Inside The Bills

Watkins happy to be worked back in

Posted by Chris Brown on June 17, 2015 – 2:12 pm

Sammy Watkins has been a limited participant in spring practices coming off an offseason hip procedure, but through the first two days of minicamp he’s been sprinkled in for a few team reps in both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11. It’s not much, but Watkins is happy to take any reps he can get with teammates around him.

“It feels good,” he said. “Just to know I can get on the field and compete and go out there and make a play or two. Just to get back there is a great feeling to me, and just to see coaches confidence in putting me back there and knowing that I’m healthy – it was a great feeling for me.”

Watkins said he will be full go for training camp come late July.

“I’ll be in there the first day of training camp competing,” he said. “It’s all about now getting in shape and coming back ready to compete.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins up to speed despite being limited

Posted by Chris Brown on June 4, 2015 – 2:19 pm

Sammy Watkins is still limited coming off his offseason procedure, but he hasn’t lost a step when it’s come to getting a hold on the offensive scheme. Receivers coach Sanjay Lal said Watkins has done everything possible to stay immersed in the installation process.

“He’s keeping up mentally,” said Lal. “He comes to meet extra with me anytime there’s a special teams meeting because he’s not in special teams, and that’s legal to do so. Off to the side in practice he’s working on all his techniques, so when it comes time to running everything at full speed he’ll understand the technique. When he goes away for the summer he’ll know what to work on and work on it the right way so he’s ready when he comes back.”


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Bills coaching staff getting props from players

Posted by Chris Brown on June 3, 2015 – 10:23 pm

When head coach Rex Ryan finished the assembly of his coaching staff he called it an all-star staff, with thanks to owners Terry and Kim Pegula for making it possible. Now just over a month has passed that the coaches have been around the players and the men on Buffalo’s roster are pretty pleased with the coach-player interaction and instruction.

RB LeSean McCoy was heaping praise on offensive coordinator Greg Roman, likening him to his former head coach Chip Kelly when it came to finding unique and creative ways to create opportunities for his players to make plays.

“The type of coach Greg Roman is there’s a bunch of different things,” said McCoy. “That sort of reminds me of Chip with the whole unique style of getting his backs in space, that genius type of thing. No matter what I feel like he’s a genius and Greg is similar. They find ways to trick the defense and get their backs in a lot of open space. Greg definitely has a similiarity for sure.”

WR Sammy Watkins is limited to just individual position drills in OTA practices as he’s still rehabbing from an offseason procedure, but he already feels like he and his fellow wideouts are better players because of new receivers coach Sanjay Lal.

“It’s been great. He’s a great coach,” said Watkins of Lal. “So far I haven’t been on the field much with him, but I feel my game has improved with just the little things and the details. You see every receiver right now becoming true receivers and he’s teaching us the way to play the game.”

Watkins feels last season the receiving corps was just an “okay” route running team. In early June he thinks they’re better now than they were at any point last season.

“We can run better routes now,” said Watkins. “Last year we were okay with routes, now we’re getting the real details of running routes and different routes and I think our placement and being in the same place every time is helping the QBs out.”

So while the Bills are a long way from playing their first game that counts, the early returns on the coaching staff from the players are glowing.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-15

Posted by Chris Brown on May 15, 2015 – 11:41 am

Sorry for the one week hiatus. A lot of news going down last week. OTAs are less than two weeks away. Let’s get right to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 –  @ChrisBrownBills

just curious why Bills have Felton and Conner?

nschirra8

CB: Doug Whaley has stated many times that any time they have a chance to make an upgrade they’re going to do so. The John Conner signing this week is an example of that. While I don’t deny that it’s unusual to have two proven fullbacks on one roster, I think Whaley and Rex Ryan subscribe to the philosophy of creating as much competition as possible in the training camp setting.

Conner will push Jerome Felton and that makes both players better. Ultimately Felton is going to be this team’s starting fullback, but if there’s an injury Conner is a fantastic fall back option. Can Conner convince the coaches to make an exception and keep two fullbacks? With the depth of this roster that’s going to be difficult, but you can’t fault a team for trying to get better everywhere and driving up the level of competition.

 

2 – Hey Chris,

Thanks for your continued pursuit of giving a small market team, big time exposure.

I know the McCoy/Alonso deal has been discussed ad nauseum and much like most Bills fans, I found myself conflicted and constantly flip-flopping on how to feel.  At the end of the day, the organization is making an aggressive play to enhance the offense, which is definitely something I support.  Having said that, seeing that the Bills were willing to commit heavy resources to a running back I’m uncertain of what to feel hypothesizing that we could have signed Demarco Murray for less money and still retained Kiko (whether to keep or to use as a potential trade asset).  Both backs are elite and I don’t wish to jibber-jabber over which one is better, but how can a cogent argument be made that McCoy > Demarco + Kiko?

Keep up the great work.
Best,
Robert F.

CB: While I think most would acknowledge that DeMarco Murray + Kiko Alonso is better than just LeSean McCoy, you’re operating under the assumption that Murray would be interested in signing with Buffalo.

It’s possible he may have been willing to sign with the Bills. We’ll probably never know, but Murray is a year older than McCoy. Unlike McCoy, who avoids the kill shots of defensive linemen, linebackers and safeties, Murray takes big hits. I think one could argue that the cumulative wear and tear on Murray is greater than on McCoy.

Now that doesn’t dismiss your argument that Murray + Alonso would be better than just McCoy, but I’m not convinced Murray would’ve signed here.

 

3 – Hi Chris, thank you to you and your team for all the off season coverage.
I have to think Suh signing this contract hurts us in two ways. 1, he bolsters the Dolphins defense and we have to go up against him twice a year. 2, did he set the market for Marcell Dareus as a free agent? Dareus was considered the best tackle against the run last year, and had more tackles and sacks than Suh. If Marcell doesn’t drop off this year wouldn’t he command the same contract as Suh? We saw what happens without Marcell in the lineup, just look at the Oakland game before and after his injury.  Do you think the Bills can afford to re-sign him, and if so, is that at the expense of asking Mario Williams to restructure his contract or full on releasing him?
Thanks
Paddy

CB: The Bills maintain that their cap structure will allow for a long term contract extension for Dareus. He’s the linchpin of the defensive interior for the long term future.

You’re right the Suh deal did set the market. I think in an ideal world the Bills have Dareus signed to a long term deal before the 2015 season commences. The more he performs on the field the more his price goes up, so it would behoove the Bills to seal a deal before September. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

 

4 – Hi Chris
Do the Bills have any definite plans for Marcus Thigpen? Is he still on the roster? Percy Harvin is arguably a better all-around player, but in all the mentions of Buffalo “weapons” I’ve not once heard Thigpen’s name.

Just curious
@GregTheBillsFan

CB: Thigpen is still on the roster yes. Harvin is clearly a better all-around player. Thigpen was a punt return specialist on this team last season after Leodis McKelvin broke his ankle. And while he did do a good job this roster became even harder for him to make with the offseason additions, Harvin chief among them. With McKelvin expected to be ready by training camp, the team’s primary punt returner will be back in the fold. So Thigpen, though very capable, may get caught up in a numbers game at the receiver position.

 

5 – Chris,
With the addition of Harvin, how do you expected the formations to look like? How does it change the role of Robert Woods, who had a great 2nd half of the season. Harvin might cut into Watkin’s targets, I like to see Watkin’s used more creatively.

Is Goodwin on the bubble to make the roster? I’d like to see a coach that will throw him the ball.

Sean

CB: I think the Greg Roman offense is going to be as multiple as possible with a myriad of pre-snap formations and shifts. So to give you an answer about formations would be like trying to hit a moving target. I expect Harvin to line up outside opposite Watkins, with Woods working more in the slot in this offense. Hogan would work the other slot in four-wide looks.

Based on Rex Ryan’s comments it sounds like Goodwin will get a far better opportunity to prove that he belongs on this roster than he did from the previous staff. I wouldn’t call him a bubble player, but from a pure numbers standpoint he’s going to have a challenge on his hands.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

WR group has stiffest competition in a while

Posted by Chris Brown on May 14, 2015 – 1:12 pm

The first OTA practice for the Bills is just under two weeks away, but it’s readily apparent that the competition at wide receiver might be the stiffest that’s been seen at One Bills Drive since the early 90’s clubs. Head coach Rex Ryan was asked to assess how he and his offensive assistants will whittle the candidate list from its current number of 13 down to five or six.

“We have a deep group of talented guys,” said Ryan. “Percy Harvin, I’m not willing to say there’s something that he can’t do that someone else can. I’m not so sure that’s possible.

“Robert Woods, Sammy Watkins those guys are pretty decent. (Chris) Hogan, he’s a talented guy, good athlete, catches the football, smart, productive, so it is going to be tough to make this team, there is no question about it.”

When asked if he will try to mix and match skill sets to cover all possible needs at the receiver position, Ryan maintained that keeping the best players is the best way to go.

“Different roles for things, yeah possibly, but I don’t want to limit anybody and say this guy is strictly a slot receiver,” he said. “Let’s have it work out and in the end if that’s the case then so be it. I just want to see it with open eyes and believe what I see.”


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Watkins trade-one year later

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 30, 2015 – 10:52 pm

There’s still one more chip to be played by the Cleveland Browns, but for the most part, we know now  what the cost was when the Bills moved up to draft Sammy Watkins in the 2014 draft.

To recap, Buffalo sent its’ 2014 1st rounder (9th overall) to Cleveland, along with the Bills 2015 1st rounder (19th overall), and a 4th rounder this year. In exchange, the Bills moved up four spots in the first round last year and snagged Sammy Watkins.

The Browns used this year’s first rounder obtained from Buffalo to select Offensive Lineman Cameron Erving from FSU. He’s likely to be penciled in as a center for the Browns, probably backing up Alex Mack in his first year in Cleveland.  Erving is versatile-he played left tackle at FSU last year.

So if you add it up–it’s Cameron Erving this year, troubled CB Justin Gilbert last year, and a fourth rounder still to come. That’s what the cost was for the Bills to move up and pick Sammy Watkins.

With 65 catches and six touchdowns in his rookie year, and the promise of much more to come, it’s hard to imagine one of the players the Browns picked having nearly as much impact as Watkins.

 


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Gruden on Bills draft outlook

Posted by Chris Brown on April 30, 2015 – 11:28 am

The 2015 NFL draft is just days away and despite coming from an offensive background as a former coordinator and head coach himself, ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden thinks Buffalo might fill some of the defensive holes in the draft.

“As far as what they’re going to draft, they’ve made a real good addition to their backfield in LeSean McCoy,” Gruden said. “I’m sure they’re going to look at replacing Kiko Alonso and lost a pretty good safety man (Da’Norris Searcy). So I think they’ll look for some things on defense, but I really like what they did trading up to get that receiver (last year) because Watkins is one heck of a player.”

Buffalo’s primary positional needs are widely seen as offensive line, linebacker and tight end.


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Watkins: rookie lessons have been learned

Posted by Chris Brown on April 16, 2015 – 12:35 pm

No matter how much college experience or production a player has, the NFL is still a different animal. There are more games, more demands and far more practice and preparation than college. With his rookie season now in the rearview mirror, Sammy Watkins feels he learned some valuable lessons.

“Most definitely,” said Watkins when asked if he’s a smarter player going into his second NFL season. “This year I’ve just got to come out and play physical and play hard. I know what the game is about. I was a rookie last year. I’m not a veteran, but I’ve got one year behind me and just get on the same page as the quarterback and dominate. That’s the key to this year.”

When Watkins was asked if he’s set any personal statistical goals, the receiver indicated that he isn’t going to concern himself with individual stats.

“I’m not going to worry about that. I’m just going to go out there and play hard,” he said. “The numbers will show. As long as we’re winning and as long as we’re in the playoffs and the Super Bowl I’m fine with my numbers. They’ll add up at the end of the year.”


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Rex: Watkins to be full go at training camp

Posted by Chris Brown on April 15, 2015 – 2:01 pm

Sammy Watkins underwent a procedure on his hip after his rookie season with the Bills reached a conclusion. Though Watkins is able to work out to participate in some capacity in the team’s voluntary offseason conditioning program, head coach Rex Ryan said not to expect to see Watkins doing much in the way of football related work until August.

“My understanding is Sammy is doing really well,” said Ryan. “We’re not going to see him out there until training camp. But he should be full go when we get to training camp.”

Watkins said he is feeling good.

“I’m feeling pretty good. I’m just getting back to working out, having fun with the guys,” Watkins said. “I’m just happy to be with the team and great coaches. I just have to keep getting better.”

Watkins in encouraged by his progress and is on board with the regimen prescribed for him by the team’s athletic training staff.

“I just believe in our staff. They’re doing a great job. I’ve just got to keep working hard,” he said. “Everything has been going good. I’m healing. They’re working me out the right way. They keep me motivated and I’ve just got to keep getting better.”

 


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Bills young talent ranks favorably

Posted by Chris Brown on January 27, 2015 – 9:39 am

ESPN did a league wide analysis of the young talent on every roster in the NFL. The Bills ranked in the top half of the league with their healthy number of young playmakers.

ESPN Insider Matt Williamson had the Bills ranked 11th in the league when it came to their “farm system” of young talent. Here’s what he wrote about Buffalo’s roster.

11. Buffalo Bills

Sammy Watkins, WR (21): He didn’t put up the same numbers as some of the rookie receivers drafted after him, but make no mistake: He is still a supreme prospect. He has great speed and ball skills, but what some might overlook with him is his strength. Every aspect of his game exudes power, from his running style to his aggressiveness attacking the football.

Marcell Dareus, DT (24): The Bills’ excellent defensive line is the foundation of their defense, and Dareus is the anchor in the middle. He dominates in the running game and continues to improve as an every-down player who can get to the quarterback as well.

Cordy Glenn, LT (25): Not the prototypical light-footed left tackle, Glenn uses his great size and wingspan to protect the blind side. He is a top-10 tackle in this league.

Stephon Gilmore, CB (24): Gilmore excels in both man and zone coverage. With Rex Ryan taking over as Buffalo’s head coach, Gilmore should see a ton of one-on-one coverage against the opponent’s top receiver. He’s up to the task.

Kiko Alonso, LB (25): He missed all of 2014 due to an injury, but he along with Brandon Spikes and Preston Brown gives Buffalo one of the best linebacker groups in football.

Others of note: Nigel Bradham, EJ Manuel, Aaron Williams, Duke Williams, Marquise Goodwin,Cyril Richardson, Bryce Brown, Nickell Roby, Seantrel Henderson, Robert Woods, Preston Brown,Cyrus Kouandjio

The Colts, Patriots and Rams were the top three ranked teams.


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Watkins up for Pepsi Next NFL Rookie of Year

Posted by Chris Brown on January 6, 2015 – 4:18 pm

Bills WR Sammy Watkins is among the nominees for the Pepsi Next NFL Rookie of the Year. Here’s a look at his competition.

Odell Beckham, Jr.
Wide Receiver
New York Giants
Teddy Bridgewater
Quarterback
Minnesota Vikings
Mike Evans
Wide Receiver
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jeremy Hill
Running Back
Cincinnati Bengals
Sammy Watkins
Wide Receiver
Buffalo Bills

With the finish to the season that Odell Beckham Jr. had for the Giants and the touchdowns scored on an almost weekly basis by Mike Evans in Tampa the competition will be stiff. Add in the fact that Jeremy Hill helped Cincinnati reach the playoffs and your vote will count big time. So vote for Sammy right here as many times as you like.


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Watkins: Raiders a sneaky team

Posted by Chris Brown on December 20, 2014 – 3:40 pm

Bills rookie WR Sammy Watkins has played in all of 14 games in his NFL career. While he might still be an inexperienced NFL player, he knows a sneaky team when he sees one. In his mind that’s just the kind of team they’re playing Sunday.

Watkins and his teammates refuse to be influenced by Oakland’s 2-12 record. When they look at some of the teams they’ve hung with and in two cases beaten Watkins says it’s easy to play them just as hard as any other opponent.

“They’ve beaten good teams,” said Watkins. “They’ve beaten Kansas City, San Fran—we’ve got to come out and be ready. They’re a sneaky team. They’ve been playing good ball, they haven’t been finishing teams. I watched film on defense—they got a good defensive line, they’re linebackers fly around, their cornerbacks, they’re going to challenge you, they’re not just somebody you’re going to run by for 90-yards, they’re going to compete.”

Of course with Oakland shorthanded at cornerback this week with starter Tarell Brown out, his backup Chimdi Chekwa out and fellow starter D.J. Hayden hobbled and questionable for the game, they may not challenge Buffalo’s wideouts as much as Watkins anticipates.


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Watkins: Fighting to the end

Posted by Chris Brown on December 11, 2014 – 10:35 am

The players in Buffalo’s locker room realize the situation in which they’ve put themselves. There is no margin for error with three games to play. Even though it’s his first time going through it at the NFL level, how things have played out has not sit well with Sammy Watkins.

“Very upset,” he said of Buffalo’s current standing at 7-6. “We understand as a team and an organization that it’s not all on what everybody is saying. It’s about what we do. I think we let a couple games slip on ourselves so we put ourselves in this situation. But we still have control of our destiny. We could win out three games and be 10-6 and hopefully make it to the playoffs. That’s what we’re fighting for.”

 


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100 catch seasons not so rare in 90’s

Posted by Chris Brown on December 10, 2014 – 11:54 am

There’s a common perception that with the NFL becoming more and more of a passing league that there have been far more 100-catch seasons in the last eight or nine seasons in comparison to the 10 or 11 seasons prior. Buffalo has a pair of receivers in both eras who were number one picks in Eric Moulds and Sammy Watkins, who were the subject in our exam of the 2014 WR class to that of the ’96 class. Moulds already has a 100-catch season, which is the only in franchise history. Watkins will probably flirt with some 100-catch seasons in his career, but in counting up the 100-catch season in the NFL in those two eras might surprise you.

From 2006-2014 there have been 33 100-catch seasons posted. Wes Welker has five of them for the most in that span. But between 1995 and 2005, granted an 11-year span instead of eight-year plus span, there were 34 100-catch seasons by individual receivers.

As far as Eric Moulds is concerned it shows that the receivers from his era were more productive arguing that today’s receivers get more targets per game and thus more opportunities to make more catches. The fact that there aren’t appreciably more receivers today posting 100-catch seasons than there used to be when he was playing is proof as far as he’s concerned.

“You look at the New England Patriots. They just plug guys in,” Moulds told Buffalobills.com. “They lose Wes Welker and plug in (Julian) Edelman and he gets 100 catches. It’s one of those things where you throw the ball so much and you put so much emphasis on the passing game that you’re obviously going to have an opportunity to make plays. They’re given so many opportunities with the passing game.”

Moulds said in a conversation with former teammate and Hall of Famer Andre Reed the two leading receivers in team history entertained the thought of playing in today’s game and how many more chances they’d have to produce.

“You’re always going to say, ‘What if I was playing this era,’” said Moulds. “I had a conversation with Andre Reed right before he went into the Hall of Fame and he was saying, ‘Moulds what if we were playing in this era where they throw the ball a ton? Even when I was in the K-Gun we didn’t throw it this much.’ I said, ‘Man, it would be great.’”


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What Moulds told Watkins

Posted by Chris Brown on December 10, 2014 – 11:52 am

In today’s headline story on Buffalobills.com we take a look at how the 2014 draft class of receivers stands a good chance of eclipsing the gold standard for receiver draft classes, which was the 1996 group. Buffalo has a first-round pick in each of those classes at the receiver position in Eric Moulds and Sammy Watkins. Recently Moulds was on hand for a Bills home game to lead the charge prior to kickoff. He also had an opportunity to talk to Watkins. Here was some of the exchange between the two.

“I did catch up with him on the sideline,” said Watkins. “I had a couple of words with him and that was great to see guys like him. Guys I look up to and now they’re coming to watch me play.”

Moulds was the one who did most of the talking during the meeting between the two first-round picks.

“I just told Sammy that I was a big fan of his and I expected big things out of him,” Moulds told Buffalobills.com. “I told him I was looking forward to him breaking all of my records and Andre Reed’s records. If he does that it means the team is successful.”

The Bills’ record holder for two of the highest reception season in team history, Moulds put the onus on Watkins to earn Pro Bowl recognition sooner rather than later.

“I told him the last time a receiver from the Bills went to the Pro Bowl it was me,” said Moulds. “It’s long overdue. I also told him that the last time a Pro Bowl receiver took a Bills team to the playoffs it was me as well. So it’s up to him and (Robert) Woods and (Chris) Hogan and they have to step it up and make plays.

“Once they get their offense down and Sammy gets in a situation where he’s comfortable, because teams are paying a lot more attention to him when you’re making plays like he was making. He has to watch a lot of film to figure out how he can get open and beat double teams. It’s going to come with time, but he’s still a rookie.”

Moulds also extended Watkins the invitation to call him at any time for any questions he might have about the game, like getting separation off double teams, something Moulds saw a lot in his time with Buffalo.

“No, I told him that if he had any questions he could reach out to me and I’d be happy to help,” he said. “I just told him just be ready to play, but we could always talk whenever or I could come back up to town. Sammy kept saying, ‘Yes sir. Yes sir.’ He’s one of those guys. I said, ‘Sammy I’m not that old so you don’t have to call me sir.’”


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Bills now have 3 with 50 catches

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2014 – 1:14 pm

With Fred Jackson and Sammy Watkins both busy in yesterday’s loss to the Broncos, the Bills now have three players with at least 50 receptions this season. It’s a feat that hasn’t been accomplished by too many Bills teams.

Jackson (53 rec.) and Watkins (58 rec.) joined Robert Woods (52 rec.) to give Buffalo three players that have not eclipsed the 50-catch mark this season. It is just the seventh time in team history in which at least three players have 50-plus receptions.

Below is the list of previous seasons in which the Bills had three players with at least 50 catches apiece.

Year Players
1987 Andre Reed (57), Chris Burkett (56), Ronnie Harmon (56)
1991 Andre Reed (81), Thurman Thomas (62), James Lofton (57)
1992 Andre Reed (65), Thurman Thomas (58), James Lofton (51)
1993 Pete Metzelaars (68), Bill Brooks (60), Andre Reed (52)
2001 Larry Centers (77), Eric Moulds (61), Peerless Price (52)
2003 Eric Moulds (64), Josh Reed (58), Bobby Shaw (56)
2014 Sammy Watkins (58), Fred Jackson (53), Robert Woods (52)


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Watkins: Defense supports us

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2014 – 12:19 pm

The tight-knit nature of the Bills locker room has helped this team through the large amount of adversity they’ve faced all season. And while the defense has been the best side of the ball this season, WR Sammy Watkins says their support of the offense has been unwavering.

“You see it on the sideline,” said Watkins. “Those guys could look at you funny and say, ‘Let’s go, go score a touchdown.’ But they continue to encourage our offense and push us. I think that’s one of the things that’s been happening late in the season. They’ve been pushing us to be great and they depend on us to score and we’ve just got to keep helping those guys out.”

“We’re the defense. Our job is to go out there and stop points,” said Jerry Hughes. “We came out we made some adjustments in the second half and guys came together and played well. We’ve just got to play four quarters of football and just come together as a team and just stop shooting ourselves in the foot.”

 


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Getting to the red zone the issue

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2014 – 12:49 am

Bills WR Sammy Watkins had his first 100-yard receiving day in a month and a half, but it still wasn’t enough to help change the outcome in the loss to Denver. Watkins felt a recurring problem resurfaced on Sunday.

“We’ve got to get better in the red zone and put some points on the board,” he said. “I think we got aggressive in the second half and we started moving the ball. We just need to change our whole approach. I think once we get that killer instinct mindset to go down the field no matter what, no matter who we’re playing, we’ll be a great offense.

“We drove the ball down the field and we didn’t help ourselves out by putting seven on the board. Those are things that we have to clean up.”

Buffalo actually went 2-for-3 in the red zone Sunday. The bigger issue was sustaining the drive long enough where it reached the red zone.

Before Buffalo’s two late touchdown drives the Bills had eight possessions. The deepest penetration the offense made on those first eight possessions was the Denver 19-yard line, and the drive ended with an interception. The Bills only crossed midfield on three of those first eight possessions.


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Fan Friday 12-5

Posted by Chris Brown on December 5, 2014 – 11:20 am

The biggest December road game in quite some time is just two days away. Nice to see a game that matters here at this point in the season for the Bills. On to your questions now from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Hello Chris
I have a couple questions. When will the coaching staff see that the QB play was not the problem? EJ could throw a pick a game and not fumble. Plus he had the strength in the pocket plus agility to avoid half the sacks Orton has had. It is play calling I feel. We run such a mellow offense. Out of 73 starts for Orton he has 8 comebacks. EJ had I believe 4 in just 14 starts. We should have let him continue to develop. Orton has continually been trying to make up for his mistakes. (Pick six in Detroit. That game should have never been that close)
Secondly do they hope CJ may come back with the IR they placed him on? Thanks again for all your coverage of the best team in sports.

Jedediah
Palm Coast, FL

CB: Your numbers for Orton and Manuel are pretty much on the mark. Orton does have eight fourth quarter comebacks in his career. Manuel has one fourth quarter comeback and three game-winning drives, one of which came in Week 1 against Chicago in overtime with the score tied.

I think head coach Doug Marrone explained the quarterback move for what it was. At the time Manuel was struggling to complete passes with consistency. He was missing open targets and it was costing them yards and points and that ultimately costs you games.

Marrone had to decide between development of EJ Manuel or winning games. Winning games trumped Manuel’s development. Orton doesn’t have the physical assets that Manuel possesses. That’s obvious.

What Orton does have however, is the knowledge of where to go with the football regardless of the situation or defensive look. He can diagnose disguised coverages faster and his knowledge allows him to make decisions quicker. I think that results in Orton being more willing to give his receivers opportunities to make plays by taking a bit more risk than Manuel was willing to when he was in the lineup.

That being said Manuel has been working hard on his personal game and I think being able to focus on just himself the last two months has helped Manuel immeasurably. Whether he gets another opportunity this season will likely be tied to Orton’s health.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

What do you think Hughes trade value is? Would you package him and Spiller for a first rd. Pick?

crazyeyes7711

CB: First, I will say I don’t think it’s the primary intention of the Bills to trade either player. In an ideal world they keep both players in the fold. Will it happen? That depends on the intentions of the Hughes and Spiller camps.

In your hypothetical trade situation I think you’re underselling Hughes and Spiller as a package. Hughes is going to have double-digit sacks in back-to-back seasons and is just entering his prime. Spiller is still an elite physical talent no matter what his rushing production numbers say. One first round pick for both of them is far from an acceptable offer.

A first and a second round pick is what would be more equitable. We have to remember that they’re both former first-round draft choices themselves.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

What’s Goodwin’s % to play?

8three7six6zero

CB: If you want to know if he’ll dress on Sunday I think there’s a decent chance that happens knowing some of Buffalo’s top receivers are nicked up. He can serve as insurance. If you want to know how many snaps he’ll get that’s tough to peg. He got all of two snaps last week on offense and was targeted once. After Marcus Thigpen’s debut performance on returns last week Goodwin is unlikely to re-assume those duties.

Goodwin has just 70 snaps on offense this season. That’s partly due to him being unavailable due to injury, but that’s more than 100 fewer snaps on offense than Mike Williams (194), who has been inactive for three games. Goodwin has been out of the lineup for six games.

The former third-round pick has just six targets this season and one catch for 42 yards.

 

4 –  @ChrisBrownBills

What position will be the top priority to improve in the offseason?

JaredBailey23

CB: I think the clubhouse leader position-wise is the offensive line. Though the unit has played a bit better of late there just hasn’t been enough consistency up front, so I could see that being addressed in the offseason. Where they come down on the quarterback position is something else that bears watching.

Other positions could be added to the priority list based on potential player departures in free agency.

 

5 – Chris,

I understand that opponents are working on eliminating Sammy’s impact on games and work on keeping him from beating them. That said, I still think they are under utilizing Sammy, specifically on WR screens. It would be one thing if they were running WR screens on the opposite side of the field as Sammy, but the majority of the time Sammy is lead blocking. I saw this at least two times on Monday night’s game.

I get what Marrone is saying, but their actions don’t always coordinate entirely with what they say.

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Elliott

CB: They have worked to find more ways to get Watkins the ball. We saw some receiver screens last week against Cleveland. I think there would be some merit to stacking receivers at the line with Watkins being the wideout who is second in line on the stack. That could help him gain early separation.

Watkins was targeted nine times last week, but had just three receptions. Part of the problem at times was ball location. Watkins has a wide catch radius, but even he couldn’t make the play on some errant throws. The timing and execution has to be better when Watkins is targeted.

We’ll see if they can get that fixed against a pair of very aggressive corners this week in Denver.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills top 3 WRs limited

Posted by Chris Brown on December 4, 2014 – 3:32 pm

injury-report-header

 

 

 

 

Bills head coach Doug Marrone isn’t concerned about whether they’ll be available on Sunday, but it’s clear that each of Buffalo’s top three receivers are at less than 100 percent.

Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Chris Hogan were all limited in practice Thursday as the team prepares for a big road date at Denver. Fellow WR Mike Williams also sustained a calf injury in practice Thursday and was limited too.

Player Pos Injury Participation Thursday
Jarius Wynn DE Knee DNP
Chris Gragg TE Knee DNP
Dan Carpenter K Right Groin LP
Bacarri Rambo S Hamstring LP
Sammy Watkins WR Hip LP
Marcell Dareus DT Hip LP
Chris Hogan WR Hamstring LP
Robert Woods WR Ankle LP
Mike Williams WR Calf LP

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Posted in Inside the Bills