Inside The Bills

DT Bryant sees parallels with Bills & Seahawks

Posted by Chris Brown on August 26, 2015 – 9:16 am

Bills newest DT Red Bryant, who signed last week, has a Super Bowl ring from his time with the Seattle Seahawks. He’s spent just about a week here, but is extremely impressed with Buffalo’s roster and coaching staffs and sees some striking similarities between this Buffalo club and his championship Seattle team.

“I can see a lot of similarities with the defense here—a great defense that can rush and stop the run,” said Bryant. “A great running game with McCoy and Fred Jackson, and those two things right there are the recipe for success.  I did it. I can attest to them.”

When asked for further clarification on what has him so impressed with the 2015 Bills squad, Bryant covered the whole gamut.

“Just the talent, coach Rex Ryan, he’s first class,” said Bryant. “(Defensive line) coach (Karl) Dunbar, he’s probably one of the best D-line coaches I’ve been around, the way he communicates, the way he teaches technique.  I’ve been real impressed with how they do things.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 7-24

Posted by Chris Brown on July 24, 2015 – 12:17 pm

Less than a week until Bills training camp. Get ready Rochester! Here’s your latest round of questions on email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

Do you really need a franchise QB to win the Super Bowl? I refer you to Brad Johnson of the Tampa Bay Bucs. The team went 9-7 the year before, had a new coach and went on to win super Bowl 37. Thoughts on any similarities to the current Bills?

CB: To answer the first question it certainly helps to have a franchise QB to win a Super Bowl because most teams with one are perennially in contention for a championship. Yes, there are Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer examples, but they are few in number.

What Super Bowl-winning QBs, who were a bit better than Johnson and Dilfer, but might not be considered elite like Phil Simms, Joe Flacco and Russell Wilson reinforce is that you need a top flight defense if you don’t have the All-Pro QB.

As for similarities I again point to the defense. Tampa’s Super Bowl-winning defense was number one in the league in total yards allowed, points allowed, touchdowns allowed and passing yards allowed. They were also fifth against the run and tied for sixth in sacks. Buffalo’s defense would likely have to put up a similar type of season this year.


2 – Hi Chris, as always, you do a great job covering the Buffalo Bills.

My question is concerning the possible cut of Fred Jackson. I just feel from a depth standpoint, the Bills need to hang onto him. Obviously, LeSean McCoy will get the bulk of the workload, but Fred Jackson is still a good runner, and excellent pass catcher. If Shady McCoy is injured, you need a proven starter. I’m not sure Bryce Brown, Boobie Dixon or Karlos Williams are ready.

If this is a run heavy scheme, you need a good backup to keep things moving.

Your thoughts,

Tony Falzone,
Ormond Beach, Fl

CB: I feel pretty good about Fred Jackson being on the roster this season. You’re right he is a good insurance policy for McCoy, but more critical to his job security is his effectiveness in pass protection. None of the other running backs, aside from McCoy, come close to his pass protection reads and ability and that makes him valuable for this offense.

Now if one of the other backs suddenly demonstrates a vast improvement in pass protection I suppose that could change things, but I’m not anticipating that knowing it’s another new offensive scheme this season under Greg Roman.


3 – Chris,

I’m very skeptical of the group of QB’s for the Bills this season, and I’d hate to waste a great defensive season, so are there any guys out there like Kyle Orton was last year that the Bills could bring in if things don’t pan out? Or are the Bills going to just play this QB competition out…?  Thanks for your great work Chris!

Sean from California

CB: I understand and respect your skepticism, but there is not a lot out there right now to choose from. Michael Vick is the biggest name out there, but I don’t see Rex Ryan going down that road again after having him with the Jets.

I honestly do not see the Bills looking to add another quarterback unless there is an unexpected release during the preseason or some unforeseen trade option surfaces like the LeSean McCoy deal did in the spring.



4 – Hello Chris:

Thanks for all the 24/7 365 day coverage. I’m a lifelong fan of 55 years born in Kenmore N.Y. now in SLC.

Just a quick question. With our situation on the O-Line, I sure would love to see Evan Mathis in Red White and Blue.

Are we in the running at all? Do we even have the cap space? Are we even trying? Other than questions at QB I see this as our only week spot.

Thanks again,
Jon SLC, UT.


CB: Evan Mathis hasn’t signed anywhere because his asking price is too high. Who blinks first, an NFL club or Mathis remains to be seen.

At this point I think the Bills are relatively comfortable with their guard situation with Incognito and rookie John Miller as the projected starters. Kraig Urbik is the center-guard swing player and there’s some youth in reserve.

If the Bills are going to add anywhere on the offensive line it’s going to be at offensive tackle where they have just four true OTs. Buffalo currently has one roster spot open.


5 – Hi Chris!

As a life-of-the franchise long Bills fan, I have always wanted to know more about the newer players.. those who must fight to get a roster or practice squad position. Look at the 90-man roster, there are some I know virtually nothing about.

I am keenly interested this year in our tight ends. At this moment, we have 7 on the roster. I feel certain that 3 or 4 will be on the 3-man roster, and 1 or 2 on the practice squad. I believe that Clay, O’Leary and Gray are virtual locks, with Gragg or Mulligan as possibilities. In that regard, in your opinion, do Marquise Gray and Chris Gragg have basically the same skill set or might they somewhat complement each other?  Also, Clay Burton seems to have impressed to this point..might he have a slight edge over Gragg for the 53-man roster? He has a larger frame and might offer more room to develop.

Finally, I am intrigued by Chris Manhertz. Does he show enough potential to warrant a spot on the practice squad? If not the practice squad, is there an alternative system whereby he might continue to learn the position and then return next year for another go?

Thanks for the time you have taken in reading this. Have an abundantly blessed day!

Dr. Gary

ps….One of my close work associates is a very loyal Virginia Tech man…very hyped about Tyrod Taylor!


CB: Marqueis Gray and Chris Gragg do not have the same skill set. Gragg’s body type is longer and lankier than Gray, who has a bit wider and thicker frame.

Gray’s greatest asset in the tight end competition is his versatility. He can line up in the backfield as a fullback. He can be a move tight end, an H-back, line up detached or in line, though that’s the part he’s probably working on the most. This will help him in the competition because it caters to a lot of what Greg Roman needs from his tight ends.

Gragg has worked hard on his blocking, but his strength is lining up detached. He’s got great straight line speed. I just don’t know if his skill set is as diversified as Gray’s.

Matthew Mulligan was signed for one reason, his blocking. The tight end position didn’t have a dominant blocker among them until Mulligan signed. Knowing how much Greg Roman incorporates tight ends into his blocking schemes in the run game I think is a major plus for Mulligan’s chances of sticking on the 53-man roster.

As for how many tight ends make the 53, I believe there’s a good chance they keep four knowing how much Roman calls on them in his offensive scheme.



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Posted in Inside the Bills

Tasker: “Manning is most significant QB of our era”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 3, 2014 – 7:00 pm

In the wreckage of Denver’s blowout loss in Super Bowl XLVIII, former Bills Special Teams Ace Steve Tasker says QB Peyton Manning’s legacy will not be damaged that much.

In an appearance Monday night on The John Murphy Show, Tasker said going into the game, he thought Manning had a chance to burnish his legacy with a strong performance in the game. But even with his poor performance, Tasker believes Manning’s legacy remains intact. In fact, the Bills Wall of Famer says Peyton Manning is the most significant quarterback of our time.

“He is the absolute most significant quarterback to have played the game in our lifetime and perhaps in the history of the game,” Tasker said on the radio show.

“He changed the paradigm by which quarterbacks are evaluated. He changed the expectations of every quarterback across the league from his point forward, on what is expected of them (quarterbacks) in terms of preparation, and what is expected of them to be able to do on the field, on the fly. It’s all because of Peyton Manning and his ability and his preparedness on the field, that other quarterbacks are expected to be able to change plays, call their own plays, work the no huddle, work the snap count, work personnel combinations, dictate matchups—all of that is expected of a top flight quarterback now. And it was not before Peyton Manning came into the league.”

The entire radio interview with Steve Tasker is available here

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Tasker had trouble watching SB48

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 3, 2014 – 6:00 pm

You would think twenty years after the Bills last appearance in the Super Bowl, the sting of losing four in a row would be gone for the players in that game.

You’d be wrong.

Former Bills Special Teams Ace Steve Tasker says it was tough to watch Denver’s collapse in Super Bowl VLVIII, because it reminded him of the Bills big game failures.

In an appearance on The John Murphy Show Monday night, Tasker said he had to leave the room when things got bad for the Broncos.

“I could not watch the whole game,” he said. “I watched most of it, but there were times when I had to leave the room, because I felt it. I could feel what those guys on the Broncos were going through. I had to walk out and take a deep breath, and then go do something else and then come back in.”

Tasker said the Broncos performance reminded him especially of the Bills 52-17 loss to the Cowboys in January 1993, when they turned it over nine times. Host John Murphy asked Tasker how the pain could be so visceral 21-years after the game.

“I still feel it,” he said. “I really, really felt uncomfortable watching it. When you’re playing against a team the way the Seahawks were playing, there’s no answer.”

The entire interview with Steve Tasker is available here

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Levy on Super Bowl-“You never forget being there”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 29, 2014 – 7:50 pm

It’s been 20-years since the Bills last appearance in the Super Bowl, January 30th, 1994, the 30-13 loss to the Cowboys in Atlanta.

But the coach who led the Bills to that game says the memory remains vivid.

Hall of Fame Coach Marv Levy was a guest on The John Murphy Show Wednesday night, and he reminisced about the Bills four year run to the big game.

“You never forget being there,” he said. “At the time when it happened, you say, are we really here? It’s exciting. It’s a culmination what you thought about when you were a little kid. There was no Super Bowl, by the way, when I was a kid, but you get the gist.”

The Bills suffered bitter disappointment by losing all four of their Super Bowls. And Levy told host John Murphy that after the first few losses, he and GM Bill Polian realized that all the minutiae they tried to control before the game had little impact on the outcome.

“After we lost the second or the third time,” Levy said, “we were riding back in the somber confines of the team bus to the hotel after the game. Bill turned to me and said, ‘ Marv, y’know, the only thing that really matters is what you do after kickoff.’”

The entire interview with Hall of Fame Coach Marv Levy is available here

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Third Super Bowl on sideline for Steve Tasker

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 1, 2013 – 9:01 pm

It’s not just the most-watched sports event of the year, the Super Bowl is usually the highest rated TV show– period. And former Bills Special Teams Ace Steve Tasker will play a prominent role on the CBS-TV broadcast, as one of two sideline reporters.

Tasker has been assigned the San Francisco 49ers sideline for Sunday’s game, and he’s been in New Orleans all week following the story lines of the game.

In an appearance on The John Murphy Show Friday night, Tasker says he and fellow sideline reporter Solomon Wilcots have had their hands full getting ready.

“We’ve been hitting it pretty hard,” Tasker said. “Solomon and I, we’ve been up and out of the hotel every morning at 7:30am, doing standups and reports for CBS Sports Network on both teams. They’re keeping us really, really busy.”

Tasker says once the game kicks off, he expects the CBS lead broadcasters, play by play man Jim Nantz and color analyst Phil Simms, will use his sideline contributions sparingly.

“It’s totally about the game,” he told host John Murphy. “It’s really only if something strange happens. Phil (Simms) can handle all the story lines and all the news from the broadcast booth. That’s why they’re there. I do that and Solomon does that every week during the regular season, and we know that most of the things that we can say from the sidelines is just as good from the booth.”

“What happens is if Solomon or I are on a lot, it’s because something unforeseen happens, a big injury to an important player, a fistfight on the sidelines or an altercation—something out of the ordinary. Then Solomon and I will be all over it finding out what’s going on and explaining it.”

Tasker will be working his third Super Bowl as a sideline reporter for CBS. That’s on top of his four Super Bowl appearances as a player with the Bills.

“It’s pretty fun, but if you think about it, I’ve been a broadcaster longer than I’ve been an NFL player,” he says. “I just finished up my 15th year with CBS, so it’s been a wonderful company to work for. I’ve really enjoyed it.”

The entire interview with Steve Tasker is available at\johnmurphy show

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Posted in Inside the Bills

DL coach tonight on The John Murphy Show

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 30, 2013 – 5:53 pm

We’re back on the air with The John Murphy Show Wednesday night, after the podcast on Tuesday because of hockey. And we’ve got a good lineup for the radio show.

At 720pm, we’ll be joined in studio by the new Defensive Line Coach for the Buffalo Bills. Anthony Weaver joins the Bills after working with Mike Pettine and the Jets defense last year. He’s a former NFL defensive lineman, and he was a teammate of Mario Williams when the two played in Houston. We’ll ask Coach Weaver about coaching his former teammate and settling in with the Bills.

This Saturday, at the Super Bowl in New Orleans, electors will vote on the 2013 class for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Former Bills WR Andre Reed is one of 15-finalists for the eighth year. What are his chances this year?

We’ll talk with Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News on the radio show Wednesday at 8pm. Gaughan will present Reed’s nomination again this year during an eight hour meeeting in New Orleans Saturday.

We’ll have Super Bowl news and we’ll talk about how the 2012 Bills Special Teams ranked last season. As usual, we’ll make room for phone calls from fans.

The John Murphy Show airs Wednesday night from 7pm-9pm on the flagship station of the Bills, WGR Sports Radio 550.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

“Avoid Twitter”-advice to Super Bowl players

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 28, 2013 – 7:45 pm

The teams have arrived in New Orleans, and the Super Bowl hype machine will be cranking in the next 24-hours. With media day for both the Ravens and the 49ers coming up Tuesday in the Superdome, the pregame coverage will be nonstop until kickoff Sunday.

Clark Judge, a longtime pro football reporter for CBS, says players on both teams would be well advised to consider carefully before they take to Twitter or Facebook this week. Appearing on The John Murphy Show Monday night, Judge says he talked to a former 49ers veteran who thinks social media could be the undoing of the Super Bowl teams this week.

“I was taking to Brent Jones (former 49ers tight end) and he was saying tell your players stay off of Twitter and stay off of Facebook,” Judge said on the radio show. “Nothing good can happen from that. And especially since everyone’s carrying a camera right now. You can get yourself caught in compromising positions, so don’t do it. Because you don’t want to have to answer for that, and your teammates don’t want to have to answer for that.”

Judge told host John Murphy New Orleans presents a smorgasboard of potential temptations for players from the Super Bowl teams, but he says the smart ones will avoid putting themsevles in a bad situation.

“The temptations are everywhere, there are probably more here than most cities, but there are temptations everywhere,” Judge said. “I talked to some of the 49ers who were on that Super Bowl XXIV team that came down here about that. They said what you have to do is remind yourself that it’s one week. For one week of the year, just try to remain focused and stay off the streets. Only bad things can happen from being out late at night.”

As far as the winner of Super Bowl XLVII, Judge expects the AFC Champions to come out on top.

“I’ve picked against Baltimore too many times down the stretch now, and I’ve watched them a lot. I believe in teams that get hot. I believe in teams that believe in themselves and I look at these guys in the locker room, and they remind me of the Giants last year. Just what’s going on in the locker room, these guys say ‘nothing can beat us.’ That’s the way the Giants felt last year.”

The John Murphy Show airs weeknights from 7-9pm on the flagship station of the Bills, WGR Sports Radio 550.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Monday’s John Murphy Show

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 28, 2013 – 5:00 pm

We’re back in Orchard Park, after a week’s worth of shows from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. The John Murphy Show is back on the air from One Bills Drive starting tonight at 7pm.

But we’ll take a look back at the Senior Bowl, when the Executive Director of the Game, Phil Savage, joins us on the air at 8pm. Savage is the former GM of the Cleveland Browns, and he was the Baltimore Ravens Director of Player Personnel for several years. So he not only put together the setup for the Senior Bowl last week, he also has a scout’s eye for the risers and fallers from last week’s workouts in front of NFL coaches and talent evaluators. We’ll get his take on the six Senior Bowl QBs and how they fared last week.

Also tonight, Clark Judge of CBS will join us on the air from New Orleans, the site of Super Bowl XLVII. The Niners and Ravens have arrived in the Big Easy, and Clark Judge has some advice for both teams on how to handle the media crush this week.

We’ve got plenty of time for phone calls from Bills fans, and we’ll share our impressions on the Senior Bowl workouts and some early thoughts on the Super Bowl.

The John Murphy Show airs tonight from 7-9pm on the flagship station of the Bills, WGR Sports Radio 550GR Sports .

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kelso would take Super Bowl trade

Posted by Chris Brown on January 27, 2012 – 8:27 pm

The four straight AFC titles by the Buffalo Bills in the early 90’s will probably never be repeated again. Former Bills safety Mark Kelso, who was on those teams, said he would not trade those four consecutive AFC titles for a single Super Bowl win. He would swap them for a bit more than that however. 

Appearing on the Schopp and the Bulldog show on WGR Sportsradio 550 late Friday afternoon, Kelso was asked for his thoughts and memories on that unprecendented run to four straight Super Bowls. He was also asked if he would trade that four-year ride for a single Super Bowl win.

“Certainly you want ot think about all those good times,” said Kelso. “The fact that you went there four times in row doesn’t diminish the success that you had, but I would’ve traded all four of those for a couple of Super Bowl victories I’ll tell you that. I wouldn’t trade them for one victory and ride off into the sunset and not be a very good team, but if you said we could trade four for two victories I would have to consider that.”

Kelso also stated that had Scott Norwood’s kick been good to win Super Bowl XXV he doubts the team would’ve won four straight AFC titles. He believes not finishing it off was what kept the hunger alive in those teams year after year. To hear the whole segment you can go to the station’s audio vault.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Top seeds for first time in long time

Posted by Chris Brown on January 25, 2010 – 10:33 am

It’s been a while since the top two seeds have matched up in the Super Bowl as will be the case this year when the AFC top seed Indianapolis squares off against the NFC top seed New Orleans.

The last time the top two seeds met in the ultimate game was in 1993 when the Bills met up with the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVII.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Buffalo takes 4th in Super Bowl ratings

Posted by Chris Brown on February 3, 2009 – 2:55 pm

Here are the top 25 markets that pulled the highest rating shares for the Super Bowl as provided by NBC. Buffalo is right near the top in 4th with a fat 50.4 rating and 68 share. Pathetic that Phoenix isn’t in the top 3.

One writer from the Baltimore Sun suspects that Norfolk ranked so high because Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is from the area.

1. Pittsburgh 53.6/79
2. Norfolk 52.6/72
3. Jacksonville 50.6/71
4. Buffalo 50.4/68
5. Richmond 49.3/67
6. Tampa 49.2/70
7. Ft. Myers 48.1/68
8. Cleveland 47.7/69
9. Phoenix 47.5/80
10. Indianapolis 47.4/65
11. Nashville 47.2/66
12. Washington D.C. 46.7/70
13. Columbus 46.5/67
14. Orlando 46.4/66
15. Memphis 46.3/63
16. Philadelphia 46.2/65
17. New Orleans 45.7/63
18. Knoxville 45.2/58
19. Baltimore 45.0/63
T20. Denver 44.7/76
T20. Las Vegas 44.7/68
T20. Greensboro 44.7/63
T23. Charlotte 44.6/63
T23. Greenville 44.6/60
25. St. Louis 44.5/69

Posted in Inside the Bills