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Inside The Bills

Bills family supports Eric Wood at Flights & Bites

Posted by Kelly Baker on October 18, 2016 – 4:27 pm

eric-wood-flights-bites

Bills center Eric Wood hosted his second annual Flights and Bites event in downtown Buffalo on Monday, Oct. 17. The event, which followed the team’s big win over the San Francisco 49ers, featured many players who chose to spend their time off supporting their teammate. Coming together for a good cause, the evening consisted of both silent and live auctions to benefit the Eric Wood Foundation, which seeks to provide aid to families of sick children.

“Just a fun…Monday night, (it’s a) chance for a lot of the guys and coaches to come out and interact with a lot of the fans and raise money for sick children and their families here in Western New York,” said Wood. Especially after a win yesterday (Sunday, Oct. 16), the spirits are always high and people are in the giving spirit in times like that.”

The support from the Bills family proved truly tremendous, as over 30 Bills players and coaches attended the event. The turnout included, Bills general manager Doug Whaley, head coach Rex Ryan, offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, quarterback Tyrod Taylor, safety Aaron Williams, guard Richie Incognito, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, linebacker Reggie Ragland, safety Colt Anderson, cornerback Kevon Seymour, linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, kicker Dan Carpenter, defensive tackle Kyle Williams and many more.

For more information on the Eric Wood Foundation, visit here.


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Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

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

Report: Ragland to have surgery

Posted by Chris Brown on August 10, 2016 – 7:35 am

The Bills have been waiting for the swelling to go down in Reggie Ragland’s left knee, after he sustained a knee injury last Friday in practice, to accurately determine the extent of the damage. Now reports have surfaced that Ragland has a partially torn ACL and will need surgery.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that Ragland has a partially torn ACL, will need surgery and could wind up on injured reserve. If that proves to be the case he could miss part or all of the 2016 season.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills rookies not on break yet

Posted by Chris Brown on June 17, 2016 – 10:51 am

While the Bills veteran players have headed for the hills for their six-week break before training camp at St. John Fisher, the rookies haven’t quite finished their work yet.

Rookies have to hang another week at One Bills Drive. Rookie LB Reggie Ragland outlined what the rookies on Buffalo’s roster still have on their to-do list.

“We have to stay another week because the Rookie Symposium is next week,” said Ragland in an appearance on the John Murphy Show. “We’re doing that on our own. So next week we’re going to work out a couple of days, then do the Rookie Symposium and then on Friday we start our break.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-10

Posted by Chris Brown on June 10, 2016 – 12:07 pm

OTAs are done, minicamp is next and then it’s just six weeks until training camp. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills who do you think is going to be our rookie of the year?

Leah Fallesen@LeahCF

CB: I think the player who has the best opportunity to be rookie of the year is Reggie Ragland. With Shaq Lawson expected to miss a portion of the regular season coming off shoulder surgery it removes him as a likely candidate. Then add in the fact that Ragland is a recognized name from his widespread exposure at Alabama and that he’ll be playing a position where he can rack up a lot of statistics, and I believe the opportunity is good for Ragland’s play to stand out.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills do you see Sterling Moore as the nickel corner or will Robey keep his spot?

@JaredBailey23

CB: I certainly believe that Moore will be some of Robey’s stiffest competition. His time in the slot to this point has been somewhat limited, though I did see him line up there for a handful of snaps in the open practice session this week.

Moore does have a size advantage on Robey at that role (who doesn’t), but Robey has near perfect technique. He has to otherwise he’s not playing in the NFL. I know the coaching staff like Robey a lot, so I think Moore would have to clearly outplay him to unseat him from that role.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills what receiver has stood out in OTA’s.

@Richkay71

CB: The receiver that has stood out the most has been second-year man Dez Lewis. He’s made a lot of plays. Now Robert Woods has made a ton of plays too in the OTAs, but I think Lewis is the biggest surprise. Lewis has added good lean muscle mass to his 6-4 frame and has not only demonstrated good ability to win on passes in traffic, but has also shown the ability to get separation. He can thank his improved route running for that.

He’ll have legitimate competition in veterans like Jarrett Boykin, Greg Little and Leonard Hankerson, but so far so good for Lewis in trying to nail down a role in Buffalo’s receiving corps.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills who do you think will get the punt/kick return duties for 2016 #bills

@freshie1975

CB: There are a few candidates as seems to be the case every year, but the names have changed. CB  Javier Arenas and WR Walter Powell have seen the most consistent work on returns. It’s safe to say that Marquise Goodwin and Kolby Listenbee will be given opportunities on kick return when available just based on pure speed.

I think Listenbee is a good bet for kick return. Punt return is a bit tougher to call only because both Arenas and Powell will be fighting for roster spots and the job may ultimately fall to someone else, like perhaps Robert Woods who has plenty of return experience.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills any chance Colin Kaepernick ends up in Buffalo?

@JCMcVitty

CB: I’d be a bit surprised if Kaepernick winds up in Buffalo. I realize a lot of people are trying to connect dots knowing that Kaepernick had his greatest success in the NFL under Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Unless the 49ers are giving Kaepernick away and want to cover part of his salary, I don’t believe Buffalo takes a run at him.

The main reason is his $11.9M cap figure. Knowing a Stephon Gilmore extension is a priority for the Bills and that an extension for Tyrod Taylor is likely if he performs as expected I can’t see Kaepernick making much business.

The other reason I could see the Bills not being interested is Buffalo finally has some stability at the quarterback position with Tyrod Taylor as its starter. Adding Kaepernick would bring some uncertainty to the position in terms of depth chart hierarchy. If for some reason Taylor struggled in a game or two and Kaepernick was on the roster, fans would be calling to insert him into the lineup.

Most importantly I don’t know that the Bills or any other NFL club is convinced that Kaepernick would make them decidedly better at the quarterback position. His effectiveness as a quarterback has suffered the last couple of seasons. Kaepernick’s career stats are better than Manuel’s, but his completion percentage is largely the same as EJ.

I get the argument that his game could potentially be revitalized under Roman, but unless you can get him for cheap in terms of compensation and at a severely reduced salary (something Kaepernick has balked at before) I don’t know that it’s a reclamation project I’d be interested in. Whether the Bills are interested would largely hinge on what Roman believes he could accomplish with him.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dareus keeping rookies focused on ‘D’

Posted by Chris Brown on June 8, 2016 – 4:38 pm

Marcell Dareus has never been one to shy away from speaking up. Though he more often chooses to lead by example, he knows that with a pair of rookies likely to start on his side of the ball in Adolphus Washington and Reggie Ragland that they’ve got to be reminded that they shouldn’t assume they’ll end up with those roles come September.

“We talk to the guys all the time about extra film, knowing what you need to do,” Dareus said. “If you don’t know what you need to do you won’t be on the side of me. I don’t want to hurt myself and I want to do the best I can for the team. I want to be around. If you’re making mistakes you may hurt me on one of yours. So I talked to the guys about how important it is to stay in the playbook. Know what you need to do. Know your technique and be the best you can be. Be a pro.”

When Shaq Lawson returns from shoulder surgery he too is expected to enter the starting lineup on defense. Sixth-round pick Kevon Seymour could also see some time on defense as a rookie based on his encouraging play this spring.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-20

Posted by Chris Brown on May 20, 2016 – 12:18 pm

Bills OTAs get rolling on Monday. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Why haven’t Bills looked at Anquan Boldin as he seems to fit what they need a WR. Thanks!

BC72 @bchud1972

CB: I think there could be a number of issues at play here. First, Boldin, though productive last season (69 rec. 789 yds, 4 TDs) is 35-years old. Second, and probably more important is the Bills are probably in a position where they could only offer a veteran receiver the league minimum, and with Boldin a 10-plus year player he would cost $985K. As accomplished as Boldin is I don’t know if he would play a 14th NFL season for that.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills Bills have any interest in Dwight Freeney or Greg Hardy?

joseph tadak @jt9591

CB: I don’t see Greg Hardy as a realistic option due to his off the field issues. No one else seems all that interested either. I understand fans trying to connect the dots to a veteran to fill the potential void left by Shaq Lawson’s surgery, which will probably keep him out for a portion of the first half of the season.

I wonder how much of a commitment the Bills would want to make to a stop gap solution. If they were to sign Freeney and he was on the roster beyond Week 1 his contract would be guaranteed even if they released him once Lawson returned to the roster.

I don’t know if that’s a good call for someone who would be a part-time player (pass rush specialist).

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you see Gilmore or Taylor getting extended before season, during season, or after if at all?

Grayson Tumult @GraysonTumult

CB: I believe the likelihood of a new deal for Gilmore before/during the season is greater than Taylor. The reason why is the Bills probably want to see Taylor take the next step in his development during the season. Then if they have to back up the Brinks truck to keep him after the season is over, so be it.

The reason Gilmore’s deal will probably take a bit longer is because Washington threw the whole cornerback market out of whack with their contract for Josh Norman ($15M/yr.) after Carolina rescinded his franchise tag, making him a free agent.

With Norman at age 28 getting $15M per year and he’s largely a zone coverage corner, it makes it difficult for Buffalo to negotiate with Gilmore’s camp when he’s 27 and plays a more demanding role at corner as he’s often in man-to-man.

I think top 10 cornerback money is realistic for Gilmore. Top five money might be a different story, and if the Gilmore camp is looking for that it could make for a longer negotiation.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills Any real worries with Watkins foot? Similar to Dez foot injury that kept him out all year?

jason plunkett @j_plunk

CB: First, Dez Bryant did not miss the whole year. He injured the foot in Week 1 and missed the next six weeks. The Cowboys rushed him back and he struggled through the rest of the season, but suited up and played in eight of the last nine games.

I expect the Bills to go to school on how things played out with Bryant and Julian Edelman for that matter, who also needed a second surgery because he came back too soon in the playoffs.

I’m not a doctor, but based on what I’ve read, Watkins’ Jones fracture, a common injury for NFL wide receivers, usually takes longer to heal (8-12 weeks) than most fractures (six weeks) because the blood supply to that area of the foot isn’t as good as other parts of the body. That’s why the surgery has a screw inserted in that area to promote the healing of the bone.

The Cowboys tried to get Bryant back in six weeks and it was too soon. That’s why I think even though Sammy Watkins will be right around the 12-week mark at the start of training camp I would not expect to see him do much of anything on the field until the second full week of camp at the earliest.

And even then it will be a slow and steady process. Yes, reps with his quarterback are important, but most important is Watkins’ availability on Sundays in September. If the process is rushed risk of re-injury increases.

Being patient with a player of his caliber is difficult for fans, but the payoff is he’ll be less likely to run into future problems with the foot during the season.

 

5 – Chris,

Last year’s defense was a disappointment. Veteran players could not fully adapt to this complicated front seven scheme then play at a high level. Also, expectations turned out to be unrealistically high.

Is there any way 3 rookies can leap to the NFL, play in this same defensive front, simplified or not, and have success? Or do we need to start managing expectations now to avoid more disappointment?

Thanks,
Ron

CB: From what I have been able to gather Rex Ryan and Dennis Thurman have reduced the number of checks pre-snap on defensive play calls for this season knowing the problem it presented last season. Whether they’ve found the happy balance between remaining unpredictable while allowing their players to play fast remains to be seen, but the effort was made to make execution of the defensive system easier for the players.

As for the rookies, Adolphus Washington’s position doesn’t require as much pre-snap adjustment as Reggie Ragland or Shaq Lawson. Ragland doesn’t have to run the defense, that will be on Preston Brown, but as GM Doug Whaley mentioned the scheme Ragland ran at Alabama is very similar to that of Buffalo’s defense. Ragland has said there’s a lot of carryover that’s a plus.

Lawson might have the toughest time adjusting knowing he’s likely to miss the offseason practices and some time in the first half of the season. Not having those physical reps could make it hard on the top pick to assimilate himself into the defense.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whaley: Physicality is Ragland’s best asset

Posted by Chris Brown on May 11, 2016 – 2:49 pm

Bills GM Doug Whaley made an appearance on NFL Network’s All Access program and was asked about a comment made by Bills Wall of Famer Darryl Talley.

Talley claimed that Reggie Ragland is the best linebacker drafted by the Bills since Cornelius Bennett. Now in an effort to be accurate, Bennett was acquired by the Bills via trade on Halloween in 1987 in a blockbuster deal with the Indianapolis Colts. Biscuit was also an Alabama product. Either way it’s high praise from Talley. So what did Whaley think of that opinion?

“Time will tell but we’re excited about what he brings to our team,” Whaley said. “As coach has always said, what we want to be is a physical team. We want anybody that comes in to play the Buffalo Bills know that they’re going to have to strap that chinstrap up a little tighter and they’re going to know they’re going to be in a fight. That’s what he brings, physicality.

“And then you add to the fact that the defense he ran in college is very, very similar to the defense we’re going to be running this year. So all of that and then the combination of him coming from a winning program. All of those qualities just made us feel like this is the type of guy we want on our team. To tell you the truth, we thought he would be our pick at 19 so we never dreamed we would be able to get him and Shaq Lawson with our first two picks.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

LB Ragland eager to dive in with the Ryans

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2016 – 1:47 pm

Bills second-round pick Reggie Ragland played in a defensive scheme at Alabama, that GM Doug Whaley claims will have a lot of carry over to Rex Ryan’s scheme in Buffalo. That will hopefully translate into a shorter learning curve for the physical linebacker. Either way Ragland is altogether anxious to get to work on the scheme with both head coach Rex Ryan and Assistant head coach Defense Rob Ryan.

“They’re great coaches,” said Ragland of the Ryans. “They love to joke around off the field. They love on you and do what they can for you and then once you get on the field it’s all business. I’m glad I’ve got a coach like that because I always wanted to play for coach Ryan, the Ryans actually, both of them. I’m getting an opportunity to do that so I’m really thankful and happy. Anytime you have the both of them together you know you’re going to have great schemes drawn up.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Ragland listed as one of draft’s best fits

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2016 – 9:19 am

Former Bills safety Matt Bowen, now an NFL analyst for ESPN.com, has broken down what he feels are the best NFL draft fits for the teams who selected them. Bills second-round pick Reggie Ragland was on his short list.

Bowen sees Ragland as a versatile, but perfect fit for Rex Ryan’s 3-4 defense. Here was his analysis.

Reggie Ragland, LB, Buffalo Bills

In Rex Ryan’s 3-4 front, Ragland is the big boy at the second-level, that linebacker with downhill power to eat up the run game: Stack and shed, fill the hole and put the running back on the ground. This guy is a tackling machine. But don’t peg Ragland as just a base defender who has to come off the field on third downs. He has enough juice in his legs to drop in zone coverage, close on the ball and be used as a matchup weapon in the blitz packages. Ragland versus a running back in protection? I’m taking the linebacker in that one — and broken chinstraps. This is an immediate upgrade for Ryan’s defense, an ideal fit for the 3-4 scheme and an absolute steal for the Bills in the second-round. It was a smart move to trade up with Ragland still on the board.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills credited with pair of draft bargains

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2016 – 8:42 am

The Bills 2016 draft haul by most accounts has been a very good one. Taking it a step further NFL.com put together a list of draft choices they felt were among the best bargains for where they were selected. Two of the newest Bills made the list in a look at the AFC East clubs.

NFL.com chose Bills second-round pick Reggie Ragland and fifth-round pick Jonathan Williams among their best bargains. Here was their assessment as to why.

LB Reggie Ragland, Buffalo Bills
Drafted:
2nd round (41st overall)
Why he’s a bargain: The heart-and-soul linebacker of the Alabama defense wasn’t expected to slip out of the first round, much less 10 picks deep into the second. Ragland is a Day 1 starter on run downs, and plays well enough in space to at least challenge for playing time on third down as well. The enlarged aorta that might have helped precipitate his slide isn’t expected to be a problem for his football career.

RB Jonathan Williams, Buffalo Bills
Drafted:
5th round (156th overall)
Why he’s a bargain: After spending all of 2015 on the sideline due to a foot injury, Williams was something of a draft afterthought. His absence helped backfield mate Alex Collins enhance his draft profile last year, but when both shared the backfield as a healthy tandem in 2013 and 2014, Williams was the more consistent and reliable player. He’s an effective receiver and, barring an injury setback, should not only make the team but earn an early rotational role as well.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Shaq and Reggie previously knew each other

Posted by Chris Brown on May 6, 2016 – 4:20 pm

Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland both acknowledged they knew each other prior to arriving at One Bills Drive for rookie minicamp.

“Reggie and I were already close friends,” said Lawson. “We met a while ago. We met at the Nagurski award banquet. We were both finalists for the Nagurski award so we met then. We’ve been friends since the college all-star games so we had a great relationship even before we got on the same team.”

“Yeah, it’s kind of like four flats on a Cadillac,” said Ragland smiling. “No, I got really close to Shaq through the process. At first, I thought he’s crazy, heard a couple stories of him, but for the most part, I got to know him and he’s a really good guy and he’s a great friend of mine. So, I’m glad to be here with him and he’s one of the players I wanted to play with if I had a chance to during the process.”

When asked why Ragland said his offensive teammates at Alabama were really impressed with his playing ability.

“He’s a good player no doubt. When we were getting ready to play him for the national championship all my teammates were talking about what a good player he was,” said Ragland. “Then to meet him as a person he’s has a great personality. He likes to crack around and joke just like I do, so that’s what drew me to him.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills tried to get a 3rd player with a 1st round grade

Posted by Chris Brown on May 5, 2016 – 2:14 pm

The Bills were obviously very happy to get two players with first round grades on their board in the first two rounds of the draft. On day two of the NFL draft after successfully trading up with Chicago to move to pick 41, Buffalo had two options that they would’ve been happy to take with that new pick at 41. Reggie Ragland was the top option so he was the choice. As the second round wore on however, their option ‘B’ was still available.

As we profiled in our final On the Clock feature – Inside the Draft Room, Buffalo made the trade with Chicago while the Giants were on the clock at pick 40. The reason they felt comfortable consummating the trade with the Bears before the Giants picked was because they had two players with first round grades they were ready to take there. So either way they were sure to get one of the two. In the end both wound up being there.

After taking Ragland however, their option ‘B’ was still sliding.

“The two guys that were there were Ragland and Jarran Reed,” Bills GM Doug Whaley told Buffalobills.com. “When Reed started falling we thought, ‘Hey, wait a minute. We’ve got a chance to get three first rounders with our first three picks.’ That would’ve put us over the edge.”

The problem was it was a long shot. Having already parted with a fourth-round pick along with another four in 2017 in the move up to get Ragland, Buffalo didn’t have a whole lot to work with, but the Bills thought they should at least attempt to find a way back into round two and land yet another player for whom they had a first round grade.

“We knew we didn’t have the ammo because it was so far away, but you’ve got to be greedy and see if there’s a way,” said Monos. “We were trying to come up with a way. You don’t want to mortgage the future. Sometimes you just have to sit.”

Buffalo put a call into some teams in the bottom third of the round. Among them was Seattle figuring it would take less to get up to pick 56, the 25th selection in round two. Seattle however, had plans to move up themselves. Ironically, the Seahawks found a trade partner in the Chicago Bears in the Bills original second-round slot at 49. Seattle moved up and took Jarran Reed off the board.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Why Bills 2nd rd. pick believes he’s a 3 down LB

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2016 – 10:07 am

Bills second-round pick Reggie Ragland has heard and read the criticism. He knows there were draftniks and probably some NFL clubs that did not see him as a three down linebacker. Ragland is ready to prove them all wrong.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 this week, Ragland reiterated that he is wholly confident that he’s capable of being a three-down linebacker in the NFL.

“I can be a three down linebacker. I did it. I played all three downs in my last year,” he said. “Against Texas A&M I played the ‘mike’ the whole game, the inside backer covering backs and tight ends. Against other teams I played outside and played all three downs. I rushed and dropped from the end position. I can drop and I can cover. I don’t know why people feel that way. It doesn’t matter to me. Coach Ryan gave me an opportunity and I’m going to give it my all for the organization.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Ragland: Enlarged aorta is a non-issue

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2016 – 9:25 am

Medical reports are hugely important in player evaluations and draft grades heading into the NFL draft. Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith and UCLA’s Myles Jack are probably the two most notable examples in the 2016 NFL draft. Bills second-round pick Reggie Ragland was another linebacker who had a medical issue publicized in the 11th hour leading up to the draft. Ragland didn’t understand why however, since he had been cleared by every doctor that examined him.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ragland explained how his enlarged aorta was checked by every doctor at the NFL combine and by an additional specialist. Who decided to make it an issue is something he can’t explain.

“Going into the combine I talked to the doctor and I got some extra tests done and I was good,” Ragland said. “Then I went to a specialist and she said I was good. Somebody put that out and teams got scared. They thought there was more to it, but there wasn’t. It was just the same. I’m good to go. I just have to get it checked once a year, but I’m good to go.”

Bills GM Doug Whaley said Buffalo’s medical staff completely cleared Ragland as well.

“We would’ve taken him at 19,” Whaley said. “There was no concern at all.”

According to medical research there are several dietary steps that can be taken to keep an enlarged aorta from growing any more and presenting future risks.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Ragland’s chance meeting with the Ryans

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2016 – 8:53 am

Before his pre-draft meeting with the Bills in Orchard Park, Alabama LB Reggie Ragland ran into Bills head coach Rex Ryan and Assistant head coach Rob Ryan in a chance meeting a month before the draft.

Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ragland said he ran into the two coaches in Birmingham, Alabama of all places.

“Coach Ryan, it’s funny because about two months ago, a couple of days after my pro day and I’m walking out of the mall in Birmingham and both coach Ryans are walking into the mall,” Ragland said. “I stopped them for a second and we just got to talking for a second. When I came up on my visit coach Ryan told me he could tell I was raised up well by my parents because I was saying, ‘Yes sir and no sir.’ He could tell I was a good person, so he knew he’d be getting a good person off the field and a good football player. My parents always told me that a first impression means everything, so I always try to make a good first impression to everybody that I meet.”

On his pre-draft visit Ragland said he got a good vibe from Buffalo’s head coach and is encouraged to be playing for a defensive mind like Ryan.

“I had a great time with coach Ryan. He’s a down to earth person, but you can tell when he hits that football field he’s fired up,” Ragland said. “I’m very excited because I always wanted to play for coach Ryan because he’s always put his players in a position to be successful.”

 


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Whaley: Ragland a born leader

Posted by Chris Brown on May 2, 2016 – 4:05 pm

The Bills do their best to make the most of their pre-draft visits. Often times they’ll host players in small groups on purpose. It’s designed to get a gauge on a player’s personality makeup. Bills second-round pick Reggie Ragland was on such a visit in Buffalo and by all accounts stood out.

Buffalo had Ragland for both an NFL combine interview and a pre-draft visit, and on the pre-draft visit there were other prospects in town as well.

“We had another guy from Alabama and a couple of other prospects,” said GM Doug Whaley during an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550. “When you’re sitting down at dinner you’d like to see how they interact with each other, especially their teammates. He controlled the room, not only with his teammates, but with guys from other teams. Everybody says leaders are born, not made. This guy however he got it, he has it.”

 


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Don’t doubt Ragland

Posted by Chris Brown on April 30, 2016 – 12:35 am

Reggie Ragland knows the doubters are out there. Some don’t believe he’s athletic enough to play on third down in coverage assignments. Some wonder if his straight line speed is sufficient enough to make plays sideline to sideline. Ragland doesn’t pay attention to the critics. Just tell him he can’t do something and watch what he does.

When asked on a conference call after being drafted if he could play the weak inside linebacker position after being mainly a true mike linebacker in college, Ragland had a straightforward response.

“I can do it, you give me the opportunity so I can show you I can do,” said Ragland. “I am not scared of competition I am not going to back down from nobody. That is how I have always been. I had to earn my way at Alabama to play and that is what I am going to do here.”


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Bills front 7 haul has 2 Players of the Yr.

Posted by Chris Brown on April 29, 2016 – 8:13 pm

The Buffalo Bills in two rounds have acquired two very accomplished players for their defense. Bills GM Doug Whaley was quick to outline their credentials as he approached the lectern following the pick of Reggie Ragland in round two.

“Well we started the draft with the ACC Player of the Year, so we decided to back it up with the SEC Defensive Player of the Year,” said Whaley. “We made a concerted effort to improve the defense and I think we did it. It’s that carbon copy phrase, best player on the board. We would’ve taken this guy at 19. That’s how high he was on our board.”

 


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