Inside The Bills

JMS on the Road at Shooters Bar & Grill 8/20

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 20, 2014 – 10:47 pm

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We took the show on the road for tonight’s show, right down the street to Shooters Sports Bar & Grill in Fairport. http://www.shootersny.com/ A good turnout gave us a chance to connect with the fans and get their opinions and questions for this year’s Bills team. We had plenty of visitors throughout the night.

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Our first guest was defensive end Jerry Hughes. Hughes had a breakout year last season, his first as a Bill after being traded from Indianapolis. He talked about how he’s been put in a position to make plays and “create havoc.” He said coming to Buffalo for him is not considered a fresh start.

Jerry Hughes

 

“I feel like it was a start, honestly. I really didn’t get an opportunity to get on the field as much as I would have liked to in Indy, but last year I felt like it was the start to be completely honest…I just really wanted to get on the field and I know they told me I was going to get the opportunity to do so. When I saw my opportunities, I have to make the most of them.

 

 

Hughes also talked about the success as a whole for the defensive. He gave a lot of credit to a young but talented defensive backfield who force quarterbacks to look down to their second and third reads, which in-turn gives players like Hughes and the rest of the defensive line more time to apply pressure on the QB.

 

 

At the top of the hour we were joined on-site by offensive line coach Pat Morris. There has been shuffling along the offensive front during training camp and with the season opener now just two weeks away, Morris is confident they will solidify the o-line when they travel to Chicago.

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“You want to go in and you want to feel confident that you have the best five guys that have worked and are competitors, that are tough, will go out there and protect the quarterback, and run the football. That’s the key, just because someone has been next to somebody and there’s a better guy on the bench, you can’t do that to yourself. It’s not fair to the team and I think that’s what we’re looking at.”

 

 

Morris also commented on the depth of the offensive line and mentioned specifically the added size they brought in during the offseason, including seventh round pick Seantrel Henderson who Morris said “has the desire and the love for football.”

 

 

Finally, with the Bills close to approaching their home debut we were joined on the line by Chief Marketing Officer Marc Honan. Honan talked about the recent renovations to Ralph Wilson Stadium. He mentioned the new concession stands and the “super gates” to allow quicker and more efficient entry into the stadium. One of the more noticeable projects taking place deals with the three new scoreboards, which will feature more information from around the league and plenty of highlights. He also mentioned the brand new Bills Store, which is the focal point as you enter Ralph Wilson Stadium.

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To hear more from Honan and the rest of The John Murphy Show, click below.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2014 – 8:13 pm

Here’s a rundown of where you can find Bills players and coaches on the local radio airwaves in Buffalo an Rochester.

WCMF, Break room 96.5 FM
o 7:20 am – Aaron Williams

Kiss 98.5, Janet and Nick
o 7:30 am – EJ Manuel

The Fan 1270, Rich Gaenzler
o 1:40 pm – Mike Williams


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Jim Kelly health update

Posted by Anna Stolzenburg on August 20, 2014 – 4:11 pm

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The New York Head & Neck Institute at Lenox Hospital in Manhattan, the hospital spearheading Jim Kelly’s cancer treatments and evaluation, released this statement today:

Jim Kelly was evaluated yesterday at the New York Head & Neck Institute at Lenox Hospital in Manhattan, three months after having completed the radiation and chemotherapy protocol designed to treat his recurrent sinus cancer. Dr. Peter Constantino, Executive Director of the Institute, stated that, “The treatments so far have completely eliminated Mr. Kelly’s pain, and his level of function has essentially returned to normal. Further, on physical examination, there is no evidence of cancer.”

Over the coming week, a series of tests will be performed to determine if any further treatment will be necessary. Constantino added, “It is possible that no further treatment will be required, and the testing over the next week will define this issue.”


Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Chandler linking up with Manuel

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2014 – 1:41 pm

He missed a week of training camp action with a groin injury, but now back in the fold for almost two weeks TE Scott Chandler feels he and EJ Manuel are in sync and as ready for the regular season as they could be.

“I feel like these last two weeks have really been good for us just to be consistently out there together,” said Chandler. “We alternated knee injuries throughout our time together, but these last two weeks we’ve been able to get on the same page, look at a lot of film together and get some work in after practice.”

Chandler led the team in receptions and receiving yards last season and had four catches for 40 yards last Saturday at Pittsburgh.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills coaches have special teamers identified

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2014 – 1:09 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone was asked about the importance of the last two preseason games as it pertains to jobs on special teams. Marrone gave strong indication that the core special teamers for their squad have largely been selected.

“I think we have that group,” Marrone said. “We’ll just wait. Obviously we’re still in a process, but I feel very comfortable about the guys that we have identified right now. I think when the roster is set, and we get down to the final cuts, we’ll talk about that role for those players.”

Buffalo signed free agents like Boobie Dixon and Corey Graham to provide some veteran leadership on special teams this offseason.

 


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Safety gives Corey Graham new perspective

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2014 – 9:29 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone hinted at it as early as the spring, not long after Corey Graham was signed by the club as a free agent. He and the defensive staff wanted to get a look at the seven-year cornerback at safety. That didn’t happen however, until the final week of training camp, and Graham had put the thought out of his mind.

“I was a little surprised just like you guys of the opportunity to play safety, but it’s fun,” said Graham. “It definitely is a different look. It would be a fun transition. I don’t know how much or how serious we’re going to be about it, but it’s good to start to learn it. I kind of learned it already in the past, but it’s good to finally get out there and play a little bit.”

When asked about Graham’s prospects at the safety position head coach Doug Marrone downplayed the significant of the move. He indicated it was done to make sure Graham could handle the role in an emergency situation if there were a rash of injuries at the position on game day.

“We’re just making sure that we’re training people for game day stuff,” said Marrone. “You know, how we want to do it. If we have four safeties out there then he can play safety, he can play corner, he can do a lot of different things for us. We had to cross train. We cross trained the backers too with Preston Brown and Ty Powell (in practice).”

In his two days lining up at safety Graham has found directing the traffic defensively pre-snap to be the most challenging aspect of the job.

“That’s probably the biggest thing, telling everybody what to do and get everybody lined up,” said Graham. “The mental part of it is probably the biggest thing. Playing it is a lot easier than corner.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone: Glenn, Henderson could be special duo

Posted by Chris Brown on August 20, 2014 – 6:58 am

On Monday the Bills made a big time switch on their offensive line when Cordy Glenn was fully cleared for practice. Seantrel Henderson, who had been filling in at left tackle was flipped to right tackle where he played in college. Though head coach Doug Marrone has maintained all along that he’s still trying to find his best five linemen, he has no doubt that Glenn and Henderson are two of them.

Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 this morning on the Howard Simon show Marrone was asked about the two tackles who are currently lining up in starting roles on the left and right side. By the sound of Marrone’s responses the two tackles are likely to be fixtures at their positions.

Marrone was first asked about Cordy Glenn and how he’s looked in his return from a medical condition that kept him off the practice field for much of camp.

“He looks good, really good. I mean really good,” said Marrone. “He looks better than he did last year. He’s moving well, the term fresh legs is what people say out on the field. But he worked hard through that medical issue to make sure that his weight was down and that he was stronger. That takes a lot of discipline from his end not to blow up weight-wise and he looks good.”

When asked if he feels rookie seventh-round pick Seantrel Henderson is starting caliber in this league right now the Bills head coach didn’t hesitate.

“No doubt. No doubt. I think (I feel that way) because I’ve been around that position my whole entire life,” said Marrone. “He’s a heck of a football player. A heck of a football player. You have seen it on TV. What’s there not to like? He’s probably one of the biggest guys, he has the most muscle mass. He probably has the quickest feet along with Cordy Glenn.

“He’s a bright kid. He’s smart. His work ethic is outstanding. He’s been everything that people obviously didn’t say about him when he was coming out which is why we were able to get him in the seventh round. I think he understands that and there are periods in time when people can change and one of them is when you go from college into this league. He understands that. We have to do everything we can to not only keep him progressing on the field, but off the field. He is a very talented football player and there’s no telling how good he can be.”

The thought of Glenn and Henderson together as bookend tackles is something Marrone believes could be special for a long time.

“We have an opportunity now that if (Henderson) keeps coming the way he keeps coming to have maybe the best (tackle) tandem in the league.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills on the radio

Posted by Chris Brown on August 19, 2014 – 11:56 pm

Here’s a rundown of where you can find Bills players and coaches on the local and regional radio airwaves Wednesday morning.

  • WCMF, Break room
    • 6:30 am – Doug Marrone
    • 7:45 am – Doug Whaley
  • K-Rock CNY (Syracuse & Utica), The Show (on-site)
    • 7:00 am – Macky Macpherson
  • WGR 550, Howard Simon and Jeremy White
    • 6:15 am – Doug Marrone
    • 7:30 am – Doug Whaley
  • CBS Sports Radio, Tiki Barber
    • 7:25 am – Brandon Spikes

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Giving Fans Something to Shout About – JMS

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 19, 2014 – 10:01 pm

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At the bottom of the first hour, we were joined by tight end Lee Smith. Smith discussed the long training camp this year and how it’s helped build team chemistry and how they’ve become a “tight-knit” group because of it. He weighed in on the rest of the players in his unit and even though each of them plays the same position, he did say he’s ok with being labeled as the “blocking” tight end in the group.

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“I’ve been dreaming of playing in this league since I was a little kid. To be labeled as the blocking tight end, I take pride in that. If I can be that sixth offensive lineman and get in there and grind with those big boys, that’s something I take a lot of pride in and I enjoy it. If I had to run around on a tennis court all day, I wouldn’t like it too much. Getting in there with the hogs and grinding, that’s a lot of fun.”

 

Smith also discussed his excitement for returning to Ralph Wilson Stadium after three straight road games.

 

“It’s going to feel different being back at the Ralph. They’ve done a lot of things over there and it’s going to be a great atmosphere. Playing in this league is awesome regardless of where you’re playing but there’s nothing like playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium. I tell people all the time, it’s the best place in the league to play and we’re fired up and we’re ready to give these fans something to shout about.”

fastest team

At the top of the hour, Grantland contributing writer Bill Barnwell joined us to talk about his recent article on the site regarding the fastest teams in the NFL. He had the Bills ranked fourth in the league. “need for speed” He worked with player 40-times when it comes to skill positions like wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends. Defensively, the majority were from the defensive backfield. Even though these teams are ranked atop when it comes to overall speed, they may not be the most productive.

 

“Those teams have some fast players. They have some good offensive players but they are not among the better offenses in football but meanwhile the older teams in the league and the slower teams in the league rated at some of the best offenses in football. New England, Chicago, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Denver, those are teams that rated out as pretty slow against the average.”

 

Finally, we were joined by the Executive Director of Independent Health Foundation, Carrie Meyer. Meyer joined the show to talk about the upcoming Kids Day at Ralph Wilson Stadium sponsored by Independent Health as the Bills open the home portion of their preseason schedule. Meyer discussed their sponsorship with the Bills when it comes to the Kids Fitness Challenge and the NFL Play60 initiative. Meyer explained Saturday at the stadium will feature games for those in attendance that will involve smart decision making when it comes to healthy choices. She also touched on the atmosphere they expect when the kids invade the Ralph and encourages parents to attend the game with their children.

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To hear more from Meyer and the rest of The John Murphy Show, click below.

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

T.J. Graham assesses his progress

Posted by Chris Brown on August 19, 2014 – 7:55 pm

Coming back from offseason hip surgery has been a long and arduous process for T.J. Graham, but over the past week or so he’s demonstrated progress on both offense and on special teams. Still, it’s nowhere near where Graham believes his peak resides so he’s hoping to get there sooner rather than later.

Graham performed well on punt returns Saturday night in Pittsburgh averaging a respectable nine yards a return with a long of 23 yards. Any average that approaches the equivalent of an extra first down for the offense (10 yards) is considered pretty solid.

Graham was also targeted three times in the game and had one catch for 16 yards.

His past week he’s been a bigger factor in the passing game. The third-year wideout pulled no punches when it came time to assess his performance thus far in training camp.

“I’ve had some crappy days, but that’s just the growing pains from coming back from my rehab,” he said. “I’m trying to get better every day. This is the best I’ve been so far, but it’s not the best I can be.”

The N.C. State product is hopeful that there are enough opportunities left to make a full return to his optimum form.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

McKelvin returns to 11-on-11

Posted by Chris Brown on August 18, 2014 – 11:21 pm

Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn wasn’t the only player who saw team work for the first time in a while Monday night. Leodis McKelvin, who was sprinkled in for team work late last week, but did not play in last Saturday’s preseason game was participating in team reps in both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11.

His best play was the pass breakup he had on a post route by Chris Hogan across the middle of the end zone. McKelvin appeared to be playing trail technique and reached his front arm out as the pass arrived to knock it away for an incompletion.

It was the first play McKelvin has made in a while, which explains why he let out a giant, ‘Owwwwoooh!!’ after making the play.

Hopefully it’s a sign of a lot more plays to come.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Return to Action at Fisher – JMS 8/18

Posted by johnmurphyshow on August 18, 2014 – 10:05 pm

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The John Murphy Show returned to the campus of St. John Fisher College for a night practice under the lights at Growney Stadium. We kicked off the show with an injury update from head coach Doug Marrone. Murph had all the calls and highlights throughout the night with sideline assistance from WGR Sports Radio’s Sal Cappacio. He gave his analysis along with providing us post practice sound from the field. You heard from C.J. Spiller, Chris Hogan, T.J. Graham, and Eric Wood.

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At the top of the first hour, 13WHAM and Fox Rochester Sports Director Mike Catalana stopped by. Catalana is also the sideline reporter for the Buffalo Bills preseason television broadcasts. He gave his thoughts on the preseason, EJ Manuel, and why he feels like the defense will carry the Bills this season.

 

“I just see talent and I think there’s depth too, which is such a key thing. They could be a force in the front seven and deep in the defensive backfield and I think this team’s going to rely on the defense, which is something we haven’t been able to say for a little while.

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To hear all the highlights of tonight’s practice click below to hear the entire John Murphy Show from Monday night.

 

 

 


Posted in Inside the Bills

First customer helped build the new Bills Store

Posted by Anna Stolzenburg on August 18, 2014 – 12:21 pm

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It was fitting that Betsy Spengler was the first customer at the brand new Bills Store this morning – after all, she helped in its construction.

Spengler, who works for I.C. Construction and was one of the first to start on the Bills Store construction in April, says she’s impressed by all the changes made at Ralph Wilson Stadium this offseason.

“What a transformation,” she said. “It really is a wonderful upgrade.”

She says her favorite part of the renovations is the concession stands, and she thinks fans will love what they see there and at the Bills Store.

“I think they’re going to be very amazed with the artwork and the product and the wonderful people that are working here.”

And the first purchase ever made at the new Bills Store? Spangler bought a pair of warm Bills socks.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Starting secondary hoping to reunite soon

Posted by Chris Brown on August 18, 2014 – 10:21 am

The Bills are taking a conservative approach with starting CB Leodis McKelvin in his return from offseason hip surgery. He has yet to play in the preseason as he was inactive again against the Steelers Saturday. Though he is being slowly worked back into the practice setting his time with his fellow starters in the secondary has been limited. Stephon Gilmore only began to see more action in practice and preseason this past week. Even though there’s just three weeks before the season opener at Chicago the starters in Buffalo’s secondary aren’t concerned about their limited time together.

“We want those guys to come in when they’re ready,” said S Aaron Williams. “We never want a guy to rush just because one person feels like the whole group needs to be together. I want the whole group to be together when everybody is 100 percent and ready for the season. We’re not going to rush Leo (McKelvin), (Stephon) Gilmore or whoever else is hurt to come back at a fast pace. That’s just going to cause problems later down the road. Whenever they’re ready to come back and feel 100 percent because they know their bodies more than we do then the excitement will come.”

What has kept the secondary from being concerned about fewer reps than usual on the practice field together is the time they’ve spent on the field over the past two seasons.

“Yeah it’s definitely an advantage when you have a few years under your belt together,” said Williams. “You know the chemistry of each other and you know how each person thinks and plays. Leo has a different playing style than Stephon. The fact that Da’Norris and I know that makes the calls a lot faster and a lot easier.”

A beneficial byproduct of McKelvin’s absence has been the opportunity for the rest of the secondary to get used to lining up and playing with veteran free agent signee Corey Graham.

“I’m with Corey every day and I talk to him and try to pick out how he plays. Every meeting we sit next to each other and have conversations about what’s going on and how he thinks and how I play things,” said Williams. “That communication has really helped both of us out especially with our chemistry knowing we have to get ready for the season. Corey has been with us a few months now and I’m starting to learn more and more about him.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

New Bills Store opens Monday

Posted by Anna Stolzenburg on August 17, 2014 – 3:58 pm

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The grand opening of  The Bills Store in its new easy-to-spot location directly in front of Ralph Wilson Stadium is this Monday, August 18!

At four times the size of the old Bills Store located adjacent to the fieldhouse, the new hub for Bills merchandise will be finished for its Monday opening, complete with a walkway using the same turf found on the field at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The store will also have new, extended hours:
-Monday through Saturday: 10 a.m to 9 p.m.
-Non-gameday Sundays: 12 p.m to 5 p.m.
-Gamedays: 9 a.m. until 1 hour after the end of the game

 We’ll see you this week at the brand new Bills Store right on Abbott Road!

For more information, call 716-648-0658 extension 10.


Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Pepper’s mantra for D-line

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2014 – 9:47 am

Bills defensive line coach Pepper Johnson is very respected among his players. A 13-year NFL career that includes two Super Bowl rings, not to mention three more as an assistant coach, Johnson has the ear of his defensive line charges. His second unit in particular has been determined to not let there be a drop off in play when they go in for the starters this preseason. So far, so good.

“We’ve got real prestigious coaching, like Pepper Johnson, he stresses that to us every day,” said Stefan Charles who teamed with Jacquies Smith on the sack, fumble that Landon Cohen recovered and returned to the Steelers 16-yard line. “Have no fear and be out there as warriors, and that’s what we’re trying to do here.”

Charles, Cohen, Smith and Corbin Bryant have done a decent job through the preseason as the second wave of defensive linemen.

“The coach is giving us the opportunity to make plays so when they come around you gotta make them,” said Charles. “We’ve got a lot of freedom on the D-line, we just got to get after it.  That’s what we try to do.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Run ‘D’ has stymied opponents

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2014 – 1:31 am

It has been a perennial problem since 2005, Buffalo’s run defense. Enter defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who through three preseason games has his first team defense locking down consistently in the run game.

Through three preseason games Buffalo’s first team defense has allowed 30 rushing yards on 18 carries, not counting Landry Jones kneel down at the end of the half. That’s a yards per carry average of 1.66. On Saturday the Steelers power run game managed just 11 yards on seven carries against the Bills first unit.

“I credit a lot to the coaches and the players I really do. Jim (Schwartz) even when he came here and everyone was asking about that if you go back and look at the scheme they run they’ve always been very good against the run,” said Doug Marrone. “There’s another level where there’s three linebackers instead of two or sometimes one or whatever we’ve been in the past. People have been able to make some big plays on us, so we’ve done a good job of keeping that ball inside.

“The players have responded well to it and have done a nice job up front. I think that’s something that we need to continue to do and play well.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Branch knows it’s up to the coaches

Posted by Chris Brown on August 17, 2014 – 1:30 am

Initially it was characterized by head coach Doug Marrone as getting veteran Alan Branch back into the swing of things after being on the non-football injury list. But after only seeing action late in each of the three preseason games, veteran Alan Branch doesn’t know what to make of his standing on Buffalo’s roster.

When asked to assess his performance thus far in training camp he decided to put it in the hands of the men who will ultimately make the call on his role on the team.

“You are going to have to ask coaches that,” he said.

Head coach Doug Marrone was asked by the media point blank if Branch is going to be cut from the roster. His response?

“I can’t stand up here and say that,” Marrone said. “I tell the players that we’re competing for the roster. You never know. You want the player going for it. He’s working for a spot. He’s played well before and I’ll be excited to see the tape. I saw him get a lot of push tonight at times. We’ll look at it and we’ve got some time left.”

Branch, who was re-signed by the club this past offseason, didn’t deny that he’s surprised by his lack of playing time.

“I was pretty surprised, but it was coach’s decision. It has nothing to do with me,” said Branch. “I just have to keep going out there and practicing, doing what I can to try to make the team.”

When asked if he’s worried about making the 53-man roster Branch was professional.

“I mean the concern would be the same if I was on the first squad,” he said. “Unfortunately, that’s the way that this league is. It’s all on the coaches.”

Branch has not logged a defensive statistic this preseason in his limited time on the field.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Legursky to start at LG

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2014 – 6:32 pm

The revolving door at guard has another participant who get time with the starting unit.

Doug Legursky is going to start at left guard in the absence of Chris Williams, who missed the whole week with a back injury.

Kraig Urbik is also supposed to see time at left guard with Cyril Richardson expected to play right guard with the starters when Urbik is not lined up there.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Steelers inactives

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2014 – 6:27 pm

Here are the Steelers inactives for tonight’s preseason game against the Bills.

S Will Allen
CB Devin Smith
CB Shaquille Richardson
FB Will Johnson
LB Jordan Zumwalt
LS Greg Warren
TE Matt Spaeth
LB Jarvis Jones


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Posted in Inside the Bills