Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 22, 2015 · Page D4
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October 22, 2015

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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page D4

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Thursday, October 22, 2015
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Page4D Thursday,October22,2015 DemocratandChronicle. com NFL WATFORD, England - Just like last week, it doesn’t seem as if we will know who is going to play quarterback for the Bills Sunday against Jacksonville until Friday at the earliest, and perhaps not u ntil game day at Wemb ley Stadium. T yrod Taylor said W ednesday following practice at the Bills’ home away from home at The Grove in suburban London that he is ahead of where he was at this stage last week. “I’m feeling good, made progress from last week, taking it day by day, and I’m prepping for Jacksonville,” said Taylor. “It feels good, it’s getting better. I’m constantly t alking to the trainers and getting feedback from them, but at the end of the day, it’s up to the coaches to make the decision. I’m not really focusing on that part, just mentally getting ready for Jacksonville and the preparation that it t akes.” Tight end Charles Clay t hought Taylor had a pretty good day of practice, even though the field was wet as it drizzled for much o f the workout. “He looked good,” said Clay. “He’s a guy who works tremendously hard and I know he wanted to g o out and give it a go last w eek. I was surprised to see how well he was moving around today, so that was exciting to see.”Coach Rex Ryan spoke b efore practice, and he s aid the team will take a wait and see approach at quarterback. Taylor and EJ Manuel split the first- team reps, and that will p robably be the case mov- i ng forward. “It’s too early to tell about his outlook,” said Ryan. “He’s going through treatments and we’ll see how he does t hroughout the week.”Manuel started against the Bengals, and Ryan said he wasn’t disappointed by his performance. “I was so proud of EJ, you h ave no idea the work that he put into it,” said Ryan. “His preparation was outstanding, and like I men- t ioned, do I wish we had a few throws back, absolutely. But man, if he p lays, I believe he’ll do a great job. He wasn’t perfect, but I thought he did a lot of good things, and then he probably wishes he had a few plays back.” Harvin doesn’t make t rip: Four players did not t ravel overseas with the Bills to London, and one of those came as a bit of a s urprise. Wide receiver Percy Harvin, who sat out last week’s loss to Cincin- n ati, reportedly because o f his recurring hip injury, will not play Sunday against Jacksonville because he is dealing with some type of personal is- s ue. “Right now this is a personal thing and that’s where it is,” Ryan said. “He had the hip, he was battling that, but this is a p ersonal issue.” Ryan was pressed on the matter a couple of times, but refused to div ulge any other information, so for now, it is left for everyone to speculate. I t could be simply that he has a family emergency, perhaps a death in the family. Or, maybe he ran afoul of the law, but Ryan would got give any further clues. It is also possi- b le that he could not ob- t ain the proper travel documentation for the trip. The other three play- e rs who remained home are running back Karlos Williams and offensive t ackle Seantrel Henders on, who are both in the NFL’s concussion protocol, and defensive tackle Kyle Williams, who suffered a knee injury last w eek that will likely sideline him several weeks. With Henderson out, second-year pro Cyrus Kouandjio is in line to make the first start of his N FL career. The Bills also signed veteran tackle Jordan Mills, who has made 29 NFL starts and played f or the Bears when offensive line coach Aaron Kromer — who is back w ith the team after the end of his six-game suspension — was in Chicago. Ryan was asked about who would start, and he wasn’t exactly committing to Kouandjio. “We’re h appy to have both guys h ere, we’ll see what happens, but obviously Cyrus has been here,” said Ryan. “ I thought it wasn’t a perfect job (when he replaced Henderson in the f irst quarter last week), b ut he stepped in in some tough situations and I thought he did a decent job.” Kouandjio, a second- r ound pick who has pretty much been a bust to this point, said, “I’m coming here to do anything I can for this team. They want me to play and that’s what I ’m going to do. There’s a lot of ups and downs in the NFL. The biggest thing I learned about myself is r esilience, playing through all types of situations with my mind, with m y body. Sucking it up and going.” Watkins out, McKelvin back: Sammy Watkins, who suffered an ankle injury right before halftime and left Ralph W ilson Stadium on crutch- e s Sunday, is in London with the team, but he was not on the practice field W ednesday. It is assumed he was getting treatment in the makeshift locker r oom/training room. “ It’s similar to Tyrod’s situation, we’ll see how it progresses during the week,” said Ryan. “We all saw he left with a boot o n, so I don’t know if that’s a great deal. Our trainers haven’t said he’s out for sure so we’ll see.” Cornerback Leodis McKelvin, who hasn’t p layed all season because he was on the physically unable to perform list due to an ankle i njury, practiced fully for the first time. He is eligible to play Sunday, b ut Ryan didn’t sound too positive about that. “We’ll see,” he said. “Obviously we’ll be smart with him, but there’s only way to get ready to play football a nd that’s to actually get o ut there and do some football drills and things like that. Is he going to b e limited? Absolutely.” MAIORANA@ Gannett.com BILLS NOTES Taylor practices; status for Jaguars is unknown SAL MAIORANA @SALMAIORANA AP Injured quarterback Tyrod Taylor walks off the field after the Bills’ loss to the Bengals on Sunday. things,” Williams said. “ Some of the calls that we had, we just didn’t have f our guys out there rushing in certain situations, things like that. You know, you’re just playing the call.” With just nine sacks this year, including six by t he front line, those players have come under a little fire because Williams and Dareus are the two highest-paid players on the team. “They pay us a lot of money,” Dareus said. “We want to use our talents to the best way that we know how. If we’re going to be dropping, we don’t want to get q uestions about why we’re not getting sacks, a nd that’s simply it. We want to make some plays. We don’t want fans to look a t us crazy. Shoot, we like m aking plays.” Even Hall of Fame q uarterback Jim Kelly was wondering aloud a bout the defensive scheme. At the same Play 60 event Tuesday, Kelly s aid, “Dropping Mario Williams into coverage a lot? Didn’t we pay him a l ot of money to hit the quarterback? If I’m the o pposing quarterback and I see him dropping into coverage – and Jerry Hughes – oh, that’s a big plus. I would definitely have a big smile on my face.” O menyiora played nine years for the Giants, and during part of his time there, he was a member of one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, teaming with Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck. That group didn’t spend much time covering backs and tight ends, they were rushing upfield t rying to sack quarterbacks, and during his car eer, Omenyiora collected 85, including 10 with the Falcons his last two s easons in the league. H e watched the film of the Bengals game in prep- a ration for his work this week with BBC, and what h e saw were some perplexing calls, but also, not agreat performance by t he Bills’ linemen. “I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the c alls, but from what I’ve seen, the players them- s elves just aren’t playing as well as I’ve seen them play,” Umenyiora said. “But I get it it. I wouldn’t want to be dropping into coverage that much, maybe two or three times is O K to mix your blitz packages so they don’t know where you’re at all the time, especially with a talented team like this.” On Wednesday, Ryan spoke to the media for the first time since his players questioned the strategy, and he did not take issue with their comments, and actually agreed, to a c ertain point, with their assessment. “ When you look at it, I get it, you get paid to rush the quarterback, but we g et paid to win and what I w as trying to do was get (Dalton) out of rhythm a nd initially it was work- ing pretty good, but I l ived in it too much,” said Ryan. “I don’t necessarily disagree with Marcell and M ario’s views. All these guys want to do is help and they want to win. If t hey make a comment or whatever, that’s fine. S hoot, I’ve been cussed at by better than them, so it’s fine.” Following practice Wednesday, Williams backed off a bit from his previous stance and conc eded that whatever’s called, the players have to play it to the best of their ability. “The head coach, the defensive coordinator, all the coaches, they have to implement what is needed and we have to go out and play ball,” said Williams. “I’m never down on anybody on this team or l osing faith in anybody or what we do. We just have t o be able to tweak it to how we play, and that’s on us as players. He’s a great d efensive-minded coach. H is philosophy and scheme has worked year i n and year out, and it’s just something that we h ave to adjust to more than what we expected as a front four. We’re w orking on that.” Ryan seemed amenable to getting back to a m ore basic approach this week against Jacks onville and second- year quarterback Blake Bortles. The 1-5 Jaguars aren’t remotely close to the Bengals in terms of talent, so turning the front four — which will i nclude Corbin Bryant in place of injured Kyle Williams — loose is probably prudent. “Should we rush more than we did this past week? That’s probably true,” said Ryan. “I’m not perfect as a play caller, and I know that surprises you guys, but I try to do my best. If I ’m going to make a mistake it’s going to be s omething that I feel strongly about and if it doesn’t work out at the e nd of the day, then that h appens.” MAIORANA@ G annett.com Defense Continued from Page 1D EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - There was something missing in the New York Giants’ offense in the second half against Philadelphia. One can be flip and say everything was missing: plays, yards, f irst down, points, cons istency. T he Eagles dominate d the Giants on Monday night, 27-7 in Philadelphia. The truth is the biggest part missing was Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants’ playmaker. The Eagles did an outstanding job of double-teaming him in the second half and he did not catch apass. He was targeted once. “Teams are going to t ry to take him away and that’s fine,” Manning said Wednesday as the Giants (3-3) started preparations for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys (2-3) at Met- Life Stadium. “You have to move him around, d on’t make it easy for them. The other guys h ave to make plays. You have to find the guys in single coverage and that’s what you have to w ait for.” The Cowboys had a bye week and are riding athree-game losing streak. However, they p layed well defensively i n a loss to the Patriots, sacking Tom Brady five times. Manning said Dallas used a different type of d efense than it showed i n the season opener against New York, and he is not certain which one the Cowboys will use Sunday. It doesn’t m atter: He plans to be r eady for either one. “We’ve lost games this season and we have bounced back,” Manning said. B engals: Cincinnati reached a tentative settlement of a federal lawsuit over pay for their cheerleaders, one of several cases in which N FL cheerleaders claimed they received substandard compensation. D ocuments filed recently in U.S. District Court show the Bengals a greed to pay Ben-Gal cheerleaders a total of $255,000 to settle the 2014 lawsuit alleging that their time commitments for games, practices and promotional e vents netted them pay- m ent that was below minimum wage. Those covered c heered in the 2011-13 seasons and could receive at least $2,500 e ach per season. Court documents state that the Bengals started paying m ore in 2014 and that the team denies any wrong- d oing but decided to settle the lawsuit to avoid lengthy, expensive liti- g ation. The settlement is subject to a Dec. 3 fair- n ess hearing, and the Bengals can cancel the d eal if cheerleaders with a combination of six years or more opt out. Jets: New York running back Stevan Ridley has practiced for the f irst time this season and could face the New England Patriots, his former teammates. Ridley is currently on the physically unable to perform list after tearing the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee while with the Patriots last season. C oach Todd Bowles says Wednesday that t here’s “a chance” Ridley could play Sunday. Ridley was a full partici- p ant at practice, but B owles wants to see how he feels as the week pro- g resses. NFL NOTEBOOK Giants looking for more offense ASSOCIATED PRESS

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