Posts Tagged ‘Chris Williams’

Stacking Up the Buffalo Bills’ New Offense After Wave of Offseason Acquisitions

Friday, March 20th, 2015
LeSean McCoy is set to be the centerpiece of the Buffalo Bills' new-look offense. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

LeSean McCoy is set to be the centerpiece of the Buffalo Bills’ new-look offense. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Rex Ryan is known to be a defensive-minded coach, but you wouldn’t know it from the Buffalo Bills’ personnel moves during his first offseason with the team. Since the start of February, the Bills have acquired eight new players; all of them play offense.

In February, the Bills claimed wide receiver Justin Brown off waivers from the Pittsburgh Steelers, then signed veteran guard Richie Incognito as a street free agent. In early March, one week before free agency, the Bills really cranked the volume up to eleven when they made trades on back-to-back days for Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel. Since then, the Bills have continued to load up on offensive playmakers in free agency with the signings of quarterback Tyrod Taylor, fullback Jerome Felton, wide receiver Percy Harvin and tight end Charles Clay.

The Bills have taken a clearly defined approach to the offseason so far, and it’s easy to understand why. Their defense ranked fourth in the NFL in both points allowed and yards allowed last season, and will be returning nine of its 2014 starters for 2015. The Bills offense, on the other hand, ranked just 26th in yards per game, 18th in points per game and 26th in Football Outsiders’ offensive DVOA.

As a result of the Bills’ active offseason thus far, their offense could be unrecognizable in 2015. That’s a good thing—the Bills’ 2014 offense is certainly not one they ever want to replicate going forward—but it could take some getting used to.

There is likely to still be more talent added to the offense through the NFL draft, but at least in terms of free-agent signings and trades, the Bills’ big roster moves are probably complete. With that in mind, we can start breaking down how Buffalo’s new combination of parts, under new offensive coordinator Greg Roman, could all come together to form the 2015 Bills offense.

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Free Agent Guards the Buffalo Bills Could Pursue This Offseason

Thursday, February 5th, 2015
San Francisco 49ers guard Mike Iupati could be a top target for the Buffalo Bills on the free-agent market this offseason. (Photo: Kyle Terada — USA Today Sports)

San Francisco 49ers guard Mike Iupati could be a top target for the Buffalo Bills on the free-agent market this offseason. (Photo: Kyle Terada — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Dustin Tingue

The Buffalo Bills finished the 2013 season second in the NFL in total rushing yards, just behind the Philadelphia Eagles. In 2014, that strength became a weakness and Buffalo plummeted to 25th in rushing, averaging just under 93 yards a game. Having a banged-up group of running backs was only half the problem, as the offensive line up front—especially the guards—also struggled for most of the season.

At left guard, Chris Williams appeared in just three games before being assigned to injured reserve with a nagging back ailment. Rookie fifth-round pick Cyril Richardson started four games, but was clearly overwhelmed and eventually replaced by Kraig Urbik. At right guard, Erik Pears graded out as one of the worst players at his position in the entire league.

New head coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Greg Roman will surely evaluate this offseason which offensive linemen they can work with that are currently on the roster, but even with a new coaching staff on board, Doug Whaley would be wise to try and find an experienced and reliable guard in free agency to help Buffalo re-establish its run game.

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Buffalo Bills Place Chris Williams on Injured Reserve, Add Kenny Ladler to 53-Man Roster

Saturday, October 11th, 2014
Chris Williams' first season with the Bills lasted just three games. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

Chris Williams’ first season with the Bills lasted just three games. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

In an offseason where the Buffalo Bills went for mid-level veteran bargains over big-ticket signings in free agency, their most scrutinized move was their decision to sign left guard Chris Williams to a four-year, $13.15 million deal.

That deal already looks like a mistake after the oft-injured guard was placed on season-ending injured reserve Saturday due to a lingering back injury.

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Working Out the Kinks: Buffalo Bills Training Camp Observations, July 21

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Sammy Watkins has been an early standout at Buffalo Bills training camp. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Glenn Gifford

During a few hours of extreme humidity at St. John Fisher College on Monday afternoon, I had the opportunity to take in the Buffalo Bills’ second practice of their 2014 training camp.

The team has many new faces and despite the injury to middle linebacker Kiko Alonso, defensive tackle Marcel Dareus’ off-field issues and Cordy Glenn’s mystery ailment, hope still springs eternal for the Bills’ embattled fan base.

Like the classic Clint Eastwood film, the theme of Monday’s training camp observations are The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

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Scouting the Bills Veteran Additions: What Chris Williams Brings to the Buffalo Bills

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Free-agent addition Chris Williams could be the Buffalo Bills’ starting left guard in 2014. (Photo: Kyle Terada — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

Production at the left guard position was among the most inconsistent on the Buffalo Bills last season.

The team failed to adequately replace Andy Levitre, a four-year starter who left for the Tennessee Titans as an unrestricted free agent. The Bills initially entrusted the position to Colin Brown, who performed poorly and was released in Week 7 despite starting the first five games of the season. The performance of Doug Legursky, who replaced Brown as the starter in Week 6 after coming back from an injury, was only marginally better.

The Bills made improving at left guard—and the offensive line as a whole—a high priority this offseason by not only utilizing three draft picks on linemen, but also by signing veteran free agent Chris Williams.

Williams has started 54 games over the course of his seven-year career and was the only St. Louis Rams offensive lineman to start all 16 of the team’s games in 2013.

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