Archives for October 7, 2017
'"Yeah, it needs to get better, just like a lot of areas on our team," coach Sean McDermott said Friday, acknowledging there's a shortcoming but not wanting to single it out.'
'Buffalo Bills wide receiver Jordan Matthews and linebacker Ramon Humber will miss Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals with thumb injuries suffered in last weekend's win against the Atlanta Falcons.'
'They can't rely on the defense to carry them. If you don't get significant contributions from wideouts, it catches up with you sooner or later. Teams will continue to crowd the box and dare Tyrod Taylor to beat them down the field. Sunday's game against a third-ranked Bengals defense will be a telling test.'
'This time, the Bills need to do more than slow down the pace of the game. They need to start showing the kind of production they had in their season-opening victory against the New York Jets.'
'Meanwhile, Bills center Eric Wood has had some issues as a pass-protector through four games. He's surrendered four pressures (two hits, two hurries) on 127 pass-blocking snaps. While that may not seem like a high rate of pressures allowed, it's the 13th-best Pass-Blocking Efficiency score (97.6) out of 33 qualifying centers. Not bad but not great.'
'Taylor was ranked 24th in their Week One rankings, which included every player. He was the last player listed in the "middle of the pack" category, behind Jay Cutler and Joe Flacco.'
'Before Bills rookie linebacker Matt Milano makes his first professional start against the Bengals, let's access his potential from an athletic perspective.'
'“It’s hard being a fan of a team that’s never made the playoffs in the entire time I’ve been watching,” Okoniewski said. “But I’ll always be a Bills fan. Even after 17 years of not being in the playoffs, which is most of my life. I’ll always be a fan, even if they go 30 years without being in the playoffs.”'
'Yeah, it needs to get better just like a lot of areas on our team. We need to get better at a lot of areas. It’s still early in the process and I think we’d be making a huge mistake to say we’re good enough in this area, we’re good enough in that area, we’re not good enough in that area. We just have to continue to improve and get to know our team. I don’t think you really know your team, and I’ve talked about this before, until the end of October potentially, or the late part of October when you get to know all the guys on your team and what they do best. You can see we’re still tinkering with the roster in some spots, trying to get the right 53, and then you add the practice squad on top of that, the right practice squad. This is a work in progress.'
'"No, not at all. I look at the game analytically," he explained. "I am a real positive person. I am cheering players who play well no matter what jersey they are wearing. It is just like another game to me."'
'"Two years ago, it would've probably been different," Watkins told Rams reporters this week after going without a target until late in Sunday's game. "I would've probably gone to the media and been saying whatever, trying to get the coach's attention. That's how I used to do it back then. Like, 'I need more targets.' Then that comes to the coach, and me and him have to talk."'
'Those interested in joining the challenge for the first time can sign up at buffalobills.com/thechallenge. Returning participants can return there.'
'Game temperature: 78.'
'However, Taylor has been a good game manager, he’s taking care of the ball, he’s keeping the Bills out of bad situations by using his legs, and he also looks like a quarterback who is far more comfortable in Rick Dennison’s offense than he ever was in Greg Roman’s. The Bills need to get more dynamic in the passing game, but given the way they’ve played defense, they’re proving they can win with Taylor.'
'"I felt like I was consumed, and I was angry," Watkins told ESPN. "It was affecting my relationships with the coaches and with the players. I wanted to be great so bad, but I was also selfish, too. Because there were some games that we won and I didn't get the ball, and I was upset. I looked at both sides of it, like, yeah, it is a point where you want to be great, but you also have to understand what we have on this team."'
'"I would say this: the thing I've been most impressed with about LeSean is his growth as a teammate," McDermott said. "You watch, and I would say probably more so for me than anyone because of our relationship and because of how it got started years ago in Philadelphia and now coming full circle years later. Just to watch him evolve, mature and it's not that he wasn't a teammate, it's just that's what happens when you grow and you've been in the league for so many years. You start to understand what this is all about. It's so much more about team stats, wins and losses than it is about individual results, individual stats."'
'"I think he fell back in love with the game," Downing told reporters in Oakland. "During training camp, maybe late in OTAs, I was talking to you guys and said something along those lines that you could see him passionate about the game again. He just really enjoys coming to work and putting in a hard day's work. That's what it takes to be a good quarterback in the league. It's fun to see him doing that and enjoying himself again."'
'Sitting in the Bills' locker room, Thomas rattles off a list of people who helped him get to this point, people who picked him up when he needed it most. His high school football coach and guidance counselor. A neighbor he calls Miss Christina, who acted as a second mom at times. Now it's his wife helping him through the trials of his NFL career.'
'"He's ready," McDermott said. "He's ready and he'll only get more and more ready as he puts the time in this week, just like our team. I thought he came in on a big stage last week and handled himself well for his first real, live game action. What's important is where we go from here. I think Matt clearly understands that and then it's important that we do things around Matt to help him as he continues to grow with his career at this point."'
'Marcell Dareus has a big contract, but little to show in terms of production on the field this season. Dareus has been limited on the field due to an ankle injury, but the defensive tackle needs to show urgency soon to have any chance of remaining on the roster long-term. Cedric Thornton has been starting in Dareus' place and playing decently. When asked if Dareus was a starter, Sean McDermott simply said there was a competition at the position. Dareus sounds like he is running out of time to impress McDermott.'
'The one player who's status remains up in the air is cornerback EJ Gaines who suffered a groin injury last week. On the play the injury occured, Gaines still forced a fumble, but might be unable to play against the Bengals as he's officially listed as questionable.'
'This certainly feels like a 10-9 game. Given the fact that the Bengals are at home and in a near must-win situation, I think they find a way to keep their season alive. They go into their bye the following week, and they know doing so at 1-4 would be a disaster. The last time a Bengals team started 0-3 at home was 2008.'
'Starting safety Micah Hyde (knee) and backup cornerback Shareece Wright (back) are also listed as questionable.'
' “Give credit to the coaches. They do a phenomenal job with outlining the key parts of the system, and so we were able to get those installed early. That said, there’s still room for growth in those areas, and then once you get those areas it’s kind of the boulders, the rocks, and the pebbles. We’ve got to start moving and evolving. As was asked earlier about the offense, we have to evolve on defense and special teams, as well.”'
'“I really think that they’re a bunch of grinders; a bunch of people who have practiced hard,” Dennison said with Howard Simon on Friday. “They’re focused on the task at hand; handling the guys up front, and trying to find creases in the run and voids in the pass.”'
'The Bengals’ perennial Pro Bowl defensive tackle is a game wrecker on the defensive interior. He leads Cincinnati in sacks early in the season and must be doubled on just about every play. Incognito will likely team with Eric Wood to account for him.'
'“EJ Gaines will not practice (Friday) and is questionable for the game,” said McDermott Friday morning.'
'“Even this last Sunday, when I was looking at the other side, I’m like, ‘I got a great get off, get this, get that,’ and I’m looking, I’m running back there and Jerry’s already back there and made the play and I’m like, ‘Okay, Jerry,’” Yarbrough said. “He shows up every single practice, every single game, and it’s really fun to watch.”'