Inside The Bills

Legursky to start at LG

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2014 – 6:32 pm

The revolving door at guard has another participant who get time with the starting unit.

Doug Legursky is going to start at left guard in the absence of Chris Williams, who missed the whole week with a back injury.

Kraig Urbik is also supposed to see time at left guard with Cyril Richardson expected to play right guard with the starters when Urbik is not lined up there.


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Fan Friday 8-8

Posted by Chris Brown on August 8, 2014 – 12:02 pm

Hey Bills fans. My apologies for the brief hiatus that Fan Friday took the past two weeks, but we’re back. So keep firing off your questions on email to AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills

Here’s the latest edition of your questions.

1 - Chris,
Thanks for the piece on Jeff.  I was wondering how he was progressing.
He impressed me at the SJF scrimmage last year.  Seemed to get the ball out quickly and made good decisions.
He reminds of Alex Van Pelt but a better athlete.  He impressed again against KC until the pick 6.  He appears to be the fastest and most elusive QB on his feet.  Finally, the Bills protected him all last year with a roster spot so they saw something they liked.
What if he outplays EJ in the preseason again?

Thanks for the good work.

Dan Malwitz
Orchard Park

CB: Tuel has looked good in training camp, picking up where he left off in the spring minicamp. His first preseason game performance was also encouraging. This past week in practice leading up to tonight’s game Tuel gave way to Thad Lewis for second team offense reps. I expect Lewis to be in the backup quarterback role tonight against the Carolina Panthers.

As good as Tuel has looked this competition is a marathon not a sprint. We’ll need to see how Lewis fares tonight with the second unit. Through the first three weeks of training camp practices, Tuel has been the more consistent performer and the better decision maker. But there are still almost three weeks of camp left so there is a lot of time for things to change.

As for Tuel’s chances of unseating EJ Manuel, it simply won’t happen. This organization has put all their eggs in the Manuel basket to lift the offense to new heights. Tuel, or Lewis for that matter, will only take the field in the regular season if Manuel is injured and cannot play. Priority number one is getting Manuel ready to lead the offense this fall.

 

2 – Dear Chris,

I do believe our receivers are some of the most diverse in the NFL. We have Sammy who is very versatile and I think is worth what we gave up in the future for him. We have Mike Williams who we traded for from the Bucs for a late round pick who can be very reliable in the end zone. We also have the help from Robert Woods in the slot who can be a reliable replacement for Steve Johnson. Then we have Marquise Goodwin who is somebody who can break the top off the roof with his lighting fast speed. To top it off we have Marques Easley who helps big time on special teams. The question I have is how do you think Coach Marrone is going to incorporate all these wide receivers to make a winning group who can help Manuel exceed to be the franchise QB I believe he can be?
Thanks,
Bill

CB: I think your description of diverse is very accurate. I believe it’s what GM Doug Whaley had in mind in changing some of the pieces. He got two boundary receivers in Mike Williams and Sammy Watkins, who have large catch radiuses to pull in passes that may not be right on the money. Watkins and Williams are also experts at winning jump balls. Robert Woods and Chris Hogan are both good separation receivers, who can get yards after the catch. Goodwin and Graham offer deep speed to stretch a defense and you’ve already mentioned Marcus Easley’s strengths.

All of that talent is on the roster to provide Manuel with the confidence to let it fly and trust his playmakers. Williams and Watkins are capable of making plays even when they’re covered. Woods and Hogan have a high percentage of route wins meaning they’re usually open for Manuel to make use of and Goodwin and Graham are always threats to get behind a defense.

The bottom line however, is it’s on Manuel to make them successful because no matter how effective any of the receivers are at winning their matchups, those wins do not add up to anything if Manuel doesn’t target them and make the right decisions. The success of the receiving corps is ultimately dependent on Manuel’s on field decision making and accuracy.

 

3 – Hi Chris,

Thanks continuing to answer questions concerning the Bills. Many fans including myself really enjoy seeing your answers to what sometimes are very difficult questions. This question may qualify as a difficult one.

With 4 running backs on the team, what’s chances someone gets traded?

Thanks,
Bob Hammond
CB: Appreciate the kind words. As for the running backs on Buffalo’s roster, the natural speculation is that the staff will not keep all four on the squad when the roster is reduced to 53. I think what most casual observers are not considering are two important factors.

First, this team ran the football more than any other NFL club in the league last season. That heavy workload was part of the reason both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller succumbed to lingering injuries that compromised their effectiveness in 2013.

The front office and coaching staff made a conscious decision to fortify their running back stable in the offseason so in the event that injuries crop up again this season there will be little to no drop off in their rushing attack. Bryce Brown and ‘Boobie’ Dixon provide such depth.

Barring a catastrophic injury situation at another position that could require them to move one of their running back assets to fill a void via trade, I believe all four will be on the roster come September because at its core this offense will be defined by their run game.

And teams that are run heavy are quickly realizing that if one of your top two backs goes down to injury the identity of your offense will be dramatically impacted. Having these four backs protects against such a setback.

 

4 – Chris,

A – With the signing of Anthony Dixon and his power and size as RB, does that pose a threat to the FB position and the job of Frank Summers?
B – At this point who is considered the 1st Backup Center to Eric Wood?
C – Has it been disclosed by the team as to the health issue Chris Hairston had?  Can he play both guard and tackle positions which would drastically improve his chances of making the roster?

-Joe

CB: I think Dixon is a lock to make the roster, and if the numbers do not allow for a true fullback in Frank Summers, then yes it’s likely that Dixon would serve in the fullback role when such play calls on offense require one.

Backup center to Eric Wood is Doug Legursky at this point.

Chris Hairston medical situation from last season has not been revealed due to HIPAA laws. It is only up to Hairston as to whether or not he wants to make his condition, which is he over now, to be disclosed. As has been seen in training camp, he’s been lined up at both guard and tackle, with tackle being his most recent position. That is where he feels most comfortable since guard is new to him. It’ll be interesting to see how he fares tonight with the expectation that he’ll line up as the second team left tackle.

 

5 – Hi Chris,
As always, thank you so much for all of your excellent work. The opportunity for Bills fans to stay informed from afar is just excellent. I want to begin by saying I have all the faith in Jim Schwartz and the Bills defensive personnel, but I would like your insight on something. I understand that the exotic blitz packages of the Pettine era will not continue and that there needs to be a balance. We clearly weren’t where we needed to be against the run nor on third down efficiency. In the July 4th Fan Friday you mentioned that you would trade 10 sacks for the top 3rd down defense and top 10 run defense. I completely agree, but what I haven’t heard mentioned by anyone is how that would affect our secondary.

I was very impressed with the play of our secondary, even without Jairus Byrd, and especially by the number of turnovers they generated. My question is, by reducing the QB pressure, don’t we sacrifice more than just the sacks? I worry that we open ourselves up for more deep plays from the opponents passing game. I believe there is a perfect balance in there somewhere and I truly believe Jim Schwartz is deserving of the respect he is given around the league, I am just curious to hear your thoughts on the issue.
Thank you,
Cory in VA

CB: The only point I was trying to make was I would rather have more balanced production defensively across the board. I didn’t mean to infer that 10 fewer sacks would need to happen to have a better run defense or better third down defense. What encourages me is Jim Schwartz strives to have across the board production with his defense. And I don’t believe that you have to sacrifice sacks to be better in those other areas.

Schwartz has been a successful DC because he has found that perfect balance in his career as a defensive play caller. It’s my belief that he’ll be able to do that here perhaps more than anywhere else he has coached in his career. The main reason why is because this is the most talented secondary he has ever had in his career as a defensive coordinator.

When you have a secondary capable of man coverage it helps the pass rush and when you have a front four that can generate effective pressure it allows you to drop seven into coverage. Schwartz will take those two advantages and creatively use play calling to keep opposing offenses guessing.


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Legursky receives key to the city

Posted by Dallas Miller on April 9, 2014 – 10:02 pm

Lynn O’Brien, left, presented Doug Legursky the key to the city at Friday’s chamber dinner held at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. Her husband, Beckley Mayor Bill O’Brien, stands in back. (RICK BARBERO/THE REGISTER-HERALD)

Bills guard Doug Legursky has been honored with the key to the city in his hometown of Beckley, West Virginia.

At the 94th annual Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce Dinner last week, BRCCC President and CEO Ellen Taylor said it was Legursky’s connection to home that earned him the distinction.

“We always have a featured speaker and we try to bring back the area’s best,” Taylor said. “He’s a local guy who has done well and we’d like to recognize that.”

Despite a six-year career as a professional athlete, Legursky’s background away from the spotlight has kept him humble.

“Being from southern West Virginia has kept me grounded and close to my roots,” he said. “Being from this area where there’s so much love between the family and everyone in the community. So many people grow up in these big cities and they don’t get to experience that sense of community that I’m blessed with. It’s absolutely amazing.

“I try to bring that to where I am. When I was at Pittsburgh (with the Steelers) and now that I’m with the (Buffalo) Bills, I always try to bring everyone together and have big dinners with everyone involved like the people of West Virginia do.”

In addition to the pride he surely feels after being honored in his hometown, Legursky said he plans to put the key on a gold chain and wear it around town with pride.


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Legursky now the starter

Posted by Chris Brown on October 15, 2013 – 3:43 pm

It looked to be heading this way already, but with the release of G Colin Brown, veteran Doug Legursky is the starting left guard for the Bills moving forward.

Legursky suffered a sprained MCL in the preseason finale against Detroit and was not fit to dress for a game until just last week. He got 57 snaps on offense and fared well. According to ProFootballFocus he only surrendered a pair of quarterback hurries.

Brown’s struggles were made more apparent by PFF’s statistics of his play. In 187 pass plays this season Brown surrendered three sacks, six quarterback hits and 17 quarterback hurries.


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Performance could slow rotation at LG

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2013 – 2:47 pm

It’s an open competition that will spill into Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals as both Doug Legursky and Colin Brown will see time on the field. Head coach Doug Marrone still hasn’t spelled out how the rotation will operate, but he did say if one of the linemen is excelling the rotation will stop.

“There is going to be a rotation and they are going to be competitive,” said Marrone. “If someone starts playing well during the game I know we’re going to stick with him.”

Marrone said offensive line coach Pat Morris is going to handle the rotation between the two players.


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Legursky & Brown to rotate at LG

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2013 – 1:14 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone has opened the starting LG competition again.

Doug Legursky and Colin Brown will rotate in and out with the first team in practice and in Sunday’s game.

Marrone said he’s not sure whether it will be series by series, every other series etc. He and his offensive staff have to work out the details this week.


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Bills Friday injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2013 – 1:05 pm

Jairus Byrd and Doug Legursky, who have each missed the first two games are questionable for Sunday, but four other players are out. Here’s the updated Friday report.

OUT
CB Ron Brooks – foot
CB Stephon Gilmore – wrist
WR Marquise Goodwin – hand
K Dustin Hopkins – groin

Questionable
S Jairus Byrd – foot
OL Doug Legursky – knee


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Byrd questionable for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2013 – 12:51 pm

Each of the past two games Jairus Byrd has been listed as doubtful and has been inactive for the Bills. Here on Friday Byrd was given a bit better status designation by head coach Doug Marrone.

“Byrd we’re listing as questionable,” said Marrone.

Byrd was still limited in practice all week as he has been for the past two weeks, but Marrone admitted there has been progress with the safety’s ailing feet.

“What I don’t want to do is give any misreadings as to his status,” Marrone said. “It’s a condition and it’s a condition he’s worked extremely hard at to get better. And it is getting better. I think it’s always going to be tough for me because it’s going to come to a point one of these days where he says I’m ready to go.”

Bills OL Doug Legursky is also questionable for Sunday’s game.

 


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Byrd, Legursky limited

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2013 – 5:04 pm

Bills FS Jairus Byrd (foot) and OL Doug Legursky (knee) participated in practice for a second straight day, but neither of them participated fully.

Byrd and Legursky were both limited Thursday.

Not practicing at all were Stephon Gilmore (wrist), Marquise Goodwin (hand), Dustin Hopkins (groin) and Ron Brooks (foot).


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Legursky on way back, but Brown the LG

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2013 – 4:20 pm

He was part of the training camp competition for the starting LG job. Colin Brown wound up winning the starting gig and then Doug Legursky suffered a knee injury in the preseason finale. Now that he’s closer to returning head coach Doug Marrone was asked if Legursky could wrestle the job away from Brown.

Marrone gave strong indication that Brown will remain the starting left guard.

“I think Colin Brown is our starting left guard and we’ll evaluate Doug when he gets back,” said Marrone.

While Marrone’s comment certainly doesn’t close the door to Legursky pushing Brown for time on the field, Buffalo’s head coach sounded pretty set on Brown remaining in the role he’s held since the start of the season.


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Legursky practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2013 – 11:39 am

For the first time since the preseason Bills OL Doug Legursky is participating in practice.

Legursky has missed the last few weeks of practice with a knee injury. He’s still wearing a large knee brace.

We’ll get his official level of participation post practice from head coach Doug Marrone.


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Carrington, Pears updates

Posted by Chris Brown on September 2, 2013 – 2:49 pm

Alex Carrington and Erik Pears were both held out of practice Monday. Head coach Doug Marrone explained why both missed Monday’s session with their teammates.

Marrone said both players were dealing with sore ankles and were held out today. Part of the benefit of holding them out was it would give them both two days to heal up instead of just one.

“(Their) ankles were sore today and it’s good because tomorrow we’re off so we just wanted to give (them) two days off,” said Marrone. “It shouldn’t be a problem.”

Stephon Gilmore and Doug Legursky were the only other players that did not practice.


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Bills roster is shy of 53

Posted by Chris Brown on August 31, 2013 – 4:48 pm

The Bills made a lot of player moves over the past two days and they’re nowhere near from done. Here’s why.

Buffalo with all of their player releases are actually under the 53-man roster limit. The team currently has just 51 players. Head coach Doug Marrone wasn’t shy in stating that they intended to scour the waiver wire as well as explore other avenues to acquire players.

Buffalo figures to add a quarterback where it’s currently just EJ Manuel and Jeff Tuel on the active roster. At the much-needed cornerback position where they entered the day with just four healthy CBs (five total counting injured Gilmore), they added CB Brandon Burton, claimed off of waivers this afternoon. Buffalo also has just three inside linebackers on the current roster. They would presumably want to add a fourth.


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Colin Brown closing in on starting LG role

Posted by Chris Brown on August 23, 2013 – 7:20 am

He’s spent the better part of the past two weeks at the starting left guard position. Head coach Doug Marrone isn’t ready to say Colin Brown has earned the starting job yet, but he’s been encouraged by Brown’s play.

“I don’t think jobs are handed to guys. I think they earn them,” Marrone told Buffalobills.com. “He’s been really working extremely hard. I really like the way he’s played the last couple of days. That’s not taking anything away from Doug. I’ve seen Doug Legursky get better and Colin has gotten better too. I think there’s been a little separation with Colin right now.”

Brown is feeling good about his play, but isn’t going to expect anything.

“I’ve felt good. I still feel like every day I have to prove that I deserve to be there,” Brown said. “I try not to take anything for granted and just try to put my best foot forward every day.”

Marrone said he’s not ready to hand out the starting left guard job yet, but if Brown goes out Saturday afternoon and performs well he could nail down the job between Cordy Glenn and Eric Wood.

“I’m not ready to pull the trigger on that yet,” said Marrone. “We have the third preseason game coming up and then obviously the last preseason game, but I’m not going to lie I think he’s earning that position and earning the right to play that position.”


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Shuffling on 2nd OL

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2013 – 9:49 am

Shuffling on the starting O-line with Cordy Glenn moving to LG and Thomas Welch up to starting LT has prompted shuffling on the 2nd O-line as well.

Recent signee Tony Hills has replace Welch at 2nd team LT while Doug Legursky is back at 2nd team LG.

Colin Brown is now at RG. We’ll ask coach Marrone if he’s still part of the LG competition.

Sam Young and David Snow are in their same spots at RT and C with the second group.


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Kolb, EJ listed as co-starters on depth chart

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2013 – 4:14 pm

depth-chart-bbcomThe Bills preliminary unofficial depth chart has been released and to no surprise there isn’t a delineation between quarterbacks Kevin Kolb and EJ Manuel.

Still in the midst of a quarterback competition that has barely begun Kolb and Manuel are listed as co-starters, with just a slash between their names as they both appear in the starters column on the depth chart.

It’s not the only instance where that’s the case. At left guard, Doug Legursky and Colin Brown are also listed as co-starters.

It will likely take until the preseason games for these situations to change.


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More Legursky with 1st team

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2013 – 8:20 am

It looks like Doug Legursky is going to get a good deal of the work at left guard with the first unit again today.

Legursky stepped in with the starters on Friday at left guard after Colin Brown had run with the ones through the first four practices.

We’ll see if Legursky gets four straight days of work with them.


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Legursky to get 1st team reps

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2013 – 8:16 am

It looks like Doug Legursky is going to get some first team reps in practice today.

Legursky is lining up with the ones in walk through at practice at left guard. Up until now Colin brown has taken almost all the first team reps in that competition.

Head coach Doug Marrone also talked about possibly adding another candidate to the competition.


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Addition to LG competition coming

Posted by Chris Brown on July 31, 2013 – 3:47 pm

The left guard competition has largely been a two-man competition between Colin Brown and Doug Legursky, but head coach Doug Marrone gave ample indication that another candidate will be added to the mix.

Marrone in his assessment of how the left guard competition is shaking out feels there needs to be a third candidate.

“I think both players are doing the best they can,” said Marrone of Brown and Legursky. “I think we have to look to throw someone else in the mix. I don’t think we’ve seen the separation right now.”

Marrone plans to discuss his options with offensive line coach Pat Morris and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett on the player’s off day Thursday. A former offensive line coach himself he knows how important it is to get his starting five up front solidified.

“(We’ll) see if there’s anyone else that can go there and see if someone else can separate themselves,” said Marrone. “I think they’re both doing a good job and they both have to develop and I’m looking toward the preseason games to see how they perform in the preseason games. But right now it’s not solidified in the way you want to be right now.”

The most likely candidate to be added to the mix is recent free agent signee Antoine Caldwell. He has more NFL experience playing guard than Legursky and Brown combined and has 19 career starts. The only thing that has likely kept Caldwell from entering the competition sooner was his lack of familiarity with the Bills offensive scheme having just arrived last weekend.

Caldwell was sprinkled in with the second offensive line in practice Tuesday. He could be looking at a whole lot bigger opportunity in the coming days.


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Caldwell’s to-do list

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2013 – 11:49 pm

One of Buffalo’s newest offensive linemen Antoine Caldwell is expected to be part of the competition for the vacant left guard spot. Of course Caldwell has a few other things to take care of before he’s competing effectively in Buffalo’s offensive scheme.

Caldwell took in practice last night having just joined the team and knows little about the scheme at this point. The four-year vet aims to change that sooner rather than later.

“I think it starts off the field more than on the field,” Caldwell told Buffalobills.com. “I’ve got to hammer the film room, hammer that time with the coaches. I think that’s important to really speed up this process that I’m in right now. Then come out here and try to translate things that I’ve learned in the meeting rooms out here on the field and that’s going to be important to getting in there and being able to battle.”

Caldwell has 19 starts in his NFL career, which is two more than Doug Legursky (17) and 18 more than Colin Brown (1). Legursky has appeared in more NFL games (50) than Caldwell (39). Still, most of Legursky’s starts have come at center, not guard.

Caldwell once he’s up to speed is going to add to the talent level at that left guard competition.


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