Here's the Bills news of note for Saturday November 19
1. BIG BOOST FOR THE RETURN GAME
The Bills welcomed return specialist Brandon Tate out of concussion protocol this week after missing him against Seattle in their last game. And by the end of this week, Tate was not even on Buffalo's injury list for tomorrow's game in Cincinnati.
"It will be a huge addition getting him back," Special Teams Coordinator Danny Crossman said this week, in an appearance on The John Murphy Show. "We're confident in all of our guys but it's nice to get that number one guy back. "
Tate returns to Cincinnati, where he spent the last five years before the Bengals waived him on the final cut down in September. Since coming to Buffalo's he's taken over the kick and punt return duties. Tate is fourth in the AFC in kickoff returns, averaging 23 yards per return. And he's fifth in punt returns with an average of 10.2 yards.
Crossman talked about what qualities make Tate such a dangerous return man.
"First of all he's got some size," Crossman said. "But he's got that good short area elusiveness that all the good ones have. His ability to, when he's in space, run hard, I don't want to say more like a running back. But once he's up to speed and running he's a tough character to bring down. "
2. TYROD HAS A FAN IN BILLICK
Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor will line up for his 24th NFL start tomorrow in Cincinnati. And NFL Network analyst Brian Billick has seen enough to make him confident that Taylor has what it takes to succeed in the NFL.
"I'm impressed with Tyrod Taylor," Billick said this week. The winning coach in Super Bowl XXXV, Billick says Taylor will continue to develop the more playing time he gets.
"The only thing for Tyrod right now is just a function of time—to be that 550 throw guy" Billick said this week onThe John Murphy Show. "Obviously he's dynamic outside the pocket, but to continue to be that guy who can throw it consistently, 35, 40, 45 times from the pocket if need be, and beat you from the pocket."
Last year, Taylor attempted 380 passes in 14 starts, which projects out to 434 for an entire season. So far this year, through nine games, Taylor's pass attempts projects to 476 in 16 games. Both numbers are well below Billick's threshold of a 550 pass attempt season.
Billick says Seattle's Russell Wilson was forced to develop into an effective pocket passer in recent years because the Seahawks are struggling on the offensive line and in the running game. And he projects a similar path for the Bills signal caller.
"I see no reason why he can't continue and be a pocket quarterback. That doesn't mean he doesn't add to the dynamic of what he does outside the pocket. But that will diminish with time."
"In order to be a championship quarterback, you've got to be a guy who can do it from the pocket. And I do believe Tyrod can do it. "
3. HOMECOMING GAME
Veteran center Eric Wood will miss out on a chance for a homecoming this week. The Cincinnati native went on injured reserve this past week after breaking his left leg in Seattle.
But two Bills defenders return to their home city for the game today. Linebacker Preston Brown was a standout running back and linebacker at Northwest High School in Colerain Township, just outside Cincinnati. Brown originally committed to play college football for the Bearcats at the University of Cincinnati, before changing his mind and switching to Louisville.
Rookie defensive tackle Adolphus Washington graduated from Robert A. Taft Information Technology High School in Cincinnati. He made his mark on the basketball court, averaging 23 points and 14 rebounds per game in his senior year. Washington was the Ohio Gatorade Basketball Player of the Year in his senior season in high school.