Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 8-15

Posted by Chris Brown on August 15, 2014 – 5:07 pm

Ok fans an important week for the Bills is in the books. The passing game really took a step forward this week in Latrobe. Let’s hope it carries into the game Saturday night against the Steelers. In the meantime let’s get to your latest round of questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills

1 – Hi Chris,

Long time reader of your articles – including your Fan Friday.

I’ve noticed EJ and Woods are playing with visors in camp. Is this new and can we expect them to wear them in the regular season? To me, it makes a lot of sense for EJ – as it shadows the ability for the defence to see where he’s going to throw too or what he’s looking at. Is that the intention here? What scope do you have on this? Overall, I think they look fierce. But I highly doubt that’s the reasoning behind wearing them…

Thanks,
Mike Barwick

CB: Yes, they and a handful of other players wear visors. Some are shaded and some are clear. The shaded ones are designed to act like sunglasses in most cases. For receivers that’s important when they’re looking up for a ball, not unlike an outfielder in baseball. It helps keep them from losing a ball in the sun. Whether EJ’s primary purpose is the same I don’t know, but I’ll ask him. The other reason for the visors is to keep from getting poked in the eye, which is something that could happen to Manuel if a pass rusher is reaching out to block a pass, misses and connects with the helmet.
2 – Hey Chris,

I am very excited for the 2014 season, looking at the roster it seems a lot of the decisions made on the draft and free agency the last three years we’re really good ones. The depth is so good this year I haven’t heard too much about Ron Brooks.  I really like watching Ron Brooks I know he has had some injuries but where do you think he stands with the team? Do you think we will see him playing corner this season or just as a special teams player? Always appreciate your time.

Alexander Albanese
Toronto

CB: Brooks has had a pretty solid camp. He’s been afforded the opportunity of getting a ton of reps due to the limited participation of starting corners Leodis McKelvin and Stephon Gilmore who are both coming off offseason surgeries. He’s been running opposite Corey Graham in training camp at cornerback with the first team defense.

Brooks has performed well, but at times still has trouble with the bigger wideouts due mainly to his stature. He’s got great catch up speed and is sudden in his breaks on the ball. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz likes him so I anticipate him being one of the top five corners on the roster. How many they keep is the bigger question.
3 – Chris,

I couldn’t help notice the pass rush has been extremely productive in the spring and training camp. My question is do you feel that’s due to the talent of the DE’s or is it a product of inconsistency on the offensive line with Glenn being out and other shuffling that’s been going on. Appreciate the training camp coverage and can’t wait for the season. Also one more thing, is there a schedule that lists which practices are full contact?

Dan T.
Western MA

CB: It’s a bit of both. Jerry Hughes might be the most impressive of the front four when it comes to pass rush consistency. Of course that’s been helped by the fact that rookie Seantrel Henderson has been manning the starting left tackle role in Cordy Glenn’s absence. But make no mistake that group is pretty special.

Unfortunately no we don’t have a schedule for the public that lists full pads, shells or shorts and helmets. Typically once the preseason games start however, full pads practices are earlier in the week.

 

4 – Hey Chris,

Jerry Hughes had a tremendous season last year rushing the passer and it’s clear that Doug Whaley pioneered an amazing trade to get him when the Indianapolis Colts were looking to go in a different direction. And if Training Camp is any indication, it sounds like we can expect a similar season this year. Through listening to a lot of people on the radio and around town locally, it seems that Jerry Hughes will not be able to be re-signed if he has another great year– almost as if it’s a foregone conclusion that they cannot keep a stout DE since he’ll be too pricey.

In my opinion, if you run a base 4-3, having a Mario Williams AND Jerry Hughes-caliber player would be extremely important (SEE Freeney and Mathis, Strahan and Umenyiora). I think they should find a way to pay him if he’s anything like last year’s player. An annoying thing of being a Bills fan is seeing the Bills actually draft great talent, develop it, and watch it walk away. And in this case, the Bills didn’t even have to draft him to get it. What are your thoughts?

Also, have you tried a garbage plate since being in Rochester? It probably goes outside the exercise regimen, but you gotta treat yourself to the finer local delicacies.

-Nate in Rochester
PS- Go Bills!
CB: In a perfect world yes they would be able to keep Jerry Hughes long term, but it’s a question of balance. Obviously the Bills would love to keep Hughes, but you have to look at the money invested on the rest of the defensive line.

The three highest cap figures on the entire team are the other three defensive linemen that Hughes lines up with. Mario Williams ($18.8M), Marcell Dareus ($6.49M) and Kyle Williams ($6.25M).

In 2015 those cap numbers go to $19M (Mario), $8.06M (Dareus) and $5.85M (Kyle). That’s a total of $32M for three members of the defensive line. If Hughes has another 10-sack season or more he’s likely to be asking for top 15 perhaps top 10 defensive end money.

Top 15 would put him somewhere between $6.5-$8M per season while top 10 would have him north of $8.5M per season.

I’m not saying the Bills won’t try to do it. It’s not my decision as to how the Bills choose to spend their money. I just know that investing that much of your cap dollars in one facet of your team is not a common practice.

All that being said there have been reports citing sources close to the process of setting the salary cap for the NFL that the cap, which went up a surprising $10M this past year to $133M could move as high as $145M in 2015. Would that extra cap space be enough to make the fourth major investment in the team’s defensive line? I’m not sure it is.

With respect to your garbage plate suggestion, I’m familiar with it having gone to college at SUNY Geneseo. In fact I won a bet by eating two in one sitting. Almost didn’t hold them down, but got through it.
5 – Do you see a scenario where Spiller is traded this year?  I’ve heard rumors, and with the Jackson extension, Brown trade, Dixon signing, and no first round pick it seems like an possible and unfortunate rumor…am I crazy for thinking this or can they keep all four running backs?

Sean from So Cal
P.S. See you in Chicago week 1!

CB: I’m sure you saw GM Doug Whaley dispel those rumors this week. First, Whaley said that he has not been contacted by any team expressing interest in C.J. Spiller. He later followed that up with Channel 7’s Jeff Russo in an interview later in the week where he said he has not reached out to any other team himself about C.J. Spiller.

As Whaley said himself he understands with all the talent in the Bills backfield why people are trying to connect the dots. I just think with the team in ‘win now’ mode it would be highly unlikely that they would trade one of their best playmaking assets on offense in Spiller.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hughes expecting offensive retribution

Posted by Chris Brown on July 26, 2014 – 10:31 pm

He was part of what looked like an ambush of a pass rush in Saturday night’s practice for Buffalo’s defense. Jerry Hughes was in the thick of a series that featured more than half a dozen sacks over 17 plays from scrimmage. But the veteran is very leery of the offense coming back Sunday and tearing things up.

“We’re giving our offense plenty of looks,” Hughes told Buffalobills.com. “Once they see the film and make their corrections they’re going to be coming after us and we’ll have to step it up.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-6

Posted by Chris Brown on June 6, 2014 – 12:02 pm

Two weeks of OTAs are in the books with a week to go beginning this coming Monday. As always we’ll have full coverage here on Buffalobills.com. Here now are your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

I liked what Bills did in rounds 1,2,3 however they did not address DE. Manny Lawson has never played end and Wynn is a bubble player at most. Hughes is more of a situational pass rusher. I’m a bit concerned what they are doing. Since they won’t blitz as much the DE’s are more important under Schwartz. This puts more pressure on young DB’s as well. What do you think the future is at DE for 2014?

CB: I don’t know that you can assume that this defense under Schwartz won’t blitz as much. From what I’ve witnessed in OTAs with the blitz packages going in there are an array of packages that Schwartz has in his playbook. How often he uses them remains to be seen.

Lawson and Hughes will likely split the right defensive end role with Lawson in on more obvious run downs and Hughes on passing downs.

What you might need to consider is how often Schwartz’s defenses in the past have put an opponent in a situation where blitzing is not necessary.

Knowing that Schwartz’s Detroit defense last season finished first in the league in third down conversion percentage allowed (30.3%) and were second in the league in red zone defense (Bills were 14th and 6th) I’m going to give Buffalo’s defensive coordinator the benefit of the doubt that he’ll know when to blitz and how often to do so.


2 –
Hi Chris
I’m a long time Clemson fan and enjoyed watching C.J. Spiller returning kicks. He is one of the best I have ever seen at it and I billeve he could challenge Devin Hesters records. With the need at special teams, Do you think the Bills should try C.J. returning kickoffs? He does hold the FBS record for kickoff return touchdowns with 7.

Thanks, Chris Gerland

CB: It’s funny that you bring this up. As I wrote in our OTA practice notes column earlier this week C.J. Spiller was one of the kick returners in practice along with T.J. Graham and Leodis McKelvin. Spiller hasn’t returned a kick for the Bills since 2011, but it looks as though he’s at least being considered for the 2014 season. That being said I wouldn’t get excited about this possibly happening until we see it in a preseason game.


3 –
Hi Chris,

With the new additions at cornerback, and a new defensive coordinator, it almost seems like Nickell Robey has been getting lost in the mix, after a productive rookie campaign.

I’ve been wondering, has their been any talk about trying him out at safety as a possible replacement for Byrd?

Between his solid tackling and his playmaking ability, I think he could transition well into the role, which would also serve to reduce his height concerns. Jim Leonhard has had a decent career at FS for a shorter defensive back.

I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Thank you,
John
CB: I don’t think you have anything to worry about with Nickell Robey. First, Robey has looked solid in his nickel corner role. Yes, he will have competition, chiefly in the form of Corey Graham, but knowing how much New England goes four wide as well as other opponents on Buffalo’s roster like Denver, Detroit, Kansas City and Green Bay chances are Buffalo will need to make use of both of those slot defenders.

To help you breathe easier about Robey’s role on this team I’ll refer you to a recent quote by defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz on Robey.

“If you measure heart, if you measure things like that, he’s six-foot ten,” said Schwartz of Robey. “He’s been a guy that’s been impressive and it hasn’t just been from watching practice here.  Watching last year’s tape.  He’s very unique in some of the quickness he has.  He’s got great anticipation, sees the game very well and he’s certainly going to have a role. He’s been one of best players through our OTAs so far.” 


4 –
Hi Chris,

Thank you for all you do. Let me start by saying I’m extremely happy with our draft this year! My question is regarding our depth at the receiver position. I think it may be difficult for a guy like TJ Graham to make it on the field. Another guy I like is Marcus Easley. I know Easley helped out, and excelled on special teams last year. Do you think that they might keep a guy like TJ, and utilize his speed on special teams? If not I’m afraid I don’t think he’ll make the roster. I look forward to hearing your opinion!
Thanks,
Dan Edel
Buffalo native, teaching English in Thailand

CB: I do think T.J. is in for an uphill battle due mainly to the fact that additions like Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams are automatically ahead of him on the depth chart. Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin were draft choices deemed as fits by this coaching staff. Graham was inherited.

Add in the fact that the staff likes Kevin Elliott, who could carve out a role on special teams as well and both Graham and Easley will be battling for one of the final spots on Buffalo’s roster with players like Elliott and Chris Hogan, both of whom have shown well thus far in OTAs.


5 -
Chris;
With the trade of Stevie Johnson to the 49ers do they Bills have any financial obligations remaining from his contract?
Thanks and keep up the good work.
Howard
Rochester Hills, MI

CB: The figure I have is $10.225M in dead money, which the Bills can spread over the next three seasons, which is the length that Johnson’s contract ran.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hughes a pass rushing force Wednesday

Posted by Chris Brown on June 4, 2014 – 4:21 pm

Bills pass rusher Jerry Hughes was living up to his billing in practice Wednesday. Though it’s far from real football at this point in time in OTAs, Hughes had his best practice thus far.

After a would-be sack midway through Wednesday’s practice during a 9-v-9 segment the Bills run, Hughes followed it up with three more sacks in a span of five plays. In practice pass rushers can only tap out a QB on a pass play. Hughes tapped out Jeff Tuel and EJ Manuel on his four sacks.

On his last play Hughes swooped around the right side and tapped out Manuel before he could launch a deep ball for Sammy Watkins down the right sideline. Hughes began shouting down the field, “Bring that ball back! That was a sack!”

While much has been made about the adjustment Hughes may need to make going from Mike Pettine’s defense to Jim Schwartz’s as Hughes sees it not much has changed for him.

“He’s brought in his 4-3 scheme, but as far as what I’m doing it’s pretty much the same thing I did last year,” said Hughes. “My hand is in the ground and I’m coming off the edge trying to create pressure to get to the quarterback.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hughes rated tops in pass rush productivity

Posted by Chris Brown on April 30, 2014 – 10:58 pm

Bills DE Jerry Hughes earned the number one rating from ProFootballFocus for pass rush productivity by a 3-4 outside linebacker in 2013. Now moving to a 4-3 system under new defensive coordinator is likely to present different challenges. In any event here’s a look at the productivity of Hughes and Mario Williams, who finished 10th.

From The Left Side From The Right Side All Positions
# Name Team Pass Rush Snaps % Left Sk Ht Hu Total Pressure PRP Pass Rush Snaps % Right Sk Ht Hu Total Pressure PRP
1  Jerry Hughes BUF 116 28.6 4 2 16 22 15.1 187 46.2 7 7 23 37 15.8
2  Elvis Dumervil BLT 263 69.6 7 9 29 45 13.5 55 14.6 3 2 11 16 23.2
3  Justin Houston KC 295 68.6 9 6 37 52 14.0 36 8.4 1 1 4 6 13.2
3  Tamba Hali KC 73 12.7 5 1 6 12 14.0 425 74.2 7 6 51 64 11.7
5  John Abraham ARZ 165 30.7 5 3 13 21 10.3 305 56.7 7 5 34 46 11.9
6  Brian Orakpo WAS 12 2.6 1 0 0 1 8.3 349 75.1 10 11 29 50 11.5
7  Robert Mathis IND 189 38.3 5 3 18 26 11.0 263 53.2 13 2 21 36 11.5
8  Jason Worilds PIT 254 55.5 4 20 13 37 11.3 105 22.9 3 1 7 11 8.6
9  Junior Galette NO 98 19.7 1 4 8 13 10.2 359 72.2 11 8 26 45 10.2
10  Mario Williams BUF 340 60.5 10 3 29 42 10.0 199 35.4 4 4 17 25 9.9

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hughes makes USA Today All-Joe team

Posted by Chris Brown on January 24, 2014 – 11:26 am

It’s not the Pro Bowl or All-Pro, but Bills pass rusher Jerry Hughes did get some measure of national recognition Friday for his 10-sack season in 2013.

Hughes was listed as a member of USA Today’s Larry Weisman’s All-Joe team. For those not familiar with the All-Joe team here’s a brief description.

All-Joe team was created in 1992 by longtime NFL writer Larry Weisman as a tribute to Joe Phillips, a 14-year defensive lineman who did yeoman’s work for the Kansas City Chiefs that season. Phillips’ effort in the trenches didn’t lead to much glory … unless you point to the 29 combined sacks of Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith, Kansas City’s fifth-ranked defense or the team’s wild-card run. USA TODAY Sports has honored the unsung Joes ever since and compiles them in a 53-man roster that has at least one representative from every NFL team. Only players who have never been named to the Pro Bowl are eligible.

Weisman wrote the following on Hughes.

Jerry Hughes (Bills): A former first rounder cast off by the Colts, Hughes emerged as quite the sub package QB hunter (he only started once in 2013) in Buffalo with 10 sacks. 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kyle among most productive interior rushers

Posted by Chris Brown on January 17, 2014 – 8:57 am

Bills Pro Bowl DT Kyle Williams set a career high in 2013 with 10.5 sacks. He also had 17 QB hits and 39 QB hurries in earning his third career Pro Bowl nod according to Pro Football Focus. PFF also had him as the highest rated defensive player on Buffalo’s roster for the 2013 campaign. So it’s not surprising to see that when it came to pass rush productivity among interior defenders, Williams ranked in the top five in the NFL.

PFF recently put together their pass rush productivity for their edge rushers and Buffalo’s Jerry Hughes topped the list. Now they’ve done the same with interior defenders and Williams ranks fifth in the league. Here’s a look at the chart put together by the stat crunchers at PFF.

For those who don’t know, Vinny Curry is a situational pass rusher for the Eagles. Just about everyone else on this list is a regular starter, though I question the Saints Cameron Jordan being on here knowing he rushed from an outside position a good deal of the time this past season.

#

Name

Team

Pass Rush Snaps

Total Pressure

PRP

1

J.J. Watt

HST

518

85

12.8

2

Vinny Curry

PHI

217

32

11.6

3

Cameron Jordan

NO

525

76

11.5

4

Gerald McCoy

TB

561

80

11.1

5

Kyle D. Williams

BUF

533

69

10.3

6

Ndamukong Suh

DET

543

72

10.2

7

Brandon Mebane

SEA

240

32

10

8

Justin Smith

SF

462

56

9.5

9

Geno Atkins

CIN

290

34

9.3

9

Malik Jackson

DEN

364

43

9.3

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hughes’ big year left him far from satisfied

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2014 – 9:45 am

As we profiled on Buffalobills.com today, the addition of Jerry Hughes via trade proved to be one of the best moves not only for Buffalo, but perhaps in the entire NFL in 2013. And though Hughes was very happy to be able to contribute to the Bills’ defensive success in a way he had not been able to at the NFL level before, he was still far from satisfied.

That’s because Hughes wanted his productivity to result in more victories than losses.

“It was fun,” said Hughes of the season he had. “But it’s tough to say (I proved the Bills right) because it was just six wins and we were not getting ready for another game (at the end of the regular season). I think for the most part we’re all judged on wins and losses. Individual performances are good to look at in the offseason, but I definitely want to win football games. That’s what we’re here for. The individual stats are cool, but the ‘W’ at the end of the day that’s all that matters.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hughes tops pass rush productivity list

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2014 – 8:30 am

He wasn’t a full time starter on defense, but when it came to pass rush effectiveness per snap played, there was no one better in 2013 than Buffalo’s Jerry Hughes.

That according to Pro Football Focus, which had Hughes as their top rated player for pass rush productivity in 2013. As we profiled on Buffalobills.com today, the Bills acquisition of Hughes may be one of the more significant trades of the 2013 league year.

Here’s their chart for the top rated players in that category.

Rank

Name

Team

Pass Rush Snaps

Total Pressure

PRP

1

Jerry Hughes

BUF

305

59

15.4

2

Robert Quinn

SL

477

91

15.3

3

Aldon Smith

SF

289

55

15.1

3

Elvis Dumervil

BLT

319

61

15.1

3

Justin Houston

KC

332

59

14.1

6

Cameron Wake

MIA

397

71

14.0

7

Michael Bennett

SEA

379

65

13.5

8

Von Miller

DEN

234

38

12.8

9

Tamba Hali

KC

500

77

12.2

10

Greg Hardy

CAR

536

82

12.1


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills surprised Fins didn’t run more

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2013 – 5:56 pm

Facing the number one sack team in the league on the road, and having given up a league-leading 51 sacks on the season, Buffalo figured that Miami would make a concerted effort to run the ball. They didn’t, which surprised a lot of Buffalo’s defenders.

“We really thought they were going to come in here and run the ball, given the elements and everything like that,” said Jerry Hughes, who had one of the Bills’ seven sacks of Ryan Tannehill Sunday. “We really thought they’d try to test our run game early. They kind of did, but we kind of shut it down. The rush is kind of what they tried to do and we kind of stopped them.”

If the Dolphins tried to run the ball they didn’t try very long. Granted their lack of success may have been a deterrent, but it was a 10-point game until the fourth quarter.

Miami had nine carries for just nine yards in the first half. They ran it just three more times in the second half for just five more yards for a total of 14 in the game.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hughes in top 10 territory

Posted by Chris Brown on December 10, 2013 – 1:10 pm

It’s been a productive season for Jerry Hughes in his first year with the Bills, and ProFootballFocus is taking notice. The stat crunchers and film reviewers of every play of every game, have Hughes ranked in their top 10 at the 3-4 OLB position.

Hughes is rated tied for seventh overall among 3-4 OLBs this season. As you’ll see in the PFF chart below, only five of the players listed above him have a higher combination number of sacks, QB hits and QB hurries than Hughes (48). His pass rush rating of 13.9 is also only bested by three other players in the top 10 as well (Houston, Dumervil, Mathis).

Mario Williams and Manny Lawson rank 13th and 22nd overall on this chart.

 

Ratings

Coverage

#

Name

Team

Snaps

Overall

Rush

Cov.

Run

Pen.

# of Pen

QB Sk

QB Ht

QB Hu

BP

Tks

Ass

MT

St

1  Justin   Houston KC 724 31.8 17.9 3.7 7.6 2.6 0-0 11 8 42 4 32 2 12 38
2  Elvis   Dumervil BLT 479 23.6 23.9 1.2 4.7 -6.2 8-2 10 9 34 1 13 6 0 19
3  Brian   Orakpo WAS 735 23.1 9.3 2.6 9.5 1.7 1-0 9 11 26 2 30 11 5 30
4  Trent   Cole PHI 764 21.2 10.9 -1.9 9.6 2.6 0-0 6 10 26 2 33 4 4 33
5  Tamba   Hali KC 830 21.1 12.6 2.7 4.8 1.0 2-0 12 7 52 0 20 8 7 25
6  Robert   Mathis IND 719 20.3 14.9 -0.3 4.2 1.5 2-0 15 3 33 2 26 2 6 33
7  Aldon   Smith SF 407 13.9 9.8 -0.2 5.7 -1.4 3-0 7 5 22 0 16 2 2 19
7  Jerry   Hughes BUF 529 13.9 13.6 -1.5 4.9 -3.1 6-2 9 5 34 1 22 1 4 19
9  Terrell   Suggs BLT 764 13.8 1.8 0.4 10.9 0.7 3-1 9 13 32 0 48 7 4 46
10  Junior   Galette NO 689 12.8 11.0 0.1 1.7 0.0 3-1 9 11 30 0 23 7 3 26

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hughes ranked 5th among edge rushers

Posted by Chris Brown on December 5, 2013 – 4:59 pm

Bills LB Jerry Hughes already has a career high eight sacks this season, but he’s also got a ton of QB hits and hurries. The Monday Morning Quarterback site measures pressure a bit differently than just straight sacks. Among edge rushers Hughes ranks in the top 10 in the league.

MMQB has Hughes ranked fifth in the league among edge rushers this season in their unique ranking of pressure points. See chart below.

edge-season


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Past intel on Hughes sold Bills that he’d fit

Posted by Chris Brown on November 28, 2013 – 12:19 pm

The Bills were presented with an opportunity to trade for Jerry Hughes shortly after the NFL draft. When defensive coordinator Mike Pettine heard the name mentioned he instantly became a lobbyist to make the deal happen.

Appearing on the Sirius XM NFL Radio ‘No Huddle’ show with Steve Tasker, Pettine revealed the prior knowledge he had acquired on Hughes when he was a college prospect.

“He didn’t surprise us (here) because in New York, the year he came out he was very high on our draft board. We knew he was going to probably going to fall right around where we were picking late in the first,” said Pettine. “I had gone down to TCU to work him out so when Doug (Marrone) mentioned the possibility of trading for him I couldn’t jump up on the table fast enough. He’s a special talent. The key thing there is he can run. There’s no substitute for that.

“I thought he’d be a perfect complement to line up opposite Mario. He’s benefited from people sliding protection to Mario. He’s benefited from some of those exposed edges.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hughes rated Bills most efficient pass rusher

Posted by Chris Brown on November 22, 2013 – 9:55 am

The folks at ProFootballFocus watch and grade every play of the season, and for the Bills the player they have at the top of their pass rushing efficiency chart might not be who you think it is.

It’s Jerry Hughes, who doesn’t play quite as many snaps as Mario Williams or Kyle Williams or Marcell Dareus, but has been every bit as effective against the pass. Hughes has six sacks, four QB hits and 29 QB pressures. As we covered in a feature story on Hughes last week, he often creates pressure opportunities for his teammates with the way he flushes quarterbacks from the pocket.

Here’s how the folks at PFF rank the club’s top pass rushers through 11 games.

Pos.

Name

Total
Plays

Run Def.

Pass Rush

Pass Cov.

Overall

Run Def.

Pass Rush

QB Sk

QB Ht

QB Hu

BP

Tks

Ass

MT

Stops

 LB  Jerry Hughes

473

164

222

87

11.4

4.0

10.2

7

4

29

1

19

1

4

14

 DL  Kyle D. Williams

665

273

387

5

24.9

16.9

10.1

8

10

26

1

23

8

3

28

 DL  Marcell Dareus

595

262

327

6

22.2

11.1

9.5

6

3

21

1

40

6

2

37

 LB  Mario Williams

710

293

406

11

7.0

-0.1

5.2

12

5

32

1

10

3

1

17


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Time on field benefiting Hughes’ game most

Posted by Chris Brown on November 14, 2013 – 4:27 pm

Bills pass rusher Jerry Hughes doesn’t deny that he learned a lot in his three years playing behind Pro Bowl ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, but he’s seen his game progress more in 10 games this season than in the previous three.

“It’s helping out tremendously,” Hughes told Buffalobills.com. “It’s always great to sit on the sideline and learn the game from two established vets like those two guys were, but to actually be out on the field with your teammates and playing a full game, playing with the guys, those things you really can’t practice for or hold into account how valuable it is and you get more of a feel for the speed of the game versus watching it on the sideline.”

Hughes said playing behind Freeney and Mathis was a pass rush education, but the impact he’s been able to make for the Bills this season is his most rewarding accomplishment to this point in his career. His teammates also have quickly developed a respect for the way Hughes goes about his business.

“I think just knowing him the way I do a simple mindset, just come in be the best that we can be and try to make a difference here,” said Manny Lawson. “We hear a lot of talk about what the Bills used to be and our mantra is we’re just going to be who we are. Jerry is a very competitive guy. He’s not afraid to ask questions and learn from the coaches and myself just what’s going on. We talk and communicate well on the field and just generally he wants to learn the game and be better at the game and that’s all you can really ask for from a player.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills ‘D’ had the clamps on

Posted by Chris Brown on November 3, 2013 – 10:13 pm

Buffalo’s defense had been susceptible to giving up the big play through the first half of the season. That disappeared on Sunday.

The Bills allowed a total of 210 net yards to the Chiefs, the fewest in a loss since they gave up just 193 in the infamous 6-3 loss to Cleveland back on Oct. 11, 2009.

The longest play surrendered by the Bills was a 20-yard pass play from Alex Smith to Anthony Fasano. No other play went for more than 12 yards in the game.

On 10 total possessions, the Chiefs gained more than 35 yards on a drive, just once, their 42-yard field goal drive in the third quarter. That was also the only Kansas City drive that reached the red zone.

“I think we’ve got a good defense,” said Stephon Gilmore. “One thing their defense did, they got turnovers and scored. That’s what we needed as a defense. I just feel like we needed a play on defense to turn the game around for the offense. But we never got that.”

The closest they came was on Jerry Hughes strip sack, but Leodis McKelvin was unable to come up with the loose ball.


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Jerry Hughes to start

Posted by Chris Brown on October 27, 2013 – 11:52 am

Bills LB Manny Lawson is inactive with a hamstring injury today. He’s going to be replaced in the lineup by another veteran linebacker.

Jerry Hughes will start in Lawson’s place. Look for Nigel Bradham to fill Lawson’s role as well in certain packages.


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PFF honors Bills D-line in Wk 7

Posted by Chris Brown on October 22, 2013 – 1:05 pm

It’s probably no surprise that ProFootballFocus made Mario Williams a part of their Top Performers of Week 7, but he wasn’t the only Bills defender to be recognized.

PFF named Williams one of their top two edge rushers last week in the NFL as he his two sacks were only part of the story. Here’s what they wrote about his performance against Miami.

Edge Rushers: Robert Mathis, IND (+6.5) and Mario Williams, BUF (+4.5)

And so continues the extremely impressive year of Mathis. He made game changing plays as he finished with two sacks, two hits and a hurry, while his work in the run game was eye-catching as well. For Williams, he’ll be happy to not only have ended with seven quarterback disruptions (as he picked up his highest grade of the year) but also the game changing play.

Honorable Mention: Von Miller (DEN) and Jerry Hughes (BUF)

Hughes according to PFF had six quarterback hurries in the Miami game. Marcell Dareus also earned honorable mention honors for best defensive interior players in Week 7. He had four tackles and a QB hit.


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Bills offseason pickups producing on ‘D’

Posted by Chris Brown on October 15, 2013 – 1:16 pm

The Bills free agent additions of Alan Branch and Manny Lawson were not headline grabbers nationally. Neither was the trade Buffalo made to acquire Jerry Hughes. But through the first six games all three have been significant contributors for the Bills defense.

That production is getting some attention. ProFootballFocus highlighted the performances of both Branch and Hughes this past week against Cincinnati. Lawson left the game early with a hamstring injury. PFF in reviewing the game praised both Branch and Hughes for their efforts. Here’s their synopsis.

Hughes’ Redemption Continues in Buffalo
After failing to make his impact in Indianapolis, Jerry Hughes has got a second chance in Buffalo and, aside from one performance, he is grasping that opportunity with both hands. Featuring in a career high 76 snaps off the bench, Hughes had an impact as both a pass rusher and run defender, overcoming his early missed tackle on Marvin Jones’ long gain on a reverse. He recorded three pressures as a pass rusher against the Bengals’ tackle pairing, one of the better in the league, while also drawing a holding penalty from Andrew Whitworth on a spin move that would have negated a key third-down conversion for the Bengals had A.J. Green’s left foot landed just infield. The theme with all of Hughes’ pressure was working to the inside of Whitworth and Andre Smith. It can be easy for pass rushers who come in as speed rushers to get too concerned with trying to tear past opposing tackles every play, but Hughes used that speed to set up his inside work this week. Hughes also added a batted pass and three stops in probably the most complete performance of his career to date.
Branch Maximizes his Run Snaps
He may be a fairly one dimensional defender but when he plays that one dimension as well as he did yesterday and the Bills can juggle his snaps as they did to exploit that strength you can always find room on your defense for a player like Alan Branch. Of his 48 defensive snaps Branch was defending the run on 31 of them (64.6%) and responded with five stops against the run, his most since Week 15 of the 2011 season in Chicago. Branch worked on both sides of the line getting the better of every member of the Bengals’ line except for Andrew Whitworth. This is Branch’s second “impact” game as a run defender having matched his +2.0 run defense grade against the Jets in Week 3, if he can provide more consistent displays like this then the Bills will be much tougher to run on.
 

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New Bills liking fan decibel level

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2013 – 12:58 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone and some of the newer players to the team’s roster were pretty impressed with the energy of the home crowd at Ralph Wilson Stadium Friday night.

“It was fun. The crowd brought great energy,” said Jerry Hughes, who logged a pair of sacks in the game. “The fans throughout the entire game were rowdy and really helped us feed off that. So we started feeding off that. We just wanted to go out there and play for them.”

Coach Marrone even credited the botched snaps between the centers and the quarterbacks of the Vikings to the crowd noise.

“Well they had some miscues with the snaps, credit to the fans. I’m excited about that. I played in some tough venues and I really think that has a lot to do with it. Hopefully we can keep that up.”

Knowing there were only 60 thousand fans at Friday’s game an additional 19-thousand will make it even louder.

 


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