Buffalo Bills: Marquise Goodwin

Continuing a position-by-position look at the Buffalo Bills' roster with an eye toward free agency and the draft:

Position: Wide receiver

2014 snaps:
Stat of note: The Bills attempted five screen passes to wide receivers, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Only three teams -- the Titans, Chiefs, and Buccaneers -- attempted fewer screen passes to wide receivers.

Pending free agents: Easley (unrestricted), Hogan (exclusive rights)

2015 cap hits (position rank):
  • Watkins: $4.53 million (31st in NFL)
  • Woods: $1.327 million (66th in NFL)
  • Goodwin: $764,719
  • Thompson: $660,000
  • Marcus Thigpen: $660,000
  • Caleb Holley: $435,000
  • Tobais Palmer: $435,000
Money line: The Bills are young at this position, so their current cap commitment (about $7.2 million) is well below the 2015 NFL average of $13.9 million. Releasing Williams, who would've counted for over $5 million against the team's 2015 salary cap, was a help. Woods is still a year away from being in a position to receive a contract extension, so expect their overall spending here to stay low. Re-signing Easley (a special-teams ace) and Hogan shouldn't cost much.

Market watch: Pending free agents include Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, Randall Cobb, Jeremy Maclin, Michael Crabtree, Reggie Wayne, Eddie Royal, Torrey Smith, and Wes Welker. In addition, Larry Fitzgerald is due an $8 million roster bonus in March that could lead to him being traded or released.

Draft need: Low -- General manager Doug Whaley said last week that the Bills "could use another receiver" in the draft, but the Bills should think long and hard before using an early- or mid-round pick on a receiver. Since 2012, they've sunk five high draft picks into pass-catchers: T.J. Graham (2012, third round), Woods (2013, second round), Goodwin (2013, third round) and Watkins (2014, first round and 2015, first round). Has their offense been better for it? Not really. The Bills wanted to surround EJ Manuel (and Kyle Orton, Thad Lewis, Jeff Tuel, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Fitzpatrick, etc.) with talented receivers, but maybe the problem has simply been the quarterbacks.

Scout's take: "I think Goodwin can be a No. 4 receiver who gives you six or seven big plays a year. That can go a long way. I'm surprised he doesn't even warrant an opportunity. I would settle for the receivers I have and try to go get a tight end instead." -- ESPN NFL scout Matt Williamson

Quote of note: "That was a bold move [trading up to get Sammy Watkins], but it wasn’t a brash move. It was a bold move. A guy like Sammy Watkins comes down the pike once every 10 years, so I think [general manager Doug Whaley] just went for it, and obviously we’re fortunate to have Sammy." -- Bills coach Rex Ryan to the Toronto Sun's John Kryk, during the 2015 Senior Bowl

Marquise Goodwin inactive for Buffalo Bills

December, 28, 2014
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is inactive for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots.

This is the second time this season that the second-year receiver, a third-round pick in 2013, is a healthy scratch for the Bills.

Here is the full list of Bills inactives:

DT Marcell Dareus (knee)
CB Stephon Gilmore (concussion)
WR Marquise Goodwin
RB Bryce Brown
TE Chris Gragg
LB Randell Johnson
OL Cyrus Kouandjio
Taking a closer look at offensive snaps played by the Buffalo Bills in Sunday's 21-13 win over the Green Bay Packers:

Kyle Orton -- 68 of 68
EJ Manuel -- 0 of 68

Running backs:
Fred Jackson -- 50 of 68
Anthony Dixon -- 12 of 68
Bryce Brown -- 8 of 68

Quick-hit thoughts: This is the third consecutive week that Jackson has played at least 70 percent of snaps. On the whole, his production hasn't been anything spectacular: he had 20 carries for 71 yards and three catches for 27 yards, but it would be a stretch to say Jackson is part of the problem with the Bills' offense. His 13-yard run, his longest since Week 4, was vintage Jackson. Dixon (4.3 yard average) and Brown (5.0 average) continue to play complementary roles.

Frank Summers -- 0 of 68 (inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: This is the fourth consecutive game in which Summers has been inactive after he dressed for the first 10 games of the season. At this point, it's fair to question his status on the team for next season. The Bills have favored tight end MarQueis Gay in an H-back type role in recent weeks.

Wide receivers:
Sammy Watkins -- 68 of 68
Robert Woods -- 55 of 68
Chris Hogan -- 35 of 68
Marquise Goodwin -- 2 of 68
Marcus Easley -- 0 of 68 (special teams only)
Marcus Thigpen -- 0 of 68 (special teams only)
Deonte Thompson -- 0 of 68 (inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: The pattern at this position has been consistent for several weeks now: Hogan is the third receiver, while Goodwin sees a few situational snaps when he's used as a threat to run the ball. For playing every snap in the game, Watkins finishing with just one catch is alarming.

Tight ends:
Scott Chandler -- 46 of 68
Lee Smith -- 33 of 68
MarQueis Gray -- 31 of 68
Chris Gragg -- 0 of 68 (injured/inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: The Bills have been consistent with their personnel usage at this position through the second half of the season. Chandler sees the field mostly in the three-receiver offense, while Smith and Gray come on with the heavier, two tight end look. None of the three tight ends was particularly effective in the passing game Sunday. It's a position where the Bills need to upgrade this offseason.

Offensive linemen:
LT Cordy Glenn -- 68 of 68
LG Kraig Urbik -- 68 of 68
C Eric Wood -- 68 of 68
RG Erik Pears -- 68 of 68
RT Seantrel Henderson -- 68 of 68
Chris Hairston -- 0 of 68 (special teams only)
Cyril Richardson -- 0 of 68 (special teams only)
Cyrus Kouandjio -- 0 of 68 (inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: Nothing new here. The Bills remaining in the playoff race might have sunk any chance of Richardson or Kouandjio seeing late season snaps for evaluation.

W2W4: Buffalo Bills at Denver Broncos

December, 5, 2014
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills (7-5) will try to improve to 4-2 in road games this season when they travel to play the Denver Broncos (9-3) Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS).

Here is what to watch for from the Bills' side:

1. Strength against strength: There are compelling statistical matchups abound in this game as a potent Broncos offense squares off with a stout Bills defense. Here are just a few:
  • The Broncos score the NFL's fifth-most points per game, and the Bills allow the league's second-fewest.
  • Peyton Manning has the NFL's second-best Total QBR this season, and the Bills hold opposing quarterbacks to the second-lowest QBR.
  • The Broncos have allowed the fewest sacks this season (13), and the Bills' defense has the NFL's most sacks (48).
  • The Broncos have turned the ball over the fourth-fewest times (12) this season, and Bills' opponents have turned it over the second-most times (25).
2. Can Broncos neutralize the Bills' rush? The Bills are formidable opponent for the Broncos in that they can generate pressure without blitzing. That allows the Bills' linebackers and defensive backs to stick with coverage duties and try to smother the Broncos' slew of receivers. Still, getting to quarterback Manning can be a challenge. He gets rid of the ball an average of 2.22 seconds after the snap, the NFL's quickest release, while Manning is pressured on just 14.5 percent of drop backs, by far the lowest rate in the NFL. That gives the Bills' defensive line little opportunity to get to Manning. That shifts the focus away from the Bills' strength on defense (their line) and puts more stress on the back seven, especially the secondary. Sound, wrap-up tackling by cornerbacks and safeties will be paramount in this game.

3. Effects of altitude: The Bills will leave Friday evening for Denver, ahead of their typical travel day of Saturday. That isn't out of the norm for east-coast teams traveling west and should give players a chance to adjust to the altitude and time change. Though Doug Marrone said he doesn't expect any significant issues with the altitude, the player to watch is wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, who has sickle cell trait and asthma. Unlike Washington Redskins safety Ryan Clark, who didn't travel with the Pittsburgh Steelers to Denver because of sickle cell, Goodwin is expected to travel. He hasn't been a big part of the game plan this season, but is the player to watch with the altitude adjustment.

4. Playing well in December: With their win last Sunday, the Bills' 7-5 start is their best since 2000. Though the strength of the AFC has put a damper on Buffalo's playoff hopes, this is one of the few times since the Bills' postseason drought began that they are gearing up for a big game in December. The Bills are 18-26 in December since 2004, which ranks 25th in the NFL over that time. So even if the Bills can't come away with a playoff berth this season, winning a meaningful game after Thanksgiving will be a sign of progress.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Taking a closer look at offensive snaps played by the Buffalo Bills in Sunday's 26-10 win over the Cleveland Browns:

Kyle Orton -- 65 of 65
EJ Manuel -- 0 of 65

Running backs:
Fred Jackson -- 48 of 65
Bryce Brown -- 11 of 65
Anthony Dixon -- 6 of 65

Quick-hit thoughts: This was Jackson's heaviest workload since Week 6 against New England, when he played in 75 percent of the snaps. Jackson received five carries in the first half and gained just 14 yards but got more traction in the second half, finishing with 70 yards on 21 runs. While the Bills are getting more even production from their three backs -- all of them averaged between 3.3 yards per carry and 4.2 yards per carry -- they didn't get much in the way of big plays, with the longest run of the afternoon being just eight yards.

Frank Summers -- 0 of 65 (inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: Summers was inactive for a second consecutive week, a surprise given that the Browns' defense had been porous against the run this season. Like their failed fourth-and-1 play against the Jets, the Bills could've used Summers on a failed third-and-1 run in the second quarter when the Bills went into a spread, shotgun look and ran Jackson up the middle for no gain.

Wide receivers:
Sammy Watkins -- 65 of 65
Robert Woods -- 58 of 65
Chris Hogan -- 36 of 65
Marquise Goodwin -- 2 of 65
Marcus Easley -- 0 of 65 (special teams only)
Marcus Thigpen -- 0 of 65 (special teams only)
Mike Williams -- 0 of 65 (inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: The Bills continued to shift their personnel on the active roster here, with Goodwin active after being a healthy scratch last week and Williams moved off the 46-man roster. Neither Williams nor Goodwin has much of a role in the offense, while Thigpen has taken over Goodwin's role as a kick returner.

Tight ends:
Scott Chandler -- 41 of 65
Lee Smith -- 29 of 65
MarQueis Gray -- 29 of 65
Chris Gragg -- 0 of 65 (injured/inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: These snap counts are nearly identical to last week, except with Gray subbed in for Gragg, who has a knee injury. The Bills, as mentioned last week, are employing all three of their tight ends in the game plan. Chandler is typically the lone tight end when there are three receivers, while Gray/Gragg and Smith come on for a heavier, run-based look. Is it a passable approach? Yes, but the Bills could really use a full-time, athletic tight end in the draft next spring.

Offensive linemen:
LT Cordy Glenn -- 65 of 65
LG Kraig Urbik -- 65 of 65
C Eric Wood -- 65 of 65
RG Erik Pears -- 65 of 65
RT Seantrel Henderson -- 65 of 65
Chris Hairston -- 0 of 65 (special teams only)
Cyril Richardson -- 0 of 65 (special teams only)
Cyrus Kouandjio -- 0 of 65 (inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: Nothing out of the ordinary here. Hairston didn't come on as a sixth offensive lineman
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills wide receiver Mike Williams is a healthy scratch Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

It's the third time Williams has been a healthy scratch this season. He was active last week against the New York Jets, playing only on special teams.

Receiver Marquise Goodwin is active after being deactivated last week against the Jets. Return specialist Marcus Thigpen is also active.

Here is the full list of Bills inactives for Sunday's game:

DE Jarius Wynn (knee)
TE Chris Gragg (knee)
S Bacarri Rambo (hamstring)
WR Mike Williams
FB Frank Summers
OL Cyrus Kouandjio
LB Randell Johnson
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- It's been a tough week for Marquise Goodwin.

First, the Buffalo Bills wide receiver was a healthy scratch for Monday night's 38-3 win over the New York Jets. Now, the Bills have found another return man.

The Bills claimed Marcus Thigpen, a return specialist, off waivers Wednesday from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While he has limited experience as a wide receiver and running back, Thigpen made his mark returning kicks and punts for the Miami Dolphins in 2012 and 2013.

That's not good news for Goodwin, who has struggled to emerge with the team since being drafted in the third round last season. While he's missed eight games over the past two seasons due to several injuries, Monday night was the first time he was healthy but inactive.

"I don't like being inactive," Goodwin said Wednesday. "I don't practice hard just to be an inactive. But it is what it is. If I don't fit the game plan, I just don't. I just do what I'm told, work hard and just try to help the team win in any way that I can."

Thigpen's addition could hit home as soon as this week for Goodwin, who has seen a diminished role on offense. The speedster was seen a return threat, especially after big returns in the preseason last year, but his presence on that unit wasn't enough to make him active Monday. Instead, the Bills turned to Bryce Brown and Marcus Easley to return kicks.

"It has been a humbling experience this whole year, coming from scoring a few touchdowns last season to having one reception right now and not really being able to help my team be victorious," Goodwin said.

Asked if injuries have been a factor, Goodwin said, "I guess you could say that, yeah."

A member of the U.S. Olympic track team, Goodwin also struggled to find a role in college at Texas.

"It's about equivalent to how college was, my last year," he said Wednesday. "I thought I was going to do better than I did but I eventually obtained my ultimate goal, which was to come to the NFL.

"So I'm here now. I'm just going to make the most of it and see where it takes me."

Mike Williams plays six special teams snaps

November, 25, 2014
DETROIT -- Taking a closer look at offensive snaps played by the Buffalo Bills in Monday's 38-3 win over the New York Jets:

Kyle Orton -- 63 of 66
EJ Manuel -- 3 of 66

Quick-hit thoughts: Manuel saw his first action since being benched in Week 4, completing a 1-yard pass before handing it off twice.

Running backs:
Fred Jackson -- 32 of 66
Anthony Dixon -- 20 of 66
Bryce Brown -- 15 of 66

Quick-hit thoughts: Jackson received the lion's share of snaps after sitting out the Bills' Week 11 loss to the Dolphins. He was less productive (3.2 yards per carry) than Brown (3.3) or Dixon (4.5). I asked Jackson after the game if he felt like he was working at full capacity. "Oh no," he said. "But nobody is at this point in the season. It's on me just to try to get as best as I can when I'm out there on the field."

Frank Summers -- 0 of 66 (inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: Surprising move for the Bills to make Summers a healthy scratch after he was active for every game this season. Perhaps the Bills' could have used him on a play such as Dixon's fourth-and-1 run when he was stopped for no gain.

Wide receivers:
Sammy Watkins -- 62 of 66
Robert Woods -- 53 of 66
Chris Hogan -- 25 of 66
Marcus Easley -- 3 of 66
Mike Williams -- 0 of 66 (special teams only)
Marquise Goodwin -- 0 of 66 (injured/inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: Williams was surprisingly active over Goodwin, who was listed as probable on the injury report. He didn't play any offensive snaps but was on the field for six special teams snaps, which is different than the norm for the veteran. Without Goodwin, the Bills turned again to Bryce Brown to return kicks. Easley's three snaps came late in the game.

Tight ends:
Scott Chandler -- 41 of 66
Lee Smith -- 44 of 66
Chris Gragg -- 34 of 66
MarQueis Gray -- 0 of 66 (inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: Gragg's late-game knee injury is something to watch, as the Bills have incorporated him more into the offense as the season has progressed. In general, the Bills are liberally employing their tight ends, using Smith and Gragg in two-tight end packages and Chandler with the three-receiver package. All three were even on the field for some non-goal line plays Monday.

Offensive linemen:
LG Kraig Urbik -- 66 of 66
RG Erik Pears -- 66 of 66
RT Seantrel Henderson -- 66 of 66
LT Cordy Glenn -- 63 of 66
C Eric Wood -- 63 of 66
Chris Hairston -- 4 of 66
Cyril Richardson -- 3 of 66
Cyrus Kouandjio -- 0 of 66 (inactive)

Quick-hit thoughts: The Bills gave Glenn and Wood, their two best linemen, a breather on their final drive, replacing them with Hairston and Richardson.
DETROIT -- Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson (groin) is active for Monday night's game against the New York Jets at Ford Field.

Jackson as listed as questionable on the injury report but was expected to play.

In a surprise, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is inactive, while fellow receiver Mike Williams is active. Goodwin -- who has been active over Williams in two games this season -- was listed as probable on the injury report with an ankle injury.

Fullback Frank Summers is inactive for the first time this season. That could indicate more of a passing-based focus from the Bills' offense against a shaky Jets secondary.

Here is the full list of Bills inactives:

DE Jarius Wynn (knee)
WR Marquise Goodwin (ankle)
FB Frank Summers
OL Cyrus Kouandjio
LB Randell Johnson
DE Bryan Johnson
TE MarQueis Gray
Chatting after his Monday news conference, Bills coach Doug Marrone took exception to how snow in the Buffalo region this week will be measured in feet, not inches.

"It sounds so much worse that way," Marrone said to reporters.

No matter how you measure it -- four feet, six feet, 48 inches or 72 inches -- a truckload of snow is expected in some parts south and east of the city by Wednesday.

Players have Tuesday off before (hopefully) making it back to the facility by Wednesday. Rookie Sammy Watkins -- a native of Florida who played at Clemson -- took fans through his ride home as the snow began to fly Monday evening:


A video posted by Sammy Watkins (@sammywatkins) on


Receiver Marquise Goodwin, a pro at winter weather after spending the past season with the Bills, was unfazed:

This snow doesn't scare me... =

A photo posted by Marquise Goodwin (@_marquisegoodwin) on


Defensive end Mario Williams was also ready with some heavy equipment:


Center Eric Wood likely didn't see this kind of snow when he was at the University of Louisville:


Fourth-year running back Phillip Tanner shares a photo of ... is it his backyard? Front yard? We're not too sure:

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Four days after being deactivated against the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Mike Williams is active Thursday night against the Miami Dolphins.

Williams' status could be tied to the health of Marquise Goodwin, who is inactive Thursday night with a rib injury.

Special teams ace Marcus Easley (knee) is active after missing the past six games with a knee injury.

Here is the full list of Bills inactives:

RB Fred Jackson (groin)
WR Marquise Goodwin (ribs)
CB Ron Brooks (groin)
DE Jarius Wynn (knee)
OL Cyrus Kouandjio
RB Phillip Tanner
LB Randell Johnson
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Welcome to Sun Life Stadium, where the Buffalo Bills (5-4) meet the Miami Dolphins (5-4) at 8:25 p.m. ET Thursday night.

Weather conditions: It's about what you'd expect in Miami this time of year. Temperatures at kickoff will be in the mid-70s with some humidity (dew point of 67 degrees). Winds are light and no precipitation is expected.

Fred Jackson unlikely to play: Running back Fred Jackson (groin) is listed as questionable but is unlikely to play in Thursday night's game, a source said. The Bills will use a combination of Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown at running back in his place.

Five more inactives: With Jackson not expected to play and defensive end Jarius Wynn (knee) already declared out, the Bills will have five more inactives to declare. There are three players besides Jackson who are questionable: wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (ribs), cornerback Ron Brooks (groin) and wide receiver Marcus Easley (knee). If Goodwin is active, fellow receiver Mike Williams could be inactive for a second consecutive game.

Coleman gets the call: Walt Coleman is Thursday’s referee.

Fred Jackson limited in Tuesday practice

November, 11, 2014
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson (groin) was limited in the team's only practice of the week Tuesday.

Wide receiver Sammy Watkins (groin) fully participated in Tuesday's practice.

After practice, coach Doug Marrone spoke about the difficulty of determining the readiness of some of his injured players.

"What's difficult is the limited players -- the players that are limited -- you never really practice at a level to know whether they can go in and play the amount that you want them to play," Marrone said. "I think for me, this week, that has been the biggest challenge for me."

Here is the Bills' full Tuesday injury report; statuses for Thursday's game will be released on Wednesday:

Did not participate:
DE Jarius Wynn (knee)

Limited participation:
RB Fred Jackson (groin)
CB Ron Brooks (groin)
WR Marcus Easley (knee)
WR Marquise Goodwin (ribs)

Full participation:
WR Sammy Watkins (groin)
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson (groin) was listed as a limited participant on the team's projected Monday injury report.

Wide receiver Sammy Watkins (groin) was projected to be a full participant in Monday's practice. Both Watkins and Jackson played in Sunday's 17-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Bills only held a walk-through practice Monday but were required to submit an injury report, as they play the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night.

Here is the full report:

Did not participate:
DE Jarius Wynn (knee)

Limited participation:
RB Fred Jackson (groin)
WR Marquise Goodwin (ribs)
WR Marcus Easley (knee)
CB Ron Brooks (groin)

Full participation:
WR Sammy Watkins (groin)
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Observed and heard in the locker room after the Buffalo Bills' 17-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs:

In the know: The Bills listed wide receiver Sammy Watkins (groin) and running back Fred Jackson (groin) as questionable on their injury report, and both players -- as well as coach Doug Marrone -- maintained during the week that their statuses for Sunday's game were up in the air. Defensive end Jerry Hughes, however, told a different story after the game. "We knew all week," Hughes said when asked if Watkins and Jackson would play. Neither player took part in a pregame workout on the stadium field with trainers. Watkins went through a normal warm-up routine with his fellow receivers.

Correct call? As for the false start penalty called against Seantrel Henderson on a fourth-and-1 early in the fourth quarter, Marrone simply stated, "They said it came in from New York that it was a good call."

The NFL has members of its officiating department in New York City and observers in the press box, so the flag was reviewed quickly and determined to be correct. Marrone was not willing to say after the game if he was planning on running a play before Henderson was flagged or if he was simply trying to draw the Chiefs offside.

Injuries: Defensive end Jarius Wynn (knee) and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (ribs) were both injured in Sunday's game. Wynn's injury appeared to be more serious; he was wearing a sleeve around his right leg in the locker room and moving gingerly.