Inside The Bills

Attitude of O-line evident

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2012 – 7:44 am

It’s always been there, but it wasn’t until the Chiefs started trying to take some cheap shots on Buffalo’s playmakers that fans saw just what kind of attitude the Bills offensive linemen have when it comes to protecting their own.

“Attitude starts with Coach Gailey and it continues with (offensive line coach) Joe D’Alessandris, but it starts with guys like Eric Wood that is a highly competitive and he’s got the temperament you want in an offensive lineman,” said Bills GM Buddy Nix. “Erik Pears has quietly got the same kind of stuff and Cordy doesn’t back off. Andy and Urbik those guys will scrap you so that’s exactly what we’re trying to get.”

“It starts with Joe D,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “I think that’s the kind of guy he is. He’s a no nonsense hit them in the mouth kind of coach. I think we have players that have the same attitude and they take that into a ball game. You’ve got to have that. I’ve said it 100 times, It’s a tough game for tough people and we’ve got some tough guys up front.”

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Hairston to still rotate with Pears

Posted by Chris Brown on September 13, 2012 – 4:36 pm

Coming off a persistent groin injury in the preseason, starting RT Erik Pears is still working to get his endurance up to play an entire regular season game. That’s why for the second straight week the plan is to rotate Pears with Chris Hairston at right tackle again Sunday against the Chiefs.

“He’s still working back,” said head coach Chan Gailey of Pears. “We’re still going to probably alternate those guys.”

Terrence McGee is another player that was rotated in with Aaron Williams at left cornerback. Gailey said earlier in the week that McGee’s reps would increase this week after coming out of last week’s game with no problems.

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Pears to rotate with Hairston

Posted by Chris Brown on September 9, 2012 – 11:00 am

Bills starting right tackle Erik Pears got all of 10 snaps in the preseason. Though he had a very good week of practice leading up to the opener against the Jets, it’s not expected to be enough to provide him with the endurance necessary to get through 60-70 plays today at MetLife Stadium.

That according to head coach Chan Gailey, who told that Pears’ endurance is just not there yet.

“Not there,” he said. “Plain and simple they need to play more and more and more. But adrenaline will take them pretty good into this ball game. But the guy in particular that we’re not going to ask play the whole ball game is Erik Pears. We’ll try to be smart and limit his reps some.”

When asked if they’ll monitor him and decide when to pull him for a spell, Gailey indicated that they’ll instead have planned times to sit him a series or two here and there.

“I think we’re going to have a plan to shuffle,” said Gailey. “I think we’ll go ahead and have two series (on), two series (off), two series (on) or something like that for this game.”

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Urbik, Pears updates

Posted by Chris Brown on September 6, 2012 – 4:46 pm

The right side of Buffalo’s offensive line was still working their way back to full go in practice Thursday. Here’s the update from head coach Chan Gailey.

First, starting RG Kraig Urbik, who did not practice Wednesday due to a tight lower back did practice Thursday on a limited basis.

“He took reps,” said Gailey. “He didn’t make it every rep in practice, but he took reps and got going again. So I think if there are no setbacks he’ll be good.”

As for RT Erik Pears (groin) he practiced for a second straight day after his pads practice Wednesday and was again a full participant.

“Pears had a good day today again,” said Gailey. “So that’s all positive.”

So it appears if things continue on their current course, the Bills will have their starting five up front ready to go for the opener Sunday.


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Pears fully expected to play Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 5, 2012 – 1:08 pm

Bills starting RT Erik Pears has missed most of the preseason with nagging groin problems, but he practiced Monday and is slated to practice in pads today. It’s left head coach Chan Gailey very confident that he’ll have him for Sunday’s season opener.

“I fully expect him to play Sunday,” said Gailey of Pears. “I think that he’s progressed well. Today we’ll be in pads and we’ll find out even more today. I think as the week goes on he’ll either get stronger or weaker and that will tell us how much he’s going to play.”

Pears, who signed a three-year extension late last season, is a valuable veteran presence on Buffalo’s offensive line. Whether he’s fit enough to go 60-70 plays after missing the last two preseason games is an unknown at this point.

“He’s a really good player,” said Gailey. “He was very good for us last year, did a lot good things. And you need your good players back. The more you can have experienced players on the field the better you are as a football team as long as they’re good enough and he is.”


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Anderson, Pears declared out this week

Posted by Chris Brown on August 27, 2012 – 5:07 pm

Bills DE Mark Anderson and RT Erik Pears won’t be making an appearance in the team’s preseason finale.

“Mark is going to sit this week,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “We made the decision he and Erik (Pears) are both going to sit this week.”

Both Anderson and Pears are dealing with groin injuries. The coaching staff doesn’t want to risk aggravating those injuries further and not have a chance to have both players available for the season opener at the Jets.


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3 Bills inactive for game

Posted by Chris Brown on August 25, 2012 – 6:33 pm

We all knew OT Erik Pears and DE Mark Anderson were not playing with groin injuries. There’s one other player that won’t make it tonight.

RB Johnny White has been battling an ankle injury all through training camp and the preseason. He too is inactive for tonight’s game.

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Pears on sideline

Posted by Chris Brown on August 15, 2012 – 10:05 am

Right tackle Erik Pears has been steadily working his way back into team drills the past week. But he’s a spectator at today’s final camp practice.

No word as to whether it’s a rest day or recurrence of the groin strain that kept him out for a week. We’ll get an update after practice.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-10

Posted by Chris Brown on August 10, 2012 – 11:30 am

Well preseason game number one is in the books. Just another four days of camp and the team returns to One Bills Drive. Let’s get to your questions from and @ChrisBrownBills on twitter.

1 – Chris,
I was wondering what kind if influence an improved defense would have on the offensive play calling?  If (IF) this bill’s defense can live up to its billing, will Fitzpatrick need to throw as much?

CB: I asked both Chan Gailey and Ryan Fitzpatrick this very question a while back. Both indicated that when you’re playing with a lead more often there’s less of a need to take risks. Here’s exactly what they had to say about your question.

“You have a football team,” said Gailey. “You don’t have an offense, a defense and special teams. You have a football team and the objective is to win the game. So you’re always adjusting to what the situation in the game is and if we’re in closer ball games and we have leads you do change your thought process and the way you approach the game. And it allows Fitz to alter the way he approaches the game a little bit. We’ve got to continue to work that because we’ve not been in that situation in the last couple of years.”

I think it allows you to limit the risks you take,” said Fitzpatrick. “I think if you’re in games all the time and not falling behind whether it’s from a poor performance early from the offense or whatever it is, you certainly have to be a smarter and more reserved quarterback. With our offense there are going to be times where we take chances because that’s what makes us good as well. But there’s a balance we have to find there in terms of when we’re taking those chances and when to take the checkdown.”


2 – Hey Chris,

Thanks for your daily articles and updates.  I had a question about offensive tackle based on your latest article.  A lot of scouts seem to believe that both Glenn and Hairston could be great RT’s.  So why is there only competition at LT?  I think Pears played well last year at RT and I’m glad we have him, but I think he still has plenty to prove.  It’s not like he’s an All-Pro, but it seems like he’s just being handed the RT job without having to compete for it.  Why shouldn’t the loser of the LT competition be considered for the starting spot on the right side?  Isn’t it possible that Glenn and Hairston could be the two best OT’s on the team?

Denver, CO

CB: It’s my opinion that Erik Pears had a very good season last year from start to finish. He was a much stronger player after spending an offseason in Buffalo’s conditioning program and put on 20 pounds. His play was rewarded with a three-year contract extension.

Right now he’s working back from a groin strain in camp, so Hairston has been forced to line up on the right side. I think part of the reason RT has been Pears job and his job only (before injury) is because he played very consistently last season and is a veteran presence on what is a pretty young line.

I’m not saying at some point the player that finishes second in the LT competition can’t be the team’s starting right tackle, but I think there’s value in continuity as well and keeping Pears at RT knowing he can do the job is viewed as the best idea by the staff moving forward (provided he’s healthy).


3 – Hey Chris,

My question is who are going to be the backups in the secondary? Where do you see Bryan Scott? Do you see much from Searcy? There was a lot of talk about him when the Bills drafted him but hadn’t heard much.


bigfoot21 here is sunny South Carolina.


CB: Bryan Scott is a linebacker in the nickel packages and that’s really the extent of his role. Da’Norris Searcy as we’ve mentioned several times in our daily Practice Notes reports has been getting time with the starting unit rotating in for both George Wilson and Jairus Byrd. I think the staff wants to try to find a role for him presumably in a subpackage (nickel, dime).

I think sooner rather than later Searcy will be making an impact on Buffalo’s defense. He’s been impressive in the time he’s been with the ones on the practice field. We’ll see what he can do in the preseason.


4 – Hi Chris, thanks for all the information through the years. Living in San Diego, my son and I only see the Bills in enemy territory. I am trying to take him back to Buffalo to show him how a real football crowd is.

My question is does Shawn Powell or John Potter have any realistic chance making this team? Though I like the veterans, these young players look pretty good and it might be time for a change. Again thanks, Art
CB: I think Potter could make the roster as a kickoff specialist and kicker on long field goal attempts 55-yards plus. Chan Gailey has made no secret of his feelings about what kind of a weapon he believes Potter can be if he can prove that he can deliver touchbacks with regularity. He basically told me that if Potter can guarantee the opponent is starting in their own 20-yard line every time then it’s worth using a roster spot.

As for Powell I think he’s got an uphill battle. He has raw talent, but he’s not as consistent or polished as Moorman. In a year where the Bills are gunning for the playoffs you keep the guy you can count on punt in and punt out.


5 – Hi Chris, thank you for taking my question.

Is Vince Young getting the same attention from Coach Lee on his mechanics and decision making as Fitz is? And if so is he seeing any improvement in his game?

I appreciate your insight. Thanks!

– Chris Kenyon (Albany, NY)

CB: Vince Young is being schooled on the same lower body mechanics as Fitz. The same with Thigpen. A quarterbacks coach works with all of his players and David Lee is no different. Young has performed better over the past week of camp with his accuracy. Young’s arm delivery isn’t prototype, but because he’s so tall it’s a throwing motion that can work in the NFL.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Nelson does more; Pears back

Posted by Chris Brown on August 7, 2012 – 4:24 pm

Bills WR David Nelson did more at practice Tuesday and RT Erik Pears saw his most extensive work in over a week.

Nelson, who did just individual position drills Monday, factored into some team work Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Pears, who got a good report from a specialist on his strained groin not only practiced for the first time, but even saw some a few team reps to being the team portions of practice. Seeing him suit up in the game on Thursday night however, might be a bit of a long shot.

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Outlook for Pears

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2012 – 7:51 pm

Erik Pears is still not back on the practice field getting reps in any capacity, but there was some good news concerning the right tackle’s healthy moving forward.

Out for the past week plus with a groin injury, head coach Chan Gailey said a visit to a specialist by Pears went well.

“I don’t know yet. We’re going to make that decision tomorrow or the next day. If Erik can’t play, which it looks like right now that won’t happen, both of them will play Hairston and Sam will both play.”

“It looks good to be honest with you,” said Gailey. “He saw the specialist and he gave him some things to work with. It looks like it’s going to pay dividends. He was trying to get out here to practice. I think it looks a lot better than it did three days ago that’s for sure.”

Pears had hernia surgery in the spring, so a groin injury was of some concern to Gailey. But with the current outlook it sounds as if he’ll be back practicing sooner rather than later. However, it would be a surprise if he plays in the team’s first preseason game Thursday night leaving Sam Young and Chris Hairston to likely share the starting right tackle role against Washington.

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Pears, Rogers still watching

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2012 – 2:34 pm

Erik Pears and Justin Rogers are still on the sidelines.

Pears has been dealing with a groin injury since early in camp and Chan Gailey did express concern knowing Pears had hernia surgery in the spring.

Rogers is trying to recover from a pulled hamstring.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Pears very limited

Posted by Chris Brown on July 31, 2012 – 3:21 pm

Bills RT Erik Pears is back practicing in a return from a minor groin injury, but he’s very limited.

He only did individual position drills.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Nelson, Pears still down

Posted by Chris Brown on July 29, 2012 – 5:51 pm

David Nelson and Erik Pears are not taking part in tonight’s practice.

Nelson sustained a bruised knee Saturday. Erik Pears sustained a groin injury Friday described as minor by Chan Gailey.

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New non-participant

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2012 – 2:01 pm

There’s a new non-participant for today’s padded practice.

Starting right tackle Erik Pears is not dressed to practice. He stepped out of practice late in Friday’s session during team work and did not return.

He didn’t line up at the starting right tackle spot in morning walk thru. Sam Young is lined up in his place.

We’ll get an update on his status from coach Gailey after practice.

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What to expect this afternoon

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2012 – 11:10 am

There are a couple of lineup changes that we could see on the practice field this afternoon.

Mark Anderson is expected to rotate back in as the starting right defensive end after Chris Kelsay manned that spot at Friday’s practice. Shawne Merriman could eventually be a factor in that competition, but right now appears to be more of a dark horse candidate as he’s been running almost exclusively with the second unit.

At the starting right tackle spot, it doesn’t appear as though Erik Pears will go this afternoon. He did not line up with the first unit at the morning walk through, with Sam Young taking his place. Pears did step out of practice during the final few series in team work Friday, but it was thought to be in an effort to pace his reps coming off of offseason surgery. We’ll check in with head coach Chan Gailey if indeed Pears does not participate in team work this afternoon.

If Sam Young does in fact move up to the first unit this afternoon as Pears injury replacement look for fifth-round pick Zebrie Sanders to man right tackle with the second unit in Young’s place.

Leodis McKelvin was out on the field for morning walk through and looked to have a bounce in his step so it’s anticipated that he’ll be back practicing this afternoon. He left the field early on Thursday due to illness.

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McGee, Wood update

Posted by Chris Brown on June 21, 2012 – 4:48 pm

Terrence McGee and Eric Wood did not participate at all in the spring practices, but both are on track to be ready for training camp.

Head coach Chan Gailey however, indicated that while both should be cleared they may not have a full workload right from the start.

“Yes they’ll be ready,” Gailey said. “Now whether they can practice every day, it might be every other day to start with and then work them slowly in, but I expect them to be ready to go at camp.”

Other players expected to return to the practice setting in training camp that are coming off offseason surgeries include RT Erik Pears and DT Torell Troup.

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Left tackle update

Posted by Chris Brown on June 21, 2012 – 4:36 pm

Even though Cordy Glenn took all the first team reps at left tackle in the OTAs and minicamp it doesn’t mean he’s got the inside track on landing the starting job.

That according to head coach Chan Gailey, who confirmed that come training camp it’ll be a two-man competition between Glenn and Chris Hairston. Gailey was asked about Glenn’s spring and whether he’s got an upper hand on the blind side position.

“He has the ability,” said Gailey of Glenn. “Now there are a lot of guys with a bunch of ability that are home today. But he has the ability, it’s can he transition that into pads and the speed of the game? Minicamp is just one speed. There’s another speed when you go to at training camp. There’s another speed when you hit preseason games. There’s another speed when you hit the regular season and still another speed when you reach the playoffs. So can you transition with all those speed changes, that’s a different deal. But he and Chris (Hairston) will be working at left tackle. I don’t know who will win that job.”

Hairston worked exclusively at right tackle with incumbent right tackle Erik Pears unable to participate in any of the spring practices due to hernia surgery. He’s expected to be full go come training camp allowing Hairston to compete with Glenn on the left side in late July and August.

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Pears deal reduces list

Posted by Chris Brown on December 13, 2011 – 12:05 pm

The list of Bills free agents is one shorter with RT Erik Pears locked up with an extension today.

The most notable unrestricted free agents for the Bills now are the following players below.

Demetrius Bell
Scott Chandler
Stevie Johnson
Rian Lindell
Roscoe Parrish
Bryan Scott

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Pears, Kelsay go, Wilson on side

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2011 – 4:13 pm

Right tackle Erik Pears and LB Chris Kelsay were listed as limited in practice Thursday, but did most of the work in practice. George Wilson however, remains a big question mark.

“Pears was back and did okay,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “I hope he’ll keep coming. We have to list him as limited, but he did a lot.”

As for Wilson’s status Gailey says his strong safety’s chances for Sunday are still very much up in the air.

“He’s still questionable for the game,” he said. “I hope he can get out here tomorrow and do some things.”

If Wilson cannot go on Sunday he’ll be replaced by rookie Da’Norris Searcy.

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