Posts Tagged ‘Erik Pears’

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 Report Card: Midseason Grades

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014
Playing to earn a contract extension, Marcell Dareus has been the first-half star of the Buffalo Bills defense. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

Playing to earn a contract extension, Marcell Dareus has been the first-half star of the Buffalo Bills defense. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Paul Banach

The Buffalo Bills are right in the thick of the AFC playoff race, currently sitting in a four-way tie for sixth place with a record of 5-3. The defense has really carried the team while the offense has been opportunistic enough to contribute to the winning record.

Overall through eight games, many defensive players have graded out very well while the offensive players have been more boom or bust in terms of individual performances.

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Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets, 2014 NFL Week 8: Matchups to Watch and Keys to the Game

Sunday, October 26th, 2014
Kraig Urbik will get his first chance to start this season for the Bills on Sunday. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

Kraig Urbik will get his first chance to start this season for the Bills on Sunday. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The Buffalo Bills will reach the midpoint of their 2014 season on Sunday. Playing the New York Jets on the road, they’ll need a victory to bring a winning record into their Week 9 bye.

Buffalo, at 4-3, is a favorite to win Sunday against the Jets, who are 1-6 this year. While the Bills have had their issues this year, they’ve still been a clearly better team than New York, who carries a six-game losing streak into Week 8. That said, the Bills haven’t beat the Jets in MetLife Stadium since 2009—Rex Ryan’s first year as Jets head coach.

The following matchups and keys for each team will play a big part in determining whether the Bills can reverse that trend.

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EJ Manuel, Passing Offense Continue to Struggle as Buffalo Bills Lose to Houston Texans

Sunday, September 28th, 2014
J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans got the best of EJ Manuel and the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. (Photo: Troy Taormina — USA Today Sports)

J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans got the best of EJ Manuel and the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. (Photo: Troy Taormina — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Fans of a football team tend to give the quarterback too much credit when the team wins and heap excessive blame on the signal-caller when the team loses. That’s especially been the case for the Buffalo Bills and their fanbase, understandably so, in the one season and four games of the EJ Manuel era thus far.

I’m not going to join the fanbase in its cries for Kyle Orton to the Buffalo Bills’ starting quarterback, and even in Sunday’s 23-17 loss to the Houston Texans, a loss that was sealed when Manuel threw an interception into double coverage, I don’t think Manuel deserves all the blame for the struggles of Buffalo’s offense.

That said, Manuel didn’t make himself easy to defend with his poor performance Sunday.

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Buffalo Bills State of the Roster: Offense

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

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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