Inside The Bills

Gilmore update

Posted by Chris Brown on May 24, 2016 – 3:31 pm

The Bills are determined to get a long term deal done with Stephon Gilmore, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Buffalo picked up his fifth-year option a year ago. Negotiating a long term agreement at a premium position like cornerback however is easier said than done.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportradio 550, Whaley admitted cornerback is a top flight position, but as an organization they have to be mindful of other contracts coming up for players they’d like to extend long term.

“For a Rex Ryan defense it’s an important position for how you want to run that defense,” he said. “Again you have a value. Where the juggling process come in, you always want to set a value on a guy, and that’s your first step. But how does your first step affect your next step? So if we put a value on Stephon, but it hinders us from something else down the road that’s when you have to adjust your value on a guy. So it’s going to be a complicated process, but the main thing we’re excited about is both sides want the goal to be for him to come back and sign a contract.”

Whaley remains optimistic that a deal can be struck.

“We’re excited to have Gilmore and we’re excited to have Darby,” said Whaley. “So we have two who we think are top tier corners in the league. Hopefully it’s going to be an exciting season to see them get out there and play 16 games and perform well. And we’ll see how it goes on the business side as well.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-20

Posted by Chris Brown on May 20, 2016 – 12:18 pm

Bills OTAs get rolling on Monday. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Why haven’t Bills looked at Anquan Boldin as he seems to fit what they need a WR. Thanks!

BC72 @bchud1972

CB: I think there could be a number of issues at play here. First, Boldin, though productive last season (69 rec. 789 yds, 4 TDs) is 35-years old. Second, and probably more important is the Bills are probably in a position where they could only offer a veteran receiver the league minimum, and with Boldin a 10-plus year player he would cost $985K. As accomplished as Boldin is I don’t know if he would play a 14th NFL season for that.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills Bills have any interest in Dwight Freeney or Greg Hardy?

joseph tadak @jt9591

CB: I don’t see Greg Hardy as a realistic option due to his off the field issues. No one else seems all that interested either. I understand fans trying to connect the dots to a veteran to fill the potential void left by Shaq Lawson’s surgery, which will probably keep him out for a portion of the first half of the season.

I wonder how much of a commitment the Bills would want to make to a stop gap solution. If they were to sign Freeney and he was on the roster beyond Week 1 his contract would be guaranteed even if they released him once Lawson returned to the roster.

I don’t know if that’s a good call for someone who would be a part-time player (pass rush specialist).

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you see Gilmore or Taylor getting extended before season, during season, or after if at all?

Grayson Tumult @GraysonTumult

CB: I believe the likelihood of a new deal for Gilmore before/during the season is greater than Taylor. The reason why is the Bills probably want to see Taylor take the next step in his development during the season. Then if they have to back up the Brinks truck to keep him after the season is over, so be it.

The reason Gilmore’s deal will probably take a bit longer is because Washington threw the whole cornerback market out of whack with their contract for Josh Norman ($15M/yr.) after Carolina rescinded his franchise tag, making him a free agent.

With Norman at age 28 getting $15M per year and he’s largely a zone coverage corner, it makes it difficult for Buffalo to negotiate with Gilmore’s camp when he’s 27 and plays a more demanding role at corner as he’s often in man-to-man.

I think top 10 cornerback money is realistic for Gilmore. Top five money might be a different story, and if the Gilmore camp is looking for that it could make for a longer negotiation.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills Any real worries with Watkins foot? Similar to Dez foot injury that kept him out all year?

jason plunkett @j_plunk

CB: First, Dez Bryant did not miss the whole year. He injured the foot in Week 1 and missed the next six weeks. The Cowboys rushed him back and he struggled through the rest of the season, but suited up and played in eight of the last nine games.

I expect the Bills to go to school on how things played out with Bryant and Julian Edelman for that matter, who also needed a second surgery because he came back too soon in the playoffs.

I’m not a doctor, but based on what I’ve read, Watkins’ Jones fracture, a common injury for NFL wide receivers, usually takes longer to heal (8-12 weeks) than most fractures (six weeks) because the blood supply to that area of the foot isn’t as good as other parts of the body. That’s why the surgery has a screw inserted in that area to promote the healing of the bone.

The Cowboys tried to get Bryant back in six weeks and it was too soon. That’s why I think even though Sammy Watkins will be right around the 12-week mark at the start of training camp I would not expect to see him do much of anything on the field until the second full week of camp at the earliest.

And even then it will be a slow and steady process. Yes, reps with his quarterback are important, but most important is Watkins’ availability on Sundays in September. If the process is rushed risk of re-injury increases.

Being patient with a player of his caliber is difficult for fans, but the payoff is he’ll be less likely to run into future problems with the foot during the season.

 

5 – Chris,

Last year’s defense was a disappointment. Veteran players could not fully adapt to this complicated front seven scheme then play at a high level. Also, expectations turned out to be unrealistically high.

Is there any way 3 rookies can leap to the NFL, play in this same defensive front, simplified or not, and have success? Or do we need to start managing expectations now to avoid more disappointment?

Thanks,
Ron

CB: From what I have been able to gather Rex Ryan and Dennis Thurman have reduced the number of checks pre-snap on defensive play calls for this season knowing the problem it presented last season. Whether they’ve found the happy balance between remaining unpredictable while allowing their players to play fast remains to be seen, but the effort was made to make execution of the defensive system easier for the players.

As for the rookies, Adolphus Washington’s position doesn’t require as much pre-snap adjustment as Reggie Ragland or Shaq Lawson. Ragland doesn’t have to run the defense, that will be on Preston Brown, but as GM Doug Whaley mentioned the scheme Ragland ran at Alabama is very similar to that of Buffalo’s defense. Ragland has said there’s a lot of carryover that’s a plus.

Lawson might have the toughest time adjusting knowing he’s likely to miss the offseason practices and some time in the first half of the season. Not having those physical reps could make it hard on the top pick to assimilate himself into the defense.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Ball parking a Gilmore extension

Posted by Chris Brown on May 14, 2016 – 1:33 pm

The financial number crunching gurus at Spotrac have put together what they believe will get a long term contract extension done with Bills CB Stephon Gilmore, who is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie contract. 

Spotrac calculated the average annual valuation at $12.9M per year on a five-year deal, but indicated a contract that is a shade over $13M per season is more likely. 

Typically when agents want a higher average annual salary the team looks to add an additional year as Spotrac projects in the estimated extension for Gilmore (6 yrs, $80M. 

Josh Norman’s unexpected deal with Washington has not helped clubs as it inflated the market value of cornerbacks and probably wasn’t even necessary. 

I’d expect the Bills to try to get a long term deal done that fits somewhere between Cleveland’s Joe Haden ($13.5M/yr) and the Giants Janoris Jenkins, who signed for ($12.5M/yr). 


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Whaley: Planning for key extensions up next

Posted by Chris Brown on May 3, 2016 – 1:50 pm

The NFL draft has been the primary focus for the better part of the last month and a half. Now with the draft in the rearview mirror the focus of Buffalo’s front office shifts to formulating a plan on contract extensions for some of the more important pieces on the Bills roster.

Stephon Gilmore, Cordy Glenn and Tyrod Taylor are three key players who have a year on their contracts. Glenn was a franchise player and signed his tender. Bills GM Doug Whaley, in an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportradio 550, said he, along with Senior VP of Football Administration Jim Overdorf, will enact a plan on addressing the contract situation of all three players.

“Negotiations took a hiatus for draft weekend,” he said. “We’ll regroup this week and set a game plan through to the minicamp. I’ll sit down with Jim Overdorf and reach out and see if we can just keep the lines of communication open.”

When asked if the team has a priority list where they want to get one extension done before another, Whaley indicated that they’ll be working to get all three players extended.

“They’re all the same,” he said. “We’re going to try to work as diligently as possible to get all three of those guys (extended). This is where we want to get to. Have good players on our team and then keep them instead of going out into free agency. We’d like to use free agency for the value guys. So when you have potential stars that we’ve drafted or acquired and they’re on our roster now, why not throw the money at those guys?”

Whaley said he’s “supremely confident” they can fit all three players on extensions under their salary cap heading into 2017 where the Bills right now have more than $50M in cap space. The only player with a true deadline on the horizon is Glenn. He signed his franchise tender, but he and the Bills have until July 15th to negotiate a long term deal, which would replace the current one-year guaranteed contract.

Gilmore and Taylor have until next March before they could even negotiate with anyone but Buffalo.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills GM optimistic on Glenn, Gilmore futures

Posted by Chris Brown on April 20, 2016 – 11:44 am

Bills GM Doug Whaley is immersed in draft preparations with it sitting just a week away on the calendar. But it hasn’t kept him from staying abreast of where things sit with two key players on their roster. Cordy Glenn has signed his franchise tender and Stephon Gilmore is in the last year of his rookie deal after Buffalo picked up his fifth-year option. The next step is getting the two players locked up with long term extensions.

When that will happen is anyone’s guess, but Whaley in an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 feels the Glenn and Gilmore camps have a mutual understanding with the Bills.

“I look at it this way. I’m more optimistic than pessimistic,” said Whaley. “We have until July 15th with Cordy, we have until whenever with Stephon, but I’m more optimistic than pessimistic. We all start with the same viewpoint that we want to get a deal done so we’re on the same page there.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-1

Posted by Chris Brown on April 1, 2016 – 12:16 pm

Back from vacation to resume our weekly Fan Friday forum. The draft is now less than a month away. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you see the Bills improving on Defense this year? They lost a couple guys but I don’t think they could fall any further.

iamthelegenddd

CB: I think a lot will hinge on what the Bills are able to add to the roster defensively via the draft. I believe they have to come away with at least two plug and play starters on defense. Buffalo has eight picks and they’ve done a good job of late of finding instant contributors beyond the first round (Darby, Woods, Alonso, Brown, Karlos, Miller). If that continues in this year’s draft I’m optimistic they can rebound from last season’s disappointing results.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills what moves will be made next year in order to pay Tyrod and Gilmore?

9thekid

CB: Contrary to popular thinking the Bills cap situation for 2017 is quite healthy. Last I checked Buffalo was projected to be about $50M under the cap next offseason, which should afford them more than enough space to handle sizable long term extensions for both Gilmore and Taylor.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills qb to develop behind taylor, who in the draft would it be? cardale, hogan, hack or cook? #billsfans

Srothenburgh

CB: I think among the quarterbacks you mentioned the only one that gives me pause is Kevin Hogan. While GM Doug Whaley is right about Hogan’s pro readiness having worked in a pro-style system and his vast game experience at Stanford, I just can’t see his throwing arm allowing Buffalo to do all the things they do with Tyrod Taylor at quarterback.

I watched Hogan throw at the NFL Combine with my own eyes and while I respect his game, I can’t get past his lack of arm strength. He’s a strict West Coast system, horizontal passing game QB. That’s not what the Bills do. They drive the ball down the field a good deal with Sammy Watkins. That element of Buffalo’s passing game is critical to their success.

That’s why I can’t see them drafting a quarterback that isn’t capable of executing those kinds of plays. Cardale Jones certainly has the arm strength to do that. Hackenberg’s arm strength is good enough, though he probably needs some refining of his mechanics, and Cook has demonstrated enough examples in the Michigan State offense that pushed the ball downfield to convince me he could handle that as well.

So I’d say those other QBs you listed would all be on the table for Buffalo.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills in your opinion what’s more important need in draft LB’er or true NT, true 3-4 DE for Rex system?

rockydm92

CB: I think we need to take into account not only Rex’s system, but the offensive trends in the league and where the depth on Buffalo’s roster lies. Right now there is not only no depth at linebacker, but limited options for starters.

I think the most pressing need position is LB, but there is a need for an additional pass rusher and those players go early. So although LB is the bigger need, the value in drafts typically dictate that you get your pass rusher first and second level players later.

Of course if the right value at LB falls into their lap at 19 (e.g. Ragland, Lee) you can make a very good argument to take them in round one.

As for nose tackle, it’s a deep defensive tackle draft, so if there is a position where Buffalo can afford to wait it’s there as the talent goes into the fourth round this year.

 

5 – Hey Chris,

I am curious about Jaylon Smith with this most recent news he will miss at least the whole 2016 season and maybe more, he was easily my favourite player entering the draft before all of this happened, how far in the draft do you think he could fall and do you think the Bills would have any interest should they have a chance at selecting him? Also should a receiver like Laquon Treadwell still be available at the Bills selection do you think they would go that direction over an offensive tackle or a defensive player ? Thank you.

Alexander, Toronto

CB: I think a lot will depend upon the medical re-check that takes place on April 14-15th in Indianapolis where doctors will perform a full examination on his surgically repaired knee again after taking an initial look in late February.

Doctors will be assessing his progress over those six weeks between exams and put together a prognosis for his future playing career. Teams will have their own physicians formulate their best opinion on what kind of career Smith can expect to have and develop an appropriate draft grade off of that.

The first installment of our On the Clock series focused on the medical component of the pre-draft process last month and highlighted Jaylon Smith’s situation and how it was not all that different from Willis McGahee.

Whether he’ll be a first round pick will hinge on how team doctors believe Smith can recover. He told NFL Network’s Mike Mayock at the Notre Dame pro day this week that he’s leg pressing 600 pounds and squatting 400 pounds. But it will all come down to the medical.

I hate to tell you this, but I don’t think Laquon Treadwell will be a day one pick. So I don’t see the Bills or anyone else taking him in the first 31 selections.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 3-11

Posted by Chris Brown on March 11, 2016 – 11:33 am

Free agency is up and running, but the Bills will be watching the action for the most part. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills hey Chris how does cap for bills look next year ??

mok186946

CB: Right now the 2017 cap for the Bills looks very healthy. If we conservatively estimate that the cap goes up $10M next year to $165M then Buffalo currently has more than $50M in cap space ($112M plus in cap commitments). Now a good portion of that figures to be gobbled up by long term contracts (hopefully) for Cordy Glenn, Stephon Gilmore and Tyrod Taylor, but they will still be in a better position next year than they are right now.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills What will the Bills do at WR, especially after losing Hogan to that big deal to the Patriots?

KevinMassare

CB: Buffalo currently has nine receivers on the roster. They added size and physical play, something they needed, with the additions of Jarrett Boykin, Greg Little and Greg Salas, who all stand 6-2. Salas is a player that I believe can capably fill the role Hogan held in Buffalo and perhaps offer more production.

Salas has a feel for the game that I don’t know if Hogan has yet just based on the fact that he played only one year of college football. Yes, Boykin and Little have bounced around a bit in their NFL careers, but both are big physical receivers that can box out defenders in the red zone. That’s an area where Buffalo had to add more muscle to improve their scoring efficiency. We’ll see how they fare in training camp.

As for adding there, this year’s draft class is not very strong. It lacks the explosiveness and pure speed that the past few draft classes have offered at receiver.
3 – @ChrisBrownBills upcoming contracts for Glenn, Gilmore, Taylor. Will Bills look at drafting OT or CB high in case they can’t re-sign one?

nywvfl

CB: It’s my belief that aside from quarterback, the only other offensive position the Bills figure to address in the draft is offensive line. I just don’t think it’s predicated on what may or may not happen in the way of a long term contract for Cordy Glenn.

I think adding a cornerback or two is a strong likelihood in the draft because the depth behind the top three (Gilmore, Darby and Robey) is largely unproven. Fortunately for the Bills it’s a great cornerback class this year.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills how much cap room does Buffalo have to create/need just to sign rookies in the draft?

BmoreBillsfan

CB:
Essentially it’s the money they have under the cap right now (about $5M) with a little left over. If they do not match the offer sheet for Chris Hogan (and they’re not expected to) it would provide a little more space. The thing to remember is that only the top 51 salaries count toward the cap. So for the lower draft choices the only part of their salary that counts toward the cap would be their pro-rated signing bonus, which would be minimal in the tens of thousands of dollars.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills :Bradham, Brooks, McKelvin gone to the Eagles hole in the defense are starting to become more apparent. Who fills the holes?

rosenbarker

CB: I would say there’s a good chance a couple of draft choices fill a couple of holes and then some younger players on the roster fill a couple of others. I liked Max Valles’ pass rush ability coming out of Virginia and think he’d be a nice fit in a 3-4 at OLB. Is he a starter or a situational guy? That’s to be determined in training camp.

Brooks was largely a special teams player and McKelvin was a reserve corner behind the starters. Those are depth roles that the Bills personnel department has shown an ability to fill before (See: Nickell Robey, Seantrel Henderson, Karlos Williams etc.).


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-29

Posted by Chris Brown on January 29, 2016 – 11:23 am

Senior Bowl on Saturday and Pro Bowl on Sunday with three Bills participating. As for today let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills for this week’s edition.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Reported that DeMario Davis, ILB for the #Jets is set to hit FA. Had down yr, but excelled w/ Rex. Top FA target?

BrettsterBills

CB: Yes, I did see that. According to the reports the Jets intend to re-sign Erin Henderson instead of Davis. To me they’re not all that different. Henderson is just two years older and will likely come cheaper. Most NFL scouts see Davis as a two-down linebacker. As you mentioned he had a down year and struggled when put in coverage situations. Personally I think Nigel Bradham is a more versatile linebacker.

As Doug Whaley said, they’re looking for dust settle guys. If Davis goes untouched through the initial wave of free agency, which is certainly possible, and his price isn’t exorbitant then he could be an option.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills is there still a working group studying long-term stadium options for the Bills? What’s the latest?

lophus89

CB: To my knowledge the New Stadium Working Group still exists, but I will reiterate what Bills President Russ Brandon shared at the Prospectus Premiere event Thursday night about the prospects for a new stadium.

He essentially said at this time there are no planning meetings, no land grabs and no feasibility studies taking place. The Bills have a lease that runs until 2022 and the state and county just invested a sizable amount of money into renovations to Ralph Wilson Stadium.

If you remember the New Stadium Working Group was quickly assembled in the wake of Mr. Wilson’s passing because the future of the franchise in Buffalo was uncertain. The NSWG would need to have answers in the event that a new owner sought to relocate the team during the one year opt out portion of the lease in 2020 to help convince the new owner to keep the team in Buffalo.

Once the Pegulas successfully purchased the Bills that threat went away. Terry and Kim Pegula are committed to the city and keeping the team here. So the urgency to map out a future home for the Bills just isn’t there at this time.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills do you think the hiring of Rob Ryan will benefit the Bills or just lead to another rebuild?

Cmoney111196

CB: Here’s why I see the addition of Rob Ryan as a benefit. Rex implicitly trusts his brother in every facet of football. With Rob as Assistant head coach/Defense, Rex will be able to focus more on the big picture responsibilities of being a head coach. Rex can hand the reins of the defense to his brother and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman during the course of the week and on Sunday Rex can still call the plays.

I also believe Rob will serve as an added motivator for Rex. Both of them are very disappointed with how their 2015 seasons went with respect to defensive performance. Putting the two of them together will only inspire them more to redeem themselves in 2016 with Buffalo’s defensive unit.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills What’s the better option? WR in free agency or the draft?

orlandoweise

CB: Here are the things you need to consider when assessing whether the Bills sign a receiver in free agency or acquire one in the draft. First, where is receiver on their positional priority list?

Sure Doug Whaley would like to add a bona fide No. 2 receiver to work opposite Sammy Watkins, but that comes at a price when dealing with free agents. I think the steps we’ve seen the Bills take already at receiver signing Greg Salas, Jarrett Boykin and Greg Little is similar to that of their approach at quarterback last year.

Create a competitive environment and hope you can strike gold with a player stepping up and filling a role at a very affordable price. All three of those players bring size to the equation, which is another element that Buffalo is looking to add to their receiving corps.

The free agent class at receiver is limited at best. Free agents, who are likely to still be available when the dust settles are players like Rishard Matthews, Brandon Gibson and Darrius Heyward-Bey. They are not going to be names that excite you. So Buffalo took the proactive approach and signed a few reserve/future free agents in Salas, Boykin and Little in the hopes that one emerges.

Now one of those guys might not be the true No. 2. Heck, I think Robert Woods is probably better than all of them. But if Woods can work primarily in the slot opposite Charles Clay and one of the three aforementioned wideouts can prove they deserve the job outside opposite Sammy Watkins you could be in business.

Is that a big ‘if’? It most certainly is, but with a tight cap situation, two starting offensive linemen to re-sign and some holes to fill on defense that might be the only realistic course to take.

I know this is a long way of saying it, but if the Bills are going to add any more talent at receiver it’s probably coming via the draft.

 

5 – Chris,

My question is about the future of Stephon Gilmore. I understand he is under contract until the end of next year, but after that do you think they’ll extend him?

He is going to want top 3-5 CB money.

If we can sign Glenn and need a huge contract for Taylor, where is this money coming from to sign a top 3 CB?

Not to mention there is no way to sign Gilmore and Darby if he continues to play at this level.

The way I see it, is the writing is on the wall with Gilmore. He plays out next year, wants top 3 money and there will be a team willing to give it to him. With his replacement on the team. I see this as his last year with Bills!! Thoughts?

Dave from Buffalo

CB: I wouldn’t throw in the towel on Gilmore being gone after 2016 just yet. By picking up the fifth-year option on Gilmore they’ve given themselves time to address his contract long term. The average salary of the top cornerback contracts is just over $11M per season.

I don’t debate that it will be a sizable investment to keep him long term. You’re right Tyrod Taylor will be the other big contract. The thing with Taylor’s contract and Gilmore’s is you can spread the money out over a six or seven-year period, which lessens the blow to the team’s cap.

Also helping is the fact that the salary cap is going up at a rate of close to $10M per season with the revenue continually pouring in. Add in the fact that the only other notable contracts that will be up in 2017 are Robert Woods and Manny Lawson, who will be 32-years old at that time, and it’s reasonable to think you can get Gilmore and Taylor done.

Darby is a player you don’t have to worry about until 2019.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bradham, Gilmore, Karlos updates

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2015 – 3:17 pm

The Bills were without two of their defensive starters Sunday in Philadelphia, but there’s a decent chance they can get one of them back for the Washington game.

Nigel Bradham is trying to return from an ankle injury suffered in the loss at Kansas City a couple of weeks ago. Rex Ryan is hopeful that Bradham can improve to the point where he can play.

“I feel good about Nigel, I think that one, we’ll see,” Ryan said. “He’s desperate to play and I think there’s a real possibility he’ll play.”

As for Stephon Gilmore, Ryan is not as optimistic. In fact he admitted it’s a possibility that Gilmore might not see the field again this season with just three games to play.

“Stephon, I doubt it, right now I don’t think that looks good,” said Ryan. “That’s something with that shoulder, a dislocation – could it be a possibility? I’m not ruling it out.”

Ryan is also not sure about the availability of Karlos Williams for Sunday with his shoulder injury also suffered in Kansas City. He called it a wait and see.


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McKelvin ready to hold down the corner

Posted by Chris Brown on December 13, 2015 – 8:58 am

When Stephon Gilmore went down with a shoulder injury against the Texans, Leodis McKelvin was tapped to fill the void on the outside. McKelvin, a cornerback by trade however, had not played outside cornerback in a game in over a year. Was he worried? Not in the least.

“I always had it in the back of my mind that if anything happened to one of those guys that I would pretty much be the next guy up,” said McKelvin of Gilmore and Ronald Darby. “So I had it in my head to be ready at all times and go in there and do my job and not have any drop-off when I’m in there.”

McKelvin admits it was an adjustment moving back outside in the middle of the game last week when all his time on the field this season had been in the slot or on tight ends as a safety. So he welcomed the opportunity to get a full week of practice reps this week with Gilmore out for Sunday’s game against the Eagles.

“It’ll feel a whole lot better to have those practice reps on the outside,” he said. “But you have to roll with the punches and go with it. I’m more mindful of getting more comfortable with my backpedal and just being out on an island. You’ve got to go in there and do your job.”

McKelvin’s last start at outside cornerback was on Nov. 13th, 2014 when he broke his ankle against the Dolphins in a Thursday night game at Miami.

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Eagles WR Matthews now questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on December 12, 2015 – 2:30 pm

The Eagles looked pretty good health-wise heading into Sunday’s game with the Bills. That is until today. Philadelphia added WR Jordan Matthews to their injury report listing him as questionable with a back injury.

Matthews not only leads the Eagles in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, he’s been on the field more than any other receiver for Philadelphia this season.

If Matthews is unable to play that could even things up knowing the Bills are without their top cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who was declared out on Friday with a shoulder injury.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills down two starters on ‘D’ Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on December 11, 2015 – 12:56 pm

UBNS image

 

 

The Bills will be without two starters on defense Sunday against the Eagles. Stephon Gilmore will miss his first game of the season and Nigel Bradham will miss a second straight week with an ankle injury.

Gilmore will be replaced by Leodis McKelvin at cornerback while Kevin Reddick is expected to step in for Bradham.

Along with Bradham and Gilmore, Ron Brooks  and Karlos Williams are also out for Sunday’s game.

OUT
RB Karlos Williams – shoulder
CB Ron Brooks – concussion/neck
CB Stephon Gilmore – shoulder
LB Nigel Bradham – ankle

QUESTIONABLE
RG John Miller – ankle

PROBABLE
WR Chris Hogan – knee
TE Charles Clay – knee
DE Mario Williams – hand
OT Seantrel Henderson – illness


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bradham, Gilmore, Karlos all sit Thursday

Posted by Chris Brown on December 10, 2015 – 4:25 pm

For the second straight day Buffalo was missing two starters on their defense and LeSean McCoy’s understudy on the practice field Thursday.

LB Nigel Bradham, CB Stephon Gilmore and RB Karlos Williams were all non-participants at practice Thursday. Head coach Rex Ryan is not optimistic about any of them playing on Sunday.

“I think it’s pretty obvious,” said Ryan of Gilmore’s chances of playing. “I’m not going to declare him out yet, but I would say all those guys don’t look real good to play this week.”

Ron Brooks also missed a second straight day of practice due to a concussion suffered last week and is unlikely to dress for the Eagles game as well.


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McKelvin ready to step in for Gilmore

Posted by Chris Brown on December 9, 2015 – 4:35 pm

Bills veteran CB Leodis McKelvin has spent most of his time in the slot covering receivers or tight ends since his return from ankle surgery in the offseason. McKelvin hadn’t played his old position on the boundary at cornerback since Week 11 last season. But when he went out there last Sunday following Stephon Gilmore’s injury he felt he was ready. He may have to be ready to start on Sunday.

Stephon Gilmore did not participate in practice Wednesday due to a left shoulder injury. Head coach Rex Ryan said it doesn’t look good for Gilmore for Sunday, which would thrust McKelvin into the lineup.

“The likelihood of him playing [on Sunday] is probably not great,” said Ryan of Gilmore. “But we’re fortunate. We have another corner with a great deal of experience in Leodis McKelvin, so that will really help us.”

“I always had it in the back of my mind that if anything happened to one of those guys that I would pretty much be the next guy up,” said McKelvin. “So I had it in my head to be ready at all times and go in there and do my job and not have any drop-off when I’m in there.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin a security blanket at corner

Posted by Chris Brown on December 7, 2015 – 2:56 pm

With Stephon Gilmore’s status up in the air for the game against the Eagles this weekend, Bills head coach Rex Ryan is awfully thankful to have veteran Leodis McKelvin ready to plug in if necessary on Sunday.

Gilmore left Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury and did not return. McKelvin stepped in for him at cornerback, his first action at that position this season and fared well.

“It’s great to have Leodis,” said Ryan. “He’s been a huge contributor for us when he came back. The fact that we have a guy, a starting corner and not just a starting corner, a good starting corner that can go in, that’s absolutely huge for us. Obviously if Steph can’t go Leo will have to step right up in there and we’ll be fine with it.”

As for McKelvin’s play Sunday in relief of Gilmore, Ryan on the whole was pleased with his performance.

“He did a good job,” Ryan said. “He did a really good job.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills taking wait & see approach with Gilmore

Posted by Chris Brown on December 7, 2015 – 2:52 pm

Stephon Gilmore has been one of the most consistent performers this season for Buffalo’s defense. On Sunday he left with a shoulder injury and did not return. Head coach Rex Ryan is taking a wait and see approach with his top cornerback before determining his availability for Sunday’s game in Philadelphia.

“We’ll see how it goes. He did leave with a shoulder. A lot of times when you don’t return to games it’s usually an indicator that it may be a stretch (to play the next week). But we’ll see how he feels,” said Ryan. “Obviously he’s a guy that if he can go we need him out there. He is a tremendous player for us.”

Ryan indicated that Gilmore was undergoing an MRI Monday. The only thing about Gilmore’s injury that Ryan did confirm was that it was not season ending.

 

 


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Gilmore’s brother poised to follow

Posted by Chris Brown on December 2, 2015 – 5:01 pm

He’s only just completed his JV football season, but Steven Gilmore Jr. is playing quarterback and cornerback just like his older brother Stephon did at South Pointe high school in Rock Hill, South Carolina. And his older brother is keeping a watchful eye.

“Same offense, same coaches,” said Stephon Gilmore smiling. “Hopefully in a couple of years we’ll see the same results.”

Steven Gilmore was called up to the varsity squad at the end of the JV season to play receiver and cornerback. He’s in position to compete for the starting quarterback/cornerback jobs next season as a junior.

“He scored in every game I’m pretty sure,” said mother Linda Gilmore. “It’s exciting to see what’s coming together for him.”

Stephon, who is nine years older than Steven, is just making sure the social media world doesn’t swallow up his brother so he talks to him often to help keep him on track. Here’s a shot of Stephon’s younger brother in action as the team’s read option quarterback this season.

gilmore-7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit – Misty Mt. photos. 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Big plays allowed hurt Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on November 29, 2015 – 11:14 pm

The Bills play a lot of press coverage and that comes with a risk and reward. Sometimes they’re going to surrender big plays defensively. Buffalo has given up its fair share of plays in 20-29 yard range this season, but the big shots of 30 or more have been largely kept to a minimum until Sunday.

Through the first 10 games of the season Buffalo had not given up more than two plays of 30 yards or more in any one game. In fact in total the Bills defense had only surrendered 11 such plays all year.

On Sunday in Kansas City, the Bills gave up five plays of 30 yards or more. Chiefs WR Jeremy Maclin had three of the five plays. Stephon Gilmore, who gave up the 32-yard play to Jeremy Maclin, said it’s tough lesson to learn the hard way.

“He made plays,” said Gilmore of Maclin. “They moved him all around, in the screen game, down the field he made plays. Alex Smith made some great throws. We gotta learn from it and take whatever we learn out on these teams coming.

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-27

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2015 – 1:03 pm

We’re getting pretty close to do or die time and the Chiefs game at Arrowhead on Sunday is step one. Here are your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you think Tyrod is “the guy” or should the bills draft a qb in the first round until they find him?

DanielBeaudoin1

CB: I would still like to see him play more before passing judgment. Perfect example is last Monday’s game his accuracy was off for the first time this season. Was that an aberration or is there more to it? We don’t know because we haven’t seen enough of Tyrod.

I do believe the greatest concern with Taylor is his ability to stay healthy and in the lineup. We’ve already seen two injuries with him this season. One cost him a pair of starts in Week 6 & 7. The other is the one he’s currently dealing with.

Make no mistakes about it. Taylor is as tough as they come. The question is can his physical frame withstand the punishment that quarterbacks typically take over the course of a 16-game season?

That’s to be determined. Even if Taylor finishes the season strong, I’m a proponent of drafting a quarterback every year. It’s the most important position in football so why wouldn’t you try to ensure you’re strong at that position by drafting one there every year?

I’m not saying round one necessarily, but just like everyone says you can never have enough cornerbacks, I think the same applies to QB.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills what possibility of re-signing the gilly lock to an extension and is Mario a fit for Rex’s scheme may need cap room and waive

jdubsbills

CB: The Bills did buy some time with Stephon Gilmore by picking up his fifth-year option, so he’s not a free agent until 2017, but it’s my belief that Gilmore is priority number one when it comes to locking up players long term. Whether that happens this offseason or just prior to the 2016 season remains to be seen.

As for Mario Williams he has the skill set to play in any defensive scheme. Your cap room query however, is valid. His cap figure is very high and there is substantial savings that could be had if he is waived or if he agrees to restructure. More on that in the answer below.


3 –
Chris,

How do you think the future free agents on the team are doing? Cordy Glenn is having a very good year. What are the odds they can keep him? How much is he a priority over someone like Bradham is having a down year? I know they probably can’t keep everyone but keeping a good tackle long term seems like a good option given they haven’t been too stable on either side on the line in years. What would it cost? Do you expect a ‘hometown discount’ for Incognito too? Given that some teams may not want him still. How much flexibility do they have to do so?

CB: Their flexibility is likely to be rooted in what they decide to do with some cost prohibitive contracts on the roster. Chief among them Mario Williams. His cap figure next season is $19.9M. That will need to be addressed before the team reaches free agency. Both linebacker and offensive tackle are thin positions in terms of experienced depth, so it will be interesting to see how they choose to prioritize Bradham and Glenn.

The team is also going to have to re-sign Richie Incognito, who will be a priority for the offensive line, and no I would not expect Incognito to be willing to take a hometown discount, especially since it’s likely to be his last NFL contract.

 

4 – Hi Chris,

First off thanks for the Fan Fridays! I enjoys reading other fans questions and your insight to them.

My questions is about the health and return of Aaron Williams. I haven’t seen anything reported about him other than he was up in a box cheering on his teammates during the jets game. Has he recovered from his neck injury? With the activation of McKelvin can he still return to playing this season? (although with Rambo and Cory playing well we are not falling apart without him)

Thanks!
Recently Displaced Bills fan now in DC,
Joe
CB: Williams has attended each of the Bills last two road games. He was placed on short term I-R. He’ll be eligible to return for the Eagles game in Week 14 at the earliest. Whether he does or does not is solely up to the team’s medical staff.

 

5 – Chris;
Bud Grant had a saying, too many “fan in the stands penalties” and plays. He could bring in any fan from the stands to line up off sides etc. When u get down to it, off sides, holding , dropped passes, punts, over and under thrown passes etc., any fan can make those plays.
Am I being too critical ??
Too many miscues keep us from winning. What are ur thoughts ??

Jim in Florida

CB: I think there were too many miscues last week. Unfortunately it doesn’t take much when facing the Patriots, one of the most consistent teams in the league when it comes to execution. Their defense had just one or two poor plays, but played well enough to win. The offense and special teams units could not say the same in that game.

What’s interesting is the prevailing theme in the locker room this week was just executing the game plan more effectively. We’ll see if it can happen Sunday in KC.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Strong CB play will give Bills ‘D’ options

Posted by Chris Brown on October 11, 2015 – 11:08 am

As we covered on Buffalobills.com this week both Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore have been at the top of their game the last few games making them one of the best cover tandems so far in 2015. Bills head coach Rex Ryan admits that their lock-tight coverage outside gives he and defensive coordinator more options with play calls defensively.

In his weekly appearance on Coffee with the Coach presented by Tim Hortons, Ryan explained some of the things their coverage ability provides.

“It really helps. Obviously you can do so much more man coverage,” he said. “Usually you isolate those guys and maybe double the inside guys. So there’s a lot of different things that it allows you to do. It’s not easy to find corners who can play that well. But those two have been exceptional.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills