Inside The Bills

TE Mulligan doesn’t mind journeyman label

Posted by Chris Brown on June 19, 2015 – 9:59 am

Bills newest TE Matthew Mulligan, who signed Thursday, has been with seven different NFL clubs in seven NFL seasons (practice squad year in Miami). He was with three teams last year alone, as he spent time with Arizona, Chicago and Tennessee. But if you ask Mulligan if he’s bothered by that he’s not. He doesn’t mind being called a journeyman.

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show Thursday night, Mulligan explained why he’s got no problem with a resume that has a lot of NFL clubs on it.

“It is a lot (of teams), but I’m thankful for it,” he said. “I think if it was only my second year you might think what’s going on, but in order to be a journeyman and be in your eighth year like me you have to actually have some quality play. I’m thankful for every spot I’ve been in. It’s molded and shaped me and I’m thankful to be here now.”

Mulligan believes a lot of of NFL teams in the early stages of the offseason look for tight ends that offer more “flash and dash” and can score points by making plays. Then as training camp draws closer they realize they need more of a blue collar mentality at tight end.

“Once teams gets to offseason practices or training camps teams seem to realize that they need somebody who can set the edge,” said Mulligan. “That’s what I’ve hung my hat on my entire career. Just being able to fight with those outside linebackers and those big defensive ends and I’ve been able to hold my own and I’m thankful for the opportunity.”

Mulligan, who spent his first three seasons in the league on the field under Rex Ryan, explained what it is about his personal game that he thinks appeals to Ryan.

“I think Rex Ryan just wants a guy who can get his hands dirty and be physical,” Mulligan said. “That’s one of Rex’s mantras. You better be physical and bring your lunch pail every day. The physicality of my game is one of the things that stood out for him.”

 


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FA OT Hunter in on tryout basis

Posted by Chris Brown on June 17, 2015 – 4:11 pm

He hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2012 season, but free agent OT Wayne Hunter was at practice Wednesday with the Bills on a tryout basis.

Hunter, 33, last played in the league for St. Louis in the 2012 season appearing in 14 games making four starts. He has a history with Rex Ryan, playing under him in three of his four seasons with the Jets. Hunter was a full-time starter for Ryan in New York during the 2011 season.

Buffalo hasn’t made a secret of seeking out additional offensive tackle help to boost their numbers at the position for training camp. Hunter wore jersey 75.


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Aaron on track for training camp

Posted by Chris Brown on June 17, 2015 – 2:07 pm

Aaron Williams, who is coming off of offseason surgery, has not seen any action in the spring and that has carried through to the mandatory minicamp. According to Rex Ryan, Williams will be good to go come training camp at the end of July.

“Aaron should be ready to go,” said Ryan. “He’s sitting in there in the meetings, and it’s tough for some positions. Like Leodis (McKelvin) will come in and play corner like it’s nothing. But playing safety is a more challenging position mentally and the communication part of it and all that. With Aaron not being able to go we’ll see how it goes. He seems to be sharp and I’m looking forward to seeing him on the field.”


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Rex tips hat to season ticket fan base

Posted by Chris Brown on June 17, 2015 – 2:02 pm

Naturally Bills head coach Rex Ryan is aware of the record-breaking figure for season tickets this offseason. He’s sensed the excitement in Western New York since he was hired. Having coached on the opposite sideline several times here in Buffalo he wasn’t the least bit surprised by the fan support for the team.

“The commitment from our fan base is tremendous,” said Ryan. “I knew before I ever came here how awesome these fans are. This is just another thing to reinforce it. We’re all excited about the season. And it’s not just our schedule—I get it, there’s a lot of good teams on our schedule that we’re playing here. But our fans aren’t coming to see the opponent, they’re coming to see the Buffalo Bills. They’re seeing their football team.

“That’s what exciting to me because when you come here, you’re not just playing the Bills, you’re playing this fan base, our fans, you’re playing our football team, but you’re playing the community. And our community takes a great deal of pride in our football team. This is about us. Was I excited about that (season ticket record)? Darn right I was, man. C’mon in here and get a piece of this.”


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QBs not surprised competition is tight

Posted by Chris Brown on June 16, 2015 – 5:54 pm

All three of Buffalo’s quarterbacks in the competition for the starting job had their moments on Tuesday, but head coach Rex Ryan said he’s not expecting true separation until training camp.

“There’s not going to be any separation until the pads come on,” said Ryan. “It’s not going to be won until we get to playing real football. I think the number one thing is to pick the right guy. Is time on our side a little bit? Yes it is. In an ideal world, would you rather have your quarterback named by now? Yeah. That’s an ideal situation. But you know what — we’re not there.  We’re in an ideal situation to have competition at that spot and I welcome it.”

Ryan’s comments that the competition figures to stretch well into training camp is anything but surprising to Buffalo’s signal callers. They figured the offensive staff would wait until real football when more realistic decision making becomes part of the competition.

“I figured that’s what it kind of would be anyway just by the way we’ve been rotating in OTAs and in minicamp,” said EJ Manuel. “It is what it is. I think the way you have to go into this thing is do your best with the reps that you get and at the end of the day they’ll make the decision that’s best for the team.”

When asked if he felt the competition was close Manuel simply sees all three QBs in the competition faring well.

“I think we’re all doing a good job,” he said. “Everybody is being very sharp and picking up the offense like coach Roman wants us to do pretty quickly. When you’re playing against good competition in the league that’s how it is so it’s the little small things that will separate all of us.”


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Rex on addition of DT Fluellen

Posted by Chris Brown on June 16, 2015 – 3:26 pm

The Bills might have one of the deepest defensive line corps in the league, but it didn’t keep them from adding a veteran wave defensive tackle in Andre Fluellen Tuesday.

Head coach Rex Ryan explained the roster move after Tuesday’s minicamp practice.

“You can’t have enough good players,” said Ryan. “When you add to the competition those are real positive things. I just saw him out there, I’m like there’s a young kid who’s played in the league a little bit, and he can run. He’s got some movement skills.”

The only issue Ryan did have is that Fluellen is yet another Florida State product on the Bills roster.

“I don’t like the fact that he’s a Florida State guy like half our roster,” said Ryan. “We need to get more Tigers in there.”

Ryan is partial to Clemson where his son is a receiver.


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Chris Williams & Henderson updates

Posted by Chris Brown on June 16, 2015 – 3:00 pm

The Bills had a couple of players who were not on the field at Buffalo’s mandatory minicamp. Two were players still rehabbing offseason procedures in Chris Williams and Aaron Williams. The third player had trouble traveling back to Buffalo.

That according to head coach Rex Ryan, who explained Seantrel Henderson’s absence Tuesday.

“He had some travel issues and was not in the building,” said Ryan. “You always tell guys, especially when you’re heading north, always try to prepare a little.  I’ll talk to him about that.”

As for Chris Williams, who has not been in attendance for any of the OTA practices, but was in the building Tuesday rehabbing, Ryan made it a point to speak with him at length.

“Chris is here and I know what he looks like. He’s a big dude,” said Ryan. “My conversation with Chris, I’ll just leave it as private.  There are voluntary camps.  Obviously, we knew Chris’ situation with his rehab and things. Nobody looks like him.”

Ryan said he expects to see Henderson back on the practice field Wednesday.


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What Rex has learned about QB competitions

Posted by Chris Brown on June 11, 2015 – 12:38 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan may have cut his teeth in the league on the defensive side of the ball, but he’s had more than enough experience dealing with big offensive decisions like who his starting quarterback will be. Having been through quarterback competitions before he knows how to handle his three-man competition with the Bills heading into mandatory minicamp.

Chief in the approach of weighing each of the quarterbacks against the other is not setting a drop dead date to make a decision.

“I don’t think you want to back yourself into it,” said Ryan. “If I give you a date and it comes back around to Week 2 and there’s no starting quarterback, I think I’ve learned you let that thing sit there. I think the appropriate time will be obvious to all of us if that happens.  It may not happen until the week of the Colts game, so we’ll see.”

We assessed the state of the Bills’ quarterback competition in our OTA Observations Wednesday.


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2 Bills assts. seen as head coaches in waiting

Posted by Chris Brown on June 11, 2015 – 11:26 am

Bills head coach Rex Ryan has said a few times how he has an all-star coaching staff. He’s also mentioned how he has three men on his staff who he thinks will be head coaches soon. Monday Morning Quarterback put together their list of potential future head coaches and a couple of Buffalo assistants made the list.

MMQB had both Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman and Assistant head coach/running backs coach Anthony Lynn. Here are the reasons they believe Roman and Lynn could be NFL sideline bosses in the near future.

Greg Roman, Buffalo, offensive coordinator
Age:
42

College: John Carroll
Pro experience: 17 seasons, five as coordinator (San Francisco 2011-14)
Resumé: The fast-rising coordinator has almost two decades of pro experience under his belt (despite having never played in the league) and a monumental test ahead of him. Infamously instructed to “take a hike” by the daughter of Niners general manager Trent Baalke on Twitter, Roman is well-liked in league circles despite a disastrous 2014 season. He takes the Bills job under defensive-minded head coach Rex Ryan, with the challenge of competing in the AFC East, with either Matt Cassel or EJ Manuel as his starting quarterback.
M.O.: Arguably the best running game architect in football today. And he knows it. If that confidence and intelligence translates into strong leadership, he could be some team’s diamond in the rough.

Anthony Lynn, Buffalo, running backs, assistant head coach
Age:
46

College: Texas Tech
Pro experience: 15 seasons
Résumé: Forced to retire early due to neck injuries, Lynn began his coaching career in Denver as a special teams assistant. Three teams later, Lynn coached the Jets’ running backs for all six years of Rex Ryan’s tenure. When Ryan was hired in Buffalo, Lynn followed. Ryan preached ground-and-pound, and Lynn was at the heart of its execution.
M.O.: Running backs coaches aren’t typically considered for head-coaching positions, but his job title in Buffalo includes “assistant head coach” for a reason. He’s a teacher of the game who sticks up for his guys.


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Lawson a big help at 2nd level

Posted by Chris Brown on June 10, 2015 – 4:14 pm

As we covered earlier this week on Buffalobills.com, Manny Lawson stands a very good chance of making an impact on defense very similar to the season he had for the Bills in 2013, when he was the club’s third-leading tackler with a fair amount of splash plays. Where Lawson is helping the defense most right now however, is with his pre-snap communication.

“Manny is a huge asset on the field because of what he can do playing-wise and what he can do for our offense collectively as far as communication,” said Kyle Williams. “He knows his job, the job of the guys around him and the reason why we’re disguising that way. He does a lot of things for us that we’re really going to need him for and he’s going to be a big asset for us.”

“Just coming in and knowing not just his assignments but how the defense works and talking it out, making sure he’s pulling defensive linemen over in different fronts, talking to the backers.  He’s been really impressive that way,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “I remember now and it shouldn’t surprise me, I think his test score coming out was the second highest I can remember for a defensive player, next to Eric Smith, who’s one of our coaches now.  He’s really a sharp guy. And obviously he’s got the height and the length you look for. I’ve been really pleased with him.”

 


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Robey ready to be aggressive again

Posted by Chris Brown on June 10, 2015 – 4:08 pm

Bills nickel corner Nickell Robey saw a big change from his role as a rookie in 2013 as the team’s nickel corner to his role in 2014. Though his position on the field was the same, what he was asked to do was not. It left him wanting to do more. With Rex Ryan and DC Dennis Thurman bringing in a defensive scheme similar to the one Robey played in two years ago, the third-year corner will get his wish.

Robey, who was a frequent blitzer in Buffalo’s 2013 scheme, said he’ll get the chance to do that again this fall.

“Just scheme-wise doing a lot more blitzing,” he said. “I’m playing a lot more aggressive coverages, but most of all doing a lot more blitzing. I love it. Coming off of Mario or coming off or Hughes it’s a great switch up because they’re all going to be keyed on them and then I just slide underneath them. It’s like a giveaway. It’s real easy.”

While there may be similarities between Ryan and Thurman’s scheme to that of their former colleague Mike Pettine’s system played by the Bills in 2013, Ryan maintains there’s plenty that’s different too.

“You guys want to paint it as the same scheme, but it’s not,” Ryan said. “Some things are similar but it’s a new defense. There’s a lot of things that we ask. Ours is more of an audible defense than he’s been in in the past. He picks it up well.  He’s going to have a big impact. He’s a little man with a big impact on the game. I’m glad he’s our nickel.”

Robey sees some of those differences.

“It’s a lot more aggressive,” he said. “I feel like the coverage is more aggressive on the back end and the D-line is able to rush more aggressively so it helps out better. Last year I was more just coverage basically and softer coverage too. I didn’t get to do everything that I wanted to do as far as being aggressive and being able to play like I really wanted to play. This year Rex is allowing me to do that.”


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Ryan on addition of Buchanan

Posted by Chris Brown on June 4, 2015 – 8:25 am

Bills newest DE Michael Buchanan got his first practice in on Wednesday with his new Buffalo teammates. He got some time with the second unit at defensive end as he begins to get a handle on the playbook. Head coach Rex Ryan explained why Buchanan was an appealing player for their defensive scheme.

“He’s a guy that’s got length, he’s got some pass rush ability,” said Ryan. “In our system he can be flexible. We’re looking for a guy who can compete to be the backup behind Jerry Hughes in particular. I think he has that. He has some pass rush ability and it’s kind of a—a guy has to have pass rush ability, drop ability, and length, and that’s hard to find—but he has those things.  The young man will be given an opportunity here.”


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Ryan: QB race still three-man competition

Posted by Chris Brown on June 3, 2015 – 5:08 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan thinks a lot of new QB Matt Simms, who he had on his roster in New York. Quarterbacks coach David Lee, who also worked with Simms while with the Jets, believes in his abilities as well. But according to Ryan it’s not going to make the offensive staff change the current three-man quarterback competition into a four-way battle.

“(The competition) is what it is right now,” said Ryan. “Three guys are going to be working at it, they’re splitting the reps.  Don’t kid yourself, Matt will get opportunities.  Will he get as many as the top three guys, probably not. One thing about Matt, I know he’ll take advantage of the opportunities he gets and I’m not saying he can’t make this team.”


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Fan Friday 5-29

Posted by Chris Brown on May 29, 2015 – 11:44 am

OTAs are underway and the pace of practice is crisp. Players are getting a ton of work in during these sessions. Let’s get to your latest round of questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills where’s Henderson lining up??

BlackArtVision

CB: In the first week of OTA practices Seantrel Henderson spent most of his time at left tackle with the second unit. Cordy Glenn was the starting left tackle with Cyrus Kouandjio manning the right side. Head coach Rex Ryan and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer have both stated that there will be a lot of rotation in these OTA practices between those top three tackles.

Buffalo has only four true tackles on the roster, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them add another before training camp just to have enough at the position to put on the field.

 

2 – Chris

Very disappointed that the Bills are willing participants in limiting access to one of their games, namely, the upcoming game in London. Sure, put it on digital, but also allow for normal distribution so fans less tech savvy or without internet access can have a nice big screen HD experience.

My specific question deals with the TV distribution: will the game just be on in Buffalo, or will other New York markets which normally see Bills’ games—Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton,e.g.—be able to watch on their televisions as usual.

Thanks for the info.
Sincerely,
James Delaney

CB: As it’s been explained to me the London game will be broadcast much like a Monday Night football game. Locally in Buffalo (and Jacksonville) it will be carried by CBS, but everywhere else it will be on a digital platform.

Those rights will be sold in the near future so for those folks in Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton and other upstate locales will have to keep an eye out for which digital platform landed the broadcasting rights. Some outfit like Apple, Facebook or Google figure to bid on it.

It will not be available on Sunday NFL Ticket on DirectTV.

It’s already been speculated that the NFL will probably look to strike a deal with one of those digital carriers who have the ability to stream on mobile devices. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but that’s where the technology is headed.

 

3 – Hey Chris,
I was wondering if u knew what Rex thinks of Jeff Tuel? I liked what I saw and wonder how far along he currently is and if he is going to be given the same chance to win the job.

Thanks
jmcabral86

CB: Coach Ryan has been pretty candid that it’s a three-man competition for the starting QB job and that Jeff Tuel is not one of those three candidates. He has not shared much about his view of Tuel as a quarterback, but to answer your question, no I do not believe, based on coach Ryan’s comments, that Tuel will be part of the competition at any point in this process.

 

4 – Hey Chris, my question is regarding the Bills offensive line.  As much as I am worried about it though, I do think without the draft in the books that we have some good competition.  I especially like the idea of Henderson moving to left tackle and Glenn moving to left guard.  Hopefully with all the work Kouandjio has put in he could work out and be the guy at right tackle with Incognito being at right guard.  My question to you is do you think this is a possibility? I wonder if our line wasn’t successful over the past two years because of the coaching and maybe they tried to force players to fit their scheme and not work to the players strength.  I notice that the coaches we have in place now like to play to the players strengths.  I would love your take on this.

Thanks for all your hard work as always,
Jillian

CB: While I don’t think you can rule out a Henderson to LT and Glenn to G move, I think it’s unlikely. The main reason why is because this team is down in numbers at the offensive tackle position. They have just four true offensive tackles on the roster with the fourth being undrafted rookie Tyson Chandler.

As I mentioned earlier I think they’ll keep an eye on the waiver wire to see if there’s a vet they can add for depth at the tackle position. But if nothing substantial develops on the open market, Glenn is probably the team’s best option at left tackle and Henderson and Kouandjio can fight for the right tackle gig.

 

5 – Chris,

I love reading your Fan Friday column on Twitter.  The coaches have talked about using 2 fields during training camp for the offense.  This is probably to get as many reps for all 4 QBs.  Would Greg Roman consider parking himself on a scaffold in between fields and call the plays using headsets just as in the game?  Thanks for considering my question.

Barry

CB: Rex Ryan addressed this very subject on the John Murphy Show this week. Essentially he said trying to watch both team sessions simultaneously is impossible. But that doesn’t mean they miss anything because they’ve got it all on tape to review. I suppose if he was up on scaffolding he’d have a better vantage point to watch both, but knowing all the pre-snap alignments and shifts that go on coaches want to watch the whole play. Trying to watch both units execute would prove supremely difficult according to Buffalo’s head coach.

“I tried to (watch both team sessions), and your heads on a swivel, you don’t see anything,” said Ryan. “You will pick it all up on tape, though.”

Ryan said this is the first time he’s implemented it as a head coach. He took it from offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who made use of it in San Francisco.

“We said, ‘Let’s give it a shot right now.’ It makes sense for development, especially for the younger players, and also about giving the reps to your quarterbacks,” Ryan said. “As we know, it’s a three man competition, they all need work. It’s not a true competition if you’re not going to give them work. I liked that today.  And I can understand the drill. I’ll be excited to watch the video, too, because now you get twice as many snaps (to evaluate).”
 


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Rex visits training camp

Posted by Chris Brown on May 28, 2015 – 8:36 pm

With the release of the Bills training camp schedule, head coach Rex Ryan also went out to visit the camp site at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford Thursday. Not surprisingly, Ryan was encouraged by the facilities, the layout of the campus and the people.

“First rate for training camp,” Ryan said. “It starts with the fields because our greatest asset is our players and their health. Fields are great, the way the dorms are set up, cafeteria, meetings rooms and the people I’ve met here have been over the top. So I’m excited about it.”

Ryan said the big difference for him with Bills training camp is the number of night practices, but there will be changes for players who were on the roster under the previous coaching staff.

“I think with us it’s going to be more reps than what they’ve done the last year or so,” he said. “We’re going to continue to two spot (run two units simultaneously). I think we’ll have more night practices than I’ve had in the past, which will be good for the fans out here. And for whatever reason the night practice picks up the intensity a little bit and that’s always good.”

While with the Jets they would usually have just one per training camp.

Ryan also said they’ll make more use of the two grass fields than the previous coaching staff.

“We want to use the grass as much as possible. You want to keep the guys’ legs fresh and make sure the fields are top rate,” said Ryan. “Not that we have a problem with the turf field, it’s great too and we’ll use it too.”


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Kouandjio putting himself in tackle mix

Posted by Chris Brown on May 28, 2015 – 12:32 pm

Bills second-year tackle Cyrus Kouandjio has put in a lot of work this offseason after admitting his mindset was not right for pro football as a rookie in 2014. All that work is beginning to pay off as Kouandjio has put himself in the mix at offensive tackle.

“Right now he’s getting a ton of reps, but there’s going to be competition there, no question about that,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “He’s looked good. He’s had a good offseason, so we’ll see what happens when the pads come on.”

Kouandjio lined up at the starting right tackle position this week in OTAs, while fellow second-year tackle Seantrel Henderson manned the left tackle spot with the second unit.

“We’re just rotating guys through, they’ve been switching left-right, even with Kouandjio, even with all three of those tackles we’ve been switching them,” said Ryan in reference to the pair of 2014 draft choices and veteran Cordy Glenn.


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Texas floods keep Goodwin away

Posted by Chris Brown on May 27, 2015 – 2:25 pm

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin was one of the few players who was not in attendance at OTAs on Wednesday. Head coach Rex Ryan explained how the flooding in Texas the last few weeks have kept planes on the ground in the Lone Star state.

“Unfortunately, we know the weather out in Texas and man, oh man,” said Ryan. “I saw the pictures in today’s paper and it’s like, wow, it’s hard to fathom being out here where it’s nice out. But man, what they’re dealing with is something. He’s been detained.  We’ll see how long that goes, I know he’s trying to get here, but obviously there are much more pressing needs than him being here in a voluntary camp.”

Ryan has not been in touch with Goodwin personally, but the club has spoken to him about his situation.

“I know he’s in touch with our guys,” said Ryan. “The main thing is obviously to take care of home first and then get back when everything is taken care of. Hopefully everything is OK, but I’m not sure.”

Chris Williams is another veteran player who has not been in attendance.


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McCoy, WRs sit with nicks

Posted by Chris Brown on May 27, 2015 – 2:23 pm

On day two of Bills OTAs, RB LeSean McCoy and a couple of wide receivers sat during practice. Head coach Rex Ryan provided an update following Wednesday’s practice.

McCoy along with rookie WR Dezmin Lewis, WR Tobais Palmer and WR Marcus Thigpen were all sidelined.

“We had a couple of issues at wide out,” said Ryan. “Thigpen went out with a hamstring. Lewis with a hamstring. Palmer had a groin, so those two were real limited today.”

Thigpen began practice, but left early. Meanwhile McCoy was a spectator due to a neck ailment.

“He’s got a little thing in his neck or something like that, but it’s not serious,” Ryan said. “It’s one of those things where we don’t need him out there.  He probably didn’t even have a helmet, he might have but I’m not sure.


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Rex on day 1 of OTAs

Posted by Chris Brown on May 26, 2015 – 5:20 pm

Day one of OTAs for the Bills was a closed practice, but head coach Rex Ryan provided his take on how things went Tuesday. 

“Well I liked the tempo of practice and I like the…you can tell that the guys are progressing from the mental part of it which is phase one and phase two and then putting back on the field not just against air, but they’re working against each other eleven on eleven so I think we’re doing pretty good that way from a mental standpoint,” he said. “I was impressed with some of the guys conditioning.  The tempo was good.  Pressing guys into two spots drills so you get almost twice as many reps but our team seemed to handle it pretty well.”


The team worked 11-on-11 at both ends of the field to maximize reps for all players according to Ryan, who said all but two players (Marquise Goodwin, Chris Williams) were in attendance at the voluntary practice Tuesday. 

 


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Whaley comments on EJ, Cassel

Posted by Chris Brown on May 23, 2015 – 8:32 am

Bills GM Doug Whaley made an appearance on the Jim Rome Show this week and naturally was asked about the quarterback competition, which will ramp up again when OTAs start on Tuesday.

First, Whaley was asked about the speculative story that Manuel was potentially on the outs with the club this season absent improvement or if he’s unable to win the starting job. Much like offensive coordinator Greg Roman, Whaley dismissed that notion.

“I look at it this way, in this business controversy sells,” Whaley said. “The more controversy that you can drum up then the more interesting people are going to be with whoever brought this idea to the lexicon of thinking. So for us we’re excited about the future of all three of those guys. It’s going to be a great competition. And we can keep three quarterbacks. So I dismiss that as just someone trying to get something stirred during this down time and lack of media stories for the NFL.”

As for his expectations for Manuel heading into the throes of the competition as more of the work moves to the field this spring, Whaley is only anticipating Manuel’s best.

“I look for him to come in and compete and try to take the job,” he said. “Everybody has got an equal footing. It’s a clean slate for all four of our quarterbacks. We’re not tied to anybody. We just want the best man to start. It’s exciting for us.”

Whaley also had good things to say about how Cassel has transitioned to Buffalo following the offseason trade from Minnesota.

“He’s been exactly what we expected,” said Whaley of Cassel. “A veteran force who can galvanize the team and he can teach the young guys the intricate things that quarterbacks do that doesn’t take place on the field. Bringing receivers in and talking about preferences and what he’s seeing. Basically a lot of the things that people on the outside don’t see. He’s done that and he’s not afraid of the challenge. He’s ready to compete.”

Whaley also confirmed that the quarterback competition is more than just a two horse race between Manuel and veteran Matt Cassel, mentioning both Tyrod Taylor and Jeff Tuel. Head coach Rex Ryan has made sure to mention Taylor when asked about the competition as well.

“The way they’re structuring practices everyone is getting a run with the ones,” said Whaley. “So it’s a fair shake. In this system that we’re trying to figure out who is going to be the number one it’s all about competition. That’s why everybody involved is excited about it.”


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