August 24, 2011 - 2:53 PM
---Cornerback Terrence McGee and receivers David Nelson and Craig Davis all returned to practice on Wednesday as did fullback Corey McIntyre, who is back after an excused absence.
Shawne Merriman, Chris Kelsay and Roscoe Parrish didn’t practice on Wednesday although all three were on the sidelines doing footwork drills. Players who also didn’t practice include Kellen Heard, Donald Jones, Arthur Moats, Roscoe Parrish, Shawn Nelson, Naaman Roosevelt, Reggie Torbor, Chris White and Johnny White. Chris White was also on the sidelines doing drills.
August 24, 2011 - 1:55 PM
---With the receiving corp depleted by injuries, the Bills signed Ruvell Martin. Martin has totaled 65 receptions for 1,006 yards and seven touchdowns in 53 games with nine starts since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent with San Diego in 2004.
Martin spent the 2005-08 seasons with Green Bay before joining St. Louis in 2009 and spent a portion of the 2010 season with Seattle. Oh yeah, Martin will wear No. 83, the same number worn by the departed Lee Evans.
August 24, 2011 - 10:07 AM
---While the Bills continue to shuffle around their offensive linemen to find solutions, the Baltimore Ravens may have addressed its problems on the line with the signing of Bryant McKinnie.
The Bills are in such dire straits at left tackle that Andy Levitre, who has started at left guard 32 consecutive games for the Bills, could be the starter by the season opener in Kansas City. Projected starting left tackle Demetrius Bell said he was shocked to learn he would be rotating in practice with Levitre but his lackluster performance last Saturday against Denver prompted the move.
Signing McKinnie would have done at least two things for the Bills. It would have solved the issue at left tackle as well rectifying the mistake of selecting bust Mike Williams over McKinnie with the fourth pick in the 2002 draft.
August 23, 2011 - 8:00 PM
Bills running back Fred Jackson had a meeting with running backs coach Curtis Modkins, but he wanted to see how much he played Saturday in the third preseason game before deciding how he would proceed.
Jackson was told that he's the starting running back, which gave him the confirmation he wanted Monday when he voiced his frustration with the organization. Talk is cheap, as we know, so Jackson was waiting to see how much he played Saturday against Jacksonville.
"It’s easy to say something, but we’ll see what happens on Saturday, what my role is and what we do in the game," Jackson said. "This will be the one true game for us. Normally, for starters, and what you’re role is, it will definitely be determined this weekend."
Jackson was angry with playing time in practice that had been given to C.J. Spiller, the ninth pick of the 2010 NFL draft. He emphasized after practice today that he had no animosity toward his teammate. Spiller suggested the whole thing was overblown.
It's not a minor nuisance to Jackson, who said a few things still need to be "ironed out." He acknowledged that part of his beef is related to the Bills' failure to restructure a four-year contract worth $8 million that makes him the 40th-highest paid back in the NFL. He doesn't even crack the top 20 highest-paid Bills after averaging nearly 1,000 yards rushing for two seasons.
"[The contract was] definitely a huge part of it," he said. "But as far as what my workload was like the past couple of weeks, that was something, too. I feel like I could do more for the team. When you’re sitting on the sideline, you’re not helping your team with where things want to be."
--- Bucky Gleason
August 23, 2011 - 3:36 PM
The Bills are taking the field today for a 2 1/2-hour practice as they continue to prepare for Saturday preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It will be a homecoming for linebacker Paul Posluszny, who signed as a free agent after the NFL lockout.
We'll see whether the Bills resolve their apparent problem with Fred Jackson, who told reporters Monday that he was frustrated with their failure to make him their clear choice as their top running back. He wanted to know where he stood in his competition with C.J. Spiller.
Jackson feared the Bills would hand the job to Spiller in an effort to justify their decision to take him in the first round of the 2010 draft. Spiller didn't comment about Jackson's comment on Monday. Bills coach Chan Gailey said Jackson has a slight edge in the competition even though Jackson has been much better.
--- Bucky Gleason
August 22, 2011 - 1:46 PM
ESPN is reporting that former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor was taken by the Raiders in the third round of the supplemental draft. No word yet on whether the Bills put in a bid for the Pryor, who will miss the first five games of the season.
Clearly, the Bills weren't interested in surrendering a high pick for Pryor with so many questions about his accuracy and conduct away from the field. That makes him an ideal pick for the lowly Raiders, who lose their third third-round selecting in the 2012 NFL draft.
Oakland already used their fourth-round pick to acquire Jason Campbell.
Pryor said he would be willing to play another position, but to me he wasn't worth the risk.
--- Bucky Gleason
August 22, 2011 - 9:46 AM
The NFL supplemental draft will be held at 1 p.m. today, and Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor expected to be selected in the bidding-style selection process.
The Bills were among the teams who sent a scout to watch his Pro Day workout last week. Pryor is a gifted athlete at 6-foot-5, 232 pounds, but many experts aren't convinced he has the accuracy, fundamentals and instincts to become a solid NFL quarterback. He reportedly ran the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds and told scouts he was willing to play any position in the NFL.
He also comes with baggage. He was suspended by the NCAA for selling memorabilia. He cannot play in the first five games this season in the NFL. He had a reputation as a diva and problem child in college. It makes you wonder whether he's worth the aggravation.
Should the Bills be interested?
It's a tough call for any team.
Ryan Fitzpatrick had a poor week of practice last week and did not look good in the preseason loss Saturday to the Denver Broncos. Quarterback has been a persistent problem for the Bills. Pryor might become a great player in the league, but you never know for sure. He could wind up playing wide receiver and be used in wild-cat situations. He could be a bust.
The way the supplemental draft works, interested teams determine what they would be willing to give up to get a particular player and place a bid on him. The highest bidder would get his rights, but in exchange it would surrender that pick in the next draft. Buffalo has a fourth-round pick from the Lee Evans trade that it could use, but that might not be enough to land Pryor if they wanted him.
It comes down to two basic questions:
Do you want him?
How much do you want him?
--- Bucky Gleason
August 21, 2011 - 1:25 AM
DENVER - Bills coach Chan Gailey was taking a learn-and-move-on attitude about Saturday night's loss to the Broncos.
When it was first-teamers vs. first-teamers on the field, the Bills were outscored, 14-3, and outgained, 138-90. Gailey wasn't thrilled, but he wasn't in a foul mood like he is after some defeats.
Said Gailey: "Pass defense starts with pass rush, we didn’t have a good enough four-man pass rush tonight to help our pass defense. We’ve got to get better there. I thought we played the run a lot better this week, throughout the whole ballgame. But with the ones, I think the ones had 60-some yards rushing against ‘em. I feel like we’re on track run-defense wise. We’ve just got a lot of work to do in the pass coverage and pass rush without blitzing ‘em every snap. "
"We wanted to see who could do what playing base defense. That was one of the theings going into the ballgame. Let guys play base defense and see where we are. So we didn’t throw a lot of blitz at ‘em. You’re able to see more where your deficiencies are if you just play base and let em play and then you can evaluate where we are."
It's clear the Bills have concerns about their four-man rush if Shawne Merriman is not on the field. And on the other side of the line, pass protection is a worry. Left tackle Demetrius Bell had trouble with Denver's elite speed rushers. Gailey said the Bills intentionally didn't give the tackles any help in the way of chipping or slide protection. Right tackle Erik Pears, at first glance, seemed to do OK. Ditto for right guard Kraig Urbik, who struggled in the first preseason game.
August 21, 2011 - 1:09 AM
DENVER -- Bills linebacker Nick Barnett had the quote of the night in the locker room after the team's 24-10 loss to the Broncos.
Said Barnett: "The mistakes, all we have to do is clean it up. I wouldn’t throw away your season tickets today. It’s going to be a great season, don’t worry."
The Bills' starting defense gave up two touchdown drives (for 66 and 76 yards) in three series on the field. The articulate Barnett based his perspective on the fact the Bills' starters shut down the Denver running game, and they played a vanilla four-man rush against the pass.
Said Barnett: "We should be able to run our base defense and be able to stop them and execute our responsibilities. Then again, we did not game plan them at all. I probably watched one quarter on them, and that was today. It’s the preseason. You’re supposed to be able to go out there with your base defense and play and make the plays. We came up a little short. But there were some good things we can take from this game and build upon."
August 21, 2011 - 12:34 AM
DENVER - Bills running back Johnny White, who suffered an injury to the head area Saturday night and was taken to a Denver hospital, is not seriously injured.
"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," said Bills coach Chan Gailey. "Guys will miss awhile but they're going to eventually be fine."
"Everything cleared at the hospital and he's going back on a plane with us," Gailey said of White, the Bills' fifth-round draft choice out of North Carolina.
White was slammed to the ground at the end of a running play by Denver linebacker Mario Haggan, a former Bill. White's head hit the ground first. He was moving his arms when team doctors and trainers ran out to treat him. The Bills' medical staff immobilized him and strapped him to a stretcher. White was treated on the field for about 10 minutes before being placed on a cart and taken by ambulance to the hospital. But he was taken to the team charter plane for the return flight home.
Gailey would not say whether White suffered a concussion or not.
"That he's not staying here overnight to me means it's not that serious," Gailey said.
Bills receiver Donald Jones took a big hit to the head area at the end of a pass play and also was on the ground for several minutes. He was able to walk off the field just before halftime and did not return. He was OK, Gailey said.
Inside linebacker Arthur Moats suffered a leg injury and had to be carted off the field in the third quarter. Gailey said that injury wasn't bad, either. "It's more of a bruise than anything," Gailey said.
Receiver Naaman Roosevelt had a sore ankle after the game. A Denver player rolled up on his leg after a catch.