Inside The Bills

WR Lewis: Goal is to be a solid route runner

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2015 – 4:35 pm

Bills seventh-round pick Dezmin Lewis has never had a problem picking up a new playbook. He has felt comfortable this weekend in rookie minicamp with all the play installs on offense for team work. Where he’s trying to nail down details is with his route running.

“I go up and get the ball at its highest point. I catch everything with my hands. I’m not much of a body catcher. The main thing now is just working on my route running and continue to become a better route runner so I can upgrade my game to something more than just a go getter.”

Lewis caught a lot of deep balls at Central Arkansas, but he knows he has to diversify his game if he’s to stick at the NFL level. He’s been working closely with receivers coach Sanjay Lal to make his game more well rounded. Job number one for a tall receiver like Lewis is to work on effectively dropping his weight to get him in and out of cuts and stems on his routes.

Coach Lal has been in his ear about one detail in particular.

“Staying low,” Lewis told “I’m a tall receiver and as soon as I take off I pop straight up so he’s been coaching me. He said to act like there’s a string that’s tied to my chest and he’s pulling me. So my objective is to stay low throughout my entire route. That’s the main thing I’ve been working on.”

Lewis knows it’s just about body control, but it’s easier said than done for a receiver that stands 6-4. But coach Lal has given him some ways to perfect dropping his weight when he has to change direction and to help him keep his weight over his toes.

“It’s just body control,” he said. “He tells me to practice leaning as far as I can and balance myself on one foot. And wherever I’m comfortable that’s the base that I have to work off of. So it’s body control and torqueing my body into different positions so I can become a better route runner.”

Coach Lal also has his receivers review their own work in practice.

“The good thing about that is coach Lal goes over the routes and he tells us to critique ourselves,” said Lewis. “We’ll do that and tell him what we think we’re doing wrong and then correct us from there.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

RB Williams balancing special teams duties

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2015 – 1:24 pm

Rookie RB Karlos Williams is pulling a lot of double duty this weekend in Bills rookie minicamp as both a running back on offense and on special teams. For Buffalo’s fifth-round pick however, handling both of those responsibilities is old hat.

Williams was an accomplished special teams player at Florida State, so handling multiple roles isn’t a big deal.

“Definitely used to that,” he said. “Played a lot of special teams at Florida State and took great pride in playing special teams at Florida State. With the special teams coaches we’ve had there at Florida State we’ve always been top 10 in the country in each category of special teams. It’ll be no problem. I’ve played in every scheme possible. So being here and being a part of special teams is going be a big part of me playing here. That’ll be no worries at all.”

What Williams is trying to master are the multitude of responsibilities a running back has in Greg Roman’s offense.

“(I’m) trying to get as much as I can,” he said. “It’s very hard in the NFL. You’ve got to be able to pass protect, see things quickly and react fast. There’s no time to think in the game of football in the NFL. There’s a lot to process.”

At the same time Williams likes coach Roman as a teaching coach.

“Great teacher. I can learn a lot from him,” he said. “A lot of stuff that we sat down and worked on one-on-one when I came to visit before and a lot of stuff when I went back home and still have to work on being here. It’s all a process and he’s a great teacher. Slows things down. He doesn’t want you to go full speed unless you’re doing it properly. I’m expecting to learn a lot from him.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Darby has no issue with speed of NFL game

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2015 – 1:19 pm

Bills top draft choice, CB Ron Darby, is facing the same transition as every other rookie on Buffalo’s roster. There are a lot of new things at the NFL level. Often times rookies talk about adjusting to the speed of the NFL game. In Buffalo’s rookie minicamp however, Darby is the fastest player on the field, so speed is of no concern.

“I’m blessed with speed myself, so it’s not an issue for me,” Darby said. “I’m just focused on a lot more technical stuff—the way routes break down, the way receivers cut, things like that. It’s more technical. The more film you watch the easier everything will be.”

Darby has been working a lot the past two days to get his head around to locate the ball, as the quarterbacks, perhaps by the coaching staff’s design, have been testing Darby deep a good deal.

The rookie cornerback has had no problem going stride for stride with any receiver he faces, but his technique is a bit inconsistent when it comes to exactly what secondary coach Donnie Henderson is looking for. As Darby himself said it’s all part of the process.

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Thumbnail on Bills tryout players

Posted by Chris Brown on May 8, 2015 – 9:43 am

They’re the long shots of long shots at NFL rookie minicamps this weekend. But here’s a small tidbit on each of Buffalo’s 11 tryout players participating this weekend at One Bills Drive in the team’s rookie minicamp.

WR Anthony Davis – (5-11, 190) – Widener – A dominant D-III wideout with almost 4,000 career receiving yards and 45 touchdowns.

RB Prince-Tyson Gulley – (5-8, 191) – Syracuse – Averaged more than five yards per carry in his college career and rushed for over 2,000 yards in his career.

S Darius Kelly – (5-9, 204) – Syracuse – 61 tackles, four PBUs, 1 INT, 1 FF in 2014 for the Orange.

RB Roderick McDowell – (5-9, 204) – Clemson – Last collegiate season was 2013 where he averaged 5.4 yards per carry while sharing the load in Tigers backfield.

CB Wes Miller – (5-9, 183) – UTEP – led Miners defense in tackles (74), solo stops (42) and interceptions (two), while tied for second with six pass breakups.

CB Reggie Owens – (5-11, 185) – Old Dominion – Two-year starter for Monarchs. Had four sacks, four forced fumbles and three interceptions in his college career.

LB TraVaughn Pascal – (6-2, 255) – Kentucky – An athletic player who has lined up at defensive end and linebacker in his college career. Pascal has dealt with abdominal and ankle injuries.

LS Sam Rodgers – (6-1, 244) – Syracuse – Team captain and member of ACC All-Academic team.

WR EJ Scott – (5-10, 186) – Wake Forest – Had a 4.55 40-time at his pro day, which included a 1.55 10-yard split, a 35 ½-inch vertical leap, 10-foot broad jump and 21 reps on the bench.

QB Austin Trainor – (6-2, 212) – West Georgia – Finished college career in 2013.

S Julius White – (5-9, 199) – Rice – Three-year starter who tied for the team lead with seven pass breakups in 2014.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Last note from rookie minicamp

Posted by Chris Brown on May 20, 2014 – 11:21 am

One last note from Bills rookie minicamp dealt with rookie punter Jake Dombrowski. The Harvard grad didn’t get a lot of opportunities to kick through the course of the three days, but did on the final day Monday. The report coming in was he is a great hang time punter and he didn’t disappoint.

Kicking 50-yarders consistently, Dombrowski was also maintaining a very unofficial (my watch) hang time in the five second range, which is very good. Here were the unofficial hang times on his last four kicks Monday, all of which were in the distance range of 50 yards.

4.99 seconds
5.06 seconds
5.26 seconds
4.91 seconds

Those numbers are pretty solid. Of course beating a veteran the stature of Brian Moorman out for a job is another matter. We’ll see what happens at training camp.

Here’s a look at Dombrowski just last month at the renowned Kohl’s Kicking Camp run by Jamie Kohl, who has dozens on prospective high school, college and pro kickers and punters come through his camps. Dombrowski and Raiders kicker Marquette King put up some boomers.

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Undrafted S Ladler showed well

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2014 – 4:38 pm

It wasn’t a perfect three days, but undrafted rookie S Kenny Ladler performed relatively well over the course of the Bills rookie minicamp. An All-SEC safety at Vanderbilt, who was productive in his college career Ladler showed a very good set of hands during ball skills work.

Head coach Doug Marrone also has some inside knowledge on Ladler, who surprisingly went undrafted. Marrone knows Commodores defensive coordinator/safeties coach Bob Shoop.

“Coach Shoop, the DB coach and I worked together at Vanderbilt so I know a little bit about him from there,” said Marrone. “I’ve been around that program quite a bit in the offseason so I was happy. I didn’t know why he wasn’t drafted. I was impressed with his foot speed. I think that he’s someone who… we’re obviously going to keep an eye on all of them, but I think he’s someone that had a good showing in these last couple of days.”

“The one thing that jumped out on film about him was he has a nose for the football. He led them in tackles, had five interceptions and I think five forced fumbles, so he was making big plays on the back end,” said Bills area scout Tom Roth. “He’s got average speed, but very good explosiveness. A very good tackler who can play deep third or in the box.”

Ladler became the first defensive back in school and Southeastern Conference history to lead a team in tackles in two consecutive years (90 in 2012 and 91 in 2013). He also had nine career interceptions.



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QB Guiton taking it all in

Posted by Chris Brown on May 18, 2014 – 7:32 pm

Bills tryout QB Kenny Guiton, who we profiled in our rookie minicamp practice notes on Sunday, is getting a ton of work being the only quarterback in the camp. It’s a far cry from being the backup at Ohio State. Guiton is soaking up as much as he can even though he’s got an awful lot on his plate over these three days of practices.

“It’s a lot to absorb, but at the same time I’m just trying to have fun,” Guiton told “I’m trying to have fun with the guys around me. I’ve got a number four pick that I’m getting to throw to, some guys who have had great college careers. So I’m just trying to have fun. I’m usually a quick learner so I’m learning and just trying to go out and have fun.”

Guiton felt his timing with the receivers was improved on day two of the minicamp. He hit UB tryout player Fred Lee for a long scoring play that covered 50 yards during one-on-ones.

“That’s a big thing, timing with receivers and everything that’s a big thing just to look good. Especially with routes on air, you want to get it down,” he said. “Saturday I kind of got a feel for all the wideouts and they’re all good and they’re all athletes who can get the job done. So I was out there having fun getting them all down. Once I got them down in one-on-ones I think it showed and it was just pitch and catch.”

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OL Henderson glad there’s no hitting yet

Posted by Chris Brown on May 18, 2014 – 5:31 pm

There is a lot for Buffalo’s rookies to absorb in their three-day minicamp with the coaching staff this weekend. For the three offensive linemen the Bills drafted, the devil is in the details. Footwork, hand placement, snap count, play calls, line calls, stunts and twists. That’s why seventh-round pick Seantrel Henderson is glad they’re not in pads just yet. He wants to master the techniques and his responsibilities first before he worries about the opponent on the other side of the line.

“Learning the plays right now and all the calls and the things we’ve got to do on the field, you’ll be in your stance thinking a lot about what you’ve got to do and things like that and then go hit the guy,” he said. “Now we’re just working on the footwork and the calls and where we have to go and who we have to block which I think this is a good thing right now. So once OTAs and minicamp do come it’s no more thinking, it’s just go.”

Henderson has been lining up exclusively at left tackle through the first two days of the rookie minicamp. 

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