Day 12 Camp Notes: The Bills held a closed practice on the two new grass fields outside of New Era Field. After the trades and before the arrivals of Jordan Matthews and E.J. Gaines the team was a little shorthanded with the ones. Kevon Seymour remains sidelined as well so Shareece White was with Tre'Davious White on the outside with ones. At Wide Receiver, it was Zay Jones and Andre Holmes on the outside and Anquan Boldin in the slot. Jonathan Williams was practicing after suffering a hamstring strain last night. Ryan Davis returned after missing a week with a concussion. Injury Page.
McDermott Presser: Sean McDermott spoke to the media today and said they still have a quality group of receivers after trading Sammy Watkins. E.J. Gaines has started a lot of games and will have a chance to compete to earn a chance to start for this team. The coach said it was a tough decision and Sammy is a heck of a football player. These conversations happened late into the night after the game. They spent a lot of time discussing but it is the type of conversations that they have to have. The players they got back in the deals were very important. Jordan Matthews has had a ton of production and Gaines will be a nice addition the mix. The draft picks were a big part in planning for the future they believe in building through the draft to gain and sustain success. The first thing they need to do is get the new players used to the terminology in Buffalo. He said the doctors are comfortable with Matthews despite a report of a knee issue. All four players still need to pass physicals. He believes in clear and concise communication and they will work their tails off to put the team in position to win and sustain success. He already addressed the team on the trades and acknowledged the human element of the transactions. He has a lot of respect for the two players leaving as players and people. They are continuing to move forward. He is protective of his players and it had to be the right situation to do this deal. He has the ultimate trust in Brandon and his staff. He's invested like the fans and they are building a football team for the short and longterm and that makes for some tough decisions and that is why he didn't sleep well last night. They are going to compete like crazy and focus on every game and this next practice. On the injuries, Bacarri Rambo is added to the injury report with a hamstring tweak and is week to week.
Beane Presser: Brandon Beane said this wasn't an easy decision since Sammy Watkins and Ronald Darby are fine young man but it is a business. He said he wasn't actively shopping them or anyone but the Rams wanted Sammy and the Eagles wanted Darby. As the two deals were getting closer he went to get the receiver and corner so it is hard to say if he would have done one trade without the other. He takes it personally when someone says they are throwing in the towel on this season because they got two players that can help them win. He said it's not an indictment on Tyrod Taylor they have the weapons for him and are rooting from him to succeed.
Two Blockbuster Trades! Not one but two major trades by the Bills today in a league that doesn't do trades. They have sent Sammy Watkins and a sixth round pick to the Los Angeles Rams for CB E.J. Gaines and a 2nd round pick in next year's draft. Like Sammy, he is in his contract year. The Bills then traded Ronald Darby to the Eagles for WR Jordan Matthews and a third round pick. Matthews is also in his contract year while Darby has another year left. The Bills are definitely in rebuilding mode now, even though they got starters back, they are short term solutions. The team now has two picks in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounds next year. Matthews is a quality receiver who came out the same year as Watkins and played really well in the West Coast offense. It will be interesting to see how that translates into the Bills offensive scheme. Gaines started as a rookie but missed the 2015 season with a Lisfranc injury. While Matthews stats stack up well with Watkins he isn't nearly as dynamic. Darby is also a more talented corner than Gaines but may not have been a good fit for Sean McDermott's defense. Depth Chart.
Thursday August 10, 2017
McDermott Post Game: Sean McDermott held his first ever post game press conference as a head coach. The offense was in a rythym early and it was good to see. He was concerned when Tyrod Taylor went down but he's a tough young man and bounced back and showed mental toughness. They were looking at his knee but it's fine. He was impressed how Jonathan Williams ran and secured the ball before his hamstring injury. He thought Nate Peterman handled himself well was poised and had great composure while handling pressure in his first NFL action. Good teams don't beat themselves and he said they beat themselves numerous times tonight. They have a lot to improve on but there was a lot of good that came out of this game. Good coaches make a jump from week 1 to week 2 and they have a lot of work to do. Edddie Yarbrough is a young player who works hard and earned the playing time. His success tonight was not a surprise. They wanted to be smart with the playtime this evening. He thought T.J. Yates did some good things but they would have liked him to get in a better rythym. He has had a good camp up to this point. On Reggie Ragland he is a young player coming off of an injury but he did good things tonight playing physical and running downhill. This battle at middle linebacker will be fun to watch. They are versatile defense and they will look at some of the linebackers in different spots but it is in Reggie's best interest and their best interest that he stays in the middle right now. He can deal with aggressive penalties but the pre snap and post whistle penalties he can't deal with. Penalties could have been the difference in the game and they are not part of the process of playing winning football. The way to win football game is to not shoot yourself in the foot with penalties.
Bills Lose Preseason Opener 17-10: The Vikings scored two second half touchdowns on a two yard run and a two yard pass as they beat the Bills in the preseason opener 17-10 at New Era Field. The starters went three series as Tyrod Taylor led them to a 42 yard field goal by Steve Hauschka in the opening minute of the second quarter. Nate Peterman converted his first NFL series into the Bills only touchdown of the night on a 1 yard pass to Dez Lewis. They had a chance to tie but he went 1 for 4 on fourth down chances in the next three series including a dropped pass in the red zone.
Who Helped Themselves: Sammy Watkins looked real good catching passes on the first three offensive plays for 30 yards. Eddie Yarbrough had a sack a pressure and clogged up two blockers on the Bills first defensive series as he got the start for Shaq Lawson. He also nearly got another sack late in the first half with the second unit. Mike Tolbert and Jonathan Williams both ran well as LeSean McCoy did not play. Williams had four carries for 39 yards in the first half while Tolbert got 27 yards on four carries. Nate Peterman earned more 2nd team reps but hitting the field late in the third quarter and promptly leading the team on a 13 play, 79 yard drive to a touchdown in his first NFL series. He was 6 for 8 for 44 yards including two scrambles for first downs that went for 22 yards combined. Dakiel Shorts had four catches including a really nice fourth down grab late in the game. Reggie Ragland didn't see action at all in the first half and that wasn't good for him but with Tanner Vallejo banged up he saw more time in the second half and had a big tackle for a four yard loss. He also led the team with six tackles as he made the most of his chance and may get back some second team reps.
Who Hurt Themselves: Special teams coordinator Danny Crossman was the lone holdover from Rex Ryan's staff and his unit was called for five penalties (two on one play). Trae Elston was called for two penalties one on special teams and a pass interference. Seantrel Henderson looked awful playing for Cordy Glenn at left tackle with the first and second units. He gave up two sacks and a few pressures. Vlad Ducasse struggled mightily and gave up a sack in the second half. The Bills OL as a whole were horrible in pass protection. T.J. Yates could do nothing in a long look at quarterback, he finished 6 of 11 for 48 yards. Marquavius Lewis was called for two penalties including a roughing the passer penatly that kept a drive alive. He did have a sack late in the game to force a punt. Taiwan Jones was called for a special teams penalty and then dropped a 4th down pass that would have given them a first and goal or possibly a touchdown.
Injury Update: Tanner Vallejo left the game in the first half with a shoulder injury and was ruled out at halftime. Jonathan Williams and Tyrod Taylor both went to the blue tent behind the sidelines but Taylor returned and Williams suffered a hamstring injury and will miss some time. Injury Page.
Gameday Inactives: As expected the Bills are being cautious with their banged up players in the opening preseason game. Cordy Glenn, Kevon Seymour, Shaq Lawson, Jeremy Butler, Ryan Davis, and Anquan Boldin will not play tonight. Boldin is the only one not banged up but he just arrived this week so it's a bit early to put him on the field. Check us out after the game for our usual list of who helped themselves and who hurt themselves in the preseason opener against Minnesota.
Tuesday August 8, 2017
Boldin Presser: Anquan Boldin spoke to the media this afternoon to discuss his signing with the Bills. He said the first day of practice went well for a first day but he's done it for so long he knows not to put too much into the first day. He's still learning and studying while doing extra meetings with the coaches to get caught up. He felt comfortable when he took his visit to Buffalo and likes the direction everything is headed here. He still has the passion to play football and coming to Buffalo he sees how excited the fans are and how into football they are. He knows the heart of the players so he felt like this is the place for him. He stayed in contact with the team during the whole process. He always felt it was a good fit and had to get other things figured out. It was never a question that he wanted to come to Buffalo. It was a sense of comfort that Tyrod Taylor is here someone he played with in the past. He feels this team is close enough to be a contender. He has family in Buffalo and Rochester which helped in his decision to sign with the team.
Day 11 Camp Notes: Sean McDermott told the media before this morning's practice that the starters will play about a quarter Thursday and that includes Sammy Watkins but he is still unsure on playing time for Cordy Glenn and Shaq Lawson. He said he will not pigeon hole Anquan Boldin as a slot receiver and loves what he brings to the table on and off the field. He hit the practice field with his new teammates for the first time today and was promptly lining up with the first team. Tyrod Taylor could hardly contain his excitement about his newest weapon saying he is very glad he's with the team. Not practicing were Kevon Seymour with his foot injury along with Ryan Davis and Jeremy Butler who have concussions. Injury Page.
Monday August 7, 2017
Beane Presser: GM Braondon Beane held a press conference this afternoon to talk about the signing of Anquan Boldin. He is excited to get him onboard for his leadership abilities and his history speaks for itself. Beane was confident that the Bills were a good fit for Boldin but he had other options to consider. This was an important family decision for Boldin and the Bills preach that so they didn't want to try and talk him into something that might not be a good family fit. They gave him all the information he needed to decide it was a good fit for his family. Beane said in the last two or three days conversations picked up, it was a family decision and his wife was involved in it and the decision was made. He respects the thoroughness of the decision. Beane said he wouldn't call it backing out when Boldin didn't sign last week. What is great about him is what he brings on and off the field. He was Man of the Year and has over 1,000 catches in his opinion he's a Hall of Famer. Their receiving room his fairly young and he is going to show those guys what it takes and they look forward to bringing all of his qualities to Buffalo. Beane said Boldin has been working out twice a day so they have no doubt he will blend it right away. He would not put the label of starter on him at this time. His job is to bring in as many as players as possible to help the roster and it will be up to Coach McDermott and Coach Dennison on where to fit him in. He has made a lot of hay over the middle but he definitely can still get it done on the outside. His job is to win now and the future, he is a move for both scenarios. He can show what it takes for the young guys to help them in the future. His history with Tyrod Taylor is a bonus as Boldin caught Tyrod's first pass as a pro. He was aware that this could hurt the Bills in the way of the compensatory picks formula but it wasn't worth not helping this year's squad.
Bills Sign Boldin: A few weeks after he visited with the Bills, Anquan Boldin has signed with the Bills. Adam Schefter is reporting it is a one year worth $2.75 Million with another $1.25 Million possible in incentives. Schefter reported he originally agreed to a deal with the team last week and then backed out before agreeing to this deal today. The Bills were willing to wait for Boldin to make a decision while actively continuing the recruitment of him. He will bring tremendous leadership and experience to a young receiving corps. This year will be his 15th season and he hasn't slowed down much as he had a nice season in Detroit last year with 67 catches for 584 yards and eight touchdowns. Since entering the league in 2003 he is third in catches and yard. He has signed his contract and will be on the field tomorrow morning and then will meet with the media. To make room for him they waived/injured TE Keith Towbridge who suffered a foot injury this week in camp. Depth Chart.
Day 10 Camp Notes: Jeremy Butler and Tanner Vallejo both left practice today. Vallejo had a big wrap on his right hand/wrist area and returned to the field later on. Sal Capaccio reports that Butler was suffering from dehydration. Sammy Watkins did take the field with his teammates today a day after suffering a slightly twisted ankle in camp. Kevon Seymour is the latest injury and he's day to day with a foot injury but Capaccio saw him on crutches and a walking boot. Rick Dennison addressed the media before practice and said he likes what he sees from Nate Peterman and that he reminds him of T.J. Yates as a rookie. He said he would like to see Tyrod Taylor run through his progressions and run the plays that are called. He said that doesn't necessarily mean staying in the pocket. The starting QB does seem to be a man on a mission though. During the two minute drill in practice he went 6 for 7 including a 20 yard touchdown pass to Charles Clay. He then ran past the media and said, "write about that!" Injury Page.
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