August 16, 2011 - 8:29 AM
On the release of Maybin:
It’s all about us as a team and trying to get better. I’ll say this every time, but it’s also about him. We could have used him and gone on through the preseason and that kind of thing, and he would have had very little chance of being picked up. This gives him a chance to maybe get on another team, fit in better and things work out good for him.
On if Maybin’s size and strength was an issue:
I saw where somebody said he didn’t fit the scheme. I don’t know what scheme he fits at that size, unless you’re a strong safety. He says his metabolism and maybe that’s what it is. He couldn’t hold weight. He was 250 at the combine when we saw him and then he was 228 this fall. He goes up and down some but not very high.
On how difficult it is giving up on a former first-round pick:
You make way more out of those picks than we do and than I do. I know the money is a big deal. I don’t think that will be as big now and as much pressure will be on the player. I think what happens when you miss on a pick that high, a first or second or even third round, it sets you back because you keep trying to fill that void. That’s the reason we took a little longer. We needed him and wanted him to come through and wanted to make sure we gave him every opportunity. He did everything he could do. He practiced hard, he hustled and he did everything we asked of him. It just didn’t work out.
On letting young guys get a chance at a roster spot:
And that’s what happens. We said that and I’ve said that from day one. A guy that has a chance to develop and be what you’re looking for that doesn’t get enough reps to do it, and that’s what happened.
August 15, 2011 - 4:32 PM
---In terms of Bills draft busts, Aaron Maybin may be the biggest.
Left tackle Mike Williams was the No. 4 pick overall in 2002 and was a major bust, but he started 47 games and played 51 for the Bills. Defensive end Erik Flowers, 26th overall in 2000, played 31 games over two seasons and made four sacks which were four more than Maybin.
Defensive end Walt Patulski, No. 1 overall in 1973, appeared in 56 games and tight end Tony Hunter, No. 12 overall in ’83, played two seasons and caught 69 passes. Wide receiver Perry Tuttle, the 19th pick in 1982, caught 24 passes in two years, and while 1980 No. 1 overall pick Tom Cousineau never played for the Bills – electing to play in the CFL – the linebacker wound up making 59 starts in the NFL.
Maybin has just one.
August 15, 2011 - 1:37 PM
---In a move that wasn’t totally unexpected, the Bills today announced that former first-round pick Aaron Maybin has been waived.
In two full seasons in Buffalo Maybin, who was drafted in the first round with the No. 11 pick overall, totaled just 24 tackles and didn’t record a sack. He was drafted out of Penn State in large part because of his ability as a pass rusher.
Now, Maybin is another of a long list of Bills draft busts.
August 14, 2011 - 12:40 AM
CHICAGO -- Here were Chan Gailey comments after the Bills' 10-3 loss to the Bears in the exhibition opener.
“Two or three things that stood out to me about the game:” said Gailey, “One on special teams we let too many returns go out there. The second thing is I felt like our first defense played strong. We let a draw and a quarterback scramble get out and that was about it. … The understatement of the evening is I thought Merriman was impressive on his return.”
Offensive utilityman Brad Smith got three carries and three pass attempts.
Said Gailey: "We wanted to work on the Wildcat tonight. That was one of the things going in, we wanted to see that from those guys, from Brad and from Josh (Nesbitt). We were able to get it on film and see what it adds to us. It really helps our short yardage game. So that was a good thing."
On the offense: "Offensively I thought Fitz was sharp. I think he was 7 for 9 and had a drop. He did some good things out there. We got some work to do to continue to improve our game."
"I think the biggest disappointment I had was how our down the line guys played, executed. I thought they fought, I thought they tried. But I wasn’t pleased with their execution we’ve got some work to do to find out which of those guys can step up to the next level."
August 14, 2011 - 12:35 AM
CHICAGO -- The Bills had nine sacks in their 10-3 loss to the Chicago Bears tonight. Shawne Merriman had two in nine plays and helped cause a third, which was made by rookie Marcell Dareus. Second-year linebacker Danny Batten had two sacks. The others were made by Kellen Heard, Brad Jefferson, Alex Carrington and Spencer Johnson.
Merriman on how it felt to be back: "I was excited. I felt like a rookie. I couldn't tell them before the game because I heard a bunch of the young guys coming off saying how they were nervous that it was their first game. I was like, 'Hey, that's good. You're supposed to be nervous.' I was nervous myself a little bit because I haven't lined up and had a chance to play ball. But it felt good."
Merriman on dealing with the pressure to be successful: "When (the Bills) didn't draft anyone last year when I re-signed, I knew they had the confidence in me getting back to where I needed to be to go out and play at the level that I needed to play. And that's all I ask for is a little bit of confidence and some faith in me going out and getting things done."
August 13, 2011 - 12:24 PM
Thanks to numerous readers who caught a mistake in my story today on the Lee Evans trade.
The deal leaves the Bills with five No. 1s of their own on the current roster. I left out C.J. Spiller (2010). The others are Marcell Dareus (2011), Aaron Maybin (2009), Eric Wood (2009) and Leodis McKelvin (2008).
The Bills have one player left from the draft in 2005 (Roscoe Parrish), one from 2006 (Kyle Williams), none from 2007 and four from 2008 (McKelvin, Reggie Corner, Demetrius Bell and Stevie Johnson).
August 12, 2011 - 4:35 PM
Bills General Manager Buddy Nix spoke to reporters at the airport before the team left for its game in Chicago on Saturday. He said the team wants to give its young wideouts a better chance to develop.
Said Nix: "To answer the question of why the trade, we have six or seven really promising young receivers. We’d like to see those guys develop, and we want to give them that opportunity. ... Unless somebody got hurt you were going to have a good player that you were going to have to let go."
Nix praised Evans' character: "If you combine the player and the person you’d be hard pressed to find someone who has represented the Bills better than him. He did a lot for this organization and this community."
On the trade market for Evans: "There was a lot of interest in Lee and you could understand why. He’s a good player and has done a lot of really good things here. He’ll add to Baltimore. I think it’s a good opportunity for him. They’ve got a one receiver (Anquan Boldin) and he’ll probably move right in. They have a good team. Ozzie Newsome and I go back years and Cam Cameron and I worked together. I think it’s a great opportunity for Lee also."
August 12, 2011 - 2:32 PM
Lee Evans is happy about being traded to a Super Bowl contender in Baltimore. He also said he is sorry to leave the Buffalo Bills fans in the wake of today's trade of him to the Ravens.
"I’ve loved playing here," Evans told The News. "The fans really, really make this place special. I’ll always have ties to the Buffalo community, through the people I’ve met. And the friends I’ve made will be friends for life. It’s a fantastic place to play, a great football environment and I’ll always have ties to the community here."
On playing in Baltimore, Evans said: "I’m really excited about it. You look at their team and what they’ve done over the years and the personnel that they have. I’m really excited to get over there and be a part of what they have going. I’ll do anything I can to try to help them win."
Evans, of course, never has made the playoffs in his seven NFL seasons. The Ravens have made the playoffs three straight years and four of the last five seasons.
On playing for a Super Bowl contender, Evans said: "I’m excited. That’s one of the most exciting things about it. Obviously I haven’t been there in my career to date. So this is a huge opportunity. I’m looking forward to it. I’m very excited about it and can’t wait to get rolling."
Evans on the thought that he didn't quite fit in the plans of the Bills' new regime of Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey: "New coaches come in, they always like to bring new guys in, bring new talent in and bring guys they’re familiar with. So you don’t know. I just tried to work as hard as I could to try to fit in. At the end of the day it just wasn’t a fit. I talked to them both today, and it wasn’t a personal thing. They both said they have a tremendous amount of respect for me. It’s just the way the game is. They want to get a little younger and move forward.”
August 12, 2011 - 2:23 PM
The new broom sweeps clean in the NFL. Teams change regimes, and veteran players invariably get tossed aside. That's at least part of the story with the Bills' trade today of receiver Lee Evans to the Baltimore Ravens.
How this makes the Bills better is a little hard to determine. However, it's clear Bills General Manager Buddy Nix and Coach Chan Gailey think their offense can get along just fine without their most veteran and fastest receiver.
Evans caught only 37 passes for 578 yards in Gailey's offense last season. Gailey has seemed very content to not make Evans the focus of the passing attack, given the emergence off Stevie Johnson as a high-quality player. Johnson caught 82 passes for 1,073 yards last season.
Now the Bills will have more opportunity to play some of their younger receivers. The prime one among them, from a potential standpoint, is second-year man Marcus Easley, who is big and fast. Easley, a fourth-round pick last season, is an imposing 6-foot-2, 225 pounds. He still has a lot to learn about the nuances of playing receiver. It's probably a lot to ask of him to step in to start the season and get a lot of snaps at outside receiver. The Evans deal puts a bigger spotlight on Craig "Buster" Davis, signed last week after being cut by San Diego. Can Davis, a former first round pick of the Chargers, stay on the field? He could not in four seasons with the Chargers. If he can, the Bills have a veteran complement to Johnson. If he can't, it will be up to younger players like David Nelson, Donald Jones, Easley and Naaman Roosevelt to produce outside.
August 12, 2011 - 10:03 AM