Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 7-28

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2017 – 10:13 am

Camp is underway at St. John Fisher. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – Hi Chris,
First off I just wanted to thank you for keeping me informed over the years being a displaced, and soon to be reunited, WNY Bills fan. I look for your stuff daily!

This is pertaining to Mike Tolbert. I see a lot of hype on Pat DiMarco, which is understandable. I see nothing on Tolbert. Will he even make the roster? Living in SD for the last 30 years I have followed the Chargers as well and really like Tolbert. I was wondering if you think he will make the cut, and if he does will be utilized at all?

Thank you
SD Bills fan
RH

CB: I think Tolbert is going to be given every opportunity to make this roster. He’s seen as a valuable locker room presence by Sean McDermott. Building the culture here is job one for McDermott and Tolbert could be one of his best allies in the locker room to cultivate that. Now he also has to be able to contribute on the field.

I believe he’s underrated as a receiver out of the backfield and can serve as a short yardage and goal line back. Add in his abilities on special teams and I do think there’s a way to have both Tolbert and DiMarco on the roster.


2 –
Dear Chris:
I’ve looked over our roster and have noticed a lack of depth particularly at DE and safety, and I’m not so sure about Will linebacker either. Are the Bills still looking to add guys? What are your thoughts?

Sincerely, John from Pennsylvania

CB: With respect to defensive end I tend to agree with you. The starters are solid with Lawson and Hughes, and Lorenzo Alexander could line up there on obvious passing downs. But Ryan Davis and Max Valles are the second teamers. Davis has NFL experience, but has been a role player for most of his career. Valles has never appeared in an NFL regular season game.

So it’s understandable to feel uneasy as a fan when there is no proven track record for the guys the team will be counting on behind the starters.

At safety they improved their depth this week with the signing of Bacarri Rambo, whose entering his fifth season in the league. But much like defensive end there is a lot of unproven talent there. I like what I’ve seen from Joe Powell, but again behind starters Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer there isn’t much NFL experience.

WILL linebacker is improved with the addition of Gerald Hodges in free agency and draft choices Matt Milano and Tanner Vallejo will likely be battling for second string roles.

The bottom line is with a new GM and personnel department and a new coaching staff the roster turnover on the back half of the roster will be particularly high as the decision makers try to shape the squad in the image they feel fits the team identity and demands the best.

You can’t fill every position with supreme depth in your first year on the job, but that won’t mean that Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott won’t be trying to do so.


3 –
@ChrisBrownBills

Moving the chains is so important in West Coast offense. Could we see Daikiel Shorts edge out guys like Powell and Lewis? Can Shorts be anything but slot?

Dean Kindig
@TCBILLS_Astro

CB: Shorts is a sleeper player for sure in this camp. He can play outside in my opinion. He’s 6-1, 202 and knows how to gain separation right before the catch point. The key here will be his ability to execute the route assignments consistently. This is a precision and timing offense, so if Shorts can be dependable for his quarterbacks and make plays in the process, he’ll have a shot. At the very least I see this kid landing on the practice squad.


4 –
@ChrisBrownBills

Any insight to the Stevie hoopla? Is this really a thing?

Geoff Harkins
@GeoffHarkins

CB: Everything I’m hearing about Stevie Johnson is he’s happy in retirement. John Murphy Show co-host Donald Jones, a former teammate of Stevie’s still talks to him a lot and there doesn’t appear to be any desire on Johnson’s part to try to resuscitate his NFL career. As much fun as it was to watch Johnson play, his offseason training regimen was basically playing basketball. His herky-jerky route running style was effective, but put an enormous amount of strain on his groin muscles and as he got older he missed time on the field with the 49ers and Chargers the last few seasons. Now 31, and with a lot of off the field interests, I see Stevie enjoying other pursuits rather than football.


5 –
Chris:
Cardale Jones is traded for a conditional pick. What does the mean exactly? Conditional on his making the team? Conditional on how many games he plays in? Making the practice squad count?

I read it was for a late round pick. Does that mean it can be 5th – 7th round?

Thanks very much
Tom
CB:
The team doesn’t confirm trade terms, but I’ve heard from my sources that it’s a conditional 7th round pick

What the terms are to improve the standing of that pick could be anything. It could be if he wins the backup job it improves to a sixth-round pick. It could be if he makes six starts it improves to a fifth-round pick. It could be any number of conditions that the Chargers and Bills came up with to make the trade suitable to both parties.

 


Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-6

Posted by Chris Brown on January 6, 2017 – 11:49 am

We’ve hit the offseason early again Bills fans. No question, it stinks. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills at pick 10 in this year’s draft if we let Tyrod walk do we go qb?

Eddie Barnard
@eddie_barnard

CB: We’re getting way ahead of ourselves here because first the head coach has to be in place, then player evaluations by the new staff will chart the course of who is here and who is not here. But to answer your question, in the event that the new head coach elects to move on from Tyrod Taylor I don’t know that drafting a worthwhile quarterback at 10th overall will happen.

I’m a fan of Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer, but knowing there are QB needy teams in front of Buffalo (San Fran #2, Chicago #3, NY Jets #6) I don’t think he even gets to 10 for the Bills to consider. UNC’s Mitch Trubisky is still up in the air on whether he’s staying in school or entering the draft pool.

Kizer played in a pro-style spread system, had the ability to call audibles at the line of scrimmage and has the physical measurables you look for (6-5, 220). His numbers dropped this past season as the Irish struggled to a 4-8 finish, but it wasn’t all on Kizer. Working with a bunch of first-year receivers after Will Fuller, Chris Brown and C.J. Prosise moved on to the NFL, Kizer still had 26 TDs against 9 INTs, even though his completion percentage dropped five percent.

So while I like Kizer and Trubisky, I don’t anticipate them making it to pick 10 and after them I’m not enamored with what’s left to the point where I would use the 10th pick to take one.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills Is Cardale Jones the starting QB next year?

Jimmy
@ItsjustJimmy

CB: Again this is a ‘predict the future’ question that’s far too difficult to answer. There are too many variables that aren’t even in place to know where Jones will stand on the depth chart. Does the new head coach think he can win with Tyrod Taylor? Does he think Cardale Jones could be part of a quarterback competition in training camp? Does he think Jones could win that competition? Will they be adding at the quarterback position via trade, draft or free agency? Would that quarterback be more NFL ready than Jones, who just saw his first NFL action last week for a quarter?

I think one thing we have to think about is if a new head coach comes in and there’s a new offensive system for Jones to master it’s going to set his development back, as we’ve seen with young quarterbacks here before (e.g. J.P. Losman, Trent Edwards, EJ Manuel).

Let me be clear that I’m not saying the changes on offense were the reasons those quarterbacks struggled to develop, but constant change makes it harder for young quarterbacks to succeed and advance their games. All of them saw coaching changes in their time with the Bills.

Jones will be the next quarterback, even if Anthony Lynn is hired because he inherited an offense this past season that he intends to change.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills Are Bills expected to put tender on Gillislee? What is the tender process, and why don’t teams place highest tender possible?

Patmerica
@PatBle

CB: Restricted free agents are the players teams must decide upon regarding whether to extend them a qualifying offer to retain the right of first refusal, should they be offered a contract from another NFL club.

There are different levels at which a player could be tendered to dissuade other clubs from trying to make a contract offer to lure the player away from their current team.

The new restricted free agent tender levels are usually released by the NFL in early March, though NFL clubs make projections on what the amounts will be.

There is the low tender, which means the compensation due the original club if their RFA player was signed away by another team would equate to the draft round in which they were selected. For Mike Gillislee such a tender would yield a fifth-round pick in return, since Gillislee was a fifth-round pick of the Dolphins (2013).

Last year’s low tender was $1.671 million.

If Buffalo values him as something more than that and they want to make it more prohibitive for another team to sign him away they can use the second-round tender, which would make the compensation a second-round pick if the Bills chose not to match an offer from another team.

Last year’s second-round tender was $2.553 million.

The first-round tender last year was $3.635 million, and carries first-round pick compensation.

I certainly understand your question as to why teams don’t just tender everyone at the highest possible level. Sometimes cap constraints keep teams from doing that. They also want to be careful not to overvalue a player to avoid paying said player more than they would like if a long term contract is a route they want to take.

4 – @ChrisBrownBills Doug Whaley is so unimpressive, do you know how he continues to sell himself to ownership?

PJ Persichini
@PJP3rd

CB: I think what you need to keep in mind is as a fan you only see him in one context, a press conference, question and answer setting. Whether it’s on the radio or on TV you only see Whaley in a Q&A format.

What you don’t see is Whaley’s decisiveness when weighing the value of a trade. You don’t see him in personnel meetings pinpointing positional needs, assessing the talent level of specific players. You don’t see him running draft meetings, the draft room, interacting with players, making tough personnel decisions, finding players on the street at a time when there aren’t many and finding contributors (e.g. Mike Gillislee, Ryan Groy, Justin Hunter).

I know it’s hard to not think about him in the interview context because that’s all the exposure you have to Whaley. Look at the talent he is directly responsible for adding to this roster on the whole and I think you’ll find a lot more hits than misses.

I understand that for a team that has struggled to get wins, the misses are magnified, but there isn’t a GM in this league who has a perfect record. Drafting players is a lot like a batting average. If you hit .400 in landing Pro Bowl type talent in the draft, you’re the equivalent of Ted Williams. You’re in a league of your own. Most quality GMs hit between .300 to .350 in the draft in terms of landing top flight talent that can be the core of your team for years.

The lost piece of the puzzle as I see it for the Bills has been player development by the coaching staffs that have come through Buffalo. The head coaches that have been hired in Buffalo have unfortunately not put the best of coaching staffs together over the years and that has compromised the development of players and maximizing player potential has proven difficult.

That’s not to say there haven’t been good player development coaches over the years. Sanjay Lal, Anthony Lynn and Aaron Kromer are among the best examples on the most recent staff. There are others. Previous assistants that come to mind include Bobby April, Donnie Henderson and Joe D’Alessandris.

Does all this mean that Doug Whaley is blameless? Doug said himself he needs to do a better job. In fact it was one of the first things he said in his press conference Monday. But it’s my personal belief that Doug Whaley is a good personnel man, who knows how to build a team over time and has a plan. We all know the franchise quarterback has been a missing component for some time, and those are hard to find. Other teams that don’t have one have struggled too. Denver lost theirs after winning the Super Bowl and they’re out of the playoffs this year.

Absent that though this roster does have a good deal of talent, and this offseason will provide more opportunity to add to that talent. The key will be hiring a head coach who can implement a vision and structure to unify everyone on the staff and roster to achieve the ultimate goal. Hopefully that new head coach hires the kind of coaching staff that can maximize the talent on hand along with the new talent coming through the door.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills I like Sean McDermott. Do you think he can be a solid leader?

Ronald Krzal Jr

@Ronnie_Krzal

CB: I think knowing the kind of leader a coach can be can only be captured in the kind of long interview sessions that the Bills are conducting now in their coaching search. You can’t look at a resume of offensive or defensive success and determine if a guy is a leader. You’ve got to sit down with a coaching prospect and get to know them to determine that.

Does their philosophy about being a head coach inspire you? Do you think he’s capable of motivating men who have been mired in a culture where the success has been minimal and galvanize them into believing they can do better? Does he come across as a person that people willingly follow and believe in?

Not being in that room I can’t tell you if he can be a solid leader.

I can tell you that I like who he has worked under during his time in the NFL. Andy Reid, Jim Johnson and Ron Rivera are all solid coaching influences. So the people he has worked under is definitely a plus. But that doesn’t qualify Sean McDermott as a solid leader. That’s more about who he is as a person as I see it. And maybe he is that person, but there’s no way for you and I to know that from where we sit.

 


Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Taylor among Bills inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on January 1, 2017 – 11:30 am

Tyrod Taylor will finish the season with 15 starts as he is Buffalo’s inactive quarterback for the season finale against the Jets today. EJ Manuel will start and Cardale Jones will be the backup. Here’s the full list of Buffalo inactives.

QB Tyrod Taylor
WR Dezmin Lewis
CB Stephon Gilmore
OT Cordy Glenn
TE Logan Thomas
TE Gerald Christian
DL Adolphus Washington


Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Lynn: All 3 Bills QBs could be up Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on December 29, 2016 – 4:23 pm

The Bills interim head coach knows he’s starting EJ Manuel at quarterback on Sunday. As for how the depth chart falls behind Manuel, that’s still to be determined.

Anthony Lynn indicated on Thursday that Cardale Jones could very well be the No. 2 QB on Sunday against the Jets, but that’s not set in stone. In addition he didn’t rule out the possibility of Tyrod Taylor being active too.

“Cardale definitely has to be ready to play,” Lynn said. “If something happens to EJ he has to be ready to go in. Right now it looks like he will be (the No. 2 QB), but possibly all three quarterbacks could be up as well.”

Buffalo has not had all three quarterbacks active on game day once this season. Cardale Jones has been inactive all season.

Tyrod Taylor got a veteran’s rest day on Thursday, so Manuel got the starter’s reps while Jones got the backup reps and ran the scout team offense.


Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Whaley on Cardale: He needs time

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2016 – 10:37 am

Bills GM Doug Whaley was pretty frank about where he feels the development of Cardale Jones is at this point in his rookie season.

In his weekly appearance on WGR Sportsradio 550, Whaley said for those thinking there’s value in putting Jones out on the field in the final three weeks of the season, they’re mistaken.

“He looks like he still needs some time,” said Whaley. “We’ve said from day one that this guy needed a redshirt year. He’s only played in 11 games in his career so let’s let him learn. Let’s not advance his progression just yet. Let’s just be patient with this guy. Now if something catastrophic happens and we lose Tyrod and EJ and he’s the last man standing then yes he’ll play. But that’s not something that we are planning on or want.”


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-16

Posted by Chris Brown on December 16, 2016 – 11:38 am

Got to take care of business against a team that is young and lacking talent Sunday. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills We need another big body WR. Especially one that can come in opposite Sammy Watkins. Why didn’t Buffalo jump on M. Floyd?

Kevin Ward
@ItsTheSooperman

CB: I was wondering myself why they wouldn’t take a flyer on him. My thinking was with so much rotating through a host of different receivers due to injury, adding another with three weeks left in the season might not have been seen as a productive option. But I’ll let GM Doug Whaley answer that one.

“We talked about it,” said Whaley of putting in a waiver claim. “But with his situation and being a free agent after this season, we thought right now with Sammy coming along, Robert Woods back and Justin Hunter, with the guys we have and the timing they’re developing with Tyrod, we just thought it wouldn’t be a good addition for us at this time.”
2 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you think the Bills will move on from either Rex and/or Whaley after this season?

nickellion79
@nickellion79

CB: I think these last few games will have a lot to do with what happens moving forward. I don’t get the feeling that the front office is in limbo as much.  

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills Is Cardale going to be the answer or is this just another resting point in a QB search?

Joshua Lewin
@OneBuffalo39

CB: There’s no way for anyone to know if Cardale is going to be the answer at QB for the Bills. What Jones is right now is a developmental project who has physical tools and instincts that are worth developing to see if he can be the answer at quarterback down the line.

As Doug Whaley just said on the radio today, he is nowhere near being ready to play in an NFL regular season game. The guy played in 11 college games. Right from the start when they drafted him the Bills looked at Jones 2016 season as a redshirt year at this level.

If he puts together a strong offseason next spring and summer and demonstrates that he’s quick on the uptake he could perhaps convince the coaching staff to open up another quarterback competition. But at this point that looks like a big ‘if.’

And if the offense changes again it will make it even more unlikely since the learning curve for Jones will be on reset.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills do other teams have as many anonymous leaks undermining the Coach / GM / QB on gamedays as BUF? Bills had playoffs on the line.

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: The timing of the information being released was tied to the reporter’s on camera segment on CBS’ pre-game show Sunday more than anything else. The report was published shortly after he appeared on the network’s programming.

While I don’t debate for a second that the leaks undermining the coach and/or others is unfortunate, I think you’re going on the assumption that the leak was internal. While I don’t dispute that it could be the case, unless that can be definitively ascertained we have to at least be open to the possibility that it could’ve come from outside the organization too. Someone that has close ties to the club, but doesn’t work for the team.

Typical culprits in those cases are player agents, who could very well be serving an agenda for someone inside the club. Sometimes that could be the agenda of the player they represent, especially if they don’t get along with the coaching staff.

Hopefully that helps provide a glimpse as to how many different paths a leak like this could travel.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills are the bills leaning more toward drafting a qb and signing a FA or just drafting one if they do not sign Taylor?

Jared Bailey

@JaredBailey23

CB: I think that’s an assessment that will be based on what they think of Taylor as a QB, whether they genuinely believe they can do better in the short term. That’s based on who is available in free agency, via trade and in the draft. Neither the free agent market, nor the draft class look all that impressive at first glance. So I don’t see any easy answers out there if the club decides to move on from Taylor.


Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-2

Posted by Chris Brown on December 2, 2016 – 11:32 am

Another must win game on Sunday in Oakland. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
With the Bills depleted secondary and Oakland’s vertical threat and strong O-Line, what can Bills D do to stop Carr and O?

@BuffSportsFan90
CB: The best defense this week is going to be a good offense. Buffalo should be able to run effectively against the league’s 26th ranked run defense. Hopefully that allows the Bills to put together long sustained drives. Converting on third down will be critical to holding onto the ball and limiting Oakland’s possessions.

That’s how the Chiefs beat the Raiders back in Week 6. They held onto the ball for almost 37 minutes and gave the Raiders just 10 total possessions. Teams usually get about 12 per game.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills With so many upcoming free agents how are the @buffalobills with cap space?

Bob Refermat
@lostnascarfan

CB: You’re right. At last count the Bills will have 23 players set to become unrestricted free agents. That obviously takes a lot of contracts off the books for Buffalo. Remember that room under the salary cap is always a moving target. But last I checked for 2017 the Bills are a little more than $20M under the cap.

If they pick up the option on Tyrod Taylor that will obviously impact the cap significantly. We’ll see what their plans are in terms of re-signing their own or pursuing a free agent on the market, but Taylor’s option will play a major role in how aggressive they are in free agency.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills How is Cardale Jones doing? He is likely the number 2 qb next year correct?

Patmerica
@PatBle

CB: Jones is really trying to build his game from the ground up to better fit the NFL game. From footwork, to set up to his delivery. How he scans the field, keeps his feet active, reading defenses pre-snap. Bills QBs coach David Lee has worked tirelessly with Jones to try to develop his game.

The Bills saw this year as a redshirt year for Jones. Lee has him come in early and throw with a couple of receivers early in the week and late in the week after Friday practices. On Thursdays he’ll have him review his Wednesday and Thursday practice tape and go over fundamentals.

They’re working mainly on his intermediate accuracy, his footwork and arm mechanics.

I know the offensive staff has a lot of respect for EJ’s game. Lee said on the John Murphy Show this week that he thinks Manuel’s confidence is at an all-time high and that he’s been ripping it in practice.

Knowing his contract is up, the likelihood of Manuel being back with the team is completely up in the air.

Clearly Tyrod Taylor is the bigger issue to address with his option year at the quarterback position, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Manuel found work elsewhere and Cardale Jones was the backup for 2017.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

How limited will Sammy be on Sunday? And how will Rex manage playing time between Lorenzo shaq and Hughes?

Justin Trottier
@justintrotts1

CB: Watkins’ availability is going to largely be based on how the foot feels as the game wears on. So it’s a wait and see on the size of his role Sunday. I will say that I think it is beneficial that the game is on grass, which is a more forgiving surface on the body.

As for managing time between Shaq, Alexander and Hughes, the staff tried address that last week against the Jaguars. The defensive staff wants to play Shaq more and cut back on Alexander’s defensive snaps, so they’re able to use him on special teams as well.

Alexander really shouldn’t have much more than 55-60 snaps combined between defense and special teams. Last week he had 70, so again he was over the threshold of where they’d probably like to be with him, knowing he’s 33 and the oldest player on the team.

Shaq’s snap count wound up being identical to that of the Cincinnati game. He got 21 snaps in both. Part of the reason is both games were tightly fought contests and in tight spots you want to go with an experienced player that you can trust. Lawson is still learning the pro game.

Remember he missed the entire offseason on the field. That’s OTAs, minicamp, training camp, the preseason and the first six games of the season. Lawson bit hard on a read option fake, didn’t hold the edge and let Blake Bortles run for a first down and more. Those kinds of plays makes defensive coaches hesitant to use him more as opposed to Alexander, who is one of the smarter players on the team.

Knowing the importance of each game the rest of the way they’d like to use Shaq more because he’s talented, but until he can show an ability to play sound, disciplined assignment football he might be reduced to just passing downs to rush the passer.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills Why aren’t they using Reggie Bush out of back field, swing passes, screen passes, with all WR injuries?

TomLarsen/TheInsDoc
@tomlarsen

CB: It’s a valid question. I thought when they signed Reggie Bush that he would be a specialty player that would be used in an 8-12 play package every week on offense. He could be split out as a receiver, line up in a split backfield with McCoy or return kicks and punts. The signing of Brandon Tate largely eliminated his return duties.

He’s been used sparingly as a receiver and back. I do believe they could make greater use of their ‘Pony’ package, which is their split backfield with McCoy and another tailback. But for whatever reason they have only used it occasionally.

It’s clear they prefer Mike Gillislee, who is a much better north-south runner and capable of fighting for the tough yard. Rookie Jonathan Williams is also better in that regard.

Bush is a player best used in space, which is why they could make use of him in a receiving role knowing the amount of injuries they have at that position right now.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Cardale misses practice with illness

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2016 – 4:16 pm

Rookie QB Cardale Jones missed Thursday’s practice, but not because of injury. Head coach Rex Ryan confirmed that Jones was unable to practice due to illness.

On the positive side of the ledger, WR Brandon Tate is out of the concussion protocol and was a full participant at practice Thursday. He’s expected to be available to face his former team in Cincinnati Sunday.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday Participation Thursday
Corbin Bryant DT Shoulder DNP DNP
Cardale Jones QB Illness DNP
Jerry Hughes LB Hand LP LP
Walt Powell WR Hip LP LP
Robert Woods WR Foot LP LP
Marcell Dareus DT Groin LP LP
Brandon Tate WR Concussion LP FP

Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

A HS game featuring Cardale, O’Leary & Brissett

Posted by Chris Brown on October 1, 2016 – 6:40 pm

It happened in 2010. Cleveland power Glenville high school, with Cardale Jones at quarterback took on Dwyer high school out of Palm Beach, Florida. Bills TE Nick O’Leary and New England QB Jacoby Brissett played for Dwyer together. Glenville was ranked third in the country and Dwyer 10th. The game was a tight contest. Here’s how Jones remembered it.

“It was a good game,” said Jones. “We won in the end, but O’Leary was tearing it up.”

Buffalo’s tight end did have a super productive game for Dwyer catching nine passes for 152 yards including a 49-yard touchdown.

Jones threw for 164 yards and a touchdown. Brissett had 230 yards passing and a touchdown, but Glenville won the game 26-22.

Jones also remembers recognizing Brissett when he went out for the coin toss.

“When I first saw Jacoby for the coin toss I said to myself, ‘I know this dude,’” said Jones. “Then I remembered we had met on the basketball court earlier. It was an AAU game in the spring. His team won that game, but we took the football game.”


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Cardale’s throwing shoulder still sore

Posted by Chris Brown on September 8, 2016 – 4:00 pm

The Bills had just a few players unable to practice Thursday. One of them was third-string QB Cardale Jones, whose sore throwing shoulder has stretched into a second week.

Jones didn’t throw for a week between the second and fourth preseason games. He played in the preseason finale, but the shoulder soreness returned. Head coach Rex Ryan however, sees it at a pain issue not an injury issue.

“There’s a difference between pain and injury,” said Ryan. “We believe it’s a pain thing, not a full blown injury or we’d be treating him a lot different.”

Player Pos Injury Participation Thursday
Colt Anderson S Foot DNP
Kevon Seymour CB Hamstring DNP
Cardale Jones QB Right shoulder DNP
Ryan Groy OL Ribs LP
Jonathan Williams RB Ribs FP

Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

A redshirt year for Cardale

Posted by Chris Brown on September 7, 2016 – 10:52 am

As the team’s third QB, it’s unlikely that Bills fourth-round pick Cardale Jones ever sees the field in the 2016 regular season. His rookie year is largely expected to be the equivalent of a redshirt season. But head coach Rex Ryan maintains that they have a long term plan in place to help grow Jones’ individual game.

“I’ve got a huge plan for him, we do as an organization,” said Ryan. “We will have special projects for him. We are always going to have him up on the game plan and things. There are other things we are doing with this young man as well that I won’t get into. But let’s just say we are trying to build a quarterback.”

Throwing mechanics are expected to be a significant part of the tutoring. Quarterbacks coach David Lee is one of the best coaches in the league in teaching proper quarterback mechanics from footwork to hips and torso to arm follow through.


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex encouraged by QB performances

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2016 – 2:00 am

Bills head coach Rex Ryan was quick to praise not only the performance of his three quarterbacks, but the state of their quarterback position with Tyrod Taylor, EJ Manuel and Cardale Jones.

“I loved the way our quarterbacks played,” said Ryan. “It might not be reflected in our quarterback rating because we had four or five drops. The quarterbacks can’t throw it and catch it. We protect our quarterbacks, we can throw it.

“We have a great quarterback situation. We have a proven starter, a proven backup and (Cardale Jones) is a young man who just keeps getting better and better. I liked the way EJ played also. If you take away the drops he’s probably still on the field rolling.

“We almost have an ideal situation. We know we’re not forced to play a rookie quarterback, but you’re giving him opportunities to get better and if his game grows then maybe you can give him more.”


Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Jones: Fundamentals will push me forward

Posted by Chris Brown on June 8, 2016 – 8:40 am

Bills fourth-round pick Cardale Jones is building his game from the ground up to better fit the pro level. Working on his drops, his throwing mechanics and moving defenders with his eyes are just a few of the basics that Jones is working to perfect. Though he’s a rookie he knows it will push his abilities forward.

“I’d like to improve in every aspect of this game,” said Jones in an appearance on the John Murphy Show. “The thing I liked about the fundamentals is how every little fundamental is going to help with how fast our guys are on this level especially on the back end and with the guys up front. So if it helps when your footwork is on point and moving your eyes or moving a defender with a twitch it helps you get that edge over a guy it’s important. They’re so fast and I know they’re trying to get an edge over me.”

Jones is also very happy to be working under quarterbacks coach David Lee. Known as one of the better fundamental teachers in the league, Jones has a healthy respect for his position coach.

“My early impressions of coach Lee are if anyone is better than him at coaching the quarterback position there can’t be many,” he said. ”

The time that he puts in and the passion that he has for not just teaching the game, but the passion that he has about football and the way that he loves all three of us in the room. I can’t ask for a better coach at this level.”

 


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

The focus for Cardale in Buffalo’s offense

Posted by Chris Brown on June 7, 2016 – 2:52 pm

The Bills know that fourth-round pick Cardale Jones, who signed his rookie contract Tuesday, has a lot of hurdles to clear as a rather inexperienced college quarterback coming to the NFL level. On site at One Bills Drive for about a month now, Jones is most keenly focused on one particular area of his execution within Greg Roman’s offensive scheme.

“Just really tying every drop from under center with certain route concepts and when it can change and when routes can change,” Jones told Buffalobills.com moments after signing his rookie contract. “There’s a lot to that when it comes to that quarterback position in our offense. So trying to eliminate some of that thinking and letting it become second nature.”

Having never worked from under center before getting the footwork down on his drops was just the beginning. Now he also must time up that drop with the route combinations that are headed downfield on pass plays. And if there are sight adjusts or option routes he has to make adjustments on the fly and read the same thing his receivers do and do it in a second or two. Suffice to say there will be a learning curve for Jones, but he’s determined to nail it all down.

Fortunately as the team’s third quarterback he’ll have the time to focus on it.


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Cardale looking for payback from Elliott

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2016 – 2:22 pm

Bills fourth-round pick Cardale Jones was apparently owed $5 by former Ohio State teammate Ezekiel Elliott. Now in the wake of Elliott signing his rookie contract Jones is hoping the former Buckeyes running back will pay up.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Elliott has since followed up with a promise to pay and then some.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js


Tags:
Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-13

Posted by Chris Brown on May 13, 2016 – 12:42 pm

It’s a special Friday the 13th edition of Fan Friday. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills will the Bills bring in a 4th QB to compete for backup position?

Ace Jay Legend @BillsBacker77

CB: I am not anticipating a fourth quarterback coming in to compete. The main reason why is Cardale Jones needs as many reps as he can possibly get to develop consistent mechanics. From his drop backs to his throwing mechanics, Jones needs all the work he can get in the practice setting. If there’s a fourth quarterback here, every rep he takes is a rep that Jones doesn’t get.

With Jones being a long-term investment I can’t see the Bills bringing in a fourth QB, who is a long shot to make the roster anyway, taking reps away from Jones on the back end of the quarterback rotation in the practice setting.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills with the Bills taking listenbee in the draft how are the chances Goodwin makes the team?

Jared Bailey @JaredBailey23

CB: I think that’s a very valid question. There’s no denying that Listenbee’s speed rivals that of Goodwin. Listenbee also offers superior size and in watching his game tape is really good at tracking the deep ball. He’s coming off sports hernia surgery and also has inflammation of the pelvis, which will take time to heal.

Listenbee may not be getting physical reps in the practice setting until training camp, so unseating Goodwin for a roster spot might take longer than some might anticipate.

Goodwin has been given the freedom to pursue a spot on the 2016 Olympic team to try to compete in the long jump in Rio. If he makes the Olympic team it will cost him time in training camp with the Olympics taking place in August. I believe that will pose the biggest risk for Goodwin losing a roster spot than Listenbee’s presence on the roster.

There are no ‘seat saves’ in the NFL. That’s a crucial part of the NFL calendar to be missing time.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills do you think the drafting of Washington means anything regarding Kyle Williams future with the team?

JBills32 @JLasher10

CB: If you’re asking whether Kyle’s roster spot could be in jeopardy because Washington is on the roster my answer is no. The plan right now is for Washington to be the team’s left defensive end, with Dareus at nose tackle and Kyle starting at right defensive end.

I don’t think it’s any secret that Kyle is on the back side of his career, but I think the Bills would like to get two more seasons out of him (2016 & 2017) as long as he’s interested in doing so.

The hidden additional value with Kyle is his leadership, which was sorely missed in the locker room last season when he went out in Week 6 with his knee injury (see: Mario Williams).

The addition of Washington should be seen as a complement to the games of Dareus and Williams, not a threat.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you see the Bills making any FA/Trade moves along the right side of the offensive line?

Kevin @KevinMassare

CB: I don’t think you can ever rule out a possible move with Doug Whaley as GM. If it makes sense and improves the team he’s shown he’s willing to do it. I know Peter King reported last month that the 49ers would be interested in trading former first-round pick OT Anthony Davis, who chose to take a one-year sabbatical from football, and now wants to resume his NFL career.

A proven player who is just 26-years old would probably come at a high price, even after taking off a year. It would be interesting to see what the 49ers would be looking for in return, even though San Francisco GM Trent Baalke has told Davis that he is not interested in trading him.

His cap hit, if his old contract was re-instated, would be just over $5M for 2016, a bargain by most standards for a player of his caliber. But that’s where things could get sticky too. If he is going to be traded, must that team negotiate a new contract with him? A lot of potential hurdles there.

Besides him there are some veteran guard options out there, but I believe the Bills might play the wait and see game. I don’t believe there’s any sense of panic there. I think they feel good about what they have to work with.
5 – Chris,

How do you feel about the Bills 1st round pick considering who was available? Nkemdiche for example. I feel like it was a bit of a homer pick considering Rex wore a Clemson helmet to a press conference. Do you think he was on the top of our board or was Rex being Rex?

Great work as always Chris!  Thanks!

CB: As you saw in our Inside the Draft Room feature and video, the Bills never even thought Shaq Lawson would be available to them there at 19. They had him off the board by the 12th pick in their final stack of the board based on how they thought the first round would fall.

For them Lawson was a tremendous value there at 19. As for Nkemdiche, it was evident that his off the field concerns and on the field concerns were too much for a number of teams besides the Bills. Buffalo just parted ways with a player who did not give his best on the field for the last 10 weeks of last season in Mario Williams. Did you really think they would bring in another player with a history of similar play, especially with their first-round pick?

There was no way that was going to happen.


Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

NFL QB spending: high for Eagles, low for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on May 12, 2016 – 4:17 pm

The salary cap gurus at Spotrac.com have put together a list of the NFL’s team by team cash spending for 2016 on quarterbacks. Not surprisingly, the Philadelphia Eagles top the list at more than $43.5M. It represents more than 21 percent of their total team cash spending for 2016. In contrast the Bills rank significantly lower on the list.

Buffalo is 31st in 2016 cash dollar spending at just over $4M. That’s due to the presence of two quarterbacks on the roster, who are still on their rookie contracts (EJ Manuel, Cardale Jones) and a starting quarterback in the final year of what was a modest free agent contract (Tyrod Taylor). The only team with lesser spending than the Bills are the Jets, who have three quarterbacks still on their rookie deals in Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg.

Here’s a look at the full list.

Quarterback Team Cash Allocation

RANK
TEAM
PLAYERS
2016 CASH DOLLARS
2016 CASH %
1 4 $43,650,973 21.05%
2 3 $30,950,000 19.50%
3 3 $29,736,718 19.25%
4 4 $23,965,000 16.33%
5 3 $23,540,335 13.46%
6 3 $23,337,500 16.27%
7 3 $22,410,000 19.44%
8 3 $22,089,573 14.79%
9 4 $19,915,000 15.29%
10 4 $19,050,000 13.36%
11 4 $18,880,000 12.56%
12 4 $18,775,000 12.65%
13 2 $18,675,000 10.76%
14 3 $18,648,738 13.06%
15 4 $18,160,000 11.91%
16 4 $17,622,539 12.91%
17 4 $16,106,216 9.46%
18 4 $14,025,000 9.88%
19 5 $13,221,875 11.91%
20 3 $12,807,000 0.56%
21 5 $12,777,881 8.49%
22 5 $12,417,285 8.74%
23 4 $12,280,000 8.35%
24 4 $10,302,383 6.05%
25 4 $9,710,000 6.77%
26 4 $8,321,984 5.49%
27 5 $5,717,682 3.76%
28 3 $5,025,000 3.33%
29 4 $4,981,236 3.13%
30 4 $4,660,635 3.28%
31 3 $4,616,632 2.98%
32 4 $2,064,491 1.36%

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Jones establishes early trust with coach Lee

Posted by Chris Brown on May 10, 2016 – 9:06 am

As we profiled in our feature story on QB Cardale Jones, Buffalo’s fourth-round pick knows he has a lot of work in front of him if he’s to maximize his potential as an NFL caliber quarterback. Set to work most closely with him in that effort is Bills quarterbacks coach David Lee, a coach he met a few times before rookie minicamp last weekend.

“I met him there (at One Bills Drive on my pre-draft visit) and met him at my pro day and at the combine as well,” said Jones.

Jones is ready to work with Lee, offensive assistant Chris Palmer and offensive coordinator Greg Roman right away. Jones also has an additional connection to coach Lee.

“Me and coach Lee are represented by the same agency,” said Jones in an appearance on the John Murphy Show.


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Washington: Cardale will be better pro QB

Posted by Chris Brown on May 6, 2016 – 4:17 pm

Teammates for the last four years at Ohio State, Adolphus Washington and Cardale Jones are pretty tight. Washington is all too familiar with Jones trials through his college career, including getting benched last season after winning the starting job for the Buckeyes. Washington’s eyes tell him that Jones might be one of those QBs who is better as a pro than he was as a collegiate QB.

“At Ohio State I always thought Cardale would be a better quarterback in the NFL and I hope that stays true,” said Washington. “He’s a smart guy and a great quarterback and he’s turning into that leader. I was hearing in the locker room some of the guys talking about how he was controlling the huddle and controlling the offense and I was proud to hear that because that’s something he needed to work on.”

When asked why he believes Jones skill set will flourish more in the NFL, Washington believes having more freedom to operate within an offense will allow his physical talents to be maximized.

“Just his arm and being able to make his own reads and not having a set person to throw the ball to or whatever the case might,” said Washington. “I just think he’ll be a lot better in the league.”


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

QB Jones thought call from Bills was a prank

Posted by Chris Brown on May 3, 2016 – 11:54 am

Bills fourth-round pick Cardale Jones initially didn’t believe it was in fact the Bills who were calling to tell him he was about to become the newest quarterback on their roster. Even though he met with offensive coordinator Greg Roman and quarterbacks coach David Lee at his pro day and had a pre-draft visit to One Bills Drive, there was a reason Jones was skeptical after answering his phone.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Jones explained that he had been getting some phony phone calls during day three of the draft.

“I thought initially it was a prank call,” said Jones of the call from Buffalo. “I was getting calls from some weird numbers all day and I would answer and they would hang up. So I didn’t believe it until really my name went across the TV screen. I was watching it with my family and my name popped up on the screen and I went crazy.”

As for the prank calls Jones can’t understand the motivation behind it.

“I guess they were expecting me to see a weird number and think I was getting drafted by that team,” he said. “I don’t know if it was one of my buddies playing a joke, but it wasn’t a great feeling I’ll tell you that.”

Ultimately it all wound up for the best as Jones is excited about his landing spot in Buffalo.

“I love it. I can’t think of a better situation to be in,” Jones said. “Couldn’t be around a better coach or better people. Just reflecting on my visit up to Buffalo with coach Ryan and him talking about the situation I would be in. Now it’s a reality. I’m going to try to take advantage of every situation from here on out.”

 


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills