Inside The Bills

Mario: Calls on defense were different

Posted by Chris Brown on January 4, 2016 – 1:09 am

Buffalo’s defensive effort was one of their better performances of the season in the season finale win over the Jets Sunday. DE Mario Williams felt part of the success was rooted in a different defensive approach.

“I think the calls were definitely different in general, especially that last play,” said Williams of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s third interception. “That was a call from the field. That was called from myself, and talking to the DB’s. The play there that was originally called… we ran that a few times… more than a few times before. And just getting input from players out there on the field because we’re the ones who have to go out there and execute it. And it turned out great.”

Manny Lawson explained further.

“A lot of it had to do with trust,” said Lawson. “From player to coach and coach to player. We went out there and we got a feel for them, we felt exactly what they were trying to do and then we communicated to the coach and told them what we think would work better for us and our coaches trust us to go out there and get it done.”


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Bills focused on what win meant for them

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2016 – 10:34 pm

After their gutty win over the Jets on Sunday the predominant line of questioning from the media was if the players took any satisfaction in preventing New York from advancing to the playoffs in their 22-17 victory. It was made very clear by each player asked that the Bills were more focused on what the win meant for them.

With eyes already on 2016, the Bills feel the win over the Jets, which completed a season sweep and now has Buffalo’s winning streak against the Jets up to five straight, has helped them capture the kind of synergy they need between their preparation during the week and trust and execution with one another and the coaching staff on game day.

“It definitely was a big game for us. An opportunity for us to sweep a divisional team. We knew going into this game there was a lot for us to learn from this season,” said Tyrod Taylor. “But it was more so just attitude and going into next year. We went out there and got the job done.”

“Honestly, whether this was about them going to win and in or whatever they were saying, it was never really about that,” said Eric Wood. “We weren’t talking about it, we wanted to get this win for us. Did we want our division rival at our expense to go to the playoffs on our home field, heck no.”

“They had a playoff chance and we knocked them out,” said Manny Lawson. “More so than knocking them out we won, and that’s takes precedence over everything.”

“Honestly it wasn’t about keeping them out of the playoffs. There’s still football that has to be played. I know we’re not going to the playoffs, but our fans come out and cheer us on. It wasn’t about the Jets, it was about us finishing the right way,” said Sammy Watkins. “Just building off the season and next year we can come to training camp and say hey, we won our last two games, won two out of three in our division with two sweeps and we’ve just got to continue to grow as a team. Just staying in with each other.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

No book on Moore mandates scheme study

Posted by Chris Brown on December 27, 2015 – 8:52 am

The Bills have a very small book on Kellen Moore and his skill set. He’s got all of half of one game of film for Buffalo’s defenders to digest in the Dallas offense. So in a case like this players spend more time studying scheme than the individual talents of Moore.

“It’s probably more so scheme study,” said Manny Lawson of preparation for the week. “What we really have to do is remember he is coming into his first career start. Kind of just throwing him in there, so expect a lot of the running game. They have a really talented offensive front and talented backs so why not? But he is a smart quarterback. He’s able to understand defenses and he’s able to pick up a blitz, so we also have to be alert to him passing the ball and try to disguise what we’re trying to do.”

Fortunately for the Bills they’ve seen Moore more than most having played the Lions every preseason while Moore was on their roster. Head coach Rex Ryan did admit that things can change in terms of tendencies when the quarterback is left-handed, which is the case with Moore.


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Lawson: We have to finish if we want to win

Posted by Chris Brown on December 6, 2015 – 10:40 am

The Bills have had their share of strong starts this season. Evidence of that comes in their first quarter point differential where they’ve scored 60 points this season and only given up 36. But as Manny Lawson maintains, games aren’t won in the first quarter.

As Lawson sees it the team has struggled to play 60 of consistent football this season and it’s why they’ve seen early leads evaporate by halftime.

“We as a team we have to finish. We have to learn how to finish,” said Lawson. “Last week we punched that team in the mouth and had a very good game early. But games aren’t won in the first quarter, they’re not won in the second quarter or the third. They’re won at the end when the clock is at triple zero. So that’s what we have to do. We have to finish, play our game, make adjustments and that’s how we’re going to come out with a victory.”

Buffalo is 2-1 this season against AFC South opponents.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Almost all Bills RBs & WRs practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on September 8, 2015 – 11:59 am

It’s a Tuesday practice and it won’t be anything like the more physical practice that teams usually run on Thursdays, but almost all of the injured running backs and wide receivers on Buffalo’s roster were participating.

LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams, Boobie Dixon were all working through on the running back rotation during individual position drills. Bryce Brown had already returned in the team’s final preseason game.

At wide receiver, Sammy Watkins, Chris Hogan, Percy Harvin and Robert Woods were all practicing.

Marquise Goodwin was the only injured receiver not participating.

On defense LBs Manny Lawson and Tony Steward were not practicing.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Lawson a big help at 2nd level

Posted by Chris Brown on June 10, 2015 – 4:14 pm

As we covered earlier this week on Buffalobills.com, Manny Lawson stands a very good chance of making an impact on defense very similar to the season he had for the Bills in 2013, when he was the club’s third-leading tackler with a fair amount of splash plays. Where Lawson is helping the defense most right now however, is with his pre-snap communication.

“Manny is a huge asset on the field because of what he can do playing-wise and what he can do for our offense collectively as far as communication,” said Kyle Williams. “He knows his job, the job of the guys around him and the reason why we’re disguising that way. He does a lot of things for us that we’re really going to need him for and he’s going to be a big asset for us.”

“Just coming in and knowing not just his assignments but how the defense works and talking it out, making sure he’s pulling defensive linemen over in different fronts, talking to the backers.  He’s been really impressive that way,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “I remember now and it shouldn’t surprise me, I think his test score coming out was the second highest I can remember for a defensive player, next to Eric Smith, who’s one of our coaches now.  He’s really a sharp guy. And obviously he’s got the height and the length you look for. I’ve been really pleased with him.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Lawson on 10 years in NFL

Posted by Chris Brown on June 3, 2015 – 9:10 am

Manny Lawson is about to begin his 10th NFL season and third with the Bills this fall. In an era where the average NFL career lasts just over three years, Lawson is the exception to the rule. Here is just one of his mantras for getting to 10 years in the league.

“Take one year at a time,” said Lawson in a recent appearance on the John Murphy Show. “Don’t look too far ahead. Just take the initiative now and whatever choices and opportunities that you have right now you have to go with that. If you don’t take care of the year you’re in right now there is no next year. So you have to take care of the year you’re in right now.”

Lawson also sticks to a rigorous offseason program to stay fit all year round, which he attributes to his ability to stay healthy. The strong side linebacker has missed just three games in the last seven seasons.

Each of the last two offseasons Lawson has elected not to attend most of the voluntary offseason practices, but this spring he was at both the voluntary veteran minicamp in April and the first week of OTAs. He explained why he chose to attend those voluntary sessions this year.

“One, just to size up the new personnel and coaching staff,” Lawson said. “You want to get an understanding of what they expect out of you and what you can do for them. I want my teammates to know that even though I wasn’t here for a lot of the voluntary workouts I’m still here and still in shape and still know what my job is supposed to be. You can count on me. That’s what I wanted to also show the coaches. Just to get us off on the right foot moving into the season.”


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Jeremiah goes LB for Bills in 2 rd. mock

Posted by Chris Brown on April 22, 2015 – 2:27 pm

NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah has put together a full two-round mock draft and has gone to the defensive side of the ball for the Bills with their first pick at 50th overall.

Jeremiah went with an outside linebacker at pick 50 taking UCLA’s Eric Kendricks. Here was his brief take on the pick.

50. Buffalo: Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA
Comment: Kendricks is instinctive and athletic in coverage.

Jeremiah likely sees that Manny Lawson will be entering the final year of his contract with Buffalo in 2015, and that coupled with the release of Keith Rivers and trade of Kiko Alonso gives credence to the possibility of a linebacker being taken on day two, if not round two, in round three.

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hughes gets half sack he needed

Posted by Chris Brown on December 31, 2014 – 11:29 am

Bills DE Jerry Hughes appeared to get the half sack he needed for back-to-back 10 sack seasons when he and Manny Lawson took down New England’s Jimmy Garappolo in the fourth quarter Sunday. The storekeepers thought otherwise. On Wednesday the league corrected the awarding of the sack on the play.

The NFL has credited Jerry Hughes and Manny Lawson each with half a sack from Sunday that was originally credited to Lawson and Jarius Wynn at 6:51 in the 4th quarter.

Hughes now finishes the 2014 season with 10 sacks making him just the fourth Bill to ever record 20+ sacks in his first two seasons with the team.

Buffalo finished with 54 sacks on the season to lead the league.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Lawson: Big plays hurt

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2014 – 6:17 pm

The Bills through the first two weeks of the season had given up just one pass play of 20 yards or more. On Sunday against the Chargers they gave up six, including a pair of 49-yard catches to Malcom Floyd. It made scoring drives that much easier for San Diego in their 12-point victory.

“We allowed too many big plays,” said Manny Lawson. “We can’t have that to be a great team and to get to where we want to go.  We have to learn from our mistakes and limit the big play aspect.”

And even though Buffalo’s defense stiffened in the fourth quarter, Lawson felt it was too little, too late.

“We’ve got to start earlier,” he said. “We can’t wait until the fourth quarter to play defense.  We have to play defense as soon as the whistle is blown, as soon as the ball is kicked, as soon as we step onm the field.”


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Run ‘D’ emphasis in practice pays off

Posted by Chris Brown on August 9, 2014 – 2:20 am

The men on Buffalo’s defense weren’t happy with the way the Giants were able to run the ball at times against them in the Hall of Fame game last week. With a short turnaround and just three total practices before Friday night’s game at Carolina defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz set out to make their run defense a top priority. Mission accomplished.

Carolina’s run game was stymied from the get go by Buffalo’s first, second and third defensive unit. The longest run of the game was a quarterback scramble that went for 11 yards. At halftime the Panthers were averaging 1.7 yards per carry and at game’s end they had just 2.9 per rush.

“There was a big emphasis on that,” said Manny Lawson. “We wanted to correct last week moving on to this week. Being consistent more than anything in the run game and it’s one thing we really focused on in practice.”


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‘D’ had takeaways on the brain

Posted by Chris Brown on August 9, 2014 – 2:18 am

The Bills defense was top three in interceptions last season and top two in takeaways. On Friday night Buffalo’s defenders despite undertaking a new scheme showed they’re ready to pick up where they left off in 2013.

“That’s the main thing we want to pride ourselves on as a defense is getting takeaways as well as sacks. We did a good job of that last year,” said Da’Norris Searcy, whose second quarter INT led to a field goal. “We want to continue that going into this year. This year our goal is to get even more. That’s a good way to get our hands on the ball and we came up with them.”

Searcy’s pick came on a cover two look by Buffalo’s defense with Carolina QB Matt Blanchard simply overthrowing his intended target.

Manny Lawson had the first takeaway. After Jarius Wynn forced a quarterback fumble, Lawson lunged onto the ball for the recovery at the Carolina 28. A touchdown soon followed.

“Our defense is ball hungry and our offense capitalized off us getting turnovers for them,” said Lawson. “That’s one of the things we pride ourselves on as a defense.”

Jonathan Meeks closed out the turnover tally with an interception in the waning moments of the game to preserve the team’s two-point lead for the win.

“Once that first turnover happens everybody intensity level goes up even more and everybody is trying to get their hands on another one,” said Searcy. “I think we got three of them so it was a good day overall.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-6

Posted by Chris Brown on June 6, 2014 – 12:02 pm

Two weeks of OTAs are in the books with a week to go beginning this coming Monday. As always we’ll have full coverage here on Buffalobills.com. Here now are your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

I liked what Bills did in rounds 1,2,3 however they did not address DE. Manny Lawson has never played end and Wynn is a bubble player at most. Hughes is more of a situational pass rusher. I’m a bit concerned what they are doing. Since they won’t blitz as much the DE’s are more important under Schwartz. This puts more pressure on young DB’s as well. What do you think the future is at DE for 2014?

CB: I don’t know that you can assume that this defense under Schwartz won’t blitz as much. From what I’ve witnessed in OTAs with the blitz packages going in there are an array of packages that Schwartz has in his playbook. How often he uses them remains to be seen.

Lawson and Hughes will likely split the right defensive end role with Lawson in on more obvious run downs and Hughes on passing downs.

What you might need to consider is how often Schwartz’s defenses in the past have put an opponent in a situation where blitzing is not necessary.

Knowing that Schwartz’s Detroit defense last season finished first in the league in third down conversion percentage allowed (30.3%) and were second in the league in red zone defense (Bills were 14th and 6th) I’m going to give Buffalo’s defensive coordinator the benefit of the doubt that he’ll know when to blitz and how often to do so.


2 –
Hi Chris
I’m a long time Clemson fan and enjoyed watching C.J. Spiller returning kicks. He is one of the best I have ever seen at it and I billeve he could challenge Devin Hesters records. With the need at special teams, Do you think the Bills should try C.J. returning kickoffs? He does hold the FBS record for kickoff return touchdowns with 7.

Thanks, Chris Gerland

CB: It’s funny that you bring this up. As I wrote in our OTA practice notes column earlier this week C.J. Spiller was one of the kick returners in practice along with T.J. Graham and Leodis McKelvin. Spiller hasn’t returned a kick for the Bills since 2011, but it looks as though he’s at least being considered for the 2014 season. That being said I wouldn’t get excited about this possibly happening until we see it in a preseason game.


3 –
Hi Chris,

With the new additions at cornerback, and a new defensive coordinator, it almost seems like Nickell Robey has been getting lost in the mix, after a productive rookie campaign.

I’ve been wondering, has their been any talk about trying him out at safety as a possible replacement for Byrd?

Between his solid tackling and his playmaking ability, I think he could transition well into the role, which would also serve to reduce his height concerns. Jim Leonhard has had a decent career at FS for a shorter defensive back.

I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Thank you,
John
CB: I don’t think you have anything to worry about with Nickell Robey. First, Robey has looked solid in his nickel corner role. Yes, he will have competition, chiefly in the form of Corey Graham, but knowing how much New England goes four wide as well as other opponents on Buffalo’s roster like Denver, Detroit, Kansas City and Green Bay chances are Buffalo will need to make use of both of those slot defenders.

To help you breathe easier about Robey’s role on this team I’ll refer you to a recent quote by defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz on Robey.

“If you measure heart, if you measure things like that, he’s six-foot ten,” said Schwartz of Robey. “He’s been a guy that’s been impressive and it hasn’t just been from watching practice here.  Watching last year’s tape.  He’s very unique in some of the quickness he has.  He’s got great anticipation, sees the game very well and he’s certainly going to have a role. He’s been one of best players through our OTAs so far.” 


4 –
Hi Chris,

Thank you for all you do. Let me start by saying I’m extremely happy with our draft this year! My question is regarding our depth at the receiver position. I think it may be difficult for a guy like TJ Graham to make it on the field. Another guy I like is Marcus Easley. I know Easley helped out, and excelled on special teams last year. Do you think that they might keep a guy like TJ, and utilize his speed on special teams? If not I’m afraid I don’t think he’ll make the roster. I look forward to hearing your opinion!
Thanks,
Dan Edel
Buffalo native, teaching English in Thailand

CB: I do think T.J. is in for an uphill battle due mainly to the fact that additions like Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams are automatically ahead of him on the depth chart. Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin were draft choices deemed as fits by this coaching staff. Graham was inherited.

Add in the fact that the staff likes Kevin Elliott, who could carve out a role on special teams as well and both Graham and Easley will be battling for one of the final spots on Buffalo’s roster with players like Elliott and Chris Hogan, both of whom have shown well thus far in OTAs.


5 –
Chris;
With the trade of Stevie Johnson to the 49ers do they Bills have any financial obligations remaining from his contract?
Thanks and keep up the good work.
Howard
Rochester Hills, MI

CB: The figure I have is $10.225M in dead money, which the Bills can spread over the next three seasons, which is the length that Johnson’s contract ran.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-25

Posted by Chris Brown on April 25, 2014 – 4:22 pm

The draft is less than two weeks away. Feels like we’ve been waiting forever. For now here are some of your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,
Can you give some new insight  on how defensive ends will work under Schwartz? Besides Mario it seems like Bills have other options. Hughes was better as an OLB and I don’t see him as every down because of his size. Lawson also has never played DE as well. Do you see this as a major draft need? I feel worried that the sacks/pass rush will fall off because of the scheme change.

CB: While you are right that Lawson has very limited experience as a full time defensive end having played mostly in 3-4 defensive schemes in his career, he is an expert leverage player. So although long and wiry I believe Lawson can make that transition, most likely on the right side. He’s been up on the line enough in his career to know how to handle such a role. Of course the proof is in the pudding.

As for Hughes it’s certainly possible he’s reduced to a pass rushing role, but I think that’s something that will play out in the spring camps and training camp.

I do agree that it is somewhat of a hidden need for Buffalo that isn’t talked about much. They do need to find another fit for Schwartz’s scheme knowing things are changing.

 

2 – Hey Chris,

Last year attending Bills training camp at St. John Fisher, it appeared to me that EJ Manuel had an extremely good long ball. His release was quick, the throws were accurate, and the offense was often successful completing those long throws. However during the season I did not often see EJ attempt long throws. I wonder did you see the same thing I did at camp? If so, have you any thoughts about why they didn’t make all that many long passing attempts during the season?  Do you think we might see more of a long passing game this year?

Thanks,

Bernie


CB:
Last year the aim was to keep the offense on the field so deep throws, while potentially rewarding don’t provide a high success rate. With a young QB running things, the plan was to string together high percentage plays and not create too much risk. That’s why Buffalo ran the ball so much last season (most rushes in the NFL in 2013).

Provided EJ demonstrates more efficient decision making, particularly when under duress, through the offseason and preseason I do anticipate more long passes per game. Realistically though unless there is a flaw in an opponent’s secondary there are usually not much more than half a dozen of those kinds of plays attempted by one team in a game.

 

3 – Hi Chris.

Thanks for keeping everybody posted during free agency.  It’s certainly appreciated.

With the new CBA, is it legal for teams to have something like a “behavior clause” in a players contract?  For example “you lose  X number of dollars if you get more then 3 personal fouls this season” or you lose X number of dollars if you get in a fight with the media” etc.  I know Marrone is all about accountability and I think this would be a great way to increase accountability by hitting them where it hurts the most.  If that isn’t legal, could it be part of an incentive clause?  “No personal fouls equals a bonus at the end of the year, etc…

 

Thanks for your time.  Can’t wait for football season.

Harold

CB: To my knowledge morals clauses are permitted, but that doesn’t mean a player’s agent is going to openly accept it. In a good number of cases, the penalties handed down by the league for violation of personal conduct and substance abuse policies are pushed as sufficient deterrents by agents to avoid such morals clauses. However, if the money is significant a player is typically more accepting of the morals clauses that can sometimes come with it.

 

 

4 – Dear Chris,

Can you help me understand what the Bills are doing at both guard positions?  They just seem not to value that position very much on offense.  Kraig Urbik is an average player at best, and they seem to have a bit of a revolving door going on the left side.  Neither Colin Brown or Doug Legursky played very well last year.

Now they have signed Chris Williams, a move that attracted a lot of criticism from various sources, saying that he was the weakest link in a poor Rams line last season.  Why would the Bills want to bring such a player into Buffalo?

I would have thought they would like to better protect the huge investment they have made in EJ  Maunuel.  Can you provide me with some insight about what the Bills brain trust is thinking here?

Thanks and Regards,
Cameron Morrison
CB: I think we sometimes fall victim to media assessments of players and treat it as gospel. In the case of Chris Williams I think he’s a decided upgrade at left guard. As I’ve mentioned on my blog I watched three of his games last year against the #1, #5 and #6 ranked defenses last season, all of which he had to face twice since they were his division opponents in the NFC West in Seattle, San Francisco and Arizona.

Williams was steady and reliable in all three games, all the first meetings against each of those teams. He didn’t have any busts and performed well in both run and pass. Was he super spectacular and making eye popping plays? No, but he was effective and truthfully that’s all you need at left guard.

Knowing he’ll be playing in between two of Buffalo’s best starters in Cordy Glenn and Eric Wood should stand to raise his game another peg. Much like Williams I think Urbik is a steady player at right guard.
4 – Hey Chris,
What are your thoughts on the Bills saying that they’re good with their current qb situation as well as having their free safety in the roster already?! It’s mind boggling to me considering the mess they got into when EJ got injured. They didn’t have the confidence in Searcy/Williams/Meeks when Byrd had his injury to start the season, but now they do? Is it just pre-draft strategy or do you think they honestly believe it?

Thanks, Ryan

CB: I do think they believe it. Doug Whaley and his personnel department as well as the coaching staff has an enormous amount of confidence in EJ Manuel. They are also very high on Thad Lewis as a backup prospect. Now with Lewis’ former quarterbacks coach in Detroit now here in Todd Downing, they’re even more confident that Lewis and Manuel for that matter can both take the next step in their respective development.

As for safety I think they do genuinely believe in the talent they have on the roster. Aaron Williams is likely to be the free safety with the strong safety spot filled by one of the candidates trying to land the job. I really was impressed with what I saw from Duke Williams last year in the practice setting. I didn’t see enough of Meeks who was hurt and Da’Norris Searcy had his best season last year as a hybrid subpackage linebacker.

You have to remember the Bills drafted in advance of losing Byrd in last year’s draft when they took Williams and Meeks back to back in rounds four and five. They prepped for that loss. Now the defense is changing so they’ll essentially be rookies again. Knowing that the Bills picked up veteran Corey Graham, who granted has been a cornerback most of his career, but will be in the mix at safety as well.

I think they’ve done a good job of covering their bases there.

 

5 – Chris,

I don’t see the Bills drafting a right tackle in the draft because historical they don’t draft lineman that high. The Bills have depth at WR and TE but need that one big play-maker. Even with Chandler back and lots of speed wideouts, what director do you think they might go in rounds 1-2. Mike Evans and Eric Ebron will probably be on the board with Watkins gone. Which player do you think the Bills will covet more? What are the chances they pick either of them at 9?

CB: It’s hard to know for sure what the Bills think since they lock up their draft board like every other team. I will say that both players are dynamic difference makers for a passing game and both would be a huge help to EJ Manuel.

As we’ve drawn closer to the draft I think it’s becoming less likely that Mike Evans is still on the board at nine. He’s most likely to go to Tampa at pick 7 as they are in dire need of receiver help. Ebron is more likely to be on the board at nine.

I believe if the top tackles are off the board and Evans is gone as well, Ebron might be the best option left.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills not expected to get compensatory pick

Posted by Chris Brown on February 10, 2014 – 1:24 pm

The NFL typically issues their compensatory picks to the clubs in late March at the owners’ meetings, but the experts out in cyberspace, who have largely cracked the league’s unpublicized formula for awarding compensatory selections in the draft, and accurately predict what teams will get extra picks, don’t see the Bills getting anything additional this spring.

Recently on Philly.com, compensatory pick prognosticator Jimmy Kempski forecast how the league will award these picks and to which clubs. Based on his projections the Bills will not be awarded any compensatory picks.

One of the main reasons why is a team, first and foremost, must have a net loss of free agents from the previous offseason. Based on past history there are several free agents who do not fall under the “net loss” formula. An example would be restricted free agents or exclusive rights free agents who are not tendered by their teams, like David Nelson last year.

So based on those stipulations the Bills broke even on free agents, losing Andy Levitre and Chad Rinehart, while signing Alan Branch and Manny Lawson.

Kevin Kolb does not count because he was released by Arizona and not an unrestricted free agent.

The league only awards 32 total compensatory picks a year in the draft. If there has not been enough player movement to warrant the full 32 compensatory picks in that fashion, the rest are awarded as net value picks, usually to teams who lost a free agent that signed for top 10 money at their position.

Such would be the case for the Bills with Andy Levitre, who signed for big money in Tennessee last year. However, with a high rate of player movement last year in free agency these projections indicate that every single compensatory pick this year will be awarded to teams that experienced a net loss in free agents. So teams like Buffalo (with Levitre) and Oakland (with Phillip Wheeler) would not receive a seventh round compensatory as a net value pick.

Their projection list is below with Pittsburgh and Green Bay the only clubs forecast to land picks at the end of the round three, the highest round in which a compensatory selection is given.

3 – Pittsburgh – Mike Wallace
3 – Green Bay – Greg Jennings
4 – San Francisco – Dashon Goldson
4 – Baltimore – Paul Kruger
4 – Detroit – Gosder Cherilus
4 – Baltimore – Dannell Ellerbe
5 – Houston – Connor Barwin
5 – New York Jets – LaRon Landry
5 – Baltimore – Cary Williams
5 – Atlanta – Brent Grimes
5 – Pittsburgh – Keenan Lewis
5 – New York Giants – Martellus Bennett
5 – Baltimore – Ed Reed
5 – Houston – Glover Quin
6 – New York Jets – Mike DeVito
6 – Green Bay – Erik Walden
6 – New York Jets – Dustin Keller
6 – New England – Patrick Chung
6 – Cincinnati – Manny Lawson
6 – St. Louis – Brandon Gibson
6 – New York Jets – Shonn Greene
7 – St. Louis – Bradley Fletcher
7 – Dallas – Mike Jenkins
7 – Cincinnati – Pat Sims
7 – St. Louis – Craig Dahl
7 – St. Louis – Rob Turner
7 – Dallas – Victor Butler
7 – Cincinnati – Bruce Gradkowski
7 – Tampa Bay – Geno Hayes
7 – Atlanta – Will Svitek
7 – Atlanta – Christopher Owens
7 – San Diego – Shaun Phillips


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Posted in Inside the Bills

DE/LB Jefferson has Lawson body type

Posted by Chris Brown on January 16, 2014 – 6:36 pm

Buffalo has been busy signing young talent to their roster since the regular season came to a close. That process continued Thursday as the team announced the signing of DE Willie Jefferson. And Jefferson’s build resembles that of a current Bills linebacker.

Jefferson (6’5” 241), who was on the Houston Texans roster for a period of time last season, looks like a Manny Lawson (6’5” 240) clone at least in terms of body type. He’s long and angular, and that makes it tough for offensive linemen to get their hands on end/linebackers like this because the long arms of the defender often make contact with the offensive linemen first.

The future free agent signing is a bit raw having been on the offensive side of the ball earlier in his college career. In his first two collegiate seasons Jefferson was at Baylor as a wide receiver before he transferred to Stephen F. Austin and flipped to the defensive side of the ball.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hughes in top 10 territory

Posted by Chris Brown on December 10, 2013 – 1:10 pm

It’s been a productive season for Jerry Hughes in his first year with the Bills, and ProFootballFocus is taking notice. The stat crunchers and film reviewers of every play of every game, have Hughes ranked in their top 10 at the 3-4 OLB position.

Hughes is rated tied for seventh overall among 3-4 OLBs this season. As you’ll see in the PFF chart below, only five of the players listed above him have a higher combination number of sacks, QB hits and QB hurries than Hughes (48). His pass rush rating of 13.9 is also only bested by three other players in the top 10 as well (Houston, Dumervil, Mathis).

Mario Williams and Manny Lawson rank 13th and 22nd overall on this chart.

 

Ratings

Coverage

#

Name

Team

Snaps

Overall

Rush

Cov.

Run

Pen.

# of Pen

QB Sk

QB Ht

QB Hu

BP

Tks

Ass

MT

St

1  Justin   Houston KC 724 31.8 17.9 3.7 7.6 2.6 0-0 11 8 42 4 32 2 12 38
2  Elvis   Dumervil BLT 479 23.6 23.9 1.2 4.7 -6.2 8-2 10 9 34 1 13 6 0 19
3  Brian   Orakpo WAS 735 23.1 9.3 2.6 9.5 1.7 1-0 9 11 26 2 30 11 5 30
4  Trent   Cole PHI 764 21.2 10.9 -1.9 9.6 2.6 0-0 6 10 26 2 33 4 4 33
5  Tamba   Hali KC 830 21.1 12.6 2.7 4.8 1.0 2-0 12 7 52 0 20 8 7 25
6  Robert   Mathis IND 719 20.3 14.9 -0.3 4.2 1.5 2-0 15 3 33 2 26 2 6 33
7  Aldon   Smith SF 407 13.9 9.8 -0.2 5.7 -1.4 3-0 7 5 22 0 16 2 2 19
7  Jerry   Hughes BUF 529 13.9 13.6 -1.5 4.9 -3.1 6-2 9 5 34 1 22 1 4 19
9  Terrell   Suggs BLT 764 13.8 1.8 0.4 10.9 0.7 3-1 9 13 32 0 48 7 4 46
10  Junior   Galette NO 689 12.8 11.0 0.1 1.7 0.0 3-1 9 11 30 0 23 7 3 26

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Time on field benefiting Hughes’ game most

Posted by Chris Brown on November 14, 2013 – 4:27 pm

Bills pass rusher Jerry Hughes doesn’t deny that he learned a lot in his three years playing behind Pro Bowl ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, but he’s seen his game progress more in 10 games this season than in the previous three.

“It’s helping out tremendously,” Hughes told Buffalobills.com. “It’s always great to sit on the sideline and learn the game from two established vets like those two guys were, but to actually be out on the field with your teammates and playing a full game, playing with the guys, those things you really can’t practice for or hold into account how valuable it is and you get more of a feel for the speed of the game versus watching it on the sideline.”

Hughes said playing behind Freeney and Mathis was a pass rush education, but the impact he’s been able to make for the Bills this season is his most rewarding accomplishment to this point in his career. His teammates also have quickly developed a respect for the way Hughes goes about his business.

“I think just knowing him the way I do a simple mindset, just come in be the best that we can be and try to make a difference here,” said Manny Lawson. “We hear a lot of talk about what the Bills used to be and our mantra is we’re just going to be who we are. Jerry is a very competitive guy. He’s not afraid to ask questions and learn from the coaches and myself just what’s going on. We talk and communicate well on the field and just generally he wants to learn the game and be better at the game and that’s all you can really ask for from a player.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Manny Lawson makes the trip

Posted by Chris Brown on November 9, 2013 – 3:27 pm

He was excused from Friday’s practice by head coach Doug Marrone and was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh. But Buffalobills.com has confirmed that LB Manny Lawson has made the trip with the team for tomorrow’s game against the Steelers.

Knowing Lawson’s reason for missing Friday’s practice was not injury related the veteran linebacker is expected to start Sunday on Buffalo’s defense.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills Friday injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on November 8, 2013 – 2:32 pm

Manny Lawson is not dealing with an injury, but he was added to the team’s injury report Friday after being excused from practice.

Lawson was officially listed as questionable after missing Friday’s practice to tend to a personal matter. Head coach Doug Marrone intended to talk to the veteran linebacker this afternoon to get a better handle on his situation.

Player Pos Injury Participation   Wednesday Participation   Thursday Participation   Friday Game Status
Kyle Williams DT Achilles DNP FP FP Probable
Marquise Goodwin WR Hamstring DNP LP FP Probable
Robert Woods WR Ankle DNP DNP DNP Doubtful
Thad Lewis QB Ribs FP FP FP Probable
EJ Manuel QB Knee FP FP FP Probable
Manny Lawson LB Non-injury   related N/A N/A DNP Questionable

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Posted in Inside the Bills