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Sixteen former Bills among 2014 Hall of Fame nominees

By Tim Graham

The Pro Football Hall of Fame today revealed the list of nominees for 2014 inductions.

The Buffalo Bills don't have any representatives who are first-year eligible, but 16 holdovers have been affiliated with the team.

Quarterback

  • Drew Bledsoe
  • Doug Flutie

Running back

  • Larry Centers

Wide receiver

  • Andre Reed

Offensive line

  • Kent Hull

Defensive line

  • Fred Smerlas
  • Ted Washington

Linebacker

  • Cornelius Bennett
  • Darryl Talley

Defensive back

  • Troy Vincent

Special teams

  • Steve Tasker

Coaches/Contributors

  • Tom Flores
  • Chuck Knox
  • Lou Saban
  • Marty Schottenheimer
  • Bill Polian

Neither Flores nor Schottenheimer was Bills head coach, but each played for them in the 1960s. Flores was the Bills' quarterbacks coach in 1971.

The full list of nominees will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in late November and to 15 finalists in early January.

The 2014 class will be voted upon by the Hall of Fame's Board of Selectors, of which Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan is a member, the day before the Super Bowl.

ESPN analysts take dim view on impact of Bills overhaul

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills have made a significant commitment to their future by turning over almost all of their important roles to younger, fresher folks.

The Bills want you to believe better days are ahead.

A group of ESPN analysts, including former Bills GM Bill Polian, doesn't have much faith.

ESPN Insider has put together its Future Power Rankings, a poll that takes into consideration how a team projects for years to come.

Continue reading "ESPN analysts take dim view on impact of Bills overhaul" »

A look back at Bills GM history

By Tim Graham

Prior to Doug Whaley, the Buffalo Bills hired 11 general managers for whom they had high hopes.

A couple were great. Some were decent. Most didn't live up to the expectations.

For those who want to take a look back at the club's GM history, here's the rundown:

Continue reading "A look back at Bills GM history" »

Will new Bills QB be moribund organization's Manuel ignition?

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills know something nobody else does?

That idea alone is fascinating.

The chance of it being true is small based on the organization's track record. But maybe -- just maybe -- the Bills were smart to name EJ Manuel their franchise quarterback.

And if that decision is proven to be correct, while gathering two additional draft picks, then the possibilities are endless.

Continue reading "Will new Bills QB be moribund organization's Manuel ignition?" »

Bill Polian likes new run-up to free agency

By Mark Gaughan

A new element of the NFL calendar allows teams to start talking to the representatives of free agents three days before the start of the free-agent shopping season.

The free-agency signing period begins at 4 p.m. on March 12. Starting at 4 p.m. Saturday, 72 hours in advance of the start of the new league year, league rules now allow teams to negotiate with agents.

In past years, such preliminary talks were not legal, but there was almost no way to prevent teams from jumping the gun in talking contract numbers with agents. Players still cannot visit any new team until the start of the signing period.

Continue reading "Bill Polian likes new run-up to free agency" »

St. Francis grad Tom Telesco overseeing San Diego overhaul

By Tim Graham

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tom Telesco's impressive rise in football operations came full circle this week at the NFL scouting combine in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Telesco, a St. Francis High alum, spent the past 15 years in the Indianapolis Colts' front office. He won a Super Bowl ring. He saw this new stadium get built.

But he stepped to the lectern Thursday with a San Diego Chargers logo on his shirt. The Chargers last month made Telesco their youngest general manager in club history.

Telesco learned at the knee of former Buffalo Bills GM Bill Polian, the Colts' former president. With the Chargers, Telesco replaced one of Polian's top Bills aides, A.J. Smith.

Continue reading "St. Francis grad Tom Telesco overseeing San Diego overhaul" »

Wide Right left new Jaguars GM David Caldwell out in the cold

By Tim Graham

INDIANAPOLIS -- David Caldwell grew up a Buffalo Bills fan, and it stung.

"I still remember where I was when the kick went wide right," the new Jacksonville Jaguars general manager said today at the NFL scouting combine. "I was at a party, and we just went outside and sat in the snow to numb the pain."

Caldwell, from West Seneca, is part of an amazing sports story sparked by the Bills' Super Bowl years. Those teams fueled a football passion that has driven some local kids to prominent positions.

Continue reading "Wide Right left new Jaguars GM David Caldwell out in the cold" »

Polian says Marrone 'absolutely' right man; now get him a QB

By Tim Graham

INDIANAPOLIS -- Bill Polian, lover of the Doug Marrone hiring, tapped the brakes when asked if the Buffalo Bills can be playoff contenders right away under their new head coach.

Polian is on the Bills' Wall of Fame for putting together a roster that went to four straight Super Bowls. He has been a Marrone booster for years, linked by their high school alma mater, Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx.

But Polian warned Bills fans to keep their expectations in check.

Continue reading "Polian says Marrone 'absolutely' right man; now get him a QB" »

Bill Polian lists Andy Levitre, Jairus Byrd atop NFL's free agents

By Tim Graham

Fans have a tendency to overrate their favorite team's best players.

But when it comes to Buffalo Bills free agents Andy Levitre and Jairus Byrd, the appeal should be league-wide.

Bill Polian, the Bills' Wall of Fame executive, suggests Levitre and Byrd will be hot commodities if they hit the upcoming free-agent marketplace.

Polian recently rated the NFL's 2013 free-agent class for ESPN Insider. He broke down offensive, defensive and special-teams players into A, B and C tiers based on how much money and how many years a team should commit.

Continue reading "Bill Polian lists Andy Levitre, Jairus Byrd atop NFL's free agents" »

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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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]

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