'Besides Carpenter and Jones, 20 other veterans — 18 of them who started at least once last season — were either waived or weren’t re-signed.'
Archives for September 8, 2017
'In all, of the 53 players who made this season’s Buffalo roster, only 25 were on the Bills regular-season or practice squads or any of the injured lists in 2016.'
'“I’m extremely confident in what we can do. Extremely confident,” said Matthews, who caught 73 passes for 804 yards last season. “The biggest thing I always say is: You can win in this league with a great defense — which I feel like we have — an offensive line — our offensive line is one of the best in the league — and a great quarterback. And I feel like we have that.”'
'“It was, and still is, a team-building concept,” McDermott said. “I want to make sure that we spend so much time in a lot of little campfires. You’ve got a campfire with the linebacking corps, you’ve got a campfire with the offense, a campfire over here with the defense, with the special teams, that as we continue to build this team and bring things together to one cohesive campfire, if you will in this case, that players get to know one another.'
'According to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Buffalo Bills have added $2.5 million in incentives to McCoy's contract. The running back is in the third season of a five-year contract worth up to $40 million, and has a base salary of $6 million.'
'"They went to the store today and got some supplies, some two-by-fours and pieces of wood to put over the windows and doors and stuff, so they're making the necessary preparations," he said. "We've experienced a lot of hurricanes growing up. Probably not a hurricane as big as this, but we're taking the necessary precautions. They've got water, a generator, they're boarding up the house, so they're doing everything they can."'
'The Jets' red zone offense in 2016 was the worst of any NFL team over the past four years. That was a function of an injury-riddled finesse passing game without a good quarterback and no tight end threat. The Jets converted just 35.2 percent of trips inside the 20 into TDs. Don't look for big improvement.'
'With both clubs operating with greater focus on the future rather than the present, the present is largely in the hands of players who either lack the experience or talent (or both) to generate a whole lot of success. That, along with the fact that it's the first game of the season, opens the door to the distinct possibility of a whole lot of ugly football.'
'Leonard Williams is one of the league's best young defensive linemen. He's only 23 years old.'
'The Bills face a string of elite QBs this season, meaning they won't bring the better QB to the game most weeks. This is one matchup where Buffalo has the QB edge. Nothing says "we're tanking" like starting the season with a 38-year-old who is 2-20 in his last 22 starts. Give McCown credit for sticking around so long. This is his 10th NFL team. He went 8-5 for Chicago in 2013. McCown still can move a bit, and the Jets will move the pocket to try to counter the pass rush. McCown still has enough arm strength to threaten the Bills deep, although his deep accuracy isn't in the Carson Palmer (or Tyrod Taylor) class.'
'The reason for the flip-flop traces back to the new defensive scheme implemented by Sean McDermott that has fans hoping for an improvement on that side of the ball. The offense, meanwhile, looked abysmal in the preseason. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor is working with basically a brand new set of receivers. A word to the wise, though – don't overvalue preseason performances. That's not to suggest the Bills will be an offensive juggernaut, but rather to wait for a few real games before writing them off.'
'Brown talked with the hosts about the Bills chances against the Jets, bold predictions fans are making for the week one tilt, and the importance of take aways in a Tampa 2 system as implemented by Leslie Frazier. Brown cited his experience seeing the defense firsthand when playing for the Chicago Bears, and the importance of getting Marcell Dareus off to a good start. Brown finished with an anecdote on how Marv Levy handled players and the fluid nature of offenses gelling.'
'It’s a good thing just to be back out there with the guys practicing, making plays, and building that confidence with everyone. It’s so different from sitting out and watching. Sure, you can take mental reps, but you still feel like you’re on an island by yourself. But when you actually get to be in the huddle, going through plays, going through the walk-through’s, meetings, everything as one unit with the guys, definitely more of a sense of calmness when I’m out there because I feel like I’m more part of the team.'
'Watkins has clearly been the more explosive deep threat, as evidenced by his sizable gap in yards-per-reception average. Despite his relatively pedestrian yards-per-reception average of 11.9, Matthews has done his fair share of damage down the field.'
'Jones has very little running back experience, while McKinnon has been a role-playing backup in each of his three years with the Vikings, so a statistical comparison is difficult. However, the two currently have the same career yards-per-carry average of 4.2. McKinnon has toted the rock 342 times; Jones has just 44 rushing attempts in his pro career.'
'Both members of the 2013 draft class, selected two rounds apart, Hyde and Ryan have extremely similar builds and athletic talents. Hyde is more linearly explosive — as evidenced by his better 40-yard dash, vertical jump, and broad jump — but Ryan was slightly "twitchier" in the three-cone drill. Their sub-7-second times in that drill are outstanding.'
'“I would be more concerned if it was the same coaching staff, and it was a whole new group of people,” Williams said. “These guys have been here together, this is the defense they were brought in to play in. It’s a whole new system, a whole new defense, a whole new coaching staff, and they’ve gotten guys in there who they think fit the defense better.”'
'The Buffalo Bills don't take the field until Sunday, but they're already taking shots from the media. Tonight's NFL kickoff between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs features some former Bills players and one has stolen the show early. Former Bills running back Mike Gillislee has over 40 yards and two touchdowns before halftime. His performance has many in the national media taking shots at the Bills. Here's a few things that have been said about Buffalo.'
'It was a well-timed joke by Worthy. New England ultimately fell to the Kansas City Chiefs 42-27 on Thursday night and moved to 0-1 on the season.'
'According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Bills added $2.5 million in incentives to McCoy's contract. The more he produces, the more money he earns.'
'Tackle My Ride's second season will start with back-to-back episodes starting on Friday, September 15. The first episode will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ryan Shazier. Taylor and the Bills will be featured on the second episode. Other players featured on the show this season include Kyle Long, NaVorro Bowman, Ryan Kerrigan and Vic Beasley.'
'Every step of the way, White has followed in Claiborne's footsteps. The two played for the same AAU basketball program. Claiborne went to play cornerback for LSU, and White followed close behind. Claiborne won the Thorpe Award, given to the nation's best defensive back, and was the No. 6 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. White was a Thorpe finalist and the No. 27 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Now they're going to be on the same NFL field together when the Jets, who also have White's college teammate Jamal Adams on the roster, visit the Bills Sunday.'
'Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott is among the youngest coaches in the NFL. At the age of 43, he ranks as the fifth-youngest coach. Only four coaches are younger: Ben McAdoo of the New York Giants (40), Adam Gase of the Miami Dolphins (39), Kyle Shanahan (37) of the San Francisco 49ers and Sean McVay (31) of the Los Angeles Rams.'
'McCoy was one of three players who was not present at the start of practice, including linebacker Tanner Vallejo (knee) and defensive tackle Jerel Worthy (concussion).'
'Among the signature items are a breakfast burrito, a ribeye sandwich and a pork belly Banh Mi sandwich. Here's a look at every new item that will be available this season. Descriptions are provided by the Bills.'
'Jerry Hughes has two 10 sack seasons with the Bills. This season, Hughes goes past 10 sacks on his way to setting a new career-high. After finishing with more than 10 sacks, Hughes also gets invited to his first Pro Bowl.'
'“I come to work every day and just try to be the best kicker I can. I think that’s something that if everybody does that, that leads to a lot of positive things,” Hauschka said.'
'He gets kind of lost in the losing, but he will go down as one of the greatest Bills of all-time. Only two defensive linemen in franchise history have received five Pro Bowl invites: Bruce Smith (11) and Fred Smerlas (five). That’s pretty good company—and Williams belongs. The man with the relentless motor has more tackles (533) than any defensive tackle in the league since 2006.'
'Best offensive player: McDermott said this week that McCoy will play as much “as it takes to win the game,” so expect a heavy workload for him. McCoy ran for 1,267 yards and 13 touchdowns last year. He is the best weapon the Bills have, and there is a wide gap to No. 2. It will be an interesting matchup for the Jets, who should be very good against the run this year.'
'"Whatever it takes," McCoy said. "If it's on the ground or in the air, it may be a key block, whatever it takes to win, I'm down for it."'
'Buffalo’s current roster features just 22 players who appeared in at least one Bills game last season, not including OT Seantrel Henderson and WR Walter Powell, who are on suspended for violating NFL’s substance abuse policy.'
'Coach Sean McDermott dismissed any concern for the moment of the team's expected workhorse to miss Buffalo's regular-season opener against the New York Jets.'
'The Bills and Jets are going nowhere in 2017, and both teams probably realize this without saying it. Still, they'd love to get the season off to a good start, and this might be one of the best chances either team has of getting a victory. For the Bills, they are playing in two new systems, unlike the Jets, so that could be an opening-day issue. It will sound like a broken record all season, but the key for the Bills will be how they run the ball with LeSean McCoy because their passing game, right now, is simply not capable of carrying the day.'
'“It’s in everything we do,” McDermott said. “It’s how we get out of our cars when we come into the building, how we walk, how we talk, how we meet, it’s the teaching that’s going on, the note-taking that’s going on. It’s how we practice, whether it’s training camp, during the season, spring OTAs. It’s how we play, and that’s not only games on Sunday, but it’s preseason games.'
'The Bills running back had a stomach bug, according to the team. He missed some reps with the offense and is therefore officially listed as a “limited” participant. Head coach Sean McDermott wasn’t worried at all about the situation, even joking with reporters after practice by saying “I don’t know, maybe he didn’t like the play call.”'
'"They see a team that plays fundamentally sound." If there were one play in pro football that to me defines "fundamentally sound" it's downing a punt at the 1-yard line. Analyst Brian Baldinger last week held up an example of Tampa Bay doing that as "smart football", as if, what, any football player pro or otherwise wouldn't know to try to do that? (Can't wait for the next six months of this kind of hard-core analysis, ya know? Insert audio of linemen grunting.)'
'Head coach Sean McDermott said that at this point, there wasn't any question in his mind if LeSean McCoy would be able to play. He said the runner "had a great practice," upon returning to the field.'
'The winner and a guest will arrive at New Era Field on Saturday, October 28th and enjoy VIP behind-the-scenes look at the stadium, a catered dinner from 716 and an overnight stay in the suite.'