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Buffalo Bills News - July 19, 2014

Marker What they're saying: move-in day at camp [1:46 AM] reports: 'The number one thing I'm excited about is a second year with this coaching staff. Their number one thing coming in was to get this thing turned around. Being with those guys for a second year, figuring each other out and what we want to do, how to use us and stuff like that, I think it’s going to be a tremendous thing that comes to fruition for us this year. That’s the number one thing I’m excited about, it’s easy to sit here and talk about it but I think we have the keys, we’ve added some pieces, guys have been here for a little while and we know what we have to do to get it done.'

Marker Whaley and Bills ready to take up for loss of Alonso [1:45 AM] reports: '“I have to talk to coach, but right off hand, Preston Brown, Nigel Bradham and maybe Ty Powell among the young guys,” he said. “So it’s an exciting time for them and an exciting time for us to say, ‘Alright what we saw in these guys is true and they can play.’”'

Marker Doug Whaley: ''We're planning to be a playoff team'' [1:44 AM] reports: 'It’s a tremendous loss but no one is crying for us. So we have to like you said “next man up.” We think we’ve built a roster that can sustain a loss like this. Our expectations aren’t going to drop.'

Marker Bills release WR and CB [1:43 AM] reports: 'Buffalo released WR Cordell Roberson and CB Darius Robinson Friday. Robinson was an undrafted rookie out of Clemson, who missed a lot of the spring practices with a shoulder injury. Roberson, who spent time on the Bills practice squad last year, also missed a good deal of time in the spring practices with an undisclosed injury.'

Marker Bills determined to chart course for success [1:42 AM] reports: '“It goes both ways,” said Woods. “I see it as, it doesn’t really matter, their opinion, and I also see it as that’s our fault. We need to play better and it’s definitely our fault we’re not spoken about and we have to do better and that starts here tomorrow night.”'

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July 18, 2014

Marker Five things to watch as Bills enter camp [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Cyrus Kouandjio & the OTs. The massive Kouandjio, 6-foot-7 and 325 pounds, is key to the Bills’ plans to upgrade the offensive line. How fast can he catch on, and can he beat out Erik Pears at right tackle? Kouandjio turns 21 on Monday.'

Marker Buffalo Bills report to camp on Friday [1:58 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Further, with One Bills Drive still a very active construction site, the team wanted to stay away from home as long as it could, so Doug Marrone and his players will be at Fisher until Aug. 23, a month and three days.'

Marker Let's have right game plan when it comes to Bills stadium financing [1:57 AM]
Niagara Gazette reports: 'Taxpayers have already paid $90 million toward a $130 million renovation of Ralph Wilson Stadium. And state taxpayers found themselves on the hook for 32 percent of Yankee Stadium’s $1.6 billion cost, or roughly $512 million. Even Yankees fans would say that money could have been better spent on education, economic development or a simple tax cut — particularly when the Yankees and the Steinbrenner family had plenty of avenues with which to pay for a new stadium. Financing stadiums to help save billionaires some money seems a bit ludicrous for a state that can’t figure out how to equitably finance public education.'

Marker Syracuse developer Scott Congel still interested in buying Buffalo Bills, according to report [1:56 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Congel, son of Pyramid Cos. founder Robert Congel, has been working on plans for a project to revive the West Seneca Plaza. He even recruited HKS Sports and Entertainment Inc., the firm that helped plan NFL stadiums in Dallas, Indianapolis and Minnesota, according to the Buffalo News. Congel's plans for the 55-acre plot in West Seneca could even include a new stadium for the Bills down the line, because the Syracuse-area mall developer is interested in seeing the team stay in Western New York.'

Marker Nickell Robey's role, replacing Jairus Byrd among 3 questions facing Bills secondary [1:55 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Gilmore is far from a question mark for the Bills. He has already looked like a dependable starter more often than not in his young career. The question the Bills are wondering is whether or not they have a top-tier cornerback in Gilmore. He has two years remaining on his rookie contract, so 2014 could be an important year for him to establish just how much he's worth.'

Marker Kelly's finest hours have come during his most trying times [1:54 AM]
Rochester Business Journal reports: 'It’s a toughness that was instilled in him and his five brothers at an early age by their father, Joe Kelly, who grew up in an orphanage and overcame daunting obstacles of his own. But the Kelly boys also learned toughness from their beloved mother, whom they referred to as “Saint Alice” for her ability to “survive” a testosterone-fueled household filled with rough-and-tumble young males. In the later years of her life, Alice taught the Kelly boys courageous lessons while tethered 24/7 to an oxygen tank, battling emphysema. “I never heard her complain, even though she was often gasping for air,” Jim said.'

Marker Bills GM Whaley takes all-in rebuilding approach [1:53 AM]
AP reports: 'Short of making a guarantee, Whaley says it's his duty to get the Bills into the playoffs.'

Marker Buffalo Bills 2014 Training Camp Preview [1:52 AM]
The Sports Network reports: 'That said, when you talk about Buffalo on the field, continuity is desperately needed. With Mike Pettine moving on to be the head coach in Cleveland, the Bills brought in their fourth defensive coordinator in as many seasons, Jim Schwartz. The former Lions head man will be shifting the team from an attacking 3-4 to a wide-nine 4-3 front, a questionable tactic because Buffalo actually led the AFC in both sacks (57) and interceptions (23) under Pettine.'

Marker Bills top 20 talents: No. 2 - Sammy Watkins [1:51 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The Bills will use Watkins immediately as their number one receiver and for good reason. With a weapon like him at EJ Manuel’s disposal, it would be fair to expect that the team uses the Clemson approach with Watkins. In 2013, the Tigers got the ball into his hands as quickly as possible and allowed his top notch yards after catch ability go to work. Might Watkins be limited in his impact based on the run-heavy likelihood of the offense this year? That would likely be the expectation. However, Watkins will be able to put his talents on display on a weekly basis. Unless Manuel is able to get to the next level as a quarterback, it would be unfair to expect Julio Jones or A.J. Green-like production out of Watkins in his first season.'

Marker Bills top 20 talents: No. 3 - C.J. Spiller [1:50 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'In this writer’s opinion, Spiller is in line for a very successful campaign. The coaching staff understands his strengths more than they did a year ago, and Spiller will be the recipient of more than just carries this season. It was almost criminal how little, and how ineffectively they used Spiller in the passing game, averaging over five yards per catch less than he did in 2012. Expect that to change, expect new formations and expect the ball to get into a healthy Spiller’s hands in more ways than just handing it off in the backfield. It’s hard to predict how many touches he will get in this new offense, but one of the major highlights of the offseason had to be how to get more out of Spiller. For all these reasons, expect Spiller to bounce back in 2014.'

Marker Bills top 20 talents: No. 4 - Kyle Williams [1:49 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Switching back to the 4-3 defense under new coordinator Jim Schwartz, not much changes for Williams. He’ll still be depended upon to be an aggressive, disruptive, tone-setting defensive tackle to help make the opposing quarterbacks and running backs sweat. Don’t expect his sack production (10.5 in 2013) to continue at that rate, but he’ll still have a solid season playing alongside one of the more talented defensive lines in the NFL. Since 2009 (when yours truly started covering the Bills full-time), there hasn’t been a single game where Williams failed to make his presence felt by the opposing team. Even though he’s 31, expect that trend to continue into 2014.'

July 17, 2014

Marker Bills add depth at linebacker [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Sylvester entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010. The 6-foot-2, 231 pound Utah product appeared in 50 games during his four seasons with Pittsburgh. He was almost exclusively a special teams player his first three years. He played a little less than 10 percent of the snaps on defense last season.'

Marker Brandon Spikes, Keith Rivers contribute to 3 differences in Bills' linebackers without Kiko Alonso [1:58 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'What the Bills have gained in run defense this offseason they have lost in coverage. Spikes and Rivers haven't shown the same ability to stick with tight ends in coverage that Alonso showed in just his first season in the league. Make no mistake, Alonso will be missed in this area.'

Marker Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly stoic in cancer battle [1:58 AM]
New York Post reports: '“Nowadays a lot of people beat [cancer],” Kelly told ESPN on Wednesday. I hope I’m going to be one of those. I will find out more come next month.”'

Marker Value Of Buffalo Bills Depends On Team's Location In 2020 [1:57 AM]
Forbes reports: 'Toronto is much easier. That group, which includes rocker Jon Bon Jovi, and MLS&E owners Larry Tanenbaum and the Rogers family, could rebuild BMO Field. There is much more corporate advertising and premium seating money in Toronto than Buffalo. A Toronto group would likely pay $1.2 billion for the Bills. How could Wilson’s trust turn that down?'

Marker Bills place 5 players on unable to perform list [1:57 AM]
AP reports: 'McKelvin and linebacker Randell Johnson were placed on the active/physically unable to perform list. McKelvin had hip surgery this offseason and practiced on a limited basis during the team's spring minicamps. Starting left tackle Cordy Glenn and defensive tackle Alan Branch were placed on the active/non-football illness list. The Bills did not specify Glenn and Branch's illnesses.'

Marker Bills sign LB Sylvester [1:56 AM]
The Sports Xchange reports: 'Sylvester (6-foot-2, 231 pounds) played the last four seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers mainly on special teams. The former fifth-round pick in 2010 has appeared in 50 games in his NFL career and has lined up at both inside and outside linebacker. He was a three-time Mountain West Conference honoree in college playing at Utah.'

Marker Bills place three starters on non-participation lists to start camp [1:55 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The important thing to note at this time of year is that any of these players can be taken off their respective lists if given clearance by the team's medical staff. Alonso will likely miss the remainder of the year due to tearing his ACL earlier this month. Glenn missed some time at the mandatory minicamp due to an illness, but it isn't clear if the same illness is what is keeping him out to start camp.'

Marker Bills top 20 talents: No. 5 - Kiko Alonso [1:54 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The past tense was used in the last sentence because, of course, Alonso’s season is over before it even got started. The linebacker suffered a torn ACL working out in Oregon and will likely miss the entirety of the 2014 campaign. It’s a big blow to the Bills because they lose one of their most explosive players on defense, and there is a clear gap between him and whoever his replacement will be this season. He was also set to play at weakside linebacker, which would have suited his skill set and body best, but he will likely no longer have that chance. Nowadays professional athletes bounce back from the torn ACL injury quite well, and the Bills will have to hold on to hope that Alonso can be one of the increasing trend.'

Marker Bills top 20 talents: No. 6 - Mario Williams [1:53 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Switching back to the 4-3 defensive scheme, there isn’t much of a change for Williams despite the move. In 2013, Williams basically played the role of a defensive end rushing from the left side of the defensive line. This season, he’ll be doing the same in a scheme that will ask the defensive ends to win their matchups to get pressure on the quarterback. In Mike Pettine’s scheme last year, blitzes were brought from all over the place which led to enhanced opportunities for the men on the defensive line. While blitzing won’t be completely eradicated, there will be more straight-up four-man rushes from the defensive line this year than last. Williams is always one of the most fascinating to watch on film, because he has perhaps more raw ability than anyone on the team, and it’s always a matter of if he capitalizes on it from week to week.'

Marker Bills camp primer: Safety [1:52 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Derek Brim, Jajuan Harley - Harley made some plays in the offseason workouts, but he’ll have to work his way up past both Broomfield and Ladler to have a shot at cracking the top five — if there is even a top five to be cracked (they could keep only four players). Brim is a great local story, being a native to Buffalo, a Canisius High School graduate and also a graduate of the University at Buffalo, but that’s likely where the story will end. Brim is perhaps the biggest longshot of all the safeties to crack the 53-man roster.'

Marker Alonso, Glenn on camp non-participation lists, Bills sign LB [1:51 AM] reports: 'The Bills addressed their linebacker position Wednesday, signing free agent Stevenson Sylvester. The free agent worked out for the club Wednesday morning and was signed in the afternoon.'

Marker 3 ways EJ Manuel can be a difference maker [1:50 AM] reports: 'Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said standing behind the play in practice he can tell right away if Manuel sees what he’s supposed to recognize in the defensive coverage. Through the spring he felt Manuel was making good identification of the defense.'

July 16, 2014

Marker Schwartz’s passion for the game is still intense [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“I always identified more with the coach or the manager than I did with the players,” he said. “Growing up in Baltimore with a guy like Earl Weaver, even though he’s not a football mentor, that was a guy that I looked up to. And I think a lot of it was my own self-awareness of my playing ability. Even though I played in college, I knew I wasn’t going to be a professional football player, but I was always interested in the strategy of the game.”'

Marker Jim Kelly attends football camp at St. John Fisher [1:58 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"The best thing for me is when I'm up in the morning and I'm eating my breakfast through my tube to see my daughters and my wife walk out and to see the smiles that are always on their faces every single morning. That's what I need," Kelly said. "When you've had family support like I've had and public support like I've had there's no way that I'm not going to beat this because a lot of it's mental."'

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09/07 @ Chicago Bears 1:00 pm
09/14 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
09/21 San Diego Chargers 1:00 pm
09/28 @ Houston Texans 1:00 pm
10/05 @ Detroit Lions 1:00 pm
10/12 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/19 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 pm
10/26 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/09 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
11/13 @ Miami Dolphins 8:25 pm
11/23 New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/30 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/07 @ Denver Broncos 4:05 pm
12/14 Green Bay Packers 1:00 pm
12/21 @ Oakland Raiders 4:25 pm
12/28 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm

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