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Kiko Alonso making early case for defensive rookie of the year

By Tim Graham

When the Buffalo Bills drafted Kiko Alonso in April, it wasn't for his interview skills.

Alonso is a man of few words, as national media outlets have learned the past few days.

But he's a man of big plays so far in his young NFL career.

Alonso leads the Bills with four interceptions, including two mammoth ones in Sunday's 23-20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Alonso became the first rookie linebacker to have at least one interception in three straight games since Al Richardson did it for the Atlanta Falcons in 1980.

Alonso leads the Bills with 32 tackles. He has one sack, a forced fumble and a recovery.

Continue reading "Kiko Alonso making early case for defensive rookie of the year" »

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.

Marv Levy ranked 17th on list of 20 greatest NFL coaches

By Tim Graham

To celebrate what would've been Vince Lombardi's 100th birthday on June 11, ESPN is counting down its 20 greatest NFL coaches.

Buffalo Bills immortal Marv Levy came in at No. 17.

For the series, here's what Jim Kelly had to say about his coach:

"I think Marv Levy's biggest achievement is keeping his team mentally focused year after year after year, especially during that run of four Super Bowls. We went five years to the AFC Championship Game. Everybody knows you've got to be physically prepared for the game. If you're not, you're not going to make it. But to be able to mentally prepare your football team after a devastating loss, and forget about what happened the year before or the year before or the year before, and the resiliency our football team had, it started with Marv Levy. I know we wouldn't have gone to four Super Bowls in a row without Marv Levy.

"Probably the most influential thing about him was the way he handled the players on his team. If you remember, the guys we had -- Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Darryl Talley, Steve Tasker -- we had a bunch of different personalities, and we all had egos. Early on in Marv's career and our careers, we knew if we didn't come together as a team, it didn't matter how many superstars we had, we wouldn't make it. He made sure to make each individual understand that if we didn't put our egos to the side, we wouldn't achieve our goals. He could communicate to players in a way where we totally understood it. He was never the rah-rah, in-your-face type of guy. It was the old cliché: It's not what you said, but how you said it. Marv always knew what to say and how to say it.

"It clicked probably in 1988. The Bickering Bills came and I had something to do with that. Everybody did to a certain point. We went to the AFC Championship Game in 1988. We knew our football team was talented. In 1989, our egos started getting in the way, including myself. Marv knew what we could achieve, but we couldn't if we started pointing fingers at each other.

"To go back to back to back to back, that will never happen again. Nope. Period. The further we're removed from those games, the more people appreciate what we did. And it started with our head coach, Marv Levy."

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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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