Inside The Bills

Belichick respects Gailey’s offensive acumen

Posted by Chris Brown on November 10, 2012 – 5:51 pm

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is regarded as one of the best coaching minds in the game, but he has great respect for the coaching acumen of Bills head coach Chan Gailey when it comes to offense.

“I think Chan does a good job offensively, he gives you a lot of things to prepare for. They’ve used different players on the Wildcat as well and their Pistol [with] the back behind the quarterback in the shotgun – he has a lot of different packages. He has a lot of personnel groups and formations,” said Belichick. “A combination of all of that wears on you defensively in terms of preparation. You have to get ready for all of it and he does a real good job of game planning that, keeping you off balance, making you defend a lot of things so that you can’t concentrate on just a few things. They go in and out of that.

“Chan does a real good job with his offensive game plan and utilization of personnel. It’s one of the toughest games that we have to prepare for. They definitely know what they’re doing and they do it well.” 


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Belichick on Fitz as a QB

Posted by Chris Brown on September 29, 2012 – 10:12 am

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked for his thoughts on Ryan Fitzpatrick and whether he has progressed as a quarterback.

“He looked pretty good last year,” said Belichick. “He’s looked good, period. I think he’s doing the same things. He spreads the ball around, gets the ball to the open receivers, kind of takes what the defense gives him. He’s not a guy that’s going to stand back there and hold the ball a long time. He’s going to get it, find somebody that’s open, give it to them and let them go.

“He’s athletic, he’s got good quickness in the pocket, he can avoid the rushers and also escape outside on bootlegs, roll-outs, scrambles, things like that. He has certainly an element of running with the ball, he becomes the sixth receiver in some of the third-and-medium situations [and] he can easily pick up the first down. He’s got that part of his game too. Overall, he manages the team well. He’s a smart guy, does a good job of recognizing defenses, taking advantage of weaknesses and getting the ball to players who can make plays, which they’ve got a lot of them.”

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Anderson on Brady’s work ethic

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2012 – 10:19 am

Bills DE Mark Anderson only played for one season in New England, but it was one that left an indelible impression on the pass rusher concerning Tom Brady and his approach to the game.

“Brady is a hard worker,” said Anderson in an appearance on WGR Sportsradio 550 Wednesday morning. “On the plane rides I’d sit right next to him. Every away game after that game he’s studying film. He’s already on to the next opponent win or lose. A very professional guy. He works hard every day at practice and knows how to do the little things right. I kind of look up to the way he handles situations. A great professional and a good guy.”

Anderson also explained how Brady and Belichick work together during the course of the week leading up to a game.

“He knows just about everything that’s going on with the defense and takes control of the offense,” said Anderson. “He and Belichick have meetings together. They work well with each other. Brady he gets all his information from Belichick and they work hard together. He really knows defenses and really knows where his players need to be.”

While Anderson wasn’t going to give details on Buffalo’s defensive game plan for Brady, he did stress mixing things up on Brady throughout the course of the game.

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Belichick to pull page from SB XXV?

Posted by Chris Brown on February 3, 2012 – 9:55 am

While the Giants pass rush will most certainly be a focus for Bill Belichick and his offensive staff, the very talented Giants receiving corps is also a concern. Cruz, Manningham and Nicks are one of the top trios in the league with all three capable of the big play. But I believe Belichick will employ a similar tactic to the one he utilized in Super Bowl XXV as defensive coordinator of the Giants when they squeaked past the Bills 20-19.

James Lofton had a huge playoff run that first Super Bowl year for the Bills, but Andre Reed was still Jim Kelly’s go-to guy that allowed for quick passing over the middle. Victor Cruz works similar routes in the middle of the field and has shown great run after the catch ability as well. In Super Bowl XXV Belichick at times would put a linebacker on Reed and they’d smash the heck out of him off the line of scrimmage.

Any chance they got to put a lick on him they’d bury him, even on run plays. Reed had eight catches in Super Bowl XXV, but they went for a pedestrian 62 yards, with a 20-yard catch on a 2nd-and-11 his longest in the game. Afterwards Reed said it was the hardest he had ever been hit in a game.

I think Victor Cruz, knowing how much Manning depends on him in the pass game, should expect a lot of linebacker attention off the line and better have his head on a swivel because the Patriots are going to try to intimidate him physically in this one.

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Spiller has Belichick impressed

Posted by Chris Brown on December 29, 2011 – 10:51 am

C.J. Spiller has been one of the most productive backs in the league since he entered the lineup as a starter in place of the injured Fred Jackson. It’s been enough to leave Patriots head coach Bill Belichick impressed.

“I think Spiller has had the last whatever it has been, six weeks or however long since Fred’s been hurt, he’s been more productive than any back in the league – big plays, consistency,” Belichick said. “He’s picked up right where Jackson left off and he’s had a tremendous amount of production. It’s not all outside, it’s a good mix of inside running, outside running. He’s broken tackles, he’s out-run guys, he’s made good decisions in terms of his run reads and things like that. He’s been very productive.”

In the month of December this season Spiller is tied for 3rd in the NFL with a 6.1 yards per carry average and stands fifth in total yards from scrimmage with 463.

“He’s been very impressive,” said Belichick. “He’s pretty dynamic. Handing the ball to Spiller, however they get it to him – screens, passes, inside runs, outside runs, draw plays, he’s been productive on all of them. He’s really done a good job.”

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Belichick wary of Stevie

Posted by Chris Brown on December 29, 2011 – 7:37 am

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick grinds game tape to a pulp. That’s why when asked about Stevie Johnson’s production this season especially against some of the better corners in the league like Darrelle Revis and Champ Bailey he didn’t hesitate.

“Yeah, he did a good job, but Johnson has had a lot of success against everybody,” said Belichick. “He’s dangerous down the field and has catch and run plays like he had against the Giants, where he takes a short pass and turns it into a long play. He’s tough on the catch and run plays, he’s tough in the red zone and he can vertically get down the field as we saw, as the Jets saw. He’s gotten a lot of people, he’s had a lot of production.”

Johnson is 36 receiving yards from posting back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons for the first time in team history.

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Pats began practicing day early

Posted by Chris Brown on December 28, 2011 – 4:27 pm

The Patriots have clinched a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs, but there’s still home field advantage to clinch. It’s unclear if that’s the main reason, but per Bill Belichick the Patriots are preparing for this one every bit as much as any other. In fact according to TE Rob Gronkowski the coaching staff scheduled an extra day of practice on their typical off day of Tuesday this week.

“We started our practices (Tuesday),” said Gronkowski. “We’re going to be preparing for the Bills like it’s any other game.  We’ve got to win this game, it’s another big game and we don’t like losing around here so we’re taking this game [seriously].”  

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Belichick ranting explained

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2011 – 9:27 am

Some Bills fans are still wondering what happened when Bill Belichick was arguing with the officials after Fred Jackson’s catch and run to the goal line was reversed and ruled down at the one. Here was head referee Carl Cheffers explanation.

“Coach Belichick wanted an explanation as to what was going to take place after the replay,” said Chevers. “Obviously we had a reversal. We put the ball at the half-yard line. The clock was going to start. He wanted a confirmation of what was going to happen at that point. I went over there and explained to him that the ball was at the half-yard line. He asked me when the clock was going to start. I said as soon as I was done with the explanation with him that I was going to go out on the field and start the clock. He stayed down there. I didn’t understnad exactly why he stayed down there. I went back over there and he said he wanted a timeout. So I gave him his second charged timeout.”

Belichick’s answer as to what happened on the far sideline sounded consistent with Cheffers recollection of the conversation.

“I took a timeout,” he said. “I went down to call a timeout. [The officials] were waving me back, and I was going down there to call it.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

30 is the magic number

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2011 – 11:30 am

There are a lot of statistics that will be spewed on Sunday morning on all the pre-game radio shows leading up to the 1 pm kickoff between the Bills and Patriots, and I’ll be one of the many doing that spewing. But if there’s one magic figure for the Bills defense it’s 30.

That’s the point threshold the Patriots have hit in each of their last 10 games stretching back to last season with their 39-26 victory at Pittsburgh last Nov. 14th. Here’s the rundown of points per game in those 10 contests for New England.

11/14/10 – W – @ Pittsburgh 39-26
11/21/10 – W – vs. Indy 31-28
11/28/10 – W – @ Detroit 45-24
12/6/10 – W – vs. NY Jets 45-3
12/12/10 – W – @ Chicago 36-7
12/19/10 – W – vs. Green Bay 31-27
12/26/10 – W – @ Buffalo 34-3
1/2/11 – W – @ Miami 38-7
9/12/11- W – @ Miami  38-24
9/18/11 – W – vs. San Diego 35-21

This current 10-game streak of scoring 30 points or more is second only to the Rams ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ team that from 1999-2000 scored 30 points or more in 14 straight games.

As you might have noticed New England won each and every one of the 30-point games on this 10-game streak. Under head coach Bill Belichick the Patriots are 63-2 when they score 30 points or more. So holding them to less than 30 points is a must if you even want a shot at victory. 


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Belichick on Fitz

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2011 – 2:09 pm

Bill Belichick had some praise for Ryan Fitzpatrick’s game thus far in his conference call with the Buffalo media Wednesday.

“Ryan did a great job against us in the first game last season,” said Belichick. “He’s very smart, we all know that, and does a great job in reading defenses and checking the plays, getting them into the right play against different looks, and he’s accurate. He makes good decisions with the ball, and makes quick decisions. He’s certainly good with the ball in his hands.

“As a scrambler he can avoid guys in the pocket and make plays with his feet as well as his arm. He’s working with a lot of good playmakers, both skilled players and the offensive line. He’s done a great job, and he’s got a lot of good players working with him there.”

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Pats ready to deal 2nd 1st?

Posted by Chris Brown on March 21, 2011 – 1:20 pm

There are reports that the New England Patriots, holders of six picks in the top 92 selections of this year’s draft, could be convinced to part with their second first-round pick at 28.

The Patriots also have the 17th pick in addition to the 28th and they’ve got the first pick in round 2 (33rd overall), so it’s understandable that New England would be willing to move out of the 28th spot knowing they’d be picking a mere five picks later anyway.

The San Diego Union-Tribune cites San Diego Chargers sources as saying that there has been a lot of “chatter” regarding the availability of the Patriots pick at 28. New England is known for trading back and stockpiling picks, which is why they have six in the first 92 this year to begin with.

In an interview at the owners meetings with, Belichick said the following when asked about the availability of the 28th overall pick via trade.

“I don’t know,” said Belichick. “We’ve traded them before. We haven’t traded them.”

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Belichick on Bills QB switch

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2010 – 4:22 pm

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked about the quarterback change made by the Bills to Ryan Fitzpatrick.

“We played against Fitzpatrick last year, we played against Edwards,” he said. “I think they’re both capable guys and they have a lot of good, skilled players around them. Whoever they put in there we’ll have to be ready. We’ll get ready for both quarterbacks and all the players that are on the active roster.

“We all know that could change in a heartbeat. We just have to have a good week of preparation and do a good job of executing our defenses and not letting their big-time skill players have a field day and make a lot of plays against us.”

Belichick, as he usuallys does, builds up the opponent every year prior to playing them.

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Chan makes things plain

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2010 – 4:19 pm

 Bills head coach Chan Gailey in addressing his team about their upcoming division game against the Patriots made things plain to his players.

“All I understand is neither one of them likes each other,” said Gailey of the two teams. “We don’t like them and they don’t like us and I talked about that in the team meeting to help some of them understand that there’s that feeling between the two teams and we’re going into a hostile environment and you’ve got to get ready to play.”

Gailey however, did not mention the 13-game winning streak that the Patriots have over the Bills. He said he understands why it carries weight with fans, but said it has no impact.

“It has nothing to do with this year and this team,” he said.

And Bill Belichick agreed.

“Doesn’t mean anything,” said Belichick. “Those games are all in the past. Different players…new coach coaching, different players playing. I don’t think they care anything about those games and I don’t think we care about them either. That’s all behind us. We’re just focused on this week and Sunday afternoon’s game. That’s what it’s all about.”

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Pats squarely focused on Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on December 16, 2009 – 1:36 pm

Despite the media’s efforts to stir up turmoil in the Patriots camp with Randy Moss giving up on routes, or four players including Moss being sent home last week after showing up late for a meeting, Bill Belichick is not about to let his team lose focus on their next opponent.

I asked him if all of the questions about stuff away from the field is easy to ignore. Here was his response.

“There’s something every week that doesn’t really have anything to do with the current game, and we try to block that out,” Belichick said. “We’ve won big games, we’ve lost tough ones and we’ve been in between. Right now, it doesn’t matter what happened last week. Right now, we’re on to Buffalo, and that’s where our focus is.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

Belichick on Bills screen game

Posted by Chris Brown on December 16, 2009 – 1:33 pm

The screen passing game by the Bills in their Week 1 matchup against the Patriots worked very, very well for Buffalo, but since then the Bills haven’t used it all that much. Knowing Bill Belichick has watched every play of Bills football since then on tape, I asked him if that surprised him that it’s been used sparingly since Week 1.

“Well, I think they’ve had their share of plays on it, but it’s like anything else, if you’ve successful with it, other teams in the league see that and set their defenses and keys to try to to take some of those plays away. But I think Buffalo’s been successful doing a lot of different things this year. and that’s what makes them hard to defend.”

Belichick as is his M.O. was building the Buffalo offense up a bit, but the screen game was its most effective in Week 1. The Patriots will undeoubtedly be better prepared for it this time. It’s probably safe to assume the Bills will use it sparingly this week knowing the Pats will be looking for it.

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Belichick on Edwards

Posted by Chris Brown on September 9, 2009 – 3:42 pm

Bill Belichick just spoke with the WNY media via conference call. And he was asked to assess the strengths of Trent Edwards’ game. Here was his response.

“He’s very accurate, a good decision maker,” said Belichick. “He gets the ball to his skill players, backs, tight ends, receivers, multiple receivers. He does a good job with the check game at the line of scrimmage, seeing a defense and changing the play or getting the play adjusted so they can handle the look. I think he does a good job of managing the team, doesn’t turn the ball over, makes good decisions and gets the ball to the playmakers and Buffalo has a lot of playmakers at the skill positions.”

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What I like most about MNF opener

Posted by Chris Brown on March 23, 2009 – 8:31 pm

There is a lot to like about the Monday Night Football opener and some things that aren’t very appealing (location of game). First I’ll tell you what I like best about this game on this week.

Perhaps most important is that Bill Belichick and his staff will not have any tape on Buffalo’s offense with Owens a part of it. The Bills are tweaking a good portion of their offensive approach with Owens in the lineup and with the Monday Night game being the debut of the Buffalo offense, Belichick will be forced to adjust on the fly.

I like that he won’t have any tape to go on. That’s a big plus for the Bills.

What I don’t like is that first, it’s another prime time game in Foxboro, and being the opening Monday Night game and the return of Tom Brady is going to have the Patriots’ fans in a full froth leading up to kickoff.

Secondly, the Bills may also be without Marshawn Lynch for the opener if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell elects to hand down a suspension for any length of time with respect to games.

That would be a tough blow to Buffalo’s ground game in an important early AFC East contest. Let me know what you think about this matchup.

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Pats need new offensive coordinator

Posted by Chris Brown on January 12, 2009 – 3:56 pm

With Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to reportedly be hired as Denver’s next head coach, it doesn’t look like he’ll be raiding the Patriots staff for too many assistants.

Only Dom Capers, who was a special assistant to the secondary for the Patriots this year, might be taken off the New England staff to serve as defensive coordinator for the Broncos unless Mike Nolan is hired instead. Either way it would mean the Broncos are likely switching to a 3-4 system.

Still it will be interesting to see who is named to New England’s offensive coordinator post in the wake of McDaniels departure. I think if they promote from within, which Bill Belichick has done before that receivers coach Bill O’Brien is the most qualified.

He’s been an offensive coordinator for three seasons, albeit at the collegiate level (Georgia Tech, Duke). However, he has never been a quarterbacks coach and McDaniels served as both OC and QBs coach for the Pats.

So Belichick may still need to hire an additional assistant.

McDaniels will reportedly keep some of Shanahan’s offensive assistants from the old coaching staff.

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