Tag:Buffalo Bills
Posted on: August 25, 2011 11:26 am
 

Marcell Dareus' injury not thought to be serious

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

This couldn’t have been welcome words for Bills fans to ingest this morning if they picked up a copy of the Buffalo News and read that No. 3 pick Marcell Dareus injured his ankle during Wednesday’s practice and was seen on crutches in the locker room afterward.

DareusBills coach Chan Gailey, speaking before the open locker room session, didn’t make a comment on Dareus, and considering Dareus had played well thus far in the preseason -- he had accumulated two sacks in limited playing time -- his injury was a scary proposition for a rebuilding team.

But not to worry, says WIVB, which reports that Dareus was kicked in the calf during the practice (not the ankle) and that the injury isn’t considered serious.

Dareus had originally hurt his ankle during an Aug. 4 night practice, and a few days later, Gailey said, “"When he gets healthy, I think he can really be something.”

I guess we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out if that’s true.

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Posted on: August 22, 2011 7:24 pm
 

Tracking Tebow: Preseason, Week 2 -- Bills



Posted by Ryan Wilson

That's right, we're tracking Tebow's performance throughout the preseason because, well, like a slow-motion train wreck we can't look away. And who knows, maybe this experiment doesn't derail and it has a happy ending. Wait, what's that? You don't care about Tebow? Then what are you doing here?

Wow, that didn't take long, did it? After a decent showing against the Cowboys in Week 1 of the preseason (documented in great detail here), Tebow was relegated to mop-up duty behind Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn against the Bills in Week. Incidentally, Orton and Brady both played well (10/13, 135 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT and 10/16, 130 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT, respectively). Tebow, meanwhile, was 1 of 2 for a whopping 10 yards. He didn't get in the game until the fourth quarter and played just two series.

Now the conversation isn't about whether Tebow will be the Broncos' starter, but if he can beat Quinn out for the No. 2 job -- and perhaps most amazing -- if the team would consider trading or cutting him weeks after it appeared they were ready to install him as their franchise quarterback.

But hey, this in the NFL where fortunes can change in a hurry. As the old cliche goes, the backup is only one play away from being the starter. Which means that, as it stands, Tebow is two plays away from realizing his dream. With that in mind, it's the latest installment of the Tebow Tracker, where we chart every one of his preseason snaps, the result, and what it all means for him and the Broncos in 2011.


                                                   Play by Play



Preseason, Week 2: Buffalo Bills
Situation Down/Distance Result
Comment
1st series, 10:59 left in 4th qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 20 Tebow handoff to B.Minor up the middle to DEN 24 for 4 yards.  (Note: you can see the entire play-by-play log here.)
  2nd & 6, DEN 24 Tebow pass short left to B.Minor to DEN 34 for 10 yards This would be Tebow's only completion of the night.
  1st & 10, DEN 34 Tebow handoff to B.Minor up the middle to DEN 37 for 3 yards.  
  2nd & 7, DEN 37 Tebow pass incomplete deep right to D.Rosario.  
  3rd & 7, DEN 37 (From the shotgun) PENALTY on DEN-Tebow, Delay of Game, 5 yards, enforced at DEN 37 - No Play.  
  3rd & 12, DEN 32 (From the shotgun) Tebow sacked at DEN 26 for -6 yards.  
  4th & 18, DEN 26 PUNT  
2nd series, 4:08 left in 4th qtr. 1st & 10, DEN 6 Tebow handoff to  J.Johnson up the middle to DEN 6 for no gain.  
  2nd & 10, DEN 10 Tebow handoff to J.Johnson up the middle to DEN 10 for 4 yards.  
  3rd & 6, DEN 10 Tebow scrambles left end to DEN 17 for 7 yards.
 
 
  1st & 10, DEN 17 Tebow handoff to J.Johnson up the middle to DEN 22 for 5 yards.  
  2nd & 5, DEN 22 Tebow handoff to J.Johnson right tackle to DEN 21 for -1 yards.  
  3rd & 6, DEN 21 Tebow handoff to A.Sylvester up the middle to DEN 22 for 1 yard.  
  4th & 5, DEN 22 (From the shotgun) Tebow pass short right to M.Willis to DAL 24 for 7 yards.  By the time this is over, he could be the greatest handoff specialist the league has ever seen.
  4th & 4, DAL 24 PUNT  


                                                          Quotes



CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman: "The consensus in speaking with a handful of team personnel executives when it comes to one Tim Tebow is this: A trade could happen, but it's becoming increasingly likely the Broncos will keep or cut Tebow because the trade interest is dwindling rapidly. The executives portray the Tebow situation as a complicated one. They believe that while the Broncos are not openly trying to trade Tebow, they say that when teams have recently inquired about him, the Broncos haven't been saying he's off the trading block, either."

CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyel: "[Terrelle] Pryor strikes me as another Vince Young or Tim Tebow, and we all see what kind of success Vince Young and Tebow have had, so far, as NFL quarterbacks."

ESPN Analyst (and vocal Tebow critic) Merril Hoge, as paraphrased by ESPN.com blogger Bill Williamson: "On 'SportsCenter' Monday, NFL analyst Merril Hoge (who has been highly critical of Tebow’s ability this summer) said Denver should cut Tebow if it can’t work out a trade with St. Louis. Former Denver head coach Josh McDaniels, who drafted Tebow with the No. 25 overall pick last year, is now the Rams’ offensive coordinator. With budding star Sam Bradford quarterbacking St. Louis, Tebow wouldn’t be more than a backup and special-package player in St. Louis."

ESPN.com blogger Bill Williamson, in his own words: "Don’t expect Quinn to give up his backup spot in the coming days. Tebow played late and he didn’t do much. The fact that Quinn threw 16 passes and Tebow tossed just two shows the team is much more interested in seeing Quinn play than seeing Tebow at this point. Tebow’s arrow is simply not pointing in the right direction as we approach the start of the season."

Denver Post columinst Woody Paige: "Tim Tebow will be the Broncos' starting quarterback this season. ... But The Tebow Thing won't happen until Dec. 11."


                                                   Action Shots*



*Last week, there were real, live action shots of Tebow playing in a real, live preseason game (proof here). Against the Bills, Tebow did a lot of standing around, and when he got into the game he was either handing off or getting sacked. We think that is pretty well reflected below. We like to call it: "standing, standing, handoff, sack, fin."

Assuming Tebow is still in the league, please join us next week for another installment of "Tracking Tebow." You know you want to.

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Posted on: August 21, 2011 11:41 am
Edited on: August 21, 2011 11:23 pm
 

Broncos S Rahim Moore should expect fine for hit

Posted by Ryan Wilson

One of the subplots heading into the Bills-Broncos Week 2 preseason game was the battle for Denver's backup quarterback gig. By the time it was over, Brady Quinn appeared like the clear-cut No. 2 behind Kyle Orton. But a bigger story emerged from Saturday night: the rash of serious injuries, one of which will almost certainly earn Denver rookie safety Rahim Moore a hefty fine for his hit on Buffalo wide receiver Donald Jones.

Broncos coach John Fox said after the game that "[Moore's] a rookie, so I'm not going to fault him," before adding: "I think it was helmet-to-helmet, I'll have to go back and view it, but either way, they viewed it as a penalty."

Moore sounded contrite but also realistic given his line of work. "I want the guy to at least make it out of bed the next morning," he said, according to the Denver Post's Mark Kiszla. "I mean no harm. But you know what? It's football. … If you don't be physical, somebody else will."

Moore continued: "I'm a jokester, I laugh a lot. But once I strap up, I turn into a different person. ..I don't want to hurt anybody to where it jeopardizes his season or his career. If it was the wrong thing to do, I apologize." Kiszla writes that, once Moore returned to the sidelines, he was advised to play smart but coaches also told him to "keep it up."


The hit led to shoving by players from both teams. When asked at halftime about tempers flaring, Bills head coach Chan Gailey, with pursed lips and a steely gaze, only said "Be smart -- but don't back down from anybody," before heading to the locker room.

Jones' teammates weren't happy about Moore's hit, either. "For someone to come after ... our guy, that didn't sit well with us," QB Ryan Fitzpatrick said, adding that he saw Jones at halftime and the wideout appeared OK. "We're not going to be pushed around by anybody."

The Bills' receiver wasn't the only player who had to leave the game with what appeared to be a head or neck injury. Running back Johnny White was carted off the field on a stretcher after being slammed to the ground by Broncos linebacker Mario Haggan.

"I know the injuries were a concern to everyone, and the good news right now is there were no serious injuries out of the night," Gailey after the game, according to the Buffalo News. "Guys will miss awhile but they're going to eventually be fine." White was healthy enough to fly back to Buffalo with the team.

Haggan later left the game with a shoulder injury, and Denver running back David Bruton also ended up in the hospital with a head injury after attempting to make a tackle during the fourth quarter.

Josina Anderson of Denver's Fox31 tweeted early Sunday morning that sources said Bruton initially couldn't answer standard memory questions like how he got to the game, details of the game, or repeating numbers backwards.

The NFL has implemented recent rules changes specifically designed to reduce injuries. There's always a lag between when rules are made and how long it takes players to adjust to them, but ultimately, it should make the game safer. Unless, of course, the owners truly are interested in pursuing the 18-game-schedule idea that didn't come close to making into the latest collective bargaining agreement.

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 9:31 pm
 

Merriman denies he was caught with steroids

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Earlier today, a blog post by a writer in Buffalo accused Bills LB Shawne Merriman of carrying steroids across the U.S.-Canada border and wrote that Merriman subsequently was picked up by customs officials but not arrested.

On Thursday evening, Merriman denied the charge.

Wrote Merriman on his Twitter account: “To answer your question guys im disappointed by a story that was written by a Buffalo writer regarding a routine stop at the Canadian border a few weeks ago. To clarify, there was … Absolutely NO steroids found in my vehicle & there were NO charges against me. I've received a great welcome by the community and fans. I've worked my butt off to have a great season.”

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 1:55 pm
 

Vick, NFL say he wasn't steered to Philly



Posted by Ryan Wilson

On Wednesday, GQ previewed their feature on Michael Vick, which included a quote from the Eagles quarterback that suggested NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell steered him towards Philadelphia.

"I think I can say this now, because it's not going to hurt anybody's feelings, and it's the truth," Vick told GQ author Will Leitch. "I didn't want to come to Philadelphia. Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options." Leith wrote that those two teams wanted him and would've allowed him to start, but after meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell and other reps from the NFL, Vick was convinced — and granted league approval — to sign with Philly. "And I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation."

By Thursday afternoon, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello had sent a series of tweets refuting Vick's recounting of events.

"On the Michael Vick story: His decision on where to play to put himself in the best position to succeed was entirely his own... Commissioner Goodell obviously met & spoke to Michael and his reps as part of his decision on whether to reinstate him & on what terms... But the commissioner would never steer players to or away from particular teams and did not do so in this case."

Eagles Offseason

The full GQ interview went live Thursday morning, and by midday, Vick was backtracking from his comments. He released the following statement through the Eagles website:

"I felt it was necessary to put out a statement today clarifying the article in GQ Magazine. I did speak with many people, but the decision to sign in Philadelphia was based on my discussions with my agent, my family and with Coach Reid. And after those discussions, it became clear to me that this was the place I wanted to play and resume my NFL career. The Commissioner never told me to sign or not sign with particular teams. Again, I want to make it perfectly clear that this was a decision I made and, as I have said numerous times before, I’m very happy with the way it has worked out for me and my family."

Make of this what you will.

As ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted Thursday after Vick's statement, "Does anyone really believe if Buffalo or Cincinnati offered Mike Vick more money than Philly, he wouldn't have gone there?" Good question, especially if one or both of those teams were willing to make Vick the starter.

CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman doesn't buy Vick's revised story, either.

Just remember: Goodell is the same guy NFL players decided to keep as judge, jury and executioner on all matters of punishment in the new collective bargaining agreement. Truthfully, is anyone shocked that a billion-dollar corporation would go into damage-control mode after such a revelation? Especially when the man in charge is as powerful as he's ever been?

In related news, we're expecting Vick to stick to his original story that the struggles at the end of his Falcons career rest solely with the coaching staff's inability to correctly assess his talents.

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Posted on: August 17, 2011 11:17 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 5:24 am
 

Michael Vick GQ interview will be controversial

Posted by Will Brinson

An interview with Michael Vick in GQ is set to hit the Internet on Thursday morning, and you can guarantee that after reading some of the quotes, it's sure to cause a bit of a publicity firestorm.

Well, that's based on some limited quotes, via Deadspin, that Vick gave to Will Leitch (of New York mag and Deadspin fame) anyway.

"Yeah, you got the family dog and the white picket fence, and you just think that's all there is," Vick said about the background involved in people hearing his story. "Some of us had to grow up in poverty-stricken urban neighborhoods, and we just had to adapt to our environment. I know that it's wrong. But people act like it's some crazy thing they never heard of. They don't know."

This is true, I think. I've argued as much, but whenever you play the "byproduct of culture or society" angle to anyone, they immediately put any number of examples that refute that back in your face. That's cool. It's their prerogative, and it's why there's not a singular opinion about Vick in our society.

Whatever you think about that subject, though, it probably is going to involve some discussion of race. Vick, based on his quotes, is fine with obliging that line of thinking.

Eagles Offseason

"I think that's accurate," Vick tells Leitch when asked if white people don't get how dogfighting plays out in black culture. "I mean, I was just one of the ones who got exposed, and because of the position I was in, where I was in my life, it went mainstream. A lot of people got out of it after my situation, not because I went to prison but because it was sad for them to see me go through something that was so pointless, that could have been avoided."

Hoo boy. Not to make comparisons with football players who have been to prison and then returned to the game, but these sort of quotes kind of sound awfully familiar, yes?

Look, we don't yet know the context of the full discussion between Leitch and Vick. But it's pretty hard to fathom that such quotes are taken out of context to the point that they seem somewhat inflammatory here but not within the scope of the full interview.

What's even harder to fathom is that Vick would actually break character and say anything remotely controversial. To this point, he's been picture perfect when it comes to rehabilitating his image. The comments above are the antithesis of that.

A.J. Daulerio at Deadspin makes a good point though -- from a sports perspective, the most controversial comments that Vick makes might have to do with his decision about where to stage his comeback.

Originally, Vick didn't want to go to Philadelphia. He felt like joining the Bills or Bengals (!) were better options.

"I think I can say this now, because it's not going to hurt anybody's feelings, and it's the truth... I didn't want to come to Philadelphia," Vick says. "Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options."

Leitch then points out that Vick met with Roger Goodell and the NFL and was steered towards Philly -- "I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation" -- which could seriously fire up those two fanbases, given that having Michael Vick on their respective rosters would certainly change things.

Oh, and the fact that the league steered one of the (now) most dynamic players in the league to a particular situation. That should go over really well with the media in the coming days.

Despite the potential firestorm that could come on that front, though, it's hard to really fault anyone for pushing Vick a certain way -- no one thought he would end up playing as well as he did in 2010.

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Posted on: August 17, 2011 10:35 am
 

Aaron Maybin set to sign contract with Jets

MaybinPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Sounds like Aaron Maybin might get a second chance to rejuvenate a career that never really ignited.

A couple days after Buffalo released Maybin from the team which drafted him with the No. 9 pick in the 2009 NFL draft (which led us, naturally, to ask why the Bills had drafted him in the first place), a number of New York scribes are reporting that Maybin will sign with the Jets.

According to Rapid Reporter Lisa Zimmerman, Maybin is expected to sign today, pending a passed physical.

Maybin, an undersized LB who recorded zero sacks and 16 tackles in 27 career games, obviously didn’t do well while trying to play in the Bills 3-4 defense last year, but sources tell the New York Daily News that Maybin should do better in the Jets multiple fronts look.

The Jets also apparently aren’t concerned with Maybin’s drastic weight loss (according to the Daily News, he went from 250 pounds to 228 after dealing with pneumonia before training camp), and he’s already back up to 242 pounds.

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Posted on: August 16, 2011 8:27 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 11:09 pm
 

Why did the Bills even draft Aaron Maybin?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

UPDATE, 10:30 p.m. ET: Via the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta: "Jets have extended a one-year offer to Aaron Maybin, per source. However, about 5-6 other teams have made similar offer. No decision yet."

-------

It took two years, but the Buffalo Bills finally released their 2009 11th-overall pick Aaron Maybin. And if it wasn't for his draft status, the two sides would've parted ways even sooner.

We don't say this so much as knock against Maybin -- by all accounts he was a hard worker, just undersized and lacking a true position -- but as an indictment against the Bills front office for taking him so high in the first place.

Either way, Maybin and his zero sacks and 16 tackles in 27 career games are free to hawk their wares elsewhere; he cleared waivers Tuesday and he can now sign with any team that wants him.

"He put so much into it, but there wasn't any appreciable improvement," coach Chan Gailey said Monday, according to the Associated Press. "It was better to do it now than to do it later."

Maybin's second biggest issue -- after not getting any better -- was that he struggled to keep weight on. The linebacker entered the league listed at 250 pounds but reported to camp last month at 228.

CBSSports.com's Will Brinson joked in May that Maybin apparently "looked like a wide receiver." Turns out, that wasn't far from the truth.

"That's the big thing," general manager Buddy Nix said, referring to Maybin's lack of size. "I saw where somebody said that he didn't fit the scheme. But I don't know what scheme he fits at that size unless you're a strong safety or something."

There is where we point out that Nix returned to the Bills in January 2009 as their National Scout. According to BuffaloBills.com's Chris Brown, the job required Nix "to cover a lot of the major college programs in preparation for the NFL draft."

Presumably, Penn State, Maybin's alma mater, was on Nix's beat. So while saying things like "…I don't know what scheme he fits at that size unless you're a strong safety or something" makes for a good quote, it reflects horribly on the person who played an important role in helping craft the Bills' '09 draft plans. In this case, it just so happens to be the same guy. (Nix was promoted to GM in December 2009 after Russ Brandon was named CEO.)

Exacerbating the problem: Nix falling for the sunk-cost fallacy (explained here) when he tells the AP, "That's the reason we took a little longer. We needed him and we wanted him to come through," Nix said. "He did everything he could do. He practiced hard. He hustled. He did everything you asked of him. It just didn't work out."

This is something you would never hear Bill Belichick admit publicly. It's also part of the reason why the Patriots have had at least 10 victories every season since 2003, and the Bills last had double-digit wins in 1999.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com