Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 12-2

Posted by Chris Brown on December 2, 2016 – 11:32 am

Another must win game on Sunday in Oakland. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
With the Bills depleted secondary and Oakland’s vertical threat and strong O-Line, what can Bills D do to stop Carr and O?

@BuffSportsFan90
CB: The best defense this week is going to be a good offense. Buffalo should be able to run effectively against the league’s 26th ranked run defense. Hopefully that allows the Bills to put together long sustained drives. Converting on third down will be critical to holding onto the ball and limiting Oakland’s possessions.

That’s how the Chiefs beat the Raiders back in Week 6. They held onto the ball for almost 37 minutes and gave the Raiders just 10 total possessions. Teams usually get about 12 per game.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills With so many upcoming free agents how are the @buffalobills with cap space?

Bob Refermat
@lostnascarfan

CB: You’re right. At last count the Bills will have 23 players set to become unrestricted free agents. That obviously takes a lot of contracts off the books for Buffalo. Remember that room under the salary cap is always a moving target. But last I checked for 2017 the Bills are a little more than $20M under the cap.

If they pick up the option on Tyrod Taylor that will obviously impact the cap significantly. We’ll see what their plans are in terms of re-signing their own or pursuing a free agent on the market, but Taylor’s option will play a major role in how aggressive they are in free agency.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills How is Cardale Jones doing? He is likely the number 2 qb next year correct?

Patmerica
@PatBle

CB: Jones is really trying to build his game from the ground up to better fit the NFL game. From footwork, to set up to his delivery. How he scans the field, keeps his feet active, reading defenses pre-snap. Bills QBs coach David Lee has worked tirelessly with Jones to try to develop his game.

The Bills saw this year as a redshirt year for Jones. Lee has him come in early and throw with a couple of receivers early in the week and late in the week after Friday practices. On Thursdays he’ll have him review his Wednesday and Thursday practice tape and go over fundamentals.

They’re working mainly on his intermediate accuracy, his footwork and arm mechanics.

I know the offensive staff has a lot of respect for EJ’s game. Lee said on the John Murphy Show this week that he thinks Manuel’s confidence is at an all-time high and that he’s been ripping it in practice.

Knowing his contract is up, the likelihood of Manuel being back with the team is completely up in the air.

Clearly Tyrod Taylor is the bigger issue to address with his option year at the quarterback position, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Manuel found work elsewhere and Cardale Jones was the backup for 2017.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

How limited will Sammy be on Sunday? And how will Rex manage playing time between Lorenzo shaq and Hughes?

Justin Trottier
@justintrotts1

CB: Watkins’ availability is going to largely be based on how the foot feels as the game wears on. So it’s a wait and see on the size of his role Sunday. I will say that I think it is beneficial that the game is on grass, which is a more forgiving surface on the body.

As for managing time between Shaq, Alexander and Hughes, the staff tried address that last week against the Jaguars. The defensive staff wants to play Shaq more and cut back on Alexander’s defensive snaps, so they’re able to use him on special teams as well.

Alexander really shouldn’t have much more than 55-60 snaps combined between defense and special teams. Last week he had 70, so again he was over the threshold of where they’d probably like to be with him, knowing he’s 33 and the oldest player on the team.

Shaq’s snap count wound up being identical to that of the Cincinnati game. He got 21 snaps in both. Part of the reason is both games were tightly fought contests and in tight spots you want to go with an experienced player that you can trust. Lawson is still learning the pro game.

Remember he missed the entire offseason on the field. That’s OTAs, minicamp, training camp, the preseason and the first six games of the season. Lawson bit hard on a read option fake, didn’t hold the edge and let Blake Bortles run for a first down and more. Those kinds of plays makes defensive coaches hesitant to use him more as opposed to Alexander, who is one of the smarter players on the team.

Knowing the importance of each game the rest of the way they’d like to use Shaq more because he’s talented, but until he can show an ability to play sound, disciplined assignment football he might be reduced to just passing downs to rush the passer.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills Why aren’t they using Reggie Bush out of back field, swing passes, screen passes, with all WR injuries?

TomLarsen/TheInsDoc
@tomlarsen

CB: It’s a valid question. I thought when they signed Reggie Bush that he would be a specialty player that would be used in an 8-12 play package every week on offense. He could be split out as a receiver, line up in a split backfield with McCoy or return kicks and punts. The signing of Brandon Tate largely eliminated his return duties.

He’s been used sparingly as a receiver and back. I do believe they could make greater use of their ‘Pony’ package, which is their split backfield with McCoy and another tailback. But for whatever reason they have only used it occasionally.

It’s clear they prefer Mike Gillislee, who is a much better north-south runner and capable of fighting for the tough yard. Rookie Jonathan Williams is also better in that regard.

Bush is a player best used in space, which is why they could make use of him in a receiving role knowing the amount of injuries they have at that position right now.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Tragedy of McKnight’s passing hits Bills hard

Posted by Chris Brown on December 2, 2016 – 9:58 am

Former NY Jets RB Joe McKnight was the victim of road rage Thursday when he was gunned down sitting in his car at a stop light in Terrytown, Louisiana after a verbal argument with another man.

An eyewitness told NOLA.com that she was leaving a nearby store when she witnessed the confrontation. The woman said a man was yelling at the athlete, who looked like he was apologizing, when he pulled out a gun and shot McKnight multiple times. She said the shooter then stood over the fallen footballer and said, “I told you don’t f–k with me” and fired one more time.

The shooter remained at the scene and was apprehended by police.

McKnight, a former USC running back, was drafted by the Jets in 2010 and coached by Rex Ryan for three seasons in New York. Ryan issued a statement in reaction to the 28-year old’s tragic death.

“Hearing this news about Joe McKnight is just so heartbreaking. He was such a great guy who meant a lot to a lot of people. When he first came to us at the Jets, he was this raw, talented kid. He had some issues as do a lot of guys. Obviously, we know the background, him going through (Hurricane) Katrina and a lot of different things. But he was always determined to get better–better as a football player and better as a man–and I thought he did that. That was exciting for me to see.

“One year when we had Joe we led the NFL in kickoff returns and I thought he was going to go to the Pro Bowl that year and he probably should have. But I was more proud of how he was off the field. When he went to Kansas City he seemed to have changed his life and that was a great thing. I remember when we played the Chiefs he came over and saw me and Anthony Lynn and it was great to see him.

“Joe will be remembered for a lot of good things and I was proud to have known him and proud to have coached him.

“My deepest sympathies and condolences go out to Joe’s family and friends and we’ll keep them in our prayers at this difficult time.”

Bills RB Reggie Bush, a fellow USC running back, took to social media to express his feelings about the passing of his friend and address the troubling results that can come from road rage, as this is the second NFL player to be killed in a road rage incident. Saints DL Will Smith was also shot and killed in Louisiana in a road rage incident this past spring.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-4

Posted by Chris Brown on November 4, 2016 – 2:25 pm

Prime time game for the Bills on Monday night. Tough place to play, but hopefully they put their best performance together in all three phases for this one. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills do you see the #bills picking up Tyrod’s option if they finish at or below .500 & don’t make playoffs?

Ben Reich
@Ben_Reich

CB: I know there have been a lot of opinions about where this team should go with Tyrod Taylor moving forward. The expectations were high and the passing game has taken a step back this season. I don’t think there’s any debate about that. Not having Sammy Watkins in the lineup is certainly a factor, along with just about every member of the supporting cast in the passing game missing some time.

Here’s what every Bills fan that wants to move on from Tyrod Taylor needs to think about no matter what the Bills record is at the end of the season.

Can you do better?

I understand fans WANT better production and more consistent production from the quarterback position. But the bigger question is CAN you find better production and more consistent production in another quarterback?

Any quarterback in the draft is just a projection, an educated guess. Set to become free agents are QBs like Case Keenum, Kirk Cousins, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Hoyer (injured), Geno Smith, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder.

Everyone has an opinion on the quarterbacks listed above, but one would be hard pressed to say that you could do better drawing from that list.

I do still want to see more from Taylor and there’s a half of a season to play. So let’s see what he provides and hopefully it convinces everyone one way or the other.

I just think before anyone decides to toss him overboard that you see what the alternatives are and think long and hard about what you’re wishing for and what’s really out there.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills 

It seems as though @ajwilliams23 was the leader in secondary, who do you see stepping up and fillin that leader role #Bills

Nick amidon@namidon1004

CB: As we covered in our daily Bills Today column earlier this week, Robert Blanton is going to be the primary replacement at safety and will line up alongside Corey Graham in the secondary at safety. Aaron Williams is a loss from the defensive backfield.

As far as leadership however, Corey Graham is a more than capable leader and a vocal one at that. So in terms of veteran leadership they’re covered there.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills 

Is Dareus tradeable this offseason? Large contract to unload but even if we could walk from it for someone else with those $

BC72
@bchud1972

CB: Short answer here. Not tradeable. If you traded him you would have more than $45M in dead money accelerate onto your cap. Not a viable option. Not an option next year either. Dead cap money would still be upwards of $32M.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills what should we expect from Percy this week? What’s the timetable on Sammys return?

Jon Snow 2016@RobRage38

CB: I think if Harvin plays we’re going to see a package of plays from him, something like 15-20 plays. While he is in shape to perform like we’re used to seeing Harvin perform, I don’t think he’s in the kind of football shape that would allow him to play 50-60 plays on Monday night. I think you risk exposing him to injury if that kind of demand is put on him after not being in a football setting for more than a calendar year.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills Is Reggie Bush going to be KR/PR? Powell?

Kevin@KevinMassare

CB: With Brandon Tate not expected to play Monday night (concussion protocol) Reggie Bush would be the next man up on kick return. Mike Gillislee is another consideration there. If he dresses for Monday night there’s always a chance that Percy Harvin gets a crack on a return as well.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Where will we see Reggie Bush vs. Miami?

Posted by Chris Brown on October 23, 2016 – 8:56 am

Reggie Bush was signed about a week into training camp to be the team’s primary return man. He and free agent pickup Brandon Tate have shared the role. The Bills could be down in numbers at running back today depending on LeSean McCoy’s availability and at receiver with Robert Woods doubtful for today’s game. Bush has proven capable of filling a RB or WR role in his 11-year career. So where might we see him today against the Dolphins?

If McCoy doesn’t play he could be a complement back to Mike Gillislee, who is expected to shoulder most of the rushing load in the absence of their bell cow back.

If McCoy does dress and play, but Robert Woods doesn’t it wouldn’t be shocking to see Bush being split wide as a receiver at times. Bush presents matchup problems if split wide. It would be supremely difficult for a linebacker or safety to stick with him on routes.

“I’ve always had the attitude and mentality that whatever the team needs me to do then that’s what I’ll do,” said Bush. “They know I can play running back and they know I can play receiver. They know I can return punts. I don’t think that’s anything new so we’ll see what happens.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 10-14

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2016 – 11:15 am

Week 6 and the Bills are going for four in a row. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills was Reggie Ragland outperforming Zach Brown at camp, or was he slated to start due to the resources invested in him?

@Bills_Chick

CB: Reggie Ragland was one of the most instinctive run defending rookies I’ve seen at the linebacker position in a while. Ragland has a much more physical game than Zach Brown and I think that’s what was most appealing to the defensive staff. I believe even if Ragland was healthy that Brown would’ve seen time on obvious passing downs due to his coverage ability.

Ragland out of the gate was probably one of the two best run defending linebackers on the roster with Preston Brown. That’s why he was in the starting lineup.

 

2 –@ChrisBrownBills Sir when you can, please let us fans know when Shaq going to play & Listenbee?

@buffsyear70

CB: I fully anticipate that Shaq Lawson will begin practicing with the team next week, but to think he’s going to play at Miami next Sunday after three or four days of practice I believe is a bit unrealistic, even though head coach Rex Ryan talked about Lawson playing right away in Week 7.

We have to remember that Lawson did not participate in a single team practice. His shoulder required surgery after a rookie minicamp practice. He’s never been on the field with any of the other players on defense. He’s never physically repped this defensive scheme with teammates, let alone at game speed.

I would expect him to at least get a couple of weeks of practice in before they begin to blend him into the defensive rotation. My guess would be the New England game provided he comes along and executes consistently in practice.

As for Listenbee, Ryan expressed doubt that he would be practicing any time soon. Here was his comment on Wednesday this week about Listenbee’s availability to practice.

“I don’t have the confidence with that as I do with Shaq,” Ryan said.

Listenbee has had some setbacks in his recovery from double sports hernia surgery. Every case is different and it appears that Listenbee’s recovery is going to take a little longer. If his inability to practice stretches beyond Week 10 then he won’t see the field at all this season.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills will the Bills open up the passing game more this week? Don’t remember too many deep throws past couple weeks

@A_Smolka_17

CB: The only deep shots I remember was the overthrow to Woods when he had his man beat down the left sideline in the second half last week and there was another to Goodwin that didn’t connect. I’d like to think there will be a couple more just to loosen up the defense. The 49ers though are really struggling to stop the run, so their weakness on defense kind of plays into Buffalo’s hands, so don’t expect the ball to be flying all that much.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills what’s up with Aaron Williams? Didn’t he leave last week’s game with a shoulder injury?

J Christensen-Sharpe@Snowbird_Killer

CB: Last week Aaron Williams left the game with what was reported by the team as a shoulder injury and he was questionable to return. But on the next defensive series Williams was back at his safety position and finished the game.

This week he has an ankle injury and has been limited in practice, but is expected to start.

5 – @ChrisBrownBills do you see an increased role for Bush anytime soon or are his days in Buffalo possibly numbered?

Nathan Bonner@NateB422

CB: They have certain packages in the offense designed with Reggie Bush in mind, but for whatever reason they’ve chosen not to make use of those to this point. I wouldn’t go so far as to say his days are numbered. I think he’s good insurance behind LeSean McCoy because he’s the only back on the roster that can do some of what McCoy can do.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex weighs in on Reggie Bush’s role

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2016 – 11:34 am

He was a DNP in two of Buffalo’s first three games this season. In Week 4 he was a healthy inactive. So just what is Reggie Bush’s role for the Bills?

Bills head coach Rex Ryan shed some light on why Bush hasn’t seen action and was inactive last week.

“Well right now it’s tough because with the kind of talent he has it’s about being patient. Each game plan is different,” said Ryan. “We brought him in initially to be a primary kick and punt returner and play in a pony package, which is our two tailback package. We still have that available to us, it’s just that this last game he wasn’t up because we weren’t doing that package.

“He’s healthy, which is a great thing and he’s still a player that has a lot of juice. To me I think you don’t go through the season unscathed. I’m pleased that he’s on our football team. I think he’ll have a role, albeit, sometimes it’s a different role depending on game plan.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Look for Reggie Bush to help at WR

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2016 – 11:47 am

With the Bills down a pair of receiver in Sammy Watkins and Greg Salas, look for Reggie Bush to have a role at receiver to help fill the void.

With Watkins and Salas both inactive Buffalo essentially has three healthy receivers and a return specialist in Brandon Tate, who is still learning the offense after arriving a few weeks ago when he was signed right before the season opener, the Bills are expected to utilize Bush as a receiver today to make plays in space.

Also active is rookie RB Jonathan Williams, who might have a bigger role in the run game knowing Bush’s talents will be used more out wide.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills successfully expand their return options

Posted by Chris Brown on September 10, 2016 – 10:41 am

Though Buffalo is facing arguably the best kick/punt returner in NFL history, they’ve taken steps to address their own return game. After finishing 23rd in punt return average and 30th in kick return average the Bills decided to add veteran return men to their ranks.

Buffalo had some capable return men last season, but most of them were injured during portions of the season. Several of them also didn’t return to the roster (Leodis McKelvin, Percy Harvin, Marcus Thigpen).

So Buffalo signed Reggie Bush a week into training camp and this past week they added veteran returner Brandon Tate to the roster. Walt Powell is an additional option for the return game.

“We feel much better than we did quite honestly at any time last year,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “We’ve got three guys that we know can catch it and return it.”

Just who handles what at the outset of the season remains to be seen, though it’s likely that Tate handles kickoffs and Bush handles punt returns. Of course based on numbers there could be weeks where one of them handles both duties.

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Striking a balance with Reggie Bush

Posted by Chris Brown on September 9, 2016 – 4:05 pm

No one will deny that at age 31 Reggie Bush can still provide game breaking plays. The question for the Bills is in what phase will most of those plays come?

Bush is a versatile running back, who can make catches out of the backfield, split wide as a receiver and obviously run the ball. But he’s also a dynamic return man, which was the main reason the Bills signed him a week into training camp. So which unit needs him more, offense or special teams?

Initially it appeared to be special teams as they didn’t have an experienced and proven returner for kick or punt return. But earlier this week they signed veteran return man Brandon Tate. Could that signal more work on offense for Bush?

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said he would never ask that a player get pulled off special teams to specifically benefit the offense.

“I think special teams is so important to our team and if he’s vitally important to special teams then that’s where his energies need to lie,” Roman said. “That being said he can be a very valuable contributor offensively as well so we have to strike the balance that suits the team the best.”

Suffice to say that there will be Reggie Bush sightings on offense. How many plays he gets is what figures to vary from week to week.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-26

Posted by Chris Brown on August 26, 2016 – 11:38 am

Preseason game number three tonight against Washington. Here is the latest edition of your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills who will be our tight ends 2 and 3?

JR Mauro @mrsju007

CB: Right now it’s Chris Gragg and Jim Dray. Dray is strictly a blocking TE, who is serviceable in the short area pass game. Gragg has done the most to this point in camp and the preseason. The only other tight end that has flashed is Nick O’Leary. Blake Annen and Jimmay Mundine have had a tough time making plays on a consistent basis.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills
Is it almost a guarantee we grab a roster cut for OL Depth?

Gabriel Erlichman @Gabezababe

@ChrisBrownBills
Think there could be any vet receivers signed before the season starts up?

Paulie Fricano @PaulieFric

CB: Since these questions were similar I decided to group them together. Buffalo’s pro personnel department keeps a close eye on the waiver wire and player cuts as do the other 31 teams. The answer to both of these questions is dependent upon the caliber of player released.

If the front office sees a player waived or released and deems it an upgrade they will have interest. At this point I would put adding depth at offensive line ahead of depth at receiver.

The Bills have a good starting five. If Seantrel Henderson’s return is successful that would be a huge addition for line depth with him and Kouandjio at tackle. On the interior beyond Ryan Groy and vet Fernando Velasco it’s a bit thin.
3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Hey Chris, how much of an offensive role do you expect from Reggie bush

ryan marx@rmarx188

CB: I think of Bush as an offensive specialist. He’ll be the team’s top return man. His role on offense I expect to be extremely varied. I foresee OC Greg Roman putting together a package of plays for Bush every week. Based on the opponent he could line up out wide as a receiver. He could line up in a split backfield with LeSean McCoy. I don’t expect him to steal many carries away from LeSean McCoy. He’ll have a specialty role that I think will have him on the field for 10-15 plays a game depending on how much they feel his talents can take advantage of that week’s opponent.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills where is Corey Graham on the depth chart? Also hearing a lot about the db outta southern cal, are you as impressed?

kevin dammeyer@dammeyer12

CB: Graham is the starting SS and has performed well throughout camp. Duke Williams has been paired with him the last couple of weeks with Aaron Williams sidelined with his concussion. As for Kevon Seymour, yes he has been impressive. At 6-0 185 he’s got good size for the position and his movement skills are strong.

He’s been running mainly as a second team cornerback with veteran Corey White behind Gilmore and Darby. But he was also used as the first team nickel corner in the slot when Nickell Robey-Coleman went out with injury. Seymour has performed admirably and is threatening to be the third corner on this team behind Pro Bowl caliber players in Darby and Gilmore.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills How much of an uptick in passing volume do you think is coming from Tyrod?

Adam Pfeifer@APfeifer24

CB: I asked this exact question of Greg Roman and his answer was understandably vague since he doesn’t want Buffalo’s opponents getting any idea as to what their plans are for this fall.

Last season the Bills were 31st in the league in pass attempts per game at 27.1. They also led the league in rush attempts. I think there will be a slight shift, but Buffalo is not going to abandon what worked extraordinarily well last year.

So the answer is yes, but not to a great degree. Maybe Buffalo averages 30-32 pass attempts per game. If God forbid LeSean McCoy is injured and out for a few games then I think the pass attempts could jump higher.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills connections to 2006 draft run deep

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2016 – 9:55 am

While it’s pretty well known that with Buffalo’s addition of Reggie Bush, Buffalo has now had each of the top three picks from the 2006 NFL draft on their roster at one point or another. But the Bills connections to first-round draft choices from the 2006 class go well beyond that.

Buffalo has had a total of seven players from round one of the 2006 NFL draft on their roster. Currently the Bills still have a pair of players from round one of the 2006 NFL draft on their roster in Bush and Manny Lawson.

Here’s a look at the full list of 2006 first-round picks who at some point have been on Buffalo’s roster either preseason or regular season.

Pick   Player
1           Mario Williams
2           Reggie Bush
3            Vince Young
8           Donte Whitner
10         Matt Leinart
22         Manny Lawson
26         John McCargo


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bush: I’ll have offense down by end of week

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2016 – 10:51 pm

Reggie Bush sees a lot of carry over from previous offensive systems he’s played in to the one Greg Roman runs for the Bills. It has the veteran running back confident that he’ll know the offense completely in short order.

“A lot of the concepts are the same, a lot of the names of the concepts are the same,” said Bush. “Going through the playbook the last couple days, I’ve seen a lot of things that I’m familiar with. A lot of route concepts and a lot of names I’m familiar with. So I’m not going to have any issues with that.”

Even though Wednesday is a day off for the Bills, Bush will be putting in extra time with running backs coach Anthony Lynn to work on mastering the playbook.

“I’ll meet with the running back coach when we have some free time,” said Bush. “We have a day off (Wednesday) so well meet (Wednesday). I’ll be here and well get some extra time, studying the concepts and I’ll do some on my own tonight, (Wednesday). I’ll be caught up by the end of the week.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Did Incognito earn finder’s fee for RB Bush?

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2016 – 10:41 pm

Richie Incognito is one of the bigger supporters of Rex Ryan as a head coach. He loves playing for the guy. Explaining how enjoyable the game is playing under Ryan to Reggie Bush last month may have helped to convince the veteran running back to sign with the Bills.

Incognito ran into Bush in Las Vegas this offseason. The two were former teammates in Miami where Incognito and his Dolphins teammates helped Bush rack up the first 1,000-yard rushing season of his career in 2011. The subject quickly turned to Buffalo where Incognito got a second chance to revive his career.

“I did a little scouting on my own,” Incognito said. “I ran into Reggie in Las Vegas in the summer and he was asking me what Rex was all about and I told him how I really love playing for him and love being around him. So I’m really excited to have him here.”

When asked if he deserves a finder’s fee for landing the veteran running back, Incognito just laughed.

“No. The finder’s fee is Reggie (Bush) scoring touchdowns on Sunday.” said Incognito. “He’s a dynamic player and I really think it’s a great fit for him. With our backfield there are kind of a lot of question marks in there. We have Shady (LeSean McCoy) he’s the established, number one guy. I think Reggie as a dynamic playmaker who can come in and G-Ro (Greg Roman) can really scheme up some situations to get him in some open space. I love it man.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

A McCoy, Bush split set backfield?

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2016 – 4:38 pm

As the Bills added another dynamic weapon to their offensive arsenal in Reggie Bush on Monday, both offensive coordinator Greg Roman and head coach Rex Ryan began formulating plans for how to make use of Bush. While everyone expects Bush to be a complement to feature back LeSean McCoy, there has already been discussion about putting both on the field at the same time in a split set backfield.

That according to Bush himself who hinted at it in his introductory press conference.

“Yeah, we’ve talked about that with the coaching staff,” Bush said. “Obviously, we haven’t gone into great depth or detail about it, but that’s definitely I think a package that you’ll see this year on the football field.”

Back when Chan Gailey was Buffalo’s head coach, fans clamored for a split backfield with Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, but Gailey was too concerned about injury compromising such a package and then having to scrap a game plan in a given week. It’ll be interesting to see if Roman gives such a look stronger consideration come the regular season.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Initial return candidates

Posted by Chris Brown on August 1, 2016 – 9:40 am

It’s early in camp, but here’s a look at the initial candidates used in practice on kick return.

On Sunday only WRs Walt Powell and Marquise Goodwin took kick return attempts during the special teams segment of practice. It’s possible there could be a rotation as camp wears on, but the pair look to be the primary candidates.

Both players returned kicks for the Bills last season.

Of course that could change if Reggie Bush signs knowing he’s visiting with the club today (Monday).


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Washington may add veteran RB

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2016 – 11:24 am

The Bills have made efforts to sign veteran free agent RB Reggie Bush. Bush has elected to bide his time on a decision and there’s a report today that explains why.

The Washington Post is reporting that Washington may add a veteran running back to their ranks with a lot of youth at the position, especially after they did not return Alfred Morris to the fold for 2016.

“We could [look at free agents],” head coach Jay Gruden told the Washington Post. “If it doesn’t work out, for every position, we count on the scouting staff to check on who’s available, but hopefully we don’t have to go out and do that. If we do, there are going to be good players coming.”

Bush is considered one of the better veteran free agent options at the position. With training camps opening this weekend, there could be even more options for Bush to choose from should there be some injuries at the position across the league.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills and RB Bush still talking

Posted by Chris Brown on July 26, 2016 – 1:43 pm

Whether the Bills and free agent RB Reggie Bush are able to consummate a deal remains to be seen, but the lines of communication between the two parties remain open.

Buffalobills.com has learned that the two sides are still talking. Bush seems content to bide his time at this point, no doubt waiting to see if a more favorable opportunity presents itself somewhere else in the league due to injury once training camps open this weekend.

The Bills currently have six running backs on the roster, but Karlos Williams will be lost for the first month of the season due to violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 7-22

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2016 – 11:39 am

Only a week until training camp opens Bills fans. We’ll be covering it all for you here on Buffalobills.com. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

If the Bush ship sails, any chance that Rex gives Ray Rice his last chance?

@GraysonTumult

CB: I really can’t see that happening. With such a greater focus on domestic violence in the NFL these days, which includes a league wide ad campaign to raise awareness on the subject, I can’t see Buffalo taking that kind of step.

Last year’s training camp should serve as a perfect example on the likelihood of that happening. All five running backs on Buffalo’s training camp roster were all injured at the same time last summer and Ray Rice was not brought in. I don’t see that changing if Reggie Bush elects to sign and play elsewhere.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think the Bills pass on signing Gilmore if Kevon Seymour has a great preseason?

@ZWinterberg

CB: While I think your question is a valid one, I believe the likelihood of signing Gilmore to a long term extension has more to do with the market value of top flight cornerbacks than it does with how well Kevon Seymour comes along in the preseason.

I think they’d like to return Gilmore to the fold long term, but the state of the cornerback market might not allow it.

As I’ve stated more than once on this very page, the Josh Norman deal completely turned the market value at cornerback on its ear. Getting $15M per season from Washington after his franchise tag was rescinded by Carolina threw the cornerback market completely out of whack.

If a zone corner can get $15M/yr. then upcoming free agents like Stephon Gilmore who play almost exclusively man-to-man will likely see getting that much or probably more as fair market value. I’m confident the Bills are not going to enter the $15M/yr. territory.

Could I see the Bills going $12.5M/yr. like the Giants free agent deal for Janoris Jenkins this spring?

Yes.

Would that be enough for Gilmore?

I think it would need to have a lot more guaranteed money than Jenkins’ $28.8M has in his contract for it to happen.

The Norman deal unfortunately could push negotiations between the Bills and Gilmore into an area where Buffalo could potentially be fiscally irresponsible as it pertains to the rest of their roster. And the Bills probably won’t, and should not, do that.

I think if Seymour performs well in the preseason it only helps the Bills front office breathe a bit easier should they reach an impasse with the Gilmore camp on a new contract. At least then they would feel like they have a promising prospect in the pipeline to eventually replace Gilmore in 2017 if all hope is lost on a Gilmore extension.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

With suspensions and off field stuff at RB, do you anticipate McCoy being very limited through camp and preseason?

@rockydm92

CB: I think the plan all along was to limit LeSean McCoy’s workload through training camp and the preseason. It has less to do with the recent suspension of Karlos Williams and DUI arrest of Jonathan Williams, and more to do with what happened last summer at training camp.

After sustaining his hamstring injury, McCoy was not the same player for the 2015 season. He was still very good, but not the game breaking talent that has made him one of the most dynamic backs in the league.

The Bills want to ensure they have the game breaking McCoy in their offensive backfield come September, so the plan all along was to pace McCoy. Give him enough work where he’s ready for the regular season, but not so much that he runs the risk of injury or going into the season hobbled.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills would Donald Trump still be able to run for president if he succeeded in purchasing the team?

@JLasher10

CB: Based on what I’ve been able to uncover with respect to executive branch government employees and conflicts of interest, there are ethics rules that require them to divest themselves of stock or property only if they are appointed to their positions (e.g. Secretary of the Treasury). Trump however, would be holding an elected position so those rules would not apply to him.

So not having an expert background by any means on government employee bylaws it appears he can continue as CEO and President of his Trump organization while also serving as President of the United States were he elected.

So if his business holdings included ownership of an NFL team that would appear to be permissible as well.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

How was John Miller looking through OTAs?

@JustinWestfall

CB: Keeping in mind that Miller as an offensive lineman is not playing real football in the spring practices as it pertains to his playing duties (full contact blocking) it’s hard to provide you with a true picture of how he performed on the field. That being said I can tell you that Miller has benefitted from an offseason in an NFL strength and conditioning program as opposed to prepping for the NFL Combine and pre-draft workouts.

I just think he’s the kind of player that will make quality advances in his game as a second-year player based on the 12 games of experience he got last year. Keep in mind also that he played most of last season injured with a high-ankle sprain. Now that he’s healthy it’ll be interesting to see how he can perform when he’s 100 percent.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

RB Bush still weighing his options

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2016 – 9:51 am

Earlier this week Buffalobills.com confirmed that a contract offer had been extended to free agent RB Reggie Bush by the Bills. Bush, who is coming off an ACL knee injury last November, is training hard this offseason, but is still biding his time in terms of deciding where to play.

In an interview with USA Today, Bush made it clear that he does intend to continue his NFL career, but he has not reached a decision on where he will play.

“I know everybody’s been texting me and asking about Buffalo, but as of right now, I haven’t made a decision,” Bush told USA Today. “But if the opportunity is there, obviously, Buffalo is the most known one right now. But we’ll see. I’m still trying to figure out what’s going to be the best opportunity for me and my family.”

At age 31, sustaining an ACL injury led some to think that he might choose to end his NFL career. Instead Bush said it only inspired him more to come back.

“I think when you come off of an injury, you’re that much more motivated to bounce back and to prove that you can still be you,” he said. “And not only to people, but to yourself, as well. That’s my motivation: just to bounce back. And I don’t want to end a career — ever — on an injury. Not that I’m ready to hang it up, but I’m definitely on the back end of my career. I want to put together a solid couple years of really just playing healthy football.”

Bush sounds realistic about the state of his NFL career. He knows he’s on the back side of his playing days, and said when he feels he’s lost a step he’ll walk away from the game. But he’s convinced that time has not yet arrived.

“I know that right now, I’m not ready to shut it down yet,” he said. “I’ve got some good years left.”

Bush hasn’t jumped at Buffalo’s contract offer because for a running back in his situation it pays to wait. Once training camp opens across the league there will inevitably be injuries at the running back position, including some serious ones. That alone could present more favorable opportunities with other NFL clubs that offer more in the way of playing time than Buffalo can currently offer.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Bills interested in RB Reggie Bush

Posted by Chris Brown on July 18, 2016 – 11:22 am

There has been a lot of speculation that the Bills might be on the lookout for veteran RB help with Karlos Williams suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season following violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport first reported that Buffalo had a certain free agent running back they are interested in.

Buffalobills.com confirmed that the Bills have presented Bush with a contract offer.

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According to NFL.com the Bills have made a contract offer to Bush.

Bush is coming off an ACL injury in the 2015 season, suffered when he slipped at the Edwards Jones Dome in St. Louis last season after running out of bounds and slipping awkwardly on the concrete where the turf field ended.


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Posted in Inside the Bills