Bills' free agent outlook: Best to resolve Jairus Byrd's status quickly [1:58 AM]
USA Today reports: 'The team should probably consider making a run at a wideout, especially given the sagging production of Stevie Johnson, a potential cap casualty. If Chandler leaves, targeting a young tight end like Garrett Graham would make sense. Outside linebacker is an issue, but that may have to wait until the draft.'
Franchise tag deadline coming for Bills [1:58 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '“We have to leave every option on the table open,” said Whaley when asked if making use of the franchise tag was still an option. “When you’re trying to keep a good player you’re going to try every means necessary to keep him.”'
Buddy Nix still earning his keep with the Bills [1:59 AM]
Chattanooga Times Free Press reports: '"But when I stepped down as GM last year, I made a deal that I didn't have to travel unless I wanted to," he said. "Thanks to technology, I can pretty much do everything from my home office that I could do if I was there. And if I want to, I've got workout equipment at home or I can play nine quick holes at Council Fire."'
10 Bills takeaways from the 2014 NFL Combine [1:58 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'There's a reason every decision maker and agent travel to Indianapolis each and every year, and it's not just for the workouts and agent conferences.'
Marrone wants same defense, only better [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“Some things we have to do is stop the run better, which we didn’t do a good job of last year. We all know that,” Marrone said. “Touchdown passes, we gave up quite a few. Some of the third-and-long situations … There was going to be change in those areas.''
Bills coaches want to change training staff [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Sources said at the combine that the coaching staff is weary of Carpenter’s old-school methodology. These sources believe Carpenter’s “stim and ice” therapy is too outdated for today’s athlete.'
Can’t stay mad at TSHOF’s Thurman Thomas [1:57 AM]
Waco Tribune Herald reports: '“People ask me when I knew Thurman Thomas was going to be a special player, and I tell them it was when I saw him play for Missouri City Junior High,” said Neal Quillin, Thomas’ coach at Willowridge. “I knew then he was going to make a huge difference for our team.”'
Controversy greets Pettine with Cleveland [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Pettine’s second and third questions on Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine were about the Harbaugh report.'
Bills’ plan for first round: Any position but QB [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“We’re very happy with Thad Lewis,” Whaley said. “One of the things that Russ Brandon said that John Butler always told him is, ‘In your backup quarterback, you want a guy to go .500.’ Now, he went 2-3. Is that good enough? Obviously not. You’d rather him go 5-0.'
Scouting combine is critical to Fluellen’s future [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills announced they will meet with Jairus Byrd’s agent today to discuss what it will take to re-sign the Pro Bowl safety. Bills General Manager Doug Whaley wouldn’t say today whether the club has decided to use the franchise tag on Byrd for a second straight year.'
Saturday looms large for Byrd's future with Bills [1:57 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'If the talks do not go well between the Bills and Parker about Byrd, then Buffalo's likeliest course of action would be to franchise tag the safety for the second consecutive year. This time around, however, it would be in an effort to not let Byrd walk out the door of One Bills Drive without any compensation for a player that is considered to be one of the best at his position.'
QB needy teams should help Bills at 9 [1:56 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '“We don’t know exactly which way teams are going to go, but if those quarterbacks go before us that’s a positive in pushing some of that talent down to us at nine,” Bills GM Doug Whaley told Buffalobills.com.'
Bills to talk with Byrd's agent and other UFAs [1:55 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '“Russ Brandon and Jim Overdorf do a great job of meeting with all of our prospective free agents here at the Combine,” said GM Doug Whaley, who will also be part of contract talks with player agents. “Before we got here we set a priority list and set the parameters of value that we have on each of these guys and we’ll go from there and see what they think.”'
Defensive changes will be subtle to promote progress [4:45 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '“I’ve been getting a lot of questions about 3-4 and 4-3, and last year, if you look at what we were, we really played an under defense,” Marrone said. “We really had four down linemen in the game the whole time. We had an outside linebacker on the ball and we played with two linebackers on the line of scrimmage."'
Bills' Marrone reacts quickly to change [4:01 PM]
The Sports Xchange reports: '"I wound up texting Stevie and he got back to me, we had a great conversation," Marrone said. "I told Stevie, 'Listen, I'm excited about getting started with you. I'm excited about you coming in and being healthy and getting this team going. Whatever else you're hearing is not coming from me. But if you hear anything else make sure you call me.''
Bills HC Doug Marrone happy to see O'Brien in NFL [3:57 PM]
HoustonTexans.com reports: 'Both worked as Georgia Tech, where Marrone introduced O’Brien to his future wife Colleen. The two worked together as assistant coaches on offense before parting ways. After two more college coaching positions, O'Brien and Marrone reached the NFL as assistants. They moved up the ranks to offensive coordinator jobs, Marrone with the Saints and O’Brien with the Patriots.'
Bills head coach Doug Marrone with some NFL advice for his friend Bill O'Brien [3:56 PM]
Harrisburg Patriot News reports: '“I think the biggest insight that you gain is the origin of these players, meaning that you’re able to go back and to go into high schools, going into homes of these players,” Marrone said when asked about the differences going from a college program back to the NFL. “We don’t have that opportunity here obviously, we get them at the NFL combine. When you get into more of the background when you’re in their homes and you see the challenges that they have or the adversity that they had to overcome.”'
Bills coach thinks Jim Schwartz's experience as head coach will be asset in Buffalo [3:53 PM]
Detroit News reports: '“Especially having myself come from the offensive side of the ball most of my career, I look at people and I say to myself, 'Who did I not like going against?'” Marrone said at the NFL combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.'
Bills' Marrone gave Byrd high praise to management [3:51 PM]
WGR-AM reports: '"After the season was over, my evaluation, I told [Jairus] what I was gonna go to management with," the head coach said. "I told Jairus, I have nothing but great things to say. I have nothing but great things to recommend. And then now, that goes to Doug Whaley and then it goes to management and then they try to come up with something and try to see what's best for both parties. But, I love him. I really do. He did an outstanding job for us."'
NFL gathers in Indy for combine [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“From my perspective, this is the deepest and best draft class I’ve seen in probably 10 years. That’s been reinforced by most of the general managers and scouts I’ve talked to throughout the league,” said NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, one of the most respected national talent evaluators. “I had one GM tell me the other day that having a top-20 pick this year is very similar to having a top 10 pick last year.'
5 Bills things to watch at the NFL Combine [1:58 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The Buffalo Bills come into the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine with a much different mentality than they did in 2013, but the importance to get it right is as high as ever.'
Bills may be able to wait on offensive tackle [1:57 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '“There's more quality at the top end of this draft than I've seen in a long time and from a position standpoint,” Mayock said. “I think offensive tackle is particularly deep. You can go three rounds, four rounds deep this year, and get a starting offensive tackle.”'
Marrone and staff ahead of game in Year Two [4:12 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '“You have a better feel for the players,” Marrone told Buffalobills.com. “We have a lot of players that are coming back on this team. I got a chance to know quite a few of them at all different levels not just what you see on the field. I think in turn they got a chance to know me. Everyone knows the direction we want to head and what the challenges are and where we have to go. We’re excited we’re now working for 2014.”'
Will Byrd receive yet another franchise tag? [11:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Although being deemed your team’s “franchise” player sounds like an honor, players don’t view it that way. Franchise tags take away a player’s chance — many players consider it a right — to discover what their value is on the open market.'
Admar Supply inks deal with the Bills [3:26 AM]
Rochester Business Journal reports: 'Admar will offer the subcontractors on the renovation project access to necessary construction equipment, including aerial lifts, light towers, generators and earth movers, officials said. The company already has lifts, light towers and generators onsite during the season.'
Pagac has ties to top linebackers [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“We’ve had a lot of good players,” said Pagac. “I think the things the majority of them have in common are: No. 1, they were good people. No. 2, they loved football. And No. 3, they all thought football. They were very football intelligent. That’s very important.”'
Downing knows Manuel very well [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“I’m excited about it, because he’s so hungry to be great,” Downing said this week of Manuel, in his introduction to the Western New York media. “He wants to do the little things well. He wants to prepare better than any quarterback in the league. He really has that drive and that motivation to be great.”'
Can Buffalo afford a new stadium for Bills? [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The most realistic solution to keeping the Bills in Buffalo, some say, could be a major renovation or rebuild of Ralph Wilson Stadium, probably costing half of the $800 million or more needed to build a new stadium.'
Bills assistant Hostler will try to keep offense a step ahead [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“We’re going to use Jim in this role,” explained Bills head coach Doug Marrone. “Here’s someone who’s always working ahead for us, a day ahead, schematically during the year. He’s someone who has experience at all the skill positions. He has coached receivers, coached quarterbacks. He will have his input in helping young players progress in those groups.”'
Bills blending new voices in offensive room [1:58 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '“Both of them have a great background in football knowledge,” Marrone told Buffalobills.com. “It’s great for us because you bring in two people who are very bright and very smart. They’ve been around for a while and both have had success. So you bring them in and you’re talking about teaching them a system, and who better to evaluate a system than two guys coming in. What are the weaknesses of the system? What are the strengths of the system? What can we do to make it better? That’s the process we’re going through right now.”'
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