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Bills WRs willing to play in traffic will catch Doug Marrone's eye

By Tim Graham

PITTSFORD -- Much has been said about how the Buffalo Bills' flashy-yet-untested receiving group should be able to stretch the field this year.

An ability to catch the ball in traffic, however, could be the ticket to making the roster.

Bills coach Doug Marrone smiled when he talked about one of his favorite traits for a reliable receiver.

"To me," Marrone said, "I kind of value who's going over the middle."

Marrone mentioned Stevie Johnson, Brad Smith and Robert Woods by name as players who can make a play in traffic.

"I think, basically, what we're looking at is that type of consistency and toughness out of that position," Marrone said.

Sophomore T.J. Graham, third-round pick Marquise Goodwin and undrafted free agent Da'Rick Rogers can blow the top off a defense.

"On the outside, we have the guys that have quite a bit of speed," Marrone said. "We have Graham on the outside. Goodwin can go play on the outside. We got some younger guys behind them that can get on the outside with some speed, and they can run the fades and you guys have seen them run the go routes."

But, as Marrone pointed out, the ones who can go underneath might stick around the longest and get the juicier opportunities on Sunday afternoons.


Brad Smith | Da'Rick Rogers | Doug Marrone | Marquise Goodwin | Robert Woods | Stevie Johnson | T.J. Graham
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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 |