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Inside The Bills

Nix back at South team practice

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 24, 2013 – 11:22 am

It’s a sparse crowd of scouts and coaches this morning for the South team practice at the Senior Bowl. But Bills GM Buddy Nix is on the sidelines this morning keeping a close eye on the QBs.

Many NFL personnel execs have moved on from Mobile with the practice s winding down for the week. The South team is going through a glorified walk through under brilliant blue skies and temperatures in the mid sixties.

Nix is eyeballing QBs EJ Manuel, Tyler Wilson and Landry Jones for the South. Wilson has been the most consistent performer of this weeks QB prospects

We’ll have more from the Senior Bowl tonight on The John Murphy Show podcast available at BuffaloBills.com


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Bills scout’s view of Senior Bowl LBs

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 24, 2013 – 11:00 am

The Bills have been talking for months about their need to upgrade the linebacker spot. And what better place to start the process, than the Senior Bowl this week.

There are a total of 14 linebackers on hand at the premier All Star showcase for draft eligible players this year, six on the North squad and seven on the South. And Bills Assistant General Manager Doug Whaley talked about the most impressive linebackers at the Senior Bowl so far, during an appearance Wednesday night on The John Murphy Show.

“One of the best guys I’ve seen out there is Vince Williams of Florida State,” Whaley said on the radio show. “He has shown some physicality out there, knocking a couple of guys on their behinds, offensive linemen twice his size. He’s doing a good job hitting the running back in the hole.”

The Bills Assistant GM went on to talk some other linebackers who have impressed in the first three days of Senior Bowl workouts.

“Sean Porter an outside linebacker from Texas A and M. He’s shown an ability to close on the ball and did some good things in coverage, so he’s been pretty impressive.

“Chase Thomas of Stanford—he’s a high energy high effort guy. He may be a little limited physically, but he tries to make up for it with his hustle and heart.

“John Simon of Ohio State—he’s a guy that has a good upside. He’s got to get used to playing inside, they played him at a lot of different positions at Ohio State. He’s got some upside.”

The entire interview with Doug Whaley is available on The John Murphy Show podcast on BuffaloBills.com.


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Bills Doug Whaley on Senior Bowl WRs

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 24, 2013 – 10:30 am

It’s a talented and deep class of Wide Receivers at the Senior Bowl in Mobile this week. And the Assistant General Manager of the Bills, Doug Whaley, says several of the wideouts have already made favorable impressions.

In an appearance on The John Murphy Show Wednesday night live from Mobile, Whaley talked about the wide receivers who have caught his eye during the first three days of Senior Bowl practices.

“Quinton Patton (Louisiana Tech). He had a great day today catching the deep ball,” Whaley told host John Murphy. “And Cobi Hamilton of Arkansas has done a good job of making contested catches. Tavarres King of Georgia had an outstanding day Tuesday. Those guys have been pretty impressive.”

“You’d have to say Marquise Goodwin (Texas). He’s a speed guy, he’s going to have some trouble, he’ll need to work on getting off the press. Aaron Dobson from Marshall is another guy that has a nice combination of size and speed and can judge and go get the deep ball. He’s been pretty good. And Aaron Mellette from Elon—a big guy that’s smooth. 6-0 204-pounds. He’s got some size and he’s smooth. Coming from a small school, he’s stepped up and he’s shown that this isn’t too big a stage for him.”

The entire interview with Bills Assistant GM Doug Whaley is available on The John Murphy Show podcast on BuffaloBills.com


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Bills scouts ready for juniors

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 24, 2013 – 10:00 am

The Buffalo Bills scouting staff has been hard at work all week, looking over the prospects at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. But starting tomorrow, they will utilize their scouting combine, BLESTO, to dig into the juniors who have been declared eligible for the April draft.

Seventy three juniors will join the seniors in the NFL draft this year, most of whom are not able to attend this week’s Senior Bowl. But Bills Assistant General Manager Doug Whaley says he and GM Buddy Nix will sit down with the BLESTO scouts Friday in Mobile, to get their assesments of the crop of juniors coming into the draft in three months.

“Since the official declaration of the juniors eligible for the draft was January 18th, those guys (BLESTO) have been working on those juniors since the 18th hit,” Whaley said, during an appearance Wednesday night on The John Murphy Show live at the Senior Bowl.

“What they (BLESTO) do is give us a breakdown on what each of those juniors is about, and how they categorize those guys draft wise. And that will help us narrow our focus.”

Whaley says the actual meetings with the BLESTO scouting combine scouts starts Thursday night, with BLESTO’s reports on late additions to the Senior class of draft prospects, players that, for whatever reason, jumped up and made themselves draft-possible prospects in their senior year.

“There’s guys that may have looked at over the fall that may not have started, or started to have a good year, that they upgraded,” Whaley said. “And that’s what we’ll go over on Thursday night. We want to see any seniors that had a good year, guys that they say, hey, we didn’t have them rated that high last spring.”

“The BLESTO scouts will give us his information, here’s his lineage, here’s how he played , here’s what we thought about him when he played. Obviously, we had some scouts in on him, but we like to use that information resource as well, to get as much information on the players.”

The entire interview with Bills Assistant GM Doug Whaley is available on The John Murphy Show podcast on BuffaloBills.com


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Bills’ Doug Whaley on Manti Te’O

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 24, 2013 – 9:30 am

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While much of the football world, and much of America for that matter, is following the Manti Te’O situation with heightened anticipation, it seems like the Buffalo Bills are sitting back, waiting for the dust to settle, and then moving forward to evaluate Te’O as a football player first.

Bills Assistant GM Doug Whaley talked about the Notre Dame linebacker Wednesday night, during an appearance on The John Murphy Show from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Te’O is embroiled in a controversy regarding a non-existent girlfriend whom he talked about last fall, indicating that she had passed away.

But the Bills are first and foremost interested in learning more about Te’O as a player.

“We always say you grade the player as a football player,” Whaley told host John Murphy. “All the off field stuff, we’ll decide on that when we sit down with Russ and Buddy and see how that guy’s character would affect him being a Buffalo Bill. You don’t want to discount his talent because of his character, because if you do that, you start putting guys that are less talented above him. That’s why we want to make sure as a player we get him right.”

Whaley had high praise for Te’O as a player, despite his struggles in the BCS Championship game against Alabama earlier this month.

“I think he’s a productive guy that has made some plays to win some games,” Whaley said. “Everybody says he had a bad game against Alabama. It’s tough to play against that level. But against Southern Cal, to get them to the National Championship, that goal line stand, he was an integral part of that. The interception to win the game at Oklahoma, he made that play. Michigan State–another interception.”

“He’s a playmaker. We’d like to get his exact measurables, height, weight, etc. And I think another big thing for him will be his forty time at the combine.”

The entire interview with Doug Whaley is available on The John Murphy Show podcast on BuffaloBills.com, or by listening above.


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Dobson known for tough catches

Posted by Chris Brown on January 24, 2013 – 9:08 am

Marshall WR Aaron Dobson, who we profile on the home page of Buffalobills.com this morning, made more than his share of difficult catches during his college career. Perhaps the most popular is his one-handed backhanded grab against East Carolina in 2011.

It was just a 13-yard touchdown reception, but the degree of difficulty was pretty significant considering his back is to the ball.

Watching some of his route running he has a somewhat unconventional style. I’m not saying he’s Stevie Johnson, but he’s a bit unorthodox at times like Stevie. He’s certainly an interesting prospect that’s likely to be a mid-second round pick according to most draft prognosticators.


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South on the field for Wednesday workout

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 23, 2013 – 3:21 pm

A few more clouds in the sky for the South team practice at the Senior Bowl in Mobile Wednesday afternoon. Not only do the players have to perform for NFL scouts and coaches but the NFL Network is here for complete live coverage of the workouts (picture below).
With the Bills interest in linebackers, we”ll be keeping an eye on the LB talent including a couple that Bills GM Buddy Nix singled out for praise this week: Nico Johnson of Alabama and Vince Williams of FSU. Another LB, Jake Johnson of South Alabama had to be carted off the field after injuring his lower right leg early in today’s practice.
Speaking of injuries, still no sign of Akron,NY native J.C. Tretter on the field yet. He broke his nose a couple of weeks ago and has been held out of practice. We’ll get the story straight from him when he joins us on The John Murphy Show live from the Senior Bowl tonight.

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Manuel: I bring versatility

Posted by Chris Brown on January 23, 2013 – 12:48 pm

E.J. Manuel played in more of a pro-style offense at Florida State, which stretched the field and differed from the more popular spread and read option attacks in college. But Manuel feels his athletic ability makes him a fit for that kind of offense as well should it be the one he has to execute in the NFL.

“I think the fact that I can do the read option as far as reading the end and doing the run off of it or throwing the bubble (screen) outside,” said Manuel after practice at the Senior Bowl. “We had the vertical game, we did a lot of that at Florida State, plus you have to have some quick guys around you and I had that at Florida State. So we didn’t run the same exact offense as far as the option or the spread, but I know I could do it and it would be an easy transition for me.”

Manuel met with the Eagles and their new head coach Chip Kelly, who also recruited Manuel out of high school.


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Wednesday Senior Bowl-North practice

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 23, 2013 – 12:01 pm

Another picture perfect football day in Mobile as the Senior Bowl practices continue. The North squad is on the field this morning at Ladd-Peebles stadium under pristine blue skies with the temps in the low 60s. It looks like day three of practice means the QB rotation is shuffled again with Miami’s Zac Dysert getting the first reps followed by Ryan Nasib of Syracuse, then Mike Glennon of N.C. State. Michigan’s Denard Robinson is getting his first work of the week at wide receiver. He struggled with a couple of drops on individual and 7 on 7 work. Robinson is still recovering from an elbow injury. One of the best receivers this week has been Marshall’s Aaron Dobson. At 6-2 203 lbs he’s got the size the Bills are looking for. He’s fast enough and seems to run fluidly. Dobson’s draft stock has been rising steadily and many observers think he’s moved into the first round.
We’re on the air at 7pm tonight with The John Murphy Show live from the Senior Bowl. Bills Assistant GM Doug Whaley will be our guest

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FSU’s Manuel hoping for chance to start

Posted by Chris Brown on January 23, 2013 – 11:32 am

Florida State QB E.J. Manuel, who is participating for the South team at the Senior Bowl practices this week realizes an NFL team will pick him, not the other way around. But the eager senior signal caller would prefer to go to a team with more uncertainty at the quarterback position.

“It would be (more appealing),” said Manuel. “To be able to go in and obviously still work hard because nobody is going to give you a position. Every team still has good players with veterans there, and those are the guys I would learn from, but whatever situation I go into I’m going to go in and work hard.”

Manuel met with the Bills earlier this week, just like the other five quarterbacks participating at the Senior Bowl.


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A Bills fan’s guide to the Senior Bowl

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 22, 2013 – 11:30 pm

seniorb-bowl-storyFor Bills GM Buddy Nix, a trip to Mobile for the Senior Bowl in January is an established routine. Nix says he’s been coming to the Senior Bowl for at least the last thirty years.

But for fans who are just starting to plug into the showcase game for college seniors, and maybe just starting to look ahead at the NFL Draft in April, the Bills top football decision maker has some advice.

In an appearance on The John Murphy Show Tuesday night, Nix offered some scout’s guidelines on what Bills fans should look for, when they watch Senior Bowl practices on the NFL Network, or the game itself this Saturday. The Bills GM has said all along the club’s top priorities in the draft are QB, WR and LB. So he tailored his advice to those three positions.

“When you’re looking at linebackers, I think that’s changed now,” Nix told host John Murphy. “You want a guy who can run and cover and can match up against a slot or a tight end. See if that guy ‘s got enough mobility in space to cover.”

“The receivers, obviously we want a guy who can go up and snatch tne ball, that he’s open when he’s covered. See if they’ll go up and high point the ball and get it,” he continued.

“Quarterbacks, I think the big thing with them is can they win the game? Do they do something to win the game? Can they play good in the fourth quarter, in the last three or four minutes.”

Nix and his scouting staff will spend the rest of the week in Mobile to assess the 110 or so prospects on hand. And they’ll do the same thing next month, when the draft class convenes at the Combine in Indianapolis.

The John Murphy Show will broadcast live from the Senior Bowl in Mobile Wednesday night. The show airs weeknights from 7-9pm on the flagship station of the Bills, WGR Sports Radio 550.


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Nassib: Bills would be match made in heaven

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2013 – 11:09 pm

Bills play-by-play man John Murphy caught up with Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib at the Senior Bowl for an interview with Buffalobills.com. Prior to extolling the virtues of Bills head coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, Nassib was asked for his thoughts about the possibility of joinng his former coaches in Buffalo come late April if it were to happen. Suffice to say Nassib would be good with it.

“That would be a great situation, I love the city of Buffalo,” Nassib said. “I’m  a Central New York guy, that type of weather, and going to Buffalo with all those Syracuse guys there, that would be a match made in heaven.”

Nassib did remind everyone in the next breath that as a draft prospect you don’t get to pick your team, they pick you.

“That would be a great situation for me, but you don’t choose the team you go to, so if I’m fortunate enough to get picked by them, great,” he said. “But if not, I’m going to make the best of the situation with some other team.”   

Nassib, a native Philadelphian, is considered blue collar to the core. It’d be hard to blame him for wanting to come to Buffalo. He’d walk in the door knowing the offense better than any other player in the building, not unlike Ryan Tannehill did for the Dolphins last year after he followed his college head coach Mike Sherman from Texas A&M to Miami.


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Bills meet with all six Senior Bowl QBs

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 22, 2013 – 11:00 pm

The Bills have made no secret of their interest in drafting a quarterback this year. And they got right to work on digging into the background of each of them at this week’s Senior Bowl in Mobile.

In an appearance Tuesday night on The John Murphy Show at the Senior Bowl, GM Buddy Nix said the team’s scouts and Head Coach Doug Marrone sat down with all six quarterbacks Monday night to get background and insight into each of them. The group includes Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib, North Carolina State’s Mike Glennon, and Miami of Ohio’s Zac Dysert from the North squad, and Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson, FSU’s E.J. Manuel, and Oklahoma’s Landry Jones from the South.

Nix says he and his scouting staff typically meets with draft prospects each night at the Senior Bowl from 830pm to 1130pm. And it’s not just the quarterbacks, they’ll meet with all the different position groups.

And if that’s not enough, the Bills GM says they’ll conduct interviews with many of the same prospects next month at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.


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Marrone had different purpose in Mobile

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2013 – 10:44 pm

As reported in Bills Focus on Buffalobills.com by play-by-play man John Murphy on assignment at the Senior Bowl, Buffalo head coach Doug Marrone made a pitstop in Mobile on Tuesday, but his primary purpose wasn’t to get more familiar with the draft prospects on hand.

Marrone’s main aim was to meet the Bills scouting staff as a group.

“It was important, the one part of the organization I hadn’t met yet was the scouts,” Marrone told Buffalobills.com. “I just wanted to make sure I got down here and introduce myself to them and get a feel, and for them to get to know me a little better. I wanted to tell them how I excited I am, and the coaches, to be working with them, so we had a meeting.  Then coming out here, and I’m trying to get a feel for the rest of the young players that we have out here.”

Marrone is already back in Buffalo after departing from Mobile Tuesday afternoon. While he recognizes the importance of the Senior Bowl, with his staff and team in a transitional stage it’s more important to assess the talent that’s already on his roster rather than the prospective talent that could be added in late April.

“We have a lot of work up in Buffalo,” he said. “I think we’re ahead in a lot of different areas, but we wanna get back up there. We finally have the full staff together.

“We’re excited about the players that we have on our football team. We’re looking at them and evaluating them and that’s a process, that takes a while. It’s not like you just watch a bunch of tape and then you go ahead. So we’re doing that, but we’re getting a lot of things set up—we’re getting our schedule set up for minicamps and OTAs and things like that, getting our daily schedule set up, getting our playbooks, making sure they’re organized and getting them together.  That’s what  really going on right now.”

 


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Nix: Senior Bowl is key to evaluating players

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 22, 2013 – 10:23 pm

It’s a process, the road to the April NFL Draft. And this week’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama is just one step in the process.

But according to Bills General Manager Buddy Nix, the Senior Bowl is the most important event leading up to the draft, once the college football season ends. Nix was a guest Tuesday night on The John Murphy Show live from Mobile, Alabama, the site of the Senior Bowl.

“I think this is the most important,” Nix said, comparing this week’s events in Mobile to the other offseason events: the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, and individual “Pro Day” workouts for players.

“This is my third bowl game in two weeks. But the Senior Bowl is coached by NFL coaches, so they know what you’re looking for. They make sure you see what you’re looking for. And these guys are going against the best competition. It makes it easy to evaluate. The hard part is evaluating a guy against somebody that you think is inferior or much better, then it makes it tough. But all these guys are pretty equal.”

Nix thoughts were echoed by Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson, who says he considers the Senior Bowl the best chance he has to impress NFL scouts.

“It’s one of the three hurdles as a prep player coming into the professional ranks,” Wilson says. “This is a big week for me, I want to come out here and compete, and meet a lot of these guys that I’ll be playing with on the next level. I look forward to it. I’ll use it as an opportunity for me, and then continue to train down at IMG and prepare for the combine.”

Nix says he was happy to see the competition level ramped up during Tuesdays padded practices at the Senior Bowl.

“They put the pads on today and they went really hard. I think you can really see if a game’s too big for a guy, or too fast for them, which is hard to tell sometimes doing college tape,” he said.

The John Murphy Show
will broadcast live from the Senior Bowl Wednesday night from 7-9pm, on the flagship station of the Bills, WGR Sports Radio 550.


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South Senior Bowl Tuesday Practice

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 22, 2013 – 3:39 pm

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Midway through the afternoon practice at the Senior Bowl, it’s already apparent where the strength of this roster lies-the wide receiver corps. There’s plenty of wideout talent on the field, working out under sun splashed skies and 55 degree temperatures. The most impressive WR so far is Georgia’s Tavarres King. Through the 7 on 7 portion of practice he’s made several strong catches. He seems to play bigger than his listed size (6-1, 200lbs). And King is expected to run the 40 somewhere in the 4.3-4.4 range next month at the combine.
We”ll have more on the Senior Bowl tonight when The John Murphy Show broadcasts live from Mobile, Alabama. The show airs weeknights from 7-9pm on the flagship station of the Bills WGR Sportsradio 550.

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Nassib on Hackett: “Buffalo lucky to have him”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 22, 2013 – 3:30 pm

The Bills are looking at all the quarterbacks on the Senior Bowl rosters this week in Mobile. But the one the Buffalo coaching knows best, knows them pretty well, also.

Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib is one of three quarterbacks on the North roster. And his name has been linked strongly to the Bills, ever since his Head Coach at SU, Doug Marrone, was named the Bills Head coach two weeks ago. And when Marrone brought Syracuse Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to Buffalo to handle the same job, the speculatikon instensified.

At the Senior Bowl Tuesday, Nassib had nothing but praise for his former Offensive Coordinator, and said he made him a better player every year at Syracuse.

“He did a great job of developing me,” Nassib told The John Murphy Show. “He’s a great developer of players, and each and every year I was with him I got better. Statistically, internally, I felt myself getting better every day I was with him. Buffalo is really lucky to have him as an O-C.”

Nassib says playing for the Bills would be a great situation for him, given his familiarity with the Buffalo coaching staff, and his comfort level in Upstate New York. And he dispels the notion that at age 33, Nathaniel Hackett may be too inexpeienced to coordinate an NFL offense.

“All I can say is coaching is in his blood,” Nassib told host John Murphy. “That’s what his family does. His dad (Paul Hackett) has coached in college and the NFL for forty years, so he’s been around football his whole life. He may only be 33-years old , but he’s been a ballboy, a tape cutter, the guy in the film room, since he was ten years old. He’s been around the game, he knows a lot of stuff, trust me. The good thing about that, is that he’s got a great consultant with his father.”

We’ll have more with Ryan Nassib tonight at 7pm on The John Murphy Show live from the Senior Bowl. GM Buddy Nix joins us live as well. The John Murphy Show airs weeknights from 7pm-9pm on the flagship station of the Bills, WGR Sports Radio 550.


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Dysert knows Buffalo wind

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2013 – 3:06 pm

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Having played his college ball in the Mid-American conference, Miami-Ohio QB Zac Dysert, who is on the North team roster at the Senior Bowl this week, knows all about the challenging weather conditions when playing in Buffalo.

Dysert was last in Buffalo on Nov. 3rd when his Red Hawks came to play the U.B. Bulls. After a slow first half the game heated up in the third quarter. Dysert led three 70-plus yard touchdown drives, capped with TD passes by Dysert as he became his school’s all-time leading passer, surpassing Ben Roethlisberger.

“We definitely got off to a slow start,” he said. “That’s always a tough place to play. I got sick about two days before, so I wasn’t feeling too great either. But I stuck it out and tried to stick in there with my team and we just couldn’t come back.”

Despite Dysert’s best efforts on a 25-44 passing day for 242 yards and three TDs during a windy November afternoon, U.B. won the game on a last second field goal (27-24).

Dysert is eager to show this week that despite playing at a mid-major school he’s got the talent to hang with some of the best in the college game.

“Just show them my skill set,” he said. “Show them what I thrive in and show them that I do have some things to get better, but I’m definitely working on them. I know my weaknesses and I’m trying to improve them every day.”


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Nassib on Buffalo: “A match made in heaven”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 22, 2013 – 2:19 pm

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Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib is finding the question unavoidable in the first few days of Senior Bowl workouts in Mobile. How would he feel about playing for the Buffalo Bills? Doesn’t it make sense for the Bills to draft him?

After Tuesday morning’s workout the North team at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Nassib had a ready answer.

“It would be a match made in heaven,” he told reporters.

Nassib’s Head Coach at Syracuse Doug Marrone is now the Bills head man. And Marrone brought along Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and several other Orange coaches for his new Bills staff. So in classic connect-the-dots mode, most observers make the connection between the talented Syracuse quarterback and a potential landing spot in Orchard Park.

Nassib says that would work for him.

“That would be a great situation, I love the city of Buffalo,” he said Tuesday morning. “I’m a Central New York guy, that type of weather, and going to Buffalo with all those Syracuse guys there, that would be a match made in heaven.”

Nassib is one of three quarterbacks on the North roster this week, splitting time with North Carolina State’s Mike Glennon and Miami of Ohio’s Zac Dysert. The three have been rotating through the reps through the first two days of practice.

Playing for the Bills would be “a great situation for me” Nassib told The John Murphy Show. And we asked what would make it so great.

“Just like anybody would like to be with the coach that they’ve been with for the last three years,” he answered. “That’s just definitely an advantage, instead of building a relationship with somebody new. You already have a relationship with somebody else. But that’s a rare situation, that usually doesn’t happen. It’s just kinda like a special circumstance.”

We’ll have more with Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib, along with Head Coach Doug Marrone and Bills GM Buddy Nix will be live, when we broadcast The John Murphy Show from the Senior Bowl tonight. The show airs from 7pm-9pm on the flagship station of the Bills, WGR Sports Radio 550.


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Mayock: 3-4 QBs will go round 1

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2013 – 1:31 pm

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Just days after ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper chose not to put a single quarterback in his initial first-round mock draft, NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock had a much different opinion.

Mayock during NFL Network’s Senior Bowl coverage said he expects as many as four signal callers to come off the board in round one come last April.

“It’s early in this entire process,” Mayock said. “Everyone says there’s no Andrew Luck, there’s no Robert Griffin III. … I guarantee you by the time we get to April, there will be three to four quarterbacks taken in the first round, and most of them are coming out of this game.”

Mayock made reference to four of the QBs participating at the Senior Bowl this week, including N.C. State’s Mike Glennon and Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib.


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