Inside The Bills

Bills inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2016 – 11:30 am

Here are the inactives for the Bills today in their game against Cincinnati.

QB Cardale Jones
WR Walt Powell
CB Marcus Roberson
LB Brandon Spikes
OT Cyrus Kouandjio
TE Gerald Christian
DT Corbin Bryant


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Harvin hungry for more work

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2016 – 11:05 am

The day after his first game in more than a calendar year, Percy Harvin says he felt great. Granted he played only 21 snaps against Seattle a little over two weeks ago, but he was encouraged by the way his body responded to the most intense work it’s seen in a year. That’s why he’s eager to get more work on the field and contribute more on offense today.

“From what I’m hearing, I think I’m going to be full-go,” said Harvin. “How many plays? I don’t know yet. I definitely practiced the whole time this week. Got a lot more reps and a lot of reps with the [first team]. So I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and keep preparing myself. When game time comes, I’ll let the coaches handle that part.”

Harvin is expected to start opposite Robert Woods at receiver. And though his workload is expected to increase appreciably from 21 snaps at Seattle, to expect 60-70 snaps might be a bit premature.

“He’s going to get some opportunities,” said offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn. “He’ll start, but he’ll probably still be in a limited role because you can’t sit out a year and come back and jump in in two weeks and I think he saw that last week. But he’s done some good things in practice and I’m looking forward to see him make some plays.”


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What happened to the takeaways?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2016 – 10:17 am

Part of what was helping the defense in keeping points off the board during their four-game winning streak were turnovers. Buffalo had a total of 10 during that period. Not surprisingly, on the Bills current three-game losing streak they haven’t had a single takeaway.

Buffalo’s last turnover on defense came in the waning moments of their win at Los Angeles Oct. 9th when Nickell Robey-Coleman made his second interception of the game to seal the win.

If the Bills are unable to post a takeaway today against the Bengals it would match a four game stretch in which they went without a turnover back in 2002.


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A statistical look at Darby & Gilmore

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2016 – 9:00 am

The play in the secondary was a major focus this week of head coach Rex Ryan. Saying he’s tired of the mistakes, and attributing the majority of the issues in getting beat deep to technique, Ryan opened Ronald Darby’s left cornerback position to competition as well as Nickel Robey-Coleman’s nickel position and the safety position next to Corey Graham, which had been most recently occupied by Robert Blanton.

However, the cornerbacks specifically have been the ones under fire for giving up big plays. So let’s look at how their defensive numbers in coverage compare to that of last season when Darby and Gilmore were among the league leaders in pass breakups.

As you can see in the table below the completion percentage against both Darby and Gilmore is up. Opposing QBs are completing passes against Darby about seven percent more than last year and against Gilmore it’s about 11 percent more.

Though just 56 percent of the season is in the books (9 games), Gilmore has already allowed 72 percent of the yardage he surrendered last year.

Darby, who has played in one fewer game, has already allowed 76 percent of last year’s yardage in half the games.

Their pass breakups are just slightly off from last year’s pace. Gilmore is on pace to have as many if not more interceptions this season. Darby has yet to field an interception this season.

Yr & Player Targets Completions Comp. Pct. TDs Rec. yards PBUs INTs
2015 – Darby 107 54 50.50% 3 647 21 2
2016 – Darby 49 28 57.10% 3 491 9 0
2015 – Gilmore 93 44 47.30% 4 611 18 3
2016 – Gilmore 41 24 58.50% 1 440 7 2

Whether the two boundary corners can lock things down over the final seven games will be rooted mainly in technique because the opportunities will be there. Knowing the struggles they’ve had they will be tested, especially today against a Cincinnati team that likes to push the ball down the field.

A.J. Green leads the NFL with seven catches of 30 or more air yards. Add in the fact that the Bills have allowed six 100-yard receivers this season, matching the total from all of last year and you see why opposing offenses will be more than willing to take their shots.


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Special Pro Football HOF offer for Bills fans

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2016 – 8:24 am

For those Bills fans making the road trip to Cincinnati for the game this weekend, you might be interested in stopping in Canton on your way there at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Here’s why.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is inviting Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills fans traveling through Ohio this weekend to experience “The Most Inspiring Place on Earth!”

Any Bills or Bengals fan dressed in their team’s gear who mentions the promotion at the Hall’s box office will receive a $5 discount on any regular price museum admission. The promotion runs from Friday, Nov. 18 through Monday, Nov. 21. The Hall of Fame is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Information about planning a visit to the Hall of Fame can be found at: www.ProFootballHOF.com/visit/.

The Bills take on the Bengals this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at Paul Brown Stadium.

 


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Thurman Thomas to receive Legacy of Service Award

Posted by Kelly Baker on November 18, 2016 – 3:26 pm

thurman-service-award

Throughout his 13 years in the NFL, former Bills running back Thurman Thomas was recognized several times for his efforts on the field. An influential member of the Western New York community, the Hall of Famer has also made a name for himself off the field.

Thomas has been selected to receive the Legacy of Service Award on Friday, Nov. 18 at Niagara University’s President’s Dinner at the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino. He was chosen based on his continued commitment to serving the community.

Thomas and a group of other honorees will be acknowledged during the dinner, which begins at 6 p.m. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the university’s scholarship programs.

For more information on how to purchase tickets to the dinner, please visit here.


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Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Bengals key players good to go

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2016 – 2:31 pm

Several of them were limited, but some of Cincinnati’s key players are ready to go for Sunday’s game against Buffalo.

Andy Dalton, Tyler Eifert, Brandon LaFell, Rey Maualuga, Michael Johnson and George Iloka were all limited in practice at some point during the week. But their lack of participation appeared to be more the result of having a short week having just played Monday night against the Giants.

Only backup TE C.J. Uzomah is doubtful.

Player Pos Injury Game Status
C.J. Uzomah TE Calf DOUBTFUL
Wallace Gilberry DE Calf QUESTIONABLE
Clint Boling G Shoulder  
Andy Dalton QB Rt. Shoulder  
Tyler Eifert TE Knee  
Michael Johnson DE Calf  
Brandon LaFell WR Knee  
Rey Maualuga LB Fibula  
George Iloka S Shin  
James Wright WR Hamstring

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Groy to start, Rex feels good about Dareus

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2016 – 2:03 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan put the starting status of a few positions up for grabs this week in practice in an effort to foster competition and improve consistency. On Friday he only confirmed who will be manning on starting role on Sunday.

“We’re going to start (Ryan) Groy at center, but that’s really the only lineup change that I’m comfortable saying right now,” said Ryan.

As for Marcell Dareus, who is battling his way through a groin injury, Ryan is optimistic that his defensive tackle will be able to suit up in Cincinnati.

“I don’t want to ‘cat’ myself, but I’m feeling pretty good about the big man,” he said.


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Justin Hunter a new add to injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2016 – 1:34 pm

Buffalo’s receiver position has been hit hard by injury all season long. Friday another receiver got nicked up in practice.

WR Justin Hunter was limited Friday after sustaining a strained groin. He’s listed as questionable for the game Sunday in Cincinnati, along with the balance of players on the injury list besides DT Corbin Bryant, who is out with a shoulder injury.

Player Pos Injury Participation Friday Game Status
Corbin Bryant DT Shoulder DNP OUT
Jerry Hughes LB Hand LP QUESTIONABLE
Walt Powell WR Hip LP QUESTIONABLE
Robert Woods WR Foot LP QUESTIONABLE
Marcell Dareus DT Groin LP QUESTIONABLE
Justin Hunter WR Groin LP QUESTIONABLE
Brandon Tate WR Concussion FP  

 


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FanDuel fantasy update

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2016 – 1:03 pm

fanduel

 

 

 

On Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati, the Bills will try to snap a three-game losing streak against a Bengals squad fighting for their playoff lives. This is a must-win game for both teams, so this clash should be all about will, i.e., who wants it more?

The Bills have scored 25 points in each of their last three games, allowing for plenty of terrific FanDuel options. Here’s a look at the value of some Bills players this week.

TYROD TAYLOR – QB – $7,300
Ever so quietly, Tyrod has been tearing it up, averaging 23.1 FanDuel points over his last three outings. He’s thrown 38 passes in each of his last two games, but, even better, he’s run the ball 13 times for a total of 91 yards and 2 touchdowns. Look for this trend to continue against Cincy’s 24th-ranked run defense.

LeSEAN McCOY – RB – $7,500
McCoy will look to take advantage of the Bengals iffy run D. McCoy has averaged over 18 FanDuel points a game (not including the Miami game), undeniably elite numbers. This week, he’s priced at $7,500, a shockingly low cap hit for somebody with top-shelf stats.

ROBERT WOODS – WR – $5,400
Last week, Robert had the game of his NFL life, hauling in 10 of his 13 targets, for 162 yards and 21.2 FanDuel points. Woods and Taylor have established a rapport—it could be argued that Robert is now the QB’s favorite target—and if you can get a number 1 receiver on your FanDuel roster for $5,400, you make it happen.

Who are you drafting on your Daily Fantasy team this week? Play Fantasy Football on FanDuel.

 


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Fan Friday 11-18

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2016 – 11:38 am

Do or die time for the Bills this weekend in Cincinnati. Got to decide if they want to be part of the AFC playoff race Sunday. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills FF,any thought to Incognito going to C and Groy LG? Groy has been ok at G when needed but IMO was a factor in SEA loss at C

@Seanjoy93765788

CB: When there’s a significant loss on the offensive line, as is the case with Wood lost for the season to a broken leg, coaches often want as little disruption as possible when addressing the void in the lineup. Ryan Groy is expected to be the answer in the pivot.

First, and probably most important, Groy has operated as the swing center-guard since spring camps. He’s snapped to all three quarterbacks on the roster. He’s played a number of roles across the front including guard, tackle eligible and tight end on run plays. That equips him with a firm working knowledge of what everyone is doing on every play, which provides him with the wherewithal to make pre-snap checks efficiently and consistently.

Knowing how critical the communication is from the center in Buffalo’s offense, having Groy with the knowledge base necessary is essential in the pivot.

I’m not saying that Richie Incognito couldn’t play center, but with literally zero reps there since the day he arrived in Buffalo it’s not something you can just ask him to do with a week of practice. Incognito is a Pro Bowl guard. Moving him to address the need at center would be like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Which goes back to the old adage that you don’t change two positions to address one.

Groy at center makes the most sense as I see it.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

The collapse of the secondary is it players or coaching that’s to blame?

@radfordboyz1220

CB: Stephon Gilmore said it’s on the players to make plays. It’s his opinion that the coaches are putting them in position to make plays on the ball. That would seem to run in concert with Rex Ryan who said the majority of the issue is technique related.

Opponents are taking a different approach in attacking the Bills DBs and more often than not the Bills coverage players are not making the necessary adjustments in their coverage technique. That means playing proper leverage as a defender, footwork, driving to the hip of the receiver. All those things factor in, but based on what the coaches and players are saying it’s player error more than anything else.
3 – Chris,
Why doesn’t Time Warner Cable carry the Buffalo Bills  programming on MSG in my area?

I looked online and it lists the shows on the guide where I live, but when you tune in it shows all NYC programming. But it will show the Sabres games. I am confused about this.

I live in Wayland, NY 14572 which is in northwestern part of Steuben County. My understanding is that everybody west of Syracuse would get the Bills programming. If you could find a reason for this it would be greatly appreciated thanks

William

CB: From what I have been told MSG only provides their WNY programming like our Sunday pre-game show, Bills All Access, at 11 am and the Rex Ryan Show (Sundays 11:30 am) as far as Rochester. If you draw a vertical line on a map from the middle of Rochester down through the rest of WNY everyone west of that line gets WNY programming on MSG. If you are east of that line, which I believe you are in Wayland, you get MSG’s NYC programming.

My solution for you would be to contact Time Warner Cable and demand MSG’s Western New York programming. You live in WNY, so it only makes sense.

 

4 – Chris,

I really would like to see Robert Woods as a Bill for the next 4 years. Can you give us an idea of what salary he is expected to command in free agency?

Thanks
Joe Roberts

 

CB: Woods is on pace to set single-season career highs in receptions and receiving yards. His market value based on his average numbers the first four years would approach $9M per season. That might seem exorbitant, but that’s what the market bears.

Jacksonville’s Allen Hurns just signed a four-year deal this year for just over $40M. His numbers are marginally better than Woods, so it’s reasonable to think that Woods could command a contract in the neighborhood of $9M/year knowing the receiver market isn’t flush with players in their low to mid-20’s with his kind of experience.

Woods is just 24-years old. The only players with comparable age and superior numbers are Alshon Jeffery, Michael Floyd and Kamar Aiken.

I’m not optimistic that the Bills would pay that kind of money for Woods, knowing they’re likely to pay Sammy Watkins big money when his rookie deal is up, provided he can find a way to stay healthy in the next year or so of course.

5 – Chris
We heard an awful lot about Dez Lewis this offseason and with all the injuries at WR why hasn’t he been brought up to the 53 we’ve brought up 1 WR off the practice squad but not Dez not sure I understand has he fallen off I mean we really need help and he seemed to help last year and it was reported that he worked hard in the offseason and looked like he had improved in training camp what’s your thoughts

Thanks, Steve
From Kentucky

CB: Dez Lewis looked like a world beater in the spring practices and appeared like he had a chance to make an impact as the team’s third receiver. But when the pads went on in training camp he disappeared. He has never been able to re-establish the same kind of consistency in his game since.

It’s disappointing to see, but it’s a different game when the pads go on and some players can make the adjustment and some can’t. Hopefully Lewis can re-capture some of what made him look so promising in OTAs this past spring.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dalton, Eifert, LaFell back to full practice

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2016 – 4:25 pm

Coming off a Monday night game in New York, some of Cincinnati’s key offensive and defensive players were limited in practice Wednesday, but it appears that was more in an effort to lighten the load knowing they’ve got one day less to recover from their previous game.

Andy Dalton, Tyler Eifert and Brandon LaFell were all limited in practice Wednesday, but were all full participants Thursday. DE Michael Johnson also practiced fully on Thursday.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday Participation Thursday
Wallace Gilberry DE Calf LP DNP
C.J. Uzomah TE Calf LP
Clint Boling G Shoulder LP FP
Andy Dalton QB Rt. Shoulder LP FP
Tyler Eifert TE Knee LP FP
Michael Johnson DE Calf LP FP
Brandon LaFell WR Knee LP FP
Rey Maualuga LB Fibula LP FP
George Iloka S Shin FP FP
James Wright WR Hamstring FP FP

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Cardale misses practice with illness

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2016 – 4:16 pm

Rookie QB Cardale Jones missed Thursday’s practice, but not because of injury. Head coach Rex Ryan confirmed that Jones was unable to practice due to illness.

On the positive side of the ledger, WR Brandon Tate is out of the concussion protocol and was a full participant at practice Thursday. He’s expected to be available to face his former team in Cincinnati Sunday.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday Participation Thursday
Corbin Bryant DT Shoulder DNP DNP
Cardale Jones QB Illness DNP
Jerry Hughes LB Hand LP LP
Walt Powell WR Hip LP LP
Robert Woods WR Foot LP LP
Marcell Dareus DT Groin LP LP
Brandon Tate WR Concussion LP FP

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Lynn: Harvin will probably start

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2016 – 4:12 pm

He’s been on Buffalo’s roster for three weeks, his legs are back underneath him and the Bills offensive staff believes he’s ready for an expanded role in the team’s passing attack. But to expect a full workload on offense for Percy Harvin is not yet realistic.

Offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn confirmed that Harvin is likely to get the starting nod at receiver opposite Robert Woods. Expecting him to play the full complement of starter reps however, is another thing entirely.

“He’s going to get some opportunities. He’s probably going to start. He’ll start, but he’ll probably still be in a limited role because you can’t sit out a year and come back and jump in in two weeks and I think he saw that last week,” said Lynn. “But he’s doing some good things in practice and I’m looking forward to see him make some plays.”


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Dalton, Eifert, LaFell all limited for Bengals

Posted by Chris Brown on November 16, 2016 – 4:17 pm

Coming off a Monday night game, it’s probably not surprising to see a handful of players take only limited reps in practice Wednesday. They’re less than 48 hours removed from their last game. QB Andy Dalton, TE Tyler Eifert and WR Brandon LaFell were among the Bengals cutting back on their practice participation Wednesday.

What’s interesting about Dalton is he’s listed with a right shoulder injury, which is his throwing shoulder.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday
Clint Boling G Shoulder LP
Andy Dalton QB Rt. Shoulder LP
Tyler Eifert TE Knee LP
Wallace Gilberry DE Calf LP
Michael Johnson DE Calf LP
Brandon LaFell WR Knee LP
Rey Maualuga LB Fibula LP
George Iloka S Shin FP
James Wright WR Hamstring FP

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Dareus, Tate, Woods among limited Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on November 16, 2016 – 4:01 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan said his team is the healthiest it’s been in a while and he’s got an injury report to prove it. Only DT Corbin Bryant was unable to practice Wednesday. A handful of players were limited.

The only real question mark for Sunday’s game among the limited participants is DT Marcell Dareus, who is still working his way back from a groin injury.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday
Corbin Bryant DT Shoulder DNP
Brandon Tate WR Concussion LP
Jerry Hughes LB Hand LP
Walt Powell WR Hip LP
Robert Woods WR Foot LP
Marcell Dareus DT Groin LP

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McCoy: I know Sammy’s close

Posted by Chris Brown on November 16, 2016 – 3:29 pm

Bills RB LeSean McCoy knows that the Bills margin for error with a 4-5 record is thin. Subpar performances can’t happen the rest of the way. McCoy says the team has done a good job of sticking to the ‘one game at a time approach.’ He’s hoping they can come off the bye with a solid performance, get a road win and then hopefully get their top receiver back in the lineup.

“I feel like our offense is playing well right now. Guys got healthy off the bye week,” said McCoy. “Take care of this game and hopefully we have our big dog back, Sammy. Another tool for this offense.”

Watkins was not cleared to practice this week by the team’s medical staff, even though he’s eligible to do so. He won’t be eligible to play in a game until Week 12 against Jacksonville. McCoy isn’t certain, but it certainly sounds like it’s a game where Watkins could return to the lineup.

“I know he’s close,” said McCoy of Watkins. “We see him all the time. His development and working out and getting prepared. We don’t want to rush that. We want to make sure he’s back healthy so when he gets back he’s full go. That’s always a good thing.”

 


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Kyle Williams is Bills nominee for Rooney Award

Posted by Chris Brown on November 15, 2016 – 12:01 pm

The 32 player nominees for the third annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award have been finalized by the NFL. Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes players around the league who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field. Buffalo’s nominee is DT Kyle Williams.

The award was created in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney Sr.

The winner of the NFL Sportsmanship Award is determined by a vote of current NFL players. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community will select eight finalists (four in the AFC and four in the NFC) from the 32 nominees. The panel is comprised of Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler.

The eight finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award category when players vote on Friday, December 16. From the eight finalists, each team’s players will submit a consensus vote of their choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team cannot vote for its own player.

The award is presented each year to an NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.

Last year, the players selected Charles Woodson of the Oakland Raiders as the recipient of the 2015 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals was the inaugural winner of the award in 2014. The winner selected by the vote of the players will be announced during the nationally televised NFL Honors show on Saturday, February 4 on FOX, the night before Super Bowl LI.


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Harvin, Z. Brown not at practice

Posted by Chris Brown on November 14, 2016 – 3:03 pm

The Bills got an extra practice in on Monday coming off their bye week, but there were a couple of notable players not in attendance during the media viewing portion of practice.

LB Zach Brown and WR Percy Harvin were not in on hand Monday. No word from the team as to why, since an injury report does not have to be provided by the club until Wednesday. We should know more at that time if both are still absent from practice.

Meanwhile Corbin Bryant (shoulder) and Brandon Tate (concussion) were still sidelined and unable to participate due to injury.


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Bills & ADPRO Sports HS Coach of the Week

Posted by Kelly Baker on November 9, 2016 – 5:17 pm

coach-of-the-week-logo

The Buffalo Bills are once again proudly partnering with ADPRO Sports in 2016, to recognize some of the best high school football coaches Western New York has to offer through the High School Coach of the Week program.

eric-rupp-lancaster

The Buffalo Region Coach of the Week is Eric Rupp, head coach of the Lancaster Legends. On Friday, Nov. 4, Lancaster took on Orchard Park in the Section VI – Class AA championship. The Legends put on a dominant performance, resulting in a 27-7 victory over the Quakers and the team’s first title since 1999. Leading the way for the Legends on offense was junior quarterback Ryan Mansell who compiled 154 yards passing and a touchdown. On defense, Lancaster held Orchard Park scoreless until the fourth quarter. With the win, the 10-0 Legends will advance to the Far West Regionals against Victor.

tim-sawyer-rochester

The Rochester Region Coach of the Week is Tim Sawyer, head coach of the Alexander Trojans. The Trojans faced the Clyde-Savannah Golden Eagles in the Section V – Class D championship game on Friday, Nov. 4. The Trojans, led by senior quarterback PJ Brennan, defeated the Golden Eagles 19-6 to claim the school’s first sectional title. Brennan finished the game with two touchdowns on the ground and another through the air. On defense, sophomore cornerback Chris McClinic, helped the Trojans secure the win with an interception. The victory propels the Trojans to 10-0 on the season and solidifies the team’s spot in the upcoming Far West Regionals against Maple Grove.

Check back on Buffalobills.com each week for the announcement of the Coach of the Week winners and tune in to the John Murphy show each Tuesday afternoon to hear the winners announced on the show. All Coach of the Week winners will receive $1,000 for their high school football program and will be recognized on-field prior to the Bills vs. Browns game on December 18. Good luck to all of the high school football coaches this season from the Buffalo Bills and ADPRO Sports!

 

 


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