Inside The Bills

McDermott to face former club in 2017

Posted by Chris Brown on January 11, 2017 – 5:22 pm

Bills new head coach Sean McDermott will be squaring off against his former team next season.

Buffalo is slated to play the NFC South next season. McDermott and the Bills will be playing the Carolina Panthers on the road this fall. Dates for games won’t be announced until mid-April, but McDermott will face his former head coach Ron Rivera in his first year as an NFL head coach. McDermott served as the Panthers defensive coordinator the last six seasons.

He’ll also be facing two other first-year head coaches in Denver (Vance Joseph) and San Diego (yet to hire).

Here’s a look again at the Bills 2017 opponents.

Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots New England Patriots
New York Jets New York Jets
Denver Broncos Kansas City Chiefs
Oakland Raiders San Diego Chargers
New Orleans Saints Atlanta Falcons
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Carolina Panthers
Indianapolis Colts Cincinnati Bengals

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Panthers coach knew Rex from younger days

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2015 – 3:31 pm

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera knew Rex Ryan from the time he was a college student. A linebacker for the Chicago Bears and playing under Ryan’s father Buddy Ryan, then the defensive coordinator for Chicago, Rivera often ran into Rex and his brother Rob during Bears training camp.

“I know being one of Buddy’s boys he was always around,” said Rivera. “I hope Rex doesn’t get made in relaying this story, but Buddy used to say, ‘I’ve got a bunch of nice boys, but I don’t want them playing for me.’

“I just remember Rex and Rob just being around training camp. They’re good dudes and good guys to hang around with. They’re a couple of guys that I run into at the combine or somewhere and we get a chance to visit and we end up talking about their dad. I know he’s still alive thank goodness, but we’ll talk about the things he did and how he developed the 46 defense. That always seems to be a subject of conversation with Rex and Rob.”

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Rivera wary of Rex’s multiple defense

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2015 – 1:56 pm

Carolina head coach Ron Rivera has known Rex Ryan since he played linebacker for his dad, Buddy Ryan, in Chicago in the mid-80’s. So he’s all too familiar with the unpredictable nature of Ryan’s play calling. And in a preseason game setting with a new roster, Rivera knows Ryan is going to be even harder to figure out.

“I hate it. I really do because they can do anything,” said Rivera of Buffalo’s defense. “When that happens you’re kind of guessing as coaches. It’s hard to see the game because unless you’re hitting it right on anything can happen. Guys could be running around free, the quarterback may not have any time. Your running back may not have an opportunity to run. It’s going to be tough on our offensive line to handle it. I expect Rex to be as aggressive as he normally is.

“On the offensive side I think we feel a little more comfortable. We know what they’re capable of on the offensive side and we expect a physical running style. Coach (Greg) Roman coming from San Francisco we expect that running game to carry over.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Cornerback injuries cost Carolina

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2013 – 10:58 pm

The Carolina Panthers were already down one cornerback in James Dockery, who was out with a thumb injury. They also had a young cornerback on the inactive list in Melvin White. In hindsight they would’ve preferred to have all the healthy corners up for Sunday’s game.

Carolina CB Josh Thomas went out in the first half with a concussion. CB Josh Norman missed time with a thigh injury and S Charles Godfrey was carted off with an ankle injury. All told the Panthers were down to just three healthy corners and it had an impact on the final offensive play of the game for Buffalo.

With six seconds left on a 2nd-and-1 at the two-yard line, Norman, who returned to the game had Chris Hogan in man to man coverage lined up outside. Reserve CB D.J. Moore had Stevie Johnson inside in the slot man to man. Moore isn’t typically the team’s slot corner, Captain Munnerlyn typically slides inside when defending three wide sets.

Hogan ran a slant inside while Johnson slid behind him on a corner route.

It looked as though Norman thought they were staying with their coverage assignment through the entire play, while Moore thought they would switch coverage assignments if they crossed their face. Moore stopped covering Johnson to switch to Hogan and bumped into Norman, who stayed with Hogan. Johnson was wide open for the game-tying TD.

“We got rubbed off, is basically what happened,” said Carolina head coach Ron Rivera. “We’re in man coverage right there. We’ve got to work through the pick, make sure we’re communicating and get through, and not get picked off. It was a tough situation, and unfortunately, it worked to their benefit.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Why Rivera may have declined

Posted by Chris Brown on January 11, 2010 – 12:39 pm

If the report from the San Diego Union-Tribune is accurate that Ron Rivera in fact declined the opportunity to interview with the Bills for their vacant head coaching post, there are a couple of reasons why that might have happened that have nothing to do with the attractiveness of the job.

A colleague of mine astutely pointed out that Rivera and Leslie Frazier are close friends. They were teammates for three seasons on a Bears defense that was largely responsible for the 1985 Super Bowl XX title won by Chicago, and they were also assistants on the same Philadelphia Eagles staff for four seasons under Andy Reid (1999-2002).

It’s not unrealistic to  think that one coach pulls himself out of the running for a head coaching job to improve the chances of the other to get the job. I’m not saying that is the case here, but knowing the close relationship between the two it’s reasonable to believe they don’t want to directly compete against one another for the job.

The only other possibility is Rivera has interviewed more than half a dozen times for head coaching jobs and has not emerged as the top choice for any one of them. Interviewing again and not getting another job only increases the likelihood of being viewed by league executives as an also ran in terms of head coaching material, something no coach wants as a label.

Personally I think Rivera is head coaching material and will be a head coach one day in this league, but it doesn’t appear right now that it will happen for Rivera this offseason, partly from his own decision making, again if the San Diego Union-Tribune story is on the mark.

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Rivera declined?

Posted by Chris Brown on January 11, 2010 – 9:22 am

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera was offered the opportunity to interview with the Bills for their vacant head coaching post. Rivera reportedly took a pass.

Rivera reportedly turned down opportunities to interview with both the Bills and the Seahawks for their open head coaching jobs. Minnesota defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier initially turned down the opportunity to interview for the Seahawks job believing he was nothing more than an interviewee that would satisfy the league’s Rooney Rule that at least one minority candidate be interviewed during the hiring process.

Frazier ultimately changed his mind and did interview with Seattle over the weekend. 

It’s unclear if Rivera, who is of Hispanic descent, feels the same way about the Seattle job. It would be hard for him to take such a stance regarding the Bills job since the only two confirmed interviews for the Buffalo head coaching post have been minority candidates in Perry Fewell and Frazier.

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Other interviews to come

Posted by Chris Brown on January 10, 2010 – 1:26 pm

Bills owner Ralph Wilson told the Associated Press that the Bills would take the necessary time to find their head coach and not rush to judgment. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter there are more candidates to be interviewed this week.

Here is Schefter’s latest take on the coaching search situation, in which he mentioned that Bill Cowher will not coach the Bills in his opinion. Personally, I think if Cowher was interested he would already have been named head coach. Brian Billick is also not a candidate per Schefter.

“While questions continue to swirl about the Buffalo Bills head-coaching job, certain candidates’ names can being to be crossed off. Bill Cowher is not going to be the Bills next head coach, no matter how much money the franchise has offered him, according to league sources. Brian Billick never was considered once Buffalo hired new general manager Buddy Nix, sources said. But Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier is said to have had a highly impressive interview.

Buffalo still is planning on conducting more interviews with more coaches involved in the playoffs, and their outlook always could change, but heading into the start of the postseason, Frazier is the temporary leader in the clubhouse.

Also, Buffalo’s interim head coach Perry Fewell is said to have had a more impressive interview than many realize. Buffalo has other assistant coaches it still wants to interview, but those coaches are involved in the playoffs and the Bills have not had access to them yet.”

Among those candidates currently working for other clubs that have been mentioned include Arizona assistant head coach Russ Grimm, Jets OC Brian Schottenheimer, San Diego DC Ron Rivera and Eagles DC Sean McDermott.

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Ron Rivera update

Posted by Chris Brown on January 7, 2010 – 6:59 pm

Chargers head coach Norv Turner was asked on Thursday if the Bills had requested permission to interview Ron Rivera for their vacant head coaching job.

Turner had a quick response.

“No, they have not contacted us,” Turner said.

There have been reports that Rivera is among the names on the Bills list of coaching candidates, but this would be the week to conduct such an interview with Rivera with the Chargers earning a playoff bye this weekend.

With permission not even requested to this point by the Bills its unlikely that an interview would take place this week.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Report: Billick to interview

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2010 – 7:47 am

The speculation wheel is turning with Yahoo Sports reporting on three new coaching candidates including the former Super Bowl winning coach of the Baltimore Ravens.

According to the report Billick will interview with the Bills this coming week. Other candidates mentioned in the report are Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera. Rivera obviously has a familiarity with Bills GM Buddy Nix as the two worked together in San Diego.

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