Inside The Bills

Pro Bowl voting now open for fans

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2016 – 3:15 pm

The polls are open for Pro Bowl voting. Starting today, fans may vote to select players for the 2017 Pro Bowl to be played on Sunday, January 29, 2017 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida and televised live on ESPN.

Voting is available online and on web-enabled mobile phones by going to and will be open through Tuesday, December 13.

The Pro Bowl players are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group’s vote counts one-third toward determining the 88 All-Star players who will be selected to the Pro Bowl. NFL players and coaches will cast their votes on Friday, December 16.

Pro Bowl rosters will be announced on Tuesday, December 20 live on NFL Network.

The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its all-star teams. It was the first professional sports league to offer online all-star voting in 1995.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Goodell learned a lot from 90’s Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on June 6, 2016 – 3:26 pm

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was taking part in the Jim Kelly Celebrity Golf Classic for the first time on Monday. Goodell, who was born in Jamestown, NY, was happy to be back in Western New York and called Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly a good friend for many years. Goodell also said he learned something from Kelly and his 90’s Bills teammates when he was an NFL intern 25 years ago.

Back during Buffalo’s four straight Super Bowl appearances, Goodell was just starting off as an up and comer in the NFL offices. One of his assignments was the Pro Bowl, which back then was played after the Super Bowl. He was assigned the task of picking up Pro Bowl participants who had just played in the Super Bowl to take them to the airport to fly to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl the following week.

“I got to know a lot of these guys from the great years of Bills football teams,” Goodell said. “I’d have to pick them up the morning after the Super Bowl and drive them to the airport and we’d fly to Honolulu. I’d always say to Jim and the rest of the guys that I learned a lot from that. Here these guys the discipline that they had that Monday morning, they were all class acts, every single one of them. They obviously were disappointed (after losing), but professional, couldn’t have been better. That bus came at 4:30 or 5 in the morning and they were all there and jumped on the bus and we were off. I learned a lot from that.

“The fact of doing what it takes to be a professional. You may be disappointed with the outcome of a game and that’s hard to deal with, but they had another obligation which was to get to the Pro Bowl. And they got there on time to be on the bus and they were glad to be there. They treated everyone the same way they would’ve if they won I think. And one thing I’ll say about Jim and it’s one of the things I’ve loved about Jim is he treats me the same as he did when I was that young intern in the NFL as he does right now as Commissioner, which I appreciate.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore tabbed as 1st-time Pro Bowler for 2016

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2016 – 1:15 pm

Bills CB Stephon Gilmore is entering a contract year though the club hopes to sign the talented cornerback to a long-term contract extension before next spring’s free agent period. If Gilmore has the season predicts it could prove good for Gilmore and the Bills. put together a list of nine players they see performing so well in 2016 that it will vault them to their first career Pro Bowl nod. Gilmore made the list coming in at number six.

6. Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo Bills cornerback: Ronald Darby, Gilmore’s tag-team partner, is also a good candidate for his first Pro Bowl after finishing second in the Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. Still, it seems wrong for Darby to make it before his veteran teammate who also plays a physical style.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Pro Bowl moving to Orlando

Posted by Chris Brown on May 31, 2016 – 3:00 pm

The Pro Bowl has been moved from its traditional home of Honolulu, Hawaii’ at Aloha Stadium before. Now it appears the NFL’s all-star game will be moving again.

According to, the 2017 Pro Bowl will be held in Orlando, Florida. It’s reportedly part of a multi-year deal to stay in central Florida. No word on whether there will be any format changes, with NFL legends Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin “drafting” their Pro Bowl squads.

Florida has hosted the Pro Bowl before, when it was held in Miami Gardens in 2009.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills 3 Pro Bowlers all on same squad

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2016 – 9:35 am

In the wake of the Pro Bowl draft all three representatives from the Bills were selected to the same squad.

Richie Incognito, Tyrod Taylor and Eric Wood were all selected by Team Rice on Wednesday night. By the looks of the lineup it appears that Incognito will start at left guard. Taylor and Wood will hit the field Sunday night as subs.

The other interesting aspect of the Pro Bowl is all of the quarterbacks will be mic’d up live for the game. So when Taylor gets in the game you’ll be able to hear him interacting with teammates in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage.

Here’s a look at the Team Rice roster, which includes Buffalo’s three Pro Bowl reps.

The Pro Bowl airs Sunday night at 7 pm on ESPN.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whaley: Incognito reclaimed his name

Posted by Chris Brown on January 26, 2016 – 3:06 pm

Prior to signing with the Buffalo Bills, Richie Incognito was a former Pro Bowl guard who saw his contract terminated by his team (Miami) in the wake of a bullying scandal. Two years later, Incognito successfully reclaimed his status as a Pro Bowl caliber player and proved to be a model teammate and leader in Buffalo’s locker room.

Bills GM Doug Whaley told that seeing Incognito headed back to the Pro Bowl speaks volumes about how far the veteran lineman has come.

“That’s a testament to him. He put a lot of work into reclaiming his name, not only on the field but off the field,” said Whaley. “I tip my cap to him and a lot of due goes to him. When we talked to him, not only was he remorseful for what he did, but he had a plan in place to never go down that road again in his life. I’m really impressed with this guy.”

Whaley also said that the front office will get the ball rolling on preliminary discussions about a new contract for Incognito, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in March.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Wood: Goal already set for O-line in 2016

Posted by Chris Brown on January 25, 2016 – 3:45 pm

Bills Pro Bowl center Eric Wood, who was named to the Pro Bowl roster officially on Monday as a replacement for Carolina C Ryan Kalil, talked about the parts of the offense that he felt helped his case as a Pro Bowl caliber player this season. He also shared a team goal that the offensive line already has on the docket for 2016.

Finishing tops in the league in rushing and having a quarterback with the seventh-highest passer rating in the NFL were both good reflections on Wood’s play as he saw it.

“Those are good indicators,” said Wood. “I think our film looked a lot better too. Guys that really dove into our film I think as a group we looked a lot better this year. We just look to improve on that going into next year. I think a really cool one would be if we can get LeSean (McCoy) the rushing title. That is definitely an honor. We took a little trip down to Key West to start the offseason and we talked about that a bunch. That’s a goal for us next year.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Taylor, Wood cramming for Pro Bowl

Posted by Chris Brown on January 25, 2016 – 1:51 pm

Eric Wood and Tyrod Taylor are both headed to the Pro Bowl as replacements for Carolina Panthers Ryan Kalil and Cam Newton as both of them are advancing to the Super Bowl. Wood and Taylor are all too happy to step in, but their travel schedule just got a lot more hectic this week.

Both Taylor and Wood are flying to Hawaii Tuesday morning and will begin preparations for the game not long after their land in Honolulu.

“I’ll get into Hawaii about 4 pm Hawaii time,” Wood told “We have a players’ meeting that night at seven and we’ll get more of our schedule details from there. The good thing was I knew it was coming so I was prepared that if they won I’d be going. But I didn’t want to jinx anything and make any plans.”

The league informs the Pro Bowl alternates what has to occur in the NFL playoffs to get their opportunity to play in the Pro Bowl.

“I kind of knew all along as an alternate that I needed Carolina to go to the Super Bowl and then I’d be going,” said Wood. “I’ve been rooting pretty hard for Carolina throughout the playoffs. So when they won I knew I was in and someone from the league contacted me about 11:30 last night. I’ve been making travel arrangements. I’m on the way back from the University of Louisville now from a workout. I was trying to do a little crash course to get back in shape and get ready to play a game this weekend.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

McCoy pulls out of Pro Bowl

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2016 – 10:09 am

Bills RB LeSean McCoy was Buffalo’s lone Pro Bowl representative, but he pulled out of the league’s all-star game this week.

McCoy missed the last two games of the regular season due to a knee injury, and after a season that was largely compromised by injury Buffalo’s feature back chose to bypass the game in Hawaii. He’ll be replaced by Jets RB Chris Ivory.

This is not the first time McCoy has chosen to skip the Pro Bowl. He bypassed the game last year as well due to injury.

Right now the Bills do not have a Pro Bowl representative scheduled to play in the game, though Richie Incognito, Eric Wood, Tyrod Taylor and Marcell Dareus are all Pro Bowl alternates.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-11

Posted by Chris Brown on December 11, 2015 – 1:27 pm

Another ‘backs against the wall game’ for the Bills in Philly Sunday. Here are your latest questions from email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

How are the Bills not able to get Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Charles Clay more involved in their offensive attack?  Also, why is FB – Felton on the roster, although he can be an outstanding blocker, the Bills rarely have him on the field?  It seems this Coaching staff is NOT effectively using their Offensive or Defensive players.  Any insight as to why?  The Bills should be getting 3x the production out of their defense than they actual are.

RC from DC
CB: First and foremost the Bills have been getting Sammy Watkins more involved in passing attack. In the first three games he was healthy for this season Watkins was targeted a little over four times a game. In the last five games he’s been targeted seven times a game.

Clay has been targeted an average of six times in the last four games. Woods has been targeted 7.5 times per game over the last four. I think what you’re seeing is a steady maturation of an offense that was brand new to everyone on offense except Boobie Dixon, who ran it in San Francisco.

There were a lot of new pieces that had to blend together in a new system. Even the starting QB was new to it. Getting it all humming together simply takes time. I believe we’re now starting to see it approach critical mass with Taylor playing some of his best football this season right now.

Felton is a role player in the offense. It’s not as big as perhaps some expected, but I will say that the Bills make use of 21 and 22 personnel more than most clubs.

The defense is a bigger enigma. We’ve explained before how Rex admitted he erred in trying to blend some concepts from last year’s system in with his. He’s since scrapped the old system and gone exclusively with his own. I know the fans have criticized him for not taking advantage of what his defensive linemen do best, which is rush the passer. It’s a valid point, but let’s see how the season plays out and make our assessments at that point.

2 – Chris,

Why not make Easley a 2nd wide receiver on the opposite side of the field from Watkins to extend the field.  He is a tall, fast, and excellent receiver.  Remember the long touchdown pass he caught earlier in the year.

CB: I think the main reason Easley is not used more on offense is because they see Sammy Watkins as the player who stretches the field for them. Most offenses don’t have two receivers serving the same purpose. Quarterbacks need outlets to throw the ball to on shorter, quicker routes. This is where Robert Woods and Chris Hogan work best. They’re good at gaining separation quickly and serve the offense more effectively for that purpose.

Easley is fast, but he has build-up speed, not sudden burst speed. So filling a role on shorter, intermediate routes is not his greatest strength. He doesn’t get separation as quickly as Woods or Hogan.



3 – Hi Chris,

Thank you for all the Bills coverage throughout the year. I have two questions for you. Before Marcus Easley against the Texans who was the last Bills offensive player to have an interception?  Also, which Bills players deserve Pro Bowl consideration?  I think Darby, Gilmore, Graham, Wood, Incognito, McCoy,  Taylor, Schmidt and Easley all deserve to be considered. Which of those deserve to make it, and am I’m forgetting anyone else that should be considered?

Thank you,
London, ON

CB: Easley is the first Bills player whose primary position is on offense to post an interception. As for Pro Bowl consideration I think Richie Incognito should be on that list. With the drop-off in play that Nick Mangold has had I’d like to think that opens the door for Eric Wood. I like the season that Stephon Gilmore has put together. Corey Graham might get some support, but I don’t know if there will be enough to put him through. Darby has played great, but rookies rarely get the votes, especially at DB unless they have nine or 10 INTs, like Jairus Byrd did back in 2009. LeSean McCoy is definitely in the mix. I think Colton Schmidt is in a tough spot because only one punter goes.



4 – @ChrisBrownBills If something happens to Darby or Leodis, who is back up CB? Graham with D. Williams in at safety? Butler?


CB: It would be Mario Butler who steps in on the boundary if Darby or Leodis are injured. If there’s a second injury I could see your scenario potentially happening with Graham out to corner and then a sub at safety.

When McKelvin was still on the Non-Football Injury list, Butler served as the first corner off the bench behind Darby and Gilmore. So I would anticipate that to be his role again now with Gilmore down this week.

5 – @ChrisBrownBills Is Rob Ryan just visiting as a family member or is he providing any type of insight into our NFC opponents?


CB: Rex Ryan’s brother Rob was here for a visit, something he and his brother don’t get to do very often during football season. The two share a birthday on Sunday, so they’ve presumably had a pre-celebration together. Rex said his brother is heading out of town Saturday before Rex and the Bills leave for Philadelphia.

As for preparing for NFC opponents, I’m sure if Rex asked about Philadelphia this week or Washington and Dallas in the coming weeks he had no problem offering up some details. I remember Rex as coach of the Jets admitting to me on a conference call that he called his brother Rob to give him the update on the Bills when Buffalo played the Saints in 2013.

So that kind of talk between brothers is very plausible.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario meets up with Air Force

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2015 – 10:22 am

Three Bills Pro Bowl defensive linemen are already on site in Glendale, Arizona for Sunday’s game. They’re also participating in some community events this week. Mario Williams, who has a great affinity for the armed forces and law enforcement, spent some time with airmen from the US Air Force.

Williams took the time during the Airman for a Day event that was sponsored by USAA, the Official Military Appreciation Sponsor of the NFL. Pro Bowl players got to get up close and personal with an F-16, try an F-16 flight simulator, meet with military working dogs (K-9 bomb/attack dogs) and participate in Skype calls with military members overseas, with their families stateside at Luke AFB.

Mario pic



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Posted in Inside the Bills

3 Bills ranking high in Pro Bowl fan voting

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2014 – 2:54 pm

Three Bills players rank high at their respective positions in NFL Pro Bowl fan voting right now. Not surprisingly, they’re all on the defensive side of the ball.

Buffalo’s defense has been stout all season long and the players on that unit are getting recognized for it. Leading all defensive tackles in fan votes is Marcell Dareus, thanks in large part to his 10 sacks in the first nine games.

Also in the top five of fan voting at their positions are DE Mario Williams and CB Leodis McKelvin. Go to for details.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

NFL moving Pro Bowl to Arizona next year

Posted by Chris Brown on April 9, 2014 – 1:39 pm

It’s not a permanent move, but the NFL is shifting the Pro Bowl to Arizona next February.

That according to’s Jason LaCanfora, who tweeted as much Wednesday afternoon.

In recent years the Pro Bowl has also been played in South Florida.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Dareus add gives Bills rare 3 DL in Pro Bowl

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2014 – 11:18 am

With Marcell Dareus added to the Pro Bowl roster Monday it gives Buffalo three defensive linemen in one Pro Bowl for the first time in team history as he joins Kyle Williams and Mario Williams.

It’s also the first time one NFL club has sent three defensive linemen to the Pro Bowl in the same year since 2008 when Minnesota sent Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Pat Williams to Honolulu.

Dareus also gives Buffalo four players at the Pro Bowl (Byrd, K. Williams, M. Williams). It’s the first time the Bills have had four players at one Pro Bowl since 2004 when they had DT Sam Adams, CB Nate Clements, KR Terrence McGee and LB Takeo Spikes go.

The last time Buffalo came close to having three defensive linemen in the Pro Bowl in the same year was 1997 when Bruce Smith, Ted Washington and Bryce Paup all went, but Paup was a linebacker in Buffalo straight 3-4 system even though he was often at the line in a two-point stance.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kyle, Mario got Dareus on right path

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2014 – 10:53 am

When Marcell Dareus came to the Bills as their third overall pick in 2011, he was all of 21-years old. The commitment to being a pro every single day was something the talented defensive tackle had to learn. Fortunately for him he had mentors in Kyle Williams and Mario Williams.

It took until year three of his career for it to kick in, but Dareus prepared like a pro and it made him a more consistent player on the field. In an appearance on the John Murphy Show Monday after he was named as an injury replacement to the Pro Bowl, Dareus tipped his hat to his two veteran teammates and fellow Pro Bowlers.

“To come in the league with Kyle Williams and Mario Williams they showed me so much and they told me just how to stay focused this year and learn the league and watch film and break film down the way it’s supposed to be broken down and stay consistent with your work, being with those guys I just kind of blossomed into the player that I always wanted to be,” he said. “I’ve just got to build on it and stay consistent and remain the guy I always want to be known as and that’s what I did this year.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kyle excited about healthy offseason

Posted by Chris Brown on January 6, 2014 – 2:16 pm

For the first time in three years Bills Pro Bowl DT Kyle Williams will enter the offseason with a clean bill of health. After back-to-back offseasons of Achilles surgery, Williams has no surgical procedures this winter. That has him confident that his ninth NFL season will be one that he’ll enter the healthiest come next spring.

“I feel good,” said Williams. “The thing is I’m going to have a full offseason for the first time in three years, which I’m excited about. Coming into next year is probably going to be the healthiest I’ve ever been.”

Bills head coach Doug Marrone lightened Williams’ practice load during the season with the intent to keep his veteran DT from over working the surgically repaired achilles. According to Williams the timetable for the achilles to be full strength went through to the end of the season.

“I took Wednesdays off this year because the full healing on the surgery I had is nine to 10 months,” he said. “Well I went to training camp at six (months) and I’m at the 10-month point now to where it should be fully healed. I put a season of work on it and get an offseason of training and rehab on it I should be full strength and as healthy as I’ve ever been going into my ninth year, which gets me excited about it.”

Williams is expected to play in the Pro Bowl on Jan. 26th.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills 3 Pro Bowlers all 3-timers

Posted by Chris Brown on December 28, 2013 – 12:35 am

The Bills have three players from their roster who will be headed to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, and all three are returning players.

Mario Williams, Jairus Byrd and Kyle Williams were all named to their third career Pro Bowls. It’s the first for Mario Williams with the Bills.

This is also the first time three Bills defenders were named to the initial Pro Bowl roster since 1997 when Bryce Paup, Ted Washington and Bruce Smith were named starters.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Other Bills in Pro Bowl running

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2013 – 4:04 pm

With the news coming down that Mario Williams and Kiko Alonso are the leading vote getters among fans at their respective positions for the 2014 Pro Bowl, here are some of the other Bills who are in the hunt at their positions for fan votes.

DT Marcell Dareus – 3rd
DT Kyle Williams – 5th
SS Aaron Williams – 6th
K Dan Carpenter – 10th
ST Marcus Easley – 10th

Bills head coach Doug Marrone said just last week that if the team had a better won-loss record that Marcus Easley would have an excellent chance of being a Pro Bowl special teams player with the success he’s had in coverage.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kyle makes Pro Bowl cheat sheet

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2013 – 3:06 pm

The fellas at ProFootballFocus have put together their Week 10 Pro Bowl cheat sheet, with a list of current players whose performance thus far this season has made them worthy. Buffalo had just one player on the list.

DT Kyle Williams was selected as the team’s sole representative. Here’s what they wrote.

Defensive Tackle
The Starters: Jason Hatcher (DAL), Gerald McCoy (TB), Randy Starks (MIA) and Kyle Williams (BUF)

I feel a little bad that I went for balance here which put the more one-dimensional types like Damon Harrison and Brandon Mebane on the sidelines. They both deserve praise for their play but snap counts could be their enemy by the time we get to the Pro Bowl. Instead we’ve gone for guys more accustomed to an every down role, with perhaps the biggest surprise being the name of Starks. Watch how well he has played this year and then we’ll see if you beg to differ.

The Backups: Jurrell Casey (TEN) and Ndamukong Suh (DET)

You can vote for the Bills players you feel are worthy for the Pro Bowl with voting open right now.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

C.J. took lessons from Pro Bowl week

Posted by Chris Brown on January 27, 2013 – 11:08 pm

Thomas DeCloud, C.J. SpillerBills Pro Bowl RB C.J. Spiller was a newcomer to the AFC-NFC all-star game this past weekend. Two of his Buffalo teammates were with him in Kyle Williams and Jairus Byrd, but Williams and Byrd had been to the Pro Bowl before. Spiller had not. Here’s how he felt about his time around some of the game’s best in Hawaii.

“It was a fun and enjoyable week,” Spiller told not long after Sunday’s game ended in Honolulu, 62-35 in favor of the NFC. “It was more laid back than a typical game week in the regular season. So my family and I tried to make sure we made the most of it.”

Spiller had just one carry in the game, but also contributed four catches for 25 yards for the AFC. Kyle Williams had a tackle while Jairus Byrd had three tackles and recovered a fumble for the AFC defense.

Always trying to improve his game, Spiller made sure to be part of the conversations where some NFL wisdom was passed around by veteran players as well.

“I learned some things while I was out here this week as well,” Spiller said. “How to get prepared for the season, prepared for games, different things like that. So it was a help that way too.”

Spiller and his family will be making the long flight home on Monday back to the east coast.

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Posted in Inside the Bills