Inside The Bills

Former Bills TEs reunited

Posted by Chris Brown on October 21, 2009 – 12:54 pm

Cleveland Browns TE Robert Royal was back in town for his team’s Week 5 matchup with the Bills two weeks ago. Now joining him on the Browns roster is a former Bills teammate of his that plays the same position.

Michael Gaines just signed with the Browns after most recently playing for Chicago. He also has played for Detroit since leaving the Bills via free agency after the 2007 season.

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Royal signs for Gaines money

Posted by Chris Brown on March 5, 2009 – 2:54 pm

Former Bills TE Robert Royal will be yet another player that Buffalo will face in the 2009 season as the Bills will play against the Browns this fall.

Royal signed for four years and $10M according to’s Adam Caplan. That’s the exact same money that former Bills TE Michael Gaines signed for last year when he agreed to a free agent deal with Detroit last offseason. Cleveland had a TE need after trading away Kellen Winslow to Tampa.

Buffalo will also face Jabari Greer in 2009 after he signed with New Orleans.

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Royal and Leonhard visiting Jets

Posted by Chris Brown on March 1, 2009 – 1:11 am

Bills cast off Robert Royal is reportedly visiting with the Jets and arriving Saturday night according to the NY Daily News. They need a replacement for Chris Baker, but Baker is a much better blocker than Royal.

Royal is coming off a career best season in terms of receptions and yards, so that could help convince a team he’s worth investing in long term. Jim Leonhard is also visiting with the Jets tonight.

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Royal subtraction raises TE position need

Posted by Chris Brown on February 26, 2009 – 10:06 pm

With the release of veteran TE Robert Royal, Buffalo now has three tight ends on their roster (Fine, Schouman and Stupar) who combined have a total of 18 NFL starts. All of those belong to Schouman (13) and Fine (5).

And while I certainly have faith that Fine and Schouman in expanded roles can provide more production than they have thus far, it’s clear the Bills want to add more playmaking talent to the position.

Offensive coordinator Turk Schonert said he wanted to have four or five in training camp this summer. At least one of those two remaining tight end spots has to be filled by an in line blocker and the other a playmaker. Preferably one guy answers both needs, but good luck finding that in free agency.

Oklahoma St. TE Brandon Pettigrew looks like he has the potential to be both. And now taking him with the 11th pick is a far greater possibility, whether he’s considered a solid value there or not. He’s the only two-way TE in the draft that you could start next to a tackle as a rookie.

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Royal just never panned out

Posted by Chris Brown on February 26, 2009 – 10:04 pm

Former Bills GM Marv Levy, really thought that Robert Royal was going to blossom into a dependable all-around tight end given the opportunity to be a regular starter. But it never materialized.

Royal, despite having career numbers this past year, unfortunately became part of a long line of tight ends for the Bills that never became a proven answer at the spot. He was a hard worker, as evidenced by his rigorous rehab schedule this past offseason when he came back from knee surgery, but the production on the field just wasn’t there from a playmaking perspective.

And his recent tendency to fumble only made it worse. He had four in the last two seasons and all resulted in turnovers. Buffalo’s tight end position has gone unfulfilled for most of the team’s history. Having a game breaking receiving option there for Trent Edwards could do wonders for Buffalo’s offense.

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Dockery’s contract didn’t fit the performance

Posted by Chris Brown on February 26, 2009 – 10:00 pm

Derrick Dockery’s contract proved to be his undoing after just two years. Getting paid an average of $7M a year with a two-time Pro Bowl tackle immediately to his left, did not make it easy for him to succeed. That being said Dockery’s play was inconsistent, particularly in 2008.

The guy was a hard worker, often staying late after practice, but it just never translated to the field.

Whether the Bills choose to address the Jason Peters contract situation remains to be seen. It likely won’t happen in the short term with free agency on the horizon and more needs to fill with the release of Dockery and Robert Royal.

It’s crazy to think that right now the only returning interior lineman under contract right now is Brad Butler.  The Bills likely have to invest in more talent at those positions before renegotiating with Peters.

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Practice update

Posted by Chris Brown on December 12, 2008 – 4:30 pm

Not practicing was Trent Edwards for a third straight day so he’s obviously not going to play Sunday.

Jabari Greer was also not practicing.

Dustin Fox was trying to practice, but looked limited. Also limited, but practicing was Robert Royal.

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Lynch probable, Whitner questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on December 5, 2008 – 5:37 pm

Marshawn Lynch practiced fully on Friday and is listed as probable for Sunday’s game against Miami.

Donte Whitner practiced fully all week and though questionable is expected to start at free safety Sunday with Bryan Scott at SS.

Trent Edwards is doubtful. He could possibly serve as the emergency 3rd string quarterback, otherwise he won’t even dress.

Out are Jabari Greer and Aaron Schobel. Schobel just looked far from 100 percent in practice this week.

Also questionable with Whitner are Copeland Bryan, Chris Ellis, Teddy Lehman, Robert Royal. All of these players were only able to participate on a limited basis.

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Lynch has back spasms

Posted by Chris Brown on December 4, 2008 – 7:27 pm

Bills head coach Dick Jauron said Marshawn Lynch was limited in practice due to back problems.

“Marshawn had back spasms so that kept him out for part of the practice,” said Jauron. “When you have back spasms you have trouble bending and about anything at all. He’s had them before.”

When asked if he expects Lynch to play on Sunday Jauron answered in the affirmative.

Also limited were Teddy Lehman (hamstring), Copeland Bryan (foot) and Chris Ellis (ankle). 

Jabari Greer, Trent Edwards and Robert Royal did not participate Thursday.

Practicing fully for a second straight day were Aaron Schobel and Donte Whitner.

“Aaron again participated in the whole practice, so we’ll have to see how it is,” said Jauron of Schobel’s foot. “It’s a little bit sore, but it’s two in a row now.”

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Edwards not practicing again

Posted by Chris Brown on December 4, 2008 – 4:55 pm

Its not looking good for Trent Edwards this Sunday as he’s not practicing again here on Thursday.

Also not practicing is Jabari Greer and Robert Royal.

Chris Kelsay is back at practice. Aaron Schobel is practicing for a second straight day, but he doesn’t look nearly 100 percent and did not line up with the first team defense. Ryan Denney was at RDE.

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Injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on December 3, 2008 – 8:46 pm

Trent Edwards remains day-to-day with the groin injury. Dick Jauron did not say how much a quarterback would need to practice during the week to still be considered a viable option for a game, but that he would need to practice “some.”

J.P. Losman took all the first team reps. For more info check out Bills Roundup by clicking on the Media Lounge tab at the home page of later this afternoon.

Not practicing were Jabari Greer (knee), Robert Royal (hamstring), Chris Ellis (ankle) and Chris Kelsay was excused for personal reasons. He’s expected to be back at practice Thursday. Copeland Bryan (foot) and Teddy Lehman (hamstring) were limited.

Practice went pretty well for Aaron Schobel and Donte Whitner as both got reps with the first unit on defense. Both Schobel and Whitner practiced fully. Whitner was used as both the nickel corner and at free safety in the base package.

Schobel told me he plans to practice again on Thursday, but wouldn’t call himself a sure thing for Sunday. But Schobel did say he won’t need surgery on his ailing foot, which is very good news. Whitner indicated he should be ready for Sunday’s game.

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Schobel, Whitner practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on December 3, 2008 – 5:13 pm

Aaron Schobel was back on the practice field and lined up with the first team defense when team work began. He wasn’t going full speed, but wasn’t favoring the foot a lot.

Donte Whitner was also practicing with the first team defense in regular and the nickel package.

Not practicing was Jabari Greer, though he was doing rehab work on the field with the trainers. Robert Royal was doing the same type of work with the training staff.

Not in attendance was Chris Kelsay and Chris Ellis.

Trent Edwards was not practicing with J.P. Losman taking first team reps.

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Bills-49ers inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on November 30, 2008 – 5:02 pm

Buffalo Bills
20-Donte Whitner
33-Jabari Greer
58-Teddy Lehman
77-Demetrius Bell
84-Robert Royal
94-Aaron Schobel
96-Copeland Bryan
10–Gibran Hamdan – 3rd QB

San Francisco 49ers
20-Allen Rossum
31-Reggie Smith
38-Dashon Goldson
59-Cody Wallace
77-Jacob Bender
83-Arnaz Battle
84-Josh Morgan
10-Jamie Martin – 3rd QB

Lineup changes for the Bills
No. 92 Ryan Denney will start at defensive end
No. 43 Bryan Scott will start at strong safety
no. 28 Leodis McKelvin will start at cornerback

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Greer, McCargo, Royal, Lehman, Schobel all out for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 28, 2008 – 5:27 pm

Jabari Greer, John McCargo, Teddy Lehman, Robert Royal and Aaron Schobel are all out for Sunday’s game against the 49ers.

Donte Whitner is doubtful with Keith Ellison, Derek Schouman and Copeland Bryan questionable for the game.

We’ll have more details on the home page shortly.

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McCargo MIA

Posted by Chris Brown on November 28, 2008 – 4:03 pm

John McCargo is not at practice with his teammates Friday. Also not in attendance is TE Robert Royal (hamstring).

Not practicing were Jabari Greer (knee), Teddy Lehman (hamstring) and Aaron Schobel (foot).

Copeland Bryan (hamstring) who was limited in practice Thursday was not practicing Friday and is likely not looking good for Sunday.

Practicing on a limited basis was Donte Whitner.

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Ellison back practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2008 – 8:07 pm

Keith Ellison was back on the practiced field Thursday back from his ankle injury. As a result Bryan Scott was back working with the DBs after practicing with the linebackers on Wednesday. Copeland Bryan also returned to practice.

Donte Whitner practiced for a second straight day in pads, and has a shot to play Sunday.

Jabari Greer did not practice for a second straight day as well as Teddy Lehman and Robert Royal.

Aaron Schobel was with the team post practice and without a boot though he still has a slight limp.

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Ellison has ankle injury

Posted by Chris Brown on November 26, 2008 – 8:51 pm

LB Keith Ellison has apparently had a lingering ankle injury the past few weeks that he’s just been playing through. He didn’t exacerbate the injury according to head coach Dick Jauron in last Sunday’s game, but it was swollen coming out of the game and as a result he did not practice Wednesday.

It’s also why he wasn’t at practice at all Wednesday as the training staff likely wants to keep him off his feet.

Donte Whitner was limited in practice, but told Jauron that his shoulder felt good moving around. The safety is dealing with what is a pain management issue and not a healing issue concerning his shoulder.

Jabari Greer (knee), Teddy Lehman (hamstring), Robert Royal (hamstring), Aaron Schobel (foot), Aaron Schobel (foot) and Copeland Bryan (foot) all did not practice.

We’ll have a full update in Bills Roundup later this afternoon.

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Ellison absent, Greer, Royal watching practice

Posted by Chris Brown on November 26, 2008 – 5:39 pm

Keith Ellison was not in attendance at practice Wednesday. We’ll get an update from head coach Dick Jauron in his afternoon press conference.

Still not practicing are Jabari Greer and Aaron Schobel.

Donte Whitner did individual position work in practice, but did not appear to participating in team work.

Also not practicing was Teddy Lehman, Copeland Bryan and Robert Royal.

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Coach Kugler’s rapport with Trent

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2008 – 7:48 pm

I think everyone remembers and Trent Edwards would like to forget his overthrow to a wide open Robert Royal in the end zone Sunday on a 3rd-and-goal play action pass. Fortunately Marshawn Lynch made it a moot point scoring on 4th-and-goal, but Trent addressed it and joked about it

“I’ve been begging them to call that play all week and I’ve been practicing that fake, I’ve been practicing that throw. I’m not someone to make excuses,” said Edwards with a smirk. “And it’s tough he’s wide open and the wind picked up a little bit. The thing was is I know we’re all professionals out there and we have to play like professionals, but that was pretty bad.”

Edwards also shared that Bills offensive line coach Sean Kugler gave him some ribbing for it when he got back to the sidelines.

“Our offensive line coach came up to me after that play and was like, ‘I could have made that throw.’ I was like, ‘Thanks that means a lot to me.,’” said Edwards. 

Sometimes coaches take the unexpected approach with a player that might be gripping a little after a bad play just to loosen them up. I suspect that was Kugler’s intention. Plus Kugler followed up after Edwards two touchdown runs.

“He came back after those few touchdown runs and said, ‘I don’t think I could run that fast though.’ So it was nice to have him back in my corner after that play,” said Edwards.

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Injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on November 14, 2008 – 5:21 pm

Donte Whitner, James Hardy and Robert Royal are all questionable for Monday night’s game against Cleveland. All three participated on a limited basis in practice Friday.

We’ll have more information shortly on the home page at

RG Brad Butler is probable and expected to start after a three-game absence with a sprained MCL.

Doubtful is Josh Reed.

Out for Monday night’s game will be Aaron Schobel.

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