Inside The Bills

EJ ready to review

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2014 – 1:34 am

EJ Manuel didn’t get a whole lot of playing time on Sunday night. It was just a pair of series. With a touchdown pass attempt that just missed with Mike Williams and a couple of other passes batted down at the line the Bills starting QB is eager to review the game tape.

“We’re still going to look at the film. I’m still going to critique what I need to critique,” he said. “I felt I did a pretty good job when I was in. I think if it was a situation where coach wanted us to continue to play and show what we needed to show he would’ve done that. I think he knows that being it’s our first game and we have another one coming up soon I’m sure we’ll get some more run next week.”


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Marrone in go for it mode

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2014 – 1:33 am

Twice in Sunday night’s game against the Giants head coach Doug Marrone chose to go for it on fourth down. The first came on a 4th-and-goal at the two situation with Jeff Tuel converting with Robert Woods on a short touchdown. The other came on a 4th-and-1 situation on the Giants’ 34-yard line in the third quarter. Evan Rodriguez converted extending the drive. The players are hoping that aggressiveness continues in the regular season.

“I hope so we’ve got enough weapons whether it’s in the air or on the ground to make plays like that,” said Woods who converted the first fourth down. “We’ve just got to keep executing so coach can trust us.”

Rodriguez’s conversion unfortunately didn’t lead to anything for the Bills. On the next play Thad Lewis’ pass to the end zone that was intended for Marcus Easley was intercepted.


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Woods not bothered by 2nd team reps

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2014 – 1:32 am

Bills WR Robert Woods is seen as a starter by the coaching staff and by most fans. So to see him running with the second unit in Sunday night’s season opener came as a bit of a surprise.

“A little bit,” admitted EJ Manuel. “It was a little surprising for Woody not to be with us with the ones, but he did great. Woody is going to be Woody with whatever he’s given. So I was still glad to see him go out there and do a great job with Jeff.”

Woods did have a solid outing with four catches for 49 yards and the team’s only touchdown converting on a 4th-and-goal play from the Giants’ two-yard line.

For Woods it wasn’t a big deal.

“It is what it is. You come out here and make plays whenever you’re on the field,” he said. “Every time I come out here I just try to prove a point. Every day is an example and just proof why I’m here.”

His performance said it all.


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Giants players who won’t dress

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2014 – 6:15 pm

Here are the Giants players who will not dress for tonight’s game against the Bills in the Hall of Fame game.

DE Robert Ayers
LB Jon Beason
OT Will Beatty
WR Odell Beckham
TE Xavier Grimble
G Eric Herman
KR Trindon Holliday
CB Bennett Jackson
CB Trumaine McBride
DT Mike Patterson
LB Spencer Paysinger
RB David Wilson

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Coughlin-Marrone ties run deep

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2014 – 4:07 pm

Both are Syracuse alums and they are part of a football coaching brethren. So it’s no surprise that Bills head coach Doug Marrone reveres Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. The two coaches will square off against each other tonight in the Hall of Fame game.

“I’ve always admired Coach Coughlin,” said Marrone. “He helped me out quite a bit when I was the head coach at Syracuse. We’ve always had a good relationship, and I think the common denominator is that we both went to school there, and we’re in this profession together. So, I have a lot of respect for him. I’ve always followed him, always admired the work that he’s done, and like I said before, we used to meet once a year. I’d go and talk to him and he helped me out quite a bit.”

Marrone has said in the past that coach Coughlin’s advice has helped to shape some of his own coaching philosophies.


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Dixon eager to build trust with new teammates

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2014 – 10:52 am

RB “Boobie” Dixon will be playing in his first game tonight as a Bill and though he’s done a lot in the offseason to show teammates how hard he’s willing to work to help the team succeed, he knows tonight’s preseason opener is where he can most effectively get his new teammates to trust him.

“That’s very important and I feel like it’s very important that I’m willing to fight for them and the organization no matter who we go up against because I’m new,” Dixon told Buffalobills.com. “We’re all working on building that trust with each other for when things gets hard so it’s step one.”

Dixon hopes their run game can set a tone tonight against the Giants, and for the hard hitting Dixon it’s more than just a preseason game.

“You’ve got to go out there and set the tempo and take it to them,” he said. “It’s not just a game to me, it’s a fight and that’s what I’m planning to do and turn it into a brawl.”

Dixon is expected to get a lot of work tonight after abbreviated appearances by Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller.


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Extra points to be kicked from 15-yd line

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2014 – 10:23 am

The NFL is doing a bit of experimentation in the first two weeks of the preseason as well as tonight’s Hall of Fame game. Extra points are going to be kicked from a bit further out.

For the Hall of Fame Game and the first two weeks of the preseason, the NFL will experiment with extra point attempts by spotting the ball at the 15-yard line for extra point kick attempts. This will be done to gather information regarding possible future changes to make these plays more competitive and exciting for fans. The two-point try will remain at the two-yard line during this experiment.

Here are some other innovations for the 2014 season that will begin tonight in the Bills-Giants preseason contest.

• INSTANT REPLAY: The referee will now be able to consult with Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino during replay reviews. In addition, the recovery of a loose ball in the field of play will now be reviewable. This includes fumbles, backward passes and kicks.

• OFFICIAL-TO-OFFICIAL COMMUNICATION: All seven game officials will now be able to communicate with each other during NFL games via wireless microphones.

• GOAL POSTS: The uprights will now extend to 35 feet above the crossbar, up from 30 feet in previous seasons, to help officials make definitive rulings on field-goal attempts that previously crossed above the top of the uprights.

• TABLETS: Teams will be able to deliver pre- and post-snap photos to coaches and players on the sidelines and in the coaching booth via tablets.


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Fan Friday 3-28

Posted by Chris Brown on March 28, 2014 – 11:45 am

Pre-draft visits will begin next week. We’ll have you covered here at Buffalobills.com as the draft is just over a month away. Now we turn to some of your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - Hey CB,

Why are more people not talking about Martavis Bryant?  I saw his combine numbers and at 6 foot 5 I though they were quite impressive.  He was projected by some to go in the late 2nd or 3rd round and I was just thinking.  Wouldn’t that be a steal to get him in the 3rd round?  The bills need a tall receiver that can be a red zone threat.  Thank You

Morgan

CB: There’s no question that Bryant is an athlete after clocking a 4.42 at the NFL combine along with a 10’4” broad jump and a 39-inch vertical. His linear speed is unquestioned, but dropping his weight and getting in and out of breaks is still a bit of a question mark for him. He’s also considered a raw prospect, who wasn’t asked to run a full route tree at Clemson.

My biggest issue with him is his playing strength. Even though he had an impressive 16 reps on the bench it’s difficult to find that strength off the line or in traffic on the playing field in his game. He needs to add muscle to his frame as he goes just 211 pounds and has a slight build. Against the physical cornerbacks of the NFL he’s going to get knocked around. He’s probably a late second or early to mid-third round pick in a deep receiver class.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you believe his lack of “body of work” will lower the #Bills interest in Mike Evans? He just started playing ball.

rockydm92

CB: I think what intrigues most NFL clubs with Mike Evans is his amazing production despite still being young in football. As most talent evaluators see it there is a very high ceiling there knowing when he does gain more experience his production could be even better at the NFL level.

And the reason teams are happy to wait on that potential is because right now even in the NFL he’s a size mismatch and he should be able to produce just off his measurables to start. Then as he hones his game he’ll be an even greater asset to a team’s passing attack.

 

3 –  Chris,

With Jairus Byrd now in New Orleans, do you anticipate the Bills are happy with their current S depth with: Aaron Williams, Searcy, Meeks, Duke Williams?

Also a random question, do you know why the NFL football is nicknamed “the Duke”??

-Jim

CB: As you probably saw this week with our coverage of the league meetings in Orlando, led by our own John Murphy, head coach Doug Marrone is considering lining Corey Graham up at safety as part of the competition. It sounds like he’ll compete for a role there, in addition to cornerback, with Duke Williams, Jonathan Meeks and Da’Norris Searcy. Aaron Williams is a lock at one of the safety spots already.

As we outlined in our story on this development this week, Graham isn’t completely foreign to safety.

As for your question about NFL footballs being nicknamed ‘The Duke,’ here’s the history behind it courtesy of the Wilson Sporting goods website.

In honor of the late New York Giants owner, Wellington Mara, one of the most beloved and respected figures in professional sports history, the Official Football of the NFL is called “The Duke”.

Wellington Mara, who spent 81 years with the New York Giants and made numerous contributions to the NFL, was named Wellington by his father, Tim Mara, after the Duke of Wellington. He was given the nickname “The Duke” as a youngster by Giants players.

The NFL first used a ball in honor of Wellington Mara called “The Duke” in 1941 at the suggestion of George Halas, as Tim Mara (Wellington’s father) had helped him arrange for Wilson Sporting Goods Co. to become the league’s official supplier of game balls.

“The Duke” ball was used through 1969 but was discontinued prior to the 1970 season, the first to be played post NFL-AFL merger. The NFL and AFL continued using a Wilson football, but with a new design and no official name. In 2006, the NFL returned the name of “The Duke” to the ball after Mara’s passing in October, 2005.

 

4 – Chris,

I think the two best prospects the Bills should consider are Khalil Mack and Sammy Watkins. Which do you think fits the team better? They would bit the best player available. What chances to you think they might make it to 9? How should the Bills protect a team jumping up to 7 or 8th pick if they find a player they love?

Josh

CB: I don’t disagree that Mack and Watkins are two of the best prospects in the class, but I’d be surprised if either are available at nine. If either one gets past the fifth pick I think a few teams will be making efforts to move up to six or seven to grab them. If both are still on the board when Tampa Bay is on the clock at 7, I think it’d be very tempting for Buffalo to swap spots with Minnesota at 8 to ensure they would get at least one of them. Still, parting with picks is not what the Bills typically do. Then again it’s Doug Whaley’s first draft and we don’t have a track record to work with concerning his approach in a fluid draft situation.

 

5 – Hi, Chris!

What criteria did the Bills and New York Giants, and the rest of the NFL teams qualify to be the selected matchup for the annual NFL HOF Game? Does both the PFHOF in Canton, OH, and the NFL decide which teams to play, is the selection if teams always announced in February, especially after the Super Bowl? Thanks. Llewellyn.

CB:  The league doesn’t have a specific criteria, but the fact that both NFL franchises have some of their most popular all-time players being inducted in this year’s Hall of Fame class in Andre Reed and Michael Strahan does play a factor. The NFL also takes into account the likelihood of fans from the respective teams traveling to the game. Knowing that fans of the Bills and Giants will already be on hand for the induction ceremony, there’s a strong likelihood that many of them will make a full weekend of it and take in the Hall of Fame game Sunday as well.


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Hall of Fame game set

Posted by Chris Brown on February 29, 2012 – 3:39 pm

The NFL has chosen the two teams to play in this year’s Hall of Fame game in Canton.

The New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals have been chosen as the Hall of Fame game participants, which will be played on Aug. 5th. The primetime preseason kickoff will be aired on the NFL Network. Kickoff is set for 8 pm.

The Saints had reportedly volunteered to participate in the game, which makes sense with their Hall of Fame OT Willie Roaf part of this year’s induction class.


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Playing time for starters in HOF game undetermined

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2009 – 7:50 pm

Bills head coach Dick Jauron confirmed that the backups will see the brunt of the play in Buffalo’s preseason opener Sunday night in Canton. How much time the starters will see remains undetermined at this point.

“They’ll play, but how much we’re not certain yet,” said Jauron.

In most cases two to three series is generally what coaches like to give their starters in the opening preseason contest. In light of all the changes on the offensive line however, the five men up front could see more time especially the two rookies. Coach Jauron will likely provide a bit more information on that later in the week.


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