Inside The Bills

Punt coverage on point

Posted by Chris Brown on August 9, 2014 – 12:57 am

The Bills punt coverage unit had a solid night as the three punts they sent at the Panthers resulted in no return yards for Carolina in the game.

Brian Moorman’s first punt was downed by Nigel Bradham at the Carolina 12-yard line and not returned. His second was fielded by Kenjon Barner, but Ron Brooks dropped him for no gain. Then in the second half Chris Hogan and Jacquies Smith teamed up to stop Barner again after a long punt by rookie Jake Dombrowski. Head coach Doug Marrone was pretty pleased with the effort.

“Our special teams have done a very good job of tackling,” said Marrone. “Obviously we had the missed play on the ball with Nickell, but I think special teams-wise Nickell had a nice play earlier that he made. T.J. Graham had a return. We don’t even have the first team returners out there, but we’re tackling well which is a good sign.”


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Moorman booming them

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2014 – 9:43 am

Brian Moorman is still booming punts here Tuesday an at this point I outperforming rookie Jake Dombrowski.

Moorman has shown he’s more consistent mixing distance and hang time together. With the punters being asked to flip the field position on long punts today Moorman was consistently kicking 50 yards plus with hang times around five seconds.

His three best punts of the special teams segment were as follows. Hang times are unofficial.

55 yards – 4.9 seconds
55 yards – 5.11
60 yards – 5.19

Dombrowski’s best kick was a 50 yarder with a 5.25 hang time.


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2 Bills to be on baseball diamond tonight

Posted by Chris Brown on June 6, 2014 – 11:02 am

A pair of Bills players will be toeing the mound tonight in two different states tonight to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at some minor league baseball games.

Stephon Gilmore will be back in his native South Carolina this evening and will throw out the first pitch for the Columbia Blowfish game against the Forest City Owls. Gilmore is scheduled to be on the mound at 7 pm at Capital City Stadium.

Meanwhile Brian Moorman is scheduled to throw out the first pitch at tonight’s Buffalo Bisons game against Toledo. Moorman is scheduled to take the mound at 7 pm.


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Moorman, Dombrowski hanging punts

Posted by Chris Brown on June 5, 2014 – 3:28 pm

The punter competition continued at OTAs on Thursday. Both Brian Moorman and rookie Jake Dombrowski were working on hang time, distance and directional punting in practice. Both punters had a moonshot in their series of kicks Thursday.

Moorman’s best kick was a 67-yard effort that bounced out of bounds at the opponent’s six-yard line. It had an unofficial hang time of 4.63.

Dombrowski had the longest kick of the day booting a 70-yarder that had an impressive unofficial hang time of 5.42 seconds.

Where Moorman is still ahead of the game is directional punting and the veteran was on in Thursday’s practice. Moorman put three of his kicks out at the five, eight and one-yard line. The best was his last. One of Buffalo’s gunners ran down the field to keep the ball from reaching the end zone for a touchback, but Moorman’s Aussie style punt bounced sideways parallel to the plane of the goal line and out of bounds at the one.


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Punter update

Posted by Chris Brown on May 29, 2014 – 9:19 am

The Bills brought in a rookie punter in Jake Dombrowski to compete with veteran stalwart Brian Moorman. Here’s how the first day of punting went at OTAs.

During a punt team segment both punters got the opportunity to kick rotating in and out. Moorman went first in the rotation and got off to a good start. His longest kick covered 62 yards. His best unofficial hang time was 4.91.

Dombrowski looked a bit nervous at the start, but settled down as the segment wore on. Two of his better hang times came at the end with his best an unofficial 4.93.

We’ll keep you posted here at Buffalobills.com as OTAs move along.


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Bills add competition for Moorman

Posted by Chris Brown on April 9, 2014 – 1:51 pm

The Bills continue to tinker with their offseason roster as they signed P Jake Dombrowski Wednesday. The Harvard product has spent time with a couple of NFL clubs over the past year or so,  including Jacksonville, since graduating from Harvard in 2012. It’s competition now for veteran punter Brian Moorman, who re-signed early in the offseason.

Moorman had a good season for Buffalo in his return to the team, but it’s clear that the personnel department believes that competition brings out the best in everyone on the roster. Dombrowski had a solid college career and has certainly shown he can hit the long ball. Hang time and directional kicking will be something to look for when spring OTAs open up.

 


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Where Moorman feels he’s better than ever

Posted by Chris Brown on January 10, 2014 – 1:50 pm

Bills punter Brian Moorman, who just re-signed with the club Friday, is going to be entering his 14th NFL season this fall. And fortunately for him the area of his game where he feels he’s better than ever is the number one requirement head coach Doug Marrone and special teams coordinator Danny Crossman are looking for in their punter.

In an interview that will be heard on the John Murphy Show tonight (7-9 pm ET), Moorman feels there is a part of his game where he’s performing better now than he ever has.

“Personally I think hang time and fair catches,” he said. “Coming in that’s what coach Marrone and coach Crossman really wanted. Going back and looking at my tape and charting my kicks and what I did good and what I did bad I compare this year even to my tape from when I went to the Pro Bowl.”

When asked what his benchmark is for acceptable hang time on his punts, Moorman said it can vary.

“It’s funny because it depends who you ask but when I first got in the league and our special teams coach was Danny Smith he told me 4.5 (seconds) was always the time so that number was always stuck in my head.

“But now if I don’t get 4.95 seconds in practice I’m mad. So I shoot for 4.9 seconds to 5 or higher. If it’s not at that five-second mark I get angry with myself. And if it goes under 4.5 then I’m really upset because you’re really driving it down the field. There are circumstances like weather where you have to drive it down the field, but if you can get it in the 4.7, 4.9, five second, 5.1 you’re really helping your coverage team out.”

Moorman had the second-highest recorded hang time in the NFL this past season at 5.5 seconds.


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Moorman believes in Crossman’s schemes

Posted by Chris Brown on January 8, 2014 – 9:18 am

As we profiled on Buffalobills.com this morning, Brian Moorman wants to keep kicking in Buffalo, but is set to become an unrestricted free agent. While the organization has expressed an intention to make the veteran punter an offer, Moorman knows there are no guarantees. At the same time Moorman called his return to Buffalo the most fun he’s had in the NFL in three years, and he’s a supporter of special teams coordinator Danny Crossman.

“I think he did a good job,” Moorman said of Crossman. “He’s coming to a new team and putting in a new scheme. I think just having one more year under his belt with another full offseason and training camp, he’s got good schemes and I think we’ve got good players. I don’t think you can base it off one or two returns. I think we’ve had a good year.”

Moorman was instrumental in helping Crossman’s punt unit to cut their average return against from 14.5 yards with Shawn Powell punting to 7.6 yards with Moorman punting.

The veteran punter believes they’ll be able to shave some other numbers down on coverage units while also improving their return game themselves.

“That’s one of the things that we’ll probably look at throughout the offseason and continue to get better and the schemes that coach Crossman has going in I think are very effective,” said Moorman. “Obviously we take a lot of pride in that and we’ll continue to improve on that as we go.”


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Offer to be made to Byrd, Carpenter

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2013 – 5:58 pm

Bills GM Doug Whaley said they intend to pursue some of their own free agents vigorously between now and the start of free agency. Chief among them Jairus Byrd and kicker Dan Carpenter.

“We’re going to leave all options on the table. We had a conversation myself and Russ (Brandon) sat and talked to Jairus and we’re going to make an offer to the guy,” said Whaley. “We’re going to try to keep him to the best of our ability. We’re in the business of collecting good players and he’s a good player.”

When asked if making use of the franchise tag could happen again, Whaley did not rule it out.

“That’s always an option,” said Whaley. “We’re not going to back ourselves into a corner and eliminate any possibility of trying to retain a good player.”

Dan Carpenter, who tied a team record with 33 field goals made (Steve Christie, 1998), said he’s keeping his options open, but Whaley made it clear he too will try to be re-signed.

“Absolutely,” Whaley said. “Russ (Brandon) and I talked to him and we’re going to reach out to his agents pretty soon and see if we can try and get something done.”

Whaley also said they intend to present Brian Moorman with an offer too.


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Wind expected to be a factor in game

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2013 – 9:20 am

With the weather forecast today calling for sustained winds of 25 miles per hour and wind gusts up to 45 mph, there’s little doubt that the wind is going to have an impact on today’s game between the Bills and the Jets.

Bills head coach Doug Marrone has a contingency plan prepared in the event that the wind wreaks havoc with the passing game.

“It could potentially adjust the plan,” Marrone told Buffalobills.com. “I think you have to be ready to go both ways depending on what the wind is doing when you play. We’ve practiced out in the stadium when the wind has been blowing recently. So we were able to at least see what we like and what we don’t like or what we throw well and not throw well. Our game at Pittsburgh was windy too, so that experience is valuable. You’ve just got to go out and play.”

Marrone’s chief concern however, is the kicking game when it comes to the wind.

“The thing I get most concerned about is Brian (Moorman), holding that ball (on his punt drops),” he said. “He cradles the ball and when you do that and the ball drops and the wind is going, for him to kick it, the tip of that ball starts to move. That’s the one concern I have.”


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Moorman grateful for reception

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2013 – 10:54 pm

Brian Moorman got one of the loudest roars in the stadium on Sunday, and his first punt that went out of bounds at the half-yard line got one of the louder responses from the crowd as well. Moorman was appreciative of the support Bills fans gave him in his return to Ralph Wilson Stadium.

“Just the emotion of them cheering for me, it brought kind of chills to me and got me in the moment, but that’s me every Sunday,” said Moorman. “I just want to win, and that’s the most important thing, so that’s the disappointing part about (Sunday), but I know that we’ll get things on track and we’ll be moving in the right direction.”

Moorman is encouraged by the communication he has had with the coaches since he’s been back with the team.

“Coach Marrone and Coach Crossman have been awesome all week with me, just kind of talking through what they want and I think it’s a great fit,” Moorman said. “I feel confident out there in the fact that the organization has confidence in me. I’m a big believer in confidence breeding confidence, and by them signing me and signing me home that made me feel pretty good, and then of course knowing the fans were confident, that helped too.”

 


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Moorman set to hold for Carpenter

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2013 – 8:11 am

Each NFL kicker is different in their preference for how the ball is tilted and positioned. Bills punter Brian Moorman, now back with the club, spent part of the week making sure he’s got his place kick holds just the way that kicker Dan Carpenter likes them.

“Every kicker is a little bit different, but Dan is extremely laid back and just said put the ball down and lean it a little towards you and straight up, but he’s pretty easy going so it was pretty seamless this week,” said Moorman. “He made all his kicks on Wednesday so I guess the holds were okay.”

The front end of the snapping operation will be old hat for Moorman. He worked with long snapper Garrison Sanborn since the 2009 season before he was released early last year.

Moorman also works with Sanborn in the offseason as the two live about 15 minutes away from each other in the Jacksonville, Florida area.

“It’s been a pretty good transition and I’ve worked with Garrison all offseason so I’m comfortable catching snaps from him,” Moorman told Buffalobills.com. “I know what kind of velocity he has so it felt like I never left.”


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Moorman in sync with Crossman’s approach

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2013 – 3:32 pm

Bills punter Brian Moorman had a sit down with special teams coordinator Danny Crossman after signing back with the club. After discussing the approach with the punt team in particular, the veteran punter is confident he can deliver what Crossman is looking for.

“His philosophies of the alley and things like that I really, really like,” said Moorman. “Obviously, as punters, we always want hang time, we always put a watch on the ball.  Being in the weather that we’re in here, sometimes it’s easier than others-the wind will knock it down or whatever.

“Talking to guys like Jim Leonhard and some of the other guys on the coverage, the one thing that we’ve always done throughout  the years we try to cover each other’s back—if I cant get the same hang time, they cover.  If the coverage gets blocked up, I got to get better hang time.  We just have to come together as a group—11-guys try to go out there and help the defense out with good field position.”


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Powell thankful for battle with Moorman

Posted by Chris Brown on July 4, 2013 – 9:03 am

As we profiled with the beginning of our daily Top 25 questions until Training Camp on Buffalobills.com today, the punter competition figures to be even stiffer than it was last summer. Brian Moorman edged out then rookie Shawn Powell at the start of the season, but Powell got a call back a month later. Now the shoe is on the other foot for Powell, who as the incumbent has free agent Brian Stahovich breathing down his neck.

Powell believes the competition he had with Moorman served him well in preparation for the current competition he’ll face in training camp.

“There are going to be good punters out there. In this business everywhere you go there’s going to be stiff competition,” Powell said. “With Brian, it really helped me with the competitive edge and being able to understand what competition is all about.”

Of course Stahovich gained similar experience competing in Colts training camp last season, only to lose out in a battle with Indianapolis incumbent punter Pat McAfee.

Powell appears to have the ability to kick with superior hang time, but he’ll have to do it consistently to beat out a quality candidate in Stahovich. This very quietly is shaping up to be a very entertaining competition.


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Moorman signs with Dallas

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2012 – 5:36 pm

Brian Moorman wasn’t out of work for long. He’s signed with the Dallas Cowboys.

That according to his agent on twitter.

ronraccuia: A Star with a Star on his helmet…congrats @brianmoorman on being a @dallascowboys


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Players react to Moorman release

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2012 – 3:26 pm

A day after the release of Brian Moorman players admitted the move caught them completely off guard.

Veteran players on the roster that had been a teammate of Moorman for multiple seasons had trouble understanding the move.

“I don’t,” said Fred Jackson. “I can’t say that I do because I’m not in special teams a lot so I don’t know what’s going on in there. But they felt it was a move they had to make so they made it.”

“I was surprised,” said Kelsay. “I guess I was surprised more by the timing of it, but Buddy and his staff have reasons for it and we’ve got to respect that and move forward.”

Kelsay found out on Tuesday afternoon. He was at One Bills Drive and ran into Moorman, who had just been delivered the news of his release by GM Buddy Nix.

“I actually found out from him. I was in yesterday and right before I left he told me. It’s tough,” said Chris Kelsay. “I’ve been with him my entire career. He’s a great guy and done a lot for this organization and a lot on and off the field. His PUNT Foundation has been huge and done a lot for upstate and Western New York. He’s going to be missed there’s no question about it. It’s the nature of the business that we’re in and you hate to see a guy like that go.”

“It was a little surprising,” said Lindell. “Whenever it happens it just, it’s always going to surprise you you know what I mean? Then you kind of talk it out and now we have to move on.”

Chan Gailey indicated that it was a difficult decision that they talked about. He pointed chiefly to consistency in Moorman’s game.

“We were hoping to get more consistency and we weren’t able to get it,” said Gailey. “He had a great preseason. He just wasn’t able to get it back.”


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The John Murphy Show for Tuesday

Posted by johnmurphyshow on September 25, 2012 – 6:17 pm

Lots to talk about tonight on The John Murphy Show.  We’ll start right off with GM Buddy Nix’s news conference on today’s release of punter Brian Moorman.  Buddy talks a lot about the team’s new punter, Shawn Powell as well as Moorman, and the reasons for making the change.

At 7:20pm, Lackawanna’s own Ron Jaworski joins us live on the line.  We’ll ask Jaws about his view of the referee lockout and where the NFL goes from here.  We”ll also get his take on the Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Bills RB Fred Jackson joins us at 8pm to talk about his recovery from his knee injury, and his chances of playing on Sunday against New England.

And Olympic Gold Medalist Jenn Suhr of Western New York will be live with us at 8:20pm.  She’s getting ready to be “The Leader of the Charge” at Ralph Wilson Stadium this Sunday.  And she’s also going to pole vault inside the Fieldhouse before kickoff.

As always, we’ll take your phone calls and comments at 7:45 and 8:45pm.

The John Murphy Show airs weeknights from 7pm-9pm on the flagship station of the Buffalo Bills, WGR Sports Radio 550.


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Moorman, Powell: the decision

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2012 – 5:49 pm

Brian Moorman beat out rookie Shawn Powell for the punter’s job on final cutdown day in early September, but one might wonder just how close the battle was now that Powell has replaced him for that very same job just three and a half weeks later. Buddy Nix addressed that very issue Tuesday afternoon.

“At that time we thought we made the right move and today we felt we did,” said Nix, who chose not to get into the specifics of the decision. “It’s no reflection on Brian, he’s done a great job here. It’s just… we’re moving on.”

The upside of Powell may have been too difficult for Buffalo’s decision makers to ignore. Nix and his personnel staff often focus on adding players to their roster that they believe are on the ascent. Powell was a player the Bills actually considered drafting late this past spring let alone bring in as an undrafted free agent.

Nix did not say whether Powell would handle holding duties this Sunday on field goal attempts, saying that will be up to Chan and his coaching staff to decide. Moorman had been Rian Lindell’s holder.


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Moorman’s future

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2012 – 3:56 pm

Brian Moorman might not be a Buffalo Bill anymore, but his game is still very much respected in the NFL, especially with two former Bills special teams coordinators still coaching in the league.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Philadelphia or Washington called Moorman’s agent quickly in an effort to sign him. Bobby April is the Eagles’ special teams coach and Danny Smith is the Redskins’ special teams coach. Both coached Moorman in Buffalo. The Eagles did sign Mat McBriar today, but if they deem Moorman a more viable option that situation could change quickly.

Still another team looking to improve their punting situation is Detroit, currently last in the league in net punting average and 28th in punt coverage.

No matter where Moorman finishes his NFL career, he’s a virtual lock for the Bills Wall of Fame.


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What you need to know about Powell

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2012 – 3:51 pm

Shawn Powell was signed by the Bills as an undrafted rookie last spring and provided good competition for veteran Brian Moorman, who he replaced on the roster Tuesday. The book on him is simply that he has a big leg.

Part of the reason is Powell is built more like a tight end than a punter at 6’4″ and 248 pounds. In the preseason games this past summer he had 14 punts for the Bills. Five were downed inside the 20 and four others were fair catches, speaking to Powell’s hang time ability.

His stats were respectable in the preseason with a 44.8 gross average and a very good 40.4 net average in four games.

He’ll be stepping into a pretty big game this Sunday when Buffalo hosts New England in a pivotal AFC East game.


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