Inside The Bills

Barnett: “I don’t lose hope”

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2012 – 9:00 am

Nick Barnett sat at his locker in stunned silence Sunday afternoon. It was hard for him to believe that the Bills gave up 311 yards rushing to the 49ers on just 38 carries (8.2 avg.). Looking around at all the defensive talent in his locker room, it just simply does not compute in his mind.

“It’s very stunning to me,” Barnett said. “I would never imagine this situation with this defense. I believe in all these guys and I believe in their heart and I believe in their potential and the way that we can play. For whatever reason it is we’re not playing the way we’re supposed to.”

Barnett could only shake his head, but he tried to keep a stiff upper lip knowing 11 more games lie in front of the Bills.

“I don’t lose hope,” said Barnett. “I’m going to keep striking and keep pushing forward because I know we have the potential. Potential is such a dangerous word, but I know it’s there and I know the character we have in this room. We’ve just got to show it.”

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Scott: “We’re sick of this”

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2012 – 11:33 pm

Sunday’s performance wasn’t just devastating for the Bills players, it was humiliating. That’s why players like Bryan Scott and Fred Jackson were upset and ticked off.

“I thought we came out and I thought we played well in the first half,” said Scott. “In the second half, we just didn’t go, and it’s embarrassing to see. We’re sick of this. This is terrible.”    

For Fred Jackson he’s reached the breaking point.

“Excuse my French, but at some point you got to get pissed off,” Jackson said. “It’s just unacceptable. As players, we all need to go look and figure out what it is we’re doing wrong as individuals and get it corrected because we need to get some things fixed.” 

What’s most troubling for the players is the season, though only five games old, already feels like it’s slipping away from them.

“Time is of the essence,” said Scott. “We talked about sense of urgency, we talked about accountability.  We talked about finishing. “All of these things have to come into play because we’re better than this.”

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Big plays a killer

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2012 – 11:32 pm

Every week NFL defenses give up a handful of big plays. Buffalo unfortunately took it to an extreme Sunday against San Francisco.

The Bills gave up 16 plays of 15 yards or more. Here were the Buffalo killers in terms of number of big plays.

WR Michael Crabtree had four big plays of 36, 28 (TD), 19 and 16 yards.
TE Vernon Davis had three big plays of 53, 24 and 17 yards.
RB Frank Gore had three big plays of 31, 19 and 17 yards
QB Alex Smith had two plays of 24 and 17 yards (both scrambles)
QB Colin Kaepernick two plays of 16 (TD) and 15 yards (both runs)
RB Kendall Hunter one play of 24 yards
WR Kyle Williams one play of 43 yards (TD)

George Wilson believes more than anything it’s a tackling issue.

“We’ve got to tackle,” he said. “As a defense –the offenses are good enough in this league where they’re going to make some plays.  All offenses have their playmakers.   We’ve got to be able to tackle and minimize the gain, so we can line up and play another down.    When you miss tackles and they bleed your for yards after contact or after the catch, it gives them a shorter field, land they have you on the ropes. Just fundamentally, we have to be able to tackle.”

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Bills inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2012 – 3:00 pm

Here are the Bills inactives for today’s game against the 49ers.

QB Tarvaris Jackson
RB Johnny White
S Delano Howell
LB Kirk Morrison
OL Kraig Urbik
OT Cordy Glenn
DL Spencer Johnson

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Nix trusts locker room leaders

Posted by Chris Brown on October 5, 2012 – 10:24 am

Bills GM Buddy Nix in his weekly radio appearance on Bills flagship WGR Sportsradio 550 admitted his team did not match the intensity of New England in the second half last week. But he trusts the leadership in his locker room to right the ship this week.

“We’re very confident in the guys we’ve got,” said Nix. “We’re a little bit young as far as some of the leaders, but that’s no excuse. Good teams win with young guys if they’re talented enough. We expect our guys to step up out there. I think they will this week. It’s a tough task. We’re playing what I think is one of the best teams in the league at their place and us 2,000 miles from home or further, but we expect to rise to the occasion.”

Nix has been scouting out on the west coast, but has had conversations with Chan Gailey this week and does not expect a hang over from last week’s loss on Sunday.

“Chan said we’ve had good practices and the attitude has been great,” said Nix. “I don’t expect any of that to linger into Sunday. It better not.”

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3 starters still limited for 49ers

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2012 – 11:14 pm

Three starters were again limited in practice Thursday for the 49ers.

NT Isaac Sopoaga (knee/ankle), CB Carlos Rogers (ankle) and ILB Navorro Bowman (shoulder) were all limited in practice Thursday.

Sopoaga was unable to play last week.

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Byrd limited

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2012 – 4:53 pm

S Jairus Byrd returned to practice on Thursday, but was not a full-time participant.

“He was limited, but he moved around pretty well,” said head coach Chan Gailey following Thursday’s practice. “All indications are he’ll play. Unless there’s a setback between now and then he’ll be fine.”

Byrd also missed a day of practice last week before he played on Sunday.

WR Ruvell Martin still has a chance to return from a high ankle sprain this week.

“He practiced two days, looked better today than yesterday,” said Gailey. “I’m still real hopeful for him for Sunday.”

Martin has missed the last two games.

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Jackson expects to wear knee brace again

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2012 – 10:35 am

Bills RB Fred Jackson will again wear a knee brace on his right leg this week against San Francisco.

Jackson said he expects he’ll be donning the hardware for a second straight week. Beyond this week however, he’s not sure.  

“I think that’s all going to depend on what the doc says,” said Jackson. “I’ll go talk to him, but as long as they tell me I have to wear I’ll wear it. I’m pretty sure they’ll tell me I’ll have to wear it this week, but after that I don’t know.”

The decision to wear it again this week is probably wise knowing how physical the 49ers are on defense.

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San Fran to run at Mario?

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2012 – 10:31 am

At 6’6″ 290 pounds, most offenses choose not to run at Mario Williams. Such was the case last week as New England ran more over the left side of their offensive line with good success. Looking at the success of the 49ers ground game however, they might not care who is lined up at left defensive end.

San Francisco has had success running the ball in just about any direction thus far this season, but Mario Williams may want to expect to see the likes of Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and Brandon Jacobs coming right at him.

That’s because when the 49ers run off right end this season (left side of defensive formation) they gain almost 11 yards per carry (10.88). Granted the 17 plays they’ve run to that side is a small sample size over four games, but it carries weight nonetheless.

Here’s a rundown of their run play direction success thus far this season.
Left end – 6.21 (12th in NFL)
Left tackle – 5.29 (8th in NFL)
Left guard – 2.79 (24th in NFL)
Up middle – 6.31 (5th in NFL)
Right guard – 2.75 (23rd in NFL)
Right tackle – 4.0 (12th in NFL)
Right end – 10.88 (2nd in NFL)

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Where teams have run on SF

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2012 – 10:18 am

The 49ers run defense is pretty darn good across their entire front, but early this season opponents have found some running lanes with consistency. Knowing Sunday’s game could come down to which teams runs the ball better, here’s where the Bills might be able to find success Sunday.

Through the first four games opponents have had the most success running off left guard where they’re collectively averaging four yards per carry. Up the middle is slightly better than that at 4.17 yards per carry. That success did not seem evident last week for the Jets with their top two ball carriers managing a combined 45 yards on 15 carries (3.o avg) and that was with 49ers starting NT Isaac Sopoaga out of the lineup last week.

Nevertheless these are numbers that won’t be overlooked by the Bills offensive staff for Sunday’s game.

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Bills Week 5 game time change

Posted by Chris Brown on June 28, 2012 – 11:15 am

The NFL has moved all 4:15 pm start times for games this coming season to 4:25 pm. One of Buffalo’s west coast games is affected by this change.

The Bills Week 5 game at San Francisco (Oct. 7th) will have kickoff moved back 10 minutes as part of an initiative to reduce overlap from early games when the networks have doubleheaders.

In researching the overlap issue between early games that ran long and late games on doubleheader Sundays for CBS or FOX the league found between 2009 and 2011 44 games required that the audience to be switched to a mandatory doubleheader game kickoff. The league determined that by pushing back the kickoff of the late game by just 10 minutes that the number of affected games would be reduced to only 15 (a 66% cut).

Fans in Buffalo that week (Week 5) are likely to get the Miami at Cincinnati game for their 1 pm telecast on CBS before the Bills-49ers matchup, now to kick off at 4:25.

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