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Stevie Johnson on the playoffs: 'Why not now? Why not us?'

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On making the playoffs this season, Bills receiver Stevie Johnson said, "I feel like we've got the team to make that move, and I believe in that." (File photo by James P. McCoy/Buffalo News)

 

By Tim Graham

PITTSFORD -- The Buffalo Bills have reported to training camp here at St. John Fisher College since 2000, the year after their last playoff appearance.

They began arriving on campus today with the hope of breaking the NFL's longest postseason drought.

"It's very realistic," Bills receiver Stevie Johnson said. "I feel like we've got the team to make that move, and I believe in that.

"Why not now? Why not us? We're going to do it. We're going to make it happen."

Continue reading "Stevie Johnson on the playoffs: 'Why not now? Why not us?'" »

Bills QB competition headlines AFC camp angles for NFL.com

By Tim Graham

It begins.

Voluntary check-in starts today for Buffalo Bills training camp at St. John Fisher College.

This summer will be compelling, what with the new coach and quarterback competition and star contract squabble and all.

NFL.com capo Gregg Rosenthal ranked the 25 biggest AFC storylines. The Bills came in at No. 1.

Continue reading "Bills QB competition headlines AFC camp angles for NFL.com" »

Bills 2014 foes home and away

By Tim Graham

Have you already given up on the Buffalo Bills for 2013?

We can take a look at their 2014 opponents if you want.

The NFL used to publish future schedules several years out in its annual "Record and Fact Book." Now, the league announces upcoming opponents officially just one year at a time.

This year's "Record and Fact Book" shows AFC East teams will cross over to play the AFC West and NFC North divisions, with home and road teams also determined.

Continue reading "Bills 2014 foes home and away" »

Sources: Jairus Byrd won't report for training camp this weekend

By Tim Graham

No surprise here, but Buffalo Bills fans must've hoped for one.

The Bills and Jairus Byrd have not made progress on a new contract, and he will not report to St. John Fisher College this weekend for the start of training camp, two sources with knowledge of the stalemate have told me.

Byrd, a two-time Pro Bowl safety, technically is not staging a holdout and cannot be fined for missing practices because he's not under contract. He's the last of eight NFL players to have not signed his franchise tag.

Continue reading "Sources: Jairus Byrd won't report for training camp this weekend" »

Audio: Bills training camp preview with Shredd and Ragan

By Tim Graham

Buffalo Bills training camp opens this weekend. To chat about the biggest story lines, Shredd and Ragan invited me on 103.3 The Edge this morning.

We discussed the quarterback competition, the new coaching staff's chances for success and what the defense will look like under coordinator Mike Pettine. I also explained why Bills fans should pay attention to Jerry Jones' recent comments regarding the NFL in Los Angeles.

Listen here for 17 minutes of ear-canal bliss.

People's Poll: Which new Bills coach excites you most?

By Tim Graham

Back from vacation and gearing up for the start of a milestone Buffalo Bills training camp, I wanted to revisit my most recent solicitation for poll topics by posting this one from @AvaDad11 a couple weeks ago:

What about it?

If you want to learn more about them before you vote, then be sure to read their feature stories in The Buffalo News. Mark Gaughan recently took an in-depth look at how Marrone arrived as an NFL coach and profiled Hackett for Tuesday's section. Jay Skurski cast the spotlight on Pettine for Wednesday's edition.

Bills fans should like Jerry Jones' comments about NFL in L.A.

By Tim Graham

Twice in the past few days, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has spoken about the NFL nearing a return to Los Angeles.

As Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com pointed out Sunday, "closer than ever" is a relative phrase. Jones' comment Wednesday night that it's "more imminent than any time since we haven't had a team in Los Angeles" should be weighed similarly.

But Jones' optimism should be viewed favorably by Buffalo Bills fans, given what he told me in May.

Continue reading "Bills fans should like Jerry Jones' comments about NFL in L.A." »

Mike Williams lands contract extension with Buccaneers

By Jay Skurski

It's been a good week for wide receivers from Buffalo.

A day after Naaman Roosevelt signed with the Cleveland Browns, Riverside graduate Mike Williams today inked a six-year contract extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The extension, which was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, is worth up to $40.25 million. The new deal replaces the final year of his rookie contract and runs through the 2018 season.

Williams, 26, has 23 touchdown catches in his first three seasons, the most ever for a Tampa Bay receiver to start his career. The 6-foot-1, 212-pounder has 193 catches for 2,731 yards in his first three years after being a fourth-round draft pick out of Syracuse in 2010. He set a franchise record as a rookie with 11 touchdown catches.

He's also started 47 of 48 career games, and has a career yards per catch average of 14.2.He enters his fourth season needing just 713 receiving yards to crack the top 10 in franchise history.

Williams and the Bucs hold their first training camp practice at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Update on Mario Williams suit, report on his peace officer degree

By Mark Gaughan

Attorneys for Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams were told last week by a Texas state district judge to turn over his cellular phone and some financial and medical records in the latest chapter in the dispute over an engagement ring he wants back from his former fiancee.

Harris County state district judge Larry Weiman made the ruling Friday. Williams filed a suit in early May to regain possession of the 10.04-carat ring, reportedly worth $785,000. His former fiance, Erin Marzouki, subsequently filed a counter suit alleging Williams is trying to harass and scare her. Her suit alleges Williams broke up with her only to reconcile and told her to keep the ring after their final split. The two were engaged from February 2012 to January 2013.

According to a report in the Houston Chronicle, Weiman ruled that Williams’ attorneys must hand over the phone plus certain documents, but only those covering the time of the couple’s engagement. A court-appointed master will examine the phone and determine if there is data on it that should be withheld from Marzouki's attorneys. All of the information would be sealed under a protective order.

No trial date has been set for the case.

Meanwhile, a report from Houston television station KTRK says that a Texas state agency is looking into whether Williams got special treatment to receive a law enforcement degree from Lone Star State College. Williams was able to complete a 660-hour course work in four months, nearly two months ahead of the other class members, who graduated from the Lone Star Law Enforcement Academy last week.

The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education informed the college by letter last week that it received a citizen's complaint that a recent cadet didn't complete the program's Basic Peace Officer Course according to appropriate standards.

The commission's preliminary findings showed the academy did not meet certain state standards and that law enforcement training at the school is suspended until further notice. The name of the cadet in question is blacked out in the letter from the commission. KTRK reports it is WIlliams, according to unidentified sources. The station quoted an instructor at the program who said Williams completed all of the course work

Bills to honor all members of Wall of Fame at Carolina game

By Mark Gaughan

There will be no new addition to the Buffalo Bills' Wall of Fame this year.

Instead, the team will honor all 28 members of the franchise's ring of honor during ceremonies at the Sept. 15 game against the Carolina Panthers. In a halftime ceremony at the game, the Wall of Famers will be presented with an honorary blazer and introduced to the crowd.

The Bills' Wall of Fame was created in 1980 to honor former players, coaches and administrators.

The inducted members, by year: 2012, Bill Polian; 2011, Phil Hansen; 2010, Booker Edgerson; 2008, Bruce Smith; 2007, Steve Tasker; 2006, Andre Reed; 2005, Thurman Thomas; 2004, Jim Ritcher; 2003, Darryl Talley; 2002, Kent Hull; 2001, Fred Smerlas; 2001, Jim Kelly; 2000, George Saimes; 2000, Bob Kalsu; 1999, Edward Abramoski; 1998, Robert James; 1997, Joe DeLamielleure; 1996, Marv Levy; 1995, Joe Ferguson; 1994, Mike Stratton; 1993, Elbert Dubenion; 1992, The 12th Man; 1989, Ralph C. Wilson Jr.; 1988, Billy Shaw; 1987, Tom Sestak; 1985, Patrick J. McGroder; 1984, Jack Kemp; 1980, O.J. Simpson. Members who have died include Kemp, McGroder, Sestak, Kalsu, Saimes and Hull. Fans attending the game will get a Wall of Fame souvenir. The new Wall of Fame logo:

Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame logo

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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 | tgraham@buffnews.com


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 | mgaughan@buffnews.com


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 | jskurski@buffnews.com

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