Inside The Bills

McDermott breaks down return candidates

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2017 – 2:50 pm

The Bills just signed Taiwan Jones to add to the return candidate pool. McDermott said they wanted to add speed to the return group with Jones who has been clocked as low as 4.33 in the 40. So what does he like about the other primary return candidates like Brandon Tate and Rashad Ross?

“Both have done a good job,” said McDermott of Tate and Ross. “Brandon’s been out a little bit with the injury there, it’s good to get him going again; He’s done a great job in getting healthy again. I like what he brings to the table in the return game and then he gives us line of scrimmage value as well as a receiver. With Rashad it’s the same thing; you look at his ability in the return game and the speed element, and the vertical game with the receiver part of it. Both are working extremely hard and adding good competition right now.”

It’s likely that preseason game performance will be the biggest determining factor in terms of who can separate from the other two.


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Bills replaced speed with speed

Posted by Chris Brown on June 6, 2017 – 9:53 am

The release of WR Kolby Listenbee might be a surprise to some, but without knowing the details of his condition and his prognosis moving forward (groin/hip), it’s clear the Bills are looking to have all their options readily available and on the field.

Listenbee was widely viewed last year at this time as the eventual replacement for Marquise Goodwin as a field stretching speed receiver. Goodwin was entering the last year of his contract and was not expected to be back in 2017. Listenbee’s groin surgery however, interrupted those plans and he never got on the field last year. Further complications with his pelvis/hip only delayed his return.

Still waiting now to participate in practice, the current front office and coaching staff, which had no real ties to Listenbee waived him with a non-football injury designation.

If he goes unclaimed he will be a free agent so his ties to the Bills are essentially over.

Buffalo’s wide receiving corps isn’t necessarily lacking speed, but Listenbee’s speed was essentially replaced in the form of Rashad Ross. Ross, whose nickname is ‘The Rocket,’ clocked the league’s fastest play in 2015 when he hit a top speed of 21.5 miles per hour on his 101-yard kick return for a touchdown against the Giants.

He also ran track at Arizona State and ran the 100 meters in 10.35.

As much as the Ross addition directly impacted Listenbee, one wonders how it could impact veteran Brandon Tate. Tate is the most proven return specialist on Buffalo’s roster, but he now has competition which has a fair amount of NFL experience in Ross. We’ll see how things play out as we move into mandatory minicamp next week and training camp in late July and August.


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