Here are the Bills news of note for Saturday, November 5:
1. CAN WE TALK?
Just minutes after last Sunday's loss to New England Bills defenders were talking about communication breakdowns in the secondary. They said that was the biggest problem in Buffalo's failure to handle New England's passing game.
As the Bills wrap up their practice week today, they've been focused on strengthening the lines of communication in the defensive backfield, even with veteran Aaron Williams out of the lineup.
"That's on all of us," Assistant Defensive Backs Coach Ed Reed said this week, in an appearance on The John Murphy Show. "That's not one person. Definitely not just on Steph. We have to look at ourselves and we have to say what we can do for the defense to simplify it."
Reed says he and Defensive Backs Coach Tim McDonald have worked hard all week to simplify the defensive calls and make sure they get in to everyone in the secondary during the course of a game.
"I got on those guys big this week, like, 'c'mon guys we have to communicate'," Reed says. "We know better. It's just that in the heat of the battle, things go a little faster."
2. WILSON-CAN HE STILL HAVE FUN?
Seattle's Russell Wilson has established himself as one of the NFL's top quarterbacks in his first four-and-a-half years in the league. He's second all-time in NFL history in passer rating (100.5) behind only Aaron Rodgers.
But Wilson has battled through ankle, knee and pectoral muscle injuries in the first half of this season. And he's been limited in his mobility and his effectiveness.
The Wisconsin product has only rushed for 44 yards in Seattle's first seven games. And his lack of mobility has forced him to stay in the pocket in the passing game, further reducing his effectiveness.
Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon watches Wilson's every game in his role as color analyst on the Seahawks Radio Network. And Moon says there are signs that Wilson is getting back to normal and the Seattle offense may be ready to break out.
"It really hampered us the first two or so weeks of those injuries," Moon says. "He just didn't have the mobility to do those things. So we eliminated a big part of our offense, our read/keep offense in the running game. That was where Russell was able to get anywhere from 30-40 yards per game on the ground because of his ability to run. That takes away from our running game."
"Now he's starting to feel better mobility wise," Moon says. "We're starting to slowly introduce those things back into the offense that we weren't using for those two or three weeks while he was really pretty much a statue back there in the pocket."
Something to watch for the Buffalo defense.
3. A SPECIAL CHALLENGE
The Bills have had the edge on special teams in many of their games in the first half of the season. They'll be challenged this week by a talented Seahawks special teams unit.
Two weeks ago, Seattle's Bobby Wagner blocked a field goal in their game at Arizona. In the same game, Seahawks rookie Tanner McEvoy blocked a punt. Over the last six-and-a-half seasons, only the Oakland Raiders have more blocked kicks than Seattle's 18.
Bills special teamer Lorenzo Alexander says Wagner took advantage of a mismatch to hurdle over the Cardinals line and block a field goal.
"They do a good job," Alexander said in an appearance onThe John Murphy Show. "A lot of that is understanding tendencies of certain teams in this league. And I think a lot of that is Bobby Wagner who can jump over a line and get his hand on the ball. I think it's just having that skill set. If they didn't have him, I do not know if anyone else on their team can time things up and get over there."
Alexander is most concerned about Seahawks return man Tyler Lockett, who is fifth in the NFL in kickoff returns and ninth in punt returns.
"What really scares me is Lockett. He's probably one of the premier return guys in the league,' according to Alexander. "He went to the Pro Bowl last year. He can explode on you at any time. Especially when we gave up a big return last week. I think last week was the first time we didn't win the special teams battle and our loss was more significant. We have to win there."