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Inside The Bills

Bills injuries not serious

Posted by Chris Brown on August 21, 2011 – 12:06 am

Bills head coach Chan Gailey got right to an update about the handful of injured Bills in Saturday night’s game, including Donald Jones who was knocked cold on an illegal hit along the sideline and Johnny White whose head was slammed into the turf on a tackle and had to be carted off strapped on a backboard.

“I know the injuries were of concern to everyone and the good news right now is there were no serious injuries,” said Gailey. “Guys will miss a while, but they’re going to eventually be fine.”

Johnny White was taken to the hospital for examination, but cleared and flew home with the team Saturday night. So did Jones.

Arthur Moats suffered a bruise to his leg and Naaman Roosevelt and Felton Huggins sustained undisclosed leg injuries.


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WR groupings post Evans

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2011 – 6:00 am

For those that missed it in Saturday’s preseason opener. Here were some of the more common receiver groupings with Lee Evans no longer a part of the equation.

In a regular pro set it was Donald Jones and Stevie Johnson.

In three wide it was Jones and Johnson with David Nelson in the slot. When Roscoe is healthy he’ll be the slot guy.

In four wide it was Jones, Johnson, Nelson and Roosevelt. When Roscoe is healthy he’ll be the third WR, with Nelson the fourth.

With the second unit it was mostly Marcus Easley and Craig Davis with Naaman Roosevelt in the slot.

When that group went four wide Felton Huggins was the fourth receiver. Paul Hubbard was rotated in with that group at times as well.


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Davis move makes more sense

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2011 – 1:21 pm

The Bills acquisition of Craig Davis last week was a bit peculiar considering Buffalo’s depth at the receiver position. Now with Lee Evans traded, the most to acquire a veteran receiver makes a lot more sense.

Granted, Davis hasn’t put together much bigger stats than the second-year receivers on Buffalo’s roster, but it was clear in practices this week that they were anxious to get him in sync with the first team offense.

He was lining up in both Evans’ and Johnson’s outside receiver positions as he rotated in with the first unit each of the last two days. He got so many reps on Wednesday night that he got winded and had to come out of practice early.

I’m not sure that Davis is the long term answer for that role opposite Johnson because I know the organization believes Marcus Easley can be a number one or number two wideout in due time.

And in saying that I’m not dismissing David Nelson, Donald Jones or Naaman Roosevelt (Roscoe is the slot guy and not an outside guy). All of them will be in the mix and certainly capable.

We’ll just have to see who takes the opportunity and runs with it.


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How many WRs do Bills keep?

Posted by Chris Brown on August 9, 2011 – 10:43 am

It’s a little early to be speculating how the roster will fall in terms of position numbers, but regardless of what the final outcome might be there’s no debating that wide receiver will be one of the most difficult positions to whittle down for the 53-man roster.

Buffalo kept five receivers on the opening day roster last season. By year’s end Naaman Roosevelt and Paul Hubbard had been called up to the roster from the team’s practice squad. Now Marcus Easley and Craig Davis have been added to the fold giving Buffalo nine capable NFL wideouts. So how many will Buffalo keep on the 53-man roster come early September?

My guess is there will be six. Easley hasn’t been able to show a whole lot due to his hyperextended knee that’s kept him out for over a week. He has top 2 receiver ability, but he has to show it first. Donald Jones and Naaman Roosevelt offer the added bonus of special teams ability, which you have to have from your fourth, fifth or sixth receivers on an active roster.

The preseason games will go a long way in determining who is in the final group on the roster, but there is too much talent and too many spread formations in Buffalo’s offense to only have five on the active roster. That’s why I believe strongly there will be six with a very remote chance that they keep seven.

It’s also safe to say there will be a couple of wideouts on Buffalo’s practice squad.

 


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New QBs get on same page w/WRs

Posted by Chris Brown on August 9, 2011 – 10:32 am

New Bills QBs Tyler Thigpen and Brad Smith are making every effort to get on the same page with their new corps of receivers. Naaman Roosevelt, who is featured on the home page of Buffalobills.com today (Tuesday), explains what’s discussed with signal callers that are trying to nail down timing.

“Just understanding how you run routes and what you do to get open,” Roosevelt said. “As a receiver people use different techniques to get open. Whether it’s Tyler or Fitz or anybody when we’re on the side and not in the lineup in practice we talk and see what the receiver saw and what the quarterback saw and just try to get used to what everybody does and I think we’re doing a good job of that.”

Thigpen for the most part has been on target with most of his throws to this point. Roosevelt believes Thigpen’s familiarity with the offense is helping him with the timing. For Smith there’s a lot more that’s new for him, but he too has begun to find a groove with the wideouts.


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Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2011 – 10:03 pm

Here’s the rundown of where Bills players will be appearing on the radio airwaves Monday morning.

Naaman Roosevelt – Norton in the Morning; 97 Rock at 8:00 am

Tyler Thigpen – Morning Bull; 103.3 The Edge at 8:15 am


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A look at Cook

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2011 – 2:11 pm

For the second straight season the Bills have signed an undrafted rookie from the University at Buffalo. Last year it was Naaman Roosevelt, who made the practice squad out of camp, but was eventually called up to the active roster where he appeared in six games in 2010. Now they’ve picked up CB Domonic Cook as he was one of the 19 signed Thursday.

For a closer look at Cook’s abilities, here’s a highlight reel from YouTube.


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Nelson, Naaman, Fitz working

Posted by Chris Brown on June 29, 2011 – 10:15 am

Bills wideouts David Nelson and Naaman Roosevelt are staying sharp with their quarterback this offseason.

Nelson and Roosevelt worked on route running with Ryan Fitzpatrick today (Wednesday). That according to Nelson’s most recent twitter post.

DavidNelson86 great route work this morning with Fitz, @Jrokelley1 , & @nyce18

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Young WRs working together

Posted by Chris Brown on June 21, 2011 – 1:25 pm

Members from the Bills’ undrafted class of 2010 are working out together this week.

Donald Jones, David Nelson and Naaman Roosevelt are putting in time with one another in preparation for the 2011 season.

DavidNelson86 Great workout today with the boys- @nyce18 @williamobrien96 @jrokelley1 @dajones19

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Kelly’s nephew works w/Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on June 20, 2011 – 1:56 pm

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly’s nephew Chad, who just committed to Clemson this past week, got a workout in with some Bills players Monday.

That according to his own twitter account where he thanked David Nelson and Naaman Roosevelt.

chad_Kelly_12 Great workout the the bills squad everyone better realize bills are back
 
chad_Kelly_12 Good job today brahh thanks for having me @DavidNelson86 @nyce18
 
Roosevelt like Kelly also played his high school football at St. Joe’s.

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Bills’ native sons working out

Posted by Chris Brown on June 15, 2011 – 10:31 am

A couple of the Bills hometown players are working out together.

Buffalo native Naaman Roosevelt and Orchard Park native Jon Corto are putting some time in together at the gym according to Roosevelt’s twitter account.

nyce18 At the gym wit john corto
 
Roosevelt even went so far as to have his photo taken next to Corto’s mounted jersey at the gym. Presumably Roosevelt is at Corto’s local gym where he works out. Obviously the jersey is from when Corto was still a linebacker. He’s 33 now that he plays safety.
 

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4 wide makes TEs traditional

Posted by Chris Brown on June 9, 2011 – 8:08 am

The Bills made heavy use of their four wide sets on offense in the second half of last season with the emergence of players like David Nelson, Donald Jones and Naaman Roosevelt, following the season-ending injury to Roscoe Parrish. What that also did was limit the number of opportunities for Buffalo’s tight ends in the passing game, since they weren’t on the field. But Bills tight ends coach Bob Bicknell effectively explains what can be done to combat that challenge.

“It’s always a challenge,” said Bicknell of getting everyone involved in an offense. “It’s a challenge for (the tight ends) and I try to help them with that challenge where they can get on the field and have production. We’ve found some good receivers and we use the tight end a lot of different ways so it’s not always going to be about them catching the ball, and sometimes when they’re called on to make the big play they’ve got to make it.”

Last season the tight ends fit more of a traditional tight end role, on the line next to the tackle. The only tight end with game breaking route running ability that cold be split wide in a four wide set, Shawn Nelson, missed most of the season last year due to suspension and a bout with migraines.

Bicknell, who provides insight on the outlook for late season pickup Scott Chandler heading into 2011 in our home page feature today (Thursday) is confident that if his group of tight ends does what they’re called upon to do from coach Gailey and the offensive  staff that opportunities will develop down the line. 

“It’s a challenge, but we’ve got good kids in here that only ask what their job is and what they have to do,” he said. “All of the other stuff will come if they continue to do their job on the field.”


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WR corps stretched to limit

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2010 – 10:22 am

Buffalo’s wide receiving corps has lost the likes of Roscoe Parrish, Lee Evans and Chan Gailey doesn’t sound optimistic that David Nelson will get back from a rib injury suffered last week. Knowing how much the Bills make use of a four-wide set, the demands on the youth of the Bills receiving corps will be at an all-time high on Sunday.

If Nelson can’t go on Sunday Buffalo’s top four receivers read like this – Stevie Johnson, Donald Jones, Naaman Roosevelt and Paul Hubbard. It’s a group that has made their share of plays, but only Johnson and Jones have played major roles to this point. Roosevelt’s role has become considerably larger and Hubbard will absolutely see time on the field.

“It’s kind of what we’ve had to do since Roscoe went down, working in people, working in young guys and just making sure everybody is on the same page,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick. “Now all of a sudden we have Naaman Roosevelt, who just got plugged in a few weeks ago being a guy we’re really going to expect to know everything and rely on.

“There are some guys behind him now that are going to be the young guys that we have to spend some more time with. It’s something we’ve had to do all year and really those guys have stepped up when they’ve had their opportunities. So we’re looking forward to Paul (Hubbard) and some more guys stepping up.”

Hubbard is expected to serve as the team’s fourth wideout, and he knows with Fitzpatrick not shy about throwing it to anyone he’ll have a legitimate chance to make plays Sunday.

“That’s definitely encouraging knowing you’re going out there and actually have an opportunity to help your team and not just be out there for show,” said Hubbard. “I am going in with the same mindset. They need me and I need to go out there and step up and make the same plays I’ve been making in practice. Definitely we are down and the team needs somebody else to step up so that’s my role this week.”


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Naaman’s birthday

Posted by Chris Brown on December 24, 2010 – 1:00 pm

Bills WR Naaman Roosevelt is celebrating his 23rd birthday today (Friday), something that as a kid might not have been the best situation.

Having your birthday so close to Christmas can make for a heck of a one-two gift getting punch, but it also makes for a long 363 other days of the year in a row.

“It was okay,” said Roosevelt. “After a while I got used to it and it was fun. It was exciting to be a Christmas Eve baby. My parents did a good job of making one day different from the other.”

One advantage is Roosevelt would always have family in town for his birthday with everyone in for Christmas, and now as an NFL player for his hometown team he’ll have a lot of friends home this weekend for Buffalo’s home game against the Patriots.

Suffice it to say that Roosevelt’s been providing a lot of game tickets as Christmas gifts.

“I’ve lost count as to how many, but I’ve got a lot of friends home from college on Christmas break,” he said. “So there will be a lot at the game Sunday.”


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Fitz had rooks work late

Posted by Chris Brown on December 20, 2010 – 8:00 am

Ryan Fitzpatrick had the three rookie receivers he made good use of Sunday in the win over Miami, stay late after practice leading up to the game to make sure they were all on the same page.

David Nelson confirmed as much after the game, even indicating that Fitz spoke to Donald and Naaman one-on-one.

“He did say some stuff to Naaman and to Donald,” said Nelson. “He kept us a little longer after practice on Wednesday and Thursday. We watched a little extra film together. I think that showed (Sunday). “He and Naaman were right on point and right where he needed to be and in sync with each other. So he didn’t say to meet specifically, but he did address some of the guys.”

Fitzpatrick’s leadership is one of the more unnoticed factors in Buffalo’s success on offense. The guy has literally pulled it all together blending in new parts along the way to keep the offense running efficiently.


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Sparano concerned about WRs

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2010 – 5:01 pm

Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano is experiencing the fear of the unknown pretty late in an NFL season.

Typically NFL coaches agonize about the first game of the season, especially when a new head coach is the opponent because there is no prior game film to study.

While that’s not the case this week he and his staff know little about the likes of Donald Jones and Naaman Roosevelt, who could both be prominent in Buffalo’s offensive game plan Sunday.

“That’s a problem, that’s not a good thing,” Sparano said of not having a book on Jones and Roosevelt. “I mean I’d rather know and I think that sometimes unknown can be a big problem. I mean obviously we’ve seen a lot of Steve (Johnson) on film and what you see on film is pretty darn good. But, who the next guy is in the game and how they’re going to use them and what they’re going to do that way…

“I would venture to say that they’re going to come in here and try to open us up and throw the ball around a lot. So, that being said, how they use those pieces—I’m sure the backs would be involved in that, I’m sure these receivers…you just don’t know and that’s not a good thing and it’s something that we’re going to have to keep a close eye on in the game and make adjustments accordingly. So, that is difficult.”

Like Sparano I’m also expecting the Bills to go four wide a good deal to spread out the Dolphins defense to keep them from crowding the box with eight defenders.


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Bills to add a WR?

Posted by Chris Brown on December 13, 2010 – 4:38 pm

With Lee Evans on the shelf, possibly for the remainder of the season, head coach Chan Gailey has just four healthy receivers on his roster. Knowing how much the Bills like to run four wide on offense Buffalo’s sideline boss did not rule out adding another wideout.

“We’re going to talk about it,” said Gailey. “You’d rather not go with just four, especially if you think you’re going to play somewhat of a high percentage of four wides in the game. But sometimes other positions dictate that you can’t go with five so we’ll see.”

The current healthy receivers are Steve Johnson, David Nelson, Donald Jones and Naaman Roosevelt. Paul Hubbard is on the team’s practice squad and was called up for a short time earlier this season.


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Bills locals adding up

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2010 – 1:56 pm

With Shawne Merriman being placed on injured reserve Saturday, his roster spot was filled by WR Naaman Roosevelt, yet another local WNY product on the Bills 53-man roster.

The Bills now have three local players on their active roster in S Jon Corto (Orchard Park), FB Jehuu Caulcrick (Clymer) and WR Naaman Roosevelt (Buffalo).

Roosevelt was spending extra time after practice Friday fielding punts, so there would seem to be a possibility that he could be active Sunday against the Steelers for return duty. Caulcrick saw his first NFL regular season action last week against the Bengals and Corto is now in his third season with the Bills.

Nice to see some local talent dotting the roster. We’ll see if they’re all active for Sunday’s game.


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Couple of undrafteds have a shot

Posted by Chris Brown on September 3, 2010 – 3:44 pm

Buffalo has a good history of landing undrafted rookies that ultimately make the roster and it appears it could happen again this weekend.

In six of the last eight years at least one undrafted rookie free agent has made the Bills opening day roster. Here’s the list of Buffalo’s undrafteds that will have their fingers crossed on Saturday.

OL Sean Allen
RB Andre Anderson
RB Joique Bell
OLB Antonio Coleman
TE Andrew George
SS Dominique Harris
OL Cordaro Howard
WR Donald Jones
WR David Nelson
WR Naaman Roosevelt


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Bills returners tonight

Posted by Chris Brown on September 2, 2010 – 1:38 pm

It’s final audition time for some players on Buffalo’s roster in the preseason finale, and often the ones that can show they can help on special teams in addition to offense or defense are the ones that help themselves the most. Here is the list of kick returners and punt returners for tonight’s game agains the Lions.

On kick return Joique Bell, Donald Jones and Chad Simpson will be the primary returners.

On punt return Naaman Roosevelt and Ellis Lankster will be the returners.


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