Inside The Bills

Aaron would love to have Byrd back

Posted by Chris Brown on January 9, 2014 – 10:41 am

It’s a decision that ultimately not up to him, but Bills S Aaron Williams would love to have fellow safety Jairus Byrd back for next season and beyond in Buffalo’s secondary.

Williams and Byrd appeared to hit it off after Williams transitioned to safety and Byrd re-entered the lineup in Week 6 after dealing with a foot injury early in the year. Byrd even credited Williams with keying him into a play that was coming from the Jets in Week 11 against the Jets pre-snap that led to one of his two interceptions in that game.

Williams believes their combination in the defensive backfield is already one of the best in football, which is why he’d like to see that partnership continue.

“That decision is above my pay scale, but I would love to have Jairus Byrd back,” said Williams. “We have a great chemistry. He’s been with me since I got here, and he’s taught me a lot, especially at the safety position. He’s helped me excel at my game in that area.

“We’re honestly the best safety duo in the NFL. Say what you want, I don’t know any other safety duos that put up the same numbers as Byrd and I. With that kind of expectation, with that kind of chemistry and duo, I don’t see why they wouldn’t bring him back. We do a great job together, we make plays and we put leadership in our defense.”

Buffalo GM Doug Whaley said they are in the business of keeping good players and acknowledged Byrd is one of them, but Byrd is the one who has the power to choose where he’ll play in 2014 and beyond.

Williams even left a signed number 23 jersey of his in Byrd’s locker on locker clean out day thanking him for what he did to help him progress at safety this past season.


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Aaron: final record will be motivation

Posted by Chris Brown on January 7, 2014 – 1:30 pm

Yes, the Bills finished the 2013 campaign with the same record they finished with in their previous two seasons. The only difference is Buffalo’s players see the frustrations of 2013 snowballing into motivation to prevent that from happening in 2014.

That according to Aaron Williams, who had his most successful season in a Bills uniform in transitioning from cornerback to safety.

“It definitely should have been better, and it will be better and next year we have a high standard for ourselves,” said Williams of the team’s won-loss record. “We know that 6-10 record should have been 10-6 or 12-4. It shouldn’t have been 6-10. We’re going to carry that with a chip on our shoulders for the offseason, come back in minicamp and do better.”


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Aaron, Stevie out; Easley added to report

Posted by Chris Brown on December 27, 2013 – 12:51 pm

Bills WR Stevie Johnson and S Aaron Williams have been declared out for Sunday’s game at New England. Marcus Easley meanwhile was a Friday addition to Buffalo’s injury report.

Easley sustained a knee injury in practice Friday and was listed as a limited participant. He’s listed as probable for Sunday’s game. Here’s the full rundown of players on Buffalo’s injury report.

OUT
S Aaron Williams – ribs
WR Stevie Johnson – not injury related

DOUBTFUL
QB EJ Manuel – knee

PROBABLE
WR Marquise Goodwin – knee
WR Marcus Easley – knee
RB Fred Jackson – ribs
DT Kyle Williams – achilles


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4 Bills with 4 picks apiece?

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2013 – 11:00 am

Right now the Bills have three players with four interceptions each on the season. With Aaron Williams out for Sunday’s game with a rib injury, it could raise the chances of Buffalo having four players with four INTs apiece on the season.

Williams is one of the three players who has logged four interceptions thus far this season. Kiko Alonso and Jairus Byrd are the other two.

The defensive back expected to see the most time in Williams’ absence today is Jim Leonhard, who has three interceptions on the season. If he’s able to land an INT against Ryan Tannehill today, he too would have four on the season.

That would make the quartet on the 2013 squad just the fourth group in team history to each have at least four INTs. Here are the others.

4 players with 4+ INTs in team history:
1960 (5) – Archie Matsos-8, Jim Wagstaff-6, Bill Atkins-5, Bill Kinard-4, Richie McCabe-4
1962 (4) – Carl Charon-7, Booker Edgerson-6, Mike Stratton-6, Marv Matuszak-6
1965 (5) – Hagood Clarke-7, Butch Byrd-5, Charley Warner-5, Booker Edgerson-5, George Saimes-4


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Aaron, Stevie, EJ out for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on December 20, 2013 – 12:11 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone announced after practice Friday that Aaron Williams, EJ Manuel and Stevie Johnson are out for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.

Williams rib injury was suffered last Sunday at Jacksonville and he was unable to practice all week. Jim Leonhard is expected to see most of his reps in Williams absence.

Johnson is still dealing with the passing of his mother last week and is with his family in Northern California. He hasn’t practiced all week.

After being limited in practice on Wednesday EJ Manuel has not practiced all week as he recovers from a sprained knee suffered last Sunday.


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Aaron Williams a likely game time decision

Posted by Chris Brown on December 20, 2013 – 11:38 am

Bills S Aaron Williams has not practiced all week, but head coach Doug Marrone has said all week he’s 50-50 to be available on Sunday.

Making his weekly appearance on WGR Sportsradio 550, Marrone said he thinks Williams will be a game time decision Sunday.

“Aaron Williams I think it could go up to a game time decision,” said Marrone. “I think it’s 50-50 whether he can go or not. He’s one of those players who fall into that category where if he’s ready to go we would put him out there even though he hasn’t practiced because he has shown he can play that position and been productive.”


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Dareus, A. Williams update

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2013 – 7:00 pm

Marcell Dareus practiced on Wednesday despite sustaining an ankle injury last Sunday. He was limited. Aaron Williams however, was a non-participant Wednesday after suffering a rib injury last weekend. Head coach Doug Marrone said Williams would be 50-50 for Sunday’s game against Miami. Here’s the Bills official injury report.

DID NOT PRACTICE
WR Stevie Johnson – not injury related
DT Kyle Williams – Achilles
S Aaron Williams – ribs
RB Fred Jackson – ribs

LIMITED IN PRACTICE
DT Marcell Dareus – ankle
CB Brandon Smith – ankle
QB EJ Manuel – knee


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Aaron, Dareus updates

Posted by Chris Brown on December 16, 2013 – 2:10 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone provided an injury update on Marcell Dareus and Aaron Williams, who both left the game Sunday and did not return.

“Aaron has the ribs and we’ll see where he is later in the week,” said Marrone. “He’ll probably sit out practice Wednesday and them we’ll see where he is.

“Marcell is kind of the same thing with the ankle. We think he’ll be okay, but he might be limited on Wednesday.”

Marrone also said that Kraig Urbik and Kiko Alonso both came through the game fine, but one or both could be limited Wednesday.


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Aaron Williams turns two

Posted by Chris Brown on December 15, 2013 – 10:27 pm

Bills safety Aaron Williams had a big hand in the victory on Sunday. He not only made an early interception that helped get Buffalo on the board first, he also took a sure touchdown off the board for Jacksonville in what wound up being a seven-point victory for the Bills.

Williams had an interception on the fourth play from scrimmage on a play right after he was beaten for a big gain in the pass game.

“The first time Aaron Williams, the guy beats Aaron for the big pass over the middle on the double screen, man to man and Aaron comes back and makes up for it with the interception,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “That’s what you have to do. When you’re a player and you make a mistake you need to come back and make a play and that’s what he did.”

His biggest play of the game came on a strip fumble on Denard Robinson as he was about to break the plane of the end zone on a run after catch in the second half.

“I just saw I had an open lane to the inside. He probably didn’t know that I was inside. I just popped up and forced myself to be aggressive and get the ball,” said Williams.

Williams said with Robinson so close to scoring, he had no choice but to go for the strip instead of making a tackle.

“It was strip all the way,” he said. “If I tackled, he probably drags me with his momentum into the end zone. The main thing you have to do is just go for the ball.”

“Aaron Williams made an excellent play,” said Marrone. “When you go back and look at that play he hustled his butt off on that play and caused that fumble.”

So Williams had a hand in what was a 10-point swing in Buffalo’s favor in the victory. Not bad for a corner turned safety. Williams is now tied for the team lead in interceptions with Kiko Alonso and Jairus Byrd.


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Other Bills in Pro Bowl running

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2013 – 4:04 pm

With the news coming down that Mario Williams and Kiko Alonso are the leading vote getters among fans at their respective positions for the 2014 Pro Bowl, here are some of the other Bills who are in the hunt at their positions for fan votes.

DT Marcell Dareus – 3rd
DT Kyle Williams – 5th
SS Aaron Williams – 6th
K Dan Carpenter – 10th
ST Marcus Easley – 10th

Bills head coach Doug Marrone said just last week that if the team had a better won-loss record that Marcus Easley would have an excellent chance of being a Pro Bowl special teams player with the success he’s had in coverage.


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Aaron at safety a possibility

Posted by Chris Brown on October 23, 2013 – 5:23 pm

Bills DB Aaron Williams has been serving admirably in a cornerback role for the better part of the last four-plus games. This week may be the week that he slides back to the position Mike Pettine and the defensive staff wanted him manning all along.

Williams said playing safety Sunday against the Saints could happen, but is not a definite.

“It could be a possibility that I could go back to safety, but at the same time I’m still preparing myself to be a corner,” Williams told Buffalobills.com. “Right now I’m working both just in case of emergency situations, see how Stephon (Gilmore) is with his hand and Ron (Brooks) with his foot and everything. We’ll see where it goes, but right now I’m working on both.”

The signs look to be good for Williams to return to safety this week. Gilmore appears to be playing with a smaller protective club on his surgically repaired left wrist and Brooks appeared in the game this past Sunday, the first since breaking his foot in Week 1. He got seven snaps.

Both players were not listed on the team’s Wednesday injury report as both players were full participants. Provided both can play more this Sunday it affords the defensive staff the freedom to move Williams back to safety because Gilmore and Brooks could split the workload at cornerback if necessary.


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Bills feeding off Fred’s resilience

Posted by Chris Brown on October 21, 2013 – 1:47 pm

We already had it covered for you this morning on Buffalobills.com, but Fred Jackson’s teammates were still talking about his freakish ability to come back from twice tweaking his sprained MCL and play an instrumental role in the victory.

Here’s what some of his teammates said Jackson gutting it out meant to them.

Thad Lewis - “A level of toughness that a lot of us can’t describe or know how tough this guy is. He’s so relentless in his pursuit of excellence that it’s ridiculous. So it kind of feeds all of us on the offense. We feed off of him. We saw the things he did yesterday. He kind of brings and extra energy to the offense.”

“It’s crazy. It shows me that nothing is impossible. He told me that he sprained his MCL and then said, ‘Don’t worry about it I’ll be out for the next series.’ When you’ve got a guy like that behind you you’re about as comfortable as you can be.”

Stevie Johnson – “Fred’s a beast. I told him he’s a legend. I don’t care what happens in the next nine games. If he doesn’t get another yard, the dude is a legend. Coming back from these injuries, the knee injury with his leg and just seeing him come back in there and score the touchdown and continuously play, I think he got injured again in the game and still stayed in. It’s the love that he has for the game. I told him I looked up to him and I’m happy to be on his team.”

Aaron Williams – “It lets me know that I have guys next to me who are willing to fight, willing to put their body on the line, and just go out there and get a ‘W’ for the team.  A guy with courage and a lot of heart, that’s one thing I know about Fred, he has a lot of heart. He’s come a long way, he’s worked hard to get where he’s at.  To see something like that happen, and for him to go back out there and score a touchdown. It’s huge.”

Eric Wood – “That pretty much just solidified what I think of Fred as a player and a person.  Just a great guy, great teammate, willing to put his body on the line for the good of the team. That’s how you stick around a franchise for a
long time.  We’re not giving up Fred for anybody, for anything.  He’s a guy that we want around and he shows that week in and week out.”

And finally Fred’s stance on why he feels compelled to come back time and time again.

“What better way to (lead),” said Jackson. “If you want guys to step up and make plays for you, you have to make them yourself. That’s just what I try and do. I love this team and love to be part of this team, and the way to show that is to be out there with those guys competing with them. That’s what I tried to get done yesterday and I’ll continue to try and do so.”


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Byrd & Aaron talked pre-snap on Aaron’s INT

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2013 – 9:40 pm

Aaron Williams made his third interception of the season to take points off the board in the win over Miami as he swiped a Ryan Tannehill pass at the goal line. Williams said he and Byrd had devised a plan to try and get a takeaway prior to the snap.

“It was pretty much a (cover) two man situation and me and Jairus we discussed what we wanted to do beforehand,” said Williams. “The (receiver) went underneath and I just let Byrd handle it and I tried to play hide and go seek with Tannehill. I didn’t want him to see me so I stayed low and then at the last minute I saw the back side receiver come back (to my side) and Tannehill had eyes all over him and I was able to get it.

“Tannehill wasn’t even looking my side at the moment. He was play faking to the right and wanted to go left. It was a great call by coach Pettine and we executed it. It was great communication between me and Byrd.”


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A. Williams return to safety hinges on Gilmore

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2013 – 11:52 am

Aaron Williams has played at cornerback in each of the last three games due mainly to the team’s thin ranks at the position, with Leodis McKelvin and Stephon Gilmore dealing with injuries. McKelvin is now back healthy, but Gilmore is still trying to work back from a wrist injury and play effectively. Sunday was trying for Gilmore with a protective club completely covering his left hand, and that could ultimately keep Williams at corner for another week or so.

When asked where he’ll be positionally moving forward Williams made it sound like where he lines up will hinge on Gilmore’s availability.

“I don’t know if I’m going back to safety yet,” he said. “I feel like (Stephon) Gilmore is still trying to come back to his rhythm of playing. He told me yesterday was a little awkward for him, especially with a big club like that. It’s kind of hard for a cornerback to play with one arm. It’s a game where you’ve got to be physical at the line. If you let a receiver off the line
easily you’ll lose 90 percent of the time. We’ll see how Gilmore does this week, if he has a club or not this week. It all depends how he feels and who we have as far as cornerbacks. We still have guys a little beat up, but we’ll take it day by day.”


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Aaron Williams to stay at CB

Posted by Chris Brown on October 3, 2013 – 7:12 pm

Leodis McKelvin is active for tonight’s game, but Aaron Williams is going to remain at cornerback tonight.

Head coach Doug Marrone, with McKelvin’s status uncertain and in a short week had to make the decision to keep Williams at corner instead of potentially switching him back to safety at the last minute.

It should make for some interesting coverage combinations tonight.


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Spiller, DBs questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2013 – 4:50 pm

The Bills have a lot of question marks for Thursday night’s game in Cleveland in term of personnel and it begins with their features tailback and ends with their secondary.

C.J. Spiller was limited in practice Wednesday and is listed as questionable for the game.

Buffalo’s secondary has two questionable players as well. Leodis McKelvin and Jairus Byrd are questionable.

Aaron Williams is probable.

Byrd was the only one to practice fully on Wednesday. The other two DBs and Spiller were limited.


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Bills DBs on high alert with Browns throwing

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2013 – 8:51 am

With the Browns leading the league in pass attempts and averaging almost 46 pass attempts a game, Buffalo’s secondary is going to be on high alert.

The main concerns are TE Jordan Cameron, who leads the team with 30 receptions and five touchdowns, four of which have come in the last two games. WR Josh Gordon is another go-to guy with 28 targets in the last two games.

Bills safety Da’Norris Searcy, fresh off a four pass breakup performance against Baltimore is well aware that passes figure to be flying everywhere when they’re on the field.

“You’ve got to be alert regardless especially now that the NFL is becoming a passing league,” he said. “A lot of teams don’t necessarily have one specific guy they go to especially with this team. They love to spread it around so pretty much everybody is live so we have to cover everybody.”

“Any time you get big physical receivers, quarterback s like to throw it up and give them a chance, figuring that the worst thing that’s going to happen is an incomplete pass,” said Jim Leonhard. “We get challenged every week.  We realize that being a young secondary, we’re going to get tested every week.  This Thursday is not going to be any different.”

The added challenge for the Bills is the likelihood that they’ll have more moving parts in the defensive backfield this week with Aaron Williams (low back) and Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) still on the mend.

“We’ve got to make sure our communication is down pat, which is going to be tough with the short week and all, but with the extra meeting time we have, we just are making sure we’re on one accord and get these guys covered,” said Searcy.


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Secondary update

Posted by Chris Brown on October 1, 2013 – 5:03 pm

With injuries again prevailing in Buffalo’s secondary, here’s what was observed during the media viewing portion of practice.

Aaron Williams (low back) didn’t do much during individual and worked on the side with the athletic training staff for a while.

Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) was moving well in individual position drills, but ran scout team reps during defensive sets prior to team work.

Jairus Byrd (foot) was running with the scout team as well during defensive set reps.

Stephon Gilmore (wrist) and Ron Brooks (foot) worked with athletic trainers to maintain their conditioning level and are not part of practice.

Head coach Doug Marrone will provide an official participation level for each of the injured defensive backs following practice.


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CB Burton seeing reps

Posted by Chris Brown on October 1, 2013 – 4:09 pm

Cornerback Brandon Burton is getting reps in the secondary.

Aaron Williams is a bit limited with his low back contusion so Burton, who saw action at corner last week, is lined up at corner again this week.


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Aaron shining, but safety where Bills want him

Posted by Chris Brown on September 30, 2013 – 10:39 am

Aaron Williams has put in a pair of solid performances at cornerback in relief of the injured Leodis McKelvin. His first interception gave Buffalo three points on a field goal drive and his second took points off the board for Baltimore in Buffalo’s end zone. But cornerback is not where the Bills feel he can help them the most.

“We’d like to get him back to safety,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “We really think that again he can do a lot for us back there.”

With respect to Leodis McKelvin, Marrone said the cornerback was very close to being healthy enough to play.

“I think that a lot of it when you say can that player go, a lot of it is going to be about how we feel, how much he can go,” said McKelvin. “I think again when you’re working players back in to you have to see it as, if it was 110 percent healthy and here we go, we’ve got some other players that we’re trying to get back too.”

Marrone said the matchups this week with Cleveland and obviously McKelvin’s availability will determine what happens in this short week.

“I think a lot of it we’ll go through the week, see who is back there, look at the team we’re playing, what we want to do schematically before we make those type of decisions,” he said.


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