Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 4-11

Posted by Chris Brown on April 11, 2014 – 12:53 pm

The Bills pre-draft visits were in full swing this week. Stay close to Buffalobills.com for more visit updates in the weeks to come. For now here are some of your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - Chris,
Thank you for keeping me informed for the last  decade. Before I only had the newspaper to go by and it was very slow and incomplete.

Three or more of these eleven  players Jake Mathews, Taylor Lewan, Greg Robinson, Sammy Watkins, Eric Ebron, Mike Evans, Kahlil Mack, Anthony Barr, C.J. Mosley, Justin Gilbert and Jadeveon Clowney will be avilable to the Bills for sure. If any of the top three QB’s are added to the mix then Buffalo can even be more selective.

I think the top 9 will go like this 1) QB/DE, 2) WR/DE, 3)&4) QBs, 5)QB/LB ,6) OT, 7) OT/LB,8)QB and Buffalo will choose Mack, Lewan, Watkins or Evans in that order depending on their availability.

I actually think the Bills will take an OT because it affects the most players. Players such as the RBs, the QB and the WR/TEs directly. No other position does this. I hope they get Lewan but if Mack is available I would go with him first because the defense wins FB games and Mack would push our “D” past Seattle in my modest opinion.

How do you see it at this point in time?

Thanks
Ken

CB: It’s hard to know exactly what will fall to the Bills at nine as the teams in front of them, for the most part, need a lot of different building blocks. That means they could go in a number of different directions with their top pick. Knowing the QB class is far from intriguing outside of Manziel the popular speculation now is that only two QBs will go in the top 8, with Teddy Bridgewater looked upon as the QB falling out of the top 10.

Jacksonville at three is one of those pivot type picks, where what they do could largely impact the teams right behind them. They’re now thought to be considering a QB in round two rather than round one and will look to add a difference maker at another position on offense (Sammy Watkins?) after loading up on defense in free agency. I still think they’re still considering a QB, especially if Bortles is still on the board.

Mack will not make it to nine, no way, no how. So cross him off your list. Cleveland is unpredictable as to what they might do as are the Raiders at five. Atlanta is expected to go OL or DL and it will depend on which player is ranked highest on their board among those two positions. Tampa Bay is a virtual lock to receiver and take Mike Evans. Minnesota is likely to take a QB knowing the mess they had at the position last year and it could be Manziel there.

So what should be there for Buffalo? Probably one of the top three OTs (presumably Lewan), Ebron and C.J. Mosley. I don’t see Justin Gilbert or Anthony Barr as part of the equation there. Whether the Bills have another player or two ranked as high is unclear.

The most talented of the three I mentioned (Lewan, Ebron, Mosley) is probably Ebron, who one could argue also has the most upside. Lewan and Mosley kind of are what they are. They’ll both be very solid pros and should be in an NFL starting lineup right away, but Ebron has a chance to be special and that could give him the edge there. We’re all guessing, but the most important factor is how things play out in front of Buffalo.

 

 

2 – Chris,

Pardon me, but my brain is working overtime on the Bills.  With Carpenter in the fold where does this leave Hopkins?  Thought he was supposed to be the new guy with the strong leg.

Jim (Skaneateles)


CB:
It puts Hopkins in a tough spot. First of all he’s trying to come back from a bad groin injury on his kicking leg side. Second, he’s competing with a veteran kicker who put up the second most accurate FG kicking season in team history. With the money invested in Carpenter by the Bills, Hopkins is going to need to have the training camp of his life to unseat Carpenter.

Now head coach Doug Marrone is not opposed to carrying a second kicker as a kickoff specialist, which is a role that Hopkins could most definitely fill. However, the roster numbers have to work out right to keep a second kicker for such a luxury. We’ll see how it plays out this summer.

 

 

3 – Hey Chris,

Huge fan of yours and the Bills obviously. Just wondering about the Corey Graham signing. Will he be competing for second cornerback position with Leodis?  And if not, how will that affect Nickel Robey’s playing time, if at all?  Do you think it was a big contract for a potentially 3rd string corner or will his special teams play make up for it?

Thanks,
Brendan

CB: As I’m sure you and most other fans have seen coach Marrone has said he intends to make Graham a part of the safety competition with Duke Williams, Jonathan Meeks and Da’Norris Searcy to fill the spot left by Jairus Byrd. He’ll also be the first guy in on the boundary at corner if McKelvin or Gilmore are sidelined by injury. As for Robey he will hold onto the role if Graham lands the safety spot next to Aaron Williams.

 

4 – Hey Chris,

I was just curious, if team a wanted to trade a player for a pick in the draft, and the traded player ended up failing the physical for team b, what would happen?  Would the player(s) selected with the traded pick pick(s) go to team b and the player that failed the physical would return to team a?  Or would something else happen?

Thanks,
Tommy

CB: Yes, if a player did not pass the physical for his new team the trade would be nullified and any and all assets exchanged in the deal would revert back to their original clubs. That’s what happened several years ago when the Bills tried to trade John McCargo to the Indianapolis Colts. He failed his physical with the Colts due to a back problem they cited and the trade was nullified.

 
5 – Hi Chris,

Just wondering what your thoughts are on the Bills seemingly not attempting to keep Carrington or Moats. There was so much talk last summer about how well Carrington was coming along and now they could seem to care less about keeping him. I wouldn’t imagine it’s because of competition from other teams as he hasn’t proven himself on the field for any stretch of time.

Also looking at Rivers career he hardly seems like an upgrade from Moats. They both seem to be in the same kind of position as fill in LB’s struggling to get more snaps. Also what is the deal with Chris Williams? NFL.com says he graded out terribly last season. To be honest I’m less than pleased with where the offensive line has gone under Marrone. In Gailey’s last season we had the fewest sacks and CJ’s yards per carry were through the roof. Marrone’s supposed to be a line guy and during his first year we were at the bottom of those stats and seem content to downgrade from Levitre to Williams at LG. Do you know anything we dont about where this might be going?

Dan

CB: I have it on very good authority that the Bills offered Carrington a contract extension before the 2013 season, but he and his agent (the same one as Jairus Byrd) turned it down. Three weeks later Carrington tore his quadriceps tendon and went on I-R in a contract year. Moats was presented with a contract offer this offseason and he chose not to take it thinking he could do better. Whether he did or not we may never know, but he signed a one-year veteran minimum deal with a $65K signing bonus.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Rams sign Carrington

Posted by Chris Brown on March 26, 2014 – 9:47 am

It was one of the teams he visited as a free agent, and reports now indicate that free agent DL Alex Carrington has signed with the St. Louis Rams.

That according to ESPN and other news outlets. Carrington, a former third-round pick of the Bills is coming off a torn quadriceps tendon injury, but has reportedly signed with St. Louis.

It’s reportedly a one-year deal, which comes as little surprise knowing that coming off the injury most NFL clubs usually don’t want to commit to more than a year, so Carrington will be working in a ‘prove it’ type year to earn a long term deal in the future.

Carrington appeared in just three games last season before the quadriceps tendon tear suffered in Week 3 against the Jets landed him on I-R for the remainder of the 2013 season.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Carrington leaves Pittsburgh w/no deal

Posted by Chris Brown on March 14, 2014 – 4:25 pm

Bills free agent DL Alex Carrington has spent the past day and a half visiting with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report he’s leaving western Pennsylvania without a contract.

Post-Gazette beat reporter Ed Bouchette is reporting that Carrington finished his visit without a deal and that the Steelers are signing NT Cam Thomas.

Carrington played in three games last season before suffering a season-ending torn quadriceps tendon.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Carrington to visit Steelers

Posted by Chris Brown on March 13, 2014 – 11:35 am

The Pittsburgh Steelers just lost DL Ziggy Hood in free agency so it appears they’re looking to re-fortify their defensive line and they’re interested in a Bills free agent.

Bills free agent DL Alex Carrington is scheduled to make a free agent visit to Pittsburgh this evening. That according to NFL.com reporter Ian Rapaport.

Carrington appeared in only three games last season for Buffalo after tearing a quadriceps tendon in a Week 3 game against the Jets. He was placed on injured reserve a short time later last season.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-3

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2014 – 11:57 am

Happy New Year Bills fans! We can only hope that 2014 will hold much better fortunes for the team. In fact hopefully this Fan Friday edition next year will be talking about the postseason with the Bills in it. Here’s your latest edition of questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - @ChrisBrownBills is dareus being traded for being late to meetings just smoke?

Guy Rosenbarker Jr.@rosenbarker

CB: I did not hear that rumor and would be stunned if that happened. Here’s where I believe coach Marrone and Doug Whaley stand on Dareus. He just had his most productive season in the NFL. He’s 23-years old. He’s done some irresponsible things as they pertain to the team (chronic lateness). Marrone has said they have addressed the issue. Dareus, to his credit, faced the music in the postgame locker room after his first half benching and sounded remorseful. He has to live with that feeling of letting his teammates down all offseason. I think the Bills see that as a motivator for Dareus moving forward and it should be.

Perhaps the most important thing to come out of Dareus’ postgame comments last week were his references to being a leader. Obviously coach Marrone told him he expects Dareus to be a future leader on the team, and that he can’t help lead a team when he can’t be a responsible professional himself. But it’s clear the path they see Dareus traveling with this team. Hopefully Dareus can see it too.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills With @jairusbyrd can they start negotiating now?

T‏@Scorpio_1st

CB: Yes, now that the regular season is over they can resume negotiations with Jairus Byrd on a long term contract extension provided the Byrd camp wants to negotiate. Byrd’s last public comments on the John Murphy Show were that he was open to returning to the Bills on a long term contract. Of course he’s open to anything that might come his way.

Bills GM Doug Whaley said this week they will make him an offer in an effort to keep him long term. Whether it’s enough to convince the free agent safety remains to be seen.

 

3 – Chris,
With the roster in evaluation mode, who are the 2014 Bills free agents? How high is Carrington on the Bills list? Will the Bills be awarded a high pick for Levitre?

CB: Hopefully you saw my blog earlier this week listing the free agents. With Alan Branch already re-signed it gives Buffalo some leverage with Carrington. I’m sure they would like to add Carrington back to the fold, but he’s got to prove he’s healthy coming off his torn quadriceps suffered back in Week 3. I talked briefly to Carrington a couple of weeks ago and he’s said his rehab has gone quite well.

The Bills tried to re-sign Carrington right before the season started, but were turned down by Carrington’s agent, who also happens to be the same agent for Jairus Byrd. The market will be considerably softer for Carrington due to the injury, so the Bills can probably afford to provide just a reasonable offer to get him back on the roster.

As for a compensatory pick it begins and ends with a net loss of free agents. I don’t believe they had a net loss of free agents knowing they signed Manny Lawson, Alan Branch, Kevin Kolb and Doug Legursky while losing Andy Levitre, Chad Rinehart and Kyle Moore (who did not make Chicago’s roster).

Levitre’s large salary could net a compensatory for Buffalo, but we’ll have to see which signings the league qualifies as free agent losses. Moore’s small salary upon signing with the Bears may be excluded.

 

4 – Hey Chris,
My question is in regards to the players during off season. Do the players with injuries going into the off season continue rehabbing with the Bills training staff, Drs., etc at the Bills facility? What about the players whose contracts are up after this year? Is it now their own responsibility to find ways of rehabbing injuries outside of the Bills organization?

Thanks Chris, Tim in Niagara Ontario

CB: To my knowledge it is usually at the player’s discretion as to where they would prefer to rehab. Some have chosen to rehab here in town in the offseason (e.g. Marcus Easley). Others have chosen to rehab back home and then come in for periodic check-ups with the Bills medical and training staff.

For players whose contracts are up after this season, they technically can still rehab with the Bills because their contracts do not expire until March 11th. But that is not usually what players in that situation choose to do.

 

5 – Chris:
Great job of coverage again this year, so thank you for all of your consistent hard work in keeping Bills fans on top of what is going on.

Looking ahead to the 2014 season, it looks like the Bills will be facing the AFC West and NFC North teams due to the rotating schedules. So, that means the Bills will be tested by the likes of Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers, Drew Stafford, Alex Smith, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Ryan Tannehill, to name a few.

Do you think the upcoming schedule plays any role or factor in how the Bills will view the importance of bringing back Jairus Byrd for 2014, based on the level of quarterbacks that the team will face next year?

Besides Byrd, any news or updates on players that the Bills are trying to sign to contract extensions before they hit free agency? Thanks Chris.

Dan in Cheshire, CT

CB: Thanks for the compliments Dan. Much appreciated.

While the list of quarterbacks for Buffalo’s opponents in 2014 is impressive I don’t know that it’s a determining factor in how vigorously the Bills will pursue a new contract with Jairus Byrd. I think the decision on how determined they’ll be to re-sign him has already been made. Now they will simply try to execute that plan. Byrd’s value is already established in their eyes. Naturally Byrd has a value himself. That likely wasn’t impacted any more or any less by the quarterbacks they’ll be facing this coming season.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-6

Posted by Chris Brown on December 6, 2013 – 11:49 am

It’s the final quarter of the 2013 regular season. Buffalo will try to post a winning record in these last four games, three of which are on the road. Here’s your latest edition of queries on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

Thank you for all your coverage of the Bills for us fans! I have two questions for you. First of all, it seems as though as of late the Bills offense has been pretty successful on the deep Go routes from TJ Graham and Marquise Goodwin. Do you think that Coach Marrone and Hackett would consider getting Spiller more involved in some deep plays in the passing game?

Last year it seemed to work pretty well and it would give another added dimension to the offense given his speed and talent in the open field. My second question is, so far we have not seen many “trick” plays like fake field goals, fake Punts, flea flickers etc. Do you feel that this coaching staff just doesn’t feel comfortable running those plays, or is it just the fact that the situation to use a trick play just hasn’t come up yet?

Thanks, Eileen in Ontario

CB: I think the Bills will continue to work on pushing the ball down the field to take advantage of the speed that T.J. Graham and Marquise Goodwin bring to the offense. Those plays have been successful at times, but we all need to realize that those are not high percentage plays. Any coach will tell you the NFL is more about getting first downs than touchdowns, because the better an offense is at getting first downs, the more successful they are at scoring touchdowns.

The offensive staff has made a concerted effort to go with high percentage plays in an effort to keep the offense on the field.

As for trick plays, I think we will see a few before the season is over, but again the coaching staff is trying to build a foundation on consistent plays that are productive. There is a time and place for trick plays, but they are not something that any coach wants to hang his hat on.

2 – Chris,
First off, thanks for doing an awesome job covering all the Bills News. My question for you is in regards to the Bills Defense. I feel that Jim Leonhard really played well, especially with his takeaways while he was filling in during injuries. Why don’t the Bills sub him in on obvious passing downs? I think he could be a strong player in the backfield and result in more turnovers for the Bills D.

Secondly, do you feel that Nickell Robey has the intangibles to eventually be considered to play a boundary corner as well as nickel? He seems to be excelling and really playing good football and seems to just keep getting better every week.

Thanks, Tim in Niagara

CB: There’s no question that Leonard’s playing time on defense has suffered since Jairus Byrd and Stephon Gilmore returned to the lineup. Gilmore’s return allowed Aaron Williams to return to safety with Byrd manning the other safety spot.

I like Leonhard as a player, and he is a heady player when it comes to anticipating and making big plays (INTs). That being said, Byrd and Williams offer better coverage ability by virtue of both of them being former cornerbacks. Byrd was a corner in college and Williams was a corner in college and his first two season in the NFL.

That provides DC Mike Pettine with a lot of versatility in coverage assignments in his defensive scheme and as Pettine himself has said the strength of his defense is its versatility.

That’s not to say that Leonhard, if needed, could not be a productive player in this defense. He’s proven that already this season. But Byrd and Williams offer more versatility and that helps to keep opposing offenses off guard.

As for Nickell Robey, he has done very well as the team’s nickel corner. At 5’8” and 165 pounds that’s his position. He would be hard pressed to be as successful on the boundary as a cornerback. The receivers on the outside in this league are just too big and too physical. Robey based on his body type alone, would be a target out there for fade passes and jump balls.

His best fit is as a slot defender and he can play for a long time in this league in that role.

 

3 – Chris:
EJ’s decision making, release time and downfield accuracy appears to have room for improvement.  This may be explained by his lack of NFL experience.  Since there is no QB coach in the organization and Offensive coordinator Hackett’s collegiate playing experience is defensive orientated, how is EJ be coached up in a professional manner?
Conrad in Elma
CB: I understand your point about Hackett’s playing experience, but he has been working at the elbow of a host of offensive coaches at the position since he was a kid. He knows how to school quarterbacks on footwork and throwing technique. Decision making is something that should improve the more he plays and gets accustomed to defensive looks.

I’ve wondered about how challenging it has been for Hackett to balance the responsibility of getting an offensive scheme implemented and executed effectively in year one while also helping a rookie quarterback make strides in his first year in the league. That’s a big ask.

Add in the fact that he had to get a second rookie QB and another young signal caller ready to play at different points in the season and you see the demands that were placed on Hackett this season.

 

4 – Chris,

What is the status of Carrington? He was playing great before he got hurt. Hope he is doing well.

Michael J. McCarthy
Pittsfield, MA

CB: Alex Carrington had successful surgery on his torn quadriceps tendon that landed him on injured reserve. I talked to him a couple of weeks ago and he told me he’s progressing well in his rehab. He’s working here at One Bills Drive on a daily basis with the trainers on his rehab regimen. The rehab timetable is typically 7-9 months and he’s just 11 weeks removed from suffering the injury, so he’s got a long road in front of him, but he’s walking under his own power.

5 – Chris,
Something that I noticed during the Falcons game about EJ. Do you remember back in the day when Dan Marino would get behind center? He would always lick his hands and you knew was going to be a pass.

During Falcons game I noticed that EJ would leave his mouthpiece in his helmet during running plays, and put it in during passing plays…. I’m wondering if anybody else is noticing this?? like the opposing defense….. if you could pass it along :-)

Thanks,
Mike bills fan
Longwood Florida

CB: To clear this up for everyone. I saw that it was a popular topic on Twitter during the game last week, but there was no merit to it. There were run plays executed during the game when his mouthpiece was tucked into his helmet facemask instead of his mouth.

There is no absolute situation in terms of play calls when it comes to the location of EJ Manuel’s mouthpiece.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-29

Posted by Chris Brown on November 29, 2013 – 12:05 pm

Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving Bills fans. Here is your latest edition of queries on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - Hey Chris
Long time Bills fan from Sacramento. First, thanks for all your hard work, you and John Murphy are a great team. You guys are my only source for my Bills fix until Sunday. My question is about the D-fence. With the Bills being bad against the run once again, why not put Alan Branch in the middle full time with Dareus. I know we want to change things and be multiple, to keep the offense guessing and confused. But it seems like we are setting the edge much better this season with Manny and company. Just curious on obvious running downs why not keep the bigs in the center.

Thanks
Jake B

CB: Hopefully you’ve seen that the run defense has improved. A big reason why is because Branch, who has stepped into Alex Carrington’s role as the five-technique (line up opposite outside shoulder of RT) is effectively holding the point of attack on run downs.

At times Dareus has been lined up at end, but that’s been on pass downs at times. With Dareus and Williams working so well off each other inside, it makes more sense to keep Branch at the strong side end position.

 

2 – Chris

As you watch the Bills games and other NFL games, do you believe the best way to build a team is to put almost all of your salary cap into the offense?  We are built to run right now and put money into the defense (which I am happy about) but if a defensive back touches the receiver- illegal contact, pull a jersey-pass interference, hits too hard – defenseless receiver 15 yards.

I now would have put the money into Andy Levitre or would attempt to draft or gain the best free agent offensive lineman in football and get blue chip receivers, tight ends.  I hope the NFL doesn’t think this arena style football is that great to watch.  It’s irritating to know that it’s this unbalanced for the defense.  The defense isn’t there to stop the offense, just slow them down until the clock runs out.

Thanks – TM

CB: I don’t debate for a second that the rules are slanted toward the offensive side of the ball, but to put the majority of your cap resources into your offense is foolish. Yes, it’s an offensive game, but that’s all the more reason to have a defense with the talent and ability to shut opponents down.

There aren’t too many one-sided teams that have won it all in the NFL. Perfect example is the 2007 Patriots. One of the most dominant offensive teams in NFL history did not win the Super Bowl. That was partly due to the fact that they were facing a team that had the defensive talent to shut them down. In the end the more balanced team won the NFL title that year.

 

3 – Hey Chris,
What’s up with K Dan Carpenter? Are the Bills happy enough to resign him to a longer contract or will they go with the injured rookie draft pick with the big leg next season?  Are we in for another kicker competition at SJF next summer?

Thanks
Lou

CB: There’s no question that Carpenter has been rock solid for Buffalo’s kicking game. There is essentially no book on Dustin Hopkins at this level. If Carpenter could be re-signed at reasonable money I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of him competing with Hopkins at next year’s training camp.

 

4 – Chris,

Just wondering with the bye week this week and some weaker teams coming up, do the bills look past teams like Atlanta and Jacksonville and start preparing for the patriots or the big rivalry with the dolphins? And now that E.J. is back in the grove of things is he allowed more freedom to change his plays at the line of scrimmage?

Ron G
St. Catharines, On

CB: I think any coach or player would tell you that the minute they look past the opponent they have that week is the time when you lose a game you’re not supposed. The level of importance for each game in a 16-game schedule is so high that no team, coach or player can afford to look past any opponent.

 

5 – Hey Chris,

I have recently been reading a couple of your responses to fan posts about the possibility of adding a big (or taller) receiver to our WR corps. which brings me to a question. If we need a big receiver why didn’t we keep one of the two that we had in David Nelson or Brandon Kaufmann? Nelson wasn’t a great receiver but had proven to be useful in the red zone & has since proved to be a target for the Jets . Brandon Kaufman was talked about in the preseason to have very soft hands & he also was a taller WR that with some experience could have been put to good use in the red zone & other places.

I know that one of the WR we have now would have had to been let go more than likely & to this point TJ has been pretty inconsistent when it comes to depending on him to make the tough catches (talking prior to the last game of course) so he would have been & still would be my candidate to have let go to keep either of the 2 I have asked about especially seeing as Easley has become a ST ace .

I also know that Stevie has been fighting injury this year so his production hasn’t been that good, but if his numbers were so good at the outside position what was the reason to try him in the slot given the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” question . Because prior to this year when we had Roscoe usually the smaller WR was used in the slot & Goodwin had a very good showing in that position last week . Once again I turn to your expertise to clear up some of my questions & again I thank you for your time & what you do to keep us all informed !!

Mr. T from Fort Myers via Nashville

CB: When it comes to adding a big receiver to the roster I think that is something they are looking to develop rather than acquire via a big investment either in the draft or via free agency. Buffalo has a few “big” receivers on their practice squad and I-R. Kevin Elliott, a player I was impressed with in the spring camps, unfortunately tore his ACL, and is on I-R, but goes 6’3” 205.

Tommy Streeter (6’5” 215) and Cordell Roberson (6’4” 205) are a pair of practice squad receivers, who would add some big time size to the receiving corps.

I’m not expecting Buffalo to heavily invest in a big wideout via the draft after using 2nd and 3rd round picks this past spring.

Perhaps if some of their practice squad prospects do not develop as they hope they could sign a veteran WR with size that’s affordable.

As for Stevie’s production I blame it primarily on the very in flux situation that occurred at QB with the injuries at that position and the learning curve that EJ Manuel traveled until recently.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Depth chart changes

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2013 – 2:00 pm

In the wake of the loss of Alex Carrington there have been a couple of shifts on the Bills depth chart. Here’s a look.

First, Alan Branch is now listed as the starting left defensive end, with Corbin Bryant as his backup. Truthfully I see Branch rotating in to spell Dareus and Kyle Williams more than playing the end position. As coach Marrone indicated Corbin Bryant figures to see the most work in what is now Carrington’s vacant role.

On kick return Marcus Easley is now listed as the official backup to Marquise Goodwin, who is still recovering from a broken hand in Week 1. Easley hasn’t had much of an opportunity to return with all the booming kickoffs the Bills have seen the first three games. In fact Easley has made more of an impact in kickoff coverage turning in big tackles each of the last two weeks.

Finally Jim Leonhard is now listed as the backup punt returner to Leodis McKelvin, a role in which he served last week after McKelvin left with a hamstring injury. Leonhard was a pretty accomplished punt returner in college.

Even if McKelvin is able to play this week, it’s likely that Leonhard gets punt return work as the Bills will probably try not to overextend McKelvin with added special teams duties.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

DL Jay Ross indicating he’s back with Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2013 – 5:07 pm

He made the 53-man roster at the close of the preseason, then was released after the team needed cornerback help following the foot injury suffered by Ron Brooks in the opener. Now DL Jay Ross is tweeting that he’s going to rejoin the Bills.

The team has not confirmed the signing, but if things play out as Ross indicates he will help to fill the void left behind by Alex Carrington, who was lost for the season after tearing his quadriceps tendon.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Carrington to I-R

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2013 – 3:45 pm

It was pretty much a foregone conclusion once it was learned that Alex Carrington’s torn quadriceps tendon effectively finished his season and would require surgery, but the Bills defensive lineman was put on injured reserve Monday afternoon.

The move opens up a roster spot for Buffalo, which could be used to address the seemingly ever shorthanded cornerback position. Buffalo may or may not have Leodis McKelvin for Sunday’s game against Baltimore after he left last Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury.

Head coach Doug Marrone said he wants to see how McKelvin improves between now and Wednesday before passing judgment on his chances of playing this weekend. Buffalo is already without top corner Stephon Gilmore and top nickel corner Ron Brooks due to long term injuries.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bryant likely to see most of Carrington snaps

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2013 – 3:30 pm

The loss of Alex Carrington was a blow to Buffalo’s defensive front Monday, but the coaching staff believes one of their younger defensive linemen can help fill the void.

Head coach Doug Marrone believes the player who will see his snap count balloon the most in the wake of Carrington’s injury is first-year player Corbin Bryant.

“I think Corbin Bryant’s role will definitely increase,” said Marrone. “I’ve been very, very happy with the past two games with the way he’s performed. I think his reps will increase. Alan obviously played a lot so he has to be ready to do that. I think you’ll see those roles increased and those guys moving around.”

Bryant, a former undrafted rookie signing of the Chicago Bears in 2011, spent the fall of that year on Pittsburgh’s practice squad, then joined Buffalo’s practice squad late in the 2012.

At 6’4″ and 300 pounds, Bryant most resembles Carrington’s physical skill set in terms of athleticism for a big man. He was already working in on Buffalo’s defensive line as a rotational player in Week 2. Against Carolina he played 17 snaps and this past Sunday long before Carrington was hurt, he got 20 snaps of work.

That number could easily double this Sunday.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Other nicked Bills should be ok for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2013 – 2:49 pm

Bills DL Alex Carrington wasn’t the only casualty in Sunday’s game against the Jets. Head coach Doug Marrone provided a rundown, but the good news is it appears most, if not all, will be good to play against the Ravens.

“C.J. Spiller had a quad. I believe he’ll be fine,” said Marrone. “Marcell Dareus had an ankle. I believe he’ll be fine. Stevie Johnson had a hamstring I believe he’ll be fine. Leodis McKelvin has a hamstring. We’ll see how that is when he comes back and starts working on the field.

“Mario Williams had an ankle, but he was playing the whole game and at the end he had an ankle that I wasn’t aware of until afterwards. We think he’ll be fine.”

The biggest question mark is McKelvin, whose progress between now and Wednesday will paint a better picture on how likely it is for him to return Sunday against Baltimore.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills lose Carrington for season

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2013 – 2:08 pm

The worst of the injuries suffered by the Bills on Sunday was to DL Alex Carrington.

Head coach Doug Marrone said Carrington was probably lost for the season with a knee injury suffered late in the fourth quarter Sunday.

More details coming shortly on Bufalobills.com.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Injury updates

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2013 – 10:55 pm

The Bills had some big name players go down to injury on Sunday in the loss to the Jets. Head coach Doug Marrone provided a rundown.

“Leodis a hamstring, he didn’t come back,” said Marrone. “Marcell an ankle he didn’t come back. Spiller a knee he didn’t come back. And Carrington a knee he didn’t come back.”

Marrone said all four will be re-evaluated on Monday.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Carrington and Pears back practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on September 4, 2013 – 11:47 am

After sitting out Monday’s practice, Buffalo got two of their starters back at practice Wednesday.

Starting RT Erik Pears and starting DE Alex Carrington are both practicing as they each return from sore ankles.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Carrington, Pears updates

Posted by Chris Brown on September 2, 2013 – 2:49 pm

Alex Carrington and Erik Pears were both held out of practice Monday. Head coach Doug Marrone explained why both missed Monday’s session with their teammates.

Marrone said both players were dealing with sore ankles and were held out today. Part of the benefit of holding them out was it would give them both two days to heal up instead of just one.

“(Their) ankles were sore today and it’s good because tomorrow we’re off so we just wanted to give (them) two days off,” said Marrone. “It shouldn’t be a problem.”

Stephon Gilmore and Doug Legursky were the only other players that did not practice.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Carrington’s goals set high

Posted by Chris Brown on July 3, 2013 – 9:54 am

Alex Carrington had to keep his personal goals realistic in previous seasons knowing he wasn’t going to see a ton of time on the field defensively being a younger player. But heading into the 2013 season his personal goals are higher than ever.

“Yeah I definitely set a high standard for myself,” Carrington told Buffalobills.com. “I’ve always been that way. It’s always something to strive for and I’ve come out here and worked hard every day now to push myself toward achieving those goals.”

Carrington was running with the first team defense in spring practices, but that was partly a byproduct of Kyle Williams being unable to participate coming off of Achilles surgery. What group he’ll line up with in training camp remains to be seen, but hearing defensive line coach Anthony Weaver gush about the potential of Carrington this season it’s obvious his versatility will have him in a big role for Mike Pettine’s defense.

What intrigues Carrington the most is the attention the more household names on the Bills defensive line will get, which should leave him with a lot of one-on-one matchups.

“You hit the nail on the head, but with this defense you never know who is going to make a play,” he said. “So we’ll see what happens.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Why Carrington could have big year

Posted by Chris Brown on June 5, 2013 – 10:41 am

The stat crunchers and analytic experts at Pro Football Focus have been running a series called Secret Superstars, in which they pick a player for each NFL club with an under the radar player that emerged in 2012 and could be even better in 2013. For the Bills that player was Alex Carrington.

According to PFF, Carrington averaged a pressure every 10 pass rushes last season, and his 7.8 Pass Rush Productivity figure tied for the 10th-highest mark of any DT. He also blocked four field goals last season to set a franchise mark and finished 2012 with the highest PFF grade by a special teamer.

PFF’s Peter Damilatis, who appeared on the John Murphy Show last night, explained that Carrington appears to be best suited for an interior defensive line role as opposed to playing on the edge based on his productivity in 2012.

“This past season they moved him to more of a 3-4 defensive end role and when they went to four man fronts they had him in the defensive tackle role and he flourished inside,” said Peter Damilatis. “His pass rush productivity jumped up to the 10th best among defensive tackles in the entire league last year.”

Carrington has lined up almost exclusively inside in Buffalo’s new defensive scheme.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Sleeper safety

Posted by Chris Brown on April 12, 2013 – 2:03 pm

With the fair number of safety prospects that have had pre-draft visits with the Bills we thought we’d provide a name for sleeper at the position in this year’s draft class.

Arkansas State’s Don Jones a month ago was considered at best a priority free agent pickup after the draft, but after a pro day that sent NFL scouts scurrying back to the game tape he figures to come off the board on day three.

Jones (5’11″ 191) is a bit undersized, but is a hitter and there’s no denying his athletic ability. Jones ran a 4.42- and 4.4 40-times, had a 42-inch vertical and 10-foot-7 broad jump at Arkansas State’s pro day. He also had 17 reps on the bench.

What that athletic ability has NFL talent evaluators thinking about now is the realistic thought of him being a team’s fifth or sixth defensive back while using that speed on special teams coverage units as well.

The Bills were in attendance at the Arkansas State pro day on March 24th, and have pulled talent out of there before, most recently with their third-round pick in 2010, DL Alex Carrington.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Megahand strikes again

Posted by Chris Brown on December 24, 2012 – 10:20 am

When Alex ‘Megahand’ Carrington got his arm on Miami K Nate Kaeding’s 46-yard attempt Sunday to keep the game scoreless in the first quarter it was the fourth blocked field goal of his career and third this season. It put him in some elite company.

Carrington’s third blocked field goal were the most in a season since Bruce Smith had three in 1996. His blocks this season came against Arizona, Houston and Miami. He also had a blocked extra point against Seattle.

The four blocked kicks are the most by a Bills player in one season, since such records have been kept (1988).

With five blocked kicks in his career (3 FGs, 2 PATs) Carrington has the most in a Bills career since Phil Hansen, who blocked four field goals and 1 PAT.


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