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 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

Beckham fined $9K for punches in Bills game

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2015 – 1:07 pm

A few Bills players claimed that Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. was throwing punches at them on the back end of plays away from the ball. The film never lies, so after looking into it the league has reportedly fined Beckham Jr. nine-thousand dollars for his actions.

ESPN is reporting that Beckham addressed his actions against the Bills with Giants head coach Tom Coughlin today.

“Odell actually came to me. I was disappointed, because I think he’s above and beyond that type of stuff,” Coughlin said.

Game tape shows that Beckham threw a punch at the helmet of Duke Williams after Stephon Gilmore’s interception. Preston Brown also accused Beckham of throwing a punch on another play.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Great CB play by Darby & Gilmore lost in defeat

Posted by Chris Brown on October 5, 2015 – 8:25 am

There are a lot of things that are often forgotten in a loss. Unfortunately on Sunday the cornerback play of Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore against a strong receiver tandem of Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle went for naught.

Gilmore and Darby were largely responsible for holding the Bayou Brothers to a combined eight catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. The two Giants receivers were targeted 18 times in the game by Eli Manning.

Darby and Gilmore were first and second in pass breakups with three and two respectively to lead the team. Gilmore also had his first interception of the season in the fourth quarter.

“I had to be aggressive and they were dinking and dunking us so I said, I have to be aggressive and jump some routes and try to get the ball back to our offense,” said Gilmore of his INT intended for Randle.

Beckham had just five catches for 38 yards. It was Beckham’s lowest output since his third career game almost a year ago against Dallas.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 10-2

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2015 – 11:23 am

The Bills look to stack two wins in a row Sunday against the Giants. Here’s your latest edition of questions from email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

With guys like (Alshon) Jeffery and (Victor) Cruz missing multiple games with calf injuries, is there any concern Watkins might also?


CB: First, I’m not a doctor, but I have learned through our athletic training staff that not every calf injury is the same, and every player heals differently. Some heal faster than others, some have a higher pain tolerance than others. All that being said a calf injury is a critical problem for a wide receiver. They need it to drive off the line, accelerate, cut, etc.

Cruz’s calf injury from most reports is from overcompensating coming off a knee injury that kept him out most of last year and required surgery. I don’t know that Watkins’ injury is related in any way to overcompensating for his hip that required surgery in the offseason. I think we just all hope that Watkins is back in the lineup sooner rather than later.


2 – Chris,

First off, I’d like to give a shout out to Buffalo Bros. on University Ave in Fort Worth, TX.  It’s great to watch Bills games on Sundays surrounded by other Buffalo fans.

Here’s my question: With LeSean McCoy unlikely to suit up against the NY Giants this week, is it likely that Buffalo considers resigning Bryce Brown?  I believe that we have an available roster spot after the Cassel trade.  He would be a good compliment to Karlos Williams, whereas Boobie Dixon seems like he’s more of a goal line back and special teams contributor.

-Brendan in Fort Worth, TX

CB: The roster spot was actually filled by promoting Jonathan Meeks from the practice squad last week, not that it would keep them from making another move to address their running back position should LeSean McCoy be unable to play Sunday.

The most logical move however, would be calling Cierre Wood up from the practice squad. He’s been with the team since the last half of training camp and showed some flashes in the preseason. Wood has more of a shifty skill set and good hands for catching out of the backfield.


3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will this be the week that the #ColdFront starts racking up some sacks?


CB: The pass rush always has an edge when playing at home knowing the opposing offense has the added challenge of crowd noise. Manning however, has not been sacked much so far this season, just three times in three games. Ben McAdoo’s offense is designed to get the ball out fast to protect Manning.

A heavy dose of press coverage could aid in forcing Manning to pump and double clutch the ball to buy the pass rush an extra half second to get home. Some exotic looks could also cross up Manning’s diagnosis of the defensive coverage and delay his delivery of the ball.


4 – Chris,

In the long run, the Bills afford to play Thigpen. I believe they are other returners the Bills have on the roster. The Bills have specialists already in Gay/Sanborn who play minimal. Thigpen has yet to take an offesnive snap. I’d rather see Goodwin active than Thigpen. I would exepct Goodwin to get looks on offense and can return kicks.

Josh P.

CB: Once Marquise Goodwin is healthy I do anticipate he’ll be active. He’s still recovering from a rib injury. Goodwin however, is a kick returner, while Thipen is primarily a punt returner. The kick return job is Percy Harvin’s as of right now. I do believe if Sammy Watkins is unable to play that Goodwin would fill his spot among the receiving corps provided he himself is healthy enough to play.

As for Thigpen I think he was fortunate to make the roster as the team’s seventh WR. I believe the main reason he did is because primary punt returner Leodis McKelvin is on Reserve/NFI until Week 7 when he would be able to practice again if medically cleared. When McKelvin returns there will need to be a roster move.


5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Who would you have cover Odell B, Darby or Gilmore? Or should they stay on separate sides of the field?


CB: I think Darby has shown well for the most part this season. To this point the Bills have played most passing attacks straight up leaving Gilmore and Darby on their respective sides. Beckham is a unique talent. If the defensive staff decides to have one cornerback follow him the whole game Gilmore is your guy. Beckham’s hands are so strong that you want a corner that can be physical with him not only on routes, but through to the attempt to catch. Darby can do that too, but Gilmore would be the better play if they decide to go that way.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore will get recognition soon enough

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2015 – 8:10 am

Although Stephon Gilmore’s teammates were razzing him about dropping a pair of potential interceptions in last week’s win over the Colts, Gilmore still had a whale of a game against Indy. He came out of the game with four pass breakups, which is tied for the league lead. Gilmore might not be getting much national recognition, but head coach Rex Ryan says it’ll be here soon enough.

“I think he will though, I think it’s coming,” said Ryan of recognition for Gilmore. “I don’t think…you can’t ignore it, it’s on tape. People will realize how good a player he is so you know the days of him not going to the Pro Bowl or something’s probably…you know those days are long gone. I think he’s playing extremely well. He made several great plays in that game so you know he’s playing like we envisioned him. He’s one of the top guys certainly at that position so he’s playing extremely well.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Darby has right mindset for 1st start

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2015 – 9:10 am

Bills rookie CB Ronald Darby may have had a few ups and downs in the preseason, but he’s got the right mindset facing the number one passing offense in the NFL from 2014 today.

Darby is fully aware that he’ll be tested early and often as a rookie, but he sees that as an opportunity.

“It gives me a lot more chances to make plays and make a name for myself,” said Darby. “Each play I feel like the ball is going to come my way and even when I don’t think it’s coming my way I feel like it is so you got to play like that as a corner. I’ve been studying film, technique, being in the right positions, like things like that. It’s helped me a lot.”

Darby has also looked for advice from Stephon Gilmore, who once was a rookie starter at cornerback himself.

“I keep telling him to keep playing and to stay positive,” said Gilmore. “They may catch the ball here or there. Just keep playing and if they do catch something just put it behind you and make the next play.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-11

Posted by Chris Brown on September 11, 2015 – 2:06 pm

As excited as we are for real football on Sunday, we do need to pause to think about the nearly 3,000 Americans who perished in the 9-11 attacks. Never forget. Here is this week’s edition of your questions from email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – What is the process with keeping someone on the Practice Squad….can another team sign anyone from a Practice Squad? Are there any ways to protect someone on the Practice Squad?

Joe Roberts
Orlando, FL
CB: Practice squads consist of a maximum of 10 players typically who have accrued two or fewer NFL seasons as a pro. Each team is allowed a couple of exceptions in which a third-year player can be on the practice squad. To answer your question yes, any team in the league can sign a player off another team’s practice squad. Essentially you should think of them as a free agent with a job in the league.


2 – Chris,

I’m excited for the Bills 2015 season.  I really want to see what Greg Roman does with Buffalo’s offense.  Bills are deep at WR position.  I disagree with some of the posts I’ve read on depth chart.

Sammy is the #1 WR, in my opinion Robert Woods  is clearly #2 ahead of Harvin.  Woods was a great draft pick – Robert Woods consistently gets open on routes and has great hands!  Plus I think he is much more durable than Harvin.  Keep Percy Harvin in the slot as the #3 and kick returns.

What are your thoughts at WR, how many do the Bills keep and how do you see the depth chart.

Randy C,

from Buffalo, currently in D.C.

CB: What is interesting on Buffalo’s depth chart is Percy Harvin and Robert Woods are listed as co-starters opposite Sammy Watkins. So as the coaching staff sees it they’re 2A and 2B on their depth chart. Then it’s Chris Hogan and Marquise Goodwin followed by special teamers Marcus Easley and Marcus Thigpen.

Keeping seven did surprise me. I thought six was a more realistic number. I think the team saw Thigpen as worthy of a roster spot because with Leodis McKelvin to miss the first six weeks of the season they didn’t have a proven punt returner. So Thigpen will handle those duties.

I agree with your thoughts on Woods. I believe with all the attention that’s going to be on Watkins and Harvin and even Charles Clay, Woods will have a lot of favorable matchups this season and make a lot of plays.


3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do u think Gilmore will cover Johnson this weekend since it seems that Darby has more trouble w/ taller receivers?


CB: The Bills have a ton of respect for Andre Johnson, but I don’t think he’s as big a deep threat concern as he used to be. T.Y. Hilton is the more dangerous receiver, but he’s not going to physically overmatch Ronald Darby. I think Rex Ryan was truthful when he said he would mix it up against Andrew Luck and the Colts offense.

So I don’t anticipate there being a lot of Gilmore following Johnson or Hilton for the whole game. It wouldn’t surprise me if there were certain areas of the field where they put Gilmore on Johnson to match up better physically like the red zone, but beyond that I think the chances are greater they play the receivers straight up and the Bills roll more safety help to Darby’s side.


4 – @ChrisBrownBills are we wearing retro jerseys on Sunday to go with the helmets?#RockTheRalph


CB: Yes, there will be a full retro uniform to go with the throwback helmets. Here’s a look.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>All White Classics for week 1. Go <a href=””>#Bills</a&gt; <a href=””>#RockTheRalph</a&gt; <a href=”″></a></p>&mdash; billsequipment (@billsequipment) <a href=”″>September 10, 2015</a></blockquote>


5 –

How does the HB depth chart looks like? And what is expected out of Karlos Williams? Can he be better than what Fred was?


CB: The way the depth chart is listed at running backs is McCoy, Dixon, Karlos, Brown. Personally I think Karlos Williams is going to get just as much time in the offensive backfield as Dixon, if not a bit more. Maybe not right away this season, but sooner rather than later. His running style is aggressive and downhill and he’s got more straight line speed than Dixon.

Blitz pickup will be where I will be looking most carefully to see who can handle that role that Fred filled so well on third downs. It very well could be McCoy, who is pretty good at it in his own right, but that’s something that will bear watching.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Goodwin, Gilmore updates

Posted by Chris Brown on August 31, 2015 – 7:19 pm

Two players missing at Bills practice Monday were Marquise Goodwin and Stephon Gilmore, who both suffered injuries in Saturday’s preseason game against Pittsburgh. Head coach Rex Ryan provided an update.

“Both guys were held out (of practice),” said Ryan. “Goodwin seems to be the ribs, cracked ribs, two cracked ribs. It will be very up in the air if he’ll be ready to go Week 1, I’m not sure about that. I feel pretty positive about Gilmore, but time will tell.”

Goodwin took a knee to the rib when he was tackled after a catch and run. Gilmore sustained a shoulder injury and did not return to the game.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore set to embrace Revis role

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2015 – 8:59 am

Many suspect that CB Stephon Gilmore will be pegged to take on the Darrelle Revis role in Rex Ryan’s defense for the Bills this season. When asked about it Wednesday Gilmore said he’s ready and willing to take on the responsibility that role demands if he’s asked to do so.

“I definitely feel like I can fill the role of being a great corner or the best corner in this league,” said Gilmore. “I told them whatever they want me to do I’ll do it for this team. We’re expecting big things this year, so I’m looking forward to it. So, I feel like I just got to go out and work on my game and whatever the coaches tell me to do that’s what I’m going to do and I work on my game and my technique and study film.”

Gilmore has done that by going against Sammy Watkins in practice almost every day. Even in individual one-on-one drills Gilmore will wait until Watkins is up in the rotation to go against him instead of another receiver.

“I feel like Sammy is one of the hardest players to guard in this league,” he said. “You just got to get him the ball and I feel like me and him going at it every day, I mean, there aren’t too many people as good as him.”

It’s not clear yet whether Gilmore will simply be asked to follow the opponent’s best receiver every week during the regular season, but he’s preparing as if that will be the case. He’s often lined up at both left cornerback and right cornerback in the same practice so he’s accustomed to flipping to the other side of the field, should he need to in a game when following an opponent’s top wideout.

“If they tell me to cover one guy the whole game, then I’ll do that, and play physical and just lock in and worry about my responsibility, and that’s shutting that guy down,” said Gilmore. “So just worry about that and then everything else will take care of itself.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore dead set on starting strong

Posted by Chris Brown on July 9, 2015 – 9:15 am

His last two seasons injuries and offseason surgery have kept Stephon Gilmore from being in top form at the start of the year. The fourth-year corner is determined to be at his best right from Week 1 in 2015.

In our Camp Countdown, presented by M&T Bank, we list the main reasons why Gilmore should excel in 2015. One of the chief reasons is his current health. Though he is coming off an offseason procedure it was not nearly as invasive as his hip surgery in the 2014 offseason, meaning he’ll be full go for training camp.

That means he won’t have to use regular season games, like he did the last two years, to get into top playing form.

“I felt like I kind of started slow my last two years, but held it down the last half of the season,” Gilmore told “I feel like this season I need to start fast for this team to go deep, deep in the playoffs.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

A Revis role for Gilmore?

Posted by Chris Brown on July 8, 2015 – 11:30 am

Mum has largely been the word as to just how far the Bills defensive staff intends to go in utilizing the talents of Stephon Gilmore this season. Will he stay on one side of the field and work? Will he follow the opponent’s best wideout all day? Chances are it will be a bit of both. So does that mean Gilmore will fill a role similar to that of Darrelle Revis? In a word, probably.

It’s clear that Rex Ryan, defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman and secondary coach Donnie Henderson all see Gilmore as the elite corner in Buffalo’s defensive backfield. It’s also evident they have big plans for Gilmore this season. The only problem is no one has seen it in action because Gilmore was held out of spring practices in the team setting due to an undisclosed offseason procedure.

The difference this year is Gilmore will be full go in training camp and the preseason, which was not the case last year when he was coming off offseason hip surgery. So what has Gilmore been told by his defensive coordinator concerning his role in 2015?

“He likes the way I play so he told me to get ready to take on a big role in this defense,” Gilmore told “He just wants me to be ready. I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait to get out there and show them what I can do and show the world what I can do.”

We’ll have much more on just how Gilmore’s game could really excel in 2015 when our Camp Countdown series, presented by M&T Bank, continues on Thursday (July 9th) here on

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-1

Posted by Chris Brown on May 1, 2015 – 11:50 am

The 2015 NFL draft is underway so no need to drone on here. Let’s get right to your questions from email at and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,
With all the crazy coming and goings in free agency/ trades it is hard to keep track of where everyone is. I hope it might be possible, just before the draft, if you could list who we have gained and who has moved on. Thanks for a great job…

CB: Here’s a look at what was gained and lost prior to the draft this offseason.

Additions – RB LeSean McCoy, QB Matt Cassel, WR Percy Harvin, TE Charles Clay, FB Jerome Felton, G Richie Incognito, QB Tyrod Taylor.

Re-signed – DE Jerry Hughes, WR Marcus Easley, DE Jarius Wynn, WR Chris Hogan, K Jordan Gay, DT Corbin Bryant

Subtractions – OT Chris Hairston, LB Kiko Alonso, RB C.J. Spiller, OT Erik Pears, TE Lee Smith, TE Scott Chandler, S Da’Norris Searcy, LB Keith Rivers

Unsigned FAs  – LB Brandon Spikes


2 – Chris,
Thanks for all your great work and coverage. Do you think the Bills would consider Devin Funchess at 50? He’s super athletic and has some height that the Bills don’t have that would be great in the end zone. I think with him and the speed the Bills already have, the receiving core would be amazing.

Michael From Albany

CB: Funchess is one of the bigger enigmas in the draft. There’s no debating there’s some tantalizing talent there. Most NFL clubs see him as a receiver, and compare him to Carolina WR Kelvin Benjamin. I don’t think he plays as big as Benjamin does. He doesn’t fight enough for contested balls and that was in college. NFL cornerbacks could be a rude awakening for him.

He needs to bulk up and get stronger and he doesn’t have a wide frame like Benjamin. He’s an athletic mismatch no question, but I wonder if he can handle the more physical corners and safeties in the NFL. It’s my belief the Bills will look for a tight end type later in the draft to address their in line blocking. I suppose Funchess being the talent that he is would give any NFL club pause. With all the receiving talent they’ve already added I just can’t see him being a day two pick for Buffalo.

3 – Hi Chris,

Great job keeping us on the Bills.  As a Bills fan I was sorry to see Scott Chandler let go.  Do you think the Bills will be able to upgrade the tight end position with current players that were back up players by trade or the draft?  I felt he was under rated and poorly used at times.  The fact that New England signed him is an indication of his worth.  Please give me the your thoughts about the reasoning behind this situation.

Arizona Bills fan,
Max F. Stolzenberg, Jr.

CB: From what I understand Chandler was simply not a fit in Buffalo’s new offensive scheme. Greg Roman’s scheme demands a versatile, athletic player at the tight end position, who can line up in the backfield, as an H-back, detached or in line at tight end. Charles Clay does all those things, so they’ve upgraded by virtue of Clay being a better fit than Chandler.

Marqueis Gray also has the potential to fit provided he continues to progress at the position. He’s athletic and versatile too. As I stated above if they do add in the draft I’m expecting them to add a blocker.


4 – Chris,
With the team going “all in” for this year, what are the positions of need. Rounds 2-3 are really important on hitting on. Do you expect the Bills to add a guard to potentially start? It looks like Clay will
become a Bill so tight end maybe out? Are there more defensive holes to fix at either safety (Searcy) or linebacker (Alonso). What needs are left and will they skip on best player available and go for most
NFL ready?

CB: I think offensive line is a clear focus for Buffalo. They have just three offensive tackles on their roster and need to go with five to six to training camp. Linebacker is another position in need of numbers. They’ve got just five on the roster and need to go into camp with nine or 10. They could also use another tight end.

Ideally the Bills board offers value at offensive tackle or guard when they’re on the clock at 50 and value at linebacker when they’re on the board again at 81.

As for safety they’re stocked. Duke Williams, Bacarri Rambo, Jonathan Meeks and Kenny Ladler are all young options with potential.

I asked Doug Whaley if NFL readiness with a roster like theirs took precedence over a player with the higher ceiling. He told me no, that the player who has the better upside is the way to go no matter the state of your roster.


5 – Chris, as always, super job.

As excited as we all are about the Bills spending spree and the new/re-signed assets, I am concerned about having the monies to get Marcel Dareus and Stephon Gilmore deals re-done before they hit free agency.  Can the Bills find the funds to keep these 2 cornerstones of the defense, who should be around for years to come?

Thomas R. Veihdeffer

CB: The extension for Dareus is priority number one right now and I’m confident they’ll accomplish that. They just picked up the fifth-year option on Gilmore, but I think it’s possible they get an extension done with him as well sooner than the timetable applied to Dareus. The reason being if they can sign him to a contract that has an average annual value that’s a couple of million less per season than the $11M figure he’ll have under the fifth-year option it’s better for their cap situation in 2016.

The Bills like a lot of teams are banking on the recent trend of the cap going up a lot again next season. It’s gone up $10M each of the last two years, which is a sizable jump. They believe they can keep both in the fold and still sign Nigel Bradham and Cordy Glenn long term as well. We’ll see.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore calls 5th yr option pick up a blessing

Posted by Chris Brown on April 29, 2015 – 12:23 pm

Bills CB Stephon Gilmore was locked up through the 2016 season Tuesday when the team picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. Gilmore appreciated the investment made in him by the club.

“It’s a blessing obviously this team drafted me,” said Gilmore. “They invested in me and it’s a blessing that they picked my fifth year up. And I’m just happy to be out here with my teammates and do whatever I can to help this team.”

Gilmore is one of several players from his 2012 draft class that had their fifth-year options exercised by their teams.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills won’t be free agent players next year

Posted by Chris Brown on April 21, 2015 – 1:02 pm

The Buffalo Bills made some exciting trades and some aggressive moves in free agency this offseason that has the team poised to bring an end to their playoff drought. But don’t expect the flurry of activity to happen again in 2016.

Bills GM Doug Whaley all but confirmed that with the high-priced players they signed (McCoy, Harvin) and the high-priced players they re-signed (Hughes) or extended (Kyle Williams) they won’t be in a position to spend like that again next March.

“Next year the Bills fans should take vacation during free agency,” Doug Whaley told the John Murphy Show. “Our free agency now, because we’ve drafted so well turns to our own players. Marcell Dareus, Cordy Glenn, Nigel Bradham, Stephon Gilmore that will be our free agency next year. We’ll turn into the Green Bay Packers.”

Whaley knows Dareus and Gilmore will command high price tags based not only on their production, but the position they’ll play with Glenn and Bradham not far behind. That’s why the personnel department is hopeful they can land a contributing player or two late in the draft, who will be far more affordable knowing a lot of cap dollars will be tied into the elite core of players.

“With the guys we’ve paid this year and brought in and the guys we’re going to try to re-sign next offseason those guys are going to be high-priced players,” said Whaley. “So to balance that out you have to hit on some fifth, sixth or seventh round players to have that, for lack of a better term, cheap labor and balance out that top heavy end of the price structure in the cap situation with our top end players.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 4-17

Posted by Chris Brown on April 17, 2015 – 12:03 pm

The second week of the voluntary offseason conditioning program is in the books. Veteran voluntary minicamp is a couple of weeks away. Let’s get to your questions from email at and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

Let us talk hypothetically.  TE-OL-LB are obvious needs.  But, should (UCLA QB Brett) Hundley still be on the board for the Bills in round 2, what do you think?

Jim (Skaneateles)

CB: I think GM Doug Whaley will keep all options open in round two knowing he can truly take the best player on the board with few holes on the roster. That being said beyond the first two quarterbacks (Winston, Mariota) I get the feeling that the general consensus around the league is none of the remaining quarterbacks are at a point in their development where they can help right away.

I don’t know for a Bills team trying to win right now that Hundley is a pick worth making in round two. I think they’d rather have a player that can step in and help as a rookie in the event of an injury or push an incumbent starter for the starting role at their respective position.

Naturally we have to see what is left on the board at pick 50, and that’s obviously very hard to predict. I think there will be enough quality talent at Buffalo’s need positions that you listed to convince them to go in that direction more than QB.


2 – Chris,

After reading Collision Low Crossers, the book about the 2011 Jets, it seems like Rex values a shutdown corner to take away part of the field, then blitz.

I assume Gilmore is close to being that type of player. Do you think McKelvin can hold up? What players off radar could come in and make plays on the defense where he likes to give all the players playing time (i.e. Robey, Cockrell, Johnson, Meeks, Charles). How do the reserves fit into his defense and which one you see making a big jump in 2015?

CB: First, yes I think McKelvin can hold up as a press corner. He’s coming off the two-best seasons in his career under secondary coach Donnie Henderson. Furthermore Ryan believes he has three capable outside press corners with Corey Graham being the third.

In terms of a reserve player on defense who could make a jump I believe Duke Williams is a prime candidate to start in the safety role vacated by Da’Norris Searcy. He got a good deal of playing time there last season, is a ferocious hitter and has a nose for the ball. The other players you mentioned are only going to take steps forward as well, which speaks well for the depth on defense.


3 – Chris,

I am not convinced Matt Cassel is the answer at QB we’ve been waiting for all these years. Will the Bills go after Colin Kaepernick? And if not, why not? He would make sense as a solid franchise QB with a winning track record who fits with a run first offense. I see him as a perfect fit.

Bradley Kaye

CB: While I don’t deny that Kaepernick had success in Greg Roman’s offense in San Francisco, to acquire him he has to be available. With all of the talent that the 49ers have lost this offseason (Crabtree, Gore, S. Johnson, Iupati, Culliver, Skuta, Borland, Willis) I cannot see them parting with the player they handed franchise quarterback money.


4 – Chris,

With the team spending lots of money for the 2015, wondering how it will play out in 2016 when they have other players to lock up. Dareus will command a huge contract. Gilmore will need his option picked up. Cordy Glenn and Nigel Bradham is set to be a free agent as well. These are core guys they like how is it possible to keep them? Next year is big for future free agents. Are they spending too much money now they may have to let one of those guys walk next year? As of now the Bills aren’t done spending and could add more.

Josh P.
CB: I think your concern is a valid one. They’ve already picked up the option on Stephon Gilmore, per Doug Whaley’s comments at the owners’ meetings, so that buys them some time with him. They are interested in extending Nigel Bradham and it would not surprise me if Glenn were on the list as well. Right now Marcell Dareus is the primary focus regarding an extension. After seeing the money that Ndamukong Suh got in Miami, I think we all know that it’s going to be a complicated deal to broker.

Knowing the money involved with be large, it puts a hold on the other players who are in line for extensions because in all likelihood the Bills will need to get creative to make Dareus’ extension work. That deal will undoubtedly have an impact on how and what they can offer to their other young core players.

The good news is that the salary cap continues to go up and up and up. So more room will be created just with the dawn of a new calendar year.


5 – Chris,

What positions do you expect the Bills to target? With RB out of the way, do you see tight end as logical choice? Given they are trying to win this year it would make sense to draft someone to plug n’ play to start. The Bills could use depth on defense but it is more likely they will target a guard or tight end? Or where do you seem them going elsewhere with #50?

Sean R.

CB: I think the offensive line is a distinct possibility at 50, but not knowing what will still be on the board makes it difficult to pin down. I think guard or tackle are possibilities there. If the right tight end prospect is there in round two I don’t think you can rule it out, but Buffalo has their starter in Charles Clay. Now if they plan to have two tight ends on the field at the same time, which in Greg Roman’s offense is likely a good amount of the time, they might look to find one on day two (rounds 2 & 3).

I see LB depth being acquired later in the draft.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills young talent ranks favorably

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

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

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

11. Buffalo Bills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dareus, Gilmore downgraded to out

Posted by Chris Brown on December 27, 2014 – 5:55 pm






DT Marcell Dareus and CB Stephon Gilmore were downgraded from doubtful to out Saturday by the Bills. Both players were unable to practice due to injuries sustained in last week’s game at Oakland. Both players did not make the trip to New England for Sunday’s game against the Patriots.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Who will step in if Dareus & Gilmore can’t go?

Posted by Chris Brown on December 27, 2014 – 11:13 am






As we saw on the Friday injury report both DT Marcell Dareus and CB Stephon Gilmore are both doubtful for Sunday’s game at New England. If neither of them can go here are the likely replacements for them in the lineup.

DL Jarius Wynn, who missed a stretch of games in the second half with a knee injury got an awful lot of time alongside Kyle Williams in practice this week. He could get the starting nod over Corbin Bryant, who was the first to step on the field last week when Dareus went down with his knee injury in Oakland. Bryant is still expected to see a good deal of action as a rotational player.

Meanwhile at cornerback, it’s expected that Ron Brooks will again step in for Gilmore as he did last week with Nickell Robey remaining the nickel corner and Corey Graham on the other side.

Player Pos Injury Game Status
Marcell Dareus DT Knee DOUBTFUL
Stephon Gilmore CB Concussion DOUBTFUL
Dan Carpenter K Right Groin PROBABLE
Aaron Williams S Hip PROBABLE

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore, Duke, Spiller limited

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2014 – 2:51 pm






The Bills had a player out with illness at practice Wednesday along with a handful of other players limited due to injury.

Scott Chandler missed Wednesday’s practice as he was sent home sick. A few of Buffalo’s defensive backs were also limited including Duke Williams, who is going through concussion protocol.

C.J. Spiller was limited in practice as well.

TE Scott Chandler – illness

K Dan Carpenter – groin
S Duke Williams – concussion
CB Stephon Gilmore – shoulder
S Da’Norris Searcy – hamstring
RB C.J. Spiller – shoulder
TE Chris Gragg – knee
DE Jarius Wynn – knee

RB Boobie Dixon – chest

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Broncos had field position edge

Posted by Chris Brown on December 8, 2014 – 12:50 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone thought going in that field position would be huge in their game with Denver and he was right.

The problem was Denver had the advantage for virtually the entire game. Both teams had 11 possessions in the game. For the Bills only two of their 11 possessions began outside their own 20-yard line. Those two possessions that began beyond their own 20 came off interceptions by Corey Graham and Stephon Gilmore. Both Graham and Gilmore actually returned the interceptions into Denver territory, but they were called back on penalty.

“Yeah it was frustrating,” said Graham. “Obviously you want to get points whenever you can. I was trying my best to get (to the end zone). It was unfortunate that we weren’t able to score points or that I wasn’t able to score points on that. But you’ve just got to keep playing.”

The two penalties on Buffalo’s interceptions wiped out 76 return yards and a drive start that could’ve been at the Denver 20 wound up at the Bills’ 40, and a drive start that could’ve been at the Denver 38 instead started at the Bills 26.

Meanwhile for Denver their two worst drive starts were their own 20 and own 25. They also had a pair of drive starts in Buffalo territory (not counting the third at the end of the game when Manning kneeled out the clock).

At the end of the game the average drive start for the Bills was their own 19. For the Broncos it was their own 42.

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Posted in Inside the Bills