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Inside The Bills

Brandon doesn’t see any hangover effect

Posted by Chris Brown on November 13, 2013 – 10:09 am

Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon made his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 this morning and was asked if he’s witnessed a hangover effect from the disappointing loss at Pittsburgh last week with the players and coaches.

While Brandon admitted that it was a game where he felt they “didn’t finish in any phase of the game,” he said he hasn’t seen any hanging heads at all this week at One Bills Drive.

“Not at all,” said Brandon. “I really don’t. I think our guys have come in and they’re ready to play and they get ready for the work week. I like how this group approaches everything, especially coach Marrone and the staff. I know the guys are excited about being home to play the Jets. I’m anticipating that we’re going to bounce back.”

 


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Brandon: EJ should be ready to go Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 6, 2013 – 9:41 am

Bills President and CEO in his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 was asked about the likelihood of EJ Manuel playing this Sunday at Pittsburgh.

Brandon said team medical director Dr. John Marzo cleared Manuel and that the Bills starting QB is full go for practice today.

“He’s been rehabbing. Last week it was really ramped up as coach Marrone said,” said Brandon. “He responded very well and we anticipate that he will continue to respond well to a full workload of practice. As that goes on each and every day, coach Marrone will evaluate his progress along with coach Hackett and if he’s ready to roll on Sunday he’ll get the green light.

“Unless he has any type of setback through the course of practice he should be ready to go on Sunday.”

We’ll have practice updates here on Buffalobills.com this afternoon.


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Run game a tale of two halves

Posted by Chris Brown on October 28, 2013 – 9:23 am

The Bills productive rushing attack was true to form in the first half rolling up respectable yardage and posting a fat yards per carry average, but that all changed in the second half.

Buffalo’s two main ball carriers on Sunday were Fred Jackson and Tashard Choice. In the first half the two combined for 69 yards on 14 carries for an average of 4.92 yards per rush. That was right around what New Orleans was surrendering on the ground this season (5.1).

Come the second half however, the Saints dropped a safety in the box and the run game was suddenly stymied. Granted the Bills had to pass more being down on the scoreboard, but when they tried to run early in the second half they were stuffed. Jackson and Choice had eight carries for 11 yards for an average of 1.38 per rush.

Making his weekly radio appearance on Bills flagship WGR Sportsradio 550, Jackson admitted they did not make the proper second half adjustments to counter what New Orleans defense was doing.

“You’ve got to give them credit,” said Jackson. “They made some second half adjustments and we didn’t. That’s something we have to be better at. We have to be better at making second half adjustments. One of the things they did was keep a safety down in the box the entire time in the second half. We have to see that and we have to adjust. That’s something that’s going to fall on us as players. When we see that we have to let them know what’s going on when we get to the sideline and get the adjustments made.”


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Fred: We probably spurred coach to challenge

Posted by Chris Brown on October 28, 2013 – 9:00 am

Bills RB Fred Jackson and his offensive linemen were convinced that he broke the plane of the goal line on his second down and goal carry from the two-yard line. So convinced that they spurred head coach Doug Marrone to challenge the play.

Jackson admitted as much in his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Monday morning. He also revealed a conversation he had with the head official Terry McAulay after his review of the play under the hood.

“Yeah I think it had a lot to do with a lot of us,” said Jackson of Marrone challenging the play. “The offensive line knew that I was in. I knew I was in. The ref even came up to me after the challenge and said, ‘You probably were in. We just couldn’t see it on the TV copy. For you guys to be as ecstatic as you were I wouldn’t doubt that you were in. We just couldn’t see it.’
That probably had a lot to do with me because I knew I was in, but they just didn’t have enough evidence to make the call.”

The call on the field that Jackson was short of the goal line stood, with Jackson and the Bills needing third and goal to punch the ball into the end zone.

Marrone has said he plans to change his process of challenging plays moving forward.


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Brandon: EJ hopefully back “next month or so”

Posted by Chris Brown on October 16, 2013 – 9:36 am

It wasn’t an official timetable by any means, but Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon did hint at a loose period of time when Manuel might be able to return from his knee injury.

“He’s here constantly going through the rehab process with our training staff,” said Brandon in his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550. “Hopefully he’ll continue to progress. I don’t have a timetable at this point, but hopefully we can get EJ back on the field as soon as possible. I know that’s what he wants too. Coach (Marrone) will address it later today. Hopefully we’ll have him back in the next month or so.”

Bills head coach Doug Marrone is scheduled to address the media at 2 pm.

 


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Bills hoping Goodwin impact is two-fold

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2013 – 12:19 pm

Marquise Goodwin’s return to the lineup today against Cincinnati is welcome one. His prowess on kick returns is obvious, but head coach Doug Marrone believes he can have just as big an impact on offense in the passing game.

“On offense he’s someone that can catch and score,” said Marrone late this week in his weekly radio show. “If you’re playing man coverage and he catches the ball and has a little bit of separation he has the ability to take it to the end zone. Anytime he gets the ball in his hands you have a chance for an explosive play.

“When we brought him in here everybody knows about his speed. It is what it is. I mean the guy was in the Olympics. His catching ability that’s the thing where he’s really done a good job. He catches the football extremely well. We’re excited about having him back because he’s a guy who can run down the field and you tell the quarterback to throw it as far as he can because you can never overthrow the guy. And that makes him easier to target.”

Naturally Marrone is hoping for some help in field position, or better yet points, with Goodwin returning kicks, as well as Leodis McKelvin, who sounds like he’ll be returning to full-time duty on punt returns now with his hamstring fully healthy.

“As far as special teams we’ve all seen what he can do in the preseason and we haven’t had a lot of opportunities with our punt returns and kickoff returns,” said Marrone. “We have top guys on returns in Leodis and Marquise Goodwin. The more opportunities we can provide those guys the better chance we have of scoring in those situations.”


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Marrone convinced QB Lewis is ready

Posted by Chris Brown on October 11, 2013 – 10:44 am

He’s only had two practices with the first team offense, but head coach Doug Marrone is convinced that QB Thad Lewis is ready for his big opportunity this Sunday against Cincinnati.

Making his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 this morning, Marrone discussed how opportunities like this do not come along often and how Lewis is ready to seize it.

“There’s no doubt that Thad is ready,” said Marrone. “Some guys they have to understand this in this profession. This is a great opportunity. In this league sometimes you don’t get the opportunity. When you have this opportunity whether it’s Thad Lewis or anybody else that’s what you have to do, take advantage of it. And in most cases it’s a one shot deal. Some people can handle that because there is pressure to that and some people can’t. The ones that can handle it have a chance to play in this league, the ones that can’t aren’t going to be able to play.”


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Brandon refutes open trade talks on Byrd

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2013 – 9:26 am

Bills S Jairus Byrd is expected to be in the lineup on Sunday against the Bengals. A recent report however, described the organization being open to talks about trading the Pro Bowl safety. Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon refuted that report.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported earlier this week that the Bills are open to trading Jairus Byrd after being unwilling to do so earlier this season. The NFL trade deadline is Oct. 29th.

When asked about the report in his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Wednesday morning, Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon refuted the report and said the organization’s position has not changed.

“I don’t know where these reports come from,” said Brandon. “It’s no different than what we talked about before. Our focus is getting JB back on the field and hopefully that will be this week. We are not actively seeking a deal. It’s not a topic of conversation in our building.”

When asked if moving Byrd would be ruled out if propositioned by another team Brandon answered generally.

“It’s the same thing I’ve always said, when someone calls us we’ll pick up the phone and answer it relative to any subject relative to our peers in the league,” said Brandon. “So I wouldn’t rule out picking up the phone.”

 

 


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EJ update

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2013 – 10:08 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone appeared on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Monday morning and was asked to provide an update on EJ Manuel on the heels of his LCL knee injury and if a timetable on his possible return was available.

“I don’t have an exact timetable now,” said Marrone. “We’re waiting for everything to calm down. I talked to EJ he’s excited. He doesn’t want to be injured. He’s excited to get back. As soon as everything calms down he starts with the rehab and he’ll go 100 miles per hour because the last one he came back a lot faster than people thought.”

Manuel did return a week earlier than anticipated from his first knee injury sustained in the team’s second preseason game against Minnesota.


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Bills to still add another QB

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2013 – 9:51 am

After promoting Thad Lewis from their practice squad to the active roster to start on Sunday against the Bengals, Buffalo has plans to add another signal caller.

Bills head coach Doug Marrone confirmed on his weekly radio appearance on flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 that they need to add a third healthy quarterback. It just won’t be on their active roster.

“We have to bring one in on the practice squad,” said Marrone. “We have to bring one in because we need another arm. Someone that maybe we can develop down the road in the future.”


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on September 29, 2013 – 11:58 pm

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

8:00 am – Fred Jackson Show on the Howard Simon Show (WGR 550)
 
9:10 am – Kiko Alonso on with Janet and Nick (Kiss 98.5)
 
5:00 pm – The Eric Wood Show on Schopp and the Bulldog (WGR 550)
 

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Loss of CBs has altered defensive approach

Posted by Chris Brown on September 27, 2013 – 9:16 am

Losing Stephon Gilmore at the tail end of the preseason, followed shortly thereafter by Ron Brooks, the team’s top nickel back and now potentially Leodis McKelvin this week, Buffalo defensive coordinator Mike Pettine had no choice but to alter some of his more aggressive plans for the Bills defense here in the early going of 2013.

Bills head coach Doug Marrone confirmed as much in his weekly appearance on the Howard Simon show on the Bills Radio Network.

“Absolutely. Anytime something happens whether it be injury and you start moving people (around) everybody has strengths and weaknesses. You do have to start making adjustments and it becomes a chain reaction,” said Marrone.

“The philosophy is to go out there and play, but to be smart. We’re not just going to leave those guys out there all the time. We’ve got to mix it up. In this league if you put yourself in one situation they’re going to find it and take advantage of it. You try to make sure you can disguise it and do the things you’re doing so you can be aggressive and do what you need to do to win.”

Leaving cornerbacks out on islands less is one of the more likely measures being taken moving forward.


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Marrone: McKelvin a likely game time decision

Posted by Chris Brown on September 27, 2013 – 8:59 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone in his weekly appearance on the Howard Simon show on the Bills Radio Network provided an update on the chance Leodis McKelvin has of playing on Sunday against the Ravens.

“I think he’s got a chance,” said Marrone. “I think it’ll be one those things where we go out before the game. He practiced (Thursday) on a limited basis. He went out there and ran around and I think that’ll be a game time decision.”

Marrone confirmed that if McKelvin can’t go that Aaron Williams would line up at corner in his place, much like he did last week against the Jets when McKelvin left the game in the first half. Knowing McKelvin is also the team’s primary punt returner, the Bills head coach also relayed that if McKelvin is not dressed that Jim Leonhard would again handle punt returns as he did last Sunday.

Knowing the high impact nature of the cornerback position with the stopping and starting and turning and bursting that has to take place, that puts a lot of stress on the hamstring. McKelvin knows if his hamstring is not right, it makes playing the position almost impossible.

“Your hamstring is one of your key parts if you want to play this game,” he said. “If you don’t have your hamstring you’re not going to be able to do anything. You can’t open up and you can’t be the guy you want to be especially in the times that you really need to burst or stay on top especially in this defense. It’s critical that your hamstring needs to be right.”


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2013 – 5:00 pm

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

7:30 am – Manny Lawson on w/ Janet and Nick (Kiss 98.5)

7:30 am – Aaron Williams on w/ Shredd and Ragan (103.3 The Edge)

8:10 am – Doug Marrone on The Howard Simon Show (WGR 550)


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2013 – 8:08 pm

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

7:15 – T.J. Graham on Norton in the Morning (97 Rock)

7:30 – Mario Williams on w/ Janet and Nick (Kiss 98.5)

7:30 – Robert Woods on the Howard Simon Show (WGR 550)

7:30 – Jerry Hughes on w/ Shredd and Ragan (103.3 The Edge)

8:10 – Coach Marrone on the Howard Simon Show (WGR 550)


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Punting vs. going for it on 4th down

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2013 – 6:07 pm

It’s become a more popular football strategy topic since the advent of analytics in the sport that has stretched beyond the coaching offices. Punting versus going for it on fourth down. Head coach Doug Marrone has his philosophy, which was put into practice last week when he chose to punt on the New England 49-yard line on 4th-and-1 with the lead.

“My overall philosophy is you always want to make sure that you’re giving your players the ability to win the game in your decision making process,” said Marrone in his weekly radio appearance on WGR Sportsradio 550. “We’re 4th-and-1 at the 49-yard line and we have the lead. Field position is a big thing. There’s a percentage of scoring and field position for each team. For us at that moment with the lead it’s safer and better for us to play field position percentage-wise than it was for us to go for it on 4th-and-1.

“Now it also depends on what you’re looking at. The 49-yard line is not often in the analytics, because it usually goes 35-40 (yard line) because in that range you’re looking at percentage of field goal make, plus the three points. There are other variables and you can see that more. We tend to call that four down territory, but a lot of it depends on how each side of the ball is playing and how the game is unfolding that day. There are down and distance philosophies and there are field position philosophies and they both come into the equation, but often when people speak they only use one of those.”

Marrone says there are other variables to consider too.

“How they’re playing offensively and how your defense is playing and the situation in the game, how much time is left and if we’re going to have another possession,” he said. “Is this our last opportunity where we have to take that chance? You’ve just got to make the right decision and you work off the percentages and sometimes they fall the wrong way.”


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Marrone’s vision for the offense

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2013 – 3:53 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone has a pretty defined philosophy on his vision for Buffalo’s offense. Fans don’t know much more than the fact that they intend to move at a rapid pace from play to play. Coach Marrone provided a bit more on the radio this week.

Appearing on his weekly radio show on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Marrone shed some more light on what he has in mind for his attack.

“It’s not like it’s the first time it’s been done in the NFL,” said Marrone. “You look at two of the more successful teams in the 80’s and those were Cincinnati and right here in Buffalo with Jim Kelly. You had this style of offense, and it was successful. For whatever reason it didn’t continue. Those two offenses put up a lot of great numbers.

“Our vision is to A, score more points than the opposition. Create a situation that’s fast so it may limit the calls and change what they’ve done from week to week. Wear someone down to create bigger plays for us. And mostly defending the field, and defensively they’re always getting extra guys in there. But we feel with the pace and with what we’re doing on the perimeter we force opponents to defend the whole field.”


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Searcy on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on September 8, 2013 – 11:40 pm

After a solid performance that included a tone-setting coverage tackle on the opening kickoff to his eight tackles, fumble return for a touchdown and a sack, Da’Norris Searcy is going to be on the local airwaves Monday morning.

Searcy will appear on the Howard Simon show on the Bills Radio Network on WGR Sportsradio 550 at 8:40 am.


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2013 – 11:53 pm

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

7:15 – Jamie Blatnick on w/ WCMF The Break Room

7:15 – Ron Brooks on w/ WGR 550’s Howard and Jeremy

7:30  – Ron Brooks on w/ WCMF The Break Room

7:30 – Jamie Blatnick on w/ WGR 550’s Howard and Jeremy

 


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2013 – 7:54 pm

Here’s where you can find bills players on the local and national radio airwaves Wednesday.

7:15 am – Jeff Tuel on w/ WGR 550’s Howard and Jeremy

7:30 am – Jeff Tuel on w/ WCMF The Break Room

7:30 am – Jonathan Meeks on 97 Rock Norton in the Morning

11:20 – C.J. Spiller on w/ The SiriusXM Blitz


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