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Inside The Bills

Bills goal is to land 3 starters

Posted by Chris Brown on April 25, 2013 – 8:14 pm

The Bills have specific goals for the 2013 NFL draft. Armed with just six picks GM Buddy Nix and company are not making excuses. They want to add quality talent to their roster and be very successful in their choices in the first three rounds.

“We would like to get six good players, and three starters in the first three picks,” said Nix. “That’s a goal that you set that might be a little unrealistic at times, but that’s what you shoot for.”

 

 


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Why trading back so attractive this year

Posted by Chris Brown on April 25, 2013 – 4:14 pm

Trading back is a viable option for the Bills with the eighth overall pick. Bills GM Buddy Nix explains why.

In an interview with Buffalobills.com Nix said trading back is attractive for a lot of teams because there’s some quality value between rounds two and four.

“I think that it’s the way they value the players that are there,” said Nix. “I think everybody thinks the middle part of the draft is going to be deeper or deep enough to get a good player. So if you can get another pick it helps your team.”

Nix has made it clear that he’d love to acquire an additional pick if the offer is right and their destination on the board isn’t too far from their original pick at 8.


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Dansby update

Posted by Chris Brown on April 25, 2013 – 12:37 pm

A couple of days ago the Bills hosted free agent LB Karlos Dansby for a visit at One Bills Drive. Bills GM Buddy Nix provided an update after the visit concluded without a contract signing.

“He had a good visit,” Nix told Buffalobills.com. “We liked him. It’s still ongoing. It’s not dead, but it’s not done either.”

Dansby would add a veteran presence to what is largely a young linebacking corps for the Bills. A 10-year vet, Dansby is coming off a career season in which he led the Dolphins with a career-high 134 tackles.


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Mort: Bills pick at 8 attracting attention

Posted by Chris Brown on April 25, 2013 – 10:10 am

ESPN NFL reporter Chris Mortensen is reporting that the Bills pick at eight overall in tonight’s NFL draft is attracting a lot of attention. It’s sounding like the Bills may have some options to move out of their pick at eight if they get a trade offer they like.

Bills GM Buddy Nix told us last week that they’re open for business when it comes to the potential options of moving back in the draft. If there aren’t any quarterbacks off the board when the Bills are on the clock at eight and a good offer is presented to them it would not surprise me at all if Buffalo moved out of the eighth spot.


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Marrone’s role in draft room

Posted by Chris Brown on April 24, 2013 – 5:24 pm

Appearing in an interview tonight on the Bills Draft Special on WKBW-TV Channel 7 presented by New Era at 7 pm, Doug Marrone outlined what his role will be in the draft room on draft day.

Marrone first explained his measure of experience in NFL draft rooms knowing it’s his first NFL draft as a head coach.

“My last job in the NFL (OC in New Orleans) I was in the draft meetings so you know what’s going on and you know you’re looking at the board and phone calls are coming in and there are different options going on,” Marrone said. “I’m there to support whatever views we’ve had as a coaching staff if asked. I’m looking forward to being in that draft room with Buddy and Doug and the scouts.”

Marrone then said he’ll essentially serve as a sounding board for Buddy Nix and Doug Whaley if called upon over the next three days.

“I think what happens is as we go on and there may be two players out there that may be looking close to the same,” said Marrone. “And sometimes the coach might be asked here are these two players and we think they’re largely the same, which one would you like? When those things come in you’re able to voice an opinion. You’re there to have an opinion, but not a dictatorship. I’m there to support and do whatever I can to help the scouts and Buddy and Doug with whatever their decisions may be.”

To see the whole interview tune in to Channel 7 tonight at 7 pm.


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Draft smoke screens big right now

Posted by Chris Brown on April 24, 2013 – 4:58 pm

Tis the season for lying through your teeth if you’re an NFL GM with the 2013 NFL draft upon us. Bills GM Buddy Nix laid out the timetable where being misleading is completely acceptable.

In an interview on the Bills Draft Special, which will air tonight at 7 pm on WKBW-TV Channel 7, Nix explains that at this point in time NFL GMs and scouts have full license to fabricate their intentions to protect their real plans for the draft from other NFL clubs.

“There are a lot of smokescreens being thrown up by a lot of teams and it’s like I’ve said before, lying the month before the draft is not a sin,” said Nix. “You can get by with it and everybody does it so you better not read too much into connecting the dots.”

To see the whole interview watch the Bills Draft Special presented by New Era on WKBW-TV Channel 7.


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Nix: Even more QB homework has been done

Posted by Chris Brown on April 24, 2013 – 4:39 pm

It’s the eve of the 2013 NFL draft, but the Bills scouting department has done perhaps their most extensive work ever on quarterback prospects. Bills GM Buddy Nix, who will appear on tonight’s Bills Draft Special on WKBW-TV Channel 7 at 7 pm, admitted they’ve done extra work in this scouting process.

“I’ve been through this thing three times where we went around and we spent time with every guy, more than normal because the position is so hard to evaluate and the intangibles are so important,” said Nix. “We’ve done our homework, we feel good about these guys and we try to keep all the outside propaganda and the mock drafts and all that stuff, we try to keep it out of our mind and not be exposed to too much of that. It’s been fun and enlightening and there are some good quarterbacks in this class.”

To see the whole interview with Nix be sure to watch the Bills Draft Special presented by New Era tonight at 7 pm on WKBW Channel 7.


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Remembering draft room hierarchy

Posted by Chris Brown on April 24, 2013 – 2:00 pm

Though Mr. Wilson ultimately has the final call, Buffalo’s founder and owner has left GM Buddy Nix in charge of the team’s personnel decisions, which includes those in the Bills draft room. And it’s pretty clear how the draft room hierarchy works. While opinions are sought and consensus is the goal Nix is the triggerman.

When asked how much the preferences or wants of coaches factor in to player selection decisions during the draft, Nix was pretty straightforward in explaining how things work.

“They may know exactly how to do it, but what they do is how we do it,” said Nix of the coaches. “We don’t ask them about procedure with the draft. We know how we want to do that and we know it works. With Mike (Pettine) and the (defensive) staff that was with the Jets, those guys have been in the draft room so they kind of know what to expect. Our way is a bit different in that everybody gets to voice their opinion. It’s not who gets to talk the loudest and the longest. It’s give your opinion, you’ve done your job. We’ll decide where he goes.”

Knowing Nix and his scouting staff determine the grading of prospects on the board is important. It likely means that no matter how much the Bills offensive staff may like Ryan Nassib as a quarterback prospect it’s the grade given to him by the scouting department that will ultimately determine when and where he’ll be a consideration in the draft.


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Keeping prospects fresh in their mind

Posted by Chris Brown on April 23, 2013 – 8:23 am

After all the work that’s been put in by Buffalo’s scouting staff over hundreds of potential prospects, some players can run together and vividly remembering all of an individual’s best qualities and drawbacks can sometimes prove difficult. Here’s what Bills GM Buddy Nix and his staff do in the final days prior to the draft to address that.

“At each position at the end of the day there’s a highlighted list of five, six or seven players at that position that we’ll look at,” said Nix. “So we’ll spend, if we get through Monday or Tuesday, we’ll spend the next 48 hours going back so they’re fresh in your mind. It takes a while for all this stuff to come together  to you, but it always does and the picture gets pretty clear by the end.”

 


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Nix: no debating importance of QB

Posted by Chris Brown on April 22, 2013 – 2:50 pm

nix-qbs-cps

Bills GM Buddy Nix appeared on ESPN radio over the weekend with NFL reporter John Clayton, who asked him several questions about the quarterback draft class. One of the most interesting answers from Nix was on the importance of the quarterback position now in a league where the passing percentages continue to climb.

If you look at the teams that really need quarterbacks, they’re all drafting high,” said Nix. “The teams that don’t need quarterbacks, they’re drafting down the line, meaning they’ve won games. I think it’s probably more important than it’s ever been. It comes down to teams that have good quarterback play every year win every year.”

Knowing the Bills have been seeking a long term answer at quarterback for some time now, Nix’s statement indicates how critical it is for Buffalo and the other clubs at the top of the draft board to land a signal caller that moves them into the upper echelon of teams.


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Fan Friday 4-19

Posted by Chris Brown on April 19, 2013 – 2:05 pm

Alright Bills fans this is the last Fan Friday before the NFL draft. The “hay is in the barn” as the scouts say, just got to wait and see how the board falls next week. Be sure to check out my 8th annual mock draft next Wednesday. It’ll be entertaining. Here now are your latest questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - dcap22803 Apr 17, 11:27am

@ChrisBrownBills Would #bills be willing to trade down with #falcons and take Nassib at 30

CB: It’s my contention that the Bills would be very interested in trading down. As I covered in my story this week, after asking GM Buddy Nix about trading down, there could be some players for the eighth overall pick if prospects like Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson or West Virginia WR Tavon Austin are both still on the board.

I don’t get the sense that they like the value there at eight for positions they’d like to address early (QB, WR) so I believe if they can move back to an area where they like the value better (late teens or 20’s) and add a draft choice they would do it.

2 – JackJablonski Apr 16, 1:04pm

@ChrisBrownBills Williams to Safety. Does this open up the possibility of CB at pick 8? Dee Milliner, if he falls, or Xavier Rhodes??

CB: I think with Aaron Williams moving to safety it raises the level of importance for addressing cornerback in the draft. Outside of Stephon Gilmore the Bills lack size at corner, so a tough, physical corner is needed out there. If Milliner falls to eight I wouldn’t rule out him being a consideration. At the same time I believe moving back and adding another draft choice could trump it.

But with Williams moving to safety I believe it has made adding a cornerback a necessity at some point in this draft.

3 – Chris,
With our needs at SS, ILB, OLB, WR and QB most likely to be addressed thru the draft, I find it really strange that there has been very little noise about bringing in some quality free agent guards for visits.  It seems like a glaring hole (let’s not forget Rinehart is gone as well).  Have you heard anything on Mr. Nix’s plans for this position?  I would like to see our RBs continue to run hard and whoever are QB may end up being it would be nice for him to be in one piece after a few games.

Go Bills!
Kirk

CB: I’ll give you Mr. Nix’s exact thoughts about the team’s status at the guard spot. Here is a direct quote from the draft luncheon when he was asked if losing Andy Levitre and Chad Rinehart in free agency had altered their approach in the draft at all?

“Not at all,” said Nix. “Not at all, now having said that I know people have said we’re taking one of those top two guards. Our roster in house is better than I think we get credit for especially offensive line. We’re pretty deep there. We’ve got six guards and we think a couple of them can play. Now having said all that before you write that we’re not going to take a guard at number eight, it’s hard to pass up two players like the old boy at Alabama (Chance Warmack) and the kid at North Carolina (Jonathan Cooper). Both of those are great players so you have to give that a lot of thought when they come up.”

When asked as a follow up if he had enough confidence in the six guards on the roster to the point where if they did not draft a guard would he be fine, he said he would be.

To be clear the players they believe offer them ability at guard are starter Kraig Urbik and Colin Brown and Sam Young. Brown and Young rotated in with the starting unit at left guard. If there are no other additions at the position those two are likely to battle it out for the starting role.

Zebrie Sanders, who Doug Marrone views as a tackle first and guard second, could potentially be a part of that competition down the road when he’s healthy.

4 –  Chris,
So I’ve been hearing that Tyler Bray has some of the best upside in the QB class I was wondering what you thought of him and if you think he’s worthy of our second pick. Also if you think that going after Patterson in the first round, Bray in the 2nd or 3rd to have some instantaneous chemistry on offense would be a good idea. Or do you see a prospect at QB worth it at eight and maybe go after the other Tennessee kid, Hunter in the second? I’d live to get some feedback on these thoughts.

Thanks, Will
GO BILLS!!

CB: There’s no debating that Bray can throw the heck out of the ball. He is the only junior eligible in this QB class and is a bit unpolished. I’m a bit concerned about his capability of coming in and being a leader for your football team. He has the physical skills, but there are maturity issues that NFL clubs have been busy investigating.

I respect your thought of instantaneous chemistry, but it would be anything but instantaneous. Patterson is very green and might not be a big time contributor until his third NFL season. Likewise Bray is also not NFL ready right now. So while those two might have chemistry, I’m not sure you’d see it right away on an NFL field against NFL competition.

I do subscribe to your latter suggestion. In fact that’s what I believe will happen in this draft. I believe Buffalo goes quarterback in the first and receiver in the second. Now they may trade back in round one before taking the QB, but I believe there’s a good chance they do that and Hunter is a viable value in round two.

I’m also a fan of E.J. Manuel despite the naysayers.

5 – Chris,

With the Bills being deficient last year at WR (and getting rid of what little depth that they have by releasing Nelson and Jones) on top of not signing ANY free agent WRs this offseason, doesn’t it seem like there’s a VERY good chance they draft Cordarrelle Patterson with their 8th pick? I’m not even saying I want that, but what choice do they have? That position is looking thinner and thinner this offseason. This is assuming they can’t get their franchise QB in the first round…

-Nate
PS- Go Bills

CB: I think your point is well taken. The Bills need to add an instant contributor at receiver. I believe this will happen in round two. There’s good value between rounds two and four where you can get a player that can help you sooner rather than later. The value at WR is not good in round one until the very end.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Bills took two receivers in the draft despite the fact that they have just six picks.


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Nix dismisses guard talk

Posted by Chris Brown on April 16, 2013 – 11:26 pm

Recent mock drafts by ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay both had one of the top two guards projected to the Bills in their respective mock drafts. However, Bills GM Buddy Nix didn’t sound all that anxious to take North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper or Alabama’s Chance Warmack with the eighth overall pick despite his respect for the skill sets of those players.

When asked if the free agent losses of Andy Levitre and Chad Rinehart left them in a situation where they felt compelled to take one of the top two guards, who many feel are fitting of top 10 value, Nix said he did not.

“Not at all. Not at all,” said Nix. “I know people have said we’re taking one of those top two guards. Our roster in house is better than I think we get credit for especially offensive line. We’re pretty deep there. We’ve got six guards and we think a couple of them can play. Now having said all that before you write that we’re not going to take a guard at number eight, it’s hard to pass up two players like the old boy at Alabama and the kid at North Carolina. Both of those are great players so you have to give that a lot of thought when they come up.”

Still, Nix went on to say that if they got through the draft without taking a guard they wouldn’t be in a panic situation. So it sounds like even though the grade and value on Cooper or Warmack might fit for pick 8, the Bills aren’t keenly interested in landing one of them at that point in the draft.


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Nix: There’ll be 2 or 3 big time QBs in draft

Posted by Chris Brown on April 16, 2013 – 11:41 am

Bills GM Buddy Nix obviously isn’t going to tip his hand as to when the Bills may draft a quarterback, but he wasn’t shy in disclosing to Bills play-by-play man on the John Murphy Show that he thinks there are a few prospects in this draft class that are likely to turn into outstanding signal callers.

“I’ve said this before when everybody was beating this class up and they still are somewhat. I think there are two or three guys in this class that’ll be big time quarterbacks in this league and very successful guys,” said Nix. “Now all of them have deficiencies just like we all do. But all these guys can do something good.”

Nix went on to say that there are even more quarterbacks in the class that can improve your team.

“There are about six or seven that do enough good things to win for you. If you don’t go and make them try to fit a system that they can’t do then they have a chance to be successful,” said Nix.

When asked by Murphy if he thinks the Bills will be in position to get one or two of the top flight quarterback prospects he spoke of, Nix said the following.

“Now I said two now, but don’t hold me to that because there might be four,” said Nix. “Hopefully we’ll have a shot at one at some point in the draft. That doesn’t mean that we’re going to take a quarterback in the first round, but it doesn’t mean we’re not either.”

Nix will be commenting further on the team’s draft plans this afternoon at the Bills draft luncheon. Buffalobills.com will have full coverage.


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Nix: Our draft priorities haven’t changed

Posted by Chris Brown on April 16, 2013 – 11:21 am

Bills GM Buddy Nix has been pretty clear about the team’s draft priorities in terms of positions that need to be addressed. With the draft less than two weeks away and the initial wave of free agency in the rearview mirror, Nix was asked on the John Murphy Show if the Bills draft priorities have changed in light of the free agent additions.

Nix indicated that their priorities are largely unchanged, but did seem to indicate that they feel a bit more comfortable at some positions following some of their free agent signees.

“They’re about the same,” said Nix. “We have added a quarterback so there’s some stability there. Then we’ve added two linebackers which lessens that value here in the draft. What we’ll do is like we always do, we’ll try to take the best player. We’re not going to reach, even for need. We’ll take those guys if there are two or three positions with the same grade then we’ll take the need position.”

Nix along with Bills Assistant GM Doug Whaley, Director of College Scouting Chuck Cook and Pro Personnel Director Tom Gibbons will be commenting further on Buffalo’s draft plans at today’s draft luncheon. Buffalobills.com will have full coverage through the course of the afternoon.


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Main purpose of pre-draft visits

Posted by Chris Brown on April 16, 2013 – 11:17 am

The Bills conducted 30 pre-draft visits at One Bills Drive with prospects from this year’s draft class and did so over the span of just 10 days. The scouting department already knew an awful lot about all of the prospects that walked through the doors of Buffalo’s team facility in early April, but there’s one main thing they’re trying to get a gauge on with each of the prospects when they come on a pre-draft visit.

Bills GM Buddy Nix, who joined Bills play-by-play man John Murphy on the John Murphy show last night and explained the main purpose of bringing in players on pre-draft visits.

“You’ll usually bring a guy in and go through all the mental stuff where you get him discussing scheme and see how much he can retain, how quick he can retain it and sometimes that makes a difference (in their draft grade),” said Nix. ‘In this business you don’t have much time to get it done and while guys get cut sometimes for physical deficiencies, sometimes they get cut because they can’t get it mentally. And that’s the big thing we’re trying to find out.”


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Scouting dept. reviewing prospects

Posted by Chris Brown on April 16, 2013 – 10:57 am

Bills GM Buddy Nix and his college scouting staff have been through a few times already, but since Sunday they’ve begun the process of reviewing all the viable prospects in this year’s draft pool one player at a time.

Nix joined Bills play-by-play man John Murphy on the John Murphy Show last night and confirmed that the process is underway.

“We meet every day it started Sunday at 7 in the morning and we go all day every day,” said Nix. “We’ve done what we’re doing about three times. That’s read every guy, everybody that’s seen him. We’ve got the head coach in there, the coordinator and position coach. If they’ve looked at these guys they give an opinion. We do it three or four times to make sure we have the board right.”

Nix said they go right through to the prospects that are expected to be college free agents.

“We assign a grade and go around and get everybody’s grade and then we come up with a grade for us and place him on the board and that’s where he’ll be for the draft,” he said. “We’ll finish up about Wednesday with special teamers last before the draft on Thursday. Two or three of us will meet Thursday to make sure we have the right plan going into the draft.”


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Marrone: Adding Kolb doesn’t impact draft

Posted by Chris Brown on April 8, 2013 – 5:38 pm

The Bills finally made the signing of free agent QB Kevin Kolb official Monday, but it won’t change Buffalo’s draft plans according to head coach Doug Marrone.

Marrone was asked if signing Kolb changes the team’s plan to draft a quarterback. This was coach Marrone’s response, which may not have directly answered the question about quarterback specifically.

“I don’t think it really is going to change the philosophy on the draft,” said Marrone. “When the position comes whatever is best for our team to get better I think we’ll go ahead and choose that player wherever it may be. I think that rather than trying… and I don’t want to speak for Buddy (Nix) or anybody else in the organization, but rather than trying to reach or go somewhere that you don’t want to go, you bring the best players in that you can bring in and you have them compete and you’re a better football team.”

Marrone’s comment makes it clear that Nix’s philosophy of sticking to taking the best player on the board is still the predominant approach that the Bills will take later this month. The only exception that Nix has mentioned in the past in which he would lean toward position need is if a prospect at a position of need has a grade very close to or equal to that of a player that is best on their board.

 


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Nix on Kolb signing

Posted by Chris Brown on April 8, 2013 – 11:41 am

With Kevin Kolb officially signing Monday, Bills GM Buddy Nix commented on the addition at the quarterback position.

“We wanted to add some veteran experience to the quarterback position on our roster and we think we’ve added a good one by signing Kevin,” said Nix. “He’s a player we had targeted since he became a free agent and he should be a strong candidate in the competition for the starting quarterback position.”

Kolb will be competing with Tarvaris Jackson and Aaron Corp, who are already on the roster and presumably a rookie that is added via the draft later this month.


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A second chance for Tarvaris Jackson

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 3, 2013 – 2:15 pm

Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson spent last year on the Buffalo Bills roster.  But it ended there.  He never took a snap in a game.

Now, with a new contract, Jackson is back and looking forward to competing for playing time at the quarterback position.

Jackson was on hand this week for the start of the Bills Voluntary Offseason Conditioning program.  And he told reporters at One Bills Drive he’s looking forward to a second chance to show the coaching staff that he can play.

“I haven’t played in a whole year,” he said.  “I just came here last year trying to learn as much as possible, just in case something happened.  I didn’t really know how things would play out.  Every year in the NFL, you gotta put it on tape.  Right now, I’m just trying to compete and get better.”

The Bills acquired Jackson in a trade with Seattle last August.  He was inactive for all 16-games, but the Bills re-signed him to a free agent contract in February.  Jackson says his understanding with Bills GM Buddy Nix essentially hasn’t changed since he came here last August–he’s expected to work hard and see if he can get some playing time at quarterback.

“He mentioned just when I first got here, just come here and learn as much as I could, and we’ll see what happens,” Jackson said.  “Nothing really happened.  We just talked about how things played out, and it will be a little different this year–I get a chance to compete.  That’s all you can really ask for.”


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Free agent Davis liked Marrone

Posted by Chris Brown on March 27, 2013 – 12:07 pm

Washington free agent TE Fred Davis said he’s going to be making a free agent visit to Buffalo on Thursday. He also talked about his first impression of Bills head coach Doug Marrone after meeting him over dinner last weekend.

Appearing on PFC Radio Wednesday morning, Davis said he sat down over dinner with Bills President & CEO Russ Brandon, GM Buddy Nix, head coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. When asked for his initial impressions of Marrone, Davis said he came away impressed.

“I think when you meet him, just talking to him, he seems like a player’s coach, down to earth and real and that’s something with a lot of coaches you don’t get a chance to see,” said Davis. “He was really cool and all the things he talked about you can tell he’s a humble guy that doesn’t make choices because of money. It’s more about what he wants to do in life.”

Davis said he got a “good vibe” from the Bills brass.

“We’ll see what happens when I get there,” said Davis. “I had a good feeling with them. They’re a good group of guys.”


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