1 - Kaelin Clay back with BillsThe 26-year-old wide receiver from California was sparingly used in the Bills offense last season before his release due to the team's need for a cornerback. He then signed with the Panthers to be utilized as a punt returner. Now, Kaelin Clay has re-signed with the team.
"Glad to be here, glad to be back," said Clay on The John Murphy Show. "I'm excited and I'm ready to get to work."
Clay is the first move the Bills have made to address their wide receiver depth this offseason. For him, Clay is happy to be coming to a team where he already knows players and coaches.
"You start from the ground up, and you got to build those relationships," said Clay. "It's not a bad thing, but when you go into an organization where you know someone, it makes it a little bit more easier for you to maneuver."
Clay looks at this opportunity as an entirely new chance to improve his game and help the team win.
"You take those strides, you learn from them and that's how you grow and become a great player," said Clay. "So that's all I'm trying to do. Become a great player and help this team win."
When Clay takes the field this upcoming season, fans may see him not only catching passes, but returning kicks and punts as well.
2 - Lorenzo Alexander on NFL rule changesThe Bills linebacker joined The John Murphy Show to weigh in on his idea of the QB situation at the upcoming draft, but also his thoughts on the new rule regarding players lowering their head to make a hit.
Brian McCarthy tweeted out Playing Rule Article 8: It is a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent. The player may be disqualified. Applies to any player anywhere on the field. The player may be disqualified.
Alexander vocalized his frustrations with the rule change, while understanding the good intentions.
"I think it's a stupid rule," said Alexander. "I mean it is what it is. I mean I understand the intent and where it's coming from as far as trying to eliminate injuries, concussions as much as you can from the game, but there's only so much you can do before you start changing the essence of the game. It's football. It's a contact sport. Everyone's not meant to play it. Everybody can't endure the rigors of the game. So, we made some strides in making the game safe, but this is to me going over-overboard."
Not only is Alexander frustrated with how the new rule may affect the game, but he believes the new rule will only be called on defensive players.
"A good friend of mine in this league, a linebacker, was talking to a ref on a flight, and was like, 'You know we do have this rule where running backs drop their head and that's technically supposed to be a penalty,'" Alexander said. "And the ref told him, 'I will never call that. I'm never going to call that against a guy who's trying to protect himself.'"
Alexander went as far as proposing his own fix to the rule.
"I would be even up for if… okay they flag a guy. Okay, I get it. Fifteen (yards). Then instead of ejecting him, because obviously that's a paycheck, and a lot of other things can go along with that, have like a panel of three people, they review it they talk about it and then they decide if it's malicious or not," he said.
Alexander added that if players are tossed from games because of these hits, a lot of vital star-caliber players will be missing out on paychecks for making a football play.
3 - McDermott determined to succeed on coach's challengesSean McDermott rarely challenged a referee's call last season, but the four times he did, only once did it pay off for the Bills.
It is rare for most NFL coaches to have a success rate over 50 percent, but one of the NFL's most successful challengers is McDermott's former mentor, Carolina head coach Ron Rivera. Through early December last season, Rivera had a 62.5 percent success rate on coach's challenges. Early on in his head coaching career however, he lost 13 of his first 19 challenges according to TheComeback.com.
As McDermott looks to improve, not only his team, but his abilities at the helm, he looked for advice from some of his head coaching peers this week at the owners' meetings in Orlando.
"That's part of the learning process I believe as you go from year one to year two," said McDermott. "There are some (challenges) that I thought were on point. There were some where I thought I could've done a better job. That's a big deal and you just try to learn from every situation and take that type of approach. I've spent a lot of time talking to some of the veteran coaches and at the NFL combine as well, taking the opportunity to ask, 'How do you do this?' 'What's the best way to do that?'"
Like every other team, The Bills have a designated assistant coach in the booth reviewing plays, relaying down to McDermott if challenging a play may be necessary.
In McDermott's drive to improve, he believes it's best to look at the most successful teams across the league.
"To sit in a vacuum and only do what you do and say our way is the right way, that's not the right approach in my mind," said McDermott. "You try to learn from what's out there every year and stay ahead of the trends."
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