Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 1-8

Posted by Chris Brown on January 8, 2016 – 10:50 am

Into the offseason we go. Here are your latest questions from email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Why did it take Rex so long to compromise his own defensive philosophy to fit the players?


CB: In fairness to Rex Ryan, he recognized how married some of the players were to the previous scheme and tried to incorporate some of those concepts from last year into his scheme. By midseason he realized that wasn’t working and scrapped it to have the players focus only on his scheme.

Unfortunately there were players who refused to buy in, and Ryan’s scheme, or any other for that matter, doesn’t work unless all 11 players execute their assignments. Preston Brown addressed that when I asked him a few questions about it after the Washington game.

“Guys have got to buy into the system, especially on the defensive side,” said Brown. “We don’t really know how good we could’ve been because everybody wasn’t doing what they were supposed to do on each play. We can’t say it was the scheme or everybody is not playing with effort. Mentally everybody wasn’t there.

“We have to understand that everybody has to be working as one and we haven’t done that this year. Everybody has been kind of doing their own agenda on our side of the ball. So it’s something that we need to get covered and handle these last couple of games and years down the road.”

When I asked Preston why the defense had players being selfish and doing their own thing this was his response.

“I’m not sure. Everybody keeps saying last year we were a top four defense and everybody was still thinking about last year. We’ve got to get over that,” said Brown. “It’s not last year and guys were still thinking, ‘Oh we did this last year.’ Well we’re not doing that this year. So we’ve got to understand that we’re doing a different scheme and a different system and it works if everybody does it the right way.”

Complete buy in by the defensive players didn’t happen until the last two weeks of the season according to the players I spoke with and we saw good results over the final two games. So when the players tell me and media members that Rex is not at fault with what happened to the defense and that it’s on the players, I take them at their word.

For the record Rex tried to appeal to the players in different ways to get full buy-in knowing it wasn’t there. I wrote about that this week. But the bottom line, as Sammy Watkins said, is it’s on the players to take control of how players prepare, practice and play on game days. And if someone is being selfish or slacking they need to be called out by teammates.

That’s why Watkins and Brown stepped forward as leaders late this season. They don’t want to see what happened to their defense because of a couple of selfish players happen again.


2 – Chris,

I’m still trying to make sense of this season, as results have been significantly below expectations.  There have been too many games where the team has been unprepared, undisciplined, and let games get away from them that they should have won.

Why move up in the draft and give up so much in 1st round draft picks to select Sammy Watkins and not find a way to incorporate him more into the offense.  Other WRs Calvin Johnson, Beckham, Antonio Brown defenses focus on, and yet their Offense still get them the ball.  Why do they mainly use Sammy for only deep passes or screens that never seem to work.  How about running Sammy across the field like Andre Reed always did or the way the Patriots utilize Edelman and just have the QB lead him on a pass as he runs a short crossing route and then takes off?

CB: The main reason why Watkins wasn’t made more of a focal point of the offense was two-fold. First, Buffalo was committed to being a run-first attack. Second, offensive coordinator Greg Roman has said they wanted to bring Tyrod Taylor along steadily to see how much he could capably handle on a week to week basis. They were trying to help him progress while limiting setbacks and gradually gave him more rope as the season wore on.

Once they felt comfortable that Taylor could handle more you saw the deep passing game flourish. Since the bye week only two other receivers had more yardage than Watkins 900 in the last nine games. They were Antonio Brown and Julio Jones. For a first-year offense with a first-year quarterback you have to walk before you can run, and rely on the run before you rely more on the pass

Under Roman’s guidance the Bills did that. It probably would’ve been effective enough to reach the postseason had the defense not taken a step back. I think moving forward Watkins will continue to be a dominant weapon as the rapport between him and Taylor continues to develop.


3 – @ChrisBrownBills how long of contract terms are Glenn and Richie looking at receiving and possibly getting?


CB: Glenn is the one who will be cashing in with a long-term deal. At age 26 he’s entering the prime of his career, so a long term deal would make sense and he plays at a position that commands more pay in terms of average salary. Incognito is 32-years old, so I’d be surprised to see anything more than a three-year contract. Probably a two-year deal with a team option for a third.


4 – @ChrisBrownBills Given that releasing EJ Manuel would save no money & leave the team with dead money, can you see any upside to releasing him?


CB: The question here with EJ Manuel is can you do better at backup quarterback than EJ?  If the front office feels the answer is yes, Manuel’s dead money on the cap of a little over $2.8M is not crippling with the cap likely to be up around $153M for 2016.

So when money doesn’t impact the decision GM Doug Whaley largely lets the performance on the field determine make the call.

It’s my belief that the Bills will add a backup quarterback prospect from the draft. Someone they feel they can develop behind Tyrod Taylor. Is it likely such a prospect would be more NFL ready than Manuel? No.

So it’s possible they keep Manuel on the roster until they see more of whatever quarterback they draft or add looks in their offense. But it wouldn’t shock me if the organization decides to turn the page.


5 – @ChrisBrownBills what is the outlook for the Bills to receive a compensatory draft pick this year? #fanfriday


CB: Taking a more in depth look at things with some help from the front office as to who qualifies as a free agent addition and a free agent loss (the rules are endless) the Bills may be entitled to one compensatory pick this year.

The Bills added – Alex Carrington, Jerome Felton and Tyrod Taylor (Charles Clay – transition player???)
The Bills lost – Erik Pears, Da’Norris Searcy, Lee Smith and C.J. Spiller

Harvin and Incognito were not unrestricted free agents because they had contracts that were terminated. And Clay will be argued by the Bills as someone who should not count because he was a transition player. We’ll see if the league disagrees because there is precedent with transition players counting toward the free agent add count, but if not the Bills should get one compensatory pick this year.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Illness keeps Glenn from practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on December 31, 2015 – 2:56 pm

UBNS image



The Bills had a new non-participant for Thursday’s practice. OT Cordy Glenn was not in attendance due to illness.

Bills head coach Rex Ryan doesn’t believe the illness will keep Glenn from playing against the Jets on Sunday.

“No,” said Ryan. “It says illness, but I’m hoping he plays. It’s going to be hard for him not to play.”

LeSean McCoy and Nigel Bradham both were not able to practice Thursday, but John Miller and Ronald Darby both practice on a limited basis.

Player Pos Injury Participation Thursday
LeSean McCoy RB Knee DNP
Nigel Bradham LB Ankle DNP
Cordy Glenn T Illness DNP
Bacarri Rambo S Knee/Shoulder LP
John Miller G Ankle LP
Tyrod Taylor QB Right Shoulder LP
Ronald Darby CB Groin LP
Mario Williams DE Hand LP
Marcell Dareus DT Neck FP

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-18

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2015 – 11:30 am

The third game against the NFC East this Sunday. Here are your latest questions from email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

Do you think that the team is lacking quality player leadership right now? With huge games coming up, I’d have a lot more confidence in the Bills chances of winning if they had a leader on the field like Fred Jackson or Kyle Williams. Guys who should be filling this role like Mario Williams or Marcell Dareus just seem to be complaining. Who do you think can step into that leadership over the last few weeks to help the team make the playoffs?

Dan in Uganda

CB: I think the leadership is pretty solid on this team. The issue this year is there is new leadership that is kind of feeling its way. Tyrod Taylor has asserted himself as more of a leader in the second half of the season. He’s in a natural leadership position, but it’s hard to lead when you haven’t done anything yet. But I feel like Taylor has successfully navigated that as the season has worn on.

Eric Wood is a solid leader on offense, LeSean McCoy has put pressure on teammates to perform and follow his lead. On defense it’s a bit more complicated. With Kyle Williams and Aaron Williams no longer on the field the defense lost its two best leaders. Manny Lawson has tried to fill that void as has Corey Graham, but it’s been hard for them to help keep the defensive play at a consistent winning level, for whatever reason.

There’s no debating that the defensive play has been largely uneven for most of the season.



2 – @ChrisBrownBills How do you think Rex is going to get the defense back up to snuff?


CB: I think it’s safe to say that he and his defensive staff will be doing a lot of work in the offseason to devise a more effective way to deploy their defensive scheme and devise a way to re-generate an effective pass rush even when opposing offenses are getting the ball out in less than 2.5 seconds.

There will also be personnel changes in the offseason, as there are every year, but I believe there will be some recognizable names on this unit that will be moved off the roster. Ryan’s history shows that he does have certain player types that he deems as fits for his defensive system.


3 – @ChrisBrownBills Know it’s early, but: top need in the draft, to your eyes? DE?


CB: I think there are a lot of current personnel situations that have to unfold first before one can accurately assess some of the top needs for the Bills in the draft. For example, what does the future hold for the playing career of Aaron Williams with his neck injury? Can Seantrel Henderson continue to improve or does his illness compromise his effectiveness as a player?

It’s clear that Cordy Glen and Richie Incognito are priorities to be re-signed, but what about Nigel Bradham? If he’s not back there are holes to be filled at linebacker. Will there be a couple of cap casualties with some of the team’s cost prohibitive contracts or will they be restructured?

I just think there are too many unknowns right now to clearly say this or that is the team’s top positional need.


4 – @ChrisBrownBills who has the better chance of being re-signed. Glenn or Bradham?


CB: I would say Glenn at this point. One of the big positives this season is how the offensive line has come together, particularly the left side with Glen and Incognito. From what I understand both Glenn and Incognito are among the top priorities for the club this offseason.


5 – Hi Chris,

I know it’s that time of the year you probably don’t look forward to having to answer these questions, but I’ll try not to be too negative. I’m just wondering what you think this team can do to right the ship at this point for next season? It seems like this defensive personnel isn’t going to return to greatness under Rex. Do you think they should stick with this coaching staff and scheme and try to rebuild the defense to fit the scheme? I for one have had enough with Rex and think we should look for a coach that is willing to use a 4-3. I know you believe in continuity of scheme, but I can’t condone tearing apart a defense we just finished putting together after 4-5 years of drafts and FA additions.

Western MA


CB: I’ve addressed a number of fans when I’ve appeared on local radio shows and the John Murphy show, who are demanding another coaching change. My response is the Bills are on their seventh coach in 15 years. What has all that change gotten them?

I realize as well as any fan out there the level of frustration of not having a playoff team. I’ve been here covering this team for every one of those years and the five years before it.

As hard as it is you have to separate the last 15 years from what the Bills are trying to build now. You can’t lump Rex Ryan and his staff in with everything else. I know everyone feels it fits because Buffalo is unlikely to make the playoffs again, but to scrap the whole thing because the defense underachieved this year is not the solution.

It’s my belief you need only to re-tool the defense, move some cost prohibitive contracts off the books, add some good fits, re-sign your starting offensive linemen who are up and continue to develop depth.

Rex Ryan himself admitted he made some judgment errors with his defensive personnel and how he deployed them and tried to mesh his scheme with some of the successful principles that worked last season.

As I mentioned above, what changed was how opposing offenses attacked his defense. Week 2 against the Patriots, Tom Brady provided the blueprint for beating Buffalo’s pass rush, blitz packages etc. Get the ball out in less than 2.5 seconds. Future opponents followed suit.

It’s my contention that with Rex’s creative mind and the staff that he has that they will devise ways to counteract that approach.

It’s a cat and mouse game in the NFL where offenses evolve and change to defeat defensive strategies. Then defenses come up with answers for those new problems and have the upper hand. It goes back and forth. Unfortunately in a year where much was expected from Buffalo’s defense, opposing offenses figured them out and had a definitive answer.

Now it’s on Rex Ryan and his staff to find new ways to maximize their talent and reclaim their status as one of more creative and effective defensive minds in the game.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whaley: Re-signing Glenn, Incognito will be priorities

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2015 – 4:10 pm

Bills GM Doug Whaley made his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Tuesday and outlined a number of topics. From Tyrod Taylor’s encouraging progress, to his thoughts on the results of the new extra point distance rule. He also addressed the team’s plans for a couple of their impending free agents.

Starting left tackle Cordy Glenn and starting left guard Richie Incognito are both scheduled to be free agents come next March, but Whaley said the Bills have made it clear to the agents for both players that re-signing them this offseason is a major priority.

“I’ve talked to both of those guys and talked to their representation that after this season we’ll put on a full force effort to try to get those guys under contract,” said Whaley. “We like to tell those guys during the season that we want them to be strictly focused on football and after the season we’ll worry about that business part.”

Incognito has had a season that should garner Pro Bowl consideration. Head coach Rex Ryan said he doesn’t think there’s another guard in the league that has played as consistently as Incognito in his first year with the Bills. Keeping the left side of the offensive line intact is seen as a critical thing on the team’s offseason to-do list.

“We look at it like if we can keep that line together that’s a part of the football team we can hang our hat on,” said Whaley. “They’ve been playing extremely well and it’s just their first year together. Imagine how good they can be in their second year  and if we can keep them three years that’s when you have the consistency and cohesiveness up front that’s a big part of coach Ryan’s philosophy, which is that it starts up front on both sides of the ball.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-27

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2015 – 1:03 pm

We’re getting pretty close to do or die time and the Chiefs game at Arrowhead on Sunday is step one. Here are your latest questions from email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you think Tyrod is “the guy” or should the bills draft a qb in the first round until they find him?


CB: I would still like to see him play more before passing judgment. Perfect example is last Monday’s game his accuracy was off for the first time this season. Was that an aberration or is there more to it? We don’t know because we haven’t seen enough of Tyrod.

I do believe the greatest concern with Taylor is his ability to stay healthy and in the lineup. We’ve already seen two injuries with him this season. One cost him a pair of starts in Week 6 & 7. The other is the one he’s currently dealing with.

Make no mistakes about it. Taylor is as tough as they come. The question is can his physical frame withstand the punishment that quarterbacks typically take over the course of a 16-game season?

That’s to be determined. Even if Taylor finishes the season strong, I’m a proponent of drafting a quarterback every year. It’s the most important position in football so why wouldn’t you try to ensure you’re strong at that position by drafting one there every year?

I’m not saying round one necessarily, but just like everyone says you can never have enough cornerbacks, I think the same applies to QB.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills what possibility of re-signing the gilly lock to an extension and is Mario a fit for Rex’s scheme may need cap room and waive


CB: The Bills did buy some time with Stephon Gilmore by picking up his fifth-year option, so he’s not a free agent until 2017, but it’s my belief that Gilmore is priority number one when it comes to locking up players long term. Whether that happens this offseason or just prior to the 2016 season remains to be seen.

As for Mario Williams he has the skill set to play in any defensive scheme. Your cap room query however, is valid. His cap figure is very high and there is substantial savings that could be had if he is waived or if he agrees to restructure. More on that in the answer below.

3 –

How do you think the future free agents on the team are doing? Cordy Glenn is having a very good year. What are the odds they can keep him? How much is he a priority over someone like Bradham is having a down year? I know they probably can’t keep everyone but keeping a good tackle long term seems like a good option given they haven’t been too stable on either side on the line in years. What would it cost? Do you expect a ‘hometown discount’ for Incognito too? Given that some teams may not want him still. How much flexibility do they have to do so?

CB: Their flexibility is likely to be rooted in what they decide to do with some cost prohibitive contracts on the roster. Chief among them Mario Williams. His cap figure next season is $19.9M. That will need to be addressed before the team reaches free agency. Both linebacker and offensive tackle are thin positions in terms of experienced depth, so it will be interesting to see how they choose to prioritize Bradham and Glenn.

The team is also going to have to re-sign Richie Incognito, who will be a priority for the offensive line, and no I would not expect Incognito to be willing to take a hometown discount, especially since it’s likely to be his last NFL contract.


4 – Hi Chris,

First off thanks for the Fan Fridays! I enjoys reading other fans questions and your insight to them.

My questions is about the health and return of Aaron Williams. I haven’t seen anything reported about him other than he was up in a box cheering on his teammates during the jets game. Has he recovered from his neck injury? With the activation of McKelvin can he still return to playing this season? (although with Rambo and Cory playing well we are not falling apart without him)

Recently Displaced Bills fan now in DC,
CB: Williams has attended each of the Bills last two road games. He was placed on short term I-R. He’ll be eligible to return for the Eagles game in Week 14 at the earliest. Whether he does or does not is solely up to the team’s medical staff.


5 – Chris;
Bud Grant had a saying, too many “fan in the stands penalties” and plays. He could bring in any fan from the stands to line up off sides etc. When u get down to it, off sides, holding , dropped passes, punts, over and under thrown passes etc., any fan can make those plays.
Am I being too critical ??
Too many miscues keep us from winning. What are ur thoughts ??

Jim in Florida

CB: I think there were too many miscues last week. Unfortunately it doesn’t take much when facing the Patriots, one of the most consistent teams in the league when it comes to execution. Their defense had just one or two poor plays, but played well enough to win. The offense and special teams units could not say the same in that game.

What’s interesting is the prevailing theme in the locker room this week was just executing the game plan more effectively. We’ll see if it can happen Sunday in KC.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Cordy Glenn shrugs off contract questions

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2015 – 5:23 pm

He’s in a contract year. Bills starting left tackle Cordy Glenn is playing out the final year of his rookie contract here in 2015. Naturally he’ll be looking for a big money second contract this offseason. When asked about it by the media on Thursday however, Glenn said it’s not the time to be talking about personal priorities.

Right now, I’m just trying to get better and whatever happens at the end of the season, happens,” said Glenn. “Of course I would love to be here. Right now, I’m just focusing game by game, week by week, and everything will take care of itself after the season. The most important thing is doing my job so that’s what I’m focusing on.”

Glenn was Buffalo’s second-round pick in the 2012 NFL draft. He’s made 54 career starts for the Bills. The left tackle has started 50 consecutive games heading into Monday night.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-14

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2015 – 11:30 am

The preseason debut of Rex Ryan’s Bills is tonight against Carolina. Catch up with you on the Bills Radio Network pre-game show at 5:30 pm ET. For now let’s get to your latest questions on email at and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Can Chris Hogan have a breakout season?


CB: I think Hogan had a breakout season in 2014 quite frankly. He had the fourth-most receptions on the team, was third in receiving touchdowns and was still a fixture on special teams. I’d be surprised if he logged 50 catches this season for a few reasons. First, this offense probably won’t throw the ball more than 20-25 times a game. Second, there are arguably three to four options that figure to be targeted before him in the passing game (Watkins, Harvin, Woods, Clay) and that’s not even counting LeSean McCoy as a passing target.

So while I think Hogan’s game can certainly take a step forward this season I don’t anticipate we’ll see it revealed in his personal statistics this season.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Haven’t heard much about the linebackers and depth there. How are they and how are our recent lb draft picks performing?


CB: The starting linebacking group is Manny Lawson, Preston Brown and Nigel Bradham with Jerry Hughes the hybrid DE/LB. The second unit is made up by Randell Johnson, Ty Powell and rookie Tony Steward. The hybrid with them has been undrafted rookie Andrew Hudson.

Powell has grown into the ILB role and is essentially Brown’s backup. Steward gets from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ quickly. Hudson has caught my eye a few times, but the addition of IK Enemkpali could compromise his role on the second unit. Enemkpali is as strong as an ox and has some bull rush ability against the pass. Rex and Dennis Thurman know him well since they drafted him with the Jets last year.

So I’m encouraged by what we’ve seen from the second team linebackers in training camp, but the preseason games will be the true test to see just how good Buffalo’s depth could be.


3 – @ChrisBrownBills
From what you’ve seen at practice, which of the three QBs plays with the most consistency?


CB: In this second week of camp I think Matt Cassel has been the most consistent. He hasn’t been spectacular, but he’s been steady just about every day this week. He’s demonstrated an improved on field chemistry with his top receivers and his decision making has been spot on.

Granted he’s had the benefit of getting the most reps in practice with the first team offense, but to his credit he’s done the most with it of the three QBs.


4 – @ChrisBrownBills

How many TEs make the team and who are they?


CB: I don’t think the tight end spots are finalized by any means with all four preseason games to be played. I will say that Charles Clay is the clear cut starter. Knowing the skill set of Marqueis Gray is the most comparable to Clay and he’s a smart player (former QB) he has not surprisingly seen a lot of snaps with the first unit. I think he’s likely going to make the final 53 provided he performs well in the preseason.

Matthew Mulligan is clearly the best blocking tight end on the roster and that alone could land him a roster spot knowing how Greg Roman’s running game relies on tight end blocking. Whether they keep four is up in the air and hinges on a lot of other offensive roster decisions. Do they keep four running backs? Do they keep six receivers?

Rex Ryan said he’ll keep the best players, but the numbers game could create a difficult situation at tight end with two players who have the skills necessary to play in this league in Nick O’Leary and Chris Gragg.
5 – Chris,

Cordy (Glenn) from all accounts has returned to form and has bottled up Jerry Hughes in practice. How high of a priority is he behind Dareus? How would you rank him of all left tackles, meaning what would in cost to keep him? Given the state of the offensive line it would seem he is a strong part of helping the quarterback and offensive succeed this season. What is he looking at for a contract, can the team keep him?

Josh P.

Glenn wants to be paid like a left tackle plain and simple. It will be interesting to see where the Bills turn after they hopefully get the Marcell Dareus extension completed. Do they focus on Nigel Bradham or Cordy Glenn? Bradham would presumably be easier to negotiate just because the salary structure for left tackles is so steep. But one could argue that Glenn’s role is far more important on this roster.

How much money Dareus’ contract ties up will directly impact what they can or cannot do for Glenn and Bradham by way of an extension.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hughes: Iron sharpens iron

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2015 – 9:31 am

Most observers have commented on how both Seantrel Henderson and Cyrus Kouandjio are only going to benefit by going against Mario Williams every day in practice. But what about a veteran like Jerry Hughes going against another vet like Cordy Glenn?

As Hughes sees it the benefits are mutual.

“Cordy is a tremendous athlete,” said Hughes. “I’ve always said he’s one of the top tackles in the game, just on his size and his patience, and how well he can move with how big he is. It’s always fun going against him in practice. Iron sharpens iron.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: Left side of OL is set

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2015 – 2:54 pm

It’s only day three of training camp, but barring a 180 in performance everyone from the center to the left tackle on the starting offensive line is pretty much locked into their roles for Buffalo’s offense.

That according to head coach Rex Ryan, who confirmed that in his mind Cordy Glenn, Richie Incognito and Eric Wood are all going to be lining up where they are now in Week 1.

Ryan was asked about the competition up front and though there are some open jobs still to be won on the right side of the starting line, from the pivot to the left edge Ryan likes what he has there right now.

“I don’t anticipate Eric Wood being replaced anytime soon, but yeah you’re trying to make sure you’ve got the best guys,” Ryan said. “You know one thing for sure, Richie (Incognito), Richie’s a starter. I mean he looks as good as about any of them. Cordy (Glenn) looks really good, so we’re set there.”

Ryan said John Miller is getting pushed by second-year guard Cyril Richardson. Meanwhile at right tackle Seantrel Henderson and Cyrus Kouandjio will be battling for the starting spot there.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-5

Posted by Chris Brown on June 5, 2015 – 11:45 am

Another week of OTA practices in the books. Let’s get to your latest round of questions on email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
Do you think we are getting these (young offensive tackles) ready to step up in case we don’t re-sign Glenn? Some big money contracts are coming.


CB: You’re right there are some big money contracts on the horizon (Dareus, Gilmore, Glenn, Bradham). They can wait a little on Gilmore after picking up his fifth-year option, but the others will need to be addressed.

Knowing the lack of offensive tackle depth on this roster however, I think re-signing Glenn is a must. The only other true tackles on the roster are Seantrel Henderson, Cyrus Kouandjio and undrafted rookie Tyson Chandler.

Yes, they want to get Henderson and Kouandjio as much experience as possible, but Glenn is a cornerstone player. So provided they can make things work under the cap he is an important piece to Buffalo’s offensive puzzle.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills

What can fans expect with this new offense and all these weapons?


CB: In a word, variety. Greg Roman is going to take advantage of all the weapons on offense with a system based on multiplicity. Multiple formations, pre-snap shifts and motions as well as multiple personnel groupings. I believe LeSean McCoy will still be the engine of Buffalo’s offense this season, but there is talent that can also take the cover off a defense. Roman won’t ignore those options.

The only unknown and hope is that one of these quarterbacks steps up and separates himself from the other two and becomes a reliable trigger man for the passing game.

3 –

Hey Chris, Rex seems to be building an AFC version of the Seahawks. Duke Williams is a hard hitting safety, has he looked good?


CB: Duke has held his own during these OTA sessions, but the physical part of his game is obviously not on display in this kind of setting. I think what Williams has to prove to the coaches if he wants to win the vacant strong safety job is that he can direct traffic with the back seven on defense pre-snap.

The defensive coaches need to have confidence that he can make the right pre-snap calls and dole out checks and adjustments correctly and quickly.


4 – Hello Chris,
I know that the team used iPad play books last year.
Was that trial considered a good addition and will the team continue using them?

Thanks for the great work you continue to do with Murph.  I appreciate the closeness to the team that you provide.

Pete Tokarczyk
“Born and raised in Buffalo but now living on a mountainside in Kentucky”,

CB: Yes, the I-Pads are back this year. In fact the use of digital devices has become pretty commonplace with NFL clubs the last couple of seasons. The main advantage is coaches are able to update film reviews of practice, the practice schedule and game plans all by uploading revised material that the players can access from their devices.

Players also have access to as much film as they want to review on their own time from the team’s video library.


5 – Hi Chris,

I am really excited about the team this year with the off-season moves so far. Like many people though, my concern is at the QB position. The coaches have stated that it will be an open competition. The way it looks, unless E.J. Manuel shows major improvement, Matt Cassel will probably start. While I think Matt has the ability to win now and lead us to the playoffs with the talent around him, I don’t think he is the long term answer the Bills need. So my question is, how truly open will the competition be?

P.S. Thank you for all your efforts to bring us a look inside the Buffalo Bills.

Paul M.
Rochester, NY

CB: Rex Ryan has maintained that the competition will provide equal opportunities for the top three QBs and to this point it’s looked that way in OTA practices. Running two offensive units simultaneously has made it possible.

And I don’t think that approach will change until either one quarterback begins to separate himself from the other two or one quarterback falters and can compete with the others. So the first step very well could be the three-man competition shrinking to a two-man race.

It will obviously be the most closely watch element of training camp this summer.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-29

Posted by Chris Brown on May 29, 2015 – 11:44 am

OTAs are underway and the pace of practice is crisp. Players are getting a ton of work in during these sessions. Let’s get to your latest round of questions on email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills where’s Henderson lining up??


CB: In the first week of OTA practices Seantrel Henderson spent most of his time at left tackle with the second unit. Cordy Glenn was the starting left tackle with Cyrus Kouandjio manning the right side. Head coach Rex Ryan and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer have both stated that there will be a lot of rotation in these OTA practices between those top three tackles.

Buffalo has only four true tackles on the roster, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them add another before training camp just to have enough at the position to put on the field.


2 – Chris

Very disappointed that the Bills are willing participants in limiting access to one of their games, namely, the upcoming game in London. Sure, put it on digital, but also allow for normal distribution so fans less tech savvy or without internet access can have a nice big screen HD experience.

My specific question deals with the TV distribution: will the game just be on in Buffalo, or will other New York markets which normally see Bills’ games—Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton,e.g.—be able to watch on their televisions as usual.

Thanks for the info.
James Delaney

CB: As it’s been explained to me the London game will be broadcast much like a Monday Night football game. Locally in Buffalo (and Jacksonville) it will be carried by CBS, but everywhere else it will be on a digital platform.

Those rights will be sold in the near future so for those folks in Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton and other upstate locales will have to keep an eye out for which digital platform landed the broadcasting rights. Some outfit like Apple, Facebook or Google figure to bid on it.

It will not be available on Sunday NFL Ticket on DirectTV.

It’s already been speculated that the NFL will probably look to strike a deal with one of those digital carriers who have the ability to stream on mobile devices. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but that’s where the technology is headed.


3 – Hey Chris,
I was wondering if u knew what Rex thinks of Jeff Tuel? I liked what I saw and wonder how far along he currently is and if he is going to be given the same chance to win the job.


CB: Coach Ryan has been pretty candid that it’s a three-man competition for the starting QB job and that Jeff Tuel is not one of those three candidates. He has not shared much about his view of Tuel as a quarterback, but to answer your question, no I do not believe, based on coach Ryan’s comments, that Tuel will be part of the competition at any point in this process.


4 – Hey Chris, my question is regarding the Bills offensive line.  As much as I am worried about it though, I do think without the draft in the books that we have some good competition.  I especially like the idea of Henderson moving to left tackle and Glenn moving to left guard.  Hopefully with all the work Kouandjio has put in he could work out and be the guy at right tackle with Incognito being at right guard.  My question to you is do you think this is a possibility? I wonder if our line wasn’t successful over the past two years because of the coaching and maybe they tried to force players to fit their scheme and not work to the players strength.  I notice that the coaches we have in place now like to play to the players strengths.  I would love your take on this.

Thanks for all your hard work as always,

CB: While I don’t think you can rule out a Henderson to LT and Glenn to G move, I think it’s unlikely. The main reason why is because this team is down in numbers at the offensive tackle position. They have just four true offensive tackles on the roster with the fourth being undrafted rookie Tyson Chandler.

As I mentioned earlier I think they’ll keep an eye on the waiver wire to see if there’s a vet they can add for depth at the tackle position. But if nothing substantial develops on the open market, Glenn is probably the team’s best option at left tackle and Henderson and Kouandjio can fight for the right tackle gig.


5 – Chris,

I love reading your Fan Friday column on Twitter.  The coaches have talked about using 2 fields during training camp for the offense.  This is probably to get as many reps for all 4 QBs.  Would Greg Roman consider parking himself on a scaffold in between fields and call the plays using headsets just as in the game?  Thanks for considering my question.


CB: Rex Ryan addressed this very subject on the John Murphy Show this week. Essentially he said trying to watch both team sessions simultaneously is impossible. But that doesn’t mean they miss anything because they’ve got it all on tape to review. I suppose if he was up on scaffolding he’d have a better vantage point to watch both, but knowing all the pre-snap alignments and shifts that go on coaches want to watch the whole play. Trying to watch both units execute would prove supremely difficult according to Buffalo’s head coach.

“I tried to (watch both team sessions), and your heads on a swivel, you don’t see anything,” said Ryan. “You will pick it all up on tape, though.”

Ryan said this is the first time he’s implemented it as a head coach. He took it from offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who made use of it in San Francisco.

“We said, ‘Let’s give it a shot right now.’ It makes sense for development, especially for the younger players, and also about giving the reps to your quarterbacks,” Ryan said. “As we know, it’s a three man competition, they all need work. It’s not a true competition if you’re not going to give them work. I liked that today.  And I can understand the drill. I’ll be excited to watch the video, too, because now you get twice as many snaps (to evaluate).”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kouandjio putting himself in tackle mix

Posted by Chris Brown on May 28, 2015 – 12:32 pm

Bills second-year tackle Cyrus Kouandjio has put in a lot of work this offseason after admitting his mindset was not right for pro football as a rookie in 2014. All that work is beginning to pay off as Kouandjio has put himself in the mix at offensive tackle.

“Right now he’s getting a ton of reps, but there’s going to be competition there, no question about that,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “He’s looked good. He’s had a good offseason, so we’ll see what happens when the pads come on.”

Kouandjio lined up at the starting right tackle position this week in OTAs, while fellow second-year tackle Seantrel Henderson manned the left tackle spot with the second unit.

“We’re just rotating guys through, they’ve been switching left-right, even with Kouandjio, even with all three of those tackles we’ve been switching them,” said Ryan in reference to the pair of 2014 draft choices and veteran Cordy Glenn.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-24

Posted by Chris Brown on April 24, 2015 – 11:32 am

Veteran voluntary minicamp is up this week beginning Tuesday and will roll us right into the draft Thursday night. Remember to stay close to online and on your mobile devices for full coverage of the Bills 2015 draft class as it happens. Let’s get to your questions from email at and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Any shot the Bills can get in on Rivers? Something like EJ and this year’s 2 and 5 or EJ and next year’s 1?


CB: The Philip Rivers trade chatter exists because of the quarterback’s comments, not the GM’s. Rivers has backed off his comments recently. That doesn’t mean that teams won’t be inquiring about the veteran QB’s availability. In a down year for quarterbacks it’ll be interesting to see what NFL clubs would be willing to offer, but I think the asking price would be very high if Tom Telesco even entertains an offer in the first place.

It’s my belief your trade proposals above would have to be improved to make a deal even remotely possible. Not having a one to offer this year I think removes Buffalo from consideration, and that’s if San Diego even decides to talk turkey. In a down year for quarterbacks I wouldn’t want to be hitting the reset button at that position, especially when my QB was an NFL MVP candidate for the first half of the season in 2014.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills

2 players #Bills need this draft. MyCole Pruitt and Chris Bonner, what’s your thoughts, opinions?


CB: While I think there are a lot of things to like about Pruitt’s skill set, I don’t know that he’s a match for what Buffalo is looking for at tight end. Buffalo has the versatile playmaker in Clay and a potential athletic understudy in Marqueis Gray. Chris Gragg is a good straight line athlete, so what’s left? In a power run scheme Buffalo needs a tight end that is an accomplished blocker. If they can offer short to intermediate pass catching ability all the better.

Prospects in this year’s draft class who fit that bill as I see it are Ohio State’s Jeff Heuerman and Delaware’s Nick Boyle. Heuerman probably comes off the board in day two and Boyle on day 3. Good, high character players as well.

As for Chris Bonner, I wouldn’t be opposed to using a seventh-round pick on the D-II QB prospect. For a 6-7 quarterback I’m impressed with the way he makes himself small in the pocket to avoid pressure, and then the feet he has for a 6-7 man, Bonner is pretty good at extending plays.

The basics of his arm mechanics are good. He’s got an over-the-top delivery. What he lacks right now is touch on the ball and arc. Too often he throws a laser no matter what type of route he’s targeting. Dropping throws in the bucket on deep outs or putting more loft on an over the shoulder pass are the things he needs work on.

What I think I like best about Bonner’s game is the way he’s able to avoid the inside rush in the pocket, keep his eyes downfield and re-set his feet to deliver the ball. His throws aren’t always great, but a feel for pocket pressure is tough to find in young QBs. I’m confident some NFL team will try to develop him.


3 – Chris,

What positions do you expect the Bills to target? With RB out of the way, do you see tight end as logical choice? Given they are trying to win this year it would make sense to draft someone to plug n’ play to start. The Bills could use depth on defense but it is more likely they will target a guard or tight end? Or where do you seem them going elsewhere with #50?

Sean Robbins

CB: I think offensive line will be a major focus at 50 and if the right value is there at offensive tackle or guard I believe that’s where they go. Players I like for the Bills at 50 (assuming of course they’re still on the board) are G/C A.J. Cann, OT Cedric Ogbuehi (provided the knee checks out), OT Donovan Smith and G Laken Tomlinson.

If none of those prospects are on the board at 50 I think that’s when best on the board truly comes into play. A good all-around OLB/DE would make the most sense for me knowing Manny Lawson is entering the final year of his contract, but I think defensive back, inside linebacker, defensive tackle are all on the table there if the offensive line options are gone.


4 – Hi Chris,

I’m a longtime Bills fan now living in Kentucky and really appreciate all the hard work you do reporting the happenings at One Bills Drive. It seems the Bills with the support of the Pegula’s have assembled an all-star coaching staff.  Are there any league rules that limit or restrict the number of assistants a team can hire or that can be on the sidelines during a game?

Thank you,
Mark from Louisville

CB: Thanks for the kind words. To my knowledge there is no limit to the number of assistants a club can have on a coaching staff. And you’re right it is an all-star staff.


5 – Chris,
First of all thanks again for the great coverage of the Buffalo Bills. My question is about the offensive line and in particular the two starting tackles from the 2014 season. I recall either Doug Whaley or Rex referring to guard and tackle as a need, I thought the addition of tackle was interesting. I know the Bills have seen Cordy Glenn as a tackle in the past but I’ve heard many times that he could be one of the best guards in football if kicked inside. With a new staff and o-line coach do you think they may see as a guard? If this were to be the case that leaves a hole at left tackle clearly. Leading to my next question which is do you think Seantrel Henderson could swing over to the left side? I thought he had his rookie woes early against some top flight talent (Houston game against Watt) but got better as the season went on. Do you think he could be a starting left tackle? This move would also lead me to believe that Cyrus Kouandjio could have a legitimate chance at winning the right tackle spot. Thanks again, I look forward to your insight on these potential moves.

Go Bills!
Phil Dabowl

CB: I think all options are open. Doug Whaley, Rex Ryan and my conversation with offensive line coach Aaron Kromer are all consistent. They will look to find what the best combination of five linemen is best for the starting offensive line. That means no move is off the table.

That being said it’s my belief that Cordy Glenn is the best tackle on this roster right now. The coaches might feel differently and they have a trained eye for what works best far better than I do. Asking Seantrel Henderson to flip to the left side is not outlandish, but I think in his second NFL season might be a bit premature.

There’s little question that Henderson has the physical skill set to play on the left side, but his NFL readiness for that position is the key question. I think Cyrus Kouandjio will also be given every opportunity to be an offensive tackle for this team as opposed to guard.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills won’t be free agent players next year

Posted by Chris Brown on April 21, 2015 – 1:02 pm

The Buffalo Bills made some exciting trades and some aggressive moves in free agency this offseason that has the team poised to bring an end to their playoff drought. But don’t expect the flurry of activity to happen again in 2016.

Bills GM Doug Whaley all but confirmed that with the high-priced players they signed (McCoy, Harvin) and the high-priced players they re-signed (Hughes) or extended (Kyle Williams) they won’t be in a position to spend like that again next March.

“Next year the Bills fans should take vacation during free agency,” Doug Whaley told the John Murphy Show. “Our free agency now, because we’ve drafted so well turns to our own players. Marcell Dareus, Cordy Glenn, Nigel Bradham, Stephon Gilmore that will be our free agency next year. We’ll turn into the Green Bay Packers.”

Whaley knows Dareus and Gilmore will command high price tags based not only on their production, but the position they’ll play with Glenn and Bradham not far behind. That’s why the personnel department is hopeful they can land a contributing player or two late in the draft, who will be far more affordable knowing a lot of cap dollars will be tied into the elite core of players.

“With the guys we’ve paid this year and brought in and the guys we’re going to try to re-sign next offseason those guys are going to be high-priced players,” said Whaley. “So to balance that out you have to hit on some fifth, sixth or seventh round players to have that, for lack of a better term, cheap labor and balance out that top heavy end of the price structure in the cap situation with our top end players.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-17

Posted by Chris Brown on April 17, 2015 – 12:03 pm

The second week of the voluntary offseason conditioning program is in the books. Veteran voluntary minicamp is a couple of weeks away. Let’s get to your questions from email at and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

Let us talk hypothetically.  TE-OL-LB are obvious needs.  But, should (UCLA QB Brett) Hundley still be on the board for the Bills in round 2, what do you think?

Jim (Skaneateles)

CB: I think GM Doug Whaley will keep all options open in round two knowing he can truly take the best player on the board with few holes on the roster. That being said beyond the first two quarterbacks (Winston, Mariota) I get the feeling that the general consensus around the league is none of the remaining quarterbacks are at a point in their development where they can help right away.

I don’t know for a Bills team trying to win right now that Hundley is a pick worth making in round two. I think they’d rather have a player that can step in and help as a rookie in the event of an injury or push an incumbent starter for the starting role at their respective position.

Naturally we have to see what is left on the board at pick 50, and that’s obviously very hard to predict. I think there will be enough quality talent at Buffalo’s need positions that you listed to convince them to go in that direction more than QB.


2 – Chris,

After reading Collision Low Crossers, the book about the 2011 Jets, it seems like Rex values a shutdown corner to take away part of the field, then blitz.

I assume Gilmore is close to being that type of player. Do you think McKelvin can hold up? What players off radar could come in and make plays on the defense where he likes to give all the players playing time (i.e. Robey, Cockrell, Johnson, Meeks, Charles). How do the reserves fit into his defense and which one you see making a big jump in 2015?

CB: First, yes I think McKelvin can hold up as a press corner. He’s coming off the two-best seasons in his career under secondary coach Donnie Henderson. Furthermore Ryan believes he has three capable outside press corners with Corey Graham being the third.

In terms of a reserve player on defense who could make a jump I believe Duke Williams is a prime candidate to start in the safety role vacated by Da’Norris Searcy. He got a good deal of playing time there last season, is a ferocious hitter and has a nose for the ball. The other players you mentioned are only going to take steps forward as well, which speaks well for the depth on defense.


3 – Chris,

I am not convinced Matt Cassel is the answer at QB we’ve been waiting for all these years. Will the Bills go after Colin Kaepernick? And if not, why not? He would make sense as a solid franchise QB with a winning track record who fits with a run first offense. I see him as a perfect fit.

Bradley Kaye

CB: While I don’t deny that Kaepernick had success in Greg Roman’s offense in San Francisco, to acquire him he has to be available. With all of the talent that the 49ers have lost this offseason (Crabtree, Gore, S. Johnson, Iupati, Culliver, Skuta, Borland, Willis) I cannot see them parting with the player they handed franchise quarterback money.


4 – Chris,

With the team spending lots of money for the 2015, wondering how it will play out in 2016 when they have other players to lock up. Dareus will command a huge contract. Gilmore will need his option picked up. Cordy Glenn and Nigel Bradham is set to be a free agent as well. These are core guys they like how is it possible to keep them? Next year is big for future free agents. Are they spending too much money now they may have to let one of those guys walk next year? As of now the Bills aren’t done spending and could add more.

Josh P.
CB: I think your concern is a valid one. They’ve already picked up the option on Stephon Gilmore, per Doug Whaley’s comments at the owners’ meetings, so that buys them some time with him. They are interested in extending Nigel Bradham and it would not surprise me if Glenn were on the list as well. Right now Marcell Dareus is the primary focus regarding an extension. After seeing the money that Ndamukong Suh got in Miami, I think we all know that it’s going to be a complicated deal to broker.

Knowing the money involved with be large, it puts a hold on the other players who are in line for extensions because in all likelihood the Bills will need to get creative to make Dareus’ extension work. That deal will undoubtedly have an impact on how and what they can offer to their other young core players.

The good news is that the salary cap continues to go up and up and up. So more room will be created just with the dawn of a new calendar year.


5 – Chris,

What positions do you expect the Bills to target? With RB out of the way, do you see tight end as logical choice? Given they are trying to win this year it would make sense to draft someone to plug n’ play to start. The Bills could use depth on defense but it is more likely they will target a guard or tight end? Or where do you seem them going elsewhere with #50?

Sean R.

CB: I think the offensive line is a distinct possibility at 50, but not knowing what will still be on the board makes it difficult to pin down. I think guard or tackle are possibilities there. If the right tight end prospect is there in round two I don’t think you can rule it out, but Buffalo has their starter in Charles Clay. Now if they plan to have two tight ends on the field at the same time, which in Greg Roman’s offense is likely a good amount of the time, they might look to find one on day two (rounds 2 & 3).

I see LB depth being acquired later in the draft.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-20

Posted by Chris Brown on March 20, 2015 – 11:14 am

Another busy week of free agency for the Bills. We’ll obviously know more on Charles Clay soon. For now your questions from email at and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Are we looking at a WR1 with Harvin? Watkins WR2. Woods WR3. Harvin, starting combo? Are they looking to add another WR through draft?


CB: I still think Sammy Watkins remains the number one option in Buffalo’s passing game despite the signing of Percy Harvin. Harvin is probably the number two receiver outside in light of the money invested in him. The Harvin acquisition was done to discourage defenses from doubling Watkins.

Woods and Hogan probably work out of the slot more. If Clay becomes Bills property he works the seams and the flats underneath.

As for drafting a receiver, I think that’s one position you can cross off the list unless some phenomenal talent slips to them that wasn’t expected. The reason why is looking at Buffalo’s depth chart right now your top five wideouts look like this.

Easley – for special teams

After that you’ve got Goodwin, Thigpen, Brown, Holley, Thompson and Palmer. Do the Bills keep six receivers this year? Knowing they will be carrying a fullback and need numbers at tight end for Greg Roman’s offense I don’t think seeing six receivers on Buffalo’s 53-man roster is as likely as it was under the previous coaching staff.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills

ummm can I just throw this out there? Philip Rivers. Buffalo Bill?


CB: You’re welcome to throw it out there. Yes, Rivers’ contract is up after the 2015 season, and he has said he has little incentive to sign an extension with San Diego. His lack of interest stems from the prospect of the Chargers possibly moving to Los Angeles as they’re currently operating under a year-to-year lease in San Diego.

If he’s not open to negotiating an extension, the Chargers can make use of the franchise tag, which would present San Diego with a cap hit of more than $20M. He’ll be 34-years old in 2016.

Chargers GM Tom Telesco said he has every intention of keeping Rivers a Charger moving forward. So I don’t see him going anywhere unless some phenom quarterback prospect falls in San Diego’s lap.


3 – Chris,
Chris, I’ve seen at least on draft site list LT as a major priority for the Bills. Is there any discussion of moving Cordy Glenn to G?

CB: I think offensive tackle is a distinct possibility in the draft for Buffalo, especially with how they’ve addressed some of their other perceived positional needs like tight end and running back in free agency, though I could see a back or tight end taken somewhere on day three.

Offensive line (tackle or guard) and linebacker are probably the two most pressing positional needs. As for the future position for Cordy Glenn, guard was raised as a possibility under the previous coaching staff.

I think the likelihood of that resurfacing as a possibility hinges on one thing, how much they address the tackle position between now and training camp.

Right now they have just three true offensive tackles on their roster in Glenn, Henderson and Kouandjio. If they draft one on day two they’ll have four and even then I don’t know that they consider such a move for Glenn.

Is it possible? There’s always a chance, especially with a new coaching staff. Is it likely? I don’t think so, based primarily on numbers at the position.


4 – Chris,

I don’t understand why people are saying that the Bills need to draft a running back?
Especially not with a high draft pick when there are more pressing needs on the offensive line. Aren’t Fred Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown and Boobie Dixon enough?

CB: I think the running back need has been reduced, but I’m not opposed to the Bills drafting one late. Here’s why. Fred Jackson and Bryce Brown are both entering the final year of their contracts. Sure it’s possible one might re-sign, but I doubt that both do.

What’s wrong with using a day three pick on a running back that you feel has a chance to push for a roster spot who might surprise you? Late round backs are finding more and more NFL jobs on 53-man rosters than at most other positions. Worse comes to worse you might be able to sneak such a back onto your practice squad, and have someone in reserve who knows the system should a rash of injuries strike.


5 – Hi Chris,

Great job keeping all these Bills fans way out here in the Pacific Northwest in the know when it comes to our Bills!

My question is looking back one more time at last season. What in the world happened to Mike Williams? He seemed to be developing into that deep middle guy and goal line end zone threat. If I’m not mistaken wasn’t his last catch an 80-yard bomb from E.J. Manuel at the tail end of that heartbreaking loss to Houston? Why did he fall off so quickly in favor of Chris Hogan?


CB: Mike Williams’ issues stemmed from his lack of reliability in executing his assignments on offense. Whether it was in practice or in games Kyle Orton made it pretty clear that he didn’t feel he could trust him. Chris Hogan was the complete opposite. He was a reliable player that didn’t have many miscues when it came to executing assignments.

Now Hogan’s emergence wasn’t solely due to Williams’ less than ideal professionalism. I believe he would have moved past Williams in the lineup at some point last season. Williams’ indifference to putting in extra time with the new quarterback in the lineup effective Week 5 just accelerated that process.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills young talent ranks favorably

Posted by Chris Brown on January 27, 2015 – 9:39 am

ESPN did a league wide analysis of the young talent on every roster in the NFL. The Bills ranked in the top half of the league with their healthy number of young playmakers.

ESPN Insider Matt Williamson had the Bills ranked 11th in the league when it came to their “farm system” of young talent. Here’s what he wrote about Buffalo’s roster.

11. Buffalo Bills

Sammy Watkins, WR (21): He didn’t put up the same numbers as some of the rookie receivers drafted after him, but make no mistake: He is still a supreme prospect. He has great speed and ball skills, but what some might overlook with him is his strength. Every aspect of his game exudes power, from his running style to his aggressiveness attacking the football.

Marcell Dareus, DT (24): The Bills’ excellent defensive line is the foundation of their defense, and Dareus is the anchor in the middle. He dominates in the running game and continues to improve as an every-down player who can get to the quarterback as well.

Cordy Glenn, LT (25): Not the prototypical light-footed left tackle, Glenn uses his great size and wingspan to protect the blind side. He is a top-10 tackle in this league.

Stephon Gilmore, CB (24): Gilmore excels in both man and zone coverage. With Rex Ryan taking over as Buffalo’s head coach, Gilmore should see a ton of one-on-one coverage against the opponent’s top receiver. He’s up to the task.

Kiko Alonso, LB (25): He missed all of 2014 due to an injury, but he along with Brandon Spikes and Preston Brown gives Buffalo one of the best linebacker groups in football.

Others of note: Nigel Bradham, EJ Manuel, Aaron Williams, Duke Williams, Marquise Goodwin,Cyril Richardson, Bryce Brown, Nickell Roby, Seantrel Henderson, Robert Woods, Preston Brown,Cyrus Kouandjio

The Colts, Patriots and Rams were the top three ranked teams.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-23

Posted by Chris Brown on January 23, 2015 – 1:11 pm

The new coaching staff is coming together. If you missed any of our Senior Bowl or Pro Bowl coverage check it out on Now for your questions from email at and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

I don’t think Hughes, Urbik, Lawson, Spiller, Spikes or Rivers will return next year as the money will be spent in other areas. I think the Bills will soon extend the contracts of Dareus and Glenn.  Do you have any insight on this?


CB: I think the Bills will work hard to bring Hughes back into the fold. Spiller is expected to have other suitors. Urbik, Lawson and Rivers are all still under contract. Rex Ryan in a conference call this past season said Spikes was a player he liked because he has a grit and attitude to his game that appeals to him, for whatever that’s worth.

As for Dareus and Glenn, the Bills typically address free agents first before worrying about players that are still under contract, so while Dareus and Glenn are seen as long term building blocks for the franchise I don’t see them getting done in short order.


2 – Hi, Chris

Looking for help in understanding what has happened to the offensive line over the past three years.

Fact: Four of the current five starters were also starters on the O-Line in 2012.
Fact: The rushing game produced over 2200 yards in 2012; less than 1400 this year.
Fact: Now former coach Marrone has publicly stated that the problem with the run game is not Coach Hackett’s schematics.

So — if the line has basically the same players, with the same talent, with a couple years more experience, and the techniques and schematics are correct and being taught properly — why has there been such a marked regression in performance, culminating in last Sunday’s horrific 13 yards gained on 13 attempts?

You are close to the scene and obviously can sense better than we fans what is going on.  Please help.

Thanks much,
Jim D.

CB: There were a number of factors at work. First and foremost you had your top two running backs injured for a stretch of the season. Spiller missed seven games. I think anyone on the offensive line in 2014 would tell you that their play regressed from the year before.

In 2012 their offensive scheme ran out of a spread formation, which created bigger running lanes for the backs. That was not the case in 2014 as they chose to run between the tackles more often than not. I don’t know that the approach offensively always fit the backs they had carrying the ball. That combined with an offensive line that took a step back led to the lowest rushing total in team history in a 16-game season.


3 – Chris,

All Bills fans are disappointed, but so are the fans of the Ravens, Chiefs, Saints, Eagles, a few of them have $100 Million Quarterbacks !! There will be cries for EJ. You get better by practicing your skills, and proving in practice you’re ready to play. Do you feel EJ has shown he’s ready, how about Kouanjio and Richardson?
Jim in Florida

CB: I think the 12 weeks that Manuel had to focus on his personal game served him well over the last three quarters of the 2014 season. He also learned how to effectively prep yourself as a QB watching Kyle Orton get ready for games each week. From watching him the last month of the season in practice I felt his accuracy was improved. He was no longer thinking and concerned about throwing the perfect ball. He was just throwing.

I’m interested to see him as part of a competition for the starting job next year. Has he shown he’s ready? I don’t think we’ll know until we see him at training camp this summer.

As for Cyrus Kouandjio and Cyril Richardson they worked to make the most of their reps. It sounds like Kouandjio will be given real consideration at the guard position, even though it’s very new to him. I also believe competition will be brought in to battle the youngsters for roles on the roster.


4 – Hi Chris:  I understand that the Bills offense has been unbalanced between run and pass this past year.  What I’m unsure of is the major cause.  Could it be that the running backs were banged up this year?  Could it be that the offensive line never jelled?  Or could it be that most defenses dared us to throw by overloading the box and our pass game didn’t respond as well as hoped?  Like everything in life, there’s usually more than one reason.  But I was wondering if you could shed some light on what might be the most significant factor(s).

Warm wishes for the New Year!
Paul in Portland (Formerly Paul in Beijing)

CB: I hate to give a token answer, but I think it was all of the above. The running backs were banged up this year. There were times when defenses loaded up the box with extra defenders. The offensive line did struggle to jell at the start of the season due to Cordy Glenn’s undisclosed illness, which kept him out of the majority of the preseason. There was also a move by Erik Pears from tackle to guard, there was a rookie at right tackle and starting LG Chris Williams missed half the preseason due to a recurring back injury.

I also think at times the offensive approach moved away from the strengths of their skill position players in an effort to protect the football with more conservative play.

5 – Hello Chris,

First I’d like to say Happy New Year! Thank You for your news and blogs that us Bills fans love to get answers and info from.. your passion for the Bills is the same that we fans have, and you help us to believe.

My question is about the Offensive line.. I am sure most are wanting to know about the QB, but a big fix we need is on the O-line.

I am wondering what your thoughts(and i’ll get the fans thoughts in the comments section after) on

shifting around the line a bit. What about Buffalo using either their 2nd or 3rd round pick on one of the top 2-3 Centers in the 2015 Draft.. like Dismukes from Auburn, Grasu from Oregon, or Gallik from BC. We can then move Wood back to RG where he did well for us in his first 2 years before moving to Center.. he can still call the protections and he shows the ability to move around to run block very well and the aggression.

Then Chris Williams(we lost a lot when he got hurt) coming back to be the LG.. again, we hope he stays healthy. Glenn as the LT and putting the sophomore slump that seems to bite so many and bouncing back. And then Kouandjio and Henderson fighting for the RT position.

So.. LT Glenn, LG Williams, C Best avail in 2015 Draft, RG Wood, RT Henderson/Kouandjio

NE did something like this with a new Center this year in Stork and they seemed to find a good rhythm in the season… and we could even if need be bring in whomever is not the starter at RT out once in a while to line up next to the starter giving us a 6th Lineman as protection if need be.

Just looking for your thoughts.. as far as where instead of going out to get 2 new G’s in FA and maybe in the draft where a good Center can change it all up and be giving us depth also.

Thanks.. have a nice weekend watching the post season.

Brian Moss

CB: I think your thought about moving Eric Wood out to guard, where he began his NFL career is an interesting idea. However, I think the only way it happens is if the Bills bring in a veteran center, not a rookie by way of the draft. If they add an offensive lineman in the draft I would expect it to be more of a guard. But knowing they have a second-year guard in Cyril Richardson and possibly a second guard option in Cyrus Kouandjio they may elect to add a veteran guard as they did last year (Chris Williams).

I think Seantrel Henderson can only improve in his second season if he takes to good coaching with the new staff and his athleticism alone gives him a leg up on Kouandjio for the right tackle job.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kyle, Cordy sick; Dareus, Watkins limited

Posted by Chris Brown on December 3, 2014 – 4:10 pm






Bills DT Kyle Williams and OT Cordy Glenn were both absent at practice Wednesday due to illness. Limited in practice were a handful of players including DT Marcell Dareus and WR Sammy Watkins.

Stepping in for Glenn at left tackle was Chris Hairston and filling in for Kyle Williams was Stefan Charles.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday
Jarius Wynn DE Knee DNP
Chris Gragg TE Knee DNP
Kyle Williams DT Illness DNP
Cordy Glenn DT Illness DNP
Dan Carpenter K Right Groin LP
Bacarri Rambo S Hamstring LP
Sammy Watkins WR Hip LP
Marcell Dareus DT Hip LP
Chris Hogan WR Hamstring LP
Robert Woods WR Ankle LP


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Posted in Inside the Bills

O-line looking to sharpen things up fast

Posted by Chris Brown on October 21, 2014 – 12:10 pm

Buffalo’s offensive line again had their share of struggles at the line of scrimmage. The men up front are well aware of the issues they have to address, correct and improve moving forward. And it won’t be easy going up against one of the most physical defensive lines in football.

“We have to do a better job. That’s evident,” said Eric Wood. “We’re going to keep working and get this thing figured out because we’re not doing a very good job up front right now.”

“The offensive line, we have to do a better job with the small things,” Cordy Glenn said. “I  know we said it the last few weeks, but it’s far enough along in the season where we can’t keep doing the same thing every week.  We gotta take more pride in what we’re doing and just help the team out better so we don’t get in those bad situations so much.”

Stunts and twists by opposing defensive linemen have proven to be a problem since Week 3 and each opponent after that has turned to stunts and twists as well experiencing success. Glenn knows they have to neutralize it or the twist/stunt games will continue.

“We got to look at the film but until you stop it they will keep doing it,” he said. “We just have to figure out how to stop it this week and focus on that a little more. It’s a little bit of communication, just being on the same page, the same rhythm , just being comfortable with each other over there.”

As head coach Doug Marrone sees it the consistency with execution is what he wants most of all.

“They could play better. What I get hung up on is the consistency,” he said. “There are times when there’s a great pocket and no one around him. There are times where there’s not a great pocket around him. That’s what gets you frustrated, that lack of consistency. That’s what we’re going to need to become more successful, doing the things well, and that’s what gets you over the top. I think a lot of the units on the team were able to see that. There’s a picture of how we want things done and when we go out there we have to recognize when it’s not right, what was the problem? It starts from a numerous amount of things.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills