Inside The Bills

Dareus update

Posted by Chris Brown on December 27, 2015 – 6:01 pm

Bills DT Marcell Dareus left Sunday’s game with a shoulder/neck injury and did not return. He was seen walking to the locker room under his own power, but never returned to the game after leaving in the first half. Head coach Rex Ryan provided an update in his postgame press conference.

“He doesn’t have a lot of feeling in his hand,” said Ryan. “He’s down with a neck and we’ll see the extent of that as we go.”

Ryan said it’s too early to tell whether or not Dareus would be available for the team’s season finale against the Jets.

Buffalo’s head coach also confirmed John Miller’s ankle injury and Marcus Easley’s knee injury.


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Gillislee providing punch to Bills run game

Posted by Chris Brown on December 27, 2015 – 11:00 am

The Bills number one rushing attack will be without LeSean McCoy today against the Cowboys, leaving Karlos Williams as the lead back and a late blooming complementary back right behind him.

Mike Gillislee, a 25-year old back, has made the most of his opportunities since entering Buffalo’s lineup and it’s only given offensive coordinator Greg Roman more incentive to keep him more chances on offense.

“He’s been awesome,” said Roman. “I said to the team all he does is come in, work hard, keep his mouth shut, learn a lot of stuff in a short amount of time and then go out and perform brilliantly really. This guy has been nothing but impressive in meetings and behind the scenes and then at practice 100 miles per hour and full speed mentally all the time. A guy like that can play for me any day. I know the team is very pleased with what he’s done. He’s had some big plays for us.”

In limited action Gillislee has done something big in each of the Bills last three games. He ripped off a 30-yard run in the win over the Texans. He had a 19-yard touchdown run against the Eagles and a 60-yard touchdown run at Washington.

“He’s done a great job and I think you see the kind of coach Anthony Lynn is and I’ve always talked about Anthony. But he’s done a great job with him,” said Rex Ryan. “But Gillislee’s, I mean out of nowhere you turn around and you just keep giving this guy opportunities and he’s made the most of them.”


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Forecast could force more run game

Posted by Chris Brown on December 26, 2015 – 12:58 pm

The game day forecast for the Bills-Cowboys game may lead to even more run game than initially planned by both teams. Heavy winds are in the Sunday forecast and that could mean a lot of Karlos Williams and Mike Gillislee for Buffalo and plenty of Darren McFadden for Dallas.

“I would think so,” said Rex Ryan of the likelihood of a heavy rushing attack for both teams. “I think with the weather, I think we’re gonna get a lot of run. I mean it sounds like we’re gonna get some Buffalo wind and so I think that’ll probably lead to the fact that we’ll probably see more run.”

Kellen Moore played his college ball at Boise State in Idaho where the weather can get nasty, but his arm strength leaves him limited when it comes to throwing in windy conditions. Tyrod Taylor’s arm strength leaves him in better position to cut passes through the wind.

 


Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-25

Posted by Chris Brown on December 25, 2015 – 11:48 am

Merry Christmas Bills fans! We know the players and coaches would’ve liked to leave a bit more under the tree for you this season. It might be hard to see it now, but there are a lot of encouraging signs for the 2016 season. Here are your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

How does Karlos look for this week? Starting? Or gillislee taking reps with the ones?

Ethan_Diep

CB: Barring any setbacks with his shoulder I’d expect Karlos Williams to start in place of LeSean McCoy. Mike Gillislee will have a role however on Sunday serving as a complement to Williams.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Isn’t there value in continuity? The most successful organizations have it, right?

XKC4338

CB: Yes, most of the most NFL franchises have some clear measure of continuity. In many cases it’s aided by having a franchise quarterback. Buffalo has found a promising QB in Tyrod Taylor. There are a lot of encouraging elements to Taylor’s game that should only improve heading into next season with another year in Greg Roman’s system. That being said the jury is still out on whether he can be a franchise caliber signal caller.

I’m guessing your question stems from concern about the state of the Bills front office and coaching staff amid a flurry of media reports this week. I will say that things did not go according to plan with this team this season. There is no debate about that. I don’t think making wholesale changes are the way to go or in the offing.

Doug Whaley has proven himself as a talent evaluator in his short time as GM of the Bills. Anyone who can flip Matt Cassel for a fifth-round pick and get a Pro Bowl running back for a linebacker that has had a pair of ACL knee injuries is doing something right. And all the criticism for the draft day trade of Sammy Watkins looks like it has missed the mark.

Rex Ryan despite a disappointing defensive season has been a top 10 defensive coach in this league for all but two of the seasons in which he has been either a coordinator or head coach. He’s a proven innovator in this league and it’s my contention that he’ll be doing some more innovating this offseason to gain the upper hand again on opposing offenses next year.

I know it again sounds like empty promises. Believe me I get it. I’ve been here to witness each of the last 16 seasons. As I’ve said many times, frequent change hasn’t brought much in the way of improvement for this team. I doubt such sweeping change will make this team better in 2016.
3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Thoughts on Tyrod as long term answer for Bills?

TheGreatMikesby
CB: I think Tyrod has certainly made himself the best candidate for that role right now. As I said above Taylor still has some more evidence to provide that he can be that guy, which means making progress in some areas of his game.

The thing that hasn’t made sense to me is the criticism he’s received for not making enough plays in the fourth quarter, leading his team from behind to a victory, etc. The positive things he has done for that position in a brand new offense for every player on that side of the ball should be applauded.

To have the numbers he has, which include an astounding 4:1 touchdown to interception ratio (20 to 5) and a passer rating that is on pace to be the best in team history (yes, better than HOF’er Jim Kelly) and has been over 100 almost all season, is remarkable.

What goes by the board for most fans because they’re not around him every day is the leadership he has demonstrated for this team in his role as QB. I have covered this team since Kelly’s last two seasons with the Bills and having seen all the quarterbacks since then, the only one who led as effectively as Taylor was Ryan Fitzpatrick. The only one who did better was Drew Bledsoe.

But Bledsoe came in the door with a proven resume that included Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl appearance. So stepping in and leading was easy.

Taylor came in as part of a three-man QB competition, no time on the field in the league and in less than a season not only won over the locker room, but produced on the field and then did all the right things off it in terms of vocal leadership, running extra offensive meetings by himself with teammates and counseling younger players on the practice squad (e.g. Dez Lewis, Walt Powell).

In my opinion, Taylor has earned the right to be this team’s starting quarterback next season. If the Bills happen to acquire a quarterback who is superior in every way this offseason then things are different, but until that time this is a quarterback fans should get behind.

 

4 – Chris,

Do you think the Bills will utilize Bill Polian as a team Consultant?  I totally agree with Mr. Polian’s recent comments, Improve the Offensive Line with talent (a need for past 15 years that has not been properly addressed), add a WR to compliment Sammy on the other side, and add a true quality back-up QB to Tyrod Taylor, while also drafting a young QB to develop for the future.

In addition, my thought is use a defensive scheme that matches the strengths of the Bills personnel.

Randy Culp

CB: I’m not going to pretend to know what Terry and Kim Pegula are thinking with respect to hiring a consultant. What I can tell you is Bill Polian’s job at ESPN is in direct conflict with him having any kind of NFL consultant job with an NFL club. He recently said on Sirius NFL Radio that he would not want to give up his ESPN job to do that.

All due respect to Bill Polian, who is a Hall of Fame executive, but the offensive line is not old and slow. Of the seven offensive linemen who have seen the most time on the field this season, their average age is 26.5-years old. Two of the oldest, Richie Incognito and Eric Wood are Pro Bowl alternates and the team leads the league in rushing.

For you to say the offensive line hasn’t been addressed is also incorrect. They drafted four in the last two drafts. Cordy Glenn, who the team has said is a priority to re-sign, is entering the prime of his career (also a draft choice – 2012).

And I wouldn’t be surprised if they invest in the offensive line again this offseason in the draft. Adding a quarterback I think is also on the to-do list.

Doug Whaley in two short years as GM has done a solid job of fortifying this roster with quality talent. What’s more he’s retained the most important talent on this roster instead of letting it escape to play for other clubs. So I’m having a hard time understanding the criticism for the team’s personnel boss.

 

5 – ​Hi Chris,

I really think Doug Whaley does a tremendous job identifying talent…but I think he needs some help (as well as Rex) building a TEAM.  As Talley said, and I totally agree, we have a collection of all-stars but no team unity.  Fred Jackson was the glue on this team and Whaley showed me he doesn’t understand the “team” concept this offseason (was Bryce Brown really that talented??  Did anyone not think Goodwin would be hurt in his first game?? With Shady being hurt..cut someone else).  When KW and AW went down that was a huge blow and now young men are trying to become leaders and that will take time.  More so than talent this offseason, I’m really looking for the Bills to become a team and look like the enjoy playing together.  Your thoughts?

Chris
St. Louis
CB: I agree that losing Kyle Williams and Aaron Williams for the season were costly losses. They were the primary leaders on defense. I think it would’ve been harder for Fred to lead here in a vastly reduced role that might have found him inactive in certain weeks.

As the season is winding down it is encouraging to see a couple of 2014 draft choices step forward in Preston Brown and Sammy Watkins and take on more of a leadership role in the final weeks. Hopefully they continue to serve this team in that capacity going into next year.

If the productive players on the field are the ones leading off of it everybody follows. It’s unfortunate that a pair of 22-years old have to fill that kind of void, but when veterans choose not to a team has no choice.

As Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells once said:

“Blame nobody – expect nothing – do something. Losers sit around in small groups, b**ching about the coach, the system and other players. Winners come together as a team.”


Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Ryan not ruling out McCoy yet

Posted by Chris Brown on December 24, 2015 – 2:29 pm

UBNS image

 

 

For the second straight day LeSean McCoy did not practice due to a knee injury. Head coach Rex Ryan admitted it doesn’t look good for the Bills to have their Pro Bowl running back on Sunday, but he’s not yet going to rule him out for the Cowboys game.

“We’re practicing like we won’t have him (Sunday),” said Ryan. “But if he’s ready to roll and the docs think he’s good then obviously we’ll reconsider. But you expect the other guys to step up and we’re prepared to go either way.”

Ryan said they’re weighing the benefits of McCoy playing in games that don’t have any meaning for the postseason against wanting to win their last two this season.

“I think you look at all those things,” he said. “We’re trying to win these games, but we’re not going to put a guy out there who’s hurt. We’re not going to put him out on the field if a guy’s injured and that’s any player.”

DID NOT PRACTICE
RB LeSean McCoy – knee
LB Nigel Bradham – ankle
TE Charles Clay – back
CB Ronald Darby – groin

LIMITED IN PRACTICE
G John Miller – ankle
WR Walt Powell – hip
RB Karlos Williams – shoulder
C Eric Wood – shoulder
S Bacarri Rambo – knee
DE Mario Williams – hand

FULL PRACTICE
CB Ron Brooks – neck
RB Boobie Dixon – knee
DT Stefan Charles – shoulder

 

 


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Darby doesn’t practice, Clay misses again

Posted by Chris Brown on December 24, 2015 – 2:21 pm

Bills CB Ronald Darby was limited in practice on Wednesday, but didn’t practice at all on Thursday. Charles Clay didn’t practice for a second straight as head coach Rex Ryan indicated that the Bills tight end is not where they thought he would be at this point in the week.

“You know obviously I wish they were out there at practice,” said Ryan of Darby and Clay. “But you know we’ll see how it goes. We were hopeful that both those guys would be able to play, but not sure right now.

“With (Charles) Clay, I don’t know if it’s a setback but we thought that he’d be ready to roll. But sometimes those backs can be tricky. (Ronald) Darby, you know he never got out of anything and now today he couldn’t go. So hopefully he’ll be feeling better tomorrow.”

If Darby can’t go that would leave Buffalo with Leodis McKelvin and Mario Butler as the team’s starting cornerbacks against Dallas on Sunday.

 


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Taylor, 2 Bills OL head Pro Bowl alternates

Posted by Chris Brown on December 23, 2015 – 12:42 pm

LeSean McCoy was aptly named to the Pro Bowl by his NFL peers as announced on NFL Network last night. He was the only starter named to the league’s all-star game from the Bills. Four other Bills however, were named as Pro Bowl alternates in the event that some starters are unavailable for the game. Two of the four were also largely responsible along with McCoy in giving Buffalo the number one rushing offense in the league.

Head coach Rex Ryan announced the team’s four Pro Bowl alternates Wednesday.

“We had four alternates to the Pro Bowl,” said Ryan. “It was Richie Incognito. Obviously I expected Richie to be playing in the game, but he was named an alternate as was Eric Wood and Marcell Dareus and then Tyrod Taylor also. So those are our alternates to the Pro Bowl.”

Woods and Incognito anchored Buffalo’s offensive line this season, and helped vault the offense to the top of the league in rushing. Taylor also had a hand in that statistic as the team’s second-leading rusher behind McCoy with 450 yards on the ground this season. In fact Taylor is 27 yards from breaking the team’s single-season rushing record by a quarterback, set by Doug Flutie.

Taylor was also one of the highest-rated quarterbacks in the league all season. He currently stands fifth in the league in quarterback rating with a mark of 101.8 and has a 4:1 touchdown to interception ratio this season.


Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins: It’s on the players, not the coaches

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2015 – 3:04 pm

With the Bills missing the playoffs again this season fans are understandably disappointed when expectations were so high. Outside observers have placed blame on the coaching staff, but the players says there’s no one to blame but the guys who take the field each week.

“I can’t put it on the coaches. I think it starts with grown men and with ourselves,” said Watkins. “We’ve got to come together as a locker room and find out what fits for us. If we’re disciplined with ourselves we’ll be fine. I think we have a great team and a great staff and we’ve done some great things, but for us to get over the hump I think it starts with the players and we can’t sit here and blame a particular group, a particular person or a particular coach. That’s not what the NFL is about. We have to fix the problem and hopefully we do.

“We know as a team what we have to do and it’s sad because we kind of waited too late to correct things (as players). Hopefully next year when we do our evaluation at the end of the year we can talk over things with Rex and the GM and the offensive coordinator and the defensive coordinator and we can get everything handled.

“I’m pretty sure there are going to be a lot of changes in the locker room. I’m with Rex. If he has to be hard on us and do whatever he has to go, I’m fine with that. I’d rather be the best team, the disciplined team, the best in shape team and win games, rather than having a great team and having great coaches and putting it to waste.

 


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Ryan refutes rift report, backs Whaley 100%

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2015 – 9:23 am

The report about a rift between Bills GM Doug Whaley and head coach Rex Ryan and members of his staff was something that Ryan refuted as “dead wrong” when asked about it after Sunday’s game. He took it a step further in his weekly radio appearance on Bills flagship station.

Appearing on WGR Sportsradio 550 Monday afternoon, Ryan reiterated that the report is inaccurate and completely erroneous as he stated what kind of relationship he and his general manager have.

“I think it’s ludicrous. I truly do,” said Ryan of the reports. “Doug and I are on the same page with everything. The fact that we haven’t had the season we wanted, maybe that’s fueling some of those reports. They’re ridiculous. Maybe somebody has a different agenda.

“I know the agenda that I have and that Whaley has and that’s all about winning. Bringing the type of team that this community can be proud of and that hasn’t wavered one bit. I think if you look at since I’ve been here with Whaley together, look at the players he added. The draft went about as good as you can get.

“You have Ronald Darby who is going to be a star in this league. John Miller our third-round pick and starting every game he was healthy for. Karlos Williams, all he does is tie an NFL record for most touchdowns in consecutive games, who is certainly going to be a player. You have O’Leary who is just starting to show what he can do. Tony Steward unfortunately got hurt, but you look at that draft, that was an outstanding draft.

“The free agents we got, I think the trade for LeSean McCoy, you’d be hard pressed to say that never worked out for us. That was a great trade for us. The acquisition of Tyrod Taylor was a smash. That’s a grand slam hit, so the job he’s done as a personnel guy has been absolutely tremendous since I’ve been here. So to me I know we’ve had several talks and this is the guy that I want with me to be a general manager I can promise you that.”

Ryan didn’t even mention the signing of Richie Incognito, who has a chance to go to the Pro Bowl.


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills could be short at LB Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2015 – 3:08 pm

In Sunday’s game LB Randell Johnson suffered a high ankle sprain and might be out for the season according to head coach Rex Ryan. With Nigel Bradham a question mark for Sunday’s game against Dallas, Buffalo could be down to four healthy linebackers and starter Preston Brown, who is battling through a hamstring strain.

Ryan acknowledged that Nigel Bradham had a setback last week during practice, which eliminated him for consideration in last Sunday’s game.

“We’re going to have to wait and see, he did have a setback last week, hopefully he’ll be ready to go this week so we’ll see how it looks,” said Ryan of Bradham.

If Bradham can’t go, Buffalo will be down to Manny Lawson, A.J. Tarpley, Kevin Reddick and newly signed OLB Max Valles as healthy linebackers entering Sunday’s game. Brown played last Sunday with a hamstring strain.

The Bills may need to at least add a linebacker to the practice squad as a precaution.

 


Tags: , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Woods’ season could be over

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2015 – 2:41 pm

Bills WR Robert Woods has been battling a nagging groin injury lately and on Sunday it became a severe injury that could cost him the last two games this season.

“Robert Woods, he had a groin injury – safe to say pretty severe one – there’s a possibility this could end his season,” said head coach Rex Ryan.

Ryan admitted there’s a chance that Woods could land on injured reserve with the injury with just two games left to play this season. Buffalo’s head coach hinted that practice squad rookie WR Dezmin Lewis could be called up if Woods is move to I-R.

“Probably a good chance of that,” Ryan said. “The young man’s done a nice job on our practice squad so I think that would be a real possibility if indeed Robert goes on I-R.”

Woods finished Sunday’s game with four catches for 44 yards.

Meanwhile LB Randell Johnson’s season may also be over after he suffered a high ankle sprain in Sunday’s game.


Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: McCoy has torn MCL

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2015 – 2:11 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan said Monday afternoon that RB LeSean McCoy had to get an MRI on his injured knee that forced him to leave Sunday’s game in the second half. Now there are reports on the results of those tests.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, McCoy has a torn MCL and is week to week.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

With more testing today there’s unlikely to be an update from the team before Wednesday when Rex Ryan next addresses the media.


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

McCoy, Miller, Woods not able to finish Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2015 – 7:08 am

There were a few injuries sustained on Sunday that added injury to insult with three pretty important offensive pieces unable to finish the game over the weekend. Head coach Rex Ryan didn’t have an official diagnosis or prognosis on LeSean McCoy, John Miller or Robert Woods, but all three left the game early.

“LeSean went out with a knee,” said Ryan. “Robert Woods never finished the game with the knee injury. The ankle, it’s the same ankle for John Miller. Then Randell Johnson went out with a leg injury and none of those players returned. I don’t know the severity of any of these injuries.”

Miller had been dealing with a high ankle sprain and missed two games prior to returning against the Eagles in Week 14. It’s not unreasonable to think with two games to play that he might not return before the end of the season. All three will be re-evaluated Monday and Rex Ryan should provide an update at his afternoon press conference at 1 pm.


Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Aaron Williams still biding his time

Posted by Chris Brown on December 19, 2015 – 12:24 pm

Bills safety Aaron Williams is still biding his time on short term injured reserve. Coming off his neck injury he’s been cleared to practice for the past two weeks, but he has yet to cleared for contact. Williams has spent most of his team reps on the scout team getting the starters ready for their upcoming opponent. As for a timetable for his full return, there just doesn’t seem to be one at this point.

“Still not real sure on that,” said head coach Rex Ryan as to whether Williams will return to the active roster this season. “I like the fact that he’s out here practicing and he’s moving well, but it’s the contact. It’s hard to say absolutely and things like that because right now he’s not ready for contact.”

Williams has two more weeks that he can practice with the team on the Reserve/Injured Designated to Return list. After he has practiced over a 21-day period, which ends on Dec. 31st the team will need to decide whether to add him to the 53-man roster or place on season-ending injured reserve.

The safety said he’ll know if his career should continue after his first hit. When that hit comes, whether it is this season or next season is the question.

 


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-18

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2015 – 11:30 am

The third game against the NFC East this Sunday. Here are your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

Do you think that the team is lacking quality player leadership right now? With huge games coming up, I’d have a lot more confidence in the Bills chances of winning if they had a leader on the field like Fred Jackson or Kyle Williams. Guys who should be filling this role like Mario Williams or Marcell Dareus just seem to be complaining. Who do you think can step into that leadership over the last few weeks to help the team make the playoffs?

Dan in Uganda

CB: I think the leadership is pretty solid on this team. The issue this year is there is new leadership that is kind of feeling its way. Tyrod Taylor has asserted himself as more of a leader in the second half of the season. He’s in a natural leadership position, but it’s hard to lead when you haven’t done anything yet. But I feel like Taylor has successfully navigated that as the season has worn on.

Eric Wood is a solid leader on offense, LeSean McCoy has put pressure on teammates to perform and follow his lead. On defense it’s a bit more complicated. With Kyle Williams and Aaron Williams no longer on the field the defense lost its two best leaders. Manny Lawson has tried to fill that void as has Corey Graham, but it’s been hard for them to help keep the defensive play at a consistent winning level, for whatever reason.

There’s no debating that the defensive play has been largely uneven for most of the season.

 

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills How do you think Rex is going to get the defense back up to snuff?

darcangel21

CB: I think it’s safe to say that he and his defensive staff will be doing a lot of work in the offseason to devise a more effective way to deploy their defensive scheme and devise a way to re-generate an effective pass rush even when opposing offenses are getting the ball out in less than 2.5 seconds.

There will also be personnel changes in the offseason, as there are every year, but I believe there will be some recognizable names on this unit that will be moved off the roster. Ryan’s history shows that he does have certain player types that he deems as fits for his defensive system.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills Know it’s early, but: top need in the draft, to your eyes? DE?

WillatFIRE

CB: I think there are a lot of current personnel situations that have to unfold first before one can accurately assess some of the top needs for the Bills in the draft. For example, what does the future hold for the playing career of Aaron Williams with his neck injury? Can Seantrel Henderson continue to improve or does his illness compromise his effectiveness as a player?

It’s clear that Cordy Glen and Richie Incognito are priorities to be re-signed, but what about Nigel Bradham? If he’s not back there are holes to be filled at linebacker. Will there be a couple of cap casualties with some of the team’s cost prohibitive contracts or will they be restructured?

I just think there are too many unknowns right now to clearly say this or that is the team’s top positional need.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills who has the better chance of being re-signed. Glenn or Bradham?

A_Smolka_17

CB: I would say Glenn at this point. One of the big positives this season is how the offensive line has come together, particularly the left side with Glen and Incognito. From what I understand both Glenn and Incognito are among the top priorities for the club this offseason.

 

5 – Hi Chris,

I know it’s that time of the year you probably don’t look forward to having to answer these questions, but I’ll try not to be too negative. I’m just wondering what you think this team can do to right the ship at this point for next season? It seems like this defensive personnel isn’t going to return to greatness under Rex. Do you think they should stick with this coaching staff and scheme and try to rebuild the defense to fit the scheme? I for one have had enough with Rex and think we should look for a coach that is willing to use a 4-3. I know you believe in continuity of scheme, but I can’t condone tearing apart a defense we just finished putting together after 4-5 years of drafts and FA additions.

Dan
Western MA

 

CB: I’ve addressed a number of fans when I’ve appeared on local radio shows and the John Murphy show, who are demanding another coaching change. My response is the Bills are on their seventh coach in 15 years. What has all that change gotten them?

I realize as well as any fan out there the level of frustration of not having a playoff team. I’ve been here covering this team for every one of those years and the five years before it.

As hard as it is you have to separate the last 15 years from what the Bills are trying to build now. You can’t lump Rex Ryan and his staff in with everything else. I know everyone feels it fits because Buffalo is unlikely to make the playoffs again, but to scrap the whole thing because the defense underachieved this year is not the solution.

It’s my belief you need only to re-tool the defense, move some cost prohibitive contracts off the books, add some good fits, re-sign your starting offensive linemen who are up and continue to develop depth.

Rex Ryan himself admitted he made some judgment errors with his defensive personnel and how he deployed them and tried to mesh his scheme with some of the successful principles that worked last season.

As I mentioned above, what changed was how opposing offenses attacked his defense. Week 2 against the Patriots, Tom Brady provided the blueprint for beating Buffalo’s pass rush, blitz packages etc. Get the ball out in less than 2.5 seconds. Future opponents followed suit.

It’s my contention that with Rex’s creative mind and the staff that he has that they will devise ways to counteract that approach.

It’s a cat and mouse game in the NFL where offenses evolve and change to defeat defensive strategies. Then defenses come up with answers for those new problems and have the upper hand. It goes back and forth. Unfortunately in a year where much was expected from Buffalo’s defense, opposing offenses figured them out and had a definitive answer.

Now it’s on Rex Ryan and his staff to find new ways to maximize their talent and reclaim their status as one of more creative and effective defensive minds in the game.

 


Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Karlos, Bradham, Clay all very iffy for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2015 – 3:21 pm

Bills TE Charles Clay missed a second straight day of practice Thursday making his status pretty iffy for Sunday along with RB Karlos Williams and LB Nigel Bradham, who are trying to return after missing each of the last two games.

If Clay can’t play Sunday it would be the first game he misses in Bills uniform this season.

“I don’t want to eliminate him, but obviously missing another day of practice it doesn’t look great,” said head coach Rex Ryan of Clay.

As for Williams and Bradham, both were limited again on Thursday, and Ryan is not sure either will be ready for Sunday’s game in Washington.

“Nigel I don’t think… I was more confident earlier in the week than I am now,” Ryan said. “With Karlos it’s going to be one of those iffy things. He looks good. I think his legs are ready, but how he feels with that shoulder is the main issue. We’ll wait a couple of days before we make a determination.”


Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

WR Woods added to Bills injury report

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2015 – 2:33 pm

The Bills had another new addition to their injury report on Thursday as WR Robert Woods made the list.

Woods was listed as a limited participant with a hip injury. Head coach Rex Ryan believes Woods along with LB Preston Brown and Jerome Felton are all expected to play Sunday.

“I believe all of those guys will play,” said Ryan. “I know Preston is fighting through that hamstring, but he was able to do a little more today.”

Here’s the full practice participation rundown for Thursday.

DID NOT PRACTICE
Mario Williams – illness
Charles Clay – back
Seantrel Henderson – illness
Bacarri Rambo – knee

LIMITED IN PRACTICE
Ron Brooks – concussion/neck
Aaron Williams – neck
John Miller – ankle
Karlos Williams – shoulder
Jerome Felton – back
Nigel Bradham – ankle
Preston Brown – hamstring
Robert Woods – hip


Tags: , , ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario meets w/pos. coach, but misses practice

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2015 – 2:23 pm

Mario Williams missed his second straight day of practice due to illness. Head coach Rex Ryan laid out Williams chances of playing Sunday as well as the lengths Williams went to in order to get caught up on the game plan.

“Hopefully he’ll be back. I know he wants to play,” said Ryan. “He came in and felt a little better late last night and came in and got with (defensive line coach) Karl Dunbar to discuss the (game) plan. I know he plans on playing. We hope he plays. I’m not sure. It’s two days he’s missed.”

When asked if Williams could play Sunday even if he doesn’t practice Friday this week, Ryan answered in the affirmative.

“Yeah as long as you know your responsibilities,” said Ryan. “But yeah certainly with his kind of abilities you want him out there period.”

 


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

‘D’ unhappy things didn’t jell quicker

Posted by Chris Brown on December 16, 2015 – 1:15 pm

Buffalo’s defensive players know their performance hasn’t lived up to expectations this season on their side of the ball. Some readily admitted they may have bought into the hype and assumed it would all come together much like each of the last few defensive systems.

“It was a lot of hype,” said Marcell Dareus of the preseason expectations. “We had a lot of pieces we put together so we can make this run. Of course, the hype was there-we all saw it and we all felt it as well. We had a good team on paper. But I feel like we’re getting a new head coach, his system has to get in place and it doesn’t happen in a year. I think we all missed that.

“We looked at the pieces that we put in place and forgot the big picture of letting it all set, let it set, seal, and don’t touch it for a little bit. Let the cement harden.  Let us know that we’re on concrete. The playbook is in. The players have to jell together, the coaches have to jell together. His system is in – I thought we jumped the gun on certain things. But we’re still playing together and we’re still going to move closer to what we’re looking for.”

Head coach Rex Ryan said he never ever entered the season assuming it would all naturally fit right away.

“Nope. Honestly never did,” Ryan said. “Did I expect our numbers to be much better than they were last year? I absolutely did. I really did. I know we have the talent and this has been a good defense the last two years. It was a really good defense. We haven’t measured up statistically. It hasn’t been from lack of effort. We just haven’t had the results that we expected. So I think that’s a given. As I say that falls directly on me so I get that. No question needs to be pointed anywhere else. It needs to be pointed at me.

“I’m a big guy. I have broad shoulders. I can take it. Literally I can count on my first finger that I’ve been considered the weakness of a team the way I coach defense, but clearly we haven’t been up to what we anticipated. Any of us. I think that’s fan base, myself, players, and I get that. Now that’s my responsibility. The season is not over. I expect to play better, but that’s just the way it is.”


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills

Karlos makes top 5 on rookie list

Posted by Chris Brown on December 15, 2015 – 11:10 am

Karos Williams has missed the last two games with a shoulder injury, but what he’s done on the field has earned him a spot on a ProFootballFocus top 5 list. 

ProFootballFocus has put together a list of top eight late round draft pick or undrafted performers this season. Karlos was ranked third on the list. Here’s what they wrote

3 – Karlos Williams, RB, Buffalo Bills

Draft Position: 5th round pick

Injuries have given Karlos Williams two separate spells on the sidelines, and thus have limited the talented FSU product’s carries to just 66 on the season, but he has been a real difference-maker for Buffalo when able to contribute. With a +5.9 overall grade, he is the highest rated runner on Buffalo’s roster, and his 5.7 yards-per-carry is the best in the league for of any running back with at least 50 carries. In a healthier season, pushing LeSean McCoy for starter’s reps—and even challenging for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award—would not seem that far fetched.
Head coach Rex Ryan is taking a wait and see approach on whether Willims can return to the offensive lineup this week. 


Tags: ,
Posted in Inside the Bills