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LB Bryan Scott, DT Torell Troup, QB Thad Lewis among Bills cuts

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills are under the roster limit after dropping five more players this afternoon. Teams had until 6 p.m. to reduce their rosters to 53 players.

The released players:

  • Quarterback Thad Lewis
  • Defensive end Jamie Blatnick
  • Defensive end Izaan Cross
  • Defensive tackle Torell Troup
  • Linebacker Bryan Scott

Although Lewis was an interesting sidelight over the past week, Scott and Troup are the most notable cuts of this quintet.

Scott has played 10 NFL seasons as a defensive back and linebacker. He was a hybrid defender who the Bills hoped would help guard the NFL's new wave of athletic tight ends such as Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Jimmy Graham.

Scott was fifth in tackles last year with 64. His four interceptions and eight pass breakups each ranked second on the team. He returned one of his interceptions for the Bills' only defensive touchdown of the season. He also had two forced fumbles and two recoveries.

Troup will forever remembered as the player the Bills selected one spot ahead of Gronkowski in the 2010 draft. Troup played 15 games as a rookie and started two. he played only six games in his second season and zero last year.

Looking back: Buddy Nix's five biggest misses as Bills GM

Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey
Chan Gailey, right, had his moments, but went 16-32 as the Bills' head coach. (James P. McCoy/News file photo)


By Tim Graham

How will we remember Buddy Nix's tenure as Buffalo Bills general manager? With the help of beat reporter Mark Gaughan, we look back on the past three seasons and four drafts under Nix.

Here are his five biggest misses:

Continue reading "Looking back: Buddy Nix's five biggest misses as Bills GM" »

Will new Bills QB be moribund organization's Manuel ignition?

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills know something nobody else does?

That idea alone is fascinating.

The chance of it being true is small based on the organization's track record. But maybe -- just maybe -- the Bills were smart to name EJ Manuel their franchise quarterback.

And if that decision is proven to be correct, while gathering two additional draft picks, then the possibilities are endless.

Continue reading "Will new Bills QB be moribund organization's Manuel ignition?" »

Bills best and worst draft picks, from Tom Cousineau to Jim Kelly

By Tim Graham

NFL.com has been running a series of articles examining every team's best and worst draft picks since 1966, the start of the Super Bowl era.

The Bills' breakdown was posted today, with five finalists in each category accompanied by a poll that allows fans to select the superlative picks.

Best

  • • Jim Kelly, 14th overall in 1983
  • • Bruce Smith, first overall in 1985
  • • Thurman Thomas, 40th overall in 1988
  • • Andre Reed, 86th overall in 1985
  • • O.J. Simpson, first overall in 1969

Worst

  • • Mike Williams, fourth overall in 2002
  • • Aaron Maybin, 11th overall in 2009
  • • Tom Cousineau, first overall in 1979
  • • J.P. Losman, 22nd overall in 2004
  • • James Hardy, 41st overall in 2008

While it's difficult to argue with any of the "best" candidates, what about those longshots who had fine careers? Hitting on the first overall pick shouldn't be difficult. Simpson was a no-brainer in 1969.

I'd like to have seen one of those late-round fliers get consideration. Right tackle Howard Ballard was an 11th-round stab in 1987 but was a two-time Pro Bowler who started 10 NFL seasons. Defensive lineman Kyle Williams was a 2006 fifth-round pick who's gone to a couple Pro Bowls.

As for the "worst" candidates, I have a problem with Cousineau making the list. What made him a bad pick wasn't his talent -- he started more NFL games than 1972 first overall pick Walt Patulski -- but the fact he refused to sign with the Bills.

Besides, the Bills turned Cousineau into the draft pick that became Kelly. Without the Cousineau selection and the subsequent contract squabble, the Bills wouldn't have gotten their Hall of Fame quarterback.

Defensive tackle Torell Troup, taken one pick ahead of superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski in 2010, warrants a spot in the poll.

And why should Hardy be considered worse than Perry Tuttle (19th overall in 1982) or Tony Hunter (12th overall in 1983) or Erik Flowers (26th overall in 2000) or John McCargo (26th overall in 2006)?

Bills DT Alan Branch hopes to help Mario 'get some food on his plate'

Branch
Newly signed defensive lineman Alan Branch speaks at One Bills Drive on Tuesday. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)


By Mark Gaughan

Defensive lineman Alan Branch looked around at the players on the Buffalo Bills' defensive front and decided he has the chance to look good this season in their uniform.

Branch became a new piece of the Bills' defensive puzzle by signing a one-year contract today. Branch started the past two seasons for Seattle. He's a 324-pound run stopper who adds to the Bills' ability to play a 3-4 front.

Now the Bills can put Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Branch on the defensive line, flanked by Mario Williams and Manny Lawson at outside linebacker. Fourth-year man Alex Carrington can push Branch for time. If fourth-year man Torell Troup comes back from back surgery, all the better.

Continue reading "Bills DT Alan Branch hopes to help Mario 'get some food on his plate'" »

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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 | tgraham@buffnews.com


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 | mgaughan@buffnews.com


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 | jskurski@buffnews.com

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