Inside The Bills

100 catch seasons not so rare in 90’s

Posted by Chris Brown on December 10, 2014 – 11:54 am

There’s a common perception that with the NFL becoming more and more of a passing league that there have been far more 100-catch seasons in the last eight or nine seasons in comparison to the 10 or 11 seasons prior. Buffalo has a pair of receivers in both eras who were number one picks in Eric Moulds and Sammy Watkins, who were the subject in our exam of the 2014 WR class to that of the ’96 class. Moulds already has a 100-catch season, which is the only in franchise history. Watkins will probably flirt with some 100-catch seasons in his career, but in counting up the 100-catch season in the NFL in those two eras might surprise you.

From 2006-2014 there have been 33 100-catch seasons posted. Wes Welker has five of them for the most in that span. But between 1995 and 2005, granted an 11-year span instead of eight-year plus span, there were 34 100-catch seasons by individual receivers.

As far as Eric Moulds is concerned it shows that the receivers from his era were more productive arguing that today’s receivers get more targets per game and thus more opportunities to make more catches. The fact that there aren’t appreciably more receivers today posting 100-catch seasons than there used to be when he was playing is proof as far as he’s concerned.

“You look at the New England Patriots. They just plug guys in,” Moulds told Buffalobills.com. “They lose Wes Welker and plug in (Julian) Edelman and he gets 100 catches. It’s one of those things where you throw the ball so much and you put so much emphasis on the passing game that you’re obviously going to have an opportunity to make plays. They’re given so many opportunities with the passing game.”

Moulds said in a conversation with former teammate and Hall of Famer Andre Reed the two leading receivers in team history entertained the thought of playing in today’s game and how many more chances they’d have to produce.

“You’re always going to say, ‘What if I was playing this era,’” said Moulds. “I had a conversation with Andre Reed right before he went into the Hall of Fame and he was saying, ‘Moulds what if we were playing in this era where they throw the ball a ton? Even when I was in the K-Gun we didn’t throw it this much.’ I said, ‘Man, it would be great.’”


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What Moulds told Watkins

Posted by Chris Brown on December 10, 2014 – 11:52 am

In today’s headline story on Buffalobills.com we take a look at how the 2014 draft class of receivers stands a good chance of eclipsing the gold standard for receiver draft classes, which was the 1996 group. Buffalo has a first-round pick in each of those classes at the receiver position in Eric Moulds and Sammy Watkins. Recently Moulds was on hand for a Bills home game to lead the charge prior to kickoff. He also had an opportunity to talk to Watkins. Here was some of the exchange between the two.

“I did catch up with him on the sideline,” said Watkins. “I had a couple of words with him and that was great to see guys like him. Guys I look up to and now they’re coming to watch me play.”

Moulds was the one who did most of the talking during the meeting between the two first-round picks.

“I just told Sammy that I was a big fan of his and I expected big things out of him,” Moulds told Buffalobills.com. “I told him I was looking forward to him breaking all of my records and Andre Reed’s records. If he does that it means the team is successful.”

The Bills’ record holder for two of the highest reception season in team history, Moulds put the onus on Watkins to earn Pro Bowl recognition sooner rather than later.

“I told him the last time a receiver from the Bills went to the Pro Bowl it was me,” said Moulds. “It’s long overdue. I also told him that the last time a Pro Bowl receiver took a Bills team to the playoffs it was me as well. So it’s up to him and (Robert) Woods and (Chris) Hogan and they have to step it up and make plays.

“Once they get their offense down and Sammy gets in a situation where he’s comfortable, because teams are paying a lot more attention to him when you’re making plays like he was making. He has to watch a lot of film to figure out how he can get open and beat double teams. It’s going to come with time, but he’s still a rookie.”

Moulds also extended Watkins the invitation to call him at any time for any questions he might have about the game, like getting separation off double teams, something Moulds saw a lot in his time with Buffalo.

“No, I told him that if he had any questions he could reach out to me and I’d be happy to help,” he said. “I just told him just be ready to play, but we could always talk whenever or I could come back up to town. Sammy kept saying, ‘Yes sir. Yes sir.’ He’s one of those guys. I said, ‘Sammy I’m not that old so you don’t have to call me sir.’”


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Bills-Chiefs officially a sell out

Posted by Chris Brown on November 6, 2014 – 1:07 pm

The Bills have announced that Sunday’s home game versus the Kansas City Chiefs is sold out. Sunday’s game is sponsored by the New York National Guard, and a former Bills wide receiver will serve as Leader of the Charge.

Former Bills wide receiver Eric Moulds (1996-2005) will serve as the Leader of the Charge. It’s also the first home game to kick off Salute to Service month.


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Moulds not the only former Bills WR coaching

Posted by Chris Brown on June 20, 2013 – 4:15 pm

As we profiled on Buffalobills.com, Eric Moulds will undertake his first foray into NFL coaching as a minority fellowship coach during training camp later this summer with the Arizona Cardinals. But he’s not the only former Bills receiver who will try his hand at coaching in an NFL training camp.

The only receiver ahead of Moulds on the Bills all-time receiving list, Wall of Famer Andre Reed will also be working as a minority fellowship coach with the Kansas City Chiefs under Andy Reid.

“Andy’s been a good friend of mine for a lot of years,” Reed told the Morning Call during an  appearance Wednesday at his hometown Allentown Boys and Girls Club.  “He has always been a great supporter of me and the way I played. I think he’s  going to turn things around in Kansas City and I’m excited to be part of it.  Andy and their receivers coach [David Culley] called me and they’re excited  about having me out there.”

Reed said now at age 49 the time is right with his kids grown to take a stab at the coaching profession.

 


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Stevie has 2 of Bills 18 1K-yard seasons

Posted by Chris Brown on December 19, 2012 – 11:13 am

As we profiled on Buffalobills.com today, Stevie Johnson is 109 yards away from posting his third straight 1,000-yard season. There have only been 18 1,000-yard receiving seasons in Bills history. Here’s the list.

Not surprisingly, Andre Reed (4) and Eric Moulds (4) account for almost half the total. Lee Evans, Johnson and Frank Lewis are the only others with multiple 1,000-yard seasons.

Player Season   G Tgt Rec Yds Avg Long TD Rec/G Yds/G 1st 1st% 25+ Y@C Y@C/R YAC
1 Eric Moulds 1998 Buf 16 116 67 1368 20.4 84t 9 4.2 85.5 54 80.6 19 871 13.0 497  
2 Eric Moulds 2000 Buf 16 164 94 1326 14.1 52 5 5.9 82.9 62 66.0 14 969 10.3 357  
3 Andre Reed 1989 Buf 16 - 88 1312 14.9 78t 9 5.5 82.0 - - - - - - -
4 Andre Reed 1994 Buf 16 143 90 1303 14.5 83t 8 5.6 81.4 64 71.1 11 849 9.4 454  
5t Lee Evans 2006 Buf 16 137 82 1292 15.8 83t 8 5.1 80.8 53 64.6 9 922 11.2 370  
5t Eric Moulds 2002 Buf 16 180 100 1292 12.9 70t 10 6.3 80.8 64 64.0 9 905 9.1 387  
7 Peerless Price 2002 Buf 16 148 94 1252 13.3 73t 9 5.9 78.3 57 60.6 10 789 8.4 463  
8 Frank Lewis 1981 Buf 16 - 70 1244 17.8 33 4 4.4 77.8 - - - - - -  
9 Elbert Dubenion 1964 Buf 14 - 42 1139 27.1 72 10 3.0 81.4 - - - - - -  
10 Andre Reed 1991 Buf 16 126 81 1113 13.7 55 10 5.1 69.6 62 76.5 10 1113 13.7 0  
11 Frank Lewis 1979 Buf 15 - 54 1082 20.0 55 2 3.6 72.1 - - - - - -  
12 Stevie Johnson 2010 Buf 16 142 82 1073 13.1 45 10 5.1 67.1 61 74.4 10 654 8.0 419  
13 James Lofton 1991 Buf 15 99 57 1072 18.8 77t 8 3.8 71.5 45 78.9 10 1072 18.8 0  
14 Eric Moulds 2004 Buf 16 152 88 1043 11.9 49 5 5.5 65.2 53 60.2 6 709 8.1 334  
15t Marlin Briscoe 1970 Buf 14 - 57 1036 18.2 48 8 4.1 74.0 - - - - - - -
15t Andre Reed 1996 Buf 16 101 66 1036 15.7 67t 6 4.1 64.8 42 63.6 12 692 10.5 344  
17 Lee Evans 2008 Buf 16 102 63 1017 16.1 87t 3 3.9 63.6 46 73.0 10 766 12.2 251  
18 Stevie Johnson 2011 Buf 16 134 76 1004 13.2 55 7

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Stevie also 1 catch from another mark

Posted by Chris Brown on December 19, 2012 – 10:59 am

As we profiled on the home page of Buffalobills.com today, Stevie Johnson is just 109 yards from his third straight 1,000-yard season, a first in Bills team history. He’s also one catch away from joining some select company in Bills history.

With one more reception Johnson will join Wall of Famer Andre Reed as the only receivers to post three straight 70-catch seasons. Reed actually had 70 receptions or more for four straight years (1988-1991).

Eric Moulds has the top two single-season reception totals in history, and four seasons of 70 catches or more, but only once did he post such seasons back-to-back (2004-2005).


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Moulds still has the mark

Posted by Chris Brown on January 10, 2012 – 10:54 am

Detroit WR Calvin Johnson was virtually unstoppable in the NFC Wild Card playoff game over the weekend between Detroit and New Orleans. Though the Saints won, Johnson posted 11 catches for 211 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Still, it didn’t set the record for most receiving yards in a playoff game. That distinction is still held by former Buffalo WR Eric Moulds.

Moulds had nine catches for 240 yards and a touchdown (32 yarder) in the AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Dolphins. Much like Johnson, Moulds and the Bills also came up short against Miami losing 24-17 thanks in large part to five turnovers. Here are the top 3 all-time receiving performances in playoff history in terms of receiving yardage.

1. Eric Moulds – Jan. 1999 vs. Miami – 9-240 yds, 1 TD
2. Anthony Carter – Jan. 1988 vs. SF – 10-227 yds
3 . Reggie Wayne – Jan. 2005 vs. Den – 10-221 yds, 2 TDs

Calvin Johnson’s game against New Orleans last weekend (12-211 yds, 2 TDs) is sixth best all-time.


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Who Stevie is reminding me of

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2011 – 10:38 pm

Stevie Johnson was flat out dominant in practice Saturday night. He had some teammates that turned in some nice plays as well, but the defensive backs really had their hands full with him. He had six catches on the night, two of which went for touchdowns during red zone work. He reminds me of another former Bills that had a dominant camp en route to a dominant season and a Pro Bowl nod.

In the 1998 training camp at Fredonia, there was a wide receiver entering his third year in the league and had done virtually nothing in the league at the position. But that summer it was evident that he was going to change that in a hurry. Former first-round pick Eric Moulds was literally unstoppable in camp practices making big plays each and every practice session.

Come the regular season Moulds was a monster and went to his first Pro Bowl after he put up 1,368 yards receiving on just 67 catches to average over 20 yards per reception (20.4) and nine touchdowns.

Now Saturday night was just the first practice where Johnson looked to be too much to handle, but in this shortened offseason he may just be hitting his stride now after a week of getting back into the swing of things. And he seems more focused than ever.

“I’m at a point where do you just want to be a one-year wonder or do you want to be one of those guys that everybody remembers around the league,” Johnson said after practice. “I’m just learning from Lee really, checking out what Lee’s doing and checking out his patterns and just trying to build off my last year and be better.”

All I know is tonight I watched a performance that reminded me of those Moulds’ camp practices from ’98. Let’s hope they lead to a similar kind of regular season.


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McKelvin’s focus

Posted by Chris Brown on May 25, 2010 – 4:13 pm

Leodis McKelvin has made it a point to be more focused on the field than perhaps he’s ever been. There is a clearly different on field demeanor coming from him. One of intensity and determination that I once saw in another player entering his third year as a pro en route to a breakout season.

It was training camp 1998 and there was a third-year receiver that had come under much scrutiny for his lack of production his first two seasons. But in training camp that year he was unstoppable. He dominated almost every practice offensively that summer. That receiver was Eric Moulds.

Moulds would go on to have 67 catches for a Bills single-season record 1,368 yards, which also led the AFC that year and nine touchdowns. He had a 20.4 yards per catch average, which was good for 2nd in the NFL and made his first Pro Bowl.

McKelvin isn’t dominating practices defensively just yet, but he’s been around the ball a lot through the five rookie minicamp practices and again on day one of OTAs. Come training camp there could be a whole lot more excitement about the season the former first-round pick might have in 2010.


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Evans now number 3

Posted by Chris Brown on December 28, 2009 – 12:17 am

Lee Evans with his five reception day against the Falcons moved into some select company Sunday.

His 43 receiving yards helped to put him all alone in third place on the Bills all-time receiving yardage list passing AFL Bills great Elbert Dubenion.

Dubenion had 5,294 career receiving yards with the Bills. Evans now has 5,307.

Only Eric Moulds (9,096) and Andre Reed (13,095) sit ahead of Evans on the team’s all-time receiving yardage list.


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Fan Friday 5-29

Posted by Chris Brown on May 29, 2009 – 7:04 pm

Two weeks of OTAs are down, with only one full week to go before the mandatory minicamp. The offseason is moving along quickly. On to your questions.

1. chris
 
How concerned are you about our back up QB situation…
Geo… Fort Myers..FL

CB: I would still like to see more of Ryan Fitzpatrick in this offensive system before passing judgment, but Fitzpatrick was a backup candidate that I liked going into the free agency period. So I’m not worried at all. His arm looked like it needed a week to warm up in the OTA setting, but he’s been much more accurate and decisive here in week two.

I think he’s getting a better handle on the system and he throws a nice fade ball in the end zone. He’s not as physically gifted as Trent, but I think he’s more than capable. Gibran could challenge him, but I think ultimately Fitzpatrick will be the backup.

 
2. Chris,
How much input do you think Buddy Nix had in this year’s draft of the Bills?  I’m curious to know, because of the success that the San Diego franchise had when he was working for them.  Hopefully, his success there follows him here to Buffalo.

Also the axiom that receivers aren’t successful until they’ve been in the league for three years appears to be true more often than not.  Is Shawn Nelson following in James Hardy’s footsteps regarding having a difficult time picking up the complexities of an NFL offense.  Do you agree and do you think his impact will be as minimal as Hardy’s was last year? 
Thanks,
Ed White

CB: I believe that Nix had some input, but he joined Buffalo late in the draft preparation process, so I think his depth of scope will be greater in future years. There’s no question however, that Nix is a scouting mind that Tom Modrak respects and Nix has a firm grasp of the talent down south, where in most cases it’s richest.

As for your receiver axiom, that’s usually the case. Anybody remember Eric Moulds’ breakout year? It was 1998, his third season in the league. Shawn Nelson is working hard here in OTAs, but his head is swimming.

Tight ends coach Charlie Coiner is constantly on him for his route execution and assignment errors. As more college players come to the NFL from the spread offense, more and more of them will struggle to adjust to a pro style offense in year one.

The route concepts and reading coverages are all foreign to rookies that come from that system. It’s going to take some time with Nelson I believe, so I don’t know that anyone should expect too much from him as a rookie.

 

 

3. How well are T.O. and Edwards getting along in OTAs? Does Edwards look comfortable with me and do you think T.O. thinks Edwards is “good enough to throw to him.”
 
Thanks
 
Wes Dickson

CB: Judging by the last two days, they’re doing very well. Owens has five touchdowns. Granted the cornerback contingent for the Bills is beat up with McGee, Youboty and McKelvin on the shelf right now, but the 70-yard touchdown play on Friday was impressive. I think both Edwards and Owens have adjusted to one another quite well considering the short time frame. I believe that can partly be attributed to Owens’ experience. He’s had to adjust to different QBs in the past, so it’s old hat for him. And judging by Edwards’ 50-yard bomb he has the arm to get it to T.O..

 

 

4. Chris,
Wonder if you can give me any progress report on Rookie FA OT Joel Bell. Only thing I’ve been able to find about him is the Bills signing him after the draft.  I’m sure he will not be a factor this year but I beleive that this kid has some serious upside.

Also, no mention of X Omon??? Is he getting any reps in the OTA’s?? Is he the off man out this year with the Bills signing D Rhodes??
 
Last, any idea what’s happening with JP Losman?? Just wondering.
 
Sorry, hard to stay on top of the Bills here in PackerLand, WI.

Thanks for your time,
Tom Blanchard

CB: Joel Bell has been running with the third team offense at right tackle. He’s been working hard in the practice setting, but he’s still a bit raw with respect to technique. He’s still young in football as he only played two years of high school ball and then played at the 1-AA level. The NFL is a big step up, but he’s doing his best to adjust.

Xavier Omon has done well. He’s running fourth on the depth chart behind Lynch, Jackson and Rhodes, so he hasn’t seen a ton of action, but got more carries Friday with Rhodes not in attendance.

He looks stronger as he’s added muscle in the offseason, if that’s possible since he was pretty bulky to begin with. It’s hard to assess the effectiveness of backs in the OTA setting because it’s not full speed with no pads. So hitting the hole isn’t the same.

J.P. Losman is a free agent as of right now. Haven’t heard of any teams expressing interest of late. Be interesting to see if he has to wait for an injury at QB in an NFL training camp to get a shot.

 

 

5. Hey Chris,

I was wondering what you think the chances are of the Bills actually signing Pisa Tinoisamoa? After he came in for a visit I haven’t heard too much else about him from Buffalo’s end. I know that the Bears are the other known team that has shown as much interest as the Bills. But I feel that he’d most likely get more playing time here than in Chicago and that because of that he’d be more interested in Buffalo. I think that he’d give the Bills some pretty solid depth with amongst linebackers with Ellison being a more than serviceable backup. Thanks.

Andrew
Kenmore, NY
CB: I think Tinoisamoa will have to make a decision in the next week or so. With offseason camps ending soon, I’d like to think he’d want to get in and get his feet wet even though both teams have defenses that are similar to what he played in St. Louis.

Schematically he’s a fit for either team. He also played under Bears head coach Lovie Smith directly, who was his defensive coordinator his first couple of years in the league. Perry Fewell was also on that staff as a DBs coach.

I think both teams offer a legitimate chance to start, but he’d likely be just a two down player on both teams. I’m wondering if Tinoisamoa is holding out hope that another team expresses interest late in the game like Tampa Bay, which again plays a similar system and could use linebacker help after casting off Cato June and Derrick Brooks.

I do have to say though that I don’t get the feeling that the Bills or Bears see Tinoisamoa as a high priority signing. Otherwise he would have been signed already.


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