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Michael Jasper experiment is fizzling

By Tim Graham

PITTSFORD -- Michael Jasper was a folk hero before he strapped on a Buffalo Bills helmet.

He's a solar-eclipsing 6 foot 4 and 375 pounds -- or at least those are the dimensions with which the Bills officially list him. He played both ways at tiny Bethel College, weighing in at about 450 pounds but possessing remarkable dexterity.

He has the perfect back story to make fans wonder about the possibilities for Buffalo's offensive line.

From the sounds of Bills head coach Chan Gailey, the team is running out of patience with last year's seventh-round draft choice.

"He's struggling," Gailey said after Saturday night's practice at St. John Fisher College. "Michael's got to learn his assignments, got to learn to play physical every snap. Big strong guy that's got a lot of talent, as we all know. But he's got to be more physical and he's got to continue to push through on assignments."

In Thursday night's exhibition opener against the Washington Redskins, Jasper was in the Bills' final O-line rotation in the fourth quarter. Chances are, he'll get even less of an opportunity in the next two preseason games, when the starters and second-teamers dominate the snaps.

Jasper spent most of last season on the practice squad. He was signed to the active roster after Christmas but didn't get on the field in the season finale.

Gailey was asked if Jasper remains a project.

"That's what you hope, yeah," Gailey said. "But, you know, at some point you have to say 'When is it a project, and when is it not?' "

If Gailey already is considering that Jasper might not be a project worth molding anymore, then there's a good chance Jasper doesn't have a future on the team.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |