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Jairus Byrd, Leodis McKelvin make NFL.com midseason team

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By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills are in last place in the AFC East, but nobody else in the division landed more players on NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah's midseason All-Pro team.

Jeremiah used input from anonymous executives in both conferences to select the team: 12 offensive players (he named two running backs plus a fullback), 13 defensive players (to accommodate 4-3 defensive ends and 3-4 outside linebackers) and three specialists.

The Bills placed two players: safety Jairus Byrd and returner Leodis McKelvin.

The division-leading New England Patriots (tight end Rob Gronkowski) and the Miami Dolphins (outside linebacker Cameron Wake) each landed one player on the squad. The New York Jets had none.

The all-star team was part of a midseason package of stories at NFL.com.

Blog editor Gregg Rosenthal ranked the coaches based on performance and situation. Chan Gailey came in 26th with this comment: "Gailey has proven he doesn't know how to hire a defensive staff or improve defensive performance. The plan changes every year."

NFL.com columnist Adam Schein laid out his second-half predictions, and No. 6 is about the Bills getting blown up. Schein says the Bills will bench quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (I don't see it) and that General Manager Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey will be unemployed.

Point of order: Schein misleadingly references an article I wrote for ESPN.com in 2010. Schein writes that it's from this year. Also, Nix didn't say he would snooze through his first free-agency period. Nix simply knew he wasn't going to get into the midnight bidding war for players. As I wrote, "He merely was following the Bills' master plan of building through the draft and cautiously proceeding in free agency."

As for NFL.com's midseason power rankings, the Bills checked in at No. 29, ahead of the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs.

(Photo: David Duprey/Associated Press)

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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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]

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