Inside The Bills

H-back Evan Rodriguez active today

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2013 – 11:38 am

He was signed as a street free agent a month ago. With a 6’2” 239-pound frame and blessed with 4.56 speed, Buffalo’s coaching staff is going to give Evan Rodriguez his best opportunity in the NFL in about a year today against the Bucs.

Rodriguez was released by Chicago this past summer after they made him a fourth-round pick just a year ago. He was mostly a pass catcher with a similar stature and athleticism to that of former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez.

Head coach Doug Marrone and his staff covet versatile players and at least physically it appears that Rodriguez could offer that.

However, with Frank Summers inactive and Rodriguez the only available fullback up today, he realizes he may be asked to do more blocking than anything else.

“In college I was used to running the ball, but my strength is being versatile and coaches like to put me in space and moving me around,” Rodriguez told Buffalobills.com. “Running the ball is part of football so it doesn’t bother me. I don’t mind leading them in the hole to the promised land. As long as it leads to positive yards I’m good with it.”

Rodriguez is still getting settled in Buffalo’s offense now that he’s been on the roster a month. He actually began studying the special teams playbook first figuring if he was needed quickly it would likely be in that phase of the game first.

“It hasn’t been too bad,” he said. “It’s been a while. I’ve been out of the game for about two months, but I’ve been hitting the books every day. Slowly I’m picking up the offense.”

Rodriguez says he’s just about in game shape and has been putting  in extra work in the weight room.

Now with this his first NFL opportunity in a while, the H-back is determined to make it count.

“I’m always ready to go. Life is about opportunity and the way I grew up you’ve always got to be prepared to be a starter even if you’re not one,” said Rodriguez. “That’s the mentality I’ve always taken. When my opportunity comes I will take advantage of it.”


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Bills have other options if just 4 WRs Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 14, 2013 – 2:48 pm

With Robert Woods already declared out and Stevie Johnson pretty iffy going into Sunday’s game with a groin injury, Bills head coach Doug Marrone is going to be a bit shorthanded at receiver against the Jets this weekend. When asked if he intends to elevate a receiver from the practice squad, Marrone indicated that would not a consideration this week.

“We talked about that, but no we’re not going to go in that direction,” said Marrone. “Obviously T.J. and Marquise have played quite a bit. We have Hogan. Easley played last week, and has done a nice job and played in the preseason. We have three tight ends now that have been active. We have two fullbacks that are active and one of them can run well. We have other options to turn to.”

Buffalo’s offense began to incorporate rookie TE Chris Gragg in the passing game and may give some time to recently signed H-back Evan Rodriguez.

Another option could be C.J. Spiller, who has been used at receiver in the past when injury has struck the position.


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New FB Rodriguez to be active Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 7, 2013 – 3:01 pm

The Bills just signed free agent FB Evan Rodriguez on Monday, but the coaching staff plans to have him active for Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh.

That according to head coach Doug Marrone.

“We’ll have him up this week, active and learning the system,” said Marrone. “It takes a little bit more time than learning teams and we’ll have him up there on special teams for the game.”

Marrone had indicated earlier in the week that Rodriguez could be an H-back type, but wanted to see him more in the practice setting to be sure. On Thursday he expanded on the possible roles Rodriguez could fill on offense.

“I think he can be an off the ball type tight end,” he said. “I think he can play fullback. He’s done those things. We see him in that role and someone who can help us on special teams, that’s what we’re evaluating right now.”

Rodriguez wears jersey number 48.


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How new addition Rodriguez might fit

Posted by Chris Brown on November 5, 2013 – 11:40 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone would like to see him more on the practice field, but new signee Evan Rodriguez could have a role no one on the roster is really filling at this point in Buffalo’s offense.

Rodriguez is listed as a fullback, but he was a tight end in college at Temple and had 69 receptions for 871 yards and seven touchdowns. Marrone sees a possible hybrid role for Rodriguez.

“I think I’ll wait and see,” said Marrone. “I know that he’s very athletic. He can help us in the H-Back mode and he can also help us on special teams. I think I wait to see what actually happens on the field.”


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A closer look at Bills new FB Rodriguez

Posted by Chris Brown on November 4, 2013 – 1:05 pm

rodriguez-evan-story

Buffalo’s most recent signee FB Evan Rodriguez was a former fourth-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2012. Here’s a look at some of his receiving and blocking exploits in college at Temple University.

Evan Rodriguez highlights

Rodriguez looks athletic in space. The one play where he executes three different blocks on one play to lead the back all the way down the sideline is pretty impressive. He also shows run after catch ability as a receiving target. Rodriguez appears versatile enough to work in an H-back type role.

His athleticism is further revealed in his 2012 Combine workout. He ran a 4.53 40-time, had a 36-inch vertical, a 9’9″ broad jump, a 6.94 second three cone drill and put up 18 reps on the bench.


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