Inside The Bills

Terry Pegula clears air on ultimatum reports

Posted by Chris Brown on October 23, 2016 – 10:50 am

In an interview with USA Today’s Tom Pellisero, Bills owner Terry Pegula cleared the air on media reports that he gave GM Doug Whaley and head coach Rex Ryan an ultimatum that the team had to make the playoffs in 2016 or they’d be out of work.

— On a report from The Buffalo News that Pegula told Ryan and Whaley near the end of last season to make the playoffs in 2016 or be fired: “The famous ultimatum that I supposedly gave them, I wasn’t even in town that day. I was up at my lake in the Adirondacks.”

— On 2016 as playoffs-or-bust for his football brain trust: “Oh, no way. No way.”

— On how long he envisions Ryan and Whaley leading his franchise: “I don’t even think that’s a fair question, because it’s not even entered my mind that anybody needs to go.”

“Our coach needs to know that, through the good and the bad, there’s stability. The players need to know there’s stability,” Pegula said. “And by the way, that doesn’t help our players any to start reading that their coach is going to get fired.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills family supports Eric Wood at Flights & Bites

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


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

Dareus update

Posted by Chris Brown on October 17, 2016 – 8:23 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan said there was no timetable on when Marcell Dareus would return to the lineup. They just have to let the defensive tackle’s injured hamstring heal.

When asked about the chances for Dareus to suit up this week, Ryan was withholding judgment.

“We’ll see how it goes,” Ryan said. “That hamstring kept him out of this game. It’s crazy. We spent a third of this season already and he hadn’t been out there. It’s also a positive thing in that we have to get the big dude back. Hopefully it’s sooner than later. There’s really no timetable for him that I’ve talked with our trainers about or anything else. It just has to get better.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: Shaq might need week or so to be game ready

Posted by Chris Brown on October 17, 2016 – 8:18 pm

Shaq Lawson will practice this week according to head coach Rex Ryan, but playing in his first NFL game this week might be a tall order. Here’s why.

Lawson is still on the Reserve/PUP list and can remain there as the team has a three week window in which to let him practice before they have to decide when they want to add him to the active roster. He could be added to the 53 as early as this week, but playing on Sunday in Miami after just three or four days of NFL practices under his belt seems like a big ask.

Ryan gave indication of that when asked what kind of role can be expected of Lawson this week with the Dolphins on tap.

“I don’t know if we can say for this week, but I think moving forward I think is get in there give some, spell some guys, and then maybe can he play in the sub team,” Ryan said. “Can he do different things? We are going to find out. We know he is a really good talent and I think combined with the players that we have, I think it will be good. I think as far as saying well is he a starter, well no he is not going to start now. I think Lorenzo Alexander has earned that. But we are going to work Shaq in there now.”

This week of practice will likely be designed to get his feet wet, let him physically rep plays and see where he fits best in terms of an initial role. Then as he gets on the field on game days and gains more experience and a feel for playing with his new teammates they can find ways to expand his role as long as he’s making progress.

Lawson missed all of the team’s OTA practices, minicamp, training camp and the preseason. He had one rookie minicamp practice out of pads before he underwent shoulder surgery. So it’s fair to think that it will take a week or so to get him back up to game speed and in some form of game shape. If I were to guess, I’d say seeing him make his debut in Week 8 is probably more likely than this Sunday in Miami.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: We’re not good enough to look past 49ers

Posted by Chris Brown on October 16, 2016 – 10:25 am

The San Francisco 49ers have struggled out of the gate this season. Their 1-4 record is largely due to a lack of playmaking in games by their most talented players. It reached the point where head coach Chip Kelly had to make a change at quarterback, inserting Colin Kaepernick this week. But Bills head coach Rex Ryan said his team is not looking past the next opponent on the schedule at any point this season because they’re not good enough themselves to do that.

“This is a dangerous team, no question about it,” said Ryan of the 49ers. “And let me tell you, I get it we’ve won three games in a row, but we haven’t won four games in a row. We need to focus on this opponent, and believe me we will. If we lose, it’s not going to have anything to do with the fact that we overlooked somebody, that’s not happening here.

“We know, number one we’re not that good. We aren’t good enough to overlook anybody–let alone the 49ers. This is a good football team. They do a lot of stuff on offense man, they challenge you and it’s hard to simulate that kind of tempo that you get and then they are very multiple in the way they attack you. And then on defense, (SF defensive coordinator) Jim O’Neil is dialing them up and doing a lot of different things so the preparation has to be great. The attention to detail has to be great just to give us an opportunity to be successful.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kouandjio, Henderson close to return

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2016 – 12:45 pm

For the first time since Week 3, Cyrus Kouandjio was participating on the practice field. He was only limited in practice Friday, but was encouraged by how his recovering ankle held up.

“It felt good,” Kouandjio told “I’m encouraged.”

Kouandjio suffered a high ankle sprain in the win over the Cardinals and had not been on the practice field until Friday. Kouandjio is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game, but all that time off the field has head coach Rex Ryan thinking he needs a full week of practice heading into a game.

“In a pinch we could probably go with him, but I’m not so sure he’ll be active this game,” said Ryan. “Probably not, but he seems to think that he can go.”

Meanwhile fellow offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson got an entire week of work in after coming off the Reserve/Suspended list. Whether he’s ready to serve as a swing tackle appears to be undecided at this point.

“He seems to be doing pretty well for us,” said Ryan. “I’m excited about him just getting out there and really getting a full week of work in there. We’ll see what that means moving forward.”

DT Marcell Dareus – hamstring

OT Cordy Glenn – ankle
CB Corey White – shoulder
DT Corbin Bryant – ankle
P Colton Schmidt – quad
OL Patrick Lewis – knee
LB Zach Brown – ankle
S Aaron Williams – ankle
TE Charles Clay – knee
OT Cyrus Kouandjio – ankle

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex less optimistic about Dareus Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2016 – 2:39 pm

He’s not ruling him out, but it’s looking more and more like Marcell Dareus will not make his season debut in Week 6 against the 49ers.

With Dareus missing a second straight day of practice with a hamstring injury, head coach Rex Ryan

“I would say probably (less optimistic) because he hasn’t practiced the last two days,” said Ryan. “We’re still not going to rule him out, but yeah I wish he could’ve practiced.”

Here’s a look at Buffalo’s injury update from Thursday.

OT Cyrus Kouandjio – ankle
DT Marcell Dareus – hamstring
LB Jerry Hughes – rest day

OT Cordy Glenn – ankle
CB Corey White – shoulder
DT Corbin Bryant – ankle
P Colton Schmidt – right quad
OL Patrick Lewis – knee
LB Zach Brown – ankle
S Aaron Williams – ankle
TE Charles Clay – knee

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dareus update

Posted by Chris Brown on October 9, 2016 – 10:02 pm

As everyone knows Marcell Dareus was inactive due to a pulled hamstring suffered in practice Friday. Head coach Rex Ryan explained how it happened and his outlook moving forward after the Bills win over L.A.  

“He was ready to go until we had our Friday practice,” said Ryan. “He was looking fantastic guys, I mean absolutely fantastic and then he’s chasing the quarterback–E.J was breaking the pocket– and he’s chasing the quarterback full speed and he pulled his hamstring and it’s like, ‘You have got to be kidding me.’ We already missed him for four games and now we’re going to miss him against Todd Gurley and company. But, you know what, we did the right thing. We were never putting him out there, we need him healthy and we will see how it goes. 

“Hopefully he will get back on the field soon. You talk about some great tackles, you have this (Aaron) Donald kid who’ve I’ve said since day one is one of the best tackles in football (sarcasm), but you have our tackle who is pretty darn good too and he’s right there with him. I think he wanted to show everybody how good this guy is in Kyle Williams. It’s unfortunate he never got the opportunity today, but hopefully he’ll be out here this upcoming week.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Why Spikes has seen time on the edge

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2016 – 2:35 pm

Bills LB Brandon Spikes hasn’t seen a lot of playing time on defense, due in part to the stellar play of Preston and Zach Brown at the inside linebacker positions. But head coach Rex Ryan and his defensive staff have been trying to find ways to get him on the field here and there.

Knowing that if they want to have Lorenzo Alexander available to them for all 16 games in light of his eye-opening production on defense (4 sacks in first 4 games) they can’t play him 70-80 plays a game (he also plays on special teams), they’ve used Lerentee McCray as a rotational OLB for both Alexander and Jerry Hughes.

On obvious run downs, they’ve also sprinkled Spikes in at OLB to help set the edge in the run front. Spikes is a bit stouter than Alexander at the point of attack, and played up on the line a good deal back in his college days at Florida so it’s not a foreign role for him.

Ryan knows Spikes is respected leader in the locker room, so he’s trying to find ways to get him involved in the game plan week to week.

“We just love his temperament and the type of player he is,” Ryan said. “He’s a physical, downhill player. We’re just trying to get our best players on the field. So if there’s a role for that then that’s where we’re going to play him. The two inside guys are playing so well right now that it’s hard to get Spikes or (Ramon) Humber in there, but we’re trying to find snaps for them. Spikes has some leadership to him as well and he builds people up. He elevates other people’s games, so you try to find a role for him every week.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex weighs in on Reggie Bush’s role

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

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

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

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

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

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Down Salas & Watkins, will Bills add at WR?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 30, 2016 – 1:10 pm

They went into last week’s game with just four healthy receivers when Greg Salas and Sammy Watkins were out with injuries. It’s likely they do that again, but long term might they look to add at the position? Head coach Rex Ryan was asked that very question Friday.

Ryan did not rule out the possibility of seeking help at receiver.

“I know we always look to upgrade our team,” said Ryan. “If that’s a possibility at receiver or wherever then we’ll definitely look into that.”

Buffalo does have Dez Lewis on their practice squad, who would be the most logical call up if that was the course the front office and coaching staff decided to take. If they want to look outside the organization there are veteran options out there to consider.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Glenn: Would love to play, but going day by day

Posted by Chris Brown on September 29, 2016 – 2:58 pm

Bills LT Cordy Glenn is not about to get ahead of himself now. Almost three weeks removed from re-injuring the same ankle he hurt in training camp, Glenn is just trying to take each day as it comes as he tries to make a return to the lineup.

Glenn, who confirmed it is the same high ankle sprain that forced him to miss the entire preseason schedule, doesn’t believe he’s ahead of schedule because he hasn’t put a timetable on his injury.

“I think we’re just being smart about it,” he said. “That’s the path we’re on right there. Just taking it day by day. That’s all I can do.”

Glenn has practiced on a limited basis each of the last two days and head coach Rex Ryan said he was encouraged by the back-to-back days of work for the left tackle.

Tyrod Taylor’s blind side protector was asked if it was up to him would he play on Sunday.

“If it was up to me could I play Sunday? Yes, I would love to be out there,” Glenn said. “I’m just taking it day by day. Not trying to get too high or too low.”


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Fitzgerald tips hat to Bills ‘D’

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2016 – 9:56 am

Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald is as classy a player as there is in the NFL. Coming off of Sunday’s loss to the Bills, Fitz tipped his hat to Buffalo’s defense.

“I wouldn’t say they confused us,” Fitzgerald said. “They run a really intricate defensive scheme. Coach Ryan does a great job of bringing blitzes from multiple personnel groupings and you have to tip your hat to those guys. They played really well.”

Fitzgerald was the Cardinals leading receiver Sunday, but managed less than 10 yards a catch with seven receptions for 60 yards.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Thurman called defensive plays

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2016 – 9:53 am

It’s not the first time and it probably won’t be the last, but defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman called Sunday’s game for Buffalo’s defense and Rex Ryan could not have been more pleased with the results.

“Dennis Thurman did a great job of calling the game,” said Ryan. “Then my brother’s contribution in the red zone looked pretty decent I think.”

Buffalo’s unique 1-3-7 defensive formation, used most on third down, with Kyle Williams the only defensive lineman, three linebackers and seven defensive backs including four safeties had Arizona’s offense thoroughly confused. The Cardinals did not convert a third down for the first 20 minutes of the game and finished 5-of-15 on third down conversions. They were also just 1-for-3 in the red zone after Rob Ryan did a two-year study on Arizona’s red zone tendencies under Bruce Arians in preparation for the game.

When asked if Thurman calling the plays was a change from the norm, Ryan simply explained how everything went down in terms of delegating responsibilities on the defensive side of the ball.

“Yeah, he was calling it,” said Ryan of Thurman. “Here’s what happens, we present it. So I came up to Dennis and said, ‘Look, we’ve played this guy a long time, this is what in my opinion we need to go to.’ So we put in a turbo package that we were ready with. Then we dialed them up on down-and-distance what we wanted to do. So his (call) sheet has everything specific to the plan. It was a joint effort of the entire defense. Some of the contributions that some people made was absolutely huge.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Palmer ugly in last 4 games vs. Ryan defenses

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2016 – 9:56 pm

Carson Palmer’s struggles against Rex Ryan defenses continued on Sunday when the Cardinals fell to the Bills 33-18.

In his last three meetings with Rex Ryan defensive units coming into Sunday’s game at New Era Field, Palmer was 0-3 and had a passer rating of 27.7. Against the Bills his passer rating was slightly better, but his performance fell right in line with his previous three matchups with Ryan.

His 26-50 passing performance Sunday for 287 yards with four interceptions and five sacks led to a passer rating of 36. If you add his stats from Sunday in with his previous three games you come up with the following.

51-120 passing (43%) for 516 yards with one touchdown, 8 interceptions and 13 sacks and a passer rating of 31.1. He’s also 0-4 in wins and losses in that span.

“I came to (defensive coordinator) Dennis (Thurman) and I said, ‘Hey we’ve played this guy a long time. This is what in my opinion we need to go to,’” said Ryan. “So we put in a turbo package so we were ready and we dialed them up on down and distance what we wanted to do. I think we went with a four safety look to mess their count up a little bit. They wanted to go ahead and go to empty (backfield) so that was good for us. We wanted them in that situation. We were fortunate. Obviously Carson is a great quarterback.”

“They played this game a lot differently than the first two,” said Palmer of Buffalo’s defense. “Definitely different than the second one. But a lot of the same coverages we saw played when they were in Baltimore Week 1, some of the same stuff that they were doing last week and then some of the stuff we expected to see. What they did last week, they just didn’t do.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Biggest offensive change expected? Tempo

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2016 – 10:35 am

The personal preferences from the Bills offensive playbook by new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn will obviously change what Buffalo’s offense runs on Sunday. But the biggest change is expected to come in the functionality of the Bills attack, especially when it comes to tempo.

The first two weeks of the season getting in and out of the huddle has been an issue. It hasn’t afforded Tyrod Taylor much time to survey the defense before the snap and call an audible or check at the line. Coach Lynn intends to change that, something that has been confirmed by Taylor and head coach Rex Ryan.

“I think number one the tempo will be faster,” said Ryan. “That’s what we’ve stressed to our players and then there are going to be some different ways that we’re going to attack.”

“I definitely think we’ll speed up the process and push the tempo,” said Taylor.

Lynn doesn’t just want the offense operating at a quicker pace, he wants to see long drives, something that’s been noticeably absent from Buffalo’s offense.

“I want to play smart, physical football,” said Lynn. “I want to be explosive down the field, and right now, I just want to stay on the damn field. That’s what I want to do. So, we’re going to play a little bit faster and see if we can put a little pressure on the defense and just execute.”


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Ryan: Talented Cards might be just what we need

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2016 – 2:51 pm

Rex Ryan was effusive in his praise of the Arizona Cardinals and how well rounded they are as a club. The defending NFC West champs are coming off a 40-7 shellacking of Tampa Bay. They’ll be a tough matchup to say the least, but Ryan thinks a team of this caliber often gets a team as focused as ever to execute.

“You know what this might be the exact team we need to play,” said Ryan. “It might be the best team in the league and maybe this is the exact team we need to play, and it’s back-to-back weeks by the way. You’ve got Bruce Arians this week and Belichick next week. There are probably a few more easier options than those two, but maybe this is exactly what we need.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Tyrod’s brief exit was call made by Hochuli

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2016 – 1:19 am

In the fourth quarter Tyrod Taylor was escorted off the field after he took a sandwich hit from a couple of Jets defenders on a tackle. Head referee Ed Hochuli walked Buffalo’s quarterback to the Bills sideline and he was promptly examined. The decision however, wasn’t made by any independent neurologist on site. It was made by Hochuli.

“It was a call he made,” said Rex Ryan of Hochuli. “Our quarterback took a shot and it was like, ‘Okay we get it,’ and EJ went in there. I certainly understand that and I’m all for that. They told me that he took a good shot and I certainly get that. This should be about protecting the players and Hochuli explained that to me and I certainly understood.”

Taylor missed two plays before he was declared safe to re-enter the game.

“It’s protocol because I got hit. He said he thought I was a little woozy on the ground,” said Taylor. “You never want to come out in the middle of a series especially in a close game, but I understand it’s protocol so I have to deal with it.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Why Rex chose not to pressure Fitz

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2016 – 1:14 am

Ryan Fitzpatrick gets the ball out about as fast as any quarterback in the league, so blitzing and pressuring the Jets QB isn’t always the best idea. But that’s not why Rex Ryan chose not to pressure him Thursday night.

“I was afraid to pressure because we weren’t holding up in man coverage so we played the whole game trying to stuff 15, quarters, deuce, we tried everything,” said Ryan. “To their credit it didn’t matter what we played they were the better team today.

“We thought we could cover them. We thought we had a chance. They have a great group of receivers with Decker and Brandon Marshall obviously, but the other guys, I thought 81 played his butt off against us 11, 89 everybody showed up. You’ve got to give them credit. They did a great job and we couldn’t do anything to disrupt them rhythm-wise.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

What isn’t part of Matt Forte’s repertoire

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2016 – 6:04 pm

Jets RB Matt Forte didn’t look much different in Week 1 than he has over the last several seasons of his career, which was previously spent in Chicago. He had 155 total yards from scrimmage in the Jets one-point loss. As versatile as Forte is there is one part of the game that isn’t a strength according to Bills head coach Rex Ryan.

“One thing he can’t do is he can’t pass protect,” said Ryan. “He’s a great receiver and he’s an outstanding runner. So his protection? Let’s just say it’s not that good.”

Ryan, not surprisingly, had more favorable praise for Jets backup RB Bilal Powell, who Ryan coached when he was in New York.

“Bilal Powell is a different type of guy,” said Ryan. “Great in protection, decent runner and also a good receiver.”

Powell has been a third down back for the Jets for that very reason and that appears to still be the case now. In Week 1 on the Jets’ 14 third down opportunities Powell was on the field in place of Forte for 12 of them.

The only two he wasn’t was in a 3rd-and-goal at the two-yard line, and it appeared that Forte did not recognize the pass rusher coming off the left side of the Jets’ formation. Fitzpatrick got rid of the ball in time as he typically does. The other was the second to last play of the game when the Jets went empty backfield to put more receivers out on routes.

Expect to see more of the same tonight at New Era Field.

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Posted in Inside the Bills