Inside The Bills

Wannstedt to be upstairs on game day

Posted by Chris Brown on August 8, 2012 – 10:45 am

Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt already knows where he’ll be stationed on game day and it won’t be on the sidelines.

“I will be in the coach’s box,” said Wannstedt. “That’s where I was all of the years at the University of Miami, Oklahoma State, Dallas and some of the other places. There is not a call happening that you are not on top of or involved with. I am kind of excited about it; We have great assistant coaches and a nice formula set on how we will communicate and get the information back and forth, which will work smooth.”

Wannstedt will presumably make use of both defensive line coach Giff Smith and linebackers coach Bob Sanders to deliver plays from the sideline. Sanders is a former defensive coordinator from his days in Green Bay.

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No excuses for Shep

Posted by Chris Brown on June 6, 2012 – 10:45 am

Whether it was being deprived of OTAs and minicamp practices last offseason due to the lockout or being thrust into the starting MLB role in Buffalo’s defense, Kelvin Sheppard refuses to have any excuses. He just wants to be ready to play and run Dave Wannstedt’s defense.

Appearing on Bills flagship WGR Sportsradio 550, Sheppard never wants to give himself an out for not performing or executing at his best. For that matter neither does his linebacker coach.

“Of course I’m a second-year player, but that gives me no excuses,” said Sheppard. “My linebackers coach Bob Sanders told me the first day of OTAs that he doesn’t care what everybody else says like, ‘I messed up, I’m a second-year player.’ That’s out the window. I’m the starting middle linebacker so my job is to know all of my assignments as well as those of my teammates. So I’m kind of the general on the field.”

Fortunately for Sheppard, the 4-3 defense he ran at LSU as their MLB is pretty similar to the one he’s now in charge of lining up in Buffalo.

“I’ve worked and played in this defense pretty much my whole career so I’m really familiar with the schemes,” he said.


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Kelsay’s big day next on Top 10

Posted by Chris Brown on February 9, 2012 – 9:39 am

Chris Kelsay had a monster game in the Week 16 win over Denver and it’s our next installment in the Top 10 Performances of 2011.

Linebackers coach Bob Sanders walks us through some of Kelsay’s better plays from his 10 tackle, 3 sack performance against the Broncos, including the responsibility of flipping back and forth from OLB to DE through the course of the game.

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Report: Sanders to Chargers

Posted by Chris Brown on March 3, 2011 – 10:13 pm

Just hours after A.J. Atogwe signs with Washington, fellow free agent safety Bob Sanders will be signing with San Diego.

That according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Here’s his twitter post.

Adam Schefter Filed to ESPN: Former Colts safety Bob Sanders plans to sign a one-year deal tonight with the San Diego Chargers.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Sanders to visit Jets

Posted by Chris Brown on March 2, 2011 – 10:37 am

Free agent safety Bob Sanders, who visited with the Bills last week, is reportedly visiting with the New York Jets today.

That according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Jets stand to lose a couple of their safeties. Veteran Brodney Pool and Eric Smith are set to become free agents. Sanders met with Bills defensive coordinator George Edwards last week in Buffalo. He’s also met with the Jaguars.

Buffalo’s interest sounded exploratory in nature concerning Sanders. Bills GM Buddy Nix addressed Sanders most recently on ‘Morning Bull’ on 103.3 the Edge Tuesday saying the following on both Sanders and possibly checking out O.J. Atogwe.

“What we did was we wanted to know physically what kind of shape they’re in. We’re looking to always upgrade our team. Both of those guys are good players. It’s a matter of whether they’re physically sound and fit what we’re trying to do. We bring a lot of people in and it doesn’t go any further, but I don’t want to be sitting here and a guy was available and goes somewhere else and plays three or four years and we didn’t know about him. We’re going to do our best to be prepared if there comes an opportunity to get one of those guys.”

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Sanders could re-sign with Colts

Posted by Chris Brown on February 23, 2011 – 3:41 pm

Even though the Colts released safety Bob Sanders last Friday, there is still a chance he could re-sign with Indianapolis.

Sanders, who has visited the Bills and Jaguars since being released last week, could still re-sign with Indy at a far lesser price than his prior contract figures, which prompted his release from the Colts in the first place.

ProFootballTalk in touch with Colts former head coach Tony Dungy quoted him as saying that returning to the Colts is very much a possibility.

“Now they’re going to let Bob test the market and see what the market will pay,” Dungy said, according to PFT.

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Safety interest not a surprise

Posted by Chris Brown on February 22, 2011 – 8:03 am

With a potential hole at safety due to impending free agents Donte Whitner and George Wilson it’s no surprise there’s reported interest in some of the more productive safeties available right now.

Bob Sanders and O.J. Atogwe have an unusual advantage having been released by their former clubs last week. Both are free agents free to sign with any club right now, and the Bills reportedly have interest in both with Sanders reportedly scheduled to visit Tuesday. As such NFL teams with a possible hole at safety feel they have the same advantage if they like what they see in Sanders or Atogwe. It’s a chance for them to fill a hole right now.

With the chances for a new labor deal completely up in the air there’s a real possibility that after March 4th there will be no free agency. That will prevent NFL clubs from addressing positional needs by signing free agents and will have to use the NFL draft as the first means of addressing team needs.

Sanders and Atogwe could prove to be one of the few ways to use a free agent to fill a need prior to the draft as they have until March 4th to sign with any NFL club. Of course if there is no new labor deal by March 4th, and they have yet to sign with any team, they too must wait until a new labor agreement is reached.

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Report: Sanders to visit Buffalo

Posted by Chris Brown on February 22, 2011 – 7:51 am

Released Colts safety Bob Sanders will reportedly make a free agent visit with the Buffalo Bills Tuesday.

That according to the Florida Times-Union, after Sanders visited with the Jacksonville Jaguars Monday. Having been released by Indianapolis last week, Sanders is a free agent that can sign with other clubs.

When healthy Sanders is a difference making safety. The problem is staying healthy has proven to be a problem over the years. He’s had an assortment of injuries the past few seasons including a biceps injury that forced him to miss almost all of last season.

Sanders was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 when he appeared in 15 games. The talented safety has played in more than six games in just two of his seven career seasons.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills defensive staff loaded

Posted by Chris Brown on January 23, 2011 – 7:39 am

With the addition of Dave Wannstedt to Buffalo’s defensive staff, the Bills will not be short on having answers at the ready on game day.

Head coach Chan Gailey now has defensive coordinator George Edwards and two other assistants that have been defensive coordinators at the NFL level on that side of the ball as well in Wannstedt and outside linebackers coach Bob Sanders, who previously served as a DC in Green Bay.

Formulating weekly game plans, making adjustments during the course of a game are all things that should be that much better moving forward. Granted players are the ones that make plays, but there will be no shortage of brain power on the sidelines for Buffalo’s defensive players to tap into next season.

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Griffen talks with Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2010 – 2:56 pm

USC DE Everson Griffen confirmed in his interview with the media at the NFL combine that he has met with the Bills.

Griffen, who measured in at 6’3″ 273 pounds, said he spoke with Bills outside linebackers coach Bob Sanders.

He played defensive end at USC, so it’s interesting that Griffen spoke with Sanders, who’ll be coaching Buffalo’s outside linebackers.

He was asked more than once by media members about possibly transitioning to an OLB in a 3-4 and he said he’d be open to it stating that he’s played with his hand down and up in a two-point stance. He also said in his time in college he’s had to drop into coverage as well. Griffen is forecast as a late first or early second round pick.

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Seasoned staff so far

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2010 – 12:14 pm

It’s pretty clear that in addition to wanting good teachers and communicators on his staff, Bills head coach Chan Gailey wants experienced coaches based on the hires announced Wednesday.

Here’s a rundown of the years in coaching for the members of his staff thus far.

Giff Smith – 13 years
Curtis Modkins – 15 years
Bob Bicknell – 17 years
George Catavolos – 25 years
Bob Sanders – 30 years
Joe D’Alessandris – 37 years

Only offensive quality control coach Kevin Patullo is young in his coaching career, which is usually the case for assistants in such positions.

Also almost all of the coaches hired thus far have NFL coaching experience.

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Coaches with ties to Gailey

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2010 – 10:01 am

With the hiring of a coaching staff first on the ‘to do’ list for Chan Gailey here are some coaches that have ties to the Bills head coach at a few different assistant positions.

We’ll start with possible defensive coordinators since that’s largely viewed as the most pivotal hire for Gailey’s staff.

Defensive coordinator 
Jim Bates – Coached his defense in Dallas, and with him in Miami on Wannstedt’s staff as DC. Recently relieved of DC duties in Tampa.

Dave Campo – DC under Gailey, replaced him as head coach, currently secondary coach in Dallas

Tim Lewis – was secondary coach with Steelers when Gailey was there – has been a DC for Steelers and Giants 2000-2006 – most recently DBs coach for Seahawks

John Mitchell – Steelers Asst. HC/D-line coach, was D-line coach when Gailey was there under Cowher, was a DC at LSU.

Clancy Pendergast – Was DC in KC, but relieved of duties this season and re-assigned. Coached on Chiefs staff with Gailey in 2008 and was a defensive assistant under him in Dallas.

Jon Tenuta – Ran Gailey’s defense at Georgia Tech, long time college coach with 16 years of experience as a defensive coordinator.

Others available with no connection
Ed Donatell – no connection, former coordinator (Atl, GB) currently secondary coach Denver.

Jim Mora Jr. – Former HC of Falcons and Seahawks, has been a DC as well.

Dave McGinnis – Former coordinator and HC (Ariz), currently Asst. head coach/LBs coach with Tennessee.

Defensive line
Bob Sanders – former DC (GB) and was Bills D-line coach last season. Was LBs coach with Gailey in Miami under Wannstedt. Could also be defensive coordinator candidate as he was a DC for Green Bay.

Clarence Brooks – coached with Gailey in Miami under Wannstedt (D-line coach), currently D-line coach in Baltimore, so doubtful a lateral move would be made.

Offensive coordinator
Pete Mangurian – coached with Gailey in Denver as TEs coach, was an OC for one year with Atlanta under Gailey’s former mentor Dan Reeves. Currently assistant in Tampa.

Special teams
Joe Avezzano – special teams with Cowboys for years including two years under Gailey. A 3-time special teams coach of the year. Currently retired (67 yrs. old).

Joe DeCamillus – coached special teams in Denver when Gailey ran offense for Reeves – currently special teams coach in Dallas so would need additional title (like assistant head coach) to make it realistic.

QBs coach/Receivers coach
Buddy Geis – coached under Gailey at Georgia Tech (receivers coach) and in Dallas (QBs coach).

LBs coach
Dat Nguyen – played for Gailey as a rookie in Dallas. Currently asst. LBs coach in Dallas.

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Wed. player radio appearances

Posted by Chris Brown on November 10, 2009 – 3:17 pm

Here’s the rundown of the players and coaches scheduled to appear on the radio on local and national airwaves Wednesday.

Bob Sanders – Norton in the Morning, 97 Rock @ 7 o’clock hour AM

Fred Jackson – Janet and Nick, Kiss 98.5 @ 7:15 AM

Chris Kelsay – Morning Bull, 103.3 The Edge @ 7:30 AM

Jairus Byrd – 590 The Fan KFNS, St. Louis between 1:45-2 PM

Perry Fewell – Shredd and Ragan, 103.3 The Edge @ 2 PM

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Kelsay credits DBs with sack total

Posted by Chris Brown on November 7, 2009 – 9:00 am

While Chris Kelsay and the rest of the defensive front has been instrumental in improving their sack total from a year ago, he’s not letting he and his defensive linemen get all the credit.

“We’ve had some good coverage and they’ve had to hold the ball at times and that always helps as well,” said Kelsay. “We can’t just put all the credit on our backs, there are 11 guys out there and every man is important.”

Proof of that is the fact that George Wilson is third on the team in sacks with 2.5.

Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell credits his new defensive line coach for helping to make a difference in the pass rush area.

“Chris Kelsay has improved in his ability to rush,” said Fewell. “I just think coach Sanders has had a good impact on all of them from a rush mentality.”

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New D-line coach is a good get

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2009 – 7:21 pm

Hiring Bob Sanders to coach the defensive line is a heady move by Dick Jauron and his staff. Sanders is good friends with Perry Fewell, who likely recommended him for the job.

Having another assistant with defensive coordinator experience is a valuable mind to have in the room when putting game plans together.

Even better as defensive coordinator of the Packers last year, Green Bay faced the AFC South and NFC South, the same divisions the Bills will be facing in 2009. So he’ll offer some familiarity of the personnel on those teams as well.

Talking to him his defensive scheme had similarities to that of Fewell’s so the transition for him and what he’ll need to get from his defensive linemen won’t be all that different from what he’s used to coaching.

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