HOT TOPICS:  Message Board  |  Mobile App  |  Tablet App  |  Travel Packages |  Game Rewind

Inside The Bills

How Henderson fixed McKelvin’s game

Posted by Chris Brown on February 6, 2015 – 9:36 am

Before Bills DBs coach Donnie Henderson arrived in Buffalo, the knock on Leodis McKelvin was that he didn’t make enough plays on the ball. His coverage would be air tight, but he couldn’t knock balls away, let alone intercept them. Since 2013, when Henderson walked in the door, McKelvin has been a different player.

In 2013 McKelvin led the team in pass breakups, then this past season, despite playing in just 10 games, he led the team in interceptions with four. In an appearance on the John Murphy Show this week, Henderson talked about what he did to fix McKelvin’s game.

“When I came here I was trying to find some of his problem areas,” Henderson said. “His biggest issue is he’s so fast and quick that when I evaluated him his problem was getting his head around and finding the football. When you’re playing man coverage as much as we do you’ve got to find the football. So I talked to him about how to do that and it’s really about repetition. As you get down the field you’ve got to get your hips around and you’ve got to get your eyes back, but you’ve got to have a belief in your mind that you can run with anybody. As fast and as quick as he is he can run with anybody.

“So we took it from stepping and replacing and moving his foot laterally, next thing was to get your hips around and when I say, ‘Ball’ you get your head around. So we took it step by step and with the progress we’ve made over a period of time he’s got it where he understands it now.”

McKelvin is expected to be fully cleared for football in mid-March after suffering a fractured ankle in Week 11 at Miami this past season.


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills eager to back up Ryan’s words

Posted by Chris Brown on February 2, 2015 – 12:45 pm

At his introductory press conference Rex Ryan said that everyone in Buffalo should get ready for the playoffs because they’re going. Just how did that sit with the players in the Bills’ locker room? Just fine.

CB Leodis McKelvin told Buffalobills.com that it has the balance of Buffalo’s locker room ready to do whatever it takes to end the franchise’s 15-year playoff drought.

“You want to go out there and play for him,” said McKelvin. “You want to go out there and back up his words whatever he may say. You want to go out there and win. That’s the goal we always have and that’s how he feels. So we want to go out and win and go to the playoffs.”

McKelvin, like most NFL players, did some recon work in finding out more about Rex Ryan’s defensive scheme that was run by defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman. McKelvin talked to a friend of his on the Jets who used to be a teammate of his in Buffalo.

“I talked to Ellis Lankster who plays down there and he used to be up here and talked to him about coverages and things,” said McKelvin. “He pretty much told me that it’ll be the same thing we’ve been doing, just playing man-to-man coverage and just making sure to stay on your guy. We’re going to blitz though so the ball is going to be out. That might be the biggest difference from last year.”


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin update

Posted by Chris Brown on February 2, 2015 – 10:04 am

The 2014 season ended prematurely for Bills CB Leodis McKelvin when he fractured his ankle in a Week 11 game at Miami. He’d miss the last six games of the season, but still finished the year as the team leader in interceptions with a single-season career high of four. Buffalobills.com talked to McKelvin by phone recently and he provided an update on the status of his ankle.

“I should be 100 percent probably in a month or so,” McKelvin told Buffalobills.com. “By the middle of March I should be cleared. I haven’t been cleared by the doctor yet for my ankle.”

McKelvin expects to be ready for OTA practices in the spring.Whether he’s limited or not will be up to the team physicians and athletic trainers.


Tags:
Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin on Madden 15 uses Conan O’Brien dance

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2015 – 10:42 am


It wasn’t Leodis McKelvin himself, but his video game identity in Madden 15 has apparently stolen late night talk show host Conan O’Brien’s string dance, and made it his own touchdown dance.

A Madden 15 gamer and viewer of the Conan O’Brien show was using the Bills as his team while playing Madden 15 and Leodis McKelvin had an interception return for a touchdown and his celebration was the string dance that O’Brien does. O’Brien found out about it and addressed it on his show.

moca-stringdance-01-529d17ee25340


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

What Bills get with Graham in for McKelvin

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2014 – 3:21 pm

Late last week we spelled out how with Leodis McKelvin out indefinitely that Corey Graham would be his replacement in the lineup. Now that it’s been announced that McKelvin is out for the season with his fractured ankle we compiled the numbers from their snaps at cornerback this season to see where Buffalo’s coverage would stand with Graham in the lineup. Here’s what we found.

Leodis McKelvin (551 snaps) leads the team with four interceptions, is currently the club’s third-leading tackler and is second on the team in pass breakups with eight. He also has allowed an opponent’s passer rating of just 79.2. Those are all very good figures. On the down side he did allow a pair of touchdowns, a catch percentage of 69 percent and 179 yards after the catch.

Corey Graham (316 snaps at CB) is the team’s fourth-leading tackler and is first on the team in pass breakups with nine. He has allowed an opponent’s passer rating of 56.1, which is fourth best in the NFL. He’s permitted a catch percentage of just 45.7 percent, good for fifth-best in the NFL. He’s allowed just 49 yards total after the catch.

So it doesn’t appear as though the Bills will be losing much at all at the left cornerback position with Graham now in the lineup full time. In fact they look to be making gains in some categories.


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin, Orton newest nicked up Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on November 14, 2014 – 11:19 am

In addition to the loss Thursday night, Buffalo also lost a cornerback to injury and their quarterback suffered an injury as well.

McKelvin left the game in the first half after his ankle bent awkwardly underneath him after his foot got caught in the grass at Sun Life Stadium. He’ll be re-evaluated Friday.

Meanwhile Kyle Orton has a toe injury.

“It’ll be better,” he said.


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

3 Bills ranking high in Pro Bowl fan voting

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2014 – 2:54 pm

Three Bills players rank high at their respective positions in NFL Pro Bowl fan voting right now. Not surprisingly, they’re all on the defensive side of the ball.

Buffalo’s defense has been stout all season long and the players on that unit are getting recognized for it. Leading all defensive tackles in fan votes is Marcell Dareus, thanks in large part to his 10 sacks in the first nine games.

Also in the top five of fan voting at their positions are DE Mario Williams and CB Leodis McKelvin. Go to Buffalobills.com for details.


Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin earns defensive game ball

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2014 – 5:09 pm

Bills CB Leodis McKelvin had a pair of interceptions in Sunday’s win and did it on back-to-back plays. One of his interceptions led to a touchdown. His performance earned him some national recognition from ESPN writer John Clayton.

Clayton awarded McKelvin his defensive game ball of the week. Here’s what he wrote.

Defensive game ball – Leodis McKelvin
Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin intercepted Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on consecutive throws in the second quarter of Buffalo’s 17-16 victory.

 


Tags:
Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin’s 2 INTs come on back-to-back plays

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2014 – 7:22 pm

It was rare enough for Leodis McKelvin that he notched a pair of interceptions in one game. The fact that his two picks came on back-to-back defensive plays made it a first in a long time in Bills history as well.

McKelvin’s first interception came on a 3rd-and-7 at the Bills’ 20-yard line, which he returned nine yards out to the 29. Buffalo’s offense wasn’t able to get points off that turnover, so after six plays they punted. On 1st-and-12 at the Vikings’ 12-yard line, Bridgewater threw a pass out to the right sideline for Adam Thielen, but McKelvin read the play and jumped the route.

“They did play action. It was like a comeback route or out route,” McKelvin said. “Speed turn into it. I saw the ball, when he got the ball, and I made sure I got my feet down. We work on things like that in practice. We work all the time on staying in bounds, throw us the ball and staying in bounds. I looked like a receiver. I may have to go catch a pass.”

So on back-to-back defensive plays for the Bills, McKelvin made a pair of INTs. A Bills player hasn’t done that since Kirby Jackson did it against Miami back on Oct. 29th, 1989 almost 25 years ago.

McKelvin’s four interceptions this season are already a career single-season best.


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Rotation at CB will continue

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2014 – 9:36 am

In Week 1 Stephon Gilmore wasn’t available to play so Leodis McKelvin and Corey Graham started. But come Week 2 Gilmore was healthy along with McKelvin and Graham. Gilmore and Graham started the game, but by game’s end Gilmore had 53 snaps and McKelvin 33 including a late INT. Head coach Doug Marrone confirmed that the Bills are going to continue rotating their top three corners during games provided all three are healthy.

“All three (are starters),” said Marrone. “I’m not trying to play games. We’ve been rotating them from day one since they’ve been back. I keep saying the same thing. Everyone is trying to pin, ‘Who are the two (starters)? Who are the two (starters)?’ But we’ve got a pretty good deal going if we have three guys.

“I firmly believe, with the level that they’re playing, that those three players will produce more than if it’s just two. We only have an opportunity one or two of those guys maybe wearing out, whereas now we have all three and it’s a long season. We’re in good shape until something separates.”

Marrone means if one of those three is performing really well they’ll see more of the work. Such was the case with Corey Graham. He had a solid Week 1 when Gilmore was out and started in Week 2 where he played 91 percent of the snaps. Gilmore and McKelvin split time in Week 2 with Gilmore seeing 53 snaps to McKelvin’s 33.”

When Marrone was asked specifically if McKelvin and Gilmore’s snap counts would increase he couldn’t give a definitive answer, knowing both are limited by soreness coming off their offseason hip surgeries and Gilmore coming off an additional groin injury suffered right before the season opener.

“I don’t know if I can expect their snap count to increase, only because we haven’t started practicing again this week,” he said. “Again, I think we’re going on basically just how they feel, as far as coming off the injuries from last week. I still think the same thing. If you ask me what the best thing is I would say, ‘Hey, we have three corners that 33, 33 and 33 and play those percentages, we would be a better team.”

Marrone said moving forward they’ll keep playing Gilmore, McKelvin and Graham.


Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

A special game day for McKelvin

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2014 – 4:56 pm

His big play didn’t occur until the game was already in hand, but it didn’t take away from Leodis McKelvin’s interception with 10 seconds left in the Bills’ 29-10 win over the Dolphins.

McKelvin’s mother and brother were in attendance at the stadium as they traveled up from Georgia.

“Before the game, mom said, ‘Make sure you give me that ball after an interception or a touchdown.’ So I was making sure I was running over there to give her the ball and actually I ended up giving it to my brother. It was his first NFL game he ever watched. He’s never seen me play so it was very exciting to go over there and see my family, see them in the stands. Just trying to go over there and give my mom the ball.”

McKelvin finished the game with three tackles, a quarterback hit and an interception.


Tags:
Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore feeling good

Posted by Chris Brown on September 3, 2014 – 4:18 pm

Bills CB Stephon Gilmore was limited in practice Wednesday with a groin injury, but feels pretty good just a few days before the opener at Chicago.

“I’m feeling good. I’m just getting my feet wet and just going out there and practicing hard,” he said.

When asked if he sees himself having any problem playing Sunday he said the following.

“I don’t think so. Just going out there getting better and being smart.”

Knowing he and Leodis McKelvin have both been limited in the preseason with both coming off of his surgeries he believes they’ll both be prepared for Sunday’s game.

“I feel like we’re ready to go,” said Gilmore. “We’ve just got to take care of our bodies and go out and compete.


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin comes thru Tampa game well

Posted by Chris Brown on August 25, 2014 – 4:58 pm

Leodis McKelvin say his first game action in the preseason last Saturday coming off of offseason hip surgery and a groin injury earlier in the week. All indications are he came through the game alright as he was practicing with his teammates on Monday.

“I think when a player is out for a while and you come back, we saw that with Stephon earlier in the preseason, we see that now with Leodis,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “We expect him to get better and better and progress from there. I think it’s a progression. I don’t think you can put him right back out on the field and expect him to be at the same level when they were playing at their best.”

Marrone didn’t rule out the possibility of McKelvin playing a bit in the preseason finale, knowing his reps have been limited thus far in the preseason. McKelvin had four tackles in last Saturday’s game.


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-22

Posted by Chris Brown on August 22, 2014 – 12:53 pm

The preseason is winding down. Almost time for the real stuff. Let’s get to your latest round of questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – When are the Bills going to address Spiller’s contract?  Is he going to be another Bills 1st rounder they don’t sign and let them leave?

Thanks,
Steve Lehmann
Life-long Bills fan in Charlotte, NC

CB: The current issue concerning Spiller and opening discussions on a new contract is he is currently without representation. The Bills’ back does not have an agent right now and GM Doug Whaley stated recently that the club will wait until Spiller has secured proper representation before approaching him to negotiate a possible extension.

 

2 – Hey Chris,
Of course us Bills fans are constantly hearing a lot about EJ Manuel in training camp and his “ups and downs”.  The one term I hear used a lot is that he is patting the ball before he throws it.  I read that this can give the defender an extra step because when they see that they know he’s about to throw and it’s likely going to be in their lane. But I also read that it doesn’t always have a negative effect and in fact Drew Bledsoe was known to have a very quick release even though he pat the ball. I’ve also read that this is so the QB can make sure that the ball is secured in their hand before they throw it. Do you think this is something that EJ has to work on and do you think it is affecting his game in a negative way?

Also, a lot has been said about him not being able to read the field and get through his progressions.  Depending on who you listen to some say that’s something you have or you don’t.  But I think that he just needs more time and game time experience and maybe the experience will allow him to get used to the speed of the NFL.  I am interested in your thoughts.

Thanks always, Jillian

CB: There’s no denying that there have been times that EJ has patted the ball or hesitated to pull the trigger. I think all young quarterbacks go through that as part of their learning curve. I will say that Manuel is doing less of it now than he was at the start of training camp.

The patting of the ball is not the concern as much as does EJ trust what he’s seeing unfold around him? Over the past week or so the answer has been unequivocally yes. Now that doesn’t mean that EJ is going to start lighting it up every week on the field, but there is noticeable progress.

We’ll just have to wait and see how more time on the field in games brings his personal game along.

3 – Hello Chris,

Great coverage. I enjoy your analytical approach to our Buffalo Bills. Speaking of just that, I noticed that the Bills were #1 on fumbles last season at 32 according to NFL.com. The data that I saw had:

Combined Fumbles:
Spiller/Jackson at 10
E.J./Lewis/Tuel at 8
Goodwin/Graham/Johnson/Chandler at 6

I couldn’t account for the remainder so I am not terribly confident about the 32 fumbles. I don’t hear much conversation around that stat by reporters (if it’s correct). I would think that with the loss of Byrd and his take away ability that the coaches and media would make that a point of extreme emphasis in achieving a better giveaway/takeaway ratio, which is one of the keys in winning in the NFL.

Color me confused,
Alan from Northeastern NY

CB: To provide a clear picture of the fumble numbers from last season here are all the statistics. First, yes the Bills did have 32 fumbles in 2013 and that did lead the league. However, only 12 of those fumbles resulted in turnovers. That ranked sixth-most in the league.

Part of the reason there were so many fumbles was because the Bills had the most total rushes in the NFL (546). The more plays you have, in general the more fumbles you’re going to have.

Now all that being said the Bills still ranked first in the percentage of fumbles per touch (1.97%). There were only five other teams in the league with a percentage over 1.7 percent (Was., Oak., Sea., Ten., NYG).

So you’re right it is a legitimate concern. Really what it comes down to is ball security, having the proper points of pressure on the ball with your forearm, ribs and fingers and carrying it high and tight. When I get a chance I’ll see if coach Wheatley has any extra insight on it based on last season’s numbers.

 
4 – Chris,

As usual, thank you for the outstanding coverage from you and your staff, especially for those of us outside of NY State.

My question: The first 2 preseason games, I’ve noticed the offense has predominantly used the standard “huddle” before running plays. Gone is the no huddle or hurry up Offense that we’ve heard was going to be the norm. The Bills ran 64 total plays against the Giants 61 and 63 against Carolinas 69. A difference of -3 for both games. Will the Bills be scrapping the hurry up offense this year?  Thank you.

Steve
Pismo Beach, CA

CB: I have faith that the Bills will run their no huddle on offense this season. I don’t think you should expect it to be deployed on ever series of every game. Yes, they do want to go fast and I think there’s a good chance we see some of it on Saturday night against Tampa Bay, but Doug Marrone has said it will be slowed down or sped up based on game situations and on game plans for the particular opponent they’re facing that week.

Quite frankly that makes the most sense. For example, if you’re facing a club with a top five scoring offense, going fast for the whole game might not be the way to go knowing you run the risk of giving their top flight offense more possessions and the potential to score more points too.
5 – Hey Chris,

After the performance by Ron Brooks in the Carolina game, I’m wondering if the Bills are thinking of possibly moving Leodis. Brooks seems to have turned the corner, but he’d be corner #6 on the roster. Do you see him making the roster or getting unfortunately cut?

Thanks,
Tommy in the Pittsford branch of #Billsmafia!

CB: Brooks has had his best camp to date in his career with Buffalo. He was very consistent and got a lot of quality reps with Stephon Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin slow to return to the team portions of practice in camp coming off of hip surgeries.

Brooks is essentially running as the fourth cornerback behind Gilmore, McKelvin and Graham if you consider Nickell Robey strictly a slot corner. So right now he’s in the top five at cornerback with rookie Ross Cockrell the likely number 6. So I think Brooks is in great shape to make the roster at this point.


Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin returns to 11-on-11

Posted by Chris Brown on August 18, 2014 – 11:21 pm

Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn wasn’t the only player who saw team work for the first time in a while Monday night. Leodis McKelvin, who was sprinkled in for team work late last week, but did not play in last Saturday’s preseason game was participating in team reps in both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11.

His best play was the pass breakup he had on a post route by Chris Hogan across the middle of the end zone. McKelvin appeared to be playing trail technique and reached his front arm out as the pass arrived to knock it away for an incompletion.

It was the first play McKelvin has made in a while, which explains why he let out a giant, ‘Owwwwoooh!!’ after making the play.

Hopefully it’s a sign of a lot more plays to come.


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Starting secondary hoping to reunite soon

Posted by Chris Brown on August 18, 2014 – 10:21 am

The Bills are taking a conservative approach with starting CB Leodis McKelvin in his return from offseason hip surgery. He has yet to play in the preseason as he was inactive again against the Steelers Saturday. Though he is being slowly worked back into the practice setting his time with his fellow starters in the secondary has been limited. Stephon Gilmore only began to see more action in practice and preseason this past week. Even though there’s just three weeks before the season opener at Chicago the starters in Buffalo’s secondary aren’t concerned about their limited time together.

“We want those guys to come in when they’re ready,” said S Aaron Williams. “We never want a guy to rush just because one person feels like the whole group needs to be together. I want the whole group to be together when everybody is 100 percent and ready for the season. We’re not going to rush Leo (McKelvin), (Stephon) Gilmore or whoever else is hurt to come back at a fast pace. That’s just going to cause problems later down the road. Whenever they’re ready to come back and feel 100 percent because they know their bodies more than we do then the excitement will come.”

What has kept the secondary from being concerned about fewer reps than usual on the practice field together is the time they’ve spent on the field over the past two seasons.

“Yeah it’s definitely an advantage when you have a few years under your belt together,” said Williams. “You know the chemistry of each other and you know how each person thinks and plays. Leo has a different playing style than Stephon. The fact that Da’Norris and I know that makes the calls a lot faster and a lot easier.”

A beneficial byproduct of McKelvin’s absence has been the opportunity for the rest of the secondary to get used to lining up and playing with veteran free agent signee Corey Graham.

“I’m with Corey every day and I talk to him and try to pick out how he plays. Every meeting we sit next to each other and have conversations about what’s going on and how he thinks and how I play things,” said Williams. “That communication has really helped both of us out especially with our chemistry knowing we have to get ready for the season. Corey has been with us a few months now and I’m starting to learn more and more about him.”


Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin easing back in

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2014 – 10:55 pm

Bills CB Leodis McKelvin had not done any team work for the better part of the last two weeks. On Wednesday however, McKelvin did see a bit of team work.

McKelvin, who is coming off of offseason hip surgery got a few reps in 1-on-1 WR-vs.-DB drills. He also got a few reps in the team portions of practice Wednesday. The Bills are taking things very slow with McKelvin, but even the little work the veteran cornerback got in team segments at Latrobe Wednesday is an encouraging sign.


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin update

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2014 – 7:48 pm

For the second straight day CB Leodis McKelvin did not participate in practice at all. Head coach Doug Marrone provided an update on McKelvin’s status moving forward.

When asked if McKelvin has experienced a setback in his return from offseason hip surgery, Marrone said that was not the case.

“We have a plan that we’ve talked about and we’re going to rest him as long as we feel the doctors and he and the other people [say],” said Marrone. “When he’s ready, I’ll let him out there.”

 


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills who won’t dress tonight

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2014 – 6:35 pm

Here’s the list of players who won’t dress for tonight’s Hall of Fame game in Canton tonight against the Giants.

CB Leodis McKelvin
CB Stephon Gilmore
TE Tony Moeaki
TE Scott Chandler
WR Marquise Goodwin

 


Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin held out of team work as precaution

Posted by Chris Brown on July 27, 2014 – 6:54 pm

Bills starting CB Leodis McKelvin has been held out of team work for the past three days of practice. Coming off of hip surgery in the offseason the team doesn’t want to overwork the veteran corner.

That according to head coach Doug Marrone.

“We just rested him and are making sure,” said Marrone. “Again, he’s coming off of an injury from the offseason and we’re just going to work his way back in here. Leodis has something that I admire. When he gets back in there, he’s going to go 110 percent every single time. We just want to make sure that we back him off a little bit. We’re in camp for awhile, so we’re just being smart.”

Marrone did not provide any details on when McKelvin would again participated in 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 work.


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills