Posts Tagged ‘Kraig Urbik’

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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Ugly Win Gives Buffalo Bills First Winning Season Since 2004, First Win in New England Since 2000

Sunday, December 28th, 2014
The Buffalo Bills beat the New England Patriots on Sunday, but it wasn't a game to remember. (Photo: Mark A. Baer — USA Today Sports)

The Buffalo Bills beat the New England Patriots on Sunday, but it wasn’t a game to remember. (Photo: Mark A. Baer — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The Buffalo Bills ended some long, unwanted droughts at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. With a 17-9 win over the New England Patriots, the Bills secured their first winning season since 2004, finishing the year at 9-7, while they also won for the first time on the road in Foxborough, Mass. since 2000, despite playing one game against the Patriots there every year since.

Even so, the Bills and their fans won’t be telling their kids about the time they beat the Patriots in New England in 2014. The outcome of Sunday’s game had no impact on the streak the Bills really wanted to end in 2014—Buffalo’s season is over prior to the playoffs again for a 15th consecutive year—and it came on a day that the Patriots played like they had nothing to play for, having already clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC before Week 17 even began.

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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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Can Buffalo Bills Overcome Rushing Offense Issues with C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson Injured?

Friday, October 24th, 2014
The Buffalo Bills must turn to Anthony Dixon (pictured) and Bryce Brown to carry the load with Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller sidelined. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

The Buffalo Bills must turn to Anthony Dixon (pictured) and Bryce Brown to carry the load with Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller sidelined. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Josh Wegman

The Buffalo Bills were hit with a devastating blow last week in their matchup with the Minnesota Vikings when star running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller both went down with injuries.  Jackson suffered a groin injury on a seemingly harmless play, which is expected to sideline him for close to a month, while Spiller had two breaks on one play: breaking a 53-yard run – his longest of the season – before breaking his collarbone on the landing after being tripped up by a Vikings defender.

Spiller, placed on the injured reserve list

with a return designation, cannot return until Week 16 at the earliest.

Neither Jackson nor Spiller are top-tier NFL tailbacks but together they combine to be one of the most productive, consistent and reliable one-two punches in the entire league.  The good news for the Bills is that their third- and fourth-string running backs are better than those of most teams.

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