Inside The Bills

Bills advance planning logistics for Browns next week

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2014 – 7:47 pm

As the Bills juggle the options for this week’s game against the Jets to get some level of on field preparation done before they face their AFC East rivals, there is also advanced planning being done to prepare more effectively for the Browns game the following week if in fact the weather continues to be a hindrance in Orchard Park.

“That’s something that is also in play,” said Bills team President Russ Brandon. “Not only in preparation for this game and playing this game, but for next week there is a potential to go off site and practice somewhere if our facility is not operational. That goes in the same bucket of the layers of other things that are up in the air that we’re all trying to work through. It’s a constant evolution and a process so we’re really waiting to hear back from the league.”

Brandon said they hope to get the team on the practice field to their yet to be determined game location prior to the game against the Jets.

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Bills DBs on high alert with Browns throwing

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2013 – 8:51 am

With the Browns leading the league in pass attempts and averaging almost 46 pass attempts a game, Buffalo’s secondary is going to be on high alert.

The main concerns are TE Jordan Cameron, who leads the team with 30 receptions and five touchdowns, four of which have come in the last two games. WR Josh Gordon is another go-to guy with 28 targets in the last two games.

Bills safety Da’Norris Searcy, fresh off a four pass breakup performance against Baltimore is well aware that passes figure to be flying everywhere when they’re on the field.

“You’ve got to be alert regardless especially now that the NFL is becoming a passing league,” he said. “A lot of teams don’t necessarily have one specific guy they go to especially with this team. They love to spread it around so pretty much everybody is live so we have to cover everybody.”

“Any time you get big physical receivers, quarterback s like to throw it up and give them a chance, figuring that the worst thing that’s going to happen is an incomplete pass,” said Jim Leonhard. “We get challenged every week.  We realize that being a young secondary, we’re going to get tested every week.  This Thursday is not going to be any different.”

The added challenge for the Bills is the likelihood that they’ll have more moving parts in the defensive backfield this week with Aaron Williams (low back) and Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) still on the mend.

“We’ve got to make sure our communication is down pat, which is going to be tough with the short week and all, but with the extra meeting time we have, we just are making sure we’re on one accord and get these guys covered,” said Searcy.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Polar opposites offensively

Posted by Chris Brown on October 1, 2013 – 2:05 pm

The Bills and Browns square off on Thursday night in Cleveland and their two offenses have taken different approaches to moving the football through the first month of the season.

Both clubs have new head coaches in Doug Marrone and Rob Chudzinski, but through the first four games their play calling has been very different.

While the dichotomy in offensive approach can be partly attributed to how some of the first four games played out for each team, the two coaches don’t appear to subscribe to a similar philosophy.

The Bills lead the league in rushing attempts 147 in four games averaging almost 37 per game. Not surprisingly, they also rank 24th in pass attempts with 130.

Meanwhile Cleveland is tied for the league lead (St. Louis) in pass attempts with 183 and stand 27th in rushing attempts with 80 on the season (20 per game).


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Browns CB Haden a shut down guy

Posted by Chris Brown on October 1, 2013 – 8:15 am

The Cleveland defense is a unit that is probably better than that of Baltimore right now. There are a lot of top draft choices on that side of the ball for the Browns, including top CB Joe Haden, who effectively shut down Cincinnati’s A.J. Green Sunday in a 17-6 win over the Bengals.

Haden was assigned to cover Green the entire game. The Bengals top receiver was targeted 15 times in the game. By game’s end he had seven catches for 51 yards, with his longest reception going for just 16.

It will be interesting to see if Haden is matched up on Stevie Johnson in the slot, knowing Haden is primarily a boundary cornerback.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hoyer to start as Browns QB again Thurs.

Posted by Chris Brown on September 30, 2013 – 11:52 am

Brian Hoyer in relief of the injured Browns QB Brandon Weeden has led Cleveland to back-to-back victories, and apparently will remain in the lineup when they host Buffalo Thursday night.

That according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who is citing sources that have told him Hoyer will stay in the lineup despite the fact that Weeden resumed throwing last week as he returns from a thumb injury on this throwing hand.

Hoyer has completed about 60 percent of his passes this season (59.8%) with five touchdowns and three interceptions for the Browns and a passer rating of 83.2.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

How Marrone changed things for short week

Posted by Chris Brown on September 30, 2013 – 9:12 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone was well aware that his team had two games within five days as soon as he saw his team’s regular season schedule. Here’s what he did last week in the practice setting in an effort to keep his players fresher this week in advance of the Thursday night game with Cleveland.

Essentially he took hits off of his players’ bodies last Thursday in practice and has moved practice reps around this week.

“I think the main thing we did is normally we go out in full pads on a Thursday and we didn’t do that (last week),” Marrone told “This week we pushed some things back to get some more recovery time. We’ll look at reducing some of the reps this week as far as in practice, but we’ll make them up in the walk-throughs.

“What you want to do is keep the same amount of reps, it’s just a matter of when are you taking them and how are you taking them so you can get your players ready to play.”

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Browns coach on Fitz

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2012 – 10:23 am

Ryan Fitzpatrick was very efficient in Buffalo’s win over Cleveland Sunday with three touchdown passes. Browns head coach Pat Shurmur, who has a pretty talented rookie QB in Brandon Weeden likes Fitzpatrick’s game.

“I thought going into it that (Ryan) Fitzpatrick was kind of a gritty, gutty quarterback,” said Shurmur. “What did they throw for a couple hundred yards? 200 yards, and he had 22 completions.  He threw for three touchdowns – we can’t let them do that. He’s good.”

Fitzpatrick passer rating so far this season is at 95.2. He’s got eight touchdowns against three interceptions, and all three of the INTs came in Week 1.

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Bills run ‘D’ has Richardson’s respect

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2012 – 10:16 am

After ripping off 109 rushing yards against the Bengals, Trent Richardson was held to just 33 by the Bills averaging just 2.2 yards per carry. It earned the Bills a tip of the cap from the rookie back.

“The Bills have a strong defensive line, hands down,” said Richardson. “The creases were there, it just takes a little time and the second half was much better than the first. We had a slow start and playing teams like that with a good defensive line and defensive staff, we can’t have misses like that.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin’s INT luck of the draw

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2012 – 7:43 pm

Leodis McKelvin might have taken a step back in Buffalo’s depth chart at cornerback, but it hasn’t kept him from making an impact in the last two games. In the Week 2 win his 88-yard punt return for a TD put the game away. This week he turned in a play to all but put the game to bed. The interesting thing was he wasn’t even supposed to be on the field at the time.

McKelvin again contributed on special teams with a couple of quality returns including a 33-yarder on a punt return that led to a touchdown for the Bills. Late in the game, McKelvin also had an interception with 4:29 left when he stepped in front of a Brandon Weeden pass intended for Josh Gordon on a 2nd-and-20 at the Bills 31-yard line to prevent the last threat by Cleveland to get points. But McKelvin wasn’t supposed to be on the field.

“I was on the sideline and Aaron Williams said he had something in his eye and couldn’t see,” McKelvin told “And they were calling for T (Terrence McGee), but after I didn’t see Terrence I just jumped on the field so our defense was ready for the next play.”

McKelvin apparently was as he recorded the sixth interception of his career and first since Week 3 last season against New England.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Browns inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2012 – 12:00 pm

Here are the Browns inactives for today’s game with the Bills.

QB Thaddeus Lewis
WR Jordan Norwood
S Eric Hagg
RB Brandon Jackson
LB James Michael-Johnson
OL Ryan Miller
TE Alex Smith

Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario listening to Buffalo’s own

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2012 – 11:18 am

We don’t claim to know whether he’s been a fan all along, but there was no mistaking the music coming from Mario Williams’ headphones in the hours leading up to today’s game against the Browns.

It was Buffalo’s own Rick James turned up loud on Williams’ I-Pod. Williams listened to a few of James’ tracks in a row with the lead off being ‘Cold Blooded.’ We’ll see how fired up it has the Bills pass rusher against the Browns in an hour and a half.

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Why Richardson never goes down easy

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2012 – 9:46 am

He’s built low to the ground, has great balance and once he has a head of steam is almost impossible to bring down with one man. Cleveland rookie RB Trent Richardson runs like a wrecking ball, which is why gang tackling will be the play for the Bills today.

“You better not ‘A’ let him get in the open field because he’s hard to tackle, and ‘B’ when you hem him up you better get more than one hat to the ball because you’ve got to tackle this guy,” Bills head coach Chan Gailey told “He’s not going down on his own. He’s not going to be tripped up. You’ve got to go knock him down. That’s the big challenge for our defense this week. It’s to keep him corralled and keep him hemmed up.”

Bills GM Buddy Nix, who scouted Richardson took the urgency of sound fundamental tackling a bit further.

“He’s got all those things and he can make you miss and he can run over you,” said Nix. “That’s really a hard choice for a defender. We’ve got to tackle good, get more than one guy on him. We don’t need to try and strip the ball. We need to get him down and the sooner the better so he doesn’t get one-on-one with defensive backs and maybe hurt somebody.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Browns injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2012 – 2:53 pm

Here’s the official injury report from the Browns for Sunday’s game against the Bills.

LB James Michael-Johnson – rib, oblique
TE Alex Smith – head

WR Josh Cribbs – knee
DE Juqua Parker – foot
DB Ray Ventrone – hand

LB Scott Fujita – knee
DT Billy Winn – head
WR Greg Little – back
RB Trent Richardson – knee

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Browns demote CB Brown

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2012 – 2:33 pm

Veteran CB Sheldon Brown has been demoted by the Browns from his starting cornerback role.

According to multiple reports out of Cleveland, Brown will serve as the team’s third cornerback leaving second-year CB Buster Skrine and six-year vet CB Dmitri Patterson as the starters. Skrine and Patterson struggled in coverage last week allowing 15 completions in the 20 times both were targeted by Cincinnati. Cleveland’s secondary play was a big reason the Browns couldn’t pull out a victory last week against the Bengals in a 34-27 loss with touchdown plays of 44 and 50 yards coming through the air last week. 

With Brown serving as the nickel corner, rookie Trevin Wade would be the Browns 4th corner.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Barnett on attacking Weeden

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2012 – 9:03 am

With only two games worth of film to go off of and some preseason games, the book is limited on Cleveland QB Brandon Weeden. Bills LB Nick Barnett, however, is not concerned about the relative newness of Weeden as an opponent.

“There’s film on him,” said Barnett. “But you just play against their scheme and their offense and what you’ve seen on the film. He’s played a lot of games in the preseason, so we’ve seen enough film study on him to know some of the tendencies and what he does.  But we’re just gonna  go out there and play our responsibilities, get 11-guys busting their butt and getting to the ball.”

Barnett maintains that Weeden’s lack of experience is not going to influence how the Bills approach the Browns offense in terms of game plan. 

“I think we’re gonna do what we do,” Barnett said. “Regardless of his experience or inexperience. We’ve got to play defense the way we play defense,  and cover the way we cover, and we’ve got to get to him. Obviously you want to disrupt any quarterback, and we definitely would like to get him uncomfortable back there and get him making bad decisions.”

Weeden threw four INTs in Week 1, but none in Week 2.

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WR Martin out for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2012 – 5:08 pm

Among the Bills injuries this week is WR Ruvell Martin, who is battling an ankle ailment that will keep him out of Sunday’s game.

“Ruvell is out,” said head coach Chan Gailey after Thursday’s practice.

Martin has been used mainly on special teams including the all important gunner role on punt team.

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Browns injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2012 – 4:43 pm

Here’s the rundown of the Browns injury update for Thursday.

Not practicing for a second straight day were LB James Michael-Johnson (ribs/oblique) and TE Alex Smith (head).

Limited in practice again Thursday were WR Josh Cribbs (knee), DE Juqua Parker (foot), DB Raymond Ventrone (hand).

Practicing fully after being limited Wednesday was starting DT Billy Winn (head) and OL Oniel Cousins (ankle).


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Byrd improved, should play Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2012 – 4:32 pm

On Wednesday, head coach Chan Gailey described Jairus Byrd as a game-time decision, but after watching the free safety participate in practice Thursday Buffalo’s head coach is pretty confident Byrd will play Sunday.

“Very limited out there,” said Gailey of Byrd. “He went through individual and took a few team plays, but I think he’ll be fine Sunday. I’m shocked as a matter of fact. It’s good.”

When asked if he considers Byrd better than a game time decision at this point, Gailey answered in the affirmative saying he was “a lot more improved.”

Byrd played the whole game Sunday. The injury was sustained before the game, but the free safety wouldn’t divulge how the injury came to be. When asked if it was during warm-ups or before warm-ups Byrd would only say the following.

“It was something like that,” he said. “I’ll leave it like that, it was before the game.”

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Barnett injury nothing serious

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2012 – 4:28 pm

Nick Barnett missed practice on Thursday and is listed as having a knee injury, but the linebacker said it’s minor in nature.

“It’s nothing,” said Barnett. “Just one of those days. It’s nothing serious.”

Barnett assured he’ll be playing on Sunday in Cleveland. Head coach Chan Gailey reinforced Barnett’s assessment.

“We’re kind of precautionary he’ll be fine,” said Gailey. “He practiced yesterday, he’ll practiced tomorrow. We just left him rest a little bit.”

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Browns injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2012 – 5:13 pm

Cleveland’s injury report is a bit longer than Buffalo’s. Here’s the rundown for the Browns.

Did not practice
LB James Michael-Johnson – ribs/oblique
TE Alex Smith – head

Limited in practice
OL Oniel Cousins – ankle
WR Josh Cribbs – knee
DE Juqua Parker – knee
DB Raymond Ventrone – hand
DT Billy Winn – head

Full practice
LB Scott Fujita – knee
WR Gregg Little – back
RB Trent Richardson – knee

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Posted in Inside the Bills