Inside The Bills

Clay, Milano limited in practice

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2017 – 3:16 pm

The big news Wednesday was how Marcell Dareus and Cordy Glenn were both sidelined at practice due to ankle injuries. But a couple of key special teamers and Buffalo’s starting tight end also were unable to practice fully.

Charles Clay, Matt Milano and Colt Anderson were all limited in practice Wednesday. LB Deon Lacey was also limited. Here’s a look at Buffalo’s full injury report.

BBSP_6162_Injury-Report-by-UBMD---Excel-Header

DID NOT PRACTICE
LB Lorenzo Alexander – rest
DT Marcell Dareus – ankle
OT Cordy Glenn – foot/ankle
DE Shaq Lawson – foot
RB LeSean McCoy – rest
DT Jerel Worthy – concussion

LIMITED IN PRACTICE
S Colt Anderson – foot
TE Charles Clay – knee
LB Deon Lacey – hamstring
LB Matt Milano – hamstring


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McCoy & Alexander get rest day

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2017 – 10:31 am

Bills head coach Sean McDermott is giving two of his veteran players a rest day for Wednesday’s practice.

Both LeSean McCoy and Lorenzo Alexander will be getting Wednesday’s practice off. McCoy logged 74 percent of the snaps last week while Alexander 55 plays between defense and special teams in Week 2.

McCoy was dealing with some groin soreness heading into last week’s game.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

How to counter Panthers speed on defense

Posted by Chris Brown on September 17, 2017 – 10:45 am

The Carolina Panthers are a fast flow defense. They have great speed at the second level and get to the ball quickly in numbers. Their men up front are all attack-minded and come full speed on every play. When facing talent that can match your skill position players in the speed department, there are some things that can be done to slow them down.

Misdirection on plays can keep a defense like Carolina’s honest. If they bit too hard on the initial fake, there could be some big gains to be had on the back side.

“Sometimes, yes, I will say that’s definitely something that I feel like we can get a chance at, as far as the misdirection,” said Tyrod Taylor. “The way we run the football, the way Shady is downhill, the way [Mike] Tolbert is downhill, the way we’re able to stretch fields laterally, I think that we can definitely get those types of plays. We have to go out there and execute.”

Another part of the offense that could serve the Bills well if the Panthers are pinning their ears back and driving hard up field is the screen game. LeSean McCoy could have a big day in the receiving game if Carolina is reckless in flying up field or in the direction of the ball at the snap.

“They’re a good team, they’re a good defense, so in times they are victim of over-pursuing plays, but that’s a gift and a curse,” said McCoy of the Carolina defense. “They’re talented at the positon, especially at linebacker. “They get happy and they kind of over-pursue though, so it’ll be a game. It’ll be a good game.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McCoy seeing different RBs around him

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2017 – 9:21 am

Bills RB LeSean McCoy rolled up 159 all-purpose yards last week in the win over the Jets including 110 rushing yards. What McCoy is finding however, is a lot of the running back names he competes with for the NFL rushing title are changing.

“When I was trying to compete with other running backs, it was like [Adrian Peterson], Marshawn [Lynch], it was [Arian] Foster,” he said. “It’s changed. It’s like a lot of the newer guys get a lot of the hype, you know like the last two years it was the kid from the Rams [Todd Gurley], Zeke [Elliott], he’s like the new presence, you know he’s getting it done. Who else? The kid from Miami [Jay Ajayi], he’s kind of getting there, so it’s funny like you watch the stats of the running backs and I’m up there with all the young rookies and young guys, so it’s just different.

“I like it, it’s interesting, see how the era has kind of changed. You know each week it’s like, what did [Adrian Peterson] get, you know now it’s like is Zeke playing, is he getting six games, is he not? You know, look at the numbers, so it’s pretty cool.”

Here’s a look at the leading rushers from Week 1 and three of the five-highest rushing totals belong to rookies.

Kareem Hunt – KC – 148 rushing yards
Dalvin Cook – MIN – 127 rushing yards
LeSean McCoy – BUF – 110 rushing yards
Ezekiel Elliott – DAL – 104 rushing yards
Leonard Fournette – JAX – 100 rushing yards

 


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Tolbert: Snitches get stitches

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2017 – 3:02 pm

 

There are a couple of players and a head coach who might be viewed as mercenaries by the Carolina Panthers fans this Sunday in Charlotte. Having moved on to the Bills they’re the enemy now, but between head coach Sean McDermott, Mike Tolbert, Joe Webb and Kaelin Clay, there’s a lot of useful information they can provide. From player strengths and weaknesses, to player preferences in certain situations.

“There’s a rule out there that snitches get stitches, but I’m going to get a lot of stitches this week,” said Tolbert.

Tolbert along with Webb and Clay will offer what they can to assist their Bills teammates with their matchups, and the players who don’t know the Panthers well are eager to scoop up all the intel they can.

“Oh yeah I’m going to sit down with him this week,” said Bills return man Brandon Tate the time he intends to spend with Joe Webb on Carolina’s special teams coverage units.

Regardless of all the help it can provide, the Bills still hold an enormous amount of respect for a team as battle tested as the Panthers. It’s why players like Tolbert, Webb and Clay are doing their level best to prepare for Sunday’s game like any other. It’s something that has won the respect of their teammates.

“They’re not getting wrapped up in the rivalry or battle. We’re their teammates and we’re supporting them. It’s a regular game. Everybody looks at things differently. I kind of looked at it like a revenge type of game when I played back home,” said McCoy of his game against the Eagles in 2015. “But them guys I like their attitudes. It’s more positive. It’s more team based. It’s working out. We have one goal and that’s to go to North Carolina and get a win.”

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Vote for Shady

Posted by Chris Brown on September 12, 2017 – 10:44 am

LeSean McCoy had a big day of production in Buffalo’s Week 1 win over the Jets last Sunday. Now he’s up for FedEx Ground Player of the Week honors.

McCoy, along with Kansas City RB Kareem Hunt and Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette are this week’s nominees for FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week for Week 1.

McCoy had 159 total yards in the Bills 21-12 victory Sunday, including 110 on the ground and went over the 12,000-yard mark in his career for total yards from scrimmage.

To vote for Shady go to NFL.com/FedEx or on Twitter using #AirandGround and your nominee’s last name (McCoy). Voting is open until Thursday at 3:00 p.m. ET.


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Chunk plays proved timely

Posted by Chris Brown on September 11, 2017 – 3:52 pm

The big play passing game for Buffalo is going to be a work in progress with all the new pieces added to the offense throughout the course of the offseason. But on Sunday the Bills were able to hit on five pass plays of 20 yards or more, and LeSean McCoy chipped in with a few runs that went for big gains as well.

Run after the catch proved valuable as Jordan Matthews took a short pass 47 yards for the longest play of the day. Charles Clay pulled in the longest pass of the day as Taylor went deep to him for a 35-yard hook-up.

“It was big, especially when you get a team that likes to blitz a lot,” said Clay. “You want to take advantage of those opportunities and get some of those big plays in that situation, and kind of calm them down. We were able to do a little of that, and at the same time we have to improve on some of things, but we’ll go back and watch the film and get better at that.”

McCoy was then responsible for three of the next four longest plays, with two coming on the ground for 27 and 23 yards, followed by his 21 yards catch and run.

When asked why the Jets defense was hit with eight plays of 20 yards or more, Jets head coach Todd Bowles has simple answer.

“Missed assignments,” he said.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McCoy on his wrist: I’ll be alright

Posted by Chris Brown on September 10, 2017 – 5:38 pm

Bills RB LeSean McCoy gave Bills fans a scare when he came off the field in the second half holding his right wrist after he stretched to try to break the plan of the end zone on a red zone carry.

McCoy, who was listed as suffering a wrist injury, did return to the game. After the Bills win he explained what happened.

“I tried to get in the end zone,” said McCoy “I jumped in there and I guess the placement of the ball and my wrist, it went numb. I didn’t want to be selfish and try to get a touchdown with a numb right hand. I’m known as a back with ball security so I just came out just to see what was going on. I’ll ice it and I’ll be alright.

“It hurt a little bit and then I couldn’t feel anything. I couldn’t squeeze the ball. Besides we’ve got a 260-pound back and let him get the touchdown.”

Mike Tolbert subbed in for McCoy when he left and plunged into the end zone from a yard out for Buffalo’s only rushing touchdown of the game in the 21-12 victory over the Jets.


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Jets run front should still be good

Posted by Chris Brown on September 10, 2017 – 11:05 am

The Jets were a top 10 run defense in the preseason, which may not hold much significance until you realize their run defense the past two years has put opposing rushing attacks on lock down.

Under head coach Todd Bowles, the Jets run defense has allowed opponents to run for just 91 yards per game. That’s the third-best mark in the NFL over that span.

Yes, they traded away Sheldon Richardson, but Steve McLendon is no slouch on the nose and Leonard Williams and Muhammad Wilkerson are Pro Bowl caliber players.

Over the last two seasons, LeSean McCoy’s best day against the Jets was the Thursday night game in 2015 at MetLife Stadium when he ran for 112 yards on just 19 carries in a 22-17 win.

Shady averaged 5.9 yards per carry against what at the time was the number one run defense in the league and literally willed the Bills to victory.

It will take a lot to repeat that kind of production, but McCoy and the offensive line might be two of the most productive aspects of the entire team the past two seasons. The Jets led the league last year in fewest broken tackles allowed with just nine all season.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-8

Posted by Chris Brown on September 8, 2017 – 11:54 am

Kickoff weekend is here! Finally Bills regular season football. Let’s dial it up Bills fans with your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Can the D get back into the Top 10 or is the talent level too thin in year one of SM and BB?

Michael Kielma
@bubble_head716

CB: Depth is undoubtedly a concern, particularly at safety and linebacker. But if the Bills can stay relatively healthy, especially on the defensive line, they can flirt with being a top 10 defense. Sean McDermott’s defensive units typically rank high in sacks, run defense and takeaways, all critical elements in defenses that rank in the top 10.

Buffalo’s defensive line will be instrumental in all three of those defensive categories. As long as the front four can stay healthy they can contend for top 10 status.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Predictions on who leads the team in receptions? Dark horse of Charles Clay?

Kyle Yagielski
@DrMrPHD

CB: I don’t think Charles Clay is a dark horse at all. He had 87 targets last season to lead the team and led the team in receptions with 57. Granted that was due in part to the fact that Sammy Watkins played in just eight games, but in Rick Dennison offenses the tight end plays a large role in the passing game. The case will be much the same with Clay this season, especially with all the wide receiver turnover.

So I think Clay is the favorite to lead the team in receptions, with Jordan Matthews as his only real competition.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Shady o/u 100 yards Sunday?

Frank Propis
@Frankpropis

CB: The Jets run front is no joke, even with the trade of Sheldon Richardson. NT Steve McLendon was a nice pickup by New York last year from Pittsburgh. The key will be getting McCoy to the second level on Sunday.

McCoy barely played in the season finale against the Jets, which was kind of a lost game altogether. But in the Week 2 matchup, McCoy average 3.9 yards per carry and finished with 83 total yards from scrimmage.

I think he can do better than that because New York’s linebacking corps is a lot less proven than the group from a season ago. So if you’re asking total yards from scrimmage I say over 100, but over 100 yards rushing, I don’t know. That run front for the Jets is still pretty stout and they’ll be daring the Bills to throw in this game (eight in the box).

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

There is talk of “Tyrod not being a fit to Dennison’s system” , why would a coach have a system that does fit current roster? (ex. Rex)

Bryan Watson
@RealBryanWatson

CB: I find it funny how this has become the narrative for Tyrod in this scheme. Both head coach Sean McDermott and OC Rick Dennison have said on the record that Taylor is “a perfect fit” for this offense. Below is the direct quote I got from McDermott way back in March at the NFL combine.

“He absolutely fits what Rick wants to do,” said McDermott in reference to Taylor. “Having said that a lot of players fit what we want to do in our system. It’s a great system. That’s one of the reasons I hired Rick. We look forward to putting pieces together to build this team the right way.”

I think people are forgetting that what we saw offensively in the preseason is not at all what they’re likely to run come the regular season. So until we see that it’s premature at the least to say Tyrod isn’t a fit, especially when his coaches are telling us the exact opposite and with more emphatic language than usual.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

With the Bills only keeping 5 WR, do you think they have plans for someone like Logan Thomas to be a bigger part of the offense?

Adam Placzek
@iamFlowbee

CB: I do not expect Logan Thomas to be that guy. This is very much a developmental year for him and if he comes on ahead of the expected learning curve, I think he can make some contributions in the passing game in the second half of the season. I think both Charles Clay, as mentioned above, and Nick O’Leary along with Pat DiMarco and LeSean McCoy will be the ones getting extra targets in the passing game knowing Jordan Matthews, Zay Jones and Andre Holmes will be the top three receiving options at the WR position.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dareus practices fully

Posted by Chris Brown on September 7, 2017 – 3:22 pm

In addition to LeSean McCoy being limited in practice Thursday there was one other change to the team’s injury report.

Marcell Dareus went from being a limited participant in practice Wednesday to a full participant Thursday. Dareus has been dealing with a nagging hip injury.

McCoy was limited with a stomach bug, but finished practice.

BBSP_6162_Injury-Report-by-UBMD---Excel-Header

DID NOT PRACTICE

LB Tanner Vallejo – knee

DT Jerel Worthy – concussion

LIMITED PARTICIPATION

S Colt Anderson – foot

RB LeSean McCoy – illness

FULL PRACTICE

DT Marcell Dareus – hip

OT Cordy Glenn – foot

WR Jordan Matthews – chest

QB Tyrod Taylor – concussion


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McDermott: McCoy practiced after getting ill

Posted by Chris Brown on September 7, 2017 – 2:23 pm

Bills feature back LeSean McCoy had a bit of an upset stomach at the start of Thursday’s practice that forced him to miss a bit of the session, including the media viewing portion. But according to head coach Sean McDermott, McCoy returned and got a healthy dose of team reps.

“He got a little bit ill at practice,” said McDermott. “He was here at the beginning and fell ill a little bit there and then came back.”

By the close of practice, McCoy looked back to normal and had a spring in his step.

“It looked like he was good,” McDermott said. “He had a good practice.”

While McCoy was not on the practice field, Mike Tolbert and Taiwan Jones took the majority of the reps during team segments.


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Beane squashes McCoy trade rumors

Posted by Chris Brown on August 26, 2017 – 6:57 pm

LeSean McCoy addressed the trade rumors with Bills GM Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott and relayed to Buffalobills.com and the media that trading him is not on their radar. Prior to Buffalo’s game with the Ravens, Beane supported McCoy’s comments earlier in the week that the feature back is not going to be part of any trade going forward.

“I don’t know where the rumor came from, but that’s why we didn’t say anything,” said Beane. “There was nothing to it. LeSean’s going to be a Buffalo Bill.”


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Why LeSean McCoy didn’t play Thursday night

Posted by Chris Brown on August 10, 2017 – 11:09 pm

LeSean McCoy was dressed, but didn’t play a single snap on Thursday night in the team’s preseason opener. Head coach Sean McDermott explained why.

“I’ve been around LeSean as you guys have heard me say for a long time. I like where he is at this point in training camp in terms of getting himself ready to play for the season,” said McDermott. “I wanted to get a good look at the other backs and I was impressed with the way some of those running backs performed.”

The decision by McDermott makes sense. McCoy has looked dynamic in camp practices and doesn’t need to be exposed to risk of injury when he’s showing well in practices. Plus getting a long look at the backs further down the depth chart will help the offensive staff make the best decision on who to keep for the 53-man roster.


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McCoy just one familiarity factor for Bills with Maclin

Posted by Chris Brown on June 5, 2017 – 7:10 am

LeSean McCoy made no secret that he’s recruiting surprise free agent WR Jeremy Maclin hard to sign with the Bills. But he’s not the only familiarity factor working in the Bills favor with Maclin. 

Head coach Sean McDermott was on the Eagles staff for Maclin’s first two seasons in Philadelphia. 

Perhaps even more important is Bills QBs coach David Culley was Maclin’s receivers coach for all but two of his eight NFL seasons. First in Philadelphia and then Culley went with Andy Reid to Kansas City where Maclin signed as a free agent in 2015. 

Having people in the locker room and on the coaching staff that know your skill set intimately gives a player confidence that they’ll be utilized properly on the field by their new team and easily accepted by new teammates. 


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McCoy has warmed up to Buffalo

Posted by Chris Brown on May 30, 2017 – 2:59 pm

When he was traded to Buffalo prior to the 2015 season, the move came as a shock to LeSean McCoy. While McCoy did everything he could to help the Bills get wins on the field, off the field he had not yet adapted to his new professional city.

McCoy had known only the state of Pennsylvania, from his childhood to his college playing days at Pitt to his time playing for the Eagles in Philadelphia. Now entering his third season with the Bills, McCoy has warmed up to Buffalo.

“It’s a big difference. Big difference,” said McCoy of how comfortable he feels in the Queen City. “Hanging around Buffalo, there are times where I hang out on the weekends here. Before every chance I got I would leave and get out of here. Even just like family members coming up. You go from a place where you’ve always been to somewhere else, you’ve got to adjust and adapt. I’ve done that. It’s just like home to me.”


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McCoy & O’Leary miss practice due to illness

Posted by Chris Brown on December 28, 2016 – 4:53 pm

LeSean McCoy and Nick O’Leary were two of the new notables on the injury report this week.

Both players were unable to practice Wednesday due to illness. Stephon Gilmore did not practice either as he’s in the concussion protocol after exiting last week’s game early.

Lorenzo Alexander was given a veteran’s rest day.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday
Cordy Glenn T Back DNP
Sammy Watkins WR Foot DNP
Kyle Williams DT Back DNP
Stephon Gilmore CB Concussion DNP
Charles Clay TE Knee DNP
Nick O’Leary TE Illness DNP
LeSean McCoy RB Illness DNP
Lorenzo Alexander LB Not injury related DNP
John Miller G Hip LP
Preston Brown LB Foot LP
Lerentee McCray LB Concussion LP
Tyrod Taylor QB Groin FP
Jerry Hughes LB Hamstring FP

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Vote for Shady

Posted by Chris Brown on December 20, 2016 – 8:26 am

Bills RB LeSean McCoy is up for the NFL FedEx Ground Player of the Week for his Week 15 performance against the Browns. McCoy rolled up a season-high 153 yards and a pair of touchdowns as he went over 1,000 rushing yards for the season in the 20-point win for Buffalo. Here’s a look at his competition.

Green Bay’s Ty Montgomery went for 162 on the ground on 16 carries in a 30-27 win over the Bears.

Atlanta’s Devonta Freeman rumbled for 139 yards on 20 carries and three touchdowns in the Falcons win over the 49ers.

You can vote for Shady here as many times as you like. Winners are announced at the end of the week.


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McCoy would prefer playoffs to personal stats

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2016 – 9:39 am

He’s just 24 yards away from a 1,000-yard rushing season and he leads the league in yards per carry average. But LeSean McCoy would gladly trade it in for a playoff berth.

“It’s hard to really think about, individually,” said McCoy. “It’s hard to think about success when you’re not winning games. You know, one of my best seasons was a losing season, stats wise and that kind of sucked. So, you always want to win, I mean that’s why you play the game. You play the game to win, compete, take care of your family. That’s the main reason that I play this game.”

McCoy was referring to his career best season in 2011 when he had more than 1,600 all-purpose yards and 20 total touchdowns.


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Shady to go less shake and bake?

Posted by Chris Brown on December 4, 2016 – 12:23 pm

LeSean McCoy is known as one of the most elusive backs in the NFL. For backs like him, old scouts used to say that he could make a defender miss him in a phone booth. But last week even McCoy admits he tried to do too much with his escape skills and made things more difficult for the offense in terms of down and distance situations.

“Last week, we kind of started slow. A lot of that was me,” said McCoy. “I was trying to do too much in the backfield early in the game. Once we got everything lined up, we made some plays and we started gashing them in the running game and throwing some balls over the top. That’s how we play. We always make plays. We run the ball well and we keep the drives alive. We eat up a lot of clock, and we really need that this week to beat a team like Oakland.”

Offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn has seen McCoy trying to pick his spots in practice to make more direct runs to the hole when it’s there instead of trying to juke a linebacker out of his shoes. He’s hopeful that translates to the games.

“He’s running a little bit more direct and not as much shake and bake,” said Lynn. “I think he’s evolving as he gets a little older understanding that you’re not always going to be able to make that one guy miss. Sometimes you have to get that tough yard, so I’m very pleased with what I’m seeing from him.”


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