Inside The Bills

Ryan: Got to give Woods credit

Posted by Chris Brown on November 26, 2014 – 11:04 am

Jets head coach Rex Ryan admitted that their defensive game plan was to shut down Sammy Watkins after he torched them in the first meeting for 157 yards on three catches and a touchdown. In the aftermath of their 38-3 loss to the Bills in the second meeting Ryan tipped his hat to Robert Woods (9 rec. 118 yds, 1 TD), who made the Jets pay for focusing their pass defense on Watkins.

“We had a plan to take away Sammy Watkins,” Ryan said. “I thought we pretty much did that, but they kind of exposed us on the other side and I probably should’ve been more balanced in my approach, coverage wise.

“They have some talented players on there and they made some plays. Robert Woods had a career day and again like I said, they knew, they’re no dummies. We weren’t going to let the one kid (Watkins) kill us again, so the other guy hurt us. To their credit, Woods made some great catches. I give him credit.”

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Extra days have helped Jets vs. Bills before

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2014 – 3:59 pm

We noted in this very blog in the past about how the Jets have benefited from extra time and rest in advance of playing the Bills in the past. In both 2011 and 2013 the Jets faced the Bills with 10 days prep coming off a Thursday night game and two weeks prep off their bye week in those two seasons. This year the NFL may have done its best job yet of giving Buffalo a favorable schedule when it came to opponents coming off a short week or coming off their bye. This week was going to be somewhat of a wash between the two teams with the Bills having 10 days to prepare for the Jets coming off their Thursday night game while the Jets came off their bye. That all changed with the lake effect snowstorm this week that shattered all snowfall record totals in Orchard Park and neighboring suburbs as well as the city of Buffalo.

Now heading into Friday with the Bills yet to rep plays on a practice field the Jets clearly have an edge in terms of prep time heading into the game. And under Rex Ryan New York has fared well against the Bills in those situations.

In 2011 when the Jets came off their bye to face the Bills they beat Buffalo at Ralph Wilson Stadium 27-11. They also won coming off their Thursday night game at MetLife Stadium 28-24. New York avoided the series sweep in 2013 with the Jets again the beneficiaries of a bye prior to their meeting with Buffalo and a Thursday night game prior to their other meeting with the Bills.

Last year the Jets won coming off their Thursday night game at home 27-20, but the Bills, thanks mainly to four turnovers, throttled the Jets who were coming off their bye 37-14 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Still, Ryan has a 3-2 mark against Buffalo when coming off a bye or Thursday night game. This year the Bills beat the Jets with New York coming off their Thursday night game prior to their first meeting in 2014.

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Jets focused on ball security

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2014 – 11:53 am

The New York Jets are still a minus-11 in turnover margin this season, but their last outing showed what Rex Ryan’s team is capable of when they protect the football.

The Jets beat one of the hottest offensive teams in football in Week 10 (Jets had a Week 11 bye) when they defeated Pittsburgh 20-13. They did in large part thanks to winning the turnover battle by a count of 4-0. New York scored 14 points off turnovers in the game and jumped out to a 17-3 lead and their defense was stout when it came to keeping the Steelers out of the end zone. Ben Roethlisberger threw for almost 350 yards, but had just one touchdown pass.

On his conference call with Buffalo media Wednesday Ryan was asked if he’s confident his team won’t have a repeat performance against the Bills when they turned it over six times and lost by 20 (43-23).

“We better not I’ll tell you that much,” said Ryan. “You’re not going to beat anybody when you turn the ball over the way we did. I think there were 11 possessions inside the 50-yard line. That can’t happen and that’s our priority going into the game is taking care of the football. It’s easier said than done, but we have to get that done for us to have an opportunity in this game.”

Ryan likes the way Michael Vick has protected the football for the offense since becoming the full-time starter following the loss to the Bills.

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Ryan: Package of plays likely for Harvin

Posted by Chris Brown on October 22, 2014 – 12:05 pm

He’s had all of a week to learn the Jets playbook after he was traded to New York by the Seahawks. That’s why Jets head coach Rex Ryan is planning to have just a package of plays for Harvin in this week’s game plan for the Bills.

“I think that’s realistic,” said Ryan in a conference call with the Buffalo media. “It’s awful hard to come in and, ‘Oh by the way here’s the offense. Learn it in a week.’ I don’t know if that’s realistic. But we’ll have some plays for him and get him back there to return a kick and things like that.”

Ryan is hopeful that if Harvin can’t make as big an impact with personal plays, that his mere presence on the field forces defenses to account for him.

“I’d love to see him make a difference immediately. Obviously. But again we’ll see how he does during the week. How much he can pick up of this offense and then let him go. He gives us a weapon with Decker and Kerley and our tight ends and some good backs. It’ll be interesting to see how people play us if they play us differently or they put everybody in the world down there to stop Chris Ivory and company.”

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Rex dismisses Sat. night outing as mistake

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2013 – 6:15 pm

Much was made of Rex Ryan’s decision to cancel Saturday evening meetings and let his team spend the evening playing arcade games at Dave and Buster’s here in Buffalo less than 24 hours before the game. When asked about it, Ryan dismissed it as added motivation for the Bills.

“Again, I don’t know why that’s added motivation,” Ryan said. “We do different things when we’re on the road. (We) did different things in Atlanta, did different things wherever, so I don’t know how that would give added motivation. Your players go out in groups or whatever. We went out as a team, so that’s what we did.”

Bills head coach Doug Marrone said after the game that he did not use the Jets’ outing as a motivational tool with his team.

“I was aware of it; I did not use it for motivation,” he said. “For me, I was concentrating on getting our football team ready to play a game that we knew was going to be physical against a good football team and that was the thing all week. That’s the way I approached it.”

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Jets taking Bills lightly?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2013 – 10:18 am

According to a New York Post report Jets head coach Rex Ryan decided to forgo final game plan meetings at the team hotel Saturday night in favor of an outing to the Dave and Buster’s at the Eastern Hills Mall here in town.

Per the report Jets players were hitting the arcade instead of their playbooks. Coming off a bye week one wonders if the leisure outing was necessary. We’ll see if it plays a factor in today’s game.

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Rex seeks Bills intel from brother during bye

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2013 – 11:55 am

Jets head coach Rex Ryan and his team are coming off the bye as they begin preparations for the Bills on Sunday. Ryan spent part of his bye week in New Orleans seeking further intel on the Bills from his twin brother Rob Ryan.

A team’s offense and defense can morph and change over the course of a season, so Ryan was likely checking with his brother to see what ways Buffalo’s offense and defense may have changed since he initially faced them in Week 3.

Rob Ryan is the Saints defensive coordinator, who brought a lot of pass pressure down on QB Thad Lewis making him unavailable for the game the following week in a 35-17 win over the Bills. Rex Ryan faced EJ Manuel in his first road start back in Week 3 and also dialed up a lot of pressure and his team got eight sacks in a 27-20 win.

Although Ryan is 7-2 against the Bills as Jets coach, his teams are 1-3 coming off the bye. He gave his players six straight days off last week.

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Jets could have Holmes back in lineup Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2013 – 8:15 am

Santonio Holmes has missed the last five games for the Jets with a hamstring injury, but he stands a good chance of returning to the New York lineup this week to face the Bills in Buffalo Sunday.

That according to head coach Rex Ryan, who provided a promising update on Holmes’ availability in his Monday press conference.

“I think he’ll play,” said Ryan. “He looks good to me. … I know he had a big game the last time we played Buffalo. Hopefully that’ll be the same this time.”

Holmes biggest game thus far this season came against the Bills back in Week 3 when he had five catches for 154 yards and a touchdown.


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Jets run game vs. Bills has tailed off

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2013 – 10:48 am

The Jets have still found a way to win six of their last eight meetings with the Bills, including a 3-1 mark at the Meadowlands over that four-year span, but the numbers show their run game is not what it used to be.

Back in 2009 and 2010, the Jets ran the ball at will to victory over Buffalo, when the Bills run defense was among the least effective in football. Since then their success running the football has been limited. Here’s a look at their yards per carry average against the Bills in their last eight games.

Year       Yds per carry avg.
2009       7.9, 5.8
2010       5.6, 5.5
2011       3.2, 6.0
2012       3.3, 3.7

In the four games in 2009 and 2010, the Jets were one of the better rushing teams in football, and against the Bills they were even better averaging a fat 6.14 yards per carry. With the losses in recent years of Thomas Smith, LaDainian Tomlinson and primary FB Tony Richardson, the run game hasn’t had the same pop.

In the four meetings from 2011 to 2012, the Jets have averaged just 3.69 yards per carry. Even Jets head coach Rex Ryan admitted they’re not the rushing team they used to be on Friday.

“When we were ground and pound, that thing has come with me forever,” said Ryan. “That was based on our personnel. If you look at the backs that we had, we had three great tailbacks with Thomas Jones, with Shonn Greene and with Leon Washington. That was pretty good. We had [Danny] Woodhead, things like that behind him. That was a pretty darn good backfield, Tony Richardson.

can still win in today’s league with a strong rushing attack, Ryan referenced the personnel he no longer has on his roster.

“Yeah, if we had those backs and the line and all that stuff. And D-Wood [Damien Woody], I’m sure you could.”

So far this season the Jets are averaging 3.6 yards per carry.

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Jets WR Holmes still laboring

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2013 – 9:01 am

Jets WR Santonio Holmes has been dealing with a foot problem since the team returned for training camp in the summer. On Thursday he sat out of practice after being just limited in practice Wednesday.

Jets head coach Rex Ryan indicated that Holmes’ non-participation on Thursday was a planned rest day for the receiver. We’ll see what kind of participation he’s able to muster in Jets practice later today.

Added to the Jets injury report Thursday was rookie backup offensive tackle Oday Aboushi, who sustained a knee injury in practice. He’s supposed to be re-evaluated today.

Three defensive linemen, Quinton Coples (ankle), Kenrick Ellis (back) and rookie Sheldon Richardson (shoulder) were all limited in practice for a second straight day. Coples hasn’t played yet this season as he’s trying to return from a hairline fracture in his ankle. He told Jets reporters he’s ready to go, but that the decision is up to the medical staff.

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Report: Pettine hired as Bills DC

Posted by Chris Brown on January 9, 2013 – 9:27 am

Jets head coach Rex Ryan said his defensive coordinator Mike Pettine would not be back with his club and would be interviewing Tuesday for Buffalo’s defensive coordinator post. According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, a day later Pettine has been hired by the Bills for that very position.

Pettine’s defenses have ranked in the top 10 in each of his four seasons with the Jets. At his season wrap up press conference Rex Ryan said he wished Pettine well, unless he went to the Bills.

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Ryan: Pettine will interview with Bills today

Posted by Chris Brown on January 8, 2013 – 11:19 am

Jets head coach Rex Ryan is speaking at his season wrap up press conference and confirmed that defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is interviewing with the Bills today and will be coaching somewhere else next season.

“Mike Pettine is going to have several opportunities as a defensive coordinator,” said Ryan. “Today I know he interviews with the Buffalo Bills. I’m hoping he doesn’t take that job. I hope he goes somewhere else. Mike and I have been together for over 10 years. He’s a tremendous coach. We’ve had conversations. Mike thinks it’s best that he go to a different team as a defensive coordinator, and I wish him all the best unless he goes to Buffalo. But I love Mike and I respect him.”

Ryan certainly doesn’t want to see his now former defensive coordinator show up coaching another defense in the AFC East. It obviously means he’d have to face him twice a year.

Ryan also announced that veteran special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff also won’t be back with the Jets. Westhoff is reportedly going to retire. Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano was also fired.

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Jets switch to Sanchez as starter Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on December 27, 2012 – 12:29 pm

After Rex Ryan announced on his conference call with the Buffalo media that he was going to start Greg McElroy at quarterback Sunday against the Bills, he had to reverse his course and announce he’s startin Mark Sanchez.

Ryan in his Thursday press conference said McElroy revealed to the medical staff that he was experiencing concussion-like symptoms after being sacked 11 times in last week’s loss to San Diego.

“Mark has had success earlier in the season against Buffalo,” Ryan said. “He’s very familiar with them. That’s the reason I’m going with Mark. I had the conversation with both Mark and Tim…. about what I was going to do. Obviously, Tim’s not happy with that. That’s what you expect.”

The New York Daily News is reporting that Ryan said the need to make a quick call on the change, prompted him to lean toward Sanchez, rather than Tebow with Ryan indicating with just Thursday and Friday practice before Sunday’s game that they might not be able to get Tebow up to speed in time rep-wise.

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Jets to turn to read option?

Posted by Chris Brown on December 26, 2012 – 3:04 pm

The Bills have had their share of trouble with the read option game the past two weeks with Seattle working that part of their offense very effectively and Miami getting some positive plays out of it as well against Buffalo in their victories. The Bills last opponent of the season, the Jets, arguably have one of the better read option quarterbacks in Tim Tebow, but will they make use of him Sunday?

Head coach Rex Ryan didn’t use Tebow in their Wildcat package last Sunday because Tebow asked not to be a part of that package. That according to ESPN New York. Slot receiver Jeremy Kerley was used instead in the Jets’ 27-17 loss to San Diego.

That same report indicates that Tebow and Ryan have since smoothed things over. On his conference call with Buffalo media, Ryan was asked in light of the recent success of the read option against Buffalo if he would make use of it, be it Tebow or Kerley.

“Obviously you’ll look at things that maybe have worked against an opponent or whatever,” said Ryan. “A lot of things go into it. We played that Seattle team and you can say the same thing: they had success running it against us running that so we’re certainly going to prepare for it as well. When you look at what Seattle has, they have a lot of things that are hard to defend. They’ve got the receivers, the quarterback — and he can do different things. Could we possibly do it? The answer is yes and we hope they spend the majority of their practice working on it.

“It helps obviously if you can mix something like that in to keep a team honest or whatever. I can assure you that Buffalo has those plays in and we have those plays in as well. I think preparation goes into it as well, how much time you actually prepare for it. I remember when we played Buffalo we were going to try and surprise them and they came out and smoked our Wildcat so apparently they did some preparing for it, that’s for sure.”

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McElroy to start at QB for Jets

Posted by Chris Brown on December 26, 2012 – 2:23 pm

The Jets will have Greg McElroy start again this week at quarterback Sunday against the Bills.

Head coach Rex Ryan told the Buffalo media that this afternoon on his conference call.

“We’ll start Greg,” said Ryan. “The type of beating he took last week, 11 sacks and things, he’s tougher than nails. We knew that about him. The previous year he’d be our clean-up guy in the preseason games and I’m not sure some of those guys could’ve blocked me. He definitely took a beating then and he took one unfortunately this past week. He is a tough guy. He’s smart.

“He is pretty good about knowing where to go with the football, but any time you have that kind of performance, unfortunately a lot of credit goes to your opponent, but there are also mistakes, clearly, that we made. Some of it was our guys getting beat, some were on protection, some were Greg’s fault for holding it too long or not being in the right spot. Others were depth of routes and things. There’s a lot of it to go around, that’s for sure.”

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How Jets are prepping for Mario

Posted by Chris Brown on September 5, 2012 – 3:01 pm

The Jets know they’re going to need to provide help to their starting right tackle Austin Howard, as he makes his first NFL start Sunday against Mario Williams. Here’s how New York is preparing for Buffalo’s prized free agent signing.

“You’re not kidding it’s a big challenge, hehe,” said Rex Ryan. “I think the only way you can get a bigger challenge is if it was DeMarcus Ware. Clearly it’s a huge challenge. We’ll line up a guy offside and everything else in practice,” said Jets head coach Rex Ryan.

Ironically, the Jets are using Aaron Maybin on the scout team as their Mario Williams.

“We’re going to have Aaron Maybin play him over there, and we’ll line him up offsides and say get ready to chase this guy. He’s a combination speed, power, he’s got it all. Certainly its going to be a huge challenge for anybody. With Austin, he hasn’t had a whole lot of game experience, but we feel good about him. He’s a huge man that can bend. He’s a guy that’s kind of a road grader in the running game, so I think that’ll help as well.”

When asked about Maybin not exactly being the same physical stature of Williams, who is 50 pounds heavier, Ryan explained why they chose to use Maybin.

“I think that’s the best we could do,” said Ryan. “We’re going to put (Quinton) Coples over there some as well, but I’m trying to get that quickness of a guy that can get off the football like Mario does, and with that kind of speed. In the run, we’re going to put Coples over there even though he’s starting on defense. We’re going to have him as a scout teamer as well to be like Mario. He’s not as big as Mario but he’s pretty talented in his own right, and you guys will find that out too. He ended being part of a sack in each of the preseason games, and this young man has the potential to be a good football player.”

Coples led the NFL in preseason sacks with 4.5, though he played in five preseason games this summer. Do you think Coples steal the pass rushing show in Week 1?

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Respect for Mario

Posted by Chris Brown on September 5, 2012 – 2:50 pm

Jets head coach Rex Ryan isn’t thrilled to see Mario Williams in his division, but he did manage to find a silver lining after the Bills signed him in free agency.

“I was like, ‘Oh no, please don’t, please don’t,'” Ryan recalled. “But you know what, in a way it was funny because I was like, ‘Oh great, if we can survive the two weeks against him, it would be a positive that he gets to go hit Tom Brady.’ So I thought that was a real positive. It is kind of exciting to get great football players within the division, there’s no doubt. Obviously you wish those players were on your team, but the fact that he went to Buffalo, it’s like, ‘Oh boy.’

“He’s a tremendous football player…I can tell you this, our tackle’s probably not sleeping very well this week, there’s no doubt. I know I wouldn’t be if I had to go against him.”

The Jets starting right tackle this week is Austin Howard, a former practice squad player of the Ravens, signed by the Jets last season. He does not have an NFL start on his resume.

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Rex unsure Wildcat will slow Bills pass rush

Posted by Chris Brown on September 5, 2012 – 2:47 pm

Jets head coach Rex Ryan has insisted that they will use their version of the Wildcat package with Tim Tebow this Sunday against the Jets, despite not revealing any of it in the preseason. While Ryan is confident in the package with Tebow, he’s not sure it’s going to neutralize Buffalo’s pass rush.

“I don’t know about that,” Ryan said on a Wednesday conference call. “With Super Mario over there, that’s gonna be tough. There’s no question. Clearly this team can really rush the passer. They added Mark Anderson as well, and the other guy too that I always think is underrated is Kyle Williams. We voted him to the Pro Bowl when he was healthy. I’m happy for him to see him back out there, but I wish he could have waited a week because he is a tremendous player. So that pass rush is definitely going to be tough.

“How the wildcat comes in? David Lee, I have so much respect for David Lee, I think he’s a tremendous quarterback coach and a football coach in general. He was with Tony (Sparano) and they put in the wildcat and brought the wildcat to the league. Clearly we know that Buffalo is going to see it and practice against it with Brad (Smith) there. But of course we’re gonna run some. We like Tim running that Wildcat, so we’ll see.”

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Sunday an elimination game?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2011 – 11:27 am

Mathematically Sunday’s game between the Bills and Jets is being viewed by outside observers as an elimination game in terms of playoff contention. What do those directly involved in the game think?

With both teams at 5-5 and neither likely to catch the Patriots for the division title, it’s about the Wild Card race for the Jets and Bills. Here’s what Jets head coach Rex Ryan thinks.

“I don’t know if its win or go home, but it’s about as close as you can get to that,” he said. “Both teams know it, obviously Buffalo knows that and we know that. So no team is going to deny that fact.”

Bills vet Chris Kelsay also knows whichever team drops this one is going to make themselves a supreme long shot for the postseason.

“There are a handful of teams competing for the last Wild Cart spot and we’re two of them,” said Kelsay. “So obviously if you get beat by these guys, one they’ve swept us and two it looks like our chances for the playoffs are pretty slim. So it’s a huge game for us.”

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Jets Greene looking good for Sun.

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2011 – 3:26 pm

Jets RB Shonn Greene left their last game in Denver with a rib injury, but has practiced each of the last two days giving New York head coach Rex Ryan confidence that he’ll be playing against the Bills on Sunday.

“I think Shonn will play this week and we’re excited to get him back in the lineup,” said Ryan. “I think he got hurt on the second possession of the game and did not return, and obviously we had LT out. So hopefully we’ll have both of those guys back this week, that’s what we’re hopeful of.”

LaDainian Tomlinson however, is not practicing again today as he missed practices by the Jets on Monday and Tuesday as well. The Jets were practicing early in the week because they played last Thursday night. If L.T. can’t go it means Joe McKnight is the complementary back to Greene.

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