Inside The Bills

Lal: Easley ahead of schedule

Posted by Chris Brown on May 26, 2016 – 2:12 pm

There’s no specific timetable for Marcus Easley to return from offseason surgery that he had back in January, but the signs at this point are encouraging.

That according to Bills receivers coach Sanjay Lal, who appeared on the John Murphy Show. Lal knew it was going to be a long rehabilitation for Easley, but is confident he’ll come through the extensive rehab successfully.

“If there’s anyone who can, and it was a devastating injury and he was here all winter,” said Lal of Easley. “I saw the rehab that he went through and you have to admire how hard he worked and the mentality he had because that was tough on him. He’s coming through it all ahead of projections.”

Easley dislocated his kneecap and then shattered his patella in three places in last season’s Week 16 game against Dallas.


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Taylor: Everyone has something to prove

Posted by Chris Brown on May 21, 2016 – 9:58 am

Earlier this week a story claimed that Tyrod Taylor was one of two quarterbacks with the most to prove this coming season. Kirk Cousins was the other (anybody for Jared Goff or Carson Wentz?). In any event, when asked about that prevailing opinion, Taylor didn’t scoff at it. Instead he embraced it.

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show this week, Taylor said it’s always been his own personal belief that he has something to prove every time he steps on the field.

“Everyone has something to prove in this league and if you think you don’t something is wrong,” Taylor said. “That’s how I play. Every time you practice you should feel that way too. As far as the contract that will play out. I really haven’t put too much thought into it.

“My goal as I said from day one is to better myself and better the team too and ultimately prepare ourselves and get after everybody to make a Super Bowl run. We know it’s takes a one game at a time and one step at a time, but we’ve finished phase one and phase two of the offseason and we’re looking forward to getting into OTAs and we’re definitely excited about getting back out there making plays.”


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Why KC Joyner has Bills as Super Bowl sleeper

Posted by Chris Brown on May 18, 2016 – 1:04 pm

ESPN Senior Insider KC Joyner has the Bills as one of two teams as his Super Bowl sleeper picks. He appeared on the John Murphy Show to explain why.

Joyner basically explained that in every decade of NFL football power football has always been successful. He believes Buffalo is strong in this area based on the following. That combined with Buffalo’s strong metrics in pass defense and Tyrod Taylor’s efficiency as a passer (70 QBR or higher in eight of his 14 starts) has him optimistic about the Bills.

Here’s his explanation on just how good Buffalo’s ability to play power football really is.

“They led the league in rushing yards, yards per rush last year and in yards per rush before first defensive contact and tied for first in rushing touchdowns. I have a metric called good blocking yards per attempt,” said Joyner. “It measures how well a back does when he gets good blocking. LeSean McCoy was ninth in the league in that figure with an 8.9 GBYPA. If you’re in double digits that’s an elite figure in that metric, if you’re near nine you’re a really good back.

“But as good as that number was it was lower than the Bills team figure (9.1), meaning that when the Bills gave good blocking to backs other than McCoy they were more productive than McCoy was. That just says that this is an offensive line that opens up big holes and you have to give McCoy 300 carries to get good productivity.”


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Bills Gronk on how to stop Pats Gronk

Posted by Chris Brown on May 18, 2016 – 12:48 pm

Bills undrafted rookie FB Glenn Gronkowski has been asked a ton of questions over the years about his All-Pro brother Rob Gronkowski. There was one on the John Murphy Show this week that he had trouble answering about the Patriots tight end.

Gronkowski was asked how to stop his older brother from being the game changing tight end he is.

“I don’t know how to stop Rob,” said Glenn Gronkowski. “Rex Ryan told him on the phone he’s going to double team him on every play this year. I guess that’s how we’re going to stop him.”

That phone conversation took place after Ryan had successfully recruited Glenn Gronkowski as an undrafted free agent. He asked Glenn to put Rob on the phone and at that point and told him they were going to do everything they could to shut him down.

As much as the Patriots tight end is known as a partier, Gronk does put in a lot of time and effort according to his younger brother.

“He puts the work in to be the best,” said Glenn Gronkowski. “Of course a lot of people see him as a big partier. He’s definitely a hard worker. I see it first hand. Behind the scenes he’s doing a lot more than people think he is. He puts in the work and definitely deserves to be where he is.”

The younger Gronkowski thinks he has a good shot to make Buffalo’s 53-man roster. The Bills need a backup fullback with how run heavy their offense is, so Gronkowksi is hoping to make enough of an impact on special teams to stick.

“I think I can make the team,” he said. “Obviously that’s my goal. You’ve got to give it your all to reach your goal. So I think it’s a possibility especially on special teams. Maybe on special teams hopefully and work into a role and start learning my role from (Jerome)

Felton a little bit and see where it goes.”

 


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Bruce: Sack record will stand for some time

Posted by Chris Brown on May 12, 2016 – 9:43 am

Bills Hall of Famer Bruce Smith, whose number will be retired at the home opener this fall, is the league’s all-time sack leader with 200 in his career. Even though the NFL has become much more of a passing league, with many quarterbacks now getting rid of the ball in about 2.5 seconds Smith’s record is likely to hold up for the foreseeable future.

Smith agreed with that assessment in an appearance on the John Murphy Show.

“I think that record will stand for quite some time, but we are in a different age of football. This has become a passing league now. It was a much more balanced attack when I was in the league,” said Smith. “They pass first and run second. They’re passing the ball about 20-30 percent more, so it’s giving guys more of an opportunity to get more sacks. We’ll just have to see guys have the longevity and stay healthy enough to have a long, productive and fruitful career to get far enough to come close to 200 sacks.”


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What’s the best part of the schedule for Rex?

Posted by Chris Brown on April 15, 2016 – 10:20 am

By Rex Ryan’s own description the first four weeks of the season at Baltimore, home vs. Jets, home vs. Arizona and at New England is “pretty salty.” But there is a key part of the schedule that Buffalo’s head coach loves.

Ryan, who reflected on the Bills 2016 schedule on the John Murphy Show, is especially pleased with how the last quarter of the season lays out.

“The thing I like most about our schedule is we close with three of four at home,” said Ryan. “We get Miami on a cold, wintry December 24th Christmas Eve. Bring it on. So I like that with Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Miami. We’ll see it’ll be a challenging schedule, but I love closing at home. We proved last year closing with four wins at home so that’s a good thing. So I’m excited about having those late games at home.”


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Bills coaches benefit from early Thursday game

Posted by Chris Brown on April 15, 2016 – 8:58 am

The Thursday night game for the Bills in Week 2 is their home opener on their 2016 schedule. On a short week the benefit is the Jets, their opponent on Thursday night, is a familiar opponent. But there is another major benefit for Buffalo’s coaching staff in having a game on a short week that early in the season.

NFL coaching staffs always begin preparing for their Week 1 opponent as early as three weeks prior to the opener. Seeing that Thursday night game sitting just four days later on the schedule in Week 2, so Buffalo’s coaching staff will also put together at least some of their game plan for the Jets before the season even starts.

“That’s exactly when we’ll do it,” said Bills head coach Rex Ryan in an appearance on the John Murphy Show Thursday night. “We’re very familiar with them. They haven’t had any major staff changes, but yes we’ll be getting some work on them in the preseason. Baltimore is a physical team and then you’ve got to turn around on a short week and play the Jets, another physical team on a short week. So we’ve got to be up for that.”

It’s a much more favorable situation for Rex Ryan’s staff to have the extra time to prepare for a short week heading into the season than a Thursday night game in Week 8 when they’ve got to burn the midnight oil to get a full game plan in.


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Kyle Williams knee good to go

Posted by Chris Brown on April 8, 2016 – 9:01 am

Bills DT Kyle Williams had an abbreviated 2015 season after a knee injury cost him the last 10 games of the year and required surgery. In an appearance on the John Murphy Show, Williams provided an update on where he stands physically as the start of the team’s offseason conditioning program fast approaches.

“It’s going great. I’m getting back into full-fledged working out,” Williams told the John Murphy Show. “It was slow going at the beginning. But it’s moved along well and now I’m getting ready for a football season now rather than rehabilitation. That’s always a good thing.”

Williams did lament the fact that he missed the final two thirds of the season feeling he could’ve helped not only on the field, but in terms of leadership saying there were some communication issues in terms of roles on the defense that he felt he could have helped smooth out.

Knowing Rex Ryan intends to get back to his style of defense, after his attempts to blend his scheme with elements of Buffalo’s defense prior to his arrival didn’t work, Kyle is eager to be a part of what has made Ryan’s defenses so successful over the years.

“I know what Rex’s style of defense is, it’s one that causes trouble for offenses,” Williams said. “I’ve seen it first hand. I’m ready to go to be a part of it.”

Williams will be the recipient of the Athletes in Action Call to Courage award this weekend at Frank Reich’s annual event in Buffalo.


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LB Zach Brown liked vibe at 1 Bills Dr.

Posted by Chris Brown on April 5, 2016 – 2:05 pm

It had almost been a full month into free agency and LB Zach Brown hadn’t been drawing a lot of interest. But it didn’t have him antsy about finding a home. Appearing on the John Murphy Show, Brown talked about how Buffalo expressed interest and he’ll be lining up for the Bills in 2016.

“I just kept praying and had faith in God that (an opportunity) was going to come. The Bills called and it was a great chance because I was thinking they’ve got a great defense,” said Brown. “Great defensive line, great cornerbacks and Rex and Rob (Ryan) and they just got my man coach (defensive line coach – John) Blake up there. The pieces of the puzzle are there so I said, ‘I’d love to join the crew.’”

Brown had met Rex Ryan before as he had a pre-draft visit with the Jets when Ryan was the head coach there, so he had some familiarity with him. During his visit Brown said he liked the collective vibe in the building and wanted to be a part of it.

“It was good. It’s a great feeling and everybody here wants to win so it’s a good atmosphere,” he said. “They’re going in the right direction so for me I wanted to be a player who could come in and get them to where they want to go.”

Brown said he plans to attend the team’s offseason conditioning program to get to know his new teammates.


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Brooks: Bills 2015 draft class was a gem

Posted by Chris Brown on February 24, 2016 – 6:24 pm

Former Bills WR and current NFL Network draft analyst Bucky Brooks had high praise for the Bills 2015 draft class. Appearing on the John Murphy Show, Brooks outlined why he felt it was so strong despite the fact that the team did not have a first-round pick.

“I think they had a major coup in terms of the guys they were able to bring in,” said Brooks. “Ronald Darby has been an outstanding player. He was a player who was vying for NFL Rookie of the Year honors. He looks like a CB1, a guy that you can put on people and lock up receivers. I know they did that at times during the year. I also like what Karlos Williams was able to do as a backup to Shady McCoy. Showed some big play ability, but is physical between the tackles. Nice piece to the offensive puzzle.”

Brooks also mentioned third-round pick John Miller as a solid starter. The John Murphy Show is broadcasting live from the NFL Combine in Indianapolis through Friday from 7-9 pm ET on Bills flagship station WGR Sportradio 550.

Buffalobills.com Combine coverage is presented by NAPA Auto Parts.


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Easley progressing in rehab

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2016 – 12:26 pm

He was covering a punt against the Cowboys in Week 16, and on a freak play running downfield after he was shoved by a Dallas player, his knee cap was dislocated and as he went to the ground the knee cap was shattered into three pieces. It helped explain why Marcus Easley was in tears from the pain before being carted off the field. Easley joined the John Murphy Show to talk about how his offseason rehab is going.

“I’ve made a lot of progress,” said Easley. “It’s been nothing but uphill since the end of the season. I’m getting around a lot better now and healing up real well. I’m getting better every day.”

Easley has dealt with different knee injuries in the past, but in his estimation they don’t compare to this one.

“This is the most severe injury that I’ve had to deal with,” he said. “It’s been tough. The first couple of weeks out of surgery was rough, but things are definitely looking up now and I’m healing fine which is all good.

“Things are kind of slow and steady knowing that bones were broken. There’s only so much you can do because the body has to heal itself. Over time as things heal you can begin to develop all the muscles around it and get stronger.”


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Taylor: “I want to be the long term guy”

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2016 – 1:17 pm

His comment came as no surprise, but in an interview at the Pro Bowl with Around the NFL Wednesday night, Bills QB Tyrod Taylor said he’d love to be the long term answer for Buffalo at the most important position.

Of course I want to be the long-term guy,” Taylor said. “I love playing for the organization, I love playing for the coaches, I love being around the guys. Like I said, I want to be the long-term guy for them. Ultimately that’s up to them. I know I’m under contract for another year, but right now I’m out here just taking it all in.”

Taylor will be participating in Sunday’s Pro Bowl, as he’ll be replacing Cam Newton, who advanced with the Carolina Panthers to Super Bowl 50.

Bills GM Doug Whaley said on the John Murphy Show this week that he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of signing Taylor to a long-term contract extension before next season.

“Since we’ve got him under contract, he’s on the list, but a little way down because we want to get the guys who are unrestricted done first,” said Whaley when asked if getting a long term deal done with Taylor is on their priority list. “But it’s one of those things where I will say that if we come up with a deal that works for both parties we wouldn’t be opposed to doing it.”

Taylor has one year remaining on his current contract with Buffalo.


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Whaley: Aaron, Graham to return as safety combo

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2016 – 12:50 pm

The Bills finished the 2015 season not completely certain that Aaron Williams would be able to continue his playing career after he suffered a neck injury that cost him most of the 2015 season. But Bills GM Doug Whaley in an appearance on the John Murphy Show confirmed that Williams is good to go for the 2016 season.

“We’re leaning on the medical staff and we were assured by them that if we were in the playoff hunt (this past season) that Aaron would’ve been cleared to play,” said Whaley. “Medically he’s cleared and ready to go. Again those neck things are always tricky and we’d have to see once he gets out there and starts playing how he’s feeling. We do need some depth there, but I think this year another year of Corey Graham playing back there moving from corner to safety now he’s opening his eyes up to see the whole field so another year of learning that will help us too.”


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Henderson illness leaves RT spot in flux

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2016 – 11:50 am

The Bills drafted a pair of offensive tackles in the 2014 NFL draft hoping to address a shortage of talent at the position. The last two seasons Seantrel Henderson had manned the starting role at right tackle for Buffalo. Diagnosed with an undisclosed medical condition midway through the 2015 season, it’s unclear whether Henderson can effectively continue as Buffalo’s starter moving forward. It’s put Buffalo’s front office in the position of being proactive in case Henderson can’t manage his illness and be readily available each and every Sunday.

The Bills have Cyrus Kouandjio on the roster and Jordan Mills, who stepped in for Henderson for the last five games at right tackle, is a restricted free agent. Bills GM Doug Whaley in an appearance on the John Murphy Show, outlined their approach to the team’s right tackle position.

“We’ll have Jordan Mills who is a restricted free agent, and so we can tender him and have him,” said Whaley. “Between him and Kouandjio you’ll have two guys battling there. Then hopefully we’ll see what happens with the medical issue for Henderson, but we’re crossing our fingers and hoping he can come back to full strength and then we’ll have three and have some depth if he comes back.”

It’s also possible that the Bills draft an offensive tackle to further fortify the team’s depth in the event that Henderson can’t overcome his medical condition.


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Incognito’s goal: Come back & play in Buffalo

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2016 – 10:41 am

Bills Pro Bowl guard Richie Incognito has already been deemed a top offseason priority by GM Doug Whaley as they try to get him re-signed knowing he’s a key member of their offensive line. Set to become an unrestricted free agent in March, Incognito reiterated his desire to re-sign with the Bills.

Appearing on the John Murphy Show Wednesday night, Incognito talked about why it’s important for him to continue his career in Buffalo.

“I’m anxious. I’m anxious to see what happens,” said Incognito of his contract negotiations. “My goal is to come back and play in Buffalo. I love it there. I love my teammates and I love playing for coach Rex and Greg Roman. I really think that my personality and my hard work approach and physical nature really resembles the spirit of Buffalo. A blue collar town and a bunch of hard working people up there, and they just want to win. That’s my number one goal is just to win and restore the glory of Buffalo. I hope it all works out and I hope I’m back there real soon.”

The top 10 guard contracts in the NFL average about $7M per season. Where Incognito fits on the guard pay scale at age 32 remains to be seen.


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If No. 2 WR can’t be added, Bills to go with mix

Posted by Chris Brown on January 27, 2016 – 9:04 am

For the Bills adding a true number two wideout opposite Sammy Watkins that has size and commands attention from opposing defenses would be ideal, but in a draft year where talent at receiver is good, but size isn’t the Bills may have to choose a different approach in addressing that role.

Bills GM Doug Whaley, who will appear on the John Murphy Show tonight from Mobile, commented on how they would fill the No. 2 WR role if a single player can’t be acquired to step into it.

“We’d love to (have a bona fide No. 2 receiver), but we think with the mix of guys we have we can generate a number two receiver, between (Marquise) Goodwin, (Robert) Woods, (Greg) Salas who we signed. Leonard Hankerson if we can get him back and then Greg Little that we signed. So we’ve got a mix of guys who might not be a bona fide number two, but we can use those guys in different roles and have a complementary number two just by mixing some guys in.”

Buffalo also signed Jarrett Boykin this month to try to improve the size at the position.


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Senior Bowl rosters released

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2016 – 1:08 pm

The Reese’s Senior Bowl will begin practices next week and Buffalobills.com will be there to cover the goings on as the pre-draft season gets underway in Mobile. Officials released the North and South rosters Thursday.

Among the more notable names participating in Senior Bowl week and the game on Saturday are North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz and Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott. On defense some of the big names include Alabama LB Reggie Ragland, Ohio State LB Josh Perry and Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins.

The John Murphy Show will also be broadcasting live from the Senior Bowl next week.

Here’s a look at the North and South team rosters.

North Team roster

South Team roster


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Boykin: Taylor would look for me in crunch time

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2016 – 12:26 pm

One of Buffalo’s newest wide receivers is Jarrett Boykin, who signed a reserve/future free agent this past week. He appeared on the John Murphy Show and talked about what he hopes to accomplish through the course of the 2016 offseason in the hopes of making the 53-man roster. He also spoke about his familiarity with Tyrod Taylor, who was a college teammate at Virginia Tech.

Boykin said that he and Taylor had a great on field chemistry at Tech, especially when the game is on the line.

“My and Ty were on the same page. He would look for me in crunch time situations,” said Boykin. “We just knew what we had to do. We all wanted to win as a team down there. Tyrod knows what he wants and will work as hard as he needs to in order to get what he wants. He deserves everything that’s coming to him now.

“I’m proud of the things he’s done up there in Buffalo. He proved a lot of things up there and that he’s a really good quarterback.”

Boykin, who was at One Bills Drive late in the regular season for a workout, caught up with Taylor, who watched the workout. He and Taylor intend to get some time together on the field this offseason.

“I talked to him when I went up for my workout and again when I signed and he congratulated me,” said Boykin. “And we haven’t been able to get together in the offseason, but we’ll definitely do that now.”


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Roman: phone quiet for HC interviews

Posted by Chris Brown on January 8, 2016 – 2:08 pm

Last year Greg Roman got a bunch of calls from teams interested in him as a head coaching candidate including Buffalo before he ultimately accepted the offensive coordinator post under Rex Ryan. This offseason despite doing some pretty impressive work with Buffalo’s offense with a first-year starter at quarterback Roman says his phone hasn’t been ringing to this point.

“It’s been pretty quiet actually,” said Roman in an appearance this week on the John Murphy Show. “I’ve had a lot of interest the last five years, but it’s been pretty quiet on that front. I really haven’t been paying too much attention to it. But it hasn’t been a lot this year, which is somewhat strange. But that’s how it goes sometimes. It’s one of those things you can’t control. But look at Bruce Arians and how long it took for him to get a shot, and look at what he’s doing. It just happens that way sometimes, but I have supreme confidence in what we’re doing here in Buffalo.”

Heading into the weekend there were seven head coaching openings in the NFL.


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Incognito familiar with Miami coach Campbell

Posted by Chris Brown on November 7, 2015 – 12:30 pm

His familiarity with Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell is obvious. Richie Incognito spent the better part of four seasons in Miami. But Campbell worked with Incognito and his offensive linemates on a daily basis, so Buffalo’s starting left guard knows what makes Campbell tick. It’s also why he’s not surprised that Campbell has the Dolphins re-energized.

As a coaching intern with the Dolphins in 2010, Campbell spent a good deal of time with the offensive linemen according to Incognito.

“I love Dan (Campbell),” said Incognito in an appearance on the John Murphy show this week. “He started as an offensive line coach. He’s a pro’s pro. He played a long time in the league. He played 11 years. He’s a genuine hard working guy. He’s a guy’s guy. A guy you can go grab a beer with. He has an infectious energy where guys love playing for him. I spoke to Dan himself to congratulate him on the job.”

Incognito said that the Dolphins haven’t changed anything schematically at all, but he sees a much more motivated Miami club.

“You’ve seen that they’ve had three games with their new head coach and came out on fire,”  Incognito said. “That defense has new life, so I’m expecting a different Dolphins team. We’ve got to come out firing on all cylinders and play a complete game to build some momentum for the back half of the season.”


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