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Doug Marrone gives Da'Rick Rogers a talking-to and other notes

By Mark Gaughan

The defense looked better than the offense today as the Buffalo Bills finished their last voluntary, organized-team activity practice. The defenders were able to force a lot of short, check-down passes from the quarterbacks, and the completion percentages were not real high for any of the Bills' passers.

Second-year receiver T.J. Graham made the offensive play of the day, beating cornerback Ron Brooks down the left sideline and making a 50-yard catch on a throw into the wind from Tarvaris Jackson.

The Bills have had officials on the field for every practice that has been open to the media this spring.

Continue reading "Doug Marrone gives Da'Rick Rogers a talking-to and other notes" »

Doug Marrone's no-huddle attack not some Dick Jauron experiment

By Tim Graham

I have a feeling Doug Marrone isn't going to ditch his offseason plans to pick up the pace like Dick Jauron did four years ago.

In today's Buffalo News, reporter Mark Gaughan shines a spotlight on the Buffalo Bills' up-tempo offense through the eyes of the offensive linemen.

"You're putting a lot more yards under your feet and just getting ready for an offense that's not gonna stop," Bills tackle Chris Hairston said. "We're going to try to put pressure on all the teams and dictate the tempo and pace. We've done that since we've gotten back here. You're just really pushing yourself to go as fast as possible."

Continue reading "Doug Marrone's no-huddle attack not some Dick Jauron experiment" »

Cowboys unlikely awed by Bills' 2013 draft class

By Tim Graham

The Dallas Cowboys' draft plans apparently weren't foiled by anything the Buffalo Bills did. has reconstructed Dallas' 2013 draft board, which was used as a backdrop for interviews owner Jerry Jones gave to the team's official site. A similar revelation was made in 2010, and the board was confirmed to be the real deal.

With that in mind, we can see what the Cowboys would think of the Bills' draft haul. The Cowboys likely were unimpressed.

Continue reading "Cowboys unlikely awed by Bills' 2013 draft class" »

C.J. Spiller wants to be considered NFL's best running back

By Tim Graham

No one can dispute C.J. Spiller had a breakout season in 2012.

The Buffalo Bills running back emerged as a potential superstar, almost doubling his rushing total from the previous two seasons by running for 1,244 yards and six touchdowns despite averaging only 13 carries a game.

Where does Spiller rank among the game's best running backs? How good can he be?

Continue reading "C.J. Spiller wants to be considered NFL's best running back" »

Will special teams be enough to save Brad Smith's job?

By Tim Graham

As a special-teamer, Brad Smith is known for making big returns.

He's pretty good at stopping them, too.

Overlooked in Smith's repertoire is his effectiveness as a safety valve on Buffalo Bills coverage units. Analytics site noted Wednesday that Smith made three touchdown-saving tackles on punt returns that broke for more than 20 yards.

Continue reading "Will special teams be enough to save Brad Smith's job?" »

Tarvaris Jackson pragmatic about competing with high-profile rookie

By Mark Gaughan

The competition landscape facing Buffalo Bills veteran quarterback Tarvaris Jackson looks ominously similar to what he encountered last spring in Seattle.

The Bills acquired a veteran in free agency in Kevin Kolb and drafted EJ Manuel in the first round. Last year, Jackson was in a competition with Matt Flynn, a veteran who had been acquired in a trade, and Russell Wilson, a third-round draft pick who showed up with a glittering college resume.

It didn't work out for Jackson in Seattle. He was traded to the Bills in August for a seventh-round pick.

Nevertheless, Jackson is taking a realistic approach to his battle. All he can worry about is playing his best.

"There's a lot of similarities, to be honest with you," Jackson said. "Pretty much the same."

Continue reading "Tarvaris Jackson pragmatic about competing with high-profile rookie" »

What a gag: Buddy Nix's pranksters face federal charges

By Tim Graham

A prank phone call has turned into a federal case.

Two 20-year-olds from Plymouth, Mass., have been charged with intentionally intercepting a wire communication and making a telephone call without disclosing their identity with the intent to annoy or harass the person at the called number.

Joshua Barber and Nicholas Kaiser allegedly recorded a private conversation in March between Buddy Nix, then the Buffalo Bills' general manager, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers executive Mark Dominik and then forwarded the audio to

On the call, Nix made some unflattering comments about quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills at the time hoped Fitzpatrick would take a pay cut and stick around as a veteran influence on whomever they drafted a month later.

Fitzpatrick eventually declined to restructure his contract, and although he denied his decision was impacted by what Nix said in the recording, sources close to Fitzpatrick told me he was incensed.

Continue reading "What a gag: Buddy Nix's pranksters face federal charges" »

Yo soy fra-gee-lay? Gronkowski will be laid out this summer

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills won't have to worry about Wes Welker when they host the New England Patriots on opening day, and might not have to cover Rob Gronkowski either.

NFL Network gadabout Albert Breer reports Gronkowski, the former Williamsville North star, will undergo back surgery next month and miss part of training camp.

The surgery was expected, but you have to wonder how many scalpels Gronkowski's body can take and whether repeated operations will derail a potential Hall of Fame career.

Continue reading "Yo soy fra-gee-lay? Gronkowski will be laid out this summer" »

Video: Tim and Mark after Bills practice Wednesday

As the end of the offseason nears, Tim and Mark share their thoughts on the Bills after observing the team practice:

Doug Marrone doesn't view C.J. Spiller as a situational back

By Tim Graham

The new boss is not the same as the old boss when it comes to deploying his running backs.

Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone indicated after today's voluntary workout C.J. Spiller will not be pulled from games in short-yardage, third-down or red-zone situations because of size or skill set.

"My philosophy's always been if someone starts off and they're running well, keep feeding them the ball," Marrone said.

Continue reading "Doug Marrone doesn't view C.J. Spiller as a situational back" »

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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 |