Inside The Bills

Rex comments on new corners

Posted by Chris Brown on June 9, 2016 – 8:46 am

We all know Rex loves cornerbacks who can handle press coverage. The Bills head coach has talked up Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore plenty, but some new arrivals are getting some praise from Ryan.

Early on in OTAs Ryan had some high praise for sixth-round pick Kevon Seymour, who continues to get reps with the starting unit opposite Darby in the absence of Gilmore. Now he’s spotted another new arrival at the position that has impressed him of late.

“Another guy I’ve been really impressed with is Corey White,” said Ryan. “He’s done a real nice job for us as well. I’m real fired up about that.”

Meanwhile Ryan remains encouraged by the progress of Seymour.

“Throwing that rookie into the fire… without Stephon here we’ve been putting him in with that first group just to see how he would respond and he’s done a great job,” he said.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Barnes attempt at OL now over

Posted by Chris Brown on June 8, 2016 – 3:29 pm

DT T.J. Barnes was given a shot at offensive tackle at the outset of OTA practices two weeks ago. Now in the final week of OTA sessions he’s back at defensive tackle.

Head coach Rex Ryan confirmed that the offensive tackle experiment is over.

“Did not go great,” said Ryan. “Man that looked great on paper though. T.J. said, ‘Please Rex bring me back to defense.’ I’m like, ‘Okay you’ve got it.’ But I love the fact that he was willing to try and it wasn’t just a one day deal. He went out there and was trying for a few weeks, but in the end he did not feel comfortable. As he put it, he was tired of getting his butt kicked. To his credit he was out there battling. He was trying to get better and so we put him back to defense.”

Barnes was signed off the Jets practice squad last December and was re-signed in the offseason.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Enemkpali gets quality reps

Posted by Chris Brown on June 8, 2016 – 2:41 pm

Rex Ryan said last week he was unsure as to just where IK Enemkpali fit in terms of a role on Buffalo’s defense. On Wednesday Enemkpali was getting first team reps at outside linebacker.

Ryan admitted with Shaq Lawson sidelined indefinitely that the door is open for other candidates to fill roles at the position.

“Absolutely he could with Shaq on the shelf, no doubt,” said Ryan of Enemkpali. “Manny (Lawson) can be a catch all for this team, outside, inside you can always play him. But IK has done really well. I think we had him primarily with the ones today. We’re bumping guys around and stuff, but he’ll have a chance. You look at IK he’s a physical player. He’s doing a much better job. So I could definitely see him pushing for playing time.”

Still widely identified by most outside observers as the guy who punched Jets QB Geno Smith, Ryan has been impressed with how Enemkpali has personally put the low point of his career behind him.

“I think he did a really good job because that’s not easy,” said Ryan. “I think he certainly doesn’t want that mark on him. Everybody sees him as the guy that punched Geno or something like that. This guy is just a football player and it’s what he wants to be known as.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Confidence that Carpenter will bounce back

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2016 – 9:12 am

He missed just four field goal attempts last season, typically the average for NFL field goal kickers in a season. For Dan Carpenter the problem was the new distance for extra points last season. Though there were other kickers in the league who had their share of extra point misses, it was a surprise to see the normally reliable Carpenter miss six in 2015. However, a down year that was compromised by a preseason hamstring injury is seen as an exception by head coach Rex Ryan rather than the norm for Carpenter.

Ryan envisions a bounce back year for Buffalo’s place kicker, and draws on prior experience as to why.

“Sometimes when you’re coming off an injury, I remember we had a Pro Bowl kicker that kind of had an off year, Nick Folk was the guy,” said Ryan of his time with the Jets. “Made the Pro Bowl as a rookie kicker for Dallas then he kind of had an injury, had a not so good year and then he came back, kicked real well. We’re expecting (Carpenter) to bounce back.”

As for how he’s faring in spring OTAs, Ryan is encouraged.

“I think he looks good. There will be competition, there’s two guys competing (Jordan Gay, undrafted rookie Marshall Morgan), but we feel pretty good about him. Last year, he made just about every field goal. He’s obviously a proven kicker in this league, and I think coming back a year after the injury is really going to help him.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Lawson not offended by drafting of Lawson

Posted by Chris Brown on June 1, 2016 – 3:02 pm

Bills top draft choice Shaq Lawson is probably out until the team is a few weeks into the regular season following his recent shoulder surgery. But when he returns he’s expected to make an impact. He’s also likely to eat into Manny Lawson’s time on the field. The veteran Lawson however, isn’t bothered by the presence of a talented rookie like his namesake.

“I don’t take any offense, but it is competition,” said Lawson. “Everything out here is competition, no job is guaranteed. Every team wants to be the best and have the best players out there. And when you draft a guy that high you expect him to come out here and play. So all it is, is more incentive that has already been here step up and more incentive for him to earn a spot.”

Even if the rookie Lawson was healthy, head coach Rex Ryan indicated that Manny Lawson would still have a significant role in Buffalo’s defense.

“Manny was always going to have a big role for us,” said Ryan. “Albeit as a super sub, a sixth man if you will because he can back up all four linebacker spots.”


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Bills WRs coach breaks down OTA wideouts

Posted by Chris Brown on May 27, 2016 – 1:38 pm

There are some receivers who are completely familiar to Bills fans like Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins. Some of the new wideouts and those further down the depth chart aren’t quite as well known in terms of their skill set. Bills receivers coach Sanjay Lal provided some guidance in an appearance on the John Murphy Show.

Lal gave a brief thumbnail sketch on some of the lesser known Bills receivers.

On Greg Salas
“He is a smart, savvy, excellent route runner,” said Lal. “I don’t think we win the Jets game (in Week 17) without what he did on third down for us. So we’re really counting on him to come through and take another step and really be the guy that when all else fails Greg is going to be able to get open.”

On Jarrett Boykin
“He had 49 catches in Green Bay. I watched the film and he did some really nice stuff. Then he kind of got caught up in the numbers game there. I think we’re lucky to have him. He’s a big, physical target. He has 10 and a half inch hands so he catches really well and a good route runner. He’s picking everything up really well.”

On Leonard Hankerson
“He was Atlanta’s third receiver for the first part of last year. Leonard is really smooth. He’s one of our best route runners. He’s so smooth you enjoy watching him run routes. He has sneaky speed and is a 4.4 guy so I’m intrigued by him too.”

On Greg Little
“Greg is a former second-round pick by Cleveland. He’s a big, physical, tough specimen. He’s done a nice job separating from man to man in this camp.”

On Dezmin Lewis
“His learning curve was steep because he came from a small school and a spread offense. He’s done a great job of transforming his running style. He’s running lower to the ground now, which is hard for him because he’s 6-4. He’s staying in drive phase longer and of all the guys I know how much work he put in on his own this offseason and it’s really showing.”

On Walt Powell
“Walt’s biggest trait that you don’t see right now is his run after catch ability. His catch-run transition is one of the best on the team. If we can get the ball in his hands he can show his punt return skills on the field on offense.”

On Kolby Listenbee
“Today we did a change of direction drill that defeats 22-man and you can see how explosive he is. Even though we can’t let him run full speed yet, his half speed looks explosive, much like Marquise Goodwin’s did.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: We’re loaded at safety

Posted by Chris Brown on May 25, 2016 – 8:24 am

The Bills chose not to re-sign safety Bacarri Rambo in the offseason. They signed free agents Robert Blanton and Colt Anderson instead. While it’s unlikely that either of them unseat incumbent starters Aaron Williams and Corey Graham, those two additions plus the presence of Jonathan Meeks and Duke Williams on the roster gives head coach Rex Ryan confidence that they have quality depth on hand.

“Right now we’re a much deeper football team at safety then we are at corner and I think when you look at it, we are loaded at safety right now and all these guys are getting a great feel for what they’re doing, the communication part,” said Ryan. “I love having Aaron Williams out there and Corey Graham again so again, a lot of positives.”

Ryan gave some unsolicited praise to Duke Williams and Meeks for their offseason dedication.

“There have been two guys I’ve been really impressed with and these two guys are in before coaches, after, it is crazy, and that’s (Jonathan) Meeks and Duke Williams,” said Ryan. “I think both those guys, they come in together, they live with D Lynn (defensive assistant D’Anton Lynn), they live with Ed Reed (in the meeting rooms). I mean they’re here all the darn time and you can see it in their play as well.”

Meeks and Williams know all too well how new additions at your position can siphon opportunities away from you in OTAs and minicamp when coaches are evaluating the consistency of your play. The two former Bills draft choices are no doubt hoping to outshine Blanton and Anderson, not only on defense, but special teams.


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Seymour: Expectations for OTAs

Posted by Chris Brown on May 11, 2016 – 1:35 pm

Bills sixth-round pick Kevon Seymour, who signed his rookie contract today (Wednesday), got his feet wet at rookie minicamp last weekend. He’s met the veterans on the roster through the sessions of the offseason conditioning program this week. So what are his expectations for OTA practices in a couple of weeks? He’s worried about one thing and one thing only at this point.

“First of all knowing the playbook is big,” Seymour told Buffalobills.com. “Knowing what I have to do so I can play fast. Once I know the playbook and my assignments inside and out I’ll be able to play fast and make plays.”

Bills OTAs begin on May 23rd.


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Phase 2 of offseason conditioning begins today

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2016 – 10:33 am

Bills players have been on site for the last few weeks doing weight training and conditioning work on the field without coaches, and classroom work with coaches. But today (Monday) begins phase two of the offseason program.

Under CBA rules, over the next three weeks of the program players can participate in on-field workouts that may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice conducted on a “separates” basis. No live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are permitted.

Buffalo’s OTA practices begin in two weeks on Monday May 23rd.


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Roman: players are making chicken salad

Posted by Chris Brown on June 4, 2015 – 4:01 pm

Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman is known to experiment a lot this time of year when it comes to drawing up plays for his offense. It’s part of a process to see what works well and what doesn’t. In Thursday’s closed OTA session Roman did exactly that and was pleased with the way his players handled a large volume of material.

“Guys are working hard and we’re throwing a lot at them. Today we worked on a lot of things we may or may not use during the course of the season,” Roman said. “We still feel it’s important enough that it may come up at some point. I thought the guys did a great job of taking in a tremendous amount of information in a short amount of time, and going out and making chicken salad out of it.”

With a brand new roster to work with for the first time in five years, it’s understandable why Roman and his offensive staff see a need to experiment and see what their personnel can absorb, retain and effectively execute. Much like the players have to refine the offensive plays that are installed, the coaches have to refine their playbook in terms of what stays and what goes. That happens by testing things out on the practice field.


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Kromer: OTs have to be able to play both sides

Posted by Chris Brown on June 4, 2015 – 3:09 pm

Bills offensive line coach Aaron Kromer has done his fair share of experimentation moving his linemen around during spring OTA practices. It’s still not the kind of football where Kromer can make effective evaluations of his players because the pads are not on yet. What he is doing is cross training many of his linemen to play more than one position. With his offensive tackles he’s exposing them to play on both ends of the line.

One of those players is OT Seantrel Henderson, who has seen time both on the left side with the second unit and the right side with the first unit, the position he manned as a rookie in 2014.

“We’re moving a lot of guys and he’s one of them,” said Kromer of Henderson. “He has to play right and left and so do some other guys. We feel like when you get in a game it’s important that you have backups and starters that can move. If you train them in more than one spot you’re in a much better situation when you only dress seven linemen. That’s what we’re trying to do with him and a lot of guys. I think that will bode well in the end. Right now it’s hard on guys to do them both, but that’s the NFL, you have to be able to play both sides.”


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Ryan: QB race still three-man competition

Posted by Chris Brown on June 3, 2015 – 5:08 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan thinks a lot of new QB Matt Simms, who he had on his roster in New York. Quarterbacks coach David Lee, who also worked with Simms while with the Jets, believes in his abilities as well. But according to Ryan it’s not going to make the offensive staff change the current three-man quarterback competition into a four-way battle.

“(The competition) is what it is right now,” said Ryan. “Three guys are going to be working at it, they’re splitting the reps.  Don’t kid yourself, Matt will get opportunities.  Will he get as many as the top three guys, probably not. One thing about Matt, I know he’ll take advantage of the opportunities he gets and I’m not saying he can’t make this team.”


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Fan Friday 5-29

Posted by Chris Brown on May 29, 2015 – 11:44 am

OTAs are underway and the pace of practice is crisp. Players are getting a ton of work in during these sessions. Let’s get to your latest round of questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills where’s Henderson lining up??

BlackArtVision

CB: In the first week of OTA practices Seantrel Henderson spent most of his time at left tackle with the second unit. Cordy Glenn was the starting left tackle with Cyrus Kouandjio manning the right side. Head coach Rex Ryan and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer have both stated that there will be a lot of rotation in these OTA practices between those top three tackles.

Buffalo has only four true tackles on the roster, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them add another before training camp just to have enough at the position to put on the field.

 

2 – Chris

Very disappointed that the Bills are willing participants in limiting access to one of their games, namely, the upcoming game in London. Sure, put it on digital, but also allow for normal distribution so fans less tech savvy or without internet access can have a nice big screen HD experience.

My specific question deals with the TV distribution: will the game just be on in Buffalo, or will other New York markets which normally see Bills’ games—Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton,e.g.—be able to watch on their televisions as usual.

Thanks for the info.
Sincerely,
James Delaney

CB: As it’s been explained to me the London game will be broadcast much like a Monday Night football game. Locally in Buffalo (and Jacksonville) it will be carried by CBS, but everywhere else it will be on a digital platform.

Those rights will be sold in the near future so for those folks in Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton and other upstate locales will have to keep an eye out for which digital platform landed the broadcasting rights. Some outfit like Apple, Facebook or Google figure to bid on it.

It will not be available on Sunday NFL Ticket on DirectTV.

It’s already been speculated that the NFL will probably look to strike a deal with one of those digital carriers who have the ability to stream on mobile devices. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but that’s where the technology is headed.

 

3 – Hey Chris,
I was wondering if u knew what Rex thinks of Jeff Tuel? I liked what I saw and wonder how far along he currently is and if he is going to be given the same chance to win the job.

Thanks
jmcabral86

CB: Coach Ryan has been pretty candid that it’s a three-man competition for the starting QB job and that Jeff Tuel is not one of those three candidates. He has not shared much about his view of Tuel as a quarterback, but to answer your question, no I do not believe, based on coach Ryan’s comments, that Tuel will be part of the competition at any point in this process.

 

4 – Hey Chris, my question is regarding the Bills offensive line.  As much as I am worried about it though, I do think without the draft in the books that we have some good competition.  I especially like the idea of Henderson moving to left tackle and Glenn moving to left guard.  Hopefully with all the work Kouandjio has put in he could work out and be the guy at right tackle with Incognito being at right guard.  My question to you is do you think this is a possibility? I wonder if our line wasn’t successful over the past two years because of the coaching and maybe they tried to force players to fit their scheme and not work to the players strength.  I notice that the coaches we have in place now like to play to the players strengths.  I would love your take on this.

Thanks for all your hard work as always,
Jillian

CB: While I don’t think you can rule out a Henderson to LT and Glenn to G move, I think it’s unlikely. The main reason why is because this team is down in numbers at the offensive tackle position. They have just four true offensive tackles on the roster with the fourth being undrafted rookie Tyson Chandler.

As I mentioned earlier I think they’ll keep an eye on the waiver wire to see if there’s a vet they can add for depth at the tackle position. But if nothing substantial develops on the open market, Glenn is probably the team’s best option at left tackle and Henderson and Kouandjio can fight for the right tackle gig.

 

5 – Chris,

I love reading your Fan Friday column on Twitter.  The coaches have talked about using 2 fields during training camp for the offense.  This is probably to get as many reps for all 4 QBs.  Would Greg Roman consider parking himself on a scaffold in between fields and call the plays using headsets just as in the game?  Thanks for considering my question.

Barry

CB: Rex Ryan addressed this very subject on the John Murphy Show this week. Essentially he said trying to watch both team sessions simultaneously is impossible. But that doesn’t mean they miss anything because they’ve got it all on tape to review. I suppose if he was up on scaffolding he’d have a better vantage point to watch both, but knowing all the pre-snap alignments and shifts that go on coaches want to watch the whole play. Trying to watch both units execute would prove supremely difficult according to Buffalo’s head coach.

“I tried to (watch both team sessions), and your heads on a swivel, you don’t see anything,” said Ryan. “You will pick it all up on tape, though.”

Ryan said this is the first time he’s implemented it as a head coach. He took it from offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who made use of it in San Francisco.

“We said, ‘Let’s give it a shot right now.’ It makes sense for development, especially for the younger players, and also about giving the reps to your quarterbacks,” Ryan said. “As we know, it’s a three man competition, they all need work. It’s not a true competition if you’re not going to give them work. I liked that today.  And I can understand the drill. I’ll be excited to watch the video, too, because now you get twice as many snaps (to evaluate).”
 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Texas floods keep Goodwin away

Posted by Chris Brown on May 27, 2015 – 2:25 pm

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin was one of the few players who was not in attendance at OTAs on Wednesday. Head coach Rex Ryan explained how the flooding in Texas the last few weeks have kept planes on the ground in the Lone Star state.

“Unfortunately, we know the weather out in Texas and man, oh man,” said Ryan. “I saw the pictures in today’s paper and it’s like, wow, it’s hard to fathom being out here where it’s nice out. But man, what they’re dealing with is something. He’s been detained.  We’ll see how long that goes, I know he’s trying to get here, but obviously there are much more pressing needs than him being here in a voluntary camp.”

Ryan has not been in touch with Goodwin personally, but the club has spoken to him about his situation.

“I know he’s in touch with our guys,” said Ryan. “The main thing is obviously to take care of home first and then get back when everything is taken care of. Hopefully everything is OK, but I’m not sure.”

Chris Williams is another veteran player who has not been in attendance.


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McCoy, WRs sit with nicks

Posted by Chris Brown on May 27, 2015 – 2:23 pm

On day two of Bills OTAs, RB LeSean McCoy and a couple of wide receivers sat during practice. Head coach Rex Ryan provided an update following Wednesday’s practice.

McCoy along with rookie WR Dezmin Lewis, WR Tobais Palmer and WR Marcus Thigpen were all sidelined.

“We had a couple of issues at wide out,” said Ryan. “Thigpen went out with a hamstring. Lewis with a hamstring. Palmer had a groin, so those two were real limited today.”

Thigpen began practice, but left early. Meanwhile McCoy was a spectator due to a neck ailment.

“He’s got a little thing in his neck or something like that, but it’s not serious,” Ryan said. “It’s one of those things where we don’t need him out there.  He probably didn’t even have a helmet, he might have but I’m not sure.


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Fan Friday 3-13

Posted by Chris Brown on March 13, 2015 – 11:44 am

Happy Friday the 13th everybody. It’s been a busy week Bills fans so let’s get right to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Hi Chris,

Thank you for all of the work you do for the bills it’s great. I was wondering if the bills were interested in signing guard mike lupati from the 49ers. I don’t know if the 49ers will resign him, but he would be a great fit for the bills. He is one of the top guards in the league and could come to the same offense he’s been in with Greg Roman.

Thank you,
Max

CB: I never got the sense that the Bills had much interest in Mike Iupati. In fact I think their initial plan was to pursue free agent offensive tackles over guards. With a player like Bryan Bulaga now re-signed in Green Bay I suppose the focus could shift to guard. Of course the top guards are already locked up now too.

Where the Bills go to improve their offensive line will certainly be interesting knowing their options on the free agent market are certainly reduced.

 

2 – Chris,

A very good candidate to keep an eye on in the draft is Bo Wallace from Ole Miss, 6’4″, 217 lbs, awesome talent. What do you all think of the Bills chance of bringing him in and taking a long, serious look at him? Might be able to trade up to get him. Let’s hope the Bills include him in their prospects. Maybe you could buzz up the Bills brass and put a “bug in their ear”.

Thanks for your time.
IRT

CB: I don’t envision the Bills spending a draft choice on a quarterback now that they’ve got four on the roster, unless some prospect slips to them in some of the middle rounds that they can’t pass on. Buffalo’s willingness to trade for a veteran QB like Cassel and add a younger QB like Tyrod Taylor to go with EJ Manuel and Jeff Tuel it’s hard to think they’d add a fifth.

 

3 – Hi Chris,

I was wondering about Marqueis Gray and what you might know about the new staff’s possible opinion of him. If I remember correctly, he proved to be a very athletic and versatile player. I recall seeing him line up as a tight end, h-back, fullback, and even from various receiver positions. I think a player like him, with such great versatility and decent skills at everything could be a great asset to the bills. And Greg roman has been known to covet versatile guys. What are your thoughts?

Billsmafia for life!
Tommy from Pittsford

CB: It’s hard to know just what the new Bills offensive staff thinks of Marqueis Gray, but what is working in his favor is his versatility. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman covets versatility in his tight ends and Gray is an athlete who can provide that. I think he’ll be given every opportunity to earn a role that will contribute weekly.

 

4 – Chris,

According to Wikipedia the Bills have Tampa Bay’s pick -the 1st pick in round# 5 of the 2015 NFL Draft. Why is that? I dont recall any deal with Tampa Bay other than the one for Mike Williams. BTW I dont see any compensation (6th round pick?) going to Tampa Bay from Buffalo for Williams?

Thanks
LeeD

CB: The Bills swung a trade with the Buccaneers on day 3 of the NFL draft last year. Buffalo gave Tampa their fifth-round pick in exchange for Tampa’s seventh-round pick in last year’s draft, and Buffalo also got Tampa’s fifth-round pick this year (2015). But Buffalo doesn’t have that pick anymore. They sent it to Minnesota in the Matt Cassel trade.

 

5 – Chris:

With a new coaching staff, does the league allow additional practice time,  OTAs for the Bills?  Also, Chris Williams was placed on injured reserve with a back injury.  Was their surgery to correct this condition and/or what is his current physical condition?

Conrad in Elma

CB: Yes, new coaching staffs get the benefit of an additional set of practices to implement their schemes to their new players. So Buffalo will get that extra set of spring workouts, presumably sometime in April.

As for Chris Williams’ back I do not know if surgery was required for his back condition. I do know that he has had back surgery in his past. In his rookie year he needed surgery to take care of a herniated disc. We’ll know more when the players show up next month for the offseason conditioning program.

 


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Posted in 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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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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