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What Will Pepper Johnson Bring to Buffalo? Q&A with NEPatriotsDraft’s Mike Loyko


The Buffalo Bills defensive line, led by Mario Williams (94) and Kyle Williams (95), will have a new position coach, Pepper Johnson, in 2014. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

Mike Loyko, who covers the New England Patriots for NE Patriots Draft, recently took the time to share his thoughts with Buffalo Bills Draft on new Buffalo defensive line coach Pepper Johnson. Johnson spent the past fourteen years on New England’s coaching staff as assistant linebackers coach (2000), inside linebackers coach (2001-03), defensive line coach (2004-11) and most recently, linebackers coach (2012-13).

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Nine Possible No. 9 Overall Picks for the Buffalo Bills


Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews could be an immediate upgrade on the Buffalo Bills offensive line. (Photo: Thomas Campbell — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The National Football League is officially in its 2014 offseason, meaning that the entire league (well, maybe not quite yet for the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks) is shifting its attention to how it can make its team better for next season.

While free agency and possibly trades will be an important step, there is no bigger opportunity to improve a roster than the annual NFL draft, which will be held May 8-10 this year. The Buffalo Bills, by virtue of their 6-10 record, hold the No. 9 overall selection in the first round of this year’s draft.

A top-10 pick is always a valuable commodity, and the Buffalo Bills sit in a good position. The Bills should have the opportunity to draft a very good talent who provides an immediate upgrade at that slot, and although they have some needs, they have a roster well-rounded enough to have the flexibility to draft for the best player rather than the biggest roster hole.

We won’t know for sure who will be available at the No. 9 overall pick until the No. 8 overall pick has been announced on May 8, but there will be no shortage of speculation around the pick nonetheless. The Bills should be able to come up with nine worthy candidates to be their first-round pick; the following nine options (plus one, see end of page 2) might be their best.

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What Will Fred Pagac Bring to Buffalo from Minnesota? Q&A with Vikings Writer Arif Hasan


Fred Pagac will coach Buffalo’s linebackers in 2014. (Photo: Bruce Kluckohn — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

Arif Hasan, who covers the Minnesota Vikings for the Daily Norseman and Bleacher Report, recently took the time to share his thoughts with Buffalo Bills Draft on new Buffalo linebackers coach Fred Pagac. Pagac spent the past eight years on Minnesota’s coaching staff as linebackers coach and for one year, defensive coordinator (2011).

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Andre Reed Gets Selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2014 Class


Former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Andre Reed was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. (Photo: Kevin Rivoli — The Associated Press)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

Finally!

Andre Reed made Saturday’s final cut to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2014 class.

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Buffalo Bills State of the Roster: Defense and Special Teams


Coming off a career-best season, Marcell Dareus’ adjustment to another new defensive scheme will be critical to Buffalo’s 2014 success. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Ryan Glaze

The Buffalo Bills defense is currently in a state of flux as defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has left to become the head coach of the Cleveland Browns and subsequently, has pilfered three Bills assistant coaches from last year’s staff, one who had been hired by the Bills earlier this month (Jeff Hafley) and might be on the verge of hiring away defensive line coach Anthony Weaver.

The Bills reacted quickly and hired former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz to replace Pettine. Though his staff isn’t completely solidified yet, it appears likely that Schwartz will bring his “Wide 9,” 4-3 based defense to Buffalo.

The good news for Schwartz is that he’s entering a kitchen with a well-stocked pantry. Buffalo’s defense was its stronger side of the ball last season, and with only one glaring exception, returns all of its key contributors who, for the most part, look to be solid fits for Schwartz’ scheme.

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Buffalo Bills State of the Roster: Offense


The progression of the Buffalo Bills offense going into 2014 will revolve largely around quarterback EJ Manuel. (Photo: Melina Vastola — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Ryan Glaze

After a six-win season in 2013, the Buffalo Bills’ brain trust of general manager Doug Whaley, head coach Doug Marrone and team president Russ Brandon will look to lead the team to improvement in 2014. A major part of that process will play out this offseason as the Bills look to add talent to their roster through the NFL draft, free agency and possibly trades.

The Bills especially need to improve the talent of their offense, which ranked 19th in the NFL in total yards (338.1 per game) and 22nd in points scored (21.2 per game). Still, from quarterback EJ Manuel to left tackle Cordy Glenn and others in between, the Bills have some core pieces to continue building around this offseason.

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