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How the locals fared: Week Three

By Jay Skurski

Our weekly rundown on the Press Coverage blog of the players from Western New York (along with the University at Buffalo) currently in the NFL:

Steven Means: The Buffalo native and Grover Cleveland and University at Buffalo product -- a rookie defensive end with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- was inactive in Week Three, the second week in a row he was a healthy scratch. Means made his NFL debut in Week One, playing five snaps on special teams in an 18-17 loss at the New York Jets. He did not register any statistics.

Mike Williams: The Tampa Bay receiver -- a Buffalo native and Riverside product -- was targeted a team-high nine times by quarterback Josh Freeman, making five catches for 65 yards in a 23-3 loss at the New England Patriots.

James Starks: The Green Bay Packers running back, a Niagara Falls and University at Buffalo product, carried 14 times for 55 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals in a 34-30 loss. All of those carries came in the first two quarters, however, as Starks suffered a knee injury shortly before halftime and did not return. The injury comes at a tough time for Starks, who became his team's first 100-yard rusher in the regular season since 2010 when he gained 132 yards on 20 carries during a 38-20 victory over Washington in Week Two. Starks and the Packers have a bye week coming up, so he has a chance to get healthy.

Continue reading "How the locals fared: Week Three" »

How the locals fared: Week Two

By Jay Skurski

Our weekly rundown on the Press Coverage blog of the players from Western New York (along with the University at Buffalo) currently in the NFL:

Steven Means: The Buffalo native and Grover Cleveland and University at Buffalo product -- a rookie defensive end with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- was inactive in Week Two. Means made his NFL debut in Week One, playing five snaps on special teams in an 18-17 loss at the New York Jets. He did not register any statistics.

Mike Williams: The Tampa Bay receiver -- a Buffalo native and Riverside product -- was targeted six times by quarterback Josh Freeman, making just two catches for 9 yards in a 16-14 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week Two.

Continue reading "How the locals fared: Week Two" »

How the locals fared: Week One

By Jay Skurski

Our weekly rundown on the Press Coverage blog of the players from Western New York (along with the University at Buffalo) currently in the NFL:

Steven Means: The Buffalo native and Grover Cleveland and University at Buffalo product made his NFL debut for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, playing five snaps on special teams in an 18-17 loss at the New York Jets. Means did not register any statistics. The rookie defensive end was a fifth-round draft pick in June.

Mike Williams: The Buffalo native and Riverside product was targeted eight times by Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman, making four catches for 52 yards and a touchdown in a loss to the Jets.

James Starks: The Niagara Falls native is in his fourth season as a running back for the Green Bay Packers. He caught one pass for 8 yards and did not attempt any rushes in a 34-28 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Continue reading "How the locals fared: Week One" »

Where the Western New Yorkers are after final cuts around the NFL

By Jay Skurski

Five local players could not survive final roster cuts over the weekend, leaving a total of seven from Western New York on active rosters (or in one case, a physically unable to perform list) heading into the 2013 NFL season. Another two players from the University at Buffalo are also in the NFL. Here is an update on each of them:

Steven Means: The Buffalo native and Grover Cleveland and University at Buffalo product is listed as the backup right defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who drafted Means in the fifth round of April’s NFL Draft. Mean impressed the Bucs earlier in the preseason with his athleticism.

James Starks: The Niagara Falls native is entering his fourth season with the Green Bay Packers. He’s listed as the starter at running back on the depth chart, but has promising rookies in Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin behind him.

J.C. Tretter: The Akron product, a fourth-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in April, will start the season on the team’s physically unable to perform list after he broke his ankle in May. He will miss at least the first six weeks of the season.

Continue reading "Where the Western New Yorkers are after final cuts around the NFL" »

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" »

With the championship on the line, Corey Graham makes plays

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- The San Francisco 49ers had three plays to move the ball five yards and win the Super Bowl.

Twice, they tried to beat Baltimore Ravens cornerback Corey Graham. Twice, the 49ers failed.

Graham, a Turner-Carroll alum, helped Baltimore lock down the Super Bowl XLVII victory Sunday night by denying San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree inside the two-minute warning and helping the Ravens win, 34-31.

Continue reading "With the championship on the line, Corey Graham makes plays" »

Corey Graham on the spot, Donte Whitner not in Super Bowl XLVII

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS --At halftime of Super Bowl XLVII, the Baltimore Ravens appear to be in control with a 21-6 lead over the San Francisco 49ers.

Turner-Carroll grad Corey Graham is a reason for that. He has been an on-the-spot star for the Baltimore Ravens throughout the postseason.

On the sports world's biggest stage tonight, Graham was involved in a game-changing turnover that helped swing momentum for the Ravens in the second quarter.

Continue reading "Corey Graham on the spot, Donte Whitner not in Super Bowl XLVII" »

Dennis Dixon is the Baltimore Ravens' Rich Little

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- Dennis Dixon is on the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad.

Though if the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, Dixon will have earned his championship ring.

Dixon has been the Ravens' secret weapon, imitating the 49ers' hard-to-replicate quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick is difficult to prepare for. He has a big arm and is a threat to run in the 49ers' read-option offense. Dixon is familiar with the read option from his days at the University of Oregon.

"That guy has been doing a major job," Ravens cornerback and Turner-Carroll alum Corey Graham said of Dixon. "You'd think he might want to go somewhere that runs that offense so he can have an even bigger role in this NFL.

"But he's done an outstanding job. He's run this offense at Oregon. He knows it, and he's done an amazing job of preparing us for this stage."

Continue reading "Dennis Dixon is the Baltimore Ravens' Rich Little" »

Corey Graham: from Buffalo to the big stage

By Jerry Sullivan

NEW ORLEANS -- Corey Graham has definitely arrived.

Graham, a Buffalo native and Turner-Carroll graduate, had one of the 12 raised stages reserved for the key members of the Baltimore Ravens at Tuesday afternoon's media day. Not bad for a former special teams Pro Bowler who left the Chicago Bears as a free agent last summer because he wanted a chance at cornerback.

Graham, who took over as a starting corner because of injuries and had a breakthrough during this postseason, said he's heard from a lot of people back home lately.

Continue reading "Corey Graham: from Buffalo to the big stage" »

Ravens CB Corey Graham delivers Super Bowl #guarantee

CoreyGrahamMediaDay
Buffalo native and Baltimore Ravens cornerback Corey Graham talks with reporters at Super Bowl XLVII media day. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- Corey Graham stopped short of a Joe Namath moment here at Super Bowl XLVII media day.

Graham, a Turner-Carroll grad and Baltimore Ravens cornerback, made a quasi-guarantee.

Graham was approached by Kevin Frazier, host of entertainment-news program "omg! Insider." Frazier wanted Graham to come up with Twitter hash tags for certain topics.

"I don't even tweet!" Graham said. "How are you going to ask me to answer?"

With some cajoling, Graham went ahead with the word-association exercise.

Beyonce Knowles: "Fantastic."

Destiny's Child reunion: "Amazing."

Winning the Super Bowl: "Epic."

Your coach beating his brother: "A must."

The one thing you won't do when you're in New Orleans: (long pause) "Lose!"

"I didn't know if I should say it or not," Graham said with a laugh. "I thought it, but it's one of those situations where you're like, 'Aaaahhhhhhh ... I guess so.' "

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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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