Inside The Bills

Rex would give Goodwin green light for Olympics

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2015 – 5:05 pm

There was a lot of debate about whether Bills head coach Rex Ryan would have a problem with Marquise Goodwin competing in the World Championship in Beijing, China later this month had he qualified for the team. He just missed qualification, but earned a silver medal in the Pan Am Games last month. Ryan said had he the World Championship team for the US he would’ve let him go compete.

“Yes we would’ve let him go no question,” said Ryan. “He had a chance to represent our country, then he comes back and represents our franchise. This guy is one of the fastest guys in the world and we’re proud of that fact and he’ll come out here and be ready to roll. We know what he is as a player and he’s all here. But we’ll see how it goes next spring.”

When asked why it wouldn’t bother him if Goodwin had to miss some time for an international track and field event, Ryan sees one benefiting the other.

“You’re competing and all that stuff, but he’s going to run anyway. He’s going to do those types of things. It’s just an unbelievable opportunity for a young man to be in those games, the Pan Am Games,” said Ryan. “We’ll see. Hopefully he gets an opportunity to represent our country in the Olympics. That would be terrific. It is in Brazil. I would definitely go to that one and I’ll see him also.”

 


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Goodwin rolling into camp

Posted by Chris Brown on July 30, 2015 – 3:12 pm

Things for Marquise Goodwin might be rolling at training camp opens on the heels of his silver medal-winning performance at the Pan Am Games just last week. But Goodwin literally rolled into camp after he got out of his car.

Goodwin came to camp equipped with a V-board. A V-board is a lot like the Segway devices that police officers and security guards make use of to get around, only a V-board is just the board and two wheels. I asked Goodwin how fast the device can carry him.

“As fast as you want it to,” he said. “I think the top speed is 15-20 miles per hour.”

Naturally there’s a good bit of balance involved to allow the board to carry you, but Goodwin appears to have it mastered after seeing him carrying his lunch plate with him while on his V-board.

Goodwin's V-board

 


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Goodwin gets special support in silver medal win

Posted by Chris Brown on July 23, 2015 – 6:23 am

It was a medal-winning finish for Marquise Goodwin in the long jump final at the Pan Am Games in Toronto. And Goodwin had some special Bills support behind him Wednesday night. 

Bills receivers coach Sanjay Lal made the trip to Toronto to cheer on Goodwin as he earned a silver medal in the long jump, finishing second only to US teammate Jeffery Henderson. 

“My receivers coach came all the way up here to support me and take time away from his vacation, so I appreciate that,” said Goodwin. “Training camp is right around the corner, so I’m excited.”

Goodwin had consistent support from Toronto-based Bills fans during the competition at the Pan Am Games. 

The Bills receiver was asked multiple times by the media if he considers himself a football player or a track star. Every time Goodwin has labeled himself an athlete. 

He went on to say that his commitment is to the Bills. 

As successful as Goodwin was with limited training it will make next year’s Olympic qualifying an interesting proposition for Goodwin. 

The 2016 Olympic Games will be held in Rio De Janeiro next year in August. 


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Goodwin likes his chances in long jump final

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2015 – 1:51 pm

Marquise Goodwin has gotten a lot of media attention since he qualified for the Pan Am Games long jump final tonight in Toronto (6 pm). He just completed an interview on ESPN and stated how much he likes his chances to medal tonight.

“I think I have a pretty good chance,” Goodwin told ESPN. “A lot of people have worked hard for this, but so have I. I think I’m the best man. I’ll put myself up against anybody.”

Goodwin had the second-longest jump among the qualifiers, second only to USA teammate Jeffery Henderson.


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Bills teammates & fans supporting Goodwin

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2015 – 11:28 am

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin isn’t far from where his pro football home participating in the Pan Am Games in the long jump in Toronto this week. He’s in tonight’s finals for the long jump (6 pm), and is very appreciative of the support he’s received from his Bills teammates and from Bills fans on site in Toronto.

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show, Goodwin talked about how all the support has pumped him up for the competition.

“I actually saw some Bills fans in the stands which really excited me after I jumped,” said Goodwin. “I was getting ready to leave the track and I looked in the corner by the long jump pits and they were like, ‘Hey Marquise! Go Bills!’ It was so cool.”

Goodwin said he’s received support from several of his current and former Bills teammates as well, who have been sending him tweets constantly. “A lot of my teammates are contacting me telling me they’re watching and cheering for me,” Goodwin said. “A lot of them are tweeting. They’ve just been really supportive of me. It’s a great group of guys. That shows how great the camaraderie is on our team. For it to be a whole different sport and have them watch and cheer is just a blessing.”


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Goodwin enters long jump finals confident

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2015 – 11:00 am

He needed only one attempt to qualify for the finals in the long jump at the Pan Am Games in Toronto. Now he awaits the opportunity to medal tonight at 6 pm. While waiting Marquise Goodwin took time to appear on the John Murphy Show to talk about his resurgent track career.

Goodwin, who tweeted that he’d need only one attempt in qualifying to get through to the finals proved true to his word with a jump of 26 feet and change (8.05 meters).

“I was pretty certain and confident in my ability,” Goodwin told the John Murphy Show. “I don’t walk into any competition thinking I’m anything less than the next man. So my confidence was high and kind of expected to do well. I put in a lot of work toward it and I was motivated and ready for the competition.”

The finals for the long jump are Wednesday night at 8 pm and are expected to air on ESPN2.


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Goodwin qualifies for long jump final

Posted by Chris Brown on July 21, 2015 – 1:07 pm

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin is participating at the Pan Am Games in Toronto in the long jump. Earlier today he jumped in the qualifiers for a chance to advance to the finals.

Goodwin jumped 8.05 meters (26.41 feet), which was the best jump in his qualifying group and second-best overall to only US teammate Jeffery Henderson, who jumped 8.18 meters (26.83 feet). So Goodwin is one of 12 athletes to advance to the finals with a chance to medal.

The finals for the long jump at the Pan Am Games is Wednesday just after 6 pm ET.


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Goodwin to jump today at Pan Am Games

Posted by Chris Brown on July 21, 2015 – 11:00 am

He’ll be participating at the Pan Am Games just north of the border in Toronto just before noon today. Bills WR Marquise Goodwin is set to go as a US competitor in the long jump.

Goodwin’s qualifying group is set to begin jumping at 11:45 am ET. There is a second qualifying group to follow. The favorites in the competition include Goodwin’s US teammate Jeffery Henderson, Bermuda’s Tyrone Smith and Jamaica’s Damar Forbes.

If Goodwin qualifies for the finals in the long jump, he’ll jump again on Wednesday.

Here is Goodwin’s Pan Am Games profile.


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Goodwin to jump in Pan American games

Posted by Chris Brown on July 8, 2015 – 10:40 am

After narrowly failing to qualify for a spot on the US team for the World track & field championships in China in August, Bills WR Marquise Goodwin is going to participate in one more major track and field competition before training camp.

Goodwin is listed as a participant for the US team in the Pan American Games later this month in Toronto. The receiver will again be competing in the long jump. The dates for the event are July 21st and 22nd, which is just over a week before Bills training camp begins at St. John Fisher.

Goodwin is one of 43 US male athletes competing in the games. He told the AP last month after failing to qualify for the World Championships that he was headed “back to football,” but apparently this new opportunity surfaced and he chose to participate.

Last month Goodwin needed to finish in the top three as the US track and field championships to qualify for the World Championships in Beijing, but finished fourth with a best jump of 27-feet 5 1/2 inches.

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin leaps in the long jump at the U.S. track and field championships in Eugene, Ore., Thursday, June 25, 2015.  Goodwin is taking a break from football to return to the long jump. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin leaps in the long jump at the U.S. track and field championships in Eugene, Ore., Thursday, June 25, 2015. Goodwin is taking a break from football to return to the long jump. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)


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Goodwin finishes 4th at US track championships

Posted by Chris Brown on June 26, 2015 – 9:39 am

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin took a shot Thursday at qualifying for the US National track and field team for the World Championships in Beijing next month. He was trying to land a spot on the team as a long jumper.

Goodwin had to finish among the top three to make the team and appear in the World Championships. The Bills receiver finished fourth with a long jump best of 27-feet 5 1/2-inches.

“Back to football,” Goodwin told the Associated Press. “But words can’t even explain how happy I am right now.”

Goodwin admitted that had he qualified for the US team, balancing the World Championships in China and training camp, which overlapped would’ve been difficult. But that’s no longer a concern.

The Bills receiver qualified for the 2012 US Olympic team, but finished a disappointing 10th in the 2012 London games.

Goodwin didn’t rule out trying to qualify for the 2016 Olympic team which will compete in Rio next summer.

“We know what’s (coming up) next year. I expect big things,” Goodwin said. “But football is my main deal right now.”

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin leaps in the long jump at the U.S. track and field championships in Eugene, Ore., Thursday, June 25, 2015.  Goodwin is taking a break from football to return to the long jump. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

 (AP Photo/Don Ryan)


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Report: Goodwin to be in US track championships

Posted by Chris Brown on June 22, 2015 – 4:52 pm

United States' Marquise Goodwin makes an attempt during the mens long jump qualification at the athletics competition in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip )

United States’ Marquise Goodwin makes an attempt during the mens long jump qualification at the athletics competition in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip )

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin will be participating is the US track and field championships this weekend.

That’s according to multiple reports. Goodwin will not be a sprinter, but will be participating in the long jump competition, the same event that he qualified for in the 2012 Olympics in London.

Goodwin, who has a personal best of just a shade over 27 feet successfully petitioned the US track and field committee to be entered in this weekend’s qualifiers for the World Championships in Beijing, China from August 22-30. That according to an SI.com report. 

To do so he’d have to finish among the top three US qualifiers and meet the minimum required jump of 26.5 feet.

If he does the long jump competition is scheduled to take place in Beijing on Aug. 24th and 25th. Bills training camp runs July 31st to Aug. 25th.

Goodwin finished 10th in the long jump in the London Olympics in 2012.


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Fan Friday 6-19

Posted by Chris Brown on June 19, 2015 – 11:33 am

The mandatory minicamp is in the books. Six weeks until training camp at St. John Fisher. Let’s get to your latest round of questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,
Is there anybody that is already on the squad that might have torn up the practice fields that we haven’t heard about yet because they didn’t get much playing time?  In other words, is there anybody on the team already that you think is either in line to break out or will push a current starter for a job more than expected?

Thanks,
Tommy of Pittsford

CB: There were a few players who performed admirably in the spring practices that didn’t get much time on the field last year, but I caution that football in the spring is not real football, so take these names with a grain of salt.

Marquise Goodwin had a strong spring. He was turning in plays left and right in the passing game. Now keep in mind that’s without Stephon Gilmore, Leodis McKelvin or Aaron Williams running around in Buffalo’s secondary. And the pads aren’t on, which is when the game gets more physical and cornerbacks are jamming receivers a lot harder at the line of scrimmage. We’ll see what he can do at camp.

Cyrus Kouandjio, as we’ve covered on Buffalobills.com, has improved his footwork and balance a great deal. We’ll see how he does in camp, again, when the pads are on.

Two other players that I thought fared well, who could take a step forward this season are S Jonathan Meeks and TE Marqueis Gray. Both made plays in the spring practices and offer high caliber athleticism at their respective positions.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills
Is Harvin slated for both return spots or just punts?

SJHNatFan

CB: From what I witnessed at OTAs and minicamp Harvin is only being used on kick returns. The primary punt return candidates included Leodis McKelvin and Marcus Thigpen.

 

3 – Chris,

In light of the draft where they added 1 TE and one RB, how does this affect the final roster? Roman likes to dress/have 4 TE’s but they

currently have 5 running backs. Are Boobie/Bryce on the cut list to watch? I am not a fan of drafting a developmental running back with a history of violence against women, I don’t see the value in picking a back. Boobie plays special teams as well. Do you see O’Leary as lock to make this team too? Wondering how you might this these position groups look after the draft?

CB: Adding O’Leary and Karlos Williams just deepens the pool of talent at their positions. I like what I’ve seen from both players in the spring practices. O’Leary catches just about everything thrown to him. I agree that there will probably be four tight ends on the 53-man roster.

The tough call will be at running back where Williams has made a good case for himself. You’re also forgetting the fact that they’ll keep one fullback too who factors into the RB equation. So it’s likely they keep 4 RBs and 1 FB and 4 TEs. That could also mean the team only keeps five wide receivers. You’ve got to trim numbers somewhere else if Greg Roman’s offense needs numbers at TE.

 

4 – Chris,

Could you share your thoughts and insights on our offensive line expectations? Our two glaring weaknesses from last season was the inability to protect or provide the QB position ample time to develop consistency in a passing game and the lack of developing a foundation with a running game.

Many feel the offensive line play led to the lack of a better QB play although the argument could easily be spun both ways.  Yet going into this next season our offense is mostly a mystery of what to expect.

Despite the influx of talent brought in during F/A one could argue that we will be no better off than a year ago with the only hope that the new offense and scheme applied will either swing the pendulum one way or the other.  Many feel that controlling the trenches is where it all starts regardless of how skilled your skilled positions are.  Still another unsettling feeling deep in the souls of us Bills fans.

Thanks for you time and efforts.
VanScottM

CB: I’ll start by saying perhaps the two most important additions for the offensive line were coach Aaron Kromer and OC Greg Roman. Both know how to organize and coach line play. That’s where the two biggest improvements were made. Richie Incognito is a perfect fit for a power run game and John Miller has been widely lauded as Buffalo’s best pick in the 2015 draft and is expected to start at right guard.

With Cyrus Kouandjio showing an improved skill set and Cordy Glenn in the best shape of his life I believe the unit can take a sizable step forward this year and perhaps rebound from their 25th ranked rushing attack last season and get back into the top 10.

 

5 – Chris:

A couple of questions:

Whom do you think will take Dareus’ place in game #1?

Do you expect 90 players will be there the first day of training camp or will that number be reduced because of OTAs? Jeff Tuel was just released, but Matt Simms took his place.

Thanks very much.
Tom

CB: Right now the guy the Bills have penciled in to take Dareus’ spot in Week 1 is Corbin Bryant. Rex Ryan confirmed that when asked. Now will it be Bryant exclusively in that spot for the entire game? Probably not. Stefan Charles might rotate in there as well.

I do expect 90 players at training camp. Coaches like to have as many bodies as they can at camp. Knowing the Bills intend to run two team units simultaneously at camp when they go 11-on-11 in practice, having 90 players will be all the more necessary.

 


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Texas floods keep Goodwin away

Posted by Chris Brown on May 27, 2015 – 2:25 pm

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin was one of the few players who was not in attendance at OTAs on Wednesday. Head coach Rex Ryan explained how the flooding in Texas the last few weeks have kept planes on the ground in the Lone Star state.

“Unfortunately, we know the weather out in Texas and man, oh man,” said Ryan. “I saw the pictures in today’s paper and it’s like, wow, it’s hard to fathom being out here where it’s nice out. But man, what they’re dealing with is something. He’s been detained.  We’ll see how long that goes, I know he’s trying to get here, but obviously there are much more pressing needs than him being here in a voluntary camp.”

Ryan has not been in touch with Goodwin personally, but the club has spoken to him about his situation.

“I know he’s in touch with our guys,” said Ryan. “The main thing is obviously to take care of home first and then get back when everything is taken care of. Hopefully everything is OK, but I’m not sure.”

Chris Williams is another veteran player who has not been in attendance.


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Fan Friday 5-15

Posted by Chris Brown on May 15, 2015 – 11:41 am

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?

nschirra8

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.
Best,
Robert F.

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?
Thanks
Paddy

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.

Just curious
@GregTheBillsFan

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.

Sean

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.


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Darby meets his match-at One Bills Drive

Posted by johnmurphyshow on May 2, 2015 – 2:15 pm

Bills first draft pick Ronald Darby spent some time Saturday at One Bills Drive, fulfilling media obligations, meeting his coaching staff, and taking a look around the complex.

After visiting the locker room in the Ad Pro Sports Fieldhouse, Darby took a look inside the field house itself, and saw Bills WR Marquise Goodwin working out on his own.

Goodwin stopped his workout to come over and shake hands with Buffalo’s 2nd round draft pick and talk about their shared sports–football, and track.

Darby was an elite track performer in high school and was part of the USA medley relay gold medal winning team at the World Youth Championships four years ago. Goodwin, of course, was a two-time NCAA Long Jump Champion and finished 10th in the long jump at the Olympics in London.

“He’s a player I truly respect for his speed and being the player he is,” Darby said of Goodwin, after the two talked in the field house. ” When I get here I’m going to train with him when it comes to speed things. He can teach me a lot, help me get faster.”

It’s hard to imagine Darby getting much faster. He was clocked at 4.38 in the 40-yard dash at the combine.

“There’s always things you can do, more flexibility, the stuff he(Goodwin)  was doing, bounding, help with the jumping, help with the stride length, the frequencies, there’s a lot of things you can do,” Darby said.

What about the prospect of a race, a 100-yard dash competition between Darby and Goodwin?

“I don’t duck any races.  But I think he’ll get me.  That’s an Olympian. I know my place.”


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Fan Friday 12-5

Posted by Chris Brown on December 5, 2014 – 11:20 am

The biggest December road game in quite some time is just two days away. Nice to see a game that matters here at this point in the season for the Bills. On to your questions now from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Hello Chris
I have a couple questions. When will the coaching staff see that the QB play was 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 mellow 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: Your numbers for Orton and Manuel are pretty much on the mark. Orton does have eight fourth quarter comebacks in his career. Manuel has one fourth quarter comeback and three game-winning drives, one of which came in Week 1 against Chicago in overtime with the score tied.

I think head coach Doug Marrone explained the quarterback move for what it was. At the time Manuel was struggling to complete passes with consistency. He was missing open targets and it was costing them yards and points and that ultimately costs you games.

Marrone had to decide between development of EJ Manuel or winning games. Winning games trumped Manuel’s development. Orton doesn’t have the physical assets that Manuel possesses. That’s obvious.

What Orton does have however, is the knowledge of where to go with the football regardless of the situation or defensive look. He can diagnose disguised coverages faster and his knowledge allows him to make decisions quicker. I think that results in Orton being more willing to give his receivers opportunities to make plays by taking a bit more risk than Manuel was willing to when he was in the lineup.

That being said Manuel has been working hard on his personal game and I think being able to focus on just himself the last two months has helped Manuel immeasurably. Whether he gets another opportunity this season will likely be tied to Orton’s health.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

What do you think Hughes trade value is? Would you package him and Spiller for a first rd. Pick?

crazyeyes7711

CB: First, I will say I don’t think it’s the primary intention of the Bills to trade either player. In an ideal world they keep both players in the fold. Will it happen? That depends on the intentions of the Hughes and Spiller camps.

In your hypothetical trade situation I think you’re underselling Hughes and Spiller as a package. Hughes is going to have double-digit sacks in back-to-back seasons and is just entering his prime. Spiller is still an elite physical talent no matter what his rushing production numbers say. One first round pick for both of them is far from an acceptable offer.

A first and a second round pick is what would be more equitable. We have to remember that they’re both former first-round draft choices themselves.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

What’s Goodwin’s % to play?

8three7six6zero

CB: If you want to know if he’ll dress on Sunday I think there’s a decent chance that happens knowing some of Buffalo’s top receivers are nicked up. He can serve as insurance. If you want to know how many snaps he’ll get that’s tough to peg. He got all of two snaps last week on offense and was targeted once. After Marcus Thigpen’s debut performance on returns last week Goodwin is unlikely to re-assume those duties.

Goodwin has just 70 snaps on offense this season. That’s partly due to him being unavailable due to injury, but that’s more than 100 fewer snaps on offense than Mike Williams (194), who has been inactive for three games. Goodwin has been out of the lineup for six games.

The former third-round pick has just six targets this season and one catch for 42 yards.

 

4 –  @ChrisBrownBills

What position will be the top priority to improve in the offseason?

JaredBailey23

CB: I think the clubhouse leader position-wise is the offensive line. Though the unit has played a bit better of late there just hasn’t been enough consistency up front, so I could see that being addressed in the offseason. Where they come down on the quarterback position is something else that bears watching.

Other positions could be added to the priority list based on potential player departures in free agency.

 

5 – Chris,

I understand that opponents are working on eliminating Sammy’s impact on games and work on keeping him from beating them. That said, I still think they are under utilizing Sammy, specifically on WR screens. It would be one thing if they were running WR screens on the opposite side of the field as Sammy, but the majority of the time Sammy is lead blocking. I saw this at least two times on Monday night’s game.

I get what Marrone is saying, but their actions don’t always coordinate entirely with what they say.

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Elliott

CB: They have worked to find more ways to get Watkins the ball. We saw some receiver screens last week against Cleveland. I think there would be some merit to stacking receivers at the line with Watkins being the wideout who is second in line on the stack. That could help him gain early separation.

Watkins was targeted nine times last week, but had just three receptions. Part of the problem at times was ball location. Watkins has a wide catch radius, but even he couldn’t make the play on some errant throws. The timing and execution has to be better when Watkins is targeted.

We’ll see if they can get that fixed against a pair of very aggressive corners this week in Denver.


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Fan Friday 11-28

Posted by Chris Brown on November 28, 2014 – 10:24 am

Big AFC conference tilt Sunday with Cleveland that will have a large impact on whether or not the Bills can stay in the playoff race. On to your questions now from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Dear Chris,

First of all, let me thank you and the rest of the extraordinary staff at Bills.com for providing me with so much information about my Bills. As a Bills Backer from Austria, Europe it feels like I’m right there in Buffalo, getting all the valuable insights I need. This service is simply second to none!

My question is what will the Bills do with Boobie in the offseason? Since C.J.’s status is up in the air, it would make even more sense to keep him here for another year.

Thanks again for all the great work you do and I am already looking forward to the next piece of information on the web!

Stefan

CB: We appreciate the compliments, thanks. Well the good news is when the Bills signed Dixon this past offseason it was a three-year contract agreement, so he’s signed through the 2016 season. So I don’t think you’ve got anything to worry about regarding Dixon’s immediate future with Buffalo.

 

2 – Hello, Chris.

As always, your coverage has been fantastic.  Thanks for all your effort and insight.

My questions relate to the rules regarding the game-day roster of 45 players.  I admit that I know nothing of the origins of that rule, and acknowledge that it is not specific to the NFL (the NHL has healthy scratches to the line-up as well, for example).  However, as a fan, I am frustrated that the rule even exists.  Is seems like a completely arbitrary and contrived barrier to putting the best players on the field.  I understand that roster limits of some sort are necessary to maintain competitive balance and contain cost, but once the 53-man roster exists, what sense does it make to restrict it further?  The fans certainly do not benefit when a coach has to choose between a 4th WR or a special teamer – when having both would optimize the team’s performance in both those phases of the game.

Can you please shed some light on this rule for me?  Who benefits from it?  Do the players insist on it via collective bargaining for some reason (I would think they would oppose it to give as many players a shot to play)?  Do the owners/management teams save money on contracts for the players that sit?

I can think of many reasons why it would be better to have all 53 players suit up for a game, and not one for why it is better that 8 players sit out.  I am hoping you can share some rationale that makes the rule seem like it makes the game better, and not worse.

Thanks,
Walter
CB: The game day limit is actually 46 players now after they did away with the emergency third QB. The whole purpose forcing teams to have seven inactive players from their 53-man roster is to create better competitive balance.

Yes, all NFL clubs deal with injuries due to the physical nature of the sport, but some teams experience more than others at different times in the season. So when a team may have five injured players who are not fit to play in the same week, giving them just 48 healthy players, the NFL believes it is too much of a competitive imbalance to let their opponent dress all 53 of their players if they’re a fully healthy club.

Does that kind of imbalance exist very often? Probably not, but there have been instances where the injury lists have been rather lopsided leading up to a game and could create such an imbalance if the game day 46 rule did not exist.

I think coaches would love to have all healthy players available to them on Sunday, but the NFL Competition Committee hasn’t seen fit to change the rule.

 

3 – Chris,

Down 10 with 8 or 9 minutes, 4th and 6 on Mia 47 Doug Marrone chose to punt because “the percentages of converting a 4th and 6 are not great”. If you are using this analytic thinking, don’t you have to ask yourself “what are the percentages of winning when you give your opponent the ball back with 8 minutes down 10 points. Rewind to the KC game and they go for it on 4th and 10 when you have the opportunity to make it a 1 point game with all 3 timeouts and the 2 minute warning. I just don’t see the consistency in his analytical thinking, sometimes a little common sense trumps percentages.

My question is, does Marrone have access to percentages and analytics to make a real time game decision?

CB: I think the reason you don’t see the consistency in his analytical thinking is because he doesn’t go strictly by the numbers. Coach Marrone does make use of analytical data, but for him it’s just part of the puzzle, not gospel.

Personally I think it’s a wise approach. The number crunchers who demand that a team should go for it on 4th-and-4 at their own 45 because the numbers say they’ll convert more than 50 percent, or whatever figure it might be, are not taking into account the variables involved in those numbers.

There are instances like a team being down by 21 points in the fourth quarter with five minutes left. If that offense has that 4th-and-4 situation they’ll go for it based on time and score. Even more notable, the opposing defense will play soft as they would be in a position where they’re willing to give up yardage in exchange for time on the clock being up three scores.

That successful conversion by that offense is a part of that overall success rate of teams on 4th-and-4 at their own 45. And that’s just one situation that’s part of that number which would give any coach pause, especially if a situation they face in their game is in stark contrast to that (e.g. 4th-and-4 at their own 45, down three points in the third quarter).

Treating analytic figures like that in a vacuum is foolish for NFL head coaches and they know it because they don’t tell the whole truth. That’s why coach Marrone has stated that while he does take statistics into account much of the time he goes by feel, which takes into account how his offense is executing, how the opposing defense is performing, how his own defense and special teams have been able to control field position. Time and score, etc.

Analytics like that are largely based on a number of different circumstances in a 4th-and-4 situation. To take them all to make a singular decision that is also a 4th-and-4 situation at the same yard line is flawed.

 

 

4 – Hi Chris,

Are the Bills planning to move CJ Spiller off the roster? My reasoning: He has had maybe 2 1/2 good years in total. Yes, he has talent, but he does not show up consistently. With work, I think Bryce Brown could replace Spiller. He is not as flamboyant as Spiller, but he is bigger, and has equal speed. Also, would the Bills draft a Fred Jackson like running back next April? Jackson is 33, and nearing the end. Jackson has maximized his potential, something I don’t Spiller has done.

In summary, keeping Brown, using Dixon as a change of pace back, and drafting a Fred Jackson clone would create a formidable running attack.

Your thoughts,
Tony, Ormond Beach, Fl

CB: It’s my belief that in a perfect world the Bills would like to return Spiller to the fold for next season and beyond. I think your opinion on Bryce Brown is valid. He is more of a north-south runner than Spiller.

As for whether the Bills would draft a running back will hinge largely on Spiller’s future, so until that scenario unfolds it’s difficult to ascertain the direction the Bills will go in late April.

Jackson signed a one-year extension this past summer and I’m expecting the Bills to honor that so long as Jackson’s abilities don’t fall off a cliff. And there’d no indication of that.

 

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

What’s going on with Goodwin?

MHouck7

CB: I think Marquise Goodwin’s availability has been a tough thing for the coaching staff to deal with this season. He’s been nicked this season, and there are a few games where he was active and played, but was unable to finish due to injuries suffered in game.

There’s no question that Goodwin’s abilities can make him an asset on offense or special teams, but if there’s a concern about him finishing games that will give coaches pause in giving him a large role or perhaps dressing him at all on a Sunday.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills inactives include Jackson, Goodwin

Posted by Chris Brown on November 13, 2014 – 7:01 pm

Here are the Bills inactives for tonight’s game against the Dolphins.

22 RB Jackson
33 CB Brooks
39 RB Tanner
58 LB Johnson
71 OL Kouandjio
88 WR Goodwin
92 DE Wynn.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Goodwin’s health has Marrone optimistic

Posted by Chris Brown on November 7, 2014 – 9:39 am

He’s missed each of the last two games with a hamstring injury suffered in practice last month. And though Marquise Goodwin has been limited in practice this week, Bills head coach Doug Marrone is optimistic that the speed receiver will be ready for Sunday’s game.

In his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Marrone gave strong indication that Goodwin would be available for this weekend’s game against the Chiefs.

“He looks good,” said Marrone. “He looks really good. He’s full strength, no problems at all.”

Goodwin had a game-tying 40-yard touchdown reception in last year’s game against the Chiefs.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills injury status for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 17, 2014 – 1:04 pm

injury-report-header

 

 

 

 

 

WR Marquise Goodwin, who suffered a hamstring injury in practice Thursday, is out for Sunday’s game against the Vikings. With Marcus Easley also out Buffalo has just four healthy receivers. Here’s a look at the rest of the final injury report for the Bills heading into Sunday’s game.

OUT
WR Marcus Easley – knee
WR Marquise Goodwin – hamstring
LB Ty Powell – ankle

PROBABLE
LS Garrison Sanborn – knee
S Da’Norris Searcy – knee
LB Brandon Spikes – ribs
S Aaron Williams – wrist
DT Kyle Williams – knee


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Posted in Inside the Bills