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Buffalo Bills News - July 10, 2014

Marker Jim Kelly gets emotional thanking Buffalo community during speech to campers [1:58 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'But before he could begin to acknowledge all of the people who have helped him and encouraged him over the last year, he began to fight back tears. Kelly paused for a few seconds to collect himself as the gym at Sweet Home High School fell silent. He didn't need to say a word before the gym erupted in applause again.'

Marker Bills top 20 talents: No. 15 - Mike Williams [1:57 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Essentially on a one-year pact to stay on his best behavior and follow team protocol, the Bills can walk away from Williams if he doesn't hold up that end of the bargain or if he fails to make the type of impact they believe he can. The role for Williams still must be defined, but on paper he figures to come in on three wdie receiver sets as one of the outside players, allowing either Sammy Watkins or Robert Woods to be able to play the slot. If he can provide a red zone presence it will go miles for EJ Manuel's progress. But since his role will likely be limited to that barring an injury, he falls a bit shorter than others on the list despite his raw skills and prior success.'

Marker Bills top 20 talents: No. 16 - Brandon Spikes [1:56 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Spikes signed only a one-year contract with the team, and it screams as a “prove it” deal after the drama that unfolded in New England at the end of the 2013 season. The linebacker will likely be fully motivated to prove himself playing only on a one-year pact, and can provide the stability against the run when he’s in there. However, the Bills should not attempt to use him too much even though Kiko Alonso is likely lost for the season. Spikes is very good against the run, but his game is not as a normal three-down linebacker. The expectation is that he’ll be on the sidelines on those obvious passing downs.'

Marker Bills camp primer: Linebacker [1:55 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Jimmy Gaines, Darrin Kitchens, Nathan Williams - The hometown Gaines will likely be the third-string strongside linebacker backing up both Rivers and Johnson. Kitchens is an undersized player that likely slots in on the weakside, meanwhile Williams will likely be the third-team middle linebacker. To have any shot, the trio will have to really stand out on special teams. Among the three, Gaines probably has the best chance (although remote) to stick, while Kitchens has the biggest mountain to climb.'

Marker 10 things to know about Bills camp at St. John Fisher [1:54 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Since moving to the picturesque campus of St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, NY in 2000, Bills training camp has been widely regarded as one of the best in the NFL for both players and fans.'

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July 9, 2014

Marker Where should the Bills build a new stadium? [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo News asked several developers, as well as one of the area’s leading preservationists, to offer ideas on where a new stadium ought to go. Not surprisingly, The News found plenty of ideas and little consensus.'

Marker Can EJ Manuel take the next step for the Buffalo Bills in 2014? [1:58 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'If Manuel doesn't improve in 2014, or doesn't improve at the rate the Bills expect, the team will be in a tough spot. Whaley has invested quite a bit of draft resources to make sure Manuel has every chance to succeed, and if his development doesn't take a noticeable step forward this season, the Bills will enter the offseason with unanswered questions about the most important position on the football field.'

Marker Fans have Buffalo Bills-themed wedding complete with C.J. Spiller autographed ball [1:57 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Bills fan Tom Reid had himself a Bills-themed wedding this weekend and shared some pictures on Twitter. The autographed C.J. Spiller football was the icing on the cake for these newlyweds.'

Marker Bills top 20 talents: No. 17 - Manny Lawson [1:56 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Had Lawson continued to be in Mike Pettine's defense for the upcoming season, he likely would have been higher on this list. However, now he is a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme. It's a role that he hasn't done well with, and one that doesn't exactly fit his skill set or body type.'

Marker Bills top 20 talents: No. 18 - EJ Manuel [1:55 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'It’s hard to predict what Manuel might do in 2014 from a statistical perspective. The Bills will likely utilize a run-heavy approach while also giving him more of a chance to diagnose defenses than he had in 2013. Now that he’s acclimated to the NFL game, Manuel will have a better season than he did in 2013 — it’s just a natural progression for most young quarterbacks in the game. The bigger question that needs to be answered will be if Manuel’s progress as a player will match up with where the Bills want him to be.'

Marker Bills camp primer: Wide Receiver [1:54 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'With likely six spots up for grabs, wide receiver is usually one of the more compelling positions to watch as training camp rolls along. How does the current roster shake out, and who needs to fight? That's the next destination of the camp primer series.'

Marker How much will the run defense improve? [1:53 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'There are many similarities in the defense that Schwartz intends to run and that of Mike Pettine from last season. It is called a 4-3 defense instead of a 3-4, but it will still be operating primarily as a one-gap defense with a focus on getting to the quarterback with the front four. What Schwartz’s new defense does, according to Brandon Spikes, is allow players to roam free, make plays, and not think so much.'

Marker Jim Kelly recovering, excited to attend his annual camp [1:52 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '“I was nervous I wasn't going to make it, but I’m feeling better and will be there every day,” Kelly said.'

July 8, 2014

Marker Sabres moves, Kiko injury vex Buffalo’s greatest sports fan [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“Fans need to stop rationalizing, saying they can get by without Kiko. The kid played EVERY defensive snap last year! People are dreaming if they think Preston Brown can step right in as a rookie because he looked good in OTAs.”'

Marker Buffalo Bills desperate to end playoff drought [1:58 AM]
Yahoo! Sports reports: 'To go 14 years without a playoff berth in this era means you have to make mistake after mistake after mistake. The Bills have done just that.'

Marker Bills top 20 talents: Number 20 [1:57 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'onsidering how his career started off in Dallas and San Diego, Chandler has made a remarkable comeback to become the type of productive player he is after essentially being written off by most.'

Marker Bills top 20 talents: Number 19 [1:56 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'If this were a list that ranks raw talent only and which players have the most, McKelvin and his effortless athleticism would rank somewhere in the top 10. However, when you mix in how long he’s been in the league along with his varying levels of play, it knocks him down a few pegs.'

Marker Bills camp primer: Defensive End [1:55 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Bryan Johnson - The lone undrafted free agent of the group, Johnson (6-foot-4, 250-pounds) is built more like Hughes and Lawson. He’ll likely get looks on the right side of the defensive line as more of a pass rushing specialist, but the odds of him making the roster aren’t great.'

Marker Who are the training camp sleepers? [1:54 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Not much is expected from them by fans heading into camp. Their names are often buried deep on the depth chart, but coaches usually know what under the radar players have the chance to stand out and earn some notice in training camp when the onlookers in the stands might least expect it. Here now is a rundown of some of the names you should keep an eye on come training camp and why as we list the top sleepers for the Bills.'

July 7, 2014

Marker Younger fans have a role in keeping the Bills in WNY [10:14 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The goal of creating an innovative financing mechanism to boost the team’s Buffalo viability in exchange for simply guaranteeing to keep the team in Buffalo is a huge step toward giving Bills fans something to be proud of for the future.'

Marker Other cash-flush billionaires 'in the mix' and might bid on Bills [1:59 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"I know that there are very financially capable prospective bidders who are looking at this," Ganis said of the Bills sale, in a telephone interview from Chicago. "It is far broader than the names the media have identified. I suspect they won't be identified publicly unless they are successful."'

Marker No. 26 Bills need a star to rise after losing Alonso [1:58 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'The Bills believed Alonso was going to be even more productive this season with his move to weakside linebacker, thus freeing him up to be what Whaley called a "seek-and-destroy," player. The team will no longer have that presence this season and can only hope Alonso returns to form in 2015 and beyond.'

Marker 5 additions to watch at camp [1:57 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Graham impressed early in the spring with the opportunity to work with the first team defensive unit with starting LCB Leodis McKelvin limited due to offseason hip surgery. The veteran corner displayed sharp instincts and a veteran savvy in defending receivers taller and/or faster than him. Offering versatility to play on the boundary or inside it will bear watching to see just where the defensive staff believes Graham will fit best.'

July 6, 2014

Marker Keep the Bills in Buffalo by tying stadium deal to economic development [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills have a long, proud history and a fan base that has remained loyal through the years. The next owner should understand the unique character of the city and commit to creating a sports infrastructure – team and stadium – that supports regional economic development and returns the Bills and Buffalo to their glory days.'

Marker Traditions disappear if Bills leave [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'These were traditions that remained from the first pass my dad threw in the NFL, until the day he hung up his cleats. To this day, I can’t imagine tailgating anywhere else or sitting anywhere other than where our family sat when daddy played. It’s tradition. And it matters. For the die-hard Bills fans, Ralph Wilson Stadium is our second home. The place where deeply-held and long-lasting memories are made among family, friends and fans. This is our team, our home, our tradition. If they take our team, they’ll take our traditions.'

Marker Which rookies will contribute early? [1:57 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The roster is considerably deeper now with the addition of some veterans in free agency and via trade, but with Sammy Watkins, Preston Brown, Cyrus Kouandjio, and Ross Cockrell in the fold, which rookies stand a good chance of helping the Bills on the field sooner rather than later?'

July 5, 2014

Marker John Murphy's camp memories [1:59 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '“The best way to market a pro football team,” Mr. Wilson said, “is to win.” In his mind, it was all very simple.'

July 4, 2014

Marker Will C.J. Spiller, Sammy Watkins provide a jolt for Bills' return game? [3:37 PM]
Anderson Independent Mail reports: 'According to the Bills' official webite, Spiller "was a dynamic return man in his college days at Clemson and saw some return work early in his career with the Bills. Now that opportunity may resurface. Spiller was returning kicks in practice in the spring, and at least for now it appears he’s part of the competition. He hasn’t returned a kick or punt for the Bills since 2011, but perhaps with more depth at running back Buffalo is more willing to put Spiller out there in the hopes that his game breaking ability can provide a shot in the arm to the kick return unit."'

Marker Kelly’s colleagues awed by his spirit, strength [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“Just watching how he’s handled the last 10 years teaches you that fame and fortune don’t insulate you from problems in life and don’t keep you from dealing with things in a really spiritually sophisticated way. “He definitely has shown me a courage and faith that are really powerful. I’m grateful to him.”'

Marker Potential buyers get access to Bills’ financial books [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'A “virtual data room” requires a specialized password for prospective buyers, who have signed a non-disclosure agreement. From there, they can examine the Bills’ confidential finances (revenues, assets, liabilities, et al) used to determine how much to bid on the team.'

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