Bills Season Ends In Flames
Sunday January 1, 2017
Bills Pick 10th: The Bills opened the day with the 12th overall pick in the first round of April's draft. They end it with the 10th pick in the draft. That is pretty high for a 7-9 team but their loss coupled with a win by Arizona moved them up to the top 10. If they had beaten the Jets they would have picked 13th in the draft.
Opponents Finalized: The opponents for the 2017 season has been finalized. Besides the home and away games against Miami, New England, and the Jets, the Bills will host: Denver, Oakland, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and Tennessee. They will travel to: Atlanta, Carolina, Cincinnati, San Diego, and Kansas City.
Gameday Grades: A terrible performance to end a very disappointing season which ends with a tremendous amount of turmoil. Now the silly season begins. Gameday Grades.
Bills Blitz: It appears we have seen the last of EJ Manuel's career in Buffalo. His 9 for 20 for 86 yards three quarter performance should be the exclamation point on his career. He was replaced by Cardale Jones in the fourth quarter of the Jets 30-10 win at the Meadowlands. Jones didn't do much better throwing an incompletion on fourth down and had one pass intercepted. He did complete a 64 yard bomb to Justin Hunter to setup the Bills only touchdown in the final minutes of the game. Mike Gillislee scored on a one yard plunge but it came after he had the boneheaded play of the season when he failed to fall on a fourth quarter kickoff in the end zone and the Jets had an easy final touchdown. Bills Blitz.
Injury Update: LeSean McCoy injured his left ankle in the 2nd quarter. He limped off and then was carted to the locker room and was quickly ruled out. He then jogged back on the field in full uniform and tried to talk his way back into the game and was upgraded to possible to return but he did not come back into the game. Nickell Robey-Coleman was taken out of the game by the refs to go into concussion protocol in the first half and did not return. Corey Graham was shaken up in the second half and did not return. Sammy Watkins left the game in the fourth quarter after hurting his hip. He walked to the locker room under his own power. He also had his arm looked at in the first half. Marquise Goodwin injured his leg late in the game but jogged off and seemed ok. Injury Page.
Gameday Inactives: As expected Tyrod Taylor is inactive for the finale as the Bills look to perserve him so they won't be stuck guaranteeing his contract for next season. Cordy Glenn and Stephon Gilmore are inactive after being ruled out on Friday. Lerentee McCray returns after missing three games with a concussion. The other scratches are Logan Thomas, Gerald Christian, Dez Lewis, and Adolphus Washington. So Anthony Lynn is not taking this game to look at some of the younger players.
Coaching Rumors: It's time for the usual Sunday morning rumors this time it's not about firing Rex Ryan since he's already gone but who will replace him. Ian Rapoport is reporting it is Anthony Lynn's job to lose. (How does he lose it?) He also reports that the Bills will look at former Bills icon and current Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich, Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, and Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin. Adam Schefter reports wherever Lynn ends up he is a package deal with former Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley joining him as his top defensive coach. Bradley runs a 4-3 defense which many feel is better suited for Buffalo's personnel. Jason LaCanfora is reporting that Lynn is far and away the front runner to be named the permanent head coach of the Bills. He reportedly has strong internal support from the front office and the ownership.
Gameday Weather: The weather won't be too bad for a New Year's Day finale in New Jersey in a game that means nothing for both sides. It will be Sunny and 44° at gametime. Winds will be out of the Northwest at 10mph which is calm for that stadium.
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Friday December 30, 2016
No Glenn, Gilmore, Or Likely Taylor: Cordy Glenn and Stephon Gilmore have been ruled out of the finale. Glenn will have missed the final three games with his back injury. Gilmore is in concussion protocol. Zach Brown is questionable after missing practice on Friday with an illness. Anthony Lynn said that Cardale Jones will be the backup quarterback on Sunday and that Tyrod Taylor will likely be inactive but he hasn't finalized that decision. Taylor was back at practice today after being given a veteran's day off on Thursday. Injury Page.
Thursday December 29, 2016
Watkins Speaks Out: Sammy Watkins spoke out about the situation in Buffalo and said the team needs a coach that will bring discipline to the team. He thinks Anthony Lynn could be that coach since he has the demeanor and the leadership. The new coach needs to change the culture, change the mindset, and get the players on board.
No Tyrod: A new day a new saga at One Bills Drive. A day after losing the starting job for the finale, Tyrod Taylor was a non participant in practice today although he was in the building. Anthony Lynn said it was just a veteran's day off but one report said it was a hamstring injury. The same injury that was used as an example in yesterday's press conference as to the heirachy of the quarterback spot. Reports have now surfaced that the groin injury that has landed Taylor on the injury report as a full participant is more severe than everyone was led to believe and he may need sports hernia surgery in the offseason. Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News reports that he will see a hernia specialist surgeon in Philadelphia next week. The timetable for that could get him healthy just in time for the start of the league year when the Bills need to make a decision on his future. There is also a chance that he wouldn't be healthy enough to pass his physical which would guarantee his contract and keep him in Buffalo.
Glenn, Gilmore Still Out: Besides Tyrod Taylor the only two players not practicing today were Stephon Gilmore and Cordy Glenn it appears both players will not play in the final. All other players that sat out Wednesday returned. Kyle Williams did most of his work on the stationary bike while LeSean McCoy came back from a sick day. Injury Page.
Jackson At Practice: An old friend took in today's practice at the fieldhouse as Fred Jackson stopped by. He spent an hour on the John Murphy Show on WGR and spoke about how his kids are Bills fans still. He also said something very interesting that his plan is to be around here as much as possible and he's hopeful they can make that happen.
Game Preview:Some decent intrigue for a meaningless game at the end of the regular season between two also-rans. It won't be another trip back home for Rex Ryan but it will be a "battle" between Ryan Fitzpatrick and the quarterback that replaced him in EJ Manuel. The former first round pick will get one more shot at showing the Bills, or more likely other teams, what he can do as he prepares for free agency. It will be interesting to see how the players respond to Anthony Lynn being the interim coach after the popular Ryan was let go. Complete Preview.
Wednesday December 28, 2016
Injury Update: With all the upheaval it's hard to remember that they are preparing for a football game. Today the team did practice and the same people that sat out Wednesday practices under Rex Ryan were still sitting under Anthony Lynn. Sammy Watkins, LeSean McCoy, Charles Clay, Lorenzo Alexander, Stephon Gilmore, Cordy Glenn, Kyle Williams, and Nick O'Leary all sat out. McCoy and O'Leary sat with illnesses. Lerentee McCray was limited as he continues to battle back from a concussion. Preston Brown and John Miller were also limited. Injury Page.
Lynn Presser: Since the Bills didn't have the decency of bringing Doug Whaley or Terry Pegula in front of the media, interim coach Anthony Lynn was left to be the voice of the team and be peppered with questions about the firing of his boss. Whaley will talk to the media on Monday but that is a league mandated press conference that he must do. Scott Berchtold started the press conference getting choked up when he passed condolences for the death of Bruce DeHaven before Lynn took the podium. Lynn made it official that EJ Manuel will start on Sunday as he said he lost a good friend in Rex Ryan which has made it challenging. He joked at first that Cardale Jones would play. He said they want to look at their depth since they are out of the playoffs and want to see what the other two could do. He said there is a chance all three QBs will be active but it sounds like Taylor may be inactive if they only go with two QBs. His focus is getting everyone ready to play the Jets and do their best to win the game. He said EJ was the next man up and it was our decision when asked if it was his call. He said Taylor is a young quarterback with a lot of potential and is developing. It would be interesting to have him for a full offseason. He would like to get him to throw between the hashes and that can only be drilled into him in the offseason. He said he wouldn't want to be evaluated based on one game when it comes to his chance of getting a permanent head coaching job. He likes that Tyrod is cautious because he doesn't turn the ball over and always gives them a chance to win. More on Ryan, he said he wanted to see him get more time but it is a business and ownership made that decision so they have to move forward. He says it's not up to him to decide if it's fair or not. Rex informed him of his dismissal and gave him his blessings as the interim head coach. On the controversial overtime punt and he repeatedly said he backed the head coach's call. Lynn admitted later in the presser that he wasn't in the room when the decision was made to bench Tyrod and that he was disappointed because he's a competitor and wants to play. So it turned out it wasn't an our decision but a front office and owner's decision. No responsiblities of the coaching staff are changing for the finale.
DeHaven Passes Away: Former Bills Special Teams coach Bruce DeHaven passed away yesterday at 68 years old after a long battle with cancer. DeHaven coached the Bills Special Teams during the glory years from 1987 to 1999 and then again from 2010 to 2012. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer last spring. He continued working as an advisor with the Panthers while receiving treatment in Buffalo. Marv Levy released a statement that said, "Bruce DeHaven was not only one of the premier special teams coaches the history of the NFL, he was also a premier SPECIAL PERSON. His work ethic, his love for and his dedication to the game, his caring about those players from whom he was able to bring forth their maximum talents and who revere him are all signature features which distinguished him. Beyond that, he was a wonderful husband and father possessed of a happy and upbeat nature. What a privilege it was for me and for all the members of our coaching staff to have been colleagues and friends of Bruce DeHaven." Special Teams great Steve Tasker said, "I was a better football player because Bruce DeHaven was my coach, but I was a better man because Bruce DeHaven was my friend. I will miss him very, very much."
Tuesday December 27, 2016
Whaley To Lead Search: Bad news for those hoping Doug Whaley was heading out the door with Rex Ryan. The Bills released another statement today saying Whaley will lead the head coaching search. While Whaley has been with the team since Doug Marrone was hired he did not lead the search or make the call on the hiring of Marrone or Rex Ryan according to many people in the know. No more excuses for Whaley, if this coach fails he has to go with him. Whaley also reportedly didn't get along with Marrone or Ryan so it is a must he gets a long with the guy he hand picks for the job.
Team Statement: The Bills released your run of the mill statement on the firing of Rex Ryan from Terry Pegula that said, "I spoke with Rex earlier today and we mutually agreed that the time to part ways is now. These decisions are never easy. I want to take this opportunity to thank Rex for all his efforts and wish him all the best moving forward. Kim and I and our entire Bills organization share in the same disappointment and frustration as our fans, but we remain committed to our goal of bringing a championship to Western New York. Anthony Lynn will serve as our interim head coach to lead us through the Jets game."
Ryan Fired: The Bills have decided not to prolong the inevitable and have fired Rex Ryan before the season finale against his old team the Jets. Rob Ryan is also out immediately. Anthony Lynn is the interim head coach for the finale and will definitely be in the mix for the permanent job. Timing is a bit interesting that they won't let him coach the last game and made him meet the media yesterday where he looked like a beaten man. It will be interesting to see if Tyrod Taylor will still start the finale or if they organization decides with Rex gone to sit him to not risk injury. Adam Schefter is reporting that EJ Manuel will get the start on Sunday. Ryan finished with a 15-16 record as the Bills head coach including losing six of his last nine games. The team gets a jump on the head coaching search ahead of teams that will be firing their coaches next week. Vic Carucci reports that all indications point to Doug Whaley staying on as GM. That would make it three head coaches he had a hand in hiring almost unheard of in today's NFL. Ryan walks away with three years on his contract and $16.5 Million as a parting gift.
Gilmore Likely To Miss Finale: It is definitely very possible that Stephon Gilmore has played his last game as a member of the Buffalo Bills. He is still in concussion protocol two days after the devastating loss to Miami when he took a hit to the head. It is unlikely he will play in the finale on Sunday and with free agency looming his Bills career may be over. Rex Ryan addressed the media yesterday and stuck by his decision to punt in overtime on 4th and 2, calling it a long 2 and saying he would have went for it if it was less than two yards to go. He was very upset in his press conference calling it one of the toughest losses of his career and the toughest of his Bills career. On the non timeout call during the game tying field goal he said he knows he tried to get the timeout and wanted it to get the block kick team on the field. He also said it was inexcusable to have 10 men on the field on Jay Ajayi's 57 yard run after the dreaded overtime punt.
Monday December 26, 2016
Back To Work: The Bills go back to work today to prepare for the season finale against the Jets after having Christmas Day off yesterday. The wounds over the heartbreaking loss to the Dolphins still loom large especially when Tennessee, Baltimore, Indianapolis, and Denver all lost which would have kept the Bills alive and even have improved their faint playoff hopes. Now as the team is now officially 17 years without a playoff berth the annual tradition of figuring out where they will draft begins. Right now they remain in the abyss with the 12th draft choice as once again the team isn't bad enough to get a high impact player and not good enough to make the playoffs. It appears the highest they can go with a loss to a Jets team that has given up would be 9th. More likely, they will win the game and could drop all the way to 16th.
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