Inside The Bills

Fan Friday 5-17

Posted by Chris Brown on May 17, 2013 – 12:31 pm

Time for the latest edition of your questions from and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

I don’t see how anybody can say that the Bills are good on the offensive line. The loss of Levitre left a gaping hole there. RT is a question mark, since Pears was injured all last year, and Eric Wood seems like he might be injury prone.

CB: I think your concerns about left guard are legitimate, but beyond that Buffalo has capable players for the starting roles and depth behind them. At tackle you have Cordy Glenn on the left and Chris Hairston on the right. Erik Pears is still limited, but when healthy more than capable himself on the right side.

Kraig Urbik is your right guard with Wood in the pivot. Depth-wise you have Zebrie Sanders as a tackle guard option once healthy. Beyond that it is a green group in terms of playing experience, but that’s the case for most of the league.


2 – Chris,

With the new high tempo offense, can we expect Doug Marrone to try to take a lead by choosing to receive this year?

Please say it is so,

Len in NYC

CB: I’ll have to ask him about that to be sure, but most NFL head coaches have found that the research shows if you choose to defer you typically wind up with the last possession of the first half. Obviously by deferring you also get the first possession of the second half. Those back-to-back possessions are seen as valuable in the eyes of many coaches. However, if your defense is substandard it might be wiser to choose to receive first if you win the toss. I’ll see if we can get an answer on coach Marrone’s philosophy on that.


3 – Hi Chris:
Now that the draft is over and we still need some positional fills, who do you  think the Bills will go after in FA to fill those voids (like OL, LB, CB)?

Thanks for delivering!
Mike from Orlando

CB: I think cornerback could prove to be the most pressing need. Buffalo has some interesting young talent at corner among the undrafteds, but there’s already a good deal of youth at the position. I wouldn’t be surprised if they added a veteran to that group at some point.


4 – Dear Chris,

My questions are about Brad Smith, I have heard he has looked good this spring as a WR. Is this his only role now or could he still be a wildcat/#3 game day QB? Will coach Marrone even employ the wildcat? If not could Smith be on the trade block at some point this off season?


Either way I wish him the best the coming season. He’s a real asset as a triple threat and that seems to be something this new staff seems to value.

I hope to hear from you soon on this as I’m sure I’m not the only fan to be wondering about Brads future here. As always GO BILLS!!!

Scott Kane,

CB: Yes, Brad Smith is strictly a receiver and a return man at this point. Based on coach Marrone’s comment on the Wildcat after the draft, I highly doubt we’ll see it as any respectable part of Buffalo’s offense.

Smith to his credit has performed well in OTA practices. He and T.J. Graham have probably benefited the most from the absence of Stevie Johnson on the practice field.

As for the trade block, I think we’re a bit ahead of the game at this point. There’s a lot of evaluation that needs to be done by this coaching staff.


5 – Hi Chris,

Firstly, thank you for your coverage. As a Bills fan since 1986 living on the other side of the world, I am more than appreciative of all informed coverage.

Two quick questions: have the Bills had talks with Brandon Moore. if not, why not?

Secondly, it is all but impossible to follow college football from here. However, I have watched Keith Pough’s highlights. Admittedly, highlights can be very misleading, but he looked terrific. Why was he not drafted? What chance does he have of making the team?

Jeff Wallace,
Sydney, Australia

CB: Thanks for the kind words. To my knowledge the Bills have not talked to Brandon Moore. Obviously, Bills head coach Doug Marrone knows him extremely well. He was the Jets assistant offensive line coach, who turned him from a defensive lineman to a very successful guard on the offensive side. So there’s a relationship there. At age 33, he’s probably not what the Bills are looking for knowing they want to build this roster from the ground up with players that will be here for the long haul.

However, if they do not like what they feel they are getting from the guard spot you can’t rule out the Bills making a phone call to the veteran.

As for Keith Pough, he’s a bit undersized and did not perform well at the Combine, especially when it came to his 40 time (4.87). He also played at a lower level of college competition at Howard. That doesn’t mean he can’t make an NFL roster, but it discourages NFL clubs from taking a chance on him with a draft choice. Signing him as an undrafted offers less risk. I do know that the Bills are high on him among their undrafted group.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Team logo for Pough stays largely the same

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

In college Bills undrafted rookie LB Keith Pough played for the Howard University Bison. Now trying to carve out an NFL career with the Bills, Pough quickly realized the logo for his team won’t be changing.

Here’s a look at the logo for both Howard and the Bills with permission from the Howard U. Sports Information Dept.

HU-BisonLogo (2)


“I really didn’t think about it until about 45 minutes after I talked to coach O’Neil and coach Pettine,” said Pough upon signing as an undrafted rookie with Buffalo. “I sat down and said to myself that it was the same logo that I had in college. It is ironic have everything comes full circle, from a Bison to a Buffalo, nothing changes but the Bills. I’m excited to be a part of the organization and I’m ready to just get to work.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

LB Pough a talker on the field

Posted by Chris Brown on May 8, 2013 – 9:48 am

Undrafted rookie LB Keith Pough isn’t nasty with his talk on the field, but he can certainly jaw with the best of them between the lines. For Pough it isn’t an act so much as his natural passion for the game just bubbling to the surface.

“I don’t do it to stay hype or to get hyped or to hype others,” said Pough. “I love the game so much that I have fun on the field and I just can’t help but talk. I’m just excited to always line up. Anything dealing with football I’m excited about it. It comes through my play.”

Pough’s chatter while practicing and playing in the East-West Shrine game was actually encouraged by the coaches on hand.

“You can talk to anyone from rec leagues, to high school to my college teammates that’s who I am,” Pough told “I’m just passionate about the game and I feel that my passion is infectious and it’s going to rub off on my teammates and it’s going to cause all of us to come together and form that bond and play at a high level.”

Pough’s exuberance at the East-West Shrine game may also have been a byproduct of being the first Howard player to participate in the postseason game.

“I was the only guy from my school to participate in the 88-year history of the East-West Shrine game,” he said. “Then to be competing with guys from Division I schools put a lot of icing on the cake. Then to perform at a high level was like a cherry on top.”

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Pough’s game a better fit than body

Posted by Chris Brown on May 8, 2013 – 9:07 am

Bills undrafted rookie free agent LB Keith Pough, may not think he has an NFL body for a LB, but he certainly has the production. With over 300 tackles in his career, including an NCAA mark of 71 for loss, Pough dominated in FCS play in college at Howard. And while he might not see himself as ideal physically his long arms and thick lower half certainly help him as a linebacker.

“I don’t have the prototype linebacker body. Anybody that looks at me says, ‘You play basketball.’ And I say, ‘No I don’t. I just have very long arms.’ Just playing football I’m very tall and lanky and have a lean frame, but I’m bottom heavy. Most of my weight is in my lower extremities. I play with great leverage, low to the ground and I use my technique to my advantage. Football is a game of leverage and the low man wins. Going against a tight end because I have long arms it works to my advantage.”

The Bills see Pough as a strong side linebacker for them, which is where he’s expected to line up this weekend at Bills rookie minicamp.

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Bills rank 2nd in undrafted FA haul

Posted by Chris Brown on May 2, 2013 – 2:45 pm

There’s a respectable amount of talent among Buffalo 16 undrafted rookies that agreed to terms earlier this week. So much in fact that’s Gil Brandt has the Bills right at the top of the league in terms of their undrafted free agent haul.

Brandt ranked Buffalo second in the league behind only Jacksonville. Here was his assessment of their undrafted free agent crop.

2) Buffalo Bills

Key signees: Brandon Kaufman, WR, Eastern Washington; Jeff Tuel, QB, Washington State; Da’Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech; Keith Pough, LB, Howard.

The Bills were looking for receivers, and that’s what they got; Kaufman is a good possession type of guy, while Rogers has great speed. Tuel, who has the measurables and arm strength you want in a quarterback, was stuck on a very poor team in college. Pough looked good in workouts and at the combine.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills LB seen as pick of undrafted litter

Posted by Chris Brown on May 2, 2013 – 1:40 pm

A lot of the exposure concerning Buffalo’s undrafted rookie free agents has gone to Tennessee Tech WR Da’Rick Rogers. In terms of football ability many NFL teams had a first or second round grade on him, including Buffalo. Obviously his off the field history had him go undrafted. Though Buffalo landed him there is an undrafted prospect coming in at a position of need that is viewed as an even bigger steal.

Howard LB Keith Pough (pronounced pew) was an ultra productive player in the MEAC conference. At the Combine he didn’t run well, but plays faster than he times according to Bills scout Tom Roth.

“After he ran that time I went back to check his tape just to be sure,” Roth told “And he does play faster than that. His play speed is closer to 4.75. I’m really excited about this kid.”

Seen as a strong side linebacker for Buffalo, Pough (6’2″ 235), who had an astounding 71 tackles for loss in his college career and was the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year last season, was seen as one of the top undrafted player signings in the NFL by Here was their assessment of the Pough acquisition by Buffalo.

Keith Pough, LB, Howard — Buffalo Bills: The Bills’ post-draft pickup WR Da’Rick Rogers, a very talented but problematic wide receiver, will garner the most attention going forward. But don’t overlook the potential for Pough to make an impact in Buffalo, too.

The 6-foot-2 linebacker set an FCS record with 71 tackles for loss in his career. Buffalo’s not particularly deep at that spot on the field either, despite the addition of second-round pick Kiko Alonso. Pough has a great shot to make the roster, and he could pay off down the line if he does.

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