Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 7-24

Posted by Chris Brown on July 24, 2015 – 12:17 pm

Less than a week until Bills training camp. Get ready Rochester! Here’s your latest round of questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

Do you really need a franchise QB to win the Super Bowl? I refer you to Brad Johnson of the Tampa Bay Bucs. The team went 9-7 the year before, had a new coach and went on to win super Bowl 37. Thoughts on any similarities to the current Bills?

CB: To answer the first question it certainly helps to have a franchise QB to win a Super Bowl because most teams with one are perennially in contention for a championship. Yes, there are Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer examples, but they are few in number.

What Super Bowl-winning QBs, who were a bit better than Johnson and Dilfer, but might not be considered elite like Phil Simms, Joe Flacco and Russell Wilson reinforce is that you need a top flight defense if you don’t have the All-Pro QB.

As for similarities I again point to the defense. Tampa’s Super Bowl-winning defense was number one in the league in total yards allowed, points allowed, touchdowns allowed and passing yards allowed. They were also fifth against the run and tied for sixth in sacks. Buffalo’s defense would likely have to put up a similar type of season this year.

 

2 – Hi Chris, as always, you do a great job covering the Buffalo Bills.

My question is concerning the possible cut of Fred Jackson. I just feel from a depth standpoint, the Bills need to hang onto him. Obviously, LeSean McCoy will get the bulk of the workload, but Fred Jackson is still a good runner, and excellent pass catcher. If Shady McCoy is injured, you need a proven starter. I’m not sure Bryce Brown, Boobie Dixon or Karlos Williams are ready.

If this is a run heavy scheme, you need a good backup to keep things moving.

Your thoughts,

Tony Falzone,
Ormond Beach, Fl

CB: I feel pretty good about Fred Jackson being on the roster this season. You’re right he is a good insurance policy for McCoy, but more critical to his job security is his effectiveness in pass protection. None of the other running backs, aside from McCoy, come close to his pass protection reads and ability and that makes him valuable for this offense.

Now if one of the other backs suddenly demonstrates a vast improvement in pass protection I suppose that could change things, but I’m not anticipating that knowing it’s another new offensive scheme this season under Greg Roman.

 

3 – Chris,

I’m very skeptical of the group of QB’s for the Bills this season, and I’d hate to waste a great defensive season, so are there any guys out there like Kyle Orton was last year that the Bills could bring in if things don’t pan out? Or are the Bills going to just play this QB competition out…?  Thanks for your great work Chris!

Sean from California

CB: I understand and respect your skepticism, but there is not a lot out there right now to choose from. Michael Vick is the biggest name out there, but I don’t see Rex Ryan going down that road again after having him with the Jets.

I honestly do not see the Bills looking to add another quarterback unless there is an unexpected release during the preseason or some unforeseen trade option surfaces like the LeSean McCoy deal did in the spring.

 

 

4 – Hello Chris:

Thanks for all the 24/7 365 day coverage. I’m a lifelong fan of 55 years born in Kenmore N.Y. now in SLC.

Just a quick question. With our situation on the O-Line, I sure would love to see Evan Mathis in Red White and Blue.

Are we in the running at all? Do we even have the cap space? Are we even trying? Other than questions at QB I see this as our only week spot.

Thanks again,
Jon SLC, UT.

GO BILLS, DIVISION WINNERS 2015

CB: Evan Mathis hasn’t signed anywhere because his asking price is too high. Who blinks first, an NFL club or Mathis remains to be seen.

At this point I think the Bills are relatively comfortable with their guard situation with Incognito and rookie John Miller as the projected starters. Kraig Urbik is the center-guard swing player and there’s some youth in reserve.

If the Bills are going to add anywhere on the offensive line it’s going to be at offensive tackle where they have just four true OTs. Buffalo currently has one roster spot open.

 

5 – Hi Chris!

As a life-of-the franchise long Bills fan, I have always wanted to know more about the newer players.. those who must fight to get a roster or practice squad position. Look at the 90-man roster, there are some I know virtually nothing about.

I am keenly interested this year in our tight ends. At this moment, we have 7 on the roster. I feel certain that 3 or 4 will be on the 3-man roster, and 1 or 2 on the practice squad. I believe that Clay, O’Leary and Gray are virtual locks, with Gragg or Mulligan as possibilities. In that regard, in your opinion, do Marquise Gray and Chris Gragg have basically the same skill set or might they somewhat complement each other?  Also, Clay Burton seems to have impressed to this point..might he have a slight edge over Gragg for the 53-man roster? He has a larger frame and might offer more room to develop.

Finally, I am intrigued by Chris Manhertz. Does he show enough potential to warrant a spot on the practice squad? If not the practice squad, is there an alternative system whereby he might continue to learn the position and then return next year for another go?

Thanks for the time you have taken in reading this. Have an abundantly blessed day!

Dr. Gary

ps….One of my close work associates is a very loyal Virginia Tech man…very hyped about Tyrod Taylor!

 

CB: Marqueis Gray and Chris Gragg do not have the same skill set. Gragg’s body type is longer and lankier than Gray, who has a bit wider and thicker frame.

Gray’s greatest asset in the tight end competition is his versatility. He can line up in the backfield as a fullback. He can be a move tight end, an H-back, line up detached or in line, though that’s the part he’s probably working on the most. This will help him in the competition because it caters to a lot of what Greg Roman needs from his tight ends.

Gragg has worked hard on his blocking, but his strength is lining up detached. He’s got great straight line speed. I just don’t know if his skill set is as diversified as Gray’s.

Matthew Mulligan was signed for one reason, his blocking. The tight end position didn’t have a dominant blocker among them until Mulligan signed. Knowing how much Greg Roman incorporates tight ends into his blocking schemes in the run game I think is a major plus for Mulligan’s chances of sticking on the 53-man roster.

As for how many tight ends make the 53, I believe there’s a good chance they keep four knowing how much Roman calls on them in his offensive scheme.

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fred: EJ benefited from time on sidelines in ’14

Posted by Chris Brown on July 23, 2015 – 11:35 am

EJ Manuel would prefer not to talk about his play. He’d prefer to let his play do the talking. That’s why he only gave a couple of offseason interviews during the OTAs and minicamp this past spring. Manuel has set about improving his game in several areas as he has before, but his teammates claim there has been a noticeable difference. Perhaps even more telling is teammates believe he benefited from the setback he professionally navigated last season when he was demoted to backup quarterback behind the now retired Kyle Orton.

“I think having to sit back and watch and learn from a veteran last year he knows how to approach the playbook this year,” said Fred Jackson. “He knows what he’s doing. A guy that’s physically gifted and can make all the throws and when he needs to he can pull the ball down and run with it.”

Most outside observers felt Manuel had a slight edge on Tyrod Taylor and Matt Cassel coming out of minicamp. Now with training camp starting up next week the final stage of the evaluation process will take place.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fred not settling for no gain

Posted by Chris Brown on July 10, 2015 – 1:38 pm

We’ve known for a while that Fred Jackson is one of the better backs in the league when it comes to yards after contact. And while Jackson averaged just 3.7 yards per carry last season, there was one area where he still excelled.

When it comes to getting stopped for no gain after initial contact, Jackson is one of the best at gaining additional yards or at the very least falling forward. According to the stat crunches at ProFootballFocus in 2014, Jackson was only second to Tennessee RB Bishop Sankey when it came to the lowest percentage of no gain carries after initial contact.

On just 13.5 percent of Jackson’s 141 carries in 2014 was he stopped for no gain after initial contact (see chart below).

Fred contact


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 7-10

Posted by Chris Brown on July 10, 2015 – 12:14 pm

Our training camp countdown is on! Here’s your latest round of questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

My question to you is lately the Bills have brought in guys i.e. Wayne Hunter, Matthew Mulligan to add to our depth. In your opinion do these guys have a chance to make the team or are they just filling positions because we are running basically two teams in practice now.

I know Rex likes his ex-players and both have a history with him. It appears Seantrel Henderson is losing ground on his position and is it possible that Hunter was signed because the coaches don’t like what they see in Henderson?

Also we cut Lee Smith who was basically a blocking tight end and now we bring in Matthew Mulligan essentially the same type player is there a concern that the tight ends on the roster outside of Charles Clay can block effectively? We have had Chris Gragg the last few years and he has not impressed as either a receiving or blocking tight end.   Would love to hear your thoughts and again thanks for all you do for us!!! Let’s Go Buffalo!!!!

Donald F.

CB: The signings of Hunter and Mulligan are for very specific roles. Not leading roles mind you, but roles where Rex Ryan wants a veteran player he feels he can trust. Hunter is a player who struggled as a full-time starting right tackle in his last season with the Jets, but as a jack-of-all-trades role player in 2009 and 2010 for the Jets, Hunter excelled as a swing tackle (first off bench in event of injury), a blocking tight end in jumbo and short yardage packages and even as a defensive tackle in goal line formations.

Mulligan will serve in a blocking capacity as well. So you know Lee Smith wasn’t cut. He was a free agent and got big money from Oakland. Buffalo wasn’t going to pay Smith upwards of $3M a year. Mulligan is a reliable veteran blocker and is a much better value.

 

2 – Hey Chris,

I watched your 1 on 1 interview with Greg Roman and I found it interesting when he said that whichever QB is in there on game day will be the franchise QB in his opinion.  I was curious of your reaction and thoughts to that?  That’s a pretty bold statement.  Do you think that one of these 3 guys just may have shown something in OTA’s and minicamp for him to say that?   I also thought maybe he just meant that when one of these guys shows he can understand and fully command Romans offense then it means he is Romans “franchise guy”?   Whatever it means I am very confident in Roman and whoever he chooses to be the guy.

Go Bills!
Jillian

CB: I didn’t interpret Roman’s comment as an indication that one of the three QBs showed him franchise QB ability. If that was the case the guy would be the starter already.

I think he was simply saying when one of the QBs separates himself from the others that he will be the franchise guy because he’ll be the starter. That being said, depending on that QB’s performance who the starter is could be subject to change. Let’s just hope whoever wins the job performs well enough and consistently enough to hold the job for the whole season.

 

3 – Hey Chris

Want to start off by saying thanks for the great work you put in.  Keeping us all updated on the team for us not in the Buffalo area.

My first question is about EJ.  I can’t say I was a big fan of us drafting him first round overall. That being said I think he is working hard.  I would like to see him get a real shoot this year. I know this is an all in season for the bills. With all the free agent adds. So I get why they are trying to have so much competition but I feel he needs to get a full season in. He wasn’t that bad last year.  Don’t get me wrong he wasn’t that good either.

I feel with all the competition going on can be a bad thing as well. I feel whoever wins the job we need to stick with regardless and not switch guys after a few bad games. The whole team gets hurt this way since none of the QBs are the same style.

My second question is about Fred Jackson.  They keep talking about cutting him. I think that would be the dumbest moves we make this year. I think he works hard and he makes plays but more importantly he is a captain and a leader.  I think we need that more than anything with all these high profiled playmakers on the offense side of the ball.  I think he might be our best shot of these guys playing as a team.

CB: As I stated in the above answer the ideal situation is that the QB who wins the starting role holds onto it the whole season. That means he’ll be performing consistently and effectively and that’s good for the offense. You’re right there are contrasting styles between the three, so keeping that position consistent with the same person helps the other 10 players on offense.

As for Fred Jackson, I think the things working in his favor more than anything else are his leadership and his pass protection. LeSean McCoy might be the only back on this roster who knows how to pass protect as well as him. If you can’t trust a guy to pick up blitzes and make pre-snap adjustments to be in position to protect your QB, you can’t put that guy on the field.

The offensive coaches can trust Fred. I think the only thing that puts his job in jeopardy is if he struggles to get through camp and perhaps looks a step slow. Knowing how well he takes care of his body I don’t see that happening.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

With an unsure O-line (although I think they will surprise us) isn’t Tyrod Taylor the smart choice? #bills #ScrambleFactor

Dustypractor

CB: I think your premise is a bit of an oversimplification. Offensive coaches will base their starting QB decision on a myriad of factors that will go far beyond the protection capabilities of the men up front. I think the offensive line’s pass protection would have to represent a jail break on every pass play in the preseason to move this kind of factor high enough on the priority list in why they choose one QB over another.

 

5 – Hey Chris,
Thank you for keeping us Bills fans well informed, you are doing a great job, keep up the good work.

Now my question may be the same old song, but as fans it is very important to us; The Quarterback Position. With the three QBs splitting reps with the first team, does that give enough time for the #1 guy to develop a relationship with the WRs, TEs, and the backfield?

Also since none of them have set themselves apart from the others, does that mean that the coaches aren’t pleased with any of them or are all 3 looking that good? Everyone hoped that Matt Cassel would come in and at least get it done for this year. Since he does not have a contract extension yet, is that saying anything about how he is doing? Thank you
Ken
Lancaster, NY

CB: Your first question is a valid concern. Rex Ryan has said that he will take as long as he needs to pick the right guy. I don’t question for a second that picking the right guy is the most important factor in all of this. A close second however, is making a decision that leaves enough time to get that starter ready for the regular season.

With all three splitting reps it inadvertently compromises the on field chemistry between the QB and the 10 other starters on offense. After witnessing Kyle Orton step right in last year with no preseason or training camp snaps perhaps it’s not as big a deal as some might think.

But with a new offensive system as varied as Greg Roman’s, deciding on a starter with a preseason game or two left on the schedule would be ideal because it should afford the starter enough time to get fully in tune with the rest of the starting unit.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fred: I’ve got to compete for my spot

Posted by Chris Brown on June 23, 2015 – 1:00 pm

Back in the spring there was a lot of talk as to whether Fred Jackson’s roster spot could be in jeopardy at age 34. That speculation has cooled, but it’s done nothing to change Jackson’s vigilance in making sure he does everything in his power to convince another new coaching staff that he deserves a spot on the 53-man roster.

In an hour-long appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Tuesday morning, Jackson covered a bunch of topics including a discussion about the possibility of getting released and not making the roster.

“We’ll see what happens with me getting cut or not,” he said. “I’ll go out and do whatever I can to make sure that doesn’t happen. We’ve got to compete every year. This year is no different than any other year. I’ve got to go out and compete for my job.”

The acquisition of LeSean McCoy has many outsiders believing that Jackson’s time could be up in Buffalo, but in light of the way the past nine years have gone at the running back position, Jackson said McCoy’s presence on the roster is nothing new.

“I think every year you have to compete for your spot and that’s how I approach it,” said Jackson. “You draft a guy like Marshawn (Lynch) and you know he’s going to be the guy. So you go in and compete and you want to be on the field so you’ve got to go out and do that.

“Then you draft a guy like C.J. (Spiller) and nothing has changed. You go out and you compete and do whatever you can to make plays when you get the opportunity to do so. Then they bring in Shady (McCoy). It’s just the same book, different chapter for myself. Tremendous running backs, every one of them. It’s just another challenge for me to prove that I can still compete and make plays for this team. And when I do get opportunities make sure to do so.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fred Jackson appearing at Eastview mall

Posted by Chris Brown on June 18, 2015 – 5:25 pm

RB Fred Jackson will be making an appearance not far from Bills training camp this Friday (June 19th).

Jackson will be at the Eastview Mall on Friday from 6-7:30 pm in the mall’s Main Court. Fans can go to customer service to enter for a chance to win a VIP meeting with Jackson along with a $50 gift certificate for dinner at the mall.

Jackson will be signing autographs during that time, but will be signing just one item per person.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fred expected RB acquisition like McCoy

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2015 – 10:55 am

While everyone was preoccupied with LeSean McCoy’s reaction to being traded to the Bills this offseason, no one took the time to get Fred Jackson’s reaction to the addition of a top flight back to Buffalo’s roster. Jackson shared what his reaction was at the time on Tuesday.

In an interview with Bills flagship station WGR Sportradio 550 Tuesday morning, Jackson provided what his feelings were when he first heard the news.

“To me it is what it is. I’ve been here with Marshawn Lynch, a tremendous runner, C.J. Spiller and explosive guy himself. For me it was something that I expected to happen,” Jackson said. “I expected them to try to cover their bases and bring in a guy they could use and it was LeSean.

“So for me it’s just about taking advantage of the opportunities that I get. I don’t know exactly what my role is going to be. I know they want LeSean to get up to 300 carries this year. That’s a guy you’re feeding the ball all the time, but I’ll be ready when my number is called. For me I just want to win football games. I’ll do whatever I can to help do that.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Lynn: taking load off Fred means a better Fred

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2015 – 3:12 pm

Bills RB Fred Jackson has been willing to step into any role in his time with the club. Kick returner, punt returner, running back, third down back, whatever it is Jackson has been up to the task. Over the last few seasons with C.J. Spiller missing time here and there with injuries, it’s forced Jackson to pick up more of the slack and the load. Now at age 34, it’s the Bills looking to avoid a heavy load for Jackson so they can get the best Fred Jackson possible on the field from start to finish this season.

“Fred had over 500 snaps last year and I think he wore down a bit at the end of the season,” said Bills assistant head coach/running backs coach Anthony Lynn. “If we can take half of that off his plate I think you’ll see a fresher Fred Jackson and a more explosive Fred Jackson.”

Lynn also mentioned that he had no problem with LeSean McCoy logging 300 carries this season if it came to it, claiming it means they’re running the ball successfully and winning games.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

3rd down back requirements take shape

Posted by Chris Brown on May 19, 2015 – 3:03 pm

Bills assistant head coach/running backs coach Anthony Lynn is eager to get to OTAs where more true on field evaluation can begin for his tailbacks and fullbacks. Those begin next week. On Tuesday he laid out what he’s looking for in terms of a skill set for his third down back, and the number one skill they must possess.

“It depends on the personnel that you have. Number one you have to be able to protect the passer,” said Lynn. “It’s not like the old days where you can have a guy back there who can run routes and catch the ball and create mismatches with a linebacker. He’s got to stay in the pocket and block 250-pound linebackers. So the guy that can do that and get out of the backfield and catch the ball and run after the catch that’s the guy that we’re going to be looking for in training camp.”

Most believe that would give Fred Jackson the edge, knowing how adept he is in pass protection, but Lynn was quick to mention that LeSean McCoy is also pretty solid in that area.

“I think he’s done a good job in that role,” said Lynn of Jackson. “I don’t know if that gives him an advantage. LeSean has been pretty good in that role too. So we’ll see how it plays out in training camp.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fred: Onus on offense to keep up with ‘D’

Posted by Chris Brown on April 16, 2015 – 1:23 pm

Last season the defense and special teams largely carried Buffalo to its 9-7 record. Now with the influx of talent on offense this offseason Fred Jackson sees the onus being on the offense to keep pace with their other two units.

“We’ve brought in some exciting talent and we’ve got to keep up with our defense,” Jackson said. “Our defense has made tremendous strides and we expect them to do the same this year. With the offensive firepower that we’ve brought in it’s on us as an offensive unit to keep up with those guys. They’re doing everything, the Pegulas, Doug (Whaley) and Russ (Brandon), they’re doing everything to make us better as a whole.”

Jackson only sees Buffalo’s defense improving this year with Jerry Hughes re-signed and nine of 11 starters back from last season. Not to mention the addition of head coach Rex Ryan and DC Dennis Thurman and their defensive track record.

“We faced that defense twice every year for the last six years and I know our defense is going to get that much better,” he said. “With the talent they have it’s going to be on us as an offense to keep up with them and if we can do that I think we’re be a very formidable team in this league. That’s the challenge that’s upon us. We have a great offensive coordinator that’s going to do his job and get us in all the right situations. And we’ve just got to go out and make plays.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fred talked to C.J.

Posted by Chris Brown on February 26, 2015 – 3:22 pm

CM6_9043
Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller have been the closest of teammates in the five seasons they’ve spent together. Whether that continues remains to be seen, but Jackson has kept in contact with Spiller throughout the offseason and just spoke with him Thursday.

“I talked to C.J. I talked to him earlier today,” said Jackson at his D-3 Nation initiative launch. “He definitely wants to be back in Buffalo. It’s just going to be about getting the job done and getting the numbers worked out. I know there are going to be other teams interested in him. He’s a tremendous athlete and a tremendous running back. We’d all be foolish to sit here and think other teams aren’t going to come after him.”

Spiller said earlier this week that he’d like to re-sign with the Bills, but there is clearly a gap in the thought process of what Buffalo and the Spiller camp believe is the right deal. Whether the two sides can bridge that gap is something that will have to materialize in the next week or so.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fred Jackson and Pat Kaleta team up for PUCCS

Posted by buffalobills.com on February 25, 2015 – 3:58 pm

Buffalo Bills Fred Jackson and Buffalo Sabres Pat Kaleta are teaming up for PUCCS (Program for Understanding Childhood Concussion and Stroke).

puccs2

Here are some of the events taking place this week –

Wednesday, February 25 – 7p-8p

Autograph signing session with Fred Jackson of the Buffalo Bills and Pat Kaleta of the Buffalo Sabres
Tony Walker Center – Shoe Department
5110 Main Street, Williamsville
This is the first time Fred and Pat have done an autograph session together.

Thursday, February 26 – PUCCS Concussion Awareness Night at the Sabres & Text to Donate Campaign
Distribution of PUCCS concussion awareness cards
Fred Jackson, Dr. Elad Levy and Dr. Renee Reynolds will be at First Niagara Center to help promote concussion awareness and risk reduction

New1010224_688470317930868_6971482914645733790_n :30 PUCCS concussion awareness PSA starring Fred Jackson and Pat Kaleta will be shown during the game and the PUCCS video will be shown pregame

 

Text to Donate Campaign begins with everyone encouraged to text to donate to PUCCS

Donations will be used to conduct baseline testing clinics in the inner city for student athletes at risk for concussions, and expand the educational outreach of PUCCS.  Anyone texting a donation of $25 or more will be entered into a drawing for some autographed sports memorabilia (including a Jackson jersey and a Kaleta jersey).  Donors just need to text the phrase 1HIT to 41444 and follow the instructions on their phone.

 

Friday, February 27 – Starpoint Central Health and Wellness Fair – distribution of concussion awareness and risk reduction information to students and faculty

 

Sunday, March 1 – 10% Event at Tony Walker Center – 12n-5pm

Mention PUCCS at the checkout and shoppers get 10% off their purchase and Tony Walker will make a donation of 10% of your purchase total to PUCCS.

 

Help support this great cause!  For more information visit puccs.org.


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Posted in Community, Corporate, Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Jackson: Rex will push us over the hump

Posted by Chris Brown on January 30, 2015 – 2:20 pm

Bills RB Fred Jackson was on radio row at the Super Bowl this week in Glendale, Arizona and made an appearance on the Michael Kay show on ESPN radio. Asked for his take on how new head coach Rex Ryan will change things for the better for the Bills, Jackson expressed confidence that Ryan can be a difference maker.

“I think we’re right there and I think he’s going to be that catalyst that pushes us over that hump,” Jackson said. “Everybody knows that Rex is going to come in and say things like we’re going to the playoffs. With that kind of mantra and blood flowing through the city I think we get the job done and get into the playoffs and make a run at the Super Bowl.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fred: EJ can be a starting QB in this league

Posted by Chris Brown on January 30, 2015 – 11:59 am

Fred Jackson was making his way down radio row at the Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona and was naturally asked about his teammate EJ Manuel and his future on Buffalo’s roster.

Jackson was asked on the Michael Kay show on ESPN radio if he believes EJ Manuel can be a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL.

“I do think that he can be a starting quarterback,” said Jackson. “He did things where he was trying to take that next step. At practice he talked to Kyle and learned from Kyle. I saw him talking to (Jim) Schwartz after practice asking him what defenses are keying in on and trying to do. He was talking to different guys that played different positions, picking their brains. I think he has to figure out what defenses are trying to make him do and figure out ways to get out of that. He’s a smart guy who can pick up offenses, but once he figures that out it’ll allow him to go to the next level.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Players give thumbs up for Marrone

Posted by Chris Brown on December 29, 2014 – 1:19 pm

There is no debating that it was a tumultuous season for the Bills with the extended training camp, preseason, quarterback change, running back injuries and a relocated home game. Finishing with a winning record in spite of those hurdles has Buffalo’s players giving a thumbs up for the job done by head coach Doug Marrone and his staff.

“He’s done a tremendous job with us,” said Fred Jackson. “We faced a lot of adversity that you’re not accustomed to facing in a season with the snow storm, having to relocate for a home game, the changing in owners. A lot of stuff you wouldn’t normally deal with throughout a season and he still kept us in it. We finished with the best record I’ve had since I’ve been here in my nine seasons. I think a lot of that credit needs to go to him and I think it’s well deserved if he does get a lot of it.”

“He’s an outgoing coach,” said Brandon Spikes. “He’s passionate and emotional and a lot of guys feed off of that especially going into the game. He’s kind of laid back through the practice week and lets the coordinators do most of the work. Then he just sits back and critiques everything. Come game day you can see that he’s an emotional coach. He’s emotional and passionate about the game and that’s all it takes in my eyes. He connects with the players and guys love him and play for him.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Winning record has value

Posted by Chris Brown on December 28, 2014 – 9:10 pm

Even though the playoffs weren’t in the cards for the Bills, as the players saw it a winning record was the next best thing to accomplish. The fact that they did is something the players believe they can build on.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Fred Jackson. “To be able to say you had a winning record in a season is something that you’ll always be able to say. We got that accomplished. It’s bittersweet because it’s not what we shot for this year.  We obviously wanted to get into the playoffs. But at the end of the year, it’s something you can hang your hat on and say we’ve done something that hasn’t been done since 2004. We got a winning record and it’s something we can continue to build on.”

“It’s been awhile since we had a winning record. For us to come out here and get a win and end the season on a great note is a good feeling,” said Aaron Williams. “Moving in the right direction. I’ll be honest, I’ve been on this team for four years now and I’ve been 6-10 three years straight.  It shows that the guys in the front office are doing a great job of getting this team back into the playoffs.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills still determined to finish above .500

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2014 – 9:58 am

The Bills playoff hopes have been squashed with their loss at the hands of the Raiders Sunday. With one game to play in a stadium where they have never won, the players are determined to finish with a winning record at 9-7.

“Win,” said Nigel Bradham when asked where the team goes in the wake up an upset loss. “We’ve just got to win it and finish the season strong, 9-7. I mean you don’t want to be 8-8 so at least we can go out with a win on our shoulders and go into the offseason and have a lot of momentum coming in next year.”

“We get paid to do this so we better show up and act like it. That’s what I expect of us,” said Fred Jackson. “We don’t take weeks off because we have nothing to play for so to speak. We have everything to play for. We’re a bunch of prideful guys and we have an opportunity to go win a football game. That’s what guys are going to show up and do and they’ll show up and work just like we have every other week.”

“I know my teammates are going to play hard no matter what. I don’t want to have any guys think that just because we’re out of it that we’re not going to play hard,” said Aaron Williams. “I don’t like New England. I’m sure they don’t like New England. They don’t like us. I want to win. It’s still a positive season. I mean I’m pretty sure the predictions for this year were 4-12? Whatever it was it wasn’t a winning record so I want to go out with a bang with a winning record and get ready for next year.”


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Players feel sting of missed playoff opportunity

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2014 – 2:58 am

It’s as close as the team has been to the postseason in a decade, so for all of the players on Buffalo’s roster it was an opportunity in Week 16 that the Bills wanted to capitalize on. When Sunday’s outcome did not yield the result they needed, the sting of missing another postseason cut deep.

“You play for a chance to get in the postseason and we didn’t get that done,” said Fred Jackson. “There’s going to be a lot said about us as a team. Nobody is more disappointed than us in this locker room. We have a lot of fans that follow us and support us and they want it bad too. This still sucks anytime you get eliminated. Everybody in this locker room is let down and disappointed.”

“We’re trying to move this organization up the ladder and when we lose a game like this and we have a chance to get ourselves in better position for the playoffs it definitely hurts,” said Corbin Bryant.

“Your dreams get crushed. It’s a nightmare,” said C.J. Spiller. “No words to describe it. The playoff hopes are over.”

“There are really no words at this point for how disappointed I am just for myself and the way we played in general,” said Aaron Williams. “I feel like we just didn’t come out and play. We had the playoffs this year and we let it slip away.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jackson: They beat us physically

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2014 – 9:51 pm

The Bills were handed a crushing loss in Oakland Sunday ending their playoff hopes. As veteran RB Fred Jackson saw it, the game was more about what the Raiders did to the Bills physically than anything else.

“In the NFL every team is capable of beating every team and they came out and they beat us today,” said Jackson. “We’ve got to give them credit. You can’t say that it was us, it wasn’t us. We just didn’t get the job done. They made plays, they beat us up physically and we didn’t respond. And anytime you get beat physically it’s hard to win a game.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Aggressive play the aim for offense

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 9:03 am

Robert Woods talked about it after the loss to Denver last week, more aggressive play right from the jump for Buffalo’s offense. Heading into Sunday’s game with Green Bay, he and his offensive teammates are hoping it happens.

“Attitude and just going after the defense,” said Woods when asked what he means by being more aggressive. “What we see and what they give us and what we feel like we can take in certain routes, certain runs, certain plays and just always attacking and keeping them on their heels. Just keep moving forward.”

Fred Jackson believes there will be opportunities in the air and on the ground against a Packer defense that surrenders points.

“Running the ball we feel like we can run the ball and we have to be able to run the ball and we feel like we can do it against them,” he said. “It’s about being aggressive and going after them. I think that’s what he wants to do. We all want to go after them, get some long scoring plays, get the crowd into the game and being loud for us and if we do that it gives us the best chance to win.”

And winning is a must because a loss essentially ends the Bills attempt to stay in playoff contention.

“It’s do or die,” said Woods. “We have to win so no reason to hold back.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills