Inside The Bills

Rex: Carpenter on FGs, Cundiff on KOs

Posted by Chris Brown on October 8, 2015 – 4:39 pm

On Wednesday head coach Rex Ryan left the door open on who would be handling field goals attempts Sunday after the team signed veteran kicker Billy Cundiff. But on Thursday, Buffalo’s sideline boss laid out how kicking duties will be divided in Tennessee Sunday.

“We had Cundiff take the kickoffs (Thursday),” said Ryan after practice. “You know he did a pretty good job, had one mis-hit. And then we had Dan basically do the field goals. But we’ll see as it goes on. But that’s probably how we’re going to end up going in the game like that.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Carpenter understands Ryan’s frustration

Posted by Chris Brown on September 4, 2015 – 5:28 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan has made no bones about his dissatisfaction with the state of Dan Carpenter’s field goal success rate of 50 percent in the preseason. Add in a missed extra point and it hasn’t been pretty. Carpenter, a no nonsense guy himself, gets it.

“If you have a kicker who goes 3 for 6 in the preseason, you should be concerned as a coach,” said Carpenter Friday. “That’s their job. I need to do better. I know that, he knows that, everyone else in this building knows that, and everyone else in this building expects me to do better. That’s pretty much all there is to it.”

Carpenter doesn’t believe it’s anything mental that’s affecting him. The biggest problem was the time he had to spend on the sidelines at training camp with his hamstring injury.

“I think, with that it was just time,” he said. “There’s time missed that I can’t get back. All I can do is move forward from there and work to get better.”

The veteran kicker said he’s not going to have a meltdown and that he’s battled through rough patches before. He believes he can get back to where he was the past two seasons with the Bills, which was a 90 percent success rate.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: Carpenter needs to respond on the field

Posted by Chris Brown on September 4, 2015 – 3:27 pm

Bills head coach Rex Ryan was not happy with the field goal kicking turned in by Dan Carpenter this preseason and made those feelings readily apparent after the preseason finale in Detroit Thursday night. On Friday his tune didn’t change all that much.

“We will definitely look at anything that we think can help our team,” said Ryan. “That’s at kicker and any other spot. I’m concerned and the reason I’m concerned about it is going into the year I thought we had everything nailed (down) there. We’ve got a kicker, a kickoff guy, a long snapper and a punter. I feel great about this and really we weren’t looking for anything. To say I’m going to turn a blind eye to the fact that we missed four kicks, that’s not me. You can criticize me all you want about it, but I could care less. I’m about this team right now and if there’s somebody that we feel can help our team regardless of the position we’ll certainly look at it.”

When asked if he would take Carpenter’s recent injury and successful kicking history into account at all Ryan said it is a part of the equation.

“You always factor it in. I know the history,” Ryan said of Carpenter. “This guy has been a clutch kicker for many years and he’s done it here. Not all kickers can kick in these conditions, I recognize that, but I’m also not blind. He obviously had some injuries, but how he responds now… what’s important now? We’re in the win business, what’s important now? If we think he’s the best kicker he’ll still be here. And that goes for any position. And if we feel there’s someone better then that person will be here.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 9-4

Posted by Chris Brown on September 4, 2015 – 12:08 pm

It’s a tough time of year for players as NFL dreams end for so many including at One Bills Drive. But we press on with your questions on email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,

Can you explain what the Bills will do going forward with Leodis? It looks like he won’t be on opening day roster, so can they put him on the PUP list or the short IR list? He is yet to practice/put on pads. How severe of injury is he recovering from? How long away is he from getting into shape/being ready to play? I like Darby starting but where is depth since Robey won’t play outside.


CB: One option is the Reserve/PUP list. If that is a choice they make with the cornerback it likely means that he was closer to being out six weeks than two or three. Reserve/PUP means that McKelvin would be eligible to return after Week 6 of the regular season, which would be Tuesday Oct. 13th. If they placed him on injured reserve/designated to return he would not be able to come back until the second half of the season and all indications are he would be back before that time.

Reserve/PUP probably makes the most sense if he’s still two or three weeks away because with all the time he’s spent off his feet he’ll need another two or three weeks to get back into game shape and sharpen his technique.


2 – Chris,

Do any of the three RBs that were signed have a chance at pushing for a roster spot in that crowded of a pool?


CB: Unfortunately no, but I would consider Bronson Hill or Cierre Wood for the practice squad. I like the preseason production they provided.


3 – Chris,
After both preseason games I believe that EJ has looked great so far. If not for about five drops his stat line would be more impressive than it already is. He seems accurate, he’s had good pocket awareness, and when he steps up he’s still looking to throw not just tuck it and run. He seems like he’s got the ability to run and throw where the other two QB’s rely on one or the other.

My question is how does he look throughout practices? I know you guys only show the highlights so does he look bad the rest of the time. For him not to be getting any first team reps playing the way he is confuses me.
Thanks for keeping a geographically challenged Bills fan up to date!

Jonathan H.

CB: In training camp when we were able to watch practice start to finish he wasn’t as consistent as Cassel and Taylor. Now that consistency improved as camp went along and you’ve obviously seen what he’s done in the games. Personally I just think that  EJ is a gamer, meaning he’s not going to look like the best player in practice, but when the lights come on and it’s game time, that’s when he plays his best.

While you’d like to see that consistency he’s shown in the preseason games also be present on the practice field, if you could only have one, you’d like him to be at his best in the game than practice.


4 – @ChrisBrownBills
Is Dan Carpenter fixable in the short term? Hamstring for K no cakewalk repair.


CB: Carpenter has been medically cleared to play so I don’t think it’s the physical nature of the injury that’s affecting him. Carpenter’s issue is his mechanics. The bottom line is he’s rusty from missing two and a half weeks of training camp with the injury. In my opinion he just has to get his rhythm back with his swing and he’ll be fine. Hopefully that happens sooner rather than later.


5 – @ChrisBrownBills
Why would anyone release Fred Jackson. Can someone tell us the real reason. That’s like the pats getting rid of Tom Brad


CB: As much respect as I have for Fred Jackson I also recognize that NFL clubs have to sometimes make tough decisions like this. I genuinely believe that the front office and coaching staff openly wondered if there was going to be a role for Jackson that used him often enough as they have in the past.

I think LeSean McCoy, when healthy is going to be an every down back, including third down. He’s a capable pass protector and a dangerous threat out of the backfield as a receiver.

With third down no longer seen as a role for Jackson it wouldn’t surprise me if they worried that there could be weeks where Jackson would be inactive. I think it would be more of a disservice to do something like that to Jackson and all he’s done for this team over the years.

So while it hurts everybody right now, including my wife who has called Jackson her favorite player for years, it’s better to give Fred the opportunity to really contribute for another club that has a bigger role in mind for him.

As Rex Ryan said himself he believes Fred can still play, but it sounds like he was going to be behind too many other backs on this roster to be a factor on the field week to week.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex sounds off on kicker

Posted by Chris Brown on September 3, 2015 – 11:15 pm

Bills head coach wasn’t happy about a few things he witnessed in the team’s preseason finale Thursday night in Detroit. Foolish penalties and fumbles were among those mentioned, but when it came to missed field goals it was clear that irked him more than anything else.

Dan Carpenter hit a 43-yard attempt, but his 40-yard attempt in the second half clanged off the right upright. It left Carpenter 3-6 on field goals in the preseason. He also missed an extra point from the new 33-yard distance. Ryan was unhappy to say the least.

“Certainly we’ve got some issues, hell we can’t make a field goal so we better be looking for any guy who has ever kicked a football in his life. They will get an opportunity here,” said Ryan. “I’m tired of seeing us miss a field goal. We’ve got a kickoff guy and we miss field goals. I don’t get it. We’ll certainly be looking out there. I don’t know if anybody is out there, but nobody gets this job by default, and certainly you’ve got to earn your way out here. Very disappointed in that and I don’t care who knows it.”

Carpenter has kicked with a 90 percent success rate in his two seasons with Buffalo.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Carpenter to use Detroit to get back on track

Posted by Chris Brown on September 2, 2015 – 9:22 am

Bills K Dan Carpenter has been one of the most accurate kickers in the league the last two seasons and he’s been kicking half his games in Buffalo. A hamstring injury at the outset of training camp however, has the veteran kicker eager to get back on track and have his kicking motion locked in for the regular season.

Carpenter has missed two of his four field goal attempts this preseason as well as an extra point from the new distance. It’s got head coach Rex Ryan a bit worried.

“I’m concerned. He’s missed a couple of field goals and an extra point,” said Ryan. “That’s concerning because he’s missed a lot of camp. We need to see him kick better quite honestly. We’re one of the only teams in the league that keeps a kickoff specialist, and you do that to make sure you’re giving your kicker a chance to focus on one thing and that’s field goals.

“In fairness to him he hasn’t been out there the whole time. Hopefully it’s just a matter of time. We all know he’s been a big money kicker and not everybody can kick in our conditions. So the fact that he’s made them in those times gives you some comfort, but I don’t like seeing missed kicks ever.”

Carpenter himself admits that he always gets concerned himself when he doesn’t feel like his mechanics are consistent.

“Yeah, I am worried every day,” he said. “It doesn’t matter you are getting compared to guys whether they are in your camp, out of your camp, in someone else camp, on the street, it doesn’t matter. There is always someone out there wanting your job and you got to do your job to keep it.

Carpenter hopefully finds his groove at Ford Field, which is a field that was very good to him last season. In Week 5 he hit a game-winning 58-yarder to beat the Lions. He then returned in the Snow-vember game that was moved and against the Jets he hit a 53-yard field goal and was good on all five extra-point attempts.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Carpenter activated, practicing

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2015 – 10:09 am

Bills K Dan Carpenter has been activated off the Non-Football injury list. 

Carpenter is back practicing with the team for the first time in training camp. He sustained a hamstring injury right before camp during individual training. He’s finally healthy enough to kick again. 

Posted in Inside the Bills

Carpenter, McKelvin updates

Posted by Chris Brown on July 31, 2015 – 2:46 pm

On Friday Bills head coach Rex Ryan shed a bit more light on what is keeping K Dan Carpenter and CB Leodis McKelvin sidelined.

Though he didn’t say what McKelvin’s injury was specifically he did indicate they aren’t concerned about it right now.

“As far as Leodis is concerned, he’s got a little injury,” said Ryan. “That we’ll see how it progresses through this training camp, but I’m not concerned now with it. I know he’s doing what he can to speed his recovery so that’s a good thing.”

McKelvin was limited in the spring as he was recovering from a broken ankle suffered last year in Week 11. No word on the nature of his latest injury.

Meanwhile Carpenter’s injury isn’t considered serious.

“Carpenter just has a tweak with a hamstring and no major setbacks there,” said Ryan.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Carpenter could be valuable with new PAT rules

Posted by Chris Brown on May 21, 2015 – 10:43 am

As we covered in our interview with Bills kicker Dan Carpenter Wednesday, the new extra point rules will be an adjustment for all players in 2015. Naturally it will be harder to maintain the same success rate on extra points from 33 yards away than just 20. But for the Bills the potential loss of points is among the lowest in the league thanks to their kicker’s accuracy.

Value Penguin did a study whereby they assessed if the new PAT rule had been in place in 2014, the greater difficulty of the try (and the inevitable misses) would have cost the average NFL team five points for the season. But the Bills would have only lost one point because Carpenter, based on his career results from 30 to 39 yards (94.5 percent) and from the former PAT distance (99), would have only experienced a 4.5 percent drop-off, the second lowest mark in the league.

Graph of Pct Differences

The number of points that a team can lose on the PAT is dependent, obviously, on the number of touchdowns that its offense scores. (The extra point occurs only after a touchdown, whereas a field goal is its own separate scoring play.) Because of this, the percentage difference (above) is a more reliable statistic when evaluating a particular kicker’s value to his team.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

4 Bills make PFF all division team

Posted by Chris Brown on January 24, 2015 – 10:01 am

The film reviewers and stat crunchers at Pro Football Focus released their All Diviaion teams for the 2014 season. Four Bills made the squad. Two were expected, two others may have been a bit more under the radar.

Buffalo’s Mario Williams and Marcell Dareus both were named to the defensive line and Corey Graham and Dan Carpenter were the other two Bills honorees. Here’s what they wrote about Buffalo’s players and the seasons they had.

Edge Defenders: Cameron Wake (MIA) and Mario Williams (BUF)
Just another season for Wake who continues to be one of the premier edge pass rushers in the entire league. Williams benefitted by Buffalo switching back to a 4-3 and allowing him to play with his hand on the ground once again. He clearly still has a knack for getting to the quarterback, but his play in run defense was arguably the best of his career.

Defensive Interior – Nose: Marcell Dareus (BUF)
Dareus continues to improve and has become more consistent on a week-to-week basis. His 10 sacks received the most attention, but his work in run defense is where he really flourished.

Cornerbacks: Darrelle Revis (NE), Corey Graham (BUF)
Unsurprisingly, Revis was again one of the best cornerbacks in football in his first year with the Patriots, making the PFF All-Pro team. Graham wasn’t even getting significant playing time in some games over the first half of the season, but he was easily the best in coverage for the Bills’ secondary. Opposing quarterbacks had a 57.0 QB Rating when targeting Graham, fifth-lowest among corners and only behind the likes of All-Pros Vontae Davis, Chris Harris Jr., and Richard Sherman.

Slot Cornerback: Kyle Arrington (NE)
Arrington shared duties in the slot, but was one of the best in the division. He allowed a reception once for every 12.6 snaps in coverage, the second-best rate in the division (Revis).

Kicker: Dan Carpenter (BUF)
Carpenter did not handle kickoff duties this year, but his work on field goals alone was enough to claim the spot. He hit on 34 of 38 field goals, including 6-of-8 from 50 and beyond.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Where Bills kickers finished well

Posted by Chris Brown on January 8, 2015 – 9:05 am

As we covered in a feature story appearing on today (Thursday) Buffalo’s special teams made major improvements from 2013 to 2014. Though they don’t get much exposure or credit here’s a look at where the Bills young kickers and veteran Dan Carpenter excelled.

Punter Colton Schmidt
5th in punts (86)
7th in punts downed inside the 20 (31)
10th in downed punts
15th in fair catches (20)

Kickoff specialist Jordan Gay
2nd in maximum hang time (4.87 seconds)
4th in average drive start allowed (20.1 yard line)
8th in touchbacks (49)
9th in percentage of kickoffs returned (37.3%)

Kicker Dan Carpenter
2nd in most makes overall (34)
2nd in most makes from 50-yards plus (6-8; 75%)
4th in FG/XP rating (5.7) (courtesy of ProFootballFocus)

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dan Carpenter’s BOSE playlist

Posted by on November 29, 2014 – 10:00 am

This year BOSE, the Official Sound of the Bills, is going to bring insider access to fans by showing fans what songs Bills players listen to on game day.  For 12 weeks during the 2014 season, a different Bills player will be featured in the Player Playlist, presented by BOSE.  For this week, it’s Bills K Dan Carpenter.  Check out the songs Dan will be listening to on Sunday to get him pumped up before he takes on the Browns.


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Posted in Corporate, Inside the Bills, Off the Field

Carpenter expected to be fine for Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on November 28, 2014 – 10:27 am

He’s been a limited participant in practice on Wednesday and Thursday with a groin injury, but come Sunday head coach Doug Marrone is confident that K Dan Carpenter will be ready to go.

A groin injury can be a difficult one for a kicker, but Marrone feels good about the availability of Carpenter in what is a very big game against Cleveland Sunday.

“Yeah, absolutely,” said Marrone when asked if Carpenter will be okay to play Sunday. “We’re just listing (his injury) in case there is a setback so we have it documented.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dixon tips hat to teammates for POW honor

Posted by Chris Brown on November 26, 2014 – 5:20 pm

Bills RB Boobie Dixon became the third player on the roster to win AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors Tuesday, thanks mainly to his blocked punt against the Jets that Manny Lawson recovered for a touchdown in the 38-3 victory. Dixon gave credit to his teammates for making the award possible.

“It was great. It was a great honor,” said Dixon. “First thing I’ll say, shout out to my teammates for pushing me and supporting me. We go into war together.  They’re the ones that motivate me to do what I do.  It just felt good.”

The Bills are the only team with three players earning Special Teams POW honors this season. Dan Carpenter and C.J. Spiller were the others.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills cover unit not fooled on planned throwback

Posted by Chris Brown on October 26, 2014 – 9:31 pm

There were reports by the local daily papers in New York/New Jersey that the Jets may have something up their sleeve this week on special teams in the return game. On Sunday the Bills were ready.

In the third quarter after a 36-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter put the Bills up by 10 (27-17) the Jets had a trick play called on the ensuing kickoff return. Bills kickoff specialist Jordan Gay kicked the ball nine yards deep in the end zone. As he kicked off the Jets had Percy Harvin in the right side of the end zone to return and there was another Jets player lying face down in the green part of the end zone hoping to go undetected by Buffalo’s cover unit. That player was T.J. Graham.

Gay’s kick went to Harvin nine yards deep in the end zone as he came out with the ball to the goal line, Graham jumped to his feet to receive a called lateral pass. The problem was the Bills kick coverage team had two players in front of Graham convincing Harvin that the lateral pass was not there to be attempted. Instead he tucked it and got what he could.

“We were trying to do a throwback,” said Harvin. “The defense sniffed it out pretty well. I saw the defense closing in on him, so I decided to tuck the ball, and make the best out of the play.”

Harvin was tackled at the Jets’ three-yard line by Ron Brooks. The Jets went three-and-out on offense and punted.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Watkins & Carpenter get Week 5 recognition

Posted by Chris Brown on October 7, 2014 – 11:38 am

Their performances in Week 5 were critical to the Bills come from behind victory at Detroit. That’s why both Sammy Watkins and Dan Carpenter were recognized by Pro Football Focus in their weekly awards.

The PFF’s Week 5 All-Star team included Carpenter and Watkins. Carpenter for his game-winning 58-yard field goal and Watkins for his clutch behind the head, juggling grab to set up the field goal the play prior. Watkins also had six other receptions in the game. Here’s what PFF had to say about the two clutch performers for Buffalo.

Wide Receivers: Vincent Jackson, TB (+3.5) and Sammy Watkins, BUF (+3.2)
The Buccaneers couldn’t quite hold on against the Saints yesterday, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort from Vincent Jackson, four missed tackles forced and 144 yards through the air giving him the highest grade of any receiver this week so far. For Watkins it’s been an up and down rookie season so far but we definitely saw the positive this week, slowly but surely making the Bills look smart for picking him up in May’s draft.
Kicker: Dan Carpenter, BUF: A close battle between a few kickers, but ultimately the game winner from 58 yards sealed the deal for Carpenter here.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

NFL investigating laser pointer interference

Posted by Chris Brown on October 5, 2014 – 11:26 pm

It happened on a few occasions in the game. There was a green laser pointer being used by someone in the stadium at Ford Field Sunday and they were trying to distract QB Kyle Orton and holder Colton Schmidt on pass plays and attempted field goals. Kicker Dan Carpenter was the first to notice it.

“When I noticed it they were shining it on Colton on the 50-yard attempt,” said Carpenter. “It was shining on Colton (Schmidt) on the hold. As far as that goes I guess I understand that the NFL Security is looking into it to see if they can figure anything out.”

Carpenter’s 50-yard attempt was no good off the upright. The kicker would not say whether the laser pointer affected the quality of Schmidt’s hold on the kick.

Kyle Orton also was the subject of the attempted distraction during the game.

“Early on I felt it a couple of times right after I got the ball, so I communicated with the refs and with coach Marrone and let him handle that,” said Orton.

Marrone said after the game that NFL Security is handling the investigation to see if they can ascertain through film review of the game the origin of the laser pointer.

“We told the NFL security on the miss, that there were some lasers we could see down on the carpet,” said Marrone.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Bills go back to back on Spec. Tms. POW

Posted by Chris Brown on September 17, 2014 – 10:13 am

In Week 1 it was K Dan Carpenter earning AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. In Week 2 C.J. Spiller took the honors thanks in large part to his 102-yard kick return for a touchdown, Buffalo’s first six-point score of the game in the win over Miami. It’s not often that players on the same team win the conference Player of the Week honor back to back.

In fact this is the first time Bills players have won AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors back to back since 1994 when P Chris Mohr in Week 2 and Steve Christie in Week 3 won in consecutive weeks.

One could make the case that Carpenter could’ve won the award again in Week 2. After his 11-point performance including the game-winning FG in Week 1 at Chicago, Carpenter had a 17-point day against Miami.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

New elements of kicking game fare well

Posted by Chris Brown on September 7, 2014 – 9:22 pm

Heading into Sunday’s season opener, the Bills had a new kickoff specialist and a new punter. Coming out of their overtime victory special teams coordinator Danny Crossman has to be pretty pleased with how they performed.

Colton Schmidt in his first ever appearance for the Bills had five punts in the game. Four of them he dropped inside the 20-yard line effectively flipping the field for most of the contest. His net average was an outstanding 43.2, just a tenth of a yard above his preseason average when he was still with the 49ers.

Buffalo’s coverage unit was good too, but two of Schmidt’s punts were fair catches. In total the Bears had minus-one yard on two punt returns Sunday.

Kickoff specialist Jordan Gay had six kickoffs, five of which went for touchbacks.

“I didn’t see the stats, but we talked about rookie punter versus rookie punter (in this game) and we talked about from the special teams challenge was going to be the field position battle,” said head coach Doug Marrone. “Early on (Schmidt) had the not so good one out of the way early and then he hit some really good punts. We let them out the one time on the pass interference call when we had them down there on the six. On our kickoffs the one time they brought it back we stopped them. Our specialists did a nice job.”

Marcus Easley had a pair of tackles on coverage teams and Dan Carpenter was a perfect 3-for-3 on field goals including a 50-yarder.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Marrone: Hopkins a kickoff specialist only

Posted by Chris Brown on July 22, 2014 – 11:01 am

It’s early in camp and Dan Carpenter has taken all the FG attempts. Dustin Hopkins has only taken kickoffs in practice. On Tuesday head coach Doug Marrone confirmed that Hopkins is strictly a kickoff specialist.

In fact Marrone stated that kickoff specialist is the role Hopkins has to try and land.

“He had to tr to make the roster as a kickoff specialist,” said Marrone.

Carpenter is coming off a career season where he hit on almost 92 percent of his kicks in 2013.

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Posted in Inside the Bills