Fresh off the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the likely playoff-less Buffalo Bills in 2015 returned back to Buffalo to kick off another week of work. As is tradition, head coach Rex Ryan took to the stage and fielded questions from reporters.
Here were some noteworthy takeaways:
1) Rex won’t comment on Ertz pick play
- Both immediately after the game and to start things on Monday, the Buffalo Bills were highly complimentary of referee Ed Hochuli and his crew on not only their reputation, but the job they did on Sunday. However, the one play that was not called that most fans were up in arms about, was none other than the fourth quarter reception made by Zach Ertz. Made popular by the New England Patriots, it was a classic “pick play,” that doesn’t always get called — especially in big moments. When asked for comment about the non-call after reviewing the play, Ryan said “I’m not going to get into that stuff, I can promise you that.”
2) Gilmore unlikely to play, IR not ruled out
- Starting cornerback Stephon Gilmore was unable to play Sunday against Philadelphia due to a dislocated shoulder, and that trend is likely to continue against the Washington Redskins. On Monday, Ryan said it was doubtful that Gilmore would be ready in time for this weekend’s game, and furthermore, didn’t make it seem as though that a return this season would be guaranteed. The Bills said that they need to see how the week goes, but that Gilmore being placed on season-ending Injured Reserve has not been ruled out at this time. That means Leodis McKelvin, who struggled against the Eagles with the exception of his interception, will once again get the start.
3) Bradham status looking up
- A high ankle sprain has kept starting linebacker Nigel Bradham off the field for the last two weeks, but that may be all the injury claims. Rex Ryan said on Monday that he was very hopeful for Bradham being able to return this week, and that the linebacker will practice for the team. Despite only having an average year in 2015, Bradham has played almost every single snap that he was medically available to the Bills, allowing other players on the defense to have a bit more versatility. He’s also the best linebacker in coverage on the team, so his presence would mean wonders to the Bills in their hopes of containing Washington tight end Jordan Reed.
4) Switch to Urbik could be in order
- Rex Ryan told reporters that Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles was the worst one of rookie right guard John Miller’s season, which raises the next logical question: with backup Kraig Urbik playing at a serviceable level for the Bills over the last two weeks, might the Bills be considering switching the veteran back in for the rookie? Ryan said that it is a consideration, and that they have to see how Miller’s ankle (he just returned from a high ankle sprain) is doing this week. The Bills don’t practice until Wednesday, but once they do, that will be one of the main positions to keep an eye on.
5) Rex’s response to “disgrace” video
- If you haven’t seen it yet, here it is:
— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) December 13, 2015
That, is head coach Rex Ryan along with defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, with someone on the video — likely Thurman — screaming that the officiating was a “disgrace to the NFL.” Rex Ryan was asked about the footage, to which he replied that “things happen” after the game, and that it gets “very emotional.” He wouldn’t confirm if it was indeed Thurman that said it. Either way, it’s a bad look for the coaching staff, and a bad message to send that the loss wasn’t totally their fault. It was the fault of the Bills — their coaches and players, and no one else. Bad calls, if there was a bad call, happen to teams in every single game. It’s how players and coaches respond to that adversity that makes for the true character of the team. That display was anything but poised.
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