Inside The Bills

Bills unlikely to add at safety

Posted by Chris Brown on May 1, 2016 – 9:28 am

One position that was not addressed during the draft was safety and by the sound of it GM Doug Whaley doesn’t intend to add there any time soon.

With the promising outlook for Aaron Williams in his return from neck surgery and some budget free agent additions, the Bills like their depth there.

“With [Robert] Blanton and Colt Anderson and then Corey [Graham] coming back, Duke Williams, Jonathan Meeks… we’ve got a glut of safeties there and it is time for one of those guys to step up outside of Aaron [Williams] and if Aaron seems regress or have a medical issues, which we hope he doesn’t, we don’t expect him but injuries play in on it but we think we have some depth there,” Whaley said.

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Rex optimistic about Aaron

Posted by Chris Brown on April 18, 2016 – 4:36 pm

There is no guarantee in NFL football for any player, and Aaron Williams got a dose of that reality last season with his neck injury that cost him all but three games in 2015. But now with a clean bill of health Williams is optimistic about his future playing career and so is his head coach.

“I am optimistic,” said Rex Ryan of Williams future. “Aaron is not even on our offseason surgery list because he had surgery during the season. Aaron is ready to go. We feel confident in it. I don’t think he’ll truly be 100 percent or be the Aaron Williams we know until he hits somebody. He’s done everything else. He even did some scout team work as the season went on for us last year. We know he’s ready, but he’s still go to get over that first contact, but we feel very confident that he’ll be ready.”

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Whaley: Aaron, Graham to return as safety combo

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2016 – 12:50 pm

The Bills finished the 2015 season not completely certain that Aaron Williams would be able to continue his playing career after he suffered a neck injury that cost him most of the 2015 season. But Bills GM Doug Whaley in an appearance on the John Murphy Show confirmed that Williams is good to go for the 2016 season.

“We’re leaning on the medical staff and we were assured by them that if we were in the playoff hunt (this past season) that Aaron would’ve been cleared to play,” said Whaley. “Medically he’s cleared and ready to go. Again those neck things are always tricky and we’d have to see once he gets out there and starts playing how he’s feeling. We do need some depth there, but I think this year another year of Corey Graham playing back there moving from corner to safety now he’s opening his eyes up to see the whole field so another year of learning that will help us too.”

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Aaron targeting return in OTAs

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2015 – 2:49 pm

It’s not looking like Aaron Williams will be added back to the active roster before the end of the regular season. Coming off a neck injury, Williams sounds like he’s committed to returning when OTAs begin in the spring.

“I’m going to be back next year, there no ifs, ands, or buts about it,” said Williams. “That’s just my mental state and that’s just what I really believe in. Rex (Ryan) is giving me this time to really get my neck to heal and I actually have more time to have it heal and let it rest. By the time OTA’s and minicamp next year I’ll be back.”

Williams did however, admit that he might not completely know about his future playing career until he’s in full contact and making tackles again.

“Yeah, truly won’t know until the first day of full pads and do contact,” he said.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Aaron Williams still biding his time

Posted by Chris Brown on December 19, 2015 – 12:24 pm

Bills safety Aaron Williams is still biding his time on short term injured reserve. Coming off his neck injury he’s been cleared to practice for the past two weeks, but he has yet to cleared for contact. Williams has spent most of his team reps on the scout team getting the starters ready for their upcoming opponent. As for a timetable for his full return, there just doesn’t seem to be one at this point.

“Still not real sure on that,” said head coach Rex Ryan as to whether Williams will return to the active roster this season. “I like the fact that he’s out here practicing and he’s moving well, but it’s the contact. It’s hard to say absolutely and things like that because right now he’s not ready for contact.”

Williams has two more weeks that he can practice with the team on the Reserve/Injured Designated to Return list. After he has practiced over a 21-day period, which ends on Dec. 31st the team will need to decide whether to add him to the 53-man roster or place on season-ending injured reserve.

The safety said he’ll know if his career should continue after his first hit. When that hit comes, whether it is this season or next season is the question.


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Aaron won’t play Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2015 – 3:08 pm

Head coach Rex Ryan gave pretty firm indication that Aaron Williams, though he returned to practice last week, would not be fit to play in Week 14 or this week against Washington. On Monday he re-affirmed that stance.

“He’s been practicing so I think that’s good,” said Ryan. “Do I expect him to play? No I don’t. We will err on the side of caution with that type of injury with the neck. So that’s a given.”

Williams is coming off neck surgery that landed him on the short term injured reserve list back in October. The safety outlined his progress last week and is hoping to return to the field before the season is over.



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Aaron Williams practices, Miller limited

Posted by Chris Brown on December 10, 2015 – 4:47 pm

UBNS image




The Bills had a surprise participant at practice Thursday in S Aaron Williams, who had neck surgery just before midseason. Williams, who is still on short term injured reserve, was eligible to begin practicing with the team again as early as last week. He didn’t begin working in practice however, until today. He was a limited participant. Head coach Rex Ryan made it clear that Williams won’t be added to the active roster anytime soon.

“It was great to get Aaron Williams back on the field,” said Ryan. “Obviously we know he can’t play this week or probably next week. But it’s good just to get him out there. He brings a lot of enthusiasm out on the practice field, but he’s not ready to play. But he can practice and that’s a good thing.”

Good news for Buffalo’s offensive line. On Wednesday we told you that it is John Miller’s intent to start on Sunday at his right guard position after missing the last two games with a high ankle sprain. He was limited in practice Wednesday and again on Thursday, but  Ryan admitted that Miller is ahead of schedule and has a chance to play in Philadelphia this weekend.

Stephon Gilmore – shoulder
Nigel Bradham – ankle
Ron Brooks – neck/concussion
Karlos Williams – shoulder

John Miller – ankle
Aaron Williams – neck
Chris Hogan – knee
Charles Clay – knee

Mario Williams – hand
Seantrel Henderson – post-illness


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Aaron Williams update

Posted by Chris Brown on December 7, 2015 – 2:39 pm

With Aaron Williams on short-term injured reserve this was the first week he’d be eligible to return to the team and play in a game. Unfortunately head coach Rex Ryan said Monday that Williams is not fit to return yet.

“Aaron won’t play this week,” said Ryan. “He will continue to condition. He won’t be on the practice field running with pads on or anything. We like where he’s at and hopefully at the end of the year we’ll be able to use him and he’ll be able to play for us. We’re not going to put him out there until we know and our trainers are on top of it. He’s been working with our strength coaches and conditioning and all that. We’ll see how it fares late in the season, but don’t expect him to play this week. He won’t play this week.”

When asked if he’s got a 50-50 chance to comes back this season at all, Ryan indicated those odds are pretty accurate.

“That’s probably where it is,” Ryan said.

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Fan Friday 11-27

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2015 – 1:03 pm

We’re getting pretty close to do or die time and the Chiefs game at Arrowhead on Sunday is step one. Here are your latest questions from email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you think Tyrod is “the guy” or should the bills draft a qb in the first round until they find him?


CB: I would still like to see him play more before passing judgment. Perfect example is last Monday’s game his accuracy was off for the first time this season. Was that an aberration or is there more to it? We don’t know because we haven’t seen enough of Tyrod.

I do believe the greatest concern with Taylor is his ability to stay healthy and in the lineup. We’ve already seen two injuries with him this season. One cost him a pair of starts in Week 6 & 7. The other is the one he’s currently dealing with.

Make no mistakes about it. Taylor is as tough as they come. The question is can his physical frame withstand the punishment that quarterbacks typically take over the course of a 16-game season?

That’s to be determined. Even if Taylor finishes the season strong, I’m a proponent of drafting a quarterback every year. It’s the most important position in football so why wouldn’t you try to ensure you’re strong at that position by drafting one there every year?

I’m not saying round one necessarily, but just like everyone says you can never have enough cornerbacks, I think the same applies to QB.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills what possibility of re-signing the gilly lock to an extension and is Mario a fit for Rex’s scheme may need cap room and waive


CB: The Bills did buy some time with Stephon Gilmore by picking up his fifth-year option, so he’s not a free agent until 2017, but it’s my belief that Gilmore is priority number one when it comes to locking up players long term. Whether that happens this offseason or just prior to the 2016 season remains to be seen.

As for Mario Williams he has the skill set to play in any defensive scheme. Your cap room query however, is valid. His cap figure is very high and there is substantial savings that could be had if he is waived or if he agrees to restructure. More on that in the answer below.

3 –

How do you think the future free agents on the team are doing? Cordy Glenn is having a very good year. What are the odds they can keep him? How much is he a priority over someone like Bradham is having a down year? I know they probably can’t keep everyone but keeping a good tackle long term seems like a good option given they haven’t been too stable on either side on the line in years. What would it cost? Do you expect a ‘hometown discount’ for Incognito too? Given that some teams may not want him still. How much flexibility do they have to do so?

CB: Their flexibility is likely to be rooted in what they decide to do with some cost prohibitive contracts on the roster. Chief among them Mario Williams. His cap figure next season is $19.9M. That will need to be addressed before the team reaches free agency. Both linebacker and offensive tackle are thin positions in terms of experienced depth, so it will be interesting to see how they choose to prioritize Bradham and Glenn.

The team is also going to have to re-sign Richie Incognito, who will be a priority for the offensive line, and no I would not expect Incognito to be willing to take a hometown discount, especially since it’s likely to be his last NFL contract.


4 – Hi Chris,

First off thanks for the Fan Fridays! I enjoys reading other fans questions and your insight to them.

My questions is about the health and return of Aaron Williams. I haven’t seen anything reported about him other than he was up in a box cheering on his teammates during the jets game. Has he recovered from his neck injury? With the activation of McKelvin can he still return to playing this season? (although with Rambo and Cory playing well we are not falling apart without him)

Recently Displaced Bills fan now in DC,
CB: Williams has attended each of the Bills last two road games. He was placed on short term I-R. He’ll be eligible to return for the Eagles game in Week 14 at the earliest. Whether he does or does not is solely up to the team’s medical staff.


5 – Chris;
Bud Grant had a saying, too many “fan in the stands penalties” and plays. He could bring in any fan from the stands to line up off sides etc. When u get down to it, off sides, holding , dropped passes, punts, over and under thrown passes etc., any fan can make those plays.
Am I being too critical ??
Too many miscues keep us from winning. What are ur thoughts ??

Jim in Florida

CB: I think there were too many miscues last week. Unfortunately it doesn’t take much when facing the Patriots, one of the most consistent teams in the league when it comes to execution. Their defense had just one or two poor plays, but played well enough to win. The offense and special teams units could not say the same in that game.

What’s interesting is the prevailing theme in the locker room this week was just executing the game plan more effectively. We’ll see if it can happen Sunday in KC.

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McKelvin fares well at safety

Posted by Chris Brown on November 10, 2015 – 8:51 am

He hadn’t played in a regular season game in almost a calendar year, then five days before his return to the field he was asked to line up at a different position, Leodis McKelvin took the assignment of playing safety last Sunday and ran with it. He and head coach Rex Ryan both reviewed the game film for a full assessment as to how McKelvin fared in the new role.

“I think first off the Buffalo Bills fans are very familiar with Leodis and the kind of heart and passion he plays with. It was just great to see it first hand,” said Ryan. “He made a phenomenal play on that swing pass. He was thrown in there playing out of position. He had never played safety. I don’t know the last time he had played safety. He just did a great job for us. This dude loves to play as you guys know. It was just a great opportunity to witness it and I thought he played well.”

McKelvin didn’t deny that there are some areas of his execution that could use some improvement, but after not playing for a year he thought things went relatively well.

“I played pretty good,” he said. “There were some things I can get better at as far as putting myself in better position or being in the middle of the field and reading the quarterback. Overall it was a good job and a good showing.”

Ryan is wholly familiar with the challenge of moving from corner to safety having done it with other players in the past, but he obviously felt McKelvin was capable of handling it. Counting McKelvin, Buffalo has three cornerbacks who have transitioned to safety in Aaron Williams and Corey Graham.

“It’s not an easy transition. It really isn’t,” said Ryan. “Number one you’ve got to physical and you’ve got to be tough. It’s different and you’ve got to be smart and all those guys possess those qualities.”

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Why Aaron Williams went to short term I-R

Posted by Chris Brown on October 15, 2015 – 3:10 pm

Bills S Aaron Williams returned from a scary Week 2 neck injury last week to play against the Titans in Week 5. But during the game he had to exit during the first defensive series after making a tackle. Later in the game he was seen shaking out his left arm in between plays, presumably because he was feeling some numbness, but he finished the game. Bills head coach Rex Ryan shed some light on why the decision was made to put S Aaron Williams on short term injured reserve this week.

“He was sore we all knew that after the game,” said Ryan of Williams. “He finished the game, so I wasn’t sure of the extent of the injury. We went back, he was sore at that time, our trainers took him to the doctors. They advised us he should be out for a few weeks, and that’s why we put him on the return I-R deal.”

When asked if it was a new injury from the neck that had sidelined him for two games, Ryan indicated it’s still a neck issue for Williams.

“Pretty much the same, that was a scar tissue type deal,” said Ryan. “We thought he was healthy and this thing came up. This is something we’re erring on the side of caution. We’re never going to play somebody if we think he’s at substantial risk.”

Ryan said that Aaron Williams will not need surgery “at this time.”

Buffalo is expected to make use of Duke Williams, Bacarri Rambo and Jonathan Meeks to help fill the void left behind by Williams.


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Fan Friday 9-25

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2015 – 11:23 am

The Bills look to bounce back this week and get an important win on the road at Miami Sunday. Here’s your latest rundown of questions from email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 –@ChrisBrownBills

Hey Chris any chance we will see more blitz packages and sack coming from our D-Line this week. Didn’t see much last week:/


CB: In the wake of sticking almost exclusively with a pass rush of their front four in the first half last week I would anticipate that Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman will mix it up a bit more. So while there will be instances where they do just rush four, I believe they will weave in some blitz packages in certain down and distance situations. As for sack totals, the Bills have averaged 4.5 sacks per game in the last four meetings, so you’re likely to see more of them Sunday.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills

How is the team morale going into week 3 after a tough loss last Sunday? #Bills


CB: Team morale is just fine heading into Sunday. One loss can’t be a soul crusher for any team and that’s certainly not the case at One Bills Drive. The offense is encouraged by the rhythm they found late in last week’s game with three straight touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to make it a game. And for the record Tyrod Taylor confirmed for me that New England was not sitting back. They were playing the same defensive looks that were working earlier in the game. And the defense is motivated to redeem themselves last week as is special teams. So I’m expecting a strong performance.


3 – @ChrisBrownBills

I know the Bills haven’t said too much about Aaron Williams but is it possible he’s back for the Giants game?


CB: Bills head coach Rex Ryan said the following about Aaron Williams’ status beyond this week.

“Our trainers seem to be very optimistic about him being up for next week, but we’ll see,” said Ryan.


4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Any chance we see mckelvin by the bye week?


CB: Leodis McKelvin is doing more and more on the side with athletic trainers during practice. There are still some hurdles for him to clear. I think a safe guess-timate, and it is a guess on my part, that by the week following the bye (Week 9) he stands a good chance of being ready to go in the home game against the Dolphins.


5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Why wasn’t that Steelers player fined for the hit on Goodwin???


CB: I think it’s a valid question. The hit on Goodwin was borderline late number one and second the Steelers player buried the crown of his helmet into Goodwin’s rib cage when he had already gone to the ground. The Pittsburgh player could’ve been flagged for spearing. Had he been then I think a fine could’ve been a possibility, but to my knowledge there was no fine.

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Rex on Aaron: A stretch for him to play

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2015 – 3:08 pm

The good news is Aaron Williams is out of the hospital and was walking around on his own two feet at One Bills Drive Monday. The bad news is it’s not looking good for him to play Sunday in Miami.

“Aaron was in the building today so he was cleared from the hospital so that was real encouraging,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “He’s stiff and sore right now and he’s got (that thing) on his neck. We’ll see how it progresses. Thank goodness that he was cleared so he’s doing okay.”

When asked if he has a chance to play on Sunday, Ryan said the following.

“I think that’s probably a stretch for him to play, but it’s probably too early to say,” he said.

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Kyle: Good week to get Marcell back

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2015 – 1:46 pm

Any week would be a good week to get a Pro Bowl caliber defensive tackle back on the field, but when you’re facing a divisional opponent with a high-powered offense, the return of Marcell Dareus means all the more.

Dareus’ linemate Kyle Williams was pretty pumped to have the big fella back in the lineup this week to face New England.

“It’s great to have a really good player back with us,” said Williams. “He helps us even more, and we’re excited to have him back. It couldn’t come at a better time.”

“He’s a 100-million dollar man and we expect a lot from him and he understands that,” said Aaron Williams. “He knows his role and his responsibility and he’s also one of our leaders so he understands all that.”

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Aaron: When it’s New England it’s personal

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2015 – 11:45 am

It’s New England week for the Bills and while the opponent alone is enough to put Bills fans in a froth leading up to Sunday, there are players in the locker room who harbor just as many personal feelings as those who root for the team. 

“I don’t like New England, so yeah it’s definitely personal for me,” said Williams. “That’s just the way I feel. They’re a great football team. Don’t get that twisted at all. That’s why they’re the four-time NFL champs.”

When asked what he doesn’t like about New England, Williams talked about the Patriots’ attitude 

“Just the way they carry themselves on the field and stuff,” said Williams. “All the stuff that has happened to me in the past with some of the players has definitely gone through the roof for me. That’s a reason it’s personal for me and they’re our rival. It’s the history. So it’s not just personal. It’s the Buffalo Bills history.”

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Aaron’s homage to Fred

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2015 – 9:25 pm

For those that may not have caught it when Aaron Williams made the game-clinching interception with two minutes left in the game to seal the Bills win over the Colts, the safety paid homage to his former teammate Fred Jackson.

Williams at the end of the play did Fred Jackson’s ‘Incredible Hulk tear open the shirt move.’ When asked about it after the game, Williams explained why he did it.

“Freddy’s meant a lot to me, everybody knows that,” said Williams. “The first game at the Ralph, the crowd, the fans did an amazing job of rocking it.  I had to do it. It was personal for me. It wasn’t anything with the business side of it, it was just for me, he meant a lot to me. He got me to where I’m at today. He made me the person and the man in this locker room to lead this team.  I definitely pay tribute to him.”

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Aaron on what Fred meant

Posted by Chris Brown on August 31, 2015 – 6:21 pm

Aaron Williams and Fred Jackson may have been separated by a decade when it came to age, but they were two of the closer friends on the team. That’s why it was a tough day for Williams seeing Jackson get released by the club Monday. Williams knew not only how much Jackson meant to the team, but the WNY community as well.

“Fred was the governor of Buffalo,” said Williams. “Everybody looked up to him.  It wasn’t just the guys in the locker room. You ask any of the fans in the community, they would tell you 22 was by far the number one favorite in the city.  What does it mean to lose him? It’s a deep blow for us in the locker room and people in the community.  But we can’t dwell on it, I can’t dwell on it, nobody else can dwell on it.  we still have a season to get ready for and focus on Detroit, get ready for week one.”

To honor Fred, Williams wore his number 22 jersey on the practice field Monday, something head coach Rex Ryan was fine with.

“He came to me, and I said absolutely,” said Ryan of Williams request to wear 22 at practice. “You’re showing respect to a guy who was a mentor to him. Absolutely, I had no problem with it.  But he did check with me, and I said, ‘You don’t need to do that, I understand.'”

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Duke does well stepping in for Aaron

Posted by Chris Brown on August 8, 2015 – 11:56 pm

For the first week of training camp it’s been Corey Graham and Aaron Williams as the starting safety tandem, but with Williams sidelined for the blue-white scrimmage Saturday night, Duke Williams stepped in and earned the praise of his head coach for his performance.

“I was happy with Duke Williams,” said Rex Ryan. “I think with Aaron (Williams) being out for the scrimmage, Duke stepped in – hadn’t had any reps with the ones, we’ve been going with Aaron, and he stepped right in. Its different communication with a different guy with Corey (Graham) and all that, and he stepped right in. I thought he did a nice job.”

Williams saw almost half the snaps at safety last season splitting time with Da’Norris Searcy.

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Aaron: Right back in the flow

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2015 – 4:11 pm

Bills S Aaron Williams missed the entire spring practice schedule rehabbing from offseason surgery, but he’s been full go since training camp started and doesn’t feel like he’s missed a beat.

“Actually the first day my expectations were to just be out there and know my responsibilities,” Williams told “But after being out there and running around out there on the field I felt like I haven’t lost a step, which is a good thing. So it feels good to be back and flying around with these guys and working hard.”

Williams said his mindset when he was sidelined and could not practice was singularly focused on the only football he could perform at that time.

“It got me well acclimated with the playbook,” said Williams of the spring time when he was sidelined. “I had so much time on my hands to the point where I should know everything and not make any mistakes. I think I had a bit of advantage with more rest time and it allowed me to study more.”

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Aaron on track for training camp

Posted by Chris Brown on June 17, 2015 – 2:07 pm

Aaron Williams, who is coming off of offseason surgery, has not seen any action in the spring and that has carried through to the mandatory minicamp. According to Rex Ryan, Williams will be good to go come training camp at the end of July.

“Aaron should be ready to go,” said Ryan. “He’s sitting in there in the meetings, and it’s tough for some positions. Like Leodis (McKelvin) will come in and play corner like it’s nothing. But playing safety is a more challenging position mentally and the communication part of it and all that. With Aaron not being able to go we’ll see how it goes. He seems to be sharp and I’m looking forward to seeing him on the field.”

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