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Inside The Bills

Brandon on camp Marrone

Posted by Chris Brown on August 21, 2013 – 8:06 pm

Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon has overseen every training camp at St. John Fisher. He was asked what stood out about the first training camp under new head coach Doug Marrone.

“Accountability, attention to detail and obviously the energy, I know that a lot has been talked about that, but it’s not just on the field. It’s translated to everything we do here within the organization and I think we’ve had a very good camp,” said Brandon. “Fisher has done a tremendous job hosting us and our fans have been great. We’ve had great attendance here over the last month and we’re looking forward to seeing everybody at Ralph Wilson Stadium.”


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Chandler update

Posted by Chris Brown on August 21, 2013 – 11:41 am

Bills TE Scott Chandler has been steadily getting more reps in practice as camp winds down. His snap counts are still being monitored, but he’s encouraged by his progress.

“It gets better and better every week,” said Chandler of his surgically repaired knee. “Really, every three of four days I’m able to string together, it feels better after those, it feels better during those.

“I think the first night (after practicing) was kind of a shock to it, just doing football things that you can’t really simulate. I can run routes on air and hit a sled as much as I want during the offseason, but coming out here and hitting an Alex Carrington, 300 pound guy who’s as strong as John Henry, is different than hitting a sled.

“So, running a route on a guy like Bryan Scott who, God love me, he’s holding onto me the whole time. It’s just different. That’s the kind of stuff, that’s why we have training camp. I was really happy that I was able to be ready at the beginning so that I could condition my body. Not lung capacity because I’m going to be tired, but to condition my knee to withstand the workload that it takes to play in the NFL.”

Chandler got 13 reps in the last preseason game. He’s expected to again be on a pitch count against Washington Saturday.


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EJ Manuel back on campus

Posted by Chris Brown on August 18, 2013 – 2:44 pm

Bills QB EJ Manuel had surgery in Buffalo in this morning, but has already rejoined his teammates.

The team has confirmed that he’s back on campus post-surgery. Manuel is expected to attend all team meetings and quarterback positional meetings. He has been ruled out of practice for the remainder of the preseason.

Head coach Doug Marrone said he’ll be re-evaluated before the regular season begins.


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Powell’s leg strength simply superior

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2013 – 8:13 am

It’s not all about leg strength when it comes to punting in the NFL, but when you have it there’s no question it helps. Shawn Powell possesses that gift and once he married it with some consistency it made his main competition Brain Stahovich expendable.

Stahovich, who was released Tuesday, was a capable punter, and relatively consistent, but he just could not match the physical power of Powell’s kicking. So the punter competition is the first one that comes to a conclusion at training camp among the position battles.


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Hairston update

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2013 – 8:10 pm

Bills OT Chris Hairston remains on Active PUP. Buffalobills.com asked head coach Doug Marrone for an update on the lineman’s status to see when he might be able to return to practice.

“We’re meeting with the doctors on it,” said Marrone. “It’s just a matter of when he feels good he’ll be out there. It’s a day by day and we’re looking forward to him coming back and I’m waiting for the doctors to say, ‘Hey put him on that field.’”

Hairston has been working with athletic trainers on the side at practice daily and he frequently walks laps around the practice field while his teammates work in between the lines.

All Hairston needs is medical clearance from the doctors for his undisclosed injury and he’ll be participating in practice.


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Mayock thinks Bills may surprise

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 9, 2013 – 3:51 pm

The Bills may be “under the radar” for many NFL analysts. But the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock thinks overlooking the Bills could be a mistake.

Mayock, the NFL Network’s draft expert, and the color analyst on the network’s “Thursday Night Football” package, spent the last few days at Bills camp in Pittsford. Appearing on The John Murphy Show Thursday night, Mayock says the Bills have some pieces in place as their rebuilding effort takes shape.

“You go through some tough times, and then all of a sudden a new organization comes in and you draft a first round quarterback and it’s hard not to be excited,” Mayock said on the radio show. “I
actually think this team could be better, more quickly, than people think.”

Host John Murphy asked Mayock what he sees that indicates the Bills might surprise some people.

“The first thing I see if an offensive line, that outside of some uncertainty at the left guard position, could be a really good offensive line,” he said. “For me, that’s the basis of everything.
Then you look at the wide-out position, and there’s some juice there and some young legs. Everybody knows about Stevie Johnson but all of a sudden you get the kid, T.J. Graham, who can run. You get the two draft picks like Goodwin who can run. Robert Woods was I thought perhaps the best route runner in all of college football a year ago.”

“So you take an offensive line, you pair it with some juice outside, we already know about the running back situation—if you get Spiller in space, and Fred Jackson might be the best pass-protection running back in the league.”

The entire interview with NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock is available here


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Kolb back with Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on August 9, 2013 – 11:56 am

Bills QB Kevin Kolb is back with his teammates at training camp at St. John Fisher.

Kolb was scheduled to arrive back in town late last night after attending a family funeral earlier this week. He participated in the team’s morning walk through indoors due to rainy conditions at the St. John Fisher campus.

He is scheduled to talk to the media after tonight’s evening practice. Kolb is expected to participate. We’ll have full coverage on Buffalobills.com.


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Balancing coordinator & QB coach role

Posted by Chris Brown on August 8, 2013 – 2:29 pm

Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is also the team’s quarterbacks coach. The jobs have a ton of overlap, so it might not seem like a demanding dual role. Tell that to Hackett, who has an offense to stand in front of and deliver a consistent message, while also trying to get two rookie quarterbacks ready to play.

Hackett has had multiple titles before on a coaching staff. At Syracuse he had four coaching titles during one season. Finding that balance between being the lead spokesperson for the offense while also giving the necessary one-on-one time to his quarterbacks is not easy.

“It’s just kind of happening right now,” said Hackett. “I think if you’re an offensive coordinator, no matter what the quarterback has to be on the exact same page as whoever is calling the plays. So I think that kind of solves that one right there. If the quarterback and the coordinator are on the same page and they’re not with each other all the time and they don’t know that person’s thought that’s going to come out of their head. If I don’t know what EJ (Manuel) is thinking or Jeff (Tuel) is thinking or if they don’t know what I’m thinking we’re going to have a problem. That’s really good there.

“Then getting to the whole team I think that the coaching staff that we have here has been awesome and they understand the vision of what I’m trying to do. My other job is to be able to coordinate the coaches to make sure we’re all working together. That’s why we still get together and talk and get the group fired up. It’s about everybody being on the same page. That’s my job.”

When asked if he feels he’s given enough time to the rookie QBs, Hackett felt he had a good division of his time in place.

“It’s a delicate combination. You have to balance the whole thing out,” he said. “You have to know you’re giving these young guys enough time without letting the offense forget about me and forget the vision. If I just go and hide in this little (QBs) room, they’re going to go, ‘Where is the guys that’s calling the shots here?’ It’s a delicate balance and I think up to this point we’ve seen some good stuff on the field and I give all the credit to the coaching staff because they’re the ones holding the thing together.”


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Kolb update

Posted by Chris Brown on August 8, 2013 – 1:44 pm

Bills QB Kevin Kolb is due to arrive this evening at training camp at St. John Fisher as he returns from a family funeral out of town. Head coach Doug Marrone provided an update on where Kolb stands physically coming off the freak knee injury as well as his excused absence.

“I communicated with Kevin and he said he worked out and did what he had to do from rehabilitation stand point, so he felt good, really good,” said Marrone. “So, again, Kevin is that type of guy to be the tough kid, so it’s just a matter of when he comes back in, our doctors will look at him. We’re still planning on him hitting the ground sometime late tonight and being here sometime tomorrow.”

Marrone said he wants to see how Kolb practices Friday night and that will largely determine how much playing time or if he’ll get playing time in the team’s preseason opener Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis.


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Just soreness for McKelvin

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2013 – 2:20 pm

Leodis McKelvin missed his first practice of training camp Wednesday, but according to head coach Doug Marrone it’s not any major cause for concern.

McKelvin was held out Wednesday after some lingering effects of the live scrimmage Monday night.

“He was sore after the game,” said Marrone. “We kept him here yesterday on his day off. He received treatment and we’re just trying to be smart. He’s a player. You saw (Scott) Chandler come back and limit himself and Kyle (Williams) come back. Leodis went the other way. He came back from injury and boom jumped in there and took all the reps. So there’s a point where all that soreness comes in. But we are very happy because we’ve gotten a lot of snaps with him from very early in camp.”

Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who did not get to see a lot of McKelvin in the practice setting in the spring has been encouraged by McKelvin’s play at corner.

“He’s shown he has elite cover ability,” said Pettine. “I mean, he’s got great feet and for a guy his size, he’s not afraid, you know the toughness part is not an issue. He’s not afraid to stick it up in there. There are times where I cringe when I see him jumping in there up with the big guys but he’s been impressive so far.”


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Silva never spoke to Marrone

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2013 – 2:15 pm

The departure from Bills training camp by Mana Silva was so abrupt that the reserve safety never even spoke to head coach Doug Marrone before leaving the St. John Fisher campus.

That according to coach Marrone, who never got the reasons why Silva chose to quit the team.

“He’s on the exempt/left camp list,” said Marrone. “I found out really when I was on the field Monday night. I had to go speak to the Monday Quarterback Club and I had to speak to the veterans. I found out when I was in transition there. He did not contact me or speak to me about his decision in terms of why or what. I’m concentrating on the guys that are here.”

For most coaches when a player doesn’t have the desire to compete anymore allowing the player to return is not going to happen. What surprised Marrone more than anything was Silva not even trying to make contact with him.

“If it’s a personal thing I would like to expect the player to come to me and say, ‘I have this going on I would like to be excused,’” said Marrone.

As Marrone sees it, unless there’s an extreme circumstance he’d not welcome the player back.

“I don’t know his situation, but 99 percent of the time I’d be like, ‘No, let’s clear that up and move on and go,’” said Marrone. “But if it’s a case of I don’t know if I want to be on a team or compete, in my experience I think it’s been very hard to try to talk somebody into playing.”


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Goodwin just short of breath

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2013 – 11:33 am

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin had to be pulled out of practice prematurely on Wednesday, as the athletic training staff escorted him over to the team’s hydration and cooling tent. Head coach Doug Marrone provided an update on the rookie wideout.

“He was short of breath,” said Marrone. “They took a look at him and he got his breath back and he was fine.”

Goodwin is not expected to miss any practice time.


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Mayock weighs in on EJ and starting Wk 1

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2013 – 3:24 pm

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock appeared on NFL Training Camp Live and was asked about whether he thought Bills QB EJ Manuel should be the team’s Week 1 starter. Here was his take.

“I think who the guy is Week 1 is less important than what the big picture is,” said Mayock. “From my perspective, you have a new head coach, you have a new general manager and you just traded up to get a quarterback in the first round. If the kid is both physically and mentally ready to take over this offense, I’d go with Manuel.

“I would like to see him develop along with those young first round picks. Robert Woods was a second rounder, Marquise Goodwin, the speedster from Texas – you would love for him to develop in game action with those young wide receivers. Now, if he’s not ready for that, whether it’s physical or mental, then you have Kevin Kolb. If you think you can compete with New England in that division, then it’s a little bit different conversation. But from my perspective, if Manuel can handle the load physically and mentally, I think he should be the guy.”


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Tuel encouraged by pass game success

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2013 – 8:27 am

Bills undrafted rookie QB Jeff Tuel had a few big pass plays in Monday night’s live scrimmage. While some might expect Tuel to be happy for himself, the Washington State product was more happy for the offense as a whole.

Tuel feels like he and EJ Manuel are beginning to get a feel for how to throw the deep ball to their different receivers, knowing each is not the same. When we asked him if he feels they’re anywhere close to the refinement stage in passing to members of the receiving corps, he didn’t think they were quite there yet.

“It may be too early to say that, but we’ll continue to work on it and get better and the more you throw it the better you’re going to be at it,” Tuel said. “Taking those shots in the scrimmage means it may be more high percentage down the road in actual games. So like I said we’ll keep working on it and see where it takes us.”

Still, Tuel was encouraged that in their first test of live football they connected on big plays, which aren’t always high percentage.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “It’s great for myself and my confidence. It’s great for the receivers and it’s great for the O-line. It’s great for everybody, great for the coaching staff. It was our first kind of true test in football and we came out and did some good things so I’m happy about it.”


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Tons of live scrimmage reps big for EJ

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2013 – 12:41 am

Bills QB EJ Manuel saw an awful lot of work in Monday night’s scrimmage with Kevin Kolb not available due to a death in the family. Those snaps against a live defense bringing a wide array of defensive formations and alignments will mean a lot when it comes to Manuel getting adjusted to NFL Sundays.

“It’s great to get that fastball look from a live defense,” said Manuel. “I think this is one of the best defenses in the league. I think they’re going to do a great job for us this year. Having reps against those guys, having success even when you have adversity I think is good for us.”

“I think it’s unbelievable to get him this amount of reps,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “The one thing he’s shown in a positive way is the mistakes that he has made during the course of practice he’s come back and not made those same mistakes. The more we can put him in there the faster he’ll be able to develop.”


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Goodwin showing some hands

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2013 – 12:37 am

He didn’t catch every pass that was thrown to him Monday night, but he made the big plays when the offense needed them most. Marques Goodwin had a 65-yard touchdown in the live scrimmage and a spectacular fourth down conversion catch along the right sideline that brought the crowd to its feet.

Head coach Doug Marrone along with the college scouting department didn’t have a whole lot to go on in terms of game tape to ascertain whether Goodwin had consistent hands when it came to catching the ball. With what Marrone and the offensive staff has seen so far, they sound less concerned about it.

“I’ll tell you when we first got him we all knew about his speed. I didn’t know about the consistency of the hands prior to getting him. I’ll tell you what, if there’s one thing you’ve seen from him that you haven’t seen from the college film, he’s been much more consistent with his hands and really making some tough catches and he’s been doing that through the camp,” said Marrone. “When you have someone with that type of speed and he’s able to make those types of catches that’s a good situation for us on offense.”

Goodwin was happy to make a big fourth down play, even strutting a bit after making it.

“I think it’s a pretty good spot (to make a play),” said Goodwin. “We got a lot of talent in the receiver room. We’re just trying to utilize everybody the best way we can. If you get an opportunity out here to make a play, you got to go up for it and go get it. That’s what happened on the fourth down play, I just went up and got it out of the air.”

Goodwin was twisting and contorting his body while leaping to make the catch and come down with it despite tight coverage from Leodis McKelvin.


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Defense still not satisfied

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2013 – 12:06 am

Though the Bills defense certainly had its share of the play in Monday night’s live scrimmage, they were far from satisfied.

LB Nigel Bradham, who had a stuff during live goal line work, believes they’re making progress. He just thinks they’ve still got a lot of ground to cover.

“I feel like it’s coming along well,” he said. “We just have to keep getting better, that’s the main thing. We’re not where we want to be yet. We’ve got to get more turnovers, force more turnovers. We just got to keep working and keep coming together as a defense.

“The offense has a lot of hype. We’re just going to keep working, we don’t need a lot of hype. We just have to go out there and prove ourselves.”


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No reps for C.J. in live scrimmage

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2013 – 4:59 pm

The Bills are going to be smart with a few of their players in tonight’s live scrimmage portion of practice meaning a couple of their more notable players will not be participating.

Among them is C.J. Spiller, who will not get any work in the live scrimmage. He’ll participate in the portions of practice prior to the live scrimmage work, but not the plays that involve tackling to the ground.

Also not playing in the live scrimmage portion of practice are Scott Chandler and Mario Williams. Chandler is coming off a long offseason rehab and his reps in regular practice has been closely monitored. Williams is just working his way back into the practice setting coming off a sore foot.

Here is the list of injured players that will not suit up at all here on Monday night.

Stevie Johnson
Kevin Elliott
Justin Rogers
Duke Williams
Chris Hairston
Mike Caussin
Kyle Williams


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Marrone’s script for live scrimmage

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2013 – 8:16 pm

monday-night-live-cp

Bills head coach Doug Marrone was pretty thorough Sunday in how their plans for the live scrimmage will unfold on Monday night at training camp.

BuffaloBills.com will once again host a live training camp blog beginning at 5:45 p.m., incorporating tweets from each of the Bills official Twitter accounts. Fans using the hashtag #BillsCamp may also see their tweets featured.

Additionally, Bills play-by-play man John Murphy will be live on the airwaves with analyst Mark Kelso, as the John Murphy Show airs live on WGR 550 from 7-9 p.m. from St. John Fisher College.

LISTEN LIVE!

“We’re going to be playing football with all the rules,” said Marrone. “The scrimmage, we’re going to come out here and stretch, have some individual, do some special teams first early on. Some 7-on-7, take a break, special teams will be involved in the scrimmage, then we’ll have about two infield drives and probably about 12 (plays), 12 and 6 with the others. We’ll do that twice.

“Then we’ll get a little bit more of a controlled scrimmage, we’ll go red zone and make sure we get enough red zone work in. Then we’ll go goal line and a series of two minute. Probably one series for each.”

Marrone indicated that not all of the players on the roster will be seeing time in the live scrimmage. The coaching staff will spend tonight and part of Monday to determine the lineups for all the segments of Monday’s practice.


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Mike Caussin update

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2013 – 3:50 pm

Bills TE Mike Caussin has missed the last two days of practice with a hip injury suffered early in Friday’s practice. Head coach Doug Marrone provided an update on the tight end.

“We’re going to look at Mike here in a couple of days and re-evaluate him and see where he’s at and if he’s able to get back out here,” said Marrone. “Or it might be a little bit longer. In five to six days we’ll re-evaluate the situation. He took a shot on the hip and we’ll probably go from there. I’ll have more information on that (at a later time).”

Caussin is a tight end candidate that needs to be on the field. With Chandler back from injury and rookie Chris Gragg performing well, Caussin has to show the ways in which he can contribute to the offense as well. This hip injury unfortunately doesn’t help his cause.


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