Inside The Bills

Reich hired by Cards

Posted by Chris Brown on February 8, 2012 – 2:41 pm

Former Bills QB Frank Reich has landed a new NFL coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals.

Reich was named wide receivers coach for Arizona and goes to the Cardinals after spending the past six seasons with Indianapolis, including last season as the Colts wide receiver coach. He began his coaching career with the Colts as an intern in 2006-07 before serving as an offensive staff assistant in 2008 and then as quarterbacks coach from 2009-10.

Reich had coached alongside Bills new tight ends coach and his former Bills teammate Pete Metzelaars in Indy the last five seasons.

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Chandler on Big Pete’s to-do list

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2012 – 10:11 pm

Bills new tight ends coach Pete Metzelaars literally hit the ground running on Tuesday. Here’s a look at some of the first few things on his to-do list knowing he hasn’t been back on a day-to-day basis since 1994.

“The first thing is I’m trying to figure out where to go in the building and not get lost and how to get in the building (laughs),” he said. “Next is to find out how (the coaching staff) calls stuff, what do they call it. Everybody runs the same kind of plays in the league it’s just what is your terminology, what is your verbiage for it.

“So just start learning that kind of stuff and then sit down and start watching film. Watch the guys play, how they play, what are their strengths, what are their weaknesses, what do they do well, what don’t they do well, and let’s correct the things that they don’t do well and improve upon them and lets build upon what they do well.”

Metzelaars is also very interested to get in the ear of prospective free agent Scott Chandler in the hopes of convincing him that he can help him take another step in his career at the tight end position.

“I will try to talk to him or text him or however they communicate these days (laughs), but try to get in touch with all the tight ends that I’m going to be working with,” said Metzelaars. “Hopefully we can get him back. I know the team would like to have him come back. He had a very good year last year, and try to build upon that. I would like to get some players to break any and all records that I may still be holding around here because we’ll find somebody better than me.”

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Metzelaars on Bills history

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2012 – 10:07 pm

New tight ends coach Pete Metzelaars, who spent some 1-on-1 time with, did have an interesting take on the team that he suited up for over 10 of his 17 years as an NFL player. Metzelaars was part of all four AFC title teams, but he’s had a look at the franchise from afar ever since and he provides an interesting perspective.

“I think they’re a team that started building in the draft,” he said. “They missed on some draft picks in the past and it hurt them. When you miss on high draft picks it hurts you in the NFL. They’ve hit some recently and have continued to do so. I think they’re headed in the right direction. Everybody is very positive here and has good feelings about where the organization and the team are headed.

“They got off to the quick start last year and hit a bad patch and they want to build upon the good things that took place last year. I think the feeling amongst the coaches, the organization, and I think the players is that we are going to build upon the good things that we did last year and let’s go forward from here. I think it’s a very positive outlook on things that are taking place.”


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Radio appearances

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2012 – 10:00 pm

New tight ends coach Pete Metzelaars and newly re-signed kicker Rian Lindell will both be on the radio airwaves Wednesday morning. Here’s where you can find them.

Pete Metzelaars – Fan 590 (Toronto); Greg Brady and Jim Lang @ 7:40 am (listen online)
Rian Lindell – WGR Sportsradio 550; Howard Simon show @ 9:30 am (listen online)

You can also listen to the Bills new flagship station (WGR Sportsradio 550) on the Bills mobile app.

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Metzelaars: I was worst kept secret

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2012 – 1:45 pm

The Bills hiring of new tight ends coach Pete Metzelaars might’ve been one of the worst kept secrets. Though Metzelaars instructed his family to keep quiet until he signed his contract with the club Tuesday, some of the former teammates from the early 90’s had other ideas.

“(Steve) Tasker started the whole deal making it the worst kept secret in Buffalo,” Metzelaars told “Steve ended up tweeting it and Jim (Kelly) picked it up and re-tweeted it.”

Metzelaars had specific instructions for his son after telling him he had accepted the position and was flying back home from Buffalo to Indianapolis.

“I told my son not to say anything to anybody,” said Metzelaars. “And by the time I got off the plane back home he tells me, ‘It’s all over the internet!’”

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Reich, Metzelaars out in Indy

Posted by Chris Brown on January 18, 2012 – 2:47 pm

Former Bills players Frank Reich and Pete Metzelaars, who were both members of the Colts’ coaching staff under Jim Caldwell are the latest to be relieved of their duties with the club.

That according to the Indianapolis Star. Metzelaars has been the team’s offensive line coach the past two seasons while Reich was most recently the team’s receivers coach after previously serving as QBs coach. Metzelaars had been on the staff the past eight seasons, while Reich had been with the club for four.

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Chandler close to team record

Posted by Chris Brown on October 2, 2011 – 6:57 am

Bills TE Scott Chandler is closing in on a single-season team record and it’s only Week 4.

Chandler with 4 TD catches is just two away from the single-season record for tight ends in Bills history. Pete Metzelaars (1992) and Jay Riemersma (1998) share the Bills single-season record with 6 TDs in a season.

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Fan Friday 12-11

Posted by Chris Brown on December 11, 2009 – 1:26 pm

The snow has been flying late this week in Buffalo. Crazy wind and at least a foot of snow in most places. But we still bring you Fan Friday as always here on the Inside the Bills blog. As always you can email your questions to

1. Hi, Chris,
With the talent level the Bills have at running back, why don’t they have Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson in the backfield at the same time? They could pound opposing defenses continually, and keep our defense off the field. This would take pressure off of the QB, and maybe put the Bills in position to win more games. The offensive line as it stands right now, is having issues pass blocking. Just a thought…
Tony Falzone, Daytona Beach, Fl

CB: There has been more of this in recent weeks, but not a ton more. I think that set presents a lot more options for the Bills offensively and also affords better pass protection with both Lynch and Jackson back there. We’ll see if there are more snaps with that look over the final four games, but I agree it has a lot of potential for an offense that has struggled all season.

2. Chris,

I know it’s very early in the process, and I keep hearing the Mr. Wilson wants to hire a GM to hire a coach (you could probably say how true that is better than me,) but I had a couple of names I was hoping to get your feedback about for a potential new coach.

1. Brian Billick: While I don’t know how well he actually knows quarterbacks like he claims– I do know he won the Super Bowl with the Ravens, and even when they struggled before he was fired, they played great defense. He seems like he wants to get back to coaching, and I wouldn’t mind seeing him in Buffalo.

2. Russ Grimm: He was a finalist for the Pittsburgh and I think Arizona job as well, before Whisenhunt was hired– so I get the impression the guy has something management likes. He’s a firey presence that helped change the culture of the team in Arizona in a VERY short time period…exactly the kind of change Buffalo needs. Also, the guy has an o-line background, and ours desperately needs work.

3. Pete Metzelaars: I know Pete is relatively green… but he was a blink of Tom Moore’s eye from being the OC in Indy this year before he and Mudd decided not to retire. Also, I get the impression that just the timing of some of the early 90’s Bills going into the HOF these past years, that the Bills and its fanbase are reconnecting with those teams. What better way to do it than to bring in one of the pieces that got us there? At the very least in an OC capacity.

I could be wrong, but I can’t imagine any of these guys commanding the kind of money the Cowhers or Shanahans of the world do… so maybe they’d be a fit here?

I’m curious to know your thoughts

Farmington, NY

CB: I think Billick and Grimm are worthwhile candidates. Grimm would certainly put attention where it’s needed on the offensive line. Heck with Grimm at the helm they may draft a tackle before a QB, which I’m not opposed to. The Dolphins showed that could work drafting Jake Long and then Chad Henne. Cleveland had the right idea too with Joe Thomas and Brady Quinn. Quinn is actually playing a bit better of late.

As for Metzelaars I think he is too green for a head job. Wouldn’t mind making him an assistant on this staff, Frank Reich as well for that matter. I think Cowher and Shanahan are unfortunately long shots at best.

3. Hey Chris,
Are the bills done with Trent? Why go back to Fitz again? I think you go with trent, for better or worse, to see if he’s your franchise guy, your thoughts?
CB: I’m afraid that ship appears to have sailed. Players have made no secret even to the media that they prefer having Fitzpatrick in there. No doubt they made those preferences known to the coaching staff as well. So my feeling is Trent will remain the backup for the rest of the season barring injury.

I don’t think there’s any question that Edwards is physically superior to Fitzpatrick, but Fitzpatrick is more willing to take chances in the passing game and he has seen the whole field better when he’s been in there. As to whether Trent is still considered franchise material, I think that’s a determination that may also have been made already, but under a new regime that’s always subject to change. Time will tell.

4. They had a crowd of 51,000 people. We could have sold 70,000 in Ralph Wilson stadium, w/ the large majority cheering loudly for our (undermanned) Bills.

I’m no marketing guru, but how is this putting more money in the franchise’s pocket? Simply because it’s guaranteed money? We haven’t made the playoffs in 10 years and we still get near sellout crowds for most games in Buffalo. The players have repeatedly said the fans support gets them pumped up.
Given the 3 tepid performances so far in Toronto, including the preseason game, it’s hard to see that we are expanding our fan base playing there. The Canadian fans may enjoy seeing the NFL, but they are hardly there to cheer on our home team.

I was pretty skeptical of the idea in the first place. I don’t think it has helped the Bills as a team, or the franchise, or even (cynically) Ralph Wilson himself.  Help me out, Chris. What am I missing?
Gilbert, AZ

CB: The Bills sold the Toronto Series to the Rogers group for $78 million. It equates to $9.75M per game, which is almost double what the franchise pulls in for a regular home game, and far more than that for a preseason game. So that’s a major revenue benefit, which is important in the league’s big market/small market climate right now.

If 2010 goes off without a salary cap, which is looking more and more like reality, this regionalization effort will be more important than most fans realize. It will continue to help to keep the team financially competitive.

Though it may be hard to see how the games in Toronto are helping the fan base, 15% of the season ticket base is from southern Ontario. And figures show that number is now increasing thanks to the team’s annual presence in Toronto.

Believe me when I tell you the decision makers for this franchise understand that it’s a bitter pill to swallow for Bills fans that respect the franchise’s tradition and home field advantage with respect to the 12th Man. But this is a necessary step to keep the team financially viable and competitive in a league where the ‘haves’ are continually trying to make life more difficult for the ‘have nots.’
The Toronto Series helps to keep the team financially viable, while staying in Buffalo.

5. Chris,
Do you see the Bills keeping Perry Fewell around after the season is over?  I like a lot of Bills Fans, like his attitude and think he will be a great loss on the Defensive side, and the same goes for Bobby April. What do you think?
Frederick, MD

CB: I do think both Fewell and April have a lot to offer, but a new head coach generally likes to bring in his own people. I think April has the resume to be offered a job on the staff, no matter what head coach comes in, but I doubt he will take it. It wouldn’t surprise me if April felt passed over for the interim head coaching job, especially with Assistant Head Coach as part of his title under Dick Jauron.
It’s my belief April will be moving on after this season is over, and make no mistake it would be a great loss.

As for Fewell, unless a new coach coming in is a big believer in the Tampa-2 scheme he too is likely to be looking for work elsewhere. It sounds cruel, but these men know its part of the business. I like what Fewell has done in his stint as interim head coach, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the organization determines that they have to wipe the slate clean and turn the page on all that is associated with the Dick Jauron era.

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