Inside The Bills

Slauson ties are strong to Rex & Kromer

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

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

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

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

Slauson stopped out to watch a little of rookie minicamp.


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OT Jordan Mills ready to be swing tackle

Posted by Chris Brown on October 24, 2015 – 2:40 pm

Buffalo will go into Sunday’s game with just three offensive tackles. Cordy Glenn and Cyrus Kouandjio will start and then newly signed OT Jordan Mills will be serving as the swing tackle. Needless to say a trans-Atlantic trip and cramming a playbook into his brain has been a heavy lift this week.

Mills was in Detroit when he got the call that Buffalo was going to sign him and didn’t have much time to pack for the trip.

“I had to be out the next afternoon, so I had to get everything ready and packed,” Mills told Buffalobills.com. “The flight left at six and it was an eight-hour flight and when I got here I had been up for 23 hours straight. I got here and the coaches were great and all accepting. The players and everything it’s good camaraderie around here.”

Mills is thankful that Buffalo’s offensive line coach is Aaron Kromer, who coached him for two seasons in Chicago.

“The first two years Kromer was my O-line coach and teaching me techniques. So coming here was nothing new in terms of the techniques that he wanted,” he said. “I already basically had everything in my mind. I just had to refresh and knock the rust off because it has been almost a year or so.

“But knowing what they do within the offense and not having a new offensive line coach and new techniques. So having known coach Kromer and coach Pat Meyer previously helped me out a lot.”

As far as Greg Roman’s playbook goes he is using translation techniques from the previous system he was in to remember what the terminology in Buffalo’s system means. As he gets more and more acclimated to Buffalo’s language things will get better. In this short week however, knowing he’s a play away from being on the field, Mills is just focused on studying this week’s game plan inside and out.

“Yeah you can pretty much say that. It’s just basically getting in the playbook,” he said. “I’ve had late nights and early mornings. It’s difficult, but it’s part of the game and it comes with it.”


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Asst. coach Anderson handling OL duties

Posted by Chris Brown on July 31, 2015 – 4:11 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan said there are no new developments with the situation surrounding OL coach Aaron Kromer, but with the veteran coach on paid administrative leave, assistant offensive line coach Kurt Anderson is working in his absence.

“Kurt (Anderson) is obviously going to be heading up coaching that offensive line,” said Ryan. “He’s been here throughout camp and has the qualities of being a fine offensive line coach, but it’s just business as usual for us.”

Buffalo also announced the hiring on Pat Meyer as team operations consultant, but he has an offensive line coaching background and will be assisting Anderson.

When asked about where things stand with Kromer, Ryan said they were status quo.

“As far as Aaron’s situation is concerned there’s no update on that,” said Ryan. “We’re working with the league and we’re still gathering the information.”


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Rams pick OT Battle in supplemental draft

Posted by Chris Brown on July 9, 2015 – 3:40 pm

It took five rounds, but former Clemson OT Isaiah Battle was chosen by the St. Louis Rams.

That according to ESPN.com. The Rams now forfeit their fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft for drafting Battle. St. Louis made a concerted effort to improve their offensive line this past spring using four of their draft choices on offensive linemen including three offensive tackles.

Now Battle will be the fifth rookie lineman added via a draft pick.

Buffalo did their homework on Battle and even sent offensive line coach Aaron Kromer to Battle’s pro day to take a look. Battle has some off the field issues that were of concern to some NFL clubs.

With Buffalo signing veteran OT Wayne Hunter just last week to be the fifth offensive tackle on their roster, it was unlikely that the Bills would give up a draft choice for the supplemental prospect.


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Fan Friday 6-19

Posted by Chris Brown on June 19, 2015 – 11:33 am

The mandatory minicamp is in the books. Six weeks until training camp at St. John Fisher. Let’s get to your latest round of questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,
Is there anybody that is already on the squad that might have torn up the practice fields that we haven’t heard about yet because they didn’t get much playing time?  In other words, is there anybody on the team already that you think is either in line to break out or will push a current starter for a job more than expected?

Thanks,
Tommy of Pittsford

CB: There were a few players who performed admirably in the spring practices that didn’t get much time on the field last year, but I caution that football in the spring is not real football, so take these names with a grain of salt.

Marquise Goodwin had a strong spring. He was turning in plays left and right in the passing game. Now keep in mind that’s without Stephon Gilmore, Leodis McKelvin or Aaron Williams running around in Buffalo’s secondary. And the pads aren’t on, which is when the game gets more physical and cornerbacks are jamming receivers a lot harder at the line of scrimmage. We’ll see what he can do at camp.

Cyrus Kouandjio, as we’ve covered on Buffalobills.com, has improved his footwork and balance a great deal. We’ll see how he does in camp, again, when the pads are on.

Two other players that I thought fared well, who could take a step forward this season are S Jonathan Meeks and TE Marqueis Gray. Both made plays in the spring practices and offer high caliber athleticism at their respective positions.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills
Is Harvin slated for both return spots or just punts?

SJHNatFan

CB: From what I witnessed at OTAs and minicamp Harvin is only being used on kick returns. The primary punt return candidates included Leodis McKelvin and Marcus Thigpen.

 

3 – Chris,

In light of the draft where they added 1 TE and one RB, how does this affect the final roster? Roman likes to dress/have 4 TE’s but they

currently have 5 running backs. Are Boobie/Bryce on the cut list to watch? I am not a fan of drafting a developmental running back with a history of violence against women, I don’t see the value in picking a back. Boobie plays special teams as well. Do you see O’Leary as lock to make this team too? Wondering how you might this these position groups look after the draft?

CB: Adding O’Leary and Karlos Williams just deepens the pool of talent at their positions. I like what I’ve seen from both players in the spring practices. O’Leary catches just about everything thrown to him. I agree that there will probably be four tight ends on the 53-man roster.

The tough call will be at running back where Williams has made a good case for himself. You’re also forgetting the fact that they’ll keep one fullback too who factors into the RB equation. So it’s likely they keep 4 RBs and 1 FB and 4 TEs. That could also mean the team only keeps five wide receivers. You’ve got to trim numbers somewhere else if Greg Roman’s offense needs numbers at TE.

 

4 – Chris,

Could you share your thoughts and insights on our offensive line expectations? Our two glaring weaknesses from last season was the inability to protect or provide the QB position ample time to develop consistency in a passing game and the lack of developing a foundation with a running game.

Many feel the offensive line play led to the lack of a better QB play although the argument could easily be spun both ways.  Yet going into this next season our offense is mostly a mystery of what to expect.

Despite the influx of talent brought in during F/A one could argue that we will be no better off than a year ago with the only hope that the new offense and scheme applied will either swing the pendulum one way or the other.  Many feel that controlling the trenches is where it all starts regardless of how skilled your skilled positions are.  Still another unsettling feeling deep in the souls of us Bills fans.

Thanks for you time and efforts.
VanScottM

CB: I’ll start by saying perhaps the two most important additions for the offensive line were coach Aaron Kromer and OC Greg Roman. Both know how to organize and coach line play. That’s where the two biggest improvements were made. Richie Incognito is a perfect fit for a power run game and John Miller has been widely lauded as Buffalo’s best pick in the 2015 draft and is expected to start at right guard.

With Cyrus Kouandjio showing an improved skill set and Cordy Glenn in the best shape of his life I believe the unit can take a sizable step forward this year and perhaps rebound from their 25th ranked rushing attack last season and get back into the top 10.

 

5 – Chris:

A couple of questions:

Whom do you think will take Dareus’ place in game #1?

Do you expect 90 players will be there the first day of training camp or will that number be reduced because of OTAs? Jeff Tuel was just released, but Matt Simms took his place.

Thanks very much.
Tom

CB: Right now the guy the Bills have penciled in to take Dareus’ spot in Week 1 is Corbin Bryant. Rex Ryan confirmed that when asked. Now will it be Bryant exclusively in that spot for the entire game? Probably not. Stefan Charles might rotate in there as well.

I do expect 90 players at training camp. Coaches like to have as many bodies as they can at camp. Knowing the Bills intend to run two team units simultaneously at camp when they go 11-on-11 in practice, having 90 players will be all the more necessary.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kromer: OTs have to be able to play both sides

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

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

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

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


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Seantrel lining up at left and right tackle

Posted by Chris Brown on May 13, 2015 – 3:35 pm

Bills new offensive line coach Aaron Kromer said he was going to be experimenting big time with his offensive linemen this time of year and into the OTAs and mandatory minicamp. He’s been true to his word as even in the walk through sessions on the field, and Seantrel Henderson has been working both edges each day.

Henderson said Kromer has lined him up at both tackle spots quite frequently.

“I’ve been playing right tackle this day, left tackle this day,” Henderson said. “That’s fine with me. I need more reps on both sides anyways just so I can get comfortable again.”

Henderson was almost exclusively a right tackle in college at Miami, which is where he wound up for the Bills as a rookie last season. But not before he lined up at left tackle in place of Cordy Glenn, who was not medically cleared to practice in training camp and part of the preseason last summer.

Henderson believes he can play left tackle.

“(You’re) just kicking with that opposite leg,” he said. “I’m more comfortable kicking with my right leg just because I’ve been playing right tackle since my freshman year in college. The more reps I take on the left side the more comfortable I’ll get playing both sides.”

Like just about every other offensive lineman on the roster, Henderson has taken quickly to coach Kromer. He along with several other linemen on the roster like Kromer as a teacher.

“He’s just good at teaching techniques as far as staying low and getting your hands on guys as soon as possible,” said Henderson. “As far as just how to kick and what angles to take you know he’s been teaching us all of that right now so we are going to be well-prepared.”


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Rex looking most forward to O-line work

Posted by Chris Brown on April 17, 2015 – 2:16 pm

He’s a defensive coach by trade and a head coach by opportunity, but heading into his team’s first voluntary veteran minicamp in less than two weeks, Bills head coach Rex Ryan is looking forward to working with the offensive line the most.

One can understand why Ryan might be paying a bit closer attention to what offensive line coach Aaron Kromer and offensive coordinator Greg Roman decide to assemble up front on offense for the Bills. It’s a picture that is far being in focus. Knowing that his defense returns 10 of 11 starters from last season and has a special teams unit with most of its playmakers back from last year’s number two ranked unit, it makes sense that Ryan intends to spend some time around the offensive line as it takes shape.

“These three days that we have coming up…this voluntary minicamp before the draft…the thing that I’m most excited about is being with the offensive line,” Ryan said. “Being with Aaron Kromer; their position coach, Greg Roman; their system and things like but we have to get to know these players and all that.

“How the meetings that we’ve had, the classroom time carries over to the practice field. Can guys sustain it, carry it, things like that. We’ll see how all that goes. I think it’s too early to say that, ‘Hey: we’re going to plug this player in this spot. That player in that spot.’ I think that’s too early to tell right now. This will be more about teaching how we look at things. How we do things fundamentally and then get it out there collectively.”

Next to determining the starting quarterback, deciding on the starting five up front is probably the second biggest question mark heading into training camp this summer.


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Kouandjio on new OL coach Kromer

Posted by Chris Brown on April 14, 2015 – 9:20 am

Bills OL Cyrus Kouandjio has admitted his mindset wasn’t strong enough for the pro game as a rookie. He feels he’s fixed that now. That combined with a new offensive line coach in Aaron Kromer has given the former second-round pick a new outlook on his NFL career.

Kouandjio in his initial conversations with coach Kromer is optimistic about where things are headed for him personally with the Bills.

“We got into a lot of technique and a lot of protections,” Kouandjio told Buffalobills.com. “I loved hearing that. There are some O-line coaches that teach you and some that just coach you. The ones that just coaches you just tells you what to do on this blitz or with this defensive front, but a teacher teaches you something. They teach you a technique you may have never known before. He teaches you all the little things. I see both in him. It takes a great coach to be a teacher and a coach, so I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Kromer said all five starting roles on the offensive line are open for competition as everyone will have a clean slate with him.


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Bucs cut QB Josh McCown

Posted by Chris Brown on February 11, 2015 – 6:25 pm

Saints Buccaneers Football
One year after signing veteran free agent QB Josh McCown the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have cut ties with the signal caller making him a free agent. A new member of Buffalo’s coaching staff has some familiarity with McCown.

McCown spent three seasons in Chicago prior to signing a two-year free agent deal with Tampa last offseason, including one under former head coach Marc Trestman and former offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. McCown had the best season of his career under Kromer and Trestman in 2013 when he appeared in eight games in place of an injured Jay Cutler. He completed more than 66 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns against just one interception and a passer rating of 109.

Things did not go as well in Tampa this past season as an early thumb injury sidelined him in Week 4 and he missed six games. His numbers weren’t as good either behind a suspect offensive line that allowed the third-most sacks in the league in 2014 (52). It appears the Bucs are going young at QB with Mike Glennon still on the roster and the number one pick in the draft.

That being said McCown is known as a solid locker room guy with former Bears GM even calling him a “glue guy” (helps hold the room together). Here’s more on that.

The Bills are in the market for a veteran signal caller and may also draft a quarterback to add competition at the position to the roster.

If the Bills are in fact interested in McCown they’ll certainly be tapping into Kromer’s intimate knowledge of McCown’s game having worked with him closely just two seasons ago.

 


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