Inside The Bills

Bills successfully expand their return options

Posted by Chris Brown on September 10, 2016 – 10:41 am

Though Buffalo is facing arguably the best kick/punt returner in NFL history, they’ve taken steps to address their own return game. After finishing 23rd in punt return average and 30th in kick return average the Bills decided to add veteran return men to their ranks.

Buffalo had some capable return men last season, but most of them were injured during portions of the season. Several of them also didn’t return to the roster (Leodis McKelvin, Percy Harvin, Marcus Thigpen).

So Buffalo signed Reggie Bush a week into training camp and this past week they added veteran returner Brandon Tate to the roster. Walt Powell is an additional option for the return game.

“We feel much better than we did quite honestly at any time last year,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “We’ve got three guys that we know can catch it and return it.”

Just who handles what at the outset of the season remains to be seen, though it’s likely that Tate handles kickoffs and Bush handles punt returns. Of course based on numbers there could be weeks where one of them handles both duties.

 

 


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Rex looking for WRs to make plays

Posted by Chris Brown on August 24, 2016 – 4:55 pm

Knowing how tight things have been at the receiver position, head coach Rex Ryan put the onus on a few receivers in particular to perform heading into the team’s third preseason game at Washington.

Ryan was asked for an assessment of the play in camp of a few wideouts and did not mince words.

On Dez Lewis
“I haven’t seen that big of an improvement from him,” Ryan said. “He’ll get some opportunities and he’s got to stand up if he wants to make this team. He’s got to earn it, nobody’s going to give you anything. I love having a big-size guy that should be a red-zone threat but eventually you got to come down with some plays.”

On Greg Salas
“I think he’s proven that he’s a reliable target. The thing that he hasn’t proved over his career is that he can stay healthy,” Ryan said. “And again this year, he has the hamstring, so that’s a concern. But when he’s out there, we know he’s a fine receiver.”

On Walt Powell
“I would say he’s probably not as consistent as we’d like, but you know you’re going to get great effort from Walt,” said Ryan. “He’s a courageous kid but that’s kind of what we’re trying to focus on, is him being more consistent and I’m talking about with everything. Alignment, assignment—all that type of stuff, his technique. Those are the types of things we keep harping on and I think if he can do those things, he’s got good skills, so we just keep working with him and I know he’s a hard-working kid so hopefully he’ll get even better.”

Finally Ryan confirmed that neither Kolby Listenbee nor Marcus Easley are close to returning to practice field anytime soon. When asked if either could be designated for the Reserve/PUP list Ryan gave indication that it was premature to consider it.


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Initial return candidates

Posted by Chris Brown on August 1, 2016 – 9:40 am

It’s early in camp, but here’s a look at the initial candidates used in practice on kick return.

On Sunday only WRs Walt Powell and Marquise Goodwin took kick return attempts during the special teams segment of practice. It’s possible there could be a rotation as camp wears on, but the pair look to be the primary candidates.

Both players returned kicks for the Bills last season.

Of course that could change if Reggie Bush signs knowing he’s visiting with the club today (Monday).


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