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Inside The Bills

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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Performance could slow rotation at LG

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2013 – 2:47 pm

It’s an open competition that will spill into Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals as both Doug Legursky and Colin Brown will see time on the field. Head coach Doug Marrone still hasn’t spelled out how the rotation will operate, but he did say if one of the linemen is excelling the rotation will stop.

“There is going to be a rotation and they are going to be competitive,” said Marrone. “If someone starts playing well during the game I know we’re going to stick with him.”

Marrone said offensive line coach Pat Morris is going to handle the rotation between the two players.


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Morris glad O-line has had time together

Posted by Chris Brown on January 29, 2013 – 10:40 am

It’s an often used word in the NFL… continuity. Nowhere on the football field is it more important than the offensive line. That’s why Bills offensive line coach Pat Morris is happy to see walking in the door that most of the men up front have played together the past three seasons.

“I think that’s the biggest thing with offensive lines. It is a tight-knit group and they’ve played a lot together,” said Morris. “I’ve always thought that when linemen have played four years or more they’ve really started to reach their potential because they’ve played everybody. I’m excited. I did know all these guys coming out of the draft and most of them were draftable players and I’m happy to hear that for the most part they have played well. So I’m hoping to move them forward.

“I just think if you’ve got a partner that you’ve been with your timing is on, your communication, your awareness and when it’s crunch time it’s a little bit easier. Injuries kind of hurt that, but you’ve got to be position flexible, which I think these guys are in the little bit I’ve seen. All of that is very important for offensive line.”

The only question marks are guards Andy Levitre and Chad Rinehart, who are both set to become unrestricted free agents come mid-March if they’re not re-signed.


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Morris: Running QBs don’t change blocking

Posted by Chris Brown on January 29, 2013 – 9:15 am

Bills offensive line coach Pat Morris knows the running quarterbacks that are executing the read option are all the rage right now in the NFL. But he doesn’t see it changing much with respect offensive line play.

“The quarterbacks running hasn’t changed the ability to drive block and reach block,” said Morris. “You may leave one guy free for the quarterback, but you’re still run blocking and pass blocking. The quarterback might be changing, but the linemen are still linemen.

“In terms of pass protection it’s basically the same. Probably the least changed position would be the offensive line because you’re still going to have to block the same type of people. Maybe on the perimeter and some of your schematic on defense is different, but for offensive line, your count may be different. The quarterback sometimes takes care of that eighth guy and usually you might have to adapt and change to it. It might make your assignments a bit easier with your count if you run that stuff.”


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Comparing Pat Morris’ best to C.J.

Posted by Chris Brown on January 19, 2013 – 5:46 pm

Bills newly hired offensive line coach Pat Morris is a veteran NFL assistant and his offensive lines have been largely the reason his teams have put up three seasons where they led the league in rushing. Below we decided to take the leading rushers that ran behind Morris’ lines in 1998, 1999 and 2007 and compare them to the season C.J. Spiller had in 2012.

1998 – San Francisco – #1 in rushing – 159 yds/gm
Leading rusher – Garrison Hearst – 310 carries, 1,570 yards, 5.1 avg., 98.1 yards/gm, 7 rushing TDs

1999 - San Francisco – #1 in rushing – 130.9 yds/gm
Leading rusher – Charlie Garner – 241 carries, 1,229 yards, 5.1 avg., 76.8 yards/gm, 4 rushing TDs

2007 – Minnesota – #1 in rushing – 164.6 yds/gm
Leading rusher – Adrian Peterson – 238 carries, 1,341 yards, 5.6 avg., 95.8 yards/gm, 12 rushing TDs

2012 – Buffalo – #6 in rushing – 138.6 yds/gm
Leading rusher – C.J. Spiller – 207 carries, 1,244 yards, 6.0 avg., 77.8 yards/gm, 6 rushing TDs

Knowing the Bills have an offensive line that’s largely been together for the better part of the last three years, provided Andy Levitre can be re-signed, it’s not unreasonable to think that Morris and Buffalo’s linemen can challenge for the rushing title in 2013, after a sixth place finish this past season.


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