Inside The Bills

Report: Bears to take a run at Gilmore

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2017 – 6:59 pm

A day after Bills head coach Sean McDermott indicated that Stephon Gilmore would reach the free agent market, there’s a report that the Chicago Bears will be loading up to try to get him under contract when the market opens March 9th.

That according to the Chicago Tribune. With more than $50 million in cap space the Bears are expected to be aggressive early players in the market. Whether they can meet Gilmore’s asking price, which is expected to be around $15M a year, remains to be seen.

The Bills said they would monitor Gilmore’s situation as he hit the market. Other clubs can begin negotiating with the agent for prospective free agents on Tuesday March 7th, but deals cannot be consummated until March 9th.

Chicago is also said to be targeting Tampa Bay free agent Mike Glennon as an answer at quarterback.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore, Glenn out for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2016 – 1:06 pm

The Bills will be without Stephon Gilmore and Cordy Glenn for Sunday’s season finale against the Jets. Both are out due to injury this week. Kevon Seymour is expected to start for Gilmore at right cornerback. Cyrus Kouandjio is expected to start at left tackle.

Here’s a look at the game status for the rest of Buffalo’s injured players.

OUT
CB Stephon Gilmore – concussion
OT Cordy Glenn – back

QUESTIONABLE
WR Sammy Watkins – foot
LB Zach Brown – illness
TE Charles Clay – knee
LB Preston Brown – foot
DT Kyle Williams – back
G John Miller – hip


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-30

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2016 – 11:28 am

A lot of change this week, with more to come this offseason (23 unrestricted free agents). Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills 

What is the general mood/feeling amongst the players right now, post Rex firing?

Matthew Rule
@MatthewtheRule

CB: I think players are disappointed and feel some measure of guilt, knowing the results on the field played a role in the decision that ownership made on Rex Ryan. At the same time there are some players like Sammy Watkins and other vets, who in the wake of the change made at the head coaching position feels there needs to be more discipline and harder coaching at the top.

Knowing there are 23 unrestricted free agents on this roster, there are also a number of players who are going to be supremely motivated to good the best possible product on tape this Sunday. Chief among them is EJ Manuel, who has an opportunity to put fresh game tape out there to show where he has advanced his game.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills
Why are the Bills the way that they are?

Christopher Gump
@gumpcd0315

CB: I think the easiest way to explain it is when you haven’t found a viable solution for your head coaching position, you have to make a change in an effort to find the right fit and improve. But that constant change also makes it hard for a team to gain traction and make progress. That’s where this team is right now.
3 – @ChrisBrownBills
Who is more likely to re-sign with Buffalo, Gilmore or Woods?

Dave
@Billsfanhanes

CB: Good question. I’m not going to pretend to know Doug Whaley’s priority list, but I think Gilmore is probably a more important component. As encouraging as Kevon Seymour’s rookie season has been, keeping Gilmore in the fold would be a good thing. For that to happen though I think his presumed asking price will have to come down a bit.

As for Woods, it’s a hard one to gauge. I think the organization respects Woods’ game and his willingness to play hurt. But the market for receivers with his kind of production will put him close to $9M per season. If the team wants to add a different kind of skill set to the receiving corps, then it might be hard to justify that kind of spending for Woods.

I’m not saying he isn’t worth it. I just don’t know if in Buffalo’s offseason planning they deem that kind of figure to be money well spent when they’re likely to look at other options, and other positions for that matter, where they need help.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills
Are we looking at keeping Hunter? I think he’s a good fit in our O.

Jamal
@mrmajic73

CB: This is one of those other options I was referencing in the above answer on Woods. There is no debating that Hunter’s skill set is tantalizing. The Bills aren’t the first team to be attracted to his physical skill set. What they have to determine is whether Hunter has the sense of urgency and professionalism to do things the right way every day, in every practice and in every game.

Hopefully they’ve been around him long enough (three quarters of this season) to have a healthy handle on the type of work ethic he has and whether a quality receivers coach (Sanjay Lal is one by the way) can develop his game further.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills Seems DBs took a step back this year. What impact do you think the loss of Donnie Henderson had on the defense this season?

Justin Crow
@jcrowrva

CB: I certainly understand the question because the consistency of defensive back play did take a step back this season, or at the very least was inconsistent. When asked specifically about it, defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, who is a former cornerback himself, did admit that lapses in technique proved to be their biggest issue.

What’s tough to answer is who at fault for that? Is it the coaches for not drilling it more often in practice? Is it the players for not adhering to it enough in game situations?

You have to believe if the coaching staff knows technique is the problem in a game (e.g. Week 2 against the Jets), then they’re going to emphasize it more in practice. Are they drilling it in a way for players to effectively understand and apply properly? Are the players equipped physically to execute the technique being taught, or must a different approach be taken? Are the players being professional in trying to fix the errors they made in previous games?

You can get pretty deep down that rabbit hole before you find an answer.

I think the defensive back play did see a noticeable uptick in the second half of the season, so there was effective coaching and player improvement. This team is going to finish in the top 10 in pass defense. Part of that is due to the team’s struggling run defense, but pass defense has improved since some of its struggles in the first half of the season.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Glenn, Gilmore, Kyle unable to practice

Posted by Chris Brown on December 29, 2016 – 3:32 pm

Three of Buffalo’s starters weren’t able to go in practice Thursday.

OT Cordy Glenn, CB Stephon Gilmore and DT Kyle Williams all were unable to practice. Glenn and Kyle both have back injuries. Glenn missed last week’s game and hasn’t practiced yet this week. Williams has cut back his practice workload to play last week and might be doing the same this week.

Gilmore is still in the concussion protocol so Kevon Seymour might get the start if Gilmore can’t play Sunday.

QB Tyrod Taylor was given a veteran’s rest day according to head coach Anthony Lynn.

“He got a veteran’s day off,” said Lynn. “It’s a lot easier to be off your feet and staying inside rather than being out here on a turf field for two or three hours doing nothing. So I gave him a veteran’s day off.”

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
OT Cordy Glenn – back
CB Stephon Gilmore – concussion
DT Kyle Williams – back
QB Tyrod Taylor – rest day

LIMITED IN PRACTICE
G John Miller – hip
WR Sammy Watkins – foot

FULL PRACTICE
LB Lerentee McCray – concussion
LB Jerry Hughes – hamstring

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-23

Posted by Chris Brown on December 23, 2016 – 11:22 am

Merry Christmas Bills fans! Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills some people think Bills should experiment Cordy at RT and keep Cyrus at LT thoughts?

Derek Babcock
@armyguy702

CB: What makes this suggestion so interesting is gone are the days where the left tackle has to be your absolute best lineman. Most NFL defenses have two quality pass rushers on either side of their formation. Perfect example is this week’s opponent. The better pass rusher is Cameron Wake, but he lines up on the left side of Miami’s defensive formation, which means he’ll be facing RT Jordan Mills.

So each week it’s not an absolute. The point I’m trying to make is moving Glenn to right tackle is not as big a deal as it might have been 10-15 years ago. Now does that mean that it will happen? That depends.

We have to see how the offseason unfolds in terms of who is retained in free agency and who is not. Jordan Mills is set to become an unrestricted free agent. As a starter on this roster for the last year and a half, he’ll presumably command a pretty respectable price tag.

Knowing that Seantrel Henderson’s long term health is a touch and go situation, if the Bills want to retain Mills they’ll have to put together an offer that is at least competitive with market value.

The caveat here is what the organization thinks of Kouandjio. He’s certainly made some sizable strides with his game this year. Just this week he also stated that he feels he has better motor memory on the left side instead of the right.

Kouandjio’s rookie contract is up after 2017. If they decide they want to invest long term in Kouandjio it could impact the size of any extension offer they might present to Mills.

If Mills is ultimately not retained I think the scenario you suggest could at least be a consideration, knowing that Kouandjio would presumably be elevated to starter opposite Glenn. And knowing Kouandjio feels more comfortable playing the left side, Glenn being flipped to the right is not out of the realm of possibility.

Just keep in mind that a lot of dominoes have to fall to get to that point.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills Chris, what the hell is going on over there?!

Andy Mac
@XKC4338

CB: I think based on some of the national media tweets/reports there is a general perception that the sky is falling at One Bills Drive. Embedded at the facility every day I can say it truly is business as usual. There is no sense of foreboding in the building. Coaches and players are interacting as they typically do. Management is interacting with the coaching staff as they usually do. And there is no indication that anybody is walking on eggshells around here.

As GM Doug Whaley stated in his radio interview Friday morning, the focus is on the Dolphins. And quite frankly if there were coaches and players in the building who weren’t focused on that, then there would be a problem.  

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills Are the Bills liking Seymour starting? Do they have faith in Darby to step in next year as a cheaper option to Gilmore?

Patmerica
@PatBle

CB: Much like the first question above, this is something that will be evaluated in the offseason. I know that management and the coaching staff is very excited about Seymour’s potential. I have to say taking the time to watch him work against Oakland’s Amari Cooper when Ronald Darby was out of the lineup, he performed well. His only blemish was getting beat on a double move for a TD. That might sound bad, but his performance on the whole in that game was quite good. It was encouraging to see him step up and play that well.

I think the club wholeheartedly believes in Darby, and I think they’re encouraged about the ceiling for Seymour. In an ideal world they’re able to re-sign Gilmore, but if his asking price is still in the Josh Norman stratosphere ($15M/yr) I just don’t see it happening in Buffalo.

In that case the Bills would have to move on and go with Darby as their No. 1 and Seymour would compete to be the No. 2 with whomever else might be added (free agency/draft).

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills #FanFriday Is the lack of a “2 min drill” or urgency at end of half/game more on TT, Rex or Lynn? It’s been 2 yrs of this.

Joe Maglie@rockdj69

CB: I respect the point you’re making. Part of Buffalo’s success in two-minute situations is about opportunity, but unquestionably part of it has been a reluctance to really push the ball down the field.

This might sound surprising, but Buffalo is ranked 10th in the league in scoring at the end of the first half, when I believe most fans have taken issue with Rex Ryan’s approach offensively. According to Statspass, the Bills have scored 52 points at the end of the half this season, which is slightly above the NFL average (48 pts).

When it comes to points scored on their first possession of the second half Buffalo is tied for sixth in the league with 37 points.

It’s my belief that their success rate coming out after halftime has prompted the Bills to play it a bit more conservative at the end of the first half.

I think an overlooked factor with Buffalo’s decision to be conservative at the end of the first half on offense is rooted in their desire to keep their opponent from scoring before the half expires.

Buffalo’s offense by nature is a ball control offense. With Sammy Watkins out for half the season their ability to have a quick strike scoring drive was severely hampered. It’s my belief that Rex Ryan felt his best defense at the end of the half was an offense that held onto the ball, knowing they’d have the ball again to start the second half in all but a couple of games this season.

Proof of that approach working for the most part this season (it didn’t at Oakland), is Buffalo ranks fifth in the NFL in preventing scores by their opponents at the end of the half. They’ve given up just 27 points all season at the end of the second quarter.

And I credit their offense for holding onto the ball and not giving it back to their opponent almost as much as I credit Buffalo’s defense for that statistic.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills if the Bills, simply by luck of geography, were in AFC South, would futures of Rex, Whaley & Tyrod look much diff right now?

Parasauralophus@lophus89

CB: Your question is an interesting one to ponder. Having two games against the Jaguars sounds a whole lot better than two games against the Patriots. Perception can often impact an opinion of the job being done by a head coach, quarterback or organization in general.

I think we can all agree that Buffalo would likely have more than seven wins if they played in the AFC South. So that very well could alter the public opinion of Rex Ryan, Doug Whaley and the team in general.

But that’s not reality. You have to deal with where you are and Buffalo is in the AFC East.

Doug Whaley said they’re not satisfied with where they sit, but they are what they are at 7-7, which is average. They want better, just like all Bills fans do. Only ownership knows if they’re opportunity to achieve better beyond this year will be in the cards.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

A statistical look at Darby & Gilmore

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2016 – 9:00 am

The play in the secondary was a major focus this week of head coach Rex Ryan. Saying he’s tired of the mistakes, and attributing the majority of the issues in getting beat deep to technique, Ryan opened Ronald Darby’s left cornerback position to competition as well as Nickel Robey-Coleman’s nickel position and the safety position next to Corey Graham, which had been most recently occupied by Robert Blanton.

However, the cornerbacks specifically have been the ones under fire for giving up big plays. So let’s look at how their defensive numbers in coverage compare to that of last season when Darby and Gilmore were among the league leaders in pass breakups.

As you can see in the table below the completion percentage against both Darby and Gilmore is up. Opposing QBs are completing passes against Darby about seven percent more than last year and against Gilmore it’s about 11 percent more.

Though just 56 percent of the season is in the books (9 games), Gilmore has already allowed 72 percent of the yardage he surrendered last year.

Darby, who has played in one fewer game, has already allowed 76 percent of last year’s yardage in half the games.

Their pass breakups are just slightly off from last year’s pace. Gilmore is on pace to have as many if not more interceptions this season. Darby has yet to field an interception this season.

Yr & Player Targets Completions Comp. Pct. TDs Rec. yards PBUs INTs
2015 – Darby 107 54 50.50% 3 647 21 2
2016 – Darby 49 28 57.10% 3 491 9 0
2015 – Gilmore 93 44 47.30% 4 611 18 3
2016 – Gilmore 41 24 58.50% 1 440 7 2

Whether the two boundary corners can lock things down over the final seven games will be rooted mainly in technique because the opportunities will be there. Knowing the struggles they’ve had they will be tested, especially today against a Cincinnati team that likes to push the ball down the field.

A.J. Green leads the NFL with seven catches of 30 or more air yards. Add in the fact that the Bills have allowed six 100-yard receivers this season, matching the total from all of last year and you see why opposing offenses will be more than willing to take their shots.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Brady & 2 TE combo will be a test

Posted by Chris Brown on October 30, 2016 – 9:18 am

The Bills know the Patriots did not have Tom Brady or a healthy Rob Gronkowski playing in the first meeting between the two teams. With Gronk averaging 121 yards receiving in the three games since Tom Brady returned to the lineup, the Patriots two tight end combination is going to be a tall order.

“You got two of the best tight ends in the league, you’ve got quick receivers outside that make plays in space, and you’ve got a running back who’s running with the best in the league,” said Preston Brown. “So definitely a tough challenge for us, but we’re ready for it.”

Brown referenced New England big back LeGarrette Blount, who is among the league leaders in rushing.

Brown’s teammate Stephon Gilmore warns that if too much attention is paid to Martellus Bennett and Gronkowski that the Patriots other weapons can hurt you.

“Yeah they’ve got two great tight ends now. They used to have one. So we’ve got to be on them two guys and they’ve got (Julian) Edelman, you know, work the slot. (Chris) Hogan making plays. So we’ve got to be real physical with them guys. You know, we’ve got to get to them,” Gilmore said. “That’s the main thing. We’ve got to get to them and make them make second guess and go from there.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Corey White proves to be heck of an understudy

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2016 – 9:38 am

Bills fans may have been nervous when they saw that Ronald Darby was inactive against one of the most high flying offenses in the NFL. But Bills players knew they had Corey White to step up and step in.

All White did was capably handle coverage assignments against the likes of Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald and Jaron Brown and come close to leading the team in tackles.

White had nine tackles, which was second only to Zach Brown with 12. He also had one of Buffalo’s four fourth quarter interceptions.

“Corey is a good cornerback,” said Stephon Gilmore. “When he came in he made plays. He’s very instinctive. That’s what you’ve got to do when somebody goes down. Somebody has to step up and not have that much drop off and he did that. He had a great day. D-line had a great day, the linebackers got to the quarterback and we made plays on the back end.”

“That’s what we harp on,” said White. “We’re DBs and and we want to make plays. When the ball is in the air we gotta feel like it’s ours every play. That’s what we’ve been doing in training camp, OTAs. We just made plays on the ball.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-9

Posted by Chris Brown on September 9, 2016 – 11:54 am

Finally it’s time for the regular season! Here is the latest edition of your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris…

Was Dan Carpenter’s 2015 season a fluke or is there real concern? And is the rookie Marshall Morgan a legit replacement if needed or might they sign another vet?

Thanks…
Rick McGuire
(mclennon99)

CB: I think Carpenter’s only problem last season was extra points. He was 23-27 on field goals, so his field goal percentage was in the same relative range it always is. He missed four attempts in 2014, three in 2013 and five in 2012 (his last year with the Dolphins).

The extra point issue is difficult to explain. Carpenter has pointed to the fact that his hamstring injury a week before training camp cost him valuable reps. He basically missed all of camp and did not kick much in the preseason. So his preparation going into the season was not what it typically is. His swing wasn’t sharp and the extra point results made it evident.

The good news is this preseason Carpenter appears to be back to his old reliable self. His two 52-yard field goals at Washington on grass pretty much eliminated any doubt that anyone might have that he’s back. So I’m anticipating a solid season from Buffalo’s kicker.

 

2 – Hey Chris,

Thanks for answering my last question directly. It seems concerning a long term deal for Gilmore that if they can’t make a deal that the only thing left would be to use the tag next year, but that too would result in a high salary based on the existing salaries that are in place.

Bob

CB: I think both sides would prefer a long term extension. GM Doug Whaley said himself it’s going to be a process. I think there are a lot of things that have to be worked out in terms of average annual salary, guaranteed money, bonuses, etc.

There have also been extensions signed by other cornerbacks of late that have soared above the perceived market value for top corners (see: Josh Norman) and have been more in line with what the Bills might be more apt to hand out (see: Darius Slay).

Hopefully the prospect of the franchise tag will be enough of a deterrent for both sides to reach a multi-year extension.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills What is the key matchup you are looking at this Sunday against the Ravens? #GoBills

Karl Feltes@Karl_79

CB: Key matchup for me is LeSean McCoy against Baltimore’s linebackers. I like the matchup for Buffalo because McCoy’s speed and elusiveness is a bad match for the Ravens. Baltimore’s linebackers are stack and stuff types not run and hit linebackers. If Greg Roman can get McCoy isolated in one-on-one matchups in space at the second level he’ll be a very big headache for Baltimore’s defense.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills what do you think about @buffalobills winning 9 or 10 games? #gobills

Magic Mike Ferrara@notwhipped4life

CB: I think it’s realistic. The main reason why is I think Tyrod Taylor’s play at quarterback will take the next step. The advancements I’ve seen in his game has me confident that he’ll be able to pull out two to three games in the end that perhaps the Bills were unable to win in years past. Those two or three wins I believe will be the difference this season.
5 – Chris,

Why does it seem there is no concern for the back-up quarterback position? EJ has shown flashes but his inconsistency of play scares me. Week 7 against the Jags, EJ posted a 19.2 QBR with a 2nd quarter, 3 consecutive play meltdown. This resulted in a fumble recovered for touchdown, interception recovered for touchdown and an interception in a game we should have and needed to win but didn’t.

With Tyrod being a quarterback who isn’t afraid to use his legs, I feel it is more likely the our QB2 keeps us from reaching the Superbowl than the #3 wideout battle, the running back depth or who is going to play OLB with both Lawson’s out. Do you think the Bills will look to add a vet QB before the start of the regular season? How does EJ’s production rank compared to other back-ups in the league? How has his play looked in practice?

Brady from Vermont

CB: I know that a lot of fans lost their faith in EJ Manuel as a backup QB after watching that Jacksonville game. Everyone remembers the three major errors, and I’m not saying they should be dismissed. What also shouldn’t be dismissed is the fact that after those mistakes, Manuel helped the Bills climb back into that game and ultimately take the lead late before a horrible pass interference call on Nickell Robey-Coleman gave the Jaguars an extra set of downs leading to the winning TD late in the game.

After his second interception in the second quarter, which followed his sack fumble that was returned for a TD and his INT that was returned for a TD, EJ Manuel went 8-12 passing for 80 yards on the last two drives of the half with a touchdown pass capping one drive and the other leading to a field goal.

In fact for the rest of the game after those three straight turnover drives in the second quarter, Manuel for the rest of the game went 20-30 passing for 248 yards and two touchdowns. He led the team on drives that helped the Bills score 21 of 28 unanswered points with Corey Graham providing the go ahead TD on an interception return.

As the saying goes adversity often reveals a person’s true character. After that disastrous four or five minutes of the game, Manuel came back and got his team back in the game. I still remember Greg Roman in the locker room after the game telling Manuel that he showed him something in the way he played after those turnovers.

It was a hugely disappointing win, but Buffalo’s offensive coordinator respected Manuel’s resolve and ability to bounce back.

I’m not trying to be an apologist for Manuel, but the guy works his rear end off and I believe is a much better backup than most of what the rest of the league has in their No. 2 spot.

Take a look around the league at some of the names and you’d be hard pressed to find even a few teams with better options.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore unaffected by rematch with OBJ

Posted by Chris Brown on August 19, 2016 – 10:25 am

Last season Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. had his share of run-ins with defensive backs. Most notably Josh Norman as the two came to blows. There were also issues between Beckham Jr. and the Bills last season. After an interception in the game by Stephon Gilmore last season Beckham could be seen throwing a punch at Duke Williams during Gilmore’s return. He also was accused by Preston Brown of striking him when Brown was trying to defend one of his teammates. So will emotions come bubbling to the surface Saturday afternoon?

Gilmore doesn’t believe there’s a score to settle, especially in a preseason game, but he does promise to play at his best.

“I mean anytime I step in between the lines, I’m going to play hard no matter what,” Gilmore said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s preseason, regular season I’m going to play as hard as I can. I’m just going out and like anybody else not try to let him catch the ball, you know. That’s my goal to try to play physical as I can.”

 

Gilmore, who though intensely competitive, is a pretty cool, collected player. He got in an Instagram image battle with Beckham Jr. last spring from their matchup in 2015 when Gilmore and Darby held Beckham Jr. to five catches for just 38 yards and no touchdowns.

Beckham Jr., who sat out the Giants preseason opener, is expected to play Saturday at New Era Field against Buffalo.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

With Taylor signed, focus shifts to Gilmore

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2016 – 3:47 pm

Bills GM Doug Whaley was very pleased last Friday to announce that Tyrod Taylor had agreed to a multi-year contract agreement. He’s hoping he’ll get another opportunity to make such an announcement with another talented player on Buffalo’s roster.

With Taylor now under contract, Whaley, in an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, said the club can focus squarely on 2017 free agent to be Stephon Gilmore.

“It allows us to put all of our focus on Stephon Gilmore,” said Whaley. “It gives us a chance to say we have one piece of the puzzle done. Let’s try to get another piece of the puzzle done. Let’s not forget the fact that we have high profile players and they’re going to command top dollars. So we’re going to have to try our best to get them done. Will we get it done? We hope so, but it’s going to be process just like Tyrod’s contract.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-12

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2016 – 11:05 am

We’re on the cusp of preseason game number one for the Bills as they host the Colts Saturday night at 7 pm at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Here is the latest edition of your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Is Aaron Williams’ injury potentially serious? If so, how long would he miss?

@kevinwh1te3

CB: We do not yet know the severity of Williams’ injury sustained at practice Thursday night. He was being evaluated for a possible concussion. We hope to learn more soon, but I think this all but guarantees he will not see any action at safety Saturday night.


2 –
@ChrisBrownBills

How has Aaron Williams looked in camp so far?

@JaredBailey23

CB: Williams has admitted that he is taking the path back to full contact slowly coming off his neck surgery. Unfortunately Thursday night’s collision happened without him having any choice as to how involved he wanted to be.

He’s trying to be that leader in the secondary while also balancing the aggressiveness of his play on the field. It cannot be an easy task for him. So hopefully he comes out of the collision with Dez Lewis without suffering a major setback in his road back to full contact play.
3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you get tired of fans and media having a short rope with GMs and coaches?

@FitzCT

CB: I have been covering this team for the entire playoff drought and then some. I recognize and understand the frustration of Bills fans. They just want a winner, and they’re at the point where patience has run out and if they don’t think a GM or coach is capable of getting the team to the postseason they don’t want to wait around another year to see if the fortunes will change.

But in the NFL time and again it has been proven that continuity pays off more often than not. And constant change does not. Fortunately the Pegulas despite being young in the NFL ownership business understand this. So I anticipate them staying the course beyond this year.

Does that mean they’ll be satisfied if the team doesn’t reach the postseason in 2016? Absolutely not. They want to win, badly. And for that matter so does Doug Whaley and Rex Ryan.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

How confident are you in the safety depth behind A. Williams and C. Graham?

@Seeairuhyo

CB: While I am encouraged by what I’ve seen from Robert Blanton in the practice setting and improved play from Jonathan Meeks, whose career has been interrupted by injuries, I need to see more in the preseason before I can feel comfortable with what the Bills have behind the two incumbent starters at safety.

Things look good on the practice field, but I want to see it translate to the game field for some hard evidence that the Bills are going to be okay there beyond their starters.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Hey Chris, if the Bills are in fact able to extend Taylor, would you expect Gilmore to get tagged if no deal is done? #Bills

@Josh_McCarty28

CB: Under your hypothetical situation the Bills could make use of the tag if necessary. Really the franchise tag would only buy the Bills some time in keeping Gilmore on the roster. Common ground ultimately has to be reached if Gilmore is to stay here long term.

I think Buffalo will have to be very creative to make a long term deal palatable to Gilmore in light of where the cornerback market has gone this offseason. Hopefully the Darius Slay deal with Detroit helps stabilize the going rate a bit more.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Gilmore says he’ll report to camp

Posted by Chris Brown on July 25, 2016 – 11:40 am

Stephon Gilmore may have hinted at possibly not being on hand at the start of Bills training camp, but at the end of minicamp, where he did not participate, Gilmore when asked if he’d sit out at training camp if he didn’t have a new deal indicated he wouldn’t.

“Probably not. I’m a competitor,” said Gilmore last month. “I’m going to go in and work like I do. Whatever happens, happens. I’m going to put it on film, put up what I do on film and it’ll speak for itself.”

On Monday Gilmore has apparently echoed those sentiments with ESPN’s Josina Anderson.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore & Taylor among top 25 2017 free agents

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2016 – 12:06 pm

Call it putting the cart before the horse, but it’s a relatively slow time on the NFL calendar with still a week before NFL training camps open. So ESPN Insider John Clayton ranked the top 25 NFL free agents for 2017 and not surprisingly, a pair of Bills made the list.

Stephon Gilmore and Tyrod Taylor, both of whom are entering the final year of their current contracts, made the top 25 list. Gilmore ranked 25th and Taylor ranked 16th. Here’s what Clayton wrote about each of them.

25. Stephon Gilmore, CB, Buffalo Bills: Gilmore has threatened to hold out of training camp because of his contract. He’s likely to get a big extension from Buffalo.

16. Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills: Taylor proved last season that he can be an above-average starting quarterback. With a big season in 2016, he could get a long-term deal in Buffalo or from another team on the open market.

While the Bills would certainly like to sign both players to long-term extensions, the skewing of the cornerback market by the $15M per year contract signed by Josh Norman complicates things concerning Gilmore. Taylor probably just needs to show progress, boost his production numbers – particularly on third down and in the red zone – and the Bills would be comfortable signing him long term.


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Fan Friday 7-22

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2016 – 11:39 am

Only a week until training camp opens Bills fans. We’ll be covering it all for you here on Buffalobills.com. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

If the Bush ship sails, any chance that Rex gives Ray Rice his last chance?

@GraysonTumult

CB: I really can’t see that happening. With such a greater focus on domestic violence in the NFL these days, which includes a league wide ad campaign to raise awareness on the subject, I can’t see Buffalo taking that kind of step.

Last year’s training camp should serve as a perfect example on the likelihood of that happening. All five running backs on Buffalo’s training camp roster were all injured at the same time last summer and Ray Rice was not brought in. I don’t see that changing if Reggie Bush elects to sign and play elsewhere.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you think the Bills pass on signing Gilmore if Kevon Seymour has a great preseason?

@ZWinterberg

CB: While I think your question is a valid one, I believe the likelihood of signing Gilmore to a long term extension has more to do with the market value of top flight cornerbacks than it does with how well Kevon Seymour comes along in the preseason.

I think they’d like to return Gilmore to the fold long term, but the state of the cornerback market might not allow it.

As I’ve stated more than once on this very page, the Josh Norman deal completely turned the market value at cornerback on its ear. Getting $15M per season from Washington after his franchise tag was rescinded by Carolina threw the cornerback market completely out of whack.

If a zone corner can get $15M/yr. then upcoming free agents like Stephon Gilmore who play almost exclusively man-to-man will likely see getting that much or probably more as fair market value. I’m confident the Bills are not going to enter the $15M/yr. territory.

Could I see the Bills going $12.5M/yr. like the Giants free agent deal for Janoris Jenkins this spring?

Yes.

Would that be enough for Gilmore?

I think it would need to have a lot more guaranteed money than Jenkins’ $28.8M has in his contract for it to happen.

The Norman deal unfortunately could push negotiations between the Bills and Gilmore into an area where Buffalo could potentially be fiscally irresponsible as it pertains to the rest of their roster. And the Bills probably won’t, and should not, do that.

I think if Seymour performs well in the preseason it only helps the Bills front office breathe a bit easier should they reach an impasse with the Gilmore camp on a new contract. At least then they would feel like they have a promising prospect in the pipeline to eventually replace Gilmore in 2017 if all hope is lost on a Gilmore extension.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

With suspensions and off field stuff at RB, do you anticipate McCoy being very limited through camp and preseason?

@rockydm92

CB: I think the plan all along was to limit LeSean McCoy’s workload through training camp and the preseason. It has less to do with the recent suspension of Karlos Williams and DUI arrest of Jonathan Williams, and more to do with what happened last summer at training camp.

After sustaining his hamstring injury, McCoy was not the same player for the 2015 season. He was still very good, but not the game breaking talent that has made him one of the most dynamic backs in the league.

The Bills want to ensure they have the game breaking McCoy in their offensive backfield come September, so the plan all along was to pace McCoy. Give him enough work where he’s ready for the regular season, but not so much that he runs the risk of injury or going into the season hobbled.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills would Donald Trump still be able to run for president if he succeeded in purchasing the team?

@JLasher10

CB: Based on what I’ve been able to uncover with respect to executive branch government employees and conflicts of interest, there are ethics rules that require them to divest themselves of stock or property only if they are appointed to their positions (e.g. Secretary of the Treasury). Trump however, would be holding an elected position so those rules would not apply to him.

So not having an expert background by any means on government employee bylaws it appears he can continue as CEO and President of his Trump organization while also serving as President of the United States were he elected.

So if his business holdings included ownership of an NFL team that would appear to be permissible as well.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

How was John Miller looking through OTAs?

@JustinWestfall

CB: Keeping in mind that Miller as an offensive lineman is not playing real football in the spring practices as it pertains to his playing duties (full contact blocking) it’s hard to provide you with a true picture of how he performed on the field. That being said I can tell you that Miller has benefitted from an offseason in an NFL strength and conditioning program as opposed to prepping for the NFL Combine and pre-draft workouts.

I just think he’s the kind of player that will make quality advances in his game as a second-year player based on the 12 games of experience he got last year. Keep in mind also that he played most of last season injured with a high-ankle sprain. Now that he’s healthy it’ll be interesting to see how he can perform when he’s 100 percent.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Gilmore back in the building

Posted by Chris Brown on June 13, 2016 – 12:46 pm

Bills CB Stephon Gilmore is back at One Bills Drive. Choosing to skip the voluntary OTA practice sessions this spring, Gilmore is expected to be on hand for this week’s mandatory minicamp. What his level of participation will be remains to be seen, but Gilmore did offer a shout out to Bills fans courtesy of the Bills twitter account.

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Gilmore is entering the final year of his rookie contract after the team picked up his fifth-year option in May of 2015. The Bills and Gilmore camp are trying to negotiate a long term contract extension.

Bills minicamp runs Tuesday through Thursday this week.


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Market provides range for Gilmore contract

Posted by Chris Brown on June 10, 2016 – 2:34 pm

More than enough new deals have been struck at the cornerback position this offseason to establish concrete parameters for a long term contract extension for Bills CB Stephon Gilmore. Of course as everyone knows it takes two to tango.

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show this week, CBS Sports salary cap analyst Joel Corry explained why the parameters for a Gilmore deal are already in place from the contracts that have already been consummated for other NFL cornerbacks. Chief among them the deal that Washington put up to land Josh Norman.

“Anytime you get a guy setting a bar at a position it has a trickle down effect,” said Corry. “So it’s going to raise these salaries for those who won’t quite reach that level. So it benefits Gilmore.

“I think where the deal will end up is somewhere between the $14M range where you have Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman and then you have Joe Haden at $13.5M and the Janoris Jenkins at $12.5M, basically $29M guaranteed,” said Corry. “The deal should be in between those two parameters.”

 

 


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Signing Gilmore & Taylor to extensions feasible

Posted by Chris Brown on June 10, 2016 – 1:34 pm

The Bills have methodically taken care of some of the more important expiring contracts on their roster this offseason. Richie Incognito and Cordy Glenn are the two primary examples. Next up is considered to be Stephon Gilmore and Tyrod Taylor. Some outside observers wonder if Buffalo has enough cap room to lock up both long term. One expert says yes.

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show, Corry explained why signing both Taylor and Gilmore to long term extensions is not going to be impacted by the cap space Buffalo has at their disposal.

“It’s easily do-able because Gilmore can create his own cap room from his fifth-year option of slightly over $11 million. In the extension you could convert a significant portion of that into signing bonus, so you would lower his cap number as well. So you would create some cap room with an extension. Since you have $12 million in cap room already you could structure a deal where you can get Taylor done as well,” said CBSSports.com’s NFL salary cap analyst Joel Corry. “Cap room won’t be an issue.”

 


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Gilmore tabbed as 1st-time Pro Bowler for 2016

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2016 – 1:15 pm

Bills CB Stephon Gilmore is entering a contract year though the club hopes to sign the talented cornerback to a long-term contract extension before next spring’s free agent period. If Gilmore has the season NFL.com predicts it could prove good for Gilmore and the Bills.

NFL.com put together a list of nine players they see performing so well in 2016 that it will vault them to their first career Pro Bowl nod. Gilmore made the list coming in at number six.

6. Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo Bills cornerback: Ronald Darby, Gilmore’s tag-team partner, is also a good candidate for his first Pro Bowl after finishing second in the Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. Still, it seems wrong for Darby to make it before his veteran teammate who also plays a physical style.


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Fan Friday 5-27

Posted by Chris Brown on May 27, 2016 – 11:28 am

Week one of OTAs is in the books. Week 2 gets underway Tuesday. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Hi Chris

Thanks for all you do to keep us Bills fans informed! My question is about extending Gilmore and Tyrod. With Gilmore being under contract under the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, if he and the Bills were able to strike a long term deal this offseason, does that work like the franchise tag where his new deal would replace his current contract, or is this year’s salary set in stone and they can only negotiate an extension for next year and beyond?

If it is an extension that doesn’t impact his present salary for this season, how would that work with his signing bonus? Would a prorated portion count against the cap this year? Same thing with Tyrod, if the team signed him to an extension so they could keep him at his low salary for this season, if the extension were signed this offseason, would there be any impact on this season’s salary cap from his signing bonus if his salary doesn’t change? Thanks!

CB: New long term deals typically replace the existing one. The club usually does this to more effectively spread out the amortized portions of the contract (e.g. signing bonus). On occasion teams will tack on an extension to the current year, but it’s uncommon.

2 – Chris

Can you give us more insight into UDFA Justin Zimmer. He was the fastest/quickest/strongest tackle in this year’s draft with something like 86 tackles, 13 sacks, 26 tfl, and 4 ff’s.  This kid should have been drafted just based on his measurables alone.  44 Reps/4.85 40 with outstanding short shuttle and 3 cone times- Are you kidding me?  Mo Boehringer got drafted on pure potential and this kid is way more experienced than him, even at Ferris St.  Can Coach Blake morph this kid into the next Aaron Donald or Geno Atkins?  With Adolphus Washington we really strengthened the interior D.

John

CB: One reason why Zimmer went undrafted is because he has short arms. While this might sound ridiculous these are parts of the player measurables that carry weight especially when it comes to line play. If you can’t keep offensive linemen from getting into your chest then you’ll have problems making plays.

Now Zimmer to his credit was ultra-productive at the FCS level. He’s quick and agile and obviously powerful and he’s a hustler. To say he could be the next Aaron Donald or Geno Atkins is a stretch. That being said he’ll be interesting to watch when the pads go on in camp.
3 – 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: First, I’m going to tell you that in this first week of OTAs the players admitted they assumed with an accomplished defensive coach coming in the door that they just expected to be just as good as they were the year before and did not put the required time in to master the defense. Just about every place Rex Ryan has been his players have never had a problem absorbing and implementing the defensive system he employs. They’ve never had a problem playing fast.

Buffalo’s players pretty much acknowledged that a lot of their shortcomings last season were on them because they didn’t buy into the system. That’s changed now, so I’d be interested to see how well they can play in this defense with the talent they have on hand.

Now will it be an adjustment for the three top draft choices? Probably, but their talent will help to carry them until they do have it all down pat. Additionally all three draft choices are workers and committed to being great. Those are all encouraging signs. As we all know the proof will be in the results on the field.

 

4 – Hey Chris ,
Do you think the Bills have any interest in trading for Sam Bradford ? Personally I think he has had a pretty raw deal since entering the league, his first three seasons the Rams had nobody really legit to play with on offense except for Danny Amendola , he tore his acl twice and the Eagles were a mess to begin with before he got there, Buffalo has a lot of good players on offense right now I would be really curious to see who would win the starting job between Taylor and Bradford, thank you.

Alexander, Toronto


CB:
I’d be surprised if the Bills pursue something like this if in fact Bradford is offered up again. The biggest question facing this team is whether or not they have a franchise quarterback. That won’t be answered if you add another QB to the mix. They should stick with Tyrod Taylor this season and see what kind of step forward he can make.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills Didn’t the Bills defense want to be the ‘85 bears last year?

Joe gnozzo @joegnozzo51

CB: I don’t think the bar was ever set that high. From a scheme perspective that wasn’t the plan either. Rex’s defense does have some 46 principles to it, but the biggest issue in terms of scheme in 2015 was Ryan’s attempt to blend some of the successful concepts of the team’s 2014 system that helped them finish fourth in the NFL with his own scheme.

The blend did not work by Ryan’s own admission by midseason and the unit never recovered when they tried to eliminate that in season.

This year they’re going to be more of a traditional 3-4 and play strictly Ryan’s defensiv


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