Inside The Bills

Browns agree to terms with QB McCown

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2015 – 8:50 pm

The Cleveland Browns have announced that they’ve agreed to terms with free agent QB Josh McCown.

The announcement was made late Friday with multiple reports also noting the signing.

The Bills hosted McCown for a visit prior to the NFL Combine and expressed interest in the 35-year old quarterback as well.

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Fan Friday 2-27

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2015 – 11:39 am

NFL free agency is just over a week away. The Bills are expected to be players. For now let’s get to this week’s edition of questions from you the Bills fans on email at and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

My question is- What veteran quarterbacks do you feel that could be available to help the Bills immediately? Definitely not Cutler, the Bills have already proven once you get under his skin he’s done competing!  Maybe Sanchez?  Do you think he can turn the corner in his leadership and playing ability?

Kevin E.
Colorado by way of Hamburg, NY

CB: Josh McCown is the obvious target right now. I think the Bills will see if any veteran quarterbacks that don’t have a future with their current clubs are released in salary cap moves prior to the start of the new league year before pouncing on another free agent target. Rest assured they are dead set on adding a veteran quarterback to their roster in some way.


2 – Chris,

Thanks again for the great coverage of our Bills, my question revolves around the defense going back to a 3-4. How do you see the front seven shaking out? Is Dareus the nose tackle or do we go with him and Kyle Williams at defensive end and add a big bodied space eater? I’m also curious about the linebackers, I’d think you’d put Alonso and Brown inside, Mario on one side and then I’m lost. If Hughes stays in the fold does he play the other side? Where does this leave Bradham who emerged as a solid player? I look forward to your input thanks again.


CB: With respect to the defensive line you have to remember that Ryan’s system is not a traditional 3-4 with a true nose tackle. They don’t have a true two gap, head up on the center nose. They play more of a shade alignment with two defensive tackles. I think Mario Williams will split time at defensive end and outside linebacker depending on the down and distance.

Manny Lawson will shift to strong side linebacker much like he did in Pettine’s defense two seasons ago. If Jerry Hughes is back he’ll presumably rotate in and out with Lawson and likely flip back and forth between and end and outside linebacker role.

As for the full-time linebackers I think it will be a feeling out process for the defensive staff. They have 2013 tape of Kiko Alonso in this defense, but they do not have any feel for Preston Brown in that system. They also don’t have the current version of Nigel Bradham in this defense aside from perhaps the last two games of 2013 when he began to show flashes of his true ability. So how they align those three will take shape through the course of the OTA practices.

The secondary obviously remains largely the same with the decision of free agent Da’Norris Searcy being the only possible departure.


3 – Chris,

Has Shane Carden from ECU been on anyone’s radar at OBD? I live in the Carolinas so we get more coverage about this guy. He’s playing in the senior bowl as well. He has reputation for being an accurate thrower (to me this should be the top consideration for a QB). Maybe a steal in the mid/late rounds. Thoughts from the insiders?


CB: Obviously the Bills scouting department is aware of Carden. He was a throwing quarterback at the NFL Combine last week. Carden set all kinds of records at East Carolina, but my concern lies with his throwing mechanics and arm strength. I don’t think he has the arm to cut passes through the wind that we often find here in Buffalo come November and December.

A lot of his passes float and hang in the air too long. He also has a propensity to throw off his back foot. There’s no debating his career was a very productive one. He broke all of David Garrard’s passing records at ECU, but I’ll be surprised if he’s taken before the seventh round. At best he’s a career backup in the league by most accounts.


4 – Hello Chris,

Thank you for all your hard work keeping those of us away from Buffalo updated on the best team in the NFL!

While I do not dismiss Rex Ryan’s abilities as a coach or motivator, my defining image of his tenure in New York was the newspaper cover image of a Jets clown car with coach Ryan at the wheel.  Traditionally the team has eschewed flamboyant personalities in the past.  Has the team discussed this with him, or can we expect the seemingly endless diatribe of controversy, arrogance and inanity that plagued the Jets?


CB: I think you can probably take his handling of his press conference with the NFL media at the NFL Combine as an example of what to expect. He sidestepped several opportunities to be bold with a prediction or two for the 2015 season. He also dodged loaded questions about his former team. So I’m anticipating a little more self-restraint from coach Ryan this year. We’ll see.


5 – Chris
It seems that with the restrictions in the NFLPA agreement, it is difficult to work with players except during certain dates in the offseason ?
If we had some interesting players, could a team rather than sign them to a contract, perhaps open a Football Training School with free tuition and room and board to develop their skills? Those popping out would be offered a contract etc. don’t use team coaches, rather qualified instructors with experience in positions we have a need.

Jim in Florida

CB: Unfortunately I don’t see the NFLPA agreeing to that in any way. The players fought for time away from the game to reduce the pounding on their bodies through the offseason with limitations on padded practices and live hitting. They’re not going to agree to do that in a separate training academy. Most players do that on their own.

I suppose there could be street free agents interested in that kind of arrangement, but who is paying for it? NFL owners are not going to incur another cost to make that happen. I just think it’s unrealistic.


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Report: Browns still in hunt for McCown

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2015 – 9:47 am

While there are reports that the Bills are negotiating with the reps for free agent QB Josh McCown, apparently they’re not alone.

That according to the Associated Press, which is reporting that the Browns are also trying to strike a deal with the free agent signal caller. It’s believed that both clubs are offering McCown the opportunity to compete for the starting job at quarterback, so the difference maker will likely be money.

McCown was released by Tampa Bay earlier this month and visited both the Bills and Browns.


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Report: McCown visiting Browns

Posted by Chris Brown on February 25, 2015 – 9:21 am

Free agent QB Josh McCown is meeting with yet another NFL club interested in his services.

According to an report, McCown is being hosted by the Cleveland Browns on a two-day visit. The visit began on Tuesday and will stretch through today (Wednesday). McCown has also met with the Bills and the Jets. Chicago has also expressed interest meeting with him at the NFL Combine, a team he played for just two seasons ago.

McCown is reportedly most interested in competing for a starting job, something that would seem likely in Buffalo, New York and Cleveland.

The veteran QB has been able to mull his options since he’s essentially the only viable free agent QB on the market right now with free agency not opening for quarterbacks with expiring contracts until March 7th, when NFL clubs can begin to contact and negotiate contracts with prospective free agent players.

It’s assumed that McCown will make a decision on what team he’d like to play for soon to begin negotiating a contract long before the other free agent QBs enter the pool of available talent.

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Rex on McCown

Posted by Chris Brown on February 18, 2015 – 12:15 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan is heading to the podium here at the NFL Combine in Indy shortly, but he already spoke with and addressed where things sit with free agent QB Josh McCown, who visited with the Bills on Monday.

“I think the big thing obviously we have an interest in Josh. He’s a veteran quarterback. He has been with several teams. We know his history obviously, but this gave us an opportunity to really sit down and visit with Josh and how he thought we would fit him and vice versa. You’re able to get medical stuff on him, information and all kinds of things. When it’s appropriate we’ll proceed however we’re going to proceed in finding a quarterback, but obviously we feel good about him. We think that we’re not the only team that’s interested in him, maybe in different roles.”

McCown is reportedly in Indianapolis to talk and meet with other NFL clubs to assess his full slate of options. The 35-year old was cut by Tampa Bay last week, less than a year after signing a two-year free agent deal with the Bucs.

For the entire one-on-one interview with Rex Ryan stay tuned to as we’ll have the interview up later in the day. Combine coverage is presented by NAPA Auto Parts.

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Bucs cut QB Josh McCown

Posted by Chris Brown on February 11, 2015 – 6:25 pm

Saints Buccaneers Football
One year after signing veteran free agent QB Josh McCown the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have cut ties with the signal caller making him a free agent. A new member of Buffalo’s coaching staff has some familiarity with McCown.

McCown spent three seasons in Chicago prior to signing a two-year free agent deal with Tampa last offseason, including one under former head coach Marc Trestman and former offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. McCown had the best season of his career under Kromer and Trestman in 2013 when he appeared in eight games in place of an injured Jay Cutler. He completed more than 66 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns against just one interception and a passer rating of 109.

Things did not go as well in Tampa this past season as an early thumb injury sidelined him in Week 4 and he missed six games. His numbers weren’t as good either behind a suspect offensive line that allowed the third-most sacks in the league in 2014 (52). It appears the Bucs are going young at QB with Mike Glennon still on the roster and the number one pick in the draft.

That being said McCown is known as a solid locker room guy with former Bears GM even calling him a “glue guy” (helps hold the room together). Here’s more on that.

The Bills are in the market for a veteran signal caller and may also draft a quarterback to add competition at the position to the roster.

If the Bills are in fact interested in McCown they’ll certainly be tapping into Kromer’s intimate knowledge of McCown’s game having worked with him closely just two seasons ago.


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