Inside The Bills

Sanborn is MMQB special teamer of Week 6

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2013 – 5:28 pm

In Peter King’s Monday Morning QB column Bills long snapper Garrison Sanborn was named his Special Teams Player of the Week.

Sanborn had a pair of special teams tackles in Sunday’s overtime loss including the big one referenced by King. Here’s what he wrote.

Garrison Sanborn, LS, Buffalo. Long-snappers don’t get noticed much. But on the last play of the third quarter in a tight game with Cincinnati, Sanborn snapped from the Buffalo 44-yard line to punter Brian Moorman and took off sprinting. Sanborn ran 51 yards to the Cincinanti 5-yard line, where Adam Jones was trying to find the handle on the punt. Just as he did, Sanborn wrapped up Pacman and downed him at the 5. Great example of hustle and what a big factor a special-teams play can be.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Moorman set to hold for Carpenter

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2013 – 8:11 am

Each NFL kicker is different in their preference for how the ball is tilted and positioned. Bills punter Brian Moorman, now back with the club, spent part of the week making sure he’s got his place kick holds just the way that kicker Dan Carpenter likes them.

“Every kicker is a little bit different, but Dan is extremely laid back and just said put the ball down and lean it a little towards you and straight up, but he’s pretty easy going so it was pretty seamless this week,” said Moorman. “He made all his kicks on Wednesday so I guess the holds were okay.”

The front end of the snapping operation will be old hat for Moorman. He worked with long snapper Garrison Sanborn since the 2009 season before he was released early last year.

Moorman also works with Sanborn in the offseason as the two live about 15 minutes away from each other in the Jacksonville, Florida area.

“It’s been a pretty good transition and I’ve worked with Garrison all offseason so I’m comfortable catching snaps from him,” Moorman told “I know what kind of velocity he has so it felt like I never left.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills entire specialist lineup from FSU

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2013 – 7:38 am

With Dustin Hopkins winning the Bills kicking job their entire roster of specialists hail from Florida State University.

Long snapper Garrison Sanborn, punter and holder Shawn Powell and Hopkins are all FSU alums.

“I’m not sure in history if that’s ever happened before, but it’s clearly representing the university. To be proud of what you’ve done and how many people that we’ve put in the league as far as specialists. Given the fact that Florida State is known for their negative special teams plays, but now we have a snapper, a punter and three kickers in the league now. That’s kind of
funny how people view the kicking game at FSU.”

The other Florida State kickers in the NFL are Sebastian Janikowski in Oakland and Graham Gano in Carolina.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Extensions for restricteds?

Posted by Chris Brown on January 30, 2012 – 10:23 am

Garrison Sanborn was the first of Buffalo’s three restricted free agents to re-up with the club. The question is will offensive linemen Chad Rinehart and Kraig Urbik also be extended something more than just a qualifying tender offer?

As restricted free agents, the club can hold onto your rights as a player by tendering a one-year qualifying offer. Upon signing that offer a player is tied to the club for at least one more season. Such was the case with TE Scott Chandler, who signed his one-year tender for the 2011 season last year.

Rinehart and Urbik both proved to be significant contributors on the interior of the offensive line solidifying the starting unit and providing valuable depth. It would not be shocking if Buffalo chose to get both linemen signed long term as well, though other offseason priorities could always play a factor in compromising that approach (e.g. Stevie Johnson, Fred Jackson, Scott Chandler, free agency, etc.).

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Flo keeping up with workouts

Posted by Chris Brown on August 1, 2011 – 1:50 pm

Bills players with new contracts signed after the lockout cannot practice until the new CBA is ratified by the NFLPA. As Bills GM Buddy Nix said however, those players can work out on their own, and that’s just what Drayton Florence is doing.

DraytonFlorence Just finished great workout at midtown athletic club top notch facility. Coming back for tomm for yoga class.
Florence is just one of the players that can’t practice right now along with TE Scott Chandler, LS Garrison Sanborn, QB Tyler Thigpen, QB Brad Smith and recent signee LB Nick Barnett. I’ve got to believe all of them are staying on point working out on their own so they’re as ready as possible when they can rejoin their teammates on the practice field.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Competition for specialists

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2011 – 2:14 pm

Last year there was no competition in camp for the likes of veterans Rian Lindell and Brian Moorman or young long snapper Garrison Sanborn. That won’t be the case in this training camp.

The Bills have signed an undrafted rookie for each of those positions, LS Danny Aiken, K Chris Hazley and P Reid Forrest. The most impressive of the three is probably Forrest, who had a heck of a career at Washington State. For more on this group of newcomers you can check the home page at

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills free agent list

Posted by Chris Brown on July 25, 2011 – 6:15 pm

Here is the list of Bills free agents including unrestricted and restricted.

Unrestricted free agents
ILB Akin Ayodele
OLB Keith Ellison              
CB Drayton Florence
DL John McCargo
ILB Paul Posluszny
SS Donte Whitner
CB Ashton Youboty

Restricted free agents
QB Brian Brohm                not tendered
TE Scott Chandler            tendered
RB Quinton Ganther       not tendered

Exclusive rights free agents
LS Garrison Sanborn       tendered
TE Jonathan Stupar         not tendered

Restricted free agent TE Scott Chandler was tendered a qualifying offer by the Bills as was exclusive rights free agent LS Garrison Sanborn prior to the lockout.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 5-13

Posted by Chris Brown on May 13, 2011 – 12:30 pm

Happy Friday the 13th everybody! Let’s get to your questions from, which is where you can submit your question.

1 – Chris,
The long snapper is always mystifying to most NFL fans. As they only play on punting and field goals. In terms of Garrison Sanborn, he hasn’t played any time at offensive line. With roster spots so key, why don’t the Bills get a player to snap and also play in some capacity.  It would make sense for Wood or any other interior lineman to play this position. What is the teams philosophy for the position considering  he is on such few plays?

Jack S.

CB:  The long snapper has been a specialized position for the better part of 20-25 years. Mastering the velocity and accuracy is practically an art form. Yes, there are other players on Buffalo’s roster that can do it in a pinch, but NFL clubs have made it clear they’re willing to devote a roster spot to that role. It’s obvious they feel it’s worth it and Chan Gailey, who was once a special teams coach, feels the same way.

Your point however, is valid. For a guy that’s in on about 15 plays a game it’s certainly one that’s short on quantity. Obviously NFL coaches favor the quality of the performance at that position more.

2 – Chris,
Last year Buddy and Chan were very busy all year adding O linemen,recievers,TEs,linebackers etc. So many it is impossible to know who we still have and who we have let go. I checked the “transaction” file and it doesn’t help and needs to be upgraded.

Do we know who of all those additions still have a chance to stay? I know that after the draft and then the additions of UDFAs and all those others. I’m going to go crazy trying to figure out who is who?

Thanks for any help you can give us.

CB: Since there is no CBA there are no rules as to how many accrued seasons a player must have to be an unrestricted, restricted or exclusive rights free agent. With no rules there is no way to designate the free agent status of players whose contracts are up. As such it’s more difficult to determine who is more likely to stay or go. Hence your crazy state of being.

When it’s all settled it’ll come into better focus.

3 – Hey Chris,
First off, thank you so much for all you do with keep my fellow Bills fans and myself up to date on our beloved team, even through our YEARS of struggles.  With the release of the 2011 schedule, once again it looks like a real tough one, 2nd toughest in the NFL, I looked back at the last 5 years.  Four of the last five years we have played both Super Bowl teams.  The other year we played one.  What are the odds of something like that happening?  I think before they started this rotational schedule, they use to determine opponents by records?  Do you think it’s just poor luck of the draw or that the NFL should reconsider their strength of scheduling rules?  I know they never know which teams are going to do well, but 9 of the last 10 Super Bowl teams seems ridiculous!!  Thanks again for everything and as always GO BILLS and GO 2011 NFL SEASON!!
Best regards,
Lancaster, NY

CB: First, thanks for the kind words. I understand your frustration, but the rotational schedule is what it is. Now the Bills did have a much easier schedule in 2008 when they began with three of their first five games against the pitiful NFC West and got off to a 5-1 start. Part of Buffalo’s strength of schedule can be directly attributed to the Patriots regular season dominance. They went 14-2 last season and that sharply shifts the winning percentage of their opponents. But they also face teams like Cincinnati and Denver, teams that were right there with them at the top of the draft board with the same 2010 record (4-12).

Sometimes a team will have the unfortunate timing of facing an intra or inter conference division that has quality from top to bottom (NFC East). The AFC West had been struggling in recent years with the exception of San Diego, but Kansas City has rebounded and Oakland was even at .500 last year. The strength of divisions sometimes go in cycles and it’s just a matter of when your team is up to play them.

4 – Chris,

I have been an avid Buffalo Bills fan for years, I know how we got the name Bills, but what does it (Bills) mean or stand for?


CB: So you know the story of the essay contest to name the AAFC team back in 1946 and the winning essay was written by James Dyson.

He compared the team to a band of “Buffalo Bills.” He wrote that while the legendary Indian Scout William “Buffalo Bill” Cody helped trailblaze the American Frontier, the football team was opening a new frontier in Buffalo sports.

So in essence the Bills are a band of trailblazers I suppose for lack of a clearer definition.  

5 – Chris, 

Can you help to break down the rotation of players in both 4-3 and 3-4 system coming into camp? It’s seems a given that Marcell and Kyle will be on the field in both schemes for a majority of the plays. Will Troup now have to be 3rd in line to play nose or 3-technique? In 3-4 DE, does Carrington have a chance to push Dwan for a starting chance? 



CB: The coaches will obviously make those decisions, but here’s what I envision them doing. In a 3-4 set it should be from left to right Dareus, Williams and Dwan Edwards. Carrington and Spencer Johnson are the two rotational ends with Torell Troup the backup nose.

If they choose to go to more of a 4-3 look in the subpackages, Dareus will likely kick inside with Williams. Carrington, who is one of the better pass rushing ends would likely be on the field as well, with possible a stand up linebacker on the right side next to Williams.

In a straight 4-3 I’d expect it to be left to right Dareus, Troup, Williams, Edwards.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Another jersey number change

Posted by Chris Brown on September 7, 2009 – 2:40 pm

Bills long snapper Garrison Sanborn has changed his jersey number.

He was wearing #69, but will now be in jersey #65 for the 2009 season.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills waive long snapper Neill

Posted by Chris Brown on August 19, 2009 – 9:09 pm

It only took three weeks of training camp for rookie long snapper Garrison Sanborn to impress Buffalo’s coaching staff as the club cut ties with veteran long snapper Ryan Neill Wednesday afternoon.

Neill has spent the last 3 seasons snapping for Buffalo (2006 on practice squad, ’07-’08 on roster), but Sanborn who was signed in the spring after a tryout with Buffalo has been every bit as good as Neill.

In fact Dick Jauron was paying very close attention in practice to the split times on FG snaps and long snaps for both players.

Sanborn appeared to have better velocity and his aacuracy was just as good as Neill’s.

Sanborn may just want to bulk up a little more to hold up more consistently inside on those snaps.

An interesting development though to say the least even if the competition looked dead even all the way. I thought for sure it would go right down to final cut down day.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Sanborn had a difficult decision

Posted by Chris Brown on May 6, 2009 – 1:36 pm

Bills newly signed long snapper Garrison Sanborn, was elated and disappointed all at the same time when he was initially invited to the Bills rookie camp last weekend. Elated because it was an opportunity to show his talent to an NFL club and disappointed because Buffalo’s rookie camp fell on the same weekend as his older sister’s wedding. Not an easy call.

But as chronicled in the Tampa Tribune, Sanborn’s sister was very understanding and the long snapper impressed the Bills enough to land a multi-year contract. You don’t usually see big time competition at long snapper, but at Bills training camp it looks like that won’t be the case.

Posted in Inside the Bills
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