Inside The Bills

Colts owner apologizes to Colts fans

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2013 – 7:36 pm

Colts owner Jim Irsay wasn’t happy at all with his team’s performance in their 44-20 loss to the Bills in the preseason opener Sunday. So much so that he tweeted an apology to his fans.

Irsay’s Colts gave up 44 points to Buffalo, a franchise preseason single-game high for the Bills. Doug Marrone’s team also outscored Indianapolis 24-7 in the second half with the Colts’ only points coming on a fumble return for a touchdown.

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5 performances you might’ve missed

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2013 – 11:54 am

There were a number of quality individual performances in Buffalo’s first preseason game that made the highlight reel, but there were some that flew under the radar Sunday. Here’s a look at some of the better play turned in by some players you might not have noticed watching the game live.

Crezdon Butler – The cornerback was noticed on his second quarter interception off a tipped pass by Manny Lawson that led to a Bills field goal, but Butler had two other pass breakups in the game to lead the team with three. Those other two both came on third downs. One was on a 3rd-and-6 play at the Bills 26, which forced the Colts to settle for a FG. The other was on a 3rd-and-5 at the Colts 13, which forced a punt. He also had a third down tackle on a 3rd-and-2 bringing down Nate Palmer for no gain to force another punt. A really nice effort for the corner that’s been running with the second unit.

Jarron Gilbert – The reserve defensive lineman wasn’t dominant, but turned in a few plays that helped the defense get off the field. He had a quarterback pressure on a 3rd-and-5 that led to a Colts punt. Gilbert also had a tackle for loss on a pass to Colts back Kerwynn Williams out of the backfield dropping him for a loss of two. He had a pass breakup to his credit too.

Shawn Powell – Powell, who was coming off his best practice of camp, punted very well Sunday. He only kicked twice, but boomed a 55-yarder to the Indianapolis 15. Accomplished return man T.Y. Hilton unfortunately had a 15-yard return on the play. His other punt from his own 28 he launched out of bounds at the Colts 26 on a 46-yard effort. His best work however, may have come on his holds as he had to reach outside his body frame to get a couple of field goal snaps down in time for the kick attempts.

Nickell Robey – Robey had just a couple of tackles on defense holding receivers short of moving the sticks on both, but more importantly he proved himself capable as a punt returner. He looked elusive on his three return attempts. He had a long of just 14 yards, but he averaged 11.7 yards a return and made coverage players miss. Anytime a punter can average better than a first down (10 yards) you’re considered very productive.

DeMarco Sampson – Sampson got 28 snaps, but only 15 were pass plays. He had four receptions for 49 yards late in the game. Three of his catches went for first downs. He also drew a pass interference penalty that gave the Bills a first down on a third-quarter TD drive.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Colts Mathis says Bills more ready to play

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2013 – 1:14 am

Indianapolis OLB Robert Mathis had no excuse for why the Bills came out and ran the ball well early with C.J. Spiller and ultimately outplayed the Colts in a 44-20 preseason Week 1 victory.

Mathis admitted that the Bills played with a greater sense of purpose than the Colts.

“They came out with I’d say, more of a sense of urgency than we did today, so it’s just something we have to work on,” said Mathis. “We just have to do what we do better, more so than what they do. That’s kind of what the preseason is all about, working on our timing and how we adjust on the fly.”


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Marrone debut sets scoring mark

Posted by Chris Brown on August 11, 2013 – 10:52 pm

The Bills 44-point output in Doug Marrone’s head coaching debut against the Colt set a team record Sunday.

Buffalo’s 44-points, 30 of which came from the offense, set a franchise preseason record. The Bills previous highest point total in a preseason game was 35, which most recently happened in a 2011 preseason win over Jacksonville (35-32 OT).

The Bills scoring occurred relatively evenly over the course of four quarters with 20 points in the first half and 24 in the second.

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Goodwin: I’m bringing it out every time

Posted by Chris Brown on August 11, 2013 – 9:25 pm

The fact that Marquise Goodwin was seven yards deep in the end zone on the kickoff he would wind up taking all the way back for a touchdown Sunday in Buffalo’s 44-20 win over Indianapolis didn’t seem to be an issue for him. As long as he’s still in the field of play how deep he’s sitting in the end zone when he fields a kickoff is irrelevant for him.

“I’m bringing it out every time,” said Goodwin regarding kick returns. “Until the other returner (fullback) Frank (Summers) keeps me in I’m bringing it out every time. So in my mind I’m thinking, yeah I’m going to take this one.”

That’s exactly what Goodwin did on Sunday. The irony of his return, which he took up the middle of the field before busting his tail to the left sideline was the call for the play was to the other side of the field.

“It was actually a right middle return. It just kind of happened that way,” said Goodwin.

Goodwin also had a 53-yard return that he almost took all the way back. Safety Ashante Williams was able to make an ankle tackle from behind on Goodwin near midfield, which surprised Goodwin.

“It was a little different for me,” he said. “It was a good blocking scheme by the guys. They fought for me and I just ran and did the best I could. Somebody kind of got my ankles at the end.”

Goodwin averaged 80 yards on his two returns.

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Notable Colts inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on August 11, 2013 – 12:26 pm

Here are the more notable Colts players who are inactive for today’s game.

S LaRon Landry
S Joe Lefeged
RB Ahmad Bradshaw
LB Jerell Freeman
LB Pat Angerer
TE Dwayne Allen
DE Fili Moala

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-30

Posted by Chris Brown on November 30, 2012 – 3:32 pm

A lot of home games down the stretch for the Bills starting with Jacksonville on Sunday. Here’s the latest edition of questions from and @ChrisBrownBills.


1 – Chris, 

Do you think our offense will become more in sync when T.J. Graham is regularly inserted into the fold? Also, do you think that a change at quarterback is necessary or do you think it is just a matter of a clean bill of health to the defense is needed to make it to the next level?

Thanks Chris! 
-Nick W
H’port, NY
CB: Graham was drafted to help stretch the field offensively, but you’re right his opportunities have been limited. I think if they can effectively make him a deep threat, it would help to open things up more underneath. A lot of opposing defenses have been squatting on Buffalo’s short routes and it’s hindered Buffalo’s attack.

Ryan Fitzpatrick by his own admission has stated that he has not performed up to even his own expectations. He also said this week that he knows he’s in a performance-based business and believes his status as the team’s starter could be affected if he does not improve his play down the stretch.

Chan Gailey re-committed himself to Fitzpatrick this week.


2 – Hey Chris ,
I have been wondering your take on a few questions that are all under the basic same heading. It has seemed to me that Coach Gailey has gone from the a coach dictating to our opponents what we want to do to letting our opponents push us into what they want us to do. It seems like we’ve added new talent to the roster this year(Graham, Dickerson, Easley), but we haven’t used it. On defense we don’t have any blitz packages. Please let me know what is the problem?

Thank you for your time !!

Mr.T from Nashville via Ft. Myers

CB:  I’ve asked Coach Gailey about dictating play to the opponent, whether it’s imposing their will with play calling or putting them on their heels with tempo changes. My most recent question concerned tempo change and jumping into no huddle when the offense is sputtering. Here was his response this week.

“We’ve done that some but it’s been more revolving around the pass game and we’re trying to make sure we get the running game going,” Gailey said. “When you do no-huddle, sometimes it revolves too much around the pass game and we don’t want to get into that. We want to keep our balance between our run and pass.”

 You’re not the first fan that has expressed an opinion that the team was more aggressive in dictating play the first two years in comparison to this year. I think that opinion only became more popular because of the Houston game where Buffalo saw Houston using regular defense against their three-wide package and chose to throw.

To me it’s a hard case to argue either way, but you cannot debate that New England has effectively dictated tempo and personnel changes against the Bills and it’s been effective for them. Not just against Buffalo, but just about anybody.


3 – Hey Chris,

I cannot recall if Buddy Nix is waiting till the off season to negotiate contracts with our impending free agents. Do you know if the brass is negotiating anything at the moment, and do you know the players disposition to resigning with the team? How much money do we have in the bank left to spend on signing our players? It would be a devastating lost to lose Byrd and Levitre to FA.

Stephen A. Naetzker

CB: Well the report did come out this week that negotiations are underway with Jairus Byrd, who is arguably the most important free agent to re-sign this offseason. Levitre is pretty important as well. It sounds like the wheels are in motion. I would also argue that the team should try to re-sign Leodis McKelvin knowing the relative lack of veteran presence at cornerback.

There are also a couple of important restricted free agents in David Nelson and Donald Jones. Kraig Urbik and Chad Rinehart are other unrestricted considerations. It could be a busy offseason just to keep some starters in the fold.


4 – Chris;

What do you think about Buddy’s statement about this being the year to try and find the future Franchise QB? Would Buddy be willing to Draft Two QB’s in the first Three rounds? With the rookie wage scale, it makes economic sense and also doubles our chances of hitting a Franchise guy. Bills nation doesn’t want to see more Linemen, LB’s or DB’s until the QB is addressed! This gives us three years to develop him, before we have to spend Big $$ to resign him. QB controversy won’t be a problem if he’s truly a Franchise guy, it wasn’t a problem with Jim Kelly and won’t be again, it’s only a problem with teams who don’t have the Franchise guy. Please tell Buddy not to bring in Vick, Cassel, or any of the other Journeymen who may be available.

Besides the Bills, what other teams do you feel will Draft QB’s?

I can see the Jets, Chiefs, Raiders, Browns, Cowboys, Eagles, Seahawks?

CB: I think Buddy was clear that he wants to add a franchise quarterback for the future. Here’s what he told us a few weeks ago.

“We want to bring in a guy that can be a franchise quarterback, I mean for the next 10 years,” Nix told “Starting maybe two years from now or whenever he’s ready. I’d like to have a guy in place. I’ve got to look past this Sunday and past the rest of this year and decisions have to be long term.”

As Nix and Gailey see it, a franchise quarterback is someone that they would acquire in the draft this coming spring and they’re likely to take one early (1st 3 rounds). Nix also made it clear that they’re willing to sacrifice other draft choices to position themselves to land such a quarterback.

What Nix did make clear was that even if they do draft a franchise type QB that Ryan Fitzpatrick is still going to be in the fold next season as the starter, barring some unforeseen lights out training camp performance by whomever they might draft for that position.

I’m not convinced they’ll draft two quarterbacks. Having two rookies can create more problems than solutions I think. But that decision isn’t up to me.

As for who you think might also be interested in a QB of the teams you’ve got listed the only ones I’d cross off your list are the Raiders (Palmer may have earned himself another season with his production) and the Seahawks (in light of how current rookie Russell Wilson is playing). I also don’t see the Eagles taking one early. They’ve got a lot of other problems.


5 – Chris,

With respect to the Reggie Wayne fumble at the end of the first half in the Colts game the photo is conclusive. Can the Bills send this and the luck spike to league office? Obviously won’t make difference now but seems as small market team without star player (aka tv ratings driver) they are on the short end of stick a lot. How can that play not be reviewed? Isn’t that the entire point of having things controlled upstairs in under 2 min scenario? Or is it just so nfl has control and can make sure questionable calls favor the teams they ideally would want to see do well?

CB: All I can tell you is the following. First, I agree it was a fumble. The only way it would not be is if a whistle blew for forward progress. That didn’t happen according to my videographer who was standing in that end zone. Just like it didn’t happen in overtime in Baltimore in 2010 when Shawn Nelson was stripped of the ball after his forward progress was stopped.

Ed Hochuli said there wasn’t a fumble, but never addressed forward progress. It’s the responsibility of the replay booth to review that play, but they did not. And the spike with no time left only made it worse, although the back judge, who keeps time on the field did immediately run to Hochuli signaling one second.

Buffalo routinely sends calls like this to the league, but beyond an ‘I’m sorry we screwed up’ there is not much that can be done to reverse it.


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Colts inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on November 25, 2012 – 11:51 am

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

CB Vontae Davis
LB Mario Harvey
NT Josh Chapman
DE Clifton Geathers
OT Tony Hills
TE Coby Fleener
TE Dominique Jones

Posted in Inside the Bills

Colts big plays keep defenses honest

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2012 – 3:22 pm

We’ve covered in detail the Colts’ league-leading big play attack. Indy is tops in the league in pass plays of 20 yards or more with 45 in just 10 games. Head coach Chan Gailey explains how it really puts the safeties on the spot to have their best possible run-pass recognition of the season.

“What you have to do is get your defensive backs to understand where the ball is going,” Gailey told “The safeties don’t play quite as tight, they don’t bite on the run fake quite as hard. They make sure exactly what is happening before they commit to the run game. And that’s what has allowed their run game to be fairly successful as well. They’ve been able to run the play fake, get deep and then they hand the ball off and those safeties are playing a little soft and coming up late. So it’s a tough offense to defend. They’re doing a good job with it and Luck handles it extremely well.”

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How much opportunity can differ

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2012 – 12:15 pm

Bills fans are still waiting to see just what kind of receiver T.J. Graham can become. The rookie’s opportunities have been limited by the presence of some veteran receiving talent in front of him. The case was much different for Colts rookie wideout T.Y. Hilton.

Blessed with track speed, much like Graham, Hilton was drafted 24 picks after the Bills took Graham. Though a speedster Hilton has seen more time in the slot as a rookie. He has three 100-yard receiving games to this point in Indianapolis’ passing attack and shows how much opportunity can differ in the NFL.

“He’s playing a little bit more inside than we’re playing T.J. inside,” said Bills head coach Chan Gailey of the Colts receiver. “We’re playing T.J. outside for the most part. T.Y. had been an inside player in college so he had a lot more experience at that, and they didn’t have the veteran receivers that we have. It’s harder to break T.J. in whereas they didn’t have a lot (of experienced talent) and had to throw him in there and he’s been productive for them.”


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Colts pass game all about Wayne

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2012 – 10:35 am

While the Colts may have five receivers with 20 catches or more so far this season, it is clear who the passing game passes through for Indianapolis.

Reggie Wayne, the 12-year veteran, who now lines up in the slot primarily, is the top read for Andrew Luck and the two have established an impressive chemistry in their first year together.

“It all revolves around 87,” said Bills head coach Chan Gailey of Indy’s passing game. “He’s the guy that opens up everybody else. Luck has done a great job, but they’re trying to get the ball out there to one guy during the course of the ball game and that opens up other things.”

Wayne has more receptions (76) than the second and third leading receivers on the team (Donnie Avery – 41, Dwayne Allen 31). He’s also second in the league in receiving yards per game (100.3) behind only Detroit’s Calvin Johnson.

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Bills injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2012 – 2:13 pm

Here’s the Bills injury report from Friday with player status for Sunday’s game against the Colts.

DE Mark Anderson – knee
CB Aaron Williams – knee

FB Corey McIntyre – knee
WR Brad Smith – hamstring
DL Spencer Johnson – ankle

DT Kyle Williams – ankle
S Da’Norris Searcy – hand
RB C.J. Spiller – shoulder
RB Fred Jackson – concussion
DE Chris Kelsay – neck
DE Mario Williams – wrist, ankle
C Eric Wood – knee
FS  Jairus Byrd – back
DE Shawne Merriman – groin
LB Kelvin Sheppard – back
G Andy Levitre – knee
DT Marcell Dareus – shoulder
OT Chris Hairston – knee
CB Leodis McKelvin – groin
CB Justin Rogers – hamstring
DB Ron Brooks – teeth

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Colts injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2012 – 2:07 pm

Here’s the Colts Friday injury report with player status for Sunday’s game.

CB Vontae Davis – knee

TE Coby Fleener – shoulder
DE Cory Redding – hip

RB        Donald Brown – knee
QB       Andrew Luck – knee
NT        Josh Chapman – knee
S          Antoine Bethea – ankle
WR       Donnie Avery – head
WR       Teddy Williams – hamstring


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Colts CB doubtful

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2012 – 1:44 pm

The cornerback the Colts acquired through trade with Miami is doubtful for Sunday’s game with a knee injury.

Vontae Davis was unable to practice Wednesday, tried to practice Thursday but was limited. Apparently his knee did not respond well as he did not practice Friday.

If Davis can’t play Josh Gordy or Cassius Vaughn would replace him in the lineup.

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Colts injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on November 22, 2012 – 4:36 pm

Here is the updated injury report for the Colts from their Thursday practice.

Did Not Participate in Practice
RB Donald Brown Knee
DE Cory Redding Hip
LB Robert Mathis Rest

Limited Participation in Practice
TE Coby Fleener Shoulder
CB Vontae Davis Knee

Full Participation in Practice
LB Dwight Freeney Rest
QB Andrew Luck Knee
NT Josh Chapman Knee
S Antoine Bethea Ankle
WR Donnie Avery Head
WR Teddy Williams Hamstring

Posted in Inside the Bills

Colts respect Bills screen game

Posted by Chris Brown on November 22, 2012 – 10:45 am

The Indianapolis Colts defense has a healthy respect for Buffalo’s screen game, something that had the Dolphins on full alert last week.

“It’s just the weapons that they have,” defensive end Cory Redding said of the Bills offense. “They have two outstanding (running) backs. Both of them are fast, elusive, quick. A quarterback that can get the ball down the field. Receivers that can run deep, intermediate routes that give guys trouble. They pose a lot of weapons and trouble for us. On the defensive side of the ball, we have to stay fundamentally sound, know where we’re supposed to be, be there when the play is to be made and make our plays.”

“They probably lead the league in screen yardage,” said Colts interim head coach Bruce Ariana. “Imean they’ve got every type of screen known to man. Middle screens, running backs are devastating on screen passes and they do a very good job of their screen game. They are the best in the league, I think they’re averaging 11-yards per completion on a screen.”

Eric Wood told earlier this week that on about 40 of Buffalo’s 61 plays in the Miami game, Dolphins defenders were shouting, ‘Watch the screen, watch the draw!’ Looks for Colts defenders to be doing the same on Sunday.

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Freeney gets rest day

Posted by Chris Brown on November 21, 2012 – 5:03 pm

OLB Dwight Freeney got a veteran rest day in Wednesday’s practice joining three other Colts who did not practice. Here’s the full injury report for the Colts.

Did not practice
CB Vontae Davis – knee
LB Dwight Freeney – rest
DE Corry Redding – hip
S Antoine Bethea – ankle

Limited in practice
TE Coby Fleener – shoulder

Full practice
RB Donald Brown – knee
QB Andrew Luck – knee
DT Josh Chapman – knee
WR Donnie Avery – head
WR Teddy Williams – hamstring

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CB Brooks heads to dentist

Posted by Chris Brown on November 21, 2012 – 4:17 pm

Bills rookie CB Ron Brooks was not in attendance for practice. Head coach Chan Gailey explained why after Wednesday’s workout.

“Brooks was not here,” said Gailey. “He had emergency dental surgery. He’ll hopefully be back in the next day or so.”

With Brooks missing from practice, Crezdon Butler filled in as the team’s fourth cornerback Wednesday.

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McIntyre update

Posted by Chris Brown on November 21, 2012 – 4:14 pm

Bills FB Corey McIntyre left practice during individual position drills Wednesday. Head coach Chan Gailey provided an update after practice.

“Corey’s knee flared up,” said Gailey. “He’s been working with it off and on, but he’ll be fine it looks like for the game. We might have to rest him again tomorrow.”

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Kelsay to practice fully

Posted by Chris Brown on November 21, 2012 – 1:45 pm

Bills DE Chris Kelsay, who practiced on a limited basis in his return from a neck injury Monday, but he’s ramping up his participation here on Wednesday.

“Monday I just strictly did individual drills and warmed up and hit the sled a little bit and took on a couple of blocks with the pads and it felt good,” said Kelsay. “I’ll go out and have a full practice today. So I’m not expecting to being limited and just go about practice like I did before the injury.”

Head coach Chan Gailey has said he expects Kelsay to play on Sunday, but plans to ease him back in since he’s missed each of the last two games.

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