Inside The Bills

Bills HOF’er & Pro Bowler to announce day 2 picks

Posted by Chris Brown on April 28, 2016 – 5:00 pm

The Bills will have one of their Hall of Famers and one of their 2015 Pro Bowlers at the lectern in Chicago Friday night to announced their day 2 draft picks.

Bruce Smith will be announcing Buffalo’s second-round pick Friday night. He’ll be followed by Bills Pro Bowl center Eric Wood, who will announced the team’s third-round pick.

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Both Smith (1985) and Wood (2009) were former first-round selections of the Bills.

Smith was the first overall pick in 1985.


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Bills 3 Pro Bowlers all on same squad

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2016 – 9:35 am

In the wake of the Pro Bowl draft all three representatives from the Bills were selected to the same squad.

Richie Incognito, Tyrod Taylor and Eric Wood were all selected by Team Rice on Wednesday night. By the looks of the lineup it appears that Incognito will start at left guard. Taylor and Wood will hit the field Sunday night as subs.

The other interesting aspect of the Pro Bowl is all of the quarterbacks will be mic’d up live for the game. So when Taylor gets in the game you’ll be able to hear him interacting with teammates in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage.

Here’s a look at the Team Rice roster, which includes Buffalo’s three Pro Bowl reps.

The Pro Bowl airs Sunday night at 7 pm on ESPN.


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Wood: Goal already set for O-line in 2016

Posted by Chris Brown on January 25, 2016 – 3:45 pm

Bills Pro Bowl center Eric Wood, who was named to the Pro Bowl roster officially on Monday as a replacement for Carolina C Ryan Kalil, talked about the parts of the offense that he felt helped his case as a Pro Bowl caliber player this season. He also shared a team goal that the offensive line already has on the docket for 2016.

Finishing tops in the league in rushing and having a quarterback with the seventh-highest passer rating in the NFL were both good reflections on Wood’s play as he saw it.

“Those are good indicators,” said Wood. “I think our film looked a lot better too. Guys that really dove into our film I think as a group we looked a lot better this year. We just look to improve on that going into next year. I think a really cool one would be if we can get LeSean (McCoy) the rushing title. That is definitely an honor. We took a little trip down to Key West to start the offseason and we talked about that a bunch. That’s a goal for us next year.”


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Taylor, Wood cramming for Pro Bowl

Posted by Chris Brown on January 25, 2016 – 1:51 pm

Eric Wood and Tyrod Taylor are both headed to the Pro Bowl as replacements for Carolina Panthers Ryan Kalil and Cam Newton as both of them are advancing to the Super Bowl. Wood and Taylor are all too happy to step in, but their travel schedule just got a lot more hectic this week.

Both Taylor and Wood are flying to Hawaii Tuesday morning and will begin preparations for the game not long after their land in Honolulu.

“I’ll get into Hawaii about 4 pm Hawaii time,” Wood told Buffalobills.com. “We have a players’ meeting that night at seven and we’ll get more of our schedule details from there. The good thing was I knew it was coming so I was prepared that if they won I’d be going. But I didn’t want to jinx anything and make any plans.”

The league informs the Pro Bowl alternates what has to occur in the NFL playoffs to get their opportunity to play in the Pro Bowl.

“I kind of knew all along as an alternate that I needed Carolina to go to the Super Bowl and then I’d be going,” said Wood. “I’ve been rooting pretty hard for Carolina throughout the playoffs. So when they won I knew I was in and someone from the league contacted me about 11:30 last night. I’ve been making travel arrangements. I’m on the way back from the University of Louisville now from a workout. I was trying to do a little crash course to get back in shape and get ready to play a game this weekend.”


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Asst. OL coach Anderson leaves for Arkansas

Posted by Chris Brown on January 9, 2016 – 10:31 pm

The first change to Buffalo’s coaching staff has taken place this offseason. Bills assistant offensive line coach Kurt Anderson has announced he’s leaving the Bills to take over as offensive line coach at the University of Arkansas. Anderson made the announcement on his Twitter account.

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Anderson was instrumental this past season in coaching Buffalo’s offensive line while offensive line coach Aaron Kromer serves a six-game team-imposed suspension. Head coach Rex Ryan praised Anderson’s efforts in Kromer’s absence. Buffalo’s offensive linemen also had a good deal of respect for the up and coming assistant coach.

“I’m really excited for Kurt,” said Eric Wood. “He is a great coach and will do a great job at Arkansas. I learned a lot from him during his time with the Bills and I know he will bring a lot to the table for Arkansas.”

Arkansas alum and TE Chris Gragg also expressed his excitement that his alma mater was getting Anderson as a new assistant.

“This is a great opportunity for Kurt,” said Gragg. “Arkansas will be a great fit for him. He is a great young coach with alot of energy and fire. I loved working with him at the Bills and know players at Arkansas will feel the same.”

Anderson also gave props to his Buffalo Bills family.

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Bills focused on what win meant for them

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2016 – 10:34 pm

After their gutty win over the Jets on Sunday the predominant line of questioning from the media was if the players took any satisfaction in preventing New York from advancing to the playoffs in their 22-17 victory. It was made very clear by each player asked that the Bills were more focused on what the win meant for them.

With eyes already on 2016, the Bills feel the win over the Jets, which completed a season sweep and now has Buffalo’s winning streak against the Jets up to five straight, has helped them capture the kind of synergy they need between their preparation during the week and trust and execution with one another and the coaching staff on game day.

“It definitely was a big game for us. An opportunity for us to sweep a divisional team. We knew going into this game there was a lot for us to learn from this season,” said Tyrod Taylor. “But it was more so just attitude and going into next year. We went out there and got the job done.”

“Honestly, whether this was about them going to win and in or whatever they were saying, it was never really about that,” said Eric Wood. “We weren’t talking about it, we wanted to get this win for us. Did we want our division rival at our expense to go to the playoffs on our home field, heck no.”

“They had a playoff chance and we knocked them out,” said Manny Lawson. “More so than knocking them out we won, and that’s takes precedence over everything.”

“Honestly it wasn’t about keeping them out of the playoffs. There’s still football that has to be played. I know we’re not going to the playoffs, but our fans come out and cheer us on. It wasn’t about the Jets, it was about us finishing the right way,” said Sammy Watkins. “Just building off the season and next year we can come to training camp and say hey, we won our last two games, won two out of three in our division with two sweeps and we’ve just got to continue to grow as a team. Just staying in with each other.”


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Finishing with top run game important

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2016 – 10:13 am

The Bills enter Sunday’s game with the top rushing attack and they’d like to finish that way coming out of their final game with the Jets.

“It would be amazing. It would be amazing, especially with the group of guys we had carry the ball this year,” said Karlos Williams. “Some guys not here still, but the group of guys we’ve had running the football this year, Shady leading the way, it’s been amazing. So much to learn in this running back room and from this offense and from this coaching staff and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

“Absolutely, it’s important,” said Eric Wood. “We’re out of the playoffs, but that’s something you can hang your hat on going into the offseason. We’d rather have the win in all cases, but we’re proud to lead the league in rushing.”

It won’t be easy with the Bills facing the top run defense in football in the Jets. However, New York was the top run defense the first time Buffalo faced them and the Bills rolled up 148 yards on them, the most by any team this season.


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Taylor, 2 Bills OL head Pro Bowl alternates

Posted by Chris Brown on December 23, 2015 – 12:42 pm

LeSean McCoy was aptly named to the Pro Bowl by his NFL peers as announced on NFL Network last night. He was the only starter named to the league’s all-star game from the Bills. Four other Bills however, were named as Pro Bowl alternates in the event that some starters are unavailable for the game. Two of the four were also largely responsible along with McCoy in giving Buffalo the number one rushing offense in the league.

Head coach Rex Ryan announced the team’s four Pro Bowl alternates Wednesday.

“We had four alternates to the Pro Bowl,” said Ryan. “It was Richie Incognito. Obviously I expected Richie to be playing in the game, but he was named an alternate as was Eric Wood and Marcell Dareus and then Tyrod Taylor also. So those are our alternates to the Pro Bowl.”

Woods and Incognito anchored Buffalo’s offensive line this season, and helped vault the offense to the top of the league in rushing. Taylor also had a hand in that statistic as the team’s second-leading rusher behind McCoy with 450 yards on the ground this season. In fact Taylor is 27 yards from breaking the team’s single-season rushing record by a quarterback, set by Doug Flutie.

Taylor was also one of the highest-rated quarterbacks in the league all season. He currently stands fifth in the league in quarterback rating with a mark of 101.8 and has a 4:1 touchdown to interception ratio this season.


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Taylor does right by his O-line

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2015 – 2:54 pm

We’ve heard before how quarterbacks take care of their offensive linemen because offensive linemen take care of their quarterback all season. From gold watches to other luxury items, quarterbacks often spring for their teammates. Bills QB Tyrod Taylor decided to go big for his offensive linemen this season.

Taylor bought each of his offensive linemen a brand new 65-inch flat screen TV, which was waiting by each of their lockers on Tuesday morning.

“It’s a nice gesture by Tyrod,” said Eric Wood. “It kind of reinforces what I feel about him. He just gets it man. He understands the game. He understands being a quarterback. He understands his role with us. A really nice gesture by him.”

Tyrod TVs


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Washington defensive front has size edge

Posted by Chris Brown on December 20, 2015 – 10:12 am

It’s one of the biggest defensive fronts in the league. Washington’s defensive line and edge pass rushers in their 3-4 scheme are hard to root out and move. So for Buffalo’s offensive line they’ll have to scheme around them knowing that blowing them off the ball is unrealistic.

“It’ll be a challenge for us,” said Eric Wood. “They have a really talented front seven, really physical, that’s been noted this week. I’ve gone against (NT Terrance) Knighton in the past, and I have a lot of respect for him, really tough to move, and he can make plays as well. They’ve assembled that defense with some talented players, for sure.”

Buffalo’s offensive line will be relying on technique to win the battles up front.

“A lot of times with combination blocks, with a guy like Terrence Knighton, you’re not going to crush him off the ball one-on-one,” said Wood. “You have to be sound on your technique on your combination blocks, and when you get a chance to get him rolling, you have to take advantage of it without over-extending yourself because he’s really good at swiping guys by because he doesn’t necessarily have to play over-extended to hold his ground, so if you get over-extended, he’ll swipe you to the ground.”

 

 


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Rex gets game ball

Posted by Chris Brown on November 13, 2015 – 4:30 am

It’s usually the head coach that hands out game balls after a big win, but on Thursday night at MetLife stadium the roles were reversed in Buffalo’s locker room.

Although Rex Ryan refused to make the matchup with his former team the Jets about him and his history with the rival AFC East club, the players knew what a win would mean for him.

“He was just excited, he didn’t say much,” said Preston Brown of the postgame locker room atmosphere. “We know how proud he is for us to get this win. It was a big moment for him, so for us to go out and get that win I’m sure he’s happy.”

Handing Ryan his game ball after the victory was Eric Wood.

“I just said welcome back to the Big Apple, man. And I just gave him a hug,” Wood said. “I leave the talking to Rex.  He’s a lot more talented speaker than really anybody I’ve been around.”


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Big plays have loosened run front

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2015 – 9:01 am

Through their first three games Buffalo ranks first in the league in rushing yards per game at better than 152 yards per game (152.7). That figure is aided greatly by Buffalo’s big plays in the passing game.

Among the teams that have played just three games so far this season, the Bills have the third-highest number of pass play covering 25 yards or more with eight. Bills C Eric Wood says that makes it a lot harder for opposing defenses to stack the box with eight defenders.

“Through three games we’ve made some plays down the field that definitely free up the run game,” Wood said. “It makes everything easier. It frees up the short passing game. Everything complements each other on offense and when they’re able to make plays like they have down the field it’s tremendous for us.”

Buffalo figures to have a tougher task in the run game without the services of LeSean McCoy and against the league’s number two run defense.


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Vets encouraged by progress in camp

Posted by Chris Brown on August 25, 2015 – 3:08 pm

Two players who have seen their share of training camps with the Bills are very encouraged about the team’s prospects as their preparations came to a close at St. John Fisher Tuesday.

A lot of Buffalo’s questions heading into the season reside on offense, but Eric Wood and Fred Jackson like the pieces they have in place on the roster and the coaches they have on the staff.

“It felt like training camp. It was a lot of work, but I love our scheme, I love our coaches we have in place,” said Eric Wood. “I love our team at this point. I’m excited about our group moving forward. I’ve been excited in the past but it’s hard to compare year to year. I just know I’m really confident in the group we have right now.”

“This is by far the best team I’ve been a part of,” said Jackson who finished his 10th training camp with the club. “We’ve got a lot of weapons, great coaching staff. Guys that are in here ready to work and contribute and feed off of each other. I think as long as you have that you have a great opportunity to win games.”

 


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Rex: Left side of OL is set

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2015 – 2:54 pm

It’s only day three of training camp, but barring a 180 in performance everyone from the center to the left tackle on the starting offensive line is pretty much locked into their roles for Buffalo’s offense.

That according to head coach Rex Ryan, who confirmed that in his mind Cordy Glenn, Richie Incognito and Eric Wood are all going to be lining up where they are now in Week 1.

Ryan was asked about the competition up front and though there are some open jobs still to be won on the right side of the starting line, from the pivot to the left edge Ryan likes what he has there right now.

“I don’t anticipate Eric Wood being replaced anytime soon, but yeah you’re trying to make sure you’ve got the best guys,” Ryan said. “You know one thing for sure, Richie (Incognito), Richie’s a starter. I mean he looks as good as about any of them. Cordy (Glenn) looks really good, so we’re set there.”

Ryan said John Miller is getting pushed by second-year guard Cyril Richardson. Meanwhile at right tackle Seantrel Henderson and Cyrus Kouandjio will be battling for the starting spot there.


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Roman’s approach appealing for O-line

Posted by Chris Brown on July 11, 2015 – 10:13 am

Buffalo’s offensive line was a frustrated group last season. Their run game seemed like a weekly struggle and the variety of their attack from week to week was limited at best. Now with the addition of offensive coordinator Greg Roman, that’s all forgotten.

Roman’s diverse offensive schemes has the Buffalo’s offensive linemen excited about the prospects this fall.

“It’s just a different way of attacking defenses,” said G Richie Incognito. “You’re going to see a lot of different stuff out of us, a lot of different formations and a lot of different people moving around. There are a lot of ways to skin a cat. We’re going to be a run heavy offense, but I’ve never seen a playbook this big with as many ways to attack a defense with the run. We can attack you inside, we can come right downhill at you. We can run around you or toss the ball and circle the whole defense. We definitely have some playmakers and we’re hopeful to get the ball in their hands and get them in space.”

All that unpredictability makes it easier for the linemen to move defensive linemen off the line of scrimmage.

“That keeps us on the attack as opposed to trying to beat our head against the wall doing the same thing over and over and be really good at one thing, we’re trying to be really good at a lot of things and I think that can be really beneficial,” said Eric Wood.


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Join Eric Wood and his linemates

Posted by Chris Brown on May 15, 2015 – 8:44 am

Bills C Eric Wood has a charity event coming up that looks like it would be an evening of fun for any Bills fan. Here are the details.

Wood, who announced the official launch of the Eric Wood Foundation, is kicking things off with a Dinner for a Difference fundraiser that he’s hosting June 8 at Hyatt Regency in downtown Buffalo.

For one evening only, Wood and teammates will trade uniforms and helmets for aprons as they help serve guests three courses of favorites with fine wine and spirits. The night will also feature an exciting live and silent auction. Proceeds will benefit the foundation.

General admission tickets are $200. Guests can choose to purchase a $300 ticket to include a signature series football for autographs by celebrities. No outside memorabilia will be allowed at the event, but additional signature series footballs will be for sale for $150. Tickets and sponsorship packages are available at ericwoodfoundation.org.

Wood dinner

The primary focus of The Eric Wood Foundation is to provide seriously ill, special needs and physically challenged children throughout Greater Buffalo, NY with daily encouragement and life-changing experiences.

The Eric Wood Foundation hopes to impact the lives of more than 150,000 children by the end of 2017.

“Eric has a very compelling story,” says Mr. Yohana Hill, executive director of the foundation. “He’s had personal experience with the struggles that chronic and critical illness of a child can present a family. This is something he’s personally passionate about, and that’s why it will succeed.”


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OL adjusting to rotating QBs

Posted by Chris Brown on April 29, 2015 – 10:13 am

While the quarterback rotation gets rolling at veteran voluntary minicamp this week, there is an adjustment for the signal callers to get into a rhythm quickly with limited snaps. There is also an adjustment for the offensive linemen, who have four different voices to listen to after they’re down on the line of scrimmage.

“Snap count and cadence, that’s the hardest adjustment there,” said Eric Wood of the adjustment from one to the other. “They’re all kind of going to adjust to us, where they’re putting their hands, taking the snap and whatever. Just getting used to the snap counts will be something, but we’re all learning it together. At this point we’re all learning. It’s not like one quarterback is behind or the center is off.”


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Wood on benefits of run game commitment

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2015 – 9:27 am

As we covered on Buffalobills.com the Bills are likely to have a power run game as an offensive identity moving forward with Rex Ryan as head coach and Greg Roman as offensive coordinator. In Ryan’s six years with the Jets, New York ranked first in the league in rushing attempts per game (32.1) and Roman’s 49ers offense in his four years as coordinator was third in rushing attempts per game (30.7). As Bills C Eric Wood sees it, that kind of commitment to the run is very appealing.

“Anytime you commit to running the ball you allow the offensive line to get in a flow,” Wood told Buffalobills.com. “I’m not saying we haven’t done that in the past two years. Coach Hackett was definitely a balanced offensive coordinator, which was nice, but when you can really start wearing out a team and really get into a rhythm as an offensive line it gives you a chance to really succeed throughout the game. When you repeat runs or you see the same runs over and over that gives us a good feel throughout the game and towards the end of the game is when you get your more successful runs.”

Wood is right about the previous offensive staff. In 2013 the Bills led the league in rushing attempts per game (34.1), but this past season Buffalo dropped to 20th in that category with just 25.1 rushes per game.


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Players know 3rd down needs a jump start

Posted by Chris Brown on December 1, 2014 – 1:44 pm

The Bills offense had a trying time of converting on third down Sunday in their win over the Browns. So although they enjoyed the win, the men on offense realize they’ll need to dramatically improve their third down conversion rate this coming Sunday in Denver.

“We didn’t do well on third downs, I don’t know if we converted one, at all? But we won the game,” said Robert Woods. “That’s something we have to work on. We’ve got to win on third downs and put ourselves in good situations.”

Buffalo was 2-for-15 on third down conversions in the game. The Bills did not convert on their first 11 third down opportunities. Their first conversion came with 7:29 left in the game when Marqueis Gray took a short pass for 41 yards on a crucial 3rd-and-1. The other conversion came three plays later, on another 3rd-and-1, with Fred Jackson getting the necessary yard. Buffalo eventually kicked a field goal.

“We weren’t executing on third downs,” said Eric Wood. “We still didn’t play great. A lot of times, those four yard runs in the first half, those turned into six and seven yard runs in the second half.  And we were saying then, we want to be patient.  But at the same time, it’s frustrating when you’re not scoring.  We gotta do a better job on third down, that’s for sure.”

The Bills rank 26th in the league in third down conversion percentage at 36.3%.


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Bills offense set to build off Monday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 29, 2014 – 9:58 am

Monday night’s win over the Jets saw Buffalo’s offense operate at perhaps its highest rate of efficiency this season. Now the task is duplicating that effort Sunday in a pivotal AFC game against the Browns.

“You hope to build off it,” said Eric Wood. “It was a challenging week and we came together, the city came together and we hope to ride a little of momentum for sure.”

The biggest challenge may be playing well at home, something that has proven difficult at times for the Bills this season.

“We haven’t played here in a while and we’re looking forward to it,” said Wood. “Looking forward to a packed house and a real home field advantage.”

Buffalo is 2-3 at Ralph Wilson stadium this season.


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