Inside The Bills

Ryan seeing penalty improvement

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2015 – 4:42 pm

This week in practice head coach Rex Ryan enacted a push-ups for penalties edict to help curb the rash of penalties the team has committed on Sundays. Buffalo leads the league with 47 assessed penalties in four games. When a flag is thrown by officials at practice everyone but the offending player has to get down and do 10 push-ups. On Wednesday there were a handful of instances. On Thursday things improved.

“We did better. We actually got better,” said Ryan after Thursday’s practice. “I think we only did 20 (push-ups), so that was an improvement. It’s just more the focus, and more the things that recognize and that…You know a penalty doesn’t help this team and so we gotta do whatever we can to fix that, and I believe we’re heading in that direction. I think we understand as a team now the severity of penalties.”

Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: Carpenter on FGs, Cundiff on KOs

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2015 – 4:39 pm

On Wednesday head coach Rex Ryan left the door open on who would be handling field goals attempts Sunday after the team signed veteran kicker Billy Cundiff. But on Thursday, Buffalo’s sideline boss laid out how kicking duties will be divided in Tennessee Sunday.

“We had Cundiff take the kickoffs (Thursday),” said Ryan after practice. “You know he did a pretty good job, had one mis-hit. And then we had Dan basically do the field goals. But we’ll see as it goes on. But that’s probably how we’re going to end up going in the game like that.”

Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins closer, Karlos unlikely for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2015 – 4:35 pm

Bills WR Sammy Watkins was trying to participate early in practice, but his work wound up being largely relegated to work on the side, while RB Karlos Williams did not practice for a second straight day. Head coach Rex Ryan admitted it’s looking less and less likely that either will be available Sunday.

At the same time Ryan is encouraged by Watkins’ progress as he tries to return from a calf injury.

“I’ll tell you what he’s getting close,” said Ryan of Watkins. “So we’ll see how he does. But he’s feeling a lot better and it won’t be long. I don’t know if it’ll be Sunday or not, but it’s not gonna be much longer.”

Meanwhile Karlos Williams hasn’t been on the practice field at all this week, which has Ryan pessimistic about Williams chances of playing Sunday at Tennessee.

“Well I mean I guess anything’s possible, you’re in the protocol, but the fact that he never practiced today with a concussion is probably…I don’t know it’s probably a reach,” Ryan said

Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Karlos, McCoy, Watkins head non-practice list

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2015 – 4:32 pm

UBNS image



Buffalo’s running back position was the lead position group on Buffalo’s injury list of non-participants. Both LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and Karlos Williams (concussion) did not practice Wednesday. Head coach Rex Ryan hasn’t ruled Watkins out for Sunday’s game yet.

“Sammy didn’t practice today, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t be available Sunday,” said Ryan. “We’ll see how it goes, how this week progresses.”

Veterans Kyle Williams and Percy Harvin sat out for what’s believed to be veteran rest days. Harvin has not practiced on a Wednesday all season.

OL John Miller returned to practice for the first time since his groin injury suffered in Miami in Week 3 and he was limited. LT Cordy Glenn was also limited with an ankle injury that forced him out of last week’s game for about a quarter before he returned.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday
MarQueis Gray TE Forearm DNP – I-R
LeSean McCoy RB Hamstring DNP
Sammy Watkins WR Calf DNP
Karlos Williams RB Concussion DNP
Bacarri Rambo S Quad DNP
Kyle Williams DT Calf DNP
Percy Harvin WR Hip DNP
Cordy Glenn T Ankle LP
Marquise Goodwin WR Ribs LP
Aaron Williams S Neck LP
John Miller G Groin LP
Corey Graham S Shoulder LP
Chris Hogan WR Hamstring LP

Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex on discipline for emotional penalties

Posted by Chris Brown on October 5, 2015 – 5:59 pm

The Bills have a total of 14 penalties that fall under the category of personal foul, unsportsmanlike conduct, taunting, etc. It represents nearly 30 percent of the penalties assessed against Buffalo this season. For those players that continue to let their emotions get the best of them and draw infractions like this could face team discipline per head coach Rex Ryan.

Ryan was asked if he would consider benching players that can’t keep their emotions in check.

“Yes,” said Ryan. “Now will we bench him permanently and all that stuff. No, sometimes I think it is more appropriate to sit a guy down if the emotions are getting the better of him. You know, but you can’t have, you can’t let a situation and we did earlier in the year with Aaron [Williams], but when you think it is crossing the line or something like that you have got to get a guy back and let him focus on the job at hand. Our job is not to try to correct an issue that we see. We think and fix it ourselves we can’t do it. You have to line up the next play and do your job.”

When asked by the media specifically about Jerry Hughes four personal foul penalties on the season, Ryan acknowledged it has to be rectified.

“That is something that you know can’t happen,” Ryan said. “You can’t let a play for instances, and not just Jerry [Hughes] but anybody. Maybe there is a hypothetical you think you are getting held or tackled or something like that, and they don’t give you a flag. You can’t now step over the line and do something yourself. You know have justice, it doesn’t work in this league. You know vigilante, we don’t need that. And Jerry is a great football player, but if there is a negative about Jerry we have to get that curtailed. He doesn’t need to get a personal foul player, he is too good a player.”


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins status uncertain for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 5, 2015 – 1:27 pm

Sammy Watkins missed Sunday’s game against the Giants with a calf injury. When asked about the receiver’s outlook for this week’s game against Tennessee, head coach Rex Ryan there are no new updates on Watkins.

“I have no idea,” said Ryan of Watkins status. “Hopefully we’ll know more about it (Tuesday). He looked good and he’s moving around decent. So hopefully that’s a good sign, but I’m certainly not the guy who will decide that.”


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

TE Gray has fractured forearm

Posted by Chris Brown on October 5, 2015 – 1:24 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan provided an injury update on TE MarQueis Gray Monday.

“Gray might have a broken bone in his forearm,” said Ryan.

When asked if it’s an injury he can play with, Ryan wasn’t sure.

“Obviously a fractured forearm doesn’t sound very good,” Ryan said. “So we’ll see, but he’ll meet with the experts on that.”

Ryan also said that Bacarri Rambo has a thigh contusion from Sunday’s game.

Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex not getting down over Watkins’ status

Posted by Chris Brown on October 3, 2015 – 10:20 am

Bills head coach Rex Ryan is just as frustrated as Sammy Watkins is that he won’t be able to suit up this week. After an offseason of rehab from hip surgery and now a calf injury it’s been tough not having Watkins being a difference maker on the field. But Ryan knows when Watkins is fully healthy he’s going to be a major headache for Buffalo opponents.

“Sammy is a great player. There’s a reason why Sammy Watkins was drafted where he was drafted. He’s an unbelievable talent. Unfortunately this year he hasn’t been healthy. We saw glimpses of it, and then he gets hurt again. It’s just an unfortunate thing, but when this kid is healthy nobody is going to question why he was taken where he was taken,” said Ryan.

Ryan believes in Watkins so much that he even admitted it was one of the attractive qualities about the team that made him want to coach the Bills.

“I know he’s a super talent. It’s just a matter of getting him healthy and getting him out there. Part of when he had the surgery it takes away a little bit of your conditioning and all those things. He has the pull in camp and misses time and now he’s got something else. It’s just one of those things. I know when this guy is healthy he is a bona fide, legit number one receiver in this league.”

Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Red zone success rooted in variety, repetition

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2015 – 4:48 pm

The Bills currently rank second in the league in red zone touchdown efficiency with an 83.3 percent success rate behind only Arizona at a little over 91 percent. Buffalo credits their success to a couple of factors.

One is variety. Buffalo has five red zone touchdowns on six trips to the red zone this season and they’ve come from five different players on offense. Boobie Dixon (1-yd run, Wk 1), Tyrod Taylor (7-yd, run, Wk 2), Charles Clay (9-yd rec., Wk 2), Karlos Williams (2-yd run, Wk 2) and LeSean McCoy (10-yd rec., Wk 3).

“To me that’s the crux of what we do because in this league pretty much anybody can take away anybody if they really wanted to,” said offensive coordinator Greg Roman. “If you’re trying to force the ball to a guy all game as you see some teams do, the results aren’t what we’re looking for. I think it just speaks to our breadth of talent. Guys who are able to be involved in the game plan and the quarterback distributing the ball to the right person.”

“We have a ton of playmakers that are going out there and winning their one-on-one matchups and it’s up to me to find those matchups,” said Tyrod Taylor. “Coach Roman gives me an opportunity to pick a side on certain plays that we call based on the look that we get. And I’m finding the open guy and they’re doing their job as far as winning and the line is doing a good job of protecting even when they bring the blitz.”

The second reason for Buffalo’s offensive success in the red zone is repetition. According to Bills head coach Rex Ryan they spend extra time each week on their red zone plays.

“We spend a little more time in the red zone,” Ryan told in his weekly Coffee with the Coach segment presented by Tim Horton’s. “More games are won and lost in the red zone than probably anywhere else. Third down is certainly important. You cover every facet, but we spend a big chunk of our time working on the red zone.”


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

McCoy, Miller, Watkins all sidelined Thursday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 1, 2015 – 3:34 pm

UBNS imageBills head coach Rex Ryan said it wasn’t looking promising for three of his offensive starters to be ready to return to the lineup Sunday against the Giants. All three were unable to practice for a second straight day on Thursday.

LeSean McCoy, John Miller and Sammy Watkins all sat out practice putting their availability for Sunday in further doubt. Ryan was asked if he doesn’t think McCoy or Watkins will play.

“We don’t want to say out,” said Ryan. “But yeah, I mean you guys can figure it out. They haven’t practiced the whole week and all that stuff. But there is that chance (they play).”

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday Participation Thursday
LeSean McCoy RB Hamstring DNP DNP
John Miller G Groin DNP DNP
Sammy Watkins WR Calf DNP DNP
Marquise Goodwin WR Ribs LP LP
Dan Carpenter K Left Knee LP LP
Aaron Williams S Neck LP LP
Percy Harvin WR Hip DNP FP
Tyrod Taylor QB Ankle FP FP
Preston Brown LB Hamstring FP FP

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex understands Giants WR challenge

Posted by Chris Brown on September 30, 2015 – 10:31 am

The Giants have a formidable receiving corps that they’ll be able to throw at Buffalo’s defense on Sunday. Head coach Rex Ryan is all too familiar with New York’s receiving talents. In an appearance on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show this morning (Wednesday) he addressed the task of covering Odell Beckham Jr., Rueben Randle and a potential vet who might return to the Giants lineup this week.

“Obviously he’s got great speed as everyone knows, but his hands, he can catch anything,” said Ryan of Beckham. “I love the way he competes for the ball. Sometimes we’ll have two on him, sometimes we’ll have one, sometimes we’ll have a bunch of guys on him. Rueben Randle on the other side is an excellent receiver as well and they’re talking about getting (Victor) Cruz back so it’ll be a big challenge for us, but we’ll see.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

Option of resting McCoy to be left to experts

Posted by Chris Brown on September 28, 2015 – 3:58 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan was asked about the merits of resting LeSean McCoy this week against the Giants in light of the fact that McCoy felt his ailing hamstring was acting up on him again. Ryan intends to lean on the team’s medical and athletic training staff to determine the best course of action.

“Well we will consider doing anything that is in the best interest of our football team and our players,” said Ryan. “So if that is… I am not going to say yeah I will rest him. I think I will let our experts look at that. Our doctors and our trainers all that type of stuff. They will tell me and I think that is what we will do.”

Ryan said after the game Sunday evening that even at 80 percent McCoy can be a difference maker.

Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex praises protection & WRs on offense

Posted by Chris Brown on September 28, 2015 – 2:59 pm

After reviewing the film there were two things that stood out for Bills head coach Rex Ryan. How his offensive line protected Tyrod Taylor and how his wide receivers blocked downfield.

“I think the number one thing it started with protection on offense against a pretty good pass rush from Miami,” sayd Ryan. “They might not have the numbers, but they have some talent there. And when Tyrod [Taylor] had time he did a good job. He had some open receivers. I really like the way [Chris] Hogan stepped in and played, specifically he did a great job. And I don’t know if you can tell or not, but our receivers, I am proud of the way we are blocking. Unselfish guys.

“I know [Robert] Woods got a 15-yard penalty for taking a guy on his back or something, but he has been doing a tremendous job, Hogan is blocking well. Percy Harvin, we have him blocking their best linebacker yesterday and things. But unselfish, and that is the mark of a good team, that is the type of team we want to be. It also will lead to big runs for us and I think we saw that a little bit as the game went on.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

Humid weather couldn’t chase Rex’s sweater vest

Posted by Chris Brown on September 28, 2015 – 7:57 am

The temperature on the field was in the upper 80’s Sunday, and the humidity wasn’t far behind making for some sticky weather in Miami for the Bills game with the Dolphins. Head coach Rex Ryan however, wasn’t changing his game day routine. His sweater vest was out in full force along with a long sleeve shirt underneath.

“Dude, that’s what I always do,” said Ryan when asked why he wore a sweater vest in Miami. “I figure if the players are out there hot, I can do it. And then when it’s cold you’ll see me in this and that’s it, so the same thing. Plus the only reason I really wear it is I think I look good in it.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins update

Posted by Chris Brown on September 27, 2015 – 11:55 pm

Bills WR Sammy Watkins suffered a calf injury in the first half of Sunday’s win over Miami. For Watkins there have been a few frustrating injuries stretching back to his rookie season when broken ribs in the preseason were followed by a hip problem that required his surgery in the offseason. Now three weeks into the 2015 season his time on the field was cut short by an injury that kept him from driving off his right leg.

“Well, it’s a calf, and obviously he couldn’t press off it at the end to where he could go out and play,” said Rex Ryan after the game Sunday. “I loved coming here (to coach Buffalo) because I knew he was on the team, but it’s like, golly let’s get him healthy and get him to where he can be Sammy Watkins. That would be awesome.”

Watkins will be re-evaluated on Monday. In Watkins’ absence the Bills went primarily with Percy Harvin, Robert Woods and Chris Hogan at receiver.

Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex tips hat to McCoy

Posted by Chris Brown on September 27, 2015 – 11:51 pm

Bills RB LeSean McCoy got his first touchdown as a Bill Sunday on a 10-yard catch in the first half to put the team up 14-0 en route to a blowout win. But it was a lot of the dirty work that McCoy did in the offensive backfield that earned some new respect from his head coach.

“LeSean McCoy—he’s out there sometimes on one-and-a-half legs, but he’s unselfish,” said Ryan. “He’s doing a great job picking up blitzes. I feel frustrated for him because I know the kind of mark he wants to put on this team, but physically right now he’s not quite back to where we need him to be. He just has to keep going.”

Ryan is referencing McCoy’s hamstring injury suffered in the preseason that has kept him from performing at an optimum level for the Bills run game.

“He’s such a weapon,” said Ryan. “If he just gets a little bit back, just a little better, a little better, a little better, eventually all the way back, then that would be fantastic. It’s so hard to [give him time off] because he’s such a great player. Williams is a hoss there’s no doubt about that. We have to do what’s in the best interest of our football team and LeSean also. Golly, he’s such a good player. He at 80 percent, then he’s still a heck of a player.”

Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Penalties prevalent across NFL

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2015 – 4:31 pm

Through the first two weeks of the NFL season there have been more penalties called than any other time in the history of the league. NFL columnist Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News shed some good light on the subject in a column this week. He reported that the 298 penalties last week alone were the largest total in 14 years. While there is an adjustment period for the players with the new points of emphasis being called more stringently by the officials, the flags have been flying more often than ever before. The Bills, who had 14 penalties for 140 yards last week, had some penalties that one could attribute to adjusting to the points of emphasis this season, which includes defensive holding.

“They have points of emphasis every week and you have to pay attention to it,” said defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman. “Whatever those points are you have to make sure you’re coaching your guys the proper way. Sports is played with your eyes and your feet. Your eyes show you where to go and your feet get you there. When you use your hands, you’re probably not going to be that effective.”

Buffalo also had a handful of 15-yard penalties that were a byproduct of an overemotional team. Rex Ryan has pledged to have one of the most disciplined teams moving forward and asserted that he’ll control his own language on the sidelines as part of that effort.

Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Big WRs not a bother for Robey in slot

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2015 – 9:44 am

One of the newer offensive trends in NFL passing games is to make use of a size receiver in the slot. In Week 1 the Bills saw that from the Colts when they used Andre Johnson inside. This week they’re likely to see the Dolphins move Jarvis Landry in to the slot. Landry is just 5-11, but he carries a broad frame and is great on contested passes. Bills slot corner Nickell Robey however, isn’t worried about facing bigger receivers inside.

“It’s actually… I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging because it’s kind of easier because I’m always dealing with quicker guys,” Robey said. “But now I’ve got more big-bodied guys so it’s more slower routes, more developing routes. So it’s not like little quick routes like (Julian) Edelman or (Danny) Amendola. It’s more like down the field routes, across the field routes, out breaking routes.

“But the big guys being inside I don’t really see a switch up in my job. The routes are just more slow developing thant he normal quick game I always get. I usually get quick slant, quick outs, option routes. I’m used to things like that, but now I’m getting bigger guys like Andre Johnson, you get longer routes, deeper routes, across the field routes.”

Bills defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman doesn’t raise much of an eyebrow to the bigger receivers moving inside either.

“It’s no different than them using another tight end,” said Thurman. “Some of these wide receivers are the same size as tight ends, height-wise. Some of them are weighing in an excess of 230, 235 pounds. So just like using another tight end. They’re trying to manipulate the middle of the field. They figure the safety and linebackers can’t cover them. So I believe that’s one of the reasons why they’re doing it.”

Thurman and head coach Rex Ryan have a lot of faith in Robey inside. The only area where that big-bodied receiver can be an issue is in the red zone.

“Oh jump ball, jump ball for sure,” said Thurman. “They’re smart. All they want to do is score points and that’s one way to use your height to your advantage – definitely down in the red zone. But it’s becoming the in vogue thing to do and so you’ll continue to see more and more of it.”

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: Better team discipline starts with me

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2015 – 10:49 am

Two weeks into the regular season the Bills lead the league in penalties assessed with 25 after an eye opening 14 for 140 yards. Better team discipline is the obvious aim and head coach Rex Ryan put himself at the top of that list.

“I put it on myself first,” Ryan said. “I think I have to do a better job of staying in control too and this team’s very much like me. But I have to hold myself accountable just like I hold the team accountable and so it starts with me. I’m not going to be as animated or whatever if you will. I’ve got to control my language I think a little bit sometimes on the sideline. I think that’ll help, that’s going to be the first thing and then our team as well.

“We want to be the least penalized team in the league and that’s kind of a goal we’re shooting for moving forward. Probably dead last in the league right now but we want to be the least penalized team.”

Among the penalties called on the Bills last week was a bench penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Ryan said that penalty was on him for his foul language.

Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

EJ knows what his promotion means

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2015 – 4:21 pm

With the trade of Matt Cassel to Dallas, EJ Manuel is now the team’s backup quarterback behind Tyrod Taylor. Manuel knows how the urgency of his role changes now being in the number two spot.

“For me, I’m in the second position now, I know I am one play away from getting back on the field,” Manuel said.
“I have to do my job as a backup now, be prepared and be ready to go if my number gets called any of these Sundays.”

Rex Ryan said the trade of Cassel would not have happened had the organization not believed in the way that Manuel raised his game and level of play through the preseason. Manuel was asked how it feels to know the coaching staff has that kind of faith in him.

“It feels great.  I’ve been saying since the preseason, I feel like I did what I was supposed to do showing what I can do and showing my growth as a quarterback,” said Manuel. “Really happy to hear Coach say that about me.”

Manuel also appreciated what Cassel did for Buffalo’s quarterback room and his game personally.

“We’re definitely going to miss Matt, I reached out to him last night once I found out,” said Manuel. “I’m excited for him, getting an opportunity in Dallas. I learned a bunch from him, not just football X’s and O’s, but also how to be a professional. I think he really helped our room, so we’re going to miss him.”

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills