Bills Ready For Start Of Season
Roster Tidbits: The final 53 man roster has 11 new members. Five of the six draft picks are on the roster. The sixth is on the PUP list. Four NFL free agents are on the roster, one player that was on the practice squad last year, and only one undrafted free agent. Jim Leonhard is the lone rookie on the team that wasn't drafted. Last year four made the team. Six other undrafted free agents were among the final 14 cuts. Some quirks on the depth chart. As we reported yesterday the team decided to keep seven wide receivers including last year's practice squad member George Wilson. They also kept only three defensive ends for the second year in a row and an extra defensive tackle as they kept five men in the middle. The idea here is that Jeff Posey can put his hand on the ground in a pinch and Lauvale Sape had a solid camp. By keeping Leonhard the Bills decided to keep an extra safety instead of a defensive back. They are only carrying four corners and five safeties. The idea here is that Troy Vincent can move back to corner in a pinch. The team will be able to assemble their eight man practice squad this week. Front Office.
Saturday September 3, 2005
Bills Release 14: The Bills got their roster down to 53 men by releasing 14 players. The biggest shock was the release of OL Ross Tucker. He was a very valuable lineman last year who can play guard or center. He never really recovered from off season back surgery. The team was expected to keep one extra wide receiver because of the injury to Roscoe Parrish, they actually kept two extra as seven receivers make up the final roster. The only receiver among the final cuts was Drew Haddad, who was some thought had the team made. The others released were: TEs Brad Cieslak and Rod Trafford, OL Jasen Esposito and Dylan McFarland, LBs Liam Ezekial and Wendell Hunter, DEs George Gause and Constantin Ritzmann, DBs Evan Ogelsby and Lawrence Richardson, FB Jon Goldsberry and QB Kevin Thompson. Depth Chart.
Season Ticket Sales Rise: The Bills announced that they have sold 47,246 season tickets for the coming season. That is an increase of 4,693 over last year. It is the seventh highest total in team history and the most since 1993.
Losman Ready For Season: J.P. Losman said he's ready to move on to the regular season after a disappointing game last night. He called last night a start for the season that they've all been waiting for. He knows he has to roll with it despite things not going as planned last night. He learned he can't baby a throw in the wind like he tried on one of his interceptions last night. The performance they put out last night wasn't what they wanted but it is fine since the regular season is here. He said he's been prepared for a long time for the season, how it works out we will have to see how it goes but things look like they are fine and players have responded to his leadership. He knows they need to improve the overall tempo of the offense.
Mularkey Pleased With Losman: Coach Mularkey called last night's game another example to learn from some mistakes that took points off the board and kept drives going for the opponent. The coach said he'll watch the tape more than once to evaluate J.P. Losman. He was pleased with his play overall, saying there were more positives in his play than negatives. His initial reaction was he made some plays. On Nate Clements, he said the injury doesn't appear serious but they will take another look at it and see how he feels today. Everyone is ready to move on to the regular season. He wouldn't elaborate on whether or not he thought the team played bad until he looks at the film but he did have some opinions. The looming cuts today will be very difficult as there are some very close calls. He plans on giving the players the weekend off to let them get away from the game a bit. They begin the regular season routine on Monday.
Friday September 2, 2005
Losman Sloppy: J.P. Losman played very poorly and left some doubts in people's mind if he will be ready to run this offense from day one. He was sacked twice to go along with his two interceptions and is not going into the season on the high note that Coach Mularkey wanted him to go in on. Also hurting their chances in this one was Rian Lindell. He showed the same inconsistency he had last season by missing a 32 yard field goal wide right. Shaud Williams was given a chance to lock up the number two running back spot but he averaged only 3.1 yards per carry as he ran it 9 times for 28 yards. Lionel Gates didn't do much better but he did score the lone touchdown.
Reed Inside Track? The third wide receiver spot is still wide open but Josh Reed may have the edge. He finished with a team high 6 catches for 67 yards against Detroit. He did drop one pass. Sam Aiken and Jonathan Smith also made plays in the loss giving the coaches a lot to think about at that spot. Also playing well was Kelly Holcomb. He had a QB rating of 103.3 in this game. He has totally outplayed J.P. Losman all preseason and there may be calls for him if Losman continues to play like he did the past two weeks.
Bills Lose 21-7: The Bills had their second bad effort in a row to close out the preseason at 2-2. The Lions, coming into Buffalo on a short week, controlled the game and came away with a 21-7 victory. J.P. Losman played the entire first half and threw two interceptions, one was returned for a score with the help of a lateral. The second one setup a touchdown as the Lions had a 14-0 lead at the half. The Lions were playing behind their third string quarterback most of the way and were able to move the football against the Bills defense. Kelly Holcomb led the Bills on their only scoring drive in the second half as Lionel Gates scored on a two yard run for the Bills only score.
Clements Hurt: The biggest blow for the Bills tonight may be the injury to Nate Clements. He was shaken up in the second quarter and left the game, he went to the locker room and did not return. He injured his shoulder in a part of the preseason finale when he could have been on the bench already. No word yet on the seriousness of the injury. Jason Peters was shaken up and left for a bit, but he returned after getting his ankle taped. Injury Page.
Bills Ready For Final Tuneup: Tonight at 7 the Bills will face the Lions for their final preseason tuneup before the regular season gets underway next Sunday. It is an important game for players on the bubble as the team must release 14 players tomorrow. Look for a good battle among the wide receivers, running backs, and defensive ends for closely contested races for roster spots.
Thursday September 1, 2005
Losman Wants Fast Start: J.P. Losman told the media yesterday that it is up to the coaches how long he plays tomorrow night in the preseason finale against Detroit. He is looking for a fast start and take care of business as long as he is in there. He hopes they don't hold anything back for the home opener since they need to practice hard. Coach Mularkey showed him film of an opening day 1995 Steelers game where Mike Tomczak got hurt. Losman quipped he didn't know what Mularkey was trying to tell him by showing that. Losman said that he, Lee Evans and Willis McGahee have a chance to be a great trio but they have to work hard and win. Losman says he's lucky to have the two experienced backups helping him and harping him to get down instead of taking hits. He knows he needs to be smart about running but he makes plays with his feet and won't stop or worry about getting hurt. As far as the Lions go, he expects them to be ready despite coming off a short week with a game on Monday night.
Wednesday August 31, 2005
QB Stir? J.P. Losman said it is in the back of his mind that if he doesn't get the job done, even though he's young, he can have it all taken away from him. Coach Mularkey said yesterday it would have to be an extreme circumstance for Losman to be benched. In an article in the Buffalo News, Tom Donahoe said that if Losman is struggling in a game, and the coach is looking for a spark, he can get that from Kelly Holcomb.
Game Blacked Out: Friday's game against Detroit will be blacked out as expected. There are 20,000 tickets remaining for the game. They are available at the team's website, ticketmaster, and the stadium box office and ticket offices.
Mularkey Looking For Good Game: Coach Mularkey addressed the media after today's practice had to be moved indoors because of heavy rain in Western New York that was the remains of Hurricane Katrina. The coach said he's looking for smart, disciplined, physical football from his team. It is all about how they perform and being consistent throughout the final preseason game. The coach said it would have to be an extreme circumstance to bench J.P. Losman but he has a lot of confidence in all three of his quarterbacks. On Jabari Greer and Rashad Baker, he said they have a very good maturity level and have been workout warriors all offseason. Mularkey said there is a chance that an undrafted free agent or two could make the team. He said everyone still on the roster has a chance to make the team but added the receiving corps is going to be extremely tough to whittle down. The team will need to cut 15 players by Tuesday and will likely release two receivers in the final cuts.
No To Simon: Tom Donahoe told the Buffalo News the Bills have no interest in DT Corey Simon. Donahoe went on to say the Bills never had interest in him. It was widely reported last month that the Bills and Eagles were talking compensation for a deal for the franchised player. The Eagles this week released the franchise tag making Simon an unrestricted free agent. Simon wants top dollar and that makes him unrealistic for the Bills to be involved in his sweepstakes.
Lee Finds Team: Recently cut RB ReShard Lee didn't stay on the open market long. He was claimed off of waivers by the Minnesota Vikings yesterday. The Vikings have a lot of talent at running back but all of them are banged up.
Tuesday August 30, 2005
Mularkey Gets Creative To Get To 65: Coach Mularkey said the team got creative in getting down to the 65 man roster. The one cut and the two player moves got them to 67 with the two roster designations. He said he's disappointed for Kevin Thomas wasn't able to get back from his knee surgery. He now has six more weeks on the PUP reserve list to get healthy and he thinks he will. The coach likes the problem he has at defensive back of having too many talented players. He said all the young guys have shown flashes at times.
Bills Make Roster Moves: The Bills have released CB Therrian Fontenot and placed Kevin Everett and Kevin Thomas on the PUP-reserve list. They were already on the PUP list. The new designation means they will be out at least the first six weeks, and up to week 9. The team then has 21 practice days to make a roster decision to either activate them or put them on injured reserve. The moves gives the Bills 67 players on their active roster which meets today's deadline as they have NFL Europe roster exemptions for Kevin Thompson and Lawrence Richardson. Depth Chart.
Euhus Out: Tim Euhus has yet to return to practice as he remains sidelined with a strained pectoral muscle. It appears certain that he will miss the final preseason game on Friday. There is no timetable yet for his return. Kevin Thomas did some light running in practice yesterday with a brace on his knee. He remains on the PUP list. If he's not activated before the season starts, he would be out until at least mid season. Lauvale Sape left yesterday's practice with a right elbow injury. The Buffalo News reports that the injury doesn't appear to be serious. Injury Page.
Starters To Play More: Coach Mularkey says he likes where they are at offensively since they practice against their great defense. He does want a little more consistency from them in this preseason. He said on Monday that they need to get into a rhythm on both sides of the ball and he hopes it happens early in the Lions game. That is why the starters, on both sides of the ball, are expected to play more than usual in the final preseason game on Friday. Normally starters play just a series or two in the last tuneup before the season starts. The coach did not say how long they would play but wants them to get more reps in so they can go into the season prepared.
Dorenbos Safe? Coach Mularkey said that Duke Preston long snapped well but he's not there yet. He is confident he can do it in a pinch if he had to. That seems to make you think that Jon Dorenbos will retain his snapping duties. The Bills were hoping that they wouldn't need to use a roster spot on someone that is just a snapper.
Monday August 29, 2005
Losman Looking To Win Games: J.P. Losman told the media he needs to make as many plays as possible and knows the better he gets, the better he does, the better the chance of winning games. He knows of the importance of the tight end position and needs to do it fast, Mark Campbell told him that he wants to catch 35 balls this year. He feels fine going into the final preseason week and last week's loss wasn't as bad as he thought but he's not satisfied with where he is at this point. He did add that he thinks he's ready to play now.
Losman, Moulds Worried: J.P. Losman and Eric Moulds are two players that are worried about friends and family in the hurricane hit areas of Louisiana and Mississippi. Moulds is from the area and Losman went to school at Tulane which is in New Orleans. Losman said all his college friends still down there evacuated. Moulds is concerned but friends back home keep him updated with text messages.
Roster Down To 70: With the seven cuts we reported yesterday, the Bills' roster is now at 70 players. Tomorrow afternoon is the cut down to 65. The Bills do own NFL Europe exemptions, so they won't have to release five players tomorrow but a few players still must go.
Shelton Extension: The Buffalo News confirmed that Daimon Shelton was recently given a contract extension. He will make $700,000 this year, and $950,000 next year. He was due to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. The Bills have many players that will be free after this season and they are trying hard to get at least a few under contract before the season starts. Last year, they signed Aaron Schobel just before the start of the season. Other players they are trying to work out a deal for are Terrence McGee, Nate Clements and Ryan Denney. The Bills are in negotiations with the agents for Clements and Denney. McGee is due to become a restricted free agent after this season giving the Bills the right to match any offer he gets. 2006 Free Agents.
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