Inside The Bills

Report: Dolphins front runner to sign Mario

Posted by Chris Brown on March 8, 2016 – 11:38 am

Mario Williams has been a free agent for less than a week, but it appears the Miami Dolphins are making a push to get him signed sooner rather than later.

That according to Pro Football Talk, which cites Miami as the clear front runner for his services. Williams reportedly intended to visit four or five teams in short order, including the New York Giants, but if the money is right Williams will undoubtedly sign. The report indicates a deal could be consummated as soon as today.

Miami has been making moves to reduce their cap figure most recently restructuring the contract of TE Jordan Cameron. If they sign Williams it will presumably reduce their ability to sign other free agents.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

All options open with Mario

Posted by Chris Brown on February 25, 2016 – 3:35 pm

By now everyone knows that Mario Williams has a cost prohibitive cap figure of almost $20M. In an offseason where the Bills have the least cap space of any team in the league, Williams contract will be addressed. How is the big question. Bills GM Doug Whaley is not closing the door on any option.

“We’ll be talking to his representatives and all options are open,” said Whaley. “We’re not going to back ourselves into a corner and say we’re going to do this or that. But we will do what’s best for the Buffalo Bills in the future.”

Clearing cap space is the top priority to enable them to re-sign offensive linemen Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito. A big cap figure like Williams’ has to obviously be adjusted for that to be fiscally possible.

Buffalobills.com Combine coverage is presented by NAPA Auto Parts.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-19

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2016 – 11:37 am

Our NFL Combine coverage presented by NAPA begins on Tuesday and will continue through the week from Indianapolis both on Buffalobills.com and on the John Murphy Show. For now here are your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

Thank you for all of your fantastic insight throughout the season.  I have a question about the Bills defensive line moving into next season.  When we line up in a 3-4, where do you suspect Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams will be located?  Also, connected to that, it seems like a lot of websites suspect we will require another 3-4 defensive end in the draft but I was wondering if you thought players such as Wynn, Carrington (if re-signed), Corbin Bryant, Worthy or Edwards could fit that bill so we could focus our draft on other needs.

-Tony
CB: I think the good thing about Dareus or Kyle is their versatility and athleticism allow you to play them as a five technique end or at nose tackle. The main reason many draftniks predict the Bills will need another defensive end is they also suspect push coming to shove with Mario Williams cost prohibitive contract.

But you do make a good point. Jarius Wynn is coming back from ACL surgery that cost him the 2015 season. I expect Corbin Bryant to be extended a qualifying offer by the Bills as a restricted free agent. Signing a difference maker at defensive end is unrealistic based on the team’s cap situation, so the draft is the most likely path for the Bills to acquire one.

 

2 – Hey Chris,

First off I thank you for answering our questions and keeping hope alive to those of us who reacted harshly after playoff elimination. (Ugh.. 16 years…)

My question is about where Buckner and Bosa likely stand on the draft board? Are there any other sizable DEs that are valued as a round one selection? In your opinion where should the Bills focus with their number one? Is there a drop off in depth enough that it becomes likely to pursue a LB instead of the D-Line? (Is that already likely given uncertainty with Bradham?) Finally do you foresee finding our true #2 WR in this draft class?

-Already hoping in OR

CB: I don’t expect Buckner or Bosa to still be on the board when the Bills pick 19th. With respect to their top pick in round one, I think the safe assumption is they address the defensive side of the ball. I think picking a position however, is unrealistic.

I think we can all agree that the deepest defensive position in the draft is probably defensive line, so that’s a good thing for the Bills, who will likely need to add there with Mario Williams uncertain future and Kyle Williams now on the back end of his career. But to say they’ll pick a defensive lineman isn’t something anyone can accurately predict now or even in mid-April.

We have to see what decisions are made with players on the roster now, who is added and where in free agency in March and what Bills free agents are re-signed. All those variables can change the draft picture considerably before we get to late April.

As for finding a true No. 2 WR in this class, I think it’s possible, but not likely based on some of the other positional needs particularly on defense that appear to be more pressing at this point. May have to stop gap that role in 2016 and address it more effectively in 2017. Can’t do everything in one offseason.

 

3 –@ChrisBrownBills

If we cut Mario, sign Glenn/Richie…what’s realistic for rest of FA? Eric Weddle or Damon Harrison possible?

iamFlowbee

CB: If those things happen the Bills are going to have to be bargain shoppers even if they make a few other cuts to the roster to save money against the cap. That means Weddle is not expected to be an option. Damon Harrison is possible provided there isn’t a heavy market interest in him.

That’s why GM Doug Whaley said they’re looking for ‘dust settle’ guys. Guys who they can sign without getting into a bidding war. For reference I would look at the kind of players they signed in the 2014 offseason. Players like Corey Graham, Brandon Spikes, Boobie Dixon. Affordable, budget-conscious free agents that can come in and fill a role and improve the depth of the club without messing up the team’s cap situation in the current season and the season or two that follows.

 

4 – Chris,

Do you think Nick O’Leary will get more looks at Tight End in the upcoming season? Also it seemed that Seantrel Henderson was getting praised for his play his rookie year, but was much maligned this past season. Has he regressed that much or is it the system change that troubled him?

Thanks,
Chris G. from Nashville
CB: I think seeing Nick O’Leary called up to the active roster late in the season was an encouraging sign for the kind of look he’ll get this offseason and in training camp. I don’t think it’s any secret that no one really seized the No. 2 TE role behind Charles Clay last season. O’Leary was stuck on the practice squad, MarQueis Gray suffered a forearm injury that required surgery and wound up on injured reserve and Chris Gragg only flashed at times with limited opportunities to make a true impact.

Seantrel Henderson regressed because he was dealing with an undisclosed medical condition that kept him out of the last five games of the season. Whether he’ll be able to get his condition under control so he can effectively continue his career is something we’ll all be waiting to see this spring.


5 –
@ChrisBrownBills

I keep hearing about Incognito and Glenn, but is Bradham a priority for the Bills? #Bills #FanFriday

Josh_McCarty28

CB: The Bills have said it’s their preference to get Nigel Bradham back in the fold for the foreseeable future. At the same time they know that with a tight cap situation and depending on the size of the contracts for Glenn and Incognito, being able to offer Bradham a contract commensurate with fair market value might be easier said than done.

If Bradham reaches the market because the Bills can’t offer quite the money he might be looking for due to their cap situation then it might prove difficult to get him re-signed.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-22

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2016 – 12:07 pm

Some coaching hires for the staff the last week or so. Here are your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills What’s the biggest lesson learned between Wk1 and Wk16 defensively with this team?

vapor311

CB: I think the biggest lesson learned by the players was that if there was more accountability player to player on defense, there would’ve been unanimous buy in and the defense would’ve performed more consistently and been more effective in Ryan’s scheme. That didn’t happen until after the embarrassing defensive performance at Washington when the players that did buy in called out the players who didn’t. We saw improved collective play from the defensive unit after that.

I believe the biggest lesson learned by Rex and the coaches is just how multi-faceted a lot of their defensive talent is particularly some of their defensive linemen like Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes specifically. Dareus and Williams are athletic enough to play end in a 3-4 look and Hughes can be an end in a 4-3 look or an OLB in a 3-4. He’s that versatile.

There are other examples at LB and in the secondary, but Rex has expressed that a year with those players has provided him with a better grasp of everything that players like that can do, not just their primary strengths.

 

2 – Hey Chris,

Here is my concern. It seems to make more sense for a coach to change their scheme to fit the players than change the roster to fit the scheme. Why has Rex Ryan, the great defensive mastermind who was figured out and canned in NY, been reluctant to implement a scheme where our star defensive line can pass rush like they have proven they are good at doing and rely upon a better cover based defense? We consistently get beat while trying to change in and out of “complex” blitz packages that always seem to come up short while letting the QB find a quick under or hot route. What should we expect for the future I’m so desperately trying to not give up on? Suddenly find myself hoping for a Sean Payton and Jim Schwartz led team and I can’t stand the coaching turnovers.. But I have to admit Ryan’s defensive scheme is old news…

-Losing faith in OR

CB: Rex took steps to try and mold his defensive scheme to the talent of the personnel. As mentioned above Ryan admitted that he is in a much better position to coach to some of the players’ versatile strengths now that he knows the depth of their talents having worked with them for a year. I know that’s small consolation in light of how the defense underachieved, but I don’t think it’s something that should be taken lightly.

Rex referenced Jerry Hughes specifically saying he now realizes that Hughes is so much more than a hand in the dirt type, rush the passer player. That he can do a number of different things well. He also said the big difference he noticed at the end of the season was that players were finally giving him answers when he asked for their opinion.

It was his contention that his offer to the players from the very beginning of the season to give him feedback fell on deaf ears until the last two games. Rex in making in-game adjustments would ask for the opinion of the players. Until the Dallas game he said those appeals were not met with answers and he couldn’t understand why.

Once he got some more input from players we saw the difference. Buffalo’s last two games were their best back-to-back defensive performances of the season in terms of points allowed (6 and 17). And that was without a handful of defensive starters (Darby, Gilmore, A. Williams, K. Williams, Bradham). So Ryan is encouraged that the proper give and take now exists between the players and himself and the value of that should not be discounted.

 

3 – Happy New Year Chris:

Do you think the Bills organization will make a play for Miami Dolphins Olivier Vernon?

Thanks from a true Bills fan in NewportNews, Va.
Gary Truesdale

CB: I would be surprised if the Bills pursued Olivier Vernon only because he’s going to command a sizable price tag and GM Doug Whaley has made it clear that they’re going to be pursuing “dust settle” type free agents. The focus this offseason will be for the Bills to re-sign their own, chiefly Richie Incognito and Cordy Glenn.

Buffalo’s cap situation needs some restructuring this offseason before we reach free agency and Bills Senior VP of Football Administration, Jim Overdorf will be tasked with that as he has in the past. But knowing the priorities that Incognito and Glenn are combined with their cap situation I wouldn’t expect to see a top tier free agent like Vernon to be on the Bills radar.

 

4 – Chris,

Hypothetical of course.  Just what if, with all the defensive needs and offensive tackle needs, Laquon Treadwell and/or Connor Cook were available at pick 19?  How are we going to fill our need at receiver?  Not in free agency as per Whaley’s statement and later in the draft will not fill that need either.

Jim (Skaneateles)

CB: I do believe the Bills will make efforts to land a true No. 2 receiver that can draw attention away from Sammy Watkins. Robert Woods played more than half the season with a severe groin injury and might be best suited for the slot. Percy Harvin is a player the Bills would like to return to the fold, but has to get healthy first and is not a lock to return.
I know the Bills would like to add size to the position as evidenced by the reserve/future signings of Greg Little and Jarrett Boykin. But I don’t think they’re putting all their stock in those two wideouts.

Unfortunately this year’s receiver class doesn’t offer a lot of quality size. There are 6-1 and 6-2 guys aplenty, but the 6-4 and 6-5 targets of quality just don’t exist in this year’s class. I suppose there could be a prospect or two that could possess a ‘big receiver’ game because they play bigger than their listed size. I’ve still got homework to do on the 2016 draft class, but Treadwell would be a tempting option.

Personally I don’t think Connor Cook is worthy of a first-round pick. In a draft without a lot of elite QB talent I suppose it’s possible he’ll be moved up a lot of draft boards as the draft draws closer due to supply and demand, but Treadwell is a more worthy first-round pick to me than Cook. That being said I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills found better value at another position in round one.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills What are the fates of Mario Williams, Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes? Are they staying or leaving?

TandAFootball

CB: I feel good about the playing futures of Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes in Buffalo. I’ll actually have more on Kyle Williams in a story on Buffalobills.com slated for Monday. Hughes is a cornerstone piece for this defense moving forward, which is why he was signed to the long term contract extension last offseason.

Mario Williams situation is a lot more precarious, chiefly due to his cost-prohibitive contract. I think it would be difficult for any defensive player to live up to a contract that has a cap figure of almost $20M for 2016 ($19.9M). With Buffalo’s cap situation in a restrictive position right now, addressing Mario’s contract will probably be pretty high on Jim Overdorf’s to-do list.

There are a few paths they can take with it as we all know. What kind of steps Mario and his agent are willing to take is the big question.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-15

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2016 – 12:04 pm

A couple of adds to the coaching staff and the roster this week. Here are your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Chris, can u see the Bills being interested in D.Harrison or H.Ngata if available in FA? Both r NTs that know Rex system

Mikeybeit

CB: While there’s no debating that Harrison and Ngata know Ryan’s defense, I think interest in Ngata and Harrison depends solely on price. I don’t see the Bills investing heavily in their defensive line with so much money tied up there already. Even if Mario Williams isn’t on the roster next year they still have some fat contracts with Dareus, Hughes and Kyle.

So the play there is to go for the affordable options and use draft choices. That probably means Damon Harrison is a more likely option than Haloti Ngata, who even at age 31 would probably command a higher price tag than Harrison, who is a role player.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills to what extent do you foresee Rob Ryan playing a part in the defense next season? #Bills

yamanboo

CB: Here’s how I see the Rob Ryan hiring playing out. After both of them had a down season in terms of defensive ranking there is great motivation by both to redeem themselves and their family name as it pertains to putting together great defensive units.

Rex trusts his brother to do right by the principles of the defense and I think Rob will probably have a heavy hand in the defensive planning. That will allow Rex to take on more of a big picture role as a head coach where he can focus more on the all-encompassing duties that job demands.

I’m not sure Rex will relinquish play calling duties on game day to Rob or anybody else for that matter, but with his title being Assistant head coach/Defense, it’s safe to say Rob Ryan will play a major role in getting this defense back to a level more typically associated with the Ryan name.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills Will the Ryan brothers realize that Mario Williams was right?

ItsjustJimmy

CB: I think this is what you need to consider before you blindly accept Mario Williams comments as truth. When there is a scheme change via a new coaching staff coming in there has to be 100 percent buy in from the players. If there is not 100 percent commitment, especially in a scheme as intricate as Rex Ryan’s it simply does not work.

Did Mario Williams buy into Rex Ryan’s scheme 100 percent at any point this season? When his role in this defensive scheme wasn’t to his liking did he still play to the best of his ability every snap, every week?

I will let Preston Brown answer that question for you with some comments he made with just two games left in the season after the team was eliminated from playoff contention.

“Guys have got to buy into the system, especially on the defensive side,” said Brown. “We don’t really know how good we could’ve been because everybody wasn’t doing what they were supposed to do on each play. We can’t say it was the scheme. Mentally everybody wasn’t there.

“It’s something that we have to handle. We have to understand that everybody has to be working as one and we haven’t done that this year. Everybody has been kind of doing their own agenda on our side of the ball. So it’s something that we need to get covered and handle these last couple of games and years down the road.

“Everybody keeps saying last year we were a top four defense and everybody was still thinking about last year. We’ve got to get over that. It’s not last year and guys were still thinking, ‘Oh we did this last year.’ Well we’re not doing that this year. So we’ve got to understand that we’re doing a different scheme and a different system and it works if everybody does it the right way.”

As a side note I applaud Preston Brown for revealing just what the problems were this season. There were a couple of players that compromised the integrity and effectiveness of the scheme for the sake of their own self-interest. Fortunately a couple of young players stepped forward to lead this team and called out those players so a promising season doesn’t get submarined again.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills what’s the chances of the #Bills holding onto Mario Williams? Should they?

TheJokstr

CB: What we do know is Mario Williams contract is cost prohibitive. His $19.9M cap figure is something that has to be re-worked through restructuring or eliminated by some other means. Buffalo has free agent priorities in Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito. Those contracts simply cannot get done without a giant contract like Williams’ being adjusted or taken care of in some other fashion.

I think most know that Mario Williams’ performance didn’t live up to his salary, and we know all too well why he feels he wasn’t effective in Rex Ryan’s scheme.

No matter which way you slice it his contract has to be addressed. I’m sure the Bills will exhaust every option to have it settled by the time they need to get Glenn and Incognito back under contract. Whether that means he’s here or not is another story.

 

5- @ChrisBrownBills Do you expect to see Buffalo run a more traditional 3-4 base defense this year, like we’ve seen from Rex in the past?

MustangMike23

CB: I don’t think it’s any secret that Rex Ryan wants to run a purer version of what has traditionally been successful for him defensively than what he ran in Buffalo this past season. He himself admitted that trying to blend some of the concepts from the 2014 Bills defense just didn’t work and had to scrap it midseason.

How far he goes in running a more traditional 3-4 will hinge on the talent turnover defensively from now until next spring. If the proper pieces are in place then it’s probably full steam ahead. If not, it might have more of a hybrid look to it like we saw in 2013 under Mike Pettine.


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Posted in 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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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-1

Posted by Chris Brown on January 1, 2016 – 11:52 am

Happy New Year Bills fans! Here are your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills who has a legitimate chance of making a case for a starting job Sunday?

ChimeraTony

CB: I don’t know if this one game is enough to vault a reserve player into starter status for 2016. I think there have been some players that have done a good job of performing when given the opportunity here at the end of the season.

Corbin Bryant, Mike Gillislee and AJ Tarpley are a few players that come to mind. I think Mario Butler has had his moments as well. Jonathan Meeks is expected to get an extended opportunity Sunday. We’ll see if he can make himself part of the offseason conversation as well.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills Chris, fans near & far see dysfunction again, which is very frustrating. Is there anything you understand that we may not?

XKC4338

CB: I think the one thing that I have learned in the last 16 years with this club is that change sets the timeline to success back. Every time you make a change in this league, whether it’s to your front office, coaching staff, offensive or defensive scheme or wholesale changes with your personnel you lengthen the timeline toward reaching success.

Sometimes change is necessary, but when such changes are made immediate success is rare. So despite the fact that most of us were convinced that the Bills were destined for the playoffs we lost sight of the fact that the team was going to have a new offensive scheme, new defensive scheme, new coaches on the whole and a new quarterback who was new to all the players around him.

The history of the league has taught us that such widespread change usually does not result in a won-loss record good enough to reach the postseason.

In fairness to the Bills a lot of that change was thrust upon new owners Terry and Kim Pegula. Their head coach quit and their starting quarterback retired. So change had to happen. That change unfortunately set back the clock to playoff success.

I realize fans are impatient. We’ve been waiting a long time to reach the postseason, but time and again the league more often rewards clubs that stay the course than they reward the clubs that constantly vote for change.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills if Mario leaves who fills that void? Clearly our pass rush stunk this year so where do we go from here?

FriarJeff

CB: I think if that proves to be a move that the Bills decide to make they’ll need to look for a pass rusher high in the draft. They’re already heavily invested in Jerry Hughes over the long haul, as well as Marcell Dareus. That’s why a high draft choice makes the most fiscal sense. Team a young, promising pass rusher with Hughes on the other end and it doesn’t impact your cap as much as a high-price free agent.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills how could Rex Ryan best defend his coaching this year in light of the team’s underachievement? Injuries, schedule, other?

kevinkresse

CB: I think injuries were certainly a big part of the problem. Losing Aaron Williams and Kyle Williams turned into a big problem from both an execution and a leadership perspective. Aaron ran the secondary and had a firm grasp of the defensive system. You didn’t have for the last 14 games of the season. Kyle missed the last 10 games. Those two losses were the most damaging.

As we all know there were a host of others that kept the offense from progressing as it wanted to as well, which is why they didn’t really take off until the second half of the season.

Rex did admit that he wasn’t sure there was full buy-in from all the players on defense. It was something he had never experienced before and it may have caught him off guard as to how to best handle it. Players at this level are supposed to be pros, which means coaches coach and players play. You can argue that perhaps Rex should’ve enacted strict consequences for those kind of actions, but a player owes it to his teammates and coaches and ownership to execute his assignments within the scope of the scheme to the best of his ability on every play and do what’s necessary during the week to ensure that.

That ultimately led to underachievement on defense this season.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills Do the Bills plan to keep Gillislee into next year along with Karlos and Shady?

sjpusat

CB: I think that’s a safe assumption. Rex Ryan all but said that Gillislee has earned the right to be here next year. There is a question as to whether he’ll be an exclusive right free agent or restricted free agent based on his accrued season time. Either way I anticipate the Bills will get him under contract this offseason.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario looks good, Rambo, Karlos still iffy

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2015 – 1:08 pm

All three are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game at Washington, but one appears to have a much better chance to play than the others.

Mario Williams, who missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, was able to get out on the field and practice on a limited basis Friday. It was an encouraging sign for head coach Rex Ryan.

“That’s a good sign,” said Ryan. “He practiced so that looks good. He was in the meetings this week and had a mask on (so he didn’t spread germs). But we think he’s going to be ready to roll.”

Bacarri Rambo (knee) and Karlos Williams (shoulder) are both bigger question marks for Sunday.

Rambo was able to return to practice Friday after suffering a setback in Wednesday’s practice that forced him to sit out Thursday’s session.

“I think he looked good,” said Ryan of his Friday practice. “We’ve just got to be careful with him because he’s been dealing with that knee for quite a while. But it’s good to have him back out there.”

For Karlos Williams it’s a contact issue. Without there being much contact in practice this time of year when bodies are worn down it’s hard to ascertain just what kind of punishment Williams injured shoulder can take.

“You really don’t know. You don’t know,” said Williams. “If it happens it happens this Sunday. If not, you’ve got to wait another week and play the next opponent. It goes day by day.”

“We’ll see. He’s doing well,” said Ryan of Karlos Williams. “He’s running great out here and he’s trying and pushing so hopefully we get good news on it. But you’re not going to put a guy out there if he’s not ready for contact. If he’s not, we’re not putting him out there.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario meets w/pos. coach, but misses practice

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2015 – 2:23 pm

Mario Williams missed his second straight day of practice due to illness. Head coach Rex Ryan laid out Williams chances of playing Sunday as well as the lengths Williams went to in order to get caught up on the game plan.

“Hopefully he’ll be back. I know he wants to play,” said Ryan. “He came in and felt a little better late last night and came in and got with (defensive line coach) Karl Dunbar to discuss the (game) plan. I know he plans on playing. We hope he plays. I’m not sure. It’s two days he’s missed.”

When asked if Williams could play Sunday even if he doesn’t practice Friday this week, Ryan answered in the affirmative.

“Yeah as long as you know your responsibilities,” said Ryan. “But yeah certainly with his kind of abilities you want him out there period.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex encouraged by Mario’s progress

Posted by Chris Brown on December 3, 2015 – 2:38 pm

UBNS image

 

 

Last week Mario Williams was riding around on a scooter to stay off his injured foot. That approach appears to have helped a good deal as Williams has been able to practice on a limited basis each of the last two days. It’s left head coach Rex Ryan encouraged that his big defensive end will be able to play Sunday.

“I think Mario looks good,” said Ryan. “Mario might not be 100 percent, but he’s good enough for us.”

Buffalo’s defensive line is already down Kyle Williams and Alex Carrington, who both went on injured reserve this week. The team signed DE Lavar Edwards and DT T.J. Barnes for reinforcements.

DID NOT PRACTICE
OT Seantrel Henderson – illness
LB Nigel Bradham – ankle
G John Miller – ankle
RB Karlos Williams – shoulder

LIMITED IN PRACTICE
S Bacarri Rambo – knee
WR Marcus Easley – concussion
DE Mario Williams – foot
OT Cordy Glenn – back/knee
QB Tyrod Taylor – right shoulder


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Hoping to have Mario back Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 30, 2015 – 3:19 pm

Buffalo’s pass rush was missing something on Sunday, namely Mario Williams. The Bills defensive end was out with a foot injury suffered in the Monday night game at New England. Head coach Rex Ryan is hopeful he’ll be able to play Sunday against Houston even if it’s just part time work.

“I’m not real sure yet,” said Ryan about Williams status for Sunday. “Hopefully Mario can play in some capacity. I’m not sure. We certainly need him.”

Buffalo lost DE Alex Carrington to a quadriceps injury and is already without Kyle Williams due to a knee injury.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario could miss more than this week

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2015 – 1:09 pm

It came as no surprise. Marcus Easley, John Miller, Kyle Williams and Mario Williams were all unable to practice this week and come Friday all four were declared out for Sunday’s game at Kansas City.

Head coach Rex Ryan confirmed their playing status following practice Friday. Ryan also said that Mario Williams could miss more than this week with his foot injury.

“That’s a possibility, but the good news is (Mario’s injury) is not a season ending one,” said Ryan. “Could he possibly miss another week? Yes, it’s a possibility, but we hope not and we’re doing everything we can to get him back.”

OUT
Kyle Williams – knee
Mario Williams – foot
John Miller – ankle
Marcus Easley – concussion

PROBABLE
QB Tyrod Taylor – right shoulder
DT Marcell Dareus – knee
S Bacarri Rambo – shoulder


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-27

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2015 – 1:03 pm

We’re getting pretty close to do or die time and the Chiefs game at Arrowhead on Sunday is step one. Here are your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you think Tyrod is “the guy” or should the bills draft a qb in the first round until they find him?

DanielBeaudoin1

CB: I would still like to see him play more before passing judgment. Perfect example is last Monday’s game his accuracy was off for the first time this season. Was that an aberration or is there more to it? We don’t know because we haven’t seen enough of Tyrod.

I do believe the greatest concern with Taylor is his ability to stay healthy and in the lineup. We’ve already seen two injuries with him this season. One cost him a pair of starts in Week 6 & 7. The other is the one he’s currently dealing with.

Make no mistakes about it. Taylor is as tough as they come. The question is can his physical frame withstand the punishment that quarterbacks typically take over the course of a 16-game season?

That’s to be determined. Even if Taylor finishes the season strong, I’m a proponent of drafting a quarterback every year. It’s the most important position in football so why wouldn’t you try to ensure you’re strong at that position by drafting one there every year?

I’m not saying round one necessarily, but just like everyone says you can never have enough cornerbacks, I think the same applies to QB.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills what possibility of re-signing the gilly lock to an extension and is Mario a fit for Rex’s scheme may need cap room and waive

jdubsbills

CB: The Bills did buy some time with Stephon Gilmore by picking up his fifth-year option, so he’s not a free agent until 2017, but it’s my belief that Gilmore is priority number one when it comes to locking up players long term. Whether that happens this offseason or just prior to the 2016 season remains to be seen.

As for Mario Williams he has the skill set to play in any defensive scheme. Your cap room query however, is valid. His cap figure is very high and there is substantial savings that could be had if he is waived or if he agrees to restructure. More on that in the answer below.


3 –
Chris,

How do you think the future free agents on the team are doing? Cordy Glenn is having a very good year. What are the odds they can keep him? How much is he a priority over someone like Bradham is having a down year? I know they probably can’t keep everyone but keeping a good tackle long term seems like a good option given they haven’t been too stable on either side on the line in years. What would it cost? Do you expect a ‘hometown discount’ for Incognito too? Given that some teams may not want him still. How much flexibility do they have to do so?

CB: Their flexibility is likely to be rooted in what they decide to do with some cost prohibitive contracts on the roster. Chief among them Mario Williams. His cap figure next season is $19.9M. That will need to be addressed before the team reaches free agency. Both linebacker and offensive tackle are thin positions in terms of experienced depth, so it will be interesting to see how they choose to prioritize Bradham and Glenn.

The team is also going to have to re-sign Richie Incognito, who will be a priority for the offensive line, and no I would not expect Incognito to be willing to take a hometown discount, especially since it’s likely to be his last NFL contract.

 

4 – Hi Chris,

First off thanks for the Fan Fridays! I enjoys reading other fans questions and your insight to them.

My questions is about the health and return of Aaron Williams. I haven’t seen anything reported about him other than he was up in a box cheering on his teammates during the jets game. Has he recovered from his neck injury? With the activation of McKelvin can he still return to playing this season? (although with Rambo and Cory playing well we are not falling apart without him)

Thanks!
Recently Displaced Bills fan now in DC,
Joe
CB: Williams has attended each of the Bills last two road games. He was placed on short term I-R. He’ll be eligible to return for the Eagles game in Week 14 at the earliest. Whether he does or does not is solely up to the team’s medical staff.

 

5 – Chris;
Bud Grant had a saying, too many “fan in the stands penalties” and plays. He could bring in any fan from the stands to line up off sides etc. When u get down to it, off sides, holding , dropped passes, punts, over and under thrown passes etc., any fan can make those plays.
Am I being too critical ??
Too many miscues keep us from winning. What are ur thoughts ??

Jim in Florida

CB: I think there were too many miscues last week. Unfortunately it doesn’t take much when facing the Patriots, one of the most consistent teams in the league when it comes to execution. Their defense had just one or two poor plays, but played well enough to win. The offense and special teams units could not say the same in that game.

What’s interesting is the prevailing theme in the locker room this week was just executing the game plan more effectively. We’ll see if it can happen Sunday in KC.


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Suh holds Bills D-line in high regard

Posted by Chris Brown on November 5, 2015 – 10:08 am

Miami’s biggest offseason acquisition both physically and financially was Pro Bowl DT Ndamukong Suh. After a slow start Suh has begun to hit his stride, and though he’s focused on his own job each and every week, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t notice the talents of players on opposing defensive lines. That’s why he holds Buffalo’s defensive front in high regard.

“I respect every last one of those guys,” said Suh of Buffalo’s defensive line. “I know Mario (Williams) personally, I know Kyle (Williams), I’ve had some good interactions with him, young guy is ninety nine (DT Marcell Dareus) is playing at a high level well deserved contract, (DE) Jerry Hughes I know personally, all great guys, all high level defensive linemen and I have a lot of respect for them.”

Suh had four tackles including two for loss in Miami’s first meeting with Buffalo in Week 3.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario new addition to injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on November 4, 2015 – 3:38 pm

Mario Williams was a new addition to Buffalo’s injury report. He was limited at Wednesday’s practice with a knee injury. Also limited were Corey Graham, Sammy Watkins and A.J. Tarpley. Percy Harvin meanwhile did not practice due to what was listed as a knee injury. He had been dealing with a persistent hip problem since training camp.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday
Kyle Williams DT Knee DNP
Percy Harvin WR Knee DNP
Corey Graham S Groin LP
Sammy Watkins WR Ankle LP
AJ Tarpley LB Concussion LP
Mario Williams DE Knee LP
Karlos Williams RB Concussion FP
Seantrel Henderson T Concussion FP
Tyrod Taylor QB Knee FP

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario: we can’t nitpick defense

Posted by Chris Brown on October 21, 2015 – 12:28 pm

Mario Williams had some comments postgame last week about his role in Buffalo’s defensive scheme in last Sunday’s loss to Cincinnati. On Wednesday those comments were softened as the defensive end admitted his job as a player is to execute and be productive.

“At the end of the day, the coaches coach, the D-coordinator, all the coaches—they have to implement what is needed,” said Williams, who maintains that Rex Ryan’s defense is still an aggressive scheme. “You have to go out and play ball. If we sit here and nitpick and try to point people out instead of trying to get better and capitalize on the situation we are in, we’re not going to be anywhere we want to go and that’s not going to be good.”

Williams did continue to say he felt he dropped into coverage a good deal in the Bengals game.

“I know it was a lot,” he said. “At the same time, I’ve got to cover my butt off. The guys who were going, they have to get there. It’s something that you’re put out their on the spot to do it—because that’s the numbers. That’s who we got—Xs and Os—you have to go out there and do it regardless.”


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Rex agrees with Mario & Marcell’s take on ‘D’

Posted by Chris Brown on October 21, 2015 – 7:08 am

Mario Williams and Marcell Dareus both expressed their opinions of Buffalo’s defensive scheme and how they feel it’s not maximizing their strengths as players. Head coach Rex Ryan said he doesn’t disagree with them.

“I would say I would probably agree with them when you look at it,” said Ryan. “Should we have rushed more this past week in particular? That’s probably true.

“I’m not perfect as a play caller and all that and I know that surprises you guys, but I try to do the best I can. If I’m going to make a mistake it’s going to be something I feel strongly about, but if it doesn’t work then that happens. I get it.

“I’m going to say this, Mario Williams in my opinion he did a tremendous job of dropping when we put him in coverage. He takes a lot of pride in it. I think he does a great job of it. Obviously when you look at it and I get it he gets paid to rush the quarterback, but we get paid to win. What I was trying to do was get the guy out of rhythm initially. I think initially it was working pretty good, but I think I lived in it too much. I don’t necessarily disagree with Marcell and Mario’s views.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario 2nd fastest to 40

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2015 – 8:50 am

On Sunday Mario Williams reached 40 sacks with the Bills after his takedown of Marcus Mariota in the win over the Titans. He’s the second-fastest Bills player to reach 40 sacks.

Williams reached 40 career sacks with Buffalo in just 53 games. He’s topped only by Hall of Famer Bruce Smith who reached 40 sacks in 48 games.

Buffalo’s top current pass rusher didn’t care much about his personal stats. He was more focused on the team’s mental toughness that was on display Sunday.

“We know that we’re never going to stop playing, regardless of the situation,” said Williams. “Regardless of the total yards, at the end of the day we want to have the least amount of yards but we want to have the least amount of points –that’s the most important thing.  I think at the end of the day, we just kept chopping away.  We let a couple slip away because we had some penalties and we’ve got to correct that, that’s been our Achilles heel. It was good aggressive defense. It wasn’t anything after the whistle, which we’ve been known for recently.   We’re definitely working on it.”


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Bills nicked players rehabbing back in Buffalo

Posted by Chris Brown on September 2, 2015 – 6:43 pm

The Bills do not intend to play their starters at all Thursday night against the Lions in Detroit. With some of their injured players they took it a step further not having them make the trip at all.

The plan is to allow them to spend more time rehabbing their respective injuries at One Bills Drive rather than traveling back and forth to Detroit.

Among the players who will be working at One Bills Drive are Charles Clay, Marcell Dareus, Boobie Dixon, Marquise Goodwin, Deonte Thompson, Karlos Williams, Mario Williams and Robert Woods.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

What if Mario was a wideout?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 2, 2015 – 2:46 pm

Sports Illustrated recently did a photo shoot with a number of NFL stars around the league with the focus being what position they would play besides their chosen one. DE Mario Williams was the Bills player who participated in the photo shoot.

Williams chose wide receiver as his alternative position.

“I’d be the type of wideout who would go deep and across the middle—that’s where all the physical stuff goes on,” said Williams. “I have the size, speed and ability to separate from a defender. My touchdown dance? I’d put the ball down and get right back to the huddle. Act like you’ve been there before. . . . The coaches have never really said anything about [playing me at receiver], but with Coach Rex, who knows what could happen.”

Mario-Williams


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