Inside The Bills

Byrd glad to see action again

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2013 – 11:18 pm

Bills FS Jairus Byrd was back on the game field for the first time in nine months Sunday, but was not a full-time starter against the Bengals. Still the safety was happy just to be lining up with his defensive teammates again.

“It felt good,” said Byrd. “It felt really good. You take this game for granted sometimes, and it was really good just to get back out there and be with my teammates and get in the swing of things and play again.”

Byrd was used as a third safety in some of the defense’s subpackages, while Jim Leonhard and Da’Norris Searcy served as the base defense safeties.

“We had a lot of packages going in they just kind of rotated us around and just kind of disguised a little bit,’ he said. “It was good to get back out there.”

Whether Byrd’s role increases or changes moving forward remains to be seen.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills DBs on high alert with Browns throwing

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2013 – 8:51 am

With the Browns leading the league in pass attempts and averaging almost 46 pass attempts a game, Buffalo’s secondary is going to be on high alert.

The main concerns are TE Jordan Cameron, who leads the team with 30 receptions and five touchdowns, four of which have come in the last two games. WR Josh Gordon is another go-to guy with 28 targets in the last two games.

Bills safety Da’Norris Searcy, fresh off a four pass breakup performance against Baltimore is well aware that passes figure to be flying everywhere when they’re on the field.

“You’ve got to be alert regardless especially now that the NFL is becoming a passing league,” he said. “A lot of teams don’t necessarily have one specific guy they go to especially with this team. They love to spread it around so pretty much everybody is live so we have to cover everybody.”

“Any time you get big physical receivers, quarterback s like to throw it up and give them a chance, figuring that the worst thing that’s going to happen is an incomplete pass,” said Jim Leonhard. “We get challenged every week.  We realize that being a young secondary, we’re going to get tested every week.  This Thursday is not going to be any different.”

The added challenge for the Bills is the likelihood that they’ll have more moving parts in the defensive backfield this week with Aaron Williams (low back) and Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) still on the mend.

“We’ve got to make sure our communication is down pat, which is going to be tough with the short week and all, but with the extra meeting time we have, we just are making sure we’re on one accord and get these guys covered,” said Searcy.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Searcy on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on September 8, 2013 – 11:40 pm

After a solid performance that included a tone-setting coverage tackle on the opening kickoff to his eight tackles, fumble return for a touchdown and a sack, Da’Norris Searcy is going to be on the local airwaves Monday morning.

Searcy will appear on the Howard Simon show on the Bills Radio Network on WGR Sportsradio 550 at 8:40 am.


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Fan Friday 8-16

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2013 – 12:30 pm

Preseason game number two tonight against the Vikings and a big night for Kevin Kolb. Here are some of your latest questions for this last edition of Fan Friday before the end of training camp. Keep the questions coming on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

I’m sure your sick of comments and questions about Jairus Byrd but my question I didn’t hear many talk about is this: did the Bills (or Byrd for that matter) consider that Byrd may have a tremendous year and increase his value even more next year leading to an even high price tag? If the Bills do what they are hoping he will do during his franchise year did they not cost themselves more money by not coming up a little higher to sign him this year? Or, if that was a consideration, does that not tell us there will be no attempt to sign Byrd long term after this season and this season is nothing more than a bridge to get one of the Williams’ ready?

Thanks,
Ron

CB: Bills GM Doug Whaley has gone on record saying they will still pursue a long term contract agreement with Jairus Byrd after the regular season concludes. At this point you have to take Whaley at his word as the team’s new GM. In my experience Whaley usually means what he says.

Now all that being said there is some merit to the argument of signing a player to an extension a year prior to their contract being up. If for example, the Bills are convinced that Alex Carrington is going to have a monster season in this the last year of his contract, they might opt to try to sign him before this season starts.

Is there a risk? Absolutely. He could have a down year or sustain a career-threatening injury. But there’s a risk in every decision an NFL GM makes. That’s why their salaries are where they are. When there’s a significant call to be made, they’re paid to make significantly more right decisions than wrong ones.
2 – Hi Chris,

I am a former season ticket holder (tunnel endzone) from the glory days of the late 80s and early 90s now living in SC.  Thanks for all you do to keep out of town Bills fans up to date.  I’m intrigued by the Bills corps of receivers.  I have heard about the speed of Graham and Goodwin.  Do you think either has the route running ability to be the next Victor Cruz inside?  I have heard about the route running ability of Woods.  Does he have the potential to be a Wes Welker inside bracketed between Stevie, Graham, and Chandler?  Da’ Rick is also interesting.  Where do you see him in this mix?

As far as team analysis I see our biggest areas of need as the O Line (need a tackle and two guards), an outside linebacker that can rush and compliment Mario, and a second corner to pair with Gilmore as I feel McKelvin is too small and better suited to slot defender. Your thoughts?

Thanks,
John in SC

CB: Woods is a polished route runner, but he’s not a Wes Welker. Welker’s quickness in and out of cuts is rare. Woods is a sharp route runner, but he wins more on hesitation, change of speed and shoulder fakes than pure quickness. Stevie Johnson is the primary slot receiver. Woods would be the number two.

To say one would have similar production to Victor Cruz has more to do with the quarterback throwing him the ball than their own exploits.

Da’Rick Rogers is strictly an outside receiver. Big and physical with soft hands, he needs more discipline with his route running, but when he gets it he could explode.

McKelvin right now is the best option to line up opposite Stephon Gilmore when healthy. At 5’10” 185 his size is adequate and his arms are long, which helps in coverage. Ron Brooks, Justin Rogers and Nickell Robey are considerably smaller in stature and better suited inside. McKelvin is probably best as a boundary corner.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

What is up with Mario? How come he doesn’t interview after practice? Did they ever say what it was with his foot?
Thanks
jvsafy

CB: He does usually once a week during the regular season and occasionally during training camp. Last night he did not stop for an interview because he had to get treatment with the athletic trainers. Head coach Doug Marrone did not say it was his foot that needed treatment. During camp there is typically an assortment of bumps and bruises that players experience that needs attention, especially linemen who endure more physical contact than other players.

I’m not trying to be a Mario apologist here, but even if it was his foot that necessitated the treatment I’d at least take comfort in the fact that he’s trying to take care of what’s nagging at him.
4 – Chris,

I appreciate the work you do on the Bills site, nice job.

A few points – when it comes to Byrd I think the Bills want to let this season play out and let some of their young safeties get some game reps (I.e. Searcy, A Williams, D Williams, Meeks) and see where they stand at the end of the year. While I think Byrd is a very good all-around player, the one thing I think he lacks, is that he is not a particularly big hitter, and I think that can change a defense when their safeties will hit.

The O line position that I think is more important than left guard is right tackle. Who do you think the right tackle will be, and how good of play do you think the Bills will get from that position?

We hear so much about the Bills up tempo offense but to me, that is not really an offense. Conceptually, in terms of routes, blocking schemes and personnel groupings, what do you think the Bills offense will look like?

Do you think the Bills need a legitimate big back? Certainly, CJ is a supreme talent, but to me, he is a space player, and to me 20 touches a game would be ideal. To me, Fred is a good all-around player, a good pass protector, a good screen game back, and a runner who makes his yards on a combination of vision, balance and using his blocks. But I think the Bills would benefit from a legitimate big running back. I think such a player could help on the goal line, third and short, and be a good complement to CJ and Fred. What do you think?

Chris

CB: Okay a lot to cover here. First, I disagree with your assessment that Jairus Byrd is not a hitter. He absolutely is a hitter. Evidence of that comes from the fact that since the 2009 season, no other safety in the league has more forced fumbles than him. He’s got 10. That being said the bigger hitters of the current contingent are Da’Norris Searcy and Duke Williams.

Right now I think the right tackle will be Erik Pears, who finally appears recovered from groin and hip problems the past two seasons. He’s moving as well as I’ve seen him and he’s as tough as they come. Chris Hairston, who is still on PUP, may very well miss all of training camp as he has not been moved onto the active roster yet.

Couple that with the fact that Sam Young and Thomas Welch have been unable to unseat him and it looks like Pears’ job to lose.

Concerning the Bills offense yes it will be up tempo, but it is a unique system that no one else is running. So I’ll give you the details that won’t give up the brilliance behind it. The easy identification is that it’s fast, but it’s also multiple personnel, slightly more run than pass (probably 52% to 48%) with stretch the field components. It has West Coast system roots with a physical edge to it.

It won’t be complicated, just fast and multiple in terms of looks.

If Fred Jackson is not the kind of goal line back you want because you don’t think he’s big enough Kendall Gaskins is the only back in camp (who isn’t a fullback) that is bigger. He’s 6’1” 238 and he can lay the lumber. He’s had a nice camp, but whether he can unseat Tashard Choice remains to be seen.

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

how’s Carrington doing? Was projected as breakout player but haven’t heard much about him?

TerryBdattd

CB: If you haven’t heard or seen much you might be living under a rock. He’s been a routine component of our highlight reels on Bills Roundup every evening we cover the day that was in training camp. I’ll let defensive coordinator Mike Pettine give you the assessment of the kind of camp he’s had (high praise).

“He’s a guy that we have a saying where we talk about playing like Bill, tough, competitive, productive, relentless, all the traits that we’re looking for in our guys,” said Pettine. “You go right down the list and he’s every one of them. He’s a guy that loves football, wants to get better, wants to get coached hard, asks the tough questions and it just shows up in his play.

“He’s probably our most technically sound guy up front. We emphasize to our guys that we want to get knock back on the offensive line and he’s probably our most consistent guy doing that, but the position he’s in I don’t think he’s going to show up on the stat sheet as much from a scheme standpoint. But to me he’s going to be one of the more important pieces of our defense.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills have contingencies at safety

Posted by Chris Brown on July 9, 2013 – 10:09 am

While the Jairus Byrd franchise tender remains unsigned by the Pro Bowl safety, Buffalo hasn’t sat idly by hoping the situation get resolved sooner rather than later. Buffalo drafted a pair of safeties and transitioned Aaron Williams from corner to safety early in the spring practices.

Williams showed promise as he was one of the two leading interceptors in the spring workouts in Buffalo’s secondary. His confidence appeared to grow, as well as the confidence the defensive staff has in him.

“I think he’s ahead of schedule of where we thought he would be,” said Mike Pettine of Williams. “He’s flashed just the things that we saw in him as far as being a safety. He’s had some interceptions and obviously his range his ability to get sideline to sideline is obviously something we’re going to take advantage of.”

Buffalo also drafted a pair of safeties in the middle rounds in Duke Williams and Jonathan Meeks. Though it appears that Williams will see some time at cornerback too. Da’Norris Searcy, Dominique Ellis and Mana Silva are other options that have seen time with the top two defensive lineups in the spring.

None of them have Byrd’s experience and none of them are proven commodities at that position in the NFL. It’ll certainly be a position that bears watching in training camp whether Byrd signs and reports or not.


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WR Martin back

Posted by Chris Brown on December 28, 2012 – 11:34 am

Bills WR Ruvell Martin was excused for personal reasons this week and missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but is back practicing here on Friday.

The only non-participant in practice is S Da’Norris Searcy, who has already been declared out for Sunday’s game against the Jets.


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Searcy, Martin not practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on December 27, 2012 – 2:16 pm

Only a pair of non-participants at Bills practice today.

Da’Norris Searcy and Ruvell Martin are not practicing. We’ll have a post practice update.


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Searcy to miss finale

Posted by Chris Brown on December 24, 2012 – 1:14 pm

Bills S Da’Norris Searcy will miss the season finale against the Jets due to injury.

Searcy suffered a groin injury against the Dolphins Sunday and won’t be ready to play this week according to head coach Chan Gailey.


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Kyle, Searcy limited

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2012 – 4:07 pm

DT Kyle Williams and S Da’Norris Searcy both returned to practice Thursday, but did not do everything.

“Searcy was back and he was limited, but looked good,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “Kyle was the same thing, limited as well.”

Williams returned to practice a day earlier than he did the previous week and is expected to be fine to play on Sunday against the Titans. Williams and Searcy are both dealing with ankle injuries.


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Searcy back, Urbik sits

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2012 – 2:10 pm

Da’Norris Searcy is back practicing after sitting out Wednesday’s practice, but Kraig Urbik may have taken a step back.

After practicing Wednesday on a limited basis Urbik is not doing anything here on Thursday.

We’ll get an update on his status after practice.


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Searcy to rotate with Wilson

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2012 – 10:50 am

It happened in Week 1 and it will continue in Week 2. Defensive co-captain George Wilson will rotate at strong safety with second-year player Da’Norris Searcy.

That according to head coach Chan Gailey, who confirmed to Buffalobills.com, that Searcy has earned playing time on defense.

“We’re just trying to let both of them play,” said Gailey. “Da’Norris has earned the right to play some with his play. So we’re trying to keep them both fresh and let them play.”

The rotation is just one of many for the Bills. Justin Rogers is expected to rotate at the nickel with Leodis McKelvin, Terrence McGee is expected to rotate at left cornerback with Aaron Williams and Erik Pears is expected to rotate at right tackle with Chris Hairston.


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Fan Friday 8-10

Posted by Chris Brown on August 10, 2012 – 11:30 am

Well preseason game number one is in the books. Just another four days of camp and the team returns to One Bills Drive. Let’s get to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and @ChrisBrownBills on twitter.

1 – Chris,
I was wondering what kind if influence an improved defense would have on the offensive play calling?  If (IF) this bill’s defense can live up to its billing, will Fitzpatrick need to throw as much?

CB: I asked both Chan Gailey and Ryan Fitzpatrick this very question a while back. Both indicated that when you’re playing with a lead more often there’s less of a need to take risks. Here’s exactly what they had to say about your question.

“You have a football team,” said Gailey. “You don’t have an offense, a defense and special teams. You have a football team and the objective is to win the game. So you’re always adjusting to what the situation in the game is and if we’re in closer ball games and we have leads you do change your thought process and the way you approach the game. And it allows Fitz to alter the way he approaches the game a little bit. We’ve got to continue to work that because we’ve not been in that situation in the last couple of years.”

I think it allows you to limit the risks you take,” said Fitzpatrick. “I think if you’re in games all the time and not falling behind whether it’s from a poor performance early from the offense or whatever it is, you certainly have to be a smarter and more reserved quarterback. With our offense there are going to be times where we take chances because that’s what makes us good as well. But there’s a balance we have to find there in terms of when we’re taking those chances and when to take the checkdown.”

 

2 – Hey Chris,

Thanks for your daily articles and updates.  I had a question about offensive tackle based on your latest article.  A lot of scouts seem to believe that both Glenn and Hairston could be great RT’s.  So why is there only competition at LT?  I think Pears played well last year at RT and I’m glad we have him, but I think he still has plenty to prove.  It’s not like he’s an All-Pro, but it seems like he’s just being handed the RT job without having to compete for it.  Why shouldn’t the loser of the LT competition be considered for the starting spot on the right side?  Isn’t it possible that Glenn and Hairston could be the two best OT’s on the team?

 Thanks,
Ed
Denver, CO

CB: It’s my opinion that Erik Pears had a very good season last year from start to finish. He was a much stronger player after spending an offseason in Buffalo’s conditioning program and put on 20 pounds. His play was rewarded with a three-year contract extension.

Right now he’s working back from a groin strain in camp, so Hairston has been forced to line up on the right side. I think part of the reason RT has been Pears job and his job only (before injury) is because he played very consistently last season and is a veteran presence on what is a pretty young line.

I’m not saying at some point the player that finishes second in the LT competition can’t be the team’s starting right tackle, but I think there’s value in continuity as well and keeping Pears at RT knowing he can do the job is viewed as the best idea by the staff moving forward (provided he’s healthy).

 

3 – Hey Chris,

My question is who are going to be the backups in the secondary? Where do you see Bryan Scott? Do you see much from Searcy? There was a lot of talk about him when the Bills drafted him but hadn’t heard much.

Respectfully,

bigfoot21 here is sunny South Carolina.

 

CB: Bryan Scott is a linebacker in the nickel packages and that’s really the extent of his role. Da’Norris Searcy as we’ve mentioned several times in our daily Practice Notes reports has been getting time with the starting unit rotating in for both George Wilson and Jairus Byrd. I think the staff wants to try to find a role for him presumably in a subpackage (nickel, dime).

I think sooner rather than later Searcy will be making an impact on Buffalo’s defense. He’s been impressive in the time he’s been with the ones on the practice field. We’ll see what he can do in the preseason.

 

4 – Hi Chris, thanks for all the information through the years. Living in San Diego, my son and I only see the Bills in enemy territory. I am trying to take him back to Buffalo to show him how a real football crowd is.

My question is does Shawn Powell or John Potter have any realistic chance making this team? Though I like the veterans, these young players look pretty good and it might be time for a change. Again thanks, Art
CB: I think Potter could make the roster as a kickoff specialist and kicker on long field goal attempts 55-yards plus. Chan Gailey has made no secret of his feelings about what kind of a weapon he believes Potter can be if he can prove that he can deliver touchbacks with regularity. He basically told me that if Potter can guarantee the opponent is starting in their own 20-yard line every time then it’s worth using a roster spot.

As for Powell I think he’s got an uphill battle. He has raw talent, but he’s not as consistent or polished as Moorman. In a year where the Bills are gunning for the playoffs you keep the guy you can count on punt in and punt out.

 

5 – Hi Chris, thank you for taking my question.

Is Vince Young getting the same attention from Coach Lee on his mechanics and decision making as Fitz is? And if so is he seeing any improvement in his game?

I appreciate your insight. Thanks!

– Chris Kenyon (Albany, NY)

CB: Vince Young is being schooled on the same lower body mechanics as Fitz. The same with Thigpen. A quarterbacks coach works with all of his players and David Lee is no different. Young has performed better over the past week of camp with his accuracy. Young’s arm delivery isn’t prototype, but because he’s so tall it’s a throwing motion that can work in the NFL.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bell, Searcy earn praise

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2012 – 8:46 am

The stat crunchers and film reviewers at Pro Football Focus took a closer look at who was “trending” up this season in the AFC East this past season and Buffalo has two players singled out for some praise.

In their AFC East write up in the category of most improved was OT Demetrius Bell. Granted he missed eight games with a broken collarbone, but by their evaluation standards he improved most from 2010 (when he was essentially playing on one leg) to 2011. Here’s what they wrote.

Demetrius Bell: From (2010) -13.0 to +6.8
When Bell first started for the Bills in 2009 he looked out of his depth. He wasn’t quite so bad in 2010, but he looked far from competent at the left tackle spot. He did just doing enough to make you think that he warranted another try if nothing else. Still, his performance in his 401 snaps this year was something of a surprise, with Bell giving up just a sack, hit, and pressure on his 252 pass blocks. It would have been nice to see more of him, but what we did see suggests the Bills may have been right to show patience.

In the category of deserving of more snaps was former fourth-round pick Da’Norris Searcy. Here’s what they wrote.

Da’Norris Searcy: +2.7 on 231 snaps
It may be tough for Searcy to find more playing time with the combo of Jairus Byrd and George Wilson having been such a good one this season. The Bills’ fourth-round pick in 2011 showed he had something, most notably with a standout display against Miami in Week 11. A flash in the pan, or something more, only more playing time will tell.

George Wilson is an unquestioned leader on defense, played very well in 2011 and was the quarterback of the secondary, but Searcy will provide a strong push for playing time. It will likely be one of the more intriguing training camp position battles this summer.

 


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Searcy chops dreds

Posted by Chris Brown on February 6, 2012 – 2:33 pm

Knowing football players can be tough to recognize with all the time they spend in helmets, it might not be a big deal, but Bills safety Da’Norris Searcy has changed his look (haircut).

Searcy chopped off all of his dreadlocks that he had during the 2011 season. Here’s his twitter avatar as proof.

 

 

One note, the last Bills players to completely shed their dreadlocks was Stevie Johnson and Donald Jones and that turned out pretty well. We’ll hope for similar results for Searcy.


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Testing young DBs

Posted by Chris Brown on December 1, 2011 – 4:06 pm

The three rookies in the secondary that have seen a lot of playing time the past two games will be playing their first home game in the secondary together. Knowing that communication has been an issue between all of them Buffalo’s defensive staff is preparing them for the crowd noise Bills fans will be providing to disrupt the Titans offense.

Chan Gailey has had crowd noise blaring onto the practice field this week so the young players are forced to communicate either by shouting or hand signals to communicate pre-snap checks.

“We got it done,” said Gailey. “We got a good solid day in today with that and a lot of communication.”

Veteran George Wilson, who has been out of the lineup said film review of the Jets game showed more than 20 mental errors by the team with the secondary responsible for their share. That’s why Gailey was honest in his assessment of the communication on the back end the past couple of weeks.

“Average,” he said. “They’re not there yet. It’s hurt us big a few times the lack of communication. So that’s an area for improvement.”

Aaron Williams, Justin Rogers and Da’Norris Searcy are all likely to be on the field a great deal again this week vs. Tennessee.


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Pears, Kelsay go, Wilson on side

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2011 – 4:13 pm

Right tackle Erik Pears and LB Chris Kelsay were listed as limited in practice Thursday, but did most of the work in practice. George Wilson however, remains a big question mark.

“Pears was back and did okay,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “I hope he’ll keep coming. We have to list him as limited, but he did a lot.”

As for Wilson’s status Gailey says his strong safety’s chances for Sunday are still very much up in the air.

“He’s still questionable for the game,” he said. “I hope he can get out here tomorrow and do some things.”

If Wilson cannot go on Sunday he’ll be replaced by rookie Da’Norris Searcy.


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Searcy questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2011 – 12:20 pm

Bills rookie S Da’Norris Searcy was not looking good for Sunday’s game after missing practice Wednesday and Thursday this week, but his participation in practice Friday is giving him a legit chance to be available.

“Yeah I was shocked to be honest with you,” said head coach Chan Gailey after seeing Searcy practice. “We’re going to list him as questionable. We’ll see. He ran around a lot better out there than I thought he was going to.”

Searcy has been a fixture on Buffalo’s special teams units.


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Searcy not looking good for Sun.

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2011 – 7:15 am

Bills rookie safety Da’Norris Searcy is not looking good for Sunday’s game.

Searcy, who plays on more than one special teams unit, has not practiced at all this week due to an ankle injury sustained in last week’s game against Philadelphia.

“Da’Norris is going to have a hard time making it this week,” said head coach Chan Gailey.

Searcy has appeared in each of the first five games for the Bills this season.


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Finaly Searcy INT was reviewed

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2011 – 4:47 pm

Long after Bills fans headed to the parking lots to celebrate a 38-35 victory, the referees were told to return to the field to take a second look at Da’Norris Searcy’s interception on a Hail Mary pass by the Raiders to the end zone as time expired.

“It was ruled an interception,” said head referee Mike Carey. “We came into the locker room after delaying to see if it was going to be reviewed. I got a beep in the locker room, a buzz in the locker room, that said review. Went back out, put the headset on. They weren’t set up. But it was an erroneous transmission, and they had already confirmed the ruling on the field.”

Carey also clarified what it takes to determine simultaneous possession on a pass like the Hail Mary at the end of Sunday’s game in terms of what a receiver needs to do.

“He needs to maintain possession when he goes to the ground,” said Carey. “If he doesn’t maintain possession then it’s either incomplete or an interception.”

Searcy was the first player to catch the ball and had it himself.

“I had the best view of the ball over everybody, so once the ball started coming down I got adjusted and went up over everybody and I was the first guy to touch the ball, and when I started coming down guys started trying to pull at it and that’s when I tucked it away.”


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Wilson 1st guy thru at SS

Posted by Chris Brown on July 30, 2011 – 11:17 am

At the outset George Wilson is the starter at strong safety, but there is healthy competition behind him.

Veteran Bryan Scott was the strong safety with the second unit, followed by rookie fourth-round pick Da’Norris Searcy. This is one of the few positions in camp that could see a lot of shuffling back and forth before we get to Sept. 11th.


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