Inside The Bills

Down Salas & Watkins, will Bills add at WR?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 30, 2016 – 1:10 pm

They went into last week’s game with just four healthy receivers when Greg Salas and Sammy Watkins were out with injuries. It’s likely they do that again, but long term might they look to add at the position? Head coach Rex Ryan was asked that very question Friday.

Ryan did not rule out the possibility of seeking help at receiver.

“I know we always look to upgrade our team,” said Ryan. “If that’s a possibility at receiver or wherever then we’ll definitely look into that.”

Buffalo does have Dez Lewis on their practice squad, who would be the most logical call up if that was the course the front office and coaching staff decided to take. If they want to look outside the organization there are veteran options out there to consider.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Salas, Watkins unable to practice

Posted by Chris Brown on September 29, 2016 – 4:01 pm

The Bills knew that Sammy Watkins was going to be a question mark for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots. Whether he practiced this week was another up in the air scenario. And at this point it sounds as though he’ll go another week without practicing.

After Watkins missed practice Wednesday and again Thursday, head coach Rex Ryan was asked if Watkins would be held out of practice Friday.

“That’s a real possibility,” said Ryan.

As discouraging as that prospect might be, Ryan, much like last week, is willing to push Watkins availability right up until game time.

“I guess there’s a concern, but we’ll just see how this thing goes,” said Ryan of Watkins. “This is what the plan was, try to get him there on Sunday and see how he feels and if he’s ready to roll then turn him loose.”

Meanwhile Greg Salas sat out practice Thursday after being limited on Wednesday. Ryan did not sound surprised saying Salas didn’t do much on Wednesday. But his availability for Sunday appears to be up in the air too.

Jonathan Meeks was another player who was limited on Wednesday, but was unable to practice Thursday.

On the positive side, Charles Clay returned to practice after missing Wednesday albeit on a limited basis. And Cordy Glenn, though limited, practiced for a second straight day.

“We’re hopeful that he can go,” said Ryan of Glenn. “I’m encouraged that he’s been out there two days in a row.”

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday Participation Thursday
Patrick Lewis OL Knee DNP DNP
Cyrus Kouandjio OL Ankle DNP DNP
Sammy Watkins WR Foot DNP DNP
Greg Salas WR Groin LP DNP
Jonathan Meeks DB Foot LP DNP
Charles Clay TE Knee DNP LP
Cordy Glenn OL Ankle LP LP
Colt Anderson DB Foot LP LP
Ronald Darby DB Hamstring LP LP
Cardale Jones QB Right shoulder LP LP
Aaron Williams DB Ankle LP LP

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Salas the new add to injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2016 – 7:16 am

As much focus as there has been on Sammy Watkins foot injury he wasn’t the only receiver on Buffalo’s injury report Thursday.

Greg Salas was added Thursday with a groin injury.

“Yeah I don’t think it’s a major injury but yeah, it did happen in practice,” said head coach Rex Ryan.

Salas is a receiver that Tyrod Taylor has come to trust. His practice participation on Friday along with that of Sammy Watkins will go a long way in painting the picture as to just how much of Buffalo’s passing attack will be available for Sunday’s game.

Ryan said he’s hopeful that Watkins can play Sunday.

Player
Pos
Injury
Participation Wednesday
Participation Thursday
 
Sammy Watkins
WR
Foot
DNP
DNP
 
Cordy Glenn
T
Ankle
DNP
DNP
 
Charles Clay
TE
Knee
DNP
LP
 
Colt Anderson
S
Foot
LP
LP
 
Ronald Darby
CB
Hamstring
LP
LP
 
Cardale Jones
QB
Right shoulder
LP
LP
 
Greg Salas
WR
Groin
LP

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex looking for WRs to make plays

Posted by Chris Brown on August 24, 2016 – 4:55 pm

Knowing how tight things have been at the receiver position, head coach Rex Ryan put the onus on a few receivers in particular to perform heading into the team’s third preseason game at Washington.

Ryan was asked for an assessment of the play in camp of a few wideouts and did not mince words.

On Dez Lewis
“I haven’t seen that big of an improvement from him,” Ryan said. “He’ll get some opportunities and he’s got to stand up if he wants to make this team. He’s got to earn it, nobody’s going to give you anything. I love having a big-size guy that should be a red-zone threat but eventually you got to come down with some plays.”

On Greg Salas
“I think he’s proven that he’s a reliable target. The thing that he hasn’t proved over his career is that he can stay healthy,” Ryan said. “And again this year, he has the hamstring, so that’s a concern. But when he’s out there, we know he’s a fine receiver.”

On Walt Powell
“I would say he’s probably not as consistent as we’d like, but you know you’re going to get great effort from Walt,” said Ryan. “He’s a courageous kid but that’s kind of what we’re trying to focus on, is him being more consistent and I’m talking about with everything. Alignment, assignment—all that type of stuff, his technique. Those are the types of things we keep harping on and I think if he can do those things, he’s got good skills, so we just keep working with him and I know he’s a hard-working kid so hopefully he’ll get even better.”

Finally Ryan confirmed that neither Kolby Listenbee nor Marcus Easley are close to returning to practice field anytime soon. When asked if either could be designated for the Reserve/PUP list Ryan gave indication that it was premature to consider it.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Separators in pass game

Posted by Chris Brown on August 8, 2016 – 8:44 pm

There was a spirited one-on-one session in the red zone during practice Monday between receivers and defensive backs. Here’s who stood out when it came to gaining separation from the DBs.

First off, there is an inherent advantage for the receivers on this drill as they have virtually the whole end zone to work with one-on-one against the DB. In fact secondary coach Tim McDonald even had a good number of his DBs play off coverage with the wideout lining up at the five-yard line. The DB would not pick him up until the goal line. That’s a tough ask.

That being said the receivers who were consistently getting away from coverage were Greg Little, Robert Woods, Greg Salas and Marquise Goodwin.

Goodwin’s speed is so sudden that he’s on top of the DB in a blink and they’ve got to make a decision a lot quicker than they’d like. He would quickly get position on a corner at the point of his cut and dart away for more than a few relatively easy receptions.

Little again proved tough to handle in one-on-ones. His best move was when Stephon Gilmore tried to jam him at the line and his first step was backward to avoid the jam attempt. He then sold the post route so well that when he went to the corner Gilmore couldn’t make up the lost ground in time.

Woods did well both when he got separation and when he was covered winning contested passes in tight coverage. His best a twisting, turning grab on a fade route.

And Salas isn’t overly quick or fast, but he has great head and shoulder fakes and it helps him separate. Then he has the frame to shield the defender from the ball to make the play. He did that three times for scores on defenders in the red zone.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: No receiver has separated from the pack

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2016 – 8:45 am

While Bills head coach Rex Ryan will be the first to acknowledge that a few receivers have made some nice plays through the first week of camp, he does not believe anyone has begun to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

Ryan is looking at the wideout contingent beyond what is widely perceived as the top two in Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods.

“I think when we start getting into the preseason games and the scrimmages and all that, maybe then we’ll see somebody separate,” said Ryan. “Greg Salas is a guy that made a great catch on a third and two, (Thursday). Tyrod was really patient he took away the first three options, then hit the deep and he makes a great catch. But, he’s got some savvy, great hands, so there’s a comfort level there.

“But then you get a guy like (Greg) Little who shows up, making some big plays and (Jarret) Boykin’s had his moments. We talked about Dez (Lewis) already. But to say all that the answer simply is no, nobody has separated themselves.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Who has looked good in absence of Sammy?

Posted by Chris Brown on May 20, 2016 – 1:58 pm

Sammy Watkins will be watching from the sidelines for the upcoming OTAs, mandatory minicamp and possibly the start of training camp. Ideally Watkins is on the field with his teammates sooner rather than later, but in his absence some receivers will have the chance to emerge. Tyrod Taylor has already seen some members of the receiving corps come in ready during offseason conditioning and shared some names on the John Murphy Show this week.

“Robert Woods coming back after having a season under his belt battling with an injury came back explosive,” said Tyrod Taylor of Buffalo’s number two wideout, who played with a torn groin for most of the 2015 season. “Guys that came on late in the season like Greg Salas and Leonard Hankerson have definitely come in strong.”

If there is one positive to draw from Watkins’ absence it’s that players like Salas, Hankerson and others will get more reps to show the coaching staff how they can contribute to this offense.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

WR Salas participating in NFL Finance Camp

Posted by Chris Brown on March 29, 2016 – 3:37 pm

A total of 28 current and former NFL players, will take part in the second annual NFL Personal Finance Camp in Fort Lauderdale next week (April 4-7). Buffalo WR Greg Salas is one of the participants.

Salas, who will be battling to fill the void left behind by Chris Hogan this offseason, will be taking part in the four-day financial education program.

The program, developed jointly by NFL Player Engagement, the University of Miami School of Business Administration and TD Ameritrade1, offers participants an opportunity to get an in-depth understanding of the people, investments and forces in the financial world and equips them with the knowledge and tools to help them build generational wealth and maintain long-term financial security.

“Programs like the Personal Finance Camp provide our players and their families with the resources, skills and support to achieve success in all aspects of their lives. Financial stability is critical to that success,” said Charles Way, NFL vice president of Player Engagement. “The Personal Finance Camp offers players the education and means to better manage their money and start to build generational wealth to secure their financial futures.”

Program sessions will include “Building Generational Wealth,” “Funding an Uncertain Lifespan,” “Planning and Building Your Portfolio,” and “Examining Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning.” Throughout the week, participants also will have the opportunity to receive one-on-one financial planning assistance.

“We’ve designed the program specifically for past and current players to help them achieve long-term financial security,” said David Lecon, director of executive education at the University of Miami School of Business Administration. “It is wonderful to see so many NFL players making such crucial investment in their future.”

This is one of several career and professional development programs NFL Player Engagement offers to current and former players and their families. More than 40 players and their significant others took part in the inaugural Business Academy last month at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-18

Posted by Chris Brown on March 18, 2016 – 11:55 am

It’s March Madness Bills fans, but there’s still stuff to discuss with Buffalo’s football team. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Will Greg Salas see himself inserted into the Hogan role in the offense, or will the Bills look to the draft/FA?

vapor311

CB: As we covered on Buffalobills.com this week Salas is certainly a bona fide candidate to assume the role previously held by Chris Hogan. He has a familiarity with receivers coach Sanjay Lal and he’s a very clever receiver with size and strong hands.

There are other wideouts on the roster (Greg Little, Jarret Boykin) who figure to be part of that competition as well, but Salas has experience in that kind of role albeit limited experience.


2 –
@ChrisBrownBills Chris what’s the plan with little salary cap they have left? They are in need of lot position LE MLB ROLB WR RT.

Billsdiehard12

CB: I think a lot depends on what’s still out there and whether they deem it a fit in their defense. I don’t see right tackle being addressed with good news recently about Seantrel Henderson’s undisclosed illness. Indications are he’s managing well and should be good to resume his career after his 2015 season was cut short. The Bills have also tendered RFA OT Jordan Mills, so odds are he’s back in the fold as well.

Buffalo had their first defensive free agent visit in safety Robert Blanton, who would provide good depth at the position at an affordable price. I would also anticipate a heavy defensive draft for Buffalo and now that they have two extra compensatory picks in the fourth and sixth rounds they’ll be able to address some more holes.

And before you dismiss mid to late round picks remember that Nigel Bradham was a fourth-round pick, Karlos Williams was a fifth-round pick and Seantrel Henderson was a seventh-round selection.

But I think the Bills will look for affordable options in free agency knowing there’s not much cap room to play with having to commit a bit over $5M to their rookie pool.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills where do #Billsgenerate pass rush? Or do they plan on generating free rushers via scheme/zero blitzes? (Like last yr )

JoeBryantIII

CB: I think with Rob Ryan expected to oversee more of the defensive formulation week to week during the season you can anticipate more frequent blitzing. That’s been his M.O. Now that doesn’t mean they won’t turn to other means of generating a pass rush, but I feel most comfortable in anticipating a higher percentage of blitzes knowing Buffalo only blitzed about 20 percent of the time last season.
4 – Chris, you da man!

Your coverage and insight keep me and other bills fans going during the offseason.
I’m wondering if you think it makes sense to take treadwell at 19 if he falls? I keep hearing about how deep the draft is at D-line so we still may be able to get value with some later picks. I think treadwell and Watkins are perfect compliments to each other and giving a young QB as many weapons as possible is never a bad move in my eyes. If he’s there, do you think it’s a real possibility? Thanks!

CB: Thanks for the kind words and your readership. In a draft where the receiver talent is not good (Arizona HC Bruce Arians called it the worst WR draft he’s seen in 20 years) it’ll be interesting to see if Treadwell’s value gets inflated due to a lack of supply.

If he lasts to 19 overall where the Bills sit I don’t see Buffalo taking even the best wideout in the draft. I just believe there will be plenty of value at positions of more dire need on defense for the Bills to choose from. I’m not saying that need will trump value, I just think there will be players of comparable value to Treadwell at 19 that will lead Buffalo in a different direction there, presumably defense.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills Is trading McCoy an option?

sammydipro

CB: It’s not a realistic option at this point because moving him off your roster would leave more than $15M in dead cap money on Buffalo’s books. McCoy’s 2016 base salary was also guaranteed effective March 9th. So while some might be disenchanted with what transpired off the field and in a knee jerk fashion want to release the running back, I think we need to let the legal process take its course before anyone passes judgment of any kind.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Salas credits Hogan for his help

Posted by Chris Brown on March 15, 2016 – 9:34 am

When Greg Salas got to the Buffalo locker just after Week 15 last season he had a voluminous playbook to get a handle on in a very short period of time. Ironically, the receiver he credits with helping him the most is the one he has a chance to replace in Chris Hogan.

“He was actually really helpful in helping me get a handle on the offense so I’ll always be appreciative of that,” Salas told Buffalobills.com of Hogan.

Salas understands why outside observers might see Hogan’s departure to New England after signing an offer sheet as a prime opportunity for Salas to stick on Buffalo’s roster, but it won’t change Salas’ routine.

“Him not being on the roster anymore doesn’t really affect my approach,” he said. “They’ll be plenty of competition in OTAs and training camp no matter who is on the roster. So my mindset is to be the best player I can be and deliver consistently day in and day out.”

Salas also credits a former coach he worked under in New England for helping him to make himself a more attractive candidate for a role on a 53-man roster.

“How I’ve been coached from early on getting into the NFL is what has led to successive opportunities,” he said. “(New England offensive coordinator) Josh McDaniels showed me how to really study and learn all the positions. That’s what I’ve done throughout my career is learn every position and be flexible. The more you know, the more you can do. So that’s always been my approach in learning an offense.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Offer sheet for Hogan to avg. $4M/yr

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2016 – 9:22 am

There were widespread reports that the New England Patriots were preparing an offer sheet for Bills free agent WR Chris Hogan. Now proposed terms of said offer sheet are trickling out.

According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport the Patriots will sign Hogan to a three-year offer sheet worth up to $12M.

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Truthfully with Buffalo’s cap situation any offer sheet would be too much for the Bills to match. So to think the Bills would even try to match is misguided.

That’s why the Bills signed WR Greg Salas as a future free agent in January. Salas (6-2, 210) is a similar type receiver to that of Hogan with similar size and is also 27-years old. He’s also familiar with the division having spent time with both New England and the Jets in his career.


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Posted in Inside the Bills