Inside The Bills

McGee and Rogers to play after halftime

Posted by Chris Brown on August 25, 2012 – 3:45 pm

Both Terrence McGee and Justin Rogers will see their first preseason action this summer against the Steelers tonight, but it won’t be right away.

McGee, who is returning from patellar tendon surgery, and Rogers, who is back from a hamstring injury, will both play in the second half tonight. Both are expected to take the field right at the start of the third quarter.

The coaching staff decided on that approach because it would give both players ample time to warm up at halftime. McGee has often needed 30 to 45 minutes to get his knee warmed up prior to practice so the approach makes sense. Head coach Chan Gailey said both would only see a handful of reps in their first time back out on a game field.

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Plan is for McGee & Rogers to play

Posted by Chris Brown on August 23, 2012 – 5:44 pm

Bills head coach Chan Gailey wanted to see how cornerbacks Terrence McGee and Justin Rogers came through the practice week. Following Thursday’s practice Gailey said both will get a chance to play Saturday night against Pittsburgh.

“We’re going to try to play both of them yes,” said Gailey. “Unless something major happened today or between now and game time we’re going to try to play both of them. Not too much, just enough to get their feet wet a little bit.”

“Right now I really haven’t hit anybody so I have to get back to that,” McGee told

For Rogers he’s expected to line up in the slot Saturday night as the Bills don’t want him covering any long routes to put any undue strain on his recovered hamstring.

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McGee’s lengthy routine

Posted by Chris Brown on August 22, 2012 – 7:20 am

While Terrence McGee may be finally ready to see some game action this weekend against Pittsburgh, there are a lot of things that fans don’t see when it comes to players’ efforts to get themselves ready for work on the practice field every day. For players coming off long rehabs like Terrence McGee it is a lengthy process just to get his surgically repaired knee ready for the daily work of practice.

“Some days are better than other days, but I’ve got to get out here 30 to 45 minutes before practice just to warm it up just to be able to practice,” McGee told after practice Tuesday. 

McGee is often warming his knee up on the stationary bike. After participating in individual position drills with his teammates, McGee will often step to the sideline and work ladder drills with strength and conditioning coach Eric Ciano for 15-20 minutes. Then he’ll re-insert himself into practice and get some team work in.

He’s been running primarily with the second team defense at his familiar left cornerback position.

“You’ve got up and down days, but for the most part I’ve seen some progress with it,” he said.

As for seeing action this weekend McGee is still awaiting word, but knows he’ll see game action either this Saturday or the following Thursday.

“They haven’t said anything yet, so I wouldn’t count it out and I wouldn’t say yes,” he said.

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No go for McGee

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2012 – 6:32 pm

The Bills are out on the field warming up for tonight’s preseason contest against the Vikings, but Terrence McGee is not dressed. In fact he didn’t make the trip.

McGee was a consideration to play earlier in the week, but he’s still not far enough back from patellar tendon knee surgery.

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McGee update

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2012 – 6:17 pm

Bills CB Terrence McGee is battling his way back from a torn patellar tendon and major knee surgery. He’s been used sparingly with the second unit in team work and has done a lot of work on the side with the strength and conditioning staff as well. Head coach Chan Gailey provided an update on his progress.

“When you talk about percentages of where he is he gains a percentage or two every day,” said Gailey of McGee. “He never makes a jump of 10-15 percent so it’s slowly but surely coming. He can do most everything except a couple of things in his movements.”

McGee is clearly not moving like he is when fully healthy, though his lateral agility is improved. Still, it would be a surprise if he dressed for Friday night’s preseason game.

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Can’t knock McGee’s effort

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2012 – 7:43 pm

Terrence McGee is laboring in his efforts to return to full strength. He’s at practice early every day loosening up his surgically repaired knee and doing extra strength work. It just looks as if the process is going to take some patience.

“Terrence is getting a little better,” said Chan Gailey. “He’s not … he couldn’t play if we had to play today. But he’s getting a little better. It’s not big leaps, no major breakthroughs on Terrence’s help. It’s little gains that we’re making right now.”

McGee takes team reps in 7-on-7 mainly with almost no 11-on-11 reps. The progress has been incremental, but knowing there’s more than a month before the season opener the Bills seem satisfied with small but steady steps forward.

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Fan Friday 7-27

Posted by Chris Brown on July 27, 2012 – 11:05 am

Alright Bills fans, training camp is underway! Time to get to your questions from, and keep them coming. You can also fire off questions to @chrisbrownbills on twitter if that’s easier. Let’s get going.

1 – Chris,

I understand that Mario Williams is going to do fine in the new 4-3 scheme being installed in Buffalo, but can any comparison be made to how Jason Taylor was used in Miami under Wannstedt?  If so, can you break down how you see him being used and what type of scheme Miami used with Taylor.  Were they just turning Taylor loose to use his ability?  How did the other players on that Miami front 7 compare to the ones in Buffalo?
Rochester, NY

CB: The only real similarity between Jason Taylor and Mario Williams is their height. Both are 6’6”, but as far as body type, style of game and fit in a defense they’re vastly different. Williams at 292 pounds is an Adonis that has uncharacteristic athletic ability for his size. Though he has good speed around the edge, he has a great power game as well. Add in his solid run stopping ability and he really is the total package.

Taylor was a pass rusher first and foremost and did what he could to help against the run, but he played about 50 pounds lighter than Williams.

If anyone on Buffalo’s roster has a role similar to that of Jason Taylor I would expect it to be Mark Anderson. Wannstedt feels Anderson’s quick feet are comparable to those of Taylor, and he’s lining up on the same side of the formation at right defensive end.

So if you’re looking for a pass rusher that’s going to do similar things I’d tell you to watch Anderson.


2 – Chris,
 Once again, thanks for the work you do.  Simple question, I always hear the team talk about how different Stevie runs his routes. Can you explain what makes him different? How hard is it for a receiver with a “different” style of running to make it in the NFL, is Fitz just that kind of QB who can handle what other QB’s cant? I guess just over all what makes Stevie special at his position?
displaced fan in AZ 

CB: What makes Stevie unique is his route running. For decades most receivers focus on the precision of their routes to make their cuts as sharp as possible to gain the necessary separation. The thought being if my routes are as sharp as they can be every single time, I give myself a better chance to gain separation and make a play.

Of course that precision in some ways can also become predictable, making a receiver easier to read and scout and prepare for in a given game.

Stevie is the exact opposite of precision. The way he runs routes is very unconventional. When he runs a comeback or a dig it’s very rarely the same route twice. Johnson uses stutter steps, hesitation, shoulder fakes, side steps and just about every other trick in his bag to gain separation and make a play.

Fortunately for him he has a head coach that’s only concerned that he get to the spot where he’s supposed to be on time. He doesn’t care how he gets there, just as long as he does when the ball is arriving in his timing-oriented offense.

So Stevie has the freedom to improvise his routes so long as they stay within the framework of the offensive system.

This is confounding to defensive backs, even some of the best (See: Revis) because there is no effective way to prepare for Johnson. Rarely does he run a route the same way twice over the course of several weeks let alone a single game. So it’s almost impossible for cornerbacks to anticipate what is coming putting them at a distinct disadvantage.


3 – Chris,
How does Mario Williams compare to Bruce Smith?


CB: That is not as easy a question as it sounds. I think the two were both physical freaks. Uncommonly athletic for men their size while also possessing an unnatural amount of strength. As talented as Mario Williams is he’s got an awful lot more to do in this league to measure up to the all-time sack leader, but there aren’t many other defensive ends over the last 25 years that can match the rare physical abilities of both men.

Lawrence Taylor is one of the few that come to mind.


4 – Chris,

How do you see the cornerback position shaking out? Will they start Gilmore and McGee (if healthy) or might they go with Williams regardless of McGee’s health? Do you believe McKelvin is expendable with Rogers and Brooks pushing hard from behind? Would they keep just 5? Is there anybody on the roster right now who might crack into the top 6 (Gilmore, Williams, McGee, Rogers, McKelvin, Brooks) and push another out? Thanks for your time!

Chris in Binghamton
CB: I think Terrence McGee has some ground to cover in his return from a torn patellar tendon. He’s got some time, but not a lot. The problem with his situation is they can’t wait on McGee very long because if he can’t play effectively they have to make sure they have Aaron Williams ready to start.

As I see it McGee is the only guy that can overtake Williams at left cornerback with Gilmore a virtual lock to start from day one at right cornerback. Leodis McKelvin looks like a guy they want to move inside to the slot for the nickel package.

I like Justin Rogers’ skill set and believe he could be a bigger contributor this year, but covering slot receivers might be the best fit for him. So against four wide sets he could cover the other slot receiver assuming McKelvin is the primary slot defender.

I think Brooks also makes the roster. He’s a top flight physical talent and in my mind has the fastest feet of all the corners. I want to see how he holds up though when the pads go on because he is not the biggest guy. Those are your top 6 and yes, I think keeping six is a distinct possibility with another likely on the practice squad.


5 – Chris,

If Shawne Merriman returns to form (or even gets close to it) and has a productive season for the Bills this season, will Buddy Nix try offering him a contract extension? Thanks! 

Fredericksburg, VA

CB: I think the Bills have a lot of decisions to make on a bunch of players heading into contract years. Most notably Andy Levitre, Jairus Byrd and Kraig Urbik. David Nelson is also a restricted free agent. Those players, who all have a longer career in front of them than Merriman, are likely to get priority when it comes to extensions.

If Merriman is productive I would anticipate the Bills trying to keep him, but it’s not a one player decision.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

McGee still shy of 100%

Posted by Chris Brown on July 26, 2012 – 12:09 pm

Bills veteran CB Terrence McGee had training camp as his target return date from the torn patellar tendon he suffered against Miami in Week 11 last season. He will be practicing this afternoon, but he still doesn’t believe he’s all the way back physically.

“I’m not 100 percent, but at the same time I’m able to get out there and compete and do some things so I’m happy about that,” said McGee.

When asked how happy he is to be participating again, McGee downplayed it.

“It’s alright,” he said. “I’m one of those players that want to go out there and play my best. I don’t want to go out there and do anything halfway. You go out there against guys against guys like Steve Johnson, you don’t want to go half. You want to be 100 percent with guys like that. I can’t wait to get to that point.”

McGee did not provide a timetable as to when he’ll once and for all be in top physical form.

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Good sign for rehabbing vets

Posted by Chris Brown on July 25, 2012 – 4:57 pm

The target date to be back in the fold for the likes of rehabbing veterans Terrence McGee, Torell Troup and Eric Wood was the start of training camp. After Wednesday’s conditioning workout for the balance of the roster, head coach Chan Gailey is encouraged that all three will be in the fold for practice Thursday afternooon.

“Troup, Wood and Terrence McGee all went through conditioning and made it through and did pretty good,” said Gailey. “I think we’ll be smart with all three of them. I think Troup is the furthest along of the three, but I thought all three of those guys looked good out here to start with.”

In all likelihood McGee, Troup and Wood will all be given time off whether it’s in reps, segments of practice or a whole practice day depending on each case. We’ll monitor the level of participation for all three on Thursday.

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McGee, Wood update

Posted by Chris Brown on June 21, 2012 – 4:48 pm

Terrence McGee and Eric Wood did not participate at all in the spring practices, but both are on track to be ready for training camp.

Head coach Chan Gailey however, indicated that while both should be cleared they may not have a full workload right from the start.

“Yes they’ll be ready,” Gailey said. “Now whether they can practice every day, it might be every other day to start with and then work them slowly in, but I expect them to be ready to go at camp.”

Other players expected to return to the practice setting in training camp that are coming off offseason surgeries include RT Erik Pears and DT Torell Troup.

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McGee on his veteran influences

Posted by Chris Brown on May 23, 2012 – 9:43 am

As the elder statesman of the cornerback group, Terrence McGee knows the younger corners will be asking him questions from time to time seeking knowledge about the game. McGee never did that himself as a rookie back in 2003. He just watched the veterans practice and play, and the one he watched most was Antoine Winfield.

“He’s one of the best cornerbacks I’ve ever seen so I would watch him and wanted to be like him,” said McGee, who was a rookie during Winfield’s last season in Buffalo. “If you watched him the way he tackled, even the way he did drills. He would do the drills perfect and it would make you sick because you would have to follow him in front of the coach. The way he broke on the ball, he just did everything you would want a corner to do. He was cat quick and just a real good corner.”

Nate Clements was also on the roster at the time and was a bigger playmaker than Winfield in terms of interceptions, but Winfield was rarely beaten for big plays, while Clements was more of a risk taker and would get beat deep from time to time. McGee knew who was better to pattern his game after, even though initially he was a bit conflicted.

“When I was here you would see Nate make all the plays and interceptions, but watching Antoine that was the guy you wanted to be like,” McGee said. “Of course you also wanted to make the type of plays that Nate made.”

A couple of years later Troy Vincent was on the roster and he was quick to mentor young players like McGee.

“A person who was really vocal and would tell you things on his own was Troy Vincent,” said McGee. “He’d give me advice. You’re going to listen to Troy. He was a great corner and a veteran guy. You’re going to listen to whatever he says. He could’ve told me to eat at McDonald’s every day and I probably would’ve done it. You definitely listen to a guy like that.”

McGee doesn’t feel like things are different now that he’s one of those vets, but he’s willing to provide answers to the younger corners that are looking for them.

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McGee’s health the big factor

Posted by Chris Brown on February 22, 2012 – 11:27 pm

The restructured contract for Terrence McGee that was announced by the Bills on Wednesday likely came about for one reason and one reason only.

In a word, health. The past three years have been nothing but bad luck for McGee, who has dealt with knee injuries, sciatic nerve problems and hamstring and patellar tendon injuries that compromised his availability week to week for Buffalo. All told McGee in the past three seasons has appeared in 26 of a possible 48 games, and has wound up on injured reserve two of the last three years.

A prideful player, it’s not surprising that McGee accepted the restructured terms, which are likely more incentive laden in nature based on his availability week to week. At age 31 McGee is still a skillful player. Now his body just has to allow him to put those skills on display.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Top 10 Honorable Mentions

Posted by Chris Brown on February 21, 2012 – 8:19 am

With our Top 10 Performances of 2011 series coming to a close today, we thought it would only be appropriate to list some of the performances from this past season that received honorable mention status and narrowly missed being a part of the series.

2011 Honorable Mention Performances
Brian Moorman Wk 4 at Cin (8 punts 413 yds, 51.6 gross, 40.5 net, 2 inside 20, long 65)
Bryan Scott Wk 1 at KC (8 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 1 QB hit)
Fred Jackson Wk 2 vs. Oak (15-117, 2 TDs, 2 rec. 23 yds)
Fred Jackson Wk 6  at NYG (16-121-1 TD rush, 5-47 rec.)
Stevie Johnson Wk 2 vs. Oak (8-96, 1 TD)
Stevie Johnson Wk 3 vs. N.E. (8-94, 1 TD)
George Wilson Wk 3 vs. NE (10 tackles, 1 INT)
George Wilson Wk 4 at Cin (12 tackles, 1 INT)
George Wilson Wk 8 vs. Wash. (9 tackles, 1 INT)
Jairus Byrd Wk 3 vs. NE (12 tackles, 2 PBUs)
Nick Barnett Wk 8 vs. Wash. (10 tackles, ½ sack, 1 QB hit)
Terrence McGee Wk 6 at NYG (11 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 PBUs)
Ryan Fitzpatrick Wk 12 at NYJ (26-39 264, 3 TDs)
C.J. Spiller Wk 16 vs. Den (16-111-1 TD rush, 2-27 rec.)
Leodis McKelvin/Justin Rogers Wk 16 vs. Denver (McKelvin sets PR record, 80-yd TD, Rogers 33.7 KR avg.)

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Williams to see slot work?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 23, 2011 – 1:02 pm

Head coach Chan Gailey confirmed that Aaron Williams will start at LCB in place of Terrence McGee who went on injured reserve Tuesday. The question is will he move into the slot just as McGee did when Buffalo goes to their nickel package?

When Terrence McGee was out of the lineup the first three games of the season, Aaron Williams filled his role in the slot on nickel packages, while Leodis McKelvin manned the LCB position. Now with McKelvin a bit lower on the depth chart Williams will start in McGee’s place at LCB. But will he move into the slot in nickel situations again?

Even Williams isn’t sure.

“I honestly don’t know,” Williams told “At the same time at the very beginning of the season I was Terrence’s backup. The first few games when I was playing when he was hurt I was in the slot.”

If called upon to play in the slot, Williams insists he’s ready.

“I’m not rusty at all being at nickel,” he said. “I got some playing time at corner. If I have to do both that’s fine. I love doing it. I’ve played multiple positions since high school.”

In all likelihood Williams starts at LCB and in nickel situations he’ll move into the slot and then either McKelvin or fellow rookie Justin Rogers comes on to play the boundary corner position.

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McKelvin’s role up in the air

Posted by Chris Brown on November 21, 2011 – 3:58 pm

Leodis McKelvin spent most of Sunday afternoon in Miami on the sidelines as rookies Aaron Williams and Justin Rogers went on the field defensively instead, even after the season-ending injury to Terrence McGee. Head coach Chan Gailey was asked Monday if McKelvin will remain at the back end of the depth chart.

“That remains to be seen,” said Gailey. “Obviously with the injury that changes things. We’ll see how that goes.”

McKelvin said last week that he’s determined to climb out of the slump that he’s been in, but whether he gets the opportunity to make good on the field this Sunday against the Jets looks like a wait and see situatoin.

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McGee having surgery this morning

Posted by Chris Brown on November 21, 2011 – 10:41 am

Bills CB Terrence McGee, who suffered a season-ending knee injury Sunday is having surgery this morning.

That according to teammate Jairus Byrd, who was passing along well wishes via his twitter account.

jairusbyrd Praying for T.mcgee surgery this morning

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Bills far from happy with 4-2 mark

Posted by Chris Brown on October 16, 2011 – 9:30 pm

Entering the bye week several players were asked for their assessment of where the team sits and if they’re happy with a 4-2 record. Most were far from satisfied.

“4-2 is not bad, but we want those wins,” said Terrence McGee. “To me it’s still early in the season. We’ve still got 10 games left so there’s nothing about 4-2 to get too happy about.”

“I can’t say I’m happy being 4-2 because we had a game today we could’ve won and been 5-1,” said Nick Barnett. “It’s not the worst record you can have for right now at 4-2. We still have a lot of games ahead of us and a lot of opportunities to win games, 10 of them. So to let this get us out of our groove or our momentum we’re not going to do that. We’ve got some good people in this locker room and we’ll grow from this. Is 4-2 a good place to be going into the bye week? Yeah, but we feel like we could’ve been 5-1.”

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McGee getting full workload

Posted by Chris Brown on October 16, 2011 – 10:51 am

Bills CB Terrence McGee has been out for five weeks, but he’s got a full workload today against the Giants.

McGee is starting at his familiar LCB spot. Heading into today’s game it wasn’t clear if McGee would only play in nickel packages in the slot, but he’s going to play on the boundary on the left side when the Giants only go two receivers (pro set), but in 3 wide and more McGee will move into the slot and McKelvin will come on and play in McGee’s outside LCB spot.

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McGee ready for slot work

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2011 – 11:12 am

Bills CB Terrence McGee will be in the lineup this Sunday when the Bills face the Giants at MetLife Stadium. The only question is how big his role will be.

Coming off a five week layoff the defensive staff may not yet want to put him out on the boundary at cornerback full time. Instead they may just use him in the slot in the team’s nickel packages. It’s a role he was given in training camp whenever the first team offense went three wide.

“I’m anticipating it,” said McGee of the nickel corner role with respect to Sunday’s game. “I’m not too sure how they’re going to do it with me coming back, if I’ll be at corner or slot or playing both, but I definitely expect to do that because coming in that was my role.”

It appears to be a matter of when and not if for McGee. So if the staff chooses to only have him play a nickel corner role this week, then a full time boundary corner/nickel corner role would likely wait until after the bye week.


Posted in Inside the Bills

McGee gets green light

Posted by Chris Brown on October 10, 2011 – 3:24 pm

Bills CB Terrence McGee was active for Sunday’s game against the Eagles, but he never took the field in the 31-24 win. That won’t be the case this coming Sunday when the Bills travel to the Meadowlands to play the Giants.

Bills head coach Chan Gailey explained the approach the staff took with McGee on Sunday and the plan moving forward.

“We were trying not to play him,” said Gailey. “We were trying to get through the game without playing him and if we could let him have one more week of getting completely healthy all the better. He’ll play this week.”

Whether McGee re-assumes his starting left cornerback position or fills the slot role in Buffalo’s nickel package as he did at times in training camp remains to be seen.

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