Why were the Buffalo Bills scouting a Baylor-Texas basketball game? [1:54 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'Gathers has run into some trouble off the court. He was arrested for shoplifting at a Wal Mart last June, but he's stayed out of trouble since then. Gathers, who hasn't played football since middle school, told ESPN that he's been working on his routes and has a pair of cleats ready.'
Buffalo Bills linebacker Tony Steward loses fiancée Brittany Burns to cancer [1:53 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'Burns, a former Clemson rower, was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer on Dec. 9. A few days later, she and Steward got engaged.'
Free agent QBs include familiar names to Bills' coaches [1:52 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Manuel almost definitely won’t be in Buffalo beyond next season, and there’s a chance he could be moved or released before then.'
Norwood looking forward to roasting former teammate [1:51 AM]
WGR-AM reports: '"Whenever my name is interjected in conversation in Buffalo, things are a bit solemn, pretty serious," Norwood said. "This is an opportunity to lighten up and maybe have a little fun, join in and see a few people. It will be good to see Andre up there and have a little fun."'
Monos: Bills not looking for specific fit on defense [1:50 AM]
WGR-AM reports: '“We’re fortunate enough defensively with Rex, he’s gonna use the guy to his strengths. He plays so many multiple looks, so anybody we take he’ll be able to fit him in,” Monos told the Howard Simon Show. “We don’t have specifics that we’re looking for a certain guy that he’ll fit this 3-4 defense, or he’ll fit a 4-3. We just know ‘this is what he can do well,’ and use him like that.”'
Fiancée of Bills player loses battle with cancer [1:49 AM]
WKBW-TV reports: 'Burns got engaged to Steward last year, and started the Fight Like a Girl campaign, which can be found here, to raise money for women battling ovarian cancer. At the time of this post, the campaign had raised $2,421 towards the cause.'
Jen Welter's advice to Bills' coach Kathryn Smith: 'Be authentic' [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“My biggest hope for her is they let her be great where she’s great," Smith said at the Senior Bowl last week. "Don’t try to make her something that she’s not. If they made me coach a quarterback, I would suck. I would be horrible. Right? I don’t know anything about being a great quarterback. I was a linebacker. If you made me someone who yelled at players as a disciplinarian, that’s not going to work either. They would flick me aside and say, ‘What is this little woman doing?’ You have to be authentic.'
Panthers WR Jerricho Cotchery feels your pain long-suffering Bills fans [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“You know, I grew up a Buffalo fan. A Buffalo Bills fan," Cotchery said. "We don’t have any professional teams in Alabama. So I had to pick a team and Buffalo was my team growing up. I was born in ’82 and became a fan when I was 7. That’s when they started the run.”'
Broncos DE Antonio Smith believes former teammate Mario Williams can still 'dominate' [1:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Definitely. Definitely," Smith said. "You still have Julius Peppers having multiple sack years. You know? Those are two guys I put in the same category. I call them anomalies. Men like them two don't come around too often. Three-hundred-pound men who you can't even tell are 300 pounds — all muscle, speed and power."'
Former LB Bart Scott on Bills HC Rex Ryan: 'He’s one of the best defensive minds in the g [1:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"One thing I know about Rex Ryan is he knows how to coach defense," Scott said. "I’m confident saying he’s one of the best defensive minds in the game today. So I don’t question his ability to coach and expire. Listen. The difference between the Buffalo Bills this year and Rex’s first year with the Jets is that he brought people over who could help deliver his message in the locker room. He didn’t bring a Jim Leonard over. He didn’t bring a Marques Douglas. He didn’t bring myself over.'
Wide right: 25 years later [1:55 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“I don’t look back on those years and think, ‘Oh, those are the four years we lost the Super Bowl,’” he said. “If you’re a fan of a team, what do you want them to do? You want them to win. Think about those four years, we had an awful lot of excitement being fans of the Buffalo Bills. Sure, we lost four Super Bowls, but there wasn’t any other team that was winning more than we were. Think about all those games we won.”'
Here's hoping Bills' Smith follows Linda Bogdan's lead [1:54 AM]
Rochester Business Journal reports: 'Clearly, there will be gender-related challenges along the way, but hopefully, she’ll meet less resistance than did Bogdan. In a time when women enjoyed fewer opportunities, she had to deal with sexism, as well as charges of nepotism. Bogdan understood that being the boss’ daughter afforded her an opportunity she otherwise might not have had. “It has enabled me to get my foot in the door,” she said. “And because I’m the owner’s daughter, I know people at least have to listen to my opinion.”'
Bills scouting Baylor hoops player [1:53 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Rico Gathers is a 6-8, 275 pound senior forward on the Bears basketball team. He was an AP Honorable-Mention All-American last season as well as being named First Team All Big-12. He’s viewed most likely as a defensive end, or possibly a tight end if he were to get a shot at professional football.'
Clay looks for an improvement on offense in 2016 [1:52 AM]
WGR-AM reports: '"I feel there's a lot of things we could do better," Clay said. "The biggest thing is executing more consistently. I feel like we have a lot of guys, a lot of weapons and plays to be the top offense in the league which is our goal. I feel like, at times, we definitely looked like the number one offense and other times we didn't. Going forward, if we could execute on a more consistent basis, that would help."'
Versatile OGs available if Bills add depth or have to replace Incognito [1:51 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Bills guard Richie Incognito is regarded by many to be the best unrestricted free agent OG available. So, if they were to re-sign him, they’d essentially be landing the number-one player at the position. Or at least close to it. The Bills have a very good shot at retaining Incognito. Both sides seem to want to work something out that will keep him in Buffalo for a couple more years. But what if they don’t? What if the 32-year old Incognito signs with another team? Here are some possible names that could be fits for the Bills in that case, or maybe even for depth purposes if he stays.'
16 quarterbacks to know for Bills, Part 1 [1:50 AM]
WKBW-TV reports: 'The talk of the NFL Draft over the past two weeks, North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz had the stage basically all to himself during last week’s Senior Bowl. Hailing from a the Division FCS champions, Wentz is a prospect that is worth all the buzz from the past week.'
Rookie wall was real for Ronald Darby [1:49 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '“About Week 10, Week 11 really, that’s when my body started feeling different,” said Darby, who was in Mobile last week at the Senior Bowl to support former high school teammate Tayvon Young. “I felt like I didn’t have that same twitch that I normally have. It’s natural. Everybody goes through it.”'
Tyrod Taylor throws three interceptions in Pro Bowl debut [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Taylor entered the game, which was held at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, in the third quarter. He overthrew his intended receiver on his second pass of the game, leading to an easy interception for Vikings safety Harrison Smith. On his next play, Taylor threw deep down the left sideline intended for Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., but the ball was picked off by his Giants teammate, cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.'
Ten Senior Bowl Week Takeaways: GM's torn on Bills' direction, Wentz, pass rushers [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills? They’re somewhere in-between after extending Doug Whaley’s contract as general manager. In chatting with various personnel men, opinions on the Bills are all over.'
Is cornerback a draft priority, would 'Baby Gronk' fit, Terrell Owens' Hall of Fame c [1:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills certainly need depth behind Charles Clay at tight end, and if the youngest Gronkowski turns out to be a solid blocker, he could carve out a role in the NFL.'
Buffalo Bills' quarterback Tyrod Taylor throws three interceptions in 2016 Pro Bowl [1:56 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'Taylor, who made the Pro Bowl as an alternate after five of the six quarterbacks voted to the game decided not to go, threw three interceptions on 14 passes while playing for Jerry Rice's team. Taylor's three interceptions were half of his total interception count from the 2015 season. He finished the game 8-for-14 passing for 120 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions and 15 yards rushing. The touchdown was a thing of beauty.'
Tyrod Taylor's team comes up short in Pro Bowl [1:55 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The game's MVP was Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who went 8-for-12 with three touchdowns in the 49-27 win for Team Irvin.'
Free agent WR class is thin, but Bills may have a match [1:54 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Whaley and Director of Player Personnel Jim Monos both told WGR recently that they’d like to have a bona fide numbed-two wideout opposite Sammy Watkins. This WR free agent class isn’t very good, compared to the talent at other positions. Alshon Jeffery (Bears) is cleary the top player at the position on the market. He'll be to expensive for the Bills to consider, which is why I didn't include him on the list of possible fits. I'm also assuming Travis Benjamin (Browns) will get paid as a number-one WR from some team, so didn't include him, either. But there are some other intriguing players.'
16 offensive tackles to know for Bills, Part 4 [1:53 AM]
WKBW-TV reports: ' Just a few months older than Laremy Tunsil, Ronnie Stanley also is the prototype for the position. He’s big, long, technically trained, and athletic enough to stay with any and all defenders. He mirrors his opponent well, can drive through defenders in the run game, and also fires off the snap to get position. If there are some critiques that separate Tunsil from him, it’s that he bends at the waist occasionally, and he’s not fully advanced on dealing with the bull rush just yet. Even with that, Stanley is still a top 10-15 selection in this year’s draft.'
Hey, Rex, send us a postcard [1:36 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'There must have been a good reason for Ryan to be sipping mai tais in Honolulu, instead of evaluating players in Alabama. Maybe he was there to cheer for Tyrod Taylor, or to convince guard Richie Incognito to give the Bills a hometown discount in free agency.'
Lack of faith in Robert Woods, Charles Clay's contract and new stadium talk [1:35 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Woods' frustration was evident during the season when he referred to himself as a "blocking receiver," but even in a down year, his numbers were comparable to his first two seasons in the league. It's understandable that the Bills would want more out of their No. 2 receiver opposite Sammy Watkins, but as it stands, Woods is their best option in that role. Until they find a better one, it doesn't make much sense why they're so public about their desire to do so.'
Rock Island's Lingner was part of four Super Bowls with Bills [1:34 AM]
Quad City Times reports: 'Lingner lived in Buffalo for many years after his career was over but now works for Whole Foods in Minneapolis. He had a heart-related scare of his own about four years ago when he was discovered to have an 80-percent blockage in an artery. He has since adopted a vegan diet and lost 45 to 50 pounds, getting down to his old Alleman playing weight of 205 pounds.'
16 offensive tackles to know for Bills, Part 3 [1:33 AM]
WKBW-TV reports: 'There isn’t much to dislike about Laremy Tunsil, who appears to be as good of a college prospect as you’ll find in this year’s draft.'
BYU’s Kaufusi has a football IQ that could benefit Bills [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Sure, Kaufusi’s size makes him stand out. The long-limbed end had 64 tackles (20 for loss) with 11 sacks and four blocked kicks last season and he played on BYU’s basketball team in the 2012-13 season, too. But it’s his intellect that’ll appeal most to Buffalo. In Bronco Mendenhall’s defense, Kaufusi was used up, down, on the three technique, the five technique. He blitzed from middle linebacker; he rushed off the edge.'
Ranking the Bills' top eight draft needs, position by position [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Technically, Mario Williams is still a member of the team, but it's only a matter of time until he's sent on his way. That will open a big hole on Buffalo's defensive line. Ideally, the player who replaces Williams will be able to both provide a pass rush and be stout against the run. Those types of players are valuable commodities, which is why it would make sense if the Bills were to use their first-round draft pick, No. 19 overall, on the position.'
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