiving grade and averaged 17.5 yards per reception in 2015. At times he was short-changed by the rest of the offense, as passes didn’t quite get to him even after he did excellent work to get open, and the trouble he gave Darrelle Revis in both of their matchups this season really encapsulates the improvement in his game from one year to the next.

Best performance: Week 13 versus Houston: +3.5 grade

Key stat: Watkins had the second-most yards from deep passes (20-plus air yards) in the entire league at 606 yards.

82. Ronald Darby, CB, Buffalo Bills (unranked)

Rookie cornerbacks are not supposed to play as well as Darby did this past season. In contrast to Marcus Peters, who was very much boom-or-bust (eight interceptions and eight touchdowns surrendered), Darby was far more consistent in a down-to-down basis. He may have only notched two interceptions, but he also had 13 passes broken up and was beaten for an average of just 11.6 yards per reception.

Best performance: Week 4 versus Giants: +4.1 grade

Key stat: Darby had the eighth-highest coverage grade for CBs at +11.1.


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Bills credited with pair of draft bargains

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2016 – 8:42 am

The Bills 2016 draft haul by most accounts has been a very good one. Taking it a step further NFL.com put together a list of draft choices they felt were among the best bargains for where they were selected. Two of the newest Bills made the list in a look at the AFC East clubs.

NFL.com chose Bills second-round pick Reggie Ragland and fifth-round pick Jonathan Williams among their best bargains. Here was their assessment as to why.

LB Reggie Ragland, Buffalo Bills
Drafted:
2nd round (41st overall)
Why he’s a bargain: The heart-and-soul linebacker of the Alabama defense wasn’t expected to slip out of the first round, much less 10 picks deep into the second. Ragland is a Day 1 starter on run downs, and plays well enough in space to at least challenge for playing time on third down as well. The enlarged aorta that might have helped precipitate his slide isn’t expected to be a problem for his football career.

RB Jonathan Williams, Buffalo Bills
Drafted:
5th round (156th overall)
Why he’s a bargain: After spending all of 2015 on the sideline due to a foot injury, Williams was something of a draft afterthought. His absence helped backfield mate Alex Collins enhance his draft profile last year, but when both shared the backfield as a healthy tandem in 2013 and 2014, Williams was the more consistent and reliable player. He’s an effective receiver and, barring an injury setback, should not only make the team but earn an early rotational role as well.


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Peyton Manning helping Tannehill

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2016 – 8:12 am

It’s likely rooted in the relationship between Dolphins new head coach Adam Gase and the now retired Peyton Manning. Gase, who was Manning’s offensive coordinator in Denver a few years ago, is entering his first season as head coach in Miami. According to the Miami Herald it was Manning’s idea to come down and help Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill out with the Dolphins new offense.

“It was really cool,” Tannehill told the Herald. “A guy that had his career, the living legend he is, coming off a Super Bowl winning season —  it was really cool just to be able to sit and pick his brain about things he’s done in this offense and football things in general: snap counts, things you like, the way you want guys to run routes, little details about the game. We really just got to talk the game, which is something we both love.”

Whether Manning will pop in for other tutoring sessions is unclear. But it does only serve to reinforce how the Dolphins are doing everything they can to maximize Tannehill’s abilities as a quarterback.


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Shaq and Reggie previously knew each other

Posted by Chris Brown on May 6, 2016 – 4:20 pm

Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland both acknowledged they knew each other prior to arriving at One Bills Drive for rookie minicamp.

“Reggie and I were already close friends,” said Lawson. “We met a while ago. We met at the Nagurski award banquet. We were both finalists for the Nagurski award so we met then. We’ve been friends since the college all-star games so we had a great relationship even before we got on the same team.”

“Yeah, it’s kind of like four flats on a Cadillac,” said Ragland smiling. “No, I got really close to Shaq through the process. At first, I thought he’s crazy, heard a couple stories of him, but for the most part, I got to know him and he’s a really good guy and he’s a great friend of mine. So, I’m glad to be here with him and he’s one of the players I wanted to play with if I had a chance to during the process.”

When asked why Ragland said his offensive teammates at Alabama were really impressed with his playing ability.

“He’s a good player no doubt. When we were getting ready to play him for the national championship all my teammates were talking about what a good player he was,” said Ragland. “Then to meet him as a person he’s has a great personality. He likes to crack around and joke just like I do, so that’s what drew me to him.”


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Washington: Cardale will be better pro QB

Posted by Chris Brown on May 6, 2016 – 4:17 pm

Teammates for the last four years at Ohio State, Adolphus Washington and Cardale Jones are pretty tight. Washington is all too familiar with Jones trials through his college career, including getting benched last season after winning the starting job for the Buckeyes. Washington’s eyes tell him that Jones might be one of those QBs who is better as a pro than he was as a collegiate QB.

“At Ohio State I always thought Cardale would be a better quarterback in the NFL and I hope that stays true,” said Washington. “He’s a smart guy and a great quarterback and he’s turning into that leader. I was hearing in the locker room some of the guys talking about how he was controlling the huddle and controlling the offense and I was proud to hear that because that’s something he needed to work on.”

When asked why he believes Jones skill set will flourish more in the NFL, Washington believes having more freedom to operate within an offense will allow his physical talents to be maximized.

“Just his arm and being able to make his own reads and not having a set person to throw the ball to or whatever the case might,” said Washington. “I just think he’ll be a lot better in the league.”


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Slauson ties are strong to Rex & Kromer

Posted by Chris Brown on May 6, 2016 – 4:02 pm

Bills free agent visitor Matt Slauson was at One Bills Drive to meet with the coaching staff. He was drafted by the Jets when Bills head coach Rex Ryan was running the team down in New York. He also was coached by Bills offensive line coach Aaron Kromer in Chicago in 2013 and 2014. Ryan remembers how the Jets came to draft Slauson back in 2010.

“Matt when we we drafted him it was a funny thing,” said Ryan. “We had three or four guys that we were looking at with that last pick and we had taken all offensive players. All I heard was I was never going to draft an offensive players. The other three guys were defensive players, and we drafted the offensive player. And all he did was end up starting for six years now. So that one kind of worked out.”

“It was good to see him out here. Obviously he’s a guy we’re very familiar with. You have him do the physical to see where he is that way. But he played for Kromer and I had him with the Jets.”

Slauson stopped out to watch a little of rookie minicamp.


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Fan Friday 5-6

Posted by Chris Brown on May 6, 2016 – 11:33 am

Time for post-draft analysis. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills with the drafting of Williams, can all 4 make the team? Or is he fighting Gillislee for a single spot?

Parasauralophus @lophus89

CB: I think all four could absolutely make the roster. I think Jonathan Williams is going to open some eyes very quickly at training camp. Talented kid with great feet for a downhill back.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills What Undrafted Free Agents do you see having the best chance of cracking the 53 man roster? Matt from England #Bills

Matt Swain @MSwain86

CB: I like LB Erik Striker’s athletic ability on the whole. Even though he’s making a position switch I think Rex and Rob Ryan find a way to find a role for him. Plus I think he can be a demon on special teams. I think G Jamison Lalk’s versatility could really help him. He’s played OT, G and C in his college career. I also like NT Justin Zimmer’s short area quickness, but we’ll see.

 

3 – Chris,

Thanks for all your efforts in keeping us diehard fans up to date.   My question is, with the issues Dan Carpenter had last year in missed extra points and field goals, do you foresee any change? It would be nice to have a player fill both roles for kick offs and field goals, extra points. Kickoffs surely are an important factor in keeping an opponent backed up and a whole field in front of them. But missing an extra point changes future decisions and you are usually down a point instead of tied.

Thanks for your insight.
Gary in Indianapolis

CB: While I understand your frustration with the extra point issues Carpenter had last year, if you look at his NFL track record I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills look at his 2015 season as an aberration. Now that being said the coaching staff isn’t turning a blind eye to what ailed Carpenter last season. Hopefully those days are behind him, but they did bring in an undrafted rookie free agent kicker in Georgia’s Marshall Morgan as competition.

We profiled Morgan’s college career earlier this week.

 

4 – Chris,
How do you feel about the Bills 1st round pick considering who was available? Nkemdiche for example. I feel like it was a bit of a homer pick considering Rex wore a Clemson helmet to a press conference. Do you think he was on the top of our board or was Rex being Rex?

Great work as always Chris!
Thanks!

GaynorGuarantee

CB: Having the privilege of being in the draft room I can assure you he was the top player available for them. As I covered in my Inside the Draft Room feature, the Bills thought he’d be gone in the first dozen picks. That’s how high they had him graded.

The Bills and just about every other team doesn’t let personal attachments affect draft grades. There’s too much investment involved to let that play a factor.


5 –
@ChrisBrownBills Thoughts on Slauson? Does he leave town? Lots of connections to Rex/Kromer. Can play across the line other than LT

Mavin @BillsFanNY

CB: I think the Bills would like to add him and they do have one open roster spot at this point. The money saved by signing Cordy Glenn to his big extension helps make that a greater possibility. Have to see what Slauson is willing to accept if he likes what his role would be, which at this point would be a backup. Not certain he’s ready to accept such a role.


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Bills Season Ticket Member of the Month – May

Posted by buffalobills.com on May 6, 2016 – 10:53 am

stm-month-story

Name: Bob Ostempowski

Hometown: Sloan, NY, lives in Lancaster, NY

Season Ticket Member Since: 5/1/1993

Favorite Current Bills: Kyle Williams

Favorite Bills Legends: Jim Kelly, Tom Sestak, Thurman Thomas and Bruce Smith

Favorite Bills Memory: When Terry Pegula bought the Bills and saved the franchise

Favorite part of Sundays at Ralph Wilson Stadium: The anticipation before kickoff

Best part of being a Bills Season Ticket Member: Knowing you have the same seat week in and week out, and the people you get to know around you.

Favorite Bills Season Ticket Member Perk: Getting money back to use at the stadium on their Bills Bucks card.

Favorite Tailgate Ritual: Cooking on the grill, having some sausages and some cold brews.

The Buffalo Bills would like to thank Bob for his 20+ years as a Bills Season Ticket Member. As our Season Ticket Member of the month for May, Bob will receive two pregame on field passes to a home game of his choice, an autographed helmet, and select 2016 Bills merchandise.

If you would like to nominate a Season Ticket Member of the Month, email us the account number, name, and the reason for your nomination to Tickets@bills.nfl.net. Please use the subject line, “STM of the Month Nomination.” A new Season Ticket Member will be recognized and featured each month for the 2016 season.

*Above photo is Bob with his son Kevin and daughter Christine.


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Taylor makes top 20 for rising retail stars

Posted by Chris Brown on May 6, 2016 – 9:22 am

The NFL Players Association (NFLPA), via its marketing and licensing arm, NFL Players Inc., has unveiled their second annual NFLPA 2016 Rising list, which identifies players best positioned to rank among top-sellers of all officially licensed merchandise and become future retail stars. And there’s a Bills player on it.

Tyrod Taylor made the list ranking 16th overall, and was the only Bills player to do so. (top 25 listed below)

The NFLPA Rising 50 rankings take into account on-field performances during the 2015 season, fantasy-league popularity, early demand from current sponsors and licensees, and new faces in strong markets as factors determining potential future sales popularity.

To be considered for this ranking, players must not have appeared in previous NFLPA Top 50 Player Sales quarterly lists.The NFLPA Rising 50 is updated annually.

Top 25 of NFLPA 2016 Rising 50:

  1. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
  2. Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
  3. Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks
  4. Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
  5. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
  6. Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
  7. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
  8. Josh Norman, DB, Washington Redskins
  9. Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
  10. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
  11. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
  12. Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers
  13. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
  14. Tyrann Mathieu, DB, Arizona Cardinals
  15. Jeremy Langford, RB, Chicago Bears
  16. Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills
  17. Paxton Lynch, QB, Denver Broncos
  18. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
  19. Tyler Lockett, WR/KR, Seattle Seahawks
  20. Aaron Donald, DL, Los Angeles Rams
  21. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers
  22. Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers
  23. Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans
  24. Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins
  25. Brock Osweiler, QB, Houston Texans

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Bills tried to get a 3rd player with a 1st round grade

Posted by Chris Brown on May 5, 2016 – 2:14 pm

The Bills were obviously very happy to get two players with first round grades on their board in the first two rounds of the draft. On day two of the NFL draft after successfully trading up with Chicago to move to pick 41, Buffalo had two options that they would’ve been happy to take with that new pick at 41. Reggie Ragland was the top option so he was the choice. As the second round wore on however, their option ‘B’ was still available.

As we profiled in our final On the Clock feature – Inside the Draft Room, Buffalo made the trade with Chicago while the Giants were on the clock at pick 40. The reason they felt comfortable consummating the trade with the Bears before the Giants picked was because they had two players with first round grades they were ready to take there. So either way they were sure to get one of the two. In the end both wound up being there.

After taking Ragland however, their option ‘B’ was still sliding.

“The two guys that were there were Ragland and Jarran Reed,” Bills GM Doug Whaley told Buffalobills.com. “When Reed started falling we thought, ‘Hey, wait a minute. We’ve got a chance to get three first rounders with our first three picks.’ That would’ve put us over the edge.”

The problem was it was a long shot. Having already parted with a fourth-round pick along with another four in 2017 in the move up to get Ragland, Buffalo didn’t have a whole lot to work with, but the Bills thought they should at least attempt to find a way back into round two and land yet another player for whom they had a first round grade.

“We knew we didn’t have the ammo because it was so far away, but you’ve got to be greedy and see if there’s a way,” said Monos. “We were trying to come up with a way. You don’t want to mortgage the future. Sometimes you just have to sit.”

Buffalo put a call into some teams in the bottom third of the round. Among them was Seattle figuring it would take less to get up to pick 56, the 25th selection in round two. Seattle however, had plans to move up themselves. Ironically, the Seahawks found a trade partner in the Chicago Bears in the Bills original second-round slot at 49. Seattle moved up and took Jarran Reed off the board.


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Why Bills 2nd rd. pick believes he’s a 3 down LB

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2016 – 10:07 am

Bills second-round pick Reggie Ragland has heard and read the criticism. He knows there were draftniks and probably some NFL clubs that did not see him as a three down linebacker. Ragland is ready to prove them all wrong.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 this week, Ragland reiterated that he is wholly confident that he’s capable of being a three-down linebacker in the NFL.

“I can be a three down linebacker. I did it. I played all three downs in my last year,” he said. “Against Texas A&M I played the ‘mike’ the whole game, the inside backer covering backs and tight ends. Against other teams I played outside and played all three downs. I rushed and dropped from the end position. I can drop and I can cover. I don’t know why people feel that way. It doesn’t matter to me. Coach Ryan gave me an opportunity and I’m going to give it my all for the organization.”


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Report: Bills to host free agent G Slauson

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2016 – 9:46 am

The Bills will reportedly host free agent G Matt Slauson for a visit.

That according to ESPN NFL reporter Adam Caplan.

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Slauson spent his first four years in the NFL under head coach Rex Ryan in New York with the Jets. The 30-year old played his last three seasons for Chicago.


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Ragland: Enlarged aorta is a non-issue

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2016 – 9:25 am

Medical reports are hugely important in player evaluations and draft grades heading into the NFL draft. Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith and UCLA’s Myles Jack are probably the two most notable examples in the 2016 NFL draft. Bills second-round pick Reggie Ragland was another linebacker who had a medical issue publicized in the 11th hour leading up to the draft. Ragland didn’t understand why however, since he had been cleared by every doctor that examined him.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ragland explained how his enlarged aorta was checked by every doctor at the NFL combine and by an additional specialist. Who decided to make it an issue is something he can’t explain.

“Going into the combine I talked to the doctor and I got some extra tests done and I was good,” Ragland said. “Then I went to a specialist and she said I was good. Somebody put that out and teams got scared. They thought there was more to it, but there wasn’t. It was just the same. I’m good to go. I just have to get it checked once a year, but I’m good to go.”

Bills GM Doug Whaley said Buffalo’s medical staff completely cleared Ragland as well.

“We would’ve taken him at 19,” Whaley said. “There was no concern at all.”

According to medical research there are several dietary steps that can be taken to keep an enlarged aorta from growing any more and presenting future risks.


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Ragland’s chance meeting with the Ryans

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2016 – 8:53 am

Before his pre-draft meeting with the Bills in Orchard Park, Alabama LB Reggie Ragland ran into Bills head coach Rex Ryan and Assistant head coach Rob Ryan in a chance meeting a month before the draft.

Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ragland said he ran into the two coaches in Birmingham, Alabama of all places.

“Coach Ryan, it’s funny because about two months ago, a couple of days after my pro day and I’m walking out of the mall in Birmingham and both coach Ryans are walking into the mall,” Ragland said. “I stopped them for a second and we just got to talking for a second. When I came up on my visit coach Ryan told me he could tell I was raised up well by my parents because I was saying, ‘Yes sir and no sir.’ He could tell I was a good person, so he knew he’d be getting a good person off the field and a good football player. My parents always told me that a first impression means everything, so I always try to make a good first impression to everybody that I meet.”

On his pre-draft visit Ragland said he got a good vibe from Buffalo’s head coach and is encouraged to be playing for a defensive mind like Ryan.

“I had a great time with coach Ryan. He’s a down to earth person, but you can tell when he hits that football field he’s fired up,” Ragland said. “I’m very excited because I always wanted to play for coach Ryan because he’s always put his players in a position to be successful.”

 


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Whaley: Planning for key extensions up next

Posted by Chris Brown on May 3, 2016 – 1:50 pm

The NFL draft has been the primary focus for the better part of the last month and a half. Now with the draft in the rearview mirror the focus of Buffalo’s front office shifts to formulating a plan on contract extensions for some of the more important pieces on the Bills roster.

Stephon Gilmore, Cordy Glenn and Tyrod Taylor are three key players who have a year on their contracts. Glenn was a franchise player and signed his tender. Bills GM Doug Whaley, in an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportradio 550, said he, along with Senior VP of Football Administration Jim Overdorf, will enact a plan on addressing the contract situation of all three players.

“Negotiations took a hiatus for draft weekend,” he said. “We’ll regroup this week and set a game plan through to the minicamp. I’ll sit down with Jim Overdorf and reach out and see if we can just keep the lines of communication open.”

When asked if the team has a priority list where they want to get one extension done before another, Whaley indicated that they’ll be working to get all three players extended.

“They’re all the same,” he said. “We’re going to try to work as diligently as possible to get all three of those guys (extended). This is where we want to get to. Have good players on our team and then keep them instead of going out into free agency. We’d like to use free agency for the value guys. So when you have potential stars that we’ve drafted or acquired and they’re on our roster now, why not throw the money at those guys?”

Whaley said he’s “supremely confident” they can fit all three players on extensions under their salary cap heading into 2017 where the Bills right now have more than $50M in cap space. The only player with a true deadline on the horizon is Glenn. He signed his franchise tender, but he and the Bills have until July 15th to negotiate a long term deal, which would replace the current one-year guaranteed contract.

Gilmore and Taylor have until next March before they could even negotiate with anyone but Buffalo.


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QB Jones thought call from Bills was a prank

Posted by Chris Brown on May 3, 2016 – 11:54 am

Bills fourth-round pick Cardale Jones initially didn’t believe it was in fact the Bills who were calling to tell him he was about to become the newest quarterback on their roster. Even though he met with offensive coordinator Greg Roman and quarterbacks coach David Lee at his pro day and had a pre-draft visit to One Bills Drive, there was a reason Jones was skeptical after answering his phone.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Jones explained that he had been getting some phony phone calls during day three of the draft.

“I thought initially it was a prank call,” said Jones of the call from Buffalo. “I was getting calls from some weird numbers all day and I would answer and they would hang up. So I didn’t believe it until really my name went across the TV screen. I was watching it with my family and my name popped up on the screen and I went crazy.”

As for the prank calls Jones can’t understand the motivation behind it.

“I guess they were expecting me to see a weird number and think I was getting drafted by that team,” he said. “I don’t know if it was one of my buddies playing a joke, but it wasn’t a great feeling I’ll tell you that.”

Ultimately it all wound up for the best as Jones is excited about his landing spot in Buffalo.

“I love it. I can’t think of a better situation to be in,” Jones said. “Couldn’t be around a better coach or better people. Just reflecting on my visit up to Buffalo with coach Ryan and him talking about the situation I would be in. Now it’s a reality. I’m going to try to take advantage of every situation from here on out.”

 


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Whaley assesses Cardale in 2014 & 2015

Posted by Chris Brown on May 3, 2016 – 10:34 am

Any fan of college football remembers Cardale Jones heroic performance in the final three games of Ohio State’s run to the national championship when he helped the Buckeyes defeat Wisconsin for the Big 10 title, No. 1 Alabama in the national semifinal and No. 2 Oregon for the national title. What is not remembered as much is his 2015 season when some struggles and inconsistencies emerged. Bills GM Doug Whaley watched it all and compared his 2014 play to his 2015 play.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportradio 550, Whaley was asked to compare and contrast Jones’ quarterback play in 2014 to 2015.

“(In 2014) I saw a guy whose arm talent jumps off the tape,” said Whaley. “He was making throws when he was under pressure and getting hit. He was making throws when things weren’t perfect. That’s a key in the NFL because very rarely are you going to have a perfect pocket. So can you put that ball on a rope in that accurate catching zone while people are at your feet? People were bouncing off of this guy. Then you add that he can tuck it and run you over at 250. Those are some pretty special qualities for a quarterback.”

This past season Jones went 8-0 as a starter, but was benched by the Ohio State staff. Here was Whaley’s assessment.

“Saw the same (kind of play), but opponents saw where his weaknesses were,” said Whaley. “People were saying he had some inaccurate games, but his completion percentage at the end of the year was 62 percent, which is not that bad. What you did see was his lack of experience in reading defenses. That’s why we’re saying this guy is not going to come in and right off the bat know everything like a guy who has been in the league or even a guy who has played three or four years in college. This guy has had 11 starts. So he’s a piece of clay we can mold and we think his upside is just untapped.”


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Bills undrafted LB Striker receives award

Posted by Chris Brown on May 3, 2016 – 10:12 am

Bills undrafted rookie LB Erik Striker was formally presented with the Otis Sullivant award on the Oklahoma University campus Monday.

Named the award’s 15th recipient last month, Striker was the first student to ever receive it according to the OU Daily. The Sooners pass rusher was given the award based on his leadership during the Sigma Alpha Epsilon incident in March 2015. Striker spearheaded discussions on diversity and helped to open dialogue between student leaders and SAE Chapter Officers and the Oklahoma University President.

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“Eric Striker is a good choice,” said Molly Shi Boren, wife of University President David Boren in a press release last month. “As a student leader he has truly helped to build a stronger sense of community and family on campus. He has many times demonstrated the moral courage to speak out against injustice both on campus and in the broader society. This award is being presented to Eric not as a student athlete but as a student leader who has outstanding personal qualities.”

OU began awarding the Sullivant Award in 2001 to someone on campus who exhibits “keen perceptivity, manifests intuitiveness, instant comprehension and empathy.”


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