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Ravens CB Corey Graham delivers Super Bowl #guarantee

Buffalo native and Baltimore Ravens cornerback Corey Graham talks with reporters at Super Bowl XLVII media day. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- Corey Graham stopped short of a Joe Namath moment here at Super Bowl XLVII media day.

Graham, a Turner-Carroll grad and Baltimore Ravens cornerback, made a quasi-guarantee.

Graham was approached by Kevin Frazier, host of entertainment-news program "omg! Insider." Frazier wanted Graham to come up with Twitter hash tags for certain topics.

"I don't even tweet!" Graham said. "How are you going to ask me to answer?"

With some cajoling, Graham went ahead with the word-association exercise.

Beyonce Knowles: "Fantastic."

Destiny's Child reunion: "Amazing."

Winning the Super Bowl: "Epic."

Your coach beating his brother: "A must."

The one thing you won't do when you're in New Orleans: (long pause) "Lose!"

"I didn't know if I should say it or not," Graham said with a laugh. "I thought it, but it's one of those situations where you're like, 'Aaaahhhhhhh ... I guess so.' "

Ray Lewis on double-murder case: 'I would rather not talk about it'

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis meets with reporters at Super Bowl XLVII media day in the Superdome. (Photo: Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- For Sunday's story about Ray Lewis' involvement in a double-murder case 13 years ago, I wasn't able to ask the Baltimore Ravens linebacker any questions.

I reached out to the Ravens and was given a Lewis statement for the story:

"That was a sad, sad tragedy and we all have sympathy for the families who lost their loved ones. I hope the families eventually find peace."

Lewis faced those questions at Super Bowl XLVII media day here in the Superdome. Here is what he said:

"Nobody here is really qualified to ask those questions. I just truly feel that this is God’s time, and whatever His time is, you know, let it be His will, don't try to please everybody with your words, try to make everybody's story sound right.

"At this time, I would rather direct my questions in other places because I live with that every day. You maybe can take a break from it. I don't. I live with it every day of my life, and I would rather not talk about it today."

Matt Birk lauds new Bills O-line coach Pat Morris

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- New Buffalo Bills offensive line coach Pat Morris has a fan in Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk.

Morris coached Birk with the Minnesota Vikings for three years, including two of Birk's six Pro Bowl seasons.

"Pat was great," Birk told me at Super Bowl XLVII media day. "Pat has been around a long time, one of those lifer offensive-line coaches. He knows offensive-line play inside and out."

Continue reading "Matt Birk lauds new Bills O-line coach Pat Morris" »

Donte Whitner 'drafted into the wrong system' and 'a bad situation'

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- Donte Whitner is one game away from comprehensive vindication.

The Buffalo Bills' polarizing 2006 first-round draft pick was voted to his first Pro Bowl and will win a world championship Sunday if the San Francisco 49ers beat the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.

Whitner claimed he's the same player he was with Buffalo.

"I think sometimes players just get drafted into the wrong system and come into a bad situation," Whitner said, "and there's really nothing you can do about it except go out and work hard, let everybody talk and let the chips fall where they may."

Continue reading "Donte Whitner 'drafted into the wrong system' and 'a bad situation'" »

Bills to announce extension of Toronto series

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills will hold a press conference at noon today to announce an extension of their series in Toronto.

The extension is believed to be for another five years, QMI Agency reported late Monday night.

Team President Russ Brandon and new coach Doug Marrone will be joined in the Rogers Centre by Keith Pelley, the president of Rogers Communications, and Mary Owen, the Bills' executive vice president of strategic planning.

The Bills recently completed their original five-year agreement with Rogers to play a total of five regular-season games in Toronto. The team went 1-4 in those games, including an ugly 50-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in December.

NFL Sunday outtakes: Role of sports journalism in mythmaking

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo News cleared about 80 column inches for Sunday's story about Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, his legacy, two dead men and some inconvenient questions.

While that's about five times the length of an average newspaper story, it still wasn't even space for me to include all of the fascinating insight I gathered in my research about Lewis and how he should be viewed as a human being, not merely one of the NFL's greatest players.

Dr. Lawrence Wenner, a professor of communication and ethics at Loyola Marymount University, delivered some attention-grabbing thoughts about how sports journalists are complicit in the mythmaking machine.

Continue reading "NFL Sunday outtakes: Role of sports journalism in mythmaking" »

Buffalo News headed to New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII

By Tim Graham

After several days of intense liver conditioning, Buffalo News senior columnist Jerry Sullivan, reporter Mark Gaughan and I are headed to New Orleans to cover Super Bowl XLVII for the next week.

We will produce columns and articles for The Buffalo News print edition and pepper the Press Coverage blog with items. A few stories will pop up today, but we will kick into another gear at Tuesday's notoriously colorful media day.

Press Coverage generally is a place where you find football news with a distinct Western New York flavor, but you can expect to see more than Donte Whitner and Corey Graham stories. You can expect our observations and thoughts on whatever transpires around the NFL's biggest event.

But there still will be plenty of fresh Bills material to dispense. The football community will converge on New Orleans. I'll gather Bills opinions from the myriad players, executives, retired legends, celebrities and analysts staggering about in this relentless 24-hour town.

Let's just hope I can decipher my notes the next morning.

Video: Discussion of Tim Brown's comments about SB XXXVII on the 'Bucky & Sully Show'

Watch all the segments of this week's show here.

Video: Super Bowl matchup & talk of Brady's legacy on the 'Bucky & Sully Show'

On the Ravens-49ers matchup:

On Tom Brady's struggles in the AFC Championship Game:

Watch all the segments of this week's show here.

Report: Bills want Darrelle Revis; Mike Pettine mum on subject

By Jay Skurski

Mike Pettine was lucky enough to have two of the best cornerbacks in football while he was the defensive coordinator of the New York Jets.

One of those players, Darrelle Revis, is rumored to be on the trading block. Mike Freeman of CBS Sports reports today that the Buffalo Bills are one of the teams rumored to be interested in Revis. Freeman, though, rules out the possibility, saying "not happening -- division rival" about the possibility of the Jets trading Revis within the AFC East. 

Pettine was asked about Revis today, but predictably couldn't give much of an answer, lest the Bills risk tampering charges.

"He is a player that is under contract to another team," Pettine said. "We are evaluating this roster, when the smoke clears from that we'll look to address any potential additions to this roster."

Revis is coming off surgery to repair a torn anterior-cruciate ligament in his left knee, which he suffered in September. He's entering the final year of his contract, and will want a lucrative contract extension. He'll also fetch a steep price in the trade market -- Freeman reports the Jets are seeking a first- and second-round draft pick.

All of those factors seem to indicate the Bills are an unlikely trading partner, but as the team showed last year when it signed Mario Williams, nothing should be completely ruled out.

Pairing Revis with Stephon Gilmore would give the Bills one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL, something Pettine had with the Jets.

"It helps. For me, anytime you can lock down the outside and play nine against nine, I think that's to your advantage," Pettine said. "Again, those guys aren't here and we are evaluating some talented players here.

"Are we going to build the structure of the system the same way as New York? Absolutely not. This is going to be the Buffalo Bills' defense. And we're excited, like we mentioned before, in just the early evaluations of the roster, there are some talented football players here."

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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 |