Inside The Bills

Pettine: A privilege to coach Ray Lewis

Posted by Chris Brown on February 3, 2013 – 12:35 pm

Ray Lewis

Super Bowl XLVII between the 49ers and the Ravens will be the last game in Ray Lewis’ lengthy NFL career. Three of Buffalo’s coaches spent time on the Baltimore staff during Lewis’ playing career. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine coached him for four seasons as one of the team’s two linebacker coaches. Knowing he coached one of the greats leaves him feeling privileged.

“To me when I look back at some point over my coaching career, the fact that I can say I was part of coaching Ray Lewis will be one of my highlights,” he said.

Pettine, who coached Lewis, and Bills defensive line coach Anthony Weaver who lined up with him as his teammate for four seasons in Baltimore reflected on Lewis’ career with Their comments are part of a story on the home page of today.

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Pettine on what makes a successful LB

Posted by Chris Brown on February 1, 2013 – 2:23 pm

Ray Lewis

Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has worked with some pretty special linebackers in his NFL coaching career, most notably Ray Lewis. So he has a good idea of the kinds of qualities that he feels are needed to be a successful linebacker at the pro level.

“First of all is the mentality and the passion,” said Pettine. “They’ve got to love to play. When you have that mentality it shows up how you prepare to play. I was fortunate to be around Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs and Adalius Thomas. To the guys with the Jets and the common theme was they were guys that loved to play. You’re not necessarily looking at great athletes, but I think the mentality has to be there especially to play linebacker.

“You see a lot of guys that have the talent to play in this league, but they don’t have the intangible stuff. When they have both that’s when they’re special.”

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Chan’s response to Ray-Ray

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2010 – 4:44 pm

Ravens LB Ray Lewis said Sunday was going to be a “rough week for Buffalo” on the heels of Baltimore’s disappointing overtime loss  to the Patriots. Bills head coach Chan Gailey was asked about Lewis’ comment and had the following response.

“I didn’t anticipate anything less than that,” said Gailey. “Whether they won or lost (Sunday) I expected it to be a tough game, a hard-nosed game. They’re a very physical team and we have to go in there and try to be physical ourselves.”

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Ray Lewis warns Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2010 – 10:15 am

Baltimore Ravens LB Ray Lewis was pretty steamed about their overtime loss to the Patriots Sunday, and he made it clear that he and his fellow teammates plan to take it out on the Bills this Sunday.

After warning the Patriots that they’ll be ready if they meet up with them in the playoffs, Lewis also had some words for the Bills concerning Sunday’s game.

“We are going home and then we are going to the bye week,” Lewis told the Baltimore Sun. “It’s going to be rough on Buffalo.”

Let the bulletin board material begin.

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Maybin to work out with Ray Lewis

Posted by Chris Brown on June 10, 2009 – 5:35 pm

As we’ve reported in the past Aaron Maybin befriended Lavar Arrington and Ray Lewis as a young Baltimore area grade school football player. Between now and training camp Maybin will be training with Lewis in Florida.

“I’ll be going down there within the next couple of weeks and a get a full weekend of training down there with him and then I’ll be back in Baltimore training with my trainer,” said Maybin.

Buffalo’s top pick admits you have to have the right mindset before stepping into the gym with the Baltimore linebacker.

“Your mind has to be right to work out with Ray. He definitely has a different mentality than a lot of other folks,” Maybin said. “But he’s definitely going to make you a better player because being able to work out with one of the best to ever play the game definitely never hurt anybody. So I’m real excited.”

Suffice to say Maybin won’t be looking for any down time between now and training camp if he’s willing to fly down to Miami just to train with Lewis.

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Ray Lewis to follow Rex Ryan to Jets?

Posted by Chris Brown on February 6, 2009 – 2:18 pm

Ravens FA LB Ray Lewis speaking on the NFL Network at the Pro Bowl Thursday stated that the Jets would be a team that he would call, if Brett Favre returns to play quarterback. At 37 Lewis wants to obviously go to a team that wants to win now.

He even hinted that if Favre did not return, just having Rex Ryan there as head coach may be enough to lure him.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-16

Posted by Chris Brown on January 16, 2009 – 4:54 pm

Here’s the latest installment of Fan Friday. As most of you know by now you can email your questions to me at I try to respond to everyone either personally or here on Fan Friday.

1. Chris,    
     Do you think the Bills will sign a veteran QB in the off-season.  I realize that Trent has not done terrible job, but he has not exactly done a good job.  It seems like the game is moving too fast for him still and he doesn’t anticipate his receivers, he waits for them to be open, then throws it, and by the time the ball gets there the window is already closed.  Also, I wonder if he’s the long term solution for this team considering he’s always nicked up and doesn’t play well in cold weather.  Please tell me this team is going to get a play maker at QB like McNabb, Bills fans need some hope after this season.

CB: I don’t think a playmaker like Donovan McNabb is realistic because those kinds of players are usually not out on the free agent market. You usually have to give up something significant for that kind of talent. The Bills will be in the market for a backup quarterback because J.P. Losman will be looking for opportunities elsewhere.

I’ve stated a few times that I think Byron Leftwich might be the best available free agent this offseason. I say that because Kerry Collins only wants to be a starter, and he’s also a free agent. Now Leftwich might be able to find an opportunity where he’ll be given the chance to start (e.g. Chicago) and that would make Buffalo far less attractive, where I’m assuming only the backup job will be what’s offered.

So to expect to see some juggernaut QB get signed to play the role of backup is unrealistic as I see it. You may have to settle for a Ryan Fitzpatrick (who I like), Chris Simms or some other veteran that is accustomed to the backup role and would be more accepting of it.


2. Hey Chris,   
        A while back on Fan Friday you said something about we can’t compete for Haynesworth or Suggs in the offseason. My question is why not considering other teams sign a big player almost every year, we never really sign a player like that.  Also who do you think we can bring in during free agency considering we need another good DE to get to the QB.  And do you think we can spend the money to bring in Kurt Warner. We need a better QB that can throw touchdowns. Kurt Warner is a leader, that can throw a lot of TDs, Trent Edwards really doesn’t.
The needs as I see them are all over the board, but the biggest two are QB and DE


CB: I don’t disagree that there are several needs. Perhaps I should have been more clear with respect to Haynesworth and Suggs. First of all, I don’t think Haynesworth hits the market. He’s too vital for the Titans to let him go. I think Suggs could get away with Bart Scott and Ray Lewis also set to become free agents for Baltimore. Suggs would arguably cost the most due to the higher price tag for pass rushers.

The reason I don’t think the Bills will be able to compete for Suggs is there will be a number of teams competing for him on the free agent market if he gets there. The Bills historically don’t like to get into bidding wars for players, and there will be numerous bidders for Suggs. I’d be very happy with Bart Scott though to upgrade the linebacking unit.


3. Chris,
  I recently heard that JP Losman will not be returning to the Bills next season because of another poor showing during this past season.  Do you think any other team in the NFL would pick him up because of that reason?  Thanks.

Jim Brown
Lancaster, NY

CB: It has less to do with his poor showing and more to do with the fact that he’s an unrestricted free agent. Losman also wants to pursue an opportunity where he’ll have a legitimate chance to compete for a starting job.

Even though there are NFL teams in need of quarterback help, in light of how he performed this past season when called upon, I’m not confident he’ll be able to get such an opportunity. I think he’ll have to accept a backup job and hope he gets another shot. He’d be wise to go to a team with an offense that suits his strengths, which is making plays on the run and throwing downfield.


4. Hey Chris,
What’s up with all the criticism of Poz lately?  People on the message board are calling him a bust, you yourself said you’re “willing to give him another year.”  What are people expecting from this guy that we aren’t getting?  The dude is in on practically every tackle and there are way weaker positions on this defense than MLB.  Why aren’t people calling out a guy like Keith Ellison or Chris Kelsay instead?

CB: I was puzzled by the negativity over Poz too. I think those people that saw Poz play at Penn State were a bit spoiled because he not only made the routine plays, but the big ones as well, a lot of them. Now in the pros those big plays have been fewer and further between and people that saw him play in college think something is wrong. I personally think those big plays will become more and more frequent in year three. In essence this past season was his rookie year after playing all of 2 1/2 games in 2007. He was usually a half step away from making a lot of big plays in 2008. He said himself he wants to make more big plays and no one puts in more time in the offseason than this guy. I really believe it’ll come. Keep the faith.


5. Hey Chris,
I agree with your assessment of drafting a pass rushing defensive end. Who would you like to see in a Buffalo Bills uniform?
What the Bills need to do with the tight end position, Do you think we should draft, sign a FA, or get the current ones more involved?
God Bless The Buffalo Bills!
Alex – San Juan, P.R.

CB: First, I’d appreciate it if you could send some of your gorgeous weather up this way. We’re freezing our rears off in Buffalo today. Now back to business.

As I’ve said I’d like to see the Bills use their top pick on a pass rusher. I was very impressed from what I’ve seen from Everette Brown (FSU) and Brian Orakpo (Texas) this year. What I like about them is their brute strength, which will be important at the pro level when it comes to standing in there against the run.

I would like to do a little more research on them before definitively stating that I think they’re the best fit for the Bills. There are some other candidates as well.

If the Bills elect to go the free agent route, I’m concerned because I don’t see them winning a bidding war for Julius Peppers or Terrell Suggs as I stated above. The young free agent talent at DE is not overly impressive. Chauncey Davis had four sacks lining up opposite John Abraham. Antonio Smith had 3.5 sacks lining up opposite Bertrand Berry (who is also a FA, but on the downside) and Corey Smith (Detroit) isn’t much to get excited about either. That’s why I think the draft is the best route to take.

As for tight end the only free agent I’d consider this offseason is Bo Scaife (Tennessee). He had a productive year (58-561-2 TDs) though he’s not going to stretch the field and he’s not any bigger or better for that matter than Schouman or Fine. But his numbers have improved the last couple of years. But if the right game-breaking prospect is on the board in the second or third round (Chase Coffman – Missouri?) I’m not opposed to going that route at all.

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