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Buffalo Bills News - March 23, 2017

Marker Leonard Johnson brings a working knowledge of Sean McDermott's defense to Buffalo [9:17 PM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I just love being able to go out and play with confidence in my strengths," Johnson said in a conference call with the Western New York media this week. "Any time you can go out and play without thinking, you’re playing fast and you enjoy playing the game. When coach introduced the defense to me, it was almost like ‘man, it’s simple,’ but at the same time it can be a little bit challenging learning the terminology and just knowing where to be at the right time, but it eliminates all the thinking of it.

Marker CBS report suggests all is not well with Sean McDermott-Doug Whaley pairing [9:17 PM]
Buffalo News reports: '“I continue to hear that new Bills coach Sean McDermott has growing cache with ownership and that team could be bringing in vice presidents and/or personnel figures with ties to the coach in the near future,” La Canfora writes. “Panthers director of player personnel is someone particularly well thought of who could end up in Buffalo after the draft in one capacity or another. There are already rumblings that the marriage of McDermott and Bills Gm Doug Whaley likely isn’t built to last.”'

Marker Bills announce offseason workout schedule [9:16 PM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills announced Thursday that their offseason program will indeed start that day. The rest of the team's offseason program is as follows, with the dates listed being those open to the media. There is no public viewing during spring practices – typically one of the sessions per week is open to reporters...'.

Marker New practice field for Bills will be on Erie County land [9:15 PM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The property will now be rolled into the 197-acre stadium complex already owned by Erie County, which includes New Era Field, the Bills' Field House and other practice facilities.'

Marker Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor among 9 players who won free agency, says NFL.com [9:06 PM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"Taylor has been a good quarterback -- completing 62.6 percent of his passes for 6,058 yards, a 94.2 passer rating and a TD-to-INT ratio of 37:12 in two seasons as the Bills starter -- and a legit leader. I think he can elevate his game even more now that former coach Rex Ryan is gone and discipline will be restored in Buffalo -- the team won't be penalized like it was last year, when it racked up 127 penalties costing a total of 960 yards. Sean McDermott is a worker, and it goes noted he rightly wanted Taylor back. Taylor won't have to worry about being used as a pawn in a mind-numbing and unfair game between Ryan and GM Doug Whaley.'

Marker Report: Bills not done making changes [9:04 PM]
Batavia Daily News reports: 'The 43-year-old first time head coach has since become the face of the organization in regard to public relations. CBS also states that McDermott and Whaley’s relationship “likely isn’t built to last,” suggesting McDermott has the upper hand within the organization.'

Marker Bills begin offseason workouts April 3 [8:49 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The exact dates of all the team's offseason workouts will be announced at a later date, but along with knowing the first date players will begin work, the team announced media availability for players and coaches for...'.

Marker Changes coming to Bills front office? [8:46 PM]
WKBW-TV reports: 'As for Whaley, he survived even though Rex Ryan did not. Plus, he was not the man that hired McDermott (that was Terry and Kim Pegula), so there are no obvious ties that are keeping him to see out the entire McDermott era.'

Marker Lifelong Bills fan takes home a piece of Bills history [8:39 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '“Well, we’ve got three or four ideas,” said Brandt. “But the main thing is the Bills cave. I’ve got all sorts of Bills memorabilia from over the years, including some things from the ‘60s. We thought [about" target="_blank"> designing a whole bar around it—my daughter is very creative so she is going to design one and sketch one out…So until we get him home and see where he is comfortable…we are going to have to play it by ear.”'

Marker Ryan Groy ready to tackle whatever Bills throw at him [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“I’m super excited to be back. My wife and I love Buffalo,” Groy said during a conference call with the Western New York media this week. “People have always been super welcoming, reminds us a lot of back home in Wisconsin, midwestern people.”'

Marker Mock Draft Roundup III: A look at who's being projected to the Bills [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Here is our second mock draft roundup of 2017...'.

Marker Jerry Sullivan's Power Take: Zach's stats don't move the market [1:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Brown was second in the NFL with 149 tackles. He was a nice pickup for Doug Whaley at $1.25 million. But defensive stats can be misleading. They don't tell you how many tackles he missed. The Bills' defensive record against potent offenses tells you why he wasn't rated higher among free agents.'

Marker Jay Skurski's 3 Bills thoughts: A TE at 10? A Fitz Reunion? What's left of the free agents [1:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'While Howard's athleticism gives talent evaluators hope that he can be used as a receiver, that's still a projection because of how much time he spent blocking at Alabama. While he's an excellent prospect, Howard makes more sense for a team that utilizes the tight end more and hasn't already committed such a big salary to a player at the position, like the Bills have done with Clay.'

Marker New Buffalo Bills receiver Andre Holmes early favorite to start [1:55 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“It was a great opportunity to come to Buffalo and compete, the opportunity to compete to make a big impact on a team that is definitely on its way up,” Holmes said the other day after signing a three-year, $6.5 million contract. “Especially with the new coaching staff and everything and then also the security of having a long-term deal, helps out with that, too. That is kind of where my mindset was at as far as agreeing to terms with Buffalo. I can help the team a little bit more than maybe I had in the past two years. Every player feels that way and I’m no different.”'

Marker 2017 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper Jr. gives Buffalo Bills top-ranked receiver [1:54 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"After losing Robert Woods to the Rams in free agency, the Bills have a clear need at receiver. And if Williams falls to No. 10, Buffalo would be getting a guy with a much higher ceiling than Woods, not to mention another Clemson wideout to go alongside Sammy Watkins. Williams' pro day moved him back to being my top-ranked receiver. His 40-yard dash was the question, and he ran right around 4.50, which is what he needed. Production wasn't the issue -- Williams (6-4, 218) had 98 catches for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns. Quarterback could still be in play here, too, with the Bills committing to Tyrod Taylor with limited guaranteed money."'

Marker EJ Manuel looks back on Buffalo benching: 'I had to humble myself' [1:53 AM]
CBS Sports reports: 'It’s pretty rare to see a first-round quarterback benched as definitively as Manuel was, so it’s understandable that he had a fairly difficult time dealing with it, especially given that he was still only 24 years old at the time. A few years removed from the decision, Manuel appears to have gained some perspective on it, and that’s pretty healthy. He’s certainly kept rolling, to use his phrasing, and he’s still in the league as a backup. Maybe he’ll get another opportunity at some point.'

Marker NFL Mock Draft No. 2 (3/22/17) [1:52 AM]
WKBW-TV reports: '10) **TRADE (from BUF) - RB Leonard Fournette, LSU.'

Marker Bills want tax break on new practice field [1:51 AM]
WKBW-TV reports: 'Taxes on the property are $1,600 per year.'

Marker Bills pool table fetches $8K at auction [1:50 AM]
WKBW-TV reports: 'The name of the buyer is not being released, but TMZ says they are a "huge Bills fan" from New York City.'

Marker Bills Today: Zach Brown visiting Bills [1:49 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Bills linebacker Zach Brown has met with the Raiders and Dolphins on free agent visits over the past week. Today he’s meeting with the team he played for last season. Buffalobills.com has confirmed that Brown is in town and meeting with Buffalo’s new coaching staff.'

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March 22, 2017

Marker After false start, Andre Holmes embracing opportunity with Bills [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Whether it was paperwork, or mishandled paperwork, I'm not really sure," Holmes said. "I'll just kind of leave that to the NFLPA" to explain "what exactly happened. As far as my side, I just saw that there was a report that I signed and I just wanted to put out there nothing had happened yet, because my phone was ringing and that kind of stuff.'

Marker Zach Brown changes agents, is scheduled to visit Bills [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It's unusual to see a player "visit" his former team in free agency, although it makes a little more sense in this case since the Bills have a new coaching staff under Sean McDermott.'

Marker Should Erie County own a Buffalo Bills practice field? [1:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"You're taking three acres of property off the tax rolls and giving the Buffalo Bills another tax break," said Legislature Majority Leader Joseph C. Lorigo, C-West Seneca. "The point isn't the dollar amount. It's the principle. We shouldn't be giving additional tax breaks to NFL teams."'

Marker Jay Skurski's 3 Bills thoughts: WR at No. 10, Groy a RT option, plenty of roster spots open [1:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Given the state of free agency, the draft is the best avenue left for the Bills to find that player. It's a toss up between wide receiver and cornerback as to which position is the biggest remaining area of need on the roster, but given the perceived depth of the defensive backs in this year's class, I'd lean toward making wide receiver the choice at 10th overall. In fact, I don't think it can afford to be anything else. Teams always say they want the "best player available" and don't draft for need, but I've never bought into that.'

Marker Buffalo Bills named AFC East's 'top contender' to make a run in 2017 by NFL.com [1:55 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"Before Dolphins fans go nuts, it was close," Schein said. "And it's March. And I still wanna see Ryan Tannehill take the next step. But I love that Buffalo retained Tyrod Taylor. He's a good quarterback who will get even better now that he's no longer a pawn in a corrosive game between the coach, GM and owner. New head coach Sean McDermott is a gem, a buttoned-up guy who's a true workaholic. He's just the kind of guy this organization needed: the antithesis of Rex Ryan. The defense will take a major step forward. And the penalties will go down."'

Marker Buffalo Bills WR Andre Holmes explains NFLPA confusion during free agency [1:54 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"Yeah it was pretty crazy," Holmes said. "All of sudden my phone, I was getting a lot of text messages and then my twitter was going crazy. It was weird I was just kind of sitting down watching The Office and not understanding what was going on, because I didn't any pen to paper or anything. It was pretty crazy, you know it was pretty hectic."'

Marker Ryan Groy willing to play tackle given uncertain role with Buffalo Bills [1:53 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"You know I really don't know my role right now," Groy said Monday. "Obviously last year was fill in wherever I was needed, maybe blocking tight end, or do this or that. I am not really sure, I haven't talked to the coaches enough to understand to know where I am going to be at. Obviously they have something in mind, I just don't know what that. I am going to do whatever they want me to, whatever I can do to help this team." '

Marker EJ Manuel says Buffalo Bills never allowed him 'opportunity' to grow [1:52 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"It was very surprising," Manuel said. "You know, obviously being 2-2 and after losing to Houston, coach Marrone made the change and it was something I never dealt with as a competitor, as an athlete. So, it was definitely one of those things that I had to humble myself and understand that this could happen to anybody, you know what I mean?'

Marker Bills’ new WR Holmes discusses signing mishap [1:51 AM]
Batavia Daily News reports: '“Basically from my perspective I know my agent was kind of discussing some terms with the Bills personnel, nothing finalized or anything just kind of negotiating,” Holmes said. “The way it works is the agent is supposed to send any type of proposal to the NFLPA and somehow, somewhere in there I don’t know exactly how it came out someone thought that I had signed.'

Marker Former Bills QB EJ Manuel: Buffalo didn’t give enough opportunity [1:50 AM]
Batavia Daily News reports: '“Sometimes young guys continue to get a chance to grow and fight through those growing pains and I just wasn't afforded that opportunity. I just kind of had to roll with it, and just keep rolling,” Manuel said.'

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