Inside The Bills

Johnson/Hardy time?

Posted by Chris Brown on December 26, 2009 – 6:06 pm

With Josh Reed downgraded to out, it’s a virtual lock that Steve Johnson will be active Sunday, and there’s a good chance James Hardy could be up for the first time since coming off the Reserve/PUP list Nov. 11.

Johnson has played more in the slot than Hardy, so Johnson figures to see more action than Hardy if both are active, as the former seventh-rounder could split time in that role with Roscoe Parrish.

As we told you earlier in the week, Terrell Owens hinted that Hardy would get some playing time this week against the Falcons on Wednesday.

There had been a school of thought that if Brian Brohm was going to start Sunday (which is still going to be determined at game time) that Hardy could be beneficial to have on the field since he was one of the primary receivers Brohm threw to while running scout team plays the past month.

But interim head coach Perry Fewell dismissed that.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Stevie Johnson chops the dreds!

Posted by Chris Brown on December 16, 2009 – 2:49 pm

Bills WR Steve Johnson has made a bold decision concerning his hair. The dreadlocks that he has been growing for years have been shaved off his head.

“I was contemplating about it for two weeks,” said Johnson. “I’ve had braids and I’ve had dreds and I wanted my hair to come out the back of my helmet in high school. But I thought it was time to go back to my short hair and my waves now.”

Johnson said equipment manager Dave Hojnowski had to tighten his helmet one head size now that the hair is gone. He’s now the second “long hair” to chop his locks joining Kawika Mitchell. Here is a shot of the clean cut dome of Steve Johnson.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills WR Johnson status

Posted by Chris Brown on November 1, 2009 – 10:30 am

Houston’s Andre Johnson won’t be the only receiver with that surname that will be dressed for today’s game.

Bills WR Steve Johnson will be active again today. He’s fully expected to be on the field on special teams, but how much time he sees on offense will be a ‘play it by ear’ situation.

In all likelihood this means that Roscoe Parrish will be inactive again today. Whether he’s designated as the Bills emergency QB as he was last week with Trent Edwards out again this week remains to be seen.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 10-30

Posted by Chris Brown on October 30, 2009 – 3:01 pm

We’ll see if the Bills can make it three in a row against a high-powered offense in the Texans this weekend. Here are some answers to your questions. (

1. Hey Chris.
The loss of linebackers to injury this season has me wondering what has become of John Digorgio this season. I know the Bills cut him in the pre-season because of health issues. He filled in well for Poz in 2007 and I wondered if he was a possibility to come back since he knows the defense and the players well. 
Concerned Bills fan- Rochester
CB: This past offseason John DiGiorgio was signed to a two-year extension, but he was coming off ACL knee surgery. As training camp approached DiGiorgio had to undergo another surgery as there were bone fragments that had to be taken care of. It set back his rehab. He was eventually put on injured reserve.

Later the team waived him in an injury settlement so he is no longer with the team. In light of a second surgery you wonder if DiGiorgio’s football career is in jeopardy. Not all ACL knee repairs are successful, at least to the point where a player can play at the NFL level again. Each case is different. It’s unfortunate.


2. Chris ,
On some of the promos for the 50th season team I saw a Buffalo Bill with the name Schottenheimer on his back in one of the shots. I was
wondering if that was Marty by any chance and if not who it might be ???

Thanks Mr. T from Ft. Myers Fl.

CB: Yes, it was Marty Schottenheimer. He played for the Bills from 1965 to 1968 as a reserve linebacker and wore jersey numbers 56 and 57. He was the team’s seventh-round draft pick in 1965.


3. Chris,
How does Braylon Edwards get traded and comes in and makes game changing plays for the Jets right away? And how is it that Trent can’t do the same for T.O.? And  T.O. has been playing  5 games w/bflo.. Bad QB or bad coaching? 

CB: I can definitely answer your first question. Braylon Edwards’ smooth on field transition to the Jets was aided by an offense that was identical to the one that was installed by Browns head coach Eric Mangini in Cleveland. Edwards essentially learned the same offense in Cleveland that the Jets were using in New York, because Rex Ryan kept offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

As for T.O. and Edwards, there are issues preventing deep ball plays. Pass protection consistently holding up long enough and decision making by a QB that has been reluctant to throw deep.


4. Chris,
Jamon Meredith was a player I thought the Bills might draft and play at Guard.  I’d like to know your assessment of his play against the Jets. Also, what is the long term plan for Eric Wood.  Do you see him eventually moving to center?
Pete Howell

CB: I’ve talked to coach Kugler about Meredith and he said they had high grades on him and did see him as a guard/tackle. But he’s 6’5” and 305 pounds with good feet so he can play on the edge. In fact most of his college career was on the outside before moving to guard as a senior. With Levitre and Wood entrenched at the guard spots, tackle is probably where Meredith will stay.

As for Wood I think perhaps in time he could serve as the team’s backup center, but his primary position will be guard moving forward.



5. Hi Chris,

I have to ask, why aren’t the Bills giving Steve Johnson any playing time other than on Special Teams?

The thought of having a TE in Nelson (6’5″), Hardy (6’6″) returning soon, T.O. (6’3″) and Johnson (6’2″), seems like they would like to get the height advantage that would cause opposing defenses fits.
Especially in the Red Zone!!!

Thanks . . . Bob
CB: Head coach Dick Jauron actually has made Steve Johnson active on game day the last two games because he does want to get him more involved in the offense, and I expect that to continue Sunday. That’s why Roscoe Parrish has been inactive or the emergency 3rd QB.

However, those opportunities on the field have yet to present themselves. I do believe Johnson has potential and liked what I saw from him toward the end of last season, but when Terrell Owens and Lee Evans are having trouble producing I don’t know how much the offensive staff can concern themselves with how often they can get opportunities for their fourth receiver.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills enter game with 2 TEs

Posted by Chris Brown on September 27, 2009 – 7:12 pm

With Shawn Nelson inactive with a shoulder injury the Bills enter today’s game with the Saints with just two healthy tight ends.

Derek Fine and Jonathan Stupar will be the only TEs dressed.

It will be interesting to see how Buffalo’s approach offensively will be tweaked by OC Alex Van Pelt.

Through the first two weeks the two tight end set has been a popular one for the Bills, but they won’t be able to use it as much today.

The slot receivers (Parrish, Reed) will need to help more than they have in the underneath passing game. Steve Johnson is also active today and could factor in if the Bills go to more of a spread look being light on tight ends.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

WR Johnson to be active this week?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2009 – 4:22 pm

With Josh Reed (quad) not practicing for a second straight day and Roscoe Parrish (ankle) working through an ankle injury, the chances appear greater that second-year WR Steve Johnson could dress this week.

Johnson has been inactive for the first two games this season. But that could change on Sunday. Even if Reed and Parrish are able to play on Sunday, Johnson might be on the 45-man game day roster this weekend in case Reed and Parrish are unable to make it through the whole game. The offensive staff will also have Justin Jenkins as an option.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-18

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2009 – 7:11 pm

Getting ready for Week 2. Got some good questions from you. Keep them coming.

1. Hi Chris,
Do you know how the “Bills'” name came about?  And if so, what exactly does “Bills” stand for?
Currently in Baghdad, Iraq and was part of an interesting discussion with some guys the other day.

CB: Here’s your answer on the origin of the “Bills” team name. It goes all the way back to 1946 when in an effort to generate more fan interest and distinguish the All-American Football Conference team from the city’s minor league baseball and hockey teams, which were also called the Bisons, the team ran a contest to select a new name. Over 4,500 entries were submitted, and the “Bills” won out over “Bullets” “Nickels” and “Blue Devils.”

James F. Dyson, though not the only one to suggest Bills with his entry, was named the winner of the $500 grand prize based on his essay comparing the team to a band of “Buffalo Bills.”

When Ralph Wilson founded the AFL club in 1959 they adopted the name left behind by the AAFC team.


2. Hi Chris
I am a long time Bills fan, and am wondering what role you think the following three young players (I like them all) will have on the team come regular season: Steve Johnson, Reggie Corner and Ellis Lankster.

Chris Straus

CB: Right now Reggie Corner is the nickel cornerback. That could change however, once Drayton Florence returns to the lineup. Steve Johnson and Ellis Lankster are two players that will find it hard to be on the active roster on game day when seven players must be inactive. Johnson has a greater chance to make a contribution than Lankster, but it might not come unless there is an injury or two at receiver.


3. Chris- When players look at still photos on the sidelines, what information can they get from that to help during the game?
     Thanks TM

CB: Offensive players are looking at the defense’s pre-snap look and then there will be another photo after that which reveals how they defended the play out of that look. Quarterbacks can see how the opponent disguised a defensive play call on a particular down and distance so if that look is shown again later in the game they have a better idea as to what might be coming on a 3rd-and-medium. That’s just one example, but there’s valuable info they can get off those photos when assembled in sequence.
HI Chris.


4. I am a big Bills fan, and I was wondering what you thought about Dick Jauron’s comments about the 3-4 defense.  And how he said he’s not opposed to using it and that you need the right personnel.  Personally I think our defense is showing improvement but I really think that they need to get out of the middle of the pack and get to the top 10 this season for success.  Though it is far too late to be thinking of this, I think we do have the right personnel for 3-4 defense. You would have Marcus Stroud as the NT, move John McCargo to DE and Spencer Johnson to DE.  Then you move Aaron Schobel and Aaron Maybin to OLB.  And then slide Mitchell into ILB with Paul Pozluszny.  What do you think of this.  I understand it would be impossible to incorporate now but do you think it could have worked?.
Thanks and Go Bills!

CB: It’s an interesting plan you have there with the exception of Stroud at the nose. In his first edition of Marcus’ Mailbag on this week he said he does not consider himself a two-gap nose and would rather play the five-technique (DE) in the 3-4 if it came to changing the front. I think all your other moves are realistic.

Who knows? With a strong DT class coming out in 2010, maybe some more serious thought can be given to that idea in the future. But not this season.


5. Chris,

I hope all is well with you today!  My son and I were curious how Kevin is doing?  Do you plan on doing any updates?

Nashville Bills Backer!!!

CB: I don’t have any updates for you on Kevin Everett. For all of us Kevin will always be a Bill, but now that he’s no longer with the team we don’t keep track of him and his progress as much as we used to. To keep up to speed on what he’s doing I encourage you to go to his website at the following link (below). He’s got a blog page there as well as a link where you can send him an email. I’m sure he’d be glad to reconnect with some Bills fans.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fitzpatrick to start tonight

Posted by Chris Brown on September 3, 2009 – 9:31 pm

Ryan Fitzpatrick will start at QB for the Bills tonight.

Also starting on offense are Steve Johnson, Dominic Rhodes and Roscoe Parrish.

On defense the entire second unit will start so it looks like most of the starters with the exception of the Bills O-line won’t play.

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WR Johnson expected to practice

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2009 – 6:47 pm

Steve Johnson participated fully in the morning walk thru practice Monday, which included a segment of live 7-on-7 work (no pads). That participation increases the chances of him taking the field tonight for the team’s padded practice at 7:10pm.

Johnson has been extremely frustrated by the torn rib cartilage that has compromised his game and availability the past two weeks. He did say last week however, after aggravating the cartilage again that he anticipated being 100 percent by early this week. We’ll see if he’s participating fully tonight.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Family First gear now available

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2009 – 6:44 pm

Marshawn Lynch and Steve Johnson are part of the Family First community organization based in California’s Bay area (Oak/SF). The organization acts as a resource for developing scholastic athletes for the next level (college, pro). And now they have their own line of athletic wear (see photos below).

















To order Family First gear go to for more info or to

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Not a whole lot at practice Friday

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2009 – 4:58 pm

The Friday practice before Saturday’s game was more walk through type stuff as the offense and defense worked against sets and looks they’re likely to see in their game against the Bears.

There was some team work, but it did not appear to be full speed. Ko Simpson was back practicing after missing Thursday night’s session. Felton Huggins was also back, so their chances of playing Saturday are somewhat improved.

LB Pat Thomas, LB Ashlee Palmer and WR Steve Johnson along with Terrell Owens are not expected to play.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Owens not at AM practice

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2009 – 3:09 pm

Terrell Owens is not at morning practice here on Friday as he continues to get treatment for his sprained toe.

Also absent is Ashlee Palmer. Not participating are Steve Johnson and Pat Thomas.

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Johnson steps out of practice

Posted by Chris Brown on August 12, 2009 – 12:10 am

Steve Johnson just went down hard after laying out for a pass. We’ll see if he returns to practice.

Hoping he didn’t re-aggravate his rib cartilage injury.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Johnson doing more

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2009 – 11:46 pm

After doing just individual position drills on Wednesday Steve Johnson is doing more tonight as he’s participating in 7-on-7.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Steve Johnson back practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2009 – 5:20 pm

Out for about a weel with a rib cartilage injury Steve Johnson is back practicing with his teammates.

Currently doing individual drills Johnson looks limber and seems comfortable twisting and turning his torso.

Individual drills were all he wound up doing Wednesday. He also appeared to be wearing a flak jacket. We’ll see if he does more as the week goes on.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Other non participants

Posted by Chris Brown on July 31, 2009 – 6:45 pm

Also not practicing today are Shawn Nelson, John McCargo, Marcus Smith, Dustin Fox, Steve Johnson and Ventrell Jenkins.

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Practice participation update

Posted by Chris Brown on July 30, 2009 – 11:26 pm

Non participants at practice are as follows.

Copeland Bryan
Jairus Byrd
Marcus Smith
Dustin Fox
John McCargo
Ventrell Jenkins
Shawn Nelson
Steve Johnson
Also Hardy and Hawthorne

Nelson is close to returning. He was working with trainers this morning.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Johnson injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on July 29, 2009 – 3:58 am

Steve Johnson was moving slowly off the field Tuesday after watching the night practice. Slowly because any sudden movements aggravate his torn rib cartilage.

“I’m just frustrated that I can’t be out there, seeing how everybody’s working hard and it’s hot out here, we have receivers going down and I can’t be out there to help them out,” said Johnson. “But time’s going to heal me and that’s all I’m waiting for is my time.”

Buffalo could be down to just six healthy receivers Wednesday, if P.K. Sam can’t take the field Wednesday. Johnson isn’t sure when he’ll be able to return either.

“There’s no given time,” he said. “It’s day-to-day. I can’t make any sudden moves or anything. It’s a little hard breathing but I just keep giving it the ice and the (stimulation). That’s all I can do right now – ice and stim and rest. That’s it.”

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Stroud back, McCargo, Nelson out

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2009 – 11:35 pm

Marcus Stroud is back practicing tonight. John McCargo, Shawn Nelson and Ventrell Jenkins are not.

Steve Johnson is still not practicing as well.

We’ll have updates as to why McCargo and Nelson are not practicing after practice.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

WR Johnson could be out a while

Posted by Chris Brown on July 27, 2009 – 5:45 pm

Steve Johnson didn’t practice Monday and head coach Dick Jauron explained why.

Jauron said Johnson suffered some rib cartilage damage and is very sore, but x-rays on Johnson’s ribs were negative.

Posted in Inside the Bills