Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

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

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Rex bleeding blue & white

Here's another reason for Buffalo Bills' fans to either dislike Jets coach Rex Ryan -- or perhaps like him a bit more. He's a hockey fan and a big booster of a Sabres enemy, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Ryan spent much of his young childhood living in Toronto with his mother, who worked for the University of Toronto. When he got into high school, he moved back down to the United States to live with his father, who was coaching the Minnesota Vikings at the time.

Ryan was at Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals last night and sporting a New Jersey Devils jersey. (Fans who watched the CBC broadcast got to see a interview in the stands with the coach.) 

Ryan on his hockey loyalties during the Hockey Night in Canada telecast: “The Leafs are my team, but living here in Jersey I support the Devils,” Ryan said. “They’re right down the road. They’re a good team. But I am waiting on Toronto. It’s been what, eight years since we’ve made the playoffs? We’re upset that we never made the playoffs this year. Eight-year drought, c’mon Leafs. I mean, they started the season great, and I’m, like, this could be our year. But we’ll see. Hopefully they get it together.”

The Leafs have one thing in common with the Bills. Toronto's eight-year playoff drought is the longest in the NHL (and considering 16 teams make the playoffs, that's long). The Bills' 12-year drought is longest in the NFL. The longest in the NBA is eight years, for Minnesota. The longest in major league baseball is 30 years, for the Washington Nationals (and Montreal Expos).

---Mark Gaughan

83 Ex-Bills in Concussion Litigation

There currently are 81 concussion-related lawsuits filed against the NFL, and they include 2,265 former players as of about a week ago.

There is a website - NFLconcussionlitigation.com - that rounds up news on the lawsuits. That website includes a listing of all the plaintiffs in the cases. Based on a review of that list, The News counts 83 former Bills among the plaintiffs. Some played in Buffalo a long time, some only a matter of weeks.

There are lots of Hall-of-Famers who have joined in the suits, including Eric Dickerson, Joe DeLamielleure, Chris Doleman, Tony Dorsett, Fred Dean, Bob Lilly, Leroy Kelly and Art Monk, among others. Here are the ex-Bills who are included on the listing, according to the website:

Chidi Ahanotu, Ethan Albright, Gary Baldinger, Don Beebe, Rodney Bellinger, Curtis Brown, Bobby Burnett, Jeff Burris, Derrick Burroughs, Carl Byrum, Mario Clark, Tony Cline, Robert Coons, Paul Costa, Joe Cribbs, Matt Darby, Kenneth Davis, Joe DeLamielleure, Conrad Dobler, Kevin Everett, Joe Ferguson, Jay Foreman, Byron Franklin, Donnie Green, Drew Haddad, Dwight Harrison, Dale Hellestrae, J.D. Hill, Raion Hill.

And: Kelly Holcomb, Corey Hulsey, David Humm, Bill Hurley, Scott Hutchinson, Darrell Irvin, Harry Jacobs, Bruce Jarvis, James Jeffcoat, Ron Jessie, Jack Johnson, Rob Johnson, Trumaine Johnson, Trey Junkin, Rex Kern, Merv Krakau, Bill Laskey, Teddy Lehman, Mark Maddox, Shane Matthews, Ron McDole, Reggie McKenzie*, Seth McKinney, Ted McKnight, Aaron Merz, James Mueller, Ryan Neufeld.

And: Tom Nutten, Joe Panos, Robert Penchion, Lou Piccone, David Pool, Daryl Porter, Mike Pucillo, Constantin Ritzmann, Sam Rogers, Butch Rolle, Mike Schneck, Dennis Shaw, Daimon Shelton, John Skourpan, Fred Smerlas, Thomas Smith, Art Still, Anthony Thomas, Tavares Tillman, Richard Trapp, Maurice Tyler, Phil Villapiano, Dave Washington, David White, Art Whittington, Donald Wilson, Jeff Yeates. (*-Believed to be the ex-Bill by that name. There also is a James Williams among the litigants, but it is not know if he's the one of numerous NFLers named James Williams who played for the BIlls. A Bills draftee, Bernard Ford (third round, '88) is on the list, but he never got in a game with Buffalo.).

Here's a link to a Buffalo News story by reporter Henry Davis on the suit filed by Jacobs, the middle linebacker from the Bills' AFL championship teams. http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/article721748.ece

---Mark Gaughan

 

 

Gronk Nation going strong

Williamsville North High School graduate Chris Gronkowski was acquired by the Denver Broncos today in a trade from the Indianapolis Colts. It's a great move for Gronkowski, a fullback who came out of the University of Arizona in 2010. Gronkowksi is the only fullback on the Denver roster at the moment, and he joins a team that is one of the favorites to win the AFC. The Broncos, of course, added quarterback Peyton Manning in March.

The move increases the chances that a Gronkowski might make the Super Bowl for a second straight year. (Chris Gronkowski wasn't going to get there with the rebuilding Colts.) Younger brother Rob Gronkowski is the All-Pro tight end for the New England Patriots. If Rob had been fully healthy instead of laboring with a high-ankle sprain, the Pats might have beaten the Giants in the Super Bowl in February. Rob Gronkowski attended Williamsville North but then transferred to a Pittsburgh-area high school for his senior season before moving onto Arizona. Chris Gronkowski played for Dallas in 2010. He appeared in seven games for the Colts last season. Denver traded cornerback Cassius Vaughn to get him.

The Gronkowskis will be bidding to have three brothers in the NFL for a third season this year. Dan Gronkowski, who also starred at North, signed with the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 23. He will battle for a backup tight end job with the Browns.

---Mark Gaughan

Glenn latest draft pick to sign

The Buffalo Bills continue to knock off rookie contracts, with second-rounder Cordy Glenn the latest to sign this morning.

Glenn, the 41st overall pick in the draft out of Georgia, is expected to compete with Chris Hairston for the team's starting left tackle job.

His rookie deal, as they all do, covers four years. Terms have not been released, but last year's 41st pick, defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins of the Washington Redskins, signed a contract worth nearly $4.8 million. Glenn's contract should fall in line with that.

Glenn made 50 starts in 53 college games with the Bulldogs, matching the school record for most starts by an offensive lineman. The 6-foot-6, 345-pounder made the all-Southeastern Conference first team in 2011.

The Bills have now signed eight of their nine draft picks, with only third-round wide receiver T.J. Graham of North Carolina State still unsigned.

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Bills get deal done with Gilmore

The Buffalo Bills this morning announced that first-round draft pick Stephon Gilmore has signed. The South Carolina cornerback was the 10th overall pick in April's draft.

Gilmore's signing means seven of Buffalo's nine draft picks are now under contract. Second-round pick Cordy Glenn and third-round T.J. Graham remain unsigned.

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

 

Bills sign three, cut two

Rookie minicamp over the weekend was a success for fullback Dorin Dickerson and safety Nick Saenz, both of whom signed free agent contracts with the Buffalo Bills, the team announced today.

Buffalo also signed offensive tackle James Carmon, and released quarterback Aaron Corp and safety Ian Wild. 

Dickerson, 6-foot-1 and 226 pounds, played college football at Pitt under Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt. He's a former seventh-round draft choice of the Houston Texans in 2010, appearing in seven games predominantly on special teams. He's also spent time on the practice squad for both New England and Pittsburgh.

Dickerson, 24, is an impressive athlete. He ran a 4.4 40 at the combine, with a 43.5-inch vertical jump. He lined up as an H-back during the team's minicamp.

Saenz, 6-0, 195, joins the Bills from Houston. He played in 52 career games with the Cougars, starting for three years. 

Carmon played last season at left tackle for Mississippi State after switching from the defensive line after the 2010 season. The 6-7, 320-pounder started 10 of 11 games in 2011. 

Corp's release leaves the Bills without a developmental quarterback on the roster behind starter Ryan Fitzpatrick and backups Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen. The team also had Alex Tanney in over the weekend on a tryout basis, but did not offer the Monmouth College product a contract.

Wild had an interesting back story. He's a former football and lacrosse player for Mercyhurst who gave up his final lacrosse season this spring to pursue an NFL career. In the 2011 Division-II lacrosse championship game, Wild scored four goals and was named the most outstanding player of the game in Mercyhurst's 9-8 win over Adelphi.

---Jay Skurski

@JaySkurski on Twitter

Cook happy to have a second chance

St. Joe’s graduate Domonic Cook was in camp on a tryout basis. The former University at Buffalo cornerback was grateful to have a second chance with the Bills.

Cook signed with the team as an undrafted free agent last year, but suffered a serious knee injury in the first week of training camp. He had surgery last August, and wasn’t cleared to work out until February.

“When [the Bills] called, I almost teared up for a chance to come back,” he said. “I’m just trying to get my knees back. My quickness was a big part of my game, so I’m trying to get my speed back up.”

Cook said he gained some unwanted weight being on the shelf for six months.

"I've lost most of it, but I still feel a little stiff," he said. "I'm trying to loosen up. Each day I've felt better."

Cook was one of 21 players in camp on tryouts, along with Niagara-Wheatfield graduate and former UB basketball player Byron Mulkey.

While not naming specific player, Gailey said he saw some good things from tryout group.

“We had a couple that impressed us well enough,” the coach said. “We’re going to go in and discuss exactly who we might need to bring onto the team.”

There’s not much room – the team has 89 players on their roster, which has a 90-player limit.

---Jay Skurski

@JaySkurski on Twitter

Gailey wraps up rookie camp weekend

The Bills finished up their fourth and final practice of rookie minicamp early this afternoon on the grass field outside the team's fieldhouse.

Coach Chan Gailey on what he took away from the the weekend: "We had great effort. We got to see some guys run around and try to retain what we had taught them for three days. It was very good work in my opinion. We were able to get outside all three days and we were able to get a lot accomplished."

Gailey's big focus was on seeing what the players could retain from day to day.

"Impressed with some and not impressed with others. But that’s the way it is. You’re trying to find that out. You can watch them run, jump and change direction but you don’t know their mental capacity," he said. "That’s the one thing you don’t know off film, so you’re trying to get a good gauge of that."

A total of 45 players took part in the four practices -- nine draft picks, 10 undrafted free agents, five first-year players and 21 tryout participants.

The next phase of the offseason program will be voluntary organized team activities. The first of those 10 sessions will be May 29. The team will hold a mandatory three-day minicamp from June 19-21.

---Jay Skurski

@JaySkurski on Twitter

Gailey goes Green on Graham

Bills coach Chan Gailey gave a Dennis Green-like answer when asked today about receiver T.J. Green.

"To be honest with you, he's exactly what we thought," Gailey said. "He's a raw runner and he can run fast and catch the football."

OK, so maybe not quite as passionate as the former Cardinals coach.

As for Graham, his speed was on display as the Bills opened their three-day rookie minicamp on the grass field next to the fieldhouse this afternoon. Graham easily got behind cornerback Domonic Cook early in practice on a deep route, but the ball was slightly overthrown.

Later, he caught the first two passes of a 7-on-7 drill from quarterback Aaron Corp.

"I had a lot of fun competing and putting on the uniform," Graham said. "The hardest thing today was kind of figuring out the concepts. It's a really different playbook. So to come out and try to learn on the fly was pretty tough, but pretty fun just getting out and finally playing football. The last couple months have been kind of tough just training and training."

You can read more about Graham and the first day of rookie camp in Saturday's print edition.

And for those who don't get the Green comparison, I refer you to one of the best clips ever: "They are who we thought they were!"

 

---Jay Skurski

@JaySkurski on Twitter

« Older Entries