Inside The Bills

Nelson update

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2012 – 4:32 pm

Head coach Chan Gailey provided an update on David Nelson who left practice early.

“It’s a bruise,” said Gailey. “The doctors don’t think it’s any kind of ligaments or anything like that. So we’ll know more probably tomorrow.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

Nelson leaves practice

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2012 – 3:24 pm

David Nelson who sustained a right leg injury has left the practice field.

Nelson did leave under his own power but was favoring his right knee and moving very slowly. He was ot happy after talking with doctors

Updates after practice.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Nelson with trainers

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2012 – 3:21 pm

David Nelson got nicked on a pass play in 11-on-11 and has come to the sideline.

He’s been looked over by team doctors for the past five minutes. He’s back on his feet trying to test his right leg.

We’ll have further updates when available.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Chan on why Jones in slot so much

Posted by Chris Brown on July 13, 2012 – 10:13 am

During the spring practices for the Bills wide receiver Donald Jones, who won the number two receiver role last season on the outside, saw an awful lot of time in the slot in OTAs and minicamp. asked head coach Chan Gailey why.

“I think we have a good feel for what Donald is outside,” said Gailey. “I think we’re trying to make sure what he can do inside and go from there. It’s about his comfort zone. We’ll see where it all plays out in camp because he’ll have enough outside snaps too.”

Jones looked comfortable in the slot in spring practices and adds a valuable blocking dimension to that position when lined up there. Still, he is likely to see more time outside in training camp as he is one of the prime candidates for the outside receiver role opposite Stevie Johnson as the team tries to determine ‘Who will be the No. 2 receiver?‘. 

Then again knowing how frequently the Bills employ three and four wide sets, it’s possible he could kick inside opposite David Nelson with another wideout coming on to fill the outside spot when they do go with four receivers and one back, their most popular formation in 2011.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Isn’t Nelson a #2 WR?

Posted by Chris Brown on July 13, 2012 – 8:25 am

An interesting point in the debate we profile in our Top 25 questions until training camp series on today (Friday), ‘Who will be the No. 2 receiver?’ is the follow up question of ‘Isn’t that David Nelson?’

After Stevie Johnson, Nelson is probably the most proven receiver after his 61-catch campaign in 2011 that included a game-winning touchdown catch against Oakland in Week 2. But knowing that Nelson is locked in as the team’s primary slot receiver he’s not seen as a number two on the outside or a candidate for that role per se. His rapport with Fitz working out of the slot is valuable.

“David Nelson had a really, really strong offseason and he’s been great in OTAs,” said Fitzpatrick. “He’s really worked on some stuff he’s needed to work at. He’s got great hands and is such a reliable guy.”

Knowing how much the Bills employ three and four wide sets Nelson could very well be the receiver with the second most receptions for the Bills in 2012.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

David Nelson appearance

Posted by Chris Brown on May 18, 2012 – 8:43 am

Bills WR David Nelson is going to be in Rochester this evening (Friday).

Nelson will be making an appearance at the Lilac Festival in Rochester, tonight for country band Steel Magnolia’s concert. He will join WBEE for a live broadcast from the Festival with Billy Kidd. He’s expected to be on hand from 5:30-8:30 pm.

The slot receiver also is scheduled to appear on the John DiTullio Show on 1280 WHTK Rochester @ 4:30 PM.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Player radio appearances

Posted by Chris Brown on May 16, 2012 – 6:02 am

Here’s a rundown of where you can find Bills players today on the local radio airwaves and TV.

Arthur Moats – CW23/WIVB-TV; Winging it Buffalo Style at 8:00 am serving as a celebrity host for the day.

Vince Young – WGR 550; Howard Simon Show at 9:00 am

David Nelson – WGR 550; Schopp and Bulldog at 4:00 pm

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills players help in VY workout

Posted by Chris Brown on May 2, 2012 – 10:27 am

During Wednesday morning’s Vince Young workout at One Bills Drive a handful of players on Buffalo’s roster ran routes for the free agent quarterback.

Wide receivers David Nelson, Donald Jones, Naaman Roosevelt and Marcus Easley all participated and caught passes from Young.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Parrish signs with Chargers

Posted by Chris Brown on April 4, 2012 – 4:44 am

Bills free agent Roscoe Parrish has landed in the AFC West.

Multiple reports say Parrish signed a one-year deal with the San Diego Chargers last night (April 3rd). Parrish also acknowledged Charger fans that welcomed him on twitter.

roscoe parrish RT salute…. @TheACap: The chargers made a great signing with @scoe11 #endofspecialteamnightmares

There was strong indication that Parrish was not going to be re-signed by the Bills this offseason following a pair of injury-plagued seasons.

Parrish can be an electrifying player, but missed half of the 2010 season with a broken wrist, and an ankle injury in Week 2 last season forced him to miss the last 14 games in 2011.

The emergence of David Nelson as a productive slot receiver for the Bills also helped make Parrish expendable.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Big play Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 15, 2012 – 11:21 am

With the new statistical measure ‘toxic differential’ gaining popularity in determining an NFL team’s success, we thought we’d take a closer look as to just what players were providing the big plays for the Bills this past season.

There are some obvious candidates, but here are the players that turned in all of the 20-plus yard plays in the run and pass game for Buffalo in 2011.

Players with plays of 20 yards or more in 2011
1 . Fred Jackson (18)
2. Stevie Johnson (13)
3. David Nelson (7)
4. Naaman Roosevelt (7)
5. C.J. Spiller (6)
6. Scott Chandler (4)
7. Brad Smith (3)
8. Donald Jones (2)
9. Derek Hagan (2)
10. Kevin Brock (1)
11. Ruvell Martin (1)

It’s not surprising that Jackson had the most 20-plus yard plays on the season. Even though he only appeared in 11 games in 2011 he still seemed to have at least one big play every time out. Perhaps the most impressive though is Naaman Roosevelt, who probably had significantly fewer snaps than Scott Chandler, David Nelson and C.J. Spiller. Yet Roosevelt was tied for third most plays of 20+ yards.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Nelson’s Wk 2 next in Top 10

Posted by Chris Brown on February 14, 2012 – 10:03 am

David Nelson’s big time performance in the Week 2 comeback win over the Raiders is next in our Top 10 Performances of 2011 series. We were fortunate to have the Bills head coach break down this one for us.

So for some interesting insight straight from the film room with Chan Gailey check out some of the better plays in Nelson’s 10-catch performance including the game-winning touchdown.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fitz played with cracked ribs

Posted by Chris Brown on February 4, 2012 – 5:10 pm

There were a lot of theories as to what exactly was the reason for the slip in Ryan Fitzpatrick’s play for the Bills last season. It began in the second half of the season after their shutout win over Washington in Week 8. WR David Nelson provided a previously unknown reason why Fitz battled accuracy issues in the second half of the season, which were a contributing factor to a seven-game slide out of playoff contention.

Nelson said Friday at the Super Bowl site in Indianapolis that Fitzpatrick sustained cracked ribs in the Washington game after taking a vicious, but legal hit, from London Fletcher.

“A lot of people don’t know, but Fitz, during the Washington game, actually cracked a couple of ribs,” said Nelson. “So after that he was playing hurt.”

Fitzpatrick finished the game and did not miss another start the rest of the season, but the Bills won just one of their last 10 games.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Nelson: Buffalo needs Super Bowls

Posted by Chris Brown on February 3, 2012 – 12:49 pm

Bills WR David Nelson said he and his teammates talk all the time about being the group to not only get the club back to the Super Bowl, but win one for the first time.

Appearing on the Michael Irvin show on WQAM radio in Miami, Nelson addressed the frequent conversations they have about winning the big game for the Buffalo franchise.

“That’s something we talk about every day,” said Nelson. “When we work out together or go out and throw the football around it’s something that we want to do. We know the group in the 90’s was a great group of players. To get to the Super Bowl four straight times is not an easy thing to do. They did an amazing thing, but we want to be the guys that take it the next step. We want to be the guys that got this franchise the first one. The first one is always the hardest and we work for that every day.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-23

Posted by Chris Brown on December 23, 2011 – 12:30 pm

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you Bills fans. Though what we’ve seen on the field of late has been disappointing hopefully you have family and good health to be thankful for. Let’s get to your questions from

1 – Chris,

Happy Holidays and a great 2012 to you and yours!

I have concerns about the receiving corp next year. A playmaker opposite Stevie has got to emerge. Have the coaches seen enough to make them think Brad Smith could be that guy, or do you think we need to invest a 2nd or 3rd round pick on a potential no. 2 WR?

Also, you’ve stated that Gailey places a high value on Roscoe Parrish’s abilities, and that you expect Roscoe to stick. I, however, believe that David Nelson has truly earned the slot receiver spot. I’d hate to see David lose playing time, he will only get better. Will the coaches simply hand over the slot receiver role to a healthy Roscoe?

Thanks so much,
Kenny in Indiana 

CB: First, I believe that receiver considerations in the draft will be predicated on what happens, or doesn’t happen, with Stevie Johnson and a new contract. If he’s re-signed then they’re not using a pick that high on a receiver. I’m not sure Brad Smith is considered to be that guy though he has had some nice performances.

I think this organization still has faith in Marcus Easley as a future #2, but I’d be willing to bet they invest in some insurance be it the draft or with a second-tier free agent, again assuming Stevie is back with a new deal. 

As for the Parrish and Nelson debate I believe they’re mutually exclusive. The Bills most popular formation on offense is the 4-by-1 set. When everyone was healthy it was Nelson and Parrish as the two inside receivers. I think that’s an ideal pairing as Chan and the offensive staff see it. Their skill sets are dramatically different, but both are very effective. Having them both on the field makes the other one more dangerous.

So I see it not as a competition, but a combination that can be lethal.


2 – Hey Chris,

Why is it that coach Gailey is still calling plays for the offense? He stated in his press conference just after he was hired that he would take care of it for a while and then hire someone to call plays. Please remind him of his own comments so I can start watching the Bills again. 

Thank you. 
Lou Carey
CB: With all due respect Lou, I think you’re misconstruing what coach Gailey said at that press conference. In addressing his play calling duties at the press conference in which he was hired, Gailey said he would “eventually” hand those duties off to a coordinator (not a new hire by the way) and that would presumably be Curtis Modkins. However, in speaking to him about that very issue at the beginning of this season I got the sense from coach Gailey that he wants to turn the team into a playoff team first before discussing any personal duties he might be willing to relinquish.

Suffice to say that until he has this team in a position where he feels it’s suitable to delegate duties he won’t do it.


3 – Hi Chris,

I’ve seen some articles lately about Kyle Williams, Roscoe Parrish, and Marcus Easley as they work back from injuries. What is the lastest on Shawne Merriman? Is he making progress and can we expect to see him back in a Bills uniform next season? 


CB: I just spoke off the record with Shawne this week. He’s hesitant to discuss his rehab because he doesn’t want to get everyone’s hopes up about his play until he’s actually producing on the field. He felt bad about how everything went down this season after he showed glimpses of what he can be for this team in the preseason only to have to shut it down midseason with little regular season production to show for his efforts. I respect that approach so we agreed to address his rehab sometime early next calendar year. 

Merriman, who is already jogging on a treadmill, had his Achilles repaired (it never ruptured) shortly after he went on I-R and was given a four-month rehab prognosis similar to that of Kyle Williams. He said that he would be good to go come spring workouts so we hope to catch up with him at that time.

I think a lot of fans have the misconception that Merriman won’t be back next season, but he’s still under contract number one, and number two he should be as healthy as he’s been in three years when he is back. Finally the Bills have no other proven pass rush options on their roster as they head into the offseason and rank last in the league in sacks.

4 – Chris,

It is VERY clear that we need a better pass rush.  Do you feel OBD believes that Shawne Merriman can return to form or because a healthy Merriman would make our D much better at every level.  If not our #1 pick has to be an OLB in my opinion.


CB: I think the Bills believe that Merriman has a good chance to return to form, but with Buffalo having the ability to address that position more heavily in this upcoming draft I expect them to fortify the position with youth as well. Merriman’s absence in the second half of the season showed just how much they are lacking at the OLB position in terms of a player that can provide a consistent pass rush. So I think they address that position with talent in the draft and perhaps a second tier free agent with a history of proven success.


5 – Chris,

Great job as always with you covering the Bills!
My question is: Will the Bills ever use Blue pants with their away jerseys? 

Thank You, 
Francis Novoa
Indian Rocks Beach, FL

CB: Thanks first for the kind words. With respect to Buffalo’s uniform I have heard nothing to indicate that the mythical blue pants that have seemingly enraptured the Bills faithful concerning the team’s uniform will come into existence for the 2012 season.

I realize there were prototypes out there in cyberspace and it wouldn’t shock me if they existed in the initial concepts of uniform design. But to my knowledge at this point we’re looking at white pants only moving forward. If for some reason that changes I’ll be sure to pass it along.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-16

Posted by Chris Brown on December 16, 2011 – 2:34 pm

Three games left for the Bills, but Fan Friday is here for you each and every week. Let’s get to your questions from

1 – Chris,
Can you confirm that it would cost the Bills $9.4M to franchise Stevie Johnson for next year?

Jason K.

CB: Your number is in the range projected for 2012. In 2011 the franchise tag for a wide receiver was $11.3 million, but that number is going to come down considerably in 2012. That’s because under the new CBA the franchise tag figure will no longer be the average of the top five salaries at the position. Instead it will be the average of the highest-paid player at the position in each of the last five years.

So the number won’t be reached with just salary figures from 2011, but from 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. That’s going to drive the figure down. Estimates are pegging the wide receiver figure to be between $9.4 and $9.8 million depending on whether the salary cap stays flat at $120M or goes up to $125M.

I’m not convinced that the Bills will make use of the franchise tag, especially in light of reports that Johnson is looking for less than the projected franchise figure per season. Signing him up long term would likely prove to be the better option.


2 – Chris,
What day does free agency start in 2012? I heard that it’s starting later this year. Thanks for your help!

Brandon Pease

CB: Free agency will start later than the typical March 1st date in 2012. The market will not open until March 13th and it will open at 4 pm, not midnight.


3 – Hi Chris,

I know we signed Fitz to a long term deal, but as disgruntled Bills fan I think we should trade all our draft picks this year for Luck & next year’s # 1 if we have to. They’re saying Luck is better than Elway & Manning so I can see trading all those picks. If we can’t get Luck, how about moving up to get Barkley? We need a franchise QB & Fitz is not the answer. At best he is probably a 8-8 QB. I like Fitz, but he is not going to take this team to the next level. Also why don’t we go back to playing the 4-3 defense permanently. Warren Sapp & Jamie Dukes said that in the beginning of the season. Forget the 3-4 it does not work. Williams & Dareus in the middle who is going to run on us. thank you!!


CB: First of all to say he’s better than Manning or Elway is not something I’ve heard anyone say. All I’ve heard is he’s the best QB prospect since Manning in ’98. Trading your entire draft for one player is foolhardy. I respect the need for a team to have a franchise quarterback in this league now more than ever, but the holes that still exist on this team are too numerous to toss away an entire draft’s worth of choices for one player.

I think there might be more merit to your 4-3 defense request. My only concern there is where do you put Nick Barnett? Shep is the bigger and stouter run defender so he would presumably be your MLB. Barnett could probably play WLB because he runs well, but having never seen him in that role I’m not sure about it.


4 – Hey Chris,
With the way things are going and their remaining schedule, a 5-11 finish seems very possible. It’s still a little premature for that, but hypothetically if that were to happen, that would get Buffalo a very nice draft pick, so do you think they should take a quarterback like Matt Barkley or Landry Jones, if one is still available when they pick?

At the very least, it would give Fitzpatrick competition for his job, so if he doesn’t perform, he’s not going to start. If Fitz can prove himself and bring back the magic next year, then you could always trade a guy like Barkley or Jones for a very nice return. If Fitz doesn’t work out, then you’ve got a very promising young quarterback to take over. With Fitz’s contract, it would suck having him as a backup, but at the same time, you can’t start him if he’s not performing just because of his contract.


CB: I think Barkley won’t be there assuming the Bills pick around 7 or 8. Landry Jones would be there, but I’m not sure he’s deserving of that value (top 10). Knowing Buffalo is committed to Fitz I think it makes getting a top flight pass rusher trump everything if the right one is there when the Bills are on the clock.

That’s not to say your QB idea doesn’t have merit. If the right signal caller is there when the Bills pick Buddy Nix said last year that you have to take him no matter what. So it shouldn’t be completely dismissed.


5 – Chris,

Happy Holidays and a great 2012 to you and yours!

I have concerns about the receiving corps next year. A playmaker opposite Stevie has got to emerge. Have the coaches seen enough to make them think Brad Smith could be that guy, or do you think we need to invest a 2nd or 3rd round pick on a potential no. 2 WR?

Also, you’ve stated that Gailey places a high value on Roscoe Parrish’s abilities, and that you expect Roscoe to stick. I, however, believe that David Nelson has truly earned the slot receiver spot. I’d hate to see David lose playing time, he will only get better. Will the coaches simply hand over the slot receiver role to a healthy Roscoe?

Thanks so much,
Kenny in Indiana

CB: I still think Roscoe can be a valuable contributor to the offense, but I don’t believe it has to be at the expense of David Nelson. This team’s most popular formation when everyone was healthy was a 4 WR, 1 back set. So Parrish and Nelson can be on the field at the same time. Minus Roscoe and Easley there was a lack of top end speed at the position on the field. Speed isn’t everything at receiver, but it helps.

As for putting a draft priority on receiver I would expect them to consider a speed wideout in the middle rounds knowing Easley’s delicate injury history. Merry Christmas to you and yours as well.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills want swagger back

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2011 – 10:13 am

The Bills are desperate to end their five game losing streak. When the streak began they insisted they just had to get back to playing loose. They believe that’s their personality on the field that allows them to play their best. The problem is with each passing loss they all played tighter and tighter. With the postseason a bleak picture right now players are still hoping to get the swagger back.

“That comes with winning and having swagger comes with winning and making plays, and like I said making plays at crucial points in the game,” said David Nelson. “You can’t walk around acting like you’re the big dog on campus if you’re not going to win the games. So, for us we need to get out there, have some fun, get back to what we were doing at the beginning of the season which was having fun and that’ll come with it.

“I think this football team plays best when we’re loose, when we’re just playing against the odds and having fun, and when nobody believes in us. We just come out and play our best. So, I think hopefully we can do that these last four games of the season.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

Nelson says he’ll practice Thurs.

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2011 – 3:51 pm

David Nelson was one of three receivers not practicing Wednesday along with Stevie Johnson and Naaman Roosevelt. The good news is Nelson said he’ll be back on the practice field full go on Thursday.

“I’ll be back full go tomorrow,” said Nelson. “So I’ll be good to go. After the performance last week I’m very eager to get back on the field and get to work.”

Nelson was dealing with the stomach flu last week and had trouble keeping food down. He also took a big shot on the interception return for a touchdown on a pass that went off his hands. Nelson expanded on all that he was dealing with last week while still trying to play.

“It was a combination of things,” he said. “It was a rough week last week. I rolled my ankle a bit in the Dallas game. I had the stomach flu last Thursday. I didn’t eat for two or three days. I tried to come out and didn’t feel good before the game, then I got hit and it flared some things back up and I just couldn’t get right. The staff didn’t feel it was in my best interest to come back out in the second half and that was that. But I’ve got some food in the last couple of days and I’m back to feeling good again and being the player and person I was so it’s time to get back and make some plays.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Spence, Nelson back

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2011 – 11:07 am

Two players that haven’t practiced all week are back on the practice field today (Friday).

David Nelson, who missed practice Thursday due to illness is practicing.

Spencer Johnson is back practicing as Chan Gailey indicated he would after missing Wednesday and Thursday with a calf injury.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Nelson now sick

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2011 – 4:05 pm

Bills WR David Nelson sat out Wednesday’s practice with an ankle injury, but now he’s come down with an illness.

“David would’ve practiced today,” said head coach Chan Gailey after Thursday’s practice. “But he got sick so he couldn’t practice.”

No word on whether Nelson has come down with the same illness that set Stevie Johnson back for last week’s game.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Pears, Nelson not at practice

Posted by Chris Brown on November 16, 2011 – 2:17 pm

It was expected that Stevie Johnson and George Wilson would not practice coming off injuries in last week’s game, but there were a few other surprises at Wednesday’s practice.

Erik Pears, David Nelson and Spencer Johnson are also not practicing. Here’s the full list of non-participants.

Rian Lindell
Stevie Johnson
George Wilson
Erik Pears
David Nelson
Spencer Johnson

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Posted in Inside the Bills