Inside The Bills

DE Enemkpali added to 53; RB Wood to I-R

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2015 – 1:24 pm

After serving his four-game league-imposed suspension the Bills added DE IK Enemkpali to their 53-man roster Monday. Enemkpali had been on the Reserve/Suspended list for the first four weeks of the season and then had a one week roster exemption this past week.

The defensive end was originally signed by Buffalo after his release by the Jets this past August. Enemkpali had been involved in a locker room altercation with Jets QB Geno Smith in which Smith sustained a broken jaw.

In four preseason game appearances for Buffalo, Enemkpali posted 11 tackles. He’s expected to serve as a rotational end to help keep starters Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes fresh and might have a role on special teams.

“I think he’ll fill in as a backup defensive end, and possibly contribute on special teams,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “He can be a backup pass rusher in sub(packages).”

To make room on the roster for Enemkpali the Bills placed RB Cierre Wood on injured reserve. Wood sustained an ACL knee injury in Sunday’s win at Tennessee and had to be carted to the locker room.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Current roster breakdown

Posted by Chris Brown on September 5, 2015 – 2:37 pm

Here’s a look at the roster at this juncture. With Bills cutting five they’ve met the roster requirement. With the impending Dareus suspension he won’t count toward the roster either. So roster could still see change in the next day or so with a couple of roster spots to play with. Here’s how it looks now. 

QB (2) – EJ Manuel, Tyrod Taylor

RB (5) – Bryce Brown, Boobie Dixon, Jerome Felton, LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams

WR (7) – Marcus Easley, Marquise Goodwin, Percy Harvin, Chris Hogan, Marcus Thigpen, Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods

TE (5) – Charles Clay, Chris Gragg, MarQueis Gray, Matthew Mulligan, Nick O’Leary

OL (7) – Cordy Glenn, Seantrel Henderson, Richie Incognito, Cyrus Kouandjio, John Miller, Kraig Urbik, Eric Wood

DL (6) – Corbin Bryant, Alex Carrington, Stefan Charles, Jerry Hughes, Kyle Williams, Mario Williams – (Marcell Dareus – suspension)

LB (6) – Nigel Bradham, Preston Brown, Randell Johnson, Manny Lawson, Tony Steward, A.J. Tarpley

CB (5) – Ron Brooks, Mario Butler, Ronald Darby, Stephon Gilmore, Nickell Robey

S (4) – Corey Graham, Bacarri Rambo, Aaron Williams, Duke Williams

Spec. Teams (4) – Dan Carpenter, Jordan Gay, Colton Schmidt, Garrison Sanborn

Posted in Inside the Bills

Cassel on his roster status

Posted by Chris Brown on September 4, 2015 – 5:32 pm

There has been an awful lot of speculation about Matt Cassel’s roster status since Tyrod Taylor was named the starting quarterback. When he was asked for his thoughts on his current situation Cassel was straightforward.

First, Cassel was asked if he had any tenuous feelings about his spot on the 53-man roster.

“Not at all. No,” he said. “There’s been no indication that way.”

When asked if he’s been given indication that the team will keep three quarterbacks, Cassel offered this response.

“I hope that they can,” he said. “Whether or not they will is probably a question you’d have to ask them, but right now that’s what I’m planning on.”

And the third question was whether or not he felt he got a fair shot in the quarterback competition after getting just a handful of series in the preseason games and the majority of the first team reps in practice.

“That’s neither here nor there. We went through an entire offseason, we competed,” said Cassel. “At the end of the day I did the best I could with the reps I got.  They made a decision to go in a different direction.  The decision being made now rather than this week or next week, I think the right decision was made. I’m excited for Tyrod, he gets an opportunity obviously, and at the same time, I’ve got to get ready to go and get ready to play.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Where roster sits after Friday cuts

Posted by Chris Brown on September 4, 2015 – 2:04 pm

Here’s a look at a position by position breakdown of Buffalo’s roster, which sits at 57 players after the latest round of player cuts.

Leodis McKelvin was put on Reserve/NFI and Deonte Thompson was waived injured so they no longer count toward the roster total.

Our position by position listing shows right now the Bills are a bit heavy at wide receiver and tight end and a bit light at cornerback, but with Corey Graham on the roster he could play corner if needed.

QB (3) – Matt Cassel, EJ Manuel, Tyrod Taylor
RB (5) – Bryce Brown, Boobie Dixon, Jerome Felton, LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams
WR (7) – Marcus Easley, Marquise Goodwin, Percy Harvin, Chris Hogan, Marcus Thigpen, Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods
TE (5) – Charles Clay, Chris Gragg, MarQueis Gray, Matthew Mulligan, Nick O’Leary
OL (8) – Dalton Freeman, Cordy Glenn, Seantrel Henderson, Richie Incognito, Cyrus Kouandjio, John Miller, Kraig Urbik, Eric Wood
DL (8) – Corbin Bryant, Red Bryant, Alex Carrington, Stefan Charles, Marcell Dareus, Jerry Hughes, Kyle Williams, Mario Williams
LB (7) – Nigel Bradham, Preston Brown, Randell Johnson, Manny Lawson, Kevin Reddick, Tony Steward, A.J. Tarpley
CB (5) – Ron Brooks, Mario Butler, Ronald Darby, Stephon Gilmore, Nickell Robey
S (5) – Corey Graham, Jonathan Meeks, Bacarri Rambo, Aaron Williams, Duke Williams
Spec. Teams (4) – Dan Carpenter, Jordan Gay, Colton Schmidt, Garrison Sanborn

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Posted in Inside the Bills

How the roster has broken down since 2006

Posted by Chris Brown on September 4, 2015 – 7:03 am

With roster cuts expected to come down Friday or Saturday, here’s a look back at how previous coaching staffs broke down their final 53 by position. We go all the way back to 2006.

In 2015 Buffalo will have an extra roster spot for a week while Marcell Dareus serves his one game league imposed suspension.

Pos.       2006       2007       2008       2009       2010       2011       2012       2013       2014
QB          3              2              3              3            3              3              4              2              2
RB          4              5              4              3(1 sus)   4              4              4              4              5
WR         6              5              6              6              5              5              4              6              6
TE           3              3              3              3              2 (1 sus) 3             3              3              3
OL           9              8              9              8              9            8              9              8              9
DL           8              10           9              9              7              7              8              8              9
LB           7              7              6              7              10           11           7              6        6(1 sus)
DB          10           10           10                11           10           9              10           12           10
ST           3              3              3              3              3              3              4              4              4

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-14

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2015 – 11:30 am

The preseason debut of Rex Ryan’s Bills is tonight against Carolina. Catch up with you on the Bills Radio Network pre-game show at 5:30 pm ET. For now let’s get to your latest questions on email at and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Can Chris Hogan have a breakout season?


CB: I think Hogan had a breakout season in 2014 quite frankly. He had the fourth-most receptions on the team, was third in receiving touchdowns and was still a fixture on special teams. I’d be surprised if he logged 50 catches this season for a few reasons. First, this offense probably won’t throw the ball more than 20-25 times a game. Second, there are arguably three to four options that figure to be targeted before him in the passing game (Watkins, Harvin, Woods, Clay) and that’s not even counting LeSean McCoy as a passing target.

So while I think Hogan’s game can certainly take a step forward this season I don’t anticipate we’ll see it revealed in his personal statistics this season.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Haven’t heard much about the linebackers and depth there. How are they and how are our recent lb draft picks performing?


CB: The starting linebacking group is Manny Lawson, Preston Brown and Nigel Bradham with Jerry Hughes the hybrid DE/LB. The second unit is made up by Randell Johnson, Ty Powell and rookie Tony Steward. The hybrid with them has been undrafted rookie Andrew Hudson.

Powell has grown into the ILB role and is essentially Brown’s backup. Steward gets from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ quickly. Hudson has caught my eye a few times, but the addition of IK Enemkpali could compromise his role on the second unit. Enemkpali is as strong as an ox and has some bull rush ability against the pass. Rex and Dennis Thurman know him well since they drafted him with the Jets last year.

So I’m encouraged by what we’ve seen from the second team linebackers in training camp, but the preseason games will be the true test to see just how good Buffalo’s depth could be.


3 – @ChrisBrownBills
From what you’ve seen at practice, which of the three QBs plays with the most consistency?


CB: In this second week of camp I think Matt Cassel has been the most consistent. He hasn’t been spectacular, but he’s been steady just about every day this week. He’s demonstrated an improved on field chemistry with his top receivers and his decision making has been spot on.

Granted he’s had the benefit of getting the most reps in practice with the first team offense, but to his credit he’s done the most with it of the three QBs.


4 – @ChrisBrownBills

How many TEs make the team and who are they?


CB: I don’t think the tight end spots are finalized by any means with all four preseason games to be played. I will say that Charles Clay is the clear cut starter. Knowing the skill set of Marqueis Gray is the most comparable to Clay and he’s a smart player (former QB) he has not surprisingly seen a lot of snaps with the first unit. I think he’s likely going to make the final 53 provided he performs well in the preseason.

Matthew Mulligan is clearly the best blocking tight end on the roster and that alone could land him a roster spot knowing how Greg Roman’s running game relies on tight end blocking. Whether they keep four is up in the air and hinges on a lot of other offensive roster decisions. Do they keep four running backs? Do they keep six receivers?

Rex Ryan said he’ll keep the best players, but the numbers game could create a difficult situation at tight end with two players who have the skills necessary to play in this league in Nick O’Leary and Chris Gragg.
5 – Chris,

Cordy (Glenn) from all accounts has returned to form and has bottled up Jerry Hughes in practice. How high of a priority is he behind Dareus? How would you rank him of all left tackles, meaning what would in cost to keep him? Given the state of the offensive line it would seem he is a strong part of helping the quarterback and offensive succeed this season. What is he looking at for a contract, can the team keep him?

Josh P.

Glenn wants to be paid like a left tackle plain and simple. It will be interesting to see where the Bills turn after they hopefully get the Marcell Dareus extension completed. Do they focus on Nigel Bradham or Cordy Glenn? Bradham would presumably be easier to negotiate just because the salary structure for left tackles is so steep. But one could argue that Glenn’s role is far more important on this roster.

How much money Dareus’ contract ties up will directly impact what they can or cannot do for Glenn and Bradham by way of an extension.

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Fan Friday 8-7

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2015 – 11:31 am

We’re a week into training camp and a lot has happened already. Here’s your latest round of questions on email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Hey Chris,
You and your team do a great job all year long of keep Bills fans on the up and up.

I was wondering what you think the roster will look like when it gets down to 53?  Right now we have several positions with too many players but they are loaded with talent. WR, CB, RB and even QB have to get cut back or we may not have enough depth at other positions.

I know this is a great time to be a Bills fan but I just want to know what our roster will look like.

Thanks for everything,
Justin from Lynchburg VA

CB: I think it’s a bit early to be predicting who makes the 53. Preseason game performance always have a strong influence on who does and does not make the roster. You are right that WR, CB and RB are deep positions. So is the defensive line.

With respect to quarterbacks, knowing the rest of the roster is deep it would not surprise me if the Bills only kept two QBs, a practice a good number of teams in the league subscribe to nowadays.

How many WRs are kept could hinge on other positions like TE and RB. Defense might prove tough at the safety position where there are a handful of legitimate NFL caliber talents.

Just remember that it’s GM Doug Whaley that has final say on the 53-man roster, while coach Ryan determines who is up or down on game days.


2 – Hi Chris:

2014 seems like a lost season for EJ. Aside from what he has said about being more aggressive and trusting his stuff the next chance he gets, what did he learn by sitting and watching? I sure wish he had 12 more games under his belt going into this season.
G. Knight

CB: There are some things that he did learn by watching Kyle Orton prepare for opponents each week. He also learned how to lead an offensive unit from a confident veteran. Manuel specifically said that he learned from Orton how to more efficiently spend his time preparing for an opponent.

He learned what is worth spending extra time on and what isn’t. Unfortunately what happened last year with EJ was supposed to be how his rookie year was to play out. Kolb was supposed to start while EJ sat and learned. Kolb’s preseason concussion derailed all that and EJ was thrown into the fire.

Then he was told to play conservatively by the previous coaching staff last year. Even Doug Whaley admits with the way everything played out it has put Manuel  a bit behind where he should be entering his third season, but you can’t fix the past.

Manuel has to make the most of this opportunity to win the starting job now.


3 – Chris,
As much as the Bills need numbers at the tight end position, they currently have two very effective fullbacks in Felton and Conner. Do you think that there’s a chance that the team keeps both of them, using them in a mixed tight end/fullback role occasionally?

Joseph P.

CB: I’ll have coach Ryan answer this one for you regarding two fullbacks.

“I think first off when we got Felton, Jerome was…I thought he was probably, he’s right up there with the best fullbacks in the game,” said Ryan. “So it was an opportunity for us to get a player that we will use, a fullback positon, and one of the top guys if not the top in this league. So it was great opportunity for us to get him.

“John, we weren’t planning on bringing John Conner in. However when he was still out there, it’s like I know he’s a good football player and we want (good football players). At the end of the day were not worried necessarily about hey we’re bringing in one fullback, going to bring this or this. We want the best 53, and I think John will challenge for a position on this team and that’s why we brought him in.”


4 – Hey Chris ,

I’ll keep it short & sweet ! What’s the chance (in your mind) of the Bills being with out their Dr. of Defense “MD” Marcell Dareus after this year ?

Thanks Mr. T

CB: We just covered this topic on Wednesday. GM Doug Whaley said he’s optimistic they’ll get a deal done with Dareus on an extension to keep him in a Bills uniform. He felt similarly optimistic about getting a deal done with Jerry Hughes.

I think what we have to keep in mind is this is going to be a complicated deal because of the amount of money involved and how it needs to be structured over the multiple years of the deal (e.g. – front loaded money, guaranteed money, bonuses, LTBE incentives, etc.).


5 – CB,

Can you break down how the tight ends are playing and lining up during training camp? I’ve heard little about Clay/O’Leary so far. Do you expect them to keep 4 tight ends? Can we expect to watch 3 tight ends sets?

CB: I can tell you that Charles Clay is beginning to show a bit more with each passing day, especially in the passing game. O’Leary hasn’t been much of a factor in the pass game, but I do like Marqueis Gray. I think he’s the best understudy option to Clay in terms of being as versatile as Clay.

Matthew Mulligan is more athletic than he gets credit for and is a pretty good in line blocker. As for formations and personnel groupings we’re less than a week into camp and with as voluminous as Greg Roman’s playbook is the tight ends are only beginning to scratch the surface of what they’re going to be called upon to do this season.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 7-17

Posted by Chris Brown on July 17, 2015 – 11:15 am

We’re getting closer and closer to training camp! Here’s your latest round of questions on email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,
I know the Bills need some help at linebacker, would it ever be a possibility that Mario move to outside linebacker and have a backup defensive end play where Mario played? What are your thoughts.

Alex W.

CB: While addressing a perceived deficiency is important for a personnel department, it’s not the best idea to take a premier player and reduce his effectiveness for your defense to satisfy that perceived deficiency.

If you take Mario Williams and move him further away from the ball, you reduce his effectiveness as a pass rusher. Williams is coming off his most productive season. More often than not I expect Buffalo’s defensive staff to keep him up on the line as a true defensive end.

Does that mean that Mario will never line up at OLB in what is expected to be a multiple and hybrid front? No. He’ll probably see some time in a stand up LB role, but I expect it to be at the line of scrimmage.

Having Mario Williams drop might make sense as a decoy on a play or two, but Mario Williams is getting paid a lot of money to go get the QB, so he’s not the answer to address a LB deficiency.


2 – Hi Chris, big fan of fan friday, keep up the good work.

Been a huge Bills fan forever and currently part of the Bills Mafia in Ft. Lauderdale.

From your previous Fan Friday your thinking 5 receivers, so if you lock in Watkins, Harvin, Woods and Easley-I believe is a lock because of his new contract and special teams that’s 4 so does that mean Hogan or Goodwin are battling for final receiver spot or are you not counting Easley as a receiver in this scenario?

Thanks buddy, keep up great work and god job with the Bills Focus pieces.


CB: I indicated that keeping only five receivers was a possibility if they decide it’s more important to keep four tight ends for their offensive scheme. I don’t know if it’ll be absolutely necessary for them to do that knowing they’re keeping a fullback.

If it comes down to just five wideouts it’s probably Hogan and Easley as 4 and 5. If it’s six Goodwin is the guy that probably sticks.  Rex Ryan has an appreciation for Goodwin’s speed and that is likely to trump a fourth tight end when it comes to roster decision time, but Goodwin has to maintain his level of play from the spring in training camp and the preseason when the pads are on and cornerbacks get considerably more physical.

Thanks for the kind words.


3 – Chris,

First and foremost, I really like the way you keep us informed.  Your answers are very specific and detailed, no fluff.  You really know what is going on with all things Bills, and it is appreciated.

I’m intrigued with two undrafted players, Tyson Chandler and A.J Tarpley.  These type of players can be good finds and really round out our depth.  Can you comment on each and your opinions as to where they land–the 53 man roster or the practice squad.

Thanks again Chris for your excellent coverage,  we appreciate it.


CB: I appreciate the sentiments. Tyson Chandler is a player that I think could have a future in this league, just not in 2015. For a man his size I think he’s got pretty good feet. He just needs time to develop and I anticipate him winding up on Buffalo’s practice squad. He’s got some tools that warrant investment.

Tarpley is a guy that has to make his hay on special teams. He’s a heady player who  has to have the camp and preseason of his life to leapfrog young players on the depth chart like Randell Johnson and Jimmy Gaines. Practice squad is probably his best bet.


4 – @ChrisBrownBills

going into training camp, who has the inside track on the 7th starting position for the front 7 on D?


CB: What’s interesting here with this question is most people assume that Buffalo will have a true 3-4 front and in this hybrid scheme I don’t see that being the case. The way they lined up in camp they had four across the front with Mario, Kyle, Dareus and Hughes and at the second level it was Lawson, Brown and Bradham. I think that’s a lock for the front seven no matter how they decide to line up.


5 – Good morning, Chris.

I am hoping for some reassuring insight on the recent history of Wayne Hunter.  Reports say he last played for the Rams in the 2012 season.  Has he been out of football that entire time?  It is disconcerting to think an aging player who has not been on a team in two years might be considered worth signing, even if he was added for training camp numbers.  Is that customary, and no big deal, or does it reflect a desperation about the O-Line that is even worse than expected?

As always, your coverage of the Bills is outstanding, and a necessary staple for fans who love the team.  Keep it up!

Walter Megger

CB: Hunter is an insurance signing. Partly due to Seantrel Henderson’s spring, in which he didn’t make the first impression he had hoped on the new offensive staff. Henderson has time to redeem himself, but the Bills want a vet they feel they can rely on in the event of injury.

You need to look at Hunter as veteran insurance as a possible swing tackle, extra tight end in short yardage situations. Nothing more, nothing less.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 7-3

Posted by Chris Brown on July 3, 2015 – 12:04 pm

Happy 4th of July weekend everybody. Get your grill on! Here’s your latest round of questions on email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
Any realistic chance that Buff can strike a deal for K. Cousins? I think he still has upside even though his value dropped.


CB: I’m not anticipating any moves at quarterback at this point. The Bills seem content to go into camp with the three quarterbacks they have battling for the job. Now if some QB of greater caliber than Cousins was available they’d get on the phone, but I don’t see the Bills giving something up for Cousins to add him to the fold.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills
Is Tyrod Taylor the next Bills QB?


CB: I think that’s a question that even the Bills coaches can’t answer at this point. Taylor clearly has the strongest arm of the three QBs in the competition. He’s got a pretty good head on his shoulders when it comes to processing information and reading things pre-snap. And we all know about his foot speed.

I think if he wants to be the Bills starting QB his ball location and overall accuracy will have to take a noticeable step forward. That’s not to say that Taylor hasn’t been accurate at times. I just think to separate himself from the other two it has to be more consistent than it was in the spring practices.


3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Since Greg Roman uses the Tight End so much.. Is there any chance that we carry 4?


CB: I think there’s a very good chance the team carries four tight ends. There are just too many multiple tight end sets in Greg Roman’s offense to think they can get through a season with just three, even with a fullback expected to be on the roster as well.


4 – Hi Chris thanks for keeping us out of Staters informed.

My question is assuming our offense performs well and we make the playoffs, won’t we end up losing Greg Roman?

Then we go through establishing a new offense all over again. Is there an assistant who is an apprentice to him we can retain so we can keep some continuity, instead of constantly changing “the system”. That seems to be our biggest problem, we are constantly on a learning curve.

Ron from North Carolina

Your point is a very valid one. The Bills have had extraordinary turnover at the coordinator position on offense. There’s little question that if the Bills reach the postseason for the first time in 15 years that Greg Roman will be a hot name when the head coaching vacancies open up next offseason.

I think the Bills are more focused on winning first. Then if they do, they’ll deal with the problems that come with winning later. I don’t think there’s a true apprentice on the roster now who is learning at the elbow of Roman.

They have a veteran offensive assistant in Chris Palmer and QBs coach David Lee has run offenses himself as well, but neither had a prior working history with Roman.

Roman is a valuable play caller and perhaps one of the best offensive coordinators they’ve had since Ted Marchibroda, but I get the sense that it’s a ‘we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it’ approach.


5 – Hey Chris,
Thanks for everything Bills related.

From what I’ve read it seems as if Cassel has struggled to this point and EJ has actually taken a step in the right direction. It seems as if the coaching staff loves Taylor so my question is, do you think that if Cassel continues to struggle and is truly out played he could be cut?
Thanks again

CB: I think the quarterback competition is just getting started and there’s a long way to go before any roster decisions are made. That being said I’m pretty confident that with as loaded as this roster is spots on the 53-man squad are going to be at a premium. So keeping three QBs on the roster is probably far from a lock. More and more teams are only carrying two QBs, so if that proves to be the case one of the three competing for the starting role will be the odd man out. But to say it’ll likely be Cassel is very premature.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-26

Posted by Chris Brown on June 26, 2015 – 11:32 am

Let’s not waste any time and get right to your latest round of questions on email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

My first question is regarding Karlos Williams.. It is my perception that Buffalo seems overloaded at the Running Back position with quality backs on the bubble to make the team.. LeSean McCoy, Fred Jackson, Boobie Dixon, Karlos Williams, and Bryce Brown are all capable of carrying the football for this team.. Then there are the Fullbacks Felton and Connor carried as Running Backs.. I am not sure how many are going to be carried on the 53 man roster, but 7 is nuts.

I also know the Bills are moving a terrific Cornerback in Corey Graham to Safety, where I think his talents would be underutilized.. Duke Williams is the other option to start, but he seems like more of a reserve player than a starter from what I have seen on television. The question is why doesn’t the coaching staff try out Karlos Williams at Safety, a position he played for 3 years at Florida State before switching to Running Back?

He was a 5-star Safety recruit (2nd rated Safety behind Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in 2011) coming out of High School.. I would believe he would be qualified to go back to his old stomping grounds on defense and it would alleviate the dearth of talent at safety and reduce the number of Running Backs.. I am a FSU alum and watched every game to know Karlos is a freak athlete like Bo Jackson.. Really big, really fast and hits really hard.. I personally would love to see him make snot bubbles come out of defenders’ noses en route to a touchdown run, but for the sake of putting the best guys out on the field this makes sense to me.. Your thoughts?

Erik Kuhn

CB: I think while your thoughts of moving Karlos Williams to safety have merit based on his football history, I don’t know if that’s the kind of move you want an NFL rookie to undertake. In Buffalo’s multiple scheme with a lot of pre-snap adjustments putting that on a rookie’s plate who has not played the position in three years is asking a lot.

Not only that, but the safety position is about as deep as the running back position so he wouldn’t be added to a position in need of any more talent.

The Bills seem pretty happy with Williams at running back and he runs with real good body lean for a tall guy. I think they’re committed to keeping him at RB and he can contribute on special teams as a rookie.

I don’t think the team will keep seven backs. I’m anticipating 4 RBs and 1 FB. That’ll leave one RB and one FB on the outside looking in.


2 –  Chris,

Do you think it is a fair assumption that Cyrus K. may be a starter this year ???

Go bills…deep into the playoffs and then on the to the S. B.

Richard B.

CB: I don’t think it’s an outlandish assumption to think that Cyrus Kouandjio could be a starter at right tackle. He’s done everything right in the spring practices. The caveat is we haven’t seen the new and improved Kouandjio in pads playing something closer to real football.

We’ll get a better idea when we get to camp just how capable Kouandjio is, but he’s worked his tail off this offseason.


3 – Hey Chris,

Always look forward to reading these on Friday. I am just recently a huge Buffalo Bills fan as of this season and it did not take long for me to be hooked on following Bills news and especially reading your questions! Last year I was not following the Bills news cycle but I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the QB battle this year.

My question for you is this, if you recall, how does Kyle Orton compare to the current QB battle underway? Has he seemed more of the same completion-wise or by TD/INT? I’m trying to see how any of the new QB’s or even EJ has compared to him.

Thank you so much!
-Brandon DuFrane
CB: This is a hard one to answer only because Kyle Orton did not have the benefit of any of these spring practices with the Bills that just concluded. He didn’t sign with the Bills until Aug. 30th last year, just eight days before the opener and after the preseason had concluded.

Orton felt his way in terms of absorbing the offense. Come season’s end he had 12 starts and finished with just over 3,000 yards passing with 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions with a passer rating of 87.8.

I think Taylor and Manuel have a better physical skill set than Orton, and Cassel is probably comparable in experience and diagnosing an opposing defense.

It’s also a vastly different offense this year’s QBs are running, but I think Orton would look a lot like Cassel if he were part of the competition in Cassel’s place.


4 – Hey Chris,

What ever happened to Cyril Richardson, the 6’5″ 343 pound linemen on the Bills? I haven’t heard anything coming out of camp about him and he had some promise this year after a good off season. What the latest with his development and chances?


CB: Richardson is still here on the roster. He’s been serving as a guard on the second unit. Most of his snaps have come with him on the right side. I think he’ll be more noticeable when the pads go on at camp and he’s able to exert his physical will on defensive linemen especially in the power run attack Greg Roman has drawn up.


5 –  @ChrisBrownBills
What’s the most likely scenario for amount of skill position roster spots…WR, RB, TE?


CB: I think as stated above, with a premium placed on tight ends in Greg Roman’s offense, there are likely to be four tight ends kept on the 53-man roster this year. I’d say probably five running backs and possibly just five WRs, though an argument can easily be made to keep six. Whether they have the room on the roster to do so is another question.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills roster by position 2006-2014

Posted by Chris Brown on August 31, 2014 – 8:42 am

With the 53-man roster reached on Saturday here’s a look at the position breakdown not only of the team this season, but the last eight seasons prior to see how some of the position numbers have varied over the years.

For the third straight season the Bills have chosen to carry a kickoff specialist. In 2012 it was 7th-round pick John Potter. In 2013 it was Dustin Hopkins, but he suffered a groin injury in the week leading up to the opener and never kicked. In 2014 it’s Jordan Gay.

Buffalo goes into Week 1 with just five linebackers knowing that Nigel Bradham is unavailable for Week 1, and does not count toward a roster spot. Counting Bradham there will be six LBs, which is the same number Doug Marrone and his staff went with last season despite playing more four linebacker looks in their defensive front in 2013.

The linemen count on both sides of the ball went up by one from eight to nine and the RB/FB group numbered five for the first time since 2007.

Pos.       2006       2007       2008       2009       2010       2011       2012       2013       2014
QB            3              2              3              3              3              3              4              2              2
RB            4              5              4              3(1 sus)   4              4              4              4              5
WR          6              5              6              6              5              5              4              6              6
TE            3              3              3              3              2 (1 sus)  3             3              3              3
OL            9              8              9              8             9              8              9              8              9
DL            8              10           9              9              7              7              8              8              9
LB            7              7              6              7             10           11             7              6              6(1 sus)
DB           10           10           10             11             10           9                10           12           10
ST            3              3              3              3              3              3              4              4              4

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Right now Bills among most youthful

Posted by Chris Brown on September 1, 2013 – 9:11 am

Though the Bills roster is going to see some additions soon with just 50 players on it after final cuts, right now it’s one of the youngest rosters in the NFL.

The Rams are first at 24.98 years of age, followed by the Browns (25.25) and the Bills rank third (25.3).

The whole list courtesy of is right here.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Undrafted makes roster again

Posted by Chris Brown on August 31, 2013 – 4:48 pm

It was somewhat of a forgone conclusion knowing that Jeff Tuel was going to make the 53-man roster, but for the 10th time in the last 12 seasons an undrafted rookie has made Buffalo’s final roster for the regular season.

Tuel along with CB Nickell Robey made the 2013 roster with both surviving the final cutdown to 53. Here’s a look back at the undrafted rookies that made the roster over the past 12 seasons.

2002 – RB Joe Burns, DE Grant Irons, OL Mike Houghton
2003 – LS Jon Dorenbos, WR/KR Antonio Brown
2004 – S Rashad Baker, CB Jabari Greer, DE Constantin Ritzmann, RB Shaud Williams
2005 – S Jim Leonhard
2006 – LB John DiGiorgio
2009 – LB Ashlee Palmer, LB Garrison Sanborn
2010 – LB Antonio Coleman, OL Cordaro Howard, WR David Nelson, WR Donald Jones
2011 – LB Robert Eddins
2012 – S Delano Howell
2013 – QB Jeff Tuel, CB Nickell Robey

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills roster is shy of 53

Posted by Chris Brown on August 31, 2013 – 4:48 pm

The Bills made a lot of player moves over the past two days and they’re nowhere near from done. Here’s why.

Buffalo with all of their player releases are actually under the 53-man roster limit. The team currently has just 51 players. Head coach Doug Marrone wasn’t shy in stating that they intended to scour the waiver wire as well as explore other avenues to acquire players.

Buffalo figures to add a quarterback where it’s currently just EJ Manuel and Jeff Tuel on the active roster. At the much-needed cornerback position where they entered the day with just four healthy CBs (five total counting injured Gilmore), they added CB Brandon Burton, claimed off of waivers this afternoon. Buffalo also has just three inside linebackers on the current roster. They would presumably want to add a fourth.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

CB Butler hoping for the best

Posted by Chris Brown on August 30, 2013 – 9:48 am

Bills CB Crezdon Butler had a golden opportunity to fill the void left by the injury to Stephon Gilmore. In a battle with Justin Rogers and to a lesser extent T.J. Heath, Butler needed a solid performance to put him in the running to start Week 1 against New England. He was less than pleased with his play Thursday night.

“It was alright; a couple of mishaps in my technique that resulted in a couple of catches,” said Butler. “I just have to go back, look at film and evaluate myself.”

Suffice to say the coaching staff has evaluated Butler and all the other players vying for roster spots as the roster needs to be trimmed to 53 by 6 pm Saturday.

“It’s just going to happen regardless,” said Butler of the roster decisions. “They have to get down to 53 and you just try to do everything so you’ll be on that roster and we’ll see Sunday. At the end of the day, a decision is going to be made. And you just have to go with it.”

Head coach Doug Marrone said he felt his reserve cornerbacks needed to be more effective in press coverage.

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Bills final roster trends 2006-2012

Posted by Chris Brown on August 30, 2013 – 6:15 am

Here’s a breakdown of what the final 53-man roster looked like by position over the last seven seasons when the roster was reduced at the end of August. Certain coaching staffs had their preferences, which might make predicting the direction Coach Marrone and his staff take a bit challenging with this being his first season with the club.

The only positions that should be relatively easy to call in terms of numbers are the specialists (3), the running backs (4) because it seems likely that they’ll carry a fullback and tight end (3). Beyond that the numbers could vary by one or two to what they’ve been in the past based on some of the injuries (Kolb, Gilmore).

Position                2006       2007       2008       2009       2010       2011       2012       2013
QB                          3              2              3              3              3              3              4              ?
RB                           4              5              4              3(1 sus)  4              4              4              ?
WR                         6              5              6              6              5              5              4              ?
TE                           3              3              3              3              2 (1 sus) 3               3              ?
OL                           9              8              9              8              9             8               9              ?
DL                           8              10           9              9               7              7              8              ?
LB                           7              7              6              7              10           11             7              ?
DB                          10           10           10           11              10           9               10           ?
ST                           3              3              3              3              3              3              4              ?

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Where Marrone sits with WR corps

Posted by Chris Brown on August 30, 2013 – 1:06 am

The wide receiving corps was a group that was going to lead to some difficult decisions for Doug Marrone and his coaching staff come roster cut time. With the deadline to reduce the roster to 53 coming at 6 pm Saturday, here’s where Marrone stands concerning his receivers that are likely to stick.

“Right now I feel very comfortable with five or six of those players right now,” he said. “I think you’re going to look at the game (Thursday night), but there’s a body of work for people. It’s been tough for them with Kevin (Kolb) being hurt and then Jeff (Tuel) being in there and EJ (Manuel) being in there and then bringing in two other guys.

“My point on that is I weigh a little bit more on what they’ve done in the past than just (one game) evaluating them. I feel good about that position and if we put the right guy out there we can make some good things happen.”

Marcus Easley probably helped himself the most on Thursday with a long 79-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, the only touchdown against the Lions.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-9

Posted by Chris Brown on August 9, 2013 – 4:01 pm

Time for another camp edition of Fan Friday with your questions from and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills. Check for game previews on the written and video side of the Bills-Colts preseason opener Saturday.

1 – Hi Chris,

I’m starting to get excited about the upcoming season, and that excitement has generated some questions regarding Stephon Gilmore.  Will Mike Pettine try to use Stephon in the same way he used Revis?  Is Stephon capable of being a shutdown corner in the same category as Revis?  If he isn’t quite there yet, would Mike put Stephon on the #2 receiver, then shift coverage to the other side?  I’m just curious what is going though Mike’s mind regarding Stephon and how that would influence his play calling and scheme.

Kevin B.
Ashburn, VA

CB: I believe Pettine feels very comfortable using Gilmore in some of the same ways he utilized Revis. What we have to remember is Gilmore is a bigger, stronger corner than Revis and runs just as fast as him. There will be a lot more man coverage in Pettine’s defense than we saw last season. Here’s a taste of what Pettine thinks of Gilmore as a player.

“Here’s a guy that is really good and wants to be great,” said Pettine. “And to me the thing that’s been the most impressive is his preparation, how hard he practices every day, how competitive he is. He doesn’t want a ball caught on him in walk-throughs, let alone practice. And he’s a guy that prides himself in being on-point with his technique and Donnie Henderson has done a great job with him, with some of his technique things getting it cleaned up. Super coachable, he rarely makes the same mistake twice. Usually when he does make a mistake, he knows right away what it was.”

2 – @ChrisBrownBills any update on sj13?


CB: He’s not going to play in the preseason opener and likely won’t play in the second preseason game next week against Minnesota. Hamstring pulls can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks, so depending on the severity he might not be ready until the final preseason game or right before the regular season.

3 – Chris:

Living far away (Alberta, Canada) the access to information wasn’t always as easy as you make it now.

I’d like to hear a comparison of enthusiasm from the previous coaching staff to the new Marrone staff. This off season seems to have a very optimistic tone to it not just from the people at OBD, but the media and fan thoughts as well. When the previous regime took over was the excitement and anticipation as apparent as it is now? After 13+ years of suffering, we have all learned not to get too far ahead of ourselves but I can’t remember an off season to feel as potential-filled as this one.

Rob in Edmonton

CB: I would confidently say that Marrone and his staff have invigorated this roster like no one that has come before them in this non-playoff era (2000-2012). I think Mike Mularkey came the closest in energizing the team in the same way in his first year. But Marrone and his staff have taken a different approach, be it through positive messaging posted throughout the building, a symbiotic accountability between the players and the coaches or the cutting edge approach schematically to the game.

All of it has this roster believing that they can change the fortunes of this team for the better this year.

4 – Hey Chris, appreciate all the work you do and insight you provide.

I remember Stevie saying at one point that under Chan Gailey the receivers were able to have some freedom with running their routes just as long as they got to their spot at the right time. I was curious if Doug Marrone will still allow Stevie to run his routes as he has been.  I feel like Stevie has a unique skill set with the way he gets open and shakes defenders. I see the other receivers gearing towards running more quick crisp routes which matches their skills. I’m hoping the staff does recognize Stevie’s abilities and can get creative with him.

I was curious of your thoughts or if you had any insight regarding Stevie and how he fits in their offensive plans. I’m really looking forward to his season. It’s about time he gains some respect around the league. One last thing do you know if the Bills are sticking with the blue away pants this year?

Thanks for your time,
Jillian CT

CB: Your question is very similar to one that was asked of offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who said the following when asked if Stevie would be permitted to run routes in his unorthodox, never the same way twice style.

“We’ve kind of narrowed (his improvising) down some,” said Hackett. “I think that’s what it was originally and I think that Stevie has understood what we’re trying to accomplish and I think having Stevie and the quarterback feel the timing so he understands which routes he can be a freelancer on. And what are the routes where the quarterback is going to give him some time?

I think that’s about all of us getting together, not just wide receivers over here and quarterbacks over here. Coach Hilliard and coach Hackett all coming together with the guys and saying, ‘This is what we’re trying to accomplish. This is when you can go to work. This is when we need you right there.’

As long as he sees where all that fits in it’s just going to get better and better.”

5 – Hi Chris, love Fan Friday.

An annual question is whether the team should keep 3 or 2 QBs.  Obviously, the final 53rd spot is at stake.  This year, more than ever, I would think the Bills should keep 2 QBs, since there is no way Jeff Tuel would ever be picked up to an active 53 roster on another team and, thus, could be saved away in the practice squad.  In addition, if we are down to Tuel at QB, then we probably will need a miracle for that game.  What are your thoughts?

Given all the youth in this team, I would hate to lose or risk losing a young, promising DB, WR or LB (or release a vet DE when the Bills have plenty of money to spare) in order to keep a 3rd QB.  As an emergency QB, we have Brad Smith, anyway (and we can bring up Tuel if one of the QBs is injured).

A Bill in LA

CB: I think the points you make are valid, and those are the decisions that Coach Marrone and his staff face. They’ll be asking that very question, ‘What do we sacrifice if we keep a third quarterback on the active roster?’

Most coaching staffs take the approach of keeping the 53 best players, within reason knowing they need a certain number of players at particular positions.

Coach Marrone said the other day that he’s liked Tuel ever since he was in college at Washington State and he has an uncanny knack for connecting on the deep ball with his receivers. We’ll see if that continues in the preseason games, but I believe Tuel is a player that Marrone covets, so I think he’ll get strong consideration for the 53-man roster.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Receivers on roster history

Posted by Chris Brown on July 10, 2013 – 10:14 am

With our examination on how many receivers the Bills new offensive staff may choose to keep on the roster this season in our Top 25 questions until training camp, we take a look back at what the previous regimes did in terms of their roster totals at wideout.

Going all the way back to 2006, it’s surprising to see that the numbers were actually greater further back than they are now, though Brad Smith was not counted toward the receiver total in 2011 and 2012.

Position                2006       2007       2008       2009       2010       2011       2012
WR total                  6              5              6              6              5              5              4

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Chan on why they carried 4 QBs

Posted by Chris Brown on September 1, 2012 – 2:28 pm

A lot of fans were surprised to see the Bills carry four quarterbacks on their 53-man roster after final cuts came down Friday night. Head coach Chan Gailey explained why it was a route they had to take.

“The injury to Brad (Smith), Tarvaris (Jackson) not being here but a short amount of time,” said Gailey after a walk through practice Saturday. “All of that played into it and you deal with what you’re having to make a decision with at that time. A month from now it may be different, but today that’s where we are and where we need to be. I have a hard time going into a game without a third guy that could take a snap and we didn’t know if we would have Brad this week or not.”

Based on Gailey’s comments it doesn’t sound as if four quarterbacks will be carried for very long on Buffalo’s roster.

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Posted in Inside the Bills