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Buffalo Bills News - July 23, 2017

Marker Thurman Thomas: "The most confident I've felt in a head coach" [2:44 AM]
WKBW-TV reports: '"Obviously that doesn't translate into win-loss records but I can tell you it'll be a more disciplined football team out there. They're going to play hard every single week. I know guys say that all the time but it just has a different feel with this guy and who the coach is and everybody that he's brought in."'

Marker Training camp countdown: 5. Will Sammy Watkins be ready to go? [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“Credit to Sammy, credit to our training staff and the way he’s attacked the rehab with them," coach Sean McDermott said at that time, according to the Bills' official website. "That has to continue, though. This is one step in that process of getting Sammy back to where he needs to be and where we need him to be."'

Marker Rick Dennison back to where it all started with Bills [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Through the years, Dennison would be involved in plenty of games, as a player and coach, at the stadium his current team calls home. “Some unfortunate ones and some good ones,” he said. But none would overshadow that first summer in Western New York, brief as it might have been.'

Marker New Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane took an early career risk that paid off [1:57 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“My wife didn’t kick me out for that, so that was pretty good,” Beane said recently, recalling that potential deal-breaking moment when the just-out-of-college soon-to-be-newlyweds were preparing to start a life for themselves.'

Marker Editorial: We want the Buffalo Bills to stay [1:56 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'We are hearing rumblings that you might make it eight, perhaps even before the Bills’ current contract with St. John Fisher College expires in 2021.'

Marker Buffalo Bills' LeSean McCoy predicted to lead NFL in rushing by writer [1:55 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'For whatever reason, not too many folks realize how effective McCoy was last season.'

Marker Buffalo Bills training camp capsule [1:54 AM]
AP reports: 'Too many changes to coaching staff and roster to expect McDermott building immediate contender and ending playoff drought in first year. With so many newcomers and emphasis on building through youth, team needs to show signs of improvement as season progresses. QB Taylor running out of chances to establish himself as long-term starter entering third year, and only after agreeing to pay cut by restructuring contract in March.'

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July 22, 2017

Marker Report: Bills to host WR Anquan Boldin on free-agent visit [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Boldin, 36, had 67 catches for 584 yards and eight touchdowns last season for Detroit. He ranks 14th in NFL history with 13,779 receiving yards and won the 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year award for his work off the field. A 14-year veteran, he's a three-time Pro Bowler. If signed by the Bills, he would figure to compete with Andre Holmes and Philly Brown for the No. 3 receiver job behind Sammy Watkins and rookie Zay Jones.'

Marker Training camp countdown: 6. Can the Bills' special teams rebound after two down years? [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The biggest change, however, is with the team’s personnel. Gone from last year are mainstays Jonathan Meeks (second on the team with 316 snaps on special teams), Lerentee McCray (fourth with 255 snaps) and Corey White (fifth, 247). Kicker Dan Carpenter was also cut, as was long snapper Garrison Sanborn.'

Marker The top positional battles at Bills training camp (and our predicted winners) [1:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'While there could be a surprise or two elsewhere, here are 10 positions that figure to have the best competition starting Saturday.'

Marker Jay Skurski's Bills Mailbag: LeSean McCoy on his way to the Hall? The future at Fisher & a [1:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'McCoy has three years left on his contract (including 2017), with cap hits ranging from $8.875 million to just a shade over $9 million. The Bills can get out of the deal after this season for minimal damage on the salary cap in terms of dead money. Will the team's new front office want to pay that much money for a running back in his 30s? That's something we'll have to find out.'

Marker Ch. 2's Jonah Javad responds to criticism of his Gilmore piece [1:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Finally, I wouldn't have had as much a problem with Javad's initial story if he had noted most of the things he said in his Wednesday follow-up.'

Marker Buffalo Bills: Six positional battles to watch at training camp [1:54 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Let’s assume Sammy Watkins will be healthy. I know, that’s a bit of a leap. The other starter, and even the No. 3 position, are wide, wide open. Rookie Zay Jones will likely get the first crack, and if his college career means anything, he should be able to lock it down. Then, you’re looking at a hodgepodge of mediocrity led by Andre Holmes, Philly Brown, Jeremy Butler, Dezmin Lewis, Rod Streater, and Walter Powell. Yikes. Perhaps fewest drops wins?'

Marker Buffalo Bills to host WR Anquan Boldin on free-agent visit (report) [1:53 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'Earlier this offseason, the Bills hosted free-agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin but Maclin ended up signing with the Ravens. Boldin, who played on a one-year $2.75 million deal in 2016, caught 67 passes and eight touchdowns for the Lions a year ago and 69 passes for the 49ers the year before that.'

Marker Buffalo Bills linebacker Reggie Ragland reveals weight clause in contract [1:52 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'It's unknown why Ragland would have a weight clause in his contract. The linebacker gained an undisclosed amount of weight following Alabama's National Championship and weighed 259 pounds at the 2016 Senior Bowl, but he'd go on to lose 12 pounds before the combine.'

Marker 8 things we learned from Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane before training camp [1:51 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"Hopefully the new regime, the new culture, the new way of doing things -- what you'd like to see if for Marcell to jump on board," Beane said. "And not only do it himself, but he's been in the league long enough, you'd like to see him grabbing some others. First of all, before you can lead, you have to do it yourself.'

Marker 8 things we learned from Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott before training camp [1:50 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"As a head coach I believe that the minute I was hired I own that, right?" McDermott said. "I'm a part of that. So to try and separate one's self from that I think is the wrong approach. That said, as a team going forward, we have to focus on what's immediately in front of us and the vision for the future. And so creating the right dynamic around the present team is important in terms of our focus, our mindset. And really we spend a lot of time talking about, I spend a lot of time thinking about, how we develop the right mindset with our football team. And that's for anywhere I've been, in particular in this case."'

Marker Anquan Boldin reportedly set to meet with receiver-needy AFC East team [1:49 AM]
CBS Sports reports: 'Although Boldin's age (36) isn't ideal for a receiver, it wouldn't be a shock to see him earn the No. 2 spot in Buffalo if he were to sign with the team. The Bills have been looking to add receiving depth since March when they lost both Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin to the 49ers in free agency.'

Marker Report: Veteran WR Anquan Boldin to visit Bills [1:48 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The Bills still have question marks at the wide receiver position. The hope is that No. 1 wideout Sammy Watkins is and stays healthy this season. Veteran Andre Holmes and rookie Zay Jones are expected to battle for the No. 2 job. Boldin would be in that mix, as well, if he signed with the Bills. The 36-year old would be a reliable veteran presence at the position. He’s missed only one game the past four seasons and has played in 202 of a possible 224 games throughout his career.'

Marker McDermott: being fired by Andy Reid actually brought us closer together [1:47 AM]
WGR-AM reports: '“It crushed me early on,” McDermott recounted. “It crushed me from the standpoint of, I looked introspectively, just looked at myself and said, ‘what did I do wrong?’ I didn’t place any blame, no. It was, ‘what did I do wrong?’ I feel like that period of my career, that period of my life, had I not gone through that, I don’t know if I would be here now. What I mean by that is, my whole career had been going like this every year."'

Marker Report: WR Anquan Boldin to visit Bills next week [1:46 AM]
WKBW-TV reports: 'Let's not kid ourselves -- any wide receiver would be an upgrade to the Bills receiving corps, which at the moment is weak.'

Marker 7 - 3 reasons why Micah Hyde will excel in 2017 [1:45 AM] reports: '“Communication has come a long way,” said Hyde. “I just think that goes along with learning the playbook. Once you get comfortable you can go out there and communicate.”'

July 21, 2017

Marker Training camp countdown: 7. Can LeSean McCoy make the Pro Bowl again? [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills desperately need that to continue. Outside of quarterback Tyrod Taylor, there may not be a more indispensable player on the roster than McCoy. That’s both because of his elite ability, and a lack of depth behind him. When the team opted not to match Mike Gillislee’s contract offer by the Patriots, they lost one of the more productive backup running backs in the NFL.'

Marker Sean McDermott on first camp with Bills: ‘My hand will be on the back of this team at all time [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'McDermott has never been the kind of leader at an NFL training camp that he’ll be this year, because this is the first where he’ll be the head coach. As has been the case since his arrival at One Bills Drive, he will put his own distinctive markings on it.'

Marker Bills Training Camp Guide: What every fan needs to know [1:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Players will sign one item per person for children 14 and under in the autograph tent following practice sessions. Lines for autographs will be limited to the number of children that can be reasonably accommodated. Players may also sign unnanounced along fenced areas after practice. Start time of the autograph tent is flexible each day based on the end time of practice. There will be no organized autograph sessions following night practices.'

Marker How do Brandon Beane, Sean McDermott plan to change Buffalo Bills' culture? [1:56 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"What makes great leaders great?" McDermott said. "At the end of the day, that's what coaches are. In addition to teachers, this is a leadership role. Coordinator is a leadership role, position coach. You're leading people. I've spent a lot of time and I've become passionate about leadership and creating a culture that is a winning culture. That's, to me, when you look at the way we played in Carolina. Not to go back, but the culture that we're trying to build here is one that defensively I felt like we had in Carolina, where the guys love coming to work. Think about this for yourself. If you love driving down One Bills Drive and you love coming to work, and I get it, it's work, but when you love what you do and you love the people you're doing it with, you can win with that.'

Marker McDermott has plenty to tackle in first Bills training camp [1:55 AM]
Rochester Business Journal reports: 'Will fans be patient with McDermott and Beane? They’ll need to be, because unless Taylor becomes a legitimate franchise quarterback and the defense turns back the clock to 2014, I don’t see this team winning more than six or seven games. There are too many holes and a brutal out-of-division schedule featuring games against Atlanta, Oakland, Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Denver. So, it’s going to take time, perhaps a few seasons. McDermott and Beane are friends, and that’s a plus after the tempestuous relationships between former GM Doug Whaley and ex-Bills coaches Ryan and Doug Marrone. Whaley’s hunger for power and questionable personnel moves fueled the dysfunction.'

Marker Playoff drought looms over Buffalo Bills' latest fresh start [1:54 AM]
AP reports: 'Oh, where have the good times gone? What had been the AFC's winningest team of the 1990s, the Bills have spent the new millennium relegated to afterthought status, compiling the longest active playoff drought in North America's four professional sports.'

Marker Bills hope major overhaul ends 17-year slump [1:53 AM]
The Sports Xchange reports: '"We're building; every year we are working to win," said McDermott, who refused to term his first season in Buffalo a rebuilding year. "That's not where we're going with this. That's not it at all. It's about winning football games. It's hard. It's a challenge when you say, 'Hey, we focus on the process and the scoreboard takes care of itself' because we're evaluated by wins and losses. But I just know, being a part of two winning organizations before coming here, that in order for us to win we have to focus on that. That'll translate into wins soon enough."'

Marker McDermott on drought: "I own that....I'm a part of that" [1:52 AM]
WGR-AM reports: '“Yeah. I think you hear about that all the time when you're around this town,” he said. “You hear about it. But what's amazing to me is the passion of these fans is unmatched. I mean you're out there yesterday (the final day of minicamp, when the team allowed select fans into the ADPRO Sports Training Center to watch the session) and you see little guys out there that they just bleed Bills, and that's just awesome to see. And the neat part is that the parents who were around in the early 90s have children who have never seen a say 'X' and 'hey, you know, before I pass I want Joe or Jane to see the team the way I saw it.' And I love that.”'

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