Inside The Bills

Rivers looking to be every down player

Posted by Chris Brown on March 14, 2014 – 4:02 pm

Bills GM Doug Whaley said he sees free agent signee Keith Rivers as a three down linebacker. That sounds like a lot of time on the field for one of Buffalo’s newest additions. That’s something that’s just fine with the veteran linebacker.

“I’m excited about being here. It’s a great opportunity,” Rivers said. “I think it’s the best opportunity for me at this point. I want to go play where I have the best fit and here I think it’s a great fit with Kiko (Alonso) and some of the other guys we’re bringing in. I’m excited about it.”

Rivers said this defense should play to his strengths because of the defensive line in front of him and the solid cover corners behind him.

“They’ve done a great job putting together a great defense and great cornerbacks,” he said. “I can run around and make plays.”


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Whaley: Adding another QB not likely

Posted by Chris Brown on March 14, 2014 – 10:34 am

This week the Bills parted ways with veteran quarterback Kevin Kolb. With three “green” quarterbacks on the roster, there is some thought outside the organization that they might consider adding a free agent with more experience to compete for a backup role. Bills GM Doug Whaley put that thought to rest Friday.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Whaley confirmed that right now there are no plans to add another quarterback though he would not completely rule it out.

“At this time no, but again we will keep all options open,” said Whaley.

When asked if the team would feel comfortable going into training camp with the three quarterbacks currently on the roster, EJ Manuel, Thad Lewis and Jeff Tuel, Whaley said they would be.

“Comfortable, very comfortable and then you throw Dennis Dixon in,” he said. “All those guys are going to be another year in the system, so if you bring someone else in they’ll be new in the system. So we’re comfortable with where we are with the quarterback position.”

Dixon was on Buffalo’s practice squad as a quarterback last season.


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What Graham learned in Ravens run to Super Bowl

Posted by Chris Brown on March 13, 2014 – 1:06 pm

Bills CB Corey Graham comes to Buffalo with a Super Bowl ring, which he won two years ago with the Baltimore Ravens. Knowing the Bills want to get back to the postseason, Graham explained what he learned being part of the Ravens successful Super Bowl run.

“Being in Baltimore and accomplishing the ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl, what really happened that year for us was just everybody playing together as a team and everybody playing as one and playing as hard as we could,” he said. “When it comes down to it you just need things to go your way. When you see things go your way you get more confidence and then you make the playoffs and you do things like that and get things rolling.

“That’s all it takes. It just takes guys to come together, play together and just play as hard as they possibly can. Once the wins start coming, guys get more confident and when the confidence comes, it’s the playoffs and maybe making it to the second round of the playoffs and maybe the Super Bowl. It’s things like that.”


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OL Williams a fan of screen game

Posted by Chris Brown on March 13, 2014 – 12:43 pm

Bills OL Chris Williams didn’t get much of a chance to execute the screen game during his time in St. Louis. It just wasn’t much of a component of the Rams offense. It is however, a staple for Buffalo’s attack. In the few times that the Rams did run the screen game though, Williams was often called upon to get out in front of the backs to block and looked agile and mobile. So Buffalobills.com asked him for his thoughts on the screen game and the likelihood of running it with much more frequency here in Buffalo.

“I love the screen game,” Williams said. “It slows down the pass rush and with the backs here it’s going to be an effective tool. I’m just excited to get out there and run and blocking and cutting and getting guys out of the way so it’s a great tool to use and I’m excited about it.”


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Graham’s wild free agency choice to go to Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 13, 2014 – 11:43 am

Bills newest CB Corey Graham had a bit of a wild decision making process at the outset of free agency with multiple offers. But the craziest part was when he decided to agree to terms with Buffalo he was on a free agent visit with the Washington Redskins.

Graham, who spoke to the Western New York media Thursday morning, explained how things unfolded.

“There were several teams that offered me deals that were very interesting,” said Graham. “The Bills showed some interest early on, which my agent told me about. But I first went on a visit in Washington and I was meeting with the coaches and everything and my agent called the Redskins offices and I was in the middle of a film session with the coaches in Washington and then someone comes in and says, ‘Your agent wants you to call him right now.’

“So I went and called him and he told me the situation with Buffalo and how they were very serious. So it really came down to that. They got down to talking and my agent called me again. At this point I’m in my hotel room getting ready to go to dinner with Washington and my agent told me about the deal Buffalo was offering and how everything was going down and for me it was a no brainer to agree to the deal.

“To have an opportunity to go back home and play for the Buffalo Bills and be in my hometown and help out the community in my hometown was like a no brainer for me. So I basically agreed to the deal and did not even go to dinner with the Washington Redskins coaches or anything. I ended up canceling everything.”


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Report: Carrington to visit Steelers

Posted by Chris Brown on March 13, 2014 – 11:35 am

The Pittsburgh Steelers just lost DL Ziggy Hood in free agency so it appears they’re looking to re-fortify their defensive line and they’re interested in a Bills free agent.

Bills free agent DL Alex Carrington is scheduled to make a free agent visit to Pittsburgh this evening. That according to NFL.com reporter Ian Rapaport.

Carrington appeared in only three games last season for Buffalo after tearing a quadriceps tendon in a Week 3 game against the Jets. He was placed on injured reserve a short time later last season.


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Report: Bills sign Keith Rivers

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2014 – 6:44 pm

According to an ESPN report, the Bills are keeping busy in day two of NFL free agency.

ESPN AFC East reporter James Walker is reporting the Bills have signed veteran LB Keith Rivers to a multi-year contract.

Rivers, a six-year NFL vet, has spent the last two seasons with the New York Giants as primarily an outside linebacker.


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Multiple reports: CB Graham signs with Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2014 – 5:46 pm

There are multiple reports that the Bills have signed free agent CB Corey Graham, a Buffalo native.

ESPN’s Adam Caplan was the first to report that the Baltimore Ravens free agent cornerback.


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3 game look at Williams encouraging

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2014 – 4:23 pm

By no means am I going to pretend to be a scout, but after looking at three of Chris Williams games at left guard last season for St. Louis there it’s pretty clear why the Bills saw him as an upgrade.

Against all three NFC West opponents in Weeks 1, 4 and 8, Williams more than held his own. He had a lot of one-on-one assignments. In Week 1 he squared off against Arizona’s Calais Campbell. In Week 4 he drew veteran DE Justin Smith as an assignment against San Francisco, and in Week 8 faced a host of Seattle defensive linemen and linebackers in the Seahawks multiple look defense.

Williams proved consistent at holding his ground in pass protection and sealing off penetrators on run plays. Although the Rams don’t run much of a screen game at all he did show an ability to get out in front of a back on one screen play that the Rams did call. St. Louis doesn’t pull their guards a whole lot either, but in the instances in which he was called upon to do so he showed the feet and agility needed to execute.

Perhaps most encouraging is over those three games, and granted it’s just three games, there were no visible busts on his part against three quality defensive units. If there were any blemishes in his performances it might be sustaining his blocks. He fell off a few of them a bit early.


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Whaley pleased to plug Williams in on Bills OL

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2014 – 1:12 pm

His free agent visit to the Bills on the first full day of free agency was a sign that Chris Williams was an early target for Buffalo to fortify their offensive line. Now that he’s in the fold, GM Doug Whaley couldn’t be more pleased.

“We’re excited about this start to free agency and our plans moving forward,” said Whaley. “With the signing of Chris Williams, I am particularly excited about the direction our offensive line is moving in because we wanted to address this position and we feel like we filled the need with a very good player.”

Williams also brings guard-tackle versatility to the offensive line as one of the only guards on the current roster that can also kick out and effectively play tackle in a pinch. Here’s a shot of the GM with his newest guard right after Williams signed.

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Marrone key in Williams decision to sign

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2014 – 12:33 pm

There are a host of reasons why free agent OL Chris Williams chose to sign with the Bills, but it was clear that the prospect of having a former offensive lineman as a head coach played a pivotal role.

“Just talking with him, being able to talk to an O-line coach who was an O-lineman there were things that he can address with me right away that will help me elevate my game and we talked about it,” said Williams of his conversation with Marrone on his free agent visit, that turned into a signing. “I’ve never played for a head coach who was an offensive lineman and that was super exciting for me. I’m just excited to have to end up with two offensive line coaches on staff and both of them will help me with my game. You’ve got to love that.”

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Still, just 28-years old, the former first-round pick believes he can still improve as a player with offensive line coach Pat Morris and Marrone on the staff.

“Coming in here with coach Marrone and coach Morris I’m really excited about it,” he said. “I’m going to continue to develop my game because I’m always trying to work to get better and I think it’s a great opportunity here to do that.”


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Report: OL Williams to sign with Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2014 – 10:57 am

Free agent OL Chris Williams, who is visiting at One Bills Drive today (Wednesday) will apparently soon put pen to paper on a multi-year contract.

That according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Bills have not confirmed the signing to this point.


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Byrd’s new contract figures

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 10:04 pm

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter it looks as though Jairus Byrd in signing with the Saints, got a contract that will average $9M a season.

Schefter is reporting the deal to be a six-year pact worth $54 million with more than half of it guaranteed.

Byrd capped a wild day one of free agency for free agent safeties as a half dozen signed with new clubs on Monday (Louis Delmas) and Tuesday.


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Saints announce six-year deal with Byrd

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 9:32 pm

The New Orleans Saints have announced they’ve reached a six-year deal with Jairus Byrd.

The NFC South club announced it on their Twitter account.

The photo here depicts Saints GM Mickey Loomis with Byrd in Loomis’ office.


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Winter storm may impact Bills FA plan

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 4:49 pm

The Bills have a free agent plan in place, which is expected to include visits by free agent players, perhaps as early as Wednesday. Mother nature however, may have something to say about those potential plans.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Western New York beginning 2 am Wednesday and lasting through 2 am Thursday. The storm is forecast to dump anywhere from 7-12 inches of snow on Buffalo and its surrounding suburbs. That could complicate arrivals at the Buffalo-Niagara International aiport, something GM Doug Whaley is well aware of.

“With looking at the weather you try to get him in here as soon as possible,” he said in an appearance on the John Murphy Show. “And knowing guys have a lot of dance cards we don’t want to get them skipped over if we can’t get them in. So it’s a tricky situation and we’re going to try to do the best we can.

“We’ve got faith in the Buffalo airport that they’ll stay open at least for a little while, or don’t cancel flights the whole day. So we’ll work as diligently as possible to get these guys in.”

Of course if the Bills can get a free agent visitor in before the storm hits, it could make getting out of Buffalo for the free agent player more difficult. That could help provide the added time needed to consummate a deal.


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Report: FA CB Carroll to visit Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 4:23 pm

The Bills free agent visits are going to begin soon and there’s a report as to who one of the first visitors will be.

According to CBSSports.com’s Jason LaCanfora, Miami CB Nolan Carroll will be making a free agent visit to One Bills Drive.

LaCanfora also mentioned that Carroll has other visits on his agenda. Carroll would represent a valuable depth corner who could step in for Stephon Gilmore or Leodis McKelvin in the event of injury.

Carroll had a career-high three interceptions last season.


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Report: Byrd return to Bills still possible

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 1:44 pm

While there have been multiple reports that there will be interest in Bills free agent safety Jairus Byrd, the latest report is that in no way have the Bills been ruled out of the running for the Pro Bowl safety’s services.

That according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport.

Neither Byrd nor the Bills have closed the door on potentially reuniting.


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Report: Moats reps talking with Browns

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 12:00 pm

NFL Network is reporting that Bills FA LB Arthur Moats has had talks with the Cleveland Browns.

The news isn’t surprising knowing Browns head coach Mike Pettine is looking for as many players as possible that know his defensive system walking in the door. The report indicated that they’ve made significant progress on a potential deal.

Cleveland is also reportedly negotiating with 49ers FA safety Donte Whitner, a Cleveland native.


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Potential FA LB off market

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 10:35 am

An inside linebacker that was slated to become a free agent, who could’ve been a good fit for the Bills is off the market. Washington LB Perry Riley just agreed to deal to re-up with the Redskins overnight and is expected to sign it today before the market opens.

NBC Washington’s Dianna Marie Russini reported that the two sides had agreed to terms last night.

She has since reported that Washington has confirmed the deal.


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Bills cap room less than previously reported

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2014 – 9:47 am

It’s always a moving target, but many projected the Bills salary cap room heading into free agency today would be in the upper 20’s in terms of millions. But the latest research from NFL Network indicates a much lower figure.

According to NFL Network Buffalo has $16.44M in cap space heading into today (Tuesday). That ranks 15th in the league.


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