Inside The Bills

Harvin has seen Patriots week Rex before

Posted by Chris Brown on September 17, 2015 – 12:56 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan gets pumped up for just about any game on the regular season schedule, but he has been pretty honest that it’s the Patriots he wants to beat most of all. Ryan’s demeanor morphs and changes through the course of the week leading up to the game. WR Percy Harvin, who spent half a season with Ryan last year with the Jets, described what happens.

“He gets a little kick to his step as you can tell by his interviews,” said Harvin. “He’s just a confident coach. He doesn’t back down from any challenge.  He accepts it. He’s just like a player. He looks forward to playing against the best guys and I’m pretty sure he looks forward to measuring himself against Coach Belichick.”

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Pats recognize offensive mindset of Bills ‘D’

Posted by Chris Brown on September 17, 2015 – 10:13 am

Bills head coach Rex Ryan is known as an aggressive defensive play caller. He and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman aren’t shy about throwing caution to the wind with the way they call games. The Patriots know that all too well. In fact they had an interesting description for Ryan’s defensive philosophy.

“He’s a great coach,” said Tom Brady of Ryan. “I think he just does a good job keeping offenses off balance. He’s obviously got a good blitz package. I think what you saw last week against the Colts was kind of vintage Rex Ryan, and along with those great players that he’s got, I think they just, they take such an offensive mentality to their defense. And they put a lot of pressure on opposing offenses, and wherever they feel like they’ve got you stressed, I think they smell blood in the water and they keep going after it.

“You know, it took the Colts a long time to get going. Hopefully, we can get out to a good, fast start and play well and try to get those guys on their heels a little bit. But it’s tough to do because, like I said, they’re really well prepared. They’ve got some really talented players, and they always play well at home. I think every time that we play them there, it feels like it’s always down to the minute.”

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Belichick on Bills blitz scheme

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2015 – 2:43 pm

For Patriots head coach Bill Belichick he’s seen a host of different blitz schemes from Bills head coach Rex Ryan over the years. While he doesn’t pretend to know everything that’s coming at his offense this Sunday, he does expect his players and his staff to recognize it quickly and adjust accordingly.

“The key for us is just to identify it,” said Belichick. “They give you a lot of different looks and they bring a lot of different people. It’s not just a linebacker or a particular safety or whatever it is. They have different packages. Sometimes that changes by formation, so it depends on what you’re in what you’re going to get.

“I think the key is just that we have to have a good week of preparation, make sure we can understand what we’re doing on each play and follow our rules. Our rules will take care of whatever any defense does. We have a certain thing we do depending on what happens, and hopefully we’ll be able to execute those if and when they come up on Sunday.”

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Rex expecting a lot of Pats big back this week

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2015 – 1:05 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan has seen enough of New England’s offensive game plans over the years that he has a pretty good idea which running back the Patriots will be deploying against his Bills defense this week.

Knowing that the Patriots frequently change who the feature back is in a given week, Ryan has little doubt who Buffalo’s run front will be dealing with Sunday.

“Yeah (LeGarrette) Blount,” said Ryan. “That’s who it’s going to be. That’s who it would’ve been Week 1. The other kid is who he is. Blount is their guy and I know him he’s a big, tough, stud running back. We throw in this other dude, hey guess what? He ain’t going to play. They’ll put him in on third down, but he’s not going to be out there. They’re going to put Blount back there.”

Blount has had good success against the Bills in the past. In his last two games against Buffalo he has 251 yards on 34 carries and a pair of touchdowns. His yards per carry average in those two games is 7.38.

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A tip of the hat to the DBs

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2015 – 4:24 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan liked the performance of a lot of parts of his team Sunday. One in particular was his secondary.

Facing the league’s top ranked passing offense of a season ago the Buffalo defensive backs would have their hands full. But Ryan and DC Dennis Thurman dialed up a good number of pressure packages forcing Andrew Luck into an exclusive three-step passing game. 

That in turn allowed Buffalo’s DBs to play aggressive on the short routes leading to a pair of interceptions and 12 total pass breakups. Stephon Gilmore led the effort with four PBUs. 

“Yeah I think he did more than hold up, I think he thrived, I really do,” said Ryan. “If he comes away with that pick you know… he had a phenomenal game. Really the four corners we that we had play I thought all played extremely well. With [Nickell] Robey playing nickel, [Mario] Butler coming in there replacing the kid [Ronald Darby]. I thought all the guys played well. If we can hold up on the corner like that with our guys, oooh its going to be fun. It is going to be hard to do anything against us on defense.”

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Rex not worried about Sammy

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2015 – 4:06 pm

The Bills beat a team that was 11-5 last season without making use of their top receiver Sammy Watkins. Buffalo’s No. 1 wideout wasn’t targeted until the third quarter as the Colts made a concerted effort to roll coverage to Watkins’ side of the field and have their top corner follow him everywhere the entire game. It was the first game of Watkins’ career that he did not post a reception, but head coach Rex Ryan is anything but concerned.

“I think sometimes it is going to be like that,” said Ryan. “Whatever the plan is…and you know quite honestly we were trying to play keep away a little bit from Indianapolis and you know had some more underneath throws and things like that. I will say this he was open a couple times, but it’s just like gosh the protection broke down once or we would have had a 60 or 70 yard touchdown.

“A guy whiffs on protection and we can’t make the throw down the field. Is it rare that Sammy [Watkins] is going to go without a catch? Yeah, that will probably happen once this season. Our thing is our focus is trying to win the game, whatever the means, however we can do that, to give ourselves the best chance that is what we are going to do.”

Watkins had no problem that his personal stats weren’t all that impressive. He was more satisfied with the victory.

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Bradham on crowd noise: Keep it coming

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2015 – 9:05 am

Bills LB Nigel Bradham has played more than his fair share of home games in Orchard Park, but on Sunday, Week 1 against the Colts, the din raining down from the fans onto the field was the most noise he has ever experienced.

As we profiled on today, Rex Ryan’s first win was special for many reasons, but the fans coming through on his request for vocal support might have been the trump card.

“This one was crazy,” Bradham told “I honestly could yell on the field and not hear myself at all. To the top of my lungs yelling and Preston (Brown) is like four yards over and he can’t even hear me. So we had to use hand signals man. That was the most exciting and loud I’ve ever heard it in here. It’s been loud, but that was another level.”

Head coach Rex Ryan admitted that in practice this week they’re going to have to prepare better for the crowd noise.

“The thing we really gotta start working on is, I’ve got to pump the volume up for our defense in practice because we kind of blew some communication things out there,” Ryan said. “But it’s because our fans were so awesome, but we’ve got to expect it. Our team has to expect it. So I’ve got to really work at it and dial it in, but man it was unbelievable.”

Buffalo’s defensive players did admit there were some communication problems with pre-snap checks and adjustments to alignments and formation, but they’re not about to tell Bills fans to keep quiet.

“We did have communication issues, but keep it coming,” said Bradham. “It’s a bigger problem for them and you could see the delay of games, the timeouts they had to take, the false starts.”

“There were definitely some problems here and there,” said Kyle Williams. “But you don’t want them to change at all because it’s more of an issue for them than it is for us.”

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Dungy: Rex made believer out of me

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2015 – 9:49 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan isn’t shy about talking up his team, his players or his defense. At his introductory press conference he said they’d be the number one defense in the league. Sunday was the first test and it was a big one in Andrew Luck, and without arguably their most talented defensive player in Marcell Dareus. But after watching the Bills hold the Colts scoreless for almost three quarters, Dungy a Super Bowl winning head coach with a defensive background himself, was sold.

Appearing on NBC’s Football Night in America, Dungy tipped his hat to Ryan and Buffalo’s defense on the heels of their 27-14 win over Indianapolis.

“He talked all summer about how good this defense was going to be,” said Dungy of Ryan. “He made a believer out of me today. I was impressed with them.”

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Rex planning mixed bag for Luck

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2015 – 10:05 am

He anticipates very well what a defense is going to throw at him, which makes him even more dangerous, but Colts QB Andrew Luck can predict everything that’s coming. That’s why Bills head coach Rex Ryan will be doing everything in his power to keep him guessing.

“Yeah, we’ll recognize that he runs the whole show,” said Ryan of Luck. “They run a no-huddle, but it’s more of a muddle huddle type. He controls the tempo of it, all that kind of stuff. He’s very good. He draws people offsides. He can do everything. There’s a certain chess match involved and things like that, but at the end of the day it comes down to, we have to get after him too. You can’t let him just sit back there and go 7-on-7 against you, and we won’t.”

With a healthy defense Ryan will have plenty of options to turn to with personnel groupings and play calls.

“Yeah, you play the game with them,” he said. “You change your looks. You change all that kind of stuff. You challenge them mentally. We’ll challenge him physically, too. He’s gonna have to pick himself up occasionally. It’s not necessarily the sacks, but you can’t just let him sit back there. You gotta pressure him, and we’re gonna mix everything we’ve got. So it’s not always pressure; it’s not always coverage; it’s not always this; it’s not always that; it’s gonna be multiple things, playing a real defense.”

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Rex on carrying a KO specialist

Posted by Chris Brown on September 11, 2015 – 3:40 pm

The Bills are a team that has a kickoff specialist in Jordan Gay, who is beginning his second season with the team. They believe there is value in having one so long as he’s very effective. 

Head coach Rex Ryan was asked about it and he’s on board with carrying one so long as he proves himself in the regular season. 

“That’s something that you don’t really…I think we’re the only team in the league with one but he better be great at it,” said Ryan. “So when he’s…I don’t know what his numbers, but they’re as high up as anybody’s in the league. Haven’t made my mind up if we’re gonna go in with the extra kickoff guy or not, but certainly have him on a team for those purposes.”

Gay finished ninth in the league in touchback percentage. His numbers would’ve been higher had there not been some game plans where he was specifically asked to hang kicks up in the air and short of the goal line. 

Indianapolis has a kickoff specialist. He just also happens to be the team’s punter in Pat McAfee. 

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Ryan’s message for Week 1

Posted by Chris Brown on September 11, 2015 – 11:10 am

Rex Ryan addressed the team this week in advance of Week 1, a week that we profiled as a very successful one for Ryan in his time as a head coach in the NFL on TE Matthew Mulligan, who has been with Ryan for a couple of his previous openers, laid out what the message from Rex was this week.

“His message was of confidence, but for me what I took out of it was how we’re one team,” Mulligan told “We are not going to play as individuals. We are going to play as a collective unit and that’s how we’re going to win games this year. We’re going to all buy into one thing and know that it’s for the betterment of the team whatever we’re doing. That to me speaks volumes.

“We can talk about guys on an individual basis. We’ve got some crazy good athletes and players here where you can do that. He doesn’t do that. He’s like, ‘We’re a team. It doesn’t matter if you’re at the top of the roster or the bottom. We’re all part of the 53 and then you have the practice squad guys who are just as important too. But we’re going to work together and that’s how we’re going to win.’’

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Some history for Rex Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 11, 2015 – 9:35 am

As we profiled on this morning, Rex Ryan has a strong won-loss record in season openers with a 5-1 mark as a head coach. If Ryan can emerge victorious from Buffalo’s Week 1 matchup with Indianapolis he’ll be in some select Bills coaching company.

With a win Rex Ryan can become the first Bills head coach to win his first Kickoff Weekend game. He can also become the second Bills head coach to win his first game joining Hall of Famer Marv Levy.

Levy’s first game was a win, but came in the middle of the 1986 season after he replaced Hank Bullough.

With a win, the Bills will also post their first home Kickoff Weekend game victory since September 7, 2008 when Buffalo beat Seattle 34-17.



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Marquise Goodwin update

Posted by Chris Brown on September 10, 2015 – 4:37 pm

WR Marquise Goodwin has been sidelined since the Pittsburgh preseason game with a rib injury. Head coach Rex Ryan provided an update on the receiver’s progress in his efforts to get back on the field.

“He’s doing good, but I mean he had two fractured ribs or whatever it was so that takes a little time to heal,” said Ryan. “Obviously every guys different or whatever but when he’s back…I know one thing he feels a lot better, he’s able to sleep at night so that’s an improvement.”

Goodwin was hit in the ribs by the crown of a Pittsburgh defender’s helmet after making a catch across the middle.

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Hughes: Dareus extension means bright future

Posted by Chris Brown on September 10, 2015 – 2:33 pm

Bills DE Jerry Hughes signed a new long-term contract of his own this past offseason as an impending free agent. Now his fellow linemate has been locked up long term as well in Marcell Dareus, who signed a multi-year contract extension Thursday. For Hughes it says a lot about what ownership is striving for by keeping important core pieces of a top flight defense together.

“It just shows that the future is very bright. For them to come out and extend Marcell the way they did it’s tremendous for him, the ownership, the Bills organization. So we’re just happy to have him back in the building.”

Naturally head coach Rex Ryan is excited to know he’ll have Dareus at the front of his defense for years to come.

“I’ve had some great ones during my time. I’ve been blessed to really coach some fantastic players and he certainly be on top of that list,” said Ryan. “So to have somebody like that obviously is a great comfort level. You can do so much and when you combine him with what we have, with Kyle Williams as smart as he is, as talented as he is and Mario (Williams) and Jerry (Hughes) and all the guys…Man no wonder I came to Buffalo, that’s a heck of a deal.”

“I think you get a young, great player like that, a guy that’s been around us for a while that you have a good comfort zone with I’m glad he’s here,” said Kyle Williams. “I never expected him to leave. I’m happy for him most of all and now we go into football games.”


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Rex: Harvin will be full go Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 10, 2015 – 2:17 pm

UBNS image

Bills WR Percy Harvin was held out of Wednesday’s practice because it was a rest day for his hip ailment. On Thursday he practiced in full, giving head coach Rex Ryan the expectation that he’ll be full go for Sunday’s season opener.

“Yep, absolutely. I expect him to be a full go,” said Ryan of Harvin.

Harvin, who looked loose and fluid during the media viewing portion of practice, said Thursday’s practice went well.

“I felt real good,” Harvin said. “So I’m ready.”

Here’s the rest of Thursday’s injury report.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday Participation Thursday
Marquise Goodwin WR Ribs DNP DNP
Tony Steward LB Knee DNP DNP
Percy Harvin WR Hip DNP FP
Charles Clay TE Knee FP FP
LeSean McCoy RB Hamstring FP FP
Sammy Watkins WR Hamstring FP FP
Robert Woods WR Hip FP FP
Mario Williams DE Calf FP FP
Chris Hogan WR Knee FP FP

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McCoy full go for practice

Posted by Chris Brown on September 9, 2015 – 12:22 pm

He’s been working his way back from a hamstring injury suffered back in training camp and missed the team’s last three preseason games as a result. But with Week 1 now days away it appears that LeSean McCoy is healed and ready to play.

That according to head coach Rex Ryan who said LeSean McCoy will be practicing full speed Wednesday.

“I think he’s going to be ready to roll,” said Ryan of McCoy for Sunday’s opener against the Colts. “We’ll see how it progresses during the week, but he’s practicing full so he’ll be ready.”

McCoy said late last week that he wanted to be healed to the point where he didn’t have to dial things back in Sunday’s game.

“I don’t want to go out there and half a** it,” he said. “I want to be able to make the cuts when I need to make them. I want to be as healthy as possible.”

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What Cassel will do as the No. 2

Posted by Chris Brown on September 8, 2015 – 10:57 am

With the Bills re-signing Matt Cassel Tuesday, and Rex Ryan declaring him the number two quarterback on the depth chart, the veteran QB will have an important role.

Knowing that Tyrod Taylor does not have an NFL start on his professional resume and just 14 game appearances in his previous four seasons, Cassel can serve as a valuable sounding board for Taylor.

“I will do anything I possibly can,” said Cassel. “I use my experience all the time and I help these guys whether it’s the simple things like note taking or film study. Now my role changes and I try to do whatever I can to help this team be successful. That’s my role.”

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Rex: Trade talks happen this time of year

Posted by Chris Brown on September 4, 2015 – 5:39 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan was asked if there had been any talks of trades with other NFL clubs the last day or so. Ryan’s response? Of course.

“There are always trade talks going on,” said Ryan. “This time of year there are always trade talks about availability of maybe this team is deep at this position or that position. So I think this time (of year), today in particular, there will be discussions. People calling us or us calling somebody else.”

Ryan indicated earlier in training camp that teams were calling about some of their receiving prospects, knowing Buffalo was deep at that position.

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Carpenter understands Ryan’s frustration

Posted by Chris Brown on September 4, 2015 – 5:28 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan has made no bones about his dissatisfaction with the state of Dan Carpenter’s field goal success rate of 50 percent in the preseason. Add in a missed extra point and it hasn’t been pretty. Carpenter, a no nonsense guy himself, gets it.

“If you have a kicker who goes 3 for 6 in the preseason, you should be concerned as a coach,” said Carpenter Friday. “That’s their job. I need to do better. I know that, he knows that, everyone else in this building knows that, and everyone else in this building expects me to do better. That’s pretty much all there is to it.”

Carpenter doesn’t believe it’s anything mental that’s affecting him. The biggest problem was the time he had to spend on the sidelines at training camp with his hamstring injury.

“I think, with that it was just time,” he said. “There’s time missed that I can’t get back. All I can do is move forward from there and work to get better.”

The veteran kicker said he’s not going to have a meltdown and that he’s battled through rough patches before. He believes he can get back to where he was the past two seasons with the Bills, which was a 90 percent success rate.

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Cautious optimism persists on McCoy

Posted by Chris Brown on September 4, 2015 – 3:33 pm

It’s far from a lock, but head coach Rex Ryan has said for two weeks that he’s cautiously optimistic about RB LeSean McCoy being ready for the season opener against Indianapolis. Ryan didn’t move off that stance Friday.

“I’m hoping that he’ll be available to us,” said Ryan. “The only thing I mentioned is being cautiously optimistic and I remain optimistic.”

McCoy was participating with the offense in practice Friday.

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