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Scott Chandler's recovery easing Bills' concerns at tight end

By Mark Gaughan

Buffalo Bills tight end Scott Chandler is looking good already in his recovery from major knee surgery.

That's a big deal for the Buffalo Bills' offense, which needs all of the proven weapons it can get.

Chandler tore a knee ligament last Dec. 23 at Miami and had surgery on Jan. 9. However, he is running around well at the Bills' spring practices.

Chandler started running pass routes three weeks ago. This week, he's running routes and catching the ball. He doesn't have a helmet on and he's not participating with the team in individual or team drills. But he was catching balls from quarterback Jeff Tuel today. Chandler was running well.

"I feel good, and I'm excited for the season," Chandler said. "The injury is different than it used to be. The doctors are better. And I have to attribute some of this, I'm a Christian guy. God is the ultimate healer. Just put your faith in him and see how it goes."

Can he be ready for the start of training camp?

"I feel it's realistic," he said.

The 6-foot-7 Chandler caught 43 passes last season, tied for the second most on the team. He has six touchdown catches each of the past two seasons.

There was a lot of speculation about the Bills pursuing a proven tight end in free agency, but they did not. They did take a tight end in the draft, but not until the seventh round, picking Arkansas' Chris Gragg

Poll: Greatest inside linebacker in Bills history?

By Tim Graham

Brian Urlacher's retirement turned this morning's front page of into a tribute to the Chicago Bears legend. Analysts and players reviewed his Hall of Fame credentials and debated where he ranks among the all-time great inside linebackers.

That led me to wonder about the Buffalo Bills' best inside or middle linebacker.

The list of candidates is rather short.

Who ya got?

Who is this Bills fan with the O.J. Simpson mug-shot tattoo?

By Tim Graham

Perhaps it's a reminder about the virtues of turning the other cheek.

Deadspin has shared a Buffalo Bills fan's fascinating tattoo: O.J. Simpson's 1994 mug shot. Large. On the guy's left thigh and rump.

The tattoo is stunning not only in its placement, but also in its sharpness. The tattoo artist is a talented fella. The job took nine hours, according to a vague report on, the site that first posted the photo.

Continue reading "Who is this Bills fan with the O.J. Simpson mug-shot tattoo?" »

Poll: Will the Buffalo Bills win more or less than 6.5 games?

By Tim Graham

Online gambling site Bovada has posted its over-under win totals for the upcoming NFL season.

The Buffalo Bills opened at 6.5 wins, with early action leaning toward the under.

The only teams with lower totals are the Jacksonville Jaguars (five), Arizona Cardinals (5.5), Oakland Raiders (5.5) and Cleveland Browns (six). The New York Jets and Tennessee Titans also are at 6.5 wins.

The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos are tied for Bovada's highest total at 11.5 wins.

Tell us what you think about Buffalo's bettng line.

MemoraBillia: Collectors should gravitate to Buffalo's rookies

By Tim Graham

When it comes to the latest sports cards, nothing drives the market like hot rookies.

For a change, the Buffalo Bills have them this year.

The Bills haven't been too relevant in the industry. The Bills have misfired on many picks, and some of their best either played positions that simply don't appeal to collectors (linemen, defensive players) or took time to develop.

Continue reading "MemoraBillia: Collectors should gravitate to Buffalo's rookies" »

J.C. Tretter breaks ankle at Packers practice; agent questions drill

By Jay Skurski

The start to the professional career of Akron's J.C. Tretter with the Green Bay Packers is almost certain to be delayed after he broke his ankle during practice Monday.

Tretter's agent, Alan Herman, spoke with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the injury, saying that Tretter got his cleat caught in the turf during a field drill.

"It's like they're trying to slide into second base and he got his cleat caught and his ankle rolled over and broke," Herman told the newspaper. "Why they're practicing a fumble drill, I don't know. There's not supposed to be contact. That's a silly drill. Why have big 300-pound guys slide like that in OTAs?"

Herman suggested the injury will take about six months to fully heal. That could make him a candidate for the injured reserve, designated to return rule that the NFL instituted last year.

Tretter was expected to have surgery within 24 hours, with screws and a plate inserted to repair the torn ligament.

Tretter was not available this evening when contacted by The News.

Audio: Talking about Mario Williams with Shredd & Ragan

By Tim Graham

At the start, Mario Williams' engagement-ring lawsuit was an interesting sidebar the provided a glimpse into the personal life of a sports celebrity.

As someone like Alex Rodriguez or Kobe Bryant can attest, the public devours tales from behind a superstar's curtain. Last week, Sports Illustrated put Williams in their financial company in the magazine's annual Fortunate 50 list.

But the plot abruptly shifted from trivial titillation to serious concern upon the release of texts from Williams to his ex-fiancee. In the texts, Williams allegedly referenced suicidal thoughts and narcotics abuse (taking hydrocodone before a game without anyone's knowledge).

This morning, Shredd and Ragan welcomed me to 103.3 The Edge, where we talked about the situation in depth.

Stevie Johnson returns to practice after back injury

By Tim Graham

For the first time in voluntary offseason workouts, Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson was on the field. He had been forced to watch previous practices because of a lower back injury.

"It definitely feels good to just be out there on the field, even through the little pains I have," Johnson said.

"It's getting better every week. They gave me a six- to eight-week thing to even get on the field, and it's only been about three, so I feel good."

Continue reading "Stevie Johnson returns to practice after back injury" »

Analyst takes contrarian view, bullish on Bills receiving corps

By Tim Graham

When examining depth on the Buffalo Bills' roster, many analysts find receiver to be shallow. recently rated the worst position groups and listed Buffalo at wide receiver. On the Press Coverage blog last week, we discussed how troubled Buffalo would be if Stevie Johnson were unavailable.

Behind Johnson, the talent is mediocre or unproven.

All that said, ESPN and Scouts Inc. analyst Matt Williamson loves what the Bills are doing at receiver. He sees a collection of talent that can enter a game in various situations and give defenses problems.

Continue reading "Analyst takes contrarian view, bullish on Bills receiving corps" »

Woods deal leaves Bills with just one unsigned draft pick

By Mark Gaughan

The Buffalo Bills announced the signing of second-round draft pick Robert Woods, leaving quarterback EJ Manuel as the only unsigned draft pick for the team.

Woods was the first of Buffalo's two second-round picks, taken at No. 41 overall. His four-year deal is believed to be worth about $4.8 million.

Linebacker Kiko Alonso was the Bills' second second-round draft pick, taken at No. 46 overall. Manuel was the 16th overall selection.

Continue reading "Woods deal leaves Bills with just one unsigned draft pick" »

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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 |