1 – Many factors will impact Mario's future in Buffalo
With widespread speculation that Bills DE Mario Williams could be a salary cap casualty this offseason, Bills head coach Rex Ryan was asked point blank if he'd like to have Mario Williams back for the 2016 season.
"I would love to have Mario back. How realistic that is I'm not sure," said Ryan. "Yeah I think he's an excellent football player and sure I'd like to have him back, but obviously there are a lot of contributing factors involved in those kinds of decisions so we'll see. Right now I know he's under contract so he's on our team currently."
It's no secret that Williams has a cap figure that is cost prohibitive at almost $20M, especially for a team with a very tight cap situation to navigate. We hope to learn more about Williams future when Bills GM Doug Whaley speaks Thursday.
2 – Bills want gym ratsWhile no NFL team has any interest in playing their hand as to their positional needs this week at the NFL Combine, Rex Ryan did shed some light on the type of players the Bills will be targeting in terms of character makeup.
"I think you get good football players that love to play the game and are passionate about it and look forward to working every day," Ryan told Buffalobills.com. "Those are the guys that you want. That's where our focus is. We want the gym rat mentality and guys that just love the game."
3 – Either side of the line makes sense
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock took time to look at what the Bills might target with their first pick in the draft at 19 come late April. He believes talent up front on either side of the ball is the way to go for Buffalo.
"That's probably a defensive line conversation at No. 19, but I also think there's some offensive line needs that have to be dealt with also," Mayock said. "But as far as the defensive line, when you're sitting at 19, that's a pretty good place to be because there's going to be some great football players sitting there. How about (Louisville DT) Sheldon Rankins at No. 19? Anybody that can create immediate interior pressure has got higher value than he did five years ago. Rankins is one of those kind of guys.
"A'Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed from Alabama both fit from a scheme perspective and one might be there. Jarran Reed to me checks all the boxes. Kenny Clark from UCLA, heavy-handed, tough kid, very good against the run and can get up the field."
4 – Respect for TyrodAlmost a year ago Tyrod Taylor was set to become a free agent and was eager to find a better playing opportunity than the one he had behind Joe Flacco in Baltimore. He drew interest from a few teams besides the Bills. One was Denver, where his former offensive coordinator in Baltimore, Gary Kubiak, was taking over as head coach.
But Kubiak couldn't offer what the Bills could in terms of an open competition and potential starting job so he signed with Buffalo. Kubiak however, was glad the way things worked out for his former pupil.
"Obviously I worked for a year with him. It was great to see him get an opportunity there in Buffalo and he played extremely well," said Kubiak. "He's a talented young man and works really hard at what he does. He's a great example of a young player kind of coming up the way they used to back in the day getting a lot of experience playing behind a really good player and then getting an opportunity. Obviously he did a really good job and is a fine young man."
5 – Coaches will be doing interviewsWhile Buffalo's college scouting department is at the forefront of the club's operations here this week in Indianapolis, the coaching staff has a very specific role in the team's efforts to learn more about the prospects.
"Really the big role they have is the prospect interview process," said Ryan. "Our scouts for the last several weeks have been watching these players so they'll have a list of 15 guys at each position and they put tapes together that our coaches will present to players who are interviewed. Then the position coach runs that meeting. A lot of times it'll be to figure out how a player retains information and how they were taught. Get a sense for their football acumen. So the coaches have a huge part of it."
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