Inside The Bills

Rex expecting consistent execution at camp

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2016 – 1:00 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan is already up at St. John Fisher as rookies report today and the balance of the roster in by Friday morning. Appearing on the John Murphy Show in its new time slot (12pm-3pm), Ryan said based on how smooth everything ran in the OTA practices and minicamp he’s expecting very consistent execution in training camp.

“The guys that we had working (in the spring), we went in there with the idea that we’re going to get better,” said Ryan. “Focus more and learn our assignments to the best of our abilities. And we did that. But I couldn’t wait for this time right now getting back with the players. I can’t wait to see how we are and if in fact we’re taking off from where we left off.”

When asked if he thinks that’ll happen, he’s optimistic that the players will be more sound in their assignments than in year one under Ryan when everything was new.

“You go back to square one putting things in, but I think we’re going to have a lot fewer mistakes than we did before,” Ryan said. “We didn’t even have a quarterback at this time last year. We had three guys fighting for that.”

Ryan also addressed his comment at the end of minicamp that got a lot of attention when he said they won the offseason.

“All I meant was that we did so well and the players I was proud of the way they worked and the effort they had,” Ryan said. “I just think we want to show everybody that this is a good football team and we’re working as hard as any team in this league.”

 


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One-year deal players aplenty for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2016 – 8:50 am

As the Bills try to see if they can strike a free agent deal with RB Reggie Bush it’s hard not to see the obvious trend Buffalo took when it came to free agents this offseason. The sharp increase in one-year deals for free agents signed by Buffalo was done for good reason, but the number in the 2016 offseason was staggering.

The Bills signed 23 players this offseason to one-year deals between restricted free agents (Corbin Bryant, Jordan Mills), reserve future free agents and unrestricted free agents. From Zach Brown to Corey White almost a third of the team’s 90-man offseason roster signed one-year pacts.

Bills GM Doug Whaley explained the club’s approach.

“I think this year it was wholly predicated on the amount of cap space we had,” Whaley told Buffalobills.com. “What we were looking for was to get guys who had extensive resumes on special teams. A lot of those guys are on one-year prove-it deals. If they’re good maybe they’ll be extended, if not maybe they do enough here where they’ll be able to move on to another team and be a special teams mercenary.”

When it came to defensive free agents, Whaley in concert with head coach Rex Ryan and some recommendations from Rob Ryan acquired players with a measure of familiarity with the Ryan defense. Players like Sterling Moore, Corey White have worked with Rob Ryan before. And being on one-year deals there’s no time to let a player blend himself in steadily.

“Change is uncomfortable for everybody so if you can get a guy that has some familiarity with this defense because it’s a complicated defense, that’s an added bonus,” said Whaley. “A lot of people just can’t step in day one and perform at a high level in this defense because it is so intricate. If you have a guy that’s out there who is familiar with it he’s out there playing instead of thinking.”


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Fan Friday 7-22

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2016 – 11:39 am

Only a week until training camp opens Bills fans. We’ll be covering it all for you here on Buffalobills.com. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

If the Bush ship sails, any chance that Rex gives Ray Rice his last chance?

@GraysonTumult

CB: I really can’t see that happening. With such a greater focus on domestic violence in the NFL these days, which includes a league wide ad campaign to raise awareness on the subject, I can’t see Buffalo taking that kind of step.

Last year’s training camp should serve as a perfect example on the likelihood of that happening. All five running backs on Buffalo’s training camp roster were all injured at the same time last summer and Ray Rice was not brought in. I don’t see that changing if Reggie Bush elects to sign and play elsewhere.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think the Bills pass on signing Gilmore if Kevon Seymour has a great preseason?

@ZWinterberg

CB: While I think your question is a valid one, I believe the likelihood of signing Gilmore to a long term extension has more to do with the market value of top flight cornerbacks than it does with how well Kevon Seymour comes along in the preseason.

I think they’d like to return Gilmore to the fold long term, but the state of the cornerback market might not allow it.

As I’ve stated more than once on this very page, the Josh Norman deal completely turned the market value at cornerback on its ear. Getting $15M per season from Washington after his franchise tag was rescinded by Carolina threw the cornerback market completely out of whack.

If a zone corner can get $15M/yr. then upcoming free agents like Stephon Gilmore who play almost exclusively man-to-man will likely see getting that much or probably more as fair market value. I’m confident the Bills are not going to enter the $15M/yr. territory.

Could I see the Bills going $12.5M/yr. like the Giants free agent deal for Janoris Jenkins this spring?

Yes.

Would that be enough for Gilmore?

I think it would need to have a lot more guaranteed money than Jenkins’ $28.8M has in his contract for it to happen.

The Norman deal unfortunately could push negotiations between the Bills and Gilmore into an area where Buffalo could potentially be fiscally irresponsible as it pertains to the rest of their roster. And the Bills probably won’t, and should not, do that.

I think if Seymour performs well in the preseason it only helps the Bills front office breathe a bit easier should they reach an impasse with the Gilmore camp on a new contract. At least then they would feel like they have a promising prospect in the pipeline to eventually replace Gilmore in 2017 if all hope is lost on a Gilmore extension.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

With suspensions and off field stuff at RB, do you anticipate McCoy being very limited through camp and preseason?

@rockydm92

CB: I think the plan all along was to limit LeSean McCoy’s workload through training camp and the preseason. It has less to do with the recent suspension of Karlos Williams and DUI arrest of Jonathan Williams, and more to do with what happened last summer at training camp.

After sustaining his hamstring injury, McCoy was not the same player for the 2015 season. He was still very good, but not the game breaking talent that has made him one of the most dynamic backs in the league.

The Bills want to ensure they have the game breaking McCoy in their offensive backfield come September, so the plan all along was to pace McCoy. Give him enough work where he’s ready for the regular season, but not so much that he runs the risk of injury or going into the season hobbled.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills would Donald Trump still be able to run for president if he succeeded in purchasing the team?

@JLasher10

CB: Based on what I’ve been able to uncover with respect to executive branch government employees and conflicts of interest, there are ethics rules that require them to divest themselves of stock or property only if they are appointed to their positions (e.g. Secretary of the Treasury). Trump however, would be holding an elected position so those rules would not apply to him.

So not having an expert background by any means on government employee bylaws it appears he can continue as CEO and President of his Trump organization while also serving as President of the United States were he elected.

So if his business holdings included ownership of an NFL team that would appear to be permissible as well.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

How was John Miller looking through OTAs?

@JustinWestfall

CB: Keeping in mind that Miller as an offensive lineman is not playing real football in the spring practices as it pertains to his playing duties (full contact blocking) it’s hard to provide you with a true picture of how he performed on the field. That being said I can tell you that Miller has benefitted from an offseason in an NFL strength and conditioning program as opposed to prepping for the NFL Combine and pre-draft workouts.

I just think he’s the kind of player that will make quality advances in his game as a second-year player based on the 12 games of experience he got last year. Keep in mind also that he played most of last season injured with a high-ankle sprain. Now that he’s healthy it’ll be interesting to see how he can perform when he’s 100 percent.

 


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Rob Ryan: We want to build Bills for long haul

Posted by Chris Brown on June 20, 2016 – 2:34 pm

When Rex Ryan was hired as Bills head coach he said it was his last stop. It was and is his intention to coach here for a number of years, be very successful and retire. Now with his brother Rob Ryan on board as Assistant head coach/ Defense he shares that approach.

“This is his 20th season, or something like that,” said Rob Ryan of his brother Rex’s coaching resume’. “Mine the same way. Every time you move, you want it to be the spot that you can finish your career, have your 10 great years and then go out on your own terms. That’s what he wants to do here. That’s the vision here.

“He’s trying to build a continual winner and that’s what it is. The way you see the team assembling right in front of you, it’s got to be exciting. It really is. You had free agency, you had Shady McCoy. You get Tyrod Taylor, who’s going to be a great quarterback. You got Sammy Watkins already here from the draft. The way this draft was run, it’s awesome. So everything is being done the right way and it’s fun to be around it. It has energized everybody. Look, I’m running out of decals. It’s seven, eight teams, so I know what it feels like and it feels great. Just feels awesome.”


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Offensive assistants mess with Roman

Posted by Chris Brown on June 16, 2016 – 4:26 pm

So on Wednesday, the second to last day of Bills minicamp, head coach Rex Ryan had a drawing where one player and one coach would be given the last day of minicamp off as a reward. The winners were Corey Graham and offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Ryan had to practically force Roman out of the building, and though he wasn’t on site on Thursday, he was checking in frequently. So his fellow offensive assistants decided to have a laugh at his expense.

“He already called or texted a million coaches,” said Ryan after the final practice Thursday. “I haven’t texted him back yet, but (offensive line coach Aaron) Kromer had a great one. He texted him back and goes, ‘Hey. Best practice we’ve ever had. I don’t know what the difference was, but there was a difference today. A different feel.’ And the next guy gets in there, same type of deal. ‘Hey, we were shredding it today. Tyrod was shredding it today.’ By the way, he was. We’re letting him know that to kind of pump him up like that.”

Obviously Roman is held in extremely high regard by his fellow assistants, but on the football equivalent of the last day of school his offensive coaches couldn’t resist.


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Rex very hands on with the offense

Posted by Chris Brown on June 15, 2016 – 3:20 pm

Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman called it a common misconception. The idea that Bills head coach Rex Ryan leaves everything offense to his top offensive play caller couldn’t be further from the truth. That according to Roman himself.

“I think Rex [Ryan] and I are totally on the same page as it comes to offense,” Roman said. “He and I collaborate on how our offense is put together and how we are going to go about doing things every week. And don’t fall for that trap, Rex is acutely aware of everything we do on offense.

“I think we talk long and hard for a long time about our vision for the offense. Now what players are available, what players we have, who comes forward, what draft pick, that might change the plays we run, but our basic philosophy is very similar. I have the best job in America working for Rex.”


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Goodwin grateful for Bills Olympic support

Posted by Chris Brown on June 14, 2016 – 4:31 pm

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin knows how lucky he is. In a league as cut throat as the NFL, being given the opportunity to take a hiatus from football to pursue his Olympic dream of a gold medal in the long jump is a rarity. But head coach Rex Ryan and his offensive coaches have supported Goodwin’s dream wholeheartedly and the receiver is grateful for the organization’s backing.

Goodwin who was given the freedom to skip mandatory minicamp knowing he’s embroiled in Olympic training, decided on his own to attend minicamp though he won’t be practicing this week.

“The whole staff has been very supportive,” Goodwin said. “I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity that’s been presented to me. It’s one of those deals where I have to come see my teammates. I have to come see the coaches, and it’s good to be around. It wasn’t mandatory for me really, Rex kind of let me off the hook, but I thought it would be good to just come see the team and be around. (I’m) trying to feed off of the energy that they have here. I hadn’t seen those guys for awhile, so seeing them kind of uplifted my spirits.”

Goodwin realizes that transitioning on the fly back to football will be a challenge, but its one he feels he can accomplish having done it before when he was in college.

“I’m not new to this; this isn’t my first time transitioning from track to football, or football to track,” Goodwin said. “In the 2012 Olympics, I came right off the plane and went to practice at UT (University of Texas) and hopped right in with no hesitation, no problems. I know this is the NFL and I respect that, and I respect the work that my teammates have been putting in, but I don’t really feel like I’m going to be too far behind because I’ve been working too.

“I think it’ll be a smooth transition. I’m probably the most fit I’ve been in my life. I’m at a healthy weight. I feel good, I feel great, and it’s just a great time for me.”


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Update on Sammy, Henderson, Shaq

Posted by Chris Brown on June 14, 2016 – 3:55 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan provided an update on the rehab status of three players who won’t take part in mandatory minicamp. Sammy Watkins is coming off foot surgery, Shaq Lawson had shoulder surgery and Seantrel Henderson is coming off a pair of surgeries for his medical condition. Here’s where they stand.

“We’ll start with Sammy-he’s out of the boot and that’s good,” said Ryan. “He’s in here all the time. Every time you turn around there he is. He is working his tail off to get out there. Same thing with Shaq.  Seantrel’s is different-it wasn’t an injury, it’s a medical deal. We’ll see how it is. I can tell you this-he wants to get back on the field in the worst way and we’re all pulling for him.”

Watkins is not expected to do anything at the outset of training camp. Lawson probably won’t participate in training camp either. Henderson’s status doesn’t really have a timetable as the offensive tackle works to put weight back on his frame and get stronger.


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Cordy Glenn has minor injury

Posted by Chris Brown on June 14, 2016 – 3:35 pm

Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn was not participating in practice Tuesday due to what Rex Ryan termed a minor injury last week. Glenn was getting some work done in the weight room instead as he works to get back on the field. Ryan isn’t concerned about Glenn’s situation.

“He’s got something,” said Ryan of Glenn unsure of the nature of the tackle’s injury. “He’s been in the training room early in the morning. If we were playing a game on Sunday he’d be out there.”

 


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The plan for Karlos

Posted by Chris Brown on June 14, 2016 – 3:29 pm

With Karlos Williams coming into minicamp overweight he’s limited to individual position work and then he heads over to work with the strength and conditioning staff for the remainder of practice. That was the plan on Tuesday and it’ll repeat itself on Wednesday and Thursday. Head coach Rex Ryan says they’ve already got a plan in place to get the second-year running back closer to his actual listed playing weight of 230 pounds.

At the same time dropping that much weight in what will amount to about six and a half weeks isn’t healthy, so the club has to take a more methodical approach according to Ryan.

“We’re not going to put a ridiculous weight number on him to get him back,” Ryan said. “But what you don’t want to do where he all of a sudden drops 20 pounds and he comes out here and gets hurt the first day of training camp. That’s what we’re trying to avoid. So we’ve got to get him to do the right things now. Obviously he’s not anywhere close to where he needs to be to play at a high level. So we’ve got to get some weight off him and he understands that.”

Williams said he plans to continue working with the strength and conditioning staff for another two to three weeks after minicamp closes on Thursday to get his weight more in line with where it needs to be.


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Goodwin’s gold quest has made for tough call

Posted by Chris Brown on June 9, 2016 – 2:42 pm

Bills WR Marquise Goodwin has been dedicated the last several months to qualifying for the US Olympic team’s track and field team in the long jump event. So far, so good as Goodwin has the longest jump on record this calendar year in the world. US Olympic trials are at the end of June. And while head coach Rex Ryan has supported Goodwin’s opportunity to represent his country on one of the highest athletic stages in the world, there’s no denying the receiver is doing it at a cost.

Goodwin has missed all the voluntary offseason OTA practices and meetings. It’s unclear if he’ll make it in for the team’s mandatory minicamp next week, but with the commitment needed to qualify for the Olympics it wouldn’t be shocking if he was not in attendance. Ryan has said when he’s done with his Olympic commitment they’ll welcome him back.

“We know it’s not an ideal situation right now for him on this football team. But it’s something I think… we’re proud of the fact that he’s representing our country, our football team and our community that way. Is it hurting him? Yeah I think it will a little bit, but he will have time,” Ryan said. “He’s going to have time to come back in and develop those football skills. One thing we know is if he’s not the fastest guy in the league he’s certainly right up there in the conversation. That’s a positive for him. When he’s done with his training with the Olympics and if he brings back gold, that’ll be fantastic, he’ll have time to catch up.”

Knowing what a cut throat league the NFL is, Goodwin is smart enough to know that there are some capable speed receivers on Buffalo’s roster right now who could potentially fill one of the secondary roles in the receiving corps instead of him. Most notably sixth-round pick Kolby Listenbee.

With world class speed and superior size to Goodwin, Listenbee as well as a couple of other viable competitors sit on the roster and are competing at spring practices.

As for when Goodwin will return full time, it’s expected to be right after the long jump competition is over in Rio. That figures to be more than a week after training camp has started knowing opening ceremonies for the Olympics are scheduled for August 5th.

“Right after he runs his event and then come on back in and get back here,” Ryan said. “We’ll be excited to see him.”


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Rex: EJ has nothing to prove to this team

Posted by Chris Brown on June 9, 2016 – 1:23 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan was asked a handful of questions about QB EJ Manuel. His status on the roster, his confidence in his backup quarterback and finally if he feels Manuel has anything he has to prove to his Buffalo teammates.

Ryan said seeing Manuel’s day in and day out work ethic alone is enough to convince you he has nothing to prove.

“(He has) nothing (to prove). I think the big thing about EJ and what everyone respects is how hard he’s working and the fact that he’s trying to get better,” Ryan said. “That’s evident in the way he’s practicing, and obviously he’s got a good work ethic and studies, so we’ll see.

“We hope we don’t have to use him because that means something happened to our starting quarterback, Tyrod, but we feel pretty good about having him there. We love that we have Cardale as a third quarterback, so we like our quarterback situation.”

 


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Rex comments on new corners

Posted by Chris Brown on June 9, 2016 – 8:46 am

We all know Rex loves cornerbacks who can handle press coverage. The Bills head coach has talked up Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore plenty, but some new arrivals are getting some praise from Ryan.

Early on in OTAs Ryan had some high praise for sixth-round pick Kevon Seymour, who continues to get reps with the starting unit opposite Darby in the absence of Gilmore. Now he’s spotted another new arrival at the position that has impressed him of late.

“Another guy I’ve been really impressed with is Corey White,” said Ryan. “He’s done a real nice job for us as well. I’m real fired up about that.”

Meanwhile Ryan remains encouraged by the progress of Seymour.

“Throwing that rookie into the fire… without Stephon here we’ve been putting him in with that first group just to see how he would respond and he’s done a great job,” he said.


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Barnes attempt at OL now over

Posted by Chris Brown on June 8, 2016 – 3:29 pm

DT T.J. Barnes was given a shot at offensive tackle at the outset of OTA practices two weeks ago. Now in the final week of OTA sessions he’s back at defensive tackle.

Head coach Rex Ryan confirmed that the offensive tackle experiment is over.

“Did not go great,” said Ryan. “Man that looked great on paper though. T.J. said, ‘Please Rex bring me back to defense.’ I’m like, ‘Okay you’ve got it.’ But I love the fact that he was willing to try and it wasn’t just a one day deal. He went out there and was trying for a few weeks, but in the end he did not feel comfortable. As he put it, he was tired of getting his butt kicked. To his credit he was out there battling. He was trying to get better and so we put him back to defense.”

Barnes was signed off the Jets practice squad last December and was re-signed in the offseason.


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Enemkpali gets quality reps

Posted by Chris Brown on June 8, 2016 – 2:41 pm

Rex Ryan said last week he was unsure as to just where IK Enemkpali fit in terms of a role on Buffalo’s defense. On Wednesday Enemkpali was getting first team reps at outside linebacker.

Ryan admitted with Shaq Lawson sidelined indefinitely that the door is open for other candidates to fill roles at the position.

“Absolutely he could with Shaq on the shelf, no doubt,” said Ryan of Enemkpali. “Manny (Lawson) can be a catch all for this team, outside, inside you can always play him. But IK has done really well. I think we had him primarily with the ones today. We’re bumping guys around and stuff, but he’ll have a chance. You look at IK he’s a physical player. He’s doing a much better job. So I could definitely see him pushing for playing time.”

Still widely identified by most outside observers as the guy who punched Jets QB Geno Smith, Ryan has been impressed with how Enemkpali has personally put the low point of his career behind him.

“I think he did a really good job because that’s not easy,” said Ryan. “I think he certainly doesn’t want that mark on him. Everybody sees him as the guy that punched Geno or something like that. This guy is just a football player and it’s what he wants to be known as.”


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Rex committed to pure Ryan defense in year 2

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2016 – 12:06 pm

He’s still extremely confident in his own abilities as a football coach and he still shoots players straight while also knowing how to have a little fun. But there are some ways that head coach Rex Ryan believes he has changed his approach as a coach after a disappointing 2015 season.

Ryan says that change in approach will be most evident on the defensive side of the ball where he admitted he made some concessions and compromises to his defense last season to appeal to players.

“I’ve changed a lot. I’m a guy that believes in myself a great deal and I believe in the guys that are around me,” said Ryan. “But the way that I grew up, my way of playing defense, in my opinion is the best way. And I think more than ever, it showed me that – and I’m not blaming anything else – I’m responsible for what was on the field last year, 100 percent. But I’ve also been responsible for every team that I’ve ever coached, 100 percent. So we’ll see how it goes, but I expect to be really good. I think we’ll be much improved from last year. And I guess time will tell.”

 


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Enemkpali fighting for role

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2016 – 11:44 am

He’s somewhat of a hybrid player for Rex Ryan’s more traditional 3-4 defense. He doesn’t have the ideal height for an outside linebacker or the ideal thickness to play five-technique defensive end. But he’s determined to find a role for himself.

Head coach Rex Ryan isn’t quite sure where Enemkpali fits right now either.

“I’m not sure, but he’s pushing. He’s pushing hard,” said Ryan of Enemkpali. “He looks pretty good to me. He’s really improved from a mental standpoint. Sometimes you’re overwhelmed as a rookie, but I think he’s taken off. He’s a physical player. He knows exactly what he’s doing, and you’re seeing a better player on the field.”

Shaq Lawson’s shoulder surgery removes one chief competitor at a pass rushing position. Eventually he’ll be back, but Enemkpali will need to have a strong training camp to cement a spot on Buffalo’s roster.


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Confidence that Carpenter will bounce back

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2016 – 9:12 am

He missed just four field goal attempts last season, typically the average for NFL field goal kickers in a season. For Dan Carpenter the problem was the new distance for extra points last season. Though there were other kickers in the league who had their share of extra point misses, it was a surprise to see the normally reliable Carpenter miss six in 2015. However, a down year that was compromised by a preseason hamstring injury is seen as an exception by head coach Rex Ryan rather than the norm for Carpenter.

Ryan envisions a bounce back year for Buffalo’s place kicker, and draws on prior experience as to why.

“Sometimes when you’re coming off an injury, I remember we had a Pro Bowl kicker that kind of had an off year, Nick Folk was the guy,” said Ryan of his time with the Jets. “Made the Pro Bowl as a rookie kicker for Dallas then he kind of had an injury, had a not so good year and then he came back, kicked real well. We’re expecting (Carpenter) to bounce back.”

As for how he’s faring in spring OTAs, Ryan is encouraged.

“I think he looks good. There will be competition, there’s two guys competing (Jordan Gay, undrafted rookie Marshall Morgan), but we feel pretty good about him. Last year, he made just about every field goal. He’s obviously a proven kicker in this league, and I think coming back a year after the injury is really going to help him.”


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Lawson not offended by drafting of Lawson

Posted by Chris Brown on June 1, 2016 – 3:02 pm

Bills top draft choice Shaq Lawson is probably out until the team is a few weeks into the regular season following his recent shoulder surgery. But when he returns he’s expected to make an impact. He’s also likely to eat into Manny Lawson’s time on the field. The veteran Lawson however, isn’t bothered by the presence of a talented rookie like his namesake.

“I don’t take any offense, but it is competition,” said Lawson. “Everything out here is competition, no job is guaranteed. Every team wants to be the best and have the best players out there. And when you draft a guy that high you expect him to come out here and play. So all it is, is more incentive that has already been here step up and more incentive for him to earn a spot.”

Even if the rookie Lawson was healthy, head coach Rex Ryan indicated that Manny Lawson would still have a significant role in Buffalo’s defense.

“Manny was always going to have a big role for us,” said Ryan. “Albeit as a super sub, a sixth man if you will because he can back up all four linebacker spots.”


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Fan Friday 5-27

Posted by Chris Brown on May 27, 2016 – 11:28 am

Week one of OTAs is in the books. Week 2 gets underway Tuesday. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Hi Chris

Thanks for all you do to keep us Bills fans informed! My question is about extending Gilmore and Tyrod. With Gilmore being under contract under the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, if he and the Bills were able to strike a long term deal this offseason, does that work like the franchise tag where his new deal would replace his current contract, or is this year’s salary set in stone and they can only negotiate an extension for next year and beyond?

If it is an extension that doesn’t impact his present salary for this season, how would that work with his signing bonus? Would a prorated portion count against the cap this year? Same thing with Tyrod, if the team signed him to an extension so they could keep him at his low salary for this season, if the extension were signed this offseason, would there be any impact on this season’s salary cap from his signing bonus if his salary doesn’t change? Thanks!

CB: New long term deals typically replace the existing one. The club usually does this to more effectively spread out the amortized portions of the contract (e.g. signing bonus). On occasion teams will tack on an extension to the current year, but it’s uncommon.

2 – Chris

Can you give us more insight into UDFA Justin Zimmer. He was the fastest/quickest/strongest tackle in this year’s draft with something like 86 tackles, 13 sacks, 26 tfl, and 4 ff’s.  This kid should have been drafted just based on his measurables alone.  44 Reps/4.85 40 with outstanding short shuttle and 3 cone times- Are you kidding me?  Mo Boehringer got drafted on pure potential and this kid is way more experienced than him, even at Ferris St.  Can Coach Blake morph this kid into the next Aaron Donald or Geno Atkins?  With Adolphus Washington we really strengthened the interior D.

John

CB: One reason why Zimmer went undrafted is because he has short arms. While this might sound ridiculous these are parts of the player measurables that carry weight especially when it comes to line play. If you can’t keep offensive linemen from getting into your chest then you’ll have problems making plays.

Now Zimmer to his credit was ultra-productive at the FCS level. He’s quick and agile and obviously powerful and he’s a hustler. To say he could be the next Aaron Donald or Geno Atkins is a stretch. That being said he’ll be interesting to watch when the pads go on in camp.
3 – Chris,

Last year’s defense was a disappointment. Veteran players could not fully adapt to this complicated front seven scheme then play at a high level. Also, expectations turned out to be unrealistically high.

Is there any way 3 rookies can leap to the NFL, play in this same defensive front, simplified or not, and have success? Or do we need to start managing expectations now to avoid more disappointment?

Thanks,
Ron
CB: First, I’m going to tell you that in this first week of OTAs the players admitted they assumed with an accomplished defensive coach coming in the door that they just expected to be just as good as they were the year before and did not put the required time in to master the defense. Just about every place Rex Ryan has been his players have never had a problem absorbing and implementing the defensive system he employs. They’ve never had a problem playing fast.

Buffalo’s players pretty much acknowledged that a lot of their shortcomings last season were on them because they didn’t buy into the system. That’s changed now, so I’d be interested to see how well they can play in this defense with the talent they have on hand.

Now will it be an adjustment for the three top draft choices? Probably, but their talent will help to carry them until they do have it all down pat. Additionally all three draft choices are workers and committed to being great. Those are all encouraging signs. As we all know the proof will be in the results on the field.

 

4 – Hey Chris ,
Do you think the Bills have any interest in trading for Sam Bradford ? Personally I think he has had a pretty raw deal since entering the league, his first three seasons the Rams had nobody really legit to play with on offense except for Danny Amendola , he tore his acl twice and the Eagles were a mess to begin with before he got there, Buffalo has a lot of good players on offense right now I would be really curious to see who would win the starting job between Taylor and Bradford, thank you.

Alexander, Toronto


CB:
I’d be surprised if the Bills pursue something like this if in fact Bradford is offered up again. The biggest question facing this team is whether or not they have a franchise quarterback. That won’t be answered if you add another QB to the mix. They should stick with Tyrod Taylor this season and see what kind of step forward he can make.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills Didn’t the Bills defense want to be the ‘85 bears last year?

Joe gnozzo @joegnozzo51

CB: I don’t think the bar was ever set that high. From a scheme perspective that wasn’t the plan either. Rex’s defense does have some 46 principles to it, but the biggest issue in terms of scheme in 2015 was Ryan’s attempt to blend some of the successful concepts of the team’s 2014 system that helped them finish fourth in the NFL with his own scheme.

The blend did not work by Ryan’s own admission by midseason and the unit never recovered when they tried to eliminate that in season.

This year they’re going to be more of a traditional 3-4 and play strictly Ryan’s defensiv


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