Inside The Bills

Brown, Alexander try to keep loss in perspective

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2017 – 10:40 am

The game was there for the taking and just about every player in Buffalo’s locker room knew it. But as much as the team tried not to get too high after their upset win of the Falcons in Week 4, they tried to equally quell their disappointment after Sunday’s loss at Cincinnati.

“We have to get better,” said Preston Brown. “It’s not the end of the world, we just lost a game. We have to learn from it and go out there and be better. We have a lot of time to prepare for whoever we have next — I don’t know, I don’t care — we’ve got to find ways to be better and focus on ourselves.”

“It’s still early in the season,” said Alexander. “We can’t allow this to shift us, to go from high to low. That’s never a good thing.  We did some good things out there and we want to build off those.  There were some things we didn’t do so well. We have a lot of football left.  We’ll continue to defend home and figure out how to win a couple of these games on the road and we’ll be fine.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Preston Brown goes strict on diet

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2017 – 7:32 am

Preston Brown has been a very durable players since he’s put on a Bills uniform. In fact in his first three NFL seasons he hasn’t missed a game. But he wanted to improve heading into season four, so he made a change to his offseason regimen.

Known for carrying candy in the sweatshirt he’d routinely wear under his practice jersey, Brown scrapped candy from his diet and is eating a lot healthier.

“No candy at practice anymore,” he said. “No little stuff like that. I have a chef now. I’m trying to eat healthy. A lot of green stuff. It’s been different to try and make sure my body can maintain through the whole season. It was my idea. Nobody really said anything. All I do is chew gum now, no candy.”

When asked what prompted the decision Brown explained.

“I just think I need to peak more as the season goes and not go down,” Brown said. “I feel like my play drops later in the year, so I need to make sure I keep my energy level up and make sure I keep helping the team win games instead of being a liability out there. I want to keep getting better every game.”


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Fan Friday 5-5

Posted by Chris Brown on May 5, 2017 – 11:45 am

The NFL draft is now in the rear view mirror, and there a GM search underway. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chris, do u see the Bills possibly reaching out to Eliot Wolf, Scot McCloughan or Louis Riddick about the GM opening?

Mikey
@Mikeybeit

CB: I believe the Bills initially cast out a wide net, but it will probably be whittled down quickly to a handful of candidates whose philosophy on building and sustaining a roster lines up as parallel as possible to that of head coach Sean McDermott.

As for Eliot Wolf, Scot McCloughan and Louis Riddick it’s hard to know what will appeal most to the Pegulas. Knowing they went with a young, energetic and driven head coach in Sean McDermott, could they be looking for a similar type in a GM? Or do they go in the opposite direction and find a roster builder with a ton of experience.

Wolf has that even though he’s just 35-years old.

McCloughan, who also cut his teeth in the Green Bay organization in the personnel department under Wolf’s dad, Hall of Famer Ron Wolf, was just pushed out of the Washington organization after personal problems reportedly surfaced for the second time in his career. I don’t know that he’d be a consideration.
Riddick would appear to be a natural consideration having worked with McDermott before in Philadelphia. He was a scout with the Eagles and rose to the position of Director of Pro Personnel there in the span of two years. They worked together for three years there.

Brandon Beane has already interviewed.

It’s certainly no one’s call but the Pegulas, but a strong football guy would be good so coach McDermott doesn’t get spread too thin between coaching and personnel. Someone that can capably run the college and pro scouting departments.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Well now that they not picking up Sammy 5th yr option, do you think he’s really gonna play hard or no?

Kia
@Bufbillsfan4lif

CB: I think you might be missing the whole point of why the Bills did not pick up the fifth-year option on Watkins. It’s a question of being healthy, not respect for his talent.

I know that coach McDermott made it clear to Watkins in his talks with him that they value him and want him to be a part of this team for the long term, but they can’t risk guaranteeing $13.2M knowing if his injury re-occurs, the one he has yet to fully recover from a year later, that they’re on the hook for that money next year whether he plays or not.

If they didn’t have to make this decision until mid-September, they might have a better idea of what to expect from Watkins health-wise. But he’s not even cleared for football related activities, so there’s no way to know now. It would be a fiscally aggressive risk to put up that kind of money not knowing how fast and how effectively his foot is going to come through his second rehabilitation after surgery.

And if he is healthy and plays all 16 games and has a monster season, you sign him to a big long term deal or the franchise tag is there if necessary and he remains in the fold.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Out of the recent draft picks, who will have the biggest impact this upcoming season?

Cierra Livecchi
@Seeairuhyo

CB: My pick is Zay Jones. I was in Mobile and watched him all week at the Senior Bowl and while he wasn’t the only player who impressed me, what stood out to me was how complete his game seemed to be. I didn’t witness a drop by him all week, his route running was sharp for the most part. The only part of his game that was hard to get a handle on in the practice setting was his blocking.

Interviewing him down there and at the NFL Combine it’s evident to me that he’s got his head on straight. His dad was an NFL player, so his biggest influence is someone who knew what it took to be a professional. It has to give the Bills confidence that Zay will know how to carry himself as a professional too.

Also in terms of opportunity the No. 2 receiver role is going to be up for grabs. Andre Holmes and Philly Brown are probably his stiffest competition. Jones is just so consistent I think he has a real shot at that job and if he lands it I think he has the biggest impact.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will Ragland start? Or will it be Preston B. In the middle with Humber and Alexander on the outside?

korey kennedy
@koreykennedy3

CB: We’re a long way from determining starting roles, primarily because Ragland still isn’t fully cleared to participate in the offseason conditioning field work, let alone football related activities. We’ll see what happens in a couple of weeks when OTAs start.

Here’s the thing that I believe a lot of people are overlooking. Many simply assume that whoever is not the MLB between Brown and Ragland will be on the bench.

I’d be very surprised if that proves to be the case.

I believe that whoever loses out in the battle for the starting MLB job will be the team’s starting strong side linebacker. Brown played there some in college at Louisville. And Ragland was used as a blitzer at Alabama so he’s been on the edge as well.

From what I’ve heard Alexander will be a jack-of-all-trades linebacker in this defense. His role will be largely determined by the opponent that week, down and distance and game plan. ‘Zo could sub in more on the strong side or the weak side depending on the week.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills

With that extra 1st rd pk in next yrs draft. Do u feel they will use it as ammo to move up (if needed) to get a QB?

CHRISTian McCaffrey
@BroJackson_

CB: I think we have to pump the brakes on expecting to get a quarterback. First, we have to see what Tyrod does this season.

Second, and probably more important, most of the top quarterbacks in college do not have to declare for the draft. USC’s Sam Darnold, perceived to be the most highly touted, will be a redshirt sophomore next year. He could easily go back to school and come out in 2019.

Rosen will only be a junior, Allen a junior and both of them after two years have started in 19 and 16 games each.

Knowing the perceived best talents could stay in school, I think you focus on what the extra first round pick gives you, which is options. That’s what counts here.

If there are top flight QB prospects in the draft class and you want to move up the board to get one, the Bills should be able to do it.

If they’re not in the class, the Bills will still have the ammo to move up or down the board as they see fit. Having options means power. To have that in round one can help you upgrade your roster in a hurry.

 


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Fan Friday 3-31

Posted by Chris Brown on March 31, 2017 – 12:35 pm

The NFL draft is a month away! Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills If we stay put @ 10 because lack of trade partner how much can we gain trading back in second round, pick wise?

@taylor_degeorge

CB: A lot of it would depend on where the Bills would be moving back too. If they slide back 10 spots to pick 54 in the draft, for example, it would require an additional late third or early fourth-round pick going to Buffalo to make the value work. If Buffalo was to move all the way to the bottom of round two it would require a high third-round pick in addition to make that work.

In essence Buffalo could conceivably recoup an additional third-round pick or a fourth-round pick (something they currently don’t have) to move back in round two.

That might not seem like much, but in this draft it’s valuable knowing the depth at a handful of positions in this class.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills Can you offer some insight on Zach Brown’s situation and why the Bills let him move on? Seemed like a good, young, Pro Bowl LB. Thanks!

Justin Crow
@jcrowrva

CB: I think what often stands in the way of a player the caliber of Zach Brown reaching a new deal, with the Bills, or anyone other team for that matter, at this stage of free agency is simple. It’s money.

No NFL team including the Bills has signed Brown to this point because his asking price is probably too high.

I understand where Brown is probably coming from. His value has probably never been this high since he was a second-round pick as a rookie. He led his team in tackles, played most of the season with a broken hand and went to the Pro Bowl (albeit as an alternate).

He probably believes that should count for something and I don’t disagree with him.

But ultimately players can’t control what the market is willing to pay, and it’s clear three weeks into free agency that the market is not in line with what Brown wants to play for at this point.

3 – @ChrisBrownBills wouldn’t Ruben Foster make sense to make the defense complete and dynamic?

Michael Minutella@MichaelMinutel4

CB: Reuben Foster is a dynamic player and linebacker is unquestionably a need position for the Bills. He is certainly fast enough and has the range to be a weak side linebacker in a 4-3 system. Foster has also demonstrated the necessary cover skills to fit that role. It’s a player who certainly makes sense at 10 and likely fits the value there.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills If the Bills were to go DB at 10, realistically (assume Adams Latt Hooker gone) who would be your pick #bills

Bill Carr@billcarr_10

CB: I think other options that could be considered at 10 at defensive back would almost exclusively be corner at that point if the top two safeties are off the board. Lattimore is the only lock top 10 cornerback, but another consideration could be Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey.

Beyond him I don’t know that the value fits at 10 for another defensive back. LSU Tre’Davious White is someone to consider, but there seems to be mixed opinion on him so I don’t see him going quite that high. Colorado’s Chidobe Awuzie I think is going to come off the board sooner than some might expect, but 10 is probably too early.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills Is Preston Brown a good fit at the outside linebacker role in the new defense or is he too slow?

@JaredBailey23

CB: First, I think you’re jumping the gun a bit here in assuming that Preston Brown is going to play outside linebacker. I think Reggie Ragland and Preston Brown will each be lined up at middle linebacker and let the coaches decide who ultimately lines up where. Knowing the entire defensive staff is new I anticipate that this will take some time in the spring to spell out specific roles.

All that being said, if Brown was to move outside I think he could be a fit on the strong side, a spot he played some in college at Louisville. He’s certainly strong enough to set the edge and fill the other duties of that position. He wouldn’t be as good a fit in the weak side role which requires top end speed, range and cover ability.


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Preston Brown’s mom is Harvin news breaker

Posted by Chris Brown on November 1, 2016 – 1:40 pm

Preston Brown’s mom played the role of news breaker this morning. Here’s how.

Buffalo’s linebacker was heading to the locker room from a weight lifting session when he saw a text from his mom. In the text was a picture of Percy Harvin, which was Brown’s first knowledge of the impeding signing of the receiver.

“My mom texted me a picture of Percy so I’m guessing he’s coming back,” said Brown late this morning.

The signing was made official early Tuesday afternoon.


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Brady & 2 TE combo will be a test

Posted by Chris Brown on October 30, 2016 – 9:18 am

The Bills know the Patriots did not have Tom Brady or a healthy Rob Gronkowski playing in the first meeting between the two teams. With Gronk averaging 121 yards receiving in the three games since Tom Brady returned to the lineup, the Patriots two tight end combination is going to be a tall order.

“You got two of the best tight ends in the league, you’ve got quick receivers outside that make plays in space, and you’ve got a running back who’s running with the best in the league,” said Preston Brown. “So definitely a tough challenge for us, but we’re ready for it.”

Brown referenced New England big back LeGarrette Blount, who is among the league leaders in rushing.

Brown’s teammate Stephon Gilmore warns that if too much attention is paid to Martellus Bennett and Gronkowski that the Patriots other weapons can hurt you.

“Yeah they’ve got two great tight ends now. They used to have one. So we’ve got to be on them two guys and they’ve got (Julian) Edelman, you know, work the slot. (Chris) Hogan making plays. So we’ve got to be real physical with them guys. You know, we’ve got to get to them,” Gilmore said. “That’s the main thing. We’ve got to get to them and make them make second guess and go from there.”


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Why Alexander got a rest day

Posted by Chris Brown on October 26, 2016 – 4:01 pm

Head coach Rex Ryan has given rest days to veteran players before. Kyle Williams, Richie Incognito, Eric Wood, Jerry Hughes. They’ve all been told to take an extra day on Wednesday to let their bodies recover. No veteran player earned a rest day Wednesday more than Alexander this past week.

That’s because no one played more snaps than Alexander in the loss to Miami. The veteran pass rusher played an astounding 86 snaps last week, logging 64 on defense and 22 on special teams. Only Preston Brown and Corey Graham came close to Alexander’s time on the field with 84 and 81 snaps.

“They’re just doing a good job of taking care of me, don’t want to be dumb-tough, as I like to call it,” Alexander said. “I mean I could get out there and practice today but after having so many reps, especially on special teams as well, just want to make sure that I’m fresh for this game this weekend.”

Alexander confirmed that the coaches told him to sit Wednesday. He didn’t ask for it.

“If I went to the coaches and asked they’d probably (let me have a day off),” said Alexander. “I’m cut from the old cloth. I’ve been undrafted in this league, so I’ve always had the mentality that I need to be out there. So when it comes from the top down I’m going to take it just because I want to be smart rather than going out there and showing everybody I can get through it. It’s all about being fresh for Sundays.”

Alexander leads the league in sacks and is second in forced fumbles with three so far this season.


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Why Preston Brown knows Palmer all too well

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2016 – 10:12 am

Bills LB Preston Brown is facing an Arizona quarterback that he knows inside and out. Not because he’s played against him. Sunday will be the first he faces him on the field. Brown knows all about Carson Palmer from the quarterback’s day in Cincinnati with the Bengals.

“Growing up in Cincinnati, I’ve seen Carson Palmer since I was like eight years old, so he’s definitely going to be a challenge,” said Brown. “He’s going to find a way to get the ball out to his guys. He has a lot of receivers that are going to go make plays on the ball, go vertical. Larry Fitzgerald is everywhere, they got good running backs, so it’s definitely going to be a challenge but I know our guys are ready to come back after a challenging week.

“But those are the guys you see growing up so to play against them should be fun.”

Brown leads the Bills in tackles so far this season with 24.


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Funny math when it comes to 50-50 balls

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2016 – 1:34 pm

Jump balls in the passing game are often called 50-50 balls by coaches and players because in most instances the receiver and defensive back in coverage usually have an equal chance of coming up with the football, hence the term ’50-50.’ But Arizona head coach Bruce Arians and Bills LB Preston Brown had some funny math concerning those types of passes.

Buffalo’s defensive backs had their share of troubles in jump ball situations last week against the Jets, but Preston Brown was voicing his faith in his teammates on the back end. The problem was his percentages went a little offline.

“I think the coaches had us in the right position to make plays,” Brown said. “I mean you look at the plays where we got beat on any pass, I mean the guys are right there. We know we can make plays on those balls, those are 50-50 balls that nine times out of 10 we’re going to win, it just wasn’t our day that day. But we know our guys are competitive and they’re going to come back next week ready to go.”

When asked why he felt the Jets receivers had so much success against the Bills DBs, coach Arians took a similar approach to the very same subject with some funny math.

“Well Fitz was on fire,” he said. “I think he hit eight out of nine 50/50 balls. You know your success rate on 50/50 balls is usually around 40 percent. They just hit a really hot quarterback that was dropping it in places that only their guys could get. I thought it was good coverage but just got beat by some great throws.”

So according to Brown, half the time Buffalo’s DBs win 90 percent of the time on jump balls. According to coach Arians on offense, half the time receivers win 40 percent of the time. Let me know if anyone has the algorithm to tell me who really has the edge or if it’s just… you know… 50-50.

 

 


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Positive reviews for Preston Brown

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2016 – 3:56 pm

Coming out of the opener it looks like the bounce back year for Preston Brown is already underway.

The team’s mike linebacker took charge of the defense in the opener and performed admirably not only as a linebacker, but as the quarterback of the defense.

That according to head coach Rex Ryan, who was very pleased with Brown’s calls and his play.

“He did fantastic,” said Ryan. “He runs the whole show so he is literally the captain of the ship back there and he has taken to that role and you combine that with a guy who has a lot of physical talent that’s the guy we want running that defense.”

Brown is determined to make sure their defense is better than the defensive unit of the team they’re facing. He said that wasn’t the case last week. But he believes as long as all 11 guys understand the scheme they’ll continue to improve and succeed.

“The biggest thing is guys know what they’re doing,” said Brown. “I took the leadership role to make sure guys know what to do and communicate so it goes across the board. It’s been great to see.”


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Is that Preston or Zach Brown?

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2016 – 4:18 pm

Their jersey numbers are one digit apart. They have the same last name and they play the same position. Sooner rather than later Preston Brown and/or Zach Brown will probably need to add a first initial to the back of their jerseys to tell the difference between them when viewing them at a distance.

“Both of us are big too so one day they put Preston’s jersey in my locker,” said Zach Brown. “I was like, ‘Hold up. It’s a great number, but this isn’t me.’”

Now Preston and Zach are deciding who it is that will get their first initial added to the back of their jersey.

“I was messing with him about it,” said Zach Brown.

The two linebackers have served as good competition for one another, though it’s clear that Preston Brown is the starting inside linebacker alongside Reggie Ragland.

“We’re competitive and we go out there and just have fun,” said Zach Brown. “If you have fun everything goes good. At the end of the day it’s a game. It’s our job, but it’s a game so you’ve got to have fun.”


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Preston Brown is Bills candy man

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2016 – 3:59 pm

A couple of days ago I asked Preston Brown why he insists on wearing a hoodie under his pads and jersey no matter how hot it is at training camp. He only told me that it was just his personal preference. On Thursday he provided the real reason.

With temps in the mid-90’s on the field Thursday morning, Brown and a few other players were ordered to take their hoodies off for practice. This cramped Brown’s preference for wearing the hoodie, which he apparently does to stash candy in the double hand pocket on the front of the sweatshirt.

“I wear my hoodie because I keep candy and gum in there, so they kind of made me take it off but I found another shirt with some pockets in it,” said Brown smiling.

Brown then confirmed that the handy pocket for goodies is the only reason he wears it.

“Everybody thinks I just be trying to swag,” he said. “I just wear it because I hide candy in it.”

Brown also has rookie LB Reggie Ragland run to the store to keep their supply of candy strong.

“Reggie’s got some good candy,” said Brown. “He went and got all the big fun-size, big Halloween style stuff. So he’s got candy for days. He has to go get the candy. Everybody goes through the candy year (rookie year).”

Obviously when it’s hot any chocolate related candy is out of the mix. Hard candy and another variety seems to hold up okay in the heat for Brown.

“Little gummy bears,” said Brown. “They come in little wrappers so they’re nice, sealed, so just in case no one’s looking, just pop one open. You might catch me one day.”


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Ragland: Preston Brown is our defensive leader

Posted by Chris Brown on June 17, 2016 – 2:51 pm

On the final day of Bills minicamp, assistant head coach/Defense Rob Ryan heaped praise on mike LB Preston Brown saying he’ll be a star. In an appearance on the John Murphy Show, rookie LB Reggie Ragland, who lines up next to Brown at inside linebacker, called Brown the defensive leader.

“It’s awesome working with Preston,” said Reggie Ragland. “He’s the leader of our defense. Whatever he says goes. I know if I don’t know something I know I can ask him. There were a couple of times in minicamp where I had a blank on a play call coming in from the coach and I’d ask Preston, ‘What do we have on this?’ And he’d tell me right away, ‘We got this.’ He’s helping me out so much.

“As I’ve been out there working with the ones it’s been coming to me a lot faster because of him. He helps me out a lot.”


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Fan Friday 6-3

Posted by Chris Brown on June 3, 2016 – 11:40 am

Two weeks of OTAs down, one to go. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Where has Lavar Edwards lined up? OLB or DE?

Brett Triplett @BrettsterBills

CB: Edwards has lined up exclusively at defensive end through the OTA practices. I think while Edwards has the ideal height to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 system at 6-4, it’s apparent that Buffalo’s defensive coaches believe they have other options with better coverage skills to play that position. Plus Edwards is built in such a way where he can hold the edge in the run game pretty effectively as I see it. So where they have him lined up makes sense to me at this stage.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills how big of a role will Jonathan Williams have year one?

Mark Sciubba @MarkSciubbaDoe

CB: As I mentioned in a blog post earlier this week, I think Jonathan Williams can give Karlos Williams a run for his money as the backup behind LeSean McCoy. Watching his game tape from Arkansas the thing that impresses me most is his contact balance. Just the way he bounces off that initial tackler almost every time and keeps his legs churning for extra yards. I think his thick build fools opponents into thinking he’s just a downhill runner.

He can do that, but he’s also got some elusiveness and speed to pull away from people. Now he’s probably not outrunning some of the faster safeties in the league should he reach the secondary on a play, but he knows angles and has a more diversified skill set than people realize.

The last thing about him is he’s a driven person. He handles adversity very well so I think the challenge of Greg Roman’s voluminous playbook won’t be much of a hurdle for him. That should lead to competent and consistent play and will enable him to push for a bigger role than some might be anticipating from him in 2016.


3 –
@ChrisBrownBills Which players are poised to become major team leaders this upcoming season?

Matt Williams @SportingGlasses

CB: I would put players like Preston Brown in that category as well as Sammy Watkins. Those two have embraced the added responsibility of leading not only by example, but vocally as well. In my mind Tyrod Taylor became a major leader last season.


4 –
@ChrisBrownBills Do you think the Bills will continue to move Sammy around like they did vs the Jets? Or do u think its game plan specific?

@Jiillyy

CB: While the opponent is always a factor in how offenses make use of their most dangerous weapons, I would anticipate moving Sammy Watkins around to continue. It makes him harder to track, thereby making it more difficult for opposing defensive coordinators to stick to a specific plan designed to neutralize him.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills where do you think eric striker fits on this defense if he makes the team?

Ser Davos Seaworth @matt_faso

CB: I think inside linebacker is the only place where he can line up in this scheme. He’s not tall enough to play out on the edge at outside linebacker. If he makes the 53-man roster, knowing how effective he was as a pass rusher I wouldn’t be surprised if he was utilized in some subpackages as an overload rusher off the edge in obvious passing situations.

But he’s going to make this roster because he’s an impact player on special teams, which I believe is certainly in the realm of possibility.

 


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Washington’s tie to another Bills DL

Posted by Chris Brown on May 16, 2016 – 9:09 am

Bills third-round pick Adolphus Washington, whose major turning point in his career at Ohio State was profiled on Buffalobills.com today, also has a familiar face on Buffalo’s roster not named Cardale Jones. In fact, he’s also a defensive lineman.

Defensive end Jerel Worthy is the familiar face in the defensive lineman room for Washington. Worthy, who was signed to the Bills practice squad last November, was promoted to the active roster in late December and subsequently signed as a future free agent in January has an interesting tie to Washington.

“One guy I talked to after getting drafted by the Bills was Jerel Worthy,” said Washington. “Going back to when I was getting recruited out of high school he was my host at Michigan State.”

Washington obviously chose to play football and attend college at Ohio State, but his campus visit to East Lansing made a connection that is coming in handy now.

Washington said he also talked to Bills LB Preston Brown, who is also from his hometown of Cincinnati.


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Fan Friday 3-4

Posted by Chris Brown on March 4, 2016 – 11:35 am

Sitting on the cusp of free agency the Bills are not expected to be early big money players at all. It will be interesting to see which of their RFAs they tender by Wednesday. Here are your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills hey Chris being that were fully going back to Ryan’s style of D who is gonna be the QB of this D? AW?

miosi37

CB: Rex Ryan told us at the NFL Combine that he wants Preston Brown to step up run the defense. Brown surprisingly had some missteps in running the scheme last season to the point where Manny Lawson had to take over late in the season. But here’s what Ryan said about Brown last week in Indy.

“I think if everything stays the same and we have all our players back then Preston has to be more vocal and there has to be more ownership that way,” Ryan said. “It’s not good enough to just know your job. You’ve got to bark it out and be the quarterback back there. And he can do it. He’s a smart enough kid and his dad is a football coach. So he’s got to come out of his shell. David Harris was a quiet guy, but on the football field he ran the whole thing. He’s got to grow into it. It doesn’t happen overnight. I think when you come into a new system it’s tougher to play, but yeah I expect Preston to be able to take that step and he needs to.”
2 – @ChrisBrownBills If Incognito is lost in FA’cy, do you think they slide Miller to LG and try and fill RG with draft or veteran FA?

rockydm92

CB: I don’t know if they flip Miller to the other side. I think their preference is to let him progress at right guard. As for replacements if negotiations go nowhere with Incognito, I would expect a veteran free agent to be signed.
3- @ChrisBrownBills How likely is it Whaley would take a chance at Nkemdiche at 19? Some teams apparently think he’s undraftable

iamFlowbee

CB: I would be very surprised if they took a chance on Nkemdiche. Here’s why. Buffalo just got rid of a player who was a headache in terms of work ethic and effort on the game field in Mario Williams. You want to replace him with the same type of player? Nkemdiche has oodles of talent, but even he admitted that he took plays off and was lazy.

I wouldn’t be surprised if his lousy effort on the field hurt him more than his still – it all doesn’t add up – night at his Atlanta hotel room where he was charged with drug possession, admitted to being drunk, fell out his hotel room window and according to police reports was paranoid when police arrived on the scene.

When teams make an investment in a player in the form of a draft pick, they want to know what they’re going to get from the player on every snap, every Sunday. If there’s doubt as to what they’ll get on the field nothing will hurt a player’s draft stock more, short of a failed physical. Can’t physically play might be the only thing worse than no passion to play.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills I read that a NFL GM felt Bills cap management had been criminal. Do you see that they have mismanaged their cap? I don’t.

XKC4338

CB: It is a little disappointing to see some of the reports that were out there concerning the Bills cap situation. Yes, they were tight against the cap here in 2016, but they had some pretty straightforward ways to maneuver things and create some necessary space.

All the talk about them being in cap jail for 2017 is also off the mark too. If the cap goes up $10M as it has the last couple of years to $165M, Buffalo will be about $50M under the cap. Obviously that will be subject to change if Cordy Glen signs a long term deal, as well as Incognito, Gilmore and Tyrod Taylor. But to say right now they’re in bad shape for 2017 is just inaccurate.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills the going rate for a starting qb $16-18M per year is @TyrodTaylor really worth that & worth the risk?

cp382

CB: I think that’s why the Bills want to see him play more in 2016 before deciding if he is worth that kind of money. As we covered on Buffalobills.com Thursday an extension for Taylor is no easy call because effectively pegging his true market value after playing just 14 games is beyond difficult. There are certainly a lot of encouraging signs, but it’s simply not enough of a body of work.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Ryan: Brown has to take ownership of defense

Posted by Chris Brown on February 24, 2016 – 9:05 pm

He had the job of running the defense out at the outset of the 2015 regular season, but near the end of the campaign head coach Rex Ryan put Manny Lawson in that role when the unit’s effectiveness was compromised. Lawson was out of position on the inside, but that was what the defensive staff felt was best for the unit at the time. Now entering 2016, Ryan needs Brown to re-assume that role as quarterback of the defense and do a great job.

“I think if everything stays the same and we have all our players back then Preston has to be more vocal and there has to be more ownership that way,” said Ryan. “It’s not good enough to just know your job. You’ve got to bark it out and be the quarterback back there. And he can do it. He’s a smart enough kid and his dad is a football coach. So he’s got to come out of his shell.

“(Jets LB) David Harris was a quiet guy, but on the football field he ran the whole thing. He’s got to grow into it. It doesn’t happen overnight. I think when you come into a new system it’s tougher to play, but yeah I expect Preston to be able to take that step and he needs to.”

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


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-25

Posted by Chris Brown on December 25, 2015 – 11:48 am

Merry Christmas Bills fans! We know the players and coaches would’ve liked to leave a bit more under the tree for you this season. It might be hard to see it now, but there are a lot of encouraging signs for the 2016 season. Here are your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

How does Karlos look for this week? Starting? Or gillislee taking reps with the ones?

Ethan_Diep

CB: Barring any setbacks with his shoulder I’d expect Karlos Williams to start in place of LeSean McCoy. Mike Gillislee will have a role however on Sunday serving as a complement to Williams.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Isn’t there value in continuity? The most successful organizations have it, right?

XKC4338

CB: Yes, most of the most NFL franchises have some clear measure of continuity. In many cases it’s aided by having a franchise quarterback. Buffalo has found a promising QB in Tyrod Taylor. There are a lot of encouraging elements to Taylor’s game that should only improve heading into next season with another year in Greg Roman’s system. That being said the jury is still out on whether he can be a franchise caliber signal caller.

I’m guessing your question stems from concern about the state of the Bills front office and coaching staff amid a flurry of media reports this week. I will say that things did not go according to plan with this team this season. There is no debate about that. I don’t think making wholesale changes are the way to go or in the offing.

Doug Whaley has proven himself as a talent evaluator in his short time as GM of the Bills. Anyone who can flip Matt Cassel for a fifth-round pick and get a Pro Bowl running back for a linebacker that has had a pair of ACL knee injuries is doing something right. And all the criticism for the draft day trade of Sammy Watkins looks like it has missed the mark.

Rex Ryan despite a disappointing defensive season has been a top 10 defensive coach in this league for all but two of the seasons in which he has been either a coordinator or head coach. He’s a proven innovator in this league and it’s my contention that he’ll be doing some more innovating this offseason to gain the upper hand again on opposing offenses next year.

I know it again sounds like empty promises. Believe me I get it. I’ve been here to witness each of the last 16 seasons. As I’ve said many times, frequent change hasn’t brought much in the way of improvement for this team. I doubt such sweeping change will make this team better in 2016.
3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Thoughts on Tyrod as long term answer for Bills?

TheGreatMikesby
CB: I think Tyrod has certainly made himself the best candidate for that role right now. As I said above Taylor still has some more evidence to provide that he can be that guy, which means making progress in some areas of his game.

The thing that hasn’t made sense to me is the criticism he’s received for not making enough plays in the fourth quarter, leading his team from behind to a victory, etc. The positive things he has done for that position in a brand new offense for every player on that side of the ball should be applauded.

To have the numbers he has, which include an astounding 4:1 touchdown to interception ratio (20 to 5) and a passer rating that is on pace to be the best in team history (yes, better than HOF’er Jim Kelly) and has been over 100 almost all season, is remarkable.

What goes by the board for most fans because they’re not around him every day is the leadership he has demonstrated for this team in his role as QB. I have covered this team since Kelly’s last two seasons with the Bills and having seen all the quarterbacks since then, the only one who led as effectively as Taylor was Ryan Fitzpatrick. The only one who did better was Drew Bledsoe.

But Bledsoe came in the door with a proven resume that included Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl appearance. So stepping in and leading was easy.

Taylor came in as part of a three-man QB competition, no time on the field in the league and in less than a season not only won over the locker room, but produced on the field and then did all the right things off it in terms of vocal leadership, running extra offensive meetings by himself with teammates and counseling younger players on the practice squad (e.g. Dez Lewis, Walt Powell).

In my opinion, Taylor has earned the right to be this team’s starting quarterback next season. If the Bills happen to acquire a quarterback who is superior in every way this offseason then things are different, but until that time this is a quarterback fans should get behind.

 

4 – Chris,

Do you think the Bills will utilize Bill Polian as a team Consultant?  I totally agree with Mr. Polian’s recent comments, Improve the Offensive Line with talent (a need for past 15 years that has not been properly addressed), add a WR to compliment Sammy on the other side, and add a true quality back-up QB to Tyrod Taylor, while also drafting a young QB to develop for the future.

In addition, my thought is use a defensive scheme that matches the strengths of the Bills personnel.

Randy Culp

CB: I’m not going to pretend to know what Terry and Kim Pegula are thinking with respect to hiring a consultant. What I can tell you is Bill Polian’s job at ESPN is in direct conflict with him having any kind of NFL consultant job with an NFL club. He recently said on Sirius NFL Radio that he would not want to give up his ESPN job to do that.

All due respect to Bill Polian, who is a Hall of Fame executive, but the offensive line is not old and slow. Of the seven offensive linemen who have seen the most time on the field this season, their average age is 26.5-years old. Two of the oldest, Richie Incognito and Eric Wood are Pro Bowl alternates and the team leads the league in rushing.

For you to say the offensive line hasn’t been addressed is also incorrect. They drafted four in the last two drafts. Cordy Glenn, who the team has said is a priority to re-sign, is entering the prime of his career (also a draft choice – 2012).

And I wouldn’t be surprised if they invest in the offensive line again this offseason in the draft. Adding a quarterback I think is also on the to-do list.

Doug Whaley in two short years as GM has done a solid job of fortifying this roster with quality talent. What’s more he’s retained the most important talent on this roster instead of letting it escape to play for other clubs. So I’m having a hard time understanding the criticism for the team’s personnel boss.

 

5 – ​Hi Chris,

I really think Doug Whaley does a tremendous job identifying talent…but I think he needs some help (as well as Rex) building a TEAM.  As Talley said, and I totally agree, we have a collection of all-stars but no team unity.  Fred Jackson was the glue on this team and Whaley showed me he doesn’t understand the “team” concept this offseason (was Bryce Brown really that talented??  Did anyone not think Goodwin would be hurt in his first game?? With Shady being hurt..cut someone else).  When KW and AW went down that was a huge blow and now young men are trying to become leaders and that will take time.  More so than talent this offseason, I’m really looking for the Bills to become a team and look like the enjoy playing together.  Your thoughts?

Chris
St. Louis
CB: I agree that losing Kyle Williams and Aaron Williams for the season were costly losses. They were the primary leaders on defense. I think it would’ve been harder for Fred to lead here in a vastly reduced role that might have found him inactive in certain weeks.

As the season is winding down it is encouraging to see a couple of 2014 draft choices step forward in Preston Brown and Sammy Watkins and take on more of a leadership role in the final weeks. Hopefully they continue to serve this team in that capacity going into next year.

If the productive players on the field are the ones leading off of it everybody follows. It’s unfortunate that a pair of 22-years old have to fill that kind of void, but when veterans choose not to a team has no choice.

As Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells once said:

“Blame nobody – expect nothing – do something. Losers sit around in small groups, b**ching about the coach, the system and other players. Winners come together as a team.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

WR Woods added to Bills injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2015 – 2:33 pm

The Bills had another new addition to their injury report on Thursday as WR Robert Woods made the list.

Woods was listed as a limited participant with a hip injury. Head coach Rex Ryan believes Woods along with LB Preston Brown and Jerome Felton are all expected to play Sunday.

“I believe all of those guys will play,” said Ryan. “I know Preston is fighting through that hamstring, but he was able to do a little more today.”

Here’s the full practice participation rundown for Thursday.

DID NOT PRACTICE
Mario Williams – illness
Charles Clay – back
Seantrel Henderson – illness
Bacarri Rambo – knee

LIMITED IN PRACTICE
Ron Brooks – concussion/neck
Aaron Williams – neck
John Miller – ankle
Karlos Williams – shoulder
Jerome Felton – back
Nigel Bradham – ankle
Preston Brown – hamstring
Robert Woods – hip


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Brown: Sad to see that happen

Posted by Chris Brown on December 13, 2015 – 9:46 pm

Preston Brown and his teammates were embarrassed, disappointed – attach whatever forlorn description you want. They are fully aware of what their penalty-filled performance did to their playoff hopes on Sunday in the loss to the Eagles.

“It’s definitely a setback. We know it was a game we had to win,” said Brown, who finished with five tackles and a QB hit. “We need tons of help now to even try to get a shot. We just got to go out there and try to finish the year right.  Try to keep getting wins.

“It’s sad. It definitely sad to see that happen. They’re going out there and doing what they need to do and we’re not. They’re the teams that deserve to be in it if they keep playing, and we’re not. We’ve got to find a way to win, just keep going.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills