Inside The Bills

Value of the combine for NFL GMs

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 24, 2014 – 8:30 pm

Tuesday is the final day for the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. And a former high profile NFL GM says the combine is an essential part of the scouting process for teams in the league.

Former Bills, Panthers and Colts GM Bill Polian says it’s the medical exams and the weighing and measuring that are the most important part of the six day combine.

“First of all, it’s absolutely critical to get the medical information,” Polian said in an interview on The John Murphy Show from the combine. “And this is the most efficient way to do it, and Indianapolis happens to be the most efficient place to do it because the hospital is literally right across the street.”

“The second thing is the interviews and the psychological testing that goes on,” he said. “And then finally, the benchmarks, the forty yard dash, the jumping drills, the triangle drill, the shuttle drill-all of those things are critically important because they make the difference between, let’s say first rounder and perhaps a third rounder.”

Polian offered a recent example of how measurable, height and weight, make a big difference.

“Russell Wilson for example measures under six feet tall,” he said. “He’s a Super Bowl winning quarterback and no one would doubt his ability, but he was drafted in the third round because he’s under six feet tall. The measureables are important to us, because what they do is eliminate mistakes and that’s what we’re trying to do in each round, keep the mistakes to a minimum. So they’re very important.”

The entire radio interview with Bill Polian is available here


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Why Bills should expect some read option

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2013 – 10:13 am

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton is one of the better read option signal callers in the league. He only had a handful of carries last week against Seattle, but there’s a good chance he has more against the Bills today. Here’s why.

Recent evidence has likely shown Carolina offensive coaches that the read option can have success against Buffalo. The last two examples come from late last season and this past preseason.

Exhibit A is Seattle QB Russell Wilson. Facing the Bills in Toronto last season in Week 15, Wilson rushed for 92 yards on nine carres (9.2 per rush) and three touchdowns. They came from 14, 25 and four yards out in a 50-17 victory over Buffalo.

Then this past preseason, read option quarterback and fourth-stringer Pat White for the Washington Redskins had success running the read option against Buffalo. Though he only had three carries in the game they totaled 26 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown run (8.6 per carry).

Even though Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Schula is known as a conservative play caller, he’s expected to give Newton his opportunities with the read option against a Bills defense that has to prove they can stop it today.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Former Bills LB impressed with EJ

Posted by Chris Brown on June 27, 2013 – 9:06 am

Former Bills LB Chris Draft was a guest on the John Murphy Show last night (Wed.) as he wrapped up his speaking responsibilities at the NFL’s Rookie Symposium. Draft had the opportunity to meet Buffalo’s rookies and was particularly impressed with EJ Manuel.

“When I saw EJ I said, ‘Oh my goodness. Are you really that big?’ I was thinking that in my mind anyway,” Draft said. “He did an amazing job at the rookie symposium. When you see quarterbacks you look for an aura about them. That’s what you want.

“Last year I had the opportunity to meet Russell Wilson and you could see he had the respect of the other rookies. That’s the kind of vibe I got from EJ and you could see the respect already from the other rookies. They’re ready for him to lead. Now you have to earn it, but he’s already built a relationship with them you can see it.”

Hearing Draft compare Manuel’s leadership to that of Wilson is certainly encouraging. Of course he’s got to win the starting quarterback job before those leadership skills can be put into practice. The key point here is Manuel’s leadership and charisma is not forced. All that have been around him say his leadership is natural.

Draft played in 2009 for the Bills appearing 11 games that season.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills liked QB Wilson in last year’s draft

Posted by Chris Brown on December 16, 2012 – 12:44 pm

The Bills spent an awful lot of time pre-draft with Seattle QB Russell Wilson. They thought of a lot of him as an NFL prospect and were not scared off by his lack of height.

In his weekly appearance on WGR Sportsradio 550, Nix said their draft philosophy doesn’t exclude players that lack ideal measurables, while also explaining why T.J. Graham was their third-round pick six picks before Seattle took Wilson.

“I firmly believe that winners come in all sizes,” said Nix. “I think Russell Wilson was one and we knew that. We spent a lot of time with Russell and he was on our radar, but we had one, we felt like we had to have a speed receiver. They took him in the third and that was a little high for us as far as our needs.

“You’ve got Doug Flutie. I was around Doug for eight or nine years and you’ve got Russell Wilson. Those guys are exceptional and you’ve got exceptions, but they’re winners. They know how to perform when the pressure is on and I’m not a bit surprised by what he’s done.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

What accelerated QB Wilson’s learning curve

Posted by Chris Brown on December 16, 2012 – 10:26 am

Most that knew Russell Wilson or played with the Seattle QB before he got to the NFL considered him a winner already. However, there’s no denying what helped Wilson acclimate himself to the NFL game and perform so effectively, so quickly.

Having played in a pair of different college offenses at N.C. State and Wisconsin exposed him to a lot of different terminology. Terminology he had to master rather quickly in one short summer prior to his final collegiate season at Wisconsin.

“He’s a smart guy,” said former N.C. State teammate and Bills WR T.J. Graham. “He’d have figured it out no matter what offense he was in. The Wisconsin offense he went in and took control of it. I heard he was there all the time, longer than coaches and worked on it and figured it out. He wasn’t going to let that opportunity slip.”

With three games left in his rookie season Wilson believes immersing himself in two different college offenses that came from pro-style origins was been extremely helpful.

“I definitely believe that,” he said via conference call this week. “Obviously, I played in the West Coast offense at N.C. State. I played in vertical play-action at Wisconsin, both pro-style games. That’s what’s really helped me in terms of the learning curve, if that’s what your asking. And just competing at the highest level.

“Coach Carroll always talks about competing and bringing it every single day and that’s what I try to do. I try to improve on three little things every single day to help me and once those things are knocked down, just keep going with it. That’s my focus.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Seattle QB Wilson impressed by Bills D-line

Posted by Chris Brown on December 13, 2012 – 10:09 am

Seattle QB Russell Wilson, who was a three-year college teammate of Bills WR T.J. Graham, couldn’t help but be impressed by Buffalo’s defensive line, which has been playing some of its best football of late.

“They’re tremendous,” said Wilson via conference call. “They’re pretty strong up front and they make a lot of action up there. I know Mario Williams. I’ve met him several times. He’s a great player. He has so much ability and the same with the rest of the guys up front as well in terms of Dareus and Williams and all the other guys too that they bring in. I think it’s gonna be a great game. It’s gonna be a battle for sure and we’re going to have to play our best.”

Buffalo’s defensive line has been instrumental in shutting down their opponents’ run game. They’ve held each of their last four opponents to under 90 yards rushing, the first time that’s been done since the 1999 season when the Bills finished first in the league in overall defense. The Bills defensive line also has 28 of the team’s 31 sacks on the season.


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Posted in Inside the Bills