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Inside The Bills

Cassel vs. rest of free agent QB field

Posted by Chris Brown on March 4, 2015 – 12:51 pm


Buffalo’s acquisition of Minnesota veteran QB Matt Cassel is a move that when one looks into the numbers makes a good deal of sense. Here’s why.

The rest of the free agent quarterback field is largely made up of similar veteran players. Cassel’s career numbers, especially when it comes to TD-vs-INT and career starts (71) looks appreciably better. Add in the fact that Cassel is the only one on the below list with a Pro Bowl to his name and a division title (winning the AFC West in 2010) besides Michael Vick and it’s encouraging to see the Bills go after a veteran QB that they felt was best for their club.

Name                    G/GS     W-L-T    Comp.   Att.        Pct.        Yards     TD/INT  Rating  

Matt Cassel         91/71     33-38      1397     2369       59          15727    96/70   80.1       
Brian Hoyer        32/17     10-7         356         630         56.5        4557       19/19   76.8
Jake Locker         30/23     9-14       408         709         57.5          4967       27/22  79.0
Colt McCoy       33/25     7-18         501         831         60.3          5458       25/23  78.2
Matt Moore       49/25     11-12       452         768         58.9           5342       33/28   79.2
C. Ponder            38/36     14-21-1  632         1057       59.8          6658       38/36   75.9
Mark Sanchez    71/70     37-33      1226       2176       56.3          14510    82/80     74.1
Michael Vick     138/112 59-50-1    1767        3151       56.1        22093    131/87   80.4


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Spiller says time with Bills is over

Posted by Chris Brown on March 3, 2015 – 7:28 pm

Bills impending free agent RB C.J. Spiller in an appearance on NFL Network Tuesday night said he was contacted by the Bills a short time ago and thanked for his service to the team.

Spiller said he now knows he’ll be entering the free agent market next week.

“I will not be returning to Buffalo,” said Spiller.


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C.J. on what will influence free agent decision

Posted by Chris Brown on March 3, 2015 – 1:27 pm

Bills free agent RB C.J. Spiller made an appearance on NFL Network’s NFL AM show and was asked about his approach to making a free agent decision if and when multiple suitors are involved.

Spiller was asked if it’s about the money or his legacy.

“I think it’s both of those,” he said. “I’d be foolish and lying to you if I said it didn’t have anything to do with the money because everybody wants to be comfortable. Both of you guys know, in the NFL nothing is guaranteed so you want to make sure that you’re able to live comfortable once you’re done playing this game. And then also, you want to leave your imprint on this game too. You want people to be able to talk about you, not just about the player but also about the person. Like I said, I’m looking forward to it. There are different factors that I’m going to play into the situation when I’m deciding where I want to end up at. I know I’m going to make the best decision; I always have. When it came time to these types of decisions, I’ve always made the best decision for me and my family.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Spiller comments on free agency

Posted by Chris Brown on March 3, 2015 – 1:21 pm

C.J. Spiller was just responding to a question, but his answer has some believing he expects to reach the free agent market on March 10th.

In an appearance on NFL Network’s NFL AM show, Spiller was asked how he feels about being a free agent, with no new contract agreement in place with the Bills. This was his answer.

“To be honest, I’m excited about the opportunity,” said Spiller. “Obviously, you want to stay at a place that you have been there your whole career. But, as both of you guys know, sometimes that doesn’t happen in this business and you have to move on. You thank the organization for what they have done for you and you continue your career somewhere else. I’m looking forward to it. Me and my agent Chad Speck, we have a great game plan set and looking forward to attacking it.”

While you certainly cannot blame Spiller and his representative from having a plan for the free agent market, it also makes it sound less and less likely that the Bills free agent will be back in red, white and blue. Spiller also did say that while he hasn’t spoken to new offensive coordinator Greg Roman, he has studied the 49ers offense and didn’t close the door on a return to Buffalo.

“Anytime an offensive coordinator loves to run the ball, as a running back that’s what you want to do,” he said. “It’ll be a great opportunity if I do happen to go back because I know that both him and Rex [Ryan] want to run the ball; they want to ground and pound. It’ll be an awesome opportunity.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Miami uses transition tag on TE Clay

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2015 – 3:08 pm

Miami TE Charles Clay was expected to be a popular free agent target were the Dolphins to allow him to reach the free agent market next week. It appears Miami has made it considerably harder for other NFL clubs to go after the versatile offensive player.

According to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Dolphins placed the transition tag on Clay Monday.

The Dolphins are hoping that the $7M figure drives other NFL interest away. Under the rules of the transition tag another NFL club can still sign Clay to an offer sheet and that Dolphins would have seven days to match the offer. If not Clay would sign with the club that made the offer and that team would not have to provide the Dolphins with any compensation. If Miami matched the offer sheet Clay would have to re-sign with the Dolphins.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Browns agree to terms with QB McCown

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2015 – 8:50 pm

The Cleveland Browns have announced that they’ve agreed to terms with free agent QB Josh McCown.

The announcement was made late Friday with multiple reports also noting the signing.

The Bills hosted McCown for a visit prior to the NFL Combine and expressed interest in the 35-year old quarterback as well.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-27

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2015 – 11:39 am

NFL free agency is just over a week away. The Bills are expected to be players. For now let’s get to this week’s edition of questions from you the Bills fans on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

My question is- What veteran quarterbacks do you feel that could be available to help the Bills immediately? Definitely not Cutler, the Bills have already proven once you get under his skin he’s done competing!  Maybe Sanchez?  Do you think he can turn the corner in his leadership and playing ability?

Kevin E.
Colorado by way of Hamburg, NY

CB: Josh McCown is the obvious target right now. I think the Bills will see if any veteran quarterbacks that don’t have a future with their current clubs are released in salary cap moves prior to the start of the new league year before pouncing on another free agent target. Rest assured they are dead set on adding a veteran quarterback to their roster in some way.

 

2 – Chris,

Thanks again for the great coverage of our Bills, my question revolves around the defense going back to a 3-4. How do you see the front seven shaking out? Is Dareus the nose tackle or do we go with him and Kyle Williams at defensive end and add a big bodied space eater? I’m also curious about the linebackers, I’d think you’d put Alonso and Brown inside, Mario on one side and then I’m lost. If Hughes stays in the fold does he play the other side? Where does this leave Bradham who emerged as a solid player? I look forward to your input thanks again.

Will.
GO BILLS!

CB: With respect to the defensive line you have to remember that Ryan’s system is not a traditional 3-4 with a true nose tackle. They don’t have a true two gap, head up on the center nose. They play more of a shade alignment with two defensive tackles. I think Mario Williams will split time at defensive end and outside linebacker depending on the down and distance.

Manny Lawson will shift to strong side linebacker much like he did in Pettine’s defense two seasons ago. If Jerry Hughes is back he’ll presumably rotate in and out with Lawson and likely flip back and forth between and end and outside linebacker role.

As for the full-time linebackers I think it will be a feeling out process for the defensive staff. They have 2013 tape of Kiko Alonso in this defense, but they do not have any feel for Preston Brown in that system. They also don’t have the current version of Nigel Bradham in this defense aside from perhaps the last two games of 2013 when he began to show flashes of his true ability. So how they align those three will take shape through the course of the OTA practices.

The secondary obviously remains largely the same with the decision of free agent Da’Norris Searcy being the only possible departure.

 

3 – Chris,

Has Shane Carden from ECU been on anyone’s radar at OBD? I live in the Carolinas so we get more coverage about this guy. He’s playing in the senior bowl as well. He has reputation for being an accurate thrower (to me this should be the top consideration for a QB). Maybe a steal in the mid/late rounds. Thoughts from the insiders?

John

CB: Obviously the Bills scouting department is aware of Carden. He was a throwing quarterback at the NFL Combine last week. Carden set all kinds of records at East Carolina, but my concern lies with his throwing mechanics and arm strength. I don’t think he has the arm to cut passes through the wind that we often find here in Buffalo come November and December.

A lot of his passes float and hang in the air too long. He also has a propensity to throw off his back foot. There’s no debating his career was a very productive one. He broke all of David Garrard’s passing records at ECU, but I’ll be surprised if he’s taken before the seventh round. At best he’s a career backup in the league by most accounts.

 

4 - Hello Chris,

Thank you for all your hard work keeping those of us away from Buffalo updated on the best team in the NFL!

While I do not dismiss Rex Ryan’s abilities as a coach or motivator, my defining image of his tenure in New York was the newspaper cover image of a Jets clown car with coach Ryan at the wheel.  Traditionally the team has eschewed flamboyant personalities in the past.  Has the team discussed this with him, or can we expect the seemingly endless diatribe of controversy, arrogance and inanity that plagued the Jets?

James

CB: I think you can probably take his handling of his press conference with the NFL media at the NFL Combine as an example of what to expect. He sidestepped several opportunities to be bold with a prediction or two for the 2015 season. He also dodged loaded questions about his former team. So I’m anticipating a little more self-restraint from coach Ryan this year. We’ll see.

 

5 - Chris
It seems that with the restrictions in the NFLPA agreement, it is difficult to work with players except during certain dates in the offseason ?
If we had some interesting players, could a team rather than sign them to a contract, perhaps open a Football Training School with free tuition and room and board to develop their skills? Those popping out would be offered a contract etc. don’t use team coaches, rather qualified instructors with experience in positions we have a need.

Thanks
Jim in Florida

CB: Unfortunately I don’t see the NFLPA agreeing to that in any way. The players fought for time away from the game to reduce the pounding on their bodies through the offseason with limitations on padded practices and live hitting. They’re not going to agree to do that in a separate training academy. Most players do that on their own.

I suppose there could be street free agents interested in that kind of arrangement, but who is paying for it? NFL owners are not going to incur another cost to make that happen. I just think it’s unrealistic.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Browns still in hunt for McCown

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2015 – 9:47 am

While there are reports that the Bills are negotiating with the reps for free agent QB Josh McCown, apparently they’re not alone.

That according to the Associated Press, which is reporting that the Browns are also trying to strike a deal with the free agent signal caller. It’s believed that both clubs are offering McCown the opportunity to compete for the starting job at quarterback, so the difference maker will likely be money.

McCown was released by Tampa Bay earlier this month and visited both the Bills and Browns.

 


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Report: McCown visiting Browns

Posted by Chris Brown on February 25, 2015 – 9:21 am

Free agent QB Josh McCown is meeting with yet another NFL club interested in his services.

According to an ESPN.com report, McCown is being hosted by the Cleveland Browns on a two-day visit. The visit began on Tuesday and will stretch through today (Wednesday). McCown has also met with the Bills and the Jets. Chicago has also expressed interest meeting with him at the NFL Combine, a team he played for just two seasons ago.

McCown is reportedly most interested in competing for a starting job, something that would seem likely in Buffalo, New York and Cleveland.

The veteran QB has been able to mull his options since he’s essentially the only viable free agent QB on the market right now with free agency not opening for quarterbacks with expiring contracts until March 7th, when NFL clubs can begin to contact and negotiate contracts with prospective free agent players.

It’s assumed that McCown will make a decision on what team he’d like to play for soon to begin negotiating a contract long before the other free agent QBs enter the pool of available talent.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Who Spiller likes from RB draft class

Posted by Chris Brown on February 24, 2015 – 3:16 pm

Tennessee Georgia Football
C.J. Spiller is mulling over his free agent options with two weeks until free agency opens. He’s aware that as a free agent he’s not only competing with fellow free agent running backs, there’s also a pretty good class of rookies coming into the league this spring.

Spiller appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio and mentioned one running back in particular that he’s followed closely and enjoys watching.

“There is a lot of young talent at the running back position that’s coming out in this year’s draft. I think this is probably the deepest that I’ve seen in a while, from guys that are explosive to the pounding guys,” said Spiller. “So I’m excited to see what they’re capable of doing. Some have had tremendous careers. The one who I stay in touch with and follow the most is Todd Gurley. I love the way he competes and runs the football. He’s fast and a big guy so I’m excited to see where he lands. I hope he lands where a veteran running back can take him under his wing and show him the ropes.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Spiller: I love me some Rex Ryan now

Posted by Chris Brown on February 24, 2015 – 3:08 pm


Bills impending free agent RB C.J. Spiller appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio Tuesday and discussed his free agent options, leaving the door open for a return to Buffalo. Two factors that may work in Buffalo’s favor are their plans to run the ball a lot and their head coach.

“The Bills made a tremendous hire in Rex Ryan,” said Spiller. “Definitely I think Rex was the guy for the Buffalo Bills. I love me some Rex Ryan now.”

Spiller has a relationship with Ryan having crossed paths several times at Clemson, Spiller’s alma mater, where Ryan’s son is currently a wide receiver.

The Bills back also expressed an interest in offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s system, which will have a strong commitment to running the ball.

“I have been studying some of the 49ers and what they did. He’s a guy who loves to run the football and as a running back that’s what you want a guy that likes to run the ball, no matter what,” said Spiller of Roman. “I think too many times if a run gets stopped for a two-yard gain some offensive coordinators get away from that. But coach Roman sticks to his guns. He’s going to be physical. You’ve got to excited about that as a runner.”

At the top of Spiller’s checklist of things he wants in a team was being a fit in the offense.


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Report: TE Clay expected to re-sign with Miami

Posted by Chris Brown on February 23, 2015 – 10:41 am

Miami Dolphins impending free agent TE Charles Clay may not make it to the free agent market. That according to a Palm Beach Post report.

Per the report, which cites an anonymous source, Clay is expected to re-sign with the Dolphins rather than test the free agent market. Clay can serve as an in-line tight end, H-back and move tight end.

Clay is deemed by many NFL observers as a good fit for Greg Roman’s offense with the Bills. Buffalo however, may never get the opportunity to speak with the versatile tight end.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

LB Spikes has a decision to make

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2015 – 5:55 pm

Bills free agent LB Brandon Spikes would like to still be a three down linebacker in the NFL, but that is not a role he would have if he chooses to re-sign with Buffalo.

Bills GM Doug Whaley, in an appearance on the John Murphy Show confirmed that he spoke with Spikes personally Thursday and laid out how they view Spikes as a player on their roster in Buffalo. With Kiko Alonso set to return healthy in 2015 combined with the emergence of Preston Brown and Nigel Bradham in 2014, it’s evident they don’t see Spikes as a full-time linebacker.

“I just talked to him today and the new staff sees a different role than maybe he does so I told him to see if he can get a team that sees him the way he sees himself,” said Whaley. “If not, come back to us and then we can talk.

“Brandon is one of my favorite players. We’re going to reach out to his representation and see how he would fit in this new defensive scheme and because of the depth we have whether it would fit how he sees himself as a player. So it’ll be more of, ‘Hey do you want to come back and be a one or two down player? Or do you want to try to go out and still be an every down player (elsewhere)?’ So that one is going to be a kind of seeing what works for him and what works for us.”

Spikes will likely test the market and see if he can land a full-time starting job in free agency. If he can’t he’ll probably return to the Bills to where he said he really enjoyed the city and his teammates.

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


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Whaley: Keeping Searcy won’t be easy

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2015 – 4:10 pm


The Bills would like to keep all of their unrestricted free agents, but some might be easier to return to the fold than others. Such might prove to be the case with S Da’Norris Searcy.

Searcy is coming off a very successful season as he assumed a starting safety role opposite Aaron Williams and was very productive. But if Searcy is looking to cash in big time on his second contract, like most NFL players, it could prove too steep for the Bills to handle.

“Searcy is going to be a little challenging with Searcy just because we have paid Aaron Williams and there’s some money tied up in that position,” said GM Doug Whaley. “Searcy may probably garner starter money at safety. That’s going to be a little more challenging trying to get that done just because of the cap space dedicated to that position.”

Fortunately for the Bills if they can’t come to an agreement with Searcy they have depth at the position with Duke Williams, Baccari Rambo and Jonathan Meeks still on the roster.

“If he does move on we think we’ve got three guys that will compete and one of those guys is going to come out of there as the starter, but we have two excellent backups,” said Whaley.

On locker clean out day Searcy said as much as he’d like to return he has to put the needs of his family first. We’ll see how things pan out soon enough with free agency set to open in just over a couple of weeks.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Spiller update

Posted by Chris Brown on February 18, 2015 – 3:58 pm


The Bills have stated all along they’d like to return C.J. Spiller to their roster knowing he’s eligible to become a free agent next month. Head coach Rex Ryan reiterated those wishes at the NFL Combine Wednesday.

“We certainly would like to have him back and remain a Buffalo Bill,” said Ryan. “He’s a talented guy and I would think he would want to do that being in this kind of system, seeing the success that other backs have had in this kind of system. But we’ll see how it works out also recognizing that the NFL sometimes you’re not always able to keep the guys you really want.”

When asked if running back is a priority positional need this offseason Ryan said the level of priority would be impacted by how things play out with Spiller.

“If C.J. Spiller is on board then that need becomes a lot less,” said Ryan.


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Rex on McCown

Posted by Chris Brown on February 18, 2015 – 12:15 pm


Bills head coach Rex Ryan is heading to the podium here at the NFL Combine in Indy shortly, but he already spoke with Buffalobills.com and addressed where things sit with free agent QB Josh McCown, who visited with the Bills on Monday.

“I think the big thing obviously we have an interest in Josh. He’s a veteran quarterback. He has been with several teams. We know his history obviously, but this gave us an opportunity to really sit down and visit with Josh and how he thought we would fit him and vice versa. You’re able to get medical stuff on him, information and all kinds of things. When it’s appropriate we’ll proceed however we’re going to proceed in finding a quarterback, but obviously we feel good about him. We think that we’re not the only team that’s interested in him, maybe in different roles.”

McCown is reportedly in Indianapolis to talk and meet with other NFL clubs to assess his full slate of options. The 35-year old was cut by Tampa Bay last week, less than a year after signing a two-year free agent deal with the Bucs.

For the entire one-on-one interview with Rex Ryan stay tuned to Buffalobills.com as we’ll have the interview up later in the day.  Buffalobills.com Combine coverage is presented by NAPA Auto Parts.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-13

Posted by Chris Brown on February 13, 2015 – 12:44 pm

Don’t forget our NFL combine coverage begins in earnest over the weekend leading up to our coverage in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium Tuesday presented by Napa. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris
Are there specific areas that EJ has improved in by watching Orton from the side lines? Also, how is his relationship with the other players now, compared to before he was replaced by Orton?

Ppante

CB: He told me specifically that he learned about what’s most important to focus on during the week leading up to the game from a game plan and opponent study standpoint. Manuel said in the past there may have been some things he spent too much time on in his preparation that didn’t carry as high a priority as other aspects of his film study.

I also felt he became more accurate in the practice setting when it came to hitting his targets in rhythm and on time. I think we all recognize that it’s a different thing when it’s game speed, but those are two areas where he benefitted by being able to focus on his game for the last 12 weeks of the 2014 season.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Loved this guy coming out of college. What is your opinion of Hoyer? Do we get another journeyman QB or go for a big Trade?

BuffalonianFilm

CB: I don’t think a trade to acquire a quarterback can be ruled out, but the Bills have limited assets in the way of draft choices (no 1st or 4th). Hoyer is a limited NFL QB. I believe everybody recognizes that. I think the more likely scenario is picking up a veteran in free agency and then drafting one in the middle rounds.

 

3 – Chris,

Bills fan from Toronto here. Just having thoughts about our team here…

How much do you think Hughes/Spiller are asking for and how much do you think the bills are willing to give them? Also do the Bills still have their franchise tag and if so would they use it on Hughes?
Is adrian peterson an option if C.J. spiller takes his talents elsewhere (ny jets)?
What are they gonna do about their QB situation??? Are they gonna draft maybe Hundley in 2nd round, sign Mark Sanchez or maybe trade for Sam Bradford or Jay Cutler?

Thanks, MW

CB: It’s my belief that Jerry Hughes’ agent will be looking for pretty big money and here’s why.

Over the last two seasons Hughes is tied for the fourth-most sacks in the league (20) behind only J.J. Watt, Rams pass rusher Robert Quinn and Mario Williams. He’s tied with Cameron Wake and the Saints’ Cameron Jordan. Watt and Williams are the two highest paid defensive ends in the league in terms of average salary at $16.6M and $16M.

They’re followed by Quinn ($14.2/yr) and Carolina’s Charles Johnson ($12.6M). Wake signed his extension back in 2012 and it averages only $6.6M.

Now the Bills will probably argue that Hughes plays with three Pro Bowl players on Buffalo’s defensive line and is rarely seeing double teams. But it’s hard to knock a guy that’s producing, and doing it for more than one year.

I fear that the Hughes camp will be asking for around $10M a season in a long term deal. That could be a tough one to manage knowing that Mario and Kyle Williams are the top two salaries on the club in terms of average salary already with Dareus sixth on the roster.  We’ll see. I don’t think the franchise tag is a realistic option for Buffalo.

As for Spiller it will be interesting to see if there’s a difference of opinion on his true value between he and the Bills. Paying top dollar for Spiller is probably difficult to justify in light of his recent history of injuries.

There’s no debating his home-run talent and he’s a good teammate in the locker room, but with another new offensive system coming in you wonder how he’ll weigh that into his decision on where to play. There’s also no dismissing the fact that the coach who helped him enjoy his most productive season is the offensive coordinator in New York.

Adrian Peterson is a great fit for a power run game, but I’d be surprised if he moves on from Minnesota.

The QB situation for Buffalo is obviously up in the air. They have to see who actually makes it to the free agent market or if there are any trade opportunities that might surface. The draft is probably where they’ll add one too. How early is the question.

 

4- Hi Chris, I have two questions:

  1. Would the Bills draft an additional running back given the fact that Rex Ryan wants to ground and pound?

Two college prospects, Malcolm Brown and Matt Davis seem like good fits, plus they are projected to be drafted in the later rounds.

  1. Besides looking at Mark Sanchez, would the Bills look at Ryan Mallet? Or Christian Ponder? I think Ryan Mallet would be the best fit, because he is younger. Obviously, E.J. Manuel is an option, but he has to read defenses better.

In summary, Rex Ryan has quite a bit of talent to work with, but if the offense is dysfunctional, it will compromise the efforts of the defense. Even a great defense will fold if its on the field for long stretches of time.

Your thoughts,
Tony, Ormond Beach, Fl

CB: I think there’s a pretty good bet that the Bills draft a running back at some point in the draft. This year’s class is deep at that position, thanks in large part to the junior eligibles that have declared. Buffalo needs to add some youth there and a true pile pusher that preferably has some wiggle to his game and receiving ability.

With that in mind it’s hard to find the perfect prospect. I believe there are a few that fit all of the criteria well enough in this draft. I do like South Carolina’s Mike Davis. Great person and player in the Fred Jackson mold and carries a bit more power behind his pads. Does everything right and has NFL bloodlines with his older brother James Davis a former 6th-round pick of Cleveland in 2009.

You could do worse than guys like Boise State’s Jay Ajayi and Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon when it comes to a power run game. Unfortunately a good number of the true power backs coming out this year aren’t big in the receiving game.

At quarterback I don’t know if Mallett is a fit because his skill set is in stark contrast to that of Manuel. I’m not saying he’s off the table, but he’s a strict pocket guy while Manuel has movement ability. How much would the offense need to change from one to the other if there was an injury to the winner of the competition? I know Ryan said Sanchez is a consideration at his press conference, but I’m not sure of that.

I do know that there isn’t a whole lot of quality to choose from.

5 – Chris,

In the new defense, where do you see the linebackers position playing out? Kiko did play well in the 3-4 under Pettine. Preston and Nigel did well in the 4-3, how do they fit into a 3-4 scheme. Nigel isn’t a thumper/ pure pass rusher. Will Manny Lawson kick back outside as a pass rusher, same with Hughes (if he can stay?). Curious how this will unfold since this unit had a great 2014.

CB: This is an interesting question. I think we can expect to see Manny Lawson on the field more, particularly on run downs like we did in 2013, when Jerry Hughes rotated in on passing downs. I’d expect to see Kiko Alonso on the open side at OLB, then it’s probably Bradham and Brown in the middle in a 3-4 look.

 

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Ryan knows why Hughes prefers Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 12, 2015 – 10:59 am

As we covered on Buffalobills.com Wednesday, Jerry Hughes is set to become a free agent after back-to-back 10 sacks seasons. On SiriusXM NFL Radio he said that the Bills are his first choice. His new head coach Rex Ryan isn’t the least bit surprised by Hughes preference for two very important reasons.

In an interview on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ryan stated that between his successful defensive system and the talent Hughes plays with on Buffalo’s defensive line, it’s totally understandable why a player like Hughes would want to return to that situation.

“I think any defensive player always wants to play in this system, period,” Ryan said. “I’ve had a lot of great ones through the years. This is a young man who really stepped up and quite honestly his first year when he came here it was like, ‘Okay that’s the Jerry Hughes everybody was waiting for when he was a first-round pick of the Colts.’ Then he had the 10-sack year last year. But when you put him alongside Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Super Mario it’s an unbelievable group. Why would you want to leave that?”

Free agency officially opens on March 10th.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bucs cut QB Josh McCown

Posted by Chris Brown on February 11, 2015 – 6:25 pm

Saints Buccaneers Football
One year after signing veteran free agent QB Josh McCown the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have cut ties with the signal caller making him a free agent. A new member of Buffalo’s coaching staff has some familiarity with McCown.

McCown spent three seasons in Chicago prior to signing a two-year free agent deal with Tampa last offseason, including one under former head coach Marc Trestman and former offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. McCown had the best season of his career under Kromer and Trestman in 2013 when he appeared in eight games in place of an injured Jay Cutler. He completed more than 66 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns against just one interception and a passer rating of 109.

Things did not go as well in Tampa this past season as an early thumb injury sidelined him in Week 4 and he missed six games. His numbers weren’t as good either behind a suspect offensive line that allowed the third-most sacks in the league in 2014 (52). It appears the Bucs are going young at QB with Mike Glennon still on the roster and the number one pick in the draft.

That being said McCown is known as a solid locker room guy with former Bears GM even calling him a “glue guy” (helps hold the room together). Here’s more on that.

The Bills are in the market for a veteran signal caller and may also draft a quarterback to add competition at the position to the roster.

If the Bills are in fact interested in McCown they’ll certainly be tapping into Kromer’s intimate knowledge of McCown’s game having worked with him closely just two seasons ago.

 


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Hughes: Bills would be my first choice

Posted by Chris Brown on February 11, 2015 – 1:43 pm

Bills DE Jerry Hughes is clearly one of the team’s top priorities this offseason as he’s eligible to become a free agent. With back-to-back 10-sack seasons Hughes is set to make big money in his second contract. In an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio Wednesday, Hughes was asked how he feels about returning to Buffalo on a new deal.

SiriusXM NFL posted Hughes’ response on their Twitter account.

Hughes additionally said that he would not be disappointed if the Bills made use of the franchise tag on him. Last year’s franchise tag for a defensive end was $13.1M. The new tag amount for 2015 will be released near the end of the month. That figure doesn’t seem like a realistic approach for Buffalo.

Hughes clearly appreciates the opportunity the Bills have afforded him the past two seasons to play a major role on the field. He also appreciates lining up alongside the three Pro Bowl players who have been his teammates on the Buffalo defensive line.

Money will obviously be a factor too and Buffalo is heavily invested in their defensive line already. An extension for Marcell Dareus is on the horizon as he enters the last year of his deal in 2015. GM Doug Whaley has maintained the club will do whatever they can to keep Hughes in the fold.


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