Inside The Bills

Former Bills LB impressed with EJ

Posted by Chris Brown on June 27, 2013 – 9:06 am

Former Bills LB Chris Draft was a guest on the John Murphy Show last night (Wed.) as he wrapped up his speaking responsibilities at the NFL’s Rookie Symposium. Draft had the opportunity to meet Buffalo’s rookies and was particularly impressed with EJ Manuel.

“When I saw EJ I said, ‘Oh my goodness. Are you really that big?’ I was thinking that in my mind anyway,” Draft said. “He did an amazing job at the rookie symposium. When you see quarterbacks you look for an aura about them. That’s what you want.

“Last year I had the opportunity to meet Russell Wilson and you could see he had the respect of the other rookies. That’s the kind of vibe I got from EJ and you could see the respect already from the other rookies. They’re ready for him to lead. Now you have to earn it, but he’s already built a relationship with them you can see it.”

Hearing Draft compare Manuel’s leadership to that of Wilson is certainly encouraging. Of course he’s got to win the starting quarterback job before those leadership skills can be put into practice. The key point here is Manuel’s leadership and charisma is not forced. All that have been around him say his leadership is natural.

Draft played in 2009 for the Bills appearing 11 games that season.


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Chris Draft book signing

Posted by Chris Brown on February 9, 2010 – 9:14 pm

Bills LB Chris Draft will be in Clarence on Wednesday for a book signing.

Draft is currently traveling across the US to promote the release of his new children’s book ‘Do You Want To Play Catch?’, which is endorsed by the NFL Players Association and Play 60.

On Wed, Feb. 10, Draft will be at Monkey See, Monkey Do children’s bookstore (located at 9060 Main Street, Clarence, NY) for a book signing at 3:30pm.

For more information about the bookstore, visit http://www.monkeysread.com. 


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LB Draft busy at Super Bowl

Posted by Chris Brown on February 3, 2010 – 12:33 pm

Bills LB Chris Draft has taken his community service efforts on the road to south Florida and the site of this year’s Super Bowl.

Draft will spend time reading to local schools from his new children’s book, discussing the hit movie the Blind Side with local student leaders, like he did in Buffalo and will be participating in fitness lessons with students and parents.

His foundation will kick off Super Bowl week in two Miami-Dade Public Schools on Thursday, in partnership with the NFL Players Association, NFL Play 60 and National PTA. Draft will read to the students in an effort to launch his new book, “Do You Want to Play Catch?”, which promotes exercise and sends a message of teamwork and communication to both parents and their children.

Thursday evening, Draft will switch his focus to fitness as his foundation partners with the National PTA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for a “Fitness Blitz.” Sixty students and 60 parents from the Miami-Dade Public Schools will attend an indoor fitness event powered by HOPSports at Coral Gables Senior High School. Parents will receive a copy of “Be Well,” a book of health stories from mothers created through a partnership with the William J. Clinton Foundation and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

Then on Friday, the Foundation will host “A Discussion and a Movie: The Blind Side” in Miami, much like he did in Buffalo late last season from 9 a.m. to noon. Student-leaders from the Miami-Dade County Schools will be invited to a private showing of Academy Award Best Picture Nominee “The Blind Side.”

Following the movie, Draft will lead a discussion of the film, highlighting the theme of key character traits throughout the movie. After the event, each student will be asked to participate in an essay contest, with the winners getting the opportunity to have dinner with Draft.

To cap the weekend, Draft will be spending time signing copies of “Do You Want to Play Catch?” at two Books & Books locations in the Miami area on Fri. at 6 p.m. at Books & Books in Coral Gables. Then he has another signing Sat. at 2:30 pm at Books & Books in Bal Harbour.


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Chris Draft an MLK ambassador

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2010 – 4:24 pm

Bills LB Chris Draft will be on local radio and TV on Friday in Buffalo as he will be serving as an Ambassador of Service for Martin Luther King day.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that leads the service initiative, tapped key individuals across various sectors to promote the MLK Day to a broad audience and encourage more Americans to do their part to help realize Dr. King’s dream. Many Ambassadors will mark the King Holiday by volunteering in local service projects.

Draft hosted 200 Buffalo Public school students last week for a special viewing of the movie the Blind Side which was followed by an open forum for discussion on character. He’s also participating in a special project with Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Buffalo.

Draft will appear on Kiss 98.5 FM at 7:15 am Friday and later on AM Buffalo on Channel 7 at 9:45 am to speak about the initiative as well as some of his community service projects. He is the only active professional athlete to be named an ambassador of service.


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LB Draft takes Buffalo kids to movies

Posted by Chris Brown on January 8, 2010 – 10:41 am

Bills LB Chris Draft has taken 200 select Buffalo school kids to the movies with him to see ‘The Blind Side.’ But it’s more than just a few hours out of the classroom.

In partnership with the Buffalo Public Schools, the Chris Draft Family Foundation offered 200 students (selected based on academics, leadership and extra-curricular involvement) the opportunity to participate in a discussion and a the movie, featuring a private screening of ‘The Blind Side.’

As part of the Chris Draft Family Foundation’s Character Team™, Bills linebacker Chris Draft, along with teammates Jon Corto, Keith Ellison, will lead a discussion of the film, allowing the students to discuss the importance of character as a theme in the movie.

Following the film and discussion, the students will participate in an essay contest, encouraging them to use the film as a vehicle to convey their thoughts about history, current events, perseverance and other positive character traits. The student with the winning essay will have the opportunity to have dinner with Draft the weekend of January 16.


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Injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on December 4, 2009 – 12:20 am

There were two injuries to come out of the game Thursday night.

Kirk Chambers suffered an ankle injury and did not return.

Chris Draft suffered a shoulder injury.


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Bills giving back for Thanksgiving

Posted by Chris Brown on November 24, 2009 – 10:03 am

Bryan Scott, Terrell Owens, Chris Draft and C.J. Hawthorne are giving back to the Buffalo community on their day off today at Buffalo City Mission.

The four players are serving thanksgiving meals late this Tuesday morning to the Men’s Community Center at the City Mission as they provide meals for the homeless and less fortunate in the Buffalo community.


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Draft’s rescue

Posted by Chris Brown on October 27, 2009 – 11:20 am

Chris Draft has been a member of six NFL teams counting the Bills in his time in the NFL. So he’s been in a lot of places. And in his short time with the Bills he’s been in the right place at the right time with a sack and big fourth down stop in two games with Buffalo. Seven years ago in May of 2002 in the wee hours of the morning Draft was not on a football field, but again he was in the right place at the right time.

Draft was driving a college buddy home after a night out with friends. Playing for the Falcons at the time Draft was headed back to his house going north on I-85. That’s when a BMW a short distance ahead of him swerved right across three lanes of traffic struck the guard rail and came all the way back across every lane of the highway before smashing head on into the retaining wall separating northbound from southbound traffic.

“It crashed right in front of me,” said Draft. “When he crashed he made a left turn on the freeway, so he was drunk and passed out and crashed his car and the car started coming back at me. I had to stop because his car was all over the freeway.”

Draft was wondering if the guy was alright after the spectacular crash, which fortunately only involved the driver’s vehicle.

“I went to check on him and called 911. He didn’t have his seat belt on and was slouched over on the floor on the passenger side. And I was thinking I’m not going to move him,” said Draft. “The way he hit that wall I didn’t want to move him.”

Draft was concerned about paralyzing the guy in case he had a neck injury.

“Some other guy came up to the car and turned off the ignition, while I went back to my car which was only a few yards behind his. And the car started smoking a little so I went a checked on him again while we were waiting for the emergency responders.”

While standing at the front of the car keeping an eye on the driver Draft did not notice what was going on at the rear of the car.

“I’m at the front of the car and my friend yells out, ‘The car is on fire!’ So I looked at the car and there were flames shooting out the back of the car,” said Draft. “I’m at the driver’s side of the vehicle and with flames shooting out the back I opened the car door and I grabbed him by his legs and pulled him out. Then one other guy and my friend came to help me carry him. They each grabbed a leg and I had him under his armpits. And we got him away from the car. He was still passed out.”

With the car still on fire Draft was worried about the car blowing up, but that’s when an 18-wheeler stopped.

“Fortunately this trucker pulled over got out of his rig and came out with a fire extinguisher, sprays the car and puts the fire out and then just jumps back in his truck and heads back down the freeway,” said Draft. “It was great.”

Though Draft was written up in the local papers as a hero, he pointed to the six other people that stopped to help, including two emergency room workers that had just gotten off of their shifts and provided instruction on how to care for the passed out drunk driver.

“When you look at all the different parts of it there were a bunch of different people that all pitched in and showed their greatness,” Draft said. “I stopped and I was able to be there, but there were so many other people that were a part of that.”

The driver, Anthony Ivory, had a non-life threatening neck injury and a few bruises as well as a DUI charge. Unfortunately it took the guy a while to thank the people that saved his life including Draft, and had some nerve when speaking to the then Falcons linebacker.

“It took him four months before he thanked any of us,” said Draft. “When I talked to him he said I should give him season tickets because he made me famous by pulling him out of the car. He told me he wasn’t going to drink anymore. Hopefully he hasn’t. Hopefully he realized he could have been in ditch somewhere if he turned right instead of left that day. Hopefully he learned his lesson.”
 
Here’s the full write up a short time after the incident occurred.


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Chris Draft starts

Posted by Chris Brown on October 25, 2009 – 4:07 pm

LB Chris Draft started at the SLB position for the Bills with Keith Ellison flipping over to the weak side.


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New jersey numbers

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2009 – 9:38 am

Newly signed LB Chris Draft and S Todd Johnson have had their jersey numbers assigned to them.

Draft will wear jersey number 52 and Johnson will wear jersey number 35.

Practice squad LB Anthony Waters will wear #50.


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Practice squad swap

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2009 – 9:32 am

In addition to signing Chris Draft and Todd Johnson to the active roster, Buffalo also added a linebacker to the practice squad.

The Bills signed free agent LB Anthony Waters.

Waters (6’3” 238) was a free agent signing of the New Orleans Saints this past offseason after playing his first two seasons in San Diego where he saw action primarily on special teams. The outside linebacker however, was part of the Saints’ final cuts in early September.

The former third-round pick (2007) has appeared in seven career games, and seeing him in the building yesterday, the guy passes the eyeball test. He’s put together. I’d imagine that Bills scout Buddy Nix, who was with the Chargers when Waters was drafted had some input in bringing him in.

To make room for him on the eight-man practice squad for Waters the Bills waived linebacker Marcus Freeman, who spent about three weeks with the club.


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Draft and Johnson know defense

Posted by Chris Brown on October 14, 2009 – 9:25 am

Chris Draft and Todd Johnson, who signed today, are two veteran players that the coaches won’t have to worry about.

With so much youth at linebacker Draft will be a wealth of experience at the position. I’m anticipating that he’ll be backing up Keith Ellison at MLB while he gets up to speed. Then when Poz comes back Draft will remain the backup MLB and Ellison will return to his strong side position. He’s also familiar with the defensive system having been in versions of it in St. Louis.

By signing Johnson, Nic Harris can now re-focus his efforts on linebacker after practicing at safety the past two weeks due to the shortage there. Johnson knows the defensive system inside and out having played it under Perry Fewell in Chicago and he most recently played it in St. Louis.

Veteran players that know the system are important to have when you’ve been short handed on bodies. The interesting thing here is the Bills now have six safeties on the roster. Whitner, Scott, Byrd, Wendling, Wilson and now Johnson. Five is a high number, six is unusual. But the Bills are in an unusual injury circumstance.

It will be interesting to see what Bryan Scott is able to do today with respect to practice. He had a workout with trainers on Tuesday as did Donte Whitner. Both were optimistic about playing Sunday. We’ll have the practice update for you here right around noon.


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