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Thad Lewis will be Bills' 12th starting QB since Jim Kelly

By Jay Skurski

When the Bills drafted EJ Manuel in the first round, Jim Kelly was thrilled.

Kelly was excited about Manuel's potential, of course, but also looked forward to the question of who will replace him finally being answered.

Whether Manuel is the long-term answer at quarterback remains to be seen, and the answer will now be delayed because of a sprained LCL in his right knee that will keep him out of the lineup for at least a few weeks.

In the meantime, however, Thad Lewis will become the 12th different quarterback to start for the Bills in the post-Kelly era. Lewis came to the Bills in a trade with the Detroit Lions before the final preseason game this summer.

The complete list, if you can stomach it: Todd Collins, Alex Van Pelt, Doug Flutie, Rob Johnson, Drew Bledsoe, J.P. Losman, Kelly Holcomb, Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Brohm, EJ Manuel and now Lewis. 

The Bills are his fourth different NFL team -- he originally joined the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2010, then spent the following two years with the Cleveland Browns. Lewis made one start with Cleveland last year. He was released in May, and joined the Lions just six days later.

Lewis played collegiately at Duke, where he holds the school record for career passing yards with 10,065. He's also second in career completions (877), first in attempts (1,510) and first in career touchdown passes (67).

Radio show with Jim Kelly, Andre Reed, Steve Tasker starts tonight

By Jay Skurski

Bills greats Andre Reed, Jim Kelly and Steve Tasker will team up again this season for a radio show on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

No Huddle starts tonight at 7 p.m. and the hour-long show will air in that time slot every Wednesday during the NFL season. The show, which is in its second season, airs on Ch. 88 for Sirius and XM Premier subscribers.

Is Andre Reed's Hall of Fame window about to close?

By Tim Graham

CANTON, Ohio -- There has been a general belief legendary Buffalo Bills receiver Andre Reed eventually will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

That sentiment might not come with a lifetime guarantee.

Hall of Famers wonder if players such as Reed and Tim Brown will need to enter the Hall of Fame within the next few years to have their best shot.

Receivers with prolific stats from the contemporary game will be voted on soon.

Continue reading "Is Andre Reed's Hall of Fame window about to close?" »

Rare Ralph Wilson appearance warms Hall of Famers' hearts

By Tim Graham

CANTON, Ohio -- John Madden gave a fist pump when he saw Buffalo Bills founder Ralph Wilson arrive this morning at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"It's just good to see him," Madden told me after 121 inductees posed for a group photo to commemorate the Hall of Fame's 50th anniversary. "I'm glad he's here.

"You're just happy to see it when they make it and say, 'Ralph's back and he's OK."

Continue reading "Rare Ralph Wilson appearance warms Hall of Famers' hearts" »

Ford Taurus rides and tuna melts forged a bond with Ralph Wilson

By Tim Graham

At every Friday practice for nearly three years, Ralph Wilson's golf cart would whir down the stadium tunnel ramp and onto the field.

Troy Vincent knew it was time to leave and shower up.

No matter that three practice periods still remained. Head coach Mike Mularkey and defensive coordinator Jerry Gray were helpless.

Mr. Wilson was there to whisk away their star safety for tuna melts and french fries at Danny's restaurant in Orchard Park.

Continue reading "Ford Taurus rides and tuna melts forged a bond with Ralph Wilson" »

Jim Kelly calls Pats 'vulnerable,' Aaron Hernandez a dummy

Jim Kelly
Jim Kelly says "sooner or late the Bills got to rise to the top."

By Tim Graham

Jim Kelly isn't all that busted up about the New England Patriots' offseason troubles.

"I don't really feel too sorry for them," Kelly said this morning on the NFL Network, "because sooner or late the Bills got to rise to the top, and if we have to take it that way? Oh, well."

Kelly was a guest on "NFL AM" to talk about his recovery from cancer surgery and heard some football questions, too.

Continue reading "Jim Kelly calls Pats 'vulnerable,' Aaron Hernandez a dummy" »

Video: Jim Kelly talks about cancer surgery, support and prayers

Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly talks about his cancer surgery and the support and prayers he received locally and from around the country.

Jim Kelly won't need radiation or chemotherapy after jaw surgery

By Jay Skurski

As of today, Jim Kelly is cancer free.

The Buffalo Bills' Hall of Fame quarterback made that uplifting announcement this morning as his 26th annual football camp got underway inside the team's fieldhouse.

Kelly learned last week that he will not have to go through radiation treatment or chemotherapy following surgery on June 7 to remove cancer in his upper jaw bone.

"Which to me, is a blessing because what I’ve been told about all the stuff that they did in surgery, that if I had to do radiation or chemo, it would put me way back," said the 53-year-old Kelly, whose speech was perhaps a little slower than usual, but otherwise clear and strong in making his first public appearance since the surgery.

Kelly said he was experiencing some expected soreness in his jaw, but otherwise his recovery is right on track.

"Big-time relief," he said. "Trust me, prayers definitely had a big part in it, there’s no doubt. Not just with my family, but all across the country. And I’ve received so many letters and emails from people that have had similar circumstances as I did, and some of them were not very good, and some of them were very good.

"So you’re encouraged on one hand, and then discouraged on the other, but to find out where they’ve been, and the prognosis of where I’m going, I’m very excited. I’m happy. Never thought I’d be saying the word cancer … but it’s part of what has happened to me in the ups and downs of life."

Continue reading "Jim Kelly won't need radiation or chemotherapy after jaw surgery" »

Jim Kelly has great news in first appearance since cancer surgery

By Tim Graham

It was good for people to see Jim Kelly.

It was even better to hear what he had to say.

For his annual football camp at One Bills Drive this morning, Kelly made his first public appearance since the June 7 surgery that removed part of his upper jaw in hopes of extracting cancer.

Kelly, 53, announced he's considered cancer-free for now and will not require the follow-up chemotherapy that's common for his type of cancer.

Couple of surprises on PFT's Buffalo Bills Mount Rushmore

By Tim Graham has unveiled its Buffalo Bills Mount Rushmore.

And I think there are a couple upsets.

Neither Marv Levy nor Bruce Smith is honored.

Jim Kelly? Check.

O.J. Simpson? Check.

Continue reading "Couple of surprises on PFT's Buffalo Bills Mount Rushmore" »

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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 |