Inside The Bills

Kouandjio only focused on getting better

Posted by Chris Brown on August 9, 2016 – 6:34 pm

With Cordy Glenn out for an undetermined amount of time it appears that Cyrus Kouandjio will be the team’s starting left tackle for the interim. Paired up with Ryan Groy and Fernando Velasco who rotated at Richie Incognito’s (sore ribs) starting left guard spot, Kouandjio is focused more on improving his personal game than where he’ll ultimately wind up on the depth chart.

“It’s fun working with the first unit because you get better and faster with them,” he said following Tuesday’s practice. “Everybody on that field is talented and you have a great time out there.”

When asked if his opportunity to work with the starting unit is a bit of an opportunity to reclaim some status he may have lost after he was a second-round pick.

“Me personally I’m out here to have fun,” he said. “I feel blessed because the Lord has allowed me to be out here and keep playing even though I have injuries that other people probably would’ve quit five years ago. I just stay in my Bible and I’m blessed and happy to be out here with the guys. I’m just having a good time.”

Kouandjio has dealt with some knee issues since his college days.

Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman has more of a direct outlook on the situation for Kouandjio.

“He’s got to take advantage of these opportunities with consistent play,” said Roman. “It’s that simple.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Pacing himself unusual for Incognito

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2016 – 11:35 am

If Richie Incognito had his way he’d be on the practice field for every single rep the first team offense has. However, that’s not how Rex Ryan and his coaching staff are approaching this training camp with their top veteran players. They’re pacing their starters who’ve had time in the league like LeSean McCoy, Charles Clay and a couple of offensive linemen in Eric Wood and Incognito.

Incognito would prefer not to because it’s just not how he’s wired, but he understands the aim of the approach.

“Yeah, it’s one of those things where, you know, we’ve got a ton of reps in this offense,” Incognito said. “And, you know, the coaches are being deliberate with our reps right now, you know, keeping our pitch count right now a little low, and we’re going to build. But, you know, there’s a method to their madness and I believe in the coaches and the training staff and I’m going to follow what they say.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Did Incognito earn finder’s fee for RB Bush?

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2016 – 10:41 pm

Richie Incognito is one of the bigger supporters of Rex Ryan as a head coach. He loves playing for the guy. Explaining how enjoyable the game is playing under Ryan to Reggie Bush last month may have helped to convince the veteran running back to sign with the Bills.

Incognito ran into Bush in Las Vegas this offseason. The two were former teammates in Miami where Incognito and his Dolphins teammates helped Bush rack up the first 1,000-yard rushing season of his career in 2011. The subject quickly turned to Buffalo where Incognito got a second chance to revive his career.

“I did a little scouting on my own,” Incognito said. “I ran into Reggie in Las Vegas in the summer and he was asking me what Rex was all about and I told him how I really love playing for him and love being around him. So I’m really excited to have him here.”

When asked if he deserves a finder’s fee for landing the veteran running back, Incognito just laughed.

“No. The finder’s fee is Reggie (Bush) scoring touchdowns on Sunday.” said Incognito. “He’s a dynamic player and I really think it’s a great fit for him. With our backfield there are kind of a lot of question marks in there. We have Shady (LeSean McCoy) he’s the established, number one guy. I think Reggie as a dynamic playmaker who can come in and G-Ro (Greg Roman) can really scheme up some situations to get him in some open space. I love it man.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Incognito relishing his 2nd chance with Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2016 – 5:38 pm

One could argue that Richie Incognito has had to re-make himself twice after an over aggressive style put him on the outs in St. Louis where he started his NFL career. But now a few years removed from the bullying scandal in Miami, there’s no place Incognito would rather be than Buffalo. 

In an in depth interview with SI.com’s Don Banks, Incognito talked at length about his new lease on life. Here’s an excerpt. 

“Going through all that and coming out on the other end, after learning a lot about myself and owning up to my actions, it made me a better person and a better teammate,” Incognito says. “I know this, this is the most solid, most stable ground I’ve been on in my entire life. That’s in life. It’s been a long process of just being comfortable in my own skin again.” 

Wherever his teammates are gathered, you can usually find Incognito in the middle of the group. Even his daily ping-pong battles in the locker room are now moments he cherishes.

“I’m like, this is awesome,” Incognito says, catching himself amid a recent game. “This is it. This is what I missed big time. I missed being around the guys. I’m a guy’s guy. I love hearing all the crazy stories, and telling my stories. That’s the fun part, and I’m going to just relish it all.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Incognito reflects on his past one last time

Posted by Chris Brown on April 18, 2016 – 4:32 pm

Bills G Richie Incognito made it plain that he wanted to return to Buffalo and re-sign with the club provided the deal was right. With his new deal put to bed last month, Incognito reflected on last time on his road back to the NFL after an 18-month exile.

“I found myself looking back on it this morning,” said Incognito. “I was real excited to get in the building and be around the guys. Eighteen months ago I didn’t have that. I was sitting on my couch and training on my own. To be back here today where I’m at now, it’s another milestone in this journey and another chapter that begins. I’m very excited to be around (Eric) Wood, Shady (McCoy), Tyrod (Taylor) and those guys on defense, Marcell (Dareus), Jerry (Hughes) and earning their respect and being out here to compete with them. It’s a huge honor for me and what motivates me every day.”

Incognito reclaimed his status earning a Pro Bowl nod last season, but is committed to constantly try to sharpen his game.

“I think just having a beginner’s mentality,” he said. “Being able to reflect on where I’ve come from and what put me in a position to succeed. That’s just coming in and grinding and working as hard as I can and doing everything I can to repeat and improve on the performance I had last year.”


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Rex’s recruiting helped with Incognito

Posted by Chris Brown on March 9, 2016 – 12:52 pm

He flew all the way out to Hawaii’ to spend some time with his Pro Bowl players OL Richie Incognito and Eric Wood and QB Tyrod Taylor. Knowing Incognito was an impending free agent, Ryan’s main impetus was to demonstrate to Incognito how important he felt he was to their future success.

Fortunately, Ryan’s efforts proved beneficial in getting a new deal hammered out with Incognito.

“Rex [Ryan] had a lot to do with it,” said Incognito. “Rex is one of those guys where, he has his guys’ backs, he treats us like men, he treats us likes pros, and he expects us to go out and put the results on the field. Playing for a guy like Rex and having confidence in us and having our back, it speaks volumes about Rex and it just speaks volumes about his style, about how guys just love him.

“You know I have played in this league a long time and I have played for a lot of coaches who are scared of their own shadow. Rex is definitely not that, Rex is, Rex is a man. I love playing for him and I love the environment and I love my teammates, and the guys we are surrounded with right there, and I really think we have something special growing.”

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Incognito: I’ve got a lot left in the tank

Posted by Chris Brown on March 9, 2016 – 8:36 am

Bills LG Richie Incognito was very happy that things came together on a new contract agreement with Buffalo Tuesday. Very quickly however, the lineman’s focus shifted right back to football. Knowing he’s turning 33 before next season, Incognito has been hard at work training in Arizona all offseason. His new deal with Buffalo has only motivated him all the more to prove there’s a lot of quality football left in him.

“I feel like I got a lot of gas left in the tank,” he said. “I am in the best shape of my life, I am down in Arizona training my butt off. And I got a lot left in the tank, I take it day by day and season by season. So I am focused on 2016 and I am just going to work as hard as I can to be the best player I can be.

“I made a promise to Terry and Kim Pegula, and Rex [Ryan], and Doug Whaley when they signed me back in February of 2015 to give it my all, and give them everything I had and to make the situation right. And this is another step in that process. So I wake with that mentality every day to get better every day and give it my all, and let everything else handle itself.”

Incognito’s 18-month layoff from the pounding of the NFL game from the last half of 2013 through 2014 may prove to be a benefit now. It’s 24 fewer games of wear and tear and that probably makes his soon-to-be 33-year old body feel a bit younger than those of most 33-year old linemen in the league.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-4

Posted by Chris Brown on March 4, 2016 – 11:35 am

Sitting on the cusp of free agency the Bills are not expected to be early big money players at all. It will be interesting to see which of their RFAs they tender by Wednesday. Here are your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills hey Chris being that were fully going back to Ryan’s style of D who is gonna be the QB of this D? AW?

miosi37

CB: Rex Ryan told us at the NFL Combine that he wants Preston Brown to step up run the defense. Brown surprisingly had some missteps in running the scheme last season to the point where Manny Lawson had to take over late in the season. But here’s what Ryan said about Brown last week in Indy.

“I think if everything stays the same and we have all our players back then Preston has to be more vocal and there has to be more ownership that way,” Ryan said. “It’s not good enough to just know your job. You’ve got to bark it out and be the quarterback back there. And he can do it. He’s a smart enough kid and his dad is a football coach. So he’s got to come out of his shell. David Harris was a quiet guy, but on the football field he ran the whole thing. He’s got to grow into it. It doesn’t happen overnight. I think when you come into a new system it’s tougher to play, but yeah I expect Preston to be able to take that step and he needs to.”
2 – @ChrisBrownBills If Incognito is lost in FA’cy, do you think they slide Miller to LG and try and fill RG with draft or veteran FA?

rockydm92

CB: I don’t know if they flip Miller to the other side. I think their preference is to let him progress at right guard. As for replacements if negotiations go nowhere with Incognito, I would expect a veteran free agent to be signed.
3- @ChrisBrownBills How likely is it Whaley would take a chance at Nkemdiche at 19? Some teams apparently think he’s undraftable

iamFlowbee

CB: I would be very surprised if they took a chance on Nkemdiche. Here’s why. Buffalo just got rid of a player who was a headache in terms of work ethic and effort on the game field in Mario Williams. You want to replace him with the same type of player? Nkemdiche has oodles of talent, but even he admitted that he took plays off and was lazy.

I wouldn’t be surprised if his lousy effort on the field hurt him more than his still – it all doesn’t add up – night at his Atlanta hotel room where he was charged with drug possession, admitted to being drunk, fell out his hotel room window and according to police reports was paranoid when police arrived on the scene.

When teams make an investment in a player in the form of a draft pick, they want to know what they’re going to get from the player on every snap, every Sunday. If there’s doubt as to what they’ll get on the field nothing will hurt a player’s draft stock more, short of a failed physical. Can’t physically play might be the only thing worse than no passion to play.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills I read that a NFL GM felt Bills cap management had been criminal. Do you see that they have mismanaged their cap? I don’t.

XKC4338

CB: It is a little disappointing to see some of the reports that were out there concerning the Bills cap situation. Yes, they were tight against the cap here in 2016, but they had some pretty straightforward ways to maneuver things and create some necessary space.

All the talk about them being in cap jail for 2017 is also off the mark too. If the cap goes up $10M as it has the last couple of years to $165M, Buffalo will be about $50M under the cap. Obviously that will be subject to change if Cordy Glen signs a long term deal, as well as Incognito, Gilmore and Tyrod Taylor. But to say right now they’re in bad shape for 2017 is just inaccurate.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills the going rate for a starting qb $16-18M per year is @TyrodTaylor really worth that & worth the risk?

cp382

CB: I think that’s why the Bills want to see him play more in 2016 before deciding if he is worth that kind of money. As we covered on Buffalobills.com Thursday an extension for Taylor is no easy call because effectively pegging his true market value after playing just 14 games is beyond difficult. There are certainly a lot of encouraging signs, but it’s simply not enough of a body of work.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

All options open with Mario

Posted by Chris Brown on February 25, 2016 – 3:35 pm

By now everyone knows that Mario Williams has a cost prohibitive cap figure of almost $20M. In an offseason where the Bills have the least cap space of any team in the league, Williams contract will be addressed. How is the big question. Bills GM Doug Whaley is not closing the door on any option.

“We’ll be talking to his representatives and all options are open,” said Whaley. “We’re not going to back ourselves into a corner and say we’re going to do this or that. But we will do what’s best for the Buffalo Bills in the future.”

Clearing cap space is the top priority to enable them to re-sign offensive linemen Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito. A big cap figure like Williams’ has to obviously be adjusted for that to be fiscally possible.

Buffalobills.com Combine coverage is presented by NAPA Auto Parts.


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Fan Friday 2-12

Posted by Chris Brown on February 12, 2016 – 11:36 am

The new league year is underway and deadlines for offseason business is closing in. Let’s get to your questions this week from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

How soon do you think we’ll either re-sign @68INCOGNITO or @cordyglenn77? Hopefully both. Any word?

EJMiller707

CB: I believe the Bills will make every effort to return both of them to Buffalo’s offensive line. But as we know it takes two to get a deal consummated. Initial talks have begun, but things typically don’t get down to brass tacks until the week of the NFL Combine. That’s when Jim Overdorf and Doug Whaley can meet face to face with agents who are in Indianapolis for the week. It’s then that concrete parameters are usually set and more intense negotiations ensue.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills

If McCoy is suspended, however long it is, how well could the Bills run the ball without him with Williams and Gillislee?

sam_decoste

CB: I understand the concern about Buffalo’s run game, and if there is a real possibility that there will be time where they will be without the services of McCoy in 2016, then the team will probably have to address the void in some way, shape or form. And they’d have to do it by acquiring a versatile back.

The Bills could survive a couple of games with Williams and Gillislee, but truly contending could prove difficult if a McCoy absence lasts longer than that. That being said the Bills were 3-1 with McCoy out of the lineup last season.

 

3 – Chris,

Hypothetical of course.  Just what if, with all the defensive needs and offensive tackle needs, Laquon Treadwell and/or Connor Cook were available at pick 19?  How are we going to fill our need at receiver?  Not in free agency as per Whaley’s statement and later in the draft will not fill that need either.

Jim (Skaneateles)
CB: I think it’s too early to determine right now how filling receiver would be addressed. Doug Whaley made it clear that he believes they have sufficient talent on the roster now to fill the No. 2 WR role with a collection of players, Robert Woods chief among them. What that statement says to me is – while in an ideal world the Bills would love to have a legit No. 2 WR to line up opposite Sammy Watkins, it’s just not a top priority.

You can’t fill every hole in one offseason and right now Cordy Glenn, Richie Incognito, defensive line and linebacker are all clearly ahead of No. 2 receiver on the team’s offseason priority list. With a measure of uncertainty at safety one might even put that position ahead of No. 2

So where the Bills are is if the higher priority needs can be effectively addressed between now and the draft and the right opportunity presents itself, then perhaps drafting a WR capable of filling that role could happen. I just wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it.

 

4 – Chris,
With The Rams moving to LA, do you think there’s a possibility that the AFC division’s might change? If so, do you think they’ll move the Bills out of the AFC East. Maybe to the AFC North (which might make more sense)?

Thanks,

Mike Barwick

CB: I would not anticipate realignment at all. The Rams play in the NFC West, so their current division location makes even more sense geographically with Arizona, San Francisco and Seattle all in their division.

 

5 – CB,

If the team moves on from Bradham, Demario Davis is a player that has been linked to the Bills. Can the team afford Davis, who knows Rex’s scheme well and be the ‘field general’ in the front seven. He won’t be a huge player on the market but maybe more worth it to the Bills than other teams. Would he bit a fit next to Preston Brown?

Josh P.

CB: I think he would be a consideration, but as Doug Whaley has said they won’t be early spenders in free agency. They’re looking for dust settle guys. If Demario Davis is pursued by other clubs early Buffalo will not get into a bidding war, especially for a linebacker that many NFL talent evaluators see as a two-down player.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Incognito’s goal: Come back & play in Buffalo

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2016 – 10:41 am

Bills Pro Bowl guard Richie Incognito has already been deemed a top offseason priority by GM Doug Whaley as they try to get him re-signed knowing he’s a key member of their offensive line. Set to become an unrestricted free agent in March, Incognito reiterated his desire to re-sign with the Bills.

Appearing on the John Murphy Show Wednesday night, Incognito talked about why it’s important for him to continue his career in Buffalo.

“I’m anxious. I’m anxious to see what happens,” said Incognito of his contract negotiations. “My goal is to come back and play in Buffalo. I love it there. I love my teammates and I love playing for coach Rex and Greg Roman. I really think that my personality and my hard work approach and physical nature really resembles the spirit of Buffalo. A blue collar town and a bunch of hard working people up there, and they just want to win. That’s my number one goal is just to win and restore the glory of Buffalo. I hope it all works out and I hope I’m back there real soon.”

The top 10 guard contracts in the NFL average about $7M per season. Where Incognito fits on the guard pay scale at age 32 remains to be seen.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills 3 Pro Bowlers all on same squad

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2016 – 9:35 am

In the wake of the Pro Bowl draft all three representatives from the Bills were selected to the same squad.

Richie Incognito, Tyrod Taylor and Eric Wood were all selected by Team Rice on Wednesday night. By the looks of the lineup it appears that Incognito will start at left guard. Taylor and Wood will hit the field Sunday night as subs.

The other interesting aspect of the Pro Bowl is all of the quarterbacks will be mic’d up live for the game. So when Taylor gets in the game you’ll be able to hear him interacting with teammates in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage.

Here’s a look at the Team Rice roster, which includes Buffalo’s three Pro Bowl reps.

The Pro Bowl airs Sunday night at 7 pm on ESPN.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dialogue to begin with Bills free agents

Posted by Chris Brown on January 27, 2016 – 8:47 am

Bills GM Doug Whaley and Buffalo’s player personnel and college scouting staffs will be at the Senior Bowl in Mobile all week, but the organization will be getting started on preliminary talks with their upcoming free agents.

“Last week we had the year in review with the coaches and going over the roster,” said Whaley. “(Senior VP of Football Administration) Jim Overdorf is going to reach out and starting touching base with all the free agents. Not just the restricted free agents, but the unrestricted guys as well and touch base with their representatives and get the ball rolling.”

Among the top priorities are Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito, who are both scheduled to become unrestricted free agents. As is typically the case, the club just wants to reach a fair and equitable deal for both sides, especially with Glenn and Incognito knowing how important it is to get both back in the fold for 2016 and beyond.

Whaley was asked specifically about how quickly a deal could get done for Incognito, who is headed to the Pro Bowl this weekend.

“We’re always going to try to get a deal where both parties feel like they won and are happy,” said Whaley. “We want Richie and his representatives to walk away from a deal that we have and we’re both smiling and saying, ‘It was fair.’ That’s how we look and attack every negotiation.”

Buffalo’s restricted free agents are all relatively important names moving forward as well. How the Bills will pick and choose whom to tender from the list below will be interesting.

Bills RFAs
DT Corbin Bryant
DT Stefan Charles
TE MarQueis Gray
WR Chris Hogan
OT Jordan Mills
S Bacarri Rambo


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whaley: Incognito reclaimed his name

Posted by Chris Brown on January 26, 2016 – 3:06 pm

Prior to signing with the Buffalo Bills, Richie Incognito was a former Pro Bowl guard who saw his contract terminated by his team (Miami) in the wake of a bullying scandal. Two years later, Incognito successfully reclaimed his status as a Pro Bowl caliber player and proved to be a model teammate and leader in Buffalo’s locker room.

Bills GM Doug Whaley told Buffalobills.com that seeing Incognito headed back to the Pro Bowl speaks volumes about how far the veteran lineman has come.

“That’s a testament to him. He put a lot of work into reclaiming his name, not only on the field but off the field,” said Whaley. “I tip my cap to him and a lot of due goes to him. When we talked to him, not only was he remorseful for what he did, but he had a plan in place to never go down that road again in his life. I’m really impressed with this guy.”

Whaley also said that the front office will get the ball rolling on preliminary discussions about a new contract for Incognito, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in March.


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Whaley: Our cap situation is pretty restrictive

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2016 – 9:18 am

Senior Bowl week is currently on the front burner for the Bills personnel department, but prior to leaving for Mobile, Alabama, the front office had a personnel meeting to discuss their offseason priorities concerning their current roster with their own free agents the focus. Naturally Richie Incognito and Cordy Glenn remain at the top of the list with both set to become unrestricted free agents in less than two months. But Buffalo’s salary cap situation has to be rectified first.

Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, GM Doug Whaley outlined how at the outset heading into the new league year in March, the Bills have some financial maneuvers to make as they are currently over the projected salary cap for 2016.

“Right now it’s pretty restrictive. I believe we’re over the cap,” said Whaley. “So (Senior VP of Football Administration) Jim Overdorf is going to be working really hard and work his magic. We have confidence that we’ll be able to put our best foot forward and try to get this done (with Incognito and Glenn). When you have the number one rated rushing offense in the league you want to try to keep that as stable as possible. If we can get those five guys back and maintain the continuity up front that’s not only going to keep our running game strong, but it’ll help our quarterback improve as well.”

The 2016 salary cap is projected to be somewhere between $150 and $156 million. It was $143 million and change last season after making a $10M jump in one calendar year thanks to some new large television contracts the league had brokered. Per OverTheCap.com, Buffalo currently sits at almost $158M in contract commitments that count toward the cap.

Look for the Bills to make the necessary maneuvers to put themselves in a position to re-sign the left side of their offensive line and make a few other moves they deem essential to take the next step as a team in the offseason.


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Fan Friday 1-8

Posted by Chris Brown on January 8, 2016 – 10:50 am

Into the offseason we go. Here are your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Why did it take Rex so long to compromise his own defensive philosophy to fit the players?

LoretoB10

CB: In fairness to Rex Ryan, he recognized how married some of the players were to the previous scheme and tried to incorporate some of those concepts from last year into his scheme. By midseason he realized that wasn’t working and scrapped it to have the players focus only on his scheme.

Unfortunately there were players who refused to buy in, and Ryan’s scheme, or any other for that matter, doesn’t work unless all 11 players execute their assignments. Preston Brown addressed that when I asked him a few questions about it after the Washington game.

“Guys have got to buy into the system, especially on the defensive side,” said Brown. “We don’t really know how good we could’ve been because everybody wasn’t doing what they were supposed to do on each play. We can’t say it was the scheme or everybody is not playing with effort. Mentally everybody wasn’t there.

“We have to understand that everybody has to be working as one and we haven’t done that this year. Everybody has been kind of doing their own agenda on our side of the ball. So it’s something that we need to get covered and handle these last couple of games and years down the road.”

When I asked Preston why the defense had players being selfish and doing their own thing this was his response.

“I’m not sure. Everybody keeps saying last year we were a top four defense and everybody was still thinking about last year. We’ve got to get over that,” said Brown. “It’s not last year and guys were still thinking, ‘Oh we did this last year.’ Well we’re not doing that this year. So we’ve got to understand that we’re doing a different scheme and a different system and it works if everybody does it the right way.”

Complete buy in by the defensive players didn’t happen until the last two weeks of the season according to the players I spoke with and we saw good results over the final two games. So when the players tell me and media members that Rex is not at fault with what happened to the defense and that it’s on the players, I take them at their word.

For the record Rex tried to appeal to the players in different ways to get full buy-in knowing it wasn’t there. I wrote about that this week. But the bottom line, as Sammy Watkins said, is it’s on the players to take control of how players prepare, practice and play on game days. And if someone is being selfish or slacking they need to be called out by teammates.

That’s why Watkins and Brown stepped forward as leaders late this season. They don’t want to see what happened to their defense because of a couple of selfish players happen again.

 

2 – Chris,

I’m still trying to make sense of this season, as results have been significantly below expectations.  There have been too many games where the team has been unprepared, undisciplined, and let games get away from them that they should have won.

Why move up in the draft and give up so much in 1st round draft picks to select Sammy Watkins and not find a way to incorporate him more into the offense.  Other WRs Calvin Johnson, Beckham, Antonio Brown defenses focus on, and yet their Offense still get them the ball.  Why do they mainly use Sammy for only deep passes or screens that never seem to work.  How about running Sammy across the field like Andre Reed always did or the way the Patriots utilize Edelman and just have the QB lead him on a pass as he runs a short crossing route and then takes off?

CB: The main reason why Watkins wasn’t made more of a focal point of the offense was two-fold. First, Buffalo was committed to being a run-first attack. Second, offensive coordinator Greg Roman has said they wanted to bring Tyrod Taylor along steadily to see how much he could capably handle on a week to week basis. They were trying to help him progress while limiting setbacks and gradually gave him more rope as the season wore on.

Once they felt comfortable that Taylor could handle more you saw the deep passing game flourish. Since the bye week only two other receivers had more yardage than Watkins 900 in the last nine games. They were Antonio Brown and Julio Jones. For a first-year offense with a first-year quarterback you have to walk before you can run, and rely on the run before you rely more on the pass

Under Roman’s guidance the Bills did that. It probably would’ve been effective enough to reach the postseason had the defense not taken a step back. I think moving forward Watkins will continue to be a dominant weapon as the rapport between him and Taylor continues to develop.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills how long of contract terms are Glenn and Richie looking at receiving and possibly getting?

Brady_P

CB: Glenn is the one who will be cashing in with a long-term deal. At age 26 he’s entering the prime of his career, so a long term deal would make sense and he plays at a position that commands more pay in terms of average salary. Incognito is 32-years old, so I’d be surprised to see anything more than a three-year contract. Probably a two-year deal with a team option for a third.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills Given that releasing EJ Manuel would save no money & leave the team with dead money, can you see any upside to releasing him?

cdevaney

CB: The question here with EJ Manuel is can you do better at backup quarterback than EJ?  If the front office feels the answer is yes, Manuel’s dead money on the cap of a little over $2.8M is not crippling with the cap likely to be up around $153M for 2016.

So when money doesn’t impact the decision GM Doug Whaley largely lets the performance on the field determine make the call.

It’s my belief that the Bills will add a backup quarterback prospect from the draft. Someone they feel they can develop behind Tyrod Taylor. Is it likely such a prospect would be more NFL ready than Manuel? No.

So it’s possible they keep Manuel on the roster until they see more of whatever quarterback they draft or add looks in their offense. But it wouldn’t shock me if the organization decides to turn the page.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills what is the outlook for the Bills to receive a compensatory draft pick this year? #fanfriday

lophus89

CB: Taking a more in depth look at things with some help from the front office as to who qualifies as a free agent addition and a free agent loss (the rules are endless) the Bills may be entitled to one compensatory pick this year.

The Bills added – Alex Carrington, Jerome Felton and Tyrod Taylor (Charles Clay – transition player???)
The Bills lost – Erik Pears, Da’Norris Searcy, Lee Smith and C.J. Spiller

Harvin and Incognito were not unrestricted free agents because they had contracts that were terminated. And Clay will be argued by the Bills as someone who should not count because he was a transition player. We’ll see if the league disagrees because there is precedent with transition players counting toward the free agent add count, but if not the Bills should get one compensatory pick this year.

 


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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.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Incognito, Darby get PFF Pro Bowl nod

Posted by Chris Brown on December 16, 2015 – 10:38 am

Bills guard Richie Incognito on the whole has had a solid season as has rookie CB Ronald Darby. The two have been among the most consistent players on the roster. That’s why Pro Football Focus has both players on their Pro Bowl roster for 2015.

Incognito was among a group of six guards and Darby was one of eight cornerbacks listed on Pro Football Focus’ 2015 Pro Bowl roster.


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Free agent pickups paint good picture for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on December 9, 2015 – 9:36 am

The Bills made some key acquisitions in the offseason on the free agent market. They didn’t break the bank, but the value they’ve gotten on their investments has been impressive. That’s why two of Buffalo’s free agent acquisitions this past offseason ranked in Pro Football Focus’ Top 10 free agent pickups list.

PFF rated both Richie Incognito and Tyrod Taylor as two of the 10 best free agent pickups in the entire league this past offseason. Incognito was rated second and Taylor was rated seventh. Here’s what they wrote.

2. Richie Incognito, G, Bills (one year, $1.1 million, 91.3 overall grade)

The Bills acquired Incognito for practically nothing in the offseason, and he has responded by producing the third-best PFF grade among guards. Incognito has been almost equally good as a run blocker (89.7) and as a pass protector (87.9), allowing just three QB hits and hurries, tied for sixth among guards is pass blocking efficiency.

7. Tyrod Taylor, QB, Bills (three years, $3.35 million, 78.0 overall grade)

PFF’s 12th-highest rated QB through eight weeks, Taylor may be on this list as much for how the Bills have missed him than for his above-average play on the field thus far. Taylor has posted a 75.8 accuracy percentage under pressure, which is good for second among NFL QBs through Week 8. Meanwhile, the Bills are 0-2 without Taylor, with E.J. Manuel posting a 46.4 overall grade in his absence.

Buffalo is one of just two teams with more than one player on the PFF’s top free agent pickup list. The Raiders are the other with WR Michael Crabtree and DT Dan Williams.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Whaley: Re-signing Glenn, Incognito will be priorities

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2015 – 4:10 pm

Bills GM Doug Whaley made his weekly appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Tuesday and outlined a number of topics. From Tyrod Taylor’s encouraging progress, to his thoughts on the results of the new extra point distance rule. He also addressed the team’s plans for a couple of their impending free agents.

Starting left tackle Cordy Glenn and starting left guard Richie Incognito are both scheduled to be free agents come next March, but Whaley said the Bills have made it clear to the agents for both players that re-signing them this offseason is a major priority.

“I’ve talked to both of those guys and talked to their representation that after this season we’ll put on a full force effort to try to get those guys under contract,” said Whaley. “We like to tell those guys during the season that we want them to be strictly focused on football and after the season we’ll worry about that business part.”

Incognito has had a season that should garner Pro Bowl consideration. Head coach Rex Ryan said he doesn’t think there’s another guard in the league that has played as consistently as Incognito in his first year with the Bills. Keeping the left side of the offensive line intact is seen as a critical thing on the team’s offseason to-do list.

“We look at it like if we can keep that line together that’s a part of the football team we can hang our hat on,” said Whaley. “They’ve been playing extremely well and it’s just their first year together. Imagine how good they can be in their second year  and if we can keep them three years that’s when you have the consistency and cohesiveness up front that’s a big part of coach Ryan’s philosophy, which is that it starts up front on both sides of the ball.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills