In a game knotted up at seven in the first half, Bills punt returner Marcus Thigpen felt he had an opportunity to make a big play on an upcoming return as he stood at his own 35-yard line. As the punt arrived Thigpen felt he had a lot of room to work with off to the right if he could avoid the first gunner coming hard from his left. Unfortunately he didn’t and in hindsight wished he made a different decision.
“Yeah I felt like I could’ve tried to catch and run it to the side,” said Thigpen on his muffed punt that was recovered by the Eagles in the second quarter. “He was coming from my left so I was trying to run before I had the ball. I should’ve fair caught it. It’s a case of me trying to do too much. I felt like I could make a game-changing play right there and it didn’t go in my favor. I’ve just got to make smarter decisions.”
Two plays later the Eagles were in the end zone on a 53-yard touchdown pass from Sam Bradford to Nelson Agholor.
“I felt like if I could get away from him I had an opportunity to the right,” said Thigpen. “We had good field position and I tried to do too much and gave them the ball.”
Tags: Bills-Eagles, Marcus Thigpen
Posted in Inside the Bills
1 – @ChrisBrownBills
With guys like (Alshon) Jeffery and (Victor) Cruz missing multiple games with calf injuries, is there any concern Watkins might also?
CB: First, I’m not a doctor, but I have learned through our athletic training staff that not every calf injury is the same, and every player heals differently. Some heal faster than others, some have a higher pain tolerance than others. All that being said a calf injury is a critical problem for a wide receiver. They need it to drive off the line, accelerate, cut, etc.
Cruz’s calf injury from most reports is from overcompensating coming off a knee injury that kept him out most of last year and required surgery. I don’t know that Watkins’ injury is related in any way to overcompensating for his hip that required surgery in the offseason. I think we just all hope that Watkins is back in the lineup sooner rather than later.
2 – Chris,
First off, I’d like to give a shout out to Buffalo Bros. on University Ave in Fort Worth, TX. It’s great to watch Bills games on Sundays surrounded by other Buffalo fans.
Here’s my question: With LeSean McCoy unlikely to suit up against the NY Giants this week, is it likely that Buffalo considers resigning Bryce Brown? I believe that we have an available roster spot after the Cassel trade. He would be a good compliment to Karlos Williams, whereas Boobie Dixon seems like he’s more of a goal line back and special teams contributor.
-Brendan in Fort Worth, TX
CB: The roster spot was actually filled by promoting Jonathan Meeks from the practice squad last week, not that it would keep them from making another move to address their running back position should LeSean McCoy be unable to play Sunday.
The most logical move however, would be calling Cierre Wood up from the practice squad. He’s been with the team since the last half of training camp and showed some flashes in the preseason. Wood has more of a shifty skill set and good hands for catching out of the backfield.
3 – @ChrisBrownBills
Will this be the week that the #ColdFront starts racking up some sacks?
CB: The pass rush always has an edge when playing at home knowing the opposing offense has the added challenge of crowd noise. Manning however, has not been sacked much so far this season, just three times in three games. Ben McAdoo’s offense is designed to get the ball out fast to protect Manning.
A heavy dose of press coverage could aid in forcing Manning to pump and double clutch the ball to buy the pass rush an extra half second to get home. Some exotic looks could also cross up Manning’s diagnosis of the defensive coverage and delay his delivery of the ball.
4 – Chris,
In the long run, the Bills afford to play Thigpen. I believe they are other returners the Bills have on the roster. The Bills have specialists already in Gay/Sanborn who play minimal. Thigpen has yet to take an offesnive snap. I’d rather see Goodwin active than Thigpen. I would exepct Goodwin to get looks on offense and can return kicks.
CB: Once Marquise Goodwin is healthy I do anticipate he’ll be active. He’s still recovering from a rib injury. Goodwin however, is a kick returner, while Thipen is primarily a punt returner. The kick return job is Percy Harvin’s as of right now. I do believe if Sammy Watkins is unable to play that Goodwin would fill his spot among the receiving corps provided he himself is healthy enough to play.
As for Thigpen I think he was fortunate to make the roster as the team’s seventh WR. I believe the main reason he did is because primary punt returner Leodis McKelvin is on Reserve/NFI until Week 7 when he would be able to practice again if medically cleared. When McKelvin returns there will need to be a roster move.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills
Who would you have cover Odell B, Darby or Gilmore? Or should they stay on separate sides of the field?
CB: I think Darby has shown well for the most part this season. To this point the Bills have played most passing attacks straight up leaving Gilmore and Darby on their respective sides. Beckham is a unique talent. If the defensive staff decides to have one cornerback follow him the whole game Gilmore is your guy. Beckham’s hands are so strong that you want a corner that can be physical with him not only on routes, but through to the attempt to catch. Darby can do that too, but Gilmore would be the better play if they decide to go that way.
Tags: Bills-Giants, Karlos Williams, LeSean McCoy, Marcus Thigpen, Marquise Goodwin, pass rush, Ronald Darby, Sammy Watkins, Stephon Gilmore
Posted in Inside the Bills
The BENRUS Best Dressed series presents one well-dressed player with a product from the military-inspired lifestyle brand.
Marcus Thigpen was seen wearing a comfortable, light, grey sweater and blue jeans. A perfect outfit for the second game of the regular season!
As the winner of BEST DRESSED, Marcus Thigpen received the stylish but spacious BENRUS Detail Duffel Bag, the perfect lightweight travel companion. BENRUS bags, watches, apparel and accessories are available for purchase at www.BENRUS.com
Tags: BENRUS, BENRUS Best Dressed, Marcus Thigpen
Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field
Bills WR/PR Marcus Thigpen has been pulling double duty here and there through the course of training camp and Monday he was called upon again. With the team down to two healthy running backs, Thigpen had to move from WR to RB where he had a handful of carries to keep the legs of LeSean McCoy and Bronson Hill from getting weary with too many reps. Thigpen has running back experience from his earlier playing days, but just jumping from one position to another in this very multiple and very varied offense is easier said than done.
“It’s something I’ve been doing for a while, playing running back,” Thigpen said. “I’ve just got to learn my plays and know what I’m doing to help out. My protection—it’s not just runs and passes, but I’ve got to learn the protections as well. So that’s the biggest issue that I face now.”
Running routes coming out of the backfield is a bit easier, since he’s a receiver in this offense, but an adjustment nonetheless.
“It’s definitely different coming out of the backfield,” said Thigpen. “But playing a receiver, it definitely helped me out a lot to be able to run those routes. I can be a little more crisp and make some of those linebackers miss so it definitely helped out—playing receiver.”
Whether Thigpen’s duties will continue in the Bills’ offensive backfield will depend solely on the health of Buffalo’s running backs. If Bryce Brown (hamstring) can return to practice that would help. Fred Jackson (hamstring) and Boobie Dixon (calf) are not expected back anytime soon. Karlos Williams’ condition is still unknown so a timetable for his return is not available. We hope to know more after Rex Ryan addresses the media following the team’s night practice with Cleveland.
Tags: Marcus Thigpen
Posted in Inside the Bills
Bills head coach Rex Ryan said he doesn’t believe any of them are serious, but there were some players nicked up after Friday’s game against Carolina.
Ryan addressed DT Corbin Bryant’s injury first since he was the first to exit the game Friday.
“It was a knee, so I’m not sure how bad it was, but he went out with a knee,” said Ryan. “Easley went out with a knee, I think it was a grade one MCL (sprain) on him. I’m not sure about Corbin yet. (Marcus) Thigpen had an ankle, not serious. Then (DE Jarius) Wynn had a knee so we’ll see how those things work. My understanding is none of them are serious. None of them seem to be too bad hopefully.”
Ryan also said that all the players who were inactive for Friday’s game had minor issues and would’ve played if it was a regular season game.
Tags: Corbin Bryant, Jarius Wynn, Marcus Easley, Marcus Thigpen, Rex Ryan
Posted in Inside the Bills
Sorry for the one week hiatus. A lot of news going down last week. OTAs are less than two weeks away. Let’s get right to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.
1 – @ChrisBrownBills
just curious why Bills have Felton and Conner?
CB: Doug Whaley has stated many times that any time they have a chance to make an upgrade they’re going to do so. The John Conner signing this week is an example of that. While I don’t deny that it’s unusual to have two proven fullbacks on one roster, I think Whaley and Rex Ryan subscribe to the philosophy of creating as much competition as possible in the training camp setting.
Conner will push Jerome Felton and that makes both players better. Ultimately Felton is going to be this team’s starting fullback, but if there’s an injury Conner is a fantastic fall back option. Can Conner convince the coaches to make an exception and keep two fullbacks? With the depth of this roster that’s going to be difficult, but you can’t fault a team for trying to get better everywhere and driving up the level of competition.
2 – Hey Chris,
Thanks for your continued pursuit of giving a small market team, big time exposure.
I know the McCoy/Alonso deal has been discussed ad nauseum and much like most Bills fans, I found myself conflicted and constantly flip-flopping on how to feel. At the end of the day, the organization is making an aggressive play to enhance the offense, which is definitely something I support. Having said that, seeing that the Bills were willing to commit heavy resources to a running back I’m uncertain of what to feel hypothesizing that we could have signed Demarco Murray for less money and still retained Kiko (whether to keep or to use as a potential trade asset). Both backs are elite and I don’t wish to jibber-jabber over which one is better, but how can a cogent argument be made that McCoy > Demarco + Kiko?
Keep up the great work.
CB: While I think most would acknowledge that DeMarco Murray + Kiko Alonso is better than just LeSean McCoy, you’re operating under the assumption that Murray would be interested in signing with Buffalo.
It’s possible he may have been willing to sign with the Bills. We’ll probably never know, but Murray is a year older than McCoy. Unlike McCoy, who avoids the kill shots of defensive linemen, linebackers and safeties, Murray takes big hits. I think one could argue that the cumulative wear and tear on Murray is greater than on McCoy.
Now that doesn’t dismiss your argument that Murray + Alonso would be better than just McCoy, but I’m not convinced Murray would’ve signed here.
3 – Hi Chris, thank you to you and your team for all the off season coverage.
I have to think Suh signing this contract hurts us in two ways. 1, he bolsters the Dolphins defense and we have to go up against him twice a year. 2, did he set the market for Marcell Dareus as a free agent? Dareus was considered the best tackle against the run last year, and had more tackles and sacks than Suh. If Marcell doesn’t drop off this year wouldn’t he command the same contract as Suh? We saw what happens without Marcell in the lineup, just look at the Oakland game before and after his injury. Do you think the Bills can afford to re-sign him, and if so, is that at the expense of asking Mario Williams to restructure his contract or full on releasing him?
CB: The Bills maintain that their cap structure will allow for a long term contract extension for Dareus. He’s the linchpin of the defensive interior for the long term future.
You’re right the Suh deal did set the market. I think in an ideal world the Bills have Dareus signed to a long term deal before the 2015 season commences. The more he performs on the field the more his price goes up, so it would behoove the Bills to seal a deal before September. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
4 – Hi Chris
Do the Bills have any definite plans for Marcus Thigpen? Is he still on the roster? Percy Harvin is arguably a better all-around player, but in all the mentions of Buffalo “weapons” I’ve not once heard Thigpen’s name.
CB: Thigpen is still on the roster yes. Harvin is clearly a better all-around player. Thigpen was a punt return specialist on this team last season after Leodis McKelvin broke his ankle. And while he did do a good job this roster became even harder for him to make with the offseason additions, Harvin chief among them. With McKelvin expected to be ready by training camp, the team’s primary punt returner will be back in the fold. So Thigpen, though very capable, may get caught up in a numbers game at the receiver position.
5 – Chris,
With the addition of Harvin, how do you expected the formations to look like? How does it change the role of Robert Woods, who had a great 2nd half of the season. Harvin might cut into Watkin’s targets, I like to see Watkin’s used more creatively.
Is Goodwin on the bubble to make the roster? I’d like to see a coach that will throw him the ball.
CB: I think the Greg Roman offense is going to be as multiple as possible with a myriad of pre-snap formations and shifts. So to give you an answer about formations would be like trying to hit a moving target. I expect Harvin to line up outside opposite Watkins, with Woods working more in the slot in this offense. Hogan would work the other slot in four-wide looks.
Based on Rex Ryan’s comments it sounds like Goodwin will get a far better opportunity to prove that he belongs on this roster than he did from the previous staff. I wouldn’t call him a bubble player, but from a pure numbers standpoint he’s going to have a challenge on his hands.
Tags: DeMarco Murray, Fan Friday, Jerome Felton, John Conner, Kiko Alonso, LeSean McCoy, Marcell Dareus, Marcus Thigpen, Marquise Goodwin, Percy Harvin, Robert Woods, Sammy Watkins
Posted in Inside the Bills
Buffalo’s primary punt returner was added to the injury report Thursday with a foot injury.
Head coach Doug Marrone said Thigpen experienced some swelling in his foot Thursday and could only practice on a limited basis. It’s not expected to impact his availability for Sunday’s game.
|Dan Carpenter||K||Right Groin||LP|
Tags: Doug Marrone, Marcus Thigpen
Posted in Inside the Bills