Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 11-17

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2017 – 11:33 am

A two-game road swing coming up for the Bills. Buffalo has to stay ahead of the Wild Card pack. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you like the change at quarterback?

John Africano
@afman3333

CB: I think the lack of functionality on offense with Taylor prompted the need to see if Peterman can make the offense function more effectively. I think there’s a good chance it could happen with Peterman because his greatest asset is he’s a rhythm passer who gets the ball out on time. In a timing-based offense that’s crucial.

Getting the ball out in rhythm should take the pressure off the offensive line, which has struggled at times to provide a clean pocket for Taylor, who has a propensity to hold the ball longer. It should also at least keep a defense a bit more honest so they can’t completely gang up on the run game, which has been suffering without a consistent passing attack.

Buffalo’s offense had declined every single week in third down conversion percentage and last Sunday was the bottom at 18 percent. They simply needed better on that side of the ball.

 

2 – Chris,

Do you see the bills trying to add a tight end? I believe that Gary Barnidge is still available. Why haven’t we taken a look at him again, considering the interest we had during the offseason?!

CB: You’re right he is still available. I’m not sure what would stand in the way of him signing with a team if they reached out to him. That being said, with Peterman entering the lineup, I think Charles Clay stands to see an even greater uptick in production knowing that Peterman’s greatest strength is getting the ball out on time.


3 –
Chris,
I know Coach McDermott has been mentored by such head coaches as Andy Reid  and Ron Rivera. Can you tell me if Coach McDermott calls plays on either offense or defense? If so is it all plays, some plays, few plays? Or does he leave that work to his coordinators? Thanks for the great job you do.
Eric in Port Kent

CB: Coach McDermott leaves play calling up to his coordinators. He’s on the head set and like any head coach, weighs in when he needs to, but for the most part trusts his staff. As a first-year head coach he felt it was important for him to focus on all the decisions that a head coach has to make during a game and let his assistants handle calling plays.

I’m sure there have been instances where he might tell OC Rick Dennison when the offense is driving that he’s got two plays before a third down comes up, meaning they’ll go for it on fourth down if they don’t convert on third down. Or whether they’ll go for it on fourth and goal.

It’s also likely that he may offer a suggestion or two at halftime regarding adjustments. But beyond that his assistants run their respective sides of the ball.

 

4 – Chris,
Almost every time Zay Jones gets passed to it always an incomplete pass. What’s wrong with him, is he just off, or not confident. Like the touchdown he missed in Denver that Holmes caught… or the pass vs the Panthers that he could have caught. What’s up with him? He should be reliable.

Anthony

CB: I think Jones was struggling earlier in the season, but he’s made some strides with his game since then. Rookies battle everything from the NFL learning curve, to their own self-doubt. I think a lot of his issues earlier in the season were in his own head.

This guy caught almost 400 passes in his college career. He’ll be a contributor for this team for years to come. I think you’ll be much happier with the second half

 

5 – Chris,

Do you think we will see Kyle Williams, Lorenzo Alexander and Richie Incognito back in 2018? I know they are all old (for NFL players) but they are also consistently making big plays. If not, how do you think Brandon Beane will prioritize replacing them vs. drafting skill position players like WR, DB for next year’s draft?

Braden Lipman

CB: I think the future of all three are very much up in the air. Kyle has already once contemplated retirement. Alexander and Incognito will still be under contract, but I do expect the club to address the linebacker position in a big way in the offseason via the draft and possibly free agency as well.

Offensive line is an area that could use an influx of young talent, which began this season with Dion Dawkins, but there are a lot of position groups that need to be addressed this coming offseason.

This will be the first full offseason for Beane and McDermott as a tandem, so it’s a bit difficult to discern how they rank position importance.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Zay Jones practices fully, Gaines limited

Posted by Chris Brown on November 15, 2017 – 3:12 pm

There are a couple of Bills players who missed last week’s game who are close to making a return. WR Zay Jones practiced fully on Wednesday while CB E.J. Gaines was limited. But the hope is both will be back in the lineup this week.

“I’m optimistic,” said Jones. “I’m just going to stay on the program I’m on right now. Practice today was a step in the right direction. I’m very encouraged about that. The training staff is doing a great job of just getting my legs back underneath me. I’m excited to just get back out there.”

Barring a setback, Jones is expected to be back in the lineup on Sunday in Los Angeles, which would be a good thing for QB Nate Peterman. Jones and Peterman established a good rapport during their week together on the same team at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, only to continue it through the offseason and training camp with the Bills.

Gaines meanwhile was limited. The cornerback practiced on a limited basis all of last week, but didn’t make it to the game. The hope this week is he’ll be able to increase his workload each day leading up to Sunday.

Jordan Matthews was also a limited participant with a knee injury.

 

 

DID NOT PRACTICE
LB Lorenzo Alexander – rest
TE Charles Clay – knee
OT Cordy Glenn – foot/ankle
DE Jerry Hughes – shin/calf
RB LeSean McCoy – rest
RB Mike Tolbert – hamstring
DT Kyle Williams – rest

LIMITED
CB E.J. Gaines – hamstring
WR Jordan Matthews – knee

FULL PRACTICE
WR Zay Jones – ankle

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Glenn, Jones, Hughes, Gaines all day to day

Posted by Chris Brown on November 13, 2017 – 3:26 pm

Bills head coach Sean McDermott didn’t have any specific updates on any of Buffalo’s injured players, including those who did not suit up on Sunday. He used the same designation for Cordy Glenn, E.J. Gaines, Jerry Hughes and Zay Jones.

“Day to day,” McDermott said of the group. “We’ve got a bunch of guys who are day to day.”

That doesn’t shed much light on whether Glenn or Gaines will be full practice participants on Wednesday. Both players practiced on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday last week. Hughes suffered a shin injury in Sunday’s game.

Jones did not practice at all last week due to an ankle injury.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Zay Jones injury listed as ankle

Posted by Chris Brown on November 8, 2017 – 3:34 pm

Buffalo’s injury report on Wednesday played out just how head coach Sean McDermott said it would at his morning press conference.

OT Cordy Glenn and WR Zay Jones were the only non-participants. The only surprise was that Jones’ injury, which had initially been described as a knee injury is actually an ankle injury.

TE Charles Clay and CB E.J. Gaines were both limited as they try to return from knee and hamstring injuries respectively.

 

 

DID NOT PRACTICE
OT Cordy Glenn – foot/ankle
WR Zay Jones – ankle

LIMITED IN PRACTICE
TE Charles Clay – knee
CB E.J. Gaines – hamstring


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Zay Jones playing down first primetime game

Posted by Chris Brown on November 2, 2017 – 3:35 pm

For Zay Jones, tonight will be the first primetime game of his NFL career. But the rookie receiver, who makes it a point to stay grounded in the way he approaches his job, is trying to downplay the bright lights and exposure to a national audience tonight against the Jets.

“I won’t try to make it a bigger deal than what it is,” Jones said. “There will be more eyes, but I have the same job, just another game of football. It’ll be a fun time, but I’m not going to make more of it than it is.”

Coming off his most productive game on offense last week, Jones is just keeping an even keel with his emotions.

“I’m always building confidence each and every day,” Jones said. “I’ve got great timing with my quarterback and feel that groove in play, so my confidence is building and I’m working on that each and every day.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 10-13

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2017 – 5:12 pm

Sorry for the delay Bills fans. We had a publishing glitch. Here are your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

What’s the status of Seantrel Henderson?

Vince Guarino
@VJGua817

CB: He’s been given a roster exemption this week, giving the team permission to carry 54 rostered players. Come Monday at 4 pm the team will have to make a roster move to add Henderson to the 53-man roster.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

How will the o-line look after the bye. Seantrel? Cordy?

Justin Crow
@jcrowrva

CB: Head coach Sean McDermott was asked point blank when Cordy Glenn is healthy again will he be the starter at left tackle and McDermott said that they would evaluate the position coming out of the bye week.

It’s clear to me that the coaching staff wants to get Dion Dawkins as much playing time as possible. At who’s expense could very well be Glenn. As frustrating as Glenn’s foot and ankle issues have been, when healthy he’s their best left tackle. It will be interesting to see what they decide.

Henderson has not played meaningful football since the middle of last season. He’s not a viable threat to start right away. If Jordan Mills falters at right tackle and they already have left tackle sorted out I suppose he could possibly be in the mix there, but in the foreseeable future he’s your fourth offensive tackle provided Glenn is back healthy.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Coach has put in rookies to see what they got and changed “starters” every game. Why does this not apply to qb?

David Ayotte
@Dhayotte75David

CB: This is a very logical question David, but quarterbacks are just different. The reason why is very often they’re the leaders of your team as is the case with Tyrod. The coaching staff has done nothing but support Taylor and sing his praises as a leader and hard worker.

If Taylor has done all the right things and is only two starts removed from his best performance of the season (win over Denver) and you’re still in first place in your division, how can you make a change there?

What we saw from Taylor in Cincinnati isn’t a foreign thing. We’ve seen it on occasion in each of the last two years. We all know what Taylor’s strengths are at this point, and we know where he’s going to struggle at times.

The bigger issue for me is the run game. Until that gets fixed no one is going to look very good on the offensive side of the ball. The run game is the identity of this offense, like it or not, and without it your quarterback is not going to look great no matter who it is.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Do you see us getting in the market for a WR via trade?

Terry Long
@TerryGoLong

CB: Sorry, but I don’t. I think if the right player becomes available on waivers they’ll put in a claim, but to think they’re going to part with future assets to help the passing game now I think is unrealistic. They’ve stockpiled these draft picks to build for 2018. They’re not going to compromise that for 2017.

Truthfully is one wide receiver via trade going to make a gigantic difference in a passing game that only throws the ball 20-25 times a game?

I know last week they had 37 pass attempts, but that was an exception because they couldn’t run the ball. I just don’t see a trade scenario coming up that, A-gives them a game-changing talent, B-allows them to acquire such talent without paying a king’s ransom.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

How has Zay looked in practice? These drops have to just be rookie nerves right? I was expecting a lot more from him

Patmerica
@PatTookAturn

CB: By all accounts and from what I’ve seen he’s done well at practice. I don’t think Bills fans have any idea how badly this guy wants to contribute and perform. For whatever reason he hasn’t been able to put it all together.

As I said last week, he just needs time on the job. I believe once he makes an important play things will fall into place after that. His confidence is being tested and he’s very hard on himself.

There should be more opportunities for him coming with Clay and Matthews out of the lineup for the foreseeable future.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 10-6

Posted by Chris Brown on October 6, 2017 – 11:33 am

A win at Cincinnati would not only make the Bills 4-1, but 3-0 in the AFC, which would be huge. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Have they attempted trading for a receiver?

Spence
@SirSpizzy

CB: To my knowledge there has been nothing concrete. I’m sure there are conversations all the time about players between general managers. The issue here is most teams do not want to part with any kind of receiver of value or one that has a long-term future unless you’re willing to pay a king’s ransom.

If some teams fall to 1-4 or 0-5 this week, that could prompt more specific discussions about players because those teams might more strongly consider selling assets for draft capital knowing a playoff season likely isn’t in the cards for 2017.

The thing with the Bills though is it seems pretty evident they’re trying to accumulate draft capital for the future. So parting with it to get a receiver now via trade might be deemed counterproductive outside of an unusual offer.

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Are we seeing the improvement resulting from a more disciplined coaching style (unlike Ryan’s) rather than a true talent upgrade on defense?

Greg Bernhard
@GregBernhard

CB: I believe what you’ve witnessed thus far is a more disciplined coaching style, an upgrade in the type of players the team has acquired (dedicated, passionate, committed players) like White, Hyde, Poyer, Gaines. Then the new scheme has helped to maximize the talent of players that have been here and flourished previously in a 4-3 scheme (Hughes, Brown, Williams, Lawson).

So it’s really a combination of more disciplined coaching, which has helped to cultivate one of the healthiest locker room cultures I’ve seen here in a while, good player acquisition and good scheme fit for the players that were here already.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Why bring in Philly Brown instead of bringing up Brandon Reilly from the PS? What have you heard about his progression?

Troy Rossignol
@rozzimbt

CB: I believe there are a couple of reasons this decision was made. Brown has a good deal more experience at the NFL level than Reilly first and foremost. On a roster that is already depending on a lot of rookies (White, Jones, Dawkins, Milano, Vallejo) adding another to the mix may have been seen as asking too much.

Philly Brown can play on offense and special teams and has 43 NFL games under his belt.

Head coach Sean McDermott has talked about developing talent. Reilly is a player who is likely on that list of development players. They see him practice every single day on the practice squad. If they felt as a staff that he was ready to make the jump, they would’ve done so.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

What do you think is missing for Zay to be a factor?

Eduardo Trindade
@emtrindade

CB: Time on the job. Zay Jones will be a good player for this team in time. If he’s guilty of anything it’s trying too hard to make things happen. He just has to let the game come to him. That being said, let’s not forget that there haven’t been many top receivers who have come in as a high draft pick and lit it up.

It took Eric Moulds until his third season to have a breakout year, and that was with Andre Reed on the other side. Peerless Price was another second-round pick who needed time on the job.

Lee Evans and Sammy Watkins are probably the only rookie receivers who were high picks (both top half of 1st round) that had solid rookie seasons and Evans got to play with Drew Bledsoe his rookie year. And even then his totals were 48 catches for 843 yards though his nine touchdowns were great.

Watkins had 65 catches for 982 yards and six touchdowns with a veteran QB throwing to him as well in Kyle Orton.

Time on the job is the biggest thing Jones needs. It’ll come.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will Seantrel Henderson be promoted to the roster when off suspension?

Parasauralophus
@lophus89

CB: It’s technically not a promotion. He’d be lifted off the reserved/suspended list and added as an active player to the 53-man roster. It may not happen right at 4 pm on Monday if the Bills get a day or two roster exemption to carry him without taking up a roster spot immediately. Otherwise I do anticipate he’ll be added to the roster.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-22

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2017 – 12:45 pm

A big AFC challenge this week with Denver. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

How are Zay and Tyrod connecting this week?

Beth fox@10Poobah

CB: They are connecting in practice all the time. What you see in practice however, is somewhat scripted by the scout team. What Zay Jones as a rookie receiver will see on Sunday will be much different and it will be happening much faster.

Jones needs time on the job to getting in better sync with Tyrod on game days. I believe it will happen in time. How much time is the question.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

The Bills started moving the ball in the 2nd half when they spread it out. Do you think they have the personal to go 4 and 5 wide?

Michael Kielma
@bubble_head716

CB: I think spreading the field is a good idea to prevent eight-man boxes for Buffalo’s run game. If you go four wide with a single back in the backfield, the space and lanes are there because the defense has to cover all the options.

Chan Gailey made Buffalo’s offense productive that way, including C.J. Spiller, who had his most productive season in an offense that went predominantly with a four-wide, one back look.

When you’re facing cornerbacks the caliber of Chris Harris and Aqib Talib, rub routes can also be a solution. So having more receivers split out can facilitate that.

But I like the idea of a spread look to help the Bills move the ball more consistently. I especially like the spread look in the red zone to give Tyrod Taylor the necessary lanes to take off and run and reach the end zone if he has to tuck and take off.

 

3 – Hey Chris,

Ever since Charles Clay has been with the Bills there has always been talk of him having knee problems . Every year, including this one, as I was just reading how he is limited in practice due to knee soreness . Every year I wonder making the kind of cash this guy makes why doesn’t he get his knee fixed in the off season? What is the deal with his knee & again why doesn’t he do something about it especially seeing as he is one of the higher paid players on the team …

Thanks for all you do
GO BILLS !!
Mr. T from Fort Myers via Nashville
CB: I’m not a doctor so I’m not going to pretend to know what Clay’s exact knee affliction is. But you have to believe that if surgery of any kind could correct the condition of his knee it would’ve happened a long time ago.

His playing career is his livelihood, so if something could be done to reduce the need to take preventative measures with his knee, like staying off it an extra day every week, they would’ve taken those steps.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will Rick Dennison ‘Rex Ryan’ our offense? Or will he start looking at what made us more successful last year and change strategies?

Ryan Appleby
@ApplebyRC

CB: I highly doubt that Buffalo’s offensive coordinator after an entire offseason of work is going to scrap the system he spent the last six months installing. It’s on the players to lock things down and execute more effectively.

The coaches have to get creative with the chess pieces they have and coach McDermott talked about moving some of the pieces around to be more unpredictable. But scrapping your offensive system after two games is not going to happen.

It’s the constant churn of coaches and front office people that’s responsible for the growing pains you’re witnessing now. I’m not going to run through the litany of coaching changes and front office changes since 2000.

All that change makes it difficult for a team to develop familiarity with schemes, have the personnel that perfectly fit the schemes and the consistency to execute the schemes.

The good news is the Pegulas look like they’ve hired the right head coach and the right general manager. So the hope is the vision that Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott have can gain traction and establish a foothold that can set a good foundation.

Then the team can continue to be built in that image with less and less player turnover from year to year. That should lead to a better product on the field.

 

5 – @ChrisBrownBills

How do you feel about Tyrod Taylor start to the season?

Shane Boucher
@ShaneBoucher5

CB: I’ve expected much of what we’ve seen to this point. It’s an offense that is not yet on the same page, for a host of reasons. Two regular season games together, late offseason changes (Jordan Matthews trade, Anquan Boldin add and subtraction, Watkins trade, Streater injury), lost time on the field (Jordan Matthews injury, Tyrod Taylor injury).

Change, especially in the late stages of a preseason, never help the continuity an offense is trying to establish in year one of a new system.

Even the offensive line, which returns the same starting five (when Cordy Glenn is healthy), is undergoing a dramatic change in scheme, going to a zone blocking scheme.

I understand fans want a productive offense that scores points, especially after seeing the Bills rank 12th and 10th in points per game the last two years. That’s not going to happen right away in light of the aforementioned circumstances.

That doesn’t mean the players on offense aren’t doing everything they can to tighten things up and execute more effectively.

But just going on past experience with change here in Buffalo, this is going to take at least to the bye week before things start really humming.

 


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WR Jones ready for Jets thanks to Matthews

Posted by Chris Brown on September 10, 2017 – 9:10 am

It would be only natural to expect Bills rookie Zay Jones to be nervous for his first NFL game. While he admits he’ll has some anxious moments leading up to kickoff against the Jets today, Buffalo’s second-round pick will be narrowing his focus to perform consistently. And he has veteran receiver Jordan Matthews to thank.

Jones has spent a lot of time in the film room with Matthews. The veteran has proven to be a valuable resource in terms of opponent preparation.

“Jordan’s a great guy [at] breaking down film,” said Jones. “Awesome guy, just to pick his brain, and just watch him go to work. Dissecting film with Jordan has been a big help for me, it’s made me more comfortable. That extra preparation, is ultimately what’s going to make me, and this team ready to play.”

Jones, who carries a quiet confidence about him, will still have nerves, but he expects them to wear off quickly.

“It will be different, first NFL game, but it’s football,” said Jones. “I’ve been doing this since I was little, I have a great group of guys around me that’ll help prepare me, a great group of coaches, so it’s exciting at the same time. It’s going to be fun, and finally it’s going to be a packed house. It’s going to be a great time, I’m ready to enjoy it.”

 


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Zay hoping to make more plays Thursday

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2017 – 12:36 pm

Bills rookie WR Zay Jones is hoping to have more of an impact on the game Thursday against Philadelphia than he did in his preseason debut last week. Jones only got eight snaps in last week’s game, so there was minimal opportunity to produce. He wasn’t targeted in the passing game, so he’s eager to get on the stat sheet.

When asked what he’s looking to get out of the game against the Eagles, he went with the team goal first before his own personal goals.

“A win. A catch under my belt. A little bit more playing time, hopefully, so I can truly experience more of the game,” said Jones. “I got a few reps, but I’m still a rookie. I’m still going through growing pains, with a lot of things I still need to work on. I’m not where I want to be, I’m not perfect, but I know this team is helping bring me along.”


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Steve Smith Sr. addresses Bills WRs

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2017 – 7:14 pm

After Sunday’s practice, former Ravens/Panthers WR Steve Smith Sr. on assignment covering the Bills at camp, took time to address the wide receivers. Needless to say his words had an impact.

“First and foremost, that man’s a legend,” said rookie Zay Jones. “Whenever he’s talking, mouths are closed. He was just giving us some tips, really just encouraging us – future Hall of Famer. It was just really good for a young guy like me to hear.”

Sammy Watkins was more blunt about the subject matter that Smith discussed with them.

“Just the business, just to stay here another day and try to come in every day and make a play,” said Watkins. “The course of just making it a business. The DBs are not our friends. I love (the Bills DBs) to death, but at the end of the day I’ve got to feed my kids and I’ve got a legacy I’m trying to chase. He was just telling us you’re not a bad guy if you’re an a–hole basically. It was a good speech.”


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Dead legs setting in

Posted by Chris Brown on August 1, 2017 – 1:40 pm

After about a week of camp there’s a condition a lot of players experience. Dead legs.

Even though players are in shape, those who run the most (receivers and defensive backs) and those who grind the most (offensive and defensive linemen) develop a feeling where their legs feel heavy and sluggish, as if they’re just dead weight. Zay Jones was feeling it Tuesday.

“Yeah,” Jones admitted to Buffalobills.com. “Trying to be smart. The coaching staff has done an unbelievable job of putting as schedule in place where we can get our legs back underneath us. Just got to get in the training room and be a true professional and make sure we take care of our bodies.”

Players often get massages and use the cold tub to revitalize the legs. This time of year it’s not uncommon to take two trips to the cold tub per day instead of one.

“Whatever it takes,” Jones said. “We have an unbelievable training staff that caters to us night and day. So fortunate to have that with the Bills and just trying to take care of our bodies and do the smart things and be ready.”


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Zay Jones happy to have NFL regimen to follow

Posted by Chris Brown on June 20, 2017 – 12:05 pm

Bills WR Zay Jones won’t be resting much during his five-plus weeks prior to training camp. As we profiled on Buffalobills.com Tuesday, Jones will be training with his two brothers in L.A. from now until the time camp opens to be ready for his first NFL season. What had Jones really excited however, leaving Buffalo at the close of minicamp was having an NFL training regimen to follow.

“My development and the way I approached training I don’t think will ever stop until I’m done playing this game,” said Jones. “So I’m always looking at ways to get better and increase strength, speed and our strength and conditioning staff here is amazing. They’ve already set up all the programs and stuff like that so I’m excited with it.”


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Zay Jones already enjoying Watkins as teammate

Posted by Chris Brown on June 8, 2017 – 3:37 pm

Bills rookie WR Zay Jones didn’t know what to expect joining a roster with a game breaking player like Sammy Watkins. But Jones has quickly found that his receiving comrade is approachable and very humble despite being enormously gifted.

“That guy is awesome. I love Sammy,” said Jones. “I’m learning a lot from him in such a short period of time. He’s just a good guy. Sometimes you don’t know what to expect from guys who have been in the league for a long time and made a name for himself. Sammy is one of the most humble people you could ever meet.”


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Fan Friday 6-2

Posted by Chris Brown on June 2, 2017 – 11:44 am

Last week of OTAs coming up on Monday with mandatory minicamp to follow. The offseason is winding down. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

In OTA’s during the qb drills which backup qb is getting the most time with the 2s and which will get time with the 3s?

Chris soh
@Chrissohpher767

CB: I’m not going to pretend that I’ve been counting reps for the quarterbacks behind Tyrod. Here’s what I’ve witnessed thus far. Early in OTAs, T.J. Yates did not get many reps at all. That’s because he’s had multiple seasons in this offense going back to his time with Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison in Houston.

It was clear early in OTAs that they wanted to get the younger QBs up to speed with the scheme so Nate Peterman and Cardale Jones were rotated through more behind Taylor.

In week two of OTAs, Yates was rotated in as the second QB.

Here’s how team period snaps often went last week.

Taylor – 3 reps
Yates – 3 reps
Jones – 3 reps
Taylor – 3 reps
Peterman – 3 reps
End of team period.

So Taylor would get six snaps, while everyone else got three during each team period. We’ll see if that changes at all this week.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

How’s Zay’s knee?

Buffalo Bills NL
@BuffaloBillsNL

CB: We have not received an official update beyond him being week to week. That being said I did see him here at One Bills Drive this week in the hall. He was walking normally without any hitch in his gait, which is a good sign. Now that doesn’t mean he’ll be able to practice this coming week, but it is an indication that he’s made good progress since sustaining the sprained knee in the first week of OTAs.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

What is Clay’s contract situation? How much $ would @buffalobills have to eat if they cut him & target Barnidge?

Cory Fountain
@coryfountain

CB: Clay is going to make $4.5M in base salary each of the next three years. The prorated portion of his bonus, which impacts the salary cap, is also $4.5M annually, giving him a total cap figure of $9M each of the next three seasons.
4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Any chance Dennison can get Tyrod to see and use the whole field in passing game, especially the oft-neglected middle of the field?

Matt Dermody
@MDermody88

CB: While I don’t debate that using the middle of the field consistently was a deficiency in Tyrod Taylor’s game, I’d encourage you to look at his last two starts from last season. I thought Taylor took a step forward when it came to reading the middle of the field and making plays between the numbers.

Against Cleveland and Miami, even though it was clear that swing passes and screens were part of the game plan designed to get receivers and backs out in space in both games, Taylor still worked the middle of the field.

In the Browns game five of his 17 completions in the game either went to the middle of the field or hit a receiver coming from the middle of the field on a crossing pattern or drag route. His only incompletion to the middle of the field in that game came on a pass under pressure.

Against the Dolphins, Taylor had his first 300-yard passing game. Again swings and screens accounted for a good portion of the completions, but he found Clay, Watkins and Woods for plays that worked the middle of the field, including the 34-yard flea flicker late in the game to Woods.

That’s why I was disappointed to see him not play in the season finale. I wanted to see a third straight game of him using the middle of the field, but he wasn’t given that opportunity.

To answer your question I think he has a chance to see the middle of the field even better this year knowing that Dennison will probably get him out on the move even more than the offensive staff did last year. That will enable him to see the whole field even better than he does from the pocket.

That’s not to say he can’t make plays over the middle from the pocket. His last two starts in 2016 are an indication that he is learning how. But designed rollouts and bootlegs in Dennison’s offense might have him on the edges even more this season.

 

5 – Hey Chris,

I briefly posed this a few weeks ago.

I am fascinated by the athleticism and potential of Logan Thomas. At 6’6″ and 250, he have great movement skills and good speed. Have you heard anything about his progress in converting to TE, or possibly even WR?  I know information may be extremely limited, but I could see him being a real sleeper for us.

Thanks for your time..
Have an abundantly blessed evening
Gary
CB: He has been working at tight end, and while he is still learning the nuances of the position, I agree he has rare athleticism for a player his size. Running full speed he made a one-handed catch in the end zone as he was going out of bounds along the left sideline and got his first foot down and dragged the back toe on the other for a good reception.

Even his teammates were wowed by it.

The good thing is he has a strong teaching coach in tight ends coach Rob Boras. It’s evident to me that the staff wants to try to groom that talent.

Does that mean he can help the Bills this season?

That’s hard to say. He’s still very young at the position, but with the right tutoring and commitment on his part I wouldn’t count him out.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Zay Jones sidelined by injury

Posted by Chris Brown on May 18, 2017 – 11:20 am

The early signs were encouraging from Bills second-round pick Zay Jones. But Jones sustained an injury in Tuesday’s OTA practice and did not participate Wednesday and again today (Thursday).

The Bills have confirmed that Jones sustained a knee injury and is week to week. It has been described as a knee sprain. 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-5

Posted by Chris Brown on May 5, 2017 – 11:45 am

The NFL draft is now in the rear view mirror, and there a GM search underway. Let’s get to your questions on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills and on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Chris, do u see the Bills possibly reaching out to Eliot Wolf, Scot McCloughan or Louis Riddick about the GM opening?

Mikey
@Mikeybeit

CB: I believe the Bills initially cast out a wide net, but it will probably be whittled down quickly to a handful of candidates whose philosophy on building and sustaining a roster lines up as parallel as possible to that of head coach Sean McDermott.

As for Eliot Wolf, Scot McCloughan and Louis Riddick it’s hard to know what will appeal most to the Pegulas. Knowing they went with a young, energetic and driven head coach in Sean McDermott, could they be looking for a similar type in a GM? Or do they go in the opposite direction and find a roster builder with a ton of experience.

Wolf has that even though he’s just 35-years old.

McCloughan, who also cut his teeth in the Green Bay organization in the personnel department under Wolf’s dad, Hall of Famer Ron Wolf, was just pushed out of the Washington organization after personal problems reportedly surfaced for the second time in his career. I don’t know that he’d be a consideration.
Riddick would appear to be a natural consideration having worked with McDermott before in Philadelphia. He was a scout with the Eagles and rose to the position of Director of Pro Personnel there in the span of two years. They worked together for three years there.

Brandon Beane has already interviewed.

It’s certainly no one’s call but the Pegulas, but a strong football guy would be good so coach McDermott doesn’t get spread too thin between coaching and personnel. Someone that can capably run the college and pro scouting departments.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills

Well now that they not picking up Sammy 5th yr option, do you think he’s really gonna play hard or no?

Kia
@Bufbillsfan4lif

CB: I think you might be missing the whole point of why the Bills did not pick up the fifth-year option on Watkins. It’s a question of being healthy, not respect for his talent.

I know that coach McDermott made it clear to Watkins in his talks with him that they value him and want him to be a part of this team for the long term, but they can’t risk guaranteeing $13.2M knowing if his injury re-occurs, the one he has yet to fully recover from a year later, that they’re on the hook for that money next year whether he plays or not.

If they didn’t have to make this decision until mid-September, they might have a better idea of what to expect from Watkins health-wise. But he’s not even cleared for football related activities, so there’s no way to know now. It would be a fiscally aggressive risk to put up that kind of money not knowing how fast and how effectively his foot is going to come through his second rehabilitation after surgery.

And if he is healthy and plays all 16 games and has a monster season, you sign him to a big long term deal or the franchise tag is there if necessary and he remains in the fold.

 

3 – @ChrisBrownBills

Out of the recent draft picks, who will have the biggest impact this upcoming season?

Cierra Livecchi
@Seeairuhyo

CB: My pick is Zay Jones. I was in Mobile and watched him all week at the Senior Bowl and while he wasn’t the only player who impressed me, what stood out to me was how complete his game seemed to be. I didn’t witness a drop by him all week, his route running was sharp for the most part. The only part of his game that was hard to get a handle on in the practice setting was his blocking.

Interviewing him down there and at the NFL Combine it’s evident to me that he’s got his head on straight. His dad was an NFL player, so his biggest influence is someone who knew what it took to be a professional. It has to give the Bills confidence that Zay will know how to carry himself as a professional too.

Also in terms of opportunity the No. 2 receiver role is going to be up for grabs. Andre Holmes and Philly Brown are probably his stiffest competition. Jones is just so consistent I think he has a real shot at that job and if he lands it I think he has the biggest impact.

 

4 – @ChrisBrownBills

Will Ragland start? Or will it be Preston B. In the middle with Humber and Alexander on the outside?

korey kennedy
@koreykennedy3

CB: We’re a long way from determining starting roles, primarily because Ragland still isn’t fully cleared to participate in the offseason conditioning field work, let alone football related activities. We’ll see what happens in a couple of weeks when OTAs start.

Here’s the thing that I believe a lot of people are overlooking. Many simply assume that whoever is not the MLB between Brown and Ragland will be on the bench.

I’d be very surprised if that proves to be the case.

I believe that whoever loses out in the battle for the starting MLB job will be the team’s starting strong side linebacker. Brown played there some in college at Louisville. And Ragland was used as a blitzer at Alabama so he’s been on the edge as well.

From what I’ve heard Alexander will be a jack-of-all-trades linebacker in this defense. His role will be largely determined by the opponent that week, down and distance and game plan. ‘Zo could sub in more on the strong side or the weak side depending on the week.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills

With that extra 1st rd pk in next yrs draft. Do u feel they will use it as ammo to move up (if needed) to get a QB?

CHRISTian McCaffrey
@BroJackson_

CB: I think we have to pump the brakes on expecting to get a quarterback. First, we have to see what Tyrod does this season.

Second, and probably more important, most of the top quarterbacks in college do not have to declare for the draft. USC’s Sam Darnold, perceived to be the most highly touted, will be a redshirt sophomore next year. He could easily go back to school and come out in 2019.

Rosen will only be a junior, Allen a junior and both of them after two years have started in 19 and 16 games each.

Knowing the perceived best talents could stay in school, I think you focus on what the extra first round pick gives you, which is options. That’s what counts here.

If there are top flight QB prospects in the draft class and you want to move up the board to get one, the Bills should be able to do it.

If they’re not in the class, the Bills will still have the ammo to move up or down the board as they see fit. Having options means power. To have that in round one can help you upgrade your roster in a hurry.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 2-3

Posted by Chris Brown on February 3, 2017 – 11:15 am

Fan Friday has been on a bit of a hiatus of late with Senior Bowl duties last week and the new head coaching announcement earlier last month. But we’re back. Let’s get to your questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills

Which position are the Bills most likely to double-dip on the draft? WR? S?

Dean Kindig
@TCBILLS_Astro

CB: I think this question is a little premature. The steps this team takes in free agency first will largely determine what positional need could get additional focus in the draft. Do the Bills re-sign two of their four free agent receivers? Do they pick up a safety in free agency like Arizona’s Tony Jefferson? When will Aaron Williams’ decision be finalized?

All of these will factor into Buffalo’s direction in the draft in late April.

That being said I will say that both wide receiver and safety are likely to be addressed in some capacity in the draft and free agency.
2 – @ChrisBrownBills will Tyrod be the QB now that all coaching staff is in place???

Craig McNair
@craigm5408

CB: I think the process has already begun on that front. Bills GM Doug Whaley told Buffalobills.com at the Senior Bowl last week that meetings would begin with the coaching staff once the college and pro personnel departments returned to Buffalo. How long a process that would be to lay out the direction and construction of the roster this offseason was not divulged, but it is underway. He described the meetings that took place this week as preliminary.
3 – @ChrisBrownBills does new WR coach really have any impact on drafting Zay Jones?

@K_Cleetus23

CB: Phil McGeoghan, Buffalo’s new receivers coach, coached East Carolina WR Zay Jones the last two seasons after he helped develop Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry from a rookie to a Pro Bowl caliber receiver as receivers coach with Miami.

What McGeoghan can provide more than anything is intimate knowledge on Jones that you can’t get by watching film. What his work ethic is day in and day out on the practice field. What his family life is like at home. What he’s like as a teammate. What drives him, motivates him. These are all things that NFL college scouting departments work to gather on prospects all year, and the Bills scouting department probably has a lot of that information on Jones already.

McGeoghan offers a knowledgeable sounding board to confirm and validate anything and everything on Jones, who I was impressed with last week at the Senior Bowl.
4 – @ChrisBrownBills Is 2017 a rebuild year or a try to make the playoffs year?

Jon Alhart
@JonAlhart

CB: Based on the feedback I’ve gotten from GM Doug Whaley it’s clear that the only thing this team is rebuilding is their philosophy on how to build a perennial contender. It’s clear that the front office didn’t believe the philosophy of the previous coaching regime was one that was designed to contend year in and year out. Sean McDermott’s coaching model is built to do that.

Now does that mean the team will be contending in 2017? I think we have to see how the roster takes shape through the course of the offseason to better ascertain the team’s immediate fortunes.
5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Is there a chance Daboll joins McDermott’s staff esp. with the W&M connection?

Vicious Sid
@vicious155

CB: While you are correct that Patriots TEs coach Brian Daboll did coach at William & Mary for one year when Sean McDermott was a player there, from the people I’ve spoken with in New England, Daboll’s intention is to stay put with the Patriots. All indications are he is the heir apparent as the offensive coordinator when Josh McDaniels leaves for his next head coaching job.

For those that don’t know Daboll is also an Orchard Park native, and played his high school ball at St. Francis. With the stability of his situation in New England, I’d expect him to bide his time and move into the OC role there when the time comes.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills