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Da'Norris Searcy 'having a ball' with Bills' new defensive scheme

By Tim Graham

Safeties play one of the more variable positions on a football field. They can play center field in some schemes. They might creep into the box or frequently blitz in others.

A smile spread across strong sfaety Da'Norris Searcy's face when asked what the Buffalo Bills' new defense asks him to do.

"It's way more aggressive," Searcy said after today's voluntary workout at One Bills Drive. "This is the most I've had the opportunity to blitz. So I'm having a ball with it.

Continue reading "Da'Norris Searcy 'having a ball' with Bills' new defensive scheme" »

Top three tacklers gone: Bills trade Kelvin Sheppard for Jerry Hughes

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills now have gotten rid of their top three tacklers from last season.

The Bills announced this afternoon they've traded linebacker Kelvin Sheppard to the Indianapolis Colts for pass-rusher Jerry Hughes.

Hughes was the 31st overall pick in the 2010 draft, but has been a disappointment, starting only seven games in his three NFL seasons.

Hughes made 41 tackles and added a career-high four sacks for the Colts last year.

Sheppard, a 2011 third-round pick, was third on the Bills last year with 77 tackles, three for losses, two sacks and a pass breakup.

The Bills previously cut leading tackler Nick Barnett and No. 2 tackler George Wilson. The Bills' fourth-leading tackler, safey Jairus Byrd, isn't under contract.

Titans continue to gather Bills, sign Ryan Fitzpatrick as backup

By Tim Graham

The Tennessee Titans apparently believe the secret to winning the Lombardi Trophy is to sign as many former Buffalo Bills as they can.

Tennessee has added to its roster a third of Buffalo's six 2012 captains, reportedly signing quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick today to a two-year contract.

The Titans previously signed defensive captain and safety George Wilson. Two of the Bills' other captains, fullback Corey McIntyre and punter Brian Moorman, are out there if the Titans want to keep stockpiling. They also signed former Bills left guard Andy Levitre (not a captain).

Continue reading "Titans continue to gather Bills, sign Ryan Fitzpatrick as backup" »

Comings and goings: Buffalo Bills offseason moves so far

By Tim Graham

And on the seventh day of free agency, the Press Coverage blog reviewed the Buffalo Bills' offseason personnel moves to date ...

Players who have re-signed

  • • Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson
  • • Linebacker Bryan Scott
  • • Cornerback Leodis McKelvin

Players whose rights were retained

  • • Tight end Mike Caussin
  • • Tight end Dorin Dickerson
  • • Safety Jairus Byrd

Players who have joined

  • • Linebacker Manny Lawson

Players who have departed

  • • Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (Tennessee Titans)
  • • Wide receiver Donald Jones (New England Patriots)
  • • Wide receiver David Nelson
  • • Guard Andy Levitre (Tennessee Titans)
  • • Guard Chad Rinehart (San Diego Chargers)
  • • Defensive end Chris Kelsay (retired)
  • • Defensive end Shawne Merriman (retired)
  • • Linebacker Nick Barnett
  • • Cornerback Terrence McGee
  • • Safety George Wilson (Tennessee Titans)

PFF analytics show which Bills provided most, least value in 2012

By Tim Graham

When the Buffalo Bills rebooted their operations in January, a point of emphasis was the creation of an analytics department. While no details have been divulged on how the Bills will implement analytics, a common usage around the league is in determining contract values., one of the most popular analytics sites, has applied its metrics to the Bills' 2012 roster to determine who underperformed and outperformed their salary-cap figures last year.

You can check out PFF for its explanation of each player, but here are the lists:


  • 1. Jairus Byrd, safety
  • 2. C.J. Spiller, running back
  • 3. Andy Levitre, left guard
  • 4. Kyle Williams, defensive tackle
  • 5. Alex Carrington, defensive tackle
  • 6. George Wilson, safety
  • 7. Nick Barnett, linebacker
  • 8. Scott Chandler, tight end
  • 9. Bryan Scott, linebacker
  • 10. Cordy Glenn, left tackle


  • 1. Mario Williams, defensive end
  • 2. Chris Kelsay, defensive end
  • 3. Ryan Fitzpatrick, quarterback
  • 4. Brad Smith, wide receiver
  • 5. Terrence McGee, cornerback
  • 6. Spencer Johnson, defensive tackle
  • 7. Mark Anderson, defensive end
  • 8. Tyler Thigpen, quarterback
  • 9. Erik Pears, right tackle
  • 10. Shawne Merriman, defensive end

The Bills already have released two of the PFF's 10 most undervalued players (Barnett and Wilson). Byrd, Levitre and Scott could become unrestricted free agents in a couple weeks.

From the overvalued list, the Bills have dumped McGee. Kelsay announced his retirement Wednesday night. From the free agents on the list, we safely can assume Thigpen won't be back, Merriman's probably a goner and Johnson isn't worth re-signing.

Bills' defensive purge totals eight captaincies, 38 seasons, 500 games

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills have parted ways with four veteran defenders in less than three weeks.

Defensive end Chris Kelsay, cornerback Terrence McGee and safety George Wilson didn't play games for any other team. Linebacker Nick Barnett started every game for the Bills the past two seasons after eight years with the Green Bay Packers.

Here is a breakdown of how much experience has been deducted from Buffalo's roster with these four players.

  • • 38 seasons
  • • 500 games
  • • 404 starts
  • • 59.5 sacks
  • • 44 interceptions
  • • 20 forced fumbles
  • • 20 fumble recoveries
  • • 7 defensive touchdowns
  • • 8 seasons as Bills captain

Numbers, of course, don't paint the complete portrait.

Kelsay (neck) and McGee (knee) ended last season on injured reserve. Barnett and Wilson were the Bills' top two tacklers, but they were lacking when it came to game-changing plays.

But the Bills' defensive leadership will have a substantially different composition in 2013.

Veteran Bills DE Chris Kelsay announces retirement

By Tim Graham

KelsayMugBuffalo Bills defensive end Chris Kelsay has informed the club he will retire after 10 seasons.

Kelsay, a second-round draft choice in 2003, was a three-time captain who recorded 32.5 sacks, ninth-most in franchise history, but struggled to crack the starting lineup last year.

"I want to thank Mr. Wilson for the opportunity he gave me 10 years ago to be a Buffalo Bill," Kelsay said in comments distributed by the team. "One of my goals was to finish my career with the team that drafted me and that came to fruition. I feel very blessed to say that."

Continue reading "Veteran Bills DE Chris Kelsay announces retirement" »

Former Bills captain George Wilson finds a home with Titans

By Jay Skurski

Former Buffalo Bills safety George Wilson has found a job with the Tennessee Titans.

Wilson, 31, served as a defensive captain for the Bills last season and was an NFL Players' Association team representative. He started all 16 games and finished second on the team with 104 tackles. Wilson, however, registered zero "big plays," finishing the year without an interception, sack, forced fumble or fumble recovery.

His release saved the team $2.925 million against the salary cap.

"George is a quality, veteran player," Titans General Manager Ruston Webster said in a statement released by the team. "He will contribute for us on the field, but his contributions also will come off the field, in the locker room and in the meetings rooms.

"He was respected as a football player and a leader during his career in Buffalo, and he will bring that veteran presence to our team."

Terrence McGee 'blindsided' by Bills call, but he'd love to return

McGeeAPBy Tim Graham

Terrence McGee expected the Buffalo Bills to cut him.

When the phone call came this morning, however, the frequently injured cornerback said he "felt blindsided."

The Bills cut McGee because of a failed physical. He had one year left on his contract with a base salary of $1.75 million.

The announcement came three days after unloading two other veteran defenders: linebacker Nick Barnett and safety George Wilson.

Continue reading "Terrence McGee 'blindsided' by Bills call, but he'd love to return" »

Bills release often-injured former Pro Bowler Terrence McGee

By Tim Graham

McGeeMugThe Buffalo Bills continued to shed veteran defensive players today.

Three days after releasing linebacker Nick Barnett and safety George Wilson, they Bills cut cornerback Terrence McGee.

"Terrence has been a contributor to the Bills organization for 10 years and we thank him for his efforts on the field and off," Bills General Manager Buddy Nix said in a statement. "We wish him the best of luck in the future."

Continue reading "Bills release often-injured former Pro Bowler Terrence McGee" »

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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 |