Inside The Bills

Woods surprised by Barkley’s drop

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 30, 2013 – 7:44 pm

It was one of the big stories of last weekend’s NFL draft–the precipitous drop of USC Quarterback Matt Barkley. Some draft experts had Barkley graded as a first or second round pick. But he lasted until the 1st pick of the fourth round, when the Philadelhia Eagles took his name off the board.

Barkley’s fate caught one of his USC teammates by surprise. Bills 2nd round pick Robert Woods says he couldn’t believe that his quarterback had to wait until the fourth round.

“Very surprised that he went so late,” Woods said Tuesday night, in an appearance on The John Murphy Show. “I don’t know why he did. But I know talent-wise, he’s going to have a great NFL career once he gets his shot. He’s a competitor. He has a strong arm, he’s a very accurate quarterback. A quick arm. We’ll see what he does with the Eagles. He’s going to do great things once he gets his chance.”

Woods said he talked with Barkley during the draft and then after his selection by the Eagles. And he said his Trojan teammate is already brushing off the snub of waiting until the fourth round to hear his name called.

“He’s not depressed,” Woods told host John Murphy. “The whole process is stressful. But once you hear your name called, that all goes out the window. You’re relieved. You’re happy. And that’s exactly how he was. He was just happy to hear his name called. Now he has to get to work, and that’s his mindset. He has to get to work and prove why he is what he is.”

The entire interview with Bills 2nd round draft pick Robert Woods is available at\johnmurphyshow

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Merit to taking another QB

Posted by Chris Brown on April 27, 2013 – 11:05 am

The Bills have their quarterback of the future in EJ Manuel, who was selected on day one with the 16th overall pick. But with just three quarterbacks off the board through the first two days the quarterbacks left on the board suddenly present good value. The Bills still have some positional needs, but come the fifth or sixth round might it make sense to stock away a second QB prospect?

Here are some of the more notable quarterbacks still on the board as we get set for Day 3 of the NFL Draft, including some that made pre-draft visits to Buffalo or had private workouts with the Bills.

Matt Barkley – USC (visited, private workout)
Ryan Nassib – Syracuse (private workout)
Tyler Bray – Tennessee (visited, private workout)
Matt Scott – Arizona (visited)
Tyler Wilson – Arkansas (visited)
Landry Jones – Oklahoma (visited, private workout)
Jeff Tuel – Washington St. (visited)
Zac Dysert – Miami (OH)

I’d expect the Bills to address some pressing positional needs like CB, TE or S first before considering another signal caller. Other NFL teams have parlayed extra young quarterbacks on their roster into future draft choices, most notably the Philadelphia Eagles.


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Final thoughts on QBs from Bills Asst. GM

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 24, 2013 – 9:30 pm

The Buffalo Bills are the focus of a lot of attention as the NFL Draft approaches Thursday night. And most of it centers on the Bills apparent interest in drafting a quarterback with one of their early picks.

Assistant GM Doug Whaley talked about the quarterbacks Wednesday night, in an appearance on The John Murphy Show. And he had complimentary things to say about some of the top candidates.

On Ryan Nassib:

“He’s a guy, we would say, you plug and play. Because of the familiarity he has with the system, but efficient. Strong arm, competitive.”

On E.J. Manuel:

“Powerful. He’s a guy that’s got the size. He’s got the ability to run as well. He’s more of a power thrower because he’s such a big man and he’s so powerful.”

On other potential first round QBs:
“You’ve got Matt Barkley. There are people that are going to look at him. He’s been on the big stage for a while, he’s been productive. One of the things he does is, he gets the ball to the playmakers. And then Landry Jones. He’s set a lot of records in the Big 12, and that’s not a shabby conference. He’s got size, he’s got the ability to throw the ball downfield. And one of the rare qualities he has, he’s not a great athlete, but he can be Fred Astaire in the pocket. He can be a Brady, where he can move around in the pocket and buy time.”

The entire interview with Doug Whaley is available at\johnmurphyshow

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Barkley reunited with Corp at Bills complex

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 10, 2013 – 8:30 pm

They were teammates at Southern Cal a few years ago. And Tuesday, they bumped into each other once again, at One Bills Drive.

Bills QB Aaron Corp says he was reunited with former USC teammate, QB Matt Barkley, during Barkley’s pre-draft visit to One Bills Drive Tuesday. Corp talked about it Wednesday night on The John Murphy Show.

“I just saw him today, he’s in the building (for his rookie visit),” Corp said. “I hadn’t seen him in a while. I think he’s going to do well. He’s got a good arm. And I think he’s pretty smart. He’s going to pick up any offense he gets into pretty quickly.”

Corp had a solid spring football season in his redshirt sophomore year at USC, and he began the 2009 season as the Trojans starter.

“I was named the starter going into camp,” he said on the radio show. “But then, I had a little injury and I was sitting out a couple of weeks. That’s when Matt Barkley came in. He took over the starting job and didn’t let it go. Matt came in, and obviously he’s a great player. He got me. He beat me out.”

Once Barkley was established as the USC starter, Corp decided to transfer to the University of Richmond, a FCS school. He had two good years for the Spiders, good enough to earn an invitation to be with the Bills in the spring of 2012 in offseason workouts. But he was released by Buffalo before the 2012 training camp.

Corp worked out for Bills coaches back in January and was re-signed to the roster in mid-February. And he’s been at One Bills Drive for the last few weeks participating in the veteran voluntary offseason conditioning program.

He considers his speed and mobility among his greatest assets as a quarterback. And he’s looking forward to showing them off next week, when the team gets on the field for football drills in the voluntary veteran minicamp.

“It’s something that definitely be utilized,” he said, “rather it’s moving around in the pocket, or getting outside on a bootleg. I feel like I can contribute and I feel like it’s a pretty strong part of my game.”

The entire interview with QB Aaron Corp is available at\johnmurphyshow

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QB Barkley coming to Buffalo as well

Posted by Chris Brown on April 8, 2013 – 10:40 am

Just hours after Tennessee WR Justin Hunter announced that he’s en route to Buffalo, presumably for a pre-draft visit, USC QB Matt Barkley tweeted the same.

Barkley tweeted this morning that he’s got visits lined up with the Browns and Bills coming up.

The Bills held a private workout with Barkley just last week.

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New mock has different QB for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on March 27, 2013 – 2:20 pm

The position choice is much the same as a lot of other mock drafts for the Bills these days, but the name is different.’s Don Banks has released his mock draft 3.0 and has Buffalo taking a quarterback. West Virginia’s Geno Smith is off the board to Jacksonville with the second pick overall in Banks’ mock draft, so here’s who he has coming off the board at 8.

8. QB Matt Barkley USC Sr. – It didn’t take listening in on Buddy Nix’s phone calls or sitting with Doug Marrone at breakfast last week in Phoenix to figure out the Bills are the most quarterback-desperate team in the NFL. Just check the depth chart: Tarvaris Jackson and Aaron Corp. Barkley will be on the rise if he turns in an impressive Pro Day showing Wednesday at USC, with the priority being he flashes the necessary arm strength scouts need to see. The Bills might wish they could wait until the second round to find their quarterback, and Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib would be their hoped-for target in that case, but I just don’t believe Buffalo has that luxury.
Banks doesn’t have another quarterback coming off the board in the rest of round one.

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Mayock: Manuel could find way into round 1

Posted by Chris Brown on March 20, 2013 – 10:54 am

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock took in Florida State QB E.J. Manuel’s pro day in Tallahassee Tuesday and believes he’s the type of athletic quarterback that NFL teams are more willing to take a chance on because of their high ceiling. As a result he believes Manuel comes off the board in late April before round one is in the books.

“If I was going to make a mistake I was going to do it with a big, athletic kid with arm talent. The more I talk to coaches and general managers I get more support in that thinking. There are so many question marks about this quarterback class because if you want to like Matt Barkley or Landry Jones or the Wilson kid from Arkansas to like them. Then the question becomes can they just be game managers or game winners? I think when you’re talking about Geno Smith at West Virginia and E.J. Manuel you’re talking about two potential kids that can win football games.”

Mayock moved Manuel up to his number two quarterback prospect behind Smith and said at this point he’s a better prospect than his predecessor at Florida State Christian Ponder was coming out because his ceiling is higher. Mayock said he had a second-round grade on Ponder coming out, but he went 12th overall to Minnesota. At this point he’s not sure Manuel gets out of the first orund.

“At this point the way kids are getting pushed up in this draft, and I’m anxious to see Barkley next week, because again bad senior year, good junior year, but the way kids are getting pushed up at quarterback it wouldn’t surprise me at all,” Mayock said.

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Nix: Bills will workout Barkley, 5 other QBs

Posted by Chris Brown on March 18, 2013 – 10:50 pm

With the Bills in an obvious search for a quarterback in the 2013 NFL draft, Bills GM Buddy Nix wasn’t shy in revealing that when it comes to the top prospects at the position they intend to work all of them out in private sessions.

In an interview with the Toronto Sun, Nix at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix revealed that they’ll be holding a private workout with USC QB Matt Barkley.

“We’re going to have a private workout for Matt, and for about five or six of them,” Nix told the Sun. “We’ll have a private workout with all those guys. The more you see them, the more you learn.”

Nix said that they’ll go to work some of them out wherever the prospects are training and bring some in to work out at One Bills Drive on official pre-draft visits.

West Virginia QB Geno Smith confirmed just minutes after his pro day workout on campus that he had “a thing” set up with the Bills for this Friday.

Despite the fact that the workout chiefly involves the physical abilities Nix told the Sun he’s looking for something else.

“I think the physical part is over-rated. What makes it so hard to evaluate that position are the intangibles,” he said. “That’s what you try to learn. This guy could very well be the face of your franchise — good chance of that. So you want to be as sure as you can be about that.”

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Mocks going all QB for Bills now

Posted by Chris Brown on March 18, 2013 – 1:06 pm

Most NFL draft prognosticators are locking in a quarterback for the Bills with the eighth overall pick in the draft now that Ryan Fitzpatrick and the team have parted ways. The mock drafters at OptimumScouting are no different.

In their latest mock, they’ve got the Bills taking Matt Barkley eighth overall. Interestingly they’ve got Geno Smith going second overall to Jacksonville. Here’s what they wrote about the pick for Buffalo.

8. Buffalo Bills – Matt Barkley, QB, USC 
Now that Ryan Fitzpatrick is gone, it’d be a shock if the Bills didn’t take a quarterback here. It’s tough to peg which one they’ll target at #8. Doug Marrone has raved about Barkley in the past, so he gets the slight edge over Marrone’s former QB Ryan Nassib.

What’s perhaps even more interesting is how OptimumScouting sees the second-round quarterbacks coming off the board. He has Philadelphia taking Florida State’s E.J. Manuel with the 35th pick, Arizona taking Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson with the 38th pick and the Jets one pick later (39th) taking Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib.

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Polian’s assessment of Geno & Barkley

Posted by Chris Brown on March 6, 2013 – 11:10 am

Appearing on a national conference call this week, ESPN NFL analyst and former Bills GM Bill Polian gave his assessment on the collective skill sets of West Virginia QB Geno Smith and USC QB Matt Barkley.

“I can tell you Geno Smith’s strength is the ability to throw the ball down the field,” said Polian. “He’s got good arm strength, he has good athleticism, and can pretty much function in any system.  He’ll have a little learning curve coming in from the spread offense simply because it’s different than the classic and standard NFL offense, particularly in taking the ball into center and handling the ball.

He does some of that at West Virginia but not a lot. The numbers indicate that, but he’s a guy that can pretty much fit into every system. He has a quick release, gets the ball out quickly, so that’s a real plus.

“In Barkley’s case most people seem to feel he’s best suited for a west coast offense where he can deliver the ball quickly and get it out of there and not have to drive it down the field in big chunks on a steady diet and use his mobility to find throwing lanes.

He’s not a guy who is going to be a running quarterback. He does have some mobility in the pocket and his foot work is pretty good, and he gets it out fast. So, generally speaking, probably more well suited to west coast offense.”

Buffalo’s offense is going to contain a good amount of west coast principles, so it’s not unreasonable to say that both signal callers could be seen as fits for the Bills.


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Barkley met with Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on February 25, 2013 – 9:03 am

Matt Barkley

It really shouldn’t come as a surprise knowing Bills GM Buddy Nix has said the team wanted to meet face-to-face with all the top prospects at the quarterback position this year, but USC QB Matt Barkley did have a formal interview with Buffalo at the NFL Combine.

Barkley left Indianapolis Sunday evening as all of his Combine responsibilities were over (he didn’t work out). According to’s Peter King, Buffalo was one of nine teams on his formal interview schedule. That list also included the Jets, Eagles, Steelers, Raiders, Chiefs, Jaguars, Cardinals and Bucs.

He also had informal meet and greets with Seattle, Cleveland and Atlanta per King.

Barkley will throw at his pro day on March 27th at USC and is confident he’ll be even better than he was before his shoulder separation, which is what kept him from participating this week in Indy.

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Barkley backing friend Te’o

Posted by Chris Brown on February 24, 2013 – 8:34 am

USC QB Matt Barkley’s Trojans fell to Manti Te’o’s Notre Dame squad late last season vaulting the Irish into the National Championship game as they completed an undefeated regular season. But a friendship that started before college has the quarterback fully backing the linebacker who has endured a firestorm of media scrutiny in the wake of his hoax online relationship.

“I’ve known Manti since high school. We’re good buddies,” said Barkley. “We’ve stayed in touch all the way through school. We’re were training together in Florida. He’s handled this whole situation, I think, better than anyone could’ve. I love him, and he’ll have a great career.”

Te’o effectively navigated a 15-minute question and answer session with the media Saturday and came across as a genuine person that was brought up on old school values and his trust and naivete led to an embarrassing situation.

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Facing Barkley, Smith not a huge help

Posted by Chris Brown on February 22, 2013 – 6:58 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone’s Syracuse Orange had to face both Matt Barkley and USC and Geno Smith and West Virginia this past season. How much might it help Marrone in evaluating those two quarterbacks for the Bills having game planned against them?

The Orange faced USC in the New York Classic at the Meadowlands in early September. Barkley only threw for 187 yards, but tossed six touchdowns and one interception in a 42-29 Trojan victory. Marrone’s Orange were victorious in the Pinstripe Bowl at the end of the season when they beat Geno Smith and West Virginia 38-14. Smith was 19-28 for 201 yards and two touchdowns in the game.

That exposure to two of the quarterbacks most frequently ranked as the best in the class however, doesn’t give much of a leg up to Marrone and the Bills.

“I don’t think you could put an evaluation on somebody from a game. I think it’s a body of work and he’s proven he’s a top flight quarterback,” Marrone said of Smith. “I was able to see that going back and looking at all those games. We were just fortunate. We did a good job and we were able to win the game, but make no mistakes about it he’s an outstanding player.”

As for Barkley it’s much the same case.

“I think sometimes things are a little bit exaggerated as far as how I would have better insight to it,” said Marrone. “He was an opponent and I saw some of his games getting ready, but I think everyone else has the same type of evaluation process of what they go through. It’s not like I was able to ask him what he was thinking about how he was going to attack us. I was able to see him do some very good things obviously. Unfortunately they were some very good things against us. He’s a very good player as well as all the other players that are here so I don’t think I have any great insight on all these players we played against or any more insight than anyone else.”

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Inconsistency of QBs bothering Mayock

Posted by Chris Brown on February 20, 2013 – 8:35 am

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock is admittedly having a hard time really liking any of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft class, and it’s because of one quality that he believes is lacking in all of them, consistency.

Mayock was asked about Oklahoma QB Landry Jones, and his answer morphed into a commentary on the QB class as a whole.

“Like a lot of the quarterbacks this year, he’s so difficult to qualify,” said Mayock of Jones. “I can look at certain games and go, ‘That’s a first round draft pick.’  I can look at other games and go, ‘He’s a fifth round guy.’ 

“I’m struggling with him. I like his junior tape better than his senior tape. I think he can make most of the throws.  I think ‑‑ I know he can make all the throws. I’ve seen him make all the throws, but like a lot of this year’s quarterbacks, there is no consistency with this kid. Same thing with Geno Smith. Same thing with Matt Barkley.”

That’s why Mayock, though he has Smith and Barkley as his top two QBs, doesn’t have any quarterback ranked higher than 20 overall.

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Mayock on QBs that fit West Coast

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2013 – 11:25 am

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock was asked what quarterbacks in this year’s draft pool fit the West Coast system the best. Knowing Buffalo offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett’s offense is rooted in a lot of West Coast principles, it’s an answer I thought would be worth passing along.

“I think Matt Barkley makes a lot of sense,” said Mayock. “He’s a guy as a junior at USC looked so much different than he did this year. I think to be fair to him you have to go back and watch junior tape. 

“So I think Barkley fits. I think Ryan Nassib fits. I think Landry Jones and Tyler Wilson both can fit. So of those, that group of guys of the top seven, eight quarterbacks, I think those are the guys that did it most efficiently.”

Seeing Nassib mentioned is no surprise knowing he ran a version of the West Coast under Hackett at Syracuse.

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Barkley not throwing after all

Posted by Chris Brown on February 18, 2013 – 10:51 pm

It came as a bit of a shock last week when the Pensacola News Journal reported that Matt Barkley would be doing all drills at the NFL Combine. Knowing Barkley missed a good portion of his senior season with a throwing shoulder injury that also kept him from participating in the Senior Bowl in late January the follow up question should’ve been, will you be throwing? Not surprisingly Barkley will not be putting his arm on display in Indianapolis.

According to ProFootballTalk Barkely sent a letter to all 32 teams informing them of his decision to not throw attributing it to a medical decision. Apparently his doctors have advised him to wait until his USC pro day on March 27th.

Per ESPN, which obtained a copy of the statement made by Barkley’s agent, the quarterback will not perform any of the tests during the Combine. Here’s the key part of the statement.

Barkley “will be attending the upcoming scouting combine in Indianapolis, but he will not be throwing or participating in any on-field testing components while there.”

The statement also said Barkley’s shoulder is at 90 percent of the way toward complete recovery.

We’ll have full coverage of the NFL Combine from Indianapolis here on beginning on Thursday.

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Kiper on type of team Barkley would fit

Posted by Chris Brown on February 13, 2013 – 3:46 pm

ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper on a national conference call was asked about where USC QB Matt Barkley could come off the board and where he might fit best. In Kiper’s opinion Buffalo is not a fit.

“Unfortunately he didn’t finish the process healthy with a shoulder (injury). He’s not going to be physically imposing with the measurements and the numbers. He’s not the type of kid that’s going to wow you over in a workout anyway. So you go back and look at him and evaluate him,” Kiper said. “He’s a pure passer, an accurate passer. He doesn’t have a great arm, but has good enough arm strength in the right situation, which wouldn’t be Buffalo. It certainly wouldn’t be a cold weather environment. It’d be a warmer weather environment or dome environment. It certainly would need to be a case where you have to protect him with a good offensive line.”

Kiper currently sees Barkley as a second round pick, but would not be surprised if a team traded back into the bottom of the first round to take him especially if he has a good pro day workout.

Despite a report last week that Barkley intended to do all drills at the Combine, Kiper indicated that Barkley would not be throwing in Indianapolis next week. 

“If he has a good pro day, evidently he’s not throwing at the combine, somebody could jump back into that late first and grab him,” said Kiper.

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QB Barkley to do all drills at Combine

Posted by Chris Brown on February 11, 2013 – 8:18 am

USC QB prospect Matt Barkley was not able to participate at the Senior Bowl due to a shoulder injury, but he will be doing all drills at the NFL Combine later this month.

That according to the Pensacola News Journal. Barkley stated during Super Bowl week that he had a sprained AC joint during the season, which has kept him from throwing.

“It has been an interesting last couple of months,” Barkley told the PNJ. “I’ve had to be very patient at times because there is a program I am following. I wanted to throw more, do more and really compete, but I had to trust the (trainers) and the program I was on.

“I focused a lot more on my footwork, studying game tape and preparing for all the interviews (with NFL teams) at the combine.”

Barkley has been training at the IMG Academy in Brandenton, Florida.

Though the report says Barkley will participate in all drills, it doesn’t specifically state he’ll be throwing, which is something that some top QB prospects have avoided in the past. We’ll try to get clarification by the time he steps to the podium in Indianapolis where will have full on site coverage of the NFL Combine from Feb. 21st to Feb. 24th.

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QBs invited to NFL Combine

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2013 – 10:23 am

Here’s the rundown of the 16 quarterbacks in the 2013 NFL draft pool that have been invited to the NFL Combine.

Among the invitees at the quarterback position, only one is a junior eligible. Bray, Cameron and Vandenburg have been chosen to be the “throwing quarterbacks” who will participate during the receiver gauntlet drills among others. Bray’s inclusion is a bit surprising, knowing those duties are reserved for lower round prospects.

Matt Barkley – USC
Tyler Bray – Tennessee (jr.)
Colby Cameron – Louisiana Tech
Zac Dysert – Miami – OH
Mike Glennon – N.C. State
Marqueis Gray – Minnesota
Landry Jones – Oklahoma
Collin Klein – Kansas St.
E.J. Manuel – Florida St.
Ryan Nassib – Syracuse
Sean Renfree – Duke
Matt Scott – Arizona
Geno Smith – West Virginia
Brad Sorensen – Southern Utah
James Vandenburg – Iowa
Tyler Wilson – Arkansas

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Nassib ranked top prospect by Lande

Posted by Chris Brown on February 6, 2013 – 10:04 am

Featured today on is Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib, part of this year’s quarterback draft pool. Nassib has been widely ranked as one of the top five signal callers in this year’s draft class, but NFL draft analyst Russ Lande took Nassib’s stock and put it at the top of his rankings list.

Lande, a former NFL scout for the Rams and Browns, listed Nassib not only as his top QB prospect, but his top prospect overall. Lande simply lists his top 200 prospects in this year’s draft class, without any reasons why certain prospects garnered so much respect from him.

Nassib has not even been ranked as the top QB prospect by all the other draft prognosticators, let alone the top prospect overall, though some do believe that he has the chance to move up boards late in the pre-draft process with a good showing at the NFL Combine and in pro day workouts.

In terms of some of the other quarterback prospects and where they ranked on Lande’s list, he had Tyler Wilson 33rd overall, Matt Barkley 37th, Mike Glennon 43rd and Geno Smith 44th.

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