Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 5-13

Posted by Chris Brown on May 13, 2016 – 12:42 pm

It’s a special Friday the 13th edition of Fan Friday. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills will the Bills bring in a 4th QB to compete for backup position?

Ace Jay Legend @BillsBacker77

CB: I am not anticipating a fourth quarterback coming in to compete. The main reason why is Cardale Jones needs as many reps as he can possibly get to develop consistent mechanics. From his drop backs to his throwing mechanics, Jones needs all the work he can get in the practice setting. If there’s a fourth quarterback here, every rep he takes is a rep that Jones doesn’t get.

With Jones being a long-term investment I can’t see the Bills bringing in a fourth QB, who is a long shot to make the roster anyway, taking reps away from Jones on the back end of the quarterback rotation in the practice setting.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills with the Bills taking listenbee in the draft how are the chances Goodwin makes the team?

Jared Bailey @JaredBailey23

CB: I think that’s a very valid question. There’s no denying that Listenbee’s speed rivals that of Goodwin. Listenbee also offers superior size and in watching his game tape is really good at tracking the deep ball. He’s coming off sports hernia surgery and also has inflammation of the pelvis, which will take time to heal.

Listenbee may not be getting physical reps in the practice setting until training camp, so unseating Goodwin for a roster spot might take longer than some might anticipate.

Goodwin has been given the freedom to pursue a spot on the 2016 Olympic team to try to compete in the long jump in Rio. If he makes the Olympic team it will cost him time in training camp with the Olympics taking place in August. I believe that will pose the biggest risk for Goodwin losing a roster spot than Listenbee’s presence on the roster.

There are no ‘seat saves’ in the NFL. That’s a crucial part of the NFL calendar to be missing time.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills do you think the drafting of Washington means anything regarding Kyle Williams future with the team?

JBills32 @JLasher10

CB: If you’re asking whether Kyle’s roster spot could be in jeopardy because Washington is on the roster my answer is no. The plan right now is for Washington to be the team’s left defensive end, with Dareus at nose tackle and Kyle starting at right defensive end.

I don’t think it’s any secret that Kyle is on the back side of his career, but I think the Bills would like to get two more seasons out of him (2016 & 2017) as long as he’s interested in doing so.

The hidden additional value with Kyle is his leadership, which was sorely missed in the locker room last season when he went out in Week 6 with his knee injury (see: Mario Williams).

The addition of Washington should be seen as a complement to the games of Dareus and Williams, not a threat.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you see the Bills making any FA/Trade moves along the right side of the offensive line?

Kevin @KevinMassare

CB: I don’t think you can ever rule out a possible move with Doug Whaley as GM. If it makes sense and improves the team he’s shown he’s willing to do it. I know Peter King reported last month that the 49ers would be interested in trading former first-round pick OT Anthony Davis, who chose to take a one-year sabbatical from football, and now wants to resume his NFL career.

A proven player who is just 26-years old would probably come at a high price, even after taking off a year. It would be interesting to see what the 49ers would be looking for in return, even though San Francisco GM Trent Baalke has told Davis that he is not interested in trading him.

His cap hit, if his old contract was re-instated, would be just over $5M for 2016, a bargain by most standards for a player of his caliber. But that’s where things could get sticky too. If he is going to be traded, must that team negotiate a new contract with him? A lot of potential hurdles there.

Besides him there are some veteran guard options out there, but I believe the Bills might play the wait and see game. I don’t believe there’s any sense of panic there. I think they feel good about what they have to work with.
5 – Chris,

How do you feel about the Bills 1st round pick considering who was available? Nkemdiche for example. I feel like it was a bit of a homer pick considering Rex wore a Clemson helmet to a press conference. Do you think he was on the top of our board or was Rex being Rex?

Great work as always Chris!  Thanks!

CB: As you saw in our Inside the Draft Room feature and video, the Bills never even thought Shaq Lawson would be available to them there at 19. They had him off the board by the 12th pick in their final stack of the board based on how they thought the first round would fall.

For them Lawson was a tremendous value there at 19. As for Nkemdiche, it was evident that his off the field concerns and on the field concerns were too much for a number of teams besides the Bills. Buffalo just parted ways with a player who did not give his best on the field for the last 10 weeks of last season in Mario Williams. Did you really think they would bring in another player with a history of similar play, especially with their first-round pick?

There was no way that was going to happen.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-15

Posted by Chris Brown on April 15, 2016 – 1:43 pm

The NFL draft is closing in and the big trade for the top pick has already been made. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 –  @ChrisBrownBills do you see Tyrod Taylor being our starting quarterback for the next 5 years? If not, how will they go about getting one?

Avery Baum 

CB: I believe that Tyrod Taylor is Buffalo’s starting quarterback for 2016. Anything after that will be based on how Taylor performs. And though there are media reports touting animosity between the Bills and Taylor’s camp I’m not getting that sense at all. Taylor has a starting job here in Buffalo and if he continues to progress in 2016 he’ll be the starter here for a long time.

The bottom line is GM Doug Whaley has said from the start of the offseason that Taylor earned the right to start this year and if he continues to play well he’ll continue to be the starter and will be rewarded accordingly with a new contract as well. Buffalo has the cap space next year to accommodate an extension. Their cap situation now does not.

At the same time the Bills have to fortify the most important position on the roster with more talent. Whaley said they will add a quarterback knowing that not only Taylor, but EJ Manuel are each in the last year of their current contracts.

Whaley has said he thinks there are a good number of developmental type quarterback prospects in the draft and that with a year or two of grooming there are some that could develop into starting caliber QBs at the NFL level.

So knowing you have a starter now in Tyrod Taylor, why not draft a quarterback that you have time to groom with coaches like Greg Roman and David Lee and see how quickly he can come along.

I think everyone needs to understand that the Bills won’t be drafting a quarterback to compete with Tyrod Taylor this season. They’re drafting a quarterback because they need to add one to their roster that they feel has the potential to grow and learn and eventually compete for a starting role in 2-3 years time.

That’s not only their plan, but aside from Carson Wentz and Jared Goff that’s what this year’s class of quarterbacks has to offer.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills Is the need on DL really at NT, since Dareus would be more effective as a 5-tech DE? #Bills

Dean Kindig 

CB: I think the versatility of Marcell Dareus’ game (capable of playing anywhere on the DL) gives Buffalo’s scouting department the flexibility of taking either the best defensive tackle or best defensive end on the board if and when they choose to address their defensive line. I think a true pass rusher probably outweighs the need for an interior defensive lineman, but not much.

Looking at this year’s draft class there are defensive tackles who can provide a pass rush from the interior. Knowing that, I truly think how the Bills address their defensive line will come down to who is still on the board when they pick and if the value matches where they’re picking.


3 –
Dear Chris:
Thank you for all the work you put in over the combine and what you do year round is wonderful. My question is with Mario now gone who do you think the bills will draft as his replacement? Also with Kyle Williams on the wrong side of thirty I’m afraid the bills will cut him like they did Fred last year, I really hope we don’t I would hate to see another long tenured veteran leave without seeing a playoff game.

Sincerely: John from Pennsylvania.

CB: First, I’ll say that I absolutely see Kyle Williams on this roster. His play and his leadership were sorely missed last season when he missed the last 10 games of the year. He also restructured his contract this offseason, which I believe only further solidifies his spot on this roster.

As for replacing Mario, I think that player is hopefully acquired in the draft. You typically have to get those players early, but I don’t know if the right value is going to be there at 19 in round one knowing there aren’t a whole lot of elite pass rushers and they go fast.

That’s why, as I mentioned in the prior response, the versatility of Dareus, Kyle and Corbin Bryant gives Buffalo the option of taking the best value at 19 on the defensive line if that’s the part of their defense they want to address. There could be a highly rated linebacker there as well that merits consideration.

All in all I think the front seven will be a major focus early in this draft and their first pick at 19 stands a very good chance of addressing that focus.

 

4 –  @ChrisBrownBills Fan Friday question… Have we looked into QB Brandon Doughty? His #’s are amazing & he’s 6’3. Ideal to grab in 4th!

Sean Joyce

CB: There’s no debate that the Bills have done their homework on Doughty as they do every prospect. My take is while he was tremendously productive (111 career TD passes) there are a lot of drawbacks with the Western Kentucky product. He’s had multiple knee injuries, has average arm strength and is not especially mobile. When he faced better competition he struggled to raise his game accordingly.

I think he projects to the NFL as a backup and a backup only. For me I don’t draft a quarterback unless I think there’s at least some potential to be an NFL starter at some point. Obviously NFL clubs might feel differently, but I think he only fits a west coast system in viewing his arm strength in games.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills would he fit Rex’s scheme?

ProFootballTalk The Patriots didn’t want DL Dominique Easley. Neither did anyone else. https://t.co/QFYRGMP88P

Robin Vs Fred 

CB: First, there’s a reason no one picked Dominique Easley up on waivers. There’s a long injury history there, which is of some concern. Second, he’s a three technique penetrator type and if his explosion is compromised by his injury history he might not be an NFL caliber player anymore.

He doesn’t have the physical stature to change his game and be a defensive tackle who stands in there and grinds. Most NFL scouts did not believe he was capable of being a two gap DT due to his short arms and limited strength. I’m no scout, but I don’t get the sense that he would be a fit in Buffalo’s defensive scheme.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

What Bills player matches Kobe’s loyalty?

Posted by Chris Brown on April 13, 2016 – 11:59 am

Kobe Bryant, who wraps up his NBA career tonight after 20 seasons, is the exception nowadays rather than the rule. With the free agency era alive and well in just about all of the major professional leagues, Bryant is a rarity having spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. We decided to take a look to see what Bills players played the most games and spent their entire NFL career with Buffalo. Here’s the top 10 list, which includes one active player.

1 – OT Joe Devlin (1976-89) 191 games
2 – LB Mark Pike (1986-98) 170 games
3 – C Kent Hull (1986-96) 170 games
4 – QB Jim Kelly (1986-96) 160 games
5 – DE Phil Hansen (1991-2001) 156 games
T6 – DE Chris Kelsay (2003-2012) 147 games
T6 – DE Ben Williams (1976-85) 147 games
8 – DT Kyle Williams (2005-current) 136 games
9 – DE Aaron Schobel (2001-2009) 133 games
10 – CB Tony Greene (1971-79) – 128 games

Bryant after tonight will have played in 1,346 career games for LA.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-26

Posted by Chris Brown on February 26, 2016 – 10:49 am

Our NFL Combine coverage presented by NAPA Auto Parts continues today from Indianapolis both on Buffalobills.com and on the John Murphy Show. For now here are your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Dear Chris,
First off, I’d like to say I appreciate everything you do to keep us Bills die hards informed during the off season.

My question is with a lot of needs to be addressed and not too much cap room to use in free agency do you see the bills trading down in the draft to acquire more draft picks? You keep hearing how deep the draft class is so I feel trading down will help us address a lot of our needs.
Thank you again for everything you do,
Dave G from Niagara Falls

CB: It’s interesting that you bring this up because I just asked GM Doug Whaley about that very possibility in our 1-on-1 interview on Buffalobills.com, which I made a note of in our Bills Daily Dish this morning out here at the NFL Combine.

Whaley said he’s open to adding picks if the opportunity presents itself. You’re right that with a tight cap Buffalo has to make the most of their draft picks, but right now they have just six (no seventh). So while I think they’d like to stay in the first round I don’t think they’d be opposed to moving back a few spots if it meant adding to their lot of selections.

Their cap situation is going to be pretty restrictive so adding picks to add players in what is considered a draft deep in value rather than elite talent behooves the Bills to look for deals that can land them more draft choices. And we all know Doug Whaley isn’t afraid to make a deal.

 

2 – Chris
I need your keen insight. This seems to be a good year for drafting a QB, I’m concerned if we pass at 19, when we get a chance at 51, the good ones will be gone ?? If many of the top ones don’t go in first 18, Dallas, Cleveland , San Diego, Rams, Saints etc. will grab one. My biggest fear is the Jets and Patriots draft one after us. A lot of top QB’s are aging out.

Could we sign Tyrod to a 4 year contract, if we hit on one, we will be primed to continue to win ??

Jim M.

CB: I think you might be getting a little carried away. Doug Whaley has stated more than once that while there isn’t a lot of top end, elite QB talent in this draft there is very good depth at the position for talent that he feels offers enough to develop some prospects into eventual starters. That’s a perfect scenario knowing it’s very likely that Tyrod Taylor gets an extension from the Bills after a promising first season in 2015.

That’s why I expect the Bills to wait until the middle rounds to draft a quarterback. There will be good talent in rounds three to five that can be brought along behind Taylor. I don’t get the sense that Buffalo will strike early at QB unless someone falls into their lap that they weren’t expecting.

Rounds 3-5 look like the window where picking a QB is most likely to occur based on how their draft board shakes out.

 

3 – Hi Chris,

Thank you for constantly keeping us informed over the off season.

My question is about Lesean McCoy’s contract, but also all contracts in general when it comes to the league’s personal conduct policies. If you are in violation of something and face suspension, or do something that hurts the team’s image, can that player be released without any salary or can penalty to the team? And to be more direct, can the Bills release LeSean McCoy over this incident if he is found to be at fault?

Thanks,
Paddy

CB: To my knowledge a team would not be off the hook in terms of the salary cap hit that cutting or releasing a player like LeSean McCoy would leave behind. As I understand it a player must have a morality clause in their contract that specifically states what kind of behavior would render their contract with an NFL club null and void.

As the team has stated though we should let the investigation play itself out because there are an awful lot of conflicting reports being circulated out there as to what really happened.
4 – Hey Chris’

I read an article that the Bills even with the estimated increase of the cap for the next league year expected to jump to $155 mill that the Bills are still over with the contracts they have, & the article outlines how they can free up about $27 mill of cap space by cutting some other players & or redoing their contracts.

Another way that could free up some cap space is if the Bills were to try & re-work Kyle Williams current contract. Do you think that Kyle might be willing to do so given the fact that he is coming off an injury & he is in the later stages of his career.

Many teams good at keeping a team good would probably cut someone like Kyle say if it were the Pats just to continue building for the future. So I would think it would be a good thing for both if Kyle could finish his career here in Buffalo but maybe do it at a home town discounted price. That could quite possibly put the Bills into the $30 mill + range of cap space enough to sign Glenn, Incognito, Gilmore, & Bradham to long term contracts …

Thanks for your insight !
Mr. T formally from Fort Myers now in Nashville
CB: While I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills approached Kyle about renegotiating again (they tacked another year on his deal last offseason) they’re limited in what they can do to get his cap figure down short of having him take an outright pay cut. He’s 32-years old and has a cap figure of $8M. He’s still a productive player, but injuries have been catching up with him. At the same time his leadership is valuable as evidenced by what happened to the defense after he left the lineup in Week 6.

It’ll be a tricky situation, but hopefully with as good as the Bills have been to him over the years he might be willing to reduce his salary a bit to help the cause. We’ll see if it’s a road the Bills choose to travel.

The good news is they’ve already made some salary cap headway by getting Charles Clay restructured, which we reported last night, and moved their unused cap space from 2015 in the amount of $4.4M to 2016.

 

5 – Chris,
There is lots of discussion about acquiring a possible #2 WR to play opposite Sammy Watkins, but no mention of using Dez Lewis in that role.  He has the height (6′ 4″) and plenty of speed.  Was the coaching staff still very unsure about him at the end of the 2015 season, or is he a real possibility for the #2 spot, especially if he builds up his strength during the offseason?

Mack
Rochester

CB: While I think Lewis will get a good look from the staff this offseason and in training camp, he’s really got to come on and play more consistently to make a jump that far up the depth chart. I know a lot of people weren’t overly impressed with Robert Woods season last year, but you need to remember the guy played hurt with a torn groin for almost the final three quarters of the season. His separation ability was greatly hindered by that injury. I’m interested to see how he comes back from that injury in 2016 before we start actively looking for other options there.

And at this point there are some other options now on the roster like Greg Little and Jarrett Boykin that will bear watching.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-19

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2016 – 11:37 am

Our NFL Combine coverage presented by NAPA begins on Tuesday and will continue through the week from Indianapolis both on Buffalobills.com and on the John Murphy Show. For now here are your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

Thank you for all of your fantastic insight throughout the season.  I have a question about the Bills defensive line moving into next season.  When we line up in a 3-4, where do you suspect Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams will be located?  Also, connected to that, it seems like a lot of websites suspect we will require another 3-4 defensive end in the draft but I was wondering if you thought players such as Wynn, Carrington (if re-signed), Corbin Bryant, Worthy or Edwards could fit that bill so we could focus our draft on other needs.

-Tony
CB: I think the good thing about Dareus or Kyle is their versatility and athleticism allow you to play them as a five technique end or at nose tackle. The main reason many draftniks predict the Bills will need another defensive end is they also suspect push coming to shove with Mario Williams cost prohibitive contract.

But you do make a good point. Jarius Wynn is coming back from ACL surgery that cost him the 2015 season. I expect Corbin Bryant to be extended a qualifying offer by the Bills as a restricted free agent. Signing a difference maker at defensive end is unrealistic based on the team’s cap situation, so the draft is the most likely path for the Bills to acquire one.

 

2 – Hey Chris,

First off I thank you for answering our questions and keeping hope alive to those of us who reacted harshly after playoff elimination. (Ugh.. 16 years…)

My question is about where Buckner and Bosa likely stand on the draft board? Are there any other sizable DEs that are valued as a round one selection? In your opinion where should the Bills focus with their number one? Is there a drop off in depth enough that it becomes likely to pursue a LB instead of the D-Line? (Is that already likely given uncertainty with Bradham?) Finally do you foresee finding our true #2 WR in this draft class?

-Already hoping in OR

CB: I don’t expect Buckner or Bosa to still be on the board when the Bills pick 19th. With respect to their top pick in round one, I think the safe assumption is they address the defensive side of the ball. I think picking a position however, is unrealistic.

I think we can all agree that the deepest defensive position in the draft is probably defensive line, so that’s a good thing for the Bills, who will likely need to add there with Mario Williams uncertain future and Kyle Williams now on the back end of his career. But to say they’ll pick a defensive lineman isn’t something anyone can accurately predict now or even in mid-April.

We have to see what decisions are made with players on the roster now, who is added and where in free agency in March and what Bills free agents are re-signed. All those variables can change the draft picture considerably before we get to late April.

As for finding a true No. 2 WR in this class, I think it’s possible, but not likely based on some of the other positional needs particularly on defense that appear to be more pressing at this point. May have to stop gap that role in 2016 and address it more effectively in 2017. Can’t do everything in one offseason.

 

3 –@ChrisBrownBills

If we cut Mario, sign Glenn/Richie…what’s realistic for rest of FA? Eric Weddle or Damon Harrison possible?

iamFlowbee

CB: If those things happen the Bills are going to have to be bargain shoppers even if they make a few other cuts to the roster to save money against the cap. That means Weddle is not expected to be an option. Damon Harrison is possible provided there isn’t a heavy market interest in him.

That’s why GM Doug Whaley said they’re looking for ‘dust settle’ guys. Guys who they can sign without getting into a bidding war. For reference I would look at the kind of players they signed in the 2014 offseason. Players like Corey Graham, Brandon Spikes, Boobie Dixon. Affordable, budget-conscious free agents that can come in and fill a role and improve the depth of the club without messing up the team’s cap situation in the current season and the season or two that follows.

 

4 – Chris,

Do you think Nick O’Leary will get more looks at Tight End in the upcoming season? Also it seemed that Seantrel Henderson was getting praised for his play his rookie year, but was much maligned this past season. Has he regressed that much or is it the system change that troubled him?

Thanks,
Chris G. from Nashville
CB: I think seeing Nick O’Leary called up to the active roster late in the season was an encouraging sign for the kind of look he’ll get this offseason and in training camp. I don’t think it’s any secret that no one really seized the No. 2 TE role behind Charles Clay last season. O’Leary was stuck on the practice squad, MarQueis Gray suffered a forearm injury that required surgery and wound up on injured reserve and Chris Gragg only flashed at times with limited opportunities to make a true impact.

Seantrel Henderson regressed because he was dealing with an undisclosed medical condition that kept him out of the last five games of the season. Whether he’ll be able to get his condition under control so he can effectively continue his career is something we’ll all be waiting to see this spring.


5 –
@ChrisBrownBills

I keep hearing about Incognito and Glenn, but is Bradham a priority for the Bills? #Bills #FanFriday

Josh_McCarty28

CB: The Bills have said it’s their preference to get Nigel Bradham back in the fold for the foreseeable future. At the same time they know that with a tight cap situation and depending on the size of the contracts for Glenn and Incognito, being able to offer Bradham a contract commensurate with fair market value might be easier said than done.

If Bradham reaches the market because the Bills can’t offer quite the money he might be looking for due to their cap situation then it might prove difficult to get him re-signed.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-22

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2016 – 12:07 pm

Some coaching hires for the staff the last week or so. Here are your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills What’s the biggest lesson learned between Wk1 and Wk16 defensively with this team?

vapor311

CB: I think the biggest lesson learned by the players was that if there was more accountability player to player on defense, there would’ve been unanimous buy in and the defense would’ve performed more consistently and been more effective in Ryan’s scheme. That didn’t happen until after the embarrassing defensive performance at Washington when the players that did buy in called out the players who didn’t. We saw improved collective play from the defensive unit after that.

I believe the biggest lesson learned by Rex and the coaches is just how multi-faceted a lot of their defensive talent is particularly some of their defensive linemen like Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes specifically. Dareus and Williams are athletic enough to play end in a 3-4 look and Hughes can be an end in a 4-3 look or an OLB in a 3-4. He’s that versatile.

There are other examples at LB and in the secondary, but Rex has expressed that a year with those players has provided him with a better grasp of everything that players like that can do, not just their primary strengths.

 

2 – Hey Chris,

Here is my concern. It seems to make more sense for a coach to change their scheme to fit the players than change the roster to fit the scheme. Why has Rex Ryan, the great defensive mastermind who was figured out and canned in NY, been reluctant to implement a scheme where our star defensive line can pass rush like they have proven they are good at doing and rely upon a better cover based defense? We consistently get beat while trying to change in and out of “complex” blitz packages that always seem to come up short while letting the QB find a quick under or hot route. What should we expect for the future I’m so desperately trying to not give up on? Suddenly find myself hoping for a Sean Payton and Jim Schwartz led team and I can’t stand the coaching turnovers.. But I have to admit Ryan’s defensive scheme is old news…

-Losing faith in OR

CB: Rex took steps to try and mold his defensive scheme to the talent of the personnel. As mentioned above Ryan admitted that he is in a much better position to coach to some of the players’ versatile strengths now that he knows the depth of their talents having worked with them for a year. I know that’s small consolation in light of how the defense underachieved, but I don’t think it’s something that should be taken lightly.

Rex referenced Jerry Hughes specifically saying he now realizes that Hughes is so much more than a hand in the dirt type, rush the passer player. That he can do a number of different things well. He also said the big difference he noticed at the end of the season was that players were finally giving him answers when he asked for their opinion.

It was his contention that his offer to the players from the very beginning of the season to give him feedback fell on deaf ears until the last two games. Rex in making in-game adjustments would ask for the opinion of the players. Until the Dallas game he said those appeals were not met with answers and he couldn’t understand why.

Once he got some more input from players we saw the difference. Buffalo’s last two games were their best back-to-back defensive performances of the season in terms of points allowed (6 and 17). And that was without a handful of defensive starters (Darby, Gilmore, A. Williams, K. Williams, Bradham). So Ryan is encouraged that the proper give and take now exists between the players and himself and the value of that should not be discounted.

 

3 – Happy New Year Chris:

Do you think the Bills organization will make a play for Miami Dolphins Olivier Vernon?

Thanks from a true Bills fan in NewportNews, Va.
Gary Truesdale

CB: I would be surprised if the Bills pursued Olivier Vernon only because he’s going to command a sizable price tag and GM Doug Whaley has made it clear that they’re going to be pursuing “dust settle” type free agents. The focus this offseason will be for the Bills to re-sign their own, chiefly Richie Incognito and Cordy Glenn.

Buffalo’s cap situation needs some restructuring this offseason before we reach free agency and Bills Senior VP of Football Administration, Jim Overdorf will be tasked with that as he has in the past. But knowing the priorities that Incognito and Glenn are combined with their cap situation I wouldn’t expect to see a top tier free agent like Vernon to be on the Bills radar.

 

4 – Chris,

Hypothetical of course.  Just what if, with all the defensive needs and offensive tackle needs, Laquon Treadwell and/or Connor Cook were available at pick 19?  How are we going to fill our need at receiver?  Not in free agency as per Whaley’s statement and later in the draft will not fill that need either.

Jim (Skaneateles)

CB: I do believe the Bills will make efforts to land a true No. 2 receiver that can draw attention away from Sammy Watkins. Robert Woods played more than half the season with a severe groin injury and might be best suited for the slot. Percy Harvin is a player the Bills would like to return to the fold, but has to get healthy first and is not a lock to return.
I know the Bills would like to add size to the position as evidenced by the reserve/future signings of Greg Little and Jarrett Boykin. But I don’t think they’re putting all their stock in those two wideouts.

Unfortunately this year’s receiver class doesn’t offer a lot of quality size. There are 6-1 and 6-2 guys aplenty, but the 6-4 and 6-5 targets of quality just don’t exist in this year’s class. I suppose there could be a prospect or two that could possess a ‘big receiver’ game because they play bigger than their listed size. I’ve still got homework to do on the 2016 draft class, but Treadwell would be a tempting option.

Personally I don’t think Connor Cook is worthy of a first-round pick. In a draft without a lot of elite QB talent I suppose it’s possible he’ll be moved up a lot of draft boards as the draft draws closer due to supply and demand, but Treadwell is a more worthy first-round pick to me than Cook. That being said I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills found better value at another position in round one.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills What are the fates of Mario Williams, Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes? Are they staying or leaving?

TandAFootball

CB: I feel good about the playing futures of Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes in Buffalo. I’ll actually have more on Kyle Williams in a story on Buffalobills.com slated for Monday. Hughes is a cornerstone piece for this defense moving forward, which is why he was signed to the long term contract extension last offseason.

Mario Williams situation is a lot more precarious, chiefly due to his cost-prohibitive contract. I think it would be difficult for any defensive player to live up to a contract that has a cap figure of almost $20M for 2016 ($19.9M). With Buffalo’s cap situation in a restrictive position right now, addressing Mario’s contract will probably be pretty high on Jim Overdorf’s to-do list.

There are a few paths they can take with it as we all know. What kind of steps Mario and his agent are willing to take is the big question.


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Illness sidelines McKelvin

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2015 – 2:34 pm

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Bills DB Leodis McKelvin did not practice on Thursday. It was the first practice session he’s missed since coming off the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list.

McKelvin was absent due to illness on Thursday. No word on whether he’ll be back on the practice field Friday. DT Kyle Williams (knee) was the only other non-participant.

OT Cyrus Kouandjio (knee) was a limited participant with a knee injury.


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Rex: Kyle doesn’t look ready for this week

Posted by Chris Brown on November 16, 2015 – 5:23 pm

He’s missed the last two games with a knee injury suffered in Week 6 against Concinnati and according to head coach Rex Ryan, Kyle Williams is going to miss his third game. 

In his weekly radio appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ryan said that Williams is trying like crazy to heal up and get well, but indicated he won’t be fit to play against New England Monday night. 

“I don’t think he’s going to be ready to go this week,” said Ryan of Kyle Williams. 

If Williams in fact can’t play in New England next Monday its expected that Corbin Bryant will continue to start in his place. 


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Kyle plans to coach from sidelines

Posted by Chris Brown on November 8, 2015 – 9:06 am

He was helping his fellow defensive linemen out all week in the film room breaking down the Dolphins offensive line, their offensive tendencies and player tells. On Sunday the injured Kyle Williams hopes to be helping from the sidelines against Miami.

“We obviously know these guys pretty well,” said Williams of the Dolphins. “I feel I can be an asset on the sideline for our guys and ask them what they’re looking at and different things that we see. I may have to stand behind the bench with a lower leg injury, but I’ll try to be as big a part (of the effort) as I can without being on the field.”

Williams is expected to miss the next two games with the knee injury he suffered in Week 6 against Cincinnati.


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Suh holds Bills D-line in high regard

Posted by Chris Brown on November 5, 2015 – 10:08 am

Miami’s biggest offseason acquisition both physically and financially was Pro Bowl DT Ndamukong Suh. After a slow start Suh has begun to hit his stride, and though he’s focused on his own job each and every week, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t notice the talents of players on opposing defensive lines. That’s why he holds Buffalo’s defensive front in high regard.

“I respect every last one of those guys,” said Suh of Buffalo’s defensive line. “I know Mario (Williams) personally, I know Kyle (Williams), I’ve had some good interactions with him, young guy is ninety nine (DT Marcell Dareus) is playing at a high level well deserved contract, (DE) Jerry Hughes I know personally, all great guys, all high level defensive linemen and I have a lot of respect for them.”

Suh had four tackles including two for loss in Miami’s first meeting with Buffalo in Week 3.


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Rex: Kyle not ready to return yet

Posted by Chris Brown on November 2, 2015 – 3:28 pm

Though there was a good deal of positive news on the Bills injury front Monday, the one player who is still not ready to return to action is Pro Bowl DT Kyle Williams.

Head coach Rex Ryan provided an update on the veteran defensive lineman’s knee injury Monday.

“It’s a significant injury, but we anticipate him back at some point,” said Ryan. “To think he could come back now, I don’t think he’s ready for that. I don’t think there’s any doubt that he won’t be available this week. And he probably won’t be available for the Jets, given that it’s five days later. But he is making good progress.”

Williams said he is working to rehab the injury and eager to get back in the lineup to contribute.

“I’m getting better. It’s just going to take a little time and compared to how it got hit and where I got hit I actually got pretty lucky with the injury that I had,” said Williams. “It’s going to take a little time and I’ll work it every day because I’m definitely not wired or made to watch. I think I can help and be a big part of what we can do. So I’m just trying to get healthy to help my team and try not to break stuff when I do watch.”


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Four Bills don’t travel

Posted by Chris Brown on October 21, 2015 – 7:04 am

The Bills are underway with their practice preparations for Sunday’s game at Wembley Stadium against the Jaguars, but four players did not make the trip.

Head coach Rex Ryan laid out the details of the four players who stayed behind. While none are expected to be on hand this week, Ryan isn’t declaring them out for Sunday’s game at this point.

“There are some guys who did not travel and we do not anticipate any of these guys being available for the week, but we have not ruled them out,” he said. “We have not ruled any of these players out. These players include Karlos Williams, he’s in the concussion protocol, as is Seantrel Henderson. Kyle Williams with a knee and then Percy Harvin has a non-injury related. He’s pretty much excused for personal reasons. So I’ll just leave it at that. So all those player we don’t anticipate having any of these players up to be available this week, but we have not ruled them out.”

Ryan did admit that Kyle Williams knee injury appears to be serious.


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Formula for Bills ‘D’ may be to simplify

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2015 – 2:37 pm

The Bills defense is more talented than most in the NFL, but that hasn’t always shown itself through the first month of the season. Part of the reason why is defensive communication. Too often the defense is still moving players around to get into the best possible play call for what they anticipate is coming from the opposing offense. The problem is the defensive alignment isn’t always set and ready, especially when opponents got to the no huddle, up tempo approach. It’s something each of Buffalo’s first four opponents have turned to at times. So what’s the solution?

In a word, simplify. Buffalo’s defense is so talented that even if they’re not in the best possible play call their players are good enough to still make a play. DT Kyle Williams believes there could be times where reducing their many options in their defensive system might be better so their talent can take over.

“We’ve had some guys coming in and out. We’ve been going up against a team that’s going hurry-up, no huddle, throwing different formations at you and going at a quick clip. They’re getting the ball in and out of the quarterback’s hands—that’s a challenge on its own,” Williams said. “When we’re getting stuff like that, we might bring it back down a little bit so we can line up and play fast. But we have to know when we have to do that, and when we don’t have to.”

Williams is expecting more quick pass game from the Titans Sunday, just like their previous opponents.

“It’s like everything else, if you’re having trouble stopping the run or whatever it may be, you’re going to see as much of that as they feel like they can handle, until you get it stopped,” he said. “We have to be prepared for it.”


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Bills know dangers of being streaky

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2015 – 12:34 pm

Through the first month of the season the Bills have looked really good one week and not so hot the next. Not surprisingly, their record sits at 2-2. For many of the veterans on this team they know being streaky is not the formula if they want to get to the postseason.

Veteran DT Kyle Williams looking at the defense specifically feels their side of the ball is a microcosm of the team’s 2-2 record.

“The frustrating thing is being streaky, and streaky is tough,” he said. “The way the league operates-you’re great one week, you’re the worst the next—but that’s kinda how we’ve performed, it’s been up and down. It really is. It’s really series to series. I said it on Sunday-you look at different series, different stretches in the games, we’ve played well-communicated well.  And then on either key situations, or different down and distance, personnel, we haven’t.   We just really have to hone in, go one play at a time, one series at a time, and execute our game plan and what we’re doing.”


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Which DL will be on the move this week?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2015 – 9:06 am

In Week 1 Bills Pro Bowl DT Kyle Williams was moved around to a number of different alignments pre-snap from one series to the next and in some cases one play to the next. It was all designed to create confusion for the opposing offensive line. Williams anticipates much of the same this week, but will it be him who is on the move?

“We’re going to line up all over the place,” said Williams. “I’m going to line up all over the place, Mario, Jerry, everybody’s going to line up all over the place. It’s something you have to get comfortable with, we’ve tried to get comfortable with it in in OTAs and training camp. The more comfortable we get with it, the more uncomfortable they’re going to be.

“You can tell what the confusion and disguise can do to an offense.  Whether we’re blitzing four or more, or whether we’re just bringing four and we’re giving that look—it’s a good thing for us to be able to do,especially against elite quarterbacks. You have to be able to throw wrinkles at them to confuse them. You can’t just line up and say, ’hey, this is what we’re going to do.’ They’ll find the weakness in it.”

With Marcell Dareus back in the lineup this week, the variations of looks figure to be even more numerous this week.


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Youngsters on Pats OL doing extra prep

Posted by Chris Brown on September 17, 2015 – 4:34 pm

There’s a very good chance that the New England Patriots will need to start a pair of rookie offensive linemen Sunday against the Bills. With starting C Bryan Stork placed on I-R/Des. to Return and starting guard Ryan Wendell recovering from an illness, New England may have to start rookie G Shaq Mason alongside rookie center David Andrews as they did in Week 1. That could spell trouble for Tom Brady when it comes to inside pass pressure knowing Buffalo’s boasts a pair of Pro Bowl DTs in Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus.

Patriots QB Tom Brady said the offensive linemen have been prepping overtime with blitz pickups and pass protection in general.

“It’s challenging, and we’ve been preparing,” said Brady. “We’ve done blitz pickup probably more than any other team in football since the spring started, especially with some young players in there up front, so just to have a lot of work that we’ve kind of put in the bank and know that you’ve got to trust the guys next to you that when you make a call, you know, we’re going against probably the best D-line in football.

“These guys are phenomenal all the way across the board, so it puts a lot of pressure on the offense to communicate well, trust each other, and then when that breaks down I throw it as quick as I can. I don’t want to be the one holding the ball all day and see if they can get home because you know they can.”

At the same time he’s been impressed with his new man in the pivot, Andrews.

“I think Dave [Andrews] has done a great job,” said Brady. “He’s got an opportunity, and he’s really taken advantage of it. I’m really impressed by the way that he’s come to work and the challenge that he … He played at a big time college, so he’s been in front of a lot of crowds in a good conference. So, he’s just stepped in, and to start undrafted and to be a starting center last week, and then moving forward in the season we’ll see what happens, but he’s done a great job, and I think he’s obviously gained the trust of his coaches and teammates, which is ultimately what you’re trying to do as a pro athlete.”


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Kyle: Good week to get Marcell back

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2015 – 1:46 pm

Any week would be a good week to get a Pro Bowl caliber defensive tackle back on the field, but when you’re facing a divisional opponent with a high-powered offense, the return of Marcell Dareus means all the more.

Dareus’ linemate Kyle Williams was pretty pumped to have the big fella back in the lineup this week to face New England.

“It’s great to have a really good player back with us,” said Williams. “He helps us even more, and we’re excited to have him back. It couldn’t come at a better time.”

“He’s a 100-million dollar man and we expect a lot from him and he understands that,” said Aaron Williams. “He knows his role and his responsibility and he’s also one of our leaders so he understands all that.”


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Bradham on crowd noise: Keep it coming

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2015 – 9:05 am

Bills LB Nigel Bradham has played more than his fair share of home games in Orchard Park, but on Sunday, Week 1 against the Colts, the din raining down from the fans onto the field was the most noise he has ever experienced.

As we profiled on Buffalobills.com today, Rex Ryan’s first win was special for many reasons, but the fans coming through on his request for vocal support might have been the trump card.

“This one was crazy,” Bradham told Buffalobills.com. “I honestly could yell on the field and not hear myself at all. To the top of my lungs yelling and Preston (Brown) is like four yards over and he can’t even hear me. So we had to use hand signals man. That was the most exciting and loud I’ve ever heard it in here. It’s been loud, but that was another level.”

Head coach Rex Ryan admitted that in practice this week they’re going to have to prepare better for the crowd noise.

“The thing we really gotta start working on is, I’ve got to pump the volume up for our defense in practice because we kind of blew some communication things out there,” Ryan said. “But it’s because our fans were so awesome, but we’ve got to expect it. Our team has to expect it. So I’ve got to really work at it and dial it in, but man it was unbelievable.”

Buffalo’s defensive players did admit there were some communication problems with pre-snap checks and adjustments to alignments and formation, but they’re not about to tell Bills fans to keep quiet.

“We did have communication issues, but keep it coming,” said Bradham. “It’s a bigger problem for them and you could see the delay of games, the timeouts they had to take, the false starts.”

“There were definitely some problems here and there,” said Kyle Williams. “But you don’t want them to change at all because it’s more of an issue for them than it is for us.”


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Kyle: I have faith in our fans

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2015 – 11:03 am

If you ask Kyle Williams, Bills fans at home games are always pretty loud, which is why he’s confident that they’ll be raring to go today come 1 pm.

Williams believes their volume can absolutely impact an opponent’s offensive execution, so he’s hoping they’re as jacked for the game as the players.

“You look at the home opener last year, the kind of confusion they can create for an offense. They can limit what he can do at the line, they can limit their snap counts,” said Williams. “They can cause penalties on them, they can cause missed assignments because they didn’t hear the communication—there’s a lot of things our fans have always done.  It’s not like we’re asking them to do something they’ve never done. I just think it’s important for them to know how big a part they can play in the game because we have the greatest fans in the league. And for us to play against the caliber of offensive team that we’re playing, its going to be a critical part of the game.”


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