Inside The Bills

Marrone on adding another RB – “Probably”

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2014 – 4:05 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone is down a pair of running backs for the foreseeable future. Without Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, Marrone has just Boobie Dixon and Bryce Brown healthy at running back. He also has FB Frank Summers. So when asked about the possibility of adding another back Marrone said the chances are good.

“Probably. I think we’ll probably do something,” he said. “I think a lot of it depends on where Fred is at, but yeah I would say yes we could bring somebody in. We’ll have to discuss those things.”


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Bills to tender Hogan, McClain, Summers

Posted by Chris Brown on March 3, 2014 – 5:08 pm

While the Bills continue to try to negotiate with some of their unrestricted free agents they do plan to tender their three exclusive rights free agents.

Bills GM Doug Whaley confirmed those plans Monday afternoon.

“We’ve tendered offers to all our exclusive free agents and tendered those guys to some contracts,” said Whaley.

Buffalo’s exclusive rights free agents were WR Chris Hogan, OL Antoine McClain and FB Frank Summers.

Players who are exclusive rights free agents can only re-sign with their current clubs so the trio of players re-signing is a formality that will likely be taken care of in the near future.


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FB Summers scores big points

Posted by Chris Brown on December 15, 2013 – 10:41 pm

For Bills FB Frank Summers hasn’t had many opportunities on offense this season. On Sunday he had seven touches and contributed the most important points of the game in a 27-20 victory for Buffalo at Jacksonville.

Tied at 20-20, Summers pulled in a one-yard touchdown pass from EJ Manuel off play action to put Buffalo ahead for good with 9:35 left and the Bills defense made the touchdown lead stand up. For Summers it was the first receiving touchdown of his career and second this season. His celebration dance might need a bit of work, but when you’ve toiled as much as Summers has to stick in the NFL you understand why he was so animated.

“As far as the dance it’s been a long road for me in this league,” said Summers. “I’ve been here a while, and this is really actually the first time really, really playing. Just knocking on the door and kicking it down and getting excited with the team.

“The touchdown catch—I just went to the flat and EJ threw me a nice  ball.  I was able to give our team a boost and we were able to finish out with the win.”

Summers may have been motivated to make a bigger impact Sunday after he was inactive last week at Tampa as the Bills wanted to take a look at recent signee Evan Rodriguez. To perform when given the opportunity was satisfying for Summers.

“It did feel good,” he said. “I came in wanting to do that and wanting to help this team out. Really wanting to get a win more than anything. We were able to accomplish that and I’m really excited for the team.”

Summers had three catches for 16 yards including his touchdown grab and also had four carries for 14 yards. The Bills fullback felt he showed some diversity to his game.

“Yeah, that’s one of the things I pride myself on, not just being the fullback, or halfback or anything like that, but being a complete football player, being able to play fullback or play tailback,  special teams, run, catch, block—that’s what I really pride myself on and I was able to show people I could do that,” said Summers.


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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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RB play time breakdown

Posted by Chris Brown on October 21, 2013 – 9:09 am

With C.J. Spiller still not 100 percent with his ailing ankle and Fred Jackson still fighting through a sprained MCL, here’s how the running back breakdown went on offense Sunday against Miami.

Buffalo went with a three-pronged approach at running back and even got FB Frank Summers involved as he got a couple of carries Sunday.

Player                   Snaps    Carries  Pct of plays
Fred Jackson      39           11           58%
C.J. Spiller           14           6              21%
Tashard Choice  12           6              18%
Frank Summers 11           2              16%


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Sleeper RB Gaskins won’t double as FB

Posted by Chris Brown on July 12, 2013 – 8:26 am

Bills undrafted rookie RB Kendall Gaskins got a lot of work in the spring practices. During his preparation for training camp, Gaskins went back to his University of Richmond campus to train and sat down for an interview with Spiders TV, where he revealed what the coaches have planned for him position-wise at camp.

Gaskins laid out how the latter rounds of the draft unfolded and that the Bills called him long before the draft was over.

“I got a call around the fifth or sixth round from the Bills and it was Tyrone Wheatley the running backs coach and he was telling me that running back wasn’t a position of need, but they really wanted me,” Gaskins told Spiders TV. “It’s a good fit for me. Tyrone Wheatley likes big backs and I’m only going to be playing running back, not fullback as well. So it was an overall good choice for me and a good fit for me.”

It’s interesting that Gaskins will not be used as a fullback at all. That essentially leaves a fullback role if Buffalo deems it necessary to have one to Frank Summers, essentially the only true fullback on the roster. Gaskins was one of the eight training camp sleepers listed in our Top 25 Countdown to Training Camp feature on the unknown players to keep an eye on.


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Other possible sleeper candidates

Posted by Chris Brown on July 11, 2013 – 9:33 am

In our Top 25 questions until training camp we profile some of the top sleeper candidates for this summer’s camp at St. John Fisher today (Thursday). Here are a couple of additional names that could factor into the sleeper category as well.

FB Frank Summers – The blocking back is a bowling ball, but has some receiving ability and can play a role on special teams. With veteran Corey McIntyre no longer on the roster, Summers is the closest thing to a true fullback. It’ll likely come down to what the offensive staff feels they need and the play of profiled sleeper Kendall Gaskins.

WR Kevin Elliott – The receiver offers great size at 6’3″ and 205 pounds and has demonstrated an ability to use his body to shield defenders from the ball. Elliott runs well and looked to be a player that the quarterbacks looked for when he ran with the second and third units.

DE Corbin Bryant – Getting a fair amount of reps with the second unit as an end, the 330-pound Bryant is a sizable force that could land a role on the practice squad where the defensive staff could further develop the Northwestern product.


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