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Buffalo Bills News - June 14, 2015

Marker Rex Ryan cancels Buffalo Bills final practice of OTAs for trip to Airsoft range [1:56 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Ryan is delivering on his reputation of being a players' coach so far. The Bills will be back on the practice field Tuesday when they hold the first of three mandatory minicamp practices.'

Marker Birmingham native Marcell Dareus holds free football clinic [1:55 AM]
WRBC-TV reports: 'Sure, kids get to hear tips from a pro and sharpen their skills on the field. But Darues doesn't consider the event a win unless the players go home with something more. "Just inspire the kids to work a little harder. It's just really inspiring to me," said Dareus.'

Marker 5 things to look for at mandatory minicamp [1:54 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'This was expected to be a work in progress. With everyone learning a new scheme the players have been primarily focused on the execution of their individual assignments during the installation process. Working with three different quarterbacks, who are rotating time under center with the first unit, has also lengthened the time it might take for the receivers and tight ends to develop chemistry with any one of the signal callers.'

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June 13, 2015

Marker Lack of cap puts a dent in spending [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Keep in mind, the Bills are planning to sign defensive tackle Marcell Dareus to a massive contract extension sometime soon, and would need to rework at least one other contract (probably the one belonging to end Mario Williams) to make that happen. More contract maneuvering and perhaps a big-money cut or two are expected to happen between now and the start of the season, but none figures to be done to make cap room for a guard where they are feeling they’ve made an upgrade with third-round draft pick John Miller and free-agent signee Richie Incognito.'

Marker Should Buffalo Bills make run at former Eagles guard Evan Mathis? [1:58 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'There's also the financial issue. Mathis was due to make $5.5 million this season, and while he may not be able to command that type of salary, he won't come cheap. According to Spotrac.com, the Bills have a little over $7 million in space for 2015, so they could make it work. However, if Mathis is hoping for a multi-year contract, things could get complicated. Buffalo has a lot of expiring contracts and can't afford to commit any more money to their 2016 salary cap than it already has. Does Mathis think the Bills are enough of a contender to take a one-year deal? Are the Bills willing to pay him enough to go for it in 2015?'

Marker Local bank, Bills Alumni Foundation tackle prostate cancer with ‘Cure the Blue’ [1:57 AM]
Dunkirk Observer reports: '"Booker Edgerson is the power behind this," Ed Rutkowski, the alumni foundation president, said. "For years, we've thought about doing something for prostate cancer. That's the disease for men. The NFL has done it for women with breast cancer, so we're trying to convince the NFL to give the same kind of dedication and support for prostate cancer that they've done for breast cancer with women."'

Marker Marv Levy speaks at Van Miller tourney [1:56 AM]
Dunkirk Observer reports: '"There wasn't a brighter guy I've known than Van Miller," Levy said. "The last time I talked to him his voice wasn't as strong and he wasn't as mobile as he was before. But he still had that great sense of humor and he was still very warm-hearted, liked by everybody he knew and that includes me."'

Marker Behind Clay, Bills have major TE battle [1:55 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The Bills have six tight ends on the current 90-man roster. Aside from Clay there’s third-year veterans Chris Gragg and MarQueis Gray, rookies Nick O’Leary and Clay Burton, and former Canisius basketball player Chris Manhertz, who’s officially listed as a second-year player because he signed before last season ended, but has never actually played organized football before.'

Marker 6 players under the radar going into minicamp [1:54 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '“I think Powell is the one that jumps out to me on defense,” Ryan answered immediately. “He had four interceptions through these camps and you can ignore it you want, but he makes plays. He’s smart.”'

June 12, 2015

Marker Bills’ Gray fights for a role at tight end [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“I was grateful just to have a chance to play on offense,” Gray said. “Since I had been in the NFL, I’d been doing a lot of special teams, so to get that chance to showcase what I can do on offense was really a blessing for me.”'

Marker Brains just as important as brawn for Bills' John Miller [1:58 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"He came in for a visit and he kind of blew us away when we got him on the board and our coaches were talking to him," Ryan said. "Mentally it's a big thing and a big challenge in this when you come from college to the NFL, especially as an offensive lineman. I think this young man seems to have the aptitude for it and that's going to allow him to showcase his physical talents, so we're excited about that."'

Marker Similar QB battles to play out in Bills-Browns joint practices [1:57 AM]
Erie Times News reports: 'The third week of the preseason typically is the dress rehearsal for the regular season, with starters receiving their most extensive playing time of the preseason. That means the amount of work Cleveland's Johnny Manziel and Buffalo's EJ Manuel receive in the joint practices should be a good indicator of where each quarterback stands.'

Marker At 22, linebacker Brown set to take command of Bills defense [1:56 AM]
AP reports: '"Oh, gawd, I didn't realize he was 22. I'm a little nervous," the Bills new coach said. "But no. He certainly has more of, I don't know if mature is the right word. But he's been around the game awhile."'

Marker Rex warns Bills that jobs will be on line at training camp [1:55 AM]
The Sports Xchange reports: '"Although there's been some rough spots, it seems like we're on pace. I'm happy with the conditioning of our players, it seems they're all in shape, which is important when you hit minicamp. After that, they're on their own, so I think we have a pretty good start with that."'

Marker Source: Bills inquiring about Mathis [1:54 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Mathis, an 11-year veteran, was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night after a contract dispute. A 2005 third-round pick by the Carolina Panthers, Mathis has skipped all of the Eagles voluntary OTAs this offseason.'

Marker Ryan leaves door open for QB race to go til week 1 [1:53 AM]
WGR-AM reports: '“I don’t think you back yourself into it. If I give you a date, and we come back around in week two (of the preseason) and there’s no starting quarterback, ‘well, you said there would be a starting quarterback.’ “I think I’ve learned you just let that thing sit there.”'

June 11, 2015

Marker Bills’ Lawson makes up for lost time [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“But when we started the OTAs, he came back and I said, ‘Woof! The guy’s impressive,’” Ryan said Wednesday, after the Bills’ next-to-last scheduled OTA session. “Now, it shouldn’t surprise me. I think his test score coming out” of North Carolina State before the San Francisco 49ers made him a first-round draft pick in 2006 “was the second-highest that I can remember for a defensive player next to Eric Smith, who’s one of our coaches now,” working as a special teams assistant. “He’s really a sharp guy.'

Marker Ryan to let QB competition play out [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“I don’t think we’ll see anything during minicamp that will say, ‘hey, this guy is our starter.’ That’s not going to happen,” Ryan said. “We’re going to keep that competition going and at least give guys opportunities when it’s time for football. But as far as being here, I feel good. I feel great about this team. I think there is going to be some competition at that position, and I think we have confident players at that position. But for us to say this guy’s the starter, that’s not going to happen.”'

Marker No LeBron in Bills QB race [1:57 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"It's safe to say we won't have LeBron at quarterback,'' Ryan said. "We may have a LeBron at defensive tackle and at defensive end, but we won't have him at quarterback.''

Marker Buffalo Bills CB Nickell Robey prefers Rex Ryan's defense to Jim Schwartz's [1:56 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: '"I think it's better," Robey said. "Last year, I was more just in coverage basically. Softer coverage, too. I didn't get to do everything I wanted to do as far as being aggressive and being able to play like I really like to play. This year, Rex allows me to do that."'

Marker Rex Ryan states the obvious, says Buffalo Bills don't have LeBron at quarterback [1:55 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Ryan insists he's not worried about the quarterback position, and the fact that he's willing to joke about it supports his words. Right now, it's the most glaring issue facing his team, and it's an issue he's familiar with from his time in New York. The only thing the Bills know at this point is that it's a long way from being settled.'

Marker Chris Williams, Percy Harvin among those absent from Buffalo Bills OTAs Wednesday [1:54 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Harvin missed practice last week but was expected to be back in town this week, according to wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal.'

Marker Matt Cassel misses the mark, and 5 observations from Buffalo Bills OTAs [1:53 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: '"I don't think we're gonna see anything in the new few days, through the mandatory camp, that will say, 'Hey, this guy is clearly our starter and all that,'" Ryan said. "That's not going to happen. We're gonna keep that competition going and at least give guys opportunities when it's tackle football."'

Marker Why Chip Kelly lost faith in LeSean McCoy [1:52 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'What Kelly won't say, because he's smart enough not to create the kind of animosity McCoy did when he implied his ex-coach is a racist, is that he could no longer trust McCoy. Not just to hit the holes quickly, but to run with the same abandon he did in 2013 when he was out to prove he was the best running back in the world. (Remember all that back and forth with Adrian Peterson?)'

Marker Bills GM Whaley: Chris Williams recovering from back surgery [1:51 AM]
AP reports: 'Whaley said the team's medical staff has been monitoring Williams' progress, but provided no expectation of when he could begin practicing.'

Marker Ryan likes what he's seen from Bills linebacker depth [1:50 AM]
The Sports Xchange reports: '"Powell is the one that jumps out to me on defense," Ryan said Wednesday. "He's had four interceptions through these camps, and you can ignore it if you want, but he makes plays. He's smart, I know the history, former quarterback, bounced around, outside linebacker, defensive end, but he seems to have found a home at inside linebacker and I've been really happy with him."'

Marker Bills Wednesday OTA notes and video [1:49 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'There continues to be a very good battle going on for the backup tight end spots behind Charles Clay. There are five TEs on the roster and, after Clay, each of the other four are getting reps and trying to impress. Nick O’Leary, Clay Burton, MarQueis Gray, and Chris Gragg all saw action with the first and second team units on a rotational basis. Rex Ryan agreed with my assessment of the situation after practice saying, “You’re right. It is a good battle. They’re each a little different in the physical attributes that they bring, but all of them have a shot (to make the roster).”'

Marker OTA Observations (6/10) [1:48 AM]
WKBW-TV reports: 'Of the other quarterbacks, EJ Manuel had the best day of the bunch, while Matt Simms was getting worked in a bit more after having one week on the job. As for the most interesting man at One Bills Drive, Tyrod Taylor, Wednesday was merely a ‘meh’ day for him.'

Marker 6 OTA Observations - Week 3 [1:47 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'With the third week of OTA practices coming to a close this week there is still no sign of a clear front runner in the quarterback competition. Each of the signal callers have had their moments and their struggles, but no one has separated themselves from the other two when it’s come to overall performance.'

Marker Mario Williams is fourth Bills DL on NFL's Top 100 [1:46 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: ''Williams, who set a career high in sacks last season with 14.5, has been on the list before, but he now joins fellow defensive linemen Kyle Williams (#72), Jerry Hughes (#63) and Marcell Dareus (#53) who also made appearances on the list this year.'

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