Inside The Bills

LB Hawthorne got Rob Ryan recommendation

Posted by Chris Brown on August 8, 2016 – 6:57 pm

He’s not the first Bills free agent signee to get a recommendation from Assistant head coach/Defense Rob Ryan. There have been others this offseason. But after having him play under him when he was defensive coordinator for three years, it was easy for Ryan to give his twin brother and the personnel department a full report on LB David Hawthorne.

Bills head coach Rex Ryan outlined how Hawthorne was given the Rob Ryan seal of approval.

“Obviously he had experience with him in New Orleans so he’s very familiar with him,” said Ryan of his brother’s rapport with Hawthorne. “Jerry Hughes played with him in college (at TCU). So that’s a good thing. Can he pick things up? I understand he’s a quick study so that’s going to help, and that’s important.”

Ryan said there’s plenty of carry over between his defensive scheme and the system his brother ran in New Orleans, so he’s optimistic that Hawthorne will feel comfortable in the Bills system in short order.

Rob Ryan has also recommended free agent signees Corey White and Sterling Moore, now cornerbacks in Buffalo’s secondary.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Ryan brothers sign for Jack

Posted by Chris Brown on August 1, 2016 – 9:55 am

jack-frost

He’s wheelchair bound due to his affliction. Jack Frost III has Fanconi anemia, which is a rare inherited disease characterized by multiple physical abnormalities, bone marrow failure, and a higher than normal risk of cancer. But that didn’t stop him from meeting the Ryan brothers at Bills training camp Sunday.

His first question for the Ryans?

“You guys are twins right?”

The young boy, who has had multiple bone marrow transplants has a ton of spirit was wearing a Tyrod Taylor jersey hoping to get the QB’s autograph, but he didn’t mind at all that Rex and Rob Ryan signed for him.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

One-year deal players aplenty for Bills

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

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

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

Bills GM Doug Whaley explained the club’s approach.

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

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

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


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rob Ryan: CB Corey White is a gamer

Posted by Chris Brown on June 22, 2016 – 8:53 am

As we profiled on Buffalobills.com today, one of the main reasons Corey White was signed by the Bills was because of Assistant head coach Rob Ryan’s familiarity with the cornerback. He coached him in New Orleans for three seasons and says there’s a lot to like about the veteran DB.

In a recent appearance on the John Murphy Show, Ryan explained what he likes about White’s game and why he thinks White will like playing in Buffalo’s defense.

“Corey’s a very good football player and I think he’s going to love it here,” Ryan said. “He’s going to love the head coach, number one. This is a tough kid, he’s a hard-nosed kid, but he needs somebody to believe in him and he’s got that here in Buffalo.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rob Ryan: We want to build Bills for long haul

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

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

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

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


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Former Saints DL backs Rob Ryan’s claim

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2016 – 9:30 am

Last week in an interview with SI.com Bills Assistant head coach/Defense Rob Ryan said he was stripped of control in running the New Orleans defense where he served as defensive coordinator last season. Saints head coach Sean Payton denied the claim. Now a former Saints defensive lineman has come to the defense of Ryan, saying the Bills assistant absolutely had his decision making power on how the defense was to be run taken from him.

Chicago Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, who played for the Saints last season, told Chicago reporters this week that Rob Ryan was in fact stripped of decision making concerning the team’s defense.

“Not to talk about New Orleans for the rest of this interview, but as a player in that system, you can see when power is taken away from a guy,” Hicks said. “It was evident in that situation and you saw what the turnout was because of it.”

The Saints finished last in the league in defense in 2015.

“I’ll forever and always have a lot of love for Rob Ryan, just because there’s nobody that’s going to shoot you straighter,” Hicks told the Chicago media Wednesday. “He’s going to tell you how it is, he’s going to tell you how he feels, and you’re always going to understand his perspective on things, and I feel like that was taken away.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

No more scheme blending for the Ryans

Posted by Chris Brown on May 27, 2016 – 9:18 am

Bills head coach Rex Ryan admitted midway through his first season with Buffalo that he made an error in judgment. He tried to blend the successful defensive scheme of his predecessor, which helped the Bills rank fourth in defense in the NFL, with that of his own. Simply put it didn’t work. Meanwhile in New Orleans, his twin brother and current Assistant head coach Rob Ryan was asked to change the defensive scheme entirely from what he had run the past dozen years as a defensive coordinator in the league. The Saints defense finished last in the league. Suffice to say both have learned to trust their instincts and go with what has been successful for them year in and year out in the NFL. Their defensive scheme and their defensive scheme only.

In an interview with MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas, the Ryans explained how this year Buffalo’s defense will go exclusively to Rex Ryan’s traditional 3-4 scheme.

“We are going to see things one way, and we are going to do it our way. That’s what it takes to win,” said Rex Ryan. “There is a certain style of defense that wins, a certain style of play that wins in this league, and nobody understands that more than we do. Our family has been to six Super Bowls as coaches, and we know it takes a physical brand of football and it takes physical players.

“I said I was going to build a bully, it wasn’t the appropriate word, but I want to be physical. I think we are getting it right. We brought in Richie Incognito, all he does is go to the Pro Bowl. Doug Whaley and company did a great job in the draft. Shaq Lawson is a physical player. Reggie Ragland is the most physical linebacker in the draft. That was a Ryan defensive player, a linebacker, going back to the days of when our dad was coaching the Bears, and even before that.

“There are people that, I know for a fact, don’t believe in me; they don’t believe in the direction of the football team. That’s fine and dandy. I believe in it, and I am surrounding myself with people that believe in it also. People who are smart enough to believe in it. Because the Ryans are going to get it done.

“We never lost a fight in our life. Ever. And we ain’t losing this one. And that’s a true statement. Not just because we are bad a**es—because we are, individually—but collectively, it’s a lot different. To this day, no man is going to whip me. Why? Because I’ve got my brother with me. And I’ve got my brother, Dennis Thurman, with me. Ed Reed is here for a reason. These players are going to be like that, too. We want to fight like brothers. I don’t know if we have 100 percent buy-in from even the entire building. I don’t know yet. But the people directly with me, my coaching staff and the players, that’s where it starts. I don’t know all the business people yet; they should be “all in,” but I don’t know. There’s times when the doubt part, that can be driven through the media. But I’m going to surround myself with the very best, and I’m going to win.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

LB Ragland eager to dive in with the Ryans

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2016 – 1:47 pm

Bills second-round pick Reggie Ragland played in a defensive scheme at Alabama, that GM Doug Whaley claims will have a lot of carry over to Rex Ryan’s scheme in Buffalo. That will hopefully translate into a shorter learning curve for the physical linebacker. Either way Ragland is altogether anxious to get to work on the scheme with both head coach Rex Ryan and Assistant head coach Defense Rob Ryan.

“They’re great coaches,” said Ragland of the Ryans. “They love to joke around off the field. They love on you and do what they can for you and then once you get on the field it’s all business. I’m glad I’ve got a coach like that because I always wanted to play for coach Ryan, the Ryans actually, both of them. I’m getting an opportunity to do that so I’m really thankful and happy. Anytime you have the both of them together you know you’re going to have great schemes drawn up.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Ragland’s chance meeting with the Ryans

Posted by Chris Brown on May 4, 2016 – 8:53 am

Before his pre-draft meeting with the Bills in Orchard Park, Alabama LB Reggie Ragland ran into Bills head coach Rex Ryan and Assistant head coach Rob Ryan in a chance meeting a month before the draft.

Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ragland said he ran into the two coaches in Birmingham, Alabama of all places.

“Coach Ryan, it’s funny because about two months ago, a couple of days after my pro day and I’m walking out of the mall in Birmingham and both coach Ryans are walking into the mall,” Ragland said. “I stopped them for a second and we just got to talking for a second. When I came up on my visit coach Ryan told me he could tell I was raised up well by my parents because I was saying, ‘Yes sir and no sir.’ He could tell I was a good person, so he knew he’d be getting a good person off the field and a good football player. My parents always told me that a first impression means everything, so I always try to make a good first impression to everybody that I meet.”

On his pre-draft visit Ragland said he got a good vibe from Buffalo’s head coach and is encouraged to be playing for a defensive mind like Ryan.

“I had a great time with coach Ryan. He’s a down to earth person, but you can tell when he hits that football field he’s fired up,” Ragland said. “I’m very excited because I always wanted to play for coach Ryan because he’s always put his players in a position to be successful.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Georgia LB Jenkins improves on combine numbers

Posted by Chris Brown on March 17, 2016 – 1:01 pm

Wednesday was Georgia’s pro day and Bills head coach Rex Ryan and Asst. head coach/Defense Rob Ryan were on hand for the workouts. One of the prospects who improved on his combine workout numbers was OLB Jordan Jenkins.

Jenkins, who has experience in a 3-4 defensive scheme, improved his 40 time running a 4.76 (down from 4.8), his broad jump 10’3″ (up from 10’1″), his vertical leap 38″ (up from 36 1/2″) and his bench press posting 19 reps (up from 16).

Jenkins is projected as a third or fourth round pick.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Ryan brothers take in Georgia pro day

Posted by Chris Brown on March 16, 2016 – 2:22 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan and Assistant head coach/Defense Rob Ryan have been checking out some of the more notable college pro days during this pre-draft season. Today they took in Georgia’s pro day in Athens.

Among the more notable Georgia draft prospects are OLB Leonard Floyd, OT John Theus, OLB Jordan Jenkins, WR Malcolm Mitchell and RB Keith Marshall.

Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan, right, and assistant coach Rob Ryan laugh as they watch Georgia's Pro Day of the NFL football scouts, Wednesday, March 16, 2016, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan, right, and assistant coach Rob Ryan laugh as they watch Georgia’s Pro Day of the NFL football scouts, Wednesday, March 16, 2016, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a look at OLB prospect Jordan Jenkins running his 40 today.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-29

Posted by Chris Brown on January 29, 2016 – 11:23 am

Senior Bowl on Saturday and Pro Bowl on Sunday with three Bills participating. As for today let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills for this week’s edition.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Reported that DeMario Davis, ILB for the #Jets is set to hit FA. Had down yr, but excelled w/ Rex. Top FA target?

BrettsterBills

CB: Yes, I did see that. According to the reports the Jets intend to re-sign Erin Henderson instead of Davis. To me they’re not all that different. Henderson is just two years older and will likely come cheaper. Most NFL scouts see Davis as a two-down linebacker. As you mentioned he had a down year and struggled when put in coverage situations. Personally I think Nigel Bradham is a more versatile linebacker.

As Doug Whaley said, they’re looking for dust settle guys. If Davis goes untouched through the initial wave of free agency, which is certainly possible, and his price isn’t exorbitant then he could be an option.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills is there still a working group studying long-term stadium options for the Bills? What’s the latest?

lophus89

CB: To my knowledge the New Stadium Working Group still exists, but I will reiterate what Bills President Russ Brandon shared at the Prospectus Premiere event Thursday night about the prospects for a new stadium.

He essentially said at this time there are no planning meetings, no land grabs and no feasibility studies taking place. The Bills have a lease that runs until 2022 and the state and county just invested a sizable amount of money into renovations to Ralph Wilson Stadium.

If you remember the New Stadium Working Group was quickly assembled in the wake of Mr. Wilson’s passing because the future of the franchise in Buffalo was uncertain. The NSWG would need to have answers in the event that a new owner sought to relocate the team during the one year opt out portion of the lease in 2020 to help convince the new owner to keep the team in Buffalo.

Once the Pegulas successfully purchased the Bills that threat went away. Terry and Kim Pegula are committed to the city and keeping the team here. So the urgency to map out a future home for the Bills just isn’t there at this time.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills do you think the hiring of Rob Ryan will benefit the Bills or just lead to another rebuild?

Cmoney111196

CB: Here’s why I see the addition of Rob Ryan as a benefit. Rex implicitly trusts his brother in every facet of football. With Rob as Assistant head coach/Defense, Rex will be able to focus more on the big picture responsibilities of being a head coach. Rex can hand the reins of the defense to his brother and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman during the course of the week and on Sunday Rex can still call the plays.

I also believe Rob will serve as an added motivator for Rex. Both of them are very disappointed with how their 2015 seasons went with respect to defensive performance. Putting the two of them together will only inspire them more to redeem themselves in 2016 with Buffalo’s defensive unit.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills What’s the better option? WR in free agency or the draft?

orlandoweise

CB: Here are the things you need to consider when assessing whether the Bills sign a receiver in free agency or acquire one in the draft. First, where is receiver on their positional priority list?

Sure Doug Whaley would like to add a bona fide No. 2 receiver to work opposite Sammy Watkins, but that comes at a price when dealing with free agents. I think the steps we’ve seen the Bills take already at receiver signing Greg Salas, Jarrett Boykin and Greg Little is similar to that of their approach at quarterback last year.

Create a competitive environment and hope you can strike gold with a player stepping up and filling a role at a very affordable price. All three of those players bring size to the equation, which is another element that Buffalo is looking to add to their receiving corps.

The free agent class at receiver is limited at best. Free agents, who are likely to still be available when the dust settles are players like Rishard Matthews, Brandon Gibson and Darrius Heyward-Bey. They are not going to be names that excite you. So Buffalo took the proactive approach and signed a few reserve/future free agents in Salas, Boykin and Little in the hopes that one emerges.

Now one of those guys might not be the true No. 2. Heck, I think Robert Woods is probably better than all of them. But if Woods can work primarily in the slot opposite Charles Clay and one of the three aforementioned wideouts can prove they deserve the job outside opposite Sammy Watkins you could be in business.

Is that a big ‘if’? It most certainly is, but with a tight cap situation, two starting offensive linemen to re-sign and some holes to fill on defense that might be the only realistic course to take.

I know this is a long way of saying it, but if the Bills are going to add any more talent at receiver it’s probably coming via the draft.

 

5 – Chris,

My question is about the future of Stephon Gilmore. I understand he is under contract until the end of next year, but after that do you think they’ll extend him?

He is going to want top 3-5 CB money.

If we can sign Glenn and need a huge contract for Taylor, where is this money coming from to sign a top 3 CB?

Not to mention there is no way to sign Gilmore and Darby if he continues to play at this level.

The way I see it, is the writing is on the wall with Gilmore. He plays out next year, wants top 3 money and there will be a team willing to give it to him. With his replacement on the team. I see this as his last year with Bills!! Thoughts?

Dave from Buffalo

CB: I wouldn’t throw in the towel on Gilmore being gone after 2016 just yet. By picking up the fifth-year option on Gilmore they’ve given themselves time to address his contract long term. The average salary of the top cornerback contracts is just over $11M per season.

I don’t debate that it will be a sizable investment to keep him long term. You’re right Tyrod Taylor will be the other big contract. The thing with Taylor’s contract and Gilmore’s is you can spread the money out over a six or seven-year period, which lessens the blow to the team’s cap.

Also helping is the fact that the salary cap is going up at a rate of close to $10M per season with the revenue continually pouring in. Add in the fact that the only other notable contracts that will be up in 2017 are Robert Woods and Manny Lawson, who will be 32-years old at that time, and it’s reasonable to think you can get Gilmore and Taylor done.

Darby is a player you don’t have to worry about until 2019.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-15

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2016 – 12:04 pm

A couple of adds to the coaching staff and the roster this week. Here are your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Chris, can u see the Bills being interested in D.Harrison or H.Ngata if available in FA? Both r NTs that know Rex system

Mikeybeit

CB: While there’s no debating that Harrison and Ngata know Ryan’s defense, I think interest in Ngata and Harrison depends solely on price. I don’t see the Bills investing heavily in their defensive line with so much money tied up there already. Even if Mario Williams isn’t on the roster next year they still have some fat contracts with Dareus, Hughes and Kyle.

So the play there is to go for the affordable options and use draft choices. That probably means Damon Harrison is a more likely option than Haloti Ngata, who even at age 31 would probably command a higher price tag than Harrison, who is a role player.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills to what extent do you foresee Rob Ryan playing a part in the defense next season? #Bills

yamanboo

CB: Here’s how I see the Rob Ryan hiring playing out. After both of them had a down season in terms of defensive ranking there is great motivation by both to redeem themselves and their family name as it pertains to putting together great defensive units.

Rex trusts his brother to do right by the principles of the defense and I think Rob will probably have a heavy hand in the defensive planning. That will allow Rex to take on more of a big picture role as a head coach where he can focus more on the all-encompassing duties that job demands.

I’m not sure Rex will relinquish play calling duties on game day to Rob or anybody else for that matter, but with his title being Assistant head coach/Defense, it’s safe to say Rob Ryan will play a major role in getting this defense back to a level more typically associated with the Ryan name.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills Will the Ryan brothers realize that Mario Williams was right?

ItsjustJimmy

CB: I think this is what you need to consider before you blindly accept Mario Williams comments as truth. When there is a scheme change via a new coaching staff coming in there has to be 100 percent buy in from the players. If there is not 100 percent commitment, especially in a scheme as intricate as Rex Ryan’s it simply does not work.

Did Mario Williams buy into Rex Ryan’s scheme 100 percent at any point this season? When his role in this defensive scheme wasn’t to his liking did he still play to the best of his ability every snap, every week?

I will let Preston Brown answer that question for you with some comments he made with just two games left in the season after the team was eliminated from playoff contention.

“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. Mentally everybody wasn’t there.

“It’s something that we have to handle. 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.

“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. 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.”

As a side note I applaud Preston Brown for revealing just what the problems were this season. There were a couple of players that compromised the integrity and effectiveness of the scheme for the sake of their own self-interest. Fortunately a couple of young players stepped forward to lead this team and called out those players so a promising season doesn’t get submarined again.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills what’s the chances of the #Bills holding onto Mario Williams? Should they?

TheJokstr

CB: What we do know is Mario Williams contract is cost prohibitive. His $19.9M cap figure is something that has to be re-worked through restructuring or eliminated by some other means. Buffalo has free agent priorities in Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito. Those contracts simply cannot get done without a giant contract like Williams’ being adjusted or taken care of in some other fashion.

I think most know that Mario Williams’ performance didn’t live up to his salary, and we know all too well why he feels he wasn’t effective in Rex Ryan’s scheme.

No matter which way you slice it his contract has to be addressed. I’m sure the Bills will exhaust every option to have it settled by the time they need to get Glenn and Incognito back under contract. Whether that means he’s here or not is another story.

 

5- @ChrisBrownBills Do you expect to see Buffalo run a more traditional 3-4 base defense this year, like we’ve seen from Rex in the past?

MustangMike23

CB: I don’t think it’s any secret that Rex Ryan wants to run a purer version of what has traditionally been successful for him defensively than what he ran in Buffalo this past season. He himself admitted that trying to blend some of the concepts from the 2014 Bills defense just didn’t work and had to scrap it midseason.

How far he goes in running a more traditional 3-4 will hinge on the talent turnover defensively from now until next spring. If the proper pieces are in place then it’s probably full steam ahead. If not, it might have more of a hybrid look to it like we saw in 2013 under Mike Pettine.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex on hiring his brother Rob

Posted by Chris Brown on January 11, 2016 – 11:32 am

The Bills made a notable addition to their coaching staff in the form of Rob Ryan, head coach Rex Ryan’s twin brother over the weekend. On Monday, Buffalo’s sideline boss commented on what adding his brother to the staff will mean for the Bills.

Appearing on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike show, Ryan believes their staff has gotten a lot better with his brother as Assistant head coach/Defense.

“That’s a huge thing,” said Rex Ryan. “We got better yesterday because we were able to get my brother. Football is such a passion for him nobody works harder than my brother. He’s as prepared as any coach in the league. So we got better yesterday.”


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How one Ryan handed LB Reddick to the other

Posted by Chris Brown on December 13, 2015 – 10:50 am

Late in the preseason this past summer, the Bills were hard up for help at linebacker heading into their final preseason game with LB Tony Steward out with an MCL injury and Buffalo having no interest in playing their starting LBs in the game. So they claimed Kevin Reddick off waivers two days before the game and Reddick had a crash course in Buffalo’s defense that included a walk through in the team hotel the day before the game. Fortunately for him he had an edge.

“When I first came here I had a working knowledge of Rex’s defense because I played under his brother in New Orleans from when I was a rookie and learned the system,” Reddick told Buffalobills.com “So that helped me pick things up quick, but I’m a quick learner too.”

Reddick admits that Rex has his own tweaks on the scheme so it’s far from identical to his brother Rob’s scheme, but there were more than enough common concepts that carried over. Reddick’s performance in the preseason finale impressed Ryan enough to add the linebacker to his team’s practice squad just a day after final cuts. Other positional needs prompted his release from the practice squad in the middle of the season, but injuries at linebacker has him back and on the 53-man roster.

As proud as Reddick was to play well on short notice back in the preseason finale knowing it impressed Rex Ryan, he still feels there was another reason he was kept around and subsequently brought back last week.

“Rex’s brother recommended me to him,” said Reddick. “Rob told him what I could do in this kind of defense, so I believe what Rob said about me went a long way.”

Reddick caught up with Rob Ryan, who was visiting at One Bills Drive this week.

“Yeah we caught up and talked a bit. I thanked him for putting in a good word for me,” said Reddick. “I’m glad I’m here and able to contribute.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-11

Posted by Chris Brown on December 11, 2015 – 1:27 pm

Another ‘backs against the wall game’ for the Bills in Philly Sunday. Here are your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

How are the Bills not able to get Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Charles Clay more involved in their offensive attack?  Also, why is FB – Felton on the roster, although he can be an outstanding blocker, the Bills rarely have him on the field?  It seems this Coaching staff is NOT effectively using their Offensive or Defensive players.  Any insight as to why?  The Bills should be getting 3x the production out of their defense than they actual are.

RC from DC
CB: First and foremost the Bills have been getting Sammy Watkins more involved in passing attack. In the first three games he was healthy for this season Watkins was targeted a little over four times a game. In the last five games he’s been targeted seven times a game.

Clay has been targeted an average of six times in the last four games. Woods has been targeted 7.5 times per game over the last four. I think what you’re seeing is a steady maturation of an offense that was brand new to everyone on offense except Boobie Dixon, who ran it in San Francisco.

There were a lot of new pieces that had to blend together in a new system. Even the starting QB was new to it. Getting it all humming together simply takes time. I believe we’re now starting to see it approach critical mass with Taylor playing some of his best football this season right now.

Felton is a role player in the offense. It’s not as big as perhaps some expected, but I will say that the Bills make use of 21 and 22 personnel more than most clubs.

The defense is a bigger enigma. We’ve explained before how Rex admitted he erred in trying to blend some concepts from last year’s system in with his. He’s since scrapped the old system and gone exclusively with his own. I know the fans have criticized him for not taking advantage of what his defensive linemen do best, which is rush the passer. It’s a valid point, but let’s see how the season plays out and make our assessments at that point.

 
2 – Chris,

Why not make Easley a 2nd wide receiver on the opposite side of the field from Watkins to extend the field.  He is a tall, fast, and excellent receiver.  Remember the long touchdown pass he caught earlier in the year.

CB: I think the main reason Easley is not used more on offense is because they see Sammy Watkins as the player who stretches the field for them. Most offenses don’t have two receivers serving the same purpose. Quarterbacks need outlets to throw the ball to on shorter, quicker routes. This is where Robert Woods and Chris Hogan work best. They’re good at gaining separation quickly and serve the offense more effectively for that purpose.

Easley is fast, but he has build-up speed, not sudden burst speed. So filling a role on shorter, intermediate routes is not his greatest strength. He doesn’t get separation as quickly as Woods or Hogan.

 

 

3 – Hi Chris,

Thank you for all the Bills coverage throughout the year. I have two questions for you. Before Marcus Easley against the Texans who was the last Bills offensive player to have an interception?  Also, which Bills players deserve Pro Bowl consideration?  I think Darby, Gilmore, Graham, Wood, Incognito, McCoy,  Taylor, Schmidt and Easley all deserve to be considered. Which of those deserve to make it, and am I’m forgetting anyone else that should be considered?

Thank you,
Matthew
London, ON

CB: Easley is the first Bills player whose primary position is on offense to post an interception. As for Pro Bowl consideration I think Richie Incognito should be on that list. With the drop-off in play that Nick Mangold has had I’d like to think that opens the door for Eric Wood. I like the season that Stephon Gilmore has put together. Corey Graham might get some support, but I don’t know if there will be enough to put him through. Darby has played great, but rookies rarely get the votes, especially at DB unless they have nine or 10 INTs, like Jairus Byrd did back in 2009. LeSean McCoy is definitely in the mix. I think Colton Schmidt is in a tough spot because only one punter goes.

 

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills If something happens to Darby or Leodis, who is back up CB? Graham with D. Williams in at safety? Butler?

Joe_Tauriello

CB: It would be Mario Butler who steps in on the boundary if Darby or Leodis are injured. If there’s a second injury I could see your scenario potentially happening with Graham out to corner and then a sub at safety.

When McKelvin was still on the Non-Football Injury list, Butler served as the first corner off the bench behind Darby and Gilmore. So I would anticipate that to be his role again now with Gilmore down this week.

 
5 – @ChrisBrownBills Is Rob Ryan just visiting as a family member or is he providing any type of insight into our NFC opponents?

cfenton23

CB: Rex Ryan’s brother Rob was here for a visit, something he and his brother don’t get to do very often during football season. The two share a birthday on Sunday, so they’ve presumably had a pre-celebration together. Rex said his brother is heading out of town Saturday before Rex and the Bills leave for Philadelphia.

As for preparing for NFC opponents, I’m sure if Rex asked about Philadelphia this week or Washington and Dallas in the coming weeks he had no problem offering up some details. I remember Rex as coach of the Jets admitting to me on a conference call that he called his brother Rob to give him the update on the Bills when Buffalo played the Saints in 2013.

So that kind of talk between brothers is very plausible.


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Rex doesn’t dismiss hiring brother Rob Ryan

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2015 – 2:55 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan learned late Monday that his brother had been fired as defensive coordinator of the Saints. Ryan was asked about his brother Rob Ryan and his current situation.

“He’s a great coach and he’ll be fine. It’s the business. It’s the business that we chose. It’s going to happen,” said Ryan. “It happens to every coach. It happened to (Bill) Belichick and he’s the greatest coach of all time. It happened to him. It happens to everybody. Tough day, yeah I think I would’ve liked to have seen him finish out the season. I know that’s what he would liked to have done. But things are done for a reason and so be it.”

When asked if he would consider bringing him on to his staff, Ryan didn’t dismiss it.

“I’ll never say never, that’s for sure. I think we purposely set a path going to different teams. He’s his own man, I’m my own man and we’ve purposely set that path,” Ryan said. “With that being said I’m not going to lie to you. I think it’d be pretty fun and if it could help, obviously you would consider it and he’d have to consider it as well. We’ve got great coaches already here, but we’ll see.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex seeks Bills intel from brother during bye

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

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

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

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

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


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rob Ryan on Fred

Posted by Chris Brown on November 13, 2011 – 11:10 am

Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan appears to have as much respect for Fred Jackson as his brother, Jets head coach Rex Ryan. Of course he also wants his guys to “knock the crap” out of him.

Ryan spoke to the Dallas Morning News this week and has demanded his defenders hit Fred as hard as he hits defenders. Ryan also paid Jackson the ultimate compliment saying Jackson runs like the late great Hall of Famer, “Sweetness.”

“This guys is special,” said Ryan of Jackson. “This guy is tough now. He runs the ball like Walter Payton used to where he just looks people up and runs them over. But he’s also got the fleet feet where he can make people miss. He’s a special guy and he’s a special kid, too. I really like this guy, respect him and hopefully we can knock the crap out of him.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills to get same looks?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 13, 2011 – 6:54 am

With the Cowboys employing the brother of Jets head coach Rex Ryan as their defensive coordinator, it’s anticipated that the Bills offense will see a lot of similar looks Sunday against Dallas.

Buffalo’s coaching staff is convinced that the Ryans swap playbook material all the time to help one another out with opponents that both of their teams face, and in this case in consecutive weeks.

When asked about whether such conversations took place between the Ryans, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett didn’t deny it. 

“I know they’re very close, so I’m sure they speak a lot week in and week out. I don’t know any specifics regarding this game, but they do speak and do stay in touch,” said Garrett.

Dallas much like the Jets are likely to play a good amount of quarters coverage, but not as much man from start to finish knowing they don’t have the same talent on the boundaries at cornerback as the Jets.

But with pass rushers like DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer man coverage is an option they can go to knowing they usually get help up front with pressure on the opposing QB.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills