Inside The Bills

Chandler, Stevie come to grips with fumbles

Posted by Chris Brown on December 2, 2013 – 1:57 am

The Bills had a chance to win their back and forth game with the Falcons Sunday at the Rogers Centre late in the fourth quarter and in overtime. But fumbles on back to back possessions ultimately led to a game-winning field goal for Atlanta. For Stevie Johnson and Scott Chandler the circumstances were tough to bear.

“It hurts,” said Chandler. “You hate to let the fans down and you really hate to let your teammates down.
But that’s part of the game. You want to make all the plays and you want to finish all the plays the right way. I just didn’t do it that time.

“It was a great throw by EJ [Manuel] out in front and I put the ball away. I didn’t get my hand underneath it enough and the guy hit it right on the ball and just knocked it loose. Really disappointing. Obviously you want to be able to protect the ball in that situation. And you want to make a play that helps your team win and not the play that really turns the tide to make your team lose.”

Stevie Johnson, whose fumble came late in regulation with the team within yards of a game-winning field goal attempt, took his miscue especially hard.

“Yeah, I was just running with the ball,” said Johnson. “I knew we were down there and had the game
sealed and he came from behind and made the play, a helluva play.”


We want to bring this town, this region the playoffs,” he said. “To know that kind of slipped away on that play is tough. But that’s part of what we do. We’re putting ourselves out there. If you want to be a guy who is making plays for your team then you’re going to have to deal with the disappointment when you don’t make a play.”

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Bills not sleeping on poor Falcons record

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2013 – 12:41 pm

The Atlanta Falcons have lost eight of their last nine games including the last five in a row. They currently sit at 2-9 on the season and were the first NFC team eliminated from playoff contention. The Bills however, aren’t thinking they can just show up and win on Sunday.

“We know we’re going to get their best,” said Kraig Urbik. “They’re going to come out firing and they’re a good defense too. You look at the guys up front that they have and they have a really good talented defense so yeah their record might not be where they want it to be, but they’re going to come out firing when they come out to play us.”

“We have to approach like this team was in the NFC championship last year and they were in the game,” said Scott Chandler. “It was a good game, so they’re a very talented football team and we’ve got to approach it as they’re a good team.”

“If you look at their offense especially, because that’s what I can speak to, they’ve done  a lot of great things,” said Arthur Moats. “With Matt Ryan out there, he’s still making plays, even with them losing Julio and everything like that, Roddy, he’s still out there, you have to always account for him.  And their running game, between Steven Jackson and Jacquizz, that’s a really good one-two punch.”

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Welcome change: Bills convert 3rd & longs

Posted by Chris Brown on October 21, 2013 – 9:07 am

It wasn’t a perfect game on offense by any means. Yards were hard to come by on first and second down, but Buffalo was a respectable 9-for-19 on third downs for a conversion rate of 47 percent. That’s almost 15 percent above their season average (33.3%). Here’s why there success rate was higher Sunday.

Part of the reason was Buffalo’s ability to convert on some third and longs in the game. In fact four of Buffalo’s nine third down conversions were third and longs. Bills center Eric Wood gave a ton of credit to QB Thad Lewis.

“He did a great job again,” said Wood. “Composed, poised, made some plays in key situations. We were so bad on third and long coming into this game and he really made some plays on third and long, which was great.”

Lewis hit Fred Jackson early and he converted a 3rd-and-15 with a 21-yard catch and run on the team’s first series.

T.J. Graham converted a 3rd-and-17 with a 30-yard catch in the second quarter from Lewis.

Stevie Johnson converted a 3rd-and-7 with a seven-yard catch, then followed up with a conversion  of a 3rd-and-11 with an impressive spin move to elude a would be tackler to gain the extra necessary yards to move the sticks.

Scott Chandler converted a 3rd-and-9 with a 12-yard catch.

“It’s just a situation where we need to make plays,” said Johnson. “We’ve been pretty average on third downs. I don’t know if that play was on third down, but I feel like we’ve been pretty average.  We should be way better on third downs and I feel like I should be way better on third downs for the team.  Basically, we have to get back to the basics and working.”

Though it was only a 3rd-and-medium situation, Fred Jackson had the biggest third down conversion of the game when he ripped a run off right tackle on 3rd-and-4 for 10 yards with 2:37 left in the game.

Nevertheless seeing the Bills overcome long down and distance instead of the opposition was a welcome change.

“We had a lot of passes in the game plan this week, that’s a stout front,” said Wood. “We want to be an offense that’s not predictable. We’re trying to break some of our tendencies that we’ve built. We kind of threw out a bunch of different personnel groups. We gave them a bunch of different looks and we thought we had a lot of good matchups in the passing game. Obviously, when we got the runs called, we would have liked to have been more effective.  But we did throw the ball well at times and that was part of our game plan.”

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Tight ends have feasted on Dolphins

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2013 – 10:50 am

Miami has not given up a passing touchdown to a wide receiver so far this season. While that might seem like an impressive statistic, they’ve been eaten alive by tight ends in their first five games.

Opposing tight ends have made 25 catches for 358 yards and 6 touchdowns in five games. So tight ends have accounted for six of the eight passing touchdowns scored on the Dolphins this season. Running backs scored the other two passing touchdowns against Miami.

That doesn’t speak well for Dolphins safeties Chris Clemons and Reshad Jones.

One has to think that the Bills will want to take advantage of those safeties with Scott Chandler, who has been very productive so far this season.

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Chandler TD mirror image of TD vs. Jets

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2013 – 9:21 am

If the fourth quarter touchdown catch and run by tight end Scott Chandler looked familiar Sunday, it should. Chandler scored on the same exact play back in Week 3.

Chandler confirmed that his 22-yard touchdown reception against the Bengals was the same play call that he scored on against the Jets back in Week 3, when he took a catch in from 33 yards out.

“We knew that it was going to be a D-end covering me before I even turned,” said Chandler of the play. “It actually turned out being the exact same play and coverage I scored against the Jets on, we just flipped the field.”

Instead of lining up on the left side of the formation like he did against the Jets, he lined up on the right side and got the mismatch the Bills were looking for.

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Bills not big on winning time of possession

Posted by Chris Brown on September 9, 2013 – 1:23 pm

The New England Patriots won the time of possession battle in Sunday’s season opener with the Bills by better than 15 minutes. That’s more than a quarter’s worth of game clock as the Pats held onto the ball for 37:43 to Buffalo’s 22:17. But winning time of possession is not high on the Bills’ priority list. Moving the ball quickly and scoring points is the main aim.

Bills captain Eric Wood explained that based on their style of play on offense, winning time of possession could prove difficult.

“I don’t think we’re going to win a lot of time of possession battles this year and we’re fine with that,” said Wood. “We just need to run more plays. We would’ve liked to have their number of plays (89) (Sunday) and wear them down a little bit more because when we were able to put drives together I felt our tempo was great. But when we do go three and out our defense gets hung out to dry. But they’re in good condition too, they’re prepped for it. They know what’s going to happen.”

The key to maintain tempo on offense for the Bills are positive plays, completions in the pass game and no penalties. Third down conversions are obviously a part of that.

“I think the biggest thing is getting the first one of the drive,” said Scott Chandler of third down conversions. “Then you start to get the defense on their heels. We’ve got to be better. Obviously, we had some short ones that we didn’t convert.  We had some in key situations that we didn’t convert. If we could have sustained a drive or two in the second half I think it would have been a different game.”

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Manuel didn’t see much blitz

Posted by Chris Brown on September 9, 2013 – 11:58 am

The common philosophy by defensive coordinators is you should blitz rookie quarterbacks, but that was not the approach of the New England Patriots Sunday against EJ Manuel.

According to ProFootballFocus, the Patriots blitzed EJ Manuel on just six of his 32 drop backs in the game. Manuel was 3-6 passing for 29 yards on those six blitzes.

“I thought he was pretty phenomenal,” said Scott Chandler. “He protected the ball, threw the ball well. We left a couple of plays out there for him. That’s all you can ask of him. He threw a couple of touchdown passes, didn’t throw any picks, didn’t fumble the ball and made some good throws on third down that we can pull in. There were other plays out there. He made the throws, we’ve got to make the catches.”

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Chandler to get playing time Friday

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2013 – 11:58 pm

Bills TE Scott Chandler was held out of the first preseason game as a precautionary measure coming off ACL reconstruction just eight months ago. But he’ll get some playing time Friday night against the Vikings.

That according to head coach Doug Marrone, who said he’ll have Chandler on a pitch count.

“I believe Scott Chandler will get some reps barring anything happening between now and (Friday night),” said Marrone. “So you’ll see him in there.”

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Getting feel for Chandler limited by reps

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2013 – 2:48 pm

Bills TE Scott Chandler has made an impressive recovery from ACL surgery this past January. After missing all the spring practices the time period in which to make an evaluation on what Chandler does best in Nathaniel Hackett’s offense was shortened to just training camp and the preseason. Chandler was held out of the first preseason game, and his reps have been closely monitored in practice. It’s left the offensive coaches still evaluating how and where to best make use of Chandler’s talents.

“I think right now with where Chandler’s at, he’s done such a great job of getting back early, I think any time we get him out there it’s a bonus for everybody,” said Hackett, choosing to focus on the positive. “I think we’re never going to be in that situation where we’ve had enough because he hasn’t been out there 100 percent of the time but he’s coming along good also and we just have to try to keep increasing him, keep increasing him and see kind of that relationship with the quarterbacks and him. He’s come along nicely and I’m excited that he’s come back so early.”

Chandler did not dress for last Sunday’s preseason opener. Whether he dresses for Friday’s game won’t be announced by coach Marrone until after Wednesday night’s practice at the earliest. 

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Tight end play time with Chandler absent

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2013 – 12:09 pm

The Bills did not have Scott Chandler make the trip to Indianapolis in the preseason opener as a precaution with the top tight end coming off ACL surgery in the offseason. Mike Caussin was also out with a hip injury. Here’s how the playing time for those behind him on the depth chart played out Sunday against the Colts.

Chris Gragg – 57 plays
Nick Provo – 32 plays
Lee Smith – 16 plays
Dorin Dickerson – 15 plays

Seeing the rookie Gragg get the most time is not very surprising. He had a pair of receptions for 14 yards in the game, which might not seem like much until you realize that he was asked to run block on 27 plays. Clearly the coaches wanted to get a gauge on his run blocking.


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No reps for C.J. in live scrimmage

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2013 – 4:59 pm

The Bills are going to be smart with a few of their players in tonight’s live scrimmage portion of practice meaning a couple of their more notable players will not be participating.

Among them is C.J. Spiller, who will not get any work in the live scrimmage. He’ll participate in the portions of practice prior to the live scrimmage work, but not the plays that involve tackling to the ground.

Also not playing in the live scrimmage portion of practice are Scott Chandler and Mario Williams. Chandler is coming off a long offseason rehab and his reps in regular practice has been closely monitored. Williams is just working his way back into the practice setting coming off a sore foot.

Here is the list of injured players that will not suit up at all here on Monday night.

Stevie Johnson
Kevin Elliott
Justin Rogers
Duke Williams
Chris Hairston
Mike Caussin
Kyle Williams

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Chandler with another off day

Posted by Chris Brown on August 4, 2013 – 2:40 pm

Bills TE Scott Chandler is doing work on the side.

Chandler, who is coming off of ACL surgery is being very careful in monitoring his work.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Designed rest day for Chandler

Posted by Chris Brown on July 31, 2013 – 3:56 pm

Bills TE Scott Chandler looked good in practice the first three days of training camp, but on Wednesday he was on the side working with the strength and conditioning staff. Head coach Doug Marrone explained the situation with the incumbent starting tight end, who is coming off ACL reconstruction.

“What we did with Scott is we built in rest days for him in his return,” said Marrone. “Wednesday was a built in rest day so he gets extra rest tomorrow with the players having the day off and then bringing him back.”

Marrone says they’ve planned out these down days for players coming off rehab assignments don’t get overworked and tax joints like a knee in Chandler’s case when it might not quite have the full endurance built up in it yet.

“With all players that come back from injury you have to watch that when you come back there’s a certain point of strengthening and I think that he felt good. Then obviously he felt a little lack of strength there and he’s been pushing really hard,” Marrone said. “We knew we had the built in rest day. We’ve talked about it before if you don’t feel good, let’s be smart in training camp.”

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Mario, Chandler working on side

Posted by Chris Brown on July 31, 2013 – 8:44 am

Mario Williams did walk through, then the stationary bike is now doing strength work with a strength and conditioning coaches. Scott Chandler is with them.

It looks like it might be a day away from practice for Chandler, who went the first 3 days full go. We’ll get official confirmation from head coach Doug Marrone after practice.

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Chandler had calendar dates circled

Posted by Chris Brown on July 29, 2013 – 12:13 am

Bills TE Scott Chandler had a very encouraging first day back on the practice since he tore his ACL last December. From the time he had surgery Chandler had an eye on training camp for his return.

“I always wanted to be ready for the first game,” Chandler said. “If I could be ready for training camp, I thought I would be better in the first game. That’s what I’m looking towards. I want to be as good as I can when we play the Patriots (in Week One).”

Head coach Doug Marrone said Chandler’s workload was scaled back a bit, but for Chandler who had done nothing all spring it felt like a lot.

“This is the most I’ve done in a while,” he said. “This is the first time that I have gotten my hands on somebody and blocked them, and the first time I’ve run a route against somebody. But it felt good. It’s what I expected and hopefully I can get out here and continue to build on that.”


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Chandler eager to be go-to guy

Posted by Chris Brown on July 5, 2013 – 9:19 am

Scott Chandler was a go-to guy for former Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, as evidenced by his 12 touchdown receptions the past two seasons. Now he has the challenge of convincing not one, but two new quarterbacks that he can be the same reliable target for them.

As we profiled in our Top 25 Questions until Training Camp today, Chandler has to try to blend in quickly after not taking part in any of the team segments of practice in the spring.

“You want to be the guy that those guys are able to rely on in any situation,” said Chandler. “Obviously I want to get out there and show them that they can throw it up and I’m not going to let the defender get it. I’m going to go get it.”

Chandler is expected to be full go from the start of training camp, perhaps taking a day off every three or four days of practice.

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Chandler determined to be ready

Posted by Chris Brown on July 1, 2013 – 10:29 am

The original hope was that TE Scott Chandler would be full go for the start of the regular season in September, but his remarkable recovery from ACL surgery has him a month ahead of schedule. As we profile in Bills Focus on today, he’ll be set for the start of training camp. His only concern is being properly conditioned for the speed at which the offense is going to operate.

“My guess I’m not just going to go in there all the way,” Chandler told of his participation in camp practices. “I’m just worried about getting my lungs in shape and my legs. That’s what this next month and a half is for. It’s not vacation. It’s nothing like that. I’m going to be working just as hard as I have been and I’m going to be ready to go.”

Chandler said the only possible restriction come training camp for him is he’ll be given a rest day every three or four practices as a precaution.

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Chandler participating

Posted by Chris Brown on June 11, 2013 – 3:06 pm

On the first day of mandatory minicamp TE Scott Chandler is participating in practice.

Just five months removed from reconstructive ACL surgery the recovery is impressive. He only did individual position drills. Here are some other players participating who we’re rehabbing through most of the OTAs.

WR Marcus Easley
OL Zebrie Sanders
DE Mark Anderson

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Chandler’s progress good sign for offense

Posted by Chris Brown on May 23, 2013 – 2:02 pm

Bills TE Scott Chandler is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the penultimate game of the 2012 season, but five months to the day Chandler was on the practice field following the team’s OTA workout, running routes and catching passes. It’s an encouraging sign for Buffalo’s passing game as Chandler’s production largely flew under the radar.

Chandler not only tied for second on the team in receptions with 43, but he was also second behind just Stevie Johnson in receiving yards (571) and was tied with Johnson for most receiving touchdowns with six.

Knowing Buffalo will be plugging in new players to replace the likes of Donald Jones and David Nelson at wideout, having Chandler to pair with Johnson from the very start of the season will offer the new offense two valuable building blocks instead of just one.

As it stands right now Chandler is likely to be a participant in practice right from the start of training camp.

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Davis doesn’t mind presence of Chandler

Posted by Chris Brown on March 27, 2013 – 12:14 pm

Free agent tight end Fred Davis, who said he’ll be visiting the Bills Thursday, is well aware that the Bills have a capable starting tight end in Scott Chandler on the roster. Much like Davis, Chandler is coming off major offseason surgery. Chandler is coming off an ACL repair, while Davis had his ruptured Achilles re-attached. But Davis likes the idea of the two of them together on the field.

Appearing on PFC radio Wednesday, Davis was asked about the presence of Chandler on Buffalo’s roster and how it was explained to him by the Bills brass in his dinner with them last weekend.

“(I felt good about) just the conversation we had and the offense with what we would do if I was there,” Davis said. “Me and Chandler together if he comes back healthy I’m sure there would be a lot of two tight end sets. I saw what he did making plays and scoring touchdowns. He’s the red zone man up there.”

Davis also knows the Bills are likely to draft a quarterback and sees that development as a good thing for a tight end too. 

“The offense that they’re running, it’s very tight end friendly and if you add a rookie QB the tight end is the safety net,” said Davis. “So there would be a lot of opportunities and whoever the other tight end would be.”

Davis said more than once that he’s not looking to be a star addition, just a contributor wherever he lands in the free agent market.

“If I can help and be a piece to the puzzle, that’s all that really matters to me,” he said. “I’m not a big town guy, what matters to me is being on a good team with good people around you with good coaches that can help you win.”

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