Archives for September 23, 2017
'Josh Barnett, the new executive sports editor of The Buffalo News, recently solicited questions from the readers of TwoBillsDrive.com about Bills coverage and the new BNblitz.com. Here is a sample of the questions and his responses.'
'Long before he joined the Bills, he was introduced to Pilates, a conditioning program focused on building core strength, flexibility and endurance through low-impact stretches and movements. Since then, he’s adopted a new lifestyle, shed more than 80 pounds, switched positions and emerged as a trusted asset on the field and inside the Bills locker room. It showed Sunday, when he recorded a sack, two tackles for loss and nine tackles overall in Buffalo’s 9-3 loss to Carolina.'
'"Well, number one, he’s come in and endeared himself to his teammates, in the way that he’s approached (the job), with his approach in the meeting room, in the weight room and then on the field," McDermott said. "He’s 100 miles an hour all the time, plays with a flat back, plays with good leverage. He’s picked up the system extremely fast, credit to him. He’s done a good job so far, and I think he’s looking forward to more and more opportunities, which is what happens when you play and bust your tail."'
'Later, a Bills PR man told me it's not as if Taylor can't call audibles. He has the authority to do so. But when the QB says they're "getting to that" and needing to progress to a "comfort level," it seems evident that his ability to change plays is limited right now in the new offense.'
'But I watched Darnold lead USC over Texas last weekend and can see why many of the draft gurus, including Mel Kiper, see him as the best of the bunch — assuming he comes out after his redshirt sophomore year. Darnold is 6-4, 225, has a strong, accurate arm and has the poise and command you want from an NFL quarterback.'
'"I'm happy for (Watkins)," McDermott said. "Any time you develop relationships with guys, I'm happy for him. That said, I'm focused on our team. But I'm happy for Sammy and the other guys that went on to have big nights (Thursday) night."'
'Lawson practiced fully Friday, along with running back LeSean McCoy (wrist), tight ends Charles Clay (knee) and Nick O'Leary (hamstring), linebackers Deon Lacey (hamstring) and Matt Milano (hamstring), wide receiver Kaelin Clay (foot), and safety Colt Anderson (foot).'
'If the Buffalo Bills aren't trying to send a message to Colton Schmidt, it's hard to imagine the punter feeling all that comfortable this week. That's because the team has worked out not one, not two, but three free agents at his position.'
'“The football fans out here are just unreal and you hear about it around the league,” Poyer said on the day he signed. “This is one of the best opportunities I think I’ve ever had in my whole entire life.”'
'Dennison broke into the league as an offensive assistant with Denver in 1995 and worked his way up to offensive coordinator. He went to Houston in 2010 and then coached quarterbacks with Baltimore in 2014, which is where he worked with Tyrod Taylor, before returning to Denver for their Super Bowl run in 2015. He became available for the Bills when Gary Kubiak retired from coaching after last season.'
'The Bills could be in for a similar nightmare this Sunday against the exceptional defense of the Denver Broncos. With no playmakers in the passing game, Buffalo's offense is susceptible to being smothered for a second week in a row.'
'“It’s important that safety remains our No. 1 priority and we always stress the safety and playing with proper technique,” he said before heading out to practice. “That’s really a big part of our coaching, a big emphasis of our coaching. In fact with the first team meeting (we said): ‘Hey, your head is always up.’ I always talk about your chin being up because it brings everything up. Everything we do is focused on the safety of it and protecting the game that way.”'
'Bills TEs/RBs vs. Denver LBs: Denver's linebackers had a lot of trouble covering backs out of the backfield last season. The Bills should test to see how much they've improved. Inside backers Todd Davis and Brandon Marshall return from last year. Strong side outside backer Shane Ray (8.0 sacks) is out with a wrist injury. His stand-in, Saquil Barrett, has looked good the first two weeks. He entered the NFL as an undrafted, Steelers-style stand-up rusher. What about the rest of his game? It will be interesting to see who Denver opts to keep on the field to defend LeSean McCoy.'
'Siemian is no Captain Checkdown. His toughness in the pocket in waiting for deep routes to develop won him the job last season. But he is taking what defenses give him. Siemian was 21 of 25 with four TDs on passes of 10 yards or less against Dallas. Above is a play Denver ran against a San Diego two-deep defense in Week One. All five receivers ran a 6-yard stop route. Siemian (13) picks the soft spot. Like any young QB, Siemian will make a wrong pre-snap read on occasion. On this play he threw to the running back on the far left, rather than to Thomas (88), matched with a linebacker. It was almost picked off. Maybe the Bills can lure Siemian into a mistake.'
'Although Alexander isn't guaranteed to face Watson every snap, when Buffalo aligns its veteran linebacker on the left side of the defensive formation, he'll see the struggling right tackle and find himself in a super advantageous situation.'
'"We actually had a situation once where we had a guy who had a concussion, and we've got all these flashes, everything else going off," Gipson recalled. "And I was like, 'You know what? It would be nice if we had a smaller area.'"'
'“This is my first tailgate,” Jackson said in a promotional video. “I need ya’ll to come show me how we get down on the other side of it.”'
'This Sunday, more than 1,000 people will pack into the two-floor Lodo’s to watch the Bills host the hometown Broncos from 1,500 miles away.'
'“I know myself and what I expect from myself each and every week, so I don’t want to say I expected it, but I worked hard this off-season,” he said. “I wanted a team to want me to come in and play for them. I didn’t know what to expect coming off the injury last season with my kidney, so I really just wanted another opportunity to step on the football field and continue to pursue my dream. When I got the call from Buffalo, I was real excited.”'
'In two games, Taylor has thrown only 12 passes that traveled at least 10 yards past the line of scrimmage, and only six of those have been completed. Against Carolina, NextGen Stats showed that the average number of yards the ball traveled on his 17 completions was 4.1 yards. That’s ridiculous.'
'The Broncos have won 14 of their last 17 road games that have started at 1 p.m. EST.'
'"I think he has done a tremendous job of first and foremost, protecting the football," Culley said. "The reason we were able to do what we did in that ballgame is simply because we didn't turn it over. He has a history of protecting the football. As long as he continues to do that, we have those kind of ball games and we have a possession at the end with a chance to win the game."'
'With Dareus out, Adolphus Washington, Cedric Thornton and Deandre Coleman will rotate in at defensive tackle. That steady rotation gives Sean McDermott some confidence in his defensive line despite Dareus' absence.'
'When McDermott was asked if he ever had any concussions in his career and met the question with a laugh. "I'm not sure," McDermott said with a laugh. "I can't remember."'
'"Absolutely," McDermott said. "I get it. Believe me, I get it. That's hard to watch from a fan's perspective and at times from a coach's perspective. Listen, I'm extremely confident in the guys that we have. You do things for a reason. I like Jordan Matthews, I like Zay Jones, Andre Holmes, Kaelin Clay and Brandon Tate. These are guys that are making plays, that are going to continue to make plays, that are going to continue to grow. We're confident in those guys."'
'Von Miller is a matchup nightmare for the Bills. Jordan Mills alone cannot stop Miller so what can the Bills do? The team would be wise to double-team Miller all game with extra blockers. Even with the extra blocker, Miller can still provide plenty of disruptions. Buffalo will need the perfect game plan to keep Miller in check on Sunday.'
'Tre White and EJ Gaines at the cornerback position will face the duo of Thomas and Sanders. But the defensive line of the Bills, whose pass rush and ability to defend the run will be leaned on, could be without a big name in Marcell Dareus.'
'Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian will officially enter his second season in the NFL on Sunday. In total, he’s played 16 games, a full season, to this point, between the start of this year and his 14 starts in 2016. In that time frame, Seimian has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 24 to 12, 3,851 passing yards, 39 rushing yards, and a completion perfect of 60.07.In that same frame, Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor had a TD to INT ratio of 23 to 7, 3,443 passing yards, 604 rushing yards, and a completion percent of 63.66. For his career, Taylor’s numbers are as follows: 39-15, 6,606 pass yards, 1,377 rush yards, 62.3 completion percent.'
'In today’s NFL, you need your quarterback to do more than “keep us in the game.” You need him to win the game. And I don’t see Taylor being that guy. Again, it’s unfair to put all this on him. He is hamstrung by a dearth of playmakers. The truth is, he and the offense played almost well enough these past two seasons to make the playoffs, but were done in by Ryan’s ruination of what had been one of the league’s better defenses and by the buffoon coach’s terrible game management, especially when the outcome was still in doubt.'
'The former Oregon State star is tied for the team lead in sacks with two, is third in tackles with 14 and has one of the team's two interceptions. Poyer six passes defended is second in the NFL and he posted 11 tackles (seven solo), one sack and three passes defensed in the 9-3 loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 2.'
'Defensive tackle Jerel Worthy is out with a concussion. Defensive end Shaq Lawson is expected to play. He was injured against Carolina and has a nerve contusion in his foot.'
'"We decided that we would ramp up in preparation and we would rather be over prepared than under prepared," explained Thomas Maxian, AMR WNY's reigional director. "We expect to treat several people for some heat exhaustion and overheating. Hopefully none for heat stroke."'
'“We could care less about what anybody outside this locker room thinks. You’re not out on the field with us. We know what we’re capable of, we just have to execute.”'
''“It’s just not ready to go this week so I’m just going to keep attacking the rehab and doing it over and over again and see how it feels,” Glenn said.'
'It could be the hottest home game on record since 2002 when the temperature hit 89 degrees during a Bills home opener loss to the Jets.
'“With our youth football outreach, we want to provide kids with an opportunity to engage with our players, and learn from them,” said Preston Teague, Buffalo Bills Director of Community Relations and Youth Football. “NFL Flag Football is a program that we hope to grow throughout Western New York and our Rookies did an amazing job working with the kids, it was a great night.”'
'Rookie Dion Dawkins will make his first NFL start Sunday against a strong Denver defensive front, but he’s more than ready having seen action each of the first two games.'
''Hughes might have the most advantageous matchup of any Bills player this week. With Denver starting LT Garett Bolles questionable with a bone bruise, Buffalo’s right defensive end will be working against a backup.'
'Glenn’s status seems a bit more questionable. After seeing some time on the practice field Thursday, Glenn was held out of practice Friday. That's not an encouraging sign after getting work on his ailing ankle the day prior. It sounds like the offensive staff wants to move into the early stages of the weeknd before determining what their starting left tackle will be able to give them on Sunday.'