Inside The Bills

New coach will have same top task as last

Posted by Chris Brown on January 2, 2013 – 11:54 am

Former Bills head coach Chan Gailey’s primary task walking in the door back in 2010 was to eradicate the losing culture that had enveloped the team’s locker room and made the team one that lacked mental toughness in games. Gailey came very close to ridding the team of that losing culture, but it came back to rear its ugly head in 2012.

“I think for sure it’s crept back in,” Bills GM Buddy Nix told Buffalobills.com of the losing culture with respect to the team’s locker room. “If you look back over any coach’s tenure there are one or two games each year that keep you from being successful or get you over the hump. You go back to our first year here against Pittsburgh we drop a pass in the end zone. Baltimore we fumble in overtime. We’ve got both of those teams beat. Those kind of things. New England we fumble twice or we beat them up there and here. We turned the ball over. We play New England, that’s the team we’re trying to beat, you’ve got 10 turnovers and 20 penalties this year (in two games).”

Gailey and his staff were very close to pushing that losing culture over the cliff in 2011. The team was riding high after a 3-0 start and came out of their Week 8 game against Washington with a 23-0 shutout win to improve to 5-2. Then it all went the wrong way in a hurry as injuries piled up and the team lost eight of their last 10 games and the losing culture had returned.

The staff had a chance to vanquish the losing culture with the start of the 2012 season, but the 42-28 loss to the Jets in Week 1, which was worse than the final score indicated created doubt. That doubt was then confirmed in the Week 4 loss to New England, a game in which Buffalo had a 21-7 lead. From there is was tough for the staff, let alone any team leader in the locker room to reverse the losing culture that had re-emerged.

That’s why Buffalo’s new head coach, much like Gailey, will again have the preliminary task of wiping out the losing culture all over again.


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Nix: Monday as bad a day as you can have

Posted by Chris Brown on January 1, 2013 – 12:42 pm

Bills GM Buddy Nix made the difficult decision to fire head coach Chan Gailey. Nix called it one of his more difficult days as a GM.

“It’s hard to describe how hard yesterday was,” said Nix. “Fans talk about firing people. It’s easy to say. You don’t think about families or kids. I’ve been on both sides and I can’t tell you how hard it was. It’s as bad a day as you can have.”

Nix said the decision to fire Gailey was an organizational choice, but the decision was his. He doesn’t believe firing the head coach will set the team back to square one.

“When we decided we were going to build this team through the draft and re-sign our own guys and be a small player in free agency, that takes time. What doesn’t have us back at square one is we have good players.”

 


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Coaching staff relieved of duties

Posted by Chris Brown on December 31, 2012 – 12:01 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey just made a statement after being relieved of his coaching duties. He made clear at the beginning that his staff of assistants are also being relieved of their duties as well.

Gailey said he understood why he was relieved of his duties as head coach and that they didn’t get things turned around soon enough. He also said the Bills are probably the only organization that’s fired him that he’ll root for.


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Chan not optimistic on Anderson

Posted by Chris Brown on December 27, 2012 – 4:02 pm

Mark Anderson has worked hard to return to the playing field following a pair of knee surgeries after suffering a torn lateral meniscus back in Week 5 at San Francisco. Unfortunately it’s not looking like Anderson will be able to get back on the field this season.

When asked how Anderson has fared this week in practice, head coach Chan Gailey admitted he was not optimistic.

“He did some things today and is about where he’s been the last couple of weeks,” he said. “So I’m not (optimistic).”

Anderson has practiced the past few weeks, but hasn’t been full go and was inactive last week. He was dressed for the Week 15 game against Seattle, but did not play.


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News good for Dickerson

Posted by Chris Brown on December 27, 2012 – 3:58 pm

Dorin Dickerson was carted off the field last Sunday, but things are looking up for him playing this week in the season finale against the Jets.

“I think he’ll be able to go (Sunday),” said head coach Chan Gailey. “He practiced yesterday and today so I think he’ll just get stronger as long as we don’t have a setback tomorrow.”

Dickerson’s availability is critical for Sunday’s game with Scott Chandler on injured reserve and Lee Smith the only other healthy tight end on the roster.


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7 Bills limited

Posted by Chris Brown on December 26, 2012 – 4:11 pm

Seven Bills players were limited in practice Wednesday.

Dorin Dickerson was back at practice just three days removed from being carted off late in the loss to the Dolphins last weekend with an ankle injury.

Mark Anderson was also on the practice field on a limited basis as he tries to get back on the field for the last game of the season. He hasn’t played since Week 5.

“We’ve almost kind of hit a wall with him coming back, but he’s going to try to go and he wants to,” said head coach Chan Gailey of Anderson. “It’s not from lack of want to, it’s not coming as fast as we had hoped at this point. It went very fast for a while and it’s kind of hit a wall.”

Here’s the rest of Buffalo’s limited players from Wednesday’s practice.

LB Nick Barnett – knee
WR Marcus Easley – hamstring
CB Justin Rogers – foot
LB Chris White – hamstring
C Eric Wood – knee
 

 


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Byrd not practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on December 26, 2012 – 2:26 pm

There were a handful of Bills not practicing during the media viewing portion of practice, and there was one surprise on Wednesday.

Jairus Byrd was among the non-participants Wednesday. Here’s the rest of the list.

S Da’Norris Searcy
S Jairus Byrd
G Andy Levitre
WR Ruvell Martin
DT Kyle Williams

Head coach Chan Gailey said Martin would miss practice today and tomorrow for personal reasons. He was excused.


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4 injured Bills to practice

Posted by Chris Brown on December 26, 2012 – 1:01 pm

There were a host of injured Bills that either missed last week’s game or were injured this past Sunday. Fortunately a bunch of them are well enough to practice here on Wednesday. Head coach Chan Gailey ran down the list of guys that will be able to get back on the field today.

Gailey began with Dorin Dickerson, who was carted off the field last weekend, but will practice.

“Looks like he’s going to be able to go and practice today. So it looks like he’ll be okay,” said Gailey. “(Marcus) Easley is going to go. He’s going to try to do some things in practice. Chris White is going to try to do some things in practice today. I don’t think any of them will be what we term practice, but limited practice.”

When asked about Mark Anderson’s season long knee rehab, Gailey said Anderson would practice, but they still don’t have a clear picture for him on Sunday.

“We’ll see what he’s got,” Gailey said. “We’ve almost kind of hit a wall with him coming back, but he’s going to try to go and he wants to. It’s not from lack of want to, it’s not coming as fast as we had hoped at this point. It went very fast for a while and it’s kind of hit a wall.”


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Glenn hasn’t “hit the wall”-Gailey

Posted by johnmurphyshow on December 24, 2012 – 5:00 pm

He’s 15-games deep into his rookie season in the NFL.  But Bills LT Cordy Glenn has not “hit the wall” according to his Head Coach.

Speaking to the media Monday afternoon, Gailey said Glenn has held up well, despite some intermittent struggles in the last few games.

“He didn’t play well last week, played a little better this week,” Gailey said.  “I think he kinda , I don’t want to say hit the wall, but he was pressing a lot the week before.  This past week, he found a better handle on things and I think now he’ll be able to take another step and keep going forward.  Because he had been making giant strides throughout the season, really.”


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Penalties piling up

Posted by johnmurphyshow on December 24, 2012 – 4:30 pm

In his three year tenure as Head Coach of the Bills, one of the hallmarks of the team has been the way it avoids penalties.

The 2011 Bills averaged 5.4 penalties per game, one of the lowest penalty rates in the league.   With one game to go this season, the Bills have 100-penalties, an average of 6.7 penalties per game.

In Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins, Buffalo was flagged 11-times.  It’s the fourth time this year the team has had double-digit penalties in a game.

Head Coach Chan Gailey says the 11-penalties against the Dolphins were particularly troubling.

“Lack of concentration,” Gailey said Monday.   “We had three false starts by the offensive line and one by a wide receiver.  That’s just lack of concentration.   We had some face masks and a late hit and a couple of defensive penalties.  But the pre snap penalties are the ones that make you the maddest as a football coach.”


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A step back for the Buffalo defense

Posted by johnmurphyshow on December 24, 2012 – 4:00 pm

The Bills defense thought it had turned the corner, after a four game stretch that started with the Thursday night win over Miami.  But the last two games have provided evidence of more work to be done on the defensive side of the ball.

Especially against the run, the Bills have taken a step backwards.  They gave up 270 yards on the ground against Seattle on December 16th.  And then against Miami, the Bills allowed the Dolphins to run for 182-yards.

“I really think we have played a little bit more tentative the last couple of weeks  than we did there for a while,” Head Coach Chan Gailey said Monday, after reviewing the Miami game.

“I thought we were starting to hit our stride and make a lot of progress defensively.  And then we didn’t play as well two weeks ago, and didn’t play as well yesterday.”


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Gailey focused on Jets, not his future

Posted by johnmurphyshow on December 24, 2012 – 3:30 pm

Bills players return to practice on Wednesday, the day after Christmas. And Head Coach Chan Gailey says his goal is to maintain the team’s focus on the season finale against the Jets.  He had little to say about his own future when meeting with the media Monday afternoon.

“My focus is on trying to win this week, that’s what my focus is,” Gailey said.  “All that’s postseason stuff.”

The Head Coach did admit to frustration with the team’s current three game losing streak, and the disappointing results all season long.

“The job is production and winning and we haven’t gotten there,” he said.  “We knew we were gonna have some work to get it done, and we haven’t gotten it done yet.  You keep trying to find out the winning edge for this group of men, that’s what you keep looking for.  We haven’t been able to get to it yet.  We’re getting closer, but we’re not over the hump.”


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Gailey will stick with Fitz for Jets game

Posted by johnmurphyshow on December 24, 2012 – 3:00 pm

Just one game left in the season for the Bills, and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will get the start for the finale.

Head Coach Chan Gailey said Monday he won’t use the Jets game this Sunday to take a look at either of the other two QBs on the roster, Tyler Thigpen or Tarvaris Jackson.

Speaking of Fitzpatrick, Gailey said simply, “He gives us the best chance to win.”

And the Head Coach pointed out that Fitzpatrick had a good day throwing the ball in a losing effort at Miami.

“I  still have a great deal of confidence in Fitz,” Gailey said.  “Really, he threw the ball extremely well yesterday. If we had just hung onto it and catch them, the game’s totally different to me.  I thought he did some great things yesterday and he  competed his rear end off.  I have a lot of confidence in Fitz. “

Gailey was asked specifically why he would not want to give backup Tarvaris Jackson a shot to play this week.  Jackson’s been on the inactive list since he was acquired in a trade with Seattle four months ago.

“I try to win every game,” he answered.  “I don’t care what the situation is, I’m trying to win every game.  Who gives us the best chance to win?  That’s what I’m about.”

In fact, the Head Coach said he would not use Sunday’s season finale as a chance to give playing time to little-used backups.

“The best players are going to play,” Gailey said.  “They’ve earned the right to play.  They want to play in the games, that’s what they want to do—they want to play in the games.  They’ve earned the right to play, and if they’re ready to go, the best players are going to play.”


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Chandler’s injury requires surgery

Posted by johnmurphyshow on December 24, 2012 – 2:38 pm

The Bills wasted no time putting TE Scott Chandler on the injured reserve list today, ending his season with one game to go.  And Head Coach Chan Gailey says Chandler’s going to need surgery, after tearing the ACL in his left knee.

“It’s a knee.  It’s bad.  He’ll have to have surgery.  I think it is an ACL,” Gailey told the media Monday.  He said the injury is bad enough that it might mean Chandler would not be available at the start of next season.

The news on backup tight end Dorin Dickerson is much better.  Gailey says his ankle injury does not appear to be serious, and he might be able to practice this Wednesday.  Dickerson is expected to be available to play Sunday in the season finale against the Jets.

Gailey was asked if the Bills need to sign another tight end to the roster for Sunday.

“We’re looking at all the different things we might have to do between now and Wednesday to see what we need to do,” he said.


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Dickerson injury not bad

Posted by Chris Brown on December 24, 2012 – 10:33 am

While Scott Chandler’s knee injury was labeled, “not good” by head coach Chan Gailey after Sunday’s game, the news is better for Dorin Dickerson, who was also carted off the field.

Head coach Chan Gailey making his weekly appearance on WGR Sportsradio 550 Monday morning, said Dickerson may even be back in the lineup on Sunday.

“It wasn’t as bad as they thought,” said Gailey. “All of that was precautionary. It looks like that he might have a chance to get back this week. I don’t know that he’ll practice Wednesday, but he could get back this week.”


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Read option derailed run ‘D’

Posted by Chris Brown on December 24, 2012 – 10:30 am

For four straight weeks the Bills run defense had held opponents to less than 90 yards rushing for four straight games, something that hadn’t been done by a Bills defense since 1999. In the past two weeks however, Buffalo has given up 270 and 182 rushing yards in losses to the Seahawks and Dolphins. Head coach Chan Gailey chalks it up to one thing in particular.

Making his weekly appearance on WGR Sportsradio 550 Monday morning, Gailey said the main culprit is the read option run game.

“I think the quarterback read (option) has made everybody a little tentative, especially the backside pursuit,” said Gailey in reference to his team’s run defense. “So we’re leaving creases. We had misalignment on a couple of big runs (Sunday). Misalignment there’s no excuse for that and we had that twice yesterday. We had linebackers running around looking for where to line up and got gashed for big runs. The quarterback read has made everyone tentative.”

The Dolphins averaged 5.2 yards per carry. The previous week the Seahawks averaged 8.4 per carry.


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Chandler injury “not good”

Posted by Chris Brown on December 23, 2012 – 9:02 pm

Bills TE Scott Chandler made a big play over the middle in the passing game in the first half, but was injured on the play as well. He had to be carted to the locker room. Head coach Chan Gailey provided an update after the game.

“Scott doesn’t look good at all,” said Gailey. “It’s a knee. I saw him in the locker room on crutches.”

Chandler on his Twitter account said he’ll know more on Monday after he gets an MRI.

His replacement in the game, Dorin Dickerson, also left with an injury and had to be carted off. He too will be re-evaluated on Monday.

Though Dickerson consistently executed his assignments according to Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Bills QB admitted they did lose something when Chandler went out of the game.

“You lose a good amount with Scott not out there in terms of mentally and his feel for the game and we kind of have a good connection,” said Fitzpatrick. “It was unfortunate to see him go down with the injury he went down with. You lose a lot when you lose a player like that.

Da’Norris Searcy sustained a hand injury. It appeared to be the same hand he injured earlier this season, though it didn’t cost him any time on the field.


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Chan on why no challenge on Stevie non-TD

Posted by Chris Brown on December 23, 2012 – 9:02 pm

There were a range of opinions on the Stevie Johnson non-TD play in the first half of Buffalo’s loss to Miami Sunday. After the officials ruled an incomplete pass Bills head coach Chan Gailey chose not to challenge the ruling on the field. Here was his explanation as to why.

“We talked about it on the sideline,” said Gailey. “If the ball rolls out it’s the Calvin Johnson rule. If the ball rolls out without coming up with it and giving it to the official, they’re not going to ever give it to you. So you’re wasting a challenge.”


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Fan Friday 12-21

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2012 – 2:01 pm

A great day for the Bills and Bills fans, with the new 10-year lease agreement. You can find all the information you need on the home page of Buffalobills.com. Here’s the latest edition of your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills. Let’s get to it.

1 - Chris, 

Which Bills will be free agents at the end of the year. I know the Byrd and Andy will be.  Has Buddy made any in-roads with either? Or maybe locking up Wood too. Can you break down the rest? Do you know who is a RFA and regular free agent? Would like to see lots of these guys stay? Especially Kyle Moore and Dickerson. Also what is Tarvaris Jackson’s contract? 

Thanks, 
Josh in CA  

CB: Here’s the official list of Bills unrestricted, restricted and exclusive rights free agents.
Unrestricted FAs
FS Jairus Byrd
RB Tashard Choice
QB Tarvaris Jackson
DL Spencer Johnson
G Andy Levitre
WR Ruvell Martin
FB Corey McIntyre
CB Leodis McKelvin
DE Shawne Merriman
DE Kyle Moore
G Chad Rinehart
LB Bryan Scott                      
QB Tyler Thigpen

Restricted FAs
C/G Colin Brown
WR Donald Jones
WR David Nelson

Exclusive Rights FAs
TE Mike Caussin
TE Dorin Dickerson

Dickerson is a virtual lock to stay. All the Bills have to do is present him a qualifying tender to maintain their exclusive rights to him. The potential danger with Donald Jones and David Nelson is if they tender them low qualifying offers and another team chooses to sign them to an offer sheet the Bills would have just a week to match the offer otherwise they would receive zero compensation. That’s because both of them were undrafted rookies.

So provided the Bills want to keep both players in the fold for the future that they would explore contract agreements that go beyond just a one-year tender offer. That’s just a guess, but knowing there’s no compensation protection (getting a draft pick back from club that signs him) because they were undrafted it might be the best course of action.

 

2 – Hey Chris,
Any chance the Bills will every break out the 90s unis as their “throwbacks”? That was the “glory years” for me (I moved to Buffalo in 1986), and it seems like it’d be fun to see them out there in those Super Bowl uniforms again (the blue home jerseys, of course…)

Thanks,
Greg Campbell

CB:  At this point I have not heard anything about a 90s throwback jersey. I think the Bills as an organization recognize that era as a popular one, so I’m sure it’s something the club may explore further down the line. If and when it comes to fruition is another story altogether.

 

 

3 – Hi Chris,
Chan Gailey has only attempted one 50+ field goal all year. Is this lack of faith in Lindell or is he just too conservative? Could this put Lindell’s future with the team In jeopardy?

Thanks for your time,
Bill
CB: Coach Gailey has stated more than once that he has not lost faith in Rian Lindell, who is 1-for-1 from 50-yards plus this season. In fact Lindell is currently having his most successful season from field goal percentage this season (20-21 – 95.2%), which we will cover in detail on Buffalobills.com Saturday morning.

Gailey has also said it’s always been his position that when it comes to 50-plus yard field goals and field position he traditionally will put more value on field position. In his first two years when his defense was playing poorly field position likely did not matter as much. In all three instances this season when he has chosen to bypass a chance for points (Ariz., Indy, Jax.) on a 50-plus yard attempt, his defense was playing very well in those games.

So I believe time and score and the way in which his defense is playing at the time influence him in that decision making as it should. If you choose to call it more conservative coaching that’s your prerogative.

 

 

4 – Hey Chris
 
I have recently heard you say that the Bills are 15-7 when Fitzpatrick throws the ball less the 30 times i just wanted to ask you if you believe that speaks more to Fitzpatrick ability to screw thing up the more times he has the ball in his hands or is it the confusing play calling by Gailey? A few times this season the play calling on offense has be laughable and just downright questionable and frustrating. Is this the right time for the Bills to part ways with Chan?

Thanks so much for all you do Chris,
Josh, Baldwinsville NY

CB: Bills GM Buddy Nix has publicly stated time and again that he does not want to start over, much as the Bills have done for the better part of the last 13 years with new coaching staffs ever 3 or 4 seasons. No one can deny that a new coaching staff would be a step back because of all that’s involved in starting with new coaches, schemes, etc.

With respect to the statistic you referenced it is accurate. Buffalo is 15-7 when Ryan Fitzpatrick throws less than 30 times in a game. Fifteen of those 22 games have been under Gailey and the record is 11-4. 

There are other factors involved naturally, so what you make of those statistics is up to you, but Buffalo is 5-24 when Fitzpatrick throws 30 times or more in a game.

 

 

5 –  Hi Chris,

First off thank you for the great coverage of our buffalo bills. Obviously this season has been a huge disappointment in which we find ourselves playing for draft picks. When I look at this roster I’m finding it hard to find a lot of holes but the product on the field clearly is showing something different. so i guess my first question would be, have I just bought in blindly because I’m a fan and want to believe that this team is better than it is or is this just an inexperienced group that has the talent I’ve been told is there. Also I have this overwhelming feeling that regardless of this poor season and a half for Fitz and this Bills team, Fitz is going to be the starter throughout the next season barring injury. It seems as long as Chan is here so to will Fitz.  This makes me think we will not address our QB situation till the later rounds so I was wondering where do you think we go with our first few picks? Do we go after another corner or safety(good chance we lose Byrd) or linebacker in that case who’s out Shep or Bradham? Or do we go wideout or interior line. Where do your gut feelings lie? I guess is my main question. Again thank you for keeping the Bills nation updated on all things bills. GO BILLS
 
Thanks Will
CB:Personally I think the Bills will try to land a quarterback somewhere in the first three rounds. I don’t see them waiting until the later rounds.

As for other areas they’re likely to address early I’d say linebacker and wide receiver. I wouldn’t worry about returning players getting bounced out of their current roles. That gets settled in training camp.

Thanks for the kinds words.


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Chan encouraged about Wood playing Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2012 – 12:37 pm

It’s looking more and more promising that Bills starting center Eric Wood will be able to play in Sunday’s game at Miami.

Just two weeks removed from sustaining a torn MCL against Jacksonville, Wood has made an impressive recovery. Though he is listed as questionable he practiced all week, and though his practice time was limited he did take most of the first team reps at center this week.

“Eric we’re going to list as questionable,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “He did a lot of work again today. We still need to list him there just in case there’s a flare up between now and game time, but I’m very encouraged.”

When asked if he got most of the first team snaps during the practice week, Gailey indicated that Wood did.

“He got most of it, especially the last two days,” said Gailey.

 


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