Inside The Bills

Marrone: We’re close

Posted by Chris Brown on August 21, 2014 – 4:05 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone comes out of the team’s 2014 training camp believing that his team isn’t far off from contending for the postseason in 2014. He went so far as to say as much right after the final camp practice concluded.

“Here’s what I sense. We’re close. We are close,” he said. “What is it going to be to get over the top? It’s a matter of either you get over the top or you don’t and we’ve got to find a way to push ourselves over the top. There’s a lot less things I’m focused on from the year before. There’s a lot less this year. Now, this year is critical to get us over the top. I’m doing everything I possibly can to get us over the top and, if intensity is the answer, yeah I’m intense.”

Marrone has pushed the players hard through as he continues to help forge the team’s identity as a tough, physical team that is better conditioned than the other 31 in the league.


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EJ: Only steps forward

Posted by Chris Brown on August 21, 2014 – 4:00 pm

Bills QB EJ Manuel was happy with a lot of things that were accomplished in training camp by the offense. For him personally he was just pleased he got through it healthy after having his rookie training camp interrupted by a knee injury sustained in the Minnesota preseason game last summer. He felt being on the field every day made it easier for him to take positive steps toward the kind of quarterback he wants to be this fall.

“I think it’s gone well. Each day we’ve made progress. I don’t think there were any days where we took a step backwards. That was a big thing for myself. I didn’t want to have any days where I had a step or two back,” said Manuel. “Every day I worked on something whether it was the smallest thing that may not have been big to those watching our progress. But I’ve seen growth and development in myself. So I’m very happy about it.”


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CB Brooks playing consistent ball

Posted by Chris Brown on August 9, 2014 – 8:30 pm

Bills CB Ron Brooks has been putting together perhaps his best training camp this summer. Health has had a lot to do with it. Each of the last two years Brooks broke his foot costing him valuable regular season time and upon his return he’s had to play catch up. As a young player that proved difficult at times. Thus far Brooks has put a pair of good preseason performances together and has fared well in the practice setting.

“Ron’s having a good camp. Not just one game, I think he’s put a couple good games together and a lot of good practices,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “It’s the same thing you see on the field. Ron’s been practicing well and normally when you practice well, you’ll go ahead and play well. He’s done a nice job.”

Brooks missed Saturday’s practice with a thigh injury suffered in Friday night’s win at Carolina. No word on a timetable for his return to practice.


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Schwartz tempering enthusiasm for pass rush

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2014 – 12:33 pm

Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is as eager to see what kind of success Buffalo’s pass rush can have in his scheme as anyone else, but he’s not going to get giddy about successful plays in the practice setting of training camp.

On Saturday night there was a third and long team segment where the defense logged eight “sacks” in 17 plays. Schwartz is all too aware of the talent on his defensive line, but he’s not going to make any false assumptions knowing practice only replicates a real game so much.

“You don’t want to read too much into it,” he said. “We’re going to have a good rush group. We can rush with four. We can bring blitzes. They’re hard to handle. There are three Pro Bowlers up there and right now the fourth guy was a double-digit sacker from last year so that gives us a lot of optimism with where we can be with that pass rush. It’s hard to really judge too much in practice here because we’re not hitting the quarterback so it’s hard to finish pass rush moves. You don’t want to hit him or hit his hand when he’s trying to throw. But then again offensive linemen are doing the same thing. Also quarterbacks really are not trying to make you miss so let’s not read too much into it right now.”


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Cockrell trying to show he’s multi-faceted

Posted by Chris Brown on July 25, 2014 – 11:10 pm

As we profiled in 4 things to take from practice, rookie CB Ross Cockrell is starting to settle in at cornerback. Friday night was probably his best practice session of camp as he was anticipating pass plays and making plays on the ball with a couple of pass breakups and raking another ball out near the goal line.

“A couple days of film study never hurts anybody,” Cockrell told Buffalobills.com. “I’m getting adjusted to the speed and tempo of the game. Seeing the receivers for a couple days now, and continuing to work hard on my footwork and and some of the little things coach Henderson and coach (Samson) Brown are teaching me.”

The coaches clearly have faith in Cockrell as a student of the game with all that they’re putting on his plate. The fourth-round pick is lining up at both boundary corner and in the slot in the nickel packages.

“It’s something I’m trying to show that i can play both the outside corner and the inside nickel,” said Cockrell. “It’s challenging because inside there’s a lot more space and you don’t have the sideline to help you. You have to be in tune with the run as well. I’m getting all that and trying to make plays.”

 


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LB Kitchens, CB Smith out for a while

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2014 – 12:18 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone addressed the status of a pair of defensive players who were injured in practice on Monday and did not participate on Tuesday in undrafted rookie LB Darrin Kitchens and CB Brandon Smith.

“(Kitchens) and Brandon Smith will both be out for a period of time,” said Marrone after practice Tuesday. “Lower body injury for Smith and a lower body injury for Kitchens.”

Both players were seeing most of their time on the field with the third team defense.


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Mario: I have faith in Marcell

Posted by Chris Brown on July 21, 2014 – 9:16 pm

Head coach Doug Marrone said he expected the excused Marcell Dareus to be back on campus at St. John Fisher Monday evening. How soon he’ll be able to pass the team’s conditioning test to be cleared for practice is yet to be determined. What is certain is his teammate Mario Williams is eager to get him back alongside him on Buffalo’s defensive line.

“Extremely anxious,” said Williams. “He’s a heck of a player. He’s just a young guy, but at the same time we hold him accountable just like anybody else. Whether you’re in here for 12 or 15 years, a coach, whatever we’re going to hold each other accountable.”

Mario said Dareus has shown he can be accountable before though he would not provide an example to the media.

When asked if he has faith that Dareus will come around and be the Pro Bowl caliber player he can be, Williams answered in the affirmative.

“I can’t speak for everybody else, but I have faith in him,” said Williams. “I can’t put words in somebody else’s mouth on the team, but I have all the faith in him.”


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Marrone on Glenn’s situation

Posted by Chris Brown on July 21, 2014 – 8:59 pm

Bills starting left tackle Cordy Glenn was out doing light exercises on the other practice field away from the team Monday as he worked with an athletic trainer. Following Monday’s practice head coach Doug Marrone addressed Glenn’s designation on the Non-Football Illness list.

Marrone was asked if he knew when Glenn would be able to return to practice. At this point it sounds like the Bills head coach is at the mercy of the recommendations of the medical staff.

“I don’t know that,” he said of Glenn’s potential return to practice. “It’s a medical condition. I’m preparing to go on as if he’s not playing, which he’s not. So I’m just waiting for the doctors and I can’t speak about the condition because it’s something that happened outside of football.”

When asked if he thought Glenn would be playing eventually Marrone could only be hopeful.

“I’m planning on him playing,” he said. “Right now he’s not there, so I have to plan with him not being there. When he’s there then we’ll plug him back in.”

Rookie seventh round pick Seantrel Henderson manned the starting left tackle spot on Monday.


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Dareus excused from camp; back tonight

Posted by Chris Brown on July 21, 2014 – 5:52 pm

Bills DT Marcell Dareus has not been  cleared to practice yet being on the Non-Football Injury list, but he also has not been in attendance each of the past two days at training camp. Head coach Doug Marrone explained why on Monday.

“All the players reported to camp. At the present time I’ve excused Marcell,” said Marrone. “He’s taking care of some personal stuff, but he’ll be like everybody else on the side training getting ready to pass the physical. He’s one of the players that didn’t pass the running test.”

Marrone said Dareus is scheduled to return to camp this evening (Monday).

 


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Kouandjio: Bills fans on par with ‘Bama fans

Posted by Chris Brown on July 21, 2014 – 1:34 pm

University of Alabama product Cyrus Kouandjio knows all too well the passion that Crimson Tide fans have since he experienced it first hand, but after seeing Bills fans in a full froth at the team’s first night practice Sunday night he’s thinking ‘Bama fans have an equal.

“They’re up there, to tell you the truth,” said Kouandjio when asked if Bills fans match the passion of ‘Bama fans. “It’s different up here. It’s different up here. They’re a lot more into it. I like all the dressing. That’s the NFL I guess. That’s NFL football.”

Kouandjio saw most of his time in practice at right tackle with the second unit.


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Goodwin: I left practice early, but not hurt

Posted by Chris Brown on July 20, 2014 – 9:10 pm

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin left practice early on Sunday night and did not return. But he said on his Twitter account post-practice that he did not sustain an injury.


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Bradham, Rivers flanking Spikes

Posted by Chris Brown on July 20, 2014 – 6:18 pm

As the defense prepares for their first practice two veteran linebackers are flanking MLB Brandon Spikes.

Nigel Bradham and Keith Rivers are lined up on either side of him with Rivers in Kiko Alonso’s spot.

Rookie Preston Brown is rotating in with Spikes at MLB.


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Mike Williams sees EJ’s improvement

Posted by Chris Brown on July 20, 2014 – 9:31 am

He doesn’t think it’ll take long for his on field chemistry to develop with EJ Manuel, and one of the reasons why is he saw Manuel’s progress through the course of the spring practices.

WR Mike Williams, who we profiled on Buffalobills.com this morning (Sunday), believes it won’t take much more than a day of practice for the tandem to get on the same page. It seems ambitious, but Williams has confidence in the second-year quarterback.

“I can see him progressing as it goes. He’s feeling his way right now,” said Williams. “There are new guys on our team that he’s going to be throwing to. It’s kind of a different offense when you put it all together like that, but as I saw it he got better and better with that.”

Williams will get his first crack at chemistry with Manuel in tonight’s evening practice at 6:10 at St. John Fisher.


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Kyle likes Schwartz’s approach

Posted by Chris Brown on July 19, 2014 – 4:09 pm

Bills Pro Bowl DT Kyle Williams spent most of the spring around his new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Heading into training camp he’s already developed an affinity for the defensive play caller’s coaching style.

“During minicamp and OTAs, it was intense,” said Williams of Schwartz’s approach. “Getting after guys and expecting a lot out of guys, which is great. It’s what we need. You have to push guys and challenge guys. It’s what you need as a leader and as a coordinator of the defense. I think we have some really good players and a guy that can do that and push guys and get them going is going to be an asset to us.”


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1st 3 night practice tix no longer available

Posted by Chris Brown on July 19, 2014 – 12:08 pm

The Bills announced on Saturday that the complimentary tickets for the first three night practices are no longer available. Here are the dates of those first three night practices.

Sunday July 20th
Friday July 25th
Saturday July 26th

Here is where night practice tickets for the remaining evening sessions at training camp can be obtained at no cost.

August 1st, 5th, 9th night practices
Sponsored by Bud Light. Tickets will be available beginning Saturday, July 26, at 11 a.m. at the following Sunoco and Tops locations and will be limited to four per person.

SUNOCO LOCATIONS:
6730 Packard Road
Niagara Falls, NY
(716) 297-2065

5665 Seneca St
West Seneca, NY
(716) 675-7366

8000 Main Street
Williamsville, NY
(716) 631-9240

1324 Latta Road
Rochester, NY
(585) 621-3310

TOPS LOCATIONS:
2351 Maple Road
Amherst, NY
(716) 515-3200

1215 Jefferson Road
Henrietta, NY
(585) 292-0117

2140 Grand Island Blvd.
Grand Island, NY
(716) 775-1205

999 East Ridge Road
Irondequoit, NY
(585) 342-3803

August 18th night practice
Sponsored by Michelin/Dunn Tire. Tickets will be available beginning Monday, July 14, at 9 a.m. at the following Dunn Tire locations and will be limited to two per person.

Clarence Mall
4401 Transit Road
Williamsville, NY 14221
716) 631-3776

3300 W. Henrietta Road
Rochester, NY 14623
(585) 272-0180

Morning and afternoon practices at Buffalo Bills Training Camp presented by Connors & Ferris are also open to the public but do not require tickets.  For a complete listing of the Buffalo Bills Training Camp practice schedule, parking and shuttle bus information, and more information and news, visit the Bills Training Camp homepage.


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Safety not in plans right now for C. Graham

Posted by Chris Brown on July 18, 2014 – 9:05 pm

Corey Graham was a notable free agent signing by the Bills this offseason. Back in the spring, it was mentioned that the veteran cornerback might get a look at safety, but GM Doug Whaley at the outset of training camp indicated that safety is not in the plans for Graham at this time.

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show, Whaley stated that cornerback is where Graham will be putting in his work.

“Corey brings us depth, so he helps us outside and nickel and I think in a pinch we would put him at safety, but I think we’re going to concentrate on him in the corner position right now,” Whaley said.


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Whaley: roster will be back up to 90

Posted by Chris Brown on July 18, 2014 – 5:38 pm

After the release of two players Friday in WR Cordell Roberson and CB Darius Robinson, the Bills have two vacant spots on their 90-man roster. Those are spots GM Doug Whaley intends to fill sooner rather than later.

When asked why the cuts were made, Whaley said just to upgrade the roster. His intention is to have those roster spots filled as early as Saturday.

“We’ll go up to 90 and we’re in the process of looking at two guys now and we have to get some physicals and stuff like that and we may have an announcement tomorrow,” said Whaley. “Younger guys.”


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Fred shows up with family in tow

Posted by Chris Brown on July 18, 2014 – 3:25 pm

fred

Bills veteran RB Fred Jackson decided to make move in day at training camp a family affair at St. John Fisher. Instead of rolling up in one of his muscle cars as he has in years past, Jackson arrived in a large extra long van similar to the vehicles hotels use as shuttles for guests. With him was his wife Danielle, son and three daughters.

“It’s our family travel (vehicle). We put the kids in the back put a movie on and I don’t hear from them again,” said Jackson. “It makes it easier for everybody and they’re entertained and the trip is quick and easy that way.”

For Jackson this will be his ninth training camp with the Bills and he’s also entering the last year of his contract. He’s at a point in his career where he’s appreciating the moments that make up a season. That’s why Jackson wanted to have the memory of his kids helping him move in at camp.

“The number one thing is I want them to be as much a part of this as possible, especially my two oldest daughters,” said Jackson. “My oldest daughter was saying, ‘You’ve got to leave for camp soon.’ That’s the type of stuff you’re going to remember and stuff that you want them to remember. You want them to know where you were going and helping me move in when they get older that we can talk about that. And when I’m a grandpa I can tell their children. That’s the kind of things you start to see when you’ve been around as long as I have.”

 


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CB Cockrell trained with former NFL DB

Posted by Chris Brown on July 18, 2014 – 1:40 pm

Bills 4th round pick Ross Cockrell was busy in the time he was away from the team between minicamp and training camp. He spent time on the field with a former NFL safety.

“I trained with Eugene Robinson for a little bit,” said Cockrell. “He actually coached against me when I was in high school so I knew him. He just helped me to continue to improve on my footwork and the little aspects of the game.”

Robinson played for a few teams including the NFC chorion Atlanta Falcons in 1998.

Cockrell sees his first NFL camp as a great learning opportunity with so many veteran corners in front of him on the depth chart.


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Alonso’s agent: Kiko had successful surgery

Posted by Chris Brown on July 18, 2014 – 12:54 pm

Kiko Alonso’s agent announced on Twitter this afternoon that the Bills linebacker underwent successful surgery to repair his torn ACL. Here’s what he wrote.

Dr. Andrews is one of the most renown orthopedists in the country. Alonso tore his ACL on July 1st in a personal workout. Typically surgeons need to wait for the swelling to subside in the wake of the injury before surgery can be performed.

Bills GM Doug Whaley is scheduled to address the media later this afternoon.


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