Inside The Bills

Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on September 30, 2015 – 9:29 pm

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

7:45 am – Karlos Williams – WGR 550

2:00 pm – Charles Clay – Sportsnet Fan 590

2:30 pm – Preston Brown – TSN Radio


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Whaley: Taylor’s tutelage with Ravens critical

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2015 – 9:14 am

Tyrod Taylor and his coaches have talked about the value of the football education he received during his first four years in the league as the backup to Joe Flacco in Baltimore under coordinators like Jim Caldwell, Cam Cameron and Gary Kubiak. Bills GM Doug Whaley took the value of Taylor’s four years of learning a step further.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Whaley, who scouted Taylor in preparation for the 2011 NFL draft, said had it not been for Taylor’s four years of development he might not be the starting QB for Buffalo in 2015.

“I did look at him when he was coming out,” said Whaley. “Tremendous athlete, strong arm, but needed time to develop the intricacies of being a passer. The ability to sit in the pocket and let a play develop and not be so quick to tuck it and run and use his God-given athletic ability to get him out of trouble.

“With him being able to sit behind a pocket passer like Joe Flacco it helped him tremendously. If he had to come in and start as a rookie, I’m not sure he’s here today or in this league today. His path is different from a lot of other people’s paths, but his path groomed him to show what he could do as a starting quarterback in this league.”

Whaley said the time spent learning in the Baltimore system also prepared him to handle the package plays that Greg Roman puts on his quarterback’s plate.

“Greg Roman puts a lot on our quarterbacks with the leeway to check out of plays,” said Whaley. “It puts a lot of onus on a quarterback and his ability to decipher not only coverages, but diagnose blitzes and run blitzes. This guy has sat behind a Pro Bowl and Super Bowl-winning quarterback and studied under Joe Flacco and has had four years to develop that kind of (football) acumen to have that type of ability. We’re excited that he’s brought that here and he hasn’t shown any problem with doing that, so we’re excited about what he can do mentally and the physical ability is obvious.”

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Cassel: skill position group is outstanding

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2015 – 7:23 am

Matt Cassel has played with a lot of talented players at running back and wide receiver. Randy Moss, Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson, etc. But the skill position talent he is surrounded by in Buffalo has him pretty pumped up.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Cassel called the skill position talent, which includes LeSean McCoy, Fred Jackson, Percy Harvin, Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Charles Clay among others, pretty special.

“It’s an outstanding skill group. It’s still our job to come together as a group,” said Cassel. “We had no time with Sammy in the spring so getting him up to speed is important. It won’t take much time he’s a smart kid, but at the same time there are little nuances to the offense just being out all spring where we have to get him caught up. All of them have tremendous playmaking ability. The nice thing is being able to get the ball in the guys’ hands at five yards and let them do the rest. So it’s all about find that matchup and then get them the ball.”

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Whaley: QB won’t have to put team on his back

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2015 – 4:23 pm

There’s understandably been a lot of attention paid to the Bills three-man QB competition at training camp. All along however, the Bills front office and coaching staff have a plan in place to ensure success for their team even if the quarterback isn’t an All-Pro.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Bills GM Doug Whaley explained the plan laid out by him and the Bills head coach.

“When Rex and I were talking with the Pegulas and Russ Brandon in the interview process we know there are only a certain number of proven franchise quarterbacks in this league,” Whaley said. “We may have a franchise quarterback here, but no one has proven that yet. Until you’re in that situation what’s the best way to win? It’s running the ball, playing good defense and protecting the ball.

“So we decided to get as much talent as possible around the guy and then all he has to do is make the right decisions. He doesn’t have to put the team on his back and throw it 50 times a game. We might only throw it 20 to 25 times a game. But he’s got to be able to make the right decisions and get the ball in the hands of the playmakers and let them do what they’ve got to do.”

Whaley also explained why in their current situation why it’s difficult to find a proven franchise QB or a prospect with a great chance to become that.

“Another thing that we told every (head coaching) candidate (during the interview process) is we’re almost in quarterback purgatory,” Whaley said. “We’re good enough that we’re not going to have the first or second pick. We hope we’re not in that position. Hopefully we’re drafting now in the teens and 20s and 30s. So you’re not going to get the top college quarterbacks who are coming out. Franchise quarterbacks hitting the free agent market? Name them, unless they have an injury.

“So it’s going to be on our scouting staff to find a guy in the low first, second or third round. We accept that challenge and it’s where we are and it’s been good that we have enough talent around that we’re in that situation, but there’s no easy answer.”

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Whaley waiting on game play to judge QB battle

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2015 – 9:46 am

We’re less than a week into training camp and Bills fans want to know if there’s a clubhouse leader in the quarterback competition for the starting job. As far as GM Doug Whaley is concerned the true evaluation will come when real decision making enters the equation.

For Whaley his judgment on the QBs will come when there is more game-like type play in the camp setting and when the preseason games begin.

“I’m going to reserve judgment until we see game action, and the tape doesn’t lie,” Whaley said. “So we’re looking at production. We’re looking at production in game situations. So the (intrasquad) scrimmage is going to be an evaluator and the preseason games are going to be evaluators. But I will say I have seen progress every day in practice.”

Whaley didn’t mention any quarterback’s performance specifically as it relates to the competition. Buffalo’s intrasquad scrimmage is scheduled for Saturday’s night practice Aug. 8th.

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McKelvin status not a concern yet

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2015 – 9:37 am

Leodis McKelvin remains on the Active/Non-Football Injury list as the team closes in on completing their first week of training camp. Bills GM Doug Whaley in an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 provided an update on McKelvin’s status.

“From what we’re seeing it’s hard to tell right now because it’s one of those things where we have to take it day by day,” said Whaley. “For us we’re not worried because we know what Leodis can do and it gives us an added opportunity to see Ronald Darby against the ones. We’re glad it happened early in camp so he can go against the ones throughout camp, rather than having him go against the twos throughout camp and then Week 1 he has to start. So the silver lining is in when (McKelvin’s injury) happened.”

Whaley did not provide a timetable for McKelvin’s return saying it’s too premature.

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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on July 30, 2015 – 10:00 pm

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

On Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, they’ll have a few guests in the morning.
7:45 AM Jerry Hughes
8:00 AM Russ Brandon
9:00 AM LeSean McCoy

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Fred: I’ve got to compete for my spot

Posted by Chris Brown on June 23, 2015 – 1:00 pm

Back in the spring there was a lot of talk as to whether Fred Jackson’s roster spot could be in jeopardy at age 34. That speculation has cooled, but it’s done nothing to change Jackson’s vigilance in making sure he does everything in his power to convince another new coaching staff that he deserves a spot on the 53-man roster.

In an hour-long appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Tuesday morning, Jackson covered a bunch of topics including a discussion about the possibility of getting released and not making the roster.

“We’ll see what happens with me getting cut or not,” he said. “I’ll go out and do whatever I can to make sure that doesn’t happen. We’ve got to compete every year. This year is no different than any other year. I’ve got to go out and compete for my job.”

The acquisition of LeSean McCoy has many outsiders believing that Jackson’s time could be up in Buffalo, but in light of the way the past nine years have gone at the running back position, Jackson said McCoy’s presence on the roster is nothing new.

“I think every year you have to compete for your spot and that’s how I approach it,” said Jackson. “You draft a guy like Marshawn (Lynch) and you know he’s going to be the guy. So you go in and compete and you want to be on the field so you’ve got to go out and do that.

“Then you draft a guy like C.J. (Spiller) and nothing has changed. You go out and you compete and do whatever you can to make plays when you get the opportunity to do so. Then they bring in Shady (McCoy). It’s just the same book, different chapter for myself. Tremendous running backs, every one of them. It’s just another challenge for me to prove that I can still compete and make plays for this team. And when I do get opportunities make sure to do so.”


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on June 17, 2015 – 7:57 pm

heres where you can find Bills players on the Bills Radio Network Thursday morning. 

7:00 am – WGR 550, Howard Simon – Nigel Bradham 

7:15 am – Kiss 98.5, Janet Snyder – Preston Brown

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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on June 15, 2015 – 10:24 pm

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

7:40 am – Kiss 98.5, Janet and Nick – LeSean McCoy

7:40 am – WCMF, Break room – Fred Jackson

7:50 am – WGR 550, Howard Simon and Jeremy White – LeSean McCoy

4:30 pm – ESPN Rochester, Scott Pitoniak – Fred Jackson

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Rookie G Miller angling for starting role

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2015 – 10:46 am

Last week we mentioned how Rex Ryan confirmed that rookie third-round pick John Miller has been seeing work with the first unit during the team’s on field practice sessions without any opposition, which is the rule this time of year for field work. In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ryan took his outlook for the rookie guard a step further.

When asked if Miller stands a chance of being a starting guard when training camp opens, Ryan confirmed it’s a strong possibility.

“He might be the opening guy there,” said Ryan. “He’s been very impressive. I think right now that’s the most important thing just because we’re not going up against anybody. But this guy has a big, wide, square body and we are hitting bags and his technique is pretty good. He has really been impressive. For a kid you just took out of college, he jumps right in and he doesn’t make mistakes. So I think that’s going to give him an opportunity to showcase what he can do physically and I think he has the right makeup to be an outstanding player.”

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How QB competition is progressing

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2015 – 9:43 am

The Bills have a quarterback competition that has already begun in earnest even though the team’s first set of OTA practices is still more than a week away. Here’s how things have been working in their sessions on the field knowing that the offense cannot have any opposition working against them.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ryan explained how they’re running two offenses at the same time at opposite ends of the field and how Matt Cassel, EJ Manuel and Tyrod Taylor are all rotating through with the first team offense.

“How we run things, we have a two spot drill going on at all times, so we’ve got two offenses going,” said Ryan. “What we do, because in this phase two you can’t have any type of opposition, we actually put lines on the field, like a big ‘V’ showing the defensive line and the linebackers and all that. And we get our plays in and we move it from the hash to the middle, left hash, right hash, all the way down the field. It is sharp with guys communicating and things like that. So there you can definitely get a feel for who these guys are and I’ve been impressed by all the quarterbacks. As far as the true evaluating that’s going to come in training camp and snapping the ball for real.”

With respect to the competition, Ryan insists it’s a legitimate three-way battle.

“Three guys for sure will be getting shots with the ones,” he said. “We’ve been doing it each day. Let’s say the first offense is running out there and it’s Matt Cassel the first day, then it’s EJ, then it’s Tyrod. All three are getting opportunities to lead and to be with that first group. It’s not like we’re going to just throw Matt Cassel in there every day or EJ every day. Tyrod is getting as many shots with the ones as the other two.”

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Owner’s meetings preview

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2015 – 8:40 am

While most hard core NFL fans will be focused on the potential face-to-face meeting between New England owner Robert Kraft and commissioner Roger Goodell, there are some interesting things to be discussed at this week’s owners’ meetings in San Francisco.

First, there is likely to be a bit more clarity on a timetable for the three potential relocation teams (Oakland, St. Louis, San Diego). Owners will be given updates on how likely it is that two franchises will be moving to Los Angeles by as early as the 2016 season. The two stadium sites are in Inglewood and Carson, California. Rams owner Stan Kroenke is building in Inglewood.

Second, the decision on the new extra-point play is expected to reach a conclusion. The Competition Committee endorsed the change whereby the extra-point kick would be attempted from the 15-yard line, for what in essence is a 25-yard try.

The interesting second part of amendment is if the extra-point kick is blocked or mis-hit the defending team would be able to return the failed kick for a point of their own. Same for a two-point try. If there’s a fumble on the play or the ball is intercepted it could be returned for two points for the defending team.

Head coach Rex Ryan likes the idea of the defense being able to score. He commented on the anticipated changes coming down in an interview this morning on Bills flagship WGR Sportsradio 550.

“The defense should be able to score too,” said Ryan. “If they picked the ball off or return a fumble for 100 yards they should be able to get something. Hell they ought to get three for that. So hopefully you’ll see the defense able to score as well. Hopefully that’ll work out. In the college game the ball is on the three-yard line. Here we’ve got it on the two-yard line.”

There will also be a set procedure laid down to prevent any more Deflategate controversies. Most in the know are indicating that no team equipment staff will be anywhere near game footballs following official pre-game inspection.

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Rex on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on May 18, 2015 – 6:09 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan will be on the WNY airwaves Tuesday morning. Here’s where you can find him and when. 

7 am – WCMF

7:15 am – WGR 550

7:30 am – 103.3 The Edge



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Manuel calls Bills offense “sweet”

Posted by Chris Brown on May 13, 2015 – 9:38 am

It’s understandable when a quarterback openly accepts a new offensive scheme that comes in the door with a new coaching staff, but in an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, you could hear EJ Manuel’s enthusiasm for offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s scheme.

“I just think the dynamics that we have and the personnel that we have, you look at the receivers, running backs and the tight ends we have at the skill positions and the O-linemen getting better, getting stronger, getting nastier,” said Manuel. “But with the shifts and motions and the things we’ll do to mix it up for a defense is going to be really good. Instead of just being vanilla we’ll have a whole lot of different looks for opponents to prepare for.”

Manuel did not elaborate as to whether his vanilla comment was in reference to the team’s previous offensive system, but Roman’s is known to be diametrically opposed to the offensive system the team ran in the past. That plus the big play weapons that litter Buffalo’s offensive roster have Manuel encouraged about the possibilities this season.

“I think all these guys add big play ability,” Manuel said of the skill position personnel. “Charles (Clay) is one of the guys who every time we played the Dolphins he was making big plays. Shady McCoy is if not the best running back in the league he adds a great dimension running the ball and we’ve still got Fred (Jackson) and Boobie (Dixon) and you add Karlos Williams to the mix and then Bryce. The receiver room just looks crazy. Those guys as far as the speed we have on the outside, the reverse game, the vertical game is going to be great.”

Of course Manuel has to win the starting QB job this offseason if he is to be a weekly part of the Bills seemingly high-powered attack.



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Bills will provide single voice for EJ

Posted by Chris Brown on May 13, 2015 – 9:15 am

It was widely believed that last season there were too many coaches in EJ Manuel’s ear giving instructions and coaching points that were not consistent leading to mixed messages. It proved to play a factor in Manuel’s performance last season, though Manuel himself has faulted his throwing motion for accuracy problems last season. Accuracy problems he has since corrected through offseason work with Steve DeBerg. The good news is Buffalo’s new coaching staff sounds committed to providing Manuel with a singular voice from the coaches.

In an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Manuel said Rex Ryan’s offensive staff will not subscribe to group instruction when it comes to the quarterback position.

“I know (offensive coordinator) (Greg) Roman allows (quarterbacks) coach (David) Lee to coach,” said Manuel. “That’s the cool part about ‘G-Ro’ is he is going to let his position coaches coach. I’ve even heard him say that. We were critiquing a thing with the receivers where we were wondering, ‘Hey, maybe the receiver should’ve broken that route here.’ And he said, ‘No, don’t worry about that, (receivers coach) Sanjay (Lal) will take care of that.’

“It’s obviously communication, but that’s something I’ve noticed about coach Roman. He’ll let his position guys coach.”

When Manuel was asked if his conservative play last season was a byproduct of the wishes of the former coaching staff, Buffalo’s third-year QB indicated that was indeed the case.

“I think I was doing what I was coached to do,” said Manuel. “Obviously decision making is something that’s extremely important. The main thing is you don’t want to turn the ball over, but now I’m more willing to take chances just because of the confidence I have in my throwing motion and my arm. So more of those vertical passes will definitely be shown.”

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EJ: Mastering QB an obsession now

Posted by Chris Brown on May 13, 2015 – 9:05 am

Bills QB EJ Manuel has always been a diligent worker when it’s come to being an NFL quarterback, but he reached a different level of commitment this offseason.

In an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Manuel said his commitment to the quarterback position has reached a point of singular fixation, and attributes it to the adversity he faced last season when he was benched after just four starts.

“I think what I went through that’s just what made me grow up. That was true adversity in my playing career,” Manuel said. “As far as the competitive edge I have now, it’s crazy. It’s almost an obsession now as far as mastering this position and mastering this offense and mainly the fundamentals and mechanics of the game. Why not spend all my time doing that? There’s really nothing else to do right now. The main thing is just being all in and investing in yourself.”

Manuel insists his throwing accuracy is much improved after working for four months this offseason with former NFL QB Steve DeBerg. He credits DeBerg with eliminating the wind up in his throwing motion that compromised his accuracy. His throwing motion is much more compact now and he feels his accuracy is much improved.

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EJ on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on May 12, 2015 – 5:28 pm

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

Featured on the Bills Radio Network will be EJ Manuel.

7:15 am – Kiss 98.5, Janet and Nick
–          EJ Manuel

7:30 am – WGR 550, Howard Simon and Jeremy White
–          EJ Manuel


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2015 – 6:44 pm

Here’s where you can find one of Buffalo’s draft choices from this pat weekend on the local radio airwaves Tuesday morning. 

9 am – John Miller on Kiss 98.5

9:10 am – John Miller on WGR 550

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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on April 28, 2015 – 5:21 pm

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

6:50 am – Tyrod Taylor on Kiss 98.5FM

7:10 am – Duke Williams on WGR 550 AM

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