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Buffalo a better option for Vick

---Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick told GQ Magazine he would have preferred playing for the Buffalo Bills or Cincinnati Bengals, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell urged him to select Philly.

After his release from federal prison, Vick wanted to go somewhere he could be the starting quarterback and he told GQ that Buffalo and Cincinnati were better options.

But after meeting with Goodell and other NFL officials, Vick was convinced to go to the Eagles as a third-stringer -- a situation he says he is now grateful he accepted.

“I think I can say this now, because it's not going to hurt anybody's feelings, and it's the truth … I didn’t want to come to Philadelphia,'' Vick told GQ. "Being the third-team quarterback is nothing to smile about. Cincinnati and Buffalo were better options.’’

But Vick, according to GQ, was convinced-and granted league approval-to sign with Philadelphia.

"And I commend and thank them, because they put me in the right situation," Vick said.

GQ hits news stands today.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Maybin on his weight

Ex-Bill Aaron Maybin met the media on his introduction as a New York Jet Wednesday. To his credit, he did not make excuses and refrained from any criticism of the Bills' organization. There's no doubt he thinks he didn't get enough playing time in Buffalo. He did however, have an explanation - or somewhat of an excuse - for his weight upon reporting to training camp. He reported at 228 pounds. The exchange with the media:

On whether was sick before training camp: "It was a sickness I had before camp, I lost 10, 11 pounds or so. I do feel a lot better now. In the first couple weeks of training camp up in Buffalo, I was able to put a little bit of that weight back on. I’m holding pretty steady at 240 right now, but I still got a few pounds to go get back to where I feel comfortable playing at during the season."
 
On what weight he would like to play at: "Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back up to about 255, 256. I think that’s pretty much ideal for where I should be."
 
On losing weight during training camp: "(255, 256) is where I feel comfortable playing during the season, but I’ve always been the kind of guy whose weight fluctuates. You weigh me in the morning, you’re liable to get something different than when you weigh me in the afternoon. That’s just how I am. I can gain or lose 10 pounds in a two-day period. It’s always kind of crazy when you’re working with that kind of metabolism."

Maybin has a thin frame and slender hips. I can't see him maintaining 255 pounds. But I also would be shocked if he doesn't make the Jets' team, given their lack of depth at OLB. The Jets play at Buffalo Nov. 6.

---Mark Gaughan
 

 

Dareus highlights night practice

Bills rookie defensive end Marcell Dareus was a huge force on the field during the Bills' final night practice Wednesday at St. John Fisher College. Dareus was almost unblockable in line drills and caved the pocket repeatedly in 11-on-11 work. For much of the night, the defense bottled up the offense, which had its second straight rough practice.

"He did a great job," said coach Chan Gailey. "He was everywhere. He’s a big strong physical guy. He had a good night tonight. When he gets healthy I think he can really be something.”

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had a slew of incompletions, some of them prompted by pressure from the defensive front, some just off target with the receivers.

“I thought our defense was very strong," coach Chan Gailey said. “We’re putting in some different stuff this week, and we’ve got to work on it. It doesn’t look clean. We’ve got a lot of work to do."

The Bills used a lot of four-man lines with the offense playing from multiple-receiver sets. With Shawne Merriman sitting out, Chris Kelsay, Kyle Williams, Dareus and Alex Carrington played on the first-team defensive line. Danny Batten did a good job bottling up two straight runs to his side. Second QB Tyler Thigpen fumbled a snap from center and did some pushups as punishment. Dareus broke through for a tag-out sack on a pass that went to Scott Chandler. Dareus broke through for another sack six plays later. Reggie Corner had a would-be sack on a blitz. Drayton Florence read a throw for Chandler and almost had a pickoff. Terrence McGee had good coverage on a deep incompletion for Stevie Johnson. McGee and Florence were the two corners on the few plays the regular defense lined up against the starters.

Donald Jones, who is starting opposite Johnson in the wake of the Lee Evans deal, made the two best catches of the night. One was deep vs. McGee. One was a deep-post touchdown from Thigpen. The ball was underthrown but Jones made a good play on it.

Brad Smith had a couple good Wildcat runs. But on another, a run off left guard, he was slammed to the ground by linebacker Nick Barnett. "The other day he came and ran that counter at me and I was just fitting up," Barnett said. "And he stuck his helmet right in my face. So now I know when he’s running the ball I’ve got to come at him. He's a tough guy."

Smith also completed a nice pass to Chandler on a fake running play.

---Mark Gaughan

 

Kyle Williams wants to stay

Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams confirmed his agent has had talks with the Bills about a contract extension. Williams’ current deal, signed in July 2008, averages $3.6 million a year and runs through 2012. Williams is 28 and is coming off his best season, in which he made 5.5 sacks and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl.

“It means a lot to me that everybody passed on me four times but the fifth time these guys didn’t get it wrong," said Williams, a former fifth-round pick. “So I want to be here. But as far as all the contract stuff, it’s early, they’re just talking and we’ll see where it goes."

---Mark Gaughan

Buffalo big in fantasy ranking

Buffalo ranks near the top in the world of fantasy football. No, we're not talking about Bills players being taken in fantasy football leagues. We're talking about Bills fans participating in fantasy leagues. Yahoo! Sports came out with its listing of the top cities in terms of fan participation in its leagues. Here they are, based on per-capita numbers: 

1.       Green Bay (1 in 29 play). 2. Cincinnati (1 in 31). 3. Minneapolis-St. Paul (1 in 32). 4. Indianapolis (1 in 33). 5. Kansas City (1 in 33). 6. Washington, D.C. (1 in 34). 7. San Diego (1 in 34). 8. Baltimore (1 in 35). 9. Buffalo (1 in 37). 10. Pittsburgh (1 in 38).

---Mark Gaughan

 

Kids Day vs. Jaguars

The Bills' annual Kids Day promotion will be held Aug. 27 at the Jacksonville preseason game at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Tickets for youths 14 and under are $15. The game starts at 7 p.m. All fans 14 and under will get a Ryan Fitzpatrick poster. There will be post-game fireworks, reduced concessions price and other giveaways. The Bills also will hold their fan food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Western New York.

---Mark Gaughan

Maybin joins thin Jet OLB corps

Aaron Maybin went from one thin outside linebacking corps to another in signing with the New York Jets today. Maybin could not beat out an undrafted guy (Antonio Coleman) for playing time last season in Buffalo. But his competition for a spot on the Jets' roster is just as unestablished.

New York's starting outside linebackers are 10-year veteran Bryan Thomas and nine-year veteran Calvin Pace. Thomas had six sacks last year, Pace 5.5. The Jets' No. 3 OLB is Jamaal Westerman, a former undrafted guy out of Rutgers in his third year. Westerman played in 14 games in '09 and in six in '10. He had one sack in '09. The Jets' No. 4 OLB is Garrett McIntyre, who went undrafted in 2010 out of Fresno State.

If Maybin can show anything, he should make the Jets' 53-man roster. Of course, the same could have been said in Buffalo.

---Mark Gaughan

Video: Tuesday's practice

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