Inside The Bills

Jones close to full return from shoulder surgery

Posted by Chris Brown on April 16, 2018 – 5:09 pm

Bills WR Zay Jones had shoulder surgery in January to repair a torn labrum. He reported to One Bills Drive for the start of the team’s voluntary offseason conditioning program. Head coach Sean McDermott provided an update on his rehabilitation.

“Not quite 100%, but he’s working like some of the other players,” McDermott said. “We do have some guys that are still working, rehabbing, Zay being one of them.”

As for Jones’ off the field incident involving police, McDermott said the team is “satisfied” with where things now stand after speaking with Jones directly.

“The biggest thing right now is where we go moving forward and how we handle our business moving forward,” said McDermott. “Listen, people go through situations and, like I said before, I was disappointed. The biggest thing is that we were able to talk about it and come to a point where we all agree we need to move forward. I’m excited about the future for Zay.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-13

Posted by Chris Brown on April 13, 2018 – 11:50 am

Happy Friday the 13th Bills fans! The draft is fast approaching. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
For a team without a consensus starting QB for the last 22 yrs, does trading up to take 1 of a deep class of QB prospects in the 2018 draft constitute “reaching”? Can Beane/McDermott afford to kick this can down the road?

Keith Archie
@ASCREEN07

CB: I think we are all of the belief that all the stockpiling of Buffalo’s draft capital, which is at a record level in terms of assets, was not done to add nine players to the roster (their total number of picks). It was done to provide them with the ammunition to get a quarterback in this year’s class.

For a plan that has likely been a year in the making, I find it hard to believe that the Bills will not make every attempt to trade up to grab one of the QB prospects they feel is worth the price of moving up the board to select.

Although there will be a couple of options in next year’s draft at QB – Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham, Washington’s Jacob Eason, Missouri’s Drew Lock – those players, with the possible exception of Stidham, have to show dramatic improvement on the field in 2018 to be in the same category as the QBs in this class.

Now is the time to strike and the Bills have the assets to make it happen.


2 –
@ChrisBrownBills
How do you think Ryan Groy fits into our plans moving forward? Especially without Incognito.

Mark Kammerdeiner
@billsfannum1

CB: I think we’ll have a better idea on that post-draft. It’s my contention that the Bills will add some youth to their offensive line in the draft. The question is will they make additions early in the draft or late? That will likely be determined by what assets they choose to part with in a trade up scenario in round one.

If they add an interior lineman relatively early (rounds 1-3), and it’s a guard who has a chance to start right away then I think Groy is competing for the starting center role. If it’s a late round addition, then I think Groy is more likely to line up in a starting guard role and will compete with John Miller.


3 –
@ChrisBrownBills
Are the Bills interested at all in Mason Rudolph or Lamar Jackson? Is it even possible that they stay at 12 and take either of those guys or are they definitely going after one of the other four? Namely Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen.

Waves
@BethelWaves11

CB: I believe the answer to this is in Buffalo’s preparation. They’ve scouted and done their due diligence on all of the top 6 quarterback prospects. Truth be told there’s something to like about all six of the top QBs, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they were intrigued by any one of these top QB prospects.

I’m sure they probably have two that they covet the most, but when you’re sitting at 12 you have to know for certain who you believe is ready to compete for the starting job now and who is a year away and slot your quarterback prospects accordingly.

As for your question of if it’s possible they take Jackson or Rudolph at 12, in the draft anything is possible, especially at the QB position, where in most cases on draft day their value tends to get pushed up the board because teams get nervous about missing out.

There are a few cases over the years where a QB slides, but more often than not QB value moves up, which is why Rudolph even in the 12-20 range of round one wouldn’t surprise even though most values on him as little as two weeks ago had him late one to early two.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Hey Chris, what’s the plan for the Middle LB spot? I’m sure they’re going to take someone with one of their first 3 picks, but was curious who you’d think would be a fit, especially if they trade up? I like Jewell from Iowa in Round 2 assuming they make jump up in round 1.

Michael Morgante
@md_morgante

CB: This is a position I’m legitimately concerned about because the draft is thin at true ‘mike’ linebacker types. Knowing they could part with draft assets to address QB, I worry that some of the better options at MLB won’t be there for Buffalo.

I do like Jewell as a prospect because of his productivity and instincts, but he might not have all the requisite measurables to excel as a three-down MLB. He has some coverage liabilities to his game in terms of lateral movement and change of direction skills, so I wonder where the Bills value on him would lie.

I believe there are some outside linebacker prospects who could project to ILB, like BYU’s Fred Warner or Vanderbilt’s Oren Burks. NFL teams will have to try to see if some of these OLB prospects are capable of moving inside because the ILB crop is so thin.

Burks is a guy I think could easily project inside because he’s played there before and possesses the cover skills necessary to that position.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Why is it taking so long to move to top 5? Everyone knows the #bills are looking to trade

Chetan Rakieten
@chetanrakieten

CB: I don’t know this for sure, but I would think that the Bills, or any other team interested in possibly moving into the top 10 or top 5, have laid the groundwork for a possible trade with another club, but a lot of those decisions are predicated on what players come off the board first.

Let’s just say hypothetically that the Bears want RB Saquon Barkley, but don’t think they’ll get him at 8. Maybe they don’t have the assets to get up to 2, so they’ve talked with Browns at four and the Broncos at five.

Even if they have a deal in place with the Broncos at 5 to move up, there is no sense of pulling the trigger on a deal unless they know Barkley is available. So if Barkley somehow slides past the Browns at four on draft day, then the Bears call the Broncos and pull the trigger to move up to five to take the RB.

That’s why a lot of trades do not happen until draft day.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Butler has history with McDermott

Posted by Chris Brown on January 31, 2018 – 9:49 am

It’s not surprising that Bills new secondary coach John Butler has a history with head coach Sean McDermott, but their ties are not from the coaching world.

The two accomplished coaches have never coached together. Butler and McDermott were actually high school teammates on the LaSalle College high school football team in Philadelphia.

In fact, last year when McDermott was being viewed as the favorite for the Bills head coaching job, the Houston Chronicle speculated that then Houston secondary coach John Butler could be a consideration for Buffalo’s defensive coordinator post.

Even Houston head coach Bill O’Brien, who fired Butler on Jan. 2nd, had a lot of respect for Butler and was optimistic about his coaching future. He told the Houston Chronicle the following about Butler at the close of the 2016 season.

“John Butler is an excellent coach,” O’Brien said. “John Butler, in my opinion, is destined for great things in this profession. I think he’ll be a coordinator someday. I think he’ll be a head football coach somewhere someday. Did a great job for us at Penn State and he’s done an excellent job for us here as guys really rely on him. He’s a very energetic guy.

“He’s a very smart guy, very quick-minded guy. Very detail oriented and works very hard. He’s in here early, stays late. Great family guy, father and husband. He does a great job all the way around.”
The Houston Chronicle also quoted former Houston DC Romeo Crennel for his thoughts on Butler as a coach.

“I think several guys on the defensive staff have the ability to be coordinators, and I think John is definitely one who can be a coordinator, has been a coordinator,” Crennel said in reference to his year as Penn State DC. “He’s a very hard worker, he’s detailed. I think it’s hard to outwork him. He’s got a good football mind, makes adjustments on the sideline.”

Former Houston CB A.J. Bouye, who signed a huge free agent contract with Jacksonville, after emerging as a Pro Bowl caliber talent under Butler, credited him for his development into a premier NFL cornerback.

“He’s helped me out a lot,” said Bouye, of Butler. “Sometimes, we joke about all the meetings we have. At the end of the day, you have to appreciate it. He’s always letting us know what to expect. We watch so much film. He’s keeping us alert and he’s helped out a lot on our techniques and studying film. It makes it easy.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

A playoff debut for both Marrone & McDermott

Posted by Chris Brown on January 6, 2018 – 3:48 pm

One part of today’s game that is unique is that it’s the playoff debut for both Doug Marrone and Sean McDermott as head coaches. In the NFL it has not happened often where both head coaches were new to the postseason.

This will be just the fourth playoff game since 2000 and the first in nine years in which both coaches are making their postseason debuts.

Playoff Games Since 2000, Both Coaches in 1st Post. Game
2000 WC – Mike Martz, StL vs Jim Haslett, NO        NO 31, StL 28
2008 WC – Mike Smith, Atl vs Ken Whisenhunt, Arz             Arz 30, Atl 24
2008 WC – John Harbaugh, Bal vs Tony Sparano, Mia          Bal 27, Mia 9
2017 WC – Sean McDermott, Buf vs Doug Marrone, Jax ???        


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McDermott’s motto change

Posted by Chris Brown on January 6, 2018 – 10:12 am

When head coach Sean McDermott was hired at One Bills Drive, his motto for how everything would be done, from studying film to meetings to practice, the mantra was ‘Playoff Caliber.’ Now that the Bills have reached the postseason, that motto has been upgraded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McDermott explained why the change around the building at One Bills Drive had to be made in his latest appearance on Coffee with the Coach presented by Tim Hortons.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-5

Posted by Chris Brown on January 5, 2018 – 12:24 pm

The wait is over Bills fans! Playoff football and your team is in the dance! Enjoy it! Now to your questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

If Shady doesn’t play, you think we still have a good shot at winning?

Took
@AnthonyBitting

CB: I think the task becomes a lot more difficult. McCoy is engine that runs the offense. He represents a third of the team’s total yards from scrimmage this season. Even coach McDermott admitted you cannot replace him. He’s one of the top five backs in the league.

Though I like what Marcus Murphy has brought to the table in his short time with the Bills and seeing offensive coordinator Rick Dennison use Mike Tolbert effectively last week (inside runs only), I believe they could make the run game functional.

Is that enough to win? Probably not. I think they would also need to win the turnover battle and finish a plus-two for a shot at a victory.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chris, is the RD5 pick from Jax a done deal?

Dean Kindig
@TCBILLS_Astro

CB: That is correct. The Bills conditional sixth-round pick that they acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars for Marcell Dareus has improved to a fifth-round selection in 2018 by virtue of the fact that the Jaguars advanced to the playoffs.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Win or Lose, what did this season mean for McDermott/Beane? I feel like just because of the playoff berth they are probably going to be in a solid place here for the next 5 years. (Of course, in exception to a total meltdown the next two years)

x-Dylan Nowak
@DylanNowakArt

CB: Making the playoffs obviously helps any coach-GM combination in the NFL. I don’t know if you can project five years of job security for them, but they’re certainly on firm footing. It’s clear that Terry and Kim Pegula believe in what coach McDermott has established in terms of how the team operates on a daily basis. It’s evident that McDermott is a coach that players will follow.

The way he was able to get the team to hang together after a three-game losing streak, that has sunk many Bills coaches in the past, is what convinced me that the mental toughness of this team, that has been so poor in the past, had changed. I didn’t know if that meant playoffs this year, but the culture of this team after falling into all the common pitfalls year after year has finally been given a solid foundation.

The playoff berth only helps that.

Beane in his first year has shown he’s not afraid to swing a trade, even if it’s not popular publicly. He and McDermott are in lock step as to how to build a team for the long haul and sustained success.

The Pegulas have the right people in place at the important decision-making positions. It’s onward and upward from here.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

1: How does KB13 match up against JAX corners? 2: What candy bar is the best candy bar?

Joshua Smith
@Yhosh

CB: Benjamin is a tough matchup for any corner, but Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are both going to the Pro Bowl for a reason. They’ve combined for 10 interceptions. Benjamin usually lines up as the Bills ‘Z’ receiver or flanker on the right side of the formation, which would pit him against Ramsey.

Ramsey is a long corner. He’s 6-1 with long arms. His ability to mirror his opponents routes is impressive. There is very little separation on most plays he defends. That being said, what Benjamin offers is a wide catch radius.

He’s also capable of shielding a defender from the ball with his giant frame. This should offer Tyrod Taylor opportunities to make plays even if Ramsey is blanketing Benjamin, which shouldn’t be difficult for Ramsey at all.

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Anyone else being brought up at RB?

Andrew Ten Eyck
@Andrewteneyck1

CB: If anyone is elevated to the active roster at running back due to LeSean McCoy’s availability with his ankle it would be Aaron Green, who they signed this week. Green is a quick and elusive back with good burst. I believe even if called up before the game he’d likely be used in an emergency situation only. The primary backups are Marcus Murphy and Mike Tolbert.

The Bills have until 4 pm on Saturday to call a player up from the practice squad to the active roster.

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Thompson leaves practice with shoulder issue

Posted by Chris Brown on December 28, 2017 – 1:56 pm

Bills WR Deonte Thompson stepped out of practice early on Thursday. Head coach Sean McDermott provided an update on his status post practice.

“He’s still being evaluated right now,” said McDermott. “That’s why I went in to check on him. It’s his shoulder a little bit, but we’ll see.”

Thompson will likely be listed as a limited participant for Thursday’s practice. What his status will be for Sunday’s game will be known on Friday. If for some reason the shoulder injury should keep him out of Sunday’s game, Buffalo would likely turn to Brandon Tate or Brandon Reilly.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McDermott close to rare Bills coaching mark

Posted by Chris Brown on December 23, 2017 – 10:01 am

Amidst the Bills chase for an AFC playoff berth, head coach Sean McDermott, in his first year at the helm is close to achieving a mark rarely accomplished by Bills first-year head coaches.

With an 8-6 record, Sean McDermott has a chance to be the fifth coach in Bills history (of the 20 they’ve had) to have a record over .500 in his first full season with the team. Here’s a look at the coaches who have been able to post a better than .500 record in year one.

Bills’ Coaches – Record Over .500 in 1st Full Season w/Team
Lou Saban, 1962          7-6-1
Joe Collier, 1966        9-4-1 *
Wade Phillips, 1998      10-6 *
Mike Mularkey, 2004      9-7
Sean McDermott, 2017     8-6

* team made postseason

Note: Marv Levy’s first “full” season was the strike-shortened 1987 season, when the Bills went 7-8. They did go 12-4 the following year.


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Fan Friday 12-1

Posted by Chris Brown on December 1, 2017 – 12:37 pm

The first of two in a month against the Patriots coming up on Sunday. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
Which poison will the Bills pick on Sunday? Focus on stopping Gronk? Or focus on stopping Dion Lewis and the resurgent New England running game?

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: I think they’ll try to make the Patriots offense as one dimensional as possible. But that’s hard for a number of reasons. Brady is a big reason, but the other key reason is New England has very effectively diversified their offense. They no longer rely primarily on a short passing game. Brandin Cooks gives them a deep threat for the first time since Randy Moss was running go routes for them.

That only enhances their short pass game by creating more space underneath.

Couple that with two very multi-faceted backs in Burkhead and Lewis and you quickly see the problem. They have answers for whatever aspect of their offense you focus your attention on neutralizing.

Take away Gronk, they’ll go to Cooks over the top.

Keep Cooks in front of you and don’t give up anything deep, and they nickel and dime you to death with the backs out of the backfield and Amendola on short crossers.

The best plan for Buffalo is to slow their run game, since aside from their three-game slide, they’ve done an excellent job of that. Then do what you can to slow Brady.

Even pressuring Brady has its pitfalls. He’s the highest-rated passer in the league under pressure with a rating over 100.

2 – @ChrisBrownBills
Will Shaq Lawson finally be a key factor in this game?

James Henderson
@jchenderson84

CB: I respect the tone of frustration here. The guy is a first-round pick and a pass rusher by trade. He also has Jerry Hughes, a respected pass rusher on the other side. It’s certainly logical to think that Lawson should be capable of having a greater impact on games from a pass rushing perspective.

Fact is it’s going to be difficult for any pass rusher to have a major impact on the game. The Dolphins last week hit Tom Brady a lot. They had a fumble return for a touchdown and an interception and still lost by 17 to the Patriots giving up 35 points.

I believe Lawson will be able to generate pressure at times. Heck, his first career sack was of Tom Brady. But take over the game is just not something I think he’s capable of at this point in his career.

Reason being is Lawson is a power rusher, not a speed rusher. And until Lawson capably develops counter moves to some of his favorite initial rushes, he’s not going to be consistently effective series in and series out. And that’s on Lawson to perfect those counter moves to be the best pass rusher he can be.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills
Will Milano ever see more time on the field?

Drew
@swampnone710

CB: I think that is happening incrementally from one week to the next. Since Ramon Humber returned to the lineup he’s been playing a rotational role.

The best part of his game right now is his speed and penetration into the offensive backfield on run plays. He’s very aggressive.

At this point, there are still a time or two where he gets crossed up by the offense particularly when they show a different look. Knowing the Patriots are pros at targeting inexperienced players and isolating them, the Bills will need to be judicious with their usage of Milano.

His time is coming, but to expect to see him out there a ton might have to wait until next season. He needs more experience, which I realize you get by playing, but that is why they’re sprinkling him in without exposing his lack of experience at the cost of the defense.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills
Do you think 9-7 will be good enough to make the playoffs

Darek
@drock252

CB: This year in the AFC, I do think 9-7 will be good enough to get to the playoffs. The main reason being that you have three teams with five losses already and two of them hold playoff spots (KC, Balt.). There are also three teams with six losses, two of which are in the AFC West with the Chiefs in the Raiders and Chargers. Cincinnati is the other.

With five games to play and none of these teams playing great football right now, it’s hard to believe one or two of them is going to run the table the rest of the way. In fact, they’re all likely to lose one or two games at least. That would put a couple of these teams in a situation where they’ll be in contention for a playoff spot with seven losses.

The key for Buffalo is not to fall into a tie with either Cincinnati or Los Angeles for the obvious reason that they would lose out on the head-to-head tiebreaker to those clubs.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills
I’m sure neither would admit it publicly but do you think Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott now regret any of the players they either traded, cut or did not re-sign? Zach Brown and Robert Woods are two that come to mind.

Rick McGuire
@mclennon99

CB: I don’t believe in the positions that both Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott hold that you can ever have regret for the kind of calls they have to make unless they feel it was handled poorly. The actual move or in the two players you’ve referenced, non-move, is a decision they are willing to live with for all of its pluses and minuses.

With Woods, the issue there was the money he was going to command on the open market. The Bills were simply not going to pay $8M a season for Woods.

As for Zach Brown, there’s no debate he’s a wildly productive player, but it’s my understanding that in his sit-down with coach McDermott prior to free agency, when he was still under contract to the Bills, that they didn’t see eye to eye on a lot of things.

Brown is a bit of a loose cannon as a teammate. He also got into shouting matches with former head coach Rex Ryan after games. Last year’s Chiefs game in particular. Whether Brown was right or wrong with his argument with Ryan is immaterial. The fact that he did it in front of the rest of the team and undermined his coach’s authority is just something that would not fly with the new regime.

That’s what I admire about coach McDermott. He’s not afraid to part ways with a talented player if he doesn’t fit the mold of the player type he needs to win his way.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-24

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2017 – 1:40 pm

Getting close to do or die time for the Bills. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Why haven’t they played Henderson all season. It’s pretty clear that our OL needs change.

Tim Stefani
@tim_stefani

CB: I’m guessing that since you mentioned Henderson, you’re referencing the offensive tackle position primarily. Here is what I believe to be the main issues that are keeping Henderson from getting onto the field for games.

After playing in the preseason he served a five-game suspension, which put him behind in all aspects of the offense’s development in terms of on field instruction. Only now is he getting back into the swing of things. He’s appeared in each of the last two games, primarily on special teams plays. And he started last week’s game as a tackle eligible when the Bills came out in the jumbo package.

I don’t think anyone can debate that Jordan Mills had a tough day against Joey Bosa, but Bosa has made a lot of offensive tackles look bad this season. If it was just a case of being overmatched, the coaches can find solutions to give him more help with a tight end or a back.

I believe the offensive staff is monitoring how things are going on the edges and the interior very closely every week. If subpar play lasts more than a week or two, coach McDermott has shown a willingness to make a change if he believes it will lead to better results.

Whether Henderson is ever part of that change is difficult to say, but he’ll be the swing tackle on Sunday.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills
Is Rick Dennison on the hot seat? The offense has been anemic and I do not think it is for lack of personal.

Josh Stoeckl
@joshgsu00

CB: I don’t get the sense that’s the case. If anything the decision that coach McDermott made for the Chargers game provided indication that it’s the play on the field that is compromising the effectiveness and production of the offense.

I suppose after further review at the end of the season that viewpoint could change, but as now I don’t feel that is what is afoot. I know the availability of fired Denver coordinator Mike McCoy has prompted this line of thinking. I just don’t think that kind of thing is even on a head coach’s radar this time of year.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills
Do you think our lack of speed at LB is key reason for our poor run defense? Should we bring in someone similar to Brandon Spikes in 2014?

Sean joyce
@Seanjoy93765788

CB: If speed is what you’re looking for, a Brandon Spikes type is not the answer. Spikes coming out of college ran a five-flat 40 time and was strictly a run-down player. Buffalo’s linebacking corps does absolutely need more speed in this style of defense. It’s part of what worries me about this week’s game knowing the speed that the Chiefs can put on the field offensively.

That is going to have to wait until the offseason when the personnel department finds more players tailor made for this defense based on their physical skill set.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills
Do you get a sense that the players still believe in coach McDermott “process” or is there division in the locker room?

Kirky52
@Nick5225

CB: It’s pretty clear to me talking to players in the locker room that there remains a healthy amount of respect for coach McDermott.

McDermott did what he genuinely felt was best for the team in starting Peterman. He felt the rookie QB was ready to help the offense function with more consistency. It didn’t work.

The worst part is it cost them a game. Will it be the difference in reaching the playoffs? Too early to know that with six games to play.

What’s important here is McDermott proved he doesn’t have ulterior motives in going back to Taylor this week. He was up front about the Peterman decision being a calculated risk. If it worked who would benefit?

The team.

If it didn’t work who would it hurt most?

The head coach.

You have a head coach here who is not afraid to make uncomfortable decisions even at the risk of damaging his own credibility, if it could mean better for the team he coaches. It might be hard for some players to grasp that right now, but in time they’ll likely see what McDermott’s true motives were.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills
The Bills got two first rounders. I think they need to address the defense with those. What do you think?

Peter O’Brien
@MVPete360

CB: First, I think it’s premature to talk draft. I don’t disagree that the Bills need help on defense, particularly at defensive tackle and linebacker, but to arbitrarily decide you’re going to use both first-round picks on defense is a little foolhardy. In addition to deciding what the best value is wherever they draft in round one, Buffalo also has to assess what is still on the board when they’re on the clock.

There’s no way to just say we’re going defense with both picks.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McDermott & leadership council talk frequently

Posted by Chris Brown on November 21, 2017 – 2:45 pm

Much has been made this week of the player leadership council that meets with head coach Sean McDermott to discuss issues affecting the team and provide feedback on how things are in the locker room in terms of morale, approach etc. With the quarterback issue front and center this week, McDermott know it will be brought up.

“I always try and communicate with the leaders of this football team,” McDermott said. “I put a lot of stock into that. They carry a lot of weight. Obviously, I have the final say and they respect that. They’ve done a phenomenal job with that to this point. They’re the guys. They’re on that council for a reason. They’re my sounding board on some things. I give them a lot of ownership into this team and they’ve done a phenomenal job with that to this point.”

“We meet with the coach,” said Tyrod Taylor, a member of the leadership council. “It’s an open forum. People don’t take offense in there. Things are said that have to be said and we talk about things.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Benjamin was going to be featured in pass game

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2017 – 10:56 pm

Buffalo lost a pair of starters to injury in Sunday’s loss at Los Angeles. WR Kelvin Benjamin and S Micah Hyde both left the game with knee injuries and did not return. Head coach Sean McDermott would only confirm that both sustained knee injuries, but losing Benjamin early set the pass game back.

Benjamin was lost early in the first quarter when it appeared his right knee was hyperextended on a low hit after he made a 20-yard reception. QB Tyrod Taylor revealed that the loss was especially tough because with Jordan Matthews inactive with a knee injury, Benjamin was going to be featured in the passing attack.

“That was definitely tough. He was a big part of our game plan on offense,” said Taylor. I haven’t heard how bad the injury is, but prayers up for him. Losing a guy like that in a game where he’s definitely going to be big for the game plan is definitely tough. More importantly I hope that he’s better and it’s nothing.”

“That doesn’t help. Honestly it doesn’t help,” admitted McDermott. “All part of the thing getting away from us. At the same time it’s not just about one guy. I’m not here to make excuses. We’ve got to continue to move forward in all areas.”

Hyde was lost to his knee injury in the second half.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Peterman puts in another good day

Posted by Chris Brown on November 16, 2017 – 2:19 pm

For Nate Peterman day two with the starting offense went just as well as day one on Wednesday. Head coach Sean McDermott confirmed that his rookie QB is putting good days together in preparation for Sunday.

“He’s done a good job,” McDermott said. “He’s worked hard like we would expect and like he’s done in all the other weeks. I thought a good practice Wednesday as well as Thursday.”

Peterman is making his first NFL start on Sunday at Los Angeles.

 

 


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Benjamin coming along with offensive scheme

Posted by Chris Brown on November 11, 2017 – 2:30 pm

It is no easy task to flush an old offensive scheme and pick up a new one midseason, but that’s Kelvin Benjamin’s job right now as he prepares for his first game with the Bills on Sunday. Head coach Sean McDermott felt Benjamin held up his end of trying to get up to speed this week.

“He’s about where I thought he would be,” said McDermott. “He’s trying to get up to speed on everything and detail his work. Coming in during the middle of the season and transitioning from one system to another system is always a challenge. He’s done a good job to this point. We just have to continue of going through that process and refine it for him so he can play fast on Sunday.”

Benjmain has spent extra time after practice getting reps with Tyrod Taylor. Taylor has also worked with him during special teams portions of practice on the second field to get their timing in sync.

“He’s always been an on-time thrower,” said Benjamin of Taylor. “He’s going to do his drops, his feet are always set and he’s ready to throw. The timing is going to be there. I think it’s going to be there. I’ve got long arms so if it’s not I’ll get it.”


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Gaines, Glenn, Hyde & Wright all questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on October 6, 2017 – 1:51 pm

The Bills secondary could be pretty shorthanded on Sunday if some nicked up players are unable to play against the Bengals.

Cornerbacks EJ Gaines and Shareece Wright are both questionable for Sunday’s game along with safety Micah Hyde.

Head coach Sean McDermott expressed confidence that Hyde had come through the week well, but he was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday. Wright was also limited on Friday. Gaines however, did not practice at all and appears to be the biggest question mark for Sunday after sustaining a groin injury in last week’s game.

With only four cornerbacks on the roster the Bills will likely have to add at least one cornerback to the roster for insurance.

Meanwhile OT Cordy Glenn is questionable too in his return from foot and ankle problems. He missed each of the last two games, but was back practicing this week. Friday was the first time he practiced on a full scale basis in two weeks. Rookie Dion Dawkins is expected to make his third straight start at left tackle.

 

 

OUT
LB Ramon Humber – thumb
WR Jordan Matthews – thumb

QUESTIONABLE
CB EJ Gaines – groin
CB Shareece Wright – back
S Micah Hyde – knee
OT Cordy Glenn – foot/ankle

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Weighing risk-reward in pass game w/Panthers D

Posted by Chris Brown on September 17, 2017 – 11:15 am

Last week Carolina LB Luke Kuechly made his 13th interception since he entered the league in 2012. No other NFL linebacker has more interceptions over that time. The linebacker tied for second in that category over the last five season is his teammate, Thomas Davis. Couple that production with Panthers S Kurt Coleman, who since 2013 leads all safeties with 14 INTs and you see the risk passing over the middle poses for opposing QBs.

So how do you balance being aggressive in the passing game against the Panthers while also mitigating the risk?

“They’re a tough group to prepare for because they’re so athletic,” said McDermott. “Luke is so aware of things, and they do a great job of communicating on their end as well. You just have to be aware of where he is, and they do a great job of taking the ball away on defense. That was a big part of their formula last week, and I’m sure one of their big goals this week against us will be to take the ball away. We have to be very aware of that and do our part in terms of respecting the football. They thrive off of taking the ball away and setting their offense up with short fields.”

The hook zones in particular are where Kuechly and Davis make most of their interceptions. Both of them can drop effectively into coverage and break on the ball.

“All those guys on that defense can run,” said Tyrod Taylor. “Of course, Luke Kuechly, he’s probably the best linebacker in the league, very smart, instinctive guy. Just going to have to go out there and play sound football. Our first challenge on the road against a very good defense, and we’re going to have to execute every play and continue to keep focus throughout the whole game.”


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Clay, Glenn among the limited in practice

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2017 – 3:56 pm

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DT Jerel Worthy was the only non-participant at practice Wednesday as he remains in the concussion protocol, but there were a few unanticipated limited players in practice.

The notables were TE Charles Clay with a shoulder injury and OT Cordy Glenn with his foot.

Head coach Sean McDermott was encouraged that Glenn had come out of the Week 1 game clean with his foot no worse for the wear despite getting 56 snaps.

“At this point it seems like we took a step forward,” said McDermott of Glenn. “Cordy did some good things in the game, obviously didn’t the play the entire game but his rep count certainly increased from the week before. We want to keep trending upward in respect to Cordy.”

CB EJ Gaines and LB Tanner Vallejo were also limited. Gaines is coming back from a shoulder contusion, but is expected to start Sunday. Vallejo returned to practice for the first time since getting his knee scoped a few weeks ago.

RB LeSean McCoy (wrist) and FB Mike Tolbert (knee) were both full practice participants.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Tolbert: Snitches get stitches

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2017 – 3:02 pm

 

There are a couple of players and a head coach who might be viewed as mercenaries by the Carolina Panthers fans this Sunday in Charlotte. Having moved on to the Bills they’re the enemy now, but between head coach Sean McDermott, Mike Tolbert, Joe Webb and Kaelin Clay, there’s a lot of useful information they can provide. From player strengths and weaknesses, to player preferences in certain situations.

“There’s a rule out there that snitches get stitches, but I’m going to get a lot of stitches this week,” said Tolbert.

Tolbert along with Webb and Clay will offer what they can to assist their Bills teammates with their matchups, and the players who don’t know the Panthers well are eager to scoop up all the intel they can.

“Oh yeah I’m going to sit down with him this week,” said Bills return man Brandon Tate the time he intends to spend with Joe Webb on Carolina’s special teams coverage units.

Regardless of all the help it can provide, the Bills still hold an enormous amount of respect for a team as battle tested as the Panthers. It’s why players like Tolbert, Webb and Clay are doing their level best to prepare for Sunday’s game like any other. It’s something that has won the respect of their teammates.

“They’re not getting wrapped up in the rivalry or battle. We’re their teammates and we’re supporting them. It’s a regular game. Everybody looks at things differently. I kind of looked at it like a revenge type of game when I played back home,” said McCoy of his game against the Eagles in 2015. “But them guys I like their attitudes. It’s more positive. It’s more team based. It’s working out. We have one goal and that’s to go to North Carolina and get a win.”

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Glenn’s reps to be managed Sunday?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 7, 2017 – 2:30 pm

Bills LT Cordy Glenn is fully expected to start on Sunday in the opener against the Jets, but will he play the entire game on offense? That appears to be up for debate.

Glenn missed most of training camp and almost the entire preseason until he got 15 snaps in the team’s last preseason game against Detroit. It was an effort to get Glenn re-acclimated to the speed of a live game.

Whether that plus practice over the last week is enough to get his conditioning to the level necessary for a 65 to 70-play game on offense is another question.

The biggest challenge for every NFL head coach is making sure the team is conditioned enough to get through an entire game that first week, something none of their players have done since early January.

For Glenn that task could prove even more difficult, since he’s missed a good portion of training camp and preseason action with his foot ailment.

Head coach Sean McDermott admitted that it’s something they’re going to keep close tabs through the rest of the practice week and on Sunday to determine whether or not they need to rotate another tackle in for him at times.

“We’re going to look at it,” said McDermott. “With every player we look at managing reps in getting guys acclimated to full speed and managing it.”

Rookie Dion Dawkins would be the likely offensive tackle who would rotate in for Glenn if the coaching staff deems it necessary on Sunday


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McDermott: McCoy practiced after getting ill

Posted by Chris Brown on September 7, 2017 – 2:23 pm

Bills feature back LeSean McCoy had a bit of an upset stomach at the start of Thursday’s practice that forced him to miss a bit of the session, including the media viewing portion. But according to head coach Sean McDermott, McCoy returned and got a healthy dose of team reps.

“He got a little bit ill at practice,” said McDermott. “He was here at the beginning and fell ill a little bit there and then came back.”

By the close of practice, McCoy looked back to normal and had a spring in his step.

“It looked like he was good,” McDermott said. “He had a good practice.”

While McCoy was not on the practice field, Mike Tolbert and Taiwan Jones took the majority of the reps during team segments.


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