Inside The Bills

Goodell learned a lot from 90’s Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on June 6, 2016 – 3:26 pm

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was taking part in the Jim Kelly Celebrity Golf Classic for the first time on Monday. Goodell, who was born in Jamestown, NY, was happy to be back in Western New York and called Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly a good friend for many years. Goodell also said he learned something from Kelly and his 90’s Bills teammates when he was an NFL intern 25 years ago.

Back during Buffalo’s four straight Super Bowl appearances, Goodell was just starting off as an up and comer in the NFL offices. One of his assignments was the Pro Bowl, which back then was played after the Super Bowl. He was assigned the task of picking up Pro Bowl participants who had just played in the Super Bowl to take them to the airport to fly to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl the following week.

“I got to know a lot of these guys from the great years of Bills football teams,” Goodell said. “I’d have to pick them up the morning after the Super Bowl and drive them to the airport and we’d fly to Honolulu. I’d always say to Jim and the rest of the guys that I learned a lot from that. Here these guys the discipline that they had that Monday morning, they were all class acts, every single one of them. They obviously were disappointed (after losing), but professional, couldn’t have been better. That bus came at 4:30 or 5 in the morning and they were all there and jumped on the bus and we were off. I learned a lot from that.

“The fact of doing what it takes to be a professional. You may be disappointed with the outcome of a game and that’s hard to deal with, but they had another obligation which was to get to the Pro Bowl. And they got there on time to be on the bus and they were glad to be there. They treated everyone the same way they would’ve if they won I think. And one thing I’ll say about Jim and it’s one of the things I’ve loved about Jim is he treats me the same as he did when I was that young intern in the NFL as he does right now as Commissioner, which I appreciate.”


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Jim Kelly to co-host HOF ‘Day out with Dad’

Posted by Chris Brown on May 23, 2016 – 10:10 am

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly will be co-hosting a special event at the Pro Football Hall of Fame next month.

Kelly along with fellow Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz will co-host the Hall’s ‘Day out with Dad’ event on June 25th in Canton. Kelly will be joined by his daughter Erin and alongside Muñoz will be his son Michael.

Pre-registration is encouraged as space may be limited for walk-up entries. Dads and children should pre-register at ProFootballHOF.com/dads-day. Cost for “Day Out with Dad” is just $35 and includes a father and up to four kids.

In addition to the exclusive character camp that is based off the Hall’s five core values learned from the Game – commitment, integrity, courage, respect and excellence – a ticket includes lunch vouchers from Chick-fil-A, admission into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and free parking.

The event includes a day of family fun centered around an official Hall of Fame Character Camp that will include football skills and drills. Fathers and their children can spend the day bonding while also getting up close and personal to two great Heroes of the Game.

 


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What Bills player matches Kobe’s loyalty?

Posted by Chris Brown on April 13, 2016 – 11:59 am

Kobe Bryant, who wraps up his NBA career tonight after 20 seasons, is the exception nowadays rather than the rule. With the free agency era alive and well in just about all of the major professional leagues, Bryant is a rarity having spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. We decided to take a look to see what Bills players played the most games and spent their entire NFL career with Buffalo. Here’s the top 10 list, which includes one active player.

1 – OT Joe Devlin (1976-89) 191 games
2 – LB Mark Pike (1986-98) 170 games
3 – C Kent Hull (1986-96) 170 games
4 – QB Jim Kelly (1986-96) 160 games
5 – DE Phil Hansen (1991-2001) 156 games
T6 – DE Chris Kelsay (2003-2012) 147 games
T6 – DE Ben Williams (1976-85) 147 games
8 – DT Kyle Williams (2005-current) 136 games
9 – DE Aaron Schobel (2001-2009) 133 games
10 – CB Tony Greene (1971-79) – 128 games

Bryant after tonight will have played in 1,346 career games for LA.


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Why Bills DBs coach still thanks Kelly & Thomas

Posted by Chris Brown on February 18, 2016 – 12:45 pm

Bills secondary coach Tim McDonald is entering his second season with Buffalo on Rex Ryan’s staff. His 13-year playing career was highlighted by a Super Bowl title with the San Francisco 49ers in 1995. McDonald signed as a free agent with San Fran in 1993, a move that might not have happened were it not for a certain game the 49ers had played a season prior against the Buffalo Bills.

In 1992 the Bills and 49ers met early in the season in the now famous ‘No Punt’ game won by Buffalo 34-31. Though the Niners had a respectable defense that ranked 15th in the NFL, San Fran was 26th in pass defense and 24th in interceptions. And in a heated arms race with the Dallas Cowboys for NFC supremacy, the 49ers were looking for free agent help in the secondary.

McDonald, who was a Phoenix Cardinals free agent, was given a five-year contract offer worth big money at the time ($12.75M). McDonald believes it never would’ve happened were it not for the Bills-49ers ‘no punt’ game where the defense was non-existent.

“What got me to San Francisco as a free agent was their need for defensive help,” McDonald told Buffalobills.com. “San Francisco offered me a pretty good deal because they played that game – and I talked to Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas about this – they played a game against the Buffalo Bills in 1992 and there were no punts.

“The 49ers said, ‘Hey we’ve got to get some defensive help.’ That’s what got me to San Francisco was the no punt game. I remember watching that game as soon as I got to San Francisco and I was like, ‘Holy smokes, there is no defense being played in this game.’

McDonald had a staff of big names that he played under at the time.

“George Seifert was my head coach,” he said. “Pete Carroll was the defensive coordinator for two years, then Jim Mora was my coordinator and defensive backs coach. My first year Jeff Fisher was my defensive backs coach. We had some pretty good guys.”


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Kelly on next step for Tyrod

Posted by Chris Brown on January 18, 2016 – 9:07 am

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly said Tyrod Taylor had a good year in 2015. He also outlined one specific part of quarterbacking that he feels is a crucial next step for Taylor in the future. 

Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Kelly feels recognizing defenses more efficiently will help Taylor reach the next level of quarterback play. 

“For Tyrod he has to read defensive coverages quicker,” said Kelly. “I think there were times where he was a little confused with what he was seeing. So with more time on the job and going through it and seeing more he can get a handle each and every snap as to what defenses are throwing at him. But he did well for a guy who in many ways was a rookie.”

Kelly said he believes Taylor has the ability and work ethic to improve and is eager to see what steps he can take to advance his game in 2016. 


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Kelly has shot at annual bet with Marino

Posted by Chris Brown on November 7, 2015 – 2:17 pm

They’ve each been retired for more than 15 years, but it hasn’t kept them from making the Bills-Dolphins rivalry interesting. Each season Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and Dan Marino make a friendly bet based on the Bills-Dolphins season series. The bet is based on a season sweep, something only Kelly has a chance to collect on at this point.

As the bet goes every year, if the Dolphins sweep the season series from the Bills, Kelly owes Marino strip steaks. If the Bills sweep the Dolphins, Marino owes Kelly stone crab.

With Buffalo beating Miami in Week 3, the Bills have a chance for the series sweep here in 2015. If the Bills make good on a series sweep Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Kelly will be calling to collect.

 


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Kelly on Bills QB situation

Posted by Chris Brown on June 18, 2015 – 1:22 pm

Bills HOF QB Jim Kelly made an appearance on the NFL Network this week and was naturally asked about Buffalo’s quarterback situation with the three man competition. Kelly is hopeful that one of the three separates himself from the other two to be a clear cut starter.

And Kelly doesn’t believe the starter has to be a Pro Bowl caliber player.

“There are a lot of quarterbacks that have won Super Bowls that are not in the Hall of Fame, that only had a few Pro Bowls,” Kelly said. “But it’s the whole team…But you need a guy there that maybe wins one or two games. He doesn’t have to be the superstar on the team but he has to manage it; make sure he doesn’t make those crucial mistakes at crucial times in the game.”

When asked why he thought it’s been so tough for the Bills to find a franchise quarterback, Kelly cited the talent around the signal caller.

“A lot of it has to do with people around him,” Kelly said. “Even though they’ve had some talent, it’s the system sometimes. Right now we have to look towards what is here and now. With the offensive coordinator we have now that came from the San Francisco 49ers [Greg Roman], I think that might be a system that EJ [Manuel] can thrive on. He’s got the Kaepernick-type of skills. You have Matt Cassel who is coming in who has won and shown people he can play. I don’t know. I just pray every night that guy comes in sooner than later. I’m tired of not having a team come to Buffalo in January. That’s when the playoffs start.”


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Jim Kelly talks Bills QBs

Posted by Chris Brown on May 18, 2015 – 9:38 pm

In an appearance on NFL Network Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly was asked about EJ Manuel’s future and the quarterback situation heading into OTAs. 

When asked specifically about Manuel’s future he’s optimistic for Manuel, but knows it’s put up time

“I think that with the new offensive system Greg Roman brings from San Francisco, I think it might be something that EJ needs,” said Kelly. “He’s a good kid. I’ve heard him talk to the players, I’ve heard what type of leader he is. He has it all. But he knows he has to get it done on the field. 


“Now he has competition with Matt Cassel coming in who has a very, very strong arm. It’s a new system for both of them, it’s a learning experience for both of them. We’ll see what happens. But that is one key position. I don’t care if you’re Vince Lombardi, Don Shula, whoever it may be, if you don’t have a guy under center that can get the job done week in and week out, you’re not going anywhere. So I wish one of those two step up and rise and be the quarterback we need them to be.”


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Rex Ryan SI cover

Posted by Chris Brown on April 15, 2015 – 9:45 am

For those that haven’t seen it yet, here’s the Rex Ryan Sports Illustrated cover with Bills Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas.

It’s a regional cover, not a national cover for the magazine to go along with the story by Jenny Vrentas.

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Report: Jim Kelly to announce Bills draft pick

Posted by Chris Brown on April 14, 2015 – 8:55 pm

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly will be one of eight former NFL players who will be at the 2015 NFL draft in Chicago to announce a draft pick on day two of the draft. 

According to an ESPN report Kelly will announce one of Buffalo’s day two draft choices in round two or three. 

Other former Bills including fellow Hall of Famer Andre Reed and Bills Wall of Famer Phil Hansen have announced Bills draft choices at the draft in the past. 

Among the other seven former players who will reportedly attend the draft in Chicago includes Bears HOF LB Dick Butkus and former Lions and Bills LB Chris Spielman. 


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Erin Kelly book ‘Kelly Tough’ released

Posted by Chris Brown on February 27, 2015 – 10:04 am

Erin Kelly, oldest daughter of Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly, has released a book chronicling the struggles and triumph in dealing with her father’s well-publicized cancer battle. Here are details.

‘Kelly Tough’ is an intimate, deeply personal account of life inside the Kelly family. It includes never-before-shared photos, journals, and stories will be revealed. Readers will go behind the scenes with the Kelly family and experience their private struggles and failures as well as their determination and passion.

It’s available on Amazon.com right here.


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Kelly willing to provide input if wanted

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2015 – 1:58 pm

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly has a trained eye when it comes to offensive football. Knowing that side of the ball is in need of the most improvement in Buffalo, he’s willing to provide input if new head coach Rex Ryan wants it.

Kelly said as much following Ryan’s introductory press conference Wednesday, confirming that he’ll be meeting with owner Terry Pegula in the wake of his talk with Ryan Tuesday night.

“I’m not looking to do any coaching. I’m hopefully in a short time sitting down with Terry and talking with him,” said Kelly. “I’ve already talked to Rex about a few of my ideas. But right now he needs to settle in. He needs to understand who his staff is. Yeah I’d like to give my two cents where I feel it’s needed, whether it’s the quarterback position or the wide receiver position, two positions that I feel are my strong points.

“He’s putting his staff together, but I would love to sit down and say, ‘This is good, this is bad.’ I am an armchair quarterback, but I don’t look at the game like a typical fan does. I don’t follow the ball. I follow what receivers do if they’re being bumped. I follow what coverage it is. I follow when the linebackers are blitzing and rotating and where the quarterback should be looking. I look at the game completely different than your average fan. I look at it as a quarterback.

“If they want my input I’m here for them. But the bottom line Russ (Brandon) and Doug (Whaley) are doing a good job of getting this together. Then it comes down to how comfortable Rex feels.”


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Kelly: We have to find out about EJ

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2015 – 7:40 pm

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly is one that gives it to you straight. He’s also kept a keen eye on what goes on at One Bills Drive, particularly at the quarterback position. As we outlined on Buffalobills.com Rex Ryan understandably calls the QB picture unclear. With Kyle Orton retired other quarterback talent will be brought onto the roster to join EJ Manuel and Jeff Tuel. Regardless of who is brought in, Kelly said the team has to get clarity on just what Manuel can be for the franchise.

“We need to find out if EJ is going to be the guy,” said Kelly. “I don’t care who you are, Don Shula, Marv Levy, Vince Lombardi if you don’t have a guy behind the center you’re not going anywhere period. If you look at all the teams that are in the playoffs now, look who is behind the center.

“Do I think EJ has a chance? I don’t know because of what he has learned when he was on the sidelines. How much he got out of being on the sidelines. Watching Kyle (Orton’s) positives and negatives of how he played. It’s an opportunity everybody is going to have, but that’s a position they definitely have to get solidified and find out who that person is going to be.”


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Some national perspective on Bills season

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2014 – 1:31 pm

R Bills didn’t make the playoffs for a 15th straight season, and when you’ve seen every one of those years up close and personal it’sometimes difficult to see the forest for the trees. MMQB’s Don Banks paints a pretty good picture of all that was accomplished by a franchise that endured a tumultuous year.

Banks references everything from Mr. Wilson’s passing to Jim Kelly’s cancer fight to the Pegula ownership transfer to Snow-vember. Perhaps his close to his look at the Bills season read best.

For a franchise that has enjoyed just one other winning season amid the gloom and doom of eight last-place finishes these past 15 years, the 2014 Bills offered hope that a brighter day is finally on its way to the shores of Lake Erie. With a defense that made the likes of Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers look downright ordinary, the Bills put up a fight from start to finish, and Doug Marrone’s team proved it would do its part to usher in a new era of Buffalo football. These were not the same old Bills, and there was no mid-season swoon and descent into irrelevance. Buffalo didn’t go away, and the Bills signaled they’re here to stay, with the club’s annual Toronto series ending and the ticking clock that was the threat of relocation being unplugged for good. 

The 2014 NFL season won’t be remembered fondly by many people, what with its litany of depressing off-field developments and unwanted headlines. But in Buffalo, for a change, it was a very good year.


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A special Jim Kelly report on NFLN

Posted by Chris Brown on November 13, 2014 – 3:28 pm

In advance of tonight’s Bills-Dolphins game on Thursday night football, NFL Network will have a special piece on Jim Kelly and his cancer recovery. Reporter Andrea Kremer spends time with the Kelly family to get a feel as to just how things are going now and the difficult journey through Jim’s cancer treatment. Here are some more details.

The most poignant part of the piece is the Kelly family’s belief that returning to Buffalo to complete the cancer treatments was the key to Kelly’s recovery.

“I think that was the turning point. Absolutely,” said his wife Jill Kelly. “There is no doubt in my mind that coming back to Buffalo was the turning point for Jim…We went literally from one hospital to a hospital over here; one hospital in New York to a hospital in Buffalo. He came to life.”

“At times, there were people here that needed my support but I needed their support too,” said Jim Kelly. “There is not a family around here any bigger than the Buffalo Bill family. Everywhere I turn, there are people praying for me, there are people that give me well wishes and to be honest with you, I don’t know if I would have been able to make it anywhere else.”

As for his outlook now moving forward, Kelly is just trying to make the most of every day.

“I live every day. I know it’s a cliché [to live] every day to its fullest but I do,” he said. “I’m not going to change. Even though I have cancer, even though I’ve been through some tough times, it doesn’t matter because I’m going to live life to its fullest today because tomorrow I have no idea what is going to happen.”

The piece airs tonight on NFL Network at 6 pm ET on NFL Total Access Kickoff.


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Kelly to narrate ESPN piece on Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on September 21, 2014 – 9:05 am

In the comfort of his home, Hall of Famer quarterback Jim Kelly reads the Sunday NFL Countdown essay on his beloved team. (Rachel L. Sampson/ESPN)

Today on ESPN’s NFL Countdown Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly will be narrating a video piece on the relationship that the Bills have with their fans.

ESPN came to Kelly’s home this week to record the narration.

“Very few organizations in the NFL share the level of affinity Bills fans have for their team,” said Countdown coordinating producer Greg Jewell. “This essay is a unique and different approach to profile the Bills, their fans and the team’s resurgence – one of the story lines of the NFL season so far.”

 

 

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Jim Kelly appearance on CNN Friday night

Posted by Chris Brown on September 19, 2014 – 1:21 pm

Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly will appearing on CNN’s Unguarded show Friday night.

Kelly, who is interviewed by Rachel Nichols, talks about his battle with cancer and his future. Here’s a clip from the interview, which will air tonight at 10:30 p.m.


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A special day from start to finish

Posted by Chris Brown on September 14, 2014 – 7:26 pm

With so much positive news packed into one week for Bills fans, the 73-thousand plus at Ralph Wilson Stadium Sunday were just hoping the team would cap the week with a win. Doug Marrone’s men obliged taking a day when the man who founded the franchise was honored, and two of the team’s most famous alumni presented the late Hall of Fame owner’s wife, Mary Wilson, with an honorary Wall of Fame ring. That combined with the Pegula agreement to purchase the franchise and keep it in Western New York brought the week to a fitting conclusion.

“Sunday was a very emotional time,” said Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon. “Not only the tribute to Ralph and to honor Mary Wilson who has been a rock for all of us, and to see Jim (Kelly) and Thurman (Thomas) and all the guys out there. To be out there when Jim (Kelly) got up to the podium was pretty cool. I’ve seen this stadium rock a lot of times, but I’ve never felt it like that, it was awesome.”

When asked what Mr. Wilson might’ve thought of the performance Sunday, Brandon believed his former boss would’ve loved it.

“That’s Ralph’s kind of football,” Brandon said. “He would’ve loved it. He absolutely would’ve loved it. It’s been a tremendous week; it’s a great, great time to be a Buffalonian. Great credit to so many people, governor Cuomo and his staff, and our group and were working together. Football is the ultimate team game. The teamwork that went into making this all culminate to the sale this week, then to cap it off (with a win). It’s going to be a big party in this town (Sunday night) for sure.”


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Sept. 7th has been good to Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on September 7, 2014 – 8:36 am

There are certain dates that will live in infamy for the Bills organization, none of which will be re-listed here. But there are also some dates that have been particularly kind to the team and their fans. One such date is today, September 7th.

There is not only one or two good things that happened to the Bills on September 7th, but three in their 54-year history. They are as follows.

September 7, 1980 – Streak ends Bills beat Dolphins
September 7, 1986 – Jim Kelly makes his Bills debut
September 7, 2003 – Bills open season with 31-0 win over New England Patriots
So two of Buffalo’s most noteworthy season-opening victories and the debut of the only player to have his number retired in team history. Not a bad trio of events. Could there be a fourth here today in Chicago for the Bills organization?

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HOF visit and coin flip mean more for Kelly

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2014 – 9:20 am

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly, who is busy fighting sinus cancer, committed to attending Andre Reed’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony. On Sunday night he’ll also flip the coin at the Bills preseason opener in the Hall of Fame game against the Giants, with fellow Hall of Famer Harry Carson alongside him.

“This year especially, I am so thankful that I can be on hand to share in a great weekend that shines the spotlight on the Buffalo Bills,” said Kelly. “It is a great honor for me to represent the Bills organization at the coin toss to kick off the season. The entire experience will bring back memories from 2002 when so many of the Bills family – fans, players and staff – joined me in Canton for one of the most memorable times of my life.”

Kelly was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.


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