Inside The Bills

Notable free agents CBs

Posted by Chris Brown on June 25, 2013 – 9:20 am

The Bills don’t sound like they’re in the market for a veteran cornerback as insurance, but here’s a list nonetheless of some potential targets should injury strike in training camp or they feel they need a more reliable depth option than the inexperienced players currently on the depth chart.

Jason Allen – Cincinnati
Chris Gamble – Carolina
Cedric Griffin – Washington
Rashean Mathis – Jacksonville
Terrence McGee – Buffalo
Stanford Routt – Houston
Shawntae Spencer – Oakland (hurt in 2012)


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McGee impressed as a returner

Posted by Chris Brown on February 14, 2013 – 4:40 pm

With Terrence McGee’s career ending with the Bills on Thursday with the team’s release of the veteran cornerback, it’s hard for some to remember what a quality cornerback he was and as a game changing kick returner. I’ll help you.

McGee was so good as a young corner that after a game against the Patriots in 2004 McGee was approached on the field by Bill Belichick, who told him he was impressed by his play. But in his younger days McGee was even more impressive as a kick returner.

His style was straight ahead. There was no dancing with McGee. He’d make one cut, hit the hole and that was it. My favorite return by McGee was his career long 104-yarder against the Dolphins in Miami. It was the opening kickoff and McGee took it four yards deep in the end zone, ran diagonally to the left side of the field, stuck his foot in the ground and exploded through a nice hole by the return unit and busted for the sideline.

He outran the last two coverage players the final 40 yards. With the press box at Dolphins Stadium in the corner of the end zone to which McGee was running, the return man was coming our way. I was watching through my binoculars the whole way and noticed as McGee turned his head to see if anyone was closing on him that he had his mouthpiece turned sideways in his mouth with half of it protruding from his mouth like a dog with a chew toy and a sly smirk on his face.

He cruised into the end zone with 14:47 left in the opening quarter. McGee had gone 104 yards in 13 seconds. Not bad for a return man trying to avoid 11 guys trying to crush him and carrying 8-10 pounds of equipment on his back and a football under his arm.

His best return that did not go for a touchdown was in 2005 when the Bills were on the road against the Saints. The game was at the Alamodome in San Antonio due to Hurricane Katrina. It was the end of the half and the Saints had just scored. There were only about 10 seconds left in the half and McGee took the kickoff back and had one of the most entertaining returns I’ve witnessed in person.

He couldn’t employ his one cut and go strategy on this return as he bobbed and weaved his way through would-be tacklers. He criss-crossed the field twice. All the east-west running allowed Bills blockers to get out in front of him when he finally busted it back to the far sideline where there was some daylight. There was just one Saints cover player left in front of him and three Bills blockers out ahead of him.

Unfortunately Mark Campbell in an effort to block the last man cut too close in front of McGee and tripped him up at the three-yard line to end the half. Still for me the best 82-yard return (that probably had 120 yards of running) that did not go for a TD.


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McGee’s injury history the culprit

Posted by Chris Brown on February 14, 2013 – 4:11 pm

Terrence McGee was an accomplished cornerback when he was healthy. Unfortunately over the past four seasons staying healthy was his biggest problem and it’s why he was released by the club on Thursday.

In the last three seasons McGee played in just 22 of a possible 48 games, which is less than half due to various injuries. That’s not to indicate that McGee wasn’t tough. The same year that Jabari Greer chose not to play hurt in a free agent year, ultimately signing with New Orleans, McGee played on a bum knee for four weeks.

McGee also fought nerve problems in his lower back and leg and dealt with a variety of knee issues. Over the past two years knowing he wasn’t giving the team everything he had due to injury he agreed to take a pay cut last season where his salary was trimmed considerably.

Dragging himself on the field every day at training camp this past summer and doing everything he could to be available to play was nothing short of admirable. It often took him 25-30 minutes just to warm his recovering knee up. It’s amazing that he appeared in seven games this past season, but it was clear his body wasn’t going to allow him to be the same player.

We see it all too often where a player’s body doesn’t cooperate and allow a player with years left on his career to continue. In the NFL it’s all about availability and Buffalo made every effort to provide that to McGee. An unfortunate end to McGee’s tenure with the Bills.


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McGee, Pears to each have another surgery

Posted by Chris Brown on November 7, 2012 – 2:42 pm

Terrence McGee and Erik Pears were both placed on I-R Tuesday, and they are each looking at another surgical procedure.

That according to head coach Chan Gailey, who confirmed that both need additional surgeries.

“Just not able to get back,” said Gailey on why both were placed on I-R. “Them not feeling completely well. They both would fight like everything to get on the field and do what they could. Physically it’s just going to be hard for them to be productive players with where they are right now.”

McGee’s current knee problems center around swelling in his knee after activity, but his second surgery is said to be minor in nature. He’s expected to make a full recovery now that the new problem can be effectively addressed. The nature of Pears new procedure is not known.

As for their futures McGee enters the last year of his contract in 2013. Pears has two years remaining on the three-year extension he signed last year.

“I think that all guys reach some point where they ask the question and you ask the question and you sit down and you see can a guy get healthy enough to help your football team,” said Gailey. “That’s a truism in our business. There does come a time. Whether that’s Terrence’s, time, I don’t know. I mean, let’s let him get completely well, see how he feels and make a decision when the time comes. But that’s not something … we’re not even talking about that right now. I just want him to get well, see where he is as we go into next year.”


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Bills could use OL, CB

Posted by Chris Brown on November 6, 2012 – 5:25 pm

Buffalo moved some hobbled players to their injured reserve list Tuesday in Terrence McGee and Erik Pears. Now they’ll have to find players to replace them.

The Bills now have two vacant roster spots, but both will presumably be filled by a cornerback and an offensive lineman. With McGee now on I-R it has left Buffalo’s secondary very, very young. The Bills secondary now consists of veteran Leodis McKelvin, second-year men Justin Rogers and Aaron Williams (injured) and rookies Stephone Gilmore and Ron Brooks.

With just four healthy corners, knowing Aaron Williams is out a few weeks, Buffalo will need to add a corner, preferably with some NFL years under his belt. The most obvious choice is Stanford Routt, a veteran cornerback, just cut by the Chiefs.

He was the first free agent visitor of Buffalo’s offseason this past spring, so clearly the Bills had an interest then. Routt has two interceptions in his first seven games with Kansas City this season. He was inactive for the Chiefs game last Thursday night against San Diego. Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel said their “relationship was not progressing” as a reason for the release. 

As for offensive linemen Buffalo has some young prospects on their practice squad. OT Andrew Jackson (6’5″ 299), OT/G Reggie Stephens  (6’3″ 320) and G Keith Williams (6’5″ 330). Buffalo has lost Erik Pears and Chad Rinehart to I-R in less than a week leaving them with just C/G David Snow and G/T Sam Young as their only reserves.


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McGee still trying to get right

Posted by Chris Brown on November 6, 2012 – 9:10 am

It’s proven difficult for Terrence McGee to play effectively for long stretches this season. As a result he’s missed playing time on Sundays and practices to allow his surgically repaired knee to recover. After sitting out last Sunday’s game as an inactive, head coach Chan Gailey provided an update on McGee’s situation.

Appearing on his weekly radio show on Bills flagship WGR Sportsradio 550, Gailey said they’re hoping skipping the Houston game helps McGee.

“He’s done a great job of trying to get back from that injury,” said Gailey. “That was a tough injury to come back from. That patellar tendon is a hard thing to get back fully and it swells up on him. We’re trying to let it calm down and see if we can get him on the practice field on a consistent basis. If you can only get him on the practice field once a week at best on a consistent basis it really doesn’t bode well for him or the team. So we’re trying to see if we can let it calm down enough to get him on the practice field on a consistent basis. We’d love to have back out there. It’d be great, but we’ll have to wait and see how he is this week.”

McGee has appeared in each of the first seven games this season.


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Kyle, McGee limited

Posted by Chris Brown on November 1, 2012 – 2:06 pm

Bills DT Kyle Williams and CB Terrence McGee were two limited participants in practice Thursday.

Both were limited on Wednesday as well. Williams has been dealing with a nagging ankle injury since Week 6, but hasn’t missed any playing time. McGee however, is still struggling at times with his surgically repaired knee.

“He was about the same,” said Gailey after practice Thursday on McGee’s level of participation. “He was limited today in practice.”

When asked if McGee might be held out of Sunday’s game at Houston, Gailey held off on making a call.

“I’ll have to make a decision tomorrow,” he said.


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McGee watching

Posted by Chris Brown on October 29, 2012 – 2:13 pm

Terrence McGee is not practicing.

McGee missed last week’s bye week practice as well. We’ll get an update after practice on his status.

DE Mark Anderson (knee) is also not practicing, but is in the weight room working out along with McGee.


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Friday the plan for McGee

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2012 – 4:10 pm

Bills CB Terrence McGee was working on the side with the strength and conditioning staff Thursday missing his second straight day of practice, but the veteran cornerback should return to practice Friday.

“Terrence we held out again today,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “We’re going to try to get him back on the field Friday.”

McGee, who is listed with a knee injury, has not missed a game so far this season.


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McGee still sitting out

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2012 – 2:13 pm

Terrence McGee is sitting for a second straight day of practice.

McGee is dealing with his troublesome knee after playing more than he typically has in last Sunday’s game at Arizona.

McGee is working on the side with the strength and conditioning staff.


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Kyle, McGee not practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on October 17, 2012 – 2:19 pm

The Bills have a few players sitting out practice here on Wednesday.

The most notable are DT Kyle Williams, S Da’Norris Searcy, OT Cordy Glenn and CB Terrence McGee.

Williams missed two days of practice last week with an ankle injury.

Mark Anderson is not practicing as well.

Anderson, who was walking without a crutch at the facility Wednesday told Buffalobills.com, “I’m making progress.”


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Hairston to still rotate with Pears

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2012 – 4:36 pm

Coming off a persistent groin injury in the preseason, starting RT Erik Pears is still working to get his endurance up to play an entire regular season game. That’s why for the second straight week the plan is to rotate Pears with Chris Hairston at right tackle again Sunday against the Chiefs.

“He’s still working back,” said head coach Chan Gailey of Pears. “We’re still going to probably alternate those guys.”

Terrence McGee is another player that was rotated in with Aaron Williams at left cornerback. Gailey said earlier in the week that McGee’s reps would increase this week after coming out of last week’s game with no problems.


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McGee likely to see reps increase

Posted by Chris Brown on September 10, 2012 – 5:25 pm

Bills CB Terrence McGee was rotated in at left cornerback with starter Aaron Williams as he rounds back into top form in Week 1. After coming out of Week 1 with no ill effects it sounds as if his workload will increase.

“Our plan was to play Terrence,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “Terrence is a veteran player that’s a good player. Our plan was to rotate them every two or three series in the ball game. We’re trying to work Terrence back in slowly, not that we don’t have faith in Aaron. It’s just we want to get Terrence in the ball game. That was the plan all along. It wasn’t anything one way or the other. It wasn’t how we felt about Terrence or Aaron.”

When asked if he could see more time against the Chiefs, Gailey acknowledged it’s likely to happen.

“He got some good reps and came through okay and hopefully we can continue to increase his reps,” said Gailey


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Value of McGee goes beyond play

Posted by Chris Brown on September 3, 2012 – 5:58 pm

Terrence McGee was back at practice Monday as reported by Buffalobills.com over the weekend. Head coach Chan Gailey was encouraged by McGee’s participation in practice. But McGee’s veteran presence at cornerback is welcomed for more than his play.

“Well if you look out on the practice field most every day he is doing something extra to get himself ready to play,” said Gailey. “It means a lot to him. He’s a pro’s pro. It’s great to have a presence like that. We’re fortunate to have him and George Wilson and (Jairus) Byrd and a lot of guys in that secondary room that are good veterans.”

McGee probably won’t be on the field Sunday against the Jets for 50 or 60 plays, but he should have no problem handling a part time role this weekend.

 


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Anderson, McGee say they’re ready to go

Posted by johnmurphyshow on September 3, 2012 – 1:35 pm

The Bills hit the practice field later this afternoon for the long week of workouts leading up to the season opener.  And a couple of key defenders, DE  Mark Anderson and CB Terrence McGee, both say they’re ready to return to the lineup.

Anderson missed the final two preseason games with a nagging groin injury. But he told reporters in the locker room Monday morning that he’ll be ready for the Jets.

“I’m feeling good, I had a chance to rehab the groin, everything is feeling back to normal,” he said.  “It’s just a matter of going back out there and getting reps and getting back to playing fast.”

Cornerback Terrence McGee has had an on-again, off-again practice schedule during the preseason, as he recovers from offseason surgery on his patellar tendon.  But he says he feels good enough to practice this week and play on Sunday.  McGee says the last four of five weeks, as he struggled with his surgically repaired knee, have left him with some uncertainty about his readiness to play.

“It’s always been there,” he says, “It’s just one of those things you gotta work through.  I’m still working through it.  It’s gonna be one of those things where it’s a long process, I gotta change certain things about my warmup and stretching habits, so it’s just something I’m gonna have to work through until it gets to 100-percent.”


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McGee to practice Monday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 1, 2012 – 2:38 pm

Bills CB Terrence McGee is back to where he was before experiencing some extra soreness in his surgically repaired knee following the Pittsburgh preseason game. He told Buffalobills.com he’ll be on the practice field at the beginning of this coming week.

“I’ll definitely be practicing on Monday,” McGee told Buffalobills.com. “I feel alright now. I feel like I did before the game. So I’m back on track like I should be.”

McGee said he landed on his knee after one of his tackles in the Pittsburgh game that led to the added soreness. But he went through a rigorous training workout with athletic trainers on Friday and was given the green light to practice with the team Monday.


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Fan Friday 8-31

Posted by Chris Brown on August 31, 2012 – 12:57 pm

Today is final cutdown day to get to 53 so stay tuned to Buffalobills.com for the latest on the final roster. For now we’ll get to your questions from AskChris@bills.nfl.net and @ChrisBrownBills on twitter.

1 - Hi Chris,   
I was wondering if there has been any clarity on the TD celebrations over the offseason.  Especially after the Steve Johnson TD in the Patriots game last year.  I know Chan Gailey was asking the league for a clear cut of cans’ and can nots’ after SJ was flagged.  I’d hate to see him have to sit or any of the other Bills for celebrating again.

Thank you for your time  
-Showtime.
CB: Here’s what I found in the NFL rule book concerning excessive celebration.

Under Section 1 – Article 3 of the rule book for Prohibited play it reads as follows in subsets d-f.

(d) Prolonged or excessive celebrations or demonstrations by an individual player. Players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground. A celebration or demonstration shall be deemed excessive or prolonged if a player continues to celebrate or demonstrate after a warning from an official.

(e) Two or more players engaged in prolonged, excessive, premeditated or choreographed celebrations or demonstrations.

(f) Possession or use of foreign or extraneous objects that are not part of the uniform during the game on the field or the sideline, or using the ball as a prop.

The exceptions to it being a foul are if it’s between periods (end of quarter or half) or if a timeout has been called.

It goes on to further state that for (d) it is a penalty if it occurs anywhere except the bench area. (This is why Chad Ochocinco when still with the Bengals retreated to the bench area to do his celebrations)

Furthermore nowhere in the rule book does it state that a celebration that takes place in the stands with fans would draw a flag. Stevie has hinted at going into the stands after scoring a touchdown at the Ralph and sitting in a seat and having some popcorn and watching the extra point play.

As long as no other teammates join him in the stands (group celebration would draw a flag) I don’t know that they could flag him for it. Of course knowing he’s a marked man in the eyes of officials they might deem taking a seat in the first row as excessive and flag him anyway. 

 

2 – Chris,

Question, obviously the NFL is a business and teams have to manage their finances. Do you think that the Bills will cut veteran talent at the D-line and CB position that is behind on the depth chart to maybe utilize money elsewhere? I see us stacked at both positions. Also, would Chan and Buddy try to trade during the season if we needed depth at say LB or WR positions? I know Buddy likes his draft picks, but
wondering if he would give some up mid season for a trade if the Bills are making a run at the playoffs. Thanks for all you do CB!
Dan in LA

CB: I think the number one priority for any coach is to keep the best 53 players. Yes, Dwan Edwards and Spencer Johnson make good money for being second wave defensive tackles behind Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams, but they’re also very dependable and proven players. Knowing how much rotation takes place on the defensive line in the course of a game, I would think they could justify their value to the club.

At cornerback I would disagree with your depth stance. As Buddy Nix always says you can never have enough corners. And as we see now with McGee suffering a bit of a setback in his recovery this past week and Ron Brooks now hurt (foot) suddenly your depth is gone. So again at that position I would say no to thinning the herd so to speak.

With respect to the trade idea, I think they would tend to keep players like the ones mentioned to make a run at the playoffs rather than get rid of them.

 

3 – Who’s the player with most potential to open some eyes this preseason?

Pete Borini
Clifton Park, NY

CB: As I stated in my training camp awards, Arthur Moats is the most improved player. I also think Nigel Bradham has the potential to surprise some people, and I think Donald Jones can really take a big step this season.

 

4 –  Hi Chris,

Is Marcus Easley eligible for the Practice Squad?  Since he hasn’t played a down in the regular season, I would have thought so, but I am not sure that this being his third year eliminates that option for the Bills.  It would be great if you could let us know what the exact qualifications are.

Matthew
Los Angeles, CA

CB: Yes, Easley is eligible for the practice squad. I put the full list of eligible players on this blog last week. Players can serve up to three years on the practice squad. What eliminates a player from being eligible for the practice squad is if they have played in nine regular season games or more in any one season. That’s why Naaman Roosevelt is no longer eligible since he played in 10 games last season.

 

5 – Hey Chris,

Just a question about Terrence McGee.  Is he still best suited to be a corner?  Wouldn’t it be easier for him to play at the safety spot?  He would be a great backup free safety to Jairus and corners at his age (Champ Bailey comes to mind), sometimes make the switch to safety.  This would help fill a hole at safety and open room for another one of the young and talented undrafted corners to make the roster.  Just a thought. 

Thanks,
Tommy of Pittsford
Go Bills!
CB: Yes, McGee is still corner material. In fact when healthy I would argue he’s one of the two best outside cornerbacks on this roster. Healthy obviously has been the problem. I realize fans are down on him because of his injury history the past two years, but he is still a very capable cornerback.

What fans need to realize is this organization made a decision on McGee when they released Drayton Florence. They decided he was the guy to keep so there’s a commitment there and I anticipate they’ll be patient with his recovery.


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How cornerback might alter roster decisions

Posted by Chris Brown on August 31, 2012 – 12:25 pm

The Bills have to get the roster down to 53 by 9 pm tonight, and there’s one position that could compromise the number of players carried at each position.

In the last five days the cornerback position had Terrence McGee suffer a setback in his return from offseason knee surgery and Ron Brooks failed to make the trip to Detroit for the preseason finale due to a foot injury suffered in practice Tuesday. If the coaching staff is unsure as to whether either of them would be available to play Week 1, they may have to carry another cornerback on their roster, which would bring that total to seven. (It’s been widely assumed the Bills were going to carry six cornerbacks on their final roster)

The other option, if the Brooks injury is serious enough, would be to put Brooks on injured reserve and designate him as their player to return to the active roster under the new I-R rules, but that would not be able to happen until Sept. 4th after 4 pm. If they put him on I-R prior to that (today for example) then he would not be eligible to return to the active roster. That makes it even more likely that they carry seven cornerbacks to start the season if the injury.


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Brooks doesn’t make trip

Posted by Chris Brown on August 30, 2012 – 10:51 am

Bills CB Ron Brooks did not make the trip to Detroit for the preseason finale.

Brooks suffered a foot injury according to head coach Chan Gailey, who said Brooks got stepped on in practice. He did leave Tuesday’s practice early. With Terrence McGee also not making the trip for this game, Buffalo is shorthanded at cornerback with only five dressing for tonight’s game and Aaron Williams and Stephon Gilmore only expected to play 10 plays.


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McGee not sure when he’ll be old self

Posted by Chris Brown on August 26, 2012 – 9:30 am

Terrence McGee saw his first preseason action Saturday night, and he was not happy with the start it got off to as he gave up a 39-yard touchdown to Antonio Brown following a turnover by Buffalo’s offense.

McGee had trouble turning and driving off his surgically repaired knee, so he was a step behind Brown on his post pattern. Da’Norris Searcy was not in position to provide help on the play.

“The only thing I’m upset with is the first play,” said McGee of his night referring to the touchdown play. “Anything else after that, I feel fine with.”

McGee looked good in the run front as he had four tackles including a pair for loss, but clearly doesn’t have the strength in his knee yet to call himself 100 percent fit for regular season duty. When asked if he’ll be ready for the opener, the veteran cornerback was unsure. 

 

“I can’t say with this thing,” he said. “I figured I would be back (full go) at OTA’s. I’m trying to see and position myself every two weeks.”

 

Two weeks from today is the season opener against the Jets.


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