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Super Bowl XLVII audio: Ray Lewis and deer-antler spray

NEW ORLEANS -- Listen to Buffalo News writers Tim Graham, Mark Gaughan and Jerry Sullivan discuss Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and the most recent accusation against him regarding the alleged use of a banned substance to help speed his recovery from a triceps injury.

Audio: Reviewing two Ray Lewis stories with Shredd and Ragan

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- Ray Lewis, deer-antler extract and brotherly rivalries were among the topics in a deep conversation with Shredd and Ragan this morning on 103.3 The Edge.

We talked about the bizarre Sports Illustrated story that alleges Lewis may have used a banned substance to recover from a torn triceps injury.

We also reviewed the back story, as first reported by, behind my lengthy Lewis feature that ran Sunday in The Buffalo News and how the Washington Post poached the mother of a victim from the double-murder case Lewis was involved in.

Ray Lewis laughs off Sports Illustrated's deer-antler report

By Jerry Sullivan

NEW ORLEANS -- Ray Lewis again denied a published report that claims he took deer antler spray, which contains a substance banned by the NFL, during his recovery from a torn triceps injury this season.

Lewis, speaking before a packed conference room during a Super Bowl media session this morning, laughed when the first questioner asked him to respond to a report in the digital version of Sports Illustrated.

"I think honestly, I'm going to say it very clearly again," Lewis said. "It's probably one of the most embarrassing things we can do on this type of stage. I think it takes away from ... You give somebody the ability to come into our world. Our world is a very secret society. We try to protect our world as much as we can. But when you let cowards come in and do things like that, to try to disturb something ...

Continue reading "Ray Lewis laughs off Sports Illustrated's deer-antler report" »

Mike Pettine left Rex Ryan and joined Bills to be his own man

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- Where did Rex Ryan stop and Mike Pettine begin with the New York Jets' defense?

"I've been asked that before," former Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum told me in the Super Bowl XLVII media center. "I think Mike's his own guy, and he'll do a good job.

"Where one started and one ended, it could've been by the game, by the quarter. It depended on the game and the situation. But Mike's really good."

Continue reading "Mike Pettine left Rex Ryan and joined Bills to be his own man" »

Niners punter Andy Lee is at the head of the class

By Mark Gaughan

NEW ORLEANS - San Francisco has a great weapon in Super Bowl XLVII in punter Andy Lee.

He set the NFL single-season record for net punting average in 2011 by posting a 44.0-yard mark. He also has topped the 40-yard net average mark four of the past six seasons.

No NFL punter ever had broken the 40-yard net barrier until 2007. That year, Oakland Raiders punter Shane Lechler (41.1) and Lee (41.0) both did it. The next year four punters did it. In 2009 six did it. In 2010 it was three, in 2011 nine and this season 15 punters did it.

Continue reading "Niners punter Andy Lee is at the head of the class" »

Ed Reed on Junior Seau's trauma: 'He signed up to play football'

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- Buffalo News senior columnist Jerry Sullivan asked a pointed question that created a major storyline at Super Bowl XLVII media day.

Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed, an 11-year veteran, mentioned how a violent game has impacted his health.

"I feel effects from it," Reed said. "Some days, I wake up and I'm like, ‘Where did my memory go?’ But at the same time, I signed up for it.

"Football has been like that for a long time, for ages. Football has always been a contact sport, and it's always going to be a violent sport, and there are going to be repercussions from that. But every player that ever played this game and will play this game, they're signing up for it."

Continue reading "Ed Reed on Junior Seau's trauma: 'He signed up to play football'" »

Sound from Super Bowl XLVII: Media day in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS -- Buffalo News writers Tim Graham, Mark Gaughan and Jerry Sullivan discuss the coaches and teams' defenses from the site of Super Bowl XLVII.

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" »

Donte Whitner 'drafted into the wrong system' and 'a bad situation'

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- Donte Whitner is one game away from comprehensive vindication.

The Buffalo Bills' polarizing 2006 first-round draft pick was voted to his first Pro Bowl and will win a world championship Sunday if the San Francisco 49ers beat the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.

Whitner claimed he's the same player he was with Buffalo.

"I think sometimes players just get drafted into the wrong system and come into a bad situation," Whitner said, "and there's really nothing you can do about it except go out and work hard, let everybody talk and let the chips fall where they may."

Continue reading "Donte Whitner 'drafted into the wrong system' and 'a bad situation'" »

NFL Sunday outtakes: Role of sports journalism in mythmaking

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo News cleared about 80 column inches for Sunday's story about Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, his legacy, two dead men and some inconvenient questions.

While that's about five times the length of an average newspaper story, it still wasn't even space for me to include all of the fascinating insight I gathered in my research about Lewis and how he should be viewed as a human being, not merely one of the NFL's greatest players.

Dr. Lawrence Wenner, a professor of communication and ethics at Loyola Marymount University, delivered some attention-grabbing thoughts about how sports journalists are complicit in the mythmaking machine.

Continue reading "NFL Sunday outtakes: Role of sports journalism in mythmaking" »

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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 |