Inside The Bills

Bills stats that stood out

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2016 – 1:21 am

Here’s a review of Buffalo’s win over L.A. from a statistical perspective, with a look at some of the more noteworthy numbers.

7.1 – The Bills yards per carry average against the Rams. Buffalo gets criticized for having inflated yards per carry averages because of Tyrod Taylor’s rushing. But LeSean McCoy’s 8.3 ypc avg. is what made this number so fat.

3.5 – The Rams yards per carry average, almost exactly half of Buffalo’s rushing average in the game.

4, 5, 6 – All of Buffalo’s touchdowns came from in close going for four (Justin Hunter), five (Mike Gillislee) and six (Marquise Goodwin) yards.

73 – Charles Clay’s receiving yardage total was a season high and the most for the Bills in the win. He represented almost 60 percent of the team’s passing yards Sunday.

2 – Total punt return yardage for the Rams.

25% – Los Angeles’ red zone touchdown percentage (1 for 4).

60% – Bills red zone touchdown percentage (3 for 5).

45.7 – Colton Schmidt’s net punting average.

7 – The number of plays Lorenzo Alexander hit the quarterback (3 sacks, 4 QB hits).

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills DBs coach McDonald & son square off

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 1:16 pm

It’s not only a homecoming for USC alum Tim McDonald, but bragging rights will be very much on the line when the Bills face the Rams and McDonald’s son T.J. McDonald.

McDonald, who is returning to the L.A. Coliseum, where he played his college ball at USC, for the first time since his son played for the Trojans.

“It’s been a long time,” said McDonald. “The last time I was there was during one of my son’s spring ball games. So it’ll be good to get back. It’s good to have football back in L.A.”

McDonald’s son T.J. is a safety for the Rams and was a third-round pick of the team in 2013 out of USC. This is the first time he’s facing a team coached by his dad.

“No trash talk. I played for the 49ers for a lot of years and T.J. loves to beat the hell out of the 49ers,” said McDonald. “He was so frustrated with their first game of the year when they lost to the 49ers. He’s going to take a lot of pride in this game this week. He’s going to want to win because he’s knows how dad is. I’m a competitor. He’s a pro and I’m a pro. I’ll be excited to watch him play, but I probably won’t get a chance because we’ll be making adjustments on the sidelines when he’s out there. He’s a big boy. He can respond from a loss if we do what we’re supposed to do.”

McDonald has never gone against his son’s team in an NFL game.

“I really don’t know. We’ll probably take a picture together before the game. He’s really into his game and football. He gets excited to play. He’ll be focused on what he has to do and I’ll be focused on what I have to do. And we’ll let the chips fall where they may and love each other afterwards.”

“It’s pretty exciting especially to see glimpses of yourself, when I watch him on film. I’m excited for him and he loves the game. He’d always ask me, ‘Dad, what do I have to do? He said I don’t want an NFL experience. I want an NFL career.’ So he worked his tail off as a youngster. So I worked with him when I retired and got him involved in the game and just try to teach him how to stay healthy.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rams size at WR presents similar challenge to Wk 2

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 11:14 am

The Bills secondary capably recovered from a terrible performance in Week 2 against the Jets and has performed admirably against the Cardinals and Patriots the past two weeks. Sunday however, they face a receiving corps with similar size on the outside. Are the Bills DBs ready to show they’ve learned from some of the things the Jets receivers used against them?

Bills secondary coach Tim McDonald believes they have, even though they’ve got a lot of respect for what the Rams can put out on the field.

“Big 50-50 type ball guys on the outside,” said McDonald of the Rams’ Kenny Britt and Brian Quick. “They’re strong, so we’ve got to be able to handle that. They’re not going to be able to run by our guys unless we let them. And they’ve got a guy in the slot who is pretty quick. We’ve got to make sure we know where Tavon Austin is. They run a lot of gadget plays with him.”

McDonald is confident his corners have a good idea as to how Britt and Quick are going to play them.

“Britt is a big, strong guy. Our guys know what he is and what he likes to do. He likes to put body on you,” McDonald said. “And Quick has come along the last couple of weeks. Steph (Gilmore) is a good matchup with those guys. (Ronald) Darby is going to have use his speed and technique to maneuver those guys. I like our chances with those guys outside and we’ve got to just handle that guy inside.”

And what happens if they find themselves in a jump ball situation with those biggers wideouts?

“There is always going to be a time or two where you’re put in a situation where you have to make a play and I think our guys are up to the challenge,” said McDonald.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills-Rams predictions

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 10:54 am

Here’s a look at a number of Bills-Rams predictions for today’s game from a host of league prognosticators.

By Elliot Harrison









Pro Football Talk

By Mike Florio

Bills at Rams

MDS’s take: This is a much better game than anyone would have thought early in the season, with the Bills on a two-game winning streak and the Rams on a three-game winning streak. I’ll pick L.A. to keep it going behind a better-than-expected game from Case Keenum.

MDS’s pick: Rams 24, Bills 20.

Florio’s take: Buffalo has found the gas pedal following that Thursday night debacle, but the Rams are on the right track and will be hard to beat before a big crowd at the Coliseum. Especially with Aaron Donald to prove that he can holdSheldon Richardson’s jock, if for some reason Donald would even want to.

Florio’s pick: Rams 17, Bills 10.

Bleacher Report

By Chris Simms

When: Sunday, Oct. 9, at 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)

I see a much different Rams defense on film than the one experts claim to see.

Yes, Aaron Donald is the Greek God of Defensive Tackles. But the six other guys in that front seven all want to hunt quarterbacks over playing disciplined assignment football.

Tyrod Taylor will make them pay for shooting the wrong gap with his legs. So will LeSean McCoy when Rams linebackers are slow to shed blocks. Both guys are clicking in this new Anthony Lynn-coordinated offense.

Rex Ryan’s group has all the defensive momentum too. They expose the Rams for the weak 3-1 team they are.

Pick: Bills

The Ringer

By Kevin Clark

LOS ANGELES (-3) over Buffalo

If you missed Rex Ryan giving the most honest look at his football philosophy this week, it’s worth exploring. In 2014, Ryan said that Aaron Donald couldn’t hold Sheldon Richardson’s jock. Those words are pretty funny now, because while Richardson is a solid player, Donald is one of the five best defenders in the NFL. He also says he remembers the comments. Ryan explained it thusly: “One of our coaches had said, ‘This guy can’t hold his jock.’ So I go ahead and say it — I never even saw him play, but I knew he was a rookie, so rookies shouldn’t go to the Pro Bowl. So, anyway, after I’ve seen this kid play, I’m like, ‘Oh boy!’” The comment itself was outrageous; that it came from someone who now admits he had no first-hand knowledge makes it almost unbelievable. I love Ryan. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: He’s going to be great on TV.

Anyway, this is going to be an exciting game. The Rams are brilliant at making every team they face seem as boring as they are. The Bills are truly already as boring as the Rams, so the only option is to cancel each other out and play a truly fun game. The Rams will win because they’re at home. And Rex Ryan will see Aaron Donald play and once again get to say “Oh boy!”

The Sporting News

By David Steele

Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS

Good luck guessing what either team will do from week to week. The Rams still don’t seem that far removed from that disappearing act they pulled in San Francisco on the first Monday night. The same for the Bills team that was in such disarray after the Thursday loss to the Jets. The more stable team is … the Rams, which tells you something about Rex Ryan’s team. Rams, 23-21


By Evan Silva

Buffalo @ Los Angeles
Vegas Projected Score: Rams 21, Bills 18.5

Following back-to-back road upsets of Tampa Bay and Arizona, the streaking Rams play Week 5 host to a Bills team traveling cross country after back-to-back emotional wins over the Cardinals and Patriots. I was wrong to think Buffalo would collapse in Foxboro, but I think this is another letdown spot for the Bills. Averaging 22.5 touches per game, Todd Gurley makes for an enticing DFS tournament play with his price down and his passing-game role increasing. Still unable to get into space due to Los Angeles’ offensive line woes, Gurley tied a career high with five targets in last week’s victory over the Cardinals, catching all five passes for 49 yards. Gurley’s two longest plays on the year have come in the passing game (33, 19). It did help that passing-game specialist Benny Cunningham (hamstring) missed the second half, resulting in a season-high 85% snap rate for Gurley. I’m keeping a close eye on Cunningham’s practice reports this week. Buffalo has played run-tough defense overall, but they have allowed the fifth most rushing TDs in the league (5) and the tenth most receptions to opposing running backs (22). Gurley’s Week 5 outlook will be enhanced significantly if Cunningham is inactive. … Case Keenum‘s weekly fantasy finishes have ascended each game (QB32 > QB28 > QB17 > QB8), working his way into starter status in two-quarterback leagues. This is a matchup where game-plannerRex Ryan figures to sell out to stop the Rams’ running game, creating opportunities on the back end. Keenum has shown an increased willingness to pull the trigger on downfield throws, while Buffalo has permitted the NFL’s 11th most completions of 20-plus yards (14).

Keenum’s Weeks 1-4 target distribution: Tavon Austin 35; Kenny Britt 26; Lance Kendricks 20; Brian Quick 14; Gurley 11; Tyler Higbee 5. … A frustrating player to try to forecast, Austin followed up his top-12 fantasy receiver performance from Week 3 with an eight-total-yard clunker on three touches in last week’s win over the Cardinals. Austin has finished as a top-45 fantasy wideout in just 1-of-4 games. He is a complete shot in the dark. … Britt is the most stable pass catcher in the Rams’ offense, but he has yet to hit pay dirt on the season and has just one red-zone target. Britt’s matchup is unideal against stingy Bills press-man CBs Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore. … Quick has scored three touchdowns over the last two weeks, but his season high for targets is six and he is averaging two receptions per game while logging 56% of Los Angeles’ offensive snaps. Quick has always possessed playmaking ability, but he has always been very difficult to trust. I want to see Quick’s usage increase and stabilize before considering him a legitimate WR3 option. … Kendricks is scoreless on the year with yardage totals of 15, 61, 0, 52. The Bills are allowing the eighth fewest fantasy points to tight ends.

Tyrod Taylor deserves credit for picking apart a Patriots defense that was hell bent on stopping the run and confining Taylor to the pocket while generating zero pressure up front in Buffalo’s Week 4 upset win. Still badly missing Sammy Watkins‘ (foot, I.R.), Taylor has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in just 1-of-4 weeks and that finish directly resulted from two deep bombs to Marquise Goodwin and Greg Salas against the pass-funnel Jets. The only passer to post a top-15 week against the Rams so far was Jameis Winston, who threw 58 passes with four rushing attempts versus Los Angeles in Week 3. The Rams stymied Russell Wilson (QB27) and Carson Palmer/Drew Stanton (QB25) in Weeks 2 and 4. Over the past three weeks, the Rams rank second in the NFL in quarterback hits (21) and seventh in sacks (7). This is a bad matchup for Taylor, who is best approached as a two-QB-league starter and not a streamer. … L.A. played stout run defense in its first three games, before being hit by Cardinals RBs for a combined 24-117-0 (4.88 YPC) rushing line last week. Matchups have so far mattered little for LeSean McCoy, who is averaging 21 touches per game and compensated for last week’s quiet rushing effort (19-70) with a season-high six targets, which he parlayed into 6-38-1 receiving. The focal point of Buffalo’s Watkins-less offense, McCoy’s secure usage renders him an every-week RB1 in season-long leagues. He is averaging 96 total yards per game and a touchdown per week.

Taylor’s targets in Watkins’ two missed games: Robert Woods 18; Marquise Goodwin and McCoy 10; Charles Clay 9; Walt Powell 5; Mike Gillislee 2. … Woods’ lack of big-play ability is always a concern for his ceiling, but he has six or more catches in each of Watkins’ two missed weeks and leads the Bills in slot receiver snaps, where Los Angeles had trouble with Bucs slot WR Adam Humphries (9-100), 49ers slot WR Jeremy Kerley (7-61), and Cardinals slot WR Larry Fitzgerald (5-62). The Rams have allowed the most catches (69) in the league to wide receivers and the second most yards (847). Woods is a viable PPR play. … The Rams have given up three touchdowns to tight ends, but they’ve also allowed the 11th fewest receptions (15) and 11th fewest yards (137) to the position. Clay’s stat lines in Watkins’ missed games are 0-0 and 5-47-0. Clay hasn’t cleared 50 yards or scored a touchdown since Week 13 last year. … The Bills are using streak-route specialist Goodwin as their No. 2 wideout and Powell as their No. 3. Goodwin can pay dividends if he catches a long pass, but he will be a dud if he doesn’t. The Rams have allowed the tenth fewest completions of 20-plus yards and only one catch of 40-plus yards.

Score Prediction: Rams 20, Bills 17

FOX Sports, Peter Schrager

Sunday: Bills at Rams

I can’t bet against these Rams. Not yet, at least. What a throwback team. They’re supposed to be Hollywood’s team, but their biggest star is a defensive tackle (Aaron Donald), and their quarterback is Case Keenum. The latter gets a lot of crap online and in the football media world, but he’s 6-2 in his past eight starts and is a blocked field goal in San Francisco last season away from being 7-1. The Rams have something going on. It’s ugly, it’s gritty, it’s somewhat anti-Hollywood. I’m into it.

The pick: Rams 22, Bills 17

Pro Football Focus, Eric Eager

Bills at Rams (-2.5)

Prediction: Rams win by 1 The Rams has won three straight games, the last two on the road, on the back of a defense largely relying on a cover-2 scheme previously thought to be outdated in today’s NFL. Since firing their offensive coordinator, the Bills have won two straight games—last week shutting out a depleted Patriots’ squad. Both teams will be looking to show that their resurgence is a real phenomenon. Look for the Rams, who unlike the Bills, are largely intact health-wise, to hold off doubters for at least one more week on the back of a defense—with eight starters owning overall grades above 75.0—facing an offense that just put their top receiver on injured reserve.


Washington Post, Matt Bonesteel


Time, TV: 4:25 p.m., CBS.

Buffalo: Since 1991, teams coming off a road win in which they held their opponent scoreless are 42-25-6 ATS in their next game, and teams coming off wins in which they held an opponent scoreless as road underdogs are 14-6 ATS in their next game. If that team is a road underdog again in its following game, it’s gone 8-2 ATS.

Los Angeles: In the last 47 games involving the Bills, the true home team is 30-17 ATS.

Pick: Bills.

Washington Post, Neil Greenberg

Each week, Neil Greenberg makes NFL game predictions based on a multitude of factors that will have an impact on game day. These include efficiency stats such as success rates, yards per play and yards allowed per play, plus points scored based on strength of opponent. Point spreads are the consensus odds from multiple sports books in Vegas.

Last week’s record against the spread: 7-7-1

Buffalo Bills @ Los Angeles Rams (-2.5)
Winner: Los Angeles Rams, 51.3  percent
Pick: Buffalo Bills +2.5

NY Post, Dave Blezow

RAMS (-2) over Bills: The Bills are coming off wins over the Cardinals and Patriots by a total of 31 points, but Rex Ryan has never been able to sustain the good times for long stretches. Aaron Donald (24 quarterback hits or hurries in four games) will make it tough in Tyrod Taylor.

The Score, Gino Bottero

Buffalo Bills (+2) at Los Angeles Rams
The Rams’ embarrassing opener is a distant memory, but so is the Bills’ 0-2 start.
Bills 24, Rams 16


Posted in Inside the Bills

What to expect from WR Justin Hunter

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 10:45 am

New WR Justin Hunter is expected to be dressed and play Sunday against the Rams. Here’s an idea of what offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn has in mind for the tall and fast wideout.

“Yes, we do envision a role for Justin,” Lynn said. “(Receivers coach) Sanjay (Lal) has done a hell of a job working with him and trying to get caught up to speed. But he’s been here just for a few days, three practices, you know I’m not sure how much he’s going to be involved in the game plan this week, but down the road I do see a role for him.”

Lynn did hint that this week Hunter could have a role in a red zone package of plays against the Rams.

“You know, that’s why we brought him in,” said Lynn. “We like his presence in the red zone, but we like him as just a wide receiver in general and if we can get him going, I think he can help us.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rams hedging their bets on DL?

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 10:34 am

The Los Angeles Rams have one of the best defensive lines in the league, but three of their four starters are questionable for today’s game with injuries. Head coach Jeff Fisher gave indication he was saving his injured players on the defensive line through the course of the practice week so they’d be ready for Sunday. They also made a roster move to protect against the possibility of not having one or two of them.

With DE Robert Quinn, DT Michael Brockers and DE William Hayes all questionable, the Rams promoted DE Morgan Fox from their practice squad and released CB Coty Sensabaugh.

Fox is an undrafted rookie out of Colorado State-Pueblo.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Rams Aaron Donald doesn’t play as much as most

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 9:38 am

Rams DT Aaron Donald is a dominant player. He leads the league with 25 quarterback pressures in just four games. It’s an impressive number and Donald has shown he can completely wreck an offensive game plan by himself. What’s interesting is when it comes to getting the best play out of Donald the Rams believe that less is more.

Last week against Arizona for example, Donald was playing every other series. After the first defensive series for the Rams, Donald rotated out. He didn’t return until the following series. Donald played more in the second half, but his snap count was surprisingly low.

Fewer snaps however, appeared to allow Donald to provide more impact. He had five tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble in the game that was recovered by Los Angeles in their 17-13 win. Donald played in a total of 49 snaps.

In fact so far this season the Pro Bowl defensive tackle has played just under 74 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, down almost five percent from last season.

Bills Pro Bowl guard Richie Incognito, who is likely to see a lot of Donald Sunday, has a theory.

“His whole game is explosion, so the Rams are trying to keep him fresh,” said Incognito. “He’s not a big guy so he relies on his speed and quickness.”

It’s true Donald is one of the smaller defensive tackles in the league at just 6-1 and 285 pounds. If he played 75-80 snaps per game going against bigger offensive linemen all day he’d be more likely to wear down.

“He’s an undersized guy number one at 285, so not big by defensive line standards,” said Rex Ryan. “He’s energetic and they want to keep that at a high level. They rotate a lot of those guys in there. They have good depth on their D-line. But he’s a guy that clearly jumps out on tape. They want him at a peak energy level so he can do what he does.”

Here’s a look at Donald’s snap count percentages from each of his three NFL seasons.

2016 – 73.7%

2015 – 78.9%

2014 – 67.4%

Just for a sense of contrast, Bills OLB Jerry Hughes has played 98 percent of the snaps this season. Even 33-year old Kyle Williams has played more than 82 percent of the snaps for Buffalo this season.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Thurman: Football means a lot to people of L.A.

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 8:43 am

While Bills fans certainly feel for the NFL fans of St. Louis, who lost their team with the Rams returning to Los Angeles, Bills defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, who grew up watching the Rams in L.A. he knows the significance of that team’s return to the city of angels.

“It means a lot to the people of Los Angeles,” Thurman said. “You know without football for 22 years or something to that effect. I grew up as a kid watching the Rams–wasn’t a Rams fan, I was a Cowboys fan– but I knew a lot of the Rams players when I was growing up. George Allen coaching, Jack Pardee playing, Roman Gabriel playing, you know watching James Harris play quarterback out there I was very familiar with them. You know, to the people of L.A it means a lot. Football is important to them.

“But L.A is also one of those cities where there are things to do, places to go. If you’re not playing well, nobody is showing up. The Rams are playing well, so I’m expecting a packed Coliseum on Sunday.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hard to ignore Rams Aaron Donald

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2016 – 8:51 am

Buffalo’s next opponent has a beast in the middle of their defense in DL Aaron Donald. The defensive tackle is the leader on a dominant defensive line. In fact he’s been so good through the first quarter of the season that ProFootballFocus has him rated as the best player in the entire league.

Donald had another giant game Sunday in the Rams win over the Arizona Cardinals. On Sunday he had five tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble that led to a turnover. According for PFF he is their highest rated player overall after four games this season.

Donald has the highest PFF grade of any player in 2016 with a score of 95.3, comfortably clear of the next-best and one of only six players to currently sit above 90 in the ratings.

Coming into the week he led the entire league with 17 total pressures, but had curiously yet to notch a sack. That changed in the Rams’ upset win over the Cardinals, as Donald got home twice in addition to the four hits and two hurries he recorded. For the season he now stands at 25 total pressures across only four games.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

C.J.: Of course I want to touch the ball more

Posted by Chris Brown on December 9, 2012 – 5:15 pm

The division of the workload between Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller was again a popular topic among fans in the wake of the team’s 15-12 loss to the Rams Sunday. C.J. Spiller was asked about his eight touches in the game following the loss.

“I really cannot control how many times I touch the ball,” he said. “I keep saying it over and over. I do not konw what else you want me to say. The only thing i can do is when my number is called, just try to do the best I can. Even when it is not, just do the best I can. Today I let a couple of my pass pros kind of slip a little bit. So I just have to go back to the drawing board to see what I did wrong, try to fix it and finish these last three games on a high note.”

Spiller, who gave up a sack on the first third down of the Indy game in pass protection in Week 12, also spent less time on the field in the second half of that game. So his mention of his pass protection assignments in the Rams game is telling.

The Bills back had one reception for 15 yards and seven carries for 37 yards in the game. When asked if he’s frustrated by his lack of work, Spiller said the following.

“Of course I want to touch the ball more, but there is no need for me to sit around, mope and groan and do all that because that is high school,” he said. “That is childish. That is not what I am about. Is the frustration there? Yeah. Deep down in your gut as a competitor, yeah it is there. But there is nothing I can do about it so I am not going to sit around and pout and be a little baby or a little girl or something.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rams kicker could make OC think twice

Posted by Chris Brown on December 9, 2012 – 8:17 am

Rams rookie K Greg Zuerlein has a big leg. He’s 7-11 from 50-yards plus this season, which has already set an NFL rookie record for most 50-yard plus makes by a rookie in a season. With successful 58 and 60 yarders under his belt this season, Zuerlein has the kind of leg that could make offensive coordinators think twice about getting aggressive on fourth down.

Offensive touchdowns have been hard enough to come by for the Rams as they have just 18 this season, third-lowest in the NFL next to Arizona (17) and Kansas City (15). Zuerlein has at least helped the St. Louis offense put points on the board from long distance.

Rams head coach Jeff Fisher isn’t necessarily conservative by nature, but in his first year with the club he’s taking points wherever he can get them.

As head coach Chan Gailey sees it, no matter how big a leg your kicker has, you can’t let it make you conservative as an offensive play caller.

“It probably does, but I’m not sure it should let it because if you start depending on that, that’s where you stop scoring touchdowns,” Gailey said in his weekly conversation with “You don’t want to depend on that. You know you’ve got it in your back pocket, but you don’t want to depend on that in my opinion.”

Zuerlein got a game ball from coach Fisher last week, for kicking a 53-yarder at time expired in regulation to force overtime, followed by a 54-yarder in overtime to beat the 49ers.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

O-line calls to be handled by vets

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2012 – 10:26 am

Bills head coach Chan Gailey chose not to reveal the lineup for his offensive line Sunday. It’s left the question out there as to whether it will be Kraig Urbik at center or rookie David Snow. Whoever is not at center will be at right guard. Even if Snow is at center against the Rams Sunday, don’t expect him to be making the line calls. That will be handled by two veterans up front for the Bills.

Head coach Chan Gailey answered in the affirmative in his weekly conversation with when asked if Andy Levitre and Kraig Urbik will be handling a lot of the pre-snap calls on the line no matter where Urbik lines up.

“Oh yes,” said Gailey. “A lot of times when you have two new guys playing next to each other that’s not the easiest thing in the world either. You really have to communicate all the way out. The good thing about Sam (Young) is he’s played, he’s been a pro so I think he’ll be able to communicate back in whatever is necessary to communicate back in.”

Urbik also gave indication that he and Levitre would be handling the line calls before the snap.

“Whether I’m at guard or center I’m going to be help (David) Snow and Sam (Young),” said Urbik. “We’re going here, or we’re going here, that way there is no guesswork and no thinking. We’re just going. I think Andy (Levitre) and I are going to be doing most of the communicating no matter what.”

“The communication is one of the biggest factors, but we’ve been working with those guys,” said Gailey of Snow and Young. “We’ve had communication with them for quite a while, almost the whole season now. The speed of the game is what they’ve have to adjust to. The other three guys are used to the speed of the game, they’re not. It’s going to be a challenge for them to adjust to the speed of the game. And this is a tough defensive front to make that adjustment against.

“This is probably the biggest challenge we’ve had all year. With the quality of players they have on their front, they play so hard and so fast. They’re quick and strong. They’re as good a defensive line as we have faced all season. We have our work cut out for us with two new guys on our offensive line. It’s a challenge for our football team.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

WR Amendola a game time decision

Posted by Chris Brown on December 7, 2012 – 5:07 pm

The Rams top receiver is truly 50-50 for Sunday’s game against the Bills in Buffalo.

That according to St. Louis head coach Jeff Fisher.

After Friday’s practice, Fisher told St. Louis reporters the following about Amendola’s availability for Sunday’s game.

“He was limited practice today and a little better than he was yesterday,” Fisher said. “I’m sure he’ll be a game time decision.”

Amendola is dealing with a foot injury and is listed as questionable. LB Mario Haggan (elbow) is also questionable.

TE Mike McNeill (thigh) is out.

RB Steven Jackson (foot) and starting C Scott Wells (knee) are listed as probable after both participated fully on Friday.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gailey holds O-line cards close to vest

Posted by Chris Brown on December 7, 2012 – 1:29 pm

The Bills know what their lineup is going to be on their offensive line come Sunday against the Rams, they just don’t want St. Louis to know. Head coach Chan Gailey chose not to reveal who would line up at center in place of the injured Eric Wood.

When asked what he was willing to reveal regarding his re-shuffled offensive line for this week, Gailey offered the following.

“We’ll have five,” said Gailey. “Every play we’ll have five and sometimes we’ll have six, but that’s about as far as I want to go on that. We know what we’re going to do, but I don’t want to talk about where everybody is going to play.”

Last Sunday after Eric Wood exited the game with a torn MCL in his left knee, right guard Kraig Urbik moved to center and rookie David Snow came on to replace Urbik at right guard. Sam Young stepped in at right tackle for the injured Chris Hairston, who has since been moved to injured reserve.

The other possible lineup would be David Snow at center and Urbik remaining at his right guard spot. Either way is comfortable for Urbik, who made five starts at center last season for Wood.

“I felt comfortable going in there last game when Eric got hurt and I’ve had a lot of practice at center so I feel comfortable there,” said Urbik.

Whether the offensive staff has chosen to change that alignment for this week remains to be seen.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills full injury status report

Posted by Chris Brown on December 7, 2012 – 1:17 pm

Here is the Bills injury status report for Sunday’s game against the Rams.

Special teams LB Chris White was the only new addition on Friday.

“Chris White had an issue with his back and went in, but came back and finished practice,” said Gailey. “He was limited.”

DE Mark Anderson – knee
C Eric Wood – knee

WR Stevie Johnson – hamstring
CB Justin Rogers – foot
CB Leodis McKelvin – back
CB Aaron Williams – knee
DT Spencer Johnson – ankle
LB Chris White – back

DT Kyle Williams – ankle
WR Brad Smith – hamstring
WR T.J. Graham – ankle
LB Nick Barnett – knee
G Kraig Urbik – knee
S Da’Norris Searcy – hand
RB C.J. Spiller – shoulder
DE Mario Williams – wrist
TE Scott Chandler – groin
FS Jairus Byrd – back
G Andy Levitre – knee
DT Marcell Dareus – shoulder
WR Donald Jones – calf

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A. Williams still not there yet

Posted by Chris Brown on December 7, 2012 – 1:15 pm

Aaron Williams has been practicing with the team for the past two weeks as he tries to return from a knee injury in Week 9, but he’s yet to participate fully in a practice. That’s why he’s again listed as questionable for this Sunday’s game.

“He did better,” said head coach Chan Gailey when asked how Williams week of practice went. “It’ll be close on him (for Sunday). I don’t know if he’ll make it or not. I want him really close to 100 (percent). I don’t know if we’re quite there yet.”

Knowing Williams has been off the game field for four games, jumping right back in is difficult especially at cornerback. In all likelihood he’ll miss his fifth straight game on Sunday.

With Williams not expected to be in the lineup, here is what the cornerback depth chart would look like for Sunday.

Stephon Gilmore
Leodis McKelvin
Justin Rogers
Ron Brooks
Crezdon Butler
T.J. Heath

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Rams WR Amendola limited

Posted by Chris Brown on December 6, 2012 – 8:23 pm

Rams WR Danny Amendola is still not practicing fully due to a foot injury.

Amendola was limited on Thursday after not practicing Wednesday. Here’s the rest of the Rams Thursday injury update.

Did not practice
TE Mike McNeill – thigh
C Scott Wells – knee
C Tim Barnes – not injury related

limited in practice
WR Danny Amendola – foot
LB Mario Haggan – elbow

RB Steven Jackson (foot) was a full participant.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills updated Thurs. injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on December 6, 2012 – 4:48 pm

Here’s the updated injury report for the Bills following Thursday’s practice, which lists practice participation.

Did not practice
C Eric Wood – knee
DE Mark Anderson – knee

Limited in practice
WR Stevie Johnson – hamstring
DT Kyle Williams – ankle
WR Brad Smith – hamstring
CB Justin Rogers – foot
CB Leodis McKelvin – back
WR T.J. Graham – ankle
LB Nick Barnett – knee
G Kraig Urbik – knee
CB Aaron Williams – knee
DL Spencer Johnson – ankle

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Stevie encouraged after Thursday practice

Posted by Chris Brown on December 6, 2012 – 4:23 pm

Bills top wideout Stevie Johnson was back out on the practice field and was generally pleased with how his tight hamstring held up in practice.

“Yeah I was happy with it,” Johnson told “It went well. I just may have to change my style for a wet field.”

Rain is in the forecast for Sunday’s game against the Rams and a wet field can increase the chances for re-injury with footing not as sure as it is on a dry field. Johnson’s route running really can’t be described to begin with, so best of luck to Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan.

As head coach Chan Gailey saw it, Johnson’s level of participation was encouraging to him as well.

“Stevie did most of practice, went through the whole thing and did okay,” said Gailey. “He was not full speed, but he did okay. It was good because he’d go out and run some plays and go sit on the bench just like he would in the game, and then go back out and run. So that activity was good.”

Johnson was officially listed as a limited participant Thursday.

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Bills to practice outside today

Posted by Chris Brown on December 6, 2012 – 10:40 am

Last week the Bills practiced outside on Thursday to take advantage of the windy conditions, knowing they’d be close to the windy conditions last Sunday against the Jaguars. This week they’re doing much of the same as they’re practicing outside here on Thursday this week at One Bills Drive.

“I think the guys get accustomed to what it’s like to be in the stadium under similar weather conditions,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “It’s never going to be the same because it’s not normally the same two days in a row in Buffalo. You get similar weather conditions and you get to experience it then it’s not a big deal. It’s not a shock to them when they walk out there on Sunday. You’re trying to create practice experiences as close to game experiences as you possibly can, and one way you can do it is with weather.”

“We have to be able to embrace that,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick. “We have to be able to use that as an advantage for us in these December games. As a quarterback, do I hope that it’s really windy and rainy?  No I don’t.  But if it is, we’ve got to be able to use that to our advantage.”

Right now Sunday’s forecast is rain, high of 41 degrees with sustained winds of 10-15 mph.

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