Inside The Bills

Lineup for O-line to stay the same

Posted by Chris Brown on December 12, 2012 – 2:32 pm

Last week Buffalo had rookie David Snow at center and Sam Young at right tackle as the two new additions to the offensive line. This week head coach Chan Gailey plans to keep the lineup the same as last week up front.

“Yes, we’ll keep that the same and try to keep the same continuity,” said Gailey.

Kraig Urbik, who lined up in between them at right guard last week, believes now with a game under their belt things will go a bit smoother.

“Sam has been in the system for a while and he knows the calls and everything so it wasn’t too much of a problem with him,” said Urbik. “Snow it was his first playing time and everything. Communication wasn’t bad it was just technique stuff. It was just getting used to if Eric (Wood) is in there I know on a certain play that he’s going to be right there with me. It was the uncertainty of whether he was going to be there or not and for the most part he was so it was kind of one of those things where you have to feel it out. I think more practice time is going to help.”


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O-line calls to be handled by vets

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2012 – 10:26 am

Bills head coach Chan Gailey chose not to reveal the lineup for his offensive line Sunday. It’s left the question out there as to whether it will be Kraig Urbik at center or rookie David Snow. Whoever is not at center will be at right guard. Even if Snow is at center against the Rams Sunday, don’t expect him to be making the line calls. That will be handled by two veterans up front for the Bills.

Head coach Chan Gailey answered in the affirmative in his weekly conversation with Buffalobills.com when asked if Andy Levitre and Kraig Urbik will be handling a lot of the pre-snap calls on the line no matter where Urbik lines up.

“Oh yes,” said Gailey. “A lot of times when you have two new guys playing next to each other that’s not the easiest thing in the world either. You really have to communicate all the way out. The good thing about Sam (Young) is he’s played, he’s been a pro so I think he’ll be able to communicate back in whatever is necessary to communicate back in.”

Urbik also gave indication that he and Levitre would be handling the line calls before the snap.

“Whether I’m at guard or center I’m going to be help (David) Snow and Sam (Young),” said Urbik. “We’re going here, or we’re going here, that way there is no guesswork and no thinking. We’re just going. I think Andy (Levitre) and I are going to be doing most of the communicating no matter what.”

“The communication is one of the biggest factors, but we’ve been working with those guys,” said Gailey of Snow and Young. “We’ve had communication with them for quite a while, almost the whole season now. The speed of the game is what they’ve have to adjust to. The other three guys are used to the speed of the game, they’re not. It’s going to be a challenge for them to adjust to the speed of the game. And this is a tough defensive front to make that adjustment against.

“This is probably the biggest challenge we’ve had all year. With the quality of players they have on their front, they play so hard and so fast. They’re quick and strong. They’re as good a defensive line as we have faced all season. We have our work cut out for us with two new guys on our offensive line. It’s a challenge for our football team.”


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Gailey holds O-line cards close to vest

Posted by Chris Brown on December 7, 2012 – 1:29 pm

The Bills know what their lineup is going to be on their offensive line come Sunday against the Rams, they just don’t want St. Louis to know. Head coach Chan Gailey chose not to reveal who would line up at center in place of the injured Eric Wood.

When asked what he was willing to reveal regarding his re-shuffled offensive line for this week, Gailey offered the following.

“We’ll have five,” said Gailey. “Every play we’ll have five and sometimes we’ll have six, but that’s about as far as I want to go on that. We know what we’re going to do, but I don’t want to talk about where everybody is going to play.”

Last Sunday after Eric Wood exited the game with a torn MCL in his left knee, right guard Kraig Urbik moved to center and rookie David Snow came on to replace Urbik at right guard. Sam Young stepped in at right tackle for the injured Chris Hairston, who has since been moved to injured reserve.

The other possible lineup would be David Snow at center and Urbik remaining at his right guard spot. Either way is comfortable for Urbik, who made five starts at center last season for Wood.

“I felt comfortable going in there last game when Eric got hurt and I’ve had a lot of practice at center so I feel comfortable there,” said Urbik.

Whether the offensive staff has chosen to change that alignment for this week remains to be seen.


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Snow, Urbik split time at guard and center

Posted by Chris Brown on December 5, 2012 – 4:32 pm

Buffalo’s interior linemen are preparing to pick up the slack left behind by Eric Wood’s MCL injury. The starting center is out for at least the next two games. Set to fill the void are Kraig Urbik and rookie David Snow at center and right guard. Who’s playing where however, is still up in the air.

Head coach Chan Gailey said a final decision as to who plays right guard and who plays center will be decided later in the week. On Wednesday Snow and Urbik split time at both center and guard.

“I played both,” said Snow after Wednesday’s practice. “Not one or the other, just both.”

“It was really split today,” Urbik told Buffalobills.com. “I got guard and center work and we’re just going to see what works out best.”


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Gailey not locked on C-G combo

Posted by Chris Brown on December 5, 2012 – 12:54 pm

As the Bills head out on the practice field this afternoon, it will begin the final stages in making a decision as to who will start at right guard and who will start at center for the Bills on Sunday.

Most observers are expecting starting right guard Kraig Urbik to shift to center in place of the injured Eric Wood, much like he did last season, and undrafted rookie David Snow to come in at right guard to replace Urbik. That’s how the pair ended the game last Sunday after Wood left with a torn MCL in his left knee.

“We’re going to work them both and I’m not sure which way that’ll go to be honest with you,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “We’ll have to wait and see which way is the best way to go by the end of the week.”

Snow played center all through the offseason workouts and training camp with Buffalo, but in his four years at Texas he was a two-year starter at guard and spent his other two collegiate seasons at center.

Gailey said he has a drop dead date to cement the lineup for Sunday, but would not reveal that timetable to the media.


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Spencer, Urbik still limited

Posted by Chris Brown on November 8, 2012 – 4:49 pm

DT Kyle Williams and WR Stevie Johnson weren’t the only limited participants in practice Thursday.

For the second straight day DL Spencer Johnson (ankle) and G Kraig Urbik (foot) were limited in practice. Head coach Chan Gailey however, doesn’t sound concerned about the availability of either player for Sunday’s game at New England.

“They were limited today, but performed well,” said Gailey following Thursday’s practice.

Also limited in practice Thursday was DE Shawne Merriman with a chest injury. He was a new addition to the injury report along with Chris Kelsay and his neck injury.


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Spencer, Urbik limited

Posted by Chris Brown on November 7, 2012 – 4:21 pm

Two Bills players were limited in practice Wednesday.

DL Spencer Johnson (ankle) and OL Kraig Urbik (foot) were both limited. Johnson has been dealing with a sore ankle and didn’t take all the reps. Urbik is coming off his first game since returning from his high ankle sprain and likely has some lingering soreness after going the whole way against the Texans last Sunday.


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Bills re-focused

Posted by Chris Brown on October 31, 2012 – 8:40 am

The Bills are certainly not happy about their 3-4 record, but coming off their bye week they feel they’re refreshed and re-focused on the nine regular season games that remain.

“I think the mindset is good,” said Kyle Williams. “It’s not easy task in front of us, but I think mentally everybody is sharp and is ready to get to work and to go down to Houston and play a good football game. We’ve just got to hit the ground running.”

The Texans and Patriots are Buffalo’s next two opponents with both games on the road. The players are fully aware that their margin for error is very limited the rest of the way if they want to reach the postseason.

“Definitely got to take it one game at a time, but definitely want to come out and get this win this week,” said Kraig Urbik. “Every game from here on out is pretty important. Sitting at 3-4 we can’t lose too many more games to make the playoffs.”

 


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Glenn, Urbik participating

Posted by Chris Brown on October 29, 2012 – 2:09 pm

Cordy Glenn and Kraig Urbik are back practicing.

Both are coming off high ankle sprains. Glenn was taking second team reps during themedia viewing portion of practice.

Urbik has already said he’s playing on Sunday.

Both linemen have missed the last four games.


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Urbik expects to play Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 29, 2012 – 11:58 am

Bills RG Kraig Urbik is expecting to start Sunday in Houston.

“I’m full go for practice today,” said Urbik. “So I’m looking forward to getting back out there and getting ready for Houston.”

Urbik is coming off a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 4.


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Urbik practicing, Glenn on the side

Posted by Chris Brown on October 24, 2012 – 12:54 pm

The Bills are having their Wednesday practice for the bye week and Kraig Urbik is participating.

Urbik is trying to return from a high ankle sprain that’s forced him to miss the last three games.

Cordy Glenn is not practicing, but is working on the side with athletic trainers.


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Rinehart injury is long term

Posted by Chris Brown on October 22, 2012 – 11:22 am

Bills OL Chad Rinehart was carted off the field Sunday against the Titans with an ankle injury. Head coach Chan Gailey said Monday morning that Rinehart will be out indefinitely.

In his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Gailey provided an update.

“It’s not good, but it’s going to be long term,” said Gailey. “I don’t know if it’s season (ending), but it’s long term.”

Starting RG Kraig Urbik, fortunately is expected back for the Week 9 road game at Houston and LT Cordy Glenn is likely to return as well.


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Week 9 the target for Glenn, Urbik

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2012 – 1:04 pm

Cordy Glenn and Kraig Urbik will miss their third straight game Sunday due to ankle injuries, but head coach Chan Gailey likes their chances of returning after the bye week.

“To be honest with you, I think they’ll both be ready for Houston,” said Gailey after Friday’s practice.

That’s Buffalo’s first game after the team’s Week 8 bye.


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Fan Friday 10-19

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2012 – 12:54 pm

Here are your questions for this week from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - Hey Chris,

I really want to like our CB’s, but can you explain why they are both getting burned on numerous plays, and at times they look like they’re not sure where they are supposed to be on the field? Specifically I have seen Stephon Gilmore on TD passes nowhere near the receiver. 

Thank you,
Worried Bills D-Fan
Don
Norwalk, CT

CB: I think what you’re seeing are growing pains with the two young cornerbacks. They’re learning on the job. I think the defensive staff also felt going into the season that the pass rush would be more consistent week to week thereby helping the young corners on the back end by hurrying the passer.

Gilmore and Williams have both been fooled more than once this season, but coaches have to have faith that their play will improve as the year moves along. Gilmore had a good outing against Larry Fitzgerald. As we pointed out in our Tuesday feature, in the five times he was matched up on Fitzgerald in last week’s game he gave up one reception for 14 yards.

I think the second half of the schedule you’ll begin to see more consistent play from both of them, and if that’s not the case some changes are likely to be in order.

 

2 - Hi  Chris

Please advise when we can expect Cordy Glenn, Spencer Johnson, & Kraig Urbik

to return to the lineup? 

Thanks and regards
From
Richard
Boca Raton, FL

CB: Right now Spencer Johnson is expected to play on Sunday against the Titans coming off his ankle injury. The hope is that Kraig Urbik and Cordy Glenn will be ready for the Week 9 game at Houston following the bye week.

 

3 – Chris,

Do you really understand the frustration from the fans? It’s been 12 years since we sniffed the playoffs. I wonder when they will replace the GM and HC position. Also, this team is not difficult to pick apart. We have no deep threat receiver so we dink and dunk down the field. It’s just a matter of time before we throw a pick because of timed offense. All the defense has to do is slow our run game and have Fitz hold onto the ball because it’s a matter of time before Fitz makes a mistake. Just watching the games it’s like Buffalo is a step or two behind on mentality, confidence, and being aggressive. I still think Buffalo is maybe 3-5 years from becoming great again but I’m not holding my breath.

CB: I do understand your frustration. I’ve been on hand for every one of those games the last 12 years, so I get it. What you can’t deny is Buddy Nix and his personnel staff have improved the talent of this roster and its depth. I know having patience is something that’s difficult to preach, but if you want to blow up the front office again you re-start the process  of building the team because each GM has a different way of doing things when it comes to building a team.

The Bills did admittedly struggle with their mental toughness in the second half of the New England and San Francisco games, but I don’t know of a game where their mental toughness was challenged more often than the Arizona game and they persevered. We’ll if they can build on that moving forward.

Every NFL club has strengths and weaknesses. The collective records in the AFC with seven teams sporting 3-3 records is strong indication of that, one of which is the Bills.

No one is asking you to hold your breath and again the disappointment is understood. But this team has an opportunity this year and we’re about at the midway point of the season. Let’s let it play out.

4 - Is there a chance that we are bringing back lights out for our SLB position that has been rotated by players who couldn’t lock down the job?

Thanks CB!
Dan Figueroa from CA

CB: No, Merriman will re-assume defensive end duties for the Bills. Merriman needs to be up on the line of scrimmage to be at his most effective.

 

5 - Hey Chris,

I was wondering, do the bills players receive mail from fans and reply to them?  I was wondering because after last year’s win against the Patriots, Byrd threw his gloves into the stands and I was lucky enough to catch one of them.  I took it to training camp this year but was not able to get to him.  Is there any other way I might be able to get his signature?  I have a few pieces of memorabilia that I have been able to get signed and really would like to add this piece to my collection. 
Thanks for all you and your team do for us Bills fans!
Anthony

CB: The best course of action there is to send them by regular mail to One Bills Drive addressed to the player’s attention along with a self-addressed stamped envelope for return postage. The best time is during the regular season when you know they’re here in town.

Here’s the address

One Bills Drive
Orchard Park, NY 14127


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Urbik out for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2012 – 4:00 pm

Bills RG Kraig Urbik is going to miss a third straight game Sunday after his ankle didn’t respond well to Wednesday’s practice.

“Urbik didn’t make it,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “He tried it yesterday and he’s just not there. He will not (play Sunday).”

Urbik practiced on Wednesday and was hoping to do more in practice Thursday, but his ailing ankle did not respond well to Wednesday’s work in practice. Chad Rinehart will again step in and start at right guard in his place.


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Searcy back, Urbik sits

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2012 – 2:10 pm

Da’Norris Searcy is back practicing after sitting out Wednesday’s practice, but Kraig Urbik may have taken a step back.

After practicing Wednesday on a limited basis Urbik is not doing anything here on Thursday.

We’ll get an update on his status after practice.


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Urbik and Johnson limited

Posted by Chris Brown on October 17, 2012 – 4:40 pm

Bills RG Kraig Urbik and DL Spencer Johnson are both looking to get off the team’s injury report and back on the field this week following a two-week layoff for ankle injuries. Both practiced Wednesday.

Johnson and Urbik were both limited in practice. Urbik commented on the extent of work he got Wednesday.

“Just individual today and hopefully do individual and team periods tomorrow and we’ll see where it goes after that,” Urbik told Buffalobills.com.

Urbik and Johnson both stayed back in Buffalo while the team was in Arizona all last week doing conditioning and rehab work with their ankles. 

“I felt every day it got better and better,” said Urbik. “The strength got back to it and I still have a lot of work to do, but I feel it’s gotten better every day.”


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Spencer and Urbik practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on October 17, 2012 – 2:24 pm

Spencer Johnson and Kraig Urbik have both returned to practice after a two week absence.

Johnson and Urbik appear to be limited. We’ll have their official participation after practice later this afternoon.


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O-line loses another

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2012 – 7:44 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey already said that Cordy Glenn and Kraig Urbik won’t be healthy enough to play in this Sunday’s game. New starting RG Chad Rinehart left Sunday’s game with a calf injury and his replacement is out for this week’s game as well.

Colin Brown started for Rinehart Sunday after Rinehart was a last minute scratch for the starting lineup. But Brown left the game with an injury after just a couple of series on offense and didn’t return.

“It’s a hamstring and he won’t make it this week,” said Chan Gailey of Brown.

Rinehart meanwhile is still a question mark as well.

“Rinehart, we’re going to rest him Wednesday,” said Gailey. “We think he’s got a decent chance to make the game.”

If he cannot go Sunday, Sam Young, who replaced him late in Sunday’s game, would step in. With just five healthy linemen it’s likely that Buffalo will have to make a roster move before the end of the week if Rinehart does not improve.


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More O-linemen down for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2012 – 11:29 pm

The list of injuries unfortunately grew after Buffalo’s latest loss to San Francisco, and it took place exactly where they can ill afford to have them, on their offensive line.

Just two series into Sunday’s game, Colin Brown, the right guard filling in for Chad Rinehart suffered a hamstring injury and was lost for the game and presumably their next game at Arizona. Rinehart stepped in and played most of the game, but re-aggravated his calf injury and had to exit as well.

That left reserve offensive tackle Sam Young to play right guard in the second half Sunday. With Kraig Urbik and Cordy Glenn not even making the trip west for the week in Phoenix neither are expected to be ready to return from their ankle injuries.

It leaves Buffalo with just Chris Hairston, Andy Levitre, Eric Wood and Erik Pears as their only healthy offensive linemen. They’re expected to call up at least two, possibly all three offensive linemen on their practice squad.

C/G David Snow is the most familiar with Buffalo’s offensive system. He was an undrafted signee back in May and went through all of training camp and preseason with the club. So he’s the most likely call up.

G/T Reggie Stephens and G/T Andrew Jackson were just signed by the club last week following the injuries to Glenn and Urbik as insurance. Unfortunately one or both might be pressed into action depending on the severity of Rinehart’s calf injury.

Presumably one of the newer call ups would be schooled up only on the game plan for this week’s matchup with Arizona. Of course the Cardinals defense will be no easy task. They were the third-stingiest defense in the league going into Week 5 in terms of points allowed per game. They were also third in the league in sacks per play prior to this week’s games.


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