Inside The Bills

Buffalo best in league in pre-snap penalties

Posted by Chris Brown on October 22, 2017 – 9:54 am

We all know the problems the Bills had in the preseason with penalties. Head coach Sean McDermott decided to have officials at practice, and the results have been better than encouraging.

Through the first six weeks of the NFL season, the Bills lead the league with the fewest pre-snap penalties.

As seen in the chart below Buffalo has just six total in their first five games. Two of their pre-snap penalties were false starts, two were offsides and two were for delay of game, which Buffalo did on purpose both times.

Team                     Pre-snap penalties

Buffalo                    6

New Orleans          8

Carolina                  9

Cincinnati               9

Detroit                     9

Posted in Inside the Bills

After rough preseason, Bills turn penalty issues around

Posted by Chris Brown on September 30, 2017 – 10:13 am

During the preseason Buffalo had a penalty problem. They committed a whopping 25 in their first two preseason games and 48 total over their four preseason outings. But since the regular season arrived the Bills have dramatically curbed their penalty count.

Through the first three games the Bills rank ninth in the league in fewest penalties assessed against them. Buffalo is being assessed a shade over six penalties a game (6.3).

The Bills are even better when it comes to pre-snap penalties. Buffalo is first in the league in fewest pre-snap penalties. They’ve committed just two through the first three games. A false start and a delay of game. The delay of game was done on purpose to move the line of scrimmage back five yards so punter Colton Schmidt had more room to drop in a punt.

Head coach Sean McDermott still has officials throwing flags at practice, a move he instituted in the preseason.

Posted in Inside the Bills

McDermott links penalties to positioning

Posted by Chris Brown on August 18, 2017 – 1:39 am

It wasn’t the reason the Bills were flagged all 15 times they had penalties enforced in Thursday night’s game against Philadelphia, but head coach Sean McDermott believes one major factor in their penalty tally was lack of proper positioning by players.

“It’s really positioning that gets you in trouble,” McDermott said. “So we need to establish better position. That means moving our feet and then playing with our hands inside. We’ll continue to work on that and sometimes you see this early in the season. That said I’m not happy about where we are.

“Good teams don’t beat themselves. Obviously we need work on technique and we’ll go hard at that this week like we’ve been attacking it, so we’ve got a lot of work to do. That’ll be one of the areas.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 10-28

Posted by Chris Brown on October 28, 2016 – 11:03 am

Big division game on Sunday. Buffalo needs a division and AFC win badly. Let’s get to your questions from email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills
All week the Boston sports talk is saying how Rex thinks he won SB with 1st game vs NE. What are his thoughts on that?

Bill Pesiridis@Vasili8

CB: I think Rex would laugh first. Then he’d disagree. So the folks in the New England area know, after they shut out the Patriots in Week 4, there was zero celebration in Buffalo’s locker room. They had just evened their record at 2-2 after a disappointing 0-2 start.

As important as New England fans believe their team is, the Bills did not attach any added significance to the victory. They knew who wasn’t playing. In fact Rex even referenced that specifically after the game that Tom Brady was not available.

So if Patriots fans and talking heads on the radio want to characterize Rex as a coach that overblows victories they can, but they’d be wrong in this particular case. If anything Rex and his team took a page out of the New England playbook after that victory because all they were talking about was their upcoming game against Los Angeles in Week 5.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills Can Bills play a mistake free game, avoid dumb penalties?

Greg Bernhard@GregBernhard

CB: While foolish penalties were definitely a problem for the Bills in 2015, it’s not nearly as big an issue this season. Through the first seven games Buffalo ranks 18th in the league in penalties, so more than half the teams in the league have been flagged more than the Bills.

In fact Rex Ryan’s team has been flagged six fewer times than their opponents this season (49 to 55).

So I think they’re capable of avoiding dumb penalties. They did that last week when the undisciplined Dolphins were getting flagged for a lot of extra-curricular activity after the whistle.


3 – @ChrisBrownBills any news on a trade for a wr?

Marc Gump@GumpHutch

CB: The problem is at this time of year it’s a seller’s market. Teams looking to acquire a piece for their team are not dealing from a position of strength. The trade deadline is coming and they need help, like the Bills. So most other NFL clubs that are being propositioned are going to force those teams to overpay for an asset.

That being said, Bills GM Doug Whaley said in a radio interview Friday morning on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 that it’s been “rather quiet” on the trade market despite a lot of media speculation.

He did say they will work the phones and if something comes up that they think can help their situation they won’t hesitate.
4 – @ChrisBrownBills Any idea what the plan is at safety? Blanton/Williams combo?

Andrew Galley@aGalley_64

CB: I’d be surprised if Aaron Williams plays this week after his neck injury last Sunday. When he exited the game Robert Blanton was the first guy in to replace him and then he was subbed out in favor of Jonathan Meeks. Neither player really stood out in the loss to Miami.

Perhaps the defensive staff will use a rotation there based on down and distance and personnel packages like they did at the beginning of the season. Through the first two weeks of the season all four safeties rotated in to play alongside Corey Graham.

Back then it was done to steadily blend Aaron back into the scheme after he missed most of training camp with a concussion. This time around it could be to maximize the strengths of each of his replacements and minimize their weaknesses.

Of course one thing to consider is how New England goes up tempo and prevents their opponents from making personnel substitutions. So they may have to decide on one guy being the main replacement.


5 – @ChrisBrownBills

Not quite sure how all these IR, PUP, list work. But any chance that Sammy can come back this season?

jason plunkett@j_plunk

CB: The Bills have the opportunity to bring one player back off injured reserve to begin practicing after they have been out for six weeks and they’re eligible to activate them to play in a game after they have been out eight weeks.

Whether Sammy Watkins can be that player will be up to the team’s medical staff.

Head coach Rex Ryan did confirm this week that Watkins is out of his walking boot, and that it is an encouraging sign. Whether that enhances his chances of returning is probably too early to determine.

The first eligible date that Watkins could return to practice if deemed healthy enough to do so would be the Friday of the bye week (Nov. 11th). The first date he could dress for a game, again if he’s medically cleared, would be Nov. 27th against the Jaguars.



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Posted in Inside the Bills

Not surprisingly, O-linemen, DBs flagged most

Posted by Chris Brown on July 25, 2016 – 12:00 pm

Over the 2014 and 2015 seasons put together a comprehensive study of the penalties assessed in every game in the NFL. What they found certainly wasn’t surprising when it came to the position groups that committed the most infraction.

They found that over those two seasons, offensive linemen were flagged most often with more than 1,700 accepted. Defensive backs were second with almost 1,600. Linebackers and defensive linemen were the next position groups on the list, but had about half the assessed penalties that the O-linemen and DBs had over that span.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-27

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2015 – 1:03 pm

We’re getting pretty close to do or die time and the Chiefs game at Arrowhead on Sunday is step one. Here are your latest questions from email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you think Tyrod is “the guy” or should the bills draft a qb in the first round until they find him?


CB: I would still like to see him play more before passing judgment. Perfect example is last Monday’s game his accuracy was off for the first time this season. Was that an aberration or is there more to it? We don’t know because we haven’t seen enough of Tyrod.

I do believe the greatest concern with Taylor is his ability to stay healthy and in the lineup. We’ve already seen two injuries with him this season. One cost him a pair of starts in Week 6 & 7. The other is the one he’s currently dealing with.

Make no mistakes about it. Taylor is as tough as they come. The question is can his physical frame withstand the punishment that quarterbacks typically take over the course of a 16-game season?

That’s to be determined. Even if Taylor finishes the season strong, I’m a proponent of drafting a quarterback every year. It’s the most important position in football so why wouldn’t you try to ensure you’re strong at that position by drafting one there every year?

I’m not saying round one necessarily, but just like everyone says you can never have enough cornerbacks, I think the same applies to QB.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills what possibility of re-signing the gilly lock to an extension and is Mario a fit for Rex’s scheme may need cap room and waive


CB: The Bills did buy some time with Stephon Gilmore by picking up his fifth-year option, so he’s not a free agent until 2017, but it’s my belief that Gilmore is priority number one when it comes to locking up players long term. Whether that happens this offseason or just prior to the 2016 season remains to be seen.

As for Mario Williams he has the skill set to play in any defensive scheme. Your cap room query however, is valid. His cap figure is very high and there is substantial savings that could be had if he is waived or if he agrees to restructure. More on that in the answer below.

3 –

How do you think the future free agents on the team are doing? Cordy Glenn is having a very good year. What are the odds they can keep him? How much is he a priority over someone like Bradham is having a down year? I know they probably can’t keep everyone but keeping a good tackle long term seems like a good option given they haven’t been too stable on either side on the line in years. What would it cost? Do you expect a ‘hometown discount’ for Incognito too? Given that some teams may not want him still. How much flexibility do they have to do so?

CB: Their flexibility is likely to be rooted in what they decide to do with some cost prohibitive contracts on the roster. Chief among them Mario Williams. His cap figure next season is $19.9M. That will need to be addressed before the team reaches free agency. Both linebacker and offensive tackle are thin positions in terms of experienced depth, so it will be interesting to see how they choose to prioritize Bradham and Glenn.

The team is also going to have to re-sign Richie Incognito, who will be a priority for the offensive line, and no I would not expect Incognito to be willing to take a hometown discount, especially since it’s likely to be his last NFL contract.


4 – Hi Chris,

First off thanks for the Fan Fridays! I enjoys reading other fans questions and your insight to them.

My questions is about the health and return of Aaron Williams. I haven’t seen anything reported about him other than he was up in a box cheering on his teammates during the jets game. Has he recovered from his neck injury? With the activation of McKelvin can he still return to playing this season? (although with Rambo and Cory playing well we are not falling apart without him)

Recently Displaced Bills fan now in DC,
CB: Williams has attended each of the Bills last two road games. He was placed on short term I-R. He’ll be eligible to return for the Eagles game in Week 14 at the earliest. Whether he does or does not is solely up to the team’s medical staff.


5 – Chris;
Bud Grant had a saying, too many “fan in the stands penalties” and plays. He could bring in any fan from the stands to line up off sides etc. When u get down to it, off sides, holding , dropped passes, punts, over and under thrown passes etc., any fan can make those plays.
Am I being too critical ??
Too many miscues keep us from winning. What are ur thoughts ??

Jim in Florida

CB: I think there were too many miscues last week. Unfortunately it doesn’t take much when facing the Patriots, one of the most consistent teams in the league when it comes to execution. Their defense had just one or two poor plays, but played well enough to win. The offense and special teams units could not say the same in that game.

What’s interesting is the prevailing theme in the locker room this week was just executing the game plan more effectively. We’ll see if it can happen Sunday in KC.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Field position a major factor in loss

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2015 – 8:18 pm

It didn’t take Rex Ryan long to get to it. It stuck out like a sore thumb. The difference in field position in the first half largely set the table for the Cincinnati Bengals offense and made it tough on Buffalo’s attack.

“Average starting point for their drive in the first half for the Bengals was the plus-47,” said Ryan. “You’re not going to win that way.”

Cincinnati’s first five possessions were their own 49, Buffalo 49, Buffalo 45, their own 45 and the Buffalo 36. The fact that the Bengals only had 17 points might’ve been more surprising than the difference in field position. Some of those drive starts were due to special teams penalties, which handed the Bengals, the number two offense in football, free yards, which they gladly accepted.

“There are still too many penalties and really just some dumb penalties,” said Ryan. “Still it seems like on special teams we can’t run a play on special teams without getting a penalty for some reason. We’ve got to take a hard look and get that area fixed.”

By game’s end Cincinnati’s average drive start was their own 41. For Buffalo it was their own 15. The deck looked stacked before either offense even snapped the ball.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Ryan seeing penalty improvement

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2015 – 4:42 pm

This week in practice head coach Rex Ryan enacted a push-ups for penalties edict to help curb the rash of penalties the team has committed on Sundays. Buffalo leads the league with 47 assessed penalties in four games. When a flag is thrown by officials at practice everyone but the offending player has to get down and do 10 push-ups. On Wednesday there were a handful of instances. On Thursday things improved.

“We did better. We actually got better,” said Ryan after Thursday’s practice. “I think we only did 20 (push-ups), so that was an improvement. It’s just more the focus, and more the things that recognize and that…You know a penalty doesn’t help this team and so we gotta do whatever we can to fix that, and I believe we’re heading in that direction. I think we understand as a team now the severity of penalties.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills enact push-ups for penalties at practice

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2015 – 4:53 pm

The Bills said that their league-leading penalty count would be addressed by the players. On Wednesday the penalty for committing penalties was push-ups, but not by the person who commits the infraction.

With officials at every Bills practice, WR Percy Harvin explained the whole approach with the push-ups having done it last year with Ryan and the Jets when flags were thrown on the practice field.

“Basically, any time you get a foul, whether it’s jumping offsides or holding, anytime the ref throws a penalty out there, everybody has to drop down,” Harvin said. “Everybody who’s part of the organization has to drop down and do push-ups. But the person who committed the foul has to stand up and watch everybody around do push-ups.  So you can see how many people you’re letting down when you commit the silly penalties that we do.”

Harvin said the Jets had good success with the push-ups as the team’s penance for yellow flags at practice.

“It works. Hopefully we can get our penalties down so we’re not doing too many pushups at practice,” Harvin said. “The point is so the person can see how much the people he affects.”

When asked why he thinks it works, Harvin said it’s simple.

“You get tired of doing pushups. A couple of fouls a game, you’ll be doing fifty push-ups easy,” he said. “It’s definitely something you don’t want to be doing.  All jokes aside, it’s something we have to do because we’re killing our drives. It’s hard to get started when you’re ending every drive on three-and-out or committing penalties.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Painting a picture on 2015 penalties

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2015 – 4:40 pm

It’s been reported in quite a few places as to how high the penalty count has been across the league in the first month of the season.’s Gil Brandt put together some numbers to paint the picture a bit better for all of us.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex on discipline for emotional penalties

Posted by Chris Brown on October 5, 2015 – 5:59 pm

The Bills have a total of 14 penalties that fall under the category of personal foul, unsportsmanlike conduct, taunting, etc. It represents nearly 30 percent of the penalties assessed against Buffalo this season. For those players that continue to let their emotions get the best of them and draw infractions like this could face team discipline per head coach Rex Ryan.

Ryan was asked if he would consider benching players that can’t keep their emotions in check.

“Yes,” said Ryan. “Now will we bench him permanently and all that stuff. No, sometimes I think it is more appropriate to sit a guy down if the emotions are getting the better of him. You know, but you can’t have, you can’t let a situation and we did earlier in the year with Aaron [Williams], but when you think it is crossing the line or something like that you have got to get a guy back and let him focus on the job at hand. Our job is not to try to correct an issue that we see. We think and fix it ourselves we can’t do it. You have to line up the next play and do your job.”

When asked by the media specifically about Jerry Hughes four personal foul penalties on the season, Ryan acknowledged it has to be rectified.

“That is something that you know can’t happen,” Ryan said. “You can’t let a play for instances, and not just Jerry [Hughes] but anybody. Maybe there is a hypothetical you think you are getting held or tackled or something like that, and they don’t give you a flag. You can’t now step over the line and do something yourself. You know have justice, it doesn’t work in this league. You know vigilante, we don’t need that. And Jerry is a great football player, but if there is a negative about Jerry we have to get that curtailed. He doesn’t need to get a personal foul player, he is too good a player.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Offense & defense have split penalties equally

Posted by Chris Brown on October 4, 2015 – 11:24 pm

It’s been a flag heavy start to the season for the Bills after the first four games and the players know they have to be on their best behavior moving forward. They’ve pledged to eradicate the penalty problem. Here’s a breakdown of Buffalo 47 assessed penalties based on side of the ball, personal foul infractions and how many the Bills have had declined.

Total penalties  assessed – 47

Total penalty yardage – 428

Penalties on offense – 18 (3 personal fouls)

Penalties on defense – 18 (8 personal fouls)

Penalties on special teams – 10 (2 personal fouls)

Penalties on bench – 1 (1 personal foul)

Penalties declined – 9 (1 personal foul)

A total of 30 percent of Buffalo’s penalties have been personal fouls (14 of 47) so far this season.

And even though the offense and defense have 18 assessed penalties each, the defense has more than half of the team’s 15-yard infractions (8).

Posted in Inside the Bills

Penalties prevalent across NFL

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2015 – 4:31 pm

Through the first two weeks of the NFL season there have been more penalties called than any other time in the history of the league. NFL columnist Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News shed some good light on the subject in a column this week. He reported that the 298 penalties last week alone were the largest total in 14 years. While there is an adjustment period for the players with the new points of emphasis being called more stringently by the officials, the flags have been flying more often than ever before. The Bills, who had 14 penalties for 140 yards last week, had some penalties that one could attribute to adjusting to the points of emphasis this season, which includes defensive holding.

“They have points of emphasis every week and you have to pay attention to it,” said defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman. “Whatever those points are you have to make sure you’re coaching your guys the proper way. Sports is played with your eyes and your feet. Your eyes show you where to go and your feet get you there. When you use your hands, you’re probably not going to be that effective.”

Buffalo also had a handful of 15-yard penalties that were a byproduct of an overemotional team. Rex Ryan has pledged to have one of the most disciplined teams moving forward and asserted that he’ll control his own language on the sidelines as part of that effort.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: Better team discipline starts with me

Posted by Chris Brown on September 24, 2015 – 10:49 am

Two weeks into the regular season the Bills lead the league in penalties assessed with 25 after an eye opening 14 for 140 yards. Better team discipline is the obvious aim and head coach Rex Ryan put himself at the top of that list.

“I put it on myself first,” Ryan said. “I think I have to do a better job of staying in control too and this team’s very much like me. But I have to hold myself accountable just like I hold the team accountable and so it starts with me. I’m not going to be as animated or whatever if you will. I’ve got to control my language I think a little bit sometimes on the sideline. I think that’ll help, that’s going to be the first thing and then our team as well.

“We want to be the least penalized team in the league and that’s kind of a goal we’re shooting for moving forward. Probably dead last in the league right now but we want to be the least penalized team.”

Among the penalties called on the Bills last week was a bench penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Ryan said that penalty was on him for his foul language.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

What Rex would like to see less of vs. the Lions

Posted by Chris Brown on September 3, 2015 – 10:25 am

He’s mentioned it more than once this preseason as an area where he’d like to see more discipline. Head coach Rex Ryan is far from pleased with the team’s penalty total through the first three preseason games.

Buffalo’s 31 penalties in three games is tied for seventh-highest in the league this preseason among teams that have only played three preseason games. It reached its peak in the Cleveland game with 12, but the Bills were able to cut that in half against Pittsburgh last weekend. Still, averaging more than 10 a game is not even close to acceptable in Ryan’s eyes.

“I think we’ve had too many penalties, so those things have been killing us,” said Ryan. “We’ve got to do a better job of that. In particular the self-inflicted penalties. It’s tough enough in this league when you’re not hurting yourself. Non-aggressive penalties so we’ve got to learn from it. You’ve got to eliminate all communication errors and self-inflicted penalties. If we do that we’ll be good.”

Here’s a look at the most penalized teams thus far this preseason.

Baltimore – 43
Chicago – 41
New Orleans – 40
Pittsburgh – 37 (4 preseason games played)
Jacksonville, St. Louis – 36
NY Jets – 34
Miami – 33
Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia – 31
Minnesota – 31 (4 preseason games played)

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Penalties magnified with no turnovers

Posted by Chris Brown on September 22, 2014 – 2:45 pm

A team that has a high number of penalties in a game can sometimes get away with it if they win the turnover battle. On Sunday in what was a turnover free game between Buffalo and San Diego, the Bills’ 11 penalties were magnified.

The most costly infraction were the two defensive penalties in the red zone that gave the Chargers a fresh set of downs in first-and-goal situations. Defensive penalties gave San Diego five first downs in the game. Meanwhile on offense two of their longest plays from scrimmage were wiped out by penalty. C.J. Spiller’s 29-yard run and Robert Woods 21-yard catch were also taken away by penalties.

“Against a good team like that, a playoff team, a team that’s very experienced, you can’t have many mistakes, especially the penalties,” Spiller said. “You need every yard you can get. Just because of the way the game was going. Obviously, we see that they were trying to milk the clock and keep our offense off the field. Every chance we got we should have taken advantage of it because we didn’t get too many.  At the end of the day it is what it is.  We’ll correct those mistakes.  The only thing we can do is get better.”

After facing a team that made the playoffs last year Spiller believes the players on his team see the difference.

“We’re not where we want to be,” he said. “Penalties really killed us, that’s no excuse. Now we see where we need to be at to be a playoff contender.  I don’t think they made too many mistakes yesterday and that’s what playoff teams do.  You have to minimize those mistakes and the penalties.  We have to do that to take that leap.  But I think we’ll be fine.  There’s a lot of football left to be played.  It’s just one loss.  Obviously, it’s disappointing.  The only thing we can do is regroup and get ready for the Texans.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jets handed Bills 1st downs

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2013 – 1:33 am

The penalty tally by the Jets was the second-most ever against the Bills. They had an astounding 20 for 168 yards. While the total number came in second behind San Francisco. They committed 22 penalties against the Bills on Oct. 4th, 1998. What’s more interesting is how many of those penalties handed first downs to Buffalo.

While the Bills got four first downs rushing and six via the pass, the Jets handed them eight first downs off of penalty, giving Buffalo a fresh set of downs by penalty more than any other means of moving the sticks.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Educating players is plan to fix penalties

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2013 – 10:26 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone is not happy with the penalty count for his team, which has carried over from the preseason into the first two regular season games. He said the problems would be dealt with, but it doesn’t sound like negative reinforcement is part of his approach.

“I’ve found that you don’t really get a lot done when you talk about the peer pressure part of it,” said Marrone. “I’d rather be in the education part of it and how we’re going to get it better and working with those players to get those things corrected.

“We’re working on it. I think you see it’s a work in progress. Trying to prevent them and keep educating the players, working in practice that if we do have penalties that we’re working not to get them, whether it’s an offsides or just some mistakes with turnovers and dropped balls.”

Buffalo gave Carolina four first downs on penalties handing the Panthers what wound up being 16 extra plays on offense. Carolina ran 76 offensive plays in the game to Buffalo’s 73. Were it not for those penalties the Panthers would’ve had just 60 plays from scrimmage, and the Bills would have likely had more than their 73 as a result.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Penalties a killer

Posted by Chris Brown on November 11, 2012 – 7:31 pm

The Bills got off to an unfortunate start in the game and part of it was due to penalties. Buffalo finished with 14 for a stunning 148 yards, with is the second-most penalty yardage assessed against the Bills in a game in team history. It was the most penalties since the Bills were flagged 15 times on Oct. 1, 2006 against Minnesota.

“They killed us,” said C.J. Spiller. “3rd-and-20, 3rd-and-15, I mean the chances of completing that are very slim, to none. We inflicted ourselves with that stuff and it’s just something we’ve got to straighten up.  Somethings got to be done, because you’re not going to win too many third downs when you’re behind the chains like that. That was pretty much one of our biggest goals, to get better on third downs this week.”

But Buffalo was very good on third downs going 7-11 (64%). The main issue is how lopsided the calls were in the first half when the count was 10 for 119 yards for Buffalo and twpp for just 30 yards for the Patriots.

“The penalties were terrible,” said Eric Wood. “And we started off the game rough  up front. I think we got our feet set and we came back. Sometimes that’s just the way the game goes. I got a holding call that, I’ve probably had that block fifty times this year, where you accelerate your feet at the end with your hands inside.  That’s a not a hold in this league. Without watching it, I’m sure I tugged him a little bit, and Vince (Wilfork) probably flailed his arms, but early on, that just felt like that was how the game was going.”

“That’s just something you got to play through. It’s not really in our hands.  The refs make certain calls, and there’s nothing really you can do about it. We can’t complain. We’ve just got to play through it. For the most part we did a good job doing that, but we just didn’t come away with the victory.”    

The Patriots finished with seven penalties for 73 yards, still half of Buffalo’s final total.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 8-17

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2012 – 12:01 pm

Preseason game number two this evening, and great news with Eric Wood and Erik Pears to play about 10 snaps tonight. Let’s get to your questions from and @ChrisBrownBills on twitter.

1 – I haven’t heard any updates on David Clowney and how he’s performed in camp. Is there a chance he doesn’t make the roster? His size and speed is intriguing, but it seems like he hasn’t been able to put it all together for whatever reason with his former teams. Do you think Buffalo has the system that could allow him to utilize his talents? Or do you think he was brought in as an extra body for camp, and that the coaching staff is hoping his game finally fully clicks?
keep up the good work,

CB: Clowney has made some plays here and there, but has run strictly with the second team offense. He’s found it difficult to crack the first team lineup. Right now he’s the seventh or eighth receiver in terms of the reps he’s seen in practice.

Yes, he does have intriguing speed, but he’s been outperformed by the other speed receiver on the roster in rookie T.J. Graham. He’s definitely on the bubble and will have to turn in some plays in the preseason games that remain to improve his chances.


2 – Hi Chris: 

I have heard it said that T.J. Graham is not a Roscoe Parish remake. But can you explain why he is not simply another Roscoe? 

Rick, Portville N.Y.

CB: He’s not a Roscoe clone because he’s a bit bigger in stature at 5’11” and 188 pounds. He’s that wiry kind of strong and he’s capable of lining up outside and make plays on the boundary. Parrish was strictly a slot receiver.

I’ve been impressed with how Graham has progressed and shown an ability to get off press coverage, something I was admittedly worried about going into training camp when the pads went on. But he’s fared well and made plays. Roscoe relied purely on his speed to create separation because he wasn’t strong enough to get off of the jam. I don’t believe that will be the case with Graham.

There’s more to his game than that.


3 – Hello Chris,

After the draft a lot of the draft analyst was talking about Tank Carder and what a deal he was.. but after the draft I have not heard anything about him what’s the deal with him and is he a good player?    

CB: Carder is currently running as the third-string middle linebacker in Buffalo’s defense. Head coach Chan Gailey characterized his training camp as ‘Okay.’ Gailey said where Carder has to improve is with mental errors. He’s not alone in the linebacking corps as there are a lot of young players at that position that are still trying to master the defense.
Coverage assignments seem to be the biggest hurdle for a lot of the young LBs.


4 – Hey Chris,

One thing that we have been getting better at and need improvement still is the frequency of penalties in critical downs. Do the coaches work on this, and is there more emphasis on this during training camp? I know the offensive line was pretty good last year at staying put until the ball was snapped and some of the offenders for holding are no longer with the team. Can you elaborate on this and the last few years stats on our improvement. What do we expect out of our rookies coming out of a college to a Pro regime?

Thanks again for your tight coverage of our Bills!
Best Regards,
Jim In Tennessee

CB: The Bills were 5th best in the league last season for penalties assessed (fewest). Under Chan Gailey the team has been pretty good in this area. That’s due in part to the fact that Coach Gailey detests unforced errors like false starts. There were a few too many in the first preseason game, but I would expect it to get cleaned up by the time the regular season rolls around.


5 – Chris,

What can you tell us about Scott McKillop?  We know that he played under Dave Wannstedt at Pitt where he was an All-American and selected as Big East Defensive Player of the Year.  After being selected in the 5th round, of the 2009 draft, by the 49’ers he appears to have had some success at Middle Linebacker while backing up TKO and Patrick Willis before being injured and then released.  Is he likely to make the final roster behind Shep?

Go Bills!
Ed Nicholson
Season Ticketholder 

CB: I can tell you he’s a very instinctive linebacker that has a strong knowledge of the game. He had an impressive first preseason game against Washington and was the team’s leading tackler. Even Coach Gailey said he’s making a strong run at making the squad. I feel the same way. I believe he’ll be the team’s backup MLB and a feature special teams player this season as long as he stays healthy.

Our own John Murphy did a Bills Focus story on McKillop this past week.

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