Inside The Bills

Bills trade for Hughes not lost on pass rusher

Posted by Chris Brown on March 9, 2015 – 1:06 pm

Money is what usually does all the talking for NFL free agents, but for Jerry Hughes, though well compensated by the Bills, there was another key factor – his opportunity to finally play after he was acquired by the Bills.

Hughes toiled in Indianapolis his first three NFL seasons as a backup who rarely saw the field on defense. His work ethic never wavered, but he did wonder if he’d ever be able to prove himself as a professional.

Then Buffalo GM Doug Whaley swung the trade that sent LB Kelvin Sheppard to the Colts for Hughes. Despite not having much NFL game tape to go on the fact that the Bills wanted him meant something to Hughes and he never forgot it. It was a major reason Hughes wanted to continue his career in Buffalo.

“Doug Whaley to kind of come about me in the way he did in that trade, showed that someone wanted me,” Hughes said. “When someone wants you, you want to come back. You want to put your best out there and give it your all. Want to go out and win a couple championships and make it memorable. When someone goes about a trade like that, I definitely want to give it back in full.”


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Bills do not use franchise tag

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2015 – 4:14 pm

The deadline for teams to make use of the franchise and transition tags has come and gone and the Bills chose not to use either.

Bills GM Doug Whaley confirmed it Monday afternoon.

“We have chosen not to use the franchise or transition tags this year,” said Whaley.

There was some speculation as to whether the Bills would make use of the franchise tag on free agent to be Jerry Hughes, but that obviously did not come to fruition

The free agent market opens on March 10th.


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Fan Friday 2-20

Posted by Chris Brown on February 20, 2015 – 1:12 pm

It’s day three of our Combine Coverage presented by NAPA. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

As good of a guy as CJ is..will he really fit Roman’s system?

LWOS_Brock

CB: As GM Doug Whaley has said Roman wants a mixed bag of backs that can do different things. Just because you didn’t see a C.J. Spiller type back in San Francisco’s offense when Roman was running things out there doesn’t mean he can’t use a talent like Spiller in his scheme.

Whaley characterized Bryce Brown and Spiller as the speed backs, Dixon as the power back and Fred Jackson as the pass catcher/pass protector. So it appears Roman would like to have three or four backs to work with, not to mention a fullback.

Additionally Rex Ryan has said that with their coaching staff it’s player over scheme every time, so if they can keep Spiller in the fold they’ll devise a way to make him a productive element in Roman’s system.

 

2 –  @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think OL Ali Marpet will be there in the 4th?

TheConnorCough

CB: I think Marpet opened some eyes at the Senior Bowl when he showed he could hang with the top senior talent in college despite playing at Division III Hobart. He’s off to a good start with his workout here at the NFL Combine as well, running the fastest 40 time among offensive lineman with a five flat.

Obviously the 40 time isn’t a major influencer on draft grade for offensive linemen, but Marpet is legitimizing his ability to play at the NFL level. The Bills did meet with him and though he played tackle in college, he projects to guard in the NFL.

Will he be there in the fourth round? It’s possible. He could also be gone in the third.

 

3 – Chris

Thanks for providing a forum for fans to express opinions and ask questions.
With all the QB’s available in Free Agency, College, Canadian League, other pro leagues, I can’t grasp the Bills unable to develop one over the last 20 years. We seem to have chosen one alone and spend all our resources in proving we were right to pick them, rather than looking for the one who pops out and distances himself from the others. Brady popped out, as did Wilson, Romo, Foles etc. I’d be interested if you think this process will change with the new regime ?

Also, if we have two QB’s, shouldn’t they be similar in style, either mobile or pocket passers, so if one is injured the offense doesn’t have to change to adapt to two different styles, like last year with Manuel and Orton ?

Thanks;
Jim in Florida

CB: I think the Bills are more apt than ever to add another young quarterback to the roster, especially with a thin free agent class of options at the position. Adding two veterans is probably unlikely so a vet and a young player is the most likely combination to fortify the position on Buffalo’s roster.

I found it interesting that Doug Whaley and his personnel department intend to meet personally with every quarterback prospect here at the Combine not named Mariota and Winston. After the Combine they also will dispatch QBs coach David Lee to go and work these quarterback prospects out at or around their pro days. Whaley described their planned search to be exhaustive.

He mentioned this on the John Murphy Show and in addition when asked about the philosophy of drafting a quarterback every year he said he was not opposed to it.

I would think similar style quarterbacks would make sense, but sometimes you’re willing to sacrifice similarity if it means getting a better player overall.

 

4 – Hi Chris

Could you please explain to me how David Lee, who couldn’t get Jets quarterbacks to play better, is going to help EJ Manuel and any other quarterback we have on the roster ?

Thanks, Dale

CB: Rex Ryan has answered this question. David Lee is an expert when it comes to teaching quarterback fundamentals, and really that’s his main job with the signal callers on the roster. To keep their mechanics sound. That’s easier with some quarterbacks than others obviously, but knowing the worker that EJ Manuel is I would anticipate seeing improvement in everything from Manuel’s footwork, to the consistency of his arm angle, release point, hip drive, etc.

While you may knock the results in New York with Geno Smith, David Lee successfully turned Tony Romo from a third string QB into a Pro Bowl starter. I’ve talked to David Lee about that transformation and he said the only reason Romo was successful was because he wanted to work at it.

Romo needed to make 10-thousand throws to improve his passing efficiency because his release point was too low as a younger player and too many of his passes were getting batted down at the line. But he worked with Lee every day. Knowing that Manuel has a similar work ethic, I think we’ll see a difference with him too.

 

 

5 – Chris,

I was very disappointed to see Jim Schwartz leave considering the outstanding work he did with the defense last year especially with stopping the run. Now with Rex Ryan in the fold, the defense will most likely look very similar to what we experienced during the 2013 season under Mike Pettine. With that said, our run defense was not very good under Pettine. Is there real reason to worry it might struggle again with Rex Ryan going back to more of the 3-4 hybrid system that Pettine used? I know we have an outstanding defensive line but they seemed to be in better position to stop the run under Schwartz’s system. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks.

-Mike from Syracuse

CB: I don’t think there should be a big worry about the run defense. Yes, Schwartz did simplify things, which made it easier to execute. By the same token Rex Ryan defenses have almost always finished in the top 10 in run defense. Buffalo finished 11th last season. So if anything it could improve under Ryan based on the track record of his defenses.

Buffalobills.com Combine coverage is presented by NAPA Auto Parts.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills to meet with all but 2 QBs at Combine

Posted by Chris Brown on February 20, 2015 – 12:19 pm

The Bills won’t be meeting with Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota at the NFL Combine, but every other quarterback prospect in Indianapolis will have a face-to-face meeting with Buffalo.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Friday morning, Bills GM Doug Whaley confirmed that his personnel department will meet with all but the top two signal callers at the Combine, either in a formal or informal setting.

“We’re going to meet with all of them except for the top two,” said Whaley. “You’ve got to do your due diligence on all of them because you never know if you’ll be able to a get a guy or if all of them will be available and you’ve got to be able to rank them and go with the best.”

Whaley also said in an appearance on the John Murphy Show that they’ll be very extensive in their efforts to get a firm grasp of all the quarterback prospects in this class.

“That’s what we’re going to do, an exhaustive search with the quarterbacks just looking at these guys not only here at the Combine, but we’re going to send David Lee, the quarterbacks coach out to work those other guys out,” Whaley said. “That’s another avenue where we can add a guy. We can add two or one in free agency and one in the draft. But we’re going to try to get the best guys out there to help the Buffalo Bills win.”

When asked about the approach by some NFL clubs that draft a quarterback every year, Whaley wasn’t against such a strategy.

“That’s a possibility,” he said. “Until you hit on one (drafting) quarterbacks and cornerbacks (every year isn’t wrong) because it’s a passing league that’s an approach some subscribe to and I’m not opposed to it.”

Here’s a list of all the QB prospects at the Combine not named Winston or Mariota.
Bryan Bennet – SE Louisiana
Anthony Boone – Duke
Brandon Bridge – So. Alabama
Shane Carden – E. Carolina
Cody Fajardo – Nevada
Garrett Grayson – Colorado St.
Connor Halliday – Washington St.
Brett Hundley – UCLA
Jerry Lovelocke – Prairie View A&M
Sean Mannion – Oregon St.
Nick Marshall – Auburn
Bryce Petty – Baylor
Blake Sims – Alabama


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Incognito doesn’t remove OL from needs list

Posted by Chris Brown on February 20, 2015 – 9:39 am

The Bills first free agent signing, G Richie Incognito, certainly lessens the need Buffalo has in addressing their offensive line this offseason. However, GM Doug Whaley still intends to pursue more additions for their group up front whether it’s free agency or the draft.

“It lessens it a little bit because you’ve got a former Pro Bowl guard,” said Whaley. “It’s no mystery that our guard play was lackluster last year. We have to get better up front there’s no mistake about it and we think that’s a piece that can help us get better up front. Again we will look at everything.

“Our philosophy in building this team is to not only have great starters, but great backups. So that depth, that’s what we’re looking for. Injuries are a part of the game and if someone goes down we want that backup to go in and that expectation doesn’t dip.”

Whaley mentioned guard and tackle as position players they have in mind for the offensive line.

Buffalobills.com Combine coverage is presented by NAPA Auto Parts.


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Dareus to be addressed in time

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2015 – 8:00 pm

Marcell Dareus is entering the final year of his contract in 2015. Buffalo picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract last year. But GM Doug Whaley said that the team intends to work on a contract extension for the Pro Bowl defensive tackle, just not right now.

Whaley said an extension for Dareus is a high priority, but the club needs to address their current free agents to be first and make some additions in free agency.

“After we get done with all the unrestricted (free agents) and all we have to do this offseason then we would start to broach that subject,” said Whaley.

Dareus is coming off a career-high 10 sack season in 2014.


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Bills want to re-sign Easley

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2015 – 7:53 pm

Bills special teams ace Marcus Easley has led the team in special teams tackles each of the past two seasons. He did it this past year despite missing six games due to a knee injury. Easley however, is an unrestricted free agent. With the dramatic increase in play on special teams in 2014 Buffalo wants to keep a key component of their coverage units in the fold.

“We’d like to get him back. That’s another thing that (Senior VP of Football Administration) Jim Overdorf is going to work on this week,” said Bills GM Doug Whaley. “He’s a hell of a special teams player and we’re excited and we hopefully can get him back.”

After going from 30th to 2nd in the NFL in overall special teams from 2013 to 2014 the team clearly sees Easley as a key piece to staying near the top of the league in special teams play.


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LB Spikes has a decision to make

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2015 – 5:55 pm

Bills free agent LB Brandon Spikes would like to still be a three down linebacker in the NFL, but that is not a role he would have if he chooses to re-sign with Buffalo.

Bills GM Doug Whaley, in an appearance on the John Murphy Show confirmed that he spoke with Spikes personally Thursday and laid out how they view Spikes as a player on their roster in Buffalo. With Kiko Alonso set to return healthy in 2015 combined with the emergence of Preston Brown and Nigel Bradham in 2014, it’s evident they don’t see Spikes as a full-time linebacker.

“I just talked to him today and the new staff sees a different role than maybe he does so I told him to see if he can get a team that sees him the way he sees himself,” said Whaley. “If not, come back to us and then we can talk.

“Brandon is one of my favorite players. We’re going to reach out to his representation and see how he would fit in this new defensive scheme and because of the depth we have whether it would fit how he sees himself as a player. So it’ll be more of, ‘Hey do you want to come back and be a one or two down player? Or do you want to try to go out and still be an every down player (elsewhere)?’ So that one is going to be a kind of seeing what works for him and what works for us.”

Spikes will likely test the market and see if he can land a full-time starting job in free agency. If he can’t he’ll probably return to the Bills to where he said he really enjoyed the city and his teammates.

Buffalobills.com Combine coverage is presented by NAPA Auto Parts.


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Whaley: Keeping Searcy won’t be easy

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2015 – 4:10 pm


The Bills would like to keep all of their unrestricted free agents, but some might be easier to return to the fold than others. Such might prove to be the case with S Da’Norris Searcy.

Searcy is coming off a very successful season as he assumed a starting safety role opposite Aaron Williams and was very productive. But if Searcy is looking to cash in big time on his second contract, like most NFL players, it could prove too steep for the Bills to handle.

“Searcy is going to be a little challenging with Searcy just because we have paid Aaron Williams and there’s some money tied up in that position,” said GM Doug Whaley. “Searcy may probably garner starter money at safety. That’s going to be a little more challenging trying to get that done just because of the cap space dedicated to that position.”

Fortunately for the Bills if they can’t come to an agreement with Searcy they have depth at the position with Duke Williams, Baccari Rambo and Jonathan Meeks still on the roster.

“If he does move on we think we’ve got three guys that will compete and one of those guys is going to come out of there as the starter, but we have two excellent backups,” said Whaley.

On locker clean out day Searcy said as much as he’d like to return he has to put the needs of his family first. We’ll see how things pan out soon enough with free agency set to open in just over a couple of weeks.

 


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Virtue of patience with a young QB

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2015 – 12:54 pm

The Dallas Cowboys were an organization that was very patient with Tony Romo as a young signal caller. Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett was asked about how important that patience is for an NFL team even though the temptation can be great to pull the plug.

“I would argue that playing quarterback in the National Football League is probably as hard a thing as there is in sports,” said Garrett, a former quarterback himself. “The environment that you create for that quarterback is critical to his success – the system he’s in, the people he has blocking for him, how you’re playing defense, the weapons he has around him, how you call plays – all those things contribute to that. You want to have a guy who wants to be great, you want to have a guy who wants to be in that position.

“It’s a hard job. It really is, to be one of these 32 guys who start for an NFL team. You have to have the right makeup, the right character, and if you try to create that environment for him and he goes about it the right way, you have a chance to be patient for him and have the kind of quarterback that you want.”

Bills GM Doug Whaley has said he continues to believe in what EJ Manuel can be as an NFL quarterback, and though he will likely be part of a quarterback competition this offseason, patience could be rewarded.

Buffalobills.com Combine coverage is presented by NAPA Auto Parts.


	
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Whaley weighs in on where OL stands

Posted by Chris Brown on January 23, 2015 – 1:45 pm

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show this week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, Bills GM Doug Whaley was asked whether the interior of Buffalo’s offensive line was a priority to address this offseason.

Whaley has stated previously that they’re going to take a long look at their offensive line this offseason, but he also did not want to dismiss some of the talent they already have in house.

“Some would say that (it’s a priority), but we’re thinking when you get Chris Williams back from injury and another year with (Cyril) Richardson in there and get him more time in there and (Cyrus) Kouandjio played a little guard in there during the season in the practices,” Whaley said. “We think there are some guys there who can compete, but that’s not to say we won’t bring in other guys to add to the fold.”

With Erik Pears a free agent and youth on the roster in the form of Kouandjio and Richardson it wouldn’t be surprising if a veteran free agent guard was added to Buffalo’s ranks.


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Whaley undaunted by no 1st rd. pick

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2015 – 1:10 pm

Bills GM Doug Whaley is well aware that there are fewer draft picks in his arsenal this spring for the 2015 NFL draft. With no first-round pick and no fourth-round pick, Buffalo has just six total (2 in the 5th). But Whaley and his scouting staff like the challenge of having to find players when they don’t have a premium pick.

“It’s exciting. It’s a challenging time and everybody that knows me knows I’m not afraid of a challenge,” Whaley told Buffalobills.com. “Our scouting staff feels the same way. Unfortunately we’ve been drafting high recently and that’s a little easier than drafting lower. We want to get to that point where we’re drafting low consistently so that for us is a challenge and we’re up for the challenge and excited about it.”

Buffalo gave their original fourth-round pick with their first rounder in the Sammy Watkins trade. They got a fourth back in the Stevie Johnson trade, but then shipped that to Philadelphia for Bryce Brown. They did acquire a second fifth-round pick from Tampa in a day three trade last year.

“We also look at it this way, we think Bryce Brown is worth a fourth-round pick,” Whaley said on the John Murphy Show. “Any back we get in the fourth round would be just like Bryce Brown. With Sammy Watkins people say we gave up two number ones. But to have a number one wide receiver for the next 10 years we would’ve have had to maybe draft two wide receivers to come up with that. So we think the value is there for both of those and we’re excited about what we can accomplish.”


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Whaley on scouts meeting with Rex

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2015 – 10:30 pm

Bills new head coach Rex Ryan met with the Bills personnel department in Mobile Tuesday evening. On Wednesday GM Doug Whaley provided an update on how things went in an interview on the John Murphy Show live in Mobile.

Whaley wanted the head coach to meet his scouts to help explain the type of players he needs for his team to be the best it can be. But Ryan made it very easy for Buffalo’s college scouts.

“He just said, ‘Get me people that love football and that are playmakers,’” said Whaley. “So that opens up the whole board for us and gets us really excited so we don’t have restrictions on the type of guys that we’re looking for.”

Whaley said Ryan’s personality is infectious and had the scouting department fired up when the meeting was over.

“No doubt about it. It’s contagious,” said Whaley of Ryan’s demeanor. “He’s got a personality that people gravitate to and you want to work for him and want him to succeed. For him to succeed he lays out the ground work and they’re easy to work with, like I said before, guys that love football and guys that can make plays. He doesn’t want to say, ‘Hey I want a specific guy, a 6-5 guy that runs 4.6.’ He said, ‘That’s great everybody wants that guy, but find me good football players.’”


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Bills personnel dept. on John Murphy Show

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2015 – 4:31 pm

It’ll be the big three from Buffalo’s personnel department on the John Murphy Show tonight on location in Mobile at the Senior Bowl.

John Murphy will sit down with GM Doug Whaley, Director of Player Personnel Jim Monos and Director of College Scouting Kelvin Fisher to talk about how their meeting with Rex Ryan went and how the Senior Bowl fits into their plans to solve the quarterback position.

It’s tonight from 7-9 pm live from Mobile on the John Murphy Show.


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Rex comments on Jerry Hughes

Posted by Chris Brown on January 20, 2015 – 9:16 am

Bills new head coach Rex Ryan hasn’t been shy at all about his excitement level for the defensive talent he inherits here in Buffalo. He also believes they’ll keep an important part of that defensive puzzle on the roster.

Impending free agent Jerry Hughes is a player that GM Doug Whaley has already said they want to keep in a Bills uniform for the foreseeable future. In an interview with FOX Sports, Ryan said he intends to see that plan come to fruition.

“I absolutely envision that,” said Ryan. “I think Jerry is an outstanding player. The last two years I’ve been against him and he’s tremendous. I hope he’s still a Buffalo Bill moving forward. Sometimes things happen where that might not be a possibility, but I believe he’s a great player and I hope he’s a Buffalo Bill for a long time.”

 


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Fan Friday 1-16

Posted by Chris Brown on January 16, 2015 – 12:24 pm

It was a historical week for the Bills franchise with the hiring of Rex Ryan as the 18th head coach in team history. Now for your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

With the coming to an end what positions do you think need more depth for the offseason besides QB? Offensive line or maybe tight end or defensive end in case Hughes leaves? Can you also explain to fans that the Bills would have taken Eric Ebron, and trading up for Sammy wasn’t as risky as many thought. This year’s list of WRs isn’t as deep.

CB: As for positional needs the guard spot is right up at the top. I think a big running back is another potential need for two reasons. First, it’s unclear as to whether C.J. Spiller will return to the team with the ability to become a free agent this offseason. Second, a power run game is going to need a big back comparable to Frank Gore or Eddie Lacy. Buffalo has a big back in Boobie Dixon, but he was relegated to backup duty under offensive coordinator Greg Roman in San Francisco. Fred Jackson and Bryce Brown are capable, but it might be time to draft a young back to add to the mix. An end/OLB would be a need if Hughes doesn’t return, but they can’t wait on that.

As for last year’s draft, it was my understanding that if the Bills stayed at nine that Eric Ebron was the most likely target, assuming the likes of Sammy Watkins was off the board.

 

2 – Hi Chris,
My name is Ben Cary, a dedicated bills fan from West Seneca studying at Miami University of Ohio. Are the Bills interested in pursuing Jay Cutler, now that the Bears might be shopping him? I think he could fix a lot of our quarterback issues. He has the raw talent to make the plays none of our recent QB’s have been able to. I also think he would find success in our run first offense because he wouldn’t be forced to throw the ball as much as Chicago made him. What are your thoughts?

Has Doug Whaley thought about this as well? I love the improvement we’ve made this year and can’t wait to see what the future of the franchise holds!

Thanks so much
Ben Cary

CB: If the Bills are interested in pursuing Jay Cutler in a trade scenario they certainly can’t state it publicly since he’s property of the Bears. That could open the team up to tampering charges. While there’s no debating that he is physically gifted as a quarterback there is a reason his second franchise is reportedly looking to move him.

I don’t dismiss your point that a run first approach on offense could decrease some of the ill-advised plays Cutler tries to make. While talent is a big asset to have as a quarterback, leadership is a close second and that’s where I think Cutler struggles as a player.

I can’t tell you what Doug Whaley is thinking, but it’s my belief that the Bills will look to add a veteran quarterback to the roster. Whether Cutler is under consideration remains to be seen.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills I see the two lineman the #bills have signed to futures deals are both under 300 lbs. Will this be the trend going forward? More athleticism at guard seems logical, right?

DanielBeaudoin1

CB: Greg Roman’s power run game is pretty multiple. That being said having guards who are capable of pulling is a plus. You also have to be able to push the pile so I don’t know that a trend can be taken from the two most recent OL signings.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills do u believe Whaley that he would take a QB in the 2nd or 3rd if the right one was available? Petty or Hundley. #bills

Srothenburgh

CB: I think Whaley in that radio interview this week was just trying to emphasize the fact that they do not rule anything out with every draft pick they hold. If a quarterback is the best player on the board, and there isn’t a pressing positional need with a prospect that is comparable in terms of grade to said quarterback, then they’ll take a QB. Knowing this is his approach he cannot rule out taking a QB. In reality I see the Bills adding a veteran quarterback this offseason.

 

5 – Hi Chris,

What is a typical NFL halftime like for a team? Does the head coach address the full team the entire time? Do position groups meet? Are the discussions strategic or motivational? Thanks

Sincerely,
Max

CB: At halftime there isn’t a whole lot of time. With the coaches from the booth taking an extra five minutes to get down to the locker room, there’s only about 7-8 minutes to go over things. The head coach will briefly huddle with the coordinators before making decisions on various adjustments for the second half. In most cases the teams breaks off into offensive and defensive groups with their coordinators. They address what has to be corrected and then what some of the adjustments will be. After plotting out strategy the head coach or a team captain might say a few inspirational words and it’s back out to the field.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills will try to bring Spiller back

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2015 – 2:50 pm

Bills new head coach Rex Ryan expressed a desire to get C.J. Spiller back in the fold, knowing he can become a free agent this offseason. On Thursday GM Doug Whaley echoed that sentiment.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Whaley was asked if he sees a place for Spiller in an offense that’s likely to be predicated on a power running game.

“We believe so and we’re going to try to do our darndest to get this guy in the fold and get him back,” said Whaley. “I’m sure he’s disappointed with how last year went with the injuries, but we want him to come back with us and get back to the form we know he can play at.”

In his one-on-one interview with Buffalobills.com, Ryan spoke of the friendship he’s developed with Spiller from their run-ins at Clemson, Spiller’s alma mater, where Ryan’s son currently plays football.

“I’ve met C.J. and obviously I have a great deal of respect for him having to try to stop him and things,” said Ryan. “One thing I think that he’s going to understand about me is I’m going to tell him what I believe to be the truth. All players seem to appreciate that.”


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Jerry Hughes update

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2015 – 2:37 pm

The Bills have an important impending free agent that they’d like to keep in the fold in DE Jerry Hughes. GM Doug Whaley in an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 confirmed that the club has opened talks with Hughes on a new contract.

Whaley didn’t have a lot of details, since he had been wrapped up in the intense two-week process of finding a head coach.

“We’ve been so consumed with this coaching search that I haven’t been able to talk to (Senior VP of Administration Jim Overdorf) to find out where we stand there and once Rex finishes his staff then we’ll turn our attention to that. But I know Jim has been in touch with his representatives and started the process.”

Whaley intends to get an update on where things stand soon, to see if it’s possible to re-sign him and not let him hit the free agent market.

“We’re excited and we want him back,” said Whaley of Hughes. “He’s a great part of our defense and hopefully we can get it done sooner rather than later.”

When asked if the hiring of Rex Ryan as head coach improves the chances of re-signing Hughes, Whaley could only be hopeful.

“You’d have to ask him,” said Whaley. “I hope he’d be just as excited as we are and the Bills fans are.”


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Whaley on what makes Roman’s ‘O’ effective

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2015 – 2:30 pm

He hasn’t watched a full season of 49er games, but he’s seen enough to be impressed with what Bills new offensive coordinator Greg Roman does to make his offensive unit productive.

In an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, GM Doug Whaley outlined some of the principles of Roman’s offense.

“A heavy emphasis on the run game, but he does it in so many different ways that you can’t get a bead on him,” Whaley said. “He’ll use three backs, he’ll use the pistol, he’ll off set his backs. He’s a multiple type attack running offense. That will give defenses fits. There are certain times if the back is off set to the right, 99 percent of the time he can only go to the left so he does some diversionary things with alignments and formations that makes it really intriguing and hard to get a bead on what he’s trying to accomplish.”

All those formations and pre-snap shifts and alignment changes might make it sound like a difficult offense to absorb and execute, but that’s not how Whaley sees it.

“You would think that, but a lot of it is just concept based,” Whaley said. “I haven’t gotten into the nitty gritty of his playbook, but I know this much, he’s not one of those guys who wants to be a mad scientist and make things so difficult that you have paralysis by analysis. It looks like to me when you watch the 49ers they don’t make a lot of mistakes and they play hard and fast and that’s a telling sign of guys being comfortable with what they’re being asked to do.”


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Whaley’s instant connection with Ryan

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2015 – 2:25 pm

Bills owner Terry Pegula mentioned it in Wednesday’s press conference. GM Doug Whaley cut his teeth in the league in the Pittsburgh organization, a club that identifies with strong, tough defense and a consistent, powerful run game. Rex Ryan comes from a similar mindset from the days of coaching under his father Buddy Ryan. It’s why Whaley felt an instant connection with Ryan during the interview process.

Appearing in an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Whaley explained how what Ryan laid out as his philosophy for successful football instantly appealed to him.

“It was just his philosophy about how to build a consistent team,” said Whaley. “A team that can consistently compete for championships. It’s just my philosophy as I’ve grown up in this business. It’s a philosophy of playing good defense, running the ball and being aggressive. And that helps everything especially your quarterback. That’s something that’s been a mainstay in his philosophy since he started going all the way back to his father. So right there we had an instant connection.”


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