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Buffalo's inactivity 180 degrees from what's happening in Miami

By Tim Graham

Last year at this time, we were in some sort of bizarro world.

The Buffalo Bills had convinced one of the NFL's most coveted free agents to sign. They gave Mario Williams the NFL's richest contract for a defensive player.

The Miami Dolphins, meanwhile, couldn't convince anyone to sign.

The Dolphins, despite their glamorous locale and free-spending billionaire owner, endured a series of stiff-arms from coach Jeff Fisher (after getting rejected by Jim Harbaugh a year earlier) and quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn.

Twenty-seven hours into free agency this year, fortunes of the rival franchises appear to be back in alignment.

Continue reading "Buffalo's inactivity 180 degrees from what's happening in Miami" »

With 15 draft picks expected, 49ers prime trade partners for Bills

By Tim Graham

If the Buffalo Bills want to trade back into the first round or move up into the second round for a player they want -- perhaps a quarterback -- then the San Francisco 49ers have emerged as obvious candidates to work out a deal.

The Niners reportedly have worked out a trade that will send quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs for this year's second-round draft choice (34th overall) and other unrevealed considerations. The Niners also hold the 31st overall selection.

It's no secret the Bills need a quarterback and want to draft one early. They own the eighth and 41st overall picks.

Draft analysts are hesitant to put a high first-round value on a quarterback in this year's class, but the best prospects could be gone by the time the Bills draft in the second round. Thus, the Niners become attractive trade partners.

Continue reading "With 15 draft picks expected, 49ers prime trade partners for Bills" »

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" »

Original Ravens coach rooting for 49ers to win Super Bowl XLVII

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- Jack Harbaugh isn't the only old coach whose rooting interests for Super Bowl XLVII will be conflicted.

Ted Marchibroda was the Baltimore Ravens' first head coach and worked closely with General Manager Ozzie Newsome.

"You have to give it to Ozzie," said Marchibroda, the former St. Bonaventure quarterback. "That first draft was a great draft in 1996. Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis was probably the best draft since Gayle Sayers and Dick Butkus. Maybe it's even better than those guys."

Marchibroda also is close to San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

While nobody can expect Jack Harbaugh to root for one of his sons to beat the other Sunday night -- John Harbaugh is the Ravens' head coach in case you just crawled out from under a manhole cover to read this blog -- Marchibroda actually has a favorite.

Marchibroda was the Indianapolis Colts' coach until 1995, the season Jim Harbaugh won the Comeback Player of the Year Award, led the NFL in passer rating and took the Colts to the playoffs for the first time in eight years.

"I'm a little closer to Jim than I am to the Ravens," Marchibroda said. "It was an outstanding year Jim had for me in Indianapolis. It was special. You don't have that many in your lifetime.

"I enjoyed my time with the Ravens. It's a tough situation when you're taking a ballclub and moving from city to city. But I'm leaning toward Jim. I spent more time with him."


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 |