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Inside The Bills

Sounds like even rotation at QB

Posted by Chris Brown on May 1, 2013 – 10:05 am

In the Bills voluntary veteran minicamp the week before the draft, head coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett chose to rotate Kevin Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson with the first unit. The two split reps equally with the current starters. Heading into spring OTAs Marrone made it sound as though that will continue.

In an interview on SirusXM NFL Radio this week, Marrone explained why they intend to continue doing that.

“The coaching cliché is that all works itself out, but you have to go into it with a good plan,” Marrone said. “We’ve had Tarvaris and Kevin splitting the snaps so we can get a good evaluation in practice. You know sometimes you put one quarterback with the first group and he looks good and the second guy comes in and is playing well, but doesn’t have the same type of cast. So we mix it up to get a good evaluation.”

Obviously EJ Manuel is now a part of that mix too. Marrone didn’t exactly lay out how Manuel will fit in the rotation, but it sound as though he’s willing to throw him in with veteran players to see if he can handle it.

“When EJ comes in he’s been very eager and looking toward mastering this offense with as much time as we’ve spent with him to get him up to speed and we can get him in those situations,” said Marrone.  “I’ve been a firm believer with all positions, not just quarterback, to throw those guys out there with some veteran guys around them and see how they react to it and see how they play and that’s a good tell tale to see where they are and see where they’re going.”

Manuel will get a run up to the OTAs as the Bills will be holding a rookie minicamp from May 10th-12th with just the draft choices, undrafted free agents and first-year players.


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Fan Friday 3-23

Posted by Chris Brown on March 23, 2012 – 11:19 am

The NFL draft is just about a month away. Let’s get to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 - Hey CB,

Thanks for all of your hard work reporting on the Bills–it’s really appreciated.  I was just wondering if you could layout the off season calendar from OTAs to Training camp and explain the new guidelines under the new CBA opposed to years past? 

Thanks,
Aaron
NYC
CB: You can find all the OTA and minicamp dates right here. As far as OTAs go players can only go against “air.” In other words no offense vs. defense, no kickoff team vs. kick return team. Team drills can only be run against air and there are no one-on-one drills allowed either. Also during the first phase of OTAs there are no helmets worn and obviously no pads or shells without any live contact.

In the second phase of OTAs helmets can be worn, but there is still no live contact and therefore no pads or shells. A maximum of 10 practice days can be scheduled over this three week period, with no more than three days over each of the first two weeks.

For the mandatory minicamp coaches can have two-a-days on two of the three total practice days, but there are still no contact drills or use of pads allowed.

So in summation contact drills, unit vs. unit drills and one-on-one drills are now prohibited.  

And per the CBA each team is required to film all of these OTAs and minicamp practices and hold onto them until a month into the regular season in case the league wants to review them to make sure the rules are being followed.

2 – Chris,

I could use some clarification on how the salary caps works under the new CBA.  My understanding is that the salary cap is the most that a team is allowed to spend on player contracts, and under the new CBA that was reached last year, every team has to spend up to 99% of the cap beginning in the 2012 season.  I also understand that teams that were under the cap last year have the ability to roll that money over to next season to spend extra money.

Any additional info on this topic would be greatly appreciated. 

-Brendan
Las Vegas

 

CB: The way it was outlined in the new CBA was confusing to a lot of people because the league talked about collective team spending and then in the next breath individual team spending. It kind of muddied the waters with respect to what each team has to commit to spending-wise. I’ll try to present it as simply as I can (no easy task).

League-wide there has to be commitment to cash spending of 99 percent of the cap in 2011 and 2012. That means all the teams collectively. If the league’s 32 teams fail to reach the 99 percent level then the league has to make up the difference.

In 2011 and 2012 there is no salary cap floor (minimum). That does not kick in until 2013. At that point each individual club is committed to cash spending of 89 percent of the cap from 2013-2016 and 2017-2020. 

For the 2013-2016 seasons, and again for the 2017-2020 seasons, the clubs collectively will commit to cash spending of at least 95 percent of the cap. Again if the 32 teams do not reach that figure the league makes up the difference.

So starting next offseason there is technically a salary cap floor for all NFL clubs (89% of cap), but as far as the higher percentage, that’s a figure the league’s teams have to reach collectively.

The most important thing to remember is it’s not cap space, it’s cash spent by the clubs. That adds up a lot quicker than cap space knowing contracts with respect to the cap can be spread out over the length of the deal. Hope that all makes sense.

 

3 - Chris,

These two months of speculation of the draft are like sitting in a closed room, watching the walls of its paint dry. I am impressed with your tenacity for finding new information and working your sources for the fans of the Bills. I wonder how many Bills fans are aware that we could have picked Ron Gronkowski in the second round of 2010, instead we picked DT Torell Troup. Belichick had the next pick and he rewarded his Pats with what turned out to be the best TE in the business. I’m sure Buddy hasn’t forgotten that snafu as another draft approaches.

There are some really good quality picks for TE in the early second round. Did you think Buddy will take a chance on one of them? And who do you think is the best pick between Dwayne Allen, Orson Charles or the Stanford TE? It’s high time the Bills paid respect to a such versatile position with a huge upside.

Go Bills!
Buffalo Bill

CB: First, I wouldn’t call taking Torell Troup a snafu. Yes, Gronkowski has panned out to be a tremendous talent, whose value has largely been maximized by a very good coach and outstanding quarterback. Troup has been mired by a persistent back problem his first two seasons, but with his back issues rectified I think he’ll prove to be a solid contributor. Only time will tell.

As for the TE position this year, Stanford’s Coby Fleener is the most complete. After clocking a 4.45 at his pro day he’s probably not going to be there in round two. That leaves Dwayne Allen from Clemson and Orson Charles from Georgia. Both are lacking a bit in size, and some NFL scouts consider them H-backs more than true tight ends.

I believe Allen’s hands are a little better than Charles’, but both are pretty good blockers. Allen looks a bit stronger physically than Charles. Both have good intangibles. I think it’s going to come down to whether a team wants a more versatile TE or not. If they want versatility I think Charles can line up in more places than Allen. Allen however, is stronger and a more natural pass catcher.

Both could come off the board in round 2.

 

4 - Chris,

Love the Bills’ coverage year round. There seems to be changes in the wind with the 10th pick. It appears they might lean towards Left Tackle. But at that spot, is that the best player available? Reiff and Martin both have concerns. I know they would like to add a tackle but both players have just as much risk as Ingram, Coples, and Upshaw. I would like to see them trade down or draft Floyd from ND. A sure handed big receiver with speed. Floyd would be a great addition across from Stevie and give Fitz targets. What’s your assessment on Floyd, LT.  Need vs value at pick 10?

CB: This is the great debate for the Bills heading into the draft. Reiff and Martin are widely viewed as players worthy of coming off the board between 10 and 15. Floyd has enhanced his overall stock with a solid Combine workout and squeaky clean senior year off the field.

Truthfully the debate isn’t need versus value. They need a starting left tackle and a number two wide receiver. The question is what is Buffalo’s draft grade on Martin, Reiff and Floyd? If the grades are close I think they pull the trigger at left tackle because they need a starter there. It’s harder and harder to find a capable starting left tackle with each passing round. This draft is deep at receiver and you can arguable get a quality player in round three, though he won’t have 4.47 speed that Floyd possesses.

What we also need to remember is if the grades on Martin, Reiff and Floyd are not close to that of the 10th pick Buffalo could trade down from there and re-group presumably armed with an additional pick.

 

5 - Hi Chris,

I know that Buddy and Chan want a deep threat that is open even when he isnt, and they dont see a pass rusher at 10, would it not make sense to go after Mike Wallace, if they gave him enough money in year 1 Pittsburg wouldn’t be able to sign him and they would have the scariest deep threat in the league, which should open things underneath for everyone else to shine even brighter
                                       
Thanks from North of the Border

CB:  I think the premise of your thought is a good one. You know what Mike Wallace is being a proven deep threat in the NFL. However, where things get sticky is in the money you would have to commit to Wallace. After committing number one receiver dollars to Stevie Johnson there’s no way they’d be able to do the same with Wallace, who will absolutely be looking for big, big money.

When you consider the fact that the Bills told Robert Meachem to take the four-year $25.9M deal from San Diego, it was an indication that $6.5M per season for their number two receiver is too steep a price as they see it. You’re not getting Mike Wallace for less than $6.5M per season so it makes giving up the 10th pick not worth it. I’m sure the Bills would love to have Wallace, but I don’t see Buffalo willing to accommodate Wallace’s contract demands after what went down with Meachem.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Wood feeling good

Posted by Chris Brown on June 21, 2010 – 3:27 pm

Eric Wood felt good after getting the chance to participate in practice Monday.

Wood said he did individual position work with his teammates for the first time since breaking his leg last season.

“I just did individual work today just within the offensive line. I’m excited to be out here and I’m ready to get back in team drills, but we’re going to take it slowly and I’m at odds with the trainers, but it’s fun,” Wood told Buffalobills.com “We’ve had our fun in the training room now it’s time to get back out on the field and get to work with the guys. Now we’ve just got to get Demetrius going and hopefully toward the end of the week I’ll get back in some team drills.”

Wood is hopeful he can participate more extensively during minicamp later this week.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Reps for Harris hard to come by

Posted by Chris Brown on June 21, 2010 – 10:39 am

Bills rookie free agent SS Dominique Harris has a good physical skill set, but he’s lined up at a position where the Bills have solid depth.

With veterans Donte Whitner, Bryan Scott and George Wilson all capable of playing strong safety, reps have been extremely hard to come by for Harris in the practice setting.

Such is the life of a rookie free agent at times. You want to show you have what it takes, but your reps are so limited, especially in a situation where the coaching staff needs to school up the vets on the new scheme as much as the rookies and you’re in a tough spot. We’ll see how things pan out for Harris moving forward.


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OT Green to sit for a bit

Posted by Chris Brown on June 16, 2010 – 2:07 pm

Bills OT Cornell Green has an injury according to head coach Chan Gailey.

Gailey was asked about Green, who did not practice on Wednesday at the voluntary OTA workout.

“Cornell pulled something and he’s out for a couple of days,” said Gailey.

Green left practice early on Tuesday and did not return.


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Lynch asked pointed questions

Posted by Chris Brown on June 15, 2010 – 1:23 pm

Bills RB Marshawn Lynch was asked if he still wants to be in Buffalo following his first day on the practice field this spring.

“I’d like to play football, whether it’s here or whether it’s somewhere else as long as I get to play football I’m feeling great,” said Lynch.

He was also asked if he feels he can ever get a fair shake in Buffalo again. Here was his response to that question.

“I would like for it to be that, but we live in a world where people are going to make up their mind and they have their opinions,” said Lynch. “Take your opinion, take it how you want to, but I’m going to be me whether you like it or not. You can say that you don’t like me from a distance. Most people that interact with me have a different feel. I take it with a grain of salt. As long as I get a fair shake inside these lines that’s all I’m really worried about.”

Finally he was asked if he expressed a desire to be traded to the club and here was that response.

“There wasn’t no expression, but with the way that things were looking, it looked like it was a possibility,” Lynch said. “If it would’ve happened, it would’ve happened. If it didn’t, I’m back and I’m here to practice.”


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Teammates excited Lynch back

Posted by Chris Brown on June 15, 2010 – 1:06 pm

Bills players were intrigued to finally see the three running back attack in their offensive backfield Tuesday as Marshawn Lynch was practicing for the first time.

Here’s just one example from Bills rookie free agent WR David Nelson, who had this recent post on his twitter account.

DNelson83    Solid day @ practice today. M Lynch was back out there & looked GOOD. We have a 3 headed monster out there w lynch, Jackson & @Lightning28.

Much more coming up in the media lounge at Buffalobills.com where we have exclusive video of Lynch’s first day on the practice field this spring.


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Lynch take 2

Posted by Chris Brown on June 15, 2010 – 8:50 am

According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Bills RB Marshawn Lynch will take part in OTAs for the first time today at One Bills Drive.

Schefter reported that Lynch is back in Buffalo and is expected to practice.

We’ll have exclusive video coverage of practice here at One Bills Drive. Just be sure to check the media lounge at Buffalobills.com later today. OTA practice here on Tuesday is scheduled to begin at 12:05 pm.


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OTA update

Posted by Chris Brown on June 9, 2010 – 11:22 am

The offense is down a couple of passing targets here at OTA practice Wednesday.

Roscoe Parrish and Shawn Nelson are among those not in attendance at the voluntary workout.


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Torbor has no ill will for Miami

Posted by Chris Brown on June 7, 2010 – 10:13 am

Reggie Torbor is more happy to be a Buffalo Bill than he is bothered about being released by the Miami Dolphins.

In an exclusive one-on-one interview with Buffalobills.com, Torbor when asked about whether he had any hard feelings about his Miami release made it clear that he understands how the NFL works sometimes.

“It’s a business and things happen and I’m not the first guy to get released and I won’t be the last,” Torbor told Buffalobills.com. “They make decisions for whatever reason they have to. Guys get released all the time. I’m starting over. I’m not worried about them. What they do is their business now and I’m a Buffalo Bills and I’m ready to get started.”

Torbor knows he’s likely to get the chance to play against his former team twice this season, though he was unaware the opener is against the Dolphins in Ralph Wilson Stadium. He’ll be practicing Tuesday with his new Bills teammates when OTAs resume.

“I’ll take in as much as I can this evening and learn as much as I can on the field tomorrow,” he said.


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Torbor not practicing yet

Posted by Chris Brown on June 6, 2010 – 11:15 am

Bills LB Reggie Torbor, who agreed to terms on a contract Saturday, was not on the practice field Sunday.

That’s because he’s yet to sign his contract with the club. It’s expected that he’ll sign his agreement with Buffalo on Monday, enabling him to be on the practice field for the start of week 3 of OTAs on Tuesday.


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Coleman showed something

Posted by Chris Brown on June 3, 2010 – 4:11 pm

For rookie free agent Antonio Coleman getting used to outside linebacker is going to be an adjustment, but one thing he clearly has is pass rush ability.

Coleman was getting up the field with success consistently during the two-minute drill portion of practice Thursday. It’ll be interesting to see if that ability is even more prominent when the pads go on in camp and he’s able to grapple with linemen more.


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Byrd not 100 percent yet

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2010 – 2:41 pm

Bills free safety Jairus Byrd was listed as one of the limited participants for OTAs and minicamp, but to this point he hasn’t had too many restrictions.

Byrd has been getting reps with the first unit in both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 team work and doesn’t appear to be slowed much despite the fact that he’s still going through the final stages of his lengthy rehab process coming of hip surgery to repair a torn labrum.

Though his movement looks good, he admits he’s still not 100 percent recovered.

“I’ve felt pretty good,” Byrd told Buffalobills.com following Wednesday’s practice. “I’m coming back into the swing of things, but the rest of it is just on-the-field stuff.  It has to loosen up, there is some tightness in there, but the rest is just getting out and working it out on the field.”

Byrd expects to be full go in plenty of time for training camp when the pads go on.


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No lead pony in QB race

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2010 – 1:59 pm

In the wide open quarterback competition for the Bills, head coach Chan Gailey provided an answer when asked if he saw any of the candidates establish themselves as an early front runner.

“No, and if anyone did I wouldn’t tell you,” said Gailey.

Gailey said playing quarterback right now in helmets and shorts is the easy part. He believes a more accurate assessment can be made once the pads go on and there’s more live play in training camp.

So it’s likely that at this point, Gailey is assessing the physical skills of his quarterbacks more than anything with decision making under pressure coming more in the training camp setting.


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Lynch update part 2

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2010 – 11:10 am

Marshawn Lynch may or may not be in Buffalo, but he’s not at OTA practice here on Wednesday.

Today’s practice is underway and Lynch is not here. He did say in a couple of taped interviews that he would report late in the week.


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Lynch update

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2010 – 10:16 am

Despite reports that Marshawn Lynch is in town, it doesn’t appear as though he’s going to be practicing at Wednesday’s OTA workout.

According to Scout.com’s Adam Caplan, Lynch arrived in Buffalo last night.

But as of 10 am his locker stall was untouched and unoccupied. Player meetings began long before that time this morning, so odds are while he may be in town, he’s unlikely to be out on the practice field in about an hour.

It’s just a guess, but the start of voluntary minicamp on Friday seems to make sense as he’s indicated in interviews recently that he would begin practicing at the end of the week.


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Green not fretting about Wood

Posted by Chris Brown on June 1, 2010 – 3:40 pm

As a new member of Buffalo’s offensive line, veteran right tackle Cornell Green naturally wants to get as acclimated as quickly as possible with his new coaches, the new scheme and most importantly with the guard he’s most likely to be working with during the regular season. To this point that hasn’t been possible as Eric Wood is still rehabbing from his leg injury. But Green isn’t worried at this point.

Green has been in the league long enough to understand the importance of team chemistry, especially on an offensive line. But he believes as long as Wood is ready for trianing camp, they should be good to go.

“We want him back here and we want him to be beside me and I want to be able to work with him, but at the same time we’ve got to get him back healthy,” said Green. “And there’s no need to rush him back or anything. Everything will take care of itself. He’s out here every day going over the plays, he’s out here snapping the ball in 7-on-7. He’s antsy.”

Wood said Tuesday everything is still on schedule for him to participate in training camp, though two-a-days or back-to-back days may not be in the cards for him at the outset.

“I’ll be there,” said Wood. “And I should be working hopefully with the ones. But I may need a day here or there to let the soreness get out. We’ll play it by ear.”


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Green: “Trent is ready to go”

Posted by Chris Brown on June 1, 2010 – 1:35 pm

Bills starting right tackle Cornell Green is pretty impressed with Trent Edwards approach to the 2010 season. Green believes Edwards is “ready to go” right now.

“Trent is ready man,” said Green. “He’s ready to go. He’s talking to us every day. We’re amongst him every day. We’re just trying to jell right now.”

It’s clear that Edwards is making a more concerted effort to be a leader, and is outwardly displaying a greater sense of  conviction among his teammates.

“Just his confidence man,” said Green. “He’s confident with what he wants to do. He wants to lead a team. He’s had some years in the league and he just wants to be able to get this team past that point of just being a good team and getting to the playoffs. He works with us every day. We eat breakfast together, we’re chatting with him so I’m looking forward to working with him.”

If Edwards confident nature can translate into more consistent play on the field it would be a big plus for him in the QB competition, but his outward displays of leadership amongst teammates will also help.

Edwards was the second QB through in the rotation in 7-on-7 and first in 11-0n-11 at practice Tuesday.


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Bills in Fieldhouse

Posted by Chris Brown on June 1, 2010 – 9:56 am

The Bills will begin their second week of OTAs in the team’s Fieldhouse as rain is moving through the Western New York region here on Tuesday.

The team is scheduled to begin practice at 12:05 pm. This will be the first OTA practice indoors since the rookie minicamp when poor weather forced them indoors one day last month.


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OTAs resume

Posted by Chris Brown on June 1, 2010 – 4:41 am

Bills OTAs fire back up today (Tues.) and Buffalobills.com has you covered.

Practice today gets started at 12:05 pm and we’ll have written and video reports up this afternoon including exclusive highlights of the action from the practice field.


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