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Fitz suggests Bills weren't ready for success

---In an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio on Wednesday, Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick suggested that the team faltered because it couldn't handle the success of a 5-2 start.

"I guess we weren't ready for it yet," Fitzpatrick said. "We weren't ready to be able to accept the fact that we were playing well and playing as the team that was on the top (of the AFC East)."

Like the Bills, Fitzpatrick started the season well, passing for 1,739 yards and 14 touchdowns with just seven interceptions and compiling a passer rating of 97.8 during those first seven games. But during the ensuing seven-game losing streak, Fitzpatrick was picked off 12 times while throwing for just eight TDs.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)


Scott on Paterno: 'He brought great perspective to my life'

---The following statement was sent by Buffalo Bills and former Penn State safety Bryan Scott regarding the passing of Paterno:

It's really difficult to find words that encompass what Coach Paterno will forever mean to me. He reinforced that a man's character, morals, values and fundamentals were the main ingredient for success. Succeeding in the classroom, succeeding at your job, succeeding at home, should all be placed before success on the football field. The fact that the all-time winningest collegiate coach placed a much higher precedence on guiding his players to a successful life, is indicative of his authentic values and iconic character. He brought great perspective to my life, and I will always and forever take those lessons, live by them, and pass them forward.

---Bryan Scott, Class of 2003

Bills hire UB's Inge

Inge
---The Buffalo Bills have tabbed University at Buffalo defensive coordinator William Inge as their new assistant defensive line coach. Inge was the defensive coordinator under Jeff Quinn the last two seasons where the Bulls ranked 63rd nationally in total defense in 2011 and 32nd in 2010, his first season as a defensive coordinator.

Inge, pictured above left, and the Bulls associate head coach Ernest Jones participated in the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship program with the Bills last summer where Inge assisted Dave Wannstedt, now the team’s defensive coordinator in coaching the inside linebackers. This is Inge’s first NFL coaching job.

“We are excited to have William join our staff.’’ Bills coach Chan Gailey said in a statement released by the team. “We were impressed with his abilities during last year’s training camp and feel he will make an excellent addition to our defensive staff.’’

Prior to joining the UB, Inge coached linebackers for two seasons at the University of Cincinnati where he helped the school win back-to-back Big East titles in 2008 and 2009. This past season, sophomore linebacker Khalil Mack earned Sports Illustrated honorable mention All-American honors.

“Coach Inge was contacted by the Buffalo Bills about joining their staff and has accepted the opportunity presented to him, which I completely understand,’’ Quinn said in a statement released by the school. “He set the example of loyalty in this profession, he was loyal to this staff, the players and the program and did a tremendous job for us.’’

Prior to Cincinnati, Inge spent two seasons as the linebackers coach at San Diego State. While with the Aztecs, Inge coached leading tackler Russell Allen, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In 2005, Inge was the defensive line coach at Colorado where he helped lead the Buffaloes to the Big 12 North Division championship and advance to the Big 12 title game.

“I’d like to thank Coach Inge for everything he has done for the University at Buffalo and wish him and his family all the best,” Quinn said.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

CFL's Tiger-Cats hire Cortez

---The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have hired Bills quarterbacks coach George Cortez as their new coach and director of football operations. 

Cortez was with the Bills for two seasons and has extensive CFL experience, most recently as offensive coordinator and associate head coach of Calgary from 2007-09, and has been a part of four Grey Cup-winning organizations.

"George did an excellent job during his time with us and I want to offer my congratulations to him in his new role as head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-cats," Bills coach Chan Gailey told Buffalo Bills.com. "We're excited for him with this new opportunity and wish him the best of luck."

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Bills sign seven to futures contracts

---The Bills today announced the signing of five of their 2011 practice squad players and two others to future contracts.

The team inked linebacker Robert Eddins, defensive back Prince Miller, defensive tackle Jay Ross and guards Keith Williams and Jake Vermiglio – all of whom had been on the team’s practice squad – as well as wide receiver David Clowney and linebacker Scott McKillop.

By signing the players to futures contracts, Buffalo controls their rights through the offseason and the players will be able to take part in OTAs.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Jeffery a draft option

Alshon jeffery
---The Bills likely will add a wide receiver in the draft even if they elect to re-sign free agent receiver Stevie Johnson and South Carolina wideout Alshon Jeffery, who announced he is entering the draft, is a possibility at No. 10.

Jeffery, pictured above, has the size (6-foot-4) the Bills covet and the ability to make big plays down the field. The most productive receiver in South Carolina history, Jeffery finished as the school's career leader in receiving yards with 3,042, which ranks second in SEC history. Jeffery is No. 2 at South Carolina in career catches (183) and tied for first in touchdowns (23). His 148 yards in Monday's Capital One Bowl victory over Nebraska gave him a school-record 12 career 100-yard receiving games. And that was before he was tossed from the game in the third quarter.

Mel Kiper, Jr. currently lists Jeffery as the No. 2 WR available behind Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon, who Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon calls Dez Bryant with brain cells. Blackmon is a Top 5 prospect.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Long droughts for the Bills

---As the playoffs are set to begin, Bills fans already realize the team has gone through some lean years and these next few lists probably won’t make anyone feel warm and fuzzy about the last decade or so.

Longest postseason drought
Bills (1999)
Cleveland (2002)
Oakland (2002)
St. Louis (2004)
Jacksonville (2007)
Tampa Bay (2007)
Washington (2007)

Longest division championship drought
Cleveland (1989)
Detroit (1991)
Bills (1995)
Jacksonville (1999)
Washington (1999)

Fewest division championships since 1999
Bills 0
Cleveland 0
Detroit 0
Jacksonville 0
Washington 0
Houston 1
New York Jets 1

Fewest postseason appearances since 1999
Bills 0
Cleveland 1
Detroit 1
Houston 1
Arizona 2
Jacksonville 2
Washington 2

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Bell: 'This is all I know'

Bell
---Free agent left tackle Demetrius Bell, pictured above, said on Monday that he would like to continue his career with the Buffalo Bills.

“This is home for me, this is all I know,’’ said Bell, who just completed his fourth season in Buffalo. “I would definitely love to be back here but it depends how everything will work out. … I’m just waiting on them to talk to me, no one has said anything to me so I really don’t know.’’

Bell missed Sunday’s season finale at New England with a torn meniscus and said he had surgery last Wednesday. The 6-foot-5, 311-pound Bell said he will be close to 100 percent recovered from the injury in the next 2-3 weeks.

If he proves to be healthy, it could be an interesting ride through free agency for Bell. A starting left tackle on the open market can generate between $6-7 million annually but the knock on Bell is his health. He’s played a full 16-game slate just once so he could fetch something closer to $4-5 million a year. Also, the Bills like rookie Chris Hairston who started seven games at left tackle.

The 2011 season was injury plagued to say the least for Bell. He started the first four games of the season before suffering a shoulder injury at Cincinnati which sidelined him for the next eight games.

He returned to the lineup at San Diego where he rotated at left tackle with Hairston. Bell started against Miami and Denver but was missed the season finale at New England with the knee injury.

“”Being a free agent is always a good thing,’’ Bell said. “You quickly learn who all loves you and how much they love you.’’

In the meantime, Bell is going to return to his offseason home in Louisiana and wait.

“I’m going to fish and hunt every day, enjoy my family and see how everything falls out,’’ he said.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Monday Morning QB chat with Tim Graham

Audio: Patriots 49, Bills 21

The Bills concluded a 6-10 season with an ugly 49-21 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday. Hear from coach Chan Gailey and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick below:

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Coach Chan Gailey

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