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Buffalo Bills News - May 29, 2017

Marker Preston Brown ready to challenge Reggie Ragland for Bills' starting middle linebacker job [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“I’ve been in competition since high school,” Brown said last week. “With all the linebackers, not just Reggie, but whoever it is. We’re all competing to play. I mean, we’re all trying to make the team better. The best three are going to play, or the best four, or whoever is out there is going to play and have fun.”'

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May 28, 2017

Marker Roster turnover is well underway for Bills, but more change looms on the horizon [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“If you look at our roster, I mean, from top down, it’s all new faces,” linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “I mean the whole secondary is different. A bunch of the linebacker corps is going to be different. … You have to take it year by year, good, bad or indifferent and always step up and try to reinvent yourself for that next season.”'

Marker Vic Carucci's Bills Mailbag: Signing of Hodges could be real coup for Bills [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'For one thing, I didn't think a linebacker of his caliber would be available this late in the offseason. It seems pretty clear that he entered the free-agent market expecting to get the big money paid in the early going, and as more and more time passed without him receiving an offer to his liking, he finally resigned himself to accepting a lesser deal but with the best possibility of starting.'

Marker Former Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Harvard graduate, solves a Rubik's Cube in how long? [1:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I limit it to 10 because teaching 10 kids how to do the Rubik's Cube at one time is difficult, but my second-grader and my fourth-grader come in and help me," Fitzpatrick said. "It's just something that's kind of a hobby of mine that I have a lot of fun with, and there's a ton of interest in my son's school, people trying to learn it.'

Marker Janine Talley: Why the Big Tree Inn was a perfect fit for the glory-days Bills [1:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'However, for a span of 10 years, many to the chagrin of me and my football sister wives, a little spot occupying the northeast corner of Abbott Road and Big Tree Road was a refuge after a long day of meetings and practice for marquee Bills players before heading to their homes. The Big Tree Inn was an extension of the Buffalo Bills locker room of the '80s and the '90s. A place where members of those acclaimed teams unwound and ribbed each other about game play – good and bad. And occasionally it was a place for shenanigans too unsavory to print here.'

Marker Ranking the Buffalo Bills' 2017 roster by strength of position [1:55 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'The interior of Buffalo's offensive line takes the No. 1 spot on the Bills' strongest position entering the season. Richie Incognito remains one of the best guards in the NFL and John Miller was named Pro Football Focus' most improved second-year guard. Between the Bills' guards will be Eric Wood. Wood will be returning from an injury, but he's played well in the last two years. Putting the Bills over the top is Ryan Groy. The reserve offensive lineman played very well when Wood was injured last season and has the ability to play guard as well.'

Marker Will the Bills be more disciplined with Sean McDermott? [1:54 AM]
WKBW-TV reports: '“I know this: I know that the margin of winning in the NFL is so small that you can't beat yourself, and that speaks to pre-snap penalties, post-snap penalties, discipline, accountability – all those things that you're probably referencing, we spent a lot of time emphasizing that through different avenues when we teach.”'

Marker Now with foot in the door, LB Lindsey hoping to nail down roster spot [1:53 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '“When he did his first workout, I saw him out there and I told McDermott ‘This is Luke Kuechly, just maybe not quite as fast but this is Luke Kuechly.’ Just joking around with him. I don’t know if he’d like those expectations put on him but I did tell coach that.” Wood said smiling.'

Marker Six under-the-radar players to watch midway through OTAs [1:52 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Lindsey is trying to do what only two others have done—graduate from Harvard and play linebacker in the NFL. Isaiah Kacyvenski had a good run from 2000-06 at LB with the Seahawks and the Rams. And the Bills drafted Harvard LB Joe Azelby in the 10th round in 1984-he played 14 games that year.'

May 27, 2017

Marker Joe Powell's long, unlikely journey leads to second chance with the Bills [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Depending on who showed up for the game would depend on where I was going to play. Sometimes I played middle linebacker, sometimes I played safety, sometimes I played corner. I played D-line sometimes. And I always played receiver, because I was very unstoppable out there.'

Marker Sully's Mailbag: Some quotes are gifts that keep on giving [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Sully: I'm confident it won't be the Bills winning the Super Bowl and Sean McDermott holding up the Lombardi Trophy while declaring that it all started when they fired Whaley the day after the draft and he was kind enough to leave those first-round picks behind as parting gifts.'

Marker What Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy expects of his role, workload in new offense [1:57 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"The only thing missing is a couple more years, a couple more thousand yards and some winning games," McCoy said Thursday. "That's what every player strives to do to have a great career. That's the only thing I'm missing is the ring and some more yards."'

Marker Buffalo Bills' Ronald Darby named to Pro Football Focus' best under-25 team [1:56 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"In 2015, Darby came in and immediately started for the Bills and as a rookie, earned an incredible 86.1 overall grade -- the third-highest PFF overall grade ever for a rookie cornerback. While 2016 was certainly a step back, he at least maintained a strong performance defending the run, and was far from alone in regressing in a Bills' defense that capitulated over the season. Darby's ability showed that he can play at elite levels from day one, earned him the selection here over his competition."'

Marker Bills Today: OTAs leave McDermott encouraged, but not satisfied [1:55 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '“I believe that we made a lot of strides and the credit goes to the players and the coaches and really everybody here at [the] ADPRO Training Facility. This is a team effort. It’s been that way since day one. It will continue to be that way,” McDermott said. “We’re improving in every part of what we do, not just the football part. I’m encouraged by that. I’ve seen it on a daily basis, I’ve seen it on the field, [which] is what you’re asking about. The players are working extremely hard.'

May 26, 2017

Marker Pollock: McDermott will see new Bills roster [2:25 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“It’s never a finished product. It takes time,” McDermott said. “You look at all the different aspects of building a roster, it’s not just the guys that are on the team. You have to look at draft picks … what draft picks we have for next year, do we have all of them, are we one short, how that looks, and then, salary cap. So there’s a lot of facets of building a football team that can not only be successful, but also sustain success.”'

Marker Bills' Hughes has a lot to prove, and he knows it [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's not just from the money aspect, but to see where I rank among some of the top guys in the league -- defensive ends, outside linebackers, I rate them in one category. We all want to be the best. That's why I put in the work in the offseason. So I come in with a chip on my shoulder."'

Marker Bills' Wood feeling 'close to a hundred percent' in return from broken leg [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The rehabilitation isn't over, but the hardest parts are behind him. Now it's just a matter of reaching a point where there are no limitations -- where he doesn't have to take a day off from practice, as he did last week.'

Marker Jerry Sullivan: Doug Whaley left some dubious 'gifts' behind [1:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Maybe someone should have asked him about the gift of tight end Charles Clay, one of many huge contracts that were handed out during Whaley's time and continue to bloat the Bills' salary structure. McDermott admitted Thursday that he was concerned about Clay's lingering knee issues, and said they're "managing" the situation moving forward.'

Marker Bills Notebook: Concern over Charles Clay's knee injury, LB Gerald Hodges signs, Terrance Gray [1:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We are concerned with Charles' knee situation," McDermott told reporters Thursday before the Bills took the field for an OTA workout. "It's something we have to manage moving forward in order to have him on the field for us, which is important moving forward. He's a weapon for us."'

Marker Buffalo Bills sign WR Streater and LB Hodges, release Kouandjio [1:55 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Hodges, meanwhile, instantly upgrades Buffalo’s linebacker corps.'

Marker Buffalo Bills sign linebacker Gerald Hodges to one-year deal [1:54 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'Buffalo's newest linebacker has some familiarity with Leslie Frazier, the team's defensive coordinator. Frazier was the Minnesota Vikings' head coach when the team selected Hodges in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft.'

Marker Bills RB LeSean McCoy explains why Buffalo is feeling like home [1:53 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"It's a big difference," McCoy said. "Big difference. Hanging around Buffalo, there's time where I hang out on the weekends here. Before, every chance I got I tried to leave and get out of here. Even just family members coming up. You go from a place where you're always there to somewhere else, you have to adjust and adapt. I've done that. This is like home to me."'

Marker Buffalo Bills OTAs 2017: Concern over Charles Clay and 10 takeaways from Week 2 [1:52 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'Sean McDermott said the Bills are "concerned" about tight end Charles Clay's lingering knee issues that have plagued him going back to his days with the Dolphins. McDermott said the injury is one the team will manage week-to-week because Clay is a weapon the team needs in the passing game.'

Marker 5 observations from the Buffalo Bills OTAs on Thursday [1:51 AM]
Batavia Daily News reports: 'Not a good outlook for Cardale: The Bills second-year QB shuffled in-and-out of second-team reps with TJ Yates last week, but Yates was the clear-cut second-stringer on Thursday. Jones missed receivers multiple times during team drills, but did score a touchdown during two-minute drill work. Yates didn’t do anything spectacular, but didn’t stand out in a bad way either.'

Marker Former Penn State LB Gerald Hodges has a new NFL home [1:50 AM]
Harrisburg Patriot News reports: 'Hodges reportedly visited many franchises before making his decision. His connection to Buffalo is via its defensive coordinator, Leslie Frazier, who was the Minnesota Vikings' head coach during Hodges' rookie year there.'

Marker Bills sign linebacker Hodges, release cornerback Gaines [1:49 AM]
AP reports: 'Hodges is going into his fifth season after being drafted in 2013 by the Minnesota Vikings. He played two-plus seasons with Minnesota before joining the 49ers. He had 83 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble last year.'

Marker Bills sign LB Hodges [1:48 AM]
The Sports Xchange reports: 'Hodges, 26, is coming off the most productive season in his four-year NFL career. He was a starting inside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers in their 3-4 front in 2016. He compiled 83 tackles, two pass breakups, two interceptions and a forced fumble in 15 appearances (12 starts)'

Marker Key OTA Battle: Bills hope WR Jones can step right in opposite Watkins [1:47 AM]
The Sports Xchange reports: 'Sammy Watkins is the No. 1 receiver on the roster, but there's no way around the fact that Watkins has been somewhat of a disappointment for the Bills. They traded up in the first round in 2014 to pick him up, a move that, in hindsight, was terrible for three reasons...'.

Marker Part of Bills’ Marcell Dareus will always be in Haiti [1:46 AM]
ESPN reports: '“Hope for Haiti was closer to my heart because of what all they do,” Dareus said. “It was more than just about my money. I wanted to see firsthand what they were doing, and they welcomed me on board.”'

Marker Bills sign linebacker Hodges [1:45 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'WGR's Sal Capaccio profiled Hodges back in April, and said that he is considered as a very good coverage linebacker. Hodges may be a good replacement for linebacker Zach Brown, who left this offseason to sign with the Washington Redskins. Sal says that Hodges has a similar frame to Brown, standing at 6’ 1” and 243-pounds.'

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