Inside The Bills

EJ confirms has authority to change plays

Posted by Chris Brown on June 10, 2014 – 9:56 pm

As a rookie he was on a short leash, but EJ Manuel now with a year invested in  the Bills offensive system sounds like he’s got full clearance to make a decision on getting the offense into a better play if the first one called looks like a dubious one against the defensive look he’s seeing.

There have been a fair number of audibles at the line of scrimmage this week in OTAs by all the quarterbacks. Manuel confirmed his firm grasp of Nathaniel Hackett’s system has given him the green light to change the play at the line.

“I would say from the last game last season to now I’m way further ahead,” said Manuel. “We’ve learned our responsibility of having the ability to change plays. Coach Hackett is not second guessing what we’re doing. I think he trusts me a lot more to get us in the right play.

“Obviously in the game it’s easier because you have a game plan with specific things that you check into. In practice it’s kind of all the place, but I definitely feel a lot better with my grasp of the offense. Sometimes I get frustrated because I know it’s there and if we have one misstep (in practice) and it’s not complete that’s frustrating. I try to pride myself on knowing it so well, but we’ve just got to keep rolling with the punches.”


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Limited work the plan for McKelvin, Gilmore

Posted by Chris Brown on June 10, 2014 – 5:28 pm

For the first time this spring starting cornerbacks Leodis McKelvin and Stephon Gilmore got team work in OTAs Tuesday, with both getting a handful of snaps during 11-on-11 red zone work. But with both working their way back from offseason surgeries, they’re not expected to see much more action than that the rest of the spring.

That according to McKelvin himself who spoke with Buffalobills.com after practice concluded.

“We’ll pretty much just wait until training camp,” said McKelvin. “We’ll probably do a lot of the same as what we did today with red zone work and work our way back in there. You never know there may be a couple of reps where we want to try open field, but we’ll see how it goes.”

Gilmore and McKelvin are both coming off hip procedures in the offseason and they’re taking a slow and steady approach to their return to full participation. Watching from the sidelines is a bit easier for each of them with the other starting corner standing next to him.

“We’re on the sideline watching and watching the guys on film and watching their mistakes and what they do on film,” said McKelvin. “When we get out there we just make sure we’re on top of our task and not over work ourselves, but make sure when we’re out there when we do things right.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

How Hackett evaluates play in OTAs

Posted by Chris Brown on June 6, 2014 – 3:45 pm

It’s very far from real football in the organized team activity setting of spring football, but coaches have to evaluate to some degree anyway. Here’s how Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett does it before the pads come on.

“It’s about the spacing, it’s about what the defense gives us,” said Hackett. “We don’t know what the defense is going to run so it’s all about kind of what they give and how that play fits, just like a game situation. You want to see how everybody makes their decisions. How they adjust their routes, how they adjust their drops, where a quarterback is going within the progression. As long as we get through the proper steps and we get to the right guy within that progression that’s how we evaluate that, that this guy was able to run his route in the progression.”


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Watkins route running progress report

Posted by Chris Brown on June 5, 2014 – 3:32 pm

Bills rookie receiver Sammy Watkins has made route running his top priority in the spring practices. Knowing the precision that receivers coach Rob Moore and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett are demanding, Watkins is anxious to tighten everything up. Here’s his assessment of where he’s at after two weeks of OTAs and a rookie minicamp.

“I’m getting better. There are probably two or three routes that I still have to work on,” he said. “Overall, I think I’m looking similar to the older guys in the offense and I think I’m picking it up real fast.”

Watkins explained why the route running part of his job is a demanding hurdle to clear.

“You’ve got different routes than I was running in college. There are so many routes in this offense,” he said. “Most of them are similar but you got to have steps, it’s more steps now than yards. You got to get the correct steps to get your yardage.  So that’s been the biggest struggle.  But this week, I’ve been doing all my steps and revolutions, I know how to do them now so now I’m running my routes perfect.”

 


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Moorman, Dombrowski hanging punts

Posted by Chris Brown on June 5, 2014 – 3:28 pm

The punter competition continued at OTAs on Thursday. Both Brian Moorman and rookie Jake Dombrowski were working on hang time, distance and directional punting in practice. Both punters had a moonshot in their series of kicks Thursday.

Moorman’s best kick was a 67-yard effort that bounced out of bounds at the opponent’s six-yard line. It had an unofficial hang time of 4.63.

Dombrowski had the longest kick of the day booting a 70-yarder that had an impressive unofficial hang time of 5.42 seconds.

Where Moorman is still ahead of the game is directional punting and the veteran was on in Thursday’s practice. Moorman put three of his kicks out at the five, eight and one-yard line. The best was his last. One of Buffalo’s gunners ran down the field to keep the ball from reaching the end zone for a touchback, but Moorman’s Aussie style punt bounced sideways parallel to the plane of the goal line and out of bounds at the one.


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Hughes a pass rushing force Wednesday

Posted by Chris Brown on June 4, 2014 – 4:21 pm

Bills pass rusher Jerry Hughes was living up to his billing in practice Wednesday. Though it’s far from real football at this point in time in OTAs, Hughes had his best practice thus far.

After a would-be sack midway through Wednesday’s practice during a 9-v-9 segment the Bills run, Hughes followed it up with three more sacks in a span of five plays. In practice pass rushers can only tap out a QB on a pass play. Hughes tapped out Jeff Tuel and EJ Manuel on his four sacks.

On his last play Hughes swooped around the right side and tapped out Manuel before he could launch a deep ball for Sammy Watkins down the right sideline. Hughes began shouting down the field, “Bring that ball back! That was a sack!”

While much has been made about the adjustment Hughes may need to make going from Mike Pettine’s defense to Jim Schwartz’s as Hughes sees it not much has changed for him.

“He’s brought in his 4-3 scheme, but as far as what I’m doing it’s pretty much the same thing I did last year,” said Hughes. “My hand is in the ground and I’m coming off the edge trying to create pressure to get to the quarterback.”


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New nickel competition healthy for Robey

Posted by Chris Brown on June 3, 2014 – 5:07 pm

Last year at this time undrafted rookie Nickell Robey was well on his way to locking down the starting nickel cornerback role for the Bills. This year he’s got some veteran competition in free agent signee Corey Graham. But Robey is going to school on Graham’s experience and he believes it’s helping his game.

Graham has been first in the rotation at nickel corner in Buffalo’s defense followed by Robey. Other players have been rotated in here and there, but in all likelihood it’ll be a two horse race come training camp. Robey instead of feeling threatened by Graham is soaking up any knowledge Graham can provide either through his play or the time they spend together in the film room.

“Just learning from him. He’s been in the league going on eight years,” Robey told Buffalobills.com. “Basically I’m just taking in what he says and his experience from other places and learning the offense as well as he can. He knows how the offense operates, so trying to learn from him and take in the knowledge and experience he has as far as the wisdom part of it. That relationship is great. Having him here it definitely makes things a lot better for us nickels because he knows what he’s talking about.”

Robey had a pass breakup and a sack in Tuesday’s practice.


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Marrone committed to getting Dareus on track

Posted by Chris Brown on June 3, 2014 – 3:13 pm

The two latest incidents off the field by Marcell Dareus are certainly of concern to the Bills organization. Even though Dareus will now miss the remainder of OTA practices (7 in all), throwing his full support behind Dareus in an effort to get him back on track is head coach Doug Marrone.

“Obviously, we all know and are well aware that Marcell has made some poor decisions lately and the one thing is that I’ve been working with him and he’s dealing with a lot of personal issues too,” Marrone said. “I spoke with him at length and we spent a lot of time together talking about a lot of things. As of now, he’s not going to be attending the OTA’s, but he’ll be attending the mandatory minicamp when we come back.

“I just want to make sure that I’m clear that everyone understands that I believe in Marcell and I will do everything I can to make sure that we can get him on the right track. Really that’s the situation. There are a lot of things going on, a lot of personal talk and that’s really all I’m going to comment on. The conversations we had are between us and we’re working this thing. I’m disappointed in all of our players anytime anyone of us, including myself, when we make poor decisions. It’s a reflection of the team, which is a reflection of me and it’s a reflection on this organization.”

Marrone went on to say that it’s more important for him to do right by a person who needs help over everything else.

“When any player makes a poor decision I always think of where I made a mistake,” he said. “That’s the truth. I just feel that way and when I make decisions to not play people, bench him and all that other stuff, I do it because winning, don’t get me wrong my job is to win and winning is important, but it’s not as important as trying to help somebody.

“I’d rather lose games and do the right thing in my mind, not everybody else’s mind, not the media’s mind and not the public opinion’s mind. My mind. I’d rather do the right thing and I can live with myself. At the end of the day, I’m the one that is going to have to live with myself. That’s the way I treat it. Right wrong or indifferent, it might not be what people want to hear, but that is more important to me. Trying to do the right thing and help people, than it is to win.”

 


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Chandler progressing well

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2014 – 10:31 am

By the end of the first week of OTAs, TE Scott Chandler was back working the team segments of practice. In 2013 he was coming back from a more serious ACL repair and played in all 16 games last season. Now he’s returning from a less severe knee procedure, but he’s not going to rush it.

Chandler admitted he put a lot of pressure on himself to get back fast last offseason, perhaps anxious to prove himself to what was then a new coaching staff.

“I pushed it pretty quick last year and I think it’s good to not do that again,” he said. “I got all 16-games in last year and that’s the goal.”

Chandler was naturally happy to get some team work in at the end of last week’s OTA practices.

“I’m progressing back in rehab and stuff, feeling a lot better,” said Chandler. “It’s been a big step for me, got to get in there a little bit more with the team work.”

Chandler led the Bills in receptions and receiving yards last season.


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Bills TEs not worried about respect

Posted by johnmurphyshow on May 30, 2014 – 5:00 pm

Before the draft a month ago, many experts pegged the Bills biggest need as tight end. More than a few draftniks had Buffalo choosing TE Eric Ebron from North Carolina in the first round.

We know how that played out. And now after one week of OTAs, the Bills tight ends held over from last year are making big plays in the workouts.

Scott Chandler had one of the best catches of the first week-a leaping grab over the middle on a pass from EJ Manuel. Tony Moeaki has been a consistent and solid pass-catcher in the first three workouts. And second-year man Chris Gragg has caught more than his share of passes.

It makes you wonder how much of a need the tight end position really was.

The most veteran member of the tight end group, Scott Chandler, says outside perceptions of the Bills returning tight ends don’t carry much weight with him.

“We know what we’ve got,” he says.  “I’ve played with all of these guys for two years now. I think we know what it takes to be successful in this league. We’ve got a group of smart guys and that’s an underrated quality. If we pay attention to what you guys are talking about all the time we’re going to be in trouble. We just focus on what we need to do.”

 


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QB Lewis-no more playing catch-up

Posted by johnmurphyshow on May 30, 2014 – 3:30 pm

Quarterback Thad Lewis wound up getting five starts for the Bills in 2013.  Which was pretty amazing, considering he wasn’t even on the roster until late August.

Lewis had to go through a crash course in Buffalo’s offense on the fly to get ready to start in mid-October against the Bengals.

This year, it’s a totally different story. Lewis wrapped up the first week of OTAs Friday with confidence in his command of the offense, something he could not say last season.

“Every day I had to study from the ground up,” he said after an OTA workout this week. “The other guys were moving on, because they didn’t have time to teach me. It was a hard grind.”

Lewis has been getting backup quarterback reps during the first three workouts of the spring OTAs.  And after spending the last month in the QB meeting room, he says he now feels confident in the Bills offense and what he has to take out onto the practice field.

“It’s been great. Getting an opportunity to know what you’re doing and going ahead and just running plays—being able to correct the things you see on film.  “Last year I was kind of iffy on that situation there. It’s been good. It’s been an easy transition, I wish I would have had this before I had to start that game in week six last year.”

 


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Fan Friday 5-30

Posted by Chris Brown on May 30, 2014 – 1:01 pm

Week 1 of OTAs is in the books and here are some of your latest questions about the team from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

what role does Hairston have? He played well until his injury but is a holdover. I hope he gets a fair shot

homeslice5484

CB: Hairston right now is running mainly with the second team at left tackle. He hasn’t received a ton of reps in the team setting. We’re guessing it’s due in part to the fact that he hasn’t played any form of football on a field in almost a year after landing on the non-football illness list in 2013. He’s looked a bit rusty this week, which is understandable, but if he can regain the form that made him a very capable swing tackle two years ago, Buffalo’s line depth becomes that much better.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

With the resigning of Dan Carpenter, what does this mean for Dustin Hopkins, he was injured, but he is the real deal…..

Jay C@SWFLChiver

CB: Carpenter is coming off a career year and the second-most accurate season in Bills team history. Unless he has a complete meltdown in training camp or the preseason Carpenter will be the place kicker. The key for Hopkins will be to demonstrate he can be a dynamic weapon on kickoffs by booting everything through the back of the end zone for touchbacks. Coach Marrone has said he’s not opposed to keeping two kickers if they can both prove they would be of great value to the team.

The trouble for Hopkins is his groin injury was severe and took a long time to heal. As a result he’s rusty entering OTAs having been unable to kick. He has to get his swing back and he has to do it in short order to convince the coaches that he deserves a spot on the 53-man roster.

 

3 – Chris,
With the Bills not making a move during draft for a tight end, how do you think the position will shake out behind Chandler? Do you see the Bills keeping Lee Smith? I like Chris Gragg as development tight end with good speed. What do you think he chances are to make the final roster? Tony Moeaki still is a question mark to me, since he has hardly played in 2 years. Can Gragg stick and lineup as be juke type of TE? Or is too small to beat LB/DB?

CB: Right now Scott Chandler is not participating in team work after coming off of offseason knee surgery. So that has opened up more opportunities for the likes of Tony Moeaki and Chris Gragg when it comes to the passing game. Lee Smith is primarily a blocker though he can work the short areas. In the first week of OTAs Moeaki and Gragg have seen the most action.

Moeaki is the most athletic in the group. His transition from catch to turning up field is very, very smooth. Gragg has very good straight line speed for a man his size (6-3 244), but like some of the other tight ends is not sudden in his movements when it comes to route running. He’s long-limbed which always helps in the passing game, but I would put Moeaki ahead of him.

We’ll know more about both players once the pads go on at training camp, but from a pure playmaking perspective Moeaki is going to be pushing Chandler.

 

4 – Chris,

With Watkins and Williams in, Graham would seem to go down to 5th on depth chart. Given they need special teamers like Easley/Hogan. How do you think this will play out? Goodwin and Graham are just too similar. I liked Hogan more as slot/special teamer. Could they trade Graham? Or will he have to fight for a spot in camp?

CB: I think Graham will have to fight for a spot on this roster. There is suddenly a lot of depth at receiver and Marquise Goodwin has the added advantage of being a pick made by the current regime, not one that was inherited like T.J.. The problem is Graham is not participating in any team work due to an offseason procedure. He can offer return ability to special teams, but Leodis McKelvin handles punts and Goodwin handles kickoffs.

Making things tougher Chris Hogan has had a solid first week of OTA practices. So when Graham is again full go in the practice setting he’ll have to really turn it up.

 

5 – Chris,

There has been much talk about the defensive formation Jim Schwartz is going to deploy this year.  He has been successful with the Wide 9 approach but with the personnel moves we have made, it appears to me that we may see as much of the 4-3 Under deployed by Mike Pettine as we will of a pure Wide 9.  Bringing in Spikes and moving Alonso upgrade the two linebacker spots and Rivers provide competition for Lawson.  That and the lack of another “pure” defensive end leads me to believe our defense is going to as varied as we saw last year.  Just hope it stays as agressive.

Appreciate your thoughts on this and as always, very much appreciate your insights and reporting on the comings and going at OBD.

Regards,
Jim
Macungie, Pa.

CB: I don’t think you have to worry about the defense staying aggressive. Talking to some of the men up front this week (Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus) the defense is all about being aggressive and getting up field. They feel it will cater well to what their strengths are across the defensive line.

Now that being said Manny Lawson and Jerry Hughes have some big adjustments to make as they will be full-time defensive ends in Jim Schwartz’s system. Mario will presumably man the left side and Lawson and Hughes will split the job on the right side.

We’ll be able to ascertain how it’s all coming together when the pads go on in July.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Spiller: Best I’ve felt since 2012

Posted by Chris Brown on May 30, 2014 – 8:35 am

The last time C.J. Spiller was on the team’s grass practice field every step was a chore. Planting and cutting, let along straight like jogging all made his high ankle sprain throb. Spiller battled through the 2013 season with that hitch in his step. The first week of OTAs that hitch was gone.

“I don’t feel nothing, I feel great,” said Spiller. “This is the best I’ve felt since 2012 when I had that great year. The ankle feels wonderful.  I just have to keep doing what I need to do to stay healthy this whole season and try to go out there and make plays.”

Spiller, for those that don’t remember had 1,244 yards rushing and just over 1,700 yards from scrimmage in 2012 and averaged an impressive six yards a carry, tied for the league lead with Adrian Peterson.

“That’s what I’m capable of doing,” said Spiller. “When I’m fully healthy I consider myself one of the best in the league, but when you’re not healthy it kind of hinders your game a lot.  It hinders our game plan.  So the biggest thing for me is to be healthy,  for all of our running backs to be healthy so we can expand our game plan.”

 


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Dixon putting in extra work

Posted by Chris Brown on May 29, 2014 – 5:33 pm

After OTA practices a good number of players put in extra work. RB Anthony Dixon was one of them on Thursday. Performing well thus far in practice and getting a good number of carries with the first and second units Dixon had his first setback on a pitch from EJ Manuel, and he didn’t wait long to get it fixed.

Dixon fumbled the pitch early in practice that the defense recovered. Before practice was over he asked Manuel if he would work on exchanges and pitches. Manuel obliged and the two worked together on pitches and exchanges for 10 minutes.

“It was a ball on the ground. You can’t have that,” Dixon told Buffalobills.com. “We’re trying to be champions and that was just championship work (after practice). We were just getting a little extra because that can’t happen on Sunday. That’s all it was just extra work.”

Dixon put in additional work doing 100-yard three-quarter sprints for an additional 10 minutes with sets of 25 sit-ups in between. Work ethic doesn’t look like it’s going to be an issue for Dixon.


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Healthy Kyle Williams ready to roll

Posted by Chris Brown on May 29, 2014 – 12:59 pm

It was the first run play in 11-on-11 on day one of OTAs and Kyle Williams, as he’s done many times before, sniffed out the play, shed his man and wrapped up the ball carrier on a tackle for loss. What was different was seeing Williams full go in May. Back-to-back offseason Achilles surgery in each of the past two years left the Pro Bowl DT a spectator, but Williams comes into OTAs this spring with a clean bill of health.

“I feel good. I think this is the first full offseason I’ve had in three or four years,” Williams said. “Being able to start back after the year and work rather than recover and then work. I’ve been able to build from day one so I’m excited about it.”

Instead of focusing on rehab and then offseason conditioning, it’s been all conditioning in preparation for football.

“I’m just stronger and better general condition,” said Williams. “I don’t have to wait on something to get better where I can work out and improve. I don’t think I’ve done OTAs in two years, maybe three. It’s good to be where I’m at now. It’s been a long time coming. I feel good and excited about what’s in front of me.”

 


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Kiko feeling good after offseason surgery

Posted by Chris Brown on May 28, 2014 – 4:37 pm

Kiko Alonso participated in the individual position drill portions of practice, but not any team work. That is likely to be the plan for the rest of the OTAs after he underwent offseason hip surgery.

“Yeah, it’s great. I feel great. I had a great rehab and I’m just trying to get stronger,” he said.

Alonso was one of several players who had offseason surgery. Fellow draft classmate Robert Woods had ankle surgery. Head coach Doug Marrone addressed both.

“They’re coming off procedures both of them,” Marrone said. “Kiko had a hip and Robert had an ankle.  Those guys have been here the whole time working and we’re just being progressive, making sure they’re working their way back.  We know they’ll be available and healthy for the season.”

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins wishing he didn’t have to miss OTAs

Posted by Chris Brown on May 28, 2014 – 2:42 pm

As encouraging as Sammy Watkins play was in his first day on the field in Buffalo’s offense, he’s unfortunately going to miss the next two days of organized team activities due to the NFLPA Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles, which mandates the attendance of the top players in the draft class. If Watkins had his way he’d be staying in Orchard Park the rest of the week.

“I would rather stay here and get the connection with the quarterback,” Watkins said. “I don’t want to fall behind. It’s a long season so I need to be prepared to be ready for the first game. It’s kind of sad that I have to leave for three or four days and everybody will have that two or three days ahead of me. So I really have to go down to the rookie premiere and study the plays and actually get out there running and train a little bit and not get behind too far.”

The three-day event is hosted by NFL Players Inc., the marketing and licensing arm of the NFLPA. EJ Manuel and Robert Woods attended the event last year. Here’s a list of the rookies attending this year.

LAST

FIRST

POS

SCHOOL

TEAM

Adams

Davante

WR

Fresno State

 Green Bay Packers

Archer

Dri

RB

Kent State

Pittsburgh Steelers

Beckham

Odell, Jr.

WR

Louisiana State

New York Giants

Benjamin

Kelvin

WR

Florida State

Carolina Panthers

Bortles

Blake

QB

Central Florida

Jacksonville Jaguars

Boyd

Tajh

QB

Clemson

New York Jets

Bridgewater

Teddy

QB

Louisville

Minnesota Vikings

Carey

Ka’Deem

RB

Arizona

Chicago Bears

Clowney

Jadeveon

DE

South Carolina

Houston Texans

Cooks

Brandin

WR

Oregon State

New Orleans Saints

Ebron

Eric

TE

North Carolina

Detroit Lions

Evans

Mike

WR

Texas A&M

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Freeman

Devonta

RB

Florida State

Atlanta Falcons

Garoppolo

Jimmy

QB

Eastern Illinois

New England Patriots

Hill

Jeremy

RB

Louisiana State

Cincinnati Bengals

Hyde

Carlos

RB

Ohio State

San Francisco 49ers

Landry

Jarvis

WR

Louisiana State

Miami Dolphins

Latimer

Cody

WR

Indiana

Denver Broncos

Lee

Marqise

WR

Southern California

Jacksonville Jaguars

Mack

Khalil

LB

Buffalo

Oakland Raiders

Manziel

Johnny

QB

Texas A&M

Cleveland Browns

Mason

Tre

RB

Auburn

St. Louis Rams

Matthews

Jordan

WR

Vanderbilt

Philadelphia Eagles

McCarron

A.J.

QB

Alabama

Cincinnati Bengals

Moncrief

Donte

WR

Ole Miss

Indianapolis Colts

Murray

Aaron

QB

Georgia

Kansas City

Pierre-Louis

Kevin

LB

Boston College

Seattle Seahawks

Richardson

Paul

WR

Colorado

Seattle Seahawks

Robinson

Allen

WR

Penn State

Jacksonville Jaguars

Sankey

Bishop

RB

Washington

Tennessee Titans

Savage

Tom

QB

Pittsburgh

Houston Texans

Seferian-Jenkins

Austin

TE

Washington

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Shaw

Connor

QB

South Carolina

Cleveland Browns

Thomas

De’Anthony

RB

Oregon

Kansas City Chiefs

Thomas

Logan

QB

Virginia Tech

Arizona Cardinals

Thornton

Khyri

DL

Southern Miss

Green Bay Packers

Watkins

Sammy

WR

Clemson

Buffalo Bills

Watson

Asa

TE

N.C. State

New England Patriots

West

Terrance

RB

Towson

Cleveland Browns

Williamson

Avery

LB

Kentucky

Tennessee Titans


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New start to OTAs

Posted by Chris Brown on May 28, 2014 – 10:53 am

The Bills began organized team activities in a new way on the practice field. During stretch they had some musical accompaniment.

It began with NFL Films music followed by the Black Eyed Peas – Let’s Get it Started.


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Sammy eager to get started with EJ

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2014 – 4:12 pm

Bills voluntary OTAs are still more than a week away, but that hasn’t quelled Sammy Watkins eagerness to get on the field with Buffalo QB EJ Manuel. With rookie minicamp now in the rearview mirror Watkins is anxious to get started with the team’s starting quarterback.

“I can’t wait,” said Watkins. “That’s the best time where you’ve got the right time with the quarterbacks and you’ve got the older guys at wideout teach you the routes and the steps and the releases. That’s going to be timing also so I can’t wait to get started with him.”

Watkins is also preparing himself for the fact that facing NFL veterans in OTAs means it’ll be harder for him to win on every route in practice.

“It takes time. Those guys have been here two and three years,” he said. “They’re going to win most of the matchups and I’ve just got to compete every day with a workmanlike mentality and know there are going to be positives and negatives in the early stages.”

The first voluntary OTA practices begin next Wednesday.


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The other cornerback consideration

Posted by Chris Brown on June 25, 2013 – 9:41 am

The Bills brass is expressing confidence in the collection of young, but relatively unproven cornerbacks on their roster beyond Stephon Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin. The likely reason is they feel they have options on the roster to turn to should certain players not fill the roles they’re expected to come training camp. Aaron Williams is an obvious one, but there’s still another that the coaching staff may turn to first.

Buffalo’s defensive staff is clearly pleased with the transition Williams has made to safety and it appears on the surface that they want him to continue to development in center field. So if some cornerback help is needed on the boundary one of the more likely candidates to step in should some of the regular cornerbacks fail to live up to expectations is rookie fourth-round pick Duke Williams.

Williams, as mentioned the day he was drafted, played in just about every position in the secondary during his time in college at Nevada. During the spring practices he lined up outside at cornerback and did not look out of place. In fact there were a couple of plays that he ran stride for stride with T.J. Graham in coverage and broke up his share of passes.

Williams ran a 4.48 40-time at the NFL Combine and has natural coverage instincts. If the Bills do not add a bargain veteran cornerback to the roster this summer it’s likely due to some of the promise Duke Williams showed in OTAs and the minicamp on the corner.


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Posted in Inside the Bills