Inside The Bills

3 Bills get PFF Pro Bowl recognition

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2014 – 10:37 am

They weren’t named to their starting Pro Bowl positions, but Pro Football Focus named three Bills players as reserves on their Pro Bowl roster.

Nigel Bradham, Corey Graham and Marcell Dareus all earned reserve Pro Bowl spots on the PFF all-star roster. Here was their assessment of the Bills’ trio at their respective positions.

PFF PRO BOWL DEFENSE

Defensive Tackle
Starters: Aaron Donald (SL), Gerald McCoy (TB), Sheldon Richardson (NYJ) and Fletcher Cox (PHI)
Reserves: Ndamukong Suh (DET), Muhammad Wilkerson (NYJ), Calais Campbell (ARZ) and Marcell Dareus (BUF)

Breakdown: Again we’ve taken some of the guys balloted as defensive ends and slotted them here, given how they’re used as interior defenders. No big surprises — all of these guys make enough plays that it would be harder not to notice them.

Outside Linebacker
Starters: DeAndre Levy (DET) and Brandon Marshall (DEN)
Reserves: Thomas Davis (CAR) and Nigel Bradham (BUF)

Breakdown: Again we’ve changed things around so we’re looking at those traditional 4-3 outside linebackers. Levy was an easy pick with a superb season as the Detroit defense dominated. Marshall has rightly got plenty of credit with a breakout year.

Cornerback
Starters: Chris Harris Jr. (DEN), Vontae Davis (IND), Darrelle Revis (NE) and Richard Sherman (SEA)
Reserves: Orlando Scandrick (DAL), Sean Smith (KC), Desmond Trufant (ATL) and Corey Graham (BUF)

Breakdown: One of the more controversial positions. Harris and Davis have had wonderful years, while Revis and Sherman have in different ways dominated against quality opposition. The more up-and-down nature of years by others left room for players in smaller markets (Graham) to make quite the impression and get backup duties.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills expecting quick game from Peyton

Posted by Chris Brown on December 7, 2014 – 9:49 am

It’s nothing they haven’t seen before. Buffalo’s defensive line is used to seeing opposing quarterbacks try to get the ball out quick to neutralize the Bills formidable pass rush. The difference with Peyton Manning however, is the different ways he can mix and match plays to best fit the defensive look he’s seeing.

“Everybody tries to have a quick release again against us for the most part,” said Marcell Dareus. “He’s a Hall of Fame quarterback. He can speed it up, he can slow it down, he can remix it, he can flip it around. He can do whatever he wants to do with the offense. We just have to sit back and be prepared for the guy.”

At the same time Dareus is looking forward to playing Manning and the Broncos offense.

“Oh yeah. I love playing these guys like him because I feel like he will not only elevate my game but elevate everybody around us,” said Dareus. “I know we’re going to go out there and do the best we can. We’re going join the mile high club, they’re a mile above sea level. We’re going to try to do what we can. We’re in one of the coldest cities in the league, we have a bunch of snow. We’re going to go out here and do what we can against these Broncos.”


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Dareus over Broncos passing on him in ’11

Posted by Chris Brown on December 6, 2014 – 10:31 am

md-mad
With the second pick in the 2011 NFL draft the Denver Broncos picked Von Miller. With the very next pick the Bills took Marcell Dareus. Buffalo’s Pro Bowl DT didn’t appreciate getting passed over by Denver or Carolina, who took Cam Newton first overall.

In an interview with Dareus not long after he was picked by Buffalo I asked him why he was so chapped about going third overall. This was his answer back in 2011.

“I worked my butt off to the point where I’m not going to give you a reason not to pick me,” Dareus said. “You’re not going to look at me and be like, ‘Well he’s good, but…” That ‘but’ word is never going to come up when you mention my name. My sole focus was for me not to give you a reason to not pick me and you still don’t? Okay, I understand you have needs somewhere else, but if you need somebody to control your front and be a commander across the front and not let anything happen? I work my butt off to do that, and you pass me up still? Okay, I’ve got something for you.”

Then in an interview with Hall of Famer Michael Irvin on WQAM radio in Miami, Dareus back in 2011 promised to make life difficult for the Broncos, who he played against as a rookie.

“Denver I’ll get a chance to play them in the regular season (this year) and I’m going to make it hell for them every time I play against them,” he said.

Buffalo won that game in 2011 by a score of 40-14. Dareus had four tackles including one for loss.

Four years later, however, Dareus is a more mature player and doesn’t hold any ill feelings toward the Broncos.

“I don’t like to hold grudges,” Dareus said. “I came out, I said what I had to say and I held up my end for the most part. But we’re fighting for so much more than some pick spot. I’m with these guys, I love these guys to death. We’re going to continue to fight and claw and get ourselves in the position they’re in.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kyle, Cordy sick; Dareus, Watkins limited

Posted by Chris Brown on December 3, 2014 – 4:10 pm

injury-report-header

 

 

 

 

Bills DT Kyle Williams and OT Cordy Glenn were both absent at practice Wednesday due to illness. Limited in practice were a handful of players including DT Marcell Dareus and WR Sammy Watkins.

Stepping in for Glenn at left tackle was Chris Hairston and filling in for Kyle Williams was Stefan Charles.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday
Jarius Wynn DE Knee DNP
Chris Gragg TE Knee DNP
Kyle Williams DT Illness DNP
Cordy Glenn DT Illness DNP
Dan Carpenter K Right Groin LP
Bacarri Rambo S Hamstring LP
Sammy Watkins WR Hip LP
Marcell Dareus DT Hip LP
Chris Hogan WR Hamstring LP
Robert Woods WR Ankle LP

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Where Schwartz has made ‘D’ better

Posted by Chris Brown on November 30, 2014 – 10:24 am

There weren’t many who thought that Buffalo’s defense, which was a top 10 unit under former coordinator Mike Pettine, could do better in a different scheme the following year under Jim Schwartz. So far Schwartz’s unit has proved the naysayers wrong.

Buffalo is currently on pace to shatter their own team record set last season in sacks (57). They currently lead the league with 46 and are on pace for 67, which would be among the five highest in NFL history.

They’re also fourth overall, fourth in points allowed, eighth against the run, fifth against the pass, third in takeaways and first in the NFL on third down.

“It’s a different mentality,” said Marcell Dareus of Schwartz’s approach. “He’s a totally different guy. He just comes with his own thing. He puts us in the best position and we do the best that we can.”


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Dareus on difference between Pettine & Schwartz

Posted by Chris Brown on November 29, 2014 – 3:10 pm

Bills DT Marcell Dareus in the midst of a 10-sack season was asked what the difference is between his last two defensive coordinators, Mike Pettine, now the head coach in Cleveland and Jim Schwartz.

“Pettine he likes to mess with the people, Schwartz is more stay with the game plan, mess with your head, but also, ‘I’m on you’ type of D-coordinator,” said Dareus. “He’s just a little different, but they’re both great D-coordinators with good game plans so it’s going to be exciting.”

The Bills and Browns have split their last six meetings together.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dareus: Matchup with Pettine will be fun

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2014 – 10:21 am

The Bills defense is just a year removed from being coached by Browns head coach Mike Pettine, who served as their defensive coordinator in the 2013 season. Not surprisingly, the players on defense are excited to square off against him and his Cleveland team in a pivotal AFC game.

“It’s going to be fun,” said Marcell Dareus. “I like Pettine. He’s a good dude. He’s got a cool personality. So I know what we’re going to get with him. He’s going to try to pick on each one of us because he knows our strengths and weaknesses because we rolled with him for a year so I’m excited about it.”


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Vick brings dose of unpredictability

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2014 – 1:18 pm

In his last two starts Michael Vick has not turned the ball over as the Jets starting QB and with a stout defense it helped lift New York to an unlikely win over Pittsburgh in Week 10. You never quite know what you’re going to get in terms of performance and consistency from Vick week to week, and for Buffalo’s defenders that can be a bit bothersome.

“You just never know what you’re going to get with that guy,” said Marcell Dareus, who is tied for the team lead with Mario Williams with 10 sacks on the year. “So we’re going to try our best to put him in a box and do what we can with him because you never know what you’re going to get. He could come out there and have the game of his life or he could come out there and play mediocre. We just don’t know so we’re going to try our best to prepare and be ready for him.”

Dareus said it helps that they saw Vick live back in Week 8 when he came on in relief of Geno Smith who threw three first half interceptions in the first meeting against the Bills.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Players not sure what they’ll get from fans

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2014 – 11:10 am

It’s by all accounts a neutral site game. About 67-thousand tickets were distributed for free by the Lions ticket office for the Bills-Jets Monday night game. But the players aren’t sure what to expect when it comes to the atmosphere inside Ford Field Monday night.

“I absolutely don’t have a clue,” said Marcell Dareus. “I don’t know what’s going on. I just know we’ll be out on the field and we’re going to go out there and try to get a win. I hope Detroit comes out and some supporters I don’t know who they’re going to be rooting for, but as long as we get somebody to come out because I like to give people a show.”

“I have no idea to tell you the truth,” said Fred Jackson. “It’s going to be an experience that we’ll take in stride. I’m sure there will be a lot of football fans there. Maybe not necessarily fans of both of the teams playing, but teams that are there or fans that are there to watch some football. It’ll be interesting to see and I’m excited to see what happens.”


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Dareus, Jackson: We’re playing for our fans

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2014 – 9:55 am

Bills players know what their fans have been dealing with in Western New York. They dealt with it personally right along with them before flying out to Detroit to get ready for tonight’s game against the Jets at Ford Field. So when asked if they’re playing all the more for their Buffalo faithful, the answer was a resounding yes.

“The city is on our back,” said Marcell Dareus. “We were the lucky ones to get out to still shine light on such a gloomy situation. So we’re going to try our best to bring it home for the home team.”

“Anytime you’ve got a city going through the type of turmoil we’ve gone through you want to go out and give them something to hang their hat on,” said Fred Jackson. “We definitely want to go out and play for them. We definitely want to try to get this win, not only for ourselves but for everybody watching back home in anticipation.”

“We’ve talked about that as an organization and as a team,” said Bills team President Russ Brandon. “With what our community is going through right now we look at it as a three hour opportunity to take people’s mind off what is in front of them. And what they’ve been through and provide them Buffalo Bills football and hopefully it’ll be a great outcome for them, our fans and we expect to represent the Buffalo region and community in the appropriate manner.”


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Bills GM on future of Dareus, Hughes

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2014 – 12:10 pm

Bills DE Jerry Hughes is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, while Marcell Dareus still has another year left on his contract, after the team picked up his fifth-year option. Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Bills GM Doug Whaley was asked if contract negotiations have been opened with Hughes.

Whaley as a matter of personal policy prefers not to have ongoing contract negotiations with players so as not to present a distraction. Buffalo’s GM addressed both Hughes and Dareus.

“Those guys are great players. We would love to have them, and those are the things we’ll discuss at the end of the season, which we do every year,” he said. “We don’t negotiate in the media, but they’ve brought tremendous production to our defensive line and helped to make our defense one of the best in the league and we’re going to do whatever we can to keep them.”

As for Dareus Whaley said it’s been good to see Dareus mature through the course of the year.

“We look at it this way. There’s a maturation process for a lot of players,” said Whaley. “He’s got a difficult situation with his support staff. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do this year. It’s a situation we’ll go over and review and set a plan going forward once the season is over with.”


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Fan Friday 11-14

Posted by Chris Brown on November 14, 2014 – 11:58 am

Here are your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

Question on the Bills offensive philosophy.  When Marrone and Hackett were first hired by the Bills, there was a lot of talk from them about the up tempo style of offense they ran at Syracuse and has become so common place in college football and with some NFL teams.  They seemed to be big believers in running a LOT of offensive plays, limiting the defensive adjustments that could be made by calling the plays at the line, and dictating to the defense through their pace and related “matchup” problems the lack of substitutions could create for a defense–not to mention the notion of tiring out a defensive pass rush by forcing D-linemen to stay on the field for an entire series.

They started with that philosophy last year, but after EJ got hurt, they seemed to reduce the use of the up tempo offense citing the inexperience of the backup QBs.  In the preseason, we saw a little more of the up tempo pace, albeit with very very limited success due to EJ’s continued struggles with execution.  And so once again, they seemed to deviate from that philosophy.

But now with an experienced QB in Kyle Orton, execution and understanding of the playbook doesn’t appear to be as much of an issue.  Yet we haven’t seen much use of that up tempo style except in two minute situations–which Orton seems to have done quite well with, as evidenced by the Detroit game, the Vikings game, and even the 4th quarter of the Patriots game when they were behind two scores but still in striking distance midway through the quarter.

Have Marrone and Hackett simply abandoned the up tempo “philosophy”?  If so, why?  The QB doesn’t seem to be an issue.  Granted, the O-line is a bit on the young side in certain positions.  But perhaps an up tempo pace would help the O-line out if the defensive line can’t rotate fresh legs all the time.  Or might we see a return to the up tempo pace on a regular basis (instead of just two minute situations) at some point in the near future?

Thanks,
Jeffrey S.

CB: I think what needs to be remembered here is the collection of youth on offense. At the receiver position and now with two new additions in the offensive backfield in Bryce Brown and Boobie Dixon. I think that is what has the offensive staff convinced that a more methodical approach leads to better overall execution. There is little value in upping the tempo if your players can’t execute consistently because that puts your defense back on the field all the faster.

Now while your point about how Orton has run the offense in two-minute situations is well taken, you need to remember that defenses typically play differently in those situations as well. Just like offenses tend to pass more at those times in the game, defenses tend to play more conservatively, giving up yards in exchange for time on the clock.

So the success you often see in two minute situations aren’t as likely during other parts of the game. It’s clear the coaching staff believes that moving at a steady pace with a huddle is the best practice. So I don’t anticipate it changing any time soon.

 

2 – Hello Chris
I have a couple questions. When will the coaching staff see that the QB play is not the problem? EJ could throw a pick a game and not fumble. Plus he had the strength in the pocket plus agility to avoid half the sacks Orton has had. It is play calling I feel. We run such a melo offense. Out of 73 starts for Orton he has 8 comebacks EJ had I believe 4 in just 14 starts. We should have let him continue to develop. Orton has continually been trying to make up for his mistakes. (Pick six in Detroit. That game should have never been that close)
Secondly do they hope CJ may come back with the IR they placed him on? Thanks again for all your coverage of the best team in sports.

Jedediah
Palm Coast, FL

CB: I think Buffalo’s coaching staff would disagree with you. As coach Marrone said when he made the quarterback change, he needed more production from the position. EJ’s completion percentage had dropped below 60 percent and was missing open receivers. They were simply leaving too many yards on the field. For an offense that was starved for points it was a conscious decision by Marrone.

You can make an argument that they should’ve left EJ in to keep developing, but the pressure to reach the postseason trumped Manuel’s on field development.

As for C.J. Spiller we’ll have to see where he’s at when we reach Week 16, the first week he’ll be eligible to return off of I-R. It’s too early to tell where he’ll be in his healing at that point.

 

3 -  @ChrisBrownBills
Will we be able to afford to keep Hughes and Dareus with both their contracts up in the next 2 years?

connordomiano

CB: It’s my understanding that the Bills would like to re-sign Jerry Hughes and that’s job number one on the defensive side of the ball. Picking up Dareus’ option buys them time to address his contract. The catch here is the top three salaries on the team right now are Dareus, Kyle Williams and Mario Williams. Investing another big contract in the defensive line could be argued as an imbalanced approach to the salary cap putting a large percentage of it in just one position group.

At the same time it’s hard to argue with a unit that has largely carried the defense the last season plus which leads the league in sacks and is a top 10 run defense.

The Bills will need to be creative, and I am far from a cap expert, but with the salary cap continually going up in this era of NFL prosperity there is probably a way to make it all work.

 

4 -  @ChrisBrownBills

What are the Bills future plans with the HB position? Any chance they can make a run at Mark Ingram, Adrian Peterson?

killerbeekevin

CB: I think we first need to take a look at who will still be under contract next season. Fred Jackson signed a one-year extension this past summer. Brown and Dixon will still be under contract for 2015. So the only free agent is C.J. Spiller and it’s my understanding that the Bills would like to keep their former first-round pick in the fold. And Spiller has said more than once that he would like to remain with the Bills.

Whether the two sides can agree on terms is the obvious question. If for some reason they cannot only then do I see them exploring other possible options.

You’re also assuming that Peterson and Ingram will make it to the free agent market. I think it’s unlikely to happen with Ingram with the production he’s put up when healthy this season. Peterson’s off the field matters may change the conversation in Minnesota, but he’s still a dynamic player and the linchpin of the Vikings offense.

 

5 – Hi Chris;

I appreciate all the updates you and John do all week long to keep us up to date on all things Bills-related.

Can you update us on the  Mike Williams situation? I know the furor over his agent’s supposed request for a trade was negated by Mike, who says he wants to play  here. Since then, we haven’t heard anything about him. Is he still on the ’benched’ list? Will he return? He seems to have vanished into thin air and no one seems to talk about him! Thanks for your feedback.

Darlene  in PA

CB: Coach Marrone has been pressed on this subject with the most recent flurry of questions coming this week. With the offense last in the league in red zone touchdown percentage and the acquisition of Mike Williams executed to help the offense in that area specifically, he was asked why Williams has been inactive in two of the last four games.

Coach Marrone cited a number of different reasons including the challenge of only dressing 46 players on game day and the needs of special teams and versatile players. He also flatly stated that right now a couple of other players are performing better than him.

Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett also hinted at how Williams and Kyle Orton are still working on their on field chemistry where Orton can trust Williams on any given play to be in the right place at the right time. These appear to be the biggest hurdles in Williams getting on the field.

He was active Thursday night and got four snaps on offense and six on special teams. He was targeted once in the red zone.


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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.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

A couple of big problems for Miami’s OL

Posted by Chris Brown on November 11, 2014 – 5:10 pm

By now everyone is familiar with the challenge the Dolphins will have with Dallas Thomas making his first career start at right tackle and facing Mario Williams. The bigger challenge might be the one Miami C Samson Satele has in facing Marcell Dareus.

Dareus has been an unstoppable force of late and Satele seems to know that he will need double team help on Buffalo’s Pro Bowl DT.

“He brings a lot of intensity to the game. He’s a big man, strong man. I’m not big, I’m not strong. I’m the opposite of that,” Satele said. “So I’ve just got to work on my technique. He’s leading their D-Line (defensive line) in sacks. I think he’s got 10 or close to that. You know it’s going to be a challenge and every week is a challenge for us. That’s why we play, we love it.”

Dareus is coming off a three-sack performance against the Chiefs as he had half of the team’s sacks last Sunday.

“I feel like I’m playing the same,” said Dareus. “It’s just, getting older, the game of football and knowledge of it is coming a lot more to me so I think I’m just taking more advantage of the knowledge I’ve picked up from the time I’ve been in the league and just having fun with and playing with Kyle, Mario, and Jerry just makes it all worth it.”

The Bills have 15 sacks in their last three games.

 


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Fan Friday 10-31

Posted by Chris Brown on October 31, 2014 – 11:41 am

It’s the bye week so focus on your fantasy rosters this week Bills fans. Here are your questions this week from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills. Keep them coming.

1 – Hey Chris ,
Was wondering a couple of things when it comes to EJ & his history with the Bills & prior to . When EJ First came to the Bills the HC & OC led us to believe that they wanted him to have a veteran mentor (which was to be Kevin Kolb) to either sit behind & learn or play & have some one that has played the position to bounce things off of to learn from . So I am wondering why everyone is in such a uproar over this switch ? They are just going back to plan A correct ?

The second part to the question is every article or write-up on EJ prior to him being drafted by the Bills had pointed out a lot if not all of his short comings as a player, It seems from a fan stand point that when it comes to the most important position on a NFL team the Bills come up short when it has come to their decisions at that position both past & present. Were any of those articles or opinions taken into consideration while thinking of drafting him? It seems as though the only people high on EJ were those at one Bills Dr. Then to pass on available QB’s this past draft (if for nothing else to ramp up competition) they pass again on others that had as much if not more potential & better resume than EJ as a backup plan. Personal opinion it seems as though the coaches of this regime in A LOT of different ways show more rookie tendencies than the players !!

Thanks for your time & as always your insight on this & all our fan questions !!
Mr. T from Fort Myers via Nashville

CB: Yes, there was a plan to have a veteran quarterback on hand from the get go and that was Kevin Kolb. He began training camp as the first QB through in the rotation, but it was a competition for the starting job. I think most were expecting Kolb to be the starter at the outset and if EJ came on he’d succeed him. We all know that plan went off the rails early.

I would disagree that every time the Bills have tried to pick a quarterback it has been the wrong quarterback. I’m not absolving quarterbacks drafted in the past for the trajectory of their careers with the Bills, but you do need to look at the circumstances around them.

Constant coaching turnover particularly at the coordinator position with different schemes and systems coming through during a young quarterback’s developmental stages is extremely disruptive to a QB’s progress and growth.

Let’s take J.P. Losman and Trent Edwards’ time with the Bills as an example. Two young quarterbacks who saw a lot of change in their short time with the club.

Losman’s rookie season was 2004. Tom Clements was the offensive coordinator under Mike Mularkey. The next season Mularkey takes play calling responsibility from Clements. After Mularkey is moved out the system changes, Steve Fairchild comes in as the new coordinator with a new system in 2006. After 2007, Edwards’ rookie year, he leaves to coach in college and Turk Schonert is inserted and tweaks the system again. By the 2009 season Losman is gone and Dick Jauron a week before the opener fires Schonert and promotes Alex Van Pelt to run the offense.

A year later Chan Gailey is the head coach with a completely different offense. Edwards’ tenure last only a couple of games into 2010 when he’s benched and eventually released as the Ryan Fitzpatrick era begins.

Now would Losman or Edwards ever fully got it and been successful quarterbacks in this league? Maybe not. Some might even say probably not, but the circumstances that existed in terms of coaching changes and scheme certainly decreased the chances of either of those two developing properly at the NFL level.

There is a value in continuity in the NFL. Organizations like Green Bay, Pittsburgh and the NY Giants have proven it. They limit turnover in an effort to let their players develop and flourish. Does it always work? No, but it has a track record of far more success than failure.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills.

Any news on how EJ is getting on? Also really impressed by his attitude on the sidelines on game day from what I have seen.
rmstrong_1982

CB: By all accounts EJ has been a pro’s pro. We’ll have an in depth story on the work Manuel has been putting in over the past month since he assumed the backup role on Buffalobills.com Saturday. Some great insight from EJ and quarterbacks coach Todd Downing on Manuel’s trust in the system and the extra work he puts in early in the morning with Kyle Orton and long after practice is over on the field. Check it out tomorrow!

 

3 - @ChrisBrownBills

Just curious why Mario Williams snaps have decreased over the past few weeks?

TheRealSeanK

CB: This was a question that both defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and head coach Doug Marrone addressed. Here was Schwartz’s response to Mario Williams drop in snap count the past three weeks.

“I don’t count reps,” said Schwartz. “I’m just worried about performance and production. If our defense is being productive then that’s the only thing we care about. Everybody else can worry about stats and snap counts and everything else, it’s about trying to win the game and doing what we think is best to win the game.”

It’s likely that Schwartz believes in quality over quantity with Mario Williams. I believe him when he says he doesn’t count reps, but perhaps in reviewing game tape he’s found that Williams’ gives him more quality reps (pass rush chiefly) when he plays between 38-45 snaps than when he plays 48-55 snaps a game. The other possibility is Jarius Wynn when he goes in is providing very little drop off in play.

Last week’s game is a good example. Wynn played 44 snaps to Williams’ 40. Wynn had three tackles, a sack and a quarterback hit. Williams had three tackles, a half sack and a forced fumble. Schwartz says they care about performance.

If Wynn is performing leave him in there. In a tight game when the outcome is on the line I’m sure Mario will be in the game.

Coach Marrone earlier this season indicated that he wanted to keep Williams fresh for important third down pass rushes late in a couple of the recent games. This past week up 20 points it’s my belief they wanted to keep him out of harm’s way so as not to risk injury.

The direct beneficiary when Mario Williams doesn’t get his usual number of reps, which is usually around 75 percent of the snaps is Jarius Wynn. The rotational end has performed well this season, and just about every game the percentage of their two snap counts adds up to 100 percent because Wynn is often subbing in for Williams. It will be interesting to see where it goes in the second half of the season.

 

4 – Hi Chris,

Thanks for all the inside info, great reading your work all the time!  My question is regarding Marcell Dareus. He is having a phenomenal year but there still are the negative off the field events that took place in the offseason. Will he be facing any fines or suspensions for his incidents? It would be a shame to have him miss even one game.

Thanks again!
Chris

CB: Marcell is having a great season. Seven sacks in half a season for a defensive tackle, as Jim Schwartz said is pretty hard to do, and that’s coming from a guy who coached Ndamukong Suh.

It doesn’t appear that Dareus will be facing any league fines or suspensions this season for what happened this past offseason. It’s likely that he’ll face some kind of league discipline next year, much the way Nigel Bradham did when he was suspended for the season opener this year, for his off the field incident in the summer of 2013.

 

5 – Chris,

I think Hackett has completely failed on getting Mike Williams into the game plan.  I think Mike Williams could be a very effective WR.  The QB should be dropping back and the OC should have Watkins – Woods and Williams running patterns at the same time in a 3-WR set.  One of these 3 should be open every time.

Fred, Dixon and Brown should be pounding the ball. Seriously, I’m amazed some of these people get paid so much to be coordinators.  I think there are many individuals who could do a better job than Hackett.

Randy
South FL
CB: You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, but I think we need to try and read between the lines here with respect to the lack of playing time for Mike Williams. I do agree that Williams is a rare talent. I’ve written many times that he is one of the five best receivers in the league when it comes to high-pointing the ball. You’d figure that would make him a weapon to use at least in the red zone. He did score 23 touchdowns in his first three seasons in the league.

At the same time Chris Hogan has emerged as a slot receiver and is producing. Now he and Williams do not line up in the same place in this offense for the most part, but one word I continually hear from both coach Marrone and Kyle Orton in praising Chris Hogan’s efforts is reliability. They comment often on how Hogan is in the right place at the right time on every play. That reliability is an enormous comfort to a head coach, a coordinator and a quarterback knowing how critical the timing is in Buffalo’s passing game.

A veteran offensive coordinator once told me the NFL is about first downs, not touchdowns. What he meant was in the NFL the talent is a lot more even than it is at the college level, so big play touchdowns aren’t nearly as prevalent. So you prefer to have players you can rely on to make the catches that get you first downs time and again to keep drives and possessions alive. It’s that consistency that wins more often in the NFL.

Do I completely agree with that premise? Not totally. Sammy Watkins has me thinking that three or four big plays look pretty good too. We’ll have to see if Williams play time changes in the second half of the season. To his credit he’s putting in a lot of extra time on special teams of late in an effort to get on the field more.


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Bills ‘D’ top 10 in handful of key categories

Posted by Chris Brown on October 27, 2014 – 2:11 pm

The Bills defense has put together a heck of a first half of the season. Under new coordinator Jim Schwartz they lead the league in sacks with 28 and rank first in total takeaways and first in interceptions. They also rank in the top 10 in a few other key defensive categories. Just don’t expect the players on the defensive unit to pay it much thought.

“For our defense it really doesn’t mean anything because we’re still trying to build our identity up and we’re not where we want to be as a team, so as a defense we’re just steadily doing what we’re supposed to do,” said Marcell Dareus, who leads the team with seven sacks. “When it’s time for us to go out there and our number is called we’re going to go out there and do the best we can, go as hard as possible until we get off the field and do the same thing when we’re called on again. We’re just busting our butts and not even thinking about it.”

Schwartz’s unit also ranks eighth against the run, sixth in third down defense and seventh in points allowed.


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Will dramatic win be catalyst?

Posted by Chris Brown on October 21, 2014 – 9:30 am

After Sunday’s last second win over the Vikings head coach Doug Marrone said he hoped it could serve as a catalyst for his team. Here’s what the players thought about that prospect.

“I hope so,” said Eric Wood. “I hope we can get on a run. But the key is one game at a time.  And our focus turns to the Jets. It was a fun win, a big win.  But we have to move on, we have to be professional about this and not celebrate more than for what it is. That’s just one win.”

“It’s whatever we make it. Whatever we make it,” said Dareus. “It can be a turnaround factor for us, it can be whatever. We’ve got to go play every Sunday, it doesn’t even matter. Play in, play out, we gotta make it happen. It can be a turnaround, it could not.  We still gotta go out there and play and do the best we can.”

 


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Dareus: Craziest game I’ve ever been a part of

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2014 – 4:59 pm

Bills DT Marcell Dareus had another solid outing Sunday with a two-sack performance in the win over Minnesota. Just like the fans however, Dareus watched from the sideline as the Bills offense tried to put together an 80-yard touchdown drive to win the game. It was every bit as nerve wracking for him as it was for the 73-thousand plus watching behind him.

“It kept us on the edge of our seats like the fans were,” said Dareus. “Caught a pass with one second left on the clock, and squib kicking—that’s the craziest game I’ve ever been a part of. I’m excited. Everybody else was as well.”

Dareus said the conversion on 4th-and-20 was a heart stopper for him.

“Scott Chandler caught a couple of passes, he dropped one and came back and caught another one for a big gain,” he said. “It’s big time, man, it was just so much going on on the sideline. We were so excited, we just couldn’t believe everything was going the way  it was.”


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Dareus has Belichick’s respect

Posted by Chris Brown on October 11, 2014 – 10:59 am

Bills DT Marcell Dareus, who justed earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors following his three-sack performance that included other tackles for no gain or loss, has impressed Patriots head coach Bill Belichick with is spike in production this season. Here was Belichick’s assessment of Dareus’ game this season.

“He’s a hard guy to block. He’s strong, quick, he’s got good instincts,” said Belichick. “He reads blocks well, does a good job attacking the leverage, does a good job in the pass rush of beating, based on how the guard or how he gets set. He had a big play against Detroit where the center slid to him and he split the double team. You don’t see that a lot. He’s got the quickness and the strength to do that.

“He runs (stunt/twist) games well. They run a lot of games. He does a good job with that, as does Kyle Williams. They have that penetrating quickness that makes those games effective and also the athleticism to come around and contain a quarterback if the end goes first or if they run an inside tackle game. Yeah, I agree. I think he’s been good and he’s been even more productive this year. He’s playing [at] a high level in the running game, too. He’s strong, uses his hands well, he reacts well to blocking schemes.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dareus earns game ball

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2014 – 3:24 pm

ESPN’s John Clayton was at Buffalo’s Week 5 game at Detroit, so it’s no surprise that he was impressed with Marcell Dareus’ individual performance in the Bills’ 17-14 win.

Clayton awarded Dareus one of his game balls for his play in Week 5. Here was Clayton’s take on Dareus’ game last Sunday.

Defensive gameball
Defense: Marcell Dareus led a relentless pass rush against Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford by getting three sacks, two tackles for a loss and a forced fumble in Buffalo’s 17-14 win.

 


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