Inside The Bills

Gailey encouraged about Kelsay

Posted by Chris Brown on November 19, 2012 – 4:21 pm

Bills DE Chris Kelsay returned to practice on Monday after being almost two weeks with a neck injury, and though he only participated in individual drills, head coach Chan Gailey believes the veteran defensive end has a good shot to play Sunday in Indianapolis.

“Kelsay went through individual but didn’t do any team,” said Gailey after Monday’s practice. “It looked like it went well and we’ll find out what he can do Wednesday, but it looked promising.”

Gailey said if Kelsay comes through the week well and does dress to play Sunday that he’ll likely be eased back in and not given his typical snap count.

“We’ll have to wait and see how that works,” Gailey said. “Kelsay has been out a couple or three weeks now. I don’t know that we’ll throw him back in there full boat. We’ll have to talk about what the best way to handle all that will be.”

Kyle Moore and Shawne Merriman have seen the most work at right defensive end in Kelsay and Mark Anderson’s absence.

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Spence to fill dual role?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 11, 2012 – 9:20 am

One of Spencer Johnson’s greatest attributes is his versatility as he’s able to play both defensive tackle and defensive end in Buffalo’s 4-3. With Chris Kelsay questionable and Shawne Merriman not 100 percent healthy, Johnson could be called upon to spend more time at defensive end against the Patriots today.

“The ace in the hole for us is Spencer Johnson,” said head coach Chan Gailey. “He’s been able to play defensive end. He played it last year. He can go out there and play there if we need him to. That’s kind of our ace in the hole for the defensive line and defensive end position specifically.”

If Kelsay can’t play, Buffalo would only have three defensive ends in Kyle Moore, Shawne Merriman and Mario Williams. Johnson would give them a fourth option to rotate.

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Merriman questionable

Posted by Chris Brown on November 9, 2012 – 1:38 pm

Bills DE Shawne Merriman was listed as questionable for this Sunday’s game at New England after sustaining a chest injury in practice Thursday. Head coach Chan Gailey provided an update.

Gailey however, made it sound as though he’d be ready to play Sunday.

“He just got hit in practice,” said Gailey. “He got treatment so you’ve got to put him on the report. He was okay. He did most things at practice (Friday).”

Merriman may have to carry more of the load at defensive end along with Kyle Moore if Chris Kelsay can’t play Sunday after sustaining a neck injury in practice Thursday. Kelsay is listed as questionable as well.


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Spencer, Urbik still limited

Posted by Chris Brown on November 8, 2012 – 4:49 pm

DT Kyle Williams and WR Stevie Johnson weren’t the only limited participants in practice Thursday.

For the second straight day DL Spencer Johnson (ankle) and G Kraig Urbik (foot) were limited in practice. Head coach Chan Gailey however, doesn’t sound concerned about the availability of either player for Sunday’s game at New England.

“They were limited today, but performed well,” said Gailey following Thursday’s practice.

Also limited in practice Thursday was DE Shawne Merriman with a chest injury. He was a new addition to the injury report along with Chris Kelsay and his neck injury.

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Merriman feels burst is better

Posted by Chris Brown on October 26, 2012 – 9:08 am

He hasn’t gotten much playing time to show it yet, but Shawne Merriman feels his burst off the ball is better now than it was back in August.

“Yeah. It’s definitely a lot better,” he said after getting seven plays against the Titans in Week 7. “I’m a lot more comfortable and I guess more than anything else I’m having fun now and that’s the best way I play football to have fun. The same way I did growing up playing in backyard is the same way I feel now. Like I said things are a blessing and things happen for a reason. Now that I get a chance to come back and contribute it’s huge for me.”

The struggle to stay healthy enough to play and make an impact has obviously had an effect on Merriman. It’s clear that he values the opportunity to play more than he ever has. And that is what is likely driving him now.

“It’s an opportunity,” he said of his second go-round with the Bills. “An opportunity I won’t take for granted. An opportunity I get to go out and be a part of something again. We all set a common goal at the start of the season and that goal hasn’t changed.”

When asked about his physical state concerning his Achilles, Merriman brushes it off.

“I feel good. I really don’t even think about it anymore,” Merriman said. “Things became a blessing and now I get a chance to come back and contribute. That’s why they brought me back here to come back and do everything in my power as a player to go out and do what this defense needs me to do.” 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Merriman sees necessary leadership

Posted by Chris Brown on October 24, 2012 – 4:40 pm

Shawne Merriman said he’s been through situations where a side of the ball has been underachieving. So when asked what it takes to pull a unit out of a slump he had an answer.

“Everybody being accountable and as long as we do that we’ll be fine,” said Merriman. “As long as you watch tape and know what you need to improve on and what you need to go out and do better when we come back after this bye week we’ll be fine.”

Merriman was then asked if there’s enough locker room leadership to confront a player that’s not pulling their weight.

“This is a brotherhood in here and you’re not helping the next guy if you don’t pull him aside and say, ‘Hey we need to pick it up.’ We have numerous leaders in here that’s capable of doing that,” he said.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Merriman’s role moving forward

Posted by Chris Brown on October 21, 2012 – 8:01 am

Everyone knows that Shawne Merriman was brought in for pass rush help with Mark Anderson out injured for the foreseeable future. In his weekly conversation on, head coach Chan Gailey outlines Merriman’s role in a bit more detail.

“We’ve lost Mark Anderson for an extended period of time here and we’re looking for who can help us in the pass rush,” said Gailey. “It’s hard to go into a ball game with three defensive ends and think they’re going to be great and fresh the whole time, especially in the fourth quarter. So he’s a guy that can give us some pass rush. If we can play good run defense, 2nd-and-log, 3rd down, whenever we feel passing situations come up we think he’s still got some juice on the pass rush.”

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Fan Friday 10-19

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2012 – 12:54 pm

Here are your questions for this week from and @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Hey Chris,

I really want to like our CB’s, but can you explain why they are both getting burned on numerous plays, and at times they look like they’re not sure where they are supposed to be on the field? Specifically I have seen Stephon Gilmore on TD passes nowhere near the receiver. 

Thank you,
Worried Bills D-Fan
Norwalk, CT

CB: I think what you’re seeing are growing pains with the two young cornerbacks. They’re learning on the job. I think the defensive staff also felt going into the season that the pass rush would be more consistent week to week thereby helping the young corners on the back end by hurrying the passer.

Gilmore and Williams have both been fooled more than once this season, but coaches have to have faith that their play will improve as the year moves along. Gilmore had a good outing against Larry Fitzgerald. As we pointed out in our Tuesday feature, in the five times he was matched up on Fitzgerald in last week’s game he gave up one reception for 14 yards.

I think the second half of the schedule you’ll begin to see more consistent play from both of them, and if that’s not the case some changes are likely to be in order.


2 – Hi  Chris

Please advise when we can expect Cordy Glenn, Spencer Johnson, & Kraig Urbik

to return to the lineup? 

Thanks and regards
Boca Raton, FL

CB: Right now Spencer Johnson is expected to play on Sunday against the Titans coming off his ankle injury. The hope is that Kraig Urbik and Cordy Glenn will be ready for the Week 9 game at Houston following the bye week.


3 – Chris,

Do you really understand the frustration from the fans? It’s been 12 years since we sniffed the playoffs. I wonder when they will replace the GM and HC position. Also, this team is not difficult to pick apart. We have no deep threat receiver so we dink and dunk down the field. It’s just a matter of time before we throw a pick because of timed offense. All the defense has to do is slow our run game and have Fitz hold onto the ball because it’s a matter of time before Fitz makes a mistake. Just watching the games it’s like Buffalo is a step or two behind on mentality, confidence, and being aggressive. I still think Buffalo is maybe 3-5 years from becoming great again but I’m not holding my breath.

CB: I do understand your frustration. I’ve been on hand for every one of those games the last 12 years, so I get it. What you can’t deny is Buddy Nix and his personnel staff have improved the talent of this roster and its depth. I know having patience is something that’s difficult to preach, but if you want to blow up the front office again you re-start the process  of building the team because each GM has a different way of doing things when it comes to building a team.

The Bills did admittedly struggle with their mental toughness in the second half of the New England and San Francisco games, but I don’t know of a game where their mental toughness was challenged more often than the Arizona game and they persevered. We’ll if they can build on that moving forward.

Every NFL club has strengths and weaknesses. The collective records in the AFC with seven teams sporting 3-3 records is strong indication of that, one of which is the Bills.

No one is asking you to hold your breath and again the disappointment is understood. But this team has an opportunity this year and we’re about at the midway point of the season. Let’s let it play out.

4 – Is there a chance that we are bringing back lights out for our SLB position that has been rotated by players who couldn’t lock down the job?

Thanks CB!
Dan Figueroa from CA

CB: No, Merriman will re-assume defensive end duties for the Bills. Merriman needs to be up on the line of scrimmage to be at his most effective.


5 – Hey Chris,

I was wondering, do the bills players receive mail from fans and reply to them?  I was wondering because after last year’s win against the Patriots, Byrd threw his gloves into the stands and I was lucky enough to catch one of them.  I took it to training camp this year but was not able to get to him.  Is there any other way I might be able to get his signature?  I have a few pieces of memorabilia that I have been able to get signed and really would like to add this piece to my collection. 
Thanks for all you and your team do for us Bills fans!

CB: The best course of action there is to send them by regular mail to One Bills Drive addressed to the player’s attention along with a self-addressed stamped envelope for return postage. The best time is during the regular season when you know they’re here in town.

Here’s the address

One Bills Drive
Orchard Park, NY 14127

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Merriman likely to be active Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 17, 2012 – 12:19 pm

Shawne Merriman is going to spend a good amount of time on the scout team Wednesday as he gets back into playing shape, but head coach Chan Gailey hinted that there’s a good chance the defensive end is dressed for Sunday’s game.

“Probably,” said Gailey when asked if Merriman would be active. “But don’t hold me to that just yet. As long as he’s in playing shape and everything goes well this week and he gets back into the flow of things. He’s probably going to be right there on Sunday giving us some help.”

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Merriman grateful to be back

Posted by Chris Brown on October 16, 2012 – 8:24 am

Recently re-signed DE Shawne Merriman was more than happy to be back with the Bills and issued a statement through his personal website. Here’s what he wrote.

First of all, words cannot express the joy I feel to be back with the Buffalo Bills. I feel extremely blessed to be back with this organization and my teammates. Fans in buffalo are very supportive – they have an unconditional love for the team. They expect a lot but they support us no matter what.

Being out of football for these weeks has been tough.. It has seemed like forever… I look forward not only to doing something special for the organization, but I also want to do something special for this city. I especially want to thank the Bills organization and my teammates for the way they brought me back in with open arms. Today was truly a special day that I will never forget because of these special friends.

During my time off, I spent some time in South Florida and also in San Diego. I trained every day hoping for the chance to contribute to the game I love. I didn’t expect to be so lucky to have the chance to come back to the Bills but I am very thankful. In addition to training, I spent time with my son and focused on giving to those less fortunate than myself. In San Diego, I spent time with various charitable organizations, one of which was the Alpha Project that I started working with when I was a rookie. They do great work fighting homelessness. I have assisted them with raising money and helping in other ways over the years. It was great to re-connect with them.

I have been preparing for my annual coat drive at the University of Maryland. I also coached some high school kids to help them get a head start in football. I always enjoy working with up-and-coming young players to help them get to the next level.

In addition to the time I spent training and doing charity work, I have had a chance to reflect on how much I love the game of football… I knew that when I got my next shot, I would not take any minute for granted.
Thank you Bills!

Posted in Inside the Bills

Merriman’s contribution

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2012 – 10:31 am

With the release of veteran Shawne Merriman Monday, most see that there was little that Merriman was able to do on the field in his time with the Bills, due to a chronic injury that never allowed him to return to form. However, there is a mark he did leave on the organization.

Merriman was able to successfully recruit veteran LB Nick Barnett to the Bills last summer as well as LB Kirk Morrison. Barnett went on to have a very productive 2011 for Buffalo, and likely would have been a Pro Bowl LB last season had it not been for Buffalo’s slide out of playoff contention.

Just bringing his name to the Bills roster, Merriman did help to make the team’s reputation on the free agent market a bit more respected.

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Chan on DE Moore

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2012 – 10:12 am

Last week asked Chan Gailey for his thoughts on Kyle Moore thus far this preseason, as he had not only been getting regular reps with the second unit on defense, but was sprinkled in with the first team as well.

“He’s done a good job,” said Gailey last week. “He’s got to learn to play every aspect of the game. That’s his thing right now. Kyle can rush the passer. We’ve got to make sure everything else is in sync with the rest of our football team.”

Moore is the new odds on favorite to be the team’s fourth defensive end behind Mario Williams, Mark Anderson and Chris Kelsay following the release of Shawne Merriman Monday.

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Moore the beneficiary w/Merriman release

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2012 – 9:59 am

With the Bills releasing veteran Shawne Merriman Monday, the door swings open even wider for DE Kyle Moore.

Moore had already been getting more reps in the practice setting than Merriman with the second unit on defense, but it did not finally carry into game action until Friday night’s preseason game. He’s had his moments as a pass rusher, but is still rounding his game into form with respect to defending the run.

The fourth-year pass rusher appeared in four games for the Bills last year and ironically was elevated from the practice squad to the active roster after Merriman was placed on injured reserve.

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Merriman back

Posted by Chris Brown on August 14, 2012 – 5:42 pm

DE Shawne Merriman is back practicing tonight.

He was given a rest day Monday for assorted bumps and bruises. We’ll update you on the level of his participation as practice moves along.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Merriman a spectator

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2012 – 2:14 pm

Bills DE Shawne Merriman is a non-participant this afternoon.

Merriman has his left knee wrapped, but is on the sideline standing and watching practice.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Merriman limited

Posted by Chris Brown on July 29, 2012 – 6:57 pm

Shawne Merriman is limited in his return to practice.

Merriman is not doing any team work after participating in individual position drills.

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Merriman dressed for practice

Posted by Chris Brown on July 29, 2012 – 5:33 pm

Shawne Merriman is dressed for tonight’s practice.

Merriman missed Saturday’s practice after rolling his left ankle Friday. We’ll keep you posted on the extent of his work tonight.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Merriman update

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2012 – 5:07 pm

Shawne Merriman was one of the non-participants at practice due to injury. Head coach Chan Gailey brought us up to speed on his situation after Saturday’s practice.

“He couldn’t go,” said Gailey. “He rolled an ankle yesterday late. He taped it up and finished, but we held him out today. He went through the walk throughs this morning so it’s not like it’s a hobbling thing. We’re going to make sure he’s ready to go before we bring him back.”

Knowing Merriman is coming off Achilles surgery, any injury to the lower legs is going to prompt strict precautionary measures. An injury can cause a player to overcompensate for the ailment and that could put strain on other joints, muscles and perhaps even the Achilles. Gailey made it clear that Merriman pretty much has to be 100 percent before he’s back in the fray.

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Merriman a spectator

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2012 – 2:06 pm

Shawne Merriman is going to be watching this afternoon’s practice.

Merriman hasn’t missed a practice until now. We’ll find out if it’s just a rest day or something more from coach Gailey after practice.

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What to expect this afternoon

Posted by Chris Brown on July 28, 2012 – 11:10 am

There are a couple of lineup changes that we could see on the practice field this afternoon.

Mark Anderson is expected to rotate back in as the starting right defensive end after Chris Kelsay manned that spot at Friday’s practice. Shawne Merriman could eventually be a factor in that competition, but right now appears to be more of a dark horse candidate as he’s been running almost exclusively with the second unit.

At the starting right tackle spot, it doesn’t appear as though Erik Pears will go this afternoon. He did not line up with the first unit at the morning walk through, with Sam Young taking his place. Pears did step out of practice during the final few series in team work Friday, but it was thought to be in an effort to pace his reps coming off of offseason surgery. We’ll check in with head coach Chan Gailey if indeed Pears does not participate in team work this afternoon.

If Sam Young does in fact move up to the first unit this afternoon as Pears injury replacement look for fifth-round pick Zebrie Sanders to man right tackle with the second unit in Young’s place.

Leodis McKelvin was out on the field for morning walk through and looked to have a bounce in his step so it’s anticipated that he’ll be back practicing this afternoon. He left the field early on Thursday due to illness.

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