Inside The Bills

Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on April 20, 2015 – 5:24 pm

Heres where you can find Bills executives on the radio on Tuesday. 

7 am – KISS 98.5 FM – Janet & Nick – GM Doug Whaley. 

7:15 am – WGR 550, Howard Simon show –  GM Doug Whaley 


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Cassel: Talent here better than KC in 2010

Posted by Chris Brown on April 14, 2015 – 1:09 pm

Matt Cassel’s career year in the NFL as a quarterback came in 2010 while quarterbacking the Kansas City Chiefs. He went 10-5 as a starter, the Chiefs won the AFC West and went to the playoffs. Meanwhile Cassel threw 27 touchdowns against just seven interceptions and went to the Pro Bowl. But looking up and down Buffalo’s current roster, he sees more talent on his current team than he did on his old Chiefs squad.

Appearing on the Howard Simon show Tuesday morning, Cassel believes Buffalo has some of the best skill position talent in the league.

“The talent level of what we have here overall is much higher than what we had in Kansas City back in 2010,” Cassel said. “We had a steady running game. Dwayne Bowe had a fantastic year. He had like 18 touchdown catches and we had a strong defense and the combination of that always works together. We’ve got all the pieces to the puzzle here to be a successful football team. You look at an outstanding defense, a great special teams and you add our offense with it… all three have to complement each other, but at the same time our offense has the best skill players in all the league in my opinion.”

Jamaal Charles was on the roster and was second in rushing with Thomas Jones as his backup, along with Bowe, so there was a lot of talent at the skill positions. So for Cassel to believe the talent here already is superior is saying a lot.


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OT Glenn among the fittest of Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on April 10, 2015 – 11:10 am

The vast majority of Bills players reported to the voluntary offseason conditioning program in great shape this week, but there was one in particular who really impressed Buffalo’s strength and conditioning staff.

In an appearance on KISS 98.5 radio, Bills strength and conditioning coordinator Eric Ciano singled out one Bills player who looked like he did the most this offseason.

“I would have to say the guy that has impressed me the most the first week would be Cordy Glenn,” said Ciano. “I thought he did a great job. He came back in great shape and looks excellent. He’s really worked hard.”

When asked what had the strength and conditioning staff so impressed with Glenn’s conditioning Ciano said the offensive tackle’s commitment to the program.

“He followed the program at home, did a great job with the nutrition,” said Ciano. “He did a great job lifting and running and comparing him to himself last year he really looks good.”


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Woods: New offense will keep opponents guessing

Posted by Chris Brown on April 9, 2015 – 1:36 pm

Bills WR Robert Woods, like just about everyone else is excited about the additions on offense that the team acquired via trade and free agency. The offensive scheme however, might be what he’s looking forward to the most.

In an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Woods explained how offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s offense will differ from what they’ve done in the past.

“(He brings) great energy in the meeting room, but I see his mind at work,” said Woods of Roman. “Talking motions and talking shifts. There are a lot of new additions and a lot of new plays that we didn’t have before. It’s very advanced.

“We didn’t have many motions and shifts before and now we’re able to disguise our offense more. Defenses don’t know what’s going to come because we’ll have a lot of movement from a lot of guys to keep defenses off balance.”

Woods also said that despite the additions in the passing game his approach is to still strive to be the team’s number one wideout.


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on April 7, 2015 – 5:24 pm

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

7 am – Kiss 98.5, Janet and Nick

– QB Matt Cassel

 

9:50 am – Sirius NFL Radio, Ross Tucker and David Diehl

– RB LeSean McCoy

 

12:15 pm – Pro Football Talk Live, Mike Florio

-RB LeSean McCoy

 

1:15 pm – Fan 590, Greg Brady and Andrew Walker

– TE Charles Clay

 

3:25 pm – ESPN Rochester, Scott Pitoniak

-RB  Fred Jackson


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on April 6, 2015 – 9:59 pm

Heres where you can find Bills players on the radio on Tuesday with the players back in town for voluntary offseason conditioning workouts. 

7:20 am – WGR 550, Howard Simon show –  FB Jerome Felton

7:30 am – Kiss 98.5 — QB Matt Cassel


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Rex: QB competition is open

Posted by Chris Brown on March 20, 2015 – 4:00 pm

The Bills have added a pair of quarterbacks over the past few weeks in Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor. When asked where the quarterback position now stands with offseason workouts on the horizon, head coach Rex Ryan said the competition is open.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ryan explained where things stand at QB for his squad.

“It’s going to be open. It’s a competition and whoever earns the job will be the guy that’s out there,” he said. “We have some talented guys and we’ll see what happens. You bring in a veteran like Matt Cassel. He’s done some pretty good things in this league. He’s got that veteran presence about him. With EJ back there just going into his third year I really believe EJ is going to improve with his fundamentals having (quarterbacks coach) David Lee here. I love the fact that he’s a gym rat and he’s smart. With our offense being multiple we’ll be able to get out of bad plays, so the mental part of it all of the quarterbacks we have should be able to handle that.

“With Taylor that’s going to be a young man, he’s probably the fastest quarterback in the league. He’s explosive running the zone reads, and we’ll see where he’s at. Then Tuel. We’ve got guys there to work with. That’ll be the important thing. There will be competition, but a person has to earn the job. It hasn’t been handed to somebody.”

A lot of outside observers assumed that Cassel would be handed the job, but that’s not how Ryan is running things.

With four quarterbacks on the roster, most think it will be hard for Ryan and his offensive staff to not at least whittle the competition down to just a pair of quarterbacks going into training camp knowing there just aren’t enough reps to go around and get an accurate assessment of each QB.

Ryan however, intends to run practices a bit different than Bills fans have seen in the past with two offensive units and two defensive units going at the same time on two different fields at St. John Fisher.

“When we get to training camp we’ll do a lot of things on two fields,” Ryan said. “It won’t just be the offense going and the defense going, we’re going to be working on two fields. That’s how you develop young quarterbacks. We’re blessed to have guys on our staff who can really develop quarterbacks.  Greg Roman, Chris Palmer and this is how they did it. You switch whoever is running with the twos on one field and then the ones are on another field. That’s how you get better. We’re going to have that.

“We have some young quarterbacks and we want to make sure that everybody gets the right amount of reps. We’ll have the exact same practice that we have on field one as field two so everybody gets the same reps. You just basically double them up.”


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If not Sanchez, Rex would’ve drafted Harvin

Posted by Chris Brown on March 20, 2015 – 12:49 pm

The Bills recent signing of Percy Harvin raised questions in the minds of some as to just what type of teammate the Bills would be welcoming into their locker room. Both Bills head coach Rex Ryan and receivers coach Sanjay Lal, who both coached Harvin in New York with the Jets, said Buffalo’s current players will be inheriting an exemplary teammate. In fact Ryan did a lot of homework on Harvin when he was coming out of college because he had plans to make the dynamic offensive threat a first-round pick in the 2009 NFL draft.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ryan said Harvin would’ve been the Jets’ first-round pick in 2009 had they not made a call to move up and get Mark Sanchez.

“When he came out we did a lot of research on him,” said Ryan of Harvin. “Percy was the guy we were going to draft if it wasn’t Mark Sanchez. We spent like a week (at the University of Florida). So we knew everything about him. I was really comfortable with it. When we brought him in (by trade with the Jets last season) he was everything we thought he’d be. That was a great teammate and a super competitive guy and a great guy to be around.”

In 2009 the Jets had the 17th overall pick in round one. They traded it to Cleveland along with their second-round pick at 52 and three players (Kenyon Coleman, Brett Ratliff and Abram Elam) to move all the way up to fifth overall to take Sanchez. Had they stayed at 17 Ryan said they would’ve taken Harvin, and he would’ve been there. Harvin didn’t come off the board until the 22nd pick to Minnesota.

Ryan believes in Harvin’s will to win and feels he’s a solid teammate as well. That was echoed by Lal, who appeared on the John Murphy Show this week.

“I don’t know that I know what makes him tick, but he and I hit it off from the beginning,” Lal told the John Murphy Show. “We think alike about how players should be coached. I have great respect for what he does and he wants to be coached and coached hard. He just wants to improve and help the team win. That’s the impression that I got.”

Ryan knows about Harvin’s past in Seattle where he had a couple of run-ins with teammates, but things went real well under Ryan with the Jets for Harvin. Ryan even gave an example of what his Jets teammates thought of him.

“One of the highest awards is the Ed Block Courage award that the players vote on and he finished second in the voting after being on the roster just four weeks so that should tell you what his teammates thought of him,” Ryan said.


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Bills to meet with all but 2 QBs at Combine

Posted by Chris Brown on February 20, 2015 – 12:19 pm

The Bills won’t be meeting with Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota at the NFL Combine, but every other quarterback prospect in Indianapolis will have a face-to-face meeting with Buffalo.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Friday morning, Bills GM Doug Whaley confirmed that his personnel department will meet with all but the top two signal callers at the Combine, either in a formal or informal setting.

“We’re going to meet with all of them except for the top two,” said Whaley. “You’ve got to do your due diligence on all of them because you never know if you’ll be able to a get a guy or if all of them will be available and you’ve got to be able to rank them and go with the best.”

Whaley also said in an appearance on the John Murphy Show that they’ll be very extensive in their efforts to get a firm grasp of all the quarterback prospects in this class.

“That’s what we’re going to do, an exhaustive search with the quarterbacks just looking at these guys not only here at the Combine, but we’re going to send David Lee, the quarterbacks coach out to work those other guys out,” Whaley said. “That’s another avenue where we can add a guy. We can add two or one in free agency and one in the draft. But we’re going to try to get the best guys out there to help the Buffalo Bills win.”

When asked about the approach by some NFL clubs that draft a quarterback every year, Whaley wasn’t against such a strategy.

“That’s a possibility,” he said. “Until you hit on one (drafting) quarterbacks and cornerbacks (every year isn’t wrong) because it’s a passing league that’s an approach some subscribe to and I’m not opposed to it.”

Here’s a list of all the QB prospects at the Combine not named Winston or Mariota.
Bryan Bennet – SE Louisiana
Anthony Boone – Duke
Brandon Bridge – So. Alabama
Shane Carden – E. Carolina
Cody Fajardo – Nevada
Garrett Grayson – Colorado St.
Connor Halliday – Washington St.
Brett Hundley – UCLA
Jerry Lovelocke – Prairie View A&M
Sean Mannion – Oregon St.
Nick Marshall – Auburn
Bryce Petty – Baylor
Blake Sims – Alabama


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Rex on having faced EJ in games

Posted by Chris Brown on February 12, 2015 – 1:06 pm

EJ Manuel
Bills head coach Rex Ryan clearly remembers the two times he went against EJ Manuel when he was a rookie QB in 2013. The two games were a major contrast in performance on the part of the Bills quarterback.

In the first meeting on the road, Manuel’s first career road start, he was flustered and struggled to make plays. Buffalo fell behind and the pass pressure was unrelenting. Manuel finished 19-42 passing for 243 yards and a touchdown and a passer rating of 71.8.

“The first time we played him I think we overwhelmed him a little bit,” said Ryan in an interview this week on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550. “I think we sacked him eight or nine times. But he’s a young guy. Now the next time we came out he beat us so he made some improvements. You could see him getting better.”

Two months later Manuel started against the Jets in Week 11 at Ralph Wilson stadium and was a different quarterback. He completed 20-28 passes for 245 yards and a pair of touchdowns with a passer rating of 121.9 in a 37-14 Bills win.

Manuel had his share of scrambles and runs as a rookie with 53 carries in 2013, but in his four games last year he took off and ran just 16 times. Ryan would like to see that number increase.

“The one thing I think we need to embrace and he needs to embrace is he can move,” said Ryan. “Use your legs. Sometimes when it’s not there use your legs and know how to protect yourself and get out of bounds, sliding and things like that.

“You might recall with Mark Sanchez I actually brought in Joe Girardi about how to slide. Do something like that where he feels comfortable sliding. When you look at him early when he first started he was able to use his legs and he unfortunately got hurt running. So you’ve got to protect yourself running in this league too.”


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Ryan knows why Hughes prefers Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 12, 2015 – 10:59 am

As we covered on Buffalobills.com Wednesday, Jerry Hughes is set to become a free agent after back-to-back 10 sacks seasons. On SiriusXM NFL Radio he said that the Bills are his first choice. His new head coach Rex Ryan isn’t the least bit surprised by Hughes preference for two very important reasons.

In an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ryan stated that between his successful defensive system and the talent Hughes plays with on Buffalo’s defensive line, it’s totally understandable why a player like Hughes would want to return to that situation.

“I think any defensive player always wants to play in this system, period,” Ryan said. “I’ve had a lot of great ones through the years. This is a young man who really stepped up and quite honestly his first year when he came here it was like, ‘Okay that’s the Jerry Hughes everybody was waiting for when he was a first-round pick of the Colts.’ Then he had the 10-sack year last year. But when you put him alongside Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Super Mario it’s an unbelievable group. Why would you want to leave that?”

Free agency officially opens on March 10th.


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Thurman: Bills DB talent right behind Seattle

Posted by Chris Brown on February 6, 2015 – 10:47 am

Bills new defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman is still finalizing evaluations of the defense he inherits here in Buffalo as he goes through game and practice tape from last season. One thing the former NFL defensive back is sure of is the collective talent in Buffalo’s secondary is right up there with the best in the NFL.

In an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Thurman put the talent level of Buffalo’s secondary behind only one other team in the league.

“Our secondary is probably as talented as any group that’s not in Seattle,” Thurman said. “They’re guys that can play. They don’t have the same name recognition as some others in the league, but very talented players, so now we’re in the process of how we’re going to put it all together.”

When asked to elaborate on his impressions of Buffalo’s secondary, Thurman laid out what he liked about the Bills DBs.

“They have a group of playmakers. There are times when you’re dealing with guys that are playing back there and there’s hesitation or caution or a fear of giving up a play or getting beat deep, so they play tentatively. They don’t play that way. They play aggressively and they make plays,” said Thurman. “They get their hands on the football. They tackle well. That was another thing that jumped out in our evaluations is how well they tackle and get guys on the ground.”


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Personnel dept. to meet with coaches this week

Posted by Chris Brown on January 26, 2015 – 12:49 pm

With the Senior Bowl in the rearview mirror and Rex Ryan’s coaching staff almost completely assembled the Bills personnel department will be sitting down with the new coaches to formulate plans concerning what needs to be added to upgrade the roster.

“We’re going to meet with the coaches this week and our roster and how we feel about it and how they feel about it and make some decisions on free agency as far as who we’re going to attack there,” said Monos in an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550. “Draft-wise we’re always going to stick to the best player available offense or defense. Everybody knows how high we were ranked on defense this year, but that’s not going to mean that we wouldn’t take somebody that we think could help us.”

Rex Ryan met with the scouting staff in Mobile last week to apprise them of the type of players he wants for his roster.


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Quality of QB prospects a matter of opinion

Posted by Chris Brown on January 26, 2015 – 12:47 pm

In the opinion of most draft gurus this year’s class of quarterbacks is not a strong one. Bills Director of Player Personnel Jim Monos said the quality of the quarterback class is ultimately a matter of opinion.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Monos was asked if the outside opinion on the quarterback class resonates with the Bills personnel department.

“Everybody is assuming quarterback for us obviously because we only have two on the roster in EJ (Manuel) and Jeff Tuel,” said Monos. “We are going to be doing work on every quarterback and if it’s strong or not strong that’s up to us. Hopefully we do our work and find somebody who is good, or find somebody nobody else is talking about because we aren’t picking that high.”


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Jerry Hughes update

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2015 – 2:37 pm

The Bills have an important impending free agent that they’d like to keep in the fold in DE Jerry Hughes. GM Doug Whaley in an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 confirmed that the club has opened talks with Hughes on a new contract.

Whaley didn’t have a lot of details, since he had been wrapped up in the intense two-week process of finding a head coach.

“We’ve been so consumed with this coaching search that I haven’t been able to talk to (Senior VP of Administration Jim Overdorf) to find out where we stand there and once Rex finishes his staff then we’ll turn our attention to that. But I know Jim has been in touch with his representatives and started the process.”

Whaley intends to get an update on where things stand soon, to see if it’s possible to re-sign him and not let him hit the free agent market.

“We’re excited and we want him back,” said Whaley of Hughes. “He’s a great part of our defense and hopefully we can get it done sooner rather than later.”

When asked if the hiring of Rex Ryan as head coach improves the chances of re-signing Hughes, Whaley could only be hopeful.

“You’d have to ask him,” said Whaley. “I hope he’d be just as excited as we are and the Bills fans are.”


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Brandon: Marrone has changed culture

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2014 – 9:40 am

He made comments earlier this week at the Monday QB club luncheon, and on Wednesday morning Bills team president Russ Brandon reiterated his conviction that head coach Doug Marrone has effectively changed the culture of the team.

Making his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Brandon reinforced his commentary from earlier in the week that Marrone has the team on the right path for sustained success.

“Culture is a major thing and holding each other accountable and coach Marrone has done an incredible job over this past year,” said Brandon on the Howard Simon show Wednesday morning. “I think you need to look and reflect on some of the things that happened over this past year, which are major game changers.

“We had the death of an owner in March, a team in transition for the entire year from an ownership standpoint. We also, which gets lost in the shuffle, we had a major renovation of the stadium and our team was displaced for four months in OTAs and minicamps. We had a prolonged training camp because of the renovations. We had the sale of the franchise during the season, which is unprecedented, and we had a historic snowstorm where the team was displaced.

“Coach Marrone has done an unbelievable job of leading this franchise, keeping everyone together and holding people accountable. To be in the position we are today is a credit to him.”


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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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