Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 6-13

Posted by Chris Brown on June 13, 2014 – 11:32 am

Three weeks of OTAs are over. Only the mandatory minicamp remains next week before the countdown to training camp. As always we’ll have full coverage here on Buffalobills.com. Here now are your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Hey Chris,
I am hearing a lot of fans chatter about the Bills running back situation.  It’s come to be pretty crowded at the RB position at this point and since the Bryce Brown trade fans seem to think CJ is on the trading block? I don’t buy it myself.  I know that CJ and Fred are FA’s in 2015 and while it makes me very sad I tend to think that will be it for Fred Jackson.  As for CJ I don’t really know if they would like to lock him up long term.

I wanted to get your thoughts and see if you have a feel for what they might want to do.  My take is they brought in Bryce Brown because they liked him but also as insurance for the season and to see what he’s got.  I would also imagine that if they do like him after the year that he would most likely be Fred Jackson’s replacement.  To me CJ Spiller is more than just a running back and I do not believe that he has even scratched the surface of what he can be.  He’s a threat every time he touches the ball and I’m very optimistic that he is going to shine this season.  As long as he stays healthy and the coaches put him in the right situation he should be able to really show what he can be.

Like Sammy said I hope that I see CJ and Sammy play together for a long time to come.  And also what do you think of CJ’s contract situation and the RB market? Do you think that could be beneficial for the Bills or could CJ still demand a hefty contract maybe pending his season?

Thanks a lot, Jillian

CB: I think with the pressure on everybody at One Bills Drive to win this year and make the playoffs the thought of C.J. Spiller being on the trading block is absurd. Yes, C.J. is entering the last year of his contract. It’s my understanding though that Spiller wants to stay in Buffalo long term. For him to sign a long term extension now however, would not be in his best interest. He’s coming off an injury-plagued 2013 and the new offense took some getting used to.

Spotrac.com recently did a great job projecting a long term contract extension for Spiller based on what he’s done in his career to this point and presented a lot of good comp numbers from other backs in the league. Spiller presumably would want more than the $4-plus million they project, and to do that C.J. has to approach, or more likely, exceed his numbers of 2012 (1,244 yards rushing, 459 receiving, 8 TDs) to be able to negotiate more.

At this point Spiller is without an agent though he’s looking to hire one in the not too distant future. It’s my belief that both the Bills and Spiller will let the season play out and regardless of his production they secure a long term agreement that’s beneficial to both sides.

I will add that I am encouraged that offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett will diversify the ways in which he uses Spiller in the scope of the offense.

2 – Hi Chris,

I personally love the trade to go up and get Watkins, and right now after rookie camp, it looks like he is the real deal. This year is also the year that Stephon Gilmore is supposed to make the jump to an elite cornerback. With minicamp coming up and I’m expecting them to match up against each other, what would the coaches rather see? Watkins showing he is the real deal, but also Gilmore might not be the cornerback they hoped. Or would they rather have Gilmore shut him down, but also raise doubt about whether Watkins was worth what they gave up for him?

Thanks for all your coverage and GO BILLS!
Ethan
Washington DC
CB: In an ideal world for the coaches their head to head play raises the level of both players. That’s the competition that coaches and GM Doug Whaley have talked about all offseason. When the competition level is raised it inherently raises the game of the players involved and that makes the team better.

Gilmore however, is not expected to get a full workload in the team portions of practice next week. Coming off of his surgery he’s expected to be eased back into the practice setting and got a handful of snaps the last week of OTAs.

 

3 – Chris,
Thanks for the great Bills coverage for all of Bills Nation here in the desert southwest. Given the imminent change of ownership and the potential uncertainty that can bring, what is the mood of the Bills employees at OBD. Are people apprehensive regarding salary and benefit restructuring or can everyone, (including yourself) focus and keep it in the background. Thanks and the best of luck.

Hank from Nevada
CB: Our President and CEO Russ Brandon has stated more than once publicly and to us directly that it’s business as usual and we take him at his word. There is no sense in worrying about things we can’t control. So as far as I see it it’s in our best interest to do the best job we can do in the roles that we have until we know more about the future leadership of the organization. Thanks for your concern and well wishes.

 

4 – Chris,

How do you think the coaching staff views Chris Gragg? We keep hearing the Bills don’t have that “new-age” athletic TE on their roster, and if they do it’s Tony Moeaki, but Gragg has an intriguing skill set in my opinion. Is he a guy that they are planning on trying to get more use out of in his second year, or do you think he has an uphill climb to make the final 53?

Thanks!
Josh

CB: I don’t think there’s any debate about Gragg’s athletic skill set. He’s done all the right things this offseason including making it to each of the Bills player passing camps run by EJ Manuel in California and Florida this offseason.

With Scott Chandler limited he had the benefit of getting some first team reps in a rotation with Tony Moeaki and Lee Smith in OTAs.

I spoke to him this past week and he told they’ve expanded his responsibilities in the scope of the offense where he’ll be playing both the ‘Y’ (in line TE position) and the ‘F’ (detached). So there appear to be plans to broaden his role, but he’ll need to outperform both Chandler and Moeaki in camp if he’s going to get any significant playing time this season.

 

 

5 – Hey Chris,
Thanks for the great coverage this off-season. I always look forward to Fan Friday. My Question is in regards to the #3 QB spot. What have Jeff Tuel and, Dennis Dixon been up to this off-season? Tuel showed a lot of promise last pe-season but, clearly wasn’t ready when thrust into the spotlight. I still hold out hope for him. Living in Western Pa. I got to see Dixon play some as a Steeler. The guy has a motor for sure. Do you think Tuel’s spot is safe or does Dixon have a legit chance to overtake him? Maybe try to stash Tuel on the PS?

Thanks again, I look forward to your insight on this.
Scott

CB: At this point it appears that Tuel has the edge on Dixon for the third QB job on the roster. This offseason Tuel has definitely strengthened his body. He’s leaner, but stronger and it’s showing in his escapes from the pocket when a play breaks down and in his arm strength. Dixon is clearly the best athlete when it comes to taking off and running. He would win the footrace of all four QBs easy.

Tuel does have practice squad eligibility, but I’m going to have to check on Dixon. This will be a very hard battle to gauge because their reps on so limited. It’ll likely go all the way to the preseason games before a definitive call can be made.

I will say through the OTA practices I thought Tuel flashed more with the plays that he made.

 

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Limited work the plan for McKelvin, Gilmore

Posted by Chris Brown on June 10, 2014 – 5:28 pm

For the first time this spring starting cornerbacks Leodis McKelvin and Stephon Gilmore got team work in OTAs Tuesday, with both getting a handful of snaps during 11-on-11 red zone work. But with both working their way back from offseason surgeries, they’re not expected to see much more action than that the rest of the spring.

That according to McKelvin himself who spoke with Buffalobills.com after practice concluded.

“We’ll pretty much just wait until training camp,” said McKelvin. “We’ll probably do a lot of the same as what we did today with red zone work and work our way back in there. You never know there may be a couple of reps where we want to try open field, but we’ll see how it goes.”

Gilmore and McKelvin are both coming off hip procedures in the offseason and they’re taking a slow and steady approach to their return to full participation. Watching from the sidelines is a bit easier for each of them with the other starting corner standing next to him.

“We’re on the sideline watching and watching the guys on film and watching their mistakes and what they do on film,” said McKelvin. “When we get out there we just make sure we’re on top of our task and not over work ourselves, but make sure when we’re out there when we do things right.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore hoping to do more next week

Posted by Chris Brown on June 9, 2014 – 12:46 pm

Bills CB Stephon Gilmore has participated on a limited basis in OTA practices to this point. Gilmore is coming off an offseason procedure, and has not done any team work. That could change next week.

“In minicamp they might let me,” said Gilmore. “I can go out there and practice, but we’re being smart about it.”

Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin have both not participated in team work at all during OTAs.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

2 Bills to be on baseball diamond tonight

Posted by Chris Brown on June 6, 2014 – 11:02 am

A pair of Bills players will be toeing the mound tonight in two different states tonight to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at some minor league baseball games.

Stephon Gilmore will be back in his native South Carolina this evening and will throw out the first pitch for the Columbia Blowfish game against the Forest City Owls. Gilmore is scheduled to be on the mound at 7 pm at Capital City Stadium.

Meanwhile Brian Moorman is scheduled to throw out the first pitch at tonight’s Buffalo Bisons game against Toledo. Moorman is scheduled to take the mound at 7 pm.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore listed among top 25 breakout players

Posted by Chris Brown on June 6, 2014 – 10:45 am

Bills CB Stephon Gilmore is still working his way back from an offseason procedure, but Buffalo’s starting cornerback is among the names on a Top 25 list of breakout players for 2014.

Big things were expected from Gilmore in 2013, but a broken wrist suffered in the preseason dramatically hampered his impact on the Bills fortunes last season. CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco has him on his list for 2014. Here’s what he wrote.

Stephon Gilmore, CB, Buffalo Bills — I thought he would be a breakout player last season, but he missed time with a wrist injury. When he played, he still flashed big-time ability. I think this is his year to make a big step toward being on the league’s better corners.

It wasn’t until the last month of the season that Gilmore began to return to full form as a lockdown cornerback. Hopefully he and Leodis McKelvin can stay healthy for most if not all of the 2014 campaign.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kouandjio another pre-draft visitor

Posted by Chris Brown on May 9, 2014 – 9:48 pm

Buffalo’s second round pick Cyrus Kouandjio was the Bills’ last pre-draft visitor, but here on draft weekend he’s the second straight player drafted by Buffalo to make a trip to One Bills Drive prior to the draft.

Top pick Sammy Watkins was also one of Buffalo’s 29 pre-draft visits this spring. The last time Buffalo’s top two picks were both pre-draft visitors was 2012 when Buffalo took Stephon Gilmore and Cordy Glenn.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Clowney just part of Rock Hill football factory

Posted by Chris Brown on February 28, 2014 – 9:00 am

Jadeveon Clowney is going to be a top five pick in the 2014 draft in May. He won’t be the first top 10 pick to hail from Rock Hill, South Carolina. That town in the Palmetto State has churned out pro level football talent for years.

Bills former first-round pick Jeff Burris is from Rock Hill, as well as top 10 pick Stephon Gilmore. And last year Buffalo drafted safety Jonathan Meeks, who is also from Rock Hill.

So what’s in the water in Rock Hill?

“I don’t know. Growing up that’s all we know is football,” Gilmore told Buffalobills.com. “It’s a big town, it’s bragging rights, it’s everything. If you play football in Rock Hill you’re playing it as soon as you come out of your mom. So it’s a great thing to do.”

Rock Hill, which has a population of about 70-thousand, has three 4A high schools in town, Southpoint, Rock Hill and Northwestern.

“I went to the newest high school Southpoint,” said Gilmore. “So did Clowney, and you’ve got Northwestern and Rock Hill high. Meeks went to Rock Hill. All the teams are good. I think Northwestern won the state championship again in football so there’s a lot of talent in Rock Hill.”

Meeks went to Clemson while Clowney and Gilmore played at South Carolina.

meeks-gamecock-cp

Gilmore has been counseling Clowney through the pre-draft process. He was his former teammate in both college and high school.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore turns to yoga

Posted by Chris Brown on February 26, 2014 – 2:33 pm

Bills CB Stephon Gilmore has been busy staying in shape this offseason, and he’s added a new discipline to his workout regimen.

Gilmore is doing yoga for the first time ever.

“I just started it this offseason,” Gilmore told Buffalobills.com. “I’m starting to like it. I think it won’t hurt to keep doing it and I think it’s helped me out so far.”

The Bills top corner admits yoga is anything but easy.

“It’s hard. It’s a workout,” he said. “It’s harder than lifting weights because football players are so strong and so tight, yoga is real hard.”

When asked where it helps him most Gilmore just likes the flexibility it’s given him.

“You just feel more loose,” he said. “It’s hard to explain, but your shoulders and your legs, you just feel like a new person.”

Gilmore said his surgically repaired left wrist is “back to normal” as he was back at One Bills Drive briefly on Wednesday for a check up on the wrist. He is still doing rehabilitation exercises to continue to build strength back into the wrist.


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Gilmore also on All-Emerge team

Posted by Chris Brown on February 17, 2014 – 11:19 am

Over the weekend we mentioned how on MMQB’s All-Emerge Team, LB Kiko Alonso was prominently mentioned. There was another up and coming Bills player, who was given even more praise.

CB Stephon Gilmore was highly praised despite a frustrating season that was compromised by a broken wrist that required surgery and kept him out of the lineup for most of the first half of the season. Here’s what was written about Gilmore as MMQB believes he could be one of the top three cornerbacks in the NFL by the time 2014 is over.

Stephon Gilmore, Bills
The popular cornerback debate is Revis or Sherman? By this time next year, it will be Revis, Sherman or Gilmore? Gilmore is lanky, strong and pliable. His 2012 rookie season was every bit as impressive as Revis’s 2007 rookie season. The only difference was Gilmore played in the quieter part of New York. Almost half of Gilmore’s 2013 sophomore season was lost to a wrist injury, but after he got back to 100 percent, he was soon used as a Cover-0 corner on the left side. This season, expect Gilmore, who is more of a stopper than ball-hawk, to be a Cover-0 corner all over the field, following the opponent’s No. 1 receiver.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-7

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2014 – 2:06 pm

Buffalo’s coaching staff is now complete with the hiring of Rob Moore as receivers coach. Now preparations for the NFL Combine will ensue. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - @ChrisBrownBills

With some mock drafts saying TE Eric Ebron for us that would be a huge upgrade and the big addition the offense needs. Can Buffalo afford Byrd and LT Albert?

JamesKnapp

CB: I think Branden Albert is unlikely based on what Bills GM Doug Whaley said on the John Murphy Show last week. He indicated that they will continue to take a measured approach to free agency and not break the bank on high-priced free agents. Albert would certainly fit into the high-price category.

Here’s what Whaley said at the Senior Bowl a couple of weeks ago.

“We were extremely happy (with our free agents last year),” Whaley said. “I think we’re going to stay that course, value picks, guys that can come in and contribute and we get a real good return on our investment. They’re not going to be big splash guys.”

That being said I do believe they will make every effort to re-sign Jairus Byrd to a long term contract extension.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills Thoughts on Rob Moore ? Cuse guy!

Mikefromplayers

CB: I know Rob Moore’s coaching experience is not lengthy on paper, but having met him here at One Bills Drive and being very familiar with his playing career from the time he was in high school I believe he has a lot to offer Buffalo’s receiving corps. He has an interesting approach that I think will cater well to both the youth and the proven vet in Stevie Johnson in the receivers room.

For those that don’t know his playing career all that well he was a two-time Pro Bowl receiver in his 10-year career and was 1st Team All-Pro in 1997 when he led the league in receiving with 1,584 yards on 97 catches and eight touchdowns.

I anticipate his transition to this staff will be seamless having worked with Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett in the past.

 

3 – Hi Chris,
Thanks for your continued hard work into the offseason. My Question is in regards to this upcoming draft. Buddy Nix always had the take the “best player on the board” Mentality. Do you see anything changing now with Whaley, and maybe start drafting more with the mentality of positional need??

I think the Bills are a lot closer to being a legit playoff team and its only a few “holes” that need to be addressed, And not just take a player just because they are a good football player.

Thanks, Tim in St.Catharines Ont.

CB: I don’t think GM Doug Whaley would debate that they still have a few positions in need of a upgrade. The difference now compared to a few years ago is they don’t have a dire need to plug a hole at almost any position.

Could they use a top flight size WR, a game breaking TE or a young offensive tackle? Absolutely, but they won’t be in deep trouble if they don’t. And with that in mind I think now more than ever they can truly go for the best player on the board.

I think if they’re in a situation where player grades between the top two or three players on the board is negligible they’ll address what they feel is a position of need, but beyond that Whaley seems to believe now more than ever they can go best player on the board regardless of position.

 

4 – Hi Chris,
Thanks for all your info you translate to us fans! My question is, why did we not see what Moeaki or really what Gragg had to offer this season near the end?  Why do teams sign players and never play them? It’s not as though Moeaki was a practice squad player. I really thought the Bills would have liked to see him get on the field and show what he can bring! Your thoughts??
Eileen in Niagara Ont.

CB: I think the offensive staff did want to make more game day use of the two tight ends, but game situations and circumstances compromised those plans. I can say that both players will be in the fold all offseason, which should afford the coaching staff more than enough time to gauge where both should appear on the depth chart as well as the roles they might play.

Also remember that even though the fans didn’t see much of them, the staff saw Gragg every day in practice for all of 2013 and got a month-long look at Moeaki in the practice setting to make some judgments on him. So while the book on those two for fans might be short, it’s not for the coaches. They’ll have a plan for both of them.

 

5 – Hey Chris,

A quick question about Stephon Gilmore. I’ve wondered why he has been so inconsistent and the game against the Steelers indicated to me some of his problems. In a game against a smaller receiver like Antonio Brown, Gilmore seemed overwhelmed and slow. I think his problem is that he plays like a smaller player when he should be using his size as an advantage over smaller receivers by jamming them at the line. Why doesn’t Gilmore play more like Revis? The talent, in my opinion is there, but I feel Gilmore is being used incorrectly.

Thanks,
Tommy in Pittsford


CB:
I think you’re missing the obvious here. Gilmore’s broken wrist, which required surgery prevented him from using the greatest strength of his game. His ability to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage and steer and muscle them around is 75-80 percent of his game. The guy played with one arm and one hand for essentially 10 games last season. He had pins in his wrist.

Essentially he had to play cornerback completely different than he had ever done before, which is why in your words he played like a smaller corner than he looked. When he finally was fully healed you began to see the Gilmore everyone expected. Unfortunately the injury made 2013 somewhat of a lost year for him.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Schwartz excited about DBs as much as DL

Posted by Chris Brown on January 27, 2014 – 6:41 pm

While Bills new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz took notice of the talent on Buffalo’s defensive line just by watching last weekend’s Pro Bowl, he’s also excited about the talent that sits in the Bills defensive backfield.

“In order to win in the NFL you need your front office and organization to all be on the same page and that impressed me right away,” Schwartz told Buffalobills.com. “After that it’s about players. Obviously the Bills have some good defensive players. They have some pieces in place that can fit very well in what we want to do. Not just up front. A lot of attention is paid to those guys up front, but I’ve been very impressed with the secondary also.

“You talk about guys like Jairus Byrd, Stephon Gilmore, Aaron Williams, Leodis McKelvin. Those are some top notch players and I really look forward to working with those guys.”

One thing Schwartz’s defenses lacked in Detroit was continuity in the secondary with a lot of player turnover each and every season. With Gilmore, Aaron Williams, Leodis McKelvin and Nickell Robey locked up for the next couple of years one can understand why Schwartz is encouraged by that talent he’s walking into his first season with in Buffalo.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore played a hunch on INT

Posted by Chris Brown on December 15, 2013 – 11:01 pm

On the biggest defensive play of the game, Stephon Gilmore preserved Buffalo’s 27-20 lead with an interception in the end zone on 3rd-and-goal from the Bills five-yard line with under four minutes left in the game. What you may not know is Gilmore, who had RB Jordan Todman in coverage, did not believe the ball was coming to his assigned receiving target, so he improvised to go make a play.

“It was a three… they had the back out and number one, I was guarding the back,” said Gilmore. “I knew they weren’t going to throw it to number one, so I looked over at number two where the receivers were, I slid off and picked the ball off. I was basically reading the quarterback, I wasn’t really paying the running back any attention. I was looking at the receiver and I was able to make a play on the ball.”

The interception was Gilmore’s second in as many games.


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Gilmore’s play at Tampa recognized

Posted by Chris Brown on December 10, 2013 – 11:23 am

It’s been a long road back for Stephon Gilmore from wrist surgery, but his performance in Sunday’s loss might be his best game of the season.

ProFootballFocus thought so as they graded him out as a +4 in the game, often drawing Vincent Jackson as a coverage assignment. Here’s what they wrote about Gilmore’s performance.

Gilmore’s Best Game
It hasn’t been a great start to Stephon Gilmore’s NFL career, but he played his best game as a pro against the Bucs (+4.0). He allowed only one catch on five targets for 10 yards with an interception and pass deflection. The pick was a thing of beauty as he had perfect position on Vincent Jackson and out-jumped the big wide out to come down with the ball despite significant contact (Q2, 7.07). It’s not often that Jackson gets outmuscled for a downfield pass, but Gilmore did so and made the catch to boot. His pass deflection came in similar circumstances as he ran stride for stride downfield against a good route and then remained patient turning at the perfect moment to get his hands up for the bat down. Aside from the two big plays he forced another incompletion with close coverage but did give up a first down when he was called for holding in the fourth quarter. Gilmore’s only contribution in the run game was a tackle close to the line of scrimmage.


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Leodis rated a top 15 CB

Posted by Chris Brown on December 5, 2013 – 9:09 am

While a lot of the focus has been on the recovery of Stephon Gilmore from his fractured wrist which required surgery, Leodis McKelvin has turned in perhaps his best pro season at the position. That was verified by not only head coach Doug Marrone, but the stat crunchers and film reviewers at ProFootballFocus agree.

Marrone made a point of mentioning how steady McKelvin’s play has been this season. He has the team lead in pass breakups with 14, which is also a single-season career high.

“I’d like to mention Leodis,” said Marrone. “Leodis is playing as well as I’ve seen him play on tape, and I’m really seeing a player that is playing at a very, very high level and getting better. We need him to stay that way and then Stephon needs to get back to where he was, and I feel very comfortable with those two positions.”

ProFootballFocus in their overall ratings for cornerbacks in the NFL have McKelvin ranked 15th in the league after 12 games this season.

 

Ratings

Coverage

#

Name

Team

Snaps

Overall

Rush

Cov.

Run

Pen.

# of Pen

QB Sk

QB Ht

QB Hu

TA

Rec

% Ct

Yds

Avg

YAC

LG

TD

In

PD

NFL Rating

1  Darrelle   Revis TB 704 15.4 0.0 9.7 2.5 3.2 1-0 0 0 0 47 26 55.3 231 8.9 75 36 2 2 5 65.1
2  Tyrann   Mathieu ARZ 765 14.3 2.0 6.3 3.5 2.5 5-1 1 2 9 64 42 65.6 405 9.6 150 29 3 2 5 85.7
3  Jason   McCourty TEN 797 14.1 0.0 9.5 2.0 2.6 2-0 0 0 0 73 45 61.6 522 11.6 128 44 1 0 7 87.8
4  Patrick   Peterson ARZ 853 13.1 0.0 10.6 -0.3 2.8 3-0 0 0 0 73 36 49.3 503 14.0 225 72 6 3 5 82.2
5  Alterraun   Verner TEN 749 13.0 0.0 7.7 1.9 3.4 4-0 0 0 0 55 24 43.6 391 16.3 99 41 0 5 10 30.2
6  Brent   Grimes MIA 853 12.3 -0.4 9.7 -0.7 3.7 2-0 0 0 2 71 43 60.6 572 13.3 196 47 0 4 13 62.6
7  Vontae   Davis IND 746 10.2 0.0 8.8 -1.4 2.8 3-0 0 0 0 67 36 53.7 496 13.8 205 81 7 1 8 106.3
8  Dominique   Rodgers-Cromartie DEN 598 9.8 -0.1 8.1 -0.9 2.7 4-0 0 0 0 56 27 48.2 393 14.6 192 79 3 2 9 74.5
9  William   Gay PIT 736 9.7 1.5 2.4 3.4 2.4 4-0 1 0 2 74 41 55.4 380 9.3 166 27 1 1 5 68.5
10  Richard   Sherman SEA 760 9.4 0.2 6.8 1.0 1.4 5-0 0 1 1 48 27 56.3 437 16.2 156 73 2 4 4 66.1
11  Tramaine   Brock SF 425 9.3 0.0 8.4 -1.0 1.9 0-0 0 0 0 51 28 54.9 384 13.7 139 75 4 4 4 72.7
12  Leon   Hall CIN 276 8.7 -0.3 6.8 0.9 1.3 0-0 0 0 0 36 18 50.0 153 8.5 57 24 1 1 2 59.1
13  Captain   Munnerlyn CAR 717 8.6 -1.0 3.6 3.8 2.2 5-2 0 1 1 72 51 70.8 590 11.6 267 57 1 1 5 94.1
14  Alan   Ball JAX 726 7.3 -0.1 4.6 -0.5 3.3 3-1 0 0 0 52 30 57.7 361 12.0 164 40 1 0 12 85.5
15  Leodis   McKelvin BUF 677 7.2 0.0 6.9 -2.8 3.1 1-0 0 0 0 77 38 49.4 480 12.6 138 38 2 0 9 77.8

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore finally back to normal

Posted by Chris Brown on November 30, 2013 – 9:29 am

It was a long road back from wrist surgery, but only now is Stephon Gilmore again feeling like himself out on the field.

As we profiled on Buffalobills.com today, it’s been a challenging road back to 100 percent for Gilmore, who missed the first five games of the season coming off of wrist surgery in late August. He told Buffalobills.com that only in the past game against the Jets was he truly using his left wrist like he used to with his physical pressing style against wide receivers.

“I feel a lot better, I’m actually using my left hand now; playing with confidence like I always have been,” Gilmore told Buffalobills.com. “I’m actually being myself like I was in training camp.”

Head coach Doug Marrone confirmed that it’s very difficult for players to recover from a long term injury and return to form during the season.

“It is a tough road when you take that much time off and then come back, but he’s done an outstanding job and is playing better and better each week,” Marrone told Buffalobills.com. “I don’t know what his ceiling is, but he could be one of the best corners out there.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills to face Jets with full DB deck

Posted by Chris Brown on November 16, 2013 – 10:25 am

While much is being made of the Bills being down their top two receivers in Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods for today’s game with the Jets, what’s been forgotten is how much different Buffalo’s defensive backfield looks with the unit much healthier than the first time they faced New York back in Week 3.

In that first meeting, top corner Stephon Gilmore was out due to wrist surgery, number two corner Leodis McKelvin suffered a hamstring injury in the first half forcing Aaron Williams to move from safety to corner. And Jairus Byrd was out of the lineup with plantar fasciitis. Now all three are back in the lineup for the divisional rematch today.

“They beat us on some plays down the field obviously and we didn’t have our two starting corners and Jairus Byrd wasn’t back there so we have three players back there now that we feel comfortable with,” Marrone told Buffalobills.com. “So going into this situation we feel a whole lot better in what we have back there than we did the first time played them, even though the first time we played them our guys did the best job they could back there.”

Buffalo’s defensive backs did have one interception off Geno Smith in the first meeting with Jim Leonhard snaring a pass over the middle. Kiko Alonso had an INT as well.

Having all three of those playmakers back in the lineup on the back end will allow defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to be more varied with his looks and more aggressive.

“You can do some different things now when you have those type of players out there that can potentially just lock somebody down,” said Marrone. “We’ve got Aaron Williams back at safety position again and he has man-to-man coverage ability, which he showed at corner. I think it gives us more options and opens up the playbook a bit more.”

Jairus Byrd has four career interceptions against the Jets, the most against any opponent.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills ‘D’ had the clamps on

Posted by Chris Brown on November 3, 2013 – 10:13 pm

Buffalo’s defense had been susceptible to giving up the big play through the first half of the season. That disappeared on Sunday.

The Bills allowed a total of 210 net yards to the Chiefs, the fewest in a loss since they gave up just 193 in the infamous 6-3 loss to Cleveland back on Oct. 11, 2009.

The longest play surrendered by the Bills was a 20-yard pass play from Alex Smith to Anthony Fasano. No other play went for more than 12 yards in the game.

On 10 total possessions, the Chiefs gained more than 35 yards on a drive, just once, their 42-yard field goal drive in the third quarter. That was also the only Kansas City drive that reached the red zone.

“I think we’ve got a good defense,” said Stephon Gilmore. “One thing their defense did, they got turnovers and scored. That’s what we needed as a defense. I just feel like we needed a play on defense to turn the game around for the offense. But we never got that.”

The closest they came was on Jerry Hughes strip sack, but Leodis McKelvin was unable to come up with the loose ball.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

PFF credits play of Kyle, Dareus, Gilmore

Posted by Chris Brown on October 29, 2013 – 10:13 am

The Bills loss to the Saints on Sunday was far from something to celebrate, but ProFootballFocus looks at the play of each individual in the game. There were three players in particular on defense, who performed admirably against New Orleans.

Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus were credited for their play on the defensive interior as they blew up a lot of the inside run plays the Saints attempted. Also credited with solid play was Stephon Gilmore as he was in elite company with his performance on Sunday. Here was PFF’s assessment.

Monsters in the Middle
Though it was in a losing effort, the Bills got a pair of monster performances out of their defensive tackles Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus. Both terrorized center Brian De La Puente all game, with the Saint finishing the day at -4.6 for his efforts. Williams did his part early forcing a punt on New Orleans’ second drive (1Q, 8:36). De La Puente didn’t have much of a chance on the reach block as Williams exploded through the lane vacated by the pull blocker and tackled the running back for a two yard loss. He also had success against left guard Ben Grubbs (e.g. 1Q, 1:16 and 3Q, 13:15), and finished at +4.8 with two sacks, two pressures, and a stop on all three of his tackles.

As with his counterpart, it’s difficult to pick out just a few plays for Dareus (+4.5). He made plays in both run defense and pass rushing against De La Puente as he stopped Khiry Robinson for a short gain at 3:30 of the first. Also at 1:27 of the second quarter Dareus came away with a QB hit (though the play was nullified).

- Stephon Gilmore was one of two cornerbacks this week who played at least 25% of defensive snaps and didn’t give up a single yard in coverage (34 snaps). The other was Darrelle Revis.  

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore on playing minus the club

Posted by Chris Brown on October 27, 2013 – 10:01 pm

Sunday was Stephon Gilmore’s third appearance of the season following wrist surgery. It was also his first without the club that rendered his left hand completely useless to the cornerback.

Gilmore wore just a wrist guard on Sunday against the Saints giving him use of his fingers on his left hand for the first time this season.

“It felt good, I actually felt like myself,” said Gilmore. “I got my hands on receivers so I felt good. It was the doctor’s choice to let me go without the club. Once he told me, I was happy and felt like myself.”

Gilmore, who had one tackle in the game and was not targeted much by Drew Brees, will probably have to wear the guard for a bit moving forward.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore has fingers on left hand out

Posted by Chris Brown on October 27, 2013 – 12:13 pm

Stephon Gilmore will have more use of his left hand today.

Gilmore has just a wrist guard on that will leave him with at least some use of his left hand.

He should be able to at least make use of his left hand in some capacity, which is an edge for him compared to what he previously had with the club.


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Posted in Inside the Bills