Inside The Bills

Bills see unbeaten team as measuring stick

Posted by Chris Brown on October 18, 2015 – 11:12 am

It’s a team that is rolling right now. The Cincinnati Bengals are one of five remaining unbeatens in the NFL heading into Week 6. The Bills know if they can hang with this team it’ll say a lot about their fortunes for the 2015 season.

“It’s a big game for us. They’re hot, they’re playing well. They’ve been where we want to get,” said Richie Incognito. “They’ve been to the playoffs the last four years and it’s a good measuring stick for us to see exactly where we’re at because we gutted one out in Tennessee. We didn’t play as well as we wanted to play, we got the win. So coming in and playing a hot team like this that is rolling on offense and has a very sound defense, it’s a good test for us.”

Safety Corey Graham is actually happy that the Bengals kept their unbeaten record intact last week when they came back from 17 down in the fourth quarter to beat the Seahawks in Seattle 27-24.

“It’s good. I’m kind of happy that they won in Seattle and found a way to get a victory against Seattle,” Graham said. “To have an opportunity to go out there, especially as a defense and play against an offense that’s undefeated and a team that’s undefeated with an offense that’s playing well. That’s big for us.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Miami C Pouncey still tight with Incognito

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2015 – 3:31 pm

Dolphins C Mike Pouncey is the anchor on a Dolphins offensive line still trying to jell together with two new starting guards and in all likelihood a backup left tackle Sunday. His former teammate Richie Incognito has been gone for almost two seasons, but as Incognito returns to Miami as the starting LG for the Bills, Pouncey admits he misses him as a teammate and friend.

“I can’t wait to see him. Me and Richie are friends. We always will be. Always have been. I can’t wait to see him. I miss him a lot,” said Pouncey.

Pouncey said the two of them have exchanged text messages here and there, and he’s glad that Incognito got a second chance to continue to his career.

“Richie is a good friend of mine. I wish him nothing but the best,” said Pouncey. “He’s playing good football right now. I like to watch him on film.”

When asked about the Incognito potentially getting a reception of boos in Miami, Pouncey isn’t expecting that to bother the former Dolphin.

“I’ll tell you one thing about Richie, he don’t give a damn about the crowd,” Pouncey said. “He’s going to show up to play.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Incognito ranks in top 3 among NFL guards

Posted by Chris Brown on September 23, 2015 – 11:13 am

We’re only two weeks into the 2015 NFL regular season, but they have been two very good weeks for Bills G Richie Incognito.

According to the film reviewers and stat crunchers at Pro Football Focus, Incognito ranks second in the league through the first two weeks in overall guard grade trailing only Cincinnati’s Clint Boling. Incognito has not surrendered a single sack, QB hit or QB hurry through the first two games.

# Pos. Name Team Snaps Overall Pass Block Screen Block Run Block Penalty # of Pen QB Sk QB Ht QB Hu
1  LG (2), RG (0)  Clint Boling CIN 134 6.5 1.4 0.0 4.7 0.4 0-0 0 0 2
2  LG (2), RG (0)  Richie Incognito BUF 131 6.4 2.8 0.5 2.7 0.4 0-0 0 0 0
3  LG (0), RG (2)  Marshal Yanda BLT 140 6.0 1.5 0.5 3.6 0.4 0-0 0 0 1
4  LG (2), RG (0)  Gabe Jackson OAK 140 5.5 1.6 0.0 3.5 0.4 0-0 0 1 0
5  LG (0), RG (2)  Brandon Brooks HST 165 4.7 1.3 0.0 3.0 0.4 0-0 2 0 2

Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: Incognito better than anticipated

Posted by Chris Brown on August 26, 2015 – 2:31 pm

Bills starting LG Richie Incognito came to the team as a free agent signing and after an 18-month layoff will be playing regular season football. Bills head coach Rex Ryan had faith in Incognito’s abilities, but even he admitted that the veteran guard has surpassed his expectations.

“I think Richie has kind of exceeded my expectations,” said Ryan. “I said it right when we got here. I was surprised with his condition and overall fitness. It’s that of a much younger player. You’d expect him to be physical and all that stuff, but his overall fitness level has exceeded my expectations.”

Incognito has demonstrated some leadership on a line with younger players like Seantrel Henderson and rookie John Miller. When asked how that’s possible in light of his past, Ryan said his situation in Miami doesn’t change the measure of Incognito’s experience.

“Maybe that’s one of the reasons why. He’s been through a lot. He’s seen a lot and has years of experience in this league,” Ryan said. “Just because of his so called past doesn’t mean he can’t be a leader. We welcomed him with open arms and he’s been tremendous here. Can I see him being a leader? Yeah why not?”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kyle, Incognito not sure bets for Friday

Posted by Chris Brown on August 11, 2015 – 3:30 pm

Kyle Williams and Richie Incognito did not participate in practice Tuesday. Both could be out a few days, which puts their status for Friday’s preseason opener up in the air.

“Richie had a thing and I never saw it, but later I guess Monday one of the running backs went into him and it looked bad on tape with his ankle, but he still continued to practice,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “But his ankle swelled so that’s why we kept him out (Tuesday). That could be a couple of days.”

Williams is in a similar boat with a quad contusion suffered Monday. The injury is considered minor, but the timing of it could compromise his availability for the preseason opener as well. Ryan was asked about Williams’ status for Friday as well.

“I’m not sure, but if it’s in question then he won’t (play),” said Ryan. “We’ll see how he progresses. I know he wants to play.”

The players who stepped in for Williams and Incognito in the lineup Tuesday were DT Corbin Bryant and G Kraig Urbik.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: Left side of OL is set

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2015 – 2:54 pm

It’s only day three of training camp, but barring a 180 in performance everyone from the center to the left tackle on the starting offensive line is pretty much locked into their roles for Buffalo’s offense.

That according to head coach Rex Ryan, who confirmed that in his mind Cordy Glenn, Richie Incognito and Eric Wood are all going to be lining up where they are now in Week 1.

Ryan was asked about the competition up front and though there are some open jobs still to be won on the right side of the starting line, from the pivot to the left edge Ryan likes what he has there right now.

“I don’t anticipate Eric Wood being replaced anytime soon, but yeah you’re trying to make sure you’ve got the best guys,” Ryan said. “You know one thing for sure, Richie (Incognito), Richie’s a starter. I mean he looks as good as about any of them. Cordy (Glenn) looks really good, so we’re set there.”

Ryan said John Miller is getting pushed by second-year guard Cyril Richardson. Meanwhile at right tackle Seantrel Henderson and Cyrus Kouandjio will be battling for the starting spot there.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Roman’s approach appealing for O-line

Posted by Chris Brown on July 11, 2015 – 10:13 am

Buffalo’s offensive line was a frustrated group last season. Their run game seemed like a weekly struggle and the variety of their attack from week to week was limited at best. Now with the addition of offensive coordinator Greg Roman, that’s all forgotten.

Roman’s diverse offensive schemes has the Buffalo’s offensive linemen excited about the prospects this fall.

“It’s just a different way of attacking defenses,” said G Richie Incognito. “You’re going to see a lot of different stuff out of us, a lot of different formations and a lot of different people moving around. There are a lot of ways to skin a cat. We’re going to be a run heavy offense, but I’ve never seen a playbook this big with as many ways to attack a defense with the run. We can attack you inside, we can come right downhill at you. We can run around you or toss the ball and circle the whole defense. We definitely have some playmakers and we’re hopeful to get the ball in their hands and get them in space.”

All that unpredictability makes it easier for the linemen to move defensive linemen off the line of scrimmage.

“That keeps us on the attack as opposed to trying to beat our head against the wall doing the same thing over and over and be really good at one thing, we’re trying to be really good at a lot of things and I think that can be really beneficial,” said Eric Wood.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 6-19

Posted by Chris Brown on June 19, 2015 – 11:33 am

The mandatory minicamp is in the books. Six weeks until training camp at St. John Fisher. Let’s get to your latest round of questions on email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,
Is there anybody that is already on the squad that might have torn up the practice fields that we haven’t heard about yet because they didn’t get much playing time?  In other words, is there anybody on the team already that you think is either in line to break out or will push a current starter for a job more than expected?

Tommy of Pittsford

CB: There were a few players who performed admirably in the spring practices that didn’t get much time on the field last year, but I caution that football in the spring is not real football, so take these names with a grain of salt.

Marquise Goodwin had a strong spring. He was turning in plays left and right in the passing game. Now keep in mind that’s without Stephon Gilmore, Leodis McKelvin or Aaron Williams running around in Buffalo’s secondary. And the pads aren’t on, which is when the game gets more physical and cornerbacks are jamming receivers a lot harder at the line of scrimmage. We’ll see what he can do at camp.

Cyrus Kouandjio, as we’ve covered on, has improved his footwork and balance a great deal. We’ll see how he does in camp, again, when the pads are on.

Two other players that I thought fared well, who could take a step forward this season are S Jonathan Meeks and TE Marqueis Gray. Both made plays in the spring practices and offer high caliber athleticism at their respective positions.


2 – @ChrisBrownBills
Is Harvin slated for both return spots or just punts?


CB: From what I witnessed at OTAs and minicamp Harvin is only being used on kick returns. The primary punt return candidates included Leodis McKelvin and Marcus Thigpen.


3 – Chris,

In light of the draft where they added 1 TE and one RB, how does this affect the final roster? Roman likes to dress/have 4 TE’s but they

currently have 5 running backs. Are Boobie/Bryce on the cut list to watch? I am not a fan of drafting a developmental running back with a history of violence against women, I don’t see the value in picking a back. Boobie plays special teams as well. Do you see O’Leary as lock to make this team too? Wondering how you might this these position groups look after the draft?

CB: Adding O’Leary and Karlos Williams just deepens the pool of talent at their positions. I like what I’ve seen from both players in the spring practices. O’Leary catches just about everything thrown to him. I agree that there will probably be four tight ends on the 53-man roster.

The tough call will be at running back where Williams has made a good case for himself. You’re also forgetting the fact that they’ll keep one fullback too who factors into the RB equation. So it’s likely they keep 4 RBs and 1 FB and 4 TEs. That could also mean the team only keeps five wide receivers. You’ve got to trim numbers somewhere else if Greg Roman’s offense needs numbers at TE.


4 – Chris,

Could you share your thoughts and insights on our offensive line expectations? Our two glaring weaknesses from last season was the inability to protect or provide the QB position ample time to develop consistency in a passing game and the lack of developing a foundation with a running game.

Many feel the offensive line play led to the lack of a better QB play although the argument could easily be spun both ways.  Yet going into this next season our offense is mostly a mystery of what to expect.

Despite the influx of talent brought in during F/A one could argue that we will be no better off than a year ago with the only hope that the new offense and scheme applied will either swing the pendulum one way or the other.  Many feel that controlling the trenches is where it all starts regardless of how skilled your skilled positions are.  Still another unsettling feeling deep in the souls of us Bills fans.

Thanks for you time and efforts.

CB: I’ll start by saying perhaps the two most important additions for the offensive line were coach Aaron Kromer and OC Greg Roman. Both know how to organize and coach line play. That’s where the two biggest improvements were made. Richie Incognito is a perfect fit for a power run game and John Miller has been widely lauded as Buffalo’s best pick in the 2015 draft and is expected to start at right guard.

With Cyrus Kouandjio showing an improved skill set and Cordy Glenn in the best shape of his life I believe the unit can take a sizable step forward this year and perhaps rebound from their 25th ranked rushing attack last season and get back into the top 10.


5 – Chris:

A couple of questions:

Whom do you think will take Dareus’ place in game #1?

Do you expect 90 players will be there the first day of training camp or will that number be reduced because of OTAs? Jeff Tuel was just released, but Matt Simms took his place.

Thanks very much.

CB: Right now the guy the Bills have penciled in to take Dareus’ spot in Week 1 is Corbin Bryant. Rex Ryan confirmed that when asked. Now will it be Bryant exclusively in that spot for the entire game? Probably not. Stefan Charles might rotate in there as well.

I do expect 90 players at training camp. Coaches like to have as many bodies as they can at camp. Knowing the Bills intend to run two team units simultaneously at camp when they go 11-on-11 in practice, having 90 players will be all the more necessary.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Kyle: “You don’t go in expecting bad things from people”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on April 7, 2015 – 3:30 pm

The Bills got national attention in the last few months when they signed a couple of veteran free agents who’ve had trouble in the past. Guard Richie Incognito and WR Percy Harvin reportedly have had locker room issues and both have bounced around the league somewhat.

But Bills veteran Kyle Williams is certain there’s enough locker room leadership in Buffalo to prevent any problems from any new additions to the roster.

“We have a really good locker room,” Williams said this week at the start of the team’s voluntary offseason conditioning program. “A great mix of guys who are important to one another, guys that the game is important to them. Those guys coming in, they’ll see that.”

Williams has been selected a Bills team captain in each of the last four years. And he’s convinced Incognito and Harvin will not disrupt team chemistry.

“Richie was already here, he was a great teammate here,’ he said. “I haven’t been around Percy, but you talk to guys on the Jets last year and they say he was a great teammate there.”

“You don’t go in expecting bad things from people. You expect them to be great teammates and play hard and to care about what’s going on. They’ll get a vibe from the locker room and they’ll see what’s in that locker room. I’m excited to have them. They’re both great players and they’re going to help us win.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Incognito doesn’t remove OL from needs list

Posted by Chris Brown on February 20, 2015 – 9:39 am

The Bills first free agent signing, G Richie Incognito, certainly lessens the need Buffalo has in addressing their offensive line this offseason. However, GM Doug Whaley still intends to pursue more additions for their group up front whether it’s free agency or the draft.

“It lessens it a little bit because you’ve got a former Pro Bowl guard,” said Whaley. “It’s no mystery that our guard play was lackluster last year. We have to get better up front there’s no mistake about it and we think that’s a piece that can help us get better up front. Again we will look at everything.

“Our philosophy in building this team is to not only have great starters, but great backups. So that depth, that’s what we’re looking for. Injuries are a part of the game and if someone goes down we want that backup to go in and that expectation doesn’t dip.”

Whaley mentioned guard and tackle as position players they have in mind for the offensive line. Combine coverage is presented by NAPA Auto Parts.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Incognito tweeting again

Posted by Chris Brown on February 10, 2015 – 9:45 am

He understandably hasn’t tweeted since March 27th of last year, but now that Richie Incognito has signed with the Bills and is back in the NFL he’s returned to the Twitter-sphere.

Incognito expressed his excitement after officially signing his contract with the Bills.

Incognito also made use of a photo from his three games with the Bills as his new avatar.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Pegulas met with Incognito personally

Posted by Chris Brown on February 9, 2015 – 12:01 pm

The Bills have now officially signed veteran G Richie Incognito. The free agent agreed to terms over the weekend. Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula made a point of meeting with Incognito personally to allay any concerns one might have knowing Incognito’s past.

Terry Pegula issued a statement about that meeting as the team made Incognito’s signing official Monday.

“I personally met with Richie, along with Doug Whaley, Rex Ryan and Kim regarding an opportunity to earn a spot on the Buffalo Bills roster,” said Pegula in a team statement. “Obviously, we all discussed Richie’s past experience in the NCAA and NFL.  We are convinced that Richie is prepared to move forward and has and will continue to take the necessary steps to improve himself as a person and a teammate. Following discussion with the rest of the coaching staff, we as an organization will provide him with the opportunity to do so.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Incognito back to Rams?

Posted by Chris Brown on March 5, 2010 – 3:25 pm

Bills unrestricted free agent Richie Incognito is reportedly drawing interest from a few teams, but could very well end up back with the team that drafted him.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Incognito has been told by the Rams that they might have some interest in him. How much interest remains to be seen. Head coach Steve Spagnuolo released him midseason after a second head-butting incident by Incognito cost his team valuable yardage in what wound up being a loss.

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Incognito not tendered

Posted by Chris Brown on March 4, 2010 – 4:07 pm

The team’s choices in terms of what restricted free agents got tender offers was not anything shocking. Perhaps only the decision not to tender Richie Incognito was a mild surprise.

In light of the fact that Eric Wood still has some time to go on his current rehabilitation from a broken leg, even I thought the club would perhaps tender Incognito, who could represent insurance in the event that Wood’s rehab took a bit longer than expected. But once head coach Chan Gailey indicated at the combine that both Demetrius Bell and Eric Wood were considered “ahead of schedule,” to me it signaled that Incognito was probably going to become a free agent.

And that’s what happens when there’s a new regime in place. All bets are off with people currently on the roster. The new front office wants to shape the roster the way they like it, and that has already begun with the players they have chosen to tender and not to tender.

The other three RFAs not tendered were Jonathan Scott, Gibran Hamdan and Joe Klopfenstein. They’re all unrestricted free agents now.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Remaining free agents

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2010 – 7:35 pm

With Terrell Owens, Josh Reed and Ryan Denney all told they won’t be back with Buffalo in 2010, here are the other Bills players set to hit the free agent market this coming Friday if they do not re-sign with Buffalo.

Here are the prospective unrestricted free agents.
LB Chris Draft
OL Seth McKinney
G Kendall Simmons
S Todd Johnson
SS Bryan Scott
LB Josh Stamer

Truthfully I believe the only player on this list that’s a respectable priority is Scott, who had a productive season in 2009.

Here are the restricted free agents (under uncapped rules), which the Bills have until March 4th to tender a qualifying offer to retain their rights to them. Otherwise they become unrestricted free agents on March 5th as well.

LB Keith Ellison
QB Gibran Hamdan
OL Richie Incognito
TE Joe Klopfenstein
TE Derek Schouman
OT Jonathan Scott
SS George Wilson
CB Ashton Youboty

On this list Incognito and Wilson would seem to be the highest priorities to tender with Schouman and Youboty seemingly in the next group. Keith Ellison is a productive player, but might not be a fit in Buffalo’s new defensive scheme.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

No one tendered yet

Posted by Chris Brown on February 25, 2010 – 1:59 pm

Just spoke with Bills GM Buddy Nix here at the NFL Combine and I asked him if he has tendered any of the team’s restricted free agents with qualifying offers. Here was Nix’s response.

“No, we haven’t (tendered anyone),” said Nix. “But we will. We’ll be in under the wire.”

Teams have until March 4th to submit qualifying tender offers to their restricted free agents. Among the more notable restricted free agents for the Bills are OL Richie Incognito and S George Wilson.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-29

Posted by Chris Brown on January 29, 2010 – 4:22 pm

Hard to believe January has come and gone, but we’re less than a month away from the NFL Combine. Let’s get to your questions. Remember you can email your questions to me at

1. Do you have access to challenge flag stats?   Specifically I’m looking to find out how many challenges Dick Jauron lost this past season.

Leif M. Nelson

CB: From what I’ve been able to gather from the NFL database the Bills challenged just three plays all season in 2009, and all three were overturned. So Jauron was 3-for-3. Buffalo had the fewest challenges in the NFL last season. The Packers had the most challenges with 16. Only 11 teams in the league had 10 or more challenges 2009.

2. I was wondering why the Bills never put Maybin at linebacker? He has great speed and good size to play the position. Washington took Orakpo and made him a very productive player at LB and I believe Buffalo should have done the same with Maybin. I know with new coaches coming that things will change. Do you see them looking to make Maybin a LB? My other thought is I would love to see the Bills move Spencer Johnson to full time DE. I think he would be great. He has done a good job at DT but is a little small to play it all the time. He is very quick and would also help make the defensive line get a little bigger and more solid. Your thoughts please.

CB: I think if the Bills do in fact employ a 3-4 defensive scheme then Maybin will likely be transitioned to outside linebacker because he won’t be a fit as a five-technique DE. Spencer Johnson is perfect fit as a five-technique DE and if they go to the 3-4 you’d get your wish there too. Johnson would move to end. We’ll see how it all plays out when the new defensive coordinator is hired.

3. I believe Dan LeFevour out of CMU is the second coming of Kelly if I ever saw one !! He’s definitely a winner, has played in the elements, and look at the guys stats WOW !! The only college Q.B. to throw for 12000 yards and run for 2500 that’s pretty impressive. Just thought I would throw my two cents in after I saw Tony Pike’s name on one of the Buffalo blogs in a mock draft. After the comeback win in their bowl game too when he started out slow, what do you think about him ??
Mr. T Ft. Myers Fla.

CB: LeFevour broke most of Graham Harrell’s records and Harrell could not cut it in the CFL. He’s a coach at Oklahoma St. now. The guy that is the all time leader in total offense is a former Hawaii QB named Timmy Chang. Also did not make it in the NFL. I’m not saying that LeFevour can’t be a successful NFL player. I’m just saying you can’t be blinded by stats and assume the guy will do it at the top level. Most “experts” consider him a 4th rounder.

As for Pike I think he’s a more promising prospect with better tools. He has a better arm than LeFevour by most accounts. He has to add bulk to his frame because he is rail thin at 6’6″ 212 pounds. He’ll get broken in half in the NFL. There are questions about his passion for the game and he’s been labeled a laid back personality. I don’t know if that fits in Buffalo. He’s been called more of a third round pick.

4. Chris,
Would the Bills have any interest in prying David Carr from the New York Giants?  I think he would be better than anyone we got and a perfect stop gap until we find our franchise QB.  Also, what are the options of the Bills trading Lynch or Evans for draft picks?  I really feel bad for Evans because the guy hasn’t had a quality QB his entire career here.

CB: The Bills would not have to do any prying. Carr is going to be an unrestricted free agent in March. Personally I’m not a big fan. It’s hard to believe that his performance will be dramatically better than it has been in the past. I know Chan Gailey has proven over the years that he can do more with less, but I’d rather have Trent Edwards than David Carr, provided Edwards returns to more of his 2007 or 2008 form.

As for trading Lynch and Evans, I would say unequivocally no on Evans. Lynch is a bit tougher to figure with the new regime in place. Both Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey mentioned character and Lynch though he’s a gamer on the field has had some off field issues. Whether that is an issue for the Bills new decisions makers remains to be seen.

5. Hey Chris,

I was wondering what you thought about the chances we keep Incognito next yr. From what I saw of him the guy is a football player very physical and tough which is what we were going for when we drafted Eric Wood last yr. Now that we have 2 of the same types of guys at one postion do you maybe see the Bills moving Eric to be the starting center? After all I think that would give us 3 really mean guys in the interior that could give all the big nose tackles we face every year fits. Just wondering if you had any idea on what was going to happen cuase id hate to see a guy as promising as Incognito not playing or even worse get cut from the roster.

Garrett from Pa.

CB: I believe Incognito will be a priority for the team. I thought he fared pretty well for having to come in on the fly and learn the blocking scheme. He’s got the right attitude for playing in this town.

More important is due to the uncertain timetable as to when exactly Eric Wood is going to be back Incognito represents valuable insurance in the event that Wood’s recovery is lengthy.

I should also mention that Incognito is capable of playing center as well and could be a depth option in the pivot behind Geoff Hangartner.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-15

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2010 – 2:30 pm

We’re entering week 3 of the coaching search, but as owner Ralph Wilson stated they’re going to be methodical in their approach. I’d rather wait if it ensures getting the right guy. Here is this week’s edition. To submit question email me at

1. Hi Chris,
 I think that with the seasoning they got this year that the opening day offensive line combination of Bell/Levitre/Hangartner/Wood/Butler is going to be a great offensive line combination.  I think that the combination of inexperience and injuries this year is the only thing that held them back.  The experience should be there next year, provided that Wood can return healthy.
Yet I’ve noticed you’ve been commenting a lot about offensive tackle help early in the draft – which of the five spots on the offensive line do you think the Bills may be looking at the most with regards to an upgrade?  Do you agree that the opening day group from this year will be sufficient for next year?
Rick Shields

CB: I agree that there is a lot of promise with the group up front, but I think the tackles need more competition. Competition pushes everyone and makes them better. That did not exist for Bell or Butler last year once Walker was jettisoned.

I believe if you can get a left tackle prospect in the draft that is more NFL ready coming out of college than Bell or Butler, like a Michael Oher type, then I would strongly consider drafting him. To take my point a step further, I’d be all for re-signing Richie Incognito as well to provide competition for Andy Levitre and Eric Wood. He would push both of them for a starting guard spot and is capable of backing up at center.

And if for some reason Wood isn’t ready for the season, Incognito is an insurance plan you feel about.

I do believe that the five that started last season will be improved, but sufficient as you put it is not what I’m interested in. I want a dominant offensive line and if that means acquiring upgrades or solid depth to push these guys then that’s what I’m doing.

2. Hey Chris,
My question to u is do u believe that the Bills front office will look into resigning TO or do u believe that they will just let him go like they do with everyone else? Because personally and I have said this since they signed him that the contract should have been 2 years with the team option on the second b/c of the uncapped season that is about to approach.

CB: I would be very surprised to see Owens back in a Bills uniform next season. Primarily because he wants to play just two more years. I can’t imagine he wants to be part of a rebuilding project here in Buffalo, which will be the case under a new head coach. The front office is committed to rebuilding this team the right way through the draft, not with quick fix free agents.

I believe they want to give the young receivers (e.g. Hardy, Johnson) an opportunity to develop and produce, and Owens would get in the way of that.

Furthermore I think Owens wants to go somewhere where he can contend for a Super Bowl title, something he does not have on his resume to this point. After this season he wants to go to a team with a proven QB.

The only way I see him back here is if he gets absolutely no offers elsewhere and even then I’m not sure he returns.

3. Chris,
Boy, the Bills need a lot of help. What direction do you anticipate they will go?  I still feel they need defense because the offense will take years.  They need to get bigger and maintain the speed.  Play physical like Miami in the run game unless they find a QB.  It is a throw happy league.  Hopefully these offensive lineman will stay healthy next year otherwise it’s another long year.  I was hoping to get more out of Maybin.  Let me know your thoughts.
Tim (Chicago)

CB: Well I don’t know that there’s a surefire QB at the top of the draft (even Clausen or Bradford) who everybody has at the top of the board. Bradford’s throwing shoulder injuries concern me and Clausen as a leader is a question mark. When you’re investing that kind of money you better be sure.

The kind of pick that might make the most sense for them at 9 in my mind is an OT, a DT or an impact LB like a Brian Cushing. Buffalo may very well have to trade for a QB this offseason.

It’s hard to say what will be done with Maybin with a new coaching staff yet to arrive. We should have a better idea come the spring camps.

4. Hey Chris,
Avid Bills fan here. I was interested in knowing what you thought about some changes the Bills maybe could look at moving forward next season. I’m not sure how you have assessed Richie Incognito’s play, but he appears to be a mauler in the run game. If he keeps his head on straight I believe he will be a nice addition to our team.

With that being said, what if the Bills move Levitre to left tackle, pencil Incognito and Wood at the guard spots, with Hangartner and Brad Butler at center and right tackle respectively. I know this is assuming Wood and Butler return 100% from their injuries. This would eliminate the Bills from having to draft a left tackle with their first overall pick in the draft and focus it on their other needs.

Thanks for your time.
Mike, Syracuse NY
CB: I think your point is a valid one. There was some thinking among the previous coaching staff that Levitre might be capable of handling left tackle down the line. He fared well in the Tennessee game when he was forced to go out there and that was with virtually no practice reps. He has college experience out there.

Ideally though I’d prefer to get a top flight OT in the draft or sign a veteran RFA like San Diego’s Marcus McNeill. I just believe if you move Levitre to tackle you lose some of the chemistry you took your lumps this past season to build. I’d leave him next to Hangartner and look to add tackle talent.

I’d also re-sign Incognito (an RFA) so there is depth of talent along the interior. There is currently no viable backup center on the roster behind Hangartner. Incognito could be that guy and a guard that could push for a starting role. As I said earlier competition makes your team better.

5. Chris,
I had high hopes for Steve Johnson, when he is able to play I like his production. He just seems injury prone and a wasted roster spot. I just don’t understand how other teams draft pick make it to the field and produce and the Bills picks end up on the injury report. The team has Hardy, Johnson and Jenkins that never seem to make it on the field. I don’t accept the “well we have TO and Evans” line. Other teams and QB’s are able to play a laundry list of receivers and they all make catches. So is Johnson a Bust?

Pat and Charlene

CB: No, Steve Johnson is not a bust and neither is Hardy. Don’t know how that description can be given to guys who barely got playing time this season. Personally I think the two young wideouts have a lot of potential and just need time on the field. I think there’s a good chance that with this Bills rebuilding effort that they will be given every opportunity to play in 2010. Johnson is not injury prone. He had one minor injury at the end of the season.

With this team starting over, now is the time to put the young guys on the field and see what they can do.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 12-18

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2009 – 2:51 pm

Since next week’s Fan Friday won’t be up until the afternoon, Merry Christmas everyone. Here’s this week’s edition.
1. Chris,
Just wanted to get your input on what the Bills are doing right now. I think it’s great that they are going after some veteran players to fill the gaps, but I always thought that should of been done b4 or in the beginning of the season. Maybe we wouldn’t be where we are at in the standings. What do you think?

CB: I too like the recent pursuit of veteran players like Kendall Simmons and this week Richie Incognito. The Bills on the whole still have a very young roster, especially on the offensive line, so sprinkling in some vets that can step right in after a few days of practice is valuable. I think you can definitely make the argument that had more veteran talent been acquired earlier in the season or the offseason to fill the void left by some of the departures, the success on offense might have been better this season.
2. Chris,
With a regime change on the horizon, how difficult a transition would it be for the defense to switch to a 3-4. At first glance, it wouldn’t seem to be that difficult (play Kyle Williams on the nose, switch Maybin to OLB and draft McClain or Spikes) but I know there’s more to it than that.  Can it be done without limiting their ability to address other needs?
Pete Howell

CB: To change to a 3-4 would push back the rebuilding project from 2-3 years to more like 3-4 years. The reason that’s the case is because you’d have to completely overhaul the roster, which is largely made up of smaller, faster players on defense.

Then you have the task of finding enough talent suitable to the 3-4, which is now harder than ever. The reason why is because 13 teams already employ the 3-4 scheme so the competition for players to fit that scheme is greater than ever in both free agency and the draft.

There are too few true two gap nose tackles out there to begin with and when you’re competing with 13 other NFL clubs for that small crop of difference makers, and you’re starting from scratch I think you have to seriously question whether it is the best course to take.
3. Can you give us an update on Eric Wood? I know they say his surgery was a success. But I want to know if, in addition to breaking his Tibia and Fibula, did he sustain any ligament damage? What are his chances of being ready for next season?

CB: The Bills have yet to provide a prognosis on Wood. I’ve asked, but I’ve been told it’s too soon to determine a concrete prognosis just three weeks after surgery. I saw him here at the facility earlier this week. He’s still in a wheelchair due to the injury, but he told me he’s doing well. He’s already begun the recovery work. I hope to have more on him in the near future so stay tuned.
4. Hi Chris, thanks for taking fan e-mail. Any word on on the Bills’ opponents for next season? Has the NFL addressed that yet?
Suzanne in Austin TX
CB: Yes, the Bills will be playing against their division opponents twice obviously (N.E., NYJ, Miami) as well as the AFC North and the NFC North. Their two intraconference games will be against the AFC South team and the AFC West team that finishes in the same position in their division as the Bills do in the East.

So if the Bills finish fourth in the division, they’ll play the fourth place finisher in the AFC South and AFC West, which right now is a tie between the Texans and Titans and in the West is the Chiefs.

Here’s how it shapes up home and away for 2010.

HOME – Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Detroit, (Houston or Tenn.), N.E., NYJ, Miami
AWAY – Baltimore, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Minnesota, (KC right now), N.E., NYJ, Miami

The schedule as to when they play these opponents will be released in mid-April.
5. Chris:

If you’ve checked the boards lately, you’d know how split the fans are on Tim Tebow. I personally believe the guy’s a playmaker and is something this franchise desperately needs.

What’s your opinion on him and do you think we could see Tebow in a Bills


Eric W.
Rochester, NY

CB: I don’t think there’s any debate that Tim Tebow is a winner. His leadership and other intangibles are off the charts. But with the expert scouts I’ve talked to the past year or so, most believe he is not a full time QB at the NFL level. Many believe that his entire throwing mechanics would have to be rebuilt from the ground up.

Furthermore I’m not confident his arm strength is sufficient to succeed in the wind that exists in Buffalo late in the season. I’d love to have Tim Tebow on my team. I’m just not certain I’d want him at QB.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Incognito all but a lock to start

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2009 – 9:51 am

With Kendall Simmons becoming the 16th player to go on I-R today, it’s a virtual lock that recently acquired Richie Incognito will start at right guard for the Bills on Sunday.

Incognito got all the first team reps at right guard Thursday, his first day of practice with the club, while Simmons watched practice as a non-participant. Now a day later his season is over paving the way for the fifth-year cast off of the Rams to take the field with his new teammates Sunday.

“It’s not going to be hard getting up for the Patriots,” Incognito told Thursday. “I also heard it’s a good crowd up here. I’m excited.”

Incognito’s presence in the starting lineup, should it come to pass Sunday will give Buffalo’s it’s eighth different starting offensive line combination this season.

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Posted in Inside the Bills
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