Inside The Bills

Kelly sees Patriots as vulnerable

Posted by Chris Brown on June 27, 2013 – 12:00 pm

Eager to see the Bills succeed much like they did when he was their quarterback, Hall of Famer Jim Kelly in an appearance on NFL AM on NFL Network shared his opinion on how vulnerable the Patriots are with all that they’ve lost from their high-powered offense this offseason.

“They’re very vulnerable,” Kelly said. “From the standpoint of Tom Brady if you look at what he’s lost with your number one player Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd. Losing Welker is like for me when I was playing, losing Andre Reed. A guy you depend on not just week in and week out, but in clutch situations you always looked toward your number one target. Mine was always Andre Reed and when you lose a Wes Welker that’s going to hurt. There’s no doubt they have to feel something being without your four or five top receivers.”

New England lost top receiver Welker to Denver, they released Lloyd (2nd in receiving), Rob Gronkowski (3rd) is coming off back surgery and is a question mark for the start of the regular season, Hernandez (4th) is in jail and Danny Woodhead (5th) signed with San Diego.

Still, Kelly is confident New England’s head coach will devise ways around the offense’s personnel shortcomings.

“I’m sure Bill Belichick will find a way,” said Kelly. “He’s probably already got something up his sleeve. But I don’t really feel too sorry for them. I don’t really feel too sorry for them because sooner or later the Bills have got to rise to the top and if we have to take it that way, oh well.”

 


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Patriots release Hernandez

Posted by Chris Brown on June 26, 2013 – 10:31 am

In a move that apparently will be far swifter than the justice system, the New England Patriots have released TE Aaron Hernandez less than an hour after his arrest this morning by police in Massachusetts.

The team’s official website announced the move moments ago.

That leaves the Patriots passing game without two of their top five passing options from last season in Wes Welker (Denver) and Hernandez. It’s likely they’ll be without a third from that top five contingent in Rob Gronkowski, who recently had back surgery.

New England does have other tight ends in Jake Ballard, Michael Hoomawanui and Daniel Fells on the roster. Ballard is the only real pass catching option from that trio and does not possess nearly the athleticism of Hernandez.

The Bills open the season against the Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sept. 8.


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Jets added rest before facing Bills not new

Posted by Chris Brown on June 19, 2013 – 10:57 am

We showed how the division rival Jets have a decided scheduling advantage this season against the Bills in that they’re coming off a Thursday night game in Week 2 to face the Bills off 10 days rest in Week 3. Then they come off their bye week in Week 10 to face Buffalo in Week 11. As ludicrous an advantage as that might sound it’s not the first time. In fact this marks the second time it’s happened in three years.

In 2011, the Jets, off their bye in Week 8 played the Bills in Week 9 and won going away 27-11.

Three weeks later New York coming off a 10-day rest following a Thursday night game beat Buffalo again 28-24.

You can look at the Jets 2011 schedule for yourself to see how scheduling history is repeating itself and at a disadvantage for Buffalo within their own division.

The league needs to eliminate extra rest for clubs leading up to games against division opponents. They’re just too important to tilt the scale in favor of one side by providing extra rest for players and extra prep time and game planning for coaches.


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Report: Gronk to undergo 4th surgery

Posted by Chris Brown on May 8, 2013 – 12:33 pm

New England Patriots tight end and WNY native Rob Gronkowski is going to undergo a fourth surgery on his injured forearm from last season.

According to the Boston Herald, the procedure is going to remove the metal plate that’s securing the broken bone in the forearm. The main problem right now is there is currently an infection in his arm, which is delaying the surgery as he is completing a six-week antibiotic regimen to eradicate the infection.

The metal plate in Gronkowski’s arm needs to be replaced and the recovery time is 11 weeks. Were he to have surgery today that rehab regimen would take him to the start of training camp, so it’s clear that Patriots doctors believe they have a bit of time to work with.

However, knowing the Bills open the season against the Patriots, monitoring Gronkowski’s health is something Buffalo’s coaching staff will undoubtedly be keeping a close eye on through the summer.

 


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Beating Brady blueprint started by Pettine

Posted by Chris Brown on May 8, 2013 – 12:22 pm

Pittsburgh Steelers S Ryan Clark appeared on ESPN NFL Live in the ESPN studios in Bristol recently and talked about how defenses can successfully throw Patriots QB Tom Brady off his game.

Clark told ESPN NFL Live the following.

“In 2010, we saw it start with the Jets in the playoffs,” he said. “When Tom Brady gets pressure and when you’re man-to-man and bumping those guys and making it hard for him to throw, he sees ghosts.

“Even when guys aren’t around him, even when he’s not about to be sacked, when his clock goes off in his head that the ball should be out, we’ll see him duck, we’ll see him flinch. When you get Tom Brady doing that, the whole New England Patriots mystique goes away.”

Everyone knows that the Patriots offense is based largely on timing. That’s why it’s little surprise, as ESPN AFC East blogger James Walker points out, Brady’s completion percentage drops from 68.2 percent to 42.3 percent when he holds onto the ball three seconds or longer.

What’s most encouraging is Clark references the Jets approach in the 2010 playoffs. That approach was largely drawn up by Bills current defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

Add in the fact that Wes Welker is gone and Rob Gronkowski coming off the arm injury and the season opener at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sept. 8th could be a very interesting matchup.


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Projecting starters from 2013 draft class

Posted by Chris Brown on May 2, 2013 – 10:54 am

The number crunchers at DraftMetrics have compiled data to project how many starters each NFL club will get out of their 2013 NFL draft class, not only as rookies, but for the long haul. They’ve also statistically forecast how many draft choices from each of the team’s 2013 draft class will make it to the Pro Bowl over the length of their careers. Here are Buffalo’s projections.

With their eight draft choices, DraftMetrics forecasts that almost six of them will have NFL careers of three years or more (5.72), about two of them will be starters for three seasons or more (2.07), only one will be a rookie starter (1.07).

The team with the highest projected number of three-year starters from their 2013 NFL draft class was the Jets with 3.34 players expected to start for at least three seasons.

It should be noted that the data did favor teams that took less risky position picks (e.g. offensive linemen) as opposed to more risky position picks (wide receivers, running backs). Buffalo took a pair of receivers last week.


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Reports: QB Kolb to be cut, Jets interested

Posted by Chris Brown on March 14, 2013 – 11:21 am

According to NFL reports the Cardinals are on the verge of cutting QB Kevin Kolb and a Bills division rival is going to be interested in acquiring him.

Before the cut has even happened speculation is brewing that the Jets will be very interested in Kolb’s services. That according to the New York Daily News.

 


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Jets to pursue free agent QB, WR Gibson

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2013 – 3:06 pm

The New York Jets signed veteran QB David Garrard Monday, but they’re apparently not done adding at the position.

According to the New York Daily News they’re going to actively pursue free agent New Orleans QB Chase Daniel. Daniel has been Drew Brees backup the past few years. The Jets are expected to have some measure of competition for his services in what is considered a thin free agent market at quarterback.

The report also says the Jets are also interested in St. Louis free agent WR Brandon Gibson.


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Matt Moore back with Dolphins

Posted by Chris Brown on March 8, 2013 – 8:47 am

He was one of the few free agent quarterbacks that was being considered by other NFL clubs, but Matt Moore won’t make it to the free agent market.

NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington is reporting that Moore has re-signed with Miami. The deal comes just hours after WR Brian Hartline re-signed with the Dolphins for a reported 5 years and $31M.

 


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Nassib to reportedly dine with Jets tonight

Posted by Chris Brown on March 7, 2013 – 5:19 pm

Ryan Nassib only did throwing drills at the Syracuse pro day today, but by most accounts did very well. Here’s one report from NFLDraftInsider Tony Pauline, who also is reporting that a Bills division rival will be dining with Nassib tonight.

According to Pauline, New York Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will be dining with Nassib this evening.


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Revis trade rumors include Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on January 25, 2013 – 3:09 pm

CBSSports.com is reporting that the trade market is heating up for Jets CB Darrelle Revis with two of New York’s division rivals expressing interest in the Pro Bowl CB.

Per Mike Freeman’s report both the Bills and Patriots have expressed interest in Revis, but the report says there’s no way the Jets will trade Revis to a division rival. New York is reportedly asking for a first and second round pick for Revis, but coming off ACL surgery there’s no way such a steep price will be paid.

The other teams reportedly expressing interest are Denver, San Francisco, Seattle and Green Bay.

Per league policy the Bills and any other NFL club cannot comment on players under contract with other clubs. But Buffalo’s interest would make sense knowing Mike Pettine had Revis in his defense the past four years.


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AFC East foes add incentive in last 2

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2012 – 11:44 am

The Bills are out of the playoffs, but head coach Chan Gailey sees added incentive for his players in the final two games on the regular season schedule.

In his weekly appearance on WGR Sportsradio 550, Gailey admitted at this point self-respect is what you’re playing for.

“You’re playing for pride, professionalism,” said Gailey. “That’s what you’re playing for. I don’t know of anything else that you play for at this point. I think that they’re division games and you want to beat division opponents. We don’t like people in our division in general and you want to beat them because of who they are.”

Buffalo is on the road this week at Miami, before closing out the season at home against the Jets.


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An AFC East first

Posted by Chris Brown on October 16, 2012 – 1:12 pm

From top to bottom the AFC East is a logjam with all four teams sporting 3-3 records. For this late in the season that’s a first.

According to the league’s record keeping, it’s the first time since realignment in 2002 that all four teams in a division are tied for first through Week 6 or later. 

Now unfortunately for the Bills, the first tiebreaker in a division is head-to-head games, which would put both New England and New York ahead of Buffalo right now by virtue of their division wins over the Bills. The Dolphins are also winless in the division at 0-1.

With four division games remaining Buffalo will likely need all four to gain any kind of edge should division tiebreakers come into play at season’s end.


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Pears to rotate with Hairston

Posted by Chris Brown on September 9, 2012 – 11:00 am

Bills starting right tackle Erik Pears got all of 10 snaps in the preseason. Though he had a very good week of practice leading up to the opener against the Jets, it’s not expected to be enough to provide him with the endurance necessary to get through 60-70 plays today at MetLife Stadium.

That according to head coach Chan Gailey, who told Buffalobills.com that Pears’ endurance is just not there yet.

“Not there,” he said. “Plain and simple they need to play more and more and more. But adrenaline will take them pretty good into this ball game. But the guy in particular that we’re not going to ask play the whole ball game is Erik Pears. We’ll try to be smart and limit his reps some.”

When asked if they’ll monitor him and decide when to pull him for a spell, Gailey indicated that they’ll instead have planned times to sit him a series or two here and there.

“I think we’re going to have a plan to shuffle,” said Gailey. “I think we’ll go ahead and have two series (on), two series (off), two series (on) or something like that for this game.”


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Fitz last outing vs. Jets promising

Posted by Chris Brown on September 9, 2012 – 10:50 am

Ryan Fitzpatrick in his last five outings against the Jets might have a completion percentage of less than 50% (72-145, 49.7%), but his last outing is what counts most and his numbers in that game are encouraging.

Fitz in the Week 12 game at MetLife stadium last season were as follows.

26-39 passing (66.7%) for 264 yards and 3 TDs with a 111.5 passer rating.

New York’s pass defense has only changed in the middle of the field with the additions of safeties LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell and with top pick DE Quinton Coples.

Fitz thrived with a short passing game and worked the middle of the field well with Scott Chandler and David Nelson, who combined for 11 catches for 97 yards and a touchdown.

The Bills were a respectable 40% on 3rd down conversions (6-15) against one of the more formidable third down defenses in the Jets, especially in their own building and they did it without Fred Jackson and Eric Wood.


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Dareus wants to deliver

Posted by Chris Brown on September 9, 2012 – 9:05 am

Bills DT Marcell Dareus knows all the expectations are higher for his team, so going into the season he wants to deliver what Bills fans are expecting. And he wants to do it right away in Week 1.

“We have to win this game,” said Dareus of Buffalo’s opener with New York. “It is a division game and I look at it as one of the most important games of the year for us. To start this thing out right, go out there and give everybody what they want and came to see.”

 

“I pride myself on stopping the run,” he said. “Stopping the run first, and making them a one-dimensional team. As a team I think we all gravitate to that, stopping the run and defending the pass. And I think that is where we are going with that. We are going to be ready to go.”


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C.J.: Composure will be key

Posted by Chris Brown on September 9, 2012 – 8:43 am

The one thing that head coach Chan Gailey mentioned in the preseason loss to Pittsburgh that bothered him concerning his starting units was the defense’s loss of composure on the two-minute drive by Ben Roethlisberger that went 98 yards. He used the term “rattled.” That’s why Bills RB C.J. Spiller knows keeping their composure even if something goes wrong early will be key in today’s opener against the Jets.

“It is going to be a hostile environment. It is going to be a lot of excitement, it is the first game,” said Spiller. “They are going to be playing so it is going to be a lot of emotions for us. We just have to play smart and keep our composure and whatever happens early don’t let that derail what we are trying to do.”


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Why Jets ‘D’ so hard to figure

Posted by Chris Brown on September 8, 2012 – 6:30 pm

You’ve heard Ryan Fitzpatrick talk about why the Jets defense is hard to diagnose sometimes with their exotic blitz packages. So we asked coach Chan Gailey for a more specific reason why it’s so tough to get a lock on just who is coming and from where.

“They do a lot of different things with a lot of different personnel groups,” Gailey told Buffalobills.com. “If it was just four down linemen and two linebackers or four down linemen and one backer and the rest DBs then you could get a bead on them. But it might be two down linemen, three linebackers and six DBs, there are so many different groupings they do have some blitzes that look similar, but you don’t know which grouping and which blitz is coming out of which grouping  so that’s what makes it unusual.”

You can see our entire Weekly Conversation with Chan Gailey in Media Center at Buffalobills.com.


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What Jets & Bills have up their sleeve

Posted by Chris Brown on September 8, 2012 – 5:21 pm

Week 1 is a rare opportunity for coaches in the NFL. With nothing on tape from previous games it’s the chance to make use of a new wrinkle or two on offense, defense or special teams that even a familiar division opponent might not expect. In our weekly conversation with Bills head coach Chan Gailey on Buffalobills.com, we asked him just how many surprises really exist for teams to pull over on their opponent in Week 1.

“There’s probably two or three things,” said Gailey. “You’re not going to stray too far from what you do best. But there are two or three things that we’ve added that we really like that we feel will help our offense as a whole, not just in this game, but in games down the line. There are some things that we haven’t shown. Our Wildcat, their Wildcat, they haven’t shown it either. So there will be some things that show up.”


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Jets TE, DL both questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on September 7, 2012 – 5:45 pm

The Jets have three starters that are questionable for Sunday’s game against the Bills.

TE Dustin Keller (hamstring) insists he’ll play on Sunday, but was limited in practice again on Friday. He has not practiced fully all week.

DL Mike DeVito (calf) also has only been able to practice on a limited basis all week. He too is listed as questionable. If he can’t go, rookie and Jets top draft pick Quinton Coples would see a lot more work.

Rex Ryan already confirmed that starting NT Sione Pou’ha (low back) and S Eric Smith (hip/knee) are out for Sunday.  If DeVito can’t go two-thirds of the Jets starting defensive line would be sidelined for the game.

S LaRon Landry, who did not practice Thursday, returned to practice Friday and is listed as probable.


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