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Mark Gaughan's Friday NFL Chat

Miami's Bell amps up talk

It's nice to see a little pre-game fire leading up to Sunday's game between 5-8 Buffalo and 4-9 Miami.

Dolphins safety Yeremiah Bell didn't back down this week from comments he made after the Dolphins' 35-8 rout of the Bills a month ago. Bell said the Bills "laid down." Several Bills, including Chris Kelsay and Stevie Johnson, said this week the talk stuck in their craws.

Bell told Miami reporters Thursday he isn’t backing down from his comments. “I think when they watched the film, they knew it, too,” Bell said. “Now it’s time for Round 2. I like to talk noise; if that gets them riled up, then I’m all for it. Bryan Cox is loving it.”

Gotta respect Bell for even being aware of Bryan Cox's role in Dolphins history as a fiery trash-talker.

---Mark Gaughan


Bills aide gets Mo-Southern job

Daryl Daye, who has been assistant to the head coach under Chan Gailey the past two years, has been named head coach at Missouri Southern State, a Division II program in Joplin, Mo. Daye was defensive coordinator at Missouri Southern from 2006 to 2009. He has 24 years of college coaching experience and formerly was a head coach at Nicholls State in Louisiana from 1999 to 2003. Daye helps out on the field with inside linebackers and special teams for the Bills. Off the field, he assists Gailey with day-to-day administrative duties, such as scheduling, travel and trainiing camp organization.

"It's a great opportunity to go back and be a head coach again," Daye said. "It's bee a little while but I've been able to see the other side of the deal up here for a couple years. It's been tremendous, re-establishing and confirming what you believe and learning some new things. We lived in the community for four years and understand the conference and what it takes to be successful."

On his role with the Bills, Daye said: "It's been more of a learning role than anything for me. With him being so involved in offense, he's given me opportunities to do more things that has allowed me to learn more. I really didn't know how much it took to make the machine work at this level. So I got to see that. It's confirmed how important teamwork is. He's been outstanding. He's let me coach on the field some, he's let me learn what he does and he's tutored me along."

---Mark Gaughan

Dolphins-Bills injury report

---Rookie cornerback Aaron Williams, who missed the San Diego game with a calf injury, practiced fully today and is expected to start on Sunday when the Bills host the Miami Dolphins.

Tight end Scott Chandler (ankle) missed practice again today and is likely to miss the game, while kicker Dave Rayner (groin) was limited but expects to play on Sunday.

Miami quarterback Matt Moore (concussion-like symptoms) returned to practice on Wednesday, making it less likely former Bill J.P. Losman will be pressed into his first start for the Dolphins. Left tackle Jake Long (back), who also missed Wednesday returned as well but starting linebacker Koa Misi (shoulder) remained out.

---Rodney McKissic


Dolphins-Bills blacked out

The Bills just announced that Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins at Ralph Wilson Stadium will be blacked out on local television. About 7,000 tickets remain.  

 Tickets are still available for purchase by going online at, at Ticketmaster outlets, the Ralph Wilson Stadium ticket office, or by calling 1-877-BB-TICKS (228-4257).  Club seats and other premium seating opportunities are also available.

---Rodney McKissic





Pears deal worth $9.3 million

The deal signed by Bills right tackle Erik Pears is worth a total of $9.3 million over the next three years, The News has learned. The extension keeps Pears in the fold through 2014. Pears will get $3.85 million guaranteed in the contract.

"I feel great," Pears said after practice today. "I’ve enjoyed my time here and I’m happy to be here for three more years, I couldn’t be more excited. ... I can’t thank the organization enough for giving me a real opportunity to get in there and show them what I could do. I feel I really took advantage of the offseason and came in prepared to do the job."

---Mark Gaughan

13,000 tickets left for Fish

There are 13,000 tickets left for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins, meaning the game is virtually assured of being blacked out of local television. The deadline for selling out in time to lift the TV blackout is 1 p.m. Thursday. It will be the second straight blackout. The Bills had 56,463 tickets distributed for the Tennessee game two weeks ago.

---Mark Gaughan

Stevie content to let it ride on contract

Bills receive Stevie Johnson said today he intends to play out his current contract and is not expecting any deal before the end of the season, now less than three weeks away.

Johnson said he would like to stay in Buffalo and would agree to terms with the Bills if "everything is right," referring to the terms of a contract.

At this point, after playing four seasons and putting himself in position to hit free agency in his prime, Johnson is not about to sign a deal unless it's for full market value. The Bills, of course, have a franchise tag and could apply it to him to keep him in the fold for 2012.

---Mark Gaughan 

Easley cleared to return in 2012

Bills receiver Marcus Easley said today he has been cleared to resume his football career and will be ready to practice and play in 2012.

Easley went on the injured reserve list right after the season opener when it was discovered he had a heart condition that prevented him from playing.

"When it first came about it was so random, it came out of nowhere," Easley said. "I've been cleared to play again. Everything's positive and I'll be back."

Easley confirmed he had a heart condition, but he would not be more specific about it, and he would not say whether it required a medical procedure to repair. He has been going to meetings with receivers and in the Bills' facility the past six weeks or so.

"I'm slowly getting back into things," he said. "I have been doing cardio work and lifting some weights. I've been here pretty much the whole time. I'm actually getting something out of it (the workouts) now. Being in the weight room and getting back to the way things are supposed to be was a relief."

Bills coach Chan Gailey also confirmed Easley will vie for a position next season: "No question," he said.

Easley was a fourth-round pick in 2010. He missed all of his rookie season with a knee injury. He showed some flashes of his ability in training camp and made the 53-man roster before his condition was discovered by team doctors.

---Mark Gaughan

Gailey says QB not in draft picture

Bills coach Chan Gailey said the team is not in the market for a quarterback at the top of the NFL Draft.

"You can talk to Buddy (Nix) about that, but I don't believe that's anywhere in the thought process," Gailey told reporters today at his news briefing.

The statement is no surprise. The Bills just gave Ryan Fitzpatrick a big contract extension in October. It has plenty of other needs. And the Bills are not likely to be in position to pick one of the top quarterbacks in the draft. If the Bills win one of their last three games and finish 6-10, they likely will pick outside the top 12. If they lose out and finish 5-11, they're not likely to pick higher than eighth. The top three QBs, if they elect to enter the draft, are likely to go in the top seven. Stanford's Andrew Luck is probably the top-rated prospect. Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III of Baylor and USC's Ma tt Barkley will be highly sought, presuming they leave college.

---Mark Gaughan


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