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Bookmark heads up: Nothing to see here

by Tim Graham

The Buffalo News launched its new Bills blog, "Press Coverage," this morning.

The BillBoard is no more.

So say a little prayer, pour out a 40 or do whatever you must to cope. And then head over to the "Press Coverage" blog and update your bookmarks.

Never forget.

Dareus fired up about conditioning

Bills second-year defensive tackle Marcell Dareus says he's excited about how much better he could get now that he has a season of pro ball to his name. Dareus was pretty outstanding last season, making the NFL's all-rookie team. 

Dareus was listed at 340 pounds last season. He weighed in at 331 at the start of spring practices. He says he aims to be about 325 for the start of the season.

Said Dareus after Thursday's practice: "I want to bring to the table a more in shape Marcell. I want to be more in shape, flying to the ball more than I did last year, more than I did ever. So I really want to get off the ball, get to the ball, run to the ball, be non-stop, have a motor that’s non-stop going. I want to be in better shape physically and mentally ready to go."

---Mark Gaughan

Hansen, Smerlas at Kelly Tourney

Here are some quotes from Bills greats at the 26th annual Jim Kelly Celebrity Golf Classic, held today in Batavia:

Kelly on the absence of Kent Hull, who died at age 50 in October: “It’s good to see all these guys. This year it’s bittersweet. When you lose a guy like Kent Hull, the sweet part is the memories we’ve had. He was such a big part of this tournament. I think he might have missed one or two in the 26 years. He’s sorely going to be missed today and throughout the rest of my tournaments – to the 50th anniversary.”

Phil Hansen on his candidacy for a Minnesota state senate seat: “I kind of had a burning desire for a long time to do it but the timing has never been right. I had a young family. My kids are all in school now. There’s a retiring senator from the district which I plan to represent, and I want to make a difference. I want to do something more than just vote, and it’s manifested itself in running for office. Hansen said fiscal discipline is at the core of his political philosophy. “That should be a core of anyone’s philosophy,” he said. “You just don’t spend more than you have. And In every state, I think it’s about jobs, creating an environment for jobs, for business owners to succeed and hire employees.”

Fred Smerlas on the problem former players face in dealing with the concussions they suffered during their careers: "It’s a huge problem. I have a broken ankle (that has bothered him) since ’83. I’ve had 24 operations. I don’t sleep. Anger problems, headaches. They should have, when you had a concussion, not just given you smelling salts and icing the back. They should have sat and observed. They knew they should have done that. Another thing they should have done is when you get out of the league they have should done something (about treatment) after we got out. They needed to have a place for us to go (for specialized care). They never cared about the guys who got out. I played 14 years and had five Pro Bowls. They shut the door ... They shouldn’t have done that."

---Mark Gaughan

Wannstedt on Gilmore

Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt spoke with the media today following the team's first week of organized team activities.

Here's what he had to say when asked about his initial impressions of first-round pick Stephon Gilmore: "He doesn’t appear, and you watch him warm up in drills, to be as fast as he is but nobody runs by him. I think playing quarterback (in high school), he’s got a little bit more savvy than some corners might and obviously he’s a size guy. He’s got size and he can run and he’s got great feet. I used the word great, he’s got great hand-eye coordination. When the ball’s in the air, he’s going to go after it."

The Bills have been working with Gilmore on jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage, something he didn't do a lot of with South Carolina.

"That will all come in training camp when we really get the pads on. Right now we can't do one-on-one in press, you know all the one-on-one stuff we do you have to be off because of contact," Wannstedt said. "So we're kind of limited a little bit there. But he's getting enough of the work. ... He's learning the coverages, he's learning the techniques and he's learning the terminology. The physical part will come."

---Jay Skurski