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Monday Morning QB chat with Rodney McKissic at 9 a.m.

Game ball: Bills 31, Eagles 24

Audio from the Bills' win

Hear from the Bills after their 31-24 victory over the Eagles today:

Coach Chan Gailey

Fred Jackson

Nick Barnett

Ryan Fitzpatrick

George Wilson

The Bills are on the road next week to face the Giants at 1 p.m. Sunday.

---Jay Skurski

Mendenhall to play, not start for Steelers

Late-breaking fantasy news before the 1 p.m. kickoffs:

- Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall will play, but not start for the Steelers. Isaac Redman starts in his place at RB.

- Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez will play against the Jets in a 4 p.m. game. He's still not 100 percent, though, so I'd sit him.

- Jacoby Jones will start at WR for Houston in place of Andre Johnson, who's out.

- Beanie Wells, who leads the NFL with five rushing touchdowns, is active for the Cardinals with his hamstring injury. He's a good start.

Best of luck in Week Five!

---Jay Skurski

Goodell stresses RWS upgrades

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said today he’s confident that with the proper improvements to
Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo will remain viable as an NFL market and the Bills will remain in Western New York.

However, Goodell stressed that government support will be needed and that the stadium must have renovations to keep the Bills financially competitive in the 32-team league.

“Work with the NFL, work with the team, and make sure the stadium continues to stay competitive,” Goodell said. “That’s the bottom line. It (the stadium) is great. It needs some more work. It means we’re going to have to do some work here. It’s going to take more investment in the stadium. But that’s a great investment, because it will help keep the Bills competitive and keep them here in Western New York, which is what we all want.”

Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. made similar comments in an interview with The News a couple weeks ago. Wilson said the stadium needs some significant upgrades to its structural support, in addition to some cosmetic improvements, and that the state and county will have to remain partners with the Bills in a new lease agreement. The Bills’ current lease runs out in July 2013.

Goodell spoke to a group of about 100 season-ticket holders in one of the end zone club sections at the stadium three hours before the game, then he sat in the stands to watch the Bills play the Eagles. Goodell has made similar fan-forum stops in other cities.

Asked what fans can do to keep the Bills in Buffalo, Goodell said: “I’ll tell you what my job will be but I’ll tell you what your job will be as fans. Continue to support the team. I know the passion for the Bills here. But we need to continue to make sure the fans demonstrate that all the time and continue to come and support the team here. That ultimately is the No. 1 indicator.”

Goodell said the NFL’s new labor agreement with the players, which runs for the next 10 years, will help small-market teams remain viable because it includes enhanced revenue-sharing for smaller-market teams.

Asked about what will happen with Wilson’s estate sells the team, Goodell said: “I hope Mr. Wilson’s going to be around to own this team for a long time. I spoke to him Friday. Talk about a guy who loves the game of football, loves this community and loves the Bills. There’s no one that would be higher on that level than Mr. Wilson, and he’s been a great owner and I hope he’s around for a long time. “

“He has what he thinks are the right steps for the team,” Goodell said. “We will obviously work with him and work with the team to fulfill his wishes. We are confident we will do what’s in the best interests of this community and the league in general. So I think that’s being taken care of.”

Asked to clarify his comment, Goodell reiterated the league’s economic model will allow for Buffalo to stay viable, as long as the support and the proper stadium is in place.

“The point of the question for fans is will we have a process and an ability to keep the Bills here and be successful,” Goodell said. “I think that’s the hope of Mr. Wilson, that the team will continue to be successful here in Western New York.”

Asked what assurances he can make that the Bills will stay in Buffalo, Goodell said: “I don’t think there are assurances of anything, other than if we continue to do our part, meaning we, this community, we continue to keep this facility competitive with others and we continue to support the team, I’m confident we’re going to continue to be successful here in Western New York. And I know the team is already beginning negotiations on a longer term lease, which is something we need to get done.”

---Mark Gaughan


Bills-Eagles inactives

Inactive today for the Bills are: CB Aaron Williams (collarbone), CB Terrence Wheatley, LB Chris White (hamstring), G Colin Brown, T Demetrius Bell (shoulder), LB Chris Kelsay (calf) and NT Torell Troup (back).

For the Eagles, QB Mike Kafka, S Jaiquawn Jarrett, CB Curtis Marsh, DE Trent Cole (calf), G Kyle DeVan, OT Jason Peters (hamstring), G Julian Vandervelde.

King Dunlap starts for Peters, Danny Watkins makes his first career start for Philly at right guard (he's their first-round pick) and Darryl Tapp starts at defensive end for Cole.

---Jay Skurski

Bills Live kicks off at noon

A reminder that I'll be hosting six hours of Bills talk starting at noon. That's when Bills Live begins with myself, with guest appearances from the likes of Jerry Sullivan, Rodney McKissic and, maybe even Bucky Gleason.

Don't leave your computer. You can find the Bills Live page at this link.

---Jay Skurski


Bills release statement by Wilson on Davis' death

Statement issued by Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. on the death of Al Davis:

“I am deeply saddened with the news of the passing of Al Davis. Al and I were very good friends for many years and I admired his innovative approach to the game of football.

"Al had a great impact on the American Football League that carried over to the National Football League after the merger and his competitive spirit embodied our sport.

"Al’s Raiders may not have won every game, but you knew that you were in for a tough, hard-fought contest every time you played them, regardless of the score.

"I want to extend my deepest sympathies to Al’s family, friends, the Raiders organization and Raiders fans everywhere.”

Excerpt from Felser's AFL book relating to Davis, Wilson

Al davis 2 
A group of AFL visionaries stand together, including Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr., far left, and Al Davis, third from left.

The following is an excerpt from former News Sports Editor Larry Felser's book, "The Birth of the New NFL: How the 1966 NFL/AFL Merger Transformed Pro Football," that appeared in the Nov. 27, 2008, print edition of The Buffalo News:

BROOKLYN AL: A young Al Davis moves from coaching ranks to commissioner's office

Erasmus Hall, the legendary Brooklyn high school established in 1787, has seen generations of famous people file through its halls, from Barbra Streisand and Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf to the late chess wizard Bobby Fischer and Moe Howard of the Three Stooges. Nevertheless, the school may never have graduated a student more distinctive than Al Davis, the most popular boy in his senior class.

Continue reading "Excerpt from Felser's AFL book relating to Davis, Wilson" »

Interactive: Timeline of Raiders owner Al Davis

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