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Inside The Bills

Dareus keeping rookies focused on ‘D’

Posted by Chris Brown on June 8, 2016 – 4:38 pm

Marcell Dareus has never been one to shy away from speaking up. Though he more often chooses to lead by example, he knows that with a pair of rookies likely to start on his side of the ball in Adolphus Washington and Reggie Ragland that they’ve got to be reminded that they shouldn’t assume they’ll end up with those roles come September.

“We talk to the guys all the time about extra film, knowing what you need to do,” Dareus said. “If you don’t know what you need to do you won’t be on the side of me. I don’t want to hurt myself and I want to do the best I can for the team. I want to be around. If you’re making mistakes you may hurt me on one of yours. So I talked to the guys about how important it is to stay in the playbook. Know what you need to do. Know your technique and be the best you can be. Be a pro.”

When Shaq Lawson returns from shoulder surgery he too is expected to enter the starting lineup on defense. Sixth-round pick Kevon Seymour could also see some time on defense as a rookie based on his encouraging play this spring.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-20

Posted by Chris Brown on May 20, 2016 – 12:18 pm

Bills OTAs get rolling on Monday. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Why haven’t Bills looked at Anquan Boldin as he seems to fit what they need a WR. Thanks!

BC72 @bchud1972

CB: I think there could be a number of issues at play here. First, Boldin, though productive last season (69 rec. 789 yds, 4 TDs) is 35-years old. Second, and probably more important is the Bills are probably in a position where they could only offer a veteran receiver the league minimum, and with Boldin a 10-plus year player he would cost $985K. As accomplished as Boldin is I don’t know if he would play a 14th NFL season for that.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills Bills have any interest in Dwight Freeney or Greg Hardy?

joseph tadak @jt9591

CB: I don’t see Greg Hardy as a realistic option due to his off the field issues. No one else seems all that interested either. I understand fans trying to connect the dots to a veteran to fill the potential void left by Shaq Lawson’s surgery, which will probably keep him out for a portion of the first half of the season.

I wonder how much of a commitment the Bills would want to make to a stop gap solution. If they were to sign Freeney and he was on the roster beyond Week 1 his contract would be guaranteed even if they released him once Lawson returned to the roster.

I don’t know if that’s a good call for someone who would be a part-time player (pass rush specialist).

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you see Gilmore or Taylor getting extended before season, during season, or after if at all?

Grayson Tumult @GraysonTumult

CB: I believe the likelihood of a new deal for Gilmore before/during the season is greater than Taylor. The reason why is the Bills probably want to see Taylor take the next step in his development during the season. Then if they have to back up the Brinks truck to keep him after the season is over, so be it.

The reason Gilmore’s deal will probably take a bit longer is because Washington threw the whole cornerback market out of whack with their contract for Josh Norman ($15M/yr.) after Carolina rescinded his franchise tag, making him a free agent.

With Norman at age 28 getting $15M per year and he’s largely a zone coverage corner, it makes it difficult for Buffalo to negotiate with Gilmore’s camp when he’s 27 and plays a more demanding role at corner as he’s often in man-to-man.

I think top 10 cornerback money is realistic for Gilmore. Top five money might be a different story, and if the Gilmore camp is looking for that it could make for a longer negotiation.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills Any real worries with Watkins foot? Similar to Dez foot injury that kept him out all year?

jason plunkett @j_plunk

CB: First, Dez Bryant did not miss the whole year. He injured the foot in Week 1 and missed the next six weeks. The Cowboys rushed him back and he struggled through the rest of the season, but suited up and played in eight of the last nine games.

I expect the Bills to go to school on how things played out with Bryant and Julian Edelman for that matter, who also needed a second surgery because he came back too soon in the playoffs.

I’m not a doctor, but based on what I’ve read, Watkins’ Jones fracture, a common injury for NFL wide receivers, usually takes longer to heal (8-12 weeks) than most fractures (six weeks) because the blood supply to that area of the foot isn’t as good as other parts of the body. That’s why the surgery has a screw inserted in that area to promote the healing of the bone.

The Cowboys tried to get Bryant back in six weeks and it was too soon. That’s why I think even though Sammy Watkins will be right around the 12-week mark at the start of training camp I would not expect to see him do much of anything on the field until the second full week of camp at the earliest.

And even then it will be a slow and steady process. Yes, reps with his quarterback are important, but most important is Watkins’ availability on Sundays in September. If the process is rushed risk of re-injury increases.

Being patient with a player of his caliber is difficult for fans, but the payoff is he’ll be less likely to run into future problems with the foot during the season.

 

5 – Chris,

Last year’s defense was a disappointment. Veteran players could not fully adapt to this complicated front seven scheme then play at a high level. Also, expectations turned out to be unrealistically high.

Is there any way 3 rookies can leap to the NFL, play in this same defensive front, simplified or not, and have success? Or do we need to start managing expectations now to avoid more disappointment?

Thanks,
Ron

CB: From what I have been able to gather Rex Ryan and Dennis Thurman have reduced the number of checks pre-snap on defensive play calls for this season knowing the problem it presented last season. Whether they’ve found the happy balance between remaining unpredictable while allowing their players to play fast remains to be seen, but the effort was made to make execution of the defensive system easier for the players.

As for the rookies, Adolphus Washington’s position doesn’t require as much pre-snap adjustment as Reggie Ragland or Shaq Lawson. Ragland doesn’t have to run the defense, that will be on Preston Brown, but as GM Doug Whaley mentioned the scheme Ragland ran at Alabama is very similar to that of Buffalo’s defense. Ragland has said there’s a lot of carryover that’s a plus.

Lawson might have the toughest time adjusting knowing he’s likely to miss the offseason practices and some time in the first half of the season. Not having those physical reps could make it hard on the top pick to assimilate himself into the defense.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Washington’s much shorter nickname

Posted by Chris Brown on May 17, 2016 – 2:58 pm

With a name like Adolphus Washington it’s not surprising that he had a much shorter nickname growing up. He’s go the longest name in terms of letters (18) on the Bills roster. The problem is it’s hard to know just exactly where Washington’s nickname of D.D. came from until he explained it to us.

In an interview with Buffalobills.com, Washington explained how the nickname of D.D. came to be.

“My dad was known as ‘Big D,’ and I was his son so I was called little D,” Washington said. “But once I got to a certain age and I was pretty much bigger than all of his friends and they couldn’t call me that anymore, so they just went with D.D.”

Washington isn’t exactly sure why they went with D.D.

“I guess is just a shorter version of it (Little D),” he said.

Washington signed his rookie contract with the Bills on Tuesday.


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Washington’s tie to another Bills DL

Posted by Chris Brown on May 16, 2016 – 9:09 am

Bills third-round pick Adolphus Washington, whose major turning point in his career at Ohio State was profiled on Buffalobills.com today, also has a familiar face on Buffalo’s roster not named Cardale Jones. In fact, he’s also a defensive lineman.

Defensive end Jerel Worthy is the familiar face in the defensive lineman room for Washington. Worthy, who was signed to the Bills practice squad last November, was promoted to the active roster in late December and subsequently signed as a future free agent in January has an interesting tie to Washington.

“One guy I talked to after getting drafted by the Bills was Jerel Worthy,” said Washington. “Going back to when I was getting recruited out of high school he was my host at Michigan State.”

Washington obviously chose to play football and attend college at Ohio State, but his campus visit to East Lansing made a connection that is coming in handy now.

Washington said he also talked to Bills LB Preston Brown, who is also from his hometown of Cincinnati.


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Fan Friday 5-13

Posted by Chris Brown on May 13, 2016 – 12:42 pm

It’s a special Friday the 13th edition of Fan Friday. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills will the Bills bring in a 4th QB to compete for backup position?

Ace Jay Legend @BillsBacker77

CB: I am not anticipating a fourth quarterback coming in to compete. The main reason why is Cardale Jones needs as many reps as he can possibly get to develop consistent mechanics. From his drop backs to his throwing mechanics, Jones needs all the work he can get in the practice setting. If there’s a fourth quarterback here, every rep he takes is a rep that Jones doesn’t get.

With Jones being a long-term investment I can’t see the Bills bringing in a fourth QB, who is a long shot to make the roster anyway, taking reps away from Jones on the back end of the quarterback rotation in the practice setting.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills with the Bills taking listenbee in the draft how are the chances Goodwin makes the team?

Jared Bailey @JaredBailey23

CB: I think that’s a very valid question. There’s no denying that Listenbee’s speed rivals that of Goodwin. Listenbee also offers superior size and in watching his game tape is really good at tracking the deep ball. He’s coming off sports hernia surgery and also has inflammation of the pelvis, which will take time to heal.

Listenbee may not be getting physical reps in the practice setting until training camp, so unseating Goodwin for a roster spot might take longer than some might anticipate.

Goodwin has been given the freedom to pursue a spot on the 2016 Olympic team to try to compete in the long jump in Rio. If he makes the Olympic team it will cost him time in training camp with the Olympics taking place in August. I believe that will pose the biggest risk for Goodwin losing a roster spot than Listenbee’s presence on the roster.

There are no ‘seat saves’ in the NFL. That’s a crucial part of the NFL calendar to be missing time.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills do you think the drafting of Washington means anything regarding Kyle Williams future with the team?

JBills32 @JLasher10

CB: If you’re asking whether Kyle’s roster spot could be in jeopardy because Washington is on the roster my answer is no. The plan right now is for Washington to be the team’s left defensive end, with Dareus at nose tackle and Kyle starting at right defensive end.

I don’t think it’s any secret that Kyle is on the back side of his career, but I think the Bills would like to get two more seasons out of him (2016 & 2017) as long as he’s interested in doing so.

The hidden additional value with Kyle is his leadership, which was sorely missed in the locker room last season when he went out in Week 6 with his knee injury (see: Mario Williams).

The addition of Washington should be seen as a complement to the games of Dareus and Williams, not a threat.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you see the Bills making any FA/Trade moves along the right side of the offensive line?

Kevin @KevinMassare

CB: I don’t think you can ever rule out a possible move with Doug Whaley as GM. If it makes sense and improves the team he’s shown he’s willing to do it. I know Peter King reported last month that the 49ers would be interested in trading former first-round pick OT Anthony Davis, who chose to take a one-year sabbatical from football, and now wants to resume his NFL career.

A proven player who is just 26-years old would probably come at a high price, even after taking off a year. It would be interesting to see what the 49ers would be looking for in return, even though San Francisco GM Trent Baalke has told Davis that he is not interested in trading him.

His cap hit, if his old contract was re-instated, would be just over $5M for 2016, a bargain by most standards for a player of his caliber. But that’s where things could get sticky too. If he is going to be traded, must that team negotiate a new contract with him? A lot of potential hurdles there.

Besides him there are some veteran guard options out there, but I believe the Bills might play the wait and see game. I don’t believe there’s any sense of panic there. I think they feel good about what they have to work with.
5 – Chris,

How do you feel about the Bills 1st round pick considering who was available? Nkemdiche for example. I feel like it was a bit of a homer pick considering Rex wore a Clemson helmet to a press conference. Do you think he was on the top of our board or was Rex being Rex?

Great work as always Chris!  Thanks!

CB: As you saw in our Inside the Draft Room feature and video, the Bills never even thought Shaq Lawson would be available to them there at 19. They had him off the board by the 12th pick in their final stack of the board based on how they thought the first round would fall.

For them Lawson was a tremendous value there at 19. As for Nkemdiche, it was evident that his off the field concerns and on the field concerns were too much for a number of teams besides the Bills. Buffalo just parted ways with a player who did not give his best on the field for the last 10 weeks of last season in Mario Williams. Did you really think they would bring in another player with a history of similar play, especially with their first-round pick?

There was no way that was going to happen.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Washington: Cardale will be better pro QB

Posted by Chris Brown on May 6, 2016 – 4:17 pm

Teammates for the last four years at Ohio State, Adolphus Washington and Cardale Jones are pretty tight. Washington is all too familiar with Jones trials through his college career, including getting benched last season after winning the starting job for the Buckeyes. Washington’s eyes tell him that Jones might be one of those QBs who is better as a pro than he was as a collegiate QB.

“At Ohio State I always thought Cardale would be a better quarterback in the NFL and I hope that stays true,” said Washington. “He’s a smart guy and a great quarterback and he’s turning into that leader. I was hearing in the locker room some of the guys talking about how he was controlling the huddle and controlling the offense and I was proud to hear that because that’s something he needed to work on.”

When asked why he believes Jones skill set will flourish more in the NFL, Washington believes having more freedom to operate within an offense will allow his physical talents to be maximized.

“Just his arm and being able to make his own reads and not having a set person to throw the ball to or whatever the case might,” said Washington. “I just think he’ll be a lot better in the league.”


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Washington part of Ohio St. pre-draft visit

Posted by Chris Brown on April 30, 2016 – 12:16 am

The Bills had a collection of Ohio State draft prospects in for pre-draft visits. One thing they did differently was they had them all in on the same day.

Eli Apple, Vonn Bell, Taylor Decker, Cardale Jones, Darron Lee and Adolphus Washington all had a pre-draft visit in Orchard Park on the same day. The added benefit for Buffalo’s personnel department was they got to see how the individuals interacted with one another within the group.

“We wanted to see which person in that group had their role and what their role was in that group,” said GM Doug Whaley. “And Adolphus was one of those guys that when he spoke, a lot of people listened. He didn’t dominate the conversation but when he spoke, everyone payed attention. So it taught us, it showed us, that he has the respect of his teammates.”

There were a host of other reasons why Washington wound up being their main target in round three of the draft, perhaps the biggest being his uncommonly quick feet for a big man.


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