Inside The Bills

Final look: Taylor, Douzable with solid play in Wk 6

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2016 – 9:59 am

In the final review of Sunday’s blowout win over the 49ers, while Tyrod Taylor’s passing numbers didn’t pop off the stat sheet they were very efficient. Proof of that comes in ProFootballFocus’ game review of the win.

They pointed out how effective Taylor was in moving out of the pocket and making plays, by buying time and spotting targets downfield.

When blitzed he completed 83 percent of his throws for 133 yards and two touchdowns, which goes to show that Tyrod is comfortable when he’s moving the pocket. Going into today Taylor had the highest time to throw in the league at 3.22 seconds, most of that being contributed to him moving around giving his receivers time to separate. When he attempted passes 10 yards or farther down the field, there was success to be had as he completed five of seven for 103 yards and a TD. 

On defense it was Leger Douzable who was an under the radar performer in the win.

Douzable was especially effective against the run, earning an 83.9 run defense grade to lead the Bills defensive line. Douzable only had two tackles (both of which went for stops) but he dominated the interior of the 49ers offensive line all game long, squeezing gaps shut and clogging up the point of attack. 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills family supports Eric Wood at Flights & Bites

Posted by Kelly Baker on October 18, 2016 – 4:27 pm

eric-wood-flights-bites

Bills center Eric Wood hosted his second annual Flights and Bites event in downtown Buffalo on Monday, Oct. 17. The event, which followed the team’s big win over the San Francisco 49ers, featured many players who chose to spend their time off supporting their teammate. Coming together for a good cause, the evening consisted of both silent and live auctions to benefit the Eric Wood Foundation, which seeks to provide aid to families of sick children.

“Just a fun…Monday night, (it’s a) chance for a lot of the guys and coaches to come out and interact with a lot of the fans and raise money for sick children and their families here in Western New York,” said Wood. Especially after a win yesterday (Sunday, Oct. 16), the spirits are always high and people are in the giving spirit in times like that.”

The support from the Bills family proved truly tremendous, as over 30 Bills players and coaches attended the event. The turnout included, Bills general manager Doug Whaley, head coach Rex Ryan, offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, quarterback Tyrod Taylor, safety Aaron Williams, guard Richie Incognito, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, linebacker Reggie Ragland, safety Colt Anderson, cornerback Kevon Seymour, linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, kicker Dan Carpenter, defensive tackle Kyle Williams and many more.

For more information on the Eric Wood Foundation, visit here.


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Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Taylor tops all QBs in rush yards

Posted by Chris Brown on October 17, 2016 – 2:12 pm

Most who have watched Buffalo’s games over the past year know they have a quarterback who can pick up yards on the ground. Through the first six weeks of the season, Taylor leads all NFL QBs in rushing yards.

Taylor has 236 yards on the ground on just 34 carries to average 6.9 yards per rush. He has a long of 49 yards and a rushing touchdown to his credit as well.

When it comes to rushes per game however, Taylor is third (5.7). The recently benched Blaine Gabbert (7.8) and Cam Newton (6.2) are the only QBs who run more often than Taylor.

The next closest quarterback in terms of rushing yards is Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota with 196.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McCoy: I should’ve had 200 yards rushing

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2016 – 12:16 am

Bills RB LeSean McCoy, was once again a dynamic weapon for Buffalo on the ground. Without him they probably don’t win Sunday’s game at L.A. He was averaging 9.6 yards per carry until he came out for the last series of the game and had a couple of carries for losses. So he finished with 150 yards even on 18 carries to average a shade over eight yards per rush. It was his fifth 100-yard rushing day for the Bills, but as has been his habit he can’t seem to enjoy them.

After games, even wins, McCoy is always critiquing his performance, and if there’s one play where he felt he left yardage on the field he’s on it quicker than he gets to the line of scrimmage. When asked Sunday after the game if his performance was his best in a Bills uniform he responded this way.

“I guess stats-wise, but there were some plays I missed,” he said. “I could’ve had like 200 yards. Just small things. I get so wrapped up in trying to make too many plays. Sometimes you do things where you make it hard for yourself. There were some plays where I could’ve picked up 10 or 15 yards and they had it blocked up and I just didn’t make the right cut.”

McCoy put the blame squarely on himself saying the line blocked well most of the day. There were some run plays where he was just a shoestring tackle from breaking to go the distance. Still, his 53 and 24-yard runs that each set up first-and-goal situations were two of the three-longest plays from scrimmage on offense for Buffalo.

He also had a key blitz pickup on a 3rd-and-19 in the first half that allowed Tyrod Taylor to escape the pocket and convert at 3rd-and-19 with a 22-yard scramble for a first down. That drive resulted in a touchdown.

“LeSean has been playing very well,” said Tyrod Taylor. “Guys in the backfield have been playing very well. The guys up front have been blocking and creating holes for LeSean to do the things that he’s been doing. He’s been playing with an extra gear to his game I guess you would say. But he’s definitely going out there and making plays and giving us offense.”

About halfway through his postgame press conference with the media, McCoy finally stopped with his self-criticism and took a moment to recognize the importance of the win on the road.

“A win is a win,” he said. “To get up here and nitpick about this and that. We got a ‘W’ against a good team, a 3-1 team. L.A. trip, we could’ve let all the distractions get to us and the long flight, getting in the day before. We didn’t do that. We made no excuses. We came out with the mindset to get a victory and that’s what happened.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills saw McCoy as big mismatch in pass game

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2016 – 10:21 pm

Getting LeSean McCoy in space was not something the Patriots defense was going to allow in the run game, so Buffalo’s game plan was to get McCoy on the edges by leaking him out of the backfield to catch passes and when he did he was a matchup nightmare for New England.

McCoy caught all six passes he was targeted with in the game including the seven-yard touchdown catch to cap the opening drive.

“Scheme-wise they basically took away the back side so it’s him or (Charles) Clay at that point,” said Tyrod Taylor of the touchdown play. “But he won right off the line. It’s a natural pick. Nothing illegal, it’s a natural pick off the rub and while he was running that route it freed Shady up.”

As for the game plan putting McCoy out in space against a linebacking corps that only has one superior athlete in Jamie Collins made too much sense.

“Just to get the matchups,” said McCoy of why they did it. “Ninety-one is a hell of a player, Collins. Hightower is very good himself. But those guys are bigger and are more fit for the run (game) and kind of stand up backers at that. So we wanted to try to get the matchups one on one and we got them and got the best of them.”

 

 

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

To spy or not to spy Tyrod

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2016 – 10:25 am

Through the first three games of the season when Tyrod Taylor has dropped back to pass he’s had a linebacker spying him at times. Not often, but enough in Week 1 and Week 2 to keep Taylor from really victimizing Baltimore and the Jets in the first two games this season.

Last week against the Cardinals, there wasn’t much spy at all and Taylor rolled up more than 70 yards on the ground including a 20-yard touchdown run on a broken pass play.

That kind of production all but guarantees Taylor will be seeing a lot more linebacker spies when he drops back to pass moving forward. When asked what he’s expecting from New England, Taylor said a little bit of everything.

“They mix it up and I definitely anticipate they’re going to mix it up this time around too,” Taylor said.

Taylor doesn’t believe that opponents will do a lot of spying on him simply because to do so they have to commit their most athletic linebacker. That takes their best cover linebacker out of the equation and as Taylor sees it that’s fine by him.

“If you have your second-best cover linebacker on Shady that’s to our advantage,” said Taylor.

Regardless of what kind of advantage it might present to the Bills offense, head coach Rex Ryan believes Taylor’s production last week will compel opposing defensive coordinators to spy Taylor at times even if opponents have to commit their most athletic linebacker.

“We can expect a lot more of it, especially in the passing game,” said Ryan. “That’s when we’re going to see it the most. The thing is the guy that you usually put a spy on him has to be one of your best athletes or he’s not going to be able to keep up with Tyrod. But it is something we definitely have to expect.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

New emphasis in pass game for Tyrod

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2016 – 9:37 am

After the first three games there are Bills fans concerned about Tyrod Taylor’s passing game production. New offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn is presenting a new emphasis to Buffalo’s QB as he steps up to the line of scrimmage pre-snap in an effort to help Taylor make more plays in the pass game.

Lynn was asked about developing an identity for Buffalo’s offense, but balance is what he is really striving for and he know he has to get more pass game production to complement their strong rushing attack. Lynn said he’s got Taylor taking a different approach to surveying the defense.

“We have to be able to run the ball playing in this part of the country, but at the same time if you want to be an explosive offense you have to be able to go down the field with the ball,” said Lynn. “You have to hit outside the hashes and the middle of the field. We are working on balance and more flexibility at the line of scrimmage to run, versus right to run looks and to pass versus pass looks, and to take advantage of matchups. That’s something we’re really stressing with Tyrod is to see the matchup. Forget the read, go to the matchup.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Prepped for headset issues

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2016 – 8:05 am

It’s only been one game that offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn and Tyrod Taylor have communicated through the headset as coordinator and quarterback. They’ve kept communication minimal in an effort to get in and out of the huddle as efficiently as possible. Last week the operation was much better than in Week 1 or 2. But will they be prepared if perhaps the headset communication is “malfunctioning” as it has been known to do for visiting teams at Gillette Stadium?

“For sure. Yes,” said Taylor. “It’s a good thing that I wear a wristband. Each week we go into the game with the mindset that something will happen and we can go off the wristband with signals from the sidelines. We’re prepared for that.”

By having the play calls on the wristband, whether it’s Lynn on the headset or QBs coach David Lee on the sideline they can just signal a number for a specific play in the game plan that’s in a numbered list on his wristband.

Coach Lynn also reduced the communication further between him and Taylor regarding personnel groupings. That will be communicated from the sideline via signals.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-30

Posted by Chris Brown on September 30, 2016 – 11:45 am

It’s just about October and the Bills have a giant division game Sunday at ‘The Razor.’ Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills chances the #bills shut down Watkins the entire year? Curious as to why no urgency in adding another WR with 2 down?

Frank Miosi@miosi37

CB: I don’t think the Bills are at that point yet, but I’ve got to believe that if the medical staff gets to a point where they determine that Watkins’ foot even with rest is not improving to where he can play on it then the discussion to shelve him for the season could come up.

I’m not a doctor so I’m not going to pretend to know the protocol for how that decision is ultimately reached. But it Watkins can’t play this Sunday after not playing on it for 17 days it could beg the question if the foot will ever be good enough to play on in its current state.


2 –
@ChrisBrownBills with the poor QB play, what are the chances the Bills get serious about the position, be it thru a trade or the draft

Uncle Rico@RckyMtnBillsFan

CB: I don’t believe after three games that the Bills are actively seeking other options at quarterback. I do believe they need more passing game production out of Tyrod. I like Anthony Lynn’s approach with Taylor of identifying the best matchup pre-snap instead of working his way through the reads. Find the best matchup and exploit it.

The trade market on quarterbacks is typically limited unless someone wants to give up a lot, like Minnesota did to save what they believe can still be a playoff run type season. I believe much like everyone anticipated Tyrod will be given this entire season to prove he can advance his game and take the next step. If he can’t then perhaps a change in course will take place like you’re describing.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills #bills how will the bills defense attack qbs since both have quick release and can run?

lisa marinucci@LisaNucci1967

CB: Buffalo’s defense relies on disguise and a multitude of looks to slow the opposing quarterback down just enough with his decision making for pressure to get there and disrupt the opponent’s passing game. Properly utilized in the right down and distance situations this can be very effective.

Through the first three games the Bills have been more aggressive with their blitz packages on the whole. Even early in the Jets game they brought some pressure just to disrupt the timing of the Jets pass game. I suspect there will be pressure packages and some new looks from Buffalo’s defense for the Patriots QB this week whether it’s Garoppolo or Brissett.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills was our “great secondary” a product of getting pressure rushing only 4?

Steve Tucciarello@24Tuch24

CB: I don’t think anyone will argue that the improved pass pressure helped last week. But I will also say that Buffalo’s coverage players made more plays on the ball even when the pressure wasn’t generated up front. Against the Jets there were jump ball situations where the Bills corners and safeties just didn’t win. Against the Cardinals more often than not they did.

Perfect stat line to illustrate that – passes defensed.

Against the Jets – 4 pass breakups, 0 interceptions on
Against the Cards – 10 pass breakups, 4 interceptions
5 – @ChrisBrownBills has Spikes contributed to our better run defense so far this year or has it been more the change to full 3-4?

Sean joyce@Seanjoy93765788

CB: It has unquestionably been the scheme. The defensive unit just looks more comfortable in this run front defensively. The defensive linemen have done a great job of constricting the rush lanes in this scheme. Preston Brown and Zach Brown have been the biggest factors at the second level. Brandon Spikes has only played 13 of 224 defensive snaps so far this season. He was inactive in Week 2.

Spikes has been used as a strong side OLB up on the line of scrimmage on obvious run downs in the limited time that he’s been on the field defensively. I think that’s a good spot for him since he’s a bigger LB and can set the edge. He could have a bigger role this week if LeGarrette Blount is on the field as much as he’s been for the Patriots over the first three weeks of the season.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Belichick talking up Bills run game

Posted by Chris Brown on September 27, 2016 – 8:45 am

He probably would’ve spoken highly of Buffalo’s run game anyway, but in the wake of their 208-yard rushing day in Sunday’s win over Arizona, Bill Belichick was quick to explain how challenging the Bills rushing attack is with LeSean McCoy and multi-dimensional QB in Tyrod Taylor.

“Their running game definitely gives you a lot of problems, and in addition to (Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy) the overall scheme that they employ is challenging as well,” said Belichick. “Read options schemes, zone schemes and then some blocking scheme plays, double team pullers, combination blocks. They have all that. I also thought that Gillislee gave them some good strong runs in short yardage and red area situations as well. Obviously McCoy is as good as it gets. The production that he’s had is outstanding. He’s a very difficult guy to handle. They give you a lot of different problems between not only the different players, but the different schemes that they employ.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Biggest offensive change expected? Tempo

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2016 – 10:35 am

The personal preferences from the Bills offensive playbook by new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn will obviously change what Buffalo’s offense runs on Sunday. But the biggest change is expected to come in the functionality of the Bills attack, especially when it comes to tempo.

The first two weeks of the season getting in and out of the huddle has been an issue. It hasn’t afforded Tyrod Taylor much time to survey the defense before the snap and call an audible or check at the line. Coach Lynn intends to change that, something that has been confirmed by Taylor and head coach Rex Ryan.

“I think number one the tempo will be faster,” said Ryan. “That’s what we’ve stressed to our players and then there are going to be some different ways that we’re going to attack.”

“I definitely think we’ll speed up the process and push the tempo,” said Taylor.

Lynn doesn’t just want the offense operating at a quicker pace, he wants to see long drives, something that’s been noticeably absent from Buffalo’s offense.

“I want to play smart, physical football,” said Lynn. “I want to be explosive down the field, and right now, I just want to stay on the damn field. That’s what I want to do. So, we’re going to play a little bit faster and see if we can put a little pressure on the defense and just execute.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

New Era cap designed by Tyrod on sale today

Posted by Chris Brown on September 25, 2016 – 8:13 am

There will be a newly designed Bills cap making its debut at New Era Field today.

New Era is unveiling a new Bills cap that was designed by QB Tyrod Taylor and it will be on sale at New Era Field today. Here’s a look at the cap, which incorporates elements of the Municipal flag of Buffalo (lightning and stars).

11431044_59fifty_bufbiltaylorexclusive_bufbil_whi_3ql


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Taylor: It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2016 – 6:09 pm

Bills QB Tyrod Taylor will be the first to admit that an 0-2 start is nothing to be proud of, especially the way the offense has played as they rank last in the league in plays per game at 49 on average through the first two weeks. But Taylor believes with 14 games to change the conversation there’s still time to turn their season around.

“Every game is important in this league, whether you go 0-2, 0-3,” said Taylor when asked about the prospect of still being winless after Sunday. “Of course you never want to start off the season with losses, but it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish. We have to do whatever it takes from here on out to get back on the winning side, so every game is important.”

The Bills know converting on third down is job one on offense, where they currently rank 29th in the league.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Tyrod’s brief exit was call made by Hochuli

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2016 – 1:19 am

In the fourth quarter Tyrod Taylor was escorted off the field after he took a sandwich hit from a couple of Jets defenders on a tackle. Head referee Ed Hochuli walked Buffalo’s quarterback to the Bills sideline and he was promptly examined. The decision however, wasn’t made by any independent neurologist on site. It was made by Hochuli.

“It was a call he made,” said Rex Ryan of Hochuli. “Our quarterback took a shot and it was like, ‘Okay we get it,’ and EJ went in there. I certainly understand that and I’m all for that. They told me that he took a good shot and I certainly get that. This should be about protecting the players and Hochuli explained that to me and I certainly understood.”

Taylor missed two plays before he was declared safe to re-enter the game.

“It’s protocol because I got hit. He said he thought I was a little woozy on the ground,” said Taylor. “You never want to come out in the middle of a series especially in a close game, but I understand it’s protocol so I have to deal with it.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mental reps must translate to physical execution

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2016 – 3:40 pm

On a short week the Bills, and the Jets for that matter, have to switch their approach to mastering the game plan to the mental side. The players’ bodies have to recover after just playing on Sunday. Running around on a practice field in the three days between the games is unrealistic. Reduced to walk through sessions and a whole lot of work in the film room, mental reps must now translate to the field for the game tonight.

Tyrod Taylor admits that’s easier said than done.

“Just trying to get everybody to focus in and understanding that it may not be a physical week, but it definitely is a mental one,” said Taylor. “Keeping everybody on the same page. Sometimes you have to talk through routes, have to spend the extra time in the film (room) talking with coaches. Just trying to pick their brains and try to stay ahead. So I just try to relay to the coaches what we like and what we don’t like.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Roman: We’ll do a better job

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2016 – 2:19 pm

No one needs to tell Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman that a lot of things need to be better on his side of the ball. Protection, blocking, ball location, reads, play call delivery, execution. It all has to improve in Week 2 Thursday night against the Jets. Roman believes their play will be better.

“We looked at it, evaluated it,” said Roman of their game last Sunday. “I told the players, the way I look at it, it all starts with me. If we all look at it like that, we’re going to be able to get done what we need to get done. I’ve got to do a better job, it’s that simple. Collectively, we’ll do a better job.”

When it came to lessons learned in Week 1, Tyrod Taylor said it was simple.

“We’ve got to take advantage of every opportunity that’s given. There are only a certain amount of plays in every game and that game boiled down to about four or five plays that if we could’ve been better on it would’ve changed the game.”

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Reed: Taylor is ready

Posted by Chris Brown on September 11, 2016 – 11:00 am

When they were teammates in Baltimore, Ed Reed told a young Tyrod Taylor to always be ready, that his time would come. Now both return to the place where that message was first delivered when Taylor was still a backup quarterback. Is Taylor ready? Ed Reed says absolutely.

“I talked to Tyrod and he’s pretty much cool,” said Reed of Taylor’s demeanor this week. “Tyrod is a leader. This is something that he probably never saw coming when he was at Baltimore, but it’s part of the game and he knows he has a job to do. Tyrod is a player. He wants to perform well He wants to play well regardless of who he’s playing. He’s going to give his best.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills elusive weapons hard for Ravens to replicate

Posted by Chris Brown on September 11, 2016 – 10:22 am

If there is one distinct advantage for Buffalo’s offense against the Ravens it’s their top weapons are extremely elusive. Earlier in the week Baltimore defensive coordinator Dean Pees compared Sammy Watkins to perennial Pro Bowl receiver Randy Moss. But Pees isn’t only worried about containing Watkins.

Preparing for Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy in the practice setting has been an issue because they don’t have any players on their practice squad or who they line up on their scout team during the week, who can effectively replicate what Taylor and McCoy can do on the field.

“We used some guys during some other practices and stuff, but Tyrod is one of the best athletes I have ever been around – ever,” said Pees. “Just watching him out here do things, even when he’d be out here catching a punt and doing things, he’s just a phenomenal, phenomenal athlete. I don’t know that you can simulate that. Our guys have tried to do a good job that we’ve put in there. The quarterbacks and running backs and all of those guys that have done that have done a great job with it. We just have to do a good job on defense of doing what we’re supposed to do – having good eyes and doing our technique, following our assignments and being where we’re supposed to be.

“[LeSean] McCoy is the same way. When McCoy runs a sweep, it’s like a punt return. You don’t know where he’s going to end up. I watched a film on him when he was four yards in the backfield on third-and-one, and he ended up gaining three, and nobody blocked anybody on the play. It was amazing.

“Those guys are phenomenal. It’s not just Tyrod. They have Sammy Watkins out there. They have [Charles] Clay, who I can still remember from Miami and is a heck of a tight end that’s got speed. They have a very, very talented crew. We have our hands full with all of them.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-9

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

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

1 – Chris…

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

Thanks…
Rick McGuire
(mclennon99)

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

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

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

 

2 – Hey Chris,

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

Bob

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

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

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

 

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

Karl Feltes@Karl_79

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

 

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

Magic Mike Ferrara@notwhipped4life

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

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

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

Brady from Vermont

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Full speed the key for Taylor-Watkins timing

Posted by Chris Brown on September 8, 2016 – 10:05 am

Through the course of the offseason workouts nailing down the timing in the pass game between Tyrod Taylor and Sammy Watkins was limited due to a couple of key factors. Those limitations however, are no longer an issue allowing the quarterback-wide receiver tandem to reestablish their on field chemistry.

What was holding the team’s top passing duo back in the offseason were the restrictions on Watkins workload coming off of foot surgery. Even in training camp Watkins was usually practicing every other day. He also couldn’t go full speed on every rep. Couple that with his very brief two-series appearance in just one preseason game, and you understand why it has taken until the 11th hour before the season opener to get their timing back.

“We’ve made a lot of strides in the last couple of weeks,” said Taylor. “We’ve spent some time one on one after practice and just talking through a lot of things. He looks good in practice.”

As Watkins saw it, finding a solution to reestablish their timing on the field was on him.

“I think it was really up to me,” Watkins told Buffalobills.com. “I’ve just got to get in position. It’s not so much on him. I’ve got to run my routes full speed. When I’m running them full speed we have good connection and when I’m half speed that’s when there’s a gray area. That’s why I thought Wednesday was one of my best practices since camp opened. I just focused on going full speed, fundamentals and getting ahead of the ball instead of speeding up and trying to catch up to his passes.”

Fully healthy and allowed to take on a full workload in practices and games, Watkins intends to go full speed for all of practice again Thursday.

“I think if you play fast all the connections and the ball will be there and Tyrod will be more comfortable instead of having to gauge my speed,” Watkins said.


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