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Inside The Bills

No leanings for Kyle regarding retirement

Posted by Chris Brown on January 1, 2017 – 6:45 pm

Bills DT Kyle Williams has been a stalwart in every sense of the word for Buffalo for 11 seasons. Another coaching change is in the offing, the fifth of his Bills career, and the veteran defensive lineman understandably wants that to be the first domino that falls before reaching a decision on his own future. At the same time he’s going to listen to his body after he heals up for a bit.

“I have a lot of things to process as far as the season and trying to figure those things out,” Williams said. “As far as moving forward, we’ll see. There’s a whole lot of guys in here who aren’t going to be here, whether it’s retirement or they’re moving in a different direction. It could be a whole number of things. I just worry about the things I can control. Heal up a little bit. Spend some time with the family and really evaluate the year and always look to get better.”

Williams said he’ll be keeping a close eye on the team’s coaching search. He did call Anthony Lynn deserving of the job.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

No need to worry about details with Lynn

Posted by Chris Brown on January 1, 2017 – 10:00 am

There were admittedly problems under Rex Ryan when it came to substitutions, getting play calls in on time, penalties and missed assignments. It was likely part of the reason he was fired earlier this week. As interim head coach Anthony Lynn steps out to the sidelines today, one thing his players are not worried about is his handling of the details.

“He coached his backs that way last year,” said EJ Manuel of Lynn’s attention to detail. “That’s why we’ve had one of the best rushing attacks the last two years. So he’s definitely all about attention to detail. Even when we’re on scout team he coaches us on the offensive side. Sometimes coaches just let you go and do your thing. But these past 15 weeks he was still coaching the O-line and the running backs. He’s very specific.”

“A-Lynn has played this game before at this level. So he knows the-ins-and-the-outs,” said Richie Incognito. “He’s a super detail-oriented guy. He has high expectations of people, and like he just told us out there on the practice field, he wants us to go out and have fun and he wants us to grind (all week) mentally, and then just let it all loose and just have fun on Sunday. So that’s what we’re focusing on. I have a tremendous amount of respect for A-Lynn. You know he did a really good job when G-Ro (Greg Roman) got fired, stepping in, and I’m excited for this opportunity for him.”

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dennis Thurman to call defensive plays

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2016 – 1:13 pm

Head coach Rex Ryan called it his defense, and with his brother listed as Assistant head coach/Defense, Rob Ryan also had a hand in play calling. With both men fired this week, it only made sense to think that defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman would run the defense Sunday against the Jets. Interim head coach Anthony Lynn confirmed that Friday.

“Dennis Thurman is calling the defense on Sunday,” said Lynn.

Thurman and the rest of the coaching staff met with Lynn late on Thursday to go over all the game day responsibilities and who would be in charge of what. Thurman on Thursday gave the impression that who calls the defense isn’t that important as long as the players on the field understand it and can execute it.

“The one thing about this defense is it carries itself,” he said. “If you know it and understand it, it doesn’t really matter who is here and who’s not here, coach-wise. So, the bottom line to it is we are going to go ahead business as usual. We are going to play our defense hopefully to the best of our ability. That is what it’s all about, we have to come out and execute on Sunday. If we don’t execute, then we’ll continue to look like we have in probably four of the last five games. Not very good.”

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Lynn: All 3 Bills QBs could be up Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on December 29, 2016 – 4:23 pm

The Bills interim head coach knows he’s starting EJ Manuel at quarterback on Sunday. As for how the depth chart falls behind Manuel, that’s still to be determined.

Anthony Lynn indicated on Thursday that Cardale Jones could very well be the No. 2 QB on Sunday against the Jets, but that’s not set in stone. In addition he didn’t rule out the possibility of Tyrod Taylor being active too.

“Cardale definitely has to be ready to play,” Lynn said. “If something happens to EJ he has to be ready to go in. Right now it looks like he will be (the No. 2 QB), but possibly all three quarterbacks could be up as well.”

Buffalo has not had all three quarterbacks active on game day once this season. Cardale Jones has been inactive all season.

Tyrod Taylor got a veteran’s rest day on Thursday, so Manuel got the starter’s reps while Jones got the backup reps and ran the scout team offense.


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Glenn, Gilmore, Kyle unable to practice

Posted by Chris Brown on December 29, 2016 – 3:32 pm

Three of Buffalo’s starters weren’t able to go in practice Thursday.

OT Cordy Glenn, CB Stephon Gilmore and DT Kyle Williams all were unable to practice. Glenn and Kyle both have back injuries. Glenn missed last week’s game and hasn’t practiced yet this week. Williams has cut back his practice workload to play last week and might be doing the same this week.

Gilmore is still in the concussion protocol so Kevon Seymour might get the start if Gilmore can’t play Sunday.

QB Tyrod Taylor was given a veteran’s rest day according to head coach Anthony Lynn.

“He got a veteran’s day off,” said Lynn. “It’s a lot easier to be off your feet and staying inside rather than being out here on a turf field for two or three hours doing nothing. So I gave him a veteran’s day off.”

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
OT Cordy Glenn – back
CB Stephon Gilmore – concussion
DT Kyle Williams – back
QB Tyrod Taylor – rest day

LIMITED IN PRACTICE
G John Miller – hip
WR Sammy Watkins – foot

FULL PRACTICE
LB Lerentee McCray – concussion
LB Jerry Hughes – hamstring

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Shady to go less shake and bake?

Posted by Chris Brown on December 4, 2016 – 12:23 pm

LeSean McCoy is known as one of the most elusive backs in the NFL. For backs like him, old scouts used to say that he could make a defender miss him in a phone booth. But last week even McCoy admits he tried to do too much with his escape skills and made things more difficult for the offense in terms of down and distance situations.

“Last week, we kind of started slow. A lot of that was me,” said McCoy. “I was trying to do too much in the backfield early in the game. Once we got everything lined up, we made some plays and we started gashing them in the running game and throwing some balls over the top. That’s how we play. We always make plays. We run the ball well and we keep the drives alive. We eat up a lot of clock, and we really need that this week to beat a team like Oakland.”

Offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn has seen McCoy trying to pick his spots in practice to make more direct runs to the hole when it’s there instead of trying to juke a linebacker out of his shoes. He’s hopeful that translates to the games.

“He’s running a little bit more direct and not as much shake and bake,” said Lynn. “I think he’s evolving as he gets a little older understanding that you’re not always going to be able to make that one guy miss. Sometimes you have to get that tough yard, so I’m very pleased with what I’m seeing from him.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Goodwin added to injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on December 1, 2016 – 4:59 pm

The rash of injuries at receiver continues for the Bills. Marquise Goodwin was added to Thursday’s injury report with a wrist injury suffered in practice. He was listed as a limited participant.

The injury occurred right at the end of practice, so head coach Rex Ryan did not have much of an update.

“We’ll see what happens, but it just happened out here in a two minute drill,” said Ryan.

Ryan said he’s not optimistic about having Robert Woods or Percy Harvin in the lineup on Sunday. He’s more encouraged about Sammy Watkins being in the lineup Sunday.

But Walt Powell went on injured reserve and Dez Lewis was called up from the practice squad. All the roster shuffling at the position makes it hard to establish rhythm in Buffalo’s passing game.

“It’s tough,” said offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn. “It’s tougher on the quarterback than anybody. You know, he doesn’t create that trust, and…factor. But you just have to make adjustments and move on.”

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
WR Robert Woods – knee
WR Percy Harvin – migraines
CB Ronald Darby – concussion

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
LB Lorenzo Alexander – ankle
TE Charles Clay – knee
OT Cordy Glenn – back
S James Ihedigbo – ankle
G Richie Incognito – neck
WR Sammy Watkins – foot
RB Mike Gillislee – hamstring
LB Preston Brown – wrist
S Sergio Brown – hamstring
WR Marquise Goodwin – wrist


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Harvin hungry for more work

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2016 – 11:05 am

The day after his first game in more than a calendar year, Percy Harvin says he felt great. Granted he played only 21 snaps against Seattle a little over two weeks ago, but he was encouraged by the way his body responded to the most intense work it’s seen in a year. That’s why he’s eager to get more work on the field and contribute more on offense today.

“From what I’m hearing, I think I’m going to be full-go,” said Harvin. “How many plays? I don’t know yet. I definitely practiced the whole time this week. Got a lot more reps and a lot of reps with the [first team]. So I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and keep preparing myself. When game time comes, I’ll let the coaches handle that part.”

Harvin is expected to start opposite Robert Woods at receiver. And though his workload is expected to increase appreciably from 21 snaps at Seattle, to expect 60-70 snaps might be a bit premature.

“He’s going to get some opportunities,” said offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn. “He’ll start, but he’ll probably still be in a limited role because you can’t sit out a year and come back and jump in in two weeks and I think he saw that last week. But he’s done some good things in practice and I’m looking forward to see him make some plays.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Lynn: Harvin will probably start

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2016 – 4:12 pm

He’s been on Buffalo’s roster for three weeks, his legs are back underneath him and the Bills offensive staff believes he’s ready for an expanded role in the team’s passing attack. But to expect a full workload on offense for Percy Harvin is not yet realistic.

Offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn confirmed that Harvin is likely to get the starting nod at receiver opposite Robert Woods. Expecting him to play the full complement of starter reps however, is another thing entirely.

“He’s going to get some opportunities. He’s probably going to start. He’ll start, but he’ll probably still be in a limited role because you can’t sit out a year and come back and jump in in two weeks and I think he saw that last week,” said Lynn. “But he’s doing some good things in practice and I’m looking forward to see him make some plays.”


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Lynn: McCoy’s conditioning the main factor

Posted by Chris Brown on November 7, 2016 – 1:52 pm

LeSean McCoy did not practice or play last week when the Bills faced the Patriots. This week he practiced on a limited basis. McCoy is good to go in tonight’s game at Seattle, but for offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, there is one particular thing he’s going to be mindful of in his usage of McCoy in Buffalo’s attack.

“Well you have to be conscious of his conditioning because he’s been for a couple of weeks, hasn’t played, hasn’t practiced a lot,” Lynn said. “But he looks good in practice. His stamina, his quickness and just the rest, he’s had two weeks to rest, so I feel confident that he’s going to be able to play and play well, but I have to be cautious of his conditioning.”

Before his hamstring injury McCoy was averaging 17.3 carries per game. He averaged just over 47 plays per game (47.6). The highest percentage of offensive plays for McCoy came in Week 2 against the Jets (49 of 53 – 92%). The highest number of plays in a game for him was in Week 4 (54 plays).

So it will be interesting to see how much time on the field McCoy gets and then how many times he’s asked to carry the ball.


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Bills family supports Eric Wood at Flights & Bites

Posted by Kelly Baker on October 18, 2016 – 4:27 pm

eric-wood-flights-bites

Bills center Eric Wood hosted his second annual Flights and Bites event in downtown Buffalo on Monday, Oct. 17. The event, which followed the team’s big win over the San Francisco 49ers, featured many players who chose to spend their time off supporting their teammate. Coming together for a good cause, the evening consisted of both silent and live auctions to benefit the Eric Wood Foundation, which seeks to provide aid to families of sick children.

“Just a fun…Monday night, (it’s a) chance for a lot of the guys and coaches to come out and interact with a lot of the fans and raise money for sick children and their families here in Western New York,” said Wood. Especially after a win yesterday (Sunday, Oct. 16), the spirits are always high and people are in the giving spirit in times like that.”

The support from the Bills family proved truly tremendous, as over 30 Bills players and coaches attended the event. The turnout included, Bills general manager Doug Whaley, head coach Rex Ryan, offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, quarterback Tyrod Taylor, safety Aaron Williams, guard Richie Incognito, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, linebacker Reggie Ragland, safety Colt Anderson, cornerback Kevon Seymour, linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, kicker Dan Carpenter, defensive tackle Kyle Williams and many more.

For more information on the Eric Wood Foundation, visit here.


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Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Offense looking for more 2nd half production

Posted by Chris Brown on October 16, 2016 – 11:00 am

Buffalo has gotten off to fast starts on their current three game winning streak, and the team has shown an ability to play strong enough defense to capitalize on those strong starts when they get up on the scoreboard first with an early lead. The problem is the last three weeks the offense has struggled to produce in the same fashion in the second half.

Here’s a look at the offensive production in terms of total net yards from first half to second half in Weeks 3, 4 and 5.

Game 1st half yards 2nd half yards
vs. Ariz. 251 127
at N.E. 238 67
at L.A. 210 86
Totals 699 280

Over the last three games almost 72 percent of their total net yards on offense have come in the first half. So what’s happening in the second half that’s rendering Buffalo’s attack so inefficient?

“You know, that’s a good question,” offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said. “I think sometimes (the opponent) makes adjustments, and they catch up a little bit to what you’re doing. Maybe I can change my tempo and make some adjustments myself to do a better job, but we definitely stalled out in the third quarter the last couple of weeks. But we feel like four drops (last week) didn’t help, and execution could be a little bit better. But I feel like I can put us in a better position to make plays too.”

Third down conversions are one area where the execution has been lacking. In the last three games, Buffalo was converting at a rate of 50 percent in the first half (10-for-20). In the second half it has dropped to 25 percent (5-for-20).

When I asked coach Lynn if those numbers motivate him to stay a step ahead with counter moves to his opposing defensive coordinator, Buffalo’s OC answered in the affirmative.

“Well, that’s my job so absolutely,” he said. “I try to stay ahead of the play-caller on the other side of the field and sometimes–he’s a pro too–sometimes he’s ahead of me, and that’s what I’m figuring out.”


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What to expect from WR Justin Hunter

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 10:45 am

New WR Justin Hunter is expected to be dressed and play Sunday against the Rams. Here’s an idea of what offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn has in mind for the tall and fast wideout.

“Yes, we do envision a role for Justin,” Lynn said. “(Receivers coach) Sanjay (Lal) has done a hell of a job working with him and trying to get caught up to speed. But he’s been here just for a few days, three practices, you know I’m not sure how much he’s going to be involved in the game plan this week, but down the road I do see a role for him.”

Lynn did hint that this week Hunter could have a role in a red zone package of plays against the Rams.

“You know, that’s why we brought him in,” said Lynn. “We like his presence in the red zone, but we like him as just a wide receiver in general and if we can get him going, I think he can help us.”


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Lynn: For Bills offense it’s about 1st downs

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2016 – 11:05 am

Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn is coming off a successful debut last week against Arizona. He knows they’ll be stepping up in class Sunday in New England. Knowing that the Patriots rarely beat themselves, he believes Buffalo’s offense has to take a similar approach.

As successful as the offense was last week, Lynn wants more time of possession and more plays on offense after tallying 61 last week. For Lynn successful NFL offenses is about getting first downs instead of going for broke in the hopes of getting a touchdown.

“Last week we had the ball for only 26 minutes. We weren’t on the field very long for different situations,” Lynn said. “The defense went back on the field after the touchdown on special teams. We still have to stay on the field and take what the defense gives us to sustain drives. Last year we went down the field a lot in certain situations and we had success throwing it down the field, but you also have to take the gimmes to stay on the field. Get the first down and not make the big play because over the long haul that makes a big difference.”


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New emphasis in pass game for Tyrod

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2016 – 9:37 am

After the first three games there are Bills fans concerned about Tyrod Taylor’s passing game production. New offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn is presenting a new emphasis to Buffalo’s QB as he steps up to the line of scrimmage pre-snap in an effort to help Taylor make more plays in the pass game.

Lynn was asked about developing an identity for Buffalo’s offense, but balance is what he is really striving for and he know he has to get more pass game production to complement their strong rushing attack. Lynn said he’s got Taylor taking a different approach to surveying the defense.

“We have to be able to run the ball playing in this part of the country, but at the same time if you want to be an explosive offense you have to be able to go down the field with the ball,” said Lynn. “You have to hit outside the hashes and the middle of the field. We are working on balance and more flexibility at the line of scrimmage to run, versus right to run looks and to pass versus pass looks, and to take advantage of matchups. That’s something we’re really stressing with Tyrod is to see the matchup. Forget the read, go to the matchup.”


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Prepped for headset issues

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2016 – 8:05 am

It’s only been one game that offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn and Tyrod Taylor have communicated through the headset as coordinator and quarterback. They’ve kept communication minimal in an effort to get in and out of the huddle as efficiently as possible. Last week the operation was much better than in Week 1 or 2. But will they be prepared if perhaps the headset communication is “malfunctioning” as it has been known to do for visiting teams at Gillette Stadium?

“For sure. Yes,” said Taylor. “It’s a good thing that I wear a wristband. Each week we go into the game with the mindset that something will happen and we can go off the wristband with signals from the sidelines. We’re prepared for that.”

By having the play calls on the wristband, whether it’s Lynn on the headset or QBs coach David Lee on the sideline they can just signal a number for a specific play in the game plan that’s in a numbered list on his wristband.

Coach Lynn also reduced the communication further between him and Taylor regarding personnel groupings. That will be communicated from the sideline via signals.


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Lynn: We’d like to target Clay more

Posted by Chris Brown on October 1, 2016 – 10:29 am

After just 12 targets through the first three games, Bills TE Charles Clay hasn’t had much opportunity to make an impact in the passing game. Bills OC Anthony Lynn is hoping to change that.

He insists that Clay was part of the game plan last week, but circumstances prevented him from producing in the pass game in the win over Arizona.

“We had targets to Charles Clay last week. We missed him on one. One time the protection didn’t hold up,” said Lynn. “We do have Charles in mind and we know that he’s a playmaker so we’re trying to get him the football.”

 


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Biggest offensive change expected? Tempo

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2016 – 10:35 am

The personal preferences from the Bills offensive playbook by new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn will obviously change what Buffalo’s offense runs on Sunday. But the biggest change is expected to come in the functionality of the Bills attack, especially when it comes to tempo.

The first two weeks of the season getting in and out of the huddle has been an issue. It hasn’t afforded Tyrod Taylor much time to survey the defense before the snap and call an audible or check at the line. Coach Lynn intends to change that, something that has been confirmed by Taylor and head coach Rex Ryan.

“I think number one the tempo will be faster,” said Ryan. “That’s what we’ve stressed to our players and then there are going to be some different ways that we’re going to attack.”

“I definitely think we’ll speed up the process and push the tempo,” said Taylor.

Lynn doesn’t just want the offense operating at a quicker pace, he wants to see long drives, something that’s been noticeably absent from Buffalo’s offense.

“I want to play smart, physical football,” said Lynn. “I want to be explosive down the field, and right now, I just want to stay on the damn field. That’s what I want to do. So, we’re going to play a little bit faster and see if we can put a little pressure on the defense and just execute.”

 


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Arians: Facing unknown coordinator a challenge

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2016 – 9:11 am

Arizona head coach Bruce Arians is 35-15 in his three-plus seasons at the helm with the Cardinals, including a 13-3 campaign last year. Known as a high-end play caller, Arians and his defensive coordinator James Bettcher likely have a good handle on Buffalo’s offensive scheme, but when it comes to Bills new OC Anthony Lynn’s play call preferences there’s no road map whatsoever.

“That’s the hardest part,” said Arians. “They have tremendous players, especially skill players, so you would think that they could not change a whole lot other than points of emphasis. You don’t have a bead on how he calls plays because there’s no résumé to look at. So it makes it a lot more difficult, but you know one thing, you’ve got to stop Shady. You’ve got to stop Sammy if he’s going. You surely have to contain Tyrod.”

Arizona had the fifth-ranked defense in the NFL last season and finished seventh in points allowed. They currently lead the league with seven takeaways through the first two weeks this season.


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Respect for Lynn widespread in Bills locker room

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2016 – 3:24 pm

Right after appointing Anthony Lynn as his offensive coordinator, head coach Rex Ryan quickly made mention of the widespread respect Lynn has among his fellow coaches on staff and in the locker room. Some of the team’s most high profile players confirmed that respect and explained why.

LeSean McCoy, who has worked closely with Lynn while he served as running backs coach, said there’s a reason he’s respected.

“He’s a tough coach and demands a lot of respect,” said McCoy. “He’s really big on the small details. He wants to win. He’s one of those coaches that played the game, so he brings that attitude of urgency. You know you got to win, every possession matters. He can understand a lot of the players because he has played the game, especially a running back.

“In the running back room, he knows what we are looking for or what’s not going well. He can really relate. I think that’s major when a coach has played, and he’s a player. He can honestly understand what the players are going through, and that matters.”


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