Inside The Bills

EJ production in practice encouraging

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2014 – 12:29 pm

A couple of weeks ago we provided an update on what EJ Manuel has been working on since he was replaced in the starting lineup by veteran QB Kyle Orton. On Tuesday in an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Bills GM Doug Whaley addressed where EJ Manuel’s development stands now serving in the backup QB role.

Whaley was asked specifically if he felt it was a lost season for Manuel having only appeared in the first four games.

“We believe it’s not. It goes back to our original plan,” said Whaley. “When we first drafted EJ we had the plan of having a veteran quarterback come in and mentor him until we thought he was ready. When Kevin Kolb went down with an injury it thrust him into the starting role quicker than we expected. Now since then we have re-set to the original plan.

“Since EJ has taken a step back everybody in the building has been impressed with his work ethic. We’ve seen an improvement in the way he attacks practice and his production in practice.”

Whaley also addressed the popular debate as to whether Manuel was ‘Buddy Nix’s pick’ or ‘Doug Whaley’s pick’ in the 2013 draft.

“We were all on board with the pick,” he said. “It’s one of those things when it’s Buddy it’s going to be attached to Buddy, just like Sammy (Watkins) is going to be tied to me. When you’re going through a scouting process especially with the guys in the top four to five rounds you’re going to have five to six opinions. What we do is we collectively come up with a Buffalo Bills opinion. So EJ Manuel is a Buffalo Bills pick and all of us were on board with it.”

When asked how the Bills will know when EJ Manuel is ready for prime time again, Whaley said you don’t for sure until they’re in a real game environment.

“That’s one of those things that you can never really gauge until the bright lights come on,” he said. “What you do have to see is progress and not repeating the same mistakes that he was doing before and improving on anything he needed to when he was in the starting role.”


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Whaley on Watkins

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2014 – 11:56 am

There has been a lot of debate in the media on the Sammy Watkins trade and whether it was worth the trade up that sent Buffalo’s 2015 first-round pick to the Cleveland Browns. Bills GM Doug Whaley was asked for his opinion in an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550.

Whaley was asked if it was necessary to trade up and get Watkins where they did, in light of the success of most of the first-round wide receivers this season, which includes Tampa’s Mike Evans, the Giant’s Odell Beckham Jr. and Carolina’s Kelvin Benjamin

“We look at it this way. We knew it was going to be a talented group, but we’re very excited and we felt that this guy would bring something to our team that we didn’t have,” said Whaley. “We thought he was the best player for our situation. I’m sure you’re trying to get out of me whether I thought the trade was worth what we gave up. I’ll say it like this. I can count at least three games where he was an integral part to us winning and I would hate to see our record if he was not on our team.”

Whaley is likely referring to the wins over Miami, Detroit and Minnesota. He was also pretty important to the win over the Jets, but the six takeaways played a bigger role in that win.

 


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Jackson: I’m planning to play Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2014 – 9:25 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone said last week that if their Week 11 game was on Sunday instead of Thursday night, he felt Fred Jackson would’ve been able to play in the game. on Thursday night however, he was scratched after tweaking his injured groin in practice Tuesday. Now Jackson fully anticipates being ready to go this coming Sunday against the Jets.

In his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Jackson said he’s planning on being ready by the end of the week.

“Yeah. We’ll work myself into the process of getting back out there,” said Jackson. “I know with our training staff and doctors they’ll take every precaution we need to, but like coach Marrone said, if the game was yesterday there’s probably a pretty good chance that I would’ve played. So I’m planning on playing this Sunday and it’s just on me to go out there and take this week slowly and get back out there.”

Jackson said his groin injury is feeling better, but it’s still going to be a slow and steady process in his return to the practice field this week. The veteran running back also said the plan was to play in both the Chiefs and Dolphins games despite the quick turnaround of five days between them.

“The plan was to play both games, but on Tuesday at practice I had a little setback that wasn’t anticipated. Out at practice running around making a play and kind of tweaked it and it was setback that wasn’t foreseen.”

 


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Goodwin’s health has Marrone optimistic

Posted by Chris Brown on November 7, 2014 – 9:39 am

He’s missed each of the last two games with a hamstring injury suffered in practice last month. And though Marquise Goodwin has been limited in practice this week, Bills head coach Doug Marrone is optimistic that the speed receiver will be ready for Sunday’s game.

In his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Marrone gave strong indication that Goodwin would be available for this weekend’s game against the Chiefs.

“He looks good,” said Marrone. “He looks really good. He’s full strength, no problems at all.”

Goodwin had a game-tying 40-yard touchdown reception in last year’s game against the Chiefs.


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Marrone: No decision yet on Fred

Posted by Chris Brown on November 7, 2014 – 9:24 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone made his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Friday morning and was asked about the status of Fred Jackson for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs.

Jackson, who suffered a groin injury back in Week 7, has practiced on a limited basis this week. Marrone however, said they have not yet made a call on whether Jackson will be cleared to play this weekend.

“He’s progressing. He’s not 100 percent yet,” said Marrone. “So we’ll see how it goes the next couple of days. We haven’t made a decision either way.”

 

 


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on November 6, 2014 – 7:13 pm

Here’s a look at where you can find Bills players and coaches on the local radio airwaves Friday morning.

WCMF, Break room
o 7:30 am – Robert Woods
- KISS 98.5, Janet and Nick in the morning
o 7:40 am – Boobie Dixon
- WGR 550 am, Howard Simon and Jeremy White
o 8:10 am – Doug Marrone


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on October 23, 2014 – 6:37 pm

Here is where you can find Bills players and coaches on the local radio airwaves on Friday morning.

WGR 550, Howard Simon and Jeremy White
o 6:50 am – Bryce Brown

WCMF, Break room
o 7:20 am – Duke Williams

KISS 98.5, Janet and Nick in the morning
o 7:30 am – Kyle Williams

WGR 550 am, Howard Simon and Jeremy White
o 8:10 am – Doug Marrone


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Jackson confident in Dixon & Brown

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2014 – 10:22 am

Bills RB Fred Jackson left Sunday’s game at the end of the first quarter with a groin injury. Making his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Jackson made it clear he has some rehabbing to do to recover from his groin injury, but also expressed his level of confidence in Bryce Brown and Boobie Dixon, who will have to pick up the slack in Buffalo’s rushing attack with both Jackson and Spiller out indefinitely.

When asked about Brown specifically, Jackson believes he can be a full-time feature back.

“He is an every down back,” said Jackson. “He can do it all. He’s a guy who can carry the ball 20-25 times. He’s a guy who can pass protect his butt off and run routes well out of the backfield. We won’t miss a beat with a guy like him. He’s a guy who is going to come out and can produce. We know what he’s capable of doing. I’m excited to see him get his opportunity. It comes at a time when we’ve lost a couple of guys who were valuable to the team, but that’s why we have Bryce and Boobie. They can step in and shoulder that weight and we don’t expect to miss a beat.”

One concern is who will be the chief third down back to handle pass protection, something Jackson did on a full-time basis. As Jackson sees it both Brown and Dixon are more than capable.

“They will (be able to handle it),” Jackson said. “It’s one of the things that we work on every day and they do a tremendous job working with us. It’s something I have a lot of pride in and I consider myself the best running back in the league when it comes to pass blocking. But those guys can do it and they will get the job done. We had a chance to go through it during training camp and I’m extremely excited about what they can do. It will be fun to watch them go out there and compete and make some plays for our team.”

Jackson intends to be around the team during his rehabilitation to assist Brown and Dixon in their preparations for the Jets this week.

“I’m going to be as involved as if I was playing,” said Jackson. “I want to be able to talk to those guys on the sideline and what I’m seeing when I watch the Jets and break them down and see what the tendencies are. So I’ll be around.”

 

 

 


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on October 16, 2014 – 5:49 pm

Here’s a look at where you can find Bills players and coaches on the local radio airwaves on Friday.

  • KISS 98.5, Janet and Nick in the morning
    • 7:00 am – Chris Hogan
  • 3 The Edge, Shredd and Ragan
    • 7:20 am – Preston Brown
  • WCMF, Break room
    • 7:30 am – Frank Summers
  • WGR 550 am, Howard Simon and Jeremy White
    • 8:10 am – Doug Marrone

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Teammates hoping for best for Brooks

Posted by Chris Brown on October 6, 2014 – 9:11 am

Bills DB Ron Brooks did not make the trip back to Buffalo with the team after he sustained a neck injury in the first half of Buffalo’s win over Detroit. He remained in a local hospital for observation overnight. In his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Fred Jackson said he and his fellow teammates are praying for Brooks, though the initial signs look promising.

“In talking to our training staff they did do some C-T scans and they were all negative,” said Jackson. “It all looks good right now, but you just never know. As a team we’re praying for him and hoping for the best. I think we’ll find out more when we have our team meetings and they’ll give us an update. Hopefully he continues to progress well and he’s out of there later today.”

Brooks was able to give a wave to the crowd after he was strapped to the backboard and carted off the field. Head coach Doug Marrone is expected to provide an update when he addresses the media this afternoon.


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Orton already has rapport with Wood

Posted by Chris Brown on September 30, 2014 – 8:42 am

The Bills new starting quarterback this week, Kyle Orton, has not even been in town a month, so getting to know teammates and developing a rapport with the other players on offense is a slow and steady process. Naturally that process will now need to be ramped up with him in the starting lineup. Fortunately for him there’s one player at a pretty important position who Orton is familiar with.

Bills C Eric Wood is familiar with Orton, as he explained in his weekly appearance on WGR Sportsradio 550.

“We are good friends,” said Wood of his relationship with Orton. “We have a lot in common. We have the same agent. So I’ve done what I can to make him feel comfortable. But on the field, with live reps, I’ll say we’ve have some (reps), but definitely not as many as we’re going to have this week that’s for sure.”

Wood also has a feel for Orton’s game.

“He’s gotten a lot of reps in practice,” said Wood. “He’s got a good arm. He’s smart, he’s confident. He looks like a quarterback. He looks like a guy who has been around the league. He knows how to run an offense, and I have a lot of confidence in him. Likewise with EJ. I think we have two quality quarterbacks and it is a shame that we had to make this move but I do have a lot of confidence in Kyle moving forward and I am excited to work with him moving forward. I have seen him play on film and stuff. He seems to be able to make plays. Hopefully, we’ll get it back on track on offense.”


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Wood & offense set to adjust to Orton

Posted by Chris Brown on September 30, 2014 – 8:27 am

Bills C Eric Wood admitted the quarterback change made Monday was not something he expected, but for him and the rest of the offensive unit there’s no time to spare. It’s about getting in sync with Kyle Orton.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Wood expressed disappointment that the offensive unit wasn’t better around EJ Manuel, but that their focus has to be getting ready for Detroit with Orton at the controls.

“It’s not a good feeling that as a unit up front, receivers that everyone didn’t protect him well enough, didn’t make plays for him well enough,” said Wood of Manuel. “It’s not a good feeling. A quarterback change at Week Five is not what we expected going into the season.  It’s not necessarily something we wanted by any means or have to go through.  If management thinks this is what we have to do to win right now, we’re on board.  I’ll do everything I can to make this transition as smooth as I can for Orton.”

At the same time Wood feels a sense of loyalty to Manuel and wasn’t shy in expressing that too.

“EJ knows that I’ll always have his back,” said Wood. “So I don’t feel weird saying that. We need to be better around him, for if and when he comes back. But this week I have to get on the same page as Kyle and I have to put in a lot of work with him.”


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Fred: We made it harder on EJ

Posted by Chris Brown on September 29, 2014 – 10:29 am

While those outside the walls of One Bills Drive are openly critical of Bills QB EJ Manuel, co-captain Fred Jackson gave strong indication that now is not the time to make rash decisions with the offense. In an appearance on Bills flagship station, WGR Sportsradio 550, Jackson said part of the reason Manuel struggled was because they failed to adequately protect him.

“I think one of the things that we can do to help him as a total offense is keep him upright on his feet,” said Jackson. “If you look at the way he had to play yesterday he was constantly being flushed out of the pocket. He was constantly being hit every time he threw the ball. They did a great job of getting pressure on him. We didn’t handle line stunts well for the second week in a row so we can expect to see that again.

“I put EJ under pressure yesterday with some blocks that I missed. When he’s running around and his feet aren’t set it’s hard for any quarterback to be accurate in that situation. It’s on us to get that taken care of. He’s a quarterback who has proven if we give him time and let him stand in the pocket he’ll deliver some great plays for us. So it’s on us to get that done.”

Jackson said the onus is on the other 10 players, especially those being counted on to pass protect to provide him the time to survey the field and make throws, much like they did the first two weeks of the season.

“If we can keep a clean pocket for him and not have him get hit every time he’s throwing the ball that’s going to make his job easier,” said Jackson. “That’s something we can do better as a whole unit and take a lot of that pressure off of him. That’s what we’ve got to focus on.

“We can’t sit here and say it’s all EJ’s fault and when we go back and look at the film today we’ll see that. We’ll see that we didn’t do our job of protecting him and it’s the same old thing. When you don’t win the game the quarterback is going to take a lot of blame for it, but as an offensive unit there’s a lot of stuff that we can do a lot better.”

 


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2014 – 5:42 pm

Here’s where you can find Bills players on the radio airwaves Friday.

  • WCMF, Break room
    • 7:15 am – Colton Schmidt
  • 3 The Edge, Shredd and Ragan
    • 7:20 am – Nigel Bradham
  • CBS Sports Radio, TBD Show
    • 7:25 am – Fred Jackson
  • 97 Rock, Norton in the morning
    • 7:30 am – Scott Chandler
  • KISS 98.5, Janet and Nick in the morning
    • 7:30 am – CJ Spiller
  • WGR 550 am, Howard Simon and Jeremy White
    • 8:10 am – Doug Marrone

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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on September 11, 2014 – 8:15 pm

Here’s where you can find Bills players and coaches on the local radio airwaves Friday.

Fan 590, Greg Brady and Andrew Walker
o 7:20 am – CJ Spiller

KISS 98.5, Janet and Nick in the morning
o 7:20 am – Boobie Dixon

WCMF, Break room
o 7:20 am – Preston Brown

103.3 The Edge, Shredd and Ragan
o 7:30 am – Kyle Williams

WGR 550 am, Howard Simon and Jeremy White
o 8:00 am – Doug Marrone


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Marrone addresses C.J. on kick return

Posted by Chris Brown on September 6, 2014 – 9:34 am

The Bills primary kick returner on Sunday will be C.J. Spiller. In his weekly interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Friday, head coach Doug Marrone explained his process in reaching that decision.

Marrone was asked if Spiller was chosen because Marquise Goodwin is not fully healthy. Here was his response.

“I would say Goodwin is healthy, but he’s banged up so we went in there with C.J. and C.J. is a great kick returner,” said Marrone. “We feel we have three great kick returners. We’re very fortunate. We have C.J. and Marquise Goodwin and Sammy Watkins. So we have three guys we feel we can put back there.”

Spiller having done it for his entire college career as well as his first two seasons in Buffalo is looking forward to the return duties.

“I’ve done it before so it’s nothing new to me, it’s like second nature,” Spiller said. “I’ve done it my whole career so it’s not like it’s something that’s brand new. I feel comfortable fielding the ball and protecting it and giving us the best field position possible.”

When asked if Spiller has free license to bring any fieldable kick out on a return no matter how deep it is in the end zone, Marrone indicated that it’s more a case of kick hang time than distance.

“We have some rules,” he said. “If it’s nine yards deep and it’s not a long hang time let’s take it out, but if it’s nine yards deep and a five second hang time let’s take a knee. It all depends on what we want to do. If it’s right for us yes we want him to take it out.”

 


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Marrone: Glenn, Henderson could be special duo

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2014 – 6:58 am

On Monday the Bills made a big time switch on their offensive line when Cordy Glenn was fully cleared for practice. Seantrel Henderson, who had been filling in at left tackle was flipped to right tackle where he played in college. Though head coach Doug Marrone has maintained all along that he’s still trying to find his best five linemen, he has no doubt that Glenn and Henderson are two of them.

Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 this morning on the Howard Simon show Marrone was asked about the two tackles who are currently lining up in starting roles on the left and right side. By the sound of Marrone’s responses the two tackles are likely to be fixtures at their positions.

Marrone was first asked about Cordy Glenn and how he’s looked in his return from a medical condition that kept him off the practice field for much of camp.

“He looks good, really good. I mean really good,” said Marrone. “He looks better than he did last year. He’s moving well, the term fresh legs is what people say out on the field. But he worked hard through that medical issue to make sure that his weight was down and that he was stronger. That takes a lot of discipline from his end not to blow up weight-wise and he looks good.”

When asked if he feels rookie seventh-round pick Seantrel Henderson is starting caliber in this league right now the Bills head coach didn’t hesitate.

“No doubt. No doubt. I think (I feel that way) because I’ve been around that position my whole entire life,” said Marrone. “He’s a heck of a football player. A heck of a football player. You have seen it on TV. What’s there not to like? He’s probably one of the biggest guys, he has the most muscle mass. He probably has the quickest feet along with Cordy Glenn.

“He’s a bright kid. He’s smart. His work ethic is outstanding. He’s been everything that people obviously didn’t say about him when he was coming out which is why we were able to get him in the seventh round. I think he understands that and there are periods in time when people can change and one of them is when you go from college into this league. He understands that. We have to do everything we can to not only keep him progressing on the field, but off the field. He is a very talented football player and there’s no telling how good he can be.”

The thought of Glenn and Henderson together as bookend tackles is something Marrone believes could be special for a long time.

“We have an opportunity now that if (Henderson) keeps coming the way he keeps coming to have maybe the best (tackle) tandem in the league.”


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on August 19, 2014 – 11:56 pm

Here’s a rundown of where you can find Bills players and coaches on the local and regional radio airwaves Wednesday morning.

  • WCMF, Break room
    • 6:30 am – Doug Marrone
    • 7:45 am – Doug Whaley
  • K-Rock CNY (Syracuse & Utica), The Show (on-site)
    • 7:00 am – Macky Macpherson
  • WGR 550, Howard Simon and Jeremy White
    • 6:15 am – Doug Marrone
    • 7:30 am – Doug Whaley
  • CBS Sports Radio, Tiki Barber
    • 7:25 am – Brandon Spikes

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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2014 – 11:22 pm

Here’s where you can find Bills players on the radio airwaves Thursday morning.

TE Scott Chandler is scheduled to appear on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 at 7:35 am on the Howard Simon show.


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2014 – 8:14 pm

Here’s where you can find Bills players on the radio airwaves Tuesday.

WCMF
o 6:50 am – Jeff Tuel
o 7:30 am – Duke Williams


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