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Howard Simon's Blog - Archive
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Bills get an important win


Sure there were some exasperating moments but I feel much better after the Bills win over the New York Jets than I did after the last second victory over Minnesota one week earlier. 

All-22 Review Bills/Vikings - Watching Watkins


In the span of one week, Bills WR Sammy Watkins went from forgotten man, to focal point.  Unleashed upon the Vikings secondary, Watkins set highs in targets, receptions, touchdowns, and yards.  Watching Watkins proves to be a lot of fun in this week's All-22 Review.  

Bills get miraculous win


I was coming to grips with the 2014 Bills season essentially coming to an end in week seven.  Then Kyle Orton and the Bills offense produced a miracle ending.   

JW: All-22 Review - Bills/Patriots


The New England Patriots made a point of exploiting the Bills inabiilty to defend Rob Gronkowski.  The Buffalo Bills largely ignored their budding superstar wideout.  How huge was Gronk?  How much was Watkins ignored?  It's all part of this week's All-22 Review with Jeremy White.

It wasn't Pegula Day, it was Groundhog Day for the Bills


That darn Lucy. She did it to us again.  

JW: All-22 Review - Bills/Lions


The Buffalo Bills opened the Kyle Orton era with a road win, as he passed the 300 yard mark in his first start with the team.  Orton's game got better as the game progressed, while the Bills front four was fantastic from start to finish.  Jeremy White takes a look at Orton's efficiency, the defensive dominance, and CJ Spiller's struggles in this week's All-22

Bills get up from canvas with huge win


The roller coaster ride of emotions for Bills nation continues.  Sky high after a 2-0 start, then down in the dumps after back to back losses, Bills fans are once again experiencing a natural high after a great win in Detroit.

JW: All-22 Review - Kyle Orton


The Bills have turned things over to Kyle Orton for Sunday's game in Detroit.  Orton didn't play at any point during the preseason, and didn't work with the team in training camp either.  However, he's not too far removed from a solid performance in a meaningful game.  Jeremy White checks out Orton's last start in a bonus All-22 Review.
 

JW: All-22 Review Bills/Texans


EJ Manuel's performance against the Houston Texans has brought about a change at quarterback.  In this week's review of the All-22, Jeremy White looks into Manuel's struggles, the chaos wrought by JJ Watt, and what Kyle Orton has ahead of him.  
 

Manuel is setting fire to my plan


EJ Manuel is making life very difficult.  Unfortunately he isn't making it difficult on the opposition, something NFL quarterbacks are supposed to do.  The Bills second year QB is making the Bills fan base squirm. 

JW: All-22 Review Bills/Chargers


The development of a young quarterback will, quite often, feature ups and downs early on, and EJ Manuel's performance in the Bills loss to San Diego was most certainly a down.  This week's All-22 review from Jeremy White highlights just how many things went wrong for the Bills, and how the Chargers so effectively attacked EJ Manuel.
 

Bills offense flatlines in loss to Chargers


You know its not a good day for the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium when you can only remember one time where a crowd of about 68 thousand people seemed really loud.

All-22 Review - Bills/Dolphins


At 2-0 the Bills are talking an awful lot about team balance.  In beating the Miami Dolphins, and more specifically neutralizing Cameron Wake, we're able to get a feel for what that means.  Wake was kept quiet, and Jeremy White shows how the Bills were able to do it in this week's All-22 Review.
 

Bills pay tribute to Ralph Wilson with a win he would have loved


On a day when the Bills honored the late Ralph Wilson, the best tribute of all for the only owner the franchise had known, was  a win over the team Wilson loved to see his club beat, the Miami Dolphins.

Its a great day to be a Bills fan


In 25 years of working in Buffalo/Western New York media, there was never a moment for me like this morning.  

Bills opening day victory provides much needed pick me up


It is only one win but did we ever need that!

What did we learn from UB in season opening win?


So what did we learn from game one of the University at Buffalo 2014 footballs season?  I learned a number of things, although the first item I already knew before the game even started. Joe Licata is good.  

Bills GM pinpoints growth in Manuel


When Buffalo Bills General Manager Doug Whaley made a bold draft day move to go get Sammy Watkins, many said his decision to give up a first round pick in the 2015 draft was basically doubling down on EJ Manuel.   

Role for Bills WR Robert Woods not diminished


Three games into the pre-season, there's some good news and bad news for the Bills first string offense.  The good news is the offense is moving the ball.  The bad news is the offense isn't moving the ball across the goal line.
Watch Sammy Watkins fake a Steelers defensive back out of his uniform.

Bills' Chandler says Watkins is "real deal"


In an effort to bolster the offense, the Bills brought in some new running backs and wide receivers in the off season.  But they stayed with a familiar face atop the tight end portion of the depth chart.

 

UB football looking to build off 2013 success


After an 8 win campaign and second ever bowl appearance in 2013, the UB Bulls are looking to continue that success.  Click here to see what Jeff Quinn has to say about the upcoming season.

You'll love the new look Ralph Wilson Stadium


If the Buffalo Bills are going to stay in Western New York beyond the current lease, I honestly believe they will need a new stadium. In the meantime, you are going to love the new look Ralph Wilson Stadium. 

Bills RB Dixon not just here for special teams


You might wonder why Anthony Dixon opted to sign with the Buffalo Bills last March in free agency.  After all, he left a San Francisco 49ers team that had been to a Super Bowl and 2 other NFC Championship games over the last three seasons.  

Bills need to give Manuel more work


It was not a good 2014 debut for EJ Manuel in Canton last night.  What made it worse was the decision to treat Manuel like a quarterback who didn't need the work. 

HOF weekend all about emotion and pride


As I was watching the Pro Football Hall of Fame gold jacket dinner last night, I could hear Chad Pennington's voice in my head. 

Bills' Manuel studied tape of 5 NFL QB's in off season


EJ Manuel paid a visit to the WGR morning show during Bills training camp coverage on Thursday.  Click here to find out which NFL quarterbacks he studied closely during the off season.

Report: Toronto group can't match Pegula bid for Bills


Could plans for the Jon Bon Jovi/Toronto group to buy the Buffalo Bills be dead in the water? That would seem to be the case according to a report in the Toronto Sun.  

Bills' Fred Jackson expects big season from ground game


In his 9th training camp as a member of the Buffalo Bills, Fred Jackson has seen a lot over the last eight summers at St. John Fisher College. He's not panicking over a slow start by the offense less than two weeks into camp.

Bills OC looking for quicker trigger from Manuel


Bills Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett must smile every time he looks down at the roster.  Hackett doesn't lack for weapons as he prepares to guide the Bills offense for a second season. 

Bills center optimistic about QB and OL


A mystery illness has the best player in the group on the sideline.  There will be at least one new starter, quite likely two and an outside shot at three.  Welcome, Bills offensive line, to the first week of training camp.  

Bidders will be "pleasantly surprised" by Bills' financials


When the process of bidding on the Buffalo Bills gets down to the nitty gritty, one sports business expert predicts there'll be roughly a dozen parties with serious interest and a "very healthy bidding".

5 key questions about the 2014 Bills


With the opening of training camp just days away, Howard Simon has the five most important questions concerning the 2014 Buffalo Bills.

JW - Poor Asset Management with Ehrhoff


The Buffalo Sabres buyout of Christian Ehrhoff has come as a shock to many fans, and with good reason.  It would appear that the Sabres just gave away one of their most valuable assets because of a fear of a doomsday scenario that might never come, and might never matter.

Packers Prez: "Everybody wants to see it work in Buffalo"


When it comes time for NFL owners to vote on the sale of the Buffalo Bills, how much will history and market size matter in determining the next owner?

Those questions were posed to Green Bay Packers President and Western New York native Mark Murphy during an interview on WGR Thursday.

Murphy, who will cast the Packers vote when it comes to deciding the Bills new owner, said money will

Bills special teams need bounce back year


As we approach the opening of training camp, what do the Bills special teams have to do better in 2014?  Click here to find out.

Bills defense has two big holes to fill in 2014


The defense should be the strongest part of the 2014 Buffalo Bills but that doesn't mean there aren't key questions facing the unit as training camp approaches.  

Bills don't need billion dollar stadium


One of the more famous lines from the movie "Field of Dreams" is "if you build it, he will come".  When it comes to the future of the Buffalo Bills, we can ask "if we build it, will they stay?"

Lt. Governor: 90-100% certain Bills will stay in WNY


As the sale of the Bills moves towards a conclusion, possibly by mid July, New York State's second in command is very optimistic about the future of the franchise in Western New York.

 

Rangers berth in Cup Finals helps ease my guilt


It has been so long since a team I root for reached the ultimate series in its league's playoffs, I forgot how cool it is. 

Thurman Thomas optimistic about future of Bills in WNY


Thurman Thomas is optimistic when it comes to the long term future of the Buffalo Bills.  Click here and listen to what Thomas told WGR were the reasons for his optimism.

 

JW: View from the top


You say that this season of Sabres hockey has robbed you of your sanity.  You’ve likely felt rage, sadness, despair, and worst of all…indifference.  In exchange for your “suffering” you’re going to get one of the best 18-year-old hockey players in the world.  Jeremy White has a primer on this year's crop.

JW: What's one more loss?


Tuesday night the NHL will reveal the winner of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft Lottery, and we know the Buffalo Sabres are in position to pick either #1 or #2.  How much of a drop off is there in that one spot? We've already seen 51 losses this season, 61 if you count overtime and shootouts.  How bad is one more?
 

JW: What's one more loss?


Tuesday night the NHL will reveal the winner of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft Lottery, and we know the Buffalo Sabres are in position to pick either #1 or #2.  How much of a drop off is there in that one spot? We've already seen 51 losses this season, 61 if you count overtime and shootouts.  How bad is one more?
 

Sabres prospect Compher flourishing


The Sabres trade of Andrej Sekera to the Carolina Hurricanes last June doesn't look very good right now.   But that trade was all about the future and that future looks bright for JT Compher.

The race for the top of the NHL Draft


The first two games on this five game road trip for the Buffalo Sabres might have been huge in the race for the top draft pick had the Sabres not gone on a prolonged skid this month.

 

Sabres prospect Fasching having breakout season


Sabres General Manager Tim Murray is in the business of bringing in top young talent these days and while the focus at the NHL trade deadline was on big name players leaving Buffalo, Murray's deals were bringing in pieces he hopes will be a big part of future success.

 

JW: The Other Football


I took a quick trip across the pond, as they say, to check an item off my bucket list.  Along the way I came to see a number of things that US sports should take away from what I’d best describe as “The England experience.”

 

Sabres go prospecting with Carrier


The injury to Chris Stewart and the trade of Jaroslav Halak mean the Sabres have nothing on the current roster to show for their deal with St. Louis involving Ryan Miller and Steve Ott.  But as you know, that deal wasn't made with the present in mind.  

Deslauriers brings much needed size to Sabres organization


When the combination of trades and injuries depleted the Sabres forward ranks last week, one name immediately came to the mind of General Manager Tim Murray as the team discussed who to bring up from Rochester. 

Keeping the faith


WOW!!!   I know, not exactly Pulitzer prize winning writing but I thought it was the best way to describe what might be the craziest three day stretch in the history of Buffalo sports.   

Miller's departure expected but still emotional


I knew the news was coming but it was still an emotional evening as the Sabres said goodbye to Ryan Miller.

HPW - Sam Bennett


Kingston foward Sam Bennett rates #1 in NHL Central Scouting's mid-term report.  While it's no lock he stays there, it's a safe bet he'll go right at the top of the NHL Entry Draft.  Should the Sabres be targeting him?  Jeremy White has the report in this Hockey Prospect Watch.

Sam Bennett is an "edge of your seat" player


When it comes to playing hockey in Canada, you know you've got a special player when comparisons are made to Hall of Famer Doug Gilmour. 

 

U.S. and Russia made me re-think some things


When all was said and done and the United States earned a shootout win over Russia in Olympic hockey last Saturday, I realized I was wrong about three key components to that game.

 

Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone gives off season update


Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone joined was a guest on WGR on Friday. Click hear to see what he had to say and listen to the entire interview.

Remparts Coach: Grigorenko has great attitude


Mikhail Grigorenko is doing exactly what he needs to do since his return to the junior hockey ranks. 

Scouting Sam Reinhart


Sam Reinhart is expected to be one of the top picks in the 2014 NHL draft and he's tearing it up in the Western Hockey League this season.
Hear what the GM of Reinhart's junior team told WGR about the young center's NHL prospects.

A sad day for Mets fans


I've always felt there's a very special relationship between sports fans and the announcers that broadcast the games of their favorite teams.  They are like members of our family. Mets fans lost a family member this past week.

Bills' Reed finally gets the call


Maybe you didn't hear them but I'm betting there were cheers all across Western New York on Saturday as Bills fans received word that Andre Reed was finally elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  

Race for the top of the draft


If the Sabres season has you thinking more and more about the 2014 draft, here's an update on the race for the top picks.

 

So who is Phil Varone?


In his third season of riding the buses in the American Hockey League and with 176 games as a Rochester American on his resume, Phil Varone finally got the call everyone in the minors dreams of. 

 

Sabres' Myers getting his game back


Tyler Myers is making progress as he attempts to return to his rookie year form.

Sabres face decision with Ennis


He's been one of the Sabres best players since Ted Nolan took over but Tyler Ennis might present the Sabres with a bit of a dilemma.

Thank You Peyton


We should all be thanking Peyton Manning today.

JW: I went to see Connor McDavid play. You should too.


Friday night I made the short drive to Erie, PA to see the kid that many are calling "the Next Sidney Crosby".  My advice to you?  Get to Erie.
 

JW: I went to see Connor McDavid play. You should too.


Friday night I made the short drive to Erie, PA to see the kid that many are calling "the Next Sidney Crosby".  My advice to you?  Get to Erie.
 

JW: I went to see Connor McDavid play. You should too.


Friday night I made the short drive to Erie, PA to see the kid that many are calling "the Next Sidney Crosby".  My advice to you?  Get to Erie.
 

JW: I went to see Connor McDavid play. You should too.


Friday night I made the short drive to Erie, PA to see the kid that many are calling "the Next Sidney Crosby".  My advice to you?  Get to Erie.
 

JW: I went to see Connor McDavid play. You should too.


Friday night I made the short drive to Erie, PA to see the kid that many are calling "the Next Sidney Crosby".  My advice to you?  Get to Erie.
 

Would Blues want Ryan Miller for a playoff run?


Did you know Sabres General Manager Tim Murray and the rest of his fellow NHL GM's face two trade deadines this season?  

Sabres could choose between a pair of Sam's


If the Sabres do end up with the top pick in the 2014 draft, they might have to decide which Sam is the best.

NFL divisional round was deceiving


Don't be fooled by what you saw in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs this past weekend.

Sabres' Konopka has made the hockey rounds


Thanks to hockey, Zenon Konopka has had a number of homes around the United States.  Click here to read about his journey.

Sabres had keen eye on top prospects at World Juniors


Kevin Devine was a busy man at the recently completed World Junior Championships.

U.S. Olympic roster has Upstate NY feel to it again


One thing stood out to me when the U.S Olympic hockey roster was announced. 

Bills season in review


Now that the 2013 Bills season has come to a close, read what Howard Simon thinks about how it all played out.

Sabres prospects at World Junior Championships


Whether its their own prospects or players projected to be at the top of the next two drafts, the Buffalo Sabres will be watching the World Junior Championships closely.

Sabres finally seeing positive results


Just in the nick of time, with the Bills season about to end, the Sabres are giving us some reasons to feel better. 

Bills defense puts on a clinic


As it turns out, all the Bills would have needed was a first quarter field goal by Dan Carpenter to beat Miami on Sunday.  The Bills defense put on one of the most impressive performances in years as Buffalo upped its record to 6-9.

Bills' Manuel takes a baby step


I won't lie to you.  Early in the first quarter of Sunday's Bills game, EJ Manuel's play was making me think about the quarterback Class of 2014.

What has happened to the Sabres offense?


With the Buffalo Sabres on pace to become the lowest scoring team in the NHL since the 1967 expansion, you might find it hard to believe that it was only three years ago that Buffalo had a top ten offense.

Sabres GM job is attractive


You may not believe it considering the Buffalo Sabres are at the very bottom of the NHL standings, but the job of General Manager for the franchise comes with a lot of positives right now.

Bills loss looks all too familiar


So much for feeling like the Bills were headed in the right direction, despite their record.

Sabres' Miller is comparable to Lundqvist


I wonder if Mike Liut, who is Ryan Miller’s agent, placed a call to the Sabres on Wednesday to say something like “Hey, did you see what Henrik Lundqvist  just signed for?”

All-22 Review - Bills/Falcons - Rough game, eh?


This week's overtime loss to the Atlanta Falcons can be heaped onto the pile of missed opportunities for the 2013 Buffalo Bills.  You know about the two fumbles that cost the team dearly, but there were bigger issues on the day.  Jeremy White's All-22 looks at EJ Manuel's lock-on looks, Kiko Alonso's struggles, and CJ Spiller's return to brilliance.
 

Bills forced me to think draft, not playoffs


This was supposed to be a story about the Bills playoff chances.  I had to go to Plan B after Sunday's loss.

Lucy yanked the ball away from Charlie Brown again


Lucy did it to us again.

Sabres and Devils hurting for goals


Don't expect a shootout tonight since two of the worst offensive teams will meet as the Sabres play New Jersey.

Sabres hoping to follow recent rebuild history


I'll bet you're wondering how this whole rebuild thing is going to work out for the Buffalo Sabres?  Will all this suffering or as the new regime calls it, "patience", be worth it?

NHL's West is best


West is best and East is least.  I know that's usually reserved for high school sports trash talking but it can also describe what's going on in the National Hockey League as once again the Western Teams are getting the better of the match up

Plenty to look for in Bills final five games


As the Bills prepare for the final five games of the season, what should we be looking for? Click here to read Howard Simon's thoughts.

How is Sabres 2013 draft class doing?


While you are busy focusing on the Buffalo Sabres, the staff at Inside The Numbers(which consists of just me) think its important to let you now how prospects in the Sabres organization are doing this season. 

Sabres opponent rebuilding too


 
As you well know, the Buffalo Sabres are going through a rebuilding season. So are the Sabres opponent tonight, the Philadelphia Flyers.

All-22 Review - Bills/Jets - Dominant D and a Bounce Back QB


The Bills put together their finest performance in dismantling the Jets on Sunday.  A harassing pass rush flustered Geno Smith enough to force four turnovers, while EJ Manuel put on his best show.  Bills Coach Doug Marrone suggests that CJ Spiller might want to go yell at the linemen.  Is he right?  Jeremy White breaks down the All-22.
 

Bills and EJ Manuel bounce back in impressive fashion


I couldn't have scripted it any better.  The Bills and their rookie quarterback bounce back from their worst game of the season with a dominating win over a division rival. 

Sabres' Miller should have Olympic spot


There haven't been many wins on the ice for Ryan Miller this season but the Buffalo Sabres goaltender may have won over the folks who will name the U.S Olympic hockey roster with the way he has performed.

Sabres fans have hope again


From the department of "I never thought I'd see this again", I give you Sabres Head Coach Ted Nolan.

All-22 Review - Bills/Steelers - EJ's Return


EJ Manuel’s return to the Buffalo Bills lineup did not go the way that many had hoped it would.  Jeremy White’s All-22 gives a good look at all the ways the Steelers tried to fool the Bills rookie, and what must improve going forward.    
 

Bills' Manuel has nightmarish game


I know exactly how to explain just how bad EJ Manuel and the Bills offense were during Sunday's 23-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.  

Bills great Joe DeLamielleure talks about his CTE diagnosis


Joe DeLamielleure says he always knew it, but now doctors have finally confirmed it.  The former Buffalo Bill and Hall of Fame offensive lineman has been diagnosed with CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy.  CTE is a degenerative brai

JW: All-22 Review Week 9 - Bills/Chiefs



Until further notice, it's the play of the year.  You know the play.  Jeremy White's All-22 Review takes a look at Sean Smith's 100 yard interception return for a TD, the play of newcomer Stefan Charles, and debuts KIKO-CAM.

JW: All-22 Review Week 9 - Bills/Chiefs



Until further notice, it's the play of the year.  You know the play.  Jeremy White's All-22 Review takes a look at Sean Smith's 100 yard interception return for a TD, the play of newcomer Stefan Charles, and debuts KIKO-CAM.

Bills game was all about what if?


We can go ahead and just refer to this as the "what if" game.  And I'm not just talking about the huge swing that took place on the game's most memorable play(most painful for Bills Nation). 

Sabres' Moulson has persevered



Sometime next summer Matt Moulson will likely sign a contract that will pay him about $5 Million a year to play in the National Hockey League.  Not bad for a guy who wasn't good enough to play for any AAA youth teams in Toronto at the age of 16.
What do you know about the Bills?
  I've seen enough. I know they're a playoff team
  Not enough. 4 games with Orton is too small a sample size
  I won't know about them until they play the top teams in December
 
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