Inside The Bills

Dareus to be back at practice Thursday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2015 – 2:58 pm

On Tuesday Marcell Dareus was one of two players absent for practice. Head coach Rex Ryan provided an update on the whereabouts of the Pro Bowl defensive tackle.

“Yeah he’ll be back, but he had a personal thing he had to deal with,” said Ryan of Dareus. “He’ll be back when we practice on Thursday. He’ll be back for meetings and all that stuff. The players day off is actually (Wednesday).”

With the game on Monday night, Ryan has pushed the team’s schedule back a day this week.

The other absent player was WR Denarius Moore, who missed a flight back to Buffalo. Ryan said he would be fined for his absence.

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Rex doesn’t dismiss hiring brother Rob Ryan

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2015 – 2:55 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan learned late Monday that his brother had been fired as defensive coordinator of the Saints. Ryan was asked about his brother Rob Ryan and his current situation.

“He’s a great coach and he’ll be fine. It’s the business. It’s the business that we chose. It’s going to happen,” said Ryan. “It happens to every coach. It happened to (Bill) Belichick and he’s the greatest coach of all time. It happened to him. It happens to everybody. Tough day, yeah I think I would’ve liked to have seen him finish out the season. I know that’s what he would liked to have done. But things are done for a reason and so be it.”

When asked if he would consider bringing him on to his staff, Ryan didn’t dismiss it.

“I’ll never say never, that’s for sure. I think we purposely set a path going to different teams. He’s his own man, I’m my own man and we’ve purposely set that path,” Ryan said. “With that being said I’m not going to lie to you. I think it’d be pretty fun and if it could help, obviously you would consider it and he’d have to consider it as well. We’ve got great coaches already here, but we’ll see.”

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Rex: Kyle doesn’t look ready for this week

Posted by Chris Brown on November 16, 2015 – 5:23 pm

He’s missed the last two games with a knee injury suffered in Week 6 against Concinnati and according to head coach Rex Ryan, Kyle Williams is going to miss his third game. 

In his weekly radio appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ryan said that Williams is trying like crazy to heal up and get well, but indicated he won’t be fit to play against New England Monday night. 

“I don’t think he’s going to be ready to go this week,” said Ryan of Kyle Williams. 

If Williams in fact can’t play in New England next Monday its expected that Corbin Bryant will continue to start in his place. 

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Taylor, Rex comment on game day headset issues

Posted by Chris Brown on November 13, 2015 – 2:21 pm

In London the Bills had problems with their headset to quarterback communication. It forced EJ Manuel to run to the sideline after a play to get the next play call. On Thursday night against the Jets, the headset communication was again a problem.

Tyrod Taylor had to burn a few timeouts because the play clock ran down on them before they could get the offense lined up properly for the next play call due to communication issues.

“We had a couple of headset issues it was kind of out of our control, but we’ve got to continue to keep fighting through it,” said Taylor. “We wasted some timeouts on it, but it’s unfortunate and moving forward hopefully we won’t have those problems.”

Head coach Rex Ryan doesn’t know why the problems have persisted.

“I don’t know man. If we knew the answer, we wouldn’t have the problems. It’s unbelievable,” Ryan said. “We let the clock run out on us a few times. We had to take a bunch of time outs based on that. We have no idea what it is. Sometimes it goes out, sometimes it doesn’t. I think it’s our responsibility as a team.  I think we only had one issue with the defense, so it’s more about the offense. And the bad thing is, it comes at certain times of the game in critical situations, it seems like. I have no answer for it.”

Knowing the Bills are headed to New England for their next game, where headsets notoriously malfunction (see: Mike Tomlin – Week 1), Ryan is hopeful they can come up with a solution.

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Rex gets game ball

Posted by Chris Brown on November 13, 2015 – 4:30 am

It’s usually the head coach that hands out game balls after a big win, but on Thursday night at MetLife stadium the roles were reversed in Buffalo’s locker room.

Although Rex Ryan refused to make the matchup with his former team the Jets about him and his history with the rival AFC East club, the players knew what a win would mean for him.

“He was just excited, he didn’t say much,” said Preston Brown of the postgame locker room atmosphere. “We know how proud he is for us to get this win. It was a big moment for him, so for us to go out and get that win I’m sure he’s happy.”

Handing Ryan his game ball after the victory was Eric Wood.

“I just said welcome back to the Big Apple, man. And I just gave him a hug,” Wood said. “I leave the talking to Rex.  He’s a lot more talented speaker than really anybody I’ve been around.”

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Rex has had Chan and Fitz’s number

Posted by Chris Brown on November 11, 2015 – 4:01 pm

They squared off against one another as head coaches six times with Ryan Fitzpatrick in the lineup as Bills quarterback. Rex Ryan for the most part had Chan Gailey’s number posting a 5-1 record as the current Jets offensive coordinator. Will Ryan’s dominance over Gailey and Fitzpatrick continue?

Fitzpatrick believes he’s got different game breaking talent in New York with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, two huge receiving targets who have combined for 11 touchdowns in eight games. Fitzpatrick with Gailey calling the plays against Ryan averaged just 182.5 passing yards a game and a total of 16 turnovers in that span.

“He’s always a tough defense to go against and he does a great job,” said Fitzpatrick of Ryan. “They’re very creative in their schemes and what they do. I don’t know. I’m just going to rely on my experience, not just in the games I’ve played against him before, but everything that I’ve learned the last few years and how I’ve grown as a player. We’ve got a much different team here. The scheme is similar in that it’s Chan’s offense, but we’ve got a different set of personnel and we like to the run the ball, different talents so it is a much different offense in that regard. I think I’m a much better player than I was four years ago.”

In those six games against Ryan’s defense, Fitzpatrick started five of those games and completed just under 52 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions. He completed just 53.5 percent of his passes and was sacked six times. His passer rating was 81.7.

In the seven games in which Fitz has appeared against Rex Ryan defenses in his career the Jets QB has a completion percentage of just under 50 percent (49.8%) with 12 touchdowns and seven INTs. He’s got a passer rating of 75 and his team has a 3-5 record in that span. Only once in those eight games did he pass for more than 250 yards.

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McKelvin fares well at safety

Posted by Chris Brown on November 10, 2015 – 8:51 am

He hadn’t played in a regular season game in almost a calendar year, then five days before his return to the field he was asked to line up at a different position, Leodis McKelvin took the assignment of playing safety last Sunday and ran with it. He and head coach Rex Ryan both reviewed the game film for a full assessment as to how McKelvin fared in the new role.

“I think first off the Buffalo Bills fans are very familiar with Leodis and the kind of heart and passion he plays with. It was just great to see it first hand,” said Ryan. “He made a phenomenal play on that swing pass. He was thrown in there playing out of position. He had never played safety. I don’t know the last time he had played safety. He just did a great job for us. This dude loves to play as you guys know. It was just a great opportunity to witness it and I thought he played well.”

McKelvin didn’t deny that there are some areas of his execution that could use some improvement, but after not playing for a year he thought things went relatively well.

“I played pretty good,” he said. “There were some things I can get better at as far as putting myself in better position or being in the middle of the field and reading the quarterback. Overall it was a good job and a good showing.”

Ryan is wholly familiar with the challenge of moving from corner to safety having done it with other players in the past, but he obviously felt McKelvin was capable of handling it. Counting McKelvin, Buffalo has three cornerbacks who have transitioned to safety in Aaron Williams and Corey Graham.

“It’s not an easy transition. It really isn’t,” said Ryan. “Number one you’ve got to physical and you’ve got to be tough. It’s different and you’ve got to be smart and all those guys possess those qualities.”

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Penalty count still too high

Posted by Chris Brown on November 9, 2015 – 1:05 pm

The players know it, the coaches are aware of it, but even in Sunday’s victory penalties were a readily apparent problem. Buffalo committed a whopping 13 for 94 yards in the win over Miami.

“We did have too many penalties again,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “We’ve got to be careful grabbing guys too much down the field. We’ve got to get better at that for sure.”

The one particularly disappointing penalty was committed by Jerry Hughes when he got flagged for shoulder bumping Miami QB Ryan Tannehill after he was already out of bounds on a scramble run. Hughes got flagged for unnecessary roughness. The defensive end lead the team with eight penalties on the season and also leads in penalty yardage as he’s handed opponents 77 yards, which has also translated to four first downs.

“The one was disappointing with Jerry because he had been doing a great job from probably Week 2 on,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “But it’s something we’re still not there. We can’t assume that we’ve figured it out. That’s something where Jerry has got to be smarter than that. I haven’t had a chance to talk to him, and he knew he messed up, but I’ll remind him. He knows better than that. He’s got to dial in.”

When asked about the late hit on Tannehill, Hughes offered the following explanation.

“I was just running to the ball and I think we both ran out of bounds at the same time,” Hughes said.

Buffalo’s opponent this week the Jets have the fourth-fewest penalties this season (49), which averages to about six per game. The Bills are committing an average of better than 10 and a half penalties a game (10.6).

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Best part of Watkins production

Posted by Chris Brown on November 9, 2015 – 10:39 am

Sammy Watkins was about as productive as one could be on a bum ankle. He had a career-high 168 yards receiving and caught all eight of his targets. The best part however, was Watkins was able to pace himself through the course of the game and not overtax his ankle.

Watkins only played 60 percent of the offensive snaps on Sunday, allowing him to save his ankle a bit for the short turnaround for Thursday night’s game. The Bills big lead over the Dolphins late certainly helped in that effort as the offense was able to sit him for the latter stages of the fourth quarter.

The Bills also sat LeSean McCoy after his shoulder injury with the team up on the scoreboard, though Rex Ryan said McCoy wanted to re-enter the game.

Watkins said he’ll be playing on Thursday night.

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Tyrod stood up to address team last week

Posted by Chris Brown on November 8, 2015 – 11:32 pm

He had been part of a team that went on a successful Super Bowl run in Baltimore. Sure he was the team’s backup quarterback, but he saw how when the Ravens really banded together, believed in one another and fully committed themselves to the cause they were able to make achieving the ultimate prize in football possible. That experience compelled him to stand up in front of the team last week leading up to the Dolphins game to make sure everyone was on board.

“I just wanted to show them the leadership from my position,” said Taylor. “I basically explained some stuff that we talked about when I was with the Ravens and just try to take that winning tradition over. I explained to them it’s two different teams. Completely different team. Completely different organizations. But at the same time the year we made the run (to the Super Bowl), everything wasn’t pretty and that is what I explained to them. That we have to take it one week at a time. One game at a time and continue to keep working.”

Taylor’s head coach echoed some of those sentiments after he took part of the bye week to contemplate how to convey the final nine games of the season to his players. He talked to his players about the urgency that needs to accompany their preparation, execution and effort.

That’s why he was so pleased to see a countless number of players putting extra effort into their preparation as a group.

“I loved the commitment. If you guys could’ve seen the commitment that I saw through the week, through preparation. Guys staying late with no coaches. Outside of that together, collectively staying together and Tyrod running the offense and the defense,” said Ryan. “Our guys want to win. That might sound like a stupid comment, because everybody wants to win. Yeah, but to the extreme that we want to give ourselves the best chance. We’ve got to communicate better and be all in together and supportive of each other and I think our guys are.”


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Rex on Harvin: He did all he could to play

Posted by Chris Brown on November 8, 2015 – 11:07 pm

While Rex Ryan was elated to have finally posted a home win after three straight losses at home, he did turn solemn when asked about Percy Harvin’s injury problems after being placed on injured reserve Saturday.

Ryan shed some light on Harvin’s condition, which involves chronic pain in his knee and hip.

“He’s in chronic pain,” said Ryan. “It was something we were hoping he could come back from the things, but technically it’s the knee the quad, he’s just in chronic pain. This kid did everything he could to play. That’s the sad part about it. He wanted to play in the worst way. He’d be here all the time, all through the break, cold tubs, whatever we thought could get him better this kid tried. But at the end of the day he just couldn’t do it. That’s a real shame.”

There were reports early Sunday that although Harvin intends to continue his NFL career, he is slated for knee surgery this week. Ryan would only confirm that the receiver would be undergoing some kind of procedure.

“I don’t know the exact thing about knee surgery or whatever, but I know he is having a procedure,” said Ryan. “That much I know.”

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Hughes flip to the left pays dividends

Posted by Chris Brown on November 8, 2015 – 11:03 pm

He hadn’t lined up at left defensive end since his college days at TCU, but on Sunday flipping from his customary right defensive end spot to the left proved valuable for Jerry Hughes and Buffalo’s defense.

Hughes made the defensive play of the game when he forced the only turnover in the contest. Using an inside spin move on right tackle Jason Fox, Hughes rolled into the pocket grabbed a retreating Ryan Tannehill, stripped him of the football and recovered the loose ball off the bounce for the fumble recovery while he sacked the Dolphins quarterback.

It was third and long, I think at that time we’re up maybe by seven points, we need to just get to the ball,” said Hughes. “Our secondary there, they did what they needed to do. The quarterback held the ball, I’ve got to find a way. The defensive line has to get there so we found a way to get there and it was a lot of fun.”

Fox was Miami’s backup offensive tackle, who was filling in for starting RT Ju’Wuan James, out with a toe injury. Back in Week 3 he faced Hughes on the other side of the formation as he stepped in for injured left tackle Branden Albert. But that wasn’t why Rex Ryan and his defensive staff chose to flip Hughes to the left side.

“It quite honestly started with Mario (Williams),” said Ryan. “Looking at Mario I thought we had a mismatch sliding him inside against that guard (Billy Turner) and they knew it too because (Mike) Pouncey is a great center and they had to slide him over to help double Mario, but the time they didn’t Mario was getting great penetration and he caused a lot of problems.

“I don’t know if he had any sacks, but he caused a lot of disruption. But Jerry I liked the matchup with Jerry on that kid. I also wanted to get IK (Enemkpali) going a little bit. Put him over there on (Branden) Albert. Albert is a good player, but I thought IK could be physical with him and I thought IK did a nice job.”

Hughes had two sacks in the game and a pair of quarterback hits.

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McCoy on shoulder injury: I’ll be fine

Posted by Chris Brown on November 8, 2015 – 7:00 pm

Bills RB LeSean McCoy stayed down on the field for a bit after a Dolphins defensive lineman landed on top of him at the end of a run play. With McCoy down on the turf on his right side, the full weight of the Miami player landed on him jamming his right shoulder into the ground. McCoy was checked by the medical staff and athletic trainers, got to his feet and walked to the sidelines. Head coach Rex Ryan provided an update postgame.

“Well he wanted to go back in the game, so that’s a great sign,” said Ryan who had no official diagnosis or prognosis postgame. “The fact that he wanted to go back in the game. He had 112 yards, so that was a great sign for us. But at that time quite honestly we never needed him.”

McCoy was eventually sent to the locker room late in the fourth quarter after they determined with the game in hand he would not re-enter the contest. McCoy admitted he sustained an injury, but believes with treatment even on a short week that he’ll be able to play against the Jets.

“This injury I was like, ‘Man another one.’ I’ll be alright though,” McCoy said. “We’ll treat it up and do different things. I’ll be fine.”

The Bills face the Jets on Thursday night at MetLife Stadium for an 8:25 pm kickoff.

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Rex: don’t stop believing

Posted by Chris Brown on November 8, 2015 – 9:22 am

Bills head coach Rex Ryan understands the disappointment on the part of the fans in Buffalo’s 3-4 record after seven games. But with the team just a game out of a playoff spot and Ryan confident his team can turn the fortunes of their season around, the Bills sideline boss said now is not the time to jump ship.

“It’s still going to be a huge climb. It’s hard to get in the playoffs. It’s hard to get into the playoffs in this league, but we’re one game out of that picture, with the other teams having four wins, I’m sure that helps. For us, everything we want is still in front of us.  We have nine games left-the sky is not falling. I know, we’re three and four-we expected this and this—I get it. I get it. I certainly understand where fans are coming from, the disappointment. But don’t make the mistake of stopping believing.  Don’t make that mistake.”

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Execution trumps play calling

Posted by Chris Brown on November 7, 2015 – 4:13 pm

More than one of Buffalo’s coaches said it this week. When it comes to performance on the field, execution carries the day. That’s not to say that play calling doesn’t matter, but in the eyes of Buffalo’s coaching staff execution is what will improve the team’s consistency from start to finish in a football game.

“It’s not about any calls that are made,” said defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman. “It’s never about a call. It’s really about how you execute the call and we have to go out and we have to execute, and we have to get our job done.”

“It’s the execution of the play call, not the play call itself. If you just think you’re going to go out there and with my call sheet I’m going to out coach you this way or whatever, it’s the execution of the calls and that’s the thing that we’re trying to make sure we’re dialed in on. Is there a give and take on what you’re asking your players to do? I think there’s always some of that.”

The coaches on defense admitted they simplified the scheme slightly, but it’s ultimately on the players to make plays within the framework of the scheme.

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Rex still believes in home field advantage

Posted by Chris Brown on November 4, 2015 – 1:06 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan has lobbied the Buffalo fan base more than once this season to support the team for home games and the fans have come through in a big way. Unfortunately the team’s home record hasn’t reflected that support. Buffalo has a 1-3 home mark, but that has not dissuaded Ryan’s belief that home field can still provide an edge for his team this Sunday.

“It is still a huge advantage for us… it just hasn’t shown up that way,” Ryan said. “I think it’s going to be a big advantage for us, I do. Our fans have been unbelievable. Their record is not 3-4. They’ve been unbelievable. We have to follow suit as a team. I get it.  There are some circumstances that probably have not weighed in our favor. But I haven’t given up faith. I truly believe where it’s going to end up. We’re going to be that team.   We’re closer to that team that we envisioned from a personnel standpoint than we’ve been in a long, long time.  Albeit without Kyle Williams, without Aaron (Williams), without some of our guys, but, we’ve got a good group of guys and some difference makers getting healthy and that’s key for us.”

Chief among them LeSean McCoy and Karlos Williams, who will be looking to make Buffalo’s run game the identity of their offense.

Also expected to return to the lineup this week are RT Seantrel Henderson, RG John Miller and possible WR Sammy Watkins.

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Tyrod & Karlos update

Posted by Chris Brown on November 4, 2015 – 12:19 pm

Good news for Tyrod Taylor and Karlos Williams as they return from injury. Head coach Rex Ryan said both are going to participate fully in Wednesday’s practice.

“Tyrod (Taylor) is full (go),” said Ryan. “Karlos is full (go).”

Taylor is coming off a sprained MCL. He’s still wearing a knee brace in practice today, but said it’ll be up to the athletic training staff and medical staff as to whether he wears one Sunday against Miami. Karlos Williams is back from a concussion suffered in Week 4 against the Giants.

Williams told that he was cleared by the medical staff late last week.

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Rex: Harvin committed to team

Posted by Chris Brown on November 2, 2015 – 5:04 pm

Bills WR Percy Harvin didn’t practice on Monday as he continues to deal with his ailing hip, but as far as Rex Ryan is concerned there is no worry about the receiver’s commitment to the team.

“Yeah, without question,” said Ryan. “Without question—that’s the least of our concern with him. I know he wants to play.  He desperately wants to contribute to this team.”

When asked about the chances of Harvin being able to play on Sunday against Miami, Ryan took the wait and see approach.

“Percy is good, he’s in the building. He’s in the training room today,” said Ryan. “We’ll see how it goes. He wants to play and wants to contribute to this team. We’ll see how the week progresses to see where he’s at.”

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Rex: Kyle not ready to return yet

Posted by Chris Brown on November 2, 2015 – 3:28 pm

Though there was a good deal of positive news on the Bills injury front Monday, the one player who is still not ready to return to action is Pro Bowl DT Kyle Williams.

Head coach Rex Ryan provided an update on the veteran defensive lineman’s knee injury Monday.

“It’s a significant injury, but we anticipate him back at some point,” said Ryan. “To think he could come back now, I don’t think he’s ready for that. I don’t think there’s any doubt that he won’t be available this week. And he probably won’t be available for the Jets, given that it’s five days later. But he is making good progress.”

Williams said he is working to rehab the injury and eager to get back in the lineup to contribute.

“I’m getting better. It’s just going to take a little time and compared to how it got hit and where I got hit I actually got pretty lucky with the injury that I had,” said Williams. “It’s going to take a little time and I’ll work it every day because I’m definitely not wired or made to watch. I think I can help and be a big part of what we can do. So I’m just trying to get healthy to help my team and try not to break stuff when I do watch.”

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Rex takes bye week page from Reid book

Posted by Chris Brown on November 2, 2015 – 3:19 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan was stewing heading into the bye week after his team was unable to pull out a win in a big comeback effort against Jacksonville in London. Prior to the loss he had put together a different kind of plan for the bye week concerning his players. They would get the entire week off.

Under the terms of the CBA, players get a mandatory four days off on a bye week, but Ryan was committed to giving his team the full week and explained why on Monday.

“My record off a bye week is horrendous,” said Ryan, who has a 1-5 mark as a head coach after the bye. “So, looking at our schedule, the fact that we were in London, we had to fly back from London. The fact that we play two games in five days coming up.  The health of our team, all that stuff factored in.  The guy that has the best record consistently after a bye week is (current Kansas City head coach) Andy Reid, and this is what he does. I was like, it’s pretty obvious. I made that decision probably three weeks prior to going through it, knowing we had the injuries we had.  This team needed it.  Get away, get healthy, then come back ready to go for these nine games.”

Andy Reid is 11-5 is his career as a head coach coming off the bye week.


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