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Inside The Bills

Marshawn radio appearance

Posted by Chris Brown on September 20, 2010 – 10:13 am

Bills RB Marshawn Lynch will be appearing on a talk show out on the west coast Tuesday evening, but fans can tune in online.

Lynch will be on the blogtalkradio show Tuesday night at 10:30 pm Eastern time. Bills fans can listen online.

The call in number is 646-378-1915 if fans want to have a word with Marshawn.


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Lynch on trade rumors

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2010 – 11:54 am

Marshawn Lynch was asked if he’s been affected by the trade rumors that continue to exist and circulate about him despite the team’s unwavering stance on keeping him. Here was his response.

“No, because if it’s going to happen then it’s going to happen,” Lynch said. “What will I be able to do about it? If they say I’ve got to go then what am I going to do, tell them no? If they say I’m going to stay, I’m here, if they say I’m not going nowhere then let’s continue to build on this thing and get better.”

The Bills have maintained a consistent stance on Lynch’s status with the team, which is that they intend to keep him on their roster.

Lynch is more focused on righting the run game after the three-man tandem did not produce the way they wanted to in Week 1.

“It wasn’t what us as a group wanted it to be,” said Lynch. “The most carries by a back I believe was seven. That’s not good for any running back to get a feel for it. I’m not saying what should’ve been done or could’ve been done. All I know is we’ve just got to do something to get on track with it.”


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Nothing’s changed on Lynch

Posted by Chris Brown on September 16, 2010 – 9:34 am

Despite the myriad of reports out there that have tried to connect the dots between the Packers, who lost RB Ryan Grant for the season, and the Bills, who have a stable of talented backs, Buffalo’s stance on Marshawn Lynch has not changed.

Many reports have speculated that Lynch could be traded to Green Bay, but that’s simply not the case. The Bills have maintained a consistent stance on Marshawn Lynch, which is that they plan to keep him on their roster.

“Our intention is for Marshawn Lynch to be here,” said Bills GM Buddy Nix the weekend of the draft. “He is under contract and we think he is a good back. All this trade talk is not coming from us. He is ours and we intend for him to be here.”

Head coach Chan Gailey made his stance clear as well on Wednesday this week saying he wants to have Fred Jackson, Marshawn Lynch and C.J. Spiller on his roster.

“Everybody has got opinions about what’s right and we feel like having the three we have right now is a very good situation for us,” said Gailey. “We have to continue to get better with each one of them and see how their roles play out as the year goes on. This is a situation in the NFL where you can’t have too many good running backs.”

And the Bills experienced that first hand in the preseason when both Jackson and Lynch were both injured on the first series of the first preseason game and were lost for three and four weeks, leaving the team with just Spiller.

If anything that situation only further strengthened the team’s stance that they’ll need all three backs to get through the season with their running game not suffering from a lack of capable ball carriers.


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Rodgers not asked about Lynch

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2010 – 3:27 pm

Aaron Rodgers was teammates with Bills RB Marshawn Lynch in college at Cal, and with rumors swirling about the Packers looking to add a running back after losing Ryan Grant to a season-ending ankle injury, he was asked if his club asked him about Lynch as a teammate.

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Rodgers said he has not been asked about Marshawn by the front office, but if he was he’d have a three word answer.

Bring him on,” said Rodgers.

The Packers as an organization can’t say anything about a player under contract with another team, otherwise it’s considered tampering, so no one should anticipate anything public on this front.

Furthermore, Chan Gailey sounded pleased that he has three talented running backs in his backfield.

“Opinions vary as to whether there are too many or not. Obviously in preseason we didn’t have too many,” said Gailey. “I know Green Bay wishes they had one more than they had. Everybody has got opinions about what’s right and we feel like having the three we have right now is a very good situation for us. We have to continue to get better with each one of them and see how their roles play out as the year goes on. This is a situation in the NFL where you can’t have too many good running backs sometimes.”


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Gailey still good with 3 RBs

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2010 – 12:03 pm

Seeing Green Bay lose their starting RB for the season in Ryan Grant has Chan Gailey feeling all the better about the situation in his offensive backfield with three backs all capable of starting.

“Opinions vary as to whether there are too many or not,” said Gailey of his running back stable. “Obviously in preseason we didn’t have too many. I know Green Bay wishes they had one more than they had. Everybody has got opinions about what’s right and we feel like having the three we have right now is a very good situation for us. We have to continue to get better with each one of them and see how their roles play out as the year goes on. This is a situation in the NFL where you can’t have too many good running backs sometimes.”

There has been widespread speculation that Green Bay might make an effort to pry one of Buffalo’s backs away from the Bills to re-fortify their own running back position.


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Jackson on Spiller getting #1 role

Posted by Chris Brown on September 8, 2010 – 3:35 pm

Though he’s happy for C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson was understandably disappointed that the rookie wound up landing the starting running back job.

“I’m happy for him, but at the same time I’m disappointed because I want to be that guy,” said Jackson. “But I’ll make the adjustment and do what I’ve got to coming out there whenever I do get on the field. We’ll see how it goes.”

What made it particularly frustrating for Jackson was the fact that he didn’t get a chance to show the new coaching staff what he could do in the offense after he broke his hand in the first series of the first preseason game.

“It was something that was definitely hard to hear,” Jackson said. “But at the same time it’s a business and it happens so you have to roll with the punches and try to move forward and every chance you get out on the field you want to make the best of it.”

Spiller has already commented on the support he’s received from Jackson and Lynch since he was named the starter.

“We have a great relationship,” said Spiller. “There’s no jealousy amongst us. Either one of us could have been the starter and the other two guys would’ve had the support. Those guys have been very supportive since the decision was made. We’re all in the film room trying to get better seeing how we can help this team win and I’m looking forward to getting out there on Sunday with them.”


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Jackson update

Posted by Chris Brown on September 6, 2010 – 4:13 pm

Fred Jackson practiced again on Monday and it sounds like his head coach is liking his chances for Sunday’s season opener.

“He’s coming along real well,” said Chan Gailey. “They’ve done a good job of protecting that hand where it shouldn’t be an issue.”

Should Jackson play on Sunday against the Dolphins, how extensive his action will be is difficult to ascertain knowing C.J. Spiller and Marshawn Lynch are both healthy.


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Fan Friday 9-3

Posted by Chris Brown on September 3, 2010 – 12:15 pm

The final roster will be in place by Saturday evening. Remember the deadline is 6 pm. The practice squad will follow a day later. Here’s the latest edition.

1 – Chris – Is there an updated timetable on Ed Wangs’ return? Will he begin the season on the PUP list? It appears as though Demetrius Bell’s recovery is taking longer than expected and haven’t heard much on Wang since the start of camp.  Thanks.

Peter M. Trzybinski
CB: Wang returned to the practice setting this past week, but is limited with a giant club wrap on his left hand to protect his surgically repaired thumb. They’re simply trying to get him back into proper football conditioning after a one month layoff so when his thumb is ready, the rest of his body is in football shape.

He will not go on the PUP list because by rule he cannot. The only players eligible for the Reserve PUP list are the ones that did not participate in any training camp practices (e.g. Jon Corto). Wang did practice at the start of training camp, so he cannot be given that designation, which would make him ineligible for the first six games of the season.

Bell is moving along steadily in his recovery. He may not be able to get through a whole game at the start of the regular season, but there are still 10 days to get there. We’ll see how it plays out come Sept. 12.

2 - Hey Chris,

Do you think with the preseason emergence of C.J. Spiller the likelihood of a Marshawn  Lynch trade increases?
Thanks
Rich

CB: I think Fred Jackson’s broken hand is a bigger factor than C.J. Spiller. But Bills GM Buddy Nix has maintained all along that they want Marshawn Lynch on their football team. With the amount of running that’s expected from this offense, having those three might prove to be a very wise move when all is said and done.

3 - I’m a big believer in constantly drilling situations, and was always disappointed that previous administrations didn’t do that to any great extent. 

Did Chan do much of that? How would you compare Chan’s attention to preparing the team for various situations relative to previous coaches?

Thanks,
Brandon

CB: Every day Chan would spend time with his team in the training camp setting on a specific game situation, like what happens when a field goal is blocked and the ball is loose? Do you pick it up and run with it? Is it better to leave the ball alone until it’s called dead?

He did a 4th down go-for-it situation with the offense at the opponent’s 30-yard line and made the offense practice a hard count, while also coaching up the defense to not fall for the hard count, knowing there’s a likelihood that the offense simply calls timeout.

He had a different one of these every day in camp to school his players on the many different situations that come up in a game. Most teams go over a lot of those situations in their Saturday practices the day before games as well. I’d expect Gailey will be doing the same there as well.

4 - This may have already been brought up but any chance Bryan Scott plays LB in the 3-4? He played it some last year and did fairly well. We are so deep in the secondary and thinner at LB it may be a good idea. Thoughts??

Thanks,
Wes Dickson

CB: He will not play linebacker in the team’s base defense. However, he has been used as the second nickel linebacker next to Poz in the team’s nickel package. So ironically, he’ll see most of his playing time at the linebacker position this season.

5 - Hi Chris,
Can you explain how the players get paid? Do regular players get paid only during the regular season? How about the practice squad players? How do the new drafted & undrafted players get along if no pay until regular season. Keep up the good work.
 
Wayne from Virginia [fan since 1960]

CB: During training camp and the preseason all players on the roster are given a per diem by the team. It’s a set amount. Come Week 1 their regular contracted salary pay begins and runs through Week 17. For practice squad players there is a predetermined salary as part of the CBA, which is respectably less than the NFL minimum for a player on the 53-man roster.


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No Spiller vs. Lions

Posted by Chris Brown on September 2, 2010 – 2:50 pm

Buffalobills.com has learned that RB C.J. Spiller will not play in tonight’s preseason finale against the Lions in Detroit.

Head coach Chan Gailey has chosen not to dress Spiller simply to rest him up for the regular season. With Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch out the past two weeks, Spiller has endured a heavy workload as the primary back in each of the last two preseason games. Gailey would like to rest his top pick for the season opener.

Marshawn Lynch will get the start with the first unit tonight, but will not see more than the 12-14 reps that the rest of the starters will get because he’s still working his way back into game shape after returning to practice this week. That means Chad Simpson, Joique Bell and Andre Anderson should all see significant playing time this evening.


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Gailey on Fred’s Wk 1 prospects

Posted by Chris Brown on August 31, 2010 – 3:53 pm

Fred Jackson practiced with his teammates Tuesday as he shed the cast for the broken bone in his hand. His availability for Week 1 however, is still up in the air.

Head coach Chan Gailey appearing on Sirius NFL Radio Tuesday indicated that Jackson stands a good chance of being available in the opener, but being full go might be a different story.

“I think he’ll still be limited early in the year,” Gailey told hosts Peter King and Bob Papa. “But he’s going to be able to be on the field for us and give us some plays.”

With Lynch looking back to full health and C.J. Spiller healthy, rushing Jackson back doesn’t appear necessary anyway.


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Lynch to play Thursday

Posted by Chris Brown on August 31, 2010 – 12:20 pm

Head coach Chan Gailey made their plans official for Thursday night. Marshawn Lynch will play in the preseason finale against the Lions.

“Marshawn took quite a few reps today and looked good,” said Gailey after the team’s Tuesday practice. “He didn’t look like there were any residual effects so we’re looking forward to seeing him Thursday night.”

Fred Jackson also participated in practice, but he will not play Thursday night as the goal is to have Jackson ready for the regular season opener.


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Jackson’s cast off

Posted by Chris Brown on August 31, 2010 – 10:06 am

Fred Jackson is out on the practice field minus one heavy cast on his left arm.

Jackson no longer has a cast on his arm for the broken bone in his hand. We’ll have an update as to how much he’s practicing shortly.

Marshawn Lynch is also participating in practice.


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Fan Friday 8-27

Posted by Chris Brown on August 27, 2010 – 12:49 pm

Big preseason game test coming up Saturday night. Eager to see more progress from all three phases. As always questions can be sent to (AskChris@bills.nfl.net). Let’s get going with this week’s edition.

1 – Hey Chris it kind of seems from a fans prospective so far that the bills staff intends to keep Levi brown as the 3rd option, is that the case or still a little early to say?  

Frank (Bills fan in dolphin country) Miami, FL

CB: First, my condolences for having to live amongst Dol-Fans (man that’s a lame term isn’t it?). With respect to the quarterback contingent I believe that Levi Brown will be carried on the 53-man roster. I think there is too much potential there to risk putting him on the practice squad.

Bills GM Buddy Nix in a recent interview on the Shredd and Ragan show (103.3 The Edge) up here in Buffalo confirmed that they’re only keeping three. My feeling is that Brian Brohm and Ryan Fitzpatrick are likely the two QBs fighting for the one remaining spot. Brown will be the third QB, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be on the 53-man squad. 

2 – Chris,

Since Jackson’s injury seems to be longer term than Lynch, if Lynch performs well do you think he may become the feature back again? He has looked great in TC I hear, and if he is back to his 2008 form he could be in for a good season. I know some coaches stick with what works and if he is getting it done why fix it if its not broke. Your thoughts??

Thanks 
Wes

CB: I think anything is possible with respect to the so called number one role in the offensive backfield. As Chan Gailey has said, he doesn’t care about hurting people’s feelings, he cares about scoring points. Yes, Lynch had a good camp prior to the injury, but so did Jackson. Jackson is still shooting to be back by the opener, and I don’t count that guy out on anything he puts his mind to.

Personally I think if Jackson does come back by Sept. 12 that he’ll be getting the lion’s share of the rushing work.

3 – Chris,

This is the first time I have ever wrote to you about the Bills, but I ( like many other Bills fans) am getting extremly frustrated with the organization and its decision making process.  One question that has been bothering me is why wont the Bills trade Fred Jackson? 

We have a crowded back field and some decision needs to be made.  Jackson’s value is never going to be higher than it is right now!  He’s almost 30, and the Bills got him for practically nothing, so their return on their investment would be amazing.  I know he has had one season with over 1000 yards rushing, but Lynch has done it twice in 3 years.  In my opinion he would have reached that mark last year if he wasn’t suspended.  Lynch is a capable back that has been proven way before Jackson came along.  I guess my point is…we could trade him to get more draft picks in the upcoming draft, since we are committed to turning this organization around through the draft.  If need be trade Lynch as well to get more picks to solidify our lines!  That’s where football games are won anyway. Please let me know your thoughts!

Thanks,
Elbert.    Albany, NY

 

CB: Unfortunately you’re not the first person I’ve heard this line of logic from. While I completely respect the idea of dealing from a position of strength to fortify other areas of your team, the plan in 2010 is to lean very heavily on the running game. It’s shown great promise in the preseason and Chan Gailey has a history of success running the football.

Jackson can do everything well as evidenced by his season last year when he became the first player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards and accumulate 1,000 kick return yards in a season. He also LED THE LEAGUE in combined yards from scrimmage. More than Chris Johnson, more than Josh Cribbs, more than everybody. In fact it was the fourth highest combined yardage total in NFL HISTORY.

So if you want to get rid of that guy I think you’re nuts. I say keep all three in the fold and pound the rock in 2010.

4 – Chris, I’d be interested in knowing if you think any of these players will be on the 53 man roster opening day.  Donovan Woods, John McCargo, Donald Jones, Ellis Lankster.  Also, what is the status of Easley & Wang?

Pete Howell

Fairport

CB: I think Ed Wang is a lock despite his injury. Of the rest I believe Ellis Lankster has the best chance. Granted he didn’t have his best game against Indy in the preseason, but the fact is you can never have enough cornerbacks. If the Bills keep six corners, he’s the guy. Donovan Woods and Donald Jones are in the hunt. Marcus Easley’s season is over, he’s on I-R. As for John McCargo, he’s worked very hard to adjust to playing defensive end in a 3-4, but I think he’s caught in a numbers game at the position, and knowing the Bills are likely to keep just six defensive linemen, I think he could be on the outside looking in.

5 – Hi Chris,

After 2 pre-season games, the special teams performance has not been very good, particularly on kick/punt return coverage.  The tackling has been poor and it has resulted in some decent return yards for the opposition.  Do you think this is a reflection of the Bills trying out players who have not had experience playing special teams, a new scheme that the players are still learning under Bruce DeHaven or do you think this is a real cause for concern?  Also, in practices, do you think special teams is getting enough reps?

Thanks.
Shenif

CB: There’s no question that coverage on kicks and punts has been a bit suspect. I discussed this with head coach Chan Gailey in a one-on-one setting and here’s the answer straight from the head coach’s mouth.

“We have people in the wrong places,” said Gailey. “We’ve got to get people in the right places and staying disciplined in their lanes. Some of that is because guys haven’t done it since they were freshmen in college.

“Preseason is about teaching those guys how to play on special teams that haven’t played there before. And we’re looking at a lot of guys on special teams to find out if they can help us or not.

“So you really don’t have your starting special teams units on the field like you do on offense and defense early in the game because you don’t know how many punt returns or kickoffs you’re going to get so you have to get those guys out there early in the preseason games.”

I believe the new scheme and some turnover have been contributing factors as well, but I’m confident Bruce DeHaven will have things humming come the regular season.


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Lynch working on side

Posted by Chris Brown on August 21, 2010 – 3:26 pm

Marshawn Lynch is doing some running back drills with the training staff on the side at practice.

Straight ahead he’s moving well, but on cutting, lateral movements he’s moving very carefully.


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Lynch back by preseason finale?

Posted by Chris Brown on August 16, 2010 – 8:54 pm

According to head coach Chan Gailey the ankle injury suffered by Marshawn Lynch might not be as bad as first feared. There were reports that Lynch could be lost for 3-4 weeks, but Gailey indicated at Monday night’s practice it could be less than that.

“I think it’s not a major injury by any stretch of the imagination and I would think he could be back by the last preseason game,” Gailey said. “That’s what we’re hoping anyway.”

If that in fact comes to pass it would presumably lessen the pressure on Fred Jackson to return from a broken hand in time to play in the season opener, knowing Lynch could capably carry the rushing load with C.J. Spiller.


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Jackson to miss rest of preseason

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2010 – 10:24 pm

Bills RB Fred Jackson suffered a hand injury in the first half and head coach Chan Gailey said he will miss the rest of the preseason.

“Fred hurt his hand and we hope to be able to get him back for the first game,” said Chan Gailey. “We’re not sure.”

Marshawn Lynch suffered an ankle injury that is Gailey did not know the immediate severity of.

More on this on the home page at Buffalobills.com later tonight.


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Lynch not worried about role

Posted by Chris Brown on August 1, 2010 – 7:08 pm

With a heavy contingent of competition at the running back position, and Fred Jackson the incumbent starter after a big 2009 season, Marshawn Lynch is just doing the most with the reps he gets in the practice setting.

“I’m sweating,” said Lynch when asked if he was getting his fair share of carries. “I’m just getting in where I can.”

Through the early days of camp Jackson has been getting the lion’s share of the work with the first unit, with Lynch being sprinkled in with the first unit here and there.

Asked if he is looking for a bigger role than he played last season when he had a career low 120 carries, Lynch left it in the hands of the coaching staff.

“Actually man they’re professionals at what they do too,” Lynch said. “So I’m going to leave that to them and just come out and give what I’ve got every day. Whether they get me on the field, whether they have me playing the same role, whether they have me doing more, I’m cool with that.”


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Fan Friday 7-16

Posted by Chris Brown on July 16, 2010 – 1:01 pm

We’re inching closer to training camp. Only 12 days until the players report. Here’s our latest edition of Fan Friday (AskChris@bills.nfl.net).

1 -  Alright Chris, 
Last year around this time i sent you an email asking you if the Bills were going to take shots down the field with the new addition of Owens. You emailed me back saying that they would and I think a majority of people would have agreed with you.  But even with Owens, I once again had to suffer through a lot of dink and dunk passing.  I just want to ask you what the Bills offense can do to open up the passing game.  Is it going to be another “dink and dunk” 2010 season for the Bills?
                                         
Eric, Hamburg

CB: The reason down the field passing didn’t happen last year was because it simply couldn’t. With the offensive line unable to consistently protect, due to inexperience, injuries and other issues, there was no time for routes to develop and quarterbacks to have enough time to make such plays in most cases. Not making excuses. If you don’t have time you can’t make those plays happen.

And the case is the same this season. The protection has to be consistent and improve if you want more downfield plays.

2 - Hi Chris, now that Marshawn Lynch has reported, this may now open up some new possibilities for Chan Gailey. For instance, do you think that the Bills will pound defenses with Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch, and use C.J. Spiller as a change of pace back. If the line blocks well, this could be a dangerous backfield. They could use a ball control attack, bring the defense in to respect the run, and then take their shots downfield. Even though their receivers outside of Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish, are mostly inexperienced, they have enough talent to really hurt some defenses. Your thoughts.

Tony, Daytona Beach, Fl

CB: I think the possibilities are endless for Gailey with the personnel you’ve listed and that’s what makes it so exciting. What’s more is Gailey has mentioned more than once the receiving abilities of all three of those backs as he believes he can design plays where they’re thrown the ball as much as they’re handed it. And those routes likely won’t take a lot of time to develop, which means the QB is getting the ball out quickly, which lessens the demand on consistent pass protection, which was an issue last year and could be again this year. The Bills have an offensive mind that will make things work regardless of where deficiencies might lie.

3 - Hi Chris,
I’ve heard so much about the pending lockout next March if no new CBA is reached, however I have not heard what will happen to next year’s draft if that takes place, will there still be a 2011 draft?

Thanks,

Mike
Colorado Springs, CO

CB: As I understand it there would still be a 2011 draft. I think the only question is when it would take place based on the expiration of the current CBA.

4 - I have read up on coach Gailey he’s a very experienced coach and he’s very good with making offences work so I do think we will be better then what most people expect this year but I want to know what your thoughts are on his ability to build this franchise into a super bowl contender in years two three or four.

Thanks,
Steve

CB: What’s most encouraging to me about the state of this franchise is they have two chief decision makers in Chan Gailey and Buddy Nix that are committed to a plan as to how to build this team and it’s for the long haul. They are going to methodically add the pieces to this roster that they believe will make the Bills a contender for the long term, not the short term. Yes, it requires more patience on the part of fans and I admit that’s hard with as patient and loyal as you fans have been. However, I am supremely confident that these guys at the top know how to build a program into a winner in time.

5 - Hey Chris,
Is there any chance that when Bell comes back that Meredith keeps the starting LT position or will Chan and co just give it back to Bell? I’m a big Meredith fan and watched him close last yr and he seemed to play real well. IMO he is gonna be a stud OT in the NFL and I hope he has a real chance to start and isn’t just playing “Fill IN”. Do you have any inside info on this subject???

Thanks Jay

CB: Bell is the incumbent and I think he’ll have every opportunity to win the job, but Meredith will be real competition. One thing to keep an eye on is if Bell comes back from his knee rehab and doesn’t miss a beat, don’t be surprised if you see Meredith as stiff competition for vet Cornell Green for the starting right tackle job. He looks like a natural right tackle and it wouldn’t shock me if he eventually supplants Green.


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Bills working both sides of Bay

Posted by Chris Brown on July 9, 2010 – 10:35 am

Oakland native Marshawn Lynch and San Francisco native Steve Johnson are both holding their annual football camps this weekend.

On Sat. (July 10th) Lynch will be holding his free football camp at his high school (Oakland Tech) while Johnson will be holding his first of two camps this Saturday in Sacramento at Hiram Johnson high school. Johnson will have another football camp the following Saturday (July 17th) in Fairfield, CA at Angelo Rodriguez high school.

“Oakland is home,” said Lynch. “Giving back to my community is extremely important to me. Providing these kids with an opportunity to have fun and learn football at the same time is a great experience for Josh and me.”

Lynch is referring to his cousin and Tampa Bay Bucs QB Josh Johnson.

500 kids participated in Lynch’s camp last summer.


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Lynch autograph signing

Posted by Chris Brown on July 5, 2010 – 10:05 am

Marshawn Lynch is holding an autograph signing near his hometown in Hayward, CA on July 5th. 

The signings will take place at Straw Hat Pizza at 24748 Hesperian Blvd. in Hayward from 6-8 pm. Lynch will be joined by his cousin and Tampa Bay QB Josh Johnson.

The cost is $10 per person with proceeds from the autograph signing will be going to the Breast Cancer Research Association, and to the Glad Tidings Church of God in Christ “Youth Center Fund”. For more information go to www.famf1rst.com.


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