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Jets recognize former Bills backup Gary Marangi as a winner

By Tim Graham

Ever wonder what Gary Marangi is up to?

Winning high school football games and receiving a coaches award from the New York Jets.

Marangi, the former Buffalo Bills quarterback, has been honored with the latest New York Jets High School Coach of the Week Award. He's the head coach at Patchogue-Medford High on Long Island.

Now you know.

The Jets have given the award each week for the past 18 years to "a coach in the tristate area who serves the best interests of the game through the teaching of sound football fundamentals, the motivation of young players to achieve and the promotion of youth football by way of dedication to their community, their school and their student-athletes."

Continue reading "Jets recognize former Bills backup Gary Marangi as a winner" »

Theoretical injury report: Spiller sidelined, Jackson limited

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills didn't practice today, but the NFL mandates Monday injury reports for teams playing Thursday night and asks those teams to guesstimate what would've happened.

So here's a theoretical injury report of who would've been held out or limited had practice taken place today:

Would not have practiced

  • Running back C.J. Spiller (ankle)
  • Cornerback Ron Brooks (foot)
  • Cornerback Stephon Gilmore (wrist)

Would've been limited in practice

  • Running back Fred Jackson (knee)
  • Wide receiver Steve Johnson (hamstring)
  • Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (hand)
  • Guard Kraig Urbik (knee)
  • Cornerback Leodis McKelvin (hamstring)
  • Cornerback Aaron Williams (back)
  • Safety Jairus Byrd (foot)
  • Kicker Dustin Hopkins (groin)

Game ball: Bills 23, Ravens 20

C.J. Spiller at maximum frustration over recurring injuries

By Tim Graham

C.J. Spiller was masterful at hiding his frustrations last year.

When he got six carries against the Houston Texans one week and nine against the New England Patriots the next week, he would shrug in the locker room and reiterate that he was happy to be used however the team determined.

This year, though, Spiller's frustrations have reached their apex, not because of how the Bills are using him, but because he hasn't been there for them.

I asked Spiller today about his level of frustration when looking back on the series of injuries that've taken him off the field in the preseason and through the first four regular-season games.

"Ten," Spiller said, referring to his scale being pegged. "It's a 10. The frustration is a 10.

"The last two games, I haven't even completed the half."

Continue reading "C.J. Spiller at maximum frustration over recurring injuries" »

Audio: Evaluating the 2-2 Bills a quarter into their season

By Tim Graham

With a couple more plays or a bounce here and there, the Buffalo Bills could be 4-0.

They also could be 0-4.

As it stands, they're 2-2 one quarter into the season but showing that -- finally -- they might've caught up with the rest of the NFL as a team that can beat any opponent any week.

The Bills defeated the Baltimore Ravens, 23-20, on Sunday and look refreshingly like a contemporary football team. New coach Doug Marrone and an infusion of encouraging, young talent have made an impression.

On this morning's segment with Shredd and Ragan on 103.3 The Edge, we talked about the Bills -- for better or worse -- keeping every game close so far. Click on the file below for 19 minutes of audio delight that will alter the course of your life.

The Bills seem to have an honest shot to win each week. They led the New England Patriots with nine seconds to play on opening day and had a chance to beat the New York Jets late. Then again, the Carolina Panthers and Ravens had opportunities to win on their final drives, too.

I'm not yet convinced the Bills will be playoff contenders come December. But in a parity-driven league in which it's statistically absurd that an organization can go 13 years without reaching the postseason, Bills fans should be glad to see their team catching up to the competition.

Chat replay: Monday Morning Quarterback with Jay Skurski

Bills offense switches from up-tempo to smashmouth

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills didn't look new-fangled today against the Baltimore Ravens.

Buffalo's fast-paced offense, criticized for leaving its defense on the field too long through the first three games, pumped the brakes.

Buffalo's offense huddled at times, ran way more often than it threw, used its fullback and played the kind of style your grandfather would recognize.

The result was a 23-20 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion.

The game was played at Ralph Wilson Stadium, not the Rockpile.

Continue reading "Bills offense switches from up-tempo to smashmouth" »

Fred Jackson sprains MCL; C.J. Spiller has X-rays on left ankle

By Jay Skurski

Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson spent a good deal of time in the team's training room following today's 23-20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

When he emerged, Jackson said he suffered a sprained MCL in his knee -- the same injury that landed him on injured reserve last year.

"It's a physical game, so guys are going to be sore, but that's something we just have to manage on a short week. We've got to get in, take care of the bumps and bruises and get ready to hit the ground going, because Cleveland has the same week, but they're going to come out swinging. I'm sore, but I'll be ready to go," Jackson said. "It's not as significnant. It's something that we can manage and I expect to play."

Jackson appeared to take himself out of the lineup after a 4-yard run on a second-and-goal play with less than 3 minutes to go in the third quarter. He returned to the field in the fourth quarter.

"Not near as signficiant, so I'll be all right," he said after the game of the injury. "Do some treatment on it, manage it, and be able to come out and hit the ground running."

Starting running back C.J. Spiller, meanwhile, had X-rays after the game on a left ankle injury. Spiller said the training staff told him the ankle was not broken, but he was unsure of the severity of the injury.

Points after: Bills 23, Ravens 20


By Tim Graham

Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' bounce-back victory over the Baltimore Ravens in Ralph Wilson Stadium ...

What it means: The Bills are 2-2 and unbeaten outside the AFC East after upsetting the defending Super Bowl champs.

Player of the game: Starting at cornerback for the first time since last season, erstwhile safety Aaron Williams had his first two-interception game and broke up a couple more long passes. Williams left the game with an apparent shoulder injury in the second quarter but returned, then departed for good in the fourth quarter with a lower-back injury.

Play of the game: With 57 seconds to play and the Bills hanging on by their fingernails, middle linebacker Kiko Alonso got his fingers around a ball batted by safety Da'Norris Searcy. Alonso secured an interception at the Bills' 41-yard line to cement the victory.

Jackson reaches milestone: With running back C.J. Spiller hampered by another injury, Fred Jackson was his usual, reliable self. Jackson rushed 16 times for 87 yards and a touchdown. He surpassed Joe Cribbs for third place on the Bills' all-time list behind Thurman Thomas and O.J. Simpson.

Stat line of the game: Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco was 25 of 50 for 347 yards and two touchdowns but a career-worst five interceptions.

Alonso all over: Alonso became the first rookie linebacker in Bills history to snag an interception in three straight games. He's only the third Bills rookie linebacker with three in a season, joining Stew Barber in 1961 and Mike Stratton in 1962.

Stevie nearly snuffed: Bills receiver Stevie Johnson entered today's game with a 51-game reception streak, fourth-longest in club history. Johnson had one catch for minus-1 yard. But he also made a colossal play by recovering an EJ Manuel fumble deep in Buffalo territory right before the two-minute warning.

Preliminary injury report: Aaron Williams fell hard on his right shoulder while breaking up a long pass early in the second quarter. He went to the locker room early before halftime, played much of the second half but left the game again in the fourth quarter with a lower-back injury. ... Wide receiver and special-teamer Marcus Easley was sidelined in the second quarter with an apparent left ankle or foot injury but returned later in the quarter. ... A knee injury sent right guard Kraig Urbik to the locker room with 5:27 left in the first half. Urbik returned in the third quarter. ... Spiller limped off with a left ankle injury on the first possession of the second half, but came back late in the third quarter. ... Jackson removed himself from the game at the goal line with about two minutes left in the third quarter but returned to action.

Coming up: The Bills have the dreaded short week ahead. They will play the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night in FirstEnergy Stadium.

Third-quarter analysis: Bills on the losing end of replay reviews

By Jay Skurski 

Replay review has not been kind to the Buffalo Bills today.

Two plays went to the booth for further review during the third quarter, and both went against Buffalo. The first play was a 24-yard pass play to tight end Scott Chandler, which was originally ruled a good catch. The replay official, however, ruled that Chandler was not able to get both feet inbounds.

The next review was even more damaging. Quarterback EJ Manuel appeared to complete a 4-yard touchdown pass to rookie receiver Robert Woods near the end of the quarter, but again the review went against the Bills. It was ruled that Woods did not have possession before going out of bounds because he bobbled the ball.

The Bills had to settle for a field goal after the ruling, giving them a 23-14 lead.

Continue reading "Third-quarter analysis: Bills on the losing end of replay reviews" »

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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 |