Inside The Bills

Brady not thrilled Bills CBs playing so well

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2015 – 12:10 pm

The Buffalo Bills two starting cornerbacks, Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore have probably been the two most consistent players on defense this season. One opponent who is noticing is Patriots QB Tom Brady.

“Yeah, they definitely have good matchups out there, so I think they have a lot of confidence in them,” said Brady in reference to Darby and Gilmore. “And those players have done a great job when the coach has asked them, ‘Alright, you’ve got this guy, and you’re going to match him and shadow him.’ They definitely do a good job of that.

“It was a little disappointing to see from my study that they were playing as well as they were, but that’s part of it. You’re going to go against good players. And they’ve got good players, so we’ve got to still kind of figure out how to move the ball down the field.”

Even though Brady did throw for a season-high 466 yards in a Week 2 win over the Bills, he had the fourth-lowest completion percentage in a game this season (64.4%) and the third lowest yards per attempt (7.9) as the approach was for Brady to get the ball out fast to neutralize Buffalo’s pass rush.

Brady currently leads the league in pass release time at an average of just 2.13 seconds.

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Brady on replacing Edelman

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2015 – 1:50 pm

With the Patriots losing WR Julian Edelman indefinitely to a broken foot, most expect Danny Amendola to fill Edelman’s role in the slot this week against the Bills. New England QB Tom Brady however, believes that even though Amendola is in his third season with the Patriots he won’t be able to duplicate everything that Edelman does right away.

“I think when you’ve had that quality of player go down, you definitely have to adjust,” said Brady. “So I would say it’s football season, and a lot of teams go through similar things, [losing] certain players that are really critical. You just have to figure out a way to kind of keep producing and scoring points.

“It may be different than the way that it’s been. You wish you could just plug someone else in, but that’s, you know, it’s impossible to plug in those … Julian Edelmans just aren’t sitting out on the street or else they’d be playing for another team, but the guys who are going to be in there, we’ll have confidence in the things that they can do well. And I think the expectations are still the same. We expect to go out there and score points every time we touch the ball, and it may take a little different shape. You just have to rely on some different things that are a part of your offense and just do the best you can do.”

Buffalo’s defense doesn’t expect much to change with the Patriots attack despite the fact that New England has lost their feature back and top receiver in the last two games.

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Brown: Sunday was a reality check

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2015 – 9:02 am

After giving up more passing yards in one game to a quarterback in team history Sunday, Buffalo’s defenders aren’t lacking in confidence. They’re just fully aware that they’ve got some ground to cover as a defensive unit.

LB Preston Brown called the results of Sunday’s game for Buffalo’s defense a wake up call.

“I’m not sure it’s a blow to our confidence; it’s just something we need to improve on. It really showed to be a reality check. It shows that we’re not the best. We act like we are, but we aren’t right now, so we have a lot to work on.

“Just too many mistakes. We gave up way too many passing yards, that’s something we can’t do. If you want to go out and beat Tom Brady you have to shut him down in the passing game. We allowed him to get away with way too much.”

Brady threw for 466 yards, the most in a single game against the Bills in team annals.

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Rambo: Don’t blame the pass rush

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2015 – 11:22 pm

The Bills defensive game plan was to use their advantageous matchups up front and just rush their front four at Tom Brady on passing downs so they could drop seven into coverage. That was the plan through much of the first half, but Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Jerry Hughes could not get home, and it had nothing to do with their abilities as pass rushers.

Bills Bacarri Rambo, who saw it all unfold from his safety position said Patriots QB Tom Brady just gets the ball out too fast for any pass rush to matter.

“It wasn’t even the pass rush; it’s just, (Tom Brady) wasn’t holding on to the ball long enough to allow our pass rush to get there,” said Rambo. “We’ve got four guys that can get home each and every play if they want, and they’re going to, because that’s how those guys play up front. But, it wasn’t even on them by getting home, it’s Brady just knew where the ball was going as soon as he got the ball, one, two, the ball was gone. So, it had nothing to do with the pass rush.”

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The one thing that surprised Belichick

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2015 – 6:45 pm

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick isn’t surprised by too much when it comes to game plans and ‘X’s and ‘O’s, but there was one thing the Bills did defensively that he wasn’t expecting.

Belichick admitted that their defense did not play well on the opening drive when the Bills went 80 yards on 10 plays to score a touchdown in relatively easy fashion. But New England’s offense got rolling in the second quarter scoring on three straight possessions and built an 11-point halftime lead.

What caught Belichick off guard was how little Buffalo chose to blitz, choosing coverage instead of sending extra rushers.

“Defensively,  they didn’t really blitz the whole first half,” said Belichick. “They ran a couple of zone pressures where one guy blitzed and the other guy dropped. They didn’t really play pressure at all in the second half, and then we saw a little more pressure defense. We kind of anticipated that at half time. We didn’t think they would keep doing the same thing for as long as they did, but they pretty much did the whole first half.”

Ryan explained that they decided to go with coverage knowing Brady gets the ball out too fast for even a blitz to get to him.

“We were going to put it on our front four,” said Ryan. “We thought we had an advantage there. Ball came out a lot of times and if you turn some people loose… regardless of the coverage. We were mixing in two-man, a  bunch of different things. But shot it’s to their credit. You know I’ve been on the wrong end of it a few times when the kid gets hot and Brady was hot and if you make a mistake on top of it he kills you.”

Brady threw for 466 yards in the game, the most by any opposing QB in Bills history.

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How Brady & Co. are preparing for RWS noise

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2015 – 3:28 pm

The Bills fans brought it big time in the season opener against the Colts. Veteran players affirmed that it was one of the loudest on field atmospheres they can remember. With the rival Patriots coming to town the decibel level is expected to climb even higher this Sunday. So what is the Patriots offense doing to prepare for the likelihood of having to operate with non-verbal communication?

Tom Brady was asked if the Patriots are capable of duplicating the Ralph Wilson Stadium atmosphere in practice.

“Yeah, you can try,” he said. “Unless you’ve been there, you really don’t quite know how it’s going to be. I think you expect the worst and you expect the loudest, and I think that’s what we practice when we’re out there. I mean, you really can’t hear anything when Coach [Belichick] turns those speakers up.

“He tries to make it harder for us in practice than it is in the game, and not being able to really hear anything just requires a lot of non-verbal communication and everyone being on the same page – knowing your calls, knowing your assignments, being able to know the things that we’re doing really well so you can go out and play confidently and aggressively – because if you don’t play that way, then you get really defensive as an offense. I think the Colts, they got pushed around, and when you get pushed around by a team like this, they really feed off of that.”

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Youngsters on Pats OL doing extra prep

Posted by Chris Brown on September 17, 2015 – 4:34 pm

There’s a very good chance that the New England Patriots will need to start a pair of rookie offensive linemen Sunday against the Bills. With starting C Bryan Stork placed on I-R/Des. to Return and starting guard Ryan Wendell recovering from an illness, New England may have to start rookie G Shaq Mason alongside rookie center David Andrews as they did in Week 1. That could spell trouble for Tom Brady when it comes to inside pass pressure knowing Buffalo’s boasts a pair of Pro Bowl DTs in Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus.

Patriots QB Tom Brady said the offensive linemen have been prepping overtime with blitz pickups and pass protection in general.

“It’s challenging, and we’ve been preparing,” said Brady. “We’ve done blitz pickup probably more than any other team in football since the spring started, especially with some young players in there up front, so just to have a lot of work that we’ve kind of put in the bank and know that you’ve got to trust the guys next to you that when you make a call, you know, we’re going against probably the best D-line in football.

“These guys are phenomenal all the way across the board, so it puts a lot of pressure on the offense to communicate well, trust each other, and then when that breaks down I throw it as quick as I can. I don’t want to be the one holding the ball all day and see if they can get home because you know they can.”

At the same time he’s been impressed with his new man in the pivot, Andrews.

“I think Dave [Andrews] has done a great job,” said Brady. “He’s got an opportunity, and he’s really taken advantage of it. I’m really impressed by the way that he’s come to work and the challenge that he … He played at a big time college, so he’s been in front of a lot of crowds in a good conference. So, he’s just stepped in, and to start undrafted and to be a starting center last week, and then moving forward in the season we’ll see what happens, but he’s done a great job, and I think he’s obviously gained the trust of his coaches and teammates, which is ultimately what you’re trying to do as a pro athlete.”

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Pats recognize offensive mindset of Bills ‘D’

Posted by Chris Brown on September 17, 2015 – 10:13 am

Bills head coach Rex Ryan is known as an aggressive defensive play caller. He and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman aren’t shy about throwing caution to the wind with the way they call games. The Patriots know that all too well. In fact they had an interesting description for Ryan’s defensive philosophy.

“He’s a great coach,” said Tom Brady of Ryan. “I think he just does a good job keeping offenses off balance. He’s obviously got a good blitz package. I think what you saw last week against the Colts was kind of vintage Rex Ryan, and along with those great players that he’s got, I think they just, they take such an offensive mentality to their defense. And they put a lot of pressure on opposing offenses, and wherever they feel like they’ve got you stressed, I think they smell blood in the water and they keep going after it.

“You know, it took the Colts a long time to get going. Hopefully, we can get out to a good, fast start and play well and try to get those guys on their heels a little bit. But it’s tough to do because, like I said, they’re really well prepared. They’ve got some really talented players, and they always play well at home. I think every time that we play them there, it feels like it’s always down to the minute.”

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Looks like Bills will see Brady in Week 2

Posted by Chris Brown on September 3, 2015 – 10:32 am

After more than seven months of legal wrangling New England QB Tom Brady has won in the arbitration case with the NFL regarding his four-game suspension for Brady’s perceived role in the Patriots’ Deflategate scandal stemming from the AFC Championship game. That means the Bills will see the perennial All-Pro quarterback in Week 2 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Judge Berman in New York nullified the league’s four-game suspension of Brady allowing the quarterback to play immediately in Week 1 next week against the Steelers. Here is the key wording of the ruling.

Based upon the foregoing and the applicable legal authorities, the Court hereby denies the Management Council’s motion to confirm the award and grants the Player Association’s motion to vacate the Award, thereby vacating the four-game suspension of Tom Brady, effective immediately.   

The league is expected to appeal the case in New York’s second circuit, and fighting for a stay on the ruling is another option for the NFL, but at this point it seems unlikely that Brady will be kept off the field for the start of the 2015 regular season.

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Kyle weighs in on Brady decision

Posted by Chris Brown on July 29, 2015 – 1:49 pm

Bills DT Kyle Williams is also the team’s Union rep so he naturally was asked for his take on the league’s decision to uphold his four game suspension.

“If you look at it from the league side it would be hard for them to turn back on a ruling that they made with a special investigative crew coming in and making that decision,” said Williams. “I think their decision to uphold it is not at all surprising based on the fact that those are people they hired. It would be hard to go back on it.

“As a PA (Players Association) we have to protect the rights of all of our players. With him he declares his innocence and I think we are going to let the process play out, but we are going to try to defend him the best way we can from our end of it which is obviously the complete opposite position that the league has.”

With respect to the possibility of not seeing Brady in Buffalo’s Week 2 matchup with New England, Williams chose to focus on what’s right in front of him which is training camp.

“We haven’t even practiced yet,” he said. “We have a long way to go for getting better ourselves before we even play a preseason game. And we’ve got a game before we even played them so so to worry about will he be there will he not be there, is a long way off. If we are concerned about that now our heads in the wrong place.”

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Goodell: No timetable on Brady ruling

Posted by Chris Brown on July 21, 2015 – 2:25 pm

Appearing at an event in Pennsylvania Tuesday NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked if a timeline was in place for a ruling to be made on Tom Brady’s current four-game suspension as part of the Deflate-gate scandal. Goodell maintained there is no timetable.

“There is no timeline. We want to make sure we have a fair and open process. We are obviously being very thorough and want to make sure we consider all aspects of his appeal,” said Goodell at a fundraising event. “We will make a decision as quickly as possible.”

Brady appealed the four-game ban and there have been reports that unless the ban is lifted in full that the Patriots quarterback will take the league to court over their decision on punishment.

If the four-game ban is upheld, or even reduced to two games Brady would miss the Patriots’ Week 2 game against the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.


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Tom Brady to miss 1st game vs. Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on May 11, 2015 – 5:56 pm

The NFL has handed down its sentence for New England QB Tom Brady in the wake of the Wells report which investigated the Deflate-Gate controversy. 

Brady will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season, which means he’ll miss the Patriots Week 2 game against the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. 

The Bills have not faced the Patriots without Tom Brady since the 2008 season when Brady missed 15 games with a torn ACL. 

His replacement for that game was Matt Cassel, who is on Buffalo’s roster now after an offseason trade with Minnesota. 

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Brady, Gronk, Revis to be pulled early?

Posted by Chris Brown on December 27, 2014 – 10:18 pm

Speculation in New England is rampant that some of the Patriots’ more important parts will be headed to the sideline long before Sunday’s season finale between the Patriots and Bills is over. Even the team website predicts an early exit for some of the Pats’ regulars.

Patriots Football Weekly columnist Andy Hart believes some of the more important cogs in the Patriots machine will be sitting on the bench come the second half Sunday. Others may not even dress for the game like Julian Edelman and LeGarrette Blount, who both missed last week’s game against the Jets due to injury. Here’s the scuttlebutt on playing time for Patriots starters.

Using history as a guideline it would seem likely that anyone dealing with any sort of injury could very well be inactive. That could include guys like Julian Edelman, Kyle Arrington, Dan Connolly and LeGarrette Blount, all of whom missed last Sunday’s game in New York. Alfonzo Dennard and Jonas Gray have already been ruled out. But, barring a change from the past, healthy players, even superstars like Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Darrelle Revis, could see early action against the Bills. In the past, when New England has clinched a bye and had an essentially meaningless game, Belichick has played his starters enough to try ensure they don’t get too rusty before the time off leading up to the second round of playoff action. Could that change? Sure. But for now it would seem likely that Brady and Co. could see a few series of action, maybe two quarters of playing time, before taking to the sideline for some well-earned rest. 



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Brady: Bills ‘D’ makes you earn it

Posted by Chris Brown on December 24, 2014 – 1:26 pm

Patriots QB Tom Brady is 23-2 in his career against the Bills, but he still holds Buffalo’s defense in high regard. Here was his take on this year’s edition of the Bills defensive unit under coordinator Jim Schwartz.

“This team is ranked as high as probably any of the defenses that we’ve played all year, so they’re doing a lot of things right,” Brady said. “You try to play to the strengths of your players, and this team does a really good job of that. They’ve got really good rushers all up and down the front, really good guys at coverage linebacker, they’re playing the run well, some hard-hitting safeties and some good cover guys. They’ve got a good group. They force you to make a lot of plays. They just don’t give you any easy plays out there. They make you earn it.”

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Bills won’t fret about top QBs left on schedule

Posted by Chris Brown on December 1, 2014 – 9:24 am

The Bills are at 7-5 and are still in the hunt for the AFC postseason. Still on the schedule however, are quarterbacks like Peyton Manning (this Sunday), Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Kyle Williams doesn’t want to hear how daunting it is knowing they have to face those QBs.

“Well, if it’s daunting and you’re worried or you’re scared about it, I don’t want to play with you,” Williams said. “It’s a challenge obviously, great players. We feel like we’re pretty good players too, so we have to prepare, we have to be on top of our business and go out there and try to win one football game. You can’t lose sight of the forest for the trees, you can’t look at everybody, you can only focus on what you have in front of you and we have a good test in front of us.”

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Bills aiming to keep Gronk under wraps

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2014 – 9:32 am

Their exact plan has been kept under wraps this week, but the Bills know they’ve got to limit Rob Gronkowski in New England’s passing game. Not only because he’s a favorite target of Tom Brady, but because he’s been a Bills killer over the years.

In his six games played against the Bills, he has 30 catches for 449 yards and nine touchdowns. Six of those touchdowns have come in his last four games played against Buffalo. He did not face the Bills last year due to injury.

His quarterback Tom Brady knows coming back to Buffalo to play his hometown team is a game that Gronk looks forward to.

“He’s done a great job for us since he’s got here,” said Brady. “Being from Buffalo, I know how much he always loved going up there to play, so hopefully he has a great game this weekend. He’s a big part of our offense. He’s fought through a lot of things over the last few years, but he’s excited, he loves being back out there with us, and it’s great to have him back.”

The Bills may use any of a number of players to cover Gronkowski between some of their more athletic linebackers and safeties.

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Marrone: Fans will be louder than Week 2

Posted by Chris Brown on October 12, 2014 – 8:27 am

Back in Week 2 just after it had been announced that the Pegulas had the winning bid for the Bills franchise, Buffalo was hosting Miami in their home opener. The energy in the stadium was electric and the fans had an impact on the game as they forced the Dolphins into some penalties due to the crowd noise. This Sunday with the Pegulas now officially the owners of the team and a big division game against New England, head coach Doug Marrone expects the atmosphere to be even more amped up in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

“My expectation is it’s going to be an even greater atmosphere,” said Marrone in his weekly Coffee with the Coach segment on and presented by Tim Horton’s. “I think that our fans can play a big difference in this game. We’re focused on going out there and beating a divisional opponent, beating New England. And I think our fans will be able to play a big role in this game and help us.”

Patriots QB Tom Brady has played enough games in Ralph Wilson Stadium to know the din that Bills fans can manufacture on game day.

“It’s always a tough place to play. Communication is always an issue,” said Brady. “I’m sure it’s going to be rowdy. The fans are going to be into it. It’s a one o’clock game, everybody is going to get up and get rolling. It’s going to be a great atmosphere. If you love football, then one o’clock Sunday in Orchard Park is where you want to be.”

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Brady added as questionable for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2014 – 5:09 pm

The Patriots are a bit beat up on the defensive side of the ball, much like the Bills in advance of this Sunday’s game at Ralph Wilson Stadium, but the addition of New England QB Tom Brady as questionable is a bit of a surprise.

Brady was added to New England’s injury report Friday after being limited in practice due to an ankle injury. Over the years Brady has often been listed as probable with a shoulder injury, but questionable is a rather new designation for the signal caller. The only other quarterback on the Patriots roster is rookie Jimmy Garoppolo. It’s hard to believe that Brady would miss a game knowing his highly competitive nature.

Brady’s starting C Bryan Stork, another rookie, suffered a concussion in practice Thursday and did not practice Friday. He too is questionable for the game, which could prompt yet another offensive line shuffle in advance of a game.

Veteran guard Dan Connolly would presumably step in for Stork if he cannot play Sunday.

Player Pos Injury Participation Friday Game Status
Ebner, Nate DB Finger Did Not Participate OUT
Fleming, Cameron OL Finger Did Not Participate OUT
Browner, Brandon CB Ankle Did Not Participate Questionable
Easley, Dominique DL Shoulder/Knee Did Not Participate Questionable
Brady, Tom QB Ankle Limited Participation Questionable
Collins, Jamie LB Thigh Limited Participation Questionable
Hightower, Dont’a LB Knee Limited Participation Questionable
Slater, Matthew WR Shoulder Limited Participation Questionable
Stork, Bryan C Concussion Did Not Participate Questionable
Jones, Chandler DE Shoulder Limited Participation Probable
McCourty, Devin S Rib Limited Participation Probable

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Brady aware Pegulas will boost energy at RWS

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2014 – 2:12 pm

The Patriots are preparing in earnest for their big division tilt Sunday against the Bills. As much time as they’re spending on Buffalo’s personnel and game tape, they are aware of the club’s ownership change. Veteran QB Tom Brady is smart enough to know that the fans’ energy at the Ralph Sunday will be even greater in the wake of the new Pegula ownership.

“Yeah, it’s a great environment up there. It’s always a tough place to play, so we’ve had a lot of tough games up there over the years,” Brady said. “I’m sure this one will be. You know, they’re playing great. There will be a lot of energy. Coach said that the new ownership happens this week, so they’ll be pretty fired up. It’ll be a great challenge for us certainly to go on the road in a tough place to play, try to go out there and get a tough win.”


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Brady confirms prep that Bills ‘D’ demands

Posted by Chris Brown on December 27, 2013 – 9:29 am

Patriots QB Tom Brady has seen defensive schemes like that of the Bills before. At the same time he admits that with the myriad of defensive looks and disguises that Mike Pettine’s defense offers, he and his offensive unit will need to be familiar with an awful lot of pre-snap formations.

There’s a lot to prepare for, no question,” said Brady. “It’s one of those defenses that does a lot of different things. Similar to how when we played the Jets; they’ve got a lot of calls and a lot of looks, and they try to confuse you. They’ve got a lot of coverage looks, a lot of front looks, a lot of blitzes, so they put pressure on you in a lot of areas. I think it’s just – you’ve got to study what they do, kind of like we do every week. It’s just a lot of mental preparation.”

Brady’s stat line in Week 1 against Buffalo was 29-52 passing for 288 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He was sacked twice and had a passer rating of 76.4.

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