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Inside The Bills

Intense cardio work all serving a purpose

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2013 – 9:46 am

The demanding cardio work that is a big part of Buffalo’s offseason conditioning program has had Bills players throwing up at times during workouts. But they know in the long run all the work to build their stamina and endurance now will pay off come the fall.

“It’s a lot of conditioning along with the speed stuff and the high tempo in the weight room, there’s no down time, it’s always going,” said Brad Smith. “It just gets the most out of you. The workouts are pretty tough.”

For offensive linemen like Kraig Urbik, who was asked to play heavier under the previous regime at around 330 pounds, the demands have shifted to lighter and faster.

“I’m actually dropping a lot of weight. I’m down 10 pounds,” Urbik told “I’m going to keep doing it from my body standpoint. Running a high tempo offense I’m going to need to be in this kind of shape.”

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How offseason program has helped locker room

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2013 – 9:41 am

Buffalo’s offseason conditioning program under new head coach Doug Marrone has been ultra-competitive and non-stop as the players have described it. With the roster divided into seven mini-teams and a leaderboard for individual point totals based on participation and performance, the players are not only getting properly prepped for the season, but they’re also becoming a tighter team in the locker room.

It’s no secret that many NFL locker rooms have a bit of a dividing line where offensive players more often congregate with the teammates on their side of the ball and the defensive players do the same. In many cases it’s not done in any kind of exclusionary way, it’s just human nature. Marrone and his staff with their offseason program have successfully mixed position groups with the mini-teams in the offseason competition program. The result is players from vastly different position groups are rooting for one another and knowing more than by the number on their jersey.

“It’s one of those things where we’re a team, but we’re also competing with each other so you’ve got guys at different positions rooting for each other,” said Fred Jackson. “We have running backs rooting for defensive tackles and guys that play defensive end rooting for safeties. It’s a great way to know everybody and compete with them at the same time.”

Jackson is currently atop the individual player leaderboard through the first four weeks of the program.

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Stevie trying on some MMA training

Posted by Chris Brown on March 7, 2013 – 3:30 pm

Recently retired Bills DE/LB Shawne Merriman was a proponent of it, now Stevie Johnson is trying his hand at mixed martial arts training.

That according to FOX Sports NFL insider Jay Glazer, who tweeted a list of NFL players and prospects that were training at his MMA facility today in Los Angeles.


Johnson has committed himself to a fully supervised offseason training regimen in an effort to be even more productive than he has the past three years with three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Bills free agent Kirk Morrison was also among those mentioned.

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Mario clear on Bills goals

Posted by Chris Brown on April 23, 2012 – 2:07 pm

As the Bills offseason conditioning program got underway today (Monday) Mario Williams was one of the many in attendance. Though Buffalo’s locker room has been one that’s tight-knit, the results haven’t followed in terms of victories. Williams made it clear that’s going to change.

“We know what we have in front of us,” said Williams. “We know what we need to do to get the job done and get to work. I don’t care if you’re a first-day guy or a guy who’s been here since Day One, there’s things that can change around here and that’s definitely what we’re going after. So this first week means a lot to everybody.”

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No set timetable for Merriman

Posted by Chris Brown on April 23, 2012 – 10:09 am

As we profiled on the home page of today (Monday) the signs are positive concerning Shawne Merriman’s return to full health following Achilles surgery to repair the frayed, but not ruptured tendon. Here’s what he said when asked if he has a timetable for a return to full work.

“Not really, it is all about how I feel like I said I will be working out every day and capable of doing everything. Coming off anything you don’t want to push yourself to the point where you back track at all,” he said. “That is going to be up to the trainers, as long as I can go out and function and do everything that the team is doing I will be happy.”

Merriman looked very fit reporting for the start of the offseason conditioning program Monday (see below).


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Fred update

Posted by Chris Brown on April 23, 2012 – 10:03 am

Bills RB Fred Jackson was one of the many on hand Monday for the start of the team’s offseason conditioning program. Of course it didn’t take long before media members asked him for an update on his contract situation.

“It’s just not the time,” said Jackson when asked if there was progress on a contract extension. “This week they have the draft coming up. That’s what they’re focusing on. I’ll just continue to be patient and see what happens. It’s like I’ve said all along, I think something will get done. Buddy said that they want to get something done, so I’ll just continue to put faith in that.”

Jackson reporting for voluntary workouts shows there’s little concern on his part that something will be done with respect to his current deal, which has just a year remaining.

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Wood likes new training approach

Posted by Chris Brown on March 31, 2010 – 8:37 am

Bills lineman Eric Wood is back in the weight room as voluntary offseason workouts began this week. He’s far from full go, but he already likes the approach to strength and conditioning with two position group specific coordinators.

“I do like that they split it up between the two strength coaches,” said Wood. “They do a good job. It’s like position coaches. The secondary coach isn’t going to coach the o-line so why should they in the weight room? We get so specific everywhere except the weight room. If this works out and we win a bunch of ballgames this year everyone will do it. If not, everyone will be calling us idiots. The players like it and it gives you more specific workouts and that’s what everybody wants.”

For more on the new approach you can check out our report in Bills Roundup in the video lounge. For details on Eric Wood’s promising recovery check back on the home page at

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Good player turnout

Posted by Chris Brown on March 30, 2010 – 9:07 am

The Bills voluntary offseason conditioning program has a nice turnout in its first week.

The players are broken up into two groups with an early morning session group and a late morning group. At the early morning session Tuesday there were 32 players on hand working out.

All three quarterbacks were on hand as well as players like Jairus Byrd, Paul Posluszny, Kawika Mitchell, Aaron Maybin, Geoff Hangartner, Andy Levitre, Lee Evans, Chris Kelsay, Spencer Johnson, Kyle Williams, John McCargo, Marcus Stroud and Andra Davis. Obviously there were several others, with more rolling in for the late morning workout. also saw more than a dozen other players that were milling around, but not working out yet. It’s believed they’re part of the late morning group. We’ll have full coverage of the opening of the offseason conditioning program in Bills Roundup in the video lounge later today.

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Bills players eager to get started

Posted by Chris Brown on March 27, 2010 – 8:34 pm

With the Bills offseason conditioning program getting underway Monday, players are already buzzing about getting back to football, especially with a new coaching staff in place.

Here are some twitter posts from Aaron Maybin and Kawika Mitchell.

AaronMaybin58    On the road headed back to Buffalo. Ready to get started monday

Ka_Mitchell55    Headin back to B’lo tomorrow. Tryin to get n as much QT w/ the fam as possible. Ready to b back around football tho. Been 2 long. will have full coverage as the players return will a full roundup report on Tuesday.

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Bills to return March 29th

Posted by Chris Brown on March 24, 2010 – 1:15 pm

Bills players will be back at One Bills Drive on Monday, March 29th.

That’s when the team’s offseason conditioning program commences with their new strength and conditioning staff headed up by Eric Ciano and John Gamble. I should mention that attendance at the offseason conditioning program is voluntary, not mandatory. will have full coverage on Tuesday when head coach Chan Gailey and a handful of players will be made available.

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Walker talked to fellow tackle Peters

Posted by Chris Brown on March 23, 2009 – 4:12 pm

Bills OT Langston Walker, on hand for the start of Buffalo’s offseason conditioning program was asked about his fellow book end tackle Jason Peters, who is still trying to negotiate an extension on his contract with the club. Peters, who is very hard for even his teammates to get a hold of was in touch with Walker recently.

“I talked to him probably about a month ago, just back and forth,” said Walker. “It’s offseason, we’re not talking about football. I can’t wait for him to get here. He’s a great player.”


Peters was not on hand for the first day of the team’s voluntary offseason conditioning program.

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Strong attendance at Bills offseason program

Posted by Chris Brown on March 23, 2009 – 3:17 pm

The Bills offseason conditioning program got off to a good start with better than 40 players in attendance for the first day of workouts. Among the newest Bills in attendance were Geoff Hangartner, Ryan Fitzpatrick and P.K Sam.

A lot of media came out in anticipation of Terrell Owens arrival, but he was not on hand for the first day of workouts.

Among some of the players I spotted during the course of workouts were

Derek Schouman, Derek Fine, John McCargo, Kyle Williams, Paul Posluszny, Terrence McGee, Keith Ellison, Bryan Scott, Josh Reed, Corey McIntyre, Copeland Bryan, Kawika Mitchell, Justin Jenkins, John Wendling, Dustin Fox, Chris Denman, Langston Walker, Trent Edwards, Jon Corto, Bruce Hall, Marcus Smith, Mike Jefferson, Chris Kelsay, C.J. Hawthorne, Geoff Hangartner, Ryan Neill, Jonathan Stupar, Brandon Rodd, James Hardy, Reggie Corner, Ko Simpson, Felton Huggins, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Gibran Hamdan, Demetrius Bell, John DiGiorgio, Brad Butler, Xavier Omon, Marcus Buggs, Alvin Bowen and P.K. Sam.

Posted in Inside the Bills